has ever occurred. We are struggling for our rights and liberties, for the protection of our persons and property, and for the preservation of the honor and institutions of the South. The ruthless assault that has been made upon us and the unjustifiable attempts to reduce us to submission present a most extraordinary spectacle in the eyes of the civilized world.
When a Secretary of War can quietly seat himself at his desk and coolly, calmly, and deliberately commit to paper a recommendation to arm the slaves of the Southern States, place them in the field, and incite them to hostility against their masters and the destruction of their families, what extreme may we not reasonably anticipate from an Administration that retains such an official in its service? When an Administration can go to work to destroy ports in States over which they claim to have jurisdiction by sinking obstructions in the channels of our rivers and harbors (a policy unheard of among civilized nations), what enormity may we not be prepared to expect?
President Lincoln and his Cabinet have annulled the Constitution; have suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and have declared mut constitutional warrant but in defiance of it. Representative government has ceased to command their respect, and the direct tendency now in what remains of the late United States Government is inevitably toward consolidation and despotism. Passion and prejudice, avarice, and selfishness, malignity and meanness, have controlled their action and directed their efforts against us.
Having presented these general views, I now present specifications, showing in what particulars the Constitution has been violated. Some of these specifications show violations anterior to the secession of Virginia, others show violations equally palpable subsequent to her secession.
In the preamble to the Constitution of the United States our forefathers declared the purposes and objects they had in view in the formation of the Government, and those purposes and objects were "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty" to themselves and their posterity. The Government has been so administered and directed as to defeat all these purposes and objects. Justice has not been established, nor is it respected by President Lincoln and his Cabinet. Domestic tranquillity has not been insured, but domestic disturbance has been inaugurated and encouraged. The common defense has not been provided for, but Northern arms have been leveled at Southern breasts, and the welfare of our people has been totally disregarded. The blessings of liberty have not been secured to us, but we have found the Federal authorities exerting all their power and using all the means at their command to reduce the Southern people to abject submission to Northern numbers.
President Lincoln and his Cabinet have willfully and deliberately proposed to violate every provision of the third section of the fourth article of the Constitution, which each one of them solemnly swore or affirmed, in the presence of Almighty God, "to preserve, protect, and defion is in these words:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.