Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/225

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The Southern Historical Society.

On May ist, 1869, a number of gentlemen in the city of New Orleans, formed themselves into an Association under the style of The Southern Historical Society — Gen. Braxton Bragg, Chair- man. The autograph signatures of the forty-five distinguished gentlemen present is an interesting possession of the Society, preserved in the first volume of the Society's records. On mo- tion of General Harry T. Hays, the Rev. Dr. B. M. Palmer was unanimously elected President, Gen. Braxton Bragg, Vice-Presi- dent, and Joseph Jones, M. D., Secretary and Treasurer. The object of the Society was "the collection, classification, preserva- tion and final publication of all the documents and facts bearing upon the eventful history of the past few years, illustrating the nature of the struggle from which the country has just emerged, defining and indicating the principles which lay beneath it, and marking the stages through which it was conducted' to its issue. It is not understood that this association shall be purely sec- tional, nor that its labors shall be of a partisan character."

To accomplish the ends in view it was planned that the parent Society, with its seat and archives in New Orleans, should be aided by affiliated societies to be organized in all the States favorable to the object proposed. The Vice-President, repre- senting the States, were headed by General Robert E. Lee, for Virginia, and included Vice-President Stephens, for Georgia; W. W. Corcoran, for the District of Columbia; S. Teakle Wallis, for Maryland, and others of like distinction.

The Society entered upon the work of gathering official re- ports and historical papers and collecting funds, and held monthly meetings in the rooms of the Howard Association. On August 14th, 1873, a Convention iwas held at the Montgomery White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, called by the Southern His-