Baptists and the American Civil War: February 27, 1861

Martin J. Crawford

Martin J. Crawford

Confederate President Jefferson Davis writes United States President-elect (and former Baptist) Abraham Lincoln, introducing  lawyer and Georgia Baptist layman Martin J. Crawford (illustration) as Confederate Commissioner to the United States:

The President of the United States: Being animated by an earnest desire to unite and bind together our respective countries by friendly ties, I have appointed M. J. Crawford, one of our most settled and trustworthy citizens, as special commissioner of the Confederate States of America to the Government of the United States; and I have now the honor to introduce him to you, and to ask for him a reception and treatment corresponding to his station and to the purpose for which he is sent. Those purposes he will more particularly explain to you. Hoping that through his agency. &c. [sic.]


For the purpose of establishing friendly relations between the Confederate States and the United States, and reposing special trust, &c., Martin J. Crawford, John Forsyth, and A. B. Roman are appointed special commissioners of the Confederate States to the United States. I have invested them with full and all manner of power and authority for and in the name of the Confederate States to meet and confer with any person or persons duly authorized by the Government of the United States being furnished with like powers and authority, and with them to agree, treat, consult, and negotiate of and concerning all matters and subjects interesting to both nations, and to conclude and sign a treaty or treaties, convention or conventions, touching the premises, transmitting the same to the President of the Confederate States for his final ratification by and with the consent of the Congress of the Confederate States.

Given under my hand at the city of Montgomery this 27th day of February, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the Confederate States the eighty-fifth.


ROBERT TOOMBS, Secretary of State.

Davis’ correspondence is a formality. Few expect friendly ties between the two nations. Nevertheless, Samuel Boykin, editor of Georgia Baptists’ Christian Index newspaper, is certain that a glorious future awaits the Confederate States of America:

Will Lincoln make war upon us? It is uncertain, and cannot be told until he is inaugurated. If he is wise he will recognize the Southern Confederacy, promptly and without higgling. But if he should be so demented as to make war upon us, the North will be bankrupted whilst blood will be only the cement of our noble and grand Confederacy.

… we are happy to announce that our Congress is a united, harmonious, unselfish band of patriots, laboring for one end: The good of all; and we hope that all their acts and ordinances will be cordially sustained by a patriotic and unanimous people.

Sources: Davis’ correspondence to Lincoln (link); “The State of the Country,” Christian Index, February 27, 1861