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					87
	     Secession Talk.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
than a     abolitionist Black Republican.  He wants
to coerce the South, and establish a military des-
potism with Abe Lincoln and that         nigger
Hamlin at the head of it.  Hamlin is a nigger;
there s no doubt of it!  As for Abe Lincoln, he must
feel mean, I should think, at causing all this trouble.
He d resign, and be glad to do it.  He ll never be Presi-
dent, that s certain, not even over the northern states,
the Black Republicans will shoot him first, for
bringing them to ruin.  It s ten times worse for the
North than for the South; what will the Yankees
do when we don t buy their manufactures, and have
direct trade with Europe.  The whole prosperity of
the North has been built up at the expense of the
South; free trade has cost us thousands of millions
of dollars.  They are all abolitionists at the North
 sucked it in at the breast.   He (the speaker)
had lived among them and knew it.  There was no 
reasoning with a northern man on the subject; he
couldn t reason on it.  He never got beyond the
assertion that a nigger was a human being.  He had
no fight in him, either; you couldn t insult him
into fighting.  He (the speaker) had tried and only
got as mad as h__l in the attempt.  They were
all incurable fanatics, and^|x| fanatic anyhow; he
hated all such.  The South must be a unit on the
subject Virginia would have to come in, though
she was behaving very badly just now; the goven-
ment had corrupted her.  Louisiana was next on 
the list of secession she was sure enough, and
would face the music nobly.  It was a common
cause, and none of the southern states could stand
out, though some of them might drag a little.
  To be sure, it would cost like the mischief.  Seces-
sion had played the old Harry with business in
Charleston already!  He (the speaker) hadn t dis-
charged any of his clerks, they had joined the mili-
tary and he intended paying their salaries, though he
was keeping store (a wholesale one) at a loss of some
thousands of dollars a month.  But that wasn t the
question; South Carolinians weren t Yankees in
whose eyes a dollar looked as big as a cart-wheel.
Their honor was at stake, and he, for one, didn t ob-
ject to pay a two-dollar tax for his gold watch, or to
contribute to the carrying on of the war to the ex-
tent of his means.  He knew there were planters
who were selling off their land and niggers for
what they would bring, and hated to see the adver-
tisements in the papers why didn t the editors
keep them out?  Those who weren t willing to live
or die with the South, had better go North where
they properly belonged to.

[Gunn s handwriting]
x d__n a/

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
  He hardly reckoned there would be a fight after
all, thought the boys were spoiling for one.  They 
had behaved splendidly.  Think of young fellows
accustomed to every luxury out on guard at the forts
and batteries on such a d____d night as this.  (It
was raining heavily.)  It was the same with the
ladies; his wife had asked him to buy a re-
volver for her, and had practised with it till he
wouldn t like to be the man she aimed at at fifty
paces.  If her advice had been taken, they would
have occupied Fort Sumter before Anderson; she
warned him of that danger often; several of his
friends could witness to it.  He thought the Gover-
nor s allowing the Major get fresh provisions from
Charleston market         ridiculous; if it wasn t
a state of war now, he would like to know what
constituted one?
  As for the fort, Anderson s men were in mutiny,
and their commander, a southern man, would resign
his commission directly his state declared for seces-
sion.  The Major had acted only from a mistaken
idea of self-preservation.  Anyhow, the fort must
be taken, and could be in twenty-four hours.  The
batteries at Fort Johnson had heavy guns enough
to effect a breach in her, and then the garrison
would be powerless against the five thousand men
brought against her; they could bring fifty, if
necessary.  He reckoned Colonel Hayne had better
come back from Washington; the government was
in the hands of the Black Republicans, and didn t 
intend giving up the fort.  Not taking it at the be-
ginning was the only mistake South Carolina had
committed, but she had confided in the honor of
the government, which had guarantied that no 
action should be taken and no reinforcements sent
against her.  However, it had united the South,
and was all right in that respect.
  He wanted peaceable secession, but, if Abe went
for a fight, he should have enough of it.  After all,
it was a shame that white men should murder each
other about a parcel of         niggers.  They
had paid for them, and meant to keep them, that
was all about it; the Bible sanctioned slavery.  And
they didn t fear a nigger insurrection either; he
knew plenty of niggers slaves too who would
shoot an abolitionist just as quick as he would.  For
himself he didn t own any now, though he had
when a planter.  He believed in  arming them.  He
was a white man and a Christian.
  All this was listened to with assent, and evidently
considered a good, sound, common-sense view of
the matter.  Comment would be superfluous.

[Gunn s handwriting]
  owning
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen: page ninety-seven
Description:Includes a newspaper clipping written by Gunn for the ''Evening Post'' concerning pre-war events and attitudes in Charleston.
Date:1861-01-23
Subject:Abolition; Anderson, Robert; Business; Civil War; Firearms; Fort Johnson (S.C.); Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hamlin, Hannibal; Hayne, Colonel; Journalism; Lincoln, Abraham; Military; New York evening post.; Pickens, F.W.; Scott, Winfield; Secession; Slavery; Women
Coverage (City/State):Charleston, South Carolina; Washington, [District of Columbia]; Virginia; Louisiana
Scan Date:2010-05-11

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen
Description:Describes Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government, including a conflict between A.H. Colt and Mr. Woodward, a visit to Sullivan's Island, John Mitchel's tale of assisting with the lynching of an abolitionist, attending a celebration in honor of Benjamin Mordecai, Will Waud's arrival in Charleston, the scene in Charleston the day the ''Star of the West'' was fired upon by the Morris Island battery, pistol and rifle practice with various Charlestonians, a rumor in New York about his having been tarred and feathered in Charleston, a visit to the quarters of the ''Richland Rifles,'' witnessing a slave auction, and a visit to Colonel Bull's home.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.