Then, if we fail, and a Convention is called under these circumstances, I and all of us will stand by the action of that Convention.
Whatever may be our individual opinions, we will obey the mandate of the State thus pronounced.
Whenever she, after exhausting all proper and becoming efforts for union, resolves upon her course, we will have no option, as we will have no desire, to do otherwise than rally under her banner.
If the State, in her sovereign capacity, determines that her secession will produce the cooperation which we have so earnestly sought, then it shall have my hearty approbation.
And if, in the alternative, she determines to let us forego the honor of being first, for the sake of promoting the common cause, let us declare to Georgia, the Empire State of the South--the Keystone of the Southern Arch, which is our nearest neighbor westward, and lying for a great distance alongside of our own territory — that we are willing to follow in her lead, and together take our place among the nations of the earth.
If South Carolina, in Convention assembled, deliberately secedes-separate and alone, and, without any hope of cooperation, decides to cut loose from her moorings, surrounded as she is by Southern sisters in like circumstances — I will be one of her crew, and, in common with every true son of hers, will endeavor, with all the power that God has given me, to
Spread all her canvas to the breeze,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the God of storms,
The lightning and the gale.
, of Marion
, followed; and his reply to McGowan
's speech is worthy of record here, since it clearly betrays the consciousness of the disunionists that they were a lean minority of the Southern
people, who might be precipitated, bullied, or dragged into treason, but whom there was no rational hope of reasoning or even seducing into it. He said:
South Carolina had tried Cooperation, but had exhausted that policy.
The State of Virginia had discredited the cause which our Commissioner went there to advocate, although she treated him, personally, with respect; but she had as much as said there were no indignities which could drive her to take the leadership for Southern rights.
If we wait for Cooperation, Slavery and State Rights would be abandoned, State Sovereignty and the cause of the South lost forever, and we would be subjected to a dominion the parallel to which was that of the poor Indian under the British East India Company.
When they had pledged themselves to take the State out of the Union, and placed it on record, then he was willing to send a Commissioner to Georgia, or any other Southern State, to announce our determination, and to submit the question whether they would join us or not. We have it from high authority, that the representative of one of the Imperial Powers of Europe, in view of the prospective separation of one or more of the Southern States from the present confederacy, has made propositions in advance for the establishment of such relations between it and the Government about to be established in this State, as will insure to that power such a supply of Cotton for the future as their increasing demand for that article will require: this information is perfectly authentic.
Thus, it will be seen that foreign intrigue was already hand-and-glove with domestic treason in sapping the foundations of our Union and seeking peculiar advantages from its over-throw.
Mr. Edmund Ruffin
, of Virginia
, had for many years been the editor of a leading Agricultural monthly, and had thus acquired a very decided influence over the planters of the South
A devotee of Slavery, he had hastened to Columbia
, on the call of the Legislature, to do his utmost for Secession.
He was, of course, serenaded in his turn by the congregated Union-breakers, on the evening of the 7th, and addressed them from the balcony of the Congaree House
The following is a synopsis of his response:
He said the question now before the country he had studied for years.
It had been the one great idea of his life.
The defense of the South, he verily believed, was only to be secured through the lead of South Carolina.
As old as he was. he had come here to join them in that lead.
He wished Virginia was as ready as South Carolina, but, unfortunately, she was not; but, circumstances being different, it was perhaps better that Virginia and all other border States remain quiescent for a time, to serve