true patriotism decide between us. In my judgment, I say under such circumstances, there would be no possible disgrace for a Southern man to hold office.
No man will be suffered to be appointed, I have no doubt, who is not true to the Constitution
, if Southern Senators
are true to their trusts, as I cannot permit myself to doubt that they will be.
My honorable friend who addressed you last night, (Mr. Toombs
,) and to whom I listened with the profoundest attention, asks if we would submit to Black Republican rule?
I say to you and to him, as a Georgian, I never would submit to any Black Republican aggression
upon our constitutional rights.
I will never consent myself, as much as I admire this Union for the glories of the past, or the blessings of the present, as much as it has done for the people of all these States, as much as it has done for civilization, as much as the hopes of the world hang upon it, I would never submit to aggression upon my rights to maintain it longer; and if they cannot be maintained in the Union
, standing on the Georgia
platform, where I have stood from the time of its adoption, I would be in favor of disrupting every tie which binds the States together.
I will have equality for Georgia
and for the citizens of Georgia
in this Union, or I will look for new safeguards elsewhere.
This is my position.
The only question now is, can they be secured in the Union
That is what I am counselling with you to-night about.
Can it be secured?
In my judgment it may be, but it may not be; but let us do all we can, so that in the future, if the worst come, it may never be said we were negligent in doing our duty to the last.
My countrymen, I am not of those who believe this Union has been a curse up to this time.
True men, men of integrity, entertain different views from me on this subject.
I do not question their right to do so; I would not impugn their motives in so doing.
Nor will I undertake to say that this Government of our fathers is perfect.
There is nothing perfect in this world of a human origin.
Nothing connected with human nature, from man himself to any of his works.
You may select the wisest and best men for your judges, and yet how many defects are there in the administration of justice?
You may select the wisest and best men for your legislators, and yet how many defects are apparent in your laws?
And it is so in our Government.
But that this Government of our fathers, with all its defects, comes nearer the objects of all good Governments than any other on the face of the earth is my settled conviction.
Contrast it now with any on the face of the earth.
[England, said Mr. Toombs
, my friend says.
Well, that is the next best, I grant; but I think we have improved upon England
Statesmen tried their apprentice hand on the Government
, and then ours was made.
Ours sprung from that, avoiding many of its defects, taking most of the good and leaving out many of its errors, and from the whole constructing and building up this model Republic — the best which the history of the world gives any account of.
Compare, my friends, this Government with that of Spain
, the South American Republics
— are there any sons of that down-trodden nation here to-night?--Prussia
, or if you travel further East, to Turkey
Where will you go, following the sun in its circuit round our globe, to find a Government that better protects the liberties of its people, and secures to them the blessings we enjoy?
(Applause.) I think that one of the evils that beset us is a surfeit of liberty, an exuberance of the priceless blessings for which we are ungrateful.
We listened to my honorable friend who addressed you last night, (Mr. Toombs
,) as he recounted the evils of this Government.
The first was the fishing bounties, paid mostly to the sailors of New England
Our friend stated that forty-eight years of our Government was under the administration of Southern Presidents
Well, these fishing bounties began under the rule of a Southern President
, I believe.
No one of them during the whole forty-eight years ever set his Administration against the, principle or policy of them.
It is not for me to say whether it was a wise policy in the beginning; it probably was not, and I have nothing to say in its defence.
But the reason given for it was to encourage our young men to go to sea and learn to manage ships.
We had at the time but a small navy.
It was thought best to encourage a class of our people to become acquainted with seafaring life; to become sailors; to man our naval ships.
It requires practice to walk the deck of a ship, to pull the ropes, to furl the sails, to go aloft, to climb the mast; and it was thought, by offering this bounty, a nursery might be formed in which young men would become perfected in these arts, and it applied to one section of the country as well as to any other.
The result of this was, that in the war of 1812 our sailors, many of whom came from this nursery, were equal to any that England
brought against us. At any rate, no small part of the glories of that war were gained by the veteran tars of America
, and the object of these bounties was to foster that branch of the national defence.
My opinion is, that whatever may have been the reason at first, this bounty ought to be discontinued — the reason for it at first no longer exists.
A bill for this object did pass the Senate the last Congress I was in, to which my honorable friend contributed greatly, but it was not reached in the House of Representatives.
I trust that he will yet see that he may with honor continue his connection with the Government
, and that his eloquence, unrivalled in the Senate, may hereafter, as heretofore, be displayed in having this bounty, so obnoxious