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[36] late to attend to any business. I therefore determined to start on Tuesday morning, which gave me an opportunity of discussing the objects of my mission with Colonel Sargent, who took the same train as far as Springfield, Mass., and enabled me to reach this city this morning by daybreak.

Immediately after breakfast, I called on the Hon. Charles Sumner. He at once understood the object of my mission, and favored me with a statement on the present state of affairs. I also met him again later in the day in the Senate Chamber, when he went over again, with me, the same ground.

He gives as serious an account of the conspiracy to take possession of this city by the secessionists as any you have received; but he thinks the danger has been steadily diminishing since the 2d of January,— the day on which the President gave General Scott power to concentrate troops for the defence of the capital. The President has had several relapses since that date; and at times has seemed about to recall all the confidence he had placed in General Scott, and oblige him to undo all that had been done. The most extraordinary scenes have taken place in the Cabinet: only last week it was on the point of breaking up entirely, and the danger seemed to be as great again as at any previous time; but the general has triumphed in all particulars, excepting in his desire to have the militia of the Northern States called out: to that the President will not even now consent.

Mr. Sumner thinks there was a crisis in the Cabinet last week, and that, even after the general had overcome the hesitation of the President, there was a most serious danger to be apprehended from the revolutionary threats of the Democratic leaders in Maryland, in which the leaders of both wings of the Democratic party united. He thinks, however, that, the first schemes of the conspirators having been disconcerted, there was nothing to be apprehended in the way of an attack upon this city, unless the conspirators should have been enabled to lean upon State authority for their action. Therefore he thinks that the result of the election of delegates to the convention in Virginia has postponed the danger from this source. He is convinced that the conspirators counted upon a different result in Virginia; that, by the 18th, the Virginia Convention would have pronounced for secession; and that they were therefore safe in calling the Maryland Convention for that day, being sure that in that event Maryland would follow suit. If the result of the Virginia election had been in favor of the secessionists, the attack on the Capitol might have been carried out without waiting for the formal action of the Virginia Convention. Mr. Sumner now thinks there is no immediate danger to be feared of such an attack.

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