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EFFECT OF LINCOLN'S ELECTION.

CHAPTER III.

The Election of Lincoln a signal and pretext of Insurrection.— The news hailed with joy in South Carolina.-Secession

Meetings.-Sympathy of Slave States.-Offer of Aid from Virginia.--Secession Movement in New Orleans.-A Call for an Army in South Carolina.-Resignation of the United States Senators from South Carolina.--Tendency to Rebellion in the other Slave States.-Action of the Legislature of Georgia.-Florida hails the “Gallant Palmetto Flag.”—The Governor of Alabama advises to prepare for Secession.--Conventions ordered.--Increase of the Seces-, sion Mania in South Carolina.-Flying of the Palmetto Flag, and excited enthusiasm of the People.- An infectious example.--Arming of Georgia.-Commissioners from Mississippi.-Mutual Counsel and Advice.-Arming of the Southern People.—Purchases of Arms from the North.-Increased Barbarity at the South.-Feeling at the North.Trust in the sentiment of Union.-Hope from Congress and the President.-Disappointment.-President Buchanan's Message.

The election of Lincoln was made the Carolina for calling out and equipping

signal in the South, as it was the an army of ten thousand volunteers, and 1860.

pretext, for the open defiance of on the same day was ordered an election the authority of the Federal Govern- for delegates to a convention to take ment. The intelligence of the fact was action on the question of secession. received at Charleston, S. C., with un This was followed by the resignation by disguised joy, and the citizens gave vent the South Carolina senators of their to their enthusiasm in " long-continued seats in the Senate of the United States, cheering for a Southern confederacy.” | which was accepted with enthusiasm. Meetings were held, where local orators Finally, on November 13th, the Legisdelivered stirring speeches, in which lature adjourned sine die, when its prethey declared that Southern independ- paratory acts of secession were honored ence could only be secured by the se- by a torch-light procession in the capcession of South Carolina, and were ital of the State. rapturously applauded. The conspira- The other cotton States, though less tors of the different Southern States in- precipitate than South Carolina in legisterchanged expressions of sympathy and lative action, gave early indications of offers of mutual service. From Vir- their tendency to insurrection. The ginia, even at that early period, came a Legislature of Georgia refused to order proffer to South Carolina of a volunteer the election of a senator to fill a vacancy corps to aid her in her projected rebellion. in the United States Senate. The GovIn New Orleans, placards were posted ernor of Florida sent a telegraphic greeton the walls of the city inviting the cit- ing to the Governor of South Carolina, izens to military organization, and soon declaring that “ Florida is with the gal“minute men” were mustered in every lant Palmetto flag.” The Governor of cotton State.

Alabama advised his fellow-citizens to On the 10th of November a bill was prepare for secession, and gave notice introduced in the Legislature of South of his intention to order an election of

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delegates to a State convention. An States, for mutual counsel in regard to extra session of the Legislature of Vir- the best means of resistance to the ginia was called to “take into consid- North. eration the condition of public affairs." The people of the slave States were At the same time great meetings were daily arming themselves for an anticiheld at New Orleans, Augusta, Mont- pated encounter with the Federal augomery, Vicksburg, and other Southern thorities they were provoking. Imcities, in favor of disunion. Each day mense purchases of arms and ammunition brought with it a fresh development of were made at New York, Boston, and the secession mania. The citizens of Hartford. The rage against the unsymCharleston gathered in crowds to "in- pathetic citizens of the North, who by augurate the revolution.” The palmetto an unhappy fate chanced to be exposed flag, the symbol of the State, was hoisted to their insults and violence, was maniupon tall poles of pine erected for the fested with increased barbarity. purpose, and flung out from every pub- The loyal citizens of the country, lic building, hotel, and private residence. though alarmed by these rebellious inMen, women, and children flaunted se- dications of the slave States, yet trusted cession badges, and yielded unresistingly to the sentiment of union to check, and to the common madness.

the power as well as the disposition of In the meanwhile the example of the Federal Government to repress them. South Carolina was infecting her neigh- Some looked to Congress, now in Dec. bors. The Legislature of Georgia voted session, for a ready compliance with 3. Nov, an appropriation of a million of measures of conciliation and compro

18. dollars “ to arm and equip the mise, by which Southern discontent might State," and ordered an election of del- | be soothed by Northern concession. Othegates to a convention. The Legislature ers trusting in the power of Government, Nov. of North Carolina refused to elect hoped that the chief magistrate, now that 30. a United States Senator. The his weak will and vacillating purposes Legislature of Mississippi authorized the could be steadied and directed by conNov. governor to appoint commissioners gressional resolution, would bind with

29. to visit the slaveholding States, to the fetters of authority the rebellion bedevise means in co-operation for “their fore it should be aroused in its might. common defense and safety." The Leg- The message of Buchanan, however, Dec. islature of Florida unanimously soon dissipated these hopes. Instead of

1. passed the bill calling for a con- a dignified vindication of authority, Dec. vention. The Legislature of Georgia it was an ill-concealed attempt at 4. again, unable to check its impatience, justification of its contemners, and an Dec, made a further advance toward re- open declaration of their impunity. This

3. bellion by considering a resolution remarkable document will be always to invite a conference of the Southern considered a not inefficient promoter of

BUCHANAN'S MESSAGE.

23 rebellion, and is now recorded as an efforts of different states to defeat the important fact in its history.

execution of the Fugitive Slave law.

"All or any of these evils might have PRESIDENT BUCHANAN'S MESSAGE.

been endured by the South without “ FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE

danger to the Union (as others have AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: been), in the hope that time and re“Throughout the year since our last flection might apply the remedy. The meeting, the country has been eminently immediate peril arises not so much from prosperous in all its material interests. these causes, as from the fact that the The general health has been excellent, incessant and violent agitation of the our harvests have been abundant, and slavery question throughout the North plenty smiles throughout the land. Our for the last quarter of a century, has at commerce and manufactures have been length produced its malign influence on prosecuted with energy and industry, the slaves, and inspired them with vague and have yielded fair and ample re- notions of freedom. Hence a sense of turns. In short, no nation in the tide security no longer exists around the of time has ever presented a specta- family altar. This feeling of peace at cle of greater material prosperity than home has given place to apprehensions we have done until within a very recent | of servile insurrection. Many a maperiod.

tron throughout the South retires at “Why is it, then, that discontent now night in dread of what may befall herso extensively prevails, and the Union self and her children before the mornof the States, which is the source of ing. Should this apprehension of doall these blessings, is threatened with mestic danger, whether real or imagindestruction ? The long-continued and ary, extend and intensify itself until it intemperate interference of the Northern shall pervade the masses of the Southern people with the question of slavery in people, then disunion will become inevthe Southern States has at length pro- itable. Self-preservation is the first law duced its natural effects. The different of nature, and has been implanted in the sections of the Union are now arrayed heart of man by his Creator for the against each other, and the time has ar- wisest purpose ; and no political union, rived, so much dreaded by the Father however fraught with blessings and benof his Country, when hostile geograph-efits in all other respects, can long conical parties have been formed. I have tinue, if the necessary consequence be long foreseen and often forewarned my to render the homes and the firesides of countrymen of the now impending dan- | nearly half the parties to it habitually ger. This does not proceed solely from and hopelessly insecure. Sooner or later the claims on the part of Congress or the the bonds of such a union must be sevTerritorial Legislature to exclude slav- ered. It is my conviction that this fatal ery from the Territories, nor from the period has not yet arrived ; and my

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prayer to God is, that he would preserve more responsible, and have no more the Constitution and the Union through-| right to interfere, than with similar inout all generations.

stitutions in Russia or in Brazil. Upon “But let us take warning in time, and their good sense and patriotic forbearremove the cause of danger. It can not ance I confess I still greatly rely. Withbe denied that for five-and-twenty years out their aid, it is beyond the power of the agitation at the North against slav any President, no matter what may be ery in the South has been incessant. In his own political proclivities, to restore 1835, pictorial handbills and inflamma- peace and harmony among the States. tory appeals were circulated extensively Wisely limited and restrained as is his throughout the South, of a character to power, under our Constitution and laws, excite the passions of the slaves ; and, he alone can accomplish but little, for in the language of Gen. Jackson, 'to good or for evil, on such a momentous stimulate them to insurrection, and pro- question. duce all the horrors of a servile war.'! " And this brings me to observe that This agitation has ever since been con- | the election of any one of our fellowtinued by the public press, by the pro citizens to the office of President does ceedings of State and county conven- not of itself afford just cause for distions, and by abolition sermons and solving the Union. This is more espelectures. The time of Congress has cially true if his election has been been occupied in violent speeches on effected by a mere plurality, and not this never-ending subject, and appeals a majority, of the people, and has rein pamphlet and other forms, indorsed sulted from transient and temporary by distinguished names, have been sent causes, which may probably never again forth from this central point, and spread occur. In order to justify a resort to broadcast over the Union.

revolutionary resistance, the Federal "How easy would it be for the Amer-Government must be guilty of 'a delibican people to settle the slavery question erate, palpable, and dangerous exercise forever, and to restore peace and har- of powers not granted by the Constitumony to this distracted country!

tion. The late Presidential election, “They, and they alone, can do it. however, has been held in strict conAll that is necessary to accomplish the formity with its express provisions. object, and all for which the slave States How, then, can the result justify a revhave ever contended, is to be let alone olution to destroy this very Constituand permitted to manage their domestic tion ? Reason, justice, a regard for the institutions in their own way. As sov Constitution, all require that we shall ereign States, they, and they alone, are wait for some overt and dangerous act responsible before God and the world on the part of the President-elect before for the slavery existing among them. resorting to such a remedy. For this, the people of the North are not ! " It is said, however, that the anteTHE SOUTH AND ITS RIGHTS.

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cedents of the President-elect have been diate secession, that the Southern States sufficient to justify the fears of the South are denied equal rights with the other that he will attempt to invade their con- States in the common Territories. But •stitutional rights. But are such appre- | by what authority are these denied ? hensions of contingent danger in the Not by Congress, which has never passed, future sufficient to justify the immediate and I believe never will pass, any act to destruction of the noblest system of exclude slavery from these Territories ; government ever devised by mortals ? and certainly not by the Supreme Court, From the very nature of his office, and which has solemnly decided that slaves its high responsibilities, he must neces- are property, and, like all other propsarily be conservative. The stern duty erty, their owners have a right to take of administering the vast and compli- | them into the common Territories, and cated concerns of this Government af- hold them there under the protection of fords in itself a guarantee that he will the Constitution. not attempt any violation of a clear! “So far, then, as Congress is conconstitutional right. After all, he is no cerned, the objection is not to anything more than the chief executive officer of they have already done, but to what the Government. His province is not they may do hereafter. It will surely to make, but to execute, the laws; and be admitted that this apprehension of it is a remarkable fact in our history, future danger is no good reason for an that, notwithstanding the repeated ef- immediate dissolution of the Union. It forts of the Anti-Slavery party, no single is true that the Territorial Legislature act has ever passed Congress, unless we of Kansas, on the 23d of February, 1860, may possibly except the Missouri Com- passed in great haste an act, over the promise, impairing in the slightest de- veto of the governor, declaring that gree the rights of the South to their slavery ‘is, and shall be, forever proproperty in slaves. And it may also be hibited in this Territory. Such an act, observed, judging from the present in- | however, plainly violating the rights of dications, that no probability exists of property secured by the Constitution, the passage of such an act, by a ma- will surely be declared void by the ju

jority of both Houses, either in the diciary whenever it shall be presented in present or the next Congress. Surely, a legal form. Under these circumstances, we ought to “Only three days after my inaugurabe restrained from present action by the tion, the Supreme Court of the United precept of Him who spake as never man States solemnly adjudged that the power spoke, that 'sufficient unto the day is did not exist in a Territorial Legislature. the evil thereof. The day of evil may Yet such has been the factious temper never come, unless we shall rashly bring of the times, that the correctness of this it upon ourselves.

| decision has been extensively impugned “ It is alleged as one cause for imme- | before the people, and the question has

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