previous next

Succession movement at the South.

meeting in Baltimore — the London Times on the Disruption of the Union--the defence of the Navy, &c., &c.

Excited meeting in Baltimore.

Hon. A. H. Handy, commissioner from Mississippi to Maryland, who passed through Baltimore on his return from Annapolis, spoke there Wednesday night at Maryland Institute Hall, to a very large audience. We extract from the American some portions of his speech, and a description of the scenes in the Hall:

Expedients without number, it is true, have been proposed for the preservation of this Union. I shall call your attention to a few, the first to that by Congressional action. The House has appointed a Committee of Thirty-three, who are extremely busy — doing nothing. [Laughter] This committee of one from each State--Maryland is represented on it. [The speaker's voice was drowned in a storm of hisses and groans, mingled with exclamations of "Black Republican"--"Traitor."] I assure you I referred to the representative of Maryland with no intention of disrespect, for I do not know him. [Voices--"We do." "We know him very badly." An opposing element of the meeting here found expression, and cheers were proposed for Bell and Everett, and given with a will, provoking a call for cheers for Breckinridge, which was cordially responded &c.]

Fellow-citizens, the speaker continued, this movement has passed beyond Bell and Everett [Great cheering.] Individuals are now lost sight of, and we stand united upon principle — at least in Mississippi we do — shoulder to shoulder for many of the most earnest advocates of this movement there were ardent supporters of Mr. Bell and Mr. Everett. Let there is no divisions, I exhort you; this is not the time for the manifestation of personal preferences.

To return to this Congressional Committee, it is all trickery and subterfuge. They don't mean to do anything, and, they can't do anything — for they haven't started right; they haven't begun at the beginning. They are perfecting points of detail, when the vital principle of concession has not been touched. I was in Washington a few days, and spoke with gentlemen on that Committee, to whom I took the liberty of suggesting a resolution similar to that since proposed by Mr. Crawford, of Georgia, recognizing the institution of slavery as it is recognized in the Constitution and in the decisions of the Supreme Court. Well, let them attempt to press that resolution, and that moment the Committee will explode.--The men from the North will never cede that right. They'll try to delay action till January or May, but they will never yield the right of slavery, which they deny upon their consciences, and which we, on our consciences, --a right which we will never agree to surrender. Never. [Applause]

But suppose they should patch up a compromise, what will it be worth? Haven't compromises been made before, and violated with impunity? Hasn't the Constitutional right to recover slaves been trampled under foot? Hasn't the Congressional Fugitive Slave law been trampled under foot? Hasn't the decision of the Supreme Court been trampled under foot? And all of these having been done time and again by a dozen States, what need of going further? If they won't believe Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe one though risen from the dead.

Another remedy suggested is revolution — but revolution within the Union. That idea is beyond human comprehension, I think, and no need not be now discussed.

Calling a Convention of the Slave States is the popular remedy. [Applause.] But even if feasible as a remedy, such a Convention would be in direct violation of the spirit and of the letter of the Constitution, and we in Mississippi oppose it on that account, and because it is not adequate for good. Such a Convention could not assemble before the 4th of March. The Legislatures of the several States would first have to be convened, then separate State Conventions called, and finally the general Convention would have to assemble and — debate. But even if the Convention could be got together before the 4th of March, the probability is that two States at least--Maryland and Texas--could not from peculiar circumstances, be represented in it. But the plan is an impracticable one--the Convention could only meet with a purpose of preparing for disunion; called with any other purpose it would be futile, and a disunion Convention, need not say, is in violation of the spirit of the Constitution. The States have no right to go out together — no one asserts any such right. Each State must go out by herself and in the exercise of her separate State sovereignty.

The only available remedy for our oppression which the State of Mississippi can suggest, is that each State shall secede from the Union.

[A stormy scene followed the last remark of the speaker, a violent storm of hisses being met by a counter-blast of cheers, though the former largely predominated, and was pertinaciously continued after the applause had subsided into an occasional individual shout. After a calm of a few seconds the tempest of hisses and applause was resumed with renewed force, parties on the floor of the hall endeavoring to make up in the energy of their demonstrations — waving of hats and stamping of feet — for the deficiency in their vocal rivalry of the hisses from the galleries. The excitement bid fair to culminate in a row, and the parties were mounting the seats for the purpose of witnessing that expected result, when a cry of "Turn out that — Black Republican" concentrated the attention of the meeting upon an individual near the centre of the hall, who was vigorously hustled out and quiet was again restored, when three cheers were called for "South Carolina." They were given with a will; cheers for Mississippi were also given, and a call for "three cheers for Governor Hicks" was responded to with a mingled chorus of cheers, hisses and groans. Cheers for the "United States" were also given.]

Mr. Handy--obtaining silence — I am not here, in my native State, to be deterred by hisses from declaring truths. [Vociferous cheering] I am here to speak words of truth, and reason soberly and respectfully. If they prove unpleasant, reject them; but I ask to be heard with respect and consideration, and not to be put off with the clamor of prejudice and preconceived opinions.

Mississippi has her rights under the Constitution, and if violated, as they have been, she conceives it to be not only her right, but her duty to resume her sovereign powers and to withdraw from this Union. Is there any man here who will hiss that? ["No!" "No!"] Our fathers fought not to attain this Union, but for the achievement of the independence of each State. That achieved, each State became an independent sovereignty, nor was that sovereignty resigned by the Union into which they subsequently entered.

It is objected, too, that the right of secession is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution; but neither is the right to elect your Governor, or to convene your Legislature, mentioned there; yet, who will dare question your right to do either? No, but the Constitution declares that all powers not expressly, or by necessary implication, conferred upon the Federal Government, shall be reserved to the several States, and who can point me to the clause in the Constitution in which the States have yielded up their separate sovereignty, or the right to vindicate themselves when the compact which binds them to each other shall have been violated?

We do not propose to go out for the purpose of breaking up this government. On the contrary, we go to preserve in their purity the institutions which our fathers gave us. We want no new Constitution, no new laws, nor new Supreme Court decisions. We will take with us all that we now have, and say to the aggressive States of the North, when you can learn to respect this sacred instrument, and will mark your sincerity by conceding us new and sufficient guarantees, we will gladly renew our fraternal relations with you — deny us that right, and we will form a Southern Confederacy and endeavor to maintain our rights independently of you.

Outfit for War.

The volunteer companies in Charleston are preparing for "field operations." The Mercury publishes the following as the outfit of the Washington Light Infantry, a company numbering 85 men. It is interesting to our military friends:

Single-breasted frock coat, of cadet grey cassimere; one row Palmetto buttons on front. Pants same material, with black stripe inch wide on outer seams. Overcoat same material, army pattern, with cape, &c. Leggins of calf-skin, to lace up as high as the calf of the leg, and to fit snugly over the feet. Belt of black patent leather, with buckle, &c.--Knapsack — a very simple kind, similar to those worn by the Swiss guides, (without the usual wooden frame.) Haversack — enamelled cloth, with leather straps, &c. Canteen of gutta perchs, to hold two quarts — an entirely new article; it fits the person comfortably, and keeps the water pure and fresh.

Rubber cloth--one piece, three feet wide and six feet long to each man — an indispensable article to light troops. Blankets — plain grey-- 5 pt. mackinaw, 3 ½ lbs. in weight. Hat — plain felt, brownish color, looped upon left side. Two pairs winter drawers, two colored flannel shirts, two pairs woolen socks, one extra pair shoes (heavy soles.)

They have also provided twelve rubber caps with capes for the guard in rainy weather, which, with the piece of rubber cloth already alluded to, will keep the men perfectly dry.--Each officer is armed with a revolver and provided with a pocket compass. The captain is provided, in addition, with a field glass.

In addition to this complete outfit, there have been provided India rubber mattresses, pillows, and blankets lined with rubber cloth, India rubber bottles (pints and quarts) for medicines. These are intended for the comfort of the sick, if any there be. Their camp buckets and other utensils are also of rubber goods. The company are daily expecting one hundred improved stand of arms, with cartridge boxes, cap pouches, etc.

Disunion in the United States.

[From the London Times of December 5th.] The feelings which now divide the United States into antagonists far more bitter than those of diverse languages and races, are themselves facts which cannot be reasoned away, and they have an irresistible bearing on the practice of slavery — they must tend to tighten the grasp of the slave-owner on the one hand, and, on the other, to provoke the fanaticism and the ingenuity of the abolitionist. The Southern States see in this election a pledge of further and still more unscrupulous efforts for the rescue and emancipation of the negro.

The very language of the Southern States breathes personal apprehension and defiance. It is vain to dispute the danger, but at least it may be met with reason. As the Southern States certainly would not mend matters by a separation, and as the Nrothern States can do nothing, and have done nothing, to mitigate the evils for which they profess so much abhorrence, all that can be done is to take a moderate and rational view of the subject. To both the Northern and Southern States we beg to suggest what has happened in this country. A few years ago all England went crying mad over a story which certainly was a master piece of writing. The first impression was that which the writer intended — an unbounded horror of slavery and indignation against the slave master.

Never was eloquence better listened to; never had an argument fairer play, for at least 1,000,000 British men and women read or listened to the book in the silence of their homes, and the fair advocate carried the sympathies spell bound to the last line of the last page. What is now the result? We are a fair and reasoning people. We have looked into the condition of the Negro, as described by the novelist. We have "realized" the "institution. " We have apprehended the greatness of the facts, and ask ourselves, "What can be done?" We have compared the evil with evils of our own, and reflected with what difficulty we get over — if we do get over — our own social mischiefs and scandals. There is no use in violent language, we say to ourselves; what is to be done? That is the question. We have, too, been made aware, and have had it brought home to our conscience, that we consume largely slave grown cotton, and sugar, and coffee, and that the very paper on which a million copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin were spread over this country was made from slave produce.

Returning thus to our senses, to our reason, and to our conscience, we have come to take a much quieter view of the "domestic institution." We feel for the slaves, but we feel also for the masters, and we have satisfied ourselves that it does no good to the former to abuse the latter. We are aware, too, that slavery was a British bequest to the States. --All these considerations apply quite as much, and more nearly by several degrees to the Northern States. May not this quarrel give way to a calm, in which the real difficulties of the question will be met and quietly answered? It is too true that the commerce of the United States is almost, if not quite, as much committed to slavery as its agriculture. For what would New York be without slavery?-- But, what, alas! would Liverpool and Manchester? What this metropolis? Cannot all the partners in this business put their heads together, shake hands over the quarrel, and think what can be done to mitigate what it is so difficult to abolish? Perhaps we speak to the deaf, but anything is better than dividing State against State, house against house, and servant against master, in the most rising nation in the world.

Circular letter of the Bishop of the dioceses of Hartford on the Crisis.

Right Rev. James P. McFarland, D.D., Bishop of the dioceses of Hartford, States of Rhode Island and Connecticut, has issued a circular letter and addressed it to the clergy of his dioceses, on the subject of the dangers which threaten the perpetuity of the Union. The letter was addressed to the Catholic congregations in the dioceses on last Sunday. The following is a copy of the letter:

Dear Sir:
Rev. The most serious apprehensions at present fill every breast on account of the evils which threaten our beloved country. These evils are the punishment of sin, and can be averted only by appeasing the anger of Heaven.

We would, therefore, request all the Catholics of this dioceses to unite in fervent prayer for the preservation of the Union and peace of the country, for this intention we would exhort them to say each day at least, "Our Father," and "Hail Mary;" to observe with great strictness the fast of this holy season; to prepare themselves for the worthy reception of the sacraments of penance and the holy eucharist, at or before Christmas, and to give alms generously to the poor. If in addition to these works of piety, we turn to God with our whole hearts in humility and confidence, we may hope that he will turn from his fierce anger and deliver us from the evils that threaten us.

Given at Providence, this 14th day of December, 1860.

Francis Patrick, Bishop of Hartford.

Shocking treatment of Southern slaves.

We clip the following from the Charleston (S. C.) Mercury:

Annual Christmas Exclusion.--It will be seen by reference to our shipping advertisements, that the steamer St. Mary's, E. Lafitte & Co., agents, will leave Savannah Packet wharf on Sunday afternoon, the 23d inst., for Wilmington, N. C., and return the afternoon following. For many seasons one of the Messrs. Lafitte & Co.'s steamers has been chartered, a few days previous to Christmas, to convey a large gang of negroes, who are employed in the constructions of railroads, &c., in Georgia and Florida, to their old homes in old "Norf Kerlina" to spend the Christmas holidays, and the St. Mary's has been chartered for this purpose on this occasion. When the holidays are over the St. Mary's will return to Wilmington for the negroes, whose hearts will be gladdened and made light by this annual courtesy and kindness of their owners and employers.

The Naval force ready to be equipped.

In case of necessity, the following men-of-war could be equipped and manned at the different Navy-Yards in three weeks:

Vessels. Officers and men. Tons. Guns.

Steam-corvette Brooklyn.340217014
Steam-frigate Colorado.4003,49012
Frigate Constitution.5001,60750
Corvette Germantown.30093922
Corvette Jamestown.30098522
Corvette Macedonian.3001,34122
Corvette Marion.17055010
Steam-frigate Merrimac.4003,70012
Steam-frigate Mississippi.3201,28910
Steam-gunboat Pawnes.2009899
Corvette Plymouth.20035822
Corvette Preble.1801,72616
Frigate St. Lawrence.5001,72650
Frigate Santee.500.1,72650

The Merrimac, Preble and Santee might take five or six weeks to be commissioned, but in an emergency they could be prepared in three. All the others need only men and guns; the former can be got in hundreds, the latter are ready for shipment. Vessels of the home squadron could also be added to the list.

Rumored resignation.

There is no truth in a paragraph which has obtained extensive currency through the newspaper press, stating that Commodore Shubrick and Capt. Ingraham have resigned their commissions in the navy. Capt. Ingraham is at present absent in the Mediterranean in command of the steamer Richmond, and has probably not yet even heard of the troubles at the South, and Commodore Shubrick is daily and actively engaged in Washington city with his duties as Chief of the Light-house Board.

Sent off.

A man calling himself Lieut. Henry W. Paul, U. S. A., (says the Mobile News,) was warned out of Oxford, Miss., last Thursday. Paul is a stalwart fellow, six feet five inches high, and very military in appearance. He advertised to give fencing lessons, but would accept but two pupils, and claimed to be a native of Wheeling, Va. Suspicion being excited, he was taken in hand by a committee, who ascertained that he was from Vermont, and is a cousin of Cook, one of John Brown's men.

Rev. E. H. Chapin on the Crisis.

Boston, Dec. 18.
--The Rev. E. H. Chapin, in an address delivered in Tremont Temple to-night said the crisis in our nationality is a crucible in elements, and public liberty is to be tried to the uttermost. Further remarks were made in a like strain, and received with applause. The house was crowded.

Tender of service.

Captain O'Hars, formerly of the United States Army, has raised a cavalry company in Mobile and tendered its services to the Governor of the State. The Governor has accepted the offer.

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)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Everett (3)
Bell (3)
Shubrick (2)
Henry W. Paul (2)
E. Lafitte (2)
Ingraham (2)
A. H. Handy (2)
E. H. Chapin (2)
Santee (1)
Preble (1)
Francis Patrick (1)
O'Hars (1)
Moses (1)
James P. McFarland (1)
Hicks (1)
Hall (1)
William Crawford (1)
Cook (1)
Christmas (1)
John Brown (1)
Breckinridge (1)
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.
April, 3 AD (2)
December 14th, 1860 AD (1)
May, 12 AD (1)
December 25th (1)
December 18th (1)
January (1)
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: