February 6, 1861: Peace Convention continues

John Motley Morehead
John M. Morehead of North Carolina

The peace convention in Washington continued, but not much new was coming from it. It basically comes down to the Crittenden Compromise again.

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The Peace Convention had a session of four hours to day, during most of which time, Mr. MOREHEAD, of North Carolina, occupied the Chair, Mr. TYLER being too unwell to remain.
Mr. SEDDON, of Virginia, desired to proceed with business, and proposed to take up the Crittenden resolutions for consideration. This met with violent opposition, as most of the Northern Commissioners seemed favorable to delay, and an animated debate followed, in which Messrs. RIVES and SEDDON, of Virginia; CHASE, of Ohio; GUTHRIS, of Kentucky, and others took part. It was finally agreed to defer action until the absent delegations should arrive, and the Convention adjourned.

There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the prospects of harmony in the Convention. Mr. TYLER, Judge RUFFIN and a few others still believe there is a conciliatory spirit, but most of the Southern men profess to see beneath all the fair and patriotic declarations made a radical difference in views which must soon terminate the proceedings of the Convention unfavorably.

The Virginia Commissioners apprehend that the election in their State will be misconceived and lead to difficulty. The result, they say, only proves that their constituents are anxious to preserve the Union, and will await the action of this Convention hopefully. Should they be disappointed, then, they allege, there will be but one voice in the State, and that will be for secession.

The same view is entertained and expressed by the Kentucky Commissioners.

Five of the Tennessee Commissioners arrived this afternoon, and express the opinion that, unless the Crittenden or some similar propositions are speedily agreed on, their State will be almost unanimous for separation from the Union, although she may not join the Southern Confederacy. I give all these expressions of views, of course, without indorsing them.

Senators HUNTER and MASON still declare that it is their opinion that Virginia will secede all the more certainly because of the result of the late election. Mr. GARNETT takes the same position, and expresses regret at the result of the election only because secession is more certain than before, if the Crittenden Compromise is not accepted, and he thinks Virginia’s course will encourage the North to refuse concession.

The effect of the Virginia election is exactly opposite. The Republicans, whose self-respect forbade their yielding anything to those who made concession to their demands on the condition of remaining in the Union, are much more inclined to listen to what Virginia asks after having declared her own fidelity to the Government as it is. Senator CRITTENDEN’s propositions will not be accepted by the North in Congress or in the Peace Convention, but there are concessions which are not compromises, and which may be granted.

The New-York delegation have telegraphed that they would be here in the morning in a body.

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One Response to February 6, 1861: Peace Convention continues

  1. Pingback: February 6, 1861: Compromise is pointless | Seven Score and Ten

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