Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22, 1861 -

Fort Sumter (NPS Photo)
The following appeared in the Macon (Georgia) Telegraph 150 years ago today. It details the mission of Colonel Isaac W. Hayne, who was sent as a representative of South Carolina to demand the surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor from President Franklin Buchanan.

The report provides a good example of how editors and newspaper readers in the South often learned of events affecting their communities and states from Northern newspaper writers:

It was mentioned yesterday, among the rumors from Washington, that the mission of Mr. Hayne to that city from South Carolina, was to demand the immediate surrender of Fort Sumter, as the only means of preventing war and all its long train of calamities. A letter to the New York Herald adds:

Fort Sumter in 1861
“He is authorized to negotiate for the purchase of the public property in South Carolina, and is willing to pay the Government its fully value for the same, but if the President refuses to enter into negotiation and declines to give it up to the State, then they are determined to take it, let what will come. This course has been fully decided upon by South Carolina. They hold that, of right, it belongs to them, and they do not mean that the United States shall hold possession of it much longer. The flag which waves over Fort Sumter must come down - `peaceably if they can, forcibly if they must.”

Col. Hayne has not yet, it is stated, had an interview with the President. The president is said to be anxious, as is Major Anderson, to avoid bloodshed, and will do everything in his power, except surrendering up the Fort, to prevent such a calamity.- Macon Telegraph, January 22, 1861, p. 3.

You can read more about historic Fort Sumter at

No comments:

Post a Comment