Message from the President.
Washington, Jan. 9.
--The President sent in a message to-day.
In it he says the affairs of the country are growing worse, instead of better, and hope is still more diminished.
Alluding to the condition of South Carolina
, he says there is no other alternative but to collect the revenues and protect the public property there.
It is his duty to execute the laws of the nation — not inquire into their justice.
He says, at the commencement of the session, he recommended measures of relief, which, as he believed, would have the effect of tranquilizing the country and save it from the perils in which it has been needlessly and unfortunately placed.
His convictions then expressed remain unchanged.
The right and duty to use the military and naval force against those who illegally assail the Federal Government
, are clear and indisputable, but the present state of things is entirely beyond Executive control.
We are in the midst of a great revolution, and he recommends to Congress itself to meet the present emergency.
To Congress alone is delegated the power to declare war, and to remove grievances which might lead to war, and restore peace to the country.
On it rests the responsibility.
After eulogizing the blessings conferred by the Union
, he says that should it perish, the calamity will be as severe in the Southern
as in the Northern States
The secession feeling is chiefly founded on an apprehension as to the sentiment of a majority of the Northern States
Let the question be transferred from a political assembly to the ballot-box, and the people will redress their grievances.
In this, our heaviest calamity, let a trial be made, before we plunge into the assumption that there is no alternative.
Let us have reflection.--Would that South Carolina
He appeals to Congressmen to say, in their might, that the Union
shall and must be preserved, and recommends them to devote themselves to strong action, with a view to peace.
A division on the line of 36 deg, 30 min, is suggested as calculated to produce an adjustment.
It is an imputation on members to say that they will hesitate at such a movement.
The danger is on us. In several States forts and arsenals have been seized by aggressive acts.
He states as reasons why he refused to send troops to Charleston harbor
, that this would have furnished a pretext, if not provocation, for aggression, on the part of South Carolina
, Referring to Major Anderson
, he says that officer could not, before he left Fort Moultrie
, have held the place more than forty-eight or sixty hours.
He (the President
) had warned the country of its danger, and felt that his duty had been faithfully, though imperfectly, performed.--He was conscious that he meant well for his country.