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not taken me to be of that class of men in the South who for years past have been making and seeking pretexts for destroying the Union. You have not misjudged me nor my designs. I have a profound and abiding affection for the Union of our fathers, and deeply deplore the existence of the causes which are rapidly tending to its destruction. During the whole of my congressional career, I sought to tranquillize sectional strife. When I first entered the House, the abolition party, headed by Giddings and Wilmot, numbered eight; ten years have rolled away, and now that party is a majority of the whole House. Is it not time that the South should begin to look to her safety and independence? I trust that the impending storm may be averted; that our rights and the Union may be saved; that fraternal regard may be restored; and that our country may go on in the highway of prosperity that it has so successfully trod for the last seventy years. This is the aspiration of my heart, and yet I
ngress, I would not have been at pains to do so. They would but have fallen before an indignant constituency, and men would have been sent to their places whose minds could never change. Nor, in fact, have they been without their use. As the conflict was irrepressible; as they were urged on by an inexorable power, it was important we should know it. Our own political leaders refused to realize the fact. The zealots of the North alone could force the recognition; and I am bound to own that Giddings, and Greeley, and Seward, and Lincoln, parasites as they are, panderers to popular taste as they are, the instruments, and the mere instruments, of aggression, have done more to rouse us to the vindication of our rights than the bravest and the best among us. Such, then, was the nature of this contest. It was inevitable. It was inaugurated with the Government. It began at the beginning, and almost at the start the chances of the game were turned against us. If the foreign slave trade