Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“GREENE COUNTY SLAWE-HUNT.” 179

cott declared that “the United States could not go behind the State criminal record—that the Federal court could no more go behind the power of the State court, than a State court could go behind that of a Federal court—otherwise the two Governments would come into direct opposition. Both would attempt to execute process, and this would end in an appeal to arms.” In the mean time other events had occurred to excite the public mind. On the 21st of June three slaves started from Henry County, Kentucky, crossed the river, and were pursued, without process, and found by the claimants behind some logs, on Kane's Creek, about four miles from the river. In the course of these transactions, one negro was killed, one escaped, and one was captured. On the 20th of June a mass meeting of the citizens of Clark County was held at Charleston, and positive ground was taken upon the right of the State to protect her officers in the execution of the legitimate process of the State courts. A few days later a large meeting was held at Cedarville, at which the skirmish between the deputy-marshal and the posse of the State was called the “battle of Lumbarton.” The attorney who had drawn the papers for the issue of the State writ of habeas corpus, was put under arrest on a warrant issued by the U. S. Commissioner at Cincinnati, and held in bonds of fifteen hundred dollars to answer a charge of resisting the arrest of fugitives from labor. On the 9th of July, the United States District Judge discharged the deputy-marshals out of custody; admitting, however, that there “was a question whether the marshals had not exceeded authority in the use of unnecessary force.” Thus it happened that both the Federal and State courts alike had outstanding process, involving violations of criminal or statute law, and each was alike jealous of dignity and prerogative. Governor Chase, in this state of affairs, determined upon a personal interview with the authorities at Washington; not choosing to leave the matter to correspondence and the opposing statements of the parties at issue.

ney-General by Governor Chase to aid the lawyers retained by the Sheriff of Clark County, is equivalent to a declaration of war on the part of Chase and his abolition crew against the United States courts. Let the war come; the sooner the better.”

Just at this time the great railway celebration of 1857—at the opening of the Ohio & Mississippi, the Marietta & Cincinnati, and the northwestern arm of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad— occurred, bringing Secretary Cass, Mayor Swann, of Baltimore, and many other distinguished citizens, from the Eastern central and the border States to the West, where numerous excursions, speeches and social reunions made quite emphatic the supposed value of railroads in promoting harmony between the sections.

During the return-trip to Baltimore and Washington, Governor Chase—whose words were eagerly watched, in view of his well-known antislavery antecedents—took occasion, during a banquet given at the Maryland Institute (Baltimore), to express the sentiment extracted below. He was introduced to the assembled guests by Mayor Swann, who had been an early and warmlyattached friend during his teaching and student-life in Washington, and a companion in the law-office of William Wirt: “You have spoken eloquently,” he said, “ of railroads as bonds of union; and your observations were as just as they were eloquent. There must of course be differences of opinion among us on some points; and real grievances may from time to time demand redress. But there is no evil for which disunion is the proper cure. And the more we see of each other, the less likely we shall be to commit the error of thinking otherwise. The fact is, that we who live along the line of the American Central Railway don’t mean to let the Union be broken up. Maryland will not consent to it, I think. I trust Virginia will not. Ohio, I am sure, will not; nor Indiana, nor Illinois, nor Missouri. Who then, will ?—We may differ hereafter as we have differed heretofore. We will maintain our respective positions with candor, courtesy, firmness and resolution; and we will refer whatever questions may be between us to the great American tribunal of popular discussion and popular judgment. But, in the time to come, as in the time past, we will cleave to THE UNION as an ark of refuge: and, under God, as our surest guarantee of prosperity and power, and abiding glory.” These words excited a genuine enthusiasm among those who heard them.

—From Baltimore, Governor Chase went to Annapolis, to

INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT BUCHANAN. 181

visit there Commodore Goldsborough, then in command of the Naval School—whose wife was a daughter of William Wirt. From Annapolis he sent Colonel Carrington, of his staff, to Washington; Colonel Carrington’s mission being to arrange an interview for Mr. Chase with President Buchanan, and his Secretary of State at that time, General Cass. Colonel Carrington carried with him a memorandum containing Mr. Chase's general views in relation to the threatened conflict between the Federal and State authorities in Ohio. In his conference with General Cass, Colonel Carrington stated that Governor Chase was as earnest in support of Federal authority, legitimately exercised, as he was in support of the authority of the State; but that he should feel compelled to protect the State officials in the exercise of their duties, and the State courts in the exercise of their legitimate functions, if it took every man in the State to do it. To this General Cass' responded by saying that such a course might involve the country in the most serious consequences. “Time,” said he, “will surely rid us of slavery; and we must tolerate its crosses as best we can while it lasts. But if the peace shöuld once be broken, God only knows what the end would be. How is peace to be preserved,” he asked, “if the States once bristle in arms, and only await opportunity openly to contend ?” Colonel Carrington, adhering closely to the instructions of his memorandum, said that no one would more deplore a conflict than Governor Chase. Mr. Chase sincerely desired to prevent even the possibility of one, and his solution was, that if the United States District Attorney at Cincinnati should be instructed to drop all suits against citizens of the State, a similar course might be adopted by the State toward the marshal and his deputies (who had undoubtedly exceeded their powers), and the excitement might be thus allayed without a breach of the peace. An interview was arranged accordingly, between the President and Governor Chase, at which the Secretary of State was to be present, and on the next day an interview took place, the result of it being that the prosecutions were soon after dropped without embarrassment to either jurisdiction. “In this case, as in the Garner case,” wrote Mr. Chase to Mr. Trowbridge, “I exerted all the power the Constitution gave me for the vindication of the rights which the Constitution guaranteed. “The decision of the United States District Judge in this case, like that in the Garner case, denied the right of the State to execute its own criminal process or civil process, where the execution interfered with the claims of masters under the fugitive slave law. “These transactions made a profound impression upon the public mind, and no doubt contributed much to the political revolution which took place in 1860.”

* It may be observed here, that General Cass and Governor Chase had long been sincere and intimate friends; very especially during the senatorial career of the latter, when General Cass was accustomed to say that “Chase was as good a Democrat as anybody, but that he was radical and advanced on the slavery question.” Ussh the culmination of the pro-slavery pressure on Mr. Buchanan in the winter of 1860–61, Mr. Chase was one of the friends who urged General Cass to a prompt withdrawal from the Cabinet, rather than support a position fatal to his reputation, and certainly abhorrent to his principles of political duty.

C EIAPTER XXII.

REOrganization OF THE MILITARY SYSTEM OF OHIO - CONVENTION OF MILITARY OFFICERS-ExtRACT FROM COLONEL PARsons's REPORT on THE MILITARY systEM—GRowING IMPORTANCE OF THE NEW ORGANIZATION.—ITS EFFICACY AND USEFULNESS IN A PERILous conjuncturE—“THE BRESLIN DEFALCATION’—GIBSON's conoFALMENT of TT–PROMPT ACTION OF GOVERNOR CHASE—NOMINATED FOR REELECTION.—DIFFICULTIES OF THE CANVASS-HIS GREAT LABORS IN CONDUCTING It SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS-A MODEL PAPER – JOHN BRowN's RAID INTo VIRGINLA—GovERNOR wise FEARs AN INVASION FROM OHIO-HI8 LETTER TO GOVERNOR CHASE— GoverNOR CHASE's CHARACTERISTIG REELY-ExTRACT FROM HIS LAST ANNUAL MESSAGE-REELECTED TO UNITED STATES SENATE,

OON after becoming Governor, Mr. Chase turned his attention to a reorganization of the military system of the State. He advised the legislation necessary to effect that end, and in March, 1857, an act was passed which to some extent, at any rate, met the requirements suggested. He promptly appointed his military staff, and took immediate measures for the organization and equipment of the new militia establishment. In January, 1858, a State Convention of the officers of the volunteer militia, organized under the act referred to, was held at Columbus, over which the Governor presided. Positive orders had been issued that arms should be issued only to uniformed organizations, and there were present at the convention—as dele

« ZurückWeiter »