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and earnestly appealed for conciliation. Lettirmed, by a vote of 38 to 13. The opposition the people have time to speak. He would was made by the Secessionist members, who await the result with confidence and hope. regarded him as a Coercionist. They eviIf Georgia resolved to secede she would do dently did not like to see such respect for so prospectively, in order to give time to save his oath, and such devotion to duty, as Mr. the. "great structure of Government. He Holt already had borne into that sadly adlwished it borne in mind that he belonged not ministered department. Mr. Floyd was their to the class of men who would dismember the beau ideal of a War Secretary. Confederacy. He would as soon take a glass In the Senate, Saturday, the Kansas bill vessel and crush it to pieces to make it a bet-chiefly consumed the day. Mr. Mason, of ter one, as to attempt to make a better Gov. Virginia, presented the following joint resoernment by crushing the present into atoms. lutions, which passed to a second reading, If Georgia shall proceed to the extremity of and were ordered to be printed : secession, he would ask her, for her own Whereas, It appears to Consake, to have the manliness, after the act is gress that the State of South Mason's Resolutions. done, to refuse a reconstruction of the Union, Carolina has, by an ordinance and to stand out as an island alone. There of the people of that State in Convention assembled, would be dignity, if not safety, in such a step. declared the State separated from the United States A resolution was introduced by Burnett,
and the Government thereof, as established under of Kentucky—the Army Appropriation bill the Constitution ; and it further appearing that by
reason of such declared separation there are no ofibeing under consideration in Committee of
cers of the United States acting under the authority the Whole—as an amendment that no forces thereof in the judiciary department of this Governauthorized in the bill shall be used to subju- ment, or under the laws for the collection of the regate seceding States. He wanted the country venues of the United States, whereby, and in conseto understand whether it was intended to quence whereof the laws of the United States are in make war on them or not. Rejected. The fact suspended within the limits of said State; therebill was then reported to the House.
fore, to avoid any hostile collision that may ariso The proceedings in the between the authorities of the United States and the Senate, Thursday, were, as
State of South Carolina aforesaid, in any attempt
to execute the laws of the United States in the abstated, confined chiefly to consideration of the Pacific Railway bill
sence of the officers required by law to administer
and execute said laws, be it Messrs. Douglas and Benjamin leading. The
"Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representmatter of most interest to our subject was the atives, that from and after the passage of this joint discussion, in Executive Session, over the resolution, all laws of the United States directing the President's nomination of Joseph Holt, as mode in which the army and navy, and other public Secretary of War. The discussion is repre- forces of the United States shall be used by the Presented as having been of an exciting char-sident of the United States in aiding the civil authoracter. An effort was made, by the oppo-ities in executing the laws and authorizing the same, nents of the confirmation, to refer it to the enjoying all the prosperity consequent upon the Committee on Military Affairs, as Mr. Mc- present Union and form of Government, she never Intyre's nomination, as Collector at Charles- would consent to its breaking up and the formation ton, had been referred to the Committee on of a Southern Confederacy, of which she would be a Commerce-equivalent to a suspension of Border State, exposed to all the dangers and losses the nomination. But, the effort failed, of such a position. He was much affected during and, in the Friday's session, after another this portion of his remarks, and the manner in which exciting debate,* his appointment was con
he upbraided the Southern men who defeated his
Compromise in the Senate was very severe. He * A correspondent, at the Capital, writing to the took the position that the Union must be preserved New York Daily T'imes, of the Friday's debate in at all hazards, either by peaceable means or by closed session, said :
force, and that force used against the lawless citizens “During the debate on the nomination of Secre- of a Government is not coercion of a State. The tary Holt, Mr. Crittenden is said to have taken the speech, being entirely unexpected, created a great ground that, as Kentucky is now a Central State, sensation among the Senators."
Mr. Holt's Confir
and all laws for the collection of revenues shall be, |tion of the disunion movement troubles ; but, and the same are hereby suspended, and made in- though, as the Republican leaders had reoperative in the State of South Carolina for the time peatedly asseverated, they earnestly desired being; and that should it be made to appear here
peace, a compromise obtained at that late hour, after by the Executive authority of any other State under compulsion, was evidently so poweror States that a line ordinance has been passed by less to satisfy the disunion schemers that it the people of any State, declaring such State or became daily more and more apparent no States separate from the United States, then it shall be the duty of the President of the United States to compromise would be adopted. While the announce such separation by proclamation, and all South actually was in arms, and already had the laws of the United States shall in like manner be committed overt acts of treason and revolususpended and rendered inoperative in such State as tion, to have accepted even Mr. Crittenden's aforesaid."
appeal to the people, would not only have Nothing of importance transpired in the argued a state of fear, but would, in reality, House, in the Saturday's session.
have rendered the South more arrogant in During the week a large number of peti- its attitude toward the Free sentiment and tions and memorials had been presented, from the Free States. So the Republicans and various States, praying the adoption of the many Democrats reasoned, and the decidedly Crittenden Resolutions. It is estimated that belligerent tone of the loyal press, of the one hundred thousand names were thus re- State legislatures, of leading Congressmen, presented. Besides these expressions, many as well as of a large majority of the people, of the leading men of the Northern States left no hope for a settlement, except the were pressing the propositions of Mr. Crit- South should recede from its defiant and tenden upon members as a satisfactory solu- hostile attitude.
CONDITION OF TIE UNITED STATES' DEFENCES UP TO FEB. 18T.
THE AFFAIR OF THE NORTH CAROLINA FORTS. DETERMINED
The corvette, Macedonian,"keys" to command Southern ports and
sailed for Fort Pickens commerce, their safety greatly contributed to
with reenforcements, in the the confidence of the loyalists in the ultimate second week of January. Troops were also ability of the Administration to prevent furordered to the Key West and Tortugas forti- ther encroachments of the revolutionists. fications. In and around Washington enough This feeling was measurably confirmed by force was concentrated to secure the city the apparently loyal attitude of North Carofrom any “ Southern incursion.” Fortress lina. It had been announced, as early as Monroe, at Hampton Road, Virginia, was January 20, that Governor Ellis, of that given a garrison equal to its protection. Fort State, had dispatched troops to seize the arMcHenry, in Baltimore, was garrisoned and senal at Fayettesville, and the forts at Wilput in defensive order. These several points mington and Beaufort. The news created of strategy and defence were thus compara- much bitter feeling at the War Department, tively secure, and as they really were the for, though inclined to repossess them, the
meagre force at the disposal of the Secretary a dictation of terms to the revolutionists-rendered it impossible to take any action. their retention might force a settlement of The feeling of the Department was communi- the Union question when all compromise cated, unofficially, to the Governor. Under should fail; while, if the blood of loyal citidate of January 12th he wrote to the Presi- zens was shed in their defence, they would dent that the seizures had not been made as become the signal-lights to concentrate the reported, but that, on the 8th of January, the patriotism of the people and States. Whatforts of Wilmington alone had been seized, ever may have been Mr. Buchanan's wishes but, by his military orders, were restored. in the matter, it is evident that his cabinet He said:
and General Scott regarded the question in “My information satisfies me the light we have represented, and those paThe North Carolina
that this popular outbreak was triotic men lent all their energies to the ocForts.
caused by a report, very gene- cupation and retention of all the points rally credited, but which, for the sake of humanity, named. I hope is not true, that it was the purpose of the
A dispatch from New Orleans, dated JanAdministration to coerce the Southern States, and that troops were on their way to garrison the South- uary 15th, said: “Consul Pickens went to ern ports, and to begin the work of subjugation. Vera Cruz this morning, bearing important This impression is not yet erased from the public dispatches from Washington to the Commind, which is deeply agitated at the bare contem- mander of the Gulf Squadron. It is rumored plation of so great an indignity and wrong; and I they were for a concentration of the fleets at would most earnestly appeal to your Excellency to the mouths of the Mississippi and the Harbor strengthen my hands in my efforts to preserve the of Pensacola." The great activity in the public order here, by placing it in my power to give Portsmouth and Brooklyn Navy-yards was public assurance that no measures of force are con- also a marked feature in the events of the templated towards us.”
month, which went to prove that the Federal This communication Mr. Buchanan turned Government had truly become aroused to over to Mr. Holt for answer. He wrote :
the imminence of its danger. Every vessel " In reply to your inquiry, whether it is the pur- of war, capable of service, was, apparently, pose of the President to garrison the forts of North Carolina during his administration, I am directed to which the policy of resistance to aggression
to be called into requisition for any service say that they, in common with the other forts, arsenals, and other property of the United States, are
might require. in the charge of the President, and that if assailed, Col. Hayne, the "Agent" no matter from what quarter or under what pretext, of Governor Pickens, to
"Agent." it is his duty to protect them by all the means which bear to Washington the the law has placed at his disposal. It is not his ultimatum of South Carolina, had an interpurpose to garrison the forts to which you refer at view with Mr. Buchanan on Tuesday, Janpresent, because he considers them entirely safe, as uary 15th. His demands were understood to . heretofore, under the shelter of that law-abiding be made by authority of Governor Pickens, sentiment for which the people of North Carolina as Commander-in-Chief of the South Carohave ever been distinguished. Should they, how- lina forces ; he was neither empowered by ever, be attacked or menaced with danger of being the Legislature nor by the Convention. His seized or taken from the possession of the United terms proposed the entire withdrawal of MaStates, he could not escape from his constitutional obligation to defend and preserve them. The very
jor Anderson and the Federal garrison from satisfactory and patriotic assurance given by your
Charleston Harbor, guaranteeing that South Excellency justifies him, however, in entertaining Carolina would then honorably treat for the the confident expectation that no such contingency forts and a just settlement of all questions at will arise."
issue. The President refused to recognize If Sumter and Pickens could be placed be- Colonel Hayne as an agent; and that no misyond the hazards of capture, and the Navy- conception might arise, he turned the mesyard at Norfolk could be rendered secure senger over to the War Department, ordering from seizure, it would give the incoming ad- him to put his demands in writing. As sig. ministration the points d'appui necessary for nificant of the purposes of the Administra
MR. PRYOR'S PLAN
tion, Lieutenant Hall, of Fort Sumter, Major The extra session of the Legislature conAnderson's bearer of dispatches, left Wash- vened by Governor Letcher, January 7th, ington with sealed orders, on Wednesday, continued in exciting and active session durJanuary 16th, for the Major to be prepared ing the entire month. Its primary indicato retain his post to the last, in event of tions were, as we have said, decidedly inimiany attempt to force him from his position. cal to the cause of the Union, (see page 164]; The corvette Brooklyn and the Harriet Lane but the powerful influences brought to bear were understood to be ready to lend him by members of Congress, by Messrs. Botts, their assistance at any moment, while vessels Sherwood, Clemens, Amos Kendall, and other from the Gulf Squadron would soon be in to determined Unionists, for a while stemmed cooperate in Sumter's defense, if an assault the tide of Secession sentiment, so far as to should be made. This determined front keep it in abeyance until propositions of setrather intimidated the "agent," and we find tlement could be acted upon,
This peace him not only hesitating in his further formal policy little suited the plans and designs of proceedings, but, it is said, the most urgent Jas. M. Mason, Jno. B. Floyd, Henry A. Wise messages were sent from the secession leaders and their coactjutors, who had fully arranged in Washington to Governor Pickens, remon- to “precipitate” the State according to the strating against any attempt to dispossess prearranged secession programme; but it Anderson, Colonel Hayne, therefore, re- seemed to stay the revolution at least for the served his communication to the War De moment. A plan came up in the House of partment to a later day. Governor Pickens, Delegates, understood to have originated in probably to give force to his “ agent's” de- Washington and to have been forwarded by mands, sent in a message to the Legislature Roger A. Pryor. It embraced the following of South Carolina, (January 15th,) advising propositions in resolutionsthe raising of two more military companies " First: There must be some
Pryor's Plan of and one more regiment, to serve three years. definite and conclusive settle
Settlement. He proposed the permanent garrison of the ment of the Slavery question, extensive fortifications in South Carolina. between the two sections of the country, or separa“ This may be expensive, but, considering tion will be inevitable. that we shall soon have a Southern Confede
“Second: Proposing the Crittenden compromise,
as amended by Mr. Douglas, as the basis of a fair racy, it will be necessary to protect the sea
and honorable adjustment, and as the least that Vircoast, and afterward transfer the troops to ginia feels she can take as a settlement. the Southern Government. The fanatical ex
“ Third: The appointment of a Commissioner to citement of Northern people shows us that if each State in the Union to represent the action of we expect to preserve peace, we must prepare Virginia, and to invite a response to this measure of for war.” That message only rendered the conciliation. War Department more determined to prepare “ Fourth: A strong appeal to the Federal Governfor the seemingly inevitable emergency of a ment to stay its hand and avert all acts which may collision.
lead to a collision pending the mediation of Virginia. The position of Virginia " Fifth: An appeal to the Seceding States to preThe Position of Virginia
began to absorb public at- serve the existing status, and also to abstain from
tention to a great degree all acts which may precipitate a collision.” during the middle of January. Her location
Similar movements were contemplated in as a “Border State”-her proximity to the the Legislatures of the remaining Border Federal capital-her importance as a political States. Out of this plan eventually sprung power rendered her course of vital importance the “Peace Convention” which assembled in to the cause of the Union. She, seemingly, Washington, February 4th, composed of speheld it in her keeping; if she cast her in- cially appointed Commissioners from all the fluence into the scale of the revolutionists the States in the Union, excepting from those Southern Confederacy would become a gov
States already in revolution. ernment de facto until strength of arms should On the 16th, the House of Delegates' Comdecide between the contestants for supremacy. mittee on Federal Relations reported, on Mr.
THE SOUTHERN REBELLION.
Smith's resolutions, that it is inexpedient for
“EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, RICHMOND, the Federal Government, under existing cir
“January 17, 1861.
| “Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Delegates : cumstances, to make any additional military
“I have received a commuforce, inasmuch as it would be liable to mis
nication from his Excellency Reply to New York construction, and tend to credit uneasiness in
Edwin D. Morgan, Governor of the public mind; and requesting the Gover- New York, inclosing a preamble and resolutions nor to obtain immediate information for the adopted by the Legislature of that State. purposes of the General Government with “The first resolution declares that the Legislarespect to strengthening the military force in ture of New York' tenders to the President of the the arsenals, &c., in Virginia. No action was United States' whatever aid, in men and money, he taken on the report of the Committee. It may require, to enable him to enforce the laws and embraced. as its basis of compromise, the uphold the authority of the Federal Government.' plan above referred to, which was understood
This I understand to be a declaration of their readi
ness and willingness to sacrifice the men and money to have the approval of Messrs. Crittenden,
of that State ip the effort to coerce the Slaveholding Douglas, Breckenridge, Wm. C. Rives, and
States into submission to Federal authority. The other eminent Conservative leaders, while it
Governor and Legislature of New York ought to was, of course, opposed by the Secessionists. know that the sword has never reconciled differences The plan was, however, to be referred to the of opinion. Military coercion can never perpetuate Peace Congress, or Conference, which the Re- the existence of this Union. When the affections of port recommended to be called to meet at the people are withdrawn from the Government, an Washington, February 4th. On the 17th attempt at coercion can have no other effect than to this Report was acted upon, so far as the exasperate the people threatened to be coerced. calling of the Congress, with the proviso that | Blood shed in civil strife can only enrich the soil the Commissioners, which Virginia might
that must speedily produce 'a harvest of woe.' send, should at all times, be under control
“ I cannot suppose, from what has occurred, that
the President of the United States would be inclined of the General Assembly, or of the State Con
to adopt a policy which he must see and know could vention, if it should be in session.
not fail to result in bloodshed. I am satisfied that In the State Senate, January 17th, the Com- prudence and patriotism would induce him to reject mittee on Federal Relations reported resolu all counsels and measures which would be calcutions that, in the opinion of the General As- Jated to bring about so great a calamity. I have no sembly, the propositions embraced in the idea, therefore, that he will accept the tender which Crittenden resolutions constitute such a basis has been so inopportunely and ostentatiously paraof adjustment as would be accepted by the
ded before the country.
“ Nothing that has occurred in the progress of this people of this Commonwealth; that Commis
controversy has been worse timed and less excusa. sioners be appointed to the General Govern
ble. If the Governor and Legislature of New York ment, also to South Carolina and other Se
desire to preserve the Union, a tender of men and ceding States, with instructions respectfully
money, under the promptings of passion, prejudice to request the President and the authorities and excitement, will not produce the result. At a of such States to agree to abstain, pending time like this, when the horizon is overcast with the proceedings contemplated by the action clouds, when darkness and gloom are gathering of this General Assembly, from all acts cal-close around us, and when we behold nothing but culated to produce a collision of arms be- danger on all sides, some little wisdom, discretion tween the States and the General Government.
and prudence is expected from the representatives It was made the order for the succeeding day.
of the people. They ought, at least, to refrain from Considerable opposition was manifested, and
adding fuel to the flame that burns with utmost in
tensity now. It would have been far better that a substitute offered.
these resolutions had never been adopted. The Governor also communicated the New
" In 1798 and 1799 the action of Virginia was York State Legislature resolutions, copies of
marked by calmness, dignity, and an earnest desire which had, by special vote, becn sent to the
to preserve the Union, without prejudice to the Governors of all the States. His views of the rights of the States. No feeling of resentment tow. resolutions were expressed in the following ard the other States was manifested by those great message:
men, in that day of peril and trial. No effort was