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demarcation at all. And, finally, they had refused to be bound by that very agreement, and had made attempt after attempt to overleap the frontier which they had extorted, not only in violation of the spirit of the Union, not only in violation of their compact, but also in violation of the terms of the Louisiana cession treaty with France. And to this ceaseless pertinacious hostility, to these long and increasing injuries had been added untold provocation and insult. The South and the Southerners were a subject for invective from Northern platforms, of denunciation from Northern pulpits. Vehement as were the stump-orators, they were far outdone by the preachers. The clergy have always, and in all countries, possessed a power of vituperation which the most voluble layman might envy. In the days when Popes and Emperors used to issue manifestoes against one another, the former used always to scold the loudest; and no bull of the palmiest ages of the hierarchy, of Innocent the Fourth against Frederick, or Clement the Fifth against the Venetians, could more triumphantly and hopefully prognosticate the damnation of the enemy than did a genuine godly Abolitionist minister of the gospel prognosticate that of the slave-owners.* And all this time there was
* Here is one of the last novelties (alas! I wish they were novelties) in the way of a clerical exhortation. I can only give
no professed political hostility against them. The Protectionists were content to plunder them without abusing them into the bargain. The Abolitionists were not strong enough to form a party. Of the two great political combinations, the Democrats were rather their friends; and the Whigs were certainly not their enemies. And yet all this had been forced upon them, even when the party leaders had sprung from amidst them. A faction had now been formed avowedly and distinctly on
a sentence or two. “If I had the power,” said, quite recently, the Rev. Mr Brownlow, “I would arm and uniform in the Federal habiliments every wolf and panther and catamount and tiger and bear on the mountains of America; every crocodile in the swamps of Florida and South Carolina ; every negro in the Confederacy; and every devil in hell and pandemonium. This war, I say to you, must be prosecuted with a vim and vengeance until the rebellion is put down, if it exterminates from the face of God Almighty's green earth every man, woman, and child south of Mason and Dixon's line. . . . . I am willing to see Richmond captured by Grant; but if I had my choice, I should choose that Richmond and Charleston should be taken alone by negro troops commanded by ‘Butler the Beast.' ... We will crowd the rebels until, I trust in God, we shall rush them into the Gulf of Mexico and drown the entire race, as the devil did the hogs in the Sea of Galilee.” And these sentiments, and others like them, were cheered by a New York audience. Find, if you can, a Papal bull of excommunication or a French carmagnole to match this. If that army which he longs to see formed of wild beasts and fiends could be marshalled together, no fitter person could be found to lead it, or at least to drum for it, than this unutterable ruffian.
the basis of hostility towards them. The nominee of that faction had now become ruler of the State, and had done so by means which proved to them their utter powerlessness to resist whatever he might choose to do, or his backers to dictate. The whole power of the executive and an assured majority of the legislature were in the hands of their declared enemies, minds too ignorant to be moderate, too greedy to be generous, and too fanatical to know mercy. If Protectionism and Free-soil had been rampant before, what would they be now? If these things were done in the green tree, what should be done in the dry ?
This was enough. The Southern States saw that there would be a battle, fiercer and keener than any that had been, and which to them would be a matter of death or life. There was only one way of avoiding it, and that way was secession from the Union. It was very grievous to those who loved to listen to 4th July speeches about the stars and stripes, and the bird of freedom, and the glorious destinies of Columbia, and what was supposed by many to be the Monroe doctrine. It was also grievous to the nobler minds who loved to dwell on the recollection of the old days when the friendship of South and North might be typified by that of Washington and Hamilton, and who could not witness without a pang the severance of old associations. But there was no help for it. The spirit of Hamilton was in the North no longer. Old associations were for the time obliterated by present dangers. The words “ Secession and a new Union, as in 1787,” were pronounced, and flew like wildfire through the South. South Carolina, the most fiery and impetuous of all the American communities, still, as of yore, prompt in resolution and daring in action beyond all her compeers, took the lead, as she had ever done, and declared that she would be a member of the Union no longer. Her example spread far and fast along the Gulf, till it reached the confines of Mexico; and in an incredibly short space of time seven States were grouped around the Palmetto banner, and their representatives had met in a new Congress, to lay the foundations of a new Confederacy, in the halls of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama.
The deed was done. But there were still some points to settle. That the North would approve of what had been decided, was not probable. The seceders knew their old Yankee acquaintance well enough to be aware that he would not approve of being obliged to pay his own taxes, after having so long made the dogs of Edom do it for him. “Let the South go! we know better," was the cry, not only in griping New England, but in smart New York. That the seceders would be called rebels by any one in any position of authority, or any one at all whose ability and knowledge was above that of a Boston preacher, could hardly be anticipated at that time. But it was likely that the North would make as many difficulties as it could, so as to hamper them as much as possible in accomplishing their purpose; and there were the means for doing so. In different parts of the Union there were what they called Federal fortresses, like Rastadt and Mentz in Germany, occupied not by the troops of the States in which they were, but by those of the Union; and it was conceivable that a captious Government, wanting to hinder secession, might raise all manner of technical objections about their surrender. The Southerners, therefore, resolved to lose no time in getting this matter settled. The only Federal fortresses in the seceded States were at Charleston ; and it was upon South Carolina, therefore, that the task of treating with the Washington Government devolved.
Fortunately for South Carolina (at least fortunately for her right-practically it made no difference, as it turned out), she had, while giving up the land for the erection of Fort Pickens and Fort Sumter, expressly reserved her sovereignty over the ground in question, or in other words did not give it to the Union, but lent the use of it for an undefined period.