Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.
said his people had resolved to determine, in convention in their sovereign capacity, the time, place, and manner of redress.  It was not for him to take any action on the subject.  His State was opposed to all and every compromise.  The day of compromise was past.  Mr. Clopton, of Alabama, declined voting because the State of Alabama is proceeding to consider in a convention what action is required to maintain her rights, honor, and safety.  Believing that a State has the right to secede, and that the only remedy for present evils is secession, he would not hold out any delusive hope or sanction any temporizing policy.  Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, said “the South Carolina delegation have not voted on this question because they conceive they have no interest in it.  We consider our State as already withdrawn from the confederacy in everything except form.”  Mr. Pugh, of Alabama, said:  “As my State of Alabama intends following South Carolina out of the Union by the 10th of January next, I pay no attention to any action taken in this body.”

  [Sidenote] “Globe,” Dec. 10, 1860, p. 36, 37.

These proceedings occurred on the second day of the session, December 4; two days later the Speaker announced the committee, placing at the head, as chairman, Thomas Corwin, of Ohio, and appointing such members from the different States as to make it of marked influence and ability; the disunion faction being distinctly recognized by several extreme representatives.  The names were announced on Thursday, December 6;[1] and at the close of the day’s session the House adjourned to the following Monday, the 10th, on which day the general discussion was fairly launched on the request of Mr. Hawkins, of Florida, to be excused from serving on the committee.  He said he had asked the opinions of many Southern Members, and, with one or two exceptions, they most cordially agreed with the course he had taken.  To serve on the committee would place him in a false position.  Florida had taken the initiative; her Legislature had ordered an election to choose members to a convention to be convened on the 3d day of January, 1861.  The committee was a Trojan horse to gain time and demoralize the South; he regretted that it emanated from a Virginia Representative.  He would tell the North that Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina were certain to secede from the Union within a short period.  Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas were certain to follow within the ensuing six months.

Three Democratic Representatives responded to this outburst, the Republican members of the House, as in the Senate, remaining discreetly silent.  These Democratic speakers alleged an unfair composition of the committee, and joined in denouncing the Republican party.  But upon the vital and practical question of disunion their utterances were widely divergent.  As the name of each of them will assume a degree of historical prominence in the further development of the rebellion, short quotations from their remarks made at that early period will be read with interest.  Daniel E. Sickles, of New York, said: 

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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