highly important a full and frank conference on the part of the Southern members, identified, as they undoubtedly are, by a common interest, bound together by mutual sympathies, and with the whole social fabric resting on homogenous institutions. And coming as you do in a spirit of fraternity, by virtue of a commission from a sister Souther States, to confer with the authorities of this State in reference to the measures necessary to be adopted to protect the interests and maintain the honor and safety of the States and their citizens, I extend you a cordial welcome to Kentucky.
You have not exaggerated the grievous wrongs, injuries, and indignities to which the slave-holding States and their citizens have long submitted with a degree of patience and forbearance justly attributable alone to that elevated patriotism and devotion to the Union which would lead them to sacrifice well-nigh all save honor to recover the Government to its original integrity of administration and perpetuate the Union upon the basis of equality established by the founders of the Republic. I may even add that the people of Kentucky, by reason of their geographical position and nearer proximity to those who seem so madly bent upon the destruction of our constitutional guarantees, realize yet more fully than our friends farther south the intolerable wrongs and menacing dangers you have so elaborately recounted. Nor are you, in my opinion, more keenly alive than are the people of this State to the importance of arresting the insane crusade so long waged against our institutions and our society by measures which shall be certainly effective. The rights of African slavery in the United States and the relations of the Federal Government to it, as an institution in the States and Territories, most assuredly demand at this time explicit definition and final recognition by the North. The slave-holding States are now impelled by the very highest law of self-preservation to demand that this settlement should be concluded upon such a basis as shall not only conserve the institution in localities where it is now recognized, but secure its expansion, under no other restrictions than those which the laws of nature may throw around it. That unnecessary conflict between free labor and slave labor, but recently inaugurated by the Republican party as an element in our political struggles, must end, and the influence of soil, of climate, and local interests left unaided and unrestricted save by constitutional limitations to control the extension of slavery over the public domain. The war upon our social institutions and their guaranteed immunities waged through the Northern press, religious and secular, and now threatened to be conducted by a dominant political organization through the agency of State Legislatures and the Federal Government must be ended. Our safety, our honor, and our self preservation alike demand that our interests be placed beyond the reach of further assault.
The people of Kentucky may differ variously touching the nature and theory of our complex system of government, but when called upon to pass upon these questions as the polls I think such an expression would develop no material variance of sentiment touching the wrongs you recite and the necessity of their prompt adjustment. They fully realize the fatal result of longer forbearance, and appreciate the peril of submission at this juncture. Kentucky would leave no effort untried to preserve the union of the States upon the basis of the Constitution as we construe it, but Kentucky will never submit to wrong and dishonor, let resistance cost what it may. Unqualified acquiescence in the administration of the Government upon the Chicago