The National Crisis.letter from Ex-President John Tyler--letter from the Secretary of War--Verdict of the working Men of New York — Southern Volunteer meeting in Washington — the standing Army of South Carolina--the forts at the South, &c.
Letter from Ex-President Tyler.The Richmond Enquirer, of yesterday, publishes a letter from Ex-President Tyler, containing a legal argument against coercion. In concluding, he says: ‘ It would, indeed, be a retrograde movement if any State should be constrained by force to remain in a Union which it abhorred. In this matter, one might take a lesson from what is passing in the Old World. Italy, after the enthrallment of ages, is admitted to the ballot box, and her States claim and exercise the privilege of selecting the condition of their own future. And, while this is passing, and that, too, with the approbation of all Europe, we are to take a step backward into the dark ages, and carry into practice the exploded doctrine of absolutism in government. If we cannot live together, let us part in peace. By doing so we shall at least save something of the old feeling. It is true, the South will be under the necessity of adopting a rigid system of passports and police, which may prevent the perfect freedom of intercourse which, except in notorious cases, now exists.--But that is no more than other countries have to do, and is entirely protective in its character without being hostile. If necessary, a treaty, offensive and defensive, may be formed, commercial favors and advantages may be received, and much that now exists may be preserved. Pursue a different course, and all may be lost. Strange, indeed, that odious discriminations should be drawn between equals in a common concern. Such was my opinion in 1820, in the discussion on the Missouri question, and such will it ever remain. The talented editors of the "National Intelligencer" gave me an enviable position in certain able articles, written by them in the summer or fall of 1859. They speak of me as being the only member of Congress, at that day, who, in debate, denied to Congress the right to prohibit slavery in the Territories. I stood there then, and I stand there now, not as in my early life alone in debate — but now in my age, sustained as I believe, by the concurrent opinions of a majority of the people of the United States, and leaning on the decision of the Supreme Court as on a staff which no rage of faction can weaken, to convulsion, however serious, can break — Could the able editors have deciphered the thoughts of my inmost heart, they would have found me opposed to Congressional interference in this behalf with the Territories, for other reasons. Even passing over the impolicy of such interference, it was in its best view useless. God's own law of climate had regulated the matter; and let the children of earthly wisdom act as they may, it will still continue to do it. The man who would talk of cultivating the rice and cotton fields, and sugar plantations of the South with free labor, denies to himself the light of observation and experience. Look to the West India Islands--no part of the Globe makes a louder outcry for labor, or offers higher wages than they do, and yet the tide of emigration from Europe sweeps by them in a vast current, which is arrested in its course only by a more Northern and healthy clime. Asia and Africa have to be resorted to for laborers, while the Caucasian of Europe flees, as from a pestilence, the rays of a burning sun, and becomes the cultivator of the rays of a burning sun, and becomes the cultivator of the cereals, or turns herdsman amid the snows of the North. There is but one element that can change, and that but to a limited degree, this law of climate, and that is the price of labor. I need not, therefore, draw the picture of what would be the condition of the slave States, looking to the regular increase of the black population in forty years, under the edict formally announced by the leaders of the Northern dominant party of "no more slave States!" It cannot be contemplated by any Southern man with absolute composure. ’ I will not despair of the good sense of my countrymen. The hope will linger with me to the last, that there is enough of wisdom and patriotism among us to adjust these difficulties, although I frankly confess my doubts and fears. The minority States can do but little more than suggest — the majority States hold in their hands the fate of the Union. I would, by no means, have Virginia to linger by the wayside. On the contrary, I would have her prompt and decisive in her action — she cannot be too prompt or decisive. Before her Convention can meet, full developments of one sort or the other will have been made. She should place herself in position — her destiny, for good or for ill, is with the South.--She was the flag-ship of the Revolution; and borrowing an expression from a recent production of one of her most gifted sons, she should have "springs upon her cables and her broadside to." If I may be permitted to make a suggestion, it would be that the Legislature, without delay, and without interference with its call of a Convention, might inaugurate a meeting of the border States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, slave States; and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, free States, through two Commissioners from each, to arrange, if possible, a programme of adjustment, to be submitted to the other States as conclusive of the whole matter. Should they agree, I think their recommendation would be followed by the other States, and incorporated into the Constitution and placed on the footing of an unalterable compact. Surely no States can be more deeply interested in the work of restoring the country to quiet and harmony. If they cannot agree, then it may safely be concluded that the restoration of peace and concord has become impossible. I would have an early day appointed for the meeting of the Commissioners; so that Virginia, when she holds her Convention, may be in full possession of the result. Even if a failure to agree should occur, I would still have the Southern States, as a dernier resort, upon assembling in Convention, and having incorporated in the present Constitution guarantees going not one foot beyond what strict justice and the security of the South requires, adopt the Constitution of the United States as it now is, and give a broad invitation to the other States to enter our Union with the old flag flying over one and all. When this is done, I would say, in conclusion, to all my countrymen, rally back to the Constitution, thus invigorated and strengthened; and let there, for all time to come, be written on every heart, as a motto — that, under all circumstances and in every condition of things, there is but one post of safety and that is to stand by the Constitution. John Tyler.
Letter from the Secretary of War.
War Department, Jan. 03. 1861.--In answer to your letter asking for information on certain points specified in a resolution adopted by the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives, on the 18th ultimo, I have the honor to state as follows: ‘ According to the latest report of the engineer officer having charge of the construction of the defences of the harbor of Charleston, everything practicable had been done to place Fort Moultrie in an efficient condition, and, with a proper garrison, it was deemed susceptible of an energetic defence. There were then employed at that work one officer and one hundred and twenty workmen, independent of the regular garrison. On the evening of the 26th ultimo, Major Robert Anderson, First Artillery, in command of the troops in Charleston harbor, apprehensive of the safety of his command from the insecurity of the fort, and having reason to believe that the South Carolinians contemplated or were prepared to proceed to a hostile act against him, and desiring to prevent a collision and the effusion of blood, evacuated Fort Moultrie, after leaving orders for spiking the cannon and disabling some of the carriages, and removed his forces to Fort Sumter, where they now are. ’ Castle Pinckney was, at the date of the latest report, in good condition as regards preparation, and, with a proper garrison, as defensible as it can be made. One officer and thirty workmen were engaged in the repair of the cisterns, replacing decayed banquettes and attending to other matters of detail. Since the dates of the reports referred to, Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney have been taken possession of by troops of the State of South Carolina, acting under the orders of the Governor, and are now held by those troops, with all the armament and other public property therein at the time of their seizure. I enclose a statement (No. 1.) of the number and description of ordnance and arms, at the date of the last returns, at Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney and Charleston Arsenal, respectively. That Arsenal, with all its contents, was also taken possession of on the 30th ultimo, by an armed body of South Carolina troops, acting under orders of the Governor of the State, as represented in the following report of Frederick C. Humphreys, military storekeeper of ordnance, in charge, viz: "This Arsenal was taken by force of arms by the militia of South Carolina, by order of Governor Pickens. The commanding officer was allowed to salute his flag before lowering it, with one gun for each State now in the Union, (thirty-two,) and to take it with him, and the detachment to occupy the quarters until instructions from Washington can be obtained." At the time the force under his control consisted of nine enlisted soldiers or ordnance and six hired men. The other information asked for in regard to the number and description of arms "distributed since the first of January, 1860, and to whom, and at what price, " will be found in the accompanying statements, (Nos. 2 and 3,) from the Ordnance Bureau. It is deemed proper to state, in further explanation of statement No. 2, that where no distribution appears to have been made to a State or Territory, or where the amount of the distribution is small, it is because such State or Territory has not called for all the arms due on its quotas, and remains a creditor for dues not distributed, which can be obtained at any time, on requisition therefore.
your ob'dt. serv't.
your ob'dt. serv't.
J. Holt, Secretary of War, ad interim. Hon. Benjamin Stanton, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives. Quantity and Description of Ordnance and arms at Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, and Charleston Arsenal:
|42-pounder iron guns.||-||4||-|
|32-pounder iron guns||14||-||-|
|24-pounder iron guns||16||14||-|
|8-inch iron columbiads||10||-||-|
|8-inch iron sea coast howitzers||5||4||-|
|24-pounder iron flank howitzers||4||-||-|
|12-pounder brass field howitzers||2||-||-|
|6-pounder brass field guns||4||-||-|
|6-pounder old iron field guns||-||-||2|
|24-pounder old iron field howitzers||-||-||5|
|Funt-lock muskets, calibre 69||-||-||502|
|flint lock muskets. Altered to percussion||-||-||5.720|
|percussion muskets, calibre 69||-||-||693|
|percussion rifles, calibre 54||-||-||2,808|
|same, altered, with long range sites||-||-||6|
|flint-lock Hall's rifles||-||-||566|
|percussion rifled carbines||-||-||4|
|To whom sold.||No.||1860. Date of sale.||Arsenals Where sold.|
|J. W. Zacharie & Co.||4,000||Feb. 3,||St. Louis.|
|James T. Ames||1,000||Mar. 14||New York.|
|Capt., G Barry||80||June 11,||St. Louis.|
|W. C. N. Swift||400||Aug. 31,||Spring field.|
|W. C. N. Swift||80||Nov. 13,||Spring field.|
|State of Alabama||1,000||Sep. 27,||Baton Rouge.|
|State of Alabama||2,500||Nov. 14,||Baton Rouge.|
|State of Virginia||5,000||Nov. 6,||Washington.|
|Phillips co., Ark||50||Nov. 16,||St. Louis.|
|G. B. Lamar||10,000||Nov. 24,||Watervliet.|
A letter from a Civil Engineer at Fort
The following, says the Troy Whig, are extracts of a letter from Mr. Follins, a graduate of the Ransselaer Institute, but now in the employ of the "Independent Republic of South Carolina," as Civil Engineer.
The letter was addressed to Mr. E P. Jones: ‘
Under present circumstances my time is taken up at Fort Moultrie, and I may before long be ordered off to erect batteries lower down on the coast, to repel any attempted invasion on the art of the North.
Jim Colt and I expect to be sent off together, for you must know this State has resumed her sovereignty and organized her Army and Corps of Engineers. ’
There is no hope for the Union.
It would be madness for the North to attempt coercion, for though she might attempt to sweep the South, from Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico, she never could restore a Union dismembered by her own madness and folly.
Why, sir, if the worst came to the worst, the very women and children would take up arms in defence of their homes and firesides.
I have not yet met one single individual who was not for instant and everlasting secession.
The time for compromises has past.
Every Northern State may repeal her Personal Liberty bills, without affecting the issue in the least.
The North has snowed a determination to break up this Confederacy.
She has no one to blame but herself.
Any country acknowledging the higher law doctrine, can hold no Constitution sacred, or make any pledge inviolate.
The North is now showing great inconsistency; she would attempt to enslave sovereign States, and yet refuses to allow those States to hold the negro in the sphere designed by Providence.
The truth of the matter is this: Love of power is the main-spring of her policy, to gain which she has resorted to the most dastardly measures, using the negro as a blind.--Let us part in peace — it is all we ask; we may then live side by side in harmony, and continue commercial relations advantageous to both parties; but force war upon us, and it will arouse a hatred which death itself might scarcely subdue.
The fact is, the Union has been dissolved for the last 15 years; the recent acts have only been a confirmation of such dissolution.
All here are ready for the worst, and death or victory is stamped upon the forehead of every Carolina citizen.
We do not want war. We wish to injure no one.--But we shall maintain our independence at all and every hazard."
Verdict of the working Men of New York-- anti-coercion. &c.An enthusiastic demonstration of the working men of New York city, against coercing the Southern States, was held in that city on Tuesday night. The attendance was very large, and the sentiments expressed and resolutions passed were of the most decided character, and show decidedly that the working men of the great commercial metropolis have a due conception of the value of the South, as the great market for their goods and manufactures. South of that point, it is to be hoped a like estimate, at least, will be manifested of the value of the Southern market. As a proof of the soundness of the views held by the New York working men, we annex their resolutions, as follows: ‘ Resolved, That we regard the present movement of several of the Southern States, in resuming the powers they delegated to the General Government, as an effort to preserve our Constitution from being overthrown by Abraham Lincoln, as his party platform requires and demands him to do. ’ Resolved, That we are for the Union--the Union of our fathers; for the Constitution — the glorious charter of our liberties — as expounded by the recognized authority, upon the basis of equal justice, liberty and immunities to all the citizens of all the States. Resolved, That, believing that the people of the Southern States are, and have ever been, content to remain in this Union under the Constitution as originally designed, we deeply sympathize with them in their unwilling resistance to an incoming Administration, which, by a perverted and unauthorized construction of the Constitution, tends to destroy their peace, welfare and happiness. Resolved, That we are firmly and unalterably opposed to any and every attempt on the part of the Government or the people of the North to coerce the Southern States, or any one of them, into submission to the will of the majority of the North, when that will has been authoritatively declared by the Supreme Court to be in opposition to the true construction of the Constitution of the United States. Resolved, That we will, by all proper and legitimate means, oppose, discountenance and prevent the Republican party from making any aggressive attempt, under the plea of "enforcing the laws" and "preserving the Union," upon the rights of the Southern States, believing at we do that any such attempt can only result in a protracted and destructive civil war to attain an end which that party can readily and peaceably accomplish by abandoning their hostility to the South, and declaring their willingness to abide by the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, and accepted by all conservative men of the country. Resolved, That we regard the Republican party, which, to use the language of Jefferson, "has wriggled itself into power under the auspices of morality, " as embodying the policy that Great Britain has pursued for a quarter of a century in endeavoring to equalize the races on this continent — to reduce white men to a forbidden level with negroes, and thus overthrow not only the Union, but destroy the glorious free institutions, which, seventy-six years ago, our fathers extorted from an unwilling despot; and, if any additional evidence he needed to show the alliance of the so-called Republican party with the monarchists of Great Britain to dissolve the Union, regardless of its fearful consequences, it can be find in the fact that its recognized leaders in Congress have deliberately rejected Senator Crittenden's compromise, although it is well known that it does not grant the South her full, just and equal rights under the Constitution. Resolved, That we demand that our representatives and servants, (and not our rulers, as some ignorantly style them,) both in our national and State Legislatures, shall at once initiate movements for a peaceable solution of our difficulties, so that civil war may be avoided, and the wheels of business may again begin to move, and remunerating labor return to thousands now out of employment, and suffering from the stubborn refusal of the Republican party to grant the South her just rights under the Constitution. Resolved, That Southern slaveholders, as truly said by Thomas Jefferson, are "the natural allies of Northern laborers;" that the votes of Southern slaveholders in Congress have repeatedly saved them from oppression; that the voices of the slaveholder Jackson preserved the Northern masses from a moneyed oligarchy which threatened to reduce them to that slavery to capital which tends to make "the rich richer, and the poor poorer;" and we regard the Republican party, under the guise of freedom for the negro, as aiming at essentially the same objects, and animated by the same spirit of hostility to the people. Resolved, That we, the working men of New York, hereby pledge ourselves to oppose the British anti-slavery party in every legitimate way; that we feel with sorrow that Great Britain has conquered the North with the pen, having abolitionized the press and the pulpit, and while the heel of her oppression is upon white men in Ireland, England and Scotland, she tries to divert attention from her sins at home by false philanthropy for negroes in America; and believing our Southern brethren now engaged in the holy cause of American liberty, and trying to roll back this avalanche of Britishism, we extend to them our heartfelt sympathy, and when they shall need it to resist unjust oppression, we believe we shall not be found wanting in more effectual support. Resolved, That the State Legislature be respectfully requested to convene the people of this State in convention, for the purpose of securing an expression, of public sentiment upon the new and startling issues which a few weeks have so rapidly evolved, and the Chair is directed to appoint a committee of five gentlemen to present these resolutions and this request to the Legislature.
The standing Army of South Carolina--
Message of Gov. Pickens.
Executive Office, Jan. 7, 1861.The Convention has passed resolutions authorizing the Governor to raise two regiments of enlisted men--one regiment for a service of twelve months, and the other of six months. --Under these resolutions, I have commissioned officers from first lieutenant down to third lieutenant, and in one instance I have commissioned a captain to raise immediately an artillery company. To make it as little expensive as possible to the State, I have, for the present, confined myself to the appointment of these officers. Perhaps it may not be necessary to enlist for the second regiment. The Convention, also, by resolution, authorizes the Governor to call immediately into service companies, with their officers, somewhat on the principles of volunteers, and to form them into a regiment by appointing field officers. I have made a call of this kind for one regiment at present, and appointed Colonel Maxey Gregg, a brave and able officer, to command it. A portion of this company is in actual position on Sullivan's Island, and other companies for it are rapidly arriving. This regiment is for six months.--If a regiment of men enlisted for twelve months be raised, it will require about $200,000 to equip and support it. The regiment for six months, under Colonel Gregg, will be at an expense of about $100,000. If the other regiment of enlisted men for six months be found necessary, it will be an additional expense of $100,000. I, therefore, most respectfully recommend that some provision be made for the pay and support of these regiments in such manner as the wisdom of the Legislature may adopt. I recommend, also, that the bill which is before the Legislature, entitled "a bill for the establishment of a Coast Police for South Carolina," be passed. This, it is supposed, will involve an expense of $150,000. The act passed to provide an armed-military force may involve an expenditure of $50,000, and provision has been made for raising $400,000 more for the purchase of arms and munitions. These several sums amount to $1,400,000. It is hoped that circumstances may arise which will give a pacific settlement to our difficulties, and if so, every reasonable endeavor shall be made to prevent the expenditure of the whole amount; but the more certain way to produce a pacific turn to events, is to be thoroughly prepared to meet any emergency.
To the members of the Senate and House of Representatives:
To the members of the Senate and House of Representatives:
A South Carolina view.The following extract, says the Boston Transcript, is from a letter received by Mr. F M. Blodget, of this city, dated Charleston, S. C., January 9, 1861, from a partner in a large commission produce house in the latter city: ‘ Your favor of the 27th ult, is at hand, and its contents noted. Business here is at a stand, and I think the port will be closed in a day or two. Every man in the State is armed and ready for action, and all the Northern fanatics and abolitionists can never subdue South Carolina. The steamer Star of the West arrived here this morning, with United States troops on board, and was fired into, and is now believed to be sinking. Ship nothing South for the present. I am sorry I cannot give you any more news, as all the companies are ordered out, and I am included in the ranks of one of them. ’
Important from Springfield--Mr Lincoln to be escorted to the Capital by the Illinois Zouaves.[From the Albany Evening Journal.] The President elect will be escorted to Washington by the Springfield (ill.) Zouaves, in spite of threats coming from any source. This company is composed of young men who have for some months past been under the instruction of Col. Ellsworth, and in drill they are said to be fully equal to the genuine original Zouaves. A correspondent writing to the Davenport (Iowa) Gazette, says: ‘"This company intends to do escort duty to the President elect on the 4th of March next, accompanying him to Washington, and returning by Philadelphia, New York, Albany, etc. They number over sixty, and are in a perfect state of drill, having already taken several prizes, and surprised the famous Chicago boys in their efficiency. They are commanded by Captain Cook, a gentleman who understands the Zouave practice, and I doubt not will create a sensation while in Washington."’
True to the South.The National Volunteers, a military organization at the Federal Capital, embracing some 500 names, held a meeting a few nights since at Harmony Hall, which was attended by a majority of the members. Capt. R. Cleary was chosen President, and J. H. Gantt, Esq., Secretary of the meeting. --Able and fervent addresses were delivered by Dr. Boyle, F. A. Aiken, Esq., and L. Q. Washington, Esq., who introduced a preamble and resolutions, which were adopted unanimously, with tremendous applause. The preamble says that the Federal compact has been repeatedly and grossly violated by the North, and is no longer a shield of defence for the rights of all, but an agency by which the doctrines of the "higher law" may be carried on at such times and in such manner as its advocates may consider expedient. It deprecates the attempt to convert Washington into an armed camp by enrolling the militia, and adds, that if Maryland and Virginia should resume sovereign power, the retention of this city by the Black Republican Government would be not only unsafe but impracticable. We hold, then, that the destinies of Washington are intimately linked with the States of Virginia and Maryland, and that to oppose their action would be ruin to every property holder in this city: Therefore,
- Resolved, 1. That we will stand by and defend the South, and that under no circumstances will we assume a position of hostility to her interests or affiliate with a military organization prompted by a partisan spirit to subserve the aims of the Black Republican party.
- 2. That the reign of terror attempted to be inaugurated in our midst, is a system of tyranny which calls for the most emphatic rebuke.
- 3. That we will aid each other and all good citizens against abolition violence, and attacks upon private property.
- 4. We will act in event of the withdrawal of Maryland and Virginia from the Union in such manner as shall best secure ourselves and those States from the evils of a foreign and hostile government within their borders.
Union meeting at Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, Jan. 16.--An immense gathering took place here to-night at National Hall, in obedience to an invitation to men of all parties in opposition to the Republicans. Resolutions favoring conciliation, instead of the coercion of the South, and a peaceful separation, if it must be, rather than civil war, were adopted. The meeting also adopted resolutions appealing to the South not to turn away in anger from their friends, leaving them to the despotism of a sectional party, and declaring the Democrats are the true friends of the Union; recommending an immediate repeal of all legislation unfriendly to the South, and that it is the duty of the State by legislative enactments to secure to citizens of the South every protection to persons and property while sojourners; approving of the Crittenden compromise resolutions, and if all efforts fail, that a State Convention be called to determine with whom the lot of Pennsylvania shall be cast, whether with the North and East, whose fanaticism has precipitated this misery upon us, or with our brethren of the South, whose wrong we feel as our own; or whether Pennsylvania will stand by herself as a distinct community, ready when occasion offers, to bind together the broken Union, and resume her place of loyalty and devotion. Several attempts at creating a disturbance occurred during the meeting. Cheers were given for Gen. Scott, for the Union, and for Major Anderson. Groans were proposed for South Carolina and the Palmetto flag. The difficulty was finally settled by the police.--Speeches were made by Messrs. V. S. Bradford, Josiah Randall, William B Red, United States District Attorney Wharton, Benjamin Brewster and others.