Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

then to declare war, negotiate treaties of peace, and do all other acts which a sovereign state may do. While this power rests upon her people, who are the original source of all sovereignty, her constitution, formed by them, has conferred no such power upon her governor.

“The fact must not be overlooked, however, that while Georgia possesses the sovereign power to act separately, her faith, which never has, and I trust never will be violated, is pledged by strong implication to her Southern sisters, that she will not exercise this power without consent on their part, and concert of action with them. In league with her Southern sister states, she entered into this contest with full knowledge of all the responsibilities which attached to the act; and come weal or woe, she will never withdraw from it in dishonour. However unequal may be the proportion of suffering or sacrifice wbich her people may have to endure, she will never make separate terms with the enemy which may free her territory from invasion, and leave her confederates in a lurch. Whatever may be the opinion of her people as to the injustice done her by the Confederate administration, she will triumph with her Confederate sisters, or she will sink with them in common ruin. The intelligent people of Georgia already understand, and our enemy will soon learn, that the independent expression of condemnation of the administration is one thing, and disloyalty to our sacred cause is

another and quite a different thing. While the people of Georgia think for themselves, and will not blindly applaud the mismanagement of their rulers, they will never violate principle for expediency, nor accept dishonour for reward.”

SOUTHERN COMMISSIONERS.

THESE were appointed and commissioned by the administrators of the Southern Confederacy to proceed to Washington, open negociations with the Federal government, and seek to obtain a peaceable settlement of all questions involved in the separation which had taken place. Lincoln promised to hear what they had got to say, but denied them the privilege of making known the objects of their mission.

Seward opened up an intercourse with them through Judge Campbell, one of the judges of the Supreme Court, and promised him that no attempt should be made to relieve Fort Sumter, while negociations were going on, but to the surprise and consternation of the Judge, he was informed, meanwhile, that such an attempt was made, which immediately suspended all communication between him and Seward, and caused the Commissioners to return to their homes. The magnetic wires were put in motion, and the treachery and insult of Seward was spread with the lightning's speed all over the South. Fired with resentment the

on

war.

Southerns flew to arms, made an attack on Fort Sumter, and captured it. When the news reached Boston, Wendell Phillips, Esq., announced that “a large body of people, sufficient to make a nation, have come to the conclusion that they will have a government of a certain form. Who denies them the right? I maintain that on the principles of 1776, Abraham Lincoln has no right to a soldier in Fort Sumter.Why, then, were not the Southerns allowed to “go in peace,” as the Hon. Horace Greely and General Scott demanded? It was because Lincoln and his cabinet bad resolved

“While the inaugural address,” says Lincoln, “was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, the insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war; seeking to dissolve the Union, and to divide the effects, by negotiating. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let it perish; and war came.” Yes, came from wanton insult and insidious treachery ; came from unwilling hands and hearts; yet “would make war on those who “ dreaded it, and sought to avoid it;" and at the same time declared to the world concerning those who deprecated it, "the government will not assail you; you can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors."

REVOLUTION.

ALL was now warlike. The Rubicon was passed. Bayonets bristled on every side. Commissions in the Federal army and navy were resigned, and new officers appointed to fill their places. Tha combatants arranged themselves pro and con, The air appeared to be scented with fire and brimstone; whilst to the sound of drum and fife the tramp of armed soldiers beat time whilst on their way to the scenes of battle. But why these revolutionary scenes? Who originated them ? And by what freak in the chapter of accidents did the great and terrible explosion come which has produced such appalling calamities? If the original landmarks had been observed and faithfully guarded by the administrators of the government at Washington, golden ages of peace might have dawned on our land; but both North and South made haste to remove them, when, for the profit that waits on crime they joined hands together to adopt what are called the "compromises of the constitution.” Hence the danger and difficulty of their future course.

The South saw this, and openly and manfully said, “let us agree to separate." "No," said the North, "we are quite willing to take you and your sins to our arms and hearts, but if you go out of the Union we will make you return." “ But look at the justice of the case," said the South. “It is quite true,” said the North, “that, like you, we have been great transgressors, and have broken the two tables of our law; but, being the biggest sinners in having broken the compromises, in the adoption of the Missouri Compromise, and the socalled Personal Liberty Bills, we have the right to the biggest share of the spoils; and as we are the strongest of the two, our right is might.“But then," said the South, “there is the honour and brotherhood known and practised amongst thieves ?” “Yes," said the North,

[ocr errors]

“When thieves fall out, the proverb runs,

Honest men may expect their own;
But how, when thieves fall in with guns,

Sabres and trumpets though unblown ?”

There might have been, however, some probability of an adjustment of the difficulty but for the religious fanaticism which was at the bottom of it. This brings us to the real originators of the war; the men who shout the Northern cause is ours; "if ours, 'tis God's, and that's sufficient."

[ocr errors]

WAR CHRISTIANS.

How sad, and yet how true it is that a party answering to the above description bas sprung into being in America, men who use religion not to soften the fierce conflicts of human passion, or to bid men remember that they are fellow-citizens and

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »