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[460]

From Union-loving Kentucky, this reply was rendered:

Frankfort, April 16, 1861.
Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War:
Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.

B. Magoffin, Governor of Kentucky.

Four days prior to the date of this exhibition of Kentucky loyalty, the following telegram had flown all over the country:

Louisville, Ky., April 12, 1861.
Dispatches have come here to hold the Kentucky volunteer regiment in readiness to move at a moment's notice from the War Department at Montgomery.


This formal order from the Confederate Government to the Kentuckians enlisted for its service does not seem to have evoked a remonstrance from her Governor. It was only the call for Kentuckians to maintain the integrity of the Republic and enforce the authority of its Government that aroused his abhorrence of its “wicked purpose.”

The Louisville Journal--chief oracle of Bell-Everett “conservatism” in Kentucky--then, as before and since, professedly devoted to the Union--thus responded to the President's call:

The President's Proclamation has reached us. We are struck with mingled amazement and indignation. The policy announced in the Proclamation deserves the unqualified condemnation of every American citizen. It is unworthy not merely of a statesman but of a man. It is a policy utterly harebrained and ruinous. If Mr. Lincoln contemplated this policy in his Inaugural Address, he is a guilty dissembler; if lie has conceived it under the excitement aroused by the seizure of Fort Sumter, he is a guilty Hotspur. In either case, he is miserably unfit for the exalted position in which the enemies of the country have placed him. Let the people instantly take him and his Administration into their own hands, if they would rescue the land from bloodshed, and the Union from sudden and irretrievable destruction.1

Few or no journals issued in the Slave States--save a portion of those of St. Louis and Knoxville — gave the call a more cordial greeting than this.

Gov. Claiborne F. Jackson,2 of Missouri, gave these among his reasons for disregarding and defying the President's call:

It is illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical, and cannot be complied with.

He added:

Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on so unholy a crusade.

Gov. Burton, of Delaware, deferred his response to the 26th, and then stated that “the laws of this State do not confer upon the Executive any authority allowing him to comply with such requisition.” He proceeded, however, formally and officially, to

recommend the formation of volunteer companies for the protection of the lives and property of tile citizens of this State against violence of any sort to which they may be exposed. For these purposes, such companies, when formed, will be under the control of the State authorities, though not subject to be ordered by the Executive into the United States service — the law not vesting in him such authority. They will, however, have the option of offering their services to the General Government for the defense of its Capital and the support of the Constitution and laws of the country.

1 The National Intelligencer--perhaps the only journal of note issued south of Mason and Dixon's line that did not utterly execrate the President's call — thus mildly indicated [April 16th] its dissent from the policy thereby initiated:

For ourselves, we have to express the hope and belief that, until the meeting of Congress, the President will employ the forces of the Government in purely defensive purposes, guarding all points threatened with attack, and awaiting, in the mean time, the counsel and cooperation of the people's representatives, before proceeding to ulterior measures; and upon those representatives, when they are assembled, we shall, without questioning the legal rights of the Government, urge the impolicy of advising and consenting to the recapture of forts and public property, which we do not want in States out of the Union, and which, certainly, cannot be permanently regained to the Union by military force.

2 April 16th.

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