previous next
[211] status of negroes. The Compromise had taken no money from their pockets; it had imposed upon them no pecuniary burdens; it had exposed them to no personal and palpable dangers: it had rather repelled the gaunt specter of Civil War and Disunion (habitually conjured up when Slavery had a point to carry), and increased the facilities for making money, while opening a boundless vista of National greatness, security, and internal harmony. Especially by the trading class, and the great majority of the dwellers in seaboard cities, was this view cherished with intense, intolerant vehemence.

The Compromise had been violently opposed alike from the South and from the North--of course, on opposite grounds. The “Fire-Eaters,” or disciples of Mr. Calhoun, regarded it as surrendering the substance of all that was in dispute — the newly acquired territories — to the North, while amusing the South with a mere shadow of triumph in the waiver of any positive, peremptory exclusion of Slavery therefrom. They resolved not to submit to it, but to rouse their section at first to theoretical, ultimately to forcible, resistance. To this end, a direct issue was made against the Compromise in Mississippi--next to South Carolina, the most intensely Pro-Slavery State in the Union--by nominating a “State rights” ticket, headed by Jefferson Davis for Governor--Mr. Davis having opposed the Compromise in the Senate with determined pertinacity. His adversaries accepted the challenge, and nominated a “Union” ticket in opposition, headed by Henry S. Foote for Governor--Mr. Foote, as Mr. Davis's colleague, though he demurred to Mr. Clay's programme at the outset, having supported the Compromise to the extent of his ability. The election occurred early in November, 1851; when the “Union” party won a complete triumph — the vote being the largest ever yet polled, and Mr. Foote elected by over 1,0001 majority. The rest of the “Union” State ticket, with a strongly “Union” Legislature, succeeded by still larger majorities. Alabama, likewise, chose a “Union” Legislature, and a “Union” majority of Congressmen. Louisiana, this year, elected a “Whig” Auditor and Legislature — meaning much the same thing. And even South Carolina--having been summoned by her chieftains (Mr. Calhoun being now dead) to elect a Convention, whereby her course in the exigency should be determined — gave a “Cooperation” majority of over 7,000 on the popular2 vote, electing 114 “Cooperationists” to 54 unqualified “Secessionists.” In other words, she voted not to attempt Secession without the concurrence and support of her Southern sisters — this being the shape wherein she could, with least sacrifice of pride or consistency, indicate her disposition not to rush madly upon the perils of Disunion and Civil War. Thus the triumph of the Compromise in the Slave States was complete; for it was felt to be preposterous to make the issue in any other States if it could not be upheld in these.

In the North, likewise, the acquiescence in the Compromise was general and decisive; though here, too,

1 Foote, 28,738; Davis, 27,729.

2 For Cooperation, 25,098; for Secession, 17,796. These totals are obtained by adding up the votes for delegates in the several “parishes.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry S. Foote (4)
Jefferson Davis (4)
John C. Calhoun (2)
Henry Clay (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November, 1851 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: