been detained a week on the pay by injuries to the railroad, and found that the Legislature, which had been convened by the Executive in extra session, had adjourned on the 4th.
The act of the Legislature calling the convention provided that the question of "convention" or "no convention" should be submitted to the popular vote at the ballot box. The result of that vote was a majority of 10,000 against having a convention. The only means, therefore, of official communication with the people of Tennessee left me was with the Governor, to whom I presented the ordinance of secession and the resolution inviting the co-operation of Tennessee, together with the other border slave States, with the seceding States in the formation of a Southern confederacy.
I was kindly received by His Excellency Governor Harris, who deeply deplored the result of the election in Tennessee, and warmly indorsed the action of Georgia in dissolving her connection with the Federal Government. He expressed the opinion that the withdrawal of Tennessee from the Government of the United States and its union with the Confederate States of America was only a question of time, and in this opinion other distinguished citizens, and among them Governor Henry S. Foote, who boldly vindicates the cause of the South, concurred. The election was not regarded as indicating anything more than the desire which was felt and the hope that was cherished by the Union party that the Border State Convention, then in session at Washington, would adopt some plan of adjustment of the pending difficulty, not only satisfactory to the Border States but to the entire South, for the opinion was entertained by many that the Southern States had seceded with the view of reconstructing the Government and the obtainment of the constitutional rights and guaranties upon which they insisted in such reconstruction. I corrected this mistake as far as circumstances enabled me to do so, and announced that the separation was final and irrevocable, and that whatever line of policy Tennessee might adopt in the future this fact is to be regarded as settled. I announced also that the people of Georgia were a unit in maintaining the action of this convention in the adoption of the ordinance of secession. I assured those with whom I communicated that it was a great mistake to suppose that the action of Georgia was the result of a reckless popular impulse, but that it was the high resolve of patriots determined to die freemen rather than live slaves. These assurances, together with the fact that the Southern States have repudiated the reopenin slave-trade, and indicated the policy of raising revenue by duties on imposts, and not by direct taxation, gave our friends great confidence in the success of the movement and had a conciliatory influence upon those hostile to it.
The opinion prevailed almost universally at the time I left Nashville that the action of Tennessee would be determined by the action of the Border State Convention and of the convention of Virginia. My own opinion is that Tennessee will be governed by Virginia upon this subject, and that perhaps all the border slave States will be controlled by the same influence. Some, however, of our more sanguine friends entertain the opinion that the next election, which will take place in August next, will settle the question in Tennessee in favor of the South. Upon the whole, my judgment is that when the people of that State realize fully the fact that they are reduced to the alternative of taking the chances of subjection to the domination of relentless Republicanism or the enjoyment of equality and independence