State shall not have then called a sovereign convention of the people of this State, this convention shall at once assemble at the call of the president, with a view of recommending to the people of this State the election of delegates to such a sovereign convention.
"Resolved further, As the sense of this convention that the secession of the several slave-holding States from the Federal Union was induced by the aggression of the non-slave-holding States, in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
"Resolved further, That the moral and material interest and the geographical position of this State demand that it should act with Virginia in this crisis, co-operating with that State in all honorable efforts to maintain and defend the constitutional rights of its citizens in the Union, and failing in that, to associate with her in confederation with our sister States of the Union.
"Resolved further, That the honor of this State requires that it should not permit its soil to be made a highway for Federal troops sent to make war upon our sister States of the South, and it is the opinion of this convention that an attempt on the part of the Federal Government to coerce the States which have seceded would necessarily result in civil war and the destruction of the Government itself. "
On the 25th of February I visited for the third time Annapolis, the seat of government (having failed, while there on a former visit on the 21st, to meet the Executive), and waited upon Governor Hicks, and after a personal interview and pretty free interchange of opinion with His Excellency, I handed to him the ordinance of secession with which I was instructed, and also a written communication in which I endeavored to justify and explain the action of the State of Georgia; and attempted to show that the material interests of Maryland would be greatly promoted and advanced by her co-operation with the seceding States. To this communication (copy of which is hereto attached) I have received no reply, although, upon a suggestion of Governor Hicks that he would favor me with a reply at this earliest convenience, I waited for two days to receive such communication as he should be pleased to make to your body.
In the absence of any written reply to my note of the 25th ultimo I can only give to your honorable body the result of the personal interview I had with the Governor, and I regret to say that I found him not only opposed to the secession of Maryland from the Federal Union, but that if she should withdraw from the Union he advised and would urge her to confederate with the Middle States in the formation of a central confederacy. He also informed me that he had already, in his official character, entered into a correspondence with the Governors of those States, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Missouri, and Ohio, with a view, in the event of an ultimate disruption of the Federal Union, to the establishment of such central confederacy. He thought our action hasty, ill-advised, and not justified by the action of which we complain, and that we were attempting to coerce Maryland to follow our example; that he had great confidence in the Peace Conference then in session in Washington, and had assurances that body would agree upon a plan of adjustment that would be entirely acceptable to Maryland; that the proposition before the conference known as the Guthrie plan was a fair and proper basis of compromise and settlement. He also informed me in the course of our interview, and in answer to a direct inquiry from me on that point, that in the event of the Federal Government's attempting to coerce the seceding States he would interpose no objection to the marching or transporting of troops through his State and their embarkation at Baltimore by the Federal Government for that purpose; that as Chief Magistrate of the State he had no power to prevent it, as it would not be an