To effect these objects a brief and simple Constitution was adopted, creating a President, a Secretary and Treasurer, and an Executive Committee specially charged with conducting the business of the Association. One hundred and sixty-six thousand pamphlets have been published, and demands for further supplies are received from every quarter. The Association is now passing several of them through a second and third edition.
The conventions in several of the Southern States will soon be elected. The North is preparing to soothe and conciliate the South by disclaimers and overtures. The success of this policy would be disastrous to the cause of Southern Union and Independence, and it is necessary to resist and defeat it. The Association is preparing pamphlets with this special object. Funds are necessary to enable it to act promptly. “The 1860 Association” is laboring for the South, and asks your aid.
I am, very respectfully your obedient servant,
ROBERT N. GOURDIN,
Chairman of the Executive Committee.
The half-public endeavors of “The 1860 Association” to create public sentiment were vigorously seconded by the efforts of high official personages to set on foot concerted official action in aid of disunion. In this also, with becoming expressions of modesty, South Carolina took the initiative. On the 5th of October, Governor Gist wrote the following confidential letter, which he dispatched by a secret agent to his colleagues, the several Governors of the Cotton States, whom the bearer, General S.R. Gist, visited in turn during that month of October.
The responses to this inquiry given by the Executives of the other Cotton States were not all that so ardent a disunionist could have wished, but were yet sufficient to prompt him to a further advance.
[Sidenote] MS. Confederate Archives, U.S. War Department.
UNIONVILLE, S.C., Oct. 5, 1860.
His EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR MOORE.
DEAR SIR: The great probability, nay almost certainty, of Abraham Lincoln’s election to the Presidency renders it important that there should be a full and free interchange of opinion between the Executives of the Southern, and more especially the Cotton, States, and while I unreservedly give you my views and the probable action of my State, I shall be much pleased to hear from you; that there may be concert of action, which is so essential to success. Although I will consider your communication confidential, and wish you so to consider mine so far as publishing in the newspapers is concerned, yet the information, of course, will be of no service to me unless I can submit it to reliable and leading men in consultation for the safety of our State and the South; and will only use it in this way. It is the desire of South Carolina that some other State should take the lead, or at least move simultaneously