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A Mississippi Threat.
or not they will live under the
tions? impose taxes? appoint Constitution-makers? inaugurate Presidents? Are they oligarchs, and are we nothing?' And each citizen had to confess that there was no reply to these questions. We live under an oligarchy that has not yet dared to trust the people with a say as to its consent. Right as the South is upon the great question at issue, its posi-straction, incapable of application, and invented to tion has been compromitted by the events of the last two months. The consent of the governed is an essential element of government. The people of the South-west might have voted for all that has been done, but their consent has not been yet either asked or obtained."
The Tuscaloosa (AlabaAn Alabama Protest. ma) Monitor was a nonsubmissionist to the reign of tyranny. Its words were significant of the powerful under-current struggling against the revolutionary assumptions of the Conventions and the Congress. It said:
We hold, first, that the ordinance of secession should have been committed to the people for their ratification or rejection; secondly, that the ordinances passed by the Convention should have awaited the issue of this decision; thirdly, that the people
had the right, and it should have been given them, to have chosen the delegates to a Congress which was to have framed for them a government for weal or for woe. And we now demand that the Government formed-its President, Vice-President, and officers-should be submitted to the people for their approval or disapproval. If it is not, we shall, come weal or woe, attempt to fire the people's heart, to educate the people's mind to know their rights and to dare maintain them. We are no submissionists, but right is right and wrong is wrong, and we will not betray our trust. We assert that the people have a right to be heard, and being heard, to be obeyed. And we intend to keep them posted in what we consider to be an infringement of their rights and of their privileges, let the worst come to the worst. If it is treason against the new Confederacy, make the most of it. We know we are right, and, untrammeled and unawed, we will defend the right."
Many of such protests would have shaken the power of the revolutionary leaders;therefore, they were not allowed an utterance. The Jackson (Miss.) MisA Mississippi Threat. sissippian, a strong advocate of secession, became alarmed and indignant at the virtual reign of tyranny inaugurated over the people of the South. It said:
delude them. It will not do to say that in voting for separation from the Union they arranged the terms of confederation with other States, or prescribed the plan of future government. That would be a falsification of history which no sanè man will venture to be guilty of. There is no way of evading the premises we have assumed; hence the conclusion at which we have arrived is unavoidable, viz.: That the Constitution for the permanent government, before Mississippi becomes a party to the compact, must be submitted directly to a vote of the people of the State. If it is not done, the question of the right of the people to form their own Government may require practical solution before the new order is fully established. They will not hold themselves bound by a Government which they have had no hand in creating."
These several protests against the new Confederacy, or against its conduct, cannot be regarded merely as individual expressions, because their grounds of complaint involved geheral principles, and are such grounds as we know were presented by the unparalleled usurpations practiced by the reigning few over the outwitted many.
As to the state of society induced by the unsettled state of affairs, we have evidences to warrant the statement that it was, socially, very baleful. The violence practiced in the months of March, April, and May, upon every person of Union sympathies, was but a wreaking of thought upon expression”—it was a result of the passion and brutal instincts of the masses; and, though deprecated by the better classes, was unopposed, because such opposition would have proven dangerous even to the most patriotic of Southern States' Rights men.
A Southern gentleman, of property and influence, residing at Augusta, Georgia, thus wrote to a friend, during the latter part of · February: "Nine-tenths of our youth go constantly armed, and the common use of deadly weapons is quite disregarded. No control can be exercised over a lad after he is fourteen or fifteen years of age. He then be"It is the right of the people to decide whether comes Mr. So-and-so, and acknowledges no
A Reign of Violence.
master." The spirit which incited the revolution was one of violence, and it is not strange that an excitable people should have proceeded to extremes when every encouragement was offered to passion, and every discouragement shown to reason. The wind was sown to breed the whirlwind, for only thus could the few hundreds hope to control the thousands to do their behests. An | incredible amount of small arms-of pistols, rapiers and bowie-knives passed from the North to the South during the months of January, February, and March. So great, indeed, was the demand for these articles, that they appreciated in value, in New York, fully one hundred per cent. The weapons soon made their appearance on the persons of even the youth in the Seceded States, as stated by the letter-writers, and a corresponding demoralization of manners and morals followed. When the hour came for calling out troops, tens of thousands of these mere youths were found ready for the ranks, and as violent in passions as the most ambitious military officer could wish. In these apparently minor matters are written much of the real history of that sad revolution in society and morals, as well as in government.
The press of the Border States was not all subsidized in the interest of secession. The Lynchburg Virginian, in February, said: "The people can only protect their interests by holding their servants to a strict accountability, and not vainly expect, by a partition of the Confederacy, that will give our section to the exclusive domination of the party which promulgated the demoralizing doctrine that 'to the victors belong the spoils,' and will include, and retain among us, those who have outraged all public and private morality-to promote our welfare.”
The Raleigh (North Carolina) Banner was equally true to the clearly defined rights of the people. It said: "The big heart of the people is still in the Union, and we hope to see it yet assert its supremacy. It is now subjugated temporarily to the will of the politicians. Less than a hundred thousand politicians are endeavoring to destroy the liberties and to usurp the rights of more than thirty millions of people. If the people permit it,
Evidences of a
they deserve the horrors of
Of the feeling entertained in Tennessee to-
The great majority of the people of Tennessee
regarded as a sacred duty to themselves and their
It was highly necessary to invite war and
The Voice of the
and to assert the Reality of the Existing Union by showing her powers to be a protection to the loyal
citizen and a punishment to traitors."
The Common Council of Boston also was
IN the Senate, Monday, [all attempts to palm off upon the people a bogus Union, February 18th, a number by inserting amendments in the Constitution, foreign to and incompatible with the genuine spirit there of of petitions were presented by Messrs. Sumner, Douglas, Bigler, Foster, and others. Mr. King, of New York, presented a memorial, deprecating compromise, and urging adherence to the Constitution, signed by all the Delegates of the twenty-two wards of New York City, of the German Republicans, and also by the two German Presidential Electors. The memorial was accompanied by the resolutions unanimously adopted, as embodying the sense of the German Republicans of New York on the crisis. They are so significant and important as to merit repetition:
"Resolved, The Union, in the sense and meaning of her founders, is built upon the Constitution as it was then made, and as it now is.
"Resolved, The Constitution of the United States contains all guarantees for the peculiar interests of the individual States, to which the same are entitled according to the will of the fathers of the Republic.
•Resolved, The Constitution of the United States, according to the will of the Fathers of this Republic. tolerates Slavery as an existing practice, and does not recognize the same as a legitimate institution.
Resolved, The Union, as designed and made by the Fathers, can only be preserved inviolate by upholding the Constitution as it is, and by executing and enforcing the Federal laws. Every amendment to the Constitution, compassing or tending to the express recognition of Slavery in our fundamental law, is a deviation from the original spirit of this instrument, and tantamount to a dissolution of the Union, built upon this well-laid basis.
“Resolved, Supremacy of the law and unqualified obedience to its power are the only safeguards of Liberty. Compromises and treaties made in compliance with the demands of rebellion and force are the death-blow to the Republic.
"Resolved, In this political crisis it is the duty of Congress, and the only true policy, firmly to resist
represented in a series of resolutions passed by that body, concurred in by the Board of Aldermen, and approved by the Mayor, asking for the adoption, by Congress, of the
The Post-route and the Morrill Tariff bill
were up for consideration, and consumed the day. During the discussions on the latter, some interesting announcements were made by Mr. Simmons, from the Finance Committee, who said: "When the Buchanan Administration came into power, it had twenty-six millions of dollars on hand, and that its outgoings had exceeded all sources of income by over twenty millions annually, making over eighty-three millions of dollars of indebtedness to provide for. To meet that enormous debt the new Tariff bill was proposed."
In the House, Monday, Stanton, from the Committee on Military Affairs, reported a bill supplemental to the acts of 1795 [see page 6] and 1817, providing for the calling forth of the militia for the execution of the laws of the Union, the suppression of insurrection and repelling invasion, so as to extend their provisions to the case of insur rection against the authority of the United States, and authorize the President, in cases where it may be lawful, to use the militia in addition to the army and navy; to accept the services of volunteers as cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and officer the same. [See p. 431.] Mr. Bocock said that if there is to be any
hope of peace, it must be by the rejection of the Peace Propositions fail here, he would
Mr. Stanton said the bill merely supplied people of the North, believing they would
Mr. Bocock objected to the second reading of the bill; the question therefore occurred, Shall the bill be rejected? The House decided in the negative--68 against 110.
In the course of remarks elicited in calling the vote, several Representatives expressed opinions upon the question of the use of force. Sickles, of New York, voted to reject, believing the bill to be a proposition for actual aggressions on the States.
Before any disposition was made of the bill, the morning hour had expired, when the Corwin Report, as the special order, came up, and Webster, (Am.,) of Maryland, expressed his views at length, consuming an hour in his speech. His views were adverse to the right of secession. He trusted the Peace Conference would recommend some measure of adjustment. It can do no more. The responsibility was still on Congress, which could not escape it. His great object was to preserve the Union, and the rights and liberties of all within the Union. He earnestly opposed the policy of force, which would drive the Southern States so far off as to preclude the possibility of reunion, and zealously advocated the policy of conciliation, compromise, and peace. The conduct of those who achieved our independence and established the Constitution was worthy of emulation in its spirit of conciliation. He would accept any fair and just settlement of the Slavery question. Not the slightest advantage has resulted to any part of the country by the discussion of the subject, but the evil of arraigning one section against the other. The vote that morning was a damper on his feelings, and somewhat obscured the hope which he had entertained of a final adjustment.
To the query of Sherman as to whether or not he was willing to defend the public property, Mr. Webster replied that, if precipitating measures in the defence of the public property would be more disastrous than a conciliatory course, he would not enforce the law; but he did not despair of the Republic. If
At the evening session speeches were made by Messrs. Morrill, Edwin R. Reynolds, Ely, and McKean-all firm and uncompromising in tone.
In the House, Tuesday, (February 19th,) Fenton, (Rep.,) of New York, of fered a substitute for the Corwin Report, After citing the provision of the Constitution for calling a National Convention, the substitute read:
Whereas, Varied and conflicting opinions prevail among the members of this House in regard to the causes which have produced the unhappy disturb ances now afflicting our country, and in regard to the proper mode of quieting and adjusting these disturbances, and guarding against their future recurrence: Therefore,
"Resolved, That, in the judgment of this House, the proper tribunal to which all the existing disturbing questions should be referred for deliberate consider. ation and final settlement is a Convention of Delegates from the several States of the Union, to be called in the mode prescribed in the Constitution."
The regular order being resumed, Mr. Stanton's bill calling out the volunteer militia came up, when that gentleman made some explanations regarding the nature and purposes of the bill. He said there was a great deal of misapprehension existing in regard to the bill, and added:
"It was supposed that it was the intention of the Govern
Stanton's Defence of
ment, under its provisions, to raise an army, and to march into the Seceding States to subjugate them. It was not the case. It was a mere revision of the law of 1795, the first section of which provided for the calling out of the militia by the President, for the express purpose of suppressing insurrection in any State against the authority of any State; the second section of which also provides for the calling out of the militia to aid in the execution of the law when resisted by combinations too powerful to be overcome by the ordinary civil process of law. In his judgment, that law of 1795 covers the case of an insurrection against the authority of the United States and the right to call out the militia to put down insurrections. But it ap peared that the late Attorney-General Black has expressed the opinion that it does not cover what is
Stanton's Defence of
MR. STANTON'S DEFENCE OF HIS BILL.
Stanton's Defence of
sought for by this bill; that the | it reached the Senate, where no law of 1795 only authorizes the Parliamentary obstacles could President to call out the militia be interposed, such as existed when the officers of the Court, the Marshals, or others here, in the shape of previous questions, &c, to its are resisted in the execution of process of law direct- consideration. The Committee had, in deference to ed to them, by combinations which the officers could public sentiment, and to avoid any unnecessary not otherwise overcome, and did not authorize call- cause of excitement, delayed the introduction of ing out the militia to put down insurrection against the measure until the very last moment they conthe authority of the United States. In his judgment, ceived they could delay it without endangering its the law was intended to go this far; but to remove passage. He would proceed to state why he all ambiguity on the subject, the Committee deemed believed the present condition of things demanded, it their duty to extend the provisions of the law, and explained the necessity that existed, for the not only to cases of resistance to a specific law, passage of some such law. The incoming Adminisbut in all cases where resistance to the authority of tration did not desire to be necessitated to run the United States, in the execution of any of its counter to the opinion of the late Attorney-General laws, is contemplated." of the present Executive, by exercising a power which that officer decided did not exist. Therefore it was that it was deemed advisable to remedy the law. Besides, they had a knowledge of the fact that the Seceding States were organizing an armed force to support a hostile Confederacy. They were informed that within thirty days they would have an army raised numbering fifty regiments, backed by a levy of fourteen millions of dollars. Now, in the face of this, one of two things must be done."
Sickles interupted to know if any insurrection existed? Stanton replied affirmatively. Sickles said that the President expressed his conviction to the contrary. Stanton answered that he was acting in this matter for the public good, so far as his judgment led him to adopt these measures. The theory of the President was, that while a State might secede, that there was no constitutional right of secession, and the act of the Seceding States was a revolutionary right, which could be treated in no other way by any party than in the light of insurrection or revolution. Whether it requires the measure we provide for its prevention or not, is another question. But, as to the nature of the thing, there is no difference of opinion. between the present Administration and those on this side of the House and the incoming Administration.
Sickles again interrupted, declaring that the acting Administration had asked for no such provisions; and, as the incoming Administration had not asked for it, the bill, he thought, should be. abandoned. Stanton resumed:
"What the existing Administration would do, if it was to be continued in office for four years more, he did not know, in the face of existing difficulties; but the fact that the existing Administration, whose lease of power expires in two weeks, had not deemed it necessary in that short interval to call for additional powers, was no reason why no precautions should be taken to provide for an emergency which no patriotic man would say would not arise in the next four years. They were now within ten days of the expiration of the present Congress, and if this bill is to pass at all, no unnecessary delay should be allowed to hamper its påssage here, until
Craige, of North Carolina, interrupted, saying the Southern Confederacy was a friendly power; that the States had exercised a constitutional right to secede, and ought not to be regarded or treated as a hostile power. Stanton answered:
Secession might be looked upon as a constitutional right, but here they had the authority of the United States superseded, and its revenues and im posts could not be collected, without some mode aside from the ordinary mode of collection. One of two things must, therefore, be done. Either this right of secession must be recognized, and the laws of the United States abandoned; and the ports of these States must be treated as free ports, and thus all the commerce of the country would be diverted from Boston, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphhia; either this must be done, or else the duties on goods imported to those Southern ports must be collected, and these ports suspended as ports of entry, and their commerce made illegal. Some gentlemen opposed to them say that the authority of the United States over these States should be surrendered and abandoned, and the whole commerce of the country be thus allowed to be diverted, and the country to be supplied with imports through Southern channels.. That is about the state of things. He had no doubt that it was the expectation of the incoming Administration either to collect the revenue at these ports by vessels of war stationed at their harbors, or by some measure, to