I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “FROM SOUTH CAROLINA.; PUBLIC FEELING IN CHARLESTON THE LEADING MEN IN THE SECESSION MOVEMENT MISGIVINGS ABOUT THE ISSUE." in The New York Times (Dec. 9, 1860).
The ensuing Convention will immediately pass the secession ordinance; but there is considerable doubt whether it will not be made to take effect at a much later day than was first contemplated.
Can someone clarify if the meaning of this sentence can wrongly influenced by the use of the word "not", as I think it is?
I would drop "not"; but I'm not sure on this correction because the presence of the fragment "doubt whether" that precede "not" confused me.