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The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1079, p. 232.

March 16, 1861


Mr. Lincoln reached Washington on the 24th ult., having hastened his departure from Harrisburg by a special night train in consequence of information said to have been received of a plot to assassinate him. The report was of doubtful origin. It is probable that he hastened forward to escape the mob at Baltimore. The President elect had been waited upon by Lord Lyons and other foreign Ministers on the 25th. General Scott, Mr. Seward, and several prominent Republican senators were closeted with him concerning the ceremonies connected with the inauguration. At a general levée given by Mr. Lincoln several hundred gentlemen from all sections of the country paid their respects to him. Mr. Lincoln visited the Senate and House of Representatives, and was well received. The authorities at Washington on the 27th formally took leave of President Buchanan, and then extended a formal welcome to the President elect. Mr. Lincoln in his speech spoke in the most fraternal manner towards the citizens of the slave-owning States.

Despatches from Washington state that the following is a list of the Cabinet officers of the incoming Administration, which has been virtually adopted as a compromise between the contesting sections, factions, and cliques of the Republican party:—

Secretary of State . . . W.H. Seward, of New York.
Secretary of Treasury . . . Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio.
Secretary of War . . . Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania.
Secretary of Navy . . . Montgomery Blair, of Indiana.
Secretary of the Interior . . . Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana.
Postmaster-General . . . Gideon Willes, of Connecticut.
Attorney-General . . . Edward Bates, of Missouri.

The Peace Conference at Washington had dispersed, after having agreed to recommend a compromise prohibiting slavery in the United States' territories north of 36 deg. 30 m., allowing and protecting it in the territories south of that line, and providing that new States shall be admitted into the Union with or without slavery, according to the desire of their inhabitants. The proposed compromise further forbids the acquisition of fresh territory without the assent of majorities of the slaveholding and non-slaveholding States, deprives Congress of all right to abolish slavery in the district of Columbia without the assent of Maryland, stipulates the free passage of slaves from one slaveholding State to another, and prohibits the African slave trade. These proposals had been submitted for the consideration of the Senate, which had referred them to a committee of five senators. It was thought that the incoming Administration and the House of Representatives were disposed to make considerable concessions with a view to conciliate the Southerners.

The Senate had finally passed the Tariff Bill, which awaited the President's assent.

The Senate and House of Representatives had postponed further action upon the Coercion Bills, and legislative and other action was evidently suspended until the inauguration of the new President.

In the House the report of the Committee of thirty-three on the crisis was taken up. The clause providing for the admission of New Mexico into the Union, with or without slavery, as her people may elect, was laid on the table by a vote of 114 to 71. A motion was made to suspend the rules, in order to take up the proposition of the Peace Congress. On taking a vote, the motion was rejected by 92 to 66-two-thirds not voting for the motion. The Nevada and Dacotah [sic] Territorial bills were passed. The amendment to the Act for the Rendition of Fugitive Slaves was passed. The amendment to the Act for the Rendition of Fugitives from Justice was rejected by a vote of 162 to 47.

The election in North Carolina had gone in favour of union by a small majority.

General Twigg had been struck off the army roll as a coward and a traitor for having surrendered the Federal military property in Texas to the State authorities.


According to the New York Herald Mr. Jefferson Davis, the President of the new Southern Confederacy, is "making every preparation for bloody contest," and "all hope of an adjustment is passed." There were rumours that Fort Sumter was to be attacked by the South Carolinians immediately after the 4th of March.

The Southern Congress at Montgomery has given instructions to the Finance Committee to consider the expediency of laying an export duty on cotton.

The new Tariff Act adopted by the Congress enacts that all kinds of provisions, agricultural productions in their natural state, and munitions of war, are exempt from duty.

A circular from the collector of the port of Charleston gives notice that all vessels from States not members of the Confederate States will, from and after the 22nd of February, be regarded as foreign vessels, and as such must enter, clear, pay fees, and comply with all the laws and regulations in force on the 1st of November last.

According to some accounts, the State of South Carolina, or rather the very South Carolinian part of it, grows restive under the new Confederation. They complain that they are to be saddled with a tariff, and that the slave trade is to be prohibited. In Mississippi there is already discontent at the great taxation necessary to support the new state of things. The ordinary taxes have been doubled, and a heavy loan is proposed, to anticipate future levies.

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