State and every Southern man in the most determined and energetic resistance. I was opposed to the seizure of the fortifications, and other property, of the government in the South, but they can never be restored to the government until every constitutional right of the South shall have been fully acknowledged by the North. If it should be the determination of Mr. Lincoln and the party which has brought him into power, to confine slavery to its present limits, the day of battle need not be deferred, and, when it comes, I trust in God that every Southern man will be ready and willing to die rather than yield to a proposition so unjust, so abhorrent, and so dishonorable. I rejoice at the noble and patriotic stand taken by the conservative Southern States, in resisting the impulse of secession, not because I am disposed to submit to wrong and injustice, not because I am willing to preserve the Union longer than it continues to be the Union of the Constitution, but because I hope they will do, what I had hoped the whole South would have done; because I hope they will with one voice demand of the North a fall and perfect recognition of every constitutional right and privilege of the South, and if this just demand should not be complied with, then with my long-cherished devotion to the Union of our fathers, I shall be reconciled to see it end forever! The North and South can never live in peace together except on terms of perfect social and political equality, therefore a separation, with war, and all its attendant calamities, will be far better than a discontented unity, with the confinement of slavery to its present limits. This I shall regard not only as the greatest indignity ani insult to the South, but the greatest calamity which could be inflicted, and rather than bear this insult, and endure this calamity, I prefer that the last Southern man should fall, on the last battle-field of the terrible war, in which we may soon be engaged. But I trust that Mr. Lincoln may not be unmindful of his official oath, that he will not disregard the obligations of the Constitution, that he will feel the high responsibilities of his position,--a responsibility more sublime than that of the Roman senate in the last days of the republic, higher and more stupendous than the responsibility of the Roman general, on the fatal battle-field of Pharsalia. The American destiny is, under a directing Providence, in his hands! The peace, the safety, the life of a great nation, the happiness of 30,000,000 people — the hope, anxiety, and expectation of the world — depend on his wisdom, virtue, firmness, and patriotism, for a wise and peaceable adjustment of our national differences. He may save, or he may consummate the ruin of this country! If he should adhere to the false theory of government on which he has advanced to power, if he should attempt to put that theory into practice, if he should attempt the recapture of the fortifications, before the just demands of the South shall have been conceded, all is lost forever! If he, and the sectional party he leads, should recede from the hostile position they have assumed to the Constitution, and the people of the South, all may yet be well. I trust, in that event, that there would be conservative men enough, both North and South, men who remember the past happiness and prosperity of the people, the past fame and glory of our country, to reconstruct our glorious Union, with greater stability, and restore peace and tranquillity to our now divided and unhappy nation! Oh! that I had the genius to lead, the power to reach, and win the hearts of my countrymen, in every latitude, in every place, how earnestly I would plead the cause of my unhappy country! In the name of the living and the dead, in the name of unborn millions of our posterity, how fervently I would invoke the union of all hearts and minds — to reconstruct and preserve for all time the Union of our fathers I! How gladly would I hail the returning sign of peace, the gallant flag — no missing star — no rent in the stripes of the banner, which has waved so proudly over the destinies of our once united, great, and glorious country! And if the death of one man could atone for the improprieties of a whole nation, if the blood of one man could redeem the lost American glory, how freely mine should flow, how cheerfully would I hail the death that should bring regenerated life, peace, and safety to our once again united, happy country! I have written you a very long letter, and have discussed the great issues of the day, and placed them, in some respects, in a different light from any in which they have ever yet appeared before the public. I beg you to be assured that I am prompted by no desire to gratify either pride or ambition. My only wish is, if I can, to be serviceable to our unhappy country, and aid in restoring it once more to Union, peace, and happiness. I expect to visit the North during the next season, even though it should be a foreign country; foreign it never can be to me; and then I shall see you again at your own hospitable home. We are all very quiet here at present. The excitement is passing away, and I think every thing depends on the policy of Mr. Lincoln. As I have already said, any attempt at coercion must be fatal to all hopes of reunion. Accept, dear sir, the assurance of my friendship, and high regard.
Germantown, 4th March, 1861.My dear General:--In the exercise of the discretion accorded by your accompanying note, I did not hesitate, after reading your letter of the 12th ultimo, as to the proper disposition of it. I cannot doubt that an appeal conceived in so catholic a spirit will arrest the attention