March 28, 1861: Confederate Commisioners to Robert Toombs

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 .

AMs 811-20 p203 Confederate Letter Book 3-28-1861 telegram edited


Washington March 28th, 1861

To Hon R. Toombs.

The Senate has adjourned Sine die—There is a dead calm here.


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

2 Responses to “March 28, 1861: Confederate Commisioners to Robert Toombs”

  1. Michael Berry says:

    On March 29, President Lincoln makes his decision to hold Fts. Sumter and Pickins. The difficulty will be in re-supplying Ft. Sumter. This decision means that a military confrontation with the Southern Confederacy is inevitable at Charleston

    Mississippi ratifies the Confederate Constitution.

    • Marco says:

      (1) Many things led up to the war, but the south’s iseescson is the direct cause. Obviously, the war ended slavery but it also ended the concept of federalism.(2) Most of the union soldiers were fighting to preserve the union. They certainly were not fighting to free any slaves.(3) The confederate soldiers were fighting for their independence. They saw their fight as something similar to the American revolution.(4) There will always be an argument between the power of the federal government versus the power and rights of the individual states.

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