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[184] response? This was to gain time for passion to subside, and for reason to resume her sway; to bring the whole subject before the representatives of the people in such a manner as to cause them to express an authoritative opinion on secession, and the other dangerous questions then before the country, and adopt such measures for their peaceable adjustment as might possibly reclaim even South Carolina herself; but whether or not, might prevent the other cotton States from following her evil and rash example.

The insulting letter of the commissioners, which had been returned to them, was notwithstanding presented to the Senate by Mr. Jefferson Davis, immediately after the reading of the President's special message of the 8th January; and such was the temper of that body at the time, that it was received and read, and entered upon their journal. Mr. Davis; not content with this success, followed it up by a severe and unjust attack against the President, and his example was followed by several of his adherents. From this time forward, as has been already stated, all social and political intercourse ceased between the disunion Senators and the President.

It is worth notice, that whilst this letter of the commissioners was published at length in the ‘Congressional Globe,’ among the proceedings of the Senate, their previous letter to the President of the 28th December, and his answer thereto of the 31st, were never published in this so-called official register, although copies of both had accompanied his special message. By this means the offensive letter was scattered broadcast over the country, whilst the letter of the President, to which this professed to be an answer, was buried in one of the numerous and long after published volumes of executive documents.

It is proper to advert to the allegation of the commissioners, in their letter of the 28th December, that the removal of Major Anderson to Fort Sumter was made in violation of pledges given by the President. They also say that ‘since our arrival an officer of the United States, acting, as we are assured, not only without but against your orders, has dismantled one fort and occupied another, thus altering to a most important extent ’

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