Secession movement at the South.
letter from Secretary Cobb
--Union Movements at the North
--the call of the Mayor
for a Union meeting, &c,
Col. Philip St. George Cocke
, of Powhatan county
, Va, has written a letter to the Richmond Examiner on the present state of affairs.
After recounting the injuries inflicted on the South
by the North
, he says:
What, then, shall we of Virginia
and the South
do?. We should promptly and with one voice say to the North--You
have violated the spirit and broken the letter of the great constitutional compact which our fathers made unto your fathers.
You have set at naught the laws of God and man; and you have broken all the bonds that can bind man to his fellow man. You stand convicted of sedition, perjury and treason.
You have rendered it impossible that we of the South
can consent longer to live under the same government with you. You have subverted the Constitution
of your country.
You have destroyed the union of these States.
The supreme law of self-defence and self-preservation — our duty to ourselves and our property — to mankind and to God--require that we should separate from you peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.
Let, us, then, boldly, promptly and unitedly exercise the inalienable rights of freemen.--Let there be no discord and divisions amongst us.
If we hesitate, or are divided, our enemies will triumph, and we shall soon be made to bend the neck and pass under the yoke of slavery and despotism of Northern masters, who will quickly inaugurate in our midst a reign of terror of which history has as yet recorded but faint and feeble prototypes in the massacres of St. Domingo
and the horrors of the French
If, on the contrary, the South
is true to herself — true to her posterity — true to man and to God--she will arise in the majesty of her might.
She will shake off her enemies!
She will defy them!
And she will roll back upon the demon of Abolitionism, of Red
and Black Republicanism
, a withering and a damning defeat!
Let us of the South
, then, invoke the spirit of our fathers of the first American Revolution, when they declared themselves independent of Great Britain
Let us instantly prepare ourselves,
and let us, in due time and form,
proclaim our separation from the North
, and our separate and independent existence as a people; and let us, like our forefathers, pledge to each other in the maintenance of that position our lives, our fortunes, and sacred honor.
Nov. 30, 1860.
N. B — I am not to be understood as advocating or advising what is called immediate secession, nor indeed any precipitate or aggressive action that might invite or provoke a physical contest with the North
We are in the right — let us by all means continue to occupy that position.
We have only to know our rights, and to be determined to maintain them.
We must, however, take time
for conference, for deliberation, for preparation,
for arming and organizing our military, and for framing the Constitution
of our new Confederacy.
No Southern State can, without great imprudence, danger and injustice to all the rest, move until all are ready to move, and should, in the meantime, get ready to move, especially ready in a military sense,
before political measures shall precipitate us, while as yet, unarmed, into civil war. Upon these points I may hereafter ask to be heard.
In Caroline county
, Va., on the 10th inst., a meeting was held, which adopted resolutions advising a convention in this State, denying the right of coercion, and asserting the right of secession.
The letter of Secretary Cobb
to the people of Georgia
has just been printed, and will be dispatched South at once.
After referring to the origin and purposes of the Black
Republican party, he says:
Can there be a doubt in any intelligent mind that the object which the Black
Republican party has in view is the ultimate extinction of slavery in the United States
To doubt it is to cast the imputation of hypocrisy and imbecility upon the majority of the people of every Northern State who have stood by this party through all its trials and struggles to its ultimate triumph in the election of Lincoln
I am sure that no one can entertain for them individually or collectively less personal respect than I do, and yet I do give them credit for more sincerity and intelligence than is consistent with the idea that in obtaining power they will refuse to exercise it for the only purpose for which they professed to seek it. I do believe that with all their meanness and duplicity they do hate slavery and slaveholders quite as much as they say they do, and that no argument addressed to their hearts or judgments in behalf of the constitutional rights of the South
would receive the slightest consideration.
What might be effected by an appeal to their fears and cupidity I will not now stop to discuss.
In the nomination of Mr. Lincoln
for the Presidency the Black Republicans
gave still more pointed expression to their views and feelings on the subject of slavery.
had neither the record nor the reputation of a statesman.
Holding sentiments even more odious than those of Seward
, he was indebted to the comparative obscurity of his position for a triumph over his better known competitor.
By the boldness and ability with which Mr. Seward
had advocated the doctrines of the "higher law" and the "irrepressible conflict," he had exhibited to the public a character so infamous that even Black Republicans would not hazard the use of his name.
To find a candidate of the same principle and less notoriety was the great work to be performed by the Chicago Convention.
That only was successfully discharged in the selection and nomination of Mr. Lincoln
He closes as follows:--
The facts and considerations which I have endeavored to bring to your view present the propriety of resistance on the part of the South
to the election of Lincoln
in a very different light from the mere question of resisting the election of a President who has been chosen in the usual and constitutional mode.
It is not simply that a comparatively obscure abolitionist, who hates the institutions of the South
, has been elected President
, and that we are asked to live under the administration of a man who commands neither our respect nor confidence; that the South
contemplates resistance even to disunion.
Wounded honor might tolerate the outrage until by another vote of the people the nuisance could be abated, but the election of Mr. Lincoln
involves far higher considerations.
It brings to the South
the solemn judgment of a majority of the people of every Northern State--with a solitary exception — in favor of doctrines and principles violative of her constitutional rights, humiliating to her pride, destructive of her equality in the Union
, and fraught with the greatest danger to the peace and safety of her people.
It can be regarded in no other light than a declaration of the purposes and intentions of the people of the North
to continue, with the power of the Federal Government
, the war already commenced by the ten nullifying States of the North
upon the institution of slavery and the constitutional rights of the South
To these acts of bad faith the South
has heretofore submitted, though constituting ample justification for abandoning a compact which had been wantonly violated.
The question is now presented, whether longer submission to an increasing spirit and power of aggression is compatible either with her honor or her safety.
In my mind there is no room for doubt.
The issue must now be met or forever abandoned.
Equality and safety in the Union
are at an end, and it only remains to be seen whether our manhood is equal to the task of asserting and maintaining independence out of it. The Union formed by our fathers was one of equality, justice and fraternity.
On the 4th of March it will be supplanted by a Union of sectionalism and hatred.
The one was worthy of the support and devotion of freemen, the other can only continue at the cost of your honor, your safety, and your independence.
Is there no remedy for this state of things but immediate secession?
None worthy of your conservatism has been suggested, except the recommendation of Mr. Buchanan
, of new constitutional guarantees, or rather the clear and explicit recognition of those that already exist.
This recommendation is the counsel of a patriotic statesman.--It exhibits an appreciation of the evils that are upon us, and at the same time a devotion to the Constitution
and its sacred guarantees.
It conforms to the record of Mr. Buchanan
's life on this distracting question — the record of a pure heart and wise head.
It is the language of a man whose heart is overwhelmed with a sense of the great wrong and injustice that has been done to the minority section, mingled with an ardent hope and desire to preserve that Union to which he has devoted the energies of a long and patriotic life.
The difficulty is that there will be no response to it from those who alone have it in their power to act. Black Republicanism is the ruling sentiment at the North
, and by the election of Lincoln
has pronounced in the most formal and solemn manner against the principles which are now commended to the country for its safety and preservation.
As a matter of course they will spurn these words of wisdom and patriotism, as they have before turned their back upon all the teachings of the good and true men of the land, or else they will play with us if their insidious warfare to delude the South
into a false security, that they may the more effectually rivet their iron chains, and thereby put resistance in the future beyond our power.
They have trampled upon the Constitution
, and will prove equally faithless to their pledges.
You ought not, cannot trust them.
It is not the Constitution
and the laws of the United States
which need amendments; but the hearts of the Northern
To effect the first would be a hopeless undertaking, whilst the latter is an impossibility.
If the appeal of the President
was made to brethren of the two sections of the country, we might hope for a different response.
Unfortunately, however, Black Republicanism has buried brotherhood in the same grave with the Constitution
We are no longer brethren dwelling together in unity.
The ruling spirits of the North
are Black Republicans, and between them and the people of the South
there is no other feeling than that of bitter and intense hatred.
Aliens in heart, no power on earth can keep them united.
Nothing now holds us together but the cold formalities of a broken and violated Constitution.
Heaven has pronounced the decree of divorce, and it will be accepted by the South
as the only solution which gives to her any promise of future peace and safety.--To part with our friends at the North
who have been true and faithful to the Constitution
, will cause a pang in every Southern breast, for with them we could live forever peaceably, safety, happily.
Honor and future security, however, demand the separation, and in their hearts they will approve, though they may regret the act.
Fellow-citizens of Georgia
, I have endeavored to place before you the facts of the case in plain and unimpassioned language, and I should feel that I had done injustice to my own connections, and been unfaithful to you, if I did not in conclusion warn you against the dangers of delay, and impress upon you the hopelessness of any remedy for these evils short of secession.
You have to deal with a shrewd, heartless and unscrupulous enemy, who in their extremity may promise anything, but in the end will do nothing.
On the 4th day of March, 1861, the Federal Government
will pass into the hands of the abolitionists.
It will then cease to have the claim either upon your confidence or your loyalty; and in my honest judgment, each hour that Georgia
remains thereafter a member of the Union
, will be an hour of degradation, to be followed by certain, speedy ruin.
I entertain no doubt either of your light or duty to secede from the Union
Arouse, then, all your manhood for the great work before you, and be prepared on that day to announce and maintain your independence out of the Union
, for you will never again have equality and justice in it. Identified with you in heart, feeling and interest, I return to share in whatever destiny the future has in store for our State and ourselves.
The New York Journal of Commerce appeals to Virginia
to act as a mediator in the present crisis:
In the discussion and adoption of every important national measure.
has ever been found in the right place, or not far from it. She took the lead on the question of abolishing the slave trade, as the debates in the Convention
that made the Constitution
She bore her full share in the war of the Revolution, and in the work of forming the Constitution
and gathering the original thirteen scattered and separated colonies into one great State.
In the great nullification struggle of 1832-33 she was ready to act a part worthy of her position and renown.
She sent one of her ablest sons, the late Mr. Leigh
, as a commissioner, or sort of ambassador, to South Carolina
, who pleaded in a masterly manner, in large assemblies of the impetuous people of the Palmetto State
, the cause of Union.
This same mission she has again to perform, and exert her just and honorable influence over the people of all the extreme Southern, or "Cotton States." She can do what no other State can do. And one may address to her the language that was addressed to the Hebrew maiden that had been exalted to the throne of a great monarch: "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
It is true, Virginia
has no Watkins Leigh
in these days; she has no James McDowell
, who would so well have performed such a mission.
But has she not a Hunter, a Millson, a McFarland, a Boteler, a Rives, a Bocock, a Stuart, and many other able and prudent men who are fit for this mission?
Certainly she has. And she has a Winfield Scott
, who has won as many laurels as a peacemaker
as he has as a General;
and this is saying much.
Blessed are the "peacemakers." The greatest of all blessings is their's — the Saviour of men being judge.
Let General Scott
unbuckle the sword and go down and talk
with those fiery children of the ardent South
We cannot doubt his willingness to undertake the mission.
Let him go; let many go, if it be necessary.
And may God bless their noble mission, and save this people from committing the rash and dreadful crime of national suicide.
In the meantime there is a great work to be done at the North
A letter from Columbia, S. C.
The Army bill is now in the Senate.
It lies there like so much dead waste paper and ink. The labors of the House Committee of Military are of no avail, for, singular to relate, the sagacity of the Senate has induced it to take no action on the matter.
It passed the House
by a large majority, and was immediately rushed into the Senate without time to print with the numerous amendments — All the Democrats were able to secure in the way of choosing the military officers
, to lead the army of 10,000, was a concession to the effect that the volunteers who would enlist should be allowed to elect their officers up so far as Colonel
The Governor is authorized to appoint the remainder.
There is yet another Democratic restriction, and that is the selection of Colonel
and all below him in grade by the volunteers from among themselves.
This will effectually cut off a large number of Southern United States Army officers, who are supposed to be inclined to enlist in the cause of South Carolina
The Governor, however, has the power under the bill, of choosing United States Army officers or others for the higher military posts.
The Senate yesterday refused to consider the above bill as passed by the House
It refused to put it in the special order, and it is to all intents dead.
The popular objection against it among the fighting men — the rank and file of the military companies — is very great.
I learn from many in the ranks of the Columbia
military that there are whole battalions ready to volunteer as one body if they are given the election of their own officers, but not one will go in otherwise.
This is the general sentiment of the people throughout the State
The working-men go heart and soul against the bill.
Movement in New York.
of Tuesday says:
A number of our influential merchants assembled in the Mayor
's office yesterday afternoon and held a private meeting for the purpose of considering what action, if any, the city of New York
should take in view of the present perilous condition of our national affairs.
Although the meeting was preliminary, and the proceedings were principally confined to suggestions and consultation, there is reason to believe that the movement contemplated is of an important character, and when fully matured and announced, may prove of invaluable service in restoring harmony and peace to our distracted country.
The meeting was strictly private, so that its proceedings cannot now be publicly made known.
has issued the following call for the Union
meeting in that city:
Citizens of Philadelphia
--At a time when the continuance of our National Union is in peril, and the breaking up of our Confederacy appears to be imminent, it is proper that a loyal people, casting off the spirit of party, should in a special manner avow their unfailing devotion to the Union
and their abiding fidelity to its Constitution and laws.
To this end, by the advice of the Councils of Philadelphia
, I earnestly invite you, laying aside your several callings, to assemble at the State-House
, at noon of Thursday next, that, with an honest sense of your responsibility as American citizens, you may counsel together to avert the danger which threatens our country, and that, relying upon threatens our country, and that, relying upon the favor of Almighty God, you may seek to perpetuate for yourselves and your children the blessings of constitutional liberty.
The Pulpit and the country.
, of Rhode island
, preached a sermon on Sunday evening, at Providence
, in behalf of the Union
The Boston Traveller of Monday has the following:
(Catholic,) yesterday requested his congregation to offer up prayers to Almighty God to preserve the American Union, and in the course of his discourse he characterized our nation as the freest on earth.
Rev. Mr. Johnson
, of Bowdoin Street Church, also prayed for the Union
Other clergymen touched upon the condition of the country.
The Rev. Dr. Dewey
and the Rev. Chandler Robbins
delivered discourses in favor of the nation.
, of Conn.
, and Bishop Meade
, of Va.
, have issued prayers suitable to the crisis.
The free States in the event of a war.
If the Black Republicans
succeed in breaking up the present Confederacy, as seems to be their aim, by forcing the Southern States
to secede, do they expect to have peace at home, in their union of free States?
If they expect such a thing, they will be doomed to a bitter disappointment.
Having the control of the Federal Government
after the 4th of March, they will, unless they make sufficient overtures to the South
, have to decide whether they will allow the Southern States
to secede peacefully, or whether they will resort to coercion and war to keep them in the Union
Should they choose coercion and war, they will have to rely upon Northern armies of invasion.--These armies will have to be raised in the Northern
or free States.
Who will enlist or volunteer?
Not the Democrats, not the Bell-Everett
men, and these comprise the bone and sinew of the North
Nor yet the moderate and conservative men in the Republican
ranks, nor the ranting New England
parsons, nor the Black Republican
editors and orators — they love to quarrel, but leave others to do the fighting.
But suppose the force to be raised — what then?
Will the good and true men of the North
, who have no cause of quarrel with the South
, stand by and see this abolition army of invasion start southward on its mission of murder, treason and rapine?
It will have to conquer here, before it strikes a blow on Southern soil.
A civil war here will have to be put down before the abolition army can commence its Southern crusade.--Philadelphia Pennsylvanian.