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cise legal jurisdiction over either persons or property, outside of the military service. There is no authority, in Congress or the President, to confer such jurisdiction. The existence of war adds nothing to its legitimate powers in this respect. Whenever and wherever it has done so, it has committed a flagrant violation of the Constitution, and a more flagrant and damaging assault upon the character of the American people.
We hold the latter to have been, in this way, its most serious and injurious offence.
To the American people had been committed, more than any other, the great trust of maintaining a free system of laws. We had promised more and accomplished more in the short period of our national existence, than any other people. It was here that labor received its highest reward, that genius and invention achieved their greatest triumphs, that education was most widely disseminated; and it was here that freedom, peace, and prosperity had made their cherished home.
We had done more as a People than as a Government.
It is thus seen that the domination of the military power is something more than a mere political offence. Our estates are not all made up of civil institutions. When we gave up those institutions we surrendered the greatest name as a People, the highest dignity and the noblest mission ever organized by freemen. It was a sacrifice so complete that, from being the first people in all the world, in character and works, we became the last in practical freedom and political wisdom. This fall is due exclusively to the fact that we have tamely surrendered the dominion of laws to a wanton military rule.
We had a mission to fulfil as well as a state to maintain. Separated from the great governments by an impassable barrier, which protected us through all the stages of our early career, we had grown to colossal proportions, with ample power to vindicate, by arms and by labor, the free system of laws which we had adopted for our government. We had advanced so far that our example became an eloquent and powerful assailant of absolutism everywhere, while it conveyed to every people unquestionable proof of the capacity of man for self-government.
mi Without a thought of active intervention with the local politics of others, we had declared, in the name of the people, that hostile European colonization on this continent would in no case be permitted. This was no more than a legitimate expression of our political system. There was nothing of menace or presumption in it. As a measure, it was timely and regular. Europe had combined at Vienna, to declare to the world that her people should in no case recognize free institutions. England had joined in this decree of exclusion. If Europe could rightly interdict free government on the other side of the water, we certainly could interdict absolutism on this. There was as much moral and legal weight in our ideas as theirs. They addressed us, it is true, through their governments, while we addressed them as a people. We listened to them because we knew they had power to enforce their decree; they listened to us because they knew we had power to enforce ours.
So long as we remained true to the principle which gave us that power we were potential and unconquerable; when we abandoned that principle and practically adopted that which governed the Congress of Vienna, we became weak and contemptible. This abandonment stands to us as a subjugation by a foreign power. It is not armies alone, commanded by Frenchmen or Germans, which constitute foreign invasion. Whatever is not indigenous to our institutions, whatever partakes of absolutism, is utterly foreign to us in a political sense. We care not where a ruler comes from, if his will, instead of our law, is to govern. Abraham Lincoln is a foreigner to us, when he rules in opposition to the Constitution of the United States.
by The Constitution and its Dangers.—Lord Brougham, in the House of Commons, June 23d, 1817, says:
"It is now reckoned childish or romantic to profess any veneration for the Constitution of the country, or respect for popular rights. My honorable friend
(Sir S. Romilly) has been taunted with romance for defending its general principles; but I will say, that, if it is a romance, it is a romance which has given us all the advantages which those who know not their origin cannot overlook. It has made us the admiration and envy of our neighbors; and by frequent derelictions of it, like the present, we shall soon cease to be the only free and happy country in Europe, or in the world. If the house thinks to do its duty to the country by agreeing to every unconstitutional measure at the bare suggestion of the minister—if you think you will be doing your duty to your constituents by refusing to investigate their complaints, and by rushing headlong, without inquiry, into every measure which is recommended against them—if the new doctrine of confidence in ministers, whoever they may be, obtains, I should then say that it is a matter of little consequence in which form the constitution exists—the substance is gone. It is plainly avowed that it is fit only for fair weather to be got rid of as soon as a storm arises—and that the rights of the people of England are not to be held even during their good behavior, but at the good will and pleasure of the ministers of the crown.”—BROUGHAM'S Opinions,
"I know that the general answer to all that has been hitherto alleged on this subject is that martial law had been proclaimed at Demerara. But, sir, I do not profess to understand, as a lawyer, martial law of such a description; it is entirely unknown to the law of England. I do not mean to say in bad times of our history, but in that more recent period which is called constitutional. It is very true that formerly the crown sometimes issued proclamations, by virtue of which, civil officers were tried before military tribunals. The most remarkable instance of that description, and the nearest precedent to the case under our consideration, is the well-known proclamation of the august, pious, and humane Philip and Mary, stigmatizing as rebellion, and as an act that should subject the offender to be tried by a court martial, the having heretical, that is to say, Protestant, books in one's possession, and not giving them up without previously reading them.
“Similar proclamations, although not so extravagant in their character, were issued by Elizabeth, by James I., and (of a less violent nature) by Charles I., until at length the evil became so unbearable that there arose from it the cele. brated Petition of Right, one of the best legacies left to this country by that illustrious lawyer Lord Coke, to whom every man who loves the constitution owes a debt of gratitude, which unceasing veneration for his memory can never pay.
“The Petition declares that all such proceedings shall henceforth be put down; it declares that “no man shall be forejudged of life or limb against the form of the Great Charter,' that ‘no man ought to be adjudged to death but by the laws established in this realm, either by the custom of the realm, or by acts of Parliament;' and that the commissions for proceeding by martial law should be revoked and annulled, lest, by color of them, any of his majesty's subjects be destroyed, or put to death contrary to the laws and franchise of the land.' Since
that time no such thing as martial law has been recognized in this country; and courts founded on proclamations of martial law have been wholly unknown. And here I beg to observe that the particular grievances at which the Petition of Right was levelled were only the trials, under martial law, of military persons, or of individuals accompanying or in some measure connected with military per. sons. On the abolition of martial law, what was substituted ? In these days a standing army in times of peace is considered a solecism in the constitution.
" Accordingly, the whole course of our legislation proceeded on the principle that no such establishment was recognized.
“Afterwards came the annual Mutiny Acts, and courts martial, which were held only under those acts. These courts were restricted to the trial of soldiers for military offences, and the extent of their powers was pointed out and limited by law.”—Ibid., 220-222.
Trial by Jury.-—"The jury are sometimes right when the judge is wrong. Judges themselves sometimes admit that they took, what they afterwards found out to be, a wrong view of the case, while the jury took a right one; and how can it be otherwise than a frequent case? One may be very excellent for deciding a point of law; nothing can be better than one for superintending a jury, from his long experience and long practice; but twelve men are much better for deciding in cases where there is conflicting evidence, and where that evidence is to be brought before them in an uncertain shape, because there are a great variety of points in the case; one man takes one view, and another another, each taking it, as it were, by a different handle, until, by reflection and argument, they come to a unanimous decision. Nothing can be better, I am convinced, than the decision of these twelve men, instructed as they are by the counsel and the judge." - Ibid., vol. ii. p. 80.
Right of the Subject to Demand Protection from the Crown.—"Protection, your lordships are aware, protection affording security of person and property, is the first law of the state. The legislature has no right to claim obedience to its laws, the crown no right to demand allegiance from its subjects, if the legislature and the crown do not afford, in retuin for both, protection for person and property. Without protection, the legislature would abdicate its functions if it demanded obedience; without protection, the crown would be an usurper of its right to enforce allegiance.”—Ibid., p. 94.
Effects of Oaths in Weakening the Moral Principle.—“Increasing unnecessarily the number of oaths to be taken operates injuriously in a twofold manner-it not only diminishes the sanctity of an oath, and begets an indifference to what ought to be a high, moral, and religious ordination ; but it hath another tendency, to check the law in its course in punishing crime. Everything that diminishes the sanctity of an oath begets a carelessness about swearing, and generates a habit of perjury and prevarication, which those who have to administer the law know to be the most difficult thing to deal with."-BROUGHAM, vol ü. p. 109.
THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS.
THEIR UNITY-THE STATE EXCLUSIVE JUDGE OF PROHIBITED POWERS-THE UXION
NOT A CIVIL POLITY—NOT A DEMOCRACY-PERSONS AND MAJORITIES-HOW
REGARDED-THE SLAVERY QUESTION-ITS ALLEGED INCOMPATIBILITY WITH
Now, let us consider that the States of the Union, in respect to all ordinary matters of government, are just what they have ever been since the first organization of civil institutions in this country. For example, the State of New York is just what she was a century ago, an independent State, having an executive, legislative, and judicial department. Scarcely an acre of its territory, or a noticeable fraction of its political rights, or an iota of its liberty, as a free State, has ever been surrendered. The control of its foreign relations, the coining of money, postal matters and a few other specific interests, of a general nature, were transferred, not to an independ. ent power, but to a power of its own creation and government.
In making this transfer, it is hardly possible that New York intended in any sense, to make herself a subject State, not even in reference to those things over which she declared the authority of the United States supreme. The supremacy here accorded is strictly legal in its nature, partaking far more of exclusive jurisdiction over the subjects than of dominion.
The general and the State law, so far as the people of the State are concerned, are identical—they are both, to all practical intents and purposes, the laws of the State. The Government of the State draws to it and makes part of it, all laws of the Union, made in obedience to the Federal Constitution.
This expresses the true unity of the system. It does not admit the existence of two governments. It is all one system. By so