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dependent capacity, through a convention of its people. And it was by this ratification that the Constitution was established, to use its own words, between the States so ratifying the same.' It is then a compact between the States as sovereigns, and the Union created by it is a federal partnership of States, the Federal Government being their common agent for the transaction of the Federal business within the limits of the delegated powers."


This able writer then illustrates the compact between the States by the principles of law governing ordinary co-partnerships, just as Mr. Webster did. And he then says:

"Now, if a partnership between persons is purely voluntary, and subject to the will of its members severally, how much more so is one between sovereign States? and it follows that, just as each, separately, in the exercise of its sovereign will, entered the Union, so may it separately, in the exercise of that will, withdraw therefrom. And further, the Constitution being a compact, to which the States are parties, having no common judge,' 'each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode of measure and redress,' as declared by Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison in the celebrated resolutions of '98, and the right of secession irresistibly follows."

"But aside from the doctrine either of partnership or compact, upon the ground of State sovereignty pure and simple, does the right of secession impregnably rest."

We have quoted thus fully from this writer not only because he is a Northern man, but because he has stated both the facts and the principles underlying the formation of the Union, and the rights of the States therein, with an accuracy, clearness and force, that cannot be surpassed.

But again: In his life of Webster, published in 1899, Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, from whom we have before quoted, and who is at this time one of the distinguished senators from Massachusetts, uses this language in speaking of Mr. Webster's reply to Mr. Hayne. He says:

"The weak places in his (Webster's) armor were historical in their nature. It was probably necessary (at all events Mr. Webster felt it to be so) to argue that the Constitution at the outset was not a compact between the States, but a national instrument, and to distinguish the cases of Virginia and Kentucky in 1799, and of New England in 1814, from that of South Carolina in 1830. The former point he touched upon lightly; the latter he discussed ably, eloquently and at length. Unfortunately the facts were against him in both instances."

And in this connection, Mr. Lodge then uses this language:

"When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of the States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the votes of the States in popular convention, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment entered into by the States, and from which each nd eaery State had the right peaceably to withdraw a right which was very likely to be exercised."

Mr. James C. Carter, now of New York, but a native of New England, and perhaps the most distinguished lawyer in this country to-day, in a speech delivered by him at the University of Virginia, in 1898, said:

"I may hazard the opinion that if the question had been made, not in 1860, but in 1788, immediately after the adoption of the Constitution, whether the Union as formed by that instrument could lawfully treat the secession of a State as rebellion, and suppress it by force, few of those who participated in forming that instrument would have answered in the affirmative."


And we should never forget this pregnant and, we think, conclusive fact in regard to this question, namely: the conduct of the North after the war in regard to Mr. Davis, General Lee, and others of our leaders. As is well known, Mr. Davis was indicted three times in their own courts upon charges which directly and necessarily involved a decision of the right of a State to secede from the

Union. Immediately on the finding of these indictments, he (through his eminent Northern as well as Southern counsel) appeared at the bar of the court and demanded a speedy trial, in order that he might judicially vindicate his course and that of his people before the world. This right of trial was postponed by the Federal Government for nearly three years. During two of these years, he was confined in a casemate at Fortress Monroe and subjected to indignities and tortures, by which it was attempted to break the spirit of the distinguished captive; and at the same time to degrade the people whom he represented, and for whom he was a vicarious sufferer. It is hardly necessary to say, that this conduct is to-day universally regarded as not only unworthy of the representatives of the government which held Mr. Davis as its prisoner, but that it has made a page in its history of which it ought to be, and we believe is, ashamed.

When at last the Government consented to try the case, it declined to meet the question involved, in its own chosen tribunal; and having been advised by the best lawyers and statesmen at the North that the decision must be against the North and in favor of the South, in order to evade the issue, Chief Justice (Chase) himself suggested a technical bar to the prosecution, which was adopted and the cases dismissed. The South was entirely in the power of the North, and could do nothing but accept this, their own confession that they were wrong and that the South was right.


And so we say, our comrades, that just because the States of the South did, in the most regular and deliberate way, exercise their constitutional and legal right to withdraw from a compact which they had never violated, but which the Northern States had confessedly violated time and again, a right which, as we have seen, was not only recognized by the leading statesmen of the North, but which it had threatened on several occasions to put into execution— we say, just because the Southern States did take this perfectly legal step in a legal way, these same people of the North, with Abraham Lincoln as their head, proceeded, as we shall pres

ently show, without warrant of law or justice, to inaugurate and wage against the South one of the most cruel, wicked and relentless wars of which history furnishes any record or parallel. Is there wonder, then, that the representatives of the Grand Army of the Republic would have us be silent about the facts which we have referred to, and not teach the truths of this history to our children, when we thus condemn them out of their own mouths? But we come now to consider, who were the aggressors who inaugurated this wicked war?

We think it important to make this inquiry, for the reasons already given, and besause we apprehend there is a common impression that inasmuch as the South fierd the first gun at Fort Sumter, it really thereby brought on the war, and was hence responsible for the direful consequences which followed the firing of that first shot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Hallam, in his Constitutional History of England, states a universally recognized principle, when he says:

"The aggressor in a war (that is, he who begins it) is not the first who uses force, but the first who renders force necessary."

Now which side, according to this high authority, was the aggressor in this conflict? Which side was it that rendered the first blow necessary?


"I main

Says Mr. Stephens, in his " War Between the States": tain that it (the war) was inaugurated and begun, though no blow had been struck, when the hostile fleet, styled the "Relief Squadron," with eleven ships carrying two hundred and eighty-five guns and two thousand four hundred men, was sent out from New York and Norfolk, with orders from the authorities at Washington to reinforce Fort Sumter, peaceably if permitted, but forcibly if they must."

He further says:

"The war was then and there inaugurated and begun by the authorities at Washington. General Beauregard did not open fire upon Fort Sumter until this fleet was to his knowledge, very near

the Harbor of Charleston, and until he had enquired of Major Anderson, in command of the Fort, whether he would engage to take no part in the expected blow, then coming down upon him from the approaching fleet?"

Governor Pickens and General Beauregard had been notified from Washington of the approach of this fleet, and the objects for which it was sent, but this notice did not reach them (owing to the treachery and duplicity of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, practiced on the Commissioners sent to Washington by the Confederate Government, which, are enough to bring the blush of shame to the cheek of every American citizen,) until the fleet had neared its destination. But Anderson refused to make any promise, and when he did this, it became necessary for Beauregard to reduce the fort as he did. Otherwise his command would have been exposed to two fires one in front and the other in the rear.


I wish I had the time to give here the details of this miserable treachery and duplicity practiced on the Confederate Commissioners by Mr. Seward, with, as he says, the knowledge of Mr. Lincoln. These gentlemen had been sent to Washington, as they stated in their letter to Mr. Seward, to treat with him, "with a view to a speedy adjustment of all questions growing out of this political separation, upon such terms of amity and good will as the respective interests, geographical contiguity and future welfare of the two nations may render necessary."

I can only state that although Mr. Seward refused to treat with the Commissioners directly, he did so through the medium of Justices Campbell and Nelson, of the Supreme Court of the United States; that through these intermediaries the Commissioners were given to understand that Fort Sumter would be evacuated within a few days, and they were kept under that impression up to the 7th of April, 1861, although during that interval of twenty-three days the Relief Squadron" was being put in readiness for reinforcing Sumter. And even on that date (the day after the Squadron was ordered to sail) Mr. Seward wrote Judge Campbell, "Faith as to

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