document drawn up defining her position and marking her course.
It was presented in official argument in every demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter
, and in its solution the State
was brought face to face with the General Government
, and at a point from which neither felt that it could retire.
In order to open negotiations, it was desired by the authorities of South Carolina
that the existing status in the harbor should not be disturbed, and, early in November, the Congressional delegation of South Carolina
waited upon the President
to secure his consent to such an arrangement.
It was asserted by them that such consent was obtained, and, although the existence of any obligation limiting his freedom of action was distinctly denied by Mr. Buchanan
, in his letter to the commissioners, it was, nevertheless, relied upon by the authorities of South Carolina
as affording time and opportunity for the discussion, and, perhaps, peaceable solution of the difficulties.
Far ahead of the people, the leaders of the movement saw the necessity for vigorous action.
They knew that, to maintain the Union
, there would be war; but they, nevertheless, held out to the people that there would be no collision; and, in this, they were partially justified by the reiterated assertions of the partisan press in the North
, and the opinions of men high in public position.
Immediately upon the passage of the Ordinance of Secession by the State of South Carolina
, a commission, consisting of three gentlemen of character, standing, and well-known public service-Messrs. Adams
, and Orr
--were sent to Washington
to open communications with the government for a settlement of the important questions which immediately arose upon the assumption, by the State
, of her new position.
They were in actual communication with the President
, when an event occurred which, while it awoke the country to a realization of the actual condition of things in the State of South Carolina
, served equally to remove every scruple in the minds of doubting men, and to bind the whole State together firmly in a determined purpose of resistance.
, the commandant of the garrison of Fort Moultrie
, fearing that he would be attacked, on the night of the 26th of December, after partially dismantling the fort, moved his entire command to Fort Sumter
Without awaiting explanation or the action of their commissioners in Washington
, the authorities of the State
proceeded to seize and occupy the forts in the harbor and the government property in the State
was garrisoned and the flag of South Carolina
raised over it. The seizure of Castle Pinckney followed; the arsenal was seized and its contents