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by themselves; and but for the negotiations, assuring the GovThe Message of

The Message of interference of the Government ernment of the United States Jeferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis. of the United States in this that the President, Congress, legitimate exercise of the right of a people to self- and people of the Confederate States earnestly government, peace, happiness, and prosperity would desire a peaceful solution of these great questions ; now smile on our land.

that it is neither their interest nor their wish to “ That peace is ardently desired by this Govern- make any demand which is not founded on strictest ment and people, has been moanisested in every pos. justice, nor do any act to injure their late confedesible form. Scarce had you assembled in February rates.' last, when, prior even to the inauguration of the “ To this communication no formal reply was reChief Magistrate you had elected, you passed a reso. ceived until the 8th of April. During the interval, lution expressive of your desire for the appointment the Commissioners had consented to wave all ques. of Commissioners to be sent to the Government of tions of form. With the firm resolve to avoid war, the United States, 'for the purpose of negotiating if possible, they went so far, even as to hold, during friendly relations between that Government and the that long period, unofficial intercourse, through an Confederate States of America, and for the settle. intermediary, whose high position and character inment of all questions of disagreement between the spired the hope of success, and through whom contwo Governments upon principles of right, justice, stant assurances were received from the Govern. equity, and good faith.'

ment of the United States of peaceful intentions ; of “ It was my pleasure, as well as my duty, to co- the determination to evacuate Fort Sumter; and operate with you in this work of peace. Indeed.further, that no measures, changing the existing in my address to you on taking the oath of office, status prejudicially to the Confederate States, espe. and before receiving from you the communication cially at Fort Pickens, was in contemplation, but of this resolution, I had said,' as a necessity, not a that in the event of any change of intention on the choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separa- subject, notice would be given to the Commission. tion, and henceforth our energies must be directed ers. The crooked paths of diplomacy can scarcely to the conduct of our own affairs, and the perpetuity furnish an example so wanting in courtesy, in can. of the Confederacy which we have formed. If a dor and directness, as was the course of the United just perception of mutual interest shall permit us States Government towards our Commissioners in peaceably to pursue our separate political career, Washington. For proof of this, I refer to the anmy most earnest desire will have been fulfilled.' nexed documents marked taken in connection

“ It was in furtherance of these accordant views with other facts, which I now proceed to relate : of the Congress and the Executive, that I made “Early in April the attention of th whole coun. choice of three discreet, able, and distinguished citi-try, as well as that of our Commissioners, was atzens, who repaired to Washington. Aided by their tracted to extraordinary preparations for an extencordial co-operation, and that of the Secretary of sive military and naval expedition in New York and State, every effort compatible with self-respect and other Northern ports. These preparations, como the dignity of the Confederacy was exhausted before menced in secrecy for an expedition, whose destinaI allowed myself to yield to the conviction that the tion was concealed, only became known when nearly Government of the United States was determined to completed, and on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of April, attempt the conquest of this people, and that our transports and vessels of war, with troops, municherished hopes of peace were unattainable. tions, and military supplies sailed from Northern

“On the arrival of our Commissioners in Wash- ports bound southward. Alarmed by so extraorington, on the 5th of March, they postponed, at the dinary a demonstration, the Commissioners request. suggestion of a friendly intermediary, doing no more ed the delivery of an answer to their official commuthan giving informal notice of their arrival. This nication of the 12th of March, and thereupon rewas done with a view to afford time to the President ceived, on the 8th of April, a reply dated on the who had just been inaugurated, for the discharge 15th of the previous month, from which it appears of other pressing official duties in the organization that during the whole interval, whilst the Commisof his administration, before engaging his attention sioners were receiving assurances calculated to in. in the object of their mission. It was not until the spire hopes of the success of their mission, the Sec12th of the month that they officially addressed the retary of State and the President of the United States Secretary of State, informing him of the purpose of had already determined to hold no intercourse with their arrival, and stating in the language of their them whatever; to refuse even to listen to any proinstructions their wish to make to the Government posals they had to make, and had profited by the of the United States overtures for the opening of delay created by their own selfishness, in order to

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The Message of prepare secretly the means for retary of War and the papers The Message of Jeffersou Davis. effective hostile operations. which accompany it, for further Jefferson Davis “That these assurances are given has been virtually details of this brilliant affair. confessed by the Government of the United States “ In this connection I cannot refrain from a well by its sending a messenger to Charleston to give no deserved tribute to the noble State, the eminent tice of its purpose to use force if opposed in its in- soldierly qualities of whose people were so conspictention of supplying Fort Sumter. No more striking uously displayed in the port of Charleston. For proof of the absence of good faith in the conduct of months they had been irritated by the spectacle of a the Government of the United States towards this fortress held within their principal harbor, as a Confederacy can be required than is contained in standing menace against their peace and independthe circumstances which accompanied this notice. ence. Built, in part, with their own money, its cusAccording to the usual course of navigation, the ves. tody confided with their own consent to an agent sels composing the expedition designed for the re- who held no power over them other than such as lief of Fort Sumter, might be expected to reach they had themselves delegated for their own benefit, Charleston harbor on the 9th April; yet with our intended to be used by that agent for their own proCommissioners actually in Washington, detained un- tection against foreign attack, they saw it held with der assurances that notice should be given of any persistent tenacity as a means of offense against military movement, the notice was not addressed to them by the very Government which they had es. them, but a messenger was sent to Charleston to tablished for their protection. They had beleaguer. give the notice to the Governor of South Carolina, ed it for months---felt entire confidence in their pow. and the notice was so given at a late hour on the 8th er to capture it-yet yielded to the requirements of April, the eve of the very day on which the fleet discipline, curbed their impatience, submitted withmight be expected to arrive. That this manæuvre out complaint to the anaccustomed hardships, lafailed in its purpose was not the fault of those who bors and privations of a protracted siege; and when contrived it. A heavy tempest defeated the arrival at length their patience was rewarded by the signal of the expedition, and gave time to the commander for attack, and success had crowned their steady of our forces at Charleston to ask and receive the and gallant conduct--even in the very moment of instructious of this Government. Even then, under triumph-they evinced a chivalrous regard for the all the provocation incident to the contemptuvus re- feelings of the brave but unfortunate officer who had fusal to listen to our Commissioners, and the tortu- been compelled to lower his flag. All manifestations ous course of the Government of the United States, of exultation were checked in his presence. Their I was sincerely anxious to avoid the effusion of blood, commanding General, with their cordial approval and directed a proposal to be made to the command and the consent of his Government, refrained from er of Fort Sumter, who had avowed himself to be imposing any terms that could wound the sensibili. Dearly out of provisions, that we would abstain ties of the commander of the fort. He was permitfrom directing our fire on Fort Sumter if he would ted to retire with the honors of war-to salute his promise not to open fire on our forces unless first flag, to depart freely with all his command, and was attacked. This proposal was refused, and the con- escorted to the vessel in which he embarked, with clusion was reached that the design of the United the highest marks of respect from those against States was to place the besieging force at Charles- whom his guns had been so recently directed. Not ton between the simultaneous fire of the fleet and only does every event connected with the siege rethe fort. There remained, therefore, no alternative flect the highest honor on South Carolina, but the but to direct that the fort should at once be reduced. forbearance of her people and of this Government of This order was executed by General Beauregard, making any harsh use of a victory obtained under with the skill and success which were naturally to circumstances of such peculiar provocation, attest be expected from the well-known character of that to the fullest extent the absence of any purpose begallant officer; and although the bombardment | yond securing their own tranquillity, and the sincere lasted but thirty-three hours, our flag did not wave desire to avoid the calamities of war. over its battered walls until after the appearance “Scarcely had the President of the United States of the hostile fleet off Charleston. Fortunately, not received intelligence of the failure of the scheme a life was lost on our side, and we were gratified in which he had devised for the re-enforcement of Fort being spared the necessity of a useless effusion of Sumter, when he issued the declaration of war blood by the prudent caution of the officers who against this Confederacy, which has prompted me commanded the fleet, in abstaining from the evident- to convoke you. In this extraordinary production, ly futile effort to enter the harbor for the relief of that high functionary affects total ignorance of the Major Anderson. I refer to the report of the Sec. existence of an independent Government, which,

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possessing the entire and enthu- / plication from persons disposed The Message of

The Message of siastic devotion of its people, is to aid our defense in private Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis. exercising its functions with armed vessels on the high seas, out question over seven sovereign States, over to the end that preparations might be made for the more than five millions of people, and over a territory immediate issue of letters of marque and reprisal, which whose area exceeds half a million of square miles. you alone,under the Constitution have power to grant. He terms sovereign States combinations too power. I entertain no doubt you will concur with me in the ful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial opinion that in the absence of a fleet of public vessels, proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals it will be eminently expedient to supply their place by law.' He calls for an army of seventy-five thou. by private armed vessels, so happily styled by the sand men to act as a posse comitatus in aid of the pro- publicists of the United States the militia of the cess of the courts of justice in States where no sea,' and so often and justly relied on by them as courts exist whose mandates and decrees are not an efficient and admirable instrument of defensive cheerfully obeyed and respected by a willing people. warfare. I earnestly recommend the immediate pasHe avows that the first service to be assigned to sage of a law anthorizing me to accept the numerous the forces called out will be, not to execute the proposals already received. process of courts, but to capture forts and strong- I cannot close this review of the acts of the Gov. bolds situated within the admitted limits of this Con. erument of the United States without referring to a federacy, and garrisoned by its troops; and declares proclamation issued by their President under date that this effort' is intended to maintain the per- of 19th inst., in which, after declaring that an insurpetuity of popular government.' He concludes by rection has broken out in this Confederacy against commanding the persons composing the combina- the Government of the United States, he announces tions aforesaid,' to wit: the five millions of inhabit- a blockade of all the ports of these States, and ants of these States, ' to retire peaceably to their threatens to punish, as pirates, all persons who respective abodes within twenty days.'

shall molest any vessel of the United States under Apparently contradictory as are the terms of letters of marque by this Government. Notwiththis singular document, one point was unmistakably standing the authenticity of this proclamation, you evident. The President of the United States called will concur with me that it is hard to believe it for an army of seventy-five thousand men, whose could have emanated from a President of the l'nited first service was to be to capture our forts. It was States. Its announcement of a mere paper blocka plain declaration of war, which I was not at libero ade is so manifestly a violation of the law of nations, ty to disregard because of my knowledge that, under that it would seem incredible that it could have been the Constitution of the United States, the President issued by authority—but conceding this to be the was usurping a power granted exclusively to the case, so far as the Executive is concerned, it will be Congress. He is the sole organ of communication difficult to satisfy the people of these States that between that country and foreign Powers. The law their late Confederates will sanction its declarations, of nations did not permit me to question the author. will determine to ignore the usages of civilized na. ity of the Executive of a foreign nation to declare tions, and will inaugurate a war of extermination war against this Confederacy. Although I might on both sides, by treating as pirates open enemies have refrained from taking active measures for our acting under authority of commissions issued by an defense, if the States of the Union had all imitated orgavized Government. If such proclamation was the action of Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, issued, it could only have been published under the - Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, by denouncing sudden influence of passion, and we may rest assur. the call for troops as a constitutional usurpation of ed mankind will be spared the horrors of the conflict power to which they refused to respond, I was not at it seems to invite. liberty to disregard the fact that many of the States “For the details of the administration of the difseemed quite content to submit to the exercise of the ferent Departments, I refer to the reports of the power assumed by the President of the United States, Secretaries which accompany this message. and were actively engaged in levying troops to be “ The State Department has furnished the neces. used for the purpose indicated in the proclamation. sary instructions for three Commissioners who have

* Deprived of the aid of Congress at the moment, / been sent to England, France, Russia and Belgium, I was under the necessity of confining my action to since your adjournment, to ask our recognition as a a call on the States for volunteers for the common meniber of the family of nations, and to make with defense, in accordance with the authority you had each of those powers treaties of amity and comconfided to me before your adjournment. I deemed

Further steps will be taken to enter into it proper further to issue proclamation inviting ap- I like negotiations with the other European powers,


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Jederson Davis.

Jefferson Davis.

in pursuance of your resolution, citizens, and not a single bid The Message of

The Message of ssed at the last session. Suf. was made under par. The rapid

ficient time has not yet elapsed development of the purpose of since the departure of these Commissioners, for the the President of the United States to invade our soil, receipt of any intelligence from them. As I deem it capture our forts, blockade our ports, and wage war desirable that Commissioners or diplomatic agents against us, induced me to direct that the entire subshould also be sent at an early period to the Indescription should be accepted. It will now become pendent American Powers south of our Confederacy, necessary to raise means to a much larger amount to with all of whom it is our interest and earnest wish defray the expenses of maintaining our independence to maintain the most cordial and friendly relations, and repelling invasion. I invite your special attention I suggest the expediency of making the necessary to the subject, and the financial condition of the appropriations for that purpose.

Government, with the suggestion of ways and means " Having been officially notified by the public au- for the supply of the Treasury, will be presented to thorities of the State of Virginia that she had with you in a separate communication. drawn from the Union, and desired to maintain the “To the Department of Justice you have confided closest political relations with us which it was pos- not only the organization and supervision of all matsible at this time to establish, I commissioned Hon. ters connected with the Courts of Justice, but also Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Con. those connected with Patents and with the Bureau federate States, to represent this Government at of Public Printing. Richmond. I am happy to inform you that he has “Since your adjournment, all the Courts, with the ex. concluded a Convention with the State of Virginia ception of those of Mississippi and Texas, have been by which that honored Commonwealth, so long and organized by the appointment of Marshals and Disjustly distinguished among her sister States, and so trict Attorneys, and are now prepared for the ex. dear to the hearts of thousands of her children in ercise of their functions. the Confederate States, has united her power and “ In the two States just named, the gentlemen conher fortunes with ours, and become one of us. This firmed as judges declined to accept the appointment, Convention, together with the ordinance of Virginia, and no nominations bave yet been inade to fill the adopting the Provisional Constitution of the Confed- vacancies. I refer you to the report of the Attorney eracy, will be laid before you for your constitution General, and concur in his recommendation for al action. I have satisfactory assurances from other immediate legislation, especially on the subject of of our late confederates, that they are on the point patent rights. Early provisions should be made to of adopting similar measures, and I cannot doubt secure to the subjects of foreign nations the full enthat ere you shall have been many weeks in session, joyment of their property in valuable inventions, the whole of the Slaveholding States of the late and to extend to our own citizens protection, not Union will respond to the call of honor and affec-only for their own inventions, but for such as may tion, and by uniting their fortunes with ours, pro- have been assigned to them, or may hereafter be mote our common interests and secure our common assigned by persons not alien enemies. safety.

“ The patent office business is much more exten“ In the Treasury Department, regulations have sive and important than had been anticipated. been devised and put into execution for carrying The applications for patents, althongh confined out the policy indicated in your legislation on the under the law exclusively to citizens of our Con. subject of the navigation of the Mississippi River, as federacy, average seventy per month, showing the well as for the collection of revenue on the frontier. necessity for the prompt organization of a Bureau of Free transit has been secured for vessels and mer- Patents. chandise passing through the Confederate States : “ The Secretary of War, in his report and accompaand delay and inconvenience have been avoided as nying documents, conveys full information concerning far as possible in organizing the revenue service for the force, regular, volunteer and provisional, raised the various railways entering our territory. As fast and called for under the several acts of Congress, as experience shall indicate the possibility of im- their organization and distribution. Also an acprovement in these regulations, no efforts will be count of the expenditures already made, and further spared to free commerce from all unnecessary em- estimates for the fiscal year ending on the 18th Feb

ruary, 1862, rendered necessary by recent events. “ Under your act authorizing a loan, proposals I refer to his report also, for a full history of the ocwere issued inviting subscriptions for five millions

currences in Charleston harbor, prior to and includof dollars, and the call was answered by the prompt ing the bombardment and reduction of Fort Sumter, subscription of more than eight millions by our own

and of the measures subsequently taken for the com

barrassments and obstructions.

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mon defense, on receiving intel- | auditor of the Treasury for this The Message of

The Message of ligence of the declaration of war Department is necessary, and a Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis. against us made by the President plan is subniitted for the orof the United States. There are now in the field at ganization of his Bureau. The great number and Charleston, Pensacola, Forts Morgan, Jackson, St. magnitude of the accounts of this Department rePhillip and Pulaski, nineteen thousand men, and six quire an increase of the clerical force in the account. teen thousand are now en route for Virginia. It is pro ing branch in the Treasury. The revenues of this posed to organize and hold in readiness for action, in Department are collected and disbursed in modes view of the present exigencies of the country, an peculiar to itself, and require a special Bureau to se. army of one hundred thousand men. If further cure a proper accountability in the administration force should be needed, the wisdom and patriotism of its finances. of Congress will be confidently appealed to for “I call your attention to the additional legislation authority to call into the field additional numbers of required for this Department, to the recommendaour noble-spirited volunteers, who are constantly tion for changes in the law fixing the rates of posttendering service far in excess of our wants. age on newspapers, periodicals and sealed packages

“ The operations of the Vavy Department have of certain kinds, and specially to the recommenda. been necessarily restricted by the fact that sufficient tion of the Secretary, in which I concur, that you time has not yet elapsed for the purchase or con provide at once for the assumption by him of the struction of more than a limited number of vessels control of our entire postal service. adapted to the public service. Two vessels purchased In the military organization of the States, prohave been named the Sumler and Macree, and are vision is made for Brigadier and Major-Generals ; now being prepared for sea, at New Orleans, with but in the army of the Confederate States the highall possible dispatch. Contracts have also been est grade is that of Brigadier-General. Hence it made at that city with two different establishments will no doubt sometimes occur that where troops of for the casting of ordnance, cannon, shot, and shell, | the Confederacy do duty with the militia, the Gene. with the view to encourage the manufacture of these ral selected for the command and possessed of the articles, so indispensable for our defense, at as many views and purposes of this Government, will be supoints within our territory as possible.

perseded by an officer of the militia not having the “ I call your attention to the recommendation of same advantages. To avoid this contingency in the the Secretary for the establishment of a magazine least objectionable manner, I recommend that and laboratory for preparation of ordnance stores, additional rank be given to the General of the Con. and the necessary appropriation for that purpose. federate army, and concurring in the policy of har. Hitherto such stores have usually been pre- ing but one grade of Generals in the army of the pared at the Navy-yards, and no appropriation was Confederacy, I recommend that the law of its organ. made at your last session for this object.

ization be amended, so that the grade be that of “ The Secretary also calls attention to the fact that General. no provision has been made for the payment of in- To secure a thorough military education, it is valid pensions to our own citizens. Many of these deemed essential that officers should enter upon persons are advanced in life, they have no means of the study of their profession at an early period of life, support, and by the secession of these States, have and have elementary instruction in a military school. been deprived of their claim against the Govern- Until such school shall be established, it is recom. ment of the United States. I recommend the ap-mended that cadets be appointed and attached to propriation of the sum neceseary to pay these pen-companies until they shall have attained the age sioners, as well as those of the army, whose claims and have acquired the knowledge to fit them for the can scarcely exceed $70,000 per annum.

duties of Lieutenants. “ The Postmaster-General has already succeeded “I also call your attention to an omission in the law in organizing his department to such an extent as organizing the army, in relation to military chap to be in readiness to assume the direction of our lains, and recommend that provision be made for postal affairs, on the occurrence of the contingency their appointnient. contemplated by the Act of March 15, 1861, or even " In conclusion, I congratulate you on the fact that, 800ner if desired by Congress. The various books in every portion of our country, there has been ex• and circulars have been prepared and measures taken hibited the most patriotic devotion to our common to secure supplies of blanks, postage stamps, stamp. cause. Transportation companies have freely ten. ed envelopes, mail-bags, locks, keys, &c. He pre- dered the use of their lines for troops and supplies. sents a detailed classification and arrangement of The Presidents of the railroads of the Confedera. his clerical force, and asks for its increase. An cy, in company with others who control lives of

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