Most disturbing datapoint I’ve seen in awhile: two-thirds of Southern Republicans now say the South should break away from the Union, up from 50 percent in January. https://t.co/IALe5x7HzF pic.twitter.com/OWx23L9pLc— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) July 14, 2021
“The star-spangled banner no longer waves in triumph and glory for me. …If a Confederacy of the Southern States could now be obtained, should we not deem it a happy termination – happy beyond expectation, of our long struggle for our rights against oppression?”
“The Union must be dissolved under its present course of administration. It requires no conspiracy to destroy – no exertion on our part to drag it to its dissolution. It goes down with the inevitable weight of its own gravitation, into that dark abyss of anarchy and ruin, where all tyrannies have fallen.”
“If to think, to speak, to feel such sentiments as these, constitute me a disunionist and a traitor, according to the English language as now understood in Carolina, then gentlemen, I am a Disunionist! – I am a Traitor!”
“Give me disunion rather than a consolidated government. Aye – disunion, rather into a thousand fragments… Because under such a government I would be a slave – a fearful slave, ruled despotically by those who do not represent me… with every base and destructive passion of man bearing upon my shieldless destiny – love of domination – avarice – long rankling jealousy – and, worst of all, the fell spirit of bigotry, which would exult over my dwelling in flames, and my children given to slaughter.”
“I am a secessionist – I am a disunionist. Others may submit: I will not. I will secede, if I can, from this Union. I will test, for myself and for my children, whether South Carolina is a State or an humbled and degraded province, existing only at the mercy of an unscrupulous and fanatical tyranny.”
This is fantastic news.
I couldn’t wait until the morning to share it. We must keep pushing!
The following excerpts come from William C. Davis’s book Rhett: The Turbulent Life and Times of a Fire Eater:
“They had been at it for almost ninety minutes, and then at last the crowd heard the name they had been waiting for.
“Robert Barnwell Rhett.”
At once the greatest shout went up as a sixty-year-old man, slim and erect at six feet began to walk down the aisle. Blue eyes behind gold-rimmed spectacles acknowledged the accolades of the multitude and saw the shimmering away of white silk handkerchiefs as he nodded a well-formed, balding head at those he knew. Before him on the stage he saw Governor Francis Pickens; his old friend David Jamison, the president of the convention; the clerk; and behind them the scenes of Southern industry and culture painted by the nephew of another toiler for freedom, the Italian liberator Garibaldi. They were all together now, at last.
Red-faced as usual, with a small white plaster covering an annoying pimple beside his nose, he reached the simple two-drawered table on which the ordinance of secession lay for his signature. Suddenly he fell to his knees, lifted his hands upwards toward the heavens, and bowed his head in prayer. It was high drama, and high theater as well, and the crowd exploded in cheers as he said his silent thanks. Everyone else arose, men took their hat in their hands, and the handkerchiefs went to their eyes tearing over at the emotion of the moment. Then he stood, took the pen, and wrote his name midway down the fourth column of signatures, immediately to the right of his old friend Maxcy Gregg’s. That done, he returned to his seat, no doubt mildly chagrined that the next to be called was his old enemy Christopher G. Memminger, whose name would go right below his own. Memminger would bear watching, not only for who he was, but the danger he and his kind posed to the great movement.
After half an hour and it was done. Jamison stood to say, “I proclaim the State of South Carolina an Independent Commonwealth,” and as the poured out of Institute Hall the cannon and bells commenced in a symphony that lasted long into the night. A few blocks away at the office of the Charleston Mercury, Rhett’s editor son printed an extra, a broadside proclaiming “THE UNION IS DISSOLVED!” …
“They published a special broadside as “A Farewell to the Subscribers of the Charleston Mercury.” Though the son signed the statement, in fact his father wrote it for him, and it echoed all of the elder Rhett’s ideas and spirit.
The South now lived under a despotism of consolidation, the states and their sovereignty abused by Washington. With universal male suffrage it would only get worse. “Swelling the multitude of voters” would not make liberty but be its downfall, while the military Reconstruction now in place attempting “to put the half-savage negro over the civilized Caucasian, may not be forgotten or forgiven.” History would remember it as an act of abject hatred and bigotry. The South, a more tolerant and congenial region, did not like change and revered the past, while the North, “fond of novelties, misnamed “progress,” was the slave of its own dogmatism.
“There is no ground for forgetfulness – no possibility of forgiveness, with these black, moving memorials of our wrongs, polluting our sight, crossing us in all walks of life, and vaunting their consequence as the tools of our tyrants,” the newspaper’s “Farewell” concluded as it condemned “a despotism of vagrant white men, and ignorant, filthy negroes.” Even Kentucky was now feeling the heel of Reconstruction, her sympathy with the other Southern states greater than ever before, and a spirit of resistance was growing throughout the old Confederacy, refueling “the hatred and regional unity that will one day regain Southern freedom and power in national counsels.” The Union was destined to fall apart from its own corruption one day, and then “the people of the Southern states will be a free and great people.”
“Grant won the election, of course, which convinced Rhett now more than ever that, “the blessings of Free Government can only be obtained by the Southern people ruling themselves.” All of the governmental offices in the South were filled with corrupt Republican partisans, he believed … He wanted to see in the region a Southern party condemning the old Constitution, with its now perverting amendments proscribing former Confederates from holding office while giving the right to vote to the blacks, and instead organizing Southern power for a day of deliverance. They should stop submitting voluntarily to Reconstruction laws…
The South would rise again, not just to achieve its own independence but to save free government and political liberty for the world. They had but to will it to see it accomplished. For this reason among others he would never be one of the thousands taking an oath of allegiance and seeking the return of his full civil liberties.”
“There never had been and never would be a people of the United States, but rather two distinct peoples, Northern and Southern. Democracy existed only in the states themselves and not in the national government. The Union had no sovereignty, republican free government was dead in America, and despotism reigned.
When the South fell, so did that free government that he always capitalized …
All his life Robert Barnwell Rhett had seen a “yonder star” that others would not see, and his dream had died. Yet to the end he expected that those who followed him would one day see his vision anew and take up his cause to make it a reality. The South would rise again, and it would be free and independent and dedicated to principles that would vindicate him and his struggle.”
Are we finally over this “Make America Great Again” phase?
Note: I’m not getting my hopes up, but we have seen a lot of good news in the polls this year. I’ve shared enough bad news over the past few years.