A mob has taken possession of the Government defenses near the mouth of the Mississippi river. Another mob is reported to have planted cannon on the banks of the river at Vicksburg, with the avowed purpose of sinking every steamboat that offers to pass without consenting to be overhauled and examined. The former act is palpable treason against the Federal Government, and requires prompt attention from the Administration. The demonstrations at Vicksburg, as stated, have a special interest for the people of this city. BOTH ARE OFFENSES SO INJURIOUS AND INSULTING TO THE WHOLE NORTHWEST, THAT, Whatever the Federal Government may do, THEY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED BY OUR PEOPLE.

It is needless to say that the Vicksburg dispatch referred to has created much excitement and indignation among those more immediately interested, and, in fact, among all classes of our people. No idle threats or bravado are uttered, but no disposition prevails to submit to any interference with the free navigation of the Mississippi. No rash or ill-advised steps will be taken, but on the first insult or hindrance to any boat’s pursuing its customary and lawful business, measures will be taken to put a permanent stop to this insolence.

What we have before said, we now say again: The Northwest will be a unit in maintaining its right to a free and unobstructed use of the Mississippi river throughout its entire course. Of this, all intermeddlers and traitors to the Union may take note, and govern themselves accordingly.

No forts of the United States Government, anywhere upon that stream, or in its vicinity, will be permitted to remain, for any length of time, in the hands of a belligerent enemy, foreign or domestic. The insurgents who have stolen possession of Forts Jackson, St. Philip, and Pike, will speedily be cleared out by the Government, or by some other agency, not hostile to the Northwest. It is not likely, however, that any forces on that errand would choose the route by Vicksburg. Here the lawless proceedings referred to at that point, do not result from any reasonable fear. They must have some other purpose.

There are other modes of warfare than exploding gunpowder or hacking with steel. The Prince of Orange, when his country was assailed by a dangerous invasion, found much more effective remedies. He opened the dykes, overflowed the country, and put the otherwise victorious enemy to flight.

The same element, but in a very different manner, can be used for the discomfiture of any rebellious community on the lower Mississippi. The Father of Waters has already volunteered on several occasions to teach this lesson. The fact that the bed of the river is at considerable elevation above the surrounding country is well known. The terrible effects of a crevasse have been repeatedly witnessed. All the lower country, if aggression is made upon “Northwestern rights,” can be subdued by the work of a single night. We say this in no threatening mood, but violence, meddlesome interference with legitimate river business, any sort of injury or abuse to our vessels, their passengers, their crews, or their lading, will inevitably lead to hostilities, and when these actually come, the most effectual methods of “conquering a peace” will be adopted.

We regret much to see the spirit of alienation and fanaticism which appears now to be in the ascendant at New Orleans. We should regret still more if the day ever comes when in defense of our rights—particularly that of the free navigation of the Mississippi, obtained by an outlay of millions of dollars—New Orleans and Cincinnati should be parties, on opposite sides, to actual war. But we say distinctly, that the mouth of the Mississippi will not pass into the hands of a foreign power, or our trade and intercourse up and down that river be left at the mercy of a mere treaty, until after a long and desperate struggle, in which the Northwest shall have been vanquished. And this last result we do not seriously apprehend. We are disposed to think, rather, that New Orleans would first find itself submerged in another Dead Sea, should it causelessly provoke and madly persist in a warfare like that.

We suspect that the Southern malcontents are far less ignorant of the material strength of the States of the Northwest, than of the spirit which has been excited among our people by constant menaces and by recent events. There is no division of sentiment in this section. The madcap Disunionists are known to be wickedly wrong. Forbearance toward their insolence has ceased to be consistent with a decent self-respect. They are raising a storm at the North which will have none the less force and fury because it has gathered slowly. We want no strife. There is need of none. With loyal citizens we are prepared to talk over mutual grievances, and to reconcile all differences in a peaceful way. But we are not to be coerced by South Carolina, or Louisiana, or Mississippi, into a dishonorable surrender of our indisputable RIGHTS, or into unfaithfulness to our manifest DUTY. This is our position; and be the result what it may, this position we shall maintain.