The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch Diary, Post 3

The following excerpt is from the diary of Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch.

Monday, 14 January 1861

Instead of three of the cabinet, one alone, Mr. Floyd of Virginia, Sec. of War, resigned just previous to my last date; Mr. Cass having honorably retired before. Mr. Floyd lies under heavy suspicions of having betrayed to the secessionists the national forts and arms. Since then, Mississippi, Florida, & I think Alabama have passed secession ordinances; - a collision has been with difficulty avoided at Charleston by the prudence & manliness of Major Anderson, the state forces having fired on a steamer with troops & provisions for his relief. His conduct in protecting instead of fighting seems to have showed the violence of the rebels; and they appear to be negotiating. Meanwhile, Senator Seward, the destined Secretary of State of the next President, has made a noble, conciliatory speech, and brought forward a proposition which I hope may relieve the distracted country. The President appears to act more energetically, and another secessionist has left the cabinet, - Mr. Thoussour, Sec. of the Interior. This makes the fourth of that board who has left his place; - three of them, Cobb, Floyd, and Thompson, "for their country’s good."

Next week look for SGB's entry, dated 16 April 1861.  There he declares "Our country is engaged in civil war" and summarizes the events that had transpired over the course of this three month absence from his diary. 

permalink | Published: Friday, 2 September, 2011, 8:00 AM


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