Saturday, December 7, 2013

Passing of President Jefferson Davis -- 6 December 1889

Jefferson Davis, Unionist and Patriot:
"If I have a superstition, sir, which governs my mind and holds it captive, it is a superstitious reverence for the Union. If one can inherit a sentiment, I may be said to have inherited this from my revolutionary father.
And if education can develop a sentiment in the heart and mind of man, surely mine has been such as would most develop feelings of attachment for the Union. But, sir, I have an allegiance to the State, which I represent here. I have an allegiance to those who have entrusted their interests to me, which every consideration of faith and of duty, which every feeling of honor, tells me is above all other political considerations. I trust I shall never find my allegiance there and here in conflict.
God forbid that the day should ever come when to be true to my constituents is to be hostile to the Union. If, sir, we have reached that hour in the progress of our institutions, it is past the age to which the Union should have lived. If we have got to the point when it is treason to the United States to protect the rights and interests of our constituents, I ask why should they longer be represented here?  Why longer remain a part of the Union?"  (Excerpt, 1850 Speech by the Honorable Jefferson Davis of Mississippi on the Floor of the United States Senate)
"I tried in all my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, and for 12 years, I worked night and day to prevent it, but I could not.  The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came, and now it must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize the musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government.  We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination, we will have....Slavery never was an essential element.  It was the only means of bringing other conflicting elements to an earlier culmination.  It fired the musket which was already capped and loaded.  There are essential differences between the North and the South that will, however this war may end, make them two nations . . . " (President Jefferson Davis, July 1864)