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HISTORY OF FORMER
tecting the Constitution from infringement | lature steadily refused to substitute a more upon its powers. John Tyler, of Virginia, modern and republican constitution for the was among those who voted against the bill. old, but simple and strong, government of This act was followed by one of concession the Charter. Thomas W. Dorr, an attorney and compromise, introduced by Henry Clay, at law, of Providence, and a member of the proposing a graduated scale, by which the Assembly, sought to introduce a reform; but, duties were to be abated annually. This bill for a long time labored in vain. When allowed Government the needed benefits of brought to a vote his proposition for a change the revenue, only detracting from the tariff obtained only seven out of seventy votes. one-tenth each year upon all articles tariffed Not to be thwarted, Dorr then appealed to over twenty per cent., thus gradually reduc- the people, agitating the question of change ing the duties until they should strike the and reform in several mass conventions, held free list, in December, 1841. This act passed in 1840-41. When the movement had gained both Houses by good majorities, and was sufficient strength, a Convention of Delegates signed March 2d, 1833. In the meantime, was called, which prepared a State ConstituFebruary 1st had come, and the Nullifiers tion to be submitted to a regular vote of the did not drive General Scott out of Fort Moul- people. It obtained 14,000 votes-said to trie, nor cease to pay their duties both to the have been a clear majority of the regular citiCollector and to the Government. Accepting zens of the State. The Chartists pronounced the "highly satisfactory settlement" of the the entire proceedings seditious and declared difficulty, it only remained for Governor the vote, illegal as it was, to have been largeHayne to summon the Convention to undo ly fraudulent. Dorr decided otherwise; and, what they had done. The delegates came with true Puritan pertinacity, proclaimed the together March 11th, placed South Carolina Constitution to be the law of the State. He back in the Union, declared the great princi- ordered, accordingly, an election to be held ple of State Sovereignty established, and, ad- for State officers. journed.
This conspiracy left behind it the seeds of disunion. The idea of a State independence, of a power to control circumstances to their own liking, of a disseverance of all bonds with the "hated North," was left to germinate and grow, to burst out again, when a weak Executive should afford the opportunity, into treason and revolution.
DORR'S REBELLION, 1842.
This merely local "rebellion" deserves mention rather from its peculiar nature than from its importance. Its circumstances were as follows:
Down to 1833 the government of Rhode Island was based upon the original charter of settlement, granted by Charles II. in 1663, by which the elective franchise was restricted to persons possessed of real estate to a specified amount, and to their eldest sons. This disfranchised fully two-thirds of the actual citizens. Yet, so prevalent were old prejudices, so powerful old associations, that the Legis
Dorr was chosen Governor, and a Legislature, composed exclusively of his supporters, was elected, to meet at Providence on the first Monday of May, 1842. The Charter party also held an election for State officers, polling 5,700 votes, while the Suffrage party claimed to have polled 7,300.
On the 3d of May, Dorr's Government attempted to organize at Providence and seize the reins of power. They were resisted by the legal State Government, which assembled at Newport on the same day, and at the head of which was Gov. Samuel W. King. Both sides appealed to arms. The excitement was intense, and the people flocked to the respective standards in large numbers from various New England States. Gov. King proclaimed the State under martial law, called out the militia and asked and obtained the aid of the United States to suppress the treason. On the 18th of May a portion of the Suffrage party assembled at Providence under arms and attempted to seize the arsenal, but were dispersed by Gov. King and a military force. They assembled again, to the number of several hundred, May 25, 1842, at Chepachet Hill,
years. It was one of the most fatal acts for the peace of the country which could have been conceived. It alarmed the North. The country flew to arms. From the South came armed bands, who, as a posse comitatus, under
ten miles from Providence, but again dispersed on the approach of the State forces. Three days afterwards the affair was over. Dorr fled from the State, and took refuge first in Connecticut, and then in New Hampshire. A reward of $4,000 being offered for his appre-authority of the President, pursued the Antihension by Rhode Island, he voluntarily returned home, was tried, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to imprisonment for life. In 1847 he was pardoned, and, in 1852, the Legislature restored him to his civil rights, and ordered the record of his sentence to be expunged. He lived to see a liberal constitution and his party in possession of the reins of government.
slavery settlers with a vengeance making the record of 1855 and 56 one of outrage and bloodshed. The North, aggravated by this armed attempt to make a Slave State out of soil unfitted for slave labor, poured in its settlers, armed them for defence, gave them supplies to sustain them through the day of trial, and, eventually, obtained the victory through the action of that very principle of "Squatter Sovereignty." The Northern Squatters" became vastly more numerous even than the Missouri invaders and the vagabonds from Arkansas and Mississippi introduced by Capt. Titus and his coadjutors, and, by mere force of numbers, obtained control of affairs.
Rhode Island is now as democratic as any of her sister States. She boasts a population nearly as great as that of Texas, and twice that of Florida, while, in intelligence and industrial enterprise, she is vastly before either of the States named. In the hour of the General Government's peril she has proven a tower of loyalty, and the names of her sons occupy a favored place in the record of the struggle against revolution and national dis-ed, but the great political party which it integration.
THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA TROUBLES.
The years 1854-58 are "representative" in the history of the country. On the 4th of January, 1854, Mr. Douglas, as chairman of the Committee on Territories, in the United States Senate, introduced the bill for the organization of the territories of Nebraska and Kansas. It provided as follows:
What was most important, however, in this unfortunate re-opening of the Slavery question, was, not the local struggle which follow
called into existence. Taking the powerful issues of opposition presented, of the non-extension of slavery and the freedom of the territories, the Republican party sprang into life, and, ere long, began to carry all before it in the Northern States. Mr. Fremont, as its candidate for the Presidency in 1856, needed but the vote of Pennsylvania to have made him President; and Mr. Lincoln, its candidate in 1860, was elected to that high office by heavy majorities in seventeen States. Had it not been for that Kansas-Nebraska bill the Republican party never would have had existence, upon such issues as "no more Slave territory,"-"no Slavery in the territories,”—“no more Slave representation in Con
“When admitted as a State, the said territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union, with or without Sla-| very, as their constitution may prescribe at gress from new Slave States." the time of their admission."
Thus abrogating the venerable and respected Missouri Compromise Act, of 1820, while it further established the principle of “ Squatter Sovereignty," which gave to the people of a territory the right to make their own laws-denying to Congress the power to legislate laws for its territories.
That act became a law, after one of the most exciting sessions of Congress known for
The matter resulted:
1. In the admission of Kansas as a Free State.
2. In the formation of the Republican Party.
3. In the election of a Republican President.
4. In the "rebellion" of the Slave States against his rule.
Nov. 6.-Presidential Election day. Four candi- | arsenals, &c., in the Southern States, are as follows:
at Fort Monroe, Va., eight companies of artillery;
Nov. 10.-Bill introduced in South Carolina Legis-
-South Carolina Legislature orders an election of
There are about 120 United States marines at Norfolk and Pensacola.
Nov. 17.-Grand gathering of citizens of Charleston, S. C., "to inaugurate the revolution." Pine pole, 100 feet high, raised, and the Palmetto flag unfurled. Hotels, private residences, and public buildings all display the flag. Great rejoicing. Secession badges worn by men, women and children.
Nov. 18.-General depreciation of government and state stocks, railway shares, &c. Very unsettled state in the money market. General suspension of payment of debts due the North by Southern merchants, looked for in New York and Philadelphia.
-Georgia Legislature refuses to order an election
-Georgia Legislature appropriates $1,000,000, “tơ arm and equip the State." Orders an election of Delegates to a State Convention, to be held January 2. The Convention to assemble January 9.
-Major Anderson ordered to Fort Moultrie, to re
Nov. 19.-Gov. Moore, of Louisiana, orders the
Legislature of that State to convene, Dec. 10.
Nov. 20.-Large arrivals in New York of arms for the South. Heavy orders received and filled in New York for rifles, ammunition, pistols, &c., for the
Nov. 11.-United States Senator Hammond, of Southern States.
Nov. 13. South Carolina Legislature adjourns
Nov. 14.-Immense torch-light procession in Columbia, S. C., in honor of the action of the Legislature of
-Florida, by her Governor, telegraphed to the Governor of South Carolina, "Florida is with the gallant Palmetto flag."
Nov. 15.-Senator Toombs makes a "powerful secession speech" in Milledgeville, Georgia.
-Governor Moore, of Alabama, announces his intention to order an election of Delegates to a State Convention; the election to be held Dec. 24. He advises the people to prepare for secession. The Convention to assemble January 7th.
-Governor Letcher, of Virginia, calls an extra session of the Legislature, to assemble Jan. 7, to "take into consideration the condition of public affairs." -The United States troops garrisoning the forts,
Nov. 22. The Washington and Philadelphia banks suspend specie payment. The banks of Baltimore and Richmond suspended specie payment two days previously. Notes of all Southern banks at a heavy discount in New York. The New York banks resolve to consolidate funds and afford relief by a liberal line of discount.
Nov. 23.-Suspension of North Carolina banks' legalised by the Legislature of that State. Numerous bank suspensions announced in Pittsburg, Pa., Trenton, N. J., Charleston, S. C. The Boston banks resolve to adopt the course of the banks of New York. The Disagreements in the Cabinet reported. President is understood to take strong grounds against the right of secession. Messrs. Cobb, Thompson and Floyd are reported as threatening to resign in consequence. They are understood to favor a " peaceful separation."
--Great public meeting in New Orleans, to organize a "Southern Rights Association," whose pur pose is to aid in carrying the State out of the Union.
Nov. 27.-Gov. Hicks, of Maryland, refuses to convene the Legislature. He writes a letter, taking strong ground against secession, and says his purpose is to avoid any precipitation in action on the part of the secessionists in the State.
to convene the Legislature; directing that a State Convention be called, and telling the Southern States that Tennessee will stand by the action of the Southern Convention for weal or woe.
Dec. 3. Preamble and resolutions adopted in the
Nov. 29.-A dispatch from Washington says: "Let-Georgia Legislature, (House,) proposing a Conferters from members of Congress and others, in South Carolina, written before the Presidential election, are exhibited here, proving that this revolutionary scheme was concocted long ago, and that a secreting military organization was formed to carry out the scheme of resistance in the event of Mr. Lincoln's success."
-The Vermont Legislature 125 to 58- votes against a repeal of its Personal Liberty bill.
-Day of Thanksgiving observed in most of the States. Sermons were preached by eminent divines, generally urging a policy of peace, concession, and fraternization in the great questions of the times.
The Mississippi Legislature authorizes the Governor to appoint as many Commissioners as he may deem necessary, to visit each of the slave-holding States, to inform them that the Mississippi Legislature
had authorized a Convention to consider the neces
sary steps for meeting the crisis. The Commissioners were to solicit the co-operation of Legislatures to devise means "for their common defence and safety." The following gentlemen were afterward named by the Governor: Virginia, C. P. Smith; Georgia, W. L. Harris; Maryland, A. H. Handy; Tennessee, T. J. Wharton; South Carolina, C. E. Hooker; Alabama, J. W. Matthews; Kentucky, W. S. Featherston; Louisiana, Wirt Adams; Arkansas, Geo. R. Fall; Texas, H. H. Miller; Florida, E. M. Yerger; Delaware, Henry Dickinson; North Carolina, Jacob Thompson.
--Dispatches from New Orleans state: "Abolitionists are daily arrested. There is immense excitement, and the secession feeling momentarily increasing. Disunion is inevitable."
Nov. 30. The North Carolina Legislature refuses to go into an election for United States Senator, in place of Mr. Clingman.
The Bank bill to suspend specie payment of banks in Georgia re-passed over the Governor's
-Bill introduced into the Georgia Legislature (House) prohibiting the levying of any execution from the Courts of the United States on the property of citizens of Georgia prior to December, 1861-all sales under such process to be void.
Dec 1.A committee of citizens of Texas, comprised of leading men, petitioned Gov. Houston to convene the Legislature. The Governor responded, that, viewing the proposed measure unwise, he could not call the Legislature; but if a majority of the citizens of the State petitioned for it, he could not stand in the way. The secession feeling largely predominates in the Southern and Eastern portion
of the State.
ence of the Southern States, åt Atlanta, on the 20th of February, to counsel and advise as to the mode and manner of resistance to the North in the exist exigency, was made the special order for tomorrow. The preamble and resolutions take strong grounds in favor of having all sectional questions finally settled, and objects to separate action.
-Meeting in Boston, to commemorate the anniversary of John Brown's execution broken up. Considerable violence shown to its participators.
-Congress meets at Washington. sentation from most of the States. South Carolina representatives in their seats, except Mr. Bonham. Her Senators absent.
-President's Message read to the two Houses, and the Department reports sent in. The Message takes strong grounds for conciliation; blames the North for its aggressions on Slavery: proposes plans of compromise; denies the right of secession, yet disparages coercion. Message was attacked fiercely in the Senate by Clingman, of North Carolina, and defended by Crittenden, of Kentucky. In the House, Mr. Boteler, of Virginia, offered a resolution to appoint a Special Committee of one from each State, to whom should be referred so much of the Presi
dent's Message as "relates to the present perilous condition of the country."
Dec. 4.-The President dispatches a messenger (Mr. Trescott) to South Carolina, to urge a postponement of action in regard to secession or nullification, until Congress could act on compromises and remedies.
Dec. 5.-Meeting of the State Electoral Colleges. Abraham Lincoln for President, and Hannibal Hamlin for Vice-President, receive the votes of seventeen States or one hundred and eighty electoral votes.
-Exciting speeches in the United States Senate by Southern Senators looking to secession as their only relief from Northern domination.
Dec. 6.-Great Union meeting and oration in Richmond, Va.
-The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives announced the Committee of one from each State, called for under Mr. Boteler's resolution, (Dec. 4,) to consider so much of the President's Message as relates to the present perilous condition of the country." The names are as follows:Ohio, Mr. Corwin, Chairman; Virginia, Mr. Millson; Massachusetts, Mr. Adams; North Carolina, Mr. Winslow; New York, Mr. Humphreys; South Carolina, Mr. Boyce; Pennsylvania, Mr. Campbell ; Georgia, Mr. Love; Connecticut, Mr. Ferry; Maryland, Mr. Davis; Rhode Island, Mr. Robinson; Delaware, Mr. Whiteley; New Hampshire, Mr. Tappan ; New Jersey, Mr. Stratton; Kentucky, Mr. Bristow ; Vermont, Mr. Morrill; Tennessee, Mr. Nelson; Indiana, Mr. Dunn; Louisiana, Mr. Taylor; Mississippi, Mr. Davis; Illinois, Mr. Kellogg; Alabama, Mr. Houston; Maine, Mr. Morse; Missouri, Mr. Phelps; Arkansas, Mr. Rust; Michigan, Mr. Howard; Florida, Mr. Hawkins; Texas, Mr. Hamilton: Wisconsin, Mr. Washburne; Iowa, Mr. Curtis; California, Mr. Burch; Minnesota, Mr. Windom; Oregon, Mr. Stout.
Dec. 7.-A circular is issued in iting the members of the Texas Legislature to assemble in Austin on the third Monday in December, for the purpose of holding an extra, session, and to take the necessary steps for calling a State Convention. Gov. Houston promises to resign if the people of the State demand the convoking of the Legislature. The hoisting of Lone Star flags in the towns of Texas continues, and the people throughout the State appear to be united in their feeling of resistance to the administration of Mr. Lincoln.
-The President to-day explicitly expressed his determination to send no more troops to the forts near Charleston, and said everything would be done on his part to avoid a collision. Major Anderson has made no request for re-enforcements.
-A dispatch from Washington states that the Secetary of the Treasury, Howell Cobb, has had repeated interviews with Mr. Hunter, Chairman of the Com mittee on Finance in the Senate, and finds himself unable to extricate the Treasury from its present bankrupt condition; consequently he proposes to resign at once.
Dec. 8.-The Kentucky banks resolve to continue specie payment, as a suspension can afford no commercial relief.
-Governor of Tennessee calls an extra session of the Legislature, to convene Jan. 7th, to "consider the present condition of the country."
Dec. 9.-Gov. Brown of Georgia publishes a letter favoring immediate secession.
Dec. 10.-Howell Cobb, Secretary of the Treasury, resigns his seat in the Cabinet. Mr. Toucey, Secretary of the Navy, acts in his stead, ad interim.
-United States Senator Clay, of Alabama, resigns his seat in the United States Senate after March 4th, 1861.
-It is divulged that the Democratic members of Congress from the North-Western States have held several conferences. They take the position that the Union cannot be dissolved peaceably; that the North-West will, under no circumstances, consent to be cut off from the Gulf of Mexico and the City of New York; that the Government, whatever may be its faults, is of inestimable value.
-Extra Session of Louisiana Legislature meets. The Governor recommends a State Convention. Convention ordered--an election of delegates to be held Jan. 23. Legislature adjourned Dec. 12th. A military bill was passed, appropriating $500,000 to arm the State for defence, and provisions made for military organization and administration.
urged the policy of strengthening Major Anderson fully. Mr. Cass, it was understood, made that policy a sine qua non of his stay in the Cabinet.
Dec. 14.-Lewis Cass, Secretary of State, resigns his seat in the Cabinet. His resignation causes much feeling and comment. It was owing to his disapproval of the President's inaction in regard to re-enforcing Southern forts, arsenals, navy yards, &c.
Dec. 15.-Attorney-General Black nominated Secretary of State in place of Lewis Cass, resigned.
-A meeting of members of the Georgia Legislature favoring co-operation, and urging a Convention of Southern States desirous of co-operating. An address issued to the people of South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, signed by 52 members of the Legislature.
Dec. 17. South Carolina Convention of Delegates assembles in Convention. General Jamison elected President. Adjourned to Charleston.
-Mr. Pickens inaugurated by the Legislature as Governor of South Carolina. His Inaugural was decidedly for secession.
Dec. 18.-Mr. Crittenden introduces into the United States Senate, Resolutions of Compromise and settlement of differences between the Slave and Free States. The bill, as introduced, proposes: To renew the Missouri Compromise Line; prohibiting Slavery in the Territory north of 36 deg. 30 min., and protecting it South of that latitude; and for the admission of new States with or without Slavery, as their Constitutions shall provide: to prohibit the abolition of Slavery by Congress in the States: to prohibit its abolition in the District of Columbia so long as it exists either in Virginia or Maryland: to permit the transportation of slaves in any of the States by land or water: to provide for the payment of fugitive slaves, when rescued: to repeal one obnoxious feature of the Fugitive Slave Law-the inequality of the fee to the Commissioner-and also to ask the repeal of all the Personal Liberty bills in the Northern States. These concessions are to be submitted to the people in the form of amendments to the Constitution, and if they are carried they are to be changed by no future amendments.
Dec. 18-19.-Andrew Johnson, United States Senator from Tennessee, speaks on the resolutions proposing amendments to the Constitution. He denies the right of secession, and calls upon the President to enforce the laws regardless of consequences. Taking up arms to resist the Federal laws he pronounces
Dec. 19.-Governor Hicks, of Maryland, declines to receive the Commissioner from Mississippi. He vindicates the course by expressing strong Union
Dec. 12.-Assistant Secretary of State, Trescott, sentiments. resigns.
-Mr. Philip Frank Thomas, of Maryland, Commissioner of Patents, is nominated Secretary of the Treasury, vice Cobb, resigned.
Der. 13.-Immense Union demonstration in Philadelphia, by proclamation of the Mayor.
-Exciting session of the Cabinet in regard to the re-enforcement of Fort Moultrie, in Charleston harbor. The President opposed its re-enforcement as impolitic, saying he had assurances that the fort would not be attacked if no re-enforcements were attempted. Mr. Cass, Secretary of State, and Mr. Toucey, Secretary of the Navy, both strenuously
-The Commissioner of Mississippi to Maryland addresses a large meeting in Baltimore, advising cooperation on the part of the people of Maryland in the secession movement.
Dec. 20.-The Ordinance of Secession passes the South Carolina Convention of Delegates unanimously. The announcement is received by the people of Charleston with exciting manifestations of delight. The news throughout the North excites comparatively little remark.
-The Methodist Conference of South Carolina passes resolutions favoring secession.
-Immense receipts of specie in New York. Nearly