You Cannot Organize A Sectional Government
Now, Mr. President, I undertake to say that the southern States must look this question in the face, as it has been presented by the Senator from Alabama, to-day; because the organization of the Republican party, in my judgment, looks to the conquest of the South. It is a sectional party. Are there any Republicans in fifteen States of this Confederacy? If there are any there, it is only in certain localities; and, out of those localitites, it would be dangerous for them to avow their sentiments, because the people in those fifteen States believe that the utterance of those sentiments would be traitorous, and they would be punished accordingly. Therefore, I consider it nothing but the inevitable result of the principles avowed by that party that the South should be prepared for resistance, in the event of such an election. How could a Republican President carry on the Government in the southern States? Where would he get his Federal officers - his collectors of customs, his marshals, his district attorneys, his postmasters? I believe that, in a large majority of the slaveholding States, men who would accept commissions from a Republican President would be looked upon as public enemies, and they could not execute the duties that were imposed upon them by the President of the United States. How would they permit postmasters in South Carolina and Georgia and Alabama and those great slaveholding States to be the recipients of documents that might be circulated to excite servile insurrection? Sir, it is impracticable. It is impossible for a Republican President to administer this Government over the slaveholding States of the Confederacy, in my opinion.
William McKendree Gwin of California
United States Senate, December 13 1859
The Congressional Globe, The Official Proceedings of Congress, Published by John C. Rives, Washington, D. C.
Thirty-Sixth Congress, 1st Session, New Series...No. 8, Wednesday, December 14, 1859, page 125