Though the American republic begun by compromise showed signs of stress and splinter by 1832, the statesmen of the conservative South exercised leadership and accommodation toward the North and maintained peace. Only four years after the sectional Republican Party fielded a radical presidential candidate in 1856, several States had left the Union rather than submit to hostile Northern rule and despotism.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Vindication for the South
“At some future day, when the actors have passed away, a true and impartial history of the great Civil War and its causes will be written, for it was too notable an event to remain as a mere item in the course of God’s providence. Then the truth, and the whole truth, will appear, and the world will be surprised to learn how much the South has been misrepresented, the motives and doctrines of her public men distorted, and even the private life and social habits of her people caricatured for political purposes.
Those who were inimical to the South, or were, at least, instigated by motives of political necessity to misstate the facts or to suppress a part of the truth, have had the opportunity to publish their statements and to impress them upon the public mind of the present generation, with hardly an effort of retort or correction on behalf of the Southern people.
But the history of the past cannot be wholly forgotten. It must be and is known that in the pure days of the Republic, before the tyrannous “caucus” and the iniquitous “machine” had usurped the control and direction of the public will – when men were judged upon their merits, and political parties were separated by honest diversity of opinion, and not by sectional – the South, though greatly inferior in voting power, furnished four out of five consecutive Presidents. She has given such men as Clay, Calhoun, Crittenden, Crawford, and Forsyth to the public service since the great struggle for independence, and the greatest of the chief justices was a Southerner.
She has contributed many gallant and able men to the army and navy. The “Father of the Country” was a Virginia planter, and even Farragut, who made his reputation in helping to defeat the South . . . was by birth, by early training, by marriage, by all the domestic and social associations of life, a Southern man . . . ”
I have mentioned but a small number of the Southerners who helped elevate the national fame before dissention and distrust had alienated the two sections, and I feel sure the day will come when justice will be done to the Southern leaders of 1861-65, and that an impartial posterity will by its verdict free their names from the calumnies which have been spoken against them, and will pronounce a retributive censure upon their traducers.”
(The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe, James D. Bulloch, Sagamore Press, 1959, pp. 349-351)