November 15, 1860: George Templeton Strong on secession

George Templeton Strong
George Templeton Strong

George Templeton Strong was a New York Lawyer, born in 1820, who kept a diary for 40 years of his adult life.

We are generally reconciling ourselves to the prospect of secession by South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, little Florida, and perhaps Mississippi, too. We shall be well rid of them. Perhaps the prevalence of this feeling — the cordial consent of the North — will keep them from seceding. I think these porcine communities incline to run out of the Union merely because they think we want to keep them in. One should never pull a pig in the direction one wants it to travel. They have long governed us and controlled our votes by the threat of secession. They naturally think secession will be a crushing calamity to the North and the severest punishment they can inflict on us for electing Lincoln.

Linden, 2001

The South, conscious of its dwindling power due to demographic changes, had indeed been playing the secession card pretty frequently over the preceding decades. Unfortunately, Strong underestimated their resolve this time.

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One Response to November 15, 1860: George Templeton Strong on secession

  1. J.C. Wilmore says:

    Somebody needs to send this photo to Robert Downey Jr. Mr. Downey, I’d like to write the screenplay for your upcoming film: “The George Templeton Strong Story.”

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