James Lewis Petigru, excerpts from Carson, James Petigru, ed. Life, Letters, and Speeches of James Louis Petigru. Washington, D. C.: W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., 1920.
“They are going to call a Convention. I always though they would; and the Convention can only do mischief. How much, no one can tell. We ought to give thanks, with grateful hearts that the rest of the country is imbued with more sense and a higher notion of social duty than South Carolina”
9 December 1851, p. 290
“My dear Sister; Poor Beasley! Who would have thought tht he would earn a name in history as a secession victim. But these things all are awful foreboding of what is to come when the passions of the mob are let loose and the truth is our gentlemen are little distinguished in a mob from the rabble… I am very busy with the code and still backward”
20 November 1860, p. 362
“Nobody can tell what the end of all this is to be-but it can not be for good. As to the Southern Confederacy, it is formed on principles that are hollow, and rotten, on the shallow conceit that all nations will pay tribute to King Cotton; and that our new reading of ‘the Whole Duty of Man’ will be accepted by Christendom” …Nor is the prospect encouraging in the other point of view, viz, the effect of the disruption on the remaing States. The success of the project for going out of the Union at will, demonstrates that fallacy of attempting to combine the principle of unity with that of separate independence of the State; and makes the Constitution a mere cobweb. And when it comes to be so considered, it will be despised and disowned and a general disintegration must follow”
2 March 1861, p. 372