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LOUISIANA'S ORDINANCE OF SECESSION.
was instantly excluded from the committee. | enter into stipulations to guarantee the exercise of The Ordinance was reported January 24th, those rights." and discussion on it postponed to the succeeding day. A resolution, to thank the Governor for seizing the forts at the mouths of the Mississippi, and the arsenal at Baton Rouge, was offered. A warm discussion followed, when a message was received from the Governor, giving particulars of the acts of seizure. The resolution was finally adopted-118 to 5. The discussion on the Ordinance was continued through Friday. Saturday, the proposition to submit the Ordinance to a vote of the people was rejected by a vote of-yeas, 45; nays, 84. The Ordinance itself was then put upon its direct passage, and was adopted, by the vote of 113 to 17. It read :
"An Ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of Louisiana and the other States united with her, under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States of America.
"We, the people of the State of Louisiana, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the Ordinance passed by this State on the 22d of November, 1807, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America and the amendments of said Constitution were adopted, and all the laws and ordinances by which Louisiana became a member of the Federal Union, be, and the same are, hereby repealed and abrogated, and the union now subsisting between Louisiana and the other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.
After the adoption was announced, Gov. Moore and his staff, in military dress, entered the hall, and formally presented the President of the Convention with the Pelican flag. One hundred guns were fired from the State-house grounds. The Commissioners of Alabama and South Carolina were present, and, on Friday, made "powerful addresses," urging immediate secession, and the sending of delegates to the Montgomery Convention. Their influence contributed much toward suppressing the cooperationist or delay sentiment in the Convention. Saturday, the Convention adjourned, to meet at New Orleans on Tuesday. Wednesday, Jan. 30th, delegates were elected to the Montgomery Congress. Slidell and Benjamin, the telegraph reported, were defeated for delegates. It should here be said, however, that they preferred not to be deputized. It was understood that both of these gentlemen entertained a scheme for a Confederacy, to embrace the original "Louisiana purchase" and Texas-of which they, of course, were to become chiefs; but, the influence of the Commissioners from other States, and the desire of the delegates to throw the responsibilities of reorganization upon a Congress of States, prevailed to induce the representation of Louisiana in that Congress. Benjamin and Slidell, thus presented the spectacle so frequently recorded in history, of having built a house only to be turned out of it.
"We further declare and ordain, that the State of Louisiana hereby resumes the rights and powers On the 29th, the United States revenue heretofore delegated to the Government of the Unit-cutter McClelland, one of the best vessels in ed States of America, and its citizens absolved from allegiance to the said Government; and she is in full possession of all the rights and sovereignty that appertain to a free and independent State.
"We further declare and ordain, that all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or any act of Congress, or treaty, or under law of this State not incompatible with this Ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as though this Ordinance had not passed."
The following resolution was annexed: "We, the people of Louisiana, recognize the right of free navigation of the Mississippi River and tributaries by all friendly States bordering thereon. We also recognize the right of the ingress and egress of the mouths of the Mississippi by all friendly States and powers; and hereby declare our willingness to
the Customs' service, was handed over to the Louisiana authorities by her commander, Breshwood, a Virginian. Secretary Dix had sent a special agent to New Orleans to relieve Captain Breshwood of the command. At the appearance of this agent, Captain Breshwood refused to obey orders, and transferred his vessel as stated. The revenue cutter Cass, at Mobile, commanded by Captain J. J. Morrison, a Georgian, was, on the same day, transferred to the State authorities of Alabama, to save it from the special orders of the determined Dix. Although these vessels were under charge of the Treasury Department, the War Department had the officering of them. Mr. Floyd had chosen the
proper men for the act of treason at the met at Austin, Jan. 28th. proper time.
These transactions were but preliminary to the seizure of the United States Customhouse, Mint, and Sub-treasury, in New Orleans. These buildings and contents were taken possession of February 1st, by order of the Governor, acting by advice of the Convention. The Mint and Sub-treasury contained $511,000 in specie, subject to call of the Federal Government. General Dix had, on January 25th, given Adams' Express an order for $350,000 of $389,000 then at the Mint. The Express, on applying for the coin, was put off with evasive answers by the officer in charge, and, on the 1st, was informed that the State had seized the money. Howell Cobb here proved that he, too, was a "benefactor to Southern independence”—having, like his friend Floyd, so far studied contingencies, that the right men were placed in the right place to "do the nice thing" at the right time.
The forts seized, January 11th-12th, comprised the fine structures at the main mouth of the Mississippi-St. Philips and Jackson; the fort at the Lake Ponchartrain entrancePike; and Fort Macomb, at Chef Menteur. The works at Ship Island, upon which Government had spent a large sum of money, were, also, cleared of Federal workmen. was to this incomplete structure that Mr. Floyd ordered the forty-six heavy guns from the Alleghany Arsenal. [See page 115.] Louisiana, by these several "appropriations," became possessed of property which cost the General Government over seven million dollars. When we add to this the original purchase money of millions paid Napoleon I. for the Territory, and also add the seven millions paid annually, for many years, by the country, as a duty on sugar, almost expressly to protect" Louisiana sugar planters, and give them a monopoly in the market-we may safely conclude that whatever grievances Louisiana may have suffered in the Union, they did not prevent her from fattening out of the National Treasury.
The Ordinance of Secession
"An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State
"SEC. 1. Whereas, the Federal Government has failed to accomplish the purposes of the compact of Union between these States, in giving protection either to the persons of our people upon an exposed frontier, or to the property of our citizens; and whereas, the action of the Northern States is violative of the compact between the States and the guarantees of the Constitution; and, whereas, the recent developments in federal affairs make it evident that the power of the Federal Government is sought to be made a weapon with which to strike down the interests and property of the people of Texas and her sister Slaveholding States, instead of permitting it to be, as was intended-our shield against outrage and aggression-therefore, we, the people of the State of Texas, by delegates in the Convention assembled, do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by our Convention of delegates on the fourth (4th) day of July, A.D. 1845, and afterwards ratified by us, under which the Republic
of Texas was admitted into the Union with other States, and became a party to the compact styled The Constitution of the United States of America'
be, and is hereby,repealed and annulled.
"That all the powers which, by the said compact, were delegated by Texas to the General Govern ment are resumed. That Texas is of right absolved from all restraints and obligations incurred by said compact, and is a separate Sovereign State, and that her citizens and people are absolved from all allegiance to the United States, or the Government thereof.
SEC. 2. The Ordinance shall be submitted to the people of Texas for their ratification or rejection, by the qualified voters, on the 23d day of February, 1861; and unless rejected by a majority of the votes
cast, shall take effect and be in force on and after the 2d day of March, A.D. 1861. Provided, that in the representative district of El Paso, said election may be held on the 18th day of February, 1861.
"Done by the people of the State of Texas, in Convention assembled, at Austin, the 1st day of Feb
The Texas State Convention of Delegates ruary, A.D. 1861."
A CHAPTER OF INCIDENTALS. PEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CHIEF CONSPIRATORS. THE ACTIVE MEANS EMPLOYED то SUPPRESS UNION SENTIMENT IN THE SOUTH. A FEW
FIGURES FOR CON
Ir is certain so great a conspiracy as that In Mississippi, Jefferson conceived, for years, by the discontented spir- Davis, United States Senaits of the South, never could have been car-tor, was, at once, the Janus ried out with any degree of success, had it not and the Jupiter Tonans of the revolution. enlisted, as directors, men of consummate tal-Less insolent than Toombs, he was scarcely ents for the peculiar work. Great emergen-less devoted to the idea of Southern indecies produce great men, history informs us; pendence. Sagacious, calm, watchful and the adage is verified in the story of the second worldly-wise, holding the sentiment of his American Revolution, whose gigantic dimen-State as in the hollow of his hand, he drew sious created, or evoked, leaders possessed of all the qualifications necessary to direct it. The revolution in each State found a master-spirit, who controlled its wild elements completely, and, by the supremacy of its imperious will, gave it all the features necessary to immediate success, or requisite for ultimate aims. We will photograph a few of those chiefs who brought on the crisis, and who piloted the States to the destined goal of a Southern Confederacy.
the people and their representatives into his schemes as silently, yet resistlessly, as the deep-sea current which drives the waters of the ocean against wind and tide until they are subdued to its control. In habits unostentatious, in demeanor courteous, in conversation impressive, with industry, tact, and courage equal to any circumstances, he was qualified for the supreme authority with which he became invested-a supremacy which he doubtless determined upon when the idea of a purely Slave Confederacy was conceived.
disinterested to lead the Slidell was the man. As
In Georgia, the directing Will of her destiny was United States Senator Ro- In Louisiana, United bert Toombs--a man combining, in equal de- States Senator, John Sligrees, pride, self-confidence, ambition, and dell, was the directing impatience of control. Able as a debater, spirit. Mr. Benjamin, though more generally shrewd in intrigue, tireless in the pursuit of recognized as the representative of the senan object, he, at an early day, became the re-timent of his State in the Senate, was too cognized leader of those who plotted for a dis- honest, candid, and solution of the Union and the formation of van of revolution. a new Union, to be composed only of Slave sly and subtle as the snake in his own caneStates. Howell Cobb, Crawford, Iverson, brakes, he wormed himself into the counsels all had to give way before his imperious of Mr. Buchanan to such a degree as to win sway. When the uprising came, it was his the sobriquet of "wet-nurse to the Adminwand which commanded it. Legislature, istration." Then he plotted and intrigued Convention, and People, obeyed it with mili- with the genius of Lucifer. When stroking tary alacrity and precision. Georgia was his the vestments of the Executive he was only own, to order and control as he would. She feeling for the spot where to strike when the had no wish or will that was not embodied moment came to throw off his friendly mask. in one word-Toombs. Ominous word! When Louisiana hesitated, he had but to
point his finger to command her obedience. | disdain of results, which rendered him the He would have taken the State "out of the very model of a revolutionist. He gained the Union" if his constituents all had opposed. right of leadership by priority of discovery, He entered into the conspiracy like a Cartha-"always having prophecied a Southern Conginian, to conquer, not to be conquered. federacy." John Forsythe, Mr. Clay, Mr. Curry, all confessed to his ascendency, and submitted to his unnegatived dictum.
In Florida, United States Senator, David L. Yulee, assumed the proud distinction of a second Cromwell. Not that he at all resembled the Puritan. His scorn was to be thought to have the most distant kinship to anything which sounded like Plymouth Rock; but, like Cromwell, he preferred fight to philosophy, and, from his high place in the National Senate, marshaled the confident host of Florida (the entire State polls less than fifteen thousand votes) against the Government. With little of the prudence, but with all the vanity requisite for hazardous enterprise, he assumed to walk in the footsteps of his illustrious superior, Toombs, -like old Hickory's body-servant, to do his "dragooning."
South Carolina was moved by the spirit of her dead Calhoun. She had leaders —indeed, she had many leaders, so prolific is the little State in men actuated to take "leading positions." But, they all consulted the shade of the Great Departed, like midnight devotees of Memnon, and sought to make unto themselves no graven image that did not bear the impress of his erect hair and lion's mien. South Carolina's misfortune was in having so many leaders: Rhett, jun. and sen., Orr, Memminger, Adams, Pickens, Jamison, Keitt, Hammond, Chestnut, Boyce, Barnwell, Withers, Bonham, McQueen, Ashmore, Hayne, Preston, Dunkin, Calhoun, Butler, Miles, Magrath, Gist, and the Charleston Mercury. For a State numbering fifty thousand voters it may be said that South Carolina was pretty well provided with "men for the crisis." No wonder she rebelled!
Arkansas, in Albert Rust, one of her two Representatives in the Lower House of Congress, found her ablest director. The Senators of that State possessed compar atively little popular influence; but Mr. Rust, "smelling of Arkansas soil and breathing the untamed spirit of her wilds," controlled the popular heart to an unlimited degree. Able in Congress, fearless in spirit, true to his Southern convictions and associations, he was admirably fitted to lead the whirlwind and direct the storm of rebellion in his young State. The State was loyal to the Union until he declared for secession-then, Arkansas was ready for the "precipitous" act. In Texas, Wigfall, United States Senator, was the spirit of discord, par excellence. With all the bravado of Toombs, but without his common sense-with none of the shrewdness of Slidell, and all of the vanity of Yulee and Yancey combined-with a real genius for a "row," Wigfall entered into the game of revolution with as much zest as a pearl-hunter, who, having discovered a new placer, is eager to try the perils of the deep soundings. Though erratic, visionary, fickle and intractabel, he embodied so many of the requisites of a good conspirator, in his dashing, reckless, brilliant ways, that the greater conspirators made hi a very useful and trenchant instrument in "precipitating" Texas out of the keeping of Old San Jacinto Houston-who sat like Erebus at her gates-into the arms of the black mistress of the Slave Republic.
These are the political priests whose incantations shaped the shadow of Disunion into life-whose ministrations at the dark altar confirmed a revolution, which, but for them, never had been.
We have adverted, in the previous chapter, to the arbitrary manner in which the State Conventions conducted their proceedings.
A PLANTER'S CONFESSION.
The spirits of just men made perfect-of the Fathers of our Independence, evidently did not preside over those assemblages. The more palpable spirits of those named above were there, to drive out the people and drive in the reign of terror, which they, as leaders, would direct while the people should obey. But, this tyranny, as we have had occasion to remark, began with the incipient steps of the revolution. The organizations of secret societies commenced early in November. In them the plotters of the movement were sure to secure reliable and most powerful assistants. Hence, as stated on previous pages, (135 et sequitur,) the organization of “Vigilance Associations," "Minute-Men," "Brotherhoods," &c. The following circular will show to what an extent these organizations contributed to bring the Southern mind up to the seceding point:“EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, THE 1860 ASSOCIATION,'
"CHARLESTON, Nov. 19, 1860. "In September last, several gentlemen of Charleston met to confer in reference to the position of the South in the event of the accession of Mr. Lincoln and the Republican party to power. This informal meeting was the origin of the organization known in this community as 'The 1860 Association.'
"The objects of the Association are:"First: To conduct a correspondence with leading men in the South, and by an interchange of information and views, prepare the Slave States to meet the impending crisis.
"Second: To prepare, print, and distribute in the Slave States tracts, pamphlets, &c., designed to awaken them to a conviction of their danger, and to urge the necessity of resisting Northern and Federal aggression.
Third: To inquire into the defences of the State, and to collect and arrange information which may aid the Legislature to establish promptly an effective military organization.
“To effect these objects, a brief and simple Constitution was adopted, creating a President; a Secretary and Treasurer, and an Executive Committee, specially charged with conducting the business of
the Association. One hundred and sixty-six thousand pamphlets have been published, and demands for further supplies are received from every quarter. The Association is now passing several of them through a second and third edition.
"The Conventions in several of the Southern States will soon be elected. The North is preparing to soothe and conciliate the South, by disclaimers and
When the day approached for the election of Delegates to the State Conventions, these
organizations were made to embrace the most turbulent and implacable men of every neighborhood, to incur whose enmity was simply to incur outrage. To vote for, or to speak for, the Union, was to risk both life and property; and though, in many localities, a strong sentiment prevailed against disunion and revolution, it was suppressed by fears of a persecution, which few indeed could dare. This extensive suppression of sentiment, by violent and organized bodies of men, had too many evidences of existence to be put aside in any rationale of the conspiracy and its consummation.
A Planter's Confes. sion.
Single incidents will, sometimes, throw a flood of light upon a wide field of inquiry. The case narrated on page 134 thus becomes a specific witness which ten thousand general denials cannot set aside in evidence. We have another authenticated narrative in a letter from Savannah, Georgia, dated January 7th, which can be regarded as "representative" in its illustration of the means by which the elections were controlled. A gentleman, residing in Georgia but a brief period, expressed surprise to a planter that the men of property there should submit to the headlong course of the Secessionists. "You must bear in mind," the gentleman wrote, in detailing the interview, "that this planter was a Slaveholder, Southern by birth, by education, and in feeling, hating the Republican party with a terrible bitterness, calling them all Abolitionists, and Mr. Ham