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Harper's Weekly News Louisiana Secession, and the Admission of Kansas into the United States

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 following letter has been published: "POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, APPOINTMENT OFFICE,

" January 22, 1861.

"SIR,—In answer to the inquiry in your letter of the 15th to the Postmaster-General, he instructs me to inform you that you were removed from the office of Postmaster at Paducah because you announced yourself as ' devoutly in favor of Disunion;' and it is not considered prudent to retain in the service of the Government men openly seeking its overthrow.

"I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


" First Assistant Postmaster-General. "John C. Noble, Esq., Paducah, Kentucky."


Applications continue to be received at Washington from postmasters in the seceded States for supplies of postage stamps, blanks, wrapping-paper, etc. ; but these are furnished on the condition that the postmasters will acknowledge and conform to the laws affecting the postal service.


When General Dix entered office he took immediate precautions to save the revenue cutters in the South from being seized by secessionists, as far as practicable. Orders were sent that the one under repairs at Galveston should be blown up in case it could not be successfully defended, if attacked. Instructions concerning the Robert M'Lelland, which is under the control of the Collector at New Orleans, and one of the finest in the service, may prevent its seizure and conversion against the Government.


A telegram, dated Baton Rouge, January 26, states : "The delay ordinance, moved to be substituted for the secession ordinance reported by the Committee of Fifteen, was voted down yesterday by an immense majority. Commissioners Manning, of South Carolina, and Winston, of Alabama, made eloquent addresses in favor of immediate secession. There was an animated debate last night on the resolution for submitting the secession ordinance for ratification to the people. The advocates of immediate secession abstained from all debate. There was no extreme opposition to the ordinance.

"The vote on submitting the ordinance to the people was taken this morning—ayes 45, nays 84. John Perkins addressed the Convention on the passage of the secession ordinance. The debate closed, and a vote was ordered. The galleries and lobbies were intensely crowded, and a deathlike silence prevailed. On the call of the roll many members were in tears. The Clerk announced the vote—ayes 113, nays 17—and the President declared Louisiana a free and sovereign republic.

"Captain Allen then entered the Convention with a Pelican flag, accompanied by Governor Moore and staff, and put the flag in the hands of the President, amidst tremendous excitement. A solemn prayer was then offered, and a hundred guns were fired. The Convention adjourned to meet in New Orleans on the 29th inst.

'I Before the Convention adjourned the resolution accompanying the ordinance, declaring the right of free navigation of the Mississippi River and tributaries to all friendly States, and the right of egress and ingress to boats of the Mississippi by all friendly States and Powers, passed unanimously. A gold pen was given each member with which to sign the ordinance of secession.

" The State Convention has adjourned, to reassemble in New Orleans."


A telegram, dated Raleigh, North Carolina, January 30, says : The House concurred today in the Senate's amendments to the bill calling a State Convention. The bill, therefore, has finally passed both Houses. It puts the question of "Convention" or No Convention" to the people. Delegates are to be elected at the same time. Federal affairs are restricted, and the election is ordered to take place on the 28th of February.


A telegram, dated Milledgeville, January 29, says : The Convention refused to reconsider the revenue ordinance adopted yesterday. Resolutions were introduced giving the Governor power, under certain circumstances, to grant letters of marque and reprisal, and tabled. An address to the citizens of the South and the world, giving the causes of Georgia's secession, was adopted. An ordinance declaring it to be the fixed policy of the State to guarantee the security of all the States was adopted. The Convention adjourned to meet at Savannah at the call of the President.


A telegram, dated New Orleans, January 29, says: "Dates from Austin, Texas, to the 22d inst., are received. The Texas Legislature had assembled, and Governor Houston had sent in his Message. He favors the calling of a State Convention. Both Houses had voted to repeal the Kansas Resolutions passed by the Legislature in 1858. The House took up and passed the Senate bill directing the Controller to proceed to Washington and recover $180,000 due the State. A resolution had unanimously passed the House declaring that the Federal Government has no power to coerce a sovereign State after pronouncing her separation from the Union. The Senate will pass the same resolution by a similar vote. The Legislature favors the immediate secession of Texas by a majority of three to one."

Another letter, dated Austin, January 24, says:

"The Legislature today passed resolutions repudiating the idea of using forcible means to coerce a seceding State, and asserting that any such attempt would be resisted to the last extremity.

"Only one-fifth of the members of the House opposed immediate action. It is expected that the question of secession will be referred to the people."


The Alabama Convention has adjourned until the 4th of March. Previous to the adjournment, it is understood, the Convention, in secret session, adopted resolutions instructing the delegates to the Montgomery Convention to oppose the reopening of the African Slave-trade.


At ten minutes past two o'clock, on January 30, the Private Secretary of the President announced to the United States House of Representatives that the name of James Buchanan had been appended to the bill admitting Kansas into the Federal Union as a State. At twenty minutes of three Martin F. Conway, representative-elect from the new State, received the oath of office and took his seat. He was immediately congratulated by Mr. Parrott, delegate from the Territory, whose power ceased where Mr. Conway's commenced, and by other members. The news was at once telegraphed by Mr. Parrott to Kansas, and the State Government will go into immediate operation.

The following are the State officers of Kansas elected under the Wyandot Constitution, and who will assume to administer the new State Government: Governor, Charles Robinson, formerly of Massachusetts; Lieutenant-Governor, J. P. Root, formerly of Connecticut; Secretary of State, J. W. Robinson, formerly of Maine; Treasurer, William Tholen, formerly of New York; Auditor, George W. Hillyer, formerly of Ohio; Superintendent of Public Instruction, W. R. Griffith, formerly of Illinois; Chief Justice, Thomas Ewing, Jun., formerly of Ohio; Associate Justices, Samuel D. Kingman, formerly of Kentucky, and Lawrence Bailey, formerly of New Hampshire.


Information was received by the Government on 26th, from the Collector at New Orleans, stating that the barracks about two miles below New Orleans, now occupied as a marine hospital, were taken possession of on the 11th by Captain Bradford, of the State Infantry, in the name of the State of Louisiana.

There were two hundred and sixteen invalids and convalescent patients in the hospital at the time it was seized. The Collector of Customs was required to immediately remove the patients who were convalescent, and those

who were confined to their beds as soon as practicable. This action on the part of the authorities of that State was regarded by the Government as most outrageous and in-human. The Government had no authority or means to make provision for these poor creatures, who were thus thrown upon the cold charities of the people of that State. The reason assigned for this transaction was, that the authorities there wanted the quarters for their own troops.


The following is Secretary Dix's letter to the Collector of New Orleans, dated 28th ult. :

" SIR,—I did not receive until the 26th inst. yours of the 14th, informing me that the United States barracks below the city of New Orleans, which have for several months been occupied as a marine hospital, have been taken possession of in the name of the State of Louisiana. I found enclosed a copy of the letter by Captain Bradford, of the First Louisiana Infantry, advising you that he had taken possession of the barracks; that they would ' be required for the Louisiana troops now being enlisted,' and requesting you to immediately remove those patients who are convalescent, and as soon as, in the opinion of the resident surgeon, it may be practicable and humane, those also who are now confined to their beds.

"He also states that the barracks contained 216 invalid and convalescent patients. On this transaction, as an outrage to the public authority, I have no comment to make; but I can not believe that a proceeding so discordant with the character of the people of the United States, and so revolting to the civilization of the age, has had the sanction of the Governor of Louisiana. I sent a telegraphic dispatch to you yesterday, desiring you to remonstrate with him against the inhumanity of Captain Bradford's order, and to ask him to revoke it. But if he should decline to interfere, I instructed you in regard to the removal and treatment of the sick, and in that I trust you will carry out my direction; not merely with "economy," but with a careful regard to their helpless condition. The barracks, it seems, were taken possession of on the 11th instant. Captain Bradford's letter is dated the 13th, and yours the 14th, though I had no information of the subject until the 26th. I infer from the newspaper paragraph you enclosed, which telegraph advices in regard to the subject matter show to be of a later date than your letter, that the letter was not dispatched until the 21st or 23d instant. I hope I am mistaken, and that the cause of that delay is to be found in some unexplained interruption of the mail. I should otherwise have great reason to be dissatisfied that the information was not more promptly communicated. From the tone of the newspaper paragraph you enclosed, and from the seizure of the barracks in violation of the usage of humanity, which in open war between contending nations, and even in the most revengeful civil conflicts between kindred races, have always been held sacred from disturbance as edifices dedicated to the care and comfort of the sick, I fear that no public property is likely to be respected. You will, therefore, have no more moneys expended on the revenue cutter Washington, now hauled up for repairs, until I can have the assurance that she will not be seized as soon as she is refitted, and taken into the service of those who are seeking to break up the Union, and overthrow the authority of the Federal Government."

Secretary Dix, in reply to his telegraphic dispatch, has received the following reply from Collector Hatch:

" NEW ORLEANS, January 28, 1861.

" Affairs satisfactorily arranged; barracks retained ; see my letter of 21st."


Captain Meigs, who commands the United States forces in the fort at Tortugas, dispatches to the Government that he is now sufficiently reinforced to defy any power. While the Government steamer was landing troops and supplies, the steamer Galveston, of New Orleans, with a force on board to take the fort, appeared in sight, but upon discovering the steamer, and probably understanding the object of her visit, did not approach or make any demonstration other than to put about and disappear.

It is also stated that Fort Taylor, at Key West, is well manned and provisioned.


A telegram, dated Richmond, January 29, says : Recent proceedings at Fortress Monroe have embittered public feeling. The following was adopted at a large meeting  last night :

Whereas, the Legislature has formally declared that any act of coercion against a Southern State will be regarded by Virginia as an act of war, and resisted with all the means in our power.

Resolved, That the attention of the Legislature be hereby called to the fact of an overt act of coercion now actually being perpetrated at Fortress Monroe.


A Washington correspondent says: " The steamer Brooklyn has probably joined the Macedonian at Pensacola. Should an attack be made on Fort Pickens, which is not now improbable within a short time, considering the advice of parties distant from the scene, those vessels will cooperate with Lieutenant Slemmer in its defense ; although it is supposed here he would be able successfully to maintain his position without additional succor."


A New Orleans correspondent telegraphs that the revenue cutter Lewis Cass has been surrendered to the Louisiana secessionists.


The Government has issued the following official notice of "blockade" of Charleston harbor:



" WASHINGTON, January 26, 1861. "Information has been received at this office that the light-vessel at Rattlesnake Shoals has been withdrawn, that the lights on Morris Island and at the entrance into the port of Charleston, South Carolina, have been discontinued, the buoys removed, and the main channel so obstructed as to be unsafe for navigation. By order,

" R. SEMMES, Secretary."


The following letter from Major Robert Anderson, written in Fort Sumter, to a friend in this city (says the Cincinnati Commercial), two days after the South Carolinians fired upon the Star of the West, embodies the first authentic intelligence that has reached the public concerning the reasons for the fact that the batteries of Fort Sumter were not opened upon the South Carolinians on the 9th inst. :

"FORT SUMTER, Jan. 11, 1861.

"Whether a bloodless separation can now be effected, after her [South Carolina] foolishly firing upon a vessel bearing our flag, the other day, I think very doubtful. I was sorely tempted to open my battery; but, perhaps fortunately for the chance of having matters settled without bloodshed, I could not have touched the battery that opened upon her, and my defenses were just then in such a condition that I could not have opened the war. I am now nearly ready. The people have supposed that this work was ready to be defended when I came in. It was far from it—and it would take me, even now, one week's hard work to have it In a complete state. My command is only about one-eighth of what it should be in time of war; but, though small in number, I feel strong in the confidence that Providence will guard and guide me safely through any danger that may threaten.

'' Yours sincerely,   



Floating batteries, the superstructures of which are composed of cotton bales, are in course of erection, by which means in part the South Carolinians expect to attack Fort Sumter. The officer who writes from Fort Sumter, alluding to these batteries, says: "The difference between fighting behind cotton bags in 1812 and now is, that General Jackson commanded behind the bags then, and had no Robert Anderson within the impregnable walls of a Sumter, with the destructive weapons which the ingenuity of man for half a century has invented, to contend with. Besides, Jackson is dead."

The same writer in another connection says: " We have been wonderfully favored by Providence in all our movements. We abandoned Moultrie under cover of night by aid of a vessel chartered to take the soldiers' wives, twenty-five in number, to a safer place. When the captain discovered the intention of Major Anderson he became rebellious, but was soon sent below and locked up until we were safely landed at Sumter. Our night's work was crowned by a glorious sunrise. The men were all summoned around the flag-staff, and the stars and stripes were run up, and the Chaplain invoked God's blessing to rest upon our little band, and to aid us in the work of our country's defense, and in defending the national honor and flag. I shall never forget the scene. If we had been assailed on that day by any considerable force it is doubtful if we could have held out, as the fort was in a miserable condition for defense. But the Almighty heard our prayers. A storm came up and lasted ten days. It was so terrific that the sea, tired of knocking at our flinty walls, would dash far above and over us. During those ten days no vessel could approach us. We put our house in order, so that at the end of the storm we could have defied any power on earth."


Notwithstanding the repeated assurances given that the garrison at Fort Sumter was regularly supplied with provisions, and had free communication with Charleston, Major Anderson's official correspondence explicitly contradicts these declarations. Governor Pickens did propose to; furnish him from the State Commissariat, but Major Anderson necessarily declined that offer, as one calculated, if not intended, to compromise him by establishing relations which he was forbidden by his position to recognize. Supposing that the authorities really intended to relax the surveillance which had been previously practiced, he wrote to the contractor who supplied his command when at Fort Moultrie, requesting that provisions should be sent as formerly. No answer was received, and Major Anderson has not obtained a single pound of fresh beef or any thing else from the city. His garrison is subsisting upon the same hard and salt rations as heretofore, which are diminishing at a rate which must demand replenishment before long.


The Mobile (Alabama) Mercury of the 23d learns from a letter from one of Captain O'Hara's company, now at Pensacola, to his wife in Mobile, that the wife of Lieutenant Slemmer, commander at Fort Pickens, had been arrested at Fort Barancas as a spy. It is alleged that she went to Fort Barancas without any ostensible business, and the reasonable supposition was that she had come there to take notes of the position of things and report them to her husband.


According to the New Orleans True Delta, the Balize pilots are in a tight place. Under the orders of the Governor of Louisiana, who appears to be getting ready to emulate the action of Governor Pickens, the pilots are forbidden to bring in any American vessel of war. The True Delta sets forth the unpleasant alternative: If a vessel of war, bearing the American flag, should overhaul a pilotboat in the Gulf, the probability is that the pilot will have to go on board the vessel of war, or the pilot-boat and all hands will be sunk. When the pilot gets on board the vessel of war the next probability is that his attention will be called to the yard-arm, with the emphatic hint that if he does not do his duty faithfully he will have to dangle in the air. If this be not placing the Balize pilots in a tight box we don't know what is.


The Herald contains the following, from its Washington correspondent: " I learn from a gentleman who had an interview with Mr. Lincoln, at Springfield, within the past week, that the latter, in discussing the existing state of affairs, expressed himself as follows : ' I will suffer death before I will consent, or will advise my friends to consent, to any concession or compromise which looks like buying the privilege of taking possession of this Government, to which we have a constitutional right; because, whatever I might think of the merit of the various propositions before Congress, I should regard any concession in the face of menace the destruction of the Government itself, and a consent on all hands that our system shall be brought down to a level with the existing disorganized state of affairs in Mexico. But this thing will hereafter be as it is now—in the hands of the people ; and if they desire to call a Convention to remove any grievances complained of, or to give new guarantees for the permanence of vested rights, it is not mine to oppose.' "


A Springfield correspondent says: "It is now positively settled that Mr. Lincoln will depart for Washington on the 11th of February. He will go hence via Lafayette to Indianapolis, where he will receive the hospitalities of the Indiana Legislature ; thence he will proceed, probably, by way of Cincinnati to Columbus, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Albany. From Albany he intends to make for Harrisburg direct, thence to Baltimore and the Federal capital ; but a tour to New York and Philadelphia is not impossible.

"Arrangements for special trains all the way through are making. No military escort will be accepted. The entire journey is expected to be made inside of ten days. The Presidential family will start a few days after Mr. Lincoln's departure, under the protection of some friends, so as to reach Washington simultaneously with him."


The first duel which has resulted from the present political complications took place yesterday morning, on the Pennsylvania border, between Dr. Jones, a partisan of Senator Douglas, and Mr. Wilson, a Breckinridge Democrat, both residents of Washington. Wilson was wounded in the hip. The constabulary are said to be in pursuit of the parties.

The gallantry exhibited by the wife of Lieutenant Slemmer, at Pensacola, is creating quite a lively sensation among the patriotic ladies of Washington. A suitable testimonial in her behalf is in contemplation.

It is believed that Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, will be chosen provisional President of the new Confederacy, and that Jefferson Davis will be Commander-in-Chief of the army.

In reply to an address published in the Richmond, Virginia, papers calling upon him to become a candidate for delegate to the State Convention, Hon. J. M. Botts publishes a card defining the position which he now holds. He is prepared to insist upon every jot or tittle of right which Virginia can demand under the Constitution, but he will never consent to make the existence or destruction of the Government dependent upon any abstract or impracticable question that may or may not arise, outside of the Constitution, such as is now proposed, of guaranteeing Slavery by Constitutional amendment, in all territories hereafter to be acquired south of 36° 30', whether in Mexico, South America or the Sandwich Islands. Yet he would he willing to vote for any compromise which would be satisfactory to the people. Mr. Butts denounces the efforts to drag Virginia into the disunion movement.

Ex-Secretary Floyd has been indicted by the Grand Jury at Washington, for conspiracy to defraud the Government.

Mr. Chase, of Ohio; has still under consideration the subject of going into Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet. He prefers to remain in the place assigned him by Ohio as her representative in the Senate, but if the interests of the republican party demand it he will yield the much more pleasant position of a six years' term in the Senate for the vexatious, more responsible, and very laborious post of Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Chase is urged for the Treasuryship by the best and largest portion of the Republican party.



MR. JAMES having applied to the Court of Queen's Bench at Westminster for a habeas corpus fur tire fugitive slave, Anderson, now in Canada, their lordships retired to consider

their judgment, and after an absence of twenty minutes they returned into court. The Lord Chief Justice then delivered the following judgment: "We have carefully considered this matter, and the result of our anxious deliberation is that we think the writ ought to issue. We feel sensible, at the same time, of the inconvenience that may result from the exercise of such an authority. We feel sensible that it may be thought inconsistent with that higher degree of colonial independence, both legislative and judicial, which has been happily brought into effect in modern times. At the same time, in establishing local legislation and local judicial authority, the Legislature of England has not gone so far as expressly to abrogate any jurisdiction which the Court of Westminster Hall might possess with reference to the issue of the writ of habeas corpus. And we find that the existence of the jurisdiction in these courts has been asserted from earliest times, and exercised down to the latest. We find it asserted not only as a matter of agreement, but carried into effect as a matter of practice, that even where there is an independent local judicature, nothing short of a legislative enactment would suffice to deprive us of the authority which was conferred upon us for protection of the liberty of the subject. We feel, therefore, we should not be doing right under the authority of the precedents cited if we refused to issue the writ."

There was a slight manifestation of applause in court on the conclusion of the delivery of his lordship's judgment.


The London Post of the 16th ult., in discussing the case of Anderson, the Canada fugitive, illustrates the English method of enforcing the stipulations of the Ashburton treaty by saying, we regard the freedom of Anderson as a matter already secured. He must he brought to this country, and, when once here, the people of England will take good care that he is not restored to the tender mercies of the sanguinary Missouri slave code.


The Paris correspondent of the London Herald, writing on the 13th, gives the following account of the manner in which Napoleon III. sometimes diverts himself. The Emperor Napoleon arrived at the lake in the Bois de Boulogne about three P.M. on Friday, in a plain chariot drawn by two horses, and unattended by any escort. He alighted from his carriage and crossed the lake on his skates. He was soon recognized by some men wearing blouses, who raised a cry of "Here is the Emperor! Vive !'Empereur !" The cry attracted universal attention, and every body ran and every body cheered. The Emperor continued to skate, apparently delighted with the enthusiastic reception he met with. The Emperor seeing a child in a sledge, pushed forward by a nursery maid, took the place of the servant and drove the sledge. Having amused himself for about half an hour, more like a school-boy enjoying a holiday than an Emperor, he left as quietly as he came. There were several fashionably dressed English ladies among the skaters.




The Prussian Legislative Chambers were opened on the 14th ult. by the King in person, who made a speech on the occasion. He remarked that the relations between the great Powers had been made more friendly by the personal meetings which had taken place among the sovereigns; and expressed his regret that the steps taken by Germany for the settlement of the question concerning the constitution of the German Duchies under Danish rule had remained without any result. This question he enmphatically declared Prussia, as well as the rest of Germany, felt it a national duty to bring to a settlement.


The Moniteur contains the following: "A letter from Berlin announces that, the recruiting, which does not usually take place until the month of October, will this year commence in April. This hasty mobilization is attributed to the events which may arise on account of the complications with Denmark. It is not only at Berlin and in Germany that the possibility of a conflict on account of the Duchies preoccupies the attention of the public. In Denmark the same feeling prevails."

The Paris correspondent of the London Herald writes: "The preparations going on in Prussia are believed to have a far more serious cause than any apprehensions of a complication with Denmark—that of war with 'the enemy,' which throughout Europe means the Emperor of the French."



A correspondent, writing from Gaeta, says that the young wife of Francis II. is always to be seen in the place of greatest danger. During the bombardment of the 24th and 25th of December, two officers of her household were killed in the very room in which she was sitting, by the explosion of a shell. Although the danger was imminent, the Queen did not stir from her chair, and gave orders for the removal of the dead bodies in the coolest possible manner. The Spanish Minister had also a narrow escape, for as he was lying in bed he received the rather unpleasant visit of a round shot, which smashed the washing-stand opposite.



A late number of the Epoch, of Madrid, has the following:

The English papers contain a number of letters from Lisbon, which speak of the publication of pamphlets, the object of which is to prepare the union of the Iberian peninsula as a necessity of the new condition of Spain. It is useless to add that the English press take good care to say that these projects meet with a terrible resistance in Portugal, and that if any Power in Europe should favor them, England would oppose it with all her might.

This news agrees perfectly with a Lisbon letter, which says that a pamphlet is circulating in that capital, favoring the annexation of Portugal to Spain. It is believed there that this work, although printed in Paris, was originated in Lisbon, and that it represents the ideas of a party of no mean influence.



A letter from Europe says: "A young lady of my acquaintance has just returned from a six months' stay at Constantinople. By her account nothing can exceed the fraud, personal danger, corruption, and uncertainty that are seen daily on the banks of the Bosphorus. This last summer one of the Sultan's wives went shopping, along with two eunuchs to guard her, and she laughed a little and had a bit of ' chaff' with the shopmen at one store. This was reported by the eunuchs, and the next morning she was sent straight to the slave market, and sold to the highest bidder. One of the daughters of the Sultan, by one of his numerous wives, was married, and the husband not being the sort of a maul he was taken for, he was sent out fishing one day, pitched overboard, and sent to Davy Jones. In three or four days another husband was found fur the damsel: it is to be hoped he was Dior, popular. All the male children of the Stilton's daughters are at once put out of existence, as their presence might come time get up embarrassing claims to the throne. Not unfrequently a young holy will be called for at the house where she lives—an hour taken when her parents or guardians are out—and sent word in that some one wants to speak to her. As it is in the daytime, she suspects nothing and runs to the door. She is at once seized, gagged, and carried off by several men, and never heard of again."



A correspondent of the London TIMES at Pekin says that the estimate of the property pillaged and destroyed at the Emperor's summer palace exceeds 6,000,000 sterling. Every soldier who was present is replete with the most valuable loot. Domestic articles in pure gold, and gems of great value, are in possession of many of the men.



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