During March and April 1861, after seven states had seceded and formed the Confederate States of America but before war broke out, Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs appointed Martin J. Crawford, John Forsyth, and A.B. Roman as Commissioners of the Confederate States to Washington, DC. Their purpose was to seek diplomatic recognition from the United States and negotiate peace—at least for a while. Central to the question of peace or war was whether the United States would continue to retain claim over federal forts located in the southern states that had seceded, including Fort Pickens in Florida and Fort Sumter in South Carolina. This item is transcribed from a letter book maintained by J.T. Pickett, secretary to the commissioners, containing copies of 72 letters, dispatches, and telegrams sent and received by the commissioners from the time of their appointment to the demand for the evacuation of Fort Sumter .
Washington March 30th 1861.
Hon R. Toombs.
Another interview between the parties named in our dispatches has just taken place. Every statement given us strictly observed except as to time in case of Sumter, order not Countermanded. Pressure from Connecticut undoubtedly delays that. No attempt to reinforce Pickens has been or will be made without notice.
M J. Crawford.
A B. Roman.
Citation:Commissioners of the Confederate States of America to the Government of the United States, letter book.Washington, D.C., Feb 27-April 11, 1861.AMS 811/20