40 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
|Page 40||CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.|
that the party is sectional and hostile to the South is a full justification for the precautionary steps taken by Alabama to provide for the escape of her citizens from the peril and dishonor of submission to its rule. Superadded to the sectional hostility the fanaticism of a sentiment which has become a controlling political force, giving ascendancy in every North State, and the avowed purpose, as disclosed in party creeds, declarations of editors, and utterances of representative men, of securing the diminution of slavery in the States and placing it in the course of ultimate extinction, and the South would merit the punishment of the simple if she passed on and provided no security against the imminent danger.
When Mr. Lincoln is inaugurated it will not be simply a change of administration-the installation of a new President-but a reversal of the former practice and policy of the Government, so thorough as to amount to a revolution. Cover over its offensiveness with the most artful disguises, and the fact stands out in its terrible reality that the Government, within the amplitude of its jurisdiction, real or assumed, becomes foreign to the South, and is not to recognize the right of the Southern citizen to property in the labor of African slaves. Heretofore Congress, the executive, and the judiciary have considered themselves, in their proper spheres, as under a constitutional obligation to recognize and protect as property whatever the States ascertained and determined to be such. Now, the opinion of nearly every Republican is, that the slave of a citizen of Maryland, in possession of and in company with his master, on a vessel sailing from Baltimore to Mobile, is a free as his master, entitled to the same rights, privileges, and immunities, as soon as a vessel has reached a marine league beyond the shores of a State and its outside the jurisdiction of State laws. The same is held if a slave be carried on the territory or other property belonging to the United States, and it is denied by all Republicans that Congress or a Territorial Legislature or any individuals can give legal existence to slavery in any Territory of the United States. Thus, under the new Government, property which existed in every one of the States save one when the Government was formed, and in recognized and protected in the Constitution, is to be proscribed and outlawed. It requires no argument to show that States whose property is thus condemned are reduced to inferiority and inequality.
Such being the principles and purposes of the new Government and it supporters, every Southern State is deeply interested in the protection of the honor and equality of her citizens. Recent events occurring at the Federal capital and in the North must demonstrate to the most incredulous and hopeful that there is not intention on the part of the Rep concessions to our just and reasonable demands or furnish any securities against their wrongdoing. If their purposes were rights and harmless, how easy to give satisfactory assurances and guaranties. If no intention to harm exists, it can neither unmanly nor unwise to put it out of their power to commit hears. The minority section must have some other protection than the discretion or sense of justice of the majority, for the Constitution as interpreted, with a denial of the right of secession or State interposition, affords no security or means of redress against a hostile and fanatical majority. The action of the two committees in the Senate and House of Congress shows an unalterable purpose on the part of the Republicans to reap the fruits of their recent victory, and to abate not a jot or tittle of their Abolition principles. They refuse to recog-
|Page 40||CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.|