Richmond Peace Conference

January Peace Conference in Richmond, Virginia


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1 Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:22 am

Welcome to Richmond, Virginia. It is my hope that some agreement may be able to be worked out. While the reasons for the present situation are well known, if a representative of one of the seceded states would like to present a summary of your grievances, feel free to do so.

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2 Sequoyah arrives on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:11 am

The State of Sequoyah, while newly formed, is no less desirous of an equitable solution than its more venerable fellows. My name is Lewis Jones, and I currently serve as the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. I will endeavor to represent the interests of the Civilized State and the sovereign Indian tribes. Rest assured that we have no higher interest than unified peace.

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3 Arrival of Pennsylvania on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:42 am

The Honorable Charles Bullock, former Chief of Staff, current Attorney General of Pennsylvania (a republican) arrives with Mr. Vernon Smith, a member of the legislature, and a Democrat.

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4 Maryland Arrives on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:42 am

Maryland hopes that we can find a peaceful solution to the current crisis at hand. For those of you that do not know me, I am Governor Thomas Perry. It is a pleasure to meet you all.

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5 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:45 am

Lt. Governor Francis Hoffman arrives with Senator Lyman Trumbull from Washington, representing Illinois on behalf of Governor Richard Yates and the Illinois Congressional Delegation, respectively.

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6 Pennsylvania's opening statement. on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:59 am


Mr. Charles Bullock rises and says a few words


"Governor Lee, I bring the best wishes of the Governor of Pennsylvania. While the current crisis is of deep concern to him, situations at home in Pennsylvania have kept him from coming to the conference. He wishes you well and has sent me here to be an agent of peace.

My southern friends have some concerns, concerns I am happy to listen to. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not view the SSA as a country. We do not view Mr. Watkiss as the Provisional president, because such an office does not exist. We will refer to him as the Governor of South Carolina.

that said, the representatives of Pennsylvania stand ready to listen thoughtfully."

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7 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:04 am

I'm glad so many have been able to make it here, and I sincerely hope we see more of our cousins from the Sovereign States arrive before too long. I'd like to request that one of them present to us what they feel is the minimum that must be done to bring about peaceful reconciliation between the American states, and I feel that might be a good starting point.

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8 South Carolina on Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:19 am

Good day, Gentleman!

My name is Commodore Neville Chamberlain, no relation to your President, and I represent the South Carolina delegation. I am an aide to Governor Theophilus J. Watkiss of South Carolina, who is serving as interim leader and not President of the Sovereign States of America, and therefore, cares little about whether Pennsylvania wishes to recognize him as a title which he does not hold.

I commend the State of Virginia for their reaching out to all parties on this matter, something that the federal government of the United States failed to do before arriving at where we are today and I'd also like to send our regards to the State of Sequoyah for their attempts at proposing an amicable solution.

The concern is that, and the failure of the Sequoyah proposal to recognize this fact, is that we in South Carolina do honestly believe that some of the Northern States which may be in attendance truly do understand the real 'reasons that we are here' and we hope to enlighten them in this opportunity to meet with you in what I hope will be a productive peace conference.

I will be glad to detail the primary concerns of those in my State of South Carolina whenever you deem it necessary and would be honored to rebut any of the Northern propaganda we've heard levied our way for ages now.

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9 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:36 am

Henry Connelly from the New Mexico Territory arrives.

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10 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:38 am

I would like to hear South Carolina's concerns. Sequoyah is in a unique geopolitical circumstance, and we would like an opportunity to assist sooner rather than later.

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11 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:15 am

Howard Bronson of Oregon has arrived, bearing good tidings from Governor Harding and legislature.

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12 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:44 am

The recently-seceded Texas delegation arrives from Galveston.

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13 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:35 am

A delegation from Ohio arrives.

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14 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Governor Perry looks over at the delegate from Pennsylvania.

"If I might suggest, regardless of our opinions on the legality of secession, if we could kindly refrain from being overly antagonistic towards our colleagues. All this kind of rhetoric will do is encourage these talks to fail. Our goal, here, is to preserve the Union, not antagonize each other needlessly."

Perry then looks to the the South Carolina delegate. "If I may be so bold... many of the concerns that you stated seemed to have resolved themselves. The tariff is lowered. The attempts to repeal the fugitive slave act have failed - twice. And President Chamberlin did back down from his disasterous attempts to imprison the Texas legislature.

"As a fellow Southerner, indeed, as the border that divides North from South... color me confused and requesting elaboration on what you feel has not been properly understood."

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15 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:18 pm

Richard Jersey III, FreeFair special envoy of New Jersey Governor Jefferson Corzine, arrives.

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16 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:38 pm

James Harmon representing Georgia

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17 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:43 pm

Congressman Trevor Styles arrives bearing tidings from the state of Connecticut and its Governor, Harold Granger.

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18 The Grievances and Concerns of South Carolina on Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:52 pm

I thank the delegate from Sequoyah and once again commend them on being one of the few amicable voices outside of the South as of late.

Judging on the words that we continue to see from several Northern States, they remain completely oblivious to why we are in the situation we are today.

Point #1: The slavery issue is virtually irrelevant. Once, the abolition of slavery, and twice the repeal of the fugitive slave laws went before the Congress and every time they were voted down in favor of preserving the status quo. South Carolina feels we have won this battle and viewed the Sequoyah proposal to be very agreeable and are even open to more progressive slave laws as instituted by Louisiana. Despite certain Northern States continuing, both before and after, to completely disregard enforcing these laws, we said little. In fact, the most said of these was when the Governor of Pennsylvania claimed that we were somehow trying to impose our laws on him and threatened to use force to defend from that. We never even asked him to do anything of the sort, let alone threaten invasion, although we would have appreciated his compliance with federal law.

Point #2: Our primary grievance, above all else, was the unconstitutional military build up in the North and the aggressive rhetoric targeted towards the South. As these States armed themselves, they accused Southern States of being bitter about an election that they did not protest and recognized as lawful. As with the slavery issue, the Northern states were far more concerned with the election than we are. During the election, they accused us of seceding when our chosen candidate said nothing nor had any intentions of the sort. In the same vein, several Norterners threatened secession if Watkiss had won. The North's blatant ignorance of their own hypocrisy or unilateral agenda infuriates Southerners to no end. All of us, with states outside of the South, petitioned to end the military build up and we were completely ignored. In fact, the build up was escalated. While the North was offering some compromises on Slavery and Tariffs, they cared nothing about the South's primary concerns about the threat of their own well being against the hatred of certain Northern States.

Point #3: Texas was unforgiveable. The federal government attacked and killed innocent Americans for practicing their right to assemble and voice their opinion. Regardless of whether they were discussing secession, there is always some segment of the population somewhere calling for secession and/or the murder of the President but he doesn't send the U.S. Army into kill them. That goes against every facet of our values. Many Southern people now view the President as little more than a terrorist. Despite releasing some of the prisoners and pulling some troops out, the deed had already been done and every Southerner who had already been afraid of the antagonizing propaganda and militarism spewing forth from the North were scared for their lives, which brings me to Point #4.

Point #4: Tariffs. In addition to crippling the Southern economy, the consensus of many Southern States is that using the tariff money to invest in internal improvements, primarily in the North I may add, was unconstitutional. This was merely a disagreement that could've been rectified in Congress. Some states took it upon themselves to nullify the tariffs. I am here to represent South Carolina and I cannot speak for the others although I sympathize with their concerns. South Carolina nullified them after the proliferation of military expansion and aggressive rhetoric fired at South Carolina particularly. We sent our letter expressing our concern to the President which went not only completely ignored by him but was answered by the Northern States by escalating their military even more. South Carolina refused to allow tariffs in their ports go to fund States or a federal government that were threatening to attack us. Sure, the tariff initiative was signed by the Congress reducing tariffs but that no longer mattered at that point. Federal enforcement of the tariff law was passed in the same stroke while nothing had been even whispered about enforcing Northern State's noncompliance with the Fugitive Slave Laws. If the federal government had invaded Texas because its Legislature merely talked of secession, than we had no doubt in our mind that the federal government was invading South Carolina any day to institute martial law over the tariff issue. If anyone in the federal government had even acknowledged our primary concern at all, maybe we wouldn't have been so afraid of the militarism of the North. Since they did everything accept anything to do with our primary concerns, and in nearly every case merely stoked the fire, we were forced to leave the Union before they marched into town and turned us into federally run police state.

South Carolina does not wish to exist on its own nor a Conferation of Sovereing States outside of the Union but we simply cannot be part of a Union, whose primary goal is to defend each State and person of this nation, that not only displays little concern for the security of its States but even seems quite comfortable in threatening them itself. Regretably, until these issues are resolved, there can be no can be no compromise.

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19 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:00 pm

Are we to take it, then, that a reduction in the size of militias is the foremost demand of the Sovereign States? Were this to be accomplished, would South Carolina consider reconciliation?

Certainly, for this to be considered, a similar reduction would be required on the part of southern militias.

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20 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:11 pm

The double standard of former "union" outragged the people of Georgia. On one hand the northern states are allowed to nulify the Fugitive Slave Act, and nothing happens. But when the southern states nulify a tarif the congress votes to let the president enforce it with soldiers.

This is unacceptable and broke the back of the trust Georgia had developed with the United States. Even if the United State was to meet all our demands and win our readmission Georgia would never trust her the federal government agian.

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21 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:23 pm

Virginia wrote:Are we to take it, then, that a reduction in the size of militias is the foremost demand of the Sovereign States? Were this to be accomplished, would South Carolina consider reconciliation?

Certainly, for this to be considered, a similar reduction would be required on the part of southern militias.

This would be the primary step needed to achieve such ends, yes. Reconcilliation, however, cannot be possible unless we can find a way to rectify the legitimate fear that plagues all South Carolinians. It would be absolutely within reason for our to dismantle our militias if our former compatriots in the North are willing to do so, but we still cannot trust the Chamberlain government from a hostile use of force in lieu of the events in Texas.

We would need reassurance that our safety will not be under siege at the slightest provocation or disagreement with the current federal government and I do not know how that aim can be achieved at this point. President Chamberlain has proven himself willful to overstep his authority in policing the states and stacked his Cabinet full of very adamant Anti-Southerners. The only man in the federal government the people of South Carolina can trust at this moment would be Vice President Woods, although I'm not sure where that gets us.

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22 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:34 pm

Congressman Styles chuckles slightly.

The gentleman can wail all he wants about constitutionality, but so long as the South continues to nullify legal laws - those complaints are based upon hypocrisy. Non-compliance with the Fugitive Slave Act is not nullification, it is just that - non-compliance. If federal marshals enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, I am positive that no northern state will resist - they may not assist, but they will not resist. I do not believe the same could be said of federal enforcement of the tariff, should it be attempted.

Connecticut, for one, will not reduce its militia until nullification of the tariff is withdrawn. Until that point, we will maintain our militia should the President require them to enforce the tariff.

I remind everyone here that the President has done his best to be reasonable in this situation - even against the better judgment of many in his party, myself included. He signed a reduction of the protective tariff and released the state legislature of Texas - which has been given so much freedom, that they have passed a secession ordinance. It was after pulling back from the brink that secession was undertaken. We take your statements and demands in exchange for peace with a wagonload of salt.

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23 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:46 pm

Tennessee Attorney General Matrim James Cauthon arrives to represent Tennessee at the summit.

After listening to the delegate from South Carolina, he rises to speak.

"I think that we have to see several things happening in order to begin considering reconciliation. The first and most important would of course be the reduction in militia build up. If the North begins to lower its number of troops, the Sovereign States shall have no reason to continue to maintain a large militia presence.

Secondly, while the lowering of tariffs is being harolded as the compromise to end the issue, it actually is not correct. The major issue at hand with this issue was that this money was being collected in the South and being used to build up the northern merchant class. Lowering the tariffs does not take away the major issue there.

Thirdly, the fact that President Chamberlain has released the Texas Legislature and the Texas Lt. Governor, it does not change the fact that the action was committed in the first place and that several Texas citizens lost their lives at the hands of Federal Troops. President Chamberlain chose to use troops rather than seeking a peaceful resolution, and that has increased the rightful fear expressed by the Sovereign States that he would use troops to carry out the northern aggression against the South. As we speak, Texas militia members are being court-martialed for the audacity of defending the freedom of their State. Removing the troops and releasing the political prisoners does not and will not make the problem go away.

Fourth, Congress may have reduced the tariffs but they also granted the President the power to use federal troops to collect tariffs in the South. This is in large part due to the nullification efforts underway in some of the Southern States, but yet we have seen no efforts by the President or the Congress to force Northern States to enforce their Constitutional obligations, and they continue to blatantly violate the Constitution because they cannot get their way in Washington when it comes to the slavery issue.

Congress has chosen not to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Supreme Court has upheld its constitutionality and overturned laws from states refusing to return those fugitives, yet northern states refuse to recognize their constitutional obligations.

I am becoming increasingly doubtful that reconciliation is possible. The Sovereign States do not wish to belong to a Federal Union that expects complete obedience from us, while refusing to live up to their obligations and allowing the Northern States to blatantly and openly violate the Constitution.

We do not seek War, and we will not attempt to force our views on the North through the use of our militia's or the Sovereign State's Military means. But we will not surrender our Sovereignty to a Federal Government that is unwilling and unable to respect our laws or that robs southern states to build up the Northern States.

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24 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:53 pm

Bronson:

I would like to simply bring forth that either side who's willing to bring up rhetoric as a reason for disunion is throwing stones in a very fragile glass house. Both sides have engaged in hostile speech of each other, and we ought to be better than shattering a union over verbal sticks and stones.

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25 Re: Discussion on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:58 pm

And there you have it. To borrow the words of the delegate of Georgia, the "double standard" persists. The delegate of Connecticut believes that no Northern State should reduce its militia until South Carolina ceases its nullification of the tariff. South Carolina, again, did that as a reaction to the build up of the militia. He also acknowledges in the same response that while the federal government does nothing to enforce federal law in the North it is mandatory and fair of the President to do so in the South. How can any South Carolinian feel safe if we reduce our militia and agree to return to the Union if they won't stand down? We simply have no reason to trust them any longer. There can be no reconciliation so long as the double standard persists. Is there anything else that is required of me at this conference?

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