Monday, January 31, 2011


The Charleston Mercury was upset
that President Buchanan left Major
Robert Anderson, a slave owner from
Kentucky, in command of Fort Sumter.
(Library of Congress, from Frank Leslie's
Ilustrated News.)
The Charleston Mercury
Thursday, January 31, 1861

     There is something base, on the part of the President, in keeping Major Anderson at Fort Sumter under the present circumstances. Knowing him to be a Southron and a slaveholder, he should be offered a furlough or leave of absence, and a subtitute sent who is not a Southron. Leave all the Doubledays -- whether three score or one. The people of South Carolina have been measurably disarmed by their sympathy for Major Anderson, and President Buchanan knows it. Why was the former commandant at Fort Moultrie withdrawn, and Anderson put in his place, just at the beginning of our issues? Had the latter been as good a politician as a soldier, he would have declined the appointment, and then was his moment to resign, unless the Federal Government will show more magnanimity than is its character, and will voluntarily move to relieve him. Au contraire: the purpose is to disarm us, through him. But this cannont last. The result will be the sacrifice of a brave man, at the post of a supposed duty, whose government deliberately sacrifices him with the hope or some small temporary profit. Why not send General Wool, who seems spoiling for a fight, and ought to be indulged, in consideration of his name, if nothing more. We should be more readily disposed to wool him than the brave Kentuckian whom they have selected for the sacrifice.  Any how, we cannot well keep our hands off from wooling somebody shortly after the 4th of February. We cannot suffer a flag, so hateful as that of the United States, to wave in insolent defiance in the harbor of an independent States.

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