It is indeed philosophic and true that a State should exercise the right of peaceful secession for the preservation of the rights and institutions of its people, but it is neither philosophic nor true that because a people are deprived by a perfidious State government of the power of secession they, therefore, have no right to maintain their liberty and their honor by revolution. The admiration of mankind may be excited by a State firmly maintaining the rights of its people, but the manly determination of a people to vindicate their own liberties at the hazard of life and fortune against the despotic Government of the North, and against the power and resources of a base and perfidious State government, is not less noble and praiseworthy.
The provisional government of Kentucky is now the index of an almost universal sentiment in the State in favor of a permanent connection with the Confederate States and the history of the last year, attentively studied, will demonstrate the truth of this assertion, even to a stranger. Since the election of Abraham Lincoln-with the exception of a few thousand emancipators and abolitionists-the State of Kentucky has been divided into only two parties, the States Right party and the Union party. It will be unnecessary to do more than assert that the States Right party were all and at all times in favor of a connection with the South, for all candid men will admit it. The first position assumed by the Union party after the Presidential election embraced these ideas: First, the preservation of the Union; secondly, the protection of Southern institutions by amendments of the Constitution; third, opposition to coercion of the South by arms, and fourth, a continued connection and common destiny with the South. At this period the Union party would not have stood one day if the leaders had dared to avow themselves in favor of North sentiment or an ultimate connection with the North in the event of a permanent dissolution of the Union. After the failure of the Peace Conference, in consequence of the refusal of the Abolitionists to vote amendments to the Constitution for the protection of Southern property, the Union leaders still avowed themselves opposed to the coercion of the South; but they now advanced the idea of neutrality, and peace for Kentucky during the war, and declared themselves in favor of an ultimate connection of the State with the South by a vote of the people. Thus, after the refusal of their Abolition allies to give constitutional protection to Southern property, we have again a confession of the "Union leaders" embodied in their creed, that their party was in favor of an ultimate connection of the State with the South. This was the party creed at the last election in Kentucky, when members of Congress and members of the State Legislature were chosen.
The final change in the Union party was now near at hand. The President and his councilors refused to respect the neutrality of Kentucky, and determined to organize a force in Kentucky to hold the State and to pass over its territory to strike a blow at the heart of the Southern Confederacy. Congress met, the Union medisguise, and voted supplies of men and money for the war. The indignation of the whole State was excited. The people were aroused, and their denunciations of the war tax and enlistments for the North were violent and extreme. The members of Congress were now secretly engaged in introducing and organizing an army. The leaders of the Union party now clearly perceived that they must shield themselves by an army from the indignation of the people. This idea was soon impressed upon those members of the Legislature who were really in favor of an honest neutrality of Kentucky. They met in caucus and soon determined to protect themselves with the army; overawe