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unchanged, and that the President had declined to allow him to issue an order, for which he had applied on the 27th, to withdraw the garrison from the harbor of Charleston. On the 29th of December, Messrs. Barnwell, Adams, and Orr arrived at Washington, as commissioners from the State of South Carolina, and at once opened a correspondence with President Buchanan, asking for the deliv. ery of the forts and other government property at Charleston to the authorities of South Carolina. The President replied on the 30th, reviewing the whole question-stating that in removing from Fort Moultrie, Major Anderson acted solely on his own responsibility, and that his first impulse on hearing of it was to order him to return, but that the occupation of the fort by South Carolina and the seizure of the arsenal at Charleston had rendered this impossible. The commissioners replied on the 1st of January, 1861, 'insisting that the President had pledged himself to maintain the status of affairs in Charleston harbor previous to the removal of Major Anderson from Fort Moultrie, and calling on him to redeem this pledge. This communication the President returned.
On the 8th of January, the President sent a message to Congress, calling their attention to the condition of public affairs, declaring that while he had no right to make ag. gressive war upon any State, it was his right and his duty to “use military force defensively against those who resist the Federal officers in the execution of their legal functions, and against those who assail the property of the Federal Government ;" — but throwing the whole responsibility of meeting the extraordinary emergencies of the occasion upon Congress. On the same day, Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi, resigned his office as Secretary of the Interior, because the Star of the West had been sent on the 5th, by order of the Government, with supplies for Fort Sumter, in violation, as he alleged, of the decision of the cabinet. On the 10th, P. F. Thomas, of Maryland, who had replaced Howell Cobb as Secretary of the Treasury, resigned, and was succeeded by General John A Dix, of New York.
The debates and the action of Congress throughout the session related mainly to the questions at issue between the two sections. The discussion opened on the 3d of December, as soon as the President's Message had been read. The Southern Senators generally treated the election of the previous November as having been a virtual decision against the equality and rights of the slavehold ing States. The Republican members disavowed this construction, and proclaimed their willingness to adopt any just and proper measures which would quiet the apprehensions of the South, while they insisted that the authority of the Constitution should be maintained, and the constitutional election of a President should be respected. At the opening of the session, Mr. Powell, of Kentucky, in the Senate, moved the reference of that portion of the President's Message which related to the sectional difficulties of the country, to a select committee of thirteen. This resolution being adopted, Mr. Crittenden immediately afterwards introduced a series of joint resolutions, embodying what came to be known afterwards as the Crittenden Compromise-proposing to submit to the action of the people of the several States the following amendments to the Constitution :-
1. Proliibiting slavery in all the territory of the United States north of 36° 30', and protecting it as property in all territory south of that line; and admitting into the Union, with or without slavery, as its Constitution might provide, any State that might be formed out of such territory, whenever its population should be sufficient to entitle it to a member of Congress,
2. Prohibiting Congress from abolishing slavery in places under ito exclusive jurisdiction within Slave States.
3. Probibiting Congress from abolishing slavery within the District of Columbia, so long as slavery should exist in Virginia or Maryland; or without the consent of the inhabitants, or without just compensation to the owners.
4. Prohibiting Congress from hindering the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a Territory in which slavery is allowed.
5. Providing that where a fugitive slave is lost to his owner by violent resistance to the execution of the process of the law for his recovery, tho United States shall pay to said owner his full value, and may recover tho saine froin the county in wbich such rescue occurred.
6. These provisions were declared to be unchangeable by any futuro amendinent of the Constitution, as were also the existing articles relating to the representation of slaves and the surrender of fugitives.
Besides these proposed amendments of the Constitution, Mr. Crittenden's resolutions embodied certain declarations in affirmance of the constitutionality and binding force of the fugitive slave law-recommending the repeal by the States of all bills, the effect of which was to hinder the execution of that law, proposing to amend it by equalizing its fees, and urging the effectual execution of the law for the suppression of the African slave-trade.
These resolutions were referred to the Committee of Thirteen, ordered on Mr. Powell's motion, and composed of the following senators :
Messrs. Powell, Hunter, Crittendon, Seward, Toombs, Douglas, Collamer, Davis, Wade, Bigler, Rice, Doolittle, and Grimes.
On the 31st of December, this committee reported that they “had not been able to agree upon any general plan of adjustment.” The whole subject was nevertheless discussed over and over again during the residue of the session; but no final action was taken until the very day of its close. On the 21st of January, Messrs. Yulee and Mallory, of Florida, resigned their seats in the Senate, because their State had passed an ordinance of secession; and on the 28th, Mr. Iverson, of Georgia, followed their example. Messrs. Clay and Fitzpatrick, of Alabama, and Mr. Davis, of Mississippi, followed next, and, on the 4th of February, Messrs. Slidell and Benjamin, of Louisiana, also took their leave.
In the House of Representatives the debates took the same general direction as in the Senate. On the first day of the session a resolution was adopted, by a vote of one hundred and forty-five to thirty-eight, to refer so much of the President's Message as related to the perilous condition of the country, to a committee of one from each State. This committee was appointed as follows:
Corwin of Ohio.
Dunn of Indiana.
Tinylor of Louisiana.
Davis ot' Mississippi.
llouston of Alabama.
Morse of Maine.
Rust of Arkansas.
lloward of Michigan.
llawkins of Florida. Robinson of Rhode Island.
llamilton of Texas.
Washburn of Wisconsin.
Birch of California.
Windom of Minnesota.
Stark of Oregon. Nelson of Tennessee. A great variety of resolutions were offered and referred to this committee. In a few days the committee reported the following series of resolutions, and recommended their adoption :
Resolcel by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Unital States of America in Congress assembled, That all attempts on the parts of the legislatures of any of the States to obstruct or linder the recovery and surrender of fugitives from service or labor, are in derogation of the Constitution of the United States, inconsistent with the comity anıl good neighborhood that should prevail among the several States, and dangerous to the peace of the Union.
Resolreil, That the several States be respectfully reqnested to causo their statutes to be revised, with a view to ascertain if any of them are in conflict with, or tend to embarrass or hinder the execution of, the laws of the United States, made in pursuance of the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States, for the delivering mp of persons lield to labor by the laws of any State and escaping therefrom; and the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives earnestly request that all enactments having such tendency be forth with repealed, as required by a just sense of constitutional obligations, and by a due regard for the peace of the Republic; and the President of the United States is requested to communicate these resolutions to the governors of the several States, with a request that they will lay the same before the legislatures thereof, respectively.
Resolred, That we recognize slavery as now existing in fifteen of the United States by the usages and laws of those States; and we recognize 20 authority, legally or otherwise, outside of a State where it so existe, to interfere with slaves or slavery in such States, in disregard of the rights of their owners or the peace of society.
Resolved, That we recognize the justice and propriety of a faithful execution of the Constitution, and laws made in pursuance thereof, on the subject of fugitive slaves, or fugitives from service or labor, and discountenance all mobs or hindrances to the execution of such laws, and that citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.
Resolved, That we recognize no such conflicting elements in its composition, or sufficient canse from any source, for a dissolution of this Gov. ernment; that we were not sent here to destroy, but to sustain and harmonize the institutions of the country, and to see that equal justice is done to all parts of the same; and, finally, to perpetuate its existence on terms of equality and justice to all the States.
Resolved, That a faithful observance, on the part of all the States, of all their constitutional obligations to each other and to the Federal Gov. ernment, is essential to the peace of the country.
Resolved, That it is the duty of the Federal Government to enforce the Federal laws, protect the Federal property, and preserve the Union of these States.
Resolved, That each State be requested to revise its statutes, and, if necessary, so to amend the same as to secure, without legislation by Congress, to citizens of other States travelling therein, the same protection as citizens of such States enjoy; and also to protect the citizens of other States travelling or sojourning therein against popular violence or illegal summary punishment, without trial in due form of law for imputed crimes.
Resolved, That each State be also respectfully requested to enact such laws as will prevent and punish any attempt whatever in such State to recognize or set on foot the lawless invasion of any other State or Territory.
Resolved, That the Prestdent be requested to transmit copies of the foregoing resolutions to the Governors of the several States, with a request that they be communicated to their respective legislatures.
These resolutions were intended and admirably calculated to calm the apprehensions of the people of the slaveholding States as to any disposition on the part of the Federal Government to interfere with slavery, or withhold from them any of their constitutional rights ; and in a House controlled by a large Republican majority, they were adopted by a vote of ayes one hundred and thirty-six, noes fifty-three. Not content with this effort to satisfy all just complaints on the part of the Southern