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States as to forts and other property were taken over; a declaration was made, February 15, that "immediate steps should be taken to obtain possession of forts Sumter and Pickens," and author izing President Davis to carry the resolution into effect; the United States tariff of 1857 was con.. tinued in force, and a national flag adopted.
President Davis was inaugurated February 18, with all the pomp and ceremony attainable in the small town which was the temporary capital. In his inaugural speech he claimed the right of secession as undeniable, and denied that it was revolution; he announced that if "we may not hope to avoid war, we may at least expect that posterity will acquit us of having needlessly engaged in it. Doubly justified by the absence of wrong on our part and by wanton aggression on the part of others, there can be no cause to doubt that the courage and patriotism of the people of the Confederate States will be found equal to any measures of defense which honor and security may require."1 He declared reunion neither practicable nor desirable.
President Davis appointed in his cabinet Robert Toombs, of Georgia, as secretary of state; C. G. Memminger, of South Carolina, secretary of the treasury; L. P. Walker, of Alabama, secretary of war; S. R. Mallory, of Florida, secretary of the navy; J. H. Reagan, of Texas, postmaster-general;
1 Stephens, War between the States, II., 340-344; Alfriend, Jefferson Davis, 241.
and Judah P. Benjamin, of Louisiana, as attorneygeneral. To negotiate friendly relations and to settle all questions of disagreement between the Confederate States “and their late confederates of the United States in relation to the public property and the public debt," as called for by Article VI. of the provisional constitution, Davis appointed A. B. Roman, of Louisiana, Martin J. Crawford, of Georgia, and John Forsyth, of Alabama, with plenary powers for such adjustment.
The permanent constitution, adopted March 11 (but which did not go into force until 1862), followed closely the phraseology of the Constitution of the United States. The essential differences were as follows: legislative powers were delegated, not granted; the word slaves was used instead of other persons; any judicial or other federal officer resident and acting solely within the limits of any state might be impeached by a vote of two-thirds of both branches of the legislature; congress could grant to the heads of the executive departments seats upon the floor of either house, with the privilege of discussing any measures pertaining to their departments; the president could approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill; no bounties could be granted or protective duties laid; congress could not appropriate money for internal improvement except for aids to navigation, improvement of harbors, and removal of obstructions in river navigation; to defray the
costs and expenses of these, duties were to be laid on the navigation facilitated; the importation of slaves, except from the slave-holding states or territories of the United States, was forbidden; and congress was also given the power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any state not a member of, or any territory not belonging to, the Confederacy; no law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves could be passed; no duty could be laid on exports except by a vote of two-thirds of both houses; no appropriation of money could be made unless asked and estimated for by heads of departments, and submitted to the president; all bills were to specify the exact amount of each appropriation; every law must relate to but one subject, expressed in the title; the president and vice-president were to hold office for six years, but the president was not re-eligible; all civil officers of the executive departments could be removed by the president when their services were unnecessary, or for certain sound reasons, and, when so removed, the removal, except in the case of principal executive and diplomatic officers, was to be reported to the senate with the reasons therefor; new territory could be acquired, and, in all such, negro slavery as it exists in the Confederate States was to be recognized and protected by congress and by the territorial government, and the inhabitants of the Confederate States and territories had the right to take slaves to such territory; when five states should
have ratified the constitution it should take effect.
This constitution was, in some respects, a distinct advance upon our own. 1. In enabling heads of departments to have seats upon the floor of either house, and the privilege of discussing any measures affecting their several departments-a privilege enjoyed during the provisional congress, but never confirmed by statute under the "permanent" government. (Stephens would have gone further, and have required that they should be selected from the senate and the house.1) 2. In enabling the president to disapprove appropriation bills in part. 3. In prohibiting bounties or protective legislation. 4. In limiting money appropriations, except by a twothirds vote of both houses, to those asked for by the heads of departments. 5. In making the term of office of the president six years and making him non-re-eligible.
But the constitution was stamped throughout with slavery. It was a direct throwing-down of the gauntlet before the civilized world, and a placing of the Confederacy across the road by which all other nations were travelling towards humane dealing and recognition of the inherent right of every man, in the words of Lincoln, "to eat the bread without the leave of anybody else, which his own hands earn." Stephens had foreseen this outcome, and
1 Johnston and Browne, Stephens, 395.
Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, II., 149.
one ground of his opposition the previous year to secession was that he foresaw that the policy was not to leave the way open to the admission of some of the non-slave-holding states; thinking some of the western communities would be so inclined. He urged that "We should be known as the 'Black Republic,'" and as such should be without sympathy from any of the world outside.1
The organization of the Confederate government, in February, transferred the question of Sumter from Charleston to Montgomery. Toombs, then, acting, and later to be actual, secretary of state of the Confederacy, wrote the governor of South Carolina not to attack "without the sanction and jurisdiction of our joint Government." The governor pressed the necessity of attack at the earliest possible moment, and it was to avoid this action that, February 12, a resolution was passed by the Montgomery congress taking over "all questions and difficulties . . . relating to the occupation of forts
and other public establishments." State susceptibilities entered keenly into the question, and the South Carolina authorities chafed at leaving action in hands other than their own. When Governor Pickens was informed by telegraph of this move, he replied, February 13, at length as to the right of the state to act, and said that he was satisfied that the welfare of the new confederation, as
1 Johnston and Browne, Stephens, 392.
2 Crawford, Fort Sumter, 266.