Secession Not Favorable to the Luxury of Safe Violence
Boston Daily Traveller, November 20, 1860
There is one point in connection with the general subject of secession, which it would be well for those unfraternal gentlemen, "our Southern brethren," to take into serious consideration, before they shall proceed to destroy the Union for the purpose of forming a Southern Confederacy. Has it ever occurred to them that by withdrawing from the Union they would cut themselves off, forever, from the inestimable privilege of lynching Yankees with impunity? As things now are, they have it in their power to torment every man from the free States who is foolish enough to go among them, and also every woman, which is the greater luxury of the two, particularly if she happen to be ill, and has sought "the sunny South" in search of health, but without any idea of finding the country too hot to hold her. All the delights that come from tarring and feathering defenceless Northrons, and of hearing the more timid of them scream, must be given up with the Union. Now, when a Yankee at the South becomes "suspect," he can be bullied, beaten, banged, and bruised with perfect safety to the bullies, beaters, bangers, and bruisers who take him in hand. His countrymen may become angry at the language that is addressed to him, and they may wince at the lashes laid on his innocent back, or they may think that for five hundred creatures to torment one man is not precisely correct; but what can they do about it? They can't help themselves or the victims, and the knowledge that they can't increases the enjoyment of their "sport" by the "Southern brethren" aforesaid. But there will come a change over all this, should the Union be broken up, and should Yankees stand to Southern Confederates in the position of foreigners. As the Southrons have now to refrain from the luxury of lynching Old Englanders, so then would they have to refrain from that of lynching New Englanders. The first abuse of a Yankee at their hands would be the signal for war upon them, and they would have to pay dear for that which they now have gratis, greatly to our shame. Or, we might retaliate by seizing upon such members of "the chivalry" as should be wandering about in search of adventures, and mete to them the measure received by our citizens at the hands of "the chivalry" at home. This matter is one that the Cotton States would do well to think of, or they may find their free trade in flogging abolished, and their illustrious people punished with many stripes.