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Quitman, on the other hand, brought forward specifications against Foote:
“1st. For advocating, planning, and urging the admission of California as a sovereign state with an anti-slavcry proviso in her Constitution, and thus aiding to pass the Wilmot I’roviso in another form. “2d. For advocating and supporting the dismemberment of Texas, by which 60,000 square miles of slave territory were virtually converted to free soil. “3d. For encouraging and supporting the bill to suppress the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, consenting thereby to affix a brand of opprobrium upon the purchase and sale of slaves, and admitting the right of Congress conditionally to abolish slavery in the district. “4th. For abandoning and opposing the assumed position of the state, and setting up a new platform for himself. “5th. For disregarding and disobeying the instructions of the Legislature which he himself had called for. “6th. For combining with Clay and others to establish a new party to perpetuate the wrongs inflicted by the Compromise. “7th. For undertaking, by so-called compromise, to barter away some of the constitutional rights of his constituents without even sufficient equivalents. “8th. For assailing Southern States and Southern men, and apologizing for the hostile action of some of the Northern States on the subject of slavery. “9th. For disrespectful allusions, while senator, to the Legislature of his state. “10th. For assailing those who are opposed to the Compromise in this state as disunionists and factionists. “11th. For deserting the party which placed him in W. and counseling with and co-operating with Clay, Webster, and Fillmore. “12th. For receiving a nomination from the Whigs of this state. “13th. For holding on to his place as senator after accepting the nomination for governor. “14th. For violently assailing the governor of his state Vol. II.-G
for acting upon opinions which he himself had formally communicated.
“15th. For misrepresenting the opinion and sentiments of the people of Mississippi on the subject of the slave question.
“16th. For voting with the Abolitionists against striking out the first section of the bill to suppress the slavetrade.
“ 17th. For failing to insist upon extending the Missouri Compromise line.”
The exciting canvass between these gentlemen terminated in a personal rencontre, in the county of Panolo, on the 18th of July, which both parties lived to regret.
1851. On the first Monday in September the election took place throughout the state for delegates to the Convention, as authorized by the Legislature. A very large majority of “Union” delegates was returned. As soon as this extraordinary result was ascertained, Gov. Quitman, mortified by an expression of public sentiment so wholly unexpected, felt that he could no longer, with due regard to his own dignity and position, be a candidate for office. He issued the following address:
“To the Democratic State-rights Party of Mississippi. “The result of the recent election for the Convention, however brought about, must be regarded, at least for the present, as decisive of the position of the state on the great issues involved. “The majority have declared that they are content with the late aggressive measures of Congress, and opposed to any remedial action by the state. “Although this determination of the people is at variance with my fixed opinion of the true policy of the state, heretofore expressed and still conscientiously entertained, yet, as a state-rights man and a Democrat, I bow in respectful submission to the apparent will of the people. “It is true the state has not yet spoken authoritatively; even the acts of the Convention will not be binding until they shall have been ratified by a vote of the people; but by the election of Non-resisters to the Convention, a majority of the people have declared against the course of policy on the slavery questions which I deemed it my duty to pursue while governor, and against the principles upon which I was nominated, and upon which alone I had consented to run as a candidate. I might, perhaps, be clected notwithstanding this demonstration of public sentiment in the election for the Convention, but as I have been mainly instrumental in seeking the expression of the will of the people through a Convention, I ought, in my political action, to abide by it. “Therefore, upon full consideration of all the circumstances, respect for the apparent decision of the people, duty to the noble and patriotic party who are struggling to maintain the rights of the South against Northern ag. gression, and to preserve our institutions from the fatal effects of consolidating all power in the federal government, and a sense of self-respect which inclines me not to seek a public station in which my opinions upon vital questions are not sustained by a majority of my constituents, all concur in inducing me to the opinion that my duty requires me to retire from the position which I occupy as the Democratic State-rights candidate for governor. With emotions of the deepest gratitude to the patriotic party by which I was nominated for the evidences of their unfaltering confidence, both in the nomination and in the warm and hearty reception with which I have been met every where in the canvass, I tender my resignation of the high and honorable post of their chief standard-bearer in the pending canvass, pledging myself to them and to the country that I will, to the last, servo the great cause of State IRights as faithfully in the ranks as I have endeavored to do in high position.
Colonel Davis.—Union Convention.—Governor Foote.—Quitman's View3. – Democratic State Convention.— Quitman's Speech.Letter to B. F. Dill.—Presidential Election.—General Pierce.— Letter to Chapman. — Letter to Central Committee. — General Scott.—Correspondence with Judge Wilkinson.—Elwood Fisher. —R. D. Cralle.—Nominated for Vice-president in Alabama.— . Memphis Convention.—The Doctrine of Protection.—Quitman at Rhinebeck.-Defends the Institutions of the South.-Meditates the Liberation of Cuba.-Arraigned in New Orleans.—IIis Defense.—Reply to Judge Campbell.—Letter to Thomas Recd and II. T. Ellett.—II is lèclations with Cuba not yet to be explained.
IN this contingency, the Democratic ticket being without a leader, and the election near at hand, the Central Democratic Executive Committee, backed by an emphatic appeal from the state-rights press, prevailed on Colonel Jefferson Davis to lead the forlorn hope. He was enfeebled by illness and almost blind, but he entered immediately on the canvass with characteristic energy. Ill health and the want of time prevented his success, but he gave a powerful impetus to the reaction which soon occurred.
The State Convention, otherwise called the Union Convention, assembled in the capitol on the 10th of November, 1851. It reversed all that had been hitherto done in Mississippi to embody Southern sentiment for resistance and defense.
. The Position of Mississippi, declared in Convention at Jackson, which met on the 10th day of November, 1851.
The people of Mississippi, in convention assembled, as expressive of their deliberate judgment on the great questigns involved in the sectional controversy between
the slaveholding and non-slaveholding states of the American Union, adopt the following resolutions: 1st. Itesolved, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the people of Mississippi, in a spirit of conciliation and compromise, have maturely considered the action of Congress, cmbracing a series of measures for the admission of California as a state into the Union, tho organization of territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico, the cstablishment of a boundary between the latter and the State of Texas, the suppression of the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, and the extradition of fugitive slaves; and, connected with them, the rejection of the proposition to exclude slavery from the territories of the United States and to abolish it in the District of Columbia; and while they do not entirely approve, will abide by it as a permanent adjustment of this sectional controversy, so long as the same, in all its features, shall be faithfully adhered to and enforced. 2d. Itesolved, That we perceive nothing in the above recited legislation of the Congress of the United States which should be permitted to disturb the friendly and peaceful “existing relations between the government of the United States and the government and people of the State of Mississippi.” 3d. Therefore resolved, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the people of the State of Mississippi will abide by the Union as it is, and by the Constitution of the United States without amendment. That they hold the Union secondary in importance only to the rights and principles it was designed to perpetuate; that past associations, present fruition, and future prospects will bind them to it so long as it continues to be the safeguard of those rights and principles. 4th. Itesolved farther, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the asserted right of secession from the Union, on the part of a state or states, is utterly unsanctioned by the federal Constitution, which was framed to “establish” and not to destroy the Union of the states, and that no secession can, in fact, take place without a subversion of the Union established, and which will not virtually amount in its effects and consequences to a civil revolution.