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now we will drop the flag over its grave. Mr. Rhett. The secession of South Carolina is not an event of a day. It is not any thing produced by Mr. Lincoln's election, or by the non-execution of the fugitive slave law. It has been a matter which has been gathering head for thirty years; and in the production of this great result the great men who have passed before us, whose great and patriotic efforts have signalized the times in which they lived, have not been lost. Have the labors of Calhoun been forgotten, when he declared a few years ago for the secession of South Carolina? and that secession would be the consummation of their liberties? The review I have taken of the causes assigned for secession, reduces them to three only, which have foundation in fact — the election of a President by a sectional vote, the Personal Liberty laws of four States, and the exclusion of the South from the common territory. As to the first, nothing more need be said: it was produced by the a
sure, of which the great object, and leading end and aim, by which it was alone justified as an expedient undertaking, was the conquest and annexation of Canada. That attempt, had it been successful, would have added so much to the strength and population of the free States as effectually to have curbed all the slaveholding pretensions of the last forty years to govern the nation, and now, failing that, to sectionalize and divide it. Nor is it unreasonable to suppose that such men as Clay, Calhoun, Cheves, Lowndes, and Grundy, who urged the conquest of Canada as the means within our reach to punish the maritime aggressions of England, could have failed to foresee the inevitable consequences of that enterprise had we succeeded in it. They were patriots who sought the glory, welfare, and greatness of the united nation, not the base and selfish aggrandisement of a section and a faction. Unfortunately they failed to conquer Canada, but in the impulse which the war gave to our domestic m