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From Charleston.
[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Charleston, Feb. 12th, 1861.
For two days past (especially on Sunday) there were startling reports flying about the city, to the effect that Col. Hayne and Lieut. Hall having returned from Washington, and Hayne's mission proving abortive, now the Fort would have to be taken. Such were the impressions on the minds of almost all men, even those who had adhered to the opinion that a conflict was most improbable, and, therefore, I lost no time, early Monday morning, to ascertain the truth of all these reports from "headquarters," and, to my great joy, found that no such thing had been contemplated, for the reason that the Constitution of the Provisional Government had been adopted a President and Vice President had been elected, and the war power, both offensive and defensive, was invested in the hands of the Government, to which South Carolina, of right belongs hence this State would take no step in the matter, except to prevent reinforcements, or repel sudden attack.

It is now thought that our Government will send Envoys to Washington immediately, as it will to other foreign nations, demanding to be recognized as an independent nation; and also to treat with the Government of the United States for all forts, arsenals and public buildings situated within the territory of the Southern Republic, and then, if they are not all given up for a fair and honorable compensation, they must be, they will be, taken at all hazards.

You will see that the Provisional Congress propose to admit all imports at a very low duty — at most, ten per cent, and possibly less — fare, if possible. This low duty, vs. your present high tariff, and the full expectation that your National Government will, in a few days, augment it, perhaps, full ten per cent., will not fail to strike you as being highly infurious to Virginia, should she remain attached to the North, as I have every reason to believe she will, if letters from intelligent private and public gentlemen of your State, 50th Union men and Secessionists, are to be relied on. What chance will your Richmond merchants, or the merchants of the North, stand to apply the Gulf States, when your duty is 5 or 30 per cent. higher than ours? Will not Northern capital flow to Charleston, Savannah Mobile, New Orleans and Galveston, and have the rotten, old sinking Union as rates from a burning ship? Your merchants and four people generally will do well to think of these things before they determine in Convention to remain with a people who despise her.

The election of Davis and Stephens gives entire satisfaction to our citizens, and as far as I have heard, to the entire South. Mr. Davis is a statesman of no small ability, as you and the nation know, a great Captain, and above all, an honest and upright man.-- Mr. Stephens is what may be called a great man, a wise counsellor, a self-made man, (if any one can be said to be self-made, which I think bad theology,) and whose character is totally without spot or blemish. The government will be, beyond doubt, made up of the best material, and will be energetic and patriotic.

You may have seen in the New York Herald, a card, signed by "Capt. J. C., " who imposes himself off as a Captain lately excluded from our school-ship, and who undertakes to give the condition of our fortifications. I need hardly tell you that no such fellow ever disgraced that ship, and that the knowledge I have personally of all our fortifica- tions to which he alludes, shows that the fellow was only a bad "guesser" and a base impostor.

Trade is evidently improving here. Cotton is now coming in at the rate of three thousand bales per day, and meets with ready sale at from 10 to 12 ½ cents for Uplands.

Europe is thrown into consternation for fear of a short crop, consequent upon the revolution in this country. Black Republicans, especially in Boston, are not quite so saucy since the English journals have spoken out so plainly as to their policy in case that our cotton ports should be blockaded. Ah, me cotton or almost omnipotent--it is financially so, and, to a mighty extent, politically so. If we were a grain-raising people, (who had bid defiance in adjusting our rights,) to the North, we should not leave a "grease spot" between the Yankee and the Englishman; but, thank Providence, we have what both want, and which neither can do without, and they can get it anywhere else.

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