and proper proceeding.
Their object was purely partisan — they wished to bully the Republican Administration into shameful recreancy to Republican principle, and then call upon the people to expel from power a party so profligate and so cowardly.
They did not succeed in this; they have succeeded in enticing their Southern proteges and some-time allies into flagrant treason. * * *
Most of our journals lately parading the pranks of the Secessionists with scarcely disguised exultation, have been suddenly sobered by tile culmination of the slaveholding conspiracy.
They would evidently like to justify and encourage the traitors further, but they dare not; so the Amen sticks in their throat.
The aspect of the people appalls them.
Democrat as well as Republican, Conservative and Radical, instinctively feel that the guns fired at Sumter were aimed at the heart of the American Republic.
Not even in the lowest groggery of our city would it be safe to propose cheers for Beauregard and Gov. Pickens.
The Tories of the Revolution were relatively ten times as numerous here as are the open sympathizers with the Palmetto Rebels.
It is hard to lose Sumter; it is a consolation to know that in losing it we have gained a united people.
Henceforth, the loyal States are a unit in uncompromising hostility to treason, wherever plotted, however justified.
Fort Sumter is temporarily lost, but the country is saved.
Live the Republic!
Dissent from this view did, indeed, seem for the moment almost, but not entirely, silenced.
The opposite conception was temperately set forth, on the evening of that day, by The New York Express
, as follows:
The “irrepressible conflict” started by Mr. Seward and indorsed by the Republican party, has at length attained to its logical, foreseen result.
That conflict, undertaken “for the sake of humanity,” culminates now in inhumanity itself, and exhibits the afflicting spectacle of brother shedding brother's blood.
Refusing the ballot before the bullet, these men, flushed with the power and patronage of the Federal Government, have madly rushed into a civil war, which will probably drive the remaining Slave States into the arms of the Southern Confederacy, and dash to pieces the last hope for a reconstruction of the Union.
To the gallant men who are so nobly defending their flag within the walls of Fort Sumter, the nation owes a debt of eternal gratitude — not less than to the equally gallant and patriotic spirits, who, in like obedience to the demands of duty, are periling their lives and shedding their blood in the heroic, but, as yet, unsuccessful endeavor to afford them succor.
But, to the cold-blooded, heartless demagogues who started this civil war — themselves magnanimously keeping out of the reach of bodily harm — we can only say, You must find your account, if not at the hands of an indignant people, then in the tears of widows and orphans.
The people of the United States, it must be borne in mind, petitioned, begged, and implored these men, who are become their accidental masters, to give then an opportunity to be heard before this unnatural strife was pushed to a bloody extreme; but their petitions were all spurned with contempt; and now the bullet comes in to decide the issue!
In another editorial, The Express
The great fact is upon us. Civil war has commenced.
Where it will end, is known only to that Higher Power “that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will.”
Of one thing, however, we are thoroughly convinced — the South can never be subjugated by the North, nor can any marked successes be achieved against them.
They have us at every advantage.
They fight upon their own soil, in behalf of their dearest rights--for their public institutions, their homes, and their property.
They are abundantly supplied with all the means and appliances for the contest; are commanded by officers who have fought and won battles by the side of those against whom they are now arrayed, with ranks filled by men as intelligent, patriotic, and brave, as e'er faced a foe, and a determination never to be defeated. * * *
The South, in self-preservation, has been driven to the wall, and forced to proclaim its independence.
A servile insurrection and wholesale slaughter of the whites will alone satisfy the murderous designs of the Abolitionists. The Administration, egged on by the halloo of the Black Republican journals of this city, has sent its mercenary forces to pick a quarrel and initiate the work of desolation and ruin. A call is made for an army of volunteers, under the pretense that an invasion is apprehended of the Federal capital; and the next step will be to summon the slave population to revolt and massacre.
[N. Y.] Observer
more pointedly said:
Of all the wars which have disgraced the human race, it has been reserved for our own enlightened nation to be involved in the most