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The National crisis.

causes of Secretary Thompson's resignation — the Committee of Thirty-three--Messages of the Governors of Ohio and Illinois--the War Preparations at Fort Washington, &c., &c.

the causes of Secretary Thompsom's resignation — who ordered the Reinforcement to Charleston.



The Washington Constitution of yesterday has the following explanation of the causes of Secretary Thompson's resignation. It may be proper to state that Mr. Holt is a native of Kentucky:

‘ "If the President had declared the purpose in his Message to use the land and sea forces of the United States against the South, it is a fact well known to all that, on its avowal, Mr. Thompson would have instantly resigned. It was on the faith that no such purpose was entertained that Mr. Thompson remained in office, and after the regrettable and unauthorized movement of Maj. Anderson from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, which almost precipitated civil war at Charleston, it was on the faith of a distinct understanding that no reinforcements should be sent and no other evidence afforded by the Federal Government of hostility to South Carolina, that Mr. Thompson consented to remain in the Cabinet after the Secretary of War had resigned.

"It is well known that the gentleman whom the President commissioned to administer ad interim the affairs of the War Department, although he was born on Southern soil, and owes to the South all that he is worth on earth, either in means or fame, was opposed to her in this her hour of trial and danger, and that, if he could, he would compel her, by force, to surrender her liberties, and submit to the degrading rule of her enemies. But it was hoped that he would not dare to use the powers, thus accidentally devolved on him, to reverse the President's declared policy, to falsify the President's assurances, and expose him in the face of the world to the imputation of having violated his faith Deep-rooted and bitter as his feelings of animosity are known to be against the South, nobody could suppose that he would have the audacity, on his own motion, to risk involving his country in all the horrors of civil war without consulting his colleagues, or even informing them that he contemplated doing so.

"And yet such is the fact. Despite the positive and emphatic remonstrances of Mr. Thompson against sending reinforcements of Federal troops to Charleston; in the face of the solemn under standing that none would be sent without informing him of the intention to do so. Mr. Holt ordered a ship to be chartered 250 Federal soldiers to embark in her, and proceed on Saturday last to Charleston to reinforce Major Anderson in Fort Sumter. The announcement of this movement, contained in the public newspapers of yesterday, was the first intimation that Mr. Thompson received that it was made, or even resolved on. Although a member of the Cabinet, supposed to be cognizant of its policy and responsible for its course, an act of this magnitude and importance to his section is resolved on and consummated before he is even told that it is contemplated.

"Under these circumstances, Mr. Thompson instantly resigned his commission. By doing so he has vindicated his honor, and stamped his reprobation on an act which no honorable man can regard otherwise than with the severest censure.

"We much regret that the President will necessarily be held responsible for the criminal temerity of the man whom he temporarily placed at the head of the War Department. He has but one course left, if he will escape the odium that will attach to all those who took part in the issue of this fatal order, and that is, to dismiss Mr. Holt from a place to which he should never have been called, and order Gen Scott to return to his post and attend to the legitimate duties of his command of the army. The Southern man who would send armed men to shed the blood of his brethren, is fully capable of betraying the colleague to whose friendship he owes his undeserved elevation. The President has yet the power to prove his reprobation of this reprehensible proceeding, and we trust that he will not hesitate to exercise it before the sun sets."


Views of Ex-Secretaries.

Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, Secretary of the Interior under Mr. Fillmore, has written a letter to a gentleman in Chicago, recommending that a division line be run along the parallel of 36 deg. 30 min, to the Pacific — excepting California--that the normal condition of all the territory we now have or may hereafter acquire north of that line shall be free, and all south of it slave, until it shall be admitted into the Union as States, and that then it may be changed at the pleasure of its inhabitants.--This, with the repeal of the Personal Liberty bills, the amendment and enforcement of the Fugitive Slave law, and guarantees against interference with the inter-State slave trade, and with slavery in the District of Columbia, he thinks would restore peace to the country.

Hon. C. M. Conrad, who was another member of Mr. Fillmore's Cabinet, has written a long letter in favor of immediate secession by separate State action, on the ground that the slave States could not probably agree on any plan of united separation, and also because the action already taken by South Carolina has determined the course of the whole South.


The Committee of Thirty-three.

The Committee of Thirty-three were engaged on Monday discussing the proposition of Mr. Davis, of Maryland, relative to the Fugitive Slave Law, the substance of which has been frequently published in the Herald.--Upon this point a general discussion arose on the whole question agitating the country.

Mr. Tappan announced that New Hampshire was ready to yield to every other State in the Union all the rights to which they were severally entitled under the Constitution; but when any one or more of those States demanded more than justly belonged to them, or could be honorably granted by his State, she would resist all such demands, at all times and under all circumstances. Mr. Tappan read a letter from a distinguished member of the old Whig party, of Bascowan, N. H., breathing strong Constitutional sentiments, which Mr. Tappan said reflected the views of the people of his State. Beyond this he could and would not go.

Mr. Washburn opposed so much of the proposition of Mr. Davis as provides for the taking of a fugitive from the State where he is captured to the judicial district of the State from which he escaped, before he has a hearing upon the charge of being a slave. He offered an amendment, that the fugitive should have an examination in the place where he is arrested before being surrendered to the claimant.

This was voted down.

Mr. Kellogg, of Illinois, then offered an amendment, that the fugitive, upon being taken to the district from which he escaped, shall have the benefit of a jury trial, witnesses and counsel, the expense of which trial shall be paid by the United States.

This amendment was carried, and Mr. Davis' resolution, as amended, was adopted, nearly every member of the Committee present voting for it, except Messrs. Adams, of Massachusetts; Washburn, of Wisconsin; Phelps, of Missouri; Morrill, of Vermont, and Tappan, of New Hampshire.


Ohio Legislature--Message of Governor
Dennison.

Cleveland, Jan. 7.
--The Legislature met at Columbus to-day. Governor Dennison's message is a long document, and is occupied mainly with State affairs. He recommends a more effective organization of the militia, the present organized militia numbering only about 1,200 men, while the unorganized force is estimated at 285,000 men. No special prominence is given to this subject. The Governor argues at some length in defence of his course in refusing the requisitions of the Governors of Kentucky and Tennessee for persons accused of aiding in the escape of fugitive slaves. He discusses the secession question, denying the right of any State to secede at pleasure, and affirming that Ohio remains loyal to the Union and the Constitution.

He suggests the repeal of the obnoxious features of the Fugitive Slave law, and the repeal of any Personal Liberty bills subversive of the Fugitive law would thus be secured; at the same time the Southern States should repeal their laws in contravention of the constitutional right of citizens of Free States, who cannot be satisfied with less, and who will insist upon their constitutional rights in every State and Territory in this Confederacy. These they cheerfully accord to citizens of Southern States. Determined to do no wrong, they will not contentedly submit to any wrong, and are unawed by their threats. They demand the employment of all the constitutional powers of the Federal Government to maintain and preserve the Union--reject the whole theory of State secession as a palpable violation of the Constitution, and cannot consent to the exercise of any power unless under its sanction. --The integrity of this Union--its oneness and indivisibility — must be preserved.


Illinois Legislature--Message of Gover
nor Woods.

Chicago, Jan. 7.
--The Legislature met at Springfield to-day. The House adjourned without effecting an organization. Governor Woods' message will probably be delivered to- morrow. In it he recommends a complete reconstruction of the present military plan, by dividing the State into three divisions of battalion, regimental and brigade formation; that the most liberal legislative encouragement be given to the formation of volunteer companies throughout the State. He recommends that the Banks of the State be required to secure their circulation exclusively by the United States and Illinois stocks.

In regard to the difficulties at present existing South, he says if grievances to any portion of our Confederation have arisen within the Union, let them be redressed within the Union. If unconstitutional laws touching upon the guaranteed rights of any of our sister States have found place upon our statute books, let them be removed. If prejudices and alienation toward any of our fellow-countrymen has fastened upon any minds, let it be dismissed and forgotten. Let us be just to ourselves and each other, allowing neither threats to drive us from what we deem to be our duty, nor pride of opinion prevent us from correcting wherein we may have erred. --He recommends that if Illinois has passed any laws tending to obstruct the operation of Federal authority, or conflicting with the constitutional rights of others, that they at once be repealed.

Speaking, not merely for himself, but reflecting what he assumed to be the voice of the whole people of Illinois, irrespective of party, as it reaches him from all quarters, he adopts the sentiments of President Jackson: "The Federal Union--it must be preserved," to which sentiment he trusts the Legislature will give emphatic expression at an early day.--The finances of the State are represented to be in a very prosperous condition.

The first business, after the organization of both Houses, will probably be the election of an United States Senator.


The garrisoning of Fort Washington.

The Alexandria Sentinel thus notices the garrisoning of Fort Washington, on the Potomac, nearly opposite Mount Vernon:

Alexandria has seen a speck of "the war," so far as it has as yet progressed — the movements of troops. On Saturday evening the steamer Philadelphia conveyed a company of United States marines, consisting of forty privates, under command of Major Terrett, Lieutenants Mear and Webb, three sergeants, three corporals, to Fort Washington, about seven miles below our city, on the Maryland shore.

For many years Fort Washington has been without any other keeper than an old soldier, who lived as lonely as a hermit, save when his solitude was broken and his solicitude stirred by the visits of Sabbath School excursion parties to play and picnic amid its shade and upon its green slopes. Now, uniforms flash within its walls and upon its ramparts; and drums beat and soldiers mark time, and its cannon will soon be made to clear their throats and roar like war-dogs, as they are.


Pensacola and key West.

The important post of Pensacola, Florida, is strongly guarded by U. S. troops. There is one company of infantry, with two vessels of war, at that station. Key West, also another highly important station, the key of the Gulf of Mexico, is occupied by a sufficient Government force to protect it against any attack.


From Charleston.

The Charleston papers of Tuesday furnish the following items:

Mrs. Robert Anderson, who arrived in Charleston on Saturday evening, is now, by permission of the Governor, with her husband in Fort Sumter.

Mr. J. E. P. Lazarus, who returned from New York on Tuesday, 1st inst., after an absence of some time, presented $500 to Gov. Pickens, for the use and service of the State, on Wednesday, 2d inst.

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