War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0494 THE SECESSION OF LOUISIANA. Chapter VI.

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showed how deeply you were moved by the portents of the times-the threatened destruction of essential rights and most vital interests of the slaveholding States under the forms of a perverted Constitution-and by the absolute duty of seeking at once for the means of self protection. The vote of the people of this State has since confirmed the faith of their representatives in legislative and executive station that the undivided sentiment of the State is for immediate and effective resistance, and that there is not found within her limits any difference of sentiment, except as to minor points of expediency in regard to the manner and time of making such resistance, so as to give it the most imposing form for dignity and success. Our enemies who have driven on their conflict with the slaveholding States to this extremity will have found that throughout the borders of Louisiana we are one people-a people with one heart and one mind, who will not be cajoled into an abandonment of their rights, and who cannot be subdued.

Whatever lingering hopes might have been felt by confiding men of the South that these dissensions would be healed by the voluntary act of the people of the North within the Union, have disappeared under the accumulating proofs that the Northern majority is implacable. No proffer of peace, on any terms, has emanated from them. The propositions tendered by the most moderate-minded and Union-loving statesmen of the South-not as expressing the whole measure of rights to which the Southern people are entitled, but as a project for conciliation to which they might be brought to consent for the old love of Union which was the passion of Southern hearts-have been contumeliously rejected.

The common cry throughout the North is for coercion into submission by force of arms, if need be, of every State, and of all the States in the South, which claim the right of separation, for causes, from a Government which they deem fatal to their safety. There can no longer be doubt of the wisdom of that policy which demands that the conflict shall come, and shall be settled now.

The sovereign people of this State have so decreed; and within a few hours their delegates will meet in convention to put this judgment into a form from which there will be no right and no disposition within the State to appeal. Being executed by a unanimous and willing people, it will be entitled to the respect of the world, and the acquiescence of all powers and authorities whatsoever.

But it has been made apparent by the course of events elsewhere, by the intentions of those having authority in the Federal Government, as developed in their treatment of other States which occupy the same relation towards these questions as Louisiana, that this right of independent action will be obstructed by force. The hostile occupation of Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, for the purpose of overawing the State of South Carolina, subduing her to the will of the Federal authorities, and collecting taxes from the people by force, is one glaring example of the modes by which a Southern State may be subjected to duress. The baffled attempts to re-enforce that fort are of the same character of aggressive purpose as the subsequent occupation of Fort Pickens, in the harbor of Pensacola, in order to keep the State of Florida in forced connection with a repudiated Government. At the same time that these acts of extraordinary rigor in aggression are practiced toward the South, the Northern populace of Pennsylvania are permitted to defeat the action of the Federal authorities at Pittsburgh, by forbidding the transmission of the public property to its designated points in the South, on the grounds of hostility to the South, to which dictation the intimidated authorities succumbed.