War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0231 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Banks. It is desirable that there should be no unnecessary interference by the military authorities with commercial transaction.


Secretary of War.


New Orleans, La., May 28, 1863.


Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you, with the request that it may, if deemed advisable by you, be also submitted to the President of the United States a copy of correspondence between the committee representing nearly all the loyal citizens in New Orleans and Jefferson and this department.

As the State of Louisiana will probably be the first of the seceded States to re-establish a State government under the Constitution of the United States, the question as to the mode of accomplishment of this result becomes one of great importance.

I have not thought it proper to take any definite action upon the subject of the call of a convention before laying before the Secretary of War and President the plan submitted to me.

The constitution of Louisiana as is existed prior to the passage of the ordinance of secession made the whole population, free and slave, the basis of representation. A comparison of the parishes of Jefferson and Tensas will show the inequality of this representation. Tensas under the constitution of 1852, with a white population, of 1,479 and an aggregate of white and black, 16,078, would be entitled to a representation equal to that of Jefferson with a white population of 9,965 and an aggregate population of 15,372.

One of the purpose of those who desire a convention is to have the basis of representation equal.

They would also probably make the new or amended constitution more conformable to the spirit of the age and the policy of the Government in relation to the institution of slavery.

I respectfully submit these questions for your consideration, and ask for such suggestions and instructions with reference to my own action as you may deem advisable.

With great respect, I have the honor be, your obedient servant,


Military Governor of Louisiana.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.] NEW ORLEANS, LA., May 23, 1863.

Brigadier General GEORGE F. SHEPLEY,

Military Governor of Louisiana:

GENERAL: At a meeting held on Thursday, the 21st of May, of delegates from the various Union associations of New Orleans and Jefferson, said delegates constituting a general committee from said associations, and appointed to take into consideration, and prepare a plan to be proposed for your sanction, and co- operation, for calling a convention of the loyal people of Louisiana to frame a new State constitution the undersigned, president, and secretary of said general committee, were instructed to present to you the accompanying report as the result of the committee's deliberations.