~Part Six~

The South, on the other hand, had taken up the call of Manifest Destiny. The South embraced freedom and property over the encroaching hand of the Federal Government! The South took Jefferson—remember him?—at his word! That, Dear Reader, was the ideal I had pursued all the way to California, only to see it shattered by the Gold Rush and the descent of the Northern banks! You may recall that I aspire to nothing less that to be the (very) poor man's Jefferson!

Of course, with Jefferson comes the, ahem, Slavery Question. They called it the "peculiar institution," much as my first wife called intercourse "marital relations."

The euphemism reigned supreme!

Slavery, to be frank, was not a part of the Southern position's allure insofar as I was concerned. In fact, it drove me to the sidelines of the political debate for many years; although I never cared for Northern positions and had always been a supporter of Clay, I could not abide by slavery as part of my personal political philosophy. However, the war forced my hand as surely as it forced so many others'. I had to ask myself in what country I could best live and I decided in favor of the CSA.

Of course, my Puritan forebears farmed their own damn land, surely as Charlotte cooked and I rode hard wherever I could to make a living. I remain in touch with my Mayflower stock in certain ways.

Furthermore, when I have considered it at all, I have always considered myself more of a New Testament Christian than an Old Testament one. Yet, I care for Federal hypocrisy and the slavery of filthy urban centers and polluted, tyrannical factories even less! A man does not trudge over 2,000 miles to be dictated to by a bureaucrat sitting on his fat Washington ass behind his fat Washington desk!

So, no, I did not relish the institution of slavery, but a man will never find a platform he can stand behind completely! I am not a son of privilege; I cannot speak for the "enlightened" views of the Northeast SAH-lon, nor, Dear Reader, would I be welcome therein were I to show up unannounced, brandishing a frayed and yellowed calling card from the Lyceum Circuit.

Here, too, I remind you of another fashion that marks our time, the circus, with its bearded ladies and dancing bears. The good townsfolk and city-dwellers come to gawk and gape and jeer at a band of freaks. And shouldn't I be such a freak out East: he proselytizing pie-oh-neeeer, the Common Man so clownish as he shadowboxes those silly slings and arrows—swallowing a sword or two while he's at it! Look at the silly Common Man as he paces and loses sleep and leaves his family behind once more for a few thousand trifling dollars. Ha ha ha! A JOLLY GOOD SHOW!