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Chas. Francis Adams'
States, or of their Government, I see not how demands for immediate redress can be avoided. If any interruptions should be attempted of the regular channels of trade in the great water-courses, or in the ocean, they cannot long be permitted; and if any
considerable minorities of citizens should be perse
cuted or proscribed on account of their attachment to the Union, and should call for protection, I canno deny the obligation of this Government to afford it. There are many persons in many of the States whose patriotic declarations and honorable pledges of support of the Union may bring down upon them more than the ill-will of their infatuated fellow-citizens. It would be impossible for the people of the United States to look upon any proscription of them with indifference."
tal, no additional arguments or circumstances added to the strength of the cause of the revolutionists. The steps taken by them were simply legitimate results of their attitude of defiance, and were clearly foreseen by the leaders, who hastened to inaugurate the Montgomery Government over the heads of the Southern people, in order to meet the crisis they had precipitated. The formation of that consolidated Government-the assault upon Fort Sumter the precipitation of Virginia, into the revolt - the march upon Washington — were but parts of a conspiracy, having for its purpose the annihilation of the old Constitution and the installment of the new one, wherein the principle of property in man should become, in the words of its most conservative expounder, "the chief corner-stone of the new edifice." Had they succeeded in their designs, Tyranny would have rejoiced, for the "great experiment" would have proven a failure. It is to be written not only in the cause of America, but in the cause of Human Progress, that they failed. That the Capitol dome is not surmounted by a Slave, with manacled hands uplifted to Heaven, is due to the integrity of
This chapter presents such an exposition of the entire question of secession, that a person far-removed from society, having no information of the events of the year, would be able to obtain a correct knowledge of the relative position of the contestants, and to form a correct opinion on the merits of the case at the date under consideration, February 1st. The status of the issue was not changed by succeeding events. Though the revolution went on, accelerating in strength and force to the final issue of a direct assault upon the Fed- the Loyal Men of '61. eral Government, and a march upon its Capi- |
THE GEORGIA BILL OF RIGHTS. SEIZURE OF GEORGIA ARMS IN YORK. REPRISALS BY GOVERNOR BROWN. NORTHERN DISTRESSING MONETARY CONDITION OF THE SOUTH. OUTRAGES COMMITTED ON NORTHERN PERSONS AND PROPERTY. A DARK RECORD.
"The fundamental principles
The Georgia Bill of
of the Government cannot be Rights.
THE near approach of the Montgomery Convention of Delegates, to form a Central Government, rendered the action of the seceded States, after their secession, of subordinate importance. Among minor matters may be mentioned the Georgia Bill of Rights, introduced to that State's Convention evidently as requires it. No Government should be changed for its "instructions" to its delegates to the Mont-slight or transient causes, nor unless upon reasonagomery Convention. It read as follows: ble assurance that a better will be established.
"All Government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, who may modify, alter, or annul the same, whenever their safety or happiness
"Protection to person and The Georgia Bill of property is the consideration of Rights. allegiance, and a Government which knowingly and persistently denies or withholds such protection from the governed, releases them from the obligation of obedience.
"No citizen shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law; and of life or liberty only by the judgment of his peers.
"The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The prevalence of the Christian religion among the people, and the basis of Christian principles underlying the laws, entitle this State to be ranked among the Christian nations of the earth, and these principles are independent of all political organization; no religious test shall ever be required for the tenure of any office, and no religious establishment allowed, and no citizen shall be deprived of any right or privilege by reason of his religious belief.
"Freedom of thought and opinion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are inherent elements of political liberty. But while every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, he shall be responsible for the abuse of the liberty.
"A faithful, honest, and fearless execution of the laws is essential to good order, and good order in society is essential to true liberty.
"Legislative acts in violation of the fundamental law are void, and the Judiciary shall so declare them.
"Ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts, or retroactive legislation, affecting the rights of the citizen, are prohibited.
"Laws should have a general operation; and no general law be varied in a particular case by special legislation, except upon notice to all persons to be affected thereby.
"The right of taxation can be granted only by the people, and should be exercised by their agents in government only for the legitimate purposes of gov
"In cases of necessity, private ways may be grant ed, upon just compensation being first paid; and, with this exception, private property shall not be taken except for public use, and then only upon just compensation. Such compensation, except in cases of pressing necessity, should be first provided and paid.
"The rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
"Extreme necessity only should justify the declaration of martial law.
"Large standing armies in times of peace are dan
"Every person charged with an offence against gerous to liberty. the laws of the State shall have
"1. The privilege and benefit of counsel; "2. Shall be furnished, on demand, with a copy of the accusation and a list of the witnesses against him; "3. Shall have the compulsory process of the Court to obtain the attendance of his own witnesses; "4. Shall be confronted with the witnesses testifying against him; and,
'No soldiers shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.
"Titles of nobility are inconsistent with republican equality; and civil honors should come by merit, and not by inheritance.
"All powers not delegated to the Government expressly, or by necessary implication, are reserved to the people of the State; and, in all doubtful cases, the denial of the grant is the ground safest for the liberty of the people.
"The enumeration of rights herein contained shall not be construed to deny to the people any inherent right which they have hitherto enjoyed."
The seizure of arms, in New York, supposed to belong to the State of Georgia, at
THE SEIZURE OF NEW YORK VESSELS.
The Seizure of Arms in New York.
one time greatly excited the public mind. The counter-seizure, by Governor Brown, of Northern vessels in the harbor of Savannah, was a retaliation which so immediately affected the commercial community of the great metropolis that a great storm of words followed the several acts.
The facts of the case may thus be cited: On the 224 of January, drays containing muskets were observed unloading at the Savannah pier. The long boxes were immediately run on board the Savannah steamer, then in New York, ready to sail. The fact that immense quantities of arms, purchased of Northern importers and manufacturers, were going South by the Charleston and Savannah routes, as well as by the Adams' Express, had become well known to the authorities, and the Police Superintendent resolved, after, consultation with the Police Commissioners, to stop the shipments, if possible, by retention. Being informed, on the day named, of the large invoice going on board the steamer, he ordered a seizure. The officers took 38 cases, containing 670 muskets, which were conveyed to the Armory. This fact was immediately telegraphed to the Georgia authorities, when the following telegrams passed over the wires:
"MILLEDGEVILLE, Jan. 24, 1861.
"To his Honor, Mayor Wood:
"Is it true that arms intended for and consigned to the State of Georgia have been seized by public authorities in New York? Your answer is important
to us and to New York. Answer at once.
"SAVANNAH, January 24th, 1861.
"To Cromwell & Co.:
"The seizure of the arms
The Seizure of New York Vessels.
from the Monticello' causes excitement here. Can you get them back? We fear retaliation."
Twenty-eight of the cases were consigned to parties in Montgomery, Alabama, and contained 560 Minie rifles; ten cases were consigned to private individuals in Georgia.
Demands were immediately made, by parties interested, for a release of the arms; but the Superintendent refused to make the return, except to the Sheriff, or by regular legal process. A writ was thereupon served, upon which the twenty-eight cases were delivered to the Deputy-Sheriff. process was served for the ten cases, and they remained, accordingly, in the Superintendent's possession.
Thus matters stood until February 9th, when a telegram announced the seizure, at Savannah, by order of Governor Brown, of the following Northern vessels: Barks, Adjuster, Murray, Kibby; brig, Golden Seas; schooner, Julia A. Hallock-all of which were taken as reprisals for the seized guns. The Governor-as in almost every instance of overt acts against the General Government by States and Conventions-"assumed the responsibility," acting without any authority whatever. January 7th, in his message to the Georgia Legislature, he had asked that certain powers of seizure be granted to him. He said:
"Let us meet unjust aggression and unconsti
Mayor Wood returned the following char- tutional State legislation with just retaliation. To acteristic reply:
this end, I recommend the enactment of a law authorizing the Governor of this State, in case any citizen of this State shall in future be deprived of his slaves or other property, under the operation of the aggressive legislation of Massachusetts, to which I have referred, or of like legislation of any other State, or by neglect of any such State to fulfil her constitutional obligations to Georgia or her citizens, by delivering up to the owner, on demand, his slave which may have escaped into such State, to call out such military force as he may deem necessary for the purpose, and to seize such amount of the money or property of any citizen of such offending and faithless State, which may be found within the limits of this State, as may be amply sufficient fully to indemnify such citizen of this State, who may have
been robbed of his property by the failure of such faithless State to discharge its constitutional obligations, and forthwith to notify the Governor of such State of the seizure. In case the Governor of such State shall fail, within thirty days from the time he receives such notice, to cause the property of our own citizen to be returned to him, or its full value paid to him, that it shall then be the duty of the Governor of this State to deliver such quantity of the property so seized to the injured citizen of this
State as may be sufficient fully to indemnify him
"Colonel H. R. Jackson, A. D. C. :
"SIR: I have demanded of the Governor of New
York the prompt delivery to my agent, for D. C. Hodgkins & Sons, citizens of this State, of their guns, seized by the police of New York on board the Monticello, and deposited in the arsenal of that State. The demand has been delivered to him; he
has had a reasonable time, and has made no reply. I am determined to protect the persons and property of the citizens of this State against all such lawless violence, at all hazards. In doing so, I will, if necessary, meet force by force. I feel it my duty in this case to order reprisals. You will, therefore, direct Colonel Lawton to order out sufficient military force, and seize and hold, subject to my order, every ship now in the harbor of Savannah belonging to citizens of the State of New York.
merce, in effect levying tribute, and the declaration of the Montgomery Congress in opening the Southern ports free to foreign commerce, John Cochrane, of New York, will call up on Monday, and press to a passage, the bill heretofore introduced by him, [see page 305,] providing for the thorough execution of the Federal Revenue laws, and for the protection of the commercial interests of the nation against flagitious attacks upon them by the Seceded States."
The pressure brought to bear on Governor Brown, both from Montgomery and Washington, by the directing conspirators, induced an early release of the vessels. February 8th they were discharged from his Executive keeping, upon being informed, as he said, that the arms were restored, and "the honor of Georgia vindicated." But the fact was, the arms consigned to private parties in Alabama were delivered over to the Sheriff, Feb. 7th, as stated, while the Police held possession of the ten eases belonging to Georgia citizens for some days after the release of the vessels, and were finally released only upon proof of their being private property of citizens who could not be proven disloyal. A second reprisal was made by Gov. Brown, which will be referred to hereafter.
This seizure, and the excitement which grew out of it, called public attention to the fact that Northern manufacturers and dealers had heavy orders from all of the Southern States for arms of all kinds. States did not order direct, but accomplished their purpose through been robbed is returned to them, the ships will be individuals; and thus, under the guise of
"When the property of which our citizens have
delivered to the citizens of New York who own them.
"I am, sir, your obedient servant,
"JOSEPH E. BROWN.”
This act of open assault on the property of loyal citizens of course created much excitement in political as well as commercial circles, since it gave the Federal Administration a just casus belli. Southern leaders were alarmed at the catastrophe which it threatened. As indicative of the course to be pursued, a dispatch from Washington announced, (Feb. 9th:)
"By reason of the receipt of information to-day of the seizure of New York ships at Savannah, together with the recent action of the New Orleans Custom-house, in obstructing the interior com
"private property," swords, sabres, pistols, rifles, muskets, ammunition, military goods, and, in some instances, even field-pieces and heavy ordnance, all passed, in a steady stream, from the North to the South. The gold which should have been paid on debts over-due manufacturers and merchants in Northern cities, was used to purchase arms with which to resist the collection of those debts; and the cupidity of the manufacturers of, and dealers in, arms was such that, though they well knew the purposes of the great orders, a chronic love of money forbade them to say "nay" even to avowed traitors. These purchases, and the rich store providently placed, by Floyd, in the Southern arsenals for
OUTRAGES ON NORTHERN MEN.
seizure, gave the different States arms enough to equip several divisions each for immediate service. Had it not been for these sales by Northern men, during December, January, February and March, and the filling up of the Southern arsenals, during the summer of 1860, the rebellion would have been almost powerless for want of arms.
Sad Condition of
conspiracy was said to have been discovered just previous to the holidays, which caused apprehension for a while, and only ended by the hanging of several negroes, by a self-constituted court, and the most terrible punishment of flogging administered to others of the blacks supposed to be implicated. The various communities in the Cotton States were qui vive in regard to the negroes; and the extraordinary precautions taken by planters, by committees of safety, and by the minute-men organizations, prove that, practically, the Southern people regarded their human "property" in any other light than as cattle and horses.*
Outrages perpetrated on Northern Men.
The condition of monetary affairs throughout all the Seceded States grew daily more oppressive, as the winter advanced. Money became of extreme scarcity. The general suspension of specie payment by Southern banks had not given any perceptible relief to the community. Property so rapidly depreciated as to have no longer any fixed value. Real estate in Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah, &c., commanded no sale, at any price; while the inexorable tax levies daily aggregated in their demands until the prospect of oppression as well as of ruin stared property-holders in the face. The two hundred millions due to the North was, by the acts of secession and the general suspension of Federal Courts, as well as by "stay laws” passed by most of the "original seven," placed upon the retired list "to be paid when amicable relations with the North should be restored." Yet, this enormous virtual repudiation scarcely affected the masses -it only gave immunity from pressure to the commercial class; but, even merchants, with stores stuffed by Northern goods, for which only Southern promises-to-pay were given, could find no sale for their stocks except by extending credits, which, in turn, filled their hands with promises-to-pay, liable to be assessed as so much taxable property, upon which assessments must be paid in coin. Slaves, in common with other property, de-able; but, the presence of an overawing power is preciated; and, in all districts they were regarded as a source of weakness rather than of strength in event of a state of war. Several millions of bondmen, ignorant to a degree almost bordering on barbarism, but with native instincts which rendered them a shrewd and persevering race, were not calculated to inspire their masters with a feeling of security; hence, we find alarms of insurrections greatly exciting the States of Alabama and Georgia, during the winter. In the former State a
The excitement against Northern men became so great, that, when the secession movement took the shape of certainty in its accomplishment, persecutions were so generally inflicted as to cause a perfect hegira of Northern mechanics and agents, as well as of those entertaining Union sentiments. Almost every steamer from Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans, during the months of February, March, April, and May, brought numbers of persons of Northern birth, fleeing from the South for their lives. In some instances great amounts of property were left behind-the "Committee of Safety" allowing no time for a man to close his affairs prior to leaving. The summons to leave generally stipulated twenty-four hours as the required time in which to escape from threatened "consequences." The history of some of these cases is peculiarly revolting, and excites in the mind a feeling of incredulity that
*It is denied, in some quarters, that the negroes are a source of weakness. Under military and civil pressure they may be regarded as docile and tract
considered, by the Southerners themselves, as their only safety. The history of the Denmark Vesey insurrection in South Carolina-of the Nat. Turner insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia—prove that in the black breasts of the negroes there is a slumbering fire which no power on earth may quench.
The Charleston papers said their slaves would do the food-raising, the intrenching, &c., while the young men of the South would do the fighting; but, it is to be doubted if any community in the South, during 1861, was left without its available guard against uprisings.