That Constitution is not the one one we left. In addition to the changes it has undergone, by corrupt and violent interpretation by Black Republican judges, its wording has been so changed as to decree immediately and forever the abolition of slavery. The "laws," to whose tender mercies we are referred, provide most minutes and particularly for the punishment of death, by the halter of every man, soldier, sailor or marine civilans and others, who have been engaged in that they term rebellion. Not ceasing to punish with the death of the offender, the "laws" of the United States also provide that all his property, real and personal, shall be confiscated. The only mitigation of the rigor threatened by these lain Mr. Lincoln's proclamation accompanying his annual message in December, 1863, in which he proposes to hang only those above the rank of colonel in the Army and lieutenant in the Navy, and all civil and diplomate officers or agents of the Confederate Government, and various other classes therein specicfied, coupled with a vague intimation to our commissioners, in their recent interview, that whilst we must prepare to accept all the pains and penalties of the laws, we might rely on a liberal use of the pardoning power vested in him. He also informs us that the terms set forth in his recent message of December last, wherein he re-endorses the above mentioned proclamation, will be rigidly adhered to. Now then, we can sum, up in some sort the consequences of our submission: Four million slaves, 200,000 of whom have been in arms against us, turned loose at once in our midst; our lands confiscated and sold out to pay the cost of our subjugation, or parceled among negro soldiers as the reward of the slaughther of their masters; our women, children, and old men reduced to beggary, and driven from their once happy homes; our mutilated and disead soldiers, starving in rags from door to door, spurned by even pensioned negro soldiers, whilst the gallows grows weary under the burden of wiset statesmen and bravest defenders, to say nothing of universal financial ruin and the intolerable oppression of a rapacious and vindictive foe, in the hour of conquest. Great God!
Is there a man in all this honorable, high spirited, and noble Commonwealth so steeped in every conceivable meanness, so blackened with all the guilt of treason, or so damned with all the leprosy of cowardice as to say: Yes, we will submit to all this; and whilst there yet remains half a milion men amongst us able to resist. And who says the enemy will give us anything better? Not Mr. Lincoln; and do the weak and vacilating among us know better than he does what he will do for us? Having, made, therefore, a fair and honest effort to obtain peace by negotiation, and knowing now presicely, from the lips of the President of the United States, what we are to expect, what are we to do next? There is only one thing left for us to do. We must fight, my countrymen, to the last extremity, or submit voluntarily to our own depredation. Let no man mistake the issue now. The line of distinction will be drawn plainly between those who are for their country and those who are against their country. There is no half-way house upon the road. The purifying fire is even now during throughout the land, and its consuming flames must separate the dross from the true metal. Degration, ruin, and dishonor on the one hand; liberty, independence, and honor, if our souls be strong, on the other. It is not worth another honest and manly effort? Aye, another, and another, and another, and a thousand efforts of our whole people. As North Carolians, descendants of Revolutionary heroes, and rathers and brothers of the noblest dead and living soldiers that ever drew a blade for human freedom, we cannot tolerate the throught of such base and