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izing a provisional government. This body adopted a Consti tution for the Confederate States on the 8th of February. On the 9th of February, Congress proceeded to the election of a President and Vice-President, and unanimously agreed upon Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, for President, and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, for Vice-President. Mr. Davis was inaugurated Provisional President on the 18th of February, and delivered an address, explaining the revolution as a change of the constituent parts, but not the system, of the government, and referring to the not unreasonable expectation that, with a Constitution differing only from that of their fathers, in so far as it was explanatory of their well-known intent, freed from sectional conflicts, the States from which they had recently parted might seek to unite their fortunes to those of the new Confederacy.
President Buchanan had, in his message to Congress, denounced Secession as revolutionary, but had hesitated at the logical conclusion of the right of "coercion," on the part of the Federal Government, as not warranted by the text of the Constitution. Timid, secretive, cold, and with no other policy than that of selfish expediency, the remnant of his administration was marked by embarrassment, double-dealing, and weak and contemptible querulousness. He had not hesitated, under the pressure of Northern clamor, to refuse to order Major Anderson back to Fort Moultrie, thus violating the pledge that he had given to the South Carolina authorities, that the military status of the United States in Charleston harbor should not be disturbed during his administration. He added to the infamy of this perfidy by a covert attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter, under the specious plea of provisioning a “starving garrison;" and when the Federal steamship, the Star of the West, which was sent on this mission, was, on the 9th of January, driven off Charleston harbor by the South Carolina batteries on Morris Island, he had the hardihood to affect surprise and indignation at the reception given the Federal reinforcements, and to insist that the expedition had been ordered with the concurrence of his Cabinet, including Mr. Thompson, of Mississippi, then Secretary of the Interior, who repelled the slander, denounced the movement as underhanded, and as a breach not only of good faith towards South Carolina,