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[411] season: but, being called upon by the Indian Bureau for the coupons, payable January 1st, on the abstracted securities, he found himself unable to respond, and was driven to a confession. The Government being at that moment penniless, the revenue shrunk to less than half its ordinary dimensions by the stoppage of importations, and the necessity for borrowing urgent, this development, casting doubt on the integrity of men high in authority, gave a staggering blow to the public credit. The Grand Jury at Washington indicted1 Floyd on two counts: first, for malfeasance; second, for conspiracy with Bailey and Russell to defraud the Government; but he was by this time far from that city, absorbed in the work of luring Virginia into the toils of treason.

The disintegration of the Cabinet had commenced so early as December 10th, when Mr. Howell Cobb, thoroughly in the counsels of the secessionists, resigned the control of the Treasury, whereof the bankrupt and hopeless condition supplied him with an excuse, though not the reason, for his retirement. Mr. Philip Francis Thomas, of Md., previously Commissioner of Patents, was appointed in his stead. Gen. Lewis Cass resigned the post of Secretary of State on the 14th, directly after a long and exciting Cabinet session. He did so because he could not consent to render himself responsible for, or be implicated in, the President's refusal to reinforce, provision, and sustain Maj. Anderson and his little force, holding the forts in Charleston harbor. He did not rush into the newspapers; yet he made no secret of his conviction that the course on which the President had decided was a fatally mistaken one, and led directly to National subversion and ruin. Attorney-General Black--a lifelong and intimate personal friend of the President-took charge, by his direction, of the State Department.

Messrs. R. W. Barnwell, James L. Orr, and ex-Gov. Adams, Commissioners from the State of South Carolina, reached Washington on the 26th, under instructions to negotiate with the Federal Executive a partition of all the properties and interests of the sovereign and independent State of South Carolina in the Union from which she had seceded. Every one of them knew perfectly that the President had no more constitutional power or right to enter upon such a negotiation than he had to cede the country bodily to Russia, France, or Great Britain. They were, of course, received civilly, and treated respectfully, but informed that the President could only regard and meet them as citizens of the United States. They left, on their return, nine days afterward; sending farewell letters to the President, which are scarcely average samples of diplomatic suavity.

Georgia having given2 a large popular majority for Secession, her authorities immediately took military possession of the Federal arsenal at Augusta, as also of Forts Pulaski and Jackson, commanding the approaches by sea to Savannah.

North Carolina had not voted to secede, yet Gov. Ellis simultaneously seized the U. S. Arsenal at Fayetteville, with Fort Macon, and other fortifications commanding the approaches to Beaufort and Wilmington.

1 On the 30th.

2 January 2, 1861.

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