|The Last Words Of Edmund Ruffin|
"I here declare my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule--to all political, social and business connection with the Yankees and to the Yankee race. Would that I could impress these sentiments, in their full force, on every living Southerner and bequeath them to every one yet to be born! May such sentiments be held universally in the outraged and down-trodden South, though in silence and stillness, until the now far-distant day shall arrive for just retribution for Yankee usurpation, oppression and atrocious outrages, and for deliverance and vengeance for the now ruined, subjugated and enslaved Southern States! "
Edmund Ruffin, the consummate Fire-Eater, was far greater than the sum of his parts; as Avery Craven, the finest of his biographers, expressed, “as the greatest agriculturist in a rural civilization; one of the first and most intense Southern nationalists; and the man who fired the first gun at Sumter and ended his own life in grief when the civilization that had produced him perished on the field of battle, his story becomes to a striking degree that of the rise and fall of the Old South.” Gentleman, planter, radical, and warrior, the life and death of Edmund Ruffin is indeed that of the nation that he poured his life’s labors into creating. As Craven continued, “The Old South that rose to completion in what are called antebellum days held no figure that better expressed her more pronounced temper and ways than did this Virginian.”
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