" It does if you are forming an argument that ALL Southerners and slave owners had the exact same ideas and opinions. "
Obviously I have never made an argument about ALL Southerners having "the exact same ideas and opinions". It is absurd to claim I did.
Once again: the folks under discussion are not ALL southerners. It is the almost 80 men who voted on the crucial bill on whether or not to draft arm and emancipate slaves, as requested by Lee.
They voted it down. No cherry picked quotes need. Votes count, votes are fact.
Now, their vote either reflects the majority oponion of their constituency, or their vote was in defiance of their constituency. To determine what their thinking was one must select quotes from the men who voted, and select quotes from the public press of their constituents at the time when the vote was taken. That selection is NOT cherry picking.
If Hunter is voting, and I wish insight into his decision, shall I quote Lincoln?
If the Charleston press represents Hunter's constituents, and I want insight into local public thinking when his vote was taken, shall I quote Chicago?
This "you are cherry-picking" argument is false.