"You must not suppose, that in contending against corruption & interest, that I am impelled by the hope of success. Had that been the case, I would long since have retired from the conflict. Far higher motives impel me; a sense of duty; to do our best for our country, & leave the rest to Providence. I hold, the duties of life, to be greater than life itself, and that in performing them manfully, even against hope, our labour is not lost, but will be productive of good in after times. Indeed, I regard this life very much as a struggle against evil, & that to him, who acts on proper principle, the reward is in the struggle, more than in victory itself ..."
John C. Calhoun
(To Anna Maria Calhoun Clemson, 7 March 1848, in The Essential Calhoun, edited by Clyde N. Wilson, p.429.)