The Address of Hon. John Lamb. 61
of the annexation of Texas, unless arrested on the threshold, may tend to drive these States to a dissolution of the Union."
Prior to the Louisiana purchase the settlers on the Mississippi river, who were harrassed by the Spaniards, petitioned Congress, saying, ' ' if Congress refuses us effectual protection ; if it forsakes us, we will adopt the measures which our safety requires, even if they endanger the peace of the Union and our connection with the other States. No protection ; no allegiance. "
You see the right to secede was advocated by the North and West, and threats to avail themselves of this right were made by Northern Legislatures, leading statesmen, and petitioners in Congress.
Through 50 years of our history this discussion continued, and the eloquence of Webster and the logic of Calhoun were exhausted while no satisfactory conclusion was reached.
Finally, when the Southern States, for grievances that are fresh in our memories, and far outweighed all the fancied evils that New England suffered, or all the trials the Mississippi Valley settlers bore, withdrew from the Union and reasserted their sovereignty, they were coerced by Federal powers, and falsely represented, not only to the world, but to our own children, as traitors and rebels.
The question of the justice of our cause having been so completely established, why should our people admit, as we know they some- times do, that it was best after all that we failed in the attempt to establish a separate government ?
Does the fact of failure prove that we were in the wrong, and our enemies right in the contention ? Was Providence on their side, and were we fighting against the fiat of the Almighty? If so, why ? Was religion and character on the side of the North? If America had to suffer the penalty of violated law, were we of the South sinners above all others ? In the conduct of the war, which side exhibited most of the Christian, and least of the brutal character? To ask these questions is but to answer them.
In the " Confederate Secession," a work by an Englishman, the author draws a deadly parallel between the methods and aims of the two people, and sums up the matter with the significant words : "All the good qualities were on the one tide, and all the bad on the other."