sumes to act through any such prior agency, or originates an
entirely new agency for this purpose—whether it is made up
of the people of parts of states, of whole states, or of a
combination of various states, is immaterial. If the action
is a concerted disavowal of allegiance to the government, and
an armed opposition to it—it is in all such cases alike rebel¬
lion, under whatever name it may be called.
Such a rebellion, if resisted, becomes at once civil war—one
of the most deadly and destructive calamities known to man ;
and, when commenced against a government of a well-order¬
ed, beneficent character, is a crime of unparalleled enormity.
In such a war, all concerned are principals, and are subject
to the forfeiture of life and estate. But when large numbers
of a population are in arms, the crime assumes, for the time
being, the proportions and character of a strife between na¬
tions, and must be governed in its conduct by the ordinary
rules of war, to abide in the end the result it merits.
Such is the character of the war in which we are engaged.
Treason extends through one third of the Union. It has
usurped state organizations, turning them against us, and
wields, for the time being, practical sovereignty over their
limits. It has been declared, by our highest judicial author¬
ity, " a territorial civil war." It is a war of enormous extent
and terrific power, as "its continuance for three lamentable
years so fully testifies.
EFFECT OF REBELLION ON SLAVERY.
The controversy exists between a section of country where
slavery prevails, and one where the people, with a slight ex¬
ception, are wholly free ; and the very first question raised in
the encounter, to which we propose to direct your attention,
is, what is to become of the slave as our armies advance into
the enemy's territory ?
We contend that the power of the master over the slave is
not of a character that a belligerent, by any of the established
rules of war, is bound to respect. This seems well sustained
by various reasons.