Description[Sam Houston]. An Anonymous Letter Signed "A Southern Union Man." Three-page letter with integral address cover, 7.75" x 9 7/8"; Greenville, South Carolina; December 17, 1849. A letter to Sam Houston from "A Southern Union Man" ridiculing new rumblings of a threat of secession coming from South Carolina and its U.S. senator, John C. Calhoun; and the national debate over the future of the territory ceded by Mexico to the United States as part of the treaty ending the Mexican-American War.
In part: "The Gov. of S. C. has suggested a System of Military organization in his Annual Message to meet any emergency at a moment's warning, and once more not only the people of the North but the general Government is to be awed into measures by the potent arm of the chivalrous State of South Carolina, or the Union dissolved (and no mistake) for Mr. Calhoun says it shall be so. Another Glorious triumph awaits South Carolina or the Union is Gone. She has again drawn the Sword and swears upon her altars that she is Sovereign and shall be obeyed or down comes the whole fabrick [sic] of Government, with a perfect crash. Well, Nullification beyond all doubt had for its object the disolution [sic] of the Union and the object of the Southern Address is nothing more less than the smothered Ambition of Mr. Calhoun shining through a crevice seeking vent to rekindle the old flame of disloyalty to the country to gratify his vengance [sic] for his disappointment in not having conferred on him its highest favors-this is the whole cause of all the agitation in the South on the anticipated action of Congress....Mr. C. himself has foresight enough to know, what will be the ultimate result of Slavery in the Natural order of things which all the Wisdom of the Nation can not avert nor arrest in its progress and which time will accomplish - without the aid of legislation - therefore he and all his aiders and abettors in endeavoring to agitate the South on the subject of slavery can have no other object in view, to the mind of every honest Statesman...but a disolution [sic] of the Union. This was the object he had in Nullification and what he would now fain accomplish by his Southern address, with a hope that he might be the champion of a Southern confederacy and reach his highest ambition in the presidency of the New Republic and at the same time chastise his enemies for their disobedience to his will to those of the Southern delegation in congress who refused to sign the Southern address....South Carolina only exists by the reputation of Mr. Calhoun, her mind knows no other direction than his will. She follows him through all the hallucinations of his career but never as far as the battle field. She will at his instance arm and equip-then back out and claim a triumph or victory. She is again preparing for the bloodless scenes of 32... for the suppression again of Northern Aggression and ere long another Glorious Victory of State Sovereignty shall be heard from the Sea-board to the Mountains. [Signed] A Southern Union Man."
The writer chastises John C. Calhoun's July 5, 1849 speech, published as Mr. Calhoun's Address to the People of the South [Fort Hill, S.C., 1849], against Northern efforts during the Mexican-American War to limit the spread of slavery into Western territories won from Mexico as the result of the conflict. Calhoun responded to these efforts to curb the spread of slavery by calling for Southern states to band together and fight for their interests and threaten secession from the North if the latter refused to compromise. Houston was a staunch supporter of maintaining the Union at all costs, a position he held very publicly.
Condition: The letter is fragile, with extensive separations at the horizontal folds, which affect a small amount of text. Docketed in an unknown hand.
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