The following extract is taken from a speech made by this gentleman in 1861.
It was reproduced during the late canvass by the New York Tribune
, to show that Seymour
meant to make peace with the rebels:
"The condition of our affairs forces upon us the alternative of compromise or civil war. Let us contemplate the latter alternative.
We are advised by the conservative States of Virginia
, that if force is to be used it must be excited against the united South
It would be an act of folly and madness, in entering upon this contest, to underrate our opponents, and thus subject ourselves to the disgrace of defeat in an inglorious warfare.
Let us also see if successful Secession by the North
is less revolutionary than successful Secession by the South
Shall we prevent revolution by being foremost in overthrowing the principles of our Government, and all that makes it valuable to our people, and distinguishes it among the nations of the earth?
Upon whom are we to wage war?
Our own countrymen, whose white population is three fold that of the whole country in the time of the Revolution.
Their courage has never been questioned in any contest in which we have been engaged.
They battled by our side with equal valor in the Revolutionary struggle, in the last war with Great Britain
, and in the Mexican
sent her sons under the command of Washington
, to the relief of beleaguered Boston
Alone, the South
defeated the last and most desperate effort of British power to divide our country at the battle of New Orleans
From the days of Washington
till this time they have furnished their full proportion of soldiers for the field, of statesmnn for the Cabinet
, and of wise and patriotic Senators
for our legislative halls.
"It is only bigoted ignorance that denies the equality of their public men to those of the North
To assume that our brethren in fifteen States lack the capacity to understand, and the ability to protect, their own interests, is to assume that our Government is a failure, and ought to be overturned.
It is to declare that nearly one-half of our people are incapable of self-government.
"In what way is this warfare to be conducted?
None have been mad enough to propose to muster armies to occupy their territory.--Great Britain
tried that in the Revolution, when the population of the South
was less than 2,000,000.
She attempted invasion again in the late war, when their numbers were less than 3,500,000.
Nay, more: while she armed Indian savages to carry murder and rapine into the homes of the North
, she attempted to excite servile insurrection in the South
For this we cursed her brutal inhumanity.
Her own indignant statesmen expressed their abhorrence on the floor of Parliament; and yet, at this day, those who quote British journals to influence American opinions have intimated that there might be a gratification of their hate in the burning homes of murdered families of their own countrymen, or by cutting the embankments of the Mississippi
and submerging their land.
"But some have suggested, with complacent air, that the South
could be easily subjugated by blockading their ports with a few ships of war. Let these gentlemen study the geography of our country.
While the Atlantic coast
-line of the Northern States
is 351 miles, that of the South
, including the Gulf of Mexico
, is 3,076.
We have 189 and they have 249 harbors.
with her immense fleet attempted blockade, and failed.
But, assuming the success of this measure, who are to be the suffered?
Are we waging war upon the South
or upon the North
Upon the Southern
planter, or upon the Northern
merchant, manufacturer, and mechanic?
"But let us leave these pecuniary considerations for others more weighty with every patriot.
Upon what field shall this contest be waged?
Upon what spot shall American shed American blood?
Where, on this broad continent, shall we find the arena where every association and memory of the past will not forbid this fratricidal contest?
Or, when unnatural war shall have brought upon our people its ruin, and upon our nation its shame, to what ground shall we be brought at last?
To that we should have accepted at the outset."