may shake the confidence or alienate the friendly feelings of her sister slave-holding States; that whatever may be the determination of her people, to be assembled in their sovereign character in convention on the 7th instant, they will still cover themselves and posterity under the folds of the old Constitution of the United States in its purity and truth.
It is perhaps my duty to give Your Excellency my individual opinion that the action of the convention to assemble on the 7th instant will be to withdraw the State from the present Union, and to take her position as a sovereign and independent State, seeking and desiring a near and perfect union with all the other States of the South as speedily as possible. This will, however, have been decided one way or the other, and be made known to the Legislature of your State by the time it shall assemble.
Hoping and trusting that there may be no discord between the States of the South; that unanimity, confidence, wisdom, prudence, and firmness may mark the course of all, and that a kind Providence may rule over and guide and protect us in our day of gloom and danger,
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. CALHOUN,
Commissioner from Alabama.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
Austin, Tex., January 7, 1861.
Hon. J. M. CALHOUN,
Commissioner from Alabama:
DEAR SIR: Your communication of the 5th instant, informing me of the objects of your mission on the part of the State of Alabama, is before me. As a citizen of a sister State, bearing an appointment as commissioner to Texas from her Chief Executive, I welcome you here, and trust that whatever ideas you may adopt in reference to the political opinions of the people of Texas you may bear back with you the evidences of their kindness, hospitality, and friendship. Having convened the Legislature of the State with a view to its providing a mode by which the will of the people of Texas may be declared touching their relations with the Federal Government and the States, I cannot authoritatively speak as to the course they will pursue. A fair and legitimate expression of their will through the ballot box is yet to be made known. Therefore, were the Legislature in session, or were a legally authorized convention in session, until the action taken is ratified by the people at the ballot box, none can speak for Texas. Her people have ever been jealous of their rights, and have been careful how they parted with the attributes of their sovereignty. They will reserve to themselves the right to finally pass upon the act involving so closely their liberties, fortunes, peace, and happiness; and when, through the free exercise of that sacred privilege which has ever until now been deemed the best security for the liberties of the people and the surest means of remedying encroachments upon their right they have declared their will, then, and then only, can any speak for Texas. Until then nothing but individual opinions can be expressed, and mine are entitled to no more weight than a long acquaintance with the people and a continued intercourse and communication with them would justify.