The New York Tribune, November 8, 1860, p. 8, c. 2
Sentiment at the South
We find in The New Haven Register the following letter from a gentleman in Alabama to a family friend in New Haven. Its author is a Union-loving, conservative man, though not a member of the Democratic party. Thousands of communications of the same purport are written by people at the South to their friends in the North. We reproduce this Alabama letter, because it is temperately written, and obviously states the facts:
"A---, Ala., Oct. 24, 1860.
"Ten days from this, the people of this country will be called on to decide whether the Government is a failure or not! I now fear, should Lincoln be elected, there will be dissolution of the Government! My mind has undergone a great change since I was in New Haven. South Carolina will secede as certain as Lincoln is elected; and all the cotton States will follow.
"Let there be one drop of Southern blood spilt, and every Southern State will be ready to avenge it. Some months since, I thought there would be no withdrawing of any State until after some overt act of Lincoln and his Administration--but Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Florida, will all withdraw. Our State has passed a resolution, that in the event of a Black Republican being elected, the Governor shall convene the Legislature; and our Governor, and a large number of our representatives elect, are in favor of resistance! Most of the Governors in the cotton States are of the same mind. Now there are many conservative men here, but when the South becomes involved in a difficulty with the General Government, they will not only sympathize but take an active part. Not one in a hundred will take sides with the General Government. I write this as my own opinion, and you can take it for what it is worth. South Carolina is making preparations, by reorganizing her militia, and many have put the "cockade" upon their hats ready to march directly out of the Union. Some at the North may laugh at the idea, but the passions of the people are aroused.
"Why, who compose the Black Republican party, or a large majority? Those who are willing to indorse John Brown as a martyr, and are now taking up subscriptions to build a monument to his fame! Look at the Beechers and Cheevers; look at the higher-law men, and those that curse Washington, Madison, and Jefferson as thieves and robbers, because they were slaveholders. All this inflames the public mind. Then the manufacturing of Brown's pikes, the distributing arsenic in large quantities to the negroes, telling them to poison their masters and take their mistresses for wives--telling them that all this is warranted by the laws of God and the Bible--saying that when the Black Republicans are elected, the negroes are to be freed. The negroes think Lincoln and Hamlin are both negroes! Do you see the drift of all this? Now, how do you expect to keep a people conservative, when all these things are brought to bear upon them? All here know full well that as soon as a dissolution takes place, all kinds of property will decline; but they think that after that is over, it will rally again. For my part, I do not want to see these States separated, but the North is to blame for it all. Had she let the South alone, we would now have been as a band of brothers. I fear the die is cast--take warning!"