without a difference." Nor can we understand how, in "a matter of honor among gentlemen," in which "no paper or writing is necessary," the very party who was willing to put it on that high footing can honorably descend to mere verbal criticism to purge himself of what all gentlemen and men of honor must consider a breach of faith. The very fact that we (the Representatives from South Carolina) were not authorized to commit or "pledge" the State, were not treating with the President as accredited ministers with full pours, but as gentlemen, assuming, to a certain extent, the delicate task of undertaking to foreshadow the course and policy of the State, should have made the President the more ready to strengthen our hands to bring about and carry out that course and policy which he professed to have as much at heart as we had. While we were not authorized to say that the Convention would not order the occupation of the forts immediately after secession and prior to the sending on of commissioners, the President as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, could positively say that so long as South Carolina abstained from attacking and seizing the forts, he would not send re-enforcements to them, or allow their relative military status to be changed.
We were acting in the capacity of gentlemen holding certain prominent positions, and anxious to exert such influence as we might possess to effect a peaceful solution of pending political difficulties, and prevent, if possible, the horrors of war. The President was acting in a double capacity-not only as a gentleman, whose influence in carrying out his share of the understanding or agreement was potential, but as the head of the Army, and therefore having the absolute control of the whole matter of re-enforcing or transferring the garrison at Charleston.
But we have dwelt long enough upon this point. Suffice it to say that considering the President as bound in honor, if not by treaty stipulations, not to make any change in the forts or to send re-enforcements to them unless they were attacked,we of the delegation who were elected to the Convention felt equally bound in honor to do everything on our part to prevent any premature collision. This Convention can bear us witness as to whether or not we endeavored honorably to carry out our share of the agreement.
The published debates at the very commencement of the session contain the evidence of our good faith. We trusted the President. We believed his wishes concurred with this policy and that both were directed to avoiding any inauguration of hostilities. We were confirmed in our confidence and reassured in our belief by a significant event which took place subsequent to our interview. He allowed his premier Cabinet officer, an old and tried friend, to resign rather than yield to his solicitations for the re-enforcement of the garrison at Charleston. We urged this as a convincing proof of his firmness and sincerity. But how have we been deceived! The news of Major Anderson's coup produced a sudden and unexpected change in the President's policy. While declaring that his withdrawal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter was "without orders, and contrary to orders," he yet refused for twelve hours to take any action in the matter. For twelve hours, therefore, without any excuse, he refused to redeem his plighted word. No subsequent acts on the part of our State, no after reasons, can wipe away the stain which he suffered to rest upon his "honor as a gentleman," while this hours, big with portentous events, rolled slowly by. His Secretary of War, impatient of a delay, every moment of which he felt touched his own honor, resigned. He did so solely on the ground that the faith of the Government, solemnly pledged, was broken, if it failed promptly to