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claimed would give peace within the limits of the Union, and not disturb it, and only be the means of bringing the agent before the proper tribunal of the States for judgment. Secession belongs to a different class of rights, and is to be justified upon the basis that the States are sovereign. The time has been, and I hope the time will come again, when a better appreciation of our Union will prevent any one denying that each State is a sovereign in its own right. Therefore, I say I concur in the act of my State, and feel bound by it. It is by this confounding of nullification and secession that the name of another great man has been invoked to justify the coercion of a seceding State. The phrase "to execute the law," as used by General Jackson, was applied to a State refusing to obey the laws and still remaining in the Union. I remember well when Massachusetts was arraigned before the Senate. The record of that occasion will show that I said, if Massachusetts, in pursuing the line of steps, takes the last step which separates her from the Union, the right is hers, and I will neither vote one dollar nor one man to coerce her, but I will say to her, "God speed!" Mr. Davis then proceeded to argue that the equality spoken of in the Declaration of Independence was the equality of a class in political rights, referring to the charge against George III.
for inciting insurrection, as proof that it had no reference to the slaves. But we have proclaimed our independence. This is done with no hostility or any desire to injure any section of the country, nor even for our pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solid foundation of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and transmitting them unshorn to our posterity. I know no hostility to you Senators here, and am sure there is not one of you, whatever may have been the sharp discussion between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well. And such is the feeling, I am sure, the people I represent feel towards those whom you represent. I, therefore, feel I but express their desire, when I say I hope and they hope for those peaceful relations with you, though we must part, that may be mutually beneficial to us in the future. There will be peace if you so will it, and you may bring disaster on every part of the country, if you thus will have it. And if you will have it thus, we will invoke the
God of our
fathers, who delivered them from the paw of the lion, to protect us from the ravages of the bear; and thus putting our trust in God, and our own firm hearts and strong arms, we will vindicate and defend the rights we claim. In the course of my long career, I have met with a great variety of men here, and
there have been points of collision between us. Whatever of offence there has been to me, I leave here. I carry no hostile feelings away. Whatever of offence I have given, which has not been redressed, I am willing to say to Senators in this hour of parting, I offer you my apology for any thing I may have done in the Senate; and I go thus released from obligation, remembering no injury I have received, and having discharged what I deem the duty of man, to offer the only reparation at this hour for every injury I have ever inflicted.
[As the Senators from Florida, Alabama and Mississippi were about to retire from the Senate, all the Democratic Senators crowded around them and shook hands with them. Messrs. Hale and Cameron were the only Republican Senators that did so.]
THE CORNER-STONE OF THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY.
A SPEECH BY HON. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, DELIVERED AT THE ATHENEUM, SAVANNAH, MARCH 22, 1861.
MR. MAYOR AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE, AND FELLOW-CITIZENS-For this reception you will please accept my most profound and sincere thanks. The compliment is doubtless intended as much, or more perhaps, in honor of the occasion, and my public position in connection with the great events now crowding upon us, than to me personally and individually. It is, however, none the less appreciated on that account. We are in the midst of one of the greatest epochs in our history. The last ninety days will mark one of the most memorable eras in the history of modern civilization.
[There was a general call from the outside of the building for the speaker to go out; that there were more outside than in. The Mayor rose and requested silence at the doors; said
Mr. Stephens said that. determine the question, At this point the uproar
Mr. Stephens's health would not permit him to speak in the open air. Mr. Stephens said he would leave it to the audience whether he should proceed indoors or out. There was a general cry indoors, as the ladies—a large number of whom were present-could not hear outside. the accommodation of the ladies would and he would proceed where he was. and clamor outside were greater still for the speaker to go out on the steps. This was quieted by Col Lawton, Col. Foreman, Judge Jackson, and Mr. J. W. Owens, going out and stating the facts of the case to the dense mass of men, women, and children who were outside, and entertaining them in short, brief speeches, Mr. Stephens all this time quietly sitting down until the furor subsided.]
Mr. STEPHENS rose and said-When perfect quiet is restored I shall proceed. I cannot speak as long as there is any noise or confusion. I shall take my time. I feel as though I could spend the night with you, if necessary. (Loud applause.) I very much regret that every one who desires cannot hear what I have to say, not that I have any display to make, or anything very entertaining to present; but such views as I have to give I wish all, not only in this city, but in this State, and throughout our Confederated Republic, could hear, who have a desire to hear them.
I was remarking that we were passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world. Seven States have, within the last three months, thrown off an old government, and formed This revolution has been signally marked,
up to this time, by the fact of its having been accom