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rules. And while I do not choose now to ! broken, and, to the extent of my ability, I shall specify particular acts of Congress as proper | take care, as the Constitution itself expressly to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union safer for all, both in official and private sta- be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing tions, to conform to and abide by all those acts this I deem to be only a simple duty on my which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of part; and I shall perform it, so far as practithem, trusting to find impunity in having them cable, unless my rightful masters, the Ameriheld to be unconstitutional.
can people, shall withhold the requisite means, It is seventy-two years since the first inaugu- or, in some authoritative manner, direct the ration of a President under our National Con- contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as stitution. During that period fifteen different a menace, but only as a declared purpose of and grea'ly distinguished citizens have, in suc- the Union that it will constitutionally defend cossion, administered the Executive branch of and maintain itself. the Government. They have conducted it In doing this there need be no bloodshed or through many perils, and generally with great violence; and there shall be none, unless it be success. Yet, with all this scope for precedent, forced upon the national authority. The power I now enter upon the same task for the brief confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, constitutional term of four years under great and possess the property and places belonging and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the to the Government, and to collect the duties Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is and impost3 ; but, beyond what may be necesnow formidably attempted.
sary for these objects, there will be no invasion, I hold that, in contemplation of universal no using of force against or among the people law, and of the Constitution, the Union of anywhere. Where hostility to the United these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is im- States, in any interior locality, shall be so great plied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law and universal as to prevent competent resident of all National Governments. It is safe to as- citizens from holding the Federal offices, there sert that no Government proper ever had a will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers provision in its organic law for its own termi- among the people for that object. While the nation. Continue to execute all the express strict legal right may exist in the Government provisions to our National Constitution, and to enforce the exercise of these offices, the at. the Union will endure forever--it being im- tempt to do so would be so irritating, and so possible to destroy it, except by some action nearly impracticable with all, I deem it better not provided for in the instrument itself. to forego, for the time, the uses of such offices.
Again, if the United States be not a Govern- The mails, unless repelled, will continue to ment proper, but an association of States in the be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far nature of the contract merely, can it, as a con- as possible, the people everywhere shall have tract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the that sense of perfect security which is most parties who made it? One party to a contract favorable to calm thought and reflection. The may violate it--break it, so to speak; but does course here indicated will be followed, unless it not require all to lawfully rescind it? current events and experience shall show a
Descending from these general principles, we modification or change to be proper, and in find the proposition that, in legal contempla- every case and exigency my best discretion tion, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the will be exercised, according to circumstances history of the Union itself. The Union is actually existing, and with a view and a hope much older than the Constitution.
of a peaceful solution of the national troubles, formed in fact by the Articles of Association and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and in 1774. It was matured and continued by the affections. Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was That there are persons in one section or further matured, and the faith of all the then another who seek to destroy the Union at all thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, I that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of will neither affirm nor deny ; but if there be Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787, such I need address no word to them. To those, one of the declared objects for ordaining and however, who really love the Union, may I not establishing the Constitution was “ to form a speak? more perfect union."
Before entering upon so grave a matter as But if destruction of the Union, by one, or the destruction of our national fabric, with all by a part only, of the States, be lawfully pos- its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would sible, the Union is less perfect than before, the it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do Constitution having lost the vital element of it? Will you bazard so desperate a step while perpetuity.
there is any possibility that any portion of the It follows, from these views, that nn State, ills you fly from have no real existence? Will upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances than all the real ones you fly from—will you to that effect are legally void, and that acts of risk the commission of so fearful a mistake? violence, within any State or States, against All profess to be content in the Union, if all the authority of the United States, are insur- constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it rectionary or revolutionary, according to cir- true, then, that any right, plainly written in cumstances.
the Constitution, has been denied ? I think not, I, therefore, consider that, in view of the Happily the human mind is 80 constituted that Constitution and the laws, the Union is un- no party can reach to the audacity of doing
this. Think, if you can, of a single instance'may be erroncous in any given case, still the in which & plainly written provision of the evil effect following it, being limited to that Constitution has ever been denied. If, by the particular case, with the chance that it may be mere force of numbers, a majority should de- overruled, and never become a precedent for prive a minority of any clearly written con other cases, can better be borne than coild the stitutional right, it migbt, in a moral point of evils of a different practice. At the same time view, justify revolution-certainly would if the candid citizen must confess that if the polsich rigat were a vital one. But such is not icy of the Government upon vital questions, our case. All the vital rights of minorities affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably and of individuals are so plainly assured to fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, tho them by affirmations and negations, guarantees instant they are made in ordinary litigation and probibitions in the Constitution, that con- between parties in personal actions the people troversies never arise concerning them. But will have ceased to be their own rulers, having no organic law can ever be framed with a pro- to that extent practica'ly resigned their governvision specifically applicable to every question ment into the hands of that eminent tribunal. which may occur in practical administration. Nor is there in this view any assault upon No foresight can anticipate, nor any document the Court or the Judges. It is a duty from of reasonable length contain express provisions which they may not shrink to decide cases propfor all possible questions. Shall fugitives from erly brought before them, and it is no fault of labor be surrendered by National or by State theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to authority? The Constitution does not expressly political purposes. One section of our country say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the believes slavery is right, and ought to be exTerritories? The Constitution does not ex- tended, while the other believes it is wrong, and pressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in ought not to be extended. This is the only the Territories? The Constitution does not substantial dispite. The fugitive slave clause espressly say.
of the Constitution, and the law for the supFron questions of this class spring all our pression of the foreign slave trade, are each as constitutional controversies, and we divide well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be upon them into majorities and minorities. If in a community where the moral sense of the the minority will not acquiesce the majority people imperfectly supports the law itself. The must, or the Government must cease. There great body of the people abide by the dry legal is no other alternative; for continuing the obligation in both cases, and a few break over Government is acquiescence on one side or the in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly other. If a minority in such case will secede cured; and it would be worse in both cases rather than acquiesce they make a precedent after the separation of the sections than before. which, in turn, will divide and ruin them; for The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly supa minority of their own will secede from them pressed, would be ultimately revived without whenever a majority refuses to be controlled restriction in one section; while fugitive slaves, b, such minority. For instance, why may not now only partially surrendered, would not be any portion of a new Confederacy, a year or surrendered at all, by the other. two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We as portions of the present Union now claim to cannot remove our respective sections from each secede from it ? All who cherish disunion other, nor build an impassable wall between sentiments are now being educated to the exact them. A husband and wife may be divorced, temper of doing this.
and go out of the presence and beyond the reach Is there such perfect identity of interests of each other ; but the different parts of our among the States to compose a new Union, as country cannot do this. They cannot but reto produce harmony only, and prevent renewed main face to face; and intercourse, either amisecession ?
cable' or hostile, must continue between thein. Plainly, the central idea of secession is the Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse essence of anarchy. A majority held in re- more advantageous or more satisfactory after straint by constitutional checks and limitations separation than before? Can aliens make treaand always changing easily with deliberate ties easier than friends can make laws ? Can changes of popular opinions and sentiments, treaties be more faithfully enforced between is the only true sovereign of a free people. aliens than laws can among friends ? Suppose Whoever rejects it, does, of necessity, fly to you go to war, you cannot fight always; and anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is im- when after much loss on both sides, and no possible; the rule of a minority, as a perma- gain on either, you cease fighting, the indentiDent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so cal old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy again upon you. or despotism in some form is all that is left.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to I do not forget the position assumed by some, the people who inhabit it. Whenever they that constitutional questions are to be decided shall grow weary of the existing Government by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such they can exercise their constitutional right of decision must be binding, in any case, upon the amending it, or their revolutionary right to dis- . parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, member or overthrow it. I cannot be ignorant #hile they are also entitled to very high respect of the fact that many worthy and patriotic cit. and consideration in all parallel cases by all izens are desirous of having the National Conother departments of the Government. And stitution amended. While I make no recomwhile it is obviously possible that such decision mendation of amendments, I fully recognize the
rightful authority of the people over the whole reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken subject, to be exercised in either of the modes this favored land, are still competent to adjust, prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should in the best way, all our present difficulty. under existing circumstances, favor rather than In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countryoppose a fair opportunity being afforded the men, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of people to act upon it. I will venture to add that civil war. The Government will not assail you. to me the convention mode seems preferable, You can have no conflict without being yourin that it allows amendments to originate with selves the aggressors. You have no oath registhe people themselves, instead of only permit- tered in Heaven to destroy the Government, ting them to take or reject propositions origi- while I shall have the most solemn one to "prenated by others, not especially chosen for the serve, protect, and defend it.” purpose, and which might not be precisely I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but such as they would wish to either accept or re- friends. We must not be enemies. Though fuse. I understand a proposed amendment to passion may have strained, it must not break the Constitution-which amendment, however, our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of I have not seen-has passed Congress, to the memory, stretching from every battle-field and effect that the Federal Government shall never patriot grave to every living heart and hearthinterfere with the domestic institutions of the stone, all over this broad land, will get swell States, including that of persons held to service. the chorus of the Union, when again touched, To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, as surely they will be, by the better angels of ( depart from my purpose not to speak of par- our nature. ticular amendments so far as to say that, bold
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S CABINET. ing such a provision now to be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its beiug
Secretary of State-WILLIAM H. SEWARD, of New York. made express and irrevocable.
Secretary of the Treasury-SALMON P. CHASE, of Ohio; ancThe Chief Magistrate derives all bis authority ceeded July 5, 1864, by Wm. Pitt FESSENDEN, of Maine. from the people, and they have conferred none Secretary of Wur—SIMON CAMERON, of Pennsylvania ; sucupon him to fix terms for the separation of the
ceeded January 11, 1862, by EDWIN M. STANTON, of Ohio. States. The people themselves can do this also if they choose; but the Executive, as such, has Secretary of the Navy-GIDEON WELLES, of Connecticut. nothing to do with it. His duty is to adminis- Secretary of the Interior-CALEB B. SMITH, of Indiana ; ter the present Government, as it came to his succeeded January 8, 1863, by JOAN P. USHER, of Indibands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.
Attorney General—EDWARD BATES, of Missouri; succeeded Wby should there not be a patient confidence December 14, 1864, by JAMES SPEED, of Kentucky. in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our
Postmaster General -MONTGOMERY BLAIR, of Maryland; present differences is either party without faith
gucceeded October 1, 1864, by WILLIAM DENNISON, of of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler
Ohio. of Nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the MR. SEWARD AND "THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE South, that truth and that justice will surely
SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY. prevail, by the judgment of this great tribunal
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, of the American people.
WASHINGTON, March 15, 1861. By the frame of the Government under which
Mi. John Forsyth, of the State of Alabama, and Mr. Marwe live, this same people have wisely given their tin J.Crawford, of the Stato of Georgia, on the 11th instant, public servants but little power for mischief; ted to the Secretary of State their desire for an unofficial and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the interview. This request was, on the 12th instunt, upon
exclusively public considerations, respectfully declined. return of that little to their own hands at very On the 13th instant, while the Secretary wils preoccupied, short intervals. While the people retain their Mr. A. P. Banks, of Virginia, called at this Department and virtue and vigilance, no Administration, by any was received by the Assistant Secretary, to whom he deliv, extreme of weakness or folly, can very seriously by Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford to present to the Secreinjure the Government in the short space of tary in person. four years.
In that coinmunication Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford
inform the Secretary of State that they have been duly acMy countrymen, and all, think calmly and credited by the Government of the Confederate States of well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable America as Commissioners to the Government of the United can be lost by taking time. If there be an ob- States, and they set forth the object of their attendance at
Washington. They observe that seven States of the Amer. ject to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step ican Union, in tho exercise of a right inberent in every frio which you would never take deliberately, that people, havo withdrawn, through couventions of their poco ubject will be frustrated by taking time; but ple, from the United States, reassunied the attribute of sove
ereign power, and formed a Government of their own, and no good object can be frustrated by it. Such that those Confederate States now constitute an independle of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old ent nation de facto and de jure, and possess a Government Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive perfect in all its parts, and fully endowed with all the
means of self-support. point, the laws of your own framing under it;
Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford, in the aforesaid communiwhile the new Admin istration will have no im- cation, thereupon proceed to inform tho Secretary that, mediate power, if it would, to change either. If with a view to a speedy adjustment of all questions grous
ing out of the political scparation thus assumed, upon such it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied terms of amity and good will as the respective interests, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is geographical coutiguity, and the future welfare of the sup no single good reason for precipitate action. posed two nations might render necessary, they are in
structed to make to the Goverr ment of the United States lntelligence, patriotism, christianity, and a firm overtures for tho opening of nego ations, assuring this
Goperonent that the President, Congress, and people of the
APRIL 8, 1861. Cuafeterate Stut's earnestly desire a peaceful solution of The foregoing memorandum was filed in this Department tha giat questions, and that it is neither their interest on the 15th of Marca last. A delivery of the suine, howDat this wich to make anydemand which is not founded ever, to Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford was delayed, as was is strictet justice, for to do any act to injure their late understood, with their consent. They have now, throuh confirates
their secretary, communicate their desire for a definitive After making these statements, Messrs. Forsyth and disposition of the subject. The Secretary of State thereCurford close their communication, as they say, in obe- foro directs that a duly verified copy of the paper be now dizace to the instructions of their Government, by request. delivered. ing the Secretary of State to appoint as early a day A truo copy of the original, delivered to me by Mr. F. as possible in order that they may present to the Pres- W. Scward, Assistant Secretary of State of tho United ident of the United States the credentials which they States, on April 8th, 1861, at 2.15 P. M., in blank envelope. bear, and the objects of the mission with which they are ATTEST:
J. T. PICKETT, charged.
Secretary to the Commissioners. The Secretary of State frankly confesses that he understand the events which have recently occurred, and the -dition of Dalitical affairs which actually exists in the
The Commissioners in reply to Mr. Seward. part of the Union to which his attention has thus been
WASHINGTON, April 9, 1861. directed, very differently from the aspect in which they Hon. W». H. SCWARD, Secretary of State of the United sre prere ted by Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford. lle sees
States, Washington. in them not a rightful and accomplished revolution and an
The "memorandum,” dated Department of Stato, Warbidlependent nation, with an established Government, but ington, March 15, 1861, with postscript under dato of 8th rather A perversion of a temporary and partisan excitement instant, has been received through the hands of Mr. J.T. to the inconsiderate purpose of an unjustifiable and un
Pickett, secretary to this commission, who, by the instruccostitutidal aggression upon the riglats and the authority tions of the undersigned, called for it on yesterday at tho rested in the Federal Government, and hitherto benigoly Department. esercised, as from their rery nature they always must be In that memorandum you correctly state the purport of so exercisedi, for the maintenance of tbe Union, the pre- the official noto addressed to you by the undersigned on the gertation of liberty, and the security, peace, welfaro, 12th ultimo. Without repeating the contents of that note bappiness, and aggrandizement of the American p ople. in full, it is enough to say here that its object was to invito
The Secretary of State, thereforo, avows to Messrs. Forsyth the Government of the United States to a frirndly conand Crawford that bo looks patiently but confidently for the sideration of the relations between the United States end Cure of evils wbieh hapo resulted from proceedings so un- the seven States lately of the Federal Union, but now Diecessary, so nowise, so unusual, and so unnatural, not to separated from it by the sovereign will of their people, irregular de zotiations, having in view new and untried re- growing out of the pregnant and undeniable fact that those lations with agencies unknown to and acting in derogation people have rejected the authority of the United States of the Constitution and laws, but to regular and considerate and established a Government of their own. Thoso relaaction of the people of those States, in co-operation with tions had to be friendly or hostile. The people of tho old tb is brethren in ihe other States, through the Con ress and new Governments, occupying contiguous territories, of the United States, and such extraordinary Conventions, had to stand to each other in the relation of good neighif there shall be need thereof, as the Federal Constitution bors, cach seeking their happiness and pursuing their contemplates and authorizes to be assembled. It is, how. national destinies in their own way, without interference ever, the purpose of the secretary of State on this occa- with the other, or they had to be rival and hostile nations. sioa Dot to invite or engago in any discussion of these sub- The Government of thio Confederato States had no hesittjeets, but simply to set forth his reasons for derlinirg to tion in electing its choice in this alternative. Frankly and comply with the request of Messrs. Forsyth and Crawf rd. unreservedly, secking the good of the peoplo who had en
On ibe 4.b of Jlarcb instant the then newly elected trusted them with power, in the spirit of humanity, of the President of the United States, in view of all the facts Christian civilization of the age, and of that Americanism bearing on the present question, assumed the Executive which regards the true welfare and happiness of the people, ximiai-tration of the Government, first delivering, in ac- the Government of the Confederato States, among its first ordance wth an early and horored custom, nn i augural acts, commissioned tho undersigned to approach the tiov. adre:s to the pe ple of the United States. The Secretary crnment of the United States with tho olivo branch of er state respectfully submits a copy of this address to Messrs. peace, and to offer to adjust the great questions pending Forsyth and Crafford. A simplo reference to it will be between them in the only way to bo justified by the car. obceat to satisfy those gentlemen that the Secretary of sciences and common sense of good men who had nothing State, gaided by the principles therein announced, is but the welfare of the people of the two Confederacies at werezte altogether froin amiiting or ussuming that the heart. States referred to be ther, have, in law or in fact, withdrawn Your Government has not chosen to meet the under. from the Feleral Unio), or that th y could do so in the signed in the conciliatory and peaceful spirit in which they Banner described by Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford, or in aro commissioned. Persistently wedded those fatu any aber manner than with the consent and concert of theories of construction of the Federal Constitution alwaya the p. ople of the United States, to be given through a Narejected by the statesmen of the South, and adhered to by tional Convention, to be assembled in conformity with the those of the Administration school, until they have proprotsvas of the Constitution of the United States. of duced their natural and often predicted result of the de warte the recretary of tate cannot act upon the as ump-struction of the Union, under which we might have con9, or in any way admit that the so-called Confederato timed to live happily and gloriously together had the ecstas cou-titte a Dreisn Power, with whom diplomatic spirit of the ancestry who framed the common Coustitution relation 11ht to be established.
animated the hearts of all their sons, yon now, with a perCroker these circumstances the Secretary of State, whose sistenco untaught and uncured by the run which has been of al diotis are confined, subject to the direction of the wrought, refuse to recognize the greatfuct presented to you Prəkat, is the conducting of the foreign relations of the of a completed and successful revolution; you close your cruit), al do not at all embrace domestic questions or cyes to the existence of the Government founded upon it, gets arising between the several States and the Fed- and ignore the high duties of moderation anii humanity a Guernsent, is unable to comply with the request of which attach to you in dealing with this great fact. Id Moan. Tirth and Critwford, to appoint a day on which you met these issues with the trankness and manliness with they may priaunt the evidences of their authority and the which tho umer igned wero in tractel to present them to
ject of their visit to the President of the United States. you anl treat thein, the undersigned haulnot now the mel. U to contrary, he is obliged to state to Messrs Forsyth ancholy duty to return home and tell their Government 204 Crawford that he has no authority, nor is ho at liberty and their countrymen that their earnest anil ceaseless to recognize them as diplomatic agents, or hold correspon- efforts in behalf of peace had been futile, and that the dute or other communication with them.
Government of the United States meant to subjugato tien Fically, the Secretary of State would observe that, al- by force of arms. Whatever may be the result, impartin Dagh le bas supposed that he inight safely and with pro- history will record the innocence of the Government of the rity have adopted these conclusions without making any Confederate States, and place the responsibility of the IT Dce of the subject to the Executive, yet so strong blood and mourning that may ensne upon those who have La led his desire to practice entire directness and to act denied the great fundamental doctrine of American liberty, is a spirit of perfect respect and candor towards Messrs. that "Governments derive their just powers from the corte Foarth and Crawford, and that portion of the people of sent of the governed," and who havo set naval and land
Tuion in whose name they present themselves before armaments in motion to subject the people of one portion hin, that he has cheerfully submitted this paper to the of this land to the will of another portion. That that can President, who coincides generally in the views it never be done while a freeman survives in the Confederato expresses, and sanctions tho Secretary's decision de States to wield a weapon, the undersignal appeal to past clining official intercourse with Messrs. Forsyth and history to prove. These military demonstrations again it Crawford.
the people of the seceded States are certainly far from
being in keeping and consistency with the theory of the On the 1st of April we were again informed that there Secretary of State, maintained in his memorandum, that might be an attempt to supply Fort Sumter with prothese States are still component parts of the lato American visions, but that Governor Pickens should have previous Union, as the undersigned are not aware of any constitu- notice of this attempt There was no suggestion of a retional power in the President of the United States to levy inforcemeut. The undersigned did not hesitate to believe war, without the consent of Congress, upon a foreign peo- that these assuranccs expressed the intention of the Adple, much less upon any portion of tho people of the United ministration at the time, or at all events of prominent States.
members of the Administration. This delay was assented The undersigned, like the Secretary of State, have no to for the express purposo of attainiog the great end of purpose to “invite or engage in discussion" of the subject the mission of the undersigned, to wit, a speciớc solution on which their two Governments are so irreconcilably at to existing complications. The inference deducible from variance. It is this variance that has broken up the old the date of your memorandum that the undersigned had, Union, the disintegration of which has only begun. It is of their own volition and without canse, consented to this proper, however, to advise you that it were well to dismiss long hiatus in the gravo duties with which they were the hopes you seem to entertain that, by any of the modes charged is therefore not consistent with a just exposition indicated, the people of the Confederatu States will ever be of the facts of the case. brought to submit to the authority of tne Government of The intervening twenty-three days were employed in the United States. You are dealing with delusions, too, active unofficial efforts,the object of which was to smooth the when you seek to separate our people from our Govern- path to a pacific solution, the distinguished personage alment and to characterize the deliberate, sovereign act of luded to co-operating with the undersigned, and every step that people as a " perversion of a temporary and partisan of that effort is recorded in writing, and now in possession excitement." If you cherish theso dreams you will be of the undersigned and of their Government It was only awakened from them and find them as unreal and unsub- when all these anxious efforts for peace had been exstantial as others in which you have recently indulged. hausted, and it becamo clear that Mr. Lincoln had determThe undersigned would omit the performance of an obvious ined to appeal to the sword to reduco the people of the Conduty were they to fail to make known to the Government federate States to the will of the section or party whose of the United States that the people of the Confederate President he is, that the undersigned resumed the official States have declared their independence with a full knowl-negotiation temporarily suspended, and sent their secreedge of all the responsibilities of that act, and with as firm tary for a reply to their official note of March 12. a determination to maintain it by all the means with which It is proper to add that, during these twenty-three days, nature has endowed them as that which sustained their two gentlemen of official distinction as high as that of tho fathers when they threw off tho authority of the British personage hitherto alluded to, aided the undersigned as incrown.
iermediaries in these unofficial negotiations for peace. Tho undersigned clearly understand that you have de- The undersigned, Commissioners of the Confederate States clined to appoint a day to enable them to lay the objects of America, having thus mado apswer to all they deem of the mission with which they are charged before the material in the memorandum filed in the Department on President of the United States, because so to do would be the 15th of March last, have the honor to bo, to recognize tho independence and separate nationality
JOHN FORSYTH, of the Confederate States. This is the vein of thought
MARTIN J. CRAWFORD, that pervades the memorandum before us. The truth of
A. B. ROMAN. history requires that it should distinctly appear upon the record that the undersigned did not ask the Government A true copy of the original by one delivered to Mr. F. W. of the United States to recognize the independence of the Seward, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Confederate States. They only asked audience to adjust, at eight o'clock in the eveping of April 9, 1861. in a spirit of amity and peace, the new relations springing Attest:
J. T. PICKETT, Secretary, de. from a manifest and accomplished revolution in the Gorernment of the late Federal Union. Your refusal to enter
Mr. Seward in reply to the Commissioners. tain these overtures for a peaceful solution, the active naval
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, anal military preparation of this Government, and a formal notice to the commanding general of the Confederate
WASHINGTON, April 10, 1861. forces in the harbor of Charleston that the President in
Messrs. Forsyth, Crawford, and Roman, having been aptends to provision Fort Sumter by forcible means, if neces- prized by a memorandum which has been delivered to them bary, are viewed by the undersigned, and can only be that the Secretary of State is not at liberty to hold official received by the world, as a declaration of war against tho
intercourse with them, will, it is presumed, expect do no Confederate States; for the President of the United States tice from him of the new communication which they have knows that Fort Sumter cannot be provisioned without the addressed to him under date of the 9th instant, beyond tho effusing of blood. Tho undersigned, in behalf of their simplo acknowledgment of the receipt thereof, which he Ge
mment and people, accept the gage of battle thus hereby very cheerfully gives. thrown down to them, and, appealing to God and the judgers of the Confederate states this 10th day of April, 1861.
A true copy of the original received by the Commissionment of mankind for the righteousness of their cause, the people of tho Confederato States will defend their liberties
J. T. PICKETT, Secretary, de to the last against this flagrant and open attempt at their subjugation to sectional power.
JUDGE CAMPBELL'S STATEMENT RESPECTING HIS This communication cannot be properly closed without
PART IN THE NEGOTIATION. adrerting to the daie of your memorandum. The official note of the undersigned, of the 12th March, was delivered
WASHINGTON CITY, April 13, 1861. t the Assietant Secretary of Stato on the 13th of that SIR: On the 15th of March ultimo I left with Judge Craw. month, the gentleman who d divered it informing bim that ford, one of the Commissioners of the Confederate States, a the Secretary of this commission would call at twelve note in writing to the effect following: o'clock, noon, on the next day firan answer. At the ap- "I feel entire confidence that Fort Sumtor will be evacn. pointed hour Mr. Pickett did call, and was incormed by ated in the next five days. And this measure is felt as imthe Assistant Secretary of State that the engagements of posing great responsibility on the Administration. the Secretary of State had preventei him from giving the “I feel entire confidence that no measure changing the uote bis attention. The Assistant Secretary of State then existing status, prejudicially to the Southern Confederate asked for the address of Messrs. Crawford and Forsyth, the States, is at present contemplated. members of the Commission then present in this city, “I feel an entire confidence that an immediate demand to k note of the address on a card, and engaged to send for an answer to the communication of the Commissioners whatever reply might be made to their lodgings. Why will be productive of evil and not of good. I do not believe this was not done it is proper should be here explained that it ought at this time to be pressed." The memorandam is dated March 15, and was not delivered The substance of this statement I communicated to you until
April 8. Why was it withheld during the interve the same evening by letter. Fivo days clapsed and I called ning twenty-three days? In the postcript to your memo. with a telegram from General Beauregard to the effect that randum you say it " was delayed, as was understood, with Sunter was not evacuated, but that Major Anderson was at th ir (Jessrs. Forsyth and Crawford's) consent.” This work making repairs. is true; but it is also true that on the 15th of March The next day, after conversing with you, I commnnicated Messrs. Forsyth and Crawforil were assured, by a person to Judge Crawford, in writing, that the failure to evacuate occupying a bih official position in the Government, and Sunter was not the result of bad faith, but was attributalile who, as they believed, was speaking by authority, that to causes consistent with the intention to fulfill the engage Fort Sumter would be evacuated within a very few days, ment, and that, as regarded Pickens, I should have notice and that no measure changing the existing status projn- of any design to alter tho cxisting status there. Mr. Justice dicially to the Confederate States, as respects Fort Pickens, Nelson was present at these conversations, threo in nun. was then contemplied, and those asurances were subsc- ber, and I submitted to him cach of my written communiquently repeaterl, with the addition that any contemplated cations to Judge Crawford, anıl informed Judge C. that they change as respects Fort Pickens would be notified to us. I had his (Judge Nelson's) sanction. I gave you, on the 22d