Saturday, November 12, 2016

Charles Francis Adams to John A. Andrew, January 4, 1861

(Private and Confidential.)
 Washington, 4 January, 1861.
Hon. J. A. Andrew, Boston, Mass.

My Dear Sir, — It is beyond a doubt, that the revolutionists have determined to take forcible possession of the Government at Washington before the fourth of March, and perhaps within thirty days. The State Legislature ought at once to take provisional measures to counteract the movement by appropriations of money and organizing of men, in both cases provisional. But it is of the last importance that such measures should be carefully guarded so as not to be misunderstood by the people of Maryland, and the loyal portion of Virginia. They should therefore be specifically directed to protecting the president, the government offices, the Legislature, the Judiciary, the archives and other public property. The proceedings should emanate spontaneously from the States, and not be traced to suggestions from this quarter. Especially abstain from mentioning me, or you would deprive me of the ability to obtain further information. I should think it best to avoid making it a matter of special executive message; rather let it appear to be a matter originating with the proper Committee of the Legislature. Current information will justify it before this letter reaches you, if it does not already.

Very truly yours,
Charles Francis Adams.

Mem. Private.

On the 8th of January at 12 o'clock, a hundred guns should be fired at 12 o'clock, in every town and village, in honor of General Jackson, the flag of the Union, the hero of Fort Sumter. But do not let it appear to have been suggested from here.

What I have written to you to-day has been suggested also to the authorities of New York and Pennsylvania, from sources which they will recognize.

C. F. A.

SOURCE: Henry Greenleaf Pearson, The Life of John A. Andrew: Governor of Massachusetts, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 142-3

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