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ADDRESS TO THE SLAVE HOLDING
Address to the Slaveholding States.
have the power by Congress 'tog promote the general welfare o the United States' by any means they deem expedient, why should they not assail and overthrow the institution of Slavery in the South? They are responsible for its continuance or existence, in proportion to their power. A majority in Congress, according to their interested and perverted views, is omnipotent. The inducements to act upon the subject of Slavery, under such circumstances, were so imperious as to amount almost to a moral necessity. To make, however, their numerical power available to rule the Union, the North must consolidate their power. It would not be united on any matter common to the whole Unionin other words, on any constitutional subject for on such subjects divisions are as likely to exist in the North as in the South. Slavery was strictly a sectional interest. If this could be made the criterion of parties at the North, the North could be united in its power, and thus carry out its measures of sectional ambition, encroachment, and aggrandizement. To build up their sectional predominance in the Union, the Constitution must be first abolished by constructions; but, that being done, the consolidation of the North to rule the South, by the tariff and Slavery issues, was in the obvious course of things.
Address to the Slaveholding States.
hend that seeming paradox, that
"Under such a Government there must, of course, be many and endless irrepressible conflicts,' between the two great sections of the Union. The same faithlessness which has abolished the Constitution of the United States, will not fail to carry out the sectional purposes for which it has been abolished. There must be conflict; and the weaker section of the Union can only find peace and liberty in an independence of the North. The repeated efforts made by South Carolina, in a wise conservatism, to arrest the progress of the General Government in its fatal progress to consolidation, have been unsupported and denounced as faithless to the obligations of the Constitution by the very men and States who were destroying it by their usurpations. It is now too late to reform or restore the Government of the United States. All confidence in the North is lost in the South. The faithlessness of half a century has opened a gulf of separation between them which no promises or engagements can fill.
The Constitution of the United States was an experiment. The experiment consisted in uniting under one Government different peoples, living in different climates, and having different pursuits of industry and institutions. It matters not how carefully the limitations of such a government be laid down in the constitution-its success must at least depend upon the good faith of the parties to the constitutional compact in enforcing them. It is not in the power of human language to exclude false inferences, constructions, and perversions, in any constitution; and when vast sectional interests are to be subserved, involving the appropriation of countless millions of money, it has not been the usual experience of mankind that words on parchment can arrest power. The Constitution of the United States, irrespective of the interposition of the States, rested on the assumption that power would yield to faith- "It cannot be believed that our ancestors would that integrity would be stronger than interest, and have assented to any union whatever with the peothat thus the limitations of the Constitution would ple of the North if the feelings and opinions now exbe observed. The experiment has been fairly made. isting among them had existed when the Constitution The Southern States, from the commencement of was framed. There was then no tariff-no Negro the Government, have striven to keep it within the fanaticism. It was the delegates from New England orbit prescribed by the Constitution. The experi- who proposed, in the Convention which framed the ment has failed. The whole Constitution, by the con- Constitution, to the delegates from South Carolina structions of the Northern people, has been swal- and Georgia, that if they would agree to give Conlowed up by a few words in its preamble. In their gress the power of regulating commerce by a majoreckless lust for power they seem unable to compre-rity, that they would support the extension of the
Address to the Slaveholding States.
Address to the Slaveholding States.
to preclude or abolish Slavery
African slave-trade for twenty years. African Slavery existed in all the States but one. The idea that they would be made to pay that tribute to their Northern Confederates which they had refused to pay to Great Britain, or that the institution of Afri-Court of the United States. And when it is considcan Slavery would be made the grand basis of a sectional organization of the North to rule the South, never crossed their imaginations. The Union of the Constitution was a Union of Slaveholding States. It rests on Slavery, by prescribing a representation in Congress for three-fifths of our slaves. There is nothing in the proceedings of the Convention which framed the Constitution to show that the Southern States would have formed any other Union, and still less that they would have formed a Union with more powerful non-Slaveholding States, having a majority in both branches of the Legislature of the Government. They were guilty of no such folly. Time and the progress of things have totally altered the relations between the Northern and Southern States since the Union was first established. That identity of feeling, interests and institutions which once existed is gone. They are now divided between agriculture, and manufacturing, and commercial States-between Slaveholding and non-Slaveholding States. Their institutions and industrial pursuits have made them totally different peoples. That equality in the government between the two sections of the Union which once existed no longer exists. We but imitate the policy of our fathers in dissolving a Union with non-Slaveholding Confederates, and seeking a Confederation with Slaveholding States.
ered that the Northern States will soon have the power to make that Court what they please, and that the Constitution never has been any barrier whatever to their exercise of power, what check can there be in the unrestrained counsels of the North to emancipation? There is sympathy in association, which carries men along without principle; but when there is principle, and that principle is fortified by long existing prejudices and feelings, association is omnipotent in party influences. In spite of all disclaimers and professions, there can be but one end to the submission by the South to the rule of a sectional Anti-Slavery Government at Washington; and that end, directly or indirectly, must be the emancipation of the slaves of the South. The hypocrisy of thirty years-the faithlessness of their whole course from the commencement of our union with them-show that the people of the non-Slaveholding North, are not and cannot be safe associates of the Slaveholding South under a common Government. Not only their fanaticism, but their erroneous views of the principles of free Governments render it doubtful whether, separated from the South, they can maintain a free Government among themselves. Brute numbers with them is the great element of free Government. A majority is infallible and omnipotent. The right divine to rule in kings' is only transferred to their majority. The very ob
Experience has proved that Slaveholding States|ject of all constitutions, in free, popular governcannot be safe in subjection to Non-Slaveholding States. Indeed, no people ever expect to preserve their rights and liberties unless they are in their own custody. To plunder and oppress where plunder and oppression can be practiced with impunity, seems to be the natural order of things. The fairest portions of the world have been turned into wildernesses, and the most civilized and prosperous communities have been impoverished and ruined by Anti-Slavery fanaticism. The people of the North have not left us in doubt as to their designs and policy. United as a section in the late Presidential election, they have elected as the exponent of their policy one who has openly declared that all the States of the United States must be made Free States or Slave States. It is true that among those who aided in this election, there are various shades of Anti-Slavery hostility. But if African Slavery in the Southern States be the evil their political combinations affirm it to be, the requisitions of an inexorable logic must lead them to emancipation. If it is right
ments, is to restrain the majority. Constitutions, therefore, according to their theory, must be most unrighteous inventions, restricting liberty. None ought to exist, but the body politic ought simply to have a political organizatlon, to bring out and enforce the will of a majority. This theory may be harmless in a small community, having an indentity of interests and pursuits, but over a vast State-still more, over a vast Confederacy, having various and conflicting interests and pursuits-it is a remorseless despotism. In resisting it, as applicable to ourselves we are vindicating the great cause of free government, more important, perhaps, to the world than the existence of the United States. Nor in resisting it, do we intend to depart from the safe instrumentality the system of government we have established with them requires. In separating from them we invade no rights-no interest of theirs. We violate no obligation of duty to them. As separate, independent States in Convention, we made the Consti tution of the United States with them; and as sepa
ADDRESS TO THE SLAVE HOLDING
Address to the Slave holding States.
Address to the Slaveholding States.
rate, independent States, each and grandeur. You have loved State acting for itself, we adopt the Union, in whose service your ed it. South Carolina, acting in great statesmen have labored, her sovereign capocity, now thinks proper to secede and your great soldiers have fought and conquered from the Union. She did not part with her sovereignty-not for the material benefits it conferred, but with in adopting the Constitution. The last thing a State can be presumed to have surrendered is her sovereignty. Her sovereignty is her life. Nothing but a clear, express grant can alienate it. Inference should be dumb. Yet it is not at all surprising that those who have construed away all the limitations of the Constitution should also by construction claim the annihilation of the sovereignty of the States. Having abolished all barriers to their omnipotence by their faithless constructions in the operations of the General Government, it is most natural that they should endeavor to do the same toward us in the States. The truth is, they having violated the express provisions of the Constitution, it is at an end as a compact. It is morally obligatory only on those who choose to accept its perverted terms. South Carolina, deeming the compact not only violated in particular features, but virtually abolished by her Northern Confederates, withdraws herself as a party from its obligations. The right to do so is denied by her Northern Confederates. They desire to establish a despotism, not only omnipotent in Congress, but omuipotent over the States; and as if to manifest the imperious necessity of our secession, they threaten us with the sword, to coerce submission to their rule.
"Citizens of the Slaveholding States of the United States, circumstances beyond our control have placed us in the van of the great controversy between the Northern and Southern States. We would have preferred that other States should have assumed the position we now occupy. Independent
the faith of a generous and devoted chivalry. You have long lingered and hoped over the shattered remains of a broken Constitution. Compromise after compromise, formed by your concessions, has been trampled under foot by your Northern confederates. All fraternity of feeling between the North aud the South is lost, or has been converted into hate, and we, of the South, are at last driven together by the stern destiny which controls the existence of nations. Your bitter experience of the faithlessness and rapacity of your Northern confederates may have been necessary to evolve those great principles of free Government, upon which the liberties of the world depend, and to prepare you for the grand mission of vindicating and re-establishing them. We rejoice that other nations should be satisfied with their institutions. Self-complacency is a great element of happiness, with nations as with individuals. We are satisfied with ours. If they prefer a system of industry in which capital and labor are in perpetual conflict and chronic starvation keeps down the natural increase of population-and a man is worked out in eight years-and the law ordains that children shall be worked only ten hours a day-and the saber and bayonet are the instruments of order-be it so. It is their affair, not ours. We prefer, however, our system of industry, by which labor and capital are identified in interest, and caption doubles every twenty years; by which starvaital, therefore, protects labor, by which our population is unknown, and abundance crowns the land;
by which order is preserved by an unpaid police, and the most fertile regions of the world where the Caucasian cannot labor are brought into usefulness by the labor of the African, and the whole world is blessed by our own productions. All we demand of other peoples is to be let alone to work out our own
ourselves, we disclaim any design or desire to lead
any power in Europe possesses-with population
destinies. United together, and we must be the most independent, as we are the most important among the nations of the world. United together, and we require no other instrument to conquer peace than our beneficent productions. United together, and we must be a great, free, and prosperous people, whose renown must spread throughout the civilized world, and pass down, we trust, to the remotest ages. We ask you to join us in forming a confederacy of Slaveholding States.
On Wednesday, Dec. 26th, among other resolutions offered, was one by Mr. Spain, that the Governor be requested to communicate to the Convention in secret session, any informa
Resolution of Inquiry.
tion he possesses in reference to the condition of Forts Moultrie and Sumter, and Castle Pinckney, the number of guns in each, the number of workmen and kind of labor employed, the number of soldiers in each, and what additions, if any, have been made since the 20th instant? also, whether any assuranee has been given that the forts will not be reinforced, and if so, to what
extent; also, what police or other regulations have been made, if any, in reference
to the defenses of the harbor of Charleston, the coast and the State. This was considered in secret session, the same day, and is said to havo hastened Major Anderson's movements, being considered by him as indicative of a design to seize Fort Sumter, and all other forts except Moultrie, which he would be called upon to evacuate.
Ordinance for a Southern Confederacy.
Mr. Rhett offered an ordinance looking to the future alliance of the Slave
States. He wished the ordinance tabled with out reading, as it was thought best to await a response to the Address given above before the substance of the ordinance was made public. Mr. Memminger doubted if there was authority for receiving a paper without one reading, whereupon Mr. Rhett read it; it was as follows:
"First, That the Convention of the seceding Slaveholding States of the United States unite with South Carolina, and hold a Convention at Montgomery, Alabama, for the purpose of forming a Southern Confederacy.
Second, That the said seceding States appoint, by their respective Conventions or Legislatures, as many delegates as they have Representatives in the present Congress of the United States, to the said Convention, to be held at Montgomery; and that, on the adoption of the Constitution of the Southern Confederacy, the vote shall be by States.
"Third, That whenever the terms of the Constitution shall be agreed upon by the said Convention, the same shall be submitted at as early a day as practicable to the Convention and Legislature of each State, respectively, so as to enable them to ratify or reject the said Constitution.
adopted defining in its preamble the necessity for some provisional arrangement, and
declaring that South Carolina sought no adVantage over her sister Slaveholding States by commercial restrictions, and resolved that
all the customs officers of the United States
within the limits of South Carolina be, and they are hereby appointed to hold, under the Government of this State exclusively, without any further connection whatever with the Federal Government of the United States, the same offices they now fill, until otherwise directed, and that they receive the same pay that "until it is otherwise provided by this and emoluments for their services." Also, Convention, or the General Assembly, the revenue collection and navigation laws of the United States, as far as may be practicable, be and they are hereby adopted and made laws of this State, saving that no duties shall be collected upon imports from the States forming the late Federal Union known as the United States of America, nor upon the tonof vessels owned in whole or in part by the citizens of said States," &c., &c.
The 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th sections of the ordinance were as follows, viz. :—
Fourth. All vessels built in South Carolina or elsewhere, and owned to the amount of one-third by a citizen or citizens of South Carolina, or any of the Slaveholding Commonwealths of North America, and commanded by citizens thereof and no other, shall be registered as vessels of South Carolina, under the authority of the Collector and Naval Officer.
Fifth. All official acts of the officers aforesaid, in which it is usual and proper to set forth the authority under which they act, or style of documents issued by them or any of them, be in the name of the State of South Carolina.
"Fourth, That in the opinion of South Carolina, Sixth.--All moneys hereafter collected by any the Constitution of the United States will form a officers aforesaid shall, after deducting the sums nesuitable basis for the Confederacy of the Southern cessary for the compensation of the officers and States withdrawing. other expenses, be paid into the Treasury of the "Fifth, That the South Carolina Convention ap- State of South Carolina for the use of said State,
THE GREAT ROBBERY.
subject to the order of this Convention or of the | ties, by and with the advice and consent of General Assembly.
Seventh.—The officers aforesaid shall retain in their hands all property of the United States in their possession, custody, or control, subject to the disposal of the State, who will account for the same upon a final settlement with the Government of the United States.
The evacuation of Fort Moultrie took place on the night of the 26th. The excitement which followed upon the act resulted, among other things, in the seizure, by the State, of the telegraph lines leading out of Charleston, and in the Convention's sitting almost exclusively in secret session. The legislation, therefore, of the Convention was not made immediately public and was only learned either from the enforcement of the acts, or through the partial record of the Charleston newspapers. The Convention assumed the responsibility of the conduct of affairs in the harbor as well as on land-thus setting aside the power of the Governor and Legislature. Gov. Pickens acted under its orders and instructions.
An ordinance entitled an ordinance to amend the Constitution of South Carolina, in respect to the Executive Departments, was passed in secret session of the Convention, Dec. 27th. It provided as follows:
the Senate; to nominate all officers; to appoint embassadors, ministers, and consuls, as the General Assembly may previously direct, and also all other officers whose appointment has not otherwise been provided for by law; to fill vacancies during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Senate; to convene the Senate whenever it thinks it necessary, provided, nevertheless, during the existence of the Commission, that all treaties, directions for the appointment of ambassadors, ministers, consuls, etc., be subject to the advice and consent of the Committee.
Second, That the Governor immediately appoint four persons, with the advice and consent of the committee, who, with the Lieutenant Governor, shall form a Council, whose duty it shall be to advise with him.
The seizure of the Custom House, Arsenal, Post-office, Castle Pinckney, &c.-the occupation of Fort Moultrie and of Sullivan's Island-the removal of the buoys from the channel, thus necessitating a special pilot for entrance-the suppression of the lights in the light-houses-the additional fortification of the city and its approaches-the enlistment First, That the Government has power to of an army-all were accomplished by the alreceive embassadors, ministers, consuls, and most unremitting labors of the Convention agents of foreign powers; to conduct nego- and Governor, in the three days following tiations with foreign powers; to make trea-Major Anderson's movement.
A WEEK OF EXCITING EVENTS. THE ROBBERY OF THE INTERIOR
THE ALLEGHANY ARSENAL AFFAIR.
THE SOUTH CAROLINA COMMISSIONER's
AFFAIRS IN VIRGINIA. LIST OF ARMY AND FROM SOUTH CAROLINA. SENATOR TOOMBS' ADDRESS. HOPELESSNESS OF
THE week of December 25th to January 1st | evening, December 25th, called immediately was ushered in by a revelation of fraud which - startled the entire country. The facts were substantially as follows:
upon the President, to advise him that he had been informed, by letter, of a large robbery in his department. It was decided to Secretary Thompson, re-investigate the matter at once. Proceeding The Great Robbery. turning from his trip to to the offices Mr. Thompson attempted to exNorth Carolina, Sunday amine the safe in which the Indian bonds