Master List of Contemporary Quotes Identifying Slavery as the Principal Cause of Secession

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#1
On another recent thread, when a poster cited the first substantive paragraph of a well-known source, the State of Mississippi's Declaration of Immediate Causes for Secession, as evidence that secessionist leaders considered the future of slavery to be the principal issue behind their actions, he was accused of "cherry picking" the historical record. That is, he was accused, unjustly in my view, of deliberately selecting an atypical, nonrepresentative example of the opinions of southern secessionists in order to make his point.

Very well. Let's see how many "cherries" are in that orchard, and whether or not they all taste pretty much the same. I'll get the ball rolling. Henceforth, this master list can serve as a convenient reference for all future threads. I've also created a parallel thread for a list of citations purporting to show that the principal motivation behind the secession of the original seven Confederate states (who left the Union prior to the onset of armed hostilities) was anything other than slavery:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/ma...y-as-the-principal-cause-of-secession.138591/

I will keep count on both threads, and I may at some point make some attempt to rank order the quotes by relevance and importance based on the sources.

Here are a few ground rules:

- Provide only quotes by contemporary sources, either northern or southern, of the 1860-65 period.

- Quotes should directly identify the preservation and/or expansion of slavery, or issues relating directly to slavery, as either the only, or the primary cause of secession. (Either on this thread, or the parallel thread, quotes referring only to states' rights, or only to the rights of southern citizens, etc., should be discounted, unless specific rights are enumerated.)

- Citations should specify the speaker or writer to which the quotation is attributed, and where known: the date, the location, occasion, or printed publication in which the quote appeared, and the source of the poster's information.

Let's start with the previously mentioned quote from Mississippi's Declaration of Immediate Causes:

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin."

And from Lincoln's first inaugural address, on March 4, 1861:

“One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute."

And from CSA VP Alexander Stephens's "Cornerstone Speech," seventeen days later:

"“The new [Confederate] Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions — African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. ..."

And here are several quotes from http://www.civilwarcauses.org/quotes.htm:
  • Richard Thompson Archer (Mississippi planter): "The South is invaded. It is time for all patriots to be united, to be under military organization, to be advancing to the conflict determined to live or die in defence of the God given right to own the African"---letter to the Vicksburg Sun, Dec. 8, 185
  • Atlanta Confederacy, 1860: "We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing."
  • Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: "African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism." Later in the same speech he said, "The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States." Taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe supplied by Steve Miller.
  • Keitt again, this time as delegate to the South Carolina secession convention, during the debates on the state's declaration of causes: "Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it." Taken from the Charleston, South Carolina, Courier, dated Dec. 22, 1860. See the Furman documents site for more transcription from these debates. Keitt became a colonel in the Confederate army and was killed at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864.
  • Senator John J. Crittenden, Kentucky (Democrat), March 2, 1861, (Congressional Globe, page 1376); "Mr. President, the cause of this great discontent in the country, the cause of the evils which we now suffer and which we now fear, originates chiefly from questions growing out of the respective rights of the different States and the unfortunate subject of slavery..."
  • Henry M. Rector, Governor of Arkansas, March 2, 1861, Arkansas Secession Convention, p. 44 "The area of slavery must be extended correlative with its antagonism, or it will be put speedily in the 'course of ultimate extinction.'....The extension of slavery is the vital point of the whole controversy between the North and the South...Amendments to the federal constitution are urged by some as a panacea for all the ills that beset us. That instrument is amply sufficient as it now stands, for the protection of Southern rights, if it was only enforced. The South wants practical evidence of good faith from the North, not mere paper agreements and compromises. They believe slavery a sin, we do not, and there lies the trouble."
  • Thomas F. Goode, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, March 28, 1861, Virginia Secession Convention, vol. II, p. 518, "Sir, the great question which is now uprooting this Government to its foundation---the great question which underlies all our deliberations here, is the question of African slavery..."
  • William Grimball to Elizabeth Grimball, Nov. 20, 1860: "A stand must be made for African slavery or it is forever lost." [James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, p. 20]
  • William Nugent to Eleanor Nugent, Sept 7, 1863: "This country without slave labor would be completely worthless. We can only live & exist by that species of labor; and hence I am willing to fight for the last." [James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, p. 107]
  • William M. Thomson to Warner A. Thomson, Feb. 2, 1861: "Better, far better! endure all the horrors of civil war than to see the dusky sons of Ham leading the fair daughters of the South to the altar." [James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, p. 19]
  • George Hamill, March, 1862: "I never want to see the day when a negro is put on an equality with a white person. There is too many free ******s. . . now to suit me, let alone having four millions." [Diary quoted in James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, p. 109]
  • Methodist Rev. John T. Wightman, preaching at Yorkville, South Carolina: "The triumphs of Christianity rest this very hour upon slavery; and slavery depends on the triumphs of the South . . . This war is the servant of slavery." [The Glory of God, the Defence of the South (1861), cited in Eugene Genovese's Consuming Fire (1998).]
  • G. T. Yelverton, of Coffee County, Alabama, speaking to the Alabama Secession Convention on January 25, 1861: "The question of Slavery is the rock upon which the Old Government split: it is the cause of secession."
  • S. C. Posey, Lauderdale County, Alabama, speaking to the Alabama Secession Convention on Jan. 25, 1861: "Mr. President, the fierce strife we have had with the Northern States, which has led to the disruption of the Government, is a trumpet-tongued answer to this question. They have declared, by the election of Lincoln, “There shall be no more slave territory–no more slave States.” To this the Cotton States have responded by acts of secession and a Southern Confederacy; which is but a solemn declaration of these States, that they will not submit to the Northern idea of restricting slavery to its present limits, and confining it to the slave States."
  • John Tyler Morgan, Dallas Cy., Alabama: speaking to the Alabama Secession Convention on January 25, 1861: "The Ordinance of Secession rests, in a great measure, upon our assertion of a right to enslave the African race, or, what amounts to the same thing, to hold them in slavery."
  • Jefferson Buford, Barbour County, Alabama, speaking to the Alabama Secession Convention, on March 4, 1861: "Now, Mr. President, I submit that while our commission is of much higher import and dignity, it is, in one respect, by no means so broad. We are sent to protect, not so much property, as white supremacy, and the great political right of internal self-control---but only against one specified and single danger alone, i.e. the danger of Abolition rule."
  • Pvt. Thomas Taylor, 6th Ala., to his parents, March 4, 1862: "we are ruined if we do not put forth all our energies & drive back the invaders of our slavery South." (Chandra Manning, What This Cruel War Was Over, p. 66).
  • Pvt. Jonathan Doyle, 4th La., to Maggie, May 27, 1863: "We must never despair, for death is preferable to a life spent under the gaulling [sic] yoke of abolition rule." (Chandra Manning, What This Cruel War Was Over, p. 108).
  • Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." [Augusta, Georgia, Daily Constitutionalist, March 30, 1861.]
  • On the formation of black regiments in the Confederate army, by promising the troops their freedom:
    • A North Carolina newspaper editorial: "it is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down." [North Carolina Standard, Jan. 17, 1865; cited in Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 835.]
    • Robert M.T. Hunter, Senator from Virginia, "What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?"
  • Senator William Bigler, Pennsylvania, January 21, 1861: "The fundamental cause of the imperiled condition of the country is the institution of African servitude, ...." [36th Cong., 2nd Sess., Congressional Globe, p. 489]

  • Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: "If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule --- it is a question of political and social existence." [Steven Channing, Crisis of Fear, pp. 141-142.]
  • John C. Pelot, delegate from Alachua County to the Florida secession convention, January 3, 1861: "Gentlemen of the Convention: We meet together under no ordinary circumstances.The rapid spread of Northern fanaticism has endangered our liberties and institutions, and the election of Abraham Lincoln, a wily abolitionist, to the Presidency of the United States, destroys all hope for the future." [Journal of the convention, p. 3]
  • John B. Baldwin, Augusta County delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention, March 21, 1861: "I say, then, that viewed from that standpoint, there is but one single subject of complaint which Virginia has to make against the government under which we live; a complaint made by the whole South, and that is on the subject of African slavery...." [Journal of the Virginia Secession Convention, Vol. II, p. 139]
    Baldwin again: "But, sir, the great cause of complaint now is the slavery question, and the questions growing out of it. If there is any other cause of complaint which has been influential in any quarter, to bring about the crisis which is now upon us; if any State or any people have made the troubles growing out of this question, a pretext for agitation instead of a cause of honest complaint, Virginia can have no sympathy whatever, in any such feeling, in any such policy, in any such attempt. It is the slavery question. Is it not so?..." [ibid, p. 140]
  • From the diary of James B. Lockney, 28th Wisconsin Infantry, writing near Arkadelphia, Arkansas (10/29/63): "Last night I talked awhile to those men who came in day before yesterday from the S.W. part of the state about 120 miles distant. Many of them wish Slavery abolished & slaves out of the country as they said it was the cause of the War, and the Curse of our Country & the foe of the body of the people--the poor whites. They knew the Slave masters got up the war expressly in the interests of the institution, & with no real cause from the Government or the North." [This diary is partly on-line here.]
By my count, this makes 29 documented historical quotes. That is surely the tiny tip of a collossal iceberg - an iceberg that deserves to be definitively documented.
 
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#4
***edit by Lnwlf: off topic/moved post***

Whether by the House or by the People, if an Abolitionist be chosen President of the United States, you will have presented to you the question of whether you will permit the government to pass into the hands of your avowed and implacable enemies... such a result would be a species of revolution by which the purposes of the Government would be destroyed and the observance of its mere forms entitled to no respect. In that event, in such manner as should be most expedient, I should deem it your duty to provide for your safety outside the Union of those who have shown the will, and would have acquired the power, to deprive you of your birthright and reduce you to worse than the Colonial dependence of your fathers.
 
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#5
Jefferson Davis' Inaugural Speech, the Founding Document of the Confederacy, February 18, 1861 (note: slavery is not mentioned)-
"...If, however, passion or the lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of those States, we must prepare to meet the emergency and to maintain, by the final arbitrament of the sword, the position which we have assumed among the nations of the earth."
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/archives/documents/jefferson-davis-first-inaugural-address
As we know, Jefferson Davis was a senator from Mississippi before the Civil War. Mississippi unilaterally seceded from the union in January of 1861. Note that, Mississippi seceded BEFORE Jefferson Davis became the president of the Confederacy. Indeed, Mississippi seceded before the Confederate States of America even existed.

So, the reasons for secession predated the existence of the Confederacy itself, and predated the selection of the Confederate president. The state of Mississippi issued a Secession Declaration, akin to the Declaration of independence, in which it stated its rationale for leaving the Union. That Declaration states:

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.
You don't need a Ph.D. in history to interpret this thing. The state of Mississippi makes it as plain as day: we are leaving the union because of "the hostility to this institution," because "submission to the mandates of abolition... (will) work out our ruin."

To repeat: this statement PRECEDES the creation of the Confederacy. It precedes Jefferson Davis's presidency. If we want to know why the individual slave states sought to leave the Union when they left it, this is the evidence that we should use, primarily.

In response to Mississippi's secession, Jefferson Davis made a farewell address to the Senate, in January 1861. He said in part

…if I had not believed there was justifiable cause (for secession); if I had thought that Mississippi was acting without sufficient provocation, or without an existing necessity, I should still… because of my allegiance to the State… have been bound by her action. I, however, may be permitted to say that I do think she has justifiable cause, and I approve of her act.

...I conferred with her people before that act was taken, counseled them then that if the state of things which they apprehended should exist when the convention met, they should take the action which they have now adopted…

It has been a conviction of pressing necessity, it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has brought Mississippi to her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.

That Declaration of Independence is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. The communities were declaring their independence; the people of those communities were asserting that no man was born—to use the language of Mr. Jefferson—booted and spurred to ride over the rest of mankind; that men were created equal—meaning the men of the political community; that there was no divine right to rule; that no man inherited the right to govern; that there were no classes by which power and place descended to families, but that all stations were equally within the grasp of each member of the body politic.

These were the great principles they announced; these were the purposes for which they made their declaration; these were the ends to which their enunciation was directed. They have no reference to the slave; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment made against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North has been endeavoring of late to do – to stir up insurrection among our slaves?

Had the Declaration announced that the negroes were free and equal, how was the Prince to be arraigned for stirring up insurrection among them? And how was this to be enumerated among the high crimes which caused the colonies to sever their connection with the mother country? When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable, for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men—not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three-fifths.


Then, Senators, we recur to the compact which binds us together; we recur to the principles upon which our Government was founded; and when you deny them, and when you deny us the right to withdraw from a Government which thus perverted threatens to be destructive of our rights, we but tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our independence, and take the hazard. This is done, not in hostility to others; not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our duty to transmit unshorn to our children.​

As noted, both Davis and his home state of Mississippi said slavery was the reason for secession.

- Alan
 
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#6
As we know, Jefferson Davis was a senator from Mississippi before the Civil War. Mississippi unilaterally seceded from the union in January of 1861. Note that, Mississippi seceded BEFORE Jefferson Davis became the president of the Confederacy. Indeed, Mississippi seceded before the Confederate States of America even existed.

So, the reasons for secession predated the existence of the Confederacy itself, and predated the selection of the Confederate president. The state of Mississippi issued a Secession Declaration, akin to the Declaration of independence, in which it stated its rationale for leaving the Union. That Declaration states:

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.
You don't need a Ph.D. in history to interpret this thing. The state of Mississippi makes it as plain as day: we are leaving the union because of "the hostility to this institution," because "submission to the mandates of abolition... (will) work out our ruin."

To repeat: this statement PRECEDES the creation of the Confederacy. It precedes Jefferson Davis's presidency. If we want to know why the individual slave states sought to leave the Union when they left it, this is the evidence that we should use, primarily.

In response to Mississippi's secession, Jefferson Davis made a farewell address to the Senate, in January 1861. He said in part

…if I had not believed there was justifiable cause (for secession); if I had thought that Mississippi was acting without sufficient provocation, or without an existing necessity, I should still… because of my allegiance to the State… have been bound by her action. I, however, may be permitted to say that I do think she has justifiable cause, and I approve of her act.

...I conferred with her people before that act was taken, counseled them then that if the state of things which they apprehended should exist when the convention met, they should take the action which they have now adopted…

It has been a conviction of pressing necessity, it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has brought Mississippi to her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.

That Declaration of Independence is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. The communities were declaring their independence; the people of those communities were asserting that no man was born—to use the language of Mr. Jefferson—booted and spurred to ride over the rest of mankind; that men were created equal—meaning the men of the political community; that there was no divine right to rule; that no man inherited the right to govern; that there were no classes by which power and place descended to families, but that all stations were equally within the grasp of each member of the body politic.

These were the great principles they announced; these were the purposes for which they made their declaration; these were the ends to which their enunciation was directed. They have no reference to the slave; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment made against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North has been endeavoring of late to do – to stir up insurrection among our slaves?

Had the Declaration announced that the negroes were free and equal, how was the Prince to be arraigned for stirring up insurrection among them? And how was this to be enumerated among the high crimes which caused the colonies to sever their connection with the mother country? When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable, for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men—not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three-fifths.


Then, Senators, we recur to the compact which binds us together; we recur to the principles upon which our Government was founded; and when you deny them, and when you deny us the right to withdraw from a Government which thus perverted threatens to be destructive of our rights, we but tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our independence, and take the hazard. This is done, not in hostility to others; not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our duty to transmit unshorn to our children.​

As noted, both Davis and his home state of Mississippi said slavery was the reason for secession.

- Alan
The first substantive paragraph of that declaration was the first quote I listed.
 
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#7
From South Carolina's Declaration of Immediate Causes of Secession:

...A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
 
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#8
From Texas's Declaration of Causes of Secession:

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
 
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#9
From Virgnia's Secession Ordinance:

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.
 
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#10
From Georgia's Declaration of Causes of Secession:

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation.

Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a large majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. ...

Note: The above passage is the beginning of GA's declaration, and in it the grievance is given that GA legislators chose to emphasize first and foremost. The GA declaration goes on to list additional grievances other than slavery.
 
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#11
Alabama Ordinance of Secession (First Paragraph):

WHEREAS, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security; therefore, ...

Note: Slavery was widely known and referred to as the South's "peculiar domestic institution," or often just the South's "domestic institution." Google the phrase and a large number of relevant hits will come up.
 
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#12
From the State Archives of Florida, Series 577, Carton 1, Folder 6, “Gov. Madison Starke Perry – Constitutional Convention 1861"

The Congressional halls where the members should meet with fraternal feelings, a just regard for the interests of all the States there represented and respect for the feelings of all its members has been prostituted to the daily denunciation and vituperation of the slave holding States as sanctioning oppression robbery and all villainies, thus subjecting the members from these States to the degradation of gross and constantly repeated insults, and compelling the exclusion from our public press of the debates of our national Legislature or the circulation of the most incendiary matter.

By the agency of a large proportion of the members from the non slaveholding States books have been published and circulated amongst us the direct tendency and avowed purpose of which is to excite insurrection and servile war with all their attendant horrors. A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle. That no more slave States shall be admitted into the confederacy and that the slaves from their rapid increase (the highest evidence of the humanity of their owners will become value less. Nothing is more certain than this and at no distant day. What must be the condition of the slaves themselves when their number becomes so large that their labor will be of no value to their owners. Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by an inability to procure subsistence. Can any thing be more impudently false than the pretense that this state of things is to be brought about from considerations of humanity to the slaves.

Note: The document excerpted here is believed to be a draft of Florida's Declaration of Causes, which was never issued.
 

Bruce Vail

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#13
To All,

This thread, as stated in its title, is intended to be a list; it is not for discussion or editorializing. If you are not adding a quote to the list, your post will be deleted.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Chellers
as moderator
Not for discussion or editorializing? I thought that was the whole point of CWT!
 
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#15
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#16
Davis certainly did not neglect the topic in his address to the provisional Confederate Congress on Apr 29th, 1861. Emphasis mine:

As soon, how ever, as the Northern States that prohibited African slavery within their limits had reached a number sufficient to give their representation a controlling voice in the Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures against the rights of the owners of slaves in the Southern States was inaugurated and gradually extended. A continuous series of measures was devised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering insecure the tenure of property in slaves. Fanatical organizations, supplied with money by voluntary subscriptions, were assiduously engaged in exciting amongst the slaves a spirit of discontent and revolt; means were furnished for their escape from their owners, and agents secretly employed to entice them to abscond; the constitutional provision for their rendition to their owners was first evaded, then openly denounced as a violation of conscientious obligation and religious duty; men were taught that it was a merit to elude, disobey, and violently oppose the execution of the laws enacted to secure the performance of the promise contained in the constitutional compact; owners of slaves were mobbed and even murdered in open day solely for applying to a magistrate for the arrest of a fugitive slave; the dogmas of these voluntary organizations soon obtained control of the Legislatures of many of the Northern States, and laws were passed providing for the punishment, by ruinous fines and long-continued imprisonment in jails and penitentiaries, of citizens of the Southern States who should dare to ask aid of the officers of the law for the recovery of their property. Emboldened by success, the theater of agitation and aggression against the clearly expressed constitutional rights of the Southern States was transferred to the Congress; Senators and Representatives were sent to the common councils of the nation, whose chief title to this distinction consisted in the display of a spirit of ultra fanaticism, and whose business was not "to promote the general welfare or insure domestic tranquillity," but to awaken the bitterest hatred against the citizens of sister States by violent denunciation of their institutions; the transaction of public affairs was impeded by repeated efforts to usurp powers not delegated by the Constitution, for the purpose of impairing the security of property in slaves, and reducing those States which held slaves to a condition of inferiority. Finally a great party was organized for the purpose of obtaining the administration of the Government, with the avowed object of using its power for the total exclusion of the slave States from all participation in the benefits of the public domain acquired by all the States in common, whether by conquest or purchase; of surrounding them entirely by States in which slavery should be prohibited; of thus rendering the property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars. This party, thus organized, succeeded in the month of November last in the election of its candidate for the Presidency of the United States.
 
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#17
Alexander Stephens quoted in the newspaper The Southern Confederacy, eight days before the Cornerstone speech, March 13th, 1861, emphasis mine:

"Another grand difference between the old and new Constitution was this, said Mr. Stephens, in the old Constitution the Fathers looked upon the fallacy of tlic equality of races as underlying the foundations of republican liberty. Jefferson, Madison, and Washington, and many others, were tender of the word Slave in the organic law, and all looked forward to the time when the Institution of Slavery should be removed from our midst as a trouble and a stumbling block. This delusion could not be traced in any of the component parts of the Southern Constitution. In that instrument we solemnly discarded the pestilent heresy of fancy politicians, that all men, of all races, were equal, and we had made African inequality and subordination, and the equality of white men, the chief cornerstone of the Southern Republic."

Here's the actual page digitized and preserved:
https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn82014677/1861-03-13/ed-1/seq-2.pdf

The quote comes about 3/4 of the way down the first column.
 
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#18
Commissioner of Secession from Mississippi Judge William L Harris, before a joint session of Georgia's General Assembley, Dec 17 1860:

[Black Republicans] "have demanded, and now demand, equality between the white and negro races, under our Constitution; equality in representation, equality in the right of suffrage, equality in the honors and emoluments of office, equality in the social circle, equality in the rights of matrimony... this new administration promises freedom to the slave, but eternal degradation for you and us."

He continued:

"Our fathers made this a government for the white man, rejecting the negro, as an ignorant, inferior, barbarian race, incapable of self-government, and not, therefore, entitled to be associated with the white man upon terms of civil, political, or social equality. [The Lincoln Administration] is determined to overturn and strike down this great feature of our Union, and to substitute in its stead their new theory of universal equality of the black and white races.

This new union, with Lincoln Black Republicans and free negros, without slavery, or slavery under our old constitutional bond of union, without Lincoln Black Republicans, or free negros either, to molest us. To avoid submission to negro equality, secession is inevitable....

Sink or swim, live or die, survive us or perish, the part of Mississippi is chosen, she will never submit to the policy of this Black Republican Administration.

She had rather see the last of her race, men, women, and children, immolated in one common funeral pile, then see them subjugated to the degradation of civil, political, and social equality with the negro race."

Sources: Apostles of Disunion, p29-30
Full speech here: http://www.civilwarcauses.org/wharris.htm
Law in American History: Volume 1: From the Colonial Years Through the Civil War, p387-388.
 
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#19
Georgia's response? A joint resolution condemning northerners for supporting a political party "organized... for the avowed purpose of destroying the institution of slavery, and consequently spreading ruin and desolation among the people of every state in which it exists."

They then funded a thousand copies of Judge Harris' inflammatory remarks to be distributed among the people.
 
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#20
Louisiana Commissioner of Secession George Williamson speaking to the Texas Secession Convention, Apr 11 1861.

"Louisiana looks to the formation of a Southern confederacy to preserve the blessings of African slavery... Louisiana and Texas are both so deeply interested in African slavery it may be said to be absolutely necessary to their existence, and is the keystone to the arch of their prosperity."

He later continued:

"The people of Louisiana would consider it a most fatal blow to African slavery if Texas either did not secede, or if having seceded did not join her destinies to theirs in a Southern Confederacy... The people of the slave holding states are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery. [The US Constitution] the Southern states have never violated, and taking it as the basis for our new government we hope to form a slave holding confederacy that will secure to us and our remotest prosperity the great blessing its authors designed in the Federal union. With the social balance wheel of slavery to regulate its machinery, we may fondly indulge the hope that our Southern government may be perpetual."

Myth of the Lost Cause, p55-56
 



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