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Friendly rela: yielding of extreme rights, rather than imperil the tions of the two Governments 1-60.
in cordial relations which the United States so much
desired to maintain with their nearest neighbors, their best customers, and their blood-relations. They had good right, therefore, to believe, and they did believe, that, by virtue of this friendly political understanding, and in consequence of the gradual and steady assimilation of the commercial interests and the financial policies of the two Governments, there was in Great Britain, in the summer of 1860, sympathy for the Government and affection for the people of the United States. They had equal reason to think that neither the British Government nor people would look with either ignorance or unconcern upon any disaster to them. Above all, they had at that time a right to feel confident, that in any controversy which might grow out of the unhappy existence of African slavery in certain of the Southern States, the British Government would not exercise its sovereign powers, questionably or unquestionably, in favor of the supporters of slavery.
On the 6th day of November, in that year, the jurisdiction of the Government of the United States extended unquestioned over eighteen States from which African slavery was excluded;" over
The United States in 1860.
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon.
The United States in 1860.
fifteen States in which it was established by law;' and over a vast territory in which, under the then prevailing laws, persons with African blood in their veins could be held as slaves.
This large unsettled or partially settled territory, as it might become peopled, was also liable to be divided into new States, which, as they entered the Union, might, as the law then stood, become "Slave States,” thus giving the advocates of slavery an increased strength in the Congress of the nation, and more especially in the Senate, and a more absolute control of the National Government.
Since the date named three new States, entitled to a representation of six Senators in the National Senate, have been admitted into the Union from this territory; and the remainder of the great dominions of the United States is now divided into ten incipient political organizations, known as Territories, which, with one exception, may at some future time become States. 3
i Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Texas.
* Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas. West Virginia was formed from a portion of the territory of Virginia, and for this reason does not come within the meaning of the text, though it became a State after the date mentioned.
3 New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Dakota, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, District of Columbia. The territory known as the Indian Territory is without political organization, having neither Governor nor Delegate in Congress. It cannot be considered as coming within the meaning of the text.
Election of Mr. Lincoln.
The general election for President of the United States, which took place on the 6th of November, 1860, was conducted in strict conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and laws of the country, and resulted in the choice of Abraham Lincoln. The party which elected him was pledged in advance to maintain “that the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom,” and to "deny the authority of Congress, of a Territorial Legislature, or of any
a individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any Territory of the United States."'1 The word “ Territory” is here used in the above-mentioned sense of an incipient political organization, which
may at some future time become a State. Secession of This decision of the people of the United States
was resisted by some of the inhabitants of the States where slavery prevailed. The people of South Carolina, with an undoubted unanimity, commenced the hostile movement. In the following month they proclaimed, through a State Convention, their purpose to secede from the Union, because the party about to come into power had “announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory." The State of Alabama, on the 11th of January, with
1 Greeley's American Conflict, Vol. I, page 320.
Of Georgia and other States.
much less unanimity, (the vote in the Convention being 61 ayes to 39 nays,') followed the example of South Carolina, giving as their reason that the election of Mr. Lincoln,“ by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions [i.e., slavery] of Alabama,” was “a political wrong of an insulting and menacing character."
The State of Georgia followed after a much greater struggle, in which the party in favor of remaining in the Union resisted to the last, the final vote being 208 ayes to 89 nays.' Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas each framed an ordinance of secession from the Union before the 4th of February, in each case with more or less unanimity.
On the 4th of February, 1861, representatives opposition from some of the States which had attempted to itation of slavery go through the form of secession, and representatives from the State of North Carolina, which had not at that time attempted it, met at Montgomery, in the State of Alabama, for the purpose of organizing a provisional government, and having done so, elected Mr. Jefferson Davis as the Provisional President, and Mr. Alexander H. Stephens as the Provisional Vice-President of the proposed
to the territoriallim
1 MePherson's History of the Rebellion, page 4.
the cause of secession.
Opposition to Confederation. In
In accepting this office, on the the territorial limitation.of slavery 18th of February, Mr. Jefferson Davis said: We
have vainly endeavored to secure tranquillity and
there would be no considerable diminution in the production of the staples which have constituted our exports, in which the commercial world has an interest scarcely less than our own. This common interest of producer and consumer can only be intercepted by an exterior force, which should obstruct its transmission to foreign markets—a course of conduct which would be detrimental to the manufacturing and commercial interests abroad."
Mr. Stephens spoke with still more explicitness. He said the “foundations [of the new government] are laid. Its corner-stone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race-is his natural and moral condition."
1 Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 1861, page 613. 2 Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia, 1861, page 129.