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ence in favor of disunion. The legislature passed an act for calling a convention, but providing that no ordinance dissolving the connection of North Carolina with the Federal government, or connecting it with any other, "shall have any force or validity until it shall have been submitted to, and ratified by, a majority of the qualified voters of the State." It also appointed commissioners to represent the State in the general convention at Montgomery, with instruction to act as "mediators to endeavor to bring about a reconciliation." It provided, too, for the arming of ten thousand volunteers, the reorganization of the militia of the State, and declared by resolution that if peace negotiations should fail, North Carolina would go with the South. Thus, though proverbially moderate and conservative, the people so far yielded to the malign influences of the conspirators as to become passive instruments in their hands, and to elect a convention which, assembling on the 20th of May, adopted by unanimous vote an ordinance of secession.

The secession convention of Arkansas assembled on the 1st of March. On the 16th William S. Oldham appeared before it with a message from Jefferson Davis urging the State, whose interests, he affirmed, were identical with the new Confederacy, to secede. It refused by a majority of four, though a proposition was carried that a vote should be taken on the 1st of August, on the question of secession or co-operation. But when the intelligence was received of the assault on Sumter, the convention at once passed an ordinance of secession by a vote of sixty-nine to one.

At the outset Texas was far from being united for secession. Though the secessionists were numerous and noisy, and an ordinance of secession was finally carried in convention on the 1st of February, 1861, both the governor and many of its prominent men resisted for a long time the pressure in that direction. As late as the 23d of December there was a

Union meeting, said to have been the largest ever held at the capital, at which was raised a liberty-pole ninety feet high, from which floated the Stars and Stripes, and beneath which patriotic speeches were made and patriotic songs



were sung. About the same time Governor Houston issued an address to the people, assigning his reasons for not calling a session of the legislature. Disclaiming any purpose to thwart the wishes of the people, and avowing his belief that the time had come to stand up for Southern rights, he very naturally found himself powerless to resist the growing purpose to join the seceding States. A revolutionary call for a convention had been issued by sixty-one persons without even a show of authority. Though hardly more than half of the counties of the State responded to the call, a convention thus chosen assembled and adopted an ordinance of secession. A single member of the legislature took the responsibility of issuing a call for an extra session of that body. Governor Houston, to avoid a conflict, convened the legislature to meet on the 22d of January. There was, of course, little harmony of feeling between the executive and the two bodies thus convened. But the revolutionists not only effected their purposes, despite all guber natorial protest and opposition, but saw Texas taken out of the Union, at least in form, and joined to the new Confederacy.

Such were the principles, policy, and practices, motives and measures, of the men who prepared for, inaugurated, and carried forward the great Rebellion. And certainly nothing more than their simple mention is needed to secure their sternest condemnation. No good cause ever demanded, justified, or permitted such a service. Had their vaunted doctrine of State-rights been all they claimed, had Southern grievances answered to their loudest and most bitter complaints, there was no justification for such a systematic violation of every principle of justice, honor, humanity, and fair dealing, such an organized assault upon both the amenities of life and the commonest rights of person, property, and the public weal. Done professedly in defence of Southern rights and in behalf of the people of the South, the world has never witnessed a more wanton and flagrant onslaught upon everything that men hold most dear. Done, too, avowedly in vindication of the doctrine of State rights, almost the first public act of the new government was to make Jefferson Davis virtual dictator, and place the military completely in his hands and at his sole disposal.



Change of Rebel policy. - Withdrawal of South Carolina delegation.- Mississippi. — Alabama "ordinance" and call for a convention. - Speech of Cobb. - Withdrawal of Louisiana. - Speeches of Miles Taylor and Bouligney. Scenes in the Senate. Speeches of Yulee and Mallory. - Clement C. Clay, Fitzpatrick, and Jefferson Davis. Southern grievances. — Action in regard to retiring members. - Diverse opinions. Seward and Fessenden. - Leavetaking of Slidell. - Arrogant boasts. Benjamin. Special session.. - Final


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ALTHOUGH it had been determined by the disunion members of Congress, at their caucus of January 5, to maintain their seats in both houses until the 4th of March, that, according to the confession of Yulee of Florida, and by a policy as indefensible and discreditable as it was traitorous, they might most effectually embarrass and hamper the hands of the outgoing and the incoming administrations, they soon discovered that such a course involved too much of political as well as personal peril. They had gone too far and too fully committed themselves to the crime of treason to render it safe to remain much longer within reach of those whose duty it would be to punish as well as detect. For, however slow the North had been to accept the conclusion, it could not close the eye entirely to these accumulating evidences of a desperate and deadly aim. Nor could it well be imagined, with the prestige and resources of the government in their hands, that the friends of the Union would stand idly by and see the conspirators proceeding in their work of destruction without some effort to stay its progress and punish the would-be destroyers. Other reasons no doubt influenced them. But however affected, they were induced to change their policy and vacate seats they

could no longer hold with honor, and should have no longer held with safety. True, they calculated largely, and not without reason, on Northern pusillanimity and fear, and drew encouragement from the impunity, with which they had hitherto been allowed to trample on others' rights, the provisions of law, and the requirements of the Constitution even. They calculated, too, on the weakness of the government they had done so much to dismantle and demoralize, still in the feeble hands of an administration which had indeed protested against treason, but which had accompanied that protest with public proclamation that that government had neither the purpose nor the power to coerce the obedience of the recusant States.

Instead, however, of enacting their treason covertly, as if conscious of its guilt and unworthiness, they did it boldly and defiantly; instead of slinking away secretly and silently from places they had so unworthily filled, and from which they should have been ignominiously ejected, they took occasion, with characteristic effrontery and a kind of dramatic audacity, to proclaim their purpose and defy the government at the very seat of its power.

South Carolina had taken the lead, and as early as the 24th of December her delegates sent in their resignations. The paper was signed by John McQueen, M. L. Bonham, W. W. Boyce, and J. D. Ashmore. They based their action on the "official intelligence" they had received that "the people of South Carolina, in their sovereign capacity, have resumed the powers heretofore delegated by them to the Federal government of the United States." They expressed the desire that they might go forth "with feelings of mutual regard and respect," and the hope that in their future relations they might "better enjoy that peace and harmony essential to the happiness of a free and enlightened people." On the 12th of January the Mississippi delegation, consisting of Otho R. Singleton, William Barksdale, Reuben Davis, John McCrae, and L. Q. C. Lamar, sent in their resignation, based, like that of the South Carolina delegation, on the action of their State. While they expressed regret at its necessity, they avowed their “unqualified approval" of the same, and their determination to return

to the bosom of their State, and "share her fortunes, whatever they may be."

On the 21st of the same month the Alabama delegation followed. Their paper was signed by Geo. S. Houston, Sydenham Moore, David Clopton, James L. Pugh, J. L. M. Curry, and James A. Stalworth. Like the preceding, they attributed their course to the action of their State, affirming that "duty requires our obedience to her sovereign will." On the 30th W. R. W. Cobb, another member of the same delegation, sent a longer communication to the House, containing a copy of an ordinance to dissolve the union between Alabama and the United States. This action was avowedly based on the election of Mr. Lincoln, the triumph of a sectional party, "preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution," -“a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character, as to justify the people of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security." It also extended an invitation to all the slaveholding States to meet in convention on the 4th of February, 1861, at the city of Montgomery, to consult and to secure "concerted and harmonious action in whatever measures may be deemed most desirable for our common peace and security." He closed his communication with the expression of his deep regret at the necessity of the step he felt constrained to take, and with the invocation that God would "save the country."

Mr. Cobb also made a speech in which he gave some reasons for the course he had adopted. With well-chosen words and pathos of manner he spoke of the duty which called upon him to join his fortunes to those of his State, and of his " profound" feeling as he "reluctantly" sundered the tie that had bound him to that body for fourteen years. He conjured the House to give him some token, or ground of hope, that the separation should not be final, and that the riven States might yet be reunited. He reviewed the events which had transpired since his service began. He spoke of the men of the North and the men of the South fighting upon the same battle-fields, the eagles of the Republic sweeping across the Rocky Mountains, the Stars and Stripes planted on the shores of the far

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