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Address of John Bell and others.
ment, and characterized the act of coercion as calculated to dissolve the
with treason than an ordinance of Secession, because it defied the Government whose authority it confessed no State could constitu
Union forever, and to dissolve it in blood-tionally abrogate. It also indicated the a sufficient excuse for the Governor's refusal. It said: "We unqualifiedly disapprove of secession, both as a constitutional right and a remedy for existing evils; we equally condemn the policy of the Administration in reference to the Seceded States." Hence they urged the policy of neutrality :
course to be pursued in leaguing the State to the fortunes of the Southern Confederacy. Signing his name to that "Address," John Bell descended from the high estate of the patriot to become the creature of conspirators. He sold his birthright of glory for a mess of pottage made at the cauldron of Macbeth's witches. Had he drawn his inspiration at the shrine of Andrew Jackson-had he possessed even a tithe of the moral courage of Andrew Johnson the Union would not have had to deplore his defection. Facilis descensus Averni!
"We do not pretend to foretell the future of Ten- Kentucky reeled under in connection with the other States, or in the excitement of the revoreference to the Federal Government. We do not lution. For a while her pretend to be able to tell the future purposes of the steady pilots were disconcerted at the apPresident and Cabinet in reference to the impend-proaching storm: and when her Governor so ing war. But should a purpose be developed by far forgot his allegiance as to answer the President's call, thus:
the Government, of overrunning and subjugating our brethren of the Seceded States, we say unequivocally, that it will be the duty of the State to resist at all hazards, at any cost, and by arms, any such purpose or attempt. And to meet any and all emergencies, she ought to be fully armed, and we would respectfully call upon the authorities of the State to proceed at once to the accomplishment of this object.
"Let Tennessee, then, prepare thoroughly and efficiently for coming events. In the mean time, let her, as speedily as she can, hold a Conference with her sister Slaveholding States yet in the Union, for the purpose of devising plans for the preservation of the peace of the land. Fellow-citizens of Tennessee, we entreat you to bring yourselves up to the magnitude of the crisis. Look in the face impending calamities. Civil war-what is it? The bloodiest and darkest pages of history answer this question. To avert this, who would not give his time, his talents, his untiring energy- his all? There may be yet time to accomplish everything. Let us not despair. The Border Slave States may prevent this civil war; and why shall they not
This was signed by John Bell, the Union candidate for the Presidency at the late election. Also by Bailie Peyton, Neil S. Brown, E. H. Ewing, R. J. Meigs, and others.
"He that is not for me is against me," was illustrated in this call. It was more rank
"FRANKFORT, April 16th, 1861. "Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War:
"Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.
"B. MAGOFFIN, Governor of Kentucky." there were few to protest against, or to ignore, the treasonable insult thrown in the face of the National Executive. A day or two, however, sufficed to show that the people were loyal at heart. A spontaneous demonstration, which took place at Louisville, on the evening of April 18th, sent a rift of light athwart the gathering darkness of her destiny. At that demonstration speeches were made by ex-Secretary James Guthrie, Hon. Archie Dixon, the venerable Judge Nicholas, Judge Bullock, and Hon. John Young Brown, of a thoroughly patriotic character, and resolutions were adopted assuring the country of Kentucky's loyalty. But, as if fearful of meeting the crisis at once, and of embodying in deeds the spirit of their speech, the resolutions gave utterance to the "neutrality” fallacy-proposed to place Kentucky on the defensive and offensive alike. A few weeks only were necessary to sweep away the mis
erable sophistry by which truly loyal men sought to deceive themselves; and when the invader came, in the person of one of her own sons, she assumed with alacrity her true position under the Stars and Stripes. The spirit of the dead Clay then inspired her councils, and carried her through the fiery ordeal as became the mother of noble sons.
Governor Jackson of Missouri used quite as choice rhetoric as his limited education would permit, in his answer to the call for troops. He said to Mr. Cameron, replying to the requisition:
"It is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical, and cannot be complied with."
The Governor soon issued a call for an extra session of the Legislature, to meet on the 2d of May, "for the purpose of enacting such laws and adopting such measures as may be necessary for the more perfect organization and equipment of the militia-to raise money,
and devise such other means
STATE OF FEELING
IN THE NORTH. CONSOLIDATION AND FRAOF ALL CLASSES IN SUPPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATION. WORDS OF DOUGLAS, CALEB CUSHING, EX-PRESIGENERAL CASS, EVERETT, AND OTHERS, то
THE PEOPLE. THE COMMERCIAL COMMUNITY.
CHURCH SPIRES. ACTION OF VARIOUS
REIGN OF PATRIOTISM.
OF FLAGS ON DENOMINATIONS. THE
WE must pause in this exciting narrative | Administration and friendly to the cause of to advert to the state of public feeling at the North, as indicated by the speeches of leading men, late opponents to the Administration; as expressed in the resolutions and proceedings of important corporate bodies and assemblages of the people; as betrayed in the action of leading churches, and as reflected by the press hitherto opposing the
the South. The chapter will form one of the most remarkable records of all that momentous drama, demonstrating how wonderfully all adverse elements had assimilated at the call of the President. The chapter also will prove how truly the republican idea is a principle upon which to rely in emergencies thus giving to the friends of democratic in
stitutions all the argument necessary to si- | nimity, astonishing as it was resistless, the lence the assumptions of the enemies of popular government.
The first manifestations came from the populace in the cities. Their quick sympathies anticipated those of the more cautious men of wealth; they soon led in demonstrations which, while they challenged the admiration of patriots, inspired wholesome apprehensions in the hearts of the lukewarm and disloyal. American flags were the insignia of loyalty: all public and private institutions, even to churches and schools, which did not hang the Stars and Stripes "on the outer wall," were called upon for explanation. No qualified submission to the course of events satisfied the eager and stern guardians of the public weal: every citizen must show a patriotic sympathy with the Government, or else be liable to lose friends, business, and social standing. The case of several suspected newspapers illustrates the severity of public opinion that swept over the entire North, during the week following the bombardment of Sumter. Presses which betrayed their Southern proclivities in resisting the popular current, were visited by the throng and compelled to run out the American flag. If this was not also followed by a loyal tone in the pages of the journal, the public was only satisfied with the entire destruction of the obnoxious establishment. During the two weeks succeeding April 12th, probably a half dozen newspapers were thus violently suppressed; while, in the case of those papers whose intensity of partisan feeling still led them to withhold an active support of the Administration, their quickly withdrawn patronage, and the public odium attached to their course, soon compelled them to drop into the current of the
But, the exceptions to this reign of patriotic ardor were rare. Ninety-nine hundredths of those who had been inimical to the Republican party became ardent supporters of the Administration. In the holy cause of the Union, men cast aside prejudices, party-affiliations, local antipathies, to become brothers in the great crisis. All seemed to feel that the Republic was on trial; and, with an una
people of the Free States arose to uphold their Constitution and to enforce the laws.
Loyalty of the Democratic Party.
The leaders in the South had confidently counted upon the support of the Democratic party of the North, and not without reason. The speeches of Douglas, Breckenridge, John Cochrane, Vallandigham, Florence, Sickles, Bigler, Lane, Latham, and of other recognised leaders of the Democracy, led the Southern people to feel that, however diverse might be their opinions on the abstract "right of secession," the Democrats would, as a body, oppose "coercion,” and, to that end, sustain the revolution. Had there been no appeal to force, no assault on the United States flag, no robbery of United States' arsenals and mints, no seizures of forts, no other acts of high treason, it is highly probable that the Democratic party of the North would have accepted the Seceded States confederation as a de facto government. The dismemberment of the Union would then have been accomplished, and the Democracy would have allied themselves, as a party, to a movement for reorganizing the Union upon a basis acceptable to the Southern people. In stating this, we challenge the denial of many of that party whose devotion to their country afterwards led them to feel that they never did or would have fraternized with the Southern idea; but, the record is alive with State and county resolutions, with speeches and declarations of leaders, with newspaper pronunciamentos and addresses of central committees, which show that, almost up to the very hour of the assault on Sumter, the Democrats, as a party, were willing to accept the dissolution of the Union as a thing accomplished, and believed their mission was to reunite the States by such concessions and constitutional amendments as would satisfy the South. When men who were pledged to such a policy became soldiers in the ranks, when they gave up "platforms” and resolves, to battle for the Union, it exemplified the fact that a love of country was nobler, and stronger, and firmer, than the love for party -that the Government was safe when placed in the hands of the people.
Mr. Douglas embraced an early moment
WORDS OF DOUGLAS, CUSHING AND CASS.
to endorse Mr. Lincoln's | April 24th, he uttered, course in calling out troops, among other patriotic senAt the moment of the as- timents, such as these:sault upon Sumter he was in Washington, "Long may this glorious flag wave above our and hastened to assure the President of the heads, the banner of victory and the symbol loyalty of the Democratic party to the Union. of our National honor! Our dear country It is said that Mr. Lincoln called in his old now indeed demands the devotion of all her opponent as adviser, and in many instances sons: for the dire calamity of civil war is adopted his excellent suggestions. Mr. upon us. I have labored for many years, Douglas started for the West April 18th, to earnestly and in good faith, for the conservaaid in placing his State on the foremost list tion of this Union, and to avert the final issue of the defenders of the Constitution and the of arms in the contention of sections. Union, and reports became current that he nothing to unsay of my words in that behalf. would assume the responsibilities of a Major- But the day of discussion has passed—that General in the field. At several points on his of action has arrived. * * As a citizen of route, he paused to address the people-to the United States, owing allegiance to the demonstrate how easily party was forgotten Constitution, and bound by constitutional in a common peril. His words did much to duty to support its Government, he should centralize opinion and to direct all the ener- do so. As a son of Massachusetts, attached gies of the people to the one great end of to her by ties of birth and affection, neither sustaining the National Administration in the friend nor foe should sever him from her. I contest forced upon it. The early death of yield to no man in faithfulness to the Union, that great leader of the Democracy filled the or in zeal for the maintenance of the laws nation with mourning. Had his life been and the constitutional authorities of the spared, none doubted but that he would have Union; and to that end I stand prepared, if entered the field to become a very Cœur de occasion should call for it, to testify my sense Leon in the Union's cause. His last words of public duty by entering the field again at will be his most glorious monument. His the command of the Commonwealth or of the heart-broken wife bent over the almost insen- Union." sible form of the dying man and asked: "Do you know me, Stephen?" He murmured her name. "Have you no word for your beloved children?" His eyes gleamed with a spark of his old energy as he essayed to rise on his elbow-"Tell them," he exclaimed, "to obey the Constitution and the Laws!" These were his last words. What a legacy to leave to his children and his countrymen! His old antagonist, CaCaleb Cushing. leb Cushing, who had pre- Mr. Cass, Secretary of sided at the Charleston State in Mr. Buchanan's Democratic National Convention, and after- Cabinet, presided at a wards over the "rump Convention" which meeting of the citizens of Detroit, April 24th, nominated John C. Breckenridge, and there- called to consider the duty of Michigan in by defeated Mr. Douglas, in the canvass of the crisis. In the course of his remarks he 1860, [see page 32 of Vol. I], was constrained said: "You need no one to tell you what are to forsake his "Southern friends," and to the dangers of your country, nor what are support the cause of the Union. His posi- your duties to meet and avert them. There tion typified that of the Northern Brecken- is but one path for every true man to follow, ridge Democracy generally, and his words and that is broad and plain. It will conduct therefore deserve attention for their signifi- us, not indeed without trials and suffering, cance. In a speech at Newburyport, Mass., to peace and the restoration of the Union.
How it must have astounded those machinators against the Union who broke up the Charleston Convention - who brought Mr. Breckenridge forward to divide the Democratic vote and thereby defeat Mr. Douglas by insuring the election of the Republican nominee-to read such a declaration from the lips of the man whom they had used as their most available instrument! The tables indeed were turned.
He who is not for his country is against it. There is no neutral position to be occupied. It is the duty of all generously to support the Government in its efforts to bring this unhappy civil war to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion, by the restoration, in its integrity, of that great charter of freedom bequeathed to us by Washington and his compatriots." This was the patriotism of the Democratic nominee for the Presidency in 1848. The Democratic nominee of 1852 was scarcely less decided in his advice to his countrymen. At a mass meeting held in Concord, New Hampshire, ex-Presi
dent Pierce said:
Should the hope which I have expressed not be realized, which, may a beneficent Providence forbid, and a war of aggression is to be waged against the National Capital and the North, then there is no way for us, as citizens of the old Thirteen States,
but to stand together and uphold the flag to the last, with all the rights which pertain to it, and with the fidelity and endurance of brave men. I would counsel you to stand together with one mind and one heart, calm, faithful, and determined. But give no countenance to passion and violence, which are really unjust, and often in periods like these are the harbingers of domestic strife. Be just to yourselves, just to others, true to your country, and may God, who has so greatly blessed our fathers, graciously interpose in this hour of clouds and darkness, and save both extremities of the country, and to cause the old flag to be upheld by all hands and all hearts. Born in the State of New Hampshire, I intend that here shall repose my bones. I would not live in a State, the rights and honor of which I was not prepared to defend at all hazards, and to the last extremity."
Robert J. Walker.
Robert J. Walker, of Mississippi, Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabinet of Mr. Pierce, said, at a meeting of the citizens of Staten Island, April 27th: "Let me say to you, without hesitation, that the time for truce, for compromise, is past. We cannot compromise with traitors. We cannot compromise with rebellion. Rebellion must be suppressed by the strong arm of the Government. That flag must float, as it did six months ago, over the entire Union. There must not be one stripe polluted or a star effaced. We have but one alternative before,
us, and that is to fight it out to the last. We must not only maintain our Capital, but we must replace our flag on every fort from which it has been treasonably displaced."
Mr. Everett, candidate in 1860, of the Union party, for the Vice-Presidency, said at a flag raising, at Chester, Massachusetts, April 27th: "We set up this standard, not as a matter of idle display, but as an expression indicative that in the mighty struggle which has been forced upon us, we are of one heart and one mind-that the Government of the country must be sustained. All former differences of opinion are swept away. We forget that we have ever been partisans. We remember only that we are Americans." Mr. B. F. Hallett, a leading Breckenridge Democrat, on the same occasion, made a strong Union speech, while B. F. Butler, the Breckenridge Democratic nominee for Goverin the field-the first Brigadier-General in nor, in Massachusetts, in 1860, was already the Union Volunteer army.
These quotations indicate the remarkable unity of sympathy and purpose among the Northern people. Such sentiments uttered by late opponents of the dominant party, could be inspired only by the profound love of country which lies beneath all partisan feeling in every true American heart. Like the majestic forests and hills of our continent, fill the air with their grand diapason and only awaiting the coming of the tempest to sublime harmonies, the people remain apart in moments of peace, yet solid and unbroken in time of danger.
The Commercial Community.
The commercial community of the North, more than any other class of citizens, had suffered by the bad faith of the South. The custom had become fixed, in business circles, to credit the Southern planter and merchant for terms of eighteen months to two years, while merchants of the North and West were considered " dated," if granted a four months' credit. The Southern purchaser, too, could buy to almost any amount, simply upon proving that he came from some Slave region; while the merchant from the Free States had to stand well on the books of that court of personal