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Speeches of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi   By: (1808-1889)

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Converted by Dave Maddock (dave@pluckerbooks.com) Proofread by Curtis Weyant

Speeches of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi,

Delivered During the Summer of 1858:

On Fourth of July, 1858, at Sea. At Serenade, at Portland, Maine. At Portland Convention, Maine. At Belfast Encampment, Maine. At Belfast Banquet, Maine. At Portland Meeting, Maine. At Fair at Augusta, Maine. At Faneuil Hall, Boston. At New York Meeting. Before Mississippi Legislature. &c. &c.

To the People of Mississippi.

I have been induced by the persistent misrepresentation of popular Addresses made by me at the North and the South during the year 1858, to collect them, and with extracts from speeches made by me in the Senate in 1850, to present the whole in this connected form; to the end that the case may be fairly before those by whose judgment I am willing to stand or fall.

Jefferson Davis.

Extracts From Speeches in U.S. Senate.

In the Senate of the United States, May 8, 1850, in presenting the Resolutions of the Legislature of Mississippi:

It is my opinion that justice will not be done to the South, unless from other promptings than are about us here that we shall have no substantial consideration offered to us for the surrender of an equal claim to California. No security against future harassment by Congress will probably be given. The rain bow which some have seen, I fear was set before the termination of the storm. If this be so, those who have been first to hope, to relax their energies, to trust in compromise promises, will often be the first to sound the alarm when danger again approaches. Therefore I say, if a reckless and self sustaining majority shall trample upon her rights, if the Constitutional equality of the States is to be overthrown by force, private and political rights to be borne down by force of numbers, then, sir, when that victory over Constitutional rights is achieved, the shout of triumph which announces it, before it is half uttered, will be checked by the united, the determined action of the South, and every breeze will bring to the marauding destroyers of those rights, the warning: woe, woe to the riders who trample them down! I submit the report and resolutions, and ask that they may be read and printed for the use of the Senate. ( Cong. Globe , p. 943 4.)

In the Senate of the United States, June 27, 1850, on the Compromise Bill:

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? If there is a dominant party in this Union which can deny to us equality, and the rights we derive through the Constitution; if we are no longer the freemen our fathers left us; if we are to be crushed by the power of an unrestrained majority, this is not the Union for which the blood of the Revolution was shed; this is not the Union I was taught from my cradle to revere; this is not the Union in the service of which a large portion of my life has been passed; this is not the Union for which our fathers pledged their property, their lives, and sacred honor... Continue reading book >>




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