The National crisis.Public Sentiment in Virginia — Proclamation of Lincoln's Policy — Indignation of New York Troops — Things at Charleston — Interesting Incidents, &c.,&c.,&c. From the tone of the newspapers, and correspondence from various sections of the State, we have every reason to believe that the secession sentiment is decidedly on the increase in Virginia. There seems, however, to be a general desire that every honorable and consistent effort at conciliation and adjustment should be resorted to and a full, fair and explicit demand of our rights be made, before the final step of disruption is taken.--Many of the counties are adopting measures of defence with a determination to be prepared for any emergency. We append a summary of information from other quarters, bearing upon the crisis in national affairs
Lincoln's position Defined.The New York Tribune makes the following apparently official editorial announcement. It will be seen that Mr. Lincoln not only opposes any concession to the South, but threatens means of coercion: The question having anew been raised, we mean it proper to say again what we have said before, and we wish to be understood as saying it authoritatively, that President Lincoln is not in favor of making concessions to the slave power, either pretended concessions or real concessions, nor in favor of any measure looking to the humiliation of freedom and of the free States, no matter in what pretense they may be commended. He believes, with the great body of the independent freemen of the country — Democrats, Bell men, and Republicans — that the first duty to be done is to ascertain whether we have a government or not, and whether the Union is a mere delusion of the imagination, to be dissolved at the first touch of actual hostility, or a great and vital power, as competent to assert itself and defend itself against domestic sedition as against foreign foes. We have reason to know that he perceives and feels clearly that this is the predominant question of the time, towering above every other. Indeed, of what avail is any compromise or any arrangement whatever until it be first established that the Union of the States and the Federal Government are something real and living, and not a precarious sham, built of nothing more substantial than parchment and red tape, and existing at the mercy of speaking traitors like Floyd, or noisy ones like Toombs. No compromises, then! No delusive and deluding concessions! No surrender of principle! No cowardly reversal of the Great Verdict of the sixth of November! Let us have the question of questions settled now and for all time! There can never be another opportunity so good as the present. Let us know once for all whether the slave power is really stronger than the Union. Let us have it decided whether the Mexican system of rebellion can be successfully introduced in this country as a means of carrying an election after it has been fairly lost at the polls. It will be time enough to talk of redressing grievances of long standing and of minor consequence after this startling novelty has been disposed of. Let us first vindicate the majesty and assert the power of law in general — amendments of particular laws can be considered afterward.
The offer of New York troops.The recent tender of the services of the First Division of New York State troops by Maj. Gen. Sanford to Gov. Morgan, seems to have created considerable dissatisfaction among the rank and file of the Division. The Herald contains a column of communications expressing indignation at the General's course, of which the following is a sample: I see by your morning's issue that Major General Sanford has, with the concurrence of the Division Board of Officers, tendered to Gov. Morgan the services of the entire First Division, for any duty the present emergency may require. Now I would like to know by what authority Major General Sanford, or the Division Board of Officers, has to offer the services of the New York State Militia without the consent of each regiment, which, I know, has not been obtained; and I think there are many who would object to go so long as the Republicans persist in disfranchising the South of her rights. And I would like to ask if it would not be imprudent on the part of Major Gen. Sanford, under the present excited state of public feeling existing in the city, to order the military out of New York? It seems to me the action of Major General Sanford confirms what I have often seen in some of the New York papers, of his utter incapacity to fill the high position he now occupies. Among a number of similar communications in the Journal of Commerce, we find the following from a member of the gallant "Seventh:" General Sanford has offered the services of the First Division of the N. Y. S. Militia to the Governor of the State, should he be called upon to assist in maintaining the integrity of the Union. Very patriotic — or very ambitious to see his name in the papers: hard to determine which. Better wait till he receives orders to offer that which he has no authority of himself to grant. The First Division would no doubt be prompt to render any aid in their power to maintain the integrity of the Union, which is dear as life to most of them. But I, for one, as an old member, would like to say that if the fourth of March should come round without proper concessions having been made — concessions just, lawful and constitutional, to allay the storm and guarantee security to every one of the States of this Union--I would be happy to join the First Division and proceed to Washington to stay the inauguration of the power which has caused the deplorable state of affairs now existing, till sufficient guarantee is given that the agitating causes will be ignored, and the rendering of the Constitution, as it has always been interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States, be conceded. A letter from New York to the Philadelphia Ledger, says, on the same subject: ‘ The city military are all in a ferment, owing to Major General Sanford's tender of the First Division to Governor Morgan, in case an emergency should arise out of the crisis in our national affairs rendering their services desirable. There can be no doubt that our citizen soldiery are, every man of them, loyal to the Union, but before any official pledge was given, committing them to take part in a civil war, there are not a few of them who think they should have been consulted. This feeling probably finds the freest expression among the members of the celebrated Seventh Regiment, the officers of which will probably unite in an address to the Major General, in the course of a few days, gently reminding him that they are citizens as well as soldiers, and have a "will" to be consulted in such cases, as well as orders to be obeyed. ’
Interesting Incidents in Charleston harbor.A correspondent of the Baltimore American, who has visited the fortifications in the harbor of Charleston, narrates some interesting incidents connected therewith. He says: ‘ At starting we had on board, in addition to the party of gentlemen in the suite of officials, going the rounds of the forts, about one hundred and fifty or two hundred hearty, strong negro men, intended for laborers on Sullivan's Island. These fellows chattered and jabbered their peculiar negro lingo with infinite delight at the prospect of becoming, as they termed it, "Roger's to fight for Sonny Carline." Rolled up in huge knots, wherever the sun shone, they dozed away in peaceful slumbers, or grinned with delight as anything pleasing to the fancy passed in review. The ideas and language interchanged among them, and to all who cause to address them, evinced almost barbaric simplicity. The majority of them exhibited a wonderfully stupid set of features. One of them, however, the most intelligent fellow in the lot, gave quite satisfactory answers to most of the inquiries propounded to him. All the rest seemed satisfied simply with showing their ivories and acquiescing in whatever replies their spokesman should make. He, in answer to my questions, informed me that most of the set of hands were from "Santee, sah," from "de big plantation, sah, on do river. " ’ Question.--Were you ever on the sea, or on rough water before? Answer.--O, yes, massa!--De Santee sometime run so high dat cannon (canoes) swamp. Q.--How would you like to cross this harbor in a canoe? A.--(With two short, indescribable grunts,) Cannon, sink, sah. Q.--Where are you going now? A.--To Moutry, (Moultrie,) sah. Q.--What to do these? A.--To fight, sah, and to build up forts on de island, sah. Q.--Who are you going to fight? A.--De darn Yankees, sah, and Abolitionists. (Laughter,) Q.--You don't dislike Yankees? A.--Not exactly, sah, but massa do; and, sides, dey come here to steal us; and young massa John come up to do people's quarters day fore yesterday, and when he call all of us together he state de case to us, and tell us dat- sufferin' was goin' wrong down to de city. Dat de Yankee nigger thief would fight, and dat if we wanted we should go down and help kill 'em. Q.--What did you say to that? A.--We all volunteered right away, but massa John picked out the best lot of hands and sent 'em right away to join dese here other boys, and so we all come down. Q.--Do you know how to shoot? A.--Yes, sah. (The fellow's eyes twinkled with pleasure at the prospect.) I learn young massa John to handle he rifle. When he was a boy we used to shoot deer together, and I learned him where to strike and how to load up. Q.--Will your master come down to the Island and fight? A.--Yes, sah; he promised to join us soon in the works with he company. One great big fellow over in a sunny corner of the deck had been an attentive listener to the conversation, and whenever the replies of his fellow slave gave him peculiar pleasure, or coincided with his views, a grin would spread clear across his face, and thinking that he might be inclined to talk I approached him and put the question, ‘"Well, Sam, what can you do in a fight?"’ A.--Run, sah, when Bucra man come widda gun, " and at the same time tipping his hat and scraping his foot, asked ‘" if Massa please give him chaw tobacco."’ Several negroes in sotto voce to each other signified their disapprobation of the fellow's conduct and reply by calling him ‘"Yahoo nigger,"’ Their respect, however, for the presence of white persons prevented any other expression of contempt, In this lot of stout fellows there was not one badly clothed or under-fed. They were all above the medium height of the white man; strong, healthy — though rough and dull — such as swarm the "yard" of every large plantation. All were provided with large, comfortable blankets, strapped to the shoulders in military style, and most of them carried besides a quantity of baggage. Their destination, I learned, was not to the fort, but to the works of defence above Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island. An extensive cause way is here being constructed to connect with the main land, and upon this, as upon the redoubts now being thrown up on the island, a very large force of negroes is employed. I am told that they number some seven or eight hundred fellows. A very large number of Irishmen are also employed in the same work, but for endurance the negro beats them all hollow. There is no use for the pick-axe, and with the shovel I have seen the slave work all round the white man and then turn round and grin at what he had done. Among the passengers in our cabin was Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia. This gentleman has been in the South since the commencement of the secession movement. I noticed his venerable face in the Sovereign Convention almost every day. Since the adjournment of that body he has been through Florida and Alabama, and I believe remained in Tallahassee and Montgomery until after the passage of the Ordinance of Secession. By way of recreation he visited the fortifications of the harbor on this occasion. As a companion and pleasant talker, I have met with few men I like better than Mr. Ruffin. He is full of information and ready to impart it. He is withal quite a secessionist, and as a matter of course readily finds congeniality of sentiment in this latitude. He seems to take quite an interest in the excitements of the day, and is hated everywhere as the representative of what Virginia was, and' what the Southerners would have her be. He likewise expresses a lively hope and abiding confidence in the ultimate secession of his State.
Fort Moultrie: At Fort Moultrie, Sunday though it was, everything was busy. The columbiads spiked and burned by Anderson, are all, with the exception of three, remounted on new carriages, unspiked, and as good as ever. Several of the merlons erected upon the parapet to protect the guns bearing on Sumter are completed.--The work is done in a most masterly manner. Barrels and bags of sand are so disposed and evenly packed as to give a solid masonry-like appearance. The merlons are very thick and impenetrable, and afford great security to the artillerists behind them. The process of constructing this sort of defence is in this manner: The bomb-proof surface of the parapet is turned up and rows of barrels of sand are placed in positions desired. The sand is all tightly rammed into barrels and filled up compactly in the middle of the space formed by the shell of barrels. Outside of the barrels bags of sand are laid, and the whole, tightly bound together by iron bands and ropes, is perfectly impregnable. Many of the exposed parts of the fort, as well as the magazine, are protected with work of this kind. The force employed is very large — almost too large. The negroes wheel barrows of sand into fortification from without, and the whites carry it up the parapet and use it. On the present occasion the string of laborers was very large. Many of them in red hunting shirts were gentlemen not only by birth but in education and refinement. Wheelbarrow in hand they labor side by side with the negro. Here is a huge sand pile on the ramparts and the red coats swarm about it. Laughing and jesting, work becomes play, and men who never before lifted a spade worked on without complaint. Here comes Mr. Ruffin, says one. All the party for the moment ceased labor and the venerable old gentleman smilingly approached with his hearty ‘"Well, boys, hard at it — that's right — give me a spade,"’ and suiting action to word, handed up his cane to one of the party, and with the shovel he received in exchange actually set into work by loading the wheelbarrows. ‘"It was the only way he had of committing treason"’ against the United States, and for several minutes, I assure you, he made good use of the opportunity.--All were anxious that Mr. Ruffin should fill one barrow for them at least, so that by the time he had performed the requests of all I have no doubt was satisfied to get away.
Missouri and the crisis.Mr. Johnson, chairman of the Committee of Federal Relations, introduced a bill in the Senate, on Wednesday, which provides that the Governor shall appoint one Commissioner from each Congressional district to a consulting Convention of the States, to be held at Nashville on the 4th of February, to agree upon a common issue by way of amendment to the Constitution to be made by the slave States, and the result to be laid before the Convention called in the third section. To that Convention the Governor is directed to appoint three Commissioners from Missouri to meet three Commissioners from each of the thirty- three States. The latter Convention to be held at Wheeling, on the 11th of February, for the purpose of adjusting the present difficulties, to preserve the Union and to avert civil war. The Governor is also required to appoint one Commissioner to proceed to Illinois, and request the Legislature to second the movement and use its influence with the other free States to have conservative men appointed to the Wheeling Convention. The bill was amended by the adoption of a provision similar to that contained in the Virginia bill, submitting the action of the Convention to the people after which the whole subject was tabled and a substitute embracing an entirely new proposition asking Congress to call a Convention for the redress of grievances as provided in the fifth article of the Constitution, was introduced by Mr. Stevenson. A petition praying for the adoption of the Crittenden propositions by Congress, bearing nearly 6,000 names, has been forwarded to Washington. St, Louis, January 18.--In the House yesterday Mr. Stevenson's substitute for the Convention bill, asking Congress to call a National Convention, was lost--104 to 12. Mr. Lacey's amendment for the original bill submitting the action of the Convention to the people was then adopted, and the bill passed.--105 to 17,--all the Republican delegation from St. Louis, except one, voting in the negative.
Message of the Governor of Kentucky.In his message to the Legislature of Kentucky, Governor Magoffin asks an expression of Legislative approbation of Crittenden's resolution, says that eight States will have seceded before their deliberations close, and that Tennessee has referred the whole subject to her people. Virginia and North Carolina are discussing the propriety of a similar course. Missouri seems likely to adopt a similar policy. It submits to the Legislature the propriety to provide for the election of delegates to a Convention, to assemble at an early day, to determine the future inter. State and Federal relations of Kentucky. Meanwhile, he would leave no experiment untried to restore fraternal relations between the States. He recommends a Convention of the border Slave States, to meet early in February, at Baltimore. The Governor says the hasty and inconsiderate action of the seceding States does not meet our approval, but Kentuckians will never stand by with folded arms while those States, struggling for their constitutional rights, are being subjugated to an anti-slavery government. He asks the Legislature to declare by a resolution the unconditional disapprobation by Kentucky of the employment of force in any form against the seceding States, and asks appropriations for arming and equipping a volunteer militia.
Important from Louisiana.New Orleans, Jan. 18.--The programme for Louisiana's secession is already agreed upon by the leading members of the Convention.--Arrangements are being perfected among the seceding States for holding a general Convention at Montgomery, on the 20th February, to devise the plan of the new Confederacy, to adopt the Federal Constitution, claim title, and ask recognition by the European Powers and the United States. The President's message is strongly animadverted on as his weakest production, deploring the condition of the country without assuming any position. Forts Jackson and St. Philip are to be largely reinforced for the defence of the months of the Mississippi. It is contemplated to fit out privateers should coercion be attempted by the North. The Secession Convention meets next week.
New York and the crisis.In the New York Assembly, at Albany, on Friday, the Committee on Federal Relations reported resolutions reprobating the attempt of the slaveholding States to dissolve the Union; denying the right of any State to secede; declaring that New York will put forth all her power and resources to maintain the Government in enforcing the laws; and expressing, at the same time, a sincere desire to avoid civil war by every means consistent with honor, and the readiness of New York to meet. After sister States in a conciliatory spirit and amicably remove all occasion of complaint, and by mutual concessions restore peace and harmony. The resolutions also favor the formation of two States out of all the present territory after the admission of Kansas, reserving the right of admission with proper restrictions, or to divide the territory after the manner of the Missouri Compromise.
The President and the New York Legislature.The following communication to the New York Legislature was read in the Assembly on Wednesday:
Opposed to coercion.The New York World contains a letter from Hon. Henry W. Hilliard, of Alabama, from which the following is an extract: ‘ "Now that some of the States have dissolved their connection with the Union, force is not to be employed against them. The whole theory of our government is opposed to it. Force may be employed against masses of individuals, however numerous; never against political communities or States." "The Southern people are unconquerable.--The race which peoples these; States can never be held in bondage. New political systems must now be constructed, and let us hope that, under the guidance of Him who sitteth upon the circle of the heavens, the South and the North may yet dwell together in peace." ’
17th January, 1780-1861.The Charleston Mercury, of the 17th inst., says: ‘ This anniversary of the battle of the Cow-pens finds our citizen soldiers in the field, called there to defend their homes and firesides, their wives and children, from the armed hostility of a corrupt and perverted Government. The usual holiday parade is wanting, the gay uniform has disappeared, and in its place our ear catches the now familiar tread of armed men--brave lads in grey"--who stand ready to breast the storm of vulgar tyranny which threatens the dear old Commonwealth of South Carolina. Victory perched upon the standards of their ancestors eighty years ago; the lesson of duty then taught is remembered, and the crimson flag which heralded the way to glory then, is ready again to be thrown to the breeze in the cause of constitutional liberty — equality. ’
Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, of the 14th, says: ‘ Gen. C. F. Henningsen, of Nicaragua notoriety, arrived in this city on Saturday night last, and will probably remain some days.--He has had much experience in military affairs, and is possessed of that true heroism which is so serviceable in "times that try men's souls." We are glad to know that this chivalric gentleman is with the Southern States, heart and hand, in their efforts to rid themselves of Black Republican domination, and we doubt not is ready and willing to go into the field in their defence. ’