Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Journal of the U.S. Senate, Dec. 31, 1855....

"It is necessary to speak thus plainly of projects, the offspring of that sectional agitation now prevailing in some of the States, which are as impracticable as they are unconstitutional, and which, if persevered in, must and will end calamitously. It is either disunion and civil war, or it is mere angry, idle, aimless disturbance of public peace and tranquillity. Disunion for what? If the passionate rage of fanaticism and partisan spirit did not force the fact upon our attention, it would be difficult to believe that any considerable portion of the people of this enlightened country could have so surrendered themselves to a fanatical devotion to the supposed interests of the relatively few.....in the United States, as totally to abandon and disregard the interests of the twenty-five millions of Americans; to trample under foot the injunctions of moral and constitutional obligation, and to engage in plans of vindictive hostility against those who are associated with them in the enjoyment of the common heritage of our national institutions.
"Nor is it hostility against their fellow-citizens of one section of the Union alone. The interests, the honor, the duty, the peace, and the prosperity of the people of all sections are equally involved and imperilled in this question. And are patriotic men in any part of the Union prepared, on such issue, thus madly to invite all the consequences of the forfeiture of their constitutional engagements? It is impossible. The storm of phrensy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution. I shall never doubt it. I know that the Union is stronger a thousand times than all the wild and chimerical schemes of social change, which are generated, one after another, in the unstable minds of visionary sophists and interested agitators. I rely confidently on the patriotism of the people, on the dignity and self-respect of the States, on the wisdom of Congress, and, above all, on the continued gracious favor of Almighty God, to maintain, against all enemies, whether at home or abroad, the sanctity of the constitution and the integrity of the Union."
- President Franklin Pierce, Washington, D.C.

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