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O Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
We can never forget that our hearts have been one,
You were always too ready to fire at a touch;
But we said, "She is hasty, — she does not mean much."
Has our love all died out? Have its altars grown cold?
They may fight till the buzzards are gorged with their spoil,
In vain is the strife! When its fury is past,
As the torrents that rush from the mountains of snow
Our Union is river, lake, ocean, and sky:
Man breaks not the medal, when God cuts the die!
O Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
There are battles with Fate that can never be won!
Go, then, our rash sister! afar and aloof,
Run wild in the sunshine away from our roof;
But when your heart aches and your feet have grown sore,
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Songs in Many Keys (Boston, 1862), 282-284.
61. An Ordinance of Secession (1861)
BY THE CONVENTION OF ALABAMA
Alabama was the fourth state to secede. Her ordinance was the only one that declared Lincoln's election to be the cause of the secession, though other ordinances made general statements to the same effect. Only three of the states - Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia - submitted the ordinance to the people for ratification. - For the several ordinances of secession, see American History Leaflets, No. 12.
N ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of Alabama and other States united under the compact styled "the Constitution of the United States of America."
Whereas the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security: Therefore,
Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn, from the Union known as "the United States of America," and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and independent State.
SEC. 2. Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in convention assembled, That all the powers over the territory of said State, and over the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America be, and they are hereby, withdrawn from said Government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama.
And as it is the desire and purpose of the State of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent government, upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States,
Be it resolved by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, That the people of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkan
sas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, be, and are hereby, invited to meet the people of the State of Alabama, by their delegates, in convention, on the 4th day of February, A.D. 1861, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama, for the purpose of consulting with each other as to the most effectual mode of securing concerted and harmonious action in whatever measures may be deemed most desirable for our common peace and security.
And be it further resolved, That the President of this convention be, and is hereby, instructed to transmit forthwith a copy of the foregoing preamble, ordinance, and resolutions, to the Governors of the several States named in said resolutions.
Done by the people of the State of Alabama in convention assembled, at Montgomery, on this, the 11th day of January, A.d. 1861.
From one of the original copies printed by order of the Convention, 1861.
62. Principles of the Confederacy (1861)
BY PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS
After Calhoun's death Davis became the recognized leader of the extreme proslavery and states'-rights school of statesmen. He attempted to carry into practice Calhoun's theories; but when secession was accomplished and he found himself at the head of a government founded on these theories, his administration soon displayed tendencies toward centralization which provoked much opposition. This extract is from his inaugural address under the provisional constitution of the Confederacy. For Davis, see Channing and Hart, Guide, § 25.- Bibliography as in No. 58 above.
GENTLEMEN of the Congress of the Confederate States of America :
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: Called to the difficult and responsible station of Chief Executive of the Provisional Government which you have instituted, I approach the discharge of the duties assigned to me with an humble distrust of my abilities, but with a sustaining confidence in the wisdom of those who are to guide and to aid me in the administration of public affairs, and an abiding faith in the virtue and patriotism of the people. Looking forward to the speedy establishment of a permanent government to take the place of this, and which, by its greater moral and physical power, will be better able to combat with the many difficulties which arise from the conflicting interests of separate
nations, I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen with a hope that the beginning of our career as a confederacy may not be obstructed by hostile opposition to our enjoyment of the separate existence and independence which we have asserted, and, with the blessing of Providence, intend to maintain. Our present condition, achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations, illustrates the American idea that governments rest upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish governments 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 tranquillity, 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 now composing this Confederacy, it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot box declared that, so far as they were concerned, the Government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted a right which the Declaration of Independence of 1776 had defined to be inalienable; of the time and occasion for its exercise they, as sovereigns, were the final judges, each for itself. The impartial and enlightened verdict of mankind will vindicate the rectitude of our conduct, and He who knows the hearts of men, will judge of the sincerity with which we labored to preserve the Government of our fathers in its spirit. The right solemnly proclaimed at the birth of the States, and which has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the bills of rights of States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recognize[s] in the people the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented 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; the rights of person and property have not been disturbed. The agent through whom 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 commerce 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. Doubly justified by the absence of wrong on our part, and by wanton aggression on the part of others, there can be no cause to doubt that the courage and patriotism of the people of the Confederate States will be found equal to any measures of defense which honor and security may require.
An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest and that of all those to whom we would sell and from whom we would buy that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of commodities. There can be but little rivalry between ours and any manufacturing or navigating community, such as the Northeastern States of the American Union. It must follow, therefore, that a mutual interest would invite good will and kind offices. If, however, passion or the lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of those States, we must prepare to meet the emergency and to maintain by the final arbitrament of the sword the position which we have assumed among the nations of the earth. We have entered upon the career of independence, and it must be inflexibly pursued. Through many years of controversy with our late associates, the Northern States, we have vainly endeavored to secure tranquillity and to obtain respect for the rights to which we were entitled. As a necessity, not a choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separation; and henceforth our energies must be directed to the conduct of our own affairs and the perpetuity of the confederacy which we have formed. If a just perception of a 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 blessings of Providence on a just cause.
With a Constitution differing only from that of our fathers in so far as it is explanatory of their well-known intent, freed from the sectional conflicts which have interfered with the pursuit of the general welfare, it is not unreasonable to expect that States from which we have recently parted may seek to unite their fortunes with ours under the Government which we have instituted. For this your Constitution makes adequate provision; but beyond this, if I mistake not the judgment and will of