The National crisis.letter from Robert E. Scott — the capture of the New Orleans Barracks — from the Florida forts — Washington Rumors — Interesting statement of Lieut. Hall, &c.
Letter from Robert E. Scott.Mr. Robert E. Scott, of Fauquier, has written a letter to a member of the House Committee of Thirty-Three, which is published. He does not think Lincoln's election justifies dissolution, though he views it as an abuse of power by the stronger section of the country. He concludes: Congress may do much to relieve the existing pressure, and great solicitude is felt to know the action of your committee. The suggested change in the fugitive slave law possibly may prove satisfactory, and if with that change the offensive liberty bills be repealed, that cause of quarrel will be removed, but the change in the territorial policy must be more radical: it will not be sufficient merely to inaugurate the doctrine of squatter sovereignty by legislative enactment or constitutional amendments: for the reasons already given the territorial policy must be founded upon equality and justice. I have never apprehended any interference with the slave trade between the States, or with slavery in the District of Columbia so long as Maryland and Virginia recognize that species of labor, because such interference would be certain to encounter determined resistance, even to the overthrow of the Government.-- Nevertheless adequate assurances may be given on those points. But still if we are to have a friendly settlement of the distracting controversy, if we are to retrieve all past estrangements and enmities, and return to the ancient feeling of brotherhood between the people of the two sections, much will remain for the States to do. They must bring back their legislation to the principles that governed it in the purer days of the country, when Massachusetts protected Washington before Boston in the service of his body servant, and New York and Pennsylvania protected Southern members of Congress with their families and attendants. I concur in the suggestion of extending the duration of the Presidential office, and confining the incumbent to a single term, but the proposition of the two-thirds vote for the acquisition of territory may be suspended by the policy already indicated. I agree with you that Conventions are dangerous bodies, but in times of danger and revolution we must deal with dangerous and revolutionary instruments; there is now, I think, no escape from the hazard. In the Convention of this State, I hope for moderate and dispassionate, but firm action; for underlying all this excitement there is among our people a strong current of conservatism, and hereditary attachment to the Union and the Constitution, and a clear perception of the great interests at stake. --Doubtless we have many of extreme opinions and inclined to precipitate counsels; these are the minority. But in any event, Maryland must share the fate of Virginia, for they are bound together by too many geographical and artificial ties to admit of separation, and the same is true of all the border States. What we want is a settlement of the slavery question, a final settlement, that shall banish it forever as a political issue, a settlement upon terms of perfect equality; with nothing less can we be satisfied. We understand the Republican party to be committed to the use of the Federal power to prevent the extension of slavery to the new States, and to prevent the acquisition hereafter of more slave territory under any and all circumstances.--To this we will never submit. The free States demand room for the expansion of their superabundant population, and it is reasonable that they should have it.--The increase of the slave population in the present slaveholding States will demand more room for them, and it is just that we should have it. This necessity may be, and probably is, remote, but when it arise it must be met by a suitable policy. If these demands can be obtained in the Union, we are content to remain in the Union: if not, we will seek them out of it. The peace, the safety, and the prosperity of fifteen States out of the thirty-three that compose the Confederacy, depend upon the institution of slavery. These are vital interests, and must be respected. If, upon considerations of a Northern sentiment and feeling against slavery, we permit them to be ignored by the common Government, how long will it be before, upon some other fancied conflict, the same power will be directed against some other great interest of the Southern States? The disposition of the Northern majorities to deal unjustly with what we regard as the greatest industrial interest of the South, while it unites all opinions in the necessity of a reformation of the fundamental law in that respect, may give occasion to consider the further necessity of so changing that law as to arm the Southern section with the power of self-protection against aggression upon all other interests. But these questions will be considered in our separate State Conventions, and the whole be definitely agreed in a general Convention of all the Southern States. Nothing will be demanded, I trust, for our section but what justice and necessary protection require, and what can be honorably and safely yielded by the other section. We shall claim no power of aggression, but simply security against the aggressions of others. Let the North consider fairly what the South demands, and yield freely what is right; by so doing we will recover what has been lost in the past, and lay up for the future a store of good feeling between the sections, and of brotherhood that will make our union perpetual.
R. E. Scott.
The capture of the New Orleans Barracks.The ‘"capture"’ of the U. S. barracks at New Orleans, by a company of State troops, is thus described by the Delta: On arriving at the place, the men marching without uniform or any arms whatever, they found in command an Orderly Sergeant of the United States Army, who, upon being informed of the nature of the demand upon him, very gracefully invited our men to walk in and make themselves perfectly at home, proffering any assistance in his power in the way of showing the officers over the grounds and buildings, &c. He did not deem it necessary to leave the place in consequence of the new state of affairs, but remained as before, with all but his actual authority. Yesterday he made an inventory of everything of any value on the premises, and formally surrendered them to the State of Louisiana, gravely stating that it would be mere folly in him to offer resistance ‘"when the garrison was outnumbered more than one hundred to one."’ We believe that no one will doubt the sagacity of his conclusion. The troops had received their undress uniform, under-clothing and shoes yesterday, but had no caps as yet; and when drawn up in a line, there was a motley array of silk hats, slouched tiles and glazed caps, all of which will soon be replaced by graceful Zouave cap. of navy-blue cloth. The undress uniform is a dark blue jacket, coming down to the hip, single-breasted, with five pelican buttons, and dark blue pants, with a stripe of yellow cord. The exterior appearance of the Barracks, fronting on the river bank, four miles below Canal street, with its round brick towers and walls, must be familiar to our readers.--Within are two large divisions of ground, separated by a wall. The lower one contains twelve two-story brick buildings, constituting the United States Marine Hospital. The upper inclosure is the Barracks. In front is the parade ground, a fine level sward. Four two-story frame buildings, their gables covering each other and forming a quadrilateral, are the barrack buildings. They were in a wretched state of ruin and neglect, two of them sunk in and ready to fall down at the first fresh breeze apparently. Two other buildings of the same kind are the mess rooms. The State troops have been hard at work, putting things to right and scouring out Uncle Sam's neglected barracks, and we think it would be only fair if our State sends in a bill for these services to the Government of the Northern Republic. The inventory of articles surrendered, furnished by the United States Ordnance Sergeant, includes two 12-pounder howitzers and six 6 pounders, suitable for field service. These, with about eight old flint-lock muskets, are about all the munitions of war on hand there. We suppose the arms for this company will be sent down to them to-day.
From the Florida forts.The Pensacola (Fla.) Tribune, speaking of the capture of the forts there, says: ‘ The regiment arrived at Warrington Navy-Yard on Saturday afternoon last, and forming into line, after having loaded, the Commander-in-Chief, with staff, proceeded to the quarters of the Commodore, and, in the names of the States of Alabama and Florida, demanded the surrender of the yard. It was given up, and in a short time Fort Balances was taken possession of by the troops. Since then we learn that Fort McRae has also been taken possession of. It was an imposing scene to witness the surrender of the yard, and the filing off of the different companies of their respective apportionments. There are now about five hundred troops garrisoned at the yard and the two forts. Fort Pickens has refused to surrender and is manned by about one hundred men.--This fort commands the harbor, and is very strongly fortified. The Hayneville (Ala.) Guards arrived at Warrington on Sunday morning last, and were marched to Fort Barrancas. There are several companies from Alabama and Mississippi, in Mobile, which are expected to arrive by steamer to-day, at the Perdido river; from thence they will march to Fort Barrancas.--Lieut. Slimmer, who holds Fort Pickens, spiked all the guns in Fort Barrancas, before deserting it, and concealed the locks, elevating screws, &c., but all the guns except 12 have been unspiked, and they will be in order in a day or two. Yesterday morning a salute was fired at Warrington Navy-Yard, by order of Col. Chase, in honor of the new flag. We hardly think there will be fighting — not immediately, at any rate. Fort Pickens may be reinforced by vessels-of-war, and when that is done, many men will be needed on this side of the harbor. Business is almost stagnant in Pensacola.--Everything is deranged. Sunday night, Lt. Prime, of the U. S. Navy, was arrested in this city on his way to the yard, and is now on his parole. A bearer of dispatches from Commander Armstrong, from Washington, was arrested yesterday in this city. Times are truly warlike, and we sincerely trust that bloodshed may be averted by amicable arrangements; that the forts, &c., may be given up to Florida and everything settled. ’ The later statement of a private soldier off on furlough, says: ‘ On Tuesday evening last, four hundred and fifty troops arrived at the navy-yard from Mobile and Mississippi, making in all, at present, stationed in that immediate vicinity, one thousand men; there are now en route near two hundred more from Auburn, Tuskegee and Greenville, who will probably arrive at the quarters to-night. Reinforcements, to the amount of 500 men, are also hourly expected from New Orleans. ’
Washington Rumors.Quite a number of leading secessionists in States other than South Carolina met night before last, and; after consultation, notified Colonel Hayne that he must, in his written communication to the President, take a moderate ground. They agreed in opinion that an insolent demand for the immediate surrender of Fort Sumter could not meet their approval, and that if Maj. Anderson remained there provisions must be furnished him, and his letters must not be subjected to espionage. In the opinion of one of these gentlemen, this remonstrance will have its effect. Certain it is, that the authorities of Charleston were notified to supply provisions, &c., and that they have telegraphed back that the desirable courtesies would be extended. Mr. Holt's letter to Gov. Pickens, threatening to stop the mails if Major Anderson was not allowed free access to his correspondence, and the urgent suggestion of Messrs. Davis, Hunter, and others, that the surveillance should be removed by which he has been prevented from procuring supplies, have had the desired effect. Information to-day states that he has all the expected privileges. The following letter from Major Anderson, in reply to one addressed to him by C. G. Childs, communicating to him, as chairman, a resolution unanimously adopted at a meeting of prominent citizens of Philadelphia, without distinction of party, held at the hall of the Board of Trade, on the 3d inst., will be read with interest:
Robert Anderson, Major U. S. A. C. G. Childs, Esq., Chr'n. &c., Philadelphia.