The National crisis.

Mayor Wood's Recommendation--Senator Benjamin's late speech — War news from Charleston--Hon. Humphrey Marshall--movement of U. S. Troops--volunteering in South Carolina, &c., &c.

the Republican papers are attempting to impugn the commercial honesty of the South. The figures, however, lay their arguments out. The following table, compiled from the circulars of the mercantile agency of Dun Boyd & Co., shows the number of failures in the free and slave States respectively in 1860.

Free States.Slave States.
Whole number of stores in 1860$162,832$66,990
Whole number of failures in 18602,633943
Liabilities of failed stores61,801,97415,103,271
Failed from lack of mercantile knowledgeIMLS_Dictionary.dic and capacity, fires without insurance, bad debts, trusting out, &c665204
Liabilities of foregoing12,047,7482,630,300
Failed from dissipation, extravagance, gambling, inattention to business, &c.21682
Liabilities of foregoing4,233,2311,282,500
Failed from speculation outsides of legitimate business, overtrading endorsing, &c.1,415454
Liabilities of foregoing30,175,26710,105,271
Liabilities of foregoing7,346,3072,329,300
Compromised their debts at an average of about 30 per cent.55295
Likely to pay in full11049
Liabilities of foregoing6,243,0821,614,262
Average liability to each failure24,61215,910

From the above it will be seen that the slave States not only do pay their debts, but pay them better than any other section of the country. Assuming, as we are entitled to do from this table, that there are two and one-third more stores at the North than in the South, we find that in the free States there has been one failure to every sixty-one stores, and in the slave States only one to every seventy-one, making a difference of about sixteen percent, in favor of the latter. If we take the liabilities as a criterion, we find their amount at the North over four times that at the South.

Mayor Wood on the secession of New York.

Mayor Wood's message to the New York City Council is published. He asserts that the political connection between the people of the city and State has been used by the latter to the injury of the former. He thus concludes.

How we shall rid ourselves of this odious and oppressive connection, it is not for me to determine. It is certain that a dissolution cannot be peaceably accomplished, except by the consent of the Legislature itself. Whether this can be obtained or not, is, in my judgment, not doubtful. Deriving so much advantage from its power over this city, it is not probable that a partisan majority will consent to a separation — and the resort to force by violence and revolution must not be thought of for an instant. We have been distinguished as an orderly and law abiding people. Let us do nothing to forfeit this character, or to add to the present distracted condition of public affairs.

And, no doubt can be said in favor of the justice and policy of a separation. It may be said that secession or revolution in any of the United States would be a subversion of all Federal authority, and, so far as the Central Government is concerned, the resolving of the community into its original elements — that, if part of the States form new combinations and governments, other States may do the same.--California, and her sisters of the Pacific, will no doubt set up an independent Republic, and husband their own rich mineral resources. --The Western States, equally rich in cereals and other agricultural products, will probably do the same.

Then it may be said, why should not New York City, instead of supporting, by her contributions in revenue, two-thirds the expense of the United States, become also equally independent? As a free city, with but a nominal duty on imports, her local government could be supported without taxation upon her people. Thus we could live free from taxes and have cheap goods nearly duty free. In this she would have the whole and united support of the Southern States as well as of all other States to whose interests and rights, under the Constitution, she has always been true.

It is well for individuals or communities to look every danger square in the face, and to meet it calmly and bravely. As dreadful as the severing of the bonds that have hither to united the States has been in contemplation, it is now apparently a stern and inevitable fact. We have now to meet it with all the consequences, whatever they may be. If the Confederacy is broken up, the Government is dissolved, and it behooves every distinct community as well as every individual to take care of themselves.

When disunion has become a fixed and certain fact, why may not New York disrupt the bands which bind her to a venal and corrupt master — to a people and a party that have plundered her revenues, attempted to ruin her commerce, taken away the power of self government, and destroyed the Confederacy of which she was the proud Empire City? Amid the gloom which the present and prospective condition must cast over the country, New York, as a free city, may shed the only light and hope for a future reconstruction of our once blessed Confederacy.

Yet I am not prepared to recommend the violence implied in these views. In stating this argument in favor of freedom, "peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must," let me not be misunderstood. The redress can be found only in appeals to the magnanimity of the people of the whole State. The events of the past two months have no doubt effected a change in the popular sentiment of the State on National politics. This change may bring us the desired relief, and we may be able to obtain a repeal of the laws to which I have referred, and a consequent restoration of our corporate rights.

Fernando Wood, Mayor.
January 6, 1861.

The speech of Senator Benjamin.

A Washington letter to the Philadelphia Bulletin, describing the manner of Senator Benjamin, in delivering his great speech, last week, says:

‘ He summed up his argument very calmly, read from a written paper, in a measured, legal tone, the causes of differences, and then concluded. This conclusion fell like a telling shot. He spoke coolly of the approaching dissolution of the Union, and the contest that might ensue. He enumerated the horrors of civil war; alluded to the probability of the South not being able to defend herself. It was all repeated over as calmly as had been his authorities.

’ He stood in a simple position, between two desks, one foot crossed over the other: no attitude, no gesture. As he reached the close, he had one hand in his pocket, the other negligently toying with a vest chain. He balanced his head a little to and fro, in a true professional manner. Only his black eyes showed the emotion he must have felt. They were elongated, as Rachel's sometimes became, when at her stillest, most concentrated points of acting — the quiet curse in Camille for example — scintillating with light; a faint smile, just a little scornful as he said:

‘ "You may set our cities in flames, raising against us not only our own property, but, as Great Britain did in the Revolution, turn loose on our frontiers the savage; but there is one thing you will not do"--here he elevated his eye-brows and said quietly. "you will never subjugate us."

’ He let go of his vest-chain and put his other hand coolly into his pocket, and, as he half turned to take his seat, he added:

‘ "An enslaved and servile race you can never make of us, never, never, never!"

’ This reiteration of the word "never" was as free from emotion as if he had been insisting on some simple point of law, which could not be decided in any different way; but free from emotion as it was, it produced the greatest effect. The whole gallery on all sides burst out as in one voice, in uncontrollable applause.

The Florida forts taken.

The following is an extract from a letter, dated Fernandina, Florida, Jan. 5th:

‘ "An order came from the Governor this afternoon at three o'clock, and the Everglade will leave here at midnight for St. Augustine, to have the fort there taken, and to bring us some guns and small arms.

"The messenger from the Government reports that the Ordinance of Secession will be ready to be read and passed in Convention on Monday, the 7th inst. Our people here and elsewhere in the State are ripe for secession. The good faith with which the people of South Carolina have acted, and the perfidious act of the Federal authorities, has given additional strength to Florida to fight and win her battles."

’ The Charleston Mercury since learned that a detachment of the Fernandina Volunteers has executed promptly the order of Governor Perry.

"blue lights" in South Carolina.

The Charleston Courier, of Monday, has the following paragraph:

‘ There is, or has been, some illicit communications between this city and Fort Sumter.--All interested will look out for blue lights or other irregular signals.

The reported sailing of the Star of the
West with troops.

The N. Y. Express, alluding to the report that the Star of the West from that port Sunday took 200 U. S. troops for Charleston, says:

‘ Our reporter proceeded to the office of the California Steamship Company, and having seen Mr. M. O. Roberts, the owner of the Star of the West, inquired of him if that steamer had been chartered by the Government, and had taken troops or marines on board for Charleston. He replied that the vessel had not been chartered by the Government, and that he knew of no troops having been taken on board. On our reporter questioning the gentleman if the passages of troops might not have been purchased privately, he declined to reply, stating that he did not inquire into the private business of the editors of the Express, and that he was entitled to similar respect. Our reporter withdrew, and then proceeded to the office of the Quartermaster of the United States Army in State street. In reply to his question, one of the officers said that the statement that three hundred marines had left the Navy Yard, and gone on board of the Star of the West, for Charleston, must be false, as there were not three hundred marines in barracks from New York to Maine. The statement was wholly discredited at that office.

Hon. Humphrey Marshall on the crisis.

Hon. Humphrey Marshall, of Ky., has written a letter, taking the ground of "fighting in the Union." He concludes thus:

‘ I am willing to afford all reasonable time to the people of the free States to reconsider, to counsel together, to determine finally, and to act. I would prefer that Kentucky would arm, if need be, until her sons present their whole body in a vast military array; until her hills upon the frontiers are crowned with an unbroken line of entrenchments; until her homesteads are only magazines of war, and her hearth-stones are fiery retorts for the manufacture of deadly missiles, before I would either pull down the stars and stripes from her flag, or pronounce her retirement from the Union, into which she was introduced as the first child of the Revolution.

’ If we cannot have this Union and our rights in it, after negotiation — if disunion must come, then let us pick up our household gods, but let us not try to found a new Troy at Lati — Let us stand by Kentucky and keep the vestal fire of the old Independence — the true spirit of the old compact sacred within her walls, as the guidon for a new alignment of patriotism. The urn which bore the ashes of Virginia recalled the senses of her father — the torn banners of our republic may yet be a sufficient sign to the American people to wake them from madness, and to restore them to order and to virtue.

War news from Charleston.

The Charleston Mercury of Monday furnishes the following items of military news there:

‘ Yesterday afternoon, when copies of our special dispatches from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Washington, reached Fort Moultrie, the glad tidings they contained were greeted by the garrison with buzzes that made the welkin ring. We fancy that the benighted folks in Fort Sumter were rather puzzled to know what their Palmetto neighbors were cheering at.

’ The Surgeon-General returns his grateful thanks to the ladies of Charleston for the continued supplies they are daily sending to his department. To the ladies of Columbia he also tenders his best thanks for several boxes of sacks, bandages and lint.

The Surgeon-General yesterday visited the hospitals in the harbor, and found that among upwards of twelve hundred volunteers, there is no case of sickness.

An order from the Quartermaster's Department acknowledges the receipt from the country of twenty-four quarters of beeves, a crate of vegetables, and fresh meat, bed slips, &c.; some of them sent by ladies.

Volunteering in South Carolina.

The Columbia (S. C.) Guardian, of Sunday, has the following description of the style in which the State troops are volunteering for service:

‘ In conformity to orders from headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, the 23d Regiment paraded on Saturday, for the purpose of raising three volunteer companies--one from the Independent Volunteer Battalion, and one each from the upper and lower battalions of the regiment. It speaks well for the patriotism of the District that this regimental parade was one of the largest we have seen.--After arriving on the field, the Governor's orders were read by Major Wood. Brigadier General Wallace then addressed the regiment, expressing his high gratification at the large turn-out. He spoke some time upon the existing state of affairs, but said that it required no urging upon the men before him to respond to the call of the Governor. At the close of his remarks he claimed the privilege of being enrolled as the first volunteer. He was followed by Col. Lorick, Maj. Wood and Adjutant Peck, who also enrolled their names.

’ The order was given for volunteers to march four paces to the front, and was responded to most handsomely. Capt. Casson promptly tendered his command of 120 men to the Colonel, and was accepted as the company from the Volunteer Battalion. Lieut. Brennan, commanding the Emmet Guards, whose whole command had also marched to the front, in some appropriate remarks, tendered his corps. The Richland Guards, Capt. E. F. Bookter, numbering 100 rifles, also tendered his company. Thus there were more companies than could be accepted from the Volunteer Battalion. When it is remembered that this battalion has already two companies — over 200 men — in Charleston, it must be taken as the strongest evidence that the officers and men composing it are not merely holiday soldiers, but prepared — aye, eager — to be called into active service, in defence of their State.

The two remaining companies from the upper and lower battalions were made up without difficulty. The first-named had more volunteers than were necessary, and the latter had already an efficient company, raised by Dr. Ray, besides those who volunteered on the field. Richland District has done her duty nobly. With a voting population of about one thousand five hundred, she has this day on duty, and waiting orders, not less than one thousand men. What district will beat her.

Hoisting the United States flag at Fort

One of the men who recently returned from Fort Sumter details an incident that took place there on Major Anderson taking possession. It is known that the American flag, brought away from Fort Moultrie, was raised at Sumter precisely at noon on the 27th ult., but the incidents of that "flag raising" have not been related. A short time before noon Major Anderson assembled the whole of his little force, with the workmen employed on the fort, around the foot of the flag-staff. The national ensign was attached to the cord, and Major Anderson holding the end of the lines in his hands, knelt reverently down. The officers, soldiers and men clustered around, many of them on their knees, all deeply impressed with the solemnity of the scene. The chaplain made an earnest prayer — such an appeal for support, encouragement and mercy as one would make who felt that "man's extremity is God's opportunity." As the earnest, solemn words of the speaker ceased, and the men responded Amen, with a fervency that perhaps they had never before experienced, Major Anderson drew the "Star Spangled Banner" up to the top of the staff, the band broke out with the national air of "Hail Columbia," and loud cheers, repeated again and again, were given by the officers, soldiers and workmen.

Movement of U. S. Troops.

A detachment of United States Dragoons, unmounted, reached here yesterday afternoon, at one o'clock, per Northern Central Railway, for the U. S. Cavalry Barracks, Carlisle, Pa., on route for Harper's Ferry, where they will remain subject to the orders of the Secretary of War. They numbered 64 men, including rank and file, and notwithstanding they are nearly all recruits, yet there are a number of experienced military men amongst them.--Lieut. Jones was in command, with Orderly Sergeant Wm. Kelly, and Sergeants McGee and O'Brien. They were accompanied by several buglers, but marched through the streets without music, and bore the impress of real soldiers. Blankets were folded in their knapsacks, and with the heavy overcoats strapped above, they looked like men ready for the practical operations of war. They left here in the 4 o'clock. Western train, and during their brief stay in the Monumental City were visited by a number of our military. Balt. American.

Garrisoning Fort Washington.

The Alexandria Gazette, of Monday says much excitement was created in that city on Saturday night, from the Government ordering a garrison to Fort Washington, a few miles below Alexandria, which for several years has been unoccupied. Col. Stuart, of the 175th regiment, immediately informed Gov. Letcher that a body of Federal troops had passed through the jurisdiction of Virginia, for the purpose indicated.

Fort Washington is a bastioned work, inaccessible to escalade in the rear, and protected from assault in front by a ditch, which is commanded in all its parts by flank fires of grape and cannister. The greater part, if not all, of its armament is understood to be at the work, and most of it is in position, ready for service, and the magazines is also understood to the amply supplied with all the munitions necessary for its greatest efficiency.

Horrible death from hydrophobia.

George Toppan, Jr., a merchant of Boston, died on Sunday morning last, of hydrophobia. The Traveller gives the following account of the case:

‘ About three months ago, he was in at the office of Whittier's wharf, when he was bitten by a pet dog — quite a small one. The dog was on the top of a safe, close to the desk, and one of Mr. Whittier's children had been caressing it but a moment before. While conversing with his friend, in reference to a paper laying on his desk, Mr. Toppan laid his hand on the safe or table and leaned over to look closer at the paper, when the little animal sprang up suddenly and bit him in the upper lip. Two physicians were consulted at the time, and though only an impression had been made on the outer skin, yet an examination revealed a puncture from the dog's tooth in the inner surface of the lip. The wound was cauterized, and certain remedies taken, and as weeks passed on all fears in the matter eventually subsided. The dog had not shown any symptoms of madness, and the physicians, after due attention to the subject, gave their opinion to that effect. The beast was, however, tied up for some days, and being troublesome and noisy, was eventually killed.

’ On Thursday last, Mr. Toppan felt unwell in the morning. The feeling rather increased towards night, but Mr. Toppan gave no serious thought to it. Of all things he had no suspicion that he was to be the victim of hydrophobia. He slept that night pretty much as usual. On Friday morning, he arose, and went to the wash bowl or sink in the corner of the room. Soon as his eye rested on the water he dropped down in a spasm. His alarmed wife called for help, and the moment Mr. Toppan slightly revived, he exclaimed, in a despairing tone. "I am a gone man." The nature of his affliction had burst upon his mind in an instant in connection with that unmistakable symptom of spasms at the sight of water.

The other usual characteristics of hydrophobia rapidly appeared. All day Friday he was confined to his bed. The spasms increased in violence. Four of the best physicians were called in to consult upon the case. Every remedy that circumstances suggested was applied to alleviate the symptoms, but they all felt the uselessness of remedies. It was a strongly marked and undoubted case of hydrophobia, rapidly hastening to a fatal result.

During Friday night, at intervals, it required several men to hold Mr. Toppan during the spasms, and in the morning it was found necessary to send to the police station for policemen, with manacles, to secure him to the bedstead, so violent were the contortions, to prevent him bruising himself, or doing injury to those around him. This disease, it is well known, induces the patient to bite, like a dog, and the bite, in most cases, would be dangerous. While in the spasms, during the night, he seemed endowed with the strength of a giant, but in the intervals of exhaustion between each, he was evidently growing weaker and weaker, and frequently fully sensible of his condition. At half-past 2 o'clock, on Sunday morning, Mr. Toppau died. Some two hours before his death his struggles ceased, and he appeared insensible to pain and the attentions which were bestowed upon him. His throat seemed filled with phlegm, like a person dying with consumption.

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