« AnteriorContinuar »
REBELLION IN THE UNITED STATES.
Has our love all died out; have its altars grown cold;
THE smouldering fires which for the last thirty years have been secretly burning in the hearts of Southern politicians have, at last, found vent, and, notwithstanding all the peace policies and measures of "conciliation" extended to them by the North, they have chosen to "rebel" against the government of the United States, and to trample upon that noblest charter of liberty which the world has ever seen, framed by our forefathers, and sealed with their blood, -the Constitution of the United States; and the last presidential campaign served to give them a single thread on which to suspend their disunion sentiments, and afford them a plea, though a miserable one, for declaring themselves no longer subject to the federal government, but free to found for themselves a "confederacy" where their own ambitious sons could obtain high official positions, for which they eagerly and impatiently thirsted, and which, under the federal government, for the next four years at least, was denied them. After the reins of government had been, with one or two exceptions, in the hands of the South for many succeeding years, it was deemed by the North that a change would be productive of much good, and result in
untold benefits to the whole nation; consequently, into the masses of the North was instilled the "Republican sentiment;" and the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States was received with general dissatisfaction throughout the entire South, claiming that his "principles" were adverse to their interests. The "rabid" politicians of the North were touching every chord that would vibrate through the hearts of the people and secure a Republican administration; while the hot-blooded demagogues of the South were stirring up the people and inciting them to "rebellion" and treachery against the general government in the event of the defeat of their candidate for the presidency.
November 6th, being the presidential election day, the following candidates were before the people, viz.: Abraham Lincoln, Republican, of Illinois, for President; Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, for Vice-President; Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat, of Illinois, for President, and Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, Vice-President; John J. Breckenridge, Democrat, of Kentucky, for President, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, Vice-President; John Bell, unionist, of Tennessee, for President, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, Vice-President. The election resulted in Mr. Lincoln's triumph. Seventeen States out of thirty-three cast their majority vote for Lincoln electors, eleven were for Breckenridge, three for Bell, while Douglas received the vote of Missouri and three-sevenths of the vote of New Jersey.
When the news was made known of the election of Mr. Lincoln to the presidential chair, that the Republican star was in the ascendant, it was received at the South with loud demonstrations, and threats of disunion, civil war, and bloodshed, which savored more of "conspiracies" than of statemanship or honest aims, and which was secretly responded to by many traitorous spirits at the North.
First and foremost in the rebellion, South Carolina took the lead, and, on the 20th of December, 1860, declared herself out of the Union, and a free and independent State, and was immediately followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas, forming themselves into a confederacy with their capital at Montgomery, Alabama, and Jefferson Davis as their president, who, with Governor Pickens and some other turbulent spirits among the revolutionists, seemed almost entirely lost to considerations of prudence and discretion, and to act upon the supposition that the loyal States could be bullied into a conflict or frightened into "submission" with their threatened thunder and smoke of war.
But the North remained cool and firm, thinking that when error and passion had ceased to declaim, perhaps truth might be heard, and an amicable adjustment of difficulties might be arrived at; compromise after compromise was drawn up, and Congress was active in its efforts to repair the breach between the States, and restore peace and union where now was alienation and discord ; but all to no purpose; in that hotbed of secession and treachery the voice of conciliation, in any form whatever, could not even gain a hearing, and the new confederacy, so belligerent in spirit, and apparently eager for the fight, would accept of no compromise, while the free States, conscious of their strength and resources, were peaceful in their inclinations, and reluctant to resort to coercion.
The news of the election of Lincoln was received at the North by many with demonstrations of rejoicing, but their joy was soon turned to sadness, for it was immediately followed by a general suspension of business; no trade; credit almost destroyed; awful panic in the money market, that commodity bringing exorbitant rates of interest, and could only be procured by such as could give about three times its value in collaterals; great declension in the