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PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS (CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA) - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 03/19/1862 - HFSID 286081

THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERACY TRANSMITS A REPORT OF SECRETARY OF WAR JUDAH P. BENJAMIN TO CONGRESS; THE SENATE READS IT IN "SECRET LEGISLATIVE SESSION", WHILE THE HOUSE ORDERS 2,500 COPIES PRINTED AND THE "INJUNCTION OF SECRECY BE REMOVED"

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THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERACY TRANSMITS A REPORT OF SECRETARY OF WAR JUDAH P. BENJAMIN TO CONGRESS; THE SENATE READS IT IN "SECRET LEGISLATIVE SESSION", WHILE THE HOUSE ORDERS 2,500 COPIES PRINTED AND THE "INJUNCTION OF SECRECY BE REMOVED"
 
JEFFERSON DAVIS.
Important Manuscript LS: "Jefferson Davis" as President of the Confederate States of America, 1p, 8¼x7¼ lined sheet, affixed to cardboard of same size. Executive Department, [Richmond, Virginia],1862 March 19. "To the Senate and House of Representatives." In full: "I herewith transmit a Report of the Secretary of War supplementary to a Report heretofore submitted by him, and referred to in that document." The First Session of the First Congress of the Confederate States of America was held in Richmond, Virginia, from February 18, 1862 to April 23, 1862. This letter appears in the Journal of the Senate of the First Congress of the Confederate States of America: "The Senate being again resolved into secret legislative session, The following message was received from the President of the Confederate States, by Mr. B.N. Harrison, his Secretary." [Jefferson Davis had appointed Burton N. Harrison of Mississippi his Private Secretary two days earlier, on March 17, 1862; the body of this letter is most likely in his hand.] This was followed by the text of this letter followed by: "The message was read. Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs." On March 19, 1862, in the House of Representatives of the Confederate States, the message was referred to the House Committee on Military Affairs and "2,500 copies of the report of the Secretary of War and the accompanying documents be printed, and injunction of secrecy be removed." It was titled: "Supplemental Report of The Secretary of War (#147), March 17, 1862." It is interesting to note that the Senate read the message in "secret legislative session" while the House ordered "the injunction of secrecy be removed" and copies of the Secretary of War's report be printed. On March 18, 1862, the day before this letter was written, the Confederate Senate voted to advise and consent to the appointments of the six members of President Davis's Cabinet: Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of the Treasury Christopher G. Memminger, Secretary of War George W. Randolph, Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory, Attorney General Thomas H. Watts and Postmaster General John H. Reagan. Judah P. Benjamin had served as Secretary of War under the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, and he the Secretary of War to whom President Davis refers in this letter. Jefferson Davis had been chosen Provisional President by the Provisional Congress and had served from February 18, 1861 until February 22, 1862, just 25 days before he wrote this letter, when he was sworn in as President of the Confederate States, having been elected to a six-year term. With this letter, President Davis transmitted a report from Secretary of War Benjamin [not present] to the Senate and House "supplementary to a report heretofore submitted by him". That previous report submitted by Benjamin was recorded in the Senate Journal on March 5th. Official messages from President Jefferson Davis to the Congress of the Confederate States of America rarely appear on the market. Lightly creased and soiled, touching signature and writing (all legible). 6¼-inch tear touches 3 words of writing, 2-inch vertical tear from that tear touches 3 words of text, 1-inch tear at date, ¾-inch tear at 1 word of address (all paper intact). Chipped at 1 tear, touching 1 word of writing. Shaded at left and right margins, minor stains, primarily at blank areas. Upper right corner cut away, chipped at upper left corner. Tape remnants on verso (no show through). Overall, fragile condition.
 

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