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Living Confederate Principles by Lloyd Tilghman Everett

Lloyd Tilghman Everett

A Heritage for All Time. 

(An address delivered by Lloyd T. Everett, of Washington Gamp, No. 305, S. C. V., at the reception by the Camp to the Confederate veterans of Washington, D. C, and vicinity, February 10, 1914. Revised.) 

Copyright 1915, by Lloyd T. Everett. 

Mr. Commandant, Mr. Toastmaster, Veterans and Comrades: 

We often hear it said that the glory of the Confederate soldier is imperishable and immortal; that his valor and devotion to duty have won for him a name and a fame that shall never die. 

That is true. History shows us no equal to the splendid blend of physical and moral courage and long sustained fortitude of the half starved legions of Lee — certainly no superior. And while, to use a homely phrase, every tub must stand upon its own bottom; English while each man must win for himself, by his own worth, his standing in the community, yet I prize as a priceless treasure the proud fact that I am the son of a Confederate soldier. Nor is this merely a matter of pride or of accidental honor to me. It is a very real incentive to look well to my own course and conduct in order that I may hand on untarnished the shining legacy that was bequeathed to me. 

"Duty is the sublimest word in the English language," is a maxim that has been widely credited to our peerless Lee, although incorrectly so according to respectable authority. (1) But, in any event, the sentiment is well worthy of General Lee, whose own life, public and private, was a superb illustration of the truth of the sublime epigram. And so, unswerving and unfaltering devotion to duty is the glorious heritage which we Sons of Confederate Veterans, as sons of Confederate veterans, have acquired by reason of our lineage. 

But it is not of the courage, valor and endurance of the Confederate soldier that I wish particularly to speak on this occasion. Those cardinal virtues of Dixie's defenders have been extolled a thousand times over by tongues more fluent than mine. Nor is it my purpose to vindicate the course of the peoples of the Southern States in asserting, and striving at all costs to maintain their independence under the exigencies of the particular crisis of 1860-61. The world is already coming to know, as we have always known, that we need no such vindication — that our open record is its own vindication. 

No: it is another phase of what. we may call the Confederate subject which I wish here to discuss; a phase which, it seems to me, has been too little featured and, I fear, too little recognized, even by our own chroniclers and advocates. And yet, to my mind, upon the general recognition of it depends the true progress of our own people; nay, of free government, and hence of civilization itself. And that phase or aspect of the general subject is this: The absolute soundness of the principles upon which the Southern Confederacy was bottomed; not merely the rightfulness of our stand for political independence under the peculiar circumstances of that time, but the everlasting verity of the political and institutional ideals underlying our action; ideals vital and essential to all ages and climes as a goal toward which to press, if the world is to have true liberty with progress. 

For our Confederate war — our second war for independence. Stonewall Jackson called it (2) — was not a mere abortive revolution. We of the Southern States stood for great and fundamental principles of government; principles that meant, and that still mean much for the advancement of free institutions and of human happiness. 

And, just as the valor of the Confederate soldier and the untold heroism of the Confederate woman are immortal, so, with this larger view of the subject in mind, I take a theme for consideration here, and name it LIVING CONFEDERATE PRINCIPLES : a Heritage for all Time. 

The present is a time of peace and good will, of broad and tolerant sentiment, of generous breadth of view; in a word, it is an era of good feeling between the various sections of these United States. 

Just now there is rolling past us the semicentenary of the War for Southern Independence — the "Civil War" — the War between the States or the sections — the "War of the Rebellion" (whether by the North or the South, we need not here inquire) — call it what one will everyone knows to what we here refer; that mighty clash of arms which to many of us is still most commonly referred to as, simply, The War. On every hand, to judge from the news-papers, are daily evidences of amity and cordiality between the Grey and the Blue; of honor accorded brave men by brave men. And in July, 1913, at Gettysburg, there was formally and finally buried — let us see, was it the twenty-seventh time, or the hundred and twenty-seventh time, since the war with Spain? — "the last vestige of sectionalism." And when I see and hear all this, I am glad. For then I may claim the right to a respectful hearing on my chosen theme, even though certain views I hold regarding The War, its causes, its conduct and its consequences, may differ widely from those prevalent in the North, and even from those sometimes found in the South. 

Nor is this era of good feeling confined to America. Just now a son of Virginia and of a Confederate veteran sits in the White House, and a grandson of Virginia is the premier of the cabinet. From these two men of Southern stock now at the helm of the ship of state, has gone forth to all the world the message from this mighty nation, Peace on earth, good will to men; not good will to men on earth from God in Heaven, as on that Christmas morn nineteen centuries ago, but peace on earth from men to men — in truth, a clarion call from a strong nation to the other nations of the earth, strong and weak alike; a call to these other nations to recognize as never before the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God, as it is sometimes expressed. Under the Bryan Peace plan, if adopted, a long step forward will have been taken toward that happy era when "the shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks ; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (3) 

This means a turning from the forum of force to the rule of reason; a substitution of calm argument or impartial arbitration for the dread arbitrament of war. Yea, veterans and descendants of the Grey, it means a turning from the principles and practices of Lincoln and the North; it means the coming triumph of the underlying principles of the Confederate States of America. 

I know that it is often said that the Southern States appealed to the sword, in their controversy with the Northern States. I am here to challenge that allegation; The to absolutely deny its truth. And I can prove my contention from the record, and prove it to the verge of demonstration. That record shows that the South did not choose the arbitrament of the sword; it does show that she resorted to secession as the last hope of PEACE WITH HONOR. 

Ours is pre-eminently a race of peace and progress through the channels of self-government. The history of our ancestors for a thousand years and more will sustain the truth of this claim. True, it is a history of internecine war, often, but largely so because it is the life story of men, and of many generations of men, who prized peace and order so highly that they were ever ready, if need be, to fight for it. Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Petition of Right, the Revolution of 1688, the Act of Settlement — these are some of the monuments that mark the achievements of this orderly yet militant race. And these men laid the corner-stone of their structure in local self-government, as the truest safeguard for an oppressed minority, and thus the surest bulwark for political liberty itself. Yes, local self-government, or home rule, is of the very warp and woof of our institutions. 

These salutary political principles, these racial characteristics, were transplanted also to the kindly soil of the New World when a greater Britain was planted here. 

It was in support of these principles that our Revolutionary sires protested against the unconstitutional stamp acts and similar taxation measures of England oppressive of the American minority, in the efforts of the mother country to recuperate for the expenses of the French and Indian war. At first, they sought a peaceable remedy in the form of remonstrances, resolutions and the like. When they found that these availed them not, they then reluctantly accepted the gauge of battle flung in their faces by their haughty oppressors across the seas. Even after actual war was raging, these American patriots of British stock still indulged the fatuous dream of an unbroken British union, and sought to wage their fight under the British crown and, as nearly as possible, under the British flag. (4) As himself afterward declared, George Washington, when he took command of the rebel forces under authority from the Continental Congress, ''abhorred the idea of independence.'' (5) 

But the logic of events soon brought forth the instrument officially entitled ''The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America." (6) (And, by the way, Declaration is written with a big D, united States with a little u and a capital S.) This immortal declaration laid down the fundamental doctrine that: 

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." 

This, our first war for independence, was successful. About the close of it these thirteen independent republics formed a closer union among themselves, under what was known as the Articles of Confederation. This becoming unsatisfactory after a very few years, most of the constituent States seceded (which at the time was denounced by a few as unconstitutional and a breach of faith — 7), and these seceding States, eleven in number, formed a new union under the federal constitution that was framed in 1787 and went into operation between these eleven States March 4, 1789. Afterward the two remaining States of the old union, North Carolina and Rhode Island, also acceded to the new instrument. 

As is well known, this new union was regarded with great jealousy, and scrutinized very closely by a number of the Continental fathers, the immortal Patrick Henry, the firebrand of the Revolution, and George Mason, author of the great Bill of Rights of Virginia, among the number. As just seen, political independence from the despotic central power of Britain had been gained by the assertion and maintenance of the right to change oppressive governments. But this struggle was won by force of arms and at the cost of much bloodshed; and the principle of the right to alter oppressive governments thus asserted in the Declaration of Independence might be construed, it was feared, to mean merely the right of revolution, and so the people of some of the United States, if thereafter oppressed by the central government to be created under the new constitution, might be left the right of separation, in self-defense, only by force of arms. And thus we would have progressed no whither in our supposed upward and onward march in the path of just and orderly self-government. Wherefore, several of the States — Virginia, New York and Rhode Island — in acceding to the new constitution; expressly reserved the right to peaceably withdraw or secede, should they thereafter find it necessary to their happiness to do so. (8) 

This was an important advance in self-government, and a further safeguard for the minority. The protection of the minority, be it remembered, was a primary object in the framing of the federal constitution, as stated at the time by James Madison, who is called the Father of the Constitution. 

In the Virginian convention that ratified the constitution of the United States, delegate James Madison declared: (9) 

"But, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence and abuse of power by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions which, in republics, have more frequently than any other cause produced despotism. . . . If we consider the peculiar situation of the United States, and what are the sources of that diversity of sentiment which pervades its [sic] inhabitants, we shall find great danger to fear that the same causes may terminate here in the same fatal effects which they produced in those republics. This danger ought to be wisely guarded against." 

Madison advocated the adoption of the constitution as affording the needed protection to the minority. 

Remember that: the constitution of the United States was framed and adopted, the union of the States thereunder was formed, for the peaceable protection of the Coercion minority against the oppressions of the majority. And mark this: it was proposed by some to embody in the constitution a power to coerce States that might refuse to obey the laws of Congress. Madison (still the father of the constitution) said that this would mean war; and the proposal was voted down. (10) 

Well, time went on. Sectional differences and jealousies speedily developed between the Southern and the Northern States. Under Jefferson, a Southern President, the great transMississippi territory of Louisiana was bought from Napoleon, in 1803; and thereby the area of the United States was approximately doubled. New England thought that this would strengthen the South at the expense of the North. Accordingly, New England threatened secession. (11) 

New England was at this time a commercial or sea-faring country, and had as yet few manufactures. The Embargo law of Jefferson's second administration was unpopular in this sea-trading New England, and again loud mutterings of secessionist purposes were heard up there. (12) The State of Louisiana was admitted in 1812, despite the celebrated threat of Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts, on the floor of Congress in 1811, that such admission of a new Southern State from a part of the Louisiana purchase would constitute adequate cause for secession by some of the Northern States, "amicably if they can, violently if they must." (13) 

But conditions soon changed. The war of 1812 cut us off from Europe, whence we had theretofore obtained most of our manufactured goods; and New England, her sea-trade interrupted by the war, with commendable energy and enterprise now began to manufacture. During this war the famous Hartford Convention, of New England, met, with a large sized list toward secession. (14) After the war New England and the North generally began to find the union a good thing for them; it furnished a free market — the Southern States — for buying the manufacturers' raw materials; it furnished a "protected" market — still largely the Southern States — for selling the manufactured goods. 

But New England and the rest of the North were still painfully jealous of new Southern and Western or South-western States. They opposed the admission of Missouri, 1819, and now first raised seriously the question of Negro slavery as a sectional issue. Thomas Jefferson was himself, like many other Southerners, in favor of the abolition of slavery; a peaceable abolition. But he could see further into the future than could most men. So now, when this Missouri-slavery issue was raised by New England and the North, for the purpose of keeping the new lands of the West for themselves as against the South, the aged Jefferson wrote that it roused him as a fire-bell in the night, and portended a disastrous sectional struggle. (15) 

But to return to the tariff. The tariff question, as a serious sectional issue, first came to a head about 1830. Having once gotten hold of the nursing bottle of "protection," so called, in 1816 and 1820, New England and the North cried ever for more. The tariff of 1820 was followed by that of 1824, and that in turn by the "tariff of abominations" in 1828. These were sectional measures, and the South felt herself being oppressed and impoverished by the combined Northern and North-western majority. The tariff act of 1832 was of the same stripe as its predecessors. Out of this situation came the Nullification crisis of 1830-33. 

Early in 1830 occurred the memorable debate in the Senate of the United States between Robert Y. Hayne, of South Carolina, and Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts. Just three years later, early in 1833, a similar debate took place between the same Mr. Webster on one side and, on the other side, Hayne's successor in the Senate, the immortal John C. Calhoun. Hayne and Calhoun were the champions of the South in the pending sectional controversy; Webster, of the North. In these debates Webster is said to have "shotted every gun" that was fired for the North in the great War of thirty years later. (16) If this be so, careful attention is due to this Titans' war, this battle of the forensic giants, and to the great constitutional and institutional arguments then advanced. 

The immediate issue was the tariff. The Southern States, and especially South Carolina, contended that the existing tariff laws were devised for protecting Northern manufacturers, and so imposed a sectional burden upon the agricultural South; they contended, further, that there was no warrant for anything more than a revenue tariff; that a tariff for "protection," as it is called, was utterly unconstitutional. 

Whether the South was correct on these two points; viz: the injurious effects of a "protective" tariff at that time, upon the South, and the unconstitutionality of such a tariff — with these two questions we are not here concerned. But from this starting point the debates ranged out and covered other two questions which do here concern us. And these are: first, How are disputed questions of constitutionality, arising between States, or groups of States, in the union, to be determined?; second, The nature of the union, whether a union of States as States, or of the American people in one aggregate mass. To take these up briefly, in inverse order to that just given: 

Calhoun introduced in the Senate a series of resolutions, three in number, which are well worth the careful study of every student of republican institutions, every lover of human freedom. These resolutions recited (17) the strictly federal character, under the constitution of 1787-89, of the union of American States; with the resultant right, to the States, "of judging, in the last resort, as to the extent of the powers delegated" to the central government and, consequently, of those reserved to the several States, and that action by the central government based upon the contrary assumption must inevitably tend to undue consolidation and to "the loss of liberty itself." 

Webster vehemently attacked these resolutions. His argument may be thus epitomized, largely in his own words: (18) How can any man get over the words of the preamble to the constitution itself, "We the people of the United States ... do ordain and establish this constitution"?; that these words forbid the turning of the instrument into a mere compact between sovereign States; that, in framing and putting into operation the constitution of the United States, "a change had been made from a confederacy of States to a different system, ... a constitution for a national government"; that "accession, as a word applied to political associations, implies coming into a league treaty or confederacy, by one hitherto a stranger to it"; that, "in establishing the present government," (i. e., the government of the United States as it stood in Webster's time) the "people of the United States ... do not say that they accede to a league, but they declare that they ordain and establish a constitution, . . . some of them employing the . . . words 'assented to' and 'adopted,' but all of them 'ratifying' "; that "the constitution of the United States is not a league, confederacy or compact between the people of the several States in their sovereign capacities"; that "THE NATURAL CONVERSE OF ACCESSION IS SECESSION." 

Note the several test words here: confederacy, constitution, national, compact and ACCEDE. 

As to every one of them Webster was wrong, as may be shown from the debates and official documents accompanying and preceding the framing and adoption of the federal constitution. We have not the time to examine fully into all these test words here ; for a fairly full compilation or tabulation of the data bearing on them, see the subjoined note. (19) To one or two of these words let us devote a few sentences. 

First, then, as to the phrase, "We the people of the United States." The preamble to the federal constitution does use this expression. But Article VII of the instrument itself provides that "The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution BETWEEN THE STATES so ratifying the same." Mark you these most significant words, between the States. It is not provided that the ratification of this constitution by a prescribed majority of the whole people of the then existing United States under the Articles of Confederation shall establish it over the whole people of all those United States (a provision that would have been an utter nullity, for stubborn historical reasons), but that its ratification by a certain number of the States shall establish it between — not over, but BETWEEN those particular States, and none others, unless and until such others shall also ratify, each for itself. 

Bearing in mind this Article VII of the federal constitution, the preamble becomes plain. A cardinal canon of construction is, that if possible all the parts of a written instrument shall be so construed as to be harmonious with each other. The "people of the United States," then, here means the people (or, peoples) of those several distinct States which may elect to establish the proposed constitution betzveen themselves. And indeed, this constitution of 1787, and the union under it, first went into effect between eleven of the States, only, as we have remarked above; North Carolina and Rhode Island remaining separate and independent republics until, after President Washington's inauguration, they chose, each for itself, to come into the new union or confederacy. 

So we see that Mr. Webster's centralist construction of the word or phrase, "the people," as used in the constitution, falls to the ground. 

But. again, Webster denies that the States acceded to the constitution; and mark well his daring and all-important admission, that ''the natural converse of accession is secession." 

Now, it so happens that this word accede, or its derivative accession, which he thus spurns, is found, in the very sense which he denies to it, over and over again in the debates of those who framed and adopted the constitution, and at least once in the course of the official documents pertaining to its adoption; over and over again, I say, or some forty times, by actual count, either certainly or probably in this sense, and more than twenty times unquestionably so. To give but three instances here: 

James Madison said, in the Virginian convention of 1788 that debated and, by a close majority, ratified the system for Virginia: (20) "Suppose eight States only should ratify, and Virginia should propose certain alterations as the previous condition of her accession." In the North Carolina State convention Governor Johnston said: (21) "We are not to form a constitution, but to say whether we [i. e., the people of North Carolina] shall adopt a constitution to which ten States have already acceded." And the ratifying convention of New York (of which Alexander Hamilton was a member) prepared by unanimous order a circular letter containing this language: (22) "Our attachment to our sister States, and the confidence we repose in them can not be more forcibly demonstrated than by acceding to a government which many of us think very imperfect." 

Webster was right; "secession is the converse of accession." Moreover, as we have seen above, (23) at least three States, Virginia, Rhode Island and New York, in their formal acts of ratification of the federal constitution, expressly and explicitly reserved this right of secession or peaceable withdrawal; a fact now well known and now generally acknowledged, by South and North alike. 

But, another question asked in those debates of the early thirties was, as stated above, How shall disputed questions of constitutional rights and powers be decided? By the federal Supreme Court, said Webster, so as to bind even sovereign States, and in all cases. 

"No," said South Carolina, in substance, speaking through Hayne and Calhoun; "the constitution of the United States empowers the federal Supreme Court to decide only 'all cases in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made . . . under their authority.'" That is the language of the constitution: "all cases in law and equity." And questions of sovereignty, argued South Carolina, come not within the scope of cases in law and equity, which are limited, by the well known common-law use of the term, to an altogether different class of cases. The historical correctness of this contention of South Carolina's is supported by James Madison in his journal of the constitutional convention. Madison, the reporter, says of himself, the delegate: (24) 

"James Madison doubted whether it was not going too far to extend the jurisdiction of the federal supreme court generally to cases arising under the constitution, and whether it ought not to be limited to cases of judiciary nature." (The contention of Hayne and Calhoun, exactly.) "The right of expounding the constitution in cases not of this nature ought not to be given to that department. 

"The [pending] motion of Dr. Johnson was agreed to nem. con., it being generally supposed that the jurisdiction given was constructively limited to cases of a judiciary nature." As if to clinch the matter beyond a peradventure, the words "in law and equity" were afterward inserted into the jurisdiction clause here discussed. 

(Just a word here as to the man here quoted as authority, James Madison of Virginia, "father of the constitution." From the standpoint of a constitutional constructionist, Madison's career was somewhat that of a pendulum. Rather centralistic at the time of the general convention of 1787 that framed the constitution and submitted it to the States for ratification or rejection — certainly moderately so, as disclosed by his own utterances, from time to time, in the debates of that convention, a very few years later he became Jefferson's own right-hand man in opposing the radically centralistic trend of the Adams administration; in his old age, and at the time of the Nullification crisis which we are now discussing, he seems to have reverted toward his earlier position. As a centralist, then, at the time he took part in and reported the debates of the general constitutional convention of 1787, whatever Madison noted down of a contrary tendency is deserving of special attention and weight.) 

But if not the federal supreme court, then what tribunal, inquired Webster and the North, is to decide these disputed questions of sovereignty and of constitutional powers? The answer was ready to hand: Not to the federal supreme court, itself but a component part of the created central government, where three men (a majority of a quorum of the court), and they political appointees, may have the deciding- voice, must a sovereign creator State submit questions affecting her sovereign powers. She herself will decide it pending an appeal, in the true spirit of Magna Charta, to the judgment of her peers, her sister sovereign creator States in general convention assembled. This contention had had the support of Thomas Jefferson in 1821, as quoted by Hayne: (35) "It is a fatal heresy to suppose that either our State governments are superior to the federal, or the federal to the State; neither is authorized literally to decide what belongs to itself, or its co-partner in government, in differences between their different sets of public servants ; the appeal is to neither, but to their employers peaceably assembled by their representatives in convention." More than twenty years before this utterance Jefferson had embodied this same principle in his draft of the famous Kentucky Resolutions. (26) Again, Jefferson wrote, (27) "This peaceable and legitimate resource, a general convention of the States, to which we are in the habit of implicit obedience, superseding all appeal to force, and being always within our reach, shows a precious principle of self-preservation in our composition ..." 

Mark this: Jefferson says that in this plan of a general convention of the States to decide such mooted questions of constitutional construction and governmental powers, is found a peaceable settlement of vexing political and sectional problems. This was precisely Carolina's plea in 1830-33. 

Right or wrong, thundered President Jackson, these federal laws must be obeyed unless and until repealed by the same power (Congress) that enacted them, or unless and until declared unconstitutional by the federal supreme court; and if not voluntarily obeyed, then obedience shall be enforced by the fratricidal sword. To like effect argued Webster. You have the right, said he, to resist laws deemed oppressive, if you so please — but it is the right of revolution, no more; justifiable only if successful, and if not successful, subject to the dread penalties of high treason. 

Ours is a constitutional remedy, Hayne replied, and a peaceable one. (a) The right of revolution exists independently of the constitution. That instrument expressly declares that all powers not delegated to the central government remains to the several States, or the people; that is, to the people of those several States. This power of deciding the constitutionality or the unconstitutionality of laws of Congress, being not given in the constitution either to Congress or to the federal supreme court, remains to the several States. Ours is a peaceable remedy — unless you of the North force on us the issue of war. And only if honor with peace within the union be found no longer possible, then will we exercise that other peaceable remedy of secession or withdrawal from the partnership of States in order that, like Abraham and Lot of old, we may dwell apart in peace, rather than remain together in dissension. And if you, like George III, still pursue us with hostile intent and the sword be drawn, then upon you of the North, not upon us, must the awful responsibility rest. 

For answer to this plea of peace by South Carolina, Jackson, Webster and the North passed the Force Bill, as it was called, of 1833; a bill providing for the enforcement of the tariff laws, if need be, by force of arms. But at the same time, in view of South Carolina's determined front, and signs of growing support for her from other Southern States, Jackson and Congress passed, also, the Clav Compromise bill scaling down the tariff to meet Carolina's demands. 

So ended the matter for the time. The sword was threatened but not drawn, and South Carolina's peaceable remedy for an oppressed sectional minority prevailed. And mark this: State nullification or State veto, as here preached by Hayne and Calhoun and practiced by their native State, was a qualified nullification only, a fact too often entirely overlooked; an interposition of the State's sovereignty pending an appeal to a three-fourths decision of the confederated States in general convention. It was, in effect, a federal referendum, (b) It was strictly conservative of true constitutional principles. For, let us repeat, a prime object of the federal constitution was the protection of the rights of the minority. 

This struggle of the early 'thirties of the nineteenth century was, as Calhoun averred at the time, (28) a contest between power, or the North, and liberty, or the South. Calhoun drew a close parallel between that contest and that other of 1776, with Northern unjust taxation of the South in 1833 bearing a marked analogy to the British unjust taxation of the American colonies in 1776. 

That both of these contentions of South Carolina (i. e., qualified nullification, with secession in reserve) were sound, historically and constitutionally sound, we have just seen. That the contrary contention of Webster unsound, unconstitutional and unhistorical, must necessarily follow. Daniel Webster has been called the "Expounder of the Constitution." (29) I respectfully submit that great "Confounder of the Constitution" would be a more fitting title. His admirer and biographer, and a successor to him in the federal Senate from Massachusetts, Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, says of Webster's argument here, (30) "The weak places in his armor were historical in their nature." Of Webster on a somewhat similar occasion the same writer says, (31) "But the speech is strongly partisan and exhibits the disposition of an advocate to fit the constitution to his particular case." Likewise, Webster's apologist, von Hoist, discussing this very debate with Calhoun, sadly confesses (32) that, "To his and his country's harm, the advocate in him always spoke loudly in the reasoning of the statesman." 

Yes; Daniel Webster was a great lawyer, an able advocate, a magnificent orator. But as a constitutional student he was superficial. The close of his speech known as "Webster's reply to Hayne" is a burst of splendid oratory, and is known and quoted far and wide. Only less eloquent, far more sound, is the little known peroration to Hayne's rejoinder, which should be called "Hayne's reply to Webster." Mr. Webster said: (33) 

"While the union lasts we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day at least, that curtain may not rise. God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind. When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent ; on a land rent with civil feud, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, not a single star obscured — bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as, What is all this worth? nor those other words of delusion and folly, Liberty first, and union afterwards; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart — Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" 

Grand, glorious — rhetorically; but it is not logic — nor yet history. According to Webster, the perpetuity of the then existing American union was essential to the continued enjoyment of liberty. But the Declaration of Independence, mindful of the rise and fall of nations and the ever recurring changes in governments, tells us that all governments are but means to an end, and that end the securing of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that here, as in any other case, when a particular means fails to effect the end in view, it should be discarded for some other means. Forgetful, too, was Webster of Washington's language in his revered Farewell Address, wherein he denominates the union under the constitution of 1787-9 an "experiment," and warns against "geographical discriminations" as "causes which may disturb our union." To like effect to this last, as seen above, spoke Jefferson on "the Missouri question"; but these solemn admonitions, of Washington and of Jefferson, Webster and, after him, Lincoln, heeded not. 

Thus Mr. Webster in 1833, for union at any cost, when those whom he opposed themselves opposed the tariff laws which, by means of "geographical discriminations," favored his own New England and the North. To far different effect had he spoken some seventeen years before when, a member of the House of Representatives from New Hampshire, he voiced New England's fierce opposition to the then raging war with old England and to the pending enlistment bill for carrying on that war: (34) "I use not the tone of intimidation or menace," thundered young Representative Webster, "but I forewarn you of consequences. ... I beseech you, by the best hopes of your country's prosperity — by your regard for the preservation of her government and her union — that you abandon your system of restrictions — that you abandon it at once and abandon it forever." 

But to return to the Great Debate of 1830. Said Gen. Hayne in reply to Webster's "reply": (35) 

"The gentleman has made an eloquent appeal to our hearts in favor of union. Sir, I cordially respond to that appeal. I will yield to no gentleman here in sincere attachment to the union; but it is a union founded on the constitution, and not such a union as that gentleman would give us, that is dear to my heart. If this is to become one great 'consolidated government ' swallowing up the rights of the States, and the liberties of the citizen, 'riding over the plundered ploughmen and beggared yeomanry,' the union will not be worth preserving. Sir, it is because South Carolina loves the union, and would preserve it forever, that she is opposing now, while there is hope, those usurpations of the federal government which, once established, will, sooner or later, tear this union into fragments. 

"The gentleman is for marching under a banner, studded all over with stars, and bearing the inscription, Liberty and Union. I had thought, sir, the gentleman would have borne a standard, displaying in its ample folds a brilliant sun, extending its golden rays from the center to the extremities, in the brightness of whose beams the 'little stars hide their diminished heads.' Ours, sir, is the banner of the constitution; the twenty-four stars are there, in all their undiminished lustre; on it is inscribed, Liberty — the constitution — union. We offer up our fervent prayers to the Father of all Mercies that it may continue to wave, for ages yet to come, over a free, a happy, and a united people." 

Hayne has been criticised as having violated a cardinal rule of oratory and having attempted to equal Webster's peroration in his own. (36) But another view may be urged. The ablest generals — such as Lee, Jackson and Napoleon — are often those who, on occasions, transgress fundamental canons of strategy; success as a result being their only justification. Hayne, at once orator, patriot and logician, both felt the power of Webster's closing plea and its glowing imagery as it would appeal to men, and perceived its basic fallacy as applied. He proceeded, boldly and deliberately, to borrow his great antagonist's own figure of speech and turn it against him. In the brief space of the closing four sentences of the peroration just quoted, Hayne reproduces in outline the picture drawn so fully and so masterfully by Webster, dissects it, suggests a more fitting one to accord with his opponent's expressed principles, appropriates the original as properly illustrating his own position, and ends with the "fervent" and pertinent invocation that it may long be suffered to remain the true emblem of a people free and happy as well as united. 

Hayne's peroration is not so elaborate or ornate as Webster's; nor was it meant to be. But it is perfect in itself. The keen, logical criticism, blended with the quiet, delicate sarcasm conveyed in the reference to the "brilliant sun" and the "little stars," is exquisite; the true application of Webster's stellar picture is simple and effective. After the "fire, the wind, and the earthquake" of Webster's mighty finish it comes — as a still small voice. 

And so the South triumphed with and through this remedy of peaceable protection for a sectional minority. The North, thus baffled, next resorted to a wily flank move. 

The next great sectional crisis (after the preliminary and premonitory one of 1850) came nearly a third of a century later. In the crisis just discussed, involving the Nullification clash of 1830-33, the tariff was the bone of contention. In this second crisis, Negro slavery in the territories was the occasion, not the cause as is imagined by many who should know better. 

What was the actual source of this "free-soil" or "antislavery" crusade of the North? An aroused moral sense, say some. Fanaticism, say others. Partly each of these, but not exclusively or chiefly either or both, say I. 

Mark well this fact: In the debates in Congress on the tariff dispute of 1833, John Quincy Adams, ex-President of the United States and then a member of the House of Representatives, uttered this significant remark from the floor of the House: (37) "But protection might be extended in different 
forms to different interests. ... In the Southern and Southwestern portion of the union, there exists a certain interest [by which Adams meant Negro slavery] which enjoys under the constitution and the laws of the United States an especial protection, peculiar to itself" (i. e., return of fugitive slaves escaping from one State into another). He referred to the slaves in the Southern States as "machinery," and added, "If they [the Southern States] must withdraw protection from the free white labor of the North [the "protection" of a high tariff, Adams meant], then it ought to be withdrawn from the machinery of the South." 

Ah — here we have the milk in the cocoanut; or perhaps it would be appropriate to say, the African in the fuel heap. In the framing of the federal constitution, the North and the South — rather, New England and the far Southern States — arranged a quid pro quo, (38) by which the shipping interests of New England obtained control, and permanent control, of commercial regulations by a mere majority vote, instead of a two-thirds vote, in the Congress, and the South (together with the slave-importing shippers of this same New England) defeated the possibility of prohibition of the continued importation of Negroes, temporarily, or for some nineteen years. And now, her darling of sectional customs "protection" in danger from South Carolina's firm stand, New England, through John Quincy Adams as her spokesman, gave warning, in 1833, that tariff "protection," although not guaranteed by the constitution, and slavery protection, which was expressly guaranteed by that instrument, must be held as twin special interests, to stand or fall together. 

In this light, then, these remarks of Adams, of Massachusetts, should be carefully marked and constantly borne in mind in connection with the subsequent growth and course of anti-Southern agitation, under the guise of an anti-slavery crusade, from the time — this time of South Carolina's Nullification stand and the resultant tariff reduction of 1833 — that a definite check was placed upon high tariff, North-favoring legislation. And this is the same Mr. Adams who shortly thereafter began to make his declining years renowned by pouring into' the House of Representatives at Washington his broadsides of "anti-slavery" or anti-Southern petitions. 

Finally, a new party was formed, with its primary object, as professed, the exclusion of the South with her constitution-guaranteed property from the common territories that had been acquired by the common blood and the common treasure of the South and the North. And, significantly, early in its history, or as soon (i860) as it had acquired material growth and substantial prestige, (39) this new political party, already thus avowedly sectional in its principles, made a sectional "protective" tariff one of its demands. And when it had elected a President (by a sectional and a minority popular vote, be it remembered) and so caused a disruption of the union of States, "protection" was a primary means employed to support the war that followed — a war of aggression and conquest waged by this party to secure both its own continued supremacy and the new consolidated and un-American union of force in place of the pristine confederated union of choice which itself had done so much to destroy; a war in which Negro emancipation in parts of the Southern States was incidentally proclaimed as a military measure, the thirteenth amendment coming later to extend and validate this unconstitutional proceeding. "Un-American union of force," I said; we must remember that widespread opposition to the war of conquest against the South manifested itself in the North, and that the myriads of immigrants from centralist, "blood-and-iron" Germany had much to do with turning the scale in the North in support of Lincoln's and Seward's war. (c) In these aliens there had arisen "a new king which knew not Joseph," who had no inconvenient recollections of '76 to hold him in check. (Note: The foregoing was originally written before the outbreak of the European war of 1914, much of the responsibility for which must be laid to the charge of this same "blood-and-iron" nation.) 

This so-called free-soil movement were more accurately styled a white-soil movement. For hand in hand with the efforts to keep Negro slaves out of the new States and territories of the North and the West, went drastic anti-free-Negro laws in those regions as well as in the older Northern States. (These laws are to be found discussed most illuminatingly in Ewing's Legal and Historical Status of the Dred Scott Decision, chapter iv. See, also, Northern Rebellion and Southern Secession, by the same author, page 113.) The Negro, slave or free, was not wanted in the North and West. Long since had Jefferson, the honest abolitionist, pointed out that, (40) "The passage of slaves from one State to another would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it. So their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation by dividing the burden on a greater number of coadjutors." This warning, like those other warnings of Jefferson and Washington above mentioned, of course went unheeded by the Negro-exclusionists of the North and North-west. 

Nullification, or State veto subject to federal referendurn was practicable in 1833; practicable and successful. In 1860-61 it was not practicable, because a State could not exercise her veto power out in the common territories, where the sectional, Northern party that had just been elected to power threatened anti-Southern legislation. Hence, when peace with honor was no longer possible within the union of States, the Southern States turned to the only possible peaceable alternative, secession, or complete withdrawal from that inter-State compact of government already so flagrantly violated, in act and in promise of further acts to come, by their Northern sisters. 

That the voice and efforts, the counsels and measures of the Southland were still for peace, the record abundantly proves. 

Sturdy little South Carolina, faithful to the spirit of her departed Hayne and Calhoun, was the first State to withdraw. On her invitation, delegates from five other of the "cotton States" that followed her in withdrawing, and later those from a sixth, Texas, met her own delegates in a Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, February 4, 1861. By this Congress was framed the provisional constitution of the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was chosen provisional President of the new union. 

On February 15, 1861, before the arrival of Mr. Davis at Montgomery to take the oath of office, the Congress passed a resolution providing, (41) "that a commission of three persons be appointed by the President-elect as early as may be convenient after his inauguration, and sent to the government of the United States, for the purpose of negotiating friendly relations between that government and the Confederate States of America, and for the settlement of all questions of disagreement between the two governments, upon principles of right, justice, equity and good faith." 

Truly, as Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, one of the delegates to this Montgomery Congress, says in his history of the United States, (42) these "were not such men as revolutions or civil commotions usually bring to the surface. . . . Their object was not to tear down, so much as it was to build up with the greater security and permanency." And we may add that they meant to build up, 'if so permitted, peaceably. 

In this spirit of amity and justice, the first act of the Louisiana State convention, after passing the ordinance of secession was to adopt, unanimously, a resolution recognizing the right to free navigation of the Mississippi river (which flows down from the Northern States of the great inland basin and empties into the sea within the confines of Louisiana), and further recognizing the right of egress and ingress at that river's mouth and looking to the guaranteeing of these rights. (43) 

President Davis' inaugural address, delivered February 18, 1 861, breathed the same spirit of friendship toward our brothers of the North. He said, in part: (44) 

"Our present political position has been achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations. It illustrates the American idea that governments rest on the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to after or abolish them at will whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established. The declared purpose of the compact of the union from which we have withdrawn was to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, (d) provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;' and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States composing this Confederation, it has been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot box declared that, so far as they are concerned, the government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted the right which the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, defined to be 'inalienable.' ... 

"Thus the sovereign States here represented have proceeded to form this Confederacy; and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution. They formed a new alliance, but within each State its government has remained; so that the rights of person and property have not been disturbed. The agent through which they communicated with foreign nations is changed, but this does not necessarily interrupt their international relations. Sustained by the consciousness that the transition from the former union to the present Confederacy has not proceeded from a disregard on our part of just obligations, or any failure to perform every constitutional duty, moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, anxious to cultivate peace and commence with all nations, if we may not hope to avoid war, we may at least expect that posterity will acquit us of having needlessly engaged in it. . . . 

"An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of commodities required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. . . . If a just perception of mutual interest shall permit us peaceably to pursue our separate political career, my most earnest desire will have been fulfilled. But if this be denied to us, and the integrity of our territory and jurisdiction be assailed, it will but remain for us with firm resolve to appeal to arms and invoke the blessing of Providence on a just cause." 

Nor did our President content himself with mere words of peace. He promptly acted on the resolution of Congress above cited, and appointed three commissioners from our government to the government of the United States. "These commissioners," says Mr. Stephens, (45) "were clothed with plenary powers to open negotiations for the settlement of all matters of joint property, forts, arsenals, arms or property of any other kind within the limits of the Confederate States, and all joint liabilities with their former associates, upon principles of right, justice, equity and good faith." 

Let me ask, Could anything have been fairer? 

These commissioners promptly proceeded on their way. A few days after the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln at Washington they formally notified his Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, that "the President, Congress and people of the Confederate States earnestly desire a peaceful solution" of pending questions between the two governments. The full history of these negotiations makes mighty interesting reading. But it is too long a story to be rehearsed in detail here. (46) Suffice it to say that it was through no fault of these commissioners, or of the people and government they represented, that their mission of peace and good will to their late allies of the North came to nought. 

South Carolina, shortly after her secession in December, i860, had taken like steps looking to peace, by sending a commission to negotiate with Buchanan's administration relative to former United States property within her limits. (47) 

Yet another effort for peace was made from a Southern official quarter in those portentous, ominous months following the sectional victory at the polls in November, 1860. The provisional Confederate constitution mentioned above was framed and adopted by what were called the seven Cotton States. The border Southern States were yet within the old union, hoping against hope for continued union, peace and justice. Among these border States was Virginia, the oldest, the most powerful of them all. By unanimous vote of her Legislature all the States of the union were invited to send commissioners to a conference, to devise some plan for preserving harmony and constitutional union. (48) 

This conference met in Washington, February 4, 1861, the very day on which the Congress of the seceded Cotton States assembled in Montgomery. It adjourned February 27. Significantly enough, in view of our present argument, this conference at Washington was called the Peace Congress. The demands or suggestions of the South in this Peace Congress were only that constitutional obligations should be observed by all parties; nay, that certain concessions to the North would be agreed to, by means of constitutional amendment, if only the constitution, as thus amended, might be obeyed. This did not suit the commissioners from the Northern States, as was bluntly stated by one of them, then and there, Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, who was slated for a portfolio in Lincoln's cabinet, and therefore spoke at least quasi et cathedra. So the Peace Congress proved of no avail, (e) 

We find a similar situation in the Congress of the United States at its regular session that winter. Of the condition there Mr. Pollard says, in his book, The Lost Cause, (49) "It is remarkable that of all the compromises proposed in this Congress for preserving the peace of the country, none came from Northern men ; they came from the South and were defeated by the North." 

Well might the Southern leaders have adopted for their own the language of the Psalmist, "I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war." (50) 

It was by virtue of this impossible condition arising within the old union that Southern States, cotton and border, one by one, found it necessary to withdraw from that union — which was effected so far as possible, in every instance, peaceably. They had not only the historical, constitutional right to do this, as every real student of constitutional history, South and North, now admit; they had, further, let us here repeat, the general assertion of the Declaration of Independence, governing all like cases, to support them. As pointed out by President Davis, in the above quotation from his inaugural, a prime object in establishing the constitution of the United States and the federative government thereunder, was to "insure domestic tranquility." The existing form of government under this constitution having "become destructive of this end," so far as concerned the Southern States, the peoples of these States now moved to peaceably alter the form of government. 

And, seldom remembered though it be now, there were at that time many in the North who believed that these Southern peoples had the inalienable right thus peaceably to withdraw. For instance, the New York Tribune itself, organ though it was of the aggressive anti-Southern party of that time, declared in November and December, i860, after Lincoln's election, as follows: (51) 

"We hold with Jefferson to the inalienable right of communities to alter or abolish forms of government that have become oppressive or injurious, and if the Cotton States shall become satisfied that they can do better- out of the union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nevertheless, and we do not see how one party can have a right to do what another party has the right to prevent. Whenever a considerable section of our union shall deliberately decide to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in. We hope never to live in a republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets. ... If ever seven or eight States send agents to Washington to say, 'We want to go out of the union/ we shall feel constrained by our devotion to human liberty to say, 'Let them go!' And we do not see how we could take the other side, without coming in direct conflict with those rights of man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous." 

Not such men as revolutions generally bring to the front, said Stephens, of the Confederate leaders. True. For be it remembered that these men represented, officially represented, long existent and independent republics, already fully organized. The formation of a league or confederacy between these republics was but an incident, an arrangement of convenience, as pointed out by Mr. Davis in his inaugural address. How, then, could States, republics, independent nations, be said to revolt or rebel? A people or a faction rebels against a superior; not against an equal or an inferior. Therefore, a creator State of inherently sovereign powers could not possibly rebel against either the creature central government of strictly limited and delegated powers, or against co-equal, confederate States. This being so, and Southern individuals acting only as citizens of their respective States, there could be no treason in their conduct. 

Why was Jefferson Davis, although long held a prisoner after the war, never brought to trial on the charge of high treason for which he was indicted? It is said (though I am not at this time prepared to vouch for the accuracy of the report) that a solemn warning was sounded forth from the Supreme Court of the United States to the effect that to push such a charge against our fallen leader would be to fool with a combination boomerang and back-action buzz-saw. Be that as it may, we know that Mr. Davis, after long imprisonment, was released on bail (Horace Greeley himself being a bondsman), and the indictment was never tried. 

Yes, the course of the Southern peoples was the only course consistent with peace and honor. Alas! they were ahead of their times; and, like all those who, in any age or clime, dare to be ahead of their day and generation, they have been made to suffer for their temerity. As Charles Mackay, the poet says: 

"That man is thought a knave or fool, Or bigot plotting crime, Who, for the advancement of his race, 
Is wiser than his time." 

Civilization takes but one step forward at a time; then pauses and rests before the next step. The Southern people of the period of 1 789-1861, in the very vanguard of this slowly advancing civilization, acted on the principle that the same rule should govern in the intercourse between nations and people as between individuals; and that rule the golden rule. But they were wiser than their time. Let me explain. 

Some three centuries before this the civilized, Christian (?) nations of Europe saw nothing wrong in kidnapping the defenseless heathens of Afric sands and selling them into bondage far from their native haunts. They justified such practice on the grounds alike of expediency and morals. It would bring the heathen under the benign influences of Christianity, and at the same time cause wealth to flow into the ready pockets of their benignant captors. So the over-sea slave trade went merrily on for the space of several hundreds of years. Then laggard civilization took a step forward, and said that this was all wrong. The African trade, or the theft and forcible importation of Negroes was abolished, and the Southern States took a hand with the rest in abolishing it. Meantime, civilization was preparing to take another step forward — to supplement the cessation of slave importation with the abolition of slavery itself. Owing to local causes some communities were more forward in this movement than were others. The situation in the Southern States was thus sensed by Jefferson: (52) "The cession of that kind of property [slaves], for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought if in that way a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually with due sacrifice I think it might be, but as it is we have the wolf by the ears and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is in the one scale and self-preservation in the other." Too, it should be added, slavery remained profitable in the South longer than in some other communities, and Southerners were but human. But the reform was moving forward everywhere, and was bound to triumph in the end. It ought to have been allowed to triumph peaceably. Out of the differences in local conditions, in this and in other matters, arose the fierce controversies between the Southern and the Northern States of the American union. 

When the contention had waxed so hot that peaceful union was no longer possible, then the Southern States proposed a peaceable separation. The North said, No; we will force you back. The South said, No; that is all wrong. The Declaration of Independence, the letter and the spirit of the constitution, advancing civilization itself, all proclaim in trumpet tones that it is just as wrong for one nation, State or group of States to conquer another vi et armis and to force upon it a government it does not desire, as it is for one man to steal another man and sell him into bondage, or for a nation now (as was formerly done) to deny to its citizens the right of voluntary expatriation. 

So spoke the South, wiser than her time. The North, not so wise, essayed to enslave whole States and peoples. For this is what a forcible union of one-time sovereign States means. 

It is not within the scope of this address to follow the course of that memorable struggle. From the day of Thermopylae down, to battle for home and native land against the invader and the despoiler has ever called forth the utmost valor and exertion of patriots. The Southern soldiery came of an adventurous, frontier stock. Southrons generally could ride and shoot; and in this war they fought to repel the invader. The result was the Confederate warrior, since that time the synonym for all that is best and bravest in war. The fame of the Confederate soldier is deathless; his glory as eternal as the stars. Starvation, not numbers, overwhelmed him after four years of heroic endurance and brilliant feats of arms. The Crucial Banner of the South sank without a stain upon it, save only the lifeblood of thousands of its martyr defenders. 

In this course of invasion and conquest, in which she was finally successful, did the North, let me ask, really "save the union," as she professed to do? NO, she did not — from the very nature of the thing, she could not. The union of the fathers, of the constitution of 1787-89, was a union of choice, of peace. That original union was and is forever gone, as between the South and the North. It was ipso facto destroyed by the withdrawal from it of the Southern States. And, like Humpty Dumpty when he fell from the wall, or like the late Mr. Morgan's scrambled eggs, all the king's horses and all the king's men could never (forcibly) put it together again. A union, indeed, a new, diverse, blood red union of force was created and pinned together by bayonets; the union was not, and could not, 
be saved, though it might be restored by the free consent, once more, of all the parties to the original union. 

And further, the success of the Southern Confederacy would not have meant the destruction of the American union. By the victory of the revolted colonies in t 776-83, the immemorial union of English-speaking peoples was severed; but only as to these colonies; the rest of the English-speaking union, known as the British Empire, continues to live, and to live truly stronger and better from the lesson that was well learned when one part of that union was lost through the blunders of sectional aggression. 

Not for one moment do I question the honesty and patriotism of the brave soldiers in blue who, I cheerfully admit, sincerely believed that they were righting for the union of the fathers — although many of them allowed themselves to be swept along into this belief. But I do say this, that they, as well as we, were victims of their own Juggernaut; that their plea for a forcible American union was of the same essence with the plea, in 1776, for a forcible British union; it was the plea of Old World and world-old imperialism, and a plea which will justify every war of invasion and conquest that has ever stained history's pages. 

But the objection is sometimes made that the South's success would have meant the Latin-Americanization of the Southern States; that, the principle of peaceable secession, once established, all union between the different States would have been no more than a rope of sand, and we would speedily have degenerated into a parcel of petty, mutually jealous republics — perhaps dictatorships. The history of our race refutes the suggestion. 

For some two thousand years the Anglo-Saxon and the Celt have wrought out, link by link, on the anvil of hard experience and dogged experimentation, the everlasting principles of self-government. The success of the Confederate States of America would have turned out another and a stronger link, would have marked another glorious step forward in the laborious progress- of Liberty and Self-government. Ours is a patient race, no less than a progressing one, and the successful termination of our second War for Independence could never have changed that bent of mind and habit of action that stand behind the following assertion in the Declaration of Independence: 

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." 

After the triumph of our first War of Secession more than three-quarters of a century passed, during which this right of secession, as now reinforced by constitutional provisions, was often asserted, before it was actually resorted to. There is no reason to think that a second successful application of this drastic remedy, and under a like strong provocation, would have cut us adrift from our previous caution and long-suffering. 

Again, it is argued that there would have been constant causes for friction and even bloodshed arising between the Confederate States of America and their neighbors to the north, the United States of America. Well, would that sort of bloodshed have been any bloodier than the four years of it that was suffered in imposing the union's yoke upon the Southern States? But, after all, are we so sure that those two powers, once they had started together in the pathway of peace, would have been unable to continue side by side in amity? Despite strong provocation at times we manage, nearly all of the time, to preserve the peace even with storm-rocked Mexico. And we are about to celebrate a century of peace with those ancient enemies of ours, now our British and Canadian friends, although during the whole of that period they have formed our entire northern land boundary, and although "another Mississippi" (the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence) flows from our territory through theirs to the sea. 

Another objection, or theory: That, after all, it is better for the South that the War should have ended as it did. No, a thousand times no: first and foremost, because evil should never be done that good may come of it and because Appomattox put back a half-century or more the hand of progress on the dial plate of civilization; second and secondarily, because the history of the fifty years succeeding the War is a record of legislation hostile to the material interests of the Southern portion of what is called a reunited country. Under the first of these two heads we may add, that not only was progress thus retarded, but that a new and dangerous element has been introduced into the body politic — the spirit of evasion of the fundamental law. If you doubt it, see how certain provisions of the fourteenth amendment to the federal constitution have become practically a dead letter, and by well-nigh universal consent. This fourteenth amendment is one of the "War amendments," as they are called. 

But Fate, we hear it said, had decreed the downfall of the Southern Confederacy. The very stars in their courses, we are told, fought against the South, even as they fought against Sisera of yore. That assertion I shall not here stop to dispute, beyond remarking that the final outcome of the War was extremely doubtful until within less than eight months of Gen. Lee's surrender — probably so, that is, until Atlanta fell a few weeks before the date of the Presidential election of 1864 in the United States. But — what is meant by "the stars in their courses"? 

Come with me, on a clear, moonless night, and scan that part of the heavens that encircles the Pole star and in which the entire course of a given star is above the horizon. Watch with me some bright stellar sun which, having left the zenith, gradually descends the western sky, appears to stand still awhile at the extreme westernmost point, then swings slowly but surely eastward again on the return sweep around the pole, yet still descending until it reaches the nadir, whence it gradually ascends again as it swings ever on toward the east. Other stars, farther south, not thus visible throughout their entire orbits, appear to the eye of the observer to set, and are blotted out of sight a long while before they rise again. 

Yes, the stars indeed march resistlessly on in their courses; but those courses are in circles. 

There are signs in the political heavens that Dixie's guiding star, her glorious constellation the Southern Cross of battle, which set blood red at Appomattox, is now appearing in the east, a pure, glistening white, the day-star of hope and happiness for the Southland and for the world. 

To explain, and to drop the figure. Certain great world tendencies, in the forward march of civilized mankind, are found in diverse yet complementary pairs; first one, then the other, predominating in alternate, pulsating cycles. Broadly speaking, the nineteenth century was an era of the predominance of the centripetal power in government, the ascendancy of the central political authority. The triumph of militant French democracy in the revolution of 1789 quickly merged into the imperial despotism of Napoleon, the erstwhile republican conqueror ; this was succeeded by the return of the Bourbons to power. Just at this time our Latin neighbors to the south, not yet schooled for true liberty, broke away from enervated Spain; but we must remember that it was only the joining of hands of the United States and Britain, and the resultant raising of that shield of the Western World, the Monroe Doctrine, that checked the reactionist "Holy Alliance" of continental Europe in its project of forcible recovery of these revolted Spanish colonies — so, at least, it is supposed. The Second French Republic, born out of due time in the abortive convulsions of 1848, was speedily swallowed up by the Second Empire, which eventually gave place to the Third (and semi-monarchical) Republic. The great revolutionary upheavals of 1848 throughout Europe were generally suppressed. Within the next few years Kossuth and the cause of Hungarian independence went down before the imperial Hapsburgs; Poland in vain sought to regain her lost nationality; the former independent or autonomous principalities and electorates of Germany became welded into the modern German Empire with the ruthless Bismarck at the helm. 

In the face of this ominous reaction in the Old World, the glorious ensign of confederated Southern independence was raised aloft in our own stormy sky. The dragon teeth of overweening, un-American imperialism sown by Webster thirty years before, bore their rich harvest of armed cohorts from the North, and the Southern Confederacy, latest and most promising of Freedom's growing family of happy nations, was swept from the face of the earth. And, significantly enough, in the midst of our struggle for independence, it was the fleet of autocratic Russia, inveterate foe to liberty, that wintered in New York harbor to lend moral support to the cause of Northern aggression and conquest, as against the threatened aid of more enlightened England to the cause of the South (53) — England, always the well-wisher of a weaker people fighting for freedom, except only when she herself happens to be the oppressor — England, who at a later time crushed down the liberty-loving Boers in a war in many particulars most strikingly like the war on the Confederacy. 

But now, thank God, the trend amongst progressive and, at heart, liberty-loving peoples is, once more, away from imperialism and forcible union. For, under imperialism and forcible union, there is no adequate protection for a sectional minority; remember that. Imperialism and forcible union are, in their workings, robberty of the right of local self-government which is the alpha and omega of political liberty. From about the close of the nineteenth century on, what do we see? The waning of the centripetal force in government, the waxing of the centrifugal. In the world-old strife between Liberty and Power, Liberty begins again to prevail, in the renewed recognition of the saving principle of Home Rule and the rights of the minority. 

We ourselves in 1898 helped Cuba in her stand for freedom. Five years later we aided and abetted Panama in her secession from the United States — of Colombia. We thereby officially and governmentally recognized (whether with due regard to our duty toward Colombia, we need not here inquire), solemnly recognized, that the interests and desires of the whole are not always paramount to the rights of a part; yea, even though the territorial integrity of the United States — of Colombia was thereby sacrificed. Shortly thereafter we see Norway resolutely sunder the bonds of union with her homogeneous sister, Sweden. And the wayward, weaker sister (with about the same proportion of area and population of the whole Scandinavian union as the South had of the whole American union) is in this instance allowed to go in peace, just as certain in the North were fair enough and brave enough to advocate, but vainly, be done with us in 1861. And later still we see something like secession from secession, in the case of Ulster and Ireland. 

Even in the matter of amending the federal constitution, behold Senator LaFollette's "gateway amendment," by which a minority is empowered to propose amendments. A similar provision was made fifty years before in the constitution of the Confederate States of America; (54) a most decided improvement, in favor of the rights of the minority, over the cumbersome and reactionary provision of the federal constitution requiring a two-thirds majority even to propose amendment for consideration by the amending power. 

These, I submit, are no fanciful comparisons, no imaginary parallels. No matter what may be all the details, all the motives, in each case, on the whole we may confidently affirm that through it all runs a larger sense than before of the rights of the weaker; of the beauties and blessings of peace ; of the folly, and worse, of war. The Hague tribunal and the Bryan peace treaties are further witnesses to this auspicious change. To come nearer home: an acquaintance of mine, a gentleman from California, remarked casually, in the course of a conversation with me, that among the people of the Pacific coast there was quite a good deal of talk to the effect that they have their own interests and are quite capable of maintaining a separate political existence ; although, he added, there is among them, too, a strong attachment to the union. Just how these two things are reconciled, or to be reconciled he did not say. And (another coincidence) much of the differences, if such we may style them, between the Pacific States and the East, like the former controversies between South and North, arise from a race question growing out of the presence in their midst of an alien, dark-skinned race.. 

So we see the tardily turning tide of national and international ideals and tendencies at last following the once overwhelmed, never really lost, current of Confederate principles. And the South, the ever faithful South, of later times we find revering her leaders of the earlier and darker periods, for "there is life in the old land yet." 

We find the South, near half a century after Appomattox, risen phoenix like from the ashes of War and Reconstruction and pushing forward in all fields of endeavor. Agriculture, commerce, manufactures, education, literature, good roads, adjustment of her race problem without undue outside interference (hence, as more of a sociological, less of a partisan, sectional question) — in all these the peoples of the Southern States were making splendid progress and were rapidly recovering the lost ground in political leadership. But, in the midst of all this it was that, by separate but similar acts, three Southern States, for themselves and for the South at large, linked the present with the past for the future in a way most significant. 

In the first decade of the twentieth century the South placed among the officially designated immortals of the several United States in Statuary Hall at the Capitol building in Washington city the effigies of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and Robert E. Lee of Virginia, and on the sterling plate service of the battleship Mississippi the likeness of Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and Kentucky. There they remained, fitly typifying the South's own contribution to the cause of true Liberty as against over-weening Power, her chosen champions of the two phases of constitutional home rule through State sovereignty, viz: Nullification or State, veto subject to federal referendum, and Secession or resumption of full powers by the State; and only when these are scorned by her oppressors and all constitutional redress denied, then the stainless sword of defensive war. (f) 

Calhoun, Davis, Lee— men with private lives as spotless as their political principles are true, exemplars of the Southland's past, guides for her future. 

Yes, our constellation was only obscured, it did not really set at Appomattox; the Southern Cross of Minority Rights, Home Rule and Arbitration once more flames in the morning sky, and it shall shine more and more unto the perfect day, if the South — America — the world, is to have true progress with peace. 


A few months after the original preparation and delivery of the above address, the Confederate monument at Arlington was unveiled, June 4, 19 14. (Why was this not done one day earlier, President Davis' birthday?) This monument — a memorial both to the heroic Confederate dead and to the equally heroic women of the South who raised it — is a masterpiece of the great sculptor, Ezekiel, himself one of our boy heroes of the cadet corps at New Market. The female figure surmounting the pedestal and personifying the Southland holds in one hand the laurel wreath for her marytr dead — some of whom, below her, are pictured as when in life and rallying to her defense. In the other hand she holds a pruning hook, and beside her stands a plow ready for the furrow; the whole fitly typifying the genius of the Confederacy — Peace, so far as possible, (55) and Progress. 

President Wilson accepted the monument on behalf of the federal government. Secretary Bryan was an honored guest on the platform — two apostles of amity and justice among the nations of the earth. By this monument the Confederate States of America speak their message of peace to these our rulers, and through them to the world. 

By their fruits ye shall know them: (56) the Southern Confederacy, like murdered Abel of old, through its "more excellent sacrifice . . . being dead yet speaketh." (57) 

Ballston. Va. 


(a) We here briefly epitomize the substance of the respective arguments of Hayne and Webster on this point. For their own language in extenso see the contemporaneous publication, Gales & Seaton's Register of Debates in Congress. 

(b) See the author's article, Federal Initiative and Referendum, South Atlantic Quarterly for October, 1912. 

(c) See the article, "The War Day by Day," the Washington Herald, March 13, 1914, where we are told that the appointment of the German, Gen. Franz Sigel, early in 1864, to command in western Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley had been made by Lincoln "in pursuance of his earnest wish to recognize in every way possible the great aid Gen. Sigel's countrymen were giving the government in the prosecution of the war. Lincoln, in homely phrase, had said 'that he ought to 'take care of the 
Germans.' Gen. Sigel's appointment was directly due to this purpose of the President's. An election was approaching and the German vote was important." 

(d) Here and elsewhere, in quotations found in this article, the emphasis is our own. 

(e) See this more fully discussed in A. H. Stephens' History of the United States, pp. 590 et seq. 

(f) "Trusting in Almighty God, an approving conscience and the aid of my fellow-citizens, I devote myself to the service of my native State, in whose behalf alone will I ever again draw my sword." — Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Convention of Virginia, April, 1861, in accepting the command of the military forces of the State to defend her against the impending invasion : Rev. J. Wm. Jones' Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee (1906), 135. 

(1) The purported letter of Gen. Lee containing the expression is found in Dr. J. Wm. Jones' Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes and Letters of Gen. Robt. E. Lee, 1875, p. 133. Capt. James Power Smith, of the Southern Historical Society, advises me that Professor Graves, of the University of Virginia, has examined the question in an Address before the Bar Association of Virginia, and reached the conclusion that the letter was not written by General Lee; also, that the Publishing Committee of the Society concurs in this conclusion. — L. T. E. 

(2) Gen. Jackson's farewell address to the "Stonewall Brigade," Oct. 4, 1861 : John Esten Cooke's "Stonewall Jackson : A Military Biography," 1876, p. 856. 

(3) The Bible, Isaiah ii, 4. 

(4) "It is related that the flag which was raised at Cambridge, January 2, 1776, by Washington, was composed of thirteen red and white stripes, with the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew emblazoned on the blue canton in place of the stars." — Brown & Strauss' Dictionary of American Politics, article "Flag of the United States." 

(5) A. H. Stephens' Hist. U. S., 225. 

(6) Revised Statutes of the United States, 1878, copy of the Declaration of Independence, certified by Ferdinand Jefferson, official custodian, or "Keeper of the Rolls at the Department of State." 

(7) See, for instance, action of the Convention of North Carolina which refused to accede to the federal constitution of 1787, adopting by a large majority a resolution recommending to the Legislature to pass similar impost laws to those to be passed by the Congress under the constitution "and appropriate the money arising therefrom to the use of Congress"; i. e., thus refusing to recognize the secession of the ratifying States from the old Confederation. Vol. 4 Elliot's Debates, p. 251. 

(8) See 1 Elliot's Debates, 327, 327-9, 334~5; A. H. Stephens' Hist. U. S., 339-40, 347-50, 358-61. 

(9) 3 Elliot, 87. (10) 5 ib., 127-8, 140. 

(11) Vol. 3 McMaster's Hist. People of the U. S., 42; 2 Hy. Adams' Hist. U. S., 160 et seq. ; Powell's Nullification and Secession in the U. S., chap. 3. (12) 3 McMaster, chap. 19; 4 Hy. Adams, 407, 431. 

(13) "Congressional Speeches of Josiah Quincy," edited by his son, Edmund Quincy (1874), 196. 

(14) See a host of authorities, including A. H. Stephens' Hist. U. S., 419. 

(15) Jefferson to Holmes, April 22, 1820, "The Writings of Thos. Jefferson" (1829), vol. 4, pp. 323-4; also, in "Jefferson's Complete Works," vol. 7, 159, as cited in Stephens' Hist. U. S., 431. 

(16) Quoted from memory; author or origin not now recalled. 

(17) Jenkins' Calhoun, 248-9. 

(18) See the writer's monograph, "A Titans' War," chap. 34. 

(19) Accede, some 58 times in Elliot's Debates; compact or contract, over 30 times, ibid.; confederacy, confederated republic, federal (under the new constitution, or in the federal convention of 1787), some 50 times, ib.; constitution (as applied to the Articles of Confederation, or as distinguished therefrom), about 27 times, ib. ; nation, national, applied to both old Confederation and new constitution, in all over 60 times, ib. The above summary is rather ultra conservative in its approximation of the numbers of times these several terms are found in Elliot's Debates. 

(20) Elliot, vol. 2, 165. (21) Ibid., vol. 4, 183. (22) lb., vol. 327. 

(23) Supra, note 8. 

(24) 5 Elliot, 483. 

(25) "A Titans' War," chap. 15. 

(26) Stephens' U. S., 937-39- 

(27) Vol. 8, "Writings of Thos. Jefferson" (1897), 22-3. 

(28) Jenkins' Calhoun, 300. 

(29) Brown & Strauss' Dictionary of American Politics, 153, article, "Expounder of the Constitution." 

(30) H. C. Lodge's Life of Daniel Webster, 171. (31) Ibid., 225-6. 

(32) Von Hoist on the Constitution of the United States, vol. 1, p. 496. 

(33) See, inter al., "The Speeches of Daniel Webster" (Tefft), 438. 

(34) Annals of Congress, 1813-14, vol. 1, 949-50. 

(35) "A Titans' War," chap. 15; Vol. 6, Gale & Seaton's Register of Debates in Congress, part 1, abt. p. 92. 

(36) Theo. D. Jervey's Robert Y. Hayne and His Times, 260. 

(37) Register of Debates in Congress, vol. 9, 1612 et seq. 

(38) 4 Elliot, 285. 

(39) Brown & Strauss' Dictionary of American Politics, p. 344, article, "Republican Party." 

(40) As quoted in Stephens' Hist. U. S., 432. (41) Ibid., 602; Messages & Papers of the Confederacy, vol. 1, p. 55. 

(42) Stephens' Hist. U. S., 598. 

(43) Official Journal Louisiana Convention of 1861, No. 3 of the ordinances and resolutions passed. 

(44) Vol. 1, Messages & Papers of the Confederacy, 32-4. 

(45) Stephens' Hist. U. S., 604. (46) Ibid., 607-9 and Appendix N; also, Messages & Papers of the Confederacy, vol. 1, 63 et seq. and 82 et. seq. (Messages of President Davis to Congress, April 29, 1861, and May 8, 1861.) 

(47) Stephens' Hist. U. S., 604. (48) Ibid., 589; E. A. Pollard's 
"The Lost Cause," 94. 

(49) "The Lost Cause," 93. 

(50) The Bible, Psalm cxx, 7. 

(51) As quoted in "The Lost Cause," 84-5. 

(52) "The Writings of Thomas Jefferson" (18-29), vol. 4, 324. 

(53) See, inter alia. "A Russian Alliance," editorial in Harper's 

(54) Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America, 

(55) The Bible, Romans xii, 18. 

(56) Ibid., Matthew vii, 20. 

(57) Ibid., Hebrews xi, 4. 


Page 3, inset: "Engiish" should be English. 
Page 9, 4th line up: "wat" should be was. 
Page 12, 14th line up: Insert a comma after "league." 
Page 17, 15th line down: "remains" should be remain. 
Page 27, 13th line down; "commence" should be commerce. 
Page 29, 17th line up: "admit" should be admits. 
Page 31, 10th line up: "people" should be peoples. 
Page 34, 19th line: delete the comma after "secession." 
Page 38, 15th line down: "robberty" should be robbery. 
Page 39, Inset: "Exemplers" should be Exemplars. 
Page 43, Reference note 22: Insert 1 after "vol." 
Page 44, Reference note 52: "18-29" should be 1829. 
Page 44, Reference note 53: Add Weekly, Oct. 17, 1863. 
Page 44, Reference note 54: Add Article v. 

An Address Delivered by Lloyd F. Everett Of Washington Gamp No. 305, S. C. V.: At the Reception by the Camp to the Confederate Veterans of Washington, D. C. and vicinity, February 10, .1914; as revised and published in Number 40, Southern Historical Society Papers. 


barrycdog said…
Very detailed and referenced post.

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