War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0030 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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The Governor sent up the following message in answer to the resolution of yesterday:


Montgomery, Ala., January 8, 1861.


In obedience to the resolution adopted by the convention yesterday, requiring me to communicate any information I may have respecting the condition of the country, I herewith transmit such information as is in my possession touching the public interests, and a brief statement of my acts in regard thereto, and the reasons therefor. All of which are respectfully submitted to the consideration of the convention.

Very respectfully,



The General Assembly at its session passed unanimously, with two exceptions, resolutions requiring the Governor, in the event of the election of a Black Republican, to order elections to be held for delegates to a convention of the State. The contingency contemplated having occurred, making it necessary for me to call a convention, writs of election were issued immediately after the votes of the Electoral College were cast. It was my opinion that under the peculiar phraseology of the resolutions I was not authorized to order elections upon the casting of the popular vote. I therefore determined not to do so.

As the slave-holding States have a common interest in the institution of slavery, and must be common suffers in its overthrow, I deemed it proper, and it appeared to be the general sentiment of the people, that Alabama should consult and advise with the other slave-holding States, so far as practicable, as t what is best to be done to protect their interests and honor in the impending crisis. And seeing that the conventions of South Carolina and Florida would probably act before the convention of Alabama assembled, and that the Legislatures of some of the States would meet, and might adjourn without calling conventions, prior to the meeting of our convention, and thus the opportunity [be lost] of conferring with them upon the great and vital questions on which you are called to act, I determined to appoint commissioners to all the slave-holding States. After appointing them to those States whose conventions and Legislatures were to meet in advance of the Alabama convention, it was suggested by wise counselors that if I did not make similar appointments to the other Southern States it would seem to be making an invidious distinction, which was not intended. Being convinced that it might be so considered, I then determined to appoint commissioners to all the slave-holding States, and made the following appointments: A. F. Hopkins and F. M. Gilmer commissioners to Virginia, John A. Elmore commissioner to South Carolina, I. W. Garrott and Robert H. Smith commissioners to North Carolina, J. L. M. Curry commissioner to Maryland, David Clopton commissioner to Delaware, S. F. Hale commissioner to Kentucky, William Cooper commissioner to Missouri, L. P. Walker commissioner to Tennessee, David Hubbard commissioner to Arkansas, John A. Winston commissioner to Louisiana, J. M. Calhoun commissioner to Texas, E. C. Bullock commissioner to Florida, John Gill Shorter commissioner to Georgia, E. W. Pettus commissioner to Mississippi.

All these gentlemen are well known to the people of Alabama, and distinguished for their ability, integrity, and patriotism. The following is a copy of the commission to each of them, in substance. *

* * * * *

I herewith transmit to you the reports, so far as they have been received, and will lay before the convention any others that may be made immediately on their receipt. I trust that my course in the appointment of these commissioners will meet the approbation of the convention. Having satisfactory evidence to believe that Alabama would withdraw from the present Union, I considered it my duty to take such steps as would enable the convention and Legislature to provide the means of putting the State in a condition to protect and defend her citizens in the event of her session. Knowing that the treasury was not provided with funds sufficient for the purpose; that bonds, at such a crisis, could not be sold out of the State, except at a great sacrifice, and believing that at such a time additional taxation upon the people should be avoided, if possible, I determined to take the responsibility of requesting the banks to suspend specie payments, for the purpose of retaining their specie to aid the State, provided it should become necessary.