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Governor Hicks' Po


Governor Hicks, of Maryland, took strong Union grounds, in a letter dated November 27th, in answer to a memorial from influential citizens for the Governor to convene the Legislature. He said :

"Identified, as I am, by birth, and every other tie, with the South, a slaveholder, and feeling as warmly for my native State as any man can do, I am yet compelled by my sense of fair dealing, and my respect for the Constitution of our country, to declare that I see nothing in the bare election of Mr. Lincoln which would justify the South in taking any steps tending toward a separation of these States. Mr. Lincoln being elected, I am willing to await further results. If he will administer the Government in a proper and patriotic manner, we are all bound to submit to his Administration, much as we may have opposed his election.

"The objects of this Association shall be to encourage Southern independence of interest and feeling, and to promote concert of action among the Southern States. And should any State or States, in the exercise of their sovereign right, withdraw from the Union, and the Federal Government attempt coercion, to extend to such State or States our cordial support and sympathy; to use all honorable means to bring about, under the sanction of a State Con-him in well doing, because my suffering country will vention, the withdrawal of the State of Louisiana from the present Union, and the assertion of her independence and sovereignty; and, finally, to promote in every way the establishment of a Confederate Government of the Southern States, or such of them as will unite for that purpose."

North Carolina Legislature.

The Legislature of North Carolina did not act, during November, definitely on the questions of relations with the Federal Government. Resolutions were introduced on the 22d, by Mr. Ferrebee, strongly Union in their nature, denying the right of secession, &c., &c.

Various substitutes were offered, but all were tabled, and no action taken. On the 24th, Mr. Slade introduced a resolution which was referred to the Committee on Federal Relations, as follows:

"That without intending any menace or threat, it

is the opinion of this General Assembly; that in case

any State shall, through the voice of her people, withdraw from the Union, the General Government ought not to attempt coercion, and that the people of this State ought not only to refuse to take part in any such attempt, but to resist the same by all means in their power."

This was the only indication, thus far, of the feeling in the Legislature, while it was remarked that the people of the State were largely in favor of the Union, and of righting their wrongs on the floors of Congress.

"As an individual, I will very cheerfully sustain

be benefited by a constitutional administration of the Government. If, on the contrary, he shall abuse the trust confided to him, I shall be found as ready and determined as any other man to arrest him in his wrong courses, and to seek redress of our griev. ances by any and all proper means."

Tennessee's Condition.

Tennessee assumed no part in the secession movement. Her people, during November, were represented as calm and conservative"-that they had expected the election of Mr. Lincoln, and were prepared to do their duty under the Constitution. ExGovernor Andrew Johnson, her United States Senator, and Emerson Etheridge, one of her Representatives, were unqualified in their Union principles, and served much to steady public sentiment. It was understood, however, that her Governor, Isham Harris, sympathised with the Secessionists, and fears were entertained by the Unionists that he might commit the State at any moment to "cooperation."

Florida indicated her position as beside South Carolina, in the dispatch sent by her Governor, Perry, to Governor Gist: "Florida is with the gallant Palmetto flag," and by the calling of her Convention to meet Jan. 3d.

The immediate secession movement, so far as the proceeding of November indicated, seemed to be confined to the Gulf States and South Carolina. The Border Slave States,


sympathising strongly with their fellow Slave
States, still preferred some arrangement by
which the Union should be preserved, and
directed their influence to that end. Ad-
joining the Free States on the North, they
must become chief sufferers in event of hos-
tilities; hence, whatever might have been the
secret desires of their people, policy dictated
the wise course of laboring for adjustment
of difference in the Union, not out of it.


Well would it have been for Virginia, "Mother of Presidents," if she had never known the baleful influence of such men as Henry A. Wise, Jas. M. Mason, Roger A. Pryor, and John Tyler! Well was it for Kentucky, that she had such men as John J. Crittenden, Rev. Dr. Breckenridge, and Joseph Holt! Alas for Tennessee that the counsels of Andrew Johnson, Emerson Etheridge, and Judge Nelson, should not have prevailed!



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The Monetary Crisis.

ern man could buy all he wanted—it would not have been "courteous" to question his ability to pay. This certainly was the feeling in the trade, and, as must inevitably have been the result, when the crisis came, it was found that the South was an immense debtor to the North for goods bought on long credits. Many a house which, in the summer of 1860, was considered good for a million, in November found its name in the list of "discredited firms." This generous confidence had been its ruin.

Ir became evident, early | thought proper to report "safe." The Southin the fall of 1860, that a monetary crisis was impending. As a consequence, business was restricted, and capital began to withdraw from investment. Manufacturers and importers became eager to close off stocks on hand, and crowded the market with goods beyond its want. The Southern market for goods suddenly ceased, early in November, except in firearms and military wares, and the feeling of insecurity in regard to debts due from the South by November 15th, changed to a feeling of alarm, since remittances almost totally ceased. Exchange on New York and Philadelphia became so high, and Southern banknotes grew so discredited, that, even those creditors of the Northern factors and mer

Notwithstanding this general dry goods disaster,

Good Condition of the

the condition of the banks
was most satisfactory. The crises of 1837
and '57 found them with small assets and
large circulations: the crisis of 1860 found
them with heavy assets and narrowed circu-
lations. The following table will exhibit the
comparative statements of the several "panic"


chants who were honorable enough to meet
their engagements, could only do so at ruin-
ous discounts. The result was disastrous in
the extreme to the lenient tradesmen and
manufacturers of the North, who, in their
anxiety to "do a Southern business," would
credit large amounts on long time. The January, 1837.
Western buyer was considered "favored"
with a four months' credit; the Southern
buyer was "accommodated" with eighteen
months' bills. The Western man could not
buy more than the sharp Mercantile Agency

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Capital.....$290,000,000 $368,000,000 $469,600,000



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Circulation. 151,900,000
Deposits.... 144,300,000
Loans...... 553,000,000
Real Estate..
No. of banks

The New York Banks

the stringency prevailing, particularly among merchants, resolved upon a liberal line of discounts, by a consolidated fund arrangement through the Clearing House. Ten mil

As will be seen by our Summary of Events | forward much trouble was experienced in (page 3), bank suspensions throughout the getting rid of the vast stores of grain and country became very general about the mid- cotton awaiting shipment in New York, Bos dle of November; and, in all circles, the want ton, Philadelphia and Baltimore. of money was seriously felt. There was On the 21st of Novemmoney enough in the country;-never, since ber the New York banks, the Government was organized were the peo-in order further to relieve ple so generally in "easy circumstances;" but, the distrust which prevailed, the political ruin which stared the nation in the face, the distressed condition of the United States Treasury and the want of confidence in the Trea-lion dollars were thus set loose-with a prosurer's management, the action of Southern mise of more if necessary-to the great relief State Legislatures in authorizing not only of the community, and many a first-class suspension of specie payment by the banks, house was spared the mortification of “a failbut a suspension of payment of debts due to ure." Notwithstanding this relief, "second the North-all contributed to that contrac-class" paper was only negotiated at fearful tion of capital which is the inevitable result rates-as high as 18 per cent. being a common of a "panic."

But, the tide of exchange and trade was so immensely in our favor that, by the latter part of November, coin commenced flowing in such amounts as to astonish even the most

An Overstocked Market.

sanguine of money prophets. On the 22d of November one of the leading authorities in New York commercial reports declared that the superabundant wealth actually clogged the The avenues of business. reason was, that exports so immensely exceeded imports that foreign exchange could not be used in the purchases, and pending the arrival of specie from Europe, to replace the unsought bills of exchange, much embarrassment ensued. The exports of cotton and grain were particularly heavy. The South, preparing for a stagnation in business, or compelled by its wants, hastened forward its product, while the propitious year for grain-growth swelled the great granaries of the West to such fullness that operators had to push forward wheat, flour, and corn for a market in order to buy again at the West.


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The United States

The condition of the Government Treasury was calculated to excite alarm. Howell Cobb, of Georgia, entered upon his duties, as Secretary of the Treasury, in March, 1857, to find a chest absolutely plethoric with deposits. To prevent further accumulation, it was found necessary to buy in the Treasury notes next due. Two years of his management, with no unusual drafts upon the Treasury, found the National Exchequer none too On Monday, November 19th, the pressure well filled. In the Fall of 1860, he was on the market of unsalable foreign exchanges compelled to go into the New York market became so great, and the wants of commission as a solicitor for a loan to provide for the men became so importunate, that the New wants of Government and the interest on its York bank presidents met, and, after much indebtedness. That loan was obtained at discussion, resolved to purchase $2,500,000 of ruinous rates, and Government paper which, foreign exchange, upon which the gold would a few months previously, would have combe realized in thirty days. This afforded a manded a premium, went at 85 and 87 cents orief relief only, and until gold could come on the dollar. But even these bids for the


loan were not paid in, and the financier was compelled to see his department brought to embarrassment. Matters were not changed until, by Mr. Cobb's resignation, (December 10th,) John A. Dix, of New York, was called to the Secretaryship. His integrity and business ability won the confidence of Wall street, and, ere ten days of administration, the threatened bankruptcy was not only averted, but the Treasury began to show signs of accumulation quite gratifying in view of the contingencies likely to arise.



waited in vain. Though Gen. Scott plead to be permitted to throw a strong defensive force in Fort Moultrie, as in 1832-though he labored earnestly to dissuade Mr. Buchanan from the dangerous apathy which governed his actions-it was in vain: the President not only would authorize no steps looking to the complete protection of Government property, but committed the more heinous mistake of assuring the determined Southern leaders that no reinforcements should be made.

With such want of decision in the Administration, it followed that the people were greatly divided in sentiment. One party, looking at the question of difference between the North and the South, assumed the unequivocal position that the South should be rendered The Sectional Equalipolitically equal in the Confederacy, no matter what her minority might be in population and wealth. The New York Herald, as organ of this class of thinkers, said, in its issue of November 28th:

ty Party.

The state of feeling at The Feeling at the the North, during the month, was extremely unsettled. The selection of Mr. Lincoln's cabi- | net would, in a great degree, determine the line of conduct to be adopted by the administration; therefore men of all parties canvassed the subject freely and with some feeling. The attitude of the Southern States inspired apprehensions of disaster, which it was very difficult to dissipate by any course consistent with the integrity of the Union. Mr. Buchanan's policy, it was feared, would lack "The first thing demanded is the absolute suspenin firmness and integrity to the Constitution, sion of Mr. Seward's 'irrepressible conflict,' and the since, unlike his predecessor, Andrew Jack-recognition by the North of the rights of our Southson, he had expressed no determination to enforce nis abrogated authority. On the 15th of November it was announced that Fortress Munroe, in Virginia, was garrisoned by but eight companies of artillery-the valuable arsenal at Fayetteville, North Carolina, by one company-Fort Moultrie, in Charleston harbor, by two companies (eighty men)—Key West fortifications by one company-Barrancas barracks, Pensacola, by one companythe richly stored arsenal at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by one company; while the New Orleans Mint, the valuable Custom Houses in New Orleans, Charleston, Mobile, Savannah, &c., &c., were totally without guard. Norfolk Navy Yard and the Pensacola Navy Yard, both having millions of property in their keeping, were only garrisoned by 120 marines. As soon as the movements for secession became well developed, the South demanded of the President that no reinforcements of Southern fortresses, &c., should be made. The North anxiously awaited the President's action in the matter. It

ern slaveholders to their slave property, wherever it may be found within the limits of the Union. That point conceded by each of the Northern States, even Massachusetts will be ready for the next proposition, which is that the Southern States, in behalf of their institution of Slavery, are entitled to such additional checks and balances in the General Government as may be necessary to render them hereafter secure

Mr. Buchanan's Iraction.

against Northern Anti-Slavery parties and Popular Majorities. This proposition will, of course, comprehend a reconstruction of the organic law of the Union, and a new Constitutional Convention of all the States to do this important work. It is probable, too, that this very proposition may emanate from this approaching Congressional Conference, and it may be suggested in the President's Annual Message,"

This, it was understood, represented the views of the Breckenridge wing of the Domocracy, although it was certain that many of the Pro-Slavery men of the party did not favor so undemocratic a measure as a “protection against popular majorities."

Another class, representing the Douglas wing of the Democratic party, favored liberal concessions to the South in the shape of a

right in the territories; of a repeal of the Per- | martial terms, such as 'defeat' and 'victory' obtain sonal Liberty bills in the Northern States; in our system of elections. The parties engaged in of a strict execution of the Fugitive Slave law, &c., &c. This class of men were devoted to the Union, and most of them favored a firm defence of the Government property, and the

enforcement of the laws.

Position of the Republican Party.

The Republicans were, also, strong in their Union sentiments, and apparently favored the idea of such compromises as were consistent with their ineradicable opposition to the extension of Slavery. They could but deplore the want of firmness in the President, and looked hopefully forward to Congress, which would come together December 3rd. Senator Seward—who, it was well understood, would be Secretary of State under the new administration-in a speech made to the "Wide-Awakes" of Auburn, on the evening of November 20th, advised conciliation in these terms:—

“What is our present duty? It is simply that of magnanimity. We have learned, heretofore, the

an election are not, never can be, never must be, enemies, or even adversaries. We are all fellowcitizens, Americans, brethren. It is a trial of issues by the force only of reason; and the contest is car

ried to its conclusion with the use only of suffrage. An appeal lies from the people this year, to the people themselves next year-to be argued and determined in the same way, and so on forever. This is, indeed, a long way to the attainment of rights and the establishment of interests. It is our way, however, now, as it has been heretofore. Let it be our way hereafter. If there be among us, or in the country, those who think that marshaling of armies or pulling down the pillars of the Republic is a better, because a shorter way, let us not doubt that if we commend our way by our patience, our gentle. ness, our affection towards them, they too will, before they shall have gone too far, find out that our way, the old way, their old way as well as our old

way, is not only the shortest but the best."

This reflected the feelings of the great majority of Republicans. There was no committal, on the part of the leaders of the party, to any definitive line of conduct in the crisis

practice of patience under political defeat. It now remains to show the greater virtue of moderation in-they appeared willing to await the issue of triumph. That we may do this, let us remember events, leaving all responsibility with the that it is only as figures of speech that the use of President and Congress.



countries. The republics of Rome and Greece--still the light and glory of ancient times-were built on domestic slavery. But it is an experiment to maintain Free Government with universal suffrage, and the whole population to control the Government.

The forts and fortresses in our bay

THE action of the South Carolina Legisla- that Free Governments should exist in slaveholding ture in ordering a Convention, and in providing for the "military defence" of the State, gave almost unanimous satisfaction to the people of the State. If a Union sentiment was existent it did not appear. Although the Convention was not to assemble until December 17th, the feeling prevailed, early in November, that the State was virtually out of the Union. November 12th, Barnwell Rhett, one of the leading men of the State, said, in a public address:

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should never again be surrendered to any power on
earth. We have seen the cannon, placed in them for
our defence, turned against us for our subjugation.
When our flag again floats over them, let it remain
there, until our existence is blotted out as a free
What shall prevent the people
of the South from being a great and free people!
Taught by the bitter experience we have had, we
can frame a Constitution the best for securing jus

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