President Buchanan replies to the South Carolina's commissioners as "private gentlemen"
Robert W. Barnwell, James Orr, and J.H. Adams had been appointed as "Commissioners" to the United States from the newly independent South Carolina. They had arrived in Washington DC and communicated with the President of the United States, announcing their arrival and mission two days earlier. Buchanan's response was cordial in its non-recognition but gave a full explanation of federal actions in the crisis to the three as "private gentlemen of the highest character." (By John Osborne)
"Documents and Narratives," Frank Moore, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc.(New York: G.P.Putnam, 1861), I: 12.