-- Political Quotations on Secession

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unionblue

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"The South went to war on account of slavery...South Carolina went to war as she said in her secession proclamation, because slavery would not be secure under Lincoln...don't you think South Carolina ought to know why it went to war?"

John Singleton Mosby

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unionblue

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"That the right of the people of a single State, to absolve themselves at will, and without the consent of the other States, from their most solemn obligations, and hazard the liberties and happiness of the millions composing this Union, cannot be acknowledged; and that such authority is utterly repugnant, both to the principles upon which the general government is constituted, and the objects which it was expressly formed to attain."

President Andrew Jackson, message to Congress, January 16, 1833.

Sincerely,
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unionblue

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Sam,

I found this quote by Lincoln in the book, The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, A Treasury of More Than 1,000 Quotations and Anecdotes, by James C. Humes.

It is listed under the heading of Abe's Adages, under the section listed REBELLION on page 37.

Sincerely,
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unionblue

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"This government cannot much longer play a game in which it stakes all and its enemies stake nothing. Those enemies must understand that they cannot experiment for ten years trying to destroy the Government and if they fail, still come back into the Union unhurt."

Abraham Lincoln to August Belmont, July 31, 1862.

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unionblue

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"Pause, I entreat you, and consider for a moment what reasons you can give that will even satisfy yourselves in calmer moments--what reasons you can give to the nations of the earth to justify it? They will be calm and deliberate judges in the case; and to what cause or one overt act can you name or point, on which to rest the plea of justification? What right has the North assailed? What interest of the South has been invaded? Can either of you today name one government act of wrong, deliberately and purposely done by the government of Washington, of which the South has a right to complain? I challenge the answer!"

Extract from a speech of Alexander H. Stephens, delivered at the Secession Convention of Georgia, January, 1861.

The entire speech may be found at the Making of America website under the books sections with the heading:

Extract from a speech by Alexander H. Stephen, vice-president of the Confederate States; delivered to the secession convention of Georgia, January 1861.

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samgrant

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Neil,

Wonder if you have read Edmond Wilson's critique of Stephens in Patriotic Gore?

An interesting, tho contradictory fellow. A prominent Whig who became a democrat. An anti-secessionist who became the Vice-President of the CSA. A Southern nationalist who became a advocate of states rights opposition within the Confederacy. He was also one of Abe Lincoln's few close friends in Congress!
 

unionblue

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samgrant,

Can't say I have read the article/book.

But I must say that Stephens is one of the most tragic figures in the short-lived Confederacy.

I think he knew the South was cutting it's own throat for no good reason, but felt compelled to follow his State out of regional honor and duty.

Sincerely,
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unionblue

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From the book, The Army of the Potomac: A Stillness At Appomattox, by Bruce Catton.

...Colonel Stephen Thomas [8th Vermont] had once been a leading Democratic politician, stoutly opposed to all coercion of the South. Recently he had gone home on furlough and his former party associates had chided him for deserting the true faith.

"Thomas, you've changed," they complained. "We haven't."

A true Vermonter, Thomas replied: "Fools never do."

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ole

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Tragic? More like a brilliant fool. He's southern, through and through. And a friend of Lincoln. He valiantly struggles to avoid secession. But, when it happens, he flops and unsuccessfully attempts to be loyal to the Confederacy. When it's over, he writes a massive work justifying his action.

He was a politician! Nuff said?

ole
 
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unionblue

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"The recognition of such a doctrine [of secession] is fatal to the existence of any government of the Union: it is death--it is national suicide."

Robert J. Walker, former US Senator from Mississippi, in a speech at the Union Meeting in Union Square, New York City, April 20, 1861.

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Bobbie

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"The North having succeeded last Autumn in electing a Sectional President upon a Plan at once destructive and insulting to the South, and having already secured a majority of the House of Representatives – with every certainty of a majority in the Senate within two years – the latter Section had presented to it the alternative of a withdrawal from the Union, or submission to a most degrading vassalage. The former alternative was chosen and as recent events have proved, not too soon for the preservation of Southern honor and liberty. True, President Lincoln received only about one third part of the entire popular vote cast on the occasion, but he was elected according to the form (though not in the spirit), prescribed by the Constitution, and the South could rid itself of the despotism prepared for it only by revolution. Thus the war made upon the South and its institutions for thirty years was hastened to a culmination".

John T. Pickett, in a letter to Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, September 1861.
 
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unionblue

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"I think it the most natural thing in the world for a nation to fight for its Government against a vile rebellion which has never yet been able to allege an excuse."

William "Parson" Brownlow
 

unionblue

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"Rebellion smells no sweeter because it is called "secession," nor does "order" lose its divine precedence in human affairs because a knave may nickname it "coercion."

--James Russell Lowell, Atlantic Monthly editor, from his article "E Pluribus Unum," Atlantic Monthly, February 1861.
 

unionblue

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"All this difficulty has been brought about by men who, because they could not rule, are determined to ruin."

--John Sherman, US Senator from Ohio, brother of W. T. Sherman, in a omment made in the Senate, July 25, 1861.
 
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KeyserSoze

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OK. Neil, My turn to ask for the source. I can't find it on the 'Lincoln Log" (http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/lincoln/)
It's a mild misquote from Lincoln's July4, 1861 message to Congress: "Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled -- the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains -- the successful maintenance of it, against a formidable attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world, that those who can fairly carry an election, can also suppress a rebellion..."
 
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