and were, controlled by their managing politicians, holding offices and earning perquisites by the grace of the Slave Power
enthroned at the State
capital; others were incorrigible, and were managed in this way: In Grayson county (having 8,187 inhabitants, of whom 1,291 were slaves), when Secession was proposed, a county meeting was held, to consider the project; by which, after discussion, it was decided to negative the movement, and hold no election for delegates to the proposed State Convention.
This gave the Secessionists the opportunity they wanted.
proceeded to hold an election, and to choose delegates, who helped vote the State
out of the Union
And this was one case like many others.
Gen. Edward W. Gantt
, who had, in August, 1860, been chosen to Congress as an independent Democrat, from the Southern district of Arkansas
, and who was an early and ardent Secessionist, testifies, since his reclamation to Unionism, that the poor farmers and other industrious nonslaveholders of his region were never Secessionists — that, where he had always been able to induce three-fourths of them to vote with him as a Democrat, he could not persuade half of them to sustain him as a Secessionist — that their hearts were never in the cause; and that those who could be persuaded to vote for it did so reluctantly, and as though it went against the grain.
No rational doubt can exist that, had time been afforded for consideration, and both sides been generally heard, a free and fair vote would have shown an immense majority, even in the Slave States
, against Secession.
For the Union
was strong — immensely strong — in the traditions, the affections, the instincts, and the aspirations, of the great majority of the American People
Its preservation was inseparably entwined with their glories, their interests, and their hopes.
In the North
, no one had, for forty years, desired its dissolution, unless on account of Slavery; at the South
, the case was essentially the same.
No calculations, however imposing and elaborate, had ever convinced any hundred persons, on whichever side of the slave line, that Disunion could be really advantageous to either section.
No line could be drawn betwixt “the South
” and “the North
” which would not leave one or the other exposed to attack — none which six plain citizens, fairly chosen from either section, could be induced to adopt as final.
Multitudes who supported Secession did so only as the most efficacious means of inducing the North
to repudiate the ‘Black Republicans’ and agree to the Crittenden or some kindred Compromise — in short, to bully the North
into giving the South
her ‘rights’--never imagining, at the outset, that this could be refused, or that Disunion would or could be really, conclusively effected.
Thousands died fighting under the flag of treason whose hearts yearned toward the old banner, and whose aspiration for an “ ocean-bound republic” --one which should be felt and respected as first among nations — could not be quenched even in their own life-blood.
And, on the other hand, the flag rendered illustrious by the triumphs of Gates
— of Harrison
, and Jackson
— of Truxtun
, and McDonough
— was throughout