The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 214
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
temporary constitution,2 the assembly elected Jefferson Davis and
Alexander H. Stevens President and Vice-President, respectively,
of the new government. In this election there seems to have been
little of intrigue or political scheming. "The qualifications of
Davis, Cobb, and Toombs were quietly canvassed, but the differ-
ences were not so pressed as to cause delay of action or any ill
feeling. Some deputies favored Cobb, some Toombs, but Davis
received unanimous and cordial support."3
The choice of Davis was warranted by many considerations. A
long and honorable career in the public service as representative,
senator, and cabinet member had given him the necessary training
for the presidency. He had, moreover, won merited fame in the
war with Mexico and as secretary of war under Pierce had fur-
ther increased his knowledge of military tactics and organization.
It was natural, also, that the South should look to this conservative
successor of Calhoun in the defense of slavery and the sovereignty
of the State as their leader during the uncertain times that lay
'This constitution was for the most part a copy of the Constitution
of 1787. Some important changes, however, were made, the chief of which
dealt with the executive department. Provision was made for a single
presidential term of six years; the right of vetoing any single item in
an appropriation bill without invalidating the whole was permitted; no
general appropriation of funds could be made unless asked for by the
head of a department, except by a two-thirds vote of each house; the
President's power -of removal was somewhat curtailed; and, lastly, Con-
gress was authorized to grant a seat on the floor of either house to
members of the cabinet, who then had the privilege of discussing any
measure touching their departments. According to Davis this last pro-
vision, "which would have tended to obviate much delay and misunder-
standing," was never put into operation because of the failure of Con-
gress to enact the necessary legislation (Davis, Rise and Fall of the Con-
federate Government, 1, 260). The provisional Congress consisted of a
single chamber whose members voted by States. Both the provisional
and permanent constitutions are printed in Richards'n, Mlessrlges and
Papers of the Confederacy, Vol. 1.
"Curry, Civil History of the Confederate States, 52. On the other hand,
Stephens thought that Toombs would have been the choice of the Con-
gress had a misunderstanding not arisen in the Georgia delegation.
Stephens, War between the States, II, 320-331. See al -o Pollard, Life of
Jeffcrson Davis and Secret History of the Confederacy, 61, who states
that R. TM. T. Hunter was slated for the presidency, with Jefferson Davis
as secretary of war. A further discussion is given in Dodd's Jefferson
Dams, 216-222, and in Phillips' Life of Robert Toomabs, 22-226.
""He was .selected because the opponents of secession and the conserva-
tive Virginians could unite upon him." Dodd, 226.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/235/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.