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Papers, to the Federalist, and to the late very able work of Dr. Bledsoe, entitled Is Davis a Traitor? It will be sufficient for the purpose which I have in view—that of giving the reader a general outline of the course of reasoning, by which Southern men justify their conduct in the late war—to state the leading features of the compact of government which was dissolved, and a few of its historical surroundings, about which there can be no dispute. The close of the War of Independence of 1776 found the thirteen original Colonies, which had waged that war, sovereign and independent States. They had, for the purpose of carrying on that war, formed a league, or confederation, and the articles of this league were still obligatory upon them. Under these articles, a Federal Government had been established, charged with a few specific powers, such as conducting the foreign affairs of the Confederacy, the regulation of commerce, &c. At the formation of this Government, it was intended t
ose of carrying on that war, formed a league, or confederation, and the articles of this league were still obligatory upon them. Under these articles, a Federal Government had been established, charged with a few specific powers, such as conducting the foreign affairs of the Confederacy, the regulation of commerce, &c. At the formation of this Government, it was intended that it should be perpetual, and was so declared. It lasted, notwithstanding, only a few years, for peace was declared in 1783, and the perpetual Government ceased to exist in 1789. How did it cease to exist? By the secession of the States. Soon after the war, a convention of delegates met at Annapolis in Maryland, sent thither by the several States, for the purpose of devising some more perfect means of regulating commerce. This was all the duty with which they were charged. Upon assembling, it was found that several of the States were not represented in this Convention, in consequence of which, the Conventio
deration, and the articles of this league were still obligatory upon them. Under these articles, a Federal Government had been established, charged with a few specific powers, such as conducting the foreign affairs of the Confederacy, the regulation of commerce, &c. At the formation of this Government, it was intended that it should be perpetual, and was so declared. It lasted, notwithstanding, only a few years, for peace was declared in 1783, and the perpetual Government ceased to exist in 1789. How did it cease to exist? By the secession of the States. Soon after the war, a convention of delegates met at Annapolis in Maryland, sent thither by the several States, for the purpose of devising some more perfect means of regulating commerce. This was all the duty with which they were charged. Upon assembling, it was found that several of the States were not represented in this Convention, in consequence of which, the Convention adjourned without transacting any business, and reco
Chapter 1: A brief historical Retrospect. The disruption of the American Union by the war of 1861 was not an unforeseen event. Patrick Henry, and other patriots who struggled against the adoption of the Federal Constitution by the Southern States, foretold it in burning words of prophecy; and when that instrument was adopted, when the great name and great eloquence of James Madison had borne down all opposition, Henry and his compatriots seemed particularly anxious that posterity should be informed of the manly struggle which they had made. Henry said, The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy of the name of Americans, they will preserve, and hand down to the latest posterity, the transactions of the present times; and though I confess my explanations are not worth the hearing, they will see I have done my utmost to preserve their liberty. The wish of these patriotic men has been gratified. The r
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 1
inst the adoption of the Federal Constitution. Events will equally vindicate the wisdom of Jefferson Davis, and other Confederate patriots, who endeavored to preserve that Constitution, and hand it le. At first sight, it may appear that there is some discordance between Patrick Henry and Jefferson Davis, as the one struggled against the adoption of the Constitution, and the other to preserve istatesmen of his era, refused to trust that majority. This was substantially the case with Jefferson Davis and those of us who followed his lead. We had verified the distrust of Henry. What had berticles of copartnership, as for want of faith in our copartners. This was the wisdom of Jefferson Davis and his compatriots, which, I say, will be vindicated by events. A final separation of thehe Madison Papers, to the Federalist, and to the late very able work of Dr. Bledsoe, entitled Is Davis a Traitor? It will be sufficient for the purpose which I have in view—that of giving the reader
Americans (search for this): chapter 1
ich they had made. Henry said, The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy of the name of Americans, they will preserve, and hand down to the latest posterity, the transactions of the present times; and though I confess my explanations are not worth the hearinged. The record of their noble deeds, and all but inspired eloquence, has come down to posterity, and some, at least, of their descendants, worthy of the name of Americans, will accord to them the foremost rank in the long list of patriots and sages who illustrated and adorned our early annals. But posterity, too, has a history preserve our liberties; like him, we have failed, and like him, we desire that our record shall go down to such of our posterity as may be worthy of the name of Americans. The following memoirs are designed to commemorate a few of the less important events of our late struggle; but before I enter upon them, I deem it appropriat
Alexander Hamilton (search for this): chapter 1
presented in this Convention, in consequence of which, the Convention adjourned without transacting any business, and recommended, in an address prepared by Alexander Hamilton, that a new convention should be called at Philadelphia, with enlarged powers. The Convention, says Hamilton, are more naturally led to this conclusion, asHamilton, are more naturally led to this conclusion, as in their reflections on the subject, they have been induced to think, that the power of regulating trade is of such comprehensive extent, and will enter so far into the great system of the Federal Government, that to give it efficacy, and to obviate questions and doubts concerning its precise nature and limits, may require a cor the Articles of Confederation, and that formed by the Constitution of the United States, calling the one a league, and the other a government. Here we see Alexander Hamilton calling the Confederation a government—a Federal Government. It was, indeed, both a league and a government, as it was formed by sovereign States; just as
s they believed, a peaceful right, instead of a right of revolution. Had, then, the Southern States the peaceful right to dissolve the compact of government under which they had lived with the North? A volume might be written in reply to this question, but I shall merely glance at it in these memoirs, referring the student to the history of the formation of the old Confederacy, prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States; to the Journal and Debates of the Convention of 1787, that formed this latter instrument; to the debates of the several State Conventions which adopted it, to the Madison Papers, to the Federalist, and to the late very able work of Dr. Bledsoe, entitled Is Davis a Traitor? It will be sufficient for the purpose which I have in view—that of giving the reader a general outline of the course of reasoning, by which Southern men justify their conduct in the late war—to state the leading features of the compact of government which was dissolved, and
James Madison (search for this): chapter 1
Chapter 1: A brief historical Retrospect. The disruption of the American Union by the war of 1861 was not an unforeseen event. Patrick Henry, and other patriots who struggled against the adoption of the Federal Constitution by the Southern States, foretold it in burning words of prophecy; and when that instrument was adopted, when the great name and great eloquence of James Madison had borne down all opposition, Henry and his compatriots seemed particularly anxious that posterity should be informed of the manly struggle which they had made. Henry said, The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy of the name of Americans, they will preserve, and hand down to the latest posterity, the transactions of the present times; and though I confess my explanations are not worth the hearing, they will see I have done my utmost to preserve their liberty. The wish of these patriotic men has been gratified. The
ith the North? A volume might be written in reply to this question, but I shall merely glance at it in these memoirs, referring the student to the history of the formation of the old Confederacy, prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States; to the Journal and Debates of the Convention of 1787, that formed this latter instrument; to the debates of the several State Conventions which adopted it, to the Madison Papers, to the Federalist, and to the late very able work of Dr. Bledsoe, entitled Is Davis a Traitor? It will be sufficient for the purpose which I have in view—that of giving the reader a general outline of the course of reasoning, by which Southern men justify their conduct in the late war—to state the leading features of the compact of government which was dissolved, and a few of its historical surroundings, about which there can be no dispute. The close of the War of Independence of 1776 found the thirteen original Colonies, which had waged that war,
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