The National Crisis.

a Republican proposition--Gov. Hicks and the Maryland Senate--correspondence between Gen. Coombs and Horace Greeley — aid for South Carolina--Major Anderson, &c., &c.

Mr. Sherman's plan of compromise.

Mr. Sherman, Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, and the acknowledged leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, in a letter addressed to and read at a Republican meeting in Philadelphia on Friday night, proposes the following settlement of the Territorial question:

‘ Without surrendering our convictions in the least, we may now dispose of the whole Territorial controversy by the exercise of unquestioned Congressional power. The only Territory south of the line, except that which by treaty with Indian tribes cannot be included within the jurisdiction of a State, is New Mexico. She has now population enough for admission as a State.

’ Let Congress admit her as a State, and then she has the acknowledged right to form, regulate, change or modify her domestic institutions. She now has a nominal slave code framed, and urged upon her by Territorial officers. Practically, slavery does-not exist there. It can never be established there.

In a region where the earth yields her increase only by the practice of irrigation, slave labor will not be employed. At any rate, it is better to settle all questions about slavery there by admitting the Territory as a State.

While a Territory, it is insisted that slavery shall be protected in it. We insist that Congress may prohibit it, and that the people have an undisputed right to exclude slaves. Why not, by terminating their territorial condition, determine this controversy. The same course might now properly be adopted with all the Territories of the United States.

In each of the Territories there are, now, small settlements scattered along the lines of transit. Within five years, the least populous will contain sufficient population for a representative in Congress. Dacotah, Washington, Nevada and Jefferson, are destined soon to be as familiar to us as Kansas and Nebraska.

It is well worthy the consideration of the old States, whether it is not better to dispense with all Territorial organizations — always expensive and turbulent — and, at once, to carve the whole into States of convenient size, for admission. This was the Jeffersonian plan, which did not contemplate Territories, but States. It was also sanctioned by General Taylor, and, but for his death, would have been adopted.

This is an easy, effectual remedy, within the power of Congress, and in its nature an irrevocable fact. There is no necessity of an amendment to the Constitution. It is not at all probable that two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and three-fourths of the States can agree to any amendments.

Why attempt it, unless to invite new conquests, new acquisitions, to again arouse sectional animosities? We know that if Mexico is acquired the South will demand it for slavery, and the North for free institutions.--We must forego, for the present, new conquests, unless the love of acquisition is stronger than the love of domestic peace.

Mr. Sherman closes his letter with the following observations:

‘ Without disrespect to South Carolina, it would be easy to show that Shay's rebellion and the Whiskey insurrection involved the Government in greater danger than the solitary secession of South Carolina. But the movement becomes imposing, when we are assured that several powerful States will very soon follow in the lead of South Carolina, and when we know that other States still more powerful sympathise with the seceding States to the extent of opposing, and perhaps resisting, the execution of the laws in the seceding States.

’ In this view of the present condition of public affairs, it becomes the people of the United States seriously to consider whether the Government shall be arrested in the execution of its undisputed powers by the citizens of one or more States, or whether we shall test the power of the Government to defend itself against dissolution. Can a separation take place without war? It so, where will be the line? Who shall possess this magnificent capital, with all its evidences of progress and civilization? Shall the mouth of the Mississippi be separated from its sources? Who shall possess the Territories; suppose these difficulties to be overcome; suppose that in peace we should huckster and divide up our nationality, our flag, our history — all the recollections of the past; suppose all these difficulties overcome, how can two rival Republics, of the same race of men, divided only by a line or a river, for thousands of miles, with all the present difficulties aggravated by separation, avoid forays, disputes, and war?

How can we travel our future march of progress in Mexico, or on the high seas, or on the Pacific slope, without collision? It is impossible. To peaceably accomplish such results we must change the nature of man. Disunion is war! God knows I do not threaten it, for I will seek to prevent it in every way possible. I speak but the logic of facts, which we should not conceal from each other. It is either hostilities between the Government and the seceding States; or, if separation is yielded peaceably, it is a war of factions — a rivalry of insignificant communities, hating each other and contemned by the civilized world. If war results, what a war it will be! Contemplate the North and South in hostile array against each other. If these sections do not know each other now, they will then.

We are a nation of military men, naturally turbulent because we are free — accustomed to arms, ingenious, energetic, brave and strong. The same qualities that have enabled a single generation of men to developed the resources of a continent, would enable us to destroy more rapidly than we have constructed. It is idle for individuals of either section to suppose themselves superior in military power. The French and English tried that question for a thousand years. We ought to know it now. The result of the contest would not depend upon the first blow or the first year, but bloodshed in civil war will yield its baleful fruit for generations.

How can we avert a calamity at which humanity and civilization shudder? I know no way but to cling to the Government framed by our fathers, to administer it in a spirit of kindness, but in all cases, without partiality, to enforce the laws. No State can release us from the duty of obeying the laws. The ordinance or act of a State is no defence for treason, nor does it lessen the moral guilt of that crime.--Let us cling to each other in the hope that our differences will pass away, as they often have in times past. For the sake of peace, for the love of civil liberty, for the honor of our name, our race, our religion, let us preserve the Union, loving it better as the clouds grow darker. I am willing to unite with any man, whatever may have been his party relations, whatever may be his views of the existing differences, who is willing to rely on the Constitution as it is for his rights, and who is willing to maintain and defend the Union under all circumstances against all enemies, at home or abroad.

Pardon me, gentlemen, for writing you so fully. I feel restrained, by the custom of the House of Representatives, from engaging there in political debate; and yet I feel it is the duty of every citizen to prepare his countrymen for grave events, that will test the strength and integrity of the Government.

Believing that our only safety is in a firm enforcement of the laws, and that Mr. Lincoln will execute that duty without partiality, I join my hearty congratulations with yours that he is so soon to be the President of the United States. With great respect,

I remain very truly, your obedient serv't,

John Sherman.

Address of the Maryland Senators to Gov. Hicks.

The following address, signed by the members of the Maryland Senate, has been sent to Gov. Hicks, of that State:

Baltimore, Dec. 28th, 1860.
To His Excellency Thos. Holliday Hicks,
Governor of the State of Maryland:
--The undersigned, Senators of Maryland, looking to the present disastrous condition of political affairs, and sincerely desirous that the peace of the country, the union of the States, and the rights of the South in the Union, shall be preserved and maintained, respectfully ask that your Excellency will, at the earliest practicable time, convene the Legislature of the State, in order that they may take such steps as shall to them seem most conducive to the interest of the people of Maryland, and promotive of harmony between the two sections of the country.

If we understand the position of your Excellency in the different letters which you have written upon the subject, and which have been published, it is that while opposed to secession for existing causes, and devotedly attached to the Union as the palladium of our rights and liberties as a people, you are fully alive to the endangered condition of that Union, and are prepared to act whenever, in your judgment, the time for action shall arrive. You have stated that in your course hitherto you have had due regard to the actions of the border States of the South, and were prepared to act with them in relation to the present crisis.

We think that a most important and solemn duty has bow devolved upon Maryland and the other border States of the South. They are all, by locality, by interests, by education and natural instincts, conservative, national, and Union-loving.

By their action, united, intelligent and prompt, the glorious Union and Constitution inherited from our ancestors may be saved from impending destruction. We wish to see that effort made. It is the duty of Maryland to put her hand to the work boldly, bravely, and without delay.

We therefore respectfully suggest to your Excellency, that in our judgment the time has come for the voice of Maryland to be heard, and for its conservative tones to be raised in behalf of the preservation of this glorious Union.

Since the last publication which we have seen of your Excellency's views (in reply to the Baltimore Committee,) the Governor of Kentucky has issued a call for the assembling of the Legislature of that State on the 17th of January. That of Virginia, called, it is true, primarily for the consideration of another subject, but its convocation hastened by the present crisis, meets on the 7th of the same month. That of Tennessee, also, we believe, will meet in regular session in a short time; and although we cannot pretend to divine what their action will be, yet it seems to us impossible for Maryland to act with them unless she is promptly put in a condition to do so.

We cannot state what course the Senate would pursue in case the Legislature should be convened; but in view of the fact that the impression has gone abroad among the people of Maryland that the Legislature, if called together by your Excellency, would engage in other matters of legislation than those involved in the present perilous condition of the country, we have no hesitation, after a free and full interchange of sentiment among ourselves, in expressing the opinion that there will be no legislation other than that which especially appertains to the extraordinary crisis which is now upon us; and we are satisfied that the General Assembly, viewing the present alarming condition of affairs as above all party differences, are willing to lay these differences aside and act in accordance with the best dictates of their judgments as citizens of the State, for the preservation of the best interests of her people.

We may add, that from letters received from our fellow-Senators, H. H. Goldsborough, John F. Gardener, Teagle Townsend, S. J. Bradley and David E. Blackstone, we are satisfied that they would, if present, fully endorse the views above expressed.

Correspondence between Gen. Coombs and
Horace Greeley.

The following correspondence has taken place between Gen. Leslie Coombs, of Ky., and Horace Greeley, of the N. Y. Tribune:

Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 23, 1860.
My Dear Sir:
--I have no time or inclination for an argument, much less for controversy with you. You know I am an honest citizen of the United States. I saved Kentucky last August from the power of Southern treason, and I now wish to say a word to you — which must be heeded

The Slave and Territorial question must now — now — be settled on fair and constitutional grounds; or Kentucky--Old Kentucky, the land of soldiers and patriots — will be forced into revolution.--Ninety-nine out of every hundred men in Kentucky demand this easy solution of our troubles.--With this, we can take care of the South, without it they will be civil war — war — and blood; and desolation.

You may think I just, or am alarmed; but I know what I say is true. The coat-of-arms of Kentucky is, two men embracing each other; and her flag motto, "United we stand — divided we fall." And such will be our fate. Throw away all prejudice — everything — I pray you, but love of liberty and your country.


My Dear General:
You are a soldier, and I am not; yet we agree in one thing — frankness. I have as little time or taste for argument as you, and will strive to emulate your directness and brevity.

I agree with you that it is well to settle the disturbing questions you indicate now, and settle them finally.

I propose, then, that we settle the Territorial question on the basis of Mr. Jefferson's proposition reported to Congress in April, 1784--within two months after the Confederation first had any territory to deal with. Mr. Jefferson was one of our greatest Revolutionary statesmen — he was a Virginian — a slaveholder — and especially honored and confided in by Kentucky till his death, which happened forty years afterwards. New York was then a slave State, yet she supported him right heartily; so did sixteen out of the twenty-three members present and voting, though nearly all were from slave States. I propose that we now take up Mr. Jefferson's bill or projected ordinance, adapt and apply it to all the Federal Territories, present and prospective, and thus settle the Territorial question forever. This will give solid and lasting peace to the country, so far as the Territories can affect it.

As to all other Slave questions, I propose as follows:

  1. I. Let each State cherish or prohibit slavery, as it shall see fit.
  2. II. Let each citizen like or dislike Slavery as to him shall seem good, and be at perfect liberty to give his reasons for the faith that is in him.
  3. III. Let every slave-owner manage his own negroes, so long as he shall retain them in some slave State; if any runs out of such State, let the owner be at perfect liberty to persuade or entice him back into servitude, free from any impertinent intermeddling. Should any third party poke his nose into what is none of his business, let the master be at liberty to cowhide him for the intrusion. But let the laws of every free State hold every man free who does not choose to be a slave.
  4. IV. If any person goes from a free into a slave State, and there attempt to stir up a rebellion, or interfere any way between masters and slaves, let him be dealt with as the law of that slave State shall direct.
Such seem to me the essential basis of a settlement of the territorial and slavery question, which I deem essentially fair, just, and reasonable. A settlement on such basis would be repugnant to no moral sense, would leave no room for heart-burnings, and would be essentially indestructible. If you will give it your support, no effort of mine shall be wanting to ensure its success.

Letter from Major Anderson.

We have been furnished by a gentleman of Baltimore, (says the Baltimore Exchange) with the following letter from the commander of the United States forces at Charleston. As anything from that quarter is of interest, we lay it before our readers:

Fort Moultrie, S. C., Dec. 25, 1860.
Dear Sir:
--I thank you for the trouble you were kind enough to take in correcting some of the rumors about me. You are right in the opinion that I could not, and would not, say anything contradictory of them. My plan always has been to try to do my duty honestly and fully, and to trust that in the good sense of justice of the people they would give me credit for good intentions, even if my judgment should turn out not to have been good.

I must confess that I regret that the papers are making so much of my position here. I do not deserve the least credit for what I am doing; nothing more than any one else would do in my position; and perhaps not done half so well as many others would do. I receive, nearly by every mail, letters of sympathy, and many of them from strangers.

I hope that it will not be long before something will occur to give me a chance of being relieved from my present position.

Thanking you for your kind remembrance of me, I am, truly yours.

Robert Anderson.
To-- --, Esq., Baltimore.

Major Anderson's reply to the Charleston authorities.

The Wilmington (N. C.) Herald says:

‘ After Major Anderson removed to Fort Sumter, Gov. Pickens sent Col Pettigrew and Major Capers down to him with a dispatch.--The Courier says his reply had not transpired, but we learn that a gentleman who arrived here yesterday from Charleston says that Major Anderson received the above-named gentlemen courteously, and stated to them that he had acted upon his own responsibility, and for security — that he deprecated the necessity for it, and hoped no attack would be made upon him — that he should hate to turn his guns upon his countrymen, but, unless commanded by the Government of the United States, he would never surrender the post while he lived, and that if an attack was made upon him, he hoped the first shot fired at the fort would pierce his heart. It is said he has one year's provisions in the fort, and over two hundred men.

Aid for South Carolina.

The news from South Carolina received during the last three or four days, has produced universal excitement among our citizens, and we have yet to hear of but few persons who do not fully sympathise with the people of the gallant Palmetto State in their determination to throw off the Black Republican rule. On the receipt of the first news, concerning the evacuation of Fort Moultrie by the U. S. troops and a probable collision with the South Carolinians, about fifty of our young men, determined and true, promptly enrolled themselves, under a pledge to leave at a moment's warning, for Charleston, prepared to render whatever aid and service they might be called upon to perform in defence of South Carolina. The number has since been largely increased, and, were it deemed imperatively necessary, the number could be easily raised to hundreds. We trust there may be no occasion for their services; but should such be the case, from our knowledge of the material, we feel assured that their pledge will be implicitly fulfilled, and that South Carolina will not secure the support of a braver and more chivalrous band.--Lynchburg (Va.) Rep.

preparations for War in Massachusetts
and New Hampshire.

A dispatch to the New York Herald, dated Boston, Dec. 20th, says:

‘ I learn to-day, from the highest authority, that seven thousand troops can be put in marching order on twenty four hours notice, and that one hundred and forty-five thousand men are enrolled in the militia of this State.-- Of this number, twenty thousand could be easily mustered.

Adjutant General Abbott, of New Hampshire, arrived here this afternoon from Washington, and left immediately for Concord, with the intention of recommending to Governor Goodwin that the Granite State be immediately put upon a war footing.

Considerable excitement exists in consequence of the reports that the muskets removed from the Springfield Armory have been distributed over the South. Mr. Whitney, Collector of this port, late Superintendent of the Armory at Springfield, returned from there to-night, having been there, it is supposed, with reference to the report from Washington that twenty thousand muskets have recently been taken from the Armory and sold to Virginia.

The Jews and the Crisis.

The Jewish Messenger, of December 28, makes a strong editorial appeal to the Jews in the United States to observe the 4th proximo as a day of prayer for the preservation of the Union. We regret that our space forbids us to give the article referred to in full, but the following paragraph will afford the reader a good idea of the whole:

‘ As Israelites, we have still weightier inducements to join with our fellow-citizens in observing this day of prayer. The Union, for whose prosperity we ask Divine aid, has been the source of happiness for our ancestors and ourselves. Under the protection of the freedom guaranteed us by the Constitution, we have lived in the enjoyment of full and perfect equality with our fellow-citizens, we are enabled to worship the Supreme according to the dictates of conscience, we can maintain the position to which our abilities entitle us, without our religious opinions being an impediment to advancement. This republic was the first to recognize our claims to absolute equality with men of whatever religious denomination. Here we can sit, "each under his vine and fig tree, with none to make him afraid." The perpetuity of the national existence of this republic being imperilled, let us, then, right heartily join with our fellow-citizens in observing Friday next as a day of prayer and humiliation. Let us assemble in our respective synagogues, and pour fourth in unison our heartfelt supplications, that the Almighty may restore harmony and good will among all the people of this land, and so govern the intellects of those in authority that they may be inspired with wisdom to secure a pacific settlement of whatever difficulties may exist in any section of the county.

The Defection of A. Revenue officer.

The Charleston Courier of Friday states that "Captain N. L. Coste, late of the United States revenue service, in command of the cutter William Aiken, has given official notification of his resignation, and has discharged his crew. The crew, on being notified of the position of Captain Coste, under the late ordinance concerning the customs, promptly volunteered to remain under his command as an officer of South Carolina under that ordinance." We infer from this statement that the Government has lost the cutter as well as her officers and crew.

Proclamation by the Governor of New York.

Albany, Dec. 28.
--Gov. Morgan to-day issued a proclamation for the observance of the 4th of January next as a day of fasting and prayer. He recommends the people of the State on that day to implore the Supreme Ruler of the Universe "to dispel the cloud pregnant with evil which now casts its dark shadow over our land, and that. He will preserve and strengthen those fraternal bonds, and that Union formed in the midst of revolution and cemented with the blood of patriots in the struggle which gave us a name among the nations of the earth, and that He will renew and warm within us those sentiments of love and affection which have hitherto characterized us as a nation."

Attempt at insurrection.

[Special Dispatch to the Charlotte Bulletin.]
Chester, S. C., Dec. 27.
--There was a family residing in Chester, by the name of Hughes, and they were notified to leave the district, on account of their traffic with negroes and other conduct not becoming to gentlemen.

They then settled in York, and lately it was found that they were drilling companies of negroes to raise an insurrection, and the Vigilance Committee got hold of it, and they were arrested, the number being found, and one was shipped to a free State, and the remaining three are in Chester jail, to await a trial due them. They received fifty lashes each, and had half the hair shaved off their heads.

The way it came to be found out was by one of the negroes concerned in it, that told his master that they were going to kill all the men and old women, and take the young ones for wives.

In taking them, several shots were exchanged, but no serious damage was done.

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