The movement effectually to protect the rights of the South begins to assume a definite shape, and the result of the steps taken are now distinctly visible in all parts of the Union.

Congress, though attempting to devise means for conciliation, is too slow to meet the wishes of the people, at least at the South, even if it be possible that any good result can be secured by its action. Whether, with the best intentions and the most liberal feelings, any propositions emanating from that body can now calm the storm and restore confidence, is very problematical, for the South is not willing, after so many mere temporary conciliations, again to trust to terms yielded under the pressure of necessity.

We have believed, and still believe, that constitutional amendments, rendering unnecessary platform definitions of Southern rights, or executive constructions of the constitution, would be the only terms upon which peace can be restored to the States, and the Union be preserved. The way to obtain this adjustment of present troubles is conceded to be difficult—nay, impossible—without a returning sense of justice at the North. A revolution is necessary there, in the public mind, such as has been produced at the South, to secure such a result—one which, through a love for the Union and an appreciation of the blessings about to be lost, will secure as decided a feeling of self-sacrifice as is now to be seen in the slave States.

For united Southern action we have persistently struggled, in order to precipitate this revolution in Northern sentiment and action, which a sense of immediate danger has set in motion in the South. It would be to disregard all facts, to deny that signs of that revolution in popular feeling are now visible, not alone in the great commercial centres, but in all quarters of the non-slaveholding States. Though it lack that thoroughness and irresistible character which may justly be deemed necessary to concede, as constitutional amendments, that upon which we may rely as a final settlement of all controversy, the fact that the commercial capitals are aroused to the degree to overwhelm all opposition, that States begin to question the friendliness and Justice of their sectional legislation, and that the Government, which all revere, is admitted to be tottering to its foundations, are not to be ignored as indications of what may be possible when proposed action becomes a reality that is felt as well as feared.

To convince the North of the certainty that no patched up adjustments will now effect peace; to bring that number of States to act together, which shall solemnly proclaim not only a Union lost, but a government for all its States overthrown, unless the constitution itself be construed and made definite in its utterances in regard to the rights of the States and the relation of the institution of slavery to the General Government, the respective States and the Territories, is the object and aim of State cooperation.

We need not now allude to our grievances, nor endeavor to make out a case for resistance. The occasion of a sectional political triumph has been seized to bring the long contention to an issue; and it must be a final one. This is the feeling of the entire South, not alone of the Gulf States, the first to move though the least aggrieved. The border States express the same determination while they urge a pause, and entreat admission to our counsels; and we throw away the strength of the South while we expend zeal and labor only for separate State action.

United State action, or, in other words, cooperation of the Southern States with each other, is sought, not simply to acquire a more powerful influence on the Northern States, but for the protection of the South itself. If no concessions are obtained, and a withdrawal of the South, as many fully believe, becomes an inevitable necessity, the union of the South, once secured, saves us from the terrible convulsion which all revolutions inflict. It arrests the shock and panic which the disruption of civil relations and usual forms of administration, even when only threatened, produce. It restores confidence that we shall not, though we break away from the Union, be without a Union binding together the seceding States, or a Government like that from which we have withdrawn.

There is another consideration that is potent with those seeking State cooperation. Withdrawing separately from the present Union, the States leave behind them the public property, the national domain, and all common interests, the very objects to secure which we have risen in resistance to the sectional majority laying claim to undivided enjoyment. If the States, similar in institutions, necessarily subject to the same destiny, and willing to make a common cause with the cotton growing commonwealths, come together with one purpose, the line forming their northern border will be above all that territory which, from its climate, its soil and productions, is adapted to the extension of slavery. Our Western frontier will then outlie upon the North and the East of a large portion of this territory. It will be at the control of the united South, and we can scarcely fail to secure its occupation even if no division can be amicably effected. More than this, we absolutely carry with us not only a Southern confederacy, which will not be the work of time but will be effected by the very act of secession, but the District of Columbia, with all the millions of national property within its limits. Stop here a moment and observe the moral force of a united South and the invincible position it occupies. It holds the mouth of the Mississippi and has the keys to the commerce of the entire Mississippi and Ohio valley. It possesses the District of Columbia with the archives of the Government and all its offices and organization. It abuts upon Mexico on the east and north, with which it is in direct communication. It commands the navigation of the Gulf of Mexico, and holds the entrance into the territory of that distracted State. More than we demand in the Union, is thus already in the possession of a United South the instant a secession is consummated. Is not this worth a contest? Call you an effort to obtain this a submission? Why here is the only effective platform for resistance.

The question is not to save the Union; that is worth an effort before the last step be taken, and the South, united, is in a position to make herself heard and listened to with respect; but to secure to the slave States when secession comes if it be necessary, the objects for which the struggle commenced. It was for equal rights in the Territories the South determined to make a stand; not to abandon them; nor to submit to bold robbery by the North; and in carrying out the project of resistance, shall we by separate State action, by throwing off all connection with each other while allegiance to the General Government is withdrawn, give up all the rights we were to defend? Well may extreme factionists of the North look with complacency upon Southern secession that leaves them the seat of Government, the Treasury, the control of the navy and army, and the public domain uncontested. These are the positions taken by the friends of cooperation. There is no cooperation of the South sought with the view of acquiescing in the administration of Lincoln, or acquiring a hollow peace that may be broken as soon as the contest ceases. There is no trust in the reaction of Northern sentiment that shall only repeal personal liberty bills and annul hostile and unfriendly legislation. The work that shall give confidence must be a reconstruction of the constitution, and the alternative is a united secession of the South.

Nor do we consider that the immediate secession of one or more States prevents this cooperation. The necessity of a Southern convention, or congress, all immediate secessionists admit. The difference between them and cooperationists is on a point of time only. When a Southern convention is called, as called it undoubtedly will be, are the border States to be shut out if they have not seceded, or, will those who may have seceded before the cooperating States meet in convention, take no interest and stand aloof from the deliberation? A conference must be had, and we do not consider cooperation to have failed if one or more States go out at once.