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than a few collisions, sufficient to show that we are | Union-menders are too late in their attempts upon in earnest, and competent to make good our posi- the virtue and integrity of our peoples. Crushed tion of independence against our would-be masters. egg-shells and friendship abused can never be These gentry hold our valor light,' as also the hon- mended. esty of the determination of the Southern people to be quit of them and their impertinent and determined interference through a Government in


"We have no doubt, however, that herculean ef forts will be made in that direction, and must only take good care of these weaker brethren at the South, whose sentiments are stronger than their reason, or who live in the past rather than the future. The strait-jacket was a valuable invention. But, in the mean time, the prospect of having Sumter is very pleasant."

"It may, perhaps, yet be necessary to instruct them a little in these particulars. But it appears that for the present, under the circumstances in this case, they are inclined sensibly to dispense with experiment and its teachings. How far this discretion will revivify the hopes and stimulate the efforts of reconstructionists throughout the South, is a matter to be discovered by observation. The temper and intention of the Northern people have now been so thoroughly developed and exposed to the eyes of all those at the South who will see, that we trust brethren.

This last paragraph indicates the entire under current of the Southern movement. "Union-menders" were to be put in straitjackets, and all who looked backward with longing were to be regarded as weak






The Virginia Conven


The Virginia Convention.

THE caldron of Virginia | proceedings of that most politics seethed and bub-notable Convention. When bled dreadfully during the heat of strife is past, we March. The anxiety of the Secessionists became greater as the days progressed, and their violence grew with their anxiety. That the Unionists should have held them so long at bay was aggravating to the rash spirits who led the van of revolution; but, there was no remedy, except in the slow process of thrusting the Unionists down. That the State was to secede had been a foregone conclusion for weeks; even Unionists would quietly concede their cause to be hopeless; but, they struggled on, contesting their ground inch by inch, in a controversy of debate and diplomacy which elicited many eminent speeches called forth many displays of patriotism, as well as of treason.

may hope that some impartial hand will gather together the records to serve at once to enlighten as well as to warn a future generation. We may, however, recur to some of the results of its labors, as showing the feeling which animated its counsels.

It will be impossible for us to trace at length the daily progress of those fiery debates. A volume of compenduous proportions would be required to chronicle the

On Saturday, March 9th, the Committee on Federal Relations reported its majority report, through Mr. R. T. Conrad. The res olutions were stated to be, in brief, as follows:

"The first reaffirms the doctrine of State rights;

the second declares interference with Slavery by the Federal or other authorities, or the people, contrary to the Constitution, offensive and dangerous; the third condemns the formation of geographical or sectional parties; the fourth demands a fair par tition of the Territories, and equal protection therein; the fifth declares that in time of profound peace with foreign nations as now exists, and when no symptoms of domestic insurrection appear, it is un

The Virginia Conven


wise, impolitic, and offensive to accumulate within the limits of a State interested in the irritating pending questions of the deepest importance, an unusual number of troops and munitions of war; the sixth indulges in the hope of a restoration of the Union and fraternal feelings; the seventh recommends the repeal of unfriendly, unconstitutional legislation, and the adoption of proper amendments to the Constitution; the eighth concedes the right of States to withdraw for just causes; the ninth alludes to the position of the Federal Government as disclaiming the power, under the Constitution, to recognize withdrawal; the tenth, without expressing an opinion on the question of power, desires to confer upon the Government powers necèssary to deal peaceably with the questions involved, and, if necessary, to recognize the separate independence of the Seceding States, make treaties, and pass such laws as separation may make proper. The eleventh resolution recommends the people of her sister States to respond at their earliest convenience to the foregoing positions, and to an amendment to the Constitution to be proposed hereafter. In the event that Virginia fails to obtain satisfactory responses from the Non-Slaveholding States, she feels compelled to resume her sovereign powers, and throw herself upon her reserved rights. The twelfth makes it an indispensable condition that a pacific policy be adopted towards the Seceded States; that no attempt be made to reenforce or recapture the forts or exact payment of imposts upon commerce, or any measure calculated to provoke hostilities. The thirteenth would regard any hostile action by either side as hurtful and unfriendly, and as leaving Virginia free to determine her future policy. The fourteenth recommends a conference of the Border Slave States, to be held at Frankfort, Kentucky, on the last Monday in May."


"5. As to the rendition of fugitive slaves.

The Virginia Convention.

"6. As to the protection of the right and comity of transit with slaves through the limits of the States, by land or water, and of the right of transportation of slaves on the high seas.

7. The protection of the right of citizens of the United States owning slaves to sojourn temporarily with their slaves within the limits of Non-Slavehold. ing States.

"8. The protection of equality of settlement by owners of slaves, with their slave property, in the common Territories of the United States.

"9. As to the rights of negroes or free persons of the African race to all the privileges and immuni ties of citizens of the several States.

"10. As to the equality of the African race with the white race in the States where it may reside, and the protection of that equality by State laws, and by the laws of the United States.

"11. As to the better security of the independence of the Judicial Department of the Government of the United States, by changing the mode of appointing the Federal Judges.

"12 As to the protection of the Slaveholding States against the abduction of their slaves, by repealing such State or Federal laws as may counte nance the wrong, or by passing such laws by the States and by the Federal Government as may be necessary and proper to suppress it.

"13. As to the protection of the domestic tranquillity of the people of the United States by suppressing the incendiary assemblages, associations, and publications which have engendered the sectional wrongs and hatred which have rent the Union asunder, and now threaten a civil war.

14. The protection of the public peace by sup pressing societies and individual efforts for the col lection of money and other means to invade the States or Territories of the United States.

"15. And by suppressing all organizations seek

cite domestic violence in any of the States or Territories of the United States."

Several minority reports were offered. by Ex-Governor Henry A. Wise deserves mention, as an evidence of the peculiar form of ing and introducing foreign aid and influence to incompromise which the "Fire-Eaters" demanded as the price of their remaining in allegiance to the Union. The substance of the Governor's propositions was:

"1. As to a full recognition of the rights of property in African slaves.

"2. As to Slavery in the District of Columbia. "3. As to the powers of the Federal Government over African Slavery, and the employment of slave labor in the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, and all places ceded by the States for Federal uses.

"4. As to protection against the pretension to lay and collect excessive direct taxes on slaves.

The report proposed to give the Free States until 1862 to arrange the guarantees. But the peaceful status of Virginia was only conditional, for the proposition added:

"That, in the mean time, it be recommended to the people of this Commonwealth, in the event the Federal authorities shall, under any pretext whatever, attempt to enforce their claim of jurisdiction over the people of the Seceded States, as by collect. ing the duties for revenue, or diverting the transit or entrance of commerce, or in any other mode, by




The Virginia Convention.

force of arms, to resist such ex-
ertion of force by all the means
in their power."

Mr. Harris submitted a report advising secession, immediate and unconditional. Three signatures only were attached to this report.

Mr. Barbour submitted a minority report, to the effect that the Federal Government must immediately adopt measures to afford the people of the Slaveholding States a full constitutional assurance of their safety in continuing in an association with them under a common Government; also recommending the appointment of Commissioners to Montgomery, to confer with the Confederate authorities.

Mr. Baldwin submitted a minority report, indorsing the Peace Convention proceedings; recommending a Border State Convention at Frankfort, Kentucky, opposing coercion. It was in favor of removing all causes of complaint, and charged the excitement and revo- | lutionary condition of things as entirely the work of designing politicians.

Mr. Wickham also exhibited a minority report, opposing coercion, recommending a Border State Conference at Frankfort, and favoring the Peace Convention propositions, as affording the basis of a fair and honorable adjustment.

The Virginia Conven. tion.

her property in, and pro-
duction of, Slaves, nor as
guaranteeing the Southern
States their just rights in and out of Congress.
He desired Virginia to demand full and ample
security for herself and sister States as an ul-
timatum of her remaining in the Union. The
"security" demanded implied a recognition
and protection of Slave settlement in the
Territories--the right of slave transit through,
or temporary dwelling in, the Free States-
the rigid enforcement of the Fugitive Slave
law, and a heavy penalty in event of a ne-
gro's escape, &c., &c.

Mr. Conrad advocated the majority report in a speech made Friday, March 15th. He maintained the legal right of secession, though good policy would be to make proper demands for amendments to the Constitution, to which he believed the North would accede. He said he would make these propositions in a future report, and he had no doubt they would be acceptable to the Convention.


It also declared the Union could only be restored by an amendment to the Constitution, originating in the Non-Slaveholding States, for the perfect security of Southern rights.

Mr. Goggin offered, as an amendment to the majority report, a series of resolves, in brief, as follows: Providing for the withdrawal of Virginia from the Union, without determining her future association; calling for a Border State Convention at Lexington, Kentucky, in May, to propose a plan for conThe discussion which followed the intro-structing a government to be comprised out duction of these reports, was characterized of said Border States and the Confederate by extreme personal feeling and excitement. Mr. Summers, on Tuesday, March 12th, made a very eloquent and impressive defence of the Peace propositions, and characterized the efforts of the Secessionists as calculated to bring overwhelming ruin on the State and the Union. His words were determined, but not defiant, and were reported as having produced a powerful impression. The controversy called out the venerable vacillator, John Tyler, who had hurried from the Peace Convention at Washington, to the Disunion Convention at Richmond, to stultify himself, as quickly as possible, by repudiating the entire labors of a Congress of his own conception. Mr. Tyler's speech extended to Thursday, in its delivery. He took strong ground against the Peace Convention propositions, as affording Virginia no proper security for

The various propositions submitted as reports, amendments, &c., continued under discussion during March-the excitement and acrimony daily increasing. Up to April 1st no real progress had been made, except that the Secessionists had grown more violent and menacing and the Unionists less hopeful, even of the scheme of a Border State Conference, at Frankfort, Kentucky.

While the Convention was laboring in the travail of secession, the Virginia Legislature was not an idle spectator. The Secessionist feeling was strongly represented, both in its Senate and House of Delegates, as

Treason in the Virginia Legislature.

was proven by the passage, in the former, of resolutions of a highly offensive and treasonable character, regarding the removal of some guns manufactured for the United States Government at Bellona foundry, near Richmond. The resolution adopted by the Senate, and sent up to the House for its concurrence, read:

"Be it resolved by the General Assembly, That the Governor of this Commonwealth be authorized, and he is hereby directed, to order out the public guard, and to call out such of the militia as may be neces sary to arrest the contemplated removal of the guns aforesaid; and that he be further instructed to employ all needful force to resist every and any attempt to remove the same beyond the reach and the control of the Government of the State."

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declaring that even the old Confederation, a government far weaker than the present Federal Union, possessed the power of coercion-her Madison, the very father of the Constitution, solemnly asserting that its framers never for one moment contemplated so disorganizing and ruinous a principle-her great and good Marshall decreeing more than once, from the bench of the Supreme Judiciary, that the Federal Constitution did not constitute a mere compact or treaty, but a Government of the whole people of the United States, with supreme powers within the sphere of its authority-Judge Spencer Roane, the Ajax Telamon, in his day, of her State-rights republicanism, endorsing the sentiment: 'It is treason to secede?'-her Thomas Ritchie, the Napoleon of the Press' and Jupiter Tonans of the modern de

Richmond Enquirer the impregnable maxims that 'no association of men, no State or set of States has a right to withdraw from the Union of its own accord,' and that the first act of resistance to the law is treason to the United States;' the decisions

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ent the doctrine of Secession to me with one side only.

The guns here referred to were manufac-mocracy, heralding through the columns of the tured by the founder, under a contract which had been given out by Floyd, two years previously. The contract stipulated that the guns were to be delivered at Richmond for inspection, from whence they might be of some of the most enlightened of the State judicishipped to the depository at Fortress Monroe. aries in repudiation of the dangerous dogma; the The manufacturer wishing money, had adconcurrent disavowal of it by the Marshalls, and vised the Ordnance Department that the Kents, and Storys and McLeans, and Waynes, and guns were ready for delivery. Colonel Craige Catrons, and Reverdy Johnsons, and Guthries, and gave orders, accordingly, to have them de- all the really great jurists of the land; the brand of livered at Richmond for shipment to Fortress absurdity and wickedness which has been stamped Monroe, when the order for payment would upon it by Andrew Jackson, and Webster, and Clay, be drawn. This called forth the resolution and Crittenden, and Everett, and Douglas, and Cess, above quoted. It showed the insurrectionary and Holt, and Andrew Johnson, and Wickliffe, and character of the Senate, to which the Gov-Dickinson, and the great body of our truly eminent ernor was understood to respond. In the statesmen; these considerations and authorities presHouse the spirit of loyalty to oath, to honor, to duty, and to the Government, was too strong to admit of its endorsement of the Senate's open treason. We may here give from the speech of Colonel Joseph Segar, in the House, an extract, as showing how fearlessly and how prophetically the Unionists spake of the nature and results of secession: "These Senate resolutions, Mr. Speaker, are evidently designed as a stepping-stone to the secession of the State-as the entering wedgethe preliminary notice a scheme to fire' the Virginia heart, and rush us out of the Union; and, so regarding them, I might inquire by what warrant it is we may retire from the Confederacy? But I shall not argue this doctrine of secession. The simple history of the Constitution; its simpler and yet plainer reading; the overwhelming authority of our

Col. Segar's AntiSecession Speech.

"But I do wish to inquire of my colleagues, if they have seriously reflected on the consequences of secession, should it come?

"Do you expect (as I have heard some of you declare) that the power and influence of Virginia are such that you will have peaceable secession, through an immediate recognition of the separate independence of the South? Alas! you hug a delusion.

"Peaceable secession-secession without war! You can no more have it than you can crush in the rack every limb and bone of the human frame without agonizing the mutilated trunk. 'Peaceable secession! (said Mr. Webster) peaceable secession! Sir, (continued the great expounder') your eyes and mine are not destined to see that miracle. The dismemberment of this vast country with out convulsion! The breaking up of the fount

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Col. Segar's AntiSecession Speech.

ains of the great deep without | property when there. ruffling the surface!' No! Secede when you will, you will have war in all its horrors: there is no escape. The President of the United States is sworn to see that the laws be faithfully executed, and he must and will -as Gen. Washington did, and as Gen. Jackson would have done in 1833--use the army, and the navy, and the militia, to execute the laws and defend the Government, If he does not, he will be a perjured man. Besides, you cannot bring the people of the South to a perfect union for secession. There are those--and their name is legion'-whom no intimidation can drive into the disunion ranks. They love the old Union which their fathers transmitted to them, and under which their country has become great, and under which they and their children have been free and happy. Circumstances may repress their sentiments for a while, but in their hearts they love the Union; and the first hour they shall be free to speak and to act, they will gather under, and send up their joyous shouts for, the Stars and Stripes. They will not fight with you against the flag; so that there must be a double war-a Federal war, and a war among ourselves. And it may be that whole States may refuse to join in the secession movement (which is most probable,) and then we shall witness the revolting spectacle of one Southern State warring against, and in deadly conflict with, another; and then, alas! will be over our unhappy country a reign of terror, none the less terrific than that which deluged with blood, and strewed with carnage, revolutionary France.

Moreover, what care you

for this Territorial right? It is of not the least practical concern. Slavery will go wherever it is profitable, just as sure as water finds its level. No human legislation can prevent it, because the instincts of the human constitution and the laws of soil and climate are stronger than any law-giving of finite man. Just as sure will slavery never go where soil and climate forbid. Now, in none of the Territories do the laws of soil and climate allow slaves to abide. Thus, in New Mexico, which is five times as large as the State of New York, and where slavery exists by law, being recognized and protected by a slave-code, there are, according to the late census, but twenty-six slaves, and they are the body-servants of officers of the civil government and of the army! Why, then, should the North care to exelude slavery from Territories from which God and nature have ordained its exclusion; and what should the South care for the right to carry slaves where Almighty God has decreed they shall never go? Of what practical value to the South is a privilege which, admitted, has carried to an area five times the territorial extent of New York only twenty-six slaves? Now, I ask, if for so worthless a boon we shall give up this great and glorious Union, whose benefits are preeminently practical, and as genial and numerous as they are practical? And shall we aggravate our folly by stickling for this right to the point of disunion, when the right, if worth anything, is fortified and secured by the decision of the highest judicial tribunal of the land, and controverted by none? Shall we go to war, and to civil war, for a bauble so empty and worthless?"

The Missouri State

The Missouri Convention labored in a much less excited session than was at first apprehended. The Committee on Federal Relations returned, through Judge Gamble, on the 9th of March, a majority report of great length. It gave a somewhat elaborate exposé of the state of the country and of Missouri's situation in the crisis; ad

'Suppose, then, the State to have seceded, and war to have opened, what trophies do you look for? -what are you to gain? Will you win greater security for the institution of slavery in the States? You do not want it. None except demented Abolitionists assail it. The Supreme Court has raised an impregnable bulwark for its defence. And even the Republican party (as already remarked) has voluntarily tendered you an amendment of the Constitution forever guaranteeing slavery in the States against even the touch of Federal legislation. 'Hands off'!' is their emphatic warning to the Aboli-verted, in a Southern view, to the wrongs of


"Will you strengthen your claim to the common Territories-advance your privilege of carrying your slaves thither? Here, too, the Supreme Court, by the Dred Scott decision, has settled your rights; and the Administraton party in Congress have abandoned the Wilmot Proviso-passed territorial laws without any slavery restriction whatever-thus leaving every slaveholder in the South free to enter the Territories with his slaves, and even throwing the aegis of judicial protection over that species of

which the State had a right to complain; read the Northern States a severe lecture on the errors of their ways, and hoped a better acquaintance with Slavery would make them less hostile to its rights, &c., &c. The Report closed in a series of resolutions, as embodying the sense of the Committee, viz. :

"Resolved, That at present there is no adequate cause to impel Missouri to dissolve her connection with the Federal Union, but, on the contrary, she will labor for such an adjustment of the existing

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