I've been reading it and I have some problems with his knowledge of history and I don't agree with some of his assessments. But throughout this book Botts relates events he personally was involved in during the months surrounding the secession movement. He suggest that the movement was a combined working effort between the Abolitionist and Secessionist bent on spliting the country for the purposes of party control. (more on that with future post).
But this man, whose heart was clearly not with the Confederates, wrote that the secession movement was NOT about the protection of slavery. This I have already posted I believed from the facts and history I've gathered. Below is some of his work.
"But although such a decisive death-blow was given in 1833 to the right of a state or states to withdraw from the Union, yet the fire was only smothered, the embers still burned; and her leading men have been quietly but constantly and actively engaged from that day, now nearly thirty years since, in sowing seeds of discontent throughout the Southern States.
For the accomplishment of this end, it became necessary to hit upon some expedient, or to select some more exciting subject upon which the South could be brought to act as a unit, and not as a divided section as on the tariff question, and by that means combine the entire Southern States in one harmonious whole; and as the Democracy was largely in the ascendant throughout the South, it became necessary that the whole South should become democratized. This being the first great object in view, it required no great sagacity or foresight to see that there was but one question, or one subject, on which common interest would beget community of feeling in every Southern State, and that was the question of slavery^ and this could only be used for that purpose by exciting the apprehensions of the slaveholder as to the security of his property ; and how could this alarm be kept up otherwise than by adopting such a course as would unavoidably excite and increase the hostility of the anti-slavery interest of the South, and, by constant agitation, keep the political caldron ever at fever heat ? The argument was this : By keeping up a constant agitation of the slavery question, we can sooner or later force the Whig party in the South to co-operate with the Democracy on all sectional issues, of which we will take care to have an abundant supply on hand, and thus in time the whole South will become democratized. Accordingly we find that, in an address of Mr. Calhoun's to the people of South Carolina in 1835, he recommends a change of issue from the tariff to the slavery question, and that that question must be driven home upon the people of the North; in what manner they did drive this question home upon the people of the North will be seen in the sequel.
By the more rapid increase of population in the North, the power is gradually fading away from the South; and when the time shall arrive that the Democracy can no longer hold their power under the national government, it will require but little art or persuasion addressed to the selfishness of the leaders of the opposition to join in breaking up the old government, and perpetuating their power and our own under a Southern Confederacy; how well they have succeeded in the scheme, at least so far as the effort is concerned, we all too well know and too painfully feel...
...Slavery, then, was to be the pretext, the perpetuation of power the real object of every movement that was made on the political chess-board by Mr. Calhoun and his followers from the year 1833 down to the fatal day when South Carolina, on the 20th of December, 1860, during the Democratic administration of Mr. Buchanan, and nearly three months before the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, rushed headlong into secession, denied the authority and defied the power of the United States, and commenced hostilities by firing upon the steamer " Star of the West," bearing the flag of the United States, and repeating these hostilities by again attacking the United States troops in Fort Sumter, which precipitated the whole South into this fatal rebellion.