8 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
|Page 8||CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.|
Southern States to resume the powers they have delegated to the Federal Government and interpose their sovereignty for the protection of their citizens.
What, then, are the circumstances under which and the issues upon which he was elected? His own declarations and the current history of the times but too plainly indicate he was elected by a Northern sectional vote, against the most solemn warning and protestations of the whole South. He stands forth as the representative of the fanaticism of the North, which, for the last quarter of a century, has been making war upon the South, her property, her civilization, her institutions, and her interests; as the representative of that party which overrides all constitutional barriers, ignores the obligation of official oaths, and acknowledges allegiance to a higher law than the Constitution, striking down the sovereignty and equality of the States, and resting its claims to popular favor upon the one dogma-the equality of the races, white and black.
It was upon this acknowledgment of allegiance to a higher law that Mr. Seward rested his claims to the Presidency in a speech made by him in Boston before the election. He is the exponent, if not the author, of the doctrine of the irrepressible conflict between freedom and slavery, and proposes that the opponents of slavery shall arrest its further expansion, and by Congressional legislation exclude it from the common territories of the Federal Government, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction. He claims for free negroes the right of suffrage and an equal voice in the Government; in a word, all the rights of citizenship, although the Federal Constitution, as construed by the highest judicial tribunal in the world, does not recognize Africans imported into this country as slaves or their descendants-whether free or slaves-as citizens.
These were the issue presented in the last Presidential canvass, and upon these the American people passed at the ballot box. Upon the principles then announced by Mr. Lincoln and his leading friends we are bound to expect his administration to be conducted. Hence it is that in high places among the Republican party the election of Mr. Lincoln is hailed not simply as a change of administration, but as the inauguration of new principles and a anew theory of government, and even as the downfall of slavery. Therefore it is that the election of Mr. Lincoln cannot be regarded otherwise than a solemn declaration, on the part of a great majority of the Northern people, of hostility to the South, her property, and her institutions; nothing less than an open declaration of war, for the triumph of this new theory of government destroys the property of the South, lays waste her fields, and inaugurates al the horrors of a San Domingo servile insurrection, consigning her citizens to assassinations and her wives and daughters to pollution and violation to gratify the lust of half-civilized Africans. Especially is this true in the cotton-growing States, where, in many localities, the slave outnumbers the white population ten to one.
If the policy of the Republicans is carried out according to the programme indicated by the leaders of the party, and the South submits, degradation and ruin must overwhelm alike all classes of citizens in the Southern States. The slave-holder and non-slave-holder must ultimately share the same fate; all be degraded to a position of equality with free negroes, stand side by side with them at the polls, and fraternize in all the social relations of life, or else there will be
|Page 8||CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.|