The National crisis.

interesting Items — return of the U. S. Frigate Brooklyn to Norfolk — letter from General Lane--Fort Pulaski--affairs in Caroline, &c., &c.

The Charleston papers publish the fact communicated by Hon. C. G. Memminger, that a citizen of Georgia, who does not want his name known, has given $2,000 to the State of South Carolina.

The United States revenue cutter J. C. Dobbin, which was seized at Savannah by the Georgiana, arrived at Norfolk on Tuesday morning, and sailed for Baltimore that evening.

The Columbia (S. C.) papers announce officially that the small-pox has disappeared from that city.

The representation in the Georgia Convention is thus classed: For immediate secession, 175; for co-operation, 95; not certain, 8, and 11 counties to hear from.

Capt. W. B. Shabrick, late of the U. States Navy, died at Pendleton, S. C., on Monday last. He entered the service June 20, 1806, and resigned his commission recently to take service under his native State. He had seen much service, having received several dangerous wounds in the face and head in battle.

The steamer Star of the South, which arrived at Savannah Sunday, from New York, carried $75,000 worth of arms, chiefly rifles and revolvers.

It is stated that in consequence of the obstructions in Charleston harbor, the steamers formerly plying between that port and New York will hereafter go to Savannah, and have their cargoes transported to Charleston over the Charleston and Savannah Railroad.

The inner defence of Norfolk harbor.

The Norfolk Day Book, noticing the position of Carney Island, on which a memorable battle was fought by Virginians, says:

‘ This little island is situated about five miles from Norfolk, on the southern bank, and commands the mouth of Elizabeth River or entrance to the inner harbor of Norfolk. The blockhouse that was constructed prior to the last war is still standing, and its location is indicated by the octagon dot on the western end of the island. The embankment or fortifications that was thrown up in June, 1813, and behind which our gallant defenders fought the memorable battle of Craney Island, is still standing, an immense monument of the brave spirits that fought in that spirited encounter with the British. Around the blockhouse the bank or fortification is given, but it would be well to state that time and the elements have conspired to beat them down to less than half their former height.

Craney Island was the key to the inner harbor of Norfolk, and the resolute stand taken by the American forces at the time the British fleet entered Hampton Roads, saved Norfolk from falling into the hands of the enemy.--Craney Island occupies the same position to-day it did then, and is to-day as much the key to our inner harbor as it ever was; the blockhouse now stands, and a portion of the embankments are there. A little expense would put them in good repair, and a few forty-two-pounders would prevent the passage of a hostile ship.

It is but justice to a gallant soldier to remark that the fortifications on this island, as indicated above, were constructed under the direction of Col. Armistead, at the instance of Major General Wade Hampton. Of the two artillery companies, which did such dreadful execution in that battle, one was commanded by Capt. Arthur Emerson, of Portsmouth.

Return of the U. S. Frigate Brooklyn to Norfolk.

The return of the U. S. steam-frigate Brooklyn to Norfolk, on Tuesday, has been noticed. The sealed orders were not opened until she got to sea, and none of the crew knew that she was going beyond Hampton Roads. The Day Book says:

‘ She went down the coast to Charleston harbor, and would have gone in, or, at least, would have attempted it, but for the fact that just as she got off the mouth of the river she met and spoke a small, rough-looking schooner coming out, said schooner carrying no flag.

"Where are you bound." was asked by one of the officers of the Brooklyn.

"Philadelphia," answered the schooner — The schooner then imparted the intelligence that the Star of the West had attempted to enter the harbor, and had eighteen or twenty shots fired into her, and she thought it imprudent for the Brooklyn to venture in.

’ The Brooklyn rounded too and was surprised to see that the schooner did not proceed to sea. It was also observed that a steamer came out of the harbor and talked with the schooner, and then took her in tow until she was some distance from the Brooklyn. The steamer finally went back, and the schooner made her way leisurely into the harbor. It now occurred to those on board the Brooklyn that the sailors on the schooner wore black silk hats, standing collars, store clothes, &c., and the impression soon prevailed that the schooner was one of the guard vessels that had been sent out to intercept the Brooklyn. The Brooklyn made no attempt to enter the harbor, but remained outside until she started homeward. She arrived in Hampton Roads about dark last night, and came to anchor under the guns of Fortress Monroe in or near the spot occupied by the Great Eastern when she was off Old Point.

It is a little remarkable that none of the guns on the Brooklyn were loaded, or even unlashed for the purpose, nor was the slightest preparation for action made on board during the whole cruise. The sailors on board were divided in sentiment, some being Southern men in sentiment, while others were influenced by Northern feelings. As for the officers, nothing could be gained from them — they were perfectly mum on all the various subjects connected with the ship or her cruise, and if they discussed the subject at all, they did so privately. The two officers who sent in their resignations the day before the Brooklyn sailed, were on board during the whole cruise. The acceptance of their resignations had not been received up to the sailing of the Brooklyn, and they were compelled to remain on board until they were absolved from their oaths of office.

We find the following dispatch in the Augusta Constitutionalist of Sunday:

Washington, Jan. 12.--Seward's speech puts an end to all hope of adjustment.

The Columbia (S. C.) Guardian says:

‘ We learn from a private source that on Friday eleven guns and gun-carriages were sent down to Morris' Island, and four placed in the battery at the lower part of the island.--The Washington Light Infantry and another company have been sent to Bird's Key, which commands the point between Morris' Island and Edison river, for the purpose of preventing the landing of hostile troops. The water here is deep enough to admit the Brooklyn.

Letter from Gen. Lane.

The annexed letter is in response to one written by a gentleman of Madison county, immediately after the first day's action of the Virginia Legislature:

Washington, Jan. 12th, 1861.
N. W. Crisler, Esq.:

Dear Sir
--I received your favor of the 9th inst., and return you my thanks for the kind manner in which you express yourself with regard to my defence of the rights of the States. Although I have only performed my duty, it is gratifying to know I have the approbation of my fellow citizens for that.

I am pleased to receive such evidences of decided prompt action and of determination in the glorious Old Dominion. How, indeed, could Virginia, with such a halo of historic glory around her, and with such a brave and noble race of people, act in any other way: I am sure the language of your letter is the voice of the whole State. Let that be trumpeted forth to the North, and the fanatics and aggressors will hesitate before they attempt to carry out their threats of coercion.

I hope this country may be spared the horrors of war, and that neither you or I may be required to draw the sword in defence of right.

I think the action of Virginia, if prompt and decided as I believe it will be, will prevent war. Still it is wise to be prepared for defence. I appreciate highly your complimentary offer on your own behalf and in behalf of your company. I hope no such service may be needed. I shall bear in mind, however, your expressions.

As to the present crisis, I remark, in a few words, that it can only be settled peaceably by the South being united and firm.

If peace be preserved, we may hope for a reconstruction of the Government on a firm foundation and for a glorious future.

Let, then, the South be united, and act firmly and without delay, and there will be no more talk of "rebels" and "coercion."

I am, respectfully, your obd't. serv't.

Joseph Lane.

Fort Pulaski.

The Savannah News, noting the preparations for defence at Fort Pulaski, now in the hands of Georgia State troops, says:

‘ All the heavy guns in the casemates have been mounted, the carriages in many cases having been entirely removed. Guns were being placed in the bastions and on the parapet, and the motes have been thoroughly excavated. This latter work has been performed by some three hundred rice-field negroes, sent by the planters in the vicinity, and who have labored cheerfully under the immediate direction of Capt. Screven, of the Guards, so at least we judged from the evidences which the Captain's fatigue uniform gave of his familiarity with the mud. The moats were nearly filled with the deposits of the tides for years, and grown up with rank grass. To remove this has been a very laborious job, which, at this season, could hardly have been performed by any other than rice-field hands. The large force employed have accomplished it effectually. The Guards, Blues and Oglethorpes at the guns are rapidly becoming good artillerists. The marksmanship displayed by them in nine trial shots with 32-pounders, gave satisfactory evidence of their skill in gunnery.--The Samson took down, besides a large quantity of shell and round shot, cast in our city foundries, some twenty or thirty boxes of Maynard rifles. Each day the tug is freighted with ammunition, shot and other munitions so that now there is no deficiency in that respect.

The "treason" decision in New York.

Judge Smalley, of New York, charges his Grand Jury that the individuals concerned in the seizure of the Federal forts, and other property at Charleston, in the name and under the authority of South Carolina, are guilty of high treason, as also are all parties in any other State similarly offending; and that any individual owing allegiance to the United States, in New York or elsewhere, who shall furnish these declared Southern traitors "with arms or munitions of war, vessels or other means of transportation, or any materials which will aid the traitors in carrying out their traitorous purposes, with a knowledge that they are intended for such purpose," or any person guilty of "inciting or encouraging others to engage in on aid the traitors in any way," is clearly liable to be indicted, tried, convicted and executed as a traitor — for death is the penalty of treason.

Affairs in Caroline.

There was a large turn out at Bowling Green, Caroline county, Virginia, Tuesday.--A meeting was held and the Court instructed (and the instructions were obeyed) to issue its bonds at one, two and three years for $10,000, wherewith to arm the county. It was also unanimously resolved by the meeting that the interests of Virginia were all with the South, and that she should secede before the 4th of March. A committee was then appointed from each magisterial district to nominate a candidate to represent the county in the proposed Convention, and E. T. Morris was unanimously nominated. He accepted the nomination and fully endorsed the action of the meeting. T. N. Welch, and E. C. Moncure, each announced himself as independent candidates.

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