seat of government of the State of Georgia, whose legislature will then be in session, to announce to the government of that State that South Carolina, in view of the impending danger, will immediately put herself in a state of efficient military defense, and will cordially cooperate with the State of Georgia in measures for the protection of Southern interests; and to express the readiness of this State to cooperate with the State of Georgia, in the event of Mr. Lincoln's election, in withdrawing at once from the confederacy; and to recommend the calling of a Convention simultaneously in both States, to carry this measure into effect; and to invite the cooperation of all the Southern States in withdrawing from the present Union, and forming a separate Southern Confederacy.
These resolves coming up for consideration on the 9th, Mr. McGowan
, of Abbeville
, made a zealous effort to stem the furious current; pleading earnestly and plausibly for Cooperation — that is, for consultation with other Slave States, and for action in obedience to their mutual determination.
Cooperation with our Southern sisters has been the settled policy of South Carolina for at least ten years past.
We have long been satisfied with the causes for a dissolution of this Union.
We thought we saw long ago what was coming, and only awaited tho action of our Southern sisters.
This being the case, it would seem strange, now that the issue is upon us — when our need is the sorest — that we should ignore our past policy, and, in the very crisis of the conflict, cease to ask for Cooperation.
Lincoln's election is taken as an occasion for action, but with us it is not the only cause for action.
We have delayed for the last ten years for nothing but Cooperation.
He thought it the best and wisest policy to remain in the Union, with our Southern sisters, in order to arrange the time when, and the manner how, of going out, and nothing else.
It is perfectly manifest that the recorded policy of this State for the last ten years has been the policy of Secession in cooperation with other Southern States.
But is that not fortified by both history and philosophy?--by the nature of the thing itself, and the fate of other nations?
The Southern States of this Union have more motives, more inducements, and more necessities, for concert and Union, than any people that has lived in the tide of time.
They are one in soil and climate; one in productions, having a monopoly of the Cotton region; one in institutions; and, more than all, one in their wrongs under the Constitution.
Add to all this that they alone, of all the earth, have a peculiar institution — African Slavery — which is absolutely necessary for them; without which they would cease to exist, and against which, under the influence of a fanatical sentiment, the world is banded.
Upon the subject of this institution, we are isolated from the whole world, who are not only indifferent, but inimical to it; and it would seem that the very weight of this outside pressure would compel us to unite.
Besides, the history of the world is pregnant with admonition as to the necessity of union.
The history of classic Greece, and especially that awful chapter upon the Peloponnesian war, appeals to us. The history of poor, dismembered Poland cries to us. The history of the Dutch Republic claims to be heard.
Modern Italy and the States of Central America are now, at this moment, crying to us to unite.
All history teaches us that “United we stand, divided we fall.”
All the Southern States would not be too many for our confederacy, whose flag would float, honored upon every sea, and under whose folds every citizen would be sure of protection and security.
what is the reason we cannot unite?
It seems to me that we might with propriety address to the whole South the pregnant words of Milton:
Awake! arise! or be forever fallen!
South Carolina has sometimes been accused of a paramount desire to lead or to disturb the councils of the South.
Let us make one last effort for Cooperation, and, in doing so, repel the false and unfounded imputation.
Mr. Speaker, I think all of us desire to consolidate the sentiment of the South.
All of us prefer Cooperation.
It is, therefore, immensely important that we should take no false step, and omit nothing that might tend to that end. I am utterly opposed, now and forever, to taking any step backward in this matter, and therefore it is that I am anxious that we should take no false step.
It is better to consider in advance of action than after action.
When we act, we must stand upon that action against the world in arms.
It will strengthen our arms and nerve our hearts in doing that, if we shall be able to say that this course was not taken hastily or from impulse, but after mature deliberation, and a last effort for that which we all desire so much — Cooperation.