From The Constitution, March 20, 1861 (volume 24, number 1212)
Then and Now
Four years ago when James Buchanan became President of the United States there were twenty millions of dollars in the United States treasury. When James Buchanan left office, there was not only not a dollar in the treasury, but the Government had not credit sufficient to borrow money even at twelve per cent! During these four years there has been no war, no special demand for public expenditures, and the revenues have been greater than ever before. Notwithstanding this, the public treasury has been exhausted and the credit of the Government destroyed. Will the democracy tell us what has become of these twenty millions? And will they tell us too whether democratic virtue can be trusted any more on the 1st of April 1861 than it could on the 4th of March 1857?
It was reported and confidently believed last week that government was about to issue an order for the withdrawal of the troops from Fort Sumter. No such order has yet been issued, and on Monday it was thought quite as probable that the fort would be reinforced as that it would be evacuated.
Freedom in Russia
On the third of March twenty millions of serfs in Russia were expected to be liberated from slavery and cease to be “property.” It is the settled policy of the Emperor [Alexander II] to overthrow serfdom in his dominions. He has encountered violent opposition, but has steadily maintained his policy. Russia is to be a free country. If Alexander were to visit this country he would probably be set down as an abolitionist. He is assuredly an abolitionist of the most magnificent kind at home.
For the last two years has been represented in Congress by four republican Representatives and by two republican Senators. Her Congressional delegation has been a unit—Shall it continue to be so, or shall it be divided? We believe it depends upon the voters of this Congressional district and upon the voters of this county to furnish an answer to this question. What shall that answer be? Will a single Republican fail to exert himself to the upmost to preserve a united delegation in Congress from Connecticut?
By His Excellency, William A. Buckingham, Governor of the State of Connecticut. A Proclamation
Events which have recently transpired furnish evidence, that as a people we have not fulfilled our obligations to God, nor to our country; that allegiance to the authority of the general government is greatly weakened; and fears are entertained for the peace and prosperity of the nation, and for the stability of our institutions.
We are in danger of relying too much on the wisdom of man; of taking counsel of our fears; and of being robbed of that security which is to be found under a government with laws based upon divine statutes, properly administered.
That such damages may be averted, I recommend the citizens of this commonwealth to look unto the God of Israel for help; and especially that on FRIDAY, the 29th instant, they seek him in public and in private, by Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer; and commend the interests of our beloved State and country to His protecting care.
Also: that they supplicate Him to bestow upon us temporal good and spiritual blessings, limited only by our necessities and His glory; that the President of the United States may have wisdom from above to direct him in the discharge of his responsible duties, and be sustained by a people loyal to the government; that He will save us from further strife and contention; from revolution and civil war; that a fraternal spirit may pervade all parts of our land, binding us together in a common brotherhood; that our national union may be preserved, and the blessings of a free government be perpetuated.
Given under my hand and the seal of the State, at the City of Norwich, this, the sixth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
William A. Buckingham.
Death of Joseph Tobey
On Wednesday afternoon last, Joseph Tobey, Esq., died suddenly from apoplexy while sitting in his chair at his home in Broad street. He had been unwell for some time past, and had already had two attacks of apoplexy before this. He was well enough however to be about, and had been down street the afternoon that he died. Mr. Tobey was an old merchant in Middletown, and was probably as well known in the region about here as any other man. He gave up his business here about three years ago—His age was 59.
The most severe snow storm of the season visited us on Friday night, accompanied by high winds. On Thursday about two inches of snow fell. But on Friday night the weather settled down into a regular north-easter. About a foot of snow fell, and the sleighing was good the next day.—Sunday night was very cold. Temperature by the thermometer 9 degrees.
This Tuesday morning it snows again, with the wind northeast, and very cold.
On account of the storm last week the City of Hartford had to put into Cow Bay on Thursday night, and did not get here till Friday afternoon. She went to New York on Saturday afternoon. The Granite came down yesterday. There was no boat up.
Miscellaneous – Mrs. Douglas in a Fix!
A newspaper contemporary says that the beautiful and accomplished wife of Judge Douglas [Stephen A. Douglas, just defeated by Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency] made a wager of $100, prior to the late election, that she would sleep with the next President of the United States! She has either got to fork over, or have a most homely and uncouth bed-fellow. We think the Judge will prefer to advance the money and pay the wager.