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and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly ratifying and adopting amendments to the said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded, and abrogated. And we do further declare and ordain. that the Union now subsisting between the State of Georgia and other States under the name of the United States, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State." Immediately after the adoption of this ordinance Fort Pulaski was taken possession of by the troops of Georgia, acting under the order of the Gover or of the State.

But the catalogue of Rebel States was not yet complete. On the 28th of January, 1861, the convention summoned in Louisiana passed the secession ordinance. The usual process of plunder against the property of the United States ensued immediately after the passage of this ordinance; and revenue cutters, arsenals, moneys, and other effects of the United States, were seized by the orders of the Governor of the State. It was not until the 1st of February that the last of the States, which at that time united their fortunes with the secessionists, consummated the act. On that day Texas withdrew, by a vote of her convention, from the Federal Union.




NOTWITHSTANDING the rapidity with which the act of secession had been consummated in so many of the disaffected States, hopes were entertained that a resort to arms might yet be averted, and the schism be eventually healed. Several efforts were made in Congress to pass resolutions so amending the Federal Constitution as to satisfy the South. But those efforts failed, for two reasons: First, because it was not possible, in the nature of things, where such antagonistic interests and principles existed, for any amendment to be made to the Constitution which would meet the requirements and conscientious convictions of honest statesmen on the subject in dispute. Secondly, because it was equally impossible, in such a case, to propose any amendment which would find favor with selfish party leaders, with mercenary politicians, who flourish by means of the distinctions and strifes of factions, and whose occupation would be utterly gone if concord and unanimity prevailed throughout the whole country. Hence it was that, during the brief remainder of Mr. Buchanan's term of office, the several efforts which were made in Congress to heal the difficulty proved abortive.

Other expedients which were adopted elsewhere were equally inefficient. One of these deserves to be noticed. It became the fashion in many of the cities of the North to hold public meetings, at which resolutions were adopted, setting forth how much the inhabitants of the free States deprecated the secession of the South; how much they abominated abolitionists and fanatics of every description; how earnestly they desired the South to draw a broad and clear distinction between these fanatics and the great mass of the conservative people of the North; how much the latter valued the good will and the intelligence, which really meant the commerce and the trade, of the slave States. These demonstrations instead of accomplishing the end intended by them, merely excited the contempt of Southern fanatics, and gave the entire population of the Cotton States an undue conception of their own importance. If they had not been deficient

in arrogance before, their vanity became greatly exaggerated afterward, in consequence of these pusillanimous and mercenary movements at the North. As soon as the several States had seceded, many of those persons who had, within their respective limits, opposed the act on various grounds, gradually yielded to the pressure of the prevalent sentiments hostile to the North, changed their position, and gave in their adhesion to the opponents of the Union. The most extraordinary instance of such conversion was that of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia. That able man, as we have already stated, had at first opposed secession, and had refused to sign the ordinance when it was passed by the convention. But immediately afterward, when he discovered that his State no longer remained in any respect identified with the Federal Union, and that there could be no further prospect of dignities and honors for him in that Union, he began to waver in his position. The art and tact with which he prepared the way for his complete apostacy are worthy of notice. Nothing could have been more adroit or more specious. He wrote a preamble and resolution, which were adopted by the convention, to the following effect: "Whereas, the lack of unanimity in the action of this convention on the passage of the ordinance of secession indicates a difference of opinion amongst the members of the convention, not so much as to the rights which Georgia claims, or the wrongs of which she complains, as to the remedy and its application before a resort to other means of redress; and whereas it is desirable to give expression to that intention, which really exists among all the members of the convention, to sustain the State in the course of action which she has pronounced to be proper for the occasion; therefore, resolved, that all the members of this convention, including those who voted against the ordinance as well as those who voted for it, will sign the same as a pledge of the unanimous determination of this convention to sustain and defend the State in this her course of remedy, with all its responsibilities and consequences, without regard to individual approval or disapproval of its adoption." That is to say, those who voted against secession, and refused to sign the ordinance, promised, nevertheless, to sustain the State in the execution of it; those who condemned secession, and regarded it as pernicious, illegal and wrong, would nevertheless support those to their utmost who have pledged themselves to adhere to that pernicious, illegal and injurious policy to whatever results it may lead! American political history presents many instances of profound and logical reasoning, of consistent and cohesive policy; but we imagine that this case transcends the rest!

At this period all the representatives of the seceding States in the Federal Congress, except Mr. Bouligny of Louisiana, had resigned their seats and returned to their constituents. During the month of January, 1861, a number of the conventions which had passed the ordinance of Secession continued to sit, and to adopt those additional measures, which were rendered necessary in consequence of their withdrawal from the Union. The


Georgia Convention demanded from the Federal Government possession of all the Federal property within the limits of that State; and appointed commissioners to proceed to the other apostate States, and give them counsel and encouragement. The convention of Alabama adopted a resolution approving of the action of the representatives of the State in withdrawing from the Federal Congress. All the conventions of the seceding States elected delegates to the Congress which had been appointed to meet at Montgomery, Alabama, for the purpose of establishing a Southern Confederacy. The Convention of Florida commended the action. of Commodore Armstrong, who, being in command of the Pensacola Navy Yard at that time, surrendered it to the authorities of the State, without making the least effort at resistance. We fancy that Commodore Armstrong, will scarcely take rank, in the history of this memorable war, by the side of Anderson, Slemmer, Ellsworth, Lyon, and other heroic defenders of the Union.


Thus had these seven States, which once formed a part of this beneficent Union, persisted in the suicidal act of completely destroying their connection with it. All the preliminary steps toward the establishment of a rival, and perhaps a hostile, republic in the South had now been successively taken. The foundations of the new political edifice had been laid with a degree of prudence, resolution and harmony worthy of a more glorious and commendable enterprise. The Southern Congress of Montgomery, destined to achieve an unenviable immortality, was about to convene and to complete all the features and details of the architectural monstor which had been begun.

The Congress of the seceded States met at Montgomery, Alabama, on Monday, February 4th, 1861. They assembled in the Senate chamber of the Capitol. A full representation from every Rebel State appeared and took their seats. The convention was called to order by Mr. Chilton, a delegate from Alabama. He moved that R. W. Barnwell, of South Carolina, be chosen temporary Chairman. The motion prevailed. Mr. Barnwell took the chair and made a thankful speech. He then invited the Rev. Dr. Manly to offer a prayer. That individual at once came forward and prayed. The chairman then reminded the convention that the first duty which devolved upon them was to provide for their more perfect organization by electing permanent officers. But it appears that the chairman was precipitate in his suggestion; for Mr. Rhett rose and asserted that the first thing in order was not that measure, but to examine and approve the credentials of the delegates. The chairman admitted the truth of the observation, and the verification was commenced. That preliminary process being completed, the delegates signed the roll. The whole convention consisted of forty-one members, one delegate only being


The Congress being thus organized, Mr. Rhett proposed that the body proceed at once to the election of permanent officers; and without giving

the members any opportunity to express their approval or their disapproval of the proposition, he proceeded to nominate Howell Cobb, of Georgia, as President of the convention. He also proposed that the election be made by acclamation. This proposition was also complied with, and Mr. Cobb was chosen by the acclamatory process. The result being announced, and indeed being plainly apparent of itself, it was followed by "much. applause." Mr. Cobb then took the chair, and addressed the convention. He, too, was oppressed with more than an ordinary and painful degree of grateful emotion; but he gave utterance to the best of his ability to his "sincere thanks" for the honor conferred upon him; after which the remaing officers of the Congress were elected. These also received their honors by the exaggerated and superfluous process of acclamation. Mr. Stephens then moved that a committee be appointed to report rules for the government of the convention. This proposition was agreed to; and the committee being appointed, the proceedings of the first day terminated.

It is not pertinent to our purpose to follow the details of the less important transactions of this Congress. We will allude merely to those of leading interest, and having a direct bearing upon the events which ensued. The body adopted the novel, but doubtless commendable, expedient of holding secret sessions, so that a portion of their transactions remains unknown to the general public. Resolutions were passed from day to day perfecting the organization of the new Confederacy. The most important of these had reference to the adoption of a Constitution, the election of Executive officers, providing suitable buildings and accomodations for the inferior functionaries of the Confederacy, and selecting a flag and other emblematical and official contrivances. On the sixth day of their deliberations the delegates adopted a Constitution, which had been reported by the committee appointed for that purpose. This Constitution was termed a "provisonal" one, intended to govern the new Confederacy for one year from the inauguration of the future President, or until a permanent confederation between the States should be put in operation.

On the same day which was signalized by the adoption of this Constitution, the chief executive officers of the new republic were chosen by the Congress Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected President, and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia Vice President. It must be admitted that great sagacity and prudence were exhibited in the selections thus made. Among the very considerable number of eminent men who resided within the limits of the Rebel States, it is probable that none could have been chosen so well adapted to the peculiar positions which were then to be filled. It was evident that the future President must needs be a man possessing both civil and military talents. He should be familiar with the machinery and principles of government in the cabinet, as well as with the command and conduct of an army in the field. He should also be well acquainted with the structure and aims of that great and powerful

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