Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/129

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Provisional Congress.

Though there is no specified requirement that the Congress should assemble at the seat of government, the obvious necessity for its doing so will require extraordinary circumstances to justify the holding of a session of Congress at a place remote from that where the Executive Departments are located. Great embarrassment and probable detriment to the public service must result from a want of co-intelligence between the co├Ârdinate branches of the Government incident to such separation. The estimates on which appropriations can alone be made not infrequently require explanation, which, under such circumstances, could not well be made.

Members of the Cabinet who are also members of the Congress must of necessity be prevented from performing one duty or the other.

With these views deferentially and most respectfully submitted, I have the honor to return the resolution for such further action as the Congress may in its wisdom deem it proper to adopt.

Jefferson Davis.

To the Congress.

Gentlemen: I have the honor to return to you without my approval the act entitled "An act to establish a court of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction in the State of Mississippi for the counties lying on the Mississippi River in said State."

Although I am unable to perceive the advantage of an additional court in Mississippi, as provided (by) the bill, this would not constitute a sufficient reason for withholding my approval. But the bill goes farther. It creates a jurisdiction for a certain portion of the bank of the Mississippi River, entirely different from that which exists above, below, and on the opposite bank of the river. This cannot but lead to conflict of jurisdiction, embarrassment, and confusion, and I cannot perceive the necessity for so exceptional a measure.

I therefore return it to the Congress with my objections.

[Received May 21, 1861.]

Jefferson Davis.