bearing on the institution of slavery ; the nature and effect
of the President's Proclamation, as a war measure, and the
influence of the war on the character of the slave himself.
AUTHORITY TO MAKE PEACE, AND WHAT CONSTITUTES PEACE.
I now propose to consider the question of peace. But, in
doing this, it is necessary to determine the preliminary mat¬
ters—in whom rests the power to make peace, and what con¬
stitutes a state of peace in transition from rebellion to loy¬
alty. I farther propose to consider the reasons and grounds
on which alone peace can be made, consistently with perma¬
nence, and insuring the best interests and harmony of the
There are individuals who propose to extend the absurd
doctrine of a constitutional right of any state to secede at
pleasure from the Union, to the farther right to secede back
from the Confederacy to our councils, at their own pleasure,
without query on our part ; and who contend such return of
a state constitutes., peace. If, in the meantime, they say,
their citizens have been guilty of any crime against the gov¬
ernment, in their temporary absence, they must be indicted
by a grand jury, and tried for treason, and this is our remedy.
But we do not so regard it. The South rejected the jurisdic¬
tion of our civil tribunals, and resorted to war, and war, once
appealed to, is the arbiter of its own difficulties.
It is for the government to determine when the hostility of
a state ceases, and the rebellion has terminated. If the re¬
bellious states come back to the Union, we wish to know
whether they come back claiming a right to secede again at
their pleasure, or to resume their constitutional place as a
component and subordinate part of the government ? Wheth¬
er they come back trumpeting aloud their defiant heresies,
succumbing temporarily to gain strength for new collisions ;
or, repudiating their past errors, ready, joyfully to follow the
national flag, and keep time to the music of the Union.
Until these questions are rightly answered, we can have no
assurance that we are to have the Constitution as it is, or the