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Pacific, and flying in triumph in China and Japan. He alluded to the stars that had fallen from the galaxy of bright names adorning their country's history, -a Clay, a Calhoun, a Webster, and others, and expressed the gratuitous assumption that if they could reappear they would tell them what their duty was, and how their country could be saved. He implored them not to send their armies to coerce and subjugate, but their messengers of peace. Appealing to the Republicans, he assured them that the question of peace or war was in their hands, and that they could still the storm before the sun was set. He exhorted them to stand no longer upon their assumed dignity and platform, but to sacrifice everything for their distracted country, while he indicated his purpose to return to his "dear Alabama," where the bones of his father and mother rested, to defend, if necessary, their ashes, and share, for weal or woe, the fate of those he loved.
On the 5th of February, Miles Taylor of Louisiana sent to the clerk a copy of a similar ordinance, renouncing the allegiance of his State to the general government, and the assumption that she was "in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which appertain to a free and independent State." On the question of its reception, Francis E. Spinner of New York expressed the opinion that it was "high time to put a stop to this countenancing of treason in the halls of legislation." Mr. Taylor, however, was permitted to speak by unanimous consent. Disclaiming any purpose to speak of the occurrences then in progress, either of the causes that had produced the differences that had distracted and now threatened to divide the nation, he referred to the various propositions that were before Congress, especially to those of the committee of thirty-three, of which he was a member, and from which he had presented a minority report. Concerning them all he expressed the opinion that they would be fruitless of good; that if " every one of those measures were to be adopted, and that by a unanimous vote of both houses, that fact would produce no effect in arresting the current that is sweeping State after State out of the Confederacy." Nothing short of constitutional amendments, changes in the organic
law, which would "settle and put forever at rest all pretexts for the agitation of this sectional question," could, in his esteem, meet the exigencies of the hour. He characterized the propositions of the committee of thirty-three as mere "palliatives," and he assured the House that, if they could not "raise themselves to the height of these great acts," "a permanent dissolution" of the Union was "inevitable." Nor would anything less than war, with all its most destructive appliances, be adequate to any coercion that might be attempted. And, he contended, if the nation shall thus become divided into two contending factions, it would descend from its rank among the nations of the earth, and "call for the interposition of European powers in the common interest of mankind." Alluding to the great staple of the South, which, as the basis of its manufactured products, with the cost of the raw material, had reached" the amazing sum of twelve hundred million dollars," he predicted that disunion and war would diminish the production of cotton more than one half, would give a shock to the industry of the whole world, disturb all the currents of trade, overwhelm all civilized communities in bankruptcy, and shake the whole social system of Europe to its centre. He affirmed the extreme doctrine of State rights, scouted the idea of coercion, and asserted that the blockade of a Southern port or the entrance of an army into a Southern State would be war. "The first blow struck," he said, "will cause the spirit of Southern nationality to leap from the very hearts of her people," and men will leave the peaceful pursuits of life and rush to the rescue. Though there might be many who still loved the Union and would cling to it, when that blow is struck "there will not be found," he said, "on her soil one single man who will not be ready to meet the invaders of his country and to shed his blood in her defence."
He was followed by his colleague, John E. Bouligney, in quite another strain. He said he had just received official information of the action of his State. He had received no instruction from its legislature directing him to resign; nor, he added, should he do so, had such instructions been given, for he was not elected by that body. He had taken an oath to
support the Constitution of the United States, and to that oath he should firmly adhere to the end. Whenever instructed by his immediate constituents to withdraw from Congress he should resign; but, he added, yet "I shall be a Union man, and stand under the flag of the country which gave me birth."
Similar scenes were enacted in the Senate. As the ordinances of secession and resignations were communicated to that body, farewell speeches were made, and parting words of criticism and censure, deprecation and defiance, were spoken. On the 21st of January, David L. Yulee of Florida, rising in his place, informed the Senate that, in consequence of the action of his State, he and his colleague had reached the conclusion that their connection with that body had "legally terminated." Expressing the grateful recognition, by himself and people, of the blessings already received from the maintenance of the Union, he said that, in view of the apprehended evils and dangers arising "from a perverted and hostile employment of the powers of the Federal government," they professed to abandon all the hopes they had "rested upon the common growth and common power of the Union, and to assume the serious responsibilities of a separate existence and new and untried relations." In support and illustration of these alleged evils and dangers to be apprehended from Northern aggressions and designs, he said that "the equilibrium of power between the sections" had been "ruthlessly and unwisely destroyed by the legislation of 1850." In proof of the alleged fact that such had been the sentiment entertained by many Southern men, he alluded to "a protest," signed by several members of Congress and dated Senate Chamber, August 13, 1850, "against the bill admitting California as a State into this Union." He parried, or attempted to parry, the charge often made against Florida on account of her occupying acquired territory, and of her "paucity of numbers," by the assertion that "right of sovereignty and liberty depend not upon numbers," and a quotation from her act of admission. that she "be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever."
His colleague, Stephen R. Mallory, followed in a similar strain, asserting, but deprecating, the sad necessity of leaving the Union, to maintain Southern rights, menaced by Northern aggression. "In thus turning from the Union," he said, "to the veiled and unknown future, we are neither ignorant nor reckless of the lions in our path." Either with a fatuous misconception of the spirit and purpose of the movement and of the character of the people he represented, or a marvellous indifference to the meaning of the words he used, he claimed that it was made in the name of liberty, and would inure to the cause of freedom. "So well," he said, " are human rights "are and national liberty understood by our people, so deeply are they imbued with the spirit of freedom and knowledge of government, that were this Republic utterly broken and destroyed, like the shattered vase of the poet, to whose very fragments the scent of the roses still clung, its very ruins, breathing the true spirit of civil and religious liberty, would. plead for and demand a wise and noble reconstruction." With a spirit of bravado which nothing but ignorance could excuse, he disclaimed any fear of the result of a conflict of arms. "Be the difficulties what they may," he said, "we stand forth a united people to grapple with and to conquer them. . . . . We seek not to war upon, or to conquer you; and we know that you cannot conquer us. Imbrue your hands in our blood, and the rains of a century will not wash from them the stain, while coming generations will weep for your wickedness and folly."
On the same day, Clement C. Clay of Alabama rose in his place in the Senate and announced that his State had passed an ordinance of secession. "In taking this momentous step," he said, "they had not acted hastily, unadvisedly. It is not the eruption of sudden, spasmodic, and violent passion. It is the conclusion they have reached after years of bitter experience of enmity, injustice, and injury, at the hands of their Northern brethren; after long and painful reflection; after anxious debate and solemn deliberation; and after argument, persuasion, and entreaty have failed to secure them their constitutional rights." With bitter and burning words he sketched
the growth of Northern opposition to "that domestic institu tion of the South which is not only the chief source of her social prosperity, but the very basis of her social order and State policy," an opposition that branded slaveholding as "a moral leprosy," and slavery and polygamy as "twin relics of barbarism." He considered the nomination and election of a Republican President as "the climax of insult to our feel ings and menace of our rights." He flippantly disclaimed, for himself and people, "the godlike virtue which teaches us to love our enemies and to bless them that curse us." He closed by expressing the resolution of his people "not to trust to the hands of their enemies the measure of their rights. They intend to preserve for themselves and to transmit to posterity the freedom they received from their ancestors or perish in the attempt." His colleague, Benjamin Fitzpatrick, immediately arose, indorsed the speech which had just been delivered, confessed the paramount obligation he owed to his State, and disclaimed any longer "the rights and privileges of a member of this body." "I acknowledge," he said, "no loyalty to any other power than that of my sovereign State; and I shall return to her with the purpose to sustain her action and to share her fortunes."
Jefferson Davis immediately arose and announced his resig nation, and his renunciation of all further connection with that body. His speech was far less fiery and defiant than that of Mr. Clay. Basing his action on his theory of State rights, he said he should have yielded obedience to the demands of his State had he not approved her act. He drew a distinction between nullification and secession, and said that while he accepted the latter he discarded the former, the former being the remedy of Mr. Calhoun, who loved the Union; the latter that which alone seemed to him adequate to the exigencies of the case. General Jackson was right, he contended, when he determined to execute the laws in South Carolina while she remained a member of the Union, but his action afforded no legitimate precedent for such an attempt after a State has seceded and become "a foreign country."
Among the grievances he enumerated and the causes he