Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/511
Address of Hon. B. H. Hill. 505
a flock of carrion birds by railing at them, but if you burn up the stinking carcass that attracts them they will scatter themselves. So we shall never get rid of these creatures from Congress by portray- ing their characters. They cannot see the mischief they are doing, and, if they could, they have not manhood enough to be made ashamed. But abolish the high salaries that tempt and feed them, and they will leave the places that furnish to them no other allure- ments. If high salaries continue, the greatest age of American states- manship is in the past. We shall never have another Clay or Web- ster or Calhoun in the National Councils. These great men served willingly on a salary of fifteen hundred dollars and less. The But- lers and Chandlers— with their negro and carpet-bag allies — all but the spawn of a mad revolution — need seven thousand five hundred dollars to support their dignity ! It is sad to see a Republic dying as other Republics have died, and the people still unable to see the evils which work death until life is extinct.
But one comfort the Southern people and their children must ever have. Whether constitutional government shall continue or fail — whether the States shall remain or be obliterated — whether liberty shall be recovered, or die the death that knows no waking, we shall be vindicated! If the Union of the States under constitutional government, and securing the blessings of liberty, be recovered and perpetuated, the work can only be done by returning to the great principles for which we struggled. The general government must be restrained within the limitations of its constitutional delegated powers, and the States restored to the unrestrained control of their domestic aflfairs, under their reserved rights or Union, States and liberty must perish. If this glorious work shall have success, then the rejoicings of according States, and happy millions from the Atlantic to the Pa- cific, and from the lakes to the Gulf, will syllable forever the halle- lujahs of Southern triumph !
But if blindness, madness, hate and ambition shall continue, coer- cion and reconstruction, as accepted and approved principles of Federal administration, then the wail that shall come up from the universal wreck of Union, States and liberty, will drown the thunder in loud vindication of Southern wisdom and fidelity. The graves of Davis and Lee will become Meccas ibr journeying, sorrow stricken pilgrims of right for ages to come, and the future historian, reviewing the records your care shall have preserved, will write the epitaph for the Confederate dead. These were the last heroes of freedom in America I