[428] that the equivocating conduct of the Administration, as measured and interpreted in connection with these promises, is the proximate cause of the great calamity.

I have a profound conviction that the telegrams of the 8th of April, of Gen. Beauregard, and of the 10th of April, of Gen. Walker, the Secretary of War, can be referred to nothing else than their belief that there has been systematic duplicity practiced upon them throughout. It is under an oppressive sense of the weight of this responsibility, that I submit to you these things for your explanation.

Very respectfully,

John A. Campbell, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.


to L. P. Walker, Secretary of War:--
An authorized messenger from President Lincoln just informed Gov. Pickens and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter peaceably, or otherwise by force.

If you have no doubt of the authorized character of the agent who communicated to you the intention of the Washington Government to supply Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation; and if this is refused, proceed in such manner as you may determine to reduce it.

Washington city, Saturday, April 20, 1861.
Sir:--I enclose you a letter corresponding very nearly with one I addressed to you one week ago, (13th April,) to which I have not had any reply. The letter is simply one of inquiry in reference to facts concerning which I think I am entitled to an explanation. I have not adopted any opinion in reference to them which may not be modified by explanation, nor have I affirmed in that letter, nor do I in this, any conclusion of my own unfavorable to your integrity in the whole transaction.

All that I have said, and mean to say, is, that an explanation is due from you to myself. I will not say what I shall do in case this request is not complied with; but I am justified in saying, that I shall feel at liberty to place these letters before any person who is entitled to ask an explanation of myself.

Very respectfully,

John A. Campbell, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the U. 8. Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State.

No reply has been made to this letter.

April 24, 1861.

Sir:--I submit to you two letters that were addressed by me to Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, that contain an explanation of the nature and result of an intervention by me in the intercourse of the Commissioners of the Confederate States with that officer. I considered that I could perform no duty in which the entire American people, whether of the Federal Union or of the Confederate States, were more interested than that of promoting the counsels and the policy that had for their object the preservation of peace. This motive dictated my intervention. Beside the interview referred to in these letters I informed the Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, (not being able to see the Secretary,) on the 11th April, ultimo, of the existence of a telegram of that date from Gen. Beauregard to the Commissioners, in which he informed the Commissioners that he had demanded the evacuation of Sumter, and, if refused, he would proceed to reduce it. On the same day, I had been told that President Lincoln had said that none of the vessels sent to Charleston were war vessels, and that force was not to be used in the attempt to supply the fort. I had no means of testing the accuracy of this information, but offered that, if the information was accurate, I would send a telegram to the authorities at Charleston, and that it might prevent the disastrous consequences of a collision at that fort between the opposing forces. It was the last effort that I would make to avert the calamity of war. The Assistant Secretary promised to give the matter attention, but I had no other intercourse with him or any other person on the subject, nor have I had any reply to the letters submitted to you.

Very respectfully,

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (5)
Washington (United States) (1)
Montgomery (Alabama, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 24th, 1861 AD (1)
April 20th, 1861 AD (1)
May 7th (1)
April 13th (1)
April 11th (1)
April 10th (1)
April 8th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: