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MY DEAR SIR I thank you for your favor of the 29th ult. The mode suggested by you for the further prosecution of the War is the one which had not only occurred to me previous to the reception of your letter, but I have frequently suggested it to others, and I have never conversed with an intelligent man on the subject, that did not concur on the subject. The war would then be defensive on our part, and our Citizens generally would be better reconciled to its long continuance. It really does appear to me, notwithstanding our signal success so far, that we have really not yet advanced the first step towards subduing the Mexican people but the reverse, they are stronger and more determined than ever. The way we have so far prosecuted the war must be changed, or it will be interminable. I have seen enough of the course of such men as Wilmot of Penn. Gordon of New York and various others on the floor of Congress, to satisfy me, that both political parties in the non-Slave-holding States, are firmly and fully united and resolved to prohibit the introduction of any more slave States into the Union, formed of Territory which may be acquired from Mexico. It is true I have indulged some hope, that in the event of acquiring- Territory, we might be able to form something like a reasonable compromise on the subject. But I begin to doubt now, that the time is rapidly approaching, when the great struggle between the slave and non-slave-holding States must come up on an issue which will shake our glorious confederacy to its very Center. My old friend, I love the Union. But I am ready to resist unto death, rather than to submit to the schemes, plans and policy of the Abolitionists and their friends and supporters throughout the non slaveholding States.
Ardently as I love the Union, I consider it Valueless, when it is used for my oppression and destruction.
From this time forward, we may expect the Slave question to be the great and vital one, which will over-ride every other question. Our divisions will be sectional. The names of Whig and Democrat will lose their charms. My greatest apprehension is, that the South may not be as united in the day and hour of trial as her Enenty. I fear the lust for power and place may have its influence on many of our own people. And that portion of the southern population who own no slaves generally feel very different on the subject, from the slave holder.
Nothing can preserve our rights in the approaching struggle but Union in the present Congress amongst Southern men, (or perhaps I should say, Union in the next Congress). The South united can face a frowning world. Work to the't point of uniting the South, regardless of party names.
I consider the new fangled scheme of Left Geu 1 . 't &c. perfectly ridiculous. It is nothing more, nor less Than a selfish and base scheme designed to benefit individuals at the expense of the best interest of the Country.
ff the press and Congress have become so" debased, as to unite in keeping light from the people, have we not reason to fear, that the days of our Republic are numbered.
The unofficial people of this country are patriotic. Therefore they favor a vigorous prosecution of the War. Believing as they do, that no other way can be devised to procure a speedy and honorable peace.
From this to the close of the Session, I shall look for. proceedings in Congress with great interest. As Ever Yrs.
- Wilson Lumpkin
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.