Literary Work 555
In the minds of the young men of those days this question was
should the South be separated from the North. We have seen that in
March, 1839, the Euzelian debated the possible secession of the South
in case the North blocked the annexation of Texas. After this,
secession and kindred questions were debated scores of times. With
the disputants and those who heard them they were not so much
academic as practical. The young men were watching the course of
political affairs in the country with an interest which became more
and more absorbing as the years went by. This will be evident to any
one who will follow chronologically the account of such debates, as it
appears in the records of the two Societies. Only a selection can be
given here.
On October 5, 1840, the Euzelians debated the question, "Is there
more danger of our government being destroyed by a civil than a
foreign war?" "The query was discussed in the most animated manner
and decided in the affirmative 15 to 8." On May 15, 1841, in the
Philomathesian Society Matthew T. Yates and James H. Lane,
afterwards a physician of Clio, South Carolina, being appointed to
choose a question, selected the query, "Has any State a right to oppose
with force an act of Congress?" Being debated two weeks later with
Lane on the affirmative and Yates on the negative, by the president's
vote it was decided in the affirmative 12 to 11.
In 1845 came the formal division of the Baptists of the North and
the South, with the organization of the Southern Baptist Convention at
Augusta, Georgia, May 8, 1845, and the formal division of the
Methodist Episcopal Church with the organization of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South, in Louisville, Kentucky, in the same month
and year. This division was caused by differences over slavery, in
which the opponents of slavery living in the North and assuming
powers not theirs made union of their denominations North and South
no longer possible.47 That
47 It was the Baptist Mission Board, located in Boston for purposes of easy
communication with foreign ports that precipitated the matter with the Baptists by
refusing to sanction the appointment of any slaveholder to a mission post; among
the Methodists the attempt of the General Conference, meeting in New York in
1844, to take away episcopal rights from a Southern
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