War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0744 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Confederate States of America for the recognition of this government and the admission of this State into said Confederacy upon an equal footing with the other States composing it. * The action of the people of this State in thus organizing a provisional government for the protection of their rights of person and property was based, as a necessity, upon the ultimate right of revolution possessed by all mankind against perfidious and despotic governments. A faction which may be called the war party of Kentucky, composed of most of the members of the last Congress and a minority of the Legislature, after surrounding themselves with an army of 8,000 Lincoln troops, forced a majority of their own body into caucus, and there concocted, and afterward enacted in the Legislature, against the vetoes of the Governor and the remonstrances of the minority of the Senate and House of Representatives, a series of oppressive and despotic acts, which have left us no alternative except abject submission or manly resistance. The constitutional right of secession by the State with organized government from the ruins of the old Union was to possible, because the power of adopting such manly and philosophic action was denied us by the enslaved members of the Legislature, who not only submitted themselves to the despotism of the army, but betrayed their political opponents, who relied upon their honor, and their constituents and the great body of the people of Kentucky, who relied upon their pledges of neutrality. secession being thus impossible, we were compelled to plant ourselves on a doctrine universally recognized by all nations-that allegiance is due alone to such governments as protect society, and upon that right, which God himself has given to mankind, and which is inalienable, the right to destroy any government whose existence is incompatible with the interests ad liberty of society. The foundation, therefore, upon which the provisional government rests is a right of revolution, instituted by the people for the preservation of the liberty, the interests, and the honor of a vast majority of the citizens of Kentucky.

Our justification before the world for a resort to this ultimate right of revolution depends upon the facts constituting the necessity of this exercise. These facts will be placed before you by our commissioners, and to these facts we fearlessly invite your attention and that of the great Government over which you preside. We considered our constitutional liberty and our personal honor worth more than life or property, and we have confidently staked them both upon the issue. It is believed that the Confederate States of America will not refuse admission to a State whose sympathies and whose interests are identical with their own, and whose geographical position is so important to the Confederacy, merely because we have been unfortunately deprived of that right of constitutional secession which was so fortunately possessed and so legitimately exercised by themselves. There is no incompatibility between the right of secession by a State and the ultimate right of revolution by the people. The one is a civil right, founded upon the Constitution; the other is a natural right, resting upon the law of God. Mississippi legitimately exercised the right of secession for the preservation of her constitutional liberty. But if the State of Mississippi had corruptly refused to discharge her duty, and treacherously made herself a part of the Northern despotism which threatened the liberties of her people, would any philosophy deny to her citizens the right of revolution, or any theory refuse her protection and admisConfederate States?


*See November 20, p. 741.