Used in Notes (Slightly different than in Volume 1)
American Historical Review
Manuscripts Division, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery
Berea College Library, Berea, Kentucky
Civil War History
De Bow’s Review
Manuscripts Division, Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina
Manuscripts Division, Emory University Library, Decatur, Georgia
Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky
Manuscripts Division, University of Georgia Library, Athens
Georgia Historical Quarterly
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Journal of Southern History
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Manuscripts Division, Louisiana State University Library, Baton Rouge
Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore
Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson
Missouri Historical Review
Western Historical Collection, Historical Society of Missouri and the University of Missouri, Columbia
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
Mississippi Valley Historical Review
Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library
New Orleans Delta
War of the Rebellion … Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington, 1880–1901), ser. 1, vol. 1
P., ed., T.,
Ulrich B. Phillips, ed., The Correspondence of Robert Toombs,
S., & C.
A. H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb (Washington, 1911; published as vol. 2 of The AHA Annual Report for 1911)
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia
South Carolina Historical Magazine
South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston
Alexander Stephens Papers, Manhattanville College Library, Purchase, New York
Southern Quarterly Review
Tennessee Historical Society, Nashville
Manuscripts Division, University of Texas Library, Austin
Manuscripts Division, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville
Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Virginia State Library, Richmond W&M Manuscripts Division, College of William and Mary Library, Williamsburg, Virginia
State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison
Manuscripts Division, West Virginia University Library, Morgantown
Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut
1. As I emphasized in William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion, vol. 1, Secessionists at Bay, 1776–1854 (New York, 1990), 659, n. 1, “my” stress on northern rage at the Slave Power’s supposed enslavement of whites is hardly mine. The central importance of Republican apprehensions about Slave Power intrusions on white democracy is developed brilliantly in Michael F. Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s (New York, 1978); Leonard L. Richards, The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780–1860 (Baton Rouge, 2000); Russel B. Nye, Fettered Freedom: Civil Liberties and the Slavery Controversy, 1830–1860 (East Lansing, Mich., 1963); Larry Gara, “Slavery and the Slave Power: A Crucial Distinction,” CWH 15 (1969): 5–18; and William E. Gienapp, “The Republican Party and the Slave Power,” in New Perspectives on Race and Slavery in America, ed. Robert H. Abzug and Stephen F. Maizlish (Lexington, Ky., 1986), 51–78. If anything is “mine,” it is a fresh explanation of how and why key Southerners insisted that key democratic debates must be shuttered, lest free and open processes infect the slaveholders’ regime.
As this note indicates, my conversations with fellow historians will occur here, outside a text that I think should emphasize the tale of what happened, not the story of how I differ or agree with other historians about what happened. The intrusion of historiography into historical tales has helped deaden the genre for nonacademics, who these days prefer nonspecialists’ often more lively but sometimes more superficial historical renditions. I believe that nonacademics’ aesthetic tastes are right and can be squared with specialists’ depth if academics restrict the necessary discussion of professional questions to footnotes, endnotes, or appendices.
2. William W. Freehling, The South vs. The South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War (New York, 2001).
3. Since these books were published, Peter Kolchin has skillfully placed this theme in larger context. Kolchin, A Sphinx on the American Land: The Nineteenth-Century South in Comparative Perspective (Baton Rouge, 2003). For more excellent comparative perspectives, see David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (New York, 2006) and Shearer Davis Bowman, Masters & Lords: Mid-19th-Century U.S. Planters and Prussian Junkers (New York, 1993).
4. For a decade, Michael Holt has been asking me how I could have declared, in Road 1, that Texas annexation, by provoking destructive territorial issues, was a major turning point in the coming of the Civil War when I meant to declare, in Road 2, that South Carolina’s secession had little to do with territorial issues. A good answer is Professor Holt’s own, elucidated in his illuminating The Fate of Their Country: Politicians, Slavery Extension, and the Coming of the Civil War (New York, 2004): Texas annexation and the subsequent territorial issues boosted northern resentment of Slave Power domineering. Yet another answer is that territorial issues radicalized the more moderate Lower South compatriots that South Carolinians needed to dare secession.
But my best answer is that whether eastern Virginia’s frosty oligarch, Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, shuddered at potential British agitation inside the Texas Republic or whether South Carolina’s equally frosty lowcountry aristocrats winced at Lincoln’s potential agitation in the Border South, the problem remained whether egalitarian democratic debate could safely be allowed inside or near to a slaveholding regime. The gag rule, fugitive slave, and Kansas issues also came and went—and also fed on the same apprehensions.
Prologue: Yancey’s Rage
1. Readers of Road 1 will know that I am here revisiting the earlier prologue, with the emphasis now shifting from Davis to Yancey. The shift signals that extremists, while long at bay, were moving toward triumph—and in order to triumph, were facing renewed relegation to the shadows.
2. Quoted in William C. Davis’s good biography, Rhett: The Turbulent Life and Times of a Fire-Eater (Columbia, S.C., 2001), 425.
3. The best biography of Yancey, Eric H. Walther, William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War (Chapel Hill, 2006), was published too late for use in this study. See also John Witherspoon DuBose, Life and Times of William Lowndes Yancey, 2 vols. (New York, 1942); and Ralph D. Draughon, Jr., “The Young Manhood of William L. Yancey,” Alabama Review 24 (1966): 28–37.
4. Louisa Cunningham to Benjamin C. Yancey, July 20, August 2, 1833, Benjamin C. Yancey Papers, NC.
5. Theodore Dwight Weld, American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses (New York, 1839), 85, 97, 164, 167.
6. Quoted in Owen Peterson’s valuable biography, A Divine Discontent: The Life of Nathan S. S. Beman (Macon, Ga., 1986), 123.
7. Beman to Caroline Bird Yancey Beman, February 21, 1835, Yancey Papers, NC.
8. Same to same, February 15, 19, March 15, 1836, April 4, 1837, Yancey Papers, NC.
9. Peterson, Beman, 53–55.
10. Nathan Beman to Caroline Beman, March 15, 1836, Yancey Papers, NC.
11. Nathan Beman, Antagonism in the Moral and Political World (Troy, N.Y., 1858), esp. 35.
12. Both Yancey speeches can be found in the William L. Yancey Papers, ALA.
Chapter 1. Democracy and Despotism, 1776–1854: Road, Volume I, Revisited
1. My professional colleagues will know that I am here taking off on the first sentence of Ulrich B. Phillips’s Life and Labor in the Old South (Boston, 1929), 3: “Let us begin by discussing the weather, for that has been the chief agency in making the South distinctive.” I deploy this device to underline my countervailing conviction that culture trumped geography in making the South distinctive—and that cultural entanglements in the New World’s most egalitarian (for whites) democracy explains most about these dictators’ sociopolitical peculiarities.
Readers will find full documentation for positions in this chapter by consulting Road 1 and utilizing the index. Documentation in this chapter thus will be restricted to comments on some especially useful books published since 1990, ones that would have especially eased my way in writing the earlier volume.
The most important recent big syntheses on the antebellum South have almost all been about slavery, not secession, mirroring American historians’ current emphasis on social rather than political history. Two splendid exceptions are Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (New York, 1999), and Don E. Fehrenbacher, The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Government’s Relations to Slavery (New York, 2001). Excellent partial exceptions, primarily social histories of slavery but with supplementary political dimensions, include William K. Scarborough, Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South (Baton Rouge, 2003); John Ashworth, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in Antebellum America, vol, 1, Commerce and Compromise, 1820–1850 (Cambridge, Eng., 1995); and Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration(Cambridge, Mass., 2003). Among recent more purely social histories of U.S. slavery, pride of place belongs to Ira Berlin for Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge, Mass., 1998) and Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves (Cambridge, Mass., 2003), fine for replacing what once was a timeless, placeless image of U.S. slavery with a careful attention to evolutions over time and space.
2. Here I need to add a sentence to my previous comments on one of the most important books about antebellum southern politics in the last thirty years, William J. Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 1828–1856 (Baton Rouge, 1978). I prefer to call Professor Cooper’s phenomenon the politics of loyalty, for his “politics of slavery” continually comes back to loyalty slugfests.
3. This crucial process is newly and expertly detailed from many directions in Steven Deyle, Carry Me Back: The Domestic Slave Trade in American Life (New York, 2005); Michael Tadman, Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South (Madison, Wisc., 1996); Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge, Mass., 1999); Adam Rothman, Slave Expansion: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (Cambridge, Mass., 2005); Joan E. Cashin, A Family Venture: Men and Women on the Southern Frontier (New York, 1991); and James David Miller, South by Southwest: Planter Emigration and Identity in the Slave South (Charlottesville, 2002).
Professor Miller’s argument that Old South Southeasterners dropped many of their qualms about New South Southwesterners, thus creating a universal southern celebration of a placeless conservatism based on the (moveable) family, seems very useful for southeastern migrants to the Southwest but somewhat overdone for those who stayed in eastern Virginia and largely overdone for those who stayed in lowcountry South Carolina. Most coastal South Carolinians who rejected migration clung to a reactionary mentality based on the stationary uniqueness of their eighteenth-century elitist viewpoint and culture, including massive distrust of the nouveau South and its egalitarian (white) republicanism (and as we will see, massive distrust of the James L. Orr types that would inject the new disease into South Carolina itself).
4. On the theoretical basis of this powerful abstraction, see the superb introduction by Jack P. Greene and Amy Turner Bushnell in Christine Daniels and Michael V. Kennedy, eds., Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the Americas, 1500–1820 (New York, 2002).
5. On this subject, J. Stephen Whitman’s The Price of Freedom: Slavery and Manumission in Early National Maryland (Lexington, Ky., 1997) richly adds to our understanding.
Chapter 2. Economic Bonanza, 1850–1860
1. Figures on short-staple cotton prices are taken from U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, 2 parts (Washington, 1975), 1: 209. Figures on short-staple cotton production are taken from Lewis C. Gray, History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860, 2 vols. (Washington, 1933), 2: 1026.
2. Figures on sugar, Sea Island cotton, and tobacco are taken from ibid. 2: 1031–33, 1035–36.
3. Cost of living figures are taken from U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Statistics, 1: 207–9.
4. Figures on rice prices and production are derived from Gray, History of Agriculture 2: 1030. Peter A. Coclanis, The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1670–1820, is a particularly brilliant and wonderfully written book. Also superb is William Dusinberre, Them Dark Days: Slavery in the American Rice Swamps (New York, 1996), showing that careful capitalists could still make a fortune on rice.
5. Figures on agricultural acres and values are derived from Joseph C. G. Kennedy, Agriculture of the United States in 1860: Compiled from the … Eighth Census … (Washington, 1864), 184–88, 222.
6. Joseph C. G. Kennedy, Preliminary Report on the Eighth Census, 1860 (Washington, 1862), 234–35.
7. [U.S. Census Bureau], Manufacturers of the United States in 1860 … (Washington, 1865), 729–30.
8. Robert Evans, Jr., “The Economics of American Negro Slavery,” in Universities National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, Aspects of Labor Economics (Princeton, 1962), 216.
9. James L. Huston, The Panic of 1857 and the Coming of the Civil War (Baton Rouge, 1987).
10. The raw statistics for whites, slaves, size of slaveholdings, and free blacks are taken from Kennedy, Preliminary Report, 132, and Kennedy, Agriculture in 1860, 247–48. Percentages of slaveholding families are calculated by using the ratio of 5.7 whites per family for 1850 given in J. D. B. De Bow, Statistical View of the United States … Being a Compendium of the Seventh Census … (Washington, 1854), 94, and the ratio of 5.3 whites per family for 1860 given in Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (New York, 1956), 30.
11. Immigrant figures are derived from De Bow, Statistical View, 118, and Joseph C. G. Kennedy, Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the … Eighth Census … (Washington, 1864), 607.
All further demographic claims and statistics in this volume derive from Francis A. Walker, comp., The Statistics of the Population of the United States (Washington, 1872), and from U.S. Census Bureau, A Century of Population Growth: From the First Census of the United States to the Twelfth, 1790–1900 (Washington, 1909).
12. Ira Berlin and Herbert G. Gutman, “Natives and Immigrants, Free Men and Slaves: Urban Working Men in the Antebellum South,” AHR 88 (1983): 1175–200.
13. Claudia Dale Goldin, Urban Slavery in the Antebellum South, 1820–1860: A Quantitative History (Chicago, 1976).
Chapter 3. James Henry Hammond and the Unsolvable Proslavery Puzzle
1. George Bourne, Slavery Illustrated in Its Effects upon Women and Domestic Society (Boston, 1837), 27, 42–43.
2. James Henry Hammond, Two Letters on Slavery in the United States, Addressed to Thomas Clarkson (Columbia, S.C., 1845), rpt. in E. N. Elliott, Cotton is King … (Augusta, 1860), 657, 659.
3. Ibid., 637–39.
4. Ibid., 667–68.
5. Ibid., 649.
6. Ibid., 649–51.
7. Ibid., 643–46.
8. Ibid., 684–85.
9. Quoted in Drew Gilpin Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery (Baton Rouge, 1982), 102.
10. Quoted in ibid., 73.
11. The incident can be followed in Carol Bleser, ed., Secret and Sacred: The Diaries of James Henry Hammond, a Southern Slaveholder (New York, 1988), 17–19, 231–34; Hammond to Harry Hammond, February 19, 1856; Mrs. Hammond to William C. Hammond, July 2, 1851, James Hammond Papers, SC; Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, February 15, 1852, Hammond Papers, LC; Faust, Hammond, 86–87, 317–19.
12. Bleser, ed., Secret and Sacred, 213.
13. Ibid., 19.
14. Anne Middleton to N. R. Middleton, August 9, 1852, N. R. Middleton Papers, NC.
15. Many German citizens to Hammond, March 20, 1860, Hammond to Alexander H. Stephens, March 31, May 18, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC; Stephens to Hammond, April 8, 14, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
16. Hammond to W. M. Wightman, June 7, 1848, Hammond Papers, SCHS. The book in question was Henry B. Bascom’s Methodism and Slavery … (Frankfort, 1845). On Bascom, past president of Kentucky’s Transylvania University and future (1850) bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, see Moses H. Henkle, The Life of Henry Bidleman Bascom, D.D., LL.D. (Louisville, 1854).
17. Hammond to Beverley Tucker, November 12, 1847, Tucker-Coleman Papers, W&M. Readers of my discussion of Hammond’s distrust of Calhoun during gag rule times, Road 1: 317, will find illuminating Hammond’s other reason for saying no: He feared that the projected newspaper would become hitched to Calhoun’s political ambitions.
18. DBR 21 (1856): 92, 132.
19. John Bauskett (of Edgefield, South Carolina) to Iverson Brookes, April 19, 1851, Brookes Papers, NC.
20. John Pattillo (of Emory College) to James H. Thornwell, November 19, 1852, Thornwell Papers, SC.
21. William A. Smith, Lectures on the Philosophy and Practice of Slavery … (Nashville, 1856), esp. 17–20.
22. Smith to Henry Wise, May 26, 1857, Executive Papers, VSL. I am grateful to Wise’s biographer, Professor Craig Simpson, for calling this revealing letter to my attention.
23. George S. Sawyer, Southern Institutes … (Philadelphia, 1859), esp. 386.
Chapter 4. The Three Imperfect Solutions
1. Harvey Wish, George Fitzhugh: Protagonist of the Old South (Baton Rouge, 1943), is still the best biography, albeit on the wooden side. More fun is C. Vann Woodward’s introduction to George Fitzhugh, Cannibals All! or, Slaves Without Masters(Cambridge, Mass., 1968), vii–xxxix. The best discussion of Fitzhugh’s ideas is still Eugene Genovese, The World the Slaveholders Made: Two Essays in Interpretation (New York, 1969). In this early phase of his career, Genovese’s emphasis on the economic side of the proslavery argument for slavery per se (that is to say, for colorblind slavery, not for racial slavery) slighted the religious side of the nonracial argument, a problem that he and his wife have since abundantly corrected. Genovese has, I think, more persistently underemphasized the racial side of the proslavery argument, which in democratic (for white men) America had to be (and decidedly was) the predominant foundation of the polemics. As will be seen, Fitzhugh was here wonderfully an exception who proves the rule.
2. Quoted in Fitzhugh, Cannibals All, xxii.
3. Picture in Wish, Fitzhugh, frontispiece.
4. DBR 22 (1857): 423.
5. Ibid. 23 (1857): 347. See also RE, December 15, 1855.
6. DBR 23 (1857): 347; George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society (Richmond, 1854), 98.
7. DBR 22 (1857): 424 and 25 (1858): 663–64.
8. Ibid. 29 (1860): 153.
9. Ibid. 22 (1857): 421–22.
10. Ibid. 30 (1861): 400–401; Fitzhugh to George Holmes, March 27, 1855, Holmes Papers, DU.
11. DBR 22 (1857): 570–71; Fitzhugh, Sociology, 46.
12. Fitzhugh, Sociology, 246, 298.
13. Ibid., 94; Fitzhugh, Cannibals All, 104.
14. Ibid., 40.
15. DBR 25 (1858): 655–61; 30 (1861): 404; 23 (1857): 337–49, 449–60.
16. Fitzhugh, Sociology, 45.
17. Fitzhugh, Cannibals All, 199; DBR 22 (1857): 633–44, 23 (1857): 337–49.
18. Fitzhugh, Sociology, 84–88, 264.
19. Fitzhugh, Cannibals All, 199; RE, September 12, 1856.
20. Henry Cleveland, ed., Alexander Stephens … Letters and Speeches … (Philadelphia, 1866), 721–23; Liberator, October 26, 1860.
21. James H. Hammond, Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond of South Carolina (New York, 1866), 317–21.
22. Laurence M. Keitt, Address on Laying the Cornerstone of the Fire-Proof Building at Columbia, December 15, 1851 (Columbia, S.C., 1851). The secondary literature on proslavery racism is rich. My favorite is George M. Fredrickson, The Debate on the Afro-American Character and Destiny (New York, 1971), esp. 43–96. Superb on the colonial background of this overriding aspect of proslavery dialectics is Winthrop D. Jordan’s White over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550–1812 (Chapel Hill, 1968). Although not discussed here, the myth of Ham’s curse became an important part of racial proslavery. The pivotal example is Samuel Davies Baldwin, Dominion … (Nashville, 1858). Good historical analyses can be found in Thomas V. Peterson, Ham and Japeth in America … (Metuchen, N.J., 1978) and especially in Stephen R. Haynes, Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery (New York, 2002)—a book especially intriguing on Benjamin Morgan Palmer’s racism.
23. Liberator, October 26, 1860; DBR 23 (1857): 116.
24. DBR 11 (1851): 65–69; Fredrick Law Olmsted, A Journey Through the Seaboard States (New York, 1951), 191–92; James Denny Guillory, “The Pro-Slavery Arguments of Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright,” Louisiana History 9 (1968): 209–28.
25. The best biography is Reginald Horseman, Josiah Nott of Mobile: Southerner, Physician, and Racial Theorist (Chicago, 1960).
26. John Duffy, Sword of Pestilence: The New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1853 (Baton Rouge, 1966).
27. Quoted in Horseman, Nott, 147.
28. On the wider movement, see William Stanton’s beautifully written The Leopard’s Spots: Scientific Attitudes Toward Race in America, 1815–59 (Chicago, 1960), and Dana D. Nelson’s sophisticated National Manhood: Capitalist Citizenship and the Imagined Fraternity of White Men(Durham, N.C., 1998).
29. Josiah C. Nott, M.D., Two Lectures on the Natural History of the Caucasian and Negro Races (Mobil, 1844), conveniently reprinted in the best modern anthology of proslavery writings, Drew Gilpin Faust, ed., The Ideology of Slavery … (Baton Rouge, 1981), 206–38, esp. 232.
30. Nott, Two Lectures, 17–18; J. C. Nott and George R. Gliddon, Types of Mankind … (Philadelphia, 1854), 189.
31. Sawyer, Southern Institutes, 196; Daniel R. Hundley, Social Relations in Our Southern States (New York, 1860), 221.
32. William Howard Russell, My Diary North and South (shortened version of the 1963 edition, New York, 1988), 157.
33. George Fitzhugh to William Lloyd Garrison, December 10, 1856, Garrison Papers, Boston Public Library.
34. John Bachman, The Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race, Examined on the Principles of Science (Charleston, S.C., 1850), 210–11.
35. For a fuller discussion of Thornwell’s theology, documentation of his argument, and analysis of the secondary literature on this subject, see my “Defective Paternalism: James Henley Thornwell’s Mysterious Anti-Slavery Moment,” in Freehling, The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War (New York, 1994), 59–81 (text) and 281–87 (documentation). Since that book was published, Jack Maddox still has not given us his eagerly awaited volume, but we now have Eugene D. Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese’s long-anticipated The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview (New York, 2005). While nonprofessionals may find this dense analysis difficult, scholars will find the volume wide-ranging and rich. More accessible for nonscholars and equally important for scholars is Eugene Genovese’s pithy, pointed, brilliant A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South (Athens, Ga., 1998).
As Professor Genovese and I have mutually concluded (see Consuming Fire, 32–33, and Reintegration of American History, 286–87), despite our once seemingly irreconcilable clash over slaveholders’ “guilt,” we have come to some common grounds on a central aspect of southern unease: the unchristian practices of some slaveholders. I believe that those common grounds defeat the Genoveses’ contention that Southerners “won” the Bible clash over slavery or successfully rendered the abolitionists’ stress on the spirit of Christianity irrelevant. Rather, the slaveholders redefined the spirit of Christianity and then trembled that a just God might be consuming them with fire for failing to meet the standards of their own redefinition. For further discussion of this issue, see ch. 15.
One more comment is necessary to square my account with the Genoveses’ on the subject of antebellum southern Christianity. They have told me that Road 1 errs in omitting a crucial event in the breakdown of the Union before 1855—the splintering of national Protestant organizations into southern and northern churches. They are right.
36. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, The Life and Letters of James Henley Thornwell … (Richmond, 1875), 4.
37. Ibid., 47–48.
38. This and all Thornwell quotes on his theology in the subsequent paragraphs are from the preacher’s magnificent “Slavery and the Religious Instruction of the Colored Population,” Southern Presbyterian Review 4 (1850): 105–41, reprinted as a pamphlet, The Rights and Duties of Masters … (Charleston, S.C., 1850).
39. Ibid., 108.
Chapter 5. The Puzzling Future and the Infuriating Scapegoats
1. Thomas R. R. Cobb, An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery … (Philadelphia, 1858), 246.
2. DBR 26 (1859): 124–25.
3. Fitzhugh, Sociology, 171. See also 95, 211, 250.
4. Fitzhugh to George Holmes, April 4, 1855, Holmes Papers, DU; Fitzhugh to Gerrit Smith, August 14, 1850, February 25, November 29, 1855, Smith Papers, Syracuse University. Or as Fitzhugh privately summed up his publicly camouflaged opinion: “I am no friend of slavery or the slave trade,” which are but “necessary evils.” Fitzhugh to Jeremiah Black, May 6, 1857, Black Papers, LC.
5. Thornwell, “Slavery and the Religious Instruction,” 138–39.
6. Thornwell to R. J. Breckinridge, October 27, 1847, Palmer, Thornwell, 301.
7. DBR 19 (1855): 130; R. H. Taylor, “Humanizing the Slave Code of North Carolina,” North Carolina Historical Review 2 (1925): 323–31. Several of the Virginia petitions are in VSL, and a North Carolina petition is in the Harvard University Library.
8. CC, May 13–14, 1859.
9. “Falkland” in ibid., May 31, 1859.
10. Quoted in New Orleans True Delta, July 22, 1859.
11. CC, May 19, 1860.
12. Ibid., May 19, 30, 1860.
13. Diary of Henry Hughes, Typescript in Hughes Papers, MISS, entries for November 16, 1848, February 3, April 13, 1850. For useful overviews, see Stanford M. Lyman’s introduction to his edition of the Selected Writings of Henry Hughes … (Jackson, Miss., 1985), 1–70; and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Yankee Saints and Southern Sinners (Baton Rouge, 1985), 155–82. The best biography is Douglas Ambrose, Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South (Baton Rouge, 1996).
14. Henry Hughes, Treatise on Sociology, Theoretical and Practical (Philadelphia, 1854), 81, 145.
15. Ibid., 98, 106, 110, 166.
16. Ibid., 166–70, 220.
17. Ibid., 196ff.
18. Ibid., 207, 218–19, 243, 264.
19. Ibid., 239–40.
20. Ibid., 291.
21. Freehling, Road 1, part 3.
22. Smith, Lectures on Slavery, 14–15, 19–21, 40, 111, 123, 155–56, 182–87, 216, 246–47, 256. The A. W. Magnum Papers, NC, contain excellent notes on Smith’s lectures.
23. Richard Fuller, Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution … (Boston, 1847); Fuller, Our Duty to the African Race … (Baltimore, 1851), 7, 9, 14.
24. Alfred Taylor Bledsoe, An Essay on Liberty and Slavery (Philadelphia, 1857), 54, 139, 292.
25. E. S. Dargan to Robert M. T. Hunter, December 27, 1852, Garnett-Hunter Papers, VA. For some other illuminating examples of Deep South candor privately, see Henry McDonald to W. W. McLain, December 14, 1851, Alexander McBryde to McLain, January 30, February 16, 1858, American Colonization Society Papers, LC.
26. Stephen Elliott, Address to the 39th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Georgia (Savannah, 1861), esp. 9; Fredrika Bremer, The Homes of the New World …, 2 vols. (New York, 1853), 1: 328.
27. Charles Colcock Jones, The Religious Instruction of the Negroes in the United States (Savannah, 1842), 195; Thomas Smyth, The Christian Doctrine of Human Rights and Slaves (Columbia, S.C., 1849), 18–19.
28. Edward J. Pringle, Slavery in the Southern States (Cambridge, Mass., 1853), 3–5.
29. Ibid., 17, 32.
30. Ibid., 47.
31. Ibid., 26–27, 43–44.
32. Ibid., 18.
33. Ibid., 38, 44.
34. Ibid., 42, 50, 53.
35. On the important Stringfellow, we fortunately have a masterly essay: Drew Gilpin Faust, “Evangelicalism and the Meaning of the Proslavery Argument: The Reverend Thornton Stringfellow of Virginia,” VMHB 85 (1977): 3–17.
36. Thornton Stringfellow, Scriptural and Statistical Views in Favor of Slavery (Richmond, 1856), 23, 54–56, 146.
37. Faust, “Stringfellow,” 17.
Chapter 6. Bleeding Kansas and Bloody Sumner
1. This brief summary of the Kansas-Nebraska Act’s origins and passage is extensively discussed and detailed in Road 1: 536–60. I have yet to see any dispute of my contention that the law was not “Douglas’s.” But the myth lives on. Since my account was written, the best essay on an aspect of these matters is Yonotan Etal, “With Eyes Open: Stephen A. Douglas and the Kansas-Nebraska Disaster of 1854,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 91 (1998): 175–217.
2. Freehling, Road 1: 536–37.
3. Ibid., 197–210, 462–67.
4. Ibid., 541–49.
5. See Milton A. McLaurin, Celia: A Slave (Athens, Ga., 1991). In addition to McLaurin’s fine biography, the best recent histories of the Missouri/Kansas battleground in the 1850s include Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (Lawrence, Kans., 2004); Gunja SenGupta, For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas, 1854–1860 (Athens, Ga., 1966); and Christopher Phillips and Jason L. Pendleton, eds., The Union on Trial: The Political Journals of Judge William Barclay Napton, 1829–1883 (Columbia, Mo., 2005). In addition to coediting the superlative Napton document, Christopher Phillips wrote the penetrating introduction and has also published the best recent biography of a late antebellum Missourian, Missouri’s Confederate: Claiborne Jackson and the Creation of Southern Identity in the Border West (Columbia, Mo., 2000). I am grateful to Professor Phillips for his advice on many aspects of this book.
6. The following account of the Missouri vigilante uproar is based on the Atchison, Kansas, Squatter Sovereignty; on the very important Frederick Starr, Jr., Papers, MOHS, C; and on a trio of good MOHR articles: Milton E. Bierbaum, “Frederick Starr, a Missouri Border Abolitionist: The Making of a Martyr,” 58 (1964): 309–25; Lester B. Baltimore, “Benjamin F. Stringfellow: The Fight for the Missouri Border,” 62 (1968): 14–29; and Roy V. Magers, “The Raid on the Parkville Industrial Luminary,” 30 (1935): 39–46.
7. The best biography is still William E. Parrish, David Rice Atchison: Border Politician (Columbia, Mo., 1961).
8. B. F. Stringfellow, Negro Slavery, No Evil … (St. Louis, 1854); Squatter Sovereignty, February 3, 1855.
9. On this crucial theme, the classic study is Nye, Fettered Freedom. Clement Eaton, The Freedom of Thought Struggle in the Old South (New York, 1964), is also invaluable.
10. See one of the better Genovese polemical outbursts: Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism (New York, 1983), 181, 207.
11. H. Miles Moore Diary, entries for July 20, 23, 1854, YU.
12. Starr vividly reports the incident in letters to his father, October 18, 30, November 29, December 29, 1854, February 20, 1855, Starr Papers, MOHS, C.
13. On the controversy over Stringfellow’s speech, see Starr to his father, August 2, 3, 8, 1854, Starr Papers, MOHS, C.
14. Liberty Tribune, November 10, 1854.
15. J. F. Grace to Thomas Settle, December 10, 1854, Settle Papers, NC.
16. Louise Berry, “The New England Emigrant Aid Company Parties of 1854” and “The New England Emigrant Aid Parties of 1855,” Kansas Historical Quarterly 12 (1943): 115–55, 227–68; Samuel A. Johnson, The Battle Cry of Freedom: The New England Emigrant Aid Company in the Kansas Crusade (Westport, Conn., 1977).
17. Atchison to Jefferson Davis, September 24, 1854, Davis Papers, DU.
18. Newspaper clipping of Atchison’s speech in Starr Papers, MOHS, C. Useful on all aspects of the Kansas affairs are James A. Rawley, Race and Politics: “Bleeding Kansas” and the Coming of the Civil War (Philadelphia, 1969), and James Malin, “The Proslavery Background of the Kansas Struggle,” MVHR 10 (1923): 285–305.
19. F. P. Blair, Jr., Remarks of F. P. Blair, Jr., … Upon …the Senatorial Election (n.p., n.d. ), pamphlet in MOHS, SL.
20. G. W. Goode, Speech of …February 1, 1855 (Jefferson City, Mo., 1855).
21. St. Louis Democrat, January 12, 1855.
22. Jefferson (Mo.) Examiner, February 21, 1855.
23. Quoted in Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union, 2 vols. (New York, 1947), 2: 385. Nevins’s Ordeal plus his two-volume Emergence of Lincoln remain the best multivolume work on the coming of the Civil War, superseded in places but highly readable and very informative. The best single-volume treatment is still David Potter’s magnificent The Impending Crisis, 1846–1861 (New York, 1976).
24. Atchison to Robert M. T. Hunter, February 4, 1855, in Charles H. Ambler, ed., “Correspondence of Robert M. T. Hunter, 1826–1876,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1916, 2 vols. (Washington, 1916), 1: 160.
25. Stringfellow quoted in Alice Nichols, Bleeding Kansas (New York, 1954), 38–39; Atchison to the editor of the Atlanta (Ga.) Examiner, December 15, 1855; CM, January 12, 1856.
26. Magers, “Raid on Parkville,” 40.
27. Moore Diary, entry for May 17, 1855, YU.
28. William Phillips, The Conquest of Kansas by Missouri and Her Allies (Boston, 1856), 47–48.
29. St. Louis Democrat, January 16, 1857.
30. Norma Lois Peterson, Freedom and Franchise: The Political Career of B. Gratz Brown (Columbia, Mo., 1965).
31. B. Gratz Brown, Speech of …February 12, 1857 (Jefferson City, Mo., 1857); James B. Gardenhire, Speech of … October 28, 1857 … (Jefferson City, Mo., 1857).
32. Jefferson City Examiner, February 21, 1857.
33. Benton to J. B. Brant, February 13, 1857, in ibid., April 18, 1857.
34. This qualified response was particularly likely in the Upper South. See, for example, Louisville Journal, May 28, 1856; Wilmington (N.C.) Herald, May 26, 1856.
35. For the oration, see Charles Sumner, Kansas Affairs: Speech … in the Senate of the United States, May 19, 1856 (New York, 1856). David Donald, Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War (New York, 1960), remains the best biography. Donald may blame Sumner’s extended absence too much on psychosomatic illness. But he makes a case for his debatable angle, and his beautifully written portrait will aid even partial critics. Also helpful on the national importance of this incident are William E. Gienapp, “The Crime Against Sumner: The Caning of Charles Sumner and the Rise of the Republican Party,” CWH 25 (1979): 218–45; Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s, 194–96; and Michael D. Pierson, “All Southern Society is Assailed by the Foulest Charges: Charles Sumner’s ‘The Crime Against Kansas’ and the Escalation of Republican Antislavery Rhetoric,” New England Quarterly 68 (1995): 531–57.
36. CM, February 12, 1856. The great biography of Brooks has yet to be written; it will demonstrate the more personal reasons why the assailant exuded South Carolina’s more general hot-and-cold aggressiveness. The materials for such a biographical foray are rich, for Brooks had a long track record of aborted affairs of honor—and of extremism mixed with extreme (for a South Carolina hotspur) moderation. A start on this assignment is made in Robert Neil Mathias, “Preston Smith Brooks: The Man and His Image,” SCHM 79 (1978): 296–310.
On the Southern cult of honor that partially drove Preston Brooks, see Bertram Wyatt-Brown’s classic Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York, 1982), usefully supplemented by Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor and Slavery (Princeton, 1996). While I find the “honor” concept helpful, I think some of its proponents stretch the usefulness overly far when they ignore the many other aspects of the slavery issue that fueled “the fury of the southern soul” and indeed fueled the honor concept itself. The quoted phrase is Professor Wyatt-Brown’s in his latest and most sophisticated articulation of his partially compelling emphasis. Wyatt-Brown, “The Ethic of Honor in National Crises: The Civil War, Vietnam, Iraq, and the Southern Factor,” Journal of the Historical Society 5 (2005): 431–60.
37. Preston Brooks to Ham (his brother), May 23, 1856, Brooks Family Papers, SC. My account of the caning is drawn from this letter and from Alleged Assault upon Senator Sumner (House Report No. 182, 34 Cong., 1 sess.).
38. Emerson and Sumner quoted in Donald, Sumner, 297, 311.
Chapter 7. The Scattering of the Ex-Whigs
1. For a full-scale demonstration and discussion of these themes, see Freehling, Road 1: 560–63 and passim. For a slightly different slant and a monumental narrative, see Holt, American Whig Party.
2. A series of fine books on this temporarily crucial northern activist movement have together been a high point of American political history in recent decades. Among the best are Holt, Political Crisis; William E. Gienapp, Origins of the Republican Party, 1852–1856 (New York, 1987); Ronald P. Formisano, The Birth of Mass Political Parties: Michigan, 1827–61 (Princeton, 1971) and The Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1790–1840s (New York, 1983); Joel H. Silbey, The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 (Stanford, 1991); and John Mulkhearn, The Know-Nothing Party in Massachusetts: The Rise and Fall of a People’s Movement (Boston, 1990).
3. The best overall study of Southern Know-Nothingism remains W. Darrell Overdyke, The Know-Nothing Party in the South (Baton Rouge, 1950). Still, a Southwide update is a pressing assignment for antebellum southern political historians. A preview of the themes and importance of such a book appears in by far the best state study, Jean H. Baker, Ambivalent Americans: The Know-Nothing Party in Maryland (Baltimore, 1970). Also perhaps prophetic of enlightened treatments to come are Erik B. Alexander, “‘The Democracy Must Prepare for Battle’: Know-Nothingism in Alabama and Southern Politics, 1851–1859,” Southern Historian 27 (2006): 23–37, and Anthony Gene Carey, Politics, Slavery, and the Union in Antebellum Georgia (Athens, Ga., 1997), ch. 7. My own discussion is based on such rich sources as the Savannah Daily Republican, Mobile Daily Advertiser, New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, Baltimore Clipper, and RS.
4. Mobile Daily Advertiser, August 3, 1856.
5. Savannah Daily Republican, August 4, 1855.
6. Baltimore Clipper, January 2, 1857.
7. Skillfully recounted in Baker, Ambivalent Americans.
8. The best account of this turning point is in one of the best biographies of an antebellum Southerner: Craig M. Simpson, A Good Southerner: The Life of Henry A. Wise of Virginia (Chapel Hill, 1985), 106–18.
9. Freehling, Road 1: 162–77, 511–15.
10. William Kenneth Scarborough, ed., The Diary of Edmond Ruffin, 3 vols. (Baton Rouge, 1972–89), 1: 405; Beverley Tucker to James Hammond, February 8, 1850, Hammond Papers, LC. For a more favorable image of Wise on the stump in 1855, see RE, February 24, 1855.
11. Flourney’s acceptance letter was published in a colorful volume on this campaign: James P. Hambleton, ed., A Biographical Sketch of Henry A. Wise, with a History of the Political Campaign in Virginia in 1855 (Richmond, 1856), 170.
12. RE, April 12, 1855.
13. Wise to his wife, March 14, 23, 1855, Wise Family Papers, VHS.
14. RE, April 2, 1855.
15. Ibid., January 17, 1855.
16. Albert Gallatin Brown to J. F. H. Clairborne, March 29, 1855, Clairborne Papers, MISS.
17. Quoted in Gienapp, Origins of the Republican Party, 182.
18. Quoted in ibid., 181, 183.
19. Quoted in ibid., 301.
Chapter 8. James Buchanan’s Precarious Election
1. Phillip Shriver Klein, President James Buchanan: A Biography (University Park, Pa., 1962), 100. Klein’s is the best full biography, but a more up-to-date study, sympathetic yet critical, might better capture this crucial figure.
2. Freehling, Road 1: 537.
3. Note how often Miss Hetty (Esther Parker) suffuses Klein’s biography and sounds like a favorite “darkie.” A study of Anglo-American upper-class paternalism is badly needed and would at last put the Old South’s nonmonopoly on this class relationship in perspective.
4. Klein, Buchanan, 149–50.
5. Freehling, Road 1:324–36.
6. For a choice example, see C. C. Clay, Jr., to C. C. Clay, Sr., June 7, 1856, Clay Papers, DU.
7. The finest monograph on Buchanan’s election and administration is still Roy Franklin Nichols, The Disruption of American Democracy (New York, 1948).
8. Klein, Buchanan, 257–58.
9. Wise’s call, dated September 15, 1856, survives in the Executive Letterbook, VSL.
10. For an extremist’s telling commentary on the (lamented) lack of committees of correspondence, see James A. Nisbet to John B. Lamar, July 27, 1856, Howell Cobb Papers, GA.
11. Gienapp, Origins of the Republican Party, is at its best on the coalition in 1856, thus increasing the tragedy that this superlative historian died prematurely, before he could finish his sequel on the 1860 election. Also very fine on Republicanism’s varied factions is Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (New York, 1970).
12. Quoted in Foner, Free Soil, 120.
13. Quoted in ibid., 271.
14. William Goode to E. W. Hubard, July 20, 1856, Hubard Papers, NC.
15. RE, October 20, 1856.
16. Mrs. Howell Cobb to Lamar Cobb, October 13, 1860, Howell Cobb Papers, DU. A fine biography of Howell Cobb has yet to be written, despite the importance of the man and the voluminous quantities of his surviving letters. For now, the best foray is still John Eddins Simpson, Howell Cobb: The Politics of Ambition (Chicago, 1973).
17. Howell Cobb to Mrs. Cobb, June 6, 1857, Cobb Papers, GA.
18. Mary Anne Lamar Cobb to Virginia C. T. Clay, February 5, 1860, Clement C. Clay Papers, DU; Kate Thompson to Howell Cobb, n.d. [late 1850s], Cobb Papers, GA; Varina Davis to James Buchanan, December 25, 1860, Buchanan Papers, HSP.
Chapter 9. The President-Elect as the Dred Scotts’ Judge
1. This is the thesis of the best study of the decision, Don E. Fehrenbacher, The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics (New York, 1978), esp. 3, 5. The partially distorted thesis aside, Fehrenbacher’s is a superb volume, especially fine for placing the case in a sweeping chronological perspective.
2. Quoted in a good biography, John P. Frank, Justice Daniel Dissenting: A Biography of Phillip V. Daniel, 1784–1860 (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), 246.
3. Quoted in Frank Otto Gatell, “John Catron,” in The Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 1789–1869 …, ed. Leon Friedman and Fred L. Israel, 4 vols. (New York, 1969), 1: 748. With no full-scale biography available, Professor Gatell’s excellent short sketch is our best portrait.
4. Quoted in Freehling, Road 1: 461.
5. SQR 12 (1847): 134. Campbell is the subject of the best biography of any of the associate judges: Robert Saunders, Jr., John Archibald Campbell, Southern Moderate, 1811–1889 (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1997).
6. Quoted in the best biography of Taney: Carl Brent Swisher, Roger B. Taney (New York, 1935), 517.
7. SQR 12 (1847): 134.
8. Quoted in Swisher, Taney, 518. I italicize at the time of to dispel the important misunderstanding that Taney’s manumission of his slaves, because it occurred almost forty years earlier, was irrelevant to his opinion at the time of Dred Scott. “Whatever moral conviction may have inspired” Taney’s manumissions, erroneously writes Don Fehrenbacher, “it does not appear again in his … private correspondence.” Fehrenbacher, Dred Scott, 560n. The private letter to Nott in 1857 belies that sentence. Fehrenbacher’s next sentence, that “by 1857” Taney “had become as fanatical in his determination to protect the institution as Garrison was in his determination to destroy it,” becomes correct if we add five crucial words—“from northern holier-than-thous”: By 1857, Taney had become as fanatical in his determination to protect the institution from northern holier-than-thous as Garrison was in his determination to destroy it.
9. SQR 12 (1847): 133–35.
10. James M. Wayne, “Address of the Hon. James M. Wayne…January 17th, 1854,” Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the American Colonization Society (Washington, 1854), 33–42. The best biography of Wayne is Alexander A. Lawrence, James Moore Wayne, Southern Unionist (Chapel Hill, 1943).
11. On this important point, see Lea Vander Velde and Sandya Subramanian, “Mrs. Dred Scott,” Yale Law Journal 106 (1997): 1033–120.
12. Fehrenbacher, Dred Scott, 323–34, argues that a Court majority could be found against black citizenship. But the strained nature of his argument shows why the Court preferred to choose between the two decisions that could be reached without strain: for the Missouri law or against the Missouri Compromise.
13. The originals of all the judges’ letters to Buchanan discussed in the text are in the Buchanan Papers, HSP, and published in Phillip Auchampaugh, “James Buchanan, the Court and the Dred Scott Decision,” Tennessee Historical Magazine 9 (1926): 231–40. These letters, offering an unusual glimpse inside the Court’s private debate on a crucial case, can be usefully supplemented by Benjamin R. Curtis’s recollections in A Memoir of Benjamin Robbins Curtis …, 2 vols. (Boston, 1879), 1: 234–35; by Campbell’s and Nelson’s recollections in Samuel Tyler, Memoir of Roger B. Taney (Baltimore, 1872), 382–85; and by Campbell’s still later recollections in Campbell to George Curtis, October 30, 1879, Campbell-Colton Papers, NC.
14. This is my best guess at the solution to a minor mystery—why James Buchanan erroneously assumed, in his Inaugural Address, that the Court would rule against emancipation not only by Congress but also by a territorial legislature. According to Don Fehrenbacher’s alternative guess, Buchanan obtained a copy of Taney’s written opinion, which as published contained a few sentences on a territorial legislature’s power, before the March 4 inaugural. That guess seems to me shaky because Taney was still scribbling right up to his March 6 oral opinion, because he continued to scribble for weeks before filing his written opinion, and because we do not know whether the few sentences in question were in the oral opinion.
I prefer the guess that Buchanan misunderstood the elastic Catron line, “whatever you wish may be accomplished.” Until this moment, Buchanan and Catron had perfectly understood each other. Furthermore, Catron, Buchanan’s crony, knew exactly what Buchanan wished, and Buchanan knew that he knew. So upon hearing from Catron that “whatever you wish may be accomplished,” Buchanan could have thought that his dearest wish, that the Court would sweep away every aspect of the controversy, would be accomplished. Still, this theory can only be a guess, for the surviving evidence is incomplete, lacking especially Buchanan’s letters to the justices.
15. The dating of the judges’ decisions in my narrative differs from some versions, and the dating is crucial, to establish the possibility that Buchanan’s intervention mattered. According to some interpreters, the southern judges surrendered to Nelson on the first day of conference, February 14, and then took back the surrender sometime before February 19. If so, Buchanan’s intrusion on Grier’s mailbox, which occurred on February 23, would have transpired at least four days too late to matter.
But the notion that the Court decided Nelson’s way on February 14 is based entirely on Catron’s erroneous prediction, on February 10, that the matter would on the fourteenth be decided. So too, the notion that the Court decided to repudiate Nelson beforeFebruary 19 is based entirely on Catron’s letter to Buchanan of that date. But that letter too contains only a prediction (“a majority of my brethren will be forced up to this point”). Still more important, Grier’s letter of February 23 to Buchanan exudes a decision as yet unmade but now, after reception of Buchanan’s letter, a decision hastily in the process of being made.
Straightening out the dating does not itself establish the importance of Buchanan’s intervention. But I am pleased that Roy Nichols and Allan Nevins share my guess that Buchanan’s intervention did matter. Nevins’s subtle account of this case, while shaky on the dates, is especially fine on the uncertainty of whether the five Southerners heard, or only thought they heard, the two northern non-Democrats’ threat to issue opinions affirming the constitutionality of congressional territorial emancipation. Nichols, Disruption of American Democracy, 78; Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln, 2 vols. (New York, 1950), 1: 90–118, 2: 473–77.
16. Taney’s decision and the associate judges’ concurring and dissenting opinions can be found in Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sandford, 19 Howard 393 (1857).
Chapter 10. The Climactic Kansas Crisis
1. The 1857 Lecompton Convention that wrote a proposed proslavery constitution illustrated the irrelevance of the number of slaveholders. All fifty-two voting delegates sought an enslaved state. Only seven owned slaves. Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas, 151.
2. CC, September 5, 1857; RS, July 21, 1857; NOD, July 14, 1854.
3. NOD, March 14, October 20, 1857; RS, May 2, 1857; RE, September 12, 1856.
4. Montgomery Advertiser, June 14, 1856; RE, April 14, 1856.
5. Alexander Stephens to Thomas Thomas, January 16, 1857, Stephens Papers, DU.
6. Ruffin in CM, May 13, 1857; New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, September 18, 1857.
7. Lower South newspapers often contained this Buford appeal; see, for example, Montgomery Advertiser, December 6, 1855; CM, February 4, 1856; DBR 21 (1856): 187–94.
8. Montgomery Journal, April 7, 1856; Washington National Intelligencer, April 12, 1856; Walter L. Fleming, “The Buford Expedition to Kansas,” AHR 6 (1900): 38–48.
9. On Brown’s expectations when Kansas-Nebraska was passed, see his U.S. Senate speech of December 1856 in M. W. Cluskey, ed., The Speeches, Messages, and Other Writings of the Hon. Albert G. Brown … (New York, 1859), 498. Brown’s initial appeal, dated November 24, 1855, appeared throughout the South; see St. Louis Democrat, January 3, 1856; and Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, December 11, 1855.
10. CS, June 25, 1856.
11. Ibid., June 15, 1856; Savannah Georgian, September 4, 1856; Robert F. W. Allston Papers, January–February 1856, SCHS.
12. Aberdeen Sunny South, September 18, 1856.
13. Ibid., October 30, 1856.
14. CS, July 23, 1856.
15. James P. Shenton, Robert John Walker: A Politician from Jackson to Lincoln (New York, 1961); Freehling, Road 1: 418–24.
16. Walker’s inaugural is in Kansas Historical Society Transactions (Topeka, 1890), 5: 328–41.
17. Freehling, Road 1: 190–93.
18. CM, June 9, 27, 1857; Jackson Mississippian, July 1, 1857; Francis Pickens to Buchanan, August 5, 1857, Buchanan Papers, HSP.
19. Walker to Buchanan, October 3, 1856, Buchanan Papers, HSP.
20. CC, February 9, 1858.
21. While partisanship had its role in this vicious Lower South ex-Whig attack, the assault also reads to me as sincere conviction that the Democracy was at last showing its hypocritical colors. See in particular the late 1857 files of the Mobile Daily Advertiserand its running war with the Democracy’s Mobile Daily Register.
22. Howell Cobb to John B. Lamar, July 10, 1857, in R. P. Brooks, ed., “Howell Cobb Papers,” GHQ 6 (1922), 235–36.
23. Lucius Q. C. Lamar to Howell Cobb, July 17, 1857, Cobb Papers, GA, partially printed in P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 405–6. The Cobb Papers contain other Southern Democrats’ letters in Lamar’s vein.
24. Cobb to Lamar, July 27, 1857, Robert Walker Papers, New York Historical Society.
25. Lawrence (Kans.) Herald of Freedom, October 10, 24, 31, 1857.
26. On Martin’s mission and the Cobb/Thompson letters, see 36 Cong., 1 sess., House Report No. 448, 103, 110–14, 157–71, 314–23.
27. The whole text of the Lecompton Constitution is in Washington National Intelligencer, December 7, 1857.
28. 36 Cong., 1 sess., House Report No. 448, 318–19.
29. Buchanan to Walker, July 12, 1857, ibid., 112–13.
30. Kenneth M. Stampp cogently defends the alternative guess about Buchanan’s possibilities in the Lecompton Controversy in America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink (New York, 1995).
I guess against the probability that Buchanan could have changed history in the Lecompton Convention tale, but for that probability in the so-called Dred Scott Decision, largely because of the difference between private Court deliberations and public political brawls. The Lecompton delegates were frontier ruffians who had been playing a desperate game for Kansas. They seem to me unlikely to have renounced a last wild fling of the dice, whatever a president said. So too, Lower South Democrats such as Cobb seem to me unlikely to insist to an almighty state convention, whatever a president thought, lest their ex-Whig opponents convict them of disloyalty to true-blue southern principle.
The Supreme Court judges in private chambers, on the other hand, had none of the Kansas conventioneers’ live-or-die stake in throwing down a particular decree. They also had none of the southern public politicians’ peril of being trapped in a demonstration of “disloyalty.” They thus seem to me more capable of stepping reluctantly, privately, and silently away from their preferred decision—and more in need of a president-elect’s counsel to stride for (they thought) glory.
31. For the Lecompton and Topeka votes, see Rawley, Race and Politics, 232–33.
32. Recounted with the dramatic flair I admire in Nevins, Emergence of Lincoln 1: 253.
33. Quoted in ibid., 258.
34. John Letcher to Gideon Cameron, February 9, 1859, Cameron Papers, WVU.
35. T.R.R. Cobb to Howell Cobb, March 24, 1858, Howell Cobb Papers, GA.
36. Graphic descriptions are in CM, February 8, 1856; Alexander Stephens to Linton Stephens, February 5, 1858, SP, M; J. Holt Merchant, Jr., “Laurence M. Keitt, South Carolina Fire-Eater” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 1976), 167–68.
37. See CG, 35 Cong., 1 sess., 1258–65, for the final Senate maneuvering and vote.
38. See ibid., 1435–45, for the climactic House maneuvering and vote.
39. CM, April 5, 1858.
41. Guy M. Bryan to his brother, May 6, 1858, Bryan Papers, TX.
42. The tale of the English Bill is accurately rendered in Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas, 179–84.
43. C. C. Woolworth to Calvin Wiley, May 20, 1857, Wiley Papers, NC.
44. New Orleans Courier, August 15, 1857.
Chapter 11. Caribbean Delusions
1. New York Morning News, February 7, 1845; Julius Pratt, “John L. O’Sullivan and Manifest Destiny,” New York History 14 (1933): 213–34. The term “Manifest Destiny” seems to have originated not with O’Sullivan or a southern male but with a lady who wrote for O’Sullivan. See the intriguing detective work in Linda S. Hudson, Mistress of Manifest Destiny: A Biography of Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, 1807–1878 (Austin, 2001). The best study of the nationalistic origins of what only later became a slaveholders’ movement is still Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalistic Expansionism in American History (Baltimore, 1935).
2. New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, April 2, 1858; Rhett in CM, July 7, 1859; Tucker in RE, November 13, 1854.
3. John Bassett Moore, ed., The Works of James Buchanan, 12 vols. (Philadelphia, 1908–11), 10: 173–75.
4. CG, 33 Cong., 2 sess., House Executive Document No. 93.
5. Alexander Stephens to Linton Stephens, February 28, 1858, SP, M.
6. The best writer on the filibusterers, Robert E. May, has doubled our pleasure with The Southern Dream of a Caribbean Empire, 1854–1861 (Athens, Ga., 1989) and Manifest Destiny’s Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum America (Chapel Hill, 2002). Professor May might have better sorted out the socio-psychological causes of the movement, particularly in New Orleans. But he has found and presented a rich array of data.
7. The first requirement for studying nineteenth-century New Orleans, as for researching Old Charleston, is to visit the twenty-first-century city. Even Katrina has barely touched the rich nineteenth-century remains of the original Crescent City, just as Old Charleston has survived terrible hurricanes. I write about the pleasure and profit of the tourist mode of researching those urban pasts in “Charleston’s Battery and New Orleans’ Jackson Square,” in American Places …, ed. William E. Leuchtenburg (New York, 2000), 145–56.
Among the many New Orleans literary remains that confirm and add to what the traveler can still see, my favorites include Charles Mackay, Life and Liberty in America …, 2 vols. (London, 1859), 1: 271; Frederick Law Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (New York, 1856), 587, 594–96; Henry A. Murray, Lands of the Slave and the Free (London, 1855), 248 ff.; Wilham Kingsford, Impressions of the South and West … (Toronto, 1858), 57ff.; William T. Sherman, Home Letters … (New York, 1909), letters of February 11, November 4, 1852; Russell, My Diary North and South, 227–31; NOD, February 15, 1856, September 18, 1858; Baltimore American, February 8, 1860; A. R. Reed Diary, entries for December 9–19, 1860, Tulane University Library; John Norris to My Dear Friends, January 13, 1847, Norris Papers, LSU; Memorandum dated June 20, 1848, William S. Cooper Letterbook, TN; William Campbell to David Campbell, December 6, 1853, William Campbell to Mrs. William Campbell, January 7, 1854, David Campbell Papers, DU; James Johnston Pettigrew to James C. Johnston, February 15, 1853, Pettigrew Papers, NC; John Manning to his wife, March 4, 1851, Williams-Chesnut-Manning Papers, SC.
8. Thomas R. R. Cobb to William Mitchell, July 9, 1858, Cobb Papers, GA; C. C. Clay, Jr., to C. C. Clay, Sr., December 11, 1858, Clay Papers, DU.
9. Baltimore American, February 8, 1860.
10. To read the New Orleans newspapers of the 1850s, and especially the Delta, is to feel the omnipotence of this quest to replace the Mississippi River commerce, partially seized by northern seaboard cities and their railroads, with a Gulf commercial empire, integrated into the United States. This central New Orleans motive for financing and publicizing filibustering is almost as if copied from crude Marxist polemics about commercial imperialism, which makes curious the fact that the several fine Marxist southern historians have largely missed the phenomenon. Excellent (although obscure) exceptions (and perhaps not even Marxists) are Richard Tansey, “Southern Expansionism: Urban Interests in the Cuban Filibusters,” PS 1 (1979): 227–51; C. Stanley Urban, “The Idea of Progress and Southern Imperialism: New Orleans and the Caribbean, 1845–1861” (Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1943); Urban, “The Ideology of Southern Imperialism: New Orleans and the Caribbean, 1845–1860,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 39 (1956): 48–73.
Instead of following the (Marxist-compatible) lead that Stanley Urban exhaustively documented and that Tansey has skillfully elaborated, Marxist historians, led by Eugene Genovese, have seen some alleged rural economic crisis, supposedly caused by the inefficiency of plantation slave labor, as the root of late antebellum southern passion for fresh land. But as Robert May points out, little evidence for any such motive survives in the sources on filibustering (indeed, little evidence that filibusterers had any intention of finding fresh land to farm). Genovese, The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South (New York, 1965); Robert E. May, “Epilogue to the Missouri Compromise: The South, the Balance of Power, and the Tropics in the 1850s,” PS 1 (1979): 201–25.
Additionally, I see little reason to think that rural Southerners of the 1850s feared economic crisis, not in the midst of the boom they were experiencing, especially not in the midst of the wildest boom of them all, in the Louisiana delta. The economic compulsion in the rural Southwest during the 1850s was to find the new labor to work the excess of virgin land. Economic despondency only afflicted the South Carolinians (who tended to be against Caribbean expansion, as we will see)—and that real economic proponent of filibustering, the New Orleans mercantile community.
As Robert May again accurately notes, the major slaveholder impulse behind filibustering was nothing directly economic but rather desire to protect slavery politically in the Union. The parallel with the major impulse behind the Kansas fling is obvious. Still, protecting slaves had a major economic aspect, for the pecuniary stake in saving this huge economic system was immense. Here I find myself back where I began. In my first book, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816–1836 (New York, 1966), I urged that the economic impulse behind nullification was not so much lowering the tariff as sustaining investments in slaves. That same indirect economic concern fortified the primarily political impulses behind the territorial issue, whether in Kansas or the Caribbean.
11. New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, May 6, 1850; NOD, October 31, 1855; New Orleans Crescent, February 18, 1858.
12. My research here confirmed Robert May’s masterful analyses in Underworld, ch. 4, esp. 104ff.
13. NOD, June 14, 1854.
14. Jefferson Davis, Speeches … Summer … 1858 (Baltimore, 1859), 27–28; John Bell in CG, 35 Cong., 2 sess., Appendix, 1344. Davis, like many Southerners, was dubious not so much about annexing Cuba as about seizing it by filibustering and admitting it to the Union instead of establishing a protectorate over the island.
15. Matthew F. Maury, The Amazon, and the Atlantic Slopes of South America (Washington, 1853).
16. Mary B. Blackford to Mathew F. Maury, n.d. [December 1851], Maury Papers, LC.
17. Maury to Bickford, December 24, 1851, Maury Papers, LC.
18. Frank Blair, Jr., to Frank Blair, Sr., October 22, 1858, Blair-Lee Papers, Princeton University.
19. Frank Blair, Jr., The Destiny of the Races of the Continent (Washington, 1859).
20. RE, March 2, 1859; Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, May 24, 1859.
21. Laurence Keitt, Speech … April 16, 1855 (n.p., n.d. [Columbia, S.C., 1855]); Rhett in CM, July 7, 1859.
22. May, Southern Dream, 203–5. Among the hundreds of examples: James Gadsden to James Hammond, October 25, 1858, Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, April 8, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC; CM, March 10, 31, 1859.
23. CS, October 12, November 7, 1854.
24. Calhoun quoted in May, Southern Dream, 15; James Gadsden to James Hammond, May 20, 1858, Hammond Papers, LC; Francis Sumter to James Chesnut, Jr., February 2, 1859, Chesnut-Manning-Miller Papers, SC.
25. Lewis Ayer, Southern Rights and the Cuban Question (Columbia, S.C., 1855).
26. NOD, May 10, 1856. See also March 16, 30, 1859.
27. Davis, Speeches … Summer … 1858, 27–28; Aberdeen Sunny South, April 16, 1857.
28. Buchanan quoted in May, Southern Dream, 114. For the decisive congressional votes, see CG, 35 Cong., 2 sess., 318.
29. On López we have a fine book: Tom Chaplin, Fatal Glory: Narciso López and the First Clandestine War Against Cuba (Charlottesville, 1996).
30. Henry M. Spofford to Lucy Petway Holcomb Pickens, June 19, 1855, Francis Pickens Papers, DU.
31. Walker to Charles J. Jenkins, September 2, 1857, copy in M. B. Lamar Papers, Texas State Archives and Library.
32. Good on these aspects of Walker is Amy S. Greenberg, Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire (New York, 2005).
33. RS, June 23, 1857; Aberdeen Sunny South, July 1, 1858. See also Augusta Constitutionalist, July 7, 1857, and Albert Z. Carr, The World and William Walker (New York, 1963).
34. On this most important, most southern, and, paradoxically, most Yankee of southern filibusterers, we are blessed with the most telling batch of private letters, Quitman Papers, MISS, nicely supplemented by the Quitman Papers, Harvard University, and the best biography, by, no surprise, Robert E. May, John Quitman: Old South Crusader (Baton Rouge, 1985).
35. Monmouth is another antebellum Southern phenomenon that is best seen with one’s own eyes; fortunately, it is now impeccably restored and a public hotel.
36. Freehling, Road 1: 525–28.
37. Quitman to B. F. Dill, n.d [late 1854], Quitman Papers, MISS; John S. Thrasher to J. J. Pettigrew, December 7, 1855, Pettigrew Papers, NC.
38. NOD, January 15, May 23, 1854.
39. RE, May 26, 1854; Baltimore Republican, May 16, 1854; New Orleans Courier, November 26, 1854.
40. The many examples of such letters to Quitman in the Quitman Papers, MISS, include missives from H. Forno (February 9, 1855), John S. Ford (June 5, 1854), W. M. Estelle (May 26, 1854), and J. W. Lesesne (June 6, 1854).
41. New Orleans Crescent, June 27, July 2, July 4, 1854.
Chapter 12. Reopening the African Slave Trade
1. Freehling, Road 1: 135–38.
The movement to reopen the African slave trade almost always receives short shrift in accounts of the coming of the Civil War. The reason: The radicalism never captured anything close to a southern majority and thus allegedly must be considered an antebellum sideshow. But by that reasoning, secessionism, also never commanding a majority until Lincoln “coerced” the disunionists, also must be considered a sideshow. The point is that a disunionist minority ultimately made majoritarian history (as minorities often do). While antissecessionists sometimes wished to reopen the African slave trade, the movement was primarily the secessionists’, as was nothing else. (Caribbean expansionism, for example, was most often seen as an alternative to disunion.) Thus the reopening campaign offers the best window into the (minority) mentality that would ultimately make a revolution. Something so analytically valuable deserves central consideration.
The best book on the reopeners’ movement remains Ronald Takaki’s excellent A Pro-Slavery Crusade: The Agitation to Reopen the African Slave Trade (New York, 1971). I believe that Professor Takaki overemphasizes southern “guilt” about slavery. But then again, I believe that the same overemphasis weakens my Prelude to Civil War. I also now believe that our inspiring mutual teacher, Charles Sellers, Jr., took this argument somewhat too far in his pathbreaking “The Travail of Slavery,” in The Southerner as American, ed. Sellers (Chapel Hill, 1960), ch. 3.
That slaveholders’ own unease (I now like that word better than “guilt”) accounts for part of their mentality and action is now more or less accepted, even by those who once fought the “Sellerites” tooth and nail. This ex-Sellerite, in turn, thinks that the believers somewhat underestimated the Christian sources of unease and somewhat overplayed the republican sources and that divisions between southern races, classes, and regions, more than divisions inside the slaveholder mentality, accounted for the culture’s internal turmoil—and for the movement to reopen the African slave trade.
2. The following biographical sketch is gleaned from A. W. Cockrell, Jr., “Descendants of Thomas ‘Kanana’ Spratt,” unpublished ms in SC; Memphis Daily Appeal, September 12, 1857; CC, January 12, 1861.
3. NOD, November 17, 1858.
4. CS, August 18, 1855; DBR 27 (1859): 210.
5. CS, November 21, 1856.
6. DBR 20 (1856): 143–56, esp. 150.
7. CS, November 25, 1854, September 21, 1856.
8. Ibid., July 25, 1854, September 21, 1856.
9. Ibid., October 10, 1856.
10. Ibid., September 10, 1855.
11. Ibid., April 26, October 21, 1856.
12. DBR 24 (1858): 484.
13. CS, July 12, 1854.
14. Ibid., August 2, 1855.
15. CC, December 22, 1858.
16. Edward Bryan, Letters … in Relation to the African Slave Trade (Charleston, S.C., 1858), 14.
17. NOD, February 17, 1858.
18. Bryan, Letters, 35–36.
19. NOD, February 14, 1857.
20. Ibid., April 11, 1857.
21. DBR 24 (1858): 584–87.
22. New Orleans Courier, May 21, 1858.
23. J. Johnston Pettigrew, Report of the Minority … as Relates to Slavery and the Slave Trade (Charleston, S.C., 1858).
24. Brooke in DBR 27 (1859): 361; Alfred Huger to Wade Hampton, December 17, 1856, Huger Papers, DU.
25. Baltimore Courier, March 6, 1858; David Campbell to Wilham Campbell, January 30, 1857, Campbell Papers, DU.
26. Robert G. Harper, An Argument Against … Reopening the African Slave Trade (Atlanta, 1858).
27. DBR 27 (1859): 220.
28. Davis in Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, July 26, 1859; Linton Stephens to Alexander Stephens, July 3, 1859, and Alexander back to Linton, July 5, 1859, SP, M; J. Henley Smith to Stephens, July 24, 1859, Stephens Papers, LC.
29. Quoted in Takaki, Pro-Slavery Crusade, 116.
30. Adams’s message was printed first in CM, November 26, 1856; Spratt’s hurrah was in CS, also on November 26, 1856.
31. Edward B. Bryan, Report of the Special Committee …on…the Message of his Excellency Gov. Jas. H. Adams … (Columbia, S.C., 1857); Pettigrew, Report of the Minority.
32. CM, March 9, 1859.
33. South Carolina Senate Journal, 1857 (Columbia, 1857), 89.
34. Augusta Daily Constitution, November 30, 1858; Milledgeville Triweekly Southern Recorder, November 27, 1858; John E. Ward to Howell Cobb, November 1, 1858, Cobb Papers, GA; Journal of the Senate of the State of Georgia, 1858 (Columbus, 1858), 211–12.
35. New Orleans Crescent, January 17, 1859; DBR 26 (1959): 482.
36. Henry Hughes cleverly defended the proposition (and without obscuration) in DBR 25 (1858): 626–53.
37. Official Journal of the House of Representatives … 1858 (Baton Rouge, 1858), 64–65.
38. New Orleans Crescent, March 22, 1858.
39. Ibid., April 7, June 6, July 12, 1858.
40. Ibid., April 28, 1858; Official Journal of the Senate … 1858 (Baton Rouge, 1858), 115.
41. Official Journal of the Senate … 1858, 118.
42. RE, May 19, 1858; Montgomery Advertiser, August 31, 1859.
43. DBR 26 (1859): 713; 27 (1859): 94–99, 205–14.
44. Takaki, Pro-Slavery Crusade, ch. 9.
45. D. H. Hamilton to R. J. Cralle, March 1, 1856, Cralle Papers, LC.
46. Hamilton to James Hammond, September 10, 1858, Hammond Papers, LC.
47. James H. Adams to James Chesnut, Jr., January 14, 1859, Chesnut-Miller-Manning Papers, SCHS.
Chapter 13. Reenslaving Free Blacks
1. On southern free blacks, we have Ira Berlin’s masterful Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (New York, 1974). Leon Litwack’s North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States (Chicago, 1961) provides fine perspective.
More perspectives come from exceptions to the dismal free black norm, including Judith Kelleher Schafer, Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846–1862 (Baton Rouge, 2003); William Ransom Hogan and James Edwin Davis, The Barber of Natchez (Baton Rouge, 1954); Davis and Hogan, eds., William Johnson’s Natchez: The Antebellum Diary of a Free Negro (Baton Rouge, 1951); David O. Whitten, Andrew Durnford: A Black Sugar Planter in Antebellum Louisiana(Natchitoches, 1981); and especially Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roarke, Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South (New York, 1984) and No Chariot Let Down: Charleston’s Free People of Color on the Eve of the Civil War (Chapel Hill, 1984).
The latest book on free black exceptions to the normally grim tale, Melvin Ely’s Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War (New York, 2004), attempts to promote an unusual case into a partial refutation of Professor Berlin’s chilling portrait of the awful norm. But the excellent case study is doomed by its very exceptionalness to fall short in this regard.
2. RS, February 2, 1858; RE, February 10, 1858.
3. Aberdeen Sunny South, October 13, 1859.
4. Mobile Daily Register, January 8, 1859.
5. Petitions from George Latimer et al., John B. Peyton et al., and Herbert W. Hill et al., Petitions to the Legislature of 1860, Legislative Records, MISS.
6. Ira Berlin and Herbert G. Gutman, “Natives and Immigrants,” skillfully puts the Charleston problem in Southwide perspective. For all aspects of the Charleston minicrisis, Professors Johnson and Roarke’s two super volumes are indispensable. For the Charleston quantitative data, see Black Masters, 177, 185; No Chariot, 6, 69.
7. Johnson and Roarke, No Chariot, 135.
8. CC, December 16, 1859.
9. Johnson and Roarke’s No Chariot publishes agonized letters on a crisis that tormented the brown aristocrats, even though most of them escaped its ravages.
10. Freehling, Road 1: 197–207.
11. Maryland Colonization Journal 9 (1958): 273–74.
12. The Maryland reenslavement story, one of the Old South’s richest, still awaits a storyteller who can equal Professors Johnson and Roarke’s tale of Charleston. But for good perspective, see Barbara Fields, Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century (New Haven, 1985).
13. Bowers’s plight is detailed in Wilmington Delaware Gazette, July 30, 1858.
14. Elkton Cecil Whig, November 20, 1858.
15. C. W. Jacobs to J.A.J. Cresswell, January 15, 1866, Vertical File, MHS.
16. The Baltimore convention’s proceedings, including Jacobs’s speeches and delegates’ answers, are in Maryland Colonization Journal 10 (1859): July issue; Baltimore Sun, June 11, 1859.
17. Curtis M. Jacobs, Speech … in the House of Delegates, on the 17th of February, 1860 (Annapolis, 1860). See also Jacobs, The Free Negro Question in Maryland (Baltimore, 1859).
18. The best answer to Jacobs was Andrew B. Cross, To Mr. Jacobs …A Few Thoughts on These Most Monstrous Propositions Before the Legislature… (n.p., n.d. [Baltimore, 1860]) The debate on Jacobs’s propositions and the ultimate anti-Jacobs resolution can be followed in Baltimore Republican, February 7, 8, 11, 15, 25, March 8, 10, 11, 1860; Baltimore American, February 14, 15, 21, 27, 1860; Easton Eastern Star, February 14, 21, 28, 1860; Maryland Colonization Journal 10 (1860): 137–45; Baltimore Clipper, February 16, 21, 25, March 3, 1860.
19. Baltimore American, November 17, 1860; Elkton Cecil Whig, November 17, 1860.
20. Montgomery Daily Advertiser, December 21, 1859.
21. Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 372–80.
22. John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South (New York, 2006), 18.
23. Garnett in RE, February 19, 1856; Montgomery Daily Advertiser, July 24, 1858.
24. New Orleans Crescent, June 16, 1859.
Chapter 14. John Brown and Violent Invasion
1. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 282.
2. Paul M. Angle, ed., Created Equal: The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Chicago, 1958), 2.
3. George E. Baker, ed., The Works of William H. Seward, 5 vols. (Boston, 1853–84), 4: 289–302.
4. Quoted in Stephen B. Oates, To Purge This Land with Blood: A Biography of John Brown (New York, 1970), 249. The following account is drawn from Oates’s work and from Richard O. Boyer, The Legend of John Brown: A Biography and History (New York, 1973); O. G. Villard, John Brown, 1800–1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston, 1910); and David S. Reynolds, John Brown, Abolitionist … (New York, 2005). Professor Reynolds’s book, the latest, is magnificent on Brown’s northern intellectual supporters; no one should ever doubt again that American men of ideas can stir epic action. But the book is shaky on the facts and subtleties of the southern response. On the charged Brown subject, even the most skillful historians have trouble getting both sections’ stories quite right.
5. Quoted in Reynolds, John Brown, 299.
6. Ibid., 26.
7. Quoted in ibid., 272.
8. Quoted in Potter, Impending Crisis, 360–61.
9. For the journalist’s account and Mrs. Newby’s plea, see Reynolds, John Brown, 320.
10. Norfolk Southern Argus, December 28, 1859.
11. H. R. Davis to Henry Wise, November 16, 1859, J. A. Crook to Wise, December 6, 1859, Wise-Brown Papers, LC.
12. Andrew Hunter to Wise, November 18, 1859, Wise-Brown Papers, LC.
13. Linton Stephens to Alexander Stephens, February 3, 1860, SP, M.
14. CM, January 4, 1860.
15. W. D. Duncan to James Hammond, December 2, 1859, Hammond Papers, LC.
16. New Orleans True Delta, November 24, 1859.
17. Quoted in Reynolds, John Brown, 429.
18. Quoted in Oates, To Purge This Land, 338.
19. Edward Stone, ed., Incident at Harper’s Ferry (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1956), 149. Despite the often-made error in its title (it should be Harpers, not Harper’s), this is a fine anthology, especially for classroom use.
20. Ibid., 160.
21. Ibid., 218. This is my favorite of several inspiring versions that Yankee troops sang. Evidently all the varieties originated, ironically, in a mocking hymn. See Boyd B. Stutler, “John Brown’s Body,” CWH 4 (1958): 251–60.
22. Emerson quoted in Reynolds, John Brown, 366; Thoreau and Phillips in Stone, Incident, 186, 188; Garrison in Oates, To Purge this Land, 355.
23. The Brown-Wise confrontation is especially skillfully conveyed in Simpson, Wise, ch. 11.
24. RE, October 21, 1859.
25. Reynolds, John Brown, 366.
26. Barton H. Wise, The Life of Henry A. Wise, 1806–1876 (New York, 1899), 247n.
27. RE, December 4, 1859. The following paragraph is based on this same source, comprising Wise’s superlative message to the legislature on all aspects of the Brown crisis.
28. Ruffin’s newspaper article in Virginia Index, January 13, 1860, copy in Ruffin Diary for that date, LC; William Cabell Rives, Jr., to Rives, Sr., November 11, 1859, Rives Papers, LC; William H. Tayloe to B. O. Tayloe, December 17, 1859, Edward D. Tayloe Papers, NC.
29. James O. Breeden, “Rehearsal for Secession? The Return Home of Southern Medical Students from Philadelphia in 1859,” in His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to the Harpers Ferry Raid, ed. Paul Finkelman (Charlottesville, 1995), 174–210. This wonderful book of essays wins my vote for the most helpful single volume on the Brown crisis. My favorite essay, Peter Wallenstein’s, 149–73, especially shows that the southern side of the crisis involved far more than Brown and far more than fear of Yankee precipitation of slave revolts.
30. Scarborough, ed., Ruffin Diary, 1: 361.
31. All quoted in Reynolds, John Brown, 361–62, 427.
32. U.S. Senate Committee Reports, 1859–60 2: 1–25.
Chapter 15. John G. Fee and Religious Invasion
1. The best biography is Victor B. Howard, The Evangelical War Against Slavery and Caste: The Life and Times of John G. Fee (Susquehanna, N.Y., 1993). The best account of the Berea movement, Richard D. Sears, The Day of Small Things: Abolitionism in the Midst of Slavery, Berea, Kentucky, 1854–1864 (Lanham, Md., 1986), is also full of biographical details on Fee, as is Fee, Autobiography of John G. Fee (Chicago, 1891). In addition to these obscure but fine publications, Fee is expertly put in a larger Kentucky perspective in Harold D. Tallant, Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky (Lexington, Ky., 2003), and in a still larger southern perspective in Stanley Harrold’s equally expert The Abolitionists and the South, 1831–1861(Lexington, Ky., 1995). About this least well known of the major southern prewar dramas, we also have perhaps the richest mine of manuscripts in the Berea College Library. This irony is likely to be dissolved when Marion B. Lucas’s eagerly awaited work on Fee is published. I am indebted to Professor Lucas for his helpful comments on this chapter.
2. Fee, Autobiography, 13–17; Howard, Evangelical War, 22–23.
3. Fee, An Anti-Slavery Manual (Maysville, Ky., 1848), ix, 123, 145. This publication takes pride of place among Fee’s teachings, closely followed by Nonfellowship with Slaveholders: The Duty of Christians (New York, 1855) and The Sinfulness of Slaveholding Shown by Appeals to Reason and Scripture (New York, 1851).
4. This tale, one of the Old South’s most riveting and dismaying, can be followed in Fee, Autobiography, 61, 65–67; Sears, Small Things, 8–10, 98–99, 104–5; I. W. Smith to Fee, Fee Papers, BC; Fee to Lewis Tappan, June 10, 1847, American Missionary Association Papers, Fisk University Library. The Fee family sometimes spelled Julett “Juliet.” For a moving use of Julett in Fee’s own teaching, see his “Appeal to Kentucky Children,” November 1859, Fee Papers, BC.
5. Fee, Anti-Slavery Manual, 2, 123, 141.
6. Ibid., 123.
8. Ibid., xi.
9. Freehling, Road 1: 462–74.
10. Sears, Small Things, 36; John White in Berea Citizen, September 21, 1922, copy in Fee Papers, BC.
11. Fee’s Letter #3 to American Missionary Association, copy in Fee Papers, BC; Sears, Small Things, chs. 5–8.
12. Sears, Small Things, 38.
13. Ibid., 39–40.
14. Fee described the confrontation in Berea Evangelist, March 1, 1885, copy in Fee Papers, BC.
15. Fee described these events in letters to Cassius Clay of July 28, August 3, August 27, September 17, 1857, January 19, 1858, copies in Fee Papers, BC. On Fee’s resulting paralyzing headaches, see Fee to Gerrit Smith, March 29, 1862, copy in Fee Papers, BC.
16. Stowe’s 1858 article in the Liberator is quoted in Sears, Small Things, 75.
17. For descriptions of the stern Rogers and the jolly school he ran, with the help of his wife, Lizzie, see Elizabeth Embree Rogers, “Full Forty Years” (1896) and “A Personal History of Berea College” (circa 1910), typescripts in BC; John A. R. Rogers, Birth of Berea College: A Story of Providence (Philadelphia, 1904); John A. R. Rogers Journal, Berea College; Sears, Small Things, ch. 10.
18. Fee to American Missionary Association, November 9, 1855, December 13, 1856, January 4, 1857, copies in Fee Papers, BC.
19. Quoted in Sears, Small Things, 273–74.
20. On the expulsion, see ibid., ch. 12; Rogers, Berea College, ch. 10; Louisville Daily Courier, January 2, 1860; George Candee to Cassius Clay, December 26, 1859, April 24, 1860, copies in Fee Papers, BC.
Chapter 16. John Underwood and Economic Invasion
1. RE, December 6, 1859.
2. Wise to Mary Lyons Wise, March 14, 23, 1855, Wise Family Papers, VHS.
3. Wise to Captain John Scott, November 17, 1859, John Hay Papers, LC; A. R. Boteler to Wise, December 17, 1859, B. H. Ferguson to Wise, December 24, 1859, both in Wise-Brown Papers, LC.
4. A full-scale biography would be an important addition to Civil War history. A start is made in Patricia Hickin, “John C. Underwood and the Antislavery Movement in Virginia, 1847–1860,” VHMB 73 (1965): 155–68. Dr. Hickin’s University of Virginia Ph.D. dissertation, “Antislavery in Virginia, 1831–1861” (1968), and master’s thesis, “John C. Underwood and the Antislavery Crusade, 1809–1860” (1961), are packed with useful information. By far the best study of southern antislavery, Harrold, Abolitionists and the South, esp. ch. 6, skillfully puts Underwood in perspective. The Underwood Papers, LC, and especially its Underwood Scrapbook, will also ease the way toward fulfilling this promising assignment.
5. Underwood to Gideon Camden, August 8, 1851, Camden Papers, WVU.
6. Same to same, June 19, 1851, Camden Papers, WVU.
7. A newspaper clipping (unidentified) containing the speech is in the Underwood Scrapbook, p. 1, LC.
8. M. G. Underwood to John Underwood, June 23, 1856, Underwood Papers, LC; Underwood to Eli Thayer, March 11, 1857, Thayer Papers, Brown University Library.
9. Hickin, “Antislavery in Virginia,” 635–59; Underwood to Gideon Camden, April 4, 1858, Camden Papers, WVU; Underwood to?, April 20, 1857, clipping of letter in Underwood Scrapbook, p. 37, LC.
10. Undated speech in New York, late 1850s, in Underwood Scrapbook, p. 59, LC; Underwood to Archibald Campbell, March 21, 1859, Campbell Papers, WVU.
11. On the Ceredo episode, Elizabeth K. McClintic, “Ceredo: An Experiment in Colonization and a Dream of Empire,” West Virginia Review 15 (1938): 168–90, 198–200, 233–54, is a good summary. The Eli Thayer Papers, Brown University Library, 1857, are full of letters from Underwood and from possible purchasers.
12. Clipping in Underwood Scrapbook, p. 58, LC; Harrold, Abolitionists of the South, 114–15.
13. Harrold, Abolitionists of the South, 114; Underwood to editor of the New York Evening Post, November 23, 1858, copy in Underwood Scrapbook, p. 41, LC.
14. Galveston News, April 21, 28, 1857; Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, September 23, 1859; NOD, May 1, 19, 1857.
15. Wise to Albert J. J. Rives, August 24, 1857, Executive Letterbook, VSL.
16. David Brown’s “Attacking Slavery from Within: The Making of The Impending Crisis of the South,” JSH 70 (2004): 541–76, is the most important biographical article about Helper. I predict that his imminent book-length biography will be equally fine. Professor Brown, like Peter Wallenstein, understands that the John Brown crisis swiftly skidded past Brown; while Brown raised infuriated awareness that Republicans meant to press beyond containment, Helper raised acute understanding that Southern Republicans would carry on the invasion. Nothing better illuminates why secessionists considered Lincoln’s immediate menace to be his distribution of patronage to the likes of Helper, not any encouragement of the likes of John Brown.
Other useful accounts of Helper, while partially superseded by David Brown, are the fullest (but sometimes inaccurate) biography, Hugh C. Bailey, Hinton R. Helper: Abolitionist Racist (University, Ala., 1965); the sharpest assault on Helper’s racism, Hugh T. Lefler, Hinton Rowan Helper: Advocate of White America (Charlottesville, 1935); and George Frederickson’s helpful introduction to the best edition of The Impending Crisis of the South (Cambridge, Mass., 1968). All references to the Impending Crisis are to the Frederickson edition.
17. Helper, The Land of Gold: Reality Versus Fiction (Baltimore, 1855), esp. vi, 221–22, 275–78.
18. Impending Crisis, 409–10.
19. Ibid., preface, 44, 327, 330.
20. Ibid., 43–44, 409.
21. Ibid., 28, 140, 411.
22. Ibid., 120, 155–56.
23. Quoted in Bailey, Helper, 42.
24. Circular letter from Wilheim H. Anthon and others (including Cassius Clay and Frank P. Blair, Jr.), December 1, 1858, in Benjamin Hedrick Papers, DU; David Brown, “Hinton R. Helper: The Logical Outcome of the Non-Slaveholders’ Philosophy,” Historical Journal 46 (2003): 39–58.
Chapter 17. John Clark and Political Invasion
1. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 524. The best account of the Speakership Crisis is still Ollinger Crenshaw, “The Speakership Contest of 1859–1860: John Sherman’s Election, a Cause of Disruption?” MVHR 29 (1942): 323–38.
2. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 1–3.
3. On the initiation of the various pre-1855 crises, see Freehling, Road 1: 311–21, 392–407, 500–504, 541–56.
4. Biographical information on Clark comes in bits and pieces, including Richard N. Current, ed., Encyclopedia of the Confederacy, 4 vols. (New York, 1993), 1: 342–43; Ezra J. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress(Baton Rouge, 1975), 49–50; and Arthur R. Kirkpatrick, “Missouri’s Delegation in the Confederate Congress,” CWH 5 (1959): 188–96. Clark’s slaveholdings in 1850 and 1860 are recorded in Howard County Manuscript Census Returns, MOHS, C. I am grateful to Laura Crane for research help with John Clark and Austin King.
5. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 3, 17.
6. Ibid., 49, 269, 394.
7. Ibid., 43.
8. Ibid., 21, 427, 547–48.
9. Ibid., 241.
10. Ibid., 407.
11. Ibid., 546.
12. Ibid., 224–27.
13. Ibid., 586.
14. Ibid., 21.
15. Ibid., 16–17.
16. Freehling, Road 1: 504.
17. Robert Barnwell Rhett to William Porcher Miles, January 24, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
18. On Keitt, the best study is still J. Holt Merchant’s unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. For contemporary descriptions, see St. Louis Democrat, December 31, 1855; Wilmington Delaware Republican, December 29, 1859; CC, June 5, 1858; Savannah Republican, December 30, 1859; “People We Meet” in New York Leader, n.d., copy in Keitt Papers, NC.
19. Laurence Keitt to Sue Keitt, February 29, 1860, Keitt Papers, NC; Caroline W. Keitt to Thomas Waddington, March 22, 1860, Ellison S. Keitt Papers, DU.
20. Freehling, Reintegration, 56–57.
21. Martin Crawford to Alexander Stephens, April 8, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC; James Hammond to M.C.M. Hammond, April 22, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
22. Current, ed., Encyclopedia of the Confederacy 2: 1038. A full-scale biography of Miles, taking advantage of the excellent surviving letters, would be very helpful.
23. William Henry Gist to Miles, December 20, 1859, Miles Papers, NC.
24. South Carolina Senate Journal, 1859, 168; Memminger to Miles, December 27, 1859, January 3, 1860 [misdated 1859], Miles Papers, NC.
25. CC, December 29, 1859. On Memminger, there is a good short sketch in Current, ed., Encyclopedia of the Confederacy 2: 1022–26, and a decent older biography, Henry Dickson Capers, The Life and Times of C. G. Memminger (Richmond, 1893). Once again, a modern biography would be useful, and source materials for it abound.
26. Miles to Memminger, January 10, 1860, Memminger Papers, LC.
27. Pickens to Robert M. T. Hunter, December 10, 1859, in Ambler, ed., “Correspondence of Hunter” 1: 275–77.
28. Gist to Memminger, January 30, 1860, Memminger Papers, NC.
29. W. W. Boyce to Memminger, January 4, 1860, Memminger Papers, NC.
30. Sallie M. Richardson to Ellis, January 26, 1860, Mumford-Ellis Papers, DU; Scarborough, ed., Ruffin Diary 1: 394–95.
31. RE, February 3, 1860.
32. Memminger to Miles, January 16, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
33. RE, January 31, March 23, 1860; Wise to Fernando Wood, n.d. [early February 1860], Wise Papers, VSL.
34. RE, February 25, 1860.
35. Ibid., February 15, 1860.
36. Gist to Memminger, January 30, 1860, Memminger Papers, NC; Memminger to Miles, January 24, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
37. Memminger to Miles, January 24, 30, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
38. Peter Starke to John Pettus, July 1860, Governors Records, MISS; A. B. Moore to William Gist, April 2, 1860, Governors Papers, ALA; Ralph Dubay, “Mississippi and the Proposed Atlanta Convention of 1860,” Southern Quarterly 5 (1967): 347–62. For Pettus’s continued Cooperationism, see this volume, 386–87.
39. Gerald S. Henig, “Henry Winter Davis and the Speakership Contest of 1859–1860,” Maryland Historical Magazine 68 (1973): 1–19.
40. Martin Crawford to Alexander Stephens, March 14, 1960, Stephens Papers, LC.
41. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 641.
42. Toombs to Stephens, February 10, 1860, P., ed., T., S. & C. 2: 460–62.
43. Keitt to James Hammond, September 10, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
Chapter 18. Yancey’s Lethal Abstraction
1. William B. Hesseltine, ed., Three Against Lincoln: Murat Halstead Reports the Caucuses of 1860 (Baton Rouge, 1960), 119.
2. RE, October 11, 1860.
3. NOD, May 13, 1860.
4. William Henry Trescot to James Hammond, August 19, 1859, Hammond Papers, LC.
5. Milledgeville Southern Recorder, January 20, August 9, 1859.
6. NOD, July 10, 1859.
7. Davis, Speeches … Summer … 1858, 19.
8. Ibid., 48; Paul Escott, “Jefferson Davis and Slavery in the Territories,” Journal of Mississippi History 39 (1977): 97–116.
9. Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, July 26, 1859.
10. Albert Gallatin Brown to J.F.H. Clairborne, January 4, 1857, Clairborne Papers, MISS.
11. Brown to Clairborne, November 15, 1853, Clairborne Papers, MISS.
12. Quoted in the best biography, and one that gets the Brown-Davis difference on congressional territorial protection right, as few others do: William J. Cooper, Jr., Jefferson Davis, American (New York, 2000), 309.
13. The best biography remains James Ranick, Albert Gallatin Brown, Radical Southern Nationalist (New York, 1937).
14. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., 494, 1006.
15. Ibid., 658, 935.
16. Freehling, Road 1: 534–35.
17. John Witherspoon DuBose, The Life and Times of William Lowndes Yancey, 2 vols. (Birmingham, 1892), 2: 376. The DuBose volumes, while superseded by Eric Walther’s new biography, remain valuable for their inclusion of source material.
18. Address in Abbeville District, July 4, 1834, Yancey Papers, ALA.
19. DuBose, Yancey 1: 110.
20. Dixon H. Lewis to Yancey, June 18, 1848, Lewis Papers, ALA.
21. William L. Yancey to Benjamin Yancey, July 8, 1856, Benjamin Yancey Papers, NC.
22. CM, July 18, 1859. The next two paragraphs are based on the same unrivaled Yancey effort.
23. DBR 24 (1858): 586–87.
24. Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (Garden City, N.Y., 1959); William Lee Miller, Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography (New York, 2002). I am indebted to Professor Miller for his encouragement, advice, and friendship throughout the final years of writing this book.
25. CM, July 18, 1859.
26. Cooper, Davis, 311.
27. Benjamin Fitzpatrick to C. C. Clay, Jr., August 30, 1859, Clay Papers, DU.
28. J. Mills Thornton III, Politics and Power in a Slave Society: Alabama, 1800–1860 (Baton Rouge, 1978), is brilliant on Yancey’s maneuvering amidst Alabama factions (including all Democrats’ maneuvering against an ex-Whig comeback and the infighting that culminated in the Alabama state Democratic convention). In contrast, I find Professor Thornton unconvincing in failing to take Yancey seriously, when that Alabamian explained why “impractical” slavery issues were deadly practical. Professor Thornton instead dubiously finds the provoking practicalities in Alabama’s newly commercial economy. But the best history books are towering even if one fails to find some central theses convincing.
29. Edward C. Bullock to Clement C. Clay, Jr., December 30, 1859, Clay Papers, DU, is a fine guide not only to Yancey’s aborted fling but also to the disunionism of his faction.
30. Proceedings of the Democratic State Convention [of Alabama] Held in … Montgomery, Commencing …January 11, 1860 (Montgomery, 1860); Mobile Daily Advertiser, supplement to January 15, 1860, issue; Thornton, Politics and Power, 381–91. Professor Thornton has a particularly acute understanding of “in substance”; see 391.
Chapter 19. The Democracy’s Charleston Convention
1. Edward Magdol, Owen Lovejoy: Abolitionist in Congress (New Brunswick, N.J., 1967), 24.
2. Merton L. Dillon, Elijah P. Lovejoy, Abolitionist Editor (Urbana, Ill., 1961).
3. Magdol, Lovejoy, 51.
4. CG, 36 Cong., 1 sess., Appendix, 202–7, records Lovejoy’s speech.
5. Pryor in ibid., 203; Crawford to Alexander Stephens, April 8, 1860, LC; Hammond to Edmund Ruffin, April 16, 1860, Hammond to M.C.M. Hammond, April 22, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
6. W. Duncan to Hammond, April 23, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
7. I first found the atmosphere surrounding the Charleston convention enticing in the vivid ch. 15 of Roy Nichols, The Disruption of American Democracy. No other historian has done better, although Allan Nevins comes close in The Emergence of Lincoln. Professor Nichols derived much of his atmosphere from Hesseltine, ed., Halstead, a journalistic masterwork and hereafter cited (extensively!) as Halstead.
8. Preston Brooks to James L. Orr, November 10, 1855, Orr to A. D. Banks, August 13, 1857, Orr Papers, NC. On the Orr revolution, we have another fine state study, Lacy K. Ford, Jr., Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800–1860 (New York, 1988). For some unbalanced comments on Professor Ford’s book, emphasizing problems I still find, see Road 1: 541. But that analysis of the volume’s problematic aspects needs to be balanced by emphasis on the book’s cardinal virtues, and especially its superb understanding that South Carolina’s aristocratic republicans faced radical (for South Carolina!) intruders, seeking to turn the old-fashioned remnant of the American eighteenth-century aristocratic republican governance into a new-fashioned American egalitarian republican order. Before the Civil War, the intruders failed, and Professor Ford does not do enough with the failure. But James L. Orr’s egalitarian republicans did make a hugely worrisome splash, and any post-Ford account of the worried old guard has to acknowledge the seismic occurrence. A failure to do so makes for polemical strain, as Manisha Sinha’s book shows. See below, ch. 23, note 4.
9. Rhett to William Porcher Miles, January 29, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
10. William Henry Trescot to Miles, March 10, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
11. For the wording of, and votes on, the Majority and Minority reports, both in the platform committee and on the convention floor, see Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore (Washington, 1860), esp. 37–39, 45, 115–17; Halstead, esp. 45–47, 68–70.
12. William L. Yancey, Speech of the Hon. William L. Yancey Delivered in the National Democratic Convention … (Charleston, S.C., 1860), esp. 8, 16; Yancey’s speech at Marion, Alabama, May 19, 1860, copy in Yancey Papers, ALA.
13. Proceedings, 48–51.
14. Ibid., 64–66; Halstead, 52.
15. Dictionary of Missouri Biography (Columbia, Mo., 1999), 459–60; Messages and Papers of the Governors of Missouri (Columbia, Mo., 1922), 2: 263–70; Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1933), 10: 382. For the manuscript census of Richmond County, 1860 (listing King’s five slaves) and a vivid drawing of the ex-governor in the Columbia Missouri Herald’s 1875 historical edition (showing his angular appearance), see MOHS, C.
16. Halstead, 52.
17. New York Herald, October 15, 1860, clipping in Yancey Papers, ALA.
18. Yancey, Speech in the Democratic Convention, esp. 16.
19. Halstead, 54.
20. Ibid., 23, 83.
21. Ibid., 76, 84.
22. Ibid., 74, 84.
23. Ibid., 89–90, 246.
24. Augusta Daily Constitutionalist, May 5, 1860.
25. Martin Cranford to Alexander Stephens, May 11, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC.
26. Toombs to Stephens, June 9, 1860, in P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 481; Savannah Republican, May 8, 1860.
27. Cleveland to Stephens, May 11, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC.
28. Rhett to Miles, May 12, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
29. CC, May 12, 1860; CM, June 18, 1860; Perry to Benson T. Lossing, September 2, 1866, Perry Papers, SC.
30. Halstead, 86.
Chapter 20. The Democracy’s Baltimore Convention
1. Halstead, 95–8.
2. Ibid., 99; Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore (Washington, 1860), 71–90.
3. John Ashmore to B. F. Perry, July 13, 1860, Perry Papers, ALA; Halstead, 101.
4. Halstead, 107.
5. Yancey to C. C. Clay, Jr., May 4, 1860, Clay Papers, DU.
6. I would add this speculation to the shrewd speculations about this perhaps happening in Nevins, Emergence of Lincoln, 2: 219. The (dubious) source that demands speculation is Richard Taylor’s memoirs, published two decades later. Taylor, Destruction and Reconstruction … (New York, 1879).
7. Halstead, 111–17.
8. Robert Barnwell Rhett, Jr. to William Porcher Miles, May 12, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
9. See B. H. Wilson’s speech at the South Carolina Democratic state convention, May 31, 1860, in CM, July 8, 1860.
10. CC, May 31, 1860.
11. Powhattan Ellis, Sr., to Charles Ellis, May 26, 1860, Ellis-Mumford Papers, DU.
12. Rhett Jr. to Miles, May 10, 1860, Miles Papers, LC.
13. Potter, Impending Crisis, 326.
14. Halstead, 263; Democratic National Executive Committee, To The Democracy of the United States, July 18, 1860 (Washington, 1860), 8; J. L. Foster to Stephen A. Douglas, July 7, 1860, J. Haddock Smith to Douglas, May 4, 1860, Douglas Papers, University of Chicago Library.
15. Halstead, 263.
16. Stephen A. Douglas to William Richardson, June 20, 1860, Douglas to Dean Richmond, June 22, 1860, in The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas, ed. Robert W. Johannsen (Urbana, Ill., 1961), 492–93; Yancey in Halstead, 221.
17. Proceedings, 133–70; Halstead, 223–25.
18. Among the many statements of Upper South outrage, less at the Douglas platform than at Douglas supporters’ trampling on Southerners’ democratic convention rights, see RE, June 26, 28, 30, 1860; Kentucky Weekly Yeoman, June 29, 1860.
19. Halstead, 249–50.
20. Ibid., 274.
21. Ibid., 277–78.
Chapter 21. Suspicious Southerners and Lincoln’s Election
1. Baltimore Clipper, September 29, 1860.
2. For a good contemporary biographical sketch, see Baltimore Clipper, May 5, 1860. Unfortunately, no published biography of the Bison exists; the book could be quite the flamboyant read. A start is made in Robert D. Lapidus, “A Southern Enigma: The Unwavering Unionism of John Minor Botts” (M.A. thesis, Ohio University, 1972).
3. Speech at the African Church, August 8, 1856, in John Minor Botts, The Great Rebellion, Its Secret History, Rise, Progress, and Disastrous Failure (New York, 1866).
4. RE, March 17, 1859.
5. Botts to Anna Carroll, July 31, November 16, 21, December 24, 1859, January 1, 1860, Carroll Family Papers, MHS.
6. Halstead, 121–40.
7. F. H. Pierpont to the editors of the Wheeling Intelligencer, March 16, 1859, Archibald Campbell Papers, WVU.
8. John Johnson, A Defense of Republicanism … (n.p., n.d. , copy in LC). This pamphlet, written by the ex-mayor of Kansas City, is the best overall statement of the 1860 Southern Republican position, with the western Virginia newspapers mentioned in the text not far behind.
9. F. P. Blair, Jr., Speech …at Cooper Institute …January 25, 1860 (Washington, 1860).
10. This time we have the benefit of an excellent biography, William E. Parrish, Frank Blair, Lincoln’s Conservative (Columbia, Mo., 1998).
11. Halstead, 142–77, expertly reported this convention, too; the presidential roll call votes are on 167–70.
12. Parrish, Blair, 84.
13. Lincoln to Anson G. Henry, July 4, 1860, in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler, 9 vols. (New Brunswick, N.J., 1953–55), 4: 181–82.
14. Underwood in Wilmington Delaware Republican, October 17, 1859; Botts to Edward Bates, March 27, 1860, Attorney General’s Papers, National Archives.
15. J. Henley Smith to Alexander Stephens, May 7, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC.
16. The Dallas Herald’s issues of August 31, 1859, and May 16, 1860, augment the story.
17. Ibid., August 17, 1859.
18. Ibid., February 29, March 7, May 16, 1860.
19. James Harper Starr to Smith & Johnson, July 10, 1860, Starr to E. H. Downing, July 19, 1860, Starr to N. Amory, August 2, 1860, Starr to Francis Von Deer Hoya, August 13, 1860, R. W. Withers to Starr, March 27, 1860, all in Starr Papers, TX.
20. Clarksville (Miss.) Standard, July 14, 1860; Austin Texas State Gazette, July 28, 1860; Enoch J. Withers to Pa, August 16, 1860, Withers-Tavenner Papers, DU.
21. J. M. Fair to E. Fair, August 16, 1860, Hildah Annie Bryant Papers, DU.
22. Petersburg Express report from Houston City, August 17, 1860, newspaper clipping inserted in Edmund Ruffin Diary near entry for September 4, 1860, LC; Austin Texas State Gazette, July 28, 1860; William L. Man to Thomas Hurling, August 24, 1860, Hurling Papers, TX. For other examples of a terror that momentarily clutched some very cautious conservatives, see Guy M. Bryan to Moses Austin Bryan, July 28, 31, 1860, Guy Bryan Papers, TX; C. G. Forshey to John Liddell, August 18, 1860, Liddell Family Papers, LSU; James M. Cox to Sam Houston, August 2, 25, 1860, Governors Papers, Texas Historical Society, Austin.
23. Norfolk (Va.) Southern Argus, August 10, 1860; Thomas Affleck to E. H. Cushing, July 13, 1860, Affleck Papers, LSU; Dallas Herald, October 10, 1860.
24. Savannah Republican, September 20, 1860.
25. A. B. Moore to Walkins Phelan, August 30, 1860, Governors Papers, ALA.
26. Baltimore Clipper, September 7, 1860; Norfolk Southern Argus, October 6, 10, 12, 1860.
27. New Orleans Bee, November 17, 1860.
28. DBR 28 (1860): 1–2.
29. James Harper Starr to George W. Smyth, August 17, 1860, Smyth Papers, TX; Smyth to Starr, September 3, 1860, Starr to R. S. Walker, September 1, 1860, Starr Papers, TX.
30. This episode is fully spelled out in James Hitchins to Thurlow Weed, November 10 (or November 16; date is hard to read), 1860, Weed Papers, University of Rochester Library. I am indebted to William Cooper for sending me a copy of this wonderful document. Professor Cooper’s generosity exemplifies the best of our profession, for the Hitchins letter, demonstrating secessionists’ assault on southern whites’ liberty, rubs against the Cooper thesis that secessionists’ desire for white liberty especially animated their disunion fling.
Still, Professor Cooper’s own countervailing evidence requires only a qualification of his important thesis. As I emphasize elsewhere, southern white egalitarians’ passion to protect their own liberty and equality from Yankee insulters and coercers did infuse the secessionist mentality, right along with zeal to slap Lincoln’s (and his southern appointees’) libertarian hands off blacks and to demean (and psychologically enslave) their southern white opponents. The largest point is that the corrosive American mix of slavery, racism, and freedom left liberty both desperately sought and badly besmirched, on both sides of the southern color line and on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.
31. Jere Clemens to John Bell, October 14, 1860, Bell Papers, LC.
32. Speech at Cincinnati, October 20, 1860, copy (like all Yancey’s speeches in this campaign) in Yancey Papers, ALA.
34. Speech at Cooper Institute, October 11, 1860.
35. For the parade and the speech, see NOD, October 30, 1860.
36. Jackson Semi-Weekly Mississippian, September 6, 1860.
37. For 1860 election statistics, see www.data.historycentral.com/elections/1860.
38. Breckinridge’s speech of September 5, 1860, is in Savannah Republican, September 19–21, 1860. We have two good biographies: William C. Davis, Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol (Baton Rouge, 1974), and Franck H. Heck, Proud Kentuckian: John C. Breckinridge, 1821–1875 (Lexington, Ky., 1976).
39. Yancey’s speech at Florence, Kentucky, October 19, 1860, in Yancey Papers, ALA.
41. David T. Boyd to William T. Sherman, August 30, 1860, in General W. T. Sherman as College President …, ed. Walter Lynwood Fleming, 2 vols. (Arthur M. Clark Co., 1912), 270–73.
Chapter 22. The State’s Rights Justification
1. New Orleans Bee, November 8, 1860.
2. Francis R. Rives to William C. Rives, Jr., December 24, 1860, Rives Papers, LC.
3. Judah P. Benjamin, “The Right of Secession,” in an excellent anthology, Southern Pamphlets on Secession …, ed. Jon L. Wakelyn (Chapel Hill, 1996), 101–14, esp. 108. See also Robert M. T. Hunter in RE, December 12, 1860.
4. James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy …, 2 vols. (Nashville, 1905), 1: 32–36.
5. George H. Reese, ed., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861, 4 vols. (Richmond, 1965), 2: 77.
6. James McPherson has this important point exactly right in Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York, 1988), 861.
7. The disparagers often commit a little error of spelling that stems from a larger error of understanding. The correct spelling is state’s rights, not states’ rights. The states (plural) arguably have a collective right to oppose nationalistic inflations of power. But only a state (singular) arguably has a right to withdraw consent. Because of that state’s rights justification, one seceding state’s majority (singular) possessed enormous eventual leverage over all the other southern states’ majorities (plural).
8. A point wonderfully made (but irrelevant to a state’s right of revolution) in Arthur Bestor, “State Sovereignty and Slavery: A Reinterpretation of Proslavery Constitutional Doctrine,” Illinois State Historical Society Journal 64 (1961): 117–80.
9. Toni Morrison, Beloved (New York, 1987). For the real story, see Steven Weisenburger’s superb Modern Medea: A Family Story of Slavery and Child-Murder from the Old South (New York, 1998). I am indebted to Professor Weisenburger not only for his acute reading of this chapter but also for his many insights during the decade that we shared on the University of Kentucky’s faculty.
Chapter 23. The Motivation
1. Freehling, Road 1, chs. 14–15.
2. For an extended cultural analysis, see ibid., chs. 12–13.
3. Quoted in Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 89, 241.
4. Manisha Sinha, The Counter-Revolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (Chapel Hill, 2000), forcefully expands on this aspect of South Carolina secessionism. But Professor Sinha’s polemic goes too far in declaring that her South Carolina findings negate the importance of white men’s egalitarian republicanism among secessionists elsewhere. The point about South Carolina is precisely its peculiarities; one does not touch Mills Thornton’s conception of Alabama by parading South Carolina’s eccentricities. Nor is Sinha wise to fulminate against Lacy Ford’s conception that egalitarian republicanism invaded South Carolina, in the form of James L. Orr’s uplanders. Orr did not capture the state, and Professor Ford too much minimizes that defining fact, but he is right that the nineteenth-century egalitarian enemy had penetrated the state. Ford’s invaders made Sinha’s elitists even more outraged at modernity.
5. [James Warley Miles], The Relation Between the Races at the South (Charleston, S.C., 1861); William Gilmore Simms to William Porcher Miles, March 7, 1861, in The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, ed. Mary C. Simms Oliphant et al., 5 vols. (Charleston, S.C., 1952), 4: 343.
6. A fine new book, Maurie D. McInnis, The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (Chapel Hill, 2005), has superseded earlier accounts of nineteenth-century Charleston’s socio-aesthetic evolution. But see also the intriguing analysis in Kenneth Severens, Charleston Antebellum Architecture and Civic Destiny (Knoxville, Tenn., 1988).
7. John Bivens and J. Thomas Savage, “The Miles Brenton House, Charleston, South Carolina,” Antiques 143 (1993): 294–307.
8. Bernard L. Herman, “The Embedded Landscapes of the Charleston Single House,” in Exploring Everyday Landscapes …, ed. Annmarie Adams and Sally McMurry (Knoxville, Tenn., 1997), 41–57.
9. Hugh Legaré quoted in Freehling, Prelude, 13, and Freehling, Road 1: 217.
10. James L. Petigru quoted in Michael O’Brien and David Moltke-Hanson, eds., Intellectual Life in Antebellum Charleston (Knoxville, Tenn., 1986), 221.
11. William J. Grayson, The Hireling and the Slave… (Charleston, S.C., 1856), 49, 51, 71.
12. Speeches … Delivered in the Convention … of South Carolina … in March 1833 (Columbia, 1833), 19–27.
13. John Townsend, The Doom of Slavery in the Union: Its Safety out of It (Charleston, S.C., 1860), 22. This was the second of Townsend’s massively distributed pamphlets. His sheets and the Charleston Mercury’s pages are the most important sources for understanding this pivotal area at this pivotal time.
14. This may be a better (or worse) guess than Stephanie McCurry’s speculation that white yeomen massed behind wealthier men’s domination over dependent blacks in order to preserve white males’ domination over dependent wives. We are all guessing from missing evidence about yeomen’s motives; that is usually a difficulty with history from the bottom up. But I’ve seen no hint that South Carolina white males feared, or had the slightest reason to fear, female domination before the war. In contrast, I’ve seen much evidence that fear of racial unrest afflicted lowcountry whites—and plenty of reason for that fear. Still, Professor McCurry’s gender-based speculation is intriguing; her evidence of poorer whites’ full participation in 1860 lowcountry paramilitary pressures is irrefutable; and I applaud her success in making the hitherto invisible lowcountry white nonslaveholders highly visible in the secession story. McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum Lowcountry (New York, 1995).
15. The map in Freehling, Road 1: 212, illustrates this point.
16. George W. Featherstonhaugh, Excursions Through the Slave States (New York, 1844), 155–57.
17. Walter Edgar, South Carolina: A History (Columbia 1998), 277. Edgar’s is an unusually fine state history.
18. Ford, Southern Radicalism, 38–39.
19. Quoted in Freehling, Prelude, 5, 15.
20. Quoted in Sumter Watchman, February 18, 1857.
21. Hutson to his mother, April 1860, Hutson Papers, SC.
22. William Howard Russell, Pictures of Southern Life, Social, Political, and Military (New York, 1961), 4–5.
23. Pickens Keowee Courier, July 10, 1858.
24. Boyce in CM, September 3, 1859; Jamison in CC, November 3, 1859.
25. Quoted in LeR. F. Youmans, A Sketch of the Life of Governor A. G. Magrath (Charleston, S.C., 1896), 4.
26. John Townsend, The South Alone Should Govern the South, and African Slavery Should be Controlled by Those Friendly to It (Charleston, S.C., 1860), 30. CM, November 3, 1860, reported that 30,000 to 40,000 copies of Townsend’s polemical masterpiece were already in print.
27. For the origins of the nay-saying that Warley brought to climax, see Ernest M. Lander, Jr., Reluctant Imperialists: Calhoun, the South Carolinians, and the Mexican War (Baton Rouge, 1980). For Warley’s oration at the Citadel, November 22, 1855, see CS, November 23, 1855.
28. Townsend, South Alone, 49–50.
29. Ibid., 12.
30. CM, October 11, 1860; D. H. Hamilton to William Porcher Miles, January 23, February 2, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
31. CM, October 11, 1860.
32. Townsend, Doom, 7–15.
33. Caroline Gilman to her daughter, December 16, 1860, Gilman Papers, SCHS. As the title indicates, Steven A. Channing’s Crisis of Fear: Secession in South Carolina (New York, 1970) particularly emphasizes terror of black resistance as the cause of the Civil War. This excellent book’s value transcends its emphasis on fear, which I think is somewhat overdone and not described in a sufficiently subtle fashion. Dr. Channing does not clearly enough distinguish between terror of general slave revolts, which very infrequently intruded, and the far more frequent fear of dissimulating individual Cuffees. Nor does he clarify enough that fear came related to other apprehensions, especially that so-called slavery could not develop if Cuffees were dangerous fakers. Moreover, slavery could turn intolerable if fears generated wicked lashing of slaves and vicious lynchings of whites. But I have no right to complain, since my own first try at explaining South Carolina fears, in Prelude to Civil War (published five years before Crisis of Fear), suffered from the same lack of subtlety.
34. Beth G. Crabtree and James W. Patton, eds., Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Devereau Edmonston, 1860–1866 (Raleigh, N.C., 1979), 45.
35. C. Vann Woodward and Elisabeth Muhlenfeld, eds., The Private Mary Chesnut: The Unpublished Diaries (New York, 1984), 78.
36. John Hammond Moore, ed., A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War: The Diary of Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860–1861 (Columbia, S.C., 1993), 41–42, 81.
37. C. Vann Woodward, ed., Mary Chesnut’s Civil War (New Haven, 1981), 48.
38. Laurence Keitt to Sue Sparks Keitt, February 29, 1860, Keitt Papers, DU.
39. Woodward and Muhlenfeld, eds., Private Mary Chesnut, 181.
40. Moore, ed., Plantation Mistress, 64.
41. Keitt to James Hammond, September 10, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
42. Townsend, South Alone, 16–17; CM, August 8, 1860.
43. Bunch quoted in Laura A. White, Robert Barnwell Rhett: Father of Secession (1931; Gloucester, Mass., 1965), 178n.; Trescot quoted in Woodward, ed., Chesnut’s Civil War, 82; Miles to Howell Cobb, January 14, 1861, in P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 529.
44. CM, November 1, 1859, December 3, 1860.
45. John L. Manning to his wife, May 29, 1860, Williams-Chesnut-Manning Papers, LC; Sue Keitt to Mrs. Frederick Brown, March 4, 1861 [Lincoln’s Inauguration Day!], Keitt Papers, DU.
46. J. H. Cornish Diary, entry for November 8, 1860, NC; Longstreet quoted in William Barney, The Road to Secession … (New York, 1972), 199-201. Barney’s is an underappreciated short synthesis.
47. T. J. Withers to B. F. Perry, February 10, 1861, Perry Papers, ALA; Woodward, ed., Chesnut’s Civil War, 25.
48. CM, September 11, 1860.
49. See Marshall’s climactic sentences in ibid.
Chapter 24. The Tactics and the Tacticians
1. Edgar, South Carolina, 358–60.
2. CM, September 20, 1860.
3. Quoted and discussed in Freehling, Reintegration, 75–76.
4. CC, August 4, 1860; CM, October 30, 1860.
5. Chesnut to Hammond, October 17, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC; Scarborough, ed., Ruffin Diary 1: 448.
6. Faust, Hammond, is good on the details of the South Carolinian’s rise and fall, except when the narrative arrives at the secession crisis, when it unaccountably skims over the senator’s crucial climactic role (or as it turned out, crucial nonrole).
7. Bleser, ed., Secret and Sacred, 194; James Hammond to John Hammond, February 10, 1845, Hammond Papers, SC.
8. Bleser, ed., Secret and Sacred, 175.
9. Ibid., 270–71; Hammond to editors of CM, August 2, 1857, copy in Hammond Papers, SC; A. P. Aldrich to Hammond, December 1, 1857, Hammond Papers, LC.
10. Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, March 13, 1859, Hammond Papers, LC.
11. James H. Hammond, Speech … at Barnwell C.H., October 29th, 1858 (Charleston, S.C., 1858), 3.
12. Hammond to Simms, November 3, 1858, Hammond Papers, LC.
13. Hammond, Barnwell, 5–6, 11–12, 14–16, 18, 20, 28.
14. N. R. Middleton in CC, December 5, 1860. See also Thomas Middleton Hanckel’s superb formulation of South Carolina elitism in Government and the Right of Revolution (Charleston, S.C., 1859).
15. Aldrich to Hammond, November 25, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
16. Aldrich to Hammond, October 4, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC: Boyce in CC, November 7, 1860.
17. Rhett Jr. to Miles, January 29, 1860, Miles Papers, NC; Rhett Jr. to Edmund Ruffin, October 20, 1860, Ruffin Papers, VSL; Rhett [I believe Sr.] to Robert W. Barnwell, October 16, 1860, quoted in White, Rhett, 176n.
18. Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, July 10, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
19. Arney Robinson Childs, ed., The Private Journal of Henry William Ravenel, 1859–1887 (Columbia, S.C., 1947), 20.
20. John Means to Rhett, July 30, 1851, Rhett Papers, SCHS.
21. On these matters, Davis, Rhett, continues to be a model of balanced judgment.
22. Miles to Hammond, August 5, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
23. William Morris, ed., The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, 1980), 285.
24. Freehling, Road 1: 316–19.
25. Ibid., 520–23.
26. Gist’s letters and all the governor’s responses can be found in John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln, 10 vols. (New York, 1909), 2: 306–14. As will be obvious, I agree with Potter, Impending Crisis, 488–89, on how to read these letters rather than with the reading in Charles Edward Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War (Chapel Hill, 1950), 52. But this seems to me a rare Cauthen misreading. Although his book is older and academically more staid than the recent, more thesis-ridden accounts of secession in South Carolina, his full and fair narrative is as useful—as older books sometimes are.
27. Davis to Rhett Jr., November 10, 1860, in Jefferson Davis: The Essential Writings, ed. William J. Cooper, Jr. (New York, 2003), 182–84.
28. Those inside the University of South Carolina’s historical establishment will, however, find this no surprise but exactly what one would expect, after reading Edgar, South Carolina, 350, and Robert Nicholas Olsberg’s two University of South Carolina theses, “William Henry Trescot: The Crisis of 1860” (M.A., 1967) and “A Government of Class and Race: William Henry Trescot and the South Carolina Chivalry, 1860–1865” (Ph.D., 1972). Nick Olsberg never developed his suggestive hunches beyond a hazy form before he left the profession. But his first steps down the right path live on in his theses and in his helpful research notes, which he kindly deposited in the South Carolina Historical Society.
29. John Townsend to Milledge Bonham, October 16, 1860, Bonham Papers, SC. For Townsend’s previous Cooperationist passion, see Freehling, Road 1: 530.
30. The best biographical sketch is in John Amasa May and Joan Reynolds Faust, South Carolina Secedes (Columbia, S.C., 1960), 220–21.
31. Ibid., 151. The Robert Newman Gourdin Papers, EU, is a treasure chest of information.
32. Woodward and Muhlenfeld, eds., Private Mary Chesnut, 48, 56.
33. Memminger to William Porcher Miles, January 24, 1860, Miles Papers, NC.
34. May Spencer Ringold, “Robert Newman Gourdin and the ‘1860 Association,’” GHQ 55 (1971): 501–9.
35. William Tennent, Jr., to M. H. Bonham, October 10, 1860, Bonham Papers, SC.
36. Robert Barnwell Rhett, Jr., to Edward C. Wharton, August 2, 1886, Wharton Papers. Save for Jefferson Davis’s answer, the paper trail of Rhett’s clandestine correspondence ends here, at least in our current publicly available depositories. But in the late 1920s, Laura White saw early November answers from two key Southwesterners, Alabama’s Leroy Pope Walker and Mississippi’s William S. Barry, then in the private possession of A. B. Rhett. White, Rhett, 176n.
Chapter 25. The Triumph
1. William Nelson to William Porcher Miles, November 17, 1860, Miles Papers, NC; CC, November 3, 1860.
2. Miles to Robert Gourdin, December 10, 1860, Gourdin Papers, DU.
3. D. H. Hamilton to Gourdin, November 26, 1860, Gourdin Papers, EU.
4. CC, November 6–7, 1860.
5. Yorkville Enquirer, December 6, 1860.
6. CC, November 7, 1860.
7. Quoted in W. A. Swanberg’s older, still useful, vivid narrative First Blood: The Story of Fort Sumter (New York, 1957), 17.
8. CC, November 12, 1860.
9. William M. Robinson, Jr., Justices in Gray (New York, 1941), 4–5.
10. CC, November 12, 1860; Robinson, Justices in Gray, 6.
11. May and Faust, South Carolina Secedes, 175; Youmans, Magrath.
12. Youmans, Magrath; May and Faust, South Carolina Secedes, 175–76; Woodward, ed., Chesnut’s Civil War, 35, 50.
13. Alfred Huger to Joseph Holt, November 12, 1860, Holt Papers, LC.
14. CM, November 8, 1860. This great quote is often rendered as South Carolina’s response to Lincoln’s election. It was in fact a response to South Carolina’s first response: those galvanizing resignations.
15. A. Toomer Palmer, Led On! Step by Step … (New York, 1899), 119; CM, November 8, 1860.
16. CC, November 9, 1860.
17. CM, November 5, 1860.
18. James S. Pettigrew to William Pettigrew, October 24, 1860, Pettigrew Papers, NC.
19. James Mercer Green to Robert Gourdin, December 21, 1860, John M. Richardson to Gourdin, December 5, 14, 1860, Gourdin Papers, EU. Many other letters in the Gourdin Papers attest to a secret plot to fortify South Carolina’s nerve to move first, with reassurances from other states that would not move first. But Gourdin’s answers came in December, after the South Carolina legislature dared. That fact whets the appetite for the Rhetts’ answers in early November, which are almost nonexistent in public archives.
20. R. C. Griffin to D. L. Dalton, November 6, 1860, Milledge Bonham Papers, SC; Rhett Jr. to Edward C. Wharton, August 2, 1886, Wharton Papers, LSU.
21. The legislative deliberations from the Rhetts’ November 7 introduction of early convention dates through the Senate’s November 9 vote to postpone the dates is accurately described in Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 54–57.
22. Aldrich to Hammond, November 6, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
23. Hammond to the legislature, November 8, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC. An earlier draft, dated October 15, is in Hammond Papers, SC.
24. Davis, Rhett, 398–99, handles this skillfully, until the author’s concluding sentence states that “Rhett’s last-minute intervention worked perfectly.” Not Rhett’s intervention through Colcock but the 1860 Association’s railroad celebration, planned for a week, and the Institute Hall meeting, planned on November 7 (CC, November 8, 1860), worked perfectly.
25. Once again this interpretation may look startlingly new to most readers but will not to the experts. Potter, Impending Crisis, 490, and Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 58, both see that South Carolina traveled via a railroad coincidence from a 44–1 vote for late dates to a unanimous vote for early dates in a mere twenty-four hours.
I remarked in the preface of my first book, Prelude to Civil War, x, that my predecessors in the field had mentioned my “new” interpretation. Generations of good historians are not going to miss an important happening altogether. Originality in history more often consists of adding new context to an old understanding and thus making the obscurely known compelling.
26. CM, October 22, November 5, 1860.
27. CM, November 5, 1860.
28. Charles Colcock Jones, Jr., to his father, January 28, 1861, and to his parents, March 17, 1861, both in The Children of Pride, ed. Robert Manson Myers (New Haven, 1984), 43, 51.
29. For Bartow’s short life, his curse at Governor Brown, and his spectacular death, see Lindsey P. Henderson, Jr., The Oglethorpe Light Infantry (Savannah, 1961), 1–5.
30. CM, November 5, 1860.
31. CM, November 10, 1860; Woodward and Muhlenfeld, eds., Private Mary Chesnut, 4.
32. CC, November 10, 1860.
33. Henderson, Oglethorpe Light Infantry, 2.
34. Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray … (Baton Rouge, 1959), 149–50; Wakelyn, ed., Biographical Dictionary, 248–49.
35. Henry R. Jackson, Tallulah and Other Poems (Savannah, 1850), 91–93.
36. Henry Jackson to Howell Cobb, December 19, 1860, Cobb Papers, GA; Jackson, The Southern Women of the Second American Revolution (Atlanta, 1863), vi.
37. CM, November 10, 1860; CC, November 10, 1860.
38. Woodward and Muhlenfeld, eds., Private Mary Chesnut, 5; CC, November 12, 1860; D. H. Hamilton to D. H. Hamilton, Jr., November 10, 1860, Ruffin-Roulhac-Hamilton Papers, NC.
39. CC, November 12, 1860.
40. Childs, ed., Ravenel Journal, 40; Miles to M.R.H. Garnett, November 13, 1860, William Garnett Chisholm Papers, VHS.
41. CC, November 12, 1860.
43. Townsend, Doom of Slavery, 27.
44. Caroline Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew, November 26, 1860, Pettigrew Papers, NC. See also McCarter’s ms Journal, 12–14, LC.
45. Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 59–61, wraps up the legislative decision nicely.
46. Porter to Hammond, November 11, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
48. Aldrich to Hammond, November 25, 1860, James Hammond to M.C.M. Hammond, November 12, 1860, both in Hammond Papers, LC.
49. Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, November 13, 1860, Hammond Papers, SC.
50. Freehling, Road 1: 531.
51. Caroline Pettigrew to Charles Pettigrew, November 29, 1860, Pettigrew Papers, NC.
52. O’Neall to Hammond, September 20, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
53. Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 63–64.
54. Frank De Bow to J.B.D. De Bow, November 19, 1860, De Bow Papers, DU; James Petigru Carson, ed., Life, Letters, and Speeches of James Louis Petigru … (Washington, 1920), 361; Howell Cobb to “My Judge,” November 11, 1860, Cobb Papers, New-York Historical Society.
55. CM, January 12, 1861.
56. Woodward and Muhlenfeld, eds., Private Mary Chesnut, 4–5.
57. CM, December 6–8, 1860; Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 66.
58. Wakelyn, ed., Secession Pamphlets, 158–59.
59. Hammond to M.C.M. Hammond, November 12, 1860, Hammond Papers, LC.
60. William Gilmore Simms to James Hammond, April 4, 1859, Simms to William Porcher Miles, February 5, 1860, Simms to Miles, December 5, 1860, all in Oliphant et al., eds., Simms Letters 4: 140, 193–94, 281 (see also notes at 227, 285, 310); David Flavel Jamison, Life and Times of Bertrand Du Guesclin (Charleston, S.C., 1864), esp. preface; May and Faust, South Carolina Secedes, 164–65.
61. May and Faust, South Carolina Secedes, 5–6.
62. CC, December 18, 1861.
63. Thomas Frian to Benjamin F. Perry, December 18, 1860, Perry Papers, LC.
64. Vivid portraits of the final scene can be enjoyed in CM and CC, December 21, 1860; Nina Glover to C. J. Bowen, December 21, 1861, Caroline Gilman Papers, DU; R. Hamilton to D. H. Hamilton, Jr., December 21, 1860, Ruffin-Roulhac-Hamilton Papers, NC; Charles H. Lesser, Relic of the Lost Cause: The Story of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession (Columbia, S.C., 1996); May and Faust, South Carolina Secedes, 5–72.
65. Childs, ed., Ravenel Journal, 40.
66. The point here—the caution that should always condition might-have-been history—is that to think that one contingency will necessarily change all subsequent history, without other surprise occurrences changing things again, is to deny the very nature of contingency. Long-term trends will furthermore likely continue, even if a short-term chance occurrence slightly deflects their path. Thus, I think that historians who rightly see the impact of contingencies must usually restrain themselves to portraying possible shortterm deflections rather than naively proclaiming that the long-term outcome would necessarily have been different. When used in this cautious way, the often not-so-cautious parlor game of might-have-been history can illustrate the complexities of history rather than oversimplifying alternate possibilities.
This version of my railroad coincidence thesis bears the marks of superb criticism received after I presented the first version to the BRANCH (British-American Nineteenth-Century Historians) convention in Wales in October 2004. I owe much to the late, much missed Peter Parish (for founding the wonderful organization), to Donald Ratcliffe (for arranging the sessions on my work), to Richard Carwardine (for skillfully presiding), and to Jack Pole, William Dusinberre, and John Ashworth (for particularly shrewd suggestions).
I also presented preliminary versions of this chapter at Randolph-Macon Women’s College and the University of Alabama, where the comments of John d’Entremont, George Rable, and Larry Kohl were very helpful. I have furthermore benefited from conversations on this matter with Robert Vaughn (who pressed the necessity to remember that luck only opens an opportunity and becomes irrelevant if opportunists fail to pounce) and with Ron Formisano, Mark Summers, and Calvin Schermerhorn (all joining the BRANCH historians in pressing the necessity to be very clear that my coincidence could only temporarily deflect forces that had built up for many years and would probably continue to upset temporary armistices).
Introduction to Part VII. Lower South Landslide, Upper South Stalemate
1. I first came across the very useful idea that the secession crisis must be seen as a series of crises in William Cooper’s work. He initially presented the conception in “The Politics of Slavery Affirmed: The South and the Secession Crisis,” in The Southern Enigma: Essays on Race, Class, and Folk Culture, ed, Walter J. Fraser, Jr., and Winfred B. Moore, Jr. (Westport, Conn., 1983), 199–215.
Chapter 26. Alexander Stephens’s Fleeting Moment
1. Freehling, Road 1: 523–24.
2. William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, eds., Secession Debated: Georgia’s Showdown in 1860 (New York, 1992), presents all the Milledgeville speeches, with introductions and notes. In my introduction, I mishandled the distinction between Cooperationists and Unionists. I am grateful to Anthony Gene Carey for correcting the error in his Parties, Slavery, and the Union in Antebellum Georgia (Athens, Ga., 1997), 321.
3. For good contemporary illustrations, see CC, June 5, 1858, February 14, 1861; Milledgeville Southern Recorder, March 1, 1859; Baltimore Republican, March 11, 1854; Delaware Gazette, February 15, 1861. The great biography of Stephens still has not been written, despite superb source material, but helpful accounts are in Thomas E. Schott, Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography (Baton Rouge, 1988); Rudolph von Abele, Alexander H. Stephens: A Biography (New York, 1946); and Richard Malcolm Johnston and William Hand Browne, Life of Alexander Stephens (Philadelphia, 1878).
4. Alexander to Linton Stephens, February 3, 1851, SP, M.
5. Alexander to Linton Stephens, May 7, 1858, SP, M.
6. James Z. Rabun, ed., “Alexander H. Stephens’s Diary, 1834–1837,” GHQ 36 (1952): 79; Johnston and Browne, Stephens, 65–66.
7. Linton to Alexander Stephens, February 9, 1845, SP, M.
8. Alexander to Linton Stephens, February 3, 1851, SP, M.
10. Ibid.; Linton to Alexander Stephens, February 27, 1859, SP, M.
11. Alexander Stephens to Dick, July 5, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC; Johnston and Browne, Stephens, 353.
12. Freehling and Simpson, eds., Secession Debated, 97.
13. Ibid., 55–58.
14. Ibid., 77–78.
15. Augusta Daily Constitutionalist, November 17, 1859.
16. Myrta A. Avary, ed., Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens … (New York, 1910), 81.
17. S. R. Anderson to Alexander Stephens, November 14, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC.
18. Freehling and Simpson, eds., Secession Debated, 41, 49.
19. Ibid., 6–7, 13, 29.
20. Ibid., 38, 141–42.
21. Ibid., 39–41.
22. Ibid., 118–21, 129.
23. Ibid., 28; P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 514; Special Message of Gov. Joseph E. Brown …November 7, 1860 (Milledgeville, Ga., 1860), 17.
24. Freehling and Simpson, eds., Secession Debated, 148–49; J. Henley Smith to Alexander Stephens, November 16, 1860, Stephens Papers, LC.
25. A distinction so nicely made in Carey, Parties, 240, that I have filched some of the phrasing.
26. Freehling and Simpson, eds., Secession Debated, 11–12.
27. Ibid., 24.
28. Augusta Constitutionalist, November 23, 1860.
29. The complete exchange of letters between Stephens and Lincoln can be found in Alexander H. Stephens, A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States …, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1870), 2: 266–70.
30. Alexander to Linton Stephens, November 8, 21, 1860, Linton to Alexander Stephens, November 26, December 2, 1860, SP, M.
31. Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, February 1, 1861; Resolutions drawn up for Republican members of the Senate Committee of Thirteen, n.d. [February 20, 1861], both in Basler, ed., Lincoln’s Works 4: 157, 183.
32. Thomas D. Morris, Free Men All: The Personal Liberty Laws of the North, 1780–1861 (Baltimore, 1974), 202–18, reviews these reconsiderations of the Personal Liberty Laws. Professor Morris sees little chance of a successful compromise in the history as it developed. But he does not consider whether changes would have been enhanced if a Southwide ultimatum had made it clear that the fate of the Union rode on the negotiations.
33. I first tried out my Hammond-Stephens speculations at an Oberlin College lecture and seminar. The helpfulness of the occasion was no surprise, for this was Oberlin and these were Gary Kornblith’s students. Professor Kornblith’s “Rethinking the Coming of the Civil War: A Counterfactual Exercise,” JAH 90 (2003): 76–105, while harboring a larger sense of pre–Civil War alternate possibilities than mine, pushes us all toward deeper thought and more explicit writing about illuminating alternatives—or nonalternatives.
I have also benefited from conversations about Stephens with Craig Simpson and about Hammond with Ann Fuller, Jean Hughes, Carol Lasser, and Lawrence McDonnell.
Chapter 27. Southwestern Separatists’ Tactics and Messages
1. S. R. Gist to John Pettus, November 8, 1860, Governors Records, MISS. See also William Gist to Pettus, November 6, 1860, same collection.
2. William L. Barney, The Secessionist Impulse: Alabama and Mississippi in 1860 (Princeton, 1974), 195. Mississippi and Pettus switched to Separatist tactics so smoothly, so overwhelmingly, and with such passion that it is tempting to see the governor’s and Jefferson Davis’s late October/early November preference for Cooperationism as a doomed exception, with Mississippi sure to seize the Separatist banner even if South Carolina faltered. That might have happened. But almost all the evidence for an inevitable Mississippi surge came after South Carolina’s galvanizing action. In the earlier context, before the South Carolina legislature’s November 10, 1860, unanimous decision for Separatism, Mississippi opinion was more unformed and still responsive to the December 1859 southern convention call that Christopher Memminger had driven through the South Carolina legislature. If the South Carolina legislature had not changed the context on November 10—if the legislature had invited the southern convention idea to swell as lawmakers did in November 9 votes—the early November Cooperationist leanings of Pettus, Davis, and Mississippi commissioner to Virginia Peter Starke might have seemed more typical of Mississippi opinion. In politics, context is everything, and evidence from the period after the context changed cannot demonstrate certainties before the change.
3. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 8 vols. (Austin, 1938–43), 8: 192–97.
4. Alexandria Constitutionalist, December 15, 1860.
5. The best biographies of Houston are still those listed in Freehling, Road 1: 605, n. 25.
6. Williams and Barker, eds., Writings of Houston 8: 184–85. My favorite book on Texas during the secession crisis is Walter L. Buenger, Secession and the Union in Texas (Austin, 1984). Also full of useful information are Dale Baum, The Shattering of Texas Unionism … (Baton Rouge, 1998); Edward R. Maher, Jr., “Secession in Texas” (Ph.D. dissertation, Fordham University, 1960); Billy D. Ledbetter, “Slavery, Fear, and Disunion in the Lone Star State …” (Ph.D. dissertation, North Texas State University, 1972); and Anna Irene Sandbo, “Beginnings of the Secession Movement in Texas,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 18 (1914): 41–73.
7. Williams and Barker, eds., Writings of Houston 8: 208. Houston announced his decisions to the Texas populace in a public letter dated December 3, printed in the LaGrange True Issue, December 6, 1860.
8. James Hall Bell, Speech …Dec. 1st, 1860 (Austin, 1860), esp. 1–2, 4, 10, 15.
9. Oran Miles Roberts, Speech … 1st December, 1860 (n.p. [Austin], 1860), esp. 24–26.
10. Austin (Texas) State Gazette, December 8, 1860.
11. Ibid., December 15, 1860.
12. Wheeler to James Harper Starr, January 9, 1861, Starr Papers, TX.
13. Charles B. Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War (Charlottesville, 2001).
14. Ibid., 85, 89.
15. Journal of the Convention of the People of South Carolina, held in 1860 … (Columbia, 1862), 11, 26.
16. Harris to Pettus, December 31, 1861, Governors Records, MISS.
17. Journal of the State Convention … (Jackson, Miss., 1861), 197.
18. NOD, November 18, 1860; Dew, Apostles of Disunion, 99; North and South 7 (2004): 21.
19. Paulding Eastern Clarion, November 4, 1860; NOD, October 31, 1860.
20. Major Benjamin McCullough to Thomas Duggan, December 22, 1859, in San Antonio Ledger, January 12, 1860.
21. Vicksburg Weekly Sun, November 19, 1860.
22. Ibid., November 12, 1860; James C. Wilson, Address …November 17, 1860 (Gonzales, Tex., 1860), 6.
23. Conrad to C. W. Allen et al., December 24, 1860, in NOD, December 28, 1860.
24. NOD, November 1, 1860.
25. Vicksburg Weekly Sun, October 29, 1860; Reagan in Marshall Texas Republican, February 9, 1861.
26. This marvelous quote is the best evidence in the best of the several recent attempts to explain secession as the determination to save the equality of southern white men from Republicans’ enslavement: Thornton, Politics and Power, 450. The analytical breakthrough also especially informs William Cooper’s fine Liberty and Slavery: Southern Politics to 1860 (New York, 1983). If it seems strange that masters of unequal slaves should fight a revolution for liberty and equality, the paradox is at the heart of the American Revolution no less than the southern revolution and is the best answer to Samuel Johnson’s famous query: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” American whites’ yelp was profoundly a cry to be the reverse of Negroes and slaves, given its stridency by the very presence of despised unequals in the land of supposed egalitarianism.
This new interpretation is a major step forward despite its major limitations—its almost total failure to explain antiegalitarian South Carolina (and thus the very origins of the southern revolution), plus its failure to incorporate southwestern secessionists’ ferocious determination to defy egalitarianism, both for blacks and for their white opponents, North and South. For further discussion, see below, n. 29, and above, ch. 21, n. 30.
27. Austin Texas State Gazette, March 16, 1861; Paulding Eastern Clarion, November 14, 1860.
28. David C. Clopton to C. C. Clay, December 13, 1860, Clay Papers, DU; Wakelyn, ed., Secession Pamphlets, 114.
29. This determination not to allow white opponents the democratic rights or social status of equal republicans was one defining contradiction of the southwestern revolution for “equality”—along with the determination to use the liberating revolution to keep blacks ground under. To fail to incorporate this antiegalitarian viciousness in an interpretation of secession (especially one that emphasizes white men’s egalitarian salvation) is to miss crucial points not only about disunion but about the Slave South beyond secessionism: the culture’s failure to keep white republicanism and black slavery cleanly severed by a color line; its inability to consolidate black slavery without repressing white dissenters; its repugnance for allowing Southern Republicans a republican’s right to assume office; and its determination to restrain national white republicanism (for example, free congressional discussion) with antirepublican laws or procedures (for example, the congressional gag rules).
30. R. S. Holt to Joseph Holt, November 9, 1860, Holt Papers, LC.
31. New Orleans Bee, November 12, 1860.
32. New Orleans Courier, November 10, 1860.
33. Barney, Road to Secession, 187–88.
34. Oscar M. Addison Journal, entry for March 6, 1861, Addison Papers, TX; George D. Denison to Sister Eliza, March 29, 1861, Denison Papers, LC.
35. Barney, Secessionist Impulse, 269; Joseph Henderson to John Henderson, December 16, 1860, Henderson Papers, ALA.
36. Thomas J. Jennings to James Harper Starr, January 16, 1861, Starr Papers, TX.
37. Johnson J. Hooper to John DeBerniere Hooper, December 25, 1860, John DeB. Hooper Papers, NC.
38. For an excellent account of this vital subject, see Mitchell Snay, The Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South (New York, 1993).
39. A modern biography of Palmer would be welcome, but Thomas Cary Johnson, The Life and Letters of Benjamin Morgan Palmer (Richmond, 1906) remains useful.
40. Wakelyn, ed., Secession Pamphlets, reprints this gem, 63–77. For the whopper, see 68.
41. Ibid., 67.
42. Ibid., 70–71.
43. Ibid., 69.
44. Ibid., 69, 71.
45. Rev. J. E. Carnes, Address on the Duty of the Slave States …Dec. 12th, 1860 (Galveston, 1860).
46. B. M. Palmer, D.D., and W. T. Leacock, D.D., The Rights of the South Defended in the Pulpit (Mobile, 1860), esp. 15–16.
Chapter 28. Compromise Rejected
1. Clemens to John Crittenden, November 24, 1860, Crittenden Papers, LC—the single most important Cooperationist letter, especially for demonstrating the straitjacket within which Lower South opponents of Separatism struggled.
2. Clemens to William B. Wood, November 26, 1850, Alexander Martin Wood Papers, ALA.
3. Again, Clemens to Crittenden, November 24, 1860, Crittenden Papers, LC, also enclosing the November 19 Huntsville Circular, another superb illumination of the edgy Cooperationist spirit. The Cooperationists’ limitations enormously aided the Separatists’ stampede, which makes the nature of Lower South opposition to Separatism a key cause of disunion. A full-scale study of Cooperationism would fill a surprising hole in pre–Civil War literature.
4. Jackson Daily Mississippian, December 1, 1860.
5. One of the best points in William Scarborough’s fine study of the South’s richest planters, Masters of the Big House. The fact that economic motives impelled many an upper-class titan away from revolutionary gambles shows that the southern ruling class, like the South itself, lay fractured along geographic and personal lines. A wealthy Louisianan (or Virginian) usually did not emulate a South Carolina tycoon—yet another reason why secession could not come in a Southwide rush but place by place, piece by piece, with Separatism an ideal label for disunion achieved by the separated.
6. Milledge Bonham to William Gist, December, 3, 1860, Bonham Papers, SC.
7. Gist to Bonham, December 6, 1860, Bonham Papers, SC.
8. Joseph Brown to Howell Cobb, December 15, 1860, Cobb Papers, GA; John B. Lamar to David F. Barrow, December 13, 1860, Barrow Papers, GA; William Henry Trescot to Cobb, December 14, 1860, in P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 522.
9. Edward McPherson, The Political History of …the Great Rebellion … (New York, 1864), 37. The signers and supposed “would have signed” congressmen are here listed along with the text signed (or not signed!).
10. John J. Crittenden to Orlando Brown, December 6, 1860, Brown Papers, FC.
11. Two fine books trace the Crittenden Compromise from different angles: David Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis (New Haven, 1942); and Kenneth M. Stampp, And the War Came: The North and the Secession Crisis, 1860–1861 (Baton Rouge, 1950).
12. R. Alton Lee, “The Corwin Amendment in the Secession Crisis,” Ohio Historical Quarterly 70 (1961): 1–26. I will discuss this illuminating subject extensively in my forthcoming Lincoln’s Room for Growth: A Great President’s Early Presidential Stumbles.
13. McPherson, Great Rebellion, 71, 86–88, contains the various senators’ suggestions. See also Hunter to James R. Micou, November 24, 1860, in RE, December 12, 1860; Hunter to John Randolph Tucker, January 19, 1861, Tucker Papers, NC.
14. Toombs’s wording varies in various eyewitness accounts, but I have followed Georgia King to Henry Lord Page King, November 15, 1860, Thomas Butler King Papers, NC.
15. McPherson, Great Rebellion, 37.
16. Toombs to E. B. Pullin et al., December 13, 1860, in P., ed., T., S., & C. 2: 519–22.
17. The best biographies are Albert D. Kirwan, John J. Crittenden: the Struggle for the Union (Lexington, Ky., 1962) and William Y. Thompson, Robert Toombs of Georgia (Baton Rouge, 1966).
18. Ulrich B. Phillips handles this matter expertly in The Life of Robert Toombs (1913; New York, 1968), 208.
19. Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne, December 13, 1860, Basler, ed., Lincoln’s Works 4: 151.
20. McPherson, Great Rebellion, 37–38.
21. Phillips, Toombs, 204–5.
22. McPherson, Great Rebellion, 38.
23. Bonham to William Gist, December 3, 1860, Bonham Papers, SC.
Chapter 29. Military Explosions
1. For Anderson’s military estimates and pleas for orders, see OR, 74–89.
2. Cauthen, South Carolina Goes to War, 94–95.
3. OR, 103.
4. Ibid., 109–10.
5. A book on the father and son, or on either eccentric, could be a colorful and informing read, but for now the slim pickings include Takaki, Pro-Slavery Crusade, 201–12; and Russell K. Brown, “Charles Augustus Lafayette Lamar,” in Encyclopedia of the American Civil War …, ed. David Heidler and Jeanne Heidler (New York, 2000), 1137.
6. Takaki, Pro-Slavery Crusade, 205, quotes Gazaway’s protest and C.A.L.’s response.
7. The story is adequately told in Tom Henderson Wells, The Slave Ship Wanderer (Athens, Ga., 1967).
8. Quoted in Brown, “Lamar,” 1137.
9. C.A.L. Lamar to Gazaway Lamar, November 5, 1860, C.A.L. Lamar Papers, EU.
10. Same to same, November 26, 1860, C.A.L. Lamar Papers, EU.
11. Charles A. L. Lamar to Robert Gourdin, December 29, 1860, Keith Read Papers, GA.
12. Same to same, same date, Gourdin Papers, EU.
13. Typescript biography in Alexander Lawton Papers, NC. For an indication of Lawton’s sober and conservative intentions during the Fort Pulaski seizure, see Sarah (Mrs. Alexander) Lawton to My Dear Friend, January 4, 1861, Lawton Papers.
14. Lawton to Gourdin, December 16, 1860, Gourdin Papers, EU.
15. Lamar to Gourdin, December 29, 1860, Keith Read Papers, GA.
16. So Brown reported in his Executive Minutebook, January 2, 1861, Georgia Department of Archives and History, Atlanta (hereafter cited as Georgia Archives).
17. OR, 115–18.
18. Jamison’s telegram to Brown, January 1, 1861, is in the Telamon Cuyler Papers, GA.
19. Joseph Brown, Executive Minutebook, January 2, 1861, Georgia Archives.
20. Joseph E. Brown to Governor Moore, January 5, 1861, Samuel Crawford Papers, LC.
21. James Mercer Green to Robert N. Gourdin, January 5, 1861, Keith Read Papers, GA; Joseph Brown, Executive Minutebook, January 2, 1861, Georgia Archives.
22. Moore’s orders to Todd, January 3, 1861, were conveyed in two telegrams and a letter of that date, all in John B. Todd Papers, ALA.
23. George F. Pearce, Pensacola During the Civil War … (Gainesville, Fla., 2000), ch. 1.
24. Ibid., 26–30; Brown to Governor Andrew Moore, January 8, 1861, Samuel Crawford Papers, LC.
25. Joseph Brown to John D. Stell, January 14, 1861, Governor’s Letterbook, Georgia Archives; James Mercer Green to Robert Gourdin, January 5, 1861, Keith Read Papers, GA.
26. Hershel Johnson to Alexander Stephens, January 9, 1861, Johnson Papers, DU. Stephens concurred in this (understandable) distortion of wholly unintended consequences into some conspiratorial design: Alexander Stephens to Linton Stephens, January 7, 1861, SP, M.
27. Andrew Moore to James Buchanan, January 4, 1861, Governors Papers, ALA.
28. The Governors Papers in the Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia state archives, December, 1860, exude the frustrations of chief executives with money to spend on guns that were exasperating to find.
29. See the angry correspondence between Eli Whitney and Jefferson Davis, December 19–29, Governors Papers, MISS.
30. Powhattan Ellis, Sr., to Charles Ellis, December 25, 1860, Mumford-Ellis Papers, DU.
31. William Henry Trescot to Sanford, January 14, 1861, Nicholas Olsberg Papers, SCHS.
32. Quoted in a lively retelling of the Star of the West tale, W. A. Swanberg, First Blood, 148.
33. OR, 132.
34. Jefferson Davis to Franklin Pierce, January 20, 1861, Cooper, ed., Davis Writings, 189.
35. For a boldly stated countervailing judgment, see Jean H. Baker, James Buchanan (New York, 2004).
Chapter 30. Snowball Rolling
1. Percy L. Rainwater, Mississippi, Storm Center of Secession, 1856–1861 (Baton Rouge, 1938), 196–200; Potter, Impending Crisis, 495, 500. Recent illuminating books on Mississippi politics include Bradley G. Bond, Political Culture in … Mississippi, 1830–1900 (Baton Rouge, 1995); Christopher Morris, Becoming Southern: The Evolution of … Mississippi, 1770–1860 (New York, 1995); and Christopher Olsen, Political Culture and Secession in Mississippi … (New York, 2000). But pride of place still belongs to William Barney’s Secessionist Impulse.
2. Ralph A. Wooster, The Secession Conventions of the South (Princeton, 1962), 36–37.
3. Quoted in Barney, Secessionist Impulse, 309.
4. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 73; Dorothy Dodd, “The Secession Movement in Florida, 1850–1861,” Florida Historical Quarterly 13 (1933–34): 3–24, 45–66.
5. Clarence P. Denman, The Secession Movement in Alabama (Montgomery, 1933), 93–116; Potter, Impending Crisis, 500.
6. Barney, Secessionist Impulse, 298.
7. Ibid., 301; William R. Smith, The History and Debates of the Convention of … Alabama (Atlanta, 1861), 69–74. Smith’s is the best account of convention speeches and debates in any Lower South state; it is particularly valuable for illustrating the clash between northern and southern Alabamians. Barney, Secessionist Impulse, is almost as good on Alabama as on Mississippi. Still, Mills Thornton’s Politics and Power, despite the disagreements with its central interpretations that I record elsewhere in these notes, is the best guide to local politics in any Lower South state.
8. Hugh Lawson Clay to C. C. Clay, Jr., January 11, 1861, Clay Papers, DU.
9. Thomas J. McClellan to his wife, January 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, McClellan Papers, ALA; McClellan to John, January 7, 1861, Buchanan-McClellan Papers, NC; William A. Smith to wife, January 12, 1861, Easley-Smith Family Papers, LC.
10. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 59; Smith to wife, January 12, 1861, Easley-Smith Family Papers, LC.
11. See Michael P. Johnson’s fine “A New Look at the Popular Vote for Delegates to the Georgia Secession Convention,” GHQ 56 (1972): 259–75. While I think that Professor Johnson’s Toward a Patriarchal Republic: The Secession of Georgia (Baton Rouge, 1977) properly stresses fears of a southern internal crisis as central to the secessionist movement, his evidence for the proposition seems based too narrowly on slight changes in the Georgia constitution, and his conception seems too narrowly focused on white Georgians’ fear of each other. Still, Johnson’s book ranks with Anthony Carey’s Parties, Slavery, and the Union in Antebellum Georgia as the best guide to that state, especially if supplemented by J. William Harris’s superb local study Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society: White Liberty and Black Slavery in Augusta’s Hinterlands(Middletown, Conn., 1985).
12. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 90–91.
13. Ibid., 91.
14. See Charles B. Dew’s two seminal essays, “The Long Lost Returns: The Candidates and Their Totals in Louisiana’s Secession Election,” Louisiana History 10 (1969): 353–69, and “Who Won the Secession Election in Louisiana?” JSH 36 (1970): 18–32.
15. John M. Sachar, A Perfect War of Politics: Parties, Politicians, and Democracy in Louisiana, 1824–1861 (Baton Rouge, 2003), esp. 296.
16. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 130.
17. CC, August 8, 1860.
Chapter 31. Upper South Stalemate
1. Benjamin C. Howard to John P. Kennedy, December 26, 1860, Kennedy Papers, Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore.
2. John P. Kennedy to George S. Bryan, December 27, 1860, Kennedy Papers, Pratt Library; Kennedy, The Border States: Their Power and Duty in the Present Disordered Condition of the Country (Philadelphia, 1861), esp. 17, 25–27, 30–31.
3. William Rives, Jr., to Rives Sr., December 21, 1860, Rives Papers, LC; John Letcher to James D. Davidson, March 9, 1861, Davidson Papers, WISC.
4. Wilmington Herald, November 9, 1861; Samuel Smith Nicholas, South Carolina, Disunion, and a Mississippi Valley Confederacy (n.p., n.d. [probably Louisville, 1860 or 1861]).
5. RE, July 13, 1860; J. O. Harrison to Joseph Holt, January 1, 1859, Holt Papers, LC.
6. Robert J. Breckinridge, “Discourse Delivered on …January 4, 1861 …,” in Wakelyn, ed., Secession Pamphlets, 247–61, esp. 249; Thomas M. Peters to James Buchanan, December 6, 1860, Buchanan Papers, HSP; Henry Cooper to M. D. Cooper, April 27, 1861, William F. Cooper Papers, TN.
7. Cooper’s same April 27 letter; Baltimore Courier, February 2, 1861; R. W. Bush to Linton Stephens, January 27, 1861, SP, M.
8. This point is made especially well in Holt, Political Crisis of the 1850s, and in Daniel W. Crofts, Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis (Chapel Hill, 1989). Professor Crofts’s seminal study illuminates every point in this chapter and has few if any equals among monographs on an aspect of antebellum southern politics.
9. William C. Davis, “A Government of Our Own”: The Making of the Confederacy (New York, 1994) is the best monograph. The wonderful series of Thomas R. R. Cobb letters from Montgomery to his wife, Marion, in February 1861, Cobb Papers, GA, illustrates the dread of reconstruction, also fearfully expressed in Jefferson L. Pugh to William Porcher Miles, January 24, 1861, Miles Papers, NC.
10. CM, February 13, 1861.
11. CC, April 6, 11, 1861, reports that Spratt mustered only sixteen reopening diehards, including James H. Adams, with 146 South Carolina convention delegates voting against the far-out extremists, in another indication that moderates (South Carolina style!) controlled the revolution.
12. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 207–55, esp. 232.
13. Ibid., 173–203, esp. 180, 193.
14. Ibid., 163–64; James M. Wood, Rebellion and Realignment: Arkansas’ Road to Secession (Fayetteville, 1987).
15. James Davidson to George Yerber, February 3, 1861, Davidson to A. T. Caperton, February 6, 1861, Davidson Papers, WISC.
16. On the 1829–32 crises, see my Road 1: 162–69, and Alison G. Freehling, Drift Toward Dissolution: The Virginia Slavery Debates of 1831–1832 (Baton Rouge, 1982).
17. Freehling, Road 1: 511–15.
18. Skillfully analyzed in Crofts, Reluctant Confederates, 140–42.
19. Well analyzed in Wooster, Secession Conventions, 142, 152. Two older studies also remain useful here: Henry T. Shanks, The Secession Movement in Virginia, 1847–1861 (Richmond, 1934), and James C. McGregor, The Disruption of Virginia (New York, 1922).
20. John B. Floyd to William R. Burwell, February 7, 1861, Burwell Papers, VA.
21. On George Randolph’s father’s and grandfather’s compromised colonization/abolition efforts, see Road 1: 123–30, 155–57.
22. On John B. Floyd’s father’s and Thomas Jefferson Randolph’s role in the 1831–32 trauma, see ibid., 181–83.
23. George Randolph to Cornelia Randolph, November 3, 1860, Nicholas Trist Papers, NC. See also same to Septima Randolph, October 14, 1860, Randolph-Meikleham Family Papers, VA.
24. Unless otherwise noted, the tone and quotes in this and the next five paragraphs come from the William H. Holcombe Autobiography, typed copy in NC, 36ff. William H. was James P. Holcombe’s younger brother.
25. The quote in this sentence is from the Wellsburg Herald, March 29, 1861.
26. Speech in the Virginia secession convention, March 20, 1861, Reese, ed., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention 2: 79. I analyze this superb source in Reintegration of American History, 3–11.
27. On Conway, see Road 1: 102–3; John d’Entremont, Southern Emancipator: Moncure Conway, The American Years, 1832–1865 (New York, 1987).
28. Reese, ed., Proceedings 1: 62–66.
29. Ibid. 1: 759, 2: 99, 3: 89.
30. Ibid. 3: 105.
31. Ibid. 1: 256–57, 3: 106.
32. Ibid. 2: 86. Especially fine on how blacks’ resistance helped radicalize secessionists such as Holcombe is William A. Link, Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill, 2003).
33. Henry Dering to Waitman Willey, March 19, 1861, Willey Papers, WVU.
34. Henry Wise to Richard A. Wise, February 18, 1861, in Wise, Wise, 270.
35. Reese, ed., Proceedings 1: 757–58.
36. Ibid., 2: 93–94, 3: 108.
37. Robert G. Gunderson, Old Gentlemen’s Convention: The Washington Peace Conference of 1861 (Madison, Wisc., 1961).
38. Reese, ed., Proceedings 1: 523–28.
39. Ibid., 116, 289. The flamboyant contest of images illuminates Virginians’ excruciating plight: at the mercy of outside forces that they could not control and aching to stop from being torn one way or the other. The distress of a folk that had once been king of American political processes and now was pawn is captured with fine depth of feeling at the local level in Edward L. Ayers, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859–1863 (New York, 2003).
40. Reese, ed., Proceedings 2: 103.
41. Ibid. 3: 163.
42. Shanks, Secession Movement in Virginia, 79; Joseph Leonard King, Jr., Dr. George William Bagby: A Study of Virginian Literature, 1850–1880 (New York, 1927). Too late for the researching and drafting of this book, Peter S. Carmichael published his fine The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill, 2005). I admire Professor Carmichael’s parallel “young Virginia” argument in his ch. 5, although I think that he has not pushed his formidable thesis quite far enough in his secession section.
43. George Latham to George Bagby, December 30, 1860, Bagby Family Papers, VHS.
44. Same to same, March 9, 1861, Bagby Family Papers, VHS.
45. John Hampden Chamberlayne to George Bagby, December 5, 1860, John Esten Cooke to Bagby, January 30, 1861, Bagby Family Papers, VHS.
46. Henry Gray Latham to Bagby, n.d. [February 1861] and March 26, 1861, Bagby Family papers, VHS. See also Edwin R. Page to Bagby, March 3, 1861, R. H. Walkins to Bagby, March 16, 1861, same collection.
Chapter 32. Stalemate—and the South—Shattered
1. The tale of the forts is spun from slightly different directions in Stampp, And The War Came; in Potter, Lincoln and His Party; and in Richard N. Current, Lincoln and the First Shot (Philadelphia, 1963).
2. I look forward to detailing this important story in my forthcoming Lincoln’s Room for Growth: A Great President’s Early Presidential Stumbles. Anyone who wants to trace the tale sooner should begin with OR, ch. 4, with an eye out for Winfield Scott’s blunders.
3. Lincoln to Gilmer, December 15, 1860, in Basler, ed., Lincoln’s Works 4: 152.
4. The fact that Lincoln did have a (very moderate) plan to weaken slavery inside the (Border) South and that disunionists partly seceded over that very plan undercuts the old “revisionist” theory that slavery issues were meaningless in the secession crisis and the Civil War a needless blunder (as well as Mills Thornton’s neorevisionism, in Politics and Power, that no menace can be found in slavery politics—only an imagined monster, stemming from economic politics). The secessionists’ and Republicans’ meeting of minds on Lincoln’s antislavery menace also partly sustains the theory that Northerners and Southerners irretrievably clashed over slavery’s morality.
But that partially viable moral theory of Civil War causation can only take posterity so far—and not far enough to explain why northern and southern masses came to the battlefields. The facts remain that the northern masses did not elect Lincoln primarily to pursue his antislavery plan (a strategy that he barely even hinted at in the 1850s), any more than the Middle South masses fled the Union primarily to escape Lincoln’s antislavery strategy. In the racist North, the protection of white men’s liberties against the Slave Power had to bolster moral concern about blacks’ liberty, just as the protection of white men’s state’s right to withdraw consent had to bolster concern about Lincoln’s immediate menace to slavery in the Upper South. The masses in both regions came to fight passionately for a morally tainted version of their own liberty: Northerners for their freedom from Slave Power assaults on whites’ democratic processes (with much less concern until 1863 for blacks’ freedom), and Southerners for their freedom to defy federal coercion of unconsenting whites (with every intention to coerce both unconsenting blacks and southern whites who contested slavery or secession). In the land where black slavery everywhere intertwined with white democracy, redemption could only come amidst a morally dubious fog.
On the minority of Republicans who steered atypically free of the fog, Richard H. Sewell, Ballots for Freedom: Antislavery Politics in the United States, 1837–1860 (New York, 1976) is particularly fine.
5. Montgomery Meigs Diary, entry for March 29–April 8, 1861, in AHR 26 (1921): 300.
6. Lincoln to Robert S. Chew, April 6, 1861, and Chew to Lincoln, April 8, 1861, both in Basler, ed., Lincoln’s Works 4: 323–24.
7. David Detzer, Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War (New York, 2001), 308–9.
8. For Lincoln’s fateful proclamation, see Basler, ed., Lincoln’s Works, 4: 331–32.
9. Reese, ed., Proceedings 4: 46.
10. Ibid., 43–49.
11. Ibid., 24–25.
12. This part of the Virginia story is nicely narrated in Simpson, Wise, 248–51.
13. Reese, ed., Proceedings 4: 122.
14. Eyewitness account of Judge John Critcher, delegate from Richmond, quoted in Wise, Wise, 280–81.
15. I have benefited from many talks with Roberta Culbertson about the stark clarification that the onset of violence begets, forcing stallers and fudgers off the fence to decide whether to kill us or them.
16. Reese, ed., Proceedings 4: 144; Wooster, Secession Conventions, 149.
17. An intriguing historiographical tale throws additional light on this aspect of the text’s historical tale. In his latest impressive book, Apostles of Disunion, Charles Dew writes that he had imbibed from his southern schools the neo-Confederate position that state’s rights as a shield against Big Brother Washington’s tariff and other economic intrusions (and not slavery!) caused the Civil War. But Professor Dew found instead that Lower South commissioners to other states emphasized menace to slavery (and especially menace to control over blacks), not menace to state’s rights or to economic issues, in their pleas to as-yet-unseceded states to join the revolution. So slavery, he concluded, not state’s rights, brought rebels to the battlefield.
His own story, however, makes that generalization only partly true. Lower South commissioners’ emphasis on the menace to slavery helps show that the first (Lower South) wave of revolution did rise from that apprehension. But the commissioners’ arguments on slavery did not sufficiently sweep the Upper South. Rather, for the northern South to join the southern South’s revolution, Lincoln’s menace to a state’s alleged right to withdraw consent had to intrude.
Three qualifications are necessary, before the climactic impact of state’s rights becomes plausible. First of all, the state’s rights impact on revolution had nothing to do with the neo-Confederates’ fancy that Professor Dew learned in southern schools: limitations on ordinary government on such mundane matters as tariffs. As I emphasize in chapter 22, prewar Southerners sought a bigger national government to protect slavery, while Northerners pitched to the state’s rights side, on the most contested ordinary matters of governance. The higher state’s rights principle that helped spread disunion from Lower to Upper South was the very different alleged right of the people of a state to end a government entirely.
Second, the state’s rights boost to Middle South revolution would have been irrelevant if the slavery issue had not already brought something like a third of the region’s citizens up to the mark. Third, any attempt to differentiate between slavery and a state’s right to withdraw consent is iffy, because this state’s right and slavery cannot be cleanly severed. Black belt whites who observed slaves daily had a special obsession with protecting a free citizen’s right to consent to be governed—exactly the precious right that slaves lacked, precisely the lack that most made a person a slave.
Comprehending a world’s revolution partially demands understanding how the very marrow of a social order made certain political abstractions lethal. One could write much of the climactic history of the southern rebellion on a pinhead heralding two explosive ideas: that a self-respecting slaveholder must demand national protection of his (slave) property, as circumstances make protection necessary, and that an unenslaved citizen must righteously guard his consent to be governed, as the people of his state define consent.
18. William C. Rives, Sr., to Rives Jr., May 6, 1861, Rives Papers, LC.
19. Stephens, Constitutional View 2: 121.
20. Wooster, Secession Conventions, 165, 188, 203.
21. Quoted in Crofts, Reluctant Confederates, 158–59.
22. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, 295; Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997 (Jefferson, N.C., 1998), 189. I am grateful to Michael Holt for suggesting that these votes marked the termination of the road to disunion—and for helping to make these last three years in Charlottesville a fine climax of my writing life.
23. For full development of the story summarized in this paragraph, see my South vs. The South (New York, 2002).
24. See my Prelude to Civil War, passim.
25. Jack Pole brought this important comparison powerfully to my attention at the BRANCH discussion of my ideas.
26. Abolitionists’ inability to capture the North solely by wielding antislavery ideas hardly means that their role in Civil War causation was minor. Dozens of historians, led by David B. Davis, have made abolitionist scholarship a triumph of slavery studies in late years. These scholars have demonstrated antislavery zealots’ central role in awakening a dozing nation to the fact that slavery was a problem, in arousing tens of thousands of Northerners to solve the problem, and in provoking the bitter southern reaction against outsiders’ problem solving. I have built upon this scholarship by seeking to explain why the nation went all the way to Civil War, even though abolitionists could go only part of the way toward persuading the prewar North.
As I said in Road 1: 626, the final words, in notes written primarily for fellow professionals, should be reserved for the pros who eased the final problems of publication. A fossil who still writes on long yellow sheets (and who finds nineteenth-century politics far more comprehensible than twenty-first-century word processors) could not have survived the prepublication rush without his longtime, long-suffering administrative assistant, Lynn Hiler, aided recently by Ann White Spencer. Nor could the manuscript have emerged unscathed through the Oxford University Press labyrinth had not my old friend Susan Ferber stepped in as the new facilitator, after Sheldon Meyer retired and Peter Ginna moved to another press. Nor could Susan have prevailed without the help of two members of Sheldon’s old team: India Cooper, incomparable copyeditor (and so much more than a copyeditor), and Joellyn Ausanka, expert production manager. All these compatriots have reminded me (as if I needed a reminder) that while historical scholarship is a lonely pursuit, no professional succeeds alone.
And now, just as this last (I thought) word has been corrected, news arrives that Sheldon Meyer has died. Thus this will be the final Oxford book that he edited. For the last fifty years, Sheldon has been among the best friends of all who love American history. For the last twenty years, he and my wife have been the best friends of this project. So at this sad moment, these two remarkable people must stand together on my dedication page.