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MARYLAND'S

TREASON

CIRCUMVENTED.

121

Treason Circum

vented.

Treason.

mac.

the courage to practice it. , ment, the occupation of The Legislature's

May 10th, the Legislature Cockeysville, and the open

passed the following re- ing of the Northern Cenmarkable but characteristic resolves :

tral railway, completely cornered not only "Whereas, The war against the Confederate States

the “Knights of the Golden Circle”—who is unconstitutional and repugnant to civilization, and

had arranged their secret machinery to prewill result in a bloody and shameful overthrow of our institutions; and while recognizing the obliga- the arms of the conspirators—but gave the

cipitate both Maryland and Kentucky into tions of Maryland to the Union, we sympathize with the South in the struggle for their rights--for the loyal element so much the ascendancy as to sake of humanity we are for peace and reconcilia

checkmate the revolution north of the Pototion, and solemnly protest against this war, and will

On the 14th of May, Governor Hicks take no part in it.

issued his proclamation, calling for four regi** Resolved, That Maryland implores the President, ments of infantry or riflemen to answer to in the name of God, to cease this unholy war, at least the President's requisition. The Governor's until Congress assembles ; that Maryland desires and loyalty was still qualified, for he obtained consents to the recognition of the independence of the “written assurance of the Secretary of the Confederate States. The military occupation of War” that the regiments should be detailed Maryland is unconstitutional, and she protests against to service within the limits of the State, or it, though the violent interference with the transit

should only be used for the defense of the of Federal troops is discountenanced; that the vindication of her rights be left to time and reason, and

Capital. As the “defense of the Capital" that a Convention, under existing circumstances, is might require the Federal troops to push on inexpedient."

to Richmond, the Governor's apprehensions This was the dregs of the secession cup of in regard to the service of his troops were, bitterness. The vase was shattered and the doubtless, not very deeply seated. would-be revellers in revolution dissolved in

This ends the chapter of

Maryland Safe. nothingness—some to retire to the oblivion Maryland's disloyalty as a of their homes, others to seek glory at the State. Many of her citizens continued to cannon's mouth over in Virginia. The Presi- struggle against their destiny by plotting dent's answer was apparent May 13th, when treason, and by giving “aid and comfort” to Baltimore city itself was permanently occu

the enemy; but they were isolated cases; pied by Butler's troops. Butler's proclama- and, after the installation of the military tion, dated from head-quarters on Federal process (the suspension of the habeas corpus Hill, May 14th, was a document at once well act), the arrest of Marshal Kane of the Balticalculated to reassure the frightened loyalists more police, and of his coadjutors in conspiracy and to intimidate the traitors who still made against the General Government, ended the that city their head-quarters. That move struggle even with individuals.

CHAPTER VII.

EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE CONFEDERATE CONGRESS.

DAVIS' MESSAGE. ITS PER VERSIONS AND PURPOSES. THE ACT DECLARING A “STATE OF WAR." SPECIAL LEGISLATION. VIRGINIA ADOPTED INTO THE CONFEDERACY. THE OCCUPATION OF HER SOIL. ITS PURPOSES. THE CONFEDERATE CURRENCY SYSTEM.

Jetlerson Davis.

Extraordinary Session

The Confederate Con-, great calamity which was to hurry them all of the Confederate gress reassembled in extra- into one common ruin. It became such men Congress.

ordinary session, April 30th. to talk of the usurpations of the Lincoln A full attendance was had of the States' del Government! Incomparable hypocrisy ! egates--for the “Congress” was still composed Upon assembling, the

The Message of of the delegates elected by the several State Congress was informed of Conventions. As these Conventions had the purpose of its re-conbeen elected by the people simply to consider vention, and of the designs of the Confederthe question of secession, leaving it for the peo- ate Administration, in the following message ple to decide upon the act and to prescribe -in many respects one of the most singular the future course of proceeding, their assump- and remarkable documents of the rebellion : tion of supreme power bad been a most as- Gentlemen of the Congress : tounding usurpation ; but, what was a usur

“It is my pleasing duty to announce to you that pation within the State became a tyranny the Constitution framed for the establishment of a when the Convention appointed delegates to permanent Government for the Confederate States a “ Congress of the Seceded States"; and has been ratified by Conventions in each of those when those delegates assembled, adopted a

States to which it was referred. To inaugurate the Constitution for the Confederated States of

Government in its full proportions and upon its own North America, sat in secret and unlimited

substantial basis of the popular will, it only remains

that elections should be held for the designation of session, enacted laws, elected a President and

the officers to administer it. Vice-President, and installed the entire ma

There is every reason to believe that at no dischinery of a Central power, the tyranny be

tant day, other States, identified in political princi. came an absolute despotism. After legislat- ples and community of interests with these which ing into active operation this Central power,

you represent, will join this Confederacy: giving to. the Congress adjourned, subject to the call

its typical constellation increased splendor-to its of the President-a call he soon made, as government of free, equal, and sovereign States a above stated. The self-elected delegates came wider sphere of usefulness--and to the friends of together, and immediately proceeded to constitutional liberty a greater security for its harlegislate the Confederacy into a state of war,

monious and perpetual existence. with all its terrible consequences. Civilized

It was not, however, for the purpose of making

this announcement that I have deemed it my duty society never before witnessed a more unauthorized exercise of such power over a people.

to convoke you at an earlier day than that fixed by

yourselves for your meeting. The declaration of In all that revolution the people had only

war made against this Confederacy by Abraham had a voice in the primary election of dele

Lincoln, the President of the United States, in his gates to a transient and unempowered State proclamation issued on the fifteenth day of the preConvention. Out of that, by the daring and sent month, rendered it necessary, in my judgment, defiance of a few ambitious men, sprang the that you should convene, at the earliest practicable

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The Message of

moment, to devise the measures shall be sufficient for the estabJefferson Davis.

The Message of necessary for the defense of the lishment of this Constitution

Jefferson Davis. country.

between the Slates so ratifying “ The occasion is indeed an extraordinary one. the same.' It justifies me in a brief review of the relations here. “ The Constitution of 1787 having, however, omittofore existing between us and the States which ted the clause already recited from the articles of Dow unite in warfare against us, and in a succinct Confederation, which provided in explicit terms, statement of the events which have resulted in this that each State retained its sovereignty and indewarfare, to the end that mankind may pass intelli- pendence, some alarm was felt in the States when gent and impartial judgment on its motives and invited to ratify the Constitution, lest this omission objects.

should be construed into an abandonment of their " During the war waged against Great Britain by cherished principle, and they refused to be satisfied her colonies on this continent, a common danger until amendments were added to the Constitution, impelled them to a close alliance, and to the forma placing beyond any pretense of doubt, the reservation of a Confederation, by the terms of which the tion by the States of all their sovereign rights and Colonies, styling themselves States, entered seve- powers, not expressly delegated to the United States rally into a firm league of friendship with each other by the Constitution. for their common defense, the security of their liber. “ I have italicised certain words in the quotations ties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding just made, for the purpose of attracting attention themselves to assist each other against all force of- to the singular and marked caution with which the fered to, or attacks made upon them or any of them, States endeavored, in every possible form, to ex. on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any clude the idea that the separate and independent other pretense whatever.'

sovereignty of each State was merged into one com"In order to guard against any misconstruction mon Government and nation, and the earnest desire of their compact, the several States made explicit they evinced to impress on the Constitution its true declaration, in a distinct article, that each State character-that of a compact between independent retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, States. and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not

· Strange indeed must it appear to the impartial by this Confederation expressly delegated to the observer, but it is none the less true, that all these United States in Congress assembled.'

carefully-worded clauses proved unavailing to pre“ Under this contract of alliance the war of the vent the rise and growth in the Northern States, of Rerolution was successfully waged, and resulted in a political school which has persistently claimed the treaty of peace with Great Britain in 1783, by that the Government thus formed was not a comthe terms of which the several States were, each by pact between States, but was in effect a National name, recognized to be independent.

Government, set up above and over the States. An “ The Articles of Confederation contained a clause organization, created by the States to secure the whereby all alterations were prohibited, unless con- blessings of liberty and independence against forfirmed by the Legislatures of every State, after beeign aggression, has been gradually perverted into ing agreed to by the Congress ; and, in obedience a machine for their control in their domestic affairs; to this provision, under the resolution of Congress the creature has been exalted above its creators; of the 21st of February, 1787, the several States ap- the principals have been made subordinate to the pointed delegates, who attended a Convention for agent appointed by themselves. the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles The people of the Southern States, whose al. of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and most exclusive occupation was agriculture, early the several Legislatures such alterations and provi- perceived a tendency in the Northern States to rensions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, der the common government subservient to their and confirmed by the States, render the Federal Con. own purposes, by imposing burthens on commerce stitation adequate to the exigencies of government as a protection to their manufacturing and shipping and the preservation of the Union.'

interests. Long and angry controversy grew out “ It was by the delegates chosen by the several of these attempts, often successful to benefit one States, under the resolution just quoted, that the section of the country at the expense of the other. Constitution of the United States was framed in And the danger of disruption arising from this cause 1787, and submitted to the several States for ratifi- was enhanced by the fact that the Northern popu. cation, as shown by the seventh article, which is in lation was increasing by immigration and other these words :

causes in a greater ratio than the population of the ** The ratification of the Conventions of nine States South. By degrees, as the Northern States gained

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preponderance in the national sulted their own interests by The Message of Congress, self-interest taught selling their slaves to the South,

The Message of Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis. their people to yield ready as- and prohibiting Slavery within sent to any plausible advocacy of their right as a ma- their limits. The South were willing purchasers of a jority to govern the minority without control ; they property suitable to their wants, and paid the price learned to listen with impatience to the suggestion of of the acquisition without harboring a suspicion that any constitutional impediment to the exercise of their their quiet possession was to be disturbed by those will; and so utterly have the principles of the Con- who were inhibited, not only by want of constitustitution been corrupted in the Northern mind, that tional authority, but by good faith as venders, from in the inaugural address delivered by President disquieting a title emanating from themselves. Lincoln in March last, he asserts as an axiom which “ As soon, however, as the Northern States that he plainly deems to be undeniable, that the theory prohibited African Slavery within their limits had of the Constitution requires that in all cases the reached a number sufficient to give their repremajority shall govern ; and in another memorable sentation a controlling voice in the Congress, a perinstance, the same Chief Magistrate did not hesitate sistent and organized system of hostile measures to liken the relations between a State and the United against the rights of the owners of slaves in the States to those which exist between a County and Southern States, was inaugurated and gradually ex. the State in which it is situated, and by which it was tended. A continuous series of measures were decreated. This is the lamentable and fundamental vised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering error on which rests the policy that has culminated insecure the tenure of property in slaves ; fanatical in his declaration of war against these Confederate organizations, supplied with money by voluntary States.

supscription, were assiduously engaged in exciting “ In addition to the long-continued and deep-seat- amongst the slaves a spirit of discontent and revolt; ed resentinent felt by the Southern States at the means were furnished for their escape from their persistent abuse of the powers they had delegated owners, and agents secretly employed to entice to the Congress for the purpose of enriching the them to abscond; the constitutional provision for manufacturing and shipping classes of the North at their relation to their owners was first evaded, then the expense of the South, there has existed for openly announced as a violation of conscientious nearly half a century another subject of discord in obligation and religious duty; men were taught volving interests of such transcendent magnitude that it was a merit to elude, disobey, and violently as at all times to create the apprehension in the oppose the execution of the laws enacted to secure minds of many devoted lovers of the Union that its the performance of the promise in the constitutional permanence was impossible.

compact; owners of slaves were mobbed and even “When the several States delegated certain murdered in open day, solely for applying to a mapowers to the United States Congress, a large por- gistrate for the arrest of a fugitive slave; the dog. tion of the laboring population consisted of African mas of these voluntary organizations soon obtained slaves imported into colonies by the mother coun- control of the Legislatures of many of the Northern try. In twelve out of the thirteen States negro slav. States, and laws were passed providing for the punery existed, and the right of property in slaves was ishment by ruinous fines and long-continued impriprotected by law. This property was recognized sonment in jails and penitentiaries of citizens of the in the Constitution, and provision was made against Southern States who should dare to ask aid of the its loss by the escape of the slave. The increase in officers of the law for the recovery of their prop. the number of slaves by further importation from erty. Emboldened by success, the theatre of agiAfrica was also secured by a clause forbidding tation and aggression against the clearly-expressed Congress to prohibit the slave-trade anterior to a constitutional rights of the Southern States was certain date : and in no clause can there be found transferred to the Congress ; Senators and Repre. any delegation of power to the Congress authorizing sentatives were sent to the common councils of the it in any manner to legislate to the prejudice, detri- nation, whose chief title to this distinction consisted ment, or discouragement of the owners of that spe- in the display of a spirit of ultra fanaticism, and cies of property, or excluding it from the protection whose business was not to promote the general of the Government.

welfare or insure domestic tranquillity,' but to “ The climate and soil of the Northern States awaken the bitterest hatred against the citizens of sonn proved unpropitious tu the continuance of sister States by violent denunciations of their in. slave labor, whilst the converse was the case at the stitutions; the transaction of public affairs was South. Under the unrestricted free intercourse impeded by repeated efforts to usurp powers not between the two sections, the Northern States con delegated by the Constitution, for the purpose of

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THE MESSAGE

OF

JEFFERSON

DAVIS.

125

The Message of Jefferson Davis.

State was,

impairing the security of pro-, people to select delegates to

The Message of perty in slaves, and reducing Conventions to be held for the

Jefferson Davis. those States which held slaves purpose of determining for to a cordition of inferiority. Finally, a great party themselves what measures were best adapted to Was organized for the purpose of obtaining the ad- meet so alarming a crisis in their history. ministration of the Government with the avowed ob. “Here it may be proper to observe that from a ject of using its power for the total exclusion of the period as early as 1798 there had existed in all of Slave States from all participation in the benefits the States of the Union a party, almost uninterruptof the public domain, acquired by all the States in edly in the majority, based upon the creed that each Common, whether by conquest or purchase; of sur

in the last resort, the sole judge as well of rounding them entirely by States in which slavery its wrongs as of the mode and measure of redress. should be prohibited; of thus rendering the prop. Indeed, it is obvious, that under the law of nations erty in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively this principle is an axiom as applied to the relations worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect prop. of independent sovereign States, such as those which erty worth thousands of millions of dollars. This had united themselves under the constitutional comparty, thus organized, succeeded in the month of pact. The Democratic party of the United States November last in the election of its candidate for repeated in its successful canvass in 1856, the declar. the Presidency of the United States.

ation made in numerous previous political contests, "In the meantime, under the mild and genial that it would ' faithfully abide hy and uphold the climate of the Southern States, and the increasing principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia care and attention for the well-being and comfort resolutions of 1798, and in the report of Mr. Madison of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and to the Virginia Legislature in 1799 ; and that it humanity, the African slaves bad augmented in adopts those principles as constituting one of the number from about six hundred thousand, at the main foundations of its political creed.' date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, The principles thus emphatically announced em. to upwards of four million. In moral and social brace that to which I have already adverted, the condition they had been elevated from brutal sava right of each State to judge of, and redress the ges into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural wrongs of which it complains. The principles were laborers, and supplied not only with bodily com- maintained by overwhelming majorities of the peoforts, but with careful religious instruction. Under ple of all the States of the Union at different electhe supervision of a superior race their labor had tions, especially in the elections of Mr. Jefferson in been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and 1805, Mr. Madison in 1809, and Mr. Pierce in 1852. marked amelioration of their own condition, but to “ In the exercise of a right so ancient, so well convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of established, and so necessary for self-preservation, the wilderness into cultivated lands, covered with the people of the Confederate States in their Conprosperous people ; towns and cities had sprung ventions, determined that the wrongs which they into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth had suffered, and the evils with which they were and population under the social system of the South ; menaced, required that they should revoke the delthe white population of the Southern Slaveholding egation of powers to the Federal Government, which States had augmented from about one million two they had ratified in their several Conventions. hundred and fifty thousand, at the date of the adop- | They consequently passed ordinances resuming all tion of the Constitution, to more than eight million their rights as sovereign and independent States, five hundred thousand in 1860, and the productions and dissolved their connection with the other States of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for of the Union. the full development and continuance of which the “ Having done this, they proceeded to form a new labor of African slaves was, and is, indispensable, compact amongst themselves, by new articles of had swollen to an amount which formed nearly confederation, which have been also ratified by the three-fourths of the exports of the whole United Convention of the several States, with an approach States, and become absolutely necessary to the to unanimity far exceeding that of the Convention wants of civilized man.

which adopted the Constitution of 1787. They have With interests of such overwhelming magnitude organized their new Government in all its departimperiled, the people of the Southern States were ments ; the functions of the executive, legislative, driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption and judicial magistrates are performed in accordof some course of action to avert the danger with ance with the will of the people, as displayed, not which they were openly menaced. With this view, merely in a cheerful acquiescence, but in the enthu. the Legislature of the several States invited the siastic support of the Government thus established

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