The Confederated States of
North America.
Sketches of the Executive officers — Strength and wealth of the Republic — the Provisional capital, #x38;c.

A sketch of the prominent man who is to share in North America the honors of the Presidential chair with Abraham Lincoln for the next four years, is at the present moment especially apropos.

Hon. Jeff. Davis, President.

Few men have led a life more filled with stirring or eventful incidents than Jefferson Davis. A native of Kentucky, born about 1806, he went in early youth with his father to Mississippi, then a Territory, and was appointed by President Monroe in 1822 to be a cadet at West Point. He graduated with the first honors in 1828 as Brevet Second Lieut., and at his own request was placed in active service, being assigned to the command of General (then Colonel,) Zachary Taylor, who was stationed in the West. In the frontier wars of the time young Davis distinguished himself in so marked a manner that when a new regiment of dragoons was formed he at once obtained a commission as first Lieutenant. During this time a romantic attachment sprang up between him and his prisoner, the famous chief Black Hawk, in which the latter forgot his animosity to the people of the United States in his admiration for Lieut. Davis, and not until his death was the bond of amity severed between the two brave men.

In 1835 he settled quietly down upon a cotton plantation, devoting himself to a thorough and systematic course of political and scientific education. He was married to a daughter of Gen. Taylor.

In 1843 he took the stump for Polk, and in 1845, having attracted no little attention in his State by his vigor and ability, he was elected to Congress. Ten days after, he made his maiden speech. Soon the Mexican war broke out, and a regiment of volunteers having been formed in Mississippi, and himself chosen Colonel, he resigned his post in Congress, and instantly repaired with his command to join the corps d'armee under General Taylor. At Monterey and Buena Vista he and his noble regiment achieved the soldiers highest fame. Twice by his coolness he saved the day at Buena Vista. Wherever fire was hottest or danger to be encountered, there Colonel Davis and the Mississippi Rifles were to be found. He was badly wounded in the early part of the action, but sat his horse steadily till the day was won, and refused to delegate even a portion of his duties to his subordinate officers.

In 1848 he was appointed to fill the vacancy in the Senate of the United States occasioned by the death of General Speight, and in 1850 was elected to that body almost unanimously for the term of six years.

In 1851 he resigned his seat in the Senate to become the State-Rights candidate for Governor, but was defeated by Governor Foote.

In 1853 he was called to a seat in the Cabinet of President Pierce, and was Secretary of War during his administration. In 1857 he was elected United States Senator from Mississippi for the term of six years, which office he held until his resignation on the secession of Mississippi from the Union.

Personally, he is the last man who would be selected as a ‘"fire-eater."’ He is a prim, smooth-looking man, with a precise manner, a stiff, soldierly carriage, and an austerity that is at first forbidding. He has naturally, however, a genial temper, companionable qualities, and a disposition that endears him to all by whom he may be surrounded. As a speaker he is clear, forcible and argumentative; his voice is clear and firm, without tremor, and he is one in every way fitted for the distinguished post to which he has been called.

Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President.

This gentleman is known throughout the Union as one of the most prominent of Southern politicians and eloquent orators. His father, Andrew B. Stevens, was a planter of moderate means, and his mother (Margaret Grier) was a sister to the famous compiler of Grier's almanacs. She died when he was an infant, leaving him with four brothers and one sister, of whom only one brother survives.

Mr. Stephens was born in Georgia on the 11th of February, 1812. When in his fourteenth year his father died, and the homestead being sold, his share of the entire estate was about five hundred dollars. With a commendable Anglo-Saxon love of his ancestry, Mr. Stephens has since re-purchased the original estate, which comprised about two hundred and fifty acres, and has added to it about six hundred more. Assisted by friends, he entered the University of Georgia in 1828, and in 1832 graduated at the head of his class. In 1834 he commenced the study of the law, and in less than twelve months was engaged in one of the most important cases in the country. His eloquence has ever had a powerful effect upon juries, enforcing, as it does, arguments of admirable simplicity and legal weight. From 1837 to 1840 he was a member of the Georgia Legislature. In 1842 he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1843 was elected to Congress. He was a member of the Whig party in its palmiest days, but since its dissolution has acted with the men of the South, and such has been the upright, steadfast and patriotic policy he has pursued, that no one in the present era of faction, selfishness or suspicion, has whispered an accusation of selfish motives or degrading intrigues against him. In the House he served prominently on the most important committees, and effected the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill through the House at a time when its warms friends despaired of success. He was subsequently appointed chairman of the Committee on Territories, and was also chairman of the special committee to which was referred the Lecompton constitution.--By his patriotic course on various measures, he has, from time to time, excited the ire of many of the Southern people, but he has always succeeded in coming out of the contest with flying colors, and his recent elevation is a mark of the profound respect entertained for his qualities as a man and statesman.

Mr. Stephens is most distinguished as an orator, though he does not look like one who can command the attention of the House at any time or upon any topic. His health from childhood has been very feeble, being afflicted with four abscesses and a continued derangement of the liver, which gives him a consumptive appearance, though his lungs are sound. He has never weighed over ninety-six pounds, and to see his attenuated figure bent over his desk, the shoulders contracted and the shape of his slender limbs visible through his garments, a stranger would never select him as the ‘"John Randolph"’ of our time, more dreaded as an adversary and more prized as an ally in a debate than any other member of the House of Representatives. When speaking he has at first a shrill sharp voice, but as he warms up with his subject the clear tones and vigorous sentences roll out with a sonorousness that finds its way to every corner of the immense hall. He is witty, rhetorical and solid, and has a dash of keen satire that puts an edge upon every speech. He is a careful student, but so very careful that no trace of study is perceptible as he dashes along in a flow of facts, arguments and language that to common minds is almost bewildering. Possessing hosts of warm friends who are proud of his regard, an enlightened Christian virtue and inflexible integrity, such is Alexander H. Stephens, the Vice-President elect of the Southern Confederacy.

speech of Vice-President Stephens.

Montgomery, Feb. 10.--Mr. Stephens, last night, in response to a complimentary serenade, said:

Gentlemen and Fellow-Citizens: For although we met here as strangers, from different independent States, we are once more citizens of a common country. [Applause.] Allow me briefly and sincerely to express my unfeigned thanks for this compliment; but the state of my health and voice, and the night air, apart from other considerations, prevent me from doing more. This is not the time or place to discuss those great questions which are now pressing upon our public councils, now in process of formation.

’ It is sufficient to say that this day a new Republic has been formed. The ‘"Confederate States of North America"’ have been ushered into existence, and take their place among the nations of the earth. [Cheers.] Under a temporary or provisional government, it is true; but this will soon be followed by one of permanent character, which, while it surrenders none of our ancient rights and privileges, will secure, more perfectly, we trust, that peace, security, and domestic tranquility, which should be the object of all governments. --[Applause.]

What is to be the future of this new government, the fate of this new republic, will depend upon ourselves. Six States only at present constitute it. But six States as yet appear in our constellation. More, we trust, will soon be added; and by the time a permanent Constitution may have been adopted we may have a number greater than the ‘"original thirteen,"’ with more than three times their population, wealth and power. [Applause.] With such a beginning, the prospect of our future presents strong hopes to patriots of the past of a prosperous career; but what the future will be, as I before remarked, depends upon ourselves and those who may succeed us.

Our Republic and all Republics to be permanent and prosperous, must be sustained by virtue, intelligence, integrity and patriotism. The people, themselves, are the corner-stones upon which the temple of popular liberty must be constructed, to stand securely and permanently. Resting ours upon these, we need fear nothing from without or within.

With a climate unsurpassed by any on earth, with staple productions which control the commerce of the world, with institutions (so far as regards our organic and social polity) in strict conformity to nature and the laws of the Creator, whether read in the Book of Inspiration or the great book of manifestations around us, we have all the natural elements essential to the attainment of the highest degree of power and glory. These institutions have been much assailed. It is our mission to vindicate the great truth on which they rest, and with them exhibit the highest type of civilization which it is possible for human society to reach. In doing this our policy should be marked by the desire to preserve and maintain peace with the States and people.

If it cannot be done, let not the fault lie at our door. While we should make aggressions on none, we should be prepared to repel those made by others, let them come from what quarter they may. [Applause.] We ask of others simply that we be let alone, and permitted to look after our safety, security, and happiness, in our own way, without molesting or giving offence to other people.

Let, then, peace, fraternity, and liberal commercial relations with all the world be our motto. [Cheers.] With these principles — without envy towards other States in the line of policy they may mark out for themselves — we will invite them to generous rivalry in all that develops the highest of every nation. [Applause.]

And now, with the best wishes to you, gentlemen, and success to our common government, this day announced, I bid you good night.

As the speaker retired, three cheers were given for ‘"Hon. A. H. Stephens, of Georgia, the first Vice President of the Confederate States of North America."’

The Provisional capital of the New Confederacy.

The city of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, has assumed such a sudden importance as the capital of the Southern Confederacy, and the seat of the Federal operations of the new Government, that we give below a brief sketch of its locality and surroundings. It is situated on the left bank of the Alabama river, 331 miles by water from Mobile, and is 839 miles from Washington, D. C. It is the second city in the State in respect to trade and population, and is one of the most flourishing inland towns of the Southern States, possessing great facilities for communication with the surrounding country. For steamboat navigation the Alabama river is one of the best in the Union, the largest steamers ascending to this point from Mobile. The city is also the western termination of the Montgomery and West Point Railroad. It contains several extensive iron foundries, mills, factories, large warehouses, numerous elegant stores and private residences. The cotton shipped at this place annually amounts to about one hundred thousand bales. The public records were removed from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery in November, 1847. The State House was destroyed by fire in 1849, and another one was erected on the same site in 1851. The present population of the city is not far from 16,000, and it is probable that, with all its natural advantages, the fact of its present selection as the Southern capital will soon place it in the first rank of Southern cities.

The Vote on Secession.

The States composing the Confederacy passed their respective ordinances of dissolution as follows:


South Carolina.Dec. 20, 1860169
MississippiJan. 9, 18618415
AlabamaJan. 11, 18616139
FloridaJan. 11, 1861627
GeorgiaJan. 19, 186120889
LouisianaJan. 25, 186111317

The New Confederacy.

At this particular juncture it will also be interesting, in view of coming legislation, to note some of the statistics of the several seceding States with reference to their population, State debt, &c. They are as follows:

Population in 1860.

Free.Slave.State Debt in 1859.
South Carolina308, 186407,185$6,192.743
Louisiana354,245312, 18610,703,142

This is a population exceeding by 522,926 that of 1790, at the close of the Revolutionary war.

The Rejoicing in New Orleans.

New Orleans, Feb. 9.--The President of the Louisiana State Convention announced to-day that information by telegraphic dispatch had been received of the election of Jefferson Davis for President, and Alexander H. Stephens for Vice President of the Provisional Government of the Southern Confederacy. Tremendous and prolonged applause greeted the announcement from the galleries and the lobbies. Resolutions were immediately offered cordially approving the action of the Montgomery Convention, and passed unanimously, and a resolution to fire a salute in honor of the Southern President and Vice President elect unanimously passed the Convention. One hundred guns were fired, and great enthusiasm and rejoicing prevails.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Alexander H. Stephens (9)
Jefferson Davis (6)
Zachary Taylor (3)
Montgomery (2)
Margaret Grier (2)
Andrew B. Stevens (1)
Speight (1)
Saxon (1)
John Randolph (1)
Polk (1)
Pierce (1)
Monroe (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Black Hawk (1)
Foote (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: