War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0908 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

February 4, 1862.

To the CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

GENTLEMEN: I return, with my objections, the bill entitled "An act to repeal so much of the laws of the United States adopted by the Congress of the Confederate States as authorizes the naturalization of aliens. " My objections are the following, viz:

First. The bill does not save the rights of aliens who were domiciled in the Confederate States at the beginning of this revolution and had already commenced the proceedings necessary to their naturalization. It would be manifest injustice to such aliens as have remained among us and have sympathized with and aided us in our struggle to cut them off from these rights, at least inchoate, and deprive them of the boon held out to them by laws to which we were assenting parties at the time they emigrated to the Confederacy.

Second. While there is perhaps no direct prescription of the Constitution making it the duty of Congress to establish a rule of naturalization, I submit that in addition to the grant of that power made to Congress the States in the permanent Constitution have surrendered the power formerly exercised by some of them of permitting aliens to vote even in State elections until naturalized as citizens of the Confederate States-Article I, section 2. A comparison of these provisions leads to the conclusion that it was in contemplation of the States that Congress should exercise the power vested in it, and it does not appear to me to be a fair compliance with the just expectations of the States to repeal in mass all laws providing for the naturalization of aliens without substituting some other system that may commend itself to the wisdom of Congress.

These are my special objections to the act as passed, but I beg permission to say that the general policy indicated by its provisions appears to be at least questionable. That there is no present necessity for such legislation is obvious, for there has not been, and we cannot expect there will be, immigration, except on the part of such as are disposed to aid in our struggle. To the future, which may well be left to take care of itself on this subject, it is submitted whether legislation intended to effect entire exclusion from citizenship of all who are not born on the soil will be deemed in accordance with the civilization of the age.

In conclusion, it can scarcely be necessary to point out the evil effects that may be produced on aliens now serving in our Army and on those of our fellow-citizens who are of foreign birth, by what will be considered as a legislative stigma cast on them as a class.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., February 4, 1862.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: The crops of sugar and molasses in Louisiana are very large and the prices unusually low. The rations, as now distributed to the troops, are deficient in many articles which cannot be procured, especially as regards coffee, candles, and soap. It has occurred to me that no article will be more acceptable to our troops than molasses as an addition to their diet and a substitute for the deficiency in coffee. I am informed that the men buy it eagerly at exorbitant prices from