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DOUBTFUL POSITION OF KENTUCKY.
influence, and that action was awaited with anxiety. The sympathies of the Governor of the State, Beriah Magoffin, were with the Southern people and their slave-system of labor ; yet in his public acts, at this time, he opposed secession. The people of his State were decidedly hostile to the revolutionary movements in the Gulf region ; yet, whenever the question was raised concerning the right and the duty of the National Government to enforce the laws by its constitutional power, that enforcement was called, in the language of the disloyal sophists, " coercing a Sovereign State,” and therefore, they said, it must not be tolerated.
At a convention of Union and Douglas men of the State, held on the 8th of January," it was resolved that the rights of Ken
tucky should be maintained in the Union. They were in favor of a convention of the Slave and Free-labor Border States, to decide upon
some just compromise, and declared their willingness to support the National Government, unless the incoming President should attempt to “coerce a State or States.” The Legislature, which assembled at about the same time, was asked by the Governor to declare, by resolution, the “unconditional disapprobation” of the people of that State of the employment of force against “seceding States.” Accordingly, on the 22d of January, the Legislature resolved that the Kentuckians, uniting with their brethren of the South, would resist any invasion of the
soil of that section, at all hazards and to the last extremity. This action was taken by the authorities of Kentucky, because the Legislatures of several of the Free-labor States had offered troops for the use of the Government, in enforcing the laws in “seceding States." The Legislature also decided against calling a convention, and appointed delegates to the Peace Congress to meet at Washington City: Such was the attitude of Kentucky at the beginning. A little later, its public authorities and other leading men endeavored to give to it a position of absolute neutrality.
Missouri, lying west of the Mississippi River, was another Border State of great importance. Its population in 1860 was one million one hundred and eighty-two thousand three hundred and seventeen, of whom one hundred and fifteen thousand were slaves. Its inhabitants had been agitated more or less by the troubles in Kansas, a State stretching along almost the whole of. its western border, where the friends and enemies of the Slave system of labor had quarreled and fought for several years previous to the year 1858. In that school of experience, the Missourians had been pretty well instructed concerning the questions at issue in the now impending conflict; and when they were called upon to act, they did so intelligently. They knew the value of the Union; and the great body of the people deprecated the teachings of the disloyal politicians, and determined to stand by the Union so long as it seemed to them a blessing.
MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS RESIST SECESSION.
The 4th of January, 1861, was an unfortunate day for Missouri. On that day Claiborne F. Jackson, an unscrupulous politician, and a conspirator against the Republic, was inaugurated Governor of the State. In his message to the Legislature, he insisted that Missouri should stand by its sister Slave-labor States in whatever course they might pursue at that crisis. He recommended the calling of a State Convention to consider Federal Relations," and
• Jannary, on the 16th, the Legislature responded by authorizing one, decreeing, however, that its action on the subject of secession should be submitted to the vote of the people. The election resulted in the choice of a large majority of Union delegates by a heavy majority of the popular vote. They assembled at Jefferson City on the 28th of February. Their proceedings will be considered hereafter.
Adjoining Missouri on the south, and lying between it and Louisiana, is Arkansas, a rapidly growing Cotton-producing State. The people were mostly of the planting class, and were generally attached to the Union; and it was only by a rigorous system of terrorism that they were finally placed in an attitude of rebellion.
An emissary of treason, named Hubbard, was sent into Arkansas at the middle of December, by the Alabama conspirators. 'He was permitted to address the State Legislature assembled at Little
► December 20, Rock, when he assured them that Alabama would soon secede, whether other States did or did not, and advised Arkansas to do the same. Ten days afterward there was an immense assemblage of the people at Van Buren, on the Arkansas River, in the extreme western part of the State. They resolved, on that occasion, that separate State action would be unwise, and that co-operation was desirable. It was evident, from many tests, that nine-tenths of the people were averse to the application of secession as : remedy for alleged evils.
On the 16th, the Legislature of Arkansas provided for the submission of the question of a State Convention to the people, and if they should decide to have one, the Governor was directed to appoint a day for the election of delegates. A majority of twelve thousand voted in favor of a convention. An election was held, when, out of about forty thousand votes, there was a popular majority of about six thousand for Union delegates. How that Convention was managed by the conspirators, and the people were cheated, will be considered hereafter.
We have now observed the revolutionary movements in the Slave-labor States down to the so-called secession of seven of them; their preparations for a General Convention, at the beginning of Feb- February 1, ruary, to form a confederacy; and the construction of machinery, in the form of State conventions, for sweeping most of the other Slave-labor States into the vortex of revolution. Let us see what, in the mean time, was done in the matter in the Free-labor States, beginning with New England.
LOYAL ACTION OF MAINE.
Maine, lying on the extreme eastern border of the Republic, and adjoining the British possessions, had, in 1860, a population of over six hundred thousand. Its people watched the rising tide of revolution with interest, and were among the first to offer barriers against its destructive overflow. The idea of nationality, so universally a sentiment among intelligent men all over the Frec-labor States, made such action instinctive; and everywhere assurances of aid were given to the Chief Magistrate of the Republic.
Israel Washburne, Jr., was then Governor of Maine. In his message to the Legislature, on the day of its assembling at Augusta, he ably reviewed the history of the Slavery question, and recommended the repeal of any laws that were unconstitutional. “Allow no stain,” he said, “on the faith and
devotion of the State to the Constitution and the rights of the States.” He declared that the concessions demanded by the politicians of the Slave-labor States were wholly inadmissible, and incompatible with the safety of the Constitution, as the exponent and defender of republican institutions. He stigmatized secession as a crime without the shadow of a right. “There is no such right in the Constitution," he said. “Congress cannot grant it; the States cannot concede it, and only by the people of the States, through a change in the Constitution, can it be conferred. The laws, then, must be
executed, or this, the best, because the freest and most beneficent Government that the world has ever seen, is destroyed.” He pledged the State to a support of the Union, and he was sustained in this by the Legislature, who, on the 16th, declared by a large majority the attachment of the people of that State to the Union, and loyalty to the Government, and requested the Governor to assure the President of that attachment and loyalty, and “that the entire resources of the State, in men and money,” were “pledged to the Administration in defense and support of the
Constitution and Union.” Willing to make concessions for the • March 11, sake of peace, the State Senate afterward passed a billo repealing
the Personal Liberty Act. MASSACHUSETTS was an early and conspicuous actor in the great drama we are considering. In many aspects, in nature and society, it was totally unlike South Carolina, the cradle of the rebellion. Its people were the most energetic, positive, and ever-active of any State in the Union, and its wealth for each person was greater than any other. It was regarded by the people of the Slave-labor States as the central generator of the Abolition force that threatened the destruction of Slavery; and South Carolina orators and journalists made Massachusetts the synonym of Puritanism, which they affected to despise, as vulgar in theory and in practice. It must be confessed that much that was done in religion, in politics, and in social life in Massachusetts, did not harmonize with the opinions, habits, and feelings of the people of South Carolina. The representatives of Massachusetts in the National Senate (Henry Wilson and Charles Sumner) were known in every
MASSACHUSETTS READY FOR WAR.
part of the Union as the most able and uncompromising opponents of the Slave system; and its Governor at that time (John A. Andrew) was an earnest co-worker with them in the cause of the final emancipation of the slaves within the borders of the Republic. Its Personal Liberty Act was most offensive to the slaveholders; and the ill-timed and irritating performances of a few zealous men in Boston, on the 3d of December, 1860, as we have observed, in celebrating the anniversary of the execution of John Brown,' added intensity to the flame of passion-of hatred and disgust of New Englanders—in all the region below the Potomac and the Ohio, and far away to the Rio Grande.
It was evident at the beginning of January, 1861, that the contagion of secession was spreading too rapidly, and was too malignant in its character, to be arrested either by moral suasion or by compromises and concessions. The time had arrived for courageous, conscientious, and manly action. Nathaniel P. Banks, the retiring Governor of Massachusetts, in his valedictory address to the Legislature, took open and un
a January 3, equivocal ground against secession, declaring that the North would never submit to the revolutionary acts of the Southern conspirators. His successor, Governor Andrew, was equally energetic and outspoken. His words constantly grew into action. He saw approaching danger, and dispatched agents to other New England States, to propose a military combination in support of the Government, first in defending Washington City from seizure by the insurgents, within and around it, and afterward in enforcing the laws. At the same time, all of the volunteer companies of the State, with an aggregate membership of about five thousand, commenced drilling nightly in their armories. Governor Andrew also sent one of his staff (Lieutenant-Colonel Ritchie) to Washington, to consult with General Scott and other officers, civil and military, concerning the dispatch of Massachusetts troops to the Capital, in the event of insurrectionary movements against it. A satisfactory arrangement was made, and troops were held in readiness to start at a moment's notice. How well they played an important part in the drama, at the beginning of the war, will be related hereafter. It was the blood of Massachusetts soldiers that was first poured out in the terrible war for the life of the Republic, that soon commenced.
Rhode ISLAND, the smallest of the States, was full of patriotic zeal. Her large manufacturing interests were intimately connected with the States in which insurrections had commenced, yet no considerations of self-interest could allure her people from their love of the Union and allegiance to the National Government. Her youthful Governor (William Sprague), anxious for peace and union, recommended, in his message to the Legislature of
JOIN A. AXDEEW.
1 See page 114,
RHODE ISLAND AND NEW YORK AROUSED.
Rhode Island, the repeal of the Personal Liberty Act on its statute-book, “not from fear or cowardice,” he said, “but from a brave determination, in the face of threats and sneers, to live up to the Constitution and all its guaranties, the better to testify our love for the Union, and the more firmly to exact allegiance to it from all others.” The act was repealed at the
close of January;" and this measure was regarded as the fore
runner of other concessions that might bring about reconciliation. The spirit of the conspirators was unknown and unsuspected. They had
resolved to accept no compromises or concessions, and they sneered at generous acts like this as the “pusillanimity of cowardly Yankees.” It was the first and the last olive-branch offered to the traitors by Rhode Island. When they struck the blow, with deadly intent, at the life of the Republic, ten weeks later, she sent against thein a sword in the hands of her Governor and others, that performed brave deeds in the cause of our nationality.
In the remaining New England States, namely, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut, nothing specially noteworthy was done in relation to the secession move
ment, before the insurgents commenced actual war, in April ; but in the great State of New YORK, whose population was then nearly three millions nine hundred thousand, and whose chief city was the commercial metropolis of the Republic, much was done to attract public attention.
The Legislature assembled at the beginning of January, and the Governor, Edwin D. Morgan, in a conciliatory message, proposed to cast oil on the turbulent political waters, by offering concessions to the complaining
politicians of the South. The members of the Legislature were • January 8, not so yielding; and on the first day of the sessio:10 patriotic
resolutions were introduced by Mr. Spinola, of the lower house. They were referred to a Special Committee of Five, who reported a series of resolutions and a spirited preamble, that were adopted on the 11th. They seemed to comprehend the true character of the conspirators and the duty of all loyal men. The preamble spoke of the “insurgent State of South Caro
lina;" its seizure of the public property ; its act of war, in firing • January 9.
on the Star of the West ;' the seizure of forts and arsenals elsewhere; and the treasonable words of the representatives of Southern States in the National Congress. The first resolution then declared that the people of New York were firmly attached to the Union, and that, impressed with the value of that Union, they tendered to the President, through their Chief Magistrate, whatever aid in men and money might be required to enable him to enforce the laws. They directed the Governor to send a copy of these resolutions to the President, and to the Governors of all the States. These produced much irritation in the Slave-labor States, and at the same time profoundly impressed the people therein with a distrust of the assu