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Webster's Seventh of March Speech and the Secession Movement, 1850
written by "Stephenson, Nathaniel W. (Nathaniel Wright), 1867-1935"
...alled the legislature and proposed "to recommend the calling of a regular convention... with full power to annul the federal compact". "Having no hope of an effectual remedy... but in separation from the Northern States, my views of state action will look to secession." 14 The legislature supported Quitman's and Jefferson Davis's plans for resistance, censured Foote's support of the Compromise, and provided for a state convention of delegates. 15 Even the Mississippi "Unionists" adopted the six standard points generally accepted in the South which would justify resistance. "And this is the Union party", was the significant comment of the New York Tribune. This Union Convention, however, believed that Quitman's message was treasonable and that there was ample evidence of a plot to dissolve the Union and form a Southern confederacy. Their programme was adopted by the State Convention the following year. 16 The radical Mississippians reiterated Calhoun's constitutional guarantees of sectional equality and non-interference with slavery, and declared for a Southern convention with power to recommend "secession from the Union and the formation of a Southern confederacy". 17 "The people of Mississippi seemed... determined to defend their equality in the Union, or to retire from it by peaceful secession. Had the issue been pressed at the moment when the excitement was at its highest point, an isolated and very serious movement might have occurred, which South Carolina, without doubt, would have promptly responded to." 18 In Georgia, evidence as to "which way the wind blows" was received by the Congressional trio, Alexander Stephens, Toombs, and Cobb, from trusted observers at home. "The only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union." Only one democrat was found justifying Cobb's opposition to Calhoun and the Southern Convention. 19 Stephens himself, anxious to "stick to the...

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