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(text) Resolutions of the State of Texas, concerning peace, reconstruction, and independence.
House of Representatives.
Call number 518 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Jan. 19, 1865.--Laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
WHEREAS, among the political parties of the United States the question of a re-union of those States with those of the Confederacy is being agitated, and in order to promote such re-union it is urged that delegates be chosen from each of the States in the Confederacy and in the Union, to meet in Convention to reform the Constitution of the United States, which proposition is coupled with the quasi pledge, that such amendment shall be made to the Constitution as will forever guarantee the institution of African slavery in the States in this Confederacy; and, Whereas, it is possible that the political party in the United States advocating that proposition may prevail at the approaching election in choosing the Executive of that Government, and that consequently the foregoing proposition may be attempted to be made to the States of the Confederacy; Now, we of the State of Texas, believing that it is proper to meet such proposition in advance, have resolved as follows:
Resolution 1st. Be it Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That neither the above proposition nor any other can be made to the people of this State by the United States or any other foreign people, the government of the Confederate States being the only organ of the States in the Confederacy, for the transaction of business with foreign nations, and such proposition, if made at all, must be made to the government of this States, and, if made to the government of this State, will not be entertained.
Resolution 2nd. That we recognize in that proposition no good faith, but merely an insidious policy, to "divide and conquer;" a policy through which it is hoped to detach some of the States from the Confederacy, thereby to weaken and demoralize the rest. To accomplish this an appeal is made to our love of property, which as it is the all prevailing motive to the actions of the people of the North, they supposed would control our conduct.
Resolution 3rd. That it will be well for the people of the North to understand, even at this late day, that the Southern States did not secede from the Union upon any question such as the mere preservation of the slave property of their citizens. But, that being free and sovereign States, they were resolved to preserve their freedom and their sovereignty. They were free to govern themselves
as they, and not others, saw fit. They were free to change their government, to erect a new one, and to make whatever alliances they should chose. And after nearly four years of arduous war, these States are still unwavering in their resolution to preserve their freedom and their sovereignty, without which all else is valueless.
Resolution 4th. That could the present war and all its horrors be blotted out of our memories, our past experience while in the Union would warn us from any re-union with the people of the North. A written Constitution adopted by our ancestors and theirs, which contained plainly worded guarantees of the rights of all was by them and their sworn Representatives, deliberately and persistently violated to our injury; and finally after years of discussion when the question was understandingly before the people at large, they elected a Chief Magistrate with the purpose that he should destroy our liberties in disregard of the Constitution which he had sworn to support; thus exhibiting an instance of radical and widespread national depravity, to the honor of human nature, never exhibited in the world before.
Resolution 5th. But we could not if we would, banish from our memory the inhumanities of this war. Our enemies have repudiated every principle of civilized warfare. They have withdrawn their felons from Jails and Penitentiaries, have recruited from the scum of Europe, and armed our own slaves, in order to procure an army sufficiently atrocious for their purpose; and this army has been launched upon us with the declared object of our extermination. Poisoned weapons have been manufactured and used. Exchange of prisoners has been refused until the success of our armies extorted a cartel, and the terms of this have been violated by them whenever the varying fortune of the field made it apparently advantageous to do so. Our countrymen when captured have been removed to rigorous climes, and subjected to every hardship, that thus they might be destroyed. Non-combatants have been murdered. Indiscriminate onslaught has been made upon tottering age and tender youth. Our chaste and defenceless women have been submitted to outrage worse than death. Peaceful villages have been bombarded, and happy homes plundered and burnt. Whole populations have been removed and bondaged to Northern masters. Desolation has marched with their armies. Religious services have been prohibited to ministers of the gospel of peace have been incarcerated and silenced, and sacriligious hands have been laid upon our sacred alters. Lying to themselves, and pretending to the rest of the world that they are fighting the battle of freedom for four millions of happy and contented negroes, they are attempting the enslavement of eight millions of freemen. With devilish mockery of philanthropy, they have deluded and dragged these negroes from their comfortable homes to use them as screens from our weapons in the day of battle, and they have sent them by thousands to painful death by neglect, exposure and starvation. Words can
not express the malignity in their hearts of the atrocity of their deeds, exceeding as they do all that was ever conceived by men from the Scythian down to the Comanche. Nor has this been the conduct of an unbridled soldierly merely. Those officers of their army who have surpassed the rest of the infamous, in infamy, have been rewarded with promotion by their Government. Nor has their Government been alone in identifying itself with these crimes. The people of the North have never failed, when the opportunity was presented, to render ovations to the most transcendent among the criminals, while their press has been constant in its laudation and their orators and preachers have cried out "well done." Army, government, and people, have united to make the name of Yankee, suggestive as it was before of fraud, now the synonym of barbarism and baseness.
Resolution 6th. By the just pride of the manhood and the virtue which we claim as individuals and as a people; by the divine command which warns us not to walk in the way with the wicked; by the memory of our murdered dead; by the sight of the bereaved mothers, widows, sisters, daughters and orphans in our land; by the heart brokenness of trampled virtue; and by our desolated hearths, we are forbidden to admit a thought of further association with the people of the North. Our heroic soldiers, the living, and the martyred dead, forbid it; and our trust in God forbids it.
Resolution 7th. We declare that we are earnestly desirous of peace, but we say no less distinctly that it must be coupled with our independence. And if the people of the United States be really disposed to terminate the war, they will best prove that disposition by making their proposition to the Government of the Confederate States, which alone can entertain it.
Resolution 8th. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the President of the Confederate States, to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, and to the Governor of each State in the Confederacy.
Approved, November 12, 1864.
STATE OF TEXAS,
Department of State.
I, Robert J. Townes, Secretary of State of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the original, now on file in my Department. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused the Seal of my Department to be affixed, at Austin, this 15th day of November, A. D., 1864.
R. J. Townes.