Calhoun, old and ill, his once-powerful voice broken by the throat cancer that would soon kill him, sat grim and silent as another senator read his words: "How can the Union be saved? There is but one way by which it can with any certainty; and that is, by a full and final settlement, on the principle of justice, of all the questions at issue between the two sections [North and South]. The South asks for justice, simple justice, and less she ought not to take. She has no compromise to offer but the Constitution; and no concession or surrender to make. She has already surrendered so much she has little left to surrender. Such a settlement would go to the root of evil, and remove all cause of discontent, by satisfying the South she could remain honorably and safely in the Union and restore the harmony and fraternal feelings between the sections which existed anterior to [before] the Missouri agitation [compromise in 1820]. Nothing else can with any certainty, finally and forever settle the question, terminate the agitation, and save the Union. But can this be done? Yes easily; not by the weaker party [the South] for it can of itself do nothing
not even protect itself but by the stronger"… Unless Congress allowed owners to bring their slaves into the territories, the Southern states would secede, or leave the Union. There was nothing evil or immoral about slavery, Calhoun argued. Northerners must accept the fact that it exists. If they want to live at peace with the South, they must stop criticizing slavery.