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[206] President, and thus was he relieved from the trace concluded by Major Anderson. But in the mean time, before the termination of this truce, the action of the General Assembly of Virginia, instituting the Peace Convention, had interposed an insurmountable obstacle to the reenforcement of Fort Sumter, unless attacked or in immediate danger of attack, without entirely defeating this beneficent measure. Among their other proceedings they had passed a resolution ‘that ex-President John Tyler is hereby appointed by the concurrent vote of each branch of the General Assembly, a commissioner to the President of the United States; and Judge John Robertson is hereby appointed by a like vote, a commissioner to the State of South Carolina and the other States that have seceded or shall secede, with instructions respectfully to request the President of the United States and the authorities of such States to agree to abstain, pending the proceedings contemplated by the action of the General Assembly, from any and all acts calculated to produce a collision of arms between the States and the Government of the United States.’

Mr. Tyler arrived in Washington on the 23d January, a fortnight before the departure of Col. Hayne, bearing with him a copy of the Virginia resolutions. These he presented to the President on the following day, assuring him that whilst the people of Virginia were almost universally inclined to peace and reconstruction, yet any efforts on her part to reconstruct or preserve the Union ‘depended for their success on her being permitted to conduct them undisturbed by outside collision.’

This resolution, it will be observed, requested the President, and not Congress, to enter into the proposed agreement. Mr. Tyler, therefore, urged the President to become a party to it. This he refused, stating, according to Mr. Tyler's report to the Governor of Virginia, ‘that he had in no manner changed his views as presented in his annual message; that he could give no pledges; that it was his duty to enforce the laws, and the whole power rested with Congress.’ He promised, notwithstanding, that he would present the subject to that body. This was due both to its intrinsic importance and to the State of Virginia, which had manifested so strong a desire to restore and preserve the Union:

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