The Union

Charleston Mercury, July 25, 1860

The Union of the Constitution, we presume nearly all men in the South, desire to be perpetuated. It is the bond of our fathers, and as their children we will maintain it. But do the dangers and agitations which now shake the United States, arise from the Union of the Constitution? If it does, then the work of our fathers is most inadequate to our times. We maintain that these dangers and agitations are the result, not of the Constitution they transmitted to us, but of its overthrow. The Union it established does not exist. Usurpation and encroachment have drawn into the vortex of Federal power, interests which were never intended, by the Constitution, to be embraced in its operations. The General Government, under the sectional predominance and policy of the North, has become omnipotent in the laying and appropriation of the taxes; and now stretches its authority over slavery in the South. The Constitution, under such usurpations of power, is virtually abolished—and the Union it established is virtually dissolved. Hence the dissatisfaction in the South and the conflict between the North and the South, which must end either in the Union of the Constitution being restored, or in the South being destroyed by the sectional despotism of the North under the auspices of another Union, established by power on the one side and subjection on the other. Nor is the test of the true condition of the South very far off. The elections next fall must settle the question of Northern predominance—of a complete sectional despotism over the South, or of yet another chance for Southern deliverance. As things now are, the probability is that the Black Republicans will sweep the North, and command the Electoral College in the Presidential election. Now, in such a condition of things, is it truthful—is it politic in the South to deal in professions of devotion to the Union? Will they prepare the people of the South to resist the sectional despotism of the Black Republican party? With a full knowledge of the fatal effects to the South, of the possession and control of the Federal Government by the Black Republicans and Abolitionists of the North, do not such professions inevitably tend to a submission to their rule? Ought not the people of the South, rather, to be aroused to a full sense of the perils which hang over them, and be prepared to meet them, and to control their own destinies? What is now the Union?