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ferent ideas; and these ideas had their origin far back in English history, and have grown into greater distinctness and division here because of the latitude given to each in widely separated geographical positions. In 1860, Lincoln was elected President; the first President that had been elected purely upon the principles that based the conflicts between the people of England and James II. and Charles I.; the principles of universal liberty, equality, toleration, self-government, against their unjust and demoralizing opposites.
In Great Britain, from Elizabeth Tudor to Victoria, the Cavalier or Tory element has held the reins and the patronage of the government, rave during the Commonwealth under Cromwell, when the Puritans had the power. Still, that aristocracy has suffered a gradual and continual encroachment from the democracy, in proportion as education and morality have increased among the middle masses of the people, and one by one the great prerogatives of the Court and Crown have been torn away and made to subserve the interests of the people. Now, true to their ancient instincts and hereditary policy, under the Tory lead of the Earl of Derby, and Earl Russell, and Palmerston, they hold the official action of the government, and subject the movement of the press to the decided advantage of the Aristocracy first established at Jamestown, and to the decided prejudice of the Democracy first founded at Plymouth. Under the lead of Bright, Cobden, and Brougham in England, of far-sighted and patriotic statesmen in the United States, Democracy can only hope for peace and the triumph of its principles in the control and the sovereignty of ihe two great Saxon constitutional governmeuts of history.
Development of the Conspiracy. This is a rebellion of the politicians and aristocracy in the slave interest, and not of the people. There are two classes in the South, the slaveholding aristocracy, and the people. The poor whites have but little political significance. The aristocracy maintain the traditionary memories of Virginia; political power is their ambition; they have the wealth, education, social culture, and the habit of public life to help them in retaining their long-held political ascendancy. They have become attached to this ascendancy, and will not yield it without a struggle. The masses of the people are beginning to know their political significance, and in the end will overturn the aristocracy. I'he open war between the Puritan and Cavalier, between Massachusetts and Virgi ia, between the great Aristocracy and the great Democracy of the Union, has commenced. In the Presidential election of 1860, the Aristocracy met with a Waterloo defeat, and, to recover their old ascendancy, organized Rebellion and commenced civil war. It is the progress of this Rebellion that we would outline.
The Conspiracy in 1832. It actually commenced in 1832–3, in South Carolina. She claimed that Jefferson maintained the right of a State to judge of the constitutionality of a law, and to nullify the law if unconstitutional. In her opposition to the tariff of '28 South Carolina based her action upon this principle. She alleged that this tariff increased the cost of living in the South, and aided the domestic manufacturers of the North. Hayne took up her cause in the Senate, and was defeated by the irresistible logic of Webster. South Carolina called a convention of delegates to consider the crisis ; Virginia, by a vote of one hundred and fifty-four to sixty-eight, passed a vote of nullification ; Alabama and Georgia beartily seconded South Carolina ; but North Carolina stood firní for the Union. The nullification convention of the States met, Hayne was chosen chairman, the tariffs of '28 and '32 were denounced as unconstitutional ; it was voted that no appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States should be listened to ; and that attempts to enforce the laws should be resisted by force. The Guvernor of South Carolina prepared to enforce resistance. Mr. Calhoun, Vice-President of the United States, resigned. But President Jackson declared nullification to be revolution, and that the Union should be presei ved. He prepared to enforce his decrees by arms - - the nullifiers saw the hopelessness of their cause, and concluded to submit, and, as far as possible, undo the work which they had done. The decision of the President' saved the Union.
But the feeling of envy and hatred toward the North was not dead. Free labor, capital, and ideas, were gaining an ascendancy in the Union that was dangerous to Southern principles. The balance of power must be retained. From 1832 to 1850 the two sections kept alive a bitter sectional contest. The Southern leaders looked about them, and found in Mexico a means to help them to retain the balance of power. For a frivolous pretext war was made upon her, and Texas, with a large portion of Mexican territory, became a part of the United States. Slave States were provided for from this territory, and this accomplished one more result for the Southern aristocracy.
As another act in the great programme, the Fugitive Slave bill of 1850 was passed. In this the South was again triumphant, and the North indignant. The people, questioning the constitutional provisions for the rendition of fugitives, declared that they would not become the slave-catchers of the South. They carried their opposition into the press, the pulpit, the courts, the streets. Notwithstanding this, their reverence for law was such, that in many instances the provisions of the law were permitted to be executed. The discussions of agitators upon this law widened the breach between the North and the South.
The progress of the rebellion again appeared in Congress in 1854. Douglass introduced a bill providing that any State applying for admission to the Federal Union might come in with or without slavery, as her coustitution might provide ; also that ihe people of .he territories might legislate for themselves, taking away the power of Congress to legislate for them. These were the State and Squatter Sovereignty doctrines.
It was a virtual abrogation of the Missouri Compromise. The bill passed - the North was alarmed. The battle was commenced in Kansas and Nebraska. The South poured in her armed men, the North her men armed with the rifle and the plough; and, between them, Kansas became a field of blood.
This prepared the way for the Presidential election of 1856. Both parties seized upon the anti-slavery sentiment, and moulded it to party purposes. But the anti-slavery party had become so strong that the election of Fremont was confidently predicted, Alarmed at this prospect, the South openly declared that she should oppose the Government in that event, and prevent the inauguration of the President though constitutionally elected. Fremont was defeated. The election of one more favorable to Southern interests averted for a time the calamity of civil war. Though the election of Buchanan quieted public agitation upon the “irrepressible conflict," the moral principle and pecuniary interest deemed to be involved on the one side and the other kept up the controversy, yet it was more confined and subdued.
The Presidential election of 1860 approached. The democratic convention was held at Charleston. The ultra Southerners took an extreme position upon the slavery question. The moderate democrats of the North could not sustain them. The party split, and the ultraists nominated Breckenridge, and the seceding faction nominated Douglass as candidates for the Presidency. The Republican convention nominated Lincoln, of Illinois; and the constitutional Union men, Bell, of Tennessee. The campaign was exciting, one full of party animosity, and hard fought. In the result, Lincoln had one hundred and eighty, Douglass twelve, Bell thirty-nine, and Breckenridge seventy, two of the votes of the Electoral College. The Republican candidate was declared elected President of the United States. The South, all the time protesting, declared secession to be her policy, forgetting the duty of the minority to yield; and, aided by those in the confidence of the government, she commenced plotting for rebellion and civil war.
The Conspiracy in 1860. The work of disintegration soon commenced, South Carolina taking the initiatory. November 5, 1860, her Governor issued a secession message, and counselled the Lexislature to consider the crisis, and prepare to defy the power of the United States. December 20th her convention unanimously passed an ordinance of secession... 1 he fire, once lighted, spread rapidly throughout ihe Cotton States. January 9th Mississippi followed in her footsteps; on the Ulth, Alabama; the 12th, Florida; the 19th; Georgia; the 28th, Louisiana; and February 1st, Texas, - all passed ordinances of secession; thus dissolving their political connection with the United States of America.
November 9th and 11th, the senators and representatives of South Carolina in Con. gress withdrew, and on January 21st those of Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida resigued their seats; and on February 6th all those of Louisiana, save Bouligny, withdrew.
The process of dissolution was not confined to the secession of States and the withdrawal of members from Congress. Members of the Cabinet residing in the Southern States considered their allegiance to their States superior to that to the United States. December 10th, Cobb, of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury, and the 29th, Floyd, of Virginia, Secretary of War, resigned their places in the Cabinet. Through their unparalleled treachery to the Government that had given them the highest confidence, they had so crippled the forces of the Union, in the robbing of money and arms, that the interests of secession were assisted nearly into an equality of power with the rest of the Union.
The work thus commenced was not to be half-way - the position taken was to be sustained by arms. In December, South Carolina's Legislature authorized the seizure of all arsenals, arms, and forts within her limits. January 3d, Governor Brown, of Georgia, ordered the seizure of Forts Pulaski and Jackson, at Savannah; on the 4th the authorities of Alabama seized Fort Morgan ; on the 10th the authorities of Mis is. sippi seized the forts and other United States property within her limits; on the 12th the Navy Yard and property at Pensacola were taken; on the 28th the rebels of Louisjana took the United States revenue cutter, and other property, and the money in the mint at New Orleans; and, to complete this list of plundering, General Twiggs of Texas surrendered the United States forces and property in his hands into the power of the rebels. The forts seized were armed and manned, the arsenals were robbed, the militia of the cotton States was called out, and every material preparation made to withstand any attempt of the Union for self-preservation. Legislatures were convened, minute 'men organized, mass meetings held, the suspension of banks was legalized, millions were voted to carry out the nefarious designs of the secessionists; Southern rights associations were organized, Northern men were daily arrested, Union men were awed into silence, the levying of executions issuing from ihe United States courts was prevented by Legislatures, religious conferences passed resolutions favoring secession, and Palmetto and State flags were flying everywhere, and everywhere the Stars and Stripes were hauled down and trailed in the dust. The news of secession was hailed with acclamations of delight; and, to close this saturnalia, two hundred and sixteen of the patients in the United States Hospital at New Orleans were removed to make room for the secession troops of Louisiana. Theft was hunored, robbery justified, and inhumanity to the sick became a public virtue; law, order, peace, brotherly love patriotism, and respect for historical memories, all declined to their confounding contraries.
Among the leading men, the Governor of Florida, Governor Moore of Alabama, Letcher of Virginia, and Moore of Louisiana, Cobb, Johnson, and Floyd, in the Cabo inet, senators Clingman of North Carolina and Toombs of Georgia, the Governors of Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Kentucky, and Barnwell, Orr, and Adams, the three South Carolina commissioners to Washington, and Ex-Governor Moorehead, of Kentucky, Davis, Beauregard, and a host of others, leading men, all honorable men in the South, men nourished into growth and power by the Union, now turned their faces and their swords against that Union, to destroy it.
Not all, however, was rotten in Denmark. Governor Hicks of Maryland refused to convene the Legislature, and so, also, did Governor Houston of Texas." Andrew Johnson of Tennessee raised his voice against the madness of secession, and Crittenden of Kentucky used his character and eloquence to withstand the tide; and seven in the Florida convention, seventeen in the Louisiana, and thirty-nine in the Alabama convention, voted against the ordinance of secession. Crittenden, in the Senate, introduced compromise measures, but they failed to meet with general approval. Boteler, in the House, introduced a resolution calling for
a Peace Convention of all the States; it was called, but the efforts of that convention proved a failure.
The secessionists would not be conciliated; they would have disunion; and in spite of all the efforts of eminent men, the patriotic appeals of a large class of conservatives distinguished for the moderation of their temper and the dignity of their character, and the wise deliberations of peace conventions, seven Staies and four millions of people were drawn into the whirlpool of secession. Congress met, and adjourned again, unable to do anything save leave the fate of the Union in the hands of the incoming Administration.
President Lincoln's Inaugural. The fourth of March approached, the day that was to see the departure of an old, and the advent of a new Administration in the midst of pending serious national calamities. The opinions of the incoming Executive were looked for with the most intense interest, -as was his progress watched from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he had intimation of a plot for his assassination while passing through Baltimore. At the earnest solicitation of his friends, he made a hurried departure from Philadelphia, and a disguised passage through Baltimore, thus cheating the minions of secession in that city of a coveted opportunity to make themselves infamous. He arrived in Washington Feb. 23d. Upon the 4th of March, A. D. 1861, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, was duly sworn in as President of the United States, for four years from that date. The ceremony was solemn and impressive in the extreme. Rumors of revolt, of assassination, of a destruction of the Capital on that day, were rife, which put the Executive authorities upon their guard. General Scott, the great soldier and the firm and faithful patriot, so organized his forces and disposed them throughout the city, and in the vicinity of the capital, that assassination was improbable. Thus the barbarism of those in the interest of secession compelled the capital of the Great Republic to assume the appearance of a feudal city a thousand years before, when fear and the sword ruled, instead of justice and moral dignity of character. The ceremonies were completed without disaster or crime, and his inaugural was delivered from the balcony of the Capitol. Every man North and South looked for each word with deepest interest, for in that they saw would be foreshadowed the new policies that were to deal with and master the fierce political and revolutionary elements of the day. We will state his most important positions.
His Position. He said, at the outset, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, and affirmed the right of each State to control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment. He reassured the people that the prosperity, peace, and security of no section was to be endangered by the incoming Administration, and assured all the States of protection under the Constitution. The obligation to abide by the Constitution in the rendition of fugitives was strongly asserted, and amendments to the laws under which they were to be rendered up were suggested. The disruption of the Union was formidably attempted, but he held that the Union was perpetual, and that the Constitution contained no provision for its own termination, and that it was impossible to destroy the Union, save by soine action not contemplated in the Constitution. The Union was held as older than the Constitution; - as formed by the Articles of Association of 1774, Dearly matured in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, further matured in the Articles of Confederation of 1778, and finally perpetually completed in the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. Therefore it follows that any resolves or ordinances to the effect of dissolution are void; any acts of violence, in any State, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary. In his view, he considered the Union unbroken, and said, " I shall take care, as the Constitution itself enjoins me, that the laws of the Union shall be faithfully executed in all the States; and this I sball do, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall with hold the requisi, tion, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary." He trusted that this would not be regarded as a menace, but only as a declared purpose of the Union to maintain itself. He said that in doing this “ there should be no bloodshed, unless it was forced upon the national authority.” He asserted that the power given to him “should be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and collect the duties and imposts;" that beyond this there should be “no invasion, nó using of force against or among the people anywhere." Obnoxious officers were not to be forced upon the people; the mails were to be furnished to all parts of the Union, unless repelled; and this course was to be pursued, unless experience showed that a modification would be proper. He said nothing to those seeking to destroy the Union, but appealed strongly to the patriotism of those who loved the Union. No instance was recollected in which a plain provision of the Constitution had been denied. It would justify revolution for a majority to refuse a minority any of its rights, but the majority or the minority must acquiesce in the constitutional decisions of the other. In his opinion, “ Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy;' also, a majority held in check by Constitutional provisions was the only true sovereign of a free people. He doubted 'the justice of having the policy of the Government irrevocably fixed by the decisions of the Supreme Court, and believed the substantial cause of difference between the two sections was, that one side believed that slavery was right, and ought to be extended, and the other that it was wrong, and ought not to be extended. Physically speaking, we cannot separate; and he significantly asked, “Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws ?" He would recommend no amendment to the Constitution, but if the people desired it, would favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity for the people to act upon one; and he had no objection to an express and irrevocable amendment that Congress should not meddle with the domestic institutions of the States. “In your hands," said he, “my dissatisfied fellowcountrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you; you can have no conflict without yourselves being the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government; while I shall bave the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.""
Thus he assumed his positions within the Constitution and the laws, and for the law. ful continuance of their sovereignty in all the States of the Union. No friend of the Union could complain at his distinct statements, and his logical views of the difficulties of the hour. The friends of the Union had hoped that he, though alleged to be elected by a sectional party, would abandon all sectionalism in his sentiments, if he entertained any, and see nothing but his whole country, the preservation of the peace, the protection of all men in their legal rights. In this Inaugural, they saw that ihey were not disappointed. Not possessing the polish of literary culture, it has a plain, business-like directness in exact harmony with the parliamentary spirit of the age, which seeks the accomplishment of practical results, rather than well turned phrases and bigh-toned eloquence in a state document. His commencement was the omen of a successful Administration.
Fort Sumter. Throughout the North the Inaugural was received with decided approbation. The clouds seemed to break away from the future, for the Government was seen to have a policy, a decision of character not so easily discovered in the Administration just resigning its power. In the South, among the Secessionists, the Inaugural was denounced as a declaration of war, and anathema and derision were showered upon the head of him who was faithfully seeking to lead a divided nation to peace. The public sentiment of the North commenced concentrating around the President, to sustain the flag of the Union wherever it was insulted or torn down. Loyalty was the sentiment and the word of the North. The Executive, thus backed by the people, commenced the most cautious movements to avoid an open rupture, yet to maintain the dignity of the laws. But the Secessionists, crying out against the tyranny and the sectionalism of the North, secretly laid their plans to force the Government to consent to peaceable secession or to open war.
The Congress of the Confederate States passed their Army bill, to organize a material force with which to maintain their hosiile position. Their action did not pause with resolves, - they put their thoughts into deeds, and compelled the friends of the Union to believe that there was no alternative but a civil war or a dissolution of the Union. March 18th, by a general order, General Bragg cut off the supply of fuel, water, and provisions, to the armed vessels of the United States in Pensacola harbor. On the 12th, the Confederate Commissioners, believing that they could coerce the North into a peaceable negotiation for a dissolution of the Union, presumed to address a note to Secretary Seward, in which they expressed a desire to open a negotiation for a peaceful separation of the States. Mr. Seward very properly replied to them that he should refuse to recognize them as agents, or hold official or diplomatic intercourse with them.
At Savannah, Ga., on the 21st, was the first great annunciation of the principles upon which the Southern Confederacy was to be founded. Mr. Alexander H. Stevens, the Vice-President of the Confederate States, in a speech upon the subject, said of his government, "Its foundations are laid, its corner stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical and moral truth.” This announcement, made with barefaced honesty, went through the country, and deeply stirred the moral sensibilities of the people. Men could not believe that the days of a Nero and a Caligula had come again.
Then followed quickly those acts that brought the agitations of the hour to an issue. The Secessionists would not tolerate neutrality - they compelled men to declare their faith. Fort Sumter had long been besieged, and was in a suffering condition. It became the duty of the Government to send to it supplies, and it informed the authorities at Charleston that those supplies should be sent peaceably if possible, but forcibly if
they must. They had formed a cordon of fire around the fort, and watched every sail that approached it with a determination for its destruction. An unarmed schooner was fired into; and the Star of the West, loaded with Government supplies for the fort, was also fired into by the surrounding batteries, and compelled to retire. These were the first guns of South Carolina directed against the Union. By her treason, a starving and beleaguered garrison, which had been placed in her harbor for her defence, was to be cut off from existence.
The drama now rapidly commenced to thicken. April 8th, Beauregard informed Walker, the Confederate Secretary of War, that President Lincoln intended to provision Fort Sumter peaceably, or by force; to which Walker replied on the 10th, that he should demand its immediate evacuation, and if refused, that he should reduce it. The 11th, Beauregard communicated this to Anderson, and stated that the command and property should be respected, and the flag saluted on being taken down. Major Anderson replied that his sense of honor, and his obligation to his Government, prevented his complying with the demand, and also stated verbally to the bearer, that he should be starved out in a few days if he was not battered to pieces. Walker then inquired at what time he would evacuate, and Anderson replied on the 15th, if he did not receive supplies or controlling instructions from the Government. This was not satisfactory to the rebel statesman. On the 12th, he was informed that fire would be opened upon him in one hour.
The Battle. At 4, A. M., nineteen batteries commenced pouring their iron hail into the fort. This opened the battle that was to determine the last great issue between the Ancient Barbarism and the Modern Civilization.
To the surprise of Major Anderson, a masked battery of 33 heavy guns opened and crashed their shot against the walls of the fort. The Major was calm, and equal to the occasion. He leisurely breakfasted his men at half past six, while shot and shell were flying thick around them. He then divided his command into three reliefs, disposed them, and opened fire upon
Cumming's Point, Fort Moultrie, and Sullivan's Island. The floating battery of the rebels, with its slant roof of heavy iron, proved a more effectual resistance to cannon shot than was anticipated, and was but little injured. Fort Moultrie did not stand our heavy and well-aimed guns as well. The fire of the rebels was so terrific, that it was impossible to use the para pet guns. A man, however, was kept on the lookout, and cried “shot,” or “shell,” so that before the missile reached the fort, the men had time to rush to shelter. This saved life. The rebel fire continued. After two days' firing at the flagstaff, a portion was shot away. The officers' quarters were destroyed. The barracks caught fire several times on the first day and
were extinguished; but the second day, taking tire, they could not be put out. The walls were soon greatly weakened by the tons of iron hailed against them, the main gates were destroyed, and to complete the work of destruction, the fort took fire on all sides. Through fear that it would communicate with the powder magazine, ninety-six barrels of powder were thrown into the sea. The cartridges soon gave out, and sheets, shirts, and blankets were used in making them, until these gave out also, and there was absolutely nothing with which to continue fighting. The men suffered all things but death. The last biscuit had been eaten 36 hours before, the fire increased to such a heat that the men had to lay upon the ground with their handkerchiefs to their mouths to keep from suffocation; and this would have been no prevention if it had not been for an eddy of wind that fortunately passed through the fort.
Thus matters stood in a most critical and desperate condition, until the close of the 13th. Senator Wigfall then made his appearance at one of the embrasures, and said that he came from Beauregard, and urged them to suspend fire and surrender. At his request, a white flag was displayed from the embrasure; but, instead of respecting it, as is done by the rules of war among civilized nations, rebel shot was directed at it. The soldier holding it came down; and Wigfall himself then took it, but was compelled to retreat also, and no one else was found who would take the perilous responsibility. To his request for evacuation, Major Anderson replied that he would evacuate on the terms already stated, and none other. Wigfall then retired. Others soon came, who said that Wigfall was not authorized by Beauregard. The brave Major Anderson finding that further resistance was madness, agreed upon the same terms of evacuation which he before prescribed. These were that they might march out with all the company and side arms and individual property, at their own time, in their own way, and ihat they should salute the flag upon taking it down. Then preparations for the evacuation were made, the flag was saluted with fifty guns as it was lowered, and the men marched out playing Yankee Doodle and Hail to the Chief. The only men killed on our side were iwo, at the firing of the last gun in the salute; and they were buried at the foot of the flagstaff, with the honors of war,
Thus fell Fort Sumter at the hands of South Carolina; the first State to forget the memory of her fathers, the first to repudiate and put from her the fruits of the glorious battle-fields of the Revolution, the first to make war upon that Constitution that Jefferson and Hamilton framed, and that Washington prepared the way for with his sword. With treason in her heart, with suicide in her brain, and 5000 men and 19 heavy batteries in her hand, she attacked a small fort and sixty starved men, and went into ecstacies of delight at her victory. She will yet find that it was not a victory, but a terrible defeat, for in her attack upon Sumter she attacked the moral dignity and fastness of modern civilization, and this cannot yield to South Carolina.