llowed secession proved their desire to preserve the peace.
The authors of the aggressions which had disturbed the harmony of the Union had lately acquired power on a sectional basis, and were eager for the spoils of their sectional victory.
To conceal their real motive, and artfully to appeal to the prejudice of foreigners, they declared that slavery was the cause of the troubles of the country, and of the rebellion which they were engaged in suppressing.
In his inaugural address in March, 1861, President Lincoln said: I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
The leader (Sumner) of the Abolition party in Congress, on February 25, 1861, said in the Senate, I take this occasion to declare most explicitly that I do not think that Congress has any right to interfere with slavery in a State.
The principle thus announced had r
ficient energy, on March 15th he authorized Commander Mitchell to consult with General Lovell, and, if the contractors were not doing everything practicable to complete her at the earliest moment, that he should take her out of their hands, and, with the aid of General Lovell, go on to complete her himself.
On April 5, 1862, Secretary Mallory instructed Commander Sinclair, who had been assigned to the command of the Mississippi, to urge on by night and day the completion of the ship.
In March, 1861, the Navy Department sent from Montgomery officers to New Orleans, with instructions to purchase steamers and fit them for war purposes.
Officers were also sent to the North to purchase vessels suited to such uses, and in the ensuing May an agent was dispatched to Canada and another to Europe for like objects; in April, 1861, contracts were made with foundries at Richmond and New Orleans to make guns for the defense of New Orleans.
On May 8, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy communicated