« ZurückWeiter »
ulation, than that occupied by overthrow by an angry controMr. Corwin's Majority
Mr.Cerwin's Majority Report. the Non-slave holding States versy touching the disposition
Report and Territories. The Committee of our present Territorial posare at a loss to conceive what more than this can be sessions, to employ our time in arranging for a par. demandeå or desired by the South. This settlementtition among ourselves of the Territorial dominions commends itself to our acceptance as one which de- of neighboring nations, looking to a future which, mands of no one any surrender of opinion for or when it shall come, will probably bring with it ciragainst Slavery, for or against any proposition of cumstances and conditions which could not be now constitutional law, and withdraws, for ever, from foreseen, and which, therefore, should be left to the contest between North and South all Territory which judgments of those whose duty it may become to the latter desire to possess-constituting it a State, consider and act upon them. with the privilege belonging to all States, to adopt “ The subject of Slavery in the District of Columsuch domestic institutions as her own sense of duty bia, and in those places in the Slaveholding States and interest shall determine.
where the Federal Government has exclusive juris" If it be objected that the population of the pro- diction, as well as the inter-State Slave-trade, have posed State is too small to justify her admission into been disposed of by a resolution accompanying this the Union at this time, we answer that it now con- report, and the reason for that disposition briefly tains a larger white population than either of two given in the resolution itself. States now in the Union, and represented in both " The rendition of fugitives from justice has, at all branches of Congress. The present population of times, and especially lately, been a source of much New Mexico, including New Mexico, is estimated at irritation between the States, and has recently con105,000. This computation of era and population nected itself, unhappily, with the subject of Slavery. may not be correct, but it is based on reliable data. The provisions of the Constitution have been differIt may also be objected that the present resources ently construed by the Governors of different States, of the Territory are not equal to the support of a leading to controversy unfriendly to those amiable State Government. If this objection has any foun- relations which should always subsist betweeu the dation in fact, it may be easily removed by liberal States. donations, such as Congress has often before made “To remedy this mischief, the Committee have to new States on their coming into the Union. The thought it expedient to transfer the duty of acting Committee consider these and other objections to upon the requisitions of fugitives from justice from this plan, which might be suggested as too insignifi- the Governors of the States to the Courts of the cant to weigh for a moment against the incalculable United States, so as to secure a judicial construction benefit to all the States, and all the people of all the of the Constitution, and also secure aniformity of States, which it is hoped may flow from the adop- action on the subject, and present a bill for that purtion of the measures proposed. Other plans and pose. modes of adjustment have been presented and con * The Committee have prepared several resolusidered by the Committee. All of them, however, tions which do not propose action on any specifio involve the surrender of opinions on questions of subject; but which, if adopted and approved by a Constitutional law, long held by a large portion of vote of the House, may serve to announce principles the people, and too firmly grounded in their convic- which seem in some quarters to be questioned, while tions to justify a demand of their abandonment, es- their adoption may tend to correct errors and mispecially when the result desired by all can be representations that have obtained a too general bereached without that sacrifice.
lief in the Southern section of the Union. "From the beginning of our deliberations it was " The intrinsic difficulties which belong to the subapparent that the disposition of that portion of our ject must be the apology of the Committee for the Territory lying South of the parallel of 36 deg. 30 time consumed in coming to the conclusions now min. was the main subject of difficulty. The settle submitted to the House. If the results which we ment of that question was, however, complicated have reached should fail to accomplish the so much with a provision much insisted on for Territory here- desired end, the Committee still entertain a confideut after to be acquired. This did not seem to the Com- belief that Congress will speedily adopt some meamittee properly to belong to the subject. The Com- sure which will be accepted by all as a just and fair mittee did not think proper to extend their con- basis upon which the paternal relations between all sideration of the embarrassments arising out of the sections of the Union may be restored. occupation of Territory now within our possession “It is proper to observe that the Committee were to Territory which might or might not hereafter be not unanimous on all the resolutions and bills preacquired. It seemed to them improper, if not ab- sented; but a majority of a quorum was obtained surd, while our Government was threatenod with on them all. "THOMAS CORWIN, Chairman."
THE MINORITY REPORTS.
The minority report of Messrs. Washburn and that question turned upon the
The Minority Ro and Tappan was a long, interesting and able Fugitive Slave law. Now, in regard
to t.e Fugitive Slive law, I myself
ports. argument on the resolutions agreed upon in doubt its unconstitutionality, and I the Committee. It protested against the sev-doubted it on the floor of the Senate when I was a member eral resolves looking to concessions to the of that body. The States acting in their sovereign capacity
should be responsible for the rendition of fugitive slaves. slave power, believing that the disease of dis- This was our best security.” union had become chronic and would not be “Such sentiments, expressing the opinions of leadcured by concessions. We can give only the ing representative men in the South Carolina moveclosing paragraphs of the Report as embo- ment, ought to satisfy, it seems to us, any reasonable dying its conclusions :
man, that the proposed measures of the majority of " Having thus expressed our the Committee will be powerless for good. The Minority Reviews on all the propositions of
“South Carolina is our 'sick man,' that is laborthe Committee that contem- ing under the influence of the most distressing plate any action, we feel compelled to say, that in of maladies. A morbid disease which has been our judgment they are one and all powerless for preying upon that State for a long series of years permanent good. The present dissatisfaction and has at last assumed the character of acute mania, discontent does not arise from the fact that the and has extended to other members of the ConfedeNorth has passed personal Liberty bills, or that the racy, and to think of restoring the patient to health Fugitive Slave law is not faithfully execated, neither by the nostrums proposed, is, in our judgment, perdoes it arise from an apprehension that the North tectly idle. proposes to interfere with Slavery in the States
“Bnt we hear it said 'something must be done or where it exists.
the Union will be dissolved.' We do not care to go " The treasonable purposes of South Carolina are into a nice calculation of the benefits and disadvan. not of recent origin. In the recent Convention of tages to the several States arising from the Union, that State leading members made use of the follow- with a view of striking & balance between them. ing language, in the debate on the passage of the Should we do so, we are convinced that that balance Ordinance of Secession.
would largely favor the Southern section of the ConMr. Parker_“ Mr. President, it appears to me, with great
federacy. deference to the opinions that have been expressed, that the
“ The North has never felt inclined to calculate public mind is fully made up to the gr at occasion that now the value of the Union. It may not be improper to awaits us. It is no spasmodic effort that has come suddenly inquire in this connection whether the State of South upon us, but it has been gradually culminating for a long Carolina and the other ultra Secession States have series of years, until at last
, it has come to that point when been so oppressed by our Government as to render we may say the matter is entirely right.”
Mr. Inglis_“ Mr. President, if there is any gentleman their continuance in the Union intolerable to their present who wishes to debate this matter, of course this citizens. bedy will hear him ; but as to delay for the purpose of dis “It is not pretended that they ever lose fugitive cussion, I, for one, am opposed to it. As my friend (Mr. slaves, or that any escaping from those States have Parker) has gaid, most of us here had this matter under consideration for the last twenty years, and I presume we
not been delivered up when demanded; nor is it had, by this time, arrived at a decision upon the subject."
pretended that the Personal Liberty bills of any Mr. Keitt—"Sir, we are performing a great act, which State have practically affected any of their citizens. invokes not only the stirring present, but embraces thu Neither do they complain that they cannot now go whole great future for ages to come. I have been engaged with their slaves into any Territory of the United in this great movement ever since I entered political life am content with what has been done to-day, and content
States. The Supreme Court has decided that they with what will take place to morrow. We have carried the have that right. body of this Union to its last resting place, and now we wil “Is it, then, complained that their citizens, under drop the flag over its grave. After that is done, I am ready the operation of the Federal laws, are compelled to to adjourn, and leave the remaining ceremonies for to contribute an undue proportion of the means to morrow." Mr. Rhett—" The Secession of South Carolina is not an
maintain the Government? If so, and the complaint event'of a day. It is not anything produced by Mr. Lincolu's is well founded, it is deserving of notice. election, or by non-execution of the Fugitive Slave law. It “But it is not true in point of fact. We could has been a matter which has been gathering head for thirty easily demonstrate, by official figures, that the Govyears. The election of Lincoln and Hamlin was the last ernment of the United States annually expends, for straw on the back of the camel. But it was not the only one. The back was nearly bróken before. The point upon which the exclusive use and benefit of South Carolina, a I now differ from my friend, is this : He says he thought
it much larger sum than that State contributes for the expedient, for us to put this great question before the world support of the Government. This same rule will upon this simple matter of wrongs on the question of Slavery, hold true in regard to most of the States that are
now so anxious to dissolve their the way of compromise."
The Minority Re. “ Florida, which contains less by the representatives of the
ports. than one five-hundredth part of the white popula. Pacific coast, Messrs. Burch and Stout, declared tion of the Union, and a State which has cost us di: the requisite vote for constitutional amendrectly and indirectly not less than $40,000,000, and ments by this Congress cannot be had; and upon which the General Government annually expends sums of money for her benefit, more than four since there is such a contrariety of views and times in excess of her contributions to the support opinions among members of the same party, as of the Government, has raised her arm against the leave no hope from their action which would power which has so liberally sustained her. meet all demands, they were willing to refer
“But we will not pursue this subject further. The the matters of difference between the North Union of these states is a necessity, and will be pre- and South to the source of Federal power served long after the misguided men who seek its and the delegates elected with a view direct overthrow are dead and forgotten, or if not forgot to their settlement. They concurred in many ten, only remembered as the attempted destroyers of the measures recommended by the majoriof the fairest fabric erected for the preservation of ty, and reported a resolution additional to human liberty that the world ever saw.
theirs. This resolution received 14 votes, " It is not to be preserved by compromises or sac. while 15 voted against it in the Committee, rifices of principles. South Carolina, it is believed,
It proposed to call a National Constitutional is fast learning the value of the Union, and the expe
Thus ended the action of this important turn to her allegiance. If other States insist upon Committee. Its results, or want of results, the purchase of that knowledge in the school of ex- proclaimed to the people that the differperience at the price paid by South Carolina, while ences between the two sections were too we may deprecate their folly, we cannot doubt its radical for the cure of compromise. The lasting value to them.
public in the North, thereafter, looked to the ** Regarding the present discontent and hostility in Executive for the preservation of the counthe South as wholly without just cause, we submit try—the means to be left to circumstances. the following resolution, which is the same as that in the South, the leaders of the movement for recently offered in the United States Senate by Mr. disunion hastened the action of States looking Clark, of New Hampshire:
to the formation of a new government, that ** Resolved, That the provisions of the Constitution are ample for the preservation of the l'nion, and the protection of should be prepared to cope with any obstacles all the material interests of the country; that it needs to be which the Federal Executive might oppose to obeyed rather than amended, and our extrication from the abrogation of its authority by the Statés. present dificulties is to be looked for in efforts to preserve Prior to this, however, the affair of the Star and protect the public property and enforce the laws, rather than in new guarantees for particular interests, or compro of the West, (see Chap. XII.], had aroused the mises, or concessions to anreasonable demands.
loyal spirit of the North, while it reassured (Signed) “ C. C. WASHBURNE, the revolutionists of the imminence of their " MASON W. TAPPAN.”
danger and added to their zeal for the formaThe minority report of Messrs. Love and tion of their consolidated administration. Hamilton, embraced propositions covering Divided, they were powerless to meet the the Crittenden basis of settlement. The Re- strong arm of the General Government: comport of Mr. Adams, of Massachusetts was bined, they would offer such a front of dea protest, or rather plea, to extenuate his re- fense and defiance as might induce the North fusal to accede to the Majority Report, not to terms of peaceful separation. The speech withstanding he had voted, in committee, for of Mr. Yancey, before the Alabama Convenits several propositions. He withdrew his as- tion, see page 205,] in justification of the Consent “for the reason that the Southern mem- vention's refusal to submit the Ordinance of bers have generally retired from the commit- Secession to a vote of the people--proves that tee, thereby showing an unwillingness to the leaders considered the danger as overaccept anything the North could yield in riding even the claims of the people.
As stated, the Steamer we steered to the S. W. for Sailing of the
The Steamer Fired Transport. Star of the West, loaded se- the main ship channel,
Iuto. cretly in New York during when we hove to to await the first week of January, by orders from the daylight, our lights having all been put out War Department, with provisions and mu- since twelve o'clock, to avoid being seen. As nitions for Fort Sumter. She dropped down the day began to break, discovered a steamer the Bay Saturday evening, January 5th. just in-shore of us, which, as soon as she saw During the night two hundred choice troops us, burned one blue light and two red lights, were put on board from a steam-tug, dis- as signals, and shortly after steamed over the patched from Governor's Island, and the bar and into the ship channel. The soldiers vessel put to sea, steering directly for Char- were now all put below, and no one allowed leston.
on the deck except our own crew. As soon This departure was made known imme- as there was light enough to see, we crossed diately to the Charleston authorities by a the bar, and proceeded on up the channel reporter of a leading New York morning (the outer bar buoy having been taken away). paper, who had succeeded in becoming ac- The steamer ahead of us sending off rockets quainted with the facts—thus giving the and burning lights until after broad daySouth Carolina authorities ample opportunity light, continuing on her course up, near two for their “defensive” preparations. A strong miles ahead of us. When we arrived about battery had been thrown up on Morris' island, two miles from Fort Moultrie-Fort Sumter at the entrance of the harbor. A small being about the same distance—a masked steamer was sent outside to reconnoitre, and battery on Morris' Island, where there was a give alarm of the transport's approach. The red Palmetto flag flying, opened fire upon us buoys, lights, and ranges had previously ---distance about five-eighths of a mile. We been removed, when it was known that the had the American flag flying at our flagstaff Brooklyn, then lying at Norfolk, was ready to at the time, and, soon after the first shot, sail for the harbor at any moment. She was hoisted a large American ensign at the fore. now expected to cooperate with the Star of We continued on under the fire of the battery the West—to engage the battery and Fort for over ten minutes; several of the shots Moultrie, while the steamer should run direct going clean over us. One passed just clear for Sumter.
of the pilot-house. Another passed between The transport arrived off the mouth of the smoke-stack and walking-beam of the Charleston harbor at 1.30 a. m., on the 9th. engine. Another struck the ship just abaft The captain, in his report to the owners of the fore-rigging and stove in the planking, the vessel, said: “I could find no guiding-|- and another came within an ace of carrying marks for the bar, as the lights were all out. away the rudder. At the same time there We proceeded with great caution, running was a movement of two steamers from near very slow and sounding until about 4 a. m., Fort Moultrie—one of them towing a schoonbeing then in about four and a half fathoms er -(I presume an armed schooner), with the of water, when we discovered a light through intention of cutting us off. Our position the haze, which at that time crossed the ho- now became rather critical, as we had to aprizon. Concluding that the light was on proach Fort Moultrie to within three-fourths Fort Sumter, after getting the bearings of it, of a mile, before we could keep away for Fort
Sumter. A steamer approaching us with an Lieut. Hall, borne in under cover of the white
lina against the Government of the United States, I nel, the battery firing upon us until their cannot but think that this hostile act was committed shot fell short. As it was now strong ebb without your sanction or authority. Under that tide, and the water having fallen some three hope, and that alone, did I refrain from opening fire feet, we proceeded with caution, and crossed upon your batteries. I have the honor, therefore, the bar safely at 8.50 a. m."
to respectfully ask whether the above-mentioned The vessel steamed away for New York, act--one I believe without a parallel in the history arriving there on the morning of the 12th, of our country or any other civilized Governmentnot having seen the Brooklyn.
was committed in obedience to your instructions, It was a sadly mismanaged affair through- and to notify you if it be not disclaimed, that I must A large, heavy-draught, side-wheel regard it as an act of war; and that I shall not, after
a reasonable time for the return of my messenger, steamer, with walking-beam, engine and wheels, all so open that one well-directed permit any vessel to pass within range of the guns
of my fort. In order to save, as far as in my power, ball or shell would have disabled the craft the shedding of blood, I beg that you will give due and left her an easy capture to a small body notification of this, my decision, to all concerned. of men, was not the proper transport to Hoping, however, that your answer may be such as have chosen for the perilous service. A will justify a further continuance of forbearance on propeller could have loaded with more se- my part, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, cresy and have proceded with more safety.
“Your obedient servant, She could have run the Morris' battery (as
"ROBERT ANDERSON, the big steamer actually did), and, by her “Major First Artillery of the United States Army light draught, could have given Fort Moul- Commanding. trie a wide berth, by steering quite direct "FORT SUMTER, Jan. 9, 1861." for Sumter. This would have rendered the
After a prolonged interview between the expedition a success. Or, if the Star of the Governor and the leading men of the State, West had been prepared with small boats, as well as of the Legislature, the following she could have run out to sea after the reply was returned:repulse, to return on the night of the 9th,
“STATE OF CHARLESTON, EXECUTIVE OFFICE,
HEADQUARTERS, CHARLESTON, Jan. 9, 1861.
Reply. on the spot to engage Moultrie, the landing tain statements which very at Sumter might have been effected. As it plainly show that you have not been fully informed was, the adventure reminded of the celebra- by your Government of the precise relations which ted expedition told in verse, where twice now exist between it and the State of South Carofive hundred men marched up a hill and lina. Official information has been communicated then-marched down again,
to the Government of the United States that the poAnderson knew nothing of the character litical connection heretofore existing between the of the Star of the West, though he surmised State of South Carolina and the States which were
known as the United States had ceased, and that the her mission. He had opened his ports, lit State of South Carolina had resumed all the powers the matches, run out three heavy guns, and it had delegated to the United States under the comwas on the point of opening fire on Moultrie pact known as the Constitution of the United States. when the steamer put about and headed for the right which the State of South Carolina posthe sea. He immediately addressed Governor sessed to change the political relations which she Pickens the following note, by the hand of , had held with the other States under the Constitu