Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1076, p. 160.
February 23, 1861
No progress seems to have been made towards a compromise of the disputes between the Northern and the Southern States. The Peace Convention held by the invitation of Virginia has commenced its sittings at Washington, but, as it is with closed doors, the nature of its proceedings is unknown. North Carolina has declared that, should the Washington Convention fail in arranging the difficulties between North and South, she would join her fortunes with those of the seceders; and Texas has ruled herself out of the Confederation by a majority of 154 to 6.
The President has rejected the ultimatum offered by South Carolina in regard to the surrender of Fort Sumter, and an attack upon that stronghold was anticipated.
Mr. Howell Cobb, lately President Buchanan's Secretary of the Treasury, has been appointed Secretary of the Convention of the seceding States, which assembled on the 4th instant, at Montgomery, in Alabama. That Convention is engaged in devising a plan for a confederation of the Southern States; but nothing is yet known of the results of its labours.
A very strong Union feeling is displaying itself in Virginia, and the Convention of that State is expected to show a large anti-secession majority.
A truce has been concluded between the Federal Commander at Fort Pickens, Pensacola, and the Florida forces.
On the 31st ult. Mr. Seward, in an able speech, presented to the Senate the New York petition favourable to the adoption of resolutions for an adjustment on the Border States plan. The impression gathered from Mr. Seward's speech was that the incoming Administration had resolved upon a coercive policy towards the South should the endeavours for a peaceful settlement fail.
Kansas, admitted into the Union but a few weeks ago, is suffering from the want of the necessaries of life, and fifty thousand of her people are said to be on the verge of starvation.
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