Confederate States of America – Constitution for the Provisional Government

HISTORY » Civil War constitution shown at Richmond museum

Media General News Service

RICHMOND — The document that set the framework for the Confederate States of America 150 years ago will have a rare air­ing at the Museum of the Confed­eracy starting Tuesday.

The Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of Ameri­ca will remain on display through Feb. 18. It’s been on display only once before in an exhibit on “The Confederate Nation” seven years ago.

The 10-foot-long vellum docu­ment was signed by delegates of the seven states that had seceded from the United States by the be­ginning of February. The provi­sional constitution was adopted on Feb. 8, 1861, in the provisional capital of Montgomery, Ala. South Carolina seceded on Dec. 20, 1860. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas followed in the first 32 days of 1861. Virginia seceded on April 17— after South Carolinians fired on Fort Sumter and President Lin­coln called for troops.

Teresa Roane, library manager of the Museum of the Confeder­acy, said she considers the docu­ment to be one of the museum’s greatest treasures.

“Even though you can find the words online, this is an original document. You can read these words, but it’s another thing to see it unfolded and see the sig­natures,” she said. “It’s quite fas­cinating to me. It’s the document that creates the provisional Con­federate government. If there’s ever a fire, I have to grab it and put it under my arm.”

The original copy of the perma­nent Constitution of the Confed­erate States of America, which was adopted March 11, 1861, is at the University of Georgia library.

The words of the Constitution of the Confederacy can be found here.

 

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