- I do not believe that our friends at the South have any just idea of the state of feeling, hurrying at this moment to a pitch of intense exasperation, between those who respect their political obligations, and those who apparently have no impelling power but that which a fanatical position on the subject of domestic Slavery imparts. Without discussing the question of right - of abstract power to secede - I have never believed that actual disruption of the Union can occur without blood; and if, through the madness of Northern Abolitionists, that dire calamity must come, the fighting will not be along Mason's and Dixon's line merely. It [will] be within our own borders, in our own streets, between the two classes of citizens to whom I have referred.
- I never justify, sustain, or in any way or to any extent uphold this cruel, heartless, aimless unnecessary war.
- Do we not all know that the cause of our casualties is the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States, cooperating with the discontents of the people of those states? Do we not know that the disregard of the Constitution, and of the security that it affords to the rights of States and of individuals, has been the cause of the calamity which our country is called to undergo? And now, war! war, in its direst shape - war, such as it makes the blood run cold to read of in the history of other nations and of other times - war, on a scale of a million of men in arms - war, horrid as that of barbaric ages, rages in several of the States of the Union, as its more immediate field, and casts the lurid shadow of its death and lamentation athwart the whole expanse, and into every nook and corner of our vast domain. Nor is that all; for in those of the States which are exempt from the actual ravages of war, in which the roar of the cannon, and the rattle of the musketry, and the groans of the dying, are heard but as a faint echo of terror from other lands, even here in the loyal States, the mailed hand of military usurpation strikes down the liberties of the people, and its foot tramples on a desecrated Constitution.
- I speak of the war as fruitless; for it is clear that, prosecuted upon the basis of the proclamations of September 22d and September 24th, 1862, prosecuted, as I must understand these proclamations, to say nothing of the kindred blood which has followed, upon the theory of emancipation, devastation, subjugation, it cannot fail to be fruitless in every thing except the harvest of woe which it is ripening for what was once the peerless republic.
- You have summoned me in my weakness. You must sustain me by your strength.
- A Republic without parties is a complete anomaly. The histories of all popular governments show absurd is the idea of their attempting to exist without parties.
- Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.
- I believe that involuntary servitude, as it exists in different States of this Confederacy, is recognized by the Constitution. I believe that it stands like any other admitted right, and that the States where it exists are entitled to efficient remedies to enforce the constitutional provisions.
- I wish I could indulge higher hope for the future of our country, but the aspect of any vision is fearfully dark and I cannot make it otherwise.
- Remember that time is money.
- The stars upon your banner have become nearly threefold their original number; your densely populated possessions skirt the shores of the two great oceans.
- The dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.
- The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution.
- We have nothing in our history or position to invite aggression; we have everything to beckon us to the cultivation of relations of peace and amity with all nations.
- With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.