Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/458

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Letter of Instructions to Hon. John Slidett. 457

end than to maintain their right to self-government. It is in the name of the sacred right of self-government, that the Confederate States appear before the tribunal of the nations of the earth, and sub- mit their claims for a recognized place amongst them. They approach His Imperial Majesty of France with the more confidence as he has lately championed this great cause in the recent Italian question so much to the glory of himself and the great people over whom he rules. In asking for this recognition, the Government of the Con- federate States believes that it seeks for no more than it offers in re- turn. The establishment of diplomatic relations between nations tends to the protection of human intercourse by affording the means of a peaceful solution of all difficulties which may arise in its progress, and by facilitating a mutual interchange of good offices for the pur- pose of maintaining and extending it. In this, all nations have an interest, and the advantages of such an intercourse are mutual and reciprocal. The only preliminary conditions to the recognition of a nation, seeking an acknowledged place in the world, would seem to be the existence of a sufficient strength within the government to support and maintain it, and such a social and political organization as will secure its responsibility for its international obligations. It will be easy to show that the Government of the Confederate States of America is fully able to meet the requisitions of these tests. When we look to the undeveloped capacities, as well as the de- veloped strength of the Confederate States, we cannot doubt that they are destined to become the seat of a great empire at no distant day. The eleven Confederate States already comprise 733.144 square miles of territory, with a population of 9,244,000 people. If to this we add the three States of Maryland. Missouri and Kentucky, all of which will probably find themselves constrained, as well by interest as inclination, to unite their fortunes with the Confederate States, then these will embrace a territory of 8^0,000 square miles, with a popu- lation of twelve and a half millions of people. This estimate excludes a large territory not yet organized into States, and which, in the end, will probably fall into the Southern Confederacy.

The territory of the Confederate States, as they now stand, em- braces all the best varieties of climate and production known to the 'temperate zone. In addition to this, it produces the great staples of cotton, sugar, tobacco and rice, to say nothing of naval stores, which are now exported from it, and of provisions which it ;>le of

producing in excess of the wants of its people. This vast region already enjoys through its rivers a great system of water commu-