Civil War is upon us. People's passions are kindled, all party distinctions fall away, and everyone must adopt a firm stance. Whatever our differences of opinion before, we are all in agreement that this Union, which took us in under its protective banner, must be preserved at all cost, if at all possible. In this, we believe all who have sworn loyalty to the Constitution are united.
The question now is whether the Union can best be preserved by war or by peace.
We say that this can only happen through peace, through concession, and a conciliatory spirit. Many injustices and unneeded provocations would have best been omitted on both sides; indeed, we are not beyond stating that the Republican party conjured up the storm due to its hostile attitude toward the South.
Yet the question of who is to blame is for the moment of secondary importance. The one and only issue at hand is whether we should withhold support from the government, which was elected in accordance with the Constitution to which we have sworn loyalty.
We believe not.
Although we may criticize the administration, although we may believe that it did not do everything that could have been done to preserve peace, the government was elected in accordance with the Constitution, and so long as it does not act against the same, we are obligated by oath to support it, albeit with a heavy heart.
We protest against the war, and we will exercise our modest influence in favor of peace as well as in favor of unequivocally guaranteeing the South its constitutional rights, so that in the future there can be no doubt that, if the majority of the population in the Southern states approves secession, they will receive diplomatic recognition. Beyond that, however, we can and will not go. If the intent is to topple the federal government itself, as now seems to be the case, then we shall remind ourselves that we swore loyalty to the constitution and conduct ourselves accordingly.