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‘ [310] I never saw a word from him recommending secession as the proper remedy against threatening dangers until he joined in the general letter of the Southern senators and representatives in Congress to their States advising them to take that course.’ (Stephens' War Between the States, vol. 2, p. 416.) Mr. Davis, in his short history of the Confederate States, mentions a fact bearing directly on his general political reputation as a Union man. Referring to the pending gubernatorial election in Mississippi, 1851, he recalls the fact that when an attempt was made to fix on the Democracy the reputation of a purpose of disunion, General Quitman withdrew from the race on account of his unpopular disunion antecedents, and he himself was induced to take his place because of his more pronounced advocacy of the Union. His own language is as follows: ‘My own devotion to the Union of our fathers had been so often and so fully declared, my services to the Union, civil and military, were so extended and well known, that it was believed my nomination would remove the danger of defeat which the candidacy of a less pronounced advocate of the Union might provoke. Then, as afterward, I regarded the separation of the States as a great, though not the greatest, evil.’

At this critical period—the spring of 1860—there were notable men in the South who favored disunion. But they were not in power. They were men of commanding intellect, exalted patriotism, and noble character, worthy of any station. Among them Mr. Yancey, who could not control Alabama for secession; Mr. Quitman, who was set aside by Mississippi; Mr. Iverson, defeated in Georgia, and Mr. Rhett, whom South Carolina had not followed. All of these were favorites in their States, but so far as they advocated secession they were subjected to defeat. There was not one disunionist governor in the South—not one secession legislature—not one disunion judge—not a disunionist in the cabinet, or as far as was known, not one in any service of the government.

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