War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0234 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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consist at first eleven members, to be increased hereafter to thirteen members, at the pleasure of this committee and they shall keep full records of their proceedings. They shall secure a suitable room for their use and that of this committee, which shall be open during business hour to the members of this committee but closed to the public.

Resolved, That the respective associations may withdraw or change their delegates to this committee at their pleasure the committee having the right to judge of the qualifications of the delegates, and the members of the sub-committee will be subject to removal there-from by a vote of a majority of this committee at a regular meeting upon a motion made at a previous meeting.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this committee and of the sub- committee shall be conducted according to the rules of the United States House of Representatives.

THOMAS J. DURANT,

President of the General Committee.

JAS. GRAHAM,

Secretary.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.] STATE OF LOUISIANA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, New Orleans, May 25, 1863.

THOMAS J. DURANT, Esq. President, JAMES GRAHAM, Esq. Secretary, of the General Committee of the Union Associations of New Orleans and Jefferson;

GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 23rd instant, submitting to me, in behalf of the various Union associations of the parishes of Orleans and Jefferson a plan of proceedings for the calling of a convention of the loyal citizens of Louisiana to the end of framing a new State Constitution and of re-establishing civil government under the Constitution of the United States.

I cannot but feel that the suggestions you make are deserving of the highest consideration as the conclusions to which the members of there associations have arrived after long and thorough deliberations, fully conscious, as I am, that in the ranks of these associations are numbered a very large majority of the loyal and patriotic citizens of these two parishes, who are laboring to re-establish in Louisiana a civil government under a State constitution, republican in form, and under the Constitution of the United States.

The ordinance of secession was adopted in a convention of delegates purporting to represent the people of Louisiana. Had the basis of representation been such sa to have given a fair and equal representation to all the voters of the State, it is well known that the secession ordinance could never have been passed, and this State would have been spared the horrors and calamities of a civil war.

It is certainly most fitting, if not indispensable, that the act of renewal of allegiance to the Union by the State should be as the act of disruption of allegiance purported to be, the expression of the will of a convention of delegates fresh from the people.

What the basis of representation to that convention should be is a question more properly to be decided by the people themselves than by me or any other military authority.

The more directly this movement emanates from the people themselves the more free it is from all extraneous influences, the more