[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Washington Jan. 4, 1861.
This "day of National humiliation, fasting and prayer," is generally observed.
The churches are all open, nearly all the stores are closed, and the city has a Sunday look.--On Pennsylvania Avenue there seems to be a crowd of men, boys and backs.
The restaurants are doing a good business.
If one were a believer in omens, be would be comforted by the sunny sky which at mid-day succeeds the dark and foggy morning.
The air is soft, warm, balmy.
But the day is not over yet. No man can fell how the sun will go down.
It seems that Mr. Buchanan
has made up his mind to carry out coercion with a high hand and a strong arm. A dispatch appears in Brown's Hotel this morning, stating that the steam-frigate Brooklyn
is about leaving Norfolk
We may expect the Gulf Squadron to be actively at work blockading all the Southern
This is war.
The seizure of the forts at Savannah
was done in consequence of a dispatch from high authority here informing the Governor
that an order had been issued by the War Department to throw Federal troops at once into them.
This order was seen
by the gentleman who sent the dispatch.
Who believes that any of the States would have ceded the sites of the forts within their limits if they had dreamed the guns would ever be used to shoot down the very people they were intended to protect?
This notion of the President
's is not merely foolish — It is a high handed outrage.
Violence provokes violence.
He has chosen the worst possible method of destroying his own government, and defeating his purpose of saving the Union
In attempting to enforce the laws, he has violated the spirit and letter of the Constitution
Truly, his is a savage mode of securing the object of the Constitution
, which was "a more perfect Union."
Coercion hastens secession.
's occupation of Fort Sumter
--the key of the position — the only one of the Gulf
States which was at all doubtful.
The advices received by Georgia
members indicate a large majority for instant secession.
With the departure of the Gulf
ensues a force bill, authorizing the Government
to raise 300,000 volunteers, and $200,000,000 will be voted to pay the expenses.
The Government can't obtain the money, but the Northern States
can, and will.
As we of the South
have rapidly united for defence, so the people of the North
are rapidly uniting for offence.
The thing is fated, it seems to me. All attempts to prevent disunion have hastened it.
' speech, yesterday, was pretty much on the line of the President
's message — against secession and against coercion — neither fish nor flesh.
How vain it is for a man to try to climb both sides of the sapling at a time like the present!
's policy may be it should be decided.
It will not do to adopt a yea-nay policy.
If the Old Dominion intends to submit to the Abolitionists, let her to so decisively; if she intends to resist, let her act promptly, unequivocally.
Washington Jan. 5th, 1861.
Another mild, beautiful, sunny day, brings crowds of vehicles and pedestrians out on the Avenue
. One finds it hard to believe in impending war while the skies overhead and the faces underneath are so gay and smiling.
The result of the Abolition caucus last night has not officially transpired, but I hear from two pretty good sources that the knaves are going to back down — which means that they will give enough to satisfy men of the Winter Davis
submission school, reserving to themselves the inalienable right of all frightened and treacherous people, of snatching back their concessions the moment they get the Federal
power into their hands.
understands their game, and will balk them.
The question must be settled not by any mere "finalities of finality," but by such a change in the Constitution
as will place it forever beyond the power of mere majorities, sectional or unsectional, to trample upon the rights of minorities.
talks grandly about arming, and all that.
In this connection, I wish you would publish the protest of Virginia
to the Continental Congress, made at the time Cornwallis
, after conquering Georgia
and marching through South
and North Carolina
, devastating all before him, was about to invade the Old Dominion.
In epic, this noble protest says to New England
: ‘"We were with you at Boston
and at Quebec
; we missed you at Savannah
and at Guillord; we were alone at Trenton
, [think of that!
, unaided, fighting and conquering hundreds of miles from home,] and now, when our Continental contingent is full; when Virginians
are defending New Jersey
against the British
in New York; when we have 10,000 troops of our own in the field at home; when all our titheables are heavily taxed, and when the British
forces are invading our borders, you refuse, after frequent appeals, to send any continental troops to our assistance.
Exhausted in fighting the battles of the country on every field from Canada
, we warn you that unless assistance be speedily given, we shall withdraw our contingent, and fight by ourselves and for ourselves alone"’--The Continental Congress could not resist this appeal, (which you will find in Rives
' Life of Madison
,) and accordingly sent down the Virginia
soldiers and one Pennsylvania
regiment, which last (the Pennsylvania
regiment) refused to go a step farther than Philadelphia
unless they received three months pay in advance, and in specie at that.
It is on record that during the whole of the Revolutionary War
, not one single New England
company came south of the Potomac
.--The New England
troops enlisted for six months, and resigned before they could be of any service.
The Virginia soldiers, both State and Continental, enlisted for three years.--Every rascal of the Yankees
claimed pensions, and thus six thousand pensions were granted in New England
for every thousand in Virginia
Furthermore, in this battle of Lexington
, about which the Yankees
brag so much, (seven men were killed and thirteen wounded,) it is a noticeable fact that at least a hundred of the men engaged in it rushed, after the battle was over, to the magistrate's office and made affidavit that the British
began the firing.
The affidavits may be seen to this day. So it appears that these patriots desired the world to know that they were only defending themselves against assault and battery, and not fighting for the honor and independence of their country.
In the last war, their conduct was still worse.
men refused to fight outside of their State, because--it was unconstitutional!
And when Scott
desired to cross over to Canada
, the New York braves refused for the same reason.
Yet every man of them got his bounty land.
Read General Washington
's correspondence when he was before Boston
, and see how he complains of the want of spirit among the people and their extortionate demands for the supplies they furnished.
's History of Virginia
, and see now a hundred years before the Revolution the superior enterprise of the New England
people in all money-making projects, was then, as now, the contr distinguishing feature between them and Virginians
It is unwise to trust to the want of courage in any man, for the veriest coward will fight when driven to the wall, and there is not a people in the world who will not give battle for sufficient cause; but I am much of the opinion of a Gulf State Senator
, who said the other night, when some one told him the North
was about to raise an army of 300,000 men to sustain Lincoln
, "Yes," he replied, "there is no doubt of it. The Chinese
raised a million, and 16,000 Allies marched straight to Pekin
There will be a great many soldiers, and they will emulate the various deeds of the Bostonian, who built the Bunker Hill Monument
and went on the pension list." The truth is, the Pilgrim Fathers
were not made of the genuine Puritan
stock — The grim soldiers of Crom well stood their hand; nothing could drive them out of their country.
Their courage was high, because their faith was sincere.
But the hypocrites, who had more cunning than pluck, more love of themselves and of money than of the faith they professed, who feared the savage less than the war at their own door — they fled — from persecution, as they said — and began forthwith to persecute others.
Like father, like son. The depravity of the present Puritan
generation is shown in the systematic falsehood of their newspapers, and the invariable cheating in their political promises.
Sharp witted, hypocritical, faithless, we can trust them never, never, never.
Their compromises are frauds, their friendship insincere.
Our least danger is from their open and avowed enmity.
We must cut loose from them and from the States controlled by their political ideas at once, and forever.
Else there is no peace and never can be. Make a common government with them and make it how you please, they will
meddle with our affairs.
Our only safety is to make meddling and fighting one and the same thing.