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address, a Providence paper contains the following brief paragraph:
“His honest, simple, straight-forward declarations of fidelity to the spirit of our government and Constitution must commend themselves to all, and awaken a response in every patriotic heart. No language could be chosen which would more strongly and unequivocally express the resolve to respect the rights of the South, to let slavery in the States utterly alone, to fulfil the constitutional obligation respecting fugitive slaves, and to treat with the utmost kindness the citizens of the Southern States, than that which the President employs."
And, again, a Newburyport paper says:-“President Lincoln's inaugural will be read by all. It will be admired by every patriot in the land. It is a glorious message --- words of wisdom, of conciliation, of peace; yes, and as brave and firm as pacific. It has about it nothing noisy, declamatory and boisterous; it bears upon its every line the calmness of self-reliant truth, and it carries with it a consciousness of strength that can afford to bear and forbear, and yet possess the power, when necessary, to assert and maintain the right."
March 22d. Dr. Fox, of the navy, visited Major Anderson, as a special messenger of government.
March 25th, Col. Lamon, government messenger, had an interview with Governor Pickens and General Beauregard. April 3d. Long cabinet meeting on Fort Sumter busi
Great activity in the navy department. We have thus far, the reader will see, given only the Northern side of the question; we now propose to retrace our steps and give an account of the movements in the Southern States during the same period,— thinking this mode preferable, as the commingling of events would distract our readers, and cause them to partially lose sight of the chain of proceedings on either side.
In vain is the strife : when its fury is past,
NOTHING can be more absurd than the claim that the success of the Republican party has brought about the present condition of affairs at the South. That the wickedness, incompetency and inability of the last administration constitute one of the principal causes of the existing national troubles and peril, is evident enough to all honest-minded and intelligent citizens; and that the President of the United States, especially, has been weighed in the balance and found wanting, is a truth mournfully obvious to the whole people of the land.
The fire-eaters at the South have contributed their full share towards the mischief. The Rhetts of South Carolina, and the Wendell Phillipses of Boston, who regard the Union as "a league with hell and a covenant with death," can boast that they have “labored faithfully for twenty years” to dissever the bonds which fasten together our glorious Union. The Greeleys, John Browns, and others of the Beecher school have contributed their mite towards discord and disunion, while the reverend Beecher and other electioneering parsons, who prostitute the pulpit to partisan politics, and use the influence which belongs to ministers of the gospel for political purposes, have constantly fanned the flame, and kept it alive, which might ere this, if left to itself, have become extinct.
When, in these Northern States, we enter the church dedicated to Almighty God, where we expect to hear preached Christ and him crucified, "peace on earth and good-will to men,” we find the pulpit has been prostituted for the purpose of enlisting its adherents and hearers in this antislavery crusade against the South, as a part and parcel of its religious teachings, berating and condemning our Southern brethren because they happen to be born in a land where there exists an institution which they themselves had no hand in establishing.
The prevailing idea entertained by most of the leading statesmen, at the time of the formation of the Constitution, was that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with ; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent, and pass away.
Much has been said and written, by the extremists of the abolition party, which has served to inflame the hot blood of the South, who receive it, and without investigation charge it upon the North, as the ruling sentiment of the people; yet, notwithstanding, the oft-repeated assertion of the South, of injuries received and wrongs perpetrated, is a mere fallacy to assist in the work of disunion.
The real work has been accomplished by temporizing politicians, who have sought for momentary local success in catering to a deluded populace, but have falsely calculated upon being able to control the storm ere it should prove destructive. While we would condemn the course pursued by Northern politicians and ultra abolitionists, for their aggressions on slavery, we see no just or reasonable cause for the action of the South, or why fears need be entertained for their constitutional rights.
The Vice-President of the Confederate States, Mr. A. H. Stevens, in a speech made at Savannah, March 21st,
“The Constitution, it is true, secures every essential guarantee to the institution (slavery) while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly used against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day.”
The secession movement, which took form and consistency by the action of South Carolina immediately after the election of Lincoln, was not the conception of an hour;
was not the result of the election of a Republican President; it was not that the Constitution gave them no rights, or equality in the Union; it was not the result of wrongs inflicted upon the South by the free States; nor was it the agitation of the slavery question, which have brought upon us the horrors of fratricidal war. The prime moving cause is ambition, — the hungering and thirsting after the balance of power
that sordid ambition which would prompt them to force their way into the highest positions of power, even though it lay over heaps of the slain and through seas of blood, and then weep, like Alexander, because they had not another world to conquer.
This is the pervading spirit of Southern partisan leaders, who would, Judas-like, sell their country for filthy lucre; yet their keen perceptive faculties told them they must have an excuse, and in order to give the rebellion a semblance of justice they made the slavery question their pretence; and the election of Lincoln, with his Republican principles, afforded them a single thread on which to suspend their operations.
In 1850, when the slavery question was agitated, and trouble was anticipated therefrom, a gentleman from Boston asked General Houston how it could be settled. The General replied,-_“You go North and shoot six men, and I will go South and shoot half-a-dozen, then, I think, things will go on quietly.”
The love of the Union was so strong in the majority of Southern hearts, the disinclination to encounter the hazards of a revolution so apparent, it became necessary for the leaders to act with great caution in setting on foot their movement for disunion. If the people demurred, they were told by the immediate secessionists that the North had pursued, from the inception of the government up to the present time, one continual course of aggression, - that they had no equality in the Union, in fact that they were but the slaves of the North ; until, in listening to the inflammatory appeals of their speakers, they could, in imagination, almost hear the clanking of Northern chains around them. The old story was told, of wrongs endured, of slaves stolen, of unjust imposition of taxes by way of tariff levies, of unconstitutional personal liberty bills; then the evident fact that the institution of slavery was to be excluded from the territories in the West, thus seemingly denying the South of what they called their rights in that unsettled domain; then, as the topmost “ crowning stone” of all the indignities heaped upon them, the North had become so heartless and so estranged as to elect a “sectional President,” which they considered a sufficient reason to justify them, in the eyes of the civilized world, for secession ; - though a mere pretence, as will be seen by the declaration of the leading spirits of the South Carolina convention (as quoted by Governor Hicks in his address to the people of Maryland), that neither the election of Lincoln, nor the non-execution of the fugitive slave law, nor both combined, constitute their grievances; that the real cause of their discontent dates as far back as 1833.
In 1858 the leaders of the rebellion began to prepare the minds of the people for immediate secession. In the fall of that year, Jefferson Davis, in a speech at Jackson, Mississippi, took the position of a direct secession advocate. He says, “If an abolitionist be chosen President