Page images
PDF
EPUB

ID

to institute a new government, laying its foundation on first sounded they rushed to the defence of such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as

glorious Old Virginia, and they were always to to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness; that on there principles, embodied in the Decla- be found where the battle raged the fiercest. ration of American Independence, the United Colonies, in

to 1776. dissolved the connection that bound them to the Gov. I the call for a convention of States. ernment of Great Britain, and on them the Confederate

Be beStates have severed the bonds of that political union which lieved a convention of the States impracticable connected them with the people of the government of the at this time. A majority of the States would United States of America, rather than submit to the re

not send delegates to such a convention. His peated injuries inflicted upon them by that people, and to the usurpations of that government, all of which had the State had spoken out; she wanted no peace direct object to deprive them of their rights, rob them of which did not bring independence with it. We their property, secured to them by constitutional guar- Texans, wbo had been for four years battling anty, and to establish an absoluto tyrunny over these States.

for our liberties, would be gatisfied with potb. Resolved, That the Confederate States appealed to arms ing short of independence. He did not ques. in defence of these rights and to establish these principles ' tion the patriotism of those who believed in only after they had in vain coujured the people of the government of the United States, by all the ties of a common any other association than that prescribed by kindred, to discountenance and discontinue these injuries

mus and usurpations, and after they had petitioned for redress, united ; that was the sure road to peace and in. in the most appropriate terms, and received in answer only a repetition of insults and injuries, which foreshadowed dependence. He did not deny that our people usurpations still more dangerous to liberty.

were depressed, but it was caused by the dis. Rrsolred, That, after nearly four years of cruel, devas. | pelling of the illusions of peace. by the tritatiug, and unnatural war, in which the people of the Confederate States have unquestionably established their ca- umphant march of Sherian through Georgis. pacity for self-government, and their ability to resist the l and attempts of the enemy to subjugate them, this Congress / Mr. Brown said that nothing had fallen so does not hesitate to avow ita sincere desire for peace, and to that end proclaim to the world the readiness of the gov

ss of the gove gratefully upon his ears as the heroic resoluernment of the Confederate States to open negotiations to cions passed by the Legislature of the heroic establish a permanent and honorable peace between the state of Texas. He did not believe that we Confederate States and the United States, upon the basis of the separate independence of the former.

could get honesty and fair dealing from the Resolved, that the time has come when the Confederate Yankees until we had thrashed it into them. Congress, in the name of the people of the Confederate | In his opinion we would have peace when we States, deem it proper again to proclaim to the world their unalterable determination to be free; and that they do not conquered it at the point of the bayonet and abato one jot of their bigh resolve to die freemen rather the mouth of the capnon. than live slaves; and, further, if the people of the United | Mr. WIGFALL wag at the seat of government States, by re-electing Abraham Lincoln, mean to tender to them four years more of war or re-union with them on any of his State when these resolutions were introterms, deeply deprecating the dire necessity so wautonly duced, and he informed the Senate that tbey thrust upon them, and relying upon the justice of their

ir expressed the sentiment of his people. The cause and the gallantry of their soldiers, they accept the gauge of battle, and louve the result to the righteous arbi | resolutions were ordered to be printed. trament of Ileaven.

Resolved. That in view of the determination of the enemy | JEFFERSON DAVIS ON STATE NEGOTIATION FOR to prosecute this horrid war still further, against which

PEACE. the Confederate States have at all times protested, and which the enemy have waged with extraordiniry vigor,

RICHMOND, VA., Norrmber 17, 1864. and which has been marked by acts of extraordinary To the Atoms. Sonators of Genrgia-Messrs. A. R. Wright, atrocity, in violation of all the usages of civilized wariare,

(President Senate) Y. L. Guerry, J. M. Chambers, Thomas the Congress of the Confederate Staates will from this hour E. Lloyd, Frederick K. West, Robert B. Nesbat: dedicate themselves anew to the great cause of self-defence GENTLEMEN: I answered by telegraplıthis morning your against the combined tyranny of the enemy; that it shall letter of the 11th inst., As requested, and now respectfully D' Jonger be the momentary occnpation of the Congress and comply with your desire tlaut I should express my views the people of the Confederate States, but the business of their on the subject to which you invito my attention. lives, to gather together the entires rength of the country in 1 In forwariling to me the resolutions introduced into the men and material of war, and put it forth, as with the will House of Representatives of Georgia by Mr. Stephens, of of one man, and with an uncinquerable determination to Bancock, you state that you are not inclined to favor the defend their altars and their firesides till the last votary of passage of these or any similar resolutions, believing them freedom falls around them.

to have a tendency to create divisions ainong ourselves, and

| toimite and strengthen our enemies, but that it is asserted Mr. HENRY did not desire to discuss the res. | in Milledgeville that I favor such action on the part of the

States, and would be pleased to see Georgia cast her indu olutions at tbis time. He merely wished to

euce in that way. You are kind enough to say that if this bave them printed and placed upon the calen be true, and if the passage of these or similar resolutions dar. At the proper time he trusted that Sena would in the slightest degree aid or assist me in bringing

the war to a successful and speedy close, you will give tors would express their sentimenis on this

them your earnest and hearty support question, and a spirit would go out to the

I return you my cordial thanks for this expression of concou

| fidence, but assure you that there is no truth in the asser

tions which you mention, and I presume that you will alintend to achieve our independence or die in

ready have seen by the closing part of my annual message, the good fight.

which must have reaches you since the date of your letter, January 30-Mr. OLDHAM (Texas) offered a thut I have not contemplated the use of any other agency séries of resolutions, passed by the Legislature

in treating for peace than that established by the Constitu

tion of the Confederate States. of Texas, declaring the determinati n of that That agency seems to me to be well adapted to its par State to accept no terms of peace which did pose, and frev from the injurious consequences that would

follow any other means that have been suggested. not guarantee the independence of the Confed

The objection to separate State action which you present eracy. Mr. OLDHAN said that he offered these in your letter, appears to be so conclusive as to admit no resolutions, passed by the Legislature of his reply. The immediate and inevitable tendency of such

distinct action in each State is to create discordant instead State, with peculiar satisfaction and pleasure.

of united counsels, to suggest to our enemies the possibility He referred briefly to the course pursued by l of a dissolution of the Confederacy, and to encourage them, one State since the commencement of this war. by the spectacle of our divisions, to more determined action Her sons did not wait for the enemy to invade against us. her borders; but when the tocsin of war was | States of the Confederacy are disposed to abandon their

1 They would readily adopt the false idea that some of the

Aster States and make separate terms of peace for them- 1 of sentiment existed, and when a long and bloody war bad selves, and if such a suspicion, however unfounded, were been brought to a triumphant close, it required two years once engendered among our own people, it would be de to assemble a Convention and bring its deliberations to an structive of that spirit of mutual confidence and support end, and another year to procure the ratification of their which forms our chief reliance for success in the mainte| labors. With such a war as the present in progress, the Dance of our cause.

views of the large assemblage of negotiators proposed When the proposal of separate State action was first would undergo constant change, according to the vicissitude mooted, it appeared to me so impracticable, so void of any of the struggle, and the attempt to secure concordant promise of good, that I gavo no heed to the proposal; but views would soon be abandoned, and leave the parties moro upon its adoption by citizens, whose position and ability embittered than ever-less hopeful of the possibility of give weight to the expression of their opinions, I was led Buccessful negotiation. to a serious consideration of the subject. My first impres Again, how is the difficulty resulting from the conflicting sions have not been changed by reflection.

pretensions of the two belligerents in regard to several of the If all the States of the two hostile Federations are to States to be overcome? Is it supposed that Virginia would meet in Convention, it is plain that such a meeting can enter into a convention with a delegation from what our only take place after an agreement as to the time, place, enemies choose to term the “ State” of “ West Virginia," and terms on which they are to meet. Now, without dis- and thus recognize an insolent and violent dismemberment cussing the minor althongh not trifling difficulties of agree of her territory? Or would the United States consent ing as to time and place, it is certain that the States that “West Virginia" should be deprived of her pretensions wonld never consent to a Convention without a preto equal rights, after having formally admitted her as a vious agreement as to the terms on which they were to Stato, and allowed her to vote at a Presidential election ? moet.

Who would send a delegation from Louisiana, Tennessee, The proposed Convention must meet on the basis either | Kentucky, Missouri? that no State should, against its own will, be bound by the The enemy claim to hold the governments of these States, decision of the Convention, or that it should be so bound. whilo we assert them to be members of the Confederacy. Dut it is plain that an agreement on the basis that no State Would delegates be received from both sides? If so, there sbonld be bonnd, without its consent, by the result of the I would soon be a disruption of the Convention. If delegates deliberations, would be an abandonment on the part of the are received from neither side, then a number of the North of the pretended right of coereion; would be an ab-States most vitally interested in the result would remain solute recognition of the independence of the several States unrepresented, and what value could be attached to the of the Confederacy; would be in a word, so completea con- mere representations of a body of negotiators under such cession of the rightfulness of our cause that the most vis circumstances ? ionary cannot hope for such an agreement in advance of Various other considerations suggest themselves, but the meeting of a Convention.

enough lias been said to justify my conclusion that the The only other possible basis of meeting is that each State proposal of separate State action is unwise, impracticable should agree, beforehand, to be bound by the decision of and offers no prospect of good to counterbalance its manithe Convention, and such agreement is but another form of fold injurious consequences to the cause of our country. submission to Northern dominion, ng we well know that in

Very respectfully, yours, &c., such a Convention we should be ontnumbered nearly two

JEFFERSON DAVIS. to one. On the very threshold of the scheme proposed,

CONVENTION OF THE STATES. therofure, we are mot by an obstacle which cannot be remored. Is not the impracticable character of the project In December, 1864, Mr. Foote of Tennessee, apparent?

introduced two resolutions looking towards a You will observe that I leave entirely out of view the mggestion that A Convention of all the States of both Fed

conference of States. The first declares it unerations slionld be held by common consent without any patriotic for any of the rebel States to withprevious onderstanding as to the effect of its decisions

draw from the Confederacy, but allowable for should meet merely in debate and pass resolntions that are to bind no one. It is not supposed that this can really be

them to confer in their sovereign capaci'y on the meaning attached to the proposal ly those who are ac the prosecut on of the war and the attainment tive in its support, although the resolutions to which you

of peace. The second is as follows: Invite my attention declare that the function of such a Convention would be simply to propose a plan of peace. Resolved, That the present condition of the conntry is wi h the consent of the two belligerents; or, in other such as to render it eminently desirable that, for the purwords, to act as negotiators in treating for peace.

posegspecified, a convention of those States, in their highest This part of the scheme is not intelligible to me. If the sovereign capacity, should be convoked without delay. Convention is only to be helil with the consent of the two and that if such convocation should be judged for the belligerents, that consent cannot be obtained without nego present impracticable, it would bo desirable that each of tiation. The plan then would resolve itself into a scheme said States should, “ with as little delay as possible," apthat the two Governments should negotiate an agreement point a limited number of commissioners with power to for the appointment of negotiators to make proposals for a confer freely and fraternally with each other touching the treaty. It seems much moro prompt and simple to nego present condition of the country, and of offering such adtiate for peace at once than to negotiate for the appoint visory suggestions to said Confederate Government as might ment of negotiators, who are to meet without power to do be calculated to prove advantageous iu the further prosecuanything but make proposals.

tion of the existing war, or conducive to the establishment If the Government of the United States is willing to of an early and honorable peace. make peace, it will treat for peace directly. If unwilling,

These resolutions were laid on the table by a it will refuse to consent to tho Convention of States. The author of these resolutions and those who concur in his vote of 63 to 13. Those who voted in the neg. views appear to ine to commit the radical error of suppos-ative were: ing that the obstacle to obtaining the peace which we all desire consists in the difficulty of finding proper agencies

Messrs. Boll of Georgia, Boyce of Sonth Carolina, Colyar for negotiating, so that the whole scope of the resolutions

of Tennessee, Cruickshank of Alabama, Foote of Tennen onds in nothing but suggesting that, if the enemy will

seo, Fuller of North Carolina, Gilmer of North Carolina, treat, the best agency would be State Delegates to a Con

Lampkin of Georgia, J. M. Leach of North Carolina, Logan vention, whereas the whole and only obstacle is that the lof North Carolina, McMullen of Virginia, Ramsay of North enemy will not treat at all, or entertain any other propo | Carolina, Smith of North Carolina. sition than that we should sulmit to their yoke, Acknowledge that we are criminals, and appeal to their mercy for

THE MEXICAN QUESTION. par lon.

1864, November 7-Mr. MURRAY, of Tendeg. After this statement of olujections, it may appear superfluous to add others of less gravity; but as you invito see, introduced the following joint resolution : å full expression of niy views, I will add that history

The Congress of the Confederate States do resolve, That we is replete with instances of the interminable difficulties

have no syunpathy with the offorts to establish a monarchy and delays which attend the attempt to negotiate on great

in Mexioo, and that we will not, directly or indirectly, aid and conflicting interests, when the parties to the negotide in the establishment of a monarchy on the Continent of tion are numerous. If this has been the case where the

America. parties possessed full powers to conclude a treaty, what can we hope from an assembly of negotiators from thirty Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. or forty States, who, in the midst of an exasperating war. 1865, January 30-Mr. DEJARNETTE, of Virfare, are to meet without power to conclude anything?

ginia, offered the following preamble and joint In the history of our own country we find that in the time of profound poace, when the most cordial brotherhood resolution, and the House suspended the five

[ocr errors]

mina

ment for the abolition of slavery. It will further be ro

membered that Mr. Lincoln declares that the only terms on of the resolution :

which hostilities would cease, were those stated in his Whereas all nations have seen with alarm the establish | message of December last, in which we were informed that ment of any formidable power in their vicinity; and

in the event of our penitent submission, he would temper Whereas the people of the Confederate States, as well as justice with mercy; and that the question whether we the people of the Upited States, have ever cherished the would be governed as dependent territories, or permitted resolve that any further acquisition of territory in North to have a representation in their Congrese, was one on which America by any foreign power would be inconsistent with he could promise nothing, but which would be decided by their prosperity and development; and

their Congress, after our submission had been accepted. Whereas the invasion of Mexico by France has resulted, I It has not, however, buen hitherto stated to you that in as is alleged, in the establishment of a government founded the course of the conference at Fortress Monroe, a sugge on the consent of the governed; nevertheless, we have tion was made by one of our commissioners that the objec reasong to believe that ulterior designs are entertained tions entertained by Mr. Lincoln to treating with the gor. against California and the Pacific States, which we do not ernment of the Confederacy or with any separate State regard as parties to the war now waged against us, as they might be avoided by substituting for the usual mode of bave furnished neither men por money for its prosecution : negotiating through commissioners or other diplomatic therefore

agents, the method sometimes employed of a military con The Congress of the Confederate States of America do vention to be entered into by the Coinmanding Generals of resolve. That the time may not be distant when we will be the armies of the two belligerents. This, he admitted, was prepared to unite, on the basis of the independence of the a power possessed by him, though it was not thought com Confederate States, with those most interested in the mensurate with all the questioos involved. As he did not vindication of the principles of the Monroo doctrine, for accept the suggestion when made, he was afterwards re their mediation to the exclusion of all seeming violations quested to reconsider his conclusion upon the subject of a of those principles on the continent of North America.

suspension of hostilities, which he agreed to do, but said

that he had maturely considered of the plan, and had deterMr. DEJARNETTE said that if England and

mined that it could not be done. France saw that we intended to pursue the Subsequently, however, an interview with Gen. Longpolicy indicated in the resolution, they would street was asked for by Gen. Ord, coinmanding the enemy :

army of the James, during which Gen. Longstreet was in give us all we wanted and more than we hoped

formed by him that there was a possibility of arriving at a for.

satisfactory adjustment of the present unhappy difficulties, On motion of Mr. ATKINS, (Tenn.,) the pre

by means of a military convention, and that ir Gen. Lee de

sired an interview on the subject, it would not be declined, amble and resolution were referred to the Com

provided Gen. Lee bad authority to act. This commuuica mittee on Foreign Affairs.

tion was supposed to be the consequence of the suggestion

above referred to, and Gen. Lee, according to instructions, Davis's LAST MESSAGE.

wrote to Gen. Grant on the 2d of this month, proposing to Both Houses of the Rebel Congress had meet him for conference on the subject, and stating that he

was vested with the requisite authority. Gen. Grant's agreed to adjourn sine die, March 9th; but Mr.

reply stated that he had no authority to accede to the pro Davis requested them to remain in session a posed conference; that his powers extended only to make few days longer. On the 13th, he sent them a ing a convention on subjects purely of a military char.

acter, and that Gen. Ord could only have meant that an message on the state of the Confederacy, in

interview would not be refused on any subject of whicule, which allusion is made to the perils surround- Gun Grant, huu tho right to act. ing it, and these recommendations are made:

It thus appears that neither with the Confederate an

thorities, nor the authorities of any State, nor through That means be devised for securing to the

the Commanding Generals, will the Government of the officers of the supply departments two millions United States treat or make any terms or agreement whaiof dollars in coin, to supply the Virginia and ever for the cessation of hostilities. There remains, then,

for us no choice but to continue this contest to a final insne; North Carolina armies for one year. That the

for the people of the Confederacy can be but little known impressment law be modified so as not to allow to him who supposes it possible they would ever consent to public officers to impress supplies without mak purchist, at the cost of degradation and slavery, permission

to live in a couutry garrisoned by their own negroes, and ing payment of the valuation at the time of im

governed by officers sent by the conqueror to rule over pressment. That more efficient revenue meag. them. ures be passed ; that more rigorous military

WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS. bills be passed, and that a general militia law be 1865, January 20-Mr. J. M. LEACH, of N. C., enacted. Respecting the suspension of the offered the following: privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, he used Resolved, That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpUS ibis language:

is one of the great bulwarks of freedom, and that it I have heretofore, in a confidential message to the two

ought not to be suspended except in extreme cases where Houses, stated the facts which induced me to consider it

the public safety imperatively demands it; that the people Decessary that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus

of this Confederacy are united in a great struggle for libe should be suspended. The conviction of the necessity of

erty, and that no exigency exists justifying its suspenthis measure has become deeper, as the events of the

sion. struggle have been developed. Congress has not concurred The resolution was lost by the following with me in opinion. It is my duty to say that the time has arrived when the suspension of the writ is not simply ad

vote : visable and expedient, but almost indispensable to the suc YEAS-Messrs Anderson, Bell, Boyce, Branch, Clopton, cessful conduct of the war. On Congress must rost the | Colyar, Cruickshank, Darden, Foster, Fuller, Garland, Git responsibility of declining to exercise a power conferred by mer, Lumpkin, J. M. Leach, J. T. Leach, Lester, Logan, tho Constitution as a means of public safoty to be used in Marshall, Miles, Murray, Orr, Ramsay, J. M. Smith, W.E. periods of national peril resulting from foreign invasion. Smith, Turner, Wickham-26. If our present circumstances are not such as wore conteni NAY8Mesurs. Aiken, Baldwin, Barksdale, Batson, Blanplated when tiiis power was conferred, I coufeng myself at ford, Baylor, Bradley, II. W. Bruce, Chrisman, Clark, a loss to imagine any contingency in which this clause of Cluskey, Conrow, DeJaruette, Dupre, Ewing. Farrow, the Constitution will not remain a dead letter.

Gaither, Gholson, Goode, Gray, Ilanley, Hatcher, Herbert,

Hilton, Ilolder, Johnson, Keeble, Lyon, Machen, Mor, ON PEACE.

Norton, Perkins, Read, Russell, Sexton, Shewmake, SintCongress will remember that in the conference above ro- son, Suead, Staples, Triplett, Villere, Wilkes, Jr. Speaker ferred to our commissioners were informed that the Gov-|-+3. ernment of the United States would not enter into any | On motion of Mr. Russell, of Va., it was reagreement or treaty whatever with the Confederate States, nor with any single State; and that the only possible mode | ferred to the Committee on the Judiciary. of obtaining peace was by laying down our arms, disband. 1864, December 24-The same resolution was ing our forces, and yielding unconditional obedience to the laws of the United States, including those passed for the

negatived-yeas 31, gays 41, as follows: confiscatiou of our property, and the constitutional amond YEAS-Messrs. Anderson, Atkins, Ayer, Baldwin, Boyce,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Branch, Clopton, Colyar, Cruickshank, Dardon, Echols, Far.

cse row, Foster, Gaither, Garland, Hanley, Herbert, Holden, in the Senate : Lumpkin, Lester, Marshall, Menees, Miles, Simpson, J. M. Smith, W. E. Sunith, Smith, (Ala., ) Smith, (N. C..) Wick- Resolved, That five commissioners be appointed by this ham, Witherspoon-31.

General Assembly, to act with Commissioners from the NAYS-Messrs. Aiken, Barksdale, Batson, Blanford, E. M. other States of the Confederacy as a medium for negotiaBruce, H. W. Bruco, Chilton, Chrisman, Clark, Cluskey, ting a peace with the United States Conrad, Conrow, Dickenson, Dupre, Elliott, Ewing, Fun. Resolved, That each of the other States of the Consten, Gholson, Goode, Lartridge, Hatcher, Holliday, John-federacy be requested to create & similar commission, son, Keeble, Kenner, Lyon, Machen, Norton, Perkins, Pugh, with a little delay as practicabio, and to co-operate with Sexton, Showmake, Spend, Swan, Triplett, Vest, Villere, North Carolina in requesting of President I avis, in the Welsh, Wilkes, Mr. Spouker-41.

name of these sovereign States, that he tender the United 1865, March 15—The House passed a bill--

States a condition for negotiating a peace through the me.

dium of these commissioners. yeas 36, nays 32-suspending the privilege, but | Resolral, That the Governor make known to each of the the Sepate-yeas 6, nays 9-at first refused to other States of tho Confederacy this action of the General concur, but subsequently passed it, as follows:

Assembly of North Carolina, and endeavor to secure their

co-operation. Whereas the Coufederate States are invaded, and the Resolred. That whenever any five States shall have republic safety requires a suspension of the privilege of the sponded by the appointment of commissioners, the Governor writ of habeas corpus,

shall communicate the proceeding officially to President Tre Congress of ihe Confederate States of America do en- Davis, and request his prompt action upon the proposition. act, That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is here by suspended until otherwise provided by law, in all cases In December, resolutions were introduced of arrest or detention by order of the President, the Sec-recommending the appointment of a delegation retary of War, or the general officer commanding the from that body to represent all parts of the Trans-Mississippi Military Department.

Szc. 2. Until otherwiso provided by law, the said privi. State, to proceed to Washington to secure terms lege shall be suspended for sixty days from the time of ar 1 of peace. Laid over. rest, in every case of arrest or detention by order of a

The following is the report of a majority of general officer commanding an army, or a military department or district.

*** the Committee of the North Carolina LegislaSEC. 3. Every such order shall be in writing, signed by

ture, to whom were referred a series of resoluthe othcer making the same, and shall name or describe the

tions entitled “resolutions to initiate negotiaperson to be arrested or detaineil.

Sec. 4. No military officer, detaining a person by virtue tious for an honorable peace : of any such order, shall be compelled, in answer to any | The maiority of the "joint seloct committee of the two writ of habeas corpus, to appear in person, or to return the

Houses," to which were referred Senate resolutions No. 4, body of the person so detained; but upon his certificate,

entitled "resolutions to initiate negotiations for an honor. under oath, that such person is detained by him under such

able peace," report the same back to the Senate without an order, accompanied with a copy of the order, further

amendment, and renommeud that they pass. proceedings under the writ shall cense and remain sus

The majority of the committee believe that while every pended according to the provisions of the precoding sections. effort is being made to increaso and strengthen the army FINANCIAL.

by the most sovere drain upon the people, for men and 1865, March 17-A law was enacted “to

means, these extremne requirements should be accompanied

by some manifestations of an effort and desire to secure an raise coin for the purpose of furnisbing neces.

honorable peace by all other legitimate measures. sary supplies to tbe army," which imposes a Commissioners lieretofore tendered have been refused by tax of twenty-five per cent. on coin in the

the United States rpon the pretext that their reception

wonld imply a recognition of the Confederate Government, hands of individuals or banks in excess of $200,

88 preliminary, and that in case of a failure to agree upon and autborizing in lieu thereof a loan froin the a treaty such recognition would novertheless stand. These banks, to the extent of $2,000,000, if made by

resolutions seek to remove this objection by appointing

commissioners on the part of the States, whose civil existe the 17th of April. A supplementary act com. enco and authority have never been denied; but, at the same muted this tax where the owners of coin would time, to make their tonder and all powers dependent on the excbange it for cotton at the rate of fifteen

action and ndoptiou of the President. It is not proposed

that these commissioners derivo any powers from the States, cento per poud. Derore March 28, the state but only that they be tendered by the President for a peace

r the conference, he giving to them such powers and instructions use of tbe Commissary Department, for which as he may deem necessary and proper.

JOUN POOL, Chairman an order was signed by the rebel Secretary of

A.C. COWLE. the Treasury for 2,000,000 pounds of cotton,

D. F. CALDWELL. 6 with the right to export the same free of all 1865, January 11-In the House of Comconditions except the payment of the (export) mons, Mr. SHARPE introduced the following reduty of seventy-five cents per pound.” About solutions : that time, William W. Crump, Assistant Secre.

| Resolred, That State sovereignty is the principle on which tary of the Treasury, was sent to the banks of North Carolina and the other states withdrew from the North and South Carolina and Georgia, to United States Governvient; and, therefore, the States comnegotiate for their share of the loan. These

prising the Southern Confederacy are sovereigns, and that

thie Confulerate Government is only the agent of the States, facts are obtained from official documents found

and sulject to their control. in Richmond, and published recently in the New Resolreil, further, That the States in their sovereign caYork and other papers.

pacity have the right to take up the question of peace or

war, and settle it without consultation with the President GENERAL MILITIA LAW.

of the Southern Confederacy or of the so-called United The general militia law recommended above States. is said to have been passed.

On motion of Mr. CRAWFORD, of Rowan, these CHANGE IN MR. Davis's CABINET.

resolutions were laid on tue table-ayez 52, Secretary of War-John C. Breckinridge ap- nay: 50. pointed, January 6, 1865, in place of James A. January 19 In the House of Commons, Mr. Seddon, resigned.

Hanes submitted a preamble and resolution on

the subject of a general convention of the ConPeace Movements in the States. federate States, the former attributing oppresNORTH CAROLINA.

sive and unconstitutional laws, which have been Several resolutions on tbe subject of peace passed from time to time. to irresponsible repwere offered.

| reseutatives from States which have no constit.

of

nents upon whom the laws passed by them can tirely opposed to the resolutions, I will consent to withdraw

thern. operate; the latter reading as follows:

(Numerous objections to permit their withdrawal were Resolved, That the joint select Committee on Confederate made, and the expression “ dispose of them at once and Relations be instructed to frame and bring in a bill forth-forever" was repeated in various parts of tha lloust, with, calling a convention of the people of this state, or Mr. AXDERSOX. If this was to fint movement of the submitting the question to them, so as tu enable them to kind which that gentleman Mr. Miller has made in this assemble in convention should a majority of them desire to House, I would consent to let him withdraw his resolodo so, for the purpose of so amending the Constitution as tious. But a year ago he threw a similar firebrand into to provide that hereafter the representatives of any State this louse; and when the motion was made to dispose of or States whose territory is in the hands of the enemy, so it, as is proposed to dispose of this, even the gentleman that the Confederate laws cannot be enforced therein, shall himself Mr. Miller did not have the bardihood to vote not, during the continuance of such occupation by the en- egainst its indefinite postponement. Ilis name cannot be emy, be permitted to vote upon any question of legislation, found, sir, on record against the postponement of his owa but shall have only such rights as are allowed to delegates proposition. What is bi+ object now, after his first effort in the territories of the Confederate States, and of consid met with such a signal repulse that he himseli shrank frun ering such other amendments as said three States shall con resistance? These resolutions are similar and responsive cur on suggestion.

to propositions which have been made in other Seitely the Resolved, further, That State sovereignty being the prin- party which, under the cloak of peace, are attempting to de ciple on which North Carolina and other States withdrew stroy the Confedericy. Every man who, under the cloak of from the Federal Union, the States comprising the Southern peace, comes forward with propositions of that kind, most Coutederacy are sovereigos, and the Confederate Govern- be viewed a prepared to submit. Yes, sir, submit. For there ment is only their agent and subject to their control, and can be no other terms. The Secretary of State of the United the States in their sovereign capacity in general conven- States has said that the South can only have peace by laying tion assembled have a right to negotiate peace with the down its arms; and as to this favorite proposition of state Government of the United States without consultation conventions, he, the United States Secret ry, has said, we with the President of the Confederate States.

cannot open communications with you, because we would

sacrifice our position in regard to your doctrine of the soMr. Hanes followed in a long argument in periority of State sovereignty over the Constitution of the support of his resolutions, at the close of which, United states. It is important to act promptly in this mat

ter, and to give no countenance to this mischievous, and, I on motion of Mr. Person, they were laid upon

believe, treasonable party. the table-yeas 58, nays 39.

The yeas and nays being called, the motion to indefinitely Mr. Smith, of Johnston, introdured a bill to postpone was adopted. cas, 101; nays, 2-Messrs. Miller call a convention of the people, which passed

of Lee, and Smith of Russell. its first reading and was referred to the Judi- ! January 20—In the House of Delegates Mr. ciary Committee. It declares that the present | Docolas offered the following joint resolo. condition of the country demands that the sov- tions : ereign people of this State should assemble in Resolved by the Senate and House of Delegates of Tin convention to effect, if possible, an honorable ginia in General Assembly convened, that the state of Vir termination of the present war and provides ginia, having entered into the present contest with the

United States, and made common cause with the confederthat an election shall be held on the 13th of

ates to uphold and defend their rights and liberties from February, 1865, the vote to be "convention,” a common danger, is ready and anxious for the return of or "no convention;' that if the majority of the

peace whenever the same cau be obtained on terms honor

able and just alike to herself and them, and in a manner votes cast be for the convention, such conven

calculated to secure for all time the precious objects for tion shall be held in the city of Raleigh on the which we are contending. second Monday of March, and consist of one

Resolreil, That the Legislature, representing the senti

ment of Virginia, desires the constitutional department of hundred and twenty delegates.

the contelerate government to avail itself of every favorar

blo indication to negotiate for terms of peace : yet we solVIRGINIA.

emnly deprecate any irregular action in the premises, (From the Richmond Eraminer, Jan. 13.)

either in the shape of a congressional commission, or other

way, as revolutionary and dangerous in character, viola 1865, January 12-In the House of Delegates, Mr. MILLER

tive of the faith mutually pledged by the States to each introduced a long series of peace resolutions for the up other in the adoption of the confederate constitution, by pointment of five commissioners, and to declare for an

distracting and dividing the minds of the people, to weaken armistice, a national convention, and an honorable peace

our power of resistance, disintegrate these States, and through State action. The following debate took place:

place the people of this state especially at the mercy of the Mr. TOMLIN moved to indefinitely postpono.

coinmon enemy. Mr. MILLER. I would ask the yeas and ways on that mo

Mr. MARSHALL moved that the rules be suspended in or tion. I hope the llouse will come to the record on this

der that the resolutions might be placed on the secret cale question. I do not commit the Ilonso in this proposition

endar lie thought the resolutions should be considered to the policy of reconstruction, to which I ain opposed, as

in secret session. In reference to these resolutions he had is to be seen by the resolutions. The question is an in

something to say which he would not like to say in open portant one, and its discussion now was not contemplated.

session. I think it would be more appropriate to consider it in

Mr. DOUGLAS opposed the motion to place the resolutions secret session.

on the secret calendar. Such a disposition of them would Mr. PENDLETOX. I hope the gentleman from King William

defeat the object which he had in view. We wished to see Mr. Tomlin will modify his motiou to the simple proposi.

the resolutions ad pied, and go forth as the views of this tion to lay the preamble and resolution on the table. There

Legislature. Ile desired to put his lie-l on every irregular aro some things in the resolutions I am not prepared to

atternpt to negotiate terms of peace either in the shape of vote against; such, for instance, as that which proposes to

& congressional commission, by separate State action, or mitigate the horrors of war. But, at the same time, I

otherwise. Such schemes, in his estimation, would lead to denounce the cardinal objects of the resolutions as foreign

a disintegration of States and the overthrow of the govern to the honor, welfare, and dignity of Virginia, putting, as

ment which the people have instituted. it does, the State in a revolutionary position, severing her

Mr. ARMSTROXG thought it best that the resolutions connection from that of the Confederate States. The pro.

I should be considered in secret session. position is, in fact, that she secedes.

Mr. COLLIER was in favor of discussing the resolutions in Mr. MILLER. The gentleman is mistaken as to any such

open session. He wanted the people to know what their proposition being in tben.

representatives were doing, and wbat were our opinions. Mr. PENDLETON. I would be glad, then, if the gentleman

The motion to suspend the rule with a view of transfer will state their ineaning. To my mind they are tirebrauds,

ring the resolutions to the secret calendar was disagreed to thrown into our midst at one of the closest and most crit

and it was laid aside. ical periods of the war, and I denounce them as unworthy of Virginia; yet I prefer that they be laid upon the table, January 26-In the House of Delegates, in order to see what in them is good and what evil, and to see if the good may not be put to some account, and the Mr. SMITH, of Russell, sent to the clerk's desk and caused bad, which forms the spirit of them, and for which I do to be read a series of resvlutions deploring the war and nounce them, eliminated.

looking to the attainment of peace by the artitrument of Mr. MILLER. Upon conference with gentlemen not diplomacy and negotiation, the sword baving failed. The

« PreviousContinue »