Page images

we dread; their bayonets, themselves, we despise. Let a united South rally and strike down this God-forsaken Union with robbers, fanatics, incendiaries, assassins, infidels. Southrons, arise! Buckle on your armor; trust in God and strike for independence. His right arm will support you. PAUL J. SEMMES.


Rev. P. N. Lynch, Catholic Bishop of Charleston, declined to go to the South Carolina convention, and withdrew his name from the list of candidates. He said, "There is another sphere in which I can more appropriately, and perhaps with equal efficiency, serve our State. In that sphere I trust I shall not be found wanting in my devotion to her interests, in weal or woe."

December 3. Preamble and resolutions adopted in the Georgia legislature, proposing a conference of the Southern States at Atlanta, on the 20th of February, to counsel and advise as to the mode and manner of resistance to the North in the existing exigency. The preamble and resolutions took strong grounds in favor of having all sectional questions finally settled, and objected to separate action.

Congress met at Washington, President Buchanan's message read to both Houses, and transmitted to the South. It was conservative in its general character, and created but little remark, except with some few leading politicians. It did not please the extremists on either side. The following fiery declaration of Governor Wise, of Virginia, will define his position, and show in what light he regarded the President's message.

A gentleman writing from Williamsburg, Va., Dec. 4, 1860, says: "Meeting Governor Wise to-day, I took occasion to ascertain his opinion upon the latest phase of the sectional difficulties. The Governor says he regards the President's message as the most damning production that ever came from the pen of any Presi


dent; that he (Wise) is prepared to maintain, to the last extremity, the right of any State to secede; but, while maintaining the right, he disagrees with South Carolina as to the policy. He is in favor of revolution, of fighting in the Union, and of maintaining the rights of the South in the Union. He can wake up' twenty thousand men who will fight to the death for their rights under the Constitution in the Union, easier than he can one thousand to fight the Union outside. He would seize upon the forts and arsenals within the State, and never give them up until guarantees from the North are obtained. that shall be satisfactory to the Southern States; but he declared that if Virginia shall not now insist upon her rights, either in the Union or out of it, so help him God, from that day he will be an emancipationist. He will not consent longer to be the owner of slaves, and allow hist rights, as such, under the Constitution, to be set at defiance. Whenever a convention shall be called he will again take the field to secure the election of delegates who will carry out his mode of action. He wants no national convention and no compromises. War to the knife is his policy, until justice shall be accorded."

The same correspondent gives as his opinion, from all he had been able to learn, though a singular fact, and illustrative of how much the politicians have had to do in getting up the disunion feeling which prevails in Virginia, that, as a general rule, the largest owners of slaves are the most conservative and strongest Union men. It is the men who have the least material interest in the security of slave property who are the disunionists of Virginia, who are in favor of disrupting all the ties which bind us to the Union, without waiting for an overt act on the part of the President elect.

December 6. The legislature of South Carolina passed a bill to place the State upon a war footing. It authorized the government to call into service ten thousand

volunteers. During the discussion in the legislature, Mr. Rhett said there had been for several years in Charleston eight of the largest size Paixhan guns, which might, perhaps, be used in taking the forts.

Mr. Marshall said the State had 382 infantry companies, 50 cavalry, 18 artillery and 62 rifle companies, — making 121 battalions, 56 regiments, 14 brigades, and 5 divisions. Mr. McGowan said the total military force was 65,000.

December 7. A circular was issued inviting the members of the Texas legislature to assemble in Austin, on the third Monday in December, for the purpose of holding an extra session, and to take the necessary steps for calling a State convention. Governor Houston declared his intention to resign, if the people of the State demanded the convoking of the legislature. This step, together with the unremitting exertions of the Governor to smother the flame of disunion, which had sprung up in the breasts of the people of Texas, rendered him very unpopular. Lone star flags were hoisted in many of the towns in Texas; and the people throughout the State appeared to be united in their feeling of resistance to the administration of Mr. Lincoln. We are permitted to make an extract from a letter received by a gentleman in New York, from a friend in Texas, a planter. He says, Upon this subject our minds are deliberately, fully and unalterably made up. We are for secession, disunion, civil war, pestilence, loss of property, of life, or anything you can imagine, rather than submit to the rule of Lincoln, elected as he was by a purely sectional vote, and pledged as he is to a course of policy so ruinous to the South. The Lone Star' is flying in every direction, and there seems to be a settled determination not to submit.'



December 8. The Kentucky banks resolved to continue specie payment, as a suspension could afford no commercial relief.

December 9. Governor Brown, of Georgia, published a long letter, favoring immediate secession.

December 10. An extra session of the Louisiana legislature convened at Baton Rouge. The message of Governor Moore was read. It recommended the immediate action of Louisiana, before the inauguration of Lincoln; that a conference of slave States be held; it asserts the right of secession, and asks half a million of dollars to establish a military board, to buy and distribute


December 11. The military bill passed both houses, appropriating half a million to arm the State for defence, and for establishing military depots. Also a bill provid ing for the election of delegates to the State convention, to be held at Baton Rouge, on the twenty-third of January, passed both houses.

Legislature adjourned on the 12th sine die.

December 12. The Sixteenth Regiment of South Carolina Militia mustered at Charleston, six hundred strong. Their strange appearance at that time provoked a good deal of comment.

A paragraph in the Charleston Mercury says "that the repeal of the Northern personal liberty bills will have no effect on South Carolina to keep her in the Union; that, so far as the cotton States are concerned, these laws, excepting the insult they convey to the South and the faithlessness they indicate in the North, are not of the slightest consequence.

December 15. From the Galveston (Texas) News, we learn that military preparations were going on rapidly in all parts of the State, companies of "minute-men” were forming in all the southern and eastern counties, organizing, arming, and drilling were progressing, and the wildest enthusiasm prevailed, so much so, that ministers of the gospel forgot their high calling, or their "occupation was gone," as we find on the list of recruiting officers

the name of Rev. R. W. Peirce, and that a company of sixty-five minute-men was enrolled in the cause of "treason" in consequence of an enthusiastic address by the Rev. Mr. Wilson; also, on the 30th of November, says the "News," a regiment of mounted riflemen, two hundred strong, paraded under the command of the Rev. James C. Wilson. The parade was witnessed by a large assemblage, including a host of ladies. At eleven a. M., the "minute-men" formed on the Plaza, around the liberty-pole, from which the Lone Star flag floated. The regiment was organized by the election of field and staff officers; the Rev. James C. Wilson chosen Colonel. The warmest military feeling was manifested. While Henry Ward Beecher and others, under the garb of Christianity, advocate disunion, and excite men to discord and strife on the "field of argument," these Rev. gentlemen band together to carry out treason's plot on the "field of battle."

December 17. The South Carolina convention met at Columbia, in the new and commodious church of the Baptist congregation. The galleries and seats on the floor reserved for spectators were densely crowded. The church was fitted up with every convenience for dispatching the business of the convention.

A banner was suspended over the pulpit, presenting to the audience the inscription, "South Carolina Convention of 1860;" on its reverse were inscribed the following passages from the sacred Scriptures: "God is our refuge and strength — a very present help in trouble; therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the sea. The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." Francis W. Pickens was inaugurated Governor of South Carolina, before the legislature, the convention, and an immense concourse of citizens. The convention was organized and General Jamison elected President, when a

« PreviousContinue »