Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/387

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The Confederate Constitution.

From the News Leader, December 30, 1908.


The original parchment copy of the provisional constitution of the Confederate States has not been lost as reported in an afternoon paper, declares the secretary of the Confederate Museum, but has been preserved with the knowledge of many members of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society in the Confederate Museum since its establishment in 1897.

It appears that the original constitution was purchased in 1870 by Mrs. Mary de Renne, of Savannah, Ga., for $25,000 and presented to the Southern Historical Society. When the Confederate Memorial Literary Society was established here in 1896 with a fire-proof building for the care of their relics, they offered a room in their museum to the Southern Historical Society, who accepted their offer. In 1907 the Southern Historical Society turned over its relics and documents to the society here.

About a year ago Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman, an astute young historian and expert in transcript work, was engaged to catalogue the documents belonging to the Confederate Memorial Literary Society in collaboration with a historical manuscript commission composed of a number of ladies belonging to the society. His work in this connection has been highly successful and valuable, and he has published a book showing the results of his researches in the manuscripts of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society.

Quite recently Mr. Freeman took up the work of examining the Southern Historical Society papers which were in the keeping of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society. The original constitution was among these papers, carefully preserved in a tin tube in one of the book cases. The impression created that the valuable manuscript had been lost or forgotten is an entirely erroneous one. It has been securely and carefully pre-