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A Chapter In The History Of The New Secretary Of War

A Chapter In The History Of The New Secretary Of War image
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lu the reiiiuvul of Mr. Cnmeron and the appointment nf Mr. Stantou, we not 011 ly derivo salisfaotion from the fact t hu t a conservativo statesmau hsa taken the placo of one who divided liis eft'orts betweau Pennsylvariia eontractors and Massaohusetts abolitionistg, but wo believe that the uew Secretar of War a happy conibnnitioti of those per MMiái qualitks DOW more thau ever demanded for his positiou - bolünesa, euergy and ir4egrily. ïiioso who have met him at the bar, cither at Washington, in bis own State, or during hia memorable year as goVeïnnrtnt counsel in California, ara wt-)l aware oí' bis vigor and ability in tryii.g a causo, Lis capacity í'or labor, and Lis prompt aud energetjo manner of addressiug the eourt upon every questiou as it arises The circuías'. anees attending liis entry opon his short period of service in the Cabinet of the last adminiítration aro Ilustrativo of his character. A year ago, when Gen. Cass - grieved and indignant - left Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet, Mr. General Black was n-ed to the portfolio of State; and Mr. Stauton, theu absrnt from Wishiirtoii, was iixed upon as Attorncy General. The saaie night he arrived at a lato hour, ïnd loarrjed from his family ,of his appointmeut. Knowing the character of the bold, bad men in the asceedency in the Cabiuet, he di-ttrmined at once to decline; but wheu, the next dar, he au nounccd his resolution at the NV hite House, the entreatiea of the distresscd and helpless l'iesicient, and the arguments of Lr. Black, prevailed upon him to iccopt. At the first meeting of tbc Cabinet, ivhich he at t ndcd, tlie condition of the tèoeééd Siates and the course to be pur sued with the garrisou at Fort Kampter was discussed, Floyd and ïhoinpson dweüing upon ' the irritation of the southern heart," and the folly of "continuing a useless garrison tu inercase the irritation." No one formally proposed any eourse of actioü, but the desigus of the eonspirators were plain to the new Attorney General Ho wcut home troubled. He had intended, coming iu at so late a day, to remain a quiet member of this discordant conti eik lint it was uot in his nature to sit quiet longer undcr euch utterances. The next meeting was a lonj; and Btoiiiiy one, Mr. Holt, fecbly seeonded by the i're-iJi'iit, aigiqg tlie inimcd.ate réioforcemeut of Sumjitür, whjle Thonipsun, Flovd, and Thomas contended that a qntisi treaty had been Uiúde by the officers ot the government with the leaders of thu rebcllion. to offer no resistaace to their violations of law and seiures of government property. Floyd espeeiallj blazed with Indignation at what he teruied the " violatioa oí' honor." At last Mr. Thompi-oi) fonnally moved that an imperativo order be issued to Major Andersou to retire fr(üu Sumpter to i'ort Moul trio - abandonins Sumpter to the enemy, and to a post where he must at once surrender. Stanton could sit still no longcr, and, risiug, he said, with all the earnestuess that could be expressed iu his bold and resolute features, " Mr. President, it is my dut}7, as your legal adviser, to say that you have uo right to givo up the property of the government or abandon tbc soldicrs of the United States to its enemies ; and the course proposed by the Sccretary of the Interior, if foilpwed, is treason, and will involve you and all coucerned in treasou'." Such language had never ljet'ure been heard in liuehanan's Cabinet, and the men who had so long ruled and bullied the President were pnsed ana eiirageu to De tlms reoulieü. Floyd and Thompson sprang to their feet with fiorce, menacing gestureo, scuining about to ussauit Stanton. Mr. Holt took a step furward to the sido of the Attor noy General. The imbecile President implored them piteous'.y to takc their [eats. Aftcr a í'cw inoro bitter vvords iho meeting broke. Tfaat was the last Cabinet meotiiig ou thal . excitiij; question iu which Floyd partieipatcd. liefbïe auothor was callea all V ashington was startled witb a rumor of those gigantic frauds which liare made his name so iu fimous, At first hü tried to brazeu it out with his customary blustering uianner but the nest day the Cabinet wait ed long for liis appéarance. At last ho came tho door opened, his resignatidn was t!i;-ut iüto the room, and Floyd diaappeared from Washington. Hueh was the end of Floyd and the begiuning of Stantoa.


Old News
Michigan Argus