6 May 1861
Confederate States of America. Congress
Title: An Act recognizing the existence of War between the United States and the Confederate States; and concerning letters of marque, prizes, and prize goods.
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, approved this act 6 May 1861. States "Whereas the earnest efforts made by this Government to establish friendly relations between the Government of the United States and the Confederate States, and to settle all questions of disagreement between the two Governments upon principles of right, justice, equity and good faith, have proved unavailing by reason of the refusal of the Government of the United States to hold any intercourse with the Commissioners appointed by this Government for the purposes aforesaid... and whereas, by the acts and means aforesaid, war exists between the Confederate States and the Government of the United States..." Includes provisions empowering the President of the Confederacy to engage privateers. Includes provisions related to smuggling, prisoners on board privateers, duties imposed upon prizes of war, and other maritime topics. Includes President Davis's Instruction to Private Armed Vessels, printed on pages three and four, issued by Robert Toombs, Secretary of State. Contains a form of bond on the bottom of page four, with space for four signatures and seals.