By such statements, wholly uncontradicted, the loyalty and patriotism of North Carolina were, for the moment, utterly paralyzed. The people, assured by those they had learned to trust that the Federal Government had been utterly subverted by usurpation, and that a military despotism, headed by Abraham Lincoln, was making unprovoked war upon them, which their honor and their interests alike required them to resist, were passive, bewildered and helpless instruments in the hands of the conspirators. The Convention, on the very day of its assembling, passed an Ordinance of Secession by a unanimous vote, and forthwith linked the efforts and fortunes of North Carolina with those of the traitors, by adopting and ratifying the Confederate Constitution. It has been widely represented, and, to some extent, believed, that the failure of the Peace Conference or Congress, so called, with the refusal of the Republicans to pass the Crittenden Compromise, backed by President Lincoln's Inaugural, was generally received throughout the Slave States as a declaration of war on the South, and, as such, resented by large and controlling acquisitions to the ranks of the Disunionists in the hitherto unseceded States. The true view is widely different from this. We have seen that the Virginia Convention refused, so late as April 4th, by a vote of nearly two to one, to pass an Ordinance of Secession. The Arkansas Convention assembled about the 1st of March; and, on the 16th, was waited on by William S. Oldham, a member of the Confederate Congress and a Commissioner from Jefferson Davis, bearing a message from that potentate, dated March 9th--four days after the adjournment of Congress, and when the contents of Mr. Lincoln's Inaugural were familiar to the entire South. The Convention listened to Mr. Davis's letter, wherein he dilated on the identity of institutions and of interests between his Confederacy and the State of Arkansas, urging the adhesion of the latter to the former; and, after taking two days to deliberate, a majority--39 to 35--voted not to secede from the Union. The Convention proceeded, however, to resolve that a vote of the people of their State should be taken on the 1st of August ensuing — the ballots reading “Secession” or “Cooperation” --the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.