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Draft Secession Resolutions of the Richmond Convention, by G.W. Richardson

MSS 38-399
Special Collections Department, University of Virginia

  The people of the Sovereign State of Virginia in general convention assembled do declare and publish the following resolutions.
  1.  That the compact by which the several sovereignties composing the United States of North America were united in a confederacy has been repeatedly violated by individuals and states composing the Northern part of the same.
  2  That the said compact having been thus repudiated by parties to the same to the injury and oppression of other parties thereto is not binding upon the latter and exists not of right but by sufference.
  3  That not only are the sovereign states of this union the rightful judges of the circumstances under which their honor and safety require their withdrawal therefrom, but those who have peaceably so withdrawn, were justified in so doing by invasions of their just rights.
  4  That we will resist the coercions of the States which have so withdrawn, because there is no rightful power to use force against them under present circumstances. Because their interest is common with ours and because an impairment of their safety is dangerous to our own.
  5  That in view of the grievances which the south has sustained at the hands of the North, and of the election of a chief magistrate, avowedly hostile to the institutions of the former, it is the duty of the latter, at once to concede such constitutional guarantees to the South, as will prevent the recurrence of the wrongs already inflicted on us, and secure our full and equal rights in the confederacy.
  6.  That the failure to provide against these wrongs and to secure these rights is an evidence of either indifference or hostility towards us, which are alike fatal to our peace and safety.
  7.  That in view of these plain truths, we demand that security for our rights and honor be accorded to us in the Confederacy as speedily as the necessary Constitutional proceedings can be carried out, and in default thereof will dissolve our connections with those who first want only wrong us, and then obstinately persevere in the injury.
  8.  That arguing from the persistent denial of our rights just demands the danger of a conflict of arms. We decree that the State be forthwith be put in such a condition of defence, as will ensure her safety, dignity, and honor.