"I have, on some occasions, felt a conscious pleasure, of doing my duty
in opposition to mere momentary popularity, which I would not exchange
for scarcely any other moment of my life." John C.Calhoun, 1818
Senator Robert Toombs and the Cornerstone of the Confederacy
“GENTLEMEN OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
I very much regret, in appearing
before you at your request, to address you on the present state of the
country, and the prospect before us, that I can bring you no good
We have not sought this conflict; we have sought too long to avoid
it; our forbearance has been construed into weakness, our magnanimity
into fear, until the vindication of our manhood, as well as the defence
of our rights, is required at our hands. The door of conciliation and
compromise is finally closed by our adversaries, and it remains only to
us to meet the conflict with the dignity and firmness of men worthy of
freedom. We need no declaration of independence.
Above eighty-four years ago our fathers won that by the sword from
Great Britain, and above seventy years ago Georgia, with the twelve
other confederates, as free, sovereign, and independent States, having
perfect governments already in existence, for purposes and objects
clearly expressed, and with powers clearly defined, erected a common
agent for the attainment of these purposes by the exercise of those
powers, and called this agent the United States of America.
The basis, the corner-stone of this Government, was the perfect
equality of the free, sovereign, and independent States which made it.