War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0076 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Receive for yourself and the people of Alabama, whose accredited commissioner you are, the assurances of my esteem and consideration.

I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,


MONTGOMERY, January 21, 1861.

His Excellency A. B. MOORE:

SIR: The rapidity with which information is now communicated from place to place and the almost hourly occurrence of most important events render the recitals of this communication a mere repetition of facts already familiar to the public mind, and though the events herein recited concern the recent dissolution of a great Government, they have already lost much of their absorbing interest because of the rapid succession of other great political changes of a more recent date. The convention of the people of the State of Mississippi assembled at the city of Jackson on the 7th day of the present months, and the Hon. William S. Barry, of Columbus, was elected president. Then, after other officers were chosen, the convention proceeded to the consideration of the great question which they had been empowered to decide. The object of my mission was made known to His Excellency J. J. Pettus, the Governor of that State, in a formal note, and was by him communicated to the convention; and as commissioner from this State I was invited to and accepted a seat in the convention, and during my stay at the capital of Mississippi I witnessed the proceedings of the convention, in this secret as well as its public sessions. The convention was composed of ninety-nine delegates, including many of the most distinguished men of the State, and its deliberations were conducted with the order, dignity, and solemnity fitting the deliberations of a sovereign people changing their form of government.

There was a large majority of delegates who favored the immediate dissolution of the political connection between that State and the Government of the United States, and a respectable minority was opposed to the separate action of the State, but no delegate favored the continuance of the union longer than was necessary to obtain the sanction of the Southern States. the debates arising from these differences of opinion among the delegates were conducted with great courtesy and forbearance. On the one side the majority did not resort to the parliamentary rules sometimes used to stifle debate, and on the other the minority opposed no factious opposition to the will of the majority. No bitter personalities marred the harmony of that body assembled not to honor or to punish individuals, but to direct the destiny of the State and to save its people from wrongs and dishonor.

On Wednesday, the 9th day of this month, a committee appointed for that purpose reported and ordinance declaring the State of Mississippi to be separated from the other States of the Union, and also giving the consent of the people of that State to the formation of a confederacy, or might thereafter secede from the then Federal Union. Various amendments were proposed and rejected, and about 5 o'clock in the evening the ordinance was passed by a vote of 84 to 14. During the call of the roll several of the delegates made remarks were most eloquent and patriotic and were listened to by a large concourse of spectators, there was no symptom of applause or other disorder to disturb the solemnity