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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/96

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88 Southern Historical Society Papers.

To the same effect, but in even stronger terms, are the words of Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, now a Senator from Massachusetts, who said in one of his historical works : ' ' When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the votes of States in popular conventions, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the country from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment entered upon by the States and from which each and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw, a right which was very likely to be exercised."

As far back as 1887, General Thomas C. Ewing, of Ohio, said in a speech in New York : ' ' The North craves a living and lasting peace with the South; it asks no humiliating conditions; it recognizes the fact that the proximate cause of the war was the constitutional question of the right of secession a question which, until it was settled by the war, had neither a right side nor a wrong side to it. Our forefathers in framing the Constitution purposely left the question unsettled; to have settled it distinctly in the Constitution would have been to prevent the formation of the Union of the thirteen States. They, therefore, committed that question to the future, and the war came on and settled it forever."

And right here, let me say, that the South has accepted that settlement in good faith, and will forever abide by it as loyally as the North, although we will never admit that our people were wrong in. making the contest.

This question was calmly and logically discussed by Mr. Charles Francis Adams in his speech delivered in Charleston, S. C. , on De- cember 23rd, last, when he said:

"When the Federal Constitution was framed and adopted 'an indestructible union of imperishable States,' what was the law of treason, to what or to whom in case of final issue did the average- citizen owe allegiance? Was it to the Union or to his State ? As ai practical question, seeing things as they were then sweeping aside all incontrovertible legal arguments and metaphysical disquisitions I do not think the answer admits of doubt. If put in 1788, or in- deed at any time anterior to 1825, the immediate reply of nine men; out of ten in the Northern States, and of ninety-nine out of a hun- dred in the Southern States, would have been that, as between: the Union and the State, ultimate allegiance was due to the State.

  1. # * # j t was not a q ues tion of law or of the intent of the