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Pierre Soule (American National Biography)

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Carolyn E. De Latte, "Soulé, Pierre," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00932.html.

In the 1860 presidential election, Soulé's supporters rallied behind Douglas, who finished a poor third in the state. He led the cooperationists during the secession crisis not to support the Union but to oppose Slidell, who led the immediate secessionists. Soulé announced frequently and firmly that secession was inevitable and that he did not intend to be in the rear of that action. He admonished audiences, demanding that they recall his advocacy of secession in 1850 and that they remember repudiating his advice. Louisiana seceded, but the Confederacy had little to offer Soulé.

By experience and temperament, Soulé was unsuited to the world of politics and diplomacy. He cut his political teeth on revolutionary movements in France, and he continued to think and speak in terms of principle and of his perception of right and wrong. He readily supported those perceptions whether with a dueling pistol in his private life or with recommendations for war against Spain or the antislavery North in his public life. Tact was simply beyond his purview.

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How to Cite This Page: "Pierre Soule (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/18560.