Judge George L. Christian
Sergeant Ro. S. Bosher
Captain Thomas Ellett
Executive Committee.—Captain John Cussons
, Captain E. P. Reeve
, Captain W. Gordon McCabe
and Private James T. Gray
Also a large assemblage of veterans, and of ladies and influential citizens.
The president called the meeting to order, and at his request Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D.
, offered a fervent prayer.
The president then in a few eloquent remarks introduced the orator of the occasion, General Clement A. Evans
, of Atlanta, Georgia
, the subject being ‘Contributions of the South to the Greatness of the American Union
The history of the war for Southern Independence, by Prof. Joseph T. Derry
, of Georgia
, recently issued by the B. F. Johnson Publishing Company
, of this city, has an introduction by General Evans
, whose reputation as a scholar and orator is national.
The address, which was a cogent presentation of the claims of the South
as a factor in the moral and material progress of the nation and held the audience in rapt attention, was replete with eloquent flashes, which constantly elicited warm applause.
At the close of the address, on motion of Rev. J. William Jones
, the thanks of the Association was tendered General Evans
for his able and eloquent address, and a copy of the same was requested for publication.
On the motion of Hon. J. Taylor Ellyson
, a committee of five was appointed to nominate the Officers
and Executive Committee for the ensuing year.
The committee, Hon. J. Taylor Ellyson
, Colonel W. A. Smoot
, General Stith Bolling
, General T. T. Munford
and Colonel R. L. Maury
, having retired, during their absence, in response to their repeated call, Captain W. Gordon McCabe
briefly addressed the audience.
His remarks were in the happiest vein, and ‘in a flash of inspiration,’ he earnestly pressed the claims of the noble women of our Southland to an enduring monumental shaft in testimony to their devotion and sacrifices.
The committee returning, made the following report:
Judge George L. Christian
General Eppa Hunton
, 1st Vice-President
General D. A. Weisiger
, 2d Vice-President
General Clement A. Evans
, 3d Vice-President
Sergeant Robert S. Bosher
Captain Thomas Ellett
Executive Committee.—Colonel W. E. Cutshaw
, Captain John Cussons
, Captain E. P. Reeve
, Captain W. Gordon McCabe
and Private James T. Gray
On the question being put, they were unanimously elected for the ensuing year.
The President, with characteristic modesty, would have demurred against being continued in the office, which he has so satisfactorily filled, but the audience was clamorous that he accept.
In expressing his compliance with their wish, he eloquently urged the claims of the Association to support, declaring the annual meetings to be occasions of delight and inspiration, and that he felt assured that the hearts of all participating in them imbibed fresh inspiration, and that
all were strengthened in patriotic resolve and effort for the public good.
The members of the Association, with their invited guests, then repaired to Murphy's Hotel to a banquet prepared under the direction of the Executive Committee.
The enjoyment of the occasion was here enhanced by brief and warming addresses by Generals Dabney H. Maury
, Eppa Hunton
, Thomas T. Munford
, Rev. J. William Jones, D. D.
, Hon. William A. Anderson
and General Clement A. Evans
, whose graceful ‘Adieu’ was received with a delight scarcely less than that with which his masterly plea for the South
had been greeted.
The words of the ‘oldest Confederate,’ General Maury
, in the dedication of the closing years of his life to the cause of the history of his native State, were touching.
This most recent banquet has been published as the ‘most pleasant’ ever held.
The leaven of the devoted President
is working, as it has been proposed to publish in a becoming volume all of the addresses heretofore delivered before the Association.
I am honored by the request to speak during a convention of men whose occupation deserves the first and chiefest consideration as the corner-stone of popular welfare, whose success makes all things prosper, and whose cry for relief is never made until the pain is too great to be borne.
Labor that converts human energies into cities, railroads, ships, factories and foundries; into churches, school-houses, asylums and homes; into munitions of war for the country's defence, and implements of industry for times of peace; labor that makes and spends money by billions per annum, is entitled to the honest solicitude of statesmen.
Dear to my heart are you my comrades of the Army of Northern Virginia, with whom I followed Jackson
to the last charge at Appomattox
There are events in my life, as in the lives of others, which are remembered with regret; but the part I bore with you in the assertion of the original ideas of our forefathers upon the battle-fields of Virginia
is a rich memory, which I shall cherish with patriotic pride forever.
By your cordial invitation I stand upon the soil of a State which in the travails of nearly three centuries has uniformly affirmed the
axiomatic truths of human freedom, and produced eight generations of manly freemen willing to defend them.
! every Heroic Age salutes you; all free peoples hail you as the historic mother of American Independence, and this exalted era applauds your American spirit!
I speak by your courtesy also within the gates of a revered city, planted by the enterprise and bravery of liberty-loving men amidst their conquered obstacles, nurtured into stalwart strength by the acrid sap of trial, lathed into lithe grace in the whirl of sharp vicissitudes, polished into untarnished brilliance by the rub of rude conflicts, and withal steadfast in sustaining the most vital human convictions!—a city that has reversed the dread decisions of the unfriendly fates which decreed its destruction, and wrought superb success out of the debris of its ruins!
! The epochs of human struggles cluster around you in a proud homage, such as the sheaves of the patriarchs gave to the sheaf of princely Joseph in his prophetic dream!
In the inspiring presence of the sons and daughters of this illustrious State,—every one worthy of a place in the house of our fathers,—I may have liberty to discuss with the ardor of a Southernor and in the soberness of matured reason a patriotic question that concerns our whole country and admits of no partisan treatment; a theme as broad as our expansive land and uplifted above the stature of partisan political motive.
Although to the Southern
manner born, I will speak without sectional bias, and in vivid consciousness of possessing at this moment the broadest and truest American spirit!
Southern Honor maintains with chivalric fealty that agreement which the sword's arbitrament lately required, when Americans
surrendered to Americans
, and not by deed or word or thought, will the terms of that settlement, sanctioned by the peerless Lee
, be avoided in letter or in spirit.
The South possesses in affluence the true American spirit,—that pride in the grandeur of our country, that hospitality which keeps open house for the worthies of all the world, that glorying in our free institutions, that faith in our Nation's power to maintain its place among the earth's greatest governments, and the profound conviction that in the constitutional union of all the States, we shall achieve a national greatness never equalled in the history of the world.
The South says let the decayed corpse of long gone, lurid, sectional strife lie like John Brown
's body mouldering in the grave, while the American
soul shall go marching on-marching on forever,—under the flag of the Union
, keeping step to the music of
Hail Columbia, Yankee Doodle
and Dixie, harmonized into one national air.
A true peace among the people of these United States
is now a fact accomplished,—not a thing to be sought for, but a blessed reality, of which domestic disturbers, as well as all the outside world, will take due notice and govern themselves accordingly.
The peacemakers have fulfilled their mission, and may now enter into their reward, for theirs is this kingdom of heaven.
The fury of civil war is gone.
The fitful fever of sectional passion is over, and it sleeps its last sleep in dreamless death.
said let us have peace, and they won it; the South
said let us have it also, and thus we met the enemy and they are ours.
There is no more any bloody chasm across which old foes are called to clasp their hands.
That gaping horror has been closed by the patriotic spirit of a mutual reconciliation more sublime than the harmony of the white
roses of England
, or the agreement by Ephraim and Judah
to vex each other no more, for all such restorations to fraternity but pre-figured this far-nobler sacrifice of internecine resentments upon the altar of our re-united country.
We may not be of one mind on all questions which admit of fair discussion in this land of free speech, but we will have one heart when we contemplate the fiery ordeals through which we have been safely borne.
Our attitude toward the great issues, events and people of that militant, political and social upheaval must be reverential, indeed, whenever the scenes, the events and the actors of the Confederate
era pass before us in solemn and sublime review.
Behold the armies as they pass!
On one side mustered into the Union
service 2,778,304 arms-bearing men; on the Confederate
side 600,000 men with arms; united they make a force three and a half millions strong!
Witness more than a score of great and hard-fought battles, every one a Waterloo, and half a thousand others with fewer battalions but equally brilliant in bravery.
Survey the theatre of war broader than all Europe
; the casualties nearly half the numbers engaged; expenditures of treasure and destruction of wealth more than the taxable values of many States; a mighty nation in lethal throes that writhed its whole social system with an awful pain; the most masterly minds of a noted age stretched to an agony of tension in thought of the ways, means and measures of protracted war; heroic men by tens of thousands braving danger and death on crimsoned fields, and paired by devoted women enduring
the pangs of suspense at home; and these Americans
brothers by blood and heirs alike to the inheritance of this undivided country!
are not men worse than brutish beasts who talk in trivial phrase of men and times and events like these, and who are unawed by the amplitudes of the ideas, the convictions, the patriotism and the heroism which distinguished the actors in that ever-illustrious epoch of American history!
Every one who lived amidst those scenes, every one whose memory recalls those events, every one who in any respect mingled among those historic men, must be conscious, sometimes, of a strong fascination drawing his spirit back to those times whose scenes, events and heroes are rapidly dissolving into the refining empyrean of history.
And every one whose post-bellum birth makes him but a listener to the epic story of that focal period, must also feel the kindlings of a proud American spirit since all these men were his heroic countrymen, all these events are in his country's history, and all these scenes were on his country's soil.
The hour then has come and now is for mutual honors to be awarded to all true defenders of their respective convictions, for fair statement of the law and the facts governing that one great disagreement among Americans
which issued in bloody conflict, and to build still broader, deeper, higher and grander our national fabric of popular government.
Under the influence of this American spirit, I desire to show the contributions of the South to the greatness of the American Union
It is the just complaint of the South
that the general literature of all nations has not dealt fairly with the motives of its men, the history which they made, the customs and institutions which they fostered, or the sunny land where they dwell.
We must, however, share the blame with all who have shown us this discourtesy, because we have been careless concerning the publication of Southern worth.
We have trusted to the ‘truth of history’ without giving that truth a tongue to proclaim the inmost principles, the lofty purpose, and the patriotic deeds of the Southern
people, as a part of this American nation.
Ours is a treasury of things new and old, whence all sections are entitled to draw those riches of political precept and action which make nations great.
That treasure belongs to the whole country, and in opening the cabinet for the display of the rare jewels it contains, our countrymen from every quarter are bidden to come, behold and use the riches which belong alike to all.
With my subject in view I name five cardinal co-ordinative causes
which contributed to the greatness of our republic.
They are: 1.
The extent and richness of its eminent domain.
2. The martial spirit ready on sea and land for the country's sure defence.
3. A people enlightened, industrious, progressive and religious, possessing qualities which fit them for citizenship.
4. The jealous maintenance of all the first principles of human right against all power at home or abroad arrayed to destroy them.
5. Last and not least, the integrity of the Constitutional Union, whose dissolution is to be unthinkable until the martial spirit become extinct, the people lose their virtues, and the principles of liberty are dead; and then may
The stars be old, and the sun grow cold,
And the leaves of the judgment book unfold.
Contribution to territorial greatness.
Our countrymen feel a proper pride in this broad land, covered by forty-four contiguous sovereign States,—every State a nation,— shorelining the two greatest oceans of the globe, capped by lakes that have the magnitude of seas, and pedestled on a gulf that duplicates the Mediterranean of the old world.
We say to our sister Nations, behold the land where popular government is sacredly templed and its principles are bravely guarded.
See the landed estate of a free American people which provides home and happiness for its seventy millions, with room to spare for four-fold more!
Now, in view of the political truth that in the century at hand no nation, however free, can be truly great without having jurisdiction over expansive and expanding territory, it is pertinent for all Americans
to enquire into the history of a policy which within a century gave a growth to our country from thirteen States to nearly fifty, and from a fringe of settlements to the present vast enlargements of eminent domain.
Will not a fraternal acknowledgement be won from our countrymen of every section when their memory is refreshed concerning the contributions to this territorial greatness made by that South which sought once to divide the estate and now in honor and contentment remains integral, harmonious and happy in the unsevered possession of the entire magnificent area?
I trust it will.
I believe that even while they pronounce our attempt at secession a mistake, they will frankly say to the South
, ‘Your policy of territorial aggrandizement on this continent was right.’
Let us see in a sheer summary how much this country is indebted
to the South
for actual land.
We commence with the fact that in the beginning the Southern Colonies
brought into the common property largely the greatest landed wealth.
Take the munificent grant of your own Virginia
by its cession of territory to which jurists said and say it had a valid title; look at the gift made by Maryland
, North Carolina
's donation of Tennessee
, and Georgia
's cession from the Chattahoochee
to the Mississippi
; then examine that outlying range of northwestern territory won and held by the backwoods' boys, from Virginia
, of which a northern first-rank historian frankly says, ‘All our territory lying beyond the Alleghanies
north and south was first won for us by Southwesterners fighting for their land.’
Survey also the regal possessions of the French
, then called Louisiana
, broadening out from the delta of the Mississippi
along the right bank of that mighty river, in shape like an eagle's wing whose tip touched the British
possessions on the north line of the present Dakotas
, and covering ground nearly one-third the United States
That imperial region was seized in peace from Napoleon
by the statesmanship of Southern men against the resentment of Great Britain
and over the protesting fears of our timid countrymen who opposed the aggrandizement of our nation by territorial extension.
Next came the acquisition of Florida
, by which the same Southern policy secured that inviting realm of beauty, where the gentle climate invites the shivering Northerners to flee the wrath to come and revel in the luscious lures of orange groves.
Will they not, while breathing the balm of Indian river and Tampa
's strand—will they not bless the valor of Andrew Jackson
and the acquisitive statesmanship of his Southern compeers which delivered this glorious peninsula from the oppression of Spain
and committed it to the keeping of the American Union?
And next in order, great Texas
won by annexation and consequent Mexican
war, followed by victory, peace and purchase, that brought us for a trifle in money the ownership of New Mexico
, the garden fields of all the Californias and a Pacific shore line whose harbors now open to the trade of the Orient.
Everybody knows that this magnificent gain was the result of the South
's aggressive policy and occurred through the administration of a Southern President
Last comes Arizona
, known in the annals of acquisition as the Gadsden purchase, achieved, as is conceded, by the skill of the South Carolina Senator
, who by special mission contrived the trade.
Now, take your map of these United States
Survey with all your American pride the broad domain of the American Union in the best portion of the
earth: then draw a line along the northern boundary of Maryland
and due west toward the Mississippi river
, then northward to the Canada
line, then along our northern limits to the Pacific Ocean
, and from thence down the Pacific coast
to the southern part of California
, where you will turn eastward to the mouth of the Rio Grande
and follow the islands of the Gulf
around the Florida
keys, and still on in the course of the Gulf
stream sweep up the Atlantic
shores by Georgia
, the Carolinas, Virginia
, to the beginning point!
Look, my countrymen, at that wondrous imperium in imperio
, containing two-thirds of the nation's land, one-half its population, and destined to be the home of two hundred millions of free people—that land came into the Union
by the munificence of Maryland
, the Carolinas and Georgia
; it was won from the crowns of England
by the blood of the brave, or bought by the taxes of the people; it was all brought into the family of the free and sovereign States of this American Republic through a consistent, persistent, far-seeing Southern policy!
But lest this historical statement shall seem to be a sectional boast, I bid you as patriots to cast your eyes proudly upon your country's territorial greatness and see it as it begins to appear in the eyes of the nations.
Reflect on the common achievements of your countrymen in war and peace, and then nobly stand in your place with all States and people in the Union
to repeat the words of the President
: ‘We have built a magnificent fabric of popular government whose grand proportions are seen throughout the world.’
The South in our country's wars.
We will enter next into brief and cold statistics which only vaguely show the martial patriotism of the South
in the wars of the Republic
A country's fame is made great in part by the heroism of its people in times of wars.
We have a heroic history, in which the patriotic valor and sacrifices of our people were so evenly balanced as to leave all sections wondrously rich in fame.
Our ‘forefathers’ were New Englanders as well as Virginians
, and there are names that can never be made sectional: Ethan Allen and Francis Marion
; John Starke
and Harry Lee
; Nathaniel Greene
and George Washington
—who divides these martial heroes into North and South!
—twin sages; Madison
—twin statesmen; Henry
—twin storms in debate: who can separate these civic chiefs
of the Revolution into sectional classes?
I shall not recite the historic chivalry of the South
in the slightest disparagement of Northern courage.
Rather would I be silent and await the coming of the years of dispassionate consideration if I believed any people of the Union
felt that applause of the South
dispraised any part of Republic.
May I not briefly reveal the recorded acts of Southern patriots and make that record another reason why we are one people?
I will trust the answer to the great heart of Americans
Passing the Indian
troubles which antedated the Revolution, and beginning with the call to arms to win American Independence, what was the part borne by the Southern States
in that Revolutionary struggle?
I will answer that it is the glory of North Carolina
to have shed the first blood for colonial liberty at Alamance in 1771, and having given her sons to the common cause, she fought on to the finish.
furnished twenty thousand men, South Carolina
thirty-one thousand, Georgia
nearly as many, and Virginia
fifty-six thousand. South Carolina
doubled New Hampshire
, South Carolina
outnumbered New York, Virginia
sent sixteen thousand more men than Pennsylvania
did the noblest of all the Northern States
, yet South Carolina
sent thirty-seven out of forty-two of its arms-bearing men, and Massachusetts
thirty-two out of forty-two.
From official report it is gleaned that the States in the Northern
division sent one hundred men for every two hundred and twenty-seven arms-bearing population, and the South
sent one hundred out of every two hundred and nine.
In the account of suffering by invasion, it appears that Norfolk
was burned, Charleston
captured, and the Southern States
invaded with British armies for years, while Washington
in March, 1776, and from that date all Massachusetts
was free from the presence of the enemy to the end of the war. The next test of the military fealty of the people was by the war of 1812.
That was the second war for Independence caused by English arrogance, and was urged by the South
against the protest of the East
In that contest, which was mainly naval, there were notable victories won under Northern leaders, but the greatest injury to British shipping was done by privateers, chiefly sent from Baltimore
, which captured nearly three hundred ships and many thousand prisoners. Wingfield Scott
made himself and his regiments famous at Chippewa
and Lundy's Lane
, while Andrew Jackson
at New Orleans with men from Louisiana
Next the Mexican
war, preceded by the
adventurous help for Texas
rendered by Lamar
and other like spirits from Tennessee
, when the blood of the South
crimsoned the Alamo
, and afterward freely flowed in all battles from Palo Alto
to the ancient city of the Montezumas, and in which the troops of the American Union were led to victory by such men as Pierce
, Zachary Taylor
, Wingfield Scott
, Jefferson Davis
and Robert E. Lee
In that war of so much importance to the Republic
the reports show: Northern volunteers, twenty-three thousand and eighty-four, and Southern volunteers, forty-four thousand six hundred and forty.
Thus, while the South
has multiplied the stars on the flag of the Nation, it has deepened the crimson of the stripes with its blood.
Having done its best in every battle, having given its Washington
to lead the armies of the Colonies, its Jackson
to win the second victory over England
, its Taylor
to bring Mexico
to terms, and having shown in all wars that the chivalry of the South
means in part the readiness of its natural born soldiery to fight, we may say to our countrymen and the world that no legions truer or more gallant than the sons of the South
will ever follow the starry flag into battle at the call of our country to arms.
Contributions to the principles of freedom.
I will ask for the South
a just and generous concession of its full share in the successful Colonial efforts which established on this continent the fundamental principles of individual liberty, and put them in operation through a government of republican-democratic form.
It will not be claimed that political virtues were all centered in Southern Colonies and descended from Southern sources alone.
North of the dividing line drawn by King James, in 1606, there lived a host of men in whose own brave hearts burned the inextinguishable flame of civil and religious freedom.
I know from the record that in 1630 the spirit of home rule stirred the soul of Plymouth
men, and Massachusetts
resolved to hold a Legislature for its Settlements.
It is in happy memory that in 1639 the Connecticut
settlers adopted the ‘fundamental orders’ for their self government, said to be the first written constitution of America
With pride we read in the records of New Jersey
for 1680, its brave resolutions against illegal and tyrannous taxation.
We recall with delight the heroism of John Peter Zenger
, of New York, who bravely printed in his paper the demands of his people for political rights, and went to prison
rather than debase his press.
Not one ray would I withdraw from the radiant glory which floods our historic fields from the colonial stars that constituted the old Plymouth Colony.
The appeal of this hour of fraternal graces is rather to that broad and just national spirit which will award to the old original South of the Colonies the largest of pride and praise for its contributive proportion of the wisdom, heroism and all other political virtues by which our free government was founded.
With the country-loving spirit moving most powerfully my whole nature at this moment, I will collate in very brief historical statement some of those acts which place my queenly South on an illumined eminence as a panoplied and inflexible vindicator of man's political rights in a government of his intelligent choice.
Examining the record, I find that before 1613, within ten years after the feudal charters of King James were granted, the outspoken demands of the Southern English
colonists caused the changing of those charters into free democratic form, and that in 1619 the first representative Legislature in America
selected by ballot met in this Southern Virginia
to make laws for its people.
The gray dawn of selfgovern-ment began at that hour to break out of a long night of hereditary misrule, and it was on the land of the South
fell the first white beams of the splendid day of popular self-government in America
There is a principle of liberty expressed by the terse phrase, ‘no taxation without representation,’ which is firmly embedded in our common political faith, and the star which stood over the birth of that great American maxim shed its first light, in 1623, down upon the capital city of your illustrious Virginia
Following along the logical line of its first step, in 1619, the Colony of Virginia
acquired in 1652 the right to trade with all nations without hindrance, to exercise general suffrage of all freemen, to levy its own taxes, and to be ruled by Governors
of its own choosing.
The perfidy of royalty brought on a period of oppression, bravely but vainly resisted by petition, remonstrance and non-intercourse, until at length the South
, by representative Virginia
, made the first armed resistance to foreign oppression by the patriotic rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon
, one century before the War
of the Revolution.
The earliest establishment of freedom in conscience, or the free exercise of religious worship, was in the organic law of Maryland
The Carolinas, North and South, in 1670 made a bold fight for home and established representative governments.
From the public expression of Southern views during these early days on the general doctrines of human
liberty, I could make a volume of quotations; but I will repeat only this, that in 1689 the amplest bill of rights
ever drafted was written by George Mason
, a Southern farmer, containing these principles: the rule of the majority ascertained by honest elections; all political power is vested in and derived from the people; the executive, legislative and judicial functions shall be separate; free institutions, free enjoyment of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; free ballots, free press, free conscience and the equal rights of all men under the law. These grand principles, so familiar to us now, were large additions to Magna Charta
, and they advanced the theory of human government to that summit from which amid the conditions of the rebellion of our fathers nearly a century later shone the bold resolutions at Mecklenburg
, the Declaration of Independence
drew and the Constitution
of these United States
Growth of the Union sentiment.
The idea of a Union of the several Colonies was of slow and painful growth.
There were instinctive thoughts of intrinsic and eternal value melting in the minds of noble men, like precious metals in heated ladles, which were cast into a model form of government upon this wild, wooded continent, far away from the Old World's theater, where bad rulers had debauched and debased humanity for centuries.
The installation of a new system of inter-state and intersocial regulations, where democracy would mean the rule of the people by representation, and republicanism should signify that public affairs are conducted with single care for the people's rights-this new fashion formed in the political processes of Colonial development, and which all royal and aristocratic Europe
derided as a madcap scheme, was the priceless product of prolonged conflicts which bestrewed the field of our heroic history with the wrecks of many patriotic endeavors, but emblazoned it at last by the triumphs of sound principles and the establishment of our novel, potent and rythmical system of government.
The English Colonies deployed along the Atlantic coast
for a thousand miles from Buzzard's Bay
, the outpost of the Plymouth Settlement
, to Brunswick harbor
, where Oglethorpe
fought, rocked the infant Union in the cradle of those recurring political storms which beat upon it in varying fury for one hundred and fifty years. There was such a growing appreciation of the common interest that wherever the British Crown
asserted the claim to hold the Colonies dependent for laws and liberties upon the royal will, the American
discussions had the same fire, the protests showed the same spirit and the resolutions of Assemblies assumed the same form.
The idea of Colonial association grew.
formed a ‘New England
Confederacy,’ and made the fatal mistake of confining the Union
to the States of the East
, in memory whereof, I may here take courage to suggest that the word ‘Confederacy’ as applied to a compact among States can never hold an unwelcome place in the American
lexicon since the use of the term was born in the brain of Franklin
, and that the sound thereof should be as sweet to New England
ears as the cooing of a babe, because the first political child of that name was baptized in the waters of Massachusetts Bay
Now in those old times, when the Union
idea was struggling upward into life and light, what aid came from that Southern section which this generation has been taught to think were ever the restless and inveterate opposers of the Union
I proceed, by your leave, to state as a fact which shines forth in cloudless evidence, that the Southern Colonies
were the foremost to nurse the earliest hope of Colonial alliance, and when troubles increased, when Franklin
's Confederacy (limited) had been ditched in the sectional mire, when patriots were trying to devise nearer and broader relations—the first practical step toward our present organized American Union was taken when Dabney Carr
, in 1773, proposed in the Legislature of Virginia to provide a plan of concerted action, and the State
having adopted the first scheme of inter-Colonial correspondence, as a great Northern historian justly says, ‘laid down the foundation of the Union
A crisis was reached in 1774, upon the passage by Parliament of the bill to close the port of Boston
, but this attempt to coerce a sister Colony by armed invasion fired the Southern
heart, and then the fraternal cry that ‘the cause of Massachusetts
is the cause of all’ rang like a liberty bell from Maryland
in the lead, called for a Congress of Deputies to consider the common defense, and in June following Massachusetts
agreed to the proposal.
Other Colonies clustered to a center, and the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia
Concerning this advance toward Union, Bancroft
quotes the words of Gadsden
: ‘Had it not been for South Carolina
no Congress would have happened.’
To that first Congress, Georgia, having broken over the opposition of the royal governor, sent a representative one thousand miles by land to make known its people's espousal of the common
cause; and North Carolina
, having met in a voluntary provincial assembly, against the angry protest of its governor, hurried its ambassador to the General Congress.
Thus the South
, although not yet threatened with invasion, demonstrated its fraternal spirit.
A long stride of the Union
sentiment was made by this event; but it soon felt, pending the stress of the Revolutionary war, that yet another step must be taken, and in this, also, the South
led the advance.
At its instance a committee was appointed to draft the Articles
of Confederation under which the alliance of the Colonies grew into the stronger form, and by which general Confederacy of States the war for American liberty was successfully fought.
May I not take courage again from this memorial further to say that the title, ‘Confederate States of America
,’ can never represent anything but an honorable nation to any honorable mind.
But there was still another step necessary to a ‘more perfect union.’
The Revolutionary war separated the States from England
but did not establish a perfect Union among themselves.
Difficulties concerning inter-State relations arose, especially involving Massachusetts
, New York and New Jersey
to such extent as to make disunion and anarchy imminent.
What was the voice of the Southern States
at that critical juncture?
I am happy in being made able to answer that amidst these portentous perplexities the first suggestion on record of ‘the more perfect Union’ was made by Madison
, and that Virginia
, as the spokesman of Southern sentiment, arose to the political zenith and drew after her all the stars of the Confederation into that inspired convention which adopted the Constitution of the United States
So it appears that your South nourished the earliest idea of Union among the endangered ‘settlements’; called the deputies of the Colonies to assemble in general committee of correspondence; suggested the Continental Congress of States; devised the Articles
of Confederation, and moving on with the love of Union in its warm heart, advanced the great idea step by step until the loftiest distinction was reached, when it proposed to create this present United States Government by a written Constitution.
Your Union, my countrymen, developed into its present form, your Constitution, which is the palladium of your rights as States or as people, and all the privileges you enjoy in this free Commonwealth are due at least in equal measure to the energy, the valor, the wisdom and the patriotism of Southern men.
In order to make this demonstration still more distinct, I will note
in hurried review the origin and progress of the idea of Disunion, indulging the hope that the sweet spirit of charity will prevail while we consider any sins for which all sections may be brought to confession.
It is true, indeed, that signs of sectional strife and threats of disunion were made during even the administration of Washington
, but these sentiments did not come from the South
In 1796, while the Presidential election was pending, a lieutenant-governor, referring to the probable election of Jefferson
, said: ‘I sincerely declare that I wish the Northern States
would separate from the Southern
the moment that event shall take place’; but it was not the governor of any Southern State who first declared that the election of a President was a cause of secession.
There was a secret junto formed within less than twenty years after the Union
was organized, composed in part of eminent men pledged to bring about the dissolution of the Union
, but that junto did not have one Southern member.
There was a convention of prominent leaders held during the war of 1812, to consider a plan for withdrawing all the East
from the Union
, but that convention was held at Hartford
, not at Richmond
, and had not one Southern supporter.
There was one attempt at nullification in one Southern State in 1832, on the debatable plea that certain measures of General Government violated the Constitution
, and that attempt was promptly suppressed by a Southern President
; but there were many actual nullifications of Federal law by Legislatures of Northern States after 1850, without pretense of sustaining the Constitution
, which no President
seriously tried to forbid.
There were open threats to disrupt the ties that bind the States together on account of the annexation of Texas
, which the Southern
people so much desired; but the Union-loving South went on to greaten the Nation with new and rich territory, and then arrested the cry of secession by concessions to Northern opinion.
There were some fanatical disunionists who said that the Constitution
of our happy country was ‘an agreement with hell;’ but that profanity did not fall from Southern lips.
Some madmen called our starry flag ‘a flaunting lie;’ but it was no Southern fire-eater who blistered Old Glory with that lurid insult.
Disunion was somewhat rampant in 1848, but its fires burned in the bosoms of fanatics about slavery who did not care enough for the negro to buy him back into freedom with the money they had sold him for into slavery.
Meanwhile, let it be frankly admitted that the disunion spirit began to grow in the South
The example of threatened secession had been set before it, and new agitations, invasions and other irritations
wearied the Southern
people into the final adoption in practice of the theory they had been taught.
The South had learned much from the intelligence and thrift of its Northern co-patriots, and while imbibing some errors, had profited by many of their valuable views; but it now appears that secession by States which these, our brothers, so persistently taught us to regard as a final but friendly and legal remedy for wrongs must be rebuked as the least defensible and most immoral of all measures a sovereign people can adopt.
It was no small sacrifice for the Southern
section to yield all the vast empire of the East
, the North
and the West
, reserving only the area of a dozen States; to give up the Union
which our forefathers planned and formed; to surrender that flag of stars and stripes which Washington
designed, and under which our heroes had fought on land and sea; to give up the national name, the domain, the wealth, the prestige of our country, and begin anew the experiment of self-government.
It will never be fully told how the great heart of the South
yearned for a settlement of the issue without the shedding of blood and the severance of the States.
It is, therefore, well asked why then did secession occur?
Let the answer be honorably made, that in 1860 the Southern States
despaired of maintaining the original principles of that Union which they had helped to form.
They saw sectional ascendancy become imminent and portentious of evil.
They saw the hard hand of impatient fanaticism uplifted against their prosperity, With unspeakable sadness they beheld centralization tightening its coils to crush out the Statehood of the States.
With dismay they read upon the banners of a victorious host the old British
and Federalistic device, ‘The States are provincial and the Union Imperial
The South did not secede from its proud place among the States to maintain the abstract theory of secession.
That theory was not the issue and the Union
was not the enemy.
It did not suppose that under the law as interpreted by every State in the original Union the legal right of secession could be disputed or coercion justified.
When the States withdrew they dissolved no Union, broke no law and formed no conspiracy.
They left the Union
intact, the President
, the Congress
, the Judiciary—all unharmed; the army and navy undisturbed, and all public property scheduled for account and settlement.
Their ordinances simply maintained the principles which
all true patriots now assert that there must be no Eastern, no Western, no Northern, no Southern supremacy of any kind, but a Union of One People of the many States, equally and honestly governed, without favoritism for special States, sections, classes or conditions.
That was the burning question as the South
saw it, and all contention focused there.
Upon that vital issue, involving the good character of the Union
, the honor of the States, and the individual liberties of the people, peaceable secession was sought as the right way of relief and coercion by arms confronted the plan.
We withstood the bloody Mortmain with all our might, at the cost of all we had, and literally bled to death.
The fealty of the Southern
people to the Union
is ever selfrespect-ing, as it should be, and is as sincere as the flawless virtues of a vestal.
It is right to have it understood that the South
is stung to the quick by the insult which pretends to suspect its honorable devotion to the Union
, the Constitution
and the flag.
Its proud lip curls in scornful contempt for the man whose soul is so paupered of sentiment and leprous with prejudice that he cannot trust the honor of the South
The Southern people meet their Northern countrymen not half way, but all the way. In the use and occupation of this realm, dedicated to freedom, we hold per my eper foul
, where each is for all and all is for each.
We are ready for a full and equal division of the gravest duties and the highest privileges including our part of all civil, military and naval advantages, together with a fair share of National offices, from postmaster to President
We have come back, as Senator Hill
said, to our father's house, and I may be allowed to add, we are ready to break merrily into the fatted ring and kill the golden calf.
Contributions to industrial greatness.
I have reserved for conclusion a restricted glance at the industrial history of the South
, and its present brightening promise of future additions to all those things which will increase our Country's greatness.
True as this section has been to the original ideas of the forefathers, its record does not consist alone of mere chivalric sentiment.
Its footprints are well marked in the pathway of the world's progress, and it as willingly unfolds its old career as its present resourceful prospects to the scrutiny of the age. In the infancy of the Union
, after a hundred years of competition, it stood foremost in industrial and commercial power, and then saw without envy the
material wealth of the wide and rich territory it had donated to the general estate turning away from its own ports, and Norfolk
, the natural entrepot of commerce, surpassed by New York.
The Northern section grew rapidly because the Northeast
became the Merchant, the Banker, the Transportation agent, and at lengh the Manufacturer of the Country, by which adjustment of business relations it turned its money over every day and profited by every turn of the incoming and outging trade, while the South
made one annual deal.
Immigration forced through its ports poured by special inducements upon the territory of the West
, and the immigrants became customers of the East
The sale of its slaves brought no small amount of ready money to those who bargained them to the South
, and early emancipation of its Negroes freed from the North
from bonds which the South
was obliged longer to wear.
Great governmental aids followed each other thick and fast in the form of bounties, tariffs, contracts and the like, in the disbursement of which the large percentage went away from the South
Grants to build railroads with public lands which Southern cessions and policy had secured to the National
wealth exceeded the area of European
empires, and of which the South
received not one-fifth of its share.
The Southern people make no unfair complaint at the energy with which these and other unnamed advantages were seized, but they do rebuke all unjust sneers which stigmatize them as an unprogressive race, and the whole South
makes a powerful protest against this injustice by the evidence of its old thrift in maintaining a prosperous existence in the Union
for nearly a century by the use of only one-tenth of its resources, and the still more significant display of its rapid rise in recent years from utter prostration through the masterful spirit of its own people.
The transformation of the Southern
wilds into fruitful fields, from which have gone Northward in sixty-five years two hundred and fifty millions cotton bales, worth forty dollars per bale, beside cereals and fruits, tobacco, lumber and other products of fourfold greater value, should be accredited to the enterprise of the diligent Southerner
It is strange that a people who hibernate nearly half the year in enforced idleness, while the workingman of the genial South
is out with the morning lark and pursues his calling through the months of winter as well as summer, can think of such a worker as indolent.
When we survey the deep repose of many Eastern towns which slumber in unprogressive if not ‘innocuous desuetude,’ we rationally inquire why Southern cities are so specially characterized as ‘sleepy boroughs’?
We will not forget that the
first railroad was built in Carolina
, the first steamship that crossed the ocean weighed anchor from a Southern port, and the cotton gin originated in the cotton belt.
The Old South was in truth a vast hive of small industries.
It was dotted with domestic factories, tanned its own leather, made its shoes in every county and its hats in every section; wove its cloth in domestic looms, wrought its iron in its own shops, milled its corn and wheat, and lived at home in peace, plenty and hospitality.
I will take the ten years between 1850 and 1860 in illustration of the energies of the Old South to show its enterprise, and to remove the errror that it had the cotton monomania, and was not keeping pace with the nascent industrial spirit of the times.
With only one-third the population of the Union
during that decade, the South
raised one-third the corn of the country, one-fourth the wheat, three-fourths of the tobacco, nearly all the rice and sugar, one-third of the live stock, made large sales of lumber and naval stores, besides producing in unascertained quantities that remarkable variety of cereals, fruits and vegetables for which it was now more than ever famous.
Nor was it then a laggard in manufacturing and other individual enterprise, as will appear by its gain during that one decade of one hundred per cent. in grain mills, exceeding the percentage of the entire country; its increase by two hundred per cent. in machinery and engine construction; its great growth in cotton mills and in hundreds of minor industries which occupied its people.
In those ten years it doubled its lumber trade, doubled the output from iron foundaries and nearly quadrupled its railroad mileage.
The South increased its railroad miles in that decade above the percentage increase of all other sections of the United States
It had in 1860 a mile of rail to every seven hundred of its white population, while the other States all united had one mile to every one thousand people.
An exposition of the industrial status in 1860 would have shown the world that the Dixie
of that day was not merely ‘the land of cotton, cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,’ but in the range and value of its products from the soil, and in the diversity and elevation of its industries of every kind, it was measuring up to the stature of the most progressive nations.
The recovery of the South
from its stunned condition in 1865, after the war which exhausted its resources, challenges the generous admiration of mankind.
The returning soldiers of the Confederate army made heroic efforts to recuperate their country, and although
these brave endeavors were repressed awhile by the errors of reconstruction and hindered by panics which they did not cause, yet through the wisdom, the courage, and the enterprise of these soldiers and their sons, their wives and their daughters, this irrepressible land is now waking up the world to gaze upon the sunrise of the Southern
day, and calling it to participate in that coming splendor which another census will reveal.
The wayfaring man must be more than a fool who will not see the signs at the cross roads of prosperity pointing Southward.
The bounty of Almighty God has endowed this land of the South
with all the resources which a great people require.
Arable soil, stately forests, water powers, climate salubrious and soft; marble, stone, coal and mineral ores; great rivers, ample harbors, ocean shores and gulf coasts; mountain ranges, hills and valleys.
It lies in broad beauty upon that middle belt of the Northern Hemisphere
, along which the brightest star of human achievement has moved since the earliest historic age, and its richness exactly meets the demand for those elements by which man may attain to his highest estate of liberty, enlightenment and religion.
It is not a New South that has thus burst into sight like some freshly found planet, which has been formed with regravitated fragments which lately wandered in the skies.
Not a New South—but it is truly the Greater South
flowering forth under new conditions from the stem of the old plant and out of the rich original soil.
The Greater South!
May it be matched by a Greater East, a Greater West, a Greater North, and all these in the Union
of their graces display to the world the greater glory of our matchless Country— the United States of America
The South and the future.
The South is now newly girded with strength and purpose to increase in all respects the true greatness of the American Union.
It enjoys at this day a mediatory position which will enable it to remove political asperity and to bring all differences to the fair plane of conservative, patriotic discussion.
The South has its views, but they are in the Bill of Rights
as taught by the old and new patriots of all States.
It will stand firmly by those sacred original ideas.
It will continue to ask for an uncorrupted preservation of the cardinal principles of the old Revolution and the strict observance of constitutional law. It will still maintain that our system of government is
not like the magnificent planet Saturn, girt by a combination of concentric rings and surrounded by subordinate orbs which sattelite a central sovereign, whose name was taken from a god who devoured his children; but more like a constellation of co-equal solar stars which move through the heavens in radiant agreement and inseparable order.
Carefully, therefore, will it cherish the citizen's loyal devotion to the State
where he lives as well as his fidelity to the Constitution
and his passionate love for the Union
The freeman of Vermont
, wherever he roams on land or sea, shall be encouraged in memory of the Green Mountains
of his State to fondly affirm, ‘I am a Vermonter!’
The Virginia citizen, bursting with proud recollections of his State's traditions and present glory, may without suspicion of his loyalty to the Union
exclaim, ‘I am a Virginian!’
And the son of my noble Georgia
—although nicknamed ‘goober-grabber’ in Confederate times by the brave cohesive tarheels of Carolina
—will proudly announce, ‘I am a Georgian!’
The patriot from well watered Michigan
, emerging from his lovely lakes and claiming the right by his feathers to flock with the American
eagle, shall say with unhindered enthusiam, ‘I am a Michigander!’
And the mightiest man from Maine
, glorying in a State whose ancient mountain spurs once fretted the British
lion, may strike his broad palm upon his ample chest and bravely cry, ‘I am a Maniac!’
But we all, whether cracker, hoosier, tarheel, Michigander or Maniac, while maintaining devotion to our several States will declare with one common voice to the nations of the earth, ‘We are all Americans
The South further believes that under the Constitution
there can be solidarity of popular action without centrality of official power, Union without fusion, co-supremacy of State and Federal authority without conflict, and the blessing of co-equality among the people under impartial statutes without the bane of unnatural equalism contrary to law. It will beg for fairness and fullness of the ballot right, the undiminished boon of individual liberty, and for statutory guards to be set over the interests of the unsophisticated people to protect them against the experienced shrewdness and rapid greed of the monopalist who seeks to despoil them.
It stands ready to umpire and adjust our financial perplexities fairly, because it has no brokerage in gold imperilled, no silver to sell, and nothing to demand but the emancipation of intelligent and honest enterprise.
With threads of gold
and natural wealth it will make the financial cables
and cordage of the Ship
of State strong, flexible and sufficient to anchor it securely in any harbor, and sail it safely on any sea. Believing in the ability of this Union to maintain its own greatness, the Southern
counsel will urge the Government
to heed the advice of Washington
and make no entangling alliance with, or dangerous concession to, any foreign power.
doctrine is understood to be a settled policy as to improper European
aggression on this hemisphere, and the South
is now listening with boundless sympathy to the cry of Cuba
, and on hearing the wail of this oppressed neighbor it inquires, Why shall all America
be free and the beautiful Queen
of the Antilles be alone a slave?
In short, you will allow the statement to be made that your South, like the Goddess of Justice, can weigh the issues of this day in unbiased scales, and with unselfish patriotism join the true men of all the States in protecting the political axioms of our people, and contributing with all its increasing resources to the future unexampled greatness of the American Union.
The American spirit.
In consideration of all our traditions and our present vantage ground as a Nation, let us cherish a strong American spirit.
Not a proscriptive or prejudiced, but a characteristic Americanism in both the native and the naturalized citizen.
Our country is not isolated from other nations, but it is indeed differentiated from them by its form, its policy, its people and probable destiny.
It was not born great and had no greatness thrust upon it; but it has achieved a greatness that is not European
, nor Oriental
, but purely American.
The blood of all European
tribes has been pouring into our National body, and we have feared the development of foreign traits; but the predominance of the American
spirit will secure the American
The laws, the institutions, the ideas and even the language of this country will be distinctively American.
A peculiar people, bearing in character, manners and views the impress of strong American individuality, has risen, and will reign in this country from sea to sea. The type is not in process of formation; it is already formed and the development cannot be arrested.
The typical American
has unbounded faith in the wisdom of his country to devise its own policy, in its power to execute its own will, and in its goodness to preserve the liberties of its people.
My Southern Comrades: When the victorious veterans of the
Northern armies formed their great association I was charmed by the modesty with which they adopted the title of the Grand Army of the Republic, for I supposed they felt that a people could be grander in defeat than in triumph, and therefore left the survivors of the Southern
side the privilege to be called the Grander Army of the Republic
! But when both armies are found united as they now are in the fellowship of the American
spirit, and emulating each other in eulogy of the American
soldier, they present a sublime spectacle while passing in review before the American
people, and win for themselves the right to be called the grandest army of the Republic
I feel sure, therefore, by this fraternal regard for each other's valor, patriotism and convictions, you will not be asked to strike no more the resonant, tuneful chords of memory in proud recall of marches, bivouacs and battles where the columns in gray added new martial glory to American chivalry.
Your battle banner, stripped of all gory significance and meaning only the memory of a comradeship in arms, although radiant yet with stars that bejewel the red cross, signifies the luster shed upon the whole American
name by the intrepid courage of the brave young Southerners who bore it aloft through storms of fire.
That emblem need not be furled, for it has no honorable foe who demands its disgrace; shows no stain upon its bullet-riven folds, means no fight, frightens no man of sense, and only inspires the Southern
patriot to love, follow and defend the star-spangled banner of his country.
My Southern Countrymen, your fathers gave our nation much of its territorial greatness; they evolved into chrystallized beauty the elements of human liberty under constitutional safeguards; they bore their part in the material uplift of this land to the present crest; they shed their warm, rich blood freely in all wars for your country's sake, and therefore, by all well acknowledged reasons and rights, your voice will be potent in the councils of your countrymen, and your influence felt in the future achievements of the American
May God speed you on your patriotic way, my native South
May our whole country trust you, my noble Southern Land, and millions yet unborn rise up and call you blessed!