“If the Republican party accomplishes its objects and gives the government to the North,
I turn my eyes from the consequences. To the fifteen States of the South that government will
appear an alien government. It will appear a hostile government.”
(Rufus Choate to the Maine Whig State Central Committee)
“It is quite sensibly felt by all, that the success of the Black Republicans would be the death knell of the Union.”
(Ex-President John Tyler)
“We see a political party . . . with the avowed purpose of electing [their] candidates by suffragesof one part of the Union only to rule over the whole United States. Can it be possible that those
who are engaged in such measure can have seriously reflected upon the consequences which must
inevitably follow in case of success? Can they have the madness or folly to believe that our
Southern brethren would submit to be governed by such a chief magistrate? . . .
We are treading upon the brink of a volcano that is liable at any moment to burst forth and overwhelm the nation.”
(Ex-President Millard Fillmore, Albany, NY, 1856)
“I have told you what we mean to do. I want to know, now, when [the Republican party triumph] takes place, what you mean to do. I often hear it intimated that you mean to divide the Union whenever a Republican or anything like it is elected President of the United States.
Are you going to split the Ohio down through, and push your half off a piece?
Or are you going to build up a wall some way between your country and ours . . . You have divided the Union because we would not do right with you, as you think upon that subject; when we cease to be under obligations to do anything for you, how much better off do you think you will be?
Will you make war and kill us all?
You will never make much of a hand at whipping us. If we were fewer in numbers than you, I think you could whip us; if we were equal, it would likely be a drawn battle; but being inferior in numbers, you will make nothing by attempting to master us.”
(Presidential candidate Lincoln to the Illinois State Republican Convention, 10 May 1859)
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