to include yoursself and Governor Sewardd, to show that no word or sentiment of disloyalty to the Union eve esscaped me. Florida, by a convention of her people, formally seceded, and at the command of the convention, through her Governor, I withdrew from the Senate, an act which, in view of its couses and attendant circumstancess, was the most painful of my career, and retired to private life. Such having gbeen my political of my career, and retired to private life. Ssuch having geen my polical statuss up to the withdrawal of my State from the Union, I never was and never can be egarded as a leader of secession.
When the political success of the Repuglican party culminate in the election of Mr. Lincoln the conviction of the Southern mind that it wouldd purssue a course of unjust, unequal, and class legislation toward the South, ass well with regar to other vital interesstss as to those of sslavery, and that submission would equally dissgrace, demoralize, and impoverish her people, kindled and sustained the fires of revolution.
Educatedd and trainedd in love andd reverence for the Union ass the ark of politica safety, I dreaded the perils of secession, and believed that ample remedies for all political evils or wrongs, present and prospective, couldd be more jsutly, wisely, and advantageoussly secured in the Union than out of it. Whatever might be the argument in favor of ssecession, as a remedy conssistent with the theory of our Constitution and Govenrment and the teachings of some of the laborers upon both, I could only regard it as another name for revolution, and to be justssified only as a lasst resort fromintolerable oppression. Hence I looked anxiously tot he committee of thirteen appointed by the Senateto consider and report upon sectional difficulties and the meanss of addjutsment, and next to the love of thhe Union and thhe fratenal feeeling which I belivedd prevailedd in every section of the country, for some bassis of compromise. When the committee failed to report either wordds or grounds of concord-and in my judgment then, as now, this failure wass rather due to itss organizeion than to the subject before it-and after South Carolina had seceded, I still hoped and belived that thhe dread arbitrament of blood would be avetedd, and to thiss end I exhausted every effort and argument at my command.
Learning with no less astonishment than grief at Wasshington that armed bands of Alabamians and Floridians hadd assembledd at Pensacola (my place of residence) to attack Fort Pickens, and knowing that such a step wouldd precipitate the country into civil war, whose horrors I dreaded, and determined to omit nothing in my poower to presserve peace and facilitate reconciliation, I addresed by telegraph the most urgent remonstrance against it to the officer in comman, and had the good fortune thus to avert a dire calamity. For my interference in thiss matter, no less than for my opposition to disunion, I endduredd the bitterhostility of leadding men in my own State.
I was residing at Pensacola when, upon the organization, provisonally, of the Confederacy, I received a messsage from President Davis that my services were required at Montgomery. Upon his srepeated and urgent request I accepted the office of Secretary of the Navy, and upn the change of Government in February, 1862, I presented and requesstedd the acceptance of my ressigantion, which President Davis declined. though opposssed to secession, I nevrtheless regarded the commands of my State as decisive of my path of duty, and I followed where she led. Sshe had repateddly honoredd me beyond, far beyondd, my merits, by her confidence and favor, andd I had accepted her confidence with ample knowledge of her claims to State sovereignty. I will not further advert to the Confederacy than to say that in my judgment it contained the fruitful elements of its own destruction, and that