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stitutional remedy. The law, if properly carried out, will ensure the return, any enactments of the separate States to the contrary notwithstanding. If some of the Free States have, as asserted, made laws which nullify Acts of Congress, or render useless an attempt to execute them, the proper remedy is for Congress to assert its dignity and demand the repeal of such laws. A little quiet remonstrance on the part of Government would soon settle it. But it is questionable whether South Carolina ever experienced the loss of more than one or two runaways since the Union. South Carolina's complaint, therefore, is unfounded and extremely frivolous.
" But the slaveholders are conscious that during their long tenure of office they behaved in the most intolerant manner towards the Free States; had bullied them into compromise and then repudiated and maltreated their citizens, and attempted to deprive them of constitutional rights, and naturally expected the time had come when the South was to be punished for its offences. But here the constitution would have preserved them; for before slavery can be touched the constitution must be amended, and that can only be done with the consent of three-fourths of the whole number of States. It will be seen then how idle are the fears of South
Carolina on account of republican hostility to negro bondage. Her plea is most puerile. How much better and more manly to have waited till the President gave the world a declaration of his principles and intentions; she would then have received the sympathy of all impartial men on both sides of the Atlantic. As it is, the proceedings are by many looked on as farcical. The declarations are read sometimes in ironical, sometimes in serio-comic tones ; some pity, others contemn. The majority say, let her alone; experience will show the folly of her doinge. The muscular majority suggest she get a sound thrashing. All are disgusted."*
But the history of proceedings goes on to show:
“ A copy of the ordinance of secession was laid before the President of the United States, with the request it should be communicated to Congress, then in session, and to treat for the delivery of forts, magazines, and light-houses, and other real estate and appurtenances thereto, within the geographical limits of South Carolina ; for an apportionment of the public debt and a division of all other property held by the government of the United States, as agent of the Confederated States, of which South Carolina was. recently a member, and generally to negotiate as to all other measures and arrangements proper to be made and adopted in the existing relation of the parties, and for the continuance of peace and amity between that commonwealth and the government at Washington. R. W. Barnwell, J. H. Adams, and James L. Orr, as commissioners, announced to President Lincoln, December 29, 1860, that South Carolina resumed the powers she delegated to the United States, and declared her perfect sovereignty and independence; they were prepared to enter into negotiations with the earnest desire to avoid hostilities and inaugurate new relations, so as to secure mutual respect, general advantage, and future goodwill and harmony. Buchanan acknowledged that Major Anderson had somewhat exceeded his orders, which were to make no movement until he was attacked,' and stated, that when he learned that the Major had removed from Fort Moultrie to Sumpter, his first impulse was to order him to retrace his steps and await further orders;' but hostilities had then begun. The commissioners replied “that they had no solicitude as to the character in which they might be recognised, being satisfied of the unquestionable right of their State to act as they had done, and declared they were ready for war if he chose to force that issue. On the 9th January, 1861, the Star of the West arrived off Charlestown, with men and provisions for Fort Sumpter, but the State authorities opened fire on her from the forts on Morris Island, and forced her back to sea.
* Ellison, p. 90.
"A few shots from Fort Sumpter would have settled matters; but. Major Anderson scorned to imitate the barbarity of South Carolina, and remonstrated, whereupon Lieutenant Hall left Sumpter, accompanied by Colonel Hayne from Governor Pickens for Washington, for instructions from the President Buchanan. Hayne, instead of demanding the unconditional surrender of Fort Sumpter, simply suggested that it would be advisable to lessen the chances of collision between the Federal and State troops; but,” says Mr. Ellison, “ Buchanan, with a firmness in strong contrast with his (?) message, showed a determination to be neither bullied nor coaxed into treason. The ultimatum was therefore delivered to him on February 2nd, that if Fort Sumpter was not surrendered peaceably it should be taken.”*
Mr. Ellison then goes on :-“ Men are always more apt to follow a bad example than a good one. It is more natural and less troublesome to fallen humanity; hence the eagerness with which the lead of South Carolina was followed by the other Southern States.” (We could suggest another and better reason viz. selfpreservation.) “ The current idea was to call a convention of all, to decide on a common course of conduct, as their grievances could be better redressed by combined than by separate action; but the rashness of South Carolina forced the rest to hurry out of the Union, each independent of the rest.”
* Ellison, p. 94.
Is this so? Let us see. On January 11th, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida signed secession ordinances. Federal officers one after another sent in their resignations to the Government. Georgia, on January 19th, passed her ordinance, by 208 votes against 89, to dissolve union between her and the other States, under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States. “We, the people in convention assembled, declare and ordain that the ordinances adopted by this State in 1788, whereby the constitution of the United States was assented to, ratified, and adopted, and also all acts and parts of the acts of the General Assembly ratifying and adopting amendments to the said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded, and abrogated; and we further declare that the union now subsisting between this