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PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.
Executive DEPARTMENT, Georgia,
SlR-In compliance with the request of the General Assembly of this State, I have the honor to transmit the subjoined copy of a report and resolutions, adopted at their late session, upon a subject of vital importance to the interests of the southern States, and to the stability of the institutions of our common country. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
In the House of Representatives,
The committee to whom was referred so much of the Governor's message as relates to the movements of the abolitionists of the north, have endeavored to bring to the -consideration of the subject, that dispassionale deliberation its importance demands, and beg leave to make the following
They would remark, that the formation of our glorious Union was a great experiment, made by patriotism in the cause of civil liberty. Thus far successful, its results have been most beneficial, spreading with unexampled profusion over our extensive country, blessings which distinguish her above all others. The offspring of common sufferings and common triumphs among the States, the preservation of this Union is dependent upou a community of sympathy and good feeling among their respective peoplc. Any attempt by a portion of the people of one State to interfere, even indirectly, with the domestic institutions of another, has the inevitable tendency to destroy that feeling. Such attempt is an insult to the State aggrieved, and the motives which impel it, are at entire variance with that fraternal spirit which constitutes the people of these States, brethren of onc great family. But when such attempt involves the safety of the people of a State—the robbery of their property—the desecration of their constitutional rights— the violation of their domestic peace—infatuation herself must admit, that such attempt, persevered in, will inevitably convert preexistent good feeling into deadly hostility—the certain consequences of which, are a sundered Union, and all the horrors of civil commotion. That such attempt is being at this time made by certain fanatics, by the distribution of pamphlets, prints, circulars, annuals, almanacs, and every species of publication, your committee with mingled feelings of regret and indignation, believe cannot admit of doubt—yet it is a matter of heart-felt congratulation to the friends of Union, that the general and spontaneous expression of feeling which has burst from the patriotism and intelligence of the North, affords the cheering hope, that her people are prepared to "frown indignantly upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts." But notwithstanding the manifestations of this spirit, the movement of the domestic fanatic and foreign emissary, and the insidious means to which they resort, are fraught with so much peril to ourselves, our families, and our undoubted rights, that "stern necessity" and a just regard for the peace and harmony of our country demand that the people of this State, should,Jin temperate and respectful, but determined language, declare their unalterable determination to protect their domestic institutions and constitutional rights from all interference, direct or indirect, from any and every quarter. Upon this point, there can be no discussion—no compromise—no> doubt. They found their rights npon the guarantee afforded by the Constitution of the United States—and if the provisions of that charter are to be sacrificed to the spirit of fanaticism, or the impulses of a false philanthropy, calamity and ruin will soon overwhelm this now happy confederacy. Impressed with the importance of the duty which devolves upon them at the present crisis, your committee, in addition to a bill in amendment of the laws regulating slaves and free persons of color within this State, would respectfully submit the following resolutions, with a single remark, that if a rigor heretofore unknown to our domestic legislation be found in the features of the bill they have introduced, it has been forced upon them, by the movements of men, who, assuming to be the friends, are indeed, the most cruel enemies of those whom they have taken under their especial care:
1st. Resolved, That in this country, freedom of the press and freedom of speech are sacred and inviolable rights; that in proportion to their sacredness and value, is the obligation to preserve them from the abuse of those who would prostitute them to the vile purpose of "enfeebling the sacred ties which now link together the various parts" of this happy Union.
2d. Resolved, That the people of Georgia stand prepared to protect the domestic institutions of her sister States, from the unauthorized interference of individuals or combinations within her limits.
3d. Resolved, That the perpetuity of this glorious Union, which has shed such blessings on us as a people, is only to be ensured by a strict adherence to the letter of the Constitution which has guarantied to us certain rights with which wc will suffer no power on earth to interfere—that it is deeply incumbent on the people of the North to crush the traitorous designs of the abolitionists, and that we look with confidence to such movements on their part, as will effectually put an end to impertinent, fanatical and disloyal interference with matters settled by the Constitution.
4th. Resolved, That we hail the sentiments expressed by the resolutions of some of the recent meetings of the North, upon the subject of abolition, as the evidence of the existence of a right spirit among the great mass of our northern brethren, and a determination on their part to discharge the duties imposed upon them by the Constitution of their country, and the exigencies of the times.
5ih. Resolved, That the District of Columbia, and the several Territories of the United States are the common property of the people of these States—that the right of exclusive legislation in the former, and the power to make all needful rules and regulations for the government of the latter, which are vested in the Congress of the United States, are derived from the Constitution, which recognizes and guarantees the rights resulting from domestic slavery, and that any interference by that body with those rights, will be unauthorized by, and contrary to the spirit of that sacred charter of American liberty.
6th. Resolved, That copies of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be transmitted by his Excellency to the President of the United States, the Governors of the respective States,.and to the Senators and Representatiues of this State in Congress.
Read, and unanimously agreed to,
JOSEPH DAY, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Attest—Joseph Sturgis, Clerk.
In Senate—Read and concurred in, 22d December, 1835.
ROBERT M. ECHOLS,
President of the Senate. Attest—Arthur A. Morgan, Secretary.
Approved, 22d December, 1835.
WILLIAM SCHLEY, Governor.