Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/49

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said: "We are not in favor of blockading the Southern coast. We are not in favor of retaking by force the property of the United States now in possession of the seceders. We would recognize the existence of a government formed of all the slaveholding States and attempt to cultivate amicable relations with it."

I have shown that not only were the Southern people sustained in their actions leading to secession by the conservative element of the North, as voiced in their daily and weekly papers, but they were given to understand that they had nothing to hope for from the party about to assume the views of the government. Judge Chase made a speech before the Peace congress in which he declared unequivocally that the power being theirs, they would assuredly use it. The assaults on the Constitution were to culminate in the overthrow, at least, of its guarantees to the Southern people. Here is what he said:

The result of the national canvass, recently terminated in the election of Mr. Lincoln, has been spoken of by some as the effect of a sudden impulse or of some irregular excitement of the popular mind; and it has been somewhat confidently asserted that, upon reflection and consideration, the hastily formed opinions which brought about that election will be changed. . . . I cannot take this view of the result of the presidential election. I believe, and the belief amounts to absolute conviction, that the election must be regarded as a triumph of principles cherished in the hearts of the people of the free States. . . . We have elected him (Mr. Lincoln). After many years of earnest advocacy and of severe trial we have achieved the triumph of that principle. By a fair and unquestioned majority we have secured that triumph. Do you think we, who represent this majority, will throw it away? Do you think the people will sustain us if we undertake to throw it away? I must speak to you plainly, gentlemen of the South. It is not in my heart to deceive you. I therefore tell you explicitly that if we of the North and West would consent to throw away all that has been gained in the recent triumph of our principles, the people would not sustain us, and so, the consent would avail you nothing.