41 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
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nize our rights of property in slaves, to make a division of the territory, to deprive themselves of their assumed constitutional power to abolish slavery in the Territories or District of Columbia, to increase the efficiency of the fugitive slave law, or make provision for the compensation of the owners of runaway or stolen slaves, or place in the hands of the South any protection against the rapacity of an unscrupulous majority.
If our present undoubted constitutional rights were reaffirmed in, if possible, more explicit language, it is questionable whether they would meet with more successful execution. Anti-slavery fanaticism would probably soon render them nugatory. The sentiment of the sinfulness of slavery seems to be embedded in the Northern conscience. An infidel theory has corrupted the Northern heart. A French orator said the people of England once changed their religion by act of Parliament. Whether true or not, it is not probable that the settled convictions at the North, intensely adverse to slavery, can be changed by Congressional resolutions or constitutional amendments. Under Republican rule the revolution will not be confined to slavery and its adjuncts. The features of our political system which constitute its chief excellence and distinguish it from absolute governments are to be altered. The radical idea of this confederacy is the equality of the sovereign States and their voluntary assent to the constitutional compact. This, from recent indications, is to be changed, so that to a great extent power is to be centralized at Washington, Congress is to be the final judge of its powers, States are to be deprived of a reciprocity and equality of rights, and a common government, kept in being by force, will discriminate offensively and injuriously against the property of a particular geographical section.
With Alabama, after patient endurance for years and earnest expostulation with the Northern States, the reluctant conviction has become fixed that there is no safety for her in a hostile Union governed by an interested sectional majority. As a sovereign States, vitally interested in the preservation and security of African slavery, she will exercise the right of withdrawing from the compact of union. Most earnestly does she desire the co-operation of sister Southern States in a new confederacy, based on the same principles as the present. having no ulterior or unavowed purposes to a accomplish, seeking peace and to be increased by importations from Africa, shall not be localized and become redundant by excess of growth beyond liberty of expansion, she most cordially invites the concurrent action of all States with common sympathies and common interests. Under an abolition Government the slave-holding States will be placed under a common ban of proscription, and an institution, interwoven in the very frame-work of their social and political being, must perish gradually or speedily with the Government in active hostility to it. Instead of the culture and development of the boundless capacities and productive resources of their social system, it is to be assaulted, humbled, dwarfed, degraded, and finally crushed out.
To some of the States delaying action for new securities the question of submission to a dominant abolition majority is presented in a different form from what it was a few weeks ago. One State has seceded; others will soon follows. Without discussing the propriety of such action, the remaining States must act on the facts as they exist, whether of their own creation or approval or not. To unite with the seceding States is to be their peers as confederates and
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