37 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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of this party, the General Assembly of Alabama at the session of 1859-'60 adopted joint resolutions by which it was made the duty of the Governor, upon the election of its candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, to call a convention of the people to "consider, determine, and do whatever, in the opinion of said convention, the rights, interests, and honor of the State of Alabama require too be done for their protection. " The Governor, by authority of said joint resolutions, and with the full concurrence of his own opinion, did, on the 6th day of this month, issue a proclamation calling said convention to assemble on the 7th day of January next. Commissioned to advise and consult with Your Excellency, it would be improper to declare at this time and in this communication what, in my opinion, will be the action of that convention. I will simply suggest that the hope of obtaining new and sufficient guaranties, by way of constitutional amendments or otherwise, has abandoned the hearts of all, event the most moderate Southern men. The expression of Republican presses and the representative men in and out of Congress, the futile efforts of the Senate and House committees, and the persistent silence of Mr. Lincoln have extinguished the last ray of such hope. But even if new guaranties could be obtained, they can bring no sense of security to the Southern mind; they would prove a temporary and delusive truce, a broken reed to pierce hereafter. The slave-holding States have never complained of the insufficiency of the Constitution or of the want of additional and further guaranties. They have asked no more than the faithful observance of those which are contained in the present Constitution. New guaranties will be utterly valueless without an entire revolution in the public temper, prejudices, opinions, sentiments, and education of the people of the non-slave-holding States. Laws passed in compliance with such new guaranties for the security and protection of property in slaves will avail nothing where their execution depends upon the Republican appointees of a Republican President.
Speaking from what I am assured is the determination of the people of the State of Alabama and from what I know to be the opinion of her Governor, they do not propose to violate any section or clause of the Constitution in this movement. Whilst Alabama continues a member of the Union the people and Chief Executive intend, as it is their proud boast to have ever done, to regard and observe that instrument as a sacred compact. Hence the State of Alabama, being in the Union and prohibited by the third clause of the tenth section of the first article of the Constitution, does not propose co-operation in the sense of entering into any agreement or compact with another State or States to abolish the Federal Government or to secede from this prohibition of the Constitution no longer restrains or operates upon the sovereign right "to contract alliances, and do all the other acts and things which independent States may of right do. " This sufficiently answers the objection, so constantly urged, that several of the cotton States are determined to precipitate the act of secession, and disregard the situation and interests of their sister slave-holding States by refusing to meet them in convention. The people of Alabama recognize the right of the people of each other State to decide upon any infraction of their rights by the Federal Government, and to determine the mode and measure of redress.
The people of Alabama, however, also understand and will observe the comity which should exist between sovereign States, and especially
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