Public acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861 online

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Online LibraryTennesseePublic acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861 → online text (page 1 of 9)
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APRIL, 1861.







Governor's Message upon assembling the Legislature 8

Governor's Messsagc re-assembling the Legislature 11


An Aet to submit to a vote of the, people a Declaration of Independence, and

for other purposes • 13

Declaration of Independence, and Ordinance dissolving the Federal relations

between the State of Tennessee and the United States of America 10


ge of the Governor 19

Convention jbetween the State of Tennessee and the Confederate States of


Joint Resolution ratifying the League 21


An Act to raise, organize, and equip a provisional force, and for other pur-
poses 21


An Act to amend an act to organize, raise, and equip a provisional force, and

for other purposes 3-


An Act for the benefit of the insane members of the families of volunteers.... 34


An Act to prevent the collection of debts owing by citizens of Tennessee to

citizens of the non-slaveboldiog States during hostilities -, 8{

An Act bO amend the rail mad law M

An Aft t<> amend section 17 i:; of the Code of Tennessee M


An Act to amend the militia law of the Stat" requiring Captail no-
tice, and for other purpose!

AI'TKi: 10

An Art to amend MOtloi I the Code, and for
other purposes M



tia law 1

1840 .'. 89


An Ait r.'.. I 3'.>

( HAPTEB 18.

An Act to n Courta 40


An Act to authorize tl in-
Uhment for for 11


An Act to i 41


i, organise, and equip a provisional fores at

' 272, 284, 285, and 298 of the C b 44


■ Roadi 1 1


An A- dons 14 and 16 of an act p '' 6th, 1861, entitled

. ami equip :i provisional force, and lor other


<ll.\ PTBB 20.

the time 1 emption of real estate M


to repeal f the < 46


regulate the manner of paying the offlc< r- and soldiers of the pro^

! 47



0HAP1 !B 24.

An Act for the relief of volunteers 49


An A< t t" authorize the Banki I ■ and pay out tin- Tr<

nry Not* I lerate States, and for other purposes 60


An Act to luhmit t" the popular vote an ordinance for the adoption or rejec-
tion oi tli>- Permanent Constitution ol the Confederate States 63

< B AFTER 27.
An Act to defray the expenses of the Genera] Assembly in 1801 55



An Act to defray the expenses of the General Assembly of the- State of Ten-
nessee 60





An Act for the manufacture of fire-arm?, gunpowder, &C 65


An Act to amend the charter of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad
Company 67


An Act to incorporate Powell's River Lead Mining Company, and for other

purposes. 68

An Act to incorporate the Confederate Paper Mill Company 70



Joint Resolution to provide for raising a Joint Select Committee on Federal
Relations, Mil tary Affairs, and Ways and Means 78


Joint Resolution to authorize the Governor to make immediate purchase of
subs . ration.-, arm-, etc.. for the State 3


Join! Resolution to provide for stationing guards at railroad bridges within
this State "4


Joint Resolution in relation to printing the Permanent Constitution of the

1 74

Joint Resolution to transfer volunteer forc< 75

Joint Resolution ten I Capitol to nt and C< the

1 To


B 7.

r. »,-«•.
ution authorizing the Adjutant-General I

in: 78

the obstruction •

G II irris :•> . i| •■ -ri ■

h with the Governor <<f Illinois, in relation t>> the

1 i' II.' 77


ppoint Oommissioners from the Btate of ] to

i the authoritii I nter-

i 77


ii • a Joint Select Committee to prepare an Addi

to : 78

Joint l: ition directing the printing of Hardee's Military Tactics tor the



B solution prol I the interception of free navigation of
the Mississippi


.iiii.n providing for a B ederate States.... 80

MM BEB 15.

M Officers of the < teneral Assembly to
draw thei 18


Resolution to authorise the Governor to R ments and
I I him, and hold them in readim Flee 81


ution approving the action of the Governor in refusing troops to
Abraham Lincoln 82

M IfBBB 18.

Joint Resolution to r uest a copy of the addre Bon. H. W. Hilliard
to this General Assembly for publication 82

a autbori; ii l issue to ( laptain I !om»
pany ninety-four Minnie guns


m in relation to printing Eardoe's Military Tactics *3


i ratifying and confirming a Military I with the Con-




. . P a S e
Joint Resolution lo furnish each member of the Senate and House of Repre-
sentatives with one copy of Hardee's Military Tactics 84


Joint Resolution to remove the obligation of secresy, and to publish the pro-
ceedings of the Legislature 85


Joint Resolution directory to the Governor 85


Joint Resolution giving the banks authority to issue uoles for any denomina-
tion nut less than one dollar 86


Joint Resolution to adjourn on Thursday the 9th inst., till Monday the 17th

day of June 86


Joint Resolution fixing the time of adjournment 87


Joint Resolution to authorize the Governor to make appointments to till va-
cancies 87


Joint Resolution to print the Constitution of the Confederate Stales 88


Join! Resolution requesting the Judges and Chancellors to postpone their

Courts from time to time 88

NO Ml'.KR 81.
Joint Resolution in relation to test oaths and punishment of treason 88

.Joint Resolution in relation to requesting Judges not to hold Courts 89


Resolution providing lor a Convention of the two Houses to elect a Libra-
rian 90


Joint Resolution to authorise the Military and Financial Board to appoint an

tgent to Bettlc accounts at Memphis 90


!;• lolution in relation to the Coat ol Arms over the Speaker! Chain '.'l


Joint Resolution on rivr defence! 91

\ [JMB] B
Joint Resolution directory to the Committee on Finance 92

> run BE i

Joint Resolution directory to the Quarterma-ter-Gcncral 82

VJ11 OON .


il of


M liBSB l".

1 ctor of the Penitentiary M



Joint Beeolution instructive to our Delegal Southern ■• '"'1

M M i I ! .
Resolution relative to Captain Riffle's Company of Wayne county N

Joint BesolaUon in favor of allowing Volunteers to vote 95


Joint Resolution concerning the Location <>i the permanent seat of tin-

federate States of America M


ry to the Governor, concerning rank and grade of officers 00


tion voting thanks of General Assembly to Patton Robertson... 97


Joint Resolution authorising the Governor to receive into the Bervice the
Cavalry Company of Q. 0. Saunders 97

House Resolution on adjournment M


Executive Department, "I
Nashville, April 25, 1861./

Gentlemen of the Senate,

and House of Representatives :

The President of the United States — elected according
to the forms of the Constitution, but upon principles
openly hostile to its provisions — having wantonly inaugu-
rated an internecine war upon the people of the slave and
non-slaveholding States, I have convened you again at the
seat of Government, for the purpose of enabling you to
take Mich action as will most likely contribute to the de-
fence <>f our rights, the preservation of our liberties, the
sovereignty of the State, and the safety of our people ; all
of which are now in imminent peril by the usurpations of
the authorities at Washington, and the unscrupulous
fanaticism which runs riot throughout the Northern States.

The war thus inaugurated is likely to assume an im|>or-
tance, nearly, if not equal, to the struggle of our revolu-
tionary fathers, in their patriotic efforts to resist the usur-
pations and throw off the tyrannical yoke of the English
Government; a war the duration of which, ami the good
or evil which must result from it, depends entirely, in my
. upon the readineas with which citieena 01 the
South harmonize as our people, and the alacrity with which
they respond t<> the demands of patriotism.

1 do not think it m cessarj to recapitulate, at this late
hour, the long tram of abases to which the people of Ten-
. and our sister States "f the South, have been sub-
jected by the anti-republiean spirit that has for many years
been manifesting itself in thai section, and which ha- at last
declared itself our open and avowed enemy. In the mes-
sage winch 1 addressed t" you at your called session in Jan-
uary last, these things were somewhat elaborately rel

itituting, in my judgment, the amplest reason for
oonsid< ring ourselves in imminent danger, and as requir-
ing Buefa action on the part of tin- Legislature bs would
place the State in an attitude for defence, whenever the
momentous crisis should be forced upon us; and, ah
• i 1 1 ir to the North tin 4 strongest argument for p
and, if possible, Becuring ■ reconstruction « ► t" the Union,

thus already dissolved by the most authoritative, formal,
and matured action of a portion of the Blaveholding In
Minor differences upon abstract questions — the ardent de-
votion of our people to the preservation of the Union,
originating with their great loyalty to the Government —
and a more hopeful view of the subject than I had been
able to take, coupled with the supposed peaceful intentions
of the authorities at Washington, have resulted in leaving
the State poorly prepared for the sad realities which are
now upon us.

But unfortunate as this may be, I am nevertheless en-
couraged with the belief that we are at last, practically, a
united people. Whatever differences may have heretofore
existed amongst us, growing out of party divisions, as to
the right of Secession as ;i Constitutional remedy against

Federal usurpation, all admit the moral right asserted by
our fathers, of each and every people to resist wrong,
and to maintain their liberties by whatever means may lie
necessary; " that Governments derive their just powers
from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any
form of government becomes destructive of the ends lor
which it was created, it is the right of the people to alter
or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its
foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in
such form as shall to them seem most likely to eflect their
safety and happiness." Standing by this common .senti-
ment, with the hi ly and tyrannical policy of the Presi-
dential usurper fully before us; in the face of his hordes
of aimed soldiery, marching to the work of Southern sub-
jugation; the people of the proud Commonwealth of Ten-

— true to their honor, true to the great principles of

free institutions, true to the lessons of their fathers, and
true to their brethren of the South, the Bubjectsof a com-
mon oppression — have united, almost with one voice, in

declaring their fixed resolve to resist the tyrant; and in
pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honOr
to the maintenance of their rights, and the rights of their
sister States of the South.

li cannot 1 rerlooked that, in assuming an attitude of

this character — forced upon us by the remarkable exigency
of the times — we are, in effect, dissolving our connection

with the Federal Union. As established by our fathers,
that Union no longer exists, Ilowever much we may have
cherished it heretofore, no intelligent and candid man can
deny that it has ceased to be a blessing, and has become a
curse ; that it is no longer a high and sacred means of
protection, but an engine of oppression ; that it has ceased
to be a bond of brotherhood, and has become a hateful
connection between communities at war. It would be idle,
therefore, to speak of ourselves any longer as members of
the Federal Union; and while it is believed by many,
whose opinions are entitled to the highest respect, that, by
reason of the subversion of the Constitution by the autho-
rities in power, inaugurating a revolution between the
States thereof, each and every individual i3 already re-
leased from his former obligations to that government, yet,
as best comporting with the dignity of the subject, and
also from a due regard to those who may hold a different
opinion — and farther still, that all the world may be ad-
vised of our action — I respectfully suggest that our con-
nection with the Federal Union be formally annulled in
such manner as shall involve the highest exercise of sov-
ereign authority by the people of the State, and best se-
cure that harmony, so much to be desired, in times like
the present, upon questions even of mere detail. Until
this is done, many conscientious citizens may feel embar-
rassed in their action from their supposed relation to the
General Government. In emergencies like the present,
while it is our duty to act with due deliberation and pru-
dence, unbiased as far as possible by excitement or preju-
dice, it is nevertheless of the highest importance that we
should act with promptitude and decision.

Whatever grounds of hope may have been supposed to
exist heretofore for an adjustment of the difficulties be-
tween the two sections of the Federal Union ; however
anxious we may have been to continue members of the same
common family with the people of the North, such hope and
expectation no longer exists in the mind of any rational
man, who desires to maintain the honor and equality of
the State, and the inviolability of her peculiar institutions.

The present administration, elected upon avowed pur-
poses of hostility to the South — purposes which all knew
then as well as now, could not be carried into effect, with-
out an internecine war and a dissolution of the Union —
has exerted every energy, resorted to every strategy, and
disregarded every constitutional barrier, in order to hasten
the accomplishment of the unholy mission for which the
people of the Northern section had elevated it to power.
They have lost no time — they have neither hesitated nor


faltered. The WW duplicity in which their Administra-
tion was inaugurated — trusting, while conceding nothing,
to lull the Booth into ;i fatal security, furnishing ground
for divisions in the border slave States, while constant
though secret preparation for the work of subjugation was
going on, is now exposed, and Leaves us no alternative but
independence <>ut 01 the Union, or Bubjugation in it. The

dishonorable and treacherous practices which have so far

characterised the authorities at Washington, admonish us,
that in the impending struggle we are scarcely to expect

the rules of honorable warfare. Having its origin in a
disordered moral sentiment of the North — not finding the
ordinary restraints of patriotism among their people — de-
riving its power from a usurpation and perversion of the
functions of government — having no middle ground short
of positive subjugation of the South, or a defeat which
exposes its disgrace to the civilized world — I fear the time
has pas.-ed when peace can he hoped for by the nine moral
force of a united South, without a trial of arms. Having
succeeded in confusing and dividing the border Blave States
they have had ample time for military preparations. The
veil which concealed their recent movements has been
thrown aside. The note of war has been sounded, and in
the imperial proclamation recently issued, the people of
the Confederate States, ami all who sympathize with them,
are treated as rebels, and twenty days allowed thorn to
"disperse" and return to their allegiance to the authori-
ties at Washington. "Without waiting for the expiration
of the twenty days, in addition to the regular army ami
naval forces, a malitia force of seventy-five thousand has
been called into the field to execute this edict, by the pow-
er of arms. As if purposely intended to add additional
insult to the people of Tennessee, I have been called upon,
as their Governor, to furnish a portion of these troops.
I have answered that demand as in my judgment became
the honor of the State, and leave the people to pass upon
my action.

The Federal Union of the States, thus practically dis-
solved, can never be restored ; or if ever thus restored, it
must, by tie- very act, cease to be a Union of free and in-
dependent Suites, such as our fathers established. It will
become a consolidated, centralized Government, without
liberty or equality, in which some will reign and others
serve — the few tyrannize, and the many suffer. It would be
the greatest folly to hope for the reconstruction of a
peaceful Union, upon terms of fraternity and equality, at
the end of an internecine war. There can be no desirable
Union without fraternity. And if we could not have that,

before the unholy crusade which is now being waged
against us, we cannot have it after they shall have wan-
tonly imbrued their unholy hands in the innocent blood of
our people, from no worthier motive than a desire to de-
stroy our equality and subvert our liberties.

Therefore, I respectfully recommend the perfecting of
an Ordinance by the General Assembly, formally declar-
ing the Independence of the State of Tennessee of the
Federal Union, renouncing its authority, and reassuming
each and every function belonging to a separate sover-
eignty ; and that said Ordinance, when it shall have been
thus perfected by the Legislature, shall, at the earliest
practicable time, be submitted to a vote of the people, to
be by them adopted or rejected.

When the people of the State shall formally declare their
connection with the remaining States of the Union dis-
solved, it will be a matter of the highest expediency — I
might almost say of unavoidable political necessity — that
we shall at the same time, or as soon thereafter as may be,
connect ourselves with those with whom a common interest,
a common sympathy, and a common destiny identify us,
for weal or for woe. That each of the Southern States,
as they throw off their connection with the Federal Gov-
ernment, should take an independent position in the con-
test, without that concert of action which alone can be
secured by political unity, is a proposition which surely no
one will assent to, who anticipates the dangers of the hour
and the necessity of perfecting harmony in the work of
our general defence.

Such a political Union with the people of the Confeder-
ate States is rendered essential, by the fact, that we have
made no provision for arming, organizing, provisioning,
and embodying our military forces, while the Government
of the Confederate States, foreseeing this invasion, has
had an eye to the necessities of the emergency, and stands
prepared generously to lend us its assistance in this un-
provoked and cruel struggle. If we accept that assistance,
we should do it in a spirit of mutual trust and confidence,
prepared to share its burdens equally, while we avail our-
selves of its advantages. A Government thus perfectly
organized can more thoroughly command the resources
and aggregate the revenues of the country, than isolated
States, fighting without unity, and moving without a com-
mon and responsible head. These resources, being thus
concentrated, because it is natural intuition to rally round
such a Government, in such an emergency, for self-preser-
vation and defence," can be disbursed with more efficiency,
and with less cost to the people, than when the revenues,


nary t<> support the war, are Mattered by divided
counsels, and not oontrolled by ■ common bureau. The

Bame may be said with regard to military operations.
Unity of m ivement* to secure unity of purpose in attack
or defence, is absolutely necessary to §000008. The peo-
ple "f the whole Sooth, thus united by a firm political
compact, moving under the direction of one Government,
and animated by the sense of common perils and by a
unanimous determination to maintain their rights, liber-
and institutions, are invincible, and most speedily
conquer an honorable peace. The war mewl u< cessarily
be protracted or brief in proportion to the union among

I, therefore, further recommend that you perfect an or
dinanoe, with a view to our admission as a member of the
Sonthern Confederacy, (which, it is evident, must 60on
embrace the entire shareholding States of the South,) to
be submitted in like manner, and at the same time, but
separately, for adoption or rejection by the people; so that
they may have the opportunity to approve the former and
reject the latter, or adopt both, as in their wisdom may seem
most consistent with the future welfare of the State. How-
ever fully satisfied the Executive and Legislature may be,
as to the urgent necessity for the speedy adoption of both
these propositions, it is our duty to furnish the amplest
means for a fair and full expression of the popular will.

In the opening of a revolution, fraught with such conse-
quences, and the close of which no one can foresee, it is
a matter of the highest moment that we determine, as
speedily as possible, our future political relations, delaying
only long enough to reach the will and voice of the people.
( nder existing circumstances, I can see no propriety for
encumbering the people of the State with the election of
delegates, to do that which it is in your power to enable them
to do directly for themselves. The most direct, as well as
the highest act of sovereignty, according to our theory, is
that by which the people vote, not merely for men, but for
measures submitted for their approval or rejection. Since
it is only the voice of the people that is to be heard, there
is no reason why they may not as readily and effectively
express themselves upon an ordinance framed and submit-
ted to them by the Legislature, as if submitted to them by
a Convention. The Southern States, all of whom are now
engaged in resistance to the encroachment of Abolition
power, will necessarily encounter embarrassments, arising
from a want of unity of action, until such time as they
shall all be united under a common Government.

The mode of action suggested, in addition to the advan-

tage of its being the speediest of all others, will be at-
tended with less expense to the State, which is of far
greater importance now than at any former period of our
history, owing to the general embarrassment of the people,
which must continue at least during these troubles, and to
the heavy appropriations that you will have necessarily to
make to defray the expense of our defences.

If, however, it should be deemed advisable that a Con-
vention, representing the sovereignty of the people, should
be called by the General Assembly, in preference to sub-
mitting an ordinance of independence directly to them,
though I deem the latter measure more expedient, under
the circumstances, I am not prepared to say that harmony
and unanimity will not thus be effected. The Senators and
Representatives, coming, as they do, directly from their con-
stituents, are the best judges of this measure. It cannot
be regarded other than a question of detail, inasmuch as
a very large majority of the people regard themselves as
being forever absolved from all obedience to a Government
that has developed the coldest and most deliberate pur-
pose to inaugurate a civil and sanguinary war among them.

I deem it proper to remark in this connection, that the
Constitution of the Confederate States, while it retains all
that is valuable of the Constitution of the former United
States, is an improvement, in many essential points, upon
that instrument, as conceded by those even who were un-
friendly to the mode and manner in which it originated.

The only additional matter to which I shall call your
attention — and first in importance — is the necessity of such

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Online LibraryTennesseePublic acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, April, 1861 → online text (page 1 of 9)