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Was

66

moment.

The Last Act of

movements of the

mer-servient, to a contemptible degree, to the Union Uprising in Western Virginia.

chants of Wheeling indi- sentiments of the slaveholding few

cated the gathering storm. not slow to betray the aristocratic tendency These patriotic men resolved to pay no tax of the revolution proposed.* The Richmond "to support the usurped Government at Examiner, early in May, wrote : Richmond." The resolutions rang out with In the Northern States exists the government of pure the ring of the old spirit which said—“ We Democruy. The lowest, most ignorant, and coars. pay King George no further tribute !" These est part of the whole people, who make the major. meetings were the little beginnings from ity of it, control the action of the Government by the whose results sprang the new Government of immediate exercise of their volition, impress upon Virginia, which the President recognized as

it their violence, their instability of opinion and the true and only loyal Government of the fickleness of feeling, and render it, in all respects,

the agent of their crude and unfounded ideas of a State, and whose representatives to the National Congress were admitted to scats.

“ The essence of the Constitution of the United Virginia was fully adopt- States was representative Democracy. But the con

ed into the Southern Continual strides of innovation, guided by demagognes, Tyranny.

federacy May 6th, by act have destroyed the representative principle in the of the Confederate Congress. Two of her Northern States. Public officers in those countries delegates were then sworn in and took their reflect the popular feeling of the moment, instead seats. As the people were not to vote upon of that National sentiment and opinion that is formthe Ordinance of Secession until May 23d, ed after experience and second thought. In this the this admission demonstrates with what disre- South is wholly different from the North. The loves gard of the people the Conventions and the

* The communication of Commodore Stewart Congress acted. Overriding voters was part (" Old Ironsides") to Mr. Childs, of Philadelphia, of the system” of the Southern Government (under date of May 4th, 1861,) regarding his interto which Mr. Stephens, in his celebrated Ex- view with John C. Calhoun in the latter part of De. position (see pages 63–64) had not adverted;cember, 1812, is so interesting as bearing on this but, the contempt generally entertained, in point that we may quote : the South, of their own poor whites — the “ I observed, with great simplicity,' You in the South and aristocratic idea upon which the institution South-west are decidedly the aristocratic portion of this

Union. You are so in holding persons in perpetuity in slap. of slavery itself was founded—the stigma ery; you are so in every domestic quality; so in every habit fixed upon all white working men and me- of your lives, living and actions; so in habits, customs, in. chanics by the “ruling classes” — render it tercourse and manners; you neither work with your hands, easy to believe that, in the “new order of head, nor any machinery, but live and have your living,

not in accordance with the will of your Creator, but by the things," the democratic principle of a major sweat of Slavery; and yet you assume all the attributes, ity rule was not to be accepted. The Slave professions and advantages of Democracy.”

“ Mr. Calhoun replied : ' I see you speak through the head owners, breeders and traders comprised but

of a young statesman, and from the heart of a patriot; but a meagre minority of the entire white popu- you lose sight of the politician and the sectional policy of the lation of the South; yet, this minority was people. I admit your conclusions in respect to us Southrons resolved to rule, and for that dissevered their —that we are essentially aristocratic. I cannot deny but we

can and do yield much to Democracy; this is our sectional relations with the Free States.

po icy. We are from necessity thrown upon and solemnly That, even in Virginia, wedded to that party, however it may occasionally clash

“the people” were to be with our feelings, for the conservation of our interests. It is Many. made subservient to the through our affiliation with that party in the Middle and

Western States, we control, under the Constitution, the gov. few, is susceptible of easy proof. The entire erning of the United States; but, when we cease thus to conduct of the Slave interest throughout the control this Nation through a disjoined Democracy, or any

material obstacle in that party which shall tend to throw 18 secession revolution, and the final steps taken

out of that rule and control, we shall then resort to the disto link the fortunes of the State to the Slave solution of the Union. The compromises in the Constitution, Confederacy before the people could exercise under the then circumstances, were sufficient for our fathers, any voice in the transaction, is evidence of but, under the altered condition of the country from that

period, leave to the South no resource but dissolution; for do the purposes of those conspirators against amendments to the Constitution could be reached through a democracy. The press in the South-sub-Convention of the people and their three-fourths rule.' »

The Few to Rule the

THE

WHEELING

CONVENTION.

151

vention.

part of the population here are slaves, have nothing to do which he discussed the question of a separaevith the Government, and no influence on its policy. The tion from the Eastern section of the State, character and political action of the country originates and adverted to the supremacy of the Genwith the SUPERIOR INTELLIGENCE, and is supported eral Government. His views unquestionably Headily."

Western Virginia was represented those of the most influential class. Loyal Western Virginia. loyal. Settled almost en

He favored a separation if it were done with tirely by non-slaveholders, the power of law and legislative procedure; its people were not subjected to the tyranny and, though he denied the right of the of the “ dominant" class. The quite general United States Government to invade the circulation, through that section, of news. State, he conceded the right of resistance to papers, gave the people more enlarged and treason, and therefore the necessity for the correct ideas of public affairs than prevailed presence of Government forces where treain the Eastern portion of the State, from son existed. which Northern newspapers were studiously

At the important Con

The Wheeling Conexcluded. As one consequence, the few Seces-vention held in Wheeling, sionists were powerless to control the people May 13th, the preliminary to their behests; and such men as Clemens proceedings were taken for a regularly elected and Carlisle found hearty response to their Convention. The fourth day of June was Union-loving sentiments.

named as the day of election, and the eleventh May 9th, the Governor's agent arrived at of June the day of the assemblage of the Grafton, in Western Virginia, to open the elected delegates to take action concerning rendezvous for troops called out under the

a reorganization of the State Government. Governor's requisition. Informed of his

The spirit betrayed by the leading men in

presence, the people waited upon the “ agent," that primary gathering—where about twenty ordering him to leave the place within twen- counties were represented-left no doubt of ty-four hours, which he did, and no troops the entire loyalty of the movement. While assembled at the call.

the hosts of Jefferson Davis were gathering On the contrary, however, an active loyalty, at all good strategic positions to meet the from that moment, began to prevail, and threatened Union advance, the people west eleven companies, sworn into the United of the Blue Ridge mountains were not left to States volunteer service, were in camp, at the the mercy of rebel bayonets, for the General Fair Grounds, in Wheeling, by May 20th. Government had, by the advice of the GovThe two first, on this roll of honor, were the

ernors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Penncommands of Captains Britt and Stephens.

sylvania, arranged to throw forward General Prior to the Convention McClellan's column, at once, to afford the Judge Thompson's Charge.

at Wheeling, (May 13th,) people and the Convention proper protec

Judge Thompson, of the tion, and to threaten the rebel occupation Circuit Court of Wheeling District, delivered of Harper's Ferry by a filank and rear movoa charge to the Grand Jury, (May 10th,) in ment.

CHAPTER XI.

THE

THE CRISIS IN TENNESSEE. A DARK PAGE IN HISTORY.

SECESSION OF NORTH CAROLINA AND ARKANSAS.

The Bill of Sale.

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CONVENTION BETWEEN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE AND

THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA.

TENNESSEE's vote, Feb- | other slaveholding States as Tennessee Going.

ruary 9th, on the question may wish to enter into it; “Convention” or “No Convention," resulted having in view the protection and defense of the in an overwhelming Union triumph (see Vol.

entire South against the war that is now being car.

ried on against it.' II, page 24). This announcement for the

“ The said Commissioners met Hon. Henry W. time being reassured the country of that State's loyalty; but, the extraordinary revul- federate States, at Nashville on this day, and have

Hilliard, the accredited representative of the Consion of feeling created by the attack on Sum- agreed upon and executed a Military League between ter and the President's proclamation for the State of Tennessee and the Confederate States of troops, swept away, at a dash, the conserv

America, subject, however, to the ratification of the atism” of Tennessee, and soon arrayed her on two Governments, one of the duplicate originals of the side of treason. The Governor's answer which I here with transmit for your ratification or reto the requisition, already quoted (see page jection. For many cogent and obvious reasons, un99), was the key-note of the miserere to fol- necessary to be rehearsed to you, I respectfully low. The Unionists staggered before the recommend the ratification of this League at the storm which the demons of discord evoked ;

earliest practicable moment.

* Very respectfully, ISHAM G. HARRIS." and, though their influence was predominant enough, for the moment, to place the State in a position of “Neutrality,” even that cloak

“ The State of Tennessee, looking to a speedy adfor treason was soon cast aside. May 8th, the

mission into the Confederacy established by the publication, by the Nashville papers, of the

Confederate States of America, in accordance with secret proceedings of the Legislature then in

the Constitution for the Provisional Government of session, announced to the people that their said States, enters into the following temporary liberties were gone, and that, thenceforward, convention, agreement and military league with the they were under the iron despotism of the Confederate States, for the purpose of meeting Confederate "authorities.” The story of this pressing exigencies affecting the common rights, sale of a State is fully told in the documents interests and safety of said States and said Confede. attesting it,

eracy. May 7th, Governor Har- First. Until the said State shall become a mem.

ris sent to the Legislature ber of said Confederacy, according to the Constitathe following communication and document:

tions of both powers, the whole military force and " EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

military operations, offensive and defensive, of said NASHFILLE, May 7th, 1861. State, in the impending confliot with the United "Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives :

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The Bill of Sale.

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States, shall be under the chief control and direction • By virtue of the authority of your joint resolu

of the President of the Confederate States upon the tion, adopted on the 1st day of May inst., I appoint- same basis, principles and footing as if said State ed Gustavus A. Henry, of the county of Montgomery, . were now and during the interval, a member of said Archibald 0. W. Totten, of the county of Madison, Confederacy. Said forces, together with that of the and Washington Barrow, of the county of Davidson, Confederate States, to be employed for the common • Commissioners, on the part of Tennessee, to enter defense. into a Military League with the authorities of the “ Second. The State of Tennessee will, upon beConfederate States, and with the authorities of such coming a member of said Confederacy, under the

1

TENNESSEE'S ORDINANCE

OF

SECESSION.

153

Secession.

permanent Constitution of said Confederate States, States of America, are hereby

The Ordinance of if the same shall occur, turn over to said Confede abrogated and annulled, and rate States, all the public property, naval stores that all obligations on our part and munitions of war, of which she may then be in be withdrawn therefrom; and we do hereby resume possession, acquired from the United States, on the all the rights, functions and powers which by any of same terms, and in the same manner, as the other said laws and ordinances were conveyed to the Gov. States of said Confederacy have done in like cases. ernment of the United States, and absolve ourselves

Third. Whatever expenditures of money, if any, from all the obligations, restraints and duties incurthe said State of Tennessee shall make before she red thereto; and do hereby henceforth become a becomes a member of said Confederacy, shall be free, sovereign and independent State. met and provided for by the Confederate States. “ Second. We furthermore declare and ordain that

“ This Convention entered into and agreed on, in Art. 10, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the the city of Nashville, Tennessee, on the seventh day State of Tennessee, which requires members of the of May, A. D. 1861, by Henry W. Hilliard, the duly General Assembly, and all officers, civil and militaauthorized Commissioner to act in the matter for ry, to take an oath to support the Constitution of the Confederate States, and Gustavus A. Henry, the United States, be and the same are hereby abArchibald W. 0. Totten and Washington Barrow, rogated and annulled ; and all parts of the ConstituCommissioners duly authorized to act in like manner tion of the State of Tennessee, making citizenship for the State of Tennessee. The whole subject to of the United States a qualification for office, and the approval and ratification of the proper authori- recognizing the Constitution of the United States as ties of both Governments, respectively.

the supreme law of this State, are in like manner “ In testimony whereof, the parties aforesaid have abrogated and annulled.

herewith set their hands and seals, the day and Third. We furthermore ordain and declare, that year aforesaid, in duplicate originals.

all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution " HENRY W. HILLIARD, [Seal.] of the United States, or under any act of Congress “Commissioner for the ConfederateStates of America. passed in pursuance thereof, or under any laws of

* GUSTAVUS A. HENRY, [Seal.] this State and not incompatible with this ordinance, A. 0. W. TOTTEN,

[Seal.]. shall remain in force and have the same effect as if WASHINGTON BARROW, [Seal.] this ordinance had not been passed."

" Commissioners on the part of Tennessee." Upon this the people were to ballot “SepThis “league” was put upon its adoption aration,” “No separation.” immediately. The Senate ratified it by a At the same date (May 6th) the Legislature vote of fourteen to six. The House by a vote passed an act adopting the Constitution of of forty-two to fifteen-eighteen members not the Confederate States. Upon this act the voting or absent. The ratification read : people were to vote (at the election ordered " That said league be in all respects ratified June 8th) “Representation,” “No representand confirmed, and the said General Assem-ation.” bly hereby pledges the faith and honor of The “Declaration" was passed in the Senthe State of Tennessee to the faithful observ- ate by a vote of twenty to four. In the House ance of the terms and conditions of said by forty-six to twenty-one. league."

Thus was consummated the transfer of that An act had, the day pre- State, with its tremendous Union majority, viously, been adopted, or- to the control and keeping of the conspiradering an election to be

and thenceforward the Unionists were held June 8th, at which the folrawing “ De to suffer persecutions which forever will darkclaration of Independence” (Ordinance of

en the page of Tennessee's history and cast a Secession) should be voted upon :

shadow upon

the civilization of the nineteenth " We, the people of the State of Tennessee, waiv

century.* ing our expression of opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession, but asserting the right as a free

* Those curious to read the story of suffering in and independent people to alter, reform or abolish Tennessee are referred to Parson Brownlow's book. our form of Government in such manner as we

There is enough of horror compressed in the ten think proper, do ordain and declare that all the laws | months' experiences of that man, to convince the and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee be. must incredulous that the spirit of secession was the came a niember of the Federal Union of the United spirit of Evil.

The Ordinance of

Secession.

tors;

Arkansas Secedes.
The Ordinance,

Secession.

Arkansas, like Tennessee, | under the name of the United States of America, is hastened to recant her late hereby forever dissolved. conservative action (see

* And we do further hereby declare and ordain, page 31). The call of Mr. Lincoln for troops that the State of Arkansas hereby resumes to herself was succeeded by a rapid regathering of all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the

Government of the United States of America—that the State Convention. Without much delay her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said the Ordinance of Secession was passed by a

Government of the United States, and that she is in vote of sixty-nine to one, viz.

full possession and exercise of all the rights and “An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union now existing between sovereignty which appertain to a free and independ

the State of Arkansas and the other States united with ent State. her under the compact entitled The Constitution of the “We do further ordain and declare, that all rights United States of America.'

acquired and vested under the Constitution of the “ Whereas, in additjon to the well-founded causes of United States of America, or of any act or acts of complaint set forth by this Convention in resolutions Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this state, adopted on the eleventh March, A. D. 1861, against and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall rethe sectional party now in power at Washington main in full force and effect, and in no wise altered City, headed by Abraham Lincoln, he has, in the

or impaired, and have the same effect as if this ordiface of resolutions passed by this Convention, pledg- nânce had not been passed. ing the State of Arkansas to resist to the last extre

[Here follow the names of the delegates.] mity any attempt on the part of such power to co- * Adopted and passed in open Convention on the erce any State that seceded from the old Union, sixth day of May, A. D. 1861. proclaimed to the world that war should be waged

“ Attest,

ELIAS C. BOUDINOT, against such States, until they should be compelled

“Secretary of the Arkansas State Convention." to submit to their rule, and large forces to accom- The injustice and absurd

Special Point against plish this have by this same power been called out, ity of the “State Rights" and are now being marshaled to carry out this inhu- doctrine is forcibly illusman design, and longer to submit to such rule or trated in this act of Arkansas, as it also was remain in the old Union of the United States would in the acts of Texas, Florida and Louisiana. be disgraceful and ruinous to the State of Arkansas: (See pages 206–299, &c., Vol. 1.) Arkansas

“Therefore, we, the people of the State of Arkaa. was purchased of France by our General Gov. sas, in Convention assembled, do hereby declare ernment, to secure the possession and uninand ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, terrupted navigation of the Mississippi river that the ordinance and acceptance of compact,' and its affluents. It was, from the date of its passed and approved by the General Assembly of

first territorial organization up to the year the State of Arkansas on the eighteenth day of October, A. D. 1836, whereby it was, by said General 1861, a source of heavy expense to the GeneAssembly, ordained that, by virtue of the authority ral Government. In the item of mails alone, vested in said General Assembly by the provisions of the cost of supporting the postal system in the Ordinance adopted by the Convention of dele that State, for the fiscal year ending June, gates assembled at Little Rock, for the purpose of 1860, was two hundred and ninety thousand forming a Constitution and system of government for dollars over and above the receipts. The said State, the propositions set forth in ‘an act sup cost of keeping the army on her borders to plementary to an act entitled an act for the admission protect her settlements has reached, it is said, of the State of Arkansas into the Union, and to pro- a sum twenty times greater than the sum revide for the due execution of the laws of the United alized by the sales of her public lands. Thus the States with in the same, and for other purposes, were

State not only owed its soil and its settlement freely accepted, ratified and irrevocably confirmed

to the General Government, but it owed, also, articles of compact and union between the State of Arkansas and the United States,' and all other laws,

an enormous debt for the sustenance given by and every other law and ordinance, whereby the State the same benignant power to keep it from of Arkansas became a member of the Federal Union, want. What a monstrous assumption, therebe, and the same are hereby in all respects and for fore, is that which claims the right of a peoevery purpose here with consistent, repealed, abroga. ple to dissolve, at will, their relations and - ted and fully set aside ; and the union now subsisting obligations to the parent Government! By between the State of Arkansas and the other States all rights of common law, guaranteeing the

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