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from booming cannon.' It could not be less than offensive to the heart and to the intelligence of the American people to comment gravely on this humiliating transaction. Its true character has already been determined by the public voice, and that voice will doubtless find its echo in the judgment of history.

"The reference in the concluding sentence of the paragraph is not to the reenforcement which had been contemplated by the Brooklyn, but to that which was attempted by the Star of the West. This is denounced as a concealed trick, first conceived by General Scott, and adopted' of course with a knowledge of its character-by Secretary Holt,' and the impression left upon the mind of the reader is, that as soon as the President became aware of the trick' it was countermanded by him, but too late. If it was not designed to make this impression, then the animadversion of the Honorable Seeretary would lose most if not all its point, as it was his evident purpose to sharpen his censure of General Scott and myself, by leaving it to be inferred that our action had been without the sanction of the

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President. As the effort to reenforce Fort Sumter was the most responsible act of the War Department during my brief connection with its Adminis tration, it is due alike to the public and to my own reputation that the calumnious imputation cast upon it by the paragraph quoted should be promptly met and refuted. That refutation will be furnished by the following correspondence:

stated to you my reason for this suspension, which you
knew, from its nature, would be speedily removed. In con.
sequence of your request, however, I promised that these
orders should not be renewed" without being previously
considered and decided in Cabinet." This promise was
faithfully observed on my part. In order to carry it into
effect I called a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 2d
January, 1861, in which the question of sending reenforce-
ments to Fort Sumter was amply discussed both by yourself
and others. The decided majority of opinion was against
you. At this moment the answer of the South Carolina
"Commissioners" to my communication to them of 31st De-
cember was received and read. It produced much indigna-
tion among the members of the Cabinet After a further
brief conversation I employed the following language: "It
is now all over, and reenforcements must be sent." Judge
Black said, at the moment of my decision, that, after this
letter, the Cabinet would be unanimous, and I heard no dis-
senting voice. Indeed, the spirit and tone of the letter left
no doubt on my mind that Fort Sumter would be imme-
forcements there without delay.
diately attacked, and hence the necessity of sending reen.

"While you admit "That en Wednesday, January 2d, this subject was again discussed in Cabinet," you say, "but certainly no conclusion was reached, and the War Department was not justified in ordering recnforcements without

something more than was then said." You are certainly
mistaken in alleging that "no conclusion was reached." In
this your recollection is entirely different from that of your
four oldest colleagues in the Cabinet. Indeed, my language
was so unmistakable that the Secretaries of War and the
Navy proceeded to act upon it without any further inter-
course with myself than what you heard, or might have
heard me say. You had been so emphatic in opposing these
reenforcements, that I thought you would resign in conse-
quence of my decision. I deeply regret that you have been
mistaken in point of fact, though I believe honestly mistaken.
Still it is certain you have not the less been mistaken.
"Yours, very respectfully,



"Nothing can be added to the force and distinct

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"WASHINGTON, January 8, 1861. SIR-It is with extreme regret I have just learned that additional troops have been ordered to Charleston. This subject has been frequently discussed in Cabinet Council; and when, on Monday night, 31st of December ultimo, the order for reenforcements to Fort Sumter were counter-ness of the testimony thus borne by the President manded, I distinctly understood from you that no order of the kind would be made without being previously considered and decided in Cabinet. It is true that on Wednesday, January 2d, this subject was again discussed in Cabinet, but certainly no conclusion was reached, and the War Department was not justified in ordering reenforcements without something more than was then said. I learn, however, this morning, for the first time, that the steamer Star of the West sailed from New York, last Saturday night, with 250 men, under Lieutenant Bartlett, bound for Fort Sumiter. Under these circumstances I feel myself bound to resign my commission, as one of your constitutional advisers, into your hands.

"With high respect, your obedieut servant, "J. THOMPSON. "His Excellency JAMES BUCHANAN,

'President of the United States.'

"WASHINGTON, January 9, 1861. "SIR-I have received and accepted your resignation, on yesterday, of the office of Secretary of the Interior.

"On Monday evening, 31st December, 1860, I suspended

and the four oldest members of his Cabinet. So far from the movement for the reenforcement of Fort Sumter having been a concealed trick,' it was repeatedly and frankly discussed in the Cabinet, and, when a conclusion was finally reached, the resolution of the President was announced in terms as emphatic as he probably ever addressed to one of his Secretaries. It is now all over, and reenforcements must be sent,' was his language; and these words were spoken in open council, the Honorable Secretary of the Interior himself being present. It was in strict accordance with the command thus given that the Star of the West was chartered and the reenforcements sent forward. In all these circumstances the public will look in vain for any traces of trick' on the part of General Scott or of the Secretary of war. It is true that, in the hope of

the orders which had been issued by the War and Navy De- avoiding a waste of human life, an endeavor was

partments to send the Brooklyn with recuforcements to Fort Sumter. Of this I informed you on the same evening. I

made to conceal' the expedition from the hostile troops in charge of the forts and batteries in

Charleston harbor; but this endeavor the vigilance | honor certainly needs no defense at my hands and zeal of the Secretary defeated. against the aspersions of the present or of any other assailant.

"The countermand' spoken of was not more cordially sanctioned by the President than it was by General Scott and myself. It was given, not be cause of any dissent from the order on the part of the President, but because of a letter received that day from Major Anderson, stating, in effect, that he regarded himself as secure in his position, and yet more because of intelligence which, late on Saturday evening reached the Department, that a heavy battery had been erected among the sand-hills at the entrance to Charleston harbor, which would probably destroy any unarmed vessel (and such was the Star of the West) which might attempt to make its way up to Fort Sumter. This important information satisfied the Government that there was no present necessity for sending reenforcements, and that, when sent, they should go, not in a vessel of commerce, but of war. Hence the countermand was dispatched by telegraph to New York, but the vessel had sailed a short time before it reached the officer to whom it was addressed.

"This plain statement is submitted in the belief that, before an intelligent and candid public, it will afford a complete vindication of my conduct, as well as of the conduct of that illustrious patriot and soldier. Lieutenant-General Scott, whose stainless

"It is well known that a persistent falsification of the policy and conduct of the late Administration in its relations to the South, has proved a potent in strumentality for inflaming the popular mind of that distracted portion of our country, thus giving an ever-increasing impetus to the revolution; and the fact that the telegraph and the press have been under the absolute direction of those controlling this movement, has rendered resistence to this instrumentality impracticable. Whatever purposes, therefore, were expected to be accomplished by the circulation of the paragraph which has been expos ed, will probably be attained, since the antidote now offered cannot possibly pursue the poison into all its ramifications. If, however, this explanation shall seem to win the confidence of those true-hearted patriots who still love our Union better than all the spoils and power which revolution can promise. then I shall little regard the condemnation of men who, for the last two months, have incessantly denounced me throughout the South, simply and solely because I have refused to blacken my soul with per jury, by betraying the Government of my country, while in its service.


'Washington, March 5th, 1861.



Among the documents found at the taking of Fernandina, Florida, by the Union forces, was the following letter from Yulee, of Florida, giving the results of the Conference of Southern Congressmen, held in Washington on the evening of January 6th, 1861-referred to on pages 175-176 of this volume: "WASHINGTON, January 7, 1861. "MY DEAR SIR: On the other side is a copy of resolutions adopted at a

consultation of the Senators from the seceding States-in which Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida were present.

"The idea of the meeting was that the States should go out at once, and provide for the early organization of a Confederate Government, not later than 15th February. This time is allowed to enable Louisiana and Texas to participate. It seemed to be the opinion that if we left here, force, loan, and volunteer bills might be passed, which would put Mr. Lincoln in immediate condition for hostilitieswhereas by remaining in our places until the 4th of March, it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr Bu chanan tied, and disable the Republicans from effecting

any legislation which will strengthen the hands of the incoming Administration.

"The resolutions will be sent by the delegation to the President of the Convention. I have not been able to find Mr. Mallory this morning. Hawkins [the member from Florida] is in Connecticut. I have therefore thought it best to send you this copy of the resolutions. In haste,

"Yours truly, D. L. YULEE. "JOSEPH FINEGAN, Esq., (Sovereignty Conference,') Tallahassee, Fla."

The resolutions referred to in this letter read as follows:

"Resolved, 1. That in our opinion each of the Southera States should, as soon as may be, secede from the Union. "Resolved, 2. That provision should be made for a Con vention to organize a Confederacy of the secaling States, the Confederacy to meet no later than the 15th of February, al the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama.

"Resolved, That in view of the hostile legislation that is threatened against the Seceding States, and which may h consummated before the 4th of March, we ask instruct whether the delegations are to remain in Congress un skull date, for the purpose of defeating such legislation.

"R solved, That a Committee be and are hereby appointed consisting of Messrs. Davis, Slidell, and Mallory, to carry ou the objects of this meeting."







WE, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity-invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God-do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America:


All legislative powers herein delegated shall be vested in a Congress of the Confederate States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.


1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States; and the electors in each State shall be citizens of the Confederate States, and have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature; but no person of foreign birth, not a citizen of the Confederate States, shall be allowed to vote for any officer, civil or political, State or Federal.

2. No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States, which may be included within this Confederacy, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined, by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all slaves. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the Confederate States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall, by law, direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every fifty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of South Carolina shall be entitled to choose six; the State of Georgia ten; the State of Alabama nine; the State of Mississippi seven; the State of Louisiana six, and the State of Texas six.

4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

5. The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment; except that any judicial or other federal officer resident and acting solely within

the limits of any State, may be impeached by a vote of two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature thereof.


1. The Senate of the Confederate States shall be

composed of two Senators from each State, chosen for six years by the Legislature thereof, at the regu lar session next immediately preceding the commencement of the term of service; and each Senator shall have one vote.

2. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year; of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; and that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

3. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States; and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of the State for which he shall be chosen.

4. The Vice-President of the Confederate States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

5. The Senate shall choose their other officers; and also a President pro tempore in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the Confederate States.

6. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Confederate States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

7. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit, under the Confederate States; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.


1. The times, places, and manner of holding the elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof, subject to the provisions of this Constitution; but the Congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the time and places of choosing Senators.

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.


1. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel

propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

2. Every bill which shall have passed both Houses, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the Confederate States; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if

the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide. 2. Each House may determine the rules of its pro-approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall be

ceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two-thirds of the whole number, expel a member.

3. Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require secresy, and the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

4. Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.


1. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the Confederate States. They shall, in all cases, except treason, and breach of the peace, be privileged

from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and re

come a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjourn ment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a law. The President may approve any appro

priation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill. In such case he shall, in signing the bill, designate the appropriations disapproved; and shall return a copy of such appropriations, with his objections, to the House in which the bill shall have originated; and the same proceedings shall then be had as in case of other bills disapproved by the President.

3. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary (ex cept on a question of adjournment), shall be pre

sented to the President of the Confederate States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be ap

turning from the same; and for any speech or de- proved by him; or, being disapproved by him, may bate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place.

2. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the Confederate States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the Confederate States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office. But Con

gress may, by law, grant to the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments a seat upon the floor of either House, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department.


1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may

be re-passed by two-thirds of both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.


The Congress shall have power:

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, for revenue necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense and carry on the Gov ernment of the Confederate States; but no bounties

shall be granted from the treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.

2. To borrow money on the credit of the Confede rate States.

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and






among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; but neither this nor any other clause contained in the Constitution shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce, except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors, and the removing of obstructions in river navigation; in all which cases such duties shall be laid on the navigation facilitated thereby as may be necessary to pay the costs and expenses thereof.

4. To establish uniform laws of naturalization and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the Confederate States; but no law of Congress shall discharge any debt contracted before the passage of the same.

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and


6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the Confederate States.

7. To establish post-offices and post-routes; but the expenses of the Post-Office Department, after the first day of March in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be paid out of its

own revenues.

8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

17. To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of one or more States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the Confederate States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; and

18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Confederate States, or in any department or officer thereof. SECTION 9.

1. The importation of negroes of the African race, from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

2. Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy.

3. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall require it. 4. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro siaves, shall be passed.

5. No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration

9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme herein before directed to be taken. Court.

10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations.

11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

12. To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

13. To provide and maintain a navy.

14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Confederate States, suppress insurrection, and repel invasions.

16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the Confederate States; reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

6. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses.

7. No preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce or revenue, to the ports of one State over those of another.

8. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

9. Congress shall appropriate no money from the treasury, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, taken by yeas and nays, unless it be asked and estimated for by some one of the Heads of Departments, and submitted to Congress by the President; or for the purpose of paying its own expenses and contingencies; or for the payment of claims against the Confederate States, the justice of which shall have been judicially declared by a tribunal for the investigation of claims against the Government, which it is hereby made the duty of Congress to establish.

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