Secession movement at the South.The Press — Political Movements — Religious Movements — Incidents, &c. The following is a collation of the latest news by mail, bearing on the present crisis:
The Press.The Charleston Mercury, noticing the President's Message, says: ‘ In reading the last annual Message of a President of the United States to Congress, we cannot forbear the expression of our sympathy with him, in the difficulties which have environed him, as the head of a great Government dissolving under his administration.--Causes beyond his control, have driven the ship of State amidst the breakers which are now shaking her to pieces. We sincerely believe that he has earnestly and truly done his best to avert the catastrophe of a dissolution of the Union. He has failed, where we believe no man could have succeeded. All he can do now, as a magistrate and a citizen, is to make the dissolution of the Union peaceable. ’ The Columbia South Carolinian says: ‘ "The portion of the Message referring to foreign affairs, specific and ad valorem duties, the necessity of a higher tariff, as he says, "to protect the revenue, and to secure to our manufacturing interests that amount of incidental encouragement which unavoidably results from a revenue tariff," are all subjects which no longer concern us in the present Union.--We therefore have not pressed them upon the attention of our readers, nor crowded our columns with them." ’ The Post abuses the President's Message and ridicules the President. It says: ‘ We shall not discuss the merits of this recommendation until we see whether Congress treats it as it has been in the habit of treating all previous recommendations from that quarter, as unworthy of adoption. If, however, it should make of this an exception, we shall have something to say on its merits hereafter. ’ We will now content ourselves with stating our conviction that neither the amendments proposed, nor any other that the South will ask, is likely to be adopted, unless coupled with a repeal of that clause of the Constitution which confers federal representation upon slave property.
A Ripple.The following communication, which we take from the Charleston Courier, of Monday, is the first symptom of dissatisfaction with the plan of immediate secession that has made its appearance in our sister State. It will be recollected by many, that it was Mr. Grayson, who, " solitary and alone," set the Union ball in motion in 1850: Wm. J. Grayson.--The election on Thursday next will be one more important in its consequences to our city and State than any which has heretofore taken place. We nominate as one to represent us — an unselfish patriot, a sage counsellor, and a true man — Wm. J. Grayson. We do this without his knowledge or assent, but with the earnest hope that he will not refuse to receive the votes of those who cannot, in blind fury, and reckless haste, plunge themselves and the State they know not whither. Let him give all such an opportunity of voting for him.
Meeting of the Legislatures.The Legislatures of the Southern States will meet, and are in session as follows: North Carolina Legislature, (regular session,) met November 19th. South Carolina Legislature, (regular session,) met November 26th. South Carolina election for members of Convention, December 6th. South Carolina State Convention, meets December 17th. Louisiana Legislature, (special session,) meets December 10th. Alabama election for members of the Convention, December 24th. Alabama State Convention, meets January 7th. Virginia Legislature, (special session,) meets January 7th. Georgia Legislature now in session; election for delegates to State Convention ordered for 2d January, 1861; Convention sits 16th January. Florida Legislature now in session; election for Delegates to State Convention ordered 22d of December; Convention meets 3d January, 1861. The Legislature of Mississippi, (special session,) met the 26th ult. Bills were immediately introduced providing for a State Convention, which will probably pass unanimously.
A New York plan for saving the Union.The New York correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger writes: ‘ Plans for saving the Union are as plenty here as at Washington, and the Republicans, as well as other folks, are trying their hands at the business. One proposition is to have Governor Morgan call the Legislature together, in extra session, for the purpose of issuing an address to the Southern States, assuring them that New York is not unkindly disposed towards them, and that she is as anxious to maintain their rights under the Constitution as the slaveholding States could desire. ’ New York, it is urged, could take some such step as this with a good grace. She has no Personal Liberty bills on her statute books to wipe out; and, while showing her magnanimity to her Southern sisters, no surrender of self-respect nor of State pride ever could be involved. There is but one difficulty in the way, and that is the division of sentiment among the Republicans themselves. The conservatives, with Thurlow Weed, would favor the step; but the radicals, with Greeley, would oppose it. The Governor, it is understood, inclines to side with the latter. The Democrats, too, have their nostrums — and so has Mayor Wood. Fernando, you know, is great on "sensations;" and his newest sensation, it is said, will be a special message to the Common Council, recommending that, as soon as South Carolina secedes from the Union, measures be taken to erect the city and county of New York, with the adjacent counties of West Chester, King's, Queen's and Suffolk into a separate State, in order to cut loose from the Republicans and Abolitionists of the rural districts. The message, it is said, is already in good part written, and that it was to submit it to certain high authorities that took the Mayor to Washington, a few days since. So, I suppose, we may as well make up our minds to walk out of the State into a State of our own, soon, under the limited monarchy of Fernando the First.
The feeling in South Carolina.A New York letter to the Philadelphia Press says: ‘ The Metropolitan Record (the official organ of Archbishop Hughes) for Saturday next, will contain a letter from a gentleman having no connection with public life, but who understands the public sentiment of South Carolina, of which he is a native, and from which he writes, as well as any man in the State. He is pronounced by the editor of the Record to be "one of those calm, unimpassioned, deep-thinking men, who possess minds large enough to embrace every State and Territory, as well as the whole people of the United States." I venture to assume that the writer is either a prelate of the Church of Rome, or one of its ablest priests, and I think the points he makes are worthy a brief sketch. He believes the State will be out of the Union before Christmas; that not one man in twenty in the State thinks, but all rave, rant and curse in stereotype phrases; that South Carolina is a little suspicious and a little cool as to Virginia on account of the "dinner of cold shoulder " given to her commissioner last year; that South Carolina has ever felt a contempt for the Rip Van Winkle of the South--North Carolina; that Georgia is just now powerless on account of the internal discussion whether she shall go out or not; that Alabama and Mississippi are more decided, and that Florida, though not counting for much, will go with the Palmettoes without delay. ’ After giving the Southern argument of the commercial advantages of secession, he moralizes as follows: "When once the Union is broken — when the South goes off — how long before the Pacific States form a Pacific Union? How long before the Northwest will quarrel with New England? A change may come over this country, like the falling to pieces of the Roman Empire. Perhaps we may have deserved it by our dealings with Mexico, and our chronic faithlessness to the Indians. If anything is to be done, the movement must come from the North, and must come quickly. And yet, with a people so thoroughly educated to hate and abhor our slave section, and elated with triumph, can it be expected that State after State will eat its own words? I cannot bring myself to think they will."
The South Carolina Legislature.A letter, giving a description of the meeting of the South Carolina Legislature, now in session, says: In both branches the members sit with their hats on. In the House, at the appointed hour, the Clerk, in his black silk robe like the gown of an Episcopal clergyman, calls the roll. The Messenger, in front of the Speaker's room in the lobby, strikes his staff on the floor and cries out, make way for the Speaker. The cry is repeated at the door of the House by the Doorkeeper in a very loud tone of voice, accompanied with three heavy raps with the staff. The Speaker, clothed in a rich Mazarin blue robe, and preceded by the Messenger with his staff in hand, marches up the aisle and takes his seat. Three raps with the gavel call the House to order, the journal is read, and business is proceeded with. The house itself presents an unusual appearance. The building in which the body meets is very old and inconvenient. The seats are old and bestrewed with papers. The members are noisy and talkative, and with their hats on look more like a common political gathering than anything else.
Another Church separation.The Lay Convention of the Baltimore Methodist Episcopal Church, in session at Baltimore, has adopted a series of resolutions to be laid before the Baltimore Conference at its approaching meeting in Staunton. The following is an extract of the preamble to them: ‘ With the new chapter on slavery, you are utterly precluded in the whole slaveholding territory of the Conference from preaching with any success, because the people will not willingly listen to those, placed under solemn obligation to maintain and administer a church discipline contrary to the sentiments of our people, and even obnoxious to civil censure. Along the whole border you are brought face to face with the preachers. your brethren of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the only substantial difference existing between you in point of church economy, creed or discipline, is in this vexed slavery question. In the minds of the masses the only reason for your antagonistic relation to that Church is your implied obligation under the discipline to inculcate a doctrine on that subject which constitutes the distinction between our Church and that. ’ Your silence upon the chapter, your varied explanations of it, and your repudiation of it, avail nothing. The hearts of the people are closed to you. The Church is in perpetual agitation. All Church enterprise is retarded. The building of churches and parsonages has almost entirely ceased, and missionary collections are called for in vain. The pulpit ceases in great measure to address the ungodly, and is of necessity compelled to fight for the very existence of the Church itself. It was more than the Church could do prior to the late General Conference to maintain herself among us. With the new chapter on slavery it is impossible. Under these circumstances, dear brethren, we look to you to provide some measure of peace and quiet to our denomination here which shall preserve our unity. These are the resolutions:
- 1st.Resolved, That the Baltimore Annual Conference should, at its next session, declare that by its recent unconstitutional and violent action the Buffalo General Conference has sundered the ecclesiastical connexion which has hitherto held us together as one Church, and that the Baltimore Conference does not and cannot longer remain under its jurisdiction or submit to its authority or those representing that authority.
- 2d. Resolved, That the Baltimore Annual Conference should also assert and claim that the said General Conference has by its said action separated the several Annual Conferences represented therein and concurring in said action, from the Baltimore and other non concurring Conferences, and that the Baltimore and other non-concurring Conferences constitute the Methodist Episcopal Church proper, and may exercise all the rights, duties and powers appertaining properly to their position as such.
- 3d. Resolved, That the position we shall occupy after such action as has been indicated has been taken — whether it shall be that of independence or union with some other branch of the Methodist family, upon such terms as might be mutually satisfactory, is a question which this Convention is willing to leave to the sound discretion of the said Annual Conference, in the light of all the facts and circumstances surrounding it.
- 4th. Resolved. That a Committee be appointed by this Convention to present the proceedings of the same to the next session of the Baltimore Annual Conference, through such members of Conference as they may elect, and that they be instructed so to do at the earliest practicable moment.
Maryland State Democratic Convention.The State Democratic Convention of Maryland (Douglas,) met in Baltimore, Thursday, and passed resolutions declaring that Lincoln's election was not sufficient cause for dissolution. Among the resolutions adopted was the following: Resolved, That we deplore the action taken by our sister State of South Carolina and earnestly protest against an ordinance of secession on her part as being unconstitutional, disorganizing and precipitate, and unfriendly, if not arrogant, towards the counsels and situations of the other slaveholding States, and especially towards ours and the border States; and we believe that such act of secession will weaken and must divide their ultimate position; and, while we declare for co-operation, we will firmly resist being dragged into secession. Maryland will not stand as a sentinel at the bidding of South Carolina, and we remind her, by the memories of the Revolution, that such a purpose cannot be justified; and, in conclusion, in a fraternal spirit, we entreat South Carolina to suspend all further action until such measures of peaceful adjustment have first been tried and have failed. A dispatch from Springfield, Ill., dated the 5th, says: ‘ A synopsis of the President's Message reached Mr. Lincoln this morning. He comments very severely on its accusatory tone towards the North, and says his own views are misrepresented. ’ A grand dinner was given this afternoon by Mr. Jas. C. Conklin, the resident elector of this district, to the President elect and the Electoral College.
Commons Hall, in Raleigh, N. C., Monday night. The hall was crowded and the galleries filled with the fair sex. Mr. Holden, editor of the Standard, (Breckinridge organ,) from the committee to draft resolutions, presented a series breathing devotion to the Union so long as the Government was constitutionally administered, and recommending the thorough organization of the militia, the arming and equipment of volunteer companies, and asserting the duty of the State to demand her rights in the Union. Mr. Holden declared his fixed purpose to stand by the Union until the Constitution should be violated, and that in that event the South should stand as a unit in defence of her constitutional rights. Mr. Henry W. Miller followed, in a speech of two hours. Mr. Vance entertained the audience for an hour, and he received a beautiful bouquet from the ladies in the galleries as a testimonial for his defence of the Constitution and the Union.