He pointed out that the position lie then assumed was the same that he had occupied when Massachusetts had been arraigned at the bar of the Senate, and when the doctrine of coercion was ripe and to be applied against her because of the rescue of a fugitive slave in Boston. ‘My opinion then was the same as it is now. I then said that if Massachusetts chose to take the last step which separates her from the Union, it is her right to go, and I will neither vote one dollar nor one man to force her back, but will say to her God-speed, in memory of the kind associations which once existed between her and the other States.’ In concluding, he said:
I find in myself, perhaps, a type of the general feeling of my constituents towards yours. I am sure I feel no hostility toward you Senators from the North. I am sure there is not one of you, whatever sharp discussions there may have been between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well, and such, I am sure, is the feeling of the people whom I represent towards those whom you represent. I therefore feel that I but express their desire when I say I hope, and they hope, for peaceable relations with you, though we must part. They may be mutually beneficial to us in the future, as they have been in the past, if you so will it. The reverse may bring disaster on every portion of our country; and if you will have it thus, we will invoke the God of our fathers who delivered them from the power of the Lion to protect us from the ravages of the Bear, and thus putting our trust in God, and in our firm hearts and strong arms we will vindicate the right as best we may.