Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

the impression on our mind that the whole was an elaborate defence of the South, and we were led to believe so irresolute and contradictory a document could not have been the production of one mind or of a United Cabinet. There is every reason to believe Buchanan had been compelled by the pro-secession portion to append his signature to a meaningless and unintelligible concourse of words."*

He quotes Wade :

“Like a spoilt child, the South must have all it demands. The twenty millions of free men must submit to the wilfulness of about half a million of slaveholders. The Republican party must give up its victory, and quietly and submissively submit to the yoke of slavedom. During the past twenty-five years the South has been the victim of Northern virulence, the hunted lambs of Northern wolves.” †

“ Attorney-General Black, in Nov. 1860, defined the relations between the States and the Federal Government: The will of a State, whether expressed in its constitution or laws, cannot, while it remains in the confederacy, absolve her people from the duty of obeying the just and constitutional requirements of the central government. Nor can any act of the central government displace the jurisdiction of a State, because the laws of the United States are supreme and binding only so far as they are passed in pursuance of the constitution. I do not say what might be effected by mere revolutionary force; I am speaking of legal and constitutional right.'

* Ellison, p. 72.

t Ibid. p. 73.

" Judge Wade, of Ohio, p. 80, said, 'I acknowledge to the fullest extent the right of revolution, if you so call it, a right to destroy the Government, and erect another on its ruins more in accordance with your wishes. But when you undertake it, it is with this provision: if you are successful, all is right — you are heroes; but if you are defeated, you are rebels. This is the character of revolutions. If successful, all well; if not, the Government treats them as traitors.""*

And also Mr. Douglas :

" Doubtless the United North could subdue the United South if it willed to do so, but it could not be expected that the defeated States would be reconciled to the Union by such means. They would give a kind of allegiance to the Federal power, but under protest, and therefore but transient. They would have no love to the Union, and would take the earliest favourable opportunity of breaking it up. Their pride, wounded by defeat, would never let them rest until they had achieved their independence. If, therefore, the Union cannot be preserved by peaceful means, by mutual concessions, if the same influences which called it into being, mutual interests and reciprocal affections, no longer exist, the confederacy had better be peaceably dissolved."*

* Ellison, p. 78.

+ Ibid. p. 80.

Douglas, January 3rd, 1861, said:

“ There is no other resource left to enforce the law in a seceding State, except to make war and bring the State into possession first. A war between eighteen States on one side, and fifteen seceding States on the other, is a revolting thing. And for what purpose is it waged ? certainly not for the purpose of preserving the Union. You cannot expect to exterminate ten millions of people whose passions are excited with the belief that you mean to invade their homes and light the flames of insurrection in their midst. Sooner or later both parties will become exhausted, and when rendered incapable of fighting any longer they will make a peacebut of separation. The history of the world does not furnish an example of a war of sections

* Ellison, p. 83.

or states of the same nation which ended in reconciliation. Where there is a deep-seated discontent pervading ten millions, penetrating every man, woman, and child, involving everything dear to them, it is time to inquire whether there is not a cause.” *

And Mr. Iverson :

“ If you acknowledge our independence and treat us as one of the nations of the earth, you can have friendly relations and intercourse, you can have an equitable division of public property and the existing public debt of U. S.; but if you make war upon us, we will seize and hold all the public property in our borders, and we will never pay one dollar of the public debt. The first Federal gun that is fired on the seceding States, the first drop of blood of any of our people shed by the Federal troops, will cancel every debt, public and private, to the Federal Government or Northern people. We care not in what shape or form you attempt coercion. We consider all acts to enforce authority over us war, and meet and resist accordingly. And fighting on our own soil, and to preserve our rights, vindicate our honour, defend our homes, our fire

* Ellison, p. 85.

sides, wives and children from the invader, we shall not easily be conquered. You may possibly overrun and desolate our fields, lay our cities in ruins, murder our people, and reduce us to beggary, but you cannot subdue or subjugate us to your will: you would have to keep a standing army of 100,000 men, costing millions, only to keep us under. We will rise again and again to vindicate our rights and liberties, and throw off your oppressive and accursed yoke, and never cease the strife till our whole race is extinguished. You may blockade our ports, and lock up our commerce: but we shall see what other nations will say. I know hopes are raised and great efforts made to retain the Border States in the Union; but the first gun fired, the first ship stationed off our ports, will bring all the States, including Maryland, laggard as she seems to be in the vindication of sound independence, into obedience and alliance with her Southern sisters, and thus united they will resist and defy all your efforts.” *

On the other hand he reviews the reasons for secession, and the grievances complained of, thus :

“Whatever loss South Carolina suffered from nonreddition of slaves from Free States, there was a con

e was a con

* Mr. Iverson, January 28th, in the Senate.

« AnteriorContinuar »