grows more deadly the longer it is put off, and will give us the advantage of your assistance, yet leave you in an attitude justifiable personally and officially, for you will be doing no more than asserting the right of your State to be free from the passage of hostile armies who entered your territory to assist and to protect you against alleged trespass, and who propose to finish by assailing peaceable neighbors of yours on the other side of you against your will, making your home meanwhile their magazine of arms and the hospital for their sick and wounded and converting all they have to their own use.
If you complain, they will tell you that the price of that assistance they have afforded is a license to them to enslave you and to appropriate all you possess to their own use.
The story is an old one; the moral stale. If Kentucky cannot be brought to the point of resistance by this route, provided you will lead off upon it, she will not raise at all. Her sons are now the wonder of the rest of the Southern people. Their love of gold, their disinclination to resent plain usurpations of the inestimable rights has already forfeited the name the State once bore, and has brought my own mind to ponder whether they are fit to be free, and whether Abe Lincoln is not the representative of the type of man who ought to govern them. Oh shame, shame, on such abasement. It makes me weep tears of bitter anguish to see Kentucky, my home, my mother, thus degraded. Her sons do not seem to understand how they have fallen. I had rather die at the stake tortured by my enemies than bear such torture as this. You cannot conceive how painful it is to me, and I implore you to embrace this opportunity, which the change in the state of your affairs now presents, to burst the gyves which are now on Kentucky.
Have you ever asked yourself in the past six months whether you are indeed the Chief Magistrate of a free people? Whether Kentuckians still enjoy the political and constitutional rights to which they are born? Have you asked yourself what figure you will cut in history when it shall be recorded that in your administration, for the first time in her whole career, Kentucky lost her name and that fame which was won for her by chivalric sons in palmier days? That under your lead she passed under an ignominious servitude to a junta of unworthy sons, leagued to an ignorant but audacious upstart, who happened to represent a faction bent upon the vandal effort to destroy the finest temple of constitutional [liberty] ever erected upon the shores of time? That during your administration Kentucky was not only shorn of her sovereignty, but was robbed of her children without fault on her part or theirs? Her citizens insulted, abducted, exiled, betrayed, sold, and conveyed for Federal gold and for the paltriest Federal office? And you were so paralyzed from some cause the executive record shows no trace of a public remonstrance by you "against the deep damnation of their taking off?
Have you not yet drunk this cup to the lees? Are there no brave hearts and stalwart arms left among you who will cleave their way to the grave, if necessary, to escape this ignominious bondage?
I have done what I could do so far. I mean to do all I can hereafter to relieve the State. I am on her border. I invite the help of her sons. I hail every one as my comrade, my friend, my brother, who comes ready to devote himself to the great cause of liberating Kentucky from the pollution of Lincolnism and of rekindling upon her altars the vestal fires of constitutional liberty.
If he comes only for a passage through my military lines to look after