Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/17

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Prefatory Note.

The official papers of all the Presidents of the United States from Washington to McKinley were compiled by me a few years ago. That compilation is entitled "Messages and Papers of the Presidents," is in ten volumes, and was published by the authority of Congress. I have now, by permission of Congress, compiled and edited all the messages, proclamations, and inaugural addresses of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, together with the important and interesting diplomatic correspondence of the Confederacy. This compilation is a fitting companion piece to the former work. Biographical sketches of President Davis, Vice President Stephens, General Robert E. Lee, and the three Secretaries of State, Robert Toombs, Robert M. T. Hunter, and Judah P. Benjamin, have been prepared and are included. There will be two volumes of this work, the first containing the official papers of the President, the second comprising the diplomatic correspondence. The only omission of any message has been in the case where it contained simply a formal nomination without comment. Neither the State papers of Mr. Davis nor the diplomatic correspondence of the Confederacy have ever before been compiled.

The "Messages and Papers of the Presidents" contains their official papers without any political coloring by the editor and compiler, and so the papers herein published are given to the public entirely without any sectional or political bias. The object in view in making this publication is to place all the messages and papers of the Confederacy and the diplomatic correspondence before the public at large of all sections of our country in a convenient and enduring form. As stated, these are given without comment, and the reader is left to draw his own conclusions.

It will be conceded that no man more fully appreciated and understood the motives and principles which actuated the Southern States and their people in their conduct in withdrawing from the Union than the man they chose to be their President, and it