platform, and in the field, they stood pre-eminent.
The enunciation of principle, the declaration of rights, sprung from the fertile brain of a Southerner, and to-day the readers of American history recognize in Jefferson the foremost thinker of his age. Well has a New Englander, in speaking of Washington
and the Southern
soldiers of 1776, recently said: ‘We must go back to Athens
to find another instance of a society, so small in numbers, and yet capable of such an outburst of ability and force.’
Without the men of the South
, the Revolution of 1776 would have gone down into history as the rebellion of that period.
How wonderful it is, that in the comparative seclusion and solitude of an agricultural country, the men should have been reared whose writings on Constitutional government embodied the wisdom and the experience of the patriots of all ages, and whose State papers actually formed the mould in which the constitution of the United Colonies was shaped; and that then, after Southern statemen had formed the most perfect government the world ever saw, that Southern soldiers should have made it an accomplished fact
by their skill, valor and endurance.
, in his speech before the British Parliament March 22, 1775, on the conciliation of the American Colonies
, spoke thus of our people:
‘There is, however, a circumstance attending these Southern Colonies which, in my opinion, * * * * makes the spirit of liberty still more high and haughty than in those of the northward.
It is that in Virginia
and the Carolinas they have a vast multitude of slaves. * * * * And these people of the South
are much more strongly and with a higher and more stubborn spirit attached to liberty than those in the northward.
Such were all the ancient Commonwealths; such were our Gothic ancestors; and such, in our day, the Poles; and such will be all masters
who are not slaves themselves.
In such a people the haughtiness of domination combines with the spirit of freedom, fortifies it and renders it invincible.’
Men of Southern birth and Southern rearing were the successful generals in the war of 1812, and the central figures in 1846.
The acquisition of territory was made during the administration of Southern men. Louisiana
, and California
were acquired during their terms of office.
Upon the Supreme Court bench of the United States
they are to be conspicuously found.
The Chief Justiceship was held continuously for sixty-three years by Southern men. I need not speak of the orators and statesmen produced in every State in the South
—they are household names.