If this bill [for the admission of Orleans Territory as a State] passes, it is my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of the Union; that it will free the States from their moral obligation; and, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation,amicably if they can, violently if they must.1
Abridged Cong. Debates, Jan. 14, 1811. Vol. iv. p. 327.
Note 1. The gentleman [Mr. Quincy] cannot have forgotten his own sentiment, uttered even on the floor of this House, Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.Henry Clay: Speech, Jan. 8, 1813. [back]