« ZurückWeiter »
tion against the General “If individuals attack the Anti-Compromise
Anti-Compromise Sentiment Growing. Government. A leading ar-Government in the discharge of
Sentiment Growing. ticle in the Springfield (Ill.) its duty, and lose their lives Journal, understood to speak for Mr. Lincoln, thereby, can it be charged that the Government has in its issue of February 6th, laid down the wantonly shed - fraternal blood ?! Will any one pre* terms" upon which the new Administra
tend that the Government can do less than this? When tion would treat with the revolutionists. It stitution, and the Constitution declares that he shall
the President takes a solemn oath to support the Consaid:
see that the laws are faithfully executed, can he dis" The telegraph tells us to-day that South Caro- regard that oath and suffer the laws to be trampledlina has determined to attack the noble Anderson, under foot? If treason and rebellion make it necesif Government does not surrender Fort Sumter to sary to use force to execute those laws, is he not the traitors ! Away with compromises at an hour justified in using it? Is it coercing South Carolina like this! Let us first establish the fact that we have to defend Fort Sumter against the attacks of a mob a Government--a Government able to protect itself collected from South Carolina, Georgia, and other and punish treason. We should not talk about States? Is it coercing Florida to hold Fort Pickens compromise while the flag of the traitors floats over against the mob collected to steal it? Is it coercing an American fort, and the flag of our country trails any of the States of this Union for the Governmect in the dust. Until that flag is unfurled over Moultrie, to take and hold possession of all its property within and every other stolen fort, arsenal, custom-house, them? Is it coercing a State to enforce the national and navy-yard-until the laws of this Government revenue laws! Will it be coercing South Carolina are obeyed, and its authority recognized, let us to take possession of the United States Customnever talk about compromise. Concession! Yes, house, Armory, and other property belonging to the we want concession. We ask no man to yield up his Federal Government? Is it coercing a State to conscience, his manhood, or his honor. The Border abolish Post-offices where men cannot be found who States tell us that they are devoted to the Union and are willing to hold them, or who will not honestly the Constitution. We ask them, then, to concede account to the Government' for postage received? that the one shall stand and the other be obeyed. Coercion of a State! He who invented the expresWe are asked to concede that Slavery shall go into sion did a good work for traitors. He raised a the Territories by authority of this Government. screen behind which sympathizers with treason Before we talk of such a thing we want it settled might have a temporary hiding-place." that we have a Government. Before compromise of These sentiments, if not directly inspired by any kind is made, or even talked about, on the sub- the President-elect, were regarded as expressject of Slavery, we want to see the rightful authority ing the views entertained in his circle, and of this Government recognized and respected. Let went forth with the weight of authority. the stolen forts, arsenals, and navy-yards be restored That they received the hearty approval of the to the rightful owner-tear down your Rattlesnake Republican press, soon became evident from and Pelican flag, and run up the ever-glorious Stars the corresponding tone of the leading papers and Stripes-disperse your traitorous mobs, and let every man return to his duty. Then come to us
from Maine to Kansas. The exception was with your list of grievances."
in the case of Democratic papers, chiefly of
the Breckenridge school. The “DemocraWhile, in regard to the probable course of action to be pursued by the incoming Admin-cy,” as an official organization, in some in
stances, boldly assumed the State Rights tration, it said : “ It is the duty of this Government to retake its the Seceded States, and thus gave the South
ground, in view of covering the retreat of stolen forts, and other property wrongfully with
ern leaders an argument for their hope of held. In the performance of it, no more force will be
Northern cooperation in the division of the used than is necessary. Forcible resistance will be met, and, if possible, overcome. The Government Confederacy. The Democratic State Nomiwill collect its revenue, using just so much force as nating Convention of Connecticut, February may be necessary for that purpose.
6th, selected James C. Loomis as its can“We assume that this will be the action of the didate for Governor, and adopted resolutions Government, because it is the duty of the Govern- in substance as follows: ment, and because an Administration is just going “That the Union is a confederation of sovereign into power that will fearlessly and faithfully perform and independent States; that any trenching on their its whole duty.
equality is a violation of the Constitution; that the
ANTI-COMPROMISE A FINALITY.
present condition of the coun- | the past, though sometimes The Democracy fa. vorug secession. try is owing to the sectional perverted by men who have
Finality. spirit of a great Northern party used it in oppression's cause, is denying the equality of rigbts; that the doctrine our lamp and our guide in the future. It is the New of coercion, instead of conciliation, is perni- Testament of Freedom—the last revelation of Christcious, and should be resisted, as leading to civil war, ian Democracy. He who sullies one of its pages by and destruction of the moral and commercial in any of the amendments which are proposed, whereterests of the people, and will destroy the Union, by the right of every man to have and own himself and prevent its reconstruction; that the Crittenden is denied, is an Atheist before Heaven, and a traitor Compromise, or something like it, will harmonize before man!" opinions ; that our Senators and Representatives It is important, in tracing the progress of have failed to meet the requirements of their posi- the revolution, to note carefully the gradual tion ; that the Personal Liberty bills should be re- changes of public opinion, and the causes pealed," &c., &c.
which led to those changes; for, in those So, also, of the Michigan State Democratic causes are to be found at once the reasons for Convention, February 7th. In nominating a the conflict which followed, and the justificandidate for Supreme Judge, resolutions cation for it. If “conciliation” and “comwere adopted declaring devotion to the promise" failed, there was a reason for it, and Union, opposing coercion, and favoring com- that reason will be found in the invincible promise.
public opinion of the North gradually brought But, the drift of public sentiment threaten- to bear on Congress and the Peace Convened to overwhelm this class of temporizers. The tion. “No compromise” soon became the parvoice of the people became too stern to amount idea in view of the persistent attitude doubt its purpose; and, in saying that all of hostility assumed by the Seceded States, hopes of compromise had expired by the mid- not only in the formation of a new General dle of February, we feel that the statement Government, but in the organizations of will bear the test of any denial which may armies with which to force the Unionists to an be made. Speaking for the North-west, an acceptance of the terms which the Slave influential journal of Chicago said, (February States might offer. To “conciliate" and 11th :)
"compromise" in the face of force, was to “Speaking for the North cower before revolution. A prominent DemAnti-Compromise a west, we bid the Reconstruc-ocrat from New York said (see page 348] on Finality,
tionists defiance. If they want the floors of Congress, “I say, in the presence revolution, they shall have it. If they insist upon of this new and last phase of the secession disnnion, they may succeed. But they cannot im- movement, that it can have no friends in the prove upon, and they shall not tamper with, the Constitution which our forefathers made. Liberty
North, it can have no apologists in the North ; with us, and with those for whom we speak, is some
but there will soon be no exception to the thing more than a sentiment or an idea ; it is a general denunciation which it must meet reality-an embodied form—with whom, and for with from the loyal and patriotic citizens of whom, we and they are willing to do battle with this country.” He but heralded the uprising tyranny, in whatever form it may appear. The which was soon to marshal its millions under Constitution, as it is, is sufficient for all. That in the rallying-cry of “The Union, the Constistrument which has borne such beneficent fruit in tution, and the enforcement of the laws!"
GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE OF DEFENCE. MR. HOLT'S LETTER
TO THE PRESIDENT. ARMY AND NAVY RESIGNATIONS. COXMODORE PORTER'S PATRIOTISM. INTERESTING STATEMENT.
The centralization of troops at Washing- to look far enough into the future to read ton, Baltimore, Fortress Monroe, St. Louis, results, if the conspirators were not thwarted. the reinforcements thrown into Pickens and To circumvent them was the purpose had in the defences on the Tortugas and at Key view by the War Department and General West, gave the “friends of the South" ex Scott in their disposition of the troops above treme unrest. “ Coercion" then became their referred to; and the enemies of the Governceaseless cry. It burdened every dispatch ment saw, by the middle of February, that, to the revolutionary sections, to arouse ani- | as the hope of forcing the North to terms of mosities, and, if possible, to concentrate the settlement died out, the ability and determistill divided sentiment of the South to the nation of the Administration to resist further one point of “cooperation” and resistance aggressions increased. If hopes were enterto Federal obstructions to their demands. tained that Mr. Lincoln never would be inauThe Virginia election of delegates to the gurated, they proved delusive in the face of State Convention, held February 4th, resulted the vigor now manifesting itself in the War in a large “ Union” majority; but, so sedu- and Treasury Departments, as well as in the lously had the poison been sown by the gathering strength of the spirit of resistconspirators, that the Unionists were only ance in the Northern States. pledged to the Union in event of all demands The state of the defences and the feeling of the South being complied with. · The fail- ' at the Capital, February 18th, we learn from ure of the Peace Congress was to be the a communication addressed by Mr. Holt to signal for Virginia's secession. That she was the President, on that date, in answer to the predestined to secede, from the earliest stages House resolution of February 11th. It read of the movement, is not more evident in the as follows: hearty cooperation given to the plotters
“ WAR DEPARTMENT, against the Government by the Virginian,
“ February 18, 1861.)
“Sir-On the 11th February Floyd, than from the attitude of her two
the House of Representatives
Mr. Holt's Letter to United States Senators, Messrs. Hunter and
the i resiilent.
adopted a resolution requesting Mason, as well as of several of her represent the President, if not incompatible with the public atives in the Lower House. Though these interests, to communicate the reasons that had inpersons refused to be identified, at first, with duced bim to assemble so large a number of troops the secessionists, their masks soon fell away, in this city, and why they are kept here ; and whethand the Southern scheme of confederation er he has any information of a conspiracy, upon the found in them its ablest coadjutors-Virginia part of any portion of the citizens of this country, found in them hér most inveterate enemies. | to seize upon the capital and prevent the inauguraThe Charleston Mercury, February 5th,
tion of the President-elect.' This resolution having said: “When Virginia comes to our side, she
been submitted to this department for consideration will bring with her the landward-pointing
and report, I have the honor to state that the body
of troops temporarily transferred to this city is not guns of Fortress Monroe and the intrenched
large, as is assumed by the resolution, though it is a City of Washington. The question, we believe,
we beneve, well-appointed corps, and admirably adapted for the is becoming-on account of the weak position preservation of the public peace. The reasons we occupy—a military one." An expression which led to their being assembled here will now be which lifted the veil and allowed the North | briefly stated.
MR. IOLT'S LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT.
Mr. Holt's Letter to
"I shall make no comment programme is not certainly Mr. Holt's Letter to the President.
upon the origin of the revo- known; more than six weeks
lution which, for the last three ago the impression had already months, has been in progress in several of the South extensively obtained that a conspiracy for the accomern States, nor shall I enumerate the causes which plishment of this guilty purpose was in process of have hastened its advancement or exasperated its formation, if not fully matured. The earnest endeavtemper. The scope of the question submitted by the ors made by men known to be devoted to the revoluHouse will be sufficiently met by dealing with the facts tion to hurry Virginia and Maryland out of the Union as they exist, irrespective of the cause from which were regarded as preparatory steps for the subjugathey have proceeded. That revolution has been dis- tion of Washington. This plan was in entire harmony tinguished by a boldness and completeness of success, with the aim and spirit of those seeking the subverrarely equaled in the history of civil commotions. sion of the Government, since no more fatal blow at Its overthrow of the Federal authority has not only its existence could be struck than the permanent been sudden and widespread, but has been marked and hostile possession of the seat of its power. It by excesses which have alarmed all, and been was in harmony, too, with the avowed designs of sources of profound humiliation to a large portion the revolutionists, which looked to the formation of of the American people. Its history is a history of a confederacy of all the Slave States, and necessurprises, and treacheries, and ruthless spoliations. sarily to the conquest of the capital within their limThe forts of the United States have been captured its. It seemed not very indistinctly prefigured in a and garrisoned, and hostile flags unfurled upon their proclamation made upon the floor of the Senate, ramparts. Its arsenals have been seized, and the without qualification, if not exultantly, that the vast amount of public arms they contained appro- Union was already dissolved -a proclamation which, priated to the use of the captors, while more than however intended, was certainly calculated to inhalf a million of dollars, found in the mint at New vite, on the part of men of desperate fortunes or of Orleans, has been unscrupulously applied to replen- revolutionary States, a raid upon the capital. In ish the coffers of Louisiana. Officers in command view of the violence and turbulent disorders already of revenue cutters of the United States have been exhibited in the South, the public mind could not prevailed on to violate their trusts and surrender reject such a scheme as at all improbable. That a the property in their charge; and instead of being belief in its existence was entertained by multitudes branded for their crimes, they, and the vessels they there can be no doubt, and this belief I fully shared. betrayed, have been cordially received into the ser- My conviction rested not only on the facts already vice of the Seceded States. These movements were alluded to, but upon information, some of which was attended by yet more discouraging indications of of a most conclụsive character, that reached the immorality. It was generally believed that this Government from many parts of the country, not revolution was guided and urged on by men occupy- merely expressing the prevalence of the opinion ing the highest positions in the public service, and, that such an organization had been formed, but also with the responsibilities of an oath to support the often furnishing the plausible grounds on which the Constitution still resting upon their consciences, opinion 'was based. Superadded to these proofs did not hesitate secretly to plan, and openly to were the oft-repeated declarations of men in high labor for, the dismemberment of the Republic whose political positions here, and who were known to honors they enjoyed, and upon whose treasury have intimate affiliations with the revolution, if, inthey were living. As examples of evil are always deed, they did not hold its reins in their hands, to more potent than those of good, this spectacle of the effect that Mr. Lincoln would not, or should not, demoralization, on the part of States and statesmen, be inaugurated at Washington. Such declarations could not fail to produce the most deplorable con- from such men could not be treated as empty blussequences. The discontented and the disloyal every- ter. They were the solemn utterances of those who where took courage; in other States adjacent to, well understood the import of their words, and who, . and supposed to sympathize, in sense of political in the exultation of the temporary victories gained wrong, with those referred to, revolutionary schemes over their country's flag in the South, felt assured were set on foot, and forts and arms of the United that events would soon give them the power to States seized; the unchecked prevalence of the verify their predictions. Simultaneously with these revolution, and the intoxication which its triumphs prophetic warnings, a Southern journal of large cir. inspired, naturally suggested wilder and yet more culation and influence, and which is published near desperate enterprises than the conquest of ungar- the City of Washington, advocated its seizure as a risoned forts or the plunder of an unguarded possible political necessity. mint.
At what time the armed occupation of “The nature and power of the testimony thus acWashington City became a part of the revolutionary' cumulated may be best estimated by the effect pro
duced upon the popular mind. | destruction of the Republic, the Mr. Holt's Letter to Apprehensions for the safety of presence of these troops is ne
Mr. Holt's Letter to the President.
the President the capital were communicated cessarily offensive ; but those from points near and remote by men unquestionably who sincerely love our institutions cannot fail to rereliable and loyal. The resident population became joice that, by this timely precaution, they have posdisquieted, and the repose of many families in the sibly escaped the deep dishonor which they most city was known to be disturbed by painful anxieties. have suffered had the Capital, like the forts and arMembers of Congress, too, men of calm and com- senals of the South, fallen into the hands of revoluprehensive views, and of undoubted fidelity to their tionists, who have found this great Government weak country, frankly expressed their solicitude to the only because, in the exhaustless beneficence of its President and to this department, and formally in spirit, it has refused to strike even in-its own desisted that the defences of the capital should be fence, lest it should wound the aggressors. strengthened. With such warnings, it could not be “ I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Four forgotten that, had the late Secretary of War heeded obedient servant, the anonymous letter which he received, the tragedy
“J. HOLT, Secretary of War. at Harper's Ferry would have been avoided; nor
“ THE PRESIDENT.” could I fail to remember that had the early admo The continued resignanitions which reached here in regard to the designs tions in both army and
Army and Navy
Resignations. of lawless men upon the forts of Charleston harbor navy excited so much disbeen acted on by sending forward adequate reen trust of both services, in the popular mind, forcements before the revolution begun, the dis- that doubts were entertained regarding the astrous political complications that ensued might standing of every officer who had not taken not have occurred. "Impressed by these circumstances and consider
an open position. The defection of Southern ations, I earnestly besought you to allow the con
men was general—the cases of Southern-born centration at this city of a sufficient military force men expressing loyalty to the Government to to preserve the public peace from all the dangers which they owed their very education being that seemed to threaten it. An open manifestation very rare. One such exception was commandon the part of the Administration of a determination er Porter, whose reply to a proposition made as well as of the ability to maintain the laws would, by Lieutenant J. H. Hamilton, a South CaroI was convinced, prove the surest, as also the most | linian, to surrender his ship, not only affords pacific means of bafiling and dissolving any conspir- a relief to the long category of desertions of acy that might have been organized. It was believ- duty, but shows in its language to what an ed, too, that the highest and most solemn respon extent some of the deserting officers sought sibility resting upon a President withdrawing from to carry their baseness. The letter deserves the Government, was to secure to his successor a peaceful inauguration. So deeply, in my judgment,
to be embalmed in history. It was dated did this duty concern the whole country and the fair from the United states ship St. Marys, Panafame of our institutions, that to guarantee its faithful ma Bay, February 30, 1861, and read in part discharge, I was persuaded no preparation could be as follows: too determined or too complete. The presence of
“You, sir, have called upon
Commander Porter's the troops alluded to in the resolution is the result your brother officers not only
Patriotism. of the conclusion arrived at by yourself and Cabinet to become traitors to their counon the propositions submitted to you by this depart- try, but to betray their sacred trust, and deliver up ment. Already this display of life and loyalty on
the ships under their command. This infamous apthe part of your Administration has produced the peal would, in ordinary times, be treated with the - happiest effects. Public confidence has been restor. contempt it deserves. But I feel it a duty I owe to ed, and the feverish apprehension which it was so myself and brother-officers with whom I am associmortifying to contemplate has been banished. What ated to reply, and state that all under my command ever may have been the machinations of deluded, are true and loyal to the Stars and Stripes, and to lawless men, the execution of their purposes has the Constitution. My duty is plain before me. The been suspended, if not altogether abandoned, in view constitutional Government of the United States has of preparations which announce more impressively entrusted me with the command of this beautiful ship, than words that this Administration is alike able and and before I will permit any other flag to fly at her resolved to transfer in peace to the President-elect peak than the Stars and Stripes, I will fire a pistol the authority that, under the Constitution, belongs in her magazine and blow her up. This is my an. to him. To those, if such there be, who desire the swer to your infamous letter. You were one of those