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its battles against invading hosts of Abolitionists, and to spare the lives of its own citizens, let the Confederacy employ a few agents in New York and other cities of the North, and it will soon have as many troops as it requires. There is not an unemployed Irishman who would not gladly enlist in the and there are thousands of native Democrats eager for the same service. And, should the Lincoln Administration proceed to make war upon your commerce, you can find at the North any number of ships and men ready for letters of marque
from the Southern Confederacy."
There is not, to use an Irish license of phraseology, a statement of fact here which is not a falsehood. It was simply conceived in the same spirit of baseness and treachery which seemed to underlie the entire fabric of
"Southern independence." If the masses of the Confederate States were thus deceived much was due to their willingness to be misinformed; but, the greatest shar. of crime which flowed from a conflict with the Federal Government may, with propriety, be charged upon a press suborned to treason and ambition. A free press and free schools are said to be the bulwarks of free institutions. The converse is equally true:-a suborned press and restricted system of education are instruments of tyranny. That the Southern States have been the victims of such a
tyranny, to a deplorable degree, history will be compelled to chronicle.
HOPE IN THE SOUTH FOR PEACE. GOV. PICKENS' MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION. CONFIDENCE IN A PEACEFUL ISSUE. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS' APOSTOLATE. HIS "EXPOSITION" OF THE ORGANIC LAW OF THE NEW SLAVE CONFEDERACY.
Confidence in Peace.
Governor Pickens' Mes sage of Congratulation.
Governor Pickens, under date of March 28th, communicated a message to the State Convention of South Carolina, in response to the resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress, February 12th, viz. :
THAT the revolution | upon the proper parties-the few men of the was considered an ac- Confederate Government who usurped the complished fact, as early prerogatives of princes, in their direction of as April 1st, is evident not more from the affairs. legislation of the Confederate Congress and the acts of State Legislatures than in the communications which passed between the leaders of the secession movement. The idea of any prolonged resistance, on the part of the Federal Government, to the scheme for a Southern Confederacy, was not entertained. It was thought belligerent action might result in the case of Sumter, and grow out of the effort to repress the secession of Maryland; but, we believe that most of the better classes in the South, and most of their leading men, did not, in their private judgments, either expect or desire a state of actual war between the two sections of the country. This is an important point to establish, since it serves to fix the hostilities, which followed
"Resolved, That this Government takes under its charge the questions and difficulties now existing between several States of this Confederacy and the
Government of the United States, relating to the occupation of forts, arsenals, navy-yards, and other
public establishments, and that the President of the Congress be directed to communicate this re solution to the Governors of the States."
The Governor stated that, on the 1st of March, the Secretary of War of the Confederacy wrote him as follows: "Under this act the President directs me to inform you, that
GOV. PICKENS' MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION.
he assumes control of all the military operations of your State, having reference to, or connected with, questions between your State and powers foreign to it. He also directs me to request you to communicate to the Department without delay, the quantity and character of arms and munitions of war which have been acquired from the United States, and which are now in the forts, arsenals, and navy-yards of your State, and all other arms and munitions which your State may desire to turn over and make chargeable to this Government."
The Governor complied with the resolution and requisitions, and stated the facts relating to the matter in the Message. He then proceeded to add his congratulations over the success of the revolution, in the following interesting terms:
"I herewith transmit the ordinances and resolutions of the different States that have seceded, and would call attention to the obvious propriety of providing for them, together with our own ordinance on the same subject, some suitable place of safe deposit. They are the simple, but authentic records of events well calculated to produce a profound impression upon the future destiny of our country.
"Heretofore in the history of the world, the great struggle has been to secure the personal rights of individuals. In former times the power of government absorbed all individual or personal rights of citizens. But our English ancestors, by their sturdy virtues, engrafted, at different periods, such grants and restrictions upon the British Constitution as effectually secured personal rights, and as far as that branch of liberty is involved, they made it as perfect as any other country.
"To secure the political rights of separate and independent communities, required a higher and broader range of political experience. The guarantees for personal rights in England was a great advance over the old feudal system of Europe; and it was then left to the separate States of America to develop a higher experience over a larger extent of territory, in those guarantees necessary to secure the local rights of separate independent communities, united under one common govern
"The old Constitution was intended to effect this advance in the science of Government, and if it had been properly administered, would have continued to develop the mighty resources and power of a wonderful people. But, under the combination of
ambition with fanaticism, they attempted to organize the great masses of the people so as to act together in a consolidated majority, and
administer the common Government without regard interests of separate communities should be pre served under the absolute control of their separate Governments. This, of course, reversed the whole philosophy of our peculiar system, and if permitted to become successful, would have given us no advance over the European system of Government. In fact, it would have placed us behind them in progress, for many of their most enlightened and powerful Governments asserted the doctrine, and acted upon it, that Governments and dynasties can be changed by Popular Sovereignty, expressed through universal suffrage, in independent commu. nities; and they avow this as a substitute for the old theory of divine and hereditary right.
to the sacred guarantees by which the local rights and
"Under our old articles of Confederation the Government had failed, and the Constitution of the United States grew out of the force of circumstances, and was adopted in order to secure, at that period, a more perfect union to enable us to resist foreign aggression. We have outgrown that state of things, and the danger lately was not from foreign aggression, but from internal corruption, and from an assumption in parts and majorities of absolute Governments over other parts, without reference to the limitations and reservations of the compact. Thus, that Constitution ran its career, and fulfilled its destiny, under the perverted and vitiated idea that we were a consolidated people. Under prejudices fostered by designing men, and under the worst passions inflamed by bad men, an absolute majority was created, who assumed that their will must necessarily be the Government, instead of the fixed principles of the Constitution, which were intended to guard the local rights and interests of the separate and independent communities which composed the Confederacy of States.
"Our State, true to the great principles upon which the Confederacy was formed, and true to those great and progressive ideas which were so identified with American Independence, was forced to resume her original powers of Government; and if she succeeds in engrafting the fundamental right of a separate and independent State to withdraw from any Confederacy that may be formed, whenever her people, in sovereign Convention assembled, shall so decide, then she will have made another advance in the science of Government, and added another guaranty to the great principle of civil liberty. And if this principle could be secured without an appeal to arms and blood, it would show that the country has progressed in civ
Governor Pickens' Message.
ilization and intelligence, so far as to be able to settle all controversies and issues involving political rights, by an appeal to reason, interest, to free discussion, to Conventions, to treaties and covenants, rather than by an appeal to brutal force.
"True, we have encountered misrepresentation and abuse, and for a people so small in numbers as we are to make such an issue as we did, was full of danger and difficulty.
"But no people are fit to be free, unless they are able to treat denunciation with indifference, and to meet danger with fortitude.
"From peculiar circumstances, South Carolina was called on to take the first step in this march te independence. She had to encounter the first shock in the bitterness and fierce passions of our oppo
nents. Those who had mastered the power of the
Government, and were fondly gazing on the rich and ripe fruit supposed to be just within their grasp, naturally felt exasperated in disappointment, caused by this State interposing to arrest them in their lawless career of mad ambition and wild fanaticism. For a period we were surrounded with great difficulties, and threatened with danger that appeared imiminent.
"As far as the Executive is concerned, I always considered that the peculiar mission of this State
was, by a firm and temperate course, to lay the
foundation of the Confederacy of States, homogeneous in feeling and interest, with such institutions and domestic civilization as would unite them in one common destiny, with a government devoted to their peace and safety, and with no interest to produce the slightest aggression upon other people; but deeply interested to develop those productions that are so largely demanded in the peaceful pursuits of mankind, and entering so largely into the comforts and progressive civilization of the world. "When this State first withdrew from the Federal Union, I felt that we bore, on one side, critical relations to the Confederacy we had left, and also very delicate and peculiar relations to those Slave States which constituted the border of the Southern States; and we had still higher and more sacred duties and relations toward our sister States of the South, who were expected nobly to come to our side in the formation of a new Confederacy.
"All these relations made our course quite complicated, and full of deep obligations. In administering the duties of the Executive office, I can truly say that I never for one moment lost sight of the relations our State bore to all, and it has ever been my endeavor, while sustaining her separate rights and independence, never to do anything that might
show indifference to any of the great, complicated interests and relations with which she was surrounded.
"When your illustrious body adjourned, you saw the State standing alone, surrounded with peril, and clouds resting upon the future. Under the kind dispensations of a superintending Providence, I am now able to present her to you under a brighter day, surrounded by other States rich in their resources, with their brave and patriotic sons standing as a guard in the portals of a new Temple, reared by our common counsels, and dedicated to the separate sovereignty of free and independent States.
"F. W. PICKENS."
This Message, while it gives us an interesting view of the Southern view of the revolution, also proves that its author, one of the most outwardly belligerent of Secessionists, really regarded the state of peace as as
sured. The same assurance was extended to the people by the Montgomery Congress in its appointment of Commissioners to Washington, to negotiate for the amicable settlement of all old relations, and the friendly arrangement of new relations between the two Governments. [See their communication to the Secretary of State, pages 16–17, Vol. II.]
It is not necessary to re
mark upon the singular The Dosire for Peace. presumption on which this confidence in "peace and good will" rested: the "Memorandum" of Mr. Seward [see pages 17-18,] will answer on this point; but, that the intelligent people of the South not only hoped for peace but also deprecated a state of war, we assume to be conclusive, despite the offensive attitude of affairs. The fact of men being in arms-of the investment of Forts Pickens and Sumter-of the thorough military organization of States, were the outward means to intimidate the North-to
conquer a peace;" and, in the opinion of the Southerners were necessary to give the appearance of power to the new Government. But, the better class of citizens, even where they had espoused the cause of secession, shrunk from the terrors and disabilities of actual war as too fearful a price for the mere change of their national capital from Washington to Montgomery; and, if the forces called into the field were ever used to precipitate the conflict, the people were powerless before the Star Chamber tyranny of the
MR. STEPHENS' APOSTOLATE.
forty men who, exalted to power without the | Slave-owner, must be constrained not only to popular voice, legislated and decreed without awaiting for the popular assent.
Mr. Stephens' Apostolate.
embark in the cause, but to give it, also, their cordial support, both moral and material. To secure that support Mr. Stephens made his exposition; and it is not hazarding much to say that that exposition did more to consolidate Southern sentiment, more to prepare the Southern mind for even a fanatical adherence to the Davis Administration, than all other influences combined. Hence the speaker's words assume an historical significance, and we lay before the reader such portions of the "exposition" as seem to have been instrumental in centralizing sympathy for, and con
tempts upon the independence of the Con federate States. He said:
The speech made by Alexander H. Stephens Vice-President (by election of the "Congress" at Montgomery) of the Confederate Government-March 21st, at Savannah, Georgia, has been referred to as embodying the ideas upon which the new order of things was founded [see Vol. I., pgs 30-31.] The quotation there given was an exposition, more particularly, of the Slave-element entering into, and characterizing, the Confederate organic law. That section of the speech re-fidence in, the policy of resistance to all atlating to the ability of the new Government to maintain its independence, deserves consideration here, as it was this speaker's "glittering generalities" which reconciled the intelligence of the South to the alarums of war which followed. Having been a strong Union man up to the moment of the passage, by the Georgia Convention, of its Ordinance of Secession, Mr. Stephens was regarded as a safe and conservative counsellor; and his views, set forth on the occasion referred to, prevailed to rally around the Administration of Jefferson Davis the conservatism and intelligence of the Seceded States. Prior to that date (March 21st,) it is believed the new dynasty did not have the confidence nor the sympathy of the wellinformed and wealthier classes, to any great degree.
That it had their acquiescence is true, if silence gave consent; but, the ruling forty knew too well the danger of carrying forward their Government without the friendship and hearty co-operation of the best citizens. The turbulent and illy-informed of the population, would do for voters and soldiers-would admirably answer the purposes of machinators against liberty, and the ancient order of things; but that population-composed largely of "poor white trash," of pennyless politicians, of bankrupt spendthrifts, of gamblers and adventurers-was an element of danger as well as of strength, and could be made to yield very little to the taxgatherer and the tribute-taker. The planter, the banker, the merchant, the real-estate operator, the steamboat proprieto:, the
Mr. Stephens' Expoposition.
"We are passing through one of the greatest revolntions in the annals of the world. Seven States have, within the last three months, thrown off an old Government, and formed a new. This revolution has been signally marked, up to this time, by the fact of its having been ac complished without the loss of a single drop of blood. This new Constitution, or form of Govern
ment, constitutes the subject to which your attention will be partly invited.
"In reference to it, I make this first general re
mark: it amply secures all our ancient rights, franchises, and privileges. All the great principles
of Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old Constitution, is still maintained and secured. All the essentials of the old Constitution, which have endeared it to the hearts of the American people, have been preserved and perpetuated. Some changes have been made-of these I shall speak presently. Some of these I should have preferred not to have seen made; but these, perhaps, meet the cordial approbation of a majority of this audience, if not an
overwhelming majority of the people of the Confederacy. Of them, therefore, I will not speak. But, other important changes do meet my cordial approbation. They form great improvements upon the old Constitution. So, taking the whole new Constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my judgment, that it is decidedly better than the old. Allow me briefly to allude to some of these improvements."
He then recurred to the Tariff; to the fea
Mr. Stephens' Exposition.
Mr. Stephens' Exposition.
ture of the Constitution* | pire. France, in round numgiving Cabinet Ministers bers, has but 212,000 square and Heads of Departments miles. Austria, in round numthe privilege of seats on the floors of Con- bers, has 248,000 square miles. Ours is greater than gress; to the tenure of the Presidential term of both combined. It is greater than all France, Spain, office; and followed with his allusions to the Portugal, and Great Britain, including England, IreSlave-feature as incorporated in the Constitu- have upward of five millions-according to the cenland, and Scotland, together. In population we tion, pronouncing the sentiment that freedom to the negro was a wrong-that the social fabric of the States was founded upon Slavery -that Slavery was the corner-stone of the new edifice. [See pages 30-31, Vol. I., for his words on this point.] He continued:"I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, we are obliged and must triumph.
sus of 1860; this includes white and black. The entire population, including white and black, of the original thirteen States, was less than 4,000,000 in 1790, and still less in '76, when the independence of our fathers was achieved. If they, with a less population, dared maintain their independence against the greatest power on earth, shall we have any apprehension of maintaining ours now?
"In point of material wealth and resources, we are greatly in advance of them. The taxable property of the Confederate States cannot be less than $22,000,000,000. This, I think I venture but little in saying, may be considered as five times more than the Colonies possessed at the time they achieved their independence. Georgia alone pos
"Thousands of people, who begin to understand these truths, are not yet completely out of the shell; they do not see them in their length and breadth. We hear much of the civilization and Christianiza-sessed, last year, according to the report of the tion of the barbarous tribes of Africa. In my judgment those ends will never be attained, but by first teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that 'in the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread,' and teaching them to work, and feed and clothe themselves.
"But, to pass on. Some have propounded the inquiry Whether it practicable for us to go on with the Confederacy, without further accessions. Have we the means and ability to maintain nationality among the powers of earth? On this point I would barely say, that as anxious as we all have been, and are, for the Border States, with institutions similar with ours, to join us, still, we are abundantly able to maintain our position, even if they should ultimately make up their minds not to cast their destiny with ours. That they ultimately will join us, be compelled to do it, is my confident belief; but, we can get on very well without them, even if they should not.
"We have all the essential elements of a high national career. The idea has been given out at the North, and even in the Border States, that we are too small and too weak to maintain a separate nationality. This is a great mistake. In extent of territory we embrace 560,000 square miles and upward. This is upward of 200,000 square miles more than was included within the limits of the original thirteen States. It is an area of country more than double the territory of France or the Austrian em
Comptroller-General, $672,000,000 of taxable property. The debts of the seven Confederate States sum up, in the aggregate, less than $18,000,000; while the existing debts of the other of the late United States sum up, in the aggregate, the enormous amount of $174,000,000. This is without taking into account the heavy city, corporation, and railroad debts, which press, and will continue to press, a heavy incubus upon the resources of those States. These debts, added to others, make a sum total not much under $500,000,000. With such an area of territory-with such an amount of population-with a climate and soil unsurpassed by any on the face of the earth—with such resources already at our command--with productions which control the commerce of the world-who can entertain any apprehensions as to our success, whether others join us or not?
"I believe I state but the common sentiment, when I declare my earnest desire that the Border States should join us. The difference of opinion that existed among us anterior to secession, related more to the policy in securing that result by cooperation, than from any difference upon the ultimate security we all looked to in common. These differences of opinion were more in reference to policy than principle; and, as Mr. Jefferson said in his Inaugural, in 1801, after the heated contest preceding his election, there might be differences in opinion without differences on principle,' and that 'all, to some extent, had been Federalists, and all
For the Constitution, at length, see Appendix, Republicans;' so it may now be said of us, that, Vol. I, pages 513-20.
whatever differences of opinion as to the best policy