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n up at the time, when the project of a Flag for the Southern section was under discussion in the journals of the South:-- The first and most proper mode of adjusting those difficulties is to call a National Convention, in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution; a Convention of the States, to which body should be referred the whole subject of our differences; and then, if but a moiety of the lofty, unselfish, enlarged, and kind disposition manifested in that noble Convention of 1787, which framed our Constitution, be the controlling disposition of the new convention, we may hope for some amicable adjustment. If for any reason this mode cannot be carried out, then the second method is one which circumstances may unhappily force upon us; but even this mode, so lamentable in itself considered, and so extreme — so repulsive to an American heart, if judiciously used, may eventuate in a modified and even stronger Union. This is the temporary yielding to the desire of the Sou
ion man, and was glad to see South Carolina and other Slave-labor States had practically initiated a disunion movement. He hoped that all the Slave-labor States would leave the Union, and not stand upon the order of their going, but go at once. He denounced the compromise spirit manifested by Mr. Seward and Charles Francis Adams, with much severity of language.--Springfield (Mass.) Republican, January 23, 1861. and Lieutenant-General Scott, who knew what were the horrors Winfield Scott in 1865. of war, seems to have contemplated this alternative without dread. In a letter addressed to Governor Seward, on the day preceding Mr. Lincoln's inauguration, March 3, 1861. he suggested a limitation of the President's field of action in the premises to four measures, namely:--1st, to adopt the Crittenden Compromise; 2d, to collect duties outside of the ports of seceding States, or blockade them; 3d, to conquer those States at the end of a long, expensive, and desolating war, and to no goo
February 11th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 10
Confederacy. There will be solicitations enough from South Carolina for offices. But keep this to yourself. --Autograph Letter of R. B. Rhett: to his Son, February 11, 1861. Robert Barnwell Rhett, the most belligerent of the demagogues of the Palmetto State --the perfect representative of the disloyal politicians of South Carolever been wise in pushing myself forward to office or power, and, I suppose, never will be. I cannot change. Prepare for disappointment. --Autograph Letter, February 11, 1861. Memminger aspired to be secretary of the treasury, and James Chesnut, Jr., who had patriotically made a sacrifice of his seat in the National Senate, Seeouth, that within two months a whole State could not take a fort defended by but seventy men. The thing is absurd. We must be disgraced. --Autograph Letter, February 11, 1861. The Alabamians seem to have been special objects of Rhett's dislike. Alabama, he said, has the meanest delegation in this body. There is not a statesma
February 26th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 10
all of the States to be represented in it. These various propositions and others were earnestly discussed for several days, and votes were taken upon several proposed amendments to the Constitution. These votes were by States, each State having one vote. The eighteenth rule for the action of the conference prescribed this, and added:--The yeas and nays of the members shall not be given or published-only the decision by States. Finally, on the twenty-second day of the session, February 26, 1861. David Dudley Field, of New York, moved to amend the majority report by striking out the seventh section and inserting the words: No State shall withdraw from the Union without the consent of all the States convened, in pursuance of an act passed by two-thirds of each House of Congress. This proposition was rejected by eleven States against ten. Ayes--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Kansas--10. Noes--Delaware, Kentucky,
February 15th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 10
ment. The rest of the delegation were on their way. In this act, as in all others, the conspirators utterly disregarded the will of the people. On the same day, the Convention commenced preparations for war, by instructing the Military and Naval Committees to report plans for the organization of an army and navy, and to make provision for the officers in each service who had deserted their flag and were seeking employment from the Confederates at Montgomery. Preparations were now February 15, 1861. made for the reception and inauguration of Davis. He was at his home near Vicksburg when apprised of his election, and he hastened to Montgomery on the circuitous railway route by the way of Jackson, Grand Junction, Chattanooga, and West Point. His journey was a continuous ovation. He made twenty-five speeches on the way, all breathing treason to the Government by whose bounty he had been educated and fed, and whose laws he had frequently sworn to uphold. A committee of the Conven
January, 1815 AD (search for this): chapter 10
n front of the portico of the State House. Davis and Stephens, with the Rev. Dr. Manly, riding in an open barouche, and followed by a large concourse of State officials and citizens, moved from the Exchange Hotel to the Capitol, while cannon were thundering. The eminence on which the Capitol stands was crowded at an early hour. It is said that so grand a spectacle had not been seen in the Slave. labor States since the ovation given in New Orleans to the victorious General Jackson, in January, 1815. At one o'clock in the afternoon, after a prayer by Dr. Manly, Davis commenced pronouncing his Inaugural Address. He defended the right of secession; and he declared that, moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, and anxious to cultivate peace and commerce with the nations, if they could not hope to avoid war, they might at least expect that posterity would acquit them of having needlessly engaged in it. Doubly justified, he said, by the absence of wrong on the
June, 1865 AD (search for this): chapter 10
ry) to war, who were ready to consent to the secession of the fifteen Slave-labor States in order to secure this great desire of their hearts. Influential Republican journals expressed this willingness; Whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in. We hope never to live in a Republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets. --New York Tribune, November 7, 1860. When, in June, 1865, Alexander H. Stephens applied to President Johnson for pardon, he alleged that, among other reasons for espousing the cause of the rebellion, was the fact that the utterances of the Tribune, one of the most influential of the supporters of the Republican party, made him believe that the separation and independence of the Slave-labor States would be granted, and that there could be no war. On the 22d of January, 1861, Wendell Phillips, the great leader of the radical wing of the Anti-sl
nia politicians at that time, had declared, as we have seen, two months before:--Our minds are made up. The South will not wait until the 4th of March. We will be well under arms before then. See page 43. John Tyler, one of the chief promoters of this Peace movement in Virginia, and President of the Convention, was an advocate of the treason of the South Carolina politicians in 1832-33, and is fully on record as a co-worker with Wise and others against the life of the Republic so early as 1856. This fact was established by letters found when our army moved up the Virginia Peninsula, in 1862. On the adjournment of the Peace Convention he hastened to Richmond, where he and Seddon (afterward the so-called Secretary of War of Jefferson Davis) were serenaded, and both made speeches. In his address at the close of the Convention he had just left, Tyler said:--I cannot but hope and believe that the blessing of God will follow and rest upon the result of your labors, and that such resu
February 18th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 10
ple of the South, that within two months a whole State could not take a fort defended by but seventy men. The thing is absurd. We must be disgraced. --Autograph Letter, February 11, 1861. The Alabamians seem to have been special objects of Rhett's dislike. Alabama, he said, has the meanest delegation in this body. There is not a statesman amongst them; and they are always ready for all the hasty projects of fear. Our policy has but little chance in this body. --Autograph Letter, February 18, 1861. Men like Stephens, and Hill, and Brooke, and Perkins, controlled the fiery spirits in that Convention, and it soon assumed a dignity suited to the gravity of the occasion. The sessions of the Montgomery Convention were generally held in secret. On one or two occasions. propositions were made to employ two stenographers to take down the debates. These propositions were voted down, and no reporters were allowed. They had open as well as secret sessions. Their open sessions the
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