The National crisis.interesting items — the New York State Democratic Convention--the contemplated assault on Fort Sumter--latest from Pensacola--Gov. Houston's Message — the London times on the Southern Confederacy, &c., &c.
On Saturday morning another company of light artillery, from West Point, arrived in Washington city. They number about seventy men, and are under the command of Lieut. Griffin. The two pieces of ordnance which they carried with them were taken to the Columbia Armory. James Harrison, of Florida, has given $500 to $1 ent a company in that State, and $500 more to equip a company in South Carolina. John Boston, Collector of Customs for Savannah, has resigned his post, and been returned by the Georgia authorities. The Portsmouth (Va.) Transcript, of Saturday, says, that on Friday a steamer ran into Old Point and took off a quantity of ammunition. It is not known where it was sent to. Capt A. C. Jones informed us, says the Demopolis (Ala) Gazette, that when about to embark his company at Eastport, on the Cherokee, for Mobile, an old gentleman, 70 years of age, came to him with one son and two grandsons, and enlisted them in the company, and then being unable to restrain his feelings, shed tears, remarking to the Captain that he did not cry because the boys were going but because he was too old to go himself. Judge Roosevelt, the present United States District Attorney for New York, has resigned his office, the resignation to take effect on the 4th of March next. Lieutenant Jewett, of the navy, has arrived in Washington from Pensacola. He states that he was arrested by the authorities of Florida, who held him in custody until he gave his parole of honor that he would never take up arms against the State of Florida. The facts in the case have been communicated to the Navy Department.
The New York State Democratic Convention--
The resolutions of the New York State Democratic Convention have been noticed.
In addition to these, the committee reported resolutions declaring it to be "a monstrous doctrine to refuse to settle controversies with our own people with compromises; and they favor the adoption of the policy that will give satisfaction to the Border States, and favor the appointment of a committee to memorialize the Legislature, urging the submission of the Crittenden Compromise to the vote of the electors of the State, at the earliest practicable day.
They urge Congress to provide at an early day for Constitutional amendments, or in the event of the failure of Congress to take action, they urge the Legislature to take the initiative steps for summoning a general Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
The resolutions strenuously oppose civil war, and urge the seceding and non-seceding States to join hands in staying the progress of dissolution.
On the resolutions being read, Chancellor Walworth appeared on the platform, and his venerable looks claimed instant attention from the Convention, and he was received with an outburst of enthusiastic applause.--He said:
Gentlemen of the Convention: I am far advanced in years and not in the habit of attending Conventions of this character, but I could not resist coming here to enter my protest against civil war. I have seen the horrors of such a conflict.
In the war of 1812 my house in Plattsburg was sacked by the British.
A battle was fought opposite my very door, and the bullets that were fired fell like hailstones around my dwelling.
In the casement of my door remains to this day embedded one of those bullets, a memento of the fight.
In that struggle I saw my fellow-citizens shot down by my side.
I know, then, the horrors of a foreign war, and they are nothing as compared with the horrors of a civil war. A civil war is a war among brethren.
We are all brethren in this confederacy of States--the people of the South are our brethren — not only nominally, but actually our brethren.
In Georgia alone, I have the names of one thousand citizens whose ancestors were the near relatives of my own. In the same State alone, are over one hundred relatives of the family of Hillhouse, whose name is known as that of one of the patriots of the Revolution, and whose descendant now occupies a seat in our State Senate.
And so, scattered all over the Southern States are the near relatives of the men of the North, and perhaps there is scarcely a member of this Convention who has not some such ties in the States of the South.
It would be as brutal, in my opinion, to send men to butcher our own brothers of the Southern States, as it would be to massacre them in the Northern States.
We are told, however, that it is our duty to, and we must enforce the laws.
But why — and what laws are to be enforced?
There were laws that were to be enforced in the time of the American Revolution, and the British Parliament and Lord North sent armies here to enforce them.
But what did Washington say in regard to the enforcement of those laws?
That man-- honored at home and abroad more than any other man on earth ever was honored — did he go for enforcing the laws?
No, he went to resist laws that were oppressive against a free people, and against the injustice of which they rebelled.
Did Lord Chatham go for enforcing the laws?
No, he gloried in defence of the liberties of America.
He made that memorable declaration in the British Parliament--‘"If I were an American citizen, instead of as I am, an Englishman, I never would submit to such laws — never, never, never"’ Such is the spirit that animates our Southern brethren, and shall we war upon them for it. No; we must avert civil war if possible, and I close by exhorting my brethren to do all in their power to avert civil war. Concession, conciliation — anything but that — and no man amongst us in his dying hour will regret that his conscience is clear, and that he can lay his hand upon his heart and say, ‘"I did all in my power to turn from the bosom of my country the horrible blow of a civil war."’
Immense sensation followed the remarks of the venerable old Chancellor, and the deep silence that had attended his remarks was followed by an enthusiastic outburst of applause.
Mr. George, of Orange, and Mr. Souter, of Queens, each natives of Virginia, responded in touching terms to the remarks of Chancellor Walworth, and a large portion of the Convention gave vent to their feelings in tears.--The scene was rendered yet more impressive and affecting when Mr. W. H. Carroll took the floor, and with all the eloquence of deep feeling appealed to the North to stay its hand ere it did any act to plunge the country in civil war. The venerable appearance of Mr. Carroll, and his allusion to his ancestors, one of whom signed the Declaration of Independence, while his grandfather (Daniel Carroll) ceded to the United States his manor, on which now stands the Federal Capitol, touched the heart of the Convention, and when he had closed, a unanimous call was made for the adoption of the second resolution against civil war, by acclamation, and it was carried with a burst of applause that made the rafters of the building king.
This scene was the great feature of the morning session.
The resolutions were then adopted without amendment.
The contemplated assault on Fort Sumter.The Charleston correspondent of the Baltimore American thinks an attack on Fort Sumter at an early day a certain thing. He says. ‘ There is no doubt of the fact that rafts are being constructed for the assault, and I have seen one of them in progress, though it is a portion of the secret work of the campaign that cannot be too closely inquired into. They will be constructed of Palmetto logs, and cotton bales used as a protection for the assaulting party whilst approaching the fort. There is no flagging on the part of the military in view of the havoc of life that must be the result of the assault, and the anxiety from day to day to commence operations is increasing. The temporizing policy of the governor and his Council meets with much harsh criticism by the inconsiderate, but it is evident that, even should the attack ultimately be made, so far as preparations are concerned, South Carolina has obtained more by the delay than Major Anderson. The military are anxious for the fight to commence, as having come to Charleston to fight they are indisposed to go home without smelling powder. They are most impatient at the delay, and the stormy and unpleasant weather has rendered their military duties very severe and irksome. At Morris' Island three large Columbiads have been mounted, and entrenched in sand-bags, with a 42-pounder and a formidable mortar. The batteries at Fort Johnson are also becoming quite formidable, and it is intended to keep up a fire on Sumter from these three forts for twenty-four hours before an attempt is made to assault the stronghold of Uncle Sam. The impression is that a breach can be made in the walls, and that Major Anderson's limited garrison will be so worn out by the severe labors of working the guns incessantly for so long a time, that the storming party on rafts will be able to accomplish the escalade without much difficulty or loss of life. Fort Moultrie, under the skillful direction of Major Ripley, with his black brigade of picks and shovels, has thrown up breastworks and mounted heavy guns to such an extent that the whole appearance of the for has changed, and has almost attained its utmost state of efficiency. Huge heaps of sand-bags surmount the ramparts, faced with Palmetto logs and covered with hides, from the embrasures of which the grim dogs of war protrude their muzzles, nine of them levelled direct at Fort Sumter. What is conceived to be the weakest point in the granite mass has been selected as the mark at which all these cannon are pointed, and they will give the work of the mason a severe test. The interior of the fort also presents a most warlike aspect. The oven for hot shot is in readiness, like your steam fire engines, for firing up at any moment, and all the equipments for carnage piled up around the gun-carriages. The magazine has been buried in a cavern of sand-bags, and is believed to be beyond the reach of shot or shell. Every arrangement has been made, not only for the protection of the men, but for receiving the balls of Sumter with the least possible damage. ’
Latest from Pensacola.A letter in the Mobile Tribune, dated Pensacola, Jan. 22d, gives some interesting intelligence from that point: ‘ The Wyandotte, carrying four guns, is lying off Fort Pickens. She was ordered in for repairs, and cannot fire her guns with safety.--She could easily be captured by boarding her. Lieut, Berryman, her commander, is friendly to the South, and a very much respected gentleman. His men say that they are ‘"working for those who pay best."’ ’ The rumor of the arrival of the Macedonian was occasioned by the Wyandotte's having to put to sea on account of bad weather, and on her return she was hailed as the Macedonian. Lieut. Slimmer is a New Englander by birth. Report says that he wears gold spectacles and plays on the fiddle. He has not been a favorite here. It is believed that he does not want to fight, and has orders not to fire unless attacked. His men paraded on the top of the fort recently, and 162 was the greatest number of them counted through our glasses. He sends to the Navy-Yard under a flag of truce by a Sergeant. Recently, he put all his commissioned officers in irons for refusing to fight the South. A boat, carrying a lone star flag, with six men on board, a few days ago ran under the guns of Fort Pickens. No unfriendly notice was taken of it. It is also true that six soldiers landed near the fort and were arrested by Lieut. Slimmer for ‘"intruding on his quarters,"’ but were immediately dismissed. Commandant Chase returned yesterday from his visit to the Governor of Alabama. It is reported that the Governor of this State has given to the Governor of your State the right to appoint the commander of the troops now here. Whether it is true or not, I cannot state positively. The mails are virtually stopped, and the telegraph, I presume, is under surveillance.--A private, a few days ago sent, or supposed he sent, a telegram home, but he got no answer to it, on account, I presume, of its strictures on the commandant. The soldiers get little or no news, except by private conveyance. The men are in good quarters, with rations of bacon, sea biscuit, sugar, coffee, and beans and rice. Everything else that they consume is purchased by themselves. Warrington is nearly deserted by women, and many of its houses are vacant. What is left of its population is composed chiefly of persons whose chief business seems to be to fleece the soldiers. The Haynesville (Ala.) Guards, Capt. Willingham, are ordered home by Governor Moore. It is an independent company, and has been paying its own expenses. The Governor wrote, them that there was no prospect of a fight, and that Fort Pickens would be given up. Thirty of the Lauderdale (Miss.) Rifles have left on furlough, and several members of other companies have left under similar circumstances. The report that Mississippi troops are leaving is untrue. The real cause of complaint among them is the belief (whether true or false, time, perhaps, will presently show,) that the heads of this expedition are not the men to command it. They pray for such a man as Jeff. Davis to lead them, and this, I can tell you, is a very natural sentiment among Mississipians. As gentlemen and Southerners, they think that they ought to be put to work to prepare for attacking Lieut. Slimmer's stronghold. We have no negroes or other laborers, and are willing, for the great purpose before us, to take their place in any hard service. As it is, we have nothing to do except camp duty, and, by the by, we are kept so well at that, that most of us are becoming well-drilled soldiers. As to the ability of the force here to take the fort, there is no doubt among many of our best military men. Two hours and a half they say will be sufficient to accomplish the purpose. It can be fired on from six different points. Storming parties can go under this fire, sharp shooters in the meantime picking off the gunners from sand pits, as was done at Sebastopol. There is, however, no prospect of a fight within ten days. If not by that time, the men are disposed to take the fort any how. They are not willing to come home without seeing it in the hands of the South. The health of the soldiers is good. The strictest discipline is observed. There is no disorder more than may be expected in camp life. No guns are allowed to be fired, and the general orders every day are that every one shall be ready at a moment's notice for action.
Florida items.The Tallahassee Floridian, of the 26th ult., furnishes the following items: ‘ On the last day of the session of the Convention, an Ordinance was adopted abolishing the office of Surveyor-General, the Navy Agency at Pensacola, Timber Agencies, Inspectors of Customs, &c. The Hon. John B. Galbraith was elected Attorney General of the State by the General Assembly on Thursday last. Mr. G. is the present Speaker of the House of Representatives, in which position he has shown himself an accomplished parliamentarian. A proclamation has been issued by Governor Perry, in accordance with instructions proceeding from the State Convention, declaring an amnesty for offences committed against the criminal laws of the State in the counties of Calhoun and Franklin during the past year. The volunteers collected at Chattahooche Arsenal, consisting of companies from Jefferson, Leon and Jackson counties, numbering some 200 men, have been discharged by order of Gov. Perry. These troops were originally intended for Pensacola, but the number collected at that point being sufficient for the purpose designed, renders it unnecessary to forward any detachment from this section at present. ’
Gov. Houston's Message.The message of Gov. Houston to the Texas Legislature, advocates a settlement ‘"now and forever"’ of our difficulties with the North, but thinks the action and position of Texas should be with the border States, and not the cotton States. He says: ‘ "Were governments formed in an hour, and human liberty the natural result of revolution, less responsibility would attach to us as we consider the momentous question before us.--A long struggle amid bloodshed and privation, secured the liberty which has been our boast for three-quarters of a century. Wisdom, patriotism, and the noble concessions of great minds framed our Constitution. Long centuries of heroic strife attest the progress of freedom to this culminating point. Ere the work of centuries is undone, and freedom, shorn of her victorious garments, is started out once again on her weary pilgrimage, hoping to find, after centuries have passed away another dwelling place, it is not unmanly to pause and at least endeavor to avert the calamity. The Executive feels as deeply as any of your honorable body, the necessity for such action on the part of the slaveholding States as will secure to the fullest extent every right they possess. Self-preservation, if not a manly love of liberty, inspired by our past history, prompt this determination. But he cannot feel that these dictate hasty and unconcerned action, nor can he reconcile to his mind the idea that our safety demands an immediate separation from the Government ere we have stated our grievances or demanded redress. A high resolve to maintain our constitutional rights, and failing to obtain them, to risk the perils of revolution, even as our fathers risked them, should, in my opinion, actuate every citizen of Texas; but we should remember that we owe duties and obligations to States having rights in common with us, and whose institutions are the same as ours. No aggression can come upon us, which will not be visited upon them, and whatever our action may be, it should be of that character which will bear us blameless to posterity, should the step be fatal to the interests of those States. ’
The London times on the Southern Confederacy.The London Times, of the 18th ultimo, has a long article on the ‘"impending crisis"’ in America. It says: ‘ If South Carolina secedes, if Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana follow, if a Southern federation be formed, and take its place among the Powers of the earth, there can be no hope of keeping the border slave States. These will be drawn by a natural affinity to detach themselves from the North, and join the slaveholding federa- tion. North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, will then be dissociated from the free States. Such an event cannot be regarded without dismay by the most staunch Abolitionist. It would, in fact, make the Southern federation the real United States, as far as territory, present and prospective, is concerned, and reduce the North to what our ancestors would have called a ‘"Rump."’ The people of Boston or Philadelphia might be distinguished for their ability and enterprise, but they would belong to a country with hardly a greater future than Canada. Every natural advantage would be on the side of the slave States. Look at the map, and you will see what a narrow slip of country composes the free soil of the American federation. Only the sea-coast from the British frontier to the Delaware (a few hundred miles) belongs to it; all the rest, stretching far away down the Atlantic and along the Gulf of Mexico, is in the hands of the slave owners. The mouth of the Mississippi is theirs; the Missouri, and Arkansas, the great arteries of the extreme West, are theirs. Virginia pushes a spur of territory to within less than a hundred miles of Lake Erie, and thus divides the Atlantic free States from the West in a manner highly dangerous to their future union.--Indeed, it is doubtful whether the connection between New York and New England, on the one hand, and Illinois and the neighboring States on the other, could long survive the total separation of the South. The North would have a territory as straggling as that of Prussia, and the Western region would soon find it advantageous to dissolve its union with the Eastern. In the meantime, all the riches of the New World would be in the grasp of the Southerners. Instead of exploring the inhospitable regions in the neighborhood of the British frontier, which would be all that remained to the North, the slave owners would carry their ‘"undeniable property"’ into lands blessed with every advantage of climate, soil and mineral wealth. Texas has territory enough to make three or four great States. New Mexico is about to be admitted with slave institutions. Arizona will follow. Mexico must in a few years be conquered, and the Southerners, lords of the most magnificent domain in the world, would control the passage between the two oceans. ’
Captured Forts.A few days since we gave a list of the Federal forts situated on the Southern Seaboard. We now give a list of those which have thus far been seized by order of the Governors of the States in which they are respectively located:
|Fortifications — Location.||Guns.||Cost.|
|Fort Pulaski, Savannah||150||$923,859|
|Fort Jackson, Savannah||14||125,000|
|Fort Morgan, Mobile||132||1,212,556|
|Fort Gaines, Mobile||89||20,000|
|Fort Macon. Beaufort, N. C.||51||460,000|
|Fort Caswell, Oak Island, N. C.||87||571,231|
|Fort Moultrie, Charleston||54||75,301|
|Castle Pickney, Charleston||25||43,809|
|Fort St. Philip, Louisiana||124||203,734|
|Fort Jackson, Louisiana||150||817,608|
|Fort Pike, Louisiana||49||472,901|
|Fort McComb, Louisiana||49||447,000|
|Fort Livingston, Louisiana||52||342,000|
|Fort McRae, Florida||151||384,000|
|Fort Barrancas, Florida||49||315,000|