The National crisis.

withdrawal of the Senators of the seceding States--letter from Hon. George W. Summers--from Charleston — the Florida Forts — the Key West fortifications — troops in Washington, &c.

Senators Davis. Yulee, Mallory, Clay and Fitzpatrick, who formally withdrew from the Senate chamber, left ten vacant seats in the Senate. Four others will be speedily added.--The Washington Constitution, speaking of the rest, says.

‘ To those who scan events more closely, the withdrawals of yesterday, succeeding others for short distance cannot but suggest painful spottage. It were had enough, if in the ordinary mutations of politics the Senate were being stripped of its most illustrious members: Statesmen who have earned distinction by the ability, the patriotism, and the purity of their ,and whose voices have been ever polite opposition to the current demagogism of the day. But the spectacle witnessed yesterday and to be witnessed again are many days more over, is far more said, far more solemn, in the character. It tells of the reality of disunion. To testifies to the fact that the Union has been broken — that there will henceforth be separate Confederacies — and that men who have adorned the councils of the country notifies the Union are now engaged in the work of building up another organization, and conflicting anew the experiment of self-government, free from the sectional animosities which have produced the present wreck.

’ The ladies of Charleston have sent a Carolina flag to headquarters. With the following note attached.

From the. Ladies of Charleston to the Minister of war Jas. D. F. Jamison: This flag was made extremely by them to be opened for the first time on fort Saunder.

Letter from Hon. Geo. W. Summers.

Hon. Geo. W. Summers, one of the Commissioners appointed last week by the Virginia Legislature to a National Conference, has written a letter to a member of the House of Delegates, giving his views on the present crisis. The cause he sums up as follows:

‘ The sources of our present troubles, and the causes of the present wide-spread dissatisfaction in the South, may be traced, in the first place, to certain unconstitutional and most reprehensible expedients, adopted in some of the non-slaveholding States, to abstract and virtually nullify the fugitive slave inn. Secondly, to what seems to be the present purpose of a party now in the ascendancy in those States, to refuse the further extension of slavery into the Territories of the United States; thus denying to the people of the North an equality of right in the common property of the nation. And, lastly, but perhaps more than all, may be attributed to that tired and fanatical spirit of hostility towards the institution of slavery, which now pervades more or less generally, all the non-slaveholding States, frequently manifesting itself in language and conduct wholly in conceal with the courtesy due between neighboring Commonwealths, to say nothing of the men delicate relations and obvious duties of other States.

’ Resolution is not justified, in his opinion, by the election of Lincoln, and such a step should be the last remedy sought by a border State.--It is a step which should be taken by none, but by it last of all. All its interests are against it, and none of its wrongs would be remedied by it. He recommends that the border States, slave and free, appoint Commissioners, to meet at Frankfort or Lexington, Ky., who shall devise some proposition of compromise, which shall be submitted by Congress to the people. In conclusion, he says:

‘ I take it for granted that the Convention, if called, will be elected and organized upon the basis of the qualified voters of the white population of the State, being the basis of the present House of Delegates, as arranged by the existing Constitution of the State. I am free to say that I could never consent to any more restricted basis. It will not be a question of contribution, but a question of Union or Disunion, that will occupy the attention of the proposed Convention. In this issue every men in the Commonwealth has an equal interest, and an equal right to be represented and heard.

I do not propose to inquire whether the right of State secession is a right resulting from the nature of the Federal Government, and from the terms and manner in which the States became parties thereto, to be exercised by the seceding States, without a co-relative right on the part of the General Government to prevent the withdrawal; or, whether it be a revolutionary right, subjecting the seceding State to the restraining power of the General Government, and the hazard of conquest. I am of opinion that the Union of these States cannot be advantageously preserved by force. If it is to be maintained by standing armies and blockading squadrons, it will not be worth maintaining. When one or more States decide for themselves, either that the Government of the United States has become an oppression to which they can no longer submit, or that a further connection with other States has become injurious, or dishonorable, and withdraw from the Union, it is better to leave them to the teachings of the experiment and to the hope of reconciliation, than by the employment of force, involve the country in civil war. The inability of the Federal Government to compel an unwilling State to elect and send members to the two Houses of Congress, or to perform the duties of a State within the Union: the want of power to force citizens to accept and discharge the duties of Federal offices and appointments within the State, and the inexpediency and unconstitutionality of making war upon the States, as such, or holding subjugated States as appendages to the Government, present insuperable objections to the employment of coercive means of retention.

From Charleston.

From Charleston.

The Charleston papers of Monday furnish as the following items:

Chester District has raised nearly five hundred volunteers — all ready to march to Charleston at the shortest notice. The Rifle company previously organized, when notified they could not be accepted as a rifle company, was changed to an infantry company. In the Saluda Battalion, Greenville District, eighty-five persons volunteered. Laurens District has now nearly five hundred volunteers ready to march.

The ladies of the Lower Battalion, in that District, tender their services to the volunteers to make clothes and do other work in furnishing an outfit for the company. The Palmetto Riflemen, of Greenville, have tendered their services to the Governor, and have been accepted. Four companies have been raised in Abbeville.

Benjamin C. Rawley, of Spotsylvania, Va., aged 16 years, was on a visit to Petersburg, Va., when he heard of the occupation of Fort Sumter, and the probability of war against South Carolina. He immediately sent his horse home, and set out for Charleston, walking a great part of the way. On his arrival here, and the report of his intention, Colonel John S. Preston generously undertook to equip him, and he is now awaiting response from him to be enrolled as a recruit under Lieut. W. Hampton Gibbes. Columbus Daniel, 18 years of age, has reached the city from Nashville, on a similar mission, and has been enrolled by Lieut. Gibbes.

The anniversary of the battle of Cowpens was celebrated by the military at Morris' Island Saturday. While the festivities were at the height, three guns were fired by Maj. Anderson: but whether as a compliment to South Carolina, to her citizen soldiers, or to ‘ "the day we celebrate,"’ has not transpired. Everything considered, it was possibly intended to remind all parties in the neighborhood that a foreign enemy was still tolerated in the waters of South Carolina. The entertainment was continued until 5 o'clock, and all the participants agree in the opinion that it was a delightful celebration.

The rank and office of Captain in the Navy of South Carolina, have been conferred on James H. North, late Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy, and honorably distinguished for efficient services.

An officer of Fort Sumter, on Saturday, called at the counting-room and subscribed for the Charleston Mercury to be mailed to him at Fort Sumter, for the next three months.

The Florida Forts--Fort Pickens.

The fact of the capture by the Georgia and Florida troops of the navy-yard at Pensacola, while it was under the command of Com. Armstrong, has been stated. A letter thus narrates the scene after the summons to surrender:

Commodore Armstrong responded substantially — for we cannot give the precise language — that he had devoted nearly the whole of his long life to the public service of his country: that he had loved and protected its flag in sunshine and in storm; that his heart was then bleeding over the contemplation of the distracted condition of the American Union; that he was a native of Kentucky, which had no navy, and, therefore, knew not where he should go to make a livelihood in his declining years; that he had no adequate force to make resistance, and that if he had, notwithstanding the foregoing considerations, he would prefer the loss of his own life to the destruction of the lives of his fellow-countrymen. His voice trembled with emotion as he closed his brief and affecting remarks, by the announcement that he relinquished his authority to the representative of the sovereignty of Florida.

The order was immediately given by Capt. Renshaw, flag officer, to haul down the flag of the Union, which was done; and, in lien thereof is another flag with thirteen alternate stripes of red and white, and blue field, with a large white star, announcing the changed political condition of our State. Everything was conducted in the most orderly and respectful manner, attended with a degree of solemn interest which was manifested upon the countenances of the hundreds of citizens and soldiers present.

Fort Pickens, with 200 U. S. soldiers, and mounting 212 guns, is commanded by Lieut. Slimmer, a native of New England, who refuses to surrender. A deserter of it says:

‘ Under the protection of its immense batteries the ships of an enemy could make good their harbor in the Bay of Pensacola, or if they did not care to run the risk from shore batteries, which could not be in very dangerous range, they could land forces and supplies on the fort to the eastward on Santa Rosa Island, which is some forty miles long, and thus throw in reinforcements and rendezvous even an army at the fort without interruption, unless of a force intrenched on the island itself, in the rear of the fort — which, however, is almost if not quite as defensible from rear as front. If we are to have war, the seizure of this stronghold is, of course, of the first importance, for unless it is occupied by us it will secure to the enemy a base of operation along our whole Gulf coast, and keep open a road right into the heart of the South, which cannot be obstructed by any fixed fortifications.

’ If it is to be seized by direct power of arms, it will not be by a force coming under its guns from the water approach. It must be stormed by a sudden attack from a heavy force concentrated on the island to the eastward, which will take it with a Zouave-like rush in double quick time — pouring into it in such numbers as to at once overpower every chance of resistance on the part of the garrison. Though done in the night, and with the quickest movement, and though escaping loss from the batteries in the approach, the work at the walls will be a bloody business if the garrison have a mind to make it so. The commander has committed the same act of hostility that Anderson did at Moultrie, but we do believe that he will soon surrender the fort, as the commandant at Baton Rouge did the arsenal, on the grounds of the presence of an overwhelming force, and the plea of avoiding useless blood shedding. He is reported to have said he would not fire on his countrymen. We do not believe that he will.

Latest from the Key West fortifications.

A letter from Key West, dated the 12th inst., says:

‘ The U. S. steamship Crusader, Lt. Com. Moffett, arrived on the morning of the 11th inst., from Mobile, via Havana. She is now at the naval wharf, coaling. The U. S. steamship Mohawk, Lt. Com. Craven, is at the naval wharf, repairing her boilers.

Fort Taylor is now garrisoned by a company of U. S. artillery, in command of Capt. J. M. Brannan. Capt. E. B. Hunt, U. S. Corps of Engineers, is still in command of the fort, and is actively engaged in completing the work designed to be done with the present appropriation. The fort is so far completed as to be made available in case of foreign invasion. The armament mounted is sufficient to enable the Federal officers to act on the defensive, if necessary.

Troops in Washington.

A dispatch from Washington dated the 22d inst., says:

‘ One company of Sappers and Miners, numbering sixty-three rank and file, arrived here this morning from West Point. They are known there as the Engineer corps. Lieut. J. C. Duane is in command. Lieut. Wetzel is second in command. They have been under orders three weeks. They left West Point yesterday. One of the Dragoon corps of West Point are under orders, and will arrive here in a few days. They will bring with them a battery, consisting of four field-pieces and two howitzers, and act as flying artillery, under the command of Captain Griffin. They will bring seventy-eight of the best well trained horses. The Sappers and Miners came into this city this morning just before daybreak, and proceeded quietly to the Columbian Armory, which had been previously arranged for them. They were armed with rifles and sabres.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
22nd (1)
12th (1)
11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: