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and other States, under the name of United States, is hereby dissolved; and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State."
January 26, Louisiana, in convention, declared herself a free and sovereign republic by ordinance of secession.
On February 1, Texas, in convention, passed a secession ordinance, by 166 against 7, which was indorsed by the popular vote, February 23.
And the natural result followed that all the world will have reason to deplore. The movement spread.
“ The action of the frontier slave States had all along been on the side of moderation. Statistics prove that their citizens are more intelligent, and history shows they have been always more moderate and conservative in politics: despising the fast notions and mobocracy of the North on the one hand, and the fire-eating and filibustering doctrines of the South on the other.
“On February 4th the convention of the seceding States met at Montgomery, Alabama; and on the 7th the legislature of the State lent them $500,000. Ten delegates from Georgia, nine from Alabama, eight from South Carolina, six from
Louisiana, six from Mississippi, three from Florida signed the roll. On the 9th J. Davis was elected President, and the constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederated States of America was issued.” Mr. Ellison thus comments upon it :“ The object is twofold. 1. To blind the world as to the real intentions of the Southern Confederacy; and 2. To give a sop to the border States, whose only inducement to retain the institution of slavery is the profit derived from the supply of Southern labour, which external slave trade would destroy. So Virginia and Co. are first coaxed, by being assured they shall have the exclusive privilege of negro breeding if they join, and threatened if they do not; the Congress may exclude importation of slaves from States not joining.” The threat is empty, as there are no slaves to import from the nonjoining States, and the coaxing unnecessary, as the absolute destruction of all property in slaves, which is the watchword of the North, would of course ruin all the slaveholding proprietors in the frontier States; so it was not difficult to prognosticate which side they would take. They all joined the Confederates, and on Mr. Ellison's own showing: “ They went to work quietly and business-like, and in the choice of their national leaders shunned the blustering and blundering orators of the Palmetto State.” Why, Mr. Ellison, you told us nine pages back they were forced by the rashness of the Palmetto State.
On February 18th Davis issued his address. (See Appendix I.) He hoped the beginning of their career as a separate Confederacy would not be obstructed by hostile opposition, but if such were the case they were prepared to meet the emergency, and maintain by the final arbitrament of the sword the position they assumed among the nations of the earth.
Is it their fault they were compelled to this issue, and has not the appeal to the people been answered to the very letter?
On February 8th, 1861, articles were drawn up by the Confederated States. On this dead-lock, as it were, various compromises were offered, but none with any effect. The most promising was the convention held under the presidency of the venerable ex-President Tyler, on the 4th February. The opinion of Mr. Ellison on the conduct of his opponents is thus expressed :
“Of the seceding States Georgia expressed her willingness to abide by the decision of the conference, but South Carolina, with her usual amount of fire-eating folly and contemptuous fanaticism, flatly refused to have anything to do with the proceeding. The separation, she alleged, • from the Union was final, and she had no further interest in the constitution.'”* And upon the basis of Mr. Ellison's own statement, that Lincoln and his Government never for a moment contemplated allowing her to retire, her action was not only justifiable but imperative in self-defence.
And his arguments against them are these :
Mr. Ellison thinks “ the South would not be benefited by secession. The security of the slaveowners' property would be considerably lessened. There would be no fugitive slave law acknowledged by the North. The underground railroad, now only a secret association supported by a few anti-slavery enthusiasts, in defiance of Federal law, would become a national institution, and the passengers, now numbered by units would be counted by thousands. This would breed ill-feeling between the two Confederacies, the probable result would be war, and the certain effects— defeat of the South—and a further negro stampede.” Why this is the very result the South have seceded to avoid, and they may be trusted to seeure their property themselves. “ 2. The geographical extent of the two sections would be pretty nearly equal. The free States, hemmed in by Canada on the north and the slave Confederacy of the south, would have no room for expansion ; and should the South Confederacy attempt to extend its empire the movement would be opposed by the North. The retention of the balance would be a constant theme of debate, if not of strife. The sickly republics of Central America would be protected by England and France, and Cuba be lost for ever to the South.” A pretty argument for Englishmen to read as a reason why the South should not assert their independence !
* Ellison, p. 135.
Foremost amongst the obstacles to freedom is the money question. No emancipation can be entertained by even the least conservative slave State, which does not in some way provide compensation. Of $2,936,090,737 real and personal estate in 1850 more than half was the value of slaves at $500 per head. Since then slave property has increased 100 per cent., and the number is now four millions. So that to pay would require $3,000,000,000 or £660,000,000. It is palpable, therefore, that to confiscate all this property is impossible, and the compensation equally so. Governor