Staunton Spectator: April 30, 1861Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Description of Page: Column 1 ads. Columns 2 and 3 poetry and fiction. Column 7 illegible
(Column 4)Summary: A transcript of a letter from Jno. M. Botts to the Administration warning against the sending of troops to quell secession in the Cotton States. The letter notes that Union feeling will be all but extinguished in the South if this takes place.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
RICHMOND, April 19th, 1861.
MY DEAR SIR: Your letter of yesterday has been received. Before this you will have learned through the Press all that has occurred at Norfolk and at this place; but I cannot begin to give you a just conception of the excitement created; not only here, but throughout the whole Southern country, by the proclamation of the 15th, which, in many respects, may be regarded as the most unfortunate document that has ever issued from the Government. In the absence of that paper, this State could never have been carried out of the Union; with it, the Union party, and the Union feeling, has been almost entirely swept out of existence. You cannot meet with one man in a thousand who is not inflamed with a passion for war, and every one seems to regard the proclamation as a declaration of war for the subjugation of the entire South, and for the extermination of slavery; reason (with them on this point) would as soon arrest the motion of the Atlantic, as it would check the current of their passions.
When I saw you in Washington, some ten days since, I had the honor to lay before you and other members of the Cabinet, as well as before Mr. Lincoln himself, a plan for the settlement of our troubles, through the medium of a National Convention, to give to the seceded States leave to withdraw. I thought then, as I do now, that the plan then suggested was the only solution of the dreadful crisis which was upon us. Since that time, matters have assumed a far more frightful aspect, and I now venture to make one more effort to save the unnecessary effusion of brothers' blood; and, in the name of liberty, humanity, and Christianity, I implore you to give it your earnest and solemn deliberation.
I need hardly say that no man in this nation has held in higher appreciation the value of our blessed Union. No man has labored more freely for its loss than mine; no man can mourn more sorrowfully for its overthrow than I will. No man can condemn more severely the immediate causes that have so unnecessarily led us into this awful and terrible catastrophe than I do. Yet for the first time, after an entire night of sleepless reflection, when I prayed as I never prayed before for wisdom and strength to do my duty, my mind has been brought to the conclusion that a dissolution is an inevitable decree of fate.
I am satisfied that a contest on the part of the General Government, with its perfect military organization, powerful Naval forces, its command of the money, and its credit without limit, backed by eighteen or twenty millions of people, against eight millions without military organization, without naval forces, and without money or credit, is not likely to be of doubtful result in the end--but after that, what then? Can the Union be preserved on such terms, or would it be worth preserving if it could? After the best blood of the country has been shed in war, which has passion, prejudice, and unnatural but mutual hate for its foundation, intensified by the conflict, could the two sections ever be brought together as one people again?-- and would it not require large standing armies, in constant active service, to conquer and maintain peace? And would not that end at last in a hateful, loathsome military despotism?
If I am right in all this, would not a peaceful separation, not as a military necessity, but as a triumph of reason, order, law, liberty, morality, and religion, over passion, pride, prejudice, hatred, disorder, and the force of the mob, be a far wiser and more desirable solution of the problem that such scenes as will result from a purely sectional warfare, (result as it may,) and from which the heart sickens, and the soil recoils with horror?
You may cut, maim, kill and destroy; you may sweep down battalions with your artillery; you may block up commerce with your fleets; you may starve out the thousands and tens of thousands of the enemies of the Government. You may may overrun, but you cannot subjugate the United South; and if you could do all this, you could not do it without inflicting an equal amount of misery upon those who are its best friends, and who have stood as long as there was a plank to stand upon, by the side of the Union, the Constitution and the laws. Our streets may run red with blood; our dwellings may be leveled with the earth; our fields may be laid waste; our hearthstones may be laid desolate; and then at the last, what end has been gained? Why, the Government has exhibited its power which has never been questioned, but by the idle, the ignorant and the deluded, and for the display of which there will be abundant opportunities, without an effort now, of either side, to cut each other's throats!
So far from its being regarded as a betrayal of weakness by the other powers of the Globe, will it not be looked upon in the present emergency as an act of magnanimity and heroism on the part of the more powerful party to propose terms of peace? Let me, then, as a strong, devoted, unalterable friend of the Union, (if it could be maintained,)--let me as a conscientious and unchangeable opponent of the fatal heresy of secession, urge upon this Administration the policy of of issuing another proclamation, proposing a truce to hostilities, and the immediate assembling of a National Convention to recognize the Independence of such of the States as desire to withdraw from the Union, and make the experiment of separate Government, which it will not, as I think, take them long to discover is the most egregious error that man, in his hour of madness, ever committed.
In five years from this time the remaining United States would be stronger and more powerful than the thirty-four States were six months ago--and you will have a Government permanent and enduring for all time to come, to which all who seek an asylum from oppression may resort hereafter.
I will not undertake to speculate on the experiment of a Southern Republic;--my opinion on that subject are well defined, and too well understood to make it necessary that they should be canvassed here. Let it be tried, and let it work out its own salvation.
If this policy can be adopted, all I shall ask for myself, will be the privilege of retiring to some secluded spot, where I can live in peace, and mourn over the downfall of the best Government--wisely administered--with which man was ever blessed.
I could not willingly take up arms against a Union that I have been taught and accustomed to adore, as indispensable to my own liberties, and I never will raise my hand against my native State, although her arm has ever been against me and mine.
For God's sake, let me implore you to let wisdom, magnanimity, true courage and humanity prevail in your councils, and give peace to a distracted and disssevered country.
I write as one who feels that he is standing on the brink of the grave of all he has cherished on earth; my head is bowed down with grief over the madness that rules the hour, and I pray God to give the wisdom to know, and the strength to perform my duty, my whole duty to my country, my State, and my friends.
I am, with great respect, yours, &c.
JNO. M. BOTTS.
Hon. EDWARD BATES, Attorney General,&c.
Will you grant me the favor to lay this last effort to serve my country before the Cabinet at its first meeting? I appeal to you as a native son of Virginia to do it.
J. M. B.
(Column 5)Summary: A letter from A. Nicholas, of New York, who expresses to his friend Col. McCue in Augusta County his hope that Virginia will stick by the Union with the other Border States. He states that New Yorkers believe that, if the Border States secede, "then the war must exterminate the cause which has created this contention."
(Names in announcement: Col. J.M. McCue)Full Text of Article:[No Title]
BANKING OFFICE OF A. NICHOLAS & CO.,
No. 70 Wall Street,
NEW YORK, 15th April, '61.
Col. J. M. McCUE,--Mt. Solon,--Dear Sir:--It is a long time since I had the pleasure of writing you of your health. I have been frequently informed by my friend Sibert who has been kind enough to advise me occasinally respecting Mt. Solon and yourself. We have in this city become highly excited by the news that Fort Sumter was fired into and taken by the troops of the Cotton States. The President's message, calling first for 75,000 troops and then increasing the demand to 175,000, has produced a profound and deep impression that we are about entering into an awful performance, the end of which no man can tell. The only hope now is, that Va. will stand firm by the Union and hold all the border States to the same line of policy--if she does, our misguided South Carolina friends can soon be brought to reason--if she does not, but goes to swell the triumphal car of secession, God knows the end. The universal sentiment here is, that if the Border States do go out, then the war must exterminate the cause which has created this contention. When I heard that South Carolina fired coolly and deliberately and wantonly upon our flag, I cried like a child, that our brothers should fire into us. If the men that did the deed could have seen the eyes that were dimmed, and the stout frames of strong men that shook when the news was received here, they would have wished that the earth had swallowed them up. The newspapers and office seekers have done their best to set the sections against each other. May God forgive them I can't!--My Dear Sir, will Virginia secede? What is your opinion? Pray let me hear from you soon.
Yours, A. NICHOLAS.
(Column 5)Summary: Col. McCue of Augusta County replies to his friend A. Nicholas of New York by saying that Virginia has already seceded and has an army in the field ready to "defend her rights and institutions." McCue accuses the North of hypocrisy and of instigating the war and expresses his wish to have the "earnestly hoped for meeting" on the battlefield.
(Names in announcement: Col. J.M. McCue)Full Text of Article:[No Title]
MT. SOLON, 21st April, '61.
MR. A. NICHOLAS,--Dear Sir: Yours of the 15th inst., came to hand a few days ago. Circumstances that have occurred since, have more than answered one of the interrogatories you ask with so much apparent feeling, "Has Virginia seceded?" She has not only seceded, but has on this morning, an army in the field, to defend our rights and institutions, that will carry terror to the hearts of those who vauntingly boast that they will "exterminate the cause," as you are pleased to term it, of all the difficulties between us. Could you, and the myrmidons of abolition, of agrarianism and all that is abominable in a free government, see, as I have had the opportunity within the past few days, the spirit of our people, your craven hearts would collapse within your cowardly carcasses. You who possess means to justify it, will send your hired mercenaries to overpower us, it may be. You may devastate our country, burn our towns, insult and abuse our women, but conquer us you can never do. When our brave and gallant sons are exterminated, if such could be, you will find our wives and daughters more than a match for all the Beechers, and Cheevers and Stowes and that damnable set that you have so long paid Court to, and encouraged, until you have brought this affliction upon the country.
You speak of our "institutions" being the cause of this war, and you will exterminate it forsooth. Let me tell you, sir, that it has been the misguided frenzy and folly and madness of your people, that has been the cause; and that people that has fattened and flourished upon the labor of this institution, and in your pharasaical and puritanical self-righteousness, after hoarding this wealth, would say to us, "stand aside, we are holier than thou," and cannot live under the same government with you. Let me say to you, sir, that the men of New York and New England who, in the war of 1812, could stand by with folded hands and see the flag of their country trailed and trampled in the dust, and convene themselves into a Hartford convention, and refuse to furnish men and means to defend their country and that flag from an insolent foreign foe, can with a very bad grace now shed tears, as you say you did, when you heard that flag was fired upon at Fort Sumter. Your damnable hypocrisy makes my blood boil, and in spite of myself, makes me pray that we may have the earnestly hoped for opportunity of meeting you in sight of the Potomac, and all those who, like you, have been shedding those crocodile tears, and there testing, in the sight of the ashes of the Father of his Country, your sincerity in defending that flag. But permit me to say, sir, that you will not be there. You, and those who think like you, will send as your personal representatives, the miserable mercenary foreigners, that you can gather up in your cities at $10 per month to do your fighting. Would to God it were otherwise, and we could meet you all in person, and your boasted Seventh Regiment besides, who have warmed at our firesides, slept under our roofs, shared our hospitality, and when it was in your interest to do so, have preached up your conservatism. But enough, sir, I have not patience to say more. In the hope I may meet you at Washington, (what I do not expect,) I am, sir, yours.
J. MARSHALL McCUE.
(Column 5)Summary: Expresses hope that the Border States will unite to resist the "unconstitutional, illegal, and mad" policy of Lincoln and his Cabinet.
Origin of Article: Alexandria GazetteHenry Clay's Last Speech
(Column 6)Summary: An excerpt from Henry Clay's last speech warning of the horrors that would befall the country in the event of civil war.[No Title]
(Column 6)Summary: States that there is a unity of opinion in Virginia that Virginia must unite with the South to resist Lincoln's war policy.
Origin of Article: Alexandria Gazette
Description of Page: Bottom left illegible. Bottom illegible. Various items regarding troop movements in other States and appointment of officers.
How Virginia was United
(Column 2)Summary: Reproaches those who blame the Union men for the current state of war because they resisted immediate secession. The article says that by attempting to compromise, the Unionists forced Lincoln to develop a policy that united all Virginians in opposition. If secession had occurred before compromise efforts were exhausted, there would have been parties in Virginia discontented with such an action.
Full Text of Article:More Companies Going
We have no disposition, says the Lynchburg Virginian, to obtrude old party issues upon the people now, believing that everything of the kind should be deprecated and avoided. Our people are united, as they ought to be, in opposition to Black Republican oppression and tyranny. Yet, we occasionally hear some indiscreet persons reproaching those who were more reluctant to anticipate the issue now forced upon them by others--with being the authors of the mischief we are now suffering. Such persons assume--and it is the merest assumption--that if we had presented a united front in the beginning of the present troubles, there would have been no conflict. They forget that it was simply impossible to bring our people to that point, and that, if even a majority had been found willing to separate from the Union one month ago, a very large minority would have been restless and dissatisfied. The moral force of our action would have been impaired, if no worse consequence had ensued. But, by our patient efforts in behalf of the Union, compromise and peace, we forced Lincoln to a development of his policy, and such a development as has united us to a man. This is the best vindication that could be given of the wisdom of our policy. In confirmation of this view, we submit the following from the Richmond "Examiner," a journal that lampooned the Convention and the Union men with unwonted severity.--the "Examiner" says:
"The bug-bear of civil war need not frighten no one. We are not engaged in Virginia civil war, and, thank heaven all danger of that most dreadful of human scourges is past. It almost reconciles us to the delay of the Convention.-- That delay has made Virginia a unit--has made the whole South a unit. The natives of the South are leagued and confederated to repel Northern invasion, and establish Southern independence.
And the "delay" of the late Union men brought about this "league" and hearty confederation of Southern men. This shall be our consolation amidst all the sorrows that may await us.
(Column 1)Summary: Item reports the departure of more volunteer companies for their posts.Soldiers Coming Here
(Names in announcement: Capt. Francis Robert, H.M. Bell)
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that it is planned for 3,000 troops to be quartered in Staunton. While the soldiers will be welcome, there is some concern over the increasing cost of supplies that will result from such an influx.Come to Staunton
(Column 1)Summary: Encourages people who want to spend the summer in a pleasant place "out of the reach of war's alarms" to come to Staunton. It states that the hotel accomodations are as good in Staunton as any town in the state.The Tyrant at Bay
(Column 2)Summary: Article advocates laying siege to Washington to force a capitulation of the President.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg VirginianEqual Taxation
(Column 2)Summary: The Convention has amended the state Constitution so that taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the Commonwealth. If the amendmment is ratified by popular vote, it will take effect on July 1.The Capital of the South
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that Richmond will likely become the Confederate seat of government.When Should Washington be Attacked
(Column 3)Summary: Relates that public sentiment is divided over whether Virginia should assume only an attitude of defense or should take the initiative and attack Washington. Many argue that without the secession of Maryland, such a course would inflame Northern opinion further against the South and be disastrous for the cause of secession.The Regular Army
(Column 3)Summary: Announces the passage of an Ordinance to provide for the organization of a provisional army of 10,000.By the Governor of Virginia, A Proclamation
(Column 4)Summary: Governor declares his compliance with the Ordinance of Secession and announces the popular vote to ratify it on the 4th Thursday in May. Included is a transcript of the Ordinance.By the Governor of Virginia, A Proclamation
(Column 6)Summary: The Governor asks that the citizens of the State return to their usual avocations and not engage in any acts that interfere with peaceable, unoffending citizens, including seizure of property without authority of law.Reception of Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee
(Column 5)Summary: Reports the reception of Robert E. Lee by the Convention and his appointment as leader of the forces of Virginia.The Union Men of North Carolina
(Column 5)Summary: The Raleigh Standard says it is now time to put past disagreements aside. The Union men have done their best to preserve the Union, but now, for the sake of independence and safety, it is time to fight with the South.
Origin of Article: Raleigh StandardHarper's Ferry
(Column 6)Summary: Details the seizure of the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. The Virginia unit was under the command of Gen. Harper of Staunton.Valuable Property Captured
(Names in announcement: Gen. Kenton Harper)
(Column 6)Summary: Reports that Virginia troops in Norfolk have captured two sloops of war and an immense quantity of artillery, shot, and shells.[No Title]
(Column 7)Summary: A letter nominating Bolivar Christian as a candidate for the House of Delegates.A Suggestion
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian)
(Column 7)Summary: A suggestion from an officer of the Augusta regiments of the militia suggesting they organize into a Volunteer corps.
Description of Page: Advertisements
By the Governor of Virginia, A Proclamation
(Column 1)Summary: Proclamation announces that the Convention has ratified the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States. This Constitution is considered effective unless the people of the State vote against the Ordinance of Session.Convention between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Confederate States of America
(Column 1)Summary: Outlines the agreement between the C.S.A. and Virginia that places Virginia troops under C.S.A. command. In addition, Virginia will have all rights and privileges as a C.S.A. member until such times as her admission is officially ratified.By the Governor of Virginia, A Proclamation
(Column 1)Summary: Governor asks that all volunteer units not summoned to Richmond stay at home and await orders.Died
(Column 2)Summary: Phebe Patterson, daughter of Ellen Paterson, died on April 19 of consumption. She was a long-time member of the Bethel Presbyterian Church.
(Names in announcement: Ellen S. Patterson, Phebe Patterson)
Description of Page: Advertisements