two weeks previous, of the Federal
arsenal at Napoleon
containing 12,000 Springfield
muskets and a large amount of munitions and stores; nor by that of Fort Smith
also containing valuable deposits of arms, munitions, and Indian goods.
These, and many kindred acts of violence and outrage on the side of disunion, had been committed without a shadow of disguise, and with no other excuse than the treason of the perpetrators — Solon Borland
, late U. S. Senator
, having led the party that captured Fort Smith
. “Coercion” was abhorred and execrated only when exercised in defense of the Union
was found in a most anomalous condition on the breaking out of the great struggle, destined so severely to try her integrity, as well as that of the nation.
Though her slaves were less than a tenth of her total population, and her real interests were bound up in the triumph of Free Labor and the maintenance of the Union
, yet her managing politicians, of the Calhoun
or extreme pro-slavery school, had contrived for years to wield and enjoy her power and patronage, by keeping a firm and skillful hold on the machinery of the Democratic party.
They had thus succeeded, through a long and bitter canvass,in hunting Col. Thomas H. Benton
--once the autocrat of the State
--out of the Senate, and, ultimately, out of public life.
In accordance with their settled policy, the most of them had professed to support Senator Douglas
in 1860; and, on the strength of their regularity as Democrats, had elected Claiborne F. Jackson
as Governor, Thomas C. Reynolds
as Lieut. Governor
, and a Legislature either thoroughly committed or easily molded to their ultimate schemes.
Of this Legislature, the Senate had instructed3
its Committee on Federal Relations to report a bill calling a State Convention, which, in due time, became a law.4
The Convention was accordingly chosen and held; but, when it came to assemble, not one avowed Disunionist was found among its members.
Even Sterling Price
, a Democratic ex-Governor, who in due time became one of the ablest and most successful of Rebel Generals
, had secured his election only by a profession of Unionism.
Its Committee on Federal Relations, through its Chairman
, Judge H. R. Gamble
reported at length, on the 9th of March--four days after Mr. Lincoln
's Inaugural had been read all over the country — in pointed opposition to the views of the Disunionists.
After discussing the questions which agitated the country from a Southern point of view, with the usual complaints of Northern fanaticism, intermeddling, and aggression, condemning coercion, whether employed by or against the seceded States, and warmly indorsing the Crittenden Compromise
, the Convention
, on the report of this Committee,
Resolved, That at present, there is no adequate cause to impel Missouri to dissolve her connection with the Federal Union; but, on the contrary, she will labor for such an adjustment of the existing troubles as will secure peace, rights, and equality, to all the States.
Resolved, That the people of this State are devotedly attached to the institutions of our country, and earnestly desire that, by a fair and amicable adjustment, the present causes of disagreement may be removed,