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Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November 1860-April 1861

Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November 1860-April 1861

by Jon L. Wakelyn
Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November 1860-April 1861

Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November 1860-April 1861

by Jon L. Wakelyn


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The election of Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860 initiated a heated debate throughout the South about what Republican control of the federal government would mean for the slaveholding states. During the secession crisis of the winter of 1860-61, Southerners spoke out and wrote prolifically on the subject, publishing their views in pamphlets that circulated widely. These tracts constituted a regional propaganda war in which Southerners vigorously debated how best to react to political developments on the national level. In this valuable reference work, Jon Wakelyn has collected twenty representative examples of this long-overlooked literature. Although the pamphlets reflect deep differences of opinion over what Lincoln's intentions were and how the South should respond, all indicate the centrality of slavery to the Southern way of life and reflect a pervasive fear of racial unrest. More generally, the pamphlets reveal a wealth of information about the South's political thought and self-identity at a defining moment in American history. The twenty items included here represent the views of leaders and opinion makers throughout the slaveholding states and are fully annotated. An additional sixty-five pamphlets are listed and briefly described in an appendix.

Originally published in 1996.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807866146
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/09/2000
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 448
Lexile: 1420L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Jon L. Wakelyn is professor of history at the Catholic University of America. His books include the Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy and The Web of Southern Social Relations.

Table of Contents


Preface Chronology of Events, November 1860-April 1861

Part I. Prelude to Secession Maria Henrietta Pinckney, The Quintessence of Long Speeches Arranged as A Political Catechism … (1830)
William Henry Trescot, The Position and Course of the South (1850)

Part II. The Lower South Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, The Perils and Duty of the South, … Speech Delivered in Talladega, Alabama, November 26, 1860
Rev. George H. Clark, A Sermon, Delivered in St. John's Church, Savannah, On Fast Day, Nov. 28, 1860
Rev. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, The South: Her Peril and Her Duty (November 29, 1860)
James D. B. De Bow, The Interest in Slavery of the Southern Non-Slaveholder (December 1860)
Howell Cobb, Letter … to the People of Georgia (December 1860)
Judah P. Benjamin, The Right of Secession (December 31, 1860)
Jefferson Davis, Remarks on the Special Message on Affairs in South Carolina. Jan. 10, 1861
John H. Reagan, State of the Union. Speech … Delivered in the House of Representatives, Jan. 15, 1861
Rev. James Henley Thornwell, The State of the Country (January 1861)
Richard Keith Call, Letter to John S. Littell (February 12, 1861)
Robert H. Smith, An Address to the Citizens of Alabama, on the Constitution and Laws of the Confederate States of America, … at Temperance Hall, on the 30th of March, 1861

Part III. The Upper South John Pendleton Kennedy, The Border States: Their Power and Duty in the Present Disordered Condition of the Country (December 17, 1860)
Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, Discourse Delivered on the Day of National Humiliation, January 4, 1861, at Lexington, Kentucky
Robert M. T. Hunter, Speech … on the Resolution Proposing to Retrocede the Forts … Delivered in the Senate of the United States, January 11, 1861
Thomas L. Clingman, Speech on the State of the Union, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, February 4, 1861
Andrew Johnson, Speech … On the State of the Union, Delivered in the Senate of the United States, February 5 & 6, 1861
Albert Pike, State or Province? Bond or Free? (March 4, 1861)
William C. Rives, Speech on the Proceedings of the Peace Conference and the State of the Union, Delivered in Richmond, Virginia, March 8, 1861

Part IV. Appendixes Appendix A. Other Pamphlets on Secession
Pamphlets Published before 1860
Pamphlets from the Lower South
Pamphlets from the Upper South
Pamphlets Published after April 1861
Appendix B. Alexander H. Stephens, "Cornerstone Address" (March 21, 1861)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

An important contribution to the history of the American Civil War.—Choice

This outstanding and unusually useful collection introduces all of the major lines of argument developed by Southerners during the secession crisis.—Civil War History

Wakelyn, choosing his selections wisely, has produced a book of great value to everyone interested in America's great sectional struggle—to the most knowledgeable of specialists, as well as to students and the general reader.—Eugene D. Genovese, author of The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism

Southern Pamphlets on Secession is an extremely useful volume for specialists, for undergraduates, and for everyone interested in our national cataclysm. The pamphlets are expertly chosen, expertly introduced, and expertly placed in context.—William W. Freehling, University of Kentucky

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