85 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
|Page 85||CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.|
are the opinion and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them will be our fault and not theirs. The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they rescue to commit their own to the rules whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent to their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquility.
* * * * DEPARTMENT,
Tallahassee, February 2, 1861.
GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The people of the State having declared themselves a sovereign and independent nation, the duty of providing by law proper measures for the defense of that sovereignty and independence is, by the constitution, cast upon the executive and legislative branches of the government of the State, and it is particularly my duty to call your attention to such matters as may seem to me to justify the belief that the State is in danger from any foe, and to call on you to unite with me in defending her from injury. The occurrences of the last two months sufficiently indicate that this State and any others of the slave-holding States which have or yet may decide to separate from any political connection with the non-slave-holding States of the late American Union will not be permitted to accomplish such separation in a peaceable manner, and that they must maintain the independence which they assert and claim to have the right to assume by a show of force, perhaps by an actual resort to arms, however powerful may be the argument on which we rely to justify our separation. However much we may be convinced of our right to adopt the course which as a people we have determined to pursue to avert from us and our posterity the calamities which we feared would befall us and them from the continuance of a Government in a just share of the power of which we could not reasonably expect to enjoy, although the wrong and injuries we had experienced without any adequate redress from the Government of the United States were such as rendered the advantages we derived from it no adequate compensation for the evils to which it left us exposed, and although we as a free, enlightened, and Christian people have, after long suffering and expostulation with those who sought to injure us under the forms of legislation and under the shield of the Union, been driven to the exercise of the right to reassume to our State the powers delegated to the Federal Union of States which existed under the Constitution of the United States, which right is plain and incontestable by any of the principles upon which the independence of the
|Page 85||CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.|