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[84] feet in thickness, and pierced for three tiers of guns on the northern, eastern, and western sides. These guns commanded the harbour, thus giving the Federal garrison the power to arrest the shipping bound to and from the port, and to assume an attitude of hostility inconsistent with the safety of that part of the State of South Carolina.

In the mean time the event of South Carolina's formal withdrawal front the Union was treated by the North generally with derision. Northern newspapers scoffed at her; Northern pictorials abounded with caricatures of Palmetto chivalry; secession cockades, it was said, would soon pass out of fashion, and, on the appearance of the first United States regiment in Charleston harbour, would be found as scarce as cherries in the snow. But what was most remarkable in the treatment of the event by the Northern newspapers and politicians was, that they all united in affecting the most entire and ready willingness that South Carolina, and as many Slave States as chose to accompany her should go out of the Union whenever they pleased. This affectation, which was half insolence and half hypocrisy, was heard everywhere in the North. As long, indeed, as the North apprehended no serious consequences, and from its very vanity refused to entertain the idea that the South had any means or resources for making a serious resistance to the Federal authority, it easily afforded to ridicule the movement of South Carolina; to compare her to a “spoilt child,” wandering from the fold of a “paternal government;” and to declare that there was really no design to coerce her or her sister States, but rather pleasure at the separation. “Let the prodigal go,” exclaimed one of the political preachers of the North. A God-speed was added by Mr. Greeley, of the New York Tribune. And yet a few months later, and these men and their followers were in agonies of anxiety and paroxysms of fury to reclaim what they then called the “rebel” States, declaring that their cities should be laid in ashes, and their soil sown with blood; while the benevolent Tribune drew from its imagination and hopes a picture, not of the returned prodigal, but of punished “rebels” returning home to find their wives and children cowering in rags, and Famine sitting at the fireside.1


We hold with Jefferson to the inalienable right of communities to alter or abolish forms of government that have become oppressive or injurious, and if the Cotton States shall become satisfied that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nevertheless, and we do not see how one party can have a right to do what another party has a right to prevent. Whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in. We hope never to live in a Republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets. .... If ever seven or eight States send agents to Washington to say,

‘We want to go out of the Union,’ we shall feel constrained by our devotion to human liberty, to say, Let them go! And we do not see how we could take the other side, without coming in direct conflict with those rights of man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous.

From the New York Tribune of Nov. 26, and Dec. 17, 1860.

But, nevertheless, we mean to conquer them [the Confederate States], not merely to defeat, but to conquer, to subjugate them. But when the rebellious traitors are overwhelmed in the field, and scattered like leaves before an angry wind, it must not be to return to peaceful and contented homes / They must find poverty at their firesides, and see privation in the anxious eyes of mothers, and the rays of children. The whole coast of the South, from the Delaware to the Rio Grande, must be a solitude. From the same, of May 1, 1861.

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