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"The intent with which this fortress is held by the President is truthfully stated by Senator Davis, and others, in their letter to yourself of the 15th of January, in which they say: 'It is not held with any unfriendly or hostile purpose toward your State, but merely as property of the United States, which the President deems it his duty to protect and preserve, If the announcement so repeatedly made, of the President's pacific purposes in continuing the occu pation of Fort Sumter, until the question shall have been settled by competent authority, has failed to impress the Government of South Carolina, the forbearing conduct of his Administration, for the last few months, should be received as conclusive evidence of his sincerity; and if this forbearance, in
view of the circumstances which have so severely
assault, and the ardor of the troops spent it-
News of the week
January 27th, the Kentucky Legislature adopted, almost unanimously, the Virginia resolutions, guaranteeing the right of transit of Slaves through Free States.
January 29th, the Missouri Legislature adopted resolutions, reported from the House Committee on Federal Relations.
ton City found true bills of indictment January 30th, the Grand Jury of Washingagainst Godard Bailey, Wm. H. Russell, and John B. Floyd, as follows: Three cases against Bailey for larceny, in abstracting the bonds intrusted to his custody; one joint indictment against Bailey and Russell, for ab
tried it, be not accepted as a satisfactory pledge of the peaceful policy of this Administration toward South Carolina, then it may be safely affirmed, that neither language nor conduct can possibly furnish one. If, with all the multiplied proofs which exist of the President's anxiety for peace, and of the earnestness with which he has pursued it, the autho-stracting the missing bonds: three indictrities of South Carolina shall assault Fort Sumter and peril the lives of the handful of brave and loyal men shut up within its walls, and thus plunge our country into the horrors of civil war, then upon
them and those they represent must rest the responsibility. Your obdient servant,
Col. Hayne's Reply
Col. Hayne's answer to this able document was not sent in by the President to Congress along with his message of Feb. 8th, as it came too late for transmission. The position assumed by Mr.Holt only made Gov. Pickens too glad to turn over the question of occupancy to the Southern Confederacy. No apprehensions existed in Washington of an assault by the Governor's orders. The only danger was in the rashness of the war faction, which, led by the fiery Mercury, fairly chafed under the Governor's refusal to precipitate matters. It was considered "humiliating that that offensive rag (the Stars and Stripes) should be flaunted in their faces, and that a handful of men should be permitted to insult the dignity of the State by their presence." Nevertheless, the Governor did not order the
ments against Russell, for receiving the stolen bonds, and one joint indictment against Bailey, Russell and Floyd, for conspiring together to defraud the United States Gov
January 30th, the North Carolina Legisla ture, after many days of debate, decided to call a State Convention.
*A dispatch from Washington, February 1st, thus stated the matter:
"It is ascertained that Mr. Floyd's whole acceptances were $6,900,000. Of these Mr. Russell and
partners retired about $3,000,000, first and last, and
can account for half a million more. It therefore
appears that at least $3,000,000 are still floating about, held by innocent parties, or were discounted by banks and individuals. Mr. Bailey, who abstract. ed the bonds from the Interior Department, has never been examined before the Committee of Investigation, and for legal reasons, which may appear hereafter. The act of 1857, which is supposed to relieve witnesses of Congressional Committees from fit of some of the parties to this mammoth robbery. prosecution, will doubtless be pleaded for the beneLawyers already maintain that the indictment against Messrs. Russell, Floyd and Bailey for a conspiracy to defraud the Government, is for a crime not known in the criminal statutes. They will all probably escape punishment."
IMPOSSIBLE. IVERSON'S FAREWELL. VIRGINIA'S
TEXAS SENTIMENT. VARIOUS PROPOSITIONS. THE
CONKLING, LATHAM, HAMILTON, AND OTHERS. COCHRANE'S
so reasoned the masses of the party-so felt their leaders in Congress; and, so reasoning and feeling, to have compromised upon any plan offered, would have argued an abasement of which they could not be guilty. The South had raised the standard of revolution to force the concessions demanded; therefore she would not accept less. To have accepted less would have argued defeat, at once foreign to its spirit and its principles.
IF public interest in the | tutional clause to guarantee that recognition proceedings of Congress against any future legislation-it demanded did not become intensified the division of the unsettled domain, whereby as the session advanced, it was from weari- a due proportion should forever be debarred ness of debate and not from want of import- to freedom and consecrated to slavery. To ance in the doings of both Houses. The concede the claim-to accede to the demand week under consideration-the ninth of the were to confess the election of Mr. Lincoln session-witnessed efforts of great power and to be a wrong, the Republican party to be a significance from leading men; and, though dangerous political organization, the Conno advance was made toward the ardently stitution to be imperfect, and the principle wished-for peaceful adjustment of sectional of a majority rule to be a fiction. At least, differences, it was rather from the absolutely irreconcileable nature of those divisions than from a want of the spirit of kindness and conciliation. With very few exceptions, Congressmen not only felt kindly toward each other, but strove, in their very hearts, to accomplish the peace so congenial, so desirable to all. Outward things urged them to compromise; the prosperity of the country, the happiness of the people, the hopes of the future all seemed to hang upon that word; Hence, though Mr. Seward offered the while the truly self-sacrificing spirit of the olive branch-though Mr. Adams poured oil mass of members plead with them on the upon the seething waters-though patriotic floors and in the quiet of their chambers for Southern men extended hands for fellowship, peace, peace. That peace nor compromise there swept beneath the outward sea of grew out of their labors was owing solely to troubles a tide of feeling, a strength of purthe gulf of principle which lay between the pose, which words were powerless to calm. contestants. No subtle ingenuity of leaders The great ship of state staggered before the could bridge it even with a frail tracery storm. Not even jurymasts of compromise of meaningless words; its depths neither would hold-not even staysails of resolutions party would consent to fill up by the melting would stand-not even the ponderous flukes away of their own mountains of political and of the Constitution anchor would grapple to social antagonisms. The South stood ready make her fast. But, with a seemingly blind and solicitous to treat; but it named as its instinct, she drifted off the lee-shore and terms what the Republicans could not yield gained an offing, where to ride down the elewithout sacrificing the heart-principle of ments in comparative safety to her hull. their party organization. It claimed a recog- Though upper-works and motive-power were nition of property in man-it exacted a consti- gone, if the hull were left unshattered, all
might be repaired, and the glorious creature once again go forth, vigorous with life and strength. The seemingly blind instinct that bore her from the shore, was the deep, resistless undercurrent of American Idea, which exists beneath the surface of our political organism, of our daily progress, of our conflicting popular processes, to bend all things to its superhuman agency, as if the hand of Destiny alon were the impressing power. The American Idea! Mysterious, silent, yet supreme; typified in Union and embodied in Democracy; potential against all forms, and impermeating the age with its humanising influence, it was the generator of our political being the monitor of our ways, and must ever be the preserver of our distinctive and glorious Republic.
The Senate's session of Monday (January 28th) was marked by the reception of a number of petitions from the people, presented by Seward, Wilson and Crittenden, praying for the passage of compromise resolutions. Mr. Wilson, in presenting the petition of citizens of Newburyport, made some severe reflections on the petitioners, who prayed for the speedy adoption of the Crittenden resolutions. He said:
"These men prayed for the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution proposed by the Senator from Kentucky, to wit: The recognition of Slavery and its protection South of latitude 30 deg. 30 min., not only in the existing Territory, but in Territory not yet conquered, purchased, or stolen; the denial of any power in Congress to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia while it existed in Virginia, or to prohibit the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to Territories recognizing Slavery; to pay the owner the full value of a fugitive slave when the Marshal was prevented from arresting him by intimidation, and to take from persons of African race the right of suffrage which they have possessed in Massachusetts since the Constitution, passed by the Revolutionary fathers, was adopted in 1780, and acquire territory in Africa or South America, and send at the expense of the Federal Treasury, such free negroes as the States may wish to have removed from their limits. For the adoption of these honorable and humane provisions in the Constitution beyond the power of the people ever to change, the people of the Free States would secure the immense concession of making the fee of the Commissioner no greater for remanding a man
to Slavery than for discharging him as a freeman. Surely the prayer of men of Massachusetts for such objects ought to be heeded by the Senate of the United States."
Mr. Iverson, of Georgia, having received of ficial notice of the secession of his State, passed the notice and the Ordinance of Secession up to the Secretary to be read from his desk. After the reading, the Senator announced his withdrawal from the Senate, in the following terms:
"The paper which has just
been read informs the Senate,
which has already been announced to the public, that the State of Georgia, by a solemn act of Sovereign Convention, has with drawn from the Federal Union. She is no longer
one of the United States of America, but has resum ed all the powers granted by her to the Federal Government, and asserted her independence as a separate and sovereign State. In performing this important and solemn act, she has been influenced by the deliberate and firm convictions that her safety, her interest, and her honor demanded it. The opinion of her people has been gradually tending to this point for the last ten years, and recent events have confirmed it; and an overwhelming majority of the people have elected delegates to a Conven
tion, and expressed in that election a determination to withdraw from the Federal Union. And the Convention, by a like decisive majority, has passed the
Ordinance of Secession.
"Georgia is one of six States which, in less than sixty days, have dissolved their connection with the Federal Union, and declared their separate independence. Steps are now in progsess to form a Confederacy of their own, and, in a few weeks at the furthest, a Provisional Government will be formed, giving them ample powers for their own defense, with power to enter into negotiations with other nations, to make war, to conclude peace, to form treaties, and do all other things which independent nations may of right do. Provision will be made for the admission of other States to the new Union, and it is confidently believed that, within a few months, all the Southern States of the late Confederacy will be formed into a Union far more homogeneous, and, therefore, far more stable than the one now broken up. I have only to say that this action of my own State, and of her Southern neigh bors and sisters, meets the approval of my well-considered and deliberate judgment, and as one of her native sons and subjects, I shall cheerfully cast my lot with her and them. And, sink or swim, live or die, I shall be of and with her and them to the last.
"By the secession of the Southern States, and the
THE VIRGINIA PEACE CONVENTION.
formation of a Southern Confederacy, two great and momentous alternatives will devolve on the Federal Government. You may acquiesce in the Revolution, and acknowledge the independence of a great Confederacy, or you may make war on the seceding States, and attempt to force them back. If you acknowledge our independence, and treat us as one of the nations of the earth, you can have friendly relations and intercourse with us. You can have an equitable division of the public property, and of the existing public debt of the United States. But if you make war upon us, we will seize and hold all the public property in our borders, and in our reach, and we will never pay one dollar of the public debt, for the law of nations will extinguish all private and public obligations between the States. The first Federal gun that is fired upon the seceding Statesthe first drop of blood of any of their people shed by the Federal troops-will cancel every public and private obligation of the South which may be due either to the Federal Government or to the Northern people. We care not in what shape or form, or under what pretext you undertake coercion. We shall consider all efforts to exercise authority over us as acts of war, and shall meet and resist them accordingly. You may send armies to invade us by land, or you may send ships to blockade our ports, and destroy our trade and commerce with other nations. You may abolish our ports of entry, and, by an act of Congress, attempt to collect the Federal revenues by ships of war. You may do all or any of these, or similar acts. They will be acts of war, and so understood and considered, and in whatever shape you make war we will fight you.
"You boast of your superior numbers and strength but remember that 'the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.' You have one hundred thousand fighting men. So have we. And, fighting upon our own soil, and to preserve our rights, and vindicate our honor, and defend our homes, our firesides, our wives and children from the invader, we shall not be easily conquered. You may possibly overrun us, desolate our fields, burn our dwellings, lay our cities in ruins, murder our people, and reduce us to beggary, but you cannot subdue and subjugate us to your will. Your conquest, if you gain a victory over us, will amount to but little. You will have to keep a standing army of 100,000 men, costing millions of money, only to keep us in subjection. You may whip us, but we will not stay whipped. We will rise again and again to vindicate our rights and liberty, and to throw off your oppressive and accursed yoke, and we will never cease the strife until our whole white race is extinguished, and our fair land given over to desolation. You will have ships of war-we
may have none. You may blockade our ports and lock up our commerce. We can live if need be without commerce. But when you shut up our commerce from the looms of Europe, we shall see whether other nations will not have something to say, and something to do, upon that subject. Cotton is King,' and will oblige you to raise your blockade and draw off your ships.
I know that great hopes are raised, and great efforts made to retain the Border States in the Union. But, let coercive measures be commenced against the Southern Confederacy, or any of the Seceding States, and all such hopes will vanish into thin air. The first act of Federal legislation looking to coercion, the first Federal gun fired, the first Federal ship which takes its station off a Southern port, will bring all the Southern States, including Maryland, laggard as she seems to be in the vindication of a sound independence, into obedience and alliance with their Southern sisters. And thus united, they will resist and defy all your efforts. There are also those who, surrendering all hope of preventing the destruction of the Union, recognizing the existing state of facts, yet hope to see it reconstructed. Sir, a war between the two sections will forever close the door to any such project.
"I will not say that the Southern States, if let alone, even after they have formed a Southern Confederacy, will not listen to propositions of reconcili ation. Let the North make them, and we will consider them. The Southern people have heretofore cherished a firm and sincere reverence and attachment to the Union, and nothing but stern necessity could have convinced them of the propriety of leaving it, or could have driven them to the alternative of separation from it; and when they shall see, if it be not too long delayed, a fraternal sense of justice and good feeling returning to the Northern mind and heart, and when they can find sufficient and reliable guarantees for their rights and equality in the Union, they may, perhaps, reconsider their action, and rejoin their former confederates.
"For myself, I am free to declare that, unless my opinion shall be greatly changed, I shall never agree to a reconstruction of the Federal Union. The Rubicon is passed, and it shall never, with my consent, be recrossed. But, in this sentiment, I may be overruled. I may safely say that nothing will satisfy them, except the recognition of equality, the safety of the institution of domestic Slavery, and the protection of their constitutional rights, for which they have been so long contending in the Union, and the denial of which has forced them to their present attitude of self-defense.
"It remains for me now only to express my grate
ful acknowledgments and thanks for the uniform courtesy and kindness with which I have been treated by those Senators with whom I have had official and social intercourse. And in thus wishing them each a long life of prosperity and peace, I bid them farewell."
the peace of the continent should be preserved; and
This rather defiant good-bye embodied the true spirit of secession:-brimming with the pride of arrogance, its very insolence rendered it representative; while the declaration that, necessary to take possession of the forts and arms, if not allowed to go in peace, the revolution-they had done so simply as a measure of precaution, ists would still further seize, plunder and and there was not one, if she should be restored to confiscate property, and outrage the Federal the Union, or if peace should be restored to the Government, shows what a mean estimate Union, or if peace follow, who would not account the conspirators placed upon the still loyal for every dollar of the public property. He had seen people and States. Iverson was a man of nothing but an earnest desire to keep the peace, nor more than ordinary abilities. He would have had they been actuated by anything like fear. He believed those States were actuated by a desire to adorned any society had his education and associations been more truly Christian. He paled before the greater greatness of Mr. Toombs, and was but an echo. He was only his equal in the sense of the proverb-Facinus quos inquinat æquat.
The Virginia Peace
A message from the President, communicating the Virginia Peace Congress' resolutions, [see page 300,] called up Mr. Mason, whose avowals were of interest, considering the fact that he was an avowed secessionist, had signed the inflamatory and treasonable "Address," [sec page 247,] advising the people of Virginia to hasten into Convention, &c., and that he, generally, had colluded with Toombs, Floyd, Cobb and others to excite the Southern mind to the point of revolution. After moving that the message be printed, he said:
"These resolutions were passed by the State of Virginia and transmitted directly to the President, to inform him that Virginia had undertaken the office of mediator between the States. The next object of the resolutions was to induce the President to refrain from any act to produce a collision, with the knowledge that if a collision once occurs, it will be beyond the power of any mortal arm to remedy the evils to follow. It was a great effort Virginia was thus making to save the country. Virginia had also called a Convention to meet on the 13th of February. But the great object of her mission now was to prevent any further complication, so as to
place the difficulty beyond remedy. He trusted the noble effort of Virginia would be successful, at least for the time being. If it should result that the questions are of a character to admit of no solution, still
keep the peace, and the State of Virginia invokes
It would, secondly, in event of a failure to
that they doubtless regarded the "Peace Con-