it is my solemn conviction that there is some danger of an early act of rashness preliminary to secession, viz., the seizure of some or all of the following posts: Forts Jackson and Philip in the Mississippi, below New Orleans, both without garrisons; Fort Morgan below Mobile, without a garrison; Forts Pickens and McRae, Pensacola harbor, with an insufficient garrison for one; Fort Pulaski below Savannah, without a garrison; Forts Moultrie and Sumter, Charleston harbor, the former with an insufficient garrison, and the latter without any; and Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, without a sufficient garrison. In my opinion all these works should immediately be so garrisoned as to make any attempt to take any one of them, by surprise or coup de main, ridiculous. With an army faithful to its allegiance, and the navy probably equally so, and with a Federal Executive for the next twelve months of firmness and moderation, which the country has a right to expect — moderation being an element of power, not less than firmness — there is good reason to hope that the danger of secession may be made to pass away without one conflict of arms, one execution, or one arrest for treason.Gentlemen, Lieut.-General Scott knew well, we all know, that what he recommended Mr. Buchanan to do, an honest Executive might have done. Again and again in the history of our country have attempts been made to resist the execution of the laws, and again and again has the Federal Government triumphantly vindicated its supremacy. The first armed rebellion was that headed by Shay, in Massachusetts, in the winter of 1787. The rebels attempted to seize the arsenal, and were met with cannon that killed three and wounded another of their number, and the State militia, under the command of Gen. Lincoln, routed their forces, taking many prisoners, and peace was restored, not by any compromise, but by the enforcement of the laws. As a Lincoln suppressed the first rebellion, so will a Lincoln suppress the last. You will readily call to mind other similar occasions, where the Federal Government, by prompt action, maintained its supremacy unimpaired. First came the whiskey rebellion in Pennsylvania, during the administration of Washington, to suppress which the President called out fifteen thousand men from three different States, led by their Governors and General Morgan, whom Washington at first proposed himself to accompany across the Alleghanies. Next President Jefferson crushed in the bud the opening conspiracy of Aaron Burr. President Madison, during the war of 1812, when doubts were entertained of the loyalty of the Hartford conventionists, who were falsely reported to be in correspondence with the enemy, stationed Major Jessup, of Kentucky, at Hartford, with a regiment, to suppress any sudden outbreak. Gen. Jackson, about the same time, in New Orleans, proclaimed martial law in consequence of attempts by the civil authorities to embarrass the necessary measures of defence. President Jackson, in 1832, repressed by the arm of General Scott, and amid the hearty applause of the nation, the defiant nullification of South Carolina, and President Tyler, in 1843, with the approval of his Secretary, Mr. John C. Calhoun, sent United States troops to Rhode Island to suppress the State revolution, organized by a majority of the people of the State, but in violation of the existing State constitution, under the leadership of Governor Thomas W. Dorr. When in 1860 General Scott, in advance of any outbreak, recommended President Buchanan to reinforce the forts, instead of recommending active measures of interference, such as his predecessors whom I have named did not hesitate to take, he simply asked of the President to do what any intelligent school-boy could see was absolutely proper and essential, and what he could accomplish by a single word. Mr. Buchanan, guided by his Secretary of War, the traitor and thief, John B. Floyd, refused to order the reinforcement of the fortresses; all the forts named by General Scott, excepting Fort Pickens, were seized by the confederates; and on the fact of their quiet possession and the aid and comfort thus given to the rebels by the Federal cabinet, was based the secession of the traitorous States and the formation of the new confederacy. The fact thus becomes clear as day, that not simply all the strength the rebel confederacy originally possessed, but its very organization and existence, were due not to the people of the South on whom without their sanction it was precipitated, nor to the leaders, skilful as they have been, who had neither arms nor
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