« PreviousContinue »
fail, every consideration of honor and interest demands that Virginia shall unite her destinies with her sister slaveholding States. Also that no reconstruction of the Union can be permanent or satisfactory, which will not secure to each section self-protecting power against any invasion of the Federal Union upon the reserved rights of either. (See Hunter's proposition for adjustment.)
21st. Replied to Commissioners Hopkins and Gilmer, expressing inability to make a definite response until after the meeting of the State Convention.
been perverted to her injury, and as the Crittenden propositions as a basis of adjustment had been rejected by their Northern confederates, therefore every consideration of duty, interest, honor and patriotism requires that Virginia should declare her connection with the Government to be dissolved.
5th. The thanks of the State were voted to Hon. John J. Crittenden, by yeas 107, nays 16, for his efforts to bring about an honorable adjustment of the national difficulties. Mr. Harvie of Amelia offered a resolution, requesting Legislature to make needful appropriations to resist any attempt of the Federal authorities to hold, occupy or possess the property and places claimed by the United States in any of the seceded States, or those that may withdraw or collect duties or imposts in the same.
9th. Three reports were made from the Committee on Federal Relations. The majority proposed to submit to the other States certain amendments to the Constitution, awaiting the response of non-slaveholding States before determining whether "she will resume the powers granted by her under the Constitution of the United States, and throw herself upon her reserved rights; meanwhile insisting that no coercion be attempted, the Federal forts in seceded States be not reinforced, duties be not collected, etc.," and proposing a Convention at Frankfort, Kentucky, the last Monday in May, of the States of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas. Henry A. Wise differed in details, and went further in the same direction. Messrs. Lewis E. Harvie, Robert L. Montague and Samuel C. Williams recommended the immediate passage of an Ordinance of Secession. Mr. Barbour of Culpeper insisted upon the immediate adoption by the non-slaveholding States of needed guarantees of safety, and provided for the appointment of three Coinmissioners to confer with the Confederate authorities at Montgomery.
19th. The Commissioner from South Carolina was heard. He said his people believed the Union unnatural and monstrous, and declared that there was no human force -no sanctity of human touch,-that could re-unite the people of the North with the people of the South--that it could never be done unless the economy of God were changed.
19th. Committee on Federal Relations 1eported proposed amendments to the Constitution, which were the substitute of Mr. Franklin of Pa, in "Peace Conference," changed by using the expression "involuntary servitude" in place of "persons held to service." The right of owners of slaves is not to be impaired by congressional or ter
20th. A committee reported that in all but sixteen counties, the majority for sub-ritorial law, or any pre-existing law in terrimitting the action of the Convention to a tory hereafter acquired. vote of the people was 52,857. Numerous Involuntary servitude, except for crime, resolutions on Federal Relations introduced, to be prohibited north of 36°30', but shall generally expressing attachment to the not be prohibited by Congress or any TerriUnion, but denouncing coercion. torial legislature south of that line. The third section has some verbal alterations, providing somewhat better security for property in transit. The fifth section prohibits the importation of slaves from places beyond the limits of the United States. The sixth makes some verbal changes in relation to remuneration for fugitives by Congress, and erases the clause relative to the securing
22d. The Governor transmitted the resolutions of the Legislature of Ohio, with unfavorable comment. His message was tabled by a small majority.
30th. The House of Delegates to-day tabled the resolutions of the Pennsylvania Legislature, but referred those of Tennessee to the Committee on Federal Relations.
February 20th. The resolutions of the Legislature of Michigan were returned without comment.
28th. Ex-President Tyler and James A. Seddon, Commissioners to the Peace Congress, presented their report, and denounced the recommendation of that body as a delusion and a sham, and as an insult and an offense to the South.
Proceedings of Virginia Convention. February 4th. Election of delegates to the Convention.
13th. Convention met.
14th. Credentials of John S. Preston, Commissioner from South Carolina, Fulton Anderson from Mississippi, and Henry L. Benning from Georgia, were received.
18th. Commissioners from Mississippi and Georgia heard; both pictured the danger of Virginia remaining with the North; neither contemplated such an event as re
26th. Mr. Goggin of Bedford, in his speech, denied the right of secession, but admitted a revolutionary remedy for wrongs committed upon a State or section, and said wherever Virginia went he was with her.
March 2d. Mr. Goode of Bedford offered a resolution that, as the powers delegated to the General Government bv Virginia had
of privileges and immunities. The seventh forbids the granting of the elective franchise and right to hold office to persons of the African race. The eighth provides that none of these amendments, nor the third paragraph of the second section of the first article of the Constitution, nor the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article thereof, shall be amended or abolished without the consent of all the States.
25th. The Committee of the Whole refused (yeas 4, nays 116) to strike out the majority report and insert Mr. Carlile's "Peace Conference" substitute.
Same day the Commissioners adopted and ratified the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the "Confederate" States of America, this ordinance to cease to have legal effect if the people of Virginia voting upon the Ordinance of Secession should reject it.
· The injunction of secrecy has never been removed from this vote, but the tally was recently discovered among the papers of Lewis T. Kinser, Esq., deceased, former law partner of George W. Brent, delegate from Alexandria, Va., and is as follows, as published in the Washington Star:
26th. The Constitution of the "Confederate" States, proposed by Mr. Hall as a substitute for the report of the committee, re-ent, jected-yeas 9, nays 78.
28th. The first and second resolutions reported by the committee adopted.
April 6th. The ninth resolution of the majority report came up. Mr. Bouldin offered an amendment striking out the whole, and inserting a substitute declaring that the independence of the seceded States should be acknowledged without delay, which was lost -yeas 68, nays 71.
9th. Mr. Wise's substitute for the tenth resolution, to the effect that Virginia recog-ginia from the Union, with all the consequences resulting from the separation. It aunulled the Constitution and nizes the independence of the seceding States, was adopted-yeas 128, nays 20.
the laws of the United States within the limits of this
State, and absolved the citizens of Virginia from all obli
gations of obedience to them.
April 17. Ordinance of Secession passed in secret session-yeas 88, nays 55, one excused, and eight not voting.*
Hence it follows, if this Ordinance be rejected by the people, the State of Virginia will remain in the Union, and the people of the State will remain bound by the Constitution of the United States, and obedience to the Government and laws of the United States will be fully and rightfully enforced against them.
It follows, of course, that in the war now carried on by the Government of the United States against the seceded States, Virginia must immediately change sides, and under the orders of that Government turn her arms against her southern sisters.
From this there can be no escape. As a member of the Union, all her resources of men and money will be at once at the command of the Government of the Union.
Again: for mutual defence, immediately after the Ordiuance of Secession passed, a treaty or "military league" was formed by the convention, in the name of the people of Virginia, with the "Confederate States" of the South, by which the latter were bound to march to the aid of our State against the invasion of the Federal Government. And we have now in Virginia, at Harper's Ferry and at Norfolk, in face of the common foe, several thousand of the gallant sons of South Carolina, of Alabama, of Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi, who hastened to fulfil the covenant they made, and are ready and eager to lay down their lives, side by side with our sons, in defence of the soil of Virginia.
YEAS.-Wm. M. Ambler, Wm. B. Aston, Jas. Barbour,
Lewis, Wm. McComas, James C. McGrew, James Marshall, Henry M. Masters, Samuel McD. Moore, Hugh M. ton, George McC. Porter, Samuel Price, David Pugh, John Nelson, Logan Osburn, Spicer Patrick, Edmund PendleD. Sharp, Thomas Sitlington, Burwell Spurloch, Alexander H. H. Stuart, Chapman J. Stuart, Geo. W. Summers, Campbell Tarr, William White, William C. Wickham, Waitman T. Willey, John Janney (President)-55. Excused-Benjamin Wilson.
as there is no tally opposite their names in the list The following members appear not to have been pres
from which we quote:
Alfred Barbour, Robert E. Grant, Addison Hale, John R. Kilby, Paul McNeil, John Q. Marr, Thomas Martin, Peter Saunders, Sen.
Pending the vote on ratifying the Ordinance of Seces
sion, senator J. M. Mason published the following letter:
Winchester, Virginia, May 16, 1861.
To the Editor of the Winchester Virginian:
The question has been frequently put to me, what po
sition will Virginia occupy should the Ordinance of Secession be rejected by the people at the approaching election? And the frequency of the question may be an excuse for giving publicity to the answer.
The Ordinance of Secession withdrew the State of Vir
If the Ordinance of Secession is rejected, not only will this " military league" be annulled, but it will have been made a trap to inveigle our generous defenders into the hands of their enemies.
Virginia remaining in the Union, duty and loyalty to her obligations to the Union will require that those southern forces shall not be permitted to leave the State, but shall be delivered up to the government of the Union; and those who refuse to do so will be guilty of treason, and be justly dealt with as traitors.
Treason against the United States consists as well "in adhering to its enemies and giving them aid," as in levying war.
If it be asked, What are those to do who in their consciences cannot vote to separate Virginia from the United States? the answer is simple and plain. Honor and duty alike require that they should not vote on the question; and if they retain such opinions, they must leave the State.
None can doubt or question the truth of what I have written, and none can vote against the Ordinance of Secession who do not thereby (whether ignorantly or otherwise) vote to place himself and his State in the position I have indicated.
J. M. MASON.
25th. A Convention was made between Commissioners of Virginia, chosen by the Convention, and A. H. Stephens, Commissioner for "Confederates," stipulating that Virginia until she became a member of the Confederacy should place her military force under the direction of the President of the "Confederate" States; also turn over to "Confederate" States all her public property, naval stores, and munitions of war. Signed by J. Tyler, W. B. Preston, S. McD. Moore, Jas. P. Holcombe, Jas. C. Bruce, Lewis E. Harvie for Virginia; and A. H. Stephens for "Confederate" States.
July. The Convention passed an ordinance to the effect, that any citizen of Virginia holding office under the Government of the United States after the 31st of July, 1861, should be forever banished from the State, and be declared an alien enemy. Also that any citizen of Virginia, hereafter undertaking to represent the State of Virginia in the Congress of the United States, should in addition to the above penalties be considered guilty of treason and his property be liable to confiscation. A provision was inserted exempting from the penalties of the act all officers of the United States outside of the United States, or of the Confederate States, until after July 1st, 1862.
October 29th. Southern Conference met at
June 25th. Secession vote announced as Russellville. H. C. Burnett elected Chair128,884 for, and 32,134 against. man, R. McKee Secretary, T. S. Bryan Assistant Secretary. Remained in secret session two days and then adjourned sine die. A series of resolutions reported by G. W. Johnson were adopted. They recite the unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the Legislature, proclaim revolution, provide for a Sovereignty Convention at Russellville, on the 18th of November, recommend the organization of county guards, to be placed in the service of and paid by the Confederate States Government; pledge resistance to all Federal and State taxes, for the prosecution of the war on the part of the United States; and appoint Robert McKee, John C. Breckinridge, Humphrey Marshall, Geo. W. Ewing, H. W. Bruce, Geo. B. Hodge, Wm. Preston, Geo. W. Johnson, Blanton Duncan, and P. B. Thompson to carry out the resolutions.
November 18th. Convention met and remained in session three days.
20th. It passed a Declaration of Independence and an Ordinance of Secession. A Provisional Government consisting of a Governor, Legislative Council of ten, a Treasurer, and an Auditor were agreed upon. Geo. W. Johnson was chosen Governor. Legislative Council were: Willis B. Machen, John W. Crockett, James P. Bates, Jas. S. Chrisman, Phil. B. Thompson, J. P. Burnside, H. W. Bruce, J. W. Moore, E. M. Bruce, Geo. B. Hodge.
December 12th, 1860. Indiana militia offer their services to quell servile insurrection. Gov. Magoffin declines accepting them.
January 17th, 1861. Legislature convened. 22d. The House by a vote of 87 to 6 resolved to resist the invasion of the South at all hazards.
27th. Legislature adopted the Virginia resolutions requiring the Federal Government to protect Slavery in the Territories and to guarantee the right of transit of slaves through the Free States.
February 2d. The Senate passed by a vote of 25 to 11, resolutions appealing to the Southern States to stop the revolution, protesting against Federal coercion and providing that the Legislature reassemble on the 24th of April to hear the responses from sister States, also in favor of making an application to call a National Convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States, also by a vote of 25 to 14 declared it inexpedient at this time to call a State Convention.
5th. The House by a vote of 54 to 40 passed the above resolutions.
April 24th. Gov. Magoffin called an extra session of the Legislature.
May 20th. Gov. Magoffin issued a neutrality proclamation.
March 22d. State Rights Convention assembled. Adopted resolutions denouncing any attempt on the part of the Government to collect revenue as coercion; and affirming that, in case of any such attempt, the border States should make common cause with the Southern Confederacy. They also recommended a border State Convention.
September 11th. The House of Representatives by a vote of 71 to 26, adopted a resolution directing the Governor to issue a proclamation ordering the Confederate troops to evacuate Kentucky soil. The Governor vetoed the resolution, which was afterwards passed over his veto, and accordingly he issued the required proclamation.
January 3d, 1861. Henry Winter Davis | arrangements with the General Government issued an address in favor of the Union.
3d. Numerous Union meetings in various parts of the State. Gov. Hicks issued an address to the people against secession.
11th. John C. Legrand in a letter to Hon. Reverdy Johnson replied to the Union speech of the latter.
14th. James Carroll, former Democratic candidate for Governor, announced his desire to go with the seceding States.
16th. Wm. A. Spencer, in letter to Walter S. Cox, Esq., declared against the right of Secession but for a Convention.
are practicable, for the maintenance of the peace and honor of the State and the security of its inhabitants. The report was adopted, and Otho Scott, Robt. M. McLane, and Wm. J. Ross were appointed such Commissioners.
16th. Marshal Kane, in a letter to Mayor Berrett, denied that any organization exists to prevent the inauguration of President Lincoln, and said that the President elect would need no armed escort in passing through or sojourning within the limits of Baltimore and Maryland.
Mr. Yellott in the Senate introduced a bill to appoint a Board of Public Safety. The powers given to the Board included the expenditure of the two millions of dollars proposed by Mr. Brune for the defence of the State, and the entire control of the military, including the removal and appointment of commissioned officers. It was ordered to a second reading by a vote of 14 to 8. The Board was to consist of Ezekiel F. Chambers, Enoch Louis Lowe, John V. L. MacMahon, Thomas G. Pratt, Walter Mitchell, and Thomas Winans. Gov. Hicks was made ex-officio a member of the Board. This measure was strongly pressed by the Disunionists for a long time, but they were finally compelled to give way, and the bill never passed.
24th. Coleman Yellott declared for Convention
30th. Messrs. John B. Brooke, President of the Senate, and E. G. Kilbourn, Speaker of the House of Delegates, asked the Governor to convene the Legislature in response to public meetings. Senator Kennedy published his opinion that Maryland must go with Virginia.
6th. The Commissioners reported the result of their interview with the President, and expressed the opinion that some modification of the course of the General Government towards Maryland ought to be expected.
February 18th. State Conference Convention held, and insisted upon a meeting of the 10th. The House of Delegates passed a Legislature. At a meeting in Howard Co., series of resolutions reported by the Comwhich Speaker E. G. Kilbourn addressed, amittee on Federal Relations by a vote of 43 resolution was adopted that "immediate to 12. The resolutions declare that Marysteps ought to be taken for the establishment land protests against the war, and does of a Southern Confederacy, by consultation earnestly beseech and implore the President and co-operation with such other Southern of the United States to make peace with the and Slave States as may be ready therefor."" Confederate" States; also, that "the State April 21st. Gov. Hicks wrote to Gen. of Maryland desires the peaceful and imButler, advising that he do not land his mediate recognition of the independence of troops at Annapolis. Butler replied that he the Confederate States." Those who voted intended to land there and march thence to in the negative are Messrs. Medders, LawWashington. Gov. Hicks protested against son, Keene, Routzahn, Naill, Wilson of Harthis and also against his having taken forci- ford, Bayless, McCoy, Fiery, Stake, McCleary, ble possession of the Annapolis and Elkridge and Gorsuch. railroad.
13th. Both Houses adopted a resolution providing for a committee of eight members, (four from each House) to visit the President of the United States and the President of the Southern Confederacy. The committee to visit President Davis were instructed to convey the assurance that Maryland sympathizes with the Confederate States, and that the people of Maryland are enlisted with their whole hearts on the side of reconciliation and peace.
June 11th. Messrs. McKaig, Yellott and Harding, Commissioners to visit President Davis, presented their report; accompanying which is a letter from Jefferson Davis, expressing his gratification to hear that the
24th. A special election of ten delegates to the Legislature took place at Baltimore. The total vote cast in all the wards was 9,249. The total vote cast at the Presidential election in November, 1860, was 30,148. 26th. Legislature reassembled at Frederick, Annapolis being occupied by Union troops.
29th. Gov. Hicks sent a message to the Legislature communicating to them the correspondence between himself and Gen. Butler and the Secretary of War relative to the landing of troops at Annapolis.
The House of Delegates voted against Secession, 53 to 13. Senate unanimously. May 2d. The Committee on Federal Re-State of Maryland was in sympathy with lations, in view of the seizure of the themselves, was enlisted on the side of peace railroads by the General Government and and reconciliation, and avowing his perfect the erection of fortifications," presented willingness for a cessation of hostilities, and a resolutions appointing Commissioners to the readiness to receive any proposition for peace President to ascertain whether any becoming from the United States Government.
20th. The House of Delegates, and sentatives requested, to retire from the halls June 22d, the Senate adopted resolutions of Congress. unqualifiedly protesting against the arrest of Ross Winans and sundry other citizens of Maryland, as an "oppressive and tyrannical assertion and exercise of military jurisdiction within the limits of Maryland, over the persons and property of her citizens, by the Government of the United States."
January15th,1861. Senate passed Convention Bill-yeas 31, nays 2. Passed House also. February 28th. Convention met; motion to go into secret session, defeated. A resolution requiring members to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Missouri, was lost 65 against 30.
16th. An amendment to the fifth resolution of the majority report of the Committee on Federal Relations, asserting that Missouri would never countenance nor aid a seceding State in making war upon the General Government, nor provide men and money for the purpose of aiding the General Government to coerce a seceding State, was voted down.
27th. The following resolution was passed by a vote in the House of 62 against 42:Resolved, That it is inexpedient for the General Assembly to take any steps for calling a National Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution, as recommended by the State Convention.
July 22d. The Convention reassembled. 23d. Resolution passed, by a vote of 65 to 21, declaring the office of President, held by General Sterling Price at the last session of the Convention, vacant. A committee of seven were appointed to report what action they deem it advisable to take in the dislocated condition of the State.
March 4th. Resolution passed, 64 yeas, 35 nays, appointing committee to notify Mr. Glenn, Commissioner of Georgia, that the Convention was ready to hear any communication from his State. Mr. Glenn was introduced, read Georgia's articles of secession, and made a speech urging Missouri to join her.
6th. Resolutions were offered by several members and referred, calling a Convention of the Southern States which have not seceded, to meet at Nashville, April 15th, providing for such amendments to the Constitution of the United States as shall secure to all the States equal rights in the Union, and declaring strongly against secession.
25th. The committee presented their re5th. Resolutions were read, ordering that port. It alludes at length to the present the protest of St. Louis against coercion be unparalleled condition of things, the reckreduced to writing, and a copy sent to the less course of the recent Government, and President of the United States; also, reso-flight of the Governor and other State lutions were adopted informing Commis- officers from the capital. It declares the sioner from Georgia that Missouri dissented offices of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, from the position taken by that State, and and Secretary of State vacant, and provides refused to share the honors of secession with that their vacancies shall be filled by the her. Convention, the officers so appointed to hold their positions till August, 1862, at which time it provides for a special election by the people. It repeals the ninth section of the sixth article of the Constitution, and provides that the Supreme Court of the State shall consist of seven members; and that four members, in addition to the three now comprising the Court, shall be appointed by 9th. The Committee on Federal Rela- the Governor chosen by this Convention to tions reported a series of resolutions, set- hold office till 1862, when the people shall ting forth that at present there is no ade- decide whether the change shall be permaquate cause to impel Missouri to leave nent. It abolishes the State Legislature, the Union, but that on the contrary she and ordains that in case, before the 1st of will labor for such an adjustment of ex- August, 1862, the Governor chosen by this isting troubles as will secure peace and the Convention shall consider that the public rights and equality of all the States; that exigencies demand, he shall order a special the people of Missouri regard the amend- election for members of the State Legislaments to the Constitution proposed by Mr. ture. It recommends the passage of an Crittenden, with their extension to territory ordinance repealing the following bills, hereafter to be acquired, a basis of adjust- passed by the Legislature in secret session, ment which would forever remove all diffi- in May last: The military fund bill, the bill culties; and that it is expedient for the to suspend the distribution of the school Legislature to call a Convention for propo- fund, and the bill for cultivating friendly sing amendments to the Constitution. relations with the Indian tribes. It repeals The Senate passed resolutions that their the bill authorizing the appointment of one Senators be instructed, and their Repre- major-general of the Missouri militia, and sentatives requested, to oppose the pas-revives the militia law of 1859. sage of all acts granting supplies of men and money to coerce the seceding States into submission or subjugation; and that, should such acts be passed by Congress, their Senators be instructed, and their Repre
A resolution was passed that a committee of seven be appointed by the President to prepare an address to the people of the State of Missouri.
November 26th. Jefferson Davis transmit