Adopted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, Jan. 24, 1861
Joint Resolutions relative to the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union.
WHEREAS, A Convention of delegates assembled in the city of Charleston, in the State of South Carolina, did on the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty, adopt an ordinance entitled "An ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her, under the compact, entitled the Constitution of the United States of America," whereby it is declared that the said Union is dissolved:
AND WHEREAS, It becomes the duty or the people of Pennsylvania, through their representatives in this General Assembly, to make known what they consider to be the objects sought, and the obligations and duties imposed by the Constitution; be it therefore,
Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, In General Assembly met, and it is hereby resolved, That the Constitution of the United States of America, was ordained and established as set forth in its preamble, by the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity, and if the people of any State in this Union, are not in the fall enjoyment of all the benefits intended to be secured to them by the said Constitution, if their rights under it are disregarded, their tranquility disturbed, their prosperity retarded, or their liberties imperiled by the people of any other State, full and adequate redress can, and ought to be provided for such grievances, through the action of Congress, and other proper departments of the National Government.
2. Resolved, That the people of Pennsylvania, entertain and desire to cherish "the most fraternal sentiments for their brethren of other States, and are ready now, as they have ever been, to co-operate in all measures needful for their welfare, security and happiness, under the Constitution which makes us one people. That while they cannot surrender their love of liberty inherited from the founders of their State, sealed with the blood of the Revolution, and witnessed in the history of their legislation, and while they claim the observance of all their rights under the Constitution, they nevertheless maintain now, as they have ever done, the Constitutional rights of the people of the slaveholding States, to the uninterrupted enjoyment of their own domestic institutions.
3. Resolved, That we adopt the sentiment and language of President Andrew Jackson, expressed in his message to Congress, on the sixteenth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three: "That the right of the people of a single State, to absolve themselves at will, and without the consent of the other States, from their most solemn obligations, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions composing this Union, cannot be acknowledged; and that such authority is utterly repugnant, both to the principles upon which the general government is constituted, and the objects which it was expressly formed to attain."
4. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States America, contains all tile powers necessary to the maintenance of its authority,. and it is the solemn and most imperative duty of the government, to adopt and carry into effect whatever measures may be necessary to that end, and the faith and the power of Pennsylvania, are hereby pledged to the support of such measures, in any manner, and to any extent that may be required of her, by the constituted authorities of the United States.
5. Resolved, That all plots, conspiracies and warlike demonstrations against the United States, in any section of the country, are treasonable in their character, and whatever power of the government is necessary to their suppression, should be applied to that purpose without hesitation or delay.
6. Resolved, That the Governor be, and be is hereby requested to transmit a copy of these Resolutions to the President of the United States, properly attested, under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth, and like attested copies to the Governors of the several States of this Union, and also to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, who are hereby requested to present the same to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
[Scanned from a photocopy supplied by Sylvia Sherman of the Maine State Archives.]