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[35] respect to their previous party associations. A number of these States promptly called conventions to take action as to their future policy. Congress met on December 3, 1860, and heard a message from President Buchanan, in which he argued against the right of secession but expressed doubt as to the right of Congress to coerce the States to obedience to its mandates by military force. On the 6th the House of Representatives appointed a select committee of thirty-three, to take measures for the perpetuity of the Union; on the 10th, Howell Cobb, of Georgia, resigned as secretary of the treasury; on the 12th, Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, of Virginia, commanding the army of the United States, arrived in Washington, by order of the President, to advise in reference to military affairs; on the 14th, Lewis Cass, of Michigan, resigned as secretary of state; on the 20th, South Carolina adopted an ordinance of secession; on the 25th, Maj. Robert Anderson transferred the Federal garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor; on the 27th, South Carolina occupied Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie, captured the United States revenue cutter William Aiken, and her three commissioners arrived in Washington to treat, as representatives of an independent State, with the Federal executive. On the 29th, John B. Floyd, of Virginia, resigned as secretary of war, because President Buchanan would not order Major Anderson to return to Fort Moultrie. On the 30th, South Carolina took possession of the United States arsenal at Charleston. This rapid succession of disintegrating events marked the close of 1860. Between the 2d and 7th of January, 1861, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida took possession of a number of United States forts and arsenals within their borders, although none of these except South Carolina had as yet seceded. On the 8th, Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, secretary of the interior, resigned from Buchanan's cabinet. Mississippi adopted an ordinance of secession on the 9th, Florida on the 10th, Alabama on the 11th, Georgia on the 19th and Louisiana on the 26th, followed by Texas, February 1st. On the 9th of February, the Star of the West, bringing relief to Fort Sumter, was fired on and driven back from Charleston. The States which seceded quickly seized other United States forts and property, and the United States sent reinforcements to forts within these States

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