The Provisional Government of the Insurrectionists
We have before us a copy of the constitution and ordinances of the provisional government, which the insurrectionists at Harper’s Ferry were governed by.
It sets forth in its preamble a series of absurd and incendiary principles upon the subject of slavery, and then declares a provisional government established upon the basis therein expressed, “the better to protect our persons, property, lives, and liberties, and to governour actions.” etc.
Then follows the provisions of the proposed constitution, ordinances, and regulations. The election of a president and vice president, house of representatives, and judges of the supreme court, the appointment of cabinet officers, a commander in chief of the army, and various other matters are provided for. It is in reality the constitution of an abolition society upon an immense scale, with a careful an effective organization, a treasury, an army, with oaths, signs, and penalties. We have no doubt that it is already in existence, and that its operations will be manifest in other attempts at servile insurrections.