The Secession Crises as seen by James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States
 
From: btzoumas@bellsouth.net
 
Y’all,
   
Below is an excerpt from the last State of the Union message by James Buchanan, 15th President, delivered to Congress on 3 December 1860. He clearly declares what the problem was with regards to secession and the crises he was faced with. Additionally, follow the link to all the other SOTU messages and get a glimpse of the national pulse throughout American history.
 
Sincerely,
  
Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
 

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I have long foreseen and often forewarned my countrymen of the now impending danger. This does not proceed solely from the claim on the part of Congress or the Territorial legislatures to exclude slavery from the Territories, nor from the efforts of different States to defeat the execution of the fugitive-slave law. All or any of these evils might have been endured by the South without danger to the Union (as others have been) in the hope that time and reflection might apply the remedy. The immediate peril arises not so much from these causes as from the fact that the incessant and violent agitation of the slavery question throughout the North for the last quarter of a century has at length produced its malign influence on the slaves and inspired them with vague notions of freedom. Hence a sense of security no longer exists around the family altar. This feeling of peace at home has given place to apprehensions of servile insurrections. Many a matron throughout the South retires at night in dread of what may befall herself and children before the morning. Should this apprehension of domestic danger, whether real or imaginary, extend and intensify itself until it shall pervade the masses of the Southern people, then disunion will become inevitable. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and has been implanted in the heart of man by his Creator for the wisest purpose; and no political union, however fraught with blessings and benefits in all other respects, can long continue if the necessary consequence be to render the homes and the firesides of nearly half the parties to it habitually and hopelessly insecure. Sooner or later the bonds of such a union must be severed. It is my conviction that this fatal period has not yet arrived, and my prayer to God is that He would preserve the Constitution and the Union throughout all generations.
 
Read more at the American Presidency Project: James Buchanan: Fourth Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29501#ixzz1JkadKVc4