Alexander H. Stephens
The Cornerstone Speech (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.
- This new constitution. or form of government, constitutes the subject to which your attention will be partly invited.
- So, taking the whole new constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my judgment that it is decidedly better than the old.
- 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, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
- Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone 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.
- 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.
- But to return to the question of the future. What is to be the result of this revolution? Will every thing, commenced so well, continue as it has begun? In reply to this anxious inquiry, I can only say it all depends upon ourselves.
- The process of disintegration in the old Union may be expected to go on with almost absolute certainty if we pursue the right course.
- The principles and position of the present administration of the United States the republican party present some puzzling questions. While it is a fixed principle with them never to allow the increase of a foot of slave territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch 'of the accursed soil.'
Quotes about Stephens
- Texas and fair Louisiana join us in the fight. Davis, our loved President, and Stephens statesmen are. Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.