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RUMOR OF FORT
answer quickly the question. Under which king, | gentlemen was prima facie evidence of its Bezonian? You must withdraw your flag from our strength and fitness for the crisis. What country, and allow us to have ours, and enter into a abasement of self-respect, of political virtue, treaty with us. Do this, or make up your minds for of loyalty, of truth to trust, did these daring war in the sternest aspect, and with all its accumu- disorganizers demand as the price merely of their friendship! It is one of the most singular illustrations of a want of pride and selfrespect on the part of the Senate majority, that these men were allowed to give utterance to their speeches, rank with treason, and impudent in their personal license towards the close of the session. Nothing so vulgar, so coarse, so treasonable, so vindictive as Wigfall's speech, quoted above, ever before stirred the air of the Capitol. Liberty is weak and usurpation is strong when such license is permitted on, the floors of any legis
A running debate followed between Douglas and Wigfall, which served to elicit only more of bravado from the Texan Senator. Mr. Mason, of Virginia, finally came to the relief of Wigfall, proclaiming his disunion sentiments in a clear and decided manner. He regarded the Inaugural as a war message. He declared that Virginia would join the Southern Confederacy the moment it became certain that the President was to attempt to retake the seized forts, arsenals, &c.
That the Inaugural did not satisfy these lative assembly.
FOR PLACE. FORT SUMTER TO BE ABANDONED. FECT OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT. THE CONFEDERATE SIONERS AT WASHINGTON.
THEIR FIRST COMMUNICATION.
Ꮇ Ꭱ . SEWARD'S MEMORANDUM" REPLY. ATTITUDE
THE CONFEDERATE RICHMOND IN MARCH. REIGN
tion and impending ruin--had no tongue, excited no terror, in that crowd of mercenary patriots, who were not all from Northern
It was composed of almost every class of persons, from the man of big proportions seeking the fattest sinecure, to the lean but "well-recommended" applicant for the village post-office. May the country ever be spared another such exhibition of political fortune-hunting!
THE first week of Mr. Lincoln's term was devoted to the organization of his Administration, the consideration of applica-States. tions for place, &c. Little could be done for the country in the presence of the swarm of place-hunters who infested the Capital. Like the seven years' locusts, they seemed to spring from the very soil—an eager, excited throng, all intent upon a prize. That mania for office stood out in such relief as to frighten and News from Washington, disgust those who considered the first duty March 10th, indicated the of the President as due to the Nation's con- probable "military necessiIt would appear as if Mr. Lincoln ty" of withdrawing Major Anderson from had been elected simply to give each of his Fort Sumter, and the total abandonment of partisans government employ. Sumter and the Charleston fortifications to the revolutionMajor Anderson's starving garrison-revolu-ists. A dispatch said: "It is well known that
Rumor of Fort Sumter's Abandonment.
Fort Sumter's Aban
Major Anderson cannot now be reenforced without imminent danger of a serious collision. Two steamers of light draft, with supplies of men and provisions, have been in readiness for some time to make the attempt whenever ordered, under the command of an officer who is willing to take the risk, and feels confident of success. But the military preparations in and outside of the harbor of Charleston render any such experiment hazardous, unless sustained by a heavy naval force, which could be used now, as the main ship channel is entirely clear of obstructions. The War Department has obtained a detailed statement of the stock of provisions in Fort Sumter, and it is abundant for a considerable time, except in bread, which is not sufficient for over thirty days. One of the first and most important questions, therefore, before the Administration will be, whether Major Anderson will be supplied or withdrawn. That decision cannot long be postponed, for, though he now receives meats and vegetables from the markets of Charleston, this permission may be cut off at any moment, by an order from Gov. Pickens or Gen. Beauregard, to whom Jefferson Davis has confided the direction of military operations there. The Cabinet had a special session of over three hours last night, in which the policy concerning Fort Sumter was fully discussed. An informal conference was also held this morning, at which several members were present. No decision has yet been reached, but the general opinion prevails to-night that the troops will be withdrawn."
It was announced positively, on Monday, March 11th, that Sumter was to be evacuated -that General Scott would assume the responsibility of the act, in view of the impossibility of reenforcing Anderson, except at great loss of life. This announcement caused the utmost excitement throughout the entire country. In the North the feeling ran high against such a step-"resist to the last!" was the paramount sentiment. It was indeed a moment of excitement. No matter, up to that date, had so keenly enlisted public sympathy. Major Anderson became the hero of all notice. The heart of the still loyal portion of the country throbbed to every
word from the Capital, hoping that some way might be opened whereby the Nation would be spared the humiliation of seeing the brave garrison withdrawn from the harbor of Charleston. The hours were subtly but surely instilling into the bosoms of the people a fire which consumed old antipathies, and filled men's souls with the ardor of patriotism that, ere long, was to burst forth in fearful splendor.
The Confederate Com
Commissioners at Washington.
missioners to Washington, Messrs. Crawford and Forsythe, were instructed by telegraphic dispatch from Montgomery, (March 11th,) to proceed with their negotiations at once. Touching their mission, the Mobile Advertiser (understood to be edited by one of the Commissioners) said, in its issue of March 3d:
"The Commissioners are not accredited to the Administration of Mr. Buchanan; nor, if they were, would it be possible for them to reach Washington in time to communicate with him prior to the 4th inst. They are therefore expected to treat with the new Administration under Lincoln, and the reasonable inference is, that until he shall refuse to communicate with them, or their mission should other
wise prove barren of good results, no attack will be made upon any fortress now held by the United States, or no act of war be undertaken, unless, indeed, which is highly improbable, the new Administration should be insane and wicked enough to disturb the existing status by hostile demonstrations against us."
The Commissioners' first Communication to Mr. Seward.
Acting under the orders of the dispatch above referred to, the two gentlemen named addressed their first communication to the Secretary of State, as follows:
"WASHINGTON CITY, March 12th, 1861. "Hon. Wм. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States:
"SIR-The undersigned have been duly accredited by the Government of the Confederate States of America as Commissioners to the Government of the United States; and, in pursuance of their instructions, have now the honor to acquaint you with that fact, and to make known, through you, to the President of the United States, the objects of their presence in this Capital.
"Seven States of the late Federal Union having, in the exercise of the inherent right of every free people to change or reform their political institutions, and, through conventions of their people,
MR. SEWARD'S MEMORANDUM" REPLY.
withdrawn from the United States and reassumed the attributes of sovereign power delegated to it, have formed a Government of their own. The Confederate States constitute an independent nation, de jure and de facto, and possess a Government perfect in all its parts, and endowed with all the means of self-support.
"With a view to a speedy adjustment of all questions growing out of this political separation, upon such terms of amity and good-will as the respective interests, geographical contiguity, and future welfare of the two nations may render necessary, the undersigned are instructed to make to the Government of the United States overtures for the opening of negotiations, assuring the Government of the United States that the President, Congress, and people of the Confederate States earnestly desire a peaceful solution of these great questions; that it is neither their interest nor their wish to make any demand which is not founded in the strictest justice, nor do any act to injure their late confederates.
"The undersigned have now the honor, in obedience to the instructions of their Government, to request you to appoint as early a day as possible, in order that they may present to the President of the United States the credentials which they bear, and the objects of the mission with which they are charged. "We are, very respectfully,
"Your obedient servants,
To this formal notice for
Mr Seward's " Memorandum" Reply.
"In that communication Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford inform the Secretary of State that they have been duly accredited by the Government of the Confederate States of America as Commissioners to the Government of the United States, and they set forth the objects of their attendance at Washington. They observe that seven States of the American Union, in the exercise of a right inherent in every free people, have withdrawn, through Conventions of their people, from the United States, reassumed the attributes of sovereign power, and formed a Government of their own, and that those Confederate States now constitute an independent nation, de facto and de jure, and possess a Government perfect in all its parts, and fully endowed with all the means of self-support.
"Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford, in their aforesaid communication, thereupon proceeded to inform the Secretary that, with a view to a speedy adjustment of all questions growing out of the political separation thus assumed, upon such terms of amity and good-will as the respective interests, geographical contiguity, and the future welfare of the supposed two nations might render necessary, they are instructed to make to the Government of the United States overtures for the opening of negotiations, assuring this Government that the President, Congress, and people of the Confederate States earnestly desire a peaceful solution of these great qustions, and that it is neither their interest nor their wish to make any demand which is not founded in strictest justice, nor do any act to injure their late confederates.
"After making these statements, Messrs. For sythe and Crawford close their communication, as they say, in obedience to the instructions of their Government, by requesting the Secretary of State to appoint as early a day as possible, in order that they may present to the President of the United States the credentials which they bear and the ob"DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON,jects of the mission with which they are charged. March 15th, 1861.
"The Secretary of State frankly confesses that he understands the events which have recently occur. red, and the condition of political affairs which act
"Mr. John Forsythe, of the State of Alabama, and Mr. Martin J. Crawford, of the State of Georgia, on the 11th inst., through the kind offices of a dis-ually exists in the part of the Union to which his attinguished Senator, submitted to the Secretary of tention has thus been directed, very differently from State their desire for an unofficial interview. This the aspect in which they are presented by Messrs. request was, on the 12th inst., upon exclusively pub- Forsythe and Crawford. He sees in them, not a lic consideration, respectfully declined. rightful and accomplished revolution and an inde"On the 13th inst., while the Secretary was pre-pendent nation, with an established Government, occupied, Mr. A. D. Banks, of Virginia, called at this Department, and was received by the Assistant Secretary, to whom he delivered a sealed communication, which he had been charged by Messrs. For sythe and Crawford to present the Secretary in
but rather a perversion of a temporary and partisan excitement to the inconsiderate purposes of an unjustifiable and unconstitutional aggression upon the rights and the authority vested in the Federal Government, and hitherto benignly exercised, as from their very nature they always must so be exercised,
for the maintenance of the Mr. Seward's "MemUnion, the preservation of liborandum" Reply. erty, and the security, peace, welfare, happiness, and aggrandizement of the American people. The Secretary of State, therefore, avows to Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford that he looks patiently but confidently for the cure of evils which have resulted from proceedings so unnecessary, so unwise, so unusual, and so unnatural, not to irregular negotiations, having in view new and untried relations with agencies unknown to and acting in derogation of the Constitution and laws, but to regular and considerate action of the people at those States, in cooperation with their brethren in the other States, through the Congress of the United States, and such extraordinary conventions, if there shall be need thereof, as the Federal Constitution contemplates and authorizes to be assembled.
"It is, however, the purpose of the Secretary of State on this occasion not to invite or engage in any discussion of these subjects, but simply to set forth his reasons for declining to comply with the request of Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford.
"On the 4th of March inst., the newly-elected President of the United States, in view of all the facts bearing on the present question, assumed the executive Administration of the Government, first delivering, in accordance with an early, honored custom, an Inaugural Address to the people of the United States. The Secretary of State respectfully submits a copy of this address to Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford.
Finally, the Secretary of State would observe that, although he has supposed that he might safely and with propriety have adopted these conclusions without making any reference of the subject to the Executive, yet so strong has been his desire to practice entire directness and to act in a spirit of perfect respect and candor towards Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford, and that portion of the Union in whose name they present themselves before him, that he has cheerfully submitted this paper to the President, who coincides generally in the views it expresses, and sanctions the Secretary's decision declining official intercourse with Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford."
This "Memorandum," of course, dismissed the Commissioners; but, through the plots and counterplots of diplomacy, it remained uncalled for, in the Department of State, until April 8th-thus giving the Commissioners a further lease on life at Washington. The final letter of the Commissioners to Mr. Seward, dated April 9th, (given in a subse
“A simple reference to it will be sufficient to sat-quent chapter,) will explain the reasons of the isfy those gentlemen that the Secretary of State, guided by the principles therein announced, is prevented altogether from admitting or assuming that the States referred to by them have, in law or in fact, withdrawn from the Federal Union, or that
they could do so in the manner described by Messrs. Forsythe and Crawford, or in any other manner than with the consent and concert of the people of the United States, to be given through a National Convention, to be assembled in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States. Of course the Secretary of State cannot act upon the assumption, or in any way admit, that the socalled Confederate States constitute a foreign Power, with whom diplomatic relations ought to be established.
"Under these circumstances, the Secretary of
State, whose official duties are confined, subject to
the direction of the President, to the conducting of the foreign relations of the country, and do not at all embrace domestic questions, or questions arising between the several States and the Federal Government, is unable to comply with the request of
delay in calling for Mr. Seward's reply to their first note. Let it suffice here to say, that the diplomatic agents of Mr. Davis' Government were not anxious to be dismissed, and were anxious to remain, in the hope that something would “turn up”— hence, it was not strange that ways and means should have been found to remain in official ignorance of Mr. Seward's disposition towards them.
Kentucky not only refused to call a Convention, but positively preferred a solution of her troubles in the Union. Her Governor essayed the task of preparing the way for "cooperation"-should a resort to arms be had; but, the people, under the inspiration of faithful guardians of her best interests, refused to be won from the path of duty, and remained steadfast in their loyalty.
Threats of Retaliation.
forth threats of retaliation
"The Border States, whose position is almost necessarily decided by Virginia, bave lost the opportunity of deciding the issue of Union or Disunion. It is now too late for them to discuss that question, which is decided for Disunion by the inexorable logic of events.
They have almost lost, or will soon lose, the mediatorial privilege of deciding whether Disunion shall be peaceable or forceful. They will soon lose the opportunity of exerting any influence in the question beyond the poor privilege of furnishing the battle-fields and foraging for opposing armies, and of being pressed into reluctant service and action by the prevailing force for the time being.
Tennessee, also, was firmly resolved upon remaining in the Federal Union; or, if the worst should come, of standing in the position of an "armed neutral"-a position about as possible for her to retain, as for gunpowder to sleep beside a bed of coals. Still, the fact that she would not consort with the Confed-glorious erates, and threatened to keep them from her soil, was sufficient to excite and anger the Secession managers, as well as to cause them much uneasiness in her behalf. Had Andrew Johnson been her Governor, instead of Isham G. Harris, how different would have been her future! She then would have remained a very heart of flame in the centre of the revolution, to send up beacon-fires of loyalty from her glorious hills and valleys-too soon, alas! to become the burial-places for her betrayed sons, the rioting-field for her ruthless invaders. North Carolina was even more loyal, to all appearances, early in March, than Virginia. Although represented in the Confederate Congress by "Commissioners," her people were regarded as too warmly attached to the old Confederacy to be easily dragooned or lured into the new. Only some brilliant coup-de-main, by the Secessionists, could carry the State out of the Union, to which the large mass of her people were truly and sincerely devoted.
"No army of hireling myrmidons can or shall ever reach a Southern State, if determination and resolute anticipation can prevent it by carrying the be strictly defensive, according to all rules of war, war beyond our borders. Such a movement would after war has been forced upon us.
The same line of argument was used by most of the influential journals, in the revolutionary interests, in the Confederate limits. The Montgomery Advertiser, and other leading papers at the several State Capitals, urged a war policy as necessary to bring the Border States to their side. The leaders were not slow to perceive the vital force of the argument of arms, and hastened in arranging their war policy. Thus, a Savannah journal, as early as March 2d, said:
Every energy on the part of the State, it would seem, is now being sprung to the immediate organization and equipment of the two regiments of Regulars' likely soon to be called to the field, led on by their respective chiefs, the intrepid Walker and the gallant Hardee. His Excellency Governor
And even Virginia hung in the balance! With her Pryor, Ruffin, Tyler, Seddon, Wise, De Jarnette, Mason, Hunter, Garnett, Bocock, Letcher-all crowding her over the precipice into the maëlstrom of the revolution, she yet Brown, so prominent in the crisis, and of whom all held on, spasmodically and desperately, to the Union. Like one of her own Slave wives clinging to her husband and children when the trader called her for a Southern market, she struggled against a hopeless fate -80 powerful were the few over the many. Still, she struggled to the very last. The resistance to the Secessionist - proThis hesitation of the Border States called gramme, in the Virginia Convention, impell
the South is justly proud, seems omnipresent in suGeorgia will not be found napping in the hour of pervision throughout the State. Our word for it, trial, but with 'lance in rest and visor down,' ready to welcome the invader of her soil with bloody hands to hospitable graves.'"'