circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation. "
He has endeavored to excite domestic insurrections amongst us by proposing to put arms in the hands of our slaves, and thereby encourage them to an "undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions. "
He has violated laws human and divine to gratify his passions, to glut his prejudices, and to wreak his vengeance upon a people who ask only their rights, and who are struggling to preserve their liberties. Can a Government conducted upon such principles endure?
In every stage of these oppressions, attempted of consummated prior to the secession of the State, we warmed President Lincoln and the Northern people of the inevitable consequences of their course, and admonished them that if justice were not accorded to us the Union must be dissolved. In every stage of these oppressions since the secession of the State we have resisted them as became a free people asserting independence. Our admonitions and resistance have been answered by repeated injury and oppression, aggravated by war and bloodshed, and by the assumption and exercise of power which even an autocrat would hesitate to assume and exercise.
A President "whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. "
I have thus presented-
First. The considerations that influenced and controlled the action reason to apprehend, and which are now matters of history, stamped indelibly upon its PAGEs. In these I enumerate his repeated violations of a Constitution which he had solemnly sworn to support.
Third. I have run a parallel between the conduct of President Lincoln and George III, and have demonstrated that the former has shown himself not less a tyrant and usurper than the latter.
The Constitution of the United States had no binding efficacy upon us since the 17th day of April last. On that day we repudiated it, and declared to the world that we would not be longer bound by its provisions. From that day Virginia dates a new era. Her own constitution, her laws, and her ordinances constituted the rule for her guidance from that day forward until her union which the Confederate States was consummated. While she occupied a position as an independent State she deported herself with a grace and dignity that became "the Mother of States," and after her union with the Confederate Government she fulfilled her obligations faithfully in her new relation.
The occurrences of the past nine months have demonstrated conclusively that we cannot live together as equals under the Government of the United States; and the habitual violation of the provisions of the Constitution and the open disregard of the laws by President Lincoln and his officials render governmental associations between us impossible. Mutual respect between the citizens of the Southern Confederacy and those of the North has ceased to exist. Mutual confidence has been succeeded by mutual distrust, and mutual good will by mutual aversion. No government can be enduring which does not possess the affection and respect of the governed. It cannot be that the people of the Confederate States can again entertain a feeling of