Notable Fire-eaters (secessionists) of the Antebellum and American Civil War

The Antebellum and American Civil War years saw the rise of two outspoken groups; one was the pro-secession "fire-eaters," and the other the abolitionists. Can you name the 10 most notable fire-eaters? Source: The History Buff's Guide to the Civil War, by Thomas Flagel
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Last updated: May 27, 2014
First submittedMay 19, 2014
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Owner of the Charleston Mercury, he served in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and is credited by some as the "Father of Secession"
Robert Barnwell Rhett
Instrumental in helping Alabama secede from the Union; he also later served as a diplomat for the Confederate States
William Lowndes Yancey
Secretary of War to James Monroe, Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, he became a pro-slavery supporter and died 11 years before the war broke out
John C. Calhoun
An outspoken secessionist, he committed suicide only a couple months after the surrender at Appomattox
Edmund Ruffin
After playing a role in helping South Carolina secede from the Union, he served in the Confederate Army and was killed at the Battle of Cold Harbor
Lawrence Keitt
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Personally encouraged the shelling of Fort Sumter, and later fled to England for a few years after the war ended
Louis T. Wigfall
Published "De Bow's Review" in the Antebellum Years and worked for the Confederate Treasury during the war
James De Bow
Serving in the House of Representatives before the war, he argued to the other representatives to let South Carolina go in peace or else war would come. After the war he became president of the University of South Carolina
William Porcher Miles
Wrote "An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery"
Thomas R. R. Cobb
Fled to England after the war ended, but returned and outspokenly defended the Confederacy right until his death in 1881
John S. Preston
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