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troubled waters, no definite, or even indica- | asked if he intended to interfere or recomtive words were put forth by him, or by his mend an interference with Slavery, or the authority. He was reticent to an extraordi- right of holding slaves in the dock-yards and nary degree.
arsenals of the United States ? His reply One of the numerous was: 'Indeed, Sir, the subject has not entered Mr. Lincoln at Home. visitors to the fireside of my mind.' He was inquired of whether he
the President-elect, in the intended to recommend the abolition of Slamiddle of January, gave the public the re- very in the District of Columbia ? to which sults of his inquisition. His experience was he replied: “Upon my word, I have not giver thus detailed :
the subject a thought.' A gentleman present * * * “ The subject of conversation was said to him: “Well, Mr. Lincoln, suppose politics, and Mr. Lincoln expressed himself these difficulties should not be settled before upon every topic which was brought up with you are inaugurated, what will you do ? He entire freedom. He said, at one period in replied with a smile: “Well
, I suppose I will the conversation, ‘he hoped gentlemen would have to run the machine as I find it.' bear in mind that he was not speaking as " In speaking on the subject of a comproPresident, or for the President, but only ex- mise, he said: “It was sometimes better for a ercising the privilege of talking, which be- man to pay a debt he did not owe, or to lose longed to him, in common with private a demand which was a just one, than to go to citizens.
law about it; but then, in compromising our “I chose rather to be a listener than a difficulties, he would regret to see the victors talker, and paid careful attention both to put in the attitude of the vanquished, and Mr. Lincoln's matter and manner, and all the vanquished in the place of the victors.' though he seemed to talk without regard to He would not contribute to any such comthe fact of his being the President, yet it was promise as that. discoverable that he chose his words and “It was discernible in the course of Mr. framed his sentences with deliberation, and L.'s conversation that he only appreciates with a discretion becoming his high position. the difficulties which threaten his incoming
“ He was asked: 'Do you think the Miss Administration; also, that he regarded himsouri Compromise line ought to be restored ?' self as grossly misrepresented and misunderHe replied that although the recent Presi- stood at the South; nor did he conceal what dential election was a verdict of the people was manifestly an invincible conviction of in favor of Freedom upon all the Territories, his honest and intelligent mind, that if the yet personally he would be willing, for the sake South would only give him a fair trial they of the Union, to divide the Territory we now own would find their constitutional rights as safe by that line, if, in the judgment of the nation, it under his Administration as they had ever would save the Union and restore harmony. been under the administration of any PresiBut whether the acquisition of Territory here- dent." after would not reopen the question and re It will be interesting to new the strife, was a question to be thought learn Mr. Buchanan's views
Views. of, and, in some way, provided against. at this time. His corres
"He had been inquired of, whether he in-pondence with Col. Hayne--published in the tended to recommend the repeal of the Anti- Charleston papers of February 4th, and the Fugitive Slave laws of the States ? He re- message to Congress, February 8th, enclosing plied that he had never read one of them, but other and further correspondence with the that if they were of the character ascribed to Commissioners-give us a clear exposition of them by Southern men, they certainly ought to the President's policy, so far as he had a polbe repealed. Whether as President of the icy. The Message to Congress will be given United States he ought to interfere with in its proper order. From the correspondence State legislation by Presidential recommen- given in the Charleston papers we may quote dation, required more thought than he had such portions as have become part of the hisyet given the subject. . He had also been tory of the events regarding the mission of
Colonel Hayne and the President's position which need no comment by me, I have determined thereon.
to send to you the Hon. I. W. Hayne, the AttorneyThe preliminary correspondence attending | General of the State of South Carolina, and have inthe affair of the Star of the West has been
structed him to demand the delivery of Fort Sumter, given. [See pages 216–18]. The further
in the harbor of Charleston, to the constituted aucommunications, referring the matter to the
thorities of the State of South Carolina.
“ The demand I have made of Major Anderson, President, and his Executive views are as
and which I now make of you, is suggested because
of my earnest desire to avoid the bloodshed which a MAJOR ANDERSON TO GOV. PICKENS. persistence in your attempt to retain the possession “HEADQUARTERS, FORT SUMTER, S. C., of that fort will cause, and which will be unavailing
“January 11, 1861. I to secure you that possession, but induce a calamity "To his Excellency F. W. Pickens, Governor of South | most deeply to be deplored. Carolina :
“If consequences so unhappy shall come, I will "Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the re- secure for this State, in the demand which I now ceipt of your demand for the surrender of this fort make, the satisfaction of having exhausted every atto the authorities of South Carolina, and to say, in tempt to avoid it. reply, that the demand is one with which I cannot “In relation to the public property of the United comply. Your Excellency knows that I have re- States within Fort Sumter, the Hon. I. W. Hayne, cently sent a messenger to Washington, and that it who will hand you this communication, is authorized will be impossible for me to receive an answer to to give you the pledge of the State that the valaamy dispatches, forwarded by him, at an earlier datetion of such property will be accounted for by this than next Monday. What the character of my in
State, upon the adjustment of its relations with the structions may be, I cannot foresee.
United States, of which it was a part. "Should your Excellency deem fit, prior to a re
“F. W. PICKENS. sort to arms, to refer this matter to Washington, it “To the President of the United States." would afford me the sincerest pleasure to depute one
TIE COMISSIONER'S INSTRUCTIONS. of my officers to accompany any messenger you may deem proper to be the bearer of your demand.
“ STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, )
“EXECUTIVE OFFICE, STATE DEPARTMENT, "Hoping to God that in this, and all other matters
CHARLESTON, January 12, 1861. in which the honor, welfare, and lives of our fellow "Sm,—The Governor has considered it proper, in countrymen are concerned, we shall so act as to view of the grave questions which now affect the meet His approval; and, deeply regretting that you | State of South Carolina and the United States, to Lave made a demand of me with which I cannot make a demand upon the President of the United comply,
States for delivery to the State of South Carolina of "I have the honor to be, with the highest regard, Fort Sumter, now within the territorial limits of “Your obedient servant,
this State, and occupied by troops of the United “ROBERT ANDERSON
States. “Major U. S. A., Commanding."
“The Convention of the People of South Carolina, GOVERNOR PICKENS TO THE PRESIDENT.
authorized and empowered its Commissioners to en
ter into negotiations with the Government of the “STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE OFFICE, HEADQUARTERS, CHARLESTON,
United States, for the delivery of forts, magazines,
January 11, 1861. ) lighthouses, and other real estate, within the limits "SIR: At the time of the separation of South of South Carolina. Carolina from the United States, Fort Sumter was, “The circumstances which caused the interrup. and still is, in the possession of troops of the United tion of that negotiation are known to you ; with the States, under the command of Major Anderson. I formal notification of its cessation, was the urgent regard that possession as not consistent with the expression of the necessity for the withdrawal of dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina ; and the troops of the United States from the harbor of I have this day addressed to Major Anderson a com- Charleston. munication to obtain from him the possession of that “The interruption of these negotiations left all fort by the authorities of this State. The reply of matters connected with Fort Sumter and troops of Major Anderson informs me that he has no authority the United States, within the limits of this State, to do what I required; but he desires a reference of affected by the fact, that the continued possession the demand to the President of the United States. of the fort was not consistent with the dignity or "Under the circumstances now existing, and safety of the State, and that an attempt to reenforce
the troops at that fort would manner most usual, and upon The Commissioner's not be allowed. This, therefore, the principles of equity and jus
The Commissioner's Instructious.
Instructious. became a state of hostility, in tice always recognized by in. consequence of which the State of South Carolina was dependent nations, for the ascertainment of their placed in a condition of defence. During the prepa- relative rights and obligations in such matters. ration for this purpose, an attempt was made to re “ You are further instructed to say to the Presienforce Fort Sumter and repelled.
dent of the United States, that the Governor regards “ You are now instructed to proceed to Washing the attempt of the President of the United States, ton, and there, in the name of the Government of if avowed, to continue the possession of Fort Sumthe State of South Carolina, inquire of the President ter, as inevitably leading to a bloody issue ; a ques. of the United States, whether it was by his order tion which, in the judgment of the Governor, can that troops of the United States were sent into the have but one conclusion ; reconcilable with a due harbor of Charleston to reenforce Fort Sumter; if regard to the State of South Carolina, the welfare he avows that order, you will then inquire, whether of the other States which now constitute the United he asserts a right to introduce troops of the United States, and that humanity which teaches all men, States within the limits of this state, to occupy but particularly those who, in authority, control the Fort Sumter; and you will, in case of his avowal, lives of others to regard a resort to arms as the last inform him that neither will be permitted ; and ei- which should be considered. ther will be regarded as his declaration of war “To shed their blood in defense of their rights is against the State of South Carolina.
a duty which the citizens of the State of South Caro* The Governor, to save life, and determined to lina fully recognize. And in such a cause, the Govomit no course of proceeding usual among civilized ernor, while deploring the stern necessity which nations, previous to that condition of general hos-may compel him to call for the sacrifice, will feel tilities which belongs to war; and not knowing un- that his obligation to preserve inviolate the sacred der what order, or by what authority Fort Sumter rights of the State of South Carolina justify the sacis now held, demanded from Major Robert Ander- rifice necessary to secure that end. The Governor son, now in command of that fort, its delivery to the does not desire to remind the President of the reState. That officer, in his reply, has referred the sponsibilities which are upon him. Governor to the Government of the United States at
“Respectfully, Washington. You will, therefore, demand from the
“ Your obedient servant, President of the United States the withdrawal of the
* A. G. MAGRATH. troops of the United States from that fort, and its “To the Hon. I. W. HAYNE, Special Envoy from the delivery to the State of South Carolina.
State of Soath Carolina to the President of the “ You are instructed not to allow any question of United States." property claimed by the United States to embarrass
Then followed, in the Charleston papers, the assertion of the political right of the State of
letters from United States Senators Wigfall, South Carolina to the possession of Fort Sumter. The possession of that fort by the State, is alone Hemphill, Davis, Slidell, Benjamin and othconsistent with the dignity and safety of the State of ers, to the Hon. I. W. Hayne, requesting him South Carolina ; but such possession is not inconsist- to exert his influence to postpone an attack ent with a right to compensation in money in another upon Fort Sumter. They also addressed a Government, if it has against the State of South similar letter to the President, to which the Carolina any just claim connected with that fort. following reply was made through the SecreBut the possession of the fort cannot, in regard to tary of War, Joseph Holt: the State of South Carolina, be compensated by any
SECRETARY HOLT'S REPLY FOR THE PRESIconsideration of any kind from the Government of the United States, when the possession of it by the
DENT. Government is invasive of the dignity and affects the
“WAR DEPARTMENT, January 22, 1861. safety of the State. That possession cannot be “ To the Hon. Benjamin Fitzpatrick, S. R. Mallory, and come now a matter of discussion or negotiation. John Slidell: You will, therefore, require from the President of “GENTLEMEN : The President has received your the United States a positive and distinct answer to communication of the 19th instant, with the copy of your demand for the delivery of the fort. And you a correspondence between yourselves and others, are further authorized to give the pledge of the representing States which have already seceded State to adjust all matters which may be, and are, from the United States, or will have done so before in their nature, susceptible of value in money, in the the first of February next,' and Colonel Isaac W.
VIRGINIA PEACE CONGRESS.
Hayne, of South Carolina, in should, as far as she can consistently with her honor, Secretary Holt's Reply.
behalf of the Government of avoid initiating hostilities between her and the Uni
that State, in relation to Fort ted States, or any other power.' To initiate such Sumter; and you ask the President to take into hostilities against Fort Sumter, would, beyond quesconsideration, the subject of that correspondence." tion, be an act of war against the United States. With this request he has complied, and has directed
"In regard to the proposition of Col. Hayne, that me to communicate his answer..
no reenforcements will be sent to Fort Sumter, in “ In your letter to Col. Hayne of the 15th inst., the interval, and that the public peace will not be you propose to him to defer the delivery of a mes. disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carosage from the Governor of South Carolina to the lina,' it is impossible for me to give you any such President, with which he has been intrusted, for -a assurances. The President has no authority to enfew days, or until the President and Col. Hayne ter into such an agreement or understanding. As shall have considered the suggestions which you an executive officer, he is simply bound to protect submit. It is unnecessary to refer specially to these the public property, so far as this may be practicasuggestions, because the letter addressed to you by ble; and it would be a manifest violation of his duty Col. Hayne, of the 17th inst., presents a clear and either for an indefinite or a limited period. At the specific answer to them. In this he says : 'I am not present moment, it is not deemed necessary to reclothed with power to make the arrangement you enforce Major Anderson, because he makes no sach suggest ; but provided you can get assurances, with request, and feels quite secure in his position.which you are entirely satisfied, that no reenforce- Should his safety, however, require reenforcements, ments will be sent to Fort Sumter, in the interval, every effort will be made to supply them. and that the public peace will not be disturbed by
“In regard to an assurance from the President any act of hostility toward South Carolina, I will re
that the public peace will not be disturbed by any fer your communication to the authorities of South
act of hostility toward South Carolina,' the answer Carolina, and, withholding the communication with will readily occur to yourselves. To Congress, and which I am at present charged, will await further to Congress alone, belongs the power to make war, instructions.
and it would be an act of usurpation for the Execu" From the beginning of the present unhappy tive to give any assurance that Congress would not troubles, the President has endeavored to perform exercise this power, however strongly he may be his executive duties in such a manner as to preserve convinced that no such intention exists. the peace of the country, and to prevent bloodshed.
" I am glad to be assured, from the letter of ColoThis is still his fixed purpose. You, therefore, do uel Hayne, that “Major Anderson'and his command him no more than justice in stating that you have do now obtain all necessary supplies, including assurances (from his public messages, I presume, fresh meat and vegetables, and, I believe, fuel and that, “notwithstanding the circumstances under which Major Anderson left Fort Moultrie, and enter water from the city of Charleston, and do now enjoy
communication, by post and special messenger, ed Fort Sumter with the forces under his command, with the President, and will continue to do so, cerit was not taken, and is not held with any hostile or
tainly, until the door to negotiation has been closed.' unfriendly purpose toward your State, but merely I trust that these facilities may still be afforded to as property of the United States, which the Presi- Major Anderson. This is as it should be. Major dent deems it his duty to protect and preserve,' you Anderson is not menacing Charleston ; and I am have correctly stated what the President deems to convinced that the happiest result which can be atbe his duty. His sole object now is, and has been, tained is, that both he and the authorities of South to act strictly on the defensive, and to authorize no
Carolina shall remain on their present amicable movement against the people of South Carolina, un footing, neither party being bound by any obligaless clearly justified by a hostile movement on their tions whatever, except the high Christian and moral part. He could not have given a better proof of his duty to keep the peace, and avoid all causes of mudesire to prevent the effusion of blood, than by for
tual irritation. bearing to resort to the use of force, under the
“ Very respectfully your obedient servant, strong provocation of an attack (happily without a
“ J. HOLT, fatal result) on an unarmed vessel bearing the flag
" Secretary of War, ad interim.” of the United States. "I am happy to observe that, in your letter to
A dispatch from Springfield, dated JanuCol. Hayne, you express the opinion, that it is · es- ary 27th, advised the country that Mr. Lincoln pecially due from South Carolina to our States, to approved the design of the Virginia "Peace say nothing of other Slaveholding States, that he Congress.” It said: “Telegraphic advices
have been received by Gov. Yates from the “Resolved unanimously, That this Assembly further Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, and owe it to the friendly relations with the State of other Northern States, suggesting the pro- Virginia, to declare that they have no confidence in priety of joining in a Convention, to be held the Federal Government of the United States; that at Washington in February, to devise proper the most solemn pledges of that Government have remedies for the adjustment of the present been disregarded ; that, under the pretence of predifficulties. The appointment of five Com- serving property, hostile troops have been attempted missioners from each State is recommended. State, concealed in the hold of a vessel of commerce,
to be introduced into one of the fortresses of this Gov. Yates has finally decided to join in the with a view to subjugate the people of South Caromovement. In this, it is supposed, he has lina, and that ever since the authorities at Washingacted upon the advice of Mr. Lincoln.”
ton have been informed of the present mediation of The States, as stated, Virginia, a vessel of war has been sent to the South, The Peace Congress. quite generally approved with troops and munitions of war concentrated on
of the Virginia suggestions the soil of Virginia. Adopted unanimously. and appointed Commissioners. The appoint
“ Resolved unanimously, That in these circumstanments made indicated that it would embody ces this Assembly, with renewed assurance of corthe most trusty and able men in each State, dial respect and esteem for the people of Virginia, though, it is but stating a generally accepted and high consideration for her Commissioner, decline
entering into the negotiations proposed by both opinion, little hopes were entertained of any- branches of the Virginia Legislature. Adopted unanithing being accomplished of a definitive or
mously." satisfactory nature.
Much opposition was manifested, by some South Carolina's Re
South Carolina's response jection of Virginias (January 28th), to the pro- to the Congress. The Massachusetts legisla
State Legislatures, in sending Commissioners Offer. position of Virginia was so
tors were divided, two reports being submitcharacteristic that we may give it at length :
ted—the majority approving, the minority “* Resolved unanimously, That the General Assem. | disapproving, representation in the Congress. bly of South Carolina tender to the Legislature of Ohio instructed its deputation to vote for a the State of Virginia their acknowledgments of the friendly motives which inspired the mission intrusted postponement of the Congress to April 4th.
Illinois, although, as stated, she resolved to to the Hon. Judge Robertson, her Commissioner. Adopted unanimously.
send delegates, did not do so until after seve" Resolved unanimously, That candor, which is due ral days of wordy dissension. The opposition to the long continued sympathy and respect which arose from a disinclination to prosecute comhas subsisted between Virginia and South Carolina, promise further, until after Mr. Lincoln's safe induces this Assembly to declare with frankness, and peaceful inauguration. Her State pride that they do not deem it advisable to initiate nego- was insulted to think that their fellow-cititiations when they have no desire or intention to zen, constitutionally elected, should be compromote the ultimate object in view—that object pelled to submit to the indignities threatened. being, as declared in the resolution of the Virginia Governor Yates, as heartily as any one, Legislature, the procurement of amendments or new wished for peace; but he preferred that it guaranties to the Constitution of the United States.
should not be dictated in opprobious terms, Adopted unanimously. * Resolved unanimously, That the separation of
nor in a spirit of intimidation. Mr. Lincoln, South Carolina from the Federal Union is final, and it was said, advised the sending of Commisshe has no further interest in the Constitution of the sioners, and they were sent. This advice did United States, and that the only appropriate nego- not commit him to compromise—he simply tiations between her and the Federal Government proved his willingness to have all means are as to their mutual relations as foreign States. tried for affecting a settlement of National Adopted unanimously.