[JANUARY 2, 1861. -For Governor Brown, of Georgia, to Governors Moore, of Alabama, Perry, of Florida, Moore, of Louisiana, and Pettus, of Mississippi, in regard to occupation of Fort Pulaski and other forts, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 114.]
KINLOCH, ALA., January 3, 1860 .
Governor ANDREW B. MOORE:
MY DEAR SIR: On receipt of your letter and appointment as commissioner from Alabama to Arkansas, I repaired at once to Little Rock and presented my credentials to the two houses, and also your letter to Governor Rector, by all of whom I politely received. The Governor of Arkansas was every way disposed to further our views, and so were many leading and influential members of each house of the Legislature, but neither are yet ready for action, because they fear the people have not yet made up their minds to go out. The counties bordering on the Indian nations-Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws-would hesitate greatly to vote for secession, and leave those tribes still under the influence of the Government at Washington, from which they receive such large stipends and annuities. These Indians are at a spot very important, in my opinion, in this great sectional controversy, and must be assured that the South will do as well as the North before they could be induced to change their alliances and dependence. I have much on this subject to say when I get to Montgomery, which cannot well be written. The two houses passed resolutions inviting me to met them in the representative hall and consult together as to what had best be done in this matter. When I appeared men were anxious to know what the seceding states intended to do in certain contingencies. My appointment gave me no authority too speak as to what any State would do, but I spoke freely of what, in my opinion, we ought to do. I took the ground that no State which had seceded would ever go back without full power being given to protect themselves by vote against anti-slavery projects and schemes of every kind. I took the position that the Northern people were honest and did fear the Divine displeasure, both in this world and the world to come, by reason of what they considered the national sin of slavery, and that al who agreed with me in a belief of their sincerity must see that we could not remain quietly in the same Government with them. Secondly, if they were dishonest hypocrites, and only lied to impose on others and make them hate us, and used antislavery arguments as mere pretexts for the purpose of uniting Northern sentiment against us, with a view to obtain political power and sectional domination, in that event we ought not to live with them. I desired any Unionist present to controvert either of these positions, which seemed to cover the whole ground. No one attempted either, and I said but little more. I am satisfied, from three conversations with members of all parties and with Governor Rector, that Arkansas, when compelled to choose, will side with the Southern States, but at present a majority would vote the Union ticket. Public sentiment is but being formed, but must take that direction.
I have the honor to be, truly, &c.,