"Southern Organization," Charleston (SC) Mercury, May 11, 1857, p. 2.
Charleston (SC) Mercury
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
The present and the past afford every indication of an established purpose on the part of the North to subvert Southern interests and institutions beneath the mastering predominance of that section. Their object is, while regulating our institutions according to their peculiar notions of the proper and expedient, to make the South contribute to the support of Northern prosperity, and minister to the power and importance of a mean and ferocious sectional ambition. There is also every reason to believe that the power of the General Government of the Union is passing, and will soon pass wholly, into the hands of the North, and that the Government of the Union will, ere long, become the Government of the North.
This, then, being the settled design, and such the ready means of its accomplishment, Southern men cannot blink the fact, that their dearest rights and interests stand exposed to imminent danger from the North, through the agency of the Government of the Union. Here is what we have to fear and provide against; and in full view of these unpleasant facts, it is necessary to determine how we shall shape our course - what policy adopt - to escape the threatened ruin, political, social and pecuniary
How, then, shall we organize - on what battle ground of principle shall we stand, to meet the onset of our formidable foe? In our opinion, we should occupy the ground of a strict construction of the Constitution, where we have every advantage of argument and justice; and should rally under the banner of the Democratic Party, which has recognized and supported this principle, and the rights of the South embraced under it
But, while lending that party all the weight of our influence in this direction, it behooves us fully to understand that the Democracy is inadequate to the redemption and securing of our rights. The Democratic party has been in power for the best part of the past, and our rights have not been respected. It is in power to-day, yet we enjoy neither peace nor safety. It has been sorely pressed by the party of the North in these sectional questions, and unsupported by the weight of practical resistance of the South, has been forced, in sustaining itself to yield much in the struggle. It has at times evaded the principle and exposed the South, in order to secure success. In the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, with its Squatter Sovereignty, it threw up the right of the people of the Southern States in the common Territory, and gave it, as a bone of contention, a sop to Corberus, to be quarrelled over and settle as best it might, by the casual or bogus settles, or by right of the strongest section.
Moreover, although now in power, the Democratic party is unable to enforce the laws enacted for our protection. The Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott Decision, however good for the sake of argument, are utterly profitless for securing and protecting the property and rights of Southern men.
Nor is this all. The party, such as it is, is dependent for power upon majorities in Northern States, besides the united support of the entire South. And what the basis of future calculations should be, [illegible] the results of the last Presidential election, and the present anti-Southern ferment throughout the entire North, decide. Mr. BUCHANAN received a majority of 1.025 votes in Pennsylvania, which shortly after showed her hostility to their Southern Rights in the election of CAMERON. The Anti-Southern schemes upon Kansas and the border States; the anti-Southern laws passed in different Legislatures; the early organizing against the South, and the unprecedented vigor and asperity displayed, all these speak unmistakably of the uncertainty of Democratic power.
the Democracy cannot save us, neither will it do to trust accidental majorities, or to good laws that are executed. "Our security must be in the organization of the Government, not in its laws - in our control of its action, not in its officers. We must be safe and free, whether BUCHANAN or FREMONT is President - whether Congress is Free Soil or Slavery. The sovereignty and independence of the separate States of the Confederacy, furnish our only source of strength."
But this sovereignty and independence of the States is upheld by the Democratic party; and although it be an imperfect and uncertain reliance for the redemption of the South, its principles are correct and Southern, and it behooves us to use all our efforts to strengthen and support it.
let the people of the South, then, endeavor to silt and purify the Democratic party, and strengthen it on the precise point of Southern Rights. let all those who regard the salvation of the South as more important than the salvation of the Union - the danger to the South more pressing than the danger to the Union - let all these find those to represent them who have an eye rather to the South than the Union - to the people of the States, rather than to the wishes of the National party - men who are more of Southern State Rights Democrats than National Democrats. When we have secured the South, the Union will take care of itself.