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We have received New York dates of Thursday, the 2d instant. Gold was quoted at 204 1-8.


The Confederate "commissioners" at Fortress Monroe--Seward gone to meet them.

The papers announce the arrival of Messrs. Stephens, Hunter and Campbell at Fortress Monroe, they having gone into the Yankee lines in front of the Ninth corps. The Herald has all the Richmond newspaper editorials on the subject, displayed in leaded type, and gives sketches of all three of the distinguished "rebels." A telegram from Washington, dated the 1st instant, says:

‘ The delegation from Richmond were admitted within the lines yesterday, and to day started down the James river on an army transport. They were, however, stopped at Fortress Monroe, and Secretary Seward started for Annapolis at noon to meet them. There is reason to believe that they are not to come to Washington at present, but any negotiations or conference in regard to a settlement of the difficulties will be conducted at the fortress by Secretary Seward in behalf of the Government. This may be done to prevent the publicity which would necessarily attend their presence here.

’ The whole affair is involved in a good deal of mystery, and, while accredited representatives of the rebel Government would not be received, yet the President is willing to receive and consider any suggestions which they may be desirous of making, looking to a settlement upon the basis of a return to the Union, leaving the question of slavery to be determined by the action of the States upon the constitutional amendment. It must be borne in mind that this whole Blair negotiation has been conducted under the auspices of Mr. Seward, and this is believed to be only a continuation of those negotiations.

A Baltimore telegram, of the same date, says:

‘ The Annapolis correspondent of the American announces the arrival there this morning of Secretary Seward, accompanied by his private secretary, who immediately left for Fortress Monroe, on General Grant's dispatch steamer, to meet the rebel commissioners. They were met at the depot by General Berry, and escorted to the executive chamber, where they were welcomed by Governor Bradford.

’ Another Washington dispatch says:

Senator Wade, in his denunciations of the Blair mission, to-day, is endorsed by nearly the entire Republican delegation in both Houses, and the paragraph sent by the Associated Press Agent, on Saturday, proclaiming his mission a farce, was authorized by President Lincoln.

’ This should set at rest the idle rumors of peace commissioners, etc., set on foot by speculators, and circulated by those who are indisposed to see our armies filled up and the only attainable peace brought about.


The Herald on the "peace" mission — the Confederacy only recognized as a gigantic riot.

The Herald has an article on the arrival of the "peace commissioners" from the Confederate States. They do not come, it says, in an official character, as the "United States" has never yet recognized the Confederacy "except as a gigantic riot," and could not recognize any one in it as able to confer official character upon any other person.

We can only look at the facts of the man's position and career, and consider what weight the enemy themselves have attached to his person in their cause, in order to see what weight we must attach to him, and whether or not he really represents their views and wishes. These facts are really the man's credentials in a case like the present.

Viewed in this light, this delegation from the enemy has some importance.--One of the gentlemen of which it is composed is par excellence the great man of the State of Georgia. His abilities were regarded with universal respect before there was any mention of the rebellion, and he stands in only the second civil position in the rebel States. He is Vice-President of those States, President of the rebel Senate, and, in case of the death of Davis, would succeed to his position. Here the obvious fact is — credential or no credential — that the enemy have sent us a person in whom they repose the highest confidence, and whose action they would, in all probability, ratify. Another of the delegates, Mr. Hunter, has been a representative man in the rebellion in a more eminent degree, perhaps, than any other one man in it. He has always been a leader of the extreme Southern sentiment, and a recognized leader of Southern men. He is a member of the rebel Senate, and has recently occupied the chair of the body in the absence of Mr. Stephens. Mr. Campbell is also a man of considerable weight in the enemy's councils. He was formerly a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been in the rebel Cabinet. The facts, than, at which we must look in relation to this delegation, all favor the view that it is quite as "official" as the enemy could possibly make it; that it really represents their cause, and must have their confidence. Although we have no great faith that it will reach any practical result, it is not impossible that it may; and, at least, the fact that it is sent to us is a significant one.

Just as this delegation arrives, the Congress of the United States has finally passed a measure for the abolition of slavery. That measure, in order to be incorporated in our Constitution, must be adopted by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States of this Union.--There are thirty-six States--eight support the rebel cause, and twenty-eight are against it — so the measure will undoubtedly receive the sanction of the necessary number of States. Thus the institution of slavery is legally, effectively and officially put out of existence. Now, it was slavery that the rebellion was founded upon. It was built upon that institution as its "corner stone," to use the words of this very Alexander H. Stephens. It was for the protection of that institution and to secure guarantees for its existence and extension that the war was begun. Four years of war have shown the South that they cannot hope to save that institution by force of arms; and now they see that they cannot hope to save it in any other way.--Before the war there were as many Northern States in support of the institution as there were Southern ones. Now the North is a unit of twenty-eight States against it. This consideration has had a salutary effect upon the minds of the Southern leaders and people. They all see clearly enough that by war slavery goes down, and that by peace slavery goes down; that it is done for in any other way, and that they might as well relinquish the fierce and bloody war that they entered into only to save it. Such considerations as these have doubtless disposed the rebel leaders to endeavor to make peace; the more especially as they cannot hope any longer to make successful war. Hence they send the best delegation that they are able to. We hope that the negotiations may succeed. We hope, also, that the country will "keep its powder dry."--We hope that no department and no person, whose duty it is to hurry up the reinforcement and equipment of Grant's grand army, will be tempted into an hour's idleness; for if no one else can make peace, General Grant most assuredly can.


Passage of the bill abolishing slavery in the United States--Scenes in Congress — cannon firing and Bell ringing in Yankeedom.

The Yankees have performed another grand Chinese feat. They have amended the Constitution so that it will do what their armies cannot — abolish slavery.--This is followed by great edicts from the abolition mandarins, and a grand flourish of banners and beating of tom- toms, which is to convince the Confederate States that slavery is abolished forever in their limits, and that the "man and brother" is hereafter to have a box seat. The remarkable and rather laughable scene took place in their House of Representatives on the 31st of January, and under the supervision of the half- brother of the moon — Abraham Lincoln. The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald thus describes the event:

‘ A large number of prominent politicians, from different sections of the country, wandered around the cloak room, which seemed to indicate that the floor was free to everybody. State officials and members of Congress, Senators, Cabinet officials and judges, all mingled together, manifesting a deep interest in the event of the hour. There was Postmaster Dennison, with his straight form, long locks, tinged with gray, moving about with an apparently light heart. There was the Secretary of Finance, Mr. Fessenden, wearing an anxious face, and looking as though a mighty weight rested upon his shoulders. Beside him sat Chief Justice Chase, with a countenance full of hope, apparently unconcerned in regard to the events of the hour, but in reality as deeply interested as any person present. Around this locality were gathered numerous public men of note, as well as many yet unknown to fame, forming an interesting group.

’ The Republican side of the House appeared somewhat agitated. Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, being the person recognized as the leader and mouth-piece of the party on this question, groups of members were constantly gathering about his seat.--Every few moments members would approach his seat, and there would be a close examination of the list, the absentees carefully noted, and the changes from the Democratic side counted. On several occasions deep anxiety was manifested. It was first agreed that the vote should be taken at three o'clock. The debate was continued when that hour arrived. A Democratic member had the floor and desired further time to conclude. The Republicans clamored for a vote, and the Democrats persisted in not being cut off. Mr. Ashley finally yielded, and consented that the vote should be taken at half past 3, or postponed half an hour. This appeared to arouse the anger of many Republicans, and an interesting group gathered around Mr. Ashley's seat. There was Thad. Stevens, got up in full fighting trim from his waist up, shaking his finger at Mr. Ashley for giving way and reading him a lecture. Stevens's face looked fire, while Ashley's was as red as a fresh cut of beef. Other members cried, "Mr. Speaker, let us have the vote," and were determined, if possible, to have a vote. The excited Republicans finally yielded, Stevens taking his seat, but evidently with no good grace.

On the Democratic side there was considerable commotion. George H. Pendleton was constantly passing around among the members in consultation with them, and seemed to pay his special attention to those Democrats who, it was said, would cast their votes for the amendment. There was Harris, of Maryland, with the muscles of his face twitching and looking daggers towards the Republican side. The movements everywhere indicated that momentous events were about taking place.

Half-past 3 arrived. An effort was made on the Democrat side to postpone the vote to another day. Almost every Republican member jumped to his feet, and the cries of "No, no; vote, vote," rung through the hall. At length the calling of the roll commenced. The first motion was to lay on the table. The Democrats, with one or two exceptions, voted for this and solid against the Republicans. The Republicans being a majority, the motion to table was lost.--Then came the question of reconsidering the vote of last year by which the vote was lost. On this, the Democrats voted nearly solid against reconsidering. At this stage there was no indication by the vote that the amendment was really to pass. On the motion to reconsider the majority lacked some three votes necessary to pass the amendment, or two thirds of all present. Then came the vote on the final passage. Perfect silence, for the first time, reigned. The response of every member was watched, and as one by one the Democrats changed front, there was an expression of joy on the Republican side. Boldly, and like men fully realizing the important step, did Ganson, Radford, Nelson, Steele, Rollins, Yeaman, English and others respond to their names. It was no faint whisper. They responded like men who had weighed carefully the subject, taken their position after mature deliberation, and were ready to take the consequences. It was an important step. In taking it, and responding in the affirmative, however, they only did that which many others on the Democratic side wanted to do, but had not the courage, the heart, to say aye.

The roll was concluded. The honored names were all recorded, hereafter to be handed down in company with those who first recorded their names for that noble instrument. Long before it was announced, the expression of the faces of those on the Republican side showed too plainly the result, and that their joy was only being pent up, ready to burst forth the moment that the result was announced. The sharp tone of the Speaker's voice was soon heard announcing the vote. In a louder, deeper and heavier tone than usual with him, Speaker Colfax announced-- "Having received a two-third vote, the amendment has passed."

Then came a wild scene on the floor of the House. Republican members waved their hats and cheered, the galleries took up the cry, handkerchiefs waved in the air, cheers echoed through the halls, and all dignity of the occasion seemed to be forgotten. Members were dancing, pulling each other around and performing all manner of antics. Among the most amusing was the scene between Mr. Brandegee and Mr. Spaulding. They went through shaking of hands, hugging each other, and other wild demonstrations, finally closing up with rapturous kissing.

The Democrats, during all this, sat in sullen silence, evidently disgusted at the lack of dignity on the floor, even those who voted for the amendment feeling that the Republicans were disgracing themselves. It was certainly in bad taste. It was a triumph well worth rejoicing over; but let that rejoicing, let the jubilee be postponed and held in some other place more benefitting than the House of Representatives. The booming of cannon was soon heard in honor of the event.

The event was "hailed with joy all over the North," according to the Herald, which says:

‘ Salutes in honor of the event were fired in various cities yesterday. Governor Fenton sent a message into both Houses of our Legislature, recommending immediate concurrence on their part, and a joint resolution was introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly, which, under the rules, had to lie over for one day. Free Maryland has been the first to ratify the action of Congress. Governor Bradford, of that State, yesterday morning announced to its Legislature the fact of the adoption of the resolution in Congress, and the House of Delegates immediately took it up and concurred by a vote of fifty-three to twenty-three. Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, has directed the firing of a salute of one hundred guns, and recommended the ringing of the church bells for one hour.

’ A Washington telegram says:

‘ The joint resolution proposing the anti-slavery amendment to the Constitution of the United States was introduced by Senator Henderson, of Missouri, in January, 1864. To-night a large number of persons complimented him with a serenade. He, together with Representative Rollins, of Missouri, and Mr. Van Horne, a member elect to the next Congress from that State, made speeches congratulatory of the passage of that measure by Congress.

’ The Herald, in a rankling editorial on the subject, says:

‘ We are informed that Mr. Seward attached great importance to the passage of this proposition through Congress, as the initial point for negotiations for peace with Jeff. Davis on the basis of a reconstruction of the Union; that Davis, thus being headed off on the slavery question at home and abroad, has intimated his readiness to give up his Confederacy as a hopeless cause.

’ [Mr. Seward will find that it is the "initial point" for a grand guffaw throughout the Confederacy at the folly of the Yankee nation.]


Large fires at Savannah — attempt to blow up the town.

The Yankees have dates from Savannah to the 29th ultimo. Two disastrous fires, supposed to be the work of "rebel" incendiaries, occurred in that city on the 27th and 28th ultimo, destroying a large number of buildings. It is said that, by the second fire, ten blocks were burned. One magazine was exploded, and the incendiaries had made preparations for blowing up the arsenal, and with it probably the greater part of the city, as it contained thirty tons of powder. A keg of powder, with the top removed, had been placed against the building, so that a single falling spark would have caused an awful explosion. Fortunately it was discovered in time.--Only three lives were known to have been lost. Additional troops from General Sherman's army had gone to Beaufort, South Carolina. One of our correspondents reiterates the statement regarding the Union men of Georgia having held meetings, organized associations for their mutual protection, and called on General Sherman for assistance, which had been promised. He says the movement extends over nine counties. Ten thousand bales of the captured cotton had been shipped North, and a crowd of other vessels were being loaded with it. The distribution of the supplies of food and clothing from the people of this city and Boston was being proceeded with.--A meeting to express the thanks of the people of Savannah for these welcome gifts was held at the Exchange on the 25th ultimo. Addresses were made by the Mayor and others, and appropriate resolutions adopted.


A Negro Celebration in Louisiana.

The Yankee New Orleans news is to the 26th.

In accordance with Governor Hahn's proclamation, the 26th was observed throughout the State as a day of festivity, in honor of the emancipation acts of Missouri and Tennessee. Some forty thousand persons outside of the city celebrated the day. The news of the capture of Fort Fisher was received in New Orleans the previous evening, and gave increased spirit to the enjoyment of the occasion. The courts adjourned, the streets were thronged with white and black people, public and private buildings and the shipping were draped with national flags. The military schools and numerous societies of colored people were in the procession. Speeches were made by Governor Hahn and several officers of the general and State government and colored orators. A salute of one hundred guns was fired and the city brilliantly illuminated at night.


Miscellaneous.

Senator Foote has arrived in Sheridan's lines, and, having refused to take the oath, has been sent to Washington under arrest.

General Grant returned to Fort Monroe on the 30th, from Fort Fisher.

A reconnaissance from General Thomas's army, at Eastport, Mississippi, showed that the main portion of Hood's force was, on the 20th ultimo, at Tupelo, Mississippi. On the appearance of the Union troops before Corinth, some four hundred rebels stationed there evacuated, after burning the railroad depot and Tishomingo House. Between thirty and forty of them were captured.

An order has been issued by the military authorities in Missouri for the banishment from that State of the wives and children of all men in the rebel military service.

Colonel Geo. R. Latham, of the Sixth West Virginia cavalry, has been dismissed from the service of the United States, on the finding of a court-martial, for allowing the post of New creek, West Virginia, to be surprised by rebel raiders some time ago, and its garrison captured.

New York and Pennsylvania both have commissioners at Washington to protest against their heavy share of the draft.

A novel scene was witnessed in the Supreme Court-room at Washington, Wednesday: J. S. Rock, a negro lawyer, of Massachusetts, being admitted, on the motion of Hon. Charles Sumner, as a practitioner.

The Yankee House has passed a bill for the construction of a ship canal around the Falls of Niagara.

The general officers in the regular United States army now are: Lieutenant-General Grant, Major-Generals H. W. Halleck, William T. Sherman, George G. Meade, Philip H. Sheridan and George H. Thomas, Brigadier-Generals Irvin McDowell, William S. Rosecrans, Philip St. George Cooke, John Pope, Joseph Hooker and Winfield S. Hancock.

The Vulture, Lark and Wren, blockade-running steamers, have gone to Havana, it is said, to be fitted out as Confederate privateers.

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