To the public.
The undersigned, Committee appointed by the Planters' Convention, lately assembled in Macon
, and now adjourned over to meet at the same place on the 15th of October next, beg leave to endorse the noble sentiments contained in the subjoined address of the President
of the Convention
, and to commend them and their suggestions to the consideration and adoption of every community in the Confederate States
, to all whom we extend a cordial invitation to unite with us at the adjourned meeting.
With the request that all the papers of the Confederate States
publish the address, or call special attention to it, we submit it with great pleasure for publication. J. H. R. Washington
T. G. Holt
Ed. D. Hugurnin
A. E. Cochran
On the 4th day of July last, a Convention of Cotton Planters was held in the city of Macon, Georgia
The States of Georgia
were pretty well represented.
and South Carolina
to a very limited extent only.
As the President
of that Convention, I adopt this method of presenting to the public the claims of the enterprise in which it is engaged.
The representation being confined to a few States, it was not deemed advisable, nor indeed did we feel that we were authorized by se small a delegation to undertake a great deal, but from such a stand point we were able to survey the vastness of the field before us, and to appreciate something of the benefits which might result to the cause of our country, from an assemblage of wise and experienced men, brought into conference from every portion of the Southern Confederacy.
We could not, at any rate, consent to abandon an enterprise which had been so wisely conceived, and which, to our minds, seemed capable of accomplishing so much good, merely because, in its inception, it had not met with universal favor.
It was determined, therefore, to meet again in the city of Macon, Georgia
, on the 15th day of October next, and in the meantime, by presenting the subject to the public, to endeavor to enlist in the movement the great body of the planters of the South
I come now to ask of this class who hold in their hands the vast productive wealth of the South
, a due consideration of this question, and a full representation in the next Convention from every State in the Confederacy
I know that the history of popular conventions may discredit their efficiency for usefulness; the want of earnest co-operation, and their subserviency to personal schemes, too often converting their deliberations into farces, and their actions ending in fruitless resolutions.
Yet, after all, they afford the most practicable mode of ascertaining and consolidating the opinions of the people.
In this Convention there will be no individual schemes to foster, no ulterior designs to accomplish; but an honest, undivided effort to provide the ways and means of supporting the Government
in its present extra ordinary emergency.
It may, if the people wish it, be a Mass Convention, I would that it could be, and I therefore invite all who can do so, to meet with us. But the questions to be considered will be grave, deep, broad; involving on the one hand the wants of the Government
, and on the other, the wisest mode of applying to those wants the material aid within the control of the people.
Impulse and enthusiasm are good in their place, but they must be directed in wisdom in planning, and sustained by uncompromising purpose in executing the schemes which may be devised.
To this end, we hope to see a chosen delegation from each Congressional District, as well as from each State at large.
Let the delegates be men who have the confidence of their constituency, as well as the ability to devise a plan of aid to the Government
, that will be acceptable and adopted, and let them come up prepared to make the largest pledges of support and recommend the best plans of making our means available.
We do not propose any assumption of powers which shall conflict in the least with the constituted authorities of the country, nor shall we arrogate to ourselves wisdom equal to theirs, in managing the great interests committed to their hands.
The President and Congress have no assurance of the unanimity with which the people, all over the States, are prepared to sustain and co-operate with them, yet, in the multitude of counsel there is safety, and in a large and intelligent assemblage, representing and voluntarily emanating from the agricultural interests of the land, there will be found much to encourage the hearts and string then the hands of those who are directly charged with the administration of the Government
Planters of the South
Your country is engaged in a struggle which involves everything worth living for. Let us come together, and, if need be, lay our all upon its altars.
If we fall in this contest, all is lost; if we succeed, the sacrifice will be small compared with the ruin which awaits us in defeat.
But there is no such word as ‘"fail"’ in the lexicon of a people united and determined, and fighting for such a cause as ours.
There is a spirit among our people against which the waves of Northern vandalism will beat in vain.
Every dollar of our property, and every man and boy from 16 to 17 shall be pledged to the support of the Government
When the muskets and rifles and shot guns are exhausted, we will, in guerilla bands, meet the foe with club axes and butcher knives, and even if driven from our homes, when our pursuers come to gather the fruits of ‘"subjugation,"’ they will find nought but the graves and the bleaching bones of a people, who had chosen death rather than yield to their dominion.
There is no hope for us but in victory, and God being our helper, we shall achieve that!
The shortest and most economical way through this war is in a full consecration of everything to its prosecution.
Let the proclamation go out to the world, from this Convention, that the tender has been made to the Government
, and let the assurance be repeated to our President
, that none of his drafts shall be dishonored while there is a man or a dollar left.
James M. Chambers
Aug. 8th, 1861.