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[438] rarely over-sanguine Vice-President Stephens1 congratulated his hearers that their revolution had thus far been accomplished without shedding a drop of blood — that the fear of deadly collision with the Union they had renounced was nearly dispelled — that the Southern Confederacy had now a population considerably larger than that of the thirteen United Colonies that won their independence through a seven years struggle with Great Britain--that its area was not only considerably larger than that of the United Colonies, but larger than that of both France and the Austrian Empire--larger than that of France, Spain, Portugal, and the British Isles altogether. He estimated the property of the Confederate States as worth Twenty-two Thousand Millions of Dollars; while the last Census makes that of the entire Union but Sixteen Thousand Millions--an understatement, doubtless. That the remaining Slave States would break away from the Union and join the Confederacy was regarded by him as a matter of course. “They will necessarily gravitate to us by an imperious law.” As to such others as might be deemed desirable acquisitions, Mr. Stephens spoke more guardedly, yet no less complacently, as was previously seen.2

This was by no means idle gasconade or vain-glorious presumption. Throughout the Free States, eminent and eager advocates of adhesion to the new Confederacy by those States--or so many of them as might hope to find acceptance — were widely heard and heeded. The New England3 States (except, possibly, Connecticut), it was agreed, need indulge no such hope--their sins were past forgiveness, and their reprobation eternal. So with the more “fanatical” States of the North-West; so, perhaps, with Western New York and Northern Ohio. The remaining States and parts of States, it was assumed, might easily and wisely fit themselves for adhesion to, and acceptance by, the Southern Confederacy by expelling or suppressing all “fanatics,” and adopting the Montgomery Constitution, thus legalizing slaveholding as well as slavehunting on their soil. Among those who were understood to urge such adhesion were Gov. Seymour, of New York, Judge Woodward and

1 In his speech at Savannah, already quoted.

2 See pages 416-18.

3 The New York Herald of December 9, 1860, has a Washington dispatch of the 8th relative to a caucus of Southern Senators then being held at the Capitol, which said:

The current of opinion seems to set strongly in favor of a reconstruction of the Union, without the New England States. The latter States are supposed to be so fanatical in their views as to render it impossible that there should be any peace under a government to which they were parties.

And Gov. Letcher, of Virginia, in his Message of January 7, 1861, after suggesting “that a commission, to consist of two of our most intelligent, discreet, and experienced statesmen,” should be appointed to visit the Legislatures of the Free States, to urge the repeal of the Personal Liberty bills which had been passed, said:

In renewing the recommendation at this time, I annex a modification, and that is, that commissioners shall not be sent to either of the New England States. The occurrences of the last two months have satisfied me that New England Puritanism has no respect for human constitutions, and so little regard for the Union that they would not sacrifice their prejudices, or smother their resentments, to perpetuate it.

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