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MR. BUCHANAN TO JEFFERSON DAVIS.

511

former class, though few at first, had | You may ask, why has it not been published ? been steadily gaining from the latter. The answer is very easy. From a careful

examination of the proceedings in Congress, Each of these were constantly, openly it is clear that Non-Intervention is all that saying, “Give us our rights in the will be required by the South. Webster's Union, or we will secure them by speech is to be the base of the compromise

-it is lauded to the echo by distinguished going out of the Union.” When, Southern men--and what is it? Non-intertherefore, they received messages of vention; and Non-Intervention simply because

the Wilmot Proviso is not required to presympathy and cheer from their vent the curse of Slavery from being inflicted. Northern compatriots in many ardu

on the Territories. Under these circumstanous struggles, they could not but ces, it would be madness in me to publish

my letter, and take higher ground for the understand their assurances of con- South than they have taken for themselves. tinued and thorough accord as mean

This would be to out-Herod Herod, and to

be more Southern than the South. It could ing what was implied by like assu- do no good, but might do much mischief. rances from Southern sources.

“The truth is, the South have got them

selves into a condition on this question Among the captures by Gen.

from which it appears to me now they canGrant's army, during his glorious not extricate themselves. My proposition Mississippi campaign of 1863, were

of the Missouri Compromise was at once several boxes of the letters and pri- Intervention. They foug at the battle at the

abandoned by them, and the cry was Nonvate papers of Jefferson Davis, found last Presidential electio i with this device

the Democracy of in an out-house on a plantation be- upon their banners.

Pennsylvania are nov (verywhere rallying tween Jackson and Vicksburg. Seve- to Non-Intervention. They suppose in doing ral of these letters were given to the this they are standing by the South in the

manner most acceptable to their Southern public by their captors, many of brethren. Our Democratic journals are them bearing the signatures of North- praising the speech of Webster," because all ern men of note, who have never

the appearances are that it is satisfactory to

the South. It is now too late to change denied their authenticity. These

These front with any hope of success. letters throw a clear light on the retreat with honor upon the principle that state of Southern opinion which in

you can carry your slaves to California, and

hold them there under the Constitution, and duced the Secession movement of refer the question to the Supreme Court of 1860–61, and are therefore essential the United States. I am sorry, both for contributions to the history of that condition in which you are placed.

your sakes and niy own, that such is the period. As such, a portion of them I say for my own sake, because I can will here be given.

never yield the position which I have de

liberately taken in favor of the Missouri So early as 1850, James Buchanan Compromise ; and I shall be assailed by (not yet President) wrote to Mr. fanatics and free-soilers as long as I live, for

having gone further in support of the rights Davis, complaining that the South' of the South than Southern Senators and was disposed to be too easily satisfied, Representatives. I am committed for the with regard to her "rights' in the Missouri Compromise, and that committal territories. In this private and “Should there be any unexpected change confidential' letter, dated Wheat- in the aspect of affairs at Washington

which would hold out the hope that the land, March 16th, he says:

publication of my Missouri Compromise

letter would do any good, it shall yet be “So far from having in any degree re- published.” coiled from the Missouri Compromise, I have prepared a letter to sustain it, written with

In this spirit, Northern aspirants all the little ability of which I am master. and office-seekers had for years been

You may

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17 Mr. Webster's deplorably famous speech of March 7th, 1850.

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egging on the leaders of Southern | amend the Constitution so as to protect

. opinion to take higher ground in Slavery more efficiently

“You will pardon this letter, as it proopposition to Northern 'fanaticism'ceeds from friendly motives, from and in assertion of Southern rights.

6. Your friend,

JOHN REYNOLDS.

"To the Hon. Jeff. Davis and Ex-Governor Gen. John A. Quitman, of Missis

Wm. Smith." sippi-an able and worthy disciple of

Prof. Charles W. Hackley, of CoMr. Calhoun--in a letter written

lumbia College, New York, writing shortly before his death, stated that

two days earlier to Mr. Davis, to Senator Douglas, just prior to the Cincinnati Convention of 1856, made suggest a moderate and reasonable complaints to him of the disposition mean between the Northern and the of Southern men to be too easily

Southern positions respecting the satisfied, substantially like those of territories, commences: «My sympaMr. Buchanan, just quoted. He

thies are entirely with the South':

an averment which doubtless meant suggested that they should boldly much more to the receiver than was demand all their rights, and accept intended by the writer. Yet it is nothing less. In this spirit, the following letter from a leading Demo- probable that nine out of every ten

letters wrt en from the North to the crat of Illinois, formerly Governor of that State, was written after the

South during that boding Winter, if secession of South Carolina:

they touched on public affairs at all, “ BELLVILLE, III., Dec. 28, 1860.

were more exceptionable and mis“Dear FRIENDS: I write to you because | leading than was this one. I cannot well avoid it. I am, in heart and Ex-President Pierce wrote, almost soul, for the South, as they are right in the principles and possess the Constitution. a year previously, and in prospect of

“ If the public mind will bear it, the seat the Presidential nomination for 1860, of Government, the Government itself

, and

as follows: the Army and Navy, ought to remain with the South and the Constitution. I have

CLARENDON HOTEL, Jan. 6, 1860. been promulgating the above sentiment, al- MY DEAR FRIEND: I wrote you an unthough it is rather revolutionary. A Pro- satisfactory note a day or two since. I have visional Government should be established just had a pleasant interview with Mr. Shepat Washington to receive the power of the ley, whose courage and fidelity are equal to out-going President, and for the President his learning and talents. He says he would elect to take the path of office out of slave rather fight the battle with you as the standterritory.

ard-bearer, in 1860, than under the auspices "Now I come to the point. All the Slave of any other leader. The feeling and judgStates must separate from the North and ment of Mr. S. in this relation is, I am conficome together. The Free States will not dent, rapidly gaining ground in New Engconcede an atom, but are bent on the de- land. Our people are looking for “the struction of Slavery. Why, in God's name, Coming Man.'

Coming Man.” One who is raised by all cannot the Northern Slave States see this the elements of his character above the atfact, as clear as noonday before their eyes ? mosphere ordinarily breathed by politicians.

" The general secession ought to be ac- A man really fitted for this emergency by complished before the 4th of March. Mr. his ability, courage, broad statesmanship and Buchanan deserves immortal honor for keep- patriotism. Col. Seymour (Tho's. H.) aring down bloodshed. In one hour, by tele- rived here this morning, and expressed his graph, he could order Fort Moultrie to fire views in this relation in almost the identical on Charleston, and the war would rage language used by Mr. Shepley. It is true over the Union. I am, in heart and soul, that, in the present state of things at Washagainst war; but the best way to keep ington, and throughout the country, no man peace is to be able to defend yourselves. can predict what changes two or three

" If the Slave States would unite and months may bring forth. Let me suggest form a Convention, they might have the that, in the morning debates of Congress, power to coërce the North into terms to full justice seems to me not to have been done

NORTHERN SYMPATHY WITH THE SOUTH.'

513

believe that our friends at the South have

6

to the Democracy of the North. I do not extinguished, though its more obvious any just idea of the state of feeling, hurrying manifestations were in good part supat this moment to the pitch of intense ex- pressed for a season.

A very few asperation, between those who respect their persons--hardly a score in all—of political obligations, and those who have apparently no impelling power but that

the most uncontrollable Southern which a fanatical position on the subject of sympathies, left the North to enter the domestic Slavery imparts. Without discuss- Confederate armies; but many thouing the question of right-of abstract power to secede-I have never believed that actual sands remained behind, awaiting the disruption of the Union can occur without opportunity, which disappointment blood; and if through the madness of North

and disaster were soon to present, ern Abolitionists that dire calamity must come, the fighting will not be along Mason wherein they might take ground and Dixon's line merely. It will be within against the prosecution of the “ Aboour own borders, in our own streets, between the two classes of citizens to whom I hare lition War,' and in favor of a comreferred. Those who defy laro and scout promise that was not to be had-at constitutional obligations, will, if we ever

all events and on reach the arbitrament of arms, find occupa

any terms, of tion enough at home. Nothing but the state 'Peace.' There is, or has been, a of Mrs. Pierce's health would induce me to quite general impression, backed by leave the country now, although it is quite constant and confident assertions, that likely that my presence at home would be of little service. I have tried to impress the people of the Free States were upon our people, especially in A. H. and united in support of the War until take place during the coming Spring, that, an anti-Slavery aspect was given to while our Union meetings are all in the right it by the Administration. Yet that direction and well enough for the present, they will not be worth the paper upon

is very far from the truth. There

was no moment wherein a large porwe can overthrow political Abolitionism at the polls, and repeal the unconstitutional tion of the Northern Democracy and obnoxious laws which in the cause of were not at least passively hostile to "Personal Liberty" have been placed upon any form or shade of coërcion ; our statute-books. I shall look with deep while many openly condemned and interest, and not without hope, for a decided change in this relation. Ever and truly stigmatized it as atrocious, unjustifiyour friend,

able aggression. And this opposition, Hon. JEFF. DAVIS, Washington, D. C.

even when least vociferous, sensibly Such are specimens of the North- subtracted from the power and diminern letters wherewith Southern states- ished the efficiency of the North. men were misled into the belief that XIV. Whether there was greater the North would be divided into hos- unanimity at the South or at the tile camps whenever the South should North in sustaining the Union or the strike boldly for her rights.? It Confederacy in the prosecution of proved a grievous mistake; but it was their struggle, will, perhaps, never countenanced by the habitual tone be conclusively determined. There of conservative speakers and jour- were moments during its progress nals throughout the canvass of 1860, when the South appeared almost a and thence down to the collision at unit for Secession, while the disSumter. Even then, the spirit which | heartened North seemed ready to impelled these assurances of Northern give up the contest for the Union; sympathy with, and readiness to do as there were crises wherein the Reand dare for, the South,' was not bellion seemed to reel on the brink

which their resolutions are written unless

FRANKLIN PIERCE.

6

of speedy dissolution : but neither of made out a Union ticket, and voted it,

amidst the frowns and suppressed murmurs these can justly be taken as an accu

of the judges and bystanders; and, as the rate test of the average popular senti- result proved, I had the honor of depositing ment of the respective sections. Yet the only vote in favor of the Union which

was polled in that precinct. I knew of we have seen that a majority of the

many who were in favor of the Union, but Southern people could never, until who were intimidated by threats, and by the frenzied by the capture of Fort Sum odium attending it, from voting at all." ter, and by official assurances (un

Such was the case at thousands denied in their hearing) that Lincoln of polls throughout the South, or had declared unprovoked and utter- wherever the Confederates were strong ly unjustifiable war upon them, be enough to act as their hearts promptinduced to lift hostile hands against ed. Mr. Clingman's boast, in the their country, and that Secession was

Senate, that

free debaters' were only forced down the throats of those hanging on trees' down his way, who accepted it by violence, outrage,

was uttered, it should be noted, in and terror. A few additional facts

December, 1860. And thus it was on this head, out of thousands that that several Counties in Tennessee" might be cited, will here be given :

gave not a single vote against SecesRev. John H. Aughey, a Presby- sion, while Shelby (including Memterian clergyman of Northern birth; phis) gave 7,132 for Secession to five but settled in Northern Mississippi against it, and a dozen others gave for some years prior to the outbreak respectively. 3, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, of the Rebellion, in his “Iron Fur- 16, 17, 20, 23, and 28 votes for the nace, " '* gives a synopsis of a Seces- Union to many thousands for Secession speech to which he listened in sion. There was only the semblance Atala county, Miss., just after Presi- of an election. “If you vote the dent Lincoln's election, running thus: Union ticket, you must prepare to

"The halter is the only argument that leave the State," said Senator Mashould be used against the submissionists;

son; and the more reckless and less and I predict that it will soon, very soon, be

responsible Secessionists readily trans“We have glorious news from Tallahatchie. lated such words into deeds. Where Seven tory submissionists were hanged there in one day; and the so-called Union candi- Slavery had undivided sway, a voter dates, having the wholesome dread of hemp | had just the same liberty to be a before their eyes, are not canvassing the Unionist, as he had to be an Abolicounty," etc., etc.

tionist—that is, none at all. When the election was held for

But there were many communities, delegates to the Convention which and even entire counties, throughout assumed the power to take Missis- the South, wherein Slavery had but a sippi out of the Union, Mr. Aughey nominal or limited existence; as in attended it, and says:

Texas, thirty-four counties—some of “ Approaching the polls, I asked for a

them having each a considerable free Union ticket, and was informed that none population-were returned, in 1860, had been printed, and that it would be advisable to vote the Secession ticket. I

as containing each less than a hunthought otherwise; and, going to a desk, dred slaves. Some of these could be,

in force.

18 Philadelphia, W. S. and Alfred Martin, 1863.

19 Franklin, Humphreys, Lincoln.

THE PEOPLE FOR THE UNION.

515

and were, controlled by their mana- | mensely strong--in the traditions, ging politicians, holding offices and the affections, the instincts, and the earning perquisites by the grace of the aspirations, of the great majority of Slave Power enthroned at the State the American People. Its preservacapital; others were incorrigible, and tion was inseparably entwined with were managed in this way: In Gray- their glories, their interests, and their son county (having 8,187 inhabitants, hopes. In the North, no one had, of whom 1,291 were slaves), when Se- for forty years, desired its dissolution, cession was proposed, a county meet- unless on account of Slavery; at the ing was held, to consider the project; South, the case was essentially the by which, after discussion, it was de- same. No calculations, however imcided to negative the movement, and posing and elaborate, had ever conhold no election for delegates to the vinced any hundred persons, on proposed State Convention. This whichever side of the slave line, that gave the Secessionists the opportu- Disunion could be really advantagenity they wanted. They proceeded ous to either section. No line could to hold an election, and to choose be drawn betwixt “the South' and delegates, who helped vote the State the North’ which would not leave out of the Union. And this was one one or the other exposed to attackcase like many others.

none which six plain citizens, fairly Gen. Edward W. Gantt, who had, chosen from either section, could be in August, 1860, been chosen to Con-induced to adopt as final. Multigress as an independent Democrat, tudes who supported Secession did so from the Southern district of Arkan- only as the most efficacious means of sas, and who was an early and ardent inducing the North to repudiate the Secessionist, testifies, since his recla- Black Republicans' and agree to the mation to Unionism, that the poor Crittenden or some kindred Comprofarmers and other industrious non mise-in short, to bully the North slaveholders of his region were never into giving the South her “rights?Secessionists—that, where he had al- never imagining, at the outset, that ways been able to induce three-fourths this could be refused, or that Disunion of them to vote with him as a Demo- would or could be really, conclusively crat, he could not persuade half of effected. Thousands died fighting them to sustain him as a Secessionist under the flag of treason whose hearts that their hearts were never in the yearned toward the old banner, and cause; and that those who could be whose aspiration for an ocean-bound persuaded to vote for it did so reluc- republic-one which should be felt tantly, and as though it went against and respected as first among nationsthe grain. No rational doubt can could not be quenched even in their exist that, had time been afforded for own life-blood. And, on the other consideration, and both sides been hand, the flag rendered illustrious by generally heard, a free and fair vote the triumphs of Gates and Greene and would have shown an immense ma- Washington-of Harrison, Brown, jority, even in the Slave States, Scott, Macomb, and Jackson-of against Secession.

Truxtun, Decatur, Hull, Perry, PorFor the Union was strong-im- ter, and McDonough-was through

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