The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Harpers Weekly Jan 12, 1861

Missouri For the Union

Governor Stewart’s Message was read to the Legislature on 3d.

After reviewing the progress of the Abolition and Republican parties, and stating the result of their success, the Governor says that Missouri occupies a position in regard to these troubles that should make her voice potent in the councils of the nation. With scarcely a Disunionist per se within her borders, she is still determined to demand and maintain her rights at every hazard.

Missouri loves the Union, and will never submit to wrong. She came into the Union upon a compromise, and is willing to abide by a fair compromise – not such ephemeral contracts as are enacted by Congress to-day and repealed to-morrow, but a compromise assuring all the just rights of the States, and agreed to in solemn convention of all parties interested.

Missouri has a right to speak on this subject, because she has suffered deeply, having, probably, lost as much in the past few years by abductions of slaves as all the rest of the Southern States put together.

Speaking of secession, the Governor deprecates the action of South Carolina, and says: “Our people would feel more sympathy with the movement, had it originated among those who, like ourselves, have suffered severe losses and constant annoyances from the interference and depredations of outsiders.”

Missouri will hold to the Union so long as it is worth the effort to preserve it. She can not be frightened by the past unfriendly legislation of the North, or dragooned into secession by the restrictive legislation of the extreme South. The Governor denies the right of voluntary secession, and says that it would be utterly destructive of every principle on which the national faith is founded; appeals to the great conservative masses of the people to put down selfish and designing politicians, to avert the threatened evils, and closes with a strong recommendation to adopt all proper measures for our rights: condemns the resort to separation; protests against hasty and unwise action, and records his unalterable devotion to the Union, so long as it can be made the protector of equal rights.

The Inaugural Address of Governor Jackson, of Missouri, was delivered on 4th. It is devoted almost exclusively to a discussion of the national troubles, and takes the position that Missouri must stand by the other Slaveholding States, whatever course they may pursue – the interests of all being identical. Missouri, however, is in favor of remaining in the Union so long as there is a hope of maintaining the guarantees of the Constitution. The Governor is opposed to coercion in any event, but recommends the calling of a State Convention to ascertain the will of the people.

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