The distinguished gentleman was introduced to the throng by Mayor Mayo
, and received with hearty cheers.
In response, Mr. Stephens
returned his acknowledgments for the warmth of the personal greeting, and his most profound thanks for it as the representative of the Confederate States
He spoke of the rejoicing the secession of Virginia
had caused among her Southern sisters.
Her people would feel justified if they could hear it as he had. He would not speak of the States that were out, but those who were in. North Carolina
was out, and did not know exactly how she got out. The fires that were blazing here he had seen all along, his track from Montgomery
At Wilmington, N. C.
, he had counted on one street twenty flags of the Confederate States
The news from Tennessee
was equally cheering — there the mountains were on fire.
Some of the States still hesitated, but soon all would be in. Tennessee
was no longer in the late Union.
She was out by resolutions of her popular assemblies in Memphis
and other cities.
would soon be out; her people were moving.
--who could doubt the stand she would take?--when her Governor, in reply to Lincoln
's insolent proclamation, had said:--“You shall have no troops for the furtherance of your illegal, unchristian, and diabolical schemes!”
will soon add another star to the Southern
is you all know.
The first Southern blood has been shed on her soil, and Virginia
would never stand by and see her citizens shot down.
The cause of Baltimore
is the cause of the whole South
He said the cause we were engaged in was that which attached people to the Constitution
of the late United States
--it was the cause of civil, religious, and constitutional liberty.
Many of us looked at the Constitution
as the anchor of safety.
the people had been attached to the previous Union, but the Constitution
which governed it was framed by Southern talent and understanding.
Assaults had been made on it ever since it was established.
Lately a latitudinous construction had been made by the North
, while we of the South
sought to interpret it as it was — advocating strict construction, State rights, the right of the people to rule, &c. He spoke of all the fifteen Southern States as advocating this construction.
To violate the principles of the Constitution
was to initiate revolution; and the Northern States
had done this.
The constitution framed at Montgomery
discarded the obsolete ideas of the old Constitution,
but had preserved its better portion, with some modifications, suggested by the experience of the past; and it had been adopted by the Confederate States
, who would stand by it. The old Constitution had been made an engine of power to crush out liberty; that of the Confederate States
to preserve it. The old Constitution was improved in our hands, and those living under it had, like the phoenix, risen from their ashes.
The revolution lately begun did not affect alone property, but liberty.
He alluded to Lincoln
's call for 75,000 volunteers, and said he could find no authority in the old Constitution for such a flagrant abuse of power.
His second proclamation had stigmatized as pirates all who sailed in letters of marque; this was also in violation of the Constitution
, which alone gave Congress that power.
What had the friends of liberty to hope for?
Beginning in usurpation, where would he end?
You are, however, said he, no longer under the rule of this tyrant.
With strong arms and stout hearts you have now resolved to stand in defence of liberty.
The Confederate States
have but asserted their rights.
They believed that their rulers derived their just powers from the consent of the governed.
No one had the right to deny the existence of the sovereign right of secession.
Our people did not want to meddle with the Northern States
--only wanted the latter to leave them alone.
When did Virginia
ever ask the assistance of the General Government
If there is sin in our institutions, we bear the blame, and will stand acquitted by natural law, and the higher law of the Creator.
We stand upon the law of God and Nature.
The Southern States did not wish a resort to arms after secession.
alluded to the negotiations between Major Anderson
and the authorities of the Confederate States
, to demonstrate the proposition.
History, he said, if rightly written, will acquit us of a desire to shed our brother's blood.
The law of necessity and of right compelled us to act as we did. He had reason to believe that the Creator smiled on it. The Federal flag was taken down without the loss of a single life.
He believed that Providence
would be with us and bless us to the end. We had appealed to the God of Battles for the justness of our cause.
Madness and folly ruled at Washington
Had it not have been so, several of the States would have been in the old Union for a year to come.
would join us, and may be, ere long, the principles that Washington
fought for might be again administered in the city that bore his name.
Every son of the South
, from the Potomac
to the Rio Grande
, should rally to the support of Maryland
as ignominously as he entered it, God's will will have, been accomplished.
The argument was now. exhausted.
Be prepared; stand to your arms — defend your wives and firesides.
He alluded to the momentous consequences of the issue involved.
Rather than be conquered, let every second man rally to drive back the invader.
The conflict maybe terrible, but the victory will be ours.
, said he, you fight for the preservation of your sacred rights — the land of Patrick Henry
— to keep from desecration the tomb of Washington
, the graves of Madison
, and all you hold most dear.--Richmond Dispatch
, April 23.