Jefferson Davis Vetoes Slave Trade Act


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 30, 1861

The March 30, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of important Civil War news events.  We have posted the newspaper below.  Scroll down to see the complete page, or the Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the specific page of interest.


April Fool's Day 1861

April Fool's Day History

New Orleans

New Orleans

Jefferson Davis Veto of Slave Trade Act

Peter Cooper and the Cooper Institute

The Cooper Union

Vassar Female College

Vassar College

Founding of Vassar (Cont.)

Sam Houston

General Sam Houston

Biggest Gun

Biggest Gun in the World

Lincoln Cartoon

Abraham Lincoln Cartoon





MARCH 30, 1861.]



you've done with him. No harm if it is from the topmost story of the highest barrack in Malta. His name is Potts—seriously and truthfully, Potts. Birth, parentage, and belongings all unknown to,   

Yours ever,


"You are unfortunate, Sir, in confiding your correspondence to me," said Kate, rising from her seat, " for that gentleman is a friend, a sincere and valued friend, of my own, and you could scarcely have found a more certain way to offend me than to speak of him slightingly or ill."

" You can't mean that you know him—ever met him ?"

"I know him and respect him, and I will not listen to one word to his disparagement. Nay, more, Sir, I will feel myself at liberty, if I think it fitting, to tell Mr. Potts the honorable mode in which your brother has discharged the task of an introduction, its good faith, and gentleman-like feeling."

" Pray let us have him at the mess first. Don't spoil our sport till we have at least one evening out of him."

But she did not wait for him to finish his speech, and left the room.

It is but fair to own he took his reverses with great coolness : he tightened his sword-belt, set his cap on his head before the glass, stroked down his mustache, and then lighting a cigar, swaggered off to the door with the lounging swing of his order.

As for myself, I hastened back to the town, and with such speed that I traversed the mile in something like thirteen minutes. I had no very clear or collected plan of action, but I resolved to ask Captain Rogers to be my friend, and see me through this conjuncture. He had just dined as I entered the coffee-room, and consented to have his brandy-and-water removed to my bedroom while I opened my business with him.

I will not, at this eleventh hour of revelations, inflict upon my reader the details, but simply be satisfied to state that I found the skipper far more practical than I looked for. He evidently, besides, had a taste for these sort of adventures, and prided himself on his conduct of them. " Go back now, and eat your dinner comfortably with your friends ; leave every thing to me, and I promise you one thing—the Cyclops shall not get full steam up till we have settled this small transaction."



ON Friday, 15th, in the extra session of the Senate, Senator Mason offered a resolution calling upon the President for information as to the number of troops quartered In the District, when they are to be withdrawn, for what purpose they are maintained there, and whether the force is to be increased, and to what extent. The resolution was laid over. Senator Douglas's resolution, calling upon the Secretary of War for information in relation to the forts, arsenals, navyyards, and other public property in the seceded States, whether the administration intend to recapture those in possession of the secessionists, and if so what military force will be necessary, etc., was taken up. The resolution calls for a detailed exposition of the policy of the administration with reference to the seceded States. Senator Wilson said the administration would make known its policy through gentlemen in whom it had confidence. The debate was continued at considerable length. In the course of it, Senator Douglas gave Senator Fessenden the lie direct, and was severely rebuked by that Senator.

On Saturday, 16th, Senator Rice made a personal explanation, and after some general conversation of no direct moment, the Senate went into executive session.

On Monday, 18th, Senator Breckinridge took occasion to comment upon the Inaugural Address of President Lincoln, and the general course of the Republicans. The Address he interpreted, in accordance with the ultra Southern view, as meaning war. He also argued that the construction of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet left nothing to hope for peace. His opinion was that the Federal Government could not be perpetuated on the principles which brought the now dominant party into power. Senator Hale followed in reply; and at the conclusion of his speech the Senate went into executive session.

On Tuesday, 19th, the subject before the Senate being the resolution presented by Senator Douglas, making inquiries relative to the fortifications and other public property in the seceded States, remarks were made by Senators Clingman of North Carolina, Grimes of Iowa, Clark and Hale of New Hampshire, Chandler of Michigan, Breckinridge of Kentucky, and Simmons of Rhode Island. The latter gentleman proposed a substitute for Senator Douglas's resolution, instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to make inquiries as to the qualifications of Senator, what vacancies there are, and whether the executive of any State in which vacancies may exist has a constitutional right to make temporary appointments. No action was taken on the resolutions, it being decided to hold an executive session.

On Wednesday, 20th, the consideration of Senator Douglas's resolution in relation to the Southern forts, etc., was then resumed, and Senator Bayard, of Delaware, made a speech on the troubles of the nation. He considered a reconstruction of the Union impossible. At the conclusion of Senator Bayard's remarks the Senate held an executive session, and confirmed a number of appointments.

On Thursday, 21st, Senator Bayard continued his speech.


We publish below the names and salaries of the various Ministers and Consuls thus far appointed by the Lincoln Administration :

MINISTERS.       Where to             Compen-

ENGLAND—       Reside.                 sation.

Min. Plen., Charles F. Adams London    $17,500

See. of Leg., Charles L. Wilson London     2,625

Ass't Sec. of Leg., John Adams. London    1,500


Min. Plen., Wm. L. Dayton   Paris          17,500

Sec. of Leg, W. J. Pennington. Paris          2,625


Sec. of Legation, H. Kreiseman... Berlin    1,800




Min Plen, A.  Burlingame . . . Vienna       12,000


Min. Res., J. T. Halderman... Stockholm   7,500


Min. Res., B. R. Wood    Copenhagen       7,500



Min. Res., Henry S. Sanford    Brussels    7,500


Min. Res., Carl Schurz    Lisbon              7,500


Min. Plen., Cassius M. Clay    Madrid    12,000

Sec. of Legation, Green Clay   Madrid     1,800

Min. Res., E. C. Crosby   Guatemala       7,500


Min. Res., Rufus King   Rome                7,500


At what Place.      Names.         Compensation.

London    Freeman H. Morse               $7,500

Bordeaux    C. Davisson                        2,000

Liverpool    DeWitt C. Littlejohn          7,500

Havre    James O. Putnam                      6,000

Aix is Chapelle    Wm. H. Vesey          2,500

Frankfort-on-the-Main  R. Hosmer     3,000

Alexandria, Egypt    W. S. Thayer       3,000


Sandwich Islands   Thomas J. Dyer    7,500


The Government of the seceded States has appointed Hon. William L. Yancey of Alabama, Judge P. A. Rost of Louisiana, Colonel A. Dudley Mann and T. Butler King of Georgia special Commissioners to proceed to England and France to obtain the recognition of the independence of the Confederate States, and make such commercial arrangements as their joint interests may inspire.


We have already announced the fact that Hon. Jefferson Davis had vetoed the Slave-trade Act recently passed by the Congress of the C. S. A. The Montgomery correspondent of the Charleston Mercury publishes the document. It is as follows :


"GENTL.EMEN OF THE CONGRESS,—With sincere deference to the judgment of the Congress, I have carefully considered the bill in relation to the Slave-trade and to punish persons offending therein; but I have not been able to approve, and therefore return it, with a statement of my objections.

"The Constitution, section 9, article 1, provides that the importation of African negroes from any foreign country other than the Slaveholding States is hereby forbidden ; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same. The rule herein given is emphatic, and distinctly directs legislation which shall effectually prevent the importation of African negroes. The bill before me denounces as a high misdemeanor the importation of negroes or other persons of color, either to be sold as slaves, or held to service or labor, affixing heavy and degrading penalties on the act, if done with such intent. To that extent it accords with the requirement of the Constitution; but in the 6th section of the bill provision is made for the transfer of negroes who may have been illegally imported into the Confederate States to the custody of foreign States or societies, upon condition of deportation and future freedom ; and if the proposition thus to surrender them shall not be accepted, it is then made the duty of the President to cause said negroes to be sold at public outcry to the highest bidder, in any of the States where such sales shall not be inconsistent with the laws thereof, etc., etc.

This latter provision seems to me in opposition to the policy declared in the Constitution, of prohibition of the importation of African negroes, and in derogation of its mandate to legislate for the effectuation of that object. Wherefore the bill is returned for your further consideration, together with the objections.

"Most respectfully submitted,


An attempt was made to pass the bill over the veto, but was lost by a vote of Yeas, 15; Nays, 24.


The following amendment to the fifth resolution to the majority report of the Committee on Federal Relations, which has been under discussion the past week, was voted down on 16th in the Convention by a vote of 61 to 30: "And further believing that the fate of Missouri depends upon the peaceable adjustment of our present difficulties, she will never countenance or aid a seceding State in making war upon the General Government, nor will she provide men and money for the purpose of aiding the General Government in any attempt to coerce a seceding State."


The Arkansas Convention, after rejecting a secession ordinance by a vote of 39 to 35, finally agreed that the question should be referred to the people, at an election to be held on the first Monday in August next, when the ballots are to decide "For Co-operation," or " For Secession." Till August, then, Arkansas remains in the Union.


Galveston advices of the 19th are received. Governor Houston and the Secretary of State refused to appear on the 16th before the Convention at Austin when summoned, after a notice, to take the oath. The other State officers took the oath. Lieutenant-Governor Clark was to assume the Governor's powers on the 16th. It was not known what Governor Houston would do. The Convention was rapidly maturing a defensive force for the frontier. Indians in large numbers were on the Western frontier. Colonel Ford was organizing a military force to protect the Rio Grande. The Convention had passed an ordinance continuing in the State government the officers who took the oath.


A telegram dated Charleston, March 20, says: Measures have been taken by the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Memminger, to prevent the introduction of goods by the inland routes.

At all railway connections between the Confederate and Border States officers have been stationed to enforce the decrees and tariff regulations of the Confederate States.


The indictments against Ex-Secretary Floyd have been quashed in the Court at Washington, on the ground—first, that there was no evidence of fraud on his part; and second, that the charge of malfeasance in the matter of the Indian bonds was precluded from trial by the act of 1857, which forbids a prosecution when the party implicated has testified before a Committee of Congress touching the matter.


The first case of real difficulty growing out of the absence of United States Collectors at some of the Southern ports occurred on Thursday, and resulted in the seizure of the schooner Restless at this port, from Havana. The Collector at Mobile refusing, as a United States officer, to exchange a coasting license for a register, in order to permit that vessel to go to Havana for a cargo, the Captain "protested." The Spanish Consul countersigned his document, and he then proceeded on his voyage. At this port Collector Schell seized the vessel for violation of the laws. The facts of the case have been sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, who, it is believed, will remit the penalty.


The arms seized by the New York police have at last all been restored, and sent on to Savannah. The fact having been telegraphed to responsible parties in Georgia, an answer has been received over the wires announcing the release of the vessels detained by the authorities of that State in reprisal for that seizure.


A telegram dated Charleston, March 19, says: Paymaster Hutton, of the United States Army, visited Fort Sumter this evening under a flag of truce, and paid off fifty United States soldiers. .

Major Anderson sent to Quarter-master Hatch, of the

Confederate army, desiring to know by what conveyance his troops can be transported North. They will go by the Columbia on Saturday. The abandonment of the fort is hourly expected.


It is reported that the United States supply ship Isabella, bound for Pensacola with provisions for the fleet at Fort Pickens, has been intercepted and captured by the rebels, in what manner is not stated.


The Australasian is safe. She left Queenstown at her appointed time, and when four days out, during a heavy gale, broke two of the flanges of her screw. After vainly endeavoring to make an American port, the captain bore up for Queenstown, which place she reached on the 3d of March, the passengers and crew all safe.


The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel gives the particulars of a bloody tragedy which recently transpired in Sumpter County, Florida. Rev. George Andrews, pastor of a Methodist Church, had seduced and maltreated a young lady relative who was residing at his house, and having heard that he was to be summoned for trial, went to the house of the man who was to serve the paper upon him, to dine. He had with him a double-barreled gun, a yager rifle, two repeaters, and two bowie-knives. After dinner, Mr. Lane, Mr. M'Lendon, Mr. Hyatt, and Mr. Andrews, went to the workshop, and in the course of conversation Mr. Lane said that he had a summons for Mr. Andrews to appear for trial. At once Andrews leveled his gun at M'Lendon and fired, killing him instantly; turned and shot at Lane with the second barrel, wounding him in the hand, and as Hyatt picked up the yager to defend himself, fired at him with the revolver, grazing him on the shoulder. Hyatt discharged the yager ineffectually and then ran, leaving Andrews to return to the shop and reload his guns, when he went to a Mr. Condray's, about a mile distant. Meeting Mr. Condray, he shot him in the abdomen, inflicting a fatal wound. Rev. Mr. Parker chanced to be standing by, and seizing the wretch, managed to hold him until help came, when he was tied and confined until morning under strict guard. At noon the next day sixty or seventy of the citizens tried and convicted him, and hung him at once. His last words were, "I am only sorry that I did not kill three or four more."


Ex-General Twiggs has declined a Brigadier-Generalship in the army of the Confederate States, on account of feeble health.

The Southern Congress on Saturday confirmed the following persons as District Judges for the Confederate States : A. G. Magrath, for South Carolina; H. R. Jackson, Georgia ; W. Lanier Harris, Mississippi ; Thomas G. Semmes, Louisiana ; John Hemphill, Texas ; and Jesse J. Finley, Florida. On Saturday night the Congress adjourned to meet in Montgomery on the second Monday in May next.

Mrs. Mary Ann Patten, widow of the late Captain Joshua Patten, died in Boston on March 17, of consumption. Mrs. Patten, it will be remembered by many, says the Courier, was the heroic wife who, some three or four years ago, nursed her sick husband when prostrated by illness and incurable blindness, and took charge of his ship—the Neptune's Car—and in spite of the officer's desire to put into Valparaiso, navigated the vessel to San Francisco, and thus avoided much detention, as well as saved expense to the Underwriters. Mrs. Patten had nearly completed her twenty-fourth year.

Lieutenant Slemmer, the Commandant at Fort Pickens, is to be promoted for courage, zeal, and efficiency.

Among the passengers who arrived here on Saturday last, by the steamship Arabia, was Mr. W. H. Russell, the special correspondent of the London Times, who has come to this country for the purpose of giving a fair and impartial account of our political troubles.

John Sherman has received the Republican nomination for United States Senator from Ohio in Governor Chase's stead, and has been duly elected. The selection will be very generally approved.

William Absom, convicted of the murder of his wife, and under sentence of death in the Hudson County (New Jersey) Jail, committed suicide on Wednesday night, in his cell, by severing an artery in his arm.



THE Yelverton Marriage Case, now on trial in the Irish Court of Common Pleas, has excited a very strong feeling in Ireland, and is not unworthy of a few observations, as it illustrates the position of parties professing different religions, when they contract marriage with each other. The point involved in the suit of Thelwall agt. the Hon. Major Yelverton is a very simple one. An action has been brought against Major Yelverton for the maintenance of a lady averred in the plaintiff's plea to be the defendant's wife, and the defendant repudiates the claim on the allegation that the lady is not his wife. The point for decision was this: Was there a legal marriage between Teresa Longworth and William Charles Yelverton on the 15th of August, 1857, when a marriage ceremony took place between them in the Roman Catholic Church of Killowen, Ireland, and the clergyman celebrating that marriage was the Rev. Mr. Mooney, the Roman Catholic priest of the parish. There is no dispute as to the fact of the marriage ceremony; and if both parties were, at the time, Roman Catholics, it is certain that the marriage was valid, legal, and binding upon the persons contracting it; and either would be liable to be tried for bigamy, if he or she contracted a second marriage previous to that first marriage being legally dissolved.

Teresa Longworth was educated as a Roman Catholic. She never professed to be of any other religion ; and, so far as she is concerned, the marriage is legal and binding. But then, how stands the case with Major Yelverton ? It is stated, on the part of the plaintiff, that previous to the defendant's marriage he professed himself to be a Roman Catholic; that some of his family were Protestants, and some Roman Catholics ; and that he belonged to the latter, and never to the former. On the other hand, it has been maintained that he never was a Roman Catholic; that his alleged wife knew him to be Protestant, and had so stated in conversation to the parish priest—an allegation, however, which she positively denied upon her oath, when cross-examined on this most material point. The whole question at issue hinges upon the same point; for the law of the land is that if, at the time of the marriage by a Roman Catholic priest, Major Yelverton was a Protestant, and known as such, then, so far as he is concerned, the marriage is a nullity—it is not binding in law—and the woman who went through a marriage ceremony with him is no more than his concubine, and, consequently, he is not bound to pay for her maintenance.

There are some strange and romantic circumstances connected with this case': the young lady being of respectable family, of some beauty, and possessed of many accomplishments—having been one of the generous and well-born ladies who, in the time of the Crimean war, accompanied the Sisters of Charity, and followed in the footsteps of Miss Nightingale to aid wounded soldiers in the camp hospitals.

Later advices say :

The trial has resulted in a verdict that his first marriage was valid. Miss Longworth is, therefore, the Hon. Mrs. Yelverton, and her husband stands in the power of the criminal law as a bigamist.


The Duke of Sutherland died at Trentham on the 28th ult., aged 75. His Grace was much less known in public life than his magnificent Duchess. Of a delicate constitution, and of a naturally retiring disposition, he led a life of strict privacy, and he was chiefly known as one of the wealthiest members of the peerage, as a munificent patron of literature and art, and as an open-handed supporter of charitable institutions. He is succeeded in the title and estates by his eldest son, the Marquis of Stafford, who was

born in 1828. The Duke's death causes a vacancy in the representation of Sutherlandshire, the present Duke having sat for that county since 1852.


The war between the bishops and the Government is now assuming such proportions that a "cataclysm"—to use M. de Grammont's expression to Cardinal Antonelli– must be near at hand. The Bishop of Poitiers, in a published pastoral letter, compares the Emperor to Pontius Pilate! This fact is announced by the Patrie, under the head of "Latest News," and attested, which "latest news" usually is not, by the signature of its leading writer, M. Paulin Limayrac.


The debate on the address in response to the Emperor's Speech is progressing in the Senate.

On the 1st Prince Napoleon spoke upon the subject. He said: " I am astonished at the violence of the discussion. I leave to liberal opinion in Europe, to the patriotism of the Italians, to the 200,000 soldiers who, with the Emperor at their head, made the campaign of Italy, the task of replying to the insults which you have listened to. [Cheers.] The Emperor represents modern society, its progressive tendencies, and the liberal principles of 1789. [Loud cheers.] The people are not mistaken if they rely upon Napoleon III., who will not fail in his mission." The Prince then recalled the words of the Emperor respecting Gaeta, and said: "Count Heckeren confounded the words 'pity' and 'sympathy,' the latter being only felt by the Emperor for the glorious cause of Italy, and for the allies who have shed their blood at our side upon the fields of Magenta and Solferino. The Prince defended the English alliance against the Marquis Larochekayelir, and said that alliance is not with some particular Ministers, but with the great and liberal English people. It is an alliance with which we can defend the great principles of liberty and progress. The Prince justified the policy of Piedmont in Italy, and maintained that unity of Italy was favorable to France, of whom, he said, she was the national ally. He uttered some sympathetic words respecting Venice, but said he should deplore any untimely attack. He foresaw that Italy united would soon demand Rome as her capital, and continue the difficulty to insure independence to the Pope, who can not become subject to another sovereign. But by securing to the Pope the right side of the city of Rome, with a Papal garrison and a Papal budget, guaranteed by the Powers, his independence would be secured. The Prince was essentially opposed to the union of temporal and spiritual power, which would be subjection of the conscience.


We read in the Paris Moniteur of February 28 : "Among the items of news which come from the United States is one which does not directly concern the domestic crisis, but is no less worthy of attention, for it has an international bearing which will escape no one's attention. The representatives of the Northern States, taking advantage of the absence of the Southern members, have been in great haste to vote a new Custom-house tariff. Now, then, the North, which is desirous of protecting its manufactures, is very unfaithful to ideas of liberty when it has to do with tariffs, and does not keep in view the interests of the South—a country essentially agricultural and very much in favor of free trade.

"The tariff heretofore in force was very protective, since it imposed on foreign merchandise ad valorem ditties varying from nineteen to thirty per cent. The new tariff increases all the taxes either directly or by combinations which substitute a specific for ad valorem, duties. This retrograde reform has been very badly received in England, and will be no better liked in France: for our silks, which used to pay nineteen per cent., will pay a tax varying from twenty to thirty per cent., and our wines, taxed at thirty per cent., will be assessed at thirty-three and a half per cent.

"If a reconciliation should be effected in the United States, which does not yet appear to be beyond hope, it is proper to surmise that the abolition of this tariff will be one of the compromise clauses obtained by the South. If the Union be not reestablished, the programme of free trade proclaimed by the South will open to our trade and agriculture a road to fruitful interourse and large returns."


A Paris letter says: "On Saturday evening, as the Mires family were sitting round the domestic tea-table, in one of those sumptuous drawing-rooms in the Palace of the Rue Neuve des Mathurins, where princely balls were given last year, their privacy was broken in upon by the ruthless minions of the law. The Prince de Polignac, Mires's son-in-law, who not a year ago resigned himself to a mesalliance for the sake of the supposed wealth of the young Jewess, convulsively examined the arrest warrant, and vainly questioned its legality. The Princess de Polignac, who is far advanced In pregnancy, fainted away, and serious consequences, which happily have not been realized, were apprehended. Politely, but firmly, and without any delay, the officers marshaled Mires to the hack-cab which was waiting at the door and in that vile equipage, Mires, the great financier, the second Rothschild, the man who was wont to make a Minister his footstool—Mires, the regenerator of Marseilles and the last hope of the Turkish Empire, was hurried away to Mazas prison, where he now lies awaiting his trial on the triple charge of forgery, swindling, and abuse of confidence.' There was a report last night that he had been liberated on bail; but this is positively denied to-day by the Droit, an authoritative legal journal, which says that he is still in prison, and that M. Daniel, the Judge of Instruction, is actively proceeding with the affair. Mires was yesterday under examination for five hours. His daughter, who is a charming young person, only 18, and commands much sympathy, passes her time in calling upon Ministers and great people to whom her rank as a Princess obtains her ready access. She implores their influence in behalf of her father. She has been once allowed to see him in prison, but only in the presence of his witnesses, who hear all that is said, for he is au secret."



The heights commanding the citadel of Messina are occupied by the Sardinian troops. The representatives of foreign Powers have protested to the commander of the citadel against any damage which might be caused in the city.

The Minister of War at Naples has issued notice that all foreign soldiers who may have belonged to the Bourbon army, or who have been in the military service of the Pope, and who should join the reactionary bands of Southern Italy, will, if made prisoners, not be treated as soldiers, but will be punished with the greatest severity.



The Paris letter of the London Daily News mentions, as a rumor in accredited quarters, that Prince Metternich has just communicated to M. Thouvenel an important note front the Court of Vienna. In this note it is asserted the Austrian Government declares that it never will recognize Victor Emanuel as King of Italy ; but if France recalls her troops from Rome, she will immediately replace them by an Austrian army, and that if the Revolutionists make the least movement in Venetia or Hungary, she will cross the Mincio.



By way of New Orleans we are in possession of a few additional items of Mexican news. So far as determined by the late Presidential election, the republic is nearly equally divided between three parties. Eight States are thought to be for Juarez, representative of the Puros; eight are for Lerdo de Tejada, candidate of the extreme radicals, and six for General Ortega, representative of the army and more moderate politicians. It is believed, therefore, that there will be no choice by the people. The election then goes to the Congress, where Juarez, it is thought, will have a large majority. In the mean time, General Arteaga, the Governor of Queretaro, has put himself at the head of a movement against the Central government, The press, however, very generally condemn it.



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