The Last Hope of the Union
Kentucky Statesman, December 28, 1860
The failure of the Senate Committee of Thirteen, appointed under Gov. Powell’s resolution, to concur in any report presenting a basis for the peaceful adjustment of our political difficulties, was received in Washington on Saturday last as the end of all negotiations and the sure precursor of inevitable dissolution. To the action of that Committee attached the last lingering hope of Union, and when its proceedings were eagerly sought and announced, the gloom and despair was manifested in the countenances of all. We have never witnessed a gloomier day in Washington. The most sanguine and hopeful seemed at last to yield the cause before clung to with great tenacity.The announcement of the dissolution of this Committee without making a report will doubtless precipitate prompt and energetic measures in the Southern States for secession. It will be received by the country as the end of negotiations and compromise, and the signal for action. A disruption will now be received as unavoidable, and all parties will now look to their own safety and interest.This Committee of Thirteen was composed of six Democrats, six Republicans, and one Southern Oppositionist, Mr. Crittenden. It was manifest that a majority report if [not] approved by the Republicans would be worthless, because it was only by their votes the proposed measures could be carried through Congress, and ultimately carried through the State Legislatures. Hence, by a rule, the Committee was divided into two classes, Republicans and Opposition men, and no report allowed to be made unless supported by a majority of each class.The Crittenden Amendments were submitted by their author, and it is said were urged with great fervor and eloquence. The Southern men agreed to stand by them as a compromise, but the Republicans voted in a body unanimously against every solitary one of these resolutions, seriatim. The ayes and nays were taken and no Republicans crossed the line to vote for a single measure proposed by Mr. Crittenden. The Committee then ordered the Chairman to report the facts to the Senate.Thus have the Republicans once more distinctly and unequivocally announced that they will not yield a solitary plank or splinter of the Chicago platform. They evince a mulish, stubborn, obstinate, sullen mood, callous to consequences and utterly impervious to all the appeals of the country for peace and justice. They intend to administer the Government on the Chicago platform, recognize no secession of any State, and avow their purpose to enforce the laws in all the thirty-three States regardless of the consequences. This is the question we have now to meet. Submission or Resistance is the issue. We have written RESISTANCE on our flag. We trust there will not be a submissionist found in Kentucky.