Major Anderson has been compelled,—if the telegraphic dispatches can be relied upon,—to surrender Fort Sumter into the hands of the South Carolina rebels. The small number of men in the Major’s garrison could not hold out against six to eight thousand men and the large quantity of guns which were brought to bear upon the Fort from Fort Moultrie and the various islands in Charleston harbor. The large force sent by [the] Government to reinforce Major Anderson did not arrive in time to take part in the contest, and therefore the unequal combat was of short duration. The information received is evidently so one-sided that a great allowance should be made, and its accuracy doubted, until more reliable intelligence is received. There can be no question, however, that war is fully inaugurated, and that there is to be serious work at the South. The whole community will be electrified by the startling events which are transpiring, and a feeling will arise throughout the country which cannot be easily subdued. Judging from the answer of Mr. Lincoln to the Virginia Commissioners, it is to be presumed that the Government will now put forth all of its power to fortify and hold Fort Pickens and other Southern fortresses,—also, to blockade every Southern port and to protect the National Capital. What the result will be, no one can tell.—If the Northern States are united in sustaining the Government, as we have no doubt they will be, and the South shall undertake to capture Washington, there will be savage work and immense slaughter. The feeling here is general in favor of a vigorous policy for the purpose of ending matters in dispute as soon as possible, and to show Foreign powers that the United States Government is capable of maintaining its authority. Every business man, every laboring man, and every property holder in the country, is interested in having a strong Government. It will not do for the feeling to go abroad that we have no Government. The people desire to feel and know that there is a powerful central Government, which is capable and willing to protect them and all of their interests,—and they will rally to its support. In saying this much, we do not wish to be understood that we are in favor of the Republicans or their doctrines. We regret that Stephen A. Douglas was not elected President, and did our utmost to accomplish this desirable result. We believe the country is convinced that it would have been far better had Mr. Douglas succeeded. But it is too late now to borrow trouble on that account. The people have thought fit to place Mr. Lincoln in the Presidential chair, and it becomes us to make the best of it. It is of no use to whine or cry about it, or to be angry; it is the voice of the people and cannot be avoided. Were Mr. Douglas President, we believe he would maintain the integrity of the stars and stripes and defend the honor of the nation at home and abroad. He could not do otherwise. Therefore it is not a party question now, but a matter of self-preservation. Whenever the question is settled, and peace restored, we shall be among the foremost to fight for the great Democratic doctrine of non-intervention, and exert our humble influence to restore peace and harmony to the country, and to unite the true Union men of the nation in a bond of brotherly love and affection for the institutions of the country.—The right of the people to self-government is too precious a boon to be overthrown by a revolution having for its object a reign of despotism and a total disregard of the people. The aim of the leaders of the Southern revolutionists is to overthrow the present form of government,—founded upon the principle that the people shall rule,—and to establish upon its ruins a despotism more intolerable than any ever practiced in England, France or Russia.—If any evidence is wanted to establish this fact it is found in the refusal of the Southern Confederacy to submit their acts to the people in the seceded States.

A slave owner is naturally over-bearing and despotic; he is brought up and educated to look upon every one about him as vassals, and goes forth, whip in hand, to enforce his commands. This course of life leads to a contempt for the opinions of others, and a reluctance to submit to any restraining influences—knowing no law but his own arbitrary will. While the North should not infringe upon the constitutional rights of the slave States, it is their duty to maintain the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and, if need be, at the point of the bayonet. This is a country for free men; it is an asylum for the oppressed of all nations, where all can worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

In order to preserve this glorious heritage, vouchsafed to us by the fathers of the Republic, it is essential that every man should perform his whole duty in a crisis like the present. The freedom of the press and of speech should be maintained, though the press should not abuse its privileges, nor should freedom of speech be turned into an attack upon neighbors and friends—which leads to conflict and civil war. While we condemn the violent harangues of the leaders of the Republican party, and the wholesale denunciations of the South, we also condemn the policy pursued by the Yancey’s and the Rhett’s of the South. We have not condemned in the past, and do not now condemn, the South for feeling aggrieved at the assaults which have been made upon her by the Sumner’s, Phillips’ and Garrison’s. Yet she was not called upon to turn the cold shoulder upon such men as Lewis Cass, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Democratic party of the free States who have never sympathized with the Anti-Slavery party, and who have for years successfully battled against them and their dogmas. The Northern Democrats aided in defeating the Wilmot proviso, and have resisted every attempt of the anti-slavery party to inflict injury upon the slave States or to deprive them of their Constitutional rights in the Territories. Had the politicians of the South been willing to have maintained the amicable relations with Northern Democrats which have existed for so many years to their advantage, all would have been well. But they are too exacting. They required an entire surrender of a line of policy—which they inaugurated and which the Northern Democracy acquiesced in—for some new notions which the people were not prepared to adopt. They required that Northern Democratic leaders should be sacrificed to make way for Jefferson Davis or some such man, which could not be done; hence they now find themselves without friends in the free States.—There is no considerable party here who will sustain them in the position they have taken, and if they rely upon Northern strength to aid them in a war upon a government which is founded upon the doctrine of the right of the people to self-government, and to substitute a government founded upon despotism, they will be disappointed. The people of New England fought for and established American liberty, and they will defend it to the last, though they will be forbearing and suffer much before they resort to arms; but it will not do to crowd too far, for once aroused there will be displayed a terrible energy. They know how to shoot and are not afraid to smell gun powder. And they can furnish any quantity of men, if need be, to defend their own and their country’s honor.