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PROCLAMATION BY JEFFERSON DAVIS,
Whereas, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the President of the United States, has, by proclamation, announced the intention of invading this Confederacy with an armed force, for the purpose of capturing its fortresses, and thereby subverting its independence, and subjecting the free people thereof to the dominion of a foreign power; and whereas it has thus become the duty of this Government to repel the threatened invasion, and to defend the rights and liberties of the people by all the means which the laws of nations and the usages of civilized warfare place at its disposal;
Now, therefore, I, JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this my Proclamation, inviting all those who may desire, by service in private armed vessels on the high seas, to aid this Government in resisting so wanton and
wicked an aggression, to make application for commissions or Letters of Marque and Reprisal, to be issued under the seal of these Confederate States.
And I do further notify all persons applying for Letters of Marque, to make a statement in writing, giving the name and a suitable description of the character, tonnage, and force of the vessel, and the name and place of residence of each owner concerned therein, and the intended number of the crew, and to sign said statement and deliver the same to the Secretary of State, or to the Collector of any port of entry of these Confederate States, to be by him transmitted to the Secretary of State.
And I do further notify all applicants aforesaid that before any commission or Letter of Marque is issued to any vessel, the owner or owners thereof, and the commander for the time being, will be required to give bonds to the Confederate States, with at least two responsible sureties, not interested in such vessel, in the penal sum of five thousand dollars; or if such vessel be provided with more than one hundred and fifty men, then in the penal sum of ten thousand dollars, with condition that the owners, officers and crew who shall be employed on board such commissioned vessels shall observe the laws of these Confederate States and the instructions given to them for the regulation of their conduct. That
they shall satisfy all damages done contrary to the tenor thereof by such vessel during her commission, and deliver up the same when revoked by the President of the Confederate States.
And I do further specially enjoin on all persons holding offices, civil and military, under the authority of the Confederate States, that they be vigilant and zealous in discharging the duties incident thereto; and I do, moreover, solemnly exhort the good people of these Confederate States, as they love their country, as they prize the blessings of free government, as they feel the wrongs of the past and these now threatened in aggravated form by those whose enmity is more implacable because unprovoked, that they exert themselves in preserving order, in promoting concord, in maintaining the authority and efficacy of the laws, and in supporting and invigorating all the measures which may be adopted for the common defence, and by which, under the blessings of Divine Providence, we may hope for a speedy, just, and honorable peace.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Confederate States to be affixed, this seventeenth day of April, 1861.
By the President,
R. TOOMBS, Secretary of State.
SPEECH OF HON. A. H. STEPHENS,
AT ATLANTA, GA., APRIL 30, 1861.
MY FELLOW-CITIZENS :-I think the country may be considered safe, since your interest in its welfare has brought you out at this hour of the night. I have just returned from a mission to old Virginia. It will be gratifying to you, I know, to state that she is not only out of the Union, but she is a member of the Southern Confederacy, and has sent delegates to our Congress, now assembled. North Carolina will have her delegates with us, also, in a few days. Her Legislature meets to-morrow, and I doubt not she will be out of the Union before Saturday night. The fires which first kindled the old Mecklenburgh Declaration of Independence are again burning throughout all her domains. From all that we have learned in the last few days, Tennessee will soon put herself on the side of the South, and be a new star in our shining galaxy. The news is also good from
Kentucky, though I have nothing official from there. A few of her public men are trying to put the brakes down on her people; but they seem unwilling to submit any longer. From Missouri the news is most cheering, and Arkansas will soon be with us.
But the best of all is, that Maryland-gallant little Maryland-right under the guns of Lincoln and the threats of Blair, to make it a Free State, if the blood of the last white man has to be shed in accomplishing it—has resolved, to a man, to stand by the South! She will be arrayed against Abolitiondom, and cling to the South; and if she has not delegates with us now, she is in open defiance of Lincoln and his Government, and will soon be with us, even by revolution. The cause of Baltimore is the cause of us all, from the Atlantic to the Rio Grande. Her hands must be held up, and triumph must be assured to her.
You have probably seen it stated that overtures of peace had been made by Lord Lyons, and, perhaps, by other parties. I tell you it is not true, and is only intended to deceive you. It is also said that the Lincoln Government has done so. This may be true; but if it is, it is all for treachery, as they gave traitorous assurances to our Commissioners at Washington. For weeks they were kept there under the most positive assurances of a pacific policy and