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adopted the very words of the Statute of Treason, of Edward the Third ; and thus, by implication, in order to cut off, at once, all chances of arbitrary constructions, they have recognized the well-settled interpretation of these phrases in the administration of criminal law, which has prevailed for ages.
$ 405. The other part of the clause, requiring the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or a confession in open court, to justify a conviction, is founded upon the same reasoning. Alike provision exists in British jurisprudence, founded upon tbe same great policy of protecting men against false testimony and unguarded confessions, to their utter ruin. It has been well remarked, that confessions are the weakest and most suspicious of all testimony ; ever liable to be obtained by artifice, false hopes, promises of favor, or menaces ; seldom remembered accurately, or reported with due precision ; and incapable, in their nature, of being disproved by other negative evidence. To which it may be added, that they are easy to be forged, and the most difficult to guard against. An unprincipled demagogue, or a corrupt courtier, might otherwise hold the lives of the purest patriots in his hands, without the means of proving the falsity of the charge, if a secret confession, uncorroborated by other evidence, would furnish a sufficient foundation and proof of guilt. And wisely, also, has the Constitution declined to suffer the testimony of a single witness, however high, to be sufficient to establish such a crime, which rouses at once against the victim private honor and public hostility. There must, as there should, be a concurrence of two witnesses to the same overt act, that is, to the same open act of treason, who are above all reasonable exception.
$ 406. The subject of the power of Congress to declare the punishment of treason, and the consequent disabilities, have been already commented on in another place.
$ 407. We have thus passed in review all those provisions of the Constitution, which concern the establishment, jurisdiction, and duties, of the judicial department; and the rights and privileges of the citizens, connected with the administration of public justice.
Privileges of Citizens.—Fugitive Criminals and Slaves.
$ 408. The fourth article of the Constitution contains several important subjects, some of which have been already considered. Among those, which have been so considered, are, the clauses which respect the faith and credit to be given to the acts, records, judgements, and proceedings, of the different States, and the mode of proving them, and the effect thereof; the admission of new States into the Union; and the regulation and disposal of the territory, and other property, of the United States.
§ 409. Among those, which remain for consideration, the first is, “ The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.” It is obvious, that if the citizens of the different States were to be deemed aliens to each other, they could not inherit, or hold, or purchase real estate, or possess any political or municipal privileges in any other State, than that, in which they were born. And the States would be at liberty to make laws, giving preferences of rights and offices, and even privileges in trade and business, to those, who were Natives, over all other persons, who belonged to other States; or they might make invidious discriminations between the citizens of different States. Such a power would have a tendency to generate jealousies and discontents, injurious to the harmony of all the States. And, therefore, the Constitution has wisely created, as it were, a general citizenship, communicating to the citizens of each State, who have their domicil in another, all the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the citizens of the latter.
§ 410. The next clause is, “ A person, charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the Executive authority of the State, from
which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State, having jurisdiction of the crime.” As doubts have existed, whether, by the law of nations, a surrender of fugitives from justice can lawfully be demanded from the government of the country, where they seek an asylum, there is great propriety in making this a positive right, in regard to the several States composing the United States. It is for their mutual benefit, convenience, and safety. It will promote harmony and good feeling between them. It will also add strength to a great moral duty, and operate indirectly to the suppression of crimes ; and finally, it will thus increase the public sense of the blessings of the National Government.
§ 411. The next clause is, “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor ; but shall be delivered up, on the claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.” This clause was introduced into the Constitution solely for the benefit of the slave-holding States, to enable them to reclaim their fugitive slaves, who should escape into other States, where slavery is not tolerated. It is well known, that, at the common law, a slave escaping into a State, where slavery is not allowed, would immediately become free, and could not be reclaimed. Before the Constitution was adopted, the Southern States felt the want of some protecting provision against such an occurrence to be a grievous injury to them. And we here see, that the Eastern and Middle States have sacrificed their own opinions and feelings, in order to take away every source of jealousy, on a subject so delicate to Southern interests ; a circumstance, sufficient of itself, to repel the delusive notion, that the South has not, at all times, had its full share in the blessings resulting from the Union.
Guarantee of Republican Government.--Mode of mak
$ 412. The fourth section of the fourth article declares, “ The United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form of Government; and shall protect each of them against invasion ; and, on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, when the Legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence.” The propriety of this provision will scarcely be doubted. If any of the States were to be at liberty to adopt any other form of Government, than a republican form, it would necessarily endanger, and might destroy, the safety of the Union. Suppose, for instance, a great State, like New York, should adopt a monarchical form of government, it might, under an enterprising and ambitious king, become formidable to, if not destructive of, the Constitution. And the PEOPLE of each State have a right to protection against the tyranny of a domestic faction, and to have a firm guarantee, that their political liberties shall not be overturned by a successful demagogue, who shall arrive at power by corrupt arts, and then plan a scheme for permanent possession of it. On the other hand, domestic violence by popular insurrection is equally repugnant to the good order and safety of the Union; and one of the blessings arising from a National Government is the security which it affords, against a recurrence of evils of this sort. Accordingly, it is made an imperative duty of the General Government, on the application of the Legislature or Executive of a State, to aid in the suppression of such domestic insurrections; as well as to protect the State from foreign invasion.
§ 413. It may possibly be asked, what need there could be of such a precaution, and whether it may not become a pretext for alterations in the State governments, without the concurrence of the States themselves. These questions admit of ready answers. If the interposition of the General Government should not be needed, the provision for such an event will be a harmless superfluity only in the Constitution. But, who can say, what experiments may be produced by the caprice of particular States, by the ambition of enterprising leaders, or by the intrigues and influence of foreign powers ? To the second question, it may be answered, that if the General Government should interpose, by virtue of this constitutional authority, it will, of course, be bound to pursue the authority. But the authority extends no further than to a guarantee of a republican form of Government, which supposes a pre-existing Government of the form, which is to be guarantied. As long, therefore, as the existing republican forms are continued by the States, they are guarantied by the Federal Constitution. Whenever the States may choose to substitute other republican forms, they have a right to do so, and to claim the federal guarantee for the latter. The only restriction imposed on them is, that they shall not exchange republican for antirepublican Constitutions : a restriction, which, it is presumed, will hardly be considered as a grievance.
$ 414. At first view, it might seem not to square with the republican theory, to suppose, either that a majority have not the right, or that a minority will have the force, to subvert a government; and, consequently, that the National interposition can never be required, but when it would be improper. But theoretic reasoning in this case, as in most other cases, must be qualified by the lessons of practice. Why may not illicit combinations, for purposes of violence, be formed, as well by a majority of a State, especially of a small State, as by a majority of a county, or of a district of the same State ; and if the authority of the State ought, in the latter case, to protect the local magistracy, ought not the National authority, in the former, to support the State authority? Besides ; there are certain parts of the State Constitutions, which are so interwoven with the National Constitution, that a violent blow cannot be given to the one, without communicating