« AnteriorContinuar »
"PEACE' RESOLVES OF THE NEW YORK DEMOCRACY. 395
cease to collect the revenues, because you | ciliation,” and requests the Legislaare threatened !!
ture to take steps toward the sum“In other words, gentlemen, it seems to me—and I know I speak the wishes of my moning of a Convention of the States. constituents,—that, while I abhor coërcion, The seventh urges a compliance with in one sense, as war, I wish to preserve the dignity of the government of these United the request of the Legislature of VirStates as well. [Applause.]"
ginia for a meeting of Commissioners
at Washington, and asks the LegisMr. Elseffer's amendment
was lature of New York to appoint Comthereupon withdrawn, and the origi- missioners thereto; and, in case of nal resolutions unanimously adopted. its failure, names seven eminent citi
They are eight in number; where- zens—not one of them a Republicanof the first affirms that “ the crisis
as such Commissioners. The eighth into which the country has been implores “the States in the attitude thrown” has been produced by “ the of secession to stay the sword and conflict of sectional passions ;” and
save the nation from civil war," so as that the calamities now imminent of to give time for perfecting a comprocivil war can only be averted by con- mise; appealing also to the noncessions. The second condemns a seceded Southern States to act in a resort to civil war, on the part of the similar spirit. Committees were apFederal Government, asserting that pointed to present these resolutions “ civil war will not restore the Union, to Congress and to the State Legisbut will defeat, for ever, its recon- lature, as also to correspond with struction.” The third calls for con other States; and then the Convenciliation, concession, and compromise, tion adjourned, after empowering its declaring that "it would be monstrous President to reconvene it in his disto refuse them." The fourth declares
cretion. that it is eminently fit that we should listen to the appeals of loyal men in The action of this Convention was the Border States. The fifth approves of great moment under two distinct of the Crittenden proposition, and aspects; first, as indicating truly and urges that it be submitted by the clearly the light in which the SecesLegislature to a vote of the electors sion movement was regarded by the of this state. The sixth urges npon conservative politicians of
of the Congress “ adequate measures of con- North ;4 secondly, as revealing to the South the probable action of those resistance to their purpose that might conservatives, should the Union be be offered. Mr. Roscoe Conkling constrained to defend itself by force attests that, when the proceedings of against a slaveholding effort for its this Convention reached Washington, disintegration and overthrow. And, they were hailed with undisguised whatever may have been the intent exultation by the Secessionists still of those assembled, it is certain that lingering in the halls of Congress; the sentiments expressed by Messrs. one of whom said to him triumphantParker, A. B. Johnson, Seymour, ly, “If your President should attempt Thayer, etc., and the approving re- coërcion, he will have more opposisponse which they elicited, were hailed tion at the North than he can overby the engineers of Secession as proof come.” positive that they would either not be forcibly opposed at all, or would have no difficulty in overcoming, by The "Peace Conference," or Conthe help of their sympathizing friends gress, so called, was assembled on the and allies in the Free States, any unanimous invitation of the Legisla
4 The Albany Argus, for example, of November ings have been insulted and their interests and 10, 1860-four days after the election of Mr. Lin- honor assailed by almost every possible form of coln--thus clearly and temperately expressed denunciation and invective; and, if we deemed it
certain that the real animus of the Republican the view generally taken of the Secession move
party could be carried into the administration of ment by the Democratic journals of the Free
the Federal Government, and become the perStates:
manent policy of the nation, we should think “We are not at all surprised at the manifesta- that all the instincts of self-preservation and of tions of feeling at the South. We expected and manhood rightfully impelled them to a resort to predicted it; and for so doing were charged by revolution and a separation from the Union, and the Republican press with favoring disunion; we would applaud them and wish them God while, in fact, we simply correctly appreciated speed in the adoption of such a remedy." the feeling of that section of the Union. We
In the same spirit, The Rochester Union, two sympathize with and justify the South, as far as this-their rights have been invaded to the ex
or three days later, argued that the threatened treme limit possible within the forms of the secession of the Slave States was but a counterConstitution, and, beyond this limit, their feel-. / poise of the Personal Liberty bills and other ing the sword, possessing the right to break the tie attempted by South Carolina alone, or in connection with other States, it will be a most important
measures of antagonism to slaveholding at the neither Mr. Buchanan nor Mr. Lincoln will emNorth Said The Union :
ploy force against the seceding States. If South
Carolina, or any other State, through a conven"Restricting our remarks to actual violations of the Constitution, the North have led the way,
tion of her people, shall formally separate herand for a long period have been the sole offenders
self from the Union, probably both the present
and the next Executive will simply let her alone, or aggressors. For many years, laws have been on the statute-books of Northern States, which
and quietly allow all the functions of the Federal
Government within her limits to be suspended. were passed with the avowed object of preventing the delivering up of fugitive slaves, which
Any other course would be madness; as it would
at once enlist all the Southern States in the conthe Constitution says, 'shall be delivered up.' Owing to their different circumstances, Northern troversy, and plunge the whole country into a
civil war. States have been enabled to secure their che
The first gun fired in the way of
forcing a seceding State back to her allegiance rished object by violating the Constitution in a way that does not necessitate secession from, or
to the Union, would probably prove the knell of a dissolution of, the Union. Owing to their
its final dismemberment. As a matter of policy peculiar circumstances, the Southern States can
and wisdom, therefore, independent of the quesnot retaliate upon the North without taking
tion of right, we should deem resort to force
most disastrous." ground for secession from or a dissolution of the Union. But, in resorting to this mode and measure of redress, they simply followed the 6 The New York Herald of November 9th-the example set by Northern States in violating the
third day after that of the Presidential electionConstitution to such an extent as they deem neces
in its leading editorial, had said: sary to secure their objects. The Northern States stopped at one given point in their career of "For far less than this [the election of Linnullification, because they had no object to gain coln), our fathers seceded from Great Britain; by going further. The Southern States propose and they left revolution organized in every State, to to stop at another given point, which, in their act whenever it is demanded by public opinion. judgment, is indicated by the necessities of their The confederation is held together only by pubposition.
lic opinion. Each State is organized as a com5 The Albany Argus of Nov. 12, 1860, said:
plete government, holding the purse and wield“Should secession from the Union be actually of the confederation as a nation might break a treaty, PROPOSITIONS IN THE "PEACE' CONFERENCE.
and to repel coërcion as a nation might repel invaquestion for the present and next Administra
sion. * * * Coërcion, if it were possible, is out
of the question.” tion, how it shall be treated. Shall it be met by force ? Shall the military power of the Govern- The Charleston Courier of November, 1860, ment be employed to retain seceding States
announced the formation of Military organizawithin the Union, and compel them to yield tions in various parts of the North in defense of obedience to the requirements of the Constitution? Waiving, in what we now have to say,
Southern rights. Allentown, Pa., was speciall question about the right of secession, we be- fied as one of the points at which such forces lieve that, as a matter of practical administration, were mustering and drilling.
ture of Virginia,' and convened in sachusetts, Francis B. Crowninshield.; Rhode Washington one month prior to
Island, Samuel Ames; Connecticut, Roger
S. Baldwin; New York, David Dudley Field; Mr. Lincoln's inauguration. Thir- New Jersey, Peter D. Vroom; Pennsylvateen Free States were represented, nia, Thomas White; Ohio, Thomas Ewing ; viz.: Maine, New Hampshire, Ver- phen F. Logan; Iowa, James Harlan ; Dela
Indiana, Charles B. Smith; Illinois, Stemont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, ware, Daniel M. Bates; North Carolina, Connecticut, New York, New Jer- Thomas Ruffin ; Virginia, James A. Seddon
Kentucky, James Guthrie; Maryland, Revsey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, erdy Johnson; Tennessee, F. K. Zollicoffer ; Illinois, and Iowa; and seven Slave Missouri, A. W. Doniphan. States, viz.: Delaware, Maryland, Mr. Guthrie, from the majority of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, said Committee, on the 15th, made a Tennessee, and Missouri. Ex-Presi- report, recommending several amenddent John Tyler, of Virginia, was ments to be ingrafted on the Federal called to the Chair. On motion of Constitution; which amendments, Mr. James Guthrie, of Kentucky, it as perfected and voted on by the was
Conference, will hereafter be given.
Gov. Roger S. Baldwin [Republi"Resolved, That a Committee of one from each State be appointed by the Commission can], of Connecticut, made a dissenters thereof, to be nominated to the Presi- ing report; recommending that, indent, and to be appointed by him, to whom shall be referred the resolutions of the State stead of the aforesaid amendments, of Virginia, and the other States represent this body adopt and recommend the ed, and all propositions for the adjustment suggestion of the Legislature of Kenof existing difficulties between States; with authority to report what they may deem tucky—that of a General Convention right, necessary, and proper, to restore har- of the States. [His proposition will mony and preserve the Union; and that they be given in full, in connection with report on or before Friday."
its disposal by the Conference.] This Committee was composed as
Mr. James A. Seddon, of Virginia, follows:
made another minority report, whereMaine, Lot M. Morrill; New Hampshire, in he affirms that the majority report Asa Fowler; Vermont, Hiland Hall, Mas- would not be acceptable to Virginia,
Gov. Letcher responded (Dec. 25, 1860), saying: So early as Nov. 30, 1860, Gov. John Letcher, "I regard the government as now doomed, of Virginia, who, as a Douglas Democrat and beyond a contingency, to destruction. * * * Í
Adopted January 19, 1861.
have lost all hope, as I see no disposition in the former anti-Slavery man, was regarded as among
free States to adjust the controversy. We have the most moderate of Southern politicians, in an- just heard from Washington that the Republiswer to a Union letter from Rev. Lewis P. Clover, cans have presented their ultimatum; and I say a Democrat of Springfield, Ill., had said:
to you, in sincerity and sorrow, that it will never
be assented to. I believe ninety-nine men out "I now consider the overthrow of the Union
of every hundred in Virginia will repudiate it absolutely certain. South Carolina will secede ;
Conservative as I am, and laboring and the chain, once broken, is not very likely to as I have been for months to secure an adjustbe reünited. * * * Unless something shall be ment, before I will assent to that proposition, I speedily do ne to quiet the apprehensions of the will welcome civil war with all its horrors. It South, the Union is gone beyond all hope." would be dishonorable in the South to accept it;
and my motto is, 'Death before dishonor. 15 Mr. Clover replied, stating that he had shown Gov. L.'s letter to Mr. Lincoln (who asked Mr.
Such were the Southern Unionists whom the C., whether it was just to hold him responsible | Republicans were expected to conciliate, and for the Personal Liberty bills, etc., which he had stigmatized as repelling: never favored), and trusting that the President elect would "be found a friend to the South." 8 February 4th. . On the 6th.
because it gave less to the South to the 4th of April, to enable other than even the Crittenden Compro- States to be represented therein: but mise; whereas, Virginia required the this was not agreed to. whole of that, and something more. After several days' discussion and He proposed sundry amendments to consideration, with votes upon varithe Federal Constitution, in addition ous amendments, Mr. David Dudley to the guarantee to Slavery, forever, Field, of New York, moved to amend of all territory south of 36° 30'; one the Committee's report, by striking of which secures to every slaveholder out $ 7, and inserting as follows: the right to take his slave through "ARTICLE 1. No State shall withdraw from any non-slaveholding State or terri- the Union without the consent of all the tory, in passing from one slavehold- States, given in a Convention of the States,
convened in pursuance of an act passed by ing State or territory to another; and two-thirds of each House of Congress.” also secures to him protection for his This proposition was rejected, as slaves as property, while at sea on such follows: a journey. Another is in these words:
Ays-Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, " ARTICLE 7. Sec. 1. The elective fran- Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampchise and the right to hold office, whether shire, Vermont, Kansas—10. Federal, State, territorial, or municipal, shall Noes-Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, not be exercised by persons who are, in Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, whole or in part, of the African race." Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, VirAnother of these amendments
presumes, and recognizes, the right of Mr. "Guthrie's report at length peaceable State secession, undertak- coming up for action thereon, Gov. ing to guard against its abuses. Baldwin moved a substitution for said
Mr. Charles A. Wickliffe, of Ken- report of his proposition aforesaid; tucky, proposed that this Convention which was in the following words: request the several States which have "Whereas, unhappy differences exist which passed Personal Liberty bills, to ab- have alienated from each other portions of
the people of the United States to such an rogate them; also, that they allow extent as seriously to disturb the peace of slaves to be carried across their soil the nation, and impair the regular and effirespectively.
cient action of the Government within the
sphere of its constitutional powers and duties: Mr. Amos Tuck [Republican], of "And whereas, the Legislature of the State New Hampshire, submitted an Ad- of Kentucky has made application to Condress to the People of the United amendments to the Constitution of the Uni
gress to call a Convention for proposing States, “deploring the divisions and ted States : distractions that now afflict our coun
“And whereas, it is believed to be the
opinion of the people of other States that try,” but deprecating secession or vio- amendments to the Constitution are or may lence, and insisting that “the Consti- become necessary to secure to the people of tution of the United States, properly and equal enjoyment of their rights and lib
the United States, of every section, the full understood and fairly enforced, is erties, so far as the same may depend for equal to every exigency.” Mr. Tuck's their security and protection on the powers
granted to or withheld from the General address closed with three resolutions; | Government, in pursuance of the national which will be given hereafter.
purposes for which it was ordained and Gov. S. P. Chase, of Ohio, pro
"And whereas, it may be expedient that posed that this Convention adjourn such amendments as any of the States may
10 February 26, 1861.
REPUBLICAN OVERTURES REJECTED.
desire to have proposed, should be presented | ognize the well understood proposition that to the Convention in such form as the re- the Constitution of the United States gives spective States desiring the same may deem no power to Congress, or any branch of the proper :
Federal Government, to interfere in any "This convention does, therefore, recom- manner with Slavery in any of the States; mend to the several States to unite wit and we are assured, by abundant testimony, Kentucky in her application to Congress to that neither of the great political organizacall a Convention for proposing amendments tions existing in the country contemplates a to the Constitution of the United States, to violation of the spirit of the Constitution in be submitted to the Legislatures of the sev- this regard, or the procuring of any amenderal States, or to conventions therein, for ment thereof, by which Congress, or any ratification, as the one or the other mode of department of the General Government, ratification may be proposed by Congress, in shall ever have jurisdiction over Slavery in accordance with the provision in the fifth any of the States. article of the Constitution :
“2d. Resolved, That the Constitution was which was defeated by the following ordained and established, as set forth in the
preärnble, by the people of the United States, Vote:
in order to form à more perfect Union, esAys--Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, tablish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, provide for the common defense, promote Vermont—8.
the general welfare, and secure the blessings Noes-Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Ma
of liberty to themselves and their posterity; ryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Caro
and when the people of any State are not in lina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ten- full enjoyment of all the benefits intended to nessee, Virginia, Kansas—13.
be secured to them by the Constitution, or
their rights under it are disregarded, their Mr. Seddon's project, excluding tranquillity disturbed, their prosperity rethat part which provides for State tarded, or their liberty imperiled, by the
people of any other State, full and adequate secession, was likewise moved as a
redress can and ought to be provided for substitute, and defeated by the fol- such grievances.
"3d. Resolved, That this Convention reclowing vote:
ommend to the Legislatures of the several Ays-Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, States of the Union to follow the example Virginia-4.
of the Legislatures of the States of Kentucky Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Illinois, in applying to Congress to call Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, a Convention for the proposing of amendNew Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, ments to the Constitution of the United Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennes- States, pursuant to the fifth article thereof." see, Vermont, Kansas-16.
The Conference refused thus to subMr. James B. Clay," of Kentucky, stitute, by the following vote : now moved a very long substitute, Ays--Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, which was substantially Mr. Seddon's Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hamp
shire, Vermont-9. over again ; which was rejected by NOES-Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, the following vote:
Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Ays-Kentucky, Missouri, North Caro- Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vir lina, Tennessee, Virginia-5.
ginia—11. NOES--Connecticut Delaware, Illinois, The question was next taken on Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts
, Maryland, the first section of Mr. Guthrie's plan New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, of constitutional amendment, as folOhio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ver
lows Mr. Tuck's proposition, consisting
"SECTION 1. In all the present territory
of the United States, north of the parallel of an address and three resolves, was
of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes of now moved as a substitute. His re- north latitude, involuntary servitude, except solves were as follows:
in punishment of crime, is prohibited. In
all the present territory south of that line, “1st. Resolved, That this Convention rec- the status of persons held to involuntary
of Henry Clay; since a prominent Rebel; died in Canada in January, 1864.