Friday, April 22, 2011

Lincoln: "What is to become of the revenue?"

Governor Hicks, though himself a slaveholder, ...Image via Wikipedia
Gov. T.H. Hicks
  • Maryland Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks calls a session of the Maryland legislature to consider secession. Unrest in Baltimore continues to threaten the security of the District of Columbia as troops go through Maryland on their way to Washington. President Jefferson Davis, communicating with Virginia Governor John Letcher, indicates his hope that he will be able to “sustain Baltimore if possible.”/1861
  • Pres. Lincoln
    President Lincoln meets at the White House with a distinguished delegation of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Baltimore led by Rev. Dr. Fuller of the Baptist Church of Baltimore. According to the Baltimore Sun, Fuller endeavors to impress on the President his unique responsibility and privilege to foment fratricidal war or a lasting peace. Lincoln asks, “But what am I to do?” Fuller urges him to recognize that the Southern States have formed a government of their own and they will not come back. Without referring to the constitutionality of secession, Fuller suggests he can simply recognize the Confederacy and both North and South can be relieved of their great anxieties and move forward in pursuit of peace. Lincoln responds, “And what is to become of the revenue? I will have no government, no resources,” reflecting the underlying reason for Lincoln’s great vision for preserving the Union – the fact that the Southern States provided a majority of Federal government revenue. As the conversation turns to the offense of troops coming through Baltimore to “subdue the South,” Lincoln insists that he has called the troops only for defense of the Capitol, not for invasion of the Southern States. “And,” Lincoln says, “I must have the troops, and mathematically, the necessity exists that they should come through Maryland. They can’t crawl under the earth, and they can’t fly over it, and mathematically they must come across it. Why sir, those Carolinians are now crossing Virginia to come here and hang me, and what can I do?” Despite Fuller’s pleading for a peaceful course, Lincoln remarked that there “would be no Washington in that, no Jackson in that, no spunk in that!” Dr. Fuller hoped that Lincoln would not allow spunk to override patriotism, but Lincoln said there was no way that he or Congress would recognize the Southern Confederacy. After the YMCA delegation departs the White House, they “agreed on the hopelessness of their errand and the sad prospect that any good thing from such a source, and the exclamation was actually made, ‘God have mercy on us, when the Government is placed in the hands of a man like this!”/1861
  • Following the destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard, the Washington Navy Yard has become indispensible. But there are personnel problems. Today Commandant Capt. Franklin Buchanan resigns to serve with the South. The Chief of Navy Ordnance, George Magruder, flees to Canada for the duration of the war, and the entire yard has dwindled to 150 men./1861
  • The Clarksburg (present-day West Virginia) Convention calls for an anti-secessionist convention to be held in May, 1861./1861
  • Illinois state militia garrisons Cairo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River./1861
  • Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector refuses to send troops to support Lincoln’s quota to suppress secession, stating, “the people of this commonwealth are freemen, not slaves, and will defend to the extremity their honor, lives, against Northern mendacity and usurpation.”/1861
  • North Carolina state militia assumes control of the Federal arsenal at Fayetteville, North Carolina./1861

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