The south repudiates the idea that a pecuniary dependence on the federal government is one of the legitimate means of holding the states together. A moneyed interest in the government is essentially a base interest; and just so far as it operates to bind the feelings of those who are subjected to it to the government,—just so far as it operates in creating sympathies and interests that would not otherwise exist,—is it opposed to all the principles of free government, and at war with virtue and patriotism. Sir, the link which binds the public creditors, as such, to their country, binds them equally to all governments, whether arbitrary or free. In a free government, this principle of abject dependence, if extended through all the ramifications of society, must be fatal to liberty.
On this subject, as in all others, we ask nothing of our northern brethren but to "let us alone." Leave us to the undisturbed management of our domestic concerns, and the direction of our own industry, and we will ask no more.
The people whom I represent, Mr. President, are the descendants of those who brought with them to this country, as the most precious of their possessions, "an ardent love of liberty;" and while that shall be preserved, they will always be found manfully struggling against the consolidation of the government—as the worst of evils.