Address of the Hon. Charles L. Scott, of California, to his constituents, on the constitutional right of secession. Page: 1 of 16
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HON. CHARLES L. SCOTT,
C A L IF O RNIA,
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF SECESSION.
FELLOW-CITIZENS oF CALIFORNIA :
During four year's service in the Congress of the United States,
I have studiously abstained from participating in the discussions of
questions of a political character. I was induced to pursue this
course believing it to be to the interest and to the advantage of our
State, which was equally dependent upon all sections of the coun-
try; and nothing now but a stern sense of duty compels me to de-
viate from the rule which has heretofore governed me, and to break
a silence which was alone produced by a devotion to California and
In the present great crisis, however, I cannot longer remain a
quiet and passive observer of the momentous events which are now
thronging thick and fast before us, and which are pregnant either
with much weal or woe for our beloved Union. It is always em-
barrassing, certainly disagreeable, to allude to one's self; but this
embarrassing and disagreeable necessity devolves upon me, in order
to show you the reason of the faith that is in me, and why I have
assumed the position which my subsequent remarks will indicate.
Born in the good old Commonwealth of Virginia, my mind was
early imbued with the political teachings of Jefferson and Madi-
son, and I became an ardent and sincere admirer and follower of
the doctrines of State-rights. Reared in the Jeffersonian school
of politics, I left my native State in 1849 for your golden shores,
carrying with me the principles and the doctrines which had
been inculcated and promulgated by her noble sons.
Amidst all the political changes and vicissituides of a life in your
midst, I have ever rigidly adhered to those principles; and time,
instead of impairing my convictions, as regards their soundness,
has only strengthened them, and they have indeed been my politi-
cal chart, guiding and directing me whenever surrounded by doubt.
To my mind, the present difficulties and dangers which now en-
velopes our country, and threatens ruin and destruction, have arisen
chiefly from an abandonment of those principles, and has led to the
sad grievances which an outraged South is now remonstrating against.
I will not now recapitulate those grievances, for they have been too
forcibly presented to the country a thousand times by those imme-
diately interested in their redress. Suffice it to say that they are
of such a character as will dissolve this Union unless they are sat-
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Scott, Charles L. 1827-1899. (Charles Lewis). Address of the Hon. Charles L. Scott, of California, to his constituents, on the constitutional right of secession., pamphlet, 1861; Washington, D.C.. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth498955/m1/1/: accessed October 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Schreiner University.