[Various places: various publishers], 1861-1862. Six works bound in one volume, paginations as below. Contemporary sheep, ruled in blind. Some shelf wear, small holes in spine. Text variously foxed and tanned, signed by Thomas Jefferson Devine on front board and several pages inside. Very good. In a cloth chemise and half black morocco and grey cloth slipcase, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM57257
A remarkable collection of some of the earliest and most basic political documents of the Confederate States of America, gathered together in a volume by Thomas J. Devine, a leading Texas secessionist and jurist. Included here are the first printings of the first two versions of the Confederate constitution, as well as the official proceedings of the first three provisional Confederate congresses. It is through these proclamations, acts, and laws that the Confederacy built itself and defined itself in opposition to the United States. Interestingly, the constitutions are closely modeled on that of the United States, with clearer and more forceful defenses of slavery, but resting on the same foundations of representative government, a bicameral legislature, a multi-tiered judiciary, and a chief executive and vice president. The acts of the first three sessions of the Provisional Congress show the Confederacy in the process of building its political structure, as every bit of a civic framework is developed and enacted.
Thomas Jefferson Devine (1820-90), who compiled this collection, was born in Nova Scotia and studied law in Mississippi and at Transylvania University. After receiving his degree he moved to Texas, where he settled in San Antonio with his family and began practicing law. Devine was appointed San Antonio city attorney, and then was elected a district judge, a post he held for ten years. He was a member of the Texas Secession Convention in 1861, and was appointed a member of the Committee of Public Safety. He supervised the surrender of federal troops and supplies in Texas. He was appointed a judge of the Confederate Western District of Texas, and also served as a diplomatic representative for the Confederacy in Mexico. At the end of the Civil War he returned to Mexico so as not to have to take the oath of allegiance to the federal government, but when he returned to Texas, he was arrested and imprisoned in New Orleans. Along with Jefferson Davis and Clement Clay, Devine was one of only three Confederates charged with treason during the war. He was pardoned without a trial, and his citizenship was restored in 1867. As a prominent Texan and Confederate jurist, the political and legal documents Devine collected in this volume would have been of the utmost interest and importance to him.
1) [Confederate Imprint]: CONGRESS OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. CONSTITUTION OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. Montgomery, Al.: Shorter & Reid, 1861. 15,pp. The first official publication of the Confederate States of America, this is the first version of the Confederate constitution, as adopted on February 8, 1861. The secession convention, with representatives from six states (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana), met in Montgomery on Monday, February 4 and crafted this constitution in short order. They modeled their constitution on that of the United States, but with several important differences: the right to own slaves was more explicitly stated; cabinet officers were to have seats on the floors of both legislative houses; the importation of slaves was prohibited; the President (who served for six years and was limited to one term) was granted a line item veto; the fugitive slave law was strengthened; and slavery in Confederate territories was protected. Printed in an edition of 1000 copies, this is a seminal document in the political history of the Confederacy. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 1. STREETER SALE 1274. De RENNE II, p.619.
2) [Confederate Imprint]: CONSTITUTION OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. Montgomery, Al.: Shorter & Reid, 1861. 22pp. The first official printing of the approved version of the Confederate constitution, published immediately after its adoption by the Confederate Constitutional Congress in Montgomery on March 11, 1861. In order of printing, it is preceded only by the several preliminary versions (with some differences in wording) printed for the use of members of the Convention. This edition lists those voting for the constitution on the last page. It was approved by members of the six states that had met the month before, as well as representatives from Texas. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 8. CONFEDERATE HUNDRED 15. HARWELL, CORNERSTONES OF CONFEDERATE COLLECTING 2. STREETER SALE 1276.
3) [Confederate Imprint]: ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES. 1861. Montgomery, Al.: Barrett, Wimbish & Co., 1861. 131,pp. The first printing of the first collected acts of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America, covering all the legislation passed in the month and a half of its existence. It was here that the framework of the government was created, with measures enacted respecting economic, military, and political affairs. Included are bills for the establishment of departments of State, War, and the Navy; legislation to build an executive mansion for the Confederate President; revenue laws; a law for free navigation of the Mississippi River, and many, many more. With an index. The official record of a fundamentally important event in Confederate history. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 23.
4) [Confederate Imprint]: ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES. 1861. Montgomery, Al.: Shorter & Reid, 1861. 100pp. Included are ninety laws passed in May 1861, in the wake of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter. The second bill passed is a resolution of thanks to General Beauregard and his troops for their conduct in the assault on Fort Sumter. A bill passed two days later officially recognizes a state of war existing between the C.S.A. and the U.S.A. Other acts admit Virginia and Arkansas to the Confederacy; raise additional military forces; provide for loans and the printing of money; establish a patent office, etc. Parrish & Willingham locate only ten copies. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 25.
5) [Confederate Imprint]: ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, HELD AT RICHMOND, VA. Richmond: Enquirer Book and Job Press, 1861. 94,pp. The third session of the Confederate Provisional Congress met from late July to the end of August 1861, and was the first to meet in Richmond, the previous two having convened in Montgomery, Alabama. Many of the laws focus on providing aid to the people of Missouri, some attend to raising revenue and creating a judicial system, while others address issues of the abduction of enslaved people and the treatment of alien enemies and their property. Indexed. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 27.
6) [Confederate Imprint]: AN ACT TO ALTER AND AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE SEQUESTRATION OF THE ESTATES, PROPERTY AND EFFECTS OF ALIEN ENEMIES, AND FOR INDEMNITY OF CITIZENS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES...." [caption title]. [Richmond. 1862]. 11pp. This act amends a law passed in August 1861 by the third session of the Provisional Congress, dealing with the estates and property of "alien enemies." It allows for the raising of funds from the sale of property in the Confederacy owned by citizens of the Union. Parrish & Willingham locate only six copies of this scarce printing. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 66. Devine: NEW HANDBOOK OF TEXAS II, p.613.