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DRIVING MR. HOAR OUT OF CHARLESTON.
In the evening, a gentleman to whom Mr. Hoar had a letter of in⚫troduction called, and said the sheriff had offered, in case he would leave, to agree on a case to be submitted to the U. S. Circuit Court, and thence carried to the Supreme Court for final decision. To this, Mr. Hoar readily assented, observing that such an agreement would very much expedite his departure. He had prepared himself, in Boston, with the names of a number of colored seamen who had been taken out of Massachusetts vessels in Charleston, and there imprisoned under the law in question, and he felt authorized by his commission to commence a suit in the name of either of two of them. It was agreed that a meeting should be held at the sheriff's office next morning at nine o'clock, for the purpose of perfecting this arrangement. At that hour, Mr. H. duly appeared at the sheriff's office, but found there neither the sheriff nor any other of the gentlemen who were to meet him. Being informed by one of the clerks that the sheriff had just stepped out on business, and would probably soon return, he waited half or three-quarters of an hour to no purpose, and was about to leave, when the clerk said that, if he would name a future hour when he would be there, he would inform the sheriff, so that he might meet him. He named twelve o'clock, and, returning at that time, found the sheriff. That personage now admitted that the gentleman who had conferred with Mr. H. the evening previous had correctly represented his proposal; but said, that, on further reflection and consultation, he must
retract the offer; as what he had proposed might thwart the purposes of the State; that he had not been long in office, and did not know that there was any case which would properly present the question in controversy. At all events, he could not abide by his agreement. He added that he had information from Gov. Hammond which removed all personal objection, but reiterated his former remarks about the insult by Massachusetts to South Carolina, and her determination to be rid of Mr. Hoar by some means.
On leaving the sheriff's office, Mr. Hoar was proceeding to make a call, when he was stopped by a middleaged, decently-dressed man, who presented a cane or club, asking, "Is your name Hoar?" "Yes," was the answer. He then said, "You had better be traveling, and the sooner, the better for you, I can tell you; if you stay here until to-morrow morning, you will feel something you will not like, I am thinking." Mr. Hoar walked on, passing a number of young men assembled on the streetcorner, who offered him no molestation. In the evening, a Dr. Whitredge, to whom Mr. Hoar had brought a letter from Boston, called upon him and urged him to leave the city at the earliest moment. Dr. W. had been around the city, had just come from the Council, and regarded the danger to Mr. H. as not only great, but imminent. But a word was needed to bring on the meditated attack. Yet he thought Mr. Hoar, should he start at once, might get safely out of the city. He urged him to procure a carriage, and go to his (W.'s) plantation, about twenty miles distant, where he would
be hospitably treated. Mr. Hoar thanked him, but concluded that he could not accept his offer, but must remain, and abide the consequences. The following night passed without any disturbance. The next day at noon, three leading citizens of Charleston, two of them eminent lawyers, and the third a president of one of the city banks, called on Mr. H. for the first time, and gave their names, saying they had come to see if they could not induce him to leave the city. After the usual appeals on the one side and replies on the other had consumed half an hour, the bank president gave Mr. H. notice that a number of gentlemen would call on him at two o'clock and conduct him to the boat. Mr. H. responded that he would be found there; that he did not propose to fight a whole city, and was too old to run, so that they could do with him as they thought proper. He added that he had a daughter with him; on which the bank president observed, "It is that which creates [or created] our embarrassment." They left him about one o'clock.
Mr. H. and his daughter now prepared for their departure, and waited from two till three o'clock, but no one came. He afterward learned that an accident had prevented the arrival of the boat at the usual hour. The next day at noon, Dr. Whitredge called and informed Mr. H. that the keeper of the hotel had requested the city government to take measures to remove Mr. H. from his house, in order to preserve it from the impending danger. He had never intimated such a request to Mr. Hoar, nor any thing approaching it. But the fact that his host wished to get rid of him, and that he could find no other lodg
ing without exposing whoever sheltered him to annoyance, if not peril, created a fresh embarrassment. At this moment, a waiter informed Mr. Hoar that some gentlemen wished to see him in the hall. He descended, and found there the bank-president and his associates surrounded by a considerable bevy, with an assemblage about the door, on the piazza, and in the street, where a number of carriages were in waiting. The president announced that they were there to conduct him to the boat. Mr. Hoar now stated that there was a report in circulation that he had consented to leave the city, which was not true. If he left, it would be not because he would, but because he must. The bank-president remarked that there was a misunderstanding; that he had understood that Mr. Hoar had consented to leave for the sake of preserving [or restoring] the peace of the city; but that, if he refused, they had no power to order him away; all they could do was to warn him of the consequences of remaining. Mr. H. repeated his language at the preceding interview, which the president did not deny to be accurate, but said that he had understood Mr. H. as consenting to leave.
Hereupon, several of the party united in urging his departure at once, saying it was impossible that he should remain, and that the purpose of his mission could not be effected. Among these, were two to whom he had been specially commended. Finding that he had but the choice. between walking to the carriage and being dragged to it, Mr. Hoar paid his bill at the hotel, called down his daughter from her room, and en
ANNEXATION CONSUMMATED BY TEXAS.
tered with her the carriage pointed out to him, and one of the crowd ordered the coachman to drive on. He was thus taken to the boat, which was very soon bearing him on his homeward way. Mr. Hoar, in closing the official report of his visit to and expulsion from South Carolina, asked the following portentous questions:
"Has the Constitution of the United States the least practical validity or binding force in South Carolina, except where she thinks its operation favorable to her? She prohibits the trial of an action in the tribunals established under the Constitution for deter
mining such cases, in which a citizen of Massachusetts complains that a citizen of South Carolina had done him an injury; saying that she has herself already tried that cause, and decided against the plaintiff. She prohibits, not only by her mobs, but by her Legislature, the residence of a free white citizen of Massachusetts within the limits of South Carolina, whenever she thinks his presence there inconsistent with her policy. Are the other States of the
Union to be regarded as the conquered
provinces of South Carolina?"
Such was the manner in which South Carolina, with the hearty approval of her slaveholding sisters, received and repelled the attempt of Massachusetts to determine and enforce
the rights, while protecting the liberties, of her free citizens, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Massachusetts proposed no appeal to her own courts, no reliance on her own views of constitutional right and duty, but an arbitration before, and a judgment by, the tribunals of the Union, specially clothed by our Federal pact with jurisdiction over "all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution."
Here was the precise case meditated-a complaint by one State that the rights and liberties of her citizens were subverted by the legishere lation of a sister State; was the tribunal created by the Constitution for the trial of such issues. South Carolina repudiated its jurisdiction, as she had previously, with regard to the Tariff, repudiated the authority of Congress, or any other that should contravene her own sovereign will. When we are told that the North failed, some years later, to evince sufficient alacrity in slave-catching, let these facts be freshly remembered.
THE WILMOT PROVISO.
MR. POLK succeeded Mr. Tyler as President of the United States, March 4, 1845. No change in the policy of the former with regard to Annexation was made, or, with reason, expected. The agent so hastily dispatched to Texas by Mr. Tyler to speed the consummation of the decreed union, was not, of course, recalled. The new President was
doubtless gratified to find his predestined work, in which he had expected to encounter some impediments at the hands of Northern members of his own party, so nearly completed to his hand. On the 18th of June, joint resolutions, giving their final consent to Annexation, passed both Houses of the Congress of Texas by a unanimous vote; and
this action was ratified by a Convention of the People of Texas on the ensuing 4th of July.
The XXIXth Congress met at Washington December 1, 1845, with a strong Democratic majority in either branch. John W. Davis, of Indiana, was chosen Speaker of the House by 120 votes to 72 for Samuel F. Vinton (Whig), of Ohio, and 18 scattering. On the 16th, a joint resolve, reported on the 10th from the Committee on Territories by Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, formally admitting Texas as a State into our Union, was carried by the decisive vote of 141 to 56. The Senate concurred, on the 22d, by 31 Yeas to 13 Nays.
Thus far, the confident predictions of War with Mexico, as a necessary consequence of our annexing Texas, had not been realized. Technically and legally, we might, perhaps, be said to have been at war ever since we had determined on Annexation; practically and in fact, we were not. No belligerent action on the part of Mexico directly followed the decisive step, or its official promulgation. Our commerce and our flag were still welcomed in the Mexican ports. The disposable portion of our little army, some 1,500 strong, under Gen. Zachary Taylor, commander of the Southwestern department, in obedience to orders from Washington, embarked (July, 1845) at New Or
'Hon. Charles J. Ingersoll, a leading Democratic representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, and a zealous Annexationist, in a speech in the House, January 3, 1845, said:
"The territorial limits are marked in the configuration of this continent by an Almighty hand. The Platte, the Arkansas, the Red, and the Mississippi Rivers * * these are naturally our waters, with their estuaries in the Bay of Mexico. The stupendous deserts between
leans, and landed, early in August, at Corpus Christi, on Aransas Bay, near the mouth of the Nueces, which was the extreme western limit of Texan occupation.' The correspondence between the Secretary of War (Gov. Marcy) and Gen. Taylor, which preceded and inspired this movement, clearly indicates that Mr. Polk and his Cabinet desired Gen. Taylor to debark at, occupy, and hold, the east bank of the Rio Grande, though they shrank from the responsibility of giving an order to that effect, hoping that Gen. Taylor would take a hint, as Gen. Jackson was accustomed to do in his Florida operations, and do what was desired in such manner as would enable the Government to disavow him, and evade the responsibility of his course. Gen. Taylor, however, demanded explicit instructions, and, being thereupon directed to take position so as to be prepared to defend the soil of our new acquisition "to the extent that it had been occupied by the people of Texas," he stopped at the Nueces, as aforesaid. Here, though no hostilities were offered or threatened, 2,500 more troops were sent him in November. Official hints and innuendoes that he was expected to advance to the Rio Grande continued to reach him, but he disregarded them; and at length, about the 1st of March, he received positive orders from the President to ad
WAR WITH MEXICO BEGUN.
vance. He accordingly put his column in motion on the 8th of that month, crossing the arid waste, over one hundred miles wide, that stretches south-westward nearly to the Rio Grande, and reached the bank of that river, opposite Matamoras, on the 28th. Here' he erected Fort Brown, commanding Matamoras-the Mexicans, under Ampudia, being at the same time engaged in throwing up batteries on their side. These being completed, Ampudia (April 12th) addressed Gen. Taylor, requiring him to return to the Nueces forthwith, there to remain "while our Governments are regulating the pending question relative to Texas;" with a warning that his refusal would be regarded by Mexico as a declaration of war. Gen. Taylor courteously replied that he was acting under instructions that were incompatible with the Mexican's requirement. Ampudia was soon after superseded by Arista, who, early in May, crossed the Rio Grande at the head of 6,000 men, and, on the 8th, attacked Gen. Taylor's 2,300 at Palo Alto, and was badly defeated. Retreating to a strong position at Resaca de la Palma, a few miles distant, he was there attacked next day by Gen. Taylor, who routed his forces, after a sharp conflict, and drove them in disorder across the river. The Mexican loss in these two affairs was 1,000 men, with eight guns, and a large amount of baggage. The undisturbed possession of the entire left bank of the
The following is extracted from a letter written by one of our officers, soon after Gen. Taylor's arrival on the Rio Grande, and before
the outbreak of actual hostilities:
"CAMP OPPOSITE Matamoras, April 19, 1846. "Our situation here is an extraordinary one. Right in the enemy's country, actually occupying their corn and cotton fields, the people of
Rio Grande was among the "spoils of victory."
President Polk (May 11th) communicated some of these facts to Congress in a Special Message, wherein he averred that the Mexicans had "at last invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our fellow-citizens on our own soil." Congress, two days afterward, responded, by the passage of an act, calling out 50,000 volunteers, and appropriating $10,000,000 for the prosecution of the struggle thus begun, with a preamble, running,
"Whereas, by the act of the Republic of Mexico, a state of war exists between that Government and the United States, Be it enacted," etc.
Only 14 votes in the House, and 2 in the Senate were cast against this bill, though several members (among them Mr. Calhoun) refused to vote on it at all; and a motion in the House to strike out the prëamble was sustained by nearly every member elected as a Whig.
Congress remained in session till the 10th of August; before which time, it had become evident that Mexico, distracted and enfeebled by so many revolutions, could make no effective resistance to the progress of our arms. President Polk, not without reason, believed that a treaty of peace might be negotiated with her rickety government, whereby, on the payment of a sum of money on our part, not only the boundary of the Rio Grande, but a very consider
the soil leaving their homes, and we, with a small handful of men, marching with colors flying, and drums beating, right under the very guns of one of their principal cities, displaying the star-spangled banner, as if in defiance, under their very nose, and they, with an army twice our size, at least, sit quietly down, and make not the least resistance, not the first effort to drive the invaders off. There is no parallel to it."