Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/110

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

tions of our soil afford abundant proof that up to this period the season has been propitious. We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, this we must, resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine Power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government.

Jefferson Davis.

To the Congress of the Confederate States.

I lay before the Congress, for their consideration and advice as to its ratification, a copy of the convention between the Confederate States and the Commonwealth of Virginia, which was signed at the city of Richmond on the twenty-fourth day of April, 1861, by the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens on the part of the Confederate States, and by commissioners appointed for that purpose on the part of the State of Virginia.

While performing this act, I congratulate the Congress and the people of the Confederate States upon the conclusion of this alliance by which the great and powerful State of Virginia has made common cause with us and joined her energies and resources to ours for our common defense against the unprovoked war of aggression which the Chief Magistrate of the United States has declared against us.

Jefferson Davis.

Montgomery, May 6, 1861.

Montgomery, Wednesday, May 8, 1861.

Gentlemen of the Congress: In the message addressed to you on the 29th ultimo,[1] I referred to the course of conduct of the Gov-

  1. See page 63.