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liged to state to Messrs. Forsyth and Craw- ' with my duty to those loyal citizens. ford that he has no authority, nor is he at liberty, to recognize them as diplomatic
ide of the United States who are also agents, or hold correspondence or other citizens or residents of the States communication with them.
which acknowledge. Mr. Jefferson “Finally, the Secretary of State would observe that, although he has supposed that
Davis, as their political Chief?” To he might safely and with propriety have these questions, inevitably presenting adopted these conclusions without making any reference of the subject to the Execu
themselves to every intelligent mind, tive, yet, so strong has been his desire to Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford indipractice entire directness, and to act in a
cate no reply whatever. They respirit of perfect respect and candor toward Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford, and that por
presented a power which had detion of the Union in whose name they present clined coöperation with even a mathemselves before him, that he has cheer
jority of the Slave States—which had fully submitted this paper to the President, who coincides generally in the views it ex- not even considered the propriety of presses, and sanctions the Secretary's decis- calling a National Convention-and ion declining official intercourse with Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford.”
which now proffered to the Union
no compromise, no middle ground, These memorable papers are too but the naked alternative of Surrenlucid to require or justify extended der or fight! comment. The Commissioners, it Gov. Seward's reply, though pacific will be seen, place the alleged Seces- in temper, and evidently animated by sion of the Cotton States expressly a hope that hostilities may yet be and exclusively on the true and pro- avoided, is eminently frank and exper ground—“the inherent right of plicit. That the Executive could recevery free people to change or reform ognize Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford their political institutions”-in other only as citizens of the United States, words, the Right of Revolution, not as plenipotentiaries of an indethus precluding all discussion as to pendent and foreign power-that the the pretended constitutional right, alleged secession and confederation of or reservation of right, to secede at the seven States in question was not, will from the Union. But this posi- and could not be recognized by the tion, however wisely and honorably Government as valid, their secestaken, does not at all preclude the sion being impliedly, and their conquestion which Mr. Lincoln was federation expressly, forbidden by bound to ask, and, in some way, to the Federal Constitution—that there answer-“What right have I, the could be no secession save through fairly chosen Chief Magistrate of the the agency of a National Convention, Union-chosen, too, at an election which those States had declined to wherein the seven States now alleged invoke, and were now unwilling to to have seceded fully participated — submit to-that their alleged grievto recognize those States as a foreign ances could be redressed only through nation, as independent of the remain- such Convention, or by the Congress ing States as Russia or Peru ? How of the United States, wherein the right will such recognition, and the action of those States to an equal representanecessarily consequent thereon, accord tion had been, and still was, unqueswith my solemn oath of office, and the tioned—and that the President had weighty obligations it imposes? How I been consulted respecting, and fully
concurred in, these views of his Sec- Mr. Justice Nelson was present at these con
versations, three in number, and I submitted retary of State--so much seems
to him each of my communications to Judge plainly set forth in this memoran Crawford, and informed Judge C. that they dum.' with all the perspicuity which had his (Judge Nelson's) sanction. I gave
you, on the 22d March, a substantial copy of can be attained through the employ the statement I had made on the 15th. ment of our mother tongue. How is “The 30th of March arrived, and at that
time a telegram came from Gov. Pickens, init possible, then, that complaint should
quiring concerning Col. Lamon, whose visit nevertheless be made that the Con to Charleston, he supposed, had a connection federates were deluded by Gov. Sew
with the proposed evacuation of Fort Sum
ter. ard into anticipations of an early and
“I left that with you, and was to have an easy concession of their independ answer the following Monday (1st April).
On the first of April, I received from you a ence ?
statement, in writing, 'I am satisfied the Yet that charge is made; and, Government will not undertake to supply since it rests wholly on the testimony Fort Sumter without giving notice to Gov.
Pickens.' The words 'I am satisfied' were of a Confederate who once held, and
for me to use as expressive of confidence in had not then resigned, the exalted the remainder of the declaration. position of a Justice of the United
“The proposition, as originally prepared,
was, "The President may desire to supply States Supreme Court, it may be well Sumter, but will not do so,' etc., and your to consider it fully. The testimony verbal explanation was that you did not be
lieve any such attempt would be made, and is that of Judge Campbell aforesaid, (a
that there was no design to reënforce Sumter. prominent disciple of Mr. Calhoun), “There was a departure here from the who, about the time of his taking
pledges of the previous month; but, with the
verbal explanation, I did not consider it a final leave of Washington to enter matter then to complain of--I simply stated more openly into the service of the to you that I had that assurance previously. Confederacy, wrote to Gov. Seward
« On the 7th April, I addressed you a let
ter on the subject of the alarm that the prepas follows:
arations by the Government had created, and “WASHINGTON CITY, , asked you if the assurances I had given were
“Saturday, April 13, 1861. ) well or ill founded. In respect to Sumter, “Sir:-On the 15th March ult., I left | your reply was, 'Faith as to Sumter fully with Judge Crawford, one of the Commis kept—wait and see. In the morning's pasioners of the Confederate States, a note in
per, I read, “An authorized messenger from writing to the following effect:
President Lincoln informed Gov. Pickens I feel entire confidence that Fort Sumter will be evac
and Gen. Beauregard that provisions would uated in the next ten days. And this measure is felt as be sent to Fort Sumter peaceably, or otherimposing great responsibility on the Administration.
I feel an entire confidence that no measure changing the existing status, prejudicious to the Southern Confed
"This was the 8th of April, at Charleserate States, is at present contemplated.
ton, the day following your last assurance, "I feel an entire confidence that an immediate demand for an answer to the communication of the Commission
and is the evidence of the full faith I was iners will be productive of evil, and not of yood. I do not vited to wait for and see. In the same paper, believe that it ought, at this time, to be pressed.'
I read that intercepted dispatches disclose “The substance of this statement I com- the fact that Mr. Fox, who had been allowed municated to you the same evening by let- to visit Maj. Anderson, on the pledge that ter. Five days elapsed, and I called with a his purpose was pacific, employed his opportelegram from Gen. Beauregard, to the effect tunity to devise a plan for supplying the fort that Sumter was not evacuated, but that by force, and that this plan had been adoptMaj. Anderson was at work making repairs. ed by the Washington Government, and was
“The next day, after conversing with you, in process of execution. I communicated to Judge Crawford, in wri "My recollection of the date of Mr. Fox's ting, that the failure to evacuate Sumter visit carries it to a day in March. I learn was not the result of bad faith, but was he is a near connection of a member of the attributable to causes consistent with the Cabinet. intention to fulfill the engagement; and that, “My connection with the commissioners as regarded Pickens, I should have notice of and yourself was superinduced by a converany design to alter the existing status there. | sation with Justice Nelson. He informed
me of your strong disposition in favor of Judge Campbell, it will be noted, peace, and that you were oppressed with a demand of the Commissioners of the Confed- |
takes up the thread of the furtive erate States for a reply to their first letter, negotiations exactly where the Comand that you desired to avoid, if possible, at missioners had dropped it. They that time. I told him I might, perhaps, be of some service in arranging the difficulty.
had made their demand on the 12th; I came to your office entirely at his request, had been answered by Gov. Seward and without the knowledge of the Commis
on the 15th ; but the answer withsioners. Your depression was obvious to both Judge Nelson and myself. I was grati- held; for on this day Judge C. makes fied at the character of the counsels you
his first appearance on the scene, were desirous of pursuing, and much impressed with your observation that a civil
with an assurance to the Commiswar might be prevented by the success of sioners that he felt “ entire confi· my mediation. You read a letter of Mr. Weed, to show how irksome and responsible
dence that Fort Sumter would be the withdrawal of troops from Sumter was. evacuated within the next ten days," A portion of my communication to Judge if the Commissioners would not push Crawford on the 15th of March was founded upon these reinarks, and the pledge to evac
matters too hurriedly to a crisis. Still uate Sumter is less forcible than the words later, he gave these Commissioners asyou employed. Those words were, “Before
surances that no attempt would be this letter reaches you (a proposed letter by me to President Davis), Sumter will have made to supply the closely investbeen evacuated.'
ed and scantily provisioned garrison communications conclude they have been
of Fort Sumter, until due notice of abused and overreached. The Montgomery the intent had been given to Gov. Government hold the same opinion. The |
Pickens; which promise was fulfilled Commissioners have supposed that my communications were with you, and, upon
to the letter. that hypothesis, prepared to arraign you be- / Judge Campbell quotes Justice Nelfore the country in connection with the President. I placed a peremptory prohibi
son as testifying to Gov. Seward's tion upon this, as being contrary to the terms “strong disposition in favor of of my communications with them. I pledged peace.” Who ever denied or doubt. myself to them to communicate information upon what I considered as the best authori
ed it? But did he ever avow an inty, and they were to confide in the ability clination to Peace on the basis of of myself, aided by Judge Nelson, to deter- |
Disunion? That is the vital point; mine upon the credibility of my informant.
“I think no candid man who will read and it is not covered, even by asover what I have written, and consider for
sertions, on the part of the Confeda moment what is going on at Sumter, will agree that the equivocating conduct of the
erates. That he clung tenaciously Administration, as measured and interpreted to the hope of some adjustment or in connection with these promises, is the
conciliation,' whereby civil war might proximate cause of the great calamity.
"I have a profound conviction that the be averted, and the just authority of telegrams of the 8th of April, of Gen. Beau- the Federal Government acknowlregard, and of the 10th of April, of Gen. Walker, the Secretary of War, can be re- |
edged and respected by the Confedferred to nothing else than their belief that erate States, is manifest; and that there has been systematic duplicity practiced
is the whole truth, and affords a simupon them throughout. It is under an oppressive sense of the weight of this respon- | ple and obvious explanation of what sibility that I submit to you these things for seems to Confederates so mysterious, your explanation. “Very respectfully,
so crafty, or so atrocious. The mani“JOIN A. CAMPBELL, fest, controlling fact is, that the par“Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. ties to this unique correspondence “Hon. WM. H, SEWARD,
"Secretary of State." . | occupied positions so contrasted, so
THE CONFEDERATE ENVOYS TO GOV. SEWARD.
incompatible, that it was scarcely | The undersigned, in behalf of their Governpossible that they should seriously
ment and people, accept the gage of battle
thus thrown down to them; and, appealing engage in a negotiation, much less to God and the judgment of mankind for the bring it to a happy issue. It was righteousness of their cause, the people of much as if a plenipotentiary should
the Confederate States will defend their lib
erties to the last against this flagrant and address the government to which he open attempt at their subjugation to secwas accredited in Greek, knowing notional power." other tongue, and his dispatch be 1 As the world has not been gratireceived and answered by one who fied with a sight of the credentials was equally ignorant of any language and instructions of these gentlemen, but Choctaw. The only possible re it may be discourteous to assume sult of such diplomacy is a postpone that their eagerness to accept the ment of hostilities; and that seems, gage of battle” carried them beyond in this case, to have been achieved: 1 the strict limits of their powers and for the Confederate envoys, in sha- duties; but the subtile casuistry king from their feet the dust of which enabled them to discriminate Washington and returning to their between a recognition of Confederate own 'nation,' addressed, on the 9th
independence and an “audience to of April, a vituperative letter to Gov. adjust the new relations springing Seward, whereof all that is not mere from a manifest and accomplished rəetoric, of a peculiarly Southern
revolution,” might have secured to stamp, or has not already been here-them fame and fortune
them fame and fortune in some more in stated, is as follows:
poetic and imaginative vocation. "The undersigned clearly understand that
As the Commissioners seem to apyou have declined to appoint a day to ena- prehend that they would be charged ble them to lay the objects of the mis
with a lack of energy if it should be sion with which they are charged before the President of the United States, because so
understood that they had allowed the to do would be to recognize the indepen Government of the United States dence and separate nationality of the Con
nearly four weeks wherein to decide federate States. This is the vein of thought that pervades the memorandum before us. between recognizing - or, if they The truth of history requires that it should choose, admitting and acting upondistinctly appear upon the record that the andersigned did not ask the Government of
the independence of the Confederate the United States to recognize the indepen States, and an acceptance of the dence of the Confederate States. They only
“gage of battle,” it may be requisite asked an audience to adjust, in a spirit of amity and peace, the new relations springing to give one more extract from their
from a manifest and accomplished revolution valedictory, as follows: in the government of the late Federal Union. Your refusal to entertain these overtures for - This delay was assented to for the exa peaceful solution, the active naval and mili- j press purpose of attaining the great end of tary preparations of this Government, and a the mission of the undersigned, to wit: a formal notice to the commanding general | pacific solution of existing complications. of the Confederate forces in the harbor of The inference, deducible from the date of Charleston that the President intends to pro- | your memorandum, that the undersigned vision Fort Sumter, by forcible means, if ne- had, of their own volition and without cessary, are viewed by the undersigned, and cause, consented to this long hiatus in the can only be received by the world, as a dec- grave duties with which they were charged, laration of war against the Confederate is therefore not consistent with a just expoStates; for the President of the United sition of the facts of the case. The interStates knows that Fort Sumter cannot be vening twenty-three days were employed provisioned without the effusion of blood. ) in active unofficial efforts, the object of
which was to smooth the path to a pacific ! And, all through the seceded solution, the distinguished personage alluded
States, those Unionists who dared to to (Judge Campbell] coöperating with the undersigned; and every step of that effort indicate their devotion to the flag of is recorded in writing, and now in possession their fathers were being treated with of the undersigned and of their Government. It was only when all these anxious efforts
a still more active and positive illusfor peace had been exhausted, and it became tration of Confederate amity than clear that Mr. Lincoln had determined to
was accorded to the garrison of Sumappeal to the sword to reduce the people of the Confederate States to the will of the ter and the fleet off Pensacola. section or party whose President he is, that Whether President Lincoln did or the undersigned resumed the official negotiation temporarily suspended, and sent
did not, for some days after his inautheir secretary for a reply to their note of guration, incline to the withdrawal March 12th."
of Major Anderson and his brave But that the Confederacy was al
handful from closely beleaguered lowed, in no respect, to suffer by this
Sumter, is not certain. It is certain brief breathing-spell mistakenly ac
that great doubt and anxiety on this corded by her plenipotentiaries to
point pervaded the country. Some the Union--that the peace which
of the newspaper correspondents at we enjoyed was of an equivocal and
| Washington, who were very properly one-sided character—will appear, not
and keenly on the watch for the least only from the close investment of
indication of the Presidential purmenaced Fort Sumter-with which pose, telegraphed, quite confidently, no one was allowed to communicate,
on the 14th, that Sumter was to be save by Gov. Pickens's gracious per
peaceably evacuated; that Gen. Scott mission—but by the active, aggressive
had given his opinion that this was a hostility to Federal authority mani
military necessity; that the fortress fested throughout the South, as evinced
was so surrounded and enveloped in the following order:
by Confederate forts and batteries
that it could not now be reënforced, "HEAD-QUARTERS TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES,? | nor even provisioned, save at an
NEAR PENSACOLA, FLA., March 18, 1861. 5 66 The Commanding General learns with enormous and unjustifiable cost of surprise and regret that some of our citizens human blood; so that there was no are engaged in the business of furnishing
practical alternative to its abandonsupplies of fuel, water, and provisions, to the armed vessels of the United States now ment. occupying a threatening appearance off this The new Senate, which had been harbor. “That no misunderstanding may exist
convened for the 4th by President upon this subject, it is announced to all con- | Buchanan to act upon the nominacerned that this traffic is strictly forbidden; and all such supplies which may be captured
tions of his successor, remained sitin transit to said vessels, or to Fort Pickens, ting in Extra Session until the 28th; will be confiscated.
and its Democratic members--now "The more effectually to enforce this prohibition, no boat or vessel will be allowed
reduced by Secession and by changes to visit Fort Pickens, or any of the United to a decided minority—urgently and States naval vessels, without special sanction.
pertinaciously demanded from the “ Col. John H. Forney, Acting InspectorGeneral, will organize an efficient Harbor majority some declaration of the PrePolice for the enforcement of this order. sident's purpose. “Are we to have “By command of Brigadier General “BRAXTON BRAGG.
coërcion and civil war, or concession “ROBERT C. Wood, Jr., Ass't. Adj't.-Gen.” | and peace ?” was the burden of their