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PROCEEDINGS OF

THE MONTGOMERY CONGRESS.

337

February 7th, a resolu- | drawal from them ; these States Proceedings of the tion was received from the hereby declaring it to be their

Proceedings of the Congress.

Congress. Alabama Legislature, plac-wish and earnest desire to ading the sum of five hundred thousand dollars just everything pertaining to the common property,

common liabilities, and common obligations of that at the disposition of the “Provisional Govern

Union upon principles of right, justice, equity, and ment of the Confederacy of the Seceded

good faith." States," as a loan, with which to set the

This Constitution was understood to have new Government in motion.

been adopted by the unanimous vote of the February 8th, the loan was accepted, in a Convention. series of complimentary resolutions. A secret

February 9th, the election of President and session. was called at 111 o'clock, A. M., Vice-President was held by the delegates, reand, after a protracted discussion, adopted sulting in the choice of Jefferson Davis, of the Provisional Constitution reported from Mississippi, to be Provisional President, and the Special Committee. Its preamble read: Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, to bo

“We, the Deputies of the sovereign and independ- Provisional Vice-President. The vote in ent States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ala- either case was reported unanimous. The bama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, invoking the favor President of the Convention also appointed of Almighty God, do hereby, in behalf of these the usual Congressional Committees, viz: on States, ordain and establish this Constitution for the Foreign Affairs, Finance, Military Affairs, Provisional Government of the same, to continue one Naval Affairs, Postal Affairs, Commerce, year from the inauguration of the President, or un

Patents, &c., &c. Among other legislative til a permanent Constitution or Confederation between the said States shall be put in operation, action was an ordinance continuing in force, whichsoever shall first occur."

until repealed or altered by the Congress, all

laws of the United States in force or use NoThe Constitution was a perfect transcript of the Federal instrument, except in special the Finance Committee to report promptly a

vember 1st. Also a resolution instructing clauses, that here may be stated :

tariff for raising revenues to support the Gov“ The seventh section, first article, read as fol- ernment. That step blew away the dust from lows: "The importation of African negroes from any

French and English eyes, who, in the proforeign country other than the Slaveholding States posed Confederacy, saw brilliant visions of of the United States is hereby forbidden, and Con- free trade and an unrestricted commerce in gress is required to pass such laws as shall effectuully foreign bottoms. It was only one instance in prevent the same.

which the promises of the leaders to their " Article second-Congress shall also have power own people, as well as to foreign capitalists to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State and manufacturers, were not fulfilled. А not a member of this Confederacy,

resolution was also adopted authorizing the “ Article fourth of the third clause of the second appointment of a committee to prepare and section read :

report a “Permanent” Constitution for the " A slave in one State escaping to another shall Government of the Southern Confederacy-a be delivered up on the claim of the party to wuom

mere matter of form, to confirm the “Provisaid slave may belong, by the Executive authority

sional” Constitution. of the State in which such slave may be found; an lin case of any abduction or forcible rescue, full compen

Mr. Stephens was serenaded during the sation, including the value of the slave, and all costs grand demonstration which took place on the and expenses, shall be made to the party by the evening of this day, February 9th, in honor State in which such abduction or rescue shall take of the election of officers for the new Governplace.

ment. Being called out, he addressed the " Article sixth of the second clause provided : vast concourse of people as follows: ** The Government hereby instituted shall take “ This is not the time nor

Mr. A. H. Stephens' immediate steps for the settlement of all matters be place to discuss the great ques

Speech. tween the States forming it and their late confed- tions now pressing upon the erates of the United States in relation to the public public counsels. It is sufficient to say that this day property and public debt at the time of their with a new republic has been formed. The Confederate

States of America' have been to a generous rivalry in all that develops the highest Mr. A. H. Stephens

ushered into existence, to take quality of every nation. With the best wishes to · Spoech.

their place among the nations you, gentlemen, and to the success of our common of the earth ; under a temporary or Provisional Gov. Government this day announced, I bid you goodernment, it is true, but soon to be followed by one of night." a permanent character, which, while it surrenders February 11th, Mr. Ste

Proceedings of the none of our ancient rights and liberties, will secure phens accepted the election "

Congress. them more perfectly. We trust for peace, security, to the Vice-Presidency of and domestic tranquillity. That ought to be the ob.

the new Government in the following speech: ject of all Governments. What is the future of this

“I have been notified by the Committee of my new Government? The fate of this new Republic will election as Vice-President of the Provisional Govern. depend upon ourselves. Six States only at present

ment of the Confederate States of America. The constitute it; but six stars yet appear in our constel

Committee request that I should make known to lation and Constitution. The permanent Govern.

this body, in verbal response, my acceptance of the ment may have a greater number than the original

high position to which I have been called. This I thirteen of the original Union, with more than three

now do, in this august presence, before you, Mr. times their population, wealth, and power. With

President, before Congress, and before this large such a beginning, the prospect of the future presents

concourse of people, under the bright sun and brilstrong hopes to the patriot's heart for bright pros- | liant sky which now smile so auspiciously upon us. pects in our career; but what the future shall be de. I take this o

| I take this occasion to return my most profound pends on ourselves and those who come after us.

acknowledgments for this expression of confidence Our Republic, and all Republics, to be permanent

on the part of Congress. There are special reasons and prosperous, must be supported by the virtue,

why I place an unusually high estimate on it. The intelligence, and integrity and patriotism of the

considerations which induced me to accept it I need people.

not state. It is sufficient for me to say, that it may “ These are the corner-stones upon which the tem- be deemed questionable whether any good citizen ple of liberty must be constructed, to stand securely can refuse to discharge any duty which may be asand permanently. Resting our trust upon these, we signed him by his country in the hour of need. It need fear nothing from without or within, with a cli- might be expected that I should indulge in some remate not surpassed by any on earth. With staples marks on the state of public affairs, and the dangers and productions which control the commerce of the which threaten us, and the most advisable measures world ; with institutions, so far as regards our organic to be adopted to meet the pressing exigencies. Aland social policy, in strict conformity to nature and low me to say, in the absence of the distinguished the laws of the Creator, whether read in the Book gentleman called to the Chief Executive Chair, I of Inspiration, or the great Book of Manifestations think it best to forbear saying anything on such around us, we have all the natural elements essen- matters. We expect him in a few days—by Wednes. tial to attainment in the highest degree of power day of this week, if not providentially detained--when and glory. These institutions have been much as- we will hear from him on these difficult questions ; sailed, and it is our mission to vindicate the great and, I doubt not, we shall cordially and harmoniously truth on which they rest, and with them exhibit the concur in the line of policy his superior wisdom highest type of civilization which it is possible for and statesmanship will indicate. Meantime, we may human society to reach. In doing this, our policy very profitably be directing our attention to such matshould be marked by a desire to preserve and main ters as providing necessary postal arrangements, tain peace with all States and people. If this cannot making provision for the transfer of the Custom-houses be done, let not the fault lie at our own door. from the jurisdiction of the separate States to the While we should make aggressions on none, we Confederacy, and the imposition of such duties as are should be prepared to repel those made by others, necessary to meet the present expected exigen. let them come from whatever quarter they may. cies. The power to raise revenue should be limited We ask of others simply to let us alone, and to be to the object of the revenue. A small duty of not permitted to look after our safety, security, and exceeding ten per centum upon importations, it is happiness in our own way, without molesting or believed, is sufficient. We can also be devoting our giving offence to other people. Let, then, peace, attention to a Constitution and permanent Governfraternity, and liberal commercial relations with all ment, stable and durable, which is one of the leading the world, be our motto. With these principles, objects of our assembling. I am now ready to take without envy towards other States in the line of poli- the oath." cy they mark out for themselves, we will invite them February 12th, the Chair announced the

PROCEEDINGS OF THE MONTGOMERY CONGRESS.

339

Committees the most im A resolution was offered Proceedings of the

Proceedings of the Congress. portant of which were filled looking to the sending of

Congress. as follows:

Commissioners to WashingOn Foreign Affairs : Messrs. Rhett, of S. C.; Nis-ton. It was referred to the Committee on bett, of Ga.; Perkins, of La.; Walker, of Ala,; and Foreign Affairs. Keitt, of S. C.

On the 13th, quite a discussion arose on On Finance: Messrs. Toombs, of Ga.; Barnwell, | the question of a Government foundery and of S. C.; Kenner, of La.; Barry, of Miss.; and arms manufactory. Mr. Cooper, proprietor McRae, of Ala.

of the Etowah Iron Works, proposed to con" On Commercial Affairs : Messrs. Memminger, of vert these works into the required manufacS.C.; Crawford, of Ga.; Morton, of Fla.; Curry, of, tory. The matter was finally referred to the Ala. ; and Delcouet, of La. On the Judiciary: Messrs. Clayton, of Miss.;

Military Committee. The debate served to Withers, of S. C.; Hale, of Ala.; T. R. Cobb, of Ga.; show that several “ very extensive” iron-works and Harris, of Miss.

were for sale. "On Naval Affairs: Messrs. Conrad, of La. ; Ches

A resolution was adopted providing for nut, of S. C.; Smith, of Ala. ; Wright, of Ga.; and the Military and Naval Committees to inOwens, of Fla.

clude in any plan they might propose for the "On Military Affairs: Messrs. Barton, of Ga.; organization of the Confederate army and Miles, of S. C. ; Sparrow, of La.; Kenan, of Ga.; and navy suitable provisions for such officers of Anderson, of Fla.

the army and navy of the United States “as " Or Postal Affairs: Messrs. Chilton, of Ala. ; Hill, may have tendered their resignations in conof Ga.; Boyce, of s. C.; Harrison, of Miss.; and sequence of their adhesion to any or all of Curry, of S. C.!

the States of this Confederacy.”. Mr. Stephen's was inaugurated, and took

Mr. Brooke proposed a resolution to inthe following oath :

struct the Committee on the Flag and Seal " You do solemnly swear that you will faithfully of the Confederacy to adopt and report a execute the office of Vice-President of the Confed- fag as similar as possible to the flag of the erate States of America, and will, to the best of your United States-making only such changes as ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitu

were necessary to distinguish easily the one tion thereof—so help you God."

from the other. He supported his resolution The Confederacy assumed charge of the by a speech, in which he paid a patriotic question of the seized arsenals, forts, &c., in tribute to the Stars and Stripes, saying : “In the adoption of a resolution which read:

" Resolved, That this Government takes under its by the Congress. It declared South Carolina still charge the questions and difficulties now existing supreme in the matter of Fort Sumter, in these enbetween the sovereign States of this Confederacy ergetic terms : and the Government of the United States, relating “What remains but for the Executive of South to the occupation of forts, arsenals, navy-yards, and Carolina to take the fort? The authorities of the other public establishments, and that the President Confederation have nothing to do with it unless the of this Congress be directed to communicate this State is incapable of resisting these aggressions, resolution to the Governors of the States."

and needs assistance. After two efforts to obtain This threw all responsibility of the con- peaceable possession of Fort Sumter, and a submisduct of affairs in Charleston harbor on the sion for two months to the insolent military domicentral authorities, and South Carolina ceased nation, in our bay, of a handful of men, the honor of

the State requires that no further intervention, from to be sovereign. The resolution was as

any quarter should be tolerated, and that this fort authoritative and imperative as the mandate should be taken, and taken by South Carolina alone. of the Czar. Governor Pickens became By any other course, it appears to us, unless all the thenceforward one of the lesser lights--so positions of the Governor are false, the State must be fleeting was the term of South Carolina's in- disgraced." dependence. *

The Mercurial party was thus hatching rebellion

against the new Government. The State, it was * The Mercury, of Charleston, grew exceedingly evident, was so chronically distempered as to be irritated over this early assumption of supreme power irascible under any extraneous control.

Congress.

revolutionary times it is de- | 14th, when Mr. Boyce preProceedings of the

Proceedings of the sirable to make as little sented to Congress a flag re

Congress. change as possible in those mitted by a lady “who things to which the people have been accus- resides in the picturesque town of Winnestomed. We should respect even their preju-borough, Fairfield District, S. C.-a lady of dices. The flag of the United States remains remarkable intelligence, whose path through yet the emblem of the former glory, strength, life has been illustrated by all those virtues and power of the nation. We, as well as the which adorn the female character.” The letter Northern Confederacy, have an interest in its remitting the flag was represented as “full of past history. True, sir, it is but a sentiment ; authentic fire. It is worthy of Rome in her but the feelings which hallow that emblem are best days, and might well have been read in not those merely of custom or habit, but they the Roman Senate on that disastrous day when are the result of aspiration. That flag is an the victorious banner of the great Carthaginian idol of the heart, around which cluster the was visible from Mount Aventine. And," the memories of the past, which time never can enthusiastic speaker said, “I may add, sir, that efface nor cause to grow dim. * * Sir, let as long as our women are impelled by these us preserve it as far as we can. Let us con- sublime sentiments, and our mountains yield tinue to hallow it in our memory, and still the metals out of which weapons are forged, pray that,

the lustrous stars of our unyielding Confeder“Long may it wave

acy will never pale their glorious fires, though O'er the land of the free

baffled oppression may threaten with its imAnd the home of the brave."

potent sword, or, more dangerous still, seek This patriotic outburst, savoring so rankly to beguile with the Syren song of conciliaof the Union, deeply stirred up that little as- / tion.” Mr. Boyce's grandiloquence was folsembly. Mr. Miles, from the Flag and Seal | lowed by the reading of a letter from a Mrs. Committee, protested against Mr. Brooke's Ladd, giving her three sons to the cause, and resolution, and his sentiments. He said, thanking God that she was a Woman of the among other things:

South. Flags were presented by Messrs. Ste“ The gentleman speaks of the victories achieved

phens, Toombs, and Walker. All these canin Mexico under the flag of the United States. didates for National adoption were referred True, sir, but I feel more pride in stating that the to the proper Committee. Palmetto Regiment was there, and bathed its own The secret seal was lifted slightly on the State flag in the blood of many of its members and

| 14th, by a resolution-permitting the Judiofficers, and the warm heart of the gallant Colonel

ciary Committee “ to print such matters as of their regiment, the chivalrous Butler, beat its last

they may desire to lay before Congress." This pulsation there. [Applause.] That flag, that State

same liberty was extended also to any of the flag, is dearer to my heart than the flag of the United

Standing Committees, so far as to allow the States, for it was under that flag that the battle of Fort Moultrie was fought; it was under that flag that

printing of any matter which they might the battles of Eutaw, Kings Mountain, and Cowpens

deem requisite for the uses of the Committees. were fought; and I have always, sir, been one of | The inauguration of President Davis was those who thought there was an over-estimate | fixed for Monday, February 18th, and a suitplaced on the glories of the flag of the United able Committee appointed to attend the PresStates. Why, sir, most of the great battles of the idlent. An Act was adopted in secret sesRevolution were not fought under it, but under the sion this day (February 15th) to continue in separate State flags, before the recognition of the office the officers of customs, and providing United States by the nations of the world.”

for the payment of the customs to the Mr. Brooke withdrew his resolution, “at Confederate authorities. The proceedings the suggestion of a friend.”

of the open session of the Congress, February The Flag question came up again, February 16th, were unimportant.

CHAPTER XXIV.

PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS CONTINUED. Τ Ε Ν Τ Η WEEK. THE

WITHDRAWAL OF LOUISIANA MEMBERS. SPEECHES OF SLIDEL, BENJAMIN, CLINGMAN, ANDREW JOHNSON, HENRY WINTER DAVIS, KELLOGG, AND OTI ER 8.

, The Senate proceedings / which we have been compelled

Slidell's Valedictory. Petitions.

of Monday, February 4th, to seize in self-defence, if it

were particularly interest- should appear that our share in ing from the withdrawal speeches of the Lou- such expenditure has been greater than in other isiana Senators, and by the elaborate disunion sections; and, above all, we shall, as well from the argument of Mr. Clingman, of North Caro- dictates of natural justice and the principles of inter

national law as of political and geographical affinities lina. Mr. Crittenden presented several im

and of mutual pecuniary interests, recognize the right portånt memorials and petitions from citizens of the inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley and its triof Louisville, Kentucky, of New Albany, In-butaries to its free navigation. We will guarantee to diana, from citizens of Michigan, New York, them a free interchange of all agricultural producMaryland, &c., praying the passage of his tions, without imposts, tax-duty, or toll of any kind; resolutions, or for some compromise. Chand- the free transit from foreign countries of every speler, of Michigan, presented two petitions cies of merchandise, subject only to such regulations from citizens of Bay County, of that State, as may be absolutely necessary for the protection protesting against the alteration of the Con- of any normal system we may establish, and for stitution.. Other petitions were presented by purposes of police. Messrs. Bigler and Fessenden, also praying attempted by avowed enemies, or by a hand hereto

“We must be prepared to resist coercion, whether for compromise. Wilson, of Massachusetts,

fore supposed friendly, by open war, or under the introduced a resolution calling upon the Pres

more insidious, and, therefore, more dangerous ident for information concerning the seizures pretext of enforcing the laws, protecting public in Louisiana. To its introduction Bigler ob- property, and collecting the revenues. We shall jected, when it laid over under the rules. not cavil about words, nor discuss legal and tech

Mr. Slidell, of Louisiana, nical distinctions; we shall consider' the one as Slidell's Valedictory. sent to the Secretary's desk equivalent to the other, and shall be prepared to act

a copy of the Louisiana accordingly. Utroque arbitrio parati. You will find Ordinance of Secession, which he had read. us ready to meet you with the outstretched hand of He then addressed the Senate quite at fellowship, or in the mailed panoply of war, as you length, defending the course of the seceding may will it. Elect between these alternatives. States. His argument, in many respects, was

. You may ignore the principles of our immortal an able one, and his declarations were some reduce us to subjection'; or you may, under color

Declaration of Independence; you may attempt to what novel on points of interest involved. of enforcing your laws or collecting your revenue, Among other things, he said :

blockade our ports. This will be war, and we shall “We will adopt all laws not locally inapplicable meet it with different, but equally efficient, weapons. or incompatible with our new relations; we will We will not permit the introduction or consumption recognize the obligations of all existing treaties--of any of your manufactures; every sea will swarm those respecting the African slave-trade included. with our volunteer militia of the ocean, with the We shall be prepared to assume our just proportion striped bunting floating over their heads, for we do of the national debt; to account for the cost of all not mean to give up that flag without a bloody strugthe forts and other property of the United States,' gle—it is ours as much as yours; and although for

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