Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/111

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Provisional Congress.

ernment of the United States toward the commissioners of this Government sent to Washington for the purpose of effecting, if possible, a peaceful adjustment of the pending difficulties between the two Governments.[1] I also made allusion to "an intermediary, whose high position and character inspired the hope of success;" but I was not then at liberty to make any communication on the subject as specific as was desirable for a full comprehension of the whole subject. It is now, however, in my power to place before you other papers, which I herewith address to you from them. You will perceive that the intermediary referred to was Hon. John A. Campbell, a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, who made earnest efforts to promote the successful issue of the mission intrusted to our commissioners, and by whom I was kept advised, in confidential communication, of the measures taken by him to secure so desirable a result. It is due to you, to him, and to history that a narration of the occurrences with which he was connected should be made known, the more especially as it will be seen by the letters hereto appended that the correctness and accuracy of the recital have not been questioned by the Secretary of State of the United States, to whom it was addressed. I avail myself of this opportunity to correct an error in one of the statements made in my message of the 29th of April. It is there recited[2] that I was prompted to call you together in extraordinary session by reason of the declarations contained in the proclamation of President Lincoln of the 15th of April. My proclamation, convoking you, was issued on the 12th of April,[3] and was prompted by the declaration of hostile purposes contained in the message sent by the President to the Governor of South Carolina on the 8th of April. As the proclamation of President Lincoln of the 15th of April repeated the same hostile intention in more specific terms and on a much more extensive scale, it created a stronger impression on my mind, and led to the error above alluded to, and which, however unimportant, I desire to correct.

Jeff'n Davis.

  1. See page 70.
  2. See page 63.
  3. See page 60.