Secession movement at the South.
Hon. Caleb Cushing
passed through Washington
, Wednesday evening, on his way to Charleston
He goes as a "Commissioner
" on behalf of the President
The New York steamer which arrived at Savannah
Tuesday, brought 5,000 muskets and 80,000 ball cartridges for the State
, acting as Commissioner
to North Carolina
, is in Raleigh, N. C. Ex-Gov. McDonald
, of Ga.
, who died a few days since was the President
of the memorable Southern Rights' Convention, at Nashville, Tenn.
, in 1850. His last public position was that of Elector on the Breckinridge ticket in Georgia
The citizens of Massachusetts and the Personal Liberty Bills.
Chief Justice Shaw
, B. R. Curtis
, Joel Parker
, and other citizens of Massachusetts
equally distinguished, have addressed a letter to the people of that State on the Personal Liberty Bills
, which they declare to be unconstitutional.
They urge strongly the repeal of them, and say:
We know it is doubted by some whether the present is an opportune moment to abrogate them.
It is said — We grant these laws are wrong, but will you repeal them under a threat?
We answer no. We would do nothing under a threat.
We would repeal them under our own love of right; under our own sense of the sacredness of compacts; under our own convictions of the inestimable importance of social order and domestic peace; under our feeling of responsibility to the memory of our fathers and the welfare of our children, and not under any threat.
We would not be prevented from repealing them by any conduct of others, if such repeal were in accordance with our own sense of right.
He who refuses to do a right thing merely because he is threatened with evil consequences, acts in subjection to the threat; he is controlled by it. His false pride may enable him to disregard the threat, but he lacks the courage to despise the wrong estimate of his own conduct, which conduct he knows would spring only from his love of duty.
If every right-minded man must admit that he ought to govern his own conduct by these principles, are they inapplicable to the conduct of a great and populous State?
On what ground can it be maintained that hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens are to be subjected to suffering, because the false pride of their rulers refuses to do right?
Mankind have been afflicted long enough and grievously enough by commotions and strifes and wars springing from such causes.
We had hoped that the nature of our government would protect us from swelling the great sum of human misery, produced by the evil passions of rulers.
We had hoped that, inasmuch as the masses of the people can have no interest but to do right, they would have the discernment to perceive and the manliness to do it, and would be too calm, too wise, too magnanimous intentionally to persevere in any wrong, and we hope so still.
But what is meant by the exhortation not to repeal these laws under a threat?
Who threatens us, if they should not be repealed?
Whatever may have been true in the past, whatever faults of speech and action may have been committed on the one side or the other, we firmly believe that the men from whom the worst consequences to our country and ourselves are likely to proceed, have no wish that these laws should be repealed, and no disposition to use any threats in reference to them.
On the contrary, they desire to have them stand as conspicuous and palpable breaches of the national compact by ourselves; and as affording justification to themselves, to the world and to posterity, for the destruction of the most perfect and prosperous government which the Providence
of God has ever permitted the wisdom of man to devise.
, of Maryland
, has written another letter in reply to one asking him to call an extra session of the Legislature.
After allowing a reasonable time for action on the part of the Northern States
, if they shall neglect or refuse to observe the plain requirements of the Constitution
in my judgment, we shall be fully warranted in demanding a division of the country.
We shall have done our duty to the Constitution
, to the memory of our fathers, to ourselves and posterity, and the South
can honorably take such steps as patriotism and honor may demand either in or out of the Union
No one will then be more ready or willing than I to follow the fortunes of the South
, but I am utterly opposed to this precipitate action by one, two or three States.
is a border State with only an invisible line between her territory and the free States; and, in my opinion, if a separation should take place, in ten years there will not be a slave within her limits.
Our State, in the event of a dissolution of the Union
, must become the battle-ground of the hostile sections, subject to all the horror of border warfare.--This fact will not affect the decision of our people if we cannot enjoy in the Union
the rights guaranteed by the Constitution
I shall be the last one to object to a withdrawal of our State from a Confederacy that denies to us the enjoyment of our undoubted rights; but believing that neither her honor nor interests will suffer by a proper and just delay, I cannot assist in placing her in a position from which we may hereafter wish to recede.
When she moves in the matter, I wish it to be side by side with Virginia
— our nearest neighbor--Kentucky
The time has indeed come when we must all look the danger full in the face, when patriotism, the memories of the past and the hopes of the future, imperatively demand that we should use every exertion compatible with honor, to prevent the United States of America
from disappearing from among the Nations of the world.
County Meetings in Virginia.
The citizens of Rockbridge
held a meeting on the 15th inst., at which resolutions were adopted recommending a Convention of Commissioners from all the slave States and all the border non-slaveholding States, and from all the large cities, and from every State or community of the country favorable to the object, to be assembled on the earliest day practicable, at some central point within the border slave States, for the purpose of considering the grievances demanding redress, and the best course for their adjustment, and then reporting their recommendation to the several State sovereignties of the nation for final adjudication.
In Roanoke county
, a meeting on the 17th inst.,
That this is the time for settling the difficulties between the North and South, and further, that our General Assembly should forthwith cause to be convened a Convention of the people of Virginia, clothed with power to consider and determine what position Virginia
shall assume in the present cricis, and to suggest such amendments to our State Constitution as may be necessary in the event we are compelled to withdraw from the National Government
, and seek for safety and security in a new Confederacy, or alone.
And further, that in the opinion of this meeting, no Federal or Northern army should be permitted to pass over the soil of Virginia
for the purpose of making war upon and subjugating a sister Southern State.
At Amherst C. H.
, on the 17th, it was
That no free people should place themselves in the power and at the mercy of those who are unfriendly to them — the loss of liberty would be the penalty of such folly.
It is, therefore, a present and pressing necessity that all questions disturbing the harmony of the States, and especially those vital questions of alleged antagonism between the slave and free States, should now be settled and settled for all time to come.
At a meeting of members of the Legislature of Georgia, held on the 14th, the following, among other resolutions, were adopted:
That we repudiate the delusive policy of secession first and co-operation afterwards.
Interest, safety, and success, and ordinary respect to our sister slaveholding States, require consultation with at least as many as will consult, before secession; and then if secession be deemed advisable, co-operation in secession and co-operation after secession.
Whatever mode, manner, or redress be adopted, the first step to its successful accomplishment is to unite the counsels of those who are equally aggrieved, and who are simultaneously demanding redress, or at least as many as will unite their counsels.
That in hasty, ill-advised separate State secession, we can see nothing but divisions among our people, confusion among the slaveholding States, strife around our firesides, and ultimate defeat to every movement for the effective redress of our grievances.
, of Louisiana
, has appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, Capt. Braxten Bragg
, (of a "little more grape" notoriety,) Col. P. O. Hebert
, Isaiah Garrett
, and Daniel W. Adams
, on the Military Board contemplated in the act passed by the extra session of the Legislature to promote the formation of military companies, and to arm and equip the same.