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CHAP. XXXVII.] THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
requested that an end should be put to the unnatural conflict impending by a concession of all the demands of the Slave States; that the forces in Washington should be dismissed; and particularly that no more troops should be brought to the capital through Maryland. Religious men throughout the South had become blind to the atroc ity of slavery. They had forgotten what their great statesman Jefferson had written: "We must wait with tience the workings of an overruling Providence, and hope that that is preparing the deliverance of these our brethren. When the measure of their tears shall be fullwhen their groans shall have involved heaven itself in darkness, doubtless a God of Justice will awaken to their distress. Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Fate than that this people shall be free." "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice can not sleep forever; that, considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution in the wheel of Fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events-that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest."
Encouraged by the forbearance that had been shown, the Governor of Maryland again (April 22d)
Maryland desires entreated the President that no more troops foreign mediation. should be brought through the state, and that those at present in it should be sent elsewhere. He farther urged that a truce should be offered to the insur gents, and suggested that the English minister should be asked to mediate between the contending parties.
Reply of the Secre
To this the President directed the Secretary of State to reply that the forces brought through tary of State to him. Maryland were intended solely for the defense of the capital; that "the national highway had been selected, after consultation with prominent magistrates
THE TROOPS REACH ANNAPOLIS,
and citizens of Maryland, as the one which, while a route is absolutely necessary, is farthest removed from the populous cities of the state, and with the expectation that it would therefore be the least objectionable." With respect to the suggestion of foreign mediation, he added. that "no domestic contention whatever that might arise among the parties of this republic ought in any case to be referred to any foreign arbitrament, and least of all to the arbitrament of a European monarchy."
General Butler, on arriving at the Susquehanna (April The Massachusetts 20th) with his detachment of Massachusetts way to Washing- troops, found the bridges burned. Determined to make his way to Washington, he seized a steam-boat at the ferry of Havre de Grace, and
The Massachusetts troops resumed their march from Annapolis on the 24th, repairing the bridges and laying rails as they went. At Annapolis Junction they reached a train of cars from Washington, and, with the New York Seventh Regiment in advance, arrived in that city on the 25th. From the day of the attack on the Massachusetts troops in Baltimore, Washington had been cut off from the North. The Treasury building and the
The public build
tal occupied by the troops.
ins of the capi- Capitol had been barricaded, and howitzers put in their passages; subsequently the basement of the Capitol was turned into a bake-house, and the chambers of the Senate and Representatives converted into barracks. The only guard had been some Pennsylvania companies, a few regulars collected together by General Scott, and a body of volunteers under Cassius M. Clay.
Action of the Mary
When the Legislature of Maryland met, the governor, in his message, admitted that the land Legislature. troops through the state to the capital could not be prevented, and he earnestly counseled, as the only safety, the maintenance of a strict neutrality, so that, “if there must be war between the North and the South, we may force the contending parties to transfer the field of battle from our soil, and our lives and property.be se cure." Reluctantly consenting to these views, the Legis lature accordingly resolved not to secede from the Union. Secession, however, had now become impossible, for Butler had taken military possession of Baltimore. He entered it with a detachment of the same Massachusetts regiment which had been assaulted in its streets, and, encamping on Federal Hill, had the city completely under command. In vain the Legislature declared that the war against the Confederate States was unconstitutional and repugnant to civilization; in vain they protested that they sympathized with the South in
Baltimore seized by Butler.
AND RELIEVE WASHINGTON.
this struggle for its rights; in vain they resolved that Maryland implores the President, in the name of God, to cease this unholy war; that she consents to, and desires the recognition of, the independence of the Confederate States. She could do nothing against the overwhelming power of the North, and she was forced to succumb.
THE SECESSION OF VIRGINIA.
Virginia acceded to secession after exacting the foremost rank in the Confederacy, and protection for her slave interests.
She then seized the National Armory at Harper's Ferry, and the Navy Yard at Norfolk, with its vast war-supplies, turning them, with all her own military resources, over to the Confederacy.
Her chief city, Richmond, was made the capital of the new republic.
THE secession movement was not advancing so triumThe reluctance of phantly as its originators had hoped. At Virginia to secede. the fall of Fort Sumter only seven Slave States had joined the Confederacy; the others were vacillating. It was absolutely necessary for the insurrec tionists at Montgomery to induce or compel them to act.
Pre-eminent among these lingering states, through her 'traditions, through her geographical position, and through her political power, was Virginia. To a very large portion of her people the souvenirs of the Union were sources of honorable pride; the Constitution had been, to no inconsiderable degree, the work of her great men, who also, through so many of the earlier years of the republic, had administered the government.
Virginia had been very far from approving of the thoughtless haste of the South Carolinians
She is influenced by
her traditions and in passing their ordinance of secession. Her inhabitants, characterized by more mental maturity (vol. i., p. 102) than those of the Gulf States, looked to the consequences of their acts. The inevitable course which the new Confederacy must take was altogether in opposition to her interests. Whatever might