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Senate Bill, No. 16.
Joint Resolution Defining the Position of the Confederate States,
and Declaring the Determination of the Congress and the People
Thereof to Prosecute the War Till their Independence is Acknowledged:

Electronic Edition.

Confederate States of America. Congress. Senate.

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Call number 183 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

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[SENATE BILL, No. 16.]

        SENATE, Nov. 18, 1864.--Read first and second times and placed on calendar and ordered to be printed. Nov. 29, 1864.--Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Dec. 13, 1864.--Reported with an amendment, engrossed and read the third time and passed.

JAMES H. NASH, Secretary.

        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Dec. 15th, 1864.--Read the first and second times and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed.


Defining the position of the Confederate States, and declaring the
determination of the Congress and the people thereof to prosecute
the war till their independence is acknowledged.

        1. Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of
2 America, That the people of the Confederate States are endowed
3 by their Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty
4 and the pursuit of happiness That, to secure these rights, governments
5 were instituted among men, deriving their just powers
6 from the consent of the governed, and whenever any government
7 becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
8 people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government,
9 laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
10 powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect
11 their safety and happiness. That, on these principles, embodied

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12 in the Declaration of American Independence, the United Colonies,
13 in 1776, dissolved the connection that bound them to the
14 government of Great Britain, and on them the Confederate
15 States have severed the bonds of that political union which connected
16 them with the people and the government of the United
17 States of America, rather than submit to the repeated injuries
18 inflicted upon them by that people and to the usurpations of that
19 government, all of which had the direct object to deprive them
20 of their rights, rob them of property secured to them by constitutional
21 guarantees, and to establish an absolute tyranny over
22 these States.

        1. Resolved, That the Confederate States appealed to arms in
2 defence of these rights and to establish these principles only
3 after they had in vain conjured the people and the government
4 of the United States, by all the ties of a common kindred, to discountenance
5 and discontinue these injuries and usurpations, and
6 after they had petitioned for redress in the most appropriate
7 terms, and received in answer only a repetition of insults and injuries,
8 which foreshadowed usurpations still more dangerous to
9 liberty.

        1. Resolved, That after nearly four years of cruel, desolating
2 and unnatural war, in which the people of the Confederate States

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3 have unquestionably established their capacity for self-government,
4 and their ability to resist the attempts of the enemy to subjugate
5 them, this Congress does not hesitate to avow its sincere desire
6 for peace, and to that end proclaims to the world the readiness
7 of the Government of the Confederate States to open negotiations
8 to establish a permanent and honorable peace between the Confederate
9 States and the United States, upon the basis of the separate
10 independence of the former.

        1. Resolved, That the time has come when the Confederate Congress,
2 in the name of the people of the Confederate States, deem
3 it proper again to proclaim to the world their unalterable determination
4 to be free, and that they do not abate one jot of their
5 high resolve to die freemen rather than endure the tyranny which
6 must follow subjugation; and further, if the people of the United
7 States, by re-electing Abraham Lincoln, mean to tender to them
8 four years more of war, or re-union with them on any terms,
9 deeply deprecating the dire necessity so wantonly thrust upon
10 them, and relying upon the justice of their cause and the gallantry
11 of their soldiers, they accept the gage of battle, and leave
12 the result to the righteous arbitrament of Heaven.

        1. Resolved, That in view of the determination of the enemy to
2 prosecute this horrid war still further, against which the Confederate
3 States have at all times protested, and which the enemy have
4 waged with extraordinary vigor, and which has been marked by
5 acts of extraordinary atrocity, in violation of all the usages of

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6 civilized warfare, the Congress of the Confederate States will,
7 from this hour, dedicate themselves anew to the great cause of
8 self-defence against the combined tyranny of the enemy. That it
9 shall no longer be the momentary occupation of the Congress and
10 the people of the Confederate States, but the business of their lives
11 to gather together the entire strength of the country in men and
12 materials of war, and put it forth as with the will of one man,
13 and with an unconquerable determination to defend their altars
14 and their firesides till the last votary of freedom falls around
15 them.