In this state of feeling, divided as we are by interest, by a geographical feeling, by every thing that makes two people separate and distinct, I ask why we should remain in the same Union together? We have not lived in peace; we are not now living in peace. It is not expected or hoped that we shall ever live in peace. My doctrine is that whenever even man and wife find that they must quarrel, and cannot live in peace, they ought to separate; and these two sections—the North and South—manifesting, as they have done and do now, and probably will ever manifest, feelings of hostility, separated as they are in interests and objects, my own opinion is they can never live in peace; and the sooner they separate the better.
Sir, these sentiments I have thrown out crudely I confess, and upon the spur of the occasion. I should not have opened my mouth but that the Senator from New Hampshire seemed to show a spirit of bravado, as if he intended to alarm and scare the Southern States into a retreat from their movements. He says that war is to come, and you had better take care, therefore. That is the purport of his language; of course those are not his words; but I understand him very well, and everybody else, I apprehend, understands him that war is threatened, and therefore the South had better look out. Sir, I do not believe that there will be any war; but if war is to come, let it come. We will meet the Senator from New Hampshire and all the myrmidons of Abolitionism and Black Republicanism everywhere, upon our own soil; and in the language of a distinguished member from Ohio in relation to the Mexican War, we will “welcome you with bloody hands to hospitable graves.”
OF OHIO, (BORN 1800, DIED 1878.)
ON SECESSION, AND THE STATE OF THE UNION; REPUBLICAN OPINION;
SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, DECEMBER 17, 1860.
At a time like this, when there seems to be a wild and unreasoning excitement in many parts of the country, I certainly have very little faith in the efficacy of any argument that may be made; but at the same time, I must say, when I hear it stated by many Senators in this Chamber, where we all raised our hands to Heaven, and took a solemn oath to support the Constitution of the United States, that we are on the eve of a dissolution of this Union, and that the Constitution is to be trampled under foot—silence under such circumstances seems to me akin to treason itself.