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The Declaration of
the people to alter or abolished for the adoption of the States The Declaration of
it, and to institute a new gov- the articles of union known as Causes.
ernment.' Deeming the Gov- the Constitution of the United ernment of Great Britain to have become destructive States. of these ends, they declared that the Colonies are “The parties to whom this Constitution was subabsolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and mitted, were the several sovereign States; they that all political connection between them and the were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them States of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally disagreed, the compact was to take effect among those solved.
concurring; and the General Government, as the “ In pursuance of this Declaration of Independ- common agent, was then to be invested with their ence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exer- authority. cise its separate sovereignty ; adopted for itself a "If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, constitution, and appointed officers for the adminis- the other four would have remained as they then tration of government in all its departments—legis-were-separate, sovereign States, independent of lative, executive, and judicial. For purposes of de- any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, fence, they united their arms and their counsels; two of the States did not accede to the Constitution and, in 1778, they entered into a league, known as
until long after it had gone into operation among the the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed other eleven; and during that interval, they exerto intrust the administration of their external rela- cised the functions of an independent nation. tions to a common agent, known as the Congress of “ By this Constitution, certain duties were charged the United States, expressly declaring, in the first on the several States, and the exercise of certain of article, “that each State retains its sovereignty, their powers restrained, which necessarily implied freedom, and independence, and every power, juris- their continued existence as sovereign States. But, diction, and right which is not, by this confederation, to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress which declared that the powers not delegated to the assembled.'
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by "Under this confederation the war of the Revolu- it to the States, are reserved to the States respecttion was carried on, and, on the 3d of September, ively, or to the people. On the 23d of May, 1788, 1783, the contest ended, and a definitive treaty was South Carolina, by a convention of her people, passsigned by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged ed an ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and the independence of the Colonies in the following afterward altered her own constitution, to conform terms :
herself to the obligations she had undertaken. ** Article 1.—His Britannic Majesty acknowledges
“ Thus was established, by compact between the the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massa- | States, a government, with defined objects and chusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Planta- powers, limited to the express words of the grant, tions, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Penn- and to so much more only as was necessary to exesylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- cute the power granted. This limitation left the lina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sove
whole remaining mass of power subject to the reign, and independent States; that be treats with clause reserving it to the States or to the people, them as such ; and for himself, his heirs and succes
and rendered unnecessary any specification of resors, relinquishes all claims to the government, pro
served rights. prietary and territorial rights of the same and every is subject to the two great principles asserted in
“We hold that the government thus established part thereof.
the Declaration of Independence, and we hold *Thus was established the two great principles further that the mode of its formation subjects it to asserted by the Colonies, namely, the right of a State a third fundamental principle, namely, the law of to govern itself, and the right of a people to abolish compact. We maintain that in every compact be& government when it becomes destructive of the
tween two or more parties, the obligation is mutual ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent
—that the failure of one of the contracting parties with the establishment of these principles was the to perform a material part of the agreement entirely fact, that each colony became and was recognized releases the obligation of the other, and that, where by the mother country as a free, sovereign, and in- no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his dependent State.
own judgment to determine the fact of failure with "In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the State all its consequences. to revise the articles of confederation, and on the “ In the present case that fact is established with 17th of September, 1787, these Deputies recommend certainty. We assert that fifteen of the States have
deliberately refused for years union, establish justice, insure The Declaration of
The Declaration of
tect the general welfare, and secure the blessings “ The Constitution of the United States, in its 4th of liberty to ourselves and our pòsterity.' article, provides as follows:
“ These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a ""No person held to service or labor in one State, Federal Government, in which each State was reunder the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, cognized as an equal, and had separate control over in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be its own institutions. The right of property in slaves discharged from such service or labor, but shall be was recognized by giving to free persons distinct delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such political rights; by giving them the right to represervice or labor may be due.'
sent, and burdening them with direct taxes for three“ This stipulation was so material to the compact, fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation that without it that compact would not have been of slaves for twenty years, and by stipulating for the made. The greater number of the contracting par- rendition of fugitives from labor. ties held slaves, and the State of Virginia had pre “We affirm that these ends for which this governviously declared her estimate of its value by making ment was instituted have been defeated, and the it the condition of her cession of the Territory which government itself has been made destructive of them now compose the States north of the Ohio River. by the action of the non-slaveholding States. These
“The same article of the Constitution stipulates States have assumed the right of deciding upon the also for the rendition by the several States of fagi- propriety of our domestic institutions, and have detives from justice from the other States.
nied the rights of property established in fifteen of “ The General Government, as the common agent, the States and recognized by the Constitution ; they passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; of the States. For many years these laws were ex- they have permitted the open establishment among ecuted. But an increasing hostility on the part of them of societies whose avowed object is to disturb the Northern States to the institution of slavery has the peace and to eloin the property of the citizens led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of other States. They have encouraged and assist. of the General Government have ceased to effect the ed thousands of our slaves to leave their homes, and objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, those who remain have been incited by emissaries, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connec- books and pictures to servile insurrection. ticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illi "For twenty-five years, this agitation has been nois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its have enacted laws which either nullify the acts of aid the power of the common government. ObservCongress, or render useless any attempt to execute ing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party them. In many of these states the fugitive is dis has found within that article establishing the execucharged from the service or labor claimed, and in tire department the means of subverting the Constinone of them has the State government complied tution itself. A geographical line has been drawn with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The across the Union, and all the States north of that State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law line have united in the election of a man to the high for the rendition of fugitive slaves in conformity office of President of the United States, whose opinwith her constitutional undertaking ; but the currentions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to be intrusted with the administration of the commo enact laws which render imperative the remedies government, because he has declared that that.gov. provided by her own law and by the laws of Con- ernment cannot endure permanently half slave, half gress. In the State of New York even the right of free,' and that the public mind must rest in the betransit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals, lief that slavery is in the course of ultimate exand the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to sur-tinction. render to justice fugitives charged with murder and * This sectional combination for the subversion of with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Vir- the Constitution has been aided in some of the States ginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been by elevating to citizenship persons, who, by the sudeliberately broken and disregarded by the non- preme law of the land, are incapable of becoming slaveholding States, and the consequence follows citizens, and their votes have been used to inauguthat South Carolina is released from its obligations. rate a new policy hostile to the South, and destruct
* The ends for which this Constitution was framed ive of its peace and safety. are declared by itself to be ' to form a more perfect “On the 4th of March next, this party will take
Tho Declaration of
possession of the Government. | levy war, conclude peace conThe Declaration of
It has announced that the South tract alliances, establish com
shall be excluded from the commerce, and to do all other acts mon territory; that the judicial tribunals shall be and things which independent States may of right made sectional, and that & war must be wageddo. against slavery until it shall cease throughout the
"And, for the support of this declaration with a United States.
firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, "The guarantees of the Constitution will then no
we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our forlonger exist; the equal rights of the States will be tunes, and our sacred honor.” lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have
In the course of the day's proceedings many the power of self-government or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their very able speeches were made, eliminating enemies.
points in the Declaration. Among others * Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the Messrs. Rhett and Keitt declared the Fugiirritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain tive Slave law to be unconstitutional, and by the fact that public opinion at the North has in- Mr. Meminger confessed the question to be Fested a great political error with the sanctions of a legally embarrassing. * more erroneous religious belief.
December 24th Gov. Pickens, agreeably to ** We, therefore, the people of South Carolina, by the ordinance of secession,issued his proclamaour delegates in convention assembled, appealing to the Sapreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of tion declaring to the world that “ South Caroour intentions, have solemnly declared that the lina is, and has a right to be a separate, sovunion heretofore existing between this state and the reign, free, and independent State, and, as other States of North America is dissolved, and that such, has a right to levy war, conclude peace, the State of South Carolina has resumed her posi- negotiate treaties, leagues or covenants, and tion among the nations of the world as a free, sove- to do all acts whatever that rightfully apperreign, and independent State, with full power to Itain to a free and independent State.”
HOW THE NEWS WAS RECEIVED. STATE OF PUBLIC FEELING THE NORTH. INTEREST IN MAJOR ANDERSON. THE PORTS CHARLESTON HARBOR.
We cannot more vividly
"MOBILE, Dec. 20. Telegraphic Dis.
describe the effect of the " The secession of South Carolina was celebrated patches.
news of South Carolina's here this afternoon by the firing of a hundred guns, secession than to reproduce a few of the telegraphic dispatches which fairly blazed over * For assuming the identical position of Mr. Rhett the wires from the Southern States :
and his followers, the Northern States are declared,
with singular want of consistency, to have heaped " PENSACOLA, Dec. 20.
wrongs and indignations upon the South. "The secession of South Carolina is greeted with The case is analagous to that referred to, (page 27, immense enthusiasm here. One hundred gans are note,) wherein the South declares negroes human being fired in honor of the event.”
beings to obtain their Congressionsl representation, “MONTGOMERY, Dec. 20. and denies that they are human beings when it re“ Governor Moore has ordered one hundred guns quires the Constitution to regard them as chattels— to be fired at noon tomorrow, in honor of the seces- thus illustrating the adage that a mule may be a sion of South Carolina."
horse, when the king has no horse.
the cheers of the people, and a military parade.
"MEMPHIS, Dec. 22. There is great rejoicing. The bells are now ringing
“ There was an enthuiastic meeting here last night, merrily, and the people are out in the streets by to ratify the secession of South Carolina. Fifteen hundreds, testifying their joy at the triumph of seces- guns were fired, and The Avalanche newspaper office sion. Many impromptu speeches are being made, and other buildings illuminated." and the greatest excitement everywhere exists.”'
“PETERSBURG, Dec. 23. “NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 21.
“A secession pole, 100 feet high, with the Pal. “A general demonstration of joy on the secession metto flag, was hoisted on the most prominent street of South Carolina occurred here to-day. One hun- yesterday morning, amid the cheers from a large
crowd." dred guns were fired, and the Pelican flag unfurled. Impromptu secession speeches were made by lead
Congress was in session
How Congress Re-
ceived the News.
secession. The announcement scarcely at* Macon, Dec. 21.
tracted attention. The Pacific Railway bill “We are jubilant over the secession of South was under consideration at the moment. In Carolina. There is grand procession of Minute- view of the contingencies likely to arise, Mr. men, and bonfires, bells ringing, cannon firing, and G. declared that his State could not be held Main street illuminated. Speeches have been made responsible for the payment of her share of by J. R. Branham, R. A. Smith, C. Anderson, P. the bonds necessary to build the road. “Why, Tracy, and others.” WILMINGTON, Dec. 21.
sir," he said, "while your bill is under con“One hundred guns were to-day fired in honor of sideration, one of the sovereign States of this the secession of South Carolina."
Confederacy has, by the glorious act of her “PORTSMOUTH, De 21.
people, withdrawn, in vindication of her “ Fifteen guns were fired to-day. The Palmetto rights, from the Union, as the telegraph anflag was displayed at Norfolk.”
nounced at half-past one to-day.” This was
followed by the clapping of hands from a few “BALTIMORE, Dec. 21. “Fifteen guns were fired to-day. The Palmetto Southern members, but no further notice was flag was displayed at Norfolk.”
taken of it, and the bill was put upon its “BALTIMORE, Dec. 21.
passage. The two remaining Representatives “South Carolina secession produced not the from South Carolina, Messrs. Boyce and Ashslightest sensation here, one way or the other. more, arose from their seats, shook hands with People seemed relieved and cheerful, and the streets their friends, and retired from the Hall—thus were gayly crowded, and business was better. The leaving the State without a member in the prevailing sentiment seems to be that if the North National Congress. now does right, and makes honorable, manly con The news (it was telegraphed from Springcessions, indicating an absolute determination to field) was received calmly by Mr. Lincoln. cultivate friendly feelings, and will repeal the ob- An editorial article which appeared in the noxious laws, the other Southern States will cheer- Springfield (III.) Journal, understood to speak fully meet them.”
“RICHMOND, Dec. 21.
for Mr. Lincoln, said: “If South Carolina
Federal law, there will be no trouble and she
"NORFOLK, Dec. 21.
will not be out of the Union. If she violates
Buchanan may shirk it, or the emergency may
then the Union will last through his term of “CHAS. HARRIS,
office. If the overt act, on the part of South " Chief of Minute-men of Norfolk." Carolina, takes place on or after the 1st day
The Charleston Har
of March, 1861, then the duty of executing next steps which South Carolina might take the laws will devolve upon Mr. Lincoln.” The general opinion prevailed that nothing
A leading New York journal, in its issue of of an offensive character would transpire until the 21st, commenting on the Republican sen- the Commissioners named timent, in regard to the crisis, said: “Never, had visited Washington
position. in any habitual excitement, or in any public and learned the purposes crisis, have we seen such calmness, steadiness, of the President; but, the report gained curand firmness, among the masses of the people, rency that Fort Moultrie was in danger of as now prevail through the Free States. * * assault at any moment, and the interest in AnFrom Maine to Kansas the freemen are quiet, derson's position became hourly heightened. yet resolved. Their feelings and wishes are It was reported that Anderson had orders expressed in the recent speech of Senator to surrender if the proper State authorities Wade. They have done no wrong, and have should demand it; but this was authorita
no apologies to offer. They tively denied by the Secretary of War, Dec. Feelings of the
stand by the Constitution 22d. It was necessary to make the denial, Republicans.
and the Union, and are not since public opinion was assuming an unmisget ready to repudiate the Fourth of July or takable tone of exasperation at the conduct to trample on the Star-Spangled Banner. In of the President and Secretary of War. all history a more admirable spectacle was
The character of the denever witnessed than is now afforded by this fences at that time was thus
bor Forts. great people, unalarmed at the clamor, and given by the Charleston determined only that the controversy of Mercury, which had, by a series of careful obwhich it is a feature shall now be finally servations, obtained the information published settled, so that it cannot be revived again by in order to make the people fully aware of the fools, fanatics and demagogues of a future the nature of the works and the probable reday.” It is certain, however, that a most sistance to any attempt for their capture. powerful excitement prevailed among a large class of citizens, who, in Union meetings, and
--by communications to the press, expressed their wishes for compromise. To allay the storm they were willing to make every sacrifice of partizan and personal preferences, if not of principles, in order to restore the
H country to its late state of peace and com
GO mercial prosperity. This class embraced heavy merchants and manufacturers, whose
А interests had been injured by the excitement
B and cessation of trade, together with the Douglas and Breckenridge Democrats gene
A. Gate and drawbridge. rally, and a few nominal Republicans; but, B. Abutments, commanding gate and the approaches.
C. Old Sully-ports. as stated by the journal above quoted from, it was true that the vast majority of the Re E. Basti vnettes, commanding moat.
F. Furnace for heating shot. publicans were firm in their resolves not to G, Powder magazine. compromise, at the expense of a jot of their 1. Officers' quarters. principles. They entered into Union meet
J: Kitchen, storehouse, &c. ings in the spirit of Unionists rather than to “Until late in the past Summer the defenses of concede aught to the Disunonists. They
Fort Moultrie have remained in an unfinished con
dition; the sand of the beach, piled up by the wind were satisfied with the Constitution as it was, yet were desirous, apparently, of peace, if it against the South walls, had rendered them easily
accessible almost by a single leap, and the empty could be won without a compromise of their
guns were suffered to gaze out in harmless majesty convictions of political and social right.
upon the noble bay. A fortnight has worked a Every attention was now directed to the marvellous change.