Sen. Robert Toombs of Georgia delivers his farewell speech to the U.S. Senate:
“Very well; you not only want to break down our constitutional rights; you not only want to upturn our social system; your people not only steal our slaves and make them freemen to vote against us; but you seek to bring an inferior race in a condition of equality, socially and politically, with our own people.
Well, sir, the question of slavery moves not the people of Georgia one half as much as the fact that you insult their rights as a community. You abolitionists are right when you say there are thousands and tens of thousands of men in Georgia, and all over the South, who do not own slaves. A very large portion of the people of Georgia own none of them.
In the mountains, there are comparatively but few of them; but no part of our people are more loyal to their race and country than our bold and brave mountain population: and every flash of the electric wires brings me cheering news from our mountaintops and our valleys, that these sons of Georgia are excelled by none of their countrymen in loyalty to their rights, the honor, and the glory of the Commonwealth.
They say, and well say: This is our question; we want no negro equality, no negro citizenship; we want no mongrel race to degrade our own; and as one man they would meet you on the border with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other. They would drive you from our borders, and make you walk over the blighted ruins of our fair land.
We will tell you when we choose to abolish this thing; it must be done under our direction and according to our will; our own, our native land shall determine this question and not the abolitionists of the North. That is the spirit of our freemen; beware of them.”
They would run into Connie Chastain at the border marching at the head of a negro regiment to the tune of John Brown’s Body.