Thursday, December 26, 2019

Some Newspaper Comments on South Carolina Seccession

In the days after South Carolina announced its secession on December 20, 1860, the Cincinnati Enquirer published several brief stories on various aspects of this event. Here is one that I thought was worth sharing from December 23, 1860.

Some people might say this article made a point the Confederacy never truly addressed, though Jefferson Davis does have his supporters, and others might claim Robert E. Lee stepped into that role through his military successes. 

The Revolution at the South - A Leader Wanted

Who is the “coming man?” (asks the  Philadelphia Bulletin) of the revolution that the Cotton States are trying to bring upon this Republic? Who is to be the Cromwell, the Napoleon, the Washington or the Girabaldi of the proposed Southern Confederacy? Thus far all the movements of the Seccessionists have failed to bring out from the masses a great genius, who may be able to “direct the storm” they are raising. Lawrence M. Keitt is not exactly the man to found a new nation; neither is Mr. Yancey  nor ex-governor Wise nor Senator Hammond  nor any one of the men that have mot furiously and impetuously urged secession. The soberness, wisdom, and self-possession of the South are all among the anti-secessionists. It is chief among the young and heedless that the insurgent spirit rages most violently. The destinies of a people can not safely be left in such hands. The very confusion and conflict of views that prevail among the Seccessionists prove how wrongly they are they are acting, not only to the whole nation, but especially to themselves. This confusion, also, prevents the enlistment of any great, wise and leading spirits in the cause of secession. There is a show of harmony, because so many people say they want secession. But as to the mode of accomplishing secession there seem to be irreconcilable differences, which, as the work of secession goes on, will develop into violent and dangerous jealousies. In such a state of the Southern popular mind, it is no wonder that there is a failure to obtain a great leader. Have the Seccessionists thought of the necessity of having some one wise and patriotic head, who will command the respect and confidence of all their people?

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