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[609] the ‘State-Rights’ apostles of the Border-State school contemplated Secession, and everything pertaining thereto, primarily, as means of perfecting and perpetuating the slaveholding ascendency in the Union as it was. Hence, we have seen Gov. Magoffin1 protest against the secession of South Carolina and the Cotton States, not as a treasonable repudiation of their constitutional duties, but as a chimerical futility, and as a betrayal of the slaveholding Border States into the power of the “Black Republicans.”

Kentucky, as we have shown,2 nine weeks after the reduction of Fort Sumter, gave an aggregate of 92,365 votes for Union to 36,995 for Secession candidates, in choosing, at a special election, her representatives in the XXXVIIth Congress, while, as yet, no Federal soldier stood armed on her soil, and while her Legislature, Governor, and most of his associate State officers, were the Democratic compatriots of Breckinridge, Burnett, and Buckner. Only a single district elected a Secessionist, by four-sevenths of its total vote; and he its old member, who had hitherto received far larger majorities, running as a Democrat, in a district where the Democratic party had, since 1826, uniformly commanded overwhelming majorities. That district, at the western extremity of the State, hemmed in between West Tennessee, Southern Missouri, and that portion of Illinois widely known as “Egypt,” and traversed by the great Southern rivers Tennessee and Cumberland, had, in fact, for more than a quarter of a century, been alien from Kentucky in character and sympathies, as it proved itself in this case. The residue of the State elected only Unionists to Congress, by a popular majority of almost three to one.

This majority was very nearly maintained at her regular State election (August 5th), when — Magoffin being still Governor, Buckner commander of the State Guard, and the local offices mainly held by ‘State-Rights’ Democrats, with the recent Union rout and disaster at Bull Run tending still further to unmask and develop all the latent treason in the State--a new Legislature was chosen, wherein Unionism of a very decided type predominated in the proportion of nearly three to one.3

1 See pp. 340-41.

2 P. 496.

3 Pollard, in his “Southern History,” fully admits, while lie denounces and deplores, the hostility of Kentucky to the Rebel cause — saying:

It is not to be supposed for a moment that, while the position of Kentucky, like that of Maryland, was one of reproach, it is to mar the credit due to that portion of the people of each, who, in the face of instant difficulties, and at the expense of extraordinary sacrifices, repudiated the decision of their States to remain under the Federal Government, and expatriated themselves that they might espouse the cause of liberty in the South. The honor due such men is, in fact, increased by the consideration that their States remained in the Union, and compelled them to fly their homes, that they might certify their devotion to the South and her cause of independence. Still, the justice of history must be maintained. The demonstrations of sympathy with the South on the part of the States referred to--Maryland and Kentucky--considered either in proportion to what was offered the Lincoln Government by these States, or with respect to the numbers of their population, were sparing and exceptional; and although these demonstrations on the part of Kentucky, from the great and brilliant names associated with them, were perhaps even more honorable and more useful than the examples of Southern spirit offered by Maryland, it is unquestionably though painfully true, that the great body of the people of Kentucky were the active allies of Lincoln, and the unnatural enemies of those united to them by lineage, blood, and common institutions.

Those who love and honor the name of Henry Clay will thank the author of the “Southern History” for the following undesigned but richly merited homage to the character and influence of that great man:

It is certainly defective logic, or, at best, an inadequate explanation, which attributes the subserviency of a large portion of the people of Kentucky to the views of the Lincoln Government to the perfidy of a party or the adroitness of its management. However powerful may be the machinery of party, it certainly has not the power of belying public sentiment for any considerable length of time. The persistent adhesion of a large portion of the Kentucky people to the Northern cause must be attributed to permanent causes; and among these were, first, an essential unsoundness on the Slavery question, under the influences of the peculiar philosophy of Henry Clay, who, like every great man, left an impress upon his State, which it remained for future even more than contemporary generations to attest.

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