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Tradition usually rests upon something which men did know; history is often the manufacture of the mere liar.
Slavery was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.
Secession belongs to a different class of remedies. It is to be justified upon the basis that the States are Sovereign. There was a time when none denied it. I hope the time may come again, when a better comprehension of the theory of our Government, and the inalienable rights of the people of the States, will prevent any one from denying that each State is a Sovereign, and thus may reclaim the grants which it has made to any agent whomsoever.
Were it ever to be proposed again to enter into a Union with such a people, I could no more consent to do it than to trust myself in a den of thieves...There is indeed a difference between the two peoples. Let no man hug the delusion that there can be renewed association between them. Our enemies are...traditionless.
Obstacles may retard, but they cannot long prevent the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice, and sustained by a virtuous people.
Let the gentleman go to Revelation to learn the decree of God, let him go to the Bible...I said that slavery was sanctioned in the Bible, authorized, regulated, and recognized from Genesis to Revelation...Slavery existed then in the earliest ages, and among the chosen people of God; and in Revelation we are told that it shall exist till the end of time shall come.
The withdrawal of a State from a league has no revolutionary or insurrectionary characteristic. The government of the State remains unchanged as to all internal affairs. It is only its external or confederate relations that are altered. To term this action of a Sovereign a 'rebellion' is a gross abuse of language.
My own convictions as to negro slavery are strong. It has its evils and abuses...We recognize the negro as God and God's Book and God's Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him, our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude...You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.
African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social, and a political blessing.
If slavery be a sin, it is not yours. It does not rest on your action for its origin, on your consent for its existence. It is a common law right to property in the service of man; its origin was Divine decree.
Our situation illustrates the American idea that governments rest on the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish them whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established." With the politically correct controversy on slavery, it is noted that the unusual statements that Jefferson Davis makes are interesting, and many do not seem to fit into the mold that they try to put him in.
If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.
All we ask is to be let alone.
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