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London, Saturday, February 23, 1861

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1076, p. 164.

February 23, 1861


Seven of the formerly United States are now severed from the Federal Government, if their own act can achieve this separation, an issue which Mr. Lincoln is still thought to be inclined to try, although Mr. Seward's last important speech is conciliatory, and although discussions tending to the encouragement of a compromise were pending when the mail left. It is more than possible that in a short time Washington may be no longer the seat of the Executive. The mediation of Virginia is of a very one-sided character, but she can hardly be blamed for this when the peculiarity of her position is taken into account. We are also informed that it is intended to defend Fort Sumter against any attack by the Secessionists, and that new forces are being sent southward by the President. On the whole, American news may be thought somewhat more pacific than it had previously been; for, although the honour of the Federal Government demands that there shall be no submission to outrage, the fact that so enormous an aggregation of district demands separation would seem to make it improbable that coercive measures will be adopted. Kansas has come into the Union, with a Constitution that prohibits slavery. Of the ulterior views of the seceding States it is premature to speak. Like Rinaldo,

Th' exploits they plan might shame the vaunts of story.

But there is a great deal to be done in the way of settlement at home before extension of jurisdiction can be thought of. The new President takes office on Monday week.

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