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the above, they returned to the ship, bringing tion. Its early life was attended by no anarchy, with them a contraband found at this place. no rebellion, no suspension of authority, no so. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, cial disorders, no lawless disturbances. Sove
W. R. Browxe, reignty was not for one moment in abeyance.
Acting Master Commanding. The utmost conservatism marked every proceedTo Acting Rear-Admiral THEODORUS Bailey, ing and public act. The object was “ to do what Commanding E. G. B. Squadron, Key West, Fla. was necessary, and no more; and to do that with
the utmost temperance and prudence." St. Just,
in his report to the Convention of France, 1793, Doc. 83.
said : "À people has but one dangerous enemy,
and that is government.” We adopted no such ADDRESS OF THE REBEL CONGRESS absurdity.
In nearly every instance, the first steps were TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
taken legally, in accordance with the will and February 26, 1964.
prescribed direction of the constituted authorities IN closing the labors of the first permanent of the seceding States. We were not remitted to Congress, your representatives deem it a fit occa- brute force or natural law, or the instincts of sion to give some account of their stewardship; reason. The charters of freedom were scruputo review briefly what, under such embarrass- lously preserved. As in the English Revolution ments and adverse circumstances, has been ac-of 1688, and ours of 1776, there was no material complished; to invite attention to the prospect alteration in the laws beyond what was necesbefore us, and the duties incumbent on every citi- sary to redress the abuses that provoked the zen in this crisis; and to address such words of struggle. No atteinpt was made to build on counsel and encouragement as the times demand. speculative principles. The effort was confined
Compelled by a long series of oppressive and within the narrowest limits of historical and contyrannical acts, culminating at last in the selec- stitutional right. The controversy turned on the tion of a President and Vice-President by a party records and muniments of the past. We merely confessedly sectional and hostile to the South resisted innovation and tyranny, and contended and her institutions, these States withdrew from for our birth-rights and the covenanted princithe former Union, and formed a new confederate ples of our race. We have had our Governors, alliance, as an independent government, based General Assemblies, and Courts; the same electon the proper relations of labor and capital. ors, the same corporations, "the same rules for
This step was taken reluctantly, by constraint, property, the same subordinations, the same and after the exhaustion of every measure that order in the law and the magistracy.” When was likely to secure us from interference with the sovereign States met in council, they, in our property, equality in the Union, or exemp-truth and substance, and in a constitutional tion from submission to an alien government. light, did not make but prevented a revolution. The Southern States claimed only the unrestrict Commencing our new national life under such ed enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the circuinstances, we had a right to expect that we Constitution. Finding, by painful and protracted would be permitted, without molestation, to culexperience, that this was persistently denied, we tivate the arts of peace and vindicate on our determined to separate from those enemies, who chosen arena and with the selected type of social had manifested the inclination and ability to im-characteristics, our claims to civilization. It was poverish and destroy us-we fell back upon the thought, too, by many, that war would not be rights for which the colonies maintained the war resorted to by an enlightened country, except on of the Revolution, and which our heroic fore- the direst necessity. That a people, professing fathers asserted to be clear and inalienable. The to be animated by Christian sentiment, and unanimity and zeal with which the separation, who had regarded our peculiar institution as a was undertaken and perfected, finds no parallel blot and blur upon the fair escutcheon of their in history. The people rose en masse to assert common Christianity, should make war upon the their liberties and to protect their menaced South for doing what they had a perfect right to rights. There never was before such universality do, and for relieving them of the incubus which, of conviction, among any people, on any question they professed, rested upon them by the associainvolving so serious and so thorough a change of tion, was deemed almost beyond belief by many political and international relations.
of our wisest minds. It was hoped, too, that the This grew out of the clearness of the right so obvious interest of the two sections would reto act, and the certainty of the perils of farther strain the wild frenzy of excitement and turn association with the North. The change was so into peaceful channels the thoughts of those who wonderful, so rapid, so contrary to universal his-had but recently been invested with power in tory, that many fail to see that all has been done the United States. in the logical sequence of principles, which are These reasonable anticipations were doomed to the highest testimony to the wisdom of our disappointment. The red glare of battle, kindled fathers, and the best illustration of the correct at Sumter, dissipated all hopes of peace, and the ness of those principles. This Government is a two governments were arrayed in hostility against child of law instead of sedition, of right instead each other. We charge the responsibility of this of violence, of deliberation instead of insurrec-war on the United States. They are accountable • Vol. VIII.-Doc. 25
for the blood and havoc and ruin it has caused. and classes contributed to the swelling numbers. For such a war we were not prepared. The dif- Abandoning luxuries and comforts to which they ference in military resources between our ene had been accustomed, they submitted cheerfully mies and ourselves; the immense advantages to the scanty fare and exactive service of the possessed in the organized machinery of an es- camps. Their services above price, the only retablished government; a powerful navy; the muneration they have sought is the protection of nucleus of an arıny; credit abroad, and illimit their altars, firesides, and liberty. In the Norable facilities in mechanical and manufacturing wegian wars, the actors were, every one of them, power, placed them on “the vantage-ground." named and patronymically described as the king's
In our infancy we were without a seaman or friend and companion. The same wonderful insoldier, without revenue, without gold and sil- dividuality has been seen in this war. Our solver, without a recognized place in the family of diers are not a consolidated mass, an unthinking nations, without external commerce, without for- machine, but an army of intelligent units. eign credit, with the prejudices of the world To designate all who have distinguished theragainst us. While we were without manufac-selves by special valor, would be to enumerate turing facilities to supply our wants, our ports nearly all in the army. The generous rivalry bewere blockaded; we had to grapple with a giant tween the troops from different States has preadversary, defend two thousand miles of sea- vented any special preëminence, and, hereafter, coast and an inland frontier of equal extent. If for centuries to come, the gallant bearing and we had succeeded in preventing any successes on unconquerable devotion of confederate soldiers the part of our enemy, it would have been a mir- will inspire the hearts, and encourage the hopes, acle. What we have accomplished, with a popu- and strengthen the faith of all who labor to oblation so inferior in numbers, and means so vastly tain their freedom. disproportionate, has excited the astonishment For three years this cruel war has been waged and admiration of the world.
against us, and its continuance has been seized The war in which we are engaged was wick- upon as a pretext by some discontented persons edly, and against all our protests, and the most to excite hostility to the government. Recent earnest efforts to the contrary, forced upon us. and public as have been the occurrences, it is South-Carolina sent a commission to Washing- strange that a misapprehension exists as to the ton to adjust all questions of dispute between her conduct of the two governments in reference to and the United States. One of the first acts of peace. the provisional government was to accredit agents Allusion has been made to the unsuccessful to visit Washington, and use all honorable means efforts, when separation took place, to procure to obtain a satisfactory settlement of all questions an amicable adjustment of all matters in dispute. of dispute with that Government. Both efforts These attempts at negotiation do not comprise all failed." Commissioners were deceived and reject that has been done. In every form in which exed, and clandestine but vigorous preparations pression could be given to the sentiment-in pub. were made for war. In proportion to our perse-lic meetings, through the press, by legislative verance and anxiety, have been the obstinacy and resolves--the desire of this people for peace, for arrogance in spurning offers of peace. It seems the uninterrupted enjoyment of their rights and we can be indebted for nothing to the virtues of prosperity, has been made known. The Presiour enemies. We are obliged to his vices, which dent, more authoritatively, in several of his mes. have inured to our strength. We owe as much sages, while protesting the utter absence of all to his insolence and blindness as to our precau- desire to interfere with the United States, or action.
quire any of their territory, has avowed that the The wager of battle having been tendered, it "advent of peace will be hailed with joy. Our was accepted. The alacrity with which our peo- desire for it has never been concealed.Our efple flew to arms is worthy of all praise. Their forts to avoid the war, forced on us as it was by deeds of heroic daring, patient endurance, ready the lust of conquest and the insane passions of submission to discipline, and numerous victories, our foes, are known to mankind." are in keeping with the fervent patriotism that! The course of the Federal Government has prompted their early volunteering. Quite recent proved that it did not desire peace, and would ly scores of regiments have reën isted for the war, not consent to it on any terms that we could postestifying their determination to fight until their sibly concede. In proof of this, we refer to the liberties were achieved. Coupled with and con- repeated rejection of all terms of conciliation and tributing greatly to the enthusiastic ardor, was compromise, to their recent contemptuous refusal the lofty courage, the indomitable resolve, the to receive the Vice-President, who was sent to self-denying spirit of our noble women, who, by negotiate for softening the asperities of war, and their labors of love, their patience of hope, their their scornful rejection of the offer of a neutral unflinching constancy, their uncomplaining sub- power to mediate between the contending parties. mission to the privations of the war, have shed an If cumulative evidence be needed, it can be found immortal lustre upon their sex and country. in the following resolution, recently adopted by
Our army is no hireling soldiery. It comes the House of Representatives in Washington: not from paupers, criminals, or einigrants. It “Resoloed, That as our country and the very was originally raised by the free, unconstrained, existence of the best Government ever institutunpurchasable assent of the men. All vocations led by man are imperilled by the most causeless and wicked rebellion that the world has seen, itures, to seduce, or by its legions of “Hessian" and believing, as we do, that the only hope of mercenaries, to overawe the masses, to control saving this country and preserving this Govern- the elections, and to establish an arbitrary desment is by the power of the sword, we are for potism. It cannot be possible that this state of the most vigorous prosecution of the war until things can continue. the Constitution and the laws shall be enforced The people of the United States, accustomed and obeyed in all parts of the United States; and to freedom, cannot consent to be ruined and ento that end we oppose any armistice, or interven- slaved, in order to ruin and enslave us. Moral, tion, or mediation, or proposition for peace, from like physical, epidemics, have their allotted peany quarter, so long as there shall be found a riods, and must sooner or later be exhausted and rebel in arms against the Government; and we disappear. When reason returns, our enemies ignore all party names, lines, and issues, and re- will probably reflect, that a people like ours, who cognize but two parties in this war-patriots and have exhibited such capabilities, and extemporized traitors."
such resources, can never be subdued ; that a The motive of such strange conduct is obvious. vast expanse of territory, with such a population, The Republican party was founded to destroy cannot be governed as an obedient colony. Vicslavery and the equality of the States, and Lin-tory would not be conquest. The inextinguishcoln was selected as the instrument to accom- able quarrel would be transmitted “from bleedplish this object. The Union was a barrier to ing sire to son," and the struggle would be rethe consummation of this policy, because the newed between generations yet unborn. To Constitution, which was its bond, recognized impoverish us would only be to dry up some of and protected slavery and the sovereignty of the the springs of Northern prosperity to destroy States. The Union must, therefore, be sacrificed, Southern wealth is to reduce Northern profits, and to insure its destruction, war was deter- while the restoration of peace would necessarily mined on.
reëstablish some commercial intercourse. The mass of the Northern people were not It may not be amiss, in this connection, to say privy to, and sympathized in no such design, that at one time it was the wish and expectation They loved the Union and wished to preserve of many at the South to form a treaty of amity it. To rally the people to the support of the war, and friendship with the Northern States, by its object was proclaimed to be "a restoration of which both peoples might derive the benefits of the Union," as if that which implied voluntary commercial intercourse and move on side by side assent, of which agreement was an indispens- in the arts of peace and civilization. History able element and condition, could be preserved has confirmed the lesson taught by divine by coercion.
authority, that each nation, as well as each in'It is absurd to pretend that a government, dividual, should seek their happiness in the prosreally desirous of restoring the Union, would perity of others, and not in the injury or ruin adopt such measures as the confiscation of pri- of a neighbor. The general welfare of all is the vate property, the emancipation of slaves, sys- highest dictate of moral duty and economic politematic efforts to invite them to insurrection, cy, while a heritage of triumphant wrong is the forcible abduction from their homes and com- greatest curse that can befall a nation. pulsory enlistment in the army, the division of a Until some evidence is given of a change of sovereign State without its consent, and a pro- policy on the part of the Government, and some clamation that one tenth of the population of a assurance is received, that efforts at negotiation State, and that tenth under military rule, should will not be spurned, the Congress are of opinion control the will of the remaining nine tenths. that any direct overtures for peace would comThe only relation possible between the two sections promise our self-respect, be fruitless of good, and under such a policy is that of conqueror and con- intepreted by the enemy as an indication of weakquered, superior and dependent. Rest assured, ness. We can only repeat the desire of the peofellow-citizens, that although restoration may ple for peace, and our readiness to accept terms, still be used as a war cry by the Government, it consistent with the honor and integrity and indeis only to delude and betray.
pendence of the States, and compatible with the Fanaticism has summoned to its aid cupidity safety of our domestic institutions, and vengeance; and nothing short of your utter Not content with rejecting all proposals for a subjugation, the destruction of your State gov- peaceful settlement of the controversy, & cruel ernments, the destruction of your social and war of invasion was commenced, which, in its political fabric, your personal and public degra- progress, has been marked by a brutality and dation and ruin, will satisfy the demands of the disregard of the rules of civilized warfare, as North. Can there be a man so vile, so debased, stand out in unexampled barbarity in the history so unworthy of liberty as to accept peace on of modern wars. Accompanied by every act of such humiliating terms ?
cruelty and rapine, the conduct of the enemy It would hardly be fair to assert that all the has been destitute of that forbearance and magNorthern people participate in these designs. nanimity which civilization and Christianity On the contrary, there exists a powerful political have introduced to mitigate the asperities of party, which openly condemns them. The Ad-war. The atrocities are too incredible for narraministration has, however, been able thus far, by tion. Instead of a regular war our resistance of its enormous patronage and its lavish expend- the unholy efforts to crush out our national existence is treated as a rebellion, and the settled On the twenty-fourth June, 1776, one of the reainternational rules between belligerents are ig- sons assigned by Pennsylvania for her sepa. nored.
ration from the mother country was that, in her Instead of conducting the war as betwixt two sister colonies, the “King had excited the nemilitary and political organizations, it is a war groes to revolt” and to imbue their hands in the against the whole population. Houses are pil. blood of their masters, in a manner unpractised laged and burned; churches are defaced ; towns by civilized nations. This, probably had referare ransacked; clothing of women and infants is ence to the proclamation of Dunmore, the last stripped from their persons; jewelry and me- royal Governor of Virginia, in 1775, declaring mentoes of the dead are stolen ; mills and imple- freedom to all servants or negroes, if they would ments of agriculture are destroyed; private salt. join “for the reducing the colony to a proper works are broken up; the introduction of media sense of its duty." cines is forbidden; means of subsistence are The invitation to the slaves to rise against their wantonly wasted to produce beggary ; prisoners masters, the suggested insurrection, caused, says are returned with contagious diseases; the last Bancroft, “a thrill of indignation to run through morsel of food has been taken from families, Virginia, effacing all differences of party, and who are not allowed to carry on a trade or branch rousing one strong, impassioned purpose to drive of industry ; a rigid and offensive espionage has away the insolent power by which it had been been introduced to ferret out “ disloyalty ;" per- put forth.” A contemporary annalist, adverting sons have been forced to choose between starva- to the same proclamation, said: “It was received tion of helpless children and taking the oath of with the greatest horror in all the colonies." allegiance to a hated government.
“The policy adopted by Dunınore," says Law. The cartel for the exchange of prisoners has rence in his notes on Wheaton, “ of arming the been suspended, and our unfortunate soldiers slaves against their masters, was not pursued subjected to the grossest indignities. The during the war of the Revolution ; and when ne. wounded at Gettysburgh were deprived of their goes were taken by the English, they were not nurses and inhumanly left to perish on the field. considered otherwise than as property and planHelpless women have been exposed to the most der." Einancipation of slaves as a war measure cruel outrages and to that dishonor which is in- has been severely condemned and denounced by finitely worse than death. Citizens have been the most eminent publicists in Europe and the murdered by the Butlers and McNeils and Mil- United States. roys, who are favorite generals of our enemies. The United States, “in their diplomatic relaRefined and delicate ladies have been seized, tions, have ever maintained," says the Northern bound with cords, imprisoned, guarded by ne- authority just quoted, “that slaves were private groes, and held as hostages for the return of re- property, and for them, as such, they have recaptured slaves. Unoffending non-combatants peatedly received compensation from England." have been banished or dragged from their homes Napoleon I. was never induced to issue a proclato be immured in filthy jails. Preaching the mation for the emancipation of the serfs in his Gospel has been refused, except on condition of war with Russia. He said: “I could have armed taking the oath of allegiance. Parents have against her a part of her population, by proclaimbeen forbidden to name their children in honoring the liberty of the serfs. A great number of of “rebel" chiefs. Property has been confis- villages asked it of me, but I refused to avail my. cated. Military governors have been appointed self of a measure which would have devoted to for States, satraps for provinces, and Haynaus death thousands of families." In the discussions for cities.
growing out of the treaty of peace of 1814, and These cruelties and atrocities of the enemy the proffered mediation of Russia, the principle have been exceeded by their malicious and blood. was maintained by the United States that “the thirsty purpose and machinations in reference to emancipation of enemy's slaves is not among the the slaves. Early in this war, President Lincoln acts of legitimate warfare." averred his constitutional inability and personal in the instructions from John Quincy Adams, unwillingness to interfere with the domestic in- as Secretary of State, to Mr. Middleton, at Saint stitutions of the States and the relation between Petersburgh, October eighteenth, 1820, it is said: master and servant. Prudential considerations “ The British have broadly asserted the right of may have been veiled under conscientious scru-emancipating slaves (private property) as a legiples. Mr. Seward, in a confidential instruction to timate right of war. No such right is acknow. Mr. Adams, the Minister to Great Britain, on tenth ledged as a law of war by writers who adınit any March, 1862, said: “If the Government of the limitation. The right of putting to death all priUnited States should precipitately decree the im- soners in cold blood, and without special cause, mediate abolition of slavery, it would reïnvigor- might as well be pretended to be a law of war, ate the declining insurrection in every part of or the right to use poisoned weapons, or to assasthe South.”
sinate." Subsequent reverses and the refractory rebel- Disregarding the teachings of the approved liousness of the seceded States caused a change writers on international law and the practice and of policy, and Mr. Lincoln issued his celebrated claims of his own Government in its purer days, proclamation, a mere brutem fulmen, liberating President Lincoln has sought to convert the the slaves in the “insurrectionary districts." South into a St. Domingo, by appealing to the cupidity, lusts, ambition, and ferocity of the the ignominy and poverty of Yankee dominaslave. Abraham Lincoln is but the lineal de- tion. scendant of Dunmore, and the impotent malice The sad story of the wrongs and indignities of each was foiled by the fidelity of those who, endured by those States which have been in the by the meanness of the conspirators, would only, complete or partial possession of the enemy, will if successful, have been seduced into idleness, give the best evidence of the consequences of subfilth, vice, beggary, and death.
jugation. Missouri, a magnificent empire of agriBut we tire of these indignities and enormities.cultural and mineral wealth, is to-day a smoking They are too sickening for recital. History will ruin and the theatre of the most revolting cruel. hereafter pillory those who committed and en- ties and barbarisms. The minions of tyranny couraged such crimes and immortal infamy. consume her substance, plunder her citizens, and
General Robert E. Lee, in a recent battle order, destroy her peace. The sacred rights of freemen stated to his invincible legions, that seeks the are struck down, and the blood of her children, " cruel foe to reduce our fathers and mothers, her maidens, and her old men is made to flow, our wives and children, to abject slavery." He out of mere wantonness and recklessness. No does not paint too strongly the purposes of the whispers of freedom go unpunished, and the very enemy or the consequences of subjugation. What instincts of self-preservation are outlawed. The has been done in certain districts is but the pro-worship of God and the rites of sepulture have logue of the bloody drama that will be enacted. been shamefully interrupted, and, in many inIt is well that every man and woman should have stances, the cultivation of the soil is prohibited some just conception of the horrors of conquest. to her own citizens. These facts are attested by The fate of Ireland at the period of its conquest, many witnesses, and it is but a just tribute to and of Poland, distinctly foreshadows what would that noble and chivalrous people, that, amid barawait us. The guillotine, in its ceaseless work | barities almost unparalleled, they still maintain a of blood, would be revived for the execution of proud and defiant spirit toward their enemies. the “rebel leaders."
In Maryland, the judiciary, made subservient The heroes of our contest would be required to to executive absolutism, furnishes no security for lay down their proud ensigns, on which are re-individual rights or personal freedom; members corded the battle-fields of their glory, to stack of the Legislature are arrested and imprisoned their arms, lower their heads in humiliation and without process of law or assignment of cause, dishonor, and pass under the yoke of abolition and the whole land groaneth under the oppresmisrule and tyranny. A hateful inquisition, sions of a merciless tyranny. made atrocious by spies and informers; star- In Kentucky, the ballot-box has been overchamber courts, enforcing their decisions by thrown, free speech is suppressed, the most vexaconfiscations, imprisonments, banishments, and tious annoyances harass and embitter, and all death ; a band of detectives, ferreting out se- the arts and appliances of an unscrupulous des. crets, lurking in every family, existing in every potism are freely used to prevent the uprising of conveyance; the suppression of free speech; the the noble patriots of “the dark and bloody deprivation of arms and franchises ; and the ever- ground.” Notes of gladness, assurances of a present sense of inferiority would make our con- brighter and better day, reach us, and the exiles dition abject and miserable beyond what freemen may take courage and hope for the future. can imagine. Subjugation involves every thing In Virginia, the model of all that illustrates that the torturing malice and devilish ingenuity human heroism and self-denying patriotism, alof our foes can suggest.
though the tempest of desolation has swept over The destruction of our nationality, the equali- her fair domains, no sign of repentance for her zation of whites and blacks, the obliteration of separation from the North can be found. Her State lines, degradation to colonial vassalage, and old homesteads dismantled, her ancestral relics the reduction of many of our citizens to dreary, destroyed, her people impoverished, her territory hopeless, remediless bondage. A hostile police made the battle-ground for the rude shocks of would keep "order" in every town and city. contending hosts, and then divided, with hireling Judges, like Busteed, would hold our courts, parasites mockingly claiming jurisdiction and au. protected by Yankee soldiers. Churches would thority, the Old Dominion still stands with proud be filled by Yankee or tory preachers. Every crest and defiant mien, ready to tramp beneath office would be bestowed on aliens. Absentee her heel every usurper and tyrant, and to illusism would curse us with all its vices. Superadd- trate afresh her sic semper tyrannis, the " prouded to these, sinking us into a lower abyss of de- est motto that ever blazed on a nation's shield or gradation, we would be made the slaves of our a warrior's arms." slaves, hewers of wood and drawers of water for To prevent such effects, our people are now those upon whom God has stamped indelibly the prosecuting this struggle. It is no mere war of marks of physical and intellectual inferiority. calculation, no contest for a particular kind of The past of foreign countries need not be sought property, no barter of precious blood for filthy unto to furnish illustrations of the heritage of lucre. Every thing involved in manhood, civilishame that subjugation would entail. Baltimore, zation, religion, law, property, country, home, is St. Louis, Nashville, Knoxville, New Orleans, at stake. We fight not for plunder, spoils, pilVicksburgh, Huntsville, Norfolk, Newbern, Lou- lage, territorial conquest. The government isville, and Fredericksburgh are the first fruits of tempts by no prizes of "beauty or booty,” to be