Doc. 12.-a disunionist answered. Letters of J. L. Orr and Amos Kendall. Ex-speaker Orb to Hon. Amos Kendall.
Anderson, S. C., Aug. 16, 1860.My dear sir:--I have received your favor of the ninth inst. Your age, experience, and ability entitle your opinions to great weight on every reflecting mind, and I regret to learn from your letter that your dissent from my recommendation that the honor and safety of the South require its prompt secession from the Union, in the event of the election of a black republican to the presidency. You say your “mind is equally clear that the South has long had a peaceful remedy within her own reach, and has it still, though impaired by the recent conduct of some of her sons,” You would greatly oblige me by a full exposition of your opinions upon that point, as well as the remedy to be resorted to by us, should the Government, in November, pass into the hands of a party whose declared purpose is to destroy our property, amounting in value at the present time to not less than three billions one hundred and fifty millions of dollars. Can it be prudent, safe, or manly in the South to submit to the domination of a party whose declared purpose is to destroy such an amount of property and subvert our whole social and industrial policy? In glancing at the evil and remedy, I invite specially your attention-- 1. To the persistent refusal of many of the free States, and to large bodies of men in all of then, to execute the fugitive slave law. 2. To the untiring efforts of fanatics who come to the slave States under the guise of preachers, teachers, &c., in inveigling away our slaves, and to the general sympathy with their nefarious purposes, evinced by the facilities furnished them by the underground railroad in spiriting away our slaves beyond the reach of their owners. 3. To the raid of John Brown, and the sympathy which his well-merited execution evoked. 4. To the recent insurrectionary movements in Texas--projected and carried out by abolition emissaries, where the incendiary torch of the slave lighted by abolition traitors, has reduced to ashes one million of dollars' worth of property, and where the timely discovery of the hellish scheme alone saved the lives of thousands of men, women, and children. These are the natural and necessary results of the teachings of black republicanism; and if we have such developments under an administration which professes to guard our constitutional rights, in the name of Heaven what may we not expect when a great party takes the Government and its machinery under its control, avowing openly its purpose to be the extirpation of African slavery wherever it does exist? Is it wise, if we do not mean to submit to such consequences, to allow a black republican President to be inaugurated, and put him in possession of the army, the navy, the treasury, the armories and arsenals, the public property — in fact, the whole machinery of the Government, with its appendants and appurtenances? If the South should think upon this subject as I do, no black republican President would ever execute any law within her borders, unless at the point of the bayonet, and over the dead bodies of her slain sons. In your letter you say that you have not taken me to be of that class of men in the South who for years past have been making and seeking pretexts for destroying the Union. You have not misjudged me nor my designs. I have a profound and abiding affection for the Union of our fathers, and deeply deplore the existence of the causes which are rapidly tending to its destruction. During the whole of my congressional career, I sought to tranquillize sectional strife. When I first entered the House, the abolition party, headed by Giddings and Wilmot, numbered eight; ten years have rolled away, and now that party is a majority of the whole House. Is it not time that the South should begin to look to her safety and independence? I trust that the impending storm may be averted; that our rights and the Union may be saved; that fraternal regard may be restored; and that our country may go on in the highway of prosperity that it has so successfully trod for the last seventy years. This is the aspiration of my heart, and yet I am painfully impressed with the conviction that it will never be realized. I am, very truly, your friend and obedient servant,
Mr. Kendall's reply.
Washington, Sept. 10, 1860.Hon. James L. Orr--My Dear Sir: Your letter of the 16th ult. reached Washington while I was absent in the North. Though I did not contemplate, when I wrote you on the 9th ult., any thing beyond a limited private correspondence, yet having no opinion on the portentous condition of public affairs which I have a motive to conceal, or am ashamed to avow, I cheerfully comply with your suggestions. You quote from my former letter the declaration that “my mind is equally clear that the South has long had a peaceful remedy within her reach, and has it still, though impaired by the recent conduct of some of her sons,” and you ask of me a full explanation of my opinions on that point as well as “the remedy to be resorted to by us — the South--should the Government, in November, pass into the hands of a party whose declared purpose is to destroy our property, amounting in value at the present time, to not less than three billions one hundred and fifty millions of dollars.” You ask, “Can ”