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time be crushed on short notice, might be pleasantly humored or wisely tolerated to any extent short of the actual com mencement of hostilities.

On the 9th day of January, 1861, the State of Mississipp seceded from the Union. Alabama and Florida followed on the 11th day of the same month; Georgia on the 20th; Louisiana on the 26th; and Texas on the 1st of February. Thus, in less than three months after the announcement of Lincoln's election, all the Cotton States, with the exception of Alabama, had seceded from the Union, and had, besides, secured every Federal fort within their limits, except the forts in Charleston harbor, and Fort Pickens, below Pensacola, which were retained by United States troops.

The United States Congress had, at the beginning of its session in December, 1860, appointed committees in both houses to consider the state of the Union. Neither committee was able to agree upon any mode of settlement of the pending issue between the North and the South. The Republican members in both committees rejected propositions acknowledging the right of property in slaves, or recommending the division of the territories between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding States by a geographical line. In the Senate, the propositions, commonly known as Mr. Crittenden's, were voted against by every Republican senator; and the House, on a vote of yeas and nays, refused to consider certain propositions, moved by Mr. Etheridge, which were even less favorable to the South than Mr. Crittenden's.

A resolution, giving a pledge to sustain the President in the use of force against seceding States, was adopted in the House of Representatives by a large majority; and, in the Senate, every Republican voted to substitute for Mr. Crittenden's propositions, resolutions offered by Mr. Clarke, of New Hamp shire, declaring that no new concessions, guaranties, or amendments to the Constitution were necessary; that the demands of the South were unreasonable, and that the remedy for the present dangers was simply to enforce the laws-in other words-coercion and war.

On the 19th day of January, the Legislature of the State of Virginia had passed resolutions having in view a peaceful settlement of the questions which threatened the Union, and

suggesting that a National Peace Conference should be held in Washington on the 4th of February. This suggestion met with a favorable response from the Border Slave States and from professed conservatives in the North. The Conference met on the day designated, and Ex-President Tyler, of Virginia, was called to preside over its deliberations. It remained in session several days, and adjourned without agreeing upon any satisfactory plan of adjustment.

Most of the delegates from the Border Slave States indicated a willingness to accept the few and feeble guaranties contained in the resolutions offered, a short time before, in the Senate by Mr. Crittenden. These guaranties, paltry and ineffectual as they were, would not be conceded by the representatives of the Northern States. The Peace Conference finally adopted what was called the Franklin Substitute in lieu of the propositions offered by Mr. Guthrie, of Kentucky-a settlement less favorable to the South than that proposed by Mr. Crittenden. It is useless to recount the details of these measures. Neither the Crittenden propositions, the Franklin Substitute, nor any plan that pretended to look for the guaranty of Southern rights, received a respectful notice from the Republican majority in Congress.

Shortly after its assemblage in January, the Virginia Legislature had called a Convention of the people to decide upon the course proper to be pursued by the State, with reference to her present relations to the Union and the future exigencies of her situation. The election was held on the 4th of February, and resulted in the choice of a majority of members opposed to unconditional secession. Subsequently, Tennessee and North Carolina decided against calling a Convention—the former by

large, the latter by a very small majority. These events greatly encouraged the enemies of the South, but without cause, as they really indicated nothing more than the purpose of the Border Slave States to await the results of the peace propositions, to which they had committed themselves.

In the mean time, the seceding States were erecting the structure of a government on the foundation of a new Confederation of States. A convention of delegates from the six seceding States assembled in Congress at Montgomery, Ala. bama, on the 4th of February, 1861, for the purpose of organ



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