Tuesday, January 15th, 1861.

The Convention met at 10 o’clock, a. m., and was called to order by the President.

Prayer by Rev. O. R. Blue.

On motion of Mr. Jemison, the reading of the journals was dispensed with for the purpose of allowing the Committee the Constitution to report.


Mr. Cochran, from the Committee on the Constitution, reported the following Ordinance, which was adopted:

An Ordinance to change the Oath of Office in this State.

Be it declared, and ordained, and it is hereby declared and ordained, by the people of the State of Alabama, in Convention assembled, That the first section and sixth article of the Constitution of the State of Alabama be amended by striking out of the fifth line of said section the words “Constitution of the United States and the,” after the word “the,” and before the word “Constitution,” where they occur.

And be it further ordained, as aforesaid, That all officers in this State are hereby absolved from the oath to support the Constitution of the United States heretofore taken by them.

A communication was received from the Governor in relation to military operations, which was read and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.

Also, a communication from the Governor in relation to moneys at the Mobile Custom House, which, on motion of Mr. Ketchum, was referred to the Committee on Imposts and Duties.

On motion by Mr. Whatley, a copy of the Ordinance on the Oath of Office was ordered to be sent immediately to each branch of the General Assembly.

The President read the following communication from the Secretary:

MONTGOMERY, January 15, 1861.

Hon. W. M. Brooks, President of the Convention:

SIR: I have received a notification that my company, the “Warrior Guards,” Tuscaloosa county, starts to-day for Fort Morgan, by order of the Governor, and it is my duty as well as my inclination to join it forthwith. I therefore respectfully resign my place as Secretary in your honorable body.



Mr. Henderson, of Macon, offered the following resolution, which, on motion of Mr. Clemens, was laid, on the table:

Resolved, That in accepting the resignation of the Principal Secretary, Mr. W. H. Fowler, who has tendered the


same for the purpose of obeying the call of our State to defend her from invasion, and while we entertain a high appreciation of his services as an officer of this body, we yield to the exigency that deprives us of his able services, and our best wishes accompany him to the post of danger to which he is called.

Mr. Phillips offered “An Ordinance to abolish certain duties,” which was referred to the Committee on Imposts and Duties.

Mr. Shortridge introduced the following resolution, which was ruled out of order:

Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be requested to communicate to the Convention all the information which may be in his possession upon the following subjects, to wit:

1st. How many men within this State are liable to perform, under existing laws, military service?

2d. How many men are actually enrolled on militia duty?

3d. How many companies of artillery and how many of cavalry have been organized under the provisions of the Military Bill of the last Legislature, or exist independently of the provisions of said Military Bill?

The reading of the journal of the preceding day, which had been postponed, was then attended to.

Mr. Posey, by leave, introduced “An Ordinance to prohibit the African Slave Trade,” and asked to have it made the special order of the day for Monday next.

On motion by Mr. Whatley, it was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

The unfinished business of the preceding day-being the resolution of Mr. Jewett and the ordinance of Mr. Shortridge, both in relation to the public land-was taken up, and on motion by Mr. Watkins, they were referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and Internal Improvements.

The President gave notice that hereafter he should call for reports from the committees in the regular order of their appointment.

The call was made, and no reports were offered.

Mr. Henderson, of Macon, introduced “An Ordinance providing for a Council of State,” which was referred to the Committee on the Constitution.

Mr. Clemens offered “An Ordinance for the military defence of the State,” which, on his motion was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.


The President then read the following letter from Mr. Fowler:

MONTGOMERY, ALA., January 15th, 1861.

Hon. W. M. Brooks, President of the Convention:

SIR: Learning through yourself that my resignation as Secretary, for the purpose named, was not accepted by the Convention, I beg to say that, fully appreciating the kindness of those who desire me to remain in this position, yet I feel in honor bound to join my company, and, with due respect to the Convention, I must do so.

Very Respectfully,


On motion, the resolution offered by Mr. Henderson, of Macon, was taken up and adopted.

Mr. Whatley moved to go into the election of a Secretary which was adopted, and the name of Mr. A. G. Horn, of Mobile, being put in nomination, he was elected by acclamation, there being no opposition.

Mr. Yancey made a report from the Committee of Thirteen upon the formation of a Provisional and Permanent Government between the seceding States.

And, on his motion, the report and ordinance were laid on the table, and two hundred copies were ordered to be printed for the use of the Convention.

Mr. Bulger offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Governor of the State be requested to furnish to this Convention a copy of all military orders issued by him or under his authority, since the 30th day of December last, together with such explanations as he may deem proper.

Mr. Blue moved to amend Mr. Bulger’s resolution as follows:

Resolved, That the Governor of the State of Alabama be, and he is hereby requested, to inform this Convention what number of troops, if any, have been called into service, or ordered to points of danger, by any orders other than his own; and, if so, by whose orders and under what authority.

Mr. Morgan moved to refer both to the Committee on Military Affairs.

The President here announced that he hour for the consideration of the report of the Committee on Postal Affairs, which had been made the special order of the day for 12 o'clock, had arrived.


On motion by Mr. Jemison, the special order was suspended in order to finish the business before the Convention.

Mr. Jemison moved to lay both resolution and amendment on the table, which was carried.

The report of the Committee on Postal Arrangements was taken up.

By leave Mr. Morgan made a slight change in the wording of the report.

On motion by Mr. Bragg, the report and accompanying ordinance were adopted, as follows:

The Committee on Postal Arrangements have instructed me to report:

That the system of postal arrangements established by the Government of the United States, and extended to the several States and to Foreign Governments, cannot be at once disturbed by this State, without producing much inconvenience to the people, and injury to our citizens, and those of other States holding contracts relating to postal affairs with said Government.

The time that will probably intervene before a Southern Confederacy is established, would not be sufficient to enable this State to completely organize the proper mail department within its borders, and to secure, by treaties or conventions, a sure and regular mail communication with and through the neighboring States.

A permission, to carry out existing mail arrangements, extending to the citizens of this and other States who hold contracts for mail transportation to this State and within its borders, or from this to other States and countries, and ensuring also to the convenience and advantage of the United States Government, may be continued to them without admitting to any extent the authority or jurisdiction of said Government in any aspect.

The faith and credit of this State should be pledged to persons holding contracts or appointments for mail service within the State, that they shall be secured against loss after they have faithfully performed such service, from the 11th January, 1861, to such time as the State shall dispense with such service. But the mutual advantages of mail facilities to this State and to our sister Southern States, and to the Government of the United States, are such as to impress your committee with the belief that the Government of the United States will continue the postal system,


under the contracts, regulations and arrangements of force on the 11th January, 1861, at least until such contracts expire. Therefore, the revenues from the post offices within this State should not be demanded or received by the State until such time as it becomes manifest that the Government of the United States will not, in good faith, apply such revenues to the purpose of keeping up the existing mail arrangements.

In the event that any such indications of bad faith should appear, it will be competent for the Legislature of this State to provide for the emergency.

The whole subject of postal affairs will devolve upon the proposed Southern Confederacy, should Alabama enter the same on the basis proposed in the resolutions accompanying the Ordinance of Secession, adopted on the 11th day of January, 1861; and, therefore, all action taken on that subject by this State ought to be provisional.

We therefore unanimously recommend the adoption of the following Ordinance, with the accompanying resolution:

An Ordinance to make Provisional Postal Arrangements in Alabama.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama, in Convention assembled, That the postal contracts, arrangements and regulations in force on the 11th day of January, A. D. eighteen hundred and sixty-one, are permitted to be continued, and the persons charged with the duties thereof are permitted to continue to discharge such duties until a postal treaty or treaties shall be concluded, or until otherwise ordered or provided by the authority of this State.

Resolved, That two thousand five hundred copies of the “Ordinance to make Provisional Postal arrangements in Alabama,” be printed, together with the report of the Committee on Postal Arrangements, and that a copy of the Ordinance be sent to the Governor of each State of the former Union, and to the Postmaster General.

Mr. Humphries offered the following resolution, which on motion was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and Internal Relations.

Resolved, That the Bounty Land Warrants, held by widows, and orphans, residing in this State on the 11th day of January 1861, shall have the right to locate such warrants on any unoccupied land in this State.


Mr. Morgan offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the Secretary of State be directed to carry out the resolution accompanying the ordinance to make Provisional Postal arrangements, as soon as practicable.

Mr. Shortridge called up the resolution previously introduced by him, calling on the Governor for certain information, and on motion it was adopted.

Mr. Jemison offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns on each day hereafter, it shall adjourn to meet at 10 o’clock A. M., and shall adjourn without motion, at 2 o’clock P. M., unless otherwise ordered by two thirds of the Convention.

Mr. Watts moved to strike out so much as referred to time of adjournment. Lost.

And the resolution was adopted.

Mr. Johnson offered a resolution to reimburse the Door-Keeper, in the sum of $25, for money paid for postage stamps, which was referred to the Committee on Public Expenditures.

The Convention then adjourned to 10 o’clock to-morrow morning.