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[183] should not be willing to remain in the office at work, if the country needed soldiers. Four months proved the truth of his anticipations; and his parents being in Nassau, he writes thus:—

April 5.

We have very exciting news to-day from the South. It is now almost certain that Mr. Lincoln is going to reinforce the United States forts, and in that case the Southerners will surely resist. All the vessels in the navy are being got ready for sea, and several sail from here to-day. Lincoln has kept his own counsel so well hitherto, that the newspapers have not been able to get at anything, and have consequently been filled with the most contradictory rumors. But, now that almost all the important appointments have been made, and the State elections, &c. are over, it is the universal belief that something decisive is to be done.

Every other man has a different opinion as to what will be the consequences. Some think it will drive all the Border States into the Southern Confederacy, and that we shall all be ruined; and others say it will encourage the Union party in the South to make itself heard. For my part, I want to see the Southern States either brought back by force or else recognized as independent; and, as Lincoln cannot do as he likes, but must abide by the Constitution, I don't see what he can do but collect the revenue and retake, by force of arms, the United States property which they have stolen. As for making concessions, it is only patching the affair up for a year or two, when it would break out worse than ever. At any rate, we should have this same row over again at every Presidential election; and if we gave them an inch, they would be sure to want thousands of ells, as is proved by their history and ours for the last fifty years. Indeed, they would not be content with anything less than a total change of public opinion throughout the North on the subject of slavery, and that, of course, they can't have. In the mean time, they tar and feather, hang, drown, and burn our citizens who are travelling there, attending to their own business and troubling no one. I have been a disunionist for two years; but as there seems to be no way of making a peaceable separation without giving up everything, I am glad, for the credit of the country, that they will probably act now with some firmness. A great many people say they are ashamed of their country, but I feel proud that we have at last taken such a long step forward as to turn out the proslavery government which has been disgracing us so long; and


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