Tuesday, February 13, 2007

North Carolina and Secession

A couple of days ago, I finished reading The Secession Movement in North Carolina written by Joseph C. Sitterson and published in 1939. This was the first time that I had read the book after having owned it for almost a year. I pulled out a few quotes for readers, all written between November 1860 and May 1861:

"Who can prepare for a declaration of independence, appealing to a candid world for its approbation and sympathy, upon the ground that we have been outvoted in an election in which we took the chances of success, and a candidate has been elected who, however obnoxious, we have deemed unworthy to compete with us for our votes?" – North Carolina Standard November 17, 1860.

Lincoln’s election "means a sweeping away of all guaranties of State equality in the Union–... It means that slave property is to be excluded from the Territories, and new slave States from the Union. –it means that the whole influence of the Federal Government is to be cast into the scale of opposition to the institutions of our section of the Union...
It means, further, that while all this is to be done, we are compelled to pay a tribute in the shape of a high protective Tariff, which tribute is to swell the wealth and insolence of our oppressors." – North Carolina Standard November 15, 1860.

The result in Black Republican rule will be "riots between the different classes of our white population, our whole social system convulsed in the agonies of dissolution,... the whole world against us in sentiment, and our own government our most bitter and unrelenting foe–great God, what hope would there be? As we stood at bay, frenzied, maddened, but despairing, with our wives and children clinging to us pale and panic stricken–death itself would be a refuge." – Wilmington Journal January 10, 1861.

"People of North Carolina, shall this programme be carried out? Will you suffer yourselves to be spit upon in this way? Are you submissionist to the dictations of South Carolina?... Are you to be called cowards because you do not follow the crazy lead of that crazy state?" – Wilmington Herald December 1860.

"Remember, sir, the South has no share in this copartnership. The Northeast is to get the tariff; the Northwest the Pacific railroad and the homestead bill; and the Republicans, or Abolitionists, are to get anti-slavery.... The sagacious men of the South see the danger; and sooner than submit to be cheated and plundered in this mode, with the prospect in the future of the abolition of slavery and the utter destruction of their section, they are coming resolutely into the struggle." –Thomas Clingman, Congressional Globe.

On Lincoln’s inaugural address "It is deceptive. It coats with the semblance of peace and friendship what smells of gore and hate. It is, in short, such a declaration of sentiments as should and will bring every Southern man to his feet." – Wilmington Journal March 13, 1861.

"Freeman of North Carolina, awake! arise! and throw off the yoke of the oppressor." – North Carolina Whig April 9, 1861

"Civil war can be glorious news to none but demons, or thoughtless fools, or maddened men." – B. F. Moore to his daughter, April 15, 1861.

Lincoln "could have devised no scheme more effectual than the one he had pursued, to overthrow the friends of Union here... I am left no other alternative but to fight for or against my section. I can not hesitate. Lincoln has made us a unit to resist until we repel our invaders or die." – Jonathan Worth, May 13, 1861.

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