Alexander H. Stephens Savannah, Georgia March 21, 1861 When perfect quiet is restored, I shall


Alexander H. Stephens

Savannah, Georgia

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March 21, 1861

When perfect quiet is restored, I shall proceed. I cannot speak so long as there is any
noise or confusion. I shall take my time I feel quite prepared to spend the night with you
if necessary. I very much regret that everyone who desires cannot hear what I have to
say. Not that I have any display to make, or anything very entertaining to present, but
such views as I have to give, I wish all, not only in this city, but in this State, and
throughout our Confederate Republic, could hear, who have a desire to hear them.

I was remarking that we are passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals
of the world. Seven States have within the last three months thrown off an old
government and formed a new. This revolution has been signally marked, up to this time,
by the fact of its having been accomplished without the loss of a single drop of blood.

This new constitution. or form of government, constitutes the subject to which your
attention will be partly invited. In reference to it, I make this first general remark: it
amply secures all our ancient rights, franchises, and liberties. All the great principles of
Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by
the judgment of his peers under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious
liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old constitution, is still maintained and
secured. All the essentials of the old constitution, which have endeared it to the hearts of
the American people, have been preserved and perpetuated. Some changes have been
made. Some of these I should have preferred not to have seen made; but other important
changes do meet my cordial approbation. They form great improvements upon the old
constitution. So, taking the whole new constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my
judgment that it is decidedly better than the old.

Allow me briefly to allude to some of these improvements. The question of building up

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one of the wisest provisions in the British constitution. It is the only feature that saves
that government. It is that which gives it stability in its facility to change its
administration. Ours, as it is, is a great approximation to the right principle.

Under the old constitution, a secretary of the treasury for instance, had no opportunity,
save by his annual reports, of presenting any scheme or plan of finance or other matter.
He had no opportunity of explaining, expounding, enforcing, or defending his views of
policy; his only resort was through the medium of an organ. In the British parliament,
the premier brings in his budget and stands before the nation responsible for its every
item. If it is indefensible, he falls before the attacks upon it, as he ought to. This will now
be the case to a limited extent under our system. In the new constitution, provision has
been made by which our heads of departments can speak for themselves and the
administration, in behalf of its entire policy, without resorting to the indirect and highly
objectionable medium of a newspaper. It is to be greatly hoped that under our system we
shall never have what is known as a government organ.

Another change in the constitution relates to the length of the tenure of the presidential
office. In the new constitution it is six years instead of four, and the President rendered
ineligible for a re-election. This is certainly a decidedly conservative change. It will
remove from the incumbent all temptation to use his office or exert the powers confided
to him for any objects of personal ambition. The only incentive to that higher ambition
which should move and actuate one holding such high trusts in his hands, will be the
good of the people, the advancement, prosperity, happiness, safety, honor, and true glory
of the confederacy.

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to
allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever,
all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists
amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the
immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had
anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What
was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the
great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas
entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the
old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of
nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they
knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that,
somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and
pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea
at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the
institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the
constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day.
Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of
the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government
built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid,

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its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man;
that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This,
our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great
physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its
development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so
even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not
generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to
many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with
a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an
aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the
most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct
conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their
conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and
hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If
their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise
being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman
from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of
Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled,
ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war
successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the
principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us,
were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the
equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should,
ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our
institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war
successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted;
but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a
principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made

In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and
breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is
firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full
recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.

As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are
and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles
announced by Galileo it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy.
It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a
single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths
made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not,
therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths
upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the
principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing
the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the
principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were
and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of

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nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal
in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or
by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.
The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper
material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society
is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best,
not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in
conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom
of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to
differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.” The
great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and
decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is
founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was
rejected by the first builders “is become the chief of the corner” the real “corner-stone” in
our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some
that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many
they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true
to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must

Thousands of people who begin to understand these truths are not yet completely out of
the shell; they do not see them in their length and breadth. We hear much of the
civilization and Christianization of the barbarous tribes of Africa. In my judgment, those
ends will never be attained, but by first teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that “in
the sweat of his brow he should eat his bread,” and teaching them to work, and feed, and
clothe themselves.

But to pass on: Some have propounded the inquiry whether it is practicable for us to go
on with the confederacy without further accessions? Have we the means and ability to
maintain nationality among the powers of the earth? On this point I would barely say,
that as anxiously as we all have been, and are, for the border States, with institutions
similar to ours, to join us, still we are abundantly able to maintain our position, even if
they should ultimately make up their minds not to cast their destiny with us.
That they ultimately will join us be compelled to do it is my confident belief; but we can
get on very well without them, even if they should not.

We have all the essential elements of a high national career. The idea has been given out
at the North, and even in the border States, that we are too small and too weak to
maintain a separate nationality. This is a great mistake. In extent of territory we embrace
five hundred and sixty-four thousand square miles and upward. This is upward of two
hundred thousand square miles more than was included within the limits of the original
thirteen States. It is an area of country more than double the territory of France or the
Austrian empire. France, in round numbers, has but two hundred and twelve thousand
square miles. Austria, in round numbers, has two hundred and forty-eight thousand
square miles. Ours is greater than both combined. It is greater than all France, Spain,
Portugal, and Great Britain, including England, Ireland, and Scotland, together. In
population we have upward of five millions, according to the census of 1860; this

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John Brown’s Last Speech

On October, 16, 1859, John Brown and nearly two dozen comrades seized the armory at Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia, hoping

to use its massive arsenal in the struggle to forcibly end slavery. Captured and brought to trial at nearby Charles Town, Brown was

found guilty of treason. One month before his execution, John Brown addressed a courtroom in Charlestown, West Virginia,

defending his role in the action at Harper’s Ferry. Henry David Thoreau, although himself did not favor violence, praised John Brown,

and when the fiery Preacher was sentenced to death, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “He will make the gallows holy as the cross.”

“I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say.
In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted,
the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have
made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter, when I went into
Missouri and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either
side, moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I
designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale. That was
all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of
property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.
I have another objection; and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer
such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I
admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of
the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I
so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-
called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother,
brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and
sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and
every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward
rather than punishment. (this painting still hangs in Kansas State Capital)
This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament.
That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in
bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to
have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary
that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this
slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!
Let me say one word further.
I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances. it has been more generous than I expected. But I feel no
consciousness of guilt. I have stated from the first what was my intention and what was not. I never had any design against the life of any person, nor any disposition
to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind.
Let me say, also, a word in regard to the statements made by some of those connected with me. I hear it has been stated by some of them that I have induced
them to join me. But the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord,
and the greater part of them at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with, till the day they came to me; and that
was for the purpose I have stated.
Now I have done.”

(drawing of the scene of execution)

Outside the jail, Brown was led to the back of a wagon where he took a seat
on a long wooden box — his coffin. A column of soldiers stood ready to
escort Brown to a field just outside of town. On the way he commented on
how beautiful this country is. At the gallows, he was silent, but he did hand a
note to the guard which said “I, John Brown am now quite certain that
the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with

Edmund Ruffin, the fire-breathing secessionist was in the crowd. He would
soon fire the first shot at Fort Sumter. Also present was the actor ,John
Wilkes Booth, who had joined the Richmond Grays in order to view the
execution. “I looked at the traitor and terrorizer with unlimited, undeniable
contempt.” He would later kill the President.

After his body swung in the wind, a Virginia Colonel then chanted: “So perish all such enemies of Virginia! All such enemies of the Union! All such foes of the human
race!” The South rejoiced in the execution. But throughout the North, church bells tolled for John Brown. In Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau proclaimed, “This
morning, Captain Brown was hung. He is not Old Brown any longer; he is an angel of light.” People sung “John Brown’s Body” and other songs in his remembered
and his name, like that of Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey, became a battle cry.

Please read the relevant documents

Answer at least two of the questions

Please indicate which questions you are answering, and separate each into its own paragraph. At least 6 sentences!

Cornerstone Speech:


· How does Stephens portray secession?

· According to Stephens, why did the Confederate states leave the union?

· As he explains, on what beliefs is the Confederate government founded?

· How does he distinguish this new government from the United States government, as well as all others in history?


Answer at least two of the questions

Please indicate which questions you are answering, and separate each into its own paragraph. At least 6 sentences!

John Brown’s Last Speech:


· How is Brown’s word prophetic of what would happen in the years ahead?

· Does Brown think that it was inevitable and why?

· Brown’s raid is often described as a spark for the Civil War. Do you agree or disagree?

· What was Brown trying to accomplish with this speech?


37:575:201 Peer review sheet

Reader: ________________________ Writer: _____________________________

Writing is simply a form of communication, so good writing is that which best communicates ideas in a clear manner to the largest audience possible. This means that as a reader, your response to this essay is a valuable tool for helping the writer to better communicate. You do not need to be an expert in writing or reading. You do not need to be a stronger writer than your partner. You simply need to read carefully and provide the writer with specific feedback that points out to him/her how the essay communicates to the reader.

As you read the essay, follow the instructions below so that you can give specific feedback to the writer. You are being asked to notice and respond to elements of the essay, not to provide judgment or act as an expert critic. After you read the essay and follow the instructions below, return the essay and this worksheet to the writer and be prepared to discuss your responses to provide additional clarity and brainstorm how the writer might revise.

In 1-2 sentences in your own words, summarize the writer’s response to the essay prompt:


2. Does the introduction…

a. …state the thesis? Yes/No

b. …provide background/context for the argument? Yes/No

c. …set up the structure of the paper by mentioning the main ideas in a logical order? Yes/No

3. Double underline the thesis.

a. Is it arguable? (Meaning: It can be argued using evidence and support from the texts. It is not an opinion. It is not simply a fact that need not be argued.) Yes/No

b. Does it list, or at least imply, the main points of the paper? Yes/No

c. Does it imply that the essay is about more than it really addresses? (Too broad) Yes/No

d. Does it address only part of the essay? (Too narrow) Yes/No

4. Underline each topic sentence. (A topic sentence summarizes the main idea of the paragraph. It is usually the first sentence of each paragraph).

5. Underline each specific example, quote, or piece of evidence from the texts/videos.

a. If any of these do not have a citation, write “cite” in the margin of the paper.

6. If there are any sentences or phrases that are not completely clear to you as the reader, circle them and in the margin state a question that needs to be answered to clarify the idea.

7. After reading the entire essay, think about its overall structure:

a. Do the paragraphs make sense in this order? Yes/No

i. If not, number the paragraphs and suggest a new order.

b. Are any ideas repeated? Yes/No

i. If so, identify them so the writer can revise accordingly.

c. What organizational pattern is the writer using? (chronological, order of importance, scope, location, etc.)

8. Does the conclusion…

a. …summarize the main points? Yes/No

b. …restate the thesis in a new way? Yes/No

c. …provide a statement of conclusion or extension? Yes/No

9. What are the overall strengths of the essay?

10. What might you consider revising if you were the writer?

Han Wang

US Labor & WRK

Paper Assignment 1

Dr. James Robinson

Nov 21, 2022

Why More Recent Migrants Encountered Hostility

Hostility toward recent arrivals came from several sources, but it is crucial to understand the capitalistic and economic forces behind it all. In the new America, wealthy businesspeople were discovering efficiency. They realized they could make more money from employees who worked for long hours and low wages. However, ‘old’ migrants had become new ‘owners’ of the land and dared to demand better pay. One must also understand that new migrants still wanted opportunities for better lives. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin wrote that in the U.S.A., “labor [was] much better pain than in England” (Franklin). Therefore, if England, the country that colonized America, paid its workers less, the situation must have been dire elsewhere. Franklin noted that migrants came from other countries and continents. Franklin classified some countries as “Poor Protestant” and “Popish” countries in Europe (Franklin). Franklin narrated how he encountered a traveler who mentioned migrants from Asia, Africa, and India (Franklin). Therefore, migrants came to America from diverse backgrounds, hoping to get better lives in America. These new migrants faced hostilities from various sources and reasons, as discussed below.

The first group of new migrants who faced hostility were the diligent yet desperate ones who worked hard and for any amount offered. Franklin identifies this group and gives the German immigrants examples. Franklin wrote that the German migrant workers “[retained] the habitual Industry and Frugality they [brought] with them, [received] higher Wages [and] an accumulation [arose, making] them all rich” (Franklin). This excerpt from Franklin can be misleading if not put into its correct context. During this time, no one got what would pass as “higher wages” as the employers tried to pay as little as possible, especially to migrants.

For example, during this time, “there [were] two classes of workers—those who [worked] in the shops and those who [worked] at home—the former [used] the machines and materials of the bosses, while the latter [worked] on their own machines” (Howard 1). It is reasonable to say that new migrants, however diligent, could not have possibly come with their machines at the time. Thus, new migrants must have worked on-site using their bosses’ machines.

It is also crucial to point out that during this time, the ‘old’ stay-at-home migrants started to demand more pay, and anyone accepting anything less must have been a target of their hostility. Specifically, they claimed “[they were], not slaves” and called for “no sympathy with the rich” (Howard 1). So, these ‘old’ migrants had become so entitled that they wanted to calculate their wages. Notice that these stay-at-home workers were comfortable that they demanded better pay because they owned their resources. Therefore, they must have been hostile to the poor new migrants who worked at the factories for ‘meager’ wages.

One cannot overemphasize the bosses’ love for low-cost labor. Accordingly, they must have preferred new, diligent migrants to the ‘naturalized’ workers. Precisely, the bosses did not mind employing and overworking children, who were “[healthier] when they first [entered] the factories, than afterwards” (Howard 2). Additionally, “the wages of children [were unregulated] by the number of hours they [worked]” as “some…[got] no more than fifty cents per week” (Howard 3). In other words, the bosses always chose low-cost, diligent labor. Indeed, Howard mentioned that the children made minimal mistakes in their designated areas (p. 2). In other words, if the new migrants were industrious and worked harder and more efficiently than their ‘old’ counterparts, the bosses preferred them. Their diligence and the bosses’ affinity to low-wage hard workers could have made them a target of hostility from the entitled ‘old’ migrants.

Indeed, hostility among workers is more than an inferred point since, at the time, “jealousies, piques, and cliques of the various circles” emerged among workers (Howard 1). While jealousy might have several causes, earning more or working harder despite less pay when colleagues think you deserve more is possible. Thus, in Benjamin Franklin’s excerpt above, this distinction between diligent migrants and the rest emerges, giving hints about the possible reasons they encountered hostility.


Hostility toward new migrants also came from ambitious employers and policymakers who wanted to propel America toward economic leadership as fast as possible. Benjamin Franklin noted that some migrants were unproductive and deserved sharp rebuke. Franklin wrote that “their Industry [seemed] to diminish in equal proportion” (Franklin). Since Benjamin Franklin was an elite American philosopher, possibly influencing leaders’ thoughts at the time, his opinion of these ‘lazy’ migrants reflects the hostility of migrants perceived as lazy at the time. Franklin condemned “encouragements for Laziness and supports for Folly” and prescribed “misery as the proper punishments for…idleness and extravagancy” (Franklin). In other words, some migrants came to America seeking a better life at the expense of other diligent individuals. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin observed that some societies had a “wrong” culture which “[compelled] the rich to maintain the poor” (Franklin). Recall that this paper cited a source where stay-at-home workers chanted “no sympathy with the rich” (Howard 1). It is the case that even the top government officials detested migrants perceived as “lazy” as they would come demanding the rich to fund their “laziness” with “unreasonable” hefty wages like the work-at-home laborers.

The officials preferred some new migrants to others and were more hostile to those who did not want to work hard. For example, “the Poor in Protestant Countries on the Continent of Europe [were] generally more industrious than those of Popish Countries” (Franklin). Therefore, employers and ambitious government officials must have been hostile to the new ‘lazy’ migrants and hospitable to the ‘diligent’ hungry-for-work new migrants. Conversely, the ‘old’ migrants who demanded more pay despite their working hours must have been hostile to the new diligent migrants who were their potential replacements at work. One must recall that during this time, most employers sought the most efficient workflows that could make replacing workers inconsequential on overall productivity. Scholars of American history must have vivid memories of the tales of strikebreakers at this point. In other words, the new diligent migrants seemed like the strikebreakers, and the ‘old’ migrants

could not tolerate them.

However, the hostilities that new migrants faced sometimes arose from more than labor issues as they originated from the moralists too. For instance, one article shows that “the women marketed as “fancy girls” to excite white men’s lust” (Parry 2). In other words, some moralists at the time suspected that some women migrants came as prostitutes, and they disapproved of this ancient trade as part and parcel of the American dream. Even so, this reference shows that there were other ‘moral’ reasons why some ‘old’ migrants detested and treated new migrants with hostility.

This article argues that new immigrants often encounter hostility from different sources and for different reasons. “Old” immigrants resent and are hostile to newcomers who work harder and accept lower pay than they do. Ambitious politicians and policy makers loathe “lazy” new immigrants and are hostile to them. Some moralists are also hostile to new immigrants, whom they suspect of coming to tarnish the American dream. The truth is that new immigrants, because they want to get a foothold in America, need to take as many jobs as they can without regard to pay to make ends meet. But this is also what makes people of different class status hostile to them, as mentioned in the previous article. Although America today is made up of immigrants, new immigrants are still at the bottom of the social ladder, and not only are they despised by those in positions of power and authority, but also by the “old” immigrants who are of the same class as them, because the interests of the new immigrants are often different from those of the “old” immigrants. The interests of the new immigrants often conflict with those of the “old” immigrants.

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