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are deeply infected with the demoralizing theories of socialism, or resistance as remorseless and inflexible as the fanaticism arrayed against us.
Disunionism never flourished in the South. It is not the atmosphere for revolutions. The nature and occupation of our people demand stability, not change. Sedentary and agricultural, we cherish the homesteads and laws of our ancestors, and live among the reminiscences of the past. We claim only what we believe to be, and what the Supreme Court has decided to be, our right under the Constitution. It is sneered at as an abstraction; but all fundamental principles aro abstractions, and this abstraction, in our view, and in the opinion of our opponents, is the one upon which the superstructure of slavery stands. We assert no claim to interfere with the concerns of other states. Reverence for the republic, a filial love of its flag, its progress and expansion, is the prevailing feeling of the South. We would take up arms to defend a disputed boundary in Maine or in Oregon, or the right of fishery on the banks of Newfoundland.* But if we can enjoy no repose in the Union, if ono half of the Northern pcoplo advocato tho curtailment of our rights with the hope of seeing our most valued resource perish, and the other half menace us with violence, we must of necessity retire from it. A brave people, with great resources for empire and independ
* John Adams, in his private journal of the negotiations for peaco with the British commissioners at Paris, has this cntry: “Nov. 29, 1782. When we were upon the fishery question, the commissioners urged us to leave out the word "right, and substitute the word 'liberty.' I told them I could never sign a treaty with such a qualification. Mr. Laurens (of South Carolina) upon this said, with great firmness, that ho would ncver give his voice for any articles without this, ctc.”
When the controversy about tho northeastern boundary occurred, tho whole South stood up for the rights of Maine. In 1840, “Cass, Cubn, and Canada,” wcro the watchwords of tho Democracy of tho South.
ence, impregnable to invasion, and inspired by a universal sense of the moderation of their course and the justice of their cause, will know how to act when the surrender of their rights is the price of submission.
No matter how the withdrawal of the Southern States be accomplished, whether peacefully or by violence, it will be the saddest exodus on record, and for centuries will wail along the pages of history like a funeral dirge. Other great nations have grown old and corrupt, decayed and died. But ours, yet in its youth and freshness, will perish like a gallant ship, complete in all her appointments, driven recklessly upon the rocks, her crew wandering for years upon the desert strand, to return at last, perhaps, and gather up the fragments of the wreck as their only means of escape. May the God of our fathers, who visibly guided them in their glorious efforts for independence, teach us, of all sections and all partics, moderation, and interpose his merciful providence to save the republic!
Our love of country amounts to enthusiasm. « Blood is thicker than water.” Bonds of iron-yes, stronger than iron-unite us with our brethren. But all these, and more than these, will break when a free and proud people see their state sovereignty insulted, their constitutional rights doniod, and their sanctuaries threatened by deluded masses.
Gen. Quitman was no disunionist. There was never a moment, from his first manhood to the hour of his death, that he would not have accepted the part of Decius to save the republic. Every dream of personal ambition was associated with its duration, grandeur, and expansion. He fought in Mexico not so much to win laurels for himself as glory for his country. IIe desired to see Mexico and Cuba under our dominion. He was equally anxious for the annexation of Canada, uninfluenced by
jealousy of the North. He regarded whatever concerned the power and prosperity of the country not as a slaveholder, but as an American, confident of our ability, under a proper administration of the Constitution, to control this whole continent as independent and sovereign united states. But, with this deep and confirmed loyalty to the Union, he had long satisfied himself that the Southern States could not remain in the Union and preserve their domestic institutions and constitutional rights. He saw a gulf between the North and the South, spanned by a narrow bridge, built upon tho single arch of cxpediency, and when this arch breaks down tho scparation will be inovitable. Every year, as the non-slaveholding states grow in power, it becomes less necessary to temporize with the South; the arch is weakened, and the fathomless abyss of the untried future lies beneath. With these convictions he opposed compromises, and voted against the English-Kansas Bill. When he gave this votc, ho voted, substantially, for a direct issue, and no moro compromises. IIe had no wish to postpone the question for posterity. The bill passed the House by a majority of nino. It was reluctantly accepted and voted for by the Southern Democrats (all except Quitman and Bonham, of South Carolina), as the only practicable and peaceable solution of a perplexing and threatening question. The whole country felt relieved, and patriotic citizens from all quarters hastened to congratulate the President of the United States. That eminent person,
distinguished alike for his personal virtues and truly conservative principles—the last of a line of illustrious statesmen-shared the general satisfaction. But what have we gained ? Where is the repose and security it promised ? Like Pyrrhus, the South may exclaim, “One more such victory as this, and I am vanquished.” New demands—stronger popular demonstrations in the North
and West-hostile accessions of strength in both branches of Congress--the chair and the committees in the hands of our opponents—a nomination for the presidency formidable for its sectional power and national organization, and the enthusiasm concentrated in its supportand, finally, the rupture of the Democratic party, the only anchor capable of holding the drifting ship! What have we a right to expect? What should we do?
These are qnestions we shall havo to answer. There is no escape. Quitman gave his answer when he recorded his vote against the English-Kansas compromise; and his deepest regret when dying—the last political thought that struggled for expression on his lips-was that he could not livo" to vindicato that voto."
Quitman risits South Carolina.- His Appreciation of that State.
Reception in Columbia.—Tho Palmetto Association.-Contrast between Quitman and Calhoun.-His last Letter from Washington.-- Decline of his Health.—Journcy home.—Last Letters. His last Words : “I wish to vindicate my Vote."-Dr. Cartwright's Narrative of the closing Scenc.-Review and Analysis of his Character.--Dr. Perry's funeral Discourse.
1858. In April Gen. Quitman accepted an invitation to address the Palmetto Association (the survivors of the famous Palmetto regiment) at their anniversary meeting at the capital of South Carolina. The invitation touched his heart, and revived, for a time, his failing energics. IIo was proud of the regiment. It was closely associated with his own career. He greatly admired South Carolina, her educated and high-toned statesmen, and their enlightened administration of state affairs. In their great contest in 1832, when, single-handed, they fought the battle of the South, and maintained the doctrines that Virginia, in her best days, had enunciated as authoritative and binding on the federal government, he stood almost alone in Mississippi, not only sympathizing with, but sustaining them. He had adopted the opinions of Mr. Calhoun as to the theory of our government, and on all the great questions of the time, except that, fired with the thirst for military fame, and with more of the old Roman appetite for conquest, he was for putting on steam and giving full play to the energy of the republic. The more matured and experienced Carolinian had entered life with similar views. He strongly advo