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waged against the Gov- | adverted to, as having characterized the ConConfederate Want of
ernment for three months, federate policy. But, what a mockery was Consistency. savored of peace, truly! it when, by every possible act, the
new GovIt was the old highwayman's plea—if you ernment” had goaded the Federal Executive resist, your blood be on your own head. into a simple defense of its very existence !
But it was the only plea with which the Peace—a cessation of hostilities—while upon Confederates baptized their cause. Its disin- every hand the Southern hordes were gathgenuousness was a fair exemplar of the morale ering, to menace Washington ; were plotting of the cause.
to force Maryland into an attitude of rebellDavis, in his reply to the three Maryland ion; were intriguing in Tennessee. and KenCommissioners, (May 25th,) said :
tucky prior to their forced possession; were The Government of the Confederate States re- overrunning Western Virginia and exiling or ceives with respect the suggestion of the State of imprisoning its Union men ! Peace? It Maryland, that there should be a cessation of the would have allowed the conspirators just the hostilities now impending until the meeting of Con
time they required to repossess themselves gress in July next, in order that said body may, if
of every Border State, and then to have won possible, arrange for an adjustment of the existing
a foreign recognition by the very force of troubles by means of negotiations rather than the
being fifteen States strong. The very claim sword. “ But it is at a loss how to reply without a repe
was an insult to the intelligence of the loyal tition of the language it has used on every possible section of the country; and was put forth, occasion that has presented itself since the estab. by Davis, with the full consciousness that it lishment of its independence.
was so regarded. He characterized Mr. Lin“ In deference to the State of Maryland, however, coln as “an ignorant usurper"—he stated it again asserts, in the most emphatic terms, that that “ those with whom we have lately assoits sincere and earnest desire is for peace, and that ciated have shown themselves incapable of while the Government would readily entertain any appreciating the blessings of the glorious inproposition from the Government of the United stitutions they inherited:"—what object could States, tending to a peaceful solution of the present the conspirator have had in asking for peace difficulties, the recent attempts of this Government to enter into negotiations with that of the United from those whom he thus reviled, but to enStates were attended with results which forbid any compass their final ruin ? His impudeuce renewal of proposals from it to that Government.
was only less sublime than his insolence. If any further assurance of the desire of this History, looking scrutinizingly into their Government for peace were necessary, it would be words and acts, will not fail to award Jeffersufficient to observe that being formed of a confede- son Davis and his coadjutors the peculiar ration of sovereign States, each acting and deciding praise of having exceeded Machiavelli's Prince for itself, the right of every other sovereign State in the practice of the arts of hypocrites and to assume self-action and self-government is neces.
rogues. Talleyrand would have retired abashsarily acknowledged.
ed to his cloister before their superior excel“ Hence conquests of other States are wholly in lences in duplicity and ministerial subterfuge. consistent with the fundamental principles, and sub
A gentler estimate of their character we may versive of the very organization of this Government. Its policy cannot but be peace---peace with all na
not make with the innumerable witnesses tions and people."
hand to confirm the judgment we have utThis but repeats the assumptions already
The Dread of Strifo.
THE American public, But, it was the leniency
prior to the bombardment of a fearless man. While of Sumter, was extremely divided in senti-| the President shrank from ment as to the proper course to pursue to the ordeal, he was cautiously but expediwards the recusant States. The horror of tiously preparing for the worst. His detercivil war was so great that, even those who mination not to compromise the dignity and well loved the Union and the Constitution, the authority of the Government was clearly shrank from a resort to arms to enforce the and succinctly stated in his Inaugural Adauthority of the Government. So strong was dress. To that end he calmly awaited the this feeling throughout the North, for the issue of events, resolving to preserve peace first three months of the year 1861, that it but not to preserve it at the sacrifice of the had its influence upon those in power; and prestige and integrity of the Union. We it became a matter of question with observ- have stated (see page 56] that the President's ant men if Mr. Lincoln were not going to course in the conduct of the Fort Sumter accept the secession of the Southern States as affair was characterized by a profound sagaa calamity which he could not avert. city exceeding that of his advisers and of the
The desire to retain the Border States—the General-in-Chief of the army. The Southern wish to feel the pulse of the people—the re- leaders proposed to “conquer a peace;" yet, solve to throw the responsibility of civil war they did not, nor did the majority of their upon the rebels—the hope of uniting the sen- intelligent constituents desire a state of acttiment of all loyal men upon the line marked ual war (see pages 60-66] until it was found out if the ordeal of war was forced : all con- that the Federal Government would not yield tributed to influence the quiet course of the one atom to their dictation. Then it was Administration during the first weeks of its war-war to the bitter end—a war of aggrespower. Succeeding events seemed to favor sion—a war to overwhelm, with its mad if not imperatively demand the sternest resort spirit, every vestige of reason, religion and to force to suppress the conspiracy. It is evi- friendship—which drew into its vortex those dent that the President clearly comprehended more conservative States which had halted his position and the demands made upon him between two opinions. It was a war, not unby the great peril of the times ; but, his well- expected by the Federal Administration, and known character for forbearance made him one which the President could not avert it shrink from the appalling sacrifice of blood he proved true to the trust reposed in him. and treasure which war must entail. Even Of that trust the Executive had a calm, clear after the blow was struck which left no alter- comprehension; and, though shrinking with native but submission to the South or a de- loathing from the conflict, he still was resolved fense of the Government against revolution, to incur its horrors rather than witness the that repulsion was so strong as to induce a humiliation of his country before those bent course which strongly savored of timidity in upon its destruction. His entire course durits leniency.
ing the trying days of March and April was
land and France.
characterized by a wisdom and devotion to now a practical or at least an The Federal Policy ag
Announced to Eng. country which did not fail to give him the urgent one, you will add that
land and France. confidence and respect of all classes in the the blockade is now, and it will loyal States to an extraordinary degree. continue to be, so maintained, and therefore we exWhen the hour came for the tocsin to sound, pect it to be respected by Great Britain. You will
add that we have already revoked the exequatnr of a he found party affinities obliterated, preju- Russian consul who had enlisted in the military serdices forgotten, animosities buried; all true vice of the insurgents, and we shall dismiss or demand men seemed ready for, and confident in, his
the recall of every foreign agent, consular or diploleadership.
matic, who shall either disobey the Federal laws or The Federal Policy as
The course to be pursued disown the Federal authority.” Announced to Eng- had been enunciated in the
In the same note he also throws the full Inaugural Message. It was responsibility of war upon Great Britain if it repeated in the proclamation of April 15th, shall recognize the Southern Confederacy as and further indicated in all instructions issued a de facto Government. He said: by Mr. Seward to our foreign ministers. In “We are not insensible of the grave importance his communication (November 2d) to Mr. of this occasion. We see how, upon the result of Adams, dated April 10th, the Secretary of the debate in which we are engaged, a war may State entered into a somewhat elaborate ex- ensue between the United States and one, two, or position of the causes and nature of the revo- even more European nations. War in any case is lution. In his clearly enunciated instruc
as exceptional from the habits as it is revolting
But tions to the minister, he said, among other from the sentiments of the American people.
if it come it will be fully seen that it results from the things :
action of Great Britain, not our own; that Great “ You will make no admissions of weakness in our
Britain will have decided to fraternize with onr do. Constitution, or any apprehensions on the part of the Government. You will rather prove, as you
mestic enemy either without waiting to hear from easily can, by comparing the history of our country you our remonstrances and our warnings, or after with that of other states, that its Constitution and having heard them. War in defense of national life
is not immoral, and war in defense of independence Government are really the strongest and surest which have ever been erected for the safety of any
is an inevitable part of the discipline of nations." people. You will in no case listen to any sugges
This position was sustained in every com. tions of compromise by this Government, under for-munication to Mr. Adams, relating to the eign auspices, with its discontented citizens. If, as rights and powers of the United States. the President does not at all apprehend, you shall In the instructions to Mr. Dayton, Minisunhappily find her Majesty's Government tolerating ter to France, we have even more decided the application of the so-called seceding States, or expressions. He said : wavering about it, you will not leave them to sup
“ The President neither expects nor desires any pose for a moment that they can grant that appli- intervention, or even any favor, from the Goveru cation and remain the friends of the United States.
inent of France, or any other, in this emergency. You may even assure them promptly, in that case,
Whatever else he may consent to do, he will never that, if they determine to recognize, they may, at invoke nor even admit foreign interference or inftuthe same time, prepare to enter into alliance with
ence in this or any other controversy in which the the enemies of this Republic."
Government of the United States may be engaged In note, (No. 10,) May 21st, the Secretary with any portion of the American people. It has advises Mr. Adams of our rights to blockade been simply his aim to show that the present conin these terms :
troversy furnishes no one ground on which a great “As to the blockade, you will say that by our own and friendly power, like France, can justly lend aid laws and the laws of nature, and the laws of nations, or sympathy to the party engaged in insurrection, this Government has a clear right to suppress insur- and therefore he instructs you to insist on the prac. rection. An exclusion of commerce from national tice of neutrality by the Government of the Emperor, ports which have been seized by insurgents, in the as all our representatives are instructed to insist on equitable form of blockade, is a proper means to the neutrality of the several powers to wliich they that end. You will not insist that our blockade is are accredited. to be respected, if it be not maintained by a com- “ Foreign intervention would oblige us to treat petent force ; but passiug by that question as not those who should yield it as allies of the insurrec
The Federal Policy as
tionary party, and to carry on Government in almost every other country. These Announced to Eng. the war against them as ene- will stand hereafter, as they are now, objects of hu. Land and France.
mies. The case would not be man wonder and human affection. relieved, but, on the contrary, would only be aggra. “ You have seen, on the eve of your departure, • Fated, if several European states should combine in the elasticity of the National spirit, the vigor of the
that intervention. The President and the people of National Government, and the lavish devotion of the United States deem the Union, which would then the National treasures to this great cause. Tell Mr. be at stake, worth all the cost and all the sacrifice Thouvepel, then, with the highest consideration and 0! a contest with the world in arms, if such a con- good feeling, that the thought of a dissolution of test should prove inevitable."
this Union, peaceably or by force, has never entered The note (No. 7) of May 4th embodies the into the mind of any candid statesman here, and it views of the Administration, evolved and is high time that it be dismissed by statesnen in
Europe." matured by the extraordinary precipitancy and decision of those in revolt. We quote
If the President proposed, up to April 30th," the Secretary's words, as declaring the Presi- only the “ defense of the Capital,” his policy dent's line of procedure as well as his policy
was so far modified, after that date, that “detoward the revolutionists :
fense” implied the exercise of all the powers “ In the unofficial conversation, Mr. Faulkner
of the Government, offensive as well as defen
says that he himself expressed the opinion that force sive, to suppress the insurrection. By May would not be resorted to to coerce the so-called 1st it became apparent that insurrection had seceding States into submission to the Federal au- developed into a war of conquest—that Marythority, and that the only solution of the difficulty land, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri were would be found in such modifications of the consti- to be invaded to secure their advent into the tutional compact as would invite the seceding States Southern Confederacy. Then Mr. Seward back into the Union, or a peaceable acquiescence was constrained to write: "The time when in the assertion of their claim to a separate sover these questions (of peace and compromise) eignty.
had any pertinency or plausibility has passed • The time when these questions had any perti- away." There followed (May 3d) the second nency or plausibility has passed away. The
requisition for troops, (see page 141,) and a United States waited patiently while their authority Fas defied in turbulent assemblies, and in seditious campaign was developed upon a scale compreparations, willing to hope that mediation, offered mensurate with the full employment of the on all sides, would conciliate and induce the disaf- vast force. The “suppression of the insurfected parties to return to a better mind.
rection” was then understood to imply a full “ But the case is now altogether changed. The trial of force with the insurrectionists. insorgents have instituted revolution with open, fla- This state of war pre
Vital Questions. grant, deadly war to compel the United States to sented several vital ques8«quiesce in the disinemberment of the Union. The tions for action and decision. Among them United States have accepted this civil war as an in. evitable necessity. The con-titutional remedies for
1st. The President's power to call out all the complaints of the insurgents are still open to them, and will remain so. But, on the other hand, troops without the express intervention of the land and naval forces of the Union have been
Congress. put into activity to restore the Federal authority
20. The right to coerce and invade the and to save the Union froin danger.
States. * You cannot be too decided or too explicit in 3d. The right to suspend the Habeas Cormaking known to the French Government that there pus Act. in oot now, nor has there been, nor will there be any 4th. The right to arrest and incarcerato the least idea existing in this Government of suffer
“suspected” citizens. ing a dissolution of this Union to take place in any
5th. The right to suppress the liberty of way whatever. ** There will be here only one nation and one
6th. The right to confiscate or release Government, and there will be the same Republic,
Slaves. and the same constitutional Union that have already survived a dozen national changes, and changes of
* See page 111, foot-note.
Provisions and Non-
The framers of the Con. Jackson enunciated this
Jackson's Assumpstitution never contem- opinion of his right of con
plated a state of civil war; struction of the Constitutherefore, they did not legislate for it. They tion, even against the dictum of the Supreme assumed the supremacy of Federal authority Court or of Congress : in all National relations, defining the powers Congress, the Executive and the Court must, of the General Government and of the States, each for itself, be guided by its own opinion of the
Constitution. Each public officer who takes an and stipulating for the exercise, without conflict of jurisdiction and authority, of the oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will functions of each. The whole tone, tenor and support it as he understands it, and not as it is under
stood by others. It is as much the duty of the House letter of the Constitution express the one
of Representatives, of the Senate and of the Presi. central principle of consolidation ; and, by no dent, to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill word or implication is the State regarded as
or resolution which may be presented to them for independent of, or superior to, the Federal passage or approval, as it is of the Supreme Judges Government. Provision was not made for when it may be brought before them for judicial conditions and contingencies not considered decision.” as likely to arise; hence, in more than one Reverdy Johnson, commenting on this doccase, during the progress of the country, has trine, said its correctness had never been the Executive, or the Supreme Court, been questioned—that, to hold otherwise, would called to meet issues created by circumstances be to attach superiority of one over the other which the Constitution did not explicitly co-ordinate authorities in the Government
The accession of the Louisiana Ter- that the President, if he abandoned the right ritory was regarded by Jefferson as actually of personal judgment and suffered himself to unconstitutional; but, the interests of the be governed by the judgment of any co-orcountry so clearly demanded the purchase dinate authority, would be false to his duty that it was made during his administration. and would do anything but fulfill his “conWashington, in calling out troops to suppress stitutional obligation” to “take care that the the Whisky insurrection, exceeded his au- laws be faithfully executed." thority and relied upon Congress to justify Witliout entering upon the argument of his acts. Numerous instances could be cited the constitutional powers of the Executive, wherein the Executive, and even Congress, we are called upon, in an exposition of the pursued a course of action either extra-judi- policy of the Federal Executive, to advert to cial or in contravention of recognized opin- his grounds of justification for acts deemed ions and precedents. A forcible illustration unconstitutional, or extra-constitutional, and was had in President Jackson's celebrated therefore arbitrary. declaration : "Then I will assume the respon- John Merryman, a leading secessionist of sibility”—when his constitutional advisers Baltimore, was arrested, together with a numall questioned the propriety of his proposed ber of others, including, eventually, the Chief procedure against the malcontents in South of Police and the Police Commissioners. Carolina. The strong-nerved man, it is now These persons were confined in Fort McHenry, stated, had resolved upon the arrest of under the military surveillance of General Jolin C. Calhoun for high treason, and would | Cadwalader. The process of relief by a writ have hung him, (as conviction must have followed the arrest,) had not Webster, Clay and the treasonable acts which he seriously contenu others personally begged a suppression of the plated. Jackson's anger that his own coadjutor process to await further legislation and devel- should have proven false to the Union doubtless bad
much to do in impelling him to extreme measures opment of the Nullification rebellion.*
against Calhoun. Those scrupulous politicians who * Calhoun was elected Vice-President of the United beheld a great wrong in the nomination and election States on the Jackson ticket, but resigned in order of two Northern men to the offices of President and to take his place in the Senate as a foor member- | Vice-President, in 1860, forgot to recur to the cases thus to labor for disunion the more effectually. As of Jackson and Calhoun, in 1832, when two Southern Vice-President he would not have dared to commit | men of extreme Southern views were chosen