Skip to main content

Archive:

The Old Guard: A Monthly Journal, Devoted to the Principles of 1776 and 1787 by Charles Chauncey Burr

The Old Guard: A Monthly Journal, Devoted to the Principles of 1776 and 1787
by
Charles Chauncey Burr

"The War Power"

“A new phrase has lately appeared in this country, very much as Satan’s face first appeared in Paradise.—It is, ‘the war power’ as something above the Constitution, which is declared to be ‘the supreme law of the land.’ ...

The Constitution of New York declares that ‘No authority shall, on any pretense whatever, be exercised over the people of this State, but such as shall be derived from and granted by them.’ The Constitution of New Jersey says: ‘The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.’ The Constitution of Pennsylvania says: ‘The military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.’ The Constitution of every State in the Union is similar. The idea of a war power that is above the powers of ordinary legislation—that is able to revoke or suspend existing constitutional law—is not only foreign to the genius of our government, but is positively denied by express constitutional enactment.

What is now by ignorant or designing people called the war power, or military law, is simply the absence of all law, and rests upon the same moral basis, as what is called Lynch law, or mob law. They depend upon the same arbitrary usurpation of power, in opposition to Constitution and statute. It depends solely upon the will or caprice of the party by whom it is proclaimed and enforced. Until Mr. Lincoln's election, no man imagined that it was ever to be put in force outside of the military camp; nor was it supposed that it would ever be used even there, in violation of the express guarantees of the Constitution, It is well known that Washington, although the land was full of traitors to our revolutionary cause, totally ignored the idea of such a war power as Lincoln claims to wield.”

Charles Chauncey Burr, The Old Guard: A Monthly Journal, Devoted to the Principles of 1776 and 1787, Volume 1, No 7 (New York: C. Chauncey Burr & Company, 1863), 163.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag


[The facts concerning the origin of the battle flag contained in this article are derived from a speech by General Beauregard before a special meeting of Louisiana Division, Army of Northern Virginia Association, December 6, 1878.—EDITOR.]
This banner, the witness and inspiration of many victories, which was proudly borne on every field from enemy. General Beauregard was momentarily expecting help from the right, and the uncertainty and anxiety of this hour amounted to anguish.
Still the column pressed on. Calling a staff officer, General Beauregard instructed him to go at once to General Johnston, at the Lewis house, and say that the enemy were receiving heavy re-enforcements, that the troops on the plateau were very much scattered, and that he would be compelled to retire to the Lewis house and there reform hoping that the troops ordered up from the right would arrive in time to enable him to establish and hold the new line.
Meanwhile, the unknown t…

Some Truths of History (I) by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby

SOME TRUTHS OF HISTORY:  A Vindication of the South Against the Encyclopedia Britannica and Other Maligners by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby
I.
Since the Evolution days the few thinkers of America born south of Mason and Dixon's line — out-numbered by those belonging to the single State of Massachusetts — have commonly migrated to New York or Boston in search of a university training. In the world of letters, at least, the Southern States have shone by reflected light; nor is it too much to say that mainly by their connection with the North the Carolinas have been saved from sinking to the level of Mexico or the Antilles. Like the Spartan marshaling his helots, the planter lounging among his slaves was made dead to art. It has only flourished freely in a free soil, and for almost all its vitality and aspirations we must turn to New England." — Encyclopedia Britannica {ninth edition), Volume 1, p. 719. 
If the sons and daughters of the South do not themselves uphold the truth of histor…

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery
“They do not tell that General Grant, a slaveholder, was put as leader of the Northern Army and General Lee, who had freed his slaves, as the leader of the Southern Army, but they do say that the war was fought to hold the slaves yet do not tell that only 200,000 slaveholders were in the Southern Army, while 315,000 slaveholders were in the Northern Army.” Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Truths of History: A Fair, Unbiased, Impartial, Unprejudiced and Conscientious Study of History. Object: To Secure a Peaceful Settlement of the Many Perplexing Questions Now Causing Contention Between the North and the South (Athens, Georgia, 1920), iv.

By Fannie Eoline Selph: “The War between the States was not caused by the question of the emancipation of the slaves, nor did it begin with the firing on Fort Sumter. The cause and its declaration centered in the order issued by Abraham Lincoln for 2,400 men and 265 guns for the de…