Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Virginia Committee.

President's Reply.

Refers to Inaugural.

che States already in rebellion, or to remain in the Union, for the sake of furthering the ends of the rebels. The object of the visit, and its result, may be determined from Mr. Lincoln's response :

GENTLEMEN :-As a committee of the Virginia Convention, now in session, you present me a preamble and resolution, in these words :

WHEREAS, In the opinion of this Convention, the uncertainty which prevails in the public mind as to the policy which the Federal Executive intends to pursue towards the seceded States is extremely injurious to the industrial and commercial interests of the country, tends to keep up an excitement which is unfavorable to the adjustment of the pending difficulties, and threatens a disturbance of the public peace; therefore,

Resolved, That a committee of three delegates be appointed to wait on the President of the United States, present to bim this preamble, and respectfully ask him to communicate to this Convention the policy which the Federal Executive intends to pursue in regard to the Confederate States.'

“In answer, I have to say, that having, at the beginning of my official term, expressed my intended policy as plainly as I was able, it is with deep regret and mortification I now learn there is great and injurious uncertainty in the public mind as to what that policy is, and what course I intend to pursue. Not having as yet seen occasion to change, it is now my purpose to pursue the course marked out in the inaugural address. I commend a careful consideration of the whole document as the best expression I can give to my purposes. As I then and therein said, I now repeat, 'The power confided in me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what is necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force

Attack on Sumter.

United States Mails.

Sumter's Fall.

against or among the people anywhere.' By the words. 'property and places belonging to the Government,' I chiefly allude to the military posts and property which were in possession of the government when it came into my hands. But if, as now appears to be true, in pursuit of a purpose to drive the United States authority from these places, an unprovoked assault has been made upon Fort Sumter, I shall hold myself at liberty to repossess it, if I can, like places which had been seized before the Government was devolved upon me, and in any event I shall, to the best of my ability, repel force by force. In case it proves true that Fort Sumter has been assaulted, as is reported, I shall, perhaps, cause the United States mails to be withdrawn from all the States which claim to have seceded, believing that the commencement of actual war against the Government justifies and possibly demands. it. I scarcely need to say that I consider the military forts and property, situated within the States which claim to have seceded, as yet belonging to the Government of the United States, as much as they did before the supposed secession. Whatever else I may do for the purpose, I shall not attempt to collect the duties and imposts by any armed invasion of any part of the country-not meaning by this, however, that I may not land a force deemed necessary to relieve a fort upon the border of the country. From the fact that I have quoted a part of the inaugural address, it must not be inferred that I repudiate any other part, the whole of which I reaffirm, except so far as what I now say of the mails may be regarded as a modification."

Fort Sumter fell on the day following the reception of these commissioners, after every effort, consistent with the means at the disposal of the government, had been made to prevent what then seemed a catastrophe. This action could bear but one interpretation. A reconciliation of difficulties was utterly impracticable. An appeal had been made to the sword.

[blocks in formation]

che States already in rebellion, or to remain in the the sake of furthering the ends of the rebels. The the visit, and its result, may be determined from Mr

response:

"GENTLEMEN :-As a committee of the Virgi tion, now in session, you present me a preamble tion, in these words:

"WHEREAS, In the opinion of this Conventi tainty which prevails in the public mind as which the Federal Executive intends to purseceded States is extremely injurious to the commercial interests of the country, tends to citement which is unfavorable to the adjustmer. ing difficulties, and threatens a disturbance peace; therefore,

"Resolved, That a committee of three d pointed to wait on the President of the Unite to him this preamble, and respectfully ask 1 cate to this Convention the policy which the tive intends to pursue in regard to the Confe

"In answer, I have to say, that having, of my official term, expressed my intended as I was able, it is with deep regret and m learn there is great an injurious uncertai mind as to what that is, and what pursue. Not having my purpose to pu address. I com document as t!

een occasion

urse marked reful consid

Ref

[graphic]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

>

is object will be immediately communithorities through the War Department. 1 citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this the honor, the integrity, and existence of 1, and the perpetuity of popular govern cess wrongs already long enough endured. * say that the first service assigned to the led forth, will probably be to repossess the property which have been seized from the every event the utmost care will be observed, th the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastauction of, or interference with property, or any : peaceful citizens of any part of the country; command the persons composing the combinaud, to disperse and retire peaceably to their Dodes, within twenty days from this date.

that the present condition of public affairs predinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the

by the Constitution, convene both Houses Senators and Representatives are, theressemble at their respective chambers at

on Thursday, the fourth day of July to consider and determine such measures the public safety and interest may seem

hereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and of the United States to be affixed.

e City of Washington, this fifteenth day of ear of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred

Effects of Sumter.

Call for Troops.

The power and authority of the United States had been defied and insulted. No loyal man could now hesitate. If, however, there were any who, even then, clung to the fallacy that compromise could save us, Abraham Lincoln was not of the number.

Patriots Armed.

CHAPTER VII.

PREPARING FOR WAR.

Effects of Sumter's Fall-President's Call for Troops-Response in the Loyal States-In the Border States-Baltimore Riot-Maryland's Position-President's Letter to Maryland Authorities-Blockade Proclamation-Additional Proclamation-Comments Abroad -Second Call for Troops-Special Order for Florida-Military Movements.

SUMTER fell, but the nation arose. With one mind the Free States determined that the rebellion must be put down. All were ablaze with patriotic fire. The traitors at heart, who lurked in the loyal States, found it a wise precaution to float with the current. The shrewder ones among them saw well how such a course would give them vantage-ground when the reaction, which they hoped, and for which in secret they labored, should come. But the great mass of the people would not have admitted the possibility of any reactionaction was to continue the order of the day until the business in hand was finished.

On the 15th of April, 1861, the President issued his first proclamation:

"WHEREAS, The laws of the United States have been for some time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of Judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law; now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »