Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1078, p. 209.
March 9, 1861
Mr. Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, entitled the Confederate States of America, was formally inaugurated at Montgomery, Alabama, on the 18th ult. The spectacle is described as the grandest ever witnessed in the South. Mr. Davis, in his address on the occasion said:—"The judgment and the will of the people are that union with the Northern States is neither practicable nor desirable. If necessary, we must maintain by final arbitrament of the sword the position we have assumed." Unless, therefore, the peace convention can hit upon an acceptable compromise this final arbitrament seems inevitable. The Congress of the seceding Southern States has declared the navigation of the Mississippi free. The appointment of Toombs as Secretary of State, Memminger as Secretary of the Treasury, and L. Walker as Secretary of War, have been confirmed by Congress.
A bill was passed in the Florida Legislature, on Feb. 16, authorising the issue of Treasury notes to the amount of 500,000 dollars.
But while the seceding States are consolidating their new union, the secession movement appears to have received a check in several of the slaveholding States which have not yet formally quitted the Confederation founded by Washington. In Arkansas and Tennessee, majorities of anti-secession delegates have been returned, and in Missouri the attempt to convoke a convention has altogether failed.
The difficulties between the States of New York and Georgia are not yet arranged, the governor of the former refusing to deliver up the arms and ammunition destined for the seceders, and the authorities of the latter retaining the Northern ships seized at Savannah in retaliation.
The committee of the Washington Peace Conference had reported a plan of pacification, understood to be compounded from the Crittenden, Guthrie, and Border States plans. The Republicans favour the idea of a National Convention as the best way to settle all trouble, and will attempt to pass a resolution to that effect. There has been much hard feeling and ill blood in the Convention.
In the House of Representatives a bill had been reported making an appropriation for a survey of the Northern Pacific regions, with the view of establishing a telegraph to Asia.
The Tariff Bill has been passed in the Senate. Not only are its provisions with regard to a large number of the leading articles of importation absolutely prohibitory, but it is framed with such intricacy as to render trade almost impossible.
The Indians were ravaging the territory of New Mexico. Application had been made at Washington for troops to assist in suppressing hostilities.
The 129th anniversary of the birthday of Washington was celebrated on the 22nd ult. The New York papers have copious accounts of the celebration, and also of the progress of President Lincoln and of the inauguration of President Davis.
A telegram from Nebraska City, Kansas, dated the 19th ult., says:—"Old Fort Kearney was taken possession of last night by a party of Secessionists, and this morning a Palmetto flag waves over the fortress, bearing the inscription 'Southern Rights.' " A later telegram says:—"An attack was made on the fort this morning at ten o'clock, and, amid great excitement, the Palmetto flag was torn down, and the stars and stripes raised in its place."