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Colonel Hayne and the President's position | which need no comment by me, I have determined thereon. to send to you the Hon. I. W. Hayne, the AttorneyGeneral of the State of South Carolina, and have instructed him to demand the delivery of Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, to the constituted au

The preliminary correspondence attending the affair of the Star of the West has been given. [See pages 216-18]. The further communications, referring the matter to the President, and his Executive views are as follows:



HEADQUARTERS, FORT SUMTER, S. C., Į "January 11, 1861. ་ "To his Excellency F. W. Pickens, Governor of South Carolina:

"SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your demand for the surrender of this fort to the authorities of South Carolina, and to say, in reply, that the demand is one with which I cannot comply. Your Excellency knows that I have recently sent a messenger to Washington, and that it will be impossible for me to receive an answer to my dispatches, forwarded by him, at an earlier date than next Monday. What the character of my instructions may be, I cannot foresee.

"Should your Excellency deem fit, prior to a resort to arms, to refer this matter to Washington, it would afford me the sincerest pleasure to depute one of my officers to accompany any messenger you may deem proper to be the bearer of your demand.

"Hoping to God that in this, and all other matters in which the honor, welfare, and lives of our fellow countrymen are concerned, we shall so act as to meet His approval; and, deeply regretting that you have made a demand of me with which I cannot comply,

thorities of the State of South Carolina.

"The demand I have made of Major Anderson, and which I now make of you, is suggested because of my earnest desire to avoid the bloodshed which a persistence in your attempt to retain the possession of that fort will cause, and which will be unavailing to secure you that possession, but induce a calamity most deeply to be deplored.

"If consequences so unhappy shall come, I will secure for this State, in the demand which I now make, the satisfaction of having exhausted every attempt to avoid it.

"In relation to the public property of the United States within Fort Sumter, the Hon. I. W. Hayne, who will hand you this communication, is authorized to give you the pledge of the State that the valuation of such property will be accounted for by this State, upon the adjustment of its relations with the United States, of which it was a part.

(Signed) "F. W. PICKENS. "To the President of the United States." THE COMISSIONER'S INSTRUCTIONS.


"SI, The Governor has considered it proper, in view of the grave questions which now affect the State of South Carolina and the United States, to make a demand upon the President of the United States for delivery to the State of South Carolina of

"I have the honor to be, with the highest regard, Fort Sumter, now within the territorial limits of "Your obedient servant,

"Major U. S. A., Commanding."


OFFICE, HEADQUARTERS, CHARLESTON, January 11, 1861. "SIR: At the time of the separation of South Carolina from the United States, Fort Sumter was, and still is, in the possession of troops of the United States, under the command of Major Anderson. I regard that possession as not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina; and I have this day addressed to Major Anderson a communication to obtain from him the possession of that fort by the authorities of this State. The reply of Major Anderson informs me that he has no authority to do what I required; but he desires a reference of the demand to the President of the United States. "Under the circumstances now existing, and

this State, and occupied by troops of the United States.

"The Convention of the People of South Carolina, authorized and empowered its Commissioners to enter into negotiations with the Government of the United States, for the delivery of forts, magazines, lighthouses, and other real estate, within the limits of South Carolina.

"The circumstances which caused the interruption of that negotiation are known to you; with the formal notification of its cessation, was the urgent expression of the necessity for the withdrawal of the troops of the United States from the harbor of Charleston.

"The interruption of these negotiations left all matters connected with Fort Sumter and troops of the United States, within the limits of this State, affected by the fact, that the continued possession of the fort was not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State, and that an attempt to reenforce

The Commissioner's Instructions.

the troops at that fort would not be allowed. This, therefore, became a state of hostility, in consequence of which the State of South Carolina was placed in a condition of defence. During the preparation for this purpose, an attempt was made to reenforce Fort Sumter and repelled.

"You are now instructed to proceed to Washington, and there, in the name of the Government of the State of South Carolina, inquire of the President of the United States, whether it was by his order that troops of the United States were sent into the harbor of Charleston to reenforce Fort Sumter; if he avows that order, you will then inquire, whether he asserts a right to introduce troops of the United States within the limits of this State, to occupy Fort Sumter; and you will, in case of his avowal, inform him that neither will be permitted; and either will be regarded as his declaration of war against the State of South Carolina.

"The Governor, to save life, and determined to omit no course of proceeding usual among civilized nations, previous to that condition of general hostilities which belongs to war; and not knowing under what order, or by what authority Fort Sumter is now held, demanded from Major Robert Anderson, now in command of that fort, its delivery to the State. That officer, in his reply, has referred the Governor to the Government of the United States at Washington. You will, therefore, demand from the President of the United States the withdraw of the troops of the United States from that fort, and its delivery to the State of South Carolina.

"You are instructed not to allow any question of property claimed by the United States to embarrass the assertion of the political right of the State of South Carolina to the possession of Fort Sumter.

The possession of that fort by the State, is alone consistent with the dignity and safety of the State of South Carolina; but such possession is not inconsistent with a right to compensation in money in another Government, if it has against the State of South Carolina any just claim connected with that fort. But the possession of the fort cannot, in regard to the State of South Carolina, be compensated by any consideration of any kind from the Government of the United States, when the possession of it by the Government is invasive of the dignity and affects the safety of the State. That possession cannot become now a matter of discussion or negotiation. You will, therefore, require from the President of the United States a positive and distinct answer to your demand for the delivery of the fort. And you are further authorized to give the pledge of the State to adjust all matters which may be, and are, in their nature, susceptible of value in money, in the

The Commissioner's Instructious.

manner most usual, and upon the principles of equity and justice always recognized by independent nations, for the ascertainment of their relative rights and obligations in such matters.

"You are further instructed to say to the President of the United States, that the Governor regards the attempt of the President of the United States, if avowed, to continue the possession of Fort Sumter, as inevitably leading to a bloody issue; a question which, in the judgment of the Governor, can have but one conclusion; reconcilable with a due regard to the State of South Carolina, the welfare of the other States which now constitute the United States, and that humanity which teaches all men, but particularly those who, in authority, control the lives of others to regard a resort to arms as the last which should be considered.

To shed their blood in defense of their rights is a duty which the citizens of the State of South Carolina fully recognize. And in such a cause, the Governor, while deploring the stern necessity which may compel him to call for the sacrifice, will feel that his obligation to preserve inviolate the sacred rights of the State of South Carolina justify the sacrifice necessary to secure that end. The Governor does not desire to remind the President of the responsibilities which are upon him. Respectfully,

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"Your obedient servant, "A. G. MAGRATH. To the Hon. I. W. HAYNE, Special Envoy from the State of South Carolina to the President of the United States."

Then followed, in the Charleston papers, letters from United States Senators Wigfall, Hemphill, Davis, Slidell, Benjamin and others, to the Hon. I. W. Hayne, requesting him to exert his influence to postpone an attack upon Fort Sumter. They also addressed a similar letter to the President, to which the following reply was made through the Secretary of War, Joseph Holt:


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Secretary Holt's

Hayne, of South Carolina, in behalf of the Government of that State, in relation to Fort Sumter; and you ask the President to take into consideration, the subject of that correspondence." With this request he has complied, and has directed me to communicate his answer.

"In your letter to Col. Hayne of the 15th inst., you propose to him to defer the delivery of a message from the Governor of South Carolina to the President, with which he has been intrusted, for a few days, or until the President and Col. Hayne shall have considered the suggestions which you submit. It is unnecessary to refer specially to these suggestions, because the letter addressed to you by Col. Hayne, of the 17th inst., presents a clear and specific answer to them. In this he says: 'I am not clothed with power to make the arrangement you suggest; but provided you can get assurances, with which you are entirely satisfied, that no reenforcements will be sent to Fort Sumter, in the interval, and that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina, I will refer your communication to the authorities of South Carolina, and, withholding the communication with which I am at present charged, will await further instructions.'

"From the beginning of the present unhappy troubles, the President has endeavored to perform his executive duties in such a manner as to preserve the peace of the country, and to prevent bloodshed. This is still his fixed purpose. You, therefore, do him no more than justice in stating that you have assurances (from his public messages, I presume,) that, notwithstanding the circumstances under which Major Anderson left Fort Moultrie, and entered Fort Sumter with the forces under his command, it was not taken, and is not held with any hostile or unfriendly purpose toward your State, but merely as property of the United States, which the President deems it his duty to protect and preserve,' you have correctly stated what the President deems to be his duty. His sole object now is, and has been, to act strictly on the defensive, and to authorize no movement against the people of South Carolina, unless clearly justified by a hostile movement on their part. He could not have given a better proof of his desire to prevent the effusion of blood, than by forbearing to resort to the use of force, under the strong provocation of an attack (happily without a fatal result) on an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of the United States.

"I am happy to observe that, in your letter to Col. Hayne, you express the opinion, that it is especially due from South Carolina to our States, to say nothing of other Slaveholding States, that he

should, as far as she can consistently with her honor, avoid initiating hostilities between her and the United States, or any other power.' To initiate such hostilities against Fort Sumter, would, beyond question, be an act of war against the United States.

"In regard to the proposition of Col. Hayne,' that no reenforcements will be sent to Fort Sumter, in the interval, and that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina,' it is impossible for me to give you any such assurances. The President has no authority to enter into such an agreement or understanding. As an executive officer, he is simply bound to protect the public property, so far as this may be practicable; and it would be a manifest violation of his duty either for an indefinite or a limited period. At the present moment, it is not deemed necessary to reenforce Major Anderson, because he makes no such request, and feels quite secure in his position.— Should his safety, however, require reenforcements, every effort will be made to supply them.

"In regard to an assurance from the President 'that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina,' the answer will readily occur to yourselves. To Congress, and to Congress alone, belongs the power to make war, and it would be an act of usurpation for the Executive to give any assurance that Congress would not exercise this power, however strongly he may be convinced that no such intention exists.

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"I am glad to be assured, from the letter of Colo-
uel Hayne, that Major Anderson and his command
do now obtain all necessary supplies, including
fresh meat and vegetables, and, I believe, fuel and
water from the city of Charleston, and do now enjoy
communication, by post and special messenger,
with the President, and will continue to do so, cer-
tainly, until the door to negotiation has been closed.'
I trust that these facilities may still be afforded to
Major Anderson. This is as it should be. Major
Anderson is not menacing Charleston; and I am
convinced that the happiest result which can be at-
tained is, that both he and the authorities of South
Carolina shall remain on their present amicable
footing, neither party being bound by any obliga-
tions whatever, except the high Christian and moral
duty to keep the peace, and avoid all causes of mu-
tual irritation.

"Very respectfully your obedient servant,
Secretary of War, ad interim."


A dispatch from Springfield, dated January 27th, advised the country that Mr. Lincoln approved the design of the Virginia "Peace Congress." It said:-"Telegraphic advices

have been received by Gov. Yates from the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, and other Northern States, suggesting the propriety of joining in a Convention, to be held at Washington in February, to devise proper remedies for the adjustment of the present difficulties. The appointment of five Commissioners from each State is recommended. Gov. Yates has finally decided to join in the movement. In this, it is supposed, he has acted upon the advice of Mr. Lincoln."

The States, as stated, The Peace Congress. quite generally approved of the Virginia suggestions and appointed Commissioners. The appointments made indicated that it would embody the most trusty and able men in each State, though, it is but stating a generally accepted opinion, little hopes were entertained of any thing being accomplished of a definitive or satisfactory nature.

South Carolina's Re

jection of Virginia's

South Carolina's


"Resolved unanimously, That this Assembly further owe it to the friendly relations with the State of Virginia, to declare that they have no confidence in the Federal Government of the United States; that the most solemn pledges of that Government have been disregarded; that, under the pretence of preserving property, hostile troops have been attempted to be introduced into one of the fortresses of this State, concealed in the hold of a vessel of commerce,

with a view to subjugate the people of South Carolina, and that ever since the authorities at Washington have been informed of the present mediation of Virginia, a vessel of war has been sent to the South, with troops and munitions of war concentrated on the soil of Virginia. Adopted unanimously.

“Resolved unanimously, That in these circumstances this Assembly, with renewed assurance of cor

dial respect and esteem for the people of Virginia, entering into the negotiations proposed by both branches of the Virginia Legislature. Adopted unani

and high consideration for her Commissioner, decline


Much opposition was manifested, by some State Legislatures, in sending Commissioners (January 28th), to the pro-to the Congress. The Massachusetts legislaposition of Virginia was so characteristic that we may give it at length:-ted-the majority approving, the minority tors were divided, two reports being submit



Resolved unanimously, That the General Assembly of South Carolina tender to the Legislature of the State of Virginia their acknowledgments of the

friendly motives which inspired the mission intrusted to the Hon. Judge Robertson, her Commissioner.

Adopted unanimously.

"Resolved unanimously, That candor, which is due to the long continued sympathy and respect which has subsisted between Virginia and South Carolina, induces this Assembly to declare with frankness, that they do not deem it advisable to initiate negotiations when they have no desire or intention to promote the ultimate object in view-that object being, as declared in the resolution of the Virginia Legislature, the procurement of amendments or new guaranties to the Constitution of the United States. Adopted unanimously.

•Resolved unanimously, That the separation of South Carolina from the Federal Union is final, and she has no further interest in the Constitution of the United States, and that the only appropriate negotiations between her and the Federal Government are as to their mutual relations as foreign States. Adopted unanimously.

disapproving, representation in the Congress. Ohio instructed its deputation to vote for a postponement of the Congress to April 4th. Illinois, although, as stated, she resolved to send delegates, did not do so until after several days of wordy dissension. The opposition arose from a disinclination to prosecute compromise further, until after Mr. Lincoln's safe and peaceful inauguration. Her State pride was insulted to think that their fellow-citizen, constitutionally elected, should be compelled to submit to the indignities threatened. Governor Yates, as heartily as any one, wished for peace; but he preferred that it should not be dictated in opprobious terms, nor in a spirit of intimidation. Mr. Lincoln, it was said, advised the sending of Commissioners, and they were sent. This advice did not commit him to compromise-he simply proved his willingness to have all means tried for affecting a settlement of National troubles.




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THE Session of the Senate for the 8th week, (January 21-26,) opened with speeches from the withdrawing Senators, viz: Yulee and Mallory, of Florida; Clay and Fitzpatrick, of Alabama; and Davis, of Mississippi. Prior to this withdrawal, Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, asked to be excused from any further service on the Finance Committee, remarking that, in view of the withdrawal of Southern Senators, the majority would pass into the hands of their opponents; he therefore thought justice to himself and to the Senate required that he should be permitted to retire. His labors, as Chairman of that important Committee, had extended through a term of fifteen years. His ability, prudence and probity had rendered his country inval

uable service. He was excused.

Mr. Polk, (Dem.,) of Missouri, then presented a petition of citizens of his State, whose signatures filled fifteen quires of foolscap paper. The roll was wrapped in the American flag, inscribed, "Love to the North, South, East and West." The petitioners asked the passage of the Crittenden resolu

tions. It was laid on the table.

Slidell, of Louisiana, moved that the Senate take up the message of the President in answer to his resolution in relation to his appointment of Acting Secretary of War.

He also offered a resolution as follows:

“Resolved, That in the opinion of the Senate, the reasons given by the President, in his message, for not communicating to the Senate at an early day the fact of his having appointed Joseph Holt Acting Sec

retary of War.

"Also resolved, That the grounds assumed by the President for making such an appointment during

the session of the Senate, are at variance with the whole spirit of the Constitution, and with the true intent and meaning of the act of 1795."

The Seceding Senators then claimed the floor for their parting salutations. Yulee, of Florida, rose to say that, in view of authentic information from his State, his colleague and himself deemed it proper to announce to the Senate that their connection with this body had

Yulee's Valedictory.

come to an end The State of Florida, in Convention duly assembled, has seen fit to recall the powers delegated to the Union, and to assume the responsibility of separate Government. He was sure the people of Florida would never be insensible to the blessings and advantages of the Union when directed to the purpose of establishing justice, and domestic tranquillity, and safety. They would also hold in grateful memory the earlier history of the Union. But, they had decided that their civil and social safety were jeoparded by a longer continuance in the Union. Recent events had impressed them with the belief that there is no safety except in withdrawal. They would remember always the large array of noble spirits at the North, and their efforts to uphold the right. With grateful emotions and acknowledgements for the many courtesies he had enjoyed in this body, and with most cordial wishes, he retired from their midst in cheerful approving loyalty to his own State.

Mallory, of the same State, followed. He regretted, more than words could tell, the course of events which had compelled the disseverance of the Union. But one course had been left for the injured States to pur

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