Skedaddle — the e-journal
January 2, 1861
New York Herald
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 1861.
The President’s reply to the Commissioners of South Carolina has just been communicated. They demanded, as a preliminary step to the initiation of negotiations, that the troops be withdrawn from the forts in Charleston harbor.
The President positively refuses to do this, and reiterates his views in reference to the public property as set forth in his message to Congress, and informs them that he not only intends to collect the revenues and execute the laws, but to defend the property of the United States with all the power at his command.
He does not recognize the Commissioners officially, but regards them as distinguished citizens of the United States from South Carolina.
The orders to Major Anderson are given in full.
From them it appears he could only have acted as he has done, and certainly, if he had any tangible evidence that South Carolina designed taking Fort Sumter.
The policy pursued and the understanding had with the people of South Carolina up to the evacuation of Fort Moultrie are given, and the people of the United States will now understand what kind of pledges existed between the President and the authorities of South Carolina, and whether South Carolina will be sustained, even by the South, in taking possession of property which does not belong to her.
The position taken by the President has produced the utmost consternation among the Commissioners and their friends.
Instructions have been sent to the commander of the steam frigate Brooklyn, to put her in readiness and be prepared to leave at a moment warning.
The question of reinforcement has not yet been fully determined upon, but should an attack be made upon Fort Sumter a large force will at once be dispatched.
The Commissioners have telegraphed Governor Pickens all the particulars of the President’s letter, and also that they are satisfied that the President had determined to reinforce Major Anderson. They further urge upon the Governor to put the State upon a war footing, and to concentrate all his force at once.
A brief though earnest address to the people of the United States has been prepared, recommending them to rally a compromise on the basis of the propositions of Senators Crittendon and Bigler; it has already been signed by a number of members of both houses of Congress.
The members of Congress who have just returned from visits to their homes in the border slave States express their alarm at the progress of the secession movement, while others from some of the non-slaveholding States represent the people as rapidly and earnestly consolidating in the opposite direction.
The most intimate friends of the President say that it is his present determination not to remand Anderson to Fort Moultrie.
Certain Southerners were openly indignant today, under the belief that troops have been ordered to Charleston harbor, and it is said that they telegraphed to the South accordingly. If any such order was given it was revoked.
A report that the South Carolina Commissioners were to be treated to a calithumpian serenade caused a considerable police force to repair to and stay in their neighborhood all night to prevent it; but it was altogether a false alarm.
It is not true, as has been reported, that the Committee of Thirty three have accepted Mr. Crittenden’s proposition, but some of the members are yet hopeful that they may arrive at some general agreement.
Diary of a Yankee in the Patent Office
by Horatio Nelson Taft
Matters look more hopeful for the Country today. It is now known that the President refused to acknowledge the Commissioners as being anything more than distinguished citizens from the State of S.C. Their last communication to him yesterday was returned to them unanswered. It struck them like a bomshell it was so unexpected. They and their secession friends here were in great consternation. The “Embasendors!!” left for home immediately, and now that the Prest has taken a stand. Every body feels better altho a war is ahead. The weather is cold and unpleasant today.
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