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Doc. 34.--Southern opinions.

The Charleston Mercury thus discusses the power of the Southern Congress:

In the first place, has this convention any authority to elect a President and Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy? Excepting in Mississippi, it is doubtful whether any other State convention in the South thought of any such project. What good can result from this convention assuming to elect the President and Vice-President of the Confederacy, without at the same time electing the Senators and Representatives of the Congress? Mississippi has already exercised the right to elect her Senators and Representatives to the Congress.--Surely the other States should exercise the same right. It will not do for her to appoint her Representatives by her convention, and then come here and appoint ours besides.

But there is a graver matter than its absurdity behind this scheme. Is it any thing else than the policy of reconstructing the Union? Take the Constitution of the United States as it is, with all its constructive powers, and get the frontier States in the Confederacy with us, and will the Constitution ever be altered? And if not altered, will we not have the same battle to fight over again with them, after a few years, which we have been compelled to fight with the Northern States? But will a Southern confederacy exist at all with such a policy? Will not all the Northern States come again into a Union with us? Why should they not? They are satisfied with the Constitution of the United States as it is, open to their interpretation. It establishes a capital despotism under their power. Of course they will seek to reconstruct the Union. And will it not be done? Yes, certainly, under this scheme. After all, we will have run a round circle, and end where we started.

The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle recommends the Hon. A. H. Stephens as provisional President, because he bears no “stain of the prevalent corruption,” and because he is “Southern by birth and education, patriotic beyond question, calm, sound, and mature in judgment, with a reputation that was national when we had a nation, and a favorite, at one time or another, with all parties.”

Such a nomination, the Chronicle says, would reconcile the feelings of our friends at the North, and also the Union men of the South. It then says:

Disguise it as we may, the greatest danger to the new confederacy arises, not from without, not from the North, but from our own people. We have only to refer to recent speeches in Congress, such as those of Clemens, Etheridge, and Nelson, to show that the indications are growing stronger that organized if not armed opposition to the new order of things may arise in States or parts of Southern States not vitally interested in the Slavery question. Such discontent is to be allayed if possible.

Our position has ever been that all the Southern States should unite in action, and we have advocated separate action and an independent State Government by Georgia only because we saw no hope for united action by all the Southern States. We have invariably been consistent in our desire for cooperation. When our hopes seemed about to fail, and separate State action was an “accomplished fact,” we thought it better that Georgia, powerful in resources beyond any of her neighbors, rich and prosperous, should set up for herself, and not link her fortunes to a confederacy ruled by disorganizing charlatans, without the talent to construct, though potent to destroy; governed by chimerical schemers, without a particle of practical common sense or business knowledge, in which she would have to bear more than her share of the burdens, and incur more than her proportion of the financial and commercial disadvantages. But with Stephens at the helm (for he has brains) Georgia and the South are safe.

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