Andrew Johnson, Paul Bergeron (ed), The Papers of Andrew Johnson: Volume 10, February-July 1866 (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1992), 60-61.
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Bangor, Me. Feb 8th, 1866.
If hatred towards the South had not predominated in the hearts of those who came into possession of the Government, Mar 4th 1861, a compromise would have been agreed upon during that memorable session of Congress, in 1860-61 - & which would have exercised the noble & christian influence of preventing the late calamitous war.
It would afford some consolation, when reflecting upon the terrible scourge with which our poor country has so recently been afflicted, if we could witness, now, a disposition on the part of the people of the North to let bye-gones be bye-gones. But, with shame be it said, very little of this Spirit seems to be manifested. Why should such a state of things ever have existed, or "have a being" in the present time. What great crime has the South ever committed as against the North. What right that attaches to the latter, by virtue of the Constitution, has the former ever trenched upon, or shown any disposition tothus conduct. Have the people of the South ever exhibited other than a National Spirit through their Several legislatures - or their representatives on the floor of Congress? If she was obliged, at last, to show a rebellious spirit, will not posterity, that most impartial of all tribunals, do her the justice to pronounce that she had quite good cause for so doing?
I say, why should those residing north of "Masons & Dixons line" so feel towards the inhabitants living south of it - & in a common country, too. It is clearly not on account of the existence of Slavery for that is numbered with the "things that were." And from the conduct of the radicals, today, (& I am afraid they constitute a majority of the people in the North) it would appear that it never, really, had anything to do in engendering this spirit of antagonism.
I think it can be explained only on the ground of a feeling of jealousy, on the part of the leading men North, against a similar class South - for the genius & talents displayed by the latter on the floor of Congress, - & the influence heretofore exercised by her (the South) in the affairs of the Government.
Through legislation, Mess Stevens, Sumner, Wilson & Co hope to curtail the South of the power formerly wielded by her; not, that these par excellence Unionists apprehend that if the South is allowed again to occupy the position in the Union, assigned to her by the Constitution, she will do anything which would tend to diminish the glory & prosperity of the Republic, but rather that she will add to it, in too great a degree.
And these same individuals are now seeking for some excuse by which they may cause you to be removed from the office of President! They will not scruple at anything to carry their point. In Heavens name may they not succeed! I must frankly admit, that often, during the late war, I stated that the South was fighting the battle of the Revolution over again - that the same issues were at stake - i.e. - true republican liberty versus centralization, - and if she was defeated, then farewell to all worth preserving in the Republic! Does not every day furnish evidence that it is the design of the Republicans (Bl'k) to overthrow our form of Government? I trust you may be able to defeat its consummation.
Excuse me, being a stranger, for thus addressing you.