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was certain one hundred men had been hung in his section of the State, and in Georgia adjoining, during six weeks prior to his es cape in December. The story of that hundred men never will be chronicled. This single incident will illustrate one phase of the rebellion which has received only slight attention, but which, nevertheless, has an important relation to it; for the "committees" that committed these atrocities ere long be came the inquisition, whose fearful power all Union men were made to feel. As a consequence, Unionists were soon awed not only into silence, but into co-operation as a matter of personal safety.
In fact, these half secret organizations were one of the most powerful instruments of forcing action and subduing opposition; and, when the whole truth becomes recorded, we think it will be found that the "Minute Men" and "Vigilance Associations" were the left arm of the entire movement-doing what the right arm (the leaders) were unable to effect. Violence toward suspected persons was one of their prescribed functions. To control elections-to pack conventions- to order and direct public meetings-to dictate resolutions and project schemes of action, eventually became their primary objects. "Precipitation" owed everything to them. Secession found in them its most certain coadjutor.
We have personal knowledge of a well-to-do small planter in the vicinity of Eufaula, Alabama, who, after actually having had to assist in the hanging of six men-five mechanics and one preacher, all of Northern birth-was compelled to flee from the vengeance of the very committee on which he served, and escaped to the North, leaving all his possessions behind him. He was a Connecticut man, but had resided in the South for some years; and, having acquired real estate, became the owner of several slaves. When the excitement ran high, during October, he was "spotted," and joined the Minute Men to avert suspicion and escape outrage. But, the Post-office being carefully watched, and all correspondence to any "suspected" person being read by the Postmaster or a Committee appointed for the service, he was "holed." A letter from a female relative in Connecticut, reminding him of his promise to free his negroes, abjure the curse of slavery and come home, at once, in the Committee's eyes, convicted him, and only by the aid of a faithful negro woman did he escape. She flew from a neighboring plantation, through the woods, at night, to tell him that arrangements were making before his friend's residence for his execution, and that the Minute Men would be upon him at midnight. To be assured of the entire truth of the story, he returned with the woman to find the rope pendant from a sycamore bough before his friend's porch. On the porch he recognized several of his old confederates, taking refreshments prior to their night's work. Watching his opportunity, he had the nerve to steal up to the tree and to cut the noose from the rope, then passing to the road fence where the horses of the "Com-upon and growing out of the "Order of the mittee" were secured, he appropriated the finest one and struck out for the Georgia line. At Macon he sold the horse for money enough to bear him to Connecticut, and, | passing through New York, committed his story to us, exhibiting the noose as the only trophy of his Southern services.
Having had previous relations with him, we knew of his perfect integrity, and, assured of the "representative" nature of his experience, have repeated it. He stated that he
But another organization had an existence in the Southern States, which had an important influence upon public sentiments, particularly in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. We refer to the secret society, the "Knights of the Golden Circle." This order came into existence in 1858, following
The K. G. C.'s.
Lone Star"--a recent society having for its object the seizure and annexation of Cuba and Nicaragua-thus to spread the area of Slave Territory, and to perpetuate Southern predominance in the National Congress. The descent of Lopez on Cuba was the first step of the settled programme. That having failed, the descent of Walker in Nicaragua was the next step. Its failure, and the death of General Quitman, the recognized leader of the filibusters-though Mr. Soule, Mr. Pierce's
minister to Spain, was understood to be the acting president of the Order-brought the organization into a weak condition. Out of it sprung the "Knights of the Golden Circle," whose leader was a ci-devant minister, professor, editor, politician, named Geo. W. L. Bickley-a "smart" but unprincipled person, well fitted by temperament and ambition for the direction of perfidious projects.
The Secrets of the
through George Bickley, to the other degrees.
"13th. The successor to George Bickley must be over thirty years of age, of Southern birth, liberally
educated, Knight of the Columbian Star, sound of
body and mind, and married, and Protestant. He shall swear to carry out this policy, and to extend Slavery over the whole of Central America, if in his power. He shall try to acquire Cuba and control the Gulf of Mexico. No one else will I sustain. But for such a one, who must be proposed by the Cabinet ministers and elected by all Knights of the Star, or a majority of them, I will sustain here, there, or elsewhere. When the Knights cross the Rio Grande I will do all I can to send in recruits for the army, and if I should ever cease to be an active worker for
The design of conquering Mexico, and there to create a powerful Slave empire which should eventually absorb Nicaragua, was the ostensible features of the organization; but, beneath that were other designs as rank with treason and wickedness as the brain of its audacious and unprincipled leader could conceive. A revelation made by a member of the Order, through the columns of the Louisville Journal, placed the public in possession of as much of the secrets of the organization as members of the lower degree were allowed to know. The substance of that statement, the truth of which is now verified by the acts of the order in Kentucky was as follows: Every applicant for admission is first sworn to secrecy, under the penalty of death, and then the design of the Order is revealed. If he assents to its propriety, and is an American born and a slaveowner, or can produce proof that he is imbued with Southern sentiments, and is a Protestant, he is admitted as a soldier of the Order, and informed of its signs, passwords and organization. On the recommendation of the chiefs of the Order he is admitted to the second degree; informed that the stores and ammunition for the army are collected at Monterey, and acquainted with the names of the officers to whom he is to look for pay. He is also supposed to be on active service, and the President has, we perceive, sun- This apparently novel moned all Kentuckian members to attend a scheme, to the Southern rendezvous, where they will be drilled and mind, was considered feasiorganized by regular instructors, and whence ble and sure of consummation. they are, for the present, to control the Ken-numbers of men in all the Slave States are tucky elections in favor of Southern men. If without possessions of any kind. Arrogant influential enough, he is next admitted to the in temper, disinclined to manual labor, selfish third degree, the council of the Order, which, from association with their "peculiar instituunder the presidency of Mr. George Bickley, tions," they are unfitted for the position of the future monarch, regulates the affairs of poor men. Their one leading, never-forgotten the Order without communication, except desire, is to become the proprietors of estates,
character of the organization, and I promise never to confer this degree in any other way than in the way I have here received it, and I will forward to George Bickley, or to the Governor-General of this State, the name and fees of every candidate whom I shall initiate as Governor. In witness, I do voluntarily, here and in these presence, sign my name and
the Star, I will keep secret what I know of the real
Turbulent elements of
the owners of slaves. Any scheme which did not promise these would not for a day survive in the Slave States. Hence, all filibuster leaders gave the promise to their men of land and slaves. Like the horde of adventurers who followed the fortunes of Pizarro and Cortez-the unpropertied whites of the Slave States were eager for any enterprise which gave promise of dominion over soil and men. This organization grew into large proportions in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Louisiana, during the years 1859-1860. When it became evident that a great political crisis was at hand, its leaders made the conquest of Mexico the ultimate object of the order and the dissolution of the Union its immediate object. Its lodges became headquarters for conspirators against the Constitution, while their last manifestation was to enter the field as an organized military body, thoroughly equipped and already disciplined for the field. Kentucky, in particular, was made to feel the weight of their influence, though they had, eventually, to retire before the loyal spirit of the large mass of property holders and intelligent residents of the State.
Along with the "Minute Men," and "Vigilance Associations," the "Knights" must retire to obscurity when the constituted authorities are able to punish all offenders; but, until such time, the lawless and irresponsible horde, who are ever ready for excitement, must, to a greater or less extent, afflict Southern society with their dreadful visitations.
The Churches of the South were not, as a general thing, behind the most revolutionary in sentiment. The long-standing discordance between themselves and their brother Churches of the North, of a like denomination, had made them ripe for revolt. Old School Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and Episcopalians entered, at an early moment, into the secession movement, by official action, and contributed greatly to spread the sentiment for disunion and separate State
In November the Alabama
The Baptists. State Convention of Baptists unanimously passed a declaration, setting forth that the Union had "failed, in important particulars, to answer the purposes for which it was created."
The declaration closed with the following announcement:
"While, as yet, no particular mode of relief is before us on which to express an opinion, we are constrained, before separating to our several homes, to declare to our brethren and fellow-citizens, before mankind and before our God, that we hold ourselves subject to the call of proper authority in defense
of the sovereignty and independence of the State of Alabama, and of her right, as a sovereignty, to withdraw from this Union, and to make any arrangement which her people, in constitutional assemblies, may deem best, for securing their rights. And in this declaration we heartily, deliberately, unanimously, and solemnly UNITE."
The Presbyterian Synod (Old School) of South Carolina, led the opinion of that State. Resolutions were introduced (Nov. 29th) looking to repudiation of the General (Church) Assembly, and the formation of a Southern Assembly. The preamble set forth that the election of Abraham Lincoln had evidenced a spirit of hostility to “our social institutions; and we have reason to believe this sentiment is openly or covertly entertained, in a greater or less degree, by all Ecclesiastical bodies at the North; and Whereas, the act of 1813 (which makes it the duty of all members of the Presbyterian Church to use all efforts for the Abolition of Slavery) still remains upon the statute book of the Old School Presbyterian General Assembly, and they have refused to repeal it," they, therefore, demand a separation, and the organization of a Southern Assembly. These resolutions were disposed of by a reference to a committee of nine, which reported, Dec. 3d. The final clause of the Report, as adopted unanimously, read :
The Old School Pre-byterians.
"The Synod has no hesitation, there fore, in expressing the belief that the people of South Carolina are now solemnly called on to imitate their Revolutionary forefathers, and stand up for their rights. We have an humble and abiding confidence,
that that God, whose truth we represent in this con. flict, will be with us, and exhorting our Churches
and people to put their trust in God, and go forward in the solemn path of duty which his Providence opens before them, we, Ministers and Elders of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina Synod assembled, would give them our benediction, and the assurance that we shall fervently and unceasingly implore for them the care and protection of Almighty God."
EXAMINATION OF THE CHARGES PREFERRED BY THE SECESSION LEADERS AGAINST THE NORTH, THE DOMINANT PARTY AND THE
Specification of Charges.
A FULL understanding | the Free States was of the revolution cannot For the Democratic and Union be had if we should fail tickets in the same States . to advert to the features of the dominant
party, which gave so great offense to the South, and to the views of Mr. Lincoln, to which all extreme Southern men referred with deprecation. In the speeches and documents thus far quoted in these pages, the points at issue are referred to in generalities. Thus, in the Mobile Declaration of Causes (pages 38, 39.)—in the South Carolina Declaration (page 96 et seriatim,)—in the speeches of Messrs. Iverson, Clingman, &c., express and unqualified charges are made of an inimical spirit on the part of the North; of the revolutionary character and designs of the dominant party; of the unconstitutional nature of the Personal Liberty laws of Northern States; of the nonexecution of the Fugitive Slave law; of the hostility of the President-elect to Slavery, &c.; but, in all instances, these assumptions are so general as to demand their more particular examination, in order to see with what justice the charges preferred are made. Only through a special exposé can we get at the facts in the case, and reduce mere statements or impressions to the test of justification or rejection.
1st. Inimical feelings of the North. It is a sufficient reply to charges of this nature to point to the large vote polled in the Free States for Southern men in the last election. Thus, the vote cast for the Lincoln ticket in
Minority of the Opposition.. making, really, but one hundred and four thousand popular majority in the entire North against tickets upon which were Southern candidates. Unite this minority opposition to its immense majority in the Slave States, and it will be found that, in the thirty-three States which voted for President, in 1860, the Republican party was greatly in the minority, [See page 32.] if all the opposition were united against it. But, of the Republican party, it is repeating an acknowledged fact to say that nine-tenths of its supporters entertained only feelings of kindness toward the South as a section of the Union, and toward its people. Their opposition was designed to be only the legitimate and constitutional exercise of opinion and suffrage. The material relations of the South to the North forbade that there should be any personal or sectional estrangement. An inimical "North" had no exist
2d. The revolutionary designs of the dominant party. The " platforms" of the various parties are regarded as the constitution, or declaration of principles, of that party. The Republican platform stipulates: First, That the necessity of the Republican party demands its peaceful and constitutional triumph. Second, That the principle that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable
rights is essential to the preservation of Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the Union of the States must be preserved. Third, expresses "abhorence to all schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may." Fourth, The maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States and "especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclusively," and denounces the lawless invasion, by armed force, of the soil of any State or Territory no matter under what pretext. Its seventh and eighth sections were: "7. That the new dogma, that the Constitution, of its own force, carries Slavery into any or all of the Territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contempora
neous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive to the peace and harmony of the country. "8. That the normal condition of all the Territory of the United States, is that of freedom; that as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished Slavery in all our national Territory, ordained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, withont due process of law,' it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States."
The other sections refer to matters not pertinent to the question at issue between the Slave and Free States. It is evident from this that only in the last sections quoted (7th and 8th) are to be found subjects of complaint. The other sections are such as all Democrats and Union men could subscribe to and endorse. The reader must be his own judge as to how far the question involved, and the declarations made in the 7th and 8th articles, are causes for disunion.
3d. The Unconstitutional Personal Liberty laws. It is now known that there were no Personal Liberty laws, in 1860, of an unconstitutional character, in any Northern State. The law of Massachusetts, a few years since, was pronounced unconstitutional by her own legislators, and was so modified as not to be open to the charge. If any such Liberty bills were in contravention of the Constitu
tion, a summary way was open for getting rid of them by citing the State before the United States Supreme Court. The composition of that Court, for the last forty years, has been such that the South, at least, had nothing to apprehend in its decisions on the Constitutional right of property in slaves. A good authority before us says:-"The Personal Liberty laws merely protect the inhabitants of the Free States from kidnappers, and secure to those who are charged with owing service or labor a fair and impartial trial, such as the Constitution of the United States guarantees to every person. If a Southern slaveholder seizes his slave in Massachusetts, and proves his claim to him, the Personal Liberty law offers not the slightest obstacle to his rendition. But it very justly, and that the claim shall be clearly established berighteously, and constitutionally provides, fore the person seized shall be carried off. It secures to the person charged with owing service or labor the same legal assistance and the same opportunities of defense that are granted to a person charged with murder or any other crime. It is sometimes maintained that the fugitive slave is in the same category with the fugitive from justice, and should be delivered up as summarily. But the cases are not parallel. The fugitive from justice, charged with murder, for instance, is not delivered up, like the slave, into private hands, but into the custody of the law, to be legally tried. But the surrender of the alleged fugitive slave involves no trial after delivery. He is consigned at once to Slavery. He is put, without further process, into private hands-into the hands of a person who has a strong pecuniary interest in suppressing his rights, if he have any. His only chance, therefore, of establishing his freedom, if wrongfully accused of owing service or labor, is a trial in the place of his residence, where he is known and can command witnesses, and to secure that to him is the sole object of the Personal Liberty law."
4th. The Non-Execution of the Fugitive Slave law. It is asserted, with strict justice, that those States which have raised this objection most frequently and imperatively are those which have never been the losers of a slave through the inefficiency of that act.