CONTENT NOTE: This poem contains an offensive racist term.
Author:J. W. Temple
Date:February 15th 1861
This northern poem by J. W. Temple on the south’s ambitions for secession was published in this context in the Liberator newspaper, but was first published in the Chicago Tribune. The poem was written before the outbreak of the American Civil War, when all eyes were particularly on South Carolina, as the state with the most advanced structure of secessionist politics, having been the first to vote for secession after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as president in November 1860. The third stanza considers the prospect of cotton-dependent nations, including Britain, invading the US to maintain supplies, which was a very real fear given the economic dominance of the crop. The poem contains offensive racist terms, but appears to be using them ironically to attack the political approach of the Confederacy. – SR