February 22, 1861; The Charleston Mercury
MONTGOMERY, ALA., February 18, 1861.
The great event of the nineteenth century, initiated on the 20th day of December, 1860, has this day been consummated, and the last act necessary in its fulfillment is concluded. The Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, of the State of Mississippi, was this day, the 18th of February, 1861, inaugurated, at 1 o’clock, President of THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA.
The end has come at last. And, whether in war or peace, the people of the Cotton States under one Government have achieved their independence, now and forever, of the people of the Northern States of America. The seal is set. The decree has gone forth from four millions of burning hearts. Today the grand fact was realized, and sunk deep into the hearts of all present. To see it was to feel it.
At 10 o’clock in the morning the military began their proceedings. At 12 o’clock Congress met, as usual. At 12 1/2 o’clock the procession began to move, headed by the military, with the President in their midst, drawn in a coach, with six white horses. Next came the line of vehicles; then those on foot. A little before 1 o’clock they arrived at the Capitol. The President then alighted, and with the Committee appointed by Congress, leaning upon the arm of Mr. RHETT, of South Carolina, on the left, and Mr. CHILTON, of Alabama, proceeded, amidst the enthusiastic greetings of the assembled multitude, through the grounds to the Capitol, and thence to the Hall of Congress. Mr. DAVIS was then introduced by Mr. RHETT to the Congress, in a short and graceful speech. The members then formed in line, and leaving the hall, advanced to the portico, where their seats were arranged — those of the President, Vice-President and the President of the Congress being elevated, so as to be conspicuous to all assembled. Prayer being offered up by the Rev. Dr. MANLY, the President of the Congress, Mr. COBB, announced the election of Messrs. DAVIS and STEPHENS as President and Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, by the Congress assembled.
The President was greeted with the deepest enthusiasm. His speech will be before your readers ere this will reach you. [click to continue…]