Our mission being one for negotiation and peace, and your note, leaving us without hope of a withdrawal of the troops from Fort Sumter, or of the restoration of the status quo existing at the time of our arrival, and intimating as we think, your determination to re-enforce the garrison in the harbor of Charleston, we respectfully inform you that we propose returning to Charleston on to-morrow afternoon.
We have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servants,
R. W. BARNWELL,
J. H. ADAMS,
JAMES L. ORR,
3 1/2 o'clock, Wednesday.
This paper just presented to the President, is of such a character that he declines to receive it.
Statement of Messrs. Miles and Keitt of what transpired between the President and the South Carolina delegation.
In compliance with the request of the Convention, we beg leave to make the following statement:
On Saturday, the 8th of December several of the South Carolina delegation, including ourselves, waited upon the President. At this time there was a growing belief that re-enforcements were on the eve of being sent to the forts in Charleston Harbor.
It was known that the subject was frequently and earnestly discussed in the Cabinet. It was rumored that General Cass and Mr. Holt were urgent that re-enforcements should be sent. Upon our being announced the President, who was then in Cabinet council, came out to us in the anteroom. We at once entered into a conversation upon the topic which was so closely occupying his thoughts as well as ours. The President seemed much disturbed and moved. He told us that he had a painful interview with the wife of Major Anderson, who had come on from New York to see him. She had manifested great anxiety and distress at the situation of her husband, whom she seemed to consider in momentary danger of an attack from an excited and lawless mob. The President professed to feel a deep responsibility resting upon him to protect the lives of Major Anderson and his command. We told him that the news that re-enforcements were on their way to Charleston would be the surest means of provoking what Mrs. Anderson apprehended, and what he so much depredated. We said further that we did not believe that Major Anderson was in any danger of such an attack; that the general sentiment of the State was against any such proceeding; that prior to the action of the State Convention, then only ten days off, we felt satisfied that there would be no attempt to molest the forts in any way; that after the convention met, while we could not possibly undertake to say what that body would see fit to do, we yet hoped and believed that nothing would be done until we had first endeavored, by duly accredited commissioners, to negotiate for a peaceful settlement of all matters, including the delivery of the forts, between South Carolina and the Federal Government. At the same time we again reiterated