Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/194

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

made to Congress the States in the permanent Constitution have surrendered the power formerly exercised by some of them of permitting aliens to vote even in State elections until naturalized as citizens of the Confederate States — Article I, Section 2. A comparison of these provisions leads to the conclusion that it was in contemplation of the States that Congress should exercise the power vested in it, and it does not appear to me to be a fair compliance with the just expectations of the States to repeal in mass all laws providing for the naturalization of aliens without substituting some other system that may commend itself to the wisdom of Congress.

These are my special objections to the act as passed, but I beg permission to say that the general policy indicated by its provisions appears to be at least questionable. That there is no present necessity for such legislation is obvious, for there has not been, and we cannot expect there will be, immigration, except on the part of such as are disposed to aid us in our struggle. To the future, which may well be left to take care of itself on this subject, it is submitted whether legislation intended to effect entire exclusion from citizenship of all who are not born on the soil will be deemed in accordance with the civilization of the age.

In conclusion, it can scarcely be necessary to point out the evil effects that may be produced on aliens now serving in our Army and on those of our fellow-citizens who are of foreign birth, by what will be considered as a legislative stigma cast on them as a class.

Jefferson Davis.


By the President of the Confederate States.


Whereas, an act of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, approved this, the 28th day of November, 1861, provides that, "the State of Missouri be, and is hereby admitted, as a member of the Confederate States of America, upon an equal footing with the other States of this Confederacy, under the Constitution for the Provisional Government of the same:"