The Corwin Amendment

Joined
Mar 15, 2018
There is nothing in history to indicate that peaceful phasing out was going to happened prior to John Brown. Given the level of violence before he did anything, he was but a symptom and not a cause

There was a great deal of anti-slavery agitation that was going on in the northern states and especially in New England prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south.

John Brown was acting pretty much as an emissary of the northern abolitionist movement when he departed from his home state of Connecticut and went into areas like Potawatomie (sp?) with the intention of carrying out bloody massacres against innocent people.
 
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Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Woo doggy! Your ultra pro-Confederate versions of events leading up to the war and during the war sure put Jubal Early's and Mildred Lewis Rutherford's accounts to shame.
There was no logical reason for sending federal warships into the coastal waters of South Carolina except as a deliberate ploy to inaugurate war against the newly formed CSA.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
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There was a great deal of anti-slavery agitation that was going on in some of the northern states and especially in New England prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south.

John Brown was pretty much acting as an emissary of the northern abolitionist movement when he departed from his home state of Connecticut and went into areas like Potawatomie (sp?) with the intention of carrying out bloody massacres against innocent people.
There was also a great deal of anti-freedom agitation going on in southern and border states prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south.

John Brown was born in Connecticut, but he left there when just a kid. In an weird coincidence he moved with his family to Ohio where his dad opened a tannery in which he employed a 20-year old guy named Jesse Grant who 8 years later would have a son named Ulysess. John B later lived in Mass and Penn before moving to upstate NY in the 1840s. It was from there that he moved to Kansas.

e moved to Kansas in 1855 to live with his sons. There was already violence occurring in Kansas prior to his arrival. He brutally participated in what was happening in Kansas. But it wasnt a peaceful sitatuation without him.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
So you don't believe that delivering food to a federal garrison on the brink of starving is a "logical reason?"
The guns of Fort Sumter were in hostile hands. The fort was posing a threat to the city of Charleston. Lincoln sent Lt. Gustavus Fox (sp?) into Charleston to confer with Gen. Beauregard and Governor Pickens. Lt. Fox gave the Confederate authorities vague assurances that Anderson’s detachment would be withdrawn, but he ended up reneging on those vague assurances.

Lincoln could have defused that volatile situation, simply by evacuating the fort.
 
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NedBaldwin

Major
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Location
California
The guns of Fort Sumter were in hostile hands. The fort was posing a threat to the city of Charleston. Lincoln sent Lt. Gustavus Fox (sp?) into Charleston to confer with Gen. Beauregard and Governor Pickens. Lt. Fox gave the Confederate authorities vague assurances that Anderson’s detachment would be withdrawn, but he ended up reneging on those vague assurances.

Lincoln could have diffused that volatile situation, simply by evacuating the fort.
The guns of Fort Moultrie (a US fort) were in hostile hands, having been seized by armed insurgents. Governor Pickens could have diffused the volatile situation by establishing law and order in his state
but instead he let criminal elements run amok.

Thankfully Lincoln was a true patriot to the United States of America and not traitorous like Pickens.
God Bless America and a Happy upcoming 4th of July to everyone!
 

DanSBHawk

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Wisconsin
The guns of Fort Sumter were in hostile hands. The fort was posing a threat to the city of Charleston. Lincoln sent Lt. Gustavus Fox (sp?) into Charleston to confer with Gen. Beauregard and Governor Pickens. Lt. Fox gave the Confederate authorities vague assurances that Anderson’s detachment would be withdrawn, but he ended up reneging on those vague assurances.

Lincoln could have defused that volatile situation, simply by evacuating the fort.
I wasn't asking about any of that. Do you think that it's "logical" to send ships to provision a garrison on the verge of starving?
 
Joined
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I wasn't asking about any of that. Do you think that it's "logical" to send ships to provision a garrison on the verge of starving?
There wasn’t any danger that Anderson and his men would have starved to death because they were allowed to go shopping at the local marketplace in Charleston, but as tensions grew they were no longer welcome and the option of withdrawal would have been the best solution.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
The guns of Fort Moultrie (a US fort) were in hostile hands, having been seized by armed insurgents. Governor Pickens could have diffused the volatile situation by establishing law and order in his state
but instead he let criminal elements run amok.

Thankfully Lincoln was a true patriot to the United States of America and not traitorous like Pickens.
God Bless America and a Happy upcoming 4th of July to everyone!
Fort Moultrie was located right smack in the middle of confederate territory, just like Fort Sumter was, and there was no legitimate reason for maintaining a federal military presence there EXCEPT as a means of provoking conflict.
 

NedBaldwin

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Fort Moultrie was located right smack in the middle of confederate territory, just like Fort Sumter was, and there was no legitimate reason for maintaining a federal military presence there EXCEPT as a means of provoking conflict.
It was all the United States of America. The legitimate reasons to maintain that US property were the same as it had been the year before and the year before that and the year before that…their presence had never provoked conflict before; their presence was just the status quo. What had changed was the criminality of Governor Pickens and his co-conspirators. The only legitimate reason for their actions was provoking conflict.
 
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So you don't believe that delivering food to a federal garrison on the brink of starving is a "logical reason?"
We’ll need to consider the problem of how many ships were needed in order to send a shipment of food to the small detachment at Fort Sumter vs. how many ships were actually sent into Charleston Harbor. Do you suppose that it was necessary to send a small armada of warships just to feed the small detachment that was under Major Anderson’s command ?
 
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It was all the United States of America. The legitimate reasons to maintain that US property were the same as it had been the year before and the year before that and the year before that…their presence had never provoked conflict before; their presence was just the status quo. What had changed was the criminality of Governor Pickens and his co-conspirators. The only legitimate reason for their actions was provoking conflict.
No, there were two (2) separate countries at the time of the engagement at Fort Sumter (the USA and the CSA) and as a requirement for maintaining peace it was incumbent on them to have respect for the other’s boundaries.

Gov. Pickens wasn’t threatening the boundaries of the USA. It was the USA under Lincoln that was violating the boundaries of the CSA by making unwarranted and threatening military gestures. The status quo changed when the state of South Carolina voted to secede from the union. Lincoln was guilty of taking unwarranted military action against the state of Florida by sending a military detachment to reinforce a federal installation that was located off the coast of Pensacola, and he was also engaging in a major breach of diplomatic etiquette by refusing to meet with representatives of the CSA in Washington, D.C.

It was Lincoln who was the aggressor. The south only wanted to be left alone.
 
We’ll need to consider the problem of how many ships were needed in order to send a shipment of food to the small detachment at Fort Sumter vs. how many ships were actually sent into Charleston Harbor. Do you suppose that it was necessary to send a small armada of warships just to feed the small detachment that was under Major Anderson’s command ?

The "armada" of warships you claimed were sent consisted of one transport ship and one revenue cutter that were within the internationally accepted U.S. territorial waters of 3 nautical miles. The only warship, the USS Pawnee, was ordered to hold her position 10 [nautical] miles east of the lighthouse that would have put her well outside of territorial waters. So do you want to detail how these ships posed a threat to the rebellious state of South Carolina and the multitude of Confederate artillery that was used to pulverize a United States fort and her soldiers into surrender?
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Fort Moultrie was located right smack in the middle of confederate territory, just like Fort Sumter was, and there was no legitimate reason for maintaining a federal military presence there EXCEPT as a means of provoking conflict.
Here's where you might apply a bit of common sense. Fort Moultrie was taken by American revolutionary troops in 1776--which was rather a bit earlier. Its garrison was 73 men (and this includes the band). Do you seriously think that anyone was going to attack with a tuba? Or perhaps you are arguing that the band's playing was so bad that it was seen as a provocation?

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution:
"Congress shall have the Power …. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings."

Resolution, 1836
"Resolved, That this state [South Carolina] do cede to the United States, all the right, title and claim of South Carolina to the site of Fort Sumter and the requisite quantity of adjacent territory".

You may wish to review The Statutes at Large of South Carolina to read about the actual ceding to the federal government. Also United States Military Reservations, National Cemeteries, and Military Parks on the 1836 SC resolution.


 

Dead Parrott

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
There was also a great deal of anti-freedom agitation going on in southern and border states prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south.

John Brown was born in Connecticut, but he left there when just a kid. In an weird coincidence he moved with his family to Ohio where his dad opened a tannery in which he employed a 20-year old guy named Jesse Grant who 8 years later would have a son named Ulysess. John B later lived in Mass and Penn before moving to upstate NY in the 1840s. It was from there that he moved to Kansas.

e moved to Kansas in 1855 to live with his sons. There was already violence occurring in Kansas prior to his arrival. He brutally participated in what was happening in Kansas. But it wasnt a peaceful sitatuation without him.
Wow, fascinating little bit of info. I honestly didn't know about the tannery connection between them. See, this is what I love about this site - new tidbits of information, not the 8,674th rehashing of 'it was about something else' ...

Thanks!
 

NedBaldwin

Major
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Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
No, there were two (2) separate countries at the time of the engagement at Fort Sumter (the USA and the CSA) and as a requirement for maintaining peace it was incumbent on them to have respect for the other’s boundaries.

Gov. Pickens wasn’t threatening the boundaries of the USA. It was the USA under Lincoln that was violating the boundaries of the CSA by making unwarranted and threatening military gestures. The status quo changed when the state of South Carolina voted to secede from the union. Lincoln was guilty of taking unwarranted military action against the state of Florida by sending a military detachment to reinforce a federal installation that was located off the coast of Pensacola, and he was also engaging in a major breach of diplomatic etiquette by refusing to meet with representatives of the CSA in Washington, D.C.

It was Lincoln who was the aggressor. The south only wanted to be left alone.
We just disagree, as there was only 1 country - the USA - at the time.

As you point out it was the rebels who changed the status quo - they are the ones rocking the boat, not "left alone".

Reinforcing an existing federal installation is hardly unwarranted.
And diplomatic etiquette breached? Come on get serious.
 

Richie

Cadet
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
The south was guilty of being somewhat slower in terms of abolishing the peculiar institution, relative to several northern states which had also been practitioners and facilitators of the slave business. It may sound awful to our “modern” ears but it was THE WAR ITSELF that was the greatest evil and not necessarily the institution of slavery as it existed in the southern states. It was THE WAR ITSELF that caused massive death and destruction in the ranks of the innocent slaves who resided in the seceded states. It wasn’t even necessary to have a war to “free the slaves” in the first place, and once again the historical record shows that the war was fought primarily because Lincoln was trying to exert absolute federal authority over the states which had pulled out of his “union.” You can speculate that the south was fighting to make slavery a perpetual institution, but your view is contradicted by the south’s rejection of, or at least by its refusal to embrace the Corwin Amendment.

I believe that slavery was destined to fade away in the south as it had faded away elsewhere, but the shrieking hypocrites of New England needed the issue of slavery in order to put some “lipstick” on the pig of their desire to conquer the southern states through the force of arms.
I don't see it as a contradiction but a (failed) distraction. Southern leadership had already whipped themselves into a frenzy of belligerent secessionism and weren't going to be distracted by any talk of comity or compromise.
 

Zack

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Location
Los Angeles, California
Prior to April 12 there were two major war scares in Charleston Harbor. One was the firing on the Star of the West on January 9, 1861. The other lesser known incident was when Confederate batteries fired on the schooner RH Shannon on April 3, 1861. She was sailing out of Boston bound for Savannah with an ice shipment when fog forced her to put into Charleston Harbor.

In his memoirs, Abner Doubleday wrote the following account of the second incident:

“. . . The schooner R. H. Shannon, of Boston, . . . en route for Savannah with a cargo of ice, sailed into the harbor of Charleston on account of a fog. As the captain did not read the papers he did not know that anything unusual was going on. A battery on Morris Island fired a shot across the bow of his vessel to bring her to. Very much astonished at this proceeding he ran up the Stars and Stripes to show that he was all right. This was regarded as a direct defiance and a heavy cannonade was at once opened on the vessel. Very much puzzled to account for this hostility, he lowered his flag and the firing ceased. A boat’s crew now put off from the shore to ascertain his character and purpose in entering the harbor.

While this was going on, we [in Ft. Sumter, in Charleston harbor] were formed at our guns, in readiness to fire, but were not allowed to do so, although there was every probability that the vessel would be sunk before our eyes. It is true we could not have reached the particular battery that was doing the mischief; but the other works of the enemy were all under our guns, and, not expecting immediate action, were in a measure unprepared. . . .

Although this affair attracted very little attention or comment at the North, I was convinced, from the major’s [the commanding officer at Ft. Sumter, Major Robert Anderson] depression of spirits, that it acted a great deal upon his mind. He evidently feared it [his inaction when a ship flying the American flag was fired upon] might be considered as a betrayal of his trust, and he was very sensitive to everything that affected his honor.

I have already stated the reasons for his inaction. In amplifying his instructions not to provoke a collision into instructions not to fight at all, I have no doubt he thought he was rendering a real service to the country. He knew the first shot fired by us would light the flames of a civil war that would convulse the world, and tried to put off the evil day as long as possible.”
https://civilwarbookofdays.org/tag/star-of-the-west/

Northern newspapers closely followed the construction of batteries around Charleston such as the Floating Battery which makes several appearances in Frank Leslie’s.

I’m not sure the relevance of this to the Corwin Amendment

There wasn’t any danger that Anderson and his men would have starved to death because they were allowed to go shopping at the local marketplace in Charleston, but as tensions grew they were no longer welcome and the option of withdrawal would have been the best solution.

This is contradictory. If they were no longer welcome to shop they would run out of supplies and begin to starve. Which is what happened.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
... The other lesser known incident was when Confederate batteries fired on the schooner RH Shannon on April 3, 1861. She was sailing out of Boston bound for Savannah with an ice shipment when fog forced her to put into Charleston Harbor.
...
I’m not sure the relevance of this to the Corwin Amendment
No relevance the the amendment but of great interest anyway. We often hear that the rebels were going to attract all the trade to their ports due to dodging the US tarrif, but if this is how they greet commercial vessels, seems unlikely much commerce is coming their way 🤣
 

Zack

First Sergeant
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Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
No relevance the the amendment but of great interest anyway. We often hear that the rebels were going to attract all the trade to their ports due to dodging the US tarrif, but if this is how they greet commercial vessels, seems unlikely much commerce is coming their way 🤣

Yah the conversation seems to have shifted a bit to encompass a broader topic.

Giving the Confederates the benefit of the doubt, Doubleday’s account suggests the vessel was originally sailing without any colors flying. Then when they were fired upon they hoisted the American flag which the South Carolinians took as a defiant insult.

A very messy situation.

I bring it up because, aside from being a great and little known story (I only discovered it recently while flipping through old Frank Leslie’s Papers) it illustrates how tense the situation was in the harbor and why the Federal Government may have decided that a small contingent of warships may end up being necessary to ensure supplies reached the fort.
 
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