able commissioner sent by the Legislature of North Carolina to the Southern Congress at Montgomery, who reported, from ample means of information, contemporaneously with my arrival at Raleigh, that the persons in the Confederate States in favor of such a measure constituted as exceedingly meager minority. That I was right as to the action of Congress and the Peace Conference subsequent events have fully established.
I have delayed this communication that I might lay before the convention the result of the election which took place in North Carolina on the 28th ultimo.
The question submitted to the people by the act of the Legislature was whether they would call a convention. Those voting for a convention were generally understood to be in favor of separate State action as a step preparatory to co-operation with their Southern sisters. The short time that elapsed between the passage of the act and the election precluded the possibility of anything like a thorough canvass of the State; in fact, it is only, within the last ninety days that the subject began to be agitated in public meetings. The friends of separate State action were then few, but now they number nearly 50,000. Their defeat in the recent election by a popular majority of less than 1,000 gives us no reason to feel discouraged. The election occurred on the day after the Peace Conference adjourned; and I am informed from sources entitled to the highest credit that the result was brought by dispatches sent to the central and western portions of the State announcing that the conference had agreed upon a satisfactory adjustment, which would certainly be adopted by Congress. If such means were resorted to we can only calculate with greater certainty upon the reaction which will occur in popular sentiment; indeed, it is now said that the reaction has already taken place, and that the advocates of separate State action and an alliance with the South have a decided majority of the suffrages of the State. A delegate to that conference, who prior to its meeting was an ardent of the Union, has since his return stated to his constituents that their propositions for amendments to the Constitution were five distinct times voted down by large majorities, and that in lieu thereof (as is apparent to every one at all acquainted with the scheme proposed) they were thereby prohibited from exercising the right they now have of going into the Territories north of 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude with their slaves, while their right to emigrate with that species of property to the Territories south of that line will depend upon the interpretation placed upon the common law by judges deadly hostile to their interests. Insult is added to this certain exclusion by demanding the recognition by the Southern Statehe old confederacy of free blacks as citizens of the Northern States, which they inhabit and by extending to them all the rights and privileges of citizens of the several States. This plan has rendered the fugitive-slave law (already an insufficient protection to the rights of the South) worse than a dead letter by guaranteeing payment to the owner of the slave out of the Federal Treasury whenever such a fugitive is withheld from the custody of his master by the action of a Northern mob or Northern State laws and tribunals, thus holding out a direct inducement to the Abolitionists to free the slaves of those people and to compel them to use their own means, at least in part, and in great part, too, to compensate themselves for their losses. This scheme was voted against by North Carolina, Virginia, and Missouri in the conference, and the delegate above alluded to has