154 Southern Historical Society Papers.
apprehensions and forebodings, whether well or ill grounded, were sincerely felt and entertained. There was no hostility, or disloyalty entertained to the Union per se, by the Southern people this fact ought never to be lost sight of.
In all of the Gulf States, with the exception of Louisiana, the State Democratic conventions had instructed their delegates to withdraw from the Charleston Convention in default of the insertion of a clause in the platform pledging Federal protection to slavery in the territo- ries by appropriate legislation. The battle was thus transferred to the floor of the Charleston convention. Mr. Yancey was himself a delegate, and opened the campaign two days in advance of the day fixed for the meeting of the National Convention. The plan was to induce the delegates from all the Southern States, and failing in that, to get as many as possible, to secede from the convention, and in pur- suance of this plan meetings of Southern delegates, exclusively, were held on the Friday and Saturday nights preceding the National Con- vention. This writer was present at these meetings, not from sympa- thy, however, but as a spectator of the play. Mr. Yancey declined to speak, declaring he desired to hear the other delegates express their sentiments. A delegate from Virginia observed that the absence of even a single delegate from the North at these meetings had an ominous look to him; it seemed to prefigure the disruption both of the Democracy and the Union. The National Convention of the party would convene within forty-eight hours it was intended for friendly conference for consultation, for a comparison of opinions, in the spirit of brotherhood, with the view of harmonizing differences. He had no doubt an adjustment could be reached by mutual conces- sions at any rate, it ought to be tried. He declined to take any part in these meetings of Southern delegates exclusively, or to be bound by its action.
The speeches made in these meetings were violent and inflamma- tory, abounding in denunciations of the Northern Democrats as time- servers and shufflers, and representing the Republicans as being de- termined to wipe out slavery, even if they had to resort to servile insurrection. I remember that John Milton, a delegate from Florida (he was chosen Governor in 1862, but died in 1864), said, "His plan was for Southern men to take the Constitution in one hand and a musket in the other, and to march to Fanueil Hall in Boston, demand their constitutional rights, and if they were not granted, to go to