14 Series IV Volume I- Serial 127 - Correspondence, Orders, Reports and Returns of the Confederate Authorities, December 20, 1860 – June 30, 1862
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co-operation among the Southern States, and to that movement I would respectfully ask your attention, and through you solicit the co-operation of Alabama.
There is yet another subject upon which the very highest considerations appeal for a united Southern expression. On the 4th of March next the Federal Government, unless contingencies now unlooked for occur, will pass into the control of the Republican party. So far as the policy of the incoming administration is foreshadowed in the antecedents of the President elect, in the enunciations of its representative men and the avowals of the press, it will be to ignore the acts of sovereignty thus proclaimed by Southern States, and of coercing the continuance of the Union. Its inevitable result will be civil war of the most fearful and revolting character. Now, however the people of the South may differ as to the mode and measure of redress, I take it that the fifteen slave holding states are united in opposition to such a policy, and would stand in solid column to resist the application of force by the Federal authority to coerce the seceding States. But it is of the utmost importance that before such a policy is attempted to be inaugurated the voice of the South should be heard in potential, official, and united protest. Possibly the incoming administration would not be so dead to reason as after such an expression to persist in throwing the country into civil war, and we may therefore avert the calamity. An attempt "to enforce the laws" by blockading two or three Southern States would be regarded as quite a different affair from a declaration of war against 13,000,000 of freemen; and if Mr. Lincoln and his advisers be made to realize that such would be the issue of the "force policy," it will be abandoned. Should we not realize to our enemies that consequence and avert the disastrous results? But if our enemies be crazed by victory and power and madly persist in their purpose, the South will be better prepared to resist.
You ask the co-operation of the Southern States in order to redress our wrongs. So do we. You have no hope of a redress in the Union. We yet look hopefully to assurances that a powerful reaction is going on at the North. You seek a remedy in secession from the Union. We wish the united action of the slave States, assembled in convention within the Union. You would act separately; we unitedly. If Alabama and the other slave States would meet us in convention, say at Nashville or elsewhere, as early as the 5th day of February, I do not doubt that we would agree in forty-eight hours upon such reasonable guarantees, by way of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as would command at least the approbation of our numerous friends in the free States, and by giving them time to make the question with the people there, such a reaction in public opinion might yet take place as to secure us our rights and save the Government. If the effort failed the South would be united to a man, the North divided, the horrors of civil war would be averted (if anything can avert the calamity). And if that be not possible we would be in a better position to meet the dreadful collision. By such action, too, if it failed to preserve the Government, the basis of another confederacy would have been agreed upon, and the new government would in this mode be launched into operation much more speedily and easily than by the action your propose.
In addition to the foregoing, I have the honor to refer you to may letter of the 16th ultimo to the editor of the Yeoman and to my letter to the Governors of the slave States, dated the 9th of December, here-
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