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HEADQUARTERs “NATIONAL UNION Association,”
SIR: The National Union Association appreciated your able Address to them at their regular meeting last night, and unanimously adopted the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the thanks of the National Union Association be returned to President I. W. ANDREws, for his instructive Address relative to the Allegiance of American Citizens, being a caustic criticism on the political dogma of ‘State Sovereignty;’ that the General Secretary request him to commit the same to writing, and to furnish a copy for publication under the auspices of the National Union Association.”
In communicating the above action, allow me to tender you thanks as requested, and to congratulate you that you have so logically and patriotically defended the Constitution of the United States from a fallacy which has misled thousands. The historic light you throw upon this vital topic will, I trust, serve to conduct many of them from their error.
For the Executive Committee. -
MARIETTA College, June 4, 1863.
DEAR SIB : I will endeavor to comply with the request of the National Union Association, to commit my Address of Tuesday evening to writing for the purpose of publication, though I can not, on account of my official duties, devote the time which I should be glad to give to the subject.
I give my views to the public with the more readiness, as the request from your Association is the third I have received within the last ten days.
Very truly, yours, ISRAEL W. ANDREWS. John D. CALDWELL, Esq.,
General Secretary National Union Association.
In accepting the invitation to address you, I have no purpose to endeavor to deepen your patriotic feeling, or kindle your enthusiasm to a higher pitch. I wish rather to discuss, calmly and dispassionately, one or two of the principles of our Government, and seek to ascertain its true character from its Constitution, from its workings, and from the history
of its formation. I speak not as a politician, nor as a lawyer even, but
as a citizen—believing that the Constitution was intended for the people, and was clothed in language which all intelligent citizens can understand.
I am not ignorant that in presuming to discuss, in public, a constitutional question, I shall incur the censure of those who believe that all such discussion must be by politicians and political editors. I know well enough that such men, while they would allow to one occupying the position which I do the right to vote, and, possibly, to have an opinion on questions affecting the vital interests of the nation, are greatly shocked, and their sense of propriety outraged, at the idea of any public utterance or advocacy of such an opinion. The charge of meddling with party politics may be expected from those who are all the while promulgating doctrines which tend, whether they know it or not, to the utter
subversion of all government; but this should not deter one from giving
utterance to what he sincerely believes to be, not only truth, but truth vital to the nation.
I shall not speak as a partisan, or discuss questions of party politics, but rather those which concern the nature of government; and I may express the hope that, in studying the Constitution and history of our country, I have been actuated by at least as sincere a desire to arrive at the truth, and that, in this public utterance of my opinions and the reasons for holding them, I speak with as strong a sense of my responsibility as those who would deny free speech to such as I am, and arrogate to themselves the exclusive privilege of giving publicity to their views.