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On its face, however, the situation was not so much a crisis as a rather flagrant illustration of the glorious Union worshipped by all parties at the North. For a quarter of a century, with Government sanction, the1 Southern mails had been closed to Northern ideas; with Government and State indifference, Northerners had been lynched or driven out. The lapse of time had left no excuse for spontaneous heat over such trifles, any more than over a slave-burning like that in Georgia in October,2 or over the perennial fear of slave risings, such as infected3 the whole South after Harper's Ferry, and in the summer and autumn of 1860 raged afresh, so that, as President4 Buchanan said, in his annual message to Congress, ‘a sense of security no longer exists around the family altar.’ All these things were symptomatic, not of disunion, but of Union.

A genuine sign of revolution was the centripetal movement of Southerners, as in the case of the two hundred5 medical students in Philadelphia who renounced Northern instruction and seceded to their homes. Governor Wise received them at Richmond as precursors of the break-up.6 The North bade them good-bye with a smile at their silliness, and turned an incredulous ear to the Southern echoes of Harper's Ferry in both Houses of Congress. Had not Fremont's possible election in 1856 been made the ground7 of threats of secession? Why, then, pay heed to similar talk now in view of Seward's probable nomination and election by the Republican Party? Henry Wilson, in a speech in the Senate on January 25, 1860, put on record8 what had already been said during the current session. Two examples will suffice. Senator Iverson of Georgia9 was ready to lead away the Southern delegation on the mere election of John Sherman to the speakership of the House—a contingency happily averted; and in any event10 saw “but one path of safety for the South, but one mode of preserving her institution of domestic slavery, and that is, a confederacy of States having no incongruous and opposing elements.” Lib. 30.17. The election of a Black Republican

1 Ante, 1.488, 492.

2 Lib. 30.171.

3 Lib. 29.187, 191.

4 Lib. 30.137, 141, 146, 149, 163, 171, 177, 179, 185, 199.

5 Lib. 29.206, 207, 211; 30.1, 3.

6 Lib. 30.1.

7 Ante, p. 435.

8 Lib. 30.17.

9 Lib. 30.17.

10 Lib. 30.23.

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