20 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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those dangers and to unite those States in a common union in defense of their rights. I left this place on the 13th of December last, and arrived in Columbia, the place of meeting of the South Carolina convention, and where the Legislature was still in session, on the 14th, about 5 p. m. The lateness of the hour of my arrival prevented my calling upon the Governor on that evening. My arrival had been expected, and immediately on reaching my hotel I was called on by numerous persons, members of the Legislature and others, who were filled with the deepest anxiety to ascertain the feeling of this State, and who were greatly cheered by the intelligence I felt authorized to communicate. On the morning of the 15th I waited on the Governor at his house and presented my credentials. I was warmly received by him, who entered into a full and frank communication on the objects of my mission, the state of public sentiment in South Carolina and other slave-holding States, with the Governors of several of which he had been in correspondence, and also in the p reparation which South Carolina had made and was making to maintain her sovereignty and independence, if on her secession from the Union the Federal Government should attempt to coerce her back into the Union by force.
From the moment of my arrival I was in constant communication with members of the Legislature and other distinguished men in that State and with most of the delegates to t he convention as they arrived, and sought a full consultation and interchange of opinion on the matters with which I was charged. On the 15th of December the Hon. Mr. Hooker, the commissioner from the State of Mississippi to South Carolina, arrived in Columbia, charged with the same objects of consultation as myself, with whom I freely conferred on the nature of our mission. The result of al the information thus obtained confirmed the opinion entertained by me before I left this place, and in which I was pleased to find that Your Excellency concurred. That opinion was that the only course to unite the Southern States in any plan of co-operation which could promise safety was for South Carolina to take the lead and secede at once from the Federal Union without delay or hesitation, and that any other plan would prevent co-operation for submission and not for resistance; that the only effective plan of resistance by co-operation must ensue after one State had seceded and presented the issue, when the plain question must be presented to the other Southern States whether they would stand by the seceding State engaged in a common cause or abandon her to the fate of coercion by the arms of the Government of the United States. In this opinion Mr. Hooker also concurred, and on all proper occasions I expressed it not only as my own but as the opinion of Your Excellency.
The convention was organized on the 17th of December, and on that night Mr. Hooker and myself were invited by it to address that body, which we did. In my speech I announced to the convention the character in which I appeared before it and the objects for which I had previously said to the members individually, announcing as my opinion, as supported by that of Your Excellency, that Alabama, through her convention, would unquestionably follow the great example set by South Carolina, and that there would be a large majority in our convention in favor of the secession of our State. Mr. Hooker expressed the same opinion, and gave the convention assurances of a large majority in Mississippi in favor of her secession. On the day of its organization the convention adopted a resolution that the State of South Carolina forthwith secede from the Federal Union, which passed unanimously, and appointed a committee to draft and prepare an ordinance of
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