Showing posts with label North Carolina Legislature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Carolina Legislature. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Springs, Oak & Co., May 13, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 13th, 1861.

I have just returned from Raleigh. The State regards the impending war as a sectional one and all seemed determined to repel it. A large majority up to the issuing of Lincoln's proclamation were firm for the Union. Some of us would have made any sacrifice to preserve it. The small concessions made by the last Congress had strengthened us. Lincoln prostrated us. He could have devised no scheme more effectual than the one he has pursued, to overthrow the friends of Union here. Whether this was his design in order to make war upon slavery, or his purpose only what he professes, we are in doubt. [Next three lines illegible.] Whatever may be his purpose, any sensible man could foresee, and this act of his will prove, that he is the most efficient auxiliary of the secessionists. I have been the most persevering and determined public man in my State to preserve the Union—the last to abandon the hope, that the good sense of the Nation would prevent a collision between the extremes, each of which I viewed with equal abhorrence. I am left no other alternative but to fight for or against my section. I can not hesitate. Lincoln has made us a unit to resist until we repel our invaders or die. I can see no hope in the future, whatever may be the issue of the fight, which now seems inevitable. The best chance for ultimate re-union would be a peaceable separation.

Our Legislature is terrible. You will have seen our new stay law. All collection for creditors at home and abroad is cut off, without any security to creditors.

Will you please let me know how accts. stand between me and you? I intend to pay the little I owe North and South, if I can be permitted to do so without being a traitor.

Read Gov. Graham's speech to the Hillsboro volunteers, published in the Standard this week. It is a true exponent of the views of all quondam Union men here.


SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 143

Monday, October 5, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Joseph John Jackson, December 17, 1860

RALEigh, Dec. 17, ‘60.
I can not find time to write you as often as I ought to.

To-day the Senate voted 27 to 15 to suspend the rules in order to pass through its 2d and 3d readings a bill offered this morning by Erwin, who is a manly disunionist, not a disunionist under the disguise of secession, authorizing the Gov. to expend $300,000 in buying arms. The reason given for this remarkable precipitancy is that there are reasons to fear that a considerable insurrection is on foot, and secondly, that just now a gun factory offers him the guns at cash prices and payment to be made in State bonds at par. I need not say that such pretext is equally silly. The bill is made the order of the day for 12 to-morrow. It will probably pass its second and third readings. Its real object is to enable the Governor to arm volunteers to aid S. C. The State will soon be involved in war unless, to the great disappointment and mortification of the leaders in this General Assembly, the committee of 33 should make a pacification.

Cass has resigned because B. would not reinforce Ft. Moultrie. This is the report here, fully credited. Cass is too much of a Statesman to connive at the refusal of the President to execute the laws. Lincoln would not be permitted to execute them.

So So. Ca. will become another Paradise—By her cotton will rule the world—Get plenty of cheap negroes from Africa, and we may possibly be allowed to attach ourselves to her as an humble dependency.

Slavery, as Gen. Jackson well predicted, is only a “pretext.” Slavery is doomed if the South sets up a Southern Confederacy. With Canada in effect for her Northern border from the Atlantic to the Pacific—all hating us, it is madness to think of anything else only to cut the throats of the negroes or have our own throats cut.

I am truly sorry that I am a member of this Assembly which I think contains less of patriotism than any like number of men ever assembled in this State since the close of the Revolution.

Nearly half of the Democratic members desire to preserve the Union, but they are the rank and file and will all ultimately follow their leaders—at least, vote for the measures of Avery and Co.—all of which, openly or in disguise, look to a dissolution.

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 126-7

Remarks of Jonathan Worth on the Proposition to call a Con[ven]tion, in the Senate, January, 1861.*

The proposition of the Senator from Guilford, as I understand it, is to submit it to the vote of the people whether they will have a Convention, altogether unrestricted, without anything in the preamble or body of the resolutions declaratory of the purpose of the calling such Convention. I recognize as the basis of our government the right of the people to govern, and I am therefore willing, if the people desire it, that such a Convention be called, free to consider and act on every principle of government, State or National, with this proviso only, that the action of such Convention shall have no validity until ratified by a vote of the people; but if the bill in any way indicates that the Convention is called to consider our Federal relations, I can not vote for it, because the Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to call no such Convention. Such Conventions have been nowhere called except for the purpose of carrying out secession. I will not discuss this doctrine as a constitutional remedy. This has been sufficiently done. It is sufficient for my present purpose to declare that I regard it as a ruinous heresy, whether the present Union be preserved or a Southern Confederacy be formed. I regard it as the seed of death in any Confederation. A new Republic founded on it would be based on Disintegration. I can therefore vote for no bill which in any way squints toward a recognition of this doctrine.

The only Convention to consider of National affairs, which the General Assembly can constitutionally call, is a Convention provided for in the Fifth Article of the Constitution of the United States to pass on amendments to the Constitution of the United States previously proposed as therein prescribed. Any other Convention called by the General Assembly to consider of National affairs I regard as revolutionary, and I am sure my constituents are not ready for revolution for existing causes.

* In Worth's writing

SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 128-9

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 27, 1862

Some of the late Secretary's friends are hinting that affairs will go amiss now, as if he wonld have prevented any disaster! Who gave up Norfolk? That was a calamitous blunder! Letters from North Carolina are distressing enough. They say, but for the influence of Gov. Vance, the legislature would favor reconstruction!

Gen. Marshall writes lugubriously. He says his men are all barefoot.

Gen. Magruder writes that Pemberton has only 20,000 men, and should have 50,000 more at once — else the Mississippi Valley will be lost, and the cause ruined. He thinks there should be a concentration of troops there immediately, no matter how much other places might suffer; the enemy beaten, and the Mississippi secured at all hazards. If not, Mobile is lost, and perhaps Montgomery, as well as Vicksburg, Holly Springs, etc.

One of our paroled men from Washington writes the President that, on the 6th instant, Burnside had but seventy regiments; and the President seemed to credit it! The idea of Burnside advancing with seventy regiments is absurd. But how many absurd ideas have been entertained by the government, and have influenced it! Nous verrons.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 197