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BY J O E L P A R K E R.
O' A M B R ID G E : WELCH, B I G E LOW, AND COMPANY.,
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
1 8 6 2.
THE REBELLION AND THE WAR.
[From the North American Review, for October, 1862.]
1. An Ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the Compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America,” passed unanimously at 1.15 o'clock, P. M., December 20, 1860. Charleston Mercury Extra. 2. Message of PRESIDENT DAVIS. National Intelligencer, May 7, 1861. 3. Speech of Hon. J. A. McDougALL, of California, on the Confiscation of Property, delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 12, 1862. Washington. 1862. 4. The Prayer of Twenty Millions. Letter from HoRACE GREELEY to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. New York Tribune, August 20, 1862. 5. Letter from PRESIDENT LINcoLN to Horace Greeley. New York Tribune, August 23, 1862.
WE have placed the title of the Ordinance of Secession by the Convention of South Carolina at the head of this article, not only because it was the first in time, but also because it shows the form and manner in which it has been supposed that secession was to be accomplished. For this last reason, as it is very brief, we copy it entire, in these words, to wit: —
“We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, –
“That the ordinance ordained by us in convention on the 23d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States under the name of ‘The United States of America’ is hereby dissolved.”
It will be observed that it appears as a simple repeal, or attempt to repeal, the ordinance by which the people of the State adopted the Constitution of the United States, thereby uniting with the people of the other States in the establishment of a general government over the whole. This attempt to repeal an act which is in its very nature irrepealable has been followed substantially in the other seceding States, with such difference of formula as the difference of circumstances under which they entered into the Union required. We shall have occasion to note hereafter, on the supposition that the repeal could be legally and constitutionally operative, that some of the important incidents and consequences which have been claimed as attaching to it are but mere unjust demands and exactions upon the United States.
That part of the Message of Jefferson Davis to the Confederate Congress which relates to, and endeavors to explain and assert the legal validity of, the so-called right of secession, we reviewed, in an article on that subject, in our number for April, 1861. We recur to the Message for the purpose of examining the reasons which are supposed to justify the actual secession, arising from wrongs and grievances on the part of the United States prior thereto. Those reasons are set forth at large in an extract from the document in the article just mentioned. This Message to the Confederate Congress was designed to sum up in plausible phraseology the particulars