War in the Event of Secession
Bellefontaine Republican, December 15, 1860
Whatever may be the opinion respecting the right of any of the original States, signing the confederation, to secede, there can be no doubt respecting the absence of any right to secede, belonging to the states subsequently admitted.
As for the Carolinas, little needs to be said. South Carolina was Tory during the revolution. She had no "revolutionary fathers." She is bastard—politically speaking. Excepting Marion, and Sumpter, with a handfull of followers, there were no friends of Washington in South Carolina, during the times that tried men[']s souls. She has been always Tory ever since that time. The men of the north conquered the State of Carolina during the war of the revolution. We may do so again; and will do so, if there can be any evidence produced, that her people are capable of self government, and are worth the trouble of being licked into decency.
As for North Carolina, it is known that she is the most ignorant and degraded of all the States. In North Carolina in 1850, there were 73,566 white inhabitants over twenty years of age, who could not read and write. And of those who could read and write, how many could read without spelling, or write legibly? And this is one of those States that purpose to dispense with the schoolmaster altogether, rather than hire one from the north! Their politicians object to the north sending books and newspapers amongst their citizens, to enlighten them. They will soon have no cause of fear from that source, for ere long, there will be no body down there, who can read them.
They eat mud in North Carolina.—They have a kind of blue clay that the denizens devour. They stuff their bellies full of this, till their eyes goggle out, so you might knock them off with a stick.
The people are like oysters—without brains, but bellies full of mud. It might be supposed that this habit of dirt eating, had rendered them idiotic, if it were not certain, that they must have been idiotic in the first place, or they would never have begun the practice. There is not a single "son of chivalry" in North Carolina, (nor South Carolina either,) who can speak the plain english word "there." "Dar," he will say—or possibly "dah." They are all fully africanized in intelligence and morals, and are fast becoming so in blood. The Carolinas may go in welcome, so far as we are personally concerned. But we have no doubt it would be good policy, after the niggers are done with them, to drive what may remain into the swamps of Florida, as food for al[l]igators. You should remember the Helots, and the fate of Messenians. But away do we talk to you thus; you cannot read.
As for Florida we have a word to say, applicable to many other States. We bought the claim of Florida from Spain on account of her geographical position. We bought it without reference to the wishes of those who inhabited it. We afterwards conquered it from its rightful owners, the Seminoles. Florida cost the Confederation more than a hundred millions of dollars. Florida had in 1850, 39,314 slaves. Counting those as a whole—old grizzly's young cubs yet unlicked, the lame, and halt, and blind, at $700 a head, we would have twenty-seven million 3 hundred and nineteen thousand eight hundred or about one-third of the amount the country cost us. Is it a very likely thing that we are going to all that expense, in bringing the miserable little abortion into existence, and then permit her to dictate to us, what we must do? We let her into the Confederation it is true, but upon our terms. She now says she don't like the terms. Very well; go out again; but remember you return to just the position you occupied, before we admitted you, upon your own petition. You are a territory—a province, ruled by a governor appointed by the Confederation, and are brought into submission, if necessary, by the military arm. That is all you are. We never expected to get our money out of you; we did'nt buy you, because we had any particular love for you. We bought and paid for you for our own convenience, and we expect to use you accordingly.
It is a nice thing truly, if you or any other purchased territory of this government, can come into the Confederation one day—become a sovereign State; exercise your sovereignty the next day, and convey yourself—our property, away into the arms of England or France, or any other foreign power. If you think you can do it, try it. We have reasoned with you, coaxed you, giving you coppers and sing[ing] pretty baby songs to you, but you must be licked, that is plain to see.