Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/485

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taxes to be furnished by each State, and without the power of taxation, could not be self-sustaining. The Continental Congress passed an act authorizing a convention of all the original thirteen States, to assemble at Philadelphia in 1787 to adopt a new constitution. The convention, presided over by General Washington, adopted the new constitution known as the Constitution of 1789, and in accordance with its own provisions submitted it to the several States for their adoption or rejection. Let it at once be noted that by the very terms of this constitution, it was to become a constitution over the States only "when nine of the original thirteen States should, in convention assembled, adopt the same;" thus placing it in the power of four of the smallest of the original thirteen States, with an insignificant and sparse population, to have defeated its adoption. It is also important to observe that this Constitution of 1789 further provided, that when adopted "by nine of the original thirteen States it should only be operative and binding on the States so ratifying the same." Each State ratified the Constitution for itself, by itself, and was bound only by its own ratification.

So, when the rights and liberties of the State of Mississippi and other Southern States were invaded by unlawful conspiracies and combinations to destroy their property and disturb their domestic tranquillity, what was more natural than that they should declare, as they acceded to the Union of their own right and free will to secure liberty and the peaceable possession of their property, when this was denied them they had the right of secession?

When the war closed we surrendered by capitulation, with arms in our hands. What were the terms of the capitulation with Grant at Appomattox and Sherman in North Carolina? They were that the Confederates should furl their flags, stack their arms, return to their homes and yield obedience to the Constitution and laws of the