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.