December 17, 1860.
The South Carolina Convention met this day at Columbia, the capital of the State, General D. F. Jamieson in the chair, and passed a resolution to adjourn to Charleston, in consequence of the prevalence of the small-pox at Columbia, which was declared epidemic.
The bill for arming the State of North Carolina passed the Senate, after considerable debate, by a vote of forty-one to three. The Commissioners from Alabama and Mississippi have arrived at Raleigh.--Herald, Dec. 19.
Senator Crittenden, of Kentucky, offered a resolution in the Senate for certain amendments to the Constitution, which would practically reestablish the Missouri Compromise, prevent the interference of Congress with slavery in the States, and provide for the faithful performance of the Fugitive Slave Law.--N. Y. Times, Dec. 19.
A meeting of members of the Georgia Legislature, favoring cooperation, was held at Milledgeville. A convention of Southern States desiring cooperation was urged, and an address to the people of South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, was issued.--Tribune, Dec. 20.
A bill has been introduced into the Legislature of North Carolina, providing that “ No ordinance of said Convention, dissolving the connection of the State of North Carolina with the Federal Government, or connecting it with any other, shall have any force or validity until it shall have been submitted to, and ratified by, a majority of the qualified voters of the State for members of the General Assembly, to whom it shall be submitted for their approval or rejection.” --Evening Post, Dec. 20.
The Commissioner from Mississippi to Maryland addressed the citizens of Baltimore this evening. In the course of his remarks upon the intentions of the seceding States, he said:
Secession is not intended to break up the present Government, but to perpetuate it. We do not propose to go out by way of breaking up or destroying the Union as our fathers gave it to us, but we go out for the purpose of getting further guaranties and security for out rights; not by a Convention of all the Southern States, nor by Congressional tricks, which have failed in times pas and will fail again. But our plan is for the Southern States to withdraw from the Union, for the present, to allow amendments to the Constitution to be made, guaranteeing our just rights; and if the Northern States will not make those amendments, by which these rights shall be secured to us, then we must secure them the best way we can. This question of slavery must be settled now or never. The country has been agitated seriously by it for the past twenty or thirty years. It las been a festering sore upon the body politic; and many remedies having failed, we must try amputation, to bring it to a healthy state. We must have amendments to the Constitution, and if we cannot get them we must set up for ourselves.
The secession leaders at Charleston declare no more soldiers shall be sent to the forts in that harbor. A captain of a schooner landed some supplies there a few days since, and was terribly abused for it. He was told it would not be safe for any vessel to attempt it in future.
The Governor of Naryland declined to receive the Commissioner from Mississippi to that State, setting forth his reasons in an elaborate Union letter.--(See Document No. 1.)
The news from Charleston is very unfavorable this morning. “Civil war is imminent-peace is impossible,” are the utterances which meet the car on every side. There is here no longer any moro hope of peace than of compromise, say the people. The speeches from northwestern representatives  have taken us by surprise. Such flaming tirades against disunion, coupled with direct threats of coercion, were not expected from that quarter. It is not deemed impossible that the rich and saucy Northwest may join forces with the poor and starving East, and give the South some trouble, in the times now pressing upon us. The position of South Carolina is, however, so firmly taken, that though “one rose from the dead” to urge her retreat, she would not take one step backward.--N. Y. Times, Dec. 21.
The Secession Ordinance passed the Convention of South Carolina to-day by a unanimous vote.--(Doc. 2.) As soon as its passage was known without the doors of the Convention, it rapidly spread on the street, a crowd collected, and there was immense cheering. In the House of Representatives at Washington, Mr Garnet of Virginia announced the fact as follows: “Why, Sir, while your bill is under debate, one of the sovereign States of this Confederacy has, by the glorious act of her people, withdrawn, in vindication of her rights, from the Union, as the telegraph announced at 1 1/2 to-day.” [Here some three or four Southern members expressed approval by a slight clapping of hands. There was no other manifestation in the House.]
There was an enthusiastic meeting at Memphis, Tennessee, this evening, to ratify the secession of South Carolina.
The Charleston Mercury discusses the necessity of providing for seacoast defence, and proposes to construct a half-sunken battery at the-mouth of the river, with a block-house one hundred and fifty feet in the rear.
The secession of South Carolina was celebrated at Mobile by the firing of a hundred guns, .and a military parade. There was great rejoicing. The bells rang merrily, and the people in the streets by hundreds expressed their joy at the secession. Many impromptu speeches were made, and the greatest excitement existed.
In the midst of a crowd of over three thousand people, collected in Secession Hall at Charleston this evening, the ordinance of secession was duly signed and sealed by the members of the Convention. The occasion was one of the greatest solemnity at some of its periods, and of the wildest excitement at others.---N. Y. Times, Dec. 21.
At New Orleans a general demonstration of joy over the secession of South Carolina was made. One hundred guns were fired, and the pelican flag unfurled. Impromptu secession speeches were made by leading citizens, and the “Marseillais hymn” and polkas were the only airs played. A bust of Calhoun was exhibited decorated with a cockade.
South Carolina's secession produced no sensation at Baltimore. People seemed relieved and cheerful, and the streets were gaily crowded, and business was better.--Times, Dec. 22.
At Wilmington, Del., one hundred guns were fired to-day in honor of the secession of South Carolina.--Tribune, Dec. 22.
The Convention of South Carolina adopted the declaration of causes justifying the secession of that State.--(Doc. 3.)
Senator Andrew Johnson was burned in effigy at Memphis, Tenn., to-day.
There was a secession meeting in Ashland Hall, in Norfolk, Va. Disunion speeches were delivered by Colonel V. D. Grover and General John Tyler. The speeches were enthusiastically applauded.--N. Y. Times, Dec. 23.
Senator Crittenden, of Kentucky, made a speech this evening to the citizens of Washington, in which he advocated Union and the laws.
This evening the New England Society at New York celebrated the anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims, by a dinner, toasts, and speeches. The reading of the sentiment, “The American Union; it must and shall be preserved,” was received with unbounded applause. Among the speakers were the Vice President elect and Senator Seward.--(Doc. 4.)
The Charleston Mercury insists that the President will not reinforce the garrison at Fort Moultrie. “The reinforcement of the forts at this time and under present circumstances,” says that paper, “means coercion — war.--When the forts are demanded and refused to be delivered up to those in whom is vested thle title of eminent domain, and for whoso protection and defence alone they were ceded and built up; and when, the Federal  Government showing a hostile purpose, it shall become necessary and proper for us to obtain possession, then it will be right for the world and Black Republicanism to expect that the State, by her authorities, will move in the premises. The people will obey the call for war, and take the forts.”
Governor Buckingham, of Connecticut, in his proclamation for a day of fasting and prayer, urges upon the citizens of that State the propriety of a petition that the country may be carried through this crisis “in such a manner as shall forever check the spirit of anarchy, bring peace to a distracted people, and preserve, strengthen, and perpetuate our national Union.”
This evening, Senator Toombs, of Georgia, assuming that there is no hope of compromise, telegraphed from Washington an address to the people of that State--(Doc. 5.)
At Petersburg, Va., a secession pole, one hundred feet high, erected yesterday on the most prominent street, amid the cheers from a large crowd, and bearing the palmetto flag, was sawed down this morning, just before the dawn of day, by an unknown party, and the flag carried off. There was great excitement when it was known.--N. Y. Daily News, Dec. 24.
A company of eighty men arrived at Charleston from Savannah, and yesterday tendered their services to the Governor of the State, under the name of the Minute Men, or Sons of the South.--Charleston Courier.
The disbursing clerk in charge of the Indian Trust Fund, at Washington, was detected in embezzling a large amount of State bonds and coupons belonging to that fund. The sum is estimated at $830,000. The Secretary of State first discovered the defalcation, and telegraphed to Secretary Thompson (who was then in North Carolina as Commissioner from Mississippi to recommend secession) to return to Washington immediately. The Secretary arrived on Saturday evening, and had an interview with the President. In company with the Secretary of State, the Attorney-General, and District Attorney Ould, he then proceeded to make an investigation. Bailey, the defaulter, was absent from his office, and the key of the safe was missing; but entrance, was obtained by force, and a large sum in bonds was found to have disappeared. Godard Bailey, the defaulting clerk, has not been arrested; and it is supposed he has several accomplices, of whom the Washington police are in search.
Governor Pickens, agreeably to the ordinance of secession, issued a proclamation, proclaiming South Carolina a separate, sovereign, free, and independent State, with the right to levy war, conclude peace, negotiate treaties, leagues, or covenants, and do all acts whatever that rightly appertain to a free and independent State.--Herald, Jan. 1, 1861.
A Mass meeting was held at New Orleans to ratify the nominations of the Southern Rights candidates for the Convention. It was the largest congregation of every party ever assembled in that city. Cornelius Fellows was President, and speeches were made by Charles M. Conrad, Charles Gayare, and others, advocating immediate secession, amid unbounded enthusiasm. The Southern Marseillaise was sung as the banner of the Southern Confederacy was raised, amid reiterated and prolonged cheers for South Carolina and Louisiana.--National Intelligencer, Dec. 25.
The election for delegates to the State Convention to meet January 7th, took place to-day. The separate State secession ticket was elected in Mobile by a thousand majority. The election passed off quietly through the State. In many places there was no opposition; the secession ticket, in the whole State, has 50,000 majority.--Times, Dec. 25.
Governor Moore issued a proclamation, convening the Legislature of Alabama January 14th, to provide by State laws for any emergency that may arise from the action of the secession Convention called for January 7th.
The Speaker laid before the House of Representatives a letter signed by Messrs. McQueen, Bonham, Boyce, and Ashmore, members from South Carolina, to the effect that the act of secession passed by their State had dissolved their connection with that body, and that they should accordingly withdraw. The letter was laid on the table, and the Speaker directed the names of the South Carolina members to be retained on the roll, thus not recognizing the conduct of their State as severing their connection with the House.--(Doc. 6.)
The Richmond Enquirer of to-day announces that President Lincoln will be forced  to relinquish Washington, and suggests the propriety of the prompt interposition of Maryland and Virginia to prevent Mr. Lincoln's inauguration at Walshington, by taking possession of the capital without delay.
Excitement at Pittsburgh, Pa., in consequence of a report that the artillery at the Allegllany arsenal was to be transferred to new forts in the southwest. A call is in circulation, addressed to the Mayor, to convene a meeting of the citizens to take action in the matter. The call is signed by prominent men of all parties. The feeling against allowing a gun to be removed south is almost unanimous.--Evening Post, Dec. 26.
The dispatches from Pittsburgh, that the arms in the arsenal there would lot bo allowed to be shipped, made a great sensation at Washington. The story was greatly enlarged. Northern men, including members of Congress, have telegraphed to the people to stand firm, and not allow the arsenals to be stripped of all arms.
Fort Moultrie was evacuated to-night. Previous to the evacuation, the guns were spiked and the carriages destroyed by fire. The troops have all been conveyed to Fort Sumter. Major Anderson states that he evacuated the fort in order to allay time discussion about that post, and at the same time strengthen his own position.--(Doc. 7.) The evacuation of the fort commenced a little after sundown. The men were ordered to hold themselves in readiness, with knapsacks packed, at a moment's notice; but up to the moment of their leaving lad no idea of abandoning tlme post. They were reviewed on parade, and were then ordered to two schooners lying in the vicinity, where they embarked, taking with them all the necessaries, stores, &c., requisite in their evacuation. Several trips were made during the night, and a great part of the provisions and camp furniture were transported under cover of night. The brightness of the moon, however, afforded but slight concealment to their movements, and in one of the trips, Lieutenant Davis in command, a schooner full of soldiers and baggage passed directly under the bow of the guard-boat Nina. The officer who made the statement expressed himself to be ignorant whether the watch on board the Nina discovered the movement or not; at all events, he said, they did not signify any cognizance of the fact.--(Doc. 8.)--Charleston Mercury, Dec. 28;
Mess. Barnwell, Orr, and Adams, the Commissioners appointed by South Carolina to treat with the Federal Government, arrived in Washington to-day. This evening they have held a consultation with a few friends, among whom was Senator Wigfall, of Texas.--Boston Post. Dec. 27.
In the Convention at Charleston, Mr. Rhett offered the following ordinance: First.--That the Conventions of the seceding slaveholding States of the United States unite with South Carolina., land hold a Convention at Montgomery, Ala., for the purpose of forming a Southern Confederacy. Second.--That the said seceding States appoint, by their respective Conventions or Legislatures, as many delegates as they have representatives in the present Congress of the United States, to the said Convention to be held at Montgomery ; and that on the adoption of the Constitution of the Southern Confederacy, the vote shall be by States. Third.--That whenever the terms of the Constitution shall be agreed upon by the said Convention, the same shall be submitted at as early a day as practicable to the Convention and Legislature of each State, respectively, so as to enable them to ratify or reject the said Constitution. Fourth.--That in the opinion of South Carolina, the Constitution of the United States will form a suitable basis for the Confederacy of the Southern States withdrawing. Fifth.--That thel South Carolina Convention appoint by ballot eight delegates to represent South Carolina in the Convention for the formation of a Southern Confederacy. Lastly.--That one Commissioner in each State be elected to call the attention of the people to this ordinance.
A meeting of the citizens of Pittsburgh, Pa., was held, to give expression to the public indignation created by the removal of ordnance to the Southern forts. General William Robinson presided. Resolutions were adopted, declaring loyalty to the Union, deprecating any interference with the shipment of arms under government orders, however inopportune or impolitic the order might appear; deploring the existing state of things in connection with the administration of important departments  of the public service, so as to have shaken confidence in the people of the free States; that, while Pennsylvania is on guard at the Federal capital, it is her special duty to look to the fidelity of her sons, and in that view call on the President as a citizen of this Commonwealth, to see that the public receive no detriment at his hands. It behooves the President to purge his cabinet of every man known to give aid and comfort to, or in any way countenancing the revolt of any State against the authority of the constitution and the laws of the Union.--Evening Post, Dec. 28.
“ Captain N. L. Coste, U. S. R. Service, in command of the cutter William Aiken, betrayed his vessel into the hands of the State authorities of South Carolina. The crew, on being notified of the position of Captain Coste, under the State ordinance concerning the customs, promptly volunteered to remain under his command as an officer of South Carolina under that ordinance.1”
A meeting was held this evening at Richmond, Va., to give expression of opinion on the present crisis. Several speeches were made, favoring prompt secession measures, and others advocating a resort to negotiation.--Herald, Dec. 29.
The Governor of South Carolina is tendered the services of troops from Georgia, Alabama, and different portions of Carolina.
Early this afternoon the palmetto flag was raised over the Custom House and Post Office at Charleston; and to-night Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie have been taken possession of by the South Carolina military. These forts are held under instructions from Governor Pickens, who authorizes their peaceable possession, for the protection of the government property. Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie were held by a very small force, which surrendered without collision.--Times, Dec. 29.
An enthusiastic Union meeting was held at Memphis, Tenn., to-day. It was addressed by Hon. Neill S. Brown and others. Resolutions were passed opposing separate State secession; against coercion; and favoring a Convention of the Southern States to demand their rights, and if refused to take immediate action.--Philadelphia Press, Dec. 29.
The citizens of Wilmington, Del., fired a salute of twenty-one guns in honor of Major Anderson and his heroic band.
Governor Hicks' refusal to convene the Maryland Legislature for disunion purposes, is generally regarded at Washington with warm approbation, and creates great dismay among the disunionists who have urged it. The greater portion of the latter are said to be office-seekers, disappointed politicians, and rowdies, who seek plunder. A prominent gentleman, who has just seen Governor Hicks, says the rank and file of Maryland are true to him.--Tribune, Dec. 29.
Major Anderson is denounced by the Charleston papers. The Courier says:
Major Robert Anderson, United States Army, has achieved the unenviable distinction of opening civil war between American citizens by an act of gross breach of faith. He has, under counsels of a panic, deserted his post at Fort Moultrie, and, under false pretexts, has transferred his garrison and military stores and supplies to Fort Sumter.The Mercury, more temperately, says:
Major Anderson alleges that the movement was made without orders and upon his own responsibility, and that he was not aware of such an understanding. He is a gentleman, and we will not impugn his word or his motives. But it is due to South Carolina and to good faith that the act of this officer should be repudiated by the Government, and that the troops be removed forthwith from Fort Sumter.--(Doc. 9.)
John B. Floyd resigned his position as Secretary of War, owing to the refusal of the President to withdraw the Federal troops from the forts at Charleston.--(Doc. 10.)--Baltimore Sun, Jan. 1.
It is generally considered that Mr. Floyd has not resigned because of Major Anderson's patriotic course, but merely used it as a pretext to conceal the real cause. The whole country knows that his position, under the “trying circumstances,” has not been a very agreeable one, especially during the last two weeks. The alleged cause of his leaving Mr. Buchanan is, that the latter refuses to recall or order back to Fort Moultrie the gallant Anderson. Floyd asserts that he, some time ago, promised the South Carolina seceders to leave things in the harbor of Charleston undisturbed  --in statu quo ante bellum--and that the President gave the same promise. This agreement having been broken by Major Anderson, he insisted upon his returning to Fort Moultrie; and, because the President was unwilling to give that order, he sent in his resignation.--Philadelphia Press, Dec. 31.
The South Carolina troops took possession of the arsenal at Charleston. The arsenal contains many thousand arms and military stores. Military preparations are actively and zealously progressing.--Evening Post, Dec. 31.
Strong fortifications have been ordered by the South Carolina Convention in and around Charleston harbor, to resist any reinforcements that may be sent to Major Anderson. Governor Pickens is in daily receipt of dispatches from the South, tendering men to defend South Carolina from invasion.
The scene in the Senate at Washington to-day was intensely exciting. Senator Benjamin, of Louisiana, who, it had been reported, would make a conciliatory speech, gave out that he would make a parting secession speech — an announcement which drew an immense audience. Senator Benjamin spoke calmly throughout, but the character of his speech at the close opened up to every one the new era in national affairs. His closing declaration, that the South could never be subjugated, was greeted by the galleries with disgraceful applause, screams, and uproar. It was evidently the act of persons who had purposely packed the galleries. For this demonstration the galleries were promptly cleared; but as the people passed out, remarks were current among the mob such as, “That's the talk” --“Now we will have war” --“Benjamin's a brick” --“D — n the abolitionists” --“Abe Lincoln will never come here.” --Times, Jan. 1.
General Wool takes strong ground in favor of the Union, of sustaining Anderson in his position at Fort Sumter, and earnestly urges that a firm ground be adopted to put down rebellion. He declares that if Fort Sumter be surrendered to the secessionists, in twenty days two hundred thousand men will be in readiness to take vengeance on all who would betray the Union into the hands of its enemies.--(Doc. 11.)--Troy Times, Dec. 31.