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Hillsborough Recorder (NC)

Hillsborough Recorder (NC)

May 15, 1861

Page 2


                                    THE CONSTITUTION SUBVERTED

            We believe the Rail-Splitter, in the brief space of two months, has trampled under foot every important provision of the Constitution.  A brief summary will put the reader in possession of the facts.

            The power to declare war is by Constitution expressly confined to Congress; and it must be war against a foreign nation—not one of the States of the Confederacy.  The right to make war on a State was emphatically refused to Congress by the Convention which framed the Constitution.

            Lincoln has usurped this dictatorial war power, and is now waging war against eight of the sovereign States by his own authority.

            To raise and support armies is the special prerogative of Congress.  Lincoln is assembling an army of 75,000 men, not only without the authority of Congress, but after Congress had deliberately refused to give him such authority.

            Congress has the power to call forth the militia to suppress insurrection and repel invasions.  Lincoln has usurped this power in his own hands.

            “No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another,” says the Constitution.  Lincoln abrogates this provision and declares the ports of nine States to be blocked.

            Congress alone can suspend the writ of habeas corpus; martial law reigns in the Capital of the Republic.

            “No soldiers shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in the time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law,” is the clause in the constitution.  By what law has Lincoln taken military possession of Washington?

            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violaten,” are the words of the constitution.  The military despotism at Washington is the practical commentary on this provision.

            The President is charged with the protection and preservation of the public property.  Lincoln has fulfilled this obligation by destroying and burning the public property at Harper’s Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard.

            Lincoln affects to regard acts of Secession by any of the States as null and void.  He nevertheless treats the seceded States as foreign powers, by subjecting them to blockade, according to the law of nations.

            North Carolina, which has not yet formally resumed its delegated powers, is also put under the ban and declared in a state of blockade.

            The President is required to conform his action to treaties—now, by treaties with England, France and other nations, these Powers have the right of entry to all our ports.  Lincoln repudiates these treaties, and denies the exercise of the rights stipulated under them.  This is to provoke war, a power resting exclusively with Congress.

            We humbly conceive that the assumption and exercise of these vast powers by one man, annihilate the Constitution, prostrate the public liberties, and establish an odious despotism.

            --Richmond Whig—


[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]

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