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hat day, in the Department of State, but a copy of it was not handed to the commissioners until April 8. But an oral answer had been made to the note of the commissioners at a much earlier date, fordate. In his letter to Colonel Munford, written more than twelve years afterward, he says Sunday, April 8th. The very next day (the 8th) the following official notification (without date or signaturconfidence in the promises of the United States government, before they ceased to be made. On April 8th they sent the following dispatch to General Beauregard: Washington, April 8, 1861. ure their late confederates. To this communication, no formal reply was received until the 8th of April. During the interval, the Commissioners had consented to waive all questions of form, with te notice to the Governor of South Carolina, and the notice was so given at a late hour on the 8th of April, the eve of the very day on which the fleet might be expected to arrive. That this manoeuv
war policy prevails in the Cabinet at this time. M. J. Crawford. On the same day the announcement made to Governor Pickens through Chew was made known. The commissioners immediately applied for a definitive answer to their note of March 12th, which had been permitted to remain in abeyance. The paper of the Secretary of State, dated March 15th, was thereupon delivered to them. This paper, with the final rejoinder of the commissioners and Judge Campbell's letters to the Secretary of April 13th and April 20th, respectively, will be found in the Appendix. Negotiation was now at an end, and the commissioners withdrew from Washington and returned to their homes. Their last dispatch, before leaving, shows that they were still dependent upon public rumor and the newspapers for information as to the real purposes and preparations of the Federal administration. It was in these words: Washington, April 10, 1861. General G. T. Beauregard: The Tribune of to-day declares the
February, 1874 AD (search for this): chapter 3.35
tter of the commissioners to Seward was written, as we have seen, on March 12. The oral message above mentioned was obtained and communicated to the commissioners through the agency of two judges of the Supreme Court of the United States—Justices Nelson of New York and Campbell of Alabama. On March 15, according to the statement of Judge Campbell, See letter of Judge Campbell to Colonel George W. Munford in Papers of the Southern historical Society, appended to Southern Magazine for February, 1874. Justice Nelson visited the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury and the Attorney General (Seward, Chase, and Bates), to dissuade them from undertaking to put in execution any policy of coercion. During the term of the Supreme Court he had very carefully examined the laws of the United States to enable him to attain his conclusions, and from time to time he had consulted the Chief Justice [Taney] upon the questions which his examination had suggested. His conclusion was that, witho
ing Fort Sumter, and that Mr. Blair alone sustained the President in his policy of refusing to yield, I judged that my arguments in favor of the practicability of sending in supplies would be strengthened by a visit to Charleston and the fort. The President readily agreed to my visit, if the Secretary of War and General Scott raised no objection. Both these gentlemen consenting, I left Washington on the 19th of March, and, passing through Richmond and Wilmington, reached Charleston on the 21st. Thus we see that at the very moment when Secretary Seward was renewing to the Confederate government, through Judge Campbell, his positive assurance that the evacuation would take place, this emissary was on his way to Charleston to obtain information and devise measures by means of which this promise might be broken. On his arrival in Charleston, Fox tells us that he sought an interview with Captain Hartstein of the Confederate Navy, and through this officer obtained from Governor Pi
April 29th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 3.35
the main object of the expedition to be the relief of Sumter, and that a force will be landed which will overcome all opposition. Roman, Crawford, and Forsyth. The annexed extracts from my message to the Confederate Congress at the opening of its special session on April 29, will serve as a recapitulation of the events above narrated, with all of comment that it was then, or is now, considered necessary to add: extracts from President's message to the Confederate Congress, of April 29, 1861. . . . Scarce had you assembled in February last, when, prior even to the inauguration of the Chief Magistrate you had elected, you expressed your desire for the appointment of Commissioners, and for the settlement of all questions of disagreement between the two Governments upon principles of right, justice, equity, and good faith. It was my pleasure, as well as my duty, to cooperate with you in this work of peace. Indeed, in my address to you, on taking the oath of office, and b
t Secretary of the United States Navy, had proposed a plan for reenforcing and furnishing supplies to the garrison of Fort Sumter in February, during the administration of Buchanan. In a letter published in the newspapers since the war, he gives an account of the manner in which the proposition was renewed to the new administration and its reception by them, as follows: On the 12th of March I received a telegram from Postmaster—General Blair to come to Washington. I arrived there on the 13th. Mr. Blair having been acquainted with the proposition I presented to General Scott, under Mr. Buchanan's Administration, sent for me to tender the same to Mr. Lincoln, informing me that Lieutenant-General Scott had advised the President that the fort could not be relieved, and must be given up. Mr. Blair took me at once to the White House, and I explained the plan to the President. Thence we adjourned to Lieutenant-General Scott's office, where a renewed discussion of the subject took plac
al orders to that effect. All were gratified with this decision, except Mr. Seward, who still remonstrated, but preparations were immediately commenced to fit out an expedition to forward supplies. Lincoln and Seward, New York, 1874, pp. 57, 58. The italics are not in the original. This account is confirmed by a letter of Montgomery Blair. Ibid., pp. 64-69. The date of the announcement of the President's final purpose is fixed by Welles, in the next paragraph to that above quoted, as March 28. This was four days before Seward's assurance given Judge Campbell—after conference with the President—that there would be no departure from the pledges previously given (which were that the fort would be evacuated), and ten days before his written renewal of the assurance—Faith as to Sumter fully kept. Wait and see! This assurance, too, was given at the very moment when a messenger from his own department was on the way to Charleston to notify the governor of South Carolina that faith wo<
essel could be allowed to enter the harbor on any terms. He said he believed Major Anderson preferred an ordinary steamer, and I agreed that the garrison might thus be removed. He said he hoped to return in a very few days for that purpose. This, it will be remembered, occurred while Fox was making active, though secret, preparations for his relief expedition. Colonel, or Major Lamon, as he is variously styled in the correspondence, did not return to Charleston, as promised. About March 30 (which was Saturday) a telegram from Governor Pickens was received by the commissioners in Washington, making inquiry with regard to Colonel Lamon, and the meaning of the protracted delay to fulfill the promise of evacuation. This was fifteen days after the original assurance of Seward that the garrison would be withdrawn immediately, and ten days after his explanation that the delay was accidental. The dispatch of Governor Pickens was taken by Judge Campbell to Seward, who appointed the
issioners in Washington. For proof of this, I refer to the annexed documents marked, [?] taken in connection with further facts, which I now proceed to relate. Early in April the attention of the whole country was attracted to extraordinary preparations, in New York and other Northern ports, for an extensive military and naval expedition. These preparations were commenced in secrecy for an expedition whose destination was concealed, and only became known when nearly completed; and on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of April, transports and vessels of war, with troops, munitions, and military supplies, sailed from Northern ports, bound southward. Alarmed by so extraordinary a demonstration, the Commissioners requested the delivery of an answer to their official communication of the 12th of March, and the reply, dated on the 15th of the previous month, was obtained, from which it appears that, during the whole interval, while the Commissioners were receiving assurances calculated to inspi
a renewed discussion of the subject took place. The General informed the President that my plan was practicable in February, but that the increased number of batteries erected at the mouth of the harbor since that time rendered it impossible in March. Finding that there was great opposition to any attempt at relieving Fort Sumter, and that Mr. Blair alone sustained the President in his policy of refusing to yield, I judged that my arguments in favor of the practicability of sending in suppactive preparations were in progress, to strengthen it. Gideon Welles, who was Secretary of the Navy in Lincoln's cabinet, gives the following account of one of the transactions of the period: One evening in the latter part of the month of March, there was a small gathering at the Executive Mansion, while the Sumter question was still pending. The members of the Cabinet were soon individually and quietly invited to the council-chamber, where, as soon as assembled, the President informed
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