Letter of January 21, 1861, from E. J. Blackshear to Mrs. Pittman (Page 3 of 4)

Series: N2005-0, Box 11, Folder 5.

Lincoln Letters

Lincoln Letters

Letter of January 21, 1861, from E. J. Blackshear to Mrs. Pittman

Page 3

have changed their names to Fast asleeps. [1] I was a Bell and Everett man to try to save the Union. [2] I failed in this and saw that a principle had triumphed, which the South could not in honor or justice submit to; I then became, as I am now a secessionist to the bone. I desired that all the Southern states should cooperate and secede together (viz: such as would secede) but, after one went out, I was in favor of the rest following close after. It is thought there will hardly be much war, because our enemies can gain nothing but discomfiture by even a victory with swords, or arms, and a defeat would be ruinous. If we are desirable as neighbors, it is as living neighbors, and if our company is not desirable, why coerce us into fellowship. The North knows that if we are coerced into a Union we hate, that we could not be counted upon in a war with foreign nations after that. The gain to both parties is upon a peaceable separation.

But the South has taken her position; and will there be any, where the choice is between the South on the one hand and Lincoln or abolition on the other, ___ side with the latter? The views of some may lead them to do so, but as “for me and my house” we are for the South, right or wrong. There is no danger to the South in this move but in delay now. So soon as we can form a government, defacto, for the South, thousands of our Northern friends will come to our aid if necessary. I see signs



[1] The Wide Awakes was a militant organization of young men who supported the Republican Party in the presidential campaign of 1860 and President Lincoln during the secession crisis. Wide Awakes usually appeared in military formation at Republican rallies, often marching at night in torch-lit processions. In response to rumors of Wide Awake terrorism in the South, secessionists organized “Minute Men” companies to defend their states.

[2] John Bell and Edward Everett ran as the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Constitutional Union Party in the election of 1860.