A Great Central Confederacy

San Francisco Daily Alta California, January 12, 1961

The movement for a great Central Confederacy, composed of the border Slave States and the great Central and Western States, leaving out the Cotton States in the South, and the New England States, a portion of the State of New York and the Northwestern States, in the North, is beginning to assume shape. If dissolution should come, this is the best form it could take. If the Free and the Slave States should separate, it is hard to see how war could be avoided. Between the two there would be a constant chafing and irritation. The Free Confederacy would take ultra grounds upon the subject of slavery, and the Slave Confederacy would retaliate in some other way. For the first few years each side would do all in its power to harass and annoy the other, and collisions and conflicts, and perhaps a general war would be the result. Blood once being shed, all hopes of the reconstruction of the Republic would have to be given up, at least during the existence of the present generation. It is for these reasons that we say, that if disunion is to come, a Central Confederacy is the very best form that it could assume, for it would contain within itself so much of the wealth, intelligence, and population of the original Confederation, that war would be a matter of impossibility. With one hand it would be able to restrain the Cotton Confederacy, and with the other force the extreme Northern States to act with moderation. The great body of the country is sound, patriotic, and conservative. It is only the extremities that are diseased. The best treatment that can be prescribed is to leave them out in the cold for a season, and let them suffer the consequence of their own precipitation and madness. Having tried the experiment of a free and independent existence, they will be very glad to come back again. In this great Central Confederacy, the purer and better days of the first republic would be revived, and a new era of peace and prosperity would dawn upon us. By reason, as well of its great strength as its location, it would retain the control of the Territories, secure the army and navy, and enjoy the possession of the public buildings. This advantage too, it would have: both extremities would be forced to depend, for the most part, upon it for the necessaries of life and they are matters of the first concern. It would reap a golden harvest from both, and while it advanced in power and wealth, the refractory extremities would droop and pine away. Every mail brings some new project. The proposition for a great Central Confederacy is the last, and, therefore, entitled to consideration. A Central Confederacy would be better than a division of the Slave and Free States, for it would render civil war impossible, and also furnish grounds for the hope of the speedy re-construction of the Republic.