are, in some particulars, in my judgment unsound and mischievous, but not so mischievous as to warrant serious apprehension, or — before he is even permitted to explain his actual policy — to justify or excuse revolution — the destruction of the Government
Singular idea, that because possibly he may advise and be able to carry measures calculated to destroy it, that the safety and duty of the South
warrant them in destroying it themselves, in advance.
How men, loyal to the Union
and anxious for its preservation, can so reason, is incomprehensible.
There are, no doubt, in some States enemies of the Government
, life-long enemies, resolved at all hazards to effect its ruin, and who have been plotting it for years.
But these are not to be found in Maryland
Here, thank God, such disloyalty never obtained even a foothold.
We may differ now as to the exact course to be pursued, but we differ only as to the best means of accomplishing a common purpose — the Union
In this particular I have differed, and still perhaps differ, with friends whose fealty to the Union
is as strong and abiding as it can be in any American heart.
Let us, therefore, casting aside all prior differences, mere party controversies, unite together as a band of brothers, and in good faith and with unflinching firmness, rally around our noble State; noble in her institutions; noble in her Revolutionary history; noble in the great fame of her illustrious dead; and resolve by all just and honorable means, by any fair and equitable adjustment of sectional controversies, to assist her in efforts to terminate the sad, dreadful strife which now imperils all we hold dear.
Finally, is all hope lost — all remedy gone?
I think not. The danger that is upon us has its origin, I think, in part to wrongs, and to wrongs on all sides.
is the most to blame, but the South
is not blameless.
It would be to no useful purpose to display the particulars.
Criminations and recriminations, God knows, to the dishonor of all, have progressed far enough and produced results bad enough.
The violence of the press, the desecration of a part of the Northern
pulpit, the scurrilous, insulting debates in Congress, the insidious and thieving interference with rights of property in the South
, the libellous assaults upon the Supreme Court, for having been but faithful to Constitutional duty — the avowed purpose when the power should exist, to reconstruct it, for sectional ends degrading to the South
and destructive of their rights, and finally the election of a President and Vice-President
by an exclusive sectional vote, have, in fact, fastened upon the public mind of most, if not of all the Southern States
, a conviction that they owe it to their own honor, their own interests, their own safety, to have now, and at once, such amendments of the Constitution
or other measures as they think will forever terminate the strife by effectually securing to them the equality of rights which they fully believe the Constitution
was intended to secure to them.
These principally relate to slave property, and an equal participation in the Territories
Is it possible that the North
(by the North
I mean the Free States
) can be so wedded to theories, to philanthropical conceits, fanatical opinions, as to be willing to see the Union
destroyed which has made them what they are, rather than to surrender their evidently abstract opinions for its preservation?
Can it be that they would rather see the President
of their choice presiding only over a shattered fragment of this great nation, than yield these impressions in a spirit of patriotic brotherhood?
Can it be that rather than yield, they will be the instruments of committing “treason against human hope” ?
Can it be that rather than yield, they will subject to hazard of ruinous loss, if not certain ruin, every one of their industrial pursuits, and with them, in a great measure, the comfort and happiness of themselves and their children?
Can it be that rather than yield, they would make strangers of friends, aliens of countrymen, common descendants of a boasted ancestry, bound together by every moral tie that the heart knows, enemies, instead of brothers?
Can it be that they would rather deluge their native land in blood?
No, no, I do not believe that it is in human nature so to act, and hence I do not despair.
But how is safety to be obtained?
In my judgment by the adoption of some such amendments of the Constitution
as are proposed by the patriotic Crittenden
, or the equally patriotic Corwin
and his committee.
These would, I have the strongest reason for believing, satisfy the whole South
, except South Carolina
, whilst in her present frenzy, and perhaps one or two others of the Cotton States
equally crazed from over-excitement.
But the rest content, and the Union
continuing with no abatement but of the few States, who doubts that ere long they will gladly come back within its sacred fold?
They at present believe, or seem to believe, that they could prosper outside of it. Sad delusion — deprived of the rest, they would soon realize the fact that in the estimation of the world they were nothing — too feeble to resist aggression, too limited, though left undisturbed, to attain even a partial prosperity.
This is eminently true of South Carolina
--one of the smallest of the States.
Without soldiers, without seamen, or the elements with which to make them, without material physical resources, with nothing but the individual gallantry of her small population to give her consequence, she would at an early day dwindle into total insignificance.
It is the Union
which she now madly seeks to destroy that has given her all her past consequence.
It is the Union
that has conferred upon her all her past advantages, and given to her all her past protection.
Custom houses, court houses, post offices, forts, light houses, buoys, have been hers through the