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‘ [412] has not been redressed or for which satisfaction has not been demanded, I have, senators, in this hour of our parting, to offer you my apology for any pain, which in the heat of the discussion, I have inflicted.’

‘It is known to senators, who have served with me here, that I have for many years advocated, as an essential attribute of State sovereignty, the right of a State to secede from the Union. But I hope none who hear me will confound this expression of mine with the advocacy of the right of a State to remain in the Union, and to disregard its constitutional obligations by the nullification of the law. Such is not my theory. Secession is to be justified only upon the basis that the States are sovereign (which was guaranteed in the Constitution). There was a time when none denied it.’ * * *

‘My opinion was the same then that it is now that if Massachusetts chose to take the last step which separates her from the Union, it is her right to go. (Massachusetts was an opponent of the Southern States) * * and I will neither vote one dollar nor one man to coerce her back; but I will say to her “ God speed” in memory of the kind associations which once existed between her and the other States.’

‘I know that I express the general feelings of my constituents towards yours when I say we cherish no ill — will towards you. In the presence of my God I want to say that I, and certainly my friends, wish that it may be well with you. 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 the country. And if you will have it thus we will invoke the God of our fathers, who delivered them from the power of the British 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.’ These were the words of a warm heart and of manly vigor.

In the following order the States seceded: South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee; whilst Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri remained divided. Jefferson Davis, with enthusiastic unanimity, was elected president, and first Montgomery and then Richmond was chosen as the capital of the Confederacy.

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