Biographies of Seceding Alabama Delegation


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Biographies of the Seceding Alabama Delegation and other Civil War News

The February 9, 1861 Edition of Harper's Weekly

Biographies of Seceding Alabama Delegation | Civil War News, February 9, 1861 | Captain Foster News Article | Iowa Indian Agency | Secession News | Louisiana Secession | Confederate State House, Montgomery Alabama | Vicksburg During Civil War | Vicksburg, Mississippi Civil War News | Civil War Iron Clads | Civil War Iron Clad Story in Harper's Weekly | Civil War Slave Cartoon





[FEBRUARY 9, 1861.




the senior Senator from the State of Alabama, is, by the vote of his associates, President, pro tempore, of the Senate, which would give him the position of Vice-President should Mr. Breckinridge be called to the highest position in the republic. He was born in Georgia, in June, 1802, and was left an orphan at an early age, with no other educational advantages than those afforded by the "old field schools" near his rural home. In 1815 he emigrated, with an elder brother, to the fertile valley of the Alabama River, then being settled, and where he has since resided. Prosecuting his studies, he read law, and in 1821 was admitted to the bar, where he soon so distinguished himself that he was elected District-Attorney, and re-elected in 1825, and again in 1829. Application to the arduous duties of this position injured his health, and he retired to a plantation, where he has since given decided proofs of agricultural information and practical skill. In 1840 he was nominated as a Presidential Elector on the Democratic ticket, and succeeded in stemming the popular tide by giving the vote of Alabama to Martin Van Buren. In 1841 he was elected Governor of the State, which position he occupied in 1845. In 1852 Governor Collier appointed him Senator in Congress to fill the vacancy occasioned by the election of W. R. King, which appointment the Legislature confirmed. Since then he has been prominent in the Senate, not only personally (for he is a large, fine-looking gentleman), but as a working member, who rarely intrudes his opinions, but who never fails to record his vote in a manner acceptable to his constituents. Governor Fitzpatrick was nominated on the ticket with Mr. Douglas, but declined the honor; and has since headed the " cooperationists," who advocate the cooperation of all the Slave States in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy.


 Alabama's favorite son and Senator, is already known to the readers of Harper's Weekly, in which his biography has appeared. The son of that noble-hearted Virginian, Governor Clay, who filled nearly every office in his adopted State of Alabama, and the husband of one of the most accomplished daughters of the sunny South, Senator Clay is a Representative man of that fertile land which the wandering red-men called "Alabama," or " Here we rest." A graduate of the University of Alabama, and the Law-school of the University of Virginia ; the successful editor of the Flag of the Union newspaper; noted as an able lawyer and as a vigilant District-Attorney ; an active member of the Alabama Legislature for several years ; and an able judge of the circuit-court—he was well qualified, in 1853, to occupy, the Senatorial seat which his father had adorned. Since then, his course has been unwavering in bringing about the independent position of Alabama now just taken; yet he has ever enjoyed the personal respect and esteem of his associates, even of those who have regarded him as their uncompromising political foe, as he has stood before them the champion of his constituents. "Identified as I am," said he, "with Alabama by my birth, education, interest, and affection—regarding her as 'my nursing mother and my grave' —indebted to her for the highest honors and greatest trusts she could bestow, and standing here as one of her ambassadors in this Council Chamber of sovereign States, I feel it my duty, as well as privilege, to justify or excuse, as far as I can, all her acts relating to her sister States or to the Federal Government."   If she yields to Republican control, " she will deserve to suffer all the wrong and all the shame you can and will accumulate upon her head. But as honor, interest, self-preservation—all that is dear to freemen—all urge her to maintain her individuality and equality as sovereign States, either within or without the Union, I trust she will give you full demonstration of her courage and self-reliance, by refusing any the least concession to your demands, and by resenting your menaces and repelling your attempts at coercion in such manner as will prove that the spirit of the fathers, who, at Yorktown and at New Orleans, consummated in triumph our two wars of independence, yet lives in her sons."


 who represents the first or Mobile District in the House of Representatives, was born in Conecuh County, Alabama, on the 7th of April, 1822. After having received an academical education he studied law, passed a high examination, and has since enjoyed a lucrative practice. He was twice elected District-Attorney for the circuit in which he practices, and was a member of the State Legislature from 1845 to 1848. After having been defeated by the Know Nothings, he was, in 1857, elected to Congress, where he is a universal favorite, ever ready with an anecdote or a repartee, yet none the less determined in maintaining the rights of his native State,


 the Representative from the second Congressional District of Alabama, was born in Burke County, Georgia, in 1820, and received his education at the La Grange Academy, of which Otis Smith was the distinguished principal. Removing to Alabama, he commenced the practice of law, and is said to have no equal in the State before a jury. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1849, when Henry W. Hilliard defeated him by a small vote, and left the Whig party in 1850, since when he has been a thorough-going secessionist. Since he has been in Congress he has taken no part in the transaction of business, having expressed his " solemn conviction that no amount of effort, however well directed and praiseworthy, can ever rescue the Constitution from the perils which surround it, or restore the government to its original purity, or perpetuate it in that form." The Territorial action of Judge Douglas, in his opinion, was such that the Southern Democracy could not indorse it without stultifying themselves ; and he urged, in January, 1860, a speedy termination of the Union in case the Republicans carried the Presidential election,

saying : "The truest conservatism and wisest statesmanship demand a speedy termination of all association with such confederates, and the formation of another union of States, homogeneous in population, institutions, interests, and pursuits. Such a confederacy (said he) would be imperishable, and present to the world a contented, happy, prosperous, powerful people, in the enjoyment of the highest perfection of civilization and free government."


 the Representative from the Tuskegee District of Alabama, was born in Putnam County, Georgia, about 1820, and graduated at Oxford College, in that State ; after which he removed to his present residence, where he commenced a highly lucrative practice at the bar. After filling several responsible positions at home, he was elected a member of the present Congress, where he has distinguished himself as a reformer of the printing abuses. Mr. Clopton has always been a State Rights man, and a believer in the reserved power of secession as the only remedy of sectional differences. "We do not desire war," said he, in a speech delivered during the struggle for the Speakership of the Thirty-sixth Congress; " the policy of the South would be peace. But whenever this Government, in the opinion of the Southern people, shall have failed to accomplish the ends for which it was instituted, the Southern States, exercising their right, will abolish it, and institute a new Government, laying its foundation in such principles, and organizing it in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Whenever they see proper to exercise these rights, then, if war comes, it must come from the North. If war must come, let it come."


 the Representative from the Greensborough District, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee. When he was a lad his parents removed to Alabama, where he received an academical education, and afterward completed his studies at the State University. Studying law, he was admitted to the bar, and was in a short time appointed Judge of the Green County Court, where he presided for six years, when he was transferred to the bench of the Circuit Court. No sooner were volunteers called for to reinforce General Taylor, after his gallant victories at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, than Alabama hastened to tender a regiment of mounted volunteers, which was mustered into service in June, 1846. Mr. Moore was captain of one of the first raised companies, and served a twelve month on the Rio Grande, and subsequently in Scott's forces at Vera Cruz, Alvarado, Tampico, and Jalapa. On his return, in 1847, he was elected Brigadier-General of Militia ; and in 1857 he was elected to Congress, where he has taken a rather conservative course, and been a valuable " working member" of the Committee on the Library. When classed by a Northern member among the fire-eaters, or disunionists, he said, in the course of some extended remarks, the next day: " I do not profess to belong to the class of disunionists, if there be such a class in the South, who desire disunion of itself. I come from a State which is, and has at all times been, loyal to the Constitution, but which will be as ready to take ground for a disruption of this Union, in case the rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution are infringed, as any State in the Union."


 the Representative from the Athens district, is one of the most prominent members of the House, where his commanding form and stentorian voice are always to be seen and heard when an attempt is made to smuggle through appropriations not strictly constitutional or economical. He also is a Tennesseean by birth, but has resided near his present home since his boyhood, occupying a high position at the bar, and having repeatedly been honored with local and State offices. He was first elected a Representative to Congress in 1841, and has served since, with the exception of the Thirty-first Congress. This long service has rendered Mr. Houston perfectly familiar with "parliamentary tactics," and given him a commanding position as a party-leader, in whose honesty, devotion to principle, and inflexible hostility to the schemes of the lobby, all have confidence. While acknowledging the importance and magnitude of the questions growing out of African slavery, he has taken a great interest in the tariff and other practical issues, and has steadfastly opposed extravagant expenditures.


 who represents the most populous district in Alabama, was born in Ray County, Tennessee, in 1807, and the next year was taken by his parents to his present residence in Madison County, where he was brought up on a farm, receiving a good common-school education. In 1845 he was elected to the State Legislature, and at the close of his term, in 1847, was elected to the National House of Representatives, where he has since served, and has now become the "senior member." During this long term of service he has ever taken the part of "the people ;" and to him the soldiers of the Mexican war should be grateful for the Bounty Land Bill of 1850. He also "engineered" the Graduation Bill of 1854, with other important measures calculated to benefit the laboring classes ; but he has been preeminent as an advocate of the Union. In 1849 he introduced a series of resolutions into the House that were the first steps toward the compromise of the ensuing year ; and since then it has been his boast that he has, to use his own words, " battled against the wildest fanaticism of disunion sentiments, and —thank God!—triumphed."


 the Representative from the Talladega District, was born in Lincoln County, Georgia, June 5, 1825, and removed with his father to his present residence in 1838. After graduating at the University of Georgia, in 1843, he went to Harvard College, where he went through a course of legal studies, and after receiving his diploma returned to Alabama, where he at once entered upon an extensive practice. When the war with Mexico began. in 1846, He joined the Texan



THE official report of the commerce of the  United States for the fiscal year ending 30th June last has been published, and reveals some interesting facts. The fiscal year 1859-'60 was, both in regard to imports and exports, the most active in our history. We imported $362,163,941 of foreign goods ; and exported $400,122,296 of domestic and foreign produce, leaving a balance in favor of the United States equal to $37,958,355. This balance is the secret of the extraordinary decline in foreign exchange which we have witnessed during the past few weeks.

We place on record, for purposes of future

reference, a few figures showing the progress of our foreign trade :


1855-'56    $314,639,942

1856-'57    360,890,141

1857-'58    282,613,150

1858--'59    338,768,130

1859-'60    362,163,941


The year 1859-'60 is slightly in excess of 1856-'57, the year preceding the crisis of 1857; all other years fall considerably below. The foreign imports in 1860-'61 will not probably exceed those of 1858-'59. In 1859-'60 more goods were imported than the country could take ; hence a reduction of orders; and besides, the revolution at the South shuts off that market.


1853'54    $278,241,064

1854-'55    275,156,846

1855-'56    326,964,908

1856-'57    362,960,682

1857-'58    324,644,421

1858-'59    342,279,491

1859-'60    382,788,662


It will be noticed that 1859-'60 is considerably in advance of any previous year. Our exports of cotton that year were unusually heavy, and the export of bullion was also above the average. The export of breadstuffs was quite light, the European crops in 1859 having been good, and our own less than an average. The returns of 1860-'61 will show a remarkable contrast to those of 1859-'60. It is probable that our cotton export will be less than in that year, but our export of food will be the largest ever recorded. As, however, we are sending no specie abroad, it is probable that the total export of domestic produce in 1860-'61 will not exceed that of 1858-'59.

We need hardly observe that the above table does not include foreign goods re-exported, and that our total exports are from $20,000,000 to $27,000,000 in excess of the aggregates therein given.

So much is thought and said about specie and the specie movement, that it is worth while to give the figures of that also. It is generally reckoned that California produces about $55,000,000 of specie annually, and that a further sum—of uncertain amount—is derived from the gold-mines of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Pike's Peak. The following table will show how much, if any, of the gold taken from our soil is retained in the country:

Years.   Imports.   Exports.   Net Exports.
1853-'54 $6,958,184 $41,436,456 $34,478,272

1854-'55 3,659,812   56,247,343   52,587,531

1855-'56 4,207,632   45,745,485   41,537,853

1856-'57 12,461,799   69,136,922   56,675,123

1857-'58 19,274,496   52,633,147   33,358,651

1858-'59 7,434, 789   63,887,411   56,452,622

1859-'60   8,550,135   66,546,239   55,996,104


WE have reason to believe that negotiations are on foot which may lead to the establishment of a line of ocean steamers between Norfolk, Virginia, and Havre, France, touching at New York going and coming. The political troubles in the Southern States seem to have thrown obstacles in the way of the usual exports of cotton


from Southern ports. Some of the leading planters and their financial agents have, consequently, begun to examine the facilities afforded by Northern ports for the export of the staple.

The advantages of New York as a shipping port naturally strike the eye at once. We have the capital, the apparatus, the ships, the harbor, and the internal communications. Cotton can be sent from points south of Memphis to Liverpool, via New York, about as cheaply as via New Orleans. Such is the rivalry among our railroads, in fact, that if the trade became brisk perhaps this route would prove the cheapest.

But if Norfolk or Baltimore entered into the competition, they would enjoy advantages over New York. By the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Norfolk is now in direct connection with Memphis. If a line of steamers were established between Norfolk and Havre, they could rely upon a full cargo of cotton each trip eastward ; and there is every reason to believe that they would come westward heavily freighted with French goods for New Orleans and St. Louis. At present New York receives all the European freights for the Mississippi cities. They could be imported more cheaply via Nor-folk, if only a steam line were established to Norfolk ; Memphis being the distributing point for the Upper and Lower Mississippi We understand that arrangements have already been made with the Virginia and Tennessee Rail-road, and with the Mississippi steamers, by which passengers and freight can he sent through from Havre to New Orleans or St. Louis, via the Virginia and Tennessee Rail-road and the Mississippi River, at a consider-able reduction from the present rate via New York.

The subject has been laid before the leading steamship men of this city, and is now under consideration. The chief difficulty in the way semis to be the doubt whether Virginia will he a member of the Federal Union at the time matters are ready for the establishment of the ocean service. If Virginia goes out of the Union, steamship proprietors apprehend difficulties about clearances and foreign alliances, which might seriously interfere with the success of the enterprise. Their apprehensions may be gratuitous ; but capital is proverbially timid. If it were certain that Virginia and Tennessee were going to remain in the Union, we think it morally certain, from what we know, that the transatlantic line from Norfolk would be in operation by the 1st of April next.


A VERY striking law case, which may shed some light on the political status of the British Provinces, is at present occupying public attention.

Some seven years ago a slave named Anderson, owned in Missouri, in attempting to escape from bondage, was stopped by a planter named Seneca Digges, and, in a struggle to avoid being seized, stabbed Mr. Digges to death. Anderson escaped to Canada. In 1860 he was recognized there. The proper affidavits were laid before the Missouri courts, and the Governor of that State claimed the fugitive under the Extradition Treaty. The Court of Queen's Bench at Toronto, Sir John Robinson presiding, held the case proven, and directed the return of Anderson. An appeal was taken to the Judges sitting in error. Since then the Secretary of the British Anti-Slavery Society, the famous Mr. Chamerowzow, has applied to the Court of Queen's Bench at Westminster Hall, London, England, for a writ of habeas corpus, directing the Canadian Sheriff to produce the body of Anderson at Westminster; and the court has granted the writ.

The case is unprecedented, so far as Canada is concerned. Cases have occurred in which criminals in the Islands of Jersey and Man have been brought before the Court at Westminster under writs of habeas corpus. But this is the first case in which a Canadian court has been interfered with by Westminster Hall. The issue will shed light on the nature of the independence which Canada enjoys. It has ;always been supposed that the British courts had no jurisdiction in Canada, except on appeal to the British Privy Council from judgments by the highest judicial tribunal in the Provinces. The new decision goes to prove that the British courts enjoy original as well as appellate jurisdiction in Canada.

We may notice, in connection with this subject, the singular delusion under which soma of our journals and politicians seem to be laboring with regard to Canada. They seem to think that, in the event of a separation between the Northern and the Southern States, Canada would leap into the arms of the former. They evidently know very little about Canada or the Canadian people. Canadians are intensely loyal to their Sovereign; and intensely hostile to Americans and American institutions. They are just as likely to accept the rule of Napoleon the Third as to enter the Northern Confederacy. No doubt they are very wrong. Bet just now our own Government is not working well (Next Page)

Rangers, but was forced to return on account of ill health ; and was the following year elected to the State Legislature, to which he was re-elected in 1853 and in 1855. In 1857 he was elected to Congress, where he has taken a commanding position as a statesman and as an orator. Nature has endowed him with a mind so active that he can apparently discover, by a glance so rapid as to seem intuition, those truths which common capacities struggle hard to comprehend, while his genius enables him to enforce by argument, and his accomplishments to illustrate, those topics upon which he addresses the House. While he believes that each State " has the right of secession, the right of interposition for the arrest of evils within its limits," and while he boldly asserts the sovereignty of the State to which he owes his "first and last allegiance," he has never failed to recognize "the true and loyal men in Congress, and in the North, who are ready to lock shields with the South in defense of the Constitution and the Union, which is its creature ; and to hope that, in the irrepressible conflict which may be here or elsewhere, they may be able to rescue the Constitution of our country from the polluting touch of those who would destroy it."




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