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A Philadelphia journalist having investigated the matter, wrote of it as follows:
were kept, but discovered the key to be miss- | $300,000 worth of them additional, in all ing. He made several attempts to find it, but $870,000. On the 18th of December he adfailed. Different statements were made by dressed a letter to the Secretary of the different subordinates, as to the whereabouts Interior, frankly imparting these facts, ånd of Mr. Godard Bailey, disbursing clerk, a requesting an investigation. This letter he native of South Carolina, to whom the bonds gave to a Senator to be delivered to the were specially intrusted, and who held the Secretary on his return from North Carolina, key of the safe. He was found, and asked which request was complied with. The infor the key, but could not produce it. The vestigation proved the truth of the stateSecretary, at once suspecting the worst, pro-ments. ceeded to the office of Mayor Berrett and solicited a special police force. With these he returned to the Department, and put a "Floyd, to aid Russell, Majors & Co., in comply. guard at every avenue leading to it. The ing with their huge contract for the transportation clerks were summoned, and orders given of army supplies from the Missouri River to Utah, not to allow any of them to pass out. The accepted their drafts, in some instances absolutely, safe was then broken open. The bonds were in others conditionally, for a sum exceeding $800,000. missing. The register of the bonds was found. Subsequently he allowed Russell, Majors & Co. to Monday, Bailey, it was ascertained, was miss-draw the whole amount due them under their coning. Mr. Black, Secretary of State, District Attorney Ould and others, having knowledge of the nature of the bonds, were called in by Secretary Thompson. The clerks were severally examined as to their knowledge of the disappearance of the instruments. After much close investigation, Monday and Tuesday, the facts were elicited. They proved
to be as follows:
About two months previous to the discovery of the loss, Mr. E. Russell, of the firm of Majors, Russell & Waddell, held about a million of dollars of the official acceptances of the Secretary of War. These acceptances had been given, conditionally, in advance, for transportation of supplies of the army, under contract with the Government. Mr. Russell, not finding himself able to negotiate the acceptances, was greatly embarrassed, pecuniarily; and, ascertaining from Godard Bailey, with whom he was intimately acquainted, that the latter had control over three millions of Indian Trust Funds, invested in bonds of different States, arranged with him for about half a million of dollars-these bonds to be hypothecated in New York. As security he gave Bailey the acceptances of Mr. Floyd, which Bailey placed in the safe where the bonds were kept. During December these bonds greatly depreciated, and the bankers in New York, who made advances on them, called for additional security. Bailey, in order to save the bonds, delivered over
tract, with the assurance on their part that all of his acceptances as Secretary of War should be retired. Drafts matured, and Russell, Majors & Co were un
able to meet them, and others were soon to mature,
which, unless money could be had, would be pro
tested also. Under these circumstances, Mr. Bailey, the clerk in charge of the Indian Trust Fund, who, it is said, married a niece of Secretary Floyd, was approached by an agent of Russell, Majors & Co.,
and told that unless the acceptances referred to were provided for immediately, the Secretary of War would be disgraced irredeemably. He was then asked to lend to Russell, Majors & Co., temporarily, State bonds of the Indian Trust Fund to the amount of eight hundred and seventy thousand dollars. Bailey, influenced by the conviction that this breach of trust was the only means of saving the honor of the Secretary of War, and satisfied, also, that Russell, Majors & Co. would be able to replace the bonds according to promise, delivered bonds amounting to
$870,000 to Maj. Russell, the principal of that firm, who hypothecated them to the Bank of the Republic, New York. This is said to be Bailey's version of his unfortunate breach of official trust, which it was impossible to conceal longer, inasmuch as the Indian Bureau had applied for the coupons, to collect the January interest on the bonds abstracted. Hence, the confession of Bailey to the Secretary of the Interior, on Saturday, of the whole affair."
This affair, whatever its causes, was unfortunate in its results, since it added much to public excitement, and turned popular sentiment very strongly against an administration which had failed so utterly to answer to the demands of the hour. Report magnified the
EVACUATION OF FORT
politic the order might appear; deploring the existing state of things in connection with the administration of important departments of the public service so as to have shaken confidence in the people of the Free States; that while Pennsylvania is on guard at the Federal capital it is her special duty to look to the fidelity of her sons, and in that view call on the President as a citizen of this Com
sum abstracted to millions, and linked Mr. | enemies of the Union; deprecating any interFloyd's name as a principal in the robbery-ference with the shipment of arms under Gothus intensifying the feeling of indignation vernment orders, however inopportune or imgrowing among all classes in the North against the Southern men in the Cabinet. Mr. Cobb had retired, leaving a bankrupt treasury; and now that Mr. Floyd and the Department of the Interior were responsible for a most gigantic breach of public trust, it gave rein to the most exaggerated stories of perfidy and recklessness in the Cabinet. But, the facts were as given above. The sum abstracted amounted to eight hundred and sev-monwealth; to see that the public receive no enty thousand dollars, which, being in bonds, were traced; and Messrs. Russell, Majors and Waddell, being possessed of a vast property, were enabled, eventually, to save the Government from serious loss.
leghany) Arsenal Excitement.
This great temporary deThe Pittsburgh (Al- falcation was followed by the Pittsburgh (Alleghany) Arsenal Excitement, which, for a few days, threatened serious consequences, and added materially to the alarm of the friends of the Union, An order was given to ship from the arsenal 78 guns to Newport, near Galveston, Texas, and 46 guns to Ship Island, near Balize, at the mouth of the Mississippi river. As the fortresses at both points named were still unfinished, the order of shipment, it was felt, was given thus early in order to place the valuable guns in the hands of the Secessionists. The news dispatch from Pittsburgh, dated Monday, December 24th, said that the Chairman of the House Committee on Military affairs had been telegraphed for information-that leading Democrats of the city telegraphed to the President to have the order of shipment immediately countermanded, since the people never would allow the guns to leave the arsenal-that a call, signed by citizens of all parties, was made public arranging for a meeting of citizens to take necessary action in the matter that a report gained currency of large amounts of shot, shell, muskets and accoutrements having already been sent South, &c. An immense meeting was held on Thursday in the street opposite the Court-house. The report of proceedings stated that several resolutions were adopted "declaring loyalty to the Union, and ability to defend ourselves against all
detriment at his hands. It behooves the President to purge his cabinet of every man known to give aid and comfort to, or in any way countenancing the revolt of any State against the authority of the Constitution and the Laws of the Union. A dispatch from the Hon. Robert McKnight, asking the people to make no further resistance, but to ask for a suspension of the shipment of the guns until
further advices were received from the War
Office, was read and approved.”*
This storm was thus mo
first movement toward "coercing" the rebel- | their first communication before the Presi
lious States. In the North it aroused a perfect acclamation of delight. "Huzza for Major Anderson !" became the street-greeting, for, without a full knowledge of the affair, men believed it to foreshadow a determination, on the part of the Administration, to resist any further encroachments upon its authority. [The incidents of the evacuation are given in Chapter XIX.]
The election of Delegates Alabama Election. to the State Convention, in Alabama, came off December 24th, resulting in the choice of a large majority of unconditional Secessionists. The entire majority for secession was over fifty thousand. In many localities Union and Conservative tickets were not voted upon at all. On the same day Governor Moore issued a proclamation, convening the Legislature of that State, January 14th, to provide for any emergency which might arise from the action of the Convention, which was to meet January 7th.
On the 24th the South Carolina members of Congress (House) sent in, to the Speaker, a letter stating that, by the act of secession, their State had withdrawn from the Union, thereby dissolving their connection with the House, and that they should, accordingly, vacate their seats. The letter was signed by Messrs. John McQueen, M. L.. Bonham, W. W. Boyce, and J. D. Ashmore. Mr. Keitt had previously withdrawn. The Speaker, however, directed that their names be retained on the roll and regularly called-thus failing to recognize the act of secession and the withdrawal, for that cause, of members.
sioners in Washington.
The South Carolina Com. Arrival of Commis. missioners, Messrs. Barnwell, Orr and Adams, arrived in Washington, Dec. 26th-their mission, as before stated, being to treat with the Federal Government for a peaceful adjustment of all relations between the Government and their "Sovereign" State. The evacuation of Moultrie, by Major Anderson, not a little complicated the difficulties of their position. On the evening of their arrival a number of leading Southern men were called into counsel, to arrange more fully their line of conduct. They did not, however, lay
dent until Dec. 29th. For the correspondence which followed, see a future Chapter. Secession gained ground
rapidly in Virginia, after Virginia's Defection the movement of South Carolina became well canvassed. Under its influence numerous meetings were called, and many individuals characterized as "Conservative" gave in to the programme for separate action. This was in Eastern Virginia. Western Virginia then, as later, was loyal to the Union, and took little part in affairs, except to protest against the course of the incendiaries, led by such wild and reckless spirits as Roger A. Pryor. John Minor Botts, one of the most eminent and able men that the State ever called citizen, thundered away with the Paixhan guns of his incontrovertible logic, against the "bloody heresy," the right of secession, and stood up grandly for the Union, the Constitution and the Laws. It was not reason, however, which controlled the hour; and Virginia, "Mother of Presidents," it became painfully apparent, was rapidly gliding into the arms of a paramour, who would rob her of her jewels and debase her ancient glory into the very dust.
Army and Navy Resignations.
The prospective movements in the South were canvassed excitedly in both army and navy, a large proportion of whose officers were Southern men. When attention was called to the subject it was found that the materiel of the two armies would suffer severely by the defection likely to follow, since a majority of the commissions above second lieutenancies were held by Southern men, notwithstanding the proportion of population and wealth in the North was as three to one. South Carolina alone, with her fiftytwo thousand voters, was represented in the navy and army as follows, at the date under consideration, December 24th-30th.
Capt. Wm. W. Anderson.. Surg. Gen. Dep....
Mid'n Benjamin F. Perry. Naval Academy......1857
These West Point Cadets from South Caro
lina: viz., H. S. Farley, James Hamilton and Bvt. Maj. L. B. Northrup. 1st Regt. Dragoons... 1839 George Reynolds, resigned at the call made 2d Lt. S. W. Ferguson.... 1st Regt. Dragoons...1857 by the Charleston Mercury [see pages 45–46]; Capt. R. H. Anderson... 2d Regt. Dragoons... 1842 and Lieutenant J. R. Hamilton, of the United 1st Lt. J. B. Villepigue...2d Regt. Dragoons...1854 States' Steam Sloop, Wyoming, had thrown Capt. Wm. D. Saussure... 1st Regt. Cavalry.,...1855 up his commission; but the list above given Capt. Nathan D. Evans...2d Regt. Cavalry....1848 was on the rolls at the date of South Caro1st Lt. Stephen D. Lee... 4th Regt. Artillery... 1854 lina's secession. After that act a rapid suc1st Lt. Geo. S. James....4th Regt. Artillery... 1856 cession of resignations occurred, embracing 2d Lt. J. H. Hollinquist... 4th Regt. Artillery...1858 officers of all grades, who almost immediately Capt. Chris. S. Lovell....2d Regt. Infantry. 1853 offered their services to South Carolina. The 1st Lt. L. W. O'Bannon... 3d Regt. Infantry....1843 two Departments at Washington accepted 1st Lt. Jas. L. Corley....6th Regt. Infantry...1850 these resignations without a protest! Every 1st Lt. Ed. D. Blake..... .8th Regt. Infantry...1847 2d Lt. E. S. Camp....... 9th Regt. Infantry. 1857 Capt. John Dunnovant... 10th Regt. Infantry...1855 Capt. Barnard E. Bee....10th Regt. Infantry... 1845
Com. Edw. Middleton....
Lt. John Rutledge..
Lt. C. Morris..
commission thrown up added to the record
Capt. Wm. B. Shubrick.. Chr. L. H. Board....1806
Mr. Toombs's Address.
"The whole subject was referred to a committee | sibility of obtaining concessions from the of thirteen in the Senate. I was appointed on the committee and accepted the trust. I submitted propositions which, so far from receiving a decided support from a single member of the Republican party of the committee, were all treated with deri
sion or contempt. A vote was then taken in the
committee on amendments to the Constitution, proposed by Hon. J. J. Crittenden, and each and all of them were voted against, unanimously, by the Black Republican members of the committee.
"In addition to these facts, a majority of the Black Republican members of the committee declared distinctly that they had no guarantees to offer, which was silently acquiesced in by the other
dominant party, were confirmed by the vote of Saturday (Dec. 22d.) on Mr. Crittenden's resolutions [see page 90.] A dispatch, by the Associated Press reporter,
dated Dec. 23d. stated: "The Senate's Select Committee having come to no conclusion yesterday on any of the points before them, the Republicans asking further time for consideration, the most hopeful now despond, seeing no immediate prospect of an accommodation of the political differences. Mr. Crittenden, in a conversation with a friend, said that was the darkest day of his life; that he was overwhelmed with solicitude for the of the people for the Union can restore peace. country, and that nothing but the affection The extremes on the Committee are equally unyielding to concession."
The same authority also added:-"The reported recent declaration of the President elect that he will strictly adhere to the Chicago
"The Committee of Thirty-Three on Friday adjourned for a week, without coming to any vote after solemnly pledging themselves to vote on all the propositions then before them, that day, It is controlled by the Black Republicans, your enemies, who only seek to amuse you with delusive hope un-platform, has confirmed the wavering Repubtil your election, that you may defeat the friends of
"If you are deceived by them, it shall not be my fault. I have put the test fairly and frankly. It is decisive against you now. I tell you, upon the faith of a true man, that all further looking to the North for security for your Constitutional rights in the Union, ought to be instantly abandoned.
"It is fraught with nothing but ruin to yourselves and to your posterity. Secession, by the 4th day of March next, should be thundered from the ballot box by the unanimous voice of Georgia, on the 2d day of January next. Such a voice will be your best guarantee for liberty, tranquillity and glory. R. TOOMBS."
This address anticipated the vote on Toombs' propositions. Although he stated that they were "treated with derision or contempt," no vote was taken upon them until Monday, Dec. 24th. His message, therefore, reflected more credit to his increased zeal for secession than for correctness of statement. The address was sent by telegraph Sunday, to influence the elections of Monday. answered its purpose most admirably, for even Mr. Stephens, the hitherto champion of the Conservatives, gave over his views and entered the field as a champion for separate and immediate action. The general assumptions of the address, in regard to the impos
licans to that policy, and increased the intensity of Southern feeling." This referred to a paragraph placed at the head of the editorial column of the New York Daily Tribune, Dec. 22d., which announced that Mr. Lincoln had no compromises to offer and was understood to adhere strictly to the principles of the Chicago platform on the question of the freedom of the territories. Mr. Wade, it would, therefore, appear, had spoken for the President elect as well as for himself, in his speech of Dec. 17th. [See pages 88-89.]
Dec. 27th. Gov. Magoffin called an extra session of the Kentucky Legislature, to meet January 17th "to consider the distracted state of the country."
The Democratic State Committee of Illinois, on Dec. 27th, issued a call for a State Convention to be held in Springfield on the 17th of January" to confer as to the existing national crisis, and to adopt some line of policy relative thereto.”
At a Convention of "National Democrats," called by circular to meet at Albany, December 27th, forms of petitions were adopted, requesting the Legislature to repeal the Personal Liberty law of 1840, and to restore the Nine-months Slaveholding law of 1817, to be circulated in each county.