Disunion Movement – Alexandria Gazette, Nov. 1, 1860

John C. Breckinridge

In the last issue of the Atlantic, Ga., American, we find some account of a Democratic meeting held in Appling county, in Georgia. It is reported to have been one of the largest and most enthusiastic political gatherings ever witnessed in that portion of the State, and hence the resolutions adopted on the occasion may be supposed to reflect the views and opinions of the Breckinridge leaders in Georgia.  The following are the resolutions which were unanimously adapted:

“Whereas. The oft-repeated and continued aggressions of the anti-slavery party of the North leave us no hope that the “irrepressible conflict” is to have an end, or that we can ever again “dwell in unity;” be it, therefore,

Resolved, That for the future we spurn all offers of compromise. and unhesitatingly and unequivocally  declare it to be the duty of every slave State, in the event of Lincoln’s election to the Presidency of these United States, without a moment’s delay — peaceably if we can,  forcibly if we must — to sever the bonds which bind them to the Union and hoist the flag of a Southern confederacy.

That with John C. Breckinridge as our leader, and Toombs, Davis, Rhett, Boyce and Yancey as his aid-de-camps. we have nothing to fear. Though we may be compelled to follow them from the arena of politics to the more exciting and, to us, more agreeable one of the soldier — they promise us equality in the Union or independence out of it.

That we recommend to our brethren in each county in every slave State to call meetings without delay, to organize companies of cavalry and infantry, to arm and equip themselves, if necessary. at their own expense, and hold themselves in readiness to march at the call of their leaders.

That in thus publicly proclaiming to our enemies the course we intend to pursue, we warn them we have been so long goaded by their aggressions, their repeated violations of the most solemn compromises, that forbearance on our part has ceased to be a virtue, and can only be considered so by the craven wretch who would refuse to smite the hand that would destroy him. and that we are in sober, solemn earnest.”

Here we have clearly and bolding set forth the recklcss and revolutionary designs of a portion of the supporters of Breckinridge. We invite attention most particularly to the following points in the above resolutions, viz: That it is the duty of the Slaves States, in the event of the bare election of Lincoln, “without a moment’s delay” to sever the cords which bind them to the Union, and hoist the flag of the Southern Confederacy; that the second resolution couples the names of Mr. Breckinridge and Senator Toombs and Davis, and Messrs. Rhett, Boyce and Yancey, with such a movement, by asserting that with them as leaders and “aides decamp,” they have nothing to fear, though they “may be compelled to follow them from the arena of politics to the more exciting, and, to us, more agreeable one of the soldier:” and that they recommend their “brethren in each county of every Slave State, without delay, to organize, arm and equip themselves,  and hold themselves in readiness to march at the call of their leader, whom they declare to be John J. Breckinridge and Toombs, Davis, Rhett, Boyce and Yancey.

Now, how many patriotic, honest, old line Democrats of the Jefferson, Madison, Jackson school endorse such traitorous doctrines, as those above enunciated, or will participate in measures so well calculated to produce civil war, by “precipitating the Cotton States into a revolution?” No, the true Democracy of the land are no more ready for such arming and equipping with a view to seceding in the event of Lincoln’s election, in accordance with the recognized forms of our Constitution, than are the Constitutional Union men: and if the masses in the South of those who will vote for Mr. Breckinridge believed that his views and his purposes were reflected or set forth by these resolutions, they would leave him by hundreds of thousands, and he would be left without a corporal’s guard in every Southern State where the people are permitted to vote.  We call upon those who intend supporting Mr. Breckinridge as the candidate best calculated to preserve a Democratic government, to read and ponder the above resolutions.

Note: This article, originally from the Richmond Whig, was reprinted in the Alexandria Gazette, November 1, 1860 — five days before the election of Abraham Lincoln.

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