previous next

[154] apprehensions and forebodings, whether well or ill grounded, were sincerely felt and entertained. There was no hostility, or disloyalty entertained to the Union per se, by the Southern people—this fact ought never to be lost sight of.

In all of the Gulf States, with the exception of Louisiana, the State Democratic conventions had instructed their delegates to withdraw from the Charleston Convention in default of the insertion of a clause in the platform pledging Federal protection to slavery in the territories by appropriate legislation. The battle was thus transferred to the floor of the Charleston convention. Mr. Yancey was himself a delegate, and opened the campaign two days in advance of the day fixed for the meeting of the National Convention. The plan was to induce the delegates from all the Southern States, and failing in that, to get as many as possible, to secede from the convention, and in pursuance of this plan meetings of Southern delegates, exclusively, were held on the Friday and Saturday nights preceding the National Convention. This writer was present at these meetings, not from sympathy, however, but as a spectator of the play. Mr. Yancey declined to speak, declaring he desired to hear the other delegates express their sentiments. A delegate from Virginia observed that the absence of even a single delegate from the North at these meetings had an ominous look to him; it seemed to prefigure the disruption both of the Democracy and the Union. The National Convention of the party would convene within forty-eight hours—it was intended for friendly conference—for consultation, for a comparison of opinions, in the spirit of brotherhood, with the view of harmonizing differences. He had no doubt an adjustment could be reached by mutual concessions-at any rate, it ought to be tried. He declined to take any part in these meetings of Southern delegates exclusively, or to be bound by its action.

The speeches made in these meetings were violent and inflammatory, abounding in denunciations of the Northern Democrats as timeservers and shufflers, and representing the Republicans as being determined to wipe out slavery, even if they had to resort to servile insurrection. I remember that John Milton, a delegate from Florida (he was chosen Governor in 1862, but died in 1864), said, ‘His plan was for Southern men to take the Constitution in one hand and a musket in the other, and to march to Fanueil Hall in Boston, demand their constitutional rights, and if they were not granted, to go to ’


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Louisiana (Louisiana, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William L. Yancey (2)
John Milton (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1864 AD (1)
1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: