previous next
[14] comprehensive policy as the ultimate outcome of their movement, I entertain no doubt. They looked unquestionably to an easy military success, and the complete establishment of their Confederacy; more remotely, there can be no question they contemplated a policy of extension, and the establishment along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and in the Antilles of a great semi-tropical, slave-labor republic; finally, all my investigations have tended to satisfy me that they confidently anticipated an early disintegration of the Union, and the accession of the bulk of the Northern States to the Confederacy, New England only being sternly excluded therefrom, ‘sloughed off,’ as they expressed it. The capital of the new Confederacy was to be Washington; African servitude, under reasonable limitations, was to be recognized throughout its limits; agriculture was to be its ruling interest, with a tariff and foreign policy in strict accord therewith. ‘Secession is not intended to break up the present government, but to perpetuate it. We go out of the Union, not to destroy it, but for the purpose of getting further guarantees and security,’ this was said in January, 1861; and this in 1900: ‘And so we believe that with the success of the South, the “Union of the fathers,” which the South was the principal factor in forming, and to which she was far more attached than the North, would have been restored and re-established; that in this Union the South would have been again the dominant people, the controlling power.’ Conceding the necessary premises of fact and law—a somewhat considerable concession, but, perhaps, conceivable—conceding these, I see in this position, then or now, nothing illogical, nothing provocative of severe criticism, certainly nothing treasonable. Acting on sufficient grounds, of which those thus acting were the sole judge, proceeding in a way indisputably legal and regular, it was proposed to reconstruct the Union in the light of experience, and on a new, and, as they considered, an improved basis, without New England. This cannot properly be termed a conspiracy; it was a legitimate policy based on certain assumed data legal, moral and economical. But it was in reality never for a moment believed that this programme could be peaceably and quietly carried into effect; and the assent of New England to the arrrangement was neither asked for, assumed, nor expected. New England was distinctly relegated to an outer void—at once cold, dark, inhospitable.

As to participation of those who sympathized in these views and this policy in the councils of the government, so furthering schemes for its overthrow while sworn to its support, I hold it unnecessary 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.
New England (United States) (4)
Gulf of Mexico (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
1900 AD (1)
January, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: