The Great Conspiracy, Part 3. by John Alexander LoganIts Origin and History

Produced by David Widger THE GREAT CONSPIRACY Its Origin and History Part 3 BY JOHN LOGAN CHAPTER XI. THE CAUSES OF SECESSION. In preceding Chapters of this work, it has been briefly shown, that from the very hour in which the Republic of the United States was born, there have not been wanting, among its
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Produced by David Widger


Its Origin and History

Part 3





In preceding Chapters of this work, it has been briefly shown, that from the very hour in which the Republic of the United States was born, there have not been wanting, among its own citizens, those who hated it, and when they could not rule, were always ready to do what they could, by Conspiracy, Sedition, Mutiny, Nullification, Secession, or otherwise, to weaken and destroy it. This fact, and the processes by which the Conspirators worked, is very well stated, in his documentary “History of the Rebellion,” by Edward McPherson, when he says: “In the Slaveholding States, a considerable body of men have always been disaffected to the Union. They resisted the adoption of the National Constitution, then sought to refine away the rights and powers of the General Government, and by artful expedients, in a series of years, using the excitements growing out of passing questions, finally perverted the sentiments of large masses of men, and prepared them for Revolution.”

Before giving further incontestable proofs establishing this fact, and before endeavoring to sift out the true cause or causes of Secession, let us first examine such evidences as are submitted by him in support of his proposition.

The first piece of testimony, is an extract from an unpublished journal of U. S. Senator Maclay of Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791–the period of the First Congress under the Federal Constitution. It runs thus:

“1789, June 9.–In relation to the Tariff Bill, the affair of confining the East India Trade to the citizens of America had been negatived, and a committee had been appointed to report on this business. The report came in with very high duties, amounting to a prohibition. But a new phenomenon had made its appearance in the House (meaning the Senate) since Friday.

“Pierce Butler, from South Carolina, had taken his seat, and flamed like a meteor. He arraigned the whole Impost law, and then charged (indirectly) the whole Congress with a design of oppressing South Carolina. He cried out for encouraging the Danes and Swedes, and foreigners of every kind, to come and take away our produce. In fact he was for a Navigation Act reversed.

“June 11.–Attended at the hall as usual.

“Mr. Ralph Izard and Mr. Butler opposed the whole of the drawbacks in every shape whatever.

“Mr. (William) Grayson, of Virginia, warm on this subject, said we were not ripe for such a thing. We were a new Nation, and had no business for any such regulations–a Nation /sui generis/.

“Mr. (Richard Henry) Lee (of Virginia) said drawbacks were right, but would be so much abused, he could not think of admitting them.

“Mr. (Oliver) Ellsworth (of Connecticut) said New England rum would be exported, instead of West India, to obtain the drawback.

“I thought it best to say a few words in reply to each. We were a new Nation, it was true, but we were not a new People. We were composed of individuals of like manners, habits, and customs with the European Nations. What, therefore, had been found useful among them, came well recommended by experience to us. Drawbacks stand as an example in this point of view to us. If the thing was right in itself, there could be no just argument drawn against the use of a thing from the abuse of it. It would be the duty of Government to guard against abuses, by prudent appointments and watchful attention to officers. That as to changing the kind of rum, I thought the collection Bill would provide for this, by limiting the exportation to the original casks and packages. I said a great deal more, but really did not feel much interest either way. But the debates were very lengthy.

“Butler flamed away, and THREATENED A DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION, with regard to his State, as sure as God was in the firmament. He scattered his remarks over the whole Impost bill, calling it partial, oppressive, etc., and solely calculated to oppress South Carolina, and yet ever and anon declaring how clear of local views and how candid and dispassionate he was. He degenerates into mere declamation. His State would live free, or die glorious.”

The next piece of evidence is General Jackson’s letter to Rev. A. J. Crawford, as follows:


“WASHINGTON, May 1, 1833.

“MY DEAR SIR: * * * I have had a laborious task here, but Nullification is dead; and its actors and courtiers will only be remembered by the People to be execrated for their wicked designs to sever and destroy the only good Government on the globe, and that prosperity and happiness we enjoy over every other portion of the World. Haman’s gallows ought to be the fate of all such ambitious men who would involve their Country in Civil War, and all the evils in its train, that they might reign and ride on its whirlwinds and direct the storm. The Free People of these United States have spoken, and consigned these wicked demagogues to their proper doom. Take care of your Nullifiers; you have them among you; let them meet with the indignant frowns of every man who loves his Country. The Tariff, it is now known, was a mere pretext–its burden was on your coarse woolens. By the law of July, 1832, coarse woolen was reduced to five per cent., for the benefit of the South. Mr. Clay’s Bill takes it up and classes it with woolens at fifty per cent., reduces it gradually down to twenty per cent., and there it is to remain, and Mr. Calhoun and all the Nullifiers agree to the principle. The cash duties and home valuation will be equal to fifteen per cent. more, and after the year 1842, you pay on coarse woolens thirty-five per cent. If this is not Protection, I cannot understand; therefore the Tariff was only the pretext, and Disunion and a Southern Confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the Negro or Slavery question.

“My health is not good, but is improving a little. Present me kindly to your lady and family, and believe me to be your friend. I will always be happy to hear from you.

Another evidence is given in the following extract from Benton’s “Thirty Years in the Senate,” vol. ii., as follows:

“The regular inauguration of this Slavery agitation dates from the year 1835; but it had commenced two years before, and in this way: Nullification and Disunion had commenced in 1830, upon complaint against Protective Tariff. That, being put down in 1833 under President Jackson’s proclamation and energetic measures, was immediately substituted by the Slavery agitation. Mr. Calhoun, when he went home from Congress in the spring of that year, told his friends that ‘the South could never be united against the North on the Tariff question –that the sugar interest of Louisiana would keep her out–and that the basis of Southern Union must be shifted to the Slave question.’ Then all the papers in his interest, and especially the one at Washington, published by Mr. Duff Green, dropped Tariff agitation, and commenced upon Slavery, and in two years had the agitation ripe for inauguration, on the Slavery question. And in tracing this agitation to its present stage, and to comprehend its rationale, it is not to be forgotten that it is a mere continuation of old Tariff Disunion, and preferred because more available.”

Again, from p. 490 of his private correspondence, Mr. Clay’s words to an Alabamian, in 1844, are thus given:

“From the developments now being made in South Carolina, it is perfectly manifest that a Party exists in that State seeking a Dissolution of the Union, and for that purpose employ the pretext of the rejection of Mr. Tyler’s abominable treaty. South Carolina, being surrounded by Slave States, would, in the event of a Dissolution of the Union, suffer only comparative evils; but it is otherwise with Kentucky. She has the boundary of the Ohio extending four hundred miles on three Free States. What would our condition be in the event of the greatest calamity that could befall this Nation?”

Allusion is also made to a letter written by Representative Nathan Appleton, of Boston, December 15, 1860, in which that gentleman said that when he was in Congress–in 1832-33–he had “made up his mind that Messrs. Calhoun, Hayne, McDuffie, etc., were desirous of a separation of the Slave States into a separate Confederacy, as more favorable to the security of Slave Property.”

After mentioning that “About 1835, some South Carolinians attempted a Disunion demonstration,” our authority says: It is thus described by ex-Governor Francis Thomas of Maryland, in his speech in Baltimore, October 29, 1861:

“Full twenty years ago, when occupying my seat in the House of Representatives, I was surprised one morning, after the assembling of the House, to observe that all the members from the Slaveholding States were absent. Whilst reflecting on this strange occurrence, I was asked why I was not in attendance on the Southern Caucus assembled in the room of the Committee on Claims. I replied that I had received no invitation.

“I then proposed to go to the Committee-room to see what was being done. When I entered, I found that little cock-sparrow, Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, addressing the meeting, and strutting about like a rooster around a barn-yard coop, discussing the following resolution:

“‘ Resolved, That no member of Congress, representing a Southern constituency, shall again take his seat until a resolution is passed satisfactory to the South on the subject of Slavery.’

“I listened to his language, and when he had finished, I obtained the floor, asking to be permitted to take part in the discussion. I determined at once to kill the Treasonable plot hatched by John C. Calhoun, the Catiline of America, by asking questions. I said to Mr. Pickens, ‘What next do you propose we shall do? are we to tell the People that Republicanism is a failure? If you are for that, I am not. I came here to sustain and uphold American institutions; to defend the rights of the North as well as the South; to secure harmony and good fellowship between all Sections of our common Country.’ They dared not answer these questions. The Southern temper had not then been gotten up. As my questions were not answered, I moved an adjournment of the Caucus /sine die/. Mr. Craig, of Virginia, seconded the motion, and the company was broken up. We returned to the House, and Mr. Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania, a glorious patriot then as now, introduced a resolution which temporarily calmed the excitement.”

The remarks upon this statement, made November 4, 1861, by the National Intelligencer, were as follows:

“However busy Mr. Pickens may have been in the Caucus after it met, the most active man in getting it up and pressing the Southern members to go into it, was Mr. R. B. Rhett, also a member from South Carolina. The occasion, or alleged cause of this withdrawal from the House into secret deliberation was an anti-Slavery speech of Mr. Slade, of Vermont, which Mr. Rhett violently denounced, and proposed to the Southern members to leave the House and go into Conclave in one of the Committee-rooms, which they generally did, if not all of them. We are able to state, however, what may not have been known to Governor Thomas, that at least three besides himself, of those who did attend it, went there with a purpose very different from an intention to consent to any Treasonable measure. These three men were Henry A. Wise, Balie Peyton, and William Cost Johnson. Neither of them opened his lips in the Caucus; they went to observe; and we can assure Governor Thomas, that if Mr. Pickens or Mr. Calhoun, (whom he names) or any one else had presented a distinct proposition looking to Disunion, or Revolt, or Secession, he would have witnessed a scene not soon to be forgotten. The three whom we have mentioned were as brave as they were determined. Fortunately, perhaps, the man whom they went particularly to watch, remained silent and passive.”

Let us, however, pursue the inquiry a little further. On the 14th of November, 1860, Alexander H. Stephens addressed the Legislature of Georgia, and in a portion of that address–replying to a speech made before the same Body the previous evening by Mr. Toombs, in which the latter had “recounted the evils of this Government”–said:

“The first [of these evils] was the Fishing Bounties, paid mostly to the sailors of New England. Our friend stated that forty-eight years of our Government was under the administration of Southern Presidents. Well, these Fishing Bounties began under the rule of a Southern President, I believe. No one of them, during the whole forty-eight years, ever set his Administration against the principle or policy of them. * * *

“The next evil which my friend complained of, was the Tariff. Well, let us look at that for a moment. About the time I commenced noticing public matters, this question was agitating the Country almost as fearfully as the Slave question now is. In 1832, when I was in college, South Carolina was ready to Nullify or Secede from the Union on this account. And what have we seen? The Tariff no longer distracts the public counsels. Reason has triumphed! The present Tariff was voted for by Massachusetts and South Carolina. The lion and the lamb lay down together–every man in the Senate and House from Massachusetts and South Carolina, I think, voted for it, as did my honorable friend himself. And if it be true, to use the figure of speech of my honorable friend, that every man in the North that works in iron, and brass and wood, has his muscle strengthened by the protection of the Government, that stimulant was given by his vote and I believe (that of) every other Southern man.

“Mr. TOOMBS–The Tariff lessened the duties.

“Mr. STEPHENS–Yes, and Massachusetts with unanimity voted with the South to lessen them, and they were made just as low as Southern men asked them to be, and that is the rate they are now at. If reason and argument, with experience, produced such changes in the sentiments of Massachusetts from 1832 to 1857, on the subject of the Tariff, may not like changes be effected there by the same means–reason and argument, and appeals to patriotism on the present vexed question? And who can say that by 1875 or 1890, Massachusetts may not vote with South Carolina and Georgia upon all those questions that now distract the Country and threaten its peace and existence.

“Another matter of grievance alluded to by my honorable friend was the Navigation Laws. This policy was also commenced under the Administration of one of these Southern Presidents who ruled so well, and has been continued through all of them since. * * * One of the objects (of these) was to build up a commercial American marine by giving American bottoms the exclusive Carrying Trade between our own ports. This is a great arm of national power. This object was accomplished. We have now an amount of shipping, not only coastwise, but to foreign countries, which puts us in the front rank of the Nations of the World. England can no longer be styled the Mistress of the Seas. What American is not proud of the result? Whether those laws should be continued is another question. But one thing is certain; no President, Northern or Southern, has ever yet recommended their repeal. * * *

“These then were the true main grievances or grounds of complaint against the general system of our Government and its workings–I mean the administration of the Federal Government. As to the acts of the federal States I shall speak presently: but these three were the main ones used against the common head. Now, suppose it be admitted that all of these are evils in the system; do they overbalance and outweigh the advantages and great good which this same Government affords in a thousand innumerable ways that cannot be estimated? Have we not at the South, as well as the North, grown great, prosperous, and happy under its operations? Has any part of the World ever shown such rapid progress in the development of wealth, and all the material resources of national power and greatness, as the Southern States have under the General Government, notwithstanding all its defects?

“Mr. TOOMBS–In spite of it.

“Mr. STEPHENS–My honorable friend says we have, in spite of the General Government; that without it, I suppose he thinks, we might have done as well, or perhaps better, than we have done in spite of it. * * * Whether we of the South would have been better off without the Government, is, to say the least, problematical. On the one side we can only put the fact, against speculation and conjecture on the other. * * * The influence of the Government on us is like that of the atmosphere around us. Its benefits are so silent and unseen that they are seldom thought of or appreciated.

“We seldom think of the single element of oxygen in the air we breathe, and yet let this simple, unseen and unfelt agent be withdrawn, this life-giving element be taken away from this all-pervading fluid around us, and what instant and appalling changes would take place in all organic creation.

“It may be that we are all that we are ‘in spite of the General Government,’ but it may be that without it we should have been far different from what we are now. It is true that there is no equal part of the Earth with natural resources superior perhaps to ours. That portion of this Country known as the Southern States, stretching from the Chesapeake to the Rio Grande, is fully equal to the picture drawn by the honorable and eloquent Senator last night, in all natural capacities. But how many ages and centuries passed before these capacities were developed to reach this advanced age of civilization. There these same hills, rich in ore, same rivers, same valleys and plains, are as they have been since they came from the hand of the Creator; uneducated and uncivilized man roamed over them for how long no history informs us.

“It was only under our institutions that they could be developed. Their development is the result of the enterprise of our people, under operations of the Government and institutions under which we have lived. Even our people, without these, never would have done it. The organization of society has much to do with the development of the natural resources of any Country or any Land. The institutions of a People, political and moral, are the matrix in which the germ of their organic structure quickens into life–takes root, and develops in form, nature, and character. Our institutions constitute the basis, the matrix, from which spring all our characteristics of development and greatness. Look at Greece. There is the same fertile soil, the same blue sky, the same inlets and harbors, the same AEgean, the same Olympus; there is the same land where Homer sung, where Pericles spoke; it is in nature the same old Greece–but it is living Greece no more.

“Descendants of the same people inhabit the country; yet what is the reason of this vast difference? In the midst of present degradation we see the glorious fragments of ancient works of art-temples, with ornaments and inscriptions that excite wonder and admiration–the remains of a once high order of civilization, which have outlived the language they spoke–upon them all, Ichabod is written–their glory has departed. Why is this so? I answer, their institutions have been destroyed. These were but the fruits of their forms of government, the matrix from which their great development sprang; and when once the institutions of a People have been destroyed, there is no earthly power that can bring back the Promethean spark to kindle them here again, any more than in that ancient land of eloquence, poetry and song.

“The same may be said of Italy. Where is Rome, once the mistress of the World? There are the same seven hills now, the same soil, the same natural resources; the nature is the same, but what a ruin of human greatness meets the eye of the traveler throughout the length and breadth of that most down-trodden land! why have not the People of that Heaven-favored clime, the spirit that animated their fathers? Why this sad difference?

“It is the destruction of their institutions that has caused it; and, my countrymen, if we shall in an evil hour rashly pull down and destroy those institutions which the patriotic hand of our fathers labored so long and so hard to build up, and which have done so much for us and the World, who can venture the prediction that similar results will not ensue? Let us avoid it if we can. I trust the spirit is among us that will enable us to do it. Let us not rashly try the experiment, for, if it fails, as it did in Greece and Italy, and in the South American Republics, and in every other place wherever liberty is once destroyed, it may never be restored to us again.

“There are defects in our government, errors in administration, and short-comings of many kinds; but in spite of these defects and errors, Georgia has grown to be a great State. Let us pause here a moment.

“When I look around and see our prosperity in everything, agriculture, commerce, art, science, and every department of education, physical and mental, as well as moral advancement–and our colleges–I think, in the face of such an exhibition, if we can, without the loss of power, or any essential right or interest, remain in the Union, it is our duty to ourselves and to posterity–let us not too readily yield to this temptation–to do so. Our first parents, the great progenitors of the human race, were not without a like temptation, when in the Garden of Eden. They were led to believe that their condition would be bettered –that their eyes would be opened–and that they would become as gods. They in an evil hour yielded–instead of becoming gods they only saw their own nakedness.

“I look upon this Country, with our institutions, as the Eden of the World, the Paradise of the Universe. It may be that out of it we may become greater and more prosperous, but I am candid and sincere in telling you that I fear if we rashly evince passion, and without sufficient cause shall take that step, that instead of becoming greater or more peaceful, prosperous, and happy–instead of becoming gods, we will become demons, and at no distant day commence cutting one another’s throats. This is my apprehension.

“Let us, therefore, whatever we do, meet those difficulties, great as they are, like wise and sensible men, and consider them in the light of all the consequences which may attend our action. Let us see first clearly where the path of duty leads, and then we may not fear to tread therein.”

Said Senator Wigfall, of Texas, March 4, 1861, in the United States Senate, only a few hours before Mr. Lincoln’s Inauguration:

“I desire to pour oil on the waters, to produce harmony, peace and quiet here. It is early in the morning, and I hope I shall not say anything that may be construed as offensive. I rise merely that we may have an understanding of this question.

“It is not Slavery in the Territories, it is not expansion, which is the difficulty. If the resolution which the Senator from Wisconsin introduced here, denying the right of Secession, had been adopted by two-thirds of each branch of this department of the Government, and had been ratified by three-fourths of the States, I have no hesitation in saying that, so far as the State in which I live and to which I owe my allegiance is concerned, if she had no other cause for a disruption of the Union taking place, she would undoubtedly have gone out.

[To insert as an additional article of amendment to the Constitution, the following: “Under this Constitution, as originally adopted, and as it now exists, no State has power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States: but this Constitution, and all laws passed in pursuance of its delegated powers, are the Supreme Law of the Land, anything contained in any constitution, ordinance, or act of any State, to the contrary notwithstanding.”]

“The moment you deny the right of self-government to the free White men of the South, they will leave the Government. They believe in the Declaration of Independence. They believe that:

“‘Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.’

“That principle of the Declaration of Independence is the one upon which the free White men of the South predicated their devotion to the present Constitution of the United States; and it was the denial of that, as much as anything else, that has created the dissatisfaction in that Section of the Country.

“There is no instrument of writing that has ever been written that has been more misapprehended and misunderstood and misrepresented than this same unfortunate Declaration of Independence, and no set of gentlemen have ever been so slandered as the fathers who drew and signed that Declaration.

“If there was a thing on earth that they did not intend to assert, it was that a Negro was a White man. As I said here, a short time ago, one of the greatest charges they made against the British Government was, that old King George was attempting to establish the fact practically that all men were created Free and Equal. They charged him in the Declaration of Independence with inciting their Slaves to insurrection. That is one of the grounds upon which they threw off their allegiance to the British Parliament.

“Another great misapprehension is, that the men who drafted that Declaration of Independence had any peculiar fancy for one form of government rather than another. They were not fighting to establish a Democracy in this country; they were not fighting to establish a Republican form of government in this Country. Nothing was further from their intention.

“Alexander Hamilton, after he had fought for seven years, declared that the British form of government was the best that the ingenuity of man had ever devised; and when John Adams said to him, ‘without its corruptions;’ ‘Why,’ said he, ‘its corruptions are its greatest excellence; without the corruptions, it would be nothing.’

“In the Declaration of Independence, they speak of George III., after this fashion. They say:

“‘A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.’

“Now, I ask any plain common-sense man what was the meaning of that? Was it that they were opposed to a Monarchical form of government? Was it that they believed a Monarchical form of government was incompatible with civil liberty? No, sir; they entertained no such absurd idea. None of them entertained it; but they say that George III, was a prince whose character was ‘marked by every act which may define a tyrant’ and that therefore he was ‘unfit to be the ruler of a free People.’ Had his character not been so marked by every quality which would define a tyrant, he might have been the fit ruler of a free People; ergo, a monarchical form of Government was not incompatible with civil liberty.

“That was clearly the opinion of those men. I do not advocate it now; for I have said frequently that we are wiser than our fathers, and our children will be wiser than we are. One hundred years hence, men will understand their own affairs much better than we do. We understand our affairs better than those who preceded us one hundred years. But what I assert is, that the men of the Revolution did not believe that a Monarchical form of Government was incompatible with civil liberty.

“What I assert is, that when they spoke of ‘all men being created equal,’ they were speaking of the White men who then had unsheathed their swords–for what purpose? To establish the right of self-government in themselves; and when they had achieved that, they established, not Democracies, but Republican forms of Government in the thirteen sovereign, separate and independent Colonies. Yet the Declaration of Independence is constantly quoted to prove Negro equality. It proves no such thing; it was intended to prove no such thing.

“The ‘glittering generalities’ which a distinguished former Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Choate) spoke of, as contained in the Declaration of Independence, one of them at least, about all men being created equal –was not original with Mr. Jefferson. I recollect seeing a pamphlet called the Principles of the Whigs and Jacobites, published about the year 1745, when the last of the Stuarts, called ‘the Pretender,’ was striking a blow that was fatal to himself, but a blow for his crown, in which pamphlet the very phraseology is used, word for word and letter for letter. I have not got it here to-night. I sent the other day to the Library to try and find it, but could not find it; it was burnt, I believe, with the pamphlets that were burnt some time ago.

“That Mr. Jefferson copied it or plagiarized it, is not true, I suppose, any more than the charge that the distinguished Senator from New York plagiarized from the Federalist in preparing his celebrated compromising speech which was made here a short time ago. It was the cant phrase of the day in 1745, which was only about thirty years previous to the Declaration of Independence. This particular pamphlet, which I have read, was published; others were published at the same time. That sort of phraseology was used.

“There was a war of classes in England; there were men who were contending for legitimacy; who were contending for the right of the Crown being inherent and depending on the will of God, ‘the divine right of Kings,’ for maintaining an hereditary landed-aristocracy; there was another Party who were contending against this doctrine of legitimacy, and the right of primogeniture. These were called the Whigs; they established this general phraseology in denouncing the divine right and the doctrine of legitimacy, and it became the common phraseology of the Country; so that in the obscure county of Mecklenburg, in North Carolina, a declaration containing the same assertions was found as in this celebrated Declaration of Independence, written by the immortal Jefferson.

“Which of us, I ask, is there upon this floor who has not read and re-read whatever was written within the last twenty-five or thirty years by the distinguished men of this country? But enough of that.

“As I said before, there ought not have been, and there did not necessarily result from our form of Government, any irrepressible conflict between the Slaveholding and the non-Slaveholding States. Nothing of the sort was necessary.

“Strike out a single clause in the Constitution of the United States, that which secures to each State a Republican form of Government, and there is no reason why, under precisely such a Constitution as we have, States that are Monarchical and States that are Republican, could not live in peace and quiet. They confederate together for common defense and general welfare, each State regulating its domestic concerns in its own way; those which preferred a Republican form of Government maintaining it, and those which preferred a Monarchical form of Government maintaining it.

“But how long could small States, with different forms of Government, live together, confederated for common defense and general welfare, if the people of one Section were to come to the conclusion that their institutions were better than those of the other, and thereupon straightway set about subverting the institutions of the other?”

In the reply of the Rebel “Commissioners of the Southern Confederacy” to Mr. Seward, April 9, 1861, they speak of our Government as being “persistently wedded to those fatal theories of construction of the Federal Constitution always rejected by the statesmen of the South, and adhered to by those of the Administration school, until they have produced their natural and often-predicted result of the destruction of the Union, under which we might have continued to live happily and gloriously together, had the spirit of the ancestry who framed the common Constitution animated the hearts of all their sons.”

In the “Address of the people of South Carolina, assembled in Convention, to the people of the Slaveholding States of the United States,” by which the attempt was made to justify the passage of the South Carolina Secession Ordinance of 1860, it is declared that:

“Discontent and contention have moved in the bosom of the Confederacy, for the last thirty-five years. During this time South Carolina has twice called her people together in solemn Convention, to take into consideration, the aggressions and unconstitutional wrongs, perpetrated by the people of the North on the people of the South. These wrongs were submitted to by the people of the South, under the hope and expectation that they would be final. But such hope and expectation have proved to be vain. Instead of producing forbearance, our acquiescence has only instigated to new forms of aggressions and outrage; and South Carolina, having again assembled her people in Convention, has this day dissolved her connection with the States constituting the United States.

“The one great evil from which all other evils have flowed, is the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States. The Government of the United States, is no longer the Government of Confederated Republics, but of a consolidated Democracy. It is no longer a free Government, but a Despotism. It is, in fact, such a Government as Great Britain attempted to set over our Fathers; and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years struggle for Independence.

“The Revolution of 1776, turned upon one great principle, self-government,–and self-taxation, the criterion of self-government.

“The Southern States now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States, that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British Parliament. ‘The General Welfare’ is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British Parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation this ‘General Welfare’ requires. Thus the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern States are compelled to meet the very despotism their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.

“The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British Parliament undertook to tax the Colonies to promote British interests. Our fathers resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and, therefore, could not rightly be taxed by its legislation. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in Parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British Parliament.

“And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British Parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.

“There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern towards the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear towards Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them were expended amongst them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure.

“To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution, yet this British policy has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade is almost annihilated. * * *

“No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown. * * * Yet by gradual and steady encroachments on the part of the people of the North, and acquiescence on the part of the South, the limitations in the Constitution have been swept away; and the Government of the United States has become consolidated, with a claim of limitless powers in its operations. * * *

“A majority in Congress, according to their interested and perverted views, is omnipotent. * * * Numbers with them, is the great element of free Government. A majority is infallible and omnipotent. ‘The right divine to rule in Kings,’ is only transferred to their majority. The very object of all Constitutions, in free popular Government, is to restrain the majority. Constitutions, therefore, according to their theory, must be most unrighteous inventions, restricting liberty. None ought to exist; but the body politic ought simply to have a political organization, to bring out and enforce the will of the majority. This theory is a remorseless despotism. In resisting it, as applicable to ourselves, we are vindicating the great cause of free Government, more important, perhaps, to the World, than the existence of all the United States.”

In his Special Message to the Confederate Congress at Montgomery, April 29, 1861, Mr. Jefferson Davis said:

“From a period as early as 1798, there had existed in all the States a Party, almost uninterruptedly in the majority, based upon the creed that each State was, in the last resort, the sole judge, as well of its wrongs as of the mode and measure of redress. * * * The Democratic Party of the United States repeated, in its successful canvas of 1836, the declaration, made in numerous previous political contests, that it would faithfully abide by and uphold the principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia Legislatures of [1798 and] 1799, and that it adopts those principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed.”

In a letter addressed by the Rebel Commissioners in London (Yancey, Rost and Mann), August 14, 1861, to Lord John Russell, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, it appears that they said: “It was from no fear that the Slaves would be liberated, that Secession took place. The very Party in power has proposed to guarantee Slavery forever in the States, if the South would but remain in the Union.” On the 4th of May preceding, Lord John had received these Commissioners at his house; and in a letter of May 11, 1861, wrote, from the Foreign Office, to Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, a letter, in which, alluding to his informal communication with them, he said: “One of these gentlemen, speaking for the others, dilated on the causes which had induced the Southern States to Secede from the Northern. The principal of these causes, he said, was not Slavery, but the very high price which, for the sake of Protecting the Northern manufacturers, the South were obliged to pay for the manufactured goods which they required. One of the first acts of the Southern Congress was to reduce these duties, and to prove their sincerity he gave as an instance that Louisiana had given up altogether that Protection on her sugar which she enjoyed by the legislation of the United States. As a proof of the riches of the South. He stated that of $350,000,000 of exports of produce to foreign countries $270,000,000 were furnished by the Southern States.” * * * They pointed to the new Tariff of the United States as a proof that British manufactures would be nearly excluded from the North, and freely admitted in the South.

This may be as good a place as any other to say a few words touching another alleged “cause” of Secession. During the exciting period just prior to the breaking out of the great War of the Rebellion, the Slave-holding and Secession-nursing States of the South, made a terrible hubbub over the Personal Liberty Bills of the Northern States. And when Secession came, many people of the North supposed these Bills to be the prime, if not the only real cause of it. Not so. They constituted, as we now know, only a part of the mere pretext. But, none the less, they constituted a portion of the history of that eventful time, and cannot be altogether ignored.

In order then, that the reader may quickly grasp, not only the general nature, but also the most important details of the Personal Liberty Bills (in force, in 1860, in many of the Free States) so frequently alluded to in the Debates of Congress, in speeches on the stump, and in the fulminations of Seceding States and their authorized agents, commissioners, and representatives, it may be well now, briefly to refer to them, and to state that no such laws existed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Oregon.

Those of Maine provided that no officer of the State should in any way assist in the arrest or detention of a Fugitive Slave, and made it the duty of county attorneys to defend the Fugitive Slave against the claim of his master. A Bill to repeal these laws passed the Maine Senate, but failed in the House.

That of Massachusetts provided for commissioners in each county to defend alleged Fugitives from Service or Labor; for payment by the Commonwealth of all expenses of defense; prohibited the issue or service of process by State officers for arrest of alleged Fugitives, or the use of any prisons in the State for their detention, or that of any person aiding their escape; prohibited the kidnapping or removal of alleged Fugitive Slaves by any person; prohibited all officers within the State, down to Town officers, from arresting, imprisoning, detaining or returning to Service “any Person for the reason that he is claimed or adjudged to be a Fugitive from Service or Labor”–all such prohibitions being enforced by heavy fines and imprisonment. The Act of March 25, 1861, materially modified and softened the above provisions.

New Hampshire’s law, provided that all Slaves entering the State with consent of the master shall be Free, and made the attempt to hold any person as a Slave within the State a felony.

Vermont’s, prescribed that no process under the Fugitive Slave Law should be recognized by any of her Courts, officers, or citizens; nor any aid given in arresting or removing from the State any Person claimed as a Fugitive Slave; provided counsel for alleged Fugitives; for the issue of habeas corpus and trial by jury of issues of fact between the parties; ordained Freedom to all within the State who may have been held as Slaves before coming into it, and prescribed heavy penalties for any attempt to return any such to Slavery. A bill to repeal these laws, proposed November, 1860, in the Vermont House of Representatives, was beaten by two to one.

Connecticut’s, provided that there must be two witnesses to prove that a Person is a Slave; that depositions are not evidence; that false testifying in Fugitive Slave cases shall be punishable by fine of $5,000 and five years in State prison.

In New Jersey, the only laws touching the subject, permitted persons temporarily sojourning in the State to bring and hold their Slaves, and made it the duty of all State officers to aid in the recovery of Fugitives from Service.

In Pennsylvania, barring an old dead-letter Statute, they simply prohibited any interference by any of the Courts, Aldermen, or Justices of the Peace, of the Commonwealth, with the functions of the Commissioner appointed under the United States Statute in Fugitive Slave cases.

In Michigan, the law required States’ attorneys to defend Fugitive Slaves; prescribed the privileges of habeas corpus and jury trial for all such arrested; prohibited the use of prisons of the State for their detention; required evidence of two credible witnesses as to identity; and provided heavy penalties of fine and imprisonment for the seizure of any Free Person, with intent to have such Person held in Slavery. A Bill to repeal the Michigan law was defeated in the House by about two to one.

Wisconsin’s Personal Liberty law was similar to that of Michigan, but with this addition, that no judgment recovered against any person in that State for violating the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 should be enforced by sale or execution of any real or personal property in that State.

That of Rhode Island, forbade the carrying away of any Person by force out of the State; forbade the official aiding in the arrest or detention of a Fugitive Slave; and denied her jails to the United States for any such detention.

Apropos of this subject, and before leaving it, it may be well to quote remarks of Mr. Simons of Rhode Island, in the United States Senate. Said he: “Complaint has been made of Personal Liberty Bills. Now, the Massachusetts Personal Liberty Bill was passed by a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and signed by a Democratic Governor, a man who was afterwards nominated by Mr. Polk for the very best office in New England, and was unanimously confirmed by a Democratic United States Senate. Further than this, the very first time the attention of the Massachusetts Legislature was called to the propriety of a repeal of this law was by a Republican Governor. Now, on the other hand, South Carolina had repealed a law imprisoning British colored sailors, but retained the one imprisoning those coming from States inhabited by her own brethren!”

These Personal Liberty Bills were undoubtedly largely responsible for some of the irritation on the Slavery question preceding open hostilities between the Sections. But President Lincoln sounded the real depths of the Rebellion when he declared it to be a War upon the rights of the People. In his First Annual Message, December 3, 1861, he said:

“It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a War upon the first principle of popular government–the rights of the People. Conclusive evidence of this is found in the most grave and maturely considered public documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In those documents we find the abridgment of the existing right of suffrage, and the denial to the People of all right to participate in the selection of public officers, except the legislative, boldly advocated, with labored arguments to prove that large control of the People in government is the source of all political evil. Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of the People.

“In my present position, I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism.

“It is not needed, nor fitting here, that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask brief attention. It is the effort to place Capital on an equal footing with, if not above Labor, in the structure of the Government.

“It is assumed that Labor is available only in connection with Capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning Capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that Capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers, or what we call Slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.

“Now, there is no such relation between Capital and Labor as assumed; nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life, in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

“Labor is prior to, and independent of Capital. Capital is only the fruit of Labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of Capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between Labor and Capital, producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole Labor of the community exists within that relation.

“A few men own Capital, and that few, avoid labor themselves, and with their Capital hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class–neither work for others, nor have others working for them.

“In most of the Southern States, a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither Slaves nor masters; while in the Northern, a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families–wives, sons, and daughters–work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of Capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or Slaves on the other.

“It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own Labor with Capital–that is they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

“Again, as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired-laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers.

“The prudent, penniless beginner in the World, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system, which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress, and improvement of condition to all.

“No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty–none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of Liberty shall be lost. * * * The struggle of to-day is not altogether for to-day-it is a vast future also. * * * “

So too, Andrew Johnson, in his speech before the Senate, January 31, 1862, spake well and truly when he said that “there has been a deliberate design for years to change the nature and character and genius of this Government.” And he added: “Do we not know that these schemers have been deliberately at work, and that there is a Party in the South, with some associates in the North, and even in the West, that have become tired of Free Government, in which they have lost confidence.”

Said he: “They raise an outcry against ‘Coercion,’ that they may paralyze the Government, cripple the exercise of the great powers with which it was invested, finally to change its form and subject us to a Southern despotism. Do we not know it to be so? Why disguise this great truth? Do we not know that they have been anxious for a change of Government for years? Since this Rebellion commenced it has manifested itself in many quarters.

“How long is it since the organ of the Government at Richmond, the Richmond Whig, declared that rather than live under the Government of the United States, they preferred to take the Constitutional Queen of Great Britain as their protector; that they would make an alliance with Great Britain for the purpose of preventing the enforcement of the Laws of the United States. Do we not know this?”

Stephen A. Douglas also, in his great Union speech at Chicago, May 1, 1861–only a few days before his lamented death-said:

“The election of Mr. Lincoln is a mere pretext. The present Secession movement is the result of an enormous Conspiracy formed more than a year since formed by leaders in the Southern Confederacy more than twelve months ago. They use the Slavery question as a means to aid the accomplishment of their ends. They desired the election of a Northern candidate by a Sectional vote, in order to show that the two Sections cannot live together.

“When the history of the two years from the Lecompton question down to the Presidential election shall be written, it will be shown that the scheme was deliberately made to break up this Union.

“They desired a Northern Republican to be elected by a purely Northern vote, and then assign this fact as a reason why the Sections cannot live together. If the Disunion candidate–(Breckinridge) in the late Presidential contest had carried the united South, their scheme was, the Northern candidate successful, to seize the Capital last Spring, and by a united South and divided North, hold it.

“Their scheme was defeated, in the defeat of the Disunion candidates in several of the Southern States.

“But this is no time for a detail of causes. The Conspiracy is now known; Armies have been raised. War is levied to accomplish it. There are only two sides to the question.

“Every man must be for the United States, or against it. There can be no Neutrals in this War; only Patriots or Traitors! [Cheer after Cheer].”

In a speech made in the United States Senate, January 31, 1862, Senator McDougall of California–conceded to be intellectually the peer of any man in that Body–said:

“We are at War. How long have we been at War? We have been engaged in a war of opinion, according to my historical recollection, since 1838. There has been a Systematic organized war against the Institutions established by our fathers, since 1832. This is known of all men who have read carefully the history of our Country. If I had the leisure, or had consulted the authorities, I would give it year by year, and date by date, from that time until the present, how men adversary to our Republican Institutions have been organizing War against us, because they did not approve of our Republican Institutions.

“Before the Mexican War, it is well known that General Quitman, then Governor of Mississippi, was organizing to produce the same condition of things (and he hoped a better condition of things, for he hoped a successful Secession), to produce this same revolution that is now disturbing our whole Land. The War with Mexico, fighting for a Southern proposition, for which I fought myself, made the Nation a unit until 1849; and then again they undertook an Organization to produce Revolution. These things are history. This statement is true, and cannot be denied among intelligent men anywhere, and cannot be denied in this Senate.

“The great men who sat in Council in this Hall, the great men of the Nation, men whose equals are not, and I fear will not be for many years, uniting their judgments, settled the controversy in 1850. They did not settle it for the Conspirators of the South, for they were not parties to the compact. Clay and Webster, and the great men who united with them, had no relation with the extremes of either extreme faction. The Compromise was made, and immediately after it had been effected, again commenced the work of organization. I had the honor to come from my State on the Pacific into the other branch of the Federal Congress, and there I learned as early as 1853, that the work of Treason was as industriously pursued as it is being pursued to-day. I saw it; I felt it; I knew it. I went home to the shores of the Pacific instructed somewhat on this subject.

“Years passed by. I engaged in my duties as a simple professional man, not connected with public affairs. The question of the last Presidential election arose before the Country–one of those great questions that are not appreciated, I regret from my heart, by the American Nation, when we elect a President, a man who has more power for his time than any enthroned Monarch in Europe. We organize a Government and place him in front as the head and the Chief of the Government. That question came before the American People.

“At that time I was advised of this state of feeling–and I will state it in as exact form of words as I can state it, that it may be understood by Senators: Mr. Douglas is a man acceptable to the South. Mr. Douglas is a man to whom no one has just cause of exception throughout the South. Mr. Douglas is more acceptable to Mississippi and Louisiana than Mr. Breckinridge. Mr. Breckinridge is not acceptable to the South; or at least, if he is so, he is not in the same degree with Mr. Douglas. Mr. Douglas is the accepted man of a great National Party, and if he is brought into the field he will be triumphantly elected. THAT MUST NOT BE DONE, because THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECESSION IS MATURED. EVERYTHING IS PREPARED, and the election of Mr. Douglas would only postpone it for four years; and Now when we are PREPARED to carry out these things WE MUST INDULGE IN STRATAGEM, and the nomination of Mr. Breckinridge is a mere strategic movement to divide the great conservative Party of the Nation into two, so as to elect a Republican candidate AND CONSOLIDATE THE SOUTH BY THE CRY OF ‘ABOLITIONIST!’

“That is a mere simple statement of the truth, and it cannot be contradicted. Now, in that scheme all the men of counsel of that Party were engaged. * * * I, on the far shores of the Pacific understood those things as long ago as a year last September (1860). I was advised about this policy and well informed of it. * * *

“I was at war, in California, in January (1861) last; in the maintenance of the opinions that I am now maintaining, I had to go armed to protect myself from violence. The country, whenever there was controversy, was agitated to its deepest foundations. That is known, perhaps, not to gentlemen who live up in Maine or Massachusetts, or where you are foreign to all this agitation; but known to all people where disturbance might have been effective in consequences. I felt it, and had to carry my life in my hand by the month, as did my friends surrounding me.

“I say that all through last winter (that of 1860-61) War had been inaugurated in all those parts of the Country where disturbed elements could have efficient result. In January (1861), a year ago, I stood in the hall of the House of Representatives of my State, and there was War then, and angry faces and hostile men were gathered; and we knew then well that the Southern States had determined to withdraw themselves from the Federal Union.

“I happened to be one of those men who said, ‘they shall not do it;’ and it appears to me that the whole argument is between that class of men and the class of men who said they would let them do it. * * * When this doctrine was started here of disintegrating the Cotton States from the rest of the Confederacy, I opposed it at once. I saw immediately that War was to be invoked. * * *

“I will not say these things were understood by gentlemen of the Republican Party * * * but I, having been accepted and received as a Democrat of the old school from the olden time, and HAVING FAST SOUTHERN SYMPATHIES, I DID KNOW ALL ABOUT THEM. * * * I KNOW THAT SECESSION WAS A THING DETERMINED UPON. * * * I was advised of and understood the whole programme, KNEW HOW IT WAS TO BE DONE IN ITS DETAILS; and I being advised, made war against it. * * *

“War had been, in fact, inaugurated. What is War? Was it the firing on our flag at Sumter? Was that the first adversary passage? To say so, is trifling with men’s judgments and information. No, sir; when they organized a Government, and set us at defiance, they commenced War; and the various steps they took afterwards, by organizing their troops, and forming their armies, and advancing upon Sumter; all these were merely acts of War; but War was inaugurated whenever they undertook to say they would maintain themselves as a separate and independent government; and, after that time, every man who gave his assistance to them was a Traitor, according to the highest Law.”

The following letter, written by one of the most active of the Southern conspirators in 1858, during the great Douglas and Lincoln Debate of that year, to which extended reference has already been made, is of interest in this connection, not only as corroborative evidence of the fact that the Rebellion of the Cotton States had been determined on long before Mr. Lincoln was elected President, but as showing also that the machinery for “firing the Southern heart” and for making a “solid South” was being perfected even then. The subsequent split in the Democratic Party, and nomination of Breckinridge by the Southern wing of it, was managed by this same Yancey, simply as parts of the deliberate programme of Secession and Rebellion long before determined on by the Cotton Lords of the Cotton States.

“MONTGOMERY, June 15, 1858.

“DEAR SIR:–Your kind favor of the 13th is received.

“I hardly agree with you that a general movement can be made that will clean out the Augean Stable. If the Democracy were overthrown it would result in giving place to a greedier and hungrier swarm of flies.

“The remedy of the South is not in such a process. It is in a diligent organization of her true men for prompt resistance to the next aggression. It must come in the nature of things. No National Party can save us. No Sectional Party can ever do it. But if we could do as our fathers did–organize ‘Committees of Safety’ all over the Cotton States (and it is only in them that we can hope for any effective movement), we shall fire the Southern heart, instruct the Southern mind, give courage to each other, and at the proper moment, by one organized, concerted action, we can precipitate the Cotton States into a revolution.

“The idea has been shadowed forth in the South by Mr. Ruffin; has been taken up and recommended in the Advertiser under the name of ‘League of United Southerners,’ who, keeping up their old relations on all other questions, will hold the Southern issues paramount, and influence parties, legislatures and statesmen. I have no time to enlarge, but to suggest merely.

“In haste, yours, etc.


At Jackson, Mississippi, in the fall of the same year (1858) just after the great Debate between Douglas and Lincoln had closed, Jefferson Davis had already raised the standard of Revolution, Secession and Disunion, during the course of a speech, in which he said: “If an Abolitionist be chosen President of the United States, you will have presented to you the question of whether you will permit the Government to pass into the hands of your avowed and implacable enemies? Without pausing for an answer, I will state my own position to be, that such a result would be a species of revolution by which the purposes of the Government would be destroyed, and the observance of its mere forms entitled to no respect. In that event, in such a manner as should be most expedient, I should deem it your duty to provide for your safety, outside of the Union with those who have already shown the will, and would have acquired the power to deprive you of your birthright, and to reduce you to worse than the Colonial dependence of your fathers.”

The “birthright” thus referred to was of course, the alleged right to have Slaves; but what was this “worse than Colonial dependence” to which, in addition to the peril supposed to threaten the Southern “birthright,” the Cotton States of Mississippi were reduced? “Dependence” upon whom, and with regard to what? Plainly upon the North; and with regard, not to Slavery alone–for Jefferson Davis held, down to the very close of the War, that the South fought “not for Slavery”–but as to Tariff Legislation also. There was the rub! These Cotton Lords believed, or pretended to believe, that the High Tariff Legislation, advocated and insisted upon both by the Whigs and Republicans for the Protection of the American Manufacturer and working man, built up and made prosperous the North, and elevated Northern laborers; at the expense of the South, and especially themselves, the Cotton Lords aforesaid.

We have already seen from the utterances of leading men in the South Carolina, Secession Convention, “that”–as Governor Hicks, himself a Southern man, said in his address to the people of Maryland, after the War broke out “neither the election of Mr. Lincoln, nor the non-execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, nor both combined, constitute their grievances. They declare that THE REAL CAUSE of their discontent DATES AS FAR BACK AS 1833.”

And what was the chief cause or pretext for discontent at that time? Nothing less than the Tariff. They wanted Free Trade, as well as Slavery. The balance of the Union wanted Protection, as well as Freedom.

The subsequent War, then, was not a War waged for Slavery alone, but for Independence with a view to Free Trade, as set forth in the “Confederate Constitution,” as soon as that Independence could be achieved. And the War on our part, while for the integrity of the Union in all its parts –for the life of the Nation itself, and for the freedom of man, should also have brought the triumph of the American idea of a Protective Tariff, whose chief object is the building up of American manufactures and the Protection of the Free working-man, in the essential matters of education, food, clothing, rents, wages, and work.

It is mentioned in McPherson’s History of the Rebellion, p. 392, that in a letter making public his reasons for going to Washington and taking his seat in Congress, Mr. James L. Pugh, a Representative from Alabama, November 24, 1860, said: “The sole object of my visit is to promote the cause of Secession.”

From the manner in which they acted after reaching Washington, it is not unreasonable to suppose that most of those persons representing, in both branches of Congress, the Southern States which afterwards seceded, came to the National Capital with a similar object in view–taking their salaries and mileages for services supposed to be performed for the benefit of the very Government they were conspiring to injure, and swearing anew the sacred oath to support and defend the very Constitution which they were moving heaven and earth to undermine and destroy!

[As a part of the history of those times, the following letter is not without interest:

“OXFORD, December 24, 1860.

“MY DEAR SIR:–I regretted having to leave Washington without having with you a full conference as to the great events whose shadows are upon us. The result of the election here is what the most sanguine among us expected; that is, its general result is so. It is as yet somewhat difficult to determine the distinctive complexion of the convention to meet on the 7th of January. The friends of Southern Independence, of firm and bona fide resistance, won an overwhelming victory; but I doubt whether there is any precise plan.

“No doubt a large majority of the Convention will be for separate Secession. But unless intervening events work important changes of sentiment, not all of those elected as resistance men will be for immediate and separate Secession. Our friends in Pontotoc, Tippah, De Soto and Pauola took grounds which fell far short of that idea, though their resolutions were very firm in regard to Disunion and an ultimate result.

“In the meantime the Disunion sentiment among the people is growing every day more intense.

“Upon the whole, you have great cause for gratification in the action of your State.

“The submissionists are routed, horse, foot, and dragoons, and any concession by the North will fail to restore that sacred attachment to the Union which was once so deeply radicated in the hearts of our people. What they want now, is wise and sober leading. I think that there might be more of dignity and prudent foresight in the action of our State than have marked the proceedings of South Carolina. I have often rejoiced that we have you to rest upon and confide in. I do not know what we could do without you. That God may preserve you to us, and that your mind may retain all its vigor to carry us through these perilous times, is my most fervent aspiration.

“I am as ever, and forever, your supporter, ally and friend.

“L. Q. C. LAMAR.

“COL. JEFF. DAVIS, Washington, D. C.”]

This was but a part of the deliberate, cold-blooded plan mapped out in detail, early in the session succeeding the election of Mr. Lincoln, in a secret Caucus of the Chief Plotters of the Treason. It was a secret conference, but the programme resolved on, soon leaked out.

The following, which appeared in the Washington National Intelligencer on Friday, January 11, 1861, tells the story of this stage of the Great Conspiracy pretty clearly:

“The subjoined communication, disclosing the designs of those who have undertaken to lead the movement now threatening a permanent dissolution of the Union, comes to us from a distinguished citizen of the South [understood to be Honorable Lemuel D. Evans, Representative from Texas in the 34th Congress, from March 4, 1855, to March 3, 1857] who formerly represented his State with great distinction in the popular branch of Congress.

“Temporarily sojourning in this city he has become authentically informed of the facts recited in the subjoined letter, which he communicates to us under a sense of duty, and for the accuracy of which he makes himself responsible.

“Nothing but assurances coming from such an intelligent, reliable source could induce us to accept the authenticity of these startling statements, which so deeply concern not only the welfare but the honor of the Southern people.

“To them we submit, without present comment, the programme to which they are expected to yield their implicit adhesion, without any scruples of conscience as without any regard for their own safety.

“‘WASHINGTON, January 9, 1861.

“‘I charge that on last Saturday night (January 5th), a Caucus was held in this city by the Southern Secession Senators from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. It was then and there resolved in effect to assume to themselves the political power of the South, and, to control all political and military operations for the present, they telegraphed to complete the plan of seizing forts, arsenals, and custom-houses, and advised the Conventions now in session, and soon to assemble, to pass Ordinances for immediate Secession; but, in order to thwart any operations of the Government here, the Conventions of the Seceding States are to retain their representations in the Senate and the House.

“‘They also advised, ordered, or directed the assembling of a Convention of delegates from the Seceding States at Montgomery on the 13th of February. This can of course only be done by the revolutionary Conventions usurping the powers of the people, and sending delegates over whom they will lose all control in the establishment of a Provisional Government, which is the plan of the dictators.

“‘This Caucus also resolved to take the most effectual means to dragoon the Legislatures of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia into following the Seceding States. Maryland is also to be influenced by such appeals to popular passion as have led to the revolutionary steps which promise a conflict with the State and Federal Governments in Texas.

“‘They have possessed themselves of all the avenues of information in the South–the telegraph, the press, and the general control of the postmasters. They also confidently rely upon defections in the army and navy.

“‘The spectacle here presented is startling to contemplate. Senators entrusted with the representative sovereignty of the States, and sworn to support the Constitution of the United States, while yet acting as the privy councillors of the President, and anxiously looked to by their constituents to effect some practical plan of adjustment, deliberately conceive a Conspiracy for the overthrow of the Government through the military organizations, the dangerous secret order, the ‘Knights of the Golden Circle,’ ‘Committees of Safety,’ Southern leagues, and other agencies at their command; they have instituted as thorough a military and civil despotism as ever cursed a maddened Country.

“‘It is not difficult to foresee the form of government which a Convention thus hurriedly thrown together at Montgomery will irrevocably fasten upon a deluded and unsuspecting people. It must essentially be ‘a Monarchy founded upon military principles,’ or it cannot endure. Those who usurp power never fail to forge strong chains.

“‘It may be too late to sound the alarm. Nothing may be able to arrest the action of revolutionary tribunals whose decrees are principally in ‘secret sessions.’ But I call upon the people to pause and reflect before they are forced to surrender every principle of liberty, or to fight those who are becoming their masters rather than their servants. “‘ EATON”

“As confirming the intelligence furnished by our informant we may cite the following extract from the Washington correspondence of yesterday’s Baltimore Sun:

“‘The leaders of the Southern movement are consulting as to the best mode of consolidating their interests into a Confederacy under a Provisional Government. The plan is to make Senator Hunter, of Virginia, Provisional President, and Jefferson Davis Commander-in-Chief of the army of defense. Mr. Hunter possesses in a more eminent degree the philosophical characteristics of Jefferson than any other statesman now living. Colonel Davis is a graduate of West Point, was distinguished for gallantry at Buena Vista, and served as Secretary of War under President Pierce, and is not second to General Scott in military science or courage.’

“As further confirmatory of the above, the following telegraphic dispatch in the Charleston Mercury of January 7, 1861, is given:

“‘[From our Own Correspondent.]

“‘WASHINGTON, January 6.–The Senators from those of the Southern States which have called Conventions of their people, met in caucus last night, and adopted the following resolutions:

“‘Resolved, That we recommend to our respective States immediate Secession.

“‘Resolved, That we recommend the holding of a General Convention of the said States, to be holden in the city of Montgomery, Alabama, at some period not later than the 15th day of February, 1861.’

“These resolutions were telegraphed this evening to the Conventions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. A third resolution is also known to have been adopted, but it is of a confidential character, not to be divulged at present. There was a good deal of discussion in the caucus on the question of whether the Seceding States ought to continue their delegations in Congress till the 4th of March, to prevent unfriendly legislation, or whether the Representatives of the Seceding States should all resign together, and leave a clear field for the opposition to pass such bills, looking to Coercion, as they may see fit. It is believed that the opinion that they should remain prevailed.”

Furthermore, upon the capture of Fernandina, Florida, in 1862, the following letter was found and published. Senator Yulee, the writer, was present and participated as one of the Florida Senators, in the traitorous “Consultation” therein referred to–and hence its especial value:

“WASHINGTON, January 7, 1861.

“My DEAR SIR:–On the other side is a copy of resolutions adopted at a consultation of the Senators from the Seceding States–in which Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida were present.

“The idea of the meeting was that the States should go out at once, and provide for the early organization of a Confederate Government, not later than 15th February. This time is allowed to enable Louisiana and Texas to participate. It seemed to be the opinion that if we left here, force, loan, and volunteer Bills might be passed, which would put Mr. Lincoln in immediate condition for hostilities; whereas, by remaining in our places until the 4th of March, it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr. Buchanan tied, and disable the Republicans from effecting any legislation which will strengthen the hands of the incoming Administration.

“The resolutions will be sent by the delegation to the President of the Convention. I have not been able to find Mr. Mallory (his Senatorial colleague) this morning. Hawkins (Representative from Florida) is in Connecticut. I have therefore thought it best to send you this copy of the resolutions.

“In haste, yours truly

“‘Sovereignty Convention,’ Tallahassee, Fla.”

The resolutions “on the other side” of this letter, to which he refers, are as follows:

“Resolved, 1–That in our opinion each of the Southern States should, as soon as may be, Secede from the Union.

“Resolved, 2–That provision should be made for a Convention to organize a Confederacy of the Seceding States, the Convention to meet not later than the 15th of February, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama.

“Resolved, That in view of the hostile legislation that is threatened against the Seceding States, and which may be consummated before the 4th of March, we ask instructions whether the delegations are to remain in Congress until that date for the purpose of defeating such legislation.

“Resolved, That a committee be and are hereby appointed, consisting of Messrs. Davis, Slidell, and Mallory, to carry out the objects of this meeting.”

In giving this letter to the World–from its correspondent accompanying the expedition–the New York Times of March 15, 1862, made these forcible and clear-headed comments:

“The telegraphic columns of the Times of January 7, 1861, contained the following Washington dispatch: ‘The Southern Senators last night (January 5th) held a conference, and telegraphed to the Conventions of their respective States to advise immediate Secession.’ Now, the present letter is a report by Mr. Yulee, who was present at this ‘consultation’ as he calls it, of the resolutions adopted on this occasion, transmitted to the said Finegan, who by the way, was a member of the ‘Sovereign Convention’ of Florida, then sitting in the town of Tallahassee.

“It will thus be seen that this remarkable letter, which breathes throughout the spirit of the Conspirator, in reality lets us into one of the most important of the numerous Secret Conclaves which the Plotters of Treason then held in the Capital. It was then, as it appears, that they determined to strike the blow and precipitate their States into Secession. But at the same time they resolved that it would be imprudent for them openly to withdraw, as in that case Congress might pass ‘force, loan, and volunteer bills,’ which would put Mr. Lincoln in immediate condition for hostilities. No, no! that would not do. (So much patriotic virtue they half suspected, half feared, was left in the Country.) On the contrary, ‘by remaining in our places until the 4th of March it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr. Buchanan tied, and disable the Republicans from effecting any legislation which will strengthen the hands of the incoming Administration.’ Ah what a tragic back-ground, full of things unutterable, is there!

“It appears, however, that events were faster than they, and instead of being able to retain their seats up to the 4th of March, they were able to remain but a very few weeks. Mr. Davis withdrew on the 21st of January, just a fortnight after this ‘consultation.’ But for the rest, mark how faithfully the programme here drawn up by this knot of Traitors in secret session was realized. Each of the named States represented by this Cabal did, ‘as soon as may be, Secede from the Union’–the Mississippi Convention passing its Ordinance on the heels of the receipt of these resolutions, on the 9th of January; Florida and Alabama on the 11th; Louisiana on the 26th, and Texas on the 1st of February; while the ‘organization of the Confederate Government’ took place at the very time appointed, Davis being inaugurated on the 18th of February.

“And here is another Plot of the Traitors brought to light. These very men, on withdrawing from the Senate, urged that they were doing so in obedience to the command of their respective States. As Mr. Davis put it, in his parting speech, ‘the Ordinance of Secession having passed the Convention of his State, he felt obliged to obey the summons, and retire from all official connection with the Federal Government.’ This letter of Mr. Yulee’s clearly reveals that they had themselves pushed their State Conventions to the adoption of the very measure which they had the hardihood to put forward as an imperious ‘summons’ which they could not disobey. It is thus that Treason did its Work.”



When we remember that it was on the night of the 5th of January, 1861, that the Rebel Conspirators in the United States Senate met and plotted their confederated Treason, as shown in the Yulee letter, given in the preceding Chapter of this work, and that on the very next day, January 6, 1861, Fernando Wood, then Mayor of the great city of New York, sent in to the Common Council of that metropolis, his recommendation that New York city should Secede from its own State, as well as the United States, and become “a Free City,” which, said he, “may shed the only light and hope of a future reconstruction of our once blessed Confederacy,” it is impossible to resist the conviction that this extraordinary movement of his, was inspired and prompted, if not absolutely directed, by the secret Rebel Conclave at Washington. It bears within itself internal evidences of such prompting.

Thus, when Mayor Wood states the case in the following words, he seems to be almost quoting word for word an instruction received by him from these Rebel leaders–in connection with their plausible argument, upholding it. Says he:

“Much, 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 subversive 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. Then it may be said, why should not New York city, instead of supporting by her contributions in revenue two-thirds of the expenses of the United States, become also equally independent? As a Free City, with but 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 all the other States to whose interests and rights under the Constitution she has always been true.”

That is the persuasive casuistry peculiar to the minds of the Southern Secession leaders. It is naturally followed by a touch of that self-confident bluster, also at that time peculiar to Southern lips –as follows:

“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 hitherto 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? * * *”

After thus restating, as it were, the views and “arguments” of the Rebel Junta, as we may presume them to have been pressed on him, he becomes suddenly startled at the Conclave’s idea of meeting “all the consequences, whatever they may be,” and, turning completely around, with blanching pen, concludes:

“But 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.” * * *

If “these views” were his own, and not those of the Rebel Conclave, he would either have been “prepared to recommend the violence implied in them,” or else he would have suppressed them altogether. But his utterance is that of one who has certain views for the first time placed before him, and shrinks from the consequences of their advocacy–shrinks from “the violence implied” in them–although for some reason he dares not refuse to place those views before the people.

And, in carrying out his promise to do so–“In stating this argument,” presumably of the Rebel Conclave, “in favor of freedom, ‘peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must'”–the language used is an admission that the argument is not his own. Were it his own, would he not have said in “making” it, instead of in “stating” it? Furthermore, had he been “making” it of his own accord, he would hardly have involved himself in such singular contradictions and explanations as are here apparent. He was plainly “stating” the Rebel Conclave’s argument, not making one himself. He was obeying orders, under the protest of his fears. And those fears forced his trembling pen to write the saving-clause which “qualifies” the Conclave’s second-hand bluster preceding it.

That the Rebels hoped for Northern assistance in case of Secession, is very clear from many speeches made prior to and soon after the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency–and from other sources of information. Thus we find in a speech made by Representative L. M. Keitt, of South Carolina, in Charleston, November, 1860, the following language, reported by the Mercury:

“But we have been threatened. Mr. Amos Kendall wrote a letter, in which he said to Colonel Orr, that if the State went out, three hundred thousand volunteers were ready to march against her. I know little about Kendall–and the less the better. He was under General Jackson; but for him the Federal treasury seemed to have a magnetic attraction.

“Jackson was a pure man, but he had too many around him who made fortunes far transcending their salaries. [Applause.] And this Amos Kendall had the same good fortune under Van Buren. He (Kendall) threatened us on the one side, and John Hickman on the other. John Hickman said, defiantly, that if we went out of the Union, eighteen millions of Northern men would bring us back.

“Let me tell you, there are a million of Democrats in the North who, when the Black Republicans attempt to march upon the South, will be found a wall of fire in the front. [Cries of ‘that’s so,’ and applause.]”

Harper’s Weekly of May 28, 1864, commenting on certain letters of M. F. Maury and others, then just come to light, said:

“How far Maury and his fellow-conspirators were justified in their hopes of seducing New Jersey into the Rebellion, may be gathered from the correspondence that took place, in the spring of 1861, between Ex-Governor Price, of New Jersey, who was one of the representatives from that State in the Peace Congress, and L. W. Burnet, Esq., of Newark.

“Mr. Price, in answering the question what ought New Jersey to do, says: ‘I believe the Southern confederation permanent. The proceeding has been taken with forethought and deliberation–it is no hurried impulse, but an irrevocable act, based upon the sacred, as was supposed, equality of the States; and in my opinion every Slave State will in a short period of time be found united in one Confederacy. * * * Before that event happens, we cannot act, however much we may suffer in our material interests. It is in that contingency, then, that I answer the second part of your question:–What position for New Jersey will best accord with her interests, honor, and the patriotic instincts of her people? I say emphatically she would go with the South from every wise, prudential, and patriotic reason.’

“Ex-Governor Price proceeds to say that he is confident the States of Pennsylvania and New York will ‘choose also to cast their lot with the South, and after them, the Western and Northwestern States.'”

The following resolution,* was adopted with others, by a meeting of Democrats held January 16, 1861, at National Hall, Philadelphia, and has been supposed to disclose “a plan, of which ex-Governor Price was likely aware:”

“Twelfth–That in the deliberate judgment of the Democracy of Philadelphia, and, so far as we know it, of Pennsylvania, the dissolution of the Union by the separation of the whole South, a result we shall most sincerely lament, may release this Commonwealth to a large extent from the bonds which now connect her with the Confederacy, except so far as for temporary convenience she chooses to submit to them, and would authorize and require her citizens, through a Convention, to be assembled for that purpose, to determine with whom her lot should be cast, whether with the North and the East, whose fanaticism has precipitated this misery upon us, or with our brethren of the South, whose wrongs we feel as our own; or whether Pennsylvania should 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.”

Senator Lane of Oregon, replying to Senator Johnson of Tennessee, December 19, 1860, in the United States Senate, and speaking of and for the Northern Democracy, said:

“They will not march with him under his bloody banner, or Mr. Lincoln’s, to invade the soil of the gallant State of South Carolina, when she may withdraw from a Confederacy that has refused her that equality to which she is entitled, as a member of the Union, under the Constitution. On the contrary, when he or any other gentleman raises that banner and attempts to subjugate that gallant people, instead of marching with him, we will meet him there, ready to repel him and his forces. He shall not bring with him the Northern Democracy to strike down a people contending for rights that have been refused them in a Union that ought to recognize the equality of every member of the Confederacy. * * * I now serve notice that, when War is made upon that gallant South for withdrawing from a Union which refuses them their rights, the Northern Democracy will not join in the crusade. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL HAVE WAR ENOUGH AT HOME. THE DEMOCRACY OF THE NORTH NEED NOT CROSS THE BORDER TO FIND AN ENEMY.”

The following letter from Ex-President Pierce is in the same misleading strain:

“CLARENDON HOTEL, January 6, 1860.–[This letter was captured, at Jeff. Davis’s house in Mississippi, by the Union troops.]

“MY DEAR FRIEND:–I wrote you an unsatisfactory note a day or two since. I have just had a pleasant interview with Mr. Shepley, whose courage and fidelity are equal to his learning and talents. He says he would rather fight the battle with you as the standard-bearer in 1860, than under the auspices of any other leader. The feeling and judgment of Mr. S. in this relation is, I am confident, rapidly gaining ground in New England. Our people are looking for ‘the coming man,’ one who is raised by all the elements of his character above the atmosphere ordinarily breathed by politicians, a man really fitted for this exigency by his ability, courage, broad statesmanship, and patriotism. Colonel Seymour (Thomas H.) arrived here this morning, and expressed his views in this relation in almost the identical language used by Mr. Shepley.

“It is true that, in the present state of things at Washington and throughout the country, no man can predict what changes two or three months may bring forth. Let me suggest that, in the running debates in Congress, full justice seems to me not to have been done to the Democracy of the North. I do not believe that our friends at the South have any just idea of the state of feeling, hurrying at this moment to the pitch of intense exasperation, between those who respect their political obligations and those who have apparently no impelling power but that which fanatical passion on the subject of Domestic Slavery imparts.

“Without discussing the question of right, of abstract power to Secede, I have never believed that actual disruption of the Union can occur without blood; and if, through the madness of Northern Abolitionism, that dire calamity must come, THE FIGHTING WILL NOT BE ALONG MASON’S AND DIXON’S LINE MERELY. IT [WILL] BE WITHIN OUR OWN BORDERS, IN OUR OWN STREETS, BETWEEN THE TWO CLASSES OF CITIZENS TO WHOM I HAVE REFERRED. Those who defy law and scout Constitutional obligations will, if we ever reach the arbitrament of arms, FIND OCCUPATION ENOUGH AT HOME.

“Nothing but the state of Mrs. Pierce’s health would induce me to leave the Country now, although it is quite likely that my presence at home would be of little service.

“I have tried to impress upon our people, especially in New Hampshire and Connecticut, where the only elections are to take place during the coming spring, that while our Union meetings are all in the right direction, and well enough for the present, they will not be worth the paper upon which their resolutions are written unless we can overthrow political Abolitionism at the polls and repeal the Unconstitutional and obnoxious laws which, in the cause of ‘personal liberty,’ have been placed upon our statute-books. I shall look with deep interest, and not without hope, for a decided change in this relation.

“Ever and truly your friend, “FRANKLIN PIERCE.

“Washington, D. C.”

But let us turn from contemplating the encouragements to Southern Treason and Rebellion, held out by Northern Democratic Copperheads, to the more pleasing spectacle of Loyalty and Patriotism exhibited by the Douglas wing of Democracy.

Immediately after Sumter, and while the President was formulating his Message, calling for 75,000 volunteers, Douglas called upon him at the White House, regretted that Mr. Lincoln did not propose to call for thrice as many; and on the 18th of April, having again visited the White House, wrote, and gave the following dispatch to the Associated Press, for circulation throughout the Country:

“April 18, 1861, Senator Douglas called on the President, and had an interesting conversation on the present condition of the Country. The substance of it was, on the part of Mr. Douglas, that while he was unalterably opposed to the administration in all its political issues, he was prepared to fully sustain the President in the exercise of all his Constitutional functions, to preserve the Union, maintain the Government, and defend the Federal Capital. A firm policy and prompt action was necessary. The Capital was in danger and must be defended at all hazards, and at any expense of men and money. He spoke of the present and future without any reference to the past.”

It is stated of this meeting and its immediate results: “The President was deeply gratified by the interview. To the West, Douglas telegraphed, ‘I am for my Country and against all its assailants.’ The fire of his patriotism spread to the masses of the North, and Democrat and Republican rallied to the support of the flag. In Illinois the Democratic and Republican presses vied with each other in the utterance of patriotic sentiments. * * * Large and numerously attended Mass meetings met, as it were with one accord, irrespective of parties, and the people of all shades of political opinions buried their party hatchets. Glowing and eloquent orators exhorted the people to ignore political differences in the present crisis, join in the common cause, and rally to the flag of the Union and the Constitution. It was a noble truce. From the many resolutions of that great outpouring of patriotic sentiment, which ignored all previous party ties, we subjoin the following:

“‘Resolved, that it is the duty of all patriotic citizens of Illinois, without distinction of party or sect, to sustain the Government through the peril which now threatens the existence of the Union; and of our Legislature to grant such aid of men and money as the exigency of the hour and the patriotism of our people shall demand.’

“Governor Yates promptly issued his proclamation, dated the 15th of April, convening the Legislature for the 23rd inst. in Extraordinary Session.

* * * * * * *

“On the evening of the 25th of April, Mr. Douglas, who had arrived at the Capital the day before, addressed the General Assembly and a densely packed audience, in the Hall of Representatives, in that masterly effort, which must live and be enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen so long as our Government shall endure. Douglas had ever delighted in the mental conflicts of Party strife; but now, when his Country was assailed by the red hand of Treason, he was instantly divested of his Party armor and stood forth panoplied only in the pure garb of a true Patriot.

“He taught his auditory–he taught his Country, for his speeches were telegraphed all over it–the duty of patriotism at that perilous hour of the Nation’s Life. He implored both Democrats and Republicans to lay aside their Party creeds and Platforms; to dispense with Party Organizations and Party Appeals; to forget that they were ever divided until they had first rescued the Government from its assailants. His arguments were clear, convincing, and unanswerable; his appeals for the Salvation of his Country, irresistible. It was the last speech, but one, he ever made.”

Among other pithy and patriotic points made by him in that great speech –[July 9, 1861.]–were these: “So long as there was a hope of a peaceful solution, I prayed and implored for Compromise. I have spared no effort for a peaceful solution of these troubles; I have failed, and there is but one thing to do–to rally under the flag.” “The South has no cause of complaint.” “Shall we obey the laws or adopt the Mexican system of War, on every election.” “Forget Party–all remember only your Country.” “The shortest road to Peace is the most tremendous preparation for War.” “It is with a sad heart and with a grief I have never before experienced, that I have to contemplate this fearful Struggle. * * * But it is our duty to protect the Government and the flag from every assailant, be he who he may.”

In Chicago, Douglas repeated his patriotic appeal for the preservation of the Union, and tersely declared that “There can be no Neutrals in this War–only Patriots and Traitors.” In that city he was taken with a mortal illness, and expired at the Tremont House, June 3, 1861–just one month prior to the meeting of the called Session of Congress.

The wonderful influence wielded by Douglas throughout the North, was well described afterward by his colleague, Judge Trumbull, in the Senate, when he said: “His course had much to do in producing that unanimity in support of the Government which is now seen throughout the Loyal States. The sublime spectacle of twenty million people rising as one man in vindication of Constitutional Liberty and Free Government, when assailed by misguided Rebels and plotting Traitors, is, to a considerable extent due to his efforts. His magnanimous and patriotic course in this trying hour of his Country’s destiny was the crowning act of his life.”

And Senator McDougall of California–his life-long friend–in describing the shock of the first intelligence that reached him, of his friend’s sudden death, with words of even greater power, continued: “But, as, powerless for the moment to resist the tide of emotions, I bowed my head in silent grief, it came to me that the Senator had lived to witness the opening of the present unholy War upon our Government; that, witnessing it, from the Capital of his State, as his highest and best position, he had sent forth a War-cry worthy of that Douglass, who, as ancient legends tell, with the welcome of the knightly Andalusian King, was told,

‘”Take thou the leading of the van, And charge the Moors amain;
There is not such a lance as thine In all the hosts of Spain.’

“Those trumpet notes, with a continuous swell, are sounding still throughout all the borders of our Land. I heard them upon the mountains and in the valleys of the far State whence I come. They have communicated faith and strength to millions. * * * I ceased to grieve for Douglas. The last voice of the dead Douglas I felt to be stronger than the voice of multitudes of living men.”

And here it may not be considered out of place for a brief reference to the writer’s own position at this time; especially as it has been much misapprehended and misstated. One of the fairest of these statements* runs thus:

[Lusk’s History of the Politics of Illinois from 1856 to 1884, p. 175.]

“It is said that Logan did not approve the great speech made by Senator Douglas, at Springfield, in April, 1861, wherein he took the bold ground that in the contest which was then clearly imminent to him, between the North and the South, that there could be but two parties, Patriots and Traitors. But granting that there was a difference between Douglas and Logan at that time, it did not relate to their adhesion to the Cause of their Country Logan had fought for the Union upon the plains of Mexico, and again stood ready to give his life, if need be, for his Country, even amid the cowardly slanders that were then following his pathway.

“The difference between Douglas and Logan was this: Mr. Douglas was fresh from an extended campaign in the dissatisfied Sections of the Southern States, and he was fully apprised of their intention to attempt the overthrow of the Union, and was therefore in favor of the most stupendous preparations for War.

“Mr. Logan, on the other hand, believed in exhausting all peaceable means before a resort to Arms, and in this he was like President Lincoln; but when he saw there was no alternative but to fight, he was ready and willing for armed resistance, and, resigning his seat in Congress, entered the Army, as Colonel of the Thirty-first Illinois Infantry, and remained in the field in active service until Peace was declared.”

This statement is, in the main, both fair and correct.

It is no more correct, however, in intimating that “Logan did not approve the great speech made by Senator Douglas, at Springfield, in April, 1861, wherein he took the bold ground that in the contest which was then clearly imminent to him, between the North and the South, that there could be but two parties, Patriots and Traitors,” than others have been in intimating that he was disloyal to the Union, prior to the breaking out of hostilities–a charge which was laid out flat in the Senate Chamber, April 19, 1881.

[In Dawson’s Life of Logan, pp. 348-353, this matter is thus alluded to:

“In an early part of this work the base charge that Logan was not loyal before the War has been briefly touched on. It may be well here to touch on it more fully. As was then remarked, the only man that ever dared insinuate to Logan’s face that he was a Secession sympathizer before the War, was Senator Ben Hill of Georgia, in the United States Senate Chamber, March 30, 1881; and Logan instantly retorted: ‘Any man who insinuates that I sympathized with it at that time insinuates what is false,’ and Senator Hill at once retracted the insinuation.”

“Subsequently, April 19, 1881, Senator Logan, in a speech, fortified with indisputable record and documentary evidence, forever set at rest the atrocious calumny. From that record it appears that on the 17th December, 1860, while still a Douglas Democrat, immediately after Lincoln’s election, and long before his inauguration, and before even the first gun of the war was fired, Mr. Logan, then a Representative in the House, voted affirmatively on a resolution, offered by Morris of Illinois, which declared an ‘immovable attachment’ to ‘our National Union,’ and ‘that it is our patriotic duty to stand by it as our hope in peace and our defense in war;’ that on the 7th January, 1861, Mr. Adrian having offered the following ‘Resolved, That we fully approve of the bold and patriotic act of Major Anderson in withdrawing from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, and of the determination of the President to maintain that fearless officer in his present position; and that we will support the President in all constitutional measures to enforce the laws and preserve the Union’–Mr. Logan, in casting his vote, said: ‘As the resolution receives my unqualified approval, I vote Aye;’ and that further on the 5th of February, 1861, before the inauguration of President Lincoln, in a speech made by Logan in the House in favor of the Crittenden Compromise measures, he used the following language touching Secession:

“‘Sir, I have always denied, and do yet deny, the right of Secession. There is no warrant for it in the Constitution. It is wrong, it is unlawful, unconstitutional, and should be called by the right name–revolution. No good, sir, can result from it, but much mischief may. It is no remedy for any grievances. I hold that all grievances can be much easier redressed inside the Union than out of it.’

“In that same speech he also * * * said:

“‘I have been taught that the preservation of this glorious Union, with its broad flag waving over us as the shield for our protection on land and on sea, is paramount to all the parties and platforms that ever have existed or ever can exist. I would, to day, if I had the power, sink my own party and every other one, with all their platforms, into the vortex of ruin, without heaving a sigh or shedding a tear, to save the Union, or even stop the revolution where it is.’

“In this most complete speech of vindication–which Senator Logan said he put upon record, ‘First, that my children, after me, may not have these slanders thrown in their faces without the power of dispelling or refuting them; and second, that they may endure in this Senate Chamber, so that it may be a notice to Senators of all parties and all creeds that hereafter, while I am here in the Senate, no insinuation of that kind will be submitted to by me,’