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the Southern leaders, who precipitated the attack upon Fort Sumter, by a declaration made to the people of Charleston through their agent and representative, Mr. Roger A. Pryor, on the 10th of April, that upon the firing of the first gun Virginia would go out; but so startling was the result upon the popular mind of the North, that it was more than their lives would have been worth for one of these Northern sympathizers and coadjutors at that time to have lent. such aid or have expressed such sympathy, which has been so freely and fully developed since that time.

Only a few days after the proclamation, when Mr. Alexander H. Stephens came on to Richmond to receive this once proud and grand old commonwealth, bound hand and foot like a sheep in shambles, to be transferred to the slaughter-house of the Montgomery government, wherever he stopped on the cars to wood, water, or eat, he addressed the people, and his whole address consisted of "On to Washington," "On to Washington," "On to Washington." Yet they were all friends to the Union until a fatal stab was made at the vitals "of the Union;" they were all friends to "the Constitution" until the Constitution was trampled down and spit upon; they were all friends to "the execution of the laws" until it became necessary to execute them. I know of nothing that could afford a stronger illustration of this than may be found in a speech delivered by Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, in the city of Richmond, on the 22d of April last (1861), when contrasted with what this gentleman had said only a few weeks before in his discussion with Mr. Toombs, and again repeated shortly after, with still more force, before the Georgia Convention. This Richmond speech I append:


The following is from the Richmond Dispatch of April 23, 1861:

Serenade to Vice-president Stephens.- Last night, at the hour of 9 o'clock, a large number of citizens congregated in front of the Exchange Hotel, with the First Regiment band, and serenaded the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-president of the Confederate States of America. 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 who 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 to Richmond. At Wilmington, North Carolina, 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. Kentucky would soon be out. Her people were moving. Missouriwho 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 ille

gal, unchristian, and diabolical schemes ?" Missouri will soon add another star to the Southern galaxy. Where Maryland is you all know. The first Southern blood had been shed on her soil, and Virginia would never stand idly by and see her citizens shot down. The cause of Baltimore was the cause of the whole South. He said the cause we were engaged in was that which attached people to the old Constitution of the late United States-it was the cause of civil, religious, and constitutional liberty. Many of us looked at that Constitution as the anchor of safety. In Georgia 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, etc. 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 to 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 the ashes. The revolution lately begun did not affect alone property, but liberty. He alluded to Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand volunteers, and said he could find no authority in

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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 were, however, said he, no longer under the rule of this tyrant. With strong arms and stout hearts, you have now resolved to stand in defense of liberty. The Confederate States had but asserted their rights. They believed that their rulers derived their just powers from the consent of the governed. No one had a 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 let 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. Mr. Stephens alluded to the negotiations between Major Anderson and the authorities of the Confederate States to demonstrate the proposition. History, he said, if rightly written, would acquit us of a desire to shed our brothers' 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. The gods first made mad those they would destroy. Maryland would join us, and maybe, 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. If Lincoln quits Washington as ignominiously 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 may be terrible, but the victory will be ours. Virginians, 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, Jefferson, and all you hold most dear.

Why did not Virginia fly to arms and seize on all the United States property within her reach on the proclamation of Jackson? Lincoln had more cause than Jackson to issue a proclamation, for no one threatened to march on Washington in Jackson's day. No one had fired into a vessel sailing under the flag of the United States, as was the Star of the West; no one had seized upon all the arsenals, arms, ammunition, mints, custom-houses, post-offices, and revenue cutters within their reach; no one had forced one of the forts of the United States to lower and dishonor its flag; and yet the calling of seventy-five thousand men for the immediate protection of the puplic property and public men in Washington furnished a ready excuse for all those to jump into rebellion who had not the courage or manliness to stay out of it, when they were threatened to be

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