What is to become of the country I do not know. My health is very feeble. What I can do to save our institutions shall be done. Let me hear from you often.
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
This is for yourself only.
A. H. S.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 23, 1861.
S. J. ANDERSON, Esq., New York.
DEAR SIR: As the agent of Colonel Prevost I have taken the liberty to open your note to him of the 20th instant. * * * I learn on inquiry that passport of which you speak are not issued by the Government. The only way to get through is to go by the way of Kentucky.
J. V. HITCHCOCK,
Agent for Colonel C. Prevost.
CHARLESTON, February 7, 1861.
S. J. ANDERSON, New York.
DEAR ANDERSON: * * * I must frankly say to you, however, the Democracy of the North must not rely too much upon the hope of a reconstruction of the old Union. It cannot be done. This I am satisfied is a fixed fact. An attempt at such a thing would plunge the South into a bloody conflict at home and for that reason it will be resisted at the threshold. As you say if there ever should be a reconstruction of some sort of union or confederation between the North and the South that it will take place under treaty and compact and not by compromise or amendments to the present or late Constitution. There are other questions in my opinion more vital to the cotton State than slavery that should constitute an impassable barrier to her ever entering into another union with the North.
I will explain. As long as cotton is king and the millions in Europe and Great Britain are dependent on it for employment and the civilized and uncivilized world for raiment so long will the institution of slavery exist and flourish in spite of the howlings and demented cries of the entire crew of abolitionists. For this I have no fears in or out of the Union. But as long as the Constitution contains a clause by which the South can be subject to unlimited taxation by an irresponsible majority in Congress through a tariff professedly for revenue but really to protect and build up the moneyed interest of one section at the expense of the other the cotton States will never consent to go back into the Union. I consider this question of equal if not greater importance than that of slavery. In all the compromises proposed not one word has been said to the South holding out the slightest hope of security on this point in future. But what is the fact in relation to this matter?
While the country is torn to atoms, the Union in fragments and the seat of government absolutely under the control of a military dictator, and the streets bristling with Federal bayonets, anotheations is being urged through Congress. Is it strange then that we