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sent of nine states, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with, provided that no power be delegated to the said committee for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine states in the congress of the United States assembled is requisite.
Canada, acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into and entitled to all the advantages of this union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same unless such admission be agreed to by nine states.
All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts contracted by or under the authority of congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction, whereof the said United States and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
ARTICLE XIII. Every state shall abide by the determination of the United States in congress assembled, in all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislature of every state.
And whereas it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in congress to approve of and to authorise us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union : Know ye that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. And we do further solemlly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States in congress assembled, in all
questions which by the said confederation are submitted to them; and that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent, and that the union shall be perpetual. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in congress.
Done at Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, the 9th day of
July, in the year of our Lord 1778, and in the third year of the
RHODE ISLAND, ETC.
Jona. Bayard Smith,
The document we now introduce is the fundamental law of America, but strange to say in its original meaning and intent has never been desired, recognised, or acted upon by the American States or people, from the period it was put upon record, down to the outbreak of the late terrible war, so that, if the Federal administrators or government attempt to convict any of the citizens of the States for treason, it will be on the principle of thief convicting thief, since all political parties and religious sects have ignored its claims, trampled down its authority, and prostituted it to the vilest and basest of purposes.
By the introduction of the Compromises the Constitution had a secondary meaning and application, one completely antagonistical to its primary, which converted it into a slave document, made the Federal government a slave oligarchy, and turned our administrators and people into a Congress of jugglers. These compromises made freedom unconstitutional in the United States, gave the slaveholders a right on the basis of constitutional law, to take their slaves anywhere within the boundaries of its states and territories, and made all liable to be stigmatised as disunionists who sought to restrict the area of slavery, or to exterminate it.
To these compromises the Northern states and people were a party, bound together with the Southerns in the bonds of the same black covenant, and yet, they were the
first to break them in the adoption of the Missouri Compromise Personal Liberty Bills, and in the threats which were freely used to coerce the Southern States, bringing themselves into direct antagonism with the Southerns on the basis of their own agreement, and creating in them the same thorough contempt for the Union, that the old abolitionists fostered and proclaimed to the world, in all their councils and speeches; go that, if the Southerns had conquered our Northern States and people in the absence of any concession of belligerent rights, they could have hung up all Northern leaders on the basis of civil law, but not so the Northerns; for the Federal president, governors or people in the Northern States to speak of treason on the basis of civil law, and more especially when they conceded belligerent rights to the Southern States, is the height of arrogance, madness, and cruelty; and yet, not only is treason made by them the lesson of the hour, but in the amnesty proclamation of President Johnson, the possession of property to the amount of twenty thousand dollars by a Southern makes him a rebel, adding to the other forms of despotism in America, the crowning guilt and shame which may be properly designated the aristocracy of crime.
Moreover, there is nothing in the following document which abrogates the sovereignty of the states, so carefully guarded and shielded in the articles of Confederation referred to and reserved by them according to the tenth article in the Amendment to the Constitution; neither is there any provision made for the president or governor of any state to interfere with any particular state or states unless invited or requested by the governor or executive of the same, and the constitution being the bond to unite them in the federation of the Union, could only be binding when it was honoured by the contracting parties, the action of the Northern States and people, as well as the Federal government, has been revolutionary and in bad faith towards their former allies, whilst their insidious efforts to use slavery as a stalking horse to mask their position, and their vindictive savageness in punishing what they call Southern rebels, must ever subject them to the derision and scorn of mankind.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
WE, the people of the United States, in order to form a more per. fect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.
ARTICLE I.-SECTION 1. 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress of the United States, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.
1. The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states; and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for the electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a
citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union accord. ing to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three: Massachusetts eight; Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one; Connecticut five; New York six : New Jersey four; Pennsylvania eight; Delaware one; Maryland six ; Virginia ten; North Carolina five; South Carolina five; and Georgia three.
4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill up such vacancies.
5. The house of representatives shall choose sheir speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SECTION 3. 1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.
2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.
3. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen. 4. The vice-president of the United States shall be president of