North Carolina Voices


William Alexander Graham"We must therefore acquiesce in a necessity which our best efforts could not avert, a dissolution of the Government of the United States. The announcement of this fact inspires in me no feeling but a painful sadness. I believe so great a catastrophe to the whole country and to the world, could have been, and ought to have been prevented."
  William Alexander Graham, Whig, U.S. Senator, Governor of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy under President Millard Fillmore. Hillsborough, N.C., April 21, 1861. (Buy the Book)

"The monstrous absurdity about our rights being taken away in the territories etc. being sufficient cause for breaking up the best government in the world cannot deceive those who are truly patriots . . . I am a Union man. I am unwilling to see our country ruined because a Bl'k Rep. President is elected . . . . I am for giving him a trial. If he commits no overt act which would amount to a clear, willful & palpable violation of our rights, I am for submitting to his government."
  Rufus Lenoir Patterson, manufacturer and entrepreneur, delegate to the Democratic Convention of 1860. As a delegate to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1861, Patterson reluctantly signed the state's ordinance of secession.

"If [Lincoln] should pledge himself to execute the Fugitive Slave Law, and do it, I care nothing about the question as to 'Squatter Sovereignty' . . . . Lincoln's Inauguration breathes peace to any candid mind."
  Jonathan Worth, State Senator and Governor of North Carolina (1865-1868)

"I want to knock down a John Browner so bad I dunno what to do . . . . The People will save [the Country]. It can't be possible that the Advocates of Treason, murder and stealing can overturn and destroy this great Confederacy [the United States]."
  Charles Manly, former governor of North Carolina (1849-1850)

"It would be well to require the men, who are so anxious to have their slaves returned to them, to join the army as the first condition to any agreement on the subject. I am afraid that the oath of allegiance does not amount to much. A man, who is mean enough to be a rebel, will do most any thing to save his property . . . There is a recruiting office in this town for colored soldiers and a few already uniformed. They don't look as dangerous and bloodthirsty as might be expected."
  John A. Hedrick, U.S. Treasury Department revenue collector for the port of Beaufort, N.C., August 24, 1862 and June 19, 1863. Brother of abolitionist Benjamin S. Hedrick. (Buy the Book)

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