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Alexander H. Stephens 










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5 a- 







Part I 


Mr. Stephens's parentage — Childhood and youth — Edu- 
cation — Law student and lawyer — His accoimt of his 
political life to 1859 — In the Legislature — In Congress — 
On slavery, expansion, imperialism — Compromise of 1850 
and Missouri Compromise — Dred Scott case — Retires from 
Congress — A summing up of his character, activities, bene- 
factions — Advocate of progress — Father of Weather Bureau 

— Personal appearance — Effect as a speaker — Social charm 

— Ambition — " Union Speech'* — Toombs In opposition — 
Correspondence with Lincoln — Stephens and Lincoln — 
Secession — Vice-President — Stephens and Davis — Differ- 
ences with Confederate administration — Lincoln's adminis- 
tration — Stephens's peace missions — Liberty Hall — Fra- 
ternal love — The Journal — Motive and aim of his political 
life — In prison 3 

Part II 



Mr. Stephens is arrested — Toombs's escape — Upton's 
headquarters — Crawfordville — A parting scene — Davis 
party — The Clays — Other prisoners — A homeless black 
boy — Meets Mr. Davis — On the Clyde — Discusses state 
of country and his "Union Speech" with Federal officers — 
"Jeff and Jimmy" — Table etiquette and Mr. Davis — 
Hampton Roads — Farewell to Davis — Other partings — 


With Reagan on the Tuscarora — Captain Frailey's atten- 
tions — Boston Harbour 99 


Fort Warren — Good-by to Reagan — In a cell — Money 

— Ration — Newspaper misrepresentation — Letter to Gen- 
eral Dix — Sutler's bill — Library — Davis in irons — Gree- 
ley's book — Mental agony — Lieutenant Woodman — Jack- 
son and DuBose — Appeals again to Dix — Proclamation 
of Amnesty — His position — His slaves — Emancipation — 
Threatened with illness — Lincoln anecdote — Cannot eat 
ration — Opinion of Greeley's book — Will write memorial 
of the war — His case and Lafayette's — Comments on report 
of what Davis said of Lincoln's assassination • . 127 


Lincoln's assassination — A family gathering — Fast day 
for Lincoln — Last Sunday at home — Last sight of Linton 

— Last talk with his negroes — Departure from Richmond — 
Desired welfare of both sections; no prejudice against the 
North — Considers appl)dng for amnesty — "Loyalty," "Dis- 
loyalty" — Oath of allegiance — Sutler's bill — Glimpses 
Reagan — Improved attention ? — Stared at — Expenses — 
Governor Joe Brown — Permitted to write home — His cus- 
tom about prayer — Letter to Linton — Mails — Sunday 
— Inconsistencies in religious practice and profession — 
Dogma of equality — Golden Rule — Walk with Wood- 
man 141 


Matutinal singing — Letter - writing — Court - martial in 
Washington — Collapse of the Confederacy; the reason for 

— Lincoln and Davis — "Cornerstone Speech" — A cup of 
tea — No nervous dread of death — Sustained by con- 
science — Soldiers' and Negroes' fare — Use of liquor — Meals 
from sutler — Canadian mission — Davis's speech — " Mental 
comets" — Peeped at 163 



Letter from home — Curious gazers — Makes application 
for amnesty; no confession of guilt; reviews his course; recites 
his principles; never disloyal to Constitution; love for the 
Union; his motive; "Continental Regulator'*; slavery; 
efforts for prisoners; accepts issues of war; would help to 
restore peace and order i86 


111 — Woodman and the surgeon — Race riot — Fore- 
bodings — Racial inequality — His Negroes — Wants fair 
trial for new system — Gerrit Smith — Dinner from sutler — 
Views Boston from bastion — First view of ocean, in 1833 — 
Choice of "Masters" — DuBose's letter — Surgeon's visit 
— Opinion of Greeley — Last advice to his servant, Harry; 
"Harry's bottle" — Misquoted by Botts — The only justifi- 
cation for secession — "Doom of Treason" — Wants trial — 
Can meet death, but not exile! 206 


His Dalton speech, i860 — Boyce's speech — Secessionists 
freed while he is held — The meerschaum — Ewell's humour — 
Health exercises — Constant fire — Geary attentive — Mitchel 
and O'Brien — No letters — Wonders if he is forgotten — 
His mercy to the unfortimate; aid to youths seeking educa- 
tion — Discusses Spanish history — Overthrow of constitu- 
tions cause of Spain's decline? — James Johnson, Governor 
of Georgia; his classmate; incidents of graduation; estimate 
of Johnson — Andersonville; Confederate Government and 
its prisoners; his advice to Davis; why it could not be 
followed 218 


A vigil; thoughts of home — Report that Seward has his 
application — Summer solstice and Mr. Davis's prophecy — 
The President flooded with appeals for Amnesty — }Gmenes's 


mop — An incident — Geary " like home folks" — Pardon and 
exile — Watch-mender's kindness — Bostonian offers aid — 
Chain-gang — News of Confederate leaders — Mrs. Seward's 
death — Heartsick — Writes an imaginary interview with 
himself: South's darkest hour; a talk with Bishop Elliott 
recalled; slavery; Radical policy of equality; his imprison- 
ment; amnesty; South should conform to new order; faith 
in the people; progress and war; the country's future • . 237 


A mile-walk — Flood of tears — Dreams — Man a triune 
being — Spiritual communications — Ominous press state- 
ment — Linton and Cambridge — 111 — Kindnesses — Cicero's 
"true religion" — A Mexican sage — Hampton Roads Con- 
ference — Guards on the beat — Reconstruction — Negro suf- 
frage; his plan — Omens — Asks Major Allen to publish a 
correction — Letter to Linton; outlines remarkable plan for 
representative government — The Conference again; mis- 
statements — Perplexed about application — New moon — 
Unlucky — Examination for college • • • • 258 


Imaginary interview; why he did not publish statement of 
Peace Conference at the time; why he allied himself with the 
Confederacy — Medical Inspector's visit — News from home 

— Withdraws application — " O that I were as in times past!" 

— Reminiscence of school-days — Judge Bingham's argument 
no answer to Reverdy Johnson's; the Constitution made for 
war as well as for peace; "life and soul of the Nation" — 
Geary refuses draft 281 


Reading Cicero and Job — Cicero's love for Quintus and 
his love for Linton compared — "Fancy" interview; discip- 
line of himself; humour; the Government's inconsistency; 
his application — Huzzaing; " mustered out" — Raspberry 
tea 29s 



Fourth of July — Incongruity between celebration and 
facts — McKinley Anecdote — A Biblical analogy — St Paid's 
defence — A charade — Stared at — Farragut and Anderson 

— Elder Lincoln — Reverend Jacob Manning's speech — 
Preachers as jurors — Defect in priestly character — Naturali- 
zation: State and United States citizenship — A habeas- 
corpus case — His home and servants — St Paul and ath- 
letics — Letter from Linton 1 — Balloon ascension — Jackson 
released 304 


Sunday at Fort — Rights without seciuities — Negroes 
tortured — Redfield-Saxe anecdote — Exchanges bows with 
Reagan — A soldier's courtesy — Water-carriers — Pauline 
Epistles — Advises Linton concerning visit — Aristotle on 
slaves — Fears serious illness — Bewails physical frailty — 
Liequality of his situation with his services to mankind — The 
Golden Circle — Misquoted again 318 


His estimate of JeflFerson Davis — Truth about Southern 
Cause — Southern people led to believe secession the only way 
to save the Constitution; loyal to principles of 1776; Davis at 
first at head of united people; sjrmpathy of enemies — Lincoln's 
usurpations — Davis's — Effects — Southern leaders — South's 
degradation — "Falling from grace" — Toombs's secession 
speech — A Cabinet decision — Stephens writes Governor 
Johnson of Georgia — Incorrect versions of his speeches — 
Lincoln and a Cabinet position — Linton and secession . 326 


Dream visits — Pauline Epistles — " Garbled extracts" 
from Bible — Suggestion for preachers — Ideas about dreams 

— Friendship — Judge Collamer's story — Woodman leaves 
soon — Mr. Stephens saddened — More distortion of his 
speeches — Charlotte speech a warning — General Lee's 
movement into Pennsylvania; Morgan's invasion of Ohio — 



"Reconstruction" — Peace mission of 1863 — Cotton Loan 

— Opinion of Joe Brown — Andrew Johnson's speech in 
1861 — Strange spectacle: brother fighting brother for same 
object 345 


Letter from Linton — Solitary confinement — Ewell and 
aide released — Seward's reported remark — First hand-shake 
in prison — "Fancy" interview — Grows weaker — Held for 
"political speculation" — Peculiarity of apostolic letters — 
Reminiscence: admission to the bar — Talk with Woodman 

— Breaks down, weeping — Seavems's hospitality; Mrs. Seav- 
ems and little Annie — The Dictator — Grief at Woodman's 
impending departure — Letter to Seward; pleads feebleness, 
former acquaintance; requests interview; etc.; Hampton 
Roads Conference — Writes trivialities to preserve sani^ — 
Flowers through the bars 355 


" Row with bedbugs" — More bad luck — Smoking amen- 
ities — Cicero on "slaves" — Glad to see Woodman — Dave 
Holt's "dripping moon" — "Bucket Letters" — Meets hos- 
pital steward — Turning-points in life — Cicero and Paley 
as moralists — Polite lies — Lawyers and the truth — His own 
rule — A lawyer's office and duty — Solomon and immor- 
tality — Mr. Davis's freedom enlarged — Solomon's Song — 
Changes at the Fort — Major Appleton — No news from 
Seavems's appeal 378 


Release from close confinement — Visits — Library and 
librarian — Major Allen's congratulations — Flowers from 
Mrs. Appleton — Notable anniversary — Code of Jesus — 
A Boston friend — A mouse — Curious gazers — Grant at 
Faneuil Hall — Opinion of Grant — Had Lincoln lived — 
Christ's genealogy — Atlantic cable — Visit from Woodman 

— Letters and flowers — Noon on the ramparts — Friend- 
ship — Major Appleton's visit — Social life on the bastions 

— Captain Livermore — The sentry — Alone? . . 394 




Confiscations — A child visitor — President ill — Noon 
signal — Reminiscence; with Linton at the woodwright's — 
Financial statement — Newspaper bill — A bitter journal 

— Bedbugs; and observant guard — No letters; "in prison, 
soon forgot'' — ^A walk outside the Fort — A Georgian's 
grave — Longing for home — Woodman's attentions — Mrs. 
Salter's — Annie Seavems's — More gazers — Mr. Baskerville 

— Mr. Parrott's visit — At the Appletons' . . • 407 


Li Captain Baldwin's parlour — A visitor — Leaves money 

— A Fort fog — "The Cavalier Dismounted" — Southern 
aristocracy; Cavalier and Puritan; efiEect of slavery; out- 
side agitation vs. internal reform — Georgia "self-made" — 
Toombs's ancestry — St. John's Gospel — Hampton Roads 
Conference — Little Charles Nutler — The Major's quarters — 
Christ's incarnation — His view of Toombs; an exposition — 
Presentiment — Atlantic cable — Failing eyesight and whiten- 
ing hair — Anguish — Walk with Major Appleton . 417 


A luxury — Letter from Linton — Mabel Appleton — 
Noon signal and the workmen — A pleasure party; Mr. 
Stephens wounded — Strange whisperings — An Irish greeting 

— Rawhide shoes and armed overseers — Gun-works — Rule 
for testing accuracy — Mrs. Appleton's note — Discusses with 
Mr. Burlingame, Anderson viUe; defends Davis; his own 
efforts for prisoners — Commissary rooms — " Pope's " Uni- 
versal Prayer" — Mail-carrier story — Purchased release not 
desired — Walk around the Fort — Thermometer and guard 

— Prisoner and servitor; a melon — An old Congress friend 

— Farewells — A gracious visitor . . . .432 


Sabbath at Liberty Hall in mind-picture — Prison con- 
ditions — Senator Wilson calls — Permission to see Reagan 
— A pathetic meeting — Harrington's good-will — Fort music 





— The messes — When Atlanta "was a forest" — Dred Scott 
case — Davfa's flight — Reagan's letter to Texas — The Liver- 
mores — Copper works — " Fancy" interview; negro ques- 
tion; Republic needs repose; patriot's duty — Governor 
Cumming — The cable — Fears for Liberty Hall — Asks 
President for interview — Dr. Willis — Letter from Lin- 
ton 454 


Hoping Linton may come — Reagan applies for amnesty 

— Reagan's Memoirs — Swedenborg — Stephens's idea of 
God; of man — Last stroll perhaps with Woodman — Bald- 
win's hospitality — "Last Judgment" — Bedbugs and mouse 

— Better quarters promised 468 


New quarters — Robertson's Sermons — Courtesies to 
Woodman — Wonders why Linton figures so little in his dreams 

— A curtain — A little boy — Dreams of Linton — News from 
home — At the pimip — Woodman's farewell call — Linton 
in Washington — Opinion of Greeley — Reagan's enlarge- 
ment — Linton and Governor Brown — Midway community 

— Advises Geary 476 



Report that Davis denounces him — Reagan messes with 
him — " Smutty stories" — Matthew Arnold — Anxiety about 
Linton — Offers to teach Geary Latin — "Dog and Wolf" 
story — Mrs. Livermore — Old Congress days — Letter from 
Linton — General Denver's visit — Washington gossip — 
Greeley's letter — Seward vindictive? — Newspaper news — 
Soldiers disciplined . • • • • • l • 491 


Linton and H. V. Johnson come — No release — Reagan's 
children — Linton and the diary — A dinner party — The 
charade — Visits from Mr. Myers and others — Writes Grant 
and the President — Seward's reason — Letter to Seward — 


Georgia news — A friendly cat — Indignation — A libellous 
tract — Beecher on the n^ro — The President's policy — 
H. V. Johnson advised; n^ro education — Cards and a 
story — Writes Seward — A sea monster — Efforts for release 

— Garrison to be mustered out — Seward's note — Letter 
to Mrs. Appleton — Reagan's good news — Mrs. Salter and 
daughters — Harry's letter — President's policy — Letter from 
Grant's aide — Letter to Miss Van Lew; forged speeches — 
Home news — Newton's letter — Gifts . . . 500 


Free again! — At home — Last entry at Fort — Partings 

— In Boston — Callers — Visits Mr. Pierce — People glad 
at his release — Hillard's message to the President — ii Wash- 
ington — Private interview with the President; Stephens's 
views on negro suffrage; Johnson's on the negro question — 
At Lynchburg; warned — An aged traveller' — Waste and 
desolation — Liberty Hall • 531 

Part III 


Elected to the Senate — Letter to President Johnson — 
At Grant's Reception — Denied his seat in the Senate — 
Letters on the political situation; Reconstruction; the race 
question — Literary labours — Grant-Greeley campaign — In 
Congress — On Lincoln — Family ties — Linton's marriage 
— Linton's death — Letters to John Stephens — On lobby- 
ing — Governor of Georgia — His death . . • 543 



A LEXANDER STEPHENS, a British lad, after 
/^L fighting for Charles Stuart at CuUoden, sought 
•^ "^ sanctuary from English vengeance in Pennsyl- 
vania. Here he married Catherine, daughter of James 
Baskins, a wealthy gentleman, who disinherited her for her 
choice. But her soldier of fortune fought in the French 
and Indian wars imder Washington, and came out of the 
Revolution a captain. In 1784 he moved to Georgia, 
and on his rented farm on historic Kettle Creek, Cath- 
erine died and was buried. His older children scattered, 
and the old captain, ever a better hand at war than 
money-making, found his mainstay in Andrew Baskins, 
his youngest, a youth of unusual qualities. Andrew, 
with earnings made as a teacher while in his teens, 
bought a farm, nucleus of that "old homestead" which 
Mr. Stephens loved so well, settled thereon his father 
and sister and presently brought thither a fair wife, 
Margaret Grier. Margaret came of folk who had a 
liking for books, and a turn for law, war, and meteor- 
ology. Her brother Aaron was an Indian fighter and 
general of militia; her brother Robert was founder of 
Grier' s Almanac; her cousin Robert became Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. Her father was said 
to have "the largest library in all that part of the 
country" of mid-eastern Georgia where he lived. In 
her son's character was a marked blending of parental 
traits. He was thrifty, generous, progressive; one of 


the best lawyers in the land; a reader and collector of 
books; a close observer of the weather, and father of the 
Weather Bureau of the United States. He preached 
against war, but was quick to resent an insult by a chal- 
lenge to a duel, his promptness in this respect being 
doubtless due to a disposition to show that he could 
give and take, and asked no quarter of strong men. 

Margaret died in 1812, leaving him a month old, and 
so feeble an infant that it was a miracle he lived, bereft 
of her bosom and her care. In 1814, Andrew married 
Matilda, an excellent lady, daughter of Colonel John 
Lindsay, or "Old Silverfist," whose arm wore a silver 
cap in lieu of a hand lost in the Revolution. 

Making a living was pioneer work for the Stephens 
family; all its members 1, oiled, the head setting ener- 
getic example. Little Alex's devotion to his father 
stimulated his naturally industrious disposition. Like 
David, he tended sheep; he minded cattle, hoed the 
garden, gathered vegetables, picked up chips; was mill- 
boy and errand-boy; handed threads for his stepmother's 
loom; nursed her children; at ten, was a champion 
corn-dropper on his father's farm; at twelve, a regular 
ploughhand. Of this period he has left this pastoral: * 

My duty in childhood was to tend the sheep. One 
evening, after a snowy day, I went to call them up, fold 
and feed them. I found all but one — a ewe. I called 
for some time but she did not come. The following 
evening she was still missing. Next morning, my father 
went with me. He did not see the ewe, and asked how 
long she had been missing. I told him. "Why did 
you say nothing of it before?" he asked sternly. I 

*In several letters and in the memory of friends and relatives to whom he loved to talk of 
his diildhood days. An extended statement of this s.nd much else here given may be found in 
Johnston and Browne's **Iife of Stephens," 


could say nothing, for the true reason had been fear 
lest I be sent back in the dark and the snow. I had 
supposed she would come up in a day or two. We set 
out to search for the ewe, and found her dead, with a 
lamb she had borne dead beside her. It was a painful 
thought to me for a long time that "Mottle-face," as 
we ^Mtd the ewe, had suffered and died through my 
neglect. No darkness, cold, or snow could have kept 
me from hunting her up if I had thought of her being 
in such a condition. 

At fifteen, his schooling, a few months at a time as he 
could be spared irom work, made a total of about two 
years in "old field schools." He writes: 

I studied with intense interest by the light of blazing 
pine knots, the only light in our house for readers in those 
days. My stepmother had a candle in her room by 
which she sewed, patched, darned, and performed other 
domestic tasks. By the fire I read long after the whole 
household was asleep, and that after a hard day's work. 

Of a May day in 1826 he said, years after: 

Right along here I was ploughing when I was sent for 
to go to the house. Father was worse. It was the day 
before he died. Just up there I took out my horse, 
not dreaming it was for the last time. 

In a week his stepmother died. Her children, John, 
Catherine, and Linton, were sent to her kin ; Margaret's, 
Aaron Grier and Alexander, to their mother's brother. 
General Aaron Grier, near Raytown, Warren County. 
In Mr. Stephens's letters is this silhouette of his aunt, 
Betsy Grier: 

Uncle Grier's sister, who lived with him, was a woman 
of unusually strong mind, and what in those days might 


have been called well read. She had a good library 
and made good use of it [his grandfather Grier's legacy]. 

At his Uncle Grier's, Alexander wrote his first letter. 

It was, I think, the second Sunday after I went to our 
new home upon the breaking up of our little family 
circle on the death of father and ma. It was to Uncle 
James Stephens, of Pennsylvania, giving an account of 
our affiction. Uncle Aaron had gone to meeting. 
Brother Aaron Grier and I were both writing. We 
had a table in the middle of the big room. It was some 
time before we could get a pen apiece. At that time, 
no such thing as a pen of any kind but a goosequill was 
ever heard of, in those parts at least. Our inkstand 
was a little leather-covered vial Uncle Aaron used to 
take when he went from home; in it was some cotton 
that held the ink, and the pen was filled by pressing it 
against the cotton. I was all day at that letter. When 
Uncle Aaron came home, he looked over both letters, 
made some corrections, and then we had to write them 
over again. This, my first letter, was the utterance of 
the bitterest grief. 

A Rev. Mr. Williams, wishing to start a Union Sim- 
day School in Raytown, laid his plans before Miss Grier. 
Alexander helped to organize this school and taught in 
it. His renown as a Bible student quickly spread. 

Of his first start to Sunday School by his father, he 
has said : 

It was an epoch in my life. Then I first took a taste 
for reading. I was a little over twelve. All my reading 
had been Umited to the spelling-book and the New 
Testament. I was put into a class beginning with 
Genesis. It was no task for me to get the lesson, though 
I had no other time for it but Sunday mornings and 
evenings, or at night by light of a pine-knot fire. My 


entrance into this school gave me a taste for reading, 
history, and chronology. 

Comparing this with other epochs in his life: 

One of the first that I remember was "dropping the 
slips" — a frock such as girls wear — and putting on 
breeches, an event giving me entirely new notions of 
myself. Starting to school was another. But I no more 
thought of this the morning my father gave me the 
beautiful new spelling-book with its rich blue cover, 
and told me to go to school and be a good boy, than I 
thought several years after that I was turning another 
point when he started me with a Bible to Powder Creek 

After the first year at their uncle's, Aaron worKe^ on 
the farm for wages. Alexander, to whom the same 
chance was offered, requested to continue his studies at 
Locust Grove Academy, where he and Aaron had been 
in faithful attendance as farmwork permitted. Of the 
close of the 1827 term, he writes: 

I well remember my feelings the last evening; how I 
gathered up all my things — books, papers, slate-pencils 
and ink — put some in my basket and some under my 
arm, and then bade all good-bye. I reflected, as I 
walked the homeward path, that this was the last time 
I should ever tread its beaten track, and the last day I 
should ever go to school. The next week I was to go 
to Crawfordville to seek employment in a store. Next 
Simday I went to Sunday School. Mr. Mills inquired 
how I was coming on at the Academy. I told him my 
term was out, and what I was going to do. He asked 
how I would like to go to Washington, Ga., and study 
Latin. I said I would like it very well, but had not the 
means. He proposed to send me. I said I would 
consult my uncle and aunt. 


Aunt Betsy advised that the better his education the 
better he could repay Mr. Mills; she got his clothes 
ready and started him oflf. July 28, 1827, he was at 
Mr. Webster's academy and in Adam's Latin Grammar; 
August 18, he was reading Historice Sacrce in a class 
of a year's standing. His granunar had been his teacher's ; 
in it he wrote, under "Alexander Hamilton Webster," 
"Alexander Hamilton Stephens," paying the donor the 
one tribute in his power by adopting the same middle 
name. He was troubled when told of a desire to educate 
him for the ministry: "Whether I should be fit to preach 
when I should grow up, I could not know. I could give 
no answer until I had consulted my aunt, my mentor." 
Mr. Webster and Aunt Betsy decided that he should 
complete his course under the Presb)rterian Education 
Society, leaving the question of vocation in abeyance. 
August 6, 1828, he writes from the State University at 
Athens a letter to Aaron which quaintly reflects his 
own character and the turmoil of the day over the Tariff : 

Dear Brother and Friend: I have now an opportunity 
of informing you of my situation. Early this morn- 
ing, after you left me, I left Washington for Athens in 
a crowded stage ; but we had a delightful journey, having 
good company and pleasant weather. About 5, we 
arrived in Athens. Thursday and Friday, I was engaged 
in nothing particular but walking about the streets, etc. 
Saturday my examination came off. After all my pains 
in reviewing at home, I was not examined on a single 
thing I had reviewed, but as good luck would have it, 
I missed none, and was admitted to the Freshman class. 
[Describes Commencement, etc.] The finest crops I 
have seen are between here and Washington. 

Athens, I discover, is a very popular retreat for great 
people, especially about Commencement. To-day there 


is an innumerable number of people, horses, carriages, 
gigs, sulkies, wagons, cake-and-cider carts, etc. The 
Tariff is carried to a high degree here. It is sufficient 
for me to say that some of the people are so incensed 
against the Tariff that they wear their broadcloth every 
day and their homespun Sunday. Mr. McDuffie came 
to Athens last Sunday; he himself was dressed in home- 
spun and his boy [Negro servant] in broadcloth. You 
can form an idea from the foregoing how the Tariff 
stands in the minds of the people here. The Colleges 
were illuminated last night, a candle to every pane of 
glass. I board at Mrs. Church's, and am much pleased 
both with Athens and the people. I must conclude, 
as I have nothing of importance and I have a very sore 
finger. So fare you well at the present, 

5 And I ever remain your Friend, 

A. H. Stephens 

To ail my friends 
Who now do live 

My compliments 
I in love do give. 

"Mr. McDuffie" was the Congressman who after- 
ward became Governor of South Carolina. In 1828 
the "Tariff of Abominations" was passed and the South, 
Carolina leading, protested violently. "Mrs. Church" 
was wife of Dr. Church, the later College President. 

"My college days were my happiest days," Mr. 
Stephens has said. He was a favourite with faculty and 
students. His room was popular, a place of clean joviality, 
where wit and repartee and story-telling were cultivated, 
and refreshments, barring liquor and tobacco, were always 
on hand: "Boys met there who never met elsewhere — 
the most dissipated and the most ascetically pious" — 
"most were wealthy." Of his poverty he "seldom 
thought; no distinctions were there but of merit." In 
two years, deciding that the ministry was not his voca- 


tion, he repaid the Education Society's advances with 
funds borrowed from Aaron; and on his patrimony of 
about $400, completed his course. He then taught 
school in Madison for **four months of misery." He 
missed his college associations. And an experience 
which should have brought him life's joy brought him 
but sorrow. He loved. But he kept silent because 
of his poverty and ill health. So sacred he held this 
experience that only once or twice in after life did he 
mention it. All that tradition preserves of the object 
of his attachment is that she was lovely in person and 
character; was his pupil, and learned rapidly; and she 
had "dark eyes and curls and rosy cheeks." Years 
after, when in Congress, he loved again; the lady, a 
woman of beauty and distinction, was not indifferent 
to him; but again he kept silent; a woman's due, he 
thought, was a husband on whom she could lean and 
not an invalid whom she must nurse. From Madison 
he went to Dr. Le Conte's, Liberty County, as tutor to 
a few select pupils, among them John and Joseph 
Le Conte, the later eminent scientists. He was again 
a valued member of a scholarly and cultured circle, 
and life grew brighter, but he felt that he was not ful- 
filling his mission. Declining $1,500 for another year's 
stay, he began to study law at Crawfordville. Here he 
boarded with his stepmother's brother-in-law, the Rev. 
Williamson Bird, in the house which is now historic 
as Liberty Hall, this being the name Mr. Stephens gave 
to the property when he bought it, in 1845, on the death 
of Mr. Bird. 

In his Prison Journal, he describes his admission to 
the bar. His first essay at "riding the circuit" was to 
Washington, twenty miles distant. He had no horse. 


Wiih saddlebags on his shoulders, he set out at dusk 
of a hot July day, walked to his uncle Aaron's, which 
was halfway; and next day, rode to court, clad in a neat 
white suit which he had retired to the woods to don 
just before entering town. At this court he met Robert 
Toombs, and their lifelong intimacy, second only to that 
between himself and his brother Linton, began. A 
partnership in Columbus at $1,500 or more a year was 
^offered him by Swepston JeflEries, a leading lawyer, but 
he preferred Crawfordville and no prospects because 
nearby was the old homestead, over which he loved to 
roam, and which, in fulfilment of a cherished purpose, 
he bought in 1838. From his diary of 1834, the following 
condensed excerpts are taken : 

May 2. — The other day, as I was coming from my 
boarding-house in a cheerful brisk walk, I was laid 
low in 3ie dust by hearing the superintendent of a 
shoe-shop ask a workman, "Who is that little fellow that 
walks so fast by here every day?'* with the reply in a 
sarcastic tone, "Why, that^s a lawyer P^ 

May 8. — Read Jackson's Protest to the Senate. 
Am pleased with it in general ... I feel interested 
for lum ... I see vile attempts made to fix infamy 
upon him. His Proclamation of December, 1832, I con- 
demn. But for one error a man who has done much 
good for his country should not be abandoned. For 
where we find a president who will commit only one 
wrong, we shall find few who will not commit more. 

May 12. — My desires do not stop short of the high- 
est places of distinction. Yet how can I effect my pur- 
pose? Poor and without friends, time passing with 
rapid flight and I effecting nothing. 

May 17. — Brother still with me. Had an intro- 
duction to a man who addressed me familiarly as "My 
son." Such often happens to me. My weight is 94 


pounds, height 67 inches, and my whole appearance 
that of a youth of eighteen. 

May 19. — Inferior Court sat; no business. Star- 
vation to the whole race of lawyers! 

May 30. — Examined some drawings of the ancient 
statues. With the Gladiator and Venus I am delighted. 
Pity but some of our fashionable belles would take a 
lesson from this elegant form of true grace, the Venus; 
they would change their present disgusting waspish 

June 3. — The railroad is the topic of the day. 
Railroads, it is true, are novel things. The greatest 
obstacle is the greatness of the enterprise. The stupen- 
dous thought of seeing steam-engines moving over our 
hills at the safe and rapid flight of fifteen miles an hour, 
produces a greater effect in dissuasion of the imdertaking 
than any discovered defect in arguments in its favour. 

June 6. — Read in Southern Recorder (the only 
paper I take, and devoted to States Rights) a chapter 
on cats, with which I was pleased. 

June 7. — I believe I shall never be worth anything, 
and the thought is death to my soul. I am too boyish, 
unmanful, trifling, simple in my manners and address. 

June 15. — Quarterly meeting. Pretty good ser- 

June 17. — Tried to borrow a horse to go to Uncle 
Grier's on business, but was so disappointed as to fill 
me with mortification and a due sense of my humble 
dependence. I had rather (and have often done it) 
walk than ask for a horse. 

June 20. — Had a visit from Dr. Foster and prom- 
ised to deliver an oration on the Fourth of July. 

June 25. — Went to a party. Witnessed the new 
dance [the waltz] which disgusted me very much. Oh, 
the follies of man! 

July 24. — Engaged for the first time, with a con- 
tingent fee of $180. May Providence look propitiously 
upon me ! 


He lived on $6 a month. In a letter, in after years, 
he wrote : 

No one can imagine how I worked, how I delved, how 
I laboured over books. Often I spent the whole night 
over a law-book, and went to bed at dawn. My business 
increased. My brother Aaron, who taught school in 
the Asbury settlement visited me often. Our excursions 
to the old homestead constituted most of my recreation 
except when I went to see him or Uncle Aaron or old 
Aimt Betsy. 

On the Fourth of July, 1834, he made his first political 
speech, and it was on States Rights. Celebration of the 
Fourth was Crawfordville's great annual event, with people 
coming in from the country round and much feasting 
and barbecuing; a prominent citizen would serve as 
orator of the day and another as reader of the Declaration 
of Independence. From 1834 Stephens was in regular 
demand in one or the other of these capacities. 

In his first important case, he did what he was often 
to do in Congress on great issues — carried a minority 
to victory. Isaac Battle, head of an influential clan, 
wished to retain possession of his grandchild, daughter 
of his son's widow who had married an intemperate man. 
A great crowd came to the trial of the case. After able 
counsel for the Battles had spoken, a pallid, unknown 
boy arose and pleaded for the mother the divine right of 
motherhood. A Battle reported next day: '*When that 
little fellow began to argue and the judges fell to crying, 
I knew Isaac would have to give up Martha Ann." His 
practice grew rapidly. So much business came to him 
that he called Aaron Grier to his aid. When he took a 
Northern tour in 1838, he left his affairs in the hands 
of Toombs and Aaron. On this tour, he saw Fort Warren 


for the first time on May 25, the day on which he was 
to see it in 1865 as a prisoner. This was his second 
Northern trip; it included a visit to his father's brother 
James, in Pennsylvania, as had the first in 1835, of which 
an amusing incident has been preserved. At the family 
dinner, Uncle James, a worthy farmer, asked, "What 
business do you follow, Alex?" "I am a lawyer. Uncle." 
An ominous silence fell. Presently Uncle James asked 
huskily, "Alex, don't you have to tell lies?" 

In 1835 Mr. Stephens had his first interview with 
a President of the United States. He found Andrew 
Jackson in dressing-gown and slippers, a silver pipe at 
his side, before a big fire in the White House. "What's 
the news from Georgia?" asked Old Hickory. Stephens 
told of the outbreak of the Creek Indians; the stage he 
boarded at Washington, Ga., was the only one of a train 
of coaches which had escaped capture with massacre of all 
passengers between Montgomery and Columbus. "I 
have a letter by the lower route telling something of 
this," said Jackson. " In God's name, where's Howard ?" 
"I don't know. As Major Howard's are Georgia forces 
under control of the Georgia Legislature, there may be 
some question of jurisdiction" — " Jurisdiction by the Eter- 
nal! when the United States Mail is robbed and citizens 
murdered!" cried Old Hickory, springing to his feet. 
He kept Stephens for over an hour. In 1838, Mr. 
Stephens saw Congress in session; as he jotted down in 
a little note-book, he saw "Wise and Clay; a dull day; 
Webster, sullen, worn out, caged lion; Benton, arrogant, 
disgusting manner." He "walked way out on the com- 
mons N. W., where Washington will be in days to come." 
Baltimore was "first city going North that is lighted 
with gas"; and where he saw white servants. In Phila- 


delphia at night in the Merchants' Hotel: "Startled in 
my room by cry of fire — mob set fire to Philadelphia 
or Pennsylvania Hall for its abolitionism." 

Answering inquiries from a friend, Mr. Stephens, in 
1871, gave some account of his political life to 1859, 
which is reproduced because of its spontaneity and 
because, as his own, it is authoritative, though it is by no 
means a complete statement: 

I was brought up a Jeffersonian Democrat of the 
strictest sect — of the Crawford and Troup school in 
Georgia. All Georgians belonged to that school when 
I was a boy. The party divisions of the State, the Troup 
men and Clarke men, all supported Crawford for Presi- 
dent in 1824, though Clarke was but lukewarm because 
Crawford was Troup's great leader; they barely ran no 
opposition; they sympathized in that contest with Mr. 
Calhoun, then becoming prominent, and between whom 
and Mr. Crawford no very kind feelings existed, the 
two being rivals in the same party. 

My first vote was given in 1833, after the split on 
Nullification. The Troup-Crawford wing did not favour 
Nullification: they organized on a platform which they 
proclaimed as the true States Rights principles; while 
opposing Nullification as taught in South Carolina, 
they also opposed the doctrines of General Jackson's 
famous Proclamation; they held the right of Secession, 
but repudiated Nullification as a proper or peaceful 
remedy for a difference between a State and the United 
States Government. William H. Crawford was Presi- 
dent of the organizing committee. Great numbers of 
the old Crawford-Troup- Jefferson party went with the 
Nullifiers. By these means, the old party in Georgia 
became demoralized. John Forsyth, then in the United 
States Senate, as a Troup-Crawford man, abandoned 
both wings. That is, he not only repudiated Nullification 
but also the States Rights doctrine announced by Craw- 


ford and Troup with their adherents. He organized 
what was called the Union party of the State, and took 
off enough of the old Crawford-Troup men to make with 
the Clarke men a majority, and for several years this 
Union- Jackson party, so-called, governed the State. In 
1833, Wilson Lumpkin was their nominee for Governor, 
and the States Rights nominee was Major Joel Crawford 
(relative of W. H.). In this election, my first vote was 
given, and for Crawford. 

In 1836, I was elected to the Legislature as a States 
Rights man. My county, Taliaferro, had been under 
the lead of Nullifiers; though they acted with the States 
Rights party in preference to the Forsyth party, they 
did not like to support one who did not accept the doc- 
trine of Nullification — not even William H. Crawford 
and George M. Troup, their old leaders. I had bitter 
opposition in my first campaign because I was against 
Nullification. In 1836, the States Rights party in Georgia 
carried the electoral vote for President, casting it for 
Hugh L. White, of Tennessee. The Forsyth-Union- 
Jackson party ran Van Buren and were defeated in the 
State. In 1839, after the Harrisburg Convention nom- 
inated Harrison, I favoured the nomination by the States 
Rights party in Georgia of George M. Troup. A reso- 
lution to that effect was passed by the December Conven- 
tion at Milledgeville. In the summer of 1840, when the 
Harrison fever raged high — when the storm was at its 
topmost pitch of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!" the 
Georgia leaders became infected; another convention 
was held; Judge Berrien was the leading spirit; Troup's 
name was taken down and Harrison's run up. 

I was young; and as it was shown that Harrison was a 
Jefferson Democrat, and as I felt it to be my duty to 
beat the corruptionists in power under Van Buren, I 
"went with my folks" and voted for Harrison. Whig 
had not then been introduced into Georgia as a party 
name. In 1842 the States Rights party in convention 
to nominate candidates for Congress, under the lead of 


Richard Henry Wilde, assumed the name of Whig. 
Their ticket was defeated. In the Legislature of 1842 
I, being in the Senate, made a long report on Federal 
relations; it became the Whig platform in Georgia. A 
vacancy occurred in the Congressional delegation elected 
as Democrats so-called the year before; in the sunmier 
of 1843, 1 was nominated to fill that vacancy by the Whigs, 
so-called on the principles of the report of 1842, and was 
elected by about 3,000 majority. 

I took my seat in the House of Representatives, 
December, 1843. I stood nominally as a Whig, yet held 
few sentiments in conmion with the national party: 
was opposed to the protection policy ; to the policy of re- 
ceiving abolition petitions in Congress and to the Congres- 
sional jurisdiction in any form of the slavery question. 
I favoured the incorporation of Texas into the Union; 
not under the Tyler treaty — that I opposed — but under 
joint resolution for her admission as a State. This 
well-nigh severed my connection even in name with the 
Whig party at Washington as well as in Georgia. Judge 
Berrien had become thoroughly identified with Mr. 
Clay and the Whig party throughout the country, not 
only on the Protective Tariff but in opposition to Texan 
annexation. Indeed, he went further than Clay on the 
latter question. 

I omitted to state at the right place that the Whig 
party of Georgia supported Clay for the Presidency in 
1844, though differing widely with him on many questions. 
For instance, after Clay's Raleigh letter opposing annex- 
ation, our State Convention passed resolutions favouring 
that measure. These resolutions were drawn up by me 
in Washington and sent down to be adopted, as they 
were, by the State Convention nominating electoral 
candidates. I, however, gave Mr. Clay a warm support. 
I had urged him not to publish that anti-Texas Raleigh 
letter; he told me, as he was passing through the State, 
that he intended to come out with such a letter. I 
urged him not to. I believe he was influenced by con- 


siderations of policy. I knew from conversations with 
him that he was really in favour of the admission of 
Texas if it could be done without endangering the Union, 
and I believed that it would be a leading object of his 
administration, if elected, to bring Texas in without 
violent agitation. Texas was brought in as she was by 
my stand in the House. I got Milton Brown, of Tennes- 
see, an old Member, and six or seven so-called Southern 
Whigs to stand with me. We, as the House was con- 
stituted, held the balance of power, and compelled the 
Democratic side so-called to come to our terms. Mr. 
Polk I regarded as a mere demagogue and a very bad 
man. He was elected by a political fraud on the people 
of Pennsylvania in the matter of his views on the Tariff; 
to save himself on that point, he resolved to get into a 
war with Mexico. The Texas question afforded oppor- 
tunity. His course in relation to that war was what threw 
me into the ranks of the Whigs, the opposition. I 
denounced the war and its inauguration. I took the 
lead in this method of treating it in the House. 

My first conversation with Mr. Calhoun was a day or 
two after my first speech on the war; in May, I think, 
1846. It occurred in this way. Mr. Burt, of South 
Carolina, Member of the House and relative by marriage 
of Mr. Calhoun, said Mr. Calhoun had asked him to 
bring me to see him if agreeable to me; that he wanted 
to know me. We went. Mr. Calhoun stated that he 
had read my speech, was pleased with it, and wished to 
express his gratification; then he entered into a long 
conversation, in his peculiar and earnest style, on the 
whole subject; said he concurred with me fully in every 
view presented, but could say nothing then in the Senate, 
owing to his complications with the administration on 
the Oregon question; that he was exceedingly anxious 
to get that question settled without war with England; 
if he should denounce the administration as it ought to 
be denounced for its policy in bringing on the Mexican 
War, he would lose his influence with them on Oregon; 


duty required silence for the present; but as soon as the 
controversy with England was ended, he should take 
the same position on Mexico in the Senate that I had 
taken in the House. 

This I mention simply as an incident of my first acquain- 
tance with Calhoun. Our conversation was full and 
free, but understood to be a matter, on his side, not to 
be talked of. He did, afterward in the Senate, follow 
the line he told me he would; it was after the Oregon 
question was settled, in February, I think, 1847. The 
only difference then between us was that he insisted that 
we ought to take a slip of country as indemnity, which 
seemed strange to me after his declaration in the same 
grand speech that "Mexico is the forbidden fruit." 

My position on the mode of admission of Texas con- 
trolled that matter. This was during the second session 
of my first Congress. My action in the next Congress 
controlled the course the Mexican War finally took. 
The Whig party, in the Congress beginning 4th March, 
1845, and ending 4th March, 1847, was in a minority 
of about 70. This was the Congress that recognized 
the war as the act of Mexico — a shameful lie! The 
Whigs, after war began, were all at sea. Winthrop, 
Joe Ingersoll, and the like knew not what to do; they 
were timid and fearful. No one, they would say, can 
oppose the war; the fate of all who opposed the War of 
181 2 was before their eyes; Crittenden in the Senate 
was of the same mind. Now, at this stage of the case 
(when the War party, Cass at their head in the Senate, 
was ready to swallow all Mexico, and really intended to 
do it, I verily believe), I drew up and submitted to 
our old leaders in the House, especially Winthrop and 
Ingersoll, a resolution which should properly present 
the position of the Whigs on the war. I told them it 
was essential in elections for the next Congress, to go 
before the country on a well-defined policy, and that 
that policy must be a true and patriotic one or we would 
be utterly defeated. It was embraced, I thought, in 


the resolutions. Ingersoll and Winthrop, as well as 
every other to whom I submitted it, not even excepting 
my colleague, Mr. Toombs, disapproved the policy 
of offering it ; it would put us before the people as opposed 
to the vindication of the rights and honour of the country. 
I knew there was no hope of getting it in to be acted on 
but upon a motion to suspend the rules for its introduction ; 
a vote could be had on that question and in this way 
it could be got before the House. I determined to offer 
it an)nvay, and did. At first, several prominent, aspiring, 
expediency Whigs dodged it, but when they saw that 
Cobb, of Georgia, a leading man on the other side, voted 
to suspend the rules for its introduction, they crawled 
out, like chickens that had been hiding in a bush from 
a hawk, and voted the same way. I finally got every, 
or nearly every. Whig vote in the House and a few Demo- 
crats, Cobb at the head. Cobb was an exceedingly 
quick and shrewd man ; he saw the power in the resolution 
and foresaw its effect upon the public. The resolution 
became, as I intended it to be, the national Whig plat- 
form so far as the war was concerned. Upon it a major- 
ity was returned to the House in the face of a most brilliant 
war; and that majority by one vote arrested the war. 
It was all done on high and patriotic principles and on 
no base demagogical subterfuge. 

The administration was greatiy embarrassed by the 
change in the character of the House. Winthrop was 
Speaker, and the committees were all different from 
what they had been. Still, Mr. Polk attempted, by 
browbeating and charging us with disloyalty and with 
"giving aid and comfort to the enemy," to scare our 
weak-kneed into submission. Such treatment, I knew, 
had to be met with boldness and defiance. Hence, in 
February, 1848, while many Whigs were trembling in 
their shoes, the War party introduced for popular effect 
a resolution tendering the thanks of Congress to General 
Twiggs (I believe it was) for gallantry at Cerro Gordo. 
I joined in giving all the praise set forth to that brave 


officer and his men, but wished the resolution amended 
so as to read, "in a war unconstitutionally begun." When 
the time for offering the amendment came, Winthrop 
gave the floor to Ashmun, of Massachusetts, who offered 
it. A great sensation ensued. The War party was 
elated, 5iey looked on triumph as certain; they did not 
think we would dare vote for it. Our weak-kneed 
trembled; many got up and walked out; I rallied all I 
could, presented an undaunted front, urged every one 
I could find to stand up square to the truth. The vote 
at first was close; but when the hidden chickens under 
the brush in the outside alleys saw that their votes would 
carry it, enough came up and voted "Aye" to pass it. 

The War men looked aghast ! That vote of the House 
— that expression of condemnation by a majority of 
the impeaching branch of the Government — ended the 
war, broke its backbone. Polk saw what was coming. 
In a few days, Trist was dispatched to Mexico to make 
the best terms of peace he could. This is the real origin 
of the celebrated "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo." 

The resolution thus amended was passed. The War 
party dropped it. John Quincy Adams died while it 
was pending. The House adjourned and the resolution 
was not again taken up. But that vote had done its 
work, as I knew it would when the shaft was sent. 

For your question about my course toward General 
Taylor. It was I — no egotism in telling you the simple 
truth — who made him President. Soon after the first 
battles of the war at Resaca and Palo Alto, I urged on 
the anti- War party that Taylor was our man; I got his nom- 
ination in a Whig convention in Georgia in 1847. At 
the beginning of Congress in December, I was mainly 
instrumental in getting up a Taylor Club in Congress; 
it was known as the Young Indians. For months there 
were but seven of us: Truman Smith of Connecticut, Abra- 
ham Lincoln of Illinois, William Ballard Preston, Thomas 
S. Floumoy and John S. Pendleton, of Virginia, Toombs 
and myself of Georgia. Others came in afterward — 


Cabell of Florida, Hilliard of Alabama, and some whose 
names I forget. It was confined to the House. Mr. 
Crittenden, of the Senate, fully concurred with us. While 
strongly attached to Mr. Clay personally, he did not 
think Clay could be elected. We opened an extensive 
correspondence and put the ball in motion. The con- 
test between the Clay Whigs and the Taylor men for 
the nomination in Philadelphia was bitter and fierce. 
Many things I could tell which would entertain you, 
had I time. One incident I may mention — how I 
got a Taylor battery planted in New York City. 

During the winter of 1847-48, we could get no hearing 
in New York, though we had some zealous men cooper- 
ating with us there. General Draper and others; and we 
had no Taylor paper there. Colonel Humphrey Mar- 
shall, of Buena Vista fame, had attempted to speak there 
for Taylor, but the roughs of the Whig party broke up 
all Taylor meetings. I saw that this must be changed; 
we must get a foothold by some means in the Metropolis. 
I devised a programme, choosing Toombs for speaker. 
Samuel J. Anderson, a clerk in the House and a very 
shrewd man whom I knew well, knew Isaiah Rhynders, 
captain among roughs and shoulder-hitters in New York 
— famous as the head of the Corbin [?] Club in the 
Clay-Polk contest of 1844; I knew he was sqre at the 
manner in which he had been treated by the Polk admin- 
istration and was in sympathy with the Taylor move- 

Now I told Toombs we must have a successful hearing 
in New York, and that he was the man to face any sort 
of crowd. My plan was for him to take Anderson 
with him ; Anderson was to hunt up Rhynders (I believe 
that's the spelling) and bring him to Toombs. Toombs 
should tell Rhynders what he wanted — a fair and 
uninterrupted hearing from a New York audience in 
behalf of Taylor; and to ask Rhynders if he could see 
that he, Toombs, got it, and at what cost. I told him 
to pay Rhynders just what he would ask. The pro- 


gramme was carried out. Toombs and Anderson went 
on; Rhynders met Toombs at the Astor House, entered 
cheerfully into the engagement, and said it would cost 
$200: it would require that to secure the necessary force. 
Toombs closed with him. Rhynders said it would fa- 
cilitate his work if Toombs would meet some of his "boy- 
hoys" at a certain noted saloon the evening before the 
speech and get acquainted with them. Toombs, who 
was able to make himself perfectly at home in such a 
crowd, went at the appointed hour and met the captain 
with his subalterns, Bill Ford, Sullivan, and other noted 
boxers. Nothing passed but such agreeable chat as 
Toombs knew how to give in his peculiar style, and the 
glass to his company. Rhynders, on parting, told 
Toombs it was all right ; but that he must not get flurried 
or off his feet at any outburst that might happen at first ; 
there might be some disorder at the start, but that he, 
Rhynders, would down it all right. 

The meeting was duly announced. The hour arrived ; 
a large audience assembled ; the hall was brilliantly lighted. 
The most prominent Taylor men in the city presided; 
they knew nothing of Toombs's arrangement with Rhyn- 
ders and were very uneasy. One of them introduced the 
orator of the evening. No sooner had Toombs with 
his fine and manly presence stepped forward and uttered 
the words, "Fellow citizens of New York — " than a 
yell rose from various parts of the house: "Slave-holder!" 
Slave-holder!" Toombs remained quiet and composed 
for a moment, and began again. Another yell went up: 
"Hurrah for Clay! Hurrah for Clay!" Toombs, in 
imperturbable temper, not seeming to be excited in the 
least, again conmienced ; again yells arose. Still unmoved , 
he began, when on repetition of the cries, "Slave-holder!" 
and tihe like, there was the greatest row you ever saw. 
"Put him out!" rang from one side of the hall to the other, 
and everywhere a stalwart arm was seen pitching some 
fellow out. Rhynders's men were at work. Some who 
were being pitched out exclaimed: "I made no noise!" 


"You have chalk on your back!" was the reply; "and 
you've got to go." 

In two minutes the hall was cleared of some forty 
"chalk-backs." Rhynders's plan, as he afterward told 
Toombs, had been to scatter his men through the audience; 
they were quietly to mark the backs of all who made inter- 
ruptions; on the order, "Put them out!" they were to 
seize and put out by force all chalk-backs. He and they 
knew pretty well beforehand who were the brawlers 
sent to break up the meeting; but, to make certain, his 
plan was first to spot them. The hall was soon cleared 
of rowdies. The audience was quiet and orderly while 
Toombs gave them one of his masterly popular harangues. 
Before the conclusion, the wildest enthusiasm prevailed; 
loud shouts of applause went up; and then came "three 
cheers for old Zach!" given with a vim as Toombs took 
his seat. Our victory was complete; we had a foothold 
in New York ; our battery in that stronghold of the enemy 
was well served afterward and did most efiFective work. 
Great events often turn on small ones. Now, as an 
active party in all these scenes, I tell you that that one 
little thing of getting a successful hearing in New York 
had powerful results. 

This has taken up too much time for me to go on with 
other incidents. If I live to write a book, as I wish, 
on "Congressional Reminiscences," I may give more such 
incidents. Of course what I now write is only to afford 
you light on the points on which you question me. You 
will understand that in all I did, I was moved by a motive 
far higher than my own advantage or distinction. I 
have generally most cheerfully permitted others to reap 
the honours accruing from any line of policy I suggested. 

When Taylor was elected, he sent for me immediately 
on his reaching Washington. Crittenden, then Gov- 
ernor of Kentucky, had advised him to consult me. 
Taylor asked me and Toombs to go into his Cabinet. 
I advised against this, and presented the names of George 
W. Crawford, of Georgia, and William Ballard Preston, 


of Virginia. The other names for Cabinet positions 
were submitted to me. I did not like Clayton for Sec- 
tary of State ; CoUamer for Postmaster General I approved ; 
Meredith, of Pennsylvania, I knew nothing about; 
Reverdy Johnson for Attorney General, I thought well of. 

Just at this time the seed of what ruined Taylor's 
administration was sowed in an alliance with William 
H. Seward, head of the Abolition party in New York. 
The saddest reflection for me was that this was effected 
through Preston. Preston was an able and true man; I 
had every confidence, in him. He was a bold and active 
"Young Indian." He was the man who carried the 
Virginia Whigs against Botts. Somehow, strangely 
enough too, Seward, by some sort of blandishment, 
came it over him. Seward gave the strongest pledges 
that he, in the Senate, would drop the slavery agitation 
and give Taylor's administration a cordial support on a 
broad continental basis without stirring up sectional 
animosities. These promises were relied on by Preston, 
who looked on Seward as a great leader. Seward was 
put virtually in possession of the power of distributing 
the entire Federal patronage in New York. This was 
the state of things when I left Washington, March, 1849. 
I was not pleased, for I had no confidence in Seward. 

When the new Congress assembled in December, 
1849, I found that Seward as a charmer had complete 
control of Preston. He had got Webb, through whom 
his pledges had been given, sent as minister abroad. 
He had got Preston to believe that the Northern Whigs 
must hold on to their doctrine of Congressional exclu- 
sion of slavery from the Territories ; that it would destroy 
them to abandon it; but the vexed question could be got 
rid of by what was known as the administration policy — 
non-action. I knew he was not sincere in this and that 
he only wanted Preston not to make war on the Wilmot 
Proviso. It was at the opening of this Congress that, 
as a touchstone of party principle, I insisted that the 
Whig or administration caucus, in nominating a candidate 


for Speaker, should define its position. Toombs and 
myself and six or seven other Southern Whigs so-called 
concurred in that view. The resolution (you can see 
more about it in Vol. II of my "War Between the States") 
was drawn up in my room and Toombs took charge of it. 
When the caucus met, he offered it. It embraced the 
idea that Congress ought not to abolish slavery in the 
District of Columbia nor prohibit it in the Territories. 
This resolution was laid on the table in the caucus on 
motion of Stanley of North Carolina. Toombs and m)rself 
and six or seven other Whigs so-called withdrew. That 
was the last time I ever met a Whig caucus so-called in 
Congress. Winthrop was again nominated for Speaker, 
but lost his election by defection of the Southern Whigs. 
The lead I took in the adjustment measures of 1850 
will be seen in Vol. II of "War Between the States." I 
controlled that settlement; that is, without the part I 
took at the time, it would never have been made. The 
rupture between me and Preston became open, and very 
painful to me. Taylor, under Preston's advice, still 
adhered to his non-action policy, while Seward was 
working with vim, just as he did long afterward with 
President Johnson, seeming to be with him but under- 
mining him in all he did. I told Johnson of this, in 1866, 
but he no more heeded me than Taylor did. Taylor 
died in July, 1850, while all was at sea on the adjustment. 
A few days before his attack, I had a long and earnest 
interview with him and urged him to change his policy, 
which was at that time to send troops to Santa F6, Texas, 
and take Federal occupation of territory against the claim 
of Texas — Seward's game, as I believed. I went to 
see Preston, Toombs with me. Preston was not at home; 
we met in front of the Treasury Building; we had a long 
talk; Toombs said little, that little on my side. I told 
Preston that if troops were ordered to Santa F6, the 
President would be impeached. "Who will impeach 
him?" asked he. "I will if nobody else does," I replied. 
We turned and parted. That was our last interview 


until many years after, when, on other questions, we met 
cordially; and at the time of his death, we were again 
warm friends. The day after our street interview, there 
appeared a card from me in the National Intelligencer, 
which created a sensation in Washington; you will find 
it, if you see fit to look for it, in the issue on or about 
the Fourth. 

With Taylor's death, Fillmore came in; a change took 
place in the Cabinet. Crawford had determined to 
resign if the order for marching the troops had been 
given. On 8th August, I think, I made a speech that 
did more than any other one speech that session, I think, 
to carry the famous adjustment measures; for it brought 
the Northern Wilmot Proviso men — Fillmore Whigs, 
I mean — to the conclusion that the Proviso must be 
abandoned. I was called home; I paired with a Free 
Soiler from Connecticut who was also called away, and 
I did not get back until the measure was passed. After 
this, I came home and stumped Georgia — travelled 
3,000 miles by actual count — explaining the principles 
of the settlement and advising the people to accept them 
and remain in the Union under them. Our Legislature 
had called a Sovereign Convention of the People to assem- 
ble in case California should be admitted. I was against 
secession for that cause. Toombs and Cobb were both 
with me in this. The Whig Convention elected in the 
State was largely in favour of the settlement. I was in 
that Convention and on the Committee that drafted the 
celebrated Georgia Platform of 1850; these resolutions 
were on all turning points my work, though I did not figure 
before the public in them. 

After that Convention, I returned to Washington, and 
gave Fillmore's administration my support. Before that 
Convention, I had gone to Washington to be present 
at the opening of Congress and especially to see Fillmore's 
message before it was delivered. I got an opportunity 
of seeing it through Mr. Crittenden, then in the Cabinet. 
On reading the latter part — the message was then in 


print; it was the Saturday night before Congress met 
— I did not like the conclusion, which spoke of some 
modification to be made in the adjustment measures. 
I told Mr. Crittenden that Mr. Fillmore ought to treat 
the settlement as final and to use the expression Mr. 
Webster had applied in a published letter in which he 
spoke of the measures as a settlement "in principle and 
in substance" of the subjects embraced in them. On 
my urgent entreaty, Mr. Crittenden took the message 
to Fillmore with the phraseology I had suggested sub- 
stituted, and the change was made. This is how that 
important part of his message of December, 1850, came 
to be as it is. 

I wanted Webster to be the candidate of the Consti- 
tutional Union party for 1852. The part I took in the 
Whig platform of that year, you will see in Vol. II. I 
did not, however, after 1849, ^^^^ ^ Whig caucus myself. 
I intended to be free of party trammels. If Scott, with 
whom I was on the most intimate terms of friendship, 
had endorsed that platform, I would have supported him. 
This he knew by direct message from me. When he 
refused to do it, I came out in a card in the National 
Intelligencer y signed by several others, giving my reasons 
for not voting for him. The result was as I expected. 
Pierce was elected. I acted with no party or parties 
organizing his administration. But on the assembling 
of the new Congress in 1855, I told Howell Cobb and 
J. Glancey Jones if they would in caucus adopt a resolu- 
tion I would draw up, I would go in the House next 
day and not only vote for their nominee for Speaker but 
cooperate thoroughly with their party in the line of policy 
to be indicated in that resolution. This was in my room 
Sunday night; Congress was to meet next day. They 
asked for the resolution; I drew it up and handed it to 
them. They approved it; it went to the caucus and 
J. Glancey Jones offered it. It was passed unanimously. 
Upon that resolution, the party was organized. It was 
carried to Cincinnati and became part of the platform 


on which Buchanan was elected. Most of Buchanan's 
measures I supported; many I opposed. I deeply 
deplored his quarrel with Douglas. When I could not 
get him to abandon it, I quit Congress forever. As I 
told him in our last interview, if he persisted in his course 
a burst-up at Charleston [where the National Democratic 
Convention was to be held] would be inevitable; with 
that, war would come, the end of which I could not 
foresee, and as I did not care to be in at the death, I 
should retire. I told him in plain words that his policy 
would lead to disruption of the Government: "It will 
be as certain," I said, "as that you would break your 
neck if you should jump out of that window" ; we were 
sitting by a window. He was inflexible. I wrote home 
saying I would not be a candidate for Congress again. 
I retired for good. Before leaving, I brought Oregon 
into the Union as a State. This was my last work in 
Congress. But for me, I am sure the bill for her admis- 
sion would not have passed that term. I have given — 
in a brief and hurried way and as I recollect it — the 
personal data you asked for. This letter may sound 
egotistical to those who do not know me personally. It 
is not intended for anybody but you. 

Yours truly, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Some elaboration of the ground gone over in this 
fragmentary statement is essential to an)rthing like a 
rounded view of Mr. Stephens's political life to 1859. 
Mr. Stephens mentions his minority positions on 
nullification and secession which his political opponents 
used against him in his race for the legislature in 1836. 
They also charged him with abolitionism because he 
opposed vigilance committees as proper tribunals for 
handling abolition agents sent South to incite Negroes 
to insurrection. He mentions framing the Whig platform 
in 1842. His legislative services extended far beyond 


this, and embraced matters of present-day value. His 
maiden speech in the legislature saved the measure 
for building the State Road, a project much ridi- 
culed, railroads being then in the early experimental 
stage. The bill was nearly lost when he arose, in 
appearance an invalid boy with black eyes gleaming 
from an unearthly white face, and proved by indis- 
putable data and argument the value and practic- 
ability of the road. His support saved the charter 
for the Macon Female College, the first in the world to 
confer on women the usual college degrees, and an enter- 
prise, like the railroad, much ridiculed. He championed 
the cause of his Alma Mater, the State University, then 
in straits, and, as Chairman of the Committee on Edu- 
cation, advanced in many ways the cause of learning. 

His first speech in Congress, against his own right to 
a seat, declared his lifelong creed that "the permanency 
of our institutions can only be preserved by confining 
the action of the State and Federal Governments each 
to its own proper sphere." He had been elected before 
Georgia's adoption of the district system as ordered by 
Congress. The right of Congress so to order being 
questioned, he upheld it on constitutional grotmds. His 
political opponents at the South recited the scandal of 
how John Quincy Adams shook hands with him after 
the speech. Adams, who was not much given to listen- 
ing to speeches, really paid the yoimg Georgian marked 
attention. Till his death, Mr. Stephens preserved a 
poem written to him in Adams's cramped hand; the last 
stanza ran: 

As strangers in this hall we met; 

But now with one united heart, 
Whate'er of life awaits us yet, 

In cordial friendship let us part 


From this first speech in Congress to his last before 
the war, his straight line of endeavour was to preserve 
the Union under the Constitution. His opposition to 
Texan annexation was not pleasing to the South, but he 
was unwilling to receive Texas unless her slavery limits 
were first defined; as they were finally, and on his own 
plan based on the Missouri Compromise. His Texas 
speech,* the first to bring him into national prominence, 
contained the oft-quoted sentences which revived against 
him at the South the charges of abolitionism while at the 
North he was accused of labouring for slavery extension : 

My reason for wishing it [the slavery limit] settled 
in the banning, I do not hesitate to make known. I 
fear the excitement growing out of the agitation 
hereafter may endanger the harmony and even existence 
of our present Union. ... I am no defender of 
slavery in the abstract. I would rejoice to see all 
the sons of Adam's family in the enjo)anent of those 
rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence as 
natural and inalienable, if a stem necessity, bearing the 
impress of the Creator, did not in some cases prevent. 

The right of the Union to "acquire territory" and the 
wisdom of doing so were questioned. He declared for 
expansion but against imperialism: 

This [annexation] is an important step in settling 
the principle of our future extension. We are reminded 
of the growth of the Roman Empire which fell of its 
own weight; and of England, who is hardly able to 
keep together her extensive parts. Rome extended her 
dominions by conquest, she compelled provinces to bear 
the yoke; England extends hers upon the principle of 
colonization; her distant dependencies are subject to 

• For the full text of the Texas speech, Irom ^ich condensed excerpts are heze made, see 
Ckipdaiid's "Letters and Speeches of Stephens," aSo-joa. 


her laws but are deprived of the rights of representation. 
With us, a new system has commenced, characteristic 
of the age. It is the system of a Republic formed by the 
union of separate independent States, yielding so much 
of their sovereign powers as are necessary for national 
and foreign purposes, and retaining all others for local 
and domestic objects. Who shall undertake to say how 
far this system may not go ? 

He said, speaking of Mexican territory: * 

No principle is more dangerous than that of com- 
pelling other people to adopt our form of government. 
It is not only wrong in itself, but contrary to the whole 
spirit and genius of the liberty we enjoy. 

Asking if the Mexican war was waged for conquest: 

If so, I protest . . . I am no enemy to the extension 
of our domain. I trust the day is coming and is not far 
distant when the whole continent will be ours. That 
this is our ultimate destiny I believe, but it is not to be 
accomplished by the sword. We can only properly 
enlarge by voluntary accessions. 

In his denunciation of Polk's abuse of power, we see 
the same jealous regard for the Constitution and the 
public rights which later inspired his arraignment of 
Davis and Lincoln for their usurpations : 

Congress alone can constitutionally draw the sword. 
The President can not. The war was brought upon 
us while Congress was in session without our knowl- 
edge. The new and strange doctrine is put forth that 
Congress has nothing to do with the conduct of the war; 
that the President is entitled to its uncontrolled manage- 

* FcMT full text of the Mexican War speeches from which these condenaed exoeipta ase made, 
•ee Clewlaod's "Letters and Speeches of Stephens," joa-334- 


ment; that we can do nothing but vote men and money 
to whatever extent his folly and caprice may dictate. 
Neighbouring States may be subjugated, extensive terri- 
tories annexed, provincial governments erected, the 
rights of conscience violated, and the oath of allegiance 
administered at the point of the bayonet . . . and the 
Representatives of the people are to say nothing against 
these extraordinary outrages upon the fixed principles 
of their Government. For a very little further inter- 
ference with discussion, Charles X. of France lost his 
crown, and for a very little greater stretch of royal pre- 
rogative, Charles I. of England lost his head. By 
reflecting on these examples, our Executive, without 
entertaining apprehensions of a fate similar to either, 
may yet learn some profitable lessons. 

The description in this of the treatment of a conquered 
people in 1847 fits the case of the South during recon- 
struction with an aptness calling for remark. Empha- 
sizing the peril of receiving Mexican territory without 
settling its slavery limits, Stephens said : 

Who can sit here and listen to the debates and look 
unmoved on the prospect before us? . . . They 
show a fixed determination on the part of the North, 
which is now in the majority in this House and ever 
will be hereafter, that, if territory is acquired, the insti- 
tutions of the South shall be forever excluded from its 
limits. What is to be the result? Will the South sub- 
mit? Will the North yield? Or, shall these two great 
sections be arrayed against each other? If Mexico, 
"the forbidden fruit," is to be seized at every hazard, 
I fear that those who control public afiFairs, in their eager 
pursuit after the unenviable distinction of despoiling a 
sister republic, will have the still less enviable glory of 
looking back upon the shattered and broken fragments 
of their own confederacy. 


The Mexican War resolutions, which were his master- 
piece, offered in Congress when the war was at its height 
and national pride drunk with conquest, were so adroitly 
framed that the War party could vote neither for nor 
against them with safety, and refusal to vote at all placed 
them before the people as unable to say that the war 
"is not waged with a view to conquest or the dismem- 
berment" of Mexico and that "it is the desire of the 
United States that hostilities should be terminated upon 
terms honourable to both parties/' In making this 
issue, he relied upon the wisdom and conscience of the 
people; he was always ready to trust to that. His 
course led to the defeat of the War party at the polls 
and the election of a Whig President and Congress. 

In his mention of making Zachary Taylor President, 
he neglects the "Allison Letter," the Whig platform, on 
which Taylor was elected. It was composed at the 
Rush House by Stephens, Toombs, and Crittenden, and 
despatched to Taylor at Baton Rouge; Taylor published 
it as a supplement, prepared on more mature reflection, 
to a letter to Captain Allison in which he had already 
avowed his position. Stephens's choice of Taylor was 
based on that great soldier's popularity. His disap- 
pointment in Taylor's administration caused him to 
declare that measures, not men or party, should thence- 
forth control his course; and he held to this when he 
refused to support Winfield Scott in 1852, though his 
friendship for Scott was as sincere and his appreci- 
ation of Scott's public services as great as in 1847, when 
he lent his effective exertions to Scott's investiture with 
the rank of lieutenant-general. 

The "Three-million Bill," appropriating the first 
purchase-money for Mexican territory, passed in spite 


of his opposition. California, Utah, and New Mexico 
were acquired without settlement of their slavery 
limits, the South, eager for domain, voting with the 
North when the bill was stripped of the Wilmot 
Proviso. And now began the Union's death-struggle 
in the conflict between the sections over slavery in 
these lands. **It is the beginning of the end of the 
Union," he wrote. 

For defeating the Clayton Compromise, an adjust- 
ment measure of 1848, he received doubtful thanks from 
Southern associates who clung to the belief that this 
measure was favourable to their section. While cam- 
paigning Georgia that fall he nearly paid for his course 
with his life. He was told that his friend. Judge Cone, 
had denounced him therefor as a traitor. Stephens 
said he could not believe this of Cone, but would slap 
Cone if Cone admitted it. In an amicable conversation 
with Stephens, Cone repudiated the remark reported 
of him; Stephens then told Cone what he himself had 
said, stating it in a way to rob the words of offense; 
they parted with mutual good feeling. But Cone's 
political foes taunted him with cowardice, until Cone, 
in heat and worry, wrote Stephens a demand for retrac- 
tion. Stephens's amiable reply had not reached Cone 
before the two men met on the piazza of the Atlanta 
Hotel, and a personal encounter was precipitated by 
Cone's calling Stephens "traitor" and getting slapped 
in return. Cone, large and muscular, slashed at Stephens 
with a dirk-knife, bore him down, held the knife over 
his bare throat, shouting: "Retract! or I will cut your 
d— <i throat!" "Never! Cut!" cried Stephens, 
catching the descending blade in his naked hand. As 
Cone was wrenching the knife away, the men were 


separated and Stephens was borne off with many wounds 
in his body, a severed artery, and his right hand so muti- 
lated that he was never again able to write plainly. 
Cone's distress was deep; Stephens refused to prose- 
cute him; and friendship was renewed. Stephens's 
next public appearance was at the head of a Taylor 
procession in a carriage drawn by men, while the people 
shouted, "Thank God for Httle Alex!" However the 
poUticians might berate him, the people loved him from 
first to last. 

He was Clay's coadjutor in securing the Compromise 
of 1850, which saved the Union then. That it carried 
its vital principle, non-intervention by Congress with 
slavery in the Territories, each Territory deciding for 
herself in framing her State constitution, was chiefly due 
to Stephens. In one of the most dramatic moments 
ever felt in the Senate, Webster cast his vote for non- 
intervention. Stephens's effort to hold both sections 
to it thereafter was no more inspired by a desire to per- 
petuate slavery than was Webster's vote; both desired 
to save the Union. The manifesto of 1851, signed by 
Clay and forty or more leading men from both Houses 
and irrespective of party, declaring for non-intervention 
as a final settlement of slavery agitation in Congress, 
was drawn up by Stephens. With Webster, he incor- 
porated the same principle in the Whig platform of 1852. 
The great New Englander's "Union Speech," which 
closed Faneuil Hall against him, and his speech on the 
same line in the streets of Boston, all inspired, as Stephens 
felt, by selfless desire to save the Union, enshrined him 
in the Georgian's regard. Webster was Stephens's ideal 
statesman and perfect patriot. The tragedy of Web- 
ster's rejection by the Whigs in 1852 he felt keenly, 


and when he cast his vote for President, it was for Web- 
ster though Webster was dead. The card which he 
mentions as published by himself in the National Intel- 
ligencer ^ in 1852, is known in history as the card of the 
Whig leaders which disrupted the Whig party, defeated 
Scott and elected Pierce. The "Georgia Platform of 
1850," his work, gave Georgia her title of "Union State 
of the South," and might have given her that of "Empire 
State," for by it she led sister States into line. 

As Douglas's coadjutor, he sustained in the Elansas- 
Nebraska Bill of 1854 the settlement of 1850, to which 
"in principle and substance" both great parties stood 
pledged. He carried that bill through the House by a 
parliamentary manoeuvre as brilliant and audacious as 
has ever been executed, and more than a match for that 
by which in 1850 he killed Doty's California resolution 
and saved the Compromise. The declaration in the 
bill that the Missouri restriction was void, drew from 
the abolitionists, the Sumner-Chase manifesto, call- 
ing the Missouri Compromise a "sacred pledge," and 
"solemn compact"; 3,000 New England clergymen, 
"assuming to speak in the name of Almighty God," as 
Mr. Stephens said, "joined in the chorus." His speeches 
on Kansas are clear history, showing, by analysis of the 
votes of the House, that the North in Congress had 
repeatedly repudiated the Missouri Compromise and so 
forced a new compromise or disunion. They reflect his 
own views that Congressional exclusion of slavery from 
the Territories, purchased with the blood and money 
of all the States, was unconstitutional, and that it was 
the virtual exclusion of the white Southerner, who, to 
settle in the common domain, must sell or free his slaves, 
however contrary either course might be to his interest 


and conscience and to their interest and desire, Negroes, 
in the patriarchal system of the day, being part of the 
master's family. He saw in it no mercy to the blacks, 
as it was their exclusion, emphasized in various States 
by statutes forbidding free Negroes to settle in them and 
by other discriminations against black labour. Now, 
and in later Kiinsas legislation, he urged on the North 
in Congress as Webster had urged: Why needlessly 
irritate the South by Congressional exclusion of slavery 
from lands where Nature's laws of climate, soil, and popu- 
lation prohibit it? And on the South: Why arouse 
fresh agitation by asking Congressional protection of 
slavery where Nature interdicts it? To both: As a 
practical issue, slavery in the Territories is a dead letter; 
the individuality of a State, the unity of the Nation, is 
a living one; and this is in your hands; stand by the 
Compromise of 1850. 

Yet in one section he was reproached for leaning toward 
abolitionism and in the other condenmed for advocating 
slavery extension. He was battling for a principle that 
he considered the bed-rock of the Republic's safety. 
The disposition of African slavery — though he did not 
minimize its gravity — was an incident as compared 
with the preservation of this principle, which, if adhered 
to, would preserve the Union, prevent war and bloodshed, 
and give the American people, whose wisdom and right- 
eousness he never doubted, that security and peace of 
mind which is essential to sane deliberation and right 
enactments. He indicates in his Prison Journal his belief 
that but for outside agitation which prevented internal 
discussion, the South would have abolished or reformed 
the system of wardship in which she held her semi- 
savages. Before a Southern audience in 1859 he declared 


that slavery, if not best for both races, ought to be abol- 
ished. Yet he did not believe slavery wrong in itself; for 
the Bible, the religious and moral code of Christendom, 
upheld it. 

A recent charge has been made that as an "emissary 
of the slave power," he corrupted the Supreme Court, 
unduly influencing its decision on the Missouri Compro- 
mise in the Dred Scott case,* his letters giving advance 
opinion on the decision being cited as proof. More 
natural explanation of his forecast is found in his long and 
close association with the justices, whose opinions he 
might be expected to know by inference, as well as by 
entirely proper conference, had there been any great 
secrecy about them, which there was not. He was not 
in accord with Chief Justice Taney's pronouncement 
on the Missouri Compromise, as his declared belief in 
its constitutionality before Congress, January 17, 1856, 
and his reference in his Prison Journal show. He did, 
as he stated in a letter "urge all the influences I could 
bring to bear" to hasten the action of the court, hoping 
its effect would be for the peace and preservation of 
the Union in quieting Southern fears of Squatter Sover- 
eignty and Northern threats to abrogate the Compromise 
of 1850 by a revival of that of 1820. 

When the Constitutional Union movement of 1850 
in the South was wrecked in two years on the rock of 
old and petty party antagonisms, Mr. Stephens's anxi- 
ety as to the South's ability to establish separate existence 
under the leaders then guiding her was increased. His 
doubts had begun in Congress, where he had seen many 

• See Dred Scott Case in Hill's " Decisive Battles ol the Law"; — Curtis's " life and Writings 
of B. R. Curtis''; — Tyler's " Memoir of Taney"; — Cleveland's " Letters and Speeches of Steph- 
ens," 416-31. 489-515- 


vital points lost by lack of cohesion, shortness of vision 
and personal and party ambition in the Southern element ; 
not that the Northern was free from these faults: but 
the Southern situation was more perilous and Southern 
need of statesmanship greater. An occasion when this 
lack of cohesion had profoundly impressed him was in 
the deadlock over the Speakership in 1849; then, had 
Southern Whigs and Democrats made common cause, 
they could, in his belief, have brought Northern asso- 
ciates to satisfactory terms; but, in his words, "the 
Democrats let go, elected their Speaker, and made all 
the capital they could out of the divisions in the Whig 
party." Again, on the "Three-million Bill," had the 
Southerners refused to vote the purchase-money, they 
could have prevented the acquisition of the Mexican 
territory unless Congressional protection of slavery, their 
constitutional right in the common domain, were pledged 
for it on the basis of the Missouri Compromise or some 
other line of division. This was the one occasion when 
he was willing to make a stand to the point of disunion, 
believing that without definite settlement then, disunion 
would result, as it did, from continued agitation in Con- 
gress; believing, too, that the settlement could be got 
and the Union preserved. After voting the money with- 
out bargaining for protection, he thought the South had 
lost her opportunity of power, and would be wise to 
hold on to non-intervention with all possible tenacity. 
As the presidential year, i860, approached, he saw 
more and more clearly that non-intervention was the 
one possible meeting-ground for the sections — all the 
North would grant, the least the South would accept; 
less though it was than the South's desire or her consti- 
tutional right, it had been attained by a struggle the 


intensity of which only those who made it could know; 
and these knew that more could not be won. He saw 
in Stephen A. Douglas, with his Western and Northern 
following, the one candidate favourable to the South 
who could lead the Democrats to victory; and that if 
Douglas were read out of the party, so would the North 
and West be. He tried to make Buchanan and Cobb, 
Buchanan's Cabinet oflScer and trusted adviser, see this 
as he saw it. But Buchanan could not forgive Douglas's 
defection on E^nsas and his Squatter Sovereignty here- 
sy; Buchanan wanted Cobb to succeed himself; and 
further, he was openly and honestly committed to pro- 
tection. So, Mr. Stephens, foreseeing the end, left 
Washington. From the steamer, he looked back upon 
the receding Capitol. "I suppose you are thinking of 
your return next year as senator," said some one jocosely. 
He answered with emotion: "I never expect to see 
Washington again imless I am brought here a prisoner." 
As a prisoner on parole from Fort Warren, he next saw it. 
In holding this sketch closely to the guiding principle 
of his political course, much that is valuable and pic- 
turesque has been omitted or but lightly touched upon. 
As for instance, his championship of new States. He 
said in his speech on the Missouri Compromise (Decem- 
ber 14, 1854), when refuting the imputation that he was 
chiefly concerned to increase the number of slave States: 
"I have voted for the admission of every Northern State 
since I have occupied a seat upon this floor." His 
speeches for Minnesota and Oregon defended the alien 
suffrage clauses in their constitutions on a plea that, no 
matter what point was involved, called forth his utmost 
powers — the plea of a State's right under the Consti- 
tution of the United States. 


He was an indefatigable worker; he performed official, 
professional, and social duties rigorously; read the papers; 
conducted a heavy correspondence; was the most 
approachable of men; people from ever3nvhere wrote 
or talked to him about the "state of the country" — 
always with him a live topic, and about their troubles 
and everything else. He tried to answer every letter, 
to see every caller. Petitioners, whose own representa- 
tives would not heed them, appealed to him in their dif- 
ficulties; and the patient, painstaking work performed 
by him in the Departments and elsewhere for people 
from all sections is almost beyond belief. The number 
of letters, sympathetic, information-giving, that he wrote 
with that maimed hand of his is almost incredible. For 
many of his services, charge was legitimate, but he made 

It was his rule not to make a dollar beyond his salary 
when in Washington; and to accept no work at home 
that might conflict with his duties as a tribune of the 
people. When he entered Congress he was worth about 
$14,000; when he left, after sixteen years, about $16,000, 
the increase due to accumulation of interest. In 1859-61, 
he made $22,000 at his profession of law. At all times, 
his expenses were heavy. Simple in his own tastes and 
economical in expenditures on himself, he spent bounti- 
fully on others. He seemed unable to refuse his time 
or money to any in need. An ingrate would be helped 
anew. "He had power to forgive as long as any had 
power to wrong him," wrote "Dick Johnston." " Brother 
is like a ship otherwise stanch but eaten up by barnacles 
that he can not dislodge," said Linton. "He is kind to 
folks that nobody else will be kind to. Mars Alex is 
kinder to dogs than mos' folks is to folks," said his Negro 


body-servant. His hospitality at his rooms in Washing- 
ton and at Liberty Hall was unbounded. Meal hours 
at the Hall were timed to suit the train hours. Dis- 
tinguished visitors from everywhere sought the sage's 
dwelling; so did hungry tramps, black and white. Liberty 
Hall and its master belonged to the people. On the lot 
was a Baptist church ; after the war, a Methodist church 
— Bird's Chapel, named in honour of the Rev. Mr. 
Bird — was added; when his Catholic sister-in-law, 
the second Mrs. Linton Stephens, visited him, a room 
in his house was converted into a Catholic chapel. So 
broad were his religious views that he was several times 
reported to be an atheist! The depth and intensity of 
his religious character, as revealed in his Journal, will 
be a surprise to many who knew him well, for so opposed 
was he to anything savouring of cant, that he erred, 
perhaps, on the side of too great reserve. Even in his 
letters to Linton, when Linton was a boy at school, 
his words of advice on spiritual matters are given with 
great hesitation — the hesitation of much reverence 
rather than of little faith. 

He early began to help needy youths to an education. 
In Crawfordville, when a green country lad would step 
off the train, look timidly around, and ask: "Whar's 
the man that educates poor boys?" every finger would 
point to Liberty Hall. He was always ready to encour- 
age struggling genius. He gave John A. Ward, the 
sculptor, his first paying commission, with $400 for its 
execution; he paid $600 to Count Sandors, the refugee 
artist, and through his influence with the Russian Min- 
ister, secured the exile's return to Poland. 

During his first session in Congress, he supported 
the measure for testing the telegraph; and at a later 


session performed like services for the Atlantic cable. 
These enterprises, like the railroad and the higher 
education of women which he had advocated in the 
Georgia Legislature, were almost laughed out of court as 
being impractical and visionary. Our present mode 
of reckoning the Congressional year originated in a sug- 
gestion made by him in 185 1 that it should begin with 
noon, March 4, instead of midnight, March 3, which was 
then the rule. His connection with one of our most useful 
branches of Government service is not a familiar fact, yet 
its nature was such that he may be justly called the Father 
of the Weather Bureau. This letter by him to F. G. Arn- 
old, of the Treasury, written July 2, 1879, relates some in- 
teresting circumstances in the early history of the Bureau : 

Your letter of Saturday was received this morning. 
I had not forgotten my promise to give you some points 
in my memory connected with the origin of our system 
of Weather Reports, from which sprang the present 
Signal Service Bureau. In the winter of 1853-4, 1 became 
acquainted with Mr. Espy, then styled the "Storm King." 
We boarded at the same house, kept by Mrs. Duncan. 
He was employed in the Meteorological Department 
of the Navy. As I took great interest in matters meteoro- 
logical, we were soon well acquainted. His "Philosophy 
of Storms" was put into my hand by him, and I was 
informed that he had some years before submitted a 
paper embodying the same principles to an American 
association of scientists at New Haven, but it met with 
no favour. He submitted a similar paper to the Royal 
Society of London with like results, and then to the 
French Academy of Sciences at Paris, where it was 
referred to a committee consisting of MM. Arago, Pouillet, 
and Babinet. Their report concluded : 

Mr. Espy's communication contains a great number of well- 
observed and well-described facts. His theory in the present state 
of science alone accounts for the phenomena, and when completed. 


as he intends, by a study of the action of electricity when it in- 
tervenes, will leave nothing to be desired. In a word, for physical 
geography, agriculture, navigation and meteorology, it gives us new 
explanations, indications useful for ulterior researches; and redresses 
many accredited errors. The Committee expresses then the wish 
that Mr. Espy should be placed by the Government of the United 
States in a position to continue his important investigations, and to 
complete his theory already so remarkable. 

After this recommendation, he was placed in the 
office he held when I became acquainted with him. So 
satisfied was I with the correctness of his theory and 
the principles therein annoimced touching the formation 
of rainclouds, as well as great storms and tornadoes, that 
I urged immediate utilization. At that time the facts 
on which his theory rested, and, according to suggestion, 
on which their truth was to be established, were being 
collected by agents in diflferent parts of the country, who 
sent monthly the result of their daily observations to him, 
which he embodied in an annual report to Congress. 
I urged the importance of daily telegraph announcements 
from all parts of the country. His reply was, want of 
money: his appropriation was only $2,000 per annum. 
I suggested that we go to the National Intelligencer and 
the Union and get them to publish short weather reports 
from distant points of the country as an item of news 
without charge. Messrs. Gales and Seaton, and Mr. 
Ritchie readily assented. A request to the telegraph 
companies to send such short messages without charge 
was granted. In this way, I think, the first telegraph 
weather reports were ever made or announced in this 
or any other country. The first appeared, as well as 
I can recollect, in the early summer of 1854. They were 
very meagre, simply announcing from New Orleans, 
Chicago, Boston, and other points, the course of the 
wind, state of the thermometer, and whether clear, rainy, 
snowing, cloudy, etc. Mr. Espy continued in his position 
as long as I remained in Congress. The appropriation 
for his salary was often assailed, but a few of us were 
able to save it. 


He was a Pennsylvanian, and by profession a school- 
master. He was an original thinker, but not a lucid 
speaker. Professor Henry [Secretary of the Smith- 
sonian Institution] was one of the very few scientists 
of this country who entertained favourable views of his 
theory. The fashion was to snub him utterly with his 
entire system of philosophy. When we see the advantages 
arising from its developments and applications to com- 
merce, navigation, and agriculture, in the saving of 
thousands of lives and millions of dollars' worth of prop- 
erty, is it assuming too much to say that the humble 
schoolmaster, comparatively unloiown in his generation, 
will, at no distant day, be regarded as one of the greatest 
benefactors of mankind ? 

The force which Mr. Stephens made of his life is remark- 
able when we consider the diflSculties he overcame. It 
is doubtful if any other man has achieved as striking 
eminence against as heavy odds. In addition to early 
orphanage and poverty, he was handicapped by a con- 
stitution so frail that his continued existence was a miracle. 
He never knew a well hour in his life. "He never looked 
as if he had two weeks' purchase on life," said Toombs. 
R. M. Johnston, a child at the time, saw him first when 
he was twenty-one: "His form was the most slight 
and slender I had ever seen; his chestnut hair was 
brushed away from a thin white brow and bloodless 
cheeks. The child looking at him felt sorry for another 
child." "Sonny, get up and give the gentleman a seat," 
his landlady at Charleston admonished him in 1839, 
when he was a delegate to the Southern Commercial 
Convention, where he crossed swords with Hayne, Ham- 
ilton, and Preston; with his "fondness for the humorous," 
he rose smilingly while his companions laughed. His 
weight was rarely over a hundred pounds and usually less. 


In his earlier campaigns, he was often mistaken for a 
boy. But woe to the opponent who rated him by his size ! 
Colquitt, judge and senator, and leading speaker and 
debater of the State, hearing how others had gone down 
before young Stephens, remarked casually that his 
"hands itched to get hold of him." When Stephens, 
with courtesy, humour, and facts (a store of which he 
always kept handy) demolished this Goliath, some wag 
in the crowd cried: "Your hands itch to let him go, 
Judge, don't they?" When he swept through Georgia 
like a cyclone, in 1855, in his campaign against the Know- 
nothing or American party with its "un-American secret- 
order organization" and "unconstitutional proscription 
of Catholics and foreigners," his hearers would exclaim, 
"He is nothing but lungs and brain!" Slight as he was 
in body, so forceful and effective were his denunciations 
that the party, or secret order, assailed, threatened to 
silence him by violence if he did not moderate his tone. 

The Pennsyivanianj in 1854, when commenting on 
his Kansas-Nebraska speech and on him as "considered 
by many the ablest member of the House," who could 
"hold the congregated talent of the country spellbound 
for hours," describes his fragile appearance, and adds: 
"But the whole man is charged with the electricity of 
intellect — a touch would bring forth the divine spark." 
The Washington letter in the Charleston Courier , January 
7, 1857, gives this dramatic picture of an hour in the 
House, with Stephens the figure dominant: 

It had been rumoured throughout the city — told in 
drawing rooms, private parlours, and public saloons — 
that "Stephens of Georgia" was to speak on Tuesday. 
At an early hour the galleries filled to overflowing with 
the families of our distinguished statesmen, members 


of foreign legations, dashing belles, with a sprinkling 
here and there of our best residents. As we passed 
through the lobbies, we were struck with the deep and 
reverential quiet that pervaded the House. Where was 
the power that subdued the confusion of this always 
riotous assembly? Listening faces were turned toward 
a shrunken and emaciated figure, the shoulders contracted 
and drawn in, the face the colour of ashes. There was 
something grand in the spectacle of this shadowy figure 
binding up the very breath of the House! The speaker 
seemed the mere organ of some hidden power. He had 
little variety of gesture, and what he used seemed per- 
fectly unstudied. He was so absorbed in his subject 
as to be unconscious that he had feet or hands to manage. 
His unearthly face seemed to brighten into fuller and 
ghostlier meaning; his eye shone like a sunken pit of 
fire suddenly disclosed; his attenuated form seemed to 
dilate to his dilating soul; his voice seemed exalted to 
a trumpet tone. 

A picture by another writer: 

A deathlike silence reigns over the Hall, broken only 
by the reverberating tones of the speaker's voice. Sena- 
tors have deserted the other wing of the Capitol and are 
sitting as under a spell they cannot break. Mr. Speaker 
has thrown down his hammer. 

But Stephens did not strive after oratory; in his belief, 
eloquence was a dangerous power, to be kept well in 
hand; it was the incident of his speeches; his first aim 
was to convince by fact and argument and not by a play^ 
upon the emotions. He never once made an appeal to 
sectional passions. It was the fashion to speak of him 
as "intellect incarnate" and a "bodiless brain." He 
could .command always, it is said, the rapt attention of 
the House. He was an adviser of great leaders, a coun- 


seller of presidents. Yet this is the man whom the Con- 
federate Senate so humiliated on one occasion by a 
refusal to hear him speak, that he asked to resign his 
position as its presiding ofl&cer and the Vice-President 
of the Confederacy. He was a consummate parliamenta- 
rian; any one of the great games of state he played on 
the floor of the House would make a thrilling chapter. 
He was a bold and finished diplomat, an able and phil- 
osophical statesman. It is common for those who knew 
him to say, "He was a seer." His faculty of foresight 
seemed intuitive, mystical. This prophetic quality was 
in part the effect of illness upon his peculiar temperament, 
the result of protracted periods of physical quiescence 
and abnormal thought activity when, with attention 
focussed upon the problems of public life, he read the 
future by the past and by his knowledge of the minds 
of men. He was ambitious, but ambition was so slight 
a force in his character when compared with the grand 
passion of his life — love of country — that its voice was 
not even heard when patriotism spoke. 

Socially, he was a man of much charm and magnetism. 
We wish he had left those *' Congressional Reminiscences" 
with full record of the "Attic nights" at Mrs. Carter's, 
where he foregathered with a "mess" of which Justices 
Taney, Story, McLean, and McKinley, of the Supreme 
Court, and Jacob CoUamer, of the House, were members ; 
and of evenings at the Rush House where he lived with 
Toombs and Crittenden; and of those Sunday dinners 
at Sullivan's — Stephens objected that they were on 
Sunday, "but his company is generally select" — with 
Clay, Webster, Cobb, Hale, Stephens, Toombs, and 
Crittenden around the board. Among his papers are 
gilt-edged notes in Webster's hand relating to hospi- 


talities between him and "Mr. Stephens and Mr. 
Toombs," with such other good companies present that 
we would like to play eavesdropper to their table-talk. 

Stephens was popular in Government circles, where 
his labours to produce harmony between sectional 
factions were appreciated with some warmth even by 
those who knew they were vain and who helped to make 
them so. On his retirement from Congress, he was 
tendered the extraordinary compliment of a public 
dinner, both House and Senate to attend, irrespective 
of party, and headed by their presiding ofl&cers, the Vice- 
President and the Speaker. He was unable to accept 
it, but he was none the less pleased at the evidence of 
kind feeling. 

The Speakership was more than once within his grasp. 
Toombs wrote, November i8, 1857: 

I see a good deal about your running for Speaker. 
If you would accept the oflfer, I would like to know. 
I should very much like to see you in the Chair, especially 
as against Orr, who has conceived that what is called 
the ultraism of Carolina is obnoxious to the Nation. 

Stephens wrote Linton, December i, 1857: 

Orr will be Speaker. I have forbidden the use of my 
name. I am for organizing the House with as much 
harmony as possible. 

His reason in part for steadfast refusal when urged 
to stand for the Presidency was fear lest his physical 
strength was unequal to the canvass required and the 
duties which the position involved. He had some novel 
views of the office and its seeking. In 1858, disgusted 
over the mischievous scramble for the candidacy in an 


hour of imminent national peril, he exclaimed: "I had 
as lief be put on a list of suspected horse-thieves as in 
the number of those aspiring to the Presidency!" he 
had told a friend so to declare him. He was just back 
from a call on Buchanan : 

Perhaps Old Buck thought I was an insidious rival, 
slyly worming myself into his shoes. If so, alas, poor 
old fellow! how his views would change did he but know 
how I pitied him, as I looked upon him, with all his power! 

He said in i860: 

What amazes me in Douglas is his desire to be Presi- 
dent. I have sometimes asked him what he desired 
the oflSce for. It has never added to the reputation of 
a single man. You may look over the list: which made 
any reputation after becoming President? Four or 
eight years is too short a time to pursue a policy which 
will give this. If I had loved office, I would have con- 
tinued in the House; I should be able to make a repu- 
tation faster in that place than in the other. 

He refused to be put in nomination at Charleston in 
i860 for President of the United States. At Montgomery, 
he declined to be considered for President of the Con- 
federacy, and advised that it was not fitting for its first 
office to be conferred on him in preference to a leader 
of the secession movement which had created the new 
Government. The second position he accepted in the 
interests of harmony between the new Government and 
the anti-secession sentiment which he had led; and for 
other reasons, fully set forth in his Prison Journal. 

He was about to become President, it seemed, in the 
order of succession, when, on several occasions, Mr. 
Davis was so ill that death was expected. In his sane 


view of the situation as expressed in a private letter, 
ambition played no part : 

I should regard the President's death as the greatest 
possible calamity. . . . The general and prof ound shock 
would of itself gender and increase that spirit of dissen- 
sion and faction, which at all times exists in a country 
situated as ours is. With us, it would almost certainly 
manifest itself in a formidable way from the fact that 
a large number of prominent and active men, who would 
probably soon form a party for concert of action, really 
and honestly distrust my ability to conduct affairs suc- 
cessfully. To what extent their demonstrations might 
go, I cannot conjecture; but far enough to cripple my 
efforts on any line of policy I might adopt, even assuming 
it might be for the best. The unhinging, upturning, 
and imsettling of things so little settled at present, the 
greater confounding of things even now confused, would 
render it one of the greatest calamities that could befall 
us, to say nothing of the correctness of the views of those 
who entertain such serious distrust of my ability to direct 
affairs. On that point, I assure you, I have the strongest 
distrust of myself. 

While many would have welcomed his rule as leading 
to peace, a number believed his views inimical to Con- 
federate success, and anonymous warnings were sent 
him that, if Davis died, he must resign or be assassi- 
nated. Such warnings or threats reached him on other 
occasions, accompanied with the charge of treachery 
to the Confederacy. 

From this discussion of Mr. Stephens's views on office, 
we revert to the thread of our story with an extract from 
his last speech in Congress before the war and from his 
"Farewell Speech" in Augusta: 

The immense territory to the West has to be peopled. 
It is now peopling; new States are fast springing up. 


This is the sixteenth session I have been here, and within 
that brief space, we have added six States to the Union — 
lacking but one of being more than half of the original 
thirteen. Upward of twelve hundred thousand square 
miles of territory — a much larger area than was possessed 
by the whole United States at the time of the treaty of 
p>eace in 1 783 — have been added. This progress is not 
to be arrested. There are persons now living who will 
see over a hundred million human beings within the 
present boundaries, to say nothing of future extensions, 
and perhaps double the number of States. For myself, 
I say to you, my Southern colleagues on this floor, that 
I do not apprehend any danger to our constitutional 
rights from Uie bare fact of increasing the number of 
States with institutions dissimilar to ours. The whole 
governmental fabric of the United States is based upon 
(he idea of dissimilarity In the institutions of its respec- 
tive members. Principles, not numbers, are our pro- 
tection. By our system, each State, however great the 
nimiber, has the absolute right to regulate all her internal 
affairs as she pleases, subject only to her obligations 
under the Constitution. Such is the theory of our machin- 
ery of self-government by the people. This is the great 
novelty of our peculiar system. It is for us and those 
who come after us to determine whether this grand 
experimental problem shall be worked out, not by quar- 
relling amongst ourselves, not by doing injustice to any, 
not by keeping out any particular class of States; but 
by each State remaining a separate and distinct organ- 
ization within itself — all bound together for general 
objects under a common Federal head; as it were, a 
wheel within a wheel.* 

At Augusta, July 2, 1859: 

I deem it my duty to repeat what I said in 1850 : What- 
ever abstract rights of expansion we may have secured 

* The lull text of the speech, IrcHn which this condensed excerpt is taken, may be found in 
derelaiid*! **Letten and Speeches of Stephens," pp. 621-37. 


in the settlement of that policy [non-intervention], you 
may not expect to see many of the Territories come into 
the Union as slave States unless we have an increase of 
African stock. The law of population will prevent. 
It is in full view of this, that I have stated that, if the 
present basis of settlement between the sections of the 
Union be adhered to, you have nothing to fear for your 
safety or security. For on these principles, one slave State 
by herself would be perfectly secure against encroachment 
on her domestic policy though all the rest were free.* 

We catch, in these addresses, his idea of non-inter- 
vention as a policy whereby to make safe and peaceful 
end of the struggle between the sections, begun with the 
Union, to preserve their respective balances of power 
in Congress by equality in numbers, a struggle lost to 
the South with the admission of California. His pur- 
pose to quiet the South, to reassure her on the dangers 
of expansion, and at the same time to warn her as to her 
one path of safety, is plain; as is his intent to put the 
North on her Constitutional honour, now that numbers 
gave her power to oppress and harass her sister section 
who, as Thomas JeflFerson described it, "had the wolf 
[slavery] by the ears and could neither safely hold him 
nor safely let him go." His Northern critics quoted 
his Augusta speech as proof that he advocated revival 
of the slave-trade with Africa; while his Southern critics 
began to ask anew if he was not unsound on abolition 
because he said this: "If slavery, as it exists with us, 
is not best, or cannot be made the best, for both races — 
the African as well as his master — it ought to be abol- 

His purpose when he left Washington in 1859 was 

* The full text oC Mr. Stephens's "Farewell Speech," from which this condensed excerpt b 
made, may be found In Cleveland's "Letters and Speeches of Stephens," pp. 637-51. 


permanent retirement to private life. But the country's 
troubles drew him again into politics, and in i860 we 
find him an Elector on the Douglas- Johnson ticket, 
campaigning Georgia for the "principles of 1850" and 
the Union. A letter of i860, no day date, seems to 
have been hastily scrawled on the eve of his Union speech 
of Sept. I, i860, in Augusta, the John Forsyth mentioned 
being the publicist of that name : 

Dear Brother: I am about to start to Augusta, all 
packed and ready to go. I feel sad, sad. I enclose a 
clip from John Forsyth's pen. When he, after his denun- 
ciations of disunionists in the summer, takes Jiis position, 
what may be expected of others ? This was sent me by 
Herring, of Atlanta, who has turned secessionist. We 
must do the best we can for the body politic — that is 
all. What is to be the result of the present malady or 
epidemic among our people, I don't know. But I am 
resolved to do the best I can for them. That is all I 
can do. The balance is with them and with God. 
Good-bye. Affectionately, 


The severity of the malady is reflected in this, written by 
J. A. Hambleton, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 25, to Mr. Stephens: 

Mr. Toombs has just delivered a speech of the most 
abusive and inflammatory character of Judge Douglas. 
He spoke like a madman and acted like a fanatic. He 
told his hearers that Douglas is an incendiary and should 
not be permitted to speak here. The effect, I fear, will 
be that Douglas will be grossly insulted, a result that 
would be more than mortifying to me and to many, and 
hazardous to the aggressors. I sincerely hope you will 
be present, as, if there is a plan to insult Douglas, your 
presence will prevent its being carried out, I want 
you to introduce Douglas. 


In his Augusta speech, Mr. Stephens condemned the 
action of those members of the Charleston Convention who 
withdrew from it because they failed to carry their demand 
for a plank in the party platform calling for Congressional 
protection of slavery in the Territories; and he made that 
prophecy for which some called him "insane": 

I do not mean to say that the Secession movement 
at Charleston was a disunionist movement, or intended 
as such by all who joined in it, but I do mean to say 
that the movement tends to disunion, to civil strife; may 
lead to it, and most probably will, unless arrested by 
the virtue, intelligence and patriotism of the people. 
The signs of the time portend evil. You need not be 
surprised to see these States, now so peaceful, contented, 
prosperous, and happy, embroiled in civil war in less 
than twelve months. 

The split in the Democratic party at Charleston and 
Baltimore, which put three candidates in the field against 
Lincoln, elected Lincoln on a platform declaring against 
Government toleration, in any form, of slavery in the 
Territories. South Carolina promptly seceded. Several 
States followed her. Georgia, trembling on the brink, 
was held back by Stephens as long as he had power to 
hold her. In his speech before her Legislature, Nov. 
14, i860, he pleaded eloquently for peace and the Union: 

My object is not to stir up strife but to allay it. . . . 
It is said Mr. Lincoln's policy and principles are against 
the Constitution, and that if he carries them out, it will 
be destructive of our rights. The President is no emperor, 
no dictator. He can do nothing unless he is backed by 
Congress. The House is largely against him. In the 
Senate, he will also be powerless; there will be a major- 
ity of four against him. . . . 

I am not of those who believe the Union has been a 


curse. True men, men of integrity, entertain different 
views. I do not question their right ; I would not impugn 
their motive. Nor will I undertake to say that this 
Grovemment of our fathers is perfect, but that this Gov- 
ernment of our fathers, with all its defects, comes nearer 
the objects of all good governments than any other on 
the face of the earth, is my settled conviction. The 
influence of the Government on us is like that of the 
atmosphere. Its benefits are so silent and unseen that 
they are seldom thought of or appreciated. . . . 

Northern States have violated their plighted faith. 
What ought we to do ? By the law of nations, you have 
a right to demand the canying out of this article of agree- 
ment [Constitutional pledge for return of fugitive slaves], 
and in case it be not done, we would have the right to 
conmiit acts of reprisal on these faithless governments, 
and seize on their property or that of their citizens where- 
ever found. The States of the Union stand upon the 
same footing with each other as foreign nations in this 
respect. But by the law of nations, we are equally 
bound, before proceeding to violent measures, to set 
forth our grievances before the offending governments, 
to give them an opportunity to redress the wrong. Let 
your Committee on the State of the Republic make out 
a bill of grievances; let it be sent by the Governor to 
these faithless States; and if reason and argument shall 
be tried in vain — if all shall fail — I would be for retali- 
atory measures. I advise the calling of a convention 
with the earnest desire to preserve peace. I am for 
exhausting all that patriotism demands before taking 
the last step.* 

Toombs's speech the night before was as impassioned 
a plea for secession as Stephens's was an earnest argu- 
ment against it. Yet after Stephens's speech, Toombs, 
who had bombarded it with interruptions, proposed 

* For the full text of Mr. Stephens's "Union Speech/' from which this condenaed excerpt b 
made, see Qevelaod's "Letters and Speeches of Stephens," pp. 694-7x3. 


" Three cheers for Stephens !" "one of the brightest intel- 
lects and purest patriots that lives!" "That was well 
done," said some one to Toombs. "I always try to 
behave myself at a funeral," replied Toombs. A restraint 
grew up between the friends which was only dissipated 
when they met in the Confederate Congress at Mont- 
gomery. In his battle for the Union, Stephens, with 
Herschel V. Johnson and Benjamin H. Hill, led a forlorn 
hope against Toombs, the Cobb brothers, Governor 
Joe Brown, and many other men of might, who headed 
the swelling ranks of the secessionists. An idea expressed 
by Tom Cobb, "We can make better terms out of the 
Union than in it," turned the scale of fate, as Mr. Steph- 
ens believed. Boykin in his "Memorial" says the "voice 
and iniSuence" of Howell Cobb caused Georgia to secede; 
and, had she declined to secede, "the other States would 
not have seceded." It has often been said that but 
for Cobb, Stephens could have kept Georgia in the Union. 
Mr. Stephens's next Union speech was before the 
Georgia Secession Convention ; in this he said : 

I have looked, and do look, upon our present Gov- 
ernment as the best in the world. I have ever believed 
and do now believe that it is to the best interest of all 
the States to remain united under the Constitution. My 
judgment is against secession. We should not take 
this extreme step before some positive aggression upon 
our rights by the General Government, which may never 
occur; or before failure, after every effort made, to get 
a faithful performance on the part of those States which 
now stand so derelict to their plighted faith. 

He received many letters from all parts of the country 
applauding his Union speech of November. A number of 
leading Northern and Western men, with whom he had 


been associated in Congress, approved his suggestion of 
remonstrance with the derelict States, and pledged their 
influence with their own States for a favourable hearing; 
some were already at work with their governors and legis- 
latures. "All that the South has to do," wrote one, "is 
to appeal from the North drunk with fanaticism to the 
North sobered at the prospect of the dissolution of the 
Union." "All we ask of our Southern friends," wrote 
ex-Governor McClelland of Michigan, "is patience; 
and we hope they will forbear because we are truly suf- 
fering as much if not more than they are. The Con- 
stitutional men of the South have really more true friends 
in the North to-day, who understand and appreciate 
their grievances, than ever before, because our people 
did not until recently direct their attention to the subject, 
nor have very many of them yet had time to examine it 
in all its bearings." These letters gave Mr. Stephens 
a reasonable basis, if he had had no other, for his belief, 
at this time, which was maintained during the war, that 
there was a hope for peaceful settlement through an 
alignment in common phalanx of the strict construction- 
ists of the Constitution, North and South, and that 
Southern diplomacy should be directed toward the estab- 
lishment of such an alignment. 

Lincoln wrote to him for a copy of the Union Speech. 
In replying, Mr. Stephens said: "The coimtry is in 
great peril, and no man ever had heavier or greater 
responsibilities resting upon him than you have in the 
present momentous crisis." This drew forth Lincoln's 
historic response, marked "For your eye only," an 
injunction observed by Stephens until after Lincoln's 
death and his own return from Fort Warren. 


I fully appreciate the present peril the country is in, 
and the weight of the responsibility on me. Do the 
people of the South really entertain fears that a Repub- 
lican administration would directly or indirectly interfere 
with their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as 
once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there 
is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no 
more danger in this respect than it was in the days of 
Washington. I suppose, however, this does not meet 
the case. You think slavery right and ought to be 
extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be 
restricted. That, I suppose, is the rub. It certainly 
is the only substantial difference between us. 

These sentences are from Mr. Stephens's lengthy reply, 
the main ideas of which, on slavery, are reiterated in 
the Journal: 

Personally, I am not your enemy — far from it ; and 
however widely we may differ politically, yet I trust 
we both have an earnest desire to preserve and maintain 
the Union. . . . When men come under the influ- 
ence of fanaticism, there is no telling where their impulses 
or passions may drive them. This is what creates our 
discontent and apprehensions, not unreasonable when 
we see . . . such reckless exhibitions of madness as 
the John Brown raid into Virginia, which has received 
so much sympathy from many, and no open condemnation 
from any of the leading members of the dominant party. 
. . . In addressing you thus, I would have you under- 
stand me as being not a personal enemy, but as one who 
would have you do what you can to save our common 
country. A word fitly spoken by you now would be 
like "apples of gold in pictures of silver." 

After the war, when Lincoln's picture was unveiled 
in Congress, and Stephens spoke as the South's representa- 
tive, he said of his early connection with Lincoln : 


I knew Mr. Lincoln well. We met in the House in 
December, 1847. We were together during the Thirtieth 
Congress. I was as intimate with him as with any other 
man of that Congress except perhaps one. That excep- 
tion was my colleague, Mr. Toombs. Mr. Lincoln was 
warm-hearted; he was generous; he was magnanimous; 
he was most truly "with malice toward none, with charity 
for all." 

Lincoln and Stephens had much in common. The 
boyhood of each had been a struggle with poverty; each 
had conned his lessons by a pine-knot fire. Both were 
lawyers. In Congress, both were Whigs and members 
of the same political club; they acted together on the 
Mexican War and in electing Taylor. Lincoln's early 
impression of Stephens appears in a letter to his law 
partner, Feb. 2, 1843: "I take up my pen to tell you that 
Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, a little slim pale-faced con- 
svunptive man, has just concluded the very best speech 
of an hour's length I ever heard. My old withered dry 
eyes are full of tears yet." 

In his Journal, Mr. Stephens denies the truth of the 
report that Lincoln invited him to a position in his Cabinet. 
Lincoln seems to have considered doing so. Oberholtzer 
says in his "Life of Lincoln": "He wished to have the 
various sections represented. Montgomery Blair was 
taken from Maryland, after seriously discussing the 
availability of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia." 
For Mr. Stephens's opinion of Lincoln's political course 
in the sixties, the reader is referred to that part of his 
"War Between the States" in which he fully reviews it 
and says: "Mr. Lincoln was kind-hearted (no man I 
ever knew was more so) but the same was true of Julius 
Caesar"; "I do not think he intended to overthrow the 


Institutions of the country. I do not think he under- 
stood them or the tendencies of his acts upon them. 
The Union, with him, in sentiment rose to the sublimity 
of a reUgious mysticism, while his ideas of its structure 
and formation, in logic, rested upon nothing but tiie 
subtleties of a sophism!" These strictures relate to 
Lincohi's encroachments on the Constitution. 

Georgia seceded, and sent Stephens as delegate to 
the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy at Mont- 
gomery, first complying with the condition he required, 
that she should instruct her delegates to demand that 
any new government formed should be modelled on the 
old one. His object was to preserve to the States the 
American principles of self-government — the Constitu- 
tion. He also plainly had in mind a reunion of the 
States under the old bond or the new. With like principles 
and machinery of government, the two confederacies 
would have no wide political chasm to cross for fusion — 
to which end he doubtless meant to direct his diplomatic 
energies. Should the new Constitution improve on the 
old, so much the better would be the chances for the 
Confederacy to become the absorbing Government 

His industry, knowledge of government, and par- 
Kamentary experience enabled him to be of great service 
in organizing the new republic. "The Rules for the 
Government of the Congress" was his work, and so to a 
large degree was the framing of the Confederate Con- 
stitution. A prohibition, in the latter instrument, of 
the slave-trade with Africa, is in itself refutation of the 
charge that he advocated revival of this trade. On 
February ii, his forty-ninth birthday, he was sworn in 
as Vice-President of the Confederacy. A week later, 
Jeflferson Davis was inaugurated as President. The 


first mention of Mr. Davis in Stephens's letters is the 
following, written by Stephens when Chairman of the 
House Committee of Conference on the Kansas Bill : 

May I, 1858. — Every Southern Senator voted for 
it. Jeflferson Davis had himself sent for to record his 
vote. He is in very bad health, has been extremely ill. 
I took the paper to him and got his approval of it before 
I would agree to report it. This is the way I worked the 
matter with all the leading men of the South. 

And it was a tremendous labour, that of getting these 
men "present and ready to sustain it," as is shown in 
his notes of that time, with their refrain: "My heart 
is sad — sad. If we should separate, what is to become 
of us? Have we any future but miserable petty 
squabbles?" He and Davis were not usually in such 
accord as on this occasion. Davis came into Congress 
as a Democrat when Mr. Stephens was a Whig; Davis 
was for Polk, for the Mexican War, against Taylor, 
against the Compromise of 1850, and for Congressional 
protection of slavery in the Territories. The new plank 
in the Democrat platform which caused the "burst-up" 
at Charleston was, in substance, two of a series of resolu- 
tions offered by Davis, Feb. 2, i860, in the Senate. This 
"plank" brought on the war, as Stephens felt. In 
character and temperament, the two men were as wide 
apart as in political views. Davis's education, of scholarly 
finish, had come to him without struggle; he was of 
aristocratic temper and bearing; a West Pointer and a 
stickler for military form and order. Stephens prided 
himself on being of the people; and as a lawyer, he was 
jealous for the civic power in any test between that and 
martial law. 


As officers of the Confederacy, their early relations 
were harmonious. Davis sent for Stephens and consulted 
him to a considerable degree. In letters to Linton, 
Stephens soon expresses uneasiness about the "wisdom 
and discretion of the appointing power"; he presently 
mentions that the War Department "is badly managed. 
The Secretary is very inefficient. There were twenty 
thousand stand of arms offered us for sale. He post- 
poned it until after the fall of Sumter; then tried to get 
them, but it was too late." This Cabinet officer, L. P. 
Walker, is he who made the unfortunate remark in a 
public speech after the fall of Sumter, that the Confederate 
flag should soon fly "over the Capitol at Washington" 
and "over Faneuil Hall itself," a boast not warranted 
by the purpose of the Confederacy, and one which did 
much to fan unfriendly feelings at the North. 

Stephens's evident desire was to be useful in economics 
and diplomacy, to which fields his gifts and training fitted, 
and his physical infirmity limited him. His letters reflect 
his sharp sense of secession's business side, which "calls 
for great patience and forbearance by the people in sus- 
taining the inconveniences and burdens incident to a 
change of government — derangement of mails and 
commerce, increase of taxes, and a thousand things not 
before thought of." "Independence will cost money as 
well as blood," he says, and is concerned as to how the 
people will meet the prosaic details of sacrifice. He 
promptly laid before the Government a plan by which, 
as he conceived, a sound basis of credit might be estab- 
lished through judicious employment of the South's 
staple — that King Cotton in whose powers her leaders 
had greatly confided when contemplating secession. 
This plan, as outlined in a speech at Crawfordville, 


Nov. I, 1862, his first on the subject which he allowed 
to be published, was as follows: 

I was in favour of the Government's taking all the 
cotton that would be subscribed for eight-per-cent. bonds 
at ten cents a pound. Two million bales of last year's 
crop might have been counted on. This would have 
cost the Government a hundred million bonds. With 
this cotton in hand and pledged, any number, short 
of fifty, of the best ironclad steamers could have been 
contracted for and built in Europe — steamers at two 
millions each could have been procured. Thirty millions 
would have got fifteen. Five might have been ready by 
the first of January last to open one of our blockaded 
ports. Three could have been left to keep the port open 
while two convoyed the cotton across if necessary. Thus, 
the debt could have been paid with cotton at a much 
higher price than it cost, and a channel of trade kept 
open until others could have been built and paid for in 
the same way. At less than one month's present expendi- 
ture on our army, our coast might have been cleared. 
Besides this, at least two million more bales of the old 
crop might have been counted on; this, with the other, 
making a debt in round numbers to the planters of 
$200,000,000. But this cotton held in Europe until 
the price shall be fifty cents a pound [it went higher] 
would constitute a fund of at least one billion dollars, 
which would not only have kept our finances in sound 
condition, but the clear profit of $800,000,000 would 
have met the entire expenses of the war for years to come. 

Dr. Craven, in his "Prison Life of JeflFerson Davis,'* 
reports Mr. Davis as describing a plan like this, which 
was urged on Mr. Memminger, by whom is not stated, and 
which Mr. Davis "privately approved but had not time 
to study and take the responsibility of directing until 
too late"; Davis said it would have maintained Southern 


credit, which "in itself would have insured victory." 
In her "Memoir" of her husband, Mrs. Davis makes 
slighting allusion to some such plan, as impractical and 
visionary and advised by critics of the Administration. 
Mr. Memminger wrote Mr. Stephens, Sept. 17, 1867: 

The scheme, as I understood it, never proposed a pur- 
chase of cotton with bonds but with money, or Confeder- 
ate currency, which was then money. I enclose you a 
circular written at the time, which will put you in posses- 
sion of the views then entertained. As for the notion since 
promulgated, of shipping cotton to England early in the 
war and holding it there as the basis of credit, that is 
completely negatived, as you know, by the fact that at 
the early stage of the war, no one expected the blockade 
or the war to last more than a year. 

Mr. Stephens's letters and speeches of 1860-61 show 
that he feared a long war. 
The circular says of the scheme: 

The issue is to be paid in treasury notes, and therefore, 
if we put aside for the present the many and serious 
objections to the possession, transportation, and manage- 
ment of the crop by the Government, it becomes simply 
a question of amount. 

Which amount was declared too large a burden for 
a new government "engaged in a gigantic war." The 
scheme was treated as a discrimination in favour of 
cotton planters. By the Loan or Memminger plan, 
the planter bound himself to pay into the Treasury a 
part of the proceeds from his cotton sales in exchange for 
interest-bearing bonds. Had Toombs been as careful 
as Stephens in preserving letters, we might reproduce the 
documents from Stephens which drew this from Toombs, 
June 21, 1861, when Secretary of State: 


Dear Stephens: The Maryland Commissioners sub- 
mitted nothing except to urge us to cross the Potomac as 
soon as possible with an army in order that they may 
join us. There is nothing in Harper's Ferry evacuation, 
except Johnston got strong enough to take the field and 
march forward to Martinsburg to meet the enemy rather 
than have leisurely to concentrate on him at the Ferry. 

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of 
your present duty in procuring the Cotton Loan. I fear 
Tom Cobb got weary in well-doing too soon, and that 
interest may flag. Print your speeches, get the news- 
papers in Georgia to write on the subject and send to 
other States, chide the Southwest (Ala., Miss, and La.) 
for their tardiness. If we do not do this, the Loan will 
flag, and if that flags we shall see the worst times we have 
seen yet. With the Loan, we can do anything in time; 
without it, nothing. Push it to the last extremity. We 
have bought arms in Europe and are daily expecting them ; 
the purchases were wholly below our wants from lack of 
comprehension in the War Department. Arrangements 
are enlarged, but it will take time to perfect them. Davis 
works slowly, too slowly for the crisis. 

The scheme of taking the cotton at ten cents per pound 
won't do. We wish to borrow cotton or its proceeds, 
not to buy it. If it falls, it seems planters want to put 
the fall on the country. What sort of financial aid is 
that? If it were to happen that we could not get off 
the cotton, we would be utterly prostrated by flooding 
the country with credits we could not redeem, and for a 
commodity we could neither sell nor consume. It 
would be fatal to the whole scheme. I would rather 
condemn it to public use. I have taken up your letters 
and answered them as the items presented, and this 
letter therefore is without continuity of thought or subject. 

I heard from England and France the twenty-first May. 
Both are very friendly, assure us they will buy our cotton 
this fall at all hazards, will observe strict neutrality for 
the present and acknowledge us formally as soon as 


either time or our decided success gives assurance of our 
power to maintain ourselves. 

I think there will be very important developments in 
a few days at Philippi, Harper's Ferry, and Manassas 
Junction. It is impossible not to have a fight at one or 
all in a week. Virginia unanimously accepted the per- 
manent Constitution yesterday, and is now in good. 


R. Toombs. 

The Stephens plan seems to have received less attention 
from the Confederate Government than was its due by 
reason of authorship and merit. The rush and confusion 
of the times may have been partly responsible. Latter- 
day historians incline to treat it as lightly as Mrs. Davis 
does, yet Mr. Davis, according to Dr. Craven, believed 
it practical and that it would have "insured victory.'* 

^Ir. Stephens's views on other concurrent matters, 
as on this and on a somewhat similar use of tobacco 
which he suggested, are not those of the mere theorist 
and malcontent which he is often carelessly asserted to 
have been. As an example of the hard common sense 
he applied to business details of war, the following extract 
is made from a friendly letter, written by him, April 29, 
1864, to Seddon, Confederate Secretary of War, on the 
conditions resulting from loss of public confidence in 
Confederate credit, and the consequent imperative neces- 
sity for honest and intelligent handling of the tithes, the 
army's one source of supply: 

The greatest danger ahead is ultimate failure of sub- 
sistance. Our present reliance is upon our agricultural 
productions and not upon the credit of the Government. 
The tax in kind is the surest hope; that is abundant if 
properly managed. But under present management, 
it is wasting the substance of the country without supplying 


the anny. In this country, small and poor as it is, 
thousands of bushels of tithe com and a great amount 
of forage have been fed to poor cattle bought up in 
February and March for beef, while the tithe pork and 
bacon were uncollected. Had this pork and bacon been 
used now, the grasses of summer would fatten beef to 
be used then. This is a small matter, but what is being 
done here is doubtless being done elsewhere. Five 
thousand bushels of tithe com just above me have been 
turned over to a party to distil into whisky, right on the 
railroad and in two days' transportation of Johnston's 
army. For this com, he was to deliver five thousand 
gallons of whisky! One bushel, it is said, will make 
two gallons in winter, and the slops from the stills will 
fatten as much pork as the com would. This contract 
is a small affair compared with others on the same prin- 
ciples. It is to all such contracts I call your attention. 
The army can do better without whiskey than bread; 
and if we have com enough to put any into whiskey it 
ought to be in sections remote from railroads. So with 
all com or forage fed to cattle and hogs for the army. 
The provision crop last year was abundant for the army 
and people at home this year if economically used. But 
I fear it wiU not be next year. The policy of impressing 
provisions without paying market price will greatly 
lessen production. Production will be greatly lessened 
by another cause — the general disarrangement of labour 
under the last military act.* 

Under the uncertainty created by this act, which 
virtually conscripted the whole white male population and 
necessitated details from the army for agricultural and 
other domestic avocations, Mr. Stephens said, many 
persons were failing to plant usual crops; many planta- 
tions were being abandoned to Negroes with no white 
manager in charge; and the bare joumeyings of men 

* For full text ol letter from which this condensed excerpt is taken, see QeveUnd's "Letters 
and Speeches of Stephens," pp. 786-90. 


back and forth between home and camp to get papers 
made out or visaed would entail neglect of farm work. 
At the date of this letter, more men were in the army 
than the Government could arm or support. "The 
tithe," Mr. Stephens urges, "should be husbanded and 
guarded as gold; not a grain of com or blade of grass 
should be wasted, lost, or misapplied." These are the 
reflections of an economist troubled by evil conditions 
and anxious for their remedy. In that awful time of 
starvation, war, and death, graft took as little heed as 
now of public peril and privation if only it might make 
profit for itself; among appointees who collected and 
distributed the tithes, some handled the precious grain 
and meat dishonestly, and some used it wastefuUy. In 
his address of March i6, 1864, before the Georgia Legis- 
lature, Mr. Stephens said : 

Upon a moderate estimate, one within reasonable 
bounds, the tithes of wheat and com for last year were 
not less, in the States east of the Mississippi (to say nothing 
of the other side), than eighteen million bushels. Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee are not included in this estimate. 
This would bread an army of five hundred thousand men 
and one hundred thousand horses for twelve months, 
and leave a considerable margin for waste or loss. This 
we have without buying or impressing a bushel or pound. 
Nor need a bushel be lost for want of transportation from 
points distant from railroads; it could be fed to animals, 
put into beef and pork. The tithe of meat for the last 
year will supply the army for at least six months. All 
that is wanting is men of business capacity, honesty, 
economy and industry in the management and control 
of that department. 

Mr. Stephens's vital disagreement with the adminis- 
tration was based on a principle that was the "lode-star," 


as he says, of his political life. He condemned the con- 
script laws, martial law, impressments and suspension 
of habeas corpus not only as inexpedient but as infringing 
upon the constitutional rights of the people and not to be 
justified on the plea of '* exigency of war," that ancient 
cry to which republics make their first strides to monarchy. 
He was not free from the fear, which has haunted our 
statesmen from Washington's presidency to Grant's, 
that a republic here might follow the fate of foreign 
predecessors; might, in time of revolution, become subject 
to its own military power and pass by the usual stages 
into empire with a Caesar or Napoleon at the head. His 
public protests were not, as he declared at the time, to 
hamper or harass the administration or to lead a party 
opposition to it — this, he repeatedly refused to do — 
but to inspire the people to "guide and instruct their 
rulers aright." He had condemned Uke measures in 
Lincoln's government; and in his speech before the 
Georgia Legislature,* we hear the same voice, though in 
milder tone, that arraigned Polk in the Congress of the 
United States: 

The suspension of the habeas corpus is the most 
important question. The first act on the subject was 
assented to on the twenty-seventh of February, 1862. 
This attempted to confer on the President the power 
not only to suspend the writ, but to declare martial law, 
etc. This was soon after amended. But no one can say 
that during the progress of these events I was silent. 
Conscription has been extended to embrace all between 
seventeen and fifty years of age. It cannot be possible 
that the object is to keep in the field all between these 

* Full text of Mr. Stephens's speech from which condensed excerpts are here made, may be 
foand in Cleveland's "Letters and Speeches of Stephens," pp. 76 1-86. For Linton Stephens's 
Habeas Corpus and Peace Resolutions, in support of which this speech was made, see *War 
Between the States," II, 738-90,532-36. 


ages. The ruinous consequence is too apparent. Details 
are to be made [to perform the civil industries]. The 
effect is to put much the larger portion of the labour of the 
country, white and slave, under the control of the Presi- 
dent. In this connection, take this habeas corpus sus- 
pension act by which attempt is made to confer upon 
him power to order the arrest and imprisonment of any 
man, woman, or child on bare charge unsupported by 
oath, of any of the acts for which arrests are allowed. 
Could the whole country be more completely under the 
control of one man? Could dictatorial powers be more 
complete ? In this connection, consider the strong appals 
made for some time past by leading journals for a dictator. 
In such times the most dangerous words that can be 
uttered are: Can you not trust the President? My 
answer is. Without any reflection or imputation against 
our Chief Magistrate, the measure of my confidence 
in him and all other public officers is the Constitution. 
My answer is the same I gave to one who submitted a 
plan for a dictatorship to me some months ago: ''I 
am utterly opposed to everything looking to a dictator- 
ship in this country. There is no man living, and not 
one of the illustrious dead, whom, if now living, I would 
so trust!" 

You have been asked. What can you do? What did 
Virginia and Kentucky do in 1798-99? Though war 
was then threatening with France, though it was said 
then as now that all discussion of even obnoxious meas- 
ures of Congress would be hurtful to the public cause, 
they did not hesitate by solemn resolves to declare the 
alien and sedition laws unconstitutional. Those acts of 
Congress were not more unconstitutional or dangerous 
to public liberty than this act. You can invoke its repeal. 

In the ''plan" submitted was this: ''Let the Presi- 
dent be proclaimed Dictator for a specified length of 
time and the Vice-President his successor." Referring 
to it in a letter of Nov. 6, 1863, Mr. Stephens sajrs: 


As this man's mind is running, other men's minds are 
running. I have heard such sentiments in so many 
quarters that I feel deep concern. Some of the news- 
papers — the Richmond Enquirer^ for instance — have 
openly proclaimed sentiments of like character. 

The Editor of the Enquirer, believed to be the organ 
of the administration, was John Mitchel, the Irish exile. 
Nat Tyler, MitchePs associate, remarked in a letter to 
Mr. Davis, Jan. 15, 1885: 

I remember Mr. Stephens coming to the office and 
lecturing the editors on their support of the measures 
for the public defense. . . . We gave to his person 
all respect and to his advice the least attention that was 
possible. I have always believed if you had assumed 
"absolute power," shot deserters and hung traitors, 
seized supplies and brought to the front every man 
capable of bearing arms, a diflFerent result of the war 
might have been obtained. 

Thus contrary were the influences bearing upon the 
Confederate President. Tyler's letter throws a side- 
light upon Mr. Stephens's criticized absenteeism from 
Richmond and his stated reason that he could do no 
good there, but rather feared that his efiForts to serve 
did harm by increasing dissension and division. 

In his speech of March 16, he was supporting the 
Habeas Corpus and Peace Resolutions offered by Judge 
Stephens. Referring to what he believed to be the South's 
one hold on the world's sympathy, he said : 

European governments have no sympathy with either 
side in this struggle. They are rejoiced to see professed 
Republicans cutting each other's throats. But we have 
friends there. No argument used by them heretofore 
has been more effectual than the contrast between the 


Federals and Confederates on the subject of the writ 
of habeas corpus. Here, notwithstanding our dangers 
and perils, the military has always been kept subordinate 
to the civil authorities. Here, all the landmarks of 
English Uberty have been preserved and maintained, 
while at the North scarcely a vestige is left. There, 
instead of courts of justice with open doors, the country 
is dotted over with bastiles. 

The Resolutions contained this: 

As constitutional liberty is the sole object which our 
people and our noble army have in our present terrible 
struggle with the Government of Mr. Lincoln, so also 
is a faithful adherence to it on the part of our Govern- 
ment through good fortunes in arms and through bad, 
one of the great elements of our final success: because the 
constant contrast of constitutional government on our 
part with the usurpations and tyrannies which char- 
acterize the government of our enemy under the ever- 
recurring and ever false plea of the necessities of war, 
will have the double effect of animating our people with 
an unconquerable zeal and of inspiring the people of 
the North more and more with a desire and determina- 
tion to put an end to a contest which is waged by their 
Government openly against our liberty, but secretly 
and more covertly against their own. . . . 

We earnestly recommend that our Government, imme- 
diately after signal successes of arms, and on other 
occasions when none can impute its action to alarm 
instead of a sincere desire for peace, shall make to the 
Government of our enemy an official offer of peace on 
the basis of the great principles declared by our conmion 
fathers in 1776. 

He wrote of Lincoln's administration: 

1 86 1, April I. — [Day blockade of Southern ports 
was declared.] The worst feature is the possibility 
that he has no real design, no settled policy; that he 


is, like the fool, scattering fire without any definite 
purpose. May 30. — [After suspension of habeas 
corpus in certain localities.] All Lincoln's Cabinet, 
except Blair, were opposed to the war at first, I think. 
The North, I believe, will go into anarchy. The Admin- 
istration cannot stop the war. 1862, August 7. — 
The North is already a despotism. Blood will soon 
flow there as it did in France under the Directory. Win- 
ter of 1862. — If the South had not seceded, Lincoln's 
administration would have broken down in sixty days. 

1863, March — Lincoln is no more a dictator now than 
he has been all the time. My opinion was, and still 
is, that it was better for all the States to remain in the 
Union under the Constitution. If the Northern Govern- 
ment would now acknowledge the Sovereignty of the 
States, war would instantly cease, and the great law of 
nature governing the proper union of States would 
work its results. But you might as well sing hymns 
to a dead horse as preach such doctrines to Mr. Lincoln 
and those who control his Government at this time. If 
we ever have peace on this line, it will be when other 
men are brought into power there. There are such 
men there — States Rights and State Sovereignty men of 
the JeflFerson school. 

The organization of the Peace party at the North ''may 
justly be claimed as part of the fruits" of the Georgia 
resolutions, Mr. Stephens says in a letter of Sept. 22, 
1864; the movement in the Chicago Convention, which 
nominated McClellan, for a peace convocation of all the 
States, he hails as ''the first ray of real light from the 
North." He listened eagerly for some expression of 
sympathy with this movement from Mr. Davis. Their 
difference of opinion at this time led to a painful cor- 
respondence, initiated by a note from Davis, December, 

1864, calling on Stephens to explain this passage in his 
published letter to Senator Semmes: 


I know there are many persons amongst us whose 
opinions are entitled to high consideration who do not 
agree with me on the question of McClellan's election. 
They prefer Lincoln to McClellan. Perhaps the Presi- 
dent belongs to that class. Judging from his acts, I 
should think that he did. 

Mr. Stephens, in his explanations, said: 

The Peace party at the North had planted themselves 
at Chicago on a States Rights platform. McClellan 
was their candidate. They announced, as their pur- 
pose, if brought into power, to propose a convention 
of all the States. This proposition, in your Columbia 
speech, you opposed. How could their leading men 
urge their people to rally with any prospect of success, 
in opposition to the potent argument of their adver- 
saries that the Chief Magistrate of the Confederate States 
had declared in advance that he would not entertain 
any such proposition? The rejection was accompanied 
by words that must have grated very harshly, that there 
was no prospect of peace but by the sword, that the 
"only way to make spaniels civil is to whip them." 
The natural tendency was not only to dampen the ardour 
of the peace men but to excite bitterness. Who would 
be willing to subject himself to the taunts of the war 
champions that he had been "whipped" into his con- 
ciliatory mood, and, in the estimate of our Chief was 
no better than a spaniel, and a whipped spaniel at that ? 

Mr. Davis replied • 

My speech was not such as you represent it, and I 
now quote the passage from which you have torn a few 
words. I said, "Does any one believe that the Yankees 
are to be conciliated by retreating before them, or do 
you not all know that the way to make spaniels civil 
is to whip them?" I plainly intimated my desire for 
the success of the Peace party in the words, "Let fresh 


victories crown our arms, and the Peace party, if there 
be such at the North, can elect its candidate." The 
speech is an appeal to the people to trust to their own 
courage and fortitude for the maintenance of their rights. 
It was delivered after the publication of McClellan's 
letter avowing his purpose to force reunion by war if we 
declined reconstruction when oflFered. 

Mr. Stephens explains further the Semmes letter: 

There was nothing in it intended to be oflFensive to 
you, or to any one who differed from me, no desire to 
impeach their motives, integrity, or patriotism. Very 
few of our public men or presses agreed with me. I 
stood almost solitary and alone. I had been grossly 
assailed; my objects were misunderstood by some, mis- 
represented by others, while my motives were openly 
impugned by many. It was in vindication of myself 
that I gave these views. 

He had been called a traitor. He said in the Semmes 

I know that many of our people think that any allu- 
sion to peace on our side is injurious to our cause. Some 
maintain that we cannot entertain any propositions 
unless they be based upon our Independence. I concur 
in none of this reasoning. Nothing would give us more 
strength at home or abroad, with our armies and the 
world, than to keep constantly before the public what 
we are fighting for, and the terms upon which the con- 
test forced upon us may be ended. 

In January, 1865, resolutions by Stephens, encourag- 
ing the idea of a convention of the States and of peace 
measures based on 'Hhe principles of 1776," had nearly 
passed the Confederate Congress when Francis P. Blair's 
visits to Richmond created a diversion that led to the 
Hampton Roads Peace Conference. 


Mr. Stephens's first connection with a peace conference 
was in 1863. Lee's victory at Chancellorsville and 
Grant's repulses at Vicksburg had discouraged the 
North, where large peace meetings were held and the 
papers preached peace. Indications that exchange of 
prisoners was to be suspended gave Stephens his open- 
ing. He wrote Davis, June 12, oflFering to go to Wash- 
ington to treat on exchange ; if an interview could be had 
with authorities there, he hoped so to conduct it as to 
initiate peace measures; or, in any event, to make it, 
in publication, a moral argument for the South. June 
19, Davis called him by wire to Richmond; he responded 
instantiy. Learning that Lee was now invading Penn- 
sylvania and Grant pressing Pemberton at Vicksburg, 
he told the President and Cabinet that he had no hope, 
under changed conditions, of being received by Lincoln. 
They were doubtful, as was he, of his reception under 
any circumstances, but thought chances increased by 
Lee's position. He was gotten to City Point, July 4; 
detained there two days while Admiral Lee, U. S. N., 
waited to hear from his telegram to Washington stating 
Stephens's request for conference; July 1-3, Gettysburg 
was fought; July 4, Vicksburg fell; July 6, Admiral 
Lee informed him that his request was refused. 

Sherman sent him a verbal invitation, September, 1864, 
to conference at Atlanta on peace, under the impression 
that he might act without reference to Davis. Stephens's 
written reply assured Sherman that the object was so 
dear to him that he would make any sacrifice short of 
honour for its sake: 

But the entire absence of power on my part to enter 
into any such negotiations, and the like on his, as appears 
from his message, preclude my acceptance. If he is 


of opinion that there is any prospect of our agreeing 
upon terms of adjustment to be submitted to the action 
of our respective governments, and will make this known 
to me in some formal and authoritative manner, I would 
most cheerfully and willingly, with the consent of our 
authorities, accede to his request. 

After Blair's visits in 1865, Davis told Stephens that 
Blair had proposed, with Lincoln's knowledge as was 
understood, a "secret mihtary convention between bel- 
ligerents" with a view to their sustaining jointly the 
Monroe doctrine, then threatened in Mexico by Napoleon ; 
the armistice that would be necessary and engagement 
in a common cause would tend to cool sectional rancours 
and pave the way to peace. Stephens advised a meeting 
between Davis and Lincoln near City Point with only 
Grant and Lee in the secret. Davis insisted on a com- 
mission of three, naming Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, 
and Judge J. A. Campbell. Stephens objected that 
the absence of both himself and Hunter — Chairman 
and Chairman pro tem — from the Senate would imperil 
the secrecy which Blair had said .was essential. The 
appointments held. The Commissioners' departure was 
heralded in the papers, and by the time they reached 
City Point, the North was in a stir. There, Grant 
received them on his own authority, pending advices 
from Washington. Stephens says of his first impression 
of Grant: 

I was struck with the great simplicity and naturalness 
of his manners. He was plainly attired, sitting in a log- 
cabin,' busily writing on a small table by a kerosene 
lamp. There was nothing in his appearance or sur- 
roundings which indicated his official rank. There were 
neither guards nor aids about him. Upon Colonel 


Babcock [of Grant's staff, their escort] rapping at his 
door, the response, "Come in," was given by himself. 
We were with General Grant two days. He furnished 
us with comfortable quarters on one of his despatch 
l;oats; met us frequently, and conversed freely upon 
various subjects, not much upon our mission. I saw, 
however, very plainly that he was anxious for the pro- 
posed conference to take place. He was, without doubt, 
anxious for a termination of the war, and the return of 
peace and harmony. It was through his instrumentality 
mainly that Mr. Lincoln finally consented to meet us at 
Fortress Monroe. 

To contrast with this Mr. Stephens's first impression 
of the South's great captain, Lee, is a digression justi- 
fied by its interest. Mr. Stephens first saw Lee in the 
Capitol at Richmond at his installation as Commander- 
in-chief of the Armies of Virginia, a dignified and imposing 
ceremony through which Lee, handsome and polished 
to the last degree, bore himself with a simplicity not 
surpassed by Grant's in the log-cabin. Mr. Stephens 
was in Richmond to invite Virginia's alliance with the 
Confederacy. He knew that Lee could defeat the meas- 
ure by "a look." That night in his rooms at the Ballard 
House, he sounded Lee, and found that Lee desired 
that no consideration for himself should enter into the 
question of alliance, though he knew it would reduce 
his rank, subordinating him to the Confederacy's chief 
officer. In discussing Lee at different times in 1862-63, 
Mr. Stephens said: 

I have always regarded him as the ablest man in our 
army; indeed, the first military man on the continent. 
The last time Mr. Davis consulted me on any question 
was about who should be sent to command at Charleston. 
I urged him to send Lee. Lee was sent. This was in 


November, 1861. . . . I was wonderfully taken 
with Lee in our first interview. I saw him put to the 
test that tries character. He came out of the crucible, 
pure and refined gold. 

The Commissioners met Lincoln and Seward aboard 
the River Queen, in Hampton Roads. Stephens opened 
the conference with some pleasant remarks to Lincoln 
on their association in Congress and as Young Indians. 
Lincoln responded cordially; inquiries concerning old 
comrades were exchanged. Then political discussion 
began, during which no one entered the saloon, "except 
a coloured servant to bring water, cigars, and other refresh- 
ments." Seward promised that there should be no clerk, 
no records. The miUtary convention, Monroe doctrine, 
armistice, emancipation, compensation for slaves and 
status of seceded States if war were abandoned, were 
reviewed. Lincoln's "opinion" was that the States 
would be instantly "restored to their practical relations 
to the Union"; that his Emancipation Proclamation, as 
a war measure, would only apply to such slaves as had 
come under its operation ; he favoured voluntary emanci- 
pation by the States, the Government paying indenmity. 
But he promised nothing, except liberal exercise of Execu- 
tive clemency in the enforcement of penalties. "Restora- 
tion of the Union is a sine qua non with me," he said. 
His letter to Davis by Blair had referred to "our common 
country"; Davis's reply, to "the two countries." 
Stephens brought up the question of exchange. Lincoln 
said he would refer that whole matter to Grant with whom 
the visitors could confer. Stephens relates : 

I then said, "I wish, Mr. President, that you would 
reconsider the subject of an armistice on the basis which 


has been suggested. If, upon so doing, you shall 
change your mind, you can make it known through the 
military." "Well," said he, as he was taking my hand 
for a farewell leave, and with a peculiar manner very 
characteristic of him — "Well, Stephens, I will reconsider 
it, but I do not think my mind will change; but I will 

So ended the one interview the Confederate Govern- 
ment was able to obtain with Lincoln, though it had 
sought many, and in matters of form, Davis had made 
every concession except that embraced in the term, "the 
two countries." A pleasant incident occurred when 
Lincoln said: "Well, Stephens, it seems we can do 
nothing for our country. Is there anything I can do 
for you ?" Stephens replied that he would like to secure 
the exchange of his nephew, who had been in prison 
nearly two years, being sixteen months of this time on 
Johnson's Island. Lincoln said he would be glad to 
attend to the matter personally, and on reaching Wash- 
ington, he telegraphed to Johnson's Island for Lieut. 
John A. Stephens to be sent to him. John Stephens, 
ignorant of the cause of his summons, was ushered, at 
the White House, into Lincoln's presence. Lincoln, 
who was sitting on a table in a half-reclining posture 
and talking to Seward, arose, and greeted the young 
man cordially, remarking in substance: "I saw your 
uncle, the Honourable Alexander H. Stephens, recently, 
at Hampton Roads and I promised to send you to him. 
Lieutenant." In the conversation that ensued, Lincoln 
gave John what was virtually his first direct news from 
home, carefully imparting all that could be recalled 
from what Mr. Stephens had said at Hampton Roads ; 
he spoke warmly of Mr. Stephens, and closed the inter- 


view by telling young Stephens that the freedom of the 
dty was his as long as he chose to remain in Washington, 
and, "When you want to go home, let me know and I 
will pass you through our lines." Weak and ill from 
long imprisonment, John Stephens was glad of the 
privilege, and stayed in Washington for nearly a week. 
On his farewell call at the White House, Lincoln, after 
a pleasant chat, gave him a letter to his uncle, and then 
his own autographed photograph, saying in his droll 
way: "You had better take that along; it is considered 
quite a curiosity down your way, I believe." 

Another incident of the interview is given here because 
of a reference made to it in the Journal. Hunter called 
attention to the sufferings which immediate emancipa- 
tion would entail upon the Negroes, especially on the aged 
and the infirm, the women and children of the race, who 
would be unable to support themselves. Lincoln replied 
with this anecdote : 

An Illinois farmer was congratulating himself with a 
neighbour concerning a discovery he had made which 
would save time and labour in gathering a food crop for 
his hogs. "What is it?" asked the neighbour. "Why, 
plant plenty of potatoes, and when they mature, turn 
the hogs in and let them get their food as they want it." 
"But how will they do when the ground is frozen?" 
"Let 'em root!" 

Stephens advised Davis against a public report of the 
conference; spoke of Lincoln's promise to "reconsider"; 
thought Davis might hear from it in a quiet way after 
the "hubbub" over the conference had subsided; the 
publicity which had attended the mission was enough 
to account for its failure, if Blair's representations were 
correct. Davis insisted on the public report, which was 


made to the Confederate Congress, February 6th, stating 
that no terms were ofiFered the South except imconditional 
surrender and Lincohi's pledge of Executive clemency. 
Resolutions of indignation and purpose to fight on natu- 
rally followed. Impassioned addresses of like tone were 
made in the Old African Church* and in the Capitol 
Square by Davis, Benjamin, Hunter, and others. The 
United States Congress called on Lincoln (February 8th) 
for information concerning the Congress, and it was given. 

Stephens's distress at the turn of afiFairs is so pronoimced 
in his Journal and in his letter to Seward as to suggest 
that something more than is published was said about 
secrecy. There may have been passes of a purely per- 
sonal nature between himself and Lincoln as old friends 
and as men, in which each expressed desire to cooperate 
for peace, and which each felt bound in honour never to 
reveal. Seward, as a man, may have spoken in some such 
way. There may have been a tacit understanding, on 
Stephens's initiative, that the conference shotild at least 
not be used to foment public wrath. It is almost impos- 
sible to conceive of Stephens as having that interview 
with Lincoln and not making in his personal character 
some appeal to the merciful side of his friend in behalf 
of a suffering people. Yet on the basis of what is known, 
he might feel acutely that Northern resentment would 
tie Lincoln's hands and prevent "reconsidering." 

Admiral Porter relates of the conference held by Lin- 
coln, Grant, and Sherman on March 27: "Lincoln 
wanted peace on almost any terms. He did, in fact, 
arrange the (so-called liberal) terms offered General 
Joe Johnston." These terms, in Lincoln's words to 
the Peace Commissioners, "restored the States to their 

Bichmond's UifesC auditoiium, bnilt by the whites as a place of woohip for thdr slant. 


practical relations to the Union." Sherman says in 
his "Memoirs": "Mr. Lincobi exclaimed more than 
once that there had been enough blood shed." In all 
this, may there not have been some "reconsidering" 
of that talk at Hampton Roads between the two old 
friends, neither of whom doubted the goodness and 
patriotism of the other and both of whom were deeply 
humane ? 

Mr. Stephens declined to make a speech in line with 
the speeches of the Administration: "I could not under- 
take to impress upon the people the idea that they could 
do what I believed impossible, or to inspire in them 
hopes which could never be realized. It was then that 
I withdrew from Richmond." In their last interview 
he told Mr. Davis that he would keep silent as to his 
views of the situation. They parted in the "same friend- 
ship that had always marked our intercourse," Mr. 
Stephens says. It can be understood how each regarded 
the other as having obstructed Confederate success. In 
his "War Between the States," the ablest defence of the 
Confederacy ever given, Mr. Stephens gives a mellowed 
view of his Chief, but it is not inconsistent with that of 
the Journal, given when the sore was raw; when the 
South was in ruins, her public men in prisons, and threat- 
ened with hanging; and when he felt that none of this 
need have come to pass. From his last interview with 
Mr. Davis he went to Liberty Hall, where he remained 
quietly, awaiting arrest and probable execution. Their 
next meeting was when they were both prisoners; 
Stephens tried to avoid it, as a painful trial for himself 
and as doubtless the same for Mr. Davis. 

It is now in order to give some account of his family 
ties and surroundings at liberty Hall, thus making 


clear his relation with various people mentioned in the 

When Mr. Stephens's half-brother, John, died in 1856, 
he left his wife, children, and estate to Mr. Stephens, 
who installed "Sister Elizabeth," as he called her, and 
her family at the old homestead, and cared for them 
faithfully. Her sons, John A., Linton Andrew, and 
William Grier, served in the Confederate Army, though 
the two last were but youths; Clarence, the yoimgest, 
attended day school at Crawfordville. Her widowed 
daughter, Mrs. Reid, afterward I^Irs. Corry, lived with 
her. At Sparta, some twenty miles distant, resided 
Judge Linton Stephens with his three little daughters, 
Becky, Em, and Claude; their mother, Emmeline, daughter 
of Judge Thomas, died in 1857. Sparta also was the 
home of Richard Malcolm Johnston, a friend much 
beloved by Mr. Stephens and his brother Linton; he is 
best known to the public as the author of the "Dukes- 
borough Tales" and as Mr. Stephens's biographer. 
MoUie and William A. Greer of the Journal were children 
of Mr. Stephens's half-sister Catherine, who died in 1857, 
he was long the mainstay of her and her family; and he 
was a kind and thoughtful brother to "Sister Sarah," 
widow of Aaron Grier, his only full brother. Aaron, 
the patient yokefellow of his poverty and orphanage and 
for a time the sharer of his better fortunes, died in 1843, 
just as Mr. Stephens entered Congress. 

Mr. Stephens had many relatives and friends who were 
his constant visitors. One room at the Hall, called the 
"Parson's Room," was sacred to Mr. Quinea O'Neal, 
dubbed "The Parson" because of his amiable mentor- 
ship to the young men of the neighbourhood. He died 
at the Hall, after the war, at the age of ninety. "G. F. 


Bristow/' of the Journal, was probably the lawyer of 
that name, who at one time lived at the Hall and read 
law under Mr. Stephens. 

Liberty Hall was so named, Mr. Stephens said, 
"because I do as I please here and expect my guests to 
do the same." During the war, it was known, too, as 
the "Wayside Home" because it sheltered so many sick 
and crippled soldiers. In that day of scant food supplies, 
it was, as at all other times a seat of free hospitality. 
In the master's absence, as in his presence, open house 
was kept, his servants, Harry and Eliza, doing the honours. 
Harry was Mr. Stephens's body-servant, butler, and 
man-of-afiFairs generally; Eliza, Harry's wife, was cook 
and feminine superintendent. Their children, Ellen, 
Fanny, Dora, Tim, and Quin, engaged themselves about 
the place in work or amusement as convenient. From 
Washington Mr. Stephens, in the toil and moil of getting 
the Compromise of 1850 through the House, wrote 
Linton : 

I forgot to reply, in my letter from the House to-day, 
to the request of Googer's Harry to take Eliza for his 
wife. Say to him I have no objection. And tell Eliza 
to go to Solomon & Henry's and get a wedding dress, 
including a fine pair of shoes, etc., and to have a decent 
wedding of it. Let them cook a supper and have such 
of their friends as they wish. Tell them to get some 
"parson man" and be married like Christian folks. Let 
the wedding come off when you are at home so that you 
can keep order among them. Buy a pig, and let them 
have a good supper. Let Eliza bake some pound-cake 
and set a good wedding supper. 

He bought Harry for Eliza's sake. At the homestead 
and the Hall, he kept a number of aged black pensioners; 
"Aimt Mat," of the JoHmal, was one of these; her office 


was to feed the chickens and not to do violence to Binks, 
the dog, when he worried them. Residents of no small 
importance were Mr. Stephens's dogs. A deceased 
favourite, Rio, mentioned in the Journal, became a pub- 
lic character through much travel with his master; he 
was a beautiful creature of almost human intelligence, 
seeming to understand his master's speech and to enter 
into all his moods. In 1859, Mr. Stephens writes Linton: 
"A part of my daily duties is to doctor Rio. Poor fellow, 
he is blind!" He writes of a dark and wintry afternoon 
in 1 861, which closed a day spent in reading letters 
advocating secession: 

I felt as if I wanted to get away from all company. 
I took my poor old blind dog, string in hand, and sought 
sohtude. I went through the old fields, and through 
the pines, sighing in the chill wind, until I came to the 
place your grandmother settled. What a wreck was 
before me! I went to the spot where I met you on my 
first visit to your grandmother's after you went there to 
live. You were then a very little boy. You ran out to the 
gate to meet me. Do you remember the time and the 
spot ? . . . Emotions, deep and strong, swelled my breast. 
Rio whined in sympathy and raised a mournful howl. 

Mr. Stephens's afiFection for his brother Linton was 
of unusual depth and tenderness, and almost maternal 
in solicitude. As soon as his own problem of poverty 
was conquered, he assumed the care of this young half- 
brother and sent him by turns to his own alma mater, 
to Virginia University, and Harvard College. When in 
1859, Linton became a judge of the Supreme Court of 
Georgia, Mr. Stephens's gratification was less that the 
honour had been conferred on him than that he was so 
equal to it. Judge Stephens, at the time of his visit to 


Fort Warren, was a handsome man of forty-two. Dur- 
ing Mr. Stephens's imprisonment, the brothers received 
few letters from each other. What became of the many 
written is a mystery explained in part by uncertain mail 
facilities in the South and official interference with sus- 
pected letters in transit, letters between the brothers 
coming perhaps more readily under this head than Mr. 
Stephens's other mail. It is true, too, that Judge Stephens 
did not write so often as was his custom, being doubtful 
if his brother would get his letters and fearful lest some- 
thing he might say would be so construed as to increase 
his brother's peril and attract undue attention to himself 
and the family property at a time when sudden arrests 
and confiscations were the order of the day. In previous 
separations, the brothers had exchanged letters almost 
daily. These letters usually discussed men and measures, 
and the "state of the country." Valuable as they are, 
one of another type is preferred here to reflect the rela- 
tionship between these men, neither of whom had known 
a mother's care and one of whom had denied himself 
love and marriage. Linton, just before his wedding, in 
1852, wrote from Milledgeville, then Capital of Georgia, 
to Mr. Stephens in Washington : 

Dear Brother: I wrote you no letter last night 
because it was so late when I returned from the House. 
I went into the Executive Office, and the Governor, 
Mr. Bartow, and myself figured up the State's finances; 
then all went to Mercer's and took an oyster supper. 

A favour I want you to do me; it is to give me the 
benefit of your taste in a little matter. I find that it has 
grown into a sort of common law for all brides about 
Sparta to receive a bridal present from the intended; 
and I am inclined to suspect that my sweetheart would 
not like to be obliged to admit that she is an exception. 


Women have a pride to gratify, or at least, to save; and 
though I think she cares as little about such things as 
anybody else, yet I fear that even she might feel a shade 
of mortification if when asked by her friends to show 
the accustomed token, she should be obliged to tell 
them she had none. Therefore, I want to make her a 
present, and I want your judgment as to what it shall 
be; and as you will readily know from what I have 
before written you, I want it very soon. Now, I have 
an idea of a breast-pin with my daguerreotype in it. 
What think you of that ? Or, a bracelet with my likeness ? 
An objection to either is that she already has my daguer- 
reot}'pe in a fine locket ; and she has a very fine bracelet. 
How would a ring do? What think you of a chain? 
wouldn't there be a meaning in that? If the chain 
should strike you, couldn't you find in Washington one 
with some fanciful significance yet in good taste? If 
Mrs. Toombs is with you, couldn't you get an idea from 
her? Not that she would certainly be right y but she 
is a woman and might give a valuable suggestion. It 
is a thing of much consideration and great difficulty with 
me, and I expect something strikingly origmal and 
appropriate from you. I will bid you good night with 
the hope that you will not burn this letter, provided alwa3rs 
you will keep it safe, I may like to look over it some of 
these days and to show it to somebody. 

Yours affectionately, Linton. 

The original of the Prison Journal is owned by Alex. 
W. Stephens, Robert Grier Stephens, and Mrs. Robert 
Lee Avary, all of Atlanta, Ga. They are the children 
of John A. Stephens, who died in 1887. He was the ex- 
ecutor of his uncle's will by the terms of which he 
acquired title to the Journal. His daughter, in trans- 
cribing it, had to choose among several readings possible 
for some expressions. My work in editing has consisted 
mainly in reducing matter to publication limits. Mr. 


Stephens, in the eflfort to keep his mind from feeding 
on itself, copied into his diary copious extracts from 
the Bible, hymn-book, and the classics. Grave impression 
of his situation and his endeavour to surmount it is 
gained in turning page after page of such copy in his 
painful writing, particularly when he notes in accom- 
panying entries that his eyesight is failing, his hand 
cramps, and his hair has turned white. He reviews 
books, gives his every tnenUy and all weather and ther- 
mometric changes. The extracts and such matters as 
these are largely omitted from this publication. Other 
reduction is made in small points of style, as in substitu- 
ting his briefest for his most diffuse form in giving dates, 
mail arrivals, and other routine incidents. Asterisks 
to denote omissions are dispensed with for the most 
part in abridgement of the diary as well as in speeches 
and letters in this sketch. It was his habit to re- 
peat himself in letters, writing the same thing in slightly 
different form to several persons. In selection from 
original documents, the shorter forms are preferred here; 
for fuller versions of several condensations, the reader is 
referred to Johnston and Browne's "Life of Stephens." 
For Mr. Stephens's speeches in full, he is referred to 
Cleveland's " Letters and Speeches of Stephens"; and for 
complete elucidation of Mr. Stephens's political views to 
his own "War Between the States." For sympathetic aid 
and cooperation in her work, the editor hereby acknowl- 
edges her indebtedness to Mr. John M. Graham and Mr. 
T. K. Oglesby, formerly secretaries to Mr. Stephens. 

Mr. Stephens was in close confinement from May 25 to 
July 29 ; until August 20, was in a cell where constant fire 
was needed to "keep the room dry"; he was troubJed 
with evil odours from the sink, and with vermin. Hii 


transfer to better quarters was, as he publishes in his 
"War Between the States," through the kind offices of 
Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, whom he had known 
in Congress: "He visited me, and seeing my situation, 
went to Washington and interceded in my behalf. The 
order came from President Johnson himself; it itemed 
that Mr. Stanton would not give his consent to it to the 
last." By officers and men at Fort Warren, he says, 
"I was treated with the utmost respect and kindness 
consistent with their orders"; and, "The many acts of 
kindness I received from the good people of Boston can 
never be forgotten by me." Among his papers is a peti- 
tion to President Johnson for his release, carrying the 
original signatures of a number of prominent Boston 
men; Mr. Dawson sent it to him after submitting it to 
Seward. Johnston, in his "Life of Stephens," says 
Stephens's release was largely due to John W. Garrett 
and W. Prescott Smith, officers of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad. Smith, after a visit to Stephens, reported 
to Garrett that Stephens's death was imminent unless 
he were set free; Garrett hurried to Washington and 
let Seward have no peace until the order for release was 

Mr. Stephens resented his imprisonment as an act of 
tyranny, but his tone is free from querulous complaint 
of minor prison hardships, to which he exhibits remark- 
able powers of adaptation and a saving sense of humour, 
with quick responsiveness to the least kindness. July 19, 
after eight weeks in prison, he writes: "Lieut. Newton 
approached me and shook hands. This was the first 
civility of the sort extended me since I have been in 
this cell." July 22, he says of his escort during the 
daily walk allowed, who is "a sort of familiar acquain- 


tance, the only one I have here": "Lieut. Woodman 
sat down and talked with me — the first time he has sat 
down and talked." Such chronicle betrays how utterly 
lonely has been this man who was so preeminently social 
and S3m[ipathetic in temperament. He breaks down 
weeping as Woodman talks. Dr. Seavems, the fort 
surgeon, is brought. The ice melts quickly now. The 
post people are very human and their prisoner is lovable 
and rare good company too. The underground cell 
soon becomes a point of attraction for the oflEicers of the 
fort, and the children find their way to it. 

As the story of Mr. Stephens's prison life, the Journal 
has a very appealing human interest. In its exquisite 
imfoldment of a rare fraternal love, it is a drama, a 
classic. As a revelation, unguarded and intimate, of 
himself and of his opinion of the great events in which 
he was an actor, and of public men who were his associ- 
ates, it is a valuable political and historical document. 
These events were of tremendous import, the most tragic 
in our national existence, costing thousands of lives and 
billions of dollars* worth of property, with anguish and 
rancours that cannot be measured; and these are the 
views of the second officer of the Confederacy and of a 
man who, when in the service of the Union, was pro- 
nounced the "ablest Member of the House," a House 
that has never been surpassed in its weight of intellect, 
character, and brilliancy. The views of none of the other 
great actors in these events are preserved to us in such 
form as this — a diary in which the man is talking as 
if to himself. We are sure that we have here Mr. 
Stephens's ideas, as they actually were, of Mr. Davis, 
Mr. Lincoln, the Confederacy, the war, and the Negro 
question. His views of Negro suffrage, expressed 


before its trial was decided upon, are peculiariy inter- 
esting as coming from the then leading statesman of 
the South and one who was not allowed in 1866 to take 
his seat in the Senate. 

The cause he had at heart, and for which the South 
had gone to war, was the preservation of the principles of 
the Constitution. When he saw those principles violated 
by the Northern and Southern Governments, he raised 
his voice in warning to both peoples against their greatest 
peril. At the South, he gave expression to the appre- 
hensions of many who were not in a position to make 
themselves heard, even as Se3m[iour, Curtis, Winthrop, 
Vallandigham, and others did at the North. He believed 
that if the Confederate administration would relieve these 
fears, its army would be strengthened, and its people newly 
inspired, while fraternity of sentiment might be revived 
or awakened at the North. Few men of his day or ours 
have made such study of the American form of Govern- 
ment, and none have been better equipped to speak with 
authority on public measures as they were related to it. 
What he sa)rs merits careful consideration, for, in prin- 
ciple, it is not inapt to our times. 

The era in which he lived was the most important 
the world has seen in its trial of republican form of gov- 
ernment. His participation in it was efiFective in the 
maintenance of the principles upon which our republic- 
anism is founded, and hence, of the Republic as it is to-day. 
For survival through this trial of the constitutional 
liberties of the American people, this country owes her 
Commoner — not merely Georgia's or the South's — a 
debt not yet paid in that coin due to one who so loved 
the people, so believed in them — popular acknowl- 
edgment. The man who urges men forward is the 


man whose part is conspicuous and easily recognized; 
the man who holds men back is the man whose part is 
not quick to be seen or valued, but it often requires the 
highest kind of courage. Our country has had her 
season of praise, almost of worship, for those who led 
men on. It is time she should at least turn clear eyes 
of scrutiny upon her sons who in the terrible sixties, 
held their brothers back from what might else have 
been done. At the head of these defenders of her 
Constitution, she will see Alexander H. Stephens. Lincoln 
stood for the Union, Davis for the Confederacy; 
Stephens for the Constitution, the code of the liberties 
of the American people; to save the Union or the Con- 
federacy at the cost of the Constitution was to save the 
house by blasting the rock upon which it was builded. 
Each man suffered for his faith; Lincoln was slain, 
Davis was chained; Stephens was stoned by public 
opinion — and he is still stoned. 

If we consider the present travail of Russia to win a 
constitution; and reflect upon what most peoples endure 
before they secure such an instrument — a constitution 
of unknown, untried qualities — we may better appraise 
the gift our fathers gave us in our own code of liberty 
and law, and the anxiety of those statesmen who have 
sought to preserve it to us. In his Texas speech, Jan. 
25, 1845, Mr. Stephens said of '^this richest inheritance 
ever bequeathed by patriot sires": "If idolatry could 
ever be excused, it seems to me it would be in allowing 
an American citizen a holy devotion to the Constitution 
of his country." In 1858, when striving to preserve 
the "Constitutional Union," he exclaimed in a letter to 
Linton: "My country — what is to become of it — 
it is the idol of my life!" In his Union Speech of i860. 


he said: "This Government of our fathers comes 
nearer the objects of all good government than any other 
on earth. The influence of the Government on us is 
like the atmosphere : its benefits are so silent and imseen 
that they are seldom thought of or appreciated." To 
Linton, Aug. 31, 1862: ''This generation of men seems 
to have looked upon the Constitution as a matter of 
course, without knowing anything of its original cost, 
its constant hazards, and the only securities for its per- 

He was the one public man of his day who remained 
throughout the war neither Northern nor Southern but 
American. He arraigned both Governments for usurpa- 
tions, but he no more uttered a bitter word against the 
Northern than against the Southern people. He never 
seemed able to separate these peoples in his afiFection, 
his care, and his desire that the Constitution be pre- 
served as their common heritage. He never ceased to 
believe that if the true issue of the war — not slavery, 
not the independence of the Confederacy, but the suprem- 
acy of the Constitution — were brought home to them, 
they would see that the cause of the Southern States 
was the cause of all, they would render righteous judg- 
ment and peace would follow. 

During the war, his work for the hospitals, the sick 
and the wounded, and the prisoners of both armies, was 
unremitting. "Whenever I see a head at an iron grate, 
my heart is interested," he wrote from Richmond in 
1864. We are now to see himself behind an iron grate, 
a prisoner of so gentle and sweet a spirit that he makes 
his dungeon walls a home of good influences for our 

Myrta Lockett Avary. 



Prison Journal of Alexander H. 



FORT WARREN, Near Boston, Mass., May 27, 1865. 
— ^This book was purchased this day of A. J. Hall, 
Sutler at the Post, by Alexander H. Stephens, 
a prisoner at the Fort, with a view of preserving in it some 
regular record of the incidents of his imprisonment and 
prison life. It may be of interest to himself hereafter, 
should he be permitted to refer to it; and if his own life 
should not be spared, it may be of interest to some 
of his relatives and friends. He knows it will be 
of interest to his dear and only brother, the Hon. 
Linton Stephens, of Sparta, Ga., should this brother 
ever be permitted to see it. He feels sure that all his 
relatives would be exceedingly glad to peruse it, especially 
in the event that they never see him again. For these 
reasons the book has been purchased. In it, he will 
first transcribe his notes made in pencil from the time of 
leaving home ; that done, he intends to continue it as a daily 
journal of such things as he may feel disposed to record. 

Liberty Hall, Georgia, Thursday, May 11, 1865. — 
This was a most beautiful and charming morning. 
After refreshing sleep, I arose early. Robert Hull, 
a youth, son of Henry Hull, of Athens, Ga., had spent 



the night at my house. I wrote some letters for the 
mail, my custom being to attend to such business soon 
as breakfast was over; and Robert and I were amusing 
ourselves at casino, when Tim [a negro servant] came 
running into the parlour saying: "Master! more Yan- 
kees have come! a whole heap are in town, galloping 
all about with guns." Suspecting what it meant, I 
rose, told Robert I expected they had come for me, and 
entered my bedroom to make arrangements for leaving, 
should my apprehensions prove true. Soon, I saw an 
oflSicer with soldiers under arms approaching the house. 
The doors were all open. I met him in the library. 
He asked if my name was Stephens. I replied that it 
was. "Alexander H. Stephens?" said he. I told him 
that was my name. He said he had orders to arrest 
me. I asked his name and to see his orders. He said 
he was Captain Saint of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, or 
mounted infantry, attached to General Nelson's command ; 
he was then under General Upton: he showed me the 
order by General Upton, at Atlanta, directing my arrest 
and that of Robert Toombs; no charge was specified; 
he was instructed to go to Crawfordville, arrest me, 
proceed to Washington and arrest Mr. Toombs, and 
then carry both to General Upton's headquarters. 

I told him I had been looking for something of this 
kind ; at least, for some weeks had thought it not improb- 
able; and hence had not left home; General Upton need 
not have sent any force for me; had he simply notified 
me that he wished me at his headquarters, I should have 
gone. I asked how I was to travel. He said: "On 
the cars." I then learned that his party had come down 
on the train arriving just before Tim's announcement. 
I asked if I would be permitted to carry any clothing. 


He said, "Yes." I asked how long. 'L. might have for 
packing. He said: "A few minutes -7^ long as 
necessary." I set to packing. Harry (aj3ie\.in, evinc- 
ing great surprise and regret, to pack for -me. /The 
Captain then said: "You may take a servant wi;^ 
you if you wish." I asked if he knew my destination. 
He said: "First, Atlanta; then, Washington City." I 
called in Anthony, a black boy from Richmond who 
had been waiting on me several years, and inquired if 
he wished to go; I told him I would send him from 
Washington to his mother in Richmond. He was will- 
ing, so I bade him be ready soon as possible. 

In the meantime, Mr. Hidell [his secretary] had come 
in; he was living with me and had gone out after break- 
fast. None of my brother John's family residing at 
the old homestead happened to be with me; however, 
Clarence, who was going to school at the Academy, hearing 
of what had occurred (I suppose), came over with some 
friends from town. It was about 10 A. m. when Captain 
Saint arrived. In about fifteen minutes — not much 
over — ^we started for the depot, Anthony and I with the 
Captain and squad; friends, servants, and Clarence fol- 
lowing, most of them crying. My own heart was full 
— too full for tears. 

While Anthony was getting ready, I had asked Captain 
Saint if I might write a letter or two to some friends, 
to my brother and to my sister-in-law's family. He 
said I might. My brother and his children had left me 
two days before, after a visit of nearly a week. I wrote 
him a note in about these words: 

Dear Brother: I have just been arrested by Captain 
Saint of the 4th Iowa Cavalry. The order embraces 
General Toombs. We are both to be carried to Atlanta, 

• • 


and thence to Wasljbigton City it seems. When I shall 
see you again; if fiver, I don't know. May God enable 
you to be. a§*. well prepared for whatever fate may await 
me as I criist He will enable me to bear it. May His 
]^lp5sings ever attend you and yours. My kindest 
-re]gards to Cosby, Dick Johnston, and all friends. I 
:have not time to say more. My tenderest love to your 
dear little ones. Yours most affectionately, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

This I sealed and addressed to Linton and told Harry 
to send it over to Sparta immediately after I should leave. 
The Captain said he preferred that I should not send 
the note then ; we should come back, and then I might 
send it. I told him it simply announced my arrest and 
destination; he might read it. I opened and handed 
it to him. He still objected, and I tore it up. Suppos- 
ing similar objection would be made to my sending any 
other, I did not write to my sister-in-law's family. I 
knew that Mr. Hidell, Clarence, servants, and all present 
would give them full information. At the cars a great 
many people had assembled. All seemed deeply oppressed 
and grieved. Many wept bitterly. To me the parting 
was exceedingly sorrowful. Hidell was to leave for his 
home in Memphis on this day. He was all packed up 
and ready to start on the down train. 

When we left the depot, the train backed up several 
hundred yards and took on some soldiers who seemed to 
have been put out there as scouts. While we were 
standing, I saw Mr. Singleton Harris and, by the Cap- 
tain's permission, sent word to Hidell not to leave my 
house until he should hear from me. When all the 
soldiers were on the cars the train moved down the 
road again, not stopping until we reached Bamett, 


where we took another engine and started to Washington, 
Ga. About four miles from that town, the train slowed 
up at a shanty occupied by a track supervisor. Here, 
I was put ofiF with about twenty soldiers to guard me. 
The Captain and the Others went on to Washington. 
He said he expected to be back in an hour. He did not 
return until after dark. During his absence there was 
a heavy fall of rain, which was much needed as it had 
not rained for several weeks. The man of the house 
gave me dinner: fried meat and com bread. He said 
it was the best he had. I was not hungry, but to show 
my gratitude for his hospitality, I shared his homely 
meal. Night came. The Captain had not returned. 
The good man asked me to partake of his supper; I 
accepted as before; his lady was kind, and apologized 
for having no better fare to oflFer. 

Soon after dark, the engine was heard. I was anxious 
to know the result of Captain Saint's trip. What we 
supposed was the train proved to be the engine only: 
the Captain was bringing his men commissary stores. 
He went back immediately, but not before I had asked 
the cause of the detention. What had occurred? was 
General Toombs at home? He answered evasively, 
and left me in doubt and perplexity. About nine the 
engine was heard again. It brought the train. I was 
put aboard, Anthony looking after the baggage. The 
ground was wet and I got my feet damp; this, with the 
chill of the night air gave me a sore throat with severe 
hoarseness. When the train was under way for Bamett, 
I asked the Captain if he had Mr. Toombs. "No," he 
replied, "Mr. Toombs flanked us."* This was said in 

^Toombs was in his front door when Captain Saint entered his yard; he went out at the back 
and esca p ed to the woods. 


a rather disappointed and irate tone, and I made no 
further inquires. Reaching Bamett about eleven, we re- 
mained for some time and then took the train for Atlanta. 
Some panes of glass were broken out of the car win- 
dows, and I was further chilled. 

Atlanta, Georgia, May 12. — This is one of the 
most eventful days of my life. Never before was I 
deprived of my liberty or under arrest. Reached 
Atlanta about eight-thirty. Quite unwell. Carried 
to General Upton's headquarters. The first person 
I saw that I knew was Felix, a coloured man who 
was a servant to Mr. Toombs and myself when we 
lived together in Washington City. He was very glad 
to see me and I gave him a hearty handshake. He was 
our cook in Washington, and a good cook he was. 
General Upton had gone to Macon but was expected 
back that night. Captain Gilpin, of his staff, received 
me and assigned me a room. Anthony made me a fire; 
Captain Gilpin ordered breakfast and Felix soon had 
it ready: fried ham and coffee. Walked about the city 
under guard. The desolation and havoc of war here 
are soul-rending. Several persons called to see me, 
Gip Grier [his cousin A. G. Grier] the first; my heart 
almost burst when I saw him, but I suppressed all show 
of emotion. General Ira R. Foster* was allowed to 
write me a note and I to answer it, but no interview was 
permitted. Colonel G. W. Lee was permitted to speak 
to me, but not to hold conversation. John W. Duncan 
was permitted to visit my room and remain as long as 
he pleased ; so, too, was Gip Grier : both made me several 

* Confederate Quartermaster-General of Georgia during the war. Other visitors, except those 
specified as from the North or as belonging to General Upton's staff, were Confederates. 


visits during the day. Captain Saint called and said he 
would send the surgeon of his regiment to prescribe for 
my hoarseness. The surgeon came, and his remedies 
did me good. Major Cooper called and gave me a bottle 
of whisky. 

I started from home with about $590 in gold which 
had been laid up for a long time for such a contingency. 
I got Gip Grier to exchange $20 of it for greenbacks and 
small silver. I had first asked Captain Gilpin if 
this would be allowed and he made no objection. Gip 
oflFered me $100 additional in gold if I wished it. I 
declined it. Duncan oflFered any amount I might want. 
I told him I hoped I had enough. All this was in the 
presence of the oflicers. General Foster, in his note, 
oflFered any funds I might need. I informed him in 
my answer that I had plenty for present use and hoped 
I should need no more. 

May 13. — General Upton called early. I was so 
hoarse I could hardly talk. He informed me that he 
had removed all guards, that I was on my parole. I 
told him I should not violate it. He was very courteous 
and agreeable; told me my destination was Washington. 
I learned from him that Mr. Davis had been captured, 
that Clement C. Clay * had surrendered himself, and that 
Mr. Davis and party would be in Atlanta to-night on 
their way to Washington. He gave me choice of route: 
by Dalton and the lines of railroads northwest and north, 
or by sea from Savannah. I selected the sea route, but 
told him I did not wish to go with Mr. Davis. He 

* Confederate Senator; member of mission sent, 1864, by President Davis to Canada; diarged 
by President Johnson with complicity in Lincoln's assassination; a reward of $25,000 was 
offered for b^ arrest 


said he would send me in a special train tonight to 
Augusta, but from there to Savannah I should have to 
travel on the boat with Mr. Davis and party; there was 
but one boat at Augusta. From Savannah to Hilton 
Head and on he would try to have me sent by separate 
packet if it could be done. I had frequent talks with 
General Upton during the day and was well pleased with 
him. Some friends called ; Gip Grier and Duncan several 
times. Duncan gave me a bottle of Scotch ale which 
I put in my trunk. He told me of a banking-house in 
Europe in which he has funds, authorizing me to draw 
on his account for any amount I might need. I am 
truly grateful, but I trust I shall never be brought to 
the necessity of availing myself of his generous tender. 
He said he would write the house to cash any draft by 
me. Major Cooper called, Dr. Powell, Dr. Simmons 
and others; and some ladies, who wept in parting with 
me. Mrs. Powell sent refreshments; and Mrs. Thrasher 
the mattress and covers which form my comfortable 

Felix informs me that after he was cook for Mr. Toombs 
and myself in Washington, he was sold by Mr. Wallack 
to Senator Sebastian, of Arkansas, and was the Senator's 
cook until the war broke out. Senator Sebastian now 
lives in Memphis, has freed all his people, and Felix 
has been for some time the servant of Dr. Little, U. S. A. 
He inquired after Pierce, my servant boy who was with 
me in Washington. I told him I had let Pierce go where 
he pleased and do as he pleased for several years, and 
when last heard from, he was in Macon; if he would 
write Pierce there I thought the letter would reach Pierce, 
who would be glad to hear from him and much gladder 
to see him. They were very intimate in Washington. 


Anthony said Felix was going to try to go with me to 
Washington. I did not encourage this idea as I know 
Dr. Little would not like to have Felix quit him so sud- 
denly, and then I am not certain of my ultimate destina- 

This evening Colonel Peters, of Iowa, came to renew 
acquaintance with me. He was introduced to me in 
Washington City many years ago by Senator G. W. 
Jones, of Iowa. He seemed glad to renew the acquaint- 
ance. We talked agreeably of old events and associations. 

From my window, just before night, I took a bird's- 
eye survey of the ruins of this place. I saw where the 
Trout House stood, where Douglas spoke in i860 — I 
thought of the scenes of that day, and my deep fore- 
bodings of all these troubles; and how sorely oppressed 
I was at heart, not much less so than now, in their full 
realization with myself among the victims. How strange 
it seems to me that I should thus suffer, I who did every- 
thing in the power of man to prevent them. I could but 
rest my eye for a time upon the ruins of the Atlanta Hotel, 
while the mind was crowded with associations brought 
to life in gazing upon it. There, on the fourth Sept., 
1848, I was near losing my life for resenting the charge 
of being a traitor to the South: and now I am here, a 
prisoner under charge, I suppose, of being a traitor to 
the Union. In all, I have done nothing but what I 
thought was right. The result, be it what it may, I 
shall endeavour to meet with resignation. 

9 p. M. — General Upton informed me that my 
train starts at eleven ; that I may stop at home, take break- 
fast, and get more clothing: the train carrying Mr. Davis 
and party leaves here two hours later than mine; I may 
remain home xmtil it overtakes me. I immediately wrote 


Hidell. I hoped my brother might be in Crawfordville. 
I was anxious to see him and doubted not that word had 
been sent him of my arrest. Gip took the letter to the 
mail-train at ten- thirty, returned, and remained with me 
until near the hour for my departure, as did Duncan. 
I requested both to write Linton, giving him the partic- 
ulars of my situation and destination as far as known. 
I told General Upton that there was another coloured 
boy at my house, Henry, Anthony's brother, whose 
mother is in Richmond and whom I should like, if there 
is no objection, to take to Fortress Monroe whence I 
could send him to her. He consented. Captain Gilpin 
requested my autograph, which I gave. A little past 
eleven, we were oflf. 

Crawfordville, May 14. — This is an ever memor- 
able day to me. It is the anniversary of my stepmother's 
death, the day on which was severed the last tie that kept 
the family circle around the hearthstone at the old home- 
stead. My father died one week before, on the 7th, 
1826. The date, to make this anniversary more impres- 
sive, falls now, as then, on Sunday. 

At eleven-thirty this morning, the cars reached Craw- 
fordville. Hidell had gotten my letter. A large crowd 
was at the depot to see me. I hastened to my house as I 
had much to do and not much time to do it in. Church 
was just out, preaching over, and the congregation leav- 
ing. I could but give a parting shake of the hand to 
many whose eyes were filled with tears. Nearly all my 
servants from the homestead were at church, but none 
of my sister-in-law's family, except my nephew, Linton 
Andrew. Hidell had not had time to send them word I was 
coming. My nephew, John, was gone to Washington, 


Ga. First, he had gone to Sparta and informed my 
brother Linton of my arrest. Hidell said John had 
reported Linton as ill. What a pang that struck to my 

I ordered breakfast for myself, Captain Kennedy, 
and two others who had accompanied me on invitation. 
I had a hurried repacking of clothes into a larger trunk 
I borrowed from my true friend, Mr. Joseph Myers. 
Everything I could think of that I might need — that 
I had — was put in ; besides clothing, two large bed- 
blankets and one large afghan. Henry and Anthony 
were soon ready. Such hurried directions as I could 
give were given to the servants on the lot and to those 
from the homestead. Harry was told what to do in tak- 
ing care of things; Fountain and George were told how 
to manage the farm. I did not have as much talk with 
my nephew, Linton Andrew, as I wished, nor with Hidell. 
Leave-takings were hurried and confused. The servants 
all wept. My grief at leaving them and home was too 
burning, withering, scorching for tears. At the depot 
was an immense crowd, old friends, black and white, 
who came in great numbers and shook hands. That 
parting and that scene I can never forget. I could not 
stand it until the other train arrived, and I requested 
the Captain to move oflF. This he did. 

Augusta, Ga. — At Bamett, we waited for the other 
train. General Upton came in and suggested that I 
would be more comfortable in the car he had on that 
train. I told him, if he had no objection, I should pre- 
fer to remain where I was. He said he had none, and I 
remained. Mr. Davis and party were on the other train. 
In a short time we were under way a^in. Reached 


Augusta before sundown. General Upton had a carriage 
to take me to the boat, four or five miles down the river. 
The other train came up a half-hour behind us. Mr. 
and Mrs. Davis were put in a carriage, and some officer 
with them. Mr. and Mrs. Clay were in a carriage to 
themselves; as our vehicles passed, I, for the first time, 
saw them; they bowed to me and I to them. Mr. Davis 
did not see me until we reached the boat. Anthony rode 
in the carriage with me. Henry went with and took 
care of the baggage, consisting of Myers's trunk with 
my things in it, my trunk with Anthony's things, and 
Henry's box. My carpet-bag, shawl, greatcoat, umbrella, 
cane, and small overcoat I kept with me; Anthony kept 
his and Henry's carpet-bags. It was some time before 
all things were ready; all was under military arrangement. 
Mr. Davis's party, twelve in number, were placed fore- 
most in vehicles that I could not see; then Mr. Davis's 
carriage, then Mr. Clay's; I brought up the rear. A 
major from Indiana was with me. Just before we 
started, Mrs. Davis's white nurse came and asked to ride 
in our carriage. The Major let her in. She had Mrs. 
Davis's infant* with her. Guards rode in front, at the 
sides, and in the rear, some on horse-back, some in 
wagons, all well armed. When the cortege, which looked 
much like a funeral procession, had gotten away from the 
depot, we found the streets lined on both sides with 
inmiense crowds. Occasionally I heard some one say, 
"There goes Stephens"; but I recognized only one per- 
son, Morse of the Chronicle and Sentinel. I bowed to 
several who bowed to me, but whose faces I did not 
know. Everybody looked sad and depressed. 
We moved slowly. It was dark long before we reached 

*** Winnie;'' afterwaidkn<mnu the "Daughter of the ConfedenuT*': born in 1864. 


the boat-landing. Outside the city, the Major requested 
Anthony to ride his horse, which some friend, who wished 
to return, had ridden to that point. Anthony acted 
the horseman better than I feared he could. After we 
reached the landing, it was a long time before we got the 
boat. The walk to the river-edge was rough; deep 
ravines without bridges had to be crossed. It was with 
great difficulty, even though assisted, that I was able 
to get along. The Major helped me. He was agree- 
able and cheerful in conversation, but I was suffering 
too much from headache to take interest in conversation. 
To board the boat, we had to walk a narrow plank, 
descending at that. This I could not do. Several 
helped me across. Here, we waited until the baggage 
was all aboard. I felt relieved when Anthony reported 
everything safe and Henry on board. The boat was 
a miserable aflfair, a river tug without cabin. There 
were a few berths which the ladies occupied; the rest 
of us were put on deck, except Mr. Davis, who staid in 
the part of the boat occupied by the ladies. A covering 
was overhead but the sides of the deck were open. 
We found General Joe Wheeler and four of his men 
on board. They had been captured near Athens some 
days before and had been sent down in advance of us. 
Our whole party now, Mr. Davis and those captured 
with him, Mr. and Mrs. Clay, myself. General Wheeler 
and his men, numbered over twenty. I don't know 
exactly how many were in Mr. Davis's party. I recog- 
nized Governor Lubbock and Colonel Johnston of his 
staflf, Mr. Harrison, his private secretary, and Post- 
master-General J. H. Reagan. Mr. Davis had with him 
one man-servant, Bob, a woman, Ellen Bond, coloured, 
and a white woman, also a little mulatto boy. His chil- 


dren, Jeflf, Maggie, and Willie, I recognized, also Mrs. 
Davis, her sister. Miss Howell, and her brother, Jeffer- 
son Davis Howell. A young Mr. Monroe, grandson of 
Judge Monroe, of Kentucky, was also with Mr. Davis, 
but I did not see him after the party got on the 

Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Clay came on deck where we were. 
Our meeting was the first that the Davis party knew of 
my arrest. Mr. Clay had seen me at the depot and knew 
it from the fact of my situation, but had not heard of it 
before. General Wheeler had not heard of the arrest 
of any of us. Mr. Clay told me he had been on parole 
all the way, and had not come on in the procession with 
the rest of us, but had been permitted to drive with his 
wife about the city and visit some of her acquaintances. 
He gave me the particulars of his surrender. 

Before taking leave of me, General Upton turned me 
over to Colonel Pritchard of the 4th Michigan Cavalry, 
who had captured Mr. Davis and who now took charge 
of all the prisoners. The General told Colonel Pritchard 
that Mr. Clay and I were on parole, and he allowed us 
the run of the boat. I asked him to grant me permission 
to write to my brother. He said he supposed this privi- 
lege would not be denied whenever I got to a place where 
I could write. 

On the cars from Bamett to Augusta I had travelled 
with General Elzy [C. S. A.], who had been paroled, 
and had requested him to write John A. Stephens at 
Crawfordville that I wished him to remain with his mother 
until he should hear from me. I deeply regret that I 
did not meet John at home as I passed there. 

My feelings this night on this boat are past all descrip- 
tion. We were all crowded together in a small space 


on the deck. The night was cool, the air on the water 
damp, and I was suffering, as I had been for hours, from 
a severe headache. No mention was made of supper^ 
but I thought not of supper. I had taken breakfast at 
noon, and did not feel now as if I should ever want to 
eat again. Clay and I combined our cloaks, coats, shawls, 
etc.; General Wheeler sent us a blanket; Mrs. Davis 
sent us a mattress, and we made a joint bed in the open 
air on deck. I put the carpet-bags under our heads. 
Strange to say, I slept sweetly and soundly, and rose 
much refreshed next morning. The boat had raised 
steam and left the bluff, not the wharf, about nine that 
night. Reagan, Wheeler, and the rest, including Bob, 
Anthony, Henry, and the other servants, had stretched 
themselves on the open space the best way they could, 
all except one little boy, with covering of some sort. 
Just before I fell asleep, I witnessed this scene: A 
little black boy, ragged and woe-begone, lay in the pass- 
way. Whose he was or where going, I know not. An 
officer came along, gave him a shove and a push, and in 
harsh language ordered him to get away. The boy 
raised up, roused from his sleep, and replied plaintively: 
"I have no lodging, sir." That scene and that reply 
were vividly on my mind with all my personal cares when 
merciful slumber drowned them, as I was borne away 
from home and all dear to me, on the broad smooth 
bosom of the Savannah. 

May 15. — I awoke much refreshed. Morning 
beautiful. Got a rough soldier's breakfast. Mr. Davis 
came out on deck soon after I got up. It was our first 
meeting since our parting the night after my return from 
Hampton Roads Conference to Richmond. Much as 


I had disagreed with him and much as I deplored the 
ruin which, I think, his acts helped to bring upon the 
whole country, as well as on himself, I could but deeply 
sympathize with him in his present condition. His 
salutation was not unfriendly, but it was far from cordial. 
We passed but few words; these were commonplace. 
Talked to-day a good deal with Clay, Reagan, and Wheeler, 
but spent most of my time in lonely meditation on the 
side of the boat, looking out upon the willows along the 
margin of the sluggish, muddy, crooked stream. My 
thoughts were filled with home scenes and Sparta scenes 
and scenes of kindred association. Colonel Pritchard 
introduced to me Captain Hudson of his regiment, and a 
Mr. Stribling (I think the name is), a correspondent of 
the New York Herald. We talked a good deal on the 
state of the country, etc. 

Savannah to Hilton Head, May i6. — I omitted to 
note yesterday that we got dinner and tea at the usual 
hours: potatoes and beef stewed for dinner; at tea, a 
good cup of black tea that suited me well. There was 
hardtack, which some preferred, but I chose baker's 
bread. The table seated only four at once. It took some 
time for all to eat. We reached Savannah this morning 
at four ; were transferred from the tug to a coast steamer, 
bound to Hilton Head. On it we got a good breakfast. 
Witnessed a scene at the breakfast table, in which Mr. 
Davis was chief actor, that I can never forget. About 
eleven a.m., we anchored in the harbour oflf Hilton 
Head and were transferred to the Clyde, a new steamer, 
bound for Fortress Monroe. There were several good 
berths in the cabin below and a number of staterooms 
on deck above. The ladies and most of the gentlemen 


selected staterooms. I preferred a berth below; which I 
found on the voyage an excellent choice. After we 
boarded, a number of officers and other persons came 
on the Clyde. They brought New York papers, Harper^ s 
Weekly and Frank* Leslie^ s Illustrated News. It had 
been a long time since I had seen these prints. Here, 
for the first time, I heard of the Military Commission 
trying Mr. Lincoln's assassins. 

On the Clyde. — The oflScers came down in the 
cabin where I was and we talked for some time on the 
state of the country. They were all courteous and 
agreeable. Captain Kelly, who formerly knew me 
in Washington City, told me he was now in the 
quartermaster's department at Hilton Head. He was 
pleased to refer kindly to his recollection of me; alluded 
to my Milledgeville "Union speech" of November, 
i860; spoke highly of it and expressed regret that I 
had not adhered to it. I told him I had. In that speech 
I had, with all my ability, urged our people not to secede; 
the present consequences I then seriously apprehended; 
I told them that if, in solemn convention, the State should 
determine to resume her delegated powers and assert 
her sovereign and independent rights, I should be bound 
to go with her: to her I owed ultimate allegiance; her 
cause would be my cause, her destiny mine. I thought 
the step a wrong one — it might be fatal; and exerted 
my utmost power to prevent it; but when it was taken, 
even though against my judgment and counsel, I, as a 
good citizen, could but share the common fate, whatever 
it might be. I did, as a patriot, what I thought best 
before secession. I did the same after. Captain Kelly 
had not recollected that part of the speech acknowledging 
my ultimate allegiance as due to the State of Georgia, 


The whole conversation was quite friendly. He mani- 
fested a good deal of personal regard for me. 

About four, the Clyde put out to sea. Before leaving, 
Mrs. Davis addressed a note to General Saxton, who 
has charge of colonization in South Carolina, consigning 
to him tiie little mulatto boy she had with her. The 
parting of the boy with the family was quite a scene. 
He was about seven years old, and little Jeff's play- 
fellow; they were always together; it was **Jeff'' and 
"Jimmy'' between them. When Jeff knew that Jimmy 
was to be left behind, he wailed, and so did Jimmy. 
Maggie cried and Billy cried, and the coloured woman 
(Ellen) cried. Mrs. Davis said the boy's mother had 
been dead a number of years and Ellen had been a mother 
to him. As the boat taking Jimmy moved off, he 
screamed. He had to be held to prevent his jumping 
overboard. He tried his best to get away from those 
holding him. At this, Jeff and Maggie and Billy screamed 
almost as loudly as Jimmy. Ellen wept aloud. Mrs. 
Davis shed tears. Mrs. Clay threw Jimmy some money 
but this had no effect. Some one on the deck of his boat 
picked it up and handed it to him; he paid no attention 
to it but kept on scuffing to get loose; he was wailing 
as long as he could be heard or seen by us. 

The sloop-of-war, Tuscarora, a steam propeller, put 
to sea soon after we left. We understood from Colonel 
Pritchard that she is bound to Fortress Monroe. The 
Clyde is long and narrow, and rolls very much. The 
purser, Mr. Moore, the captain's son, expressed some 
kind personal regard for me this evening; told me he 
was from Philadelphia; gave me a copy of Harper^ s 
Weekly: and said if I had any little thing that I could 
spare to give him as a memento, he would feel very much 


obliged. I was puzzled to think of anything I had that 
would answer his purpose. I chanced to have in my 
pocket a chess-piece of a set that was very prettily made. 
It was a bishop. I took it out, and asked him how that 
would do. He seemed highly pleased, and I was grati- 
fied that I was able to comply with his wishes. 

There was some misunderstanding about dinner. 
Nothing was said about it until we had left Hilton Head. 
It was getting late and several of our party expressed 
themselves as being hungry. I inquired about it of the 
steward, a coloured man from Washington City, who 
knew me. He said the captain had no provisions for 
us; our rations were on board but no arrangements had 
been made between Colonel Pritchard and the captain 
about cooking them. I gave him twenty-five cents in 
silver and told him to bring me some bread. This, 
with water, made my meal; I ate in the cabin below. 
The engineer, who in passing saw me, brought me some 
whisky. I knew from his manner and from what he 
said that, personally, he is a friend to me. I told the 
steward, Lucas, to give Anthony and Henry their din- 
ners, and I would pay. 

Near night, a message came to me that dinner was 
ready. I went up on deck where I found a table set 
between two staterooms with several of our party, as 
many as could get at it, seated. It was a very good din- 
ner. A remark by Mrs. Davis caused me to inquire 
about it afterward. She said we were indebted to her 
for it; she had ordered it. This led me to believe that 
we were each to pay for his meal, or that each ought to 
pay a ratable part. She did not say she had ordered it 
on private account. I inquired of the purser how it was. 
He said the captain, at the request of Mrs. Davis, had 


prepared dinner out of ship's stores and that it was 
furnished at seventy-five cents each. I paid him my 
part, and all the rest did likewise, I believe. Clear, 
beautiful night, but the vessel rolls very much. 

May 17. — Did not sleep much; not seasick, yet 
with symptoms strongly marked. This morning I told 
Anthony to come into the cabin with me. He was sick, 
seemingly almost unto death. I directed him to lie 
down, and remained with him. It seemed to do him 
good to have some one with him. He said Henry was 
forward and not sick much. Gave the steward fifty 
cents for breakfast, which I took myself in the cabin. 
Anthony could eat nothing. Saw Henry on deck. He 
seemed to be doing pretty well. Found General Wheeler 
on deck where he had spent the night; he was very 
seasick. Few of the party were out. Reagan had taken 
a berth in the lower cabin with me. He kept it closely. 
Mr. Clay was on deck; the sea never affects him, he 
told me. Mr. Davis was out. Did not seem to be much 
sick. He and Mr. Clay came into the lower cabin during 
the day, not together but separately. I had a long and 
friendly talk with each. Breakfast was served for the 
party at nine. I heard that a few were at table. The 
purser, during the morning, stripped bedclothes from all 
berths but mine in the cabin below. He indignantly 
said the occupants had gone to bed with their boots on. 
Reagan told me this was not the case with him. How 
it was with the others, I do not know. I had taken oflF 
my shoes but no other part of my clothing. The purser 
told me about one o'clock that Colonel Pritchard had 
arranged for our meals hereafter, and that they would 
be furnished without pay. About two dinner was 


announced. Mr. Davis, Mrs. Davis, Mr. Reagan, and 
myself were present, and some others. It was a good 
dinner for those who had appetites; I had none. The 
Tuscarora all day near us, sometimes in the rear, some- 
times on the side, sometimes ahead. She spoke to our 
ship during the evening, giving the position at noon. 
Anthony continued very sick ; I felt truly sorry for him. 

May 18. — Passed Cape Hatteras, the pilot told 
me, about one. Paid steward for cup of coffee and dry 
toast, which I took early. Anthony still very sick. Gave 
him some coffee and toast. He seemed to relish it but 
soon threw it up. Henry about on deck, not sick at all. 
(Jeneral Wheeler still on deck, quite seasick. Lubbock 
keeps close in his stateroom. So does Mrs. Clay. I 
called to see her with Mr. Clay. She seems to suffer 
severely. But no one seems so sick as Anthony. He 
can neither walk nor stand. Still in the cabin with me, 
where I can be with him. 

Dinner; present: Mr. Davis, Mr. Clay, Mr. Reagan 
and myself, with others. Mr. Davis's children, Jeff, 
Maggie, and Billy, do not appear to be seasick at all. 
Both nurses are ill. Mrs. Davis takes charge of the 
infant, relieved by Mr. Davis, Mr. Howell, her brother, 
and others. Jeff lost his hat somehow; it fell over- 
board ; he wears General Wheeler's, as the General keeps 
stretched on deck in the shade and has no use for it. 
Grows cloudy toward night. Some entertain serious 
apprehensions that the Clyde could not weather a storm. 
She is too high and has too much exposure with her line 
of staterooms on deck. 

Tea at seven. Present: same as at dinner. Mr. 
Davis sits at the head of the table. All wait until he and 


Mrs. Davis are seated. He bows his head and asks a 
blessing, but not audibly. All wait until this is over; 
then the steward helps those seated, always beginning 
with Mr. Davis. About eight p. m. the Tuscarora came 
alongside and spoke to us, told the pilot our position and 
that we would enter Hampton Roads in the morning; 
to go about five knots an hour, no more. 

Hampton Roads, May 19. — On rising, was told by 
Lucas, that we were in sight of land. Cape Charles 
Lighthouse was quite visible when I went on deck. 
Breakfast for the party at nine. Mr. Davis looked quite 
well. Mrs. Davis well. Mrs. Clay now up. Governor 
Lubbock at the table. General Wheeler also. All the sick 
seem recovering except Miss Howell, whose illness is 
said to be more than seasickness. Anthony revives, 
walks out, gets his breakfast and seems all right again. 

Pilot boat meets us. We are asked where we wish 
to pilot to. "To Washington" is the reply. A pilot 
comes aboard. The Tuscarora leads fhe way. Arrive 
at Hampton Roads. Colonel Pritchard goes to Fortress 
Monroe. Returns and says we must await orders from 
Washington. I had asked him to inquire if I might be 
permitted to telegraph or write home. He could bring 
no information on that point. We anchored in the 
harbour. Tuscarora, close by, anchored also. We see 
near us the iron steamer, Atlanta, captured at Savannah. 
Dinner at usual hour. All hands at table except Miss 
Howell, and all with good appetites except myself. My 
throat still sore, but much better than when I left Hilton 
Head; I had no cough last night. Sent for New York 
papers by the purser, who went ashore. He brought 
the Richmond Enquirer; said he could get no other paper. 


All anxious to know our destination; all desire to go to 

May 20. — Still at anchor in the Roads. Colonel 
Pritchard tells us that a telegram last night informed 
him that General Halleck will be at the Fort at noon, 
and give him further orders. The day is dull; nothing 
to enliven it but the passing of steamboats and small 
sails. A British man-of-war and a French corvette 
lie near. 

Called Henry into the cabin. Told him he would go 
from here to Richmond; sent my remembrance to his 
mother and Travis,* gave him $10 and told him to be a 
good, industrious, honest and upright boy; not to gamble 
and never to bet. He promised to comply with my 
injunctions. Told him to tell Travis to come to see me 
if I should be sent to Washington. I told him Anthony 
would go with me for the present, if permitted. 

8 p. M. — Colonel Pritchard came to the cabin and 
told Judge Reagan and myself that some officers in the 
captain's room wished to see us there. We foimd Cap- 
tain Frailey of the Tuscarora and Captain Parker of 
another war steamer. Captain Frailey received us 
courteously and told us he had orders to take Reagan 
and myself aboard the Tuscarora next day at ten ; he had 
come to give notice that we might be prepared. "What 
place is our destination, Captain?" I asked. "Boston," 
he replied. I knew then that Fort Warren was to be 
my place of imprisonment. I told him I feared the 
climate would be too cool and damp for me; I should 
greatly have preferred Washington if the authorities 
had so decided. I asked him how about Anthony's 

* A negro servant, probably Henry's farodur. 


going with me. Told him the facts relating to Anthony. 
He could give no information but said he would inquire 
and let me know before ten in the morning. Before 
we left the captain's oflSce, General Wheeler entered with 
his party. His conference was with Captain Parker. 
Captain Parker was to take them in his steamer to 
Fort Delaware. Reagan and I left Wheeler in the oflSce. 
I sent for Captain Moody, now a fellow prisoner with 
Mr. Davis, and who had been a prisoner at Fort Warren, 
to learn something of regulations there. He spoke in 
favourable terms of them; said he had been in several 
prisons and had been better treated at Fort Warren than 
anywhere else. Being relieved of the suspense we had 
been in for several days, Reagan and I went to our berths 
at an early hour. I slept little. Thought of home, 
sweet home. Saw plainly that I was not to be permitted 
to communicate with any one there; this was the most 
crushing thought. Death, I felt, I could meet with 
resignation, if such was to be my fate, might I but com- 
municate with Linton and other loved ones while life 
should last. 

Sunday. — Rose early. Took a towel bath, changed 
underclothes. Anthony rubbed me down for the last 
time. I told him I should leave him. Gave him five 
dollars and the same advice and instructions I had given 
Henry. I added that I was going to Fort Warren. Told 
him to ask Mr. BaskerviUe to write this to Linton at 
Sparta and to John A. Stephens and George F. Bristow 
at Crawfordville, hoping that some one of them, if not 
all, might get the letters. Colonel Pritchard told me 
that all the coloured servants who should be left at this 
place, he would send to Richmond without charge. 


This I told Anthony, and bade him take care of his 
money, he might need it. I gave him my leather trunk 
that he had brought his clothes in. 

Saw Mrs. Clay and requested her to write Linton and 
Mrs. Dudley M. DuBose* my destination and present 
condition. We do not know what is to be done with 
Mr. Clay, or where he is to be sent. After that shall 
be made known, it is Mrs. Clay's intention to go North 
if allowed; that is, if her husband shall be confined in 
prison. Yesterday we got New York papers. Saw 
the progress of the trial of the assassins. Mr. Clay 
expressed to me the fullest confidence that nothing could 
be brought out against him in such a crime; he spoke 
of the assassination in strongest terms of regret; said 
how deeply he deplored it; repeated his exclamation 
to that effect when he first heard the news. We had 
a long talk this morning. 

General Wheeler and those who went with him left 
at six A. M. I was up and took my leave of them. The 
parting all around was sad. At ten Captain Frailey 
came up in a tug, and boarded the Clyde. Reagan and 
I were ready. We took leave of all. Anthony and 
Henry looked very sad. Anthony stood by me to the 
last. Mrs. Davis asked Captain Frailey if Anthony 
might not go with me. He said he had inquired of the 
officer commanding the fleet and had been informed that 
his orders related to only two persons. This closed the 
matter just as I had anticipated. I bade Anthony good- 
bye the last one. Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. 
Clay, and Mr. Harrison, I had taken leave of. 

On my taking leave of Mr. Davis, he seemed more 
affected than I had ever seen him. He said nothing but 

* General Toombs's daughter, wife of General DuBoae, pciaoner at Fort Wacxen. 


good-bye, and gave my hand a cordial squeeze; his tone 
evinced deep feeling and emotion. With assistance, I 
descended the rope-ladder to the tug's deck. All baggage 
being on, oflF we steamed to the Tuscarora. We stopped 
a short distance from her and took her lifeboat, as the 
tug could not well go alongside of her where the steps 
were let down for us to ascend by. The tide was nmning 
in fast, so that by the time we were in the oarboat and 
ready for the oarsmen, we had drifted farther from 
the Tuscarora than we were when we left the Clyde. 
The tide was coming right ahead of us at about six 
miles an hour and it was all that the stout seamen with 
their oars could do to make any head against it. Captain 
Frailey called twice, "Send the tug!" but he was not 
heard on the Tuscarora. After a long while we reached 
the ship, but not without some wetting from splashing 
of waves over the sides of the lifeboat. Right glad was 
I when we reached the steps on the ship's side. 

On the Tuscarora. — On deck, we were introduced 
to several officers, Lieut. Blue, Purser Painter, and others. 
The captain showed us our quarters; we were to be in 
the cabin with him. There was but one berth or state- 
room in it. This, he said, he would assign to me, and he 
and Reagan would sleep on the circular sofa which 
ran around the cabin. I declined depriving him of his 
room and bed. He said it was no deprivation, that 
he generally slept on the sofa or in a chair; that he resigned 
it to me '4n consideration of my age and past services 
to the country." These were his words. He was very 
polite and courteous. 

When boarding the Clyde that morning, he had brought 
some strawberries to Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Clay, and Mrs. 


Davis's children. He said he had known Mrs. Davis 
and Mrs. Clay before. The morning we entered Hamp- 
ton Roads, he had come aboard to give orders to Colonel 
Pritchard. I did not see him then, but Mrs. Clay told 
me he had inquired for her; was very courteous to her, 
etc., and asked if there was any little delicacy he had 
that she needed, such as preserved or canned vegetables, 
etc. If so, he would take pleasure in sending her some. 
She declined; so the strawberries, I suppose, he thought 
would be acceptable. He had gotten them at Norfolk 
that morning. 

About eleven, anchor was weighed, and we were oflF. 
Our fellow prisoners on the Clyde stood on deck watch- 
ing us. When we were fairly under way, we saw a white 
handkerchief waved toward us. This I felt was by 
Mrs. Clay, though we were too far off to see distinctly. 
Reagan and I waved handkerchiefs in return; thus bid- 
ding final adieu to them all, I went into the cabin below. 
Soon out of sight of land, with a clear sky over us, and 
nothing but the deep blue sea around. 

Took lunch with Captain Frailey : strawberries, cheese, 
etc. He lives to himself; the other officers mess to them- 
selves. Dinner at three; soup, fish, roast beef, aspara- 
gus, etc. Tea at eight. 

May 22. — Last night I undressed and went to bed, 

as was my custom at home, for the first time since the 

night of the loth, when I occupied my own bed for the 

last time. Slept sweetly and soundly. Breakfasted at 

eight; better appetite than for a week or more. Took 

a smoke in a room on upper deck. Met Lieut. Blue, 

Mr. Griffin, Mr. Painter, Mr. Mallard, officers of the 

ship and others. Spent a pleasant time in conversation 



with them. The captain joined us. The day passed 
oflF pleasantly. Lunch, dinner and tea as yesterday. 

May 23. — This morning thick fog. Captain made 
for Block Island to get a pilot. A signal gun was fired. 
Pilot came and took us to Newport. Reached there 
about twelve, and anchored in the harbour. The sun 
shone out. Lieut. Blue went ashore. Sent us papers. 
Captain's son, in the naval school, came aboard and 
spent some time with his father. I passed the day, as 
yesterday, in the cabin and in the smoking-room above 
with oflScers. All courteous and agreeable. 

May 24. — Mr. Griffin knew Judge Hillyer, * of 
Georgia, and spoke kindly of him. 

We left Newport early this morning for Boston, with 
new pilot to take us through the sound, leaving Martha's 
Vineyard and Nantucket to the right. Lieut. Blue 
told me that he met a lady, relative of Governor Law- 
rence of Rhode Island, last evening, who expressed 
sentiments of personal kindness toward me. For this 
I felt profoundly grateful. It is a consolation to know 
and feel, as I do, that thousands in all sections of the 
earth sympathize with me, personally at least. We 
reached Boston Harbour at eleven p. m. and anchored 
just below Fort Warren. 

* Junius Hillyer, fanner CoogreiBinan and Solicitor U. S. TVeasmy. 


FORT WARREN, May 25.— I rose early. Saw Bos- 
ton in the distance; Fort Warren just ahead. We 
took our last breakfast with Captain Frailey. He 
informed us that General Dix was at the Fort and would 
come aboard to receive us at ten. The gunners got ready 
to fire a salute in the General's honour. Ten came. 
General Dix sent two oflScers, Colonel McMahon of his 
staff, to represent him, and Lieut. Ray, adjutant of the 
Post. They said they would take me first. A tug was 
brought alongside. Our steward, a Frenchman, and 
Isaac, the coloured cook who had attended to me well, had 
my baggage ready. I paid them for their attentions. I bade 
Judge Reagan good-bye in the cabin. Took my leave of all 
the boat's officers except the Captain, who accompanied 
the fort officers and myself. I expected we would go to 
General Dix, but was disappointed. Lieutenant Wood- 
man, of the Fort, met us at the landing. To him I was 
turned over. Captain Frailey was with the officers who 
had brought me: before I was aware of it, we were 
separated, and I did not see him again; this I deeply 
regretted, inasmuch as I wished to say farewell and 
express again my sense of obligation for his many acts 
of kindness. Lieutenant Woodman brought me immedi- 
ately inside the Fort; after going through the sally port 
and descending some steps, he stopped at the first room 
to the left, saying, ''This is your room," or ''These are 
your quarters," I forget which. I asked if I could not. 



see Captain Frailey again. I asked if I could not see 
General Dix ; I wished very much to see him about send- 
ing word to Linton and about my diet and conditions 
of prison life. He said "No," and left. 

I surveyed the room. A coal fire was burning; a table 
and chair were in the centre; a narrow, iron, bunk-like 
bedstead with mattress and covering was in a comer. 
The floor was stone — large square blocks. The door 
was locked. For the first time in my life I had the full 
realization of being a prisoner. I was alone. 

Not long after I saw Lieutenant Woodman with 
Judge Reagan pass my windows (there are two fronting 
southeast). They went farther front to the left on the 
same level which is one story below ground-level in 
front. In half an hour, Lieut. Woodman returned, 
unlocked the door, and had my trunk and other baggage 
brought in. He said it was necessary to examine it. I 
opened the trunk, showed all that was in it; amongst 
other things the bottle of ale Duncan gave me, and the 
bottle of whisky Harry put up for me. He said whisky 
was prohibited. I told him I used it only as medicine; 
it was necessary sometimes; he said nothing further 
on that point. He asked if I had any funds. I told 
him I had. He said it was necessary for him to deposit 
them with an officer of the Fort, who would receipt and 
account to me. I counted out to him $560 in gold — 
all I had left. During the evening, he brought me a 
receipt from Lieut. Wm. Ray. He told me I would be 
permitted to walk out with an officer one hour every 
day; when I wanted anything, I could call to the guard 
at the window and ask for the orderly, who would attend 
to my needs ; if I wished to communicate with my friends 
or other persons, I would have to do so by letter through 


General Dix at New York. I asked for water, which 
was brought in a pitcher. I walked the room until 
three, when dinner came: ten ounces of fresh beef, 
cooked I don't know how, and sixteen ounces of 
baker's bread, in a basin or pan of metal something 
like tin or pewter; an old knife and fork came with it. 
I ate little. 

Called for orderly. He sent me a corporal, whose 
name is Geary. Asked Geary to request Lieut. Wood- 
man to come to see me. The Lieutenant came. I 
inquired if I might have a bowl or basin and a wash- 
stand; if these could not be furnished, might I supply 
them out of my funds? He said he would send in a 
washstand and basin; I might buy any other little things 
I might desire from the sutler. I made out a bill of 
articles, gave them to the corporal, and requested him 
to order for me the Herald^ Times ^ and Tribune^ of New 
York, and Journal^ of Boston. The papers he soon 
brought. In the Boston Herald^ which he also handed 
me, I saw an account of a conversation with me at Hilton 
Head by some reporter, who states that I said my reason 
for going for secession was disinclination to clash 
with Toombs. I gave no such reason. I went with 
my State after she resumed the full exercise of her sov- 
ereign powers in her Ordinance of Secession (which 
I had opposed with all my power and had voted against) 
because I considered my ultimate allegiance due her. 
To have further or longer opposed her, I should have 
been amenable to her laws as a traitor. But I had no 
inclination to disobey her mandate. Toombs, for whom 
I ever had a warm regard, and I had frequently clashed 
on many grave questions. We had clashed upon the 
candidacy of Douglas; and pointedly upon this very 


question of secession. I could afford, and had afforded, 
to clash with him but not with the State of Georgia. 

May 26. — Suffered intensely last night in feeling. 
I see a statement in a Boston paper about my saying, 
on my way to Fortress Monroe, that I would have gone 
to Washington to be hung on notification from author- 
ities there, etc. This is a mistake; I said, as I had said 
to General Upton, that there was no necessity to send 
an armed force for my arrest; on notice or request, I 
should have gone to Washington without arrest or guard, 
though I might have been certain that hanging would 
follow; I had no inclination to avoid a full and speedy 
investigation of my whole conduct, or to evade the result, 
whatever it might be; I had no disposition to make or 
attempt an escape, and should not, let my fate be what 
it might. This is the substance of what I have said on 
this subject on all occasions. May the great God above 
enable m. to make it good! Oh, my brother! my brother! 
and dear ones at home! would to that same great God 
I could know how you are, and that you, Linton, are 
well again! My greatest suffering and agony of soul, 
which are almost more than I can bear, are mainly on 
your account. Wrote letters to General Dix, and to 
Dick Johnston, Sparta, Ga., of which the following 
are copies: 

Major-general John A. Dix: I desired exceedingly 
to have a personal interview with you yesterday while 
you were here. As that could not be, I now address you 
this note. I wish you to have forwarded, if you please, 
the enclosed letter. Its object is simply to inform my 
relatives and friends where and how I am. They, of 


course, are very anxious to know. General Upton was 
of the opinion, when I left him, that this privilege would 
be allowed. They are expecting it. I could make other 
earnest requests as to the nature of my confinement, 
diet, etc., in consideration of my feeble health, etc., but 
I forbear. I will, however, give you the assurance of 
a man of honour, that I would not escape if I could; 
and if proof were needed to establish the sincerity of this 
declaration, I have but to refer to the facts attending 
my capture and my well-known position in regard to 
it long before. All I desire is such comforts as are con- 
sistent with imprisonment and necessary to my health. 
So much for myself. As for my country, I will add that 
my constant desire is for its speedy pacification and well- 
being. My whole efforts, were I permitted to make 
them, would be devoted to that object. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Prof. R. M. Johnston, 

My Dear Sir: I am here in about the same state of 
health as when you last saw me. The sea voyage I stood 
better than I expected. Please let this be made known 
to my dear relatives and friends. All communications 
they have with me, if any are allowed, must be through 
Major-General John A. Dix, of New York City. I am 
exceedingly anxious to hear from them. Tell Mr. Myers 
to see to it, for my sake, that none of them at home suffer 
for food. My kindest regards attend you and yours. 
My tenderest love to Linton and the little ones. 

Yours truly, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

These letters I handed Lieutenant Woodman, requesting 
that they be forwarded. I sincerely wish they may, 
but I am in doubt. I have been more overcome with 
mental torture to-day than for many years ; more heavily 


weighted down than since the death of my father. That 
blow left pangs that can never be forgotten; so did the 
death of my dear brother in 1843. 

Six p. M. — My letter to Johnston returned. Lieut. 
Woodman says Major H. A. Allen, 2nd U. S. Artillery, 
who commands this Post, has forwarded to General 
Dix the letter addressed to him, but from previous orders 
did not feel at liberty to forward its enclosure. I do 
still hope that General Dix will allow it to be sent. 

May 27. — Took short walk out this morning with 
Lieut. Woodman. Rain drove me in. Greatly depressed 
about home and the dear ones there, though I have not 
suffered such agony as yesterday. Gave an order on 
Lieut. Ray in payment for certain articles which have 
been brought me. These, with prices are as follows: 

I lb. coffee, 80 cts; teaspoon, 37 cts; condensed milk, 
75 cts; I lb. B. sugar, 25 cts; i lb. W. sugar, 30 cts; 
I lb. B. tea, $2; matches, 4 cts; scissors, $1; pitcher, 
75 cts; mirror, 50 cts ; candlestick, 37 cts; blankbook, $2; 
vial ink, 15 cts; steel pens, 15 cts; lead pencil, 20 cts; 
spittoon, 75 cts; i pk. Irish potatoes, 50 cts; cup and 
saucer, 50 cts; box for potatoes, 25 cts; coffee-pot, $2; 
washstand, $2; i lb. candles, 60 cts; in all, $16.23. The 
sutler's name is A. J. Hall. 

Have been looking over a catalogue of books in the 
Post library, which prisoners may use. Lieut. Woodman 
was kind enough to get it for me. He left to-day for 
Boston, turning me over to Lieut. Croak in his absence; 
will be gone until Monday. I inquired of him this 
morning if Mr. Reagan was well. He replied in the 
affirmative. I asked if Mr. Reagan was able to be up. 


He said, ''Yes." I said nothing more about Mr. Reagan. 
Before I got the catalogue, I had ordered from the sutler, 
Greeley's "American Conflict," Prescott's "Ferdinand 
and Isabella" and "Conquest of Mexico," and Savage's 
"Representative Men." After seeing that Prescott's 
histories are in the library, I countermanded the order 
for his works. 

I see in the evening Boston Journal that Mr. Davis 
has been put in irons at Fortress Monroe. This I deeply 
grieve to learn. Most profoundly do I sympathize with 
him in his present condition. Widely as I differed 
from him on public policy before and after secession, 
ruinous to our cause as I have thought his aims and 
objects, much as I attribute the condition of our country 
to his errors, yet I do now most deeply pity him and com- 
miserate his condition. Got from sutler, Greeley's 
"American Conflict." Read it till time to put out lights, 

Sunday — The horrors of imprisonment, close con- 
finement, no one to see or to talk to, with the reflection 
of being cut off for I know not how long — perhaps for- 
ever — from communication with dear ones at home, 
are beyond description. Words utterly fail to express 
the soul's anguish. This day I wept bitterly. Nerves 
and spirit utterly forsook me. O God, if it be possible, 
let this cup pass from me ! Yet Thy will be done. 

Walked out; a northeaster blowing, with mists of rain; 
felt weak and sick; returned in ten minutes, Lieut. 
Croak with me. Sent for the surgeon. Dr. Seavems. 
Was too full to talk much with him without bursting 
into tears. He allowed me to have a bottle of ale, which 
I requested. My affliction, I know, is more of mind 


than body. Thoughts of home, my brother, and all 
the dear ones there, black and white, almost kills, almost 
crazes me. 

May 29. — Cloudy and misty. Walked out at nine 
with Lieut. Croak. Spent my time afterward the best 
way I could; mostly in transcribing previous notes to 
these pages. Got the papers. Lieut. Woodman returned. 
Was quite glad to see him. No reply yet from General 

May 30. — Took a towel bath this morning, changed 
underclothes. Washing put out the day I came was 
returned Sunday morning. Had an interview with Lieut. 
Woodman. Asked if General H. R. Jackson and Gen- 
eral DuBose were here yet. He said they were. Asked 
if they were well. He said they were. Asked about 
Judge Reagan. He said Reagan was well. 

P. M. — Lieut. W. read a reply to me from General Dix. 
It was in substance that General Dix would have seen 
me on my arrival here had he known such was my desire ; 
that I would be permitted to purchase such articles of 
diet as I might wish, under some general regulations 
previously made and referred to. What these are I 
don't know. I wtote General Dix again : 

Dear Sir: Will you be pleased to make known to 
the President or the Secretary of War my earnest desire 
and request that I be allowed to communicate by letter 
with friends at home ? It is a matter of very great import- 
ance to quite a number of persons who are dependent 
upon me, that I should. This is apart from their desire 
and expectation barely to hear where and how I am. 
I left a brother's widow with a large family, all depend- 


ent on me for subsistence, with supplies on hand for but 
a short time. I had made arrangements for providing 
more, of which they know nothing. I wish to give them 
this information. I have but one brother living. He 
was quite ill when I left. I wish, earnestly wish, to hear 
from him, and to let him know how I am. What I request 
of the President is that privilege of conmiunicating with 
these friends, through the War Department, upon these 
matters exclusively private, may be extended to me. 
Besides my deceased brother's children, I am guardian 
for a number of other minors, for whose private interest 
it is important that I should be permitted to write to some 
one in their behalf. I repeat my assurance, as a man 
of honour, that under no circumstances should this privi- 
lege be abused ; but, indeed, it could not be, as all letters 
from and to me would pass your inspection or that of 
the War Department, as may be thought proper. I 
would be greatly obliged to you if you would submit 
this letter to the President or Secretary of War, and let 
me know as early as possible through Major Allen whether 
this request is granted or not. So much for myself. 
As for my country, I repeat what I said before: "My 
earnest desire is for its speedy pacification and well- 
being. My whole efforts, were I permitted to make 
them, would be directed to that object." I have just 
had read to me the reply made to my former conmiuni- 
cation, for which I feel truly obliged. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

This morning I saw the President's Proclamation of 
Amnesty, of 29th May. My brother is justly entitled 
to its benefits, though he was in the war for a short time 
as Lieut.-Colonel of the 15th Ga. Regt., and was later 
in the militia. He was opposed to secession, and 
voted with me against it. Like me, he felt it his duty 
after the Ordinance was passed, to go with his State, 


but his leading object at all times was merely to vindi- 
cate the principles of State Sovereignty. He was, as 
his course in the Legislature shows, for peace upon the 
American principles of 1776, leaving the future relations 
of the States to be regulated by themselves. The Peace 
Resolutions of the Georgia Legislature were drawn up 
by him. He was utterly opposed, as I was, to the leading 
ideas and policy of the authorities at Richmond in the 
conduct and object of the war. So far as concerns 
slavery in the proclamation, I don't think that individu- 
ally, or so far as relates to his private interest, he would 
care a straw for that. I know I do not. I own, or have 
bought, a number of Negroes; some have been bom on 
my premises; in all, those who by our laws have been 
my slaves, I believe, are about thirty-five; I have spent 
for them and their comfort at least $20,000 of my own 
earnings, perhaps more. I am perfectly willing that 
they shall be free. I feel assured that Linton feels as 
I do. Whether he will apply for a special anmesty or 
not, I do not know, or whether he need ask amnesty 
under the present proclamation. I am greatly distressed 
on his account, more than on my own. 

May 31. — Was threatened with nephritic calculi^ 
or feared, from symptoms, one of those terrible attacks. 
Informed Lieut. W. and asked that the orderly might 
be in hearing should I call out in the night. What I 
should have done in this cell with a severe attack of this 
most painful affliction, I do not know. But I got relief 
before midnight; Lieut. W. came at eleven, very kindly, 
to inquire how I was getting along. I was then com- 
fortable. Was out this morning with him, rested under 
the shed for the band. We passed the drill of the Bat- 


talion, ist Mass. Artillery. He told me that he belonged 
to Company A of the Battalion. Saw, in the New York 
Herald^ Mr. Toombs's letter of 24th March; also Car- 
penter's version of President Lincoln's pig anecdote at 
the Conference in Hampton Roads. It is incorrect. 
The mistake arises, I doubt not, in Mr. Carpenter's recol- 
lection. The anecdote was not in reply to anything I 
had said, but to Mr. Hunter's remarks concerning effects 
on the coloured race of general and immediate emanci- 
pation, and the destitute condition that would ensue 
to a large number of its women and children who would 
be unable to provide subsistence for themselves. In reply 
to this the President, in a good-humoured, jocose style, 
told the story, the substance of which Mr. Carpenter 
gives. Mr. Lincoln's conclusion was simply, "Let 'em 
root!" the reply of the farmer. To this I said, "That, 
Mr. President, must be the origin of the adage, 'Root, 
pig, or perish.' " I did not think then, nor do I now, that 
the moral of the story, in its application was very good 
or humane. Still it amounted to only this: that in 
Mr. Lincoln's opinion there would be no difficulty in 
that class of people's taking care of themselves. 

Had hot rolls, cup of coffee, fried ham and an egg 
from sutler for breakfast. Geary told me there were ro 
rations in the cook's room but bread ; and I ordered of 
sutler, who did not send the biU. What I am to pay, I 
do not know. I requested Geary to go for the bill and 
I expected it. Whether I shall indulge in such luxuries 
will depend somewhat on the cost. I have eaten but 
little here; the camp ration does not suit me. Sutler, 
several days ago, sent Prescott's histories, six volumes, 
saying they were bought before my order countermand- 
ing purchase was received. To my request to return 


them he sent word that he could not. How much of my 
money will be lost by this purchase, I do not know. 
Greeley's "American Conflict," which I received with 
the other books, I find interesting. In the main, Greeley 
has put the issues preceding the conflict as fairly as could 
any Northern writer of this generation. Wherein I 
differ from him, and essentially, it is not now my purpose 
to state. I wish, if my life is spared and my health per- 
mits, to leave a memorial on the subject of this war and 
these troubles.* 

Five p. M. — Spent the day reading, and in walking 
my room or cell, whichever it may be called. It is, esti- 
mated by steps, about 24 by 1 8 feet. It is a consolation 
to realize that, hard as is my confinement, it might be 
a great deal worse. How much better is my condition 
than was that of Lafayette at Olmutz; yet he stood it 
for five years. My case and his seem dissimilar only 
in the less rigorous severity of my situation. He seemed 
a creature of destiny, victim of the policy of others. In 
all he did, he aimed only at the advancement and security 
of constitutional liberty for his country. This has been 
my sole object. His counsels were not heeded. From 
the most patriotic motives, he suffered himself to be 
put in a position which swept him into a vortex, beyond 
his powers of resistance, escape, or control. So with me. 

How much better is my condition than was his! I 
have a large, airy room; plenty of Heaven's precious 
light ; a comfortable bunk with shuck mattress, on which, 
with my blankets, I get along with tolerable comfort; 
pure water, though not cool ; and enough food, if it were 
only suited to my habits and state of health. I am per- 
mitted to purchase what suits if I possess the means, 

• He left it in his ** War Between the States." 


I have the privilege of seeing daily papers and reading 
books. What abundant cause for consolation! How 
much more miserable and horrible might not my con- 
dition be! It is true I suffer intensely; my anguish is 
unutterable. This arises from no self-accusation, no 
apprehension of the future, nor fear of death. I feel as 
if I can meet death, if such fate as a punishment awaits 
me, with as much calmness as did Seneca or Socrates. 
My suffering springs from confinement and from being 
cut off from all communication with home and its dear 
ones. No mortal ever had stronger attachments for his 
home than I for mine. That old homestead and that 
quiet lot, Liberty Hall, in Crawfordville, sterile and 
desolate as they may seem to others, are bound to me by 
associations tender as heartstrings and strong as hooks 
of steel ; there I wish to live and there to die. 

Am anxious to hear from General Dix. The papers 
say General Howell Cobb has been arrested. I regret 
to see Bates's testimony before the Military Court at 
Washington. I can not believe it true; but this state- 
ment of what Mr. Davis said in Charlotte, N. C, on 
receipt of the telegram informing him of Mr. Lincoln's 
assassination and of what he said to General Breckin- 
ridge * on the same subject will, I fear, whether true or 
false, make a very unfavourable impression against him. 
While it in no way connects him with the affairs, yet it 
will make the impression upon the popular mind that 
one who could utter such sentiments possesses a bad heart ; 
and this will lessen that s)mipathy which his condition 
naturally inspires. For the honour of my beloved South, 
I do trust that no such foul stigma shall ever rest on her 

* Sec Mr. Davis's own statement in his ** Rise and Fall of the Confederate Govemment,** 11, 
683. For statement of courier who handed him the telegram, see Avary's " Dixie After the War/' 
84. The false testimony, to which Stephens refers, represents Davis as expressing gratification. 


escutcheon as even an approbation or countenance of 
that deed by one holding high position in her councils 
and in the trust of her people, would, by the common 
consent of civilized nations, place there. Whatever be 
our fate, whatever else we may lose, rights, property, 
even life, I wish our honour and that of our rulers pre- 
served untarnished. In the worst possible contingency, 
let us be able to say, as Louis did at Pa via, "We have 
lost all but honour." I see that Mr. Davis is about to 
be carried to Washington for trial. I am glad of this. 
Hope he will have a speedy and a fair trial. My earnest 
wish in regard to myself is a speedy settling of my fate, 
whatever it may be. 


THURSDAY, June i. — Dreamed of home last 
night. O Dreams! Visions! Shadows of the 
brain ! What are you ? My whole consciousness, 
since I heard of President Lincoln's assassination, seems 
nothing but a horrid dream. 

It is a week since I entered these walls; three weeks 
since I was arrested at my home; and just four, I think, 
since all of the Stephens blood and name in Georgia, 
accidently, or providentially rather, met at the old home- 
stead. That was a remarkable meeting. Linton and 
his three children were on a visit to me. We went down 
to the homestead; there, the widow of my brother, John 
L., and her family reside. Her three sons, John A., 
Linton Andrew, and William Grier, had just returned 
from the army. John had just got home from Johnson's 
Island where he had been a prisoner a long time; had 
been captured at Port Hudson in 1863. Mr. Lincoln, 
at my request, had granted him a special parole, for which 
I was truly obliged; this parole he had promised me at 
Hampton Roads, and had complied with his promise. 
He had written me a letter by John which I never saw 
until after his assassination. I almost wept over the 
letter when I saw it. He had sent to Johnson's Island 
for John. Had a personal interview with him [in Wash- 
ington], treated him very kindly, spoke in kindly terms 
of his former acquaintance with me, all the particulars 
of which John gave me in detail. He let John remain 



in Washington as long as he chose, which was five days, 
I believe. 

Linton A. had just gotten home from the army in 
North Carolina; William G., wounded in the leg, had 
been home some days from the same army. James 
Clarence, 15 years old, was at home; he had never been 
in the army. Mary Reid, their sister, with her little 
son, Leidy Stephens Reid, who lived with Sister Eliza- 
beth, my brother John's widow, were at home. So all 
of our name and blood in the South were met together. 
All but William walked out to the old burying-ground ; 
we stood by the graves of my father and grandfather. 
The occasion was a solemn one, and the more so that it 
was near the anniversary of my dear father's death and 
the dispersion of his little family circle. Will such a 
meeting ever take place again? I have often reflected 
upon the fact that many of the most important events 
of my life have happened in the early part of May; so 
much so that I have a sort of superstition on the subject. 
On the 12th of May, 181 2, my mother died; on the 7th 
May, 1826, my father, on the 14th, my stepmother, and 
in a few days, the family were dispersed. Now, on the 4th, 
all who were living and their descendants were gathered 
together for the first time after the dispersion, thirty-nine 
years before, on or near the same spot. It seemed 

Rose early. As it is fast day and mourning in memory 
of Mr. Lincoln, I had requested Mr. Geary, the cor- 
poral, to bring me from sutler's nothing but a cup of hot 
coffee and rolls. These he brought at seven. I noticed 
he brought the rolls on an earthen plate. This is an 
improvement in kindness and attention. 

On the 7th of May last, Sunday, and the anniversary 


of my father's death, Harry came into my room about 
day and told me " The Yankees are here." "Where?" 
I asked. "All about in the yard and in the lot," he 
replied. "Well," said I, getting up, "Harry, I expect 
they have come for me, they will probably take me away; 
you may never see me after to-day. I want you to take 
care of my things and to do as I have told you in all 
particulars as far as' you can. Have they asked for me ? 
"No," he replied; "they only said they wanted break- 
fast and com for their horses." "Give them what they 
want," I said, and dressed myself in readiness to leave 
in case I should be arrested. That dress was unchanged 
— pants, coat, and vest — until this morning when I 
put on a thinner suit. But to return to the scenes of that 
Sunday morning. Harry reappeared and told me that 
the officer in command said he wished to see me; that 
I need be under no apprehension of arrest, all he wanted 
was breakfast and feed for his horses; he expressed high 
regard for me personally. I went out and met him in 
the passage. He announced himself as Lieutenant 
White of the 13th Tennessee, of General Stoneman's 
command. We talked in a friendly way until break- 
fast. He and four of his men sat down with me to my 
table. My brother and his family were also present. 

During the day Lieut.-Colonel Stacy, in command of 
the 13th Tenn. Cav. Reg., came into town with a battal- 
ion, and sent his adjutant to say he would be glad to see 
and take tea with me. My response was for him to 
"come, I should be glad to see him." In the evening 
he, his adjutant, and Dr. Cameron, surgeon of the regi- 
ment, called, spent some time and took tea. Conversa- 
tion was agreeable. I invited them to stay all night; 
they declined but accepted my invitation for breakfast. 


They gave me to understand that they were in pursuit 
of Mr. Davis. Monday, after breakfast, they all left by 
the Sparta road. Monday night. Major Dyer with a 
battalion arrived; he left Tuesday morning. 

Tuesday morning my brother and his three children, 
and little Emmie Stevens, daughter of Rev. Carlos W. 
Stevens, of Sparta, left for home. That was my last 
sight of Linton, perhaps forever. Soon after his depar- 
ture, considering it most probable that I should be arrested 
and at an early day, about which we had talked and agreed, 
I went to the homestead to see my servants there; I gave 
them all the information I could regarding the condition 
of public aflFairs and my own situation. I told them they 
were now free, at which I was perfectly contented and 
satisfied; that I might and probably should be taken 
away from them soon and perhaps hung; that I wished 
them, if they saw fit, to remain there and finish the crop. 
I thought this would be best for them; they should have 
half of what was made and be subsisted out of supplies 
on hand ; at the end of the year, if I were in life and per- 
mitted, I would furnish lands to such as wished to remain 
for the future, dividing the plantation into small farms 
or settlements which they could occupy, paying rent. 
I took a parting and affectionate leave of them. That 
is the last time I have seen them all together. 

At home, I called in Harry, my ever true and faithful 
servant on the lot, and made him a bill of sale for the 
mules and buggy horses there. He had deposited with 
me for several years his private earnings; these amounted, 
I think, with interest to $662. I sold him the mules and 
horses, to which he was attached, for the debt; he was 
perfectly willing. They were worth more, but I gave 
him the difference. I gave him general instructions how 


to manage, in event of my arrest, until he should hear 
from me. Subsistence for the summer was the main 
point. My com was scarce, not enough on hand. I 
had some conversation with Mary Reid and John on the 
same subject but not so full as I wished. We were inter- 
rupted by company. The conversation with her, I 
think, was on Wednesday. I staid at home, not wishing 
by absence to seem to be avoiding arrest, which from the 
time I left Richmond, I considered my ultimate fate. 
I felt distressed and pained at the use made and turn 
given by the authorities at Richmond to the report of the 
Commissioners of their conference with President Lin- 
coln and Mr. Seward at Hampton Roads. It seems 
they were controlled by the genii of fatality. ^^Quos 
Deus vult perdere prius dementat^^ seems strongly to 
apply to them. 

At the close of the last sentence, Lieut. W. entered for 
the usual morning walk. We went on the parapet; 
looked at target shooting by a company; rested under 
music-band arbour. He informed me that my room 
had never been occupied by any prisoner except Captain 
Webb of the Atlanta and some of his men; this in reply 
to my question prompted by writings on the wall. 

A favourite maxim in my life has been, "The world 
treats a man very much as he treats it," or, "Whoever 
kicks the world will be apt to be kicked in turn." This 
was given me soon after my majority, by a man of exper- 
ience, while I was chafing under some ill usage. I have 
repeated it to many young persons since. It recurs to 
me often since I have been here, obtruding itself upon 
the mind as Job's comforters pressed their consolations 
on him. The inquiry springs up: "Do you hold to 
your maxim? If so, m.ust you not admit that you have 


acted a very bad part toward the world?" With the 
firmness of Job, I neither make the admission nor repu- 
diate the maxim. 

I do know that my acts toward the whole human 
family have been marked by kindness. In all that I 
have done from the beginnmg of the political troubles 
which have brought me here, I have been governed solely 
by a sense of duty to do the most good to my fellow 
men that I could under the circumstances. Personal 
ambition had no part in an3rthing I have done; nor had 
prejudice toward the people of the North; I never enter- 
tained to them any feeling of unkindness. My earnest 
desire from the first has been that the conflict might end 
in the speediest way possible for the interest and well- 
being of both sections of the country; for their advance- 
ment in prosperity and happiness and for the preservation 
and perpetuation of their Constitutional liberty. This, 
I thought, and still think, could be better effected by 
maintenance of the principles of the ultimate, absolute 
sovereignty of the States, than in any other way. In these 
principles I was reared. They constitute the polestar 
of my political life. I am not prepared to admit that I 
erred in entertaining them, and to govern my conduct 
accordingly, because I suffer as I do. Why I thus 
suffer I do not know, but I feel an internal assurance 
that all will ultimately [be right, let the sequel be as it 

In the Boston Journal I see that Gen. Howell Cobb.was 
permitted to visit his family, while Mr. Mallory [Con- 
federate Secretary of Navy] and Senator Hill (B. H., 
of Georgia, I suppose) had been sent the day before 
to this place of confinement. I am truly glad Cobb has 
been permitted to visit his family. Would to God I 


might be permitted so much as to write and to hear from 
my dear ones at home! I should be exceedingly grati- 
fied to see Mr. Mallory and Mr. Hill when they reach 
here, but take it for granted that this privilege and 
pleasure will be denied. It is announced from Wash- 
ington that though Mr. Davis is about to be removed to 
the barracks there, his trial is not expected to come oflF 
in a month. This I regret. I earnestly wish all trials 
and results quickly over. Particularly do I wish my 
own fate determined. 

It is a matter of perplexity with me whether or not I 
should make special application to President Johnson 
for amnesty. I am willing to comply with the require- 
ments made of others. But how the application might 
be received, I do not know. Should it be considered as 
emanating from a desire to evade the responsibility of 
my acts and to avoid punishment, this would cause me 
mortification and pain. On the other hand, should I 
fail to apply, might it not be regarded as evidence of a 
defiant spirit of protest against the existing state of things 
resulting from the fate of war ? I should regret to be so 
interpreted. I think I shall wait to hear the result of 
my request through General Dix for permission to 
conmiunicate with my relatives and friends. 

Much is said in the papers about "loyalty" and "dis- 
loyalty," "Union men" and "traitors." What is meant 
by "loyalty," as thus commonly used, I do not exactly 
comprehend. No one ever lived with stronger feelings 
of devotion to the Constitution of the United States and 
the Union under it than myself. I regarded it as embody- 
ing the best system of government on earth. My views 
on this subject have been often expressed. For the 
Union barely, without the rights and guarantees secured 


by the Constitution, I never entertained or professed 
any attachment. 

My devotion and my loyalty were to the Union under the 
Constitution with the civil and religious rights it secured — 
not to the Union per se. This devotion was felt and ex- 
pressed by me until the powers that made the Union un- 
made it ; or, at least, until Georgia, one of the parties to the 
compact, withdrew from it. I opposed that action of the 
State, in which I was bom and of which I was a citizen, 
to the last. I conformed my conduct to hers not because 
of less loyalty to the principles of the old Constitution, 
but because that Power which had transferred the alle- 
giance of its citizens under limitations to the United States 
had withdrawn this allegiance. It was by Georgia's 
act as a party to the Compact of Union set forth in the 
Constitution, that I had owed even a qualified allegiance 
to the Government of the United States, and it was by 
her act that I considered that allegiance withdrawn. 
But my "loyalty" to the principles of Constitutional 
liberty remained unshaken. My effort was to rescue 
and save the Constitution — the great principles of self- 
government therein set forth — to the people of Georgia 
though the Union had been abandoned by them. Never 
for one instant has a sentiment of "disloyalty" to these 
great essential, cardinal principles of American consti- 
tutional liberty entered my breast. So much on the 
point of my "loyalty." 

As for the "atrocious rebellion and conspiracy against 
the life of the Nation" in which I am charged by the 
press with having taken part, I here state that I always 
considered the "life" and very soul of the "Nation" 
to be the Constitution and the principles of popular self- 
government therein set forth and thereby secured. Never 


did and never can rebel throb enter my breast against 
these. The "Nation" without these principles never 
had any proper or legitimate life. The only oath of 
allegiance the Constitution requires or ever required 
was and is to itself — to support and defend itself. This, 
I did to the utmost of my ability in the Union so long as 
Georgia acknowledged herself a party to it; and never 
since her withdrawal have I swerved from the oath, 
often taken before that event, to support and defend the 
same sacred principles. This I have done with more 
hazard and risk and under heavier denunciations than 
most men are willing to encounter. In doing it, I looked 
to nothing but the public good, to the welfare of those 
who without my solicitation had confided high trusts, 
to me. 

P. M. — Corporal Geary brought sutler's bill: 6 vols. 
Prescott's Histories, $21 ; Greeley's American Conflict, $7; 
tea canister, 75 cts; tea pot, $1 ; sugar bowl, $1 ; 2 qts. ale, 
50 cts; in all now presented, $31.25: making my expendi- 
tures this one week $47.48. This summation is frightful! 
I must curtail, even if I suffer physically. This does not 
include my newspapers. I had no idea the books would 
have been at such prices, or I should not have thought 
of buying them. My funds will soon give out at this 
rate; then what shall I do? 

5 p. M. — Just got a sight of Reagan as he passed 
my window, returning from his evening walk, I suppose, 
Lieut. W. with him. He looked well and stepped firmly. 
How I should have liked to speak to him! 

A correspondent from Hilton Head to a New York 
paper says I did not look when there as if I considered 
myself a prisoner, or as if I had any idea of the estima- 
tion in which I was held by the people of the North. I 


felt myself a prisoner, however I may have looked; but 
I did not consider myself a ctdprit, or so feel, whatever 
may be the opinion of any one else on that point. 

June 2. — Another improvement in attention this 
morning at breakfast — a silver fork and an ivory-handled 
knife. The breakfast was palatable but the little I ate 
tasted no better than with the black knife and fork. The 
attention I duly appreciated ; it may have been accidental, 
but I am inclined to think not. Lieut. W., at nine, 
brought Lieut. William Longly to walk with me; had 
long conversation with him. He told me he was living 
in Macon, Ga., when the war broke out, was clerking 
in a mercantile house. Bond & Co.; knew many of my 
acquaintances; was in Macon in i860 when Douglas and 
I spoke there; heard H. R. Jackson's speech that night 
before the bonifire in the street, against us. We had a 
long talk, the whole hour, about the state of the country. 
On the whole, perhaps my most agreeable walk here. 
It was a source of some pleasure to see and converse 
with one who had lived in Georgia. Anything from 
Georgia, however remotely, cheers my heart. What 
delight it would be to get a paper from Augusta, Macon, 
Atlanta, or Columbus! What intense delight to get a 
letter from Linton, or home! 

2.30. — As I was walking my room just now, a 
number of persons — men, women, and children — 
appeared on the stone walk directly in front of my win- 
dows. This walk is on a solid wall about eight feet 
from the wall of my cell, allowing a passage for the 
guards. The guards' beat is on the same level with my 
floor, but the level of the walk is that of the drill-ground 
and on the same plane with the top of my windows. By 


peeping down, these persons could see me as in each round 
I approached and passed my windows. Some were old 
and some were young; all were attired as if on a jaunt 
for amusement, particularly the ladies and children. 
I felt no indisposition to gratify their curiosity and con- 
tinued my walk, giving them such sight as they could 
get of me when I passed the windows; occasionally, I 
gave them a good steady look in return. Who they were, 
or whether friendly toward me personally or otherwise, 
I do not know. They are, I suppose, visitors to the 
fort, who, on having my cell pointed out to them, came 
to get a peep at me. This is the first time I have been 
gazed at by any persons with only a view to gratify 
curiosity, since my arrest. 

Geary tells me the sutler will charge $1.40 per week 
for coflFee, rolls, etc., such as I have been getting for 
breakfast. This causes me reflection; how to do with- 
out them I don't know, and yet if I incur this expense 
my funds will soon run low. I may need other essentials 
much more, and I may not be permitted to have other 
funds sent me. My condition would then be bad indeed. 
I told Geary to continue the breakfast a week ; meantime, 
I will endeavour to ascertain whether I shall be per- 
mitted to receive further funds when present supply is 
out. If I am not satisfied that I shall, I must curtail this 
expense. Had I looked for such a state of things, I 
should have accepted Gip Grier's and General Foster's 

5 p. M. — Kind and attentive Geary brought the Boston 
Journal, I see that Governor Brown [of Georgia] has 
been released on parole. I am glad others are permitted 
to go at large, if I cannot be. Could I but correspond 
with home people, how much better I should feel! The 


world's justice is strange. While thousands who con- 
tributed all their influence to bring these troubles upon the 
country are at large, I, who did my utmost to avert them, 
am confined in a cell, cut off from communication with 
relatives and friends and deprived of comforts essential 
to life in my enfeebled condition. May the Lord God 
mercifully sustain me and enable me to bear with resigna- 
tion what His Providence permits ! Have I unconsciously 
conraiitted some great wrong in His sight ? 

9 p. M. — Lieut. W., who calls every night at this hour, 
informs me that, in reply to my letter to General Dix, I 
may, through General Dix, write letters home on private 
business. This is a great relief. Whether I shall be per- 
mitted to receive letters, I do not know yet. 

Lights have to be put out at nine-thirty; a tap of the 
drum or blast from a bugle is the signal. Took up my 

June 3. — At "Bible," the bugle note sounded. My 
pen was instantly dropped and the candle blown out. 
What I was about to put down was this: Took up my 
Bible with a desire to find in it something on whidi the 
soul could rely for comfort and hope. The book opened 
at Isaiah 38. Was it accident ? Believing all things are 
under the direction of the Ruler of the Universe, by whom 
even the hairs of our heads are numbered, I secured 
consolation from this chapter. As has been my custom 
for the last twenty years or more, before committing 
myself to sleep, I committed my body, soul, and spirit to 
His keeping, praying devoutly that His will "be done on 
earth as in Heaven." This fact I here record mainly 
because religion is a subject on which I seldom speak or 
write. Perhaps in this I have done wrong. It has 


arisen from a very deep aversion to what I consider 

P. M. — Spent the day reading the papers, particularly 
therein Sumner's eulogy on Lincoln ; and in writing letters 
home. This is a copy of my letter to Linton : 

My dear Brother: This little messenger of love, by the 
permission of the authorities, is about to be dispatched 
from the quarters of my present confinement. It goes as 
the embodiment of the tenderest and strongest aflFections of 
my heart to the dearest one to me on earth ; so receive it 
and cherish it. I am in about the same state of health 
as when you saw me last. I stood the sea voyage better 
than I expected. I reached here on the 25th of May. 
As I passed by my home on Sunday the 14th, I heard 
that you were quite ill the day before at your home. 
This caused me great pain, the more from the sad reflec- 
tion that it was the ever memorable anniversary of the 
death of the only surviving parent of our household, 
whose life kept our little family circle happily together 
around the paternal hearthstone; that never-to-be-for- 
gotten 14th day of May, 1826 — that, too, was on Sun- 
day. My greatest mental disquietude, my greatest suf- 
ferings, have been on your account. Would to God I 
could know this day how you are, and that you are well 
again. Do write immediately, if you get this, and let 
me know. Inclose your letter to Maj.-General John A. 
Dix, New York, with request that it be forwarded to me, 
and I think it will be promptly done. All conmiunica- 
tions must be through him and open to his inspection. 
I wish simply to know how you and all the dear ones 
are. This is all that is allowed. I have no communica- 
tions here with any persons but the guard and officers 
in charge. I am permitted to walk out on the grounds 
inside the Fort accompanied by an officer one hour every 
day. No rudeness has been exhibited toward me, but on 
the contrary I have received every proper courtesy and 


attention, considering my condition. I have access to 
books and the daily papers. My room is large and well 
ventilated, all usual necessaries are supplied, and I get 
such extras as I need by purchase. These are great 
privileges and comforts which are highly appreciated 
by me. 

[I left the court papers in the case of Barksdale and 
his sister, which we were to settle, with Harry, and re- 
quested him to hand them to Judge Reese. See that 
the Judge gets them. In my table drawer, I left some 
private papers for Prof. R. M. Johnston, which I wish 
you to hand him.] May you speedily get this letter. 
May I soon hear from you and know that you are well. 
That we may once more meet, and at no distant day, 
is the earnest wish with which I now take my farewell 
leave. God bless you and yours now and forever. A 
kiss to all the children. Kind remembrance to Cosby, 
Carlos* family, Simpson, Lane, Evans, Harris, the 
Alfriends, and all the rest, especially Judge Thomas — 
be sure in your letter to let me know how he is ; tell him I 
send my special regards to him, Sallie Baker, Henry, 
and their little ones. And last though not least to Dick 
Johnston and his family. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

I rewrote this, omitting lines in brackets, fearing the 
oflBicers might think the papers some I wished removed and 
concealed. The other letters were to George F. Bristow, 
John A. and Elizabeth M. Stephens. 

Unusually depressed; reaction perhaps from elate 
feelings animating me while writing letters home with the 
thought that they would soon be received and I should 
soon have answers. Now that I think on obstacles, 
perhaps insuperable, in the way of my letters ever reach- 
ing their destination, gloom comes over me. All will 
depend on the oflBicers, even to get them to Augusta; 


no mail open through the Carolinas yet, I think; when 
one will be open, who can tell? If they reach Augusta, 
perhaps no mail on the Ga. R. R., if on that, perhaps 
none to Sparta. All is dark as to when I shall ever hear 
from home. 

Dinner: tough green beef; the cook seems to have done 
his best with it, but it was beyond his skill. If it had 
not been for my potatoes, I should have suffered for food ; 
the cook boiled two for me, and on these I fared. 

5 p. M. — More low-spirited ; feel as if I had had an 
interview in reality with homefolks and they had left 
me. Wrote to Dr. Paterson, of Augusta. My morning 
walk was with Lieut. Longly. We had but little talk; I 
was too full of the idea of holding converse by letter 
with the dear ones at home. Paid fifty cents for postage 
stamps. All expenses paid up to this time, $47.98. 

June 4. — Sunday again. This day four weeks ago, 
where was I? Oh, the scenes and faces then surround- 
ing me! Now, nothing but these white sepulchral walls! 
My letters did not get oflF last night. Lieut. W. did not 
call in time. This I deeply regret. I wished not a 
moment's unnecessary delay to attend their going. He 
called this morning at nine-thirty for them. They 
start by the fort tugboat; then go by mail to New York 
to-night, I hope. May Providence in mercy expedite 

This is a strange world; it presents striking incon- 
sistencies. One of the most notable is the difference 
between profession and practice in religion. New Eng- 
land and the United States boast of their religious prin- 
ciples; yet in this fort the fife, the drum, the bugle, and 
the drill go on with no difference between Saturday, 


Sunday, or Monday. To the soldier there is really no 
Sabbath, no sacred day of rest and worship, in field or 
garrison. A number of the bloodiest battles of the 
late war were fought on Sunday. It is claimed that this 
most fiendish, deadly, Sunday work, this mutual slaughter 
of men (who personally bore each other no ill will) was 
the work of God to advance civilization and Christianity. 
There are not wanting those, on either side, to preach 
such doctrines to congregations every Lord's Day. 

Again the drum-beats, and the soldiers are summoned 
to their tasks. Slavery ! Liberty ! What are ye ? What 
is the difference between camp, factory, and cotton field ? 
Casuists, moralists, statesmen, philanthropists, human- 
ists, sage philosophers, evangelists, Christianizers, and 
world-reformers, answer me. Orders must be obeyed. 
Where is room for discretion or for exercise of conscience 
to the poor soldier any more than to the poor Negro or 
the poor labourer in a factory? The great problem of 
human wrong has not yet been solved. Perhaps the 
best thing that can be done by the wisest and the best 
is not to war against nature, not to find fault, but to 
take things as they are and do all that can be done, under 
circumstances as they arise, for the good of every fellow- 
being. Often more mischief and misery attend well- 
meant efforts to right apparent and gross wrongs by 
rashly uptearing old systems than would ensue from 
letting them alone. Human society is not unlike the 
human organism. However badly it may be constituted, 
however diseased from hereditary or other causes, yet, 
as David said of man, its great prototype, it is "wonder- 
fully" as well as "fearfully made." It has nervous 
fibres running all through its most diseased parts. The 
rude touch of a probe in the hands of a rash operator 


may cause deeper injury and more suffering to the invalid 
than that which he before endured. 

I do not mean that no effort should be made to eradi- 
cate causes of evil and wrong, but only that all such efforts 
should be wisely made; reason guided by justice and 
general benevolence should govern, not passion incited 
by prejudice and bent on making conditions square 
with some favourite preconceived theory. It seems a 
law of the human mind to want all things to square 
with its own notions. But squares of all sorts are arti- 
ficial. They are not met with in phases of the natural 
universe. Throughout cosmos, we see nothing in forms, 
changes, or motions approaching squares or direct lines. 
Light, heat, and electricity are swerved by the media 
through which they pass. Squaring is not nature's 
process either in the material or mental world. No 
human society or government can be wisely or safely 
built upon any one general, unalterable principle fixing 
permanent status for all its members. 

As gravitation is the general fixed law of the material 
universe, so justice should be the fundamental law of all 
political or social organizations. How society is to be 
constituted so that all can attain justice ; that is the vexed 
question. While I confess myself unable to see how 
it is to be perfectly done, I am equally well satisfied how, 
in some particulars, it cannot be. It cannot be done, 
for instance, by any such dogma (not well understood 
by its advocates) as that all members of society are 
equal, for this settles nothing. 

Equal in what? In age? Facts answer, "No." In 
feature and appearance? Facts answer, "No." In 
bodily size or strength? Facts answer, "No." In 
mental strength or vigour? Facts answer, "No." 


In moral qualities? Facts answer, "No." In acquire- 
ments or accumulations? Facts continue to answer, 
"No." In not a single one of these particulars can any 
two amongst millions be found with the dogma of equality. 
In what then are all men by nature equal, or in what 
ought they to be held to be equal ? Is the dogma utterly 
false and absurd, or is there in it a latent truth which 
some superficial and rash spirits, not perceiving, ignore 
in their misapplication, thus disgusting sincere inquirers ? 

The dogmatists must admit that all men are not equal in 
any of the particulars here stated. When asked in what 
way they are equal or ought to be recognized as equal, 
one dogmatist will reply one thing and one another, 
hardly any two agreeing. This shows the vague ideas 
entertained on the subject. One will say, equal in the 
eye of law; another, equal before the law; another, equal 
in all political rights; another, in all political and social 
rights. Now, that all men are not equal in the eye of 
the law is apparent from the fact that the law properly 
pronounces many persons morally disqualified for member- 
ship in society. That all are not and should not be equal 
in political rights, is apparent from the fact that some 
must, for the time at least, govern, administer, and execute 
the law while the rest must obey. Between these there 
is no equality in political power or rights. The right 
to govern and punish is entirely political; it is not per- 
sonal or individual. It is impossible, therefore, for all 
men to be recognized as having equal political rights. 
What is meant by social rights is too vague and imcer- 
tain to define. 

Now, I hold that as gravitation is the law governing 
the material universe, so justice should govern the polit- 
ical or moral ; and in all human societies be the controlling 


principle. As every part of matter, small or great, an 
atom or a worid, is equally impressed and influenced 
by gravitation, according to its size and density (which 
constitutes its own specific gravity and weight), so every 
human being in society, whether small or great, low or 
high, black or white, should come under the influence 
of this universal law of justice. In the organization 
of society upon this principle and in the administration 
of government after organization, every member should 
be perfectly equal in this; that justice should be equally 
dispensed to all according to position, merit, or demerit. 
There should be perfect equality in right to have 
justice rendered in all cases, and perfect equality in 
the securities for the enforcement of the right to have 
justice administered. All men may truly be said to be 
created equal in their rights to justice in their relations 
and conditions of life. 

Then comes the question: What is justice? These 
random reflections, penned in my solitude, suggest a 
much wider range of thought and a much greater enlarge- 
ment than I can now enter upon. 

Society, in its government, should be so organized that 
as a whole it should govern itself, not that the bare 
majority should govern the rest at will and pleasure 
for any time or length of time, but that the consentient 
will of the whole mass, as nearly as possible, should be 
expressed in its laws. The object of its laws should not 
be the greatest good to the greatest number. Of all 
dogmas this, to my mind, is one of the most monstrous. 
The object of all laws should be the greatest good to the 
whole society, all its members, with injury to none. 
Society in its government of itself should never inflict 
an injury on any one of its members; that is, it should not 


deprive any one of its members of his or her natural 
acquirements, or do anything calculated or intended to 
oppose or obstruct any member or component part 
in the pursuit of happiness and the development of the 
highest attainable point of culture. 

What constitutes happiness? What constitutes vice 
and immorality? How far shall subordination of cer- 
tain component elements of society, such as minors, 
those non compos mentiSy women, and other classes, 
for a term of years, or other probationary trial, or abso- 
lutely, be deemed proper? These questions should be 
settled by society, some of them in its organization, by 
fundamental rules, founded on reason, looking solely 
to the best interest of all without injury to any. The 
entire structure, in organization and laws, should be 
based upon the principle that society should, in the 
government of the whole, never injure an unoffending 
member even for the public good without making fair 
and adequate compensation. This justice requires. 
The natural rights of man in society, or out of it, consist 
in this one right of all unoffenders not to be injured by 
others whether in organized social compact or out of 
such organization. The fulfilling of the law of justice 
is that which worketh no wrong to another. 1 do not 
here speak of the rights of society over offenders, those 
who by violating the right of others have forfeited their 
own. Injuries to them, by way of punishment and re- 
form and to deter others from perpetrating like acts, are 
founded on principles of the strictest justice. 

As society cannot meet en masse either to form general 
rules for its government or for particular acts of legisla- 
tion, representation of some sort must be agreed upon. 
On what principles or under what limitations this should 


be fixed, depends upon the circumstances of the case. 
The right to participate in the choice of those who are 
to make or execute the laws, is not a natural right; it 
is a conventional right, springing from the organization 
of society. Enlightened reason, looking to ultimate 
justice as the great end, should determine its investiture 
and exercise. Reason teaches that no one rule can be 
properly laid down for all times, persons, and places. 
Nor has a bare majority any natural right to govern 
the rest. Society has no moral or natural right to gov- 
ern itself except upon the principles of justice as stated. 
With society so established and its government so admin- 
istered, every member, whether man, woman, or child, 
of whatever race or colour, is eqtuil in this : that he or she 
has an equal right, with equal security for the right, to 
have justice rendered. Perfect justice in all cases need 
not be expected. In administration all that the best 
of mortals can do is to attain the nearest approximation 
possible to this Divine attribute; reason and a sense of 
justice based upon the Golden Rule laid down by Him 
who spake as never man spake — of doing to others as 
you would have others do to you — must be the guide. 
This rule, in my judgment, means that man in all cir- 
cumstances should do to others as he would have others 
do to him, positions being reversed. 

The Corporal with dinner stops these reflections. 
Dinner over. Had a mess of green peas from sutler's; 
what he will charge I do not know. Thought of home, 
Harry, the garden, the beautiful plot of ground we had 
in peas, so promising when I left. 

Lieut. W. walked out with me this morning. He 
pointed out General Jackson, dressed in gray, walking 
on N. E. parapet. We were on S. E., several hundred 


yards away. He told me that Dr. Willis, of Savannah, 
supplies Jackson and other ofl&cers, prisoners here, with 
funds; he supposed I would be allowed to receive funds 
from friends. This gave me relief. He informed me 
that General DuBose is in excellent health and spirits, 
always pleasant and jovial. Reagan, he said, was well. 
General DuBose writes to Mrs. DuBose through Gen- 
eral Wilson at Macon. I inquired if he knew if General 
DuBose had received any letters lately from Mrs. Du- 
Bose. He said he did not know. Jackson walked 
with quickness, great elasticity, and firnmess of step. 

Corporal brought my wash bill. I paid it, Sunday as 
it is; the rate is $1.25 per dozen; for 16 pieces, $1.56. 
Whole expenses thus far paid, $49.56. 

For the first time in four weeks I became conscious 
of smiling. It was on reading Artemus Ward in Rich- 
mond Enquirer. For the humorous I ever had a relish, 
even when at my own expense or that of my friends. 
The impulse to laugh was succeeded instantly by a sense 
of my situation, thoughts of friends and of the condition 
of the country. All risible inclinations were banished; 
sadness ensued. 


JUNE 5. — Thunder and lightning after candles 
were out. First thunder since I left Hampton 
Roads. The warmest night since I have been here. 
Rose after a refreshing sleep. As has been my custom 
for many years on arising at home, 1 commenced singing^ 
in my way, whatever happened to occur to me. This 
morning I began Moore's hymn; 

This world is all a fleeting show 

For man's illusion given; 
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe, 
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow — 

There's nothing true but Heaven I 

The very unmusical noise I made, or something else, 
seemed to excite much astonishment in the guard passing 
my window, just as the same discordant notes used to 
excite the mirth of Mr. O'Neal when he lived with me 
at Liberty Hall. He was a very grave man usually, and 
seldom I saw him seem to laugh internally at anything 
more than at my attempts to sing. 

Breakfast: No meat; coflfee and rolls from sutler's — 
that's all he sent. I ordered a half -pint of syrup: this 
Geary brought. 

With all my intense distress on Linton's account, I 
have not once dreamed about him. Last night, I dreamed 
of little Becky [Linton's daughter]; thought I was at 
home in a room writing, and she ran in and told me 
'*The Yankees have come!" I saw them with guns at 



the window. 1 was not discomforted, nor was the dream 
unpleasant. Becky did not seem frightened. I awoke. 
The vision was gone and I was Ijdng on my bunk — 
far away from the scenes where my sleeping thoughts 
had roamed. 

Paid newspaper bill, $2.03; all expenses paid to date, 
$51.59. Lieut. W. walked out with me. Spent the full 
hour walking and talking. Wrote two letters: one to 
Mr. Henry C. Baskerville, Richmond, Va., and one 
to Dr. Francis T. Willis or Dr. Richard Arnold, Savan- 
nah, Ga. That to Mr. B. was about Hidell's business 
— to know if he had heard from Hidell — ^and if Henry 
and Anthony had got safely home and how they are. 
The letter to Willis or Arnold was to get from either 
information, if possible, about Linton and home in case 
my letters to Linton and others at home should fail 
for any cause to reach them. Lieut. W. is to call at 
one-thirty for letters. Hear a piano overhead. This 
may be an oflfset to my music of this morning. 

10.30 — Got New York papers of Saturday. They 
are not brought down on Sunday. The name of the 
Herald^s correspondent who travelled with me from 
Augusta to Fortress Monroe, is Theodore T. Scribner; 
it appears in the HeraUTs announcement of his having 
sent the Secretary of War the original draft on parch- 
ment of Alabama's Ordinance of Secession. He took 
it from the walls of the Capitol in Montgomery when 
General Wilson's forces were in that city. Mr. Stanton 
acknowledges its receipt and says it has been deposited 
in his ofl&ce at Washington. The Boston Post publishes 
testimony, heretofore suppressed, in the Court Martial 
in Washington. If this testimony be true or half true, 
there was a most diabolical plot, deeply involving the 


honour and good name of my country. I cannot believe 
it is true. The statements are vague; the witnesses do 
not seem to have been cross-examined. Clay, from what 
they say, was in Canada in February last. He left 
before that time. From his solemn declarations to me, 
I cannot believe that he was engaged in or had knowl- 
edge even of such a hellish plot. 

Wonder and surprise have been expressed in a number 
of papers at the suddenness and completeness of the 
collapse of the Confederate Cause, etc. This wonder 
and surprise proceed from lack of accurate knowledge 
of public sentiment in the South. Resistance to the 
last extremity, it is said, was expected, and yet, more 
than 100,000 men-in-arms yielded the contest, abandoned 
the conflict, quit the field, surrendered on parole and 
went home. 

The facts are these as I understand them : No people 
on earth were ever more united, earnest, resolved to resist 
to the last extremity, than the Southern people at the 
outbreak of the war and during its first two years. They 
were ready to sacrifice property, life, everything, for the 
Cause, which was then simply the right of self-govern- 
ment. They conscientiously believed that the old Union 
was a compact between Sovereign Independent States; 
only certain powers named in the Constitution had been 
delegated by the States separately to the Central Gov- 
ernment; among these was not ultimate absolute Sov- 
ereignty, this being retained by the States separately 
in the reserved powers; each State had the right to 
withdraw from the Central Government the powers 
delegated by repealing the ordinance that conferred 
them and herself resuming their full exercise as a free 
Independent Sovereign State, such as she was when the 


compact 01 the Union under the Constitution was formed. 
These principles and doctrines the great majority cher- 
ished as sacred and as underlying the whole framework 
of American constitutional liberty. Thousands who 
disapproved Secession as a measure of policy did not 
question it as a matter of right. The war waged by the 
Central Government against these States, striking at 
their Sovereignty and causing as it would, if successful, 
their complete subjugation, these people considered 
unconstitutional, monstrously aggressive, and utterly 
destructive to everything dear to them as freemen. 

The slavery question had but little influence with the 
masses. Many even of the large slave-holders, to my per- 
sonal knowledge, were willing from the first years of the war 
to give up that institution for peace on recognition of the 
doctrine of ultimate Sovereignty of the separate States, 
allowing upon this basis the formation of any new Union 
that the several Independent Parties in convention, 
or otherwise, might determine upon. Few sensible 
men of the South ever expected or desired a distinct 
Independent Nation embracing none but the slave States. 
The view of the great mass was that with the recogni- 
tion of the principle of State Sovereignty as a basis of 
adjustment, the future might well be left to take care 
of itself; the States would soon assume relations to each 
other in such political bonds as would be most conducive 
to the interest, peace, happiness, and prosperity of all. 
These views and principles were what mainly animated 
the breasts of an overwhelming majority at the South. 
In their views not only their own domestic institution 
of the subordination of the African race amongst them 
was involved in the issue, but the very essence of con- 
stitutional liberty. So long as these principles were 


the watchword in the camp and at home, the people 
were ready to sacrifice everything in maintenance of 
the cause. 

When the Government at Richmond itself com- 
menced to violate some of these great cardinal principles 
for which hundreds of thousands had volunteered their 
lives, the ardour of many at home and in the army was 
dampened. The first great blow was conscription I 
With this came impressments, suspension of habeas 
corpus, military arrests and imprisonments, martial 
law. The effect upon the minds of the Southern people 
was fatal to the Confederate Cause. Besides in the man- 
agement of the finances, the line of policy pursued by 
the Executive and Congress in almost every department 
of government soon led the most sensible men of the 
country to believe that there was not enough wisdom or 
statesmanship in control to afford reasonable hope for 
ultimate success. The course of the Administration 
during the last year toward the peace sentiment in the 
Northern States and toward the States Rights men influ- 
enced many to believe that Mr. Davis did not desire and 
was not looking for success upon the principle of State 
Sovereignty — the only real issue in the war — but was 
aiming at the establishment of a dynasty of his own. 

Apprehensions were increased by the tone of the 
press known to be most in the confidence of the Admin- 
istration; and by the avowed sentiments of some near 
the President and standing highest in his favour; by 
these. State Rights and State Sovereignty was ridiculed, 
sneered at, scoffed at. Many, with misgivings and fore- 
bodings, continued to support the Cause as the best they 
could do, hoping that the election in the Northern States 
might bring about a change of administration there, 


and with it some oflfer of negotiation or settlement leading 
to peace on the principle of State Sovereignty. The 
spirit of the army, though greatly dampened, was still 
resolute to maintain the Cause during that campaign, 
hoping for some change of policy at both Richmond 
and Washington by the coming fall. Such were the 
conditions during the sunmier and up to the meeting 
of the Confederate Congress in Richmond in November, 

Mr. Davis's message * at the opening of the session 
produced a sensation throughout the country, even in 
the circle of his hitherto most zealous defenders. With 
many reflective people, the feeling was little short of 
consternation. This feeling extended to the masses. 
The policy foreshadowed in that message, if carried out, 
would lead to a centralized, consolidated, military des- 
potism, as absolute and execrable as that of Russia or 
Turkey. This, men in the army and men elsewhere 
saw. The question was asked by many. What will be 
the fruits of success on this line? No answer satis- 
factory to a friend of constitutional liberty could be given. 
The only reply pretended to be given was, Independence. 
Sensible men knew, in the first place, that independence 
could never be achieved on that line; they knew too 
much of the men who constituted the armies, and of the 
objects and purposes for which they entered the fight. 
But secondly and mainly, they loathed, detested, and 
abhorred any such independence as that policy would 

These feelings spread and increased; the tone of the 
press only gave them new impulse. Thousands enter- 

* See MesBaget and Papers of the Coofederaqr Richardson, I, 345-473; and Mr. Stephens's 
speedk, March x6, 1864, in Clevdand's ** Letters and Speeches of Stephens," 761-86. 


tained them who would not venture to express them 
except in a private and most confidential way. Amongst 
friends it became common to say: Is it of any use to 
prolong the conflict? Why sacrifice more lives? Will 
ultimate success be any better in any view of the subject, 
even so far as the institution of slavery is concerned, 
than subjugation? Mr. Davis in his message virtually 
yields that institution forever. His principles announced 
in relation to it are as unconstitutional as those of Mr. 
Lincoln in his Emancipation Proclamation. No dif- 
ference in principle between the utterances of these 
men; both make necessity of war override constitutional 
limitations of power. What interest, therefore, have 
we, looking to the guarantee of rights either of person 
or property, in prosecution of the war ? Will not inde- 
pendence, if achieved by Davis under his line of policy, 
bring with it almost necessarily a far worse despotism 
than any yet foreshadowed by Lincoln? Lincoln, it is 
true, utterly ignores the doctrine of the Sovereignty of 
the States; Davis in his message, though not avowedly, 
yet in effect does the same. His recommendation for 
general and universal conscription, not exempting gov- 
ernors, judges, and legislators of States except by his 
special grant of favour, strikes for all practical purposes 
as deadly a blow at independent State organization. 
States Rights, or State Sovereignty, as anything Lincoln 
has done or can do. Thus men argued within themselves ; 
thus talked among themselves, many even of those who 
had been ardent, zealous advocates of secession. Thus the 
masses and the army felt.* Thus the cause was given 

* Mr. Davis, in his Macon speech of September, 1864, vdd: ** If one-half the men now absent 
from the field would return to duty, we can defeat the enemy." Jamet Seddon, Confederate 
Secretary of War, said in 1863 that " the effective force of the army was not more than one-haU, 
never two-thirds, of the K^diers in the ranks." ,^ 


up: it was not lost because the great body of soldiers 
were not as ready to resist to the last extremity and as 
willing to die in the maintenance of their principles 
as when they put their armour on, but because they 
saw and felt that the cause in which they had enlisted 
was not that in which they were now called to risk their 
lives and shed their blood. This is the real and true 
reason why the great masses of the Southern people have 
so generally and quietly accepted the present state of 
things. This is the explanation of what strikes so many 
at the North with wonder and surprise. 

A more inteUigent, patriotic, or braver body of men 
than those who filled the Southern armies never went 
to battle for their country's cause in any age or clime; 
and never were any men animated by loftier, purer prin- 
ciples and sentiments; it was with no view of aggression 
upon others but simply to defend their own rights; not 
to make war on the Union but to maintain the Sovereignty 
of their own States, which had quit the Union but had 
rescued the Constitution. This ark of the covenant of 
their fathers was in their hands; and it was to preserve 
this (containing the life-giving principles of self-govern- 
ment) from destruction and pollution that they rushed 
to the ranks as soldiers never did before — not even in 
the da)rs of Peter the Hermit and the Crusades. It was 
for their ancient rights, customs and institutions, their 
liberties achieved and bequeathed to them by their 
ancestors, that they fought. 

The idea set forth by Mr. Greeley in his "American 
Conflict" and by Senator Sumner in his late eulogy on 
Lincoln, that this noble band of warriors was nothing 
but a set of reckless-spirited rebels, disloyal to the Con- 
stitution of the United States and conspiring to overthrow 


it and to establish on its ruins a Slave Oligarchy, is utterly 
unfounded. The ruling motive of these armed hosts 
was to maintain and perpetuate the principles of the 
Constitution, even out of the Union when they could 
no longer maintain them in it. I speak of the ideas 
and sentiments prevailing among our people at the time, 
and not of the correctness of their judgment as to whether 
their constitutional rights could or would have been 
maintained in the Union. What I afl5rm is, that the 
Southern people were actuated by no disloyalty to the Con- 
stitution, to the principles it contained, or to the form 
of government thereby established. 

Nor were the men who met at Montgomery and framed 
the Confederate States Constitution governed by any 
such motives as have been ascribed; the work of their 
hands show this. "By their fruits ye shall know them." 
The new Constitution was but an embodiment of all 
the essential principles of liberty contained in the old. 
Some changes were made on minor points; all were of 
conservative character; most only settling clearly points 
in the old that gave rise to doubt, cavil, and conflicting 
construction. The great essential principles of Anglo- 
Saxon liberty, dating back to the Magna Charta, were 
reafl&rmed and guaranteed. Nothing savouring of the 
slightest spirit of disloyalty to these principles is to be 
found in it. 

When Georgia had seceded against my wish, judg- 
ment, and vote, my greatest apprehension was lest liberty 
be lost in the confusion that might follow. To guard 
against such an event, I m)rself, looking to the future, 
introduced a resolution, which was passed by the seceding 
convention, instructing Georgia delegates to a proposed 
Convention in Montgomery of seceding States, to adopt 


the old Constitution as basis for any new one that might 
be formed. Such was my admiration of the wisdom of 
the fathers, such my loyalty and devotion to the principles 
they had established. At Montgomery, no delegate 
from any State evinced in any debate the slightest dis- 
inclination to conform strictly to this policy. Even on 
African slavery in the South, no change from the old 
was made in the new Constitution save in cleariy defin- 
ing those points on which disputes had arisen — all of 
which points had been decided by the highest judicial 
tribunals of the old Government as they were now set 
forth in the fundamental law of the new. The only 
striking diflference between the old Constitution and the 
new was the immediate and perpetual prohibition of the 
African slave-trade in the latter, whereas continuance 
of this traflfic for twenty years had been provided for 
in the former. I speak from memory, but I think I am 

As for my Savannah speech, about which so much has 
been said and in regard to which I am represented as 
setting forth "slavery" as the "comer-stone" of the 
Confederacy, it is proper for me to state that that speech 
was extemporaneous. The reporter's notes, which were 
very imperfect, were hastily corrected by me; and 
were published without further revision and with several 
glaring errors. The substance of what 1 said on slavery 
was, that on the points under the old Constitution out 
of which so much discussion, agitation, and strife between 
the States had arisen, no future contention could arise, 
as these had been put to rest by clear language. I did 
not say, nor do I think the reporter represented me as 
saying, that there was the slightest change in the new 
Constitution from the old regarding the status of the 


Africarx race amongst us. (Slavery was without doubt 
the occasion of secession; out of it rose the breach of 
compact, for instance, on the part of several Northern 
States in refusing to comply with Constitutional obliga- 
tions as to rendition of fugitives from service, a course 
betraying total disregard for all constitutional barriers 
and guarantees.) 

I admitted that the fathers, both of the North and 
the South, who framed the old Constitution, while recog- 
nizing existing slavery and guaranteeing its continuance 
under the Constitution so long as the States should 
severally see fit to tolerate it in their respective limits, 
were perhaps all opposed to the principle. Jeflferson, 
Madison, Washington, all looked for its early extinction 
throughout the United States. But on the subject of 
slavery — so called — (which was with us, or should be, 
nothing but the proper subordination of the inferior 
African race to the superior white) great and radical 
changes had taken place in the realm of thought; many 
eminent latter-day statesmen, philosophers, and philan- 
thropists held different views from the fathers. 

The patriotism of the fathers was not questioned, 
nor their ability and wisdom, but it devolved on the 
public men and statesmen of each generation to grapple 
with and solve the problems of their own times. 

The relation of the black to the white race, or the 
proper status of the coloured population amongst us, 
was a question now of vastly more importance than 
when the old Constitution was formed. The order of 
subordination was nature's great law; philosophy taught 
that order as the normal condition of the African amongst 
European races. Upon this recognized principle of a 
proper subordination, let it be called slavery or what not, 


our State institutions were formed and rested. The new 
Confederation was entered into with this distinct under- 
standing. This principle of the subordination of the 
inferior to the superior was the "corner-stone" on 
which it was formed. I used this metaphor merely to 
illustrate the firm convictions of the framers of the new 
Constitution that this relation of the black to the white 
race, which existed in 1787, was not wrong in itself, 
either morally or politically; that it was in conformity 
to nature and best for both races. I alluded not to the 
principles of the new Government on this subject, but 
to pubUc sentiment in regard to these principles. The 
status of the African race in the new Constitution was 
left just where it was in the old; I affirmed and meant 
to affirm nothing else in this Savannah speech. 

My own opinion on slavery, as often expressed, was 
that if the institution was not the best, or could not be 
made the best, for both races, looking to the advance- 
ment and progress of both, physically and morally, it 
ought to be abolished. It was far from being what it 
might and ought to have been. Education was denied. 
This was wrong. I ever condemned the wrong. Mar- 
riage was not recognized. This was a wrong that I 
condenmed. Many things connected with it did not 
meet my approval but excited my disgust, abhorrence, 
and detestation. The same I may say of things connected 
with the best institutions in the best conmiunities in 
which my lot has been cast. Great improvements were, 
however, going on in the condition of blacks in the South. 
Their general physical condition not only as to neces- 
saries but as to comforts was better in my own neighbour- 
hood in i860, than was that of the whites when I can 
j&rst recollect, say 1820. Much greater would have been 


made, I verily believe, but for outside agitation. I 
have but small doubt that education would have been 
allowed long ago in Georgia, except for outside pressure 
which stopped internal reform. 

P. M. — ^The hours for my meals are seven for break- 
fast and three for dinner. This morning I had no meat. 
At dinner, the cold corned beef being very uninviting, 
I ordered something from the sutler's. Geary brought 
asparagus and warm roast. The tendency seems to throw 
the cost of my living upon me. My ration of beef could 
as easily have been sent warm as cold; besides, it was 
sent in in such plight as seemed designed to force me 
to ask for something better. I have not usually taken 
any supper; sometimes have eaten some remnants of bread 
left from dinner, washing it down with water. 

To-night I thought I would try my hand at making 
tea. Tea and tea-pot, sugar, etc., I have had on the win- 
dow-sill since soon after my arrival. So I set to work. 
How to eflfect my object I hardly knew. I had a fire — 
have had a fire all the time day and night since I have 
been here — but it is of anthracite coal and not suitable 
for cooking. I had no kettle for boiling water. Neces- 
sity is the suggester of expedients as well as the mother 
of inventions. I resolved to fill my tin cup with water, 
put it on the fire until the water should boil, then pour 
the water boiling hot into the pot with as much of the 
dried tea-leaves as I thought would do. Here was another 
knotty problem, for I had never noticed how much leaf 
was used in making any given quantity of beverage. I 
wanted only one cup. Concluding it better to be on 
the safe side, to put in too much than too little, to have 
it too strong than too weak, I took up between thumb 
and forefinger as much as I guessed would make a cup 


and put it in. The water in the cup boiled in due time; 
I poured it on the tea in the tea-pot, set the pot at the foot 
of the grate and let it remain some time for the tea to 
draw. On pouring it out, I found I had a most excel- 
lent cup of tea, which I relished well. I may try it again. 
While at the operation I was closely watched by a guard, 
who, peeping between the iron bars of the window every 
once in a while, evinced strong curiosity to see what I 
was at. When he saw how the land lay, his countenance 
assumed a vacant expression of "Is that all?" 

June 6. — Since I have been permitted to write home 
and thus to have hope of hearing from home, a great 
burden has been lifted from my spirits. I am more 
comfortable in mind as well as body. Could I have had 
commimication with my dear ones and have known 
that they were well and doing well, I should have borne 
all that has fallen to my lot with perfect composure; 
nay more, with such communication I feel internal assur- 
ance, that through Divine mercy, I could meet any fate 
that might or may await me with fortitude, even hanging 
unto death. There has not been the slightest shrinking 
of the nerves from contemplations on that score. My 
whole public as well as private life has been inspired 
by a consciousness of rectitude of motive and sense of 
duty that would bear and sustain me by the mercy of God 
triumphantly through the dark valley and shadow of 
death though the gallows be the way. I do not pretend 
that I have done right in all things, still I feel that from 
my youth up my earnest desire and prayer has been to 
be guided by Divine Wisdom, to see the right and to 
pursue it. My errors, whatever they have been, have 
sprung from infirmities of human nature in not perceiv- 


ing the right rather than from inclination to do wrong 
knowing it to be wrong. 

In looking back upon my public conduct, closely 
and critically as I have done since I have been in this 
cell, I do not see that I could have acted more rightly 
or more in accord with duty, or that I should act dif- 
ferently under like circumstances if my life was to go 
over again, even in full view of my present situation and 
prospect. Therefore I can meet my fate, so far as it 
involves me personally, with as much meekness, philos- 
ophy, and firmness as Socrates met his. 

Lieut. Croak walked with me. Lieut. W. gone to 
Boston. I asked him some days ago to let me know 
in advance of his next trip; I wished to send for some 
things; also, to get him to inquire at the post-ofl5ce there 
for letters for me; I think Mr. Baskerville or Travis 
must have written as I dirogted Anthony to request them 
to do. Lieut. W. promised to let me know. He did 
not. I have requested him repeatedly to get from Adju- 
tant Ray a statement of my account; I wish to see at 
what rate he is disposing of my gold. This he alwajrs 
promises to do, but he has not done it. Thus, I am 
somewhat annoyed by little matters as well as great. 
The current of life no more than the "course of true 
love" runs smooth. Governor Brown, I see by the 
papers, has been allowed to go home on parole. I hear 
nothing further of Cobb, Mallory, or Hill. What has 
become of them? I have been thinking about making 
special application for amnesty for myself. The ques- 
tion presents embarrassing complications. How would 
I feel to make it and have it rejected? In what esti- 
mation would the President hold me were I seemingly 
to neglect or spurn what he would willingly grant ? 


For dinner, beef utterly unfit to eat, almost as tough 
as whitleather. It cannot be that the Government 
feeds the soldiers here on such meat. If so, the poor 
men fare worse than nine-tenths of the slaves in my 
country have fared since I can remember. My opinion 
is that the sending of such food is the cook's trick to drive 
me to the sutler's. A profit somewhere is probably the 
object: "Money makes the mare go," the world over. 
The sutler sent a cup of English peas, some strawberries 
and milk; on these and bread I made my dinner, and 
to settle it took a drink of whisky from Harry's bottle. 
This reminds me of what Clay told me when he took 
a drink with me on the Clyde out of Major Corbin's 
bottle; which was that he had been told by somebody, 
during his recent sojourn in Georgia, that I was killing 
myself with liquor. The only impression this news 
made on me was to excite my wonder as to how such 
rumours ever start. 

I was never drunk in my life, and I question if all 
the spirits I ever drank would amount to three gallons. 
Before 1842, I had not drank altogether as much as a 
pint. Brandy was then recommended as a medicine, 
a tablespoonful daily after dinner. This, I continued 
for some time regularly, and then occasionally. Since 
the war, when I could not get brandy I have used whisky 
in the same way — never except a small portion after 
dinner or when I had got wet or been exposed, or was 
exhausted in speaking. When I canvassed the State 
or made long speeches, I always, after 1843, took brandy, 
a spoonful or so, during the speech or after. I have 
not been without brandy or whisky to use in this way 
since 1842. A drink with me is about a tablespoonful, 
rarely more, often less; but frequently whole months 


have passed without my having tasted liquor. My habits 
in this particular can be better judged from this detailed 
statement, than from the assertion that I have never been 
drunk. Have just written a letter of which this is a copy : 

Major H. A. Allen, Com'd'g. Maj: 

Can I be allowed to commute the ration daily furnished 
and have the amount of commutation in money turned 
over to the sutler on my account? Please let me know 
and oblige Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens, Prisoner. 

I have had on my table ever since I have been here a 
novel, which was handed me "to read on the way," by 
Mrs. Alfred Gumming at Bamett on the Sunday I came 
from Atlanta to Augusta. Governor * and Mrs. Gumming 
got on the train at Union Point on their way from Athens 
to Washington, Ga. We were together from Union 
Point to Barnett. She was much affected at seeing me 
under arrest; she wept. I let Golonel Johnston read 
the book as we came on to Fortress Monroe; he told me 
it was interesting but had a sad ending. I do not wish 
to read anything sad now. My object is to divert the 
mind. But I treasure the book as a memento. 

8 p. M. — Lieut. W. informs me, in reply to my note 
to Major Allen, that no commutation can be allowed; 
but he will arrange with the sutler to take my rations 
by the month in bulk and account to me for their value. 
He also informs me that he had received a letter for me 
which he had sent to General Dix at New York. It 
was, he said, from a Mr. Myers, but contained nothing 
important. How anxious I am to see it! It is from Joe 
Myers, Grawfordville, I have no doubt. 

* A Georgian; Governor of Utah, x8s7-6i. 


June 7. — Rose with my usual discordant notes of 
song. Spirits oppressed but a vast burden removed 
by assurance that I shall soon hear from home. Took 
a pretty good bath by standing tiptoe in the wash-bucket 
and pouring water from the tin pan over the body; rubbed 
down with a towel, thinking all the time of my room at 
home, of Anthony, Tim, and Binks.* 

Got a good cup of coflFee from the sutler's, with hot 
rolls and a slice of ham from the cook. Feel refreshed, 
and am now ready for my morning's work. How much 
better I should feel if I did but know that Linton is well ; 
that all are well at home and that all is going smoothly. 
My suflFerings I can bear with unflinching fortitude, but 
the thought of the suffering of others, particularly my 
brother, on my account unmans me, touches the quick, 
the very nerve-strings of the soul. Wounds in the mind, 
as in the body, must have vent or they diffuse poison 
throughout the system. The troubled mind must have 
vent or the heart breaks and the spirit dies, withered 
and blasted. The natural vent is in the soul's outpour- 
ings to some sympathizing friend. When this is denied, 
as it is to me, other expedients must be sought. One 
of these with me is indulgence of a cherished hope that 
some day hereafter this outpouring may take place; 
that I can yet talk over all my present trials, incidents 
of prison life, as well as the general troubles of the times 
and the oppression and deep affictions of our country, 
with him who is the light of my life, with my dear brother; 
and if that should never be, that he may at least some 
day with sympathizing eye peruse the jottings on these 

* At hcMoe, his Negro aenrant. Anthony, rubbed him down; Tim, a little Negro (Harry's sonX 
asusted at his toilet and sported with Binks, the dog. 


Lieut. W. walked with me; he left me, part of the 
time, to walk on at my pleasure. Have been thinking 
more of the anmesty matter; penned some ideas for 
application if I should make one. 

Dinner: the bacon ration was about half as much 
meat as I usually eat when I eat meat at all; and I am 
but a moderate eater. This bacon and beans does not 
suit me. The fault is perhaps with the cook. I have 
not yet been able to see him. I asked them that he be 
allowed to see me, but the petition was denied. I wanted 
to give directions about the proportions of my meals, 
and tell him how I liked them. Sometimes I think he 
may be a fellow-citizen of African descent with prej- 
udices against me; if so, I feel sure these would be over- 
come on acquaintance. I never yet knew one of the 
coloured race who did not like me. Toward coloured 
people I have always felt cordial sympathy and it has 
never failed to be reciprocated. Geary got me a can 
of tomatoes to-day, but too late for dinner; the price 

My eyesight is growing dimmer. I had to use my 
eye-glasses to-day in separating the sound beans from 
the unsound. The looking-glass shows that my hair 
grows white very fast. 

5 p. M. — Just finished reading in the New York Times 
the oflBcial publication of the suppressed testimony 
before the Military Commission; that of Montgomery, 
Dr. Merritt, and Conover.* Merritt is certainly mis- 
taken about seeing Clay in Canada in February last; 
his is the strongest testimony against Clay; he is mistaken 

* See Turner's report on " the matter of witneases who had sworn falsdy in rdation to the 
complidty of Jeff. Davis and others if the assassination of President Lincoln," O. R. War of the 
Rebellion, S. N ,iax, pp. pax-aj. 


or he swore falsely. I am confident that nothmg as 
regards assassination can be proven against Clay. The 
whole testimony tends to leave the impression on almost 
any mind that the capture and removal by strategy and 
violence of Mr. Lincoln and other heads of the Grovem- 
ment at Washington was discussed by confidential Con- 
federate agents in Canada,* and connived at by them 
with assurance of approval at Richmond. But the 
testimony is not conclusive on this point; far from it. 
I cannot yet give my assent to a supposition even that 
Clay was privy to any such scheme or policy; and the 
whole testimony may be utteriy false. 

When this Canada mission was established, I supposed 
its object was to bring about some friendly understanding 
with leading men of the States Rights School of poli- 
tics at the North, in order — if peace could not be other- 
wise and sooner obtained — to organize a party there for 
carrying the fall elections on the basis of peace; leaving 
all questions of old Union and new Union to be settled 
amicably in convention on the principle of "mutual 
convenience and reciprocal advantage," this being the 
only secure basis of permanent peace between the States, 
and one which soon would have brought harmonious 
adjustment upon the recognized principle of the Sov- 
ereignty of each State. Last winter I stated to Governor 
Graham [Confederate Senator from North Carolina] 
my desire to know more about this mission. From 
what I saw in the papers, I was apprehensive that our 
agents were doing no good but rather injury to our cause, 
and I advised him to call for all correspondence, to move 

* In July, 1864, the nds^an, cooristiiig of Clay, Thompson, and Holcombe, in Niagara, Canada, 
sought through Horace Gredey a peace conference with Lincoln, which Lincoln declined. The other 
part of their purpose was somewhat as stated by Stephens, according to Davis in "Rise and Fall 
of the Confederate Government," II, 61 x; also to liberate Confederates in prison near tiie border 
and to aid escaped Confederates to retxim South. See So. Hist, papers; VII, 99, 152^39, SQS. 


an inquiry in the Senate as to who these agents were 
and what they were about; I asked General Wigfall 
[Senator from Texas] to do the same, or gave him the 
same views I had given Graham; but neither moved in 
the matter. When, on return of the Commissioners from 
Hampton Roads, Mr. Davis said, in the public meeting 
in the African Church, that before the summer solstice 
we should have the North suing us, as their masters, 
for terms of peace, perhaps the misguided man was look- 
ing to the success of some of these Canadian schemes, 
either the uprising of the people of the North or the 
abduction of the heads of their Government. At the 
time he uttered the sentiment, it seemed to me the ema- 
nation of a demented brain, but he may have been rely- 
ing on something I and the world generally knew nothing 
about ; the declaration produced astonishment in the minds 
of all sensible men who spoke to me of it. But I have 
no idea Mr. Davis ever countenanced assassination. No ! 
I see by the Boston paper that the Hon. Joshua Hill 
has reached Washington. As a Provisional Governor is 
to be appointed for Georgia, T do hope he will be the 
man. He is a gentleman of high tone and honour, a 
man of inflexible principle and integrity. 

June 8. — Breakfast: from the cook's room, a piece 
of bread and the worst piece of meat yet sent me. Could 
not think of attempting to eat it. From sutler's could 
get nothing but a cup of cold coflFee. Took my Bible, 
stretched myself on bunk to rest while reading. With 
a fervent prayer to Almighty God to be directed to some 
chapter of His Word from which I could derive comfort, 
opened at Lamentations V. Was it accident? Every 
word was a fit channel for my soul's outpouring. 


I have been in this cell two weeks; for four I have 
been a prisoner. How long those weeks seem in some 
views, in others how short! Sometimes it seems an age 
since I left home; at other times the brief moment of a hor- 
rid dream. Sometimes it seems impossible that my sur- 
roundings are reality; I feel as if I must be waking from 
the frightful delusion of disturbed slumber on my own 
bed in my own room at my beloved home. The human 
mind is a complicated piece of mechanism, the least 
aberration of its workings disturbs its proper balance. 
Is it marvellous that so many are pronounced insane? 
Insanity is only a question of degree. The operation 
of no human mind is morally and intellectually perfect; 
the orbit of none is in perfect circle. The orbits of all 
are more or less elliptical, as are those of the greater 
and lesser worlds in space. Truth and Right consti- 
tute the gravitating centre of the mind's orbit. In 
astronomy those bodies whose motions discard not only 
the circle but the ellipse, assuming the parabolic curve 
and never returning in the same path, or sphere, are 
known as comets. Minds which become so eccentric in 
their motions as to wheel out of all regular orbits are 
considered lunatic. Lunatics are only mental comets. 
But none, no not one, moves around the true great 
centre in a perfect circle; all aberrate more or less. 
What constitutes insanity is only a question of degree. 

Lieut. W. walked out with me. Has not arranged 
with sutler about taking my rations and furnishing me 
meals from the mess with charge for difference. Every- 
thing I wish done here seems slowly done, when done 
at all. Began letter to President Johnson, making special 
application for amnesty. Wrote to Linton; Lieut. W. 
was to call for letter for evening's mail, but did not. 


Large concourse of strangers visited the fort to-day; 
the convention of physicians now assembled in Boston, 
I believe, with ladies, friends, etc. Several visitors took 
a peep into my cell, but not many satisfied their curiosity 
if a good sight of me was what they wanted. I was 
eating my dinner — the worst yet sent — and was, for 
the first time lately, really hungry. I had tried the beef 
but could make little impression on it by gnawing; cut 
it, I could not. This beef and some of my potatoes was 
set before me. I had expected something from sutler's. 
Geary presently brought in a tin cup some of my toma- 
toes. I was fishing these up as well as I could with a 
knife — the old rusty cookroom knife before mentioned. 
Such was the situation when the crowd darkened my 
windows. Not wishing to be, under these conditions, 
the observed of all observers, I withdrew to the far end 
of my cell, where eyes could not reach me. The toma- 
toes were not good. Ordered a small wooden tub to-day 
for bathing: Price $2, Geary said. 

8 p. M. — Lieut. W. called for my letter to Linton, 
but too late to mail it. Apologized, said the crowd of 
visitors detained him. 


JUNE 9. — Lieutenant Longly walked out with 
me. Day clear and hot; raised my umbrella, 
the one I bought last year for $20, Confederate 
money. Saw the mowers cutting grass on the grounds. 
Thought of George and Vincent in our experiments in 
the same line last year and the year before on the bottoms 
at the Nimn and River places. Sniffed the pleasant 
odour of new-mown hay, and returned to my cell. 

II A. M. — Got a letter from Joe Myers of Craw- 
fordville, the same Lieut. W. told me of some dajrs ago. 
Dated Augusta, 24th May; it gave me great relief and 
comfort. A thousand thanks to Myers for that letter! 
All well at home. Harry gone with Linton to the Jeffer- 
son place. I do not understand this. Who will take 
care of my affairs on the lot in Harry's absence ? Good 
rains, and com growing nicely. This is good news. 
Again, a thousand thanks to Myers for that letter! 
Answered it immediately. Hope he may get the answer. 
See in N. Y. Tribune that it was currently reported in 
Augusta that Mr. Toombs had conmiitted suicide to 
prevent arrest by Federal forces. Can't give my assent 
to the truth of that ! Breckinridge [Confederate Secretary 
of War] had escaped by ship from some point in Florida. 

Another crowd of visitors, and music. A salute, of 
I don't know how many guns, was fired. I did not think 
to count when the firing began. A jar was felt in my 
cell. Heard broken glass falling in some place not 



far oflF, and cry of children as if alarmed. My cell is 
under officers' quarters; some of these officers have 

Great shouts and huzzas are heard from Confederate 
soldiers; those under the rank of major are about to be 
released and paroled under late order to that eflFect. 
Would that T were going with them! 

Crowds of strangers, visiting men and women, peep 
into my windows, trying to get a look at me. I write 
at my table, and let them make the best observation 
they can. My only objection is that they stand so thick 
as to obscure my light in some degree. 

Finished letter to the President. Wish Linton were 
here; should like to know what he would think of it. 
This is a copy. 

His Excellency, Andrew Johnson, 
President of the United States; 

Mr. President: You will, I trust, excuse if not pardon, 
this communication if it should be deemed obtrusive. 
It is under great embarrassment I make it, but I feel 
it to be my duty to myself, to my country, as well as to 
Your Excellency. 

Several days have elapsed since your Proclamation 
of Amnesty and Pardon, dated Washington the 29th of 
May, reached me in my present confinement, through 
the medium of the newspaper publications. Having 
been connected with the Confederate States Cause in 
the late armed conffict between the States, by accepting 
and holding a high though inactive civil position in their 
organization, and being now in prison on account (I 
suppose) of that connection, I come clearly within the 
I St and 12 th of the enumerated classes excepted from 
the benefit of that Proclamation, and, but for the terms 
of the Proviso, "that special application may be made 


to the President for pardon by any person belonging to 
the excepted classes, and such clemency will be liberally 
extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case 
and the peace and dignity of the United States," I should 
have felt no inclination to do an)rthing but silently and 
patiently as possible await results and meet my fate, 
whatever it might be, under the regular Judicial Tribunals, 
with that resignation, firmness, and fortitude which 
seldom fails to sustain, under all circumstances, those 
who have within them the consciousness of rectitude of 
motive and integrity of purpose. 

The embarrassment under which I now address you 
arises from considerations of a twofold character, which, 
upon statement, you will doubtless readily perceive 
and, I trust, duly appreciate. First, it is due in candour 
to make known to you, as I now do, that I am perfectly 
willing to comply, and in good faith too, with the con- 
ditions and requirements of the Amnesty set forth as to 
all outside the excepted classes. But how a special 
application in my case for the benefits of the Amnesty 
liberally tendered in the Proviso, might be received or 
considered by you, even with the assurance expressed, 
is altogether uncertain to me. I am without grounds 
to form any satisfactory conjecture. If you should look 
upon such application as presumptuous in itself, or as 
implying any confession of a sense of guilt on my part 
for anything that I have done in the late most lamentable 
conflict through which our country has passed, this 
would be a source of deep regret and personal chagrin 
to me. Were I to remain silent and say nothing, might 
you not be led to construe this as an evidence of per- 
sistent defiance and a persistent disinclination to accept 
and abide by the issues of war as now settled and deter- 
mined ? Might you not look upon it as evidence at least 
of a disregard on my part for that liberal tender of Execu- 
tive clemency without inquiry as to past, which you have 
been pleased so graciously to make? To be considered 
presumptuous in seeking to avail myself of what was 


never intended for me on the one side; or on the other 
to subject myself, by silence, to the inference that I am 
indifferent and insensible to the clemency thus liberally 
tendered, would be equally hurtful to me. Hoping I 
am fully understood, I proceed briefly to make to you, 
however it may be received, a special application for 
amnesty in my case under the terms prescribed for others 
not embraced in the excepted classes, and to submit 
for your consideration some reasons why the promised 
clemency should be extended. 

No man living, I think, exerted his powers to a greater 
extent according to his ability to prevent these troubles 
and the late deplorable war than I did; and no man 
in the United States is less responsible by any intentional 
act for the consequences than I feel myself to be. In 
Georgia, I opposed secession to the utmost of my ability, 
in private and public, in conversations, and votes. My 
appeal to the Legislature in November, i860, may not 
be unknown to you. After that, I was in the State 
Convention that passed the Ordinance of Secession. I 
opposed and voted against that Ordinance. This I did, 
however, viewing the question solely as one of policy 
involving the peace, happiness, prosperity, and best inter- 
ests of the entire country, and not one of Right on the 
part of the State. After Georgia had passed that Ordi- 
nance in the most solemn form by a Convention of her 
people, regularly and legally chosen and assembled, 
thereby rescinding her Ordinance, similarly adopted 
in 1788, by which the Constitution of the United 
States was adopted and her membership of the 
Union was enacted, my connection with the new 
Confederation of States that was formed, and my 
subsequent course and conduct has this * explanation, 
if not excuse and justification: I was brought up in 
the straightest sect of the Crawford, Troup, and 
Jefferson States Rights School of Politics. The first 
lessons of my political creed from earliest youth 
were the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1778 and 


1799, the former drawn up by Mr. Jefferson himself. 
In these Resolutions it is declared: 

Resolved, That the several States composing the United States 
of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submis- 
sion to their General Government, but that by compact imder 
the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and 
of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government 
for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain defi- 
nite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass 
of rights to their own self-government; and that whensoever the 
General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are 
unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to the Compact each 
State acceded as a State, and as an integral party, its co-States 
forming as to itself the other party: that the Government enacted 
by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of 
the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would 
have made its discretion and not the Constitution the measure 
of its powers: but that, as in all other cases of Compact, amongst 
Powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right 
to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and 
measure of redress. 

These principles were taught me in my youth; in them 
I was reared. In whatever party associations I have 
acted throughout life upon other questions or measures, 
these principles and their associates in these time-honoured 
resolves have stood forth as the polestar of my guidance 
on all questions referring to the true relations existing 
between the several States and the Federal Government 
under the Compact of Union set forth in the Constitution 
of the United States. My convictions were strong that 
under the Compact of Union of 1787, reserved sover- 
eignty resided with the people of each State, not only 
to judge of infractions or breaches of the Compact by the 
other party to it, but to adopt such "mode and measure 
of redress" for any real or supposed infractions or breaches 
as they, in their sovereign capacity, might determine for 
themselves, subject to no authority for their actions in the 
premises but to that great moral law governing the 


intercourse between Independent States, peoples, and 

The reservation of Sovereignty to the several States 
was clearly set forth in their first articles of Union under 
the old Confederation. In the succeeding Compact 
for a "more perfect imion" of 1787, all powers not 
expressly delegated, or such as are incident to, or proper 
and necessary for, the execution of those expressly 
delegated, are expressly reserved to the States. That 
Sovereignty expressly set forth as retained in the several 
States in the articles of Confederation is not, most cer- 
tainly, parted with by any expressed terms in any part 
of the Compact or Constitution of 1787. Nor could 
I ever see how its transfer or delegation could ever be 
justly implied from anything in that instrument. If 
carried by implication, it must be upon the assumption 
that it is an incident only of some one or all of these 
specific and specially enumerated powers expressly granted. 
This cannot be, as that would be making the incident 
greater than the object, for Sovereignty is the highest 
and greatest of all political powers; the embodiment 
of all, great as well as small: all emanate and proceed 
from it. All the great powers specifically and expressly 
delegated in the Constitution, such as the power to declare 
and make war, to raise and support armies, to tax and 
lay excise and import duties, etc., are but the incidents 
to Sovereignty. If this great embodiment of all powers 
was parted with, why were any minor specifications 
made ? Was it not as useless as absurd ? 

If then, this ultimate, absolute. Sovereignty did reside 
with the several States, as without doubt it did up to the 
formation of the "more perfect Union" of 1787; and if, 
in the Constitution then made, setting forth specifically 
the new and additional powers therein delegated for the 
purpose of forming that "more perfect Union" aimed 
at and established thereby, this Sovereignty is not dele- 
gated, surrendered, or parted with in expressed terms; 
and if, further, the greatest of all political powers cannot 


be justly claimed as incidents to lesser ones and thereby 
carried by implication: then, of course, was it not most 
clearly still reserved to the people of the several States 
in that "mass of residuary Rights" (in the language of 
Mr. Jefferson) which was reserved in express terms in 
the very Compact itself for the "more perfect Union" 
of 1787? — the language of the Constitution being to the 
effect (I cite from memory, not having it before me) 
that "all the powers not delegated to the United States 
by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, 
are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." 
To my mind it seemed to be clearly so. And if so, 
was not this reserved Sovereignty still existing and 
residing with the people of the several States in 1861 — 
the new States as well as the old — since the new came 
in and were admitted upon an equal footing with the 
original Parties to the Compact ? To me, this seemed to 
be equally clear. Such were my firm and most con- 
scientious convictions. 

When Georgia, in her sovereign capacity in 1861, 
seceded from that Compact of Union of 1787 to which 
she had, in the language of Mr. Jefferson, "acceded" 
in 1788, I considered my allegiance due her. In that 
State I was bom; of that State I was a citizen. In no 
sense was I ever a citizen of the United States except 
as a citizen of Georgia — one of the "States united" 
under the Compact of Union of 1787. So long as Georgia 
was one of the United States, by being one of her citizens, 
I thereby became a citizen of the United States, of which 
title, name, or distinction, I had ever been proud. But 
when Georgia resumed her Sovereign power as an Inde- 
pendent State amongst the nations of the earth, as I 
considered she had a clear and perfect right both morally 
and legally to do, however unwisely (in my judgment) 
it was for her to do it, I felt bound to obey her behests — 
to bow my will to hers, as the only power to which I 
owed ultimate allegiance. By her act she had seceded 
from the Compact of the Union ; she was no longer one of 


the United States. I was, by being a citizen of Georgia, 
no longer thereby a citizen of the United States. I 
thought it the duty of all citizens of the State to do as I 
did. All who might have been inclined to do other- 
wise would, by so doing, have rendered themselves 
amenable to her laws against treason to the State. I 
felt no such inclination myself but bowed submissively, 
as I had at all times said I would, to the will of her people 
expressed in their most august sovereign capacity. This 
I did from no change of views, or approval of what 
had been done, but solely from a sense of duty. 

My subsequent connection with the movement thus 
inaugurated was not of my seeking. It was not to 
gratify any personal ambition or aspiration that I yielded 
to the unanimous wish of her Convention, as expressed 
in their appointment of me to be one of the delegates 
to represent her people in the Montgomery Convention. 
It was from a sense of duty. On this point I deliberated 
two days: the times were ominous and perilous, society 
was wavering and rocking to its foundations, general 
wreck and ruin seemed imminent. Georgia, my native 
State, whose people I had served so long and loved so 
well, had by her authoritative voice (spoken through 
those with whom I had acted in the great issue just settled 
as well as by most of those with whom I had so widely 
and radically differed) called on me not to withhold the 
aid of my counsels in providing for her welfare in the 
future on the line of policy she had adopted. Was it, 
or was it not, my duty to obey this call? that was the 
question. I concluded that it was. 

If further considerations than the above stated be 
necessary for excusing, if not justifying, that conclusion, 
let these be added: The President of the United States 
[Buchanan] had, in his annual message of December, 
i860, declared and proclaimed to the world, in substance, 
that there was no rightful or Constitutional power in 
the Government of the United States, or any branch 
thereof, to coerce or to attempt to coerce a seceding 


State. The Attorney General, the law officer of the 
Government, had given an elaborate opinion to the 
same eflfect. Moreover, such a leading organ of the 
popular sentiment of the incoming administration (the 
election of which was one of the chief causes of Secession) 
as the New York Tribune (a journal considered to be 
of great candour, integrity, and unsurpassed ability) had, 
after the results of that election were known, and in view 
of the expected course which certain States, Georgia 
of the number, would take in consequence, put forth 
in an elaborate article this declaration: 

Nay: we hold with Jefferson to the unalienable right of 
Communities to alter or abolish forms of Govemment that 
have become oppressive and injurious; and, if the Cotton 
States shall decide that they can do better out of the Union 
than in it, we insist on letting them depart in peace. The 
right to secede may be a Revolutionary one, but it exists 
nevertheless; and we do not see how one party can have a 
right to do what another party has a right to prevent. And 
whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliber- 
ately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures 
designed to keep it in. 

The Tribune was not alone amongst influential journals 
of the same party in putting forth such sentiments as 
indices of the policy of the incoming administration 
on the questions then pressing for solution. Others 
had similar courage. It is true the President-elect had 
given no public declaration of his own views, or the policy 
he should feel it his duty to pursue in case of Secession 
by any State. Nothing from him either approving or 
disapproving the sentiments of the incumbent in the 
message referred to, reached the public. Under these 
circumstances, might not a good and true man be excused, 
even in an error, on the grounds of misguided patriotism, 
in going with his people, espousing their cause as his 
cause, and linking his destiny with their destiny, although 


he might not have as strong convictions as I had that 
his people had not erred as a matter of right, however 
much diey had erred as a matter of policy? If so, 
how much more should he be who had such convictions ? 

I affirm that no sentiment of disloyalty to the Con- 
stitution of the United States, to the principles it contained, 
or the form of Government thereby established,^ ever 
entered my breast. The controlling motive with me in 
accepting the new trust assigned me was an earnest 
desire to rescue, secure, and perpetuate these in the 
convulsions about to ensue. My greatest apprehensions 
from secession, as appears from a published letter from 
me about this time to a secessionist living in New York, 
was that the result would be the loss, both North and 
South, of these great essential principles of American 
Constitutional Liberty. Hence, in the State Convention, 
I drew up a resolution which passed that body, instruct- 
ing the delegates from Georgia to the Montgomery 
Convention, to form a new Confederation on the basis 
as nearly as practicable of the United States Consti- 

It was with these views and feelings, I finally consented 
to go to Montgomery. There my object was achieved 
almost to the letter. Such changes as were made looked 
mainly to the more clearly settling of disputed points 
in the old Constitution, so as to more surely close and 
bar the door against those constructions and discussions 
which had so unfortunately agitated and distracted the 
public mind and so seriously disturbed the public tran- 
quillity throughout the land under the old Government. 
All changes were of a conservative character and ten- 
dency. If the old Confederation was to be abandoned, 
as seemed to be resolved upon by the Southern people 
and not seriously or forcibly to be objected to by the 
Northern, I wished, in that event, the same principles 
of liberty to be preserved and perpetuated in the new 
one about to be formed. Against these sacred princi- 
ples, I repeat, no disloyal or traitorous throb ever beat 


in heart or breast of mine. "To maintain the Union 
upon these principles, to promote its advancement, 
development, power, glory, and renown," I had declared 
on a memorable occasion in the House of Representa- 
tives [Jan. 6, 1857] was my earnest desire, my highest 

'' All thoughts, all passions, all delights, 
Whatever stirs this mortal frame, 
All are but ministers of love 
To feed this sacred flame." 

"But," I had added, "the Constitutional Rights and 
Equality of the States must be preserved." In my 
judgment, this was the only way in which the Union 
could be maintained and these principles preserved. 
Such was my loyalty to these principles expressed in the 
Capitol of the Union; it was not questioned then. Such 
it was at Montgomery. 

After the formation of the new Constitution there 
adopted, the position assigned me in the new Govern- 
ment instituted under it was likewise conferred upon me 
unanimously and without any solicitation on my part. 
But for the unanimity with which it was conferred, I 
should not have accepted it. Conferred as it was, 
it was accepted partly as a high compliment to my integ- 
rity of purpose in the maintenance of those principles, 
as it evidently was, coming as it did from those with 
a large majority of whom I had diflfered so widely and 
radically and so recently upon vital questions of public 
policy; but chiefly from a sense of duty I accepted this 
evidence of confidence reposed in me, in the hope that 
I might be able to contribute some aid and exert some 
influence that I could not otherwise, in controlling events 
the best way possible to secure the best results possible, 
not only for the peace and welfare of Georgia and her 
new Confederates, but for the peace, welfare, and pros- 
perity of the people of all the States. My object was 
in all things so patriotically to act as to secure the surest 
settlement of difficulties between the States upon such 


terms and on such basis as reason and justice, not arms, 
should discover for the best interest, quiet, happiness, 
peace, tranquillity, and prosperity of the whole country. 
This has been my object, the controlling motive of 
my course and conduct throughout. I have been wedded 
to no ideas as a basis of such settlement save one alone: 
the recognition of the ultimate absolute Sovereignty 
of each of the several States as the surest foundation of 
permanent peace in such a Republic as ours — such a 
Confederation of States with such diversity of interests, 
stretching over a vast extent of territory, and, with peace 
and prosperity, likely to stretch so much farther. 

My opinion was, that if this principle should be acknow- 
ledged, all other matters of difference and difficulty would 
soon adjust themselves. It would prove to be the self- 
adjusting principle of our system. It would become the 
Continental Regulator of all the North American States 
to whatever limits their boundaries might go, or to what- 
ever extent their numbers might swell. I know the 
objection to this doctrine is that a Union or Govern- 
ment formed upon such a principle would have no 
adhesion between its parts or members; government, 
to be anything, must be strong; its parts must be held 
together by force; a Union formed upon the principle of 
permitting any member to quit it at pleasure would be 
held together by nothing better than a rope of sand. 
The reply to this with me has ever been, that the strong- 
est force that can hold the parts or members of a Govern- 
ment together is the affection of the people. Government, 
to be strong and powerful, must indeed be held together 
by force. The force in the material world, which binds 
and holds in indissoluble union all the parts in their 
respective and distant spheres throughout the limitable 
regions of space, is the simple law of attraction. So 
should it be with Government, especially with a republic 
formed by States united or confederated in any sort of 
compact, agreement, or constitution with a view to 
"mutual convenience and reciprocal advantage." The 


only force that should keep them in bonds, should be 
that which brought them together in the beginning: the 
law of attraction, affinity, affection, and devotion. This 
is the true principle of the strongest adhesion between 
States thus united. It springs from considerations of 
interests, safety, security, and welfare. When these are 
left untrammelled, in the light and under the guidance 
of dispassionate reason, no union would remain long 
dissevered that was really beneficial to its members. 
None, it is true, would stand that was inherently and 
permanently injurious to any; nor ought such to stand. 

These are some of the views by which I was actuated 
in being thus wedded to the maintenance of this doctrine 
of the Sovereignty of the States as the basis of a general 
adjustment and settlement of the questions involved 
in our late troubles. Whether under an adjustment 
thus made, the old Union should be immediately or 
ultimately restored, or whether new confederations 
should be formed as might be deemed most conducive 
to the best interest of the parties concerned, was a matter 
of much less importance and consideration with me than 
the maintenance of the principle which lies, as I conceived, 
at the foundation of all American Institutions of Self- 
Govemment. You will please excuse this rather length- 
ened exposition. It was, and is, necessary for a correct 
understanding of my conduct and the motives by which 
I have been governed throughout. 

As for slavery, or the relation of the Black race to the 
White, so far as concerns the pecuniary view of the 
subject, I would personally have been willing any day 
to give that up for recognition of the other great principle. 
Slavery, in the abstract, I ever abhorred and detested. 
Slavery in the concrete, being, as it existed with us, the 
subordination of an inferior to a superior race, was ever 
considered by me more in reference to its features as a 
social problem than one barely of capital and labour. 
In this view, it always presented itself to my mind as one 
of the greatest and most difficult questions to adjust 


upon the principles of reason and justice, to which the 
attention of statesmen, philosophers, philanthropists, and 
Christians was ever directed. 

My judgment and convictions, after much thought 
and reflection, were that a proper subordination of the 
inferior to the superior race was the natural and normkl 
condition of the former in relation to the latter. I 
thought the assignment of that position in the structure 
of society to the African race amongst us was the best 
for both races and in accordance with the ordinance of 
the Creator as manifested in His works. In His Word, 
given through his Inspired Oracles, there is nothing 
against this view, but much which clearly sanctions it. 
Our system was not perfect, as what human systems 
are, ever were, or ever will be ? Many things connected 
with it not only did not meet my approval but excited 
my strongest aversion and deepest sympathy and com- 
miseration. The same I may say of many things con- 
nected with the best institutions in the best regulated 
communities in which I have ever had the good or bad 
fortune to cast my lot. Whenever I have been up North 
or out in the far West, as well as down in the far South, 
I have met with many things in the workings of the best 
systems which caused me to feel if not to exclaim: 

Alas I what crowds in every land 

Are wretched and forlorn. 
Man's inhumanity to man 

Makes countless thousands mourn. 

If our system on the subject of the proper relation 
between the two races was not the best for both, or 
could not be made the best for both, looking to the 
progress and advancement of both in civilization, physi- 
cally, morally, and intellectually; then I ever held it to 
be radically wrong, and freely admitted that it ought 
to be abolished, and some other system adopted that 
would allow the accomplishment of these ends. All 
government, I ever maintained, should be so constructed 


and administered as to promote the interests and welfare 
of all its constituent elements without injury to any. 
The principle that might gives right never received 
approval by me on this or any other subject. The dogma 
of the greatest good to the greatest number, I, on many 
public occasions, openly repudiated in reference to this 
very subject of slavery as it existed amongst us. Instead, 
I maintained the true principle to be the greatest good 
to all without detriment or injury to any. The pecuniary 
view of the subject was ever with me but the dust in the 
balance compared with others connected with it. After 
this struggle commenced, I was willing to give up the 
whole system (its diflGiculties to be left for adjustment, 
upon the best basis attainable for the best interest and 
welfare of both races, to those on whom the high trust 
of solving these questions might devolve) for the rec- 
ognition, as I have stated, of the other great principle — 
the Sovereignty of the several States. 

If my position in the Confederate Government was 
still retained after I clearly saw that the great objects 
I had in view when accepting it were not likely to be 
obtained even by the success of Confederate arms, 
and after I saw that the Administration was pursuing a 
line of policy leading to decidedly opposite results to 
those I was aiming at, and to which I was not only strongly 
opposed but exceedingly hostile — it was mainly with 
the view and in the hope that some occasion might arise 
when my counsels might be of more avail than they had 
been. Owing to my hostility to the measures of that 
Government, my loyalty to its cause was more than 
suspected; I was by many denounced as a traitor; my 
loyalty, however, my whole soul and heart, was ever 
true to that cause with the aims and objects therein set 
forth, as it had been to the old cause of the old Union 
with the same. If I was a traitor to either, then in heart 
I was equally traitor to both. 

Throughout the struggle, my heart bled over the 
suflferings of the people, both North and South, from the 


atrocities of war. The condition of suflFering prisoners 
on both sides was one that awakened in me deepest 
interest and most active sympathies. My efforts to 
mitigate them need not be stated. Many are already 
known to the world; others not known, of not much less 
importance, would have been attended with great good 
had they been successful. Suffice it to say, that all that 
I could do on that, line was done. 

The conclusion of this whole statement then, is this: 
The war was inaugurated against my judgment. It 
was conducted on our side against my judgment. I 
do not feel myself morally responsible or accountable 
in any way for any of the appalling evils attending it. 
Its results are not what I desired, the Sovereignty of 
the several States has not been maintained. Thus, 
regularly constituted Governments have been displaced, 
as part of its results. Slavery has been completely 
abolished. If any other system or measure can be devised 
for the better amelioration of the condition of the coloured 
portion of our population, consistent with the best inter- 
est of both races, then I shall be content. The conflict 
is over ; all further contest has been abandoned — aban- 
doned not so soon as I wished it to be, but abandoned 
when it was, with my entire approbation for reasons I 
need not state; and in full view of the consequences, 
I accept the issues and results as they exist, and declare 
my entire willingness in the most perfect good faith to 
abide by them accordingly. 

If, upon this statement of my case and of these reasons 
or of any others, you shall be pleased to extend to me the 
benefits of that amnesty awarded to others, it shall be as 
cordially accepted as it has been liberally tendered. 
Not from any weakness of nature prompting a desire 
to shun the full legal responsibilities of my acts under the 
Constitution and laws of the country, nor any dread of 
meeting and bearing the consequences even though 
the end should be the scaffold or the gallows; but because, 
feeling as I do, I think I should do you, as well as myself, 


a wrong in not thus accepting it if the case stated is 
embraced in the tender. If, upon a review of the case 
thus presented, you should be of opinion that it is not 
so embraced, that it would not be "consistent with the 
peace and dignity of the United States" to embrace me 
in this liberal offer set forth in the proviso in the proc- 
lamation; or if you should think best not to decide the 
question hastily, or without mature deliberation; then 
I have this request to make of you: that in the interim 
I be released from my present confinement on my parole 
of honour to report myself at any stated place and time 
upon due notice to meet any charge that may be legally 
established against me. 

I have been now four weeks in custody; two in this 
place in close confinement, permitted to speak to no one 
except the guard and officers in charge, with liberty to 
walk out one hour every day on the grounds accom- 
panied by an officer. My physical condition is feeble. 
The diet furnished is not such as the state of my health, 
and previous habits, require for its preservation. I am 
permitted, it is true, to supply necessary extras at my 
own cost. This is consuming the small stock of means 
I possess. 

The whole of my personal effects will not more than 
pay my debts and provide education for orphan nephews 
under my charge and dependent on me. I have much 
to do at home in arranging for supplies for a number 
of other persons also dependent on me for subsistence, 
and in settling estates of which I have direction and 
management. I wish, moreover, in the new order of 
things to make suitable provision for those who have 
heretofore stood in the relation of slaves to me under 
our laws. I have lands on which I wish to make them 
as comfortable as possible. I had told them, upon the 
surrender of the Army of Virginia, what I supposed would 
be the result of the war as to their condition, and the 
terms on which they could remain at the old homestead, 
if they wished. To these terms they all most cheer- 


fully assented. I was arrested and brought away before 
arrangements, which involved surveys, allotments, etc., 
were perfected; my presence is necessary for their con- 

I have but one brother living. His position toward 
the war, in opinion and sentiment, has been almost identi- 
cal with my own. The most marked difference between 
our cases is, he held no office that excludes him from 
the general amnesty of the Proclamation. He was 
reported to be quite ill at his home a day or two after 
my arrest and before I left the State. I have heard 
nothing directly from him since. I am exceedingly anxious 
not only to hear from, but to see and be with, him. These, 
to say nothing of divers other considerations under the 
privations and sufferings of prison life, urge me to request 
of you this enlargement, at least, until charges shall be 
legally instituted. 

My pledge of honour was never broken and never will 
be. Others have been similarly released; why should 
not I? Whatever conditions may be required, touching 
my intercourse with others during my enlargement, 
wUl be most strictly conformed to. On this subject, 
it may be proper to state that if I were permitted to exert 
them, all my influence and power would be directed 
to a restoration of quiet, order, and government in 
Georgia upon the basis of accepting and abiding by 
the issues of war as proclaimed by the Executive. I 
should certainly say or do nothing intended to check 
or thwart the policy indicated by the administration in 
bringing the seceded States back into practical relations 
with the General Government. But I have no desire 
to take any active part in these matters; not even to exer- 
cise the franchise of a citizen is any object with me. 
Personal liberty is what I chiefly want. Should my 
real estate, which is, perhaps, worth about ten thousand 
dollars, be also spared me, it would add a great deal to 
my comfort while I live. As for the franchise or having 
any voice hereafter in the administration of government 


or the election of rulers, I care but little. The last elec- 
tion I ever took part in was the election of delegates 
to the State Convention in 1861. My vote was then 
cast against secession. I am perfectly willing that that 
shall stand as the last vote ever cast by me. 

And now, Mr. President: If it does not consist with 
your views either to grant the special application as 
made in the foremost part of this communication, or 
the request for the release on parole just made, then I 
have one other still smaller request to make: and that 
is, that my imprisonment here shall not be close^ that, 
during the day, the door of my apartment shall not be 
locked; that I may be permitted to walk out and in at 
pleasure, between sunrise and sunset; that I may not 
be debarred from holding conmiunications with friends 
in and out of the Fort in the presence of olQ&cers, or sub- 
ject only to the instruction of the officer commanding 
at the Post. Instructions from a distance necessarily 
cause imnecessary delay. 

May I presume to ask that this conmiunication be 
answered and that the answer, whatever it may be, may 
be sent as soon as your manifold duties will conveniently 

All of which is most respectfully submitted to Your 
Excellency's thoughtful, clement, and patriotic consid- 
eration by 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

June 10. — Did not finish cop)dng letter to the 
President before extinguishment of lights. Rose soon, 
finished, and handed it to Lieut. W. for morning mail. 
Last night, woke from a dream in which Heniy and 
Anthony appeared ; both were in bad condition, Anthony 
in particular; both wanted to go back to Liberty Hall. 
Poor Anthony! I fear he is in trouble. Wish I could 
hear from Mr. Baskerville. Did not walk out this 
morning; Lieut. W. was too busy, he said, getting off 


prisoners of war discharged by late orders. He told 
me a prisoner named Hardin is going to Georgia, after 
being in prison at least two years. I wanted to send a 
message by him but could not. I asked Lieut. W. to 
tell him I wished he would go to Crawfordville and see 
my people, or would write Linton that I am tolerably well 
and how to conununicate with me. Whether the Lieu- 
tenant will do it or not, I do not know. He promised 
to come and walk with me this evening before sundown. 

Been thinking of my letter, debating over again the 
propriety of what I have done. Do wish Linton were 
here to advise with me. I would rather have his opinion 
than anybody else's. I think of many things that would 
have improved it — but it was too long anyhow. How 
shall I feel if it is rejected or imnoticed? I feel that 
there is nothing in it but what is right, and therefore I 
shall be better able to bear what follows. I might have 
made it better, that is true, but let it go. 

Thunder shower. Did not walk out until late. Lieut. 
W. told me my letter did not go ofif to-day. Major Allen 
had not got through reading it. 


JUNE II. — But for the dose confinement in this 
sort of underground place, I think my health 
would have improved somewhat. If I were here 
with liberty, comfortable quarters, and privilege to hear 
from home, I should not object to spending a month 
or two on the island. The salt air and generally mild 
temperature seem to suit me. 

9 A. M. — Lieut. W. called for the walk but, as it 
was hot, asked if I would prefer to postpone it until even- 

I was in a railroad wreck near Macon in 1853, when 
a poor brakeman did what he could at his post to stay 
the smash-up, losing his life in his effort to save others. 
In the country's troubles, I did but act as he; did but 
seize the brake to arrest, as far as possible, impending 
mischief; my efforts have been no more availing than 
were his. Perhaps in the end I shall fare no better; 
if not by sentence of law, by disease and death from impris- 

Had a very sick spell to-day. The bowels have not 
been in proper condition. I became prostrate over the 
urinal, could barely get on my bunk; perspiration pour- 
ing over the whole body, head perfectly wet. Called 
to the guard several times, but could not make myself 
heard. I wanted cool water badly; half an hour went 
by before I could see any one pass the windows. Then 
a guard passed. His attention I was able to arrest, and 



I asked for Lieut. W., who came and went immediately 
for the surgeon, Dr. or Major Seavems. I told the 
doctor I was only suflFering from a sick spell such as I 
was subject to, and that it would soon be over. All I 
wanted was some cool water; a little ale might do me 
good. Lieut. W. brought me a glass of ice water, the 
first I have drank this season. It relieved me very much. 
The Doctor remained some time, then left, promising 
to send some medicine. I told him the liver was not 
performing its functions properly; my remedy was a 
preparation of nitric acid which I had with me, but I 
needed a glass tube in taking it. He had no tube; 
would send some straws. In an hour or more I was 
able to sit up at my window. 

I see in the Boston Herald that there was a riot yester- 
day in Washington, D. C, between Federal soldiers and 
Negroes; attack by the former upon the latter; 150 or 
200 soldiers engaged. The military, or provost, guard 
was called on to suppress it. Several were wounded and 
some killed on both sides. Is this but the beginning of 
deplorable conflicts hereafter to be enacted between the 
races, until one or the other is extinguished ? Sad fore- 
bodings haunt me. I apprehend intestine strifes, riots, 
bloodshed, wars of the most furious character, springing 
from antipathies of castes and races. Equality does not 
exist between blacks and whites. The one race is by 
nature inferior in many respects, physically and mentally, 
to the other. This should be received as a fixed invinci- 
ble fact in all dealings with the subject. It is useless 
to war against the decrees of nature in attempting to make 
things equal which the Creator has made unequal; the 
wise, humane, and philosophic statesman will deal with 
facts as he finds them. In the new order of things, I 


shall hope and, if permitted, strive, for the best; yet I 
cannot divest myself of forebodings of many evils. 
Whether there will be greater ones than these freely 
admitted to be incident to the former system, time alone 
will determine. 

God knows my views on slavery never rose from 
any disposition to lord it over any human being or to 
see anybody else so lord it. In my whole intercourse with 
the black race, those by our laws recognized as my slaves 
and all others, I sought to be governed by the Golden 
Rule; taking this rule in its true sense of doing unto 
others as I would have others do unto me were positions 
reversed. I never owned one that I would have held a 
day without his or her free will and consent. One of 
the greatest perplexities of my life was what disposition 
to make of my Negroes by will. Our laws against man- 
umission I looked on as unwise and impolitic. Some 
Negroes of mine, I knew from conversations with them, 
wished to be free when I should be gone. This I pro- 
vided for as far as I could by will under our laws. To 
all the rest, I secured the right of choosing their future 
masters. My own judgment was that those who elected 
to go to a free State would not be so well off as those 
who should remain at home with masters of their choice. 
Still, that was with me a matter for their own decision 
and which I did not feel at liberty to control. So far as 
my own Negroes are concerned, there is nothing now 
that would give me more pleasure, under the changed 
order of things, than to try the experiment and see what 
can be done for them in their new condition. 

Read Gerrit Smith's lecture in New York on Treason 
and punishment of traitors as reported in the Tribune. 
It is about what I should have expected from him. I 


knew him personally in Congress; formed there a very 
favourable opinion of his general generous impulses of 
philanthropy. He was considered by most Southern 
people as a monster. But few Southern members would 
recognize or speak to him at first. This prejudice wore 
off, I believe, before the termination of the Congress 
of which he was a member. I entertained none of it 
myself; met him socially as I would any other intelligent, 
courteous gentleman. I dined with him at his own 
house, and we talked over in a friendly spirit all those 
questions which were agitating the country to its founda- 
tions, questions on which we radically differed in many 
respects and which have ended in such bloody deeds. 

My arrangement with sutler for meals has conmienced. 
I fare better. 

Dinner to-day: salmon, broiled turkey, asparagus, 
potatoes, and pudding, all well cooked and palatable; 
having little appetite, I ate little. The Doctor recom- 
mended a stimulant, so I took a drink from Harry's 
bottle. Paid sutler $4 for "simdries"; what "sundries" 
are I do not know. 

7 p. M. — From the parapet on the eastern bastion 
had a magnificent view of the ocean; as far as the eye 
could reach, its wide green plain stretched out, placid 
as the bosom of a lake. I thought of my first view of 
the great deep. It was near Sunbury, Ga., on the 2d 
March, 1833, one of my Saturday holidays. I had gone 
12 or 15 miles for no other purpose than to behold it. 
Where I stood this evening is a favourable point for a 
sea- view; 70 feet above high- water mark, enabling one 
to look much further out than from any place I have 
ever been before. On the N. W. bastion got a full, 
clear outline of Boston, Bimker Hill Monument, etc. 


Did not walk much, strolled slowly, rested under musi- 
cian's arbour. I was feebler than at any walk since I 
have been here. 

In Boston Herald is a statement that the President 
has refused to allow my friends to communicate with 
me. I hope it is not true. I once said, before the 
Georgia Legislature, in March, 1864, on the Habeas 
Corpus Resolutions, that "I was never bom to acknowl- 
edge a master." I am now in the hands of the President. 
I cannot even have the opportunity of suing out a writ 
of habeas corpus. It may be said that I have a master 
now, whether bom to acknowledge one or not. This 
is but too lamentably tme. I did not mean to say, how- 
ever, that I never was born to be in the power of one from 
whose oppression I could not extricate myself, but meant 
that I was never bom to acknowledge myself the willing 
subject of any man on earth, or to yield to an unconstitu- 
tional authority oppressively used, acknowledging it to 
be right. I have the same spirit I had then. Whatever 
outrages may be perpetrated against my rights as a 
freeman under the Constitution and the laws, I shall 
never acknowledge him to be my master who commits 
them, or orders them committed. Superior force, as 
fate, has to be yielded to. 

I asked Lieut. W. if he thought the Herald statement 
correct, or if he had any reason to think so. He said 
he did not think it tme; the privilege to send or receive 
communications under which I had written home and 
had received Myers's letter, came, as he had informed 
me, from Washington; and no change of that order had 
been received here. 

Another glimpse of Judge Reagan this evening as he 
passed my window on his retum from walking. He did 


not see me. He looked pale but stepped firmly. Dr. 
Seaverns called, and sent by Lieut. W. some medicine 
for me. Lieut. W. told me to-day that he saw a letter 
from Mrs. DuBose to the General. It was dated the 
27th of May, and said all were well. 

June 12. — When I awoke, about 6, the sun was 
shining in at my window. The phantom of a dream 
was left upon the memory. In that dream I seemed to 
be in Atlanta on my way home. Pierce [a Negro servant], 
well dressed, in good spirits, joined me there; said he 
had come to go with me and we would spend the balance 
of our lives together; he intended never to leave me, I 
had been the best friend he ever had and he should never 
forget it. Sportive fancy enlivened the scene with a 
puppy Pierce had picked up somewhere. Its capers 
excited Pierce's indignation, but in me a disposition to 
laugh. For dogs I ever had a fondness ; they ever seemed 
to like me. If to err, on the part of men, be but human, 
what ought to be expected of dogs — even grown-up 
dogs with all the culture and improvements that dog 
education and training can impart? and what should be 
expected of a puppy ? So in my sleep I said to Pierce, 
"Let the puppy alone, he knows no better." When I 
awoke from sweet sleep with this ludicrous dream 
lingering upon memory, sad reflections sprang from my 
actual surroundings — far from my home, my friends, 
my servants, not allowed even the companionship of 
my faithful dogs, Troup, Frank, and Binks. Lying on 
a straw mattress upon my narrow iron bunk in this lonely 
cell of thick walls, stone floor, strong locks, bolts and 
bars — I thus situated, who have laboured all my 
life, feeble and frail as I have been from the cradle 


up, more for the comfort and happiness of others than 
for my own! 

Scene in Cell, io a.m. 

[Prisoner reading. Door unlocked; Surgeon Seavems 

Surgeon. Well, how do you feel this morning? 

Prisoner. Good morning. Major. Much better, thank 

Surgeon. Did you like the medicine I sent you? 

Prisoner. Yes, sir: took a dose this morning. Were 
you able to get any straws for my use with the nitric 

Surgeon. Not yet. Those obtainable are too broken or 
mashed. I will try and get some. [Looking about on the 
table and mantel-piece.] I see you have some books here. 

Prisoner. I see by the library catalogue that the library 
will furnish me abundant reading matter. I did not know 
of it when I purchased the "American Conflict" and 
Prescott's works. 

Surgeon. [Looking at Greeley's book.] I have never 
seen this work before; I have never read it. 

Prisoner. I have read it with a great deal of interest. 
It is one of the fairest as well as one of the ablest one- 
sided histories I ever read. 

Surgeon. I have not read much from Greeley lately. 
He has been rather vacillating during the war. You 
know him, do you ? 

Prisoner. Oh yes, I have met him often. He served a 
term in Congress while I was there. I was on very good 
terms with him in our personal relations. I always 
regarded him as a man of inflexible purpose, principle, and 
integrity on his line. He is, in many points of view, a real 


philosopher. His paper, the Tribune^ I always read 
with a great deal of interest — as I have read his book — 
however much I disagree with him in his premises and 
conclusions. He is always fair in statements, open and 
bold in purpose, and has a vigour, force, and perspicuity 
in style rarely equalled. Like most philosophers, he has 
many eccentricities in ideas as well as in manners. 

Surgeon. Even in dress. His coat and hat are quite 

Prisoner. Yes ; no one thinks of Greeley without the 
coat and hat. These seem part of the physical man, no 
less characteristic than his long stride and shambling gait. 

Surgeon. Well, sir, I am glad to see you so well this 
morning. I will try and get you the straws or the quill; 
and if there is anything else I can do for you, let me 
know. Good morning, sir. 

Prisoner. Thank you. Good morning. Major. 

Geary brought dinner. For dessert, a cold custard 
such as I got at a Mr. Palmer's in East Haddam in 1838. 
I had called to see Mr. Palmer on business for some 
orphan children in Georgia ; Mrs. Palmer brought refresh- 
ments, and such a custard in such a cup! Obeyed the 
Doctor's directions in finishing with some whisky — 
from the bottle Harry put up for me. I have never 
taken that bottle from my trunk without thinking of 
how Harry looked when he got it and handed it to me. 
It was just before the trunk was locked ; all had gone out 
of my room but him and me. He looked sad. I hastily 
gave him all the directions I could, in rather confused : 
order; told him, amongst other things that I wished him 
to remember if I never saw him again, to be sure and send 
his children to school, to give them an education if he could. 


His sorrowful face at that last interview is daguerreotyped 
upon my memory, and I never see the bottle but ' 
association brings it out in its distinct impression. 

The papers state that Hunter, Campbell, and Seddon 
are prisoners in Fort Pulaski. Walked at 6.15. Saw 
several stalks of green rye growmg in the angles and about 
the walls of the Fort. They were large-headed and I 
thought might answer my purpose for taking the acid, 
so cut some. Geary brought sea-water and poured it 
in my tub. I wish to try a salt-water bath; as the water 
might be too cold, taken from the bay in the morning, I 
arranged to have it sit in the room all night. The tem- 
perature of my room I should think is about 75 degrees. 
I wrote the sutler to-day to get me a small thermometer. 

June 13. — Another clear, brilliant, glorious day. 
When I awoke, the sun was peeping into my otherwise 
dark and gloomy cell, with one of the most radiant and 
joyous countenances he ever wears. Dimpling, beaming 
smiles covered his whole broad face. Oh, how I should 
have enjoyed this morning could I but have gone out, 
caught the inspiration of " incense - breathing mom," 
and joined in the chorus of nature's responsive welcome 
to its sun, her Te Deum to the advent of this most glorious 
day! As it was, I could but rise from my bimk of iron 
and straw, and while taking my salt-water bath, chant 
in not very musical notes : 

Alas, and did my Saviour bleed, 

And did my Sovereign die? 
Would he devote that sacred head 

For such a worm as I? 

My thoughts wandered far, far away ; to Georgia, Liberty 
Hall, and the old homestead. Read several chapters in 


Job. Was reading when Geary brought breakfast: 
good coflFee, hot rolls, mutton chops, and combread. 
In the N. Y. Times I see a letter of some importance 
from Hon. J. Minor Botts. It sets forth many truths; 
but what appears therein as an extract from my speech 
in the Georgia Secession Convention is incorrect. I 
opposed the Ordinance of Secession and made a speech 
against it, but used very different language from that 
attributed to me. Where he could have got such a report 
of my speech, I cannot imagine. None such ever met 
my eye before; I never saw but one report of it. That 
was in the Southern Recorder y of Milledgeville, a few 
days after I made it. I could not have spoken of seces- 
sion as a crime, for, however much I was opposed to it, I 
did not so consider it. I considered that the State had a 
perfect right to secede; her act was fully justified on the 
grounds of breach of compact by several of the Northern 
States in the matter of the rendition of fugitives from 
service, by which open, palpable, and avowed breach 
of faith, she was released from all moral obligation to 
continue in bonds of union with them. A contract 
broken by one party is dissolved as to all, if the others 
so choose to consider it. But I did not consider it politic 
or wise for the State to adopt that mode of redress, 
though she had a perfect right morally and politically 
to do so. Nations or States are not bound, even in honour, 
to adopt the ultima ratio regum, for everything that would 
justify it. This was my position which seemed so hard 
for the mass of mankind to comprehend. . This breach 
of covenant on the part of several of the Northern Con- 
federates, was in my judgment the only ground that 
fully justified the State, in view of the moral obligations 
resting upon her under the Compact of Union, in taking 


the course she did. But what is fully justifiable, morally 
and legally, is not always wise and expedient. 

An important card from W. W. Cleary on Conover's 
testimony in the Assassination trial is in the N. Y. Worldj 
; copied from the Toronto Leader. And an extract from 
^ the Charlotte Democrat on Bates's testimony as to what 
Mr. Davis said on receiving telegram of Mr. Lincoln's 
death. According to this, Bates's testimony is utterly 
worthless. This I thought most probable at first. The 
N. Y. Times has an editorial on "The Doom of Treason." 
I look on this as more important from the fact that the 
Times is said to reflect Mr. Seward's sentiments. It 

The trial of Davis, Breckinridge, Cobb, Thompson, 
Stephens, Benjamin, Slidell, Mason, etc., for treason 
is demanded by every consideration which concerns the 
dignity of the Government, the majesty of the law, and 
the safety of her people. The tears of weeping millions 
and the blood of slaughtered thousands demand, at 
least, this measure of atonement. Nor will it be denied. 
And when tried, if lawfully convicted, the President of 
the United States will determine whether their execution 
or banishment will best comport with the nature of their 
crime, the spirit of the age, and the judgment of the 

If such be the sentiments of Mr. Seward, such will 
probably be the result; so far from shrinking from a 
trial, all I ask so far as concerns myself is a speedy trial, 
public, with such time only as shall be necessary for 
preparation, and such conveniences during its progress 
as will aflFord me access to the authorities and documents 
I may desire. With this, God mercifully giving me 
health and strength of body and usual vigour of mind, 


I shall be prepared to pass the ordeal with an unquailing 
spirit, let the end be an)rthing but exile. Exile I could 
not stand! Nor could I well stand life-time close con- 
finement; at least, I think, under it my life would be short. 
That spirit within me which could meet death on the 
gallows with steady nerves, would it stand by me or sink 
and break within me under sentence of exile or long 
imprisonment? I am inclined to look on this editorial 
with the more interest from the fact that it appeared after 
time had elapsed for my letter to the President to reach 

I see from the N. Y. Herald that the Boston TraveUer^s 
account of the Medical Convention's visit to the fort 
last week, states that Judge Reagan occupies a room 
adjoining mine; that he appeared at his window once 
and bowed to an acquaintance; but that my windows 
were curtained and I was not to be seen. This Medical 
Convention was the great mass of visitors noticed by me 
on the 8th, and my account of it is correct. There are 
no curtains to my windows. 

Walked out at 5.45 with Lieut. W. Saw a number 
of Confederate officers, prisoners, walking on opposite 
parapet, but could not recognize any of them. Found 
thermometer on table when I returned and paid for it, 
$1.25, making all expenses $61.48. It stands at 77 
degrees. Geary brought tea, strawberries, and sweet 


JUNE 14. — Another bright morning out. Rose at 
6.30. Thermometer 72. This thermometer is to 
be a sort of pet with me, I expect. Read 
Jeremiah 30, and all of Lamentations. The wailing 
of Israel's poet over the subjugation, desolation, and 
ruin of his Zion, meet a sympathetic response in my 
breast over a like condition of my own dear Georgia. 
How truly is our condition set forth: 

Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to 
aliens. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers 
are as widows. Our necks are under persecution: we 
labour and have no rest. The elders have ceased from 
the gate, the young men from their music. The joy 
of our heart is ceased ; our dance is turned into mourning. 
For this our heart is faint ; for these things our eyes are dim. 

. . . For thus said the Lord ; we have heard a voice 
of trembling, of fear and not of peace. Ask ye now, 
and see whether a man doth travail with child ? Where- 
fore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a 
woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 

How vividly return to my mind the feelings with which 
I went from a sick-bed to address a vast concourse of 
people at Dalton, in i860; in that address, with all 
due reverence, I exclaimed: *^0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 
thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which 
are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered 
thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chick- 



ens under her wings, and ye would not." This speech 
was made in prophecy of impending ruin; amidst inter- 
ruptions and attempts to prevent my counsels trom 
having eflFect, I warned our people to stay these calamities 
while they might. 

I see a statement in the New York Tribune that the 
President has granted unconditional paidon, accom- 
panying it with a letter, to Hon. W. W. Boyce, of South 
Carolina. This I was glad to see, not from any encour- 
agement I may be supposed to take that similar grant 
may be made me, but because I think well of Mr. Boyce; 
think he deserved what he is reported to have received, 
notwithstanding he was so much more responsible for 
this war than I; notwithstanding his speech in Columbia, 
November, 5, i860, in which he is reported to have said: 

The question then is, what are we to do? In my 
opinion the South ought not to submit. If you intend 
to resist, the way to resist in earnest is to act — the way 
to avert revolution is to stem it in the face. The only 
policy for us is to take up arms as soon as we receive 
authentic intelligence of the election of Lincoln; it is 
for South Carolina, in the quickest manner and by the 
most direct means, to withdraw from the Union. Thus, 
we will not submit, whether the other Southern States 
will act with us or with our enemies. 

At this time, my utmost exertions were in the other 
direction. His impulses, I doubt not, were prompted 
by apprehension of danger to the Constitutional Rights 
of his State from Mr. Lincoln's election. I have no 
question that this was the case with Governor Joe Brown, 
Governor (then Judge) Magrath, and great numbers 
of other leading men whose actions and counsels "pre- 


cipitated ' ' the war. I was * * precipitated ' ' by them against 
my judgment and protest, and am suflFering in conse- 
quence. I rejoice to see that these men — Boyce, Brown, 
Magrath, Smith (Governor of Virginia) and Cobb, with 
thousands of others who followed like course — at large 
enjoying on parole their personal liberty. Such liberty 
would be to me a great boon also, but perhaps it is better 
for me to suflFer, if so be some few must suflFer to satisfy 
public vengeance. Isolated and almost alone in the 
world, a strange creature of destiny at best, with but 
few ties to life, why should not I be one of the victims? 
My fate may be a hard one, but it has been a hard one 
throughout life. 

Walked my room and thought of home — of Linton ; 
smoked my pipe, the meerschaum Girardey gave me. 
This has been a great source of comfort to me. How 
often I have thought of him, Camille Girardey of Augusta, 
Ga., when I have puflFed that meerschaum in this dun- 
geon. Walked out at 6.15. Saw Jackson and DuBose 
on the opposite bastion — too far to recognize them. 
Lieut. W. told me who they were. Saw General Ewell on 
his crutches. He was walking on parapet. I remarked 
that I thought Ewell had an artificial leg; wondered he 
did not use it. Lieut. W. replied that Ewell said he was 
waiting before getting an artificial leg to see if the authori- 
ties were going to hang him ; if he was going to be hung, 
he did not care to go to the expense; intended to wait 
and make out on his crutches until that matter was 
decided. Ewell has a sense of humour. 

We heard a cannon. Turning toward the point from 
which the sound came, we saw smoke near a small craft 
lying at the wharf of a little town, called Hull, near by. 
Lieut. W. said, ''Oh, it's Dexter FoUet's yacht." "Who 


is he?" asked I. "A young man of Boston, son of a 
rich father. He keeps this yacht to sail about as he 
likes. Carries a gun on board, and always fires it off 
upon landing or leaving, upon heaving or hoisting anchor." 
We saw the yacht pass on its way to Boston. 

Geary brought tea, toast, and strawberries. I thought 
of Dick Johnston's extensive bed of strawberries and 
of what an abundance of berries he must have had this 
spring. All gone by this time, I suppose. 

June 15. — Rose at 6.45. Was disturbed by dreams. 
Richmond was the scene. I seemed to be roaming anodd 
ruins, looking for Mr. Baskerville's house; was on my 
way home, and had stopped to see after Henry and 
Anthony. The house — in my dream — had been 
burned, not a vestige remained of it, nor of other houses 
that had stood around it; Mrs. Stanard's and all were 
swept away by fire. I could find nobody I knew and 
could learn nothing about Henry and Anthony; could 
hear nothing of Nancy, their mother. Read Bible 
until 8.15. Geary brought breakfast: fresh fish, beef- 
steak, hot rolls, coffee, fried potatoes, and combread. 
The combread I ate. Breakfast good enough, but I 
had no appetite for it, due, perhaps, to its late coming. It 
is essential to my health for me to have breakfast as soon 
as I can get ready after rising. Half an hour is my usual 
time for dressing. I can fast an hour after rising, but 
beyond that I cannot go with impunity. I want my 
breakfast at this season at seven; for several days I had 
it at this hour, but since Sunday — Geary saying he could 
not get it so soon — 8.15 is the hour fixed. This morn- 
ing it did not reach me until 8.45, a half-hour past the 
time for which I arranged my rising and dressing. 


The Boston Post says, "The health of A. H. Stephens 
is said to be precarious." A letter from Charieston, in the 
N. Y. Herald^ gives an account of Governor Aikens's return 
from Washington. I did not know that he had been in 
custody. The New York Times reports Breckinridge 
and Trenholm [of the Confederate Cabinet] as safely 
arrived in Bermuda. I am ahnost certain that this 
cannot in part be true. Trenholm, I have reason to 
believe, has not even attempted to leave his State. 

Dinner at 2.45: salmon, beef-heels, mutton, vege- 
tables, and gooseberry pie — no uncertainty about it 
to-day; it was gooseberry, the same as that of yesterday. 
Upon my inquiry, Geary said so ; that settled it. Besides 
this, there was a saucer of cream and jelly. My diet now 
is as much over the proper mark for me as it was too 
low before. The juste milieu is in everything the most 
difficult point to attain. Could I get meals served in 
half the quantity and variety, to say nothing of some 
reduction in quality, with corresponding reduction in cost, 
I should feel myself as well oflF as possible in respect of food. 

5 p. M. — Walked the room, exercising the whole 
body as much as I could by swinging my arms and giv- 
ing them all sorts of motions. This has been my habit 
for several days, particularly after extinction of lights. 
I have a notion to get a rubber ball to play with. That 
would afford better exercise than I can take otherwise. 
During my walk I thought a great deal about home. 
Am beginning to doubt whether any of my letters have 
reached their destination. It is certainly time I heard 
from Mr. Baskerville, if he was in Richmond and got 
my letter. How relieved I should be by only a few 
lines from Linton, giving assurance that he is well! 
Could I but have the assurance that he is bearing 


up under my imprisonment with fimmess and without 
too great uneasiness, I could stand all that is before 
me without a murmur. Wrote to Dr. Berckmans, 
Augusta, Ga. 

Took overcoat for my walk at Lieut. W.'s suggestion; 
he said it was rather raw out. Did not feel well; pain 
in the side. Rested under music-stand and returned 
before hour expired. Saw Confederate prisoners on 
opposite bastion. I have a pretty large fire of anthra- 
cite coal in the grate. The fire in that grate has not 
gone out since I have been here; it has been kept up, 
day and night. A grate of this coal put on at 7 p. m. 
will bum until 6 a. m. 

June 16. — Before I got up, Geary brought in a 
wooden box on legs. I suppose that I will not be stating 
a matter of indiflFerence to those sympathizing friends 
for whom these entries are made, when I tell them that 
I live in this cell except during the hour of my daily walk 
on the grounds. Whatever functions of nature are per- 
formed in eating, drinking, sleeping, or otherwise, are 
performed herein. At my request Geary got the car- 
penter to make this conmiode; price $1.83. While on 
this point, I will add that Geary is very attentive to my 
room; keeps it well swept and dusted; and makes up 
the bed every morning, that is, beats up the straw and 
arranges the covering, which, besides the sheets, are the 
blankets and afghan I brought with me. He brings 
cool water as often as I desire it ; it is cistern water, clear 
and pure, about 65° in temperature. I see in the papers 
an account of John Mitchel's arrest in New York. 
Mitchel is a rare character, an eccentric genius. I was 
sorry, not only on his own account, but on account of 


the South and her cause, when I saw some weeks ago 
that he was in New York writing for the News. He is 
a man of too much violence of temper, too much extrava- 
gance, and too little discretion, to be identified, to its 
advantage, as a leading exponent of any cause. 

When Smith O'Brien* was in this country on a visit 
to Washington, he stopped with Mitchelf who had a 
house there. I was on friendly relations with Mitchel. 
At his invitation, I called to see O'Brien and was well 
pleased with this far-famed "patriot and rebel." His 
bearing, as well as his high intelligence and virtue, could 
not fail to impress any one coming in contact with him. 
I assumed the discharge of the office, very agreeable to 
myself, of introducing him to President Buchanan; Mr. 
Mitchel accompanied us. As we were returning to our 
carriage, speaking of Mitchel in his presence to O'Brien, 
I said that Mitchel's greatest difficulty lay in extrava- 
gance of feeling and expression; that he seemed to for- 
get that there were three degrees of comparison in lan- 
guage; he dealt almost exclusively in superlatives. 

O'Brien nodded assent with a smile, while Mitchel did 
not seem to dissent from the justness of the criticism. 
Afterward, while O'Brien was on a visit to me at Liberty 
Hall, on his tour through the South, Mitchel was often 
the subject of our conversation. O'Brien, it was evi- 
dent, was devotedly attached to him personally, while 
deeply regretting some of his eccentricities and extrava- 
gances. I am truly sorry for Mitchel. He did a great 
deal in bringing on the war. He has suflFered severely 
for it. A son of his, of great promise, bearing, I think, 
his father's name, fell in defending Fort Sumter. The 

•t Mitchd and O'Brien, as leaden of the "Young Ireland RebeUion," had been banished from 
Great Britain in the 'forties. Mitchel ecfited by turns sereral papers in this country, and dmii^ 
the war, the Richmond Ettfmrtr, reputed oxyan of the Coofedo«te administratioQ. 


father seems, by nature, one of those restless spirits 
bom to stir up strife, and to become the sport, football, 
and victim of adverse fortunes. 

I get no letters; hear nothmg from my application 
to the President, see no allusion to it in any of the papers. 
It must have reached Washington before this, but per- 
haps it is filed away in some pigeon-hole to be taken up 
in its turn, which may not be for weeks or months. Who 
in that busy crowd cares for me? A man in prison is 
soon forgot, almost as completely as if he were in his 
grave. With the great active living mass, in their pur- 
suits of business or pleasure, or borne down with their 
own affictions, the world moves on as before. The 
daily papers are sought by the merchant, the banker, 
the ship-owner, the politician, and the devotee of fashion, 
to see the state of the markets, the prices of stocks, the 
arrivals and departures of all sorts of water-craft, the 
progress of reconstruction, the new concerts and other 
amusements, marriages, and deaths, and what not. 
But who in all this turmoil thinks of me? A brother, 
a few relatives and friends and faithful domestics and, 
perhaps, three devoted dogs, are, in creation's range, the 
only beings that think once of me in a week or a month. 
Read Jeremiah. I can exclaim with him : 

Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a foun- 
tain of tears, that I might weep for the slain of the daughter 
of my people ! 

I turned to Job; my Bible opened at this: 

If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of 
my maidservant, when they contended with me; If I 
have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused 


the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel 
myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; If I 
have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor 
without covering; If his loins have not blessed me and 
if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If 
I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when 
I saw my help in the gate; Then let mine arm fall from 
my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the 
bone. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated 
me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither 
have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to 
his soul. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but 
I opened my doors to the traveller. 

Most truly can I repeat this, if I know myself. When 
has suffering humanity appealed to me for assistance 
or redress that was not rendered if in my power ? When 
have the poor, even the unfortunate blacks, driven from 
their abodes in winter cold and snow, appealed to me 
that they did not receive food and shelter? When has 
the voice of distress, from high or low, ever reached my 
ears unheard or unrelieved, if relief was in my power? 
I do feel that I have laboured more during my feeble, 
suffering life for the comfort and happiness of others 
than for my own. 

I have aided between thirty and forty young men, 
poor and indigent or without present means, to get an 
education ; the number I do not exactly recollect. Many 
of these I took through a regular collegiate course, or 
offered them the means for such a course. My assist- 
ance of this character has not been confined to young men ; 
orphan and indigent girls have received hberally of my 
bounty. I have spent many thousands of dollars for 
the accommodation and comfort of those recognized as 
my slaves by our law, over and above all returns they 


ever made to me. This was of my own earnings. I com- 
menced life without a cent; indeed I was in debt for my 
own education: as I had been assisted when in need, 
so I ever afterward assisted those in like circumstances, 
as far as I could. In all my troubles and trials, and 
they have not been few or small, I never cherished 
malice against those from whom I had received wrong. 
Never did I "rejoice at the destruction of him 
that hated me or lifted up myself when evil found 

Finished "Ferdinand and Isabella." Whether the 
great heroine and heroes are not glossed over too much 
by glowing rhetoric, giving the work somewhat the 
character of a romance, may be suspected. And whether 
the benefits of the consolidation of the separate king- 
doms of Spain into one government, which is a lead- 
ing idea, are not over estimated, may be more than 
suspected. Many evils, to which Prescott alludes as 
following the consolidation, may be traced to it. Whether 
the conquest of Granada, Navarre, and Naples, and 
the consolidation of the Spanish Empire which enabled 
it to assume such grandeur amongst the powers of Europe 
at the close of Ferdinand's life, contributed anything to 
the real happiness of the people of Aragon and Castile 
may be more than questioned. It certainly resulted 
in the loss of many of their liberties, and it is difficult 
to see how it added to their progress in civilization and 
refinement. Might not those anterior causes, which 
prompted such heroic exertions and grand exhibitions 
of virtue in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, have 
led to far higher results under different guidance, results 
which would not have been attended, and almost neces- 
sarily, with the consequences that ensued under the 


reign of Charles V., and which ultimately ended in the 
present state of things in Spain ? 

Prescott pays too little attention to the old constitu- 
tions of Castile and Aragon, particularly the latter. The 
most important principle of this constitution which had 
lasted for nearly two centuries, required unanimity in 
both branches of the Cortes, as well as the sanction of 
the crown, to give validity to any legislative act. Any 
member of either branch by simply interposmg his veto 
could arrest action, a very remarkable fact. The work- 
ings of any system established on such a principle deserve 
thorough consideration. Prescott passes over it with 
little more than incidental mention. Yet under this 
system, Aragon had risen from almost barbarism to that 
high state of culture, civilization, and liberty which had 
produced a Mena, Villena, and Santillanna, literary 
lights ndt surpassed by any in Spain since their day. 
In that state of vigorous development in all that ennobles 
nations and peoples, Ferdinand found her when her 
future became subject to his influence as her sovereign 
according to the well-settled principles of this time- 
honoured constitution. Had he more carefully studied 
and conformed to its principles, looking more to internal 
policy than external acquisition, how vastly different 
might be the condition of things in Spain to-day! The 
world needs full exposition of the workings of these 
ancient systems of Aragon and Castile, these early germs 
of representative government in Spain. Whatever else 
the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella did, it led to the 
overthrow of these systems of liberty and to the estab- 
lishment of despotism in their stead. Had the Cortes 
been consulted, as it ought to have been under the old 
constitution, who can believe that Torquemada could 


ever have introduced the Inquisition into Castile? And 
how much more diflftcult and even impossible would it 
have been for this most iniquitous institution to get 
foothold in Aragon if unanimity in each branch of the 
Cortes had been necessary. 

I see in the New York Times a short notice referring 
to the nature of my confinement, state of health, etc. 
I am weary in spirit and sick at heart waiting for letters 
from home. I begin to fear the officers do not transmit 
my letters with much dispatch. I should certainly have 
heard from Mr. Hill* at Washington City. I cannot 
believe he would be neglectful or remiss in writing to 
me. Why has not Mr. Baskerville answered my letter? 
Why have not I received some reply from the President ? 
These things set heavily upon me. 

Read Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico," until Geary 
brought evening paper. I see a telegram from Wash- 
ington in reference to my application. It has me inti- 
mating, as a reason for acceding to secession, a belief 
that there would be no war. I did no such thing, and 
intended no such thing. My opinion from the begin- 
ning was that there would be war and a bloody war. 

Walked out with Lieut. W. The warmest evening yet 
on the parapet. Geary brought tea. 

Sunday — Rose at seven. Read Psalms; this came 
in order: 

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, 
we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our 
harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there 
they that carried us away captive required of us a song; 
and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, 

* Joshua Hill, of Georgia; Member of Congress, 1857-61; Uniomst throughout the war; U. S 
Senator, 1868-73. 


"Sing us one of the songs of Zion." How shall we sing 
the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, 
O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the 
roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my 
chief joy. 

With "Georgia" for "Zion" and "Jerusalem," these 
words might be the outpourings of my own heart. I 
remembered Georgia in her desolation ; thought of home, 
its sweet endearments, of my brother and his little ones. 

In the Boston Herald^ I see that James Johnson, 
of Columbus, has been appointed Provisional Governor 
of Georgia. I know him well. He was my classmate 
in college, and contested the highest distinction with me. 
No honours were awarded by the faculty: but Johnson, 
William Crawford (son of the once-candidate for Presi- 
dent of the United States) and myself were selected to 
deliver three orations : salutatory in Latin to the audience, 
trustees, and faculty; valedictory to the same and the 
class; and a philosophical oration to the audience. 
"Salutatory," "Valedictory," "Philosophical Oration" 
were written on separate slips of paper and put in a 
hat held by Dr. Church ; he called Crawford who stepped 
forward and drew "Valedictory"; Johnson drew "Ora- 
tion." Of course, "Salutatory" was left to me. The 
faculty allowed me to make also an address in English 
to the audience. The valedictory by college usage was 
always assigned as first honour, the Latin salutatory 
as second, and the philosophical oration as third; but 
as the faculty were prohibited from conferring honours, 
they fell upon this expedient of arranging for Conmience- 
ment. Had honours been assigned according to roll 
of merit or class standing, the first would have been mine. 


Johnson and Crawford, I think, stood equal, two marks 
only below me. Johnson, like myself, was poor. He 
taught school, raised means thus, and was admitted to 
the bar. He is, by nature, of vigorous mind, adapted 
to the law. He rose rapidly at the bar, and has long 
stood amongst the best in his section of the State; has 
had little to do with politics, was generally on the unpopu- 
lar side of agitating questions; was elected to Congress 
once and served out his term with distinction, but had no 
inclination to return, or at least, did not return. His 
election was during the excitement over the settlement 
of 1850; he was a strong Union man and was elected 
on that issue; he has remained in retirement since, 
pursuing his profession. He was a strong Union man 
in i860, but when the storm of secession lowered and 
no man could advocate the Union without subjecting 
himself to sneers and insults if nothing worse, he gave 
in and went with the crowd, as I was informed; even 
made a speech in favour of secession and voted a seces- 
sion ticket. I have but little doubt that that speech 
and vote were against his better judgment. His greatest 
defect is want of firmness and decision; so great is it 
that it may be said to amount to timidity. He is a man, 
however, of strong sense and good principles. How 
he will succeed as Executive in restoring order and bring- 
ing Georgia into the Union at this trying time and on 
this trying basis is to be seen. He has my best wishes, 
personally and officially, but I envy him not his task. 
We have always been friends. There was at college a 
little estrangement but it was soon over. In politics, 
we have differed at times, but this never interfered with 
our personal relations. He was brought up a Clarke* 

♦The party divisions, Clarke and Troup, took their names from the GoTemoTB— Claike 
(i8x9-a3), and TYoup (x833-37)i the " Great States Rights Governor." 


man, while I was brought up a Troup man. When Nul- 
lification became the issue, he went with that faction 
of the Clarke party which espoused this doctrine, while 
I went with that portion of the Troup party, led by 
Troup and Crawford, which repudiated Nullification 
but stood on the doctrine of States Rights as proclaimed 
in Milledgeville, Nov. 13, 1833. Johnson went for 
Van Buren and I for Harrison in 1840. In 1850 we 
both went for the Union. In 1855 he went with the 
American Party while on the issues of that day I was 
with the Democratic. In i860 I sustained Douglas 
while, I think, he was for Bell, though he sympathized 
with the friends of Douglas and would gladly have seen 
him elected. I am not sure that he gave the secession 
speech and vote as above stated, but such were the cur- 
rent rumours, and I never heard them denied. 

Walked out with Lieut. W. Saw ships going out to 
sea, and one beautiful steamboat moving toward the 
summer resort at Hull. 

June 19. — Read Psalms. Newly impressed with 
this: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, 
a good understanding have all they that do His com- 
mandments." It recalled to my mind the words of 
Solomon that my father, when I was a small boy, often 
repeated to me and made me repeat to him: "Fear 
God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole 
duty of man." 

8.15 — Breakfast. All good; coffee not quite as good 
as usual, being not quite so hot; still, far above the 
average standard furnished in the best hotels that I was 
ever at. The coffee here is of most excellent quality. 
Coffee is one of three things of which I have long con- 


sidered myself a judge; the other two are lizards and 
watches. I do not mean to say these are the only things 
I think myself capable of forming correct opinion upon; 
but they are three that I do claim, especially, to be a 
good judge of. 

Read "Conquest of Mexico" until Geary, ever punc- 
tual, brought daily papers. Confirmation of yesterday's 
despatch about my application; and what purports to 
be an oflScial report of the death of Federal prisoners 
at AndersonviUe, Georgia, during 1864. Upon this 
subject — treatment by Confederates of Federals in 
prison at AndersonviUe and other places and the great 
mortality amongst them — this remark may not be 
inappropriate: Their suflFerings, and what is called the 
inhumanity of their treatment, were in great measure 
an unavoidable necessity.* Confederates had not means 
to make their prisoners comfortable or to furnish suitable 
diet; they were pressed for their own subsistence; many 
of the necessaries of Ufe, to say nothing of luxuries, were 
cut oflF from the soldiers and the body of the people; 
they were themselves subject to privations from which 
many not only suflFered, but contracted disease and 
died ; soldiers in the field were often on very short rations 
and of a very unwholesome quality. My nephew, Wm. 
A. Greer, of the Fourth Georgia Regulars, wrote me 
last winter from near Petersburg, Virginia, that he had 
had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours but two small 
biscuit. He was writing at night, and said he did not 
know when the troops would get any rations; he had 
eaten nothing but the biscuit since the morning before, 
and was sick from hunger. His was not a single instance. 

* See Southern Hist. Papers, I, X 13-327; XXX, 77-104; Stevenson's Southern Side of Andersoo- 
ville; Davis's Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, II, 584-<k>8; Haley's true story of 
AndersonviUe Prison; Evans's Military Hbtory, XII, 147. 


From every quarter, news reached me of the suflfering 
of our soldiers for food. 

At Andersonville, there were crowded together on a 
small piece of ground, enclosed by a stockade, upward 
of 30,000 prisoners. The space occupied by this large 
number was, I believe, about ten acres; in this small 
compass this large body of men had to live, exposed to 
sun, rain, and all sorts of weather. What could be 
expected, even with an abundance of substantial food, 
but disease and death to great numbers? But whose 
fault was this? Was it entirely chargeable to Confed- 
erate authorities? The Confederates were ever anxious 
to exchange prisoners of war. This, the Federals refused 
to do. The Confederates could not separate their pris- 
soners, or provide a number of places so as to have fewer 
men crowded together. They had not the means. They 
had not men to spare to build prisons or stockades in 
which to secure their many prisoners. Nor had they 
sufficient force in the field to spare men from it for guard 
duty even if they had been provided with proper places 
in plenty for the safe confinement of prisoners. The 
Federals were well advised of the conditions. May 
not the suffering, disease, and death of thousands who 
fell victims in these miserable places be, in part, charged 
to the conduct of their own Government which they 
had served so well and in whose cause they so mourn- 
fully and pitifully fell ? 

When I heard of the conditions at Andersonville, 
my feelings were excited to the highest degree of com- 
miseration — just as much as when the sufferings of 
the Confederates captured in Arkansas were detailed 
to me by some one who had passed, still living, but 
shattered forever in health, through the dread ordeal 


which was their lamentable lot. When I was satisfied 
of the inability of the Confederate Government to pro- 
vide for its prisoners as humanity required, I wished 
them all (or at least all in such places as Andersonville) 
to be released and sent home on parole. My policy 
was for Mr. Davis to address them, setting forth the 
cause for which we were contending, the great principle 
of States Rights and Self-Govemment for which their 
ancestors had pledged life and honour in 1776; and that 
we viewed this war, waged against us with such fearful 
odds on their side, as altogether wrong, aggressive, and 
utterly at conflict with these great fundamental prin- 
ciples of American constitutional liberty; that though 
the fortune of battle had placed them in our hands; 
though their own officials refused such exchange as was 
usual in civilized warfare; yet, as we could not supply 
them with such quarters or food as humanity dictated, 
we, with that magnanimity which ever characterizes 
those who take up arms nerved with a full sense of the 
justice of their cause, released them on their parole of 
honour not to engage further in the struggle until duly 
exchanged. To this policy, objection was made that 
it was necessary to hold these prisoners as hostages for 
our own men in prison, who, if we dismissed them, would 
be killed. Confederates escaping from Camp Chase 
and other Northern prisons represented their treatment 
in these places to be as bad as any now described in exag- 
gerated statements going the rounds about barbarities 
at Andersonville, Salisbury, Belle Isle, and Libby. There 
were barbarities, no doubt, and atrocities on both sides 
horrible enough, if brought to light, to unnerve the 
stoutest heart and to cause the most cruel and vindictive 
to sigh over human depravity. War is at best a savage 


business. Yea, it is worse; it transforms the noblest 
work of God, His image, into a devil incarnate. All 
the outrages on humanity, the cruelties, the vile exhibi- 
tions of the most malignant passions that have attended 
this late lamentable war, are not confined to our side. 
Even the asserted project for firing cities, poisoning reser- 
voirs of water, and assassination,* hellish as they are, 
have actual, not merely asserted, counterparts in the 
depopulation of Atlanta,t the sacking and burning of 
Columbia, t and the daring though unsuccessful attempt 
of Dahlgren on Richmond, || in which general robbery, 
arson, and the assassination of Davis and his Cabinet 
were said to be combined objects. If the Confederates, 
or any of them, were demons, certainly all of the Federals 
were not angels. 

Dinner: The first snap-beans I have seen this season; the 
potatoes were new; these and the beets carried my mind 
back home. I thought of Harry's garden and what a 
plentiful crop of all these things he must have had long 
before now. I ate sparingly, and still thinking of scenes 
about Liberty Hall, and of Harry, I finished with a 
drink from the bottle of whisky he put in my trunk just 
before I took my last departure from my own room in 
my own dearly beloved home. 

* Charged against the Canadian Mission, t Hood's Advance and Retreat, 999-242. Shennan's 
Memoirs, II, 11-99. t Southern Hist. Papers, VU, 156-57, 185-99, 949; Vm, fot-T4t X.Qt-s* 
109^x9; XII, 933. S. CaroUna Women in die Confederacy, 947-54, 961-79, a88r-335; Pcadicton's 
''Stephens." 983-89. || So. Hist. Papas, m, 219-91; XIII, 516-59* 


JUNE 20. — At every reading of Scripture I find 
something fitting my condition. This morning: 
"How long will thou forget me, O Lord? 
Forever? How long shall mine enemy be exalted 
over me?" 

Scene in Prisoner's Room, 19th of June 

Prisoner intensely interested in a great battle by 
Cortes, as described by Prescott, with Cortes in the 
hottest of the fight, when the bugle-blast sounded notice 
that all lights must be put out. Instantly, prisoner blew 
out his candle, leaving himself in darkness and in perfect 
bewilderment as to the result of the battle. He paced 
his room. Over what regions of time and space did not 
his thoughts wander? Their flights no walls or bars 
or bolts could restrain! The treasured meerschaum, 
gift of Camille E. Girardey, of Augusta, lay upon the 
table. He picks it up, fills it with some of the weed he 
brought from home; holds the small end of the poker 
in the fire until it becomes red, then applies it to the 
weed. This expedient after the candle is out is usual; 
he can not resort to match or paper without violating 
orders, and what might be the consequences of such indis- 
cretion, even in the small matter of lighting a pipe, he 
does not know. He feels himself subject to rules neither 
definite nor prescribed. He paces on, indulging his 
roaming thoughts. On, time also moves. He goes to the 



wall where hangs his watch; the crystal being broken, 
he can not wear it in his fob; takes it down, and by the 
glare from the full grate of anthracite coal all aglow, 
he sees with the aid of his glasses that an hour has rolled 
around since he dropped his book and put out his candle. 
Still not wearied, he lays his meerschaum on the table, 
and resumes his walk. 

He goes to one of his windows facing southeast and 
looks out upon the heavens. The sky is clear, the stars 
shine brightly. Prisoner gazes upon them as upon old 
acquaintances; theirs are the only familiar faces, save 
the sun's and moon's, that he has seen for many days. 
His heart is somewhat comforted as he watches the 
heavenly hosts move on in their far-off nightly courses, 
just as when he watched them from his own front porch 
at home. Home, and that porch with its two settees! 
a thousand thoughts and images of the past rush upon 
him. There, so many pleasant starlit summer nights 
have been spent. The refreshing, cooling southern 
winds seldom failed there. There, the silvery sheen 
of moonlight on the grass was chequered with the 
deep shade of cedar, oak, hickory, and other trees. 
In his mind, as he stood by his prison window, not 
only images of inanimate things arose, but the well- 
known forms of persons beloved and dear; among 
these Linton's. 

All around was still; nothing to be seen without save 
dark outlines of the granite wall; above, the bright lumi- 
naries twinkling and sparkling in the high, bending 
arch of the heavens. Nothing was to be heard save 
the heavy tread of the guard in his solitary beat on the 
stone pavement. Prisoner turned and resumed his 
rounds; on, on, he walks while his thoughts still roam 


afar. Again, he consults his watch and sees that another 
hour has passed. He sets the blower as a screen before 
his grate so as to shut off the heat, takes the end of his 
bunk and turns it so as to make the length range as nearly 
north and south as he can guess (this has been done by 
him ever since he has been here); then spreads before 
his chair, a newspaper (New York Herald as it chanced 
to be), four sheets double on the stone floor, as is his cus- 
tom, thus making a mat for his feet; he undresses and 
stretches himself on his bunk. Here, with soul devout, 
he endeavours through prayer to put himself in com- 
munion with God. To the Eternal, Prisoner in weakness 
and with full consciousness of his own frailty, conmiits 
himself, saying from the heart, "Thy will and not mine 
be done." With thoughts embracing the well-being of 
absent dear ones and all the world of mankind besides, 
whether friend or foe, he sinks into that sweet and long 
sleep from which he arose this morning. 

I see in the papers that Erskine, of Atlanta, will prob- 
ably be District Judge of the State ; a good appointment. 
See several allusions to myself. No two agree, and not 
one except that in the Boston Post is true, and that may 
not be. It states that my voluminous document has 
been committed to Secretary Seward for his examination 
and report. 

Took up the last volume of "Conquest of Mexico." 
But first and foremost, took a seat on my bunk and, 
with penknife in hand, went deliberately to work and 
cut all the leaves so as to have an open field for reading. 
Uncut leaves impede my progress in reading. Why 
any publisher should send forth a book with the leaves 
uncut, I cannot imagine. But so it is; they do it greatly 


to the annoyance of the reader. After getting through 
with this work, I resumed the narrative with as much 
eager interest as I ever feh in a novel. 

Dinner was not brought until 3.30. All cold; seemed 
to be scraps. This all grew out of Geary's absence. 
The orderly substituting him, Massury, said Geary was 
gone to town. I asked no further questions; I concluded 
that in Geary's absence I had been forgotten temporarily, 
and that such fragments of dinner, some time over, as 
could be gathered together, were sent me. An incident 
occurred under my observation just before this dinner 
was brought, which I should like to mention here, but 
as these entries may fall into other hands than those 
for whom intended, and as my motives in mentioning 
it might be misconstrued, I think proper to let it pass 
without record. 

6.15 — Walked out with Lieut. W. He told me he 
had sent off all prisoners from this place, except 33 
including Reagan and myself. DuBose and Jackson 
are still here. All here have applied for amnesty. 

Massury brought the cup of tea with dry toast, sweet 
cakes, and strawberries. I miss Geary, however. 

June 21. — The little incident and some other matters, 
all small but seemingly cognate to it, or something else 
kept me from sleeping much. I was awake nearly all 
night, my mind dwelling on the little incident, or the 
combination of incidents. I may hereafter feel free to 
give an explanation; but, at present, can say no more. 
I miss Geary. My slop-bucket was not emptied and 
no fresh water was brought this morning. I made out 
the best I could, humming my usual unmusical chant. 
Read in Jeremiah and Psalms. 


Finished "Conquest of Mexico." Nothing else I 
have read, purporting to be history, has struck me as 
being so marvellous. Few of the wildest romances are 
more wonderful than Cortes's life. 

Lieut. Woodman called to let me know he was going 
up to Boston; I had requested him to give me notice; 
I wished him to take my watch and have the broken 
crystal replaced. I asked him to get me an almanac. 
This is the 21st of June, the. summer solstice. To-day, 
the great Monarch of the Seasons stops his northward 
march. This is the day predicted by Mr. Davis in his 
speech at Richmond, on the report of the Conmiissioners 
from Hampton Roads Conference, as that by which the 
authorities at Washington would be suing those at Rich- 
mond for peace on their own terms as their masters. 
Instead, alas! our cause has collapsed, our Government 
is dispersed, our armies are disbanded; members of 
the Cabinet and of the higher grades of generals are 
imder arrest, while Mr. Davis lies in a dungeon, manacled, 
perhaps awaiting trial for treason. His condition 
awakens my deepest s)m[ipathy and commiseration. 
But when he made that speech in Richmond, brilliant 
though it was, I looked upon it as not much short of 
dementation. I then thought that, unless his policy 
was speedily and rapidly changed, by the summer sol- 
stice there would hardly be a vestige of the Confederacy 
left. I felt assured that there would be no change in 
his policy. I am, with him and thousands of others, 
a victim of the wreck. 

The solstice is upon us. But as the sun this day 
stops his progress North, and turns Southward in his 
course, may it not be hoped that there will be some 
corresponding turn of fortune toward the States of the 


South? May it not be hoped that they have reached 
the solstice of their desolation, ruin, and woe? May 
it not be hoped that Mr. Davis has reached the solstice 
of his own troubles, grief, sufferings, and anguish, and 
that henceforth, brighter prospects may open up even 
for him as well as for all the rest of us ? 

Massury brought daily papers. Hon. H. C. Burnett 
was arrested yesterday at Willard's Hotel in Washington. 
He was Senator in the United States Congress from 
Kentucky; remained there until after the Bull Run fight, 
July 1861; then left Washington, and later represented 
Kentucky in the Confederate Senate. I suppose he 
will in due time be pardoned and released. According 
to Washington letters, applications for pardon pour 
in like a flood from all quarters of the South. Too 
many entirely for careful disposition by detail. I think 
it would be well for the President to dispose of them 
in lump somehow. When the good Catholic father 
Ximenes, Archbishop of Toledo, foimd it impossible 
to administer baptism singly to thousands of applicants 
(rushing almost en ntasse for it upon the conversion of 
the Moors as effected by the conquest of Granada), he 
fell upon the expedient of using a mop, by which means 
water was rapidly sprinkled with a few twirls of the hand 
over the vast multitude, constituting no inconsiderable 
portion of a once mighty nation. Now, in this matter 
of the absolution or purification of the South, I think 
it would be well to adopt some means like unto the good 
old father's mop, some short method of accomplishing 
the object wholesale. A general and universal amnesty 
should be proclaimed. In the Times I see Hon. Reverdy 
Johnson's argument against the constitutionality of the 
Military Commission now sitting on trial of the conspira- 


tors in the assassination; the argument is long; I have 
laid it away for perusal. 

I got very hungry before dinner was brought. Hunger 
is unusual with me here. I seldom think of dinner 
until it appears. To-day I concluded that the hour 
had passed, and that the new orderly was neglecting 
me again. My watch was gone and I could not even 
guess the time, for the sun had passed out of range of 
my window: I could see no shadow by which to judge. 
I decided to call up Massury. So I went to the window, 
where the guard is always walking to and fro, night and 
day, with musket and bayonet. I said, "Guard, I wish 
to see the orderly." The guard instantly cried out, 
"Corporal of the Guard! Post Number 24!" Presently 
he reported through the window that the corporal was 
at the Adjutant's office, and would be here directly. 
I threw myself on the bunk to wait patiently. After 
awhile, the corporal made his appearance at the same 
place with the inquiry, "What is wanting?" I told 
him I wanted the orderly. Presently, Massury appeared, 
not at the window but in the door, which he had unlocked. 
I asked, "What time is it?" He said, "Twenty minutes 
to three." I asked, "When will you bring dinner?" 
He replied, "I was going after it at three, but will go 
now, if you wish it." I said, "I wish you would; I am 
hungry; but bring some cool fresh water first, if you 
please." He brought me water; had got it out of some 
standing vessel; it was not cool as that Geary brings. 
He then brought dinner: all cold, which caused me to 
think my suspicions as to time correct. But cold as it 
was, hunger gave sauce to it. I ate heartily, and finished 
with a drink from Harry's bottle. I wish Geary would 
come back. I miss him very much. He begins to look 


and feel to me like homefolks. He attends to me dili- 
gently and promptly. Massury says he expects Geary 

I see by the Boston Journal that it is telegraphed 
from Washington to-day that General Lee and myself, 
according to report, are to be pardoned on condition 
of leaving the country. I shall never accept pardon 
on such conditions. Georgia is my country; within 
her limits I shall live, and at the old homestead I shall 
be buried. In no event will I ever by election become 
an exile from Georgia. Whether in prison or by the 
hands of the executioner, I prefer to die where some 
kind friends may take charge of and deposit my earthly 
remains in Georgia. 

5.30 — Lieut. W. brought my watch with new cr3rstaL 
No charge. The workman, he said, on being informed 
whose watch it was, would make none. I feel truly 
obliged to this unknown friend. A shower postponed 
my evening walk. Geary returned at six. Very glad 
to see him. 

6.30 — Shower ceased. Lieut. W. came for walk. 
We went on the terreplein, but it was too wet; went 
up on parapet; but the grass, which is heavy set on it, 
was too wet. We stood on the bastion and enjoyed the 
fine southern breeze. Looked over the harbour and 
saw several showers passing around us. Boston was 
immersed in one, and the rays of the sinking sun, beyond 
the city and coming through the falling rain, not thick 
enough to shut them out, gave a beautiful appearance 
to glistening domes and steeples. We saw Confederate 
prisoners on the bastion nearest that on which we stood. 
One, Lieut. W. said, was Jackson. I could not recog- 
nize him. DuBose was not among them. Lieut. W. 


told me that a gentleman, named Nourse, in Boston, 
told him to tell me, if I wanted clothing, money, or any- 
thing else, to call on him and he would let me have it. 
I asked the Lieutenant to return my thanks and say that 
I stood in need of nothing yet; if I were kept here long, 
I might require assistance; at present, was getting 
along comfortably. We came down without having 
walked much; I took three or four turns on the stone 
pavement and then came in. Geary brought my tea, 
toast, and sweet cakes. He had also brought sea-water 
for my bath in the morning. I foimd my room very 
neatly done up. 

While on the bastion, I saw a row of men, about twenty, 
walking, two together. They were moving from the 
entrance to the inside of the fort and toward some under- 
ground apartments formed by a sort of mound near 
the water's edge. I asked if these were soldiers going 
to their quarters for the night. They looked dejected 
as they walked along. "No," said the Lieutenant. 
*'They are the chain-gang, the criminals, deserters, etc. 
They are made to work on the fort. They are going to 
their quarters for the night." I felt sorry for the poor 
fellows, and thought of Jean Valjean. 

June 22. — I barely got through Bible reading 
when breakfast was brought in by Geary; everything 
good. An incident took me back to Georgia. Geary 
in cleaning up yesterday carried away all cups and saucers. 
His usual plan is to bring coffee hot in some vessel and 
pour it into a cup kept here; he washes this cup in the 
adjoining orderly and corporal's room, as it seems to be. 
Cups and saucers had accumulated; these he took back 
to the sutler's. When coffee was to be poured this mom- 


ing, there was no cup. It was too far to the sutler's, 
so he served it in a tumbler. I found I could not drink 
it, good as it was. Then recurred to me a remark made 
last winter by Mrs. Lou Stevens that she couldn't drink 
tea out of anything but china. The philosophy I can- 
not explain, but the fact is, I could not drink coflfee out 
of glass. I took it from a cream pot. I have long known 
that water drinks better out of a gourd than out of tin, 
and out of glass than earthenware. But why coflfee 
should reverse this and taste better out of earthenware 
than glass, I do not understand. Perhaps it is nothing 
but associatiori of the same sort that makes hock wines 
taste better in greenish glasses and claret in reddish or 
brownish ones; while the clear crystal ones seem best 
for sherry and Madeira. This trifling incident brought 
in its train many memories of home. 

In the Tribune, an item in reference to myself contains 
more truth than many other notices not half so long. It 
has some show of truth in it. My singing I do not think 
so good as one might believe on reading this account. 
Then, I think, I am free from anything like "a proud and 
haughty air." There is nothing of that in my nature 
or bearing. I have ever endeavoured to be correct and 
courteous to all, superiors as well as inferiors; neither 
sycophantic to the one class nor haughty toward the 
other. The bearing, which springs from the principle 
of doing to others as I would have them under like cir- 
cumstances do to me, and which in my estimation is the 
stamp of true gentility, or the mark of the true gentle- 
man, has ever been my standard, and I hope has charac- 
terized my intercourse with mankind. 

I see Hidell has reached Nashville and taken the 
anmesty oath. I am glad to hear even indirectly from 


him. See that Breckinridge and party reached Cuba. 
What has become of Benjamin?* Trenholm, I see, 
is at Hilton Head under arrest to be sent to Fortress 
Monroe. Cobb, it is stated, is still in Macon. Crops, 
the report from Augusta says, are good in that part of 
the State. I hope this is true, and that the same good 
condition extends up to my place. See account of a 
horrible accident below Shreveport to a steamboat loaded 
with paroled Confederate prisoners. The boat snagged, 
sunk, and over two hundred lives were lost. Mrs. Seward 
died yesterday in Washington. This I regret, not only 
from S5rmpathy with Mr. Seward in such a severe afflic- 
tion, but from fear that it will delay action on my appli- 
cation, which, as the papers report, was submitted to 
him. General Dix has been ordered to Montreal on 
business. His absence from New York may delay 
letters for me. 

I dreamed of Judge James Thomas last night. Linton 
and several others figured; Linton only incidently. I 
did not see him; knew he was present. The scene was 
his house. Strange I have had no dream about himself 
since I saw him ; none in which he has distinctly figured ; 
and yet he has occupied more of my waking thoughts 
than all other persons besides. It is four weeks to-day 
since my imprisonment here. It seems to me, if I had 
then known that I should not hear from Linton or home 
before this time, I should have been crushed. And how 
I would now feel but for the few lines received from 
Mr. Myers, affording such indirect .information as they 
did, I do not know. That little missive, that short letter, 
gave me great relief, and the more from hope created 

* Judah P., Confederate Secretary of State; escaped to England; became Queen's Counsel. 


that it was pioneer of others soon to follow from those 
on whom my thoughts were most intent. But "hope 
deferred maketh the heart sick." Sometimes I have 
apprehensions that friends at home are keeping from 
me news they think would cause me distress. How long, 

how long, shall I be doomed to this suspense ? 

SoimwHAT OF A Fancy Sketch and yet not 

Altogether Fancy : 

[Cell at Fort Warren. Alexander H. Stephens, prisoner. 
R. M. Johnston, visitant through window of imag- 

Visitant, Well, what do you think of public affairs 
now? Only what you have told me for the last four or 
five years? Has the "pessimus" point not yet been 
reached ? 

Prisoner. Hardly, or as Jenkins * says in one of his 
decisions, "Scarcely. No, not yet." Things are truly in 
evil state; still they may get worse before they get better; 
and wise men, while hoping for better, should be pre- 
pared for worse. Over two years ago, William F. Fluker 
asked me if I didn't think the darkest hour of our troubles 
upon us, that hour which precedes light and cheer. I 
told him. No, that so far from having reached the dark- 
est hour — the hour before the dawn — we were not even 
in the night of the war, the sun was not gone down. Last 
year, after Atlanta fell, he asked if I did not think the 
darkest hour had come. I told him the sun had set; 
we were in the night of our woes, but far from the mid- 
night. "Well," asked he, "what is to become of us?" 

1 said, it was a painful reflection to me that our people 

* Charles J. Jenkins, Judge of Supreme Court of Georgia. 


were so unconscious of their pending doom, of the great 
desolation coming upon them before their darkest hour 
would be passed, and before that dawn of better times 
for which all were so anxiously looking, would greet 
their eyes. I am not prepared to say that our people 
have reached their darkest hour. 

Visitant. Why, what can be worse? The States 
are subjugated, their governments overthrown, their 
whole social system and internal policy uprooted and 
demolished, and most of their public men in prison, as 
you are, or in exile. How can matters be worse ? 

Prisoner. In many ways: internal strife, insurrection, 
and wars between races, ending in the extermination of 
one of the two now constituting the South's population, 
would make conditions, bad as they are, infinitely worse. 

Visitant. What, in your opinion, is to be the remedy 
or end ? 

Prisoner. It is one thing to see threatening evils and 
a different one to prescribe measures for ending them, 
or to prejudge the extent to which they may go. 

You may remember what I said to Bishop Elliott* 
last year when we dined with him at Mr. Stanard's. I 
told him that in my judgment abolition was the moving 
spirit of the war at the North; I did not think the war, 
end when or how it might, would leave slavery as it found 
it; while I looked on the institution recognized amongst 
us by our laws (which, so far as the spirit of the law 
was concerned, was only subordination of an inferior 
to a superior race) as sanctioned by God, yet I thought 
great wrongs had been perpetrated under it; as with 
all human institutions in accordance with the sanction 
of the Creator, there were reciprocal duties and obliga- 

* Stephen Elliott, first Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Georgia. 


tions; when these were faithfully performed on both 
sides, reciprocal and mutual benefits were the results: 
in our system, the superior race had looked too much 
to the benefits received from the relation, and too little 
to its obligations to the inferior, and the benefits to which 
that inferior was entitled; the moral and intellectual 
culture of the inferior race, to which it was entitled to 
the extent of its capacity and condition, had been greatly 
neglected: the Negro had been made to perform his 
part of the obligation while the white man had failed to 
fully perform his: this was, in my judgment, one of the 
great sins for which our people were brought to trial. 
The status of the Negro would not be left by war where 
war found it. But if the principles of President Lincoln's 
Emancipation Proclamation — the ultimate policy therein 
indicated of attempting to establish perfect political 
and social equality between the races — should be carried 
out to its final results, it would end in the extermina- 
tion or the driving from the country of one or the other 
of the races. That policy, I regarded as against nature, 
against the ordinances of God; it never could be prac- 
tically worked. This and much more on the same line 
I said to the bishop at that time; I repeat the views then 

If the principles of the Radicals, who are determined 
on the levelling system of making the black man in the 
South equal politically and socially to the white, are 
to be carried out, I see no end to it all but the ultimate 
extermination of one or the other of the races, so unfor- 
tunately, to both in this view, interspersed with each 
other. Will events take this course? I cannot answer; 
that is why I cannot say whether we have reached the 
darkest hour in our troubles. There are other courses 


events might take which could possibly bring about a 
better state of things for both races than existed under 
our slave system, yet not better than might have been 
attained under it with wise and philanthropic legislation. 
The long night of darkness has no promising dawn as 
yet to my vision. 

Visitant. I come to you for comfort as for four years 
past, but you give no more when war is over than when 
it began. How do you feel as to yourself? What will 
they do with you, do you suppose ? 

Prisoner. All opinions are speculative. I look on 
my present confinement as a great outrage. Six weeks, 
to-day I was arrested at my own home and have been 
in custody ever since. For four, I have been in close 
confinement in this cell or dungeon or room, call it what 
you may, without any warrant or oath or any charge 
legally alleged against me. This is done by those who 
profess to be the guardians and defenders of the Con- 
stitution. Indeed, to add mockery and insult to wrong, 
if called on for the reason of their course toward me, 
I suppose they would declare that their object is to uphold 
the Constitution against an atrocious rebellion designed 
to overthrow it, with which I was connected. That is, 
they openly trample under foot the most sacred guaran- 
tees of the Constitution for the purpose of upholding it. 
What worse treason can there be in any free country 
than that which strikes a blow at the principles of its 
fundamental law? These constitute the life and soul 
of a free people. How any man can feel himself justified 
in violating my most sacred rights under the Constitution, 
if I am amenable to it, on the pretense of its being his 
sworn duty to support that Constitution, I cannot perceive. 
It is sitoply absurd and shameful! If, as alleged in the 


newspapers, I had violated the laws of the country, had 
desired to overthrow its Constitution; had committed 
an act of treason and had become connected with the 
most atrocious rebellion on earth; yet, I was quietly 
at my home; the charge could have been made and the 
arrest as prescribed by law, and I should have been 
entitled to all the rights of a speedy and public trial on 
presentment or indictment by a grand jury as set forth 
in that great charter of constitutional liberty which, it 
is said, I was endeavouring to upset and overthrow. 
But, instead, all these securities and rights thus guaranteed 
have been denied me, and by those who have the unblush- 
ing effrontry in this very denial to pretend that thereby 
they maintain the Constitution ! 

Visitant. The papers say you have applied for 
amnesty. Is that so? 

Prisoner. Yes. I thought perhaps it was but proper 
for me to do so. My case was a peculiar one. The 
more I thought of it the more I was inclined to that view, 
and I finally wrote to the President, going fully into 
details, and asking amnesty if my case came within 
the purview of his tender; in case that were not granted, 
for release on parole until charges could legally be pre- 
ferred, and if not this, then that my confinement be 
somewhat mitigated in rigour and restrictions. As to 
whether my letter shall be answered favourably in whole 
or in part, I have no idea. I try not to let myself dwell 
on the subject. I am anxious to have a reply one way 
or the other. If the response is entirely unfavourable, 
I shall ask speedy trial. Whether that will be granted, 
I don't know. There is nothing so depressing to me 
as the prospect of continued close confinement in this 
or any place, cut oflF virtually from free communication 


with home ; cut . off from all comjnunication, free 
and full communication, I mean, with Linton, the 
light of my life. This is not much short of a living 

Visitant. The papers say the President is going 
to pardon you on condition that you leave the 

Prisoner. I will not accept pardon on those terms. 
I am willing to die if I cannot return to my home and be 
with Linton while our joint lives last. As for dreading 
trial for treason, or its consequences, I care but little. 
My conscience is void of offense toward God and man. 
I should feel no shame in being executed for anjrthing 
I have done; and if I cannot be permitted to spend the 
balance of my days at home, with the dear ones there, 
on my farm, in my gardens, orchards, and vineyards, 
and amongst my books, then let me die, even on the 
gallows though it be. My greatest sufferings, for many 
years at least, have been since I came here. At first 
I was almost overwhelmed. They spring from being 
cut off from communication with Linton and the rest 
at a time above all others when I want to be with him 
and consult with him on public as well as private affairs. 
Exile would be but continuation of this. No, give me 
death in preference! let my days be brought to an end 
in my own native land ! let my last breath be of my own 
native air! My native land, my country, the only one 
that is country to me, is Georgia. The winds that sweep 
over her hills are my native air. There, I wish to live 
and there to die, and if I am not permitted to die there, 
I wish at least to die somewhere, whether in prison or 
on the gallows, within reach of some kind friends who 
may gather up my remains and commit them to that 


last resting-place which I have prepared for them in the 
walled enclosure at the old homestead. 

Visitant. What do you think we all had better do in 
Georgia, take the oath or not ? 

Prisoner. Conform to the existing order, accept the 
issues of the war; take things as you find them, and do 
the best you can with them as they arise. There is 
nothing in the oath* that any man ought to hesitate 
in swearing to now that the Confederacy has failed, except 
what relates to the Emancipation Proclamation and the 
laws of Congress on the subjects alluded to therein. 
But these are the results of the war; conformity follows 
as a matter of course. Swearing conformity does not 
add to the obligation that most men would feel they had 
incurred in accepting the issues without the oath. Slavery 
is abolished. Let every good citizen abide by this fact. 
Let every one who has had slaves do the best he can with 
them, working to their future interest as well as to his 
own. Let every suggestion as to the best policy in 
regard to the relation hereafter to be maintained between 
the races be listened to, and the wisest and most judi- 
cious adopted. If one experiment fails, let another be 
tried, and let the future, with honest exertions on the 
part of all for the best, be left to take care of itself. In 
this way, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 
Let no evils be unnecessarily anticipated, but let all have 
firm faith in God that all things will work out right in 
the end, whether it be according to their liking or not. 

Visitant. Have you as strong confidence as ever 
in Democratic institutions? Do not late events shake 
your old ideas ? 

Prisoner. Not in the least. I still have unshaken 

* Oath of AlkfUoce to the United States, prescribed in Johnson's Amnesty Ftodamation. 


confidence in the people under the providence of God. 
They do not always do right. The late horrible war 
on both sides may be attributed to considerable extent 
to popular passions spurred to excess; but reaction will 
come sooner or later. I have strong hopes that, after 
this generation shall have passed away, if not before, 
a new order will arise, from which still further progress 
in civilization will be made and a still higher and grander 
career entered upon by the people of this continent. 
The people in their passion often vibrate from one extreme 
to another until they settle down at the right point. What 
will be the state of things in twenty-five years on questions 
now agitating the public mind and which have produced 
so much suffering, desolation, and ruin, no one can 
predict. If the people of the United States can be kept 
true to the principles of their Constitution, all will yet 
be well. That they will prove true when the passions 
of the times have passed away with this generation, I 
cannot permit myself to doubt. I retain my confidence 
and faith, unshaken and undiminished by anything that 
has happened yet, in the people and their capacity for 
self-government. I have never believed that progress 
and civilization can be effected by arms. Reason and 
Justice are the principles through which reformations 
are to be made and by which all real and true progress 
is to be effected. A worse ordeal than any they have 
experienced may be m store for this generation, and yet 
a grand future may await and award that generation 
coming after. What shall be the form of our resurrected 
society, we know not; but hope, sustained by reason, 
looks forward to one on a higher, better, and grander 
scale. To this end, at least, I look and hope— though 
my eyes shall never see it — provided the people — the 


white people, I mean — be always left to govern them- 
selves and provided they do not surrender their power. 
[Here, the Visitant j with countenance betokening deep 

thought, and without another word, vanished 

through the window.] 

Took short walk, but was driven in by another shower. 
Lieut. W. gave the name of the gentleman who oflFered 
any assistance I might need in funds — Benjamin F. 
Nourse, of Boston; and of the man who put the crystal 
in my watch — Isaac H. Tower. I wish to remember 
both. Geary brought from the library a book I sent 
for — Cicero on the Gods, Fates, etc. Got another pound 
of candles; six in a pound. The first pound lasted four 
weeks; I have a piece long enough to burn to-night. 


JUNE 23. — I have just walked a mile and upward 
in my room; that is, 1,900 steps, which, with 
my stride, I have no doubt would make a mile in 
a direct line. I counted the steps by hundreds; at the 
end of each hundred I put a piece of straw on the comer 
of the table. When I had walked half an hour, I found 
the number of straws to be 19. The room or cell, 24 x 20 
feet, offers space for a good walk by moving in a circle. 
If I had a rubber ball, I could exercise myself very well, 
not only in bouncing it on the floor and catching it, but 
in playing a game of fives solus against the walls. 

Dinner: salmon, lamb, peas, snap-beans, turnips, 
potatoes, bread, ice-cream and other confections about 
which I can give no other information than that they 
were palatable, though I barely tasted of them. The 
ice-cream was my first this season; being a little appre- 
hensive of bad effects, I finished with a pretty stiff drink 
from Harry's bottle — about two tablespoonfuls. 

Walked out with Lieut. W. Rested under music 
arbour. He pointed out Jackson and DuBose on oppo- 
site bastion. They were walking together, walking fast. 
DuBose wore neither coat nor vest; was in shirt-sleeves. 
Returned without going on the ramparts; not well; 
oppressed at no news from home. Stood by the window 
and gazed at passing clouds: thought of home and Lin- 
ton. Geary brought supper — many dainties — while I 
was at the window. Ate the strawberries. 



June 24. — Put on my prunella shoes. The leather 
shoes I have been wearing are hard and producing corns. 
The change, I fear, will give me cold. To prevent that 
as far as I could, I put on a pair of thick woollen socks, 
which, by the way, is the only pair of the kind I brought 
from home. How this happened I cannot imagine. 
These prunella shoes I bought in Montgomery in 1861; 
they have lasted for summer wear ever since. 

Breakfast at 8.30. Ate but little. In thinking of 
home, I found a flood of tears gushing from my eyes, 
rolling down into my plate. I turned from the table, 
and with my handkerchief stanched the current as best 
I could; I had, however, little more control over it than 
I should have had over a current of blood issuing from 
the nose. Home! home! sweet, sweet home! Nothing 
but news from home and Linton can allay my disquie- 
tude, and satisfy the cravings of my heart. 

Finished Cicero on Divination and Fate. As in his 
treatise on the gods, he arrives at no certam truth or 
conclusion. Much he says on dreams commands reason's 
assent. Yet who does not feel that in his own experience 
there has been impressed upon his mind or soul — the 
thinking principle within him — presentiments of com- 
ing events? The usual explanation of dreams, such 
as Cicero gives has always been about as satisfactory 
to me as explanations in our schools of the tides and 
other obscure matters in natural philosophy. The 
mind assents to these as probably correct in the absence 
of better. Some dreams seem to carry the unmistakable 
impress of an agency other than that known in ordinary 
workings of the mind. Impressed on consciousness 
are matters on which the mind had never before indulged 
a thought, but which come to pass in almost exact accord- 


ance with the vision. What I say is mainly from my 
own experience. I have had many such dreams. 

Reason cannot explain some of the many impressions 
and fixed conclusions of the mind. Neither should it 
«xclude them as phantoms or the bare results of what 
is called superstition. There are subjects connected 
with human existence which appear not property to 
come within the sphere of what is called reason. Rqason 
is an intellectual faculty. But man is a triune being; 
there is in his composition matter, mind, and soul. The 
laws governing the third essential, its operations and 
aptitudes, are as diflFerent from those governing the 
intellect barely, as the latter from the physical laws gov- 
erning the material part. Therefore in spiritual matters, 
it should be expected by reason that many things will 
arise which cannot be compassed, comprehended, or 
explained by itself even in its highest attainable develop- 

I am no disciple of the modem school of Spiritualists; 
I neither affirm nor disaffirm belief in their teachings. I 
know not enough about them to do so. From what 
I have seen and heard, I doubt not that much deception 
is practised by them, as it has been in all ages by pro- 
fessed fortune-tellers, soothsayers, conjurers, and diviners. 
All I mean to affirm is, that reason in its pride should not 
reject all spiritual operations, convictions, and manifes- 
tations, barely because they are beyond its power of 
understanding or accounting for. 

Cicero, though he had demolished, in his own judg- 
ment, such things as presentiments or divine intimations 
to men through oracles, dreams, agencies, or prodigies, 
admits, after a survey of the whole field, that there is 
"a true religion." He says, "The beauty of the world 


and the order of all celestial things compels us to confess 
that there is an excellent and eternal nature which 
deserves to be worshipped and admired by all mankind." 
What is this but God ? If he is to be worshipped, how 
but in soul and spirit? How can human reason under- 
take to prescribe the manner of these spiritual approaches ? 
or the manner in which the Great Father may commune 
with his children ? Who can be so bold as to say there can 
be no such communications because human reason cannot 
explain their operation? These remarks have been 
extended much farther than I purposed. Having said 
so much, I should say more; that is necessary to rebut 
an inference as to my own faith and creed. I must 
however defer it. 

The N. Y. Herald gives an account of some who were 
my fellow prisoners on the way here. Governor Lubbock, 
General Wheeler, and others. It appears that Wheeler 
has been released, and that all prisoners at Fort Delaware 
will be released soon. When will the general jail-delivery 
extend to Fort Warren, I wonder? 

5.30. — Lieut. W. brought me a letter from Mr. 
Baskerville, dated Richmond, 19th inst., in answer to 
mine of the 5th. Correspondence is certainly slow 
between here and there. He says he got mine on the 
19th. I was much relieved by this letter; Henry and 
Anthony had got home safely. Mr. Stanard had suffered 
from the fire of April 3d,* but had repaired his property 
and was getting on comfortably. Mr. Thomas had lost 
his eldest daughter. Travis was in Richmond and well. 
Hamilton Baskerville was in the country at school. 
The letter did me good. I hope it will be the breaking 
up of the ice. In the Boston Journal^ a telegram from 

^ The bur^iof of Ridimond at the Confederate evacuation. 


Washington says President Johnson intends to pardon 
no more prominent leaders of the late conflict. If this 
is so, my case is settled. 

6.15. — Stood on western bastion and looked toward 
Boston. Saw the State House cupola, Bunker Hill 
Monument, and other prominent objects. As my eyes 
rested on the outlines of where I supposed Cambridge 
to be, my thought of Linton, his sojourn there at the 
law school in 1845, riveted me to the spot. The eyes 
soon filled with tears. I instantly wheeled, not wishing 
my condition to be seen by the Lieutenant, and we 
renewed our walk, going back to my cell. Silence was 
observed on my part for some time; I could not have 
uttered a word without faltering; with that, I should 
have burst into weeping. 

June 25. — Have been ill all morning; was taken 
about two with violent pain in the bowels. I called the 
guard and asked for Lieut. W.; I wanted some one to 
be in the room with me and hand me water and some 
whisky; was suffering too much to do this for myself. 
Lieut. W. came and attended to my wants himself. I 
took a pretty large drink of Harry's whisky, which gave 
me temporary relief; also, some cool water which Lieut. 
W. brought me. He inquired if I would have the sur- 
geon; I told him "No." Dr. Seavems called this morn- 
ing; something he has sent gives partial relief. If I could 
but hear from home and know that they were all well! 
I could then bear pain and sickness and privation better. 
Lieut. W. has just called to see and inquire after me. 

2.30. — Geary brought excellent dinner. I ate a 
little bread and a bit of turkey. Finished Jeremiah and 
read Cicero on "Laws." 


6.15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. He told me he 
had seen a letter to a person here which stated that all 
were well at my home on the 7th. This is comfort and 
relief. It was a beautiful evening, and I looked closely 
for the new moon but could get no glimpse of her; the 
sun was too high. I did not walk much; rested under 
the music arbour. 

Geary brought tea, dry toast, sweet cakes, and straw- 
berries. I took a little tea and toast and a few berries. 
Why he continues to bring sweet cakes, I do not know, 
except for show. I have told him I never eat sweet 
cakes. To prevent any bad effects from the berries, 
I took a drink from Harry's bottle. 

June 26. — My before-breakfast reading was from 
Job — a favourite book with me. I have read Job oftener 
than any other book in the Bible, except perhaps St. 
John. After breakfast took up Cicero. It is to be 
regretted that the treatises on the Commonwealth and 
the laws are so fragmentary. The phases of each sub- 
ject to me most interesting, those relating to changes 
in the constitution and laws of Rome growing out of the 
withdrawal of the people or the great secession of the 
Tribunes, are wanting. One thing is striking. His 
opinion, when questioned by Atticus regarding auguries 
land divinations, is adverse to that expressed to his brother 
Quintus in the treatise on Divination. He shows that 
he was a believer in immortality. On all moral subjects, 
including man's duties to his fellows as well as to his 
Maker, he seems to have attained the highest round of 
reason's ladder. In expressing the opinion that God 
does sometimes communicate with man by inspiration 
or otherwise, he gives some of the very reasons I gave 
in my criticism the other day upon his anterior and 


opposite conclusion. Scipio's dream, a purely fancy 
sketch, presents some wonderful thoughts. I was 
not aware before that philosophy had attained such 
heights, either in physical, moral, or spiritual matters in 
that age. 

This reminds me of something in Prescott's Conquest 
of Mexico : the extraordinary character of Nezahualcoyotl, 
Prince of Tezcuco. He was bom about 1399, and died 
about 1470; his reign was therefore more than half a 
century before the arrival of European adventurers in 
the walls of Mexico. He was a wonderful man in the 
government of his country and the advancement of those 
arts and sciences through which the highest order of 
civilization and refinement are attained; but in nothing 
does he seem to me to be so wonderful as in his moral 
or spiritual side. Here is a specimen — a few sentences 
— from one of his moral essays: 

All things on earth have their time, and in the most 
joyous career of their vanity and splendour, their strength 
fails, and they sink into the dust. The great, the wise, 
the valiant, the beautiful — alas! where are they now? 
They are mingled with the clod, and that which has 
befallen them shall happen to us and to those that shall 
come after us. Yet let us take courage, illustrious 
nobles and chief captains, true friends and loyal subjects. 
Let us aspire to that Heaven where all is eternal and 
temptation cannot come. The horrors of the tomb 
are but the cradle of the Sun and the dark shadows 
of death are briUiant lights for the stars. 

Wherein is this inferior to anything left by Socrates, 
Plato, or Cicero ? Nay, wherein is it inferior, in a moral 
point of view, to the best things ever written by the wisest 
princes who ever ruled the chosen people of God? Is 


there not much in it that looks toward immortaKty ? 
He built a temple and dedicated it "To the Unknown 
God, The Cause of Causes." 

Cicero's attitude on canvassing for suflFrage, 1 think 
subject to many grave objections ; it can only be accounted 
for by the prevailing ideas and corruptions of the times. 
Some things in his letter to his brother Quintus, then 
candidate for the consulship, are excellent; but others, 
such as justifying the solicitation of votes and the making 
by the candidates of promises never intended to be ful- 
filled, are abominable. 

Morning papers at usual time. A statement in the 
Boston Posty copied from the Augusta [Ga.] Chronicle 
and Sentinel of the 7th, on the Hampton Roads Confer- 
ence, is a discordant jumble of facts which presents 
almost anything but the truth. The Post^s editorial 
conmient that it is understood that this statement was 
prepared at my instance surprises me. It was not 
nor is it true that I ever saw the editor of the Chronicle 
and Setitinel after my return from the Conference. His 
remark that, "We will now give the history of the Con- 
ference, as nearly as we can remember it, from the state- 
ment of Mr. Stephens to us directly after his return," 
has not a single leg to stand on. It is true I spoke freely 
of the Conference to a number of friends, but refused to 
put in writing anything for the public except what appears 
in the Commissioner's report. The subject-matter of 
that conference was not for the public. What really 
led to it is not known to the public at all, and what passed 
on those matters that led to it has never yet reached the 
public on either side. It was called a Peace Conference. 
The country on both sides so understood it, but the first 
object of the mission was a truce or armistice, to which. 


as was supposed by us, authorities at Washington might 
be induced to accede by questions exterior * This sup- 
position was founded entirely on representations made 
by Mr. Blair to Mr. Davis. It is true that while I had 
strong hopes of eflFecting an armistice, which I looked 
upon as most desirable in every respect, and while this 
was the sole purpose for which we were sent on the 
mission, I availed myself of the opportunity to sound the 
Washington authorities upon the subject of general 
peace. We had no authority, however, to treat for peace. 
Now most, if not all, of what is jumbled up in this state- 
ment in the Chronicle I have said in private conversa- 
tions, in connection, however, with a great deal which 
is not stated, and not in the connection that is here given. 
I suppose the editor must have made up his report from 
what some person repeated to him as what I had been 
heard to say. But that any editor should have put 
such an account over the official signatures of Hunter, 
Campbell, and myself is strange; it is especially annoy- 
ing to me as I am here in prison and powerless to correct 
misrepresentation . 

Dinner: good, but I ate sparingly. Sitting at my win- 
dow, smoking my meerschaimi, my mind went into reverie 
on my present situation; especially the absurdity and 
foolery of it. This was suggested by the passing of the 
guard to and fro, with his loaded musket and glistening 
bayonet, peeping in occasionally, to see if I am safe, I 
suppose. This unceasing step of the guard is as regular 
as the tick of a clock. It is kept up day and night. One 
man is on the beat for two hours: then he is relieved by 
another who paces two hours; and so on: being relieved 

* Joint maintenance by the sections of the Monroe Doctrine in Mexico. — War Between the 
States, II. 58{r636. 


for four hours, when he must return and act as before 
for another two hours. One set detailed for guard duty 
goes through these rounds for twenty-four hours, then 
another set is detailed for twenty-four, the same set 
performing guard duty about two days in the week. 
The conduct of these men is often the subject of my 
attention; they not infrequently have my sympathy and 
commiseration. They are not allowed to sit or rest, but 
must walk to and fro, about fifteen paces, all the time. 
They often weary in their monotonous drudgery, and 
by night become sleepy, as I judge from their sighs and 
yawnings, and their inquiries of some passing corporal, 
"What time of night is it?" or, "Is it not 'most time for 
the relief to come?" 

The relief is well known some distance oflF by footsteps 
on the stone pavement; when it is near enough, the guard 
on duty wheels about, faces the front with musket duly 
presented, crying out, "Who comes here?" The officer 
in charge of the relief replies, "Relief!" Whereupon the 
guard on duty says, "Advance, Relief!" Up comes the 
officer with the new guard, asks the one about to be 
relieved sundry questions, such as "What is the news?" 
or " Is there anything new ?" Hereupon follows a colloquy, 
the tenor of which I have never heard. It is, perhaps, 
a report of my actings and doings during the last two 
hours. Then, the officer, in audible voice, gives the 
newcomer instructions, just as a solicitor in our courts 
swears in a bailiff to a jury. An observer would suppose 
that the bailiff was thus informed for the first time of 
his duties from the manner in which he looks at the 
solicitor while repeating the oath. So with the new 
guard ; he listens as attentively and demurely to his orders 
as if he had never heard them before. He is to keep 


close watch; no one is to be suffered to pass in or speak 
to the prisoner, except Lieut. Woodman or by Woodman's 
command. He is not to speak to the prisoner unless 
spoken to by him and then only to know what he wants. 
Should prisoner speak to him, he will immediately call 
for Corporal of the guard for post No. 24, to whom pris- 
oner will make known his wants. When the orderly 
goes into the prisoner's room by command of Lieut. 
Woodman or any officer, the guard is to go with him 
and hear all that passes. This and some other matters 
of like import, which for delicacy I omit, constitute the 
gist of the instructions, which no sooner than over, the 
officer with the fatigued, gaping guard moves oflF, while 
the new guard commences his pacings. 

So the days pass, and so the nights roll around, with 
this sort of clockwork fooling for me to count time by, if 
I had no better method of noting its passage. Wliat 
absurdity is all this! Who believes I would attempt 
to get away if my door was open and no guard about? 
How could I get over the walls of this fort? How get 
away from the island if I could scale the walls? Again, 
what need of any guns in the hands of those about my 
barred, iron-grated windows, with my door locked, 
bolted, and barred? It is sheer nonsense. 

Much is said in the papers about "reconstruction" — 
the principles on which it should be based; and about 
Negro suffrage in the subjugated states. Much more 
will doubtless be said and written upon this subject 
before it is settled. Negro suffrage is a great and grave 
question, as great and grave if not greater and graver 
than its antecedent, abolition. It was unconsidered, and 
perhaps unthought of, by those whose acts in effecting 
abolition opened up this new problem which now pre- 


sents towering proportions. This question deserves calm 
thought, mature reflection, wise deliberation and action. 
The condition of the black population of the South under 
their present freedmen's status, without some sort of 
representation, under judicious limitations, in govern- 
ment, will unquestionably be worse for them as a race 
than their former status. Their position will be anoma- 
lous. They will have neither the franchises of a citizen 
nor the protection of a master. Their condition will 
be worse than was that of the Moriscoes in Spain, and 
not much better than that of the Gypsies in England, or the 
unfortunate tribes of Israel in all countries of Europe 
during the Middle Ages. 

There is evidently a disposition at Washington to put 
down discussion of this subject. The ground upon 
which the officials attempt to silence discussion is 
untenable as coming from them. They say the Constitu- 
tion prevents the Government from taking cognizance 
or jurisdiction of the question. This position is in itself 
unquestionably true; but by the same rule of construc- 
tion the Constitution prevents the Government from 
changing the former status of these people as fixed and 
regulated by the states themselves. The Government 
has assumed to do this in the teeth of the Constitution. 
If it has, as one of the results of the war, constitutional 
right and power to say to South CaroUna and Georgia, 
"You shall not be represented in Congress unless you 
abolish slavery," it would be difficult, I think, to show 
why it may not say on the same principles to the same 
states, "You shall not be represented unless you extend 
the right of suffrage to the class thus made free." The 
Government has estopped itself, has closed its own mouth, 
against the force of this argument. The position, strong 


and impregnable in itself, has been surrendered to their 
adversaries. They cannot hold up long under the raking 
fires which will be poured upon them, and that soon, too, 
I think, by batteries planted upon grounds of their own 
creating in their flank and rear. The question has 
inherent intense interest of vast magnitude. It is going 
to become a much greater than it is now considered and 
treated by many; if, indeed, it does not become the 
absorbing one and, like Aaron's rod, swallow up all other 
political questions of the day. Now, taking things as 
I find them, and acting on the principle that it is the 
duty of a public man to do with existing facts the best 
he can without quarrelling with what he cannot change 
or control, I have some ideas which I wish it were in 
my power to make public, or, at least, present to who- 
ever can deal with this matter. It is a question that 
ought to be taken up, discussed, considered, and properly 
settled if it can be. Can it be? That is, in itself, a 
great question. I am inclined to think it can if reason 
and justice govern deliberations. I would not now 
be prepared to go into detail, were I called on for my 
plan. I will only indicate the outline. 

The view I entertain rests on the assumption that 
coloured people, holding the relation they now do to the 
whites, with distinct, separate, and antagonistic interests, 
if permitted to remain, ought to be represented in the 
Government to which they owe allegiance and with whose 
exactions in taxes and other requisitions they must com- 
ply. How can this be done with justice to both races 
and according to reason? I suggest one way. Let 
all the blacks in a state be put into a class, a sort of 
guild, corporation, or tribe, and let this guild or tribe 
have representation in legislation upon just, reasonable 


and equitable principles. Let the state be districted; 
let the basis of representation be first settled; let the 
blacks vote separately; let them choose their own rep- 
resentatives without restriction as to locality of the 
voter but with such restriction as to race as may be wise. 
Let the franchise be properly limited at first, with such 
conditions as will induce its enlargement. If it should 
be found best, postpone putting the system in opera- 
tion for three, four, or five years, but go to work immedi- 
ately and provide for it. Something of this kind ought 
to be adopted by the Southern States themselves, look- 
ing to their own future interest, safety, and advance- 
ment. The whole Negro population, under this system, 
would become a political power in the state. All com- 
monwealths prosper best when there are adverse powers 
properly balanced. Whether a system can work when 
the adverse powers are two distinct races, time and 
experience would determine. 

6.15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. Was in hopes of 
getting a good view of the new moon. Without being 
much of a believer in signs and auguries, yet I do like 
always to get a clear view of a new moon. Whether 
there is really any bad luck attending the first sight of 
her over the left shoulder as some contend, or through 
glass or bush or cloud as others maintain, I will not 
undertake to decide. Perhaps what Joshua Hill once 
advanced to me on this, and other like subjects, is true, 
"That all signs or omens are good to those who believe 
in them." I can see some reason for what most people 
would call a pure superstition even in that view of the 
subject, and perhaps that is the only view that can be 
defended on rational grounds. Without, however, com- 
mitting myself to belief or disbelief in omens regarding 


a new moon, I say that I always like to get a first view 
of the crescent in a clear bright sky, without intervening 
obstruction. I was in hopes of such a view this evening, 
but was disappointed. It was cloudy, not even the 
sun, not yet set, was to be seen. 

I handed Lieut. W. a note to Major Allen requesting 
the Major to make known to tlie Editor of the Post 
that the Chronicle and Sentinel statement about the 
Hampton Roads Conference was not at my instance, 
that I had never seen or heard of it until to-day when 
I saw it in the paper. I requested him, if he felt at 
liberty, to let them know that I wished this denial pub- 
lished; the statement presented several facts not before 
printed which were true, but in a connection calculated 
to work erroneous impression on several points. Whether 
the Major will feel at liberty to comply with my request, 
I do not know. 

June 27. — A great rainfall last night, high wind 
and a storm. All the lights were blown out in the pas- 
sages and there was quite a stir among the men on 
guard. This morning, spent several hours writing and 
cop)ang letters to Linton and General Dix. These 
are copies: 

My dear Brother: I see by the papers that a Provi- 
sional Governor has been appointed for Georgia : a Con- 
vention is to be called and a new Constitution formed 
under certain limitations and restrictions upon the 
right of suffrage in the choice of delegates to that Con- 
vention. Whether these limitations and restrictions will 
affect you except as to the terms of the general oath 
required of all the voters, I am not certain. How you 
stand under the 13th clause of the Proclamation of 
Amnesty, I do not know. I am inclined to think from 


my knowledge of your situation and past course that 
you do not come within the class of excepted cases therein 
set forth. How you feel upon the subject, whether you 
are incHned ever again to have anything to do with poli- 
tics or public aflFairs, I do not know. These are matters 
I have had great desire to confer with you about. As 
for myself, I have no such desire. But with you, it may 
well be diflFerent. You are comparatively young and 
in the vigour of manhood. The men of each generation 
should act their part in their day and time. My part 
in the drama of life has been performed. Not so with 
you. In this crisis, my advice to you is not to stand 
aloof but to give your country the benefit of your counsels 
to the best of your ability, looking to the best attainable 
good under the circumstances, acting upon the principle 
that a wise man will always meet facts as he finds them, 
and do the best he can under them as they exist, without 
quarrelling with what is beyond his power to change 
or control. 

Now, then, in our new Constitution, what ought to 
be done? Many great and grave questions will arise, 
questions aflfecting the structural organization of society 
and the proper distribution and limitation of the repre- 
sentative principle on which we have often so agreeably 
to ourselves — and profitably to m5rself , may I not add ? 
— interchanged ideas. Does not the occasion present 
a fit opportunity for incorporating in our system some 
of those best features of the Constitution of Aragon on 
which you have been accustomed to expatiate with so 
much enthusiasm? It seems to me that it does. I 
will give you my ideas briefly: you can think over them, 
and make such use of them as you please in the Conven- 
tion, if you be not excluded, or by giving them to those 
who may be in it, or to the press, as you think best. 
Of course the use you make will be in your own expanded 
form, and not in the crude state in which I thus hastily, 
and without order, present them. The outline is this: 

Let representation in your State be on a di£Ferent 


principle from what it has been. Let the entire popula- 
tion be divided into classes according to professions, 
pursuits, interests, and conditions; and let representation 
be based on such classification. Let the universities 
be represented; the learned professions; the different 
religious sects; the large corporations; mechanical inter- 
ests with proper classifications; so, with the agricultural; 
and other distinct and antagonistic interests: let the 
coloured population, with their present change of status, 
be represented; this is itself a great question, as great 
and grave as, if not greater and graver than, its ante- 
cedent, abolition. The right of suflFrage to the f reed- 
men of the South is now the "vexed question" at the 
North. It is true that under our system it is a question 
over which they have no rightful or Constitutional control. 
It belongs exclusively to the separate states. But the 
states owe it to themselves, their own safety, security, 
and prosperity for the present and the future, to take it 
up and settle it upon the immutable principles of reason 
and justice. Upon these principles, since this class oft 
persons no longer hold the relationship of pupilage or I 
wardship toward legal guardians and protectors through » 
whom their rights and interests were represented imder 
our old system, some sort of representation should be 
provided for them under that new system which is to 
be adopted. And on these principles of reason and 
justice upon which all governments should be founded 
and administered, what better plan could be devised 
for representation of this portion of society than the 
plan of their separate classification and organization as 
I suggest ? To what extent the right of immediate suf- 
frage should be limited, with what provisions as to 
qualifications so as to leave the door open for extension 
on attainment of requisite worth and merit, it is neither 
pertinent nor useful for me now to suggest. I barely 
throw out my ideas of a general scheme. 

In this there would be no mingling of the races on 
the hustings: the rights and interests of the various 



classes, as they should be arranged on the fundamental 
law, would be attended to by themselves separately. 
This system would do much to prevent the rise and 
organization of those great parties, incident to republics 
based upon the principles of suflFrage heretofore estab- 
lished, and from which our country has suflFered so severely. 
The choice of representatives by the coloured race or 
by the other classes should not be restricted as to 
locality except as to residence in the state, nor should 
it be restricted to membership in this class : these matters 
should be left to those malang the choice. Under the 
workings of the system, I have but little doubt that the 
ablest, most intelligent and virtuous men of the state, 
uninfluenced by party, would be chosen to fill oflSce. 
Even the coloured people most probably for years to 
come would choose white men who would faithfully 
watch over, guard, and represent their rights and inter- 
ests; or, if thought best, their right of dioice might at 
first be confined to white men. By arrangements in 
the classification, all the elements of society could be 
wisely provided for. A proper representation of the 
virtue and intelligence of the country would be secured; 
so, of the moral and religious sentiments; so of all the 
distinct and antagonistic interests. But I can enlarge 
no further. You have the outline. If you can make 
or work out of it anything practical, and are so inclined, 
do it. Don't, without thought or reflection, pronounce 
it Utopian. My best wishes attend you and our beloved 

Yours most affectionately, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

P. S. My health continues about as usual. I have not 
yet received a line from you since you left my house, 
the 9th of May. 

Maj-General John A. Ddc, New York. 

Dear Sir: Enclosed I send for your inspection a 
letter I wish forwarded to my brother. It is upon matters 


that may be beyond the limits of the license granted me 
in making conmiunications to friends at home. On 
this point I am not certain, and therefore submit it to 
your special notice and review. Should you feel at 
liberty to let it pass, I should be obliged: if not, I shall 
take it as a favour if you will have it returned inmiediately 
to me. 

Yours respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Read the daily papers. I see that the test oath pre- 
scribed by Congress for all officers of the United States 
Government, excludes, in the reconstruction process 
going on, all who ever accepted office under the Con- 
federate Government, or aided that cause. 

The Tribune republishes the Chronicle and Sentinel 
article. The more I reflect on that article, the more I 
am annoyed at its purporting to come from me. How 
any one with any knowledge of my character could 
attribute to me such sentiments as it expresses, I cannot 
conceive. I have lived to little purpose if a friend could 
ever think them mine, much less discredit me with such 
an expression as this: "I would not have gotten out of 
the way of a raid but for appearance's sake, holding the 
office I did." Such a sentiment I never entertained or 
uttered; I scorn it! I often said I would not get out of 
the way of a raid but for the office I held; this I said, 
not for the reason assigned, but because I believed I 
would be arrested and imprisoned in consequence of 
that office. Others not so connected with the Govern- 
ment, I advised to remain. I never said that I had no 
fear of Mr. Lincoln if I should fall into his hands. When 
asked, as I often was, what I thought would be the result 
in such a case, I invariably said — what was the truth — 


that I did not know, had no idea. I knew Mr. Lincohi, 
thought well of him personally, believed him to be a 
kind-hearted man; but as to what he should feel it his 
duty to do under such circumstances, I could form no 

I am in a quandary on a question of duty. What ought 
I to do in reference to my application to the President? 
Plenty of time for answer has passed, if he had been 
disposed to reply favourably even to its smaller requests. 
Is not his silence sufficient reason for my withdrawal 
of that application? I made it under embarrassment, 
from a sense of duty in doubt. Has not his silence settled 
that point of doubt? I am no supplicant for mercy 
at his hands; I only meant to make known my willing- 
ness to accept his oflFer of anmesty without inquiry as to 
guilt, as cordially as he had Uberally tended it. He 
made me no response. My resolution is to wait not 
much longer without letting him hear further from me. 
When he does, it will be in the withdrawal of that applica- 
tion and a demand for my legal and constitutional rights ; 
by them I shall abide. 

Spent the evening on a draft of a letter to the President, 
withdrawing application. When I got through with it, 
saw by the evening paper that he is sick. Lieut. W. 
informed me that he had seen it stated that Mr. Seward 
was not to return in ten days. Shall I send the letter 
or hold it awhile ? 

6.15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. Had a beauti- 
ful first view of the new moon. Whether this is an omen 
of good luck for me during this lunation or not, I cannot 
say. I have met with few lucky moons in my life. Luck, 
after all, is a strange thing. Some persons seem lucky 
V nature, while others seem doomed to be unlucky. 


I belong to the latter class. I never could compete 
successfully in any game or enterprise depending on 
chance, such as drawing lots or throwing dice; the result 
was almost always against me. 

I never had but one streak of real good luck in my 
life. That was in examination for college and the sen- 
tence in Latin that it fell to me to construe. I had 
prepared at the Academy in Washington, Ga., and at 
home. I was told at the Academy that for admission 
into the freshman class, I must read the Eclogues and 
Bucolics and the first six books of the ^Eneid of Virgil, 
besides Caesar's Conunentaries and Cicero's four orations 
against Catiline, this being the Latin Course; but that 
I would be examined on Virgil. I had but nine months 
at the Academy for this and for the Greek course. I 
finished at the Academy in something like six weeks 
before Conunencement ; then went home, or to my uncle 
and guardian's which I called home — I had no other; 
and there set about reviewing my Virgil ; I did not review 
one word of Cicero. The four orations against Catiline 
I had read rapidly at the Academy, frequently as many 
as 500 lines at a lesson. 

I saw announcement that candidates for the freshman 
class at Athens must present themselves for examination 
in the college Chapel on Saturday preceeding Com- 
mencement, which was to be on Wednesday. I was 
young, green, and raw. Without consulting anybody, 
I went into the Chapel at nine, the hour named. I 
found twenty-five candidates, all seated on benches. 
The faculty was present. I took my seat at the end of 
the hindmost bench. I had my Virgil and Greek Testa- 
ment, supposing as a matter of course that I should be 
examined on these as my teacher had told me; but to 


my great surprise, Dr. Waddell [College President] 
opened with Cicero, and the first oration, which I had 
never looked into at all. What to do I did not know. 
Luckily, examination began at the front bench. A 
copy of Cicero was handed me. I glanced over parts 
of the oration to see if I could make any out at reading 
it. The out was a very bad one. Another oration was 
reached ; I made as bad an out at this. One oration after 
another was taken up or passed over, until those against 
Catiline were reached. I thought I might stammer and 
blunder along in almost any part of these as well as a 
majority of the boys were doing in parts assigned them. 
This hope was soon somewhat dashed. The first, second, 
third oration were over — for skips were wide — and 
I was not reached; several boys were still ahead of me. 
The fourth oration was entered. 

I began to tremble and sweat. I was the last candi- 
date, and might not the Doctor turn to the next oration 
before my time? I tried an experiment on the next 
to sec if I could read anything in that. The boy beside 
me was assigned a paragraph still in the fourth, but in 
the latter part. He took his seat, and Dr. Waddell 
said "Next!" It was an awful moment of suspense, 
but as good luck would have it, he assigned me the only 
paragraph in the whole book with which I was per- 
fectly familiar! Was that luck or what was it? In 
this paragraph, Cicero alludes to the views of the senators 
as to what punishment should be inflicted upon the 
conspirators, and quotes Caesar's opinion that capital 
punishment should never be inflicted, that as life is the 
gift of the gods, it ought only to be taken away by the 
gods. The idea, a new one to me when I read it at 
school, had deeply impressed me, and I was almost 


as familiar with that sentence as with any rule in my 
grammar; I read it oflE without the slightest pause or 

The Doctor raised his spectacles, looked at me, gave 
me a few words to parse. These, luckily for me, as I 
afterward ^ound out, called for his pet rules. I gave 
them readily. Again he raised his spectacles, expressed 
satisfaction and asked if he remembered correctly where 
I was prepared or under whose tuition, doubtless believ- 
ing me much better prepared than I was. He had 
given me the one paragraph in the book that I could 
read without a balk. This, then, was the streak of 
good luck which got me into college when my own blun- 
der in presenting myself as I had for examination came 
so near exposing me and perhaps causing my rejection. 
Mr. Dobbins's boys were those I found in the chapel; 
they had been prepared in his grammar school connected 
with the college, and were ready on Cicero. I ought 
to have waited and been examined separately. 

How strange this little streak of luck considered in 
connection with my destiny! The whole world is dis- 
cussing what punishment shall be inflicted upon me 
and other officers of the Confederacy charged with 
being conspirators against the United States, whether 
death, exile, or lighter punishment, even as the Roman 
Senate was discussing the punishment due Catiline and 
his infamous crowd when Cicero uttered the sentence 
it fell to my lot to construe. Little did I think, when 
pondering, in my attic room at Mr. Adam L. Alexander's 
the views of that debate, that I should ever be held in 
the estimation of anybody upon a par with such char- 


JUNE 28. — The sun shines brightly in at my 
windows, the guard moves with elastic tread; 
all nature without seems to wear a gay and joy- 
ous aspect, while within, I am left, solitary and alone, 
with nothing to sooth my reflections but my ever-at- 
hand good old meerschaum. Heaven's blessing rest 
upon Girardey! How much I am indebted to his gift 
for my quantum of comfort in this place! 

Another Fancy Sketch and not Altogether Fancy: 

[R. M. Johnston entering prison by window of imagi- 

Johnston. Well, how are you to-day? 

Prisoner. So-so, only so-so. In mind much harassed. 

Johnston. By what in particular? 

Prisoner. That Chronicle and Sentinel publication. 

Johnston. What point in it annoys you ? I thought 
upon the whole that you, perhaps, would approve the 
publication. I saw in it many things I had heard you 
say which I thought the public ought to know. 

Prisoner. The whole tone and temper of the article is 
wrong. Facts are not stated in proper connection; and 
this distorts truths which proper connection would pre- 
sent. Then, some things are stated which are not facts, as 
my remark to Campbell concerning the cat's-paw which 
is not given as made by me. Campbell, not Hunter, 
said he felt no uneasiness about his neck so long as 



Mr. Lincoln was at the head of affairs at Washington; 
the remark itself is not correctly quoted nor is Mr. Lin- 
coln's reply. The article, as intermixed with the ofl&cial 
report and put over the signatures of the Commissioners, 
comprises a downright forgery. The reason I am 
reported to have assigned, for not making public what 
Mr. Lincoln said about compensation for emancipated 
slaves is not accurately put; nor is what Mr. Lincoln 
said on that subject. My reason for not getting out of 
the way of a raid is misstated; I am exhibited in a light 
which excites in me nothing short of indignation, con- 
tempt, and scorn. 

Johnston. Why don't you correct it ? Why not pub- 
lish a statement imder your own hand ? I requested you 
to do this soon after your return from Fortress Monroe. 
Had you done so, there would have been none of this. 

Prisoner. Why don't I correct it ? Why don't I publish 
a statement under my own hand? That is one of the 
horrors of my confinement! I am suffered to speak to 
no one except a few oflScers here. I am prohibited from 
holding any communication with the outside world 
except on matters of exclusively private, personal, and 
business nature. As for my having made a statement 
when I could have done so, I did not think it proper 
then. The effect of such disclosure as I should have 
felt it my duty to make, if I had gone into the matter at 
all, would have been to divide our people. 

Johnston. But when, as you say, you saw that collapse 
was inevitable, that your silence could not prevent it, 
was it not duty to yourself to put yourself right before 
the country? Might you not have thus avoided the 
evils you suffer? 

Prisoner. Perhaps I might, but no personal immunity 


or security could ever sway my sense of duty to myself 
or to my country. This sense would prompt me to meet 
death rather than give any just ground in the estima- 
tion of my people, erroneous though their opinions 
might be, that I was untrue to the great cause of States 
Rights and State Sovereignty in the maintenance of 
which we were engaged. A man, to be useful, must 
not be disregardful of the effect of his acts upon the 
minds of his comrades; in this view he must often omit 
to do what he knows would be wise and proper in itself. 
I saw clearly the ruin coming, and deliberately made up 
my mind to meet and bear it with all its misfortimes 
and penalties, so far as I was personally concerned, 
rather than give any grounds whatever for the suspicion 
that I was untrue to the cause in which I had embarked. 
A public man, to be useful, must be as Caesar's wife, above 
the breath of suspicion as to his integrity of purpose 
or resolve. Events I could not control ; my fate, through 
the mercy and grace of God, I could meet and endure. 

Johnston. Don't you think now it would have been bet- 
ter for you, and perhaps for the country, if you had never 
countenanced the new organization, or Confederacy; 
if you had stood aloof, held your original ground on 
the impolicy of the measure: in short, if you had had 
nothing to do with the war, giving it no countenance, 
aid or support? 

Prisoner. My mind in the beginning and before the 
beginning, when in i860 I saw the ruin coming, was made 
up to go with my state, let consequences be what they 
might. Her people were my people, her cause mine; 
and though I believed her destiny and my own controlled 
by unwise counsels, I preferred to die, even on the scaf- 
fold or under the gallows if such must be, rather than 


raise my arm against her sovereignty or be in s)mipathy 
with those who might strike her, even though by the 
reverse course I might be clothed with all the honours 
this world could bestow. What effect my standing 
aloof from the strife might have had upon the state 
and the war, must be a matter of conjecture only. My 
opinion is that it would only have intensified troubles. 
Had I thus acted, we might have had war among ourselves 
— the greatest calamity and curse that can befall any 
people. Foreign war is a great curse, but intestine war 
is a greater. My act, I think, prevented this amongst 
our people. As for stopping the war between North 
and South, that was out of the question. The political 
atmosphere was charged to the bursting point, the storm 
had come. The moral epidemic, as I then styled it, 
was abroad; it was infectious and contagious as well 
as malignant. Statesmanship could do no more in arrest- 
ing its progress than can medical skill and science in 
arresting plague, cholera, or yellow fever. As good 
physicians do not desert their fellows when afficted 
with these dreadful calamities, neither should good and 
true statesmen desert their countrymen when afflicted 
with a no less relentless scourge of moral or political 
epidemic. They should remain with them and do all 
in their power to assuage what they cannot control or 
prevent even though they themselves become victims 
thereby. So I thought, so I acted. So Lafayette in 
France thought; so he acted. He became a victim, 
not unto death, it is true; and so it is with me. Whether 
I shall ultimately escape as well as he, God only knows. 
No man ever bore a conscience more void of offence 
toward God or man in all that he did than I in all that 
I have done in these troubles. I, therefore, in full review 


of the entire past, have no regrets for an5rthing I have 
done. If the whole were to go over again I do not see 
wherein I could act dijBFerently. 

[Enter, not at the window, but at the unlocked and 
unbarred door of the room. Major Seaverns, accom- 
panied by another person. Johnston steps out 
through the window of his entrance. Prisoner rises.] 
Surgeon Seaverns. This is Colonel L)mian, Medical 
Inspector. In discharge of his duty he is visiting the 
prisoners to see their condition, etc. 

Prisoner. Good morning. Major. Good morning, 
Colonel Lyman. How is your health, sir? 
Prisoner. Tolerably good, I thank you, sir. 
Colonel Lyman. Good as usual, good as when you 
came here? 

Prisoner. Yes, sir; on the whole, about as usual. I am 
not so strong as when I came, which, perhaps, is owing 
to the want of my usual outdoor exercise. 

Colonel Lyman. [Looking about the room and at the 
bunk, which wears clean sheets and pillow-cases at 
Prisoner's cost so far as washing is concerned, and is 
decorated with his afghan brought from home.] Very 
comfortable quarters. 

[Prisoner mum, but if looks ever had a language, his said 
plainly, Silence does not always give consent.] 
Colonel Lyman. [Note-book in hand, bowing out.] 
Good morning, sir. 

Prisoner. Good morning. Good morning, Major. 
[Exeunt new parties, door again locked and barred. 
Prisoner fills his meerschaum, lights it, and seats 
himself, thinking of his friend, Johnston. Enter 
LietU. W.f letters in hand.] 


Prisoner. Good morning, Lieutenant. I see you have 
letters. Who from? Any from home? 

Lieutenant. There are only two, both from Savannah, 
from Dr. Willis. There is a blank check in one. 

One letter is of the 17th and the other of the 20th 
inst. There is nothing direct from Linton, yet the Doc- 
tor writes that he had learned of Ed Soullard Alfriend, 
who had come from Sparta, that Linton had been quite 
sick but was then up and on the streets though not well; 
Alfriend had seen in Sparta a few days before, one of 
the Prisoner's servants, Adam (Harry most probably), 
who told him all were well at Prisoner's home and getting 
on as usual. This was of great relief to Prisoner , and 
as he puflfed his meerschaum, he ejaculated many silent 
thanks to Dr. Willis for these welcome and kind letters. 
Geary appears at the window: "Here are the morning 
papers, sir. " Prisoner rises, goes and gets them through 
the bars with, "Thank you." Then takes his seat, 
and picks up the papers. 

Dinner : meats, vegetables, and real Yankee pumpkin 
pie. That pie was indeed excellent. The snap-beans 
here are not such as Harry grows. 

6.15. — Walked out as usual. Geary brought 
tea, bread, pound-cake and strawberries. I took 
nearly all the berries, and a "right smart piece" of 
the pound cake. Read Cicero on Oratory this 

I intended to note yesterday a present from Lieutenant 
Woodman of a bottle of gin. I asked the surgeon to 
endorse an order from me for some gin; Lieut. W. got 
a bottle and presented me with it. 


June 29. — Job, Chapter xxviii, is on the text, "But 
where shall wisdom be found ? and where is the place of 
understanding?" The imagery, poetry, and philosophy 
with which this inquiry is treated are of high order. 
After breakfast took up my letter to the President, 
revised it, and put it finally in these words: 

Mr. President: Again, I ask to be excused for pre- 
senting myself to your notice. On the 8th, just three 
weeks ago, I addressed to you a communication which 
I presume you received shortly after, as I saw by the 
newspapers that it was in the hands of subordinate officers 
in Washington. The embarrassment under which that 
communication was made, with the causes of it, were set 
forth with sufficient clearness to make myself fully under- 
stood, I thought. I had doubts as how such an applica- 
tion as was therein made would be received and con- 
sidered by you, coming from me. I did not wish to be 
obtrusive in seeking the benefit of favours pronounced 
under a generd offer which were not intended for me in 
particular, nor did I wish from over-sensitiveness to be 
remiss in doing what I thought a proper act on my part 
under the circumstances, admitting doubt as they did. 
I wished only, frankly and promptly, to state that if my 
case, which was given quite at large, came within your 
proffered tender of amnesty without inquiry as to guilt, 
on which point I was uncertain, it would be as cordially 
accepted by me as it had been liberally tendered to me. 

Your long silence even upon the other and minor points of 
that conmiunication, touching a parole, or a mitigation of 
the rigour of my present imprisonment, leads me to the 
conclusion that my case does not come within the prof- 
fered tender of Executive clemency. .The doubts and 
uncertainty on this point resting on my mind being thus 
removed, I now, therefore, address you for the purpose 
of withdrawing that special application for Amnesty 
in my behalf, which would not have been made but for 


the uncertainty on the point stated. I did not, and do 
not, wish to be considered as a bare suppliant for mercy. 
I have not the slightest sense of being a criminal before 
God or man for anything that I have done in the late 
most lamentable war between the states. I should but 
act the hypocrite if I pretended to have any such feelings. 
I was, however, perfectly willing (and not without a 
due sense of proper obligation) to accept in my own 
behalf, and under like conditions, the Executive clemency 
extended to others, waiving legal investigation, had it 
been your pleasure to grant it. 

That not being the case, as I am constrained to believe 
from the facts stated, I now address you, not as a suitor 
for a probable tendered favour, but as a claimant for 
my clear legal rights. What I now ask is not ex gratia 
but ex debito justitia. If I have oflEended against the 
laws or Constitution of my country, to these laws and 
their proper administration under the Constitution, I 
most respectfully and earnestly appeal. I have been 
under arrest and in close custody for seven weeks, without 
any charge or notification of the cause of my arrest. 
How long is this to continue? In your late interview 
with a delegation from South Carolina you are reported 
to have referred to England's Magna Charta as the 
source from which you had imbibed some of your politi- 
cal principles. That Charta secures to all British sub- 
jects essential rights thus far denied to me. It declares 
that **no freeman shall be seized, or imprisoned, or 
fined or otherwise injured but by the judgment of his 
peers and the laws of the land." But a higher authority in 
this country than the British Magna Charta, and one not 
less regardful of personal rights, the Constitution of the 
United States, declares that "no person shall be deprived 
of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." 

I was seized at my home in Georgia and brought to 
this distant point, and am imprisoned and deprived of 
my liberty without any judicial process, warrant, or 
legal authority whatever. Whether this was done at 


your instance or by your order or without your know- 
ledge, I do not know, but such are the facts of the case. 
Were I able without risk to my health and life to bear 
the unaccustomed privations of my present situation, 
which I am not (especially if prolonged), the outrage 
upon my rights would be the same, though the conse- 
quences to me personally might not be so serious. If 
the Government has any charge to prefer against me, 
and is not ready for any cause to proceed with it before 
the regularly constituted tribunals having jurisdiction 
of it, and I cannot be trusted on parole as others have 
been, then let any required amount of bail be stated 
for my appearance to answer such charge whenever or 
wherever it may be instituted. The Government, or 
those charged with its administration, may be assured 
that the l^il will be forthcoming, that the appearance 
and answer of the accused will be punctual, Deo vcdente. 
The charge will be met; and the result will be abided 
by, whatever it may be. 

I, therefore, again most respectfully and earnestly 
approach you, the Chief Magistrate, under a high and 
sacred obligation, as you are, to see to the faithful execu- 
tion of the laws: and I thus submit to your serious con- 
sideration whether the Constitution you are sworn to 
support can be rightfully or righteously upheld, even in 
putting down a rebellion or insurrection organized for 
its overthrow, by denying its plainly guaranteed rights 
to the humblest offenders even in a crime so heinous, 
atrocious, and monstrous. That justice according to 
the laws under the Constitution may be meted out to 
him without any unnecessary privations, suffering, or 
cruelty, is what is now claimed as a matter of right by 
your prisoner, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Lieut. W. brought two letters, one from Hidell, of the 
2ist, Louisville, Ky., the other from Raymond W. Burch, 
near Washington City. Hidell left Crawfordville on 


the 7th; all were well then. He was at Sparta the week 
before and left all well there; Linton had returned. He 
gives no particulars about home, where John was, whether 
the boys were at school or not, nothing about the weather, 
prospects of crops, etc. ; so, on the whole, while the letter 
is welcome, it is too indefinite on important matters to 
be hailed as at all satisfactory. The other letter is from 
an old friend, though not an old man. I did him some 
favours while in Congress. He has ever since manifested 
much esteem for me. He used to visit me when sick. 
He named his first daughter for my mother, Margaret. 
This letter is comforting. It shows that I have some 
friends in the world who sympathize with me. Mrs. 
Burch adds a line. This is very gratifying to me. 

Neither say anything of John C. Burch, a brother, who 
used to be a clerk at the desk in the House. He was a 
true man and a true friend of mine. He it was who 
gave me the famous and devoted dog, Rio. He had 
hemorrhages from the lungs. I fear he is dead. These 
Burch boys are sons of the Burch who was Chief Assistant 
Clerk of the House of Representatives for a great many 
years; he was there in the days of William H. Crawford; 
was turned out by McNulty in 1843. 

Geary brought daily papers. Dinner at 2.45: Roast 
beef, chicken, beans, turnips, potatoes, currant pie, 
huckleberries and milk. I asked G. if there was no 
pumpkin pie; he went and brought me a piece. It was 
cold but very good. I left the other pastry for that and 
told Geary always to bring me pumpkin pie if it was to 
be had. 

6.15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. Handed him 
my letters. I have felt very weak in the hips and loins 
to-day. I got quite tired in the walk; rested twice. 


This day seven weeks ago I was arrested; five weeks 
ago, I entered these walls. Sometimes months seem 
as days and at others, days as months or even years. 

June 30. — Very warm. Flies very annoying before 
I got up. Until the last few days, there have been none. 
This morning they are in swarms. Thermometer, 
when I rose at 7.30, was 80. These words in Job in my 
morning reading touched every chord and fibre of my 

Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when 
God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my 
head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; 
As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God 
was upon my tabernacle. When the ear heard me, 
then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave wit- 
ness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, 
and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 
The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon 
me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I 
put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment 
was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, 
and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: 
and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And 
I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil 
out of his teeth. 

Memory recalled the first time the substance of these 
verses came to my notice. It was in an address by 
Blair, I believe [Scotch author and divine], on charity. 
An extract from this address was in a book which fell into 
my hands while going to school in the little log cabin 
that stood in what is now my field. This was in 1820. 
The book was not mine, but I took great delight in 


reading in it at playtime and during other hours when 
not engaged on my regular lessons. The school was 
taught by my father. He was arranging for the ^'Exhibi- 
tion," as it was called. At exhibitions, in those days, 
select speeches were declaimed by the boys, and plays 
and dialogues were acted on a stage erected in front 
of the schoolhouse. Large audiences attended. Though 
a small boy, I was required to take part. My father 
permitted me, as he did most of the boys, to select my 
piece. I was to appear twice. I chose one piece of 
gravity and one of humour, the latter a short poem, 
"The Cuckoo." For the grave piece, I selected Blair's 
address on charity which contained these sentiments of 
Job. They had made a deep impression on my boyish 
mind, and have followed me through life. As I read 
them this morning, and my mind went back through all 
the shifting scenes of my strange life, I felt that I could 
make the same outcry with Job. 

When did the voice of distress reach me and I did 
not relieve if I could ? Was I not willingly eyes to the 
blind and feet to the lame? Did I not at all times act 
the part of a father to the poor? And have I not often 
searched out cases of distress? It is a consolation to 
remember these things in the midst of my present troubles. 

Geary brought breakfast before making up my bunk. 
He was in a new attire. Upon my asking him how this 
was, he said he had to go to muster; these were his mus- 
tering or military clothes. 

Read Judge Advocate Bingham's argument before the 
Military Commission in Washington in reply to Hon. 
Reverdy Johnson. It is rhetorical sophistry, specious 
and plausible to the careless or uninformed reader: but 
it is utterly fallacious. It affects me in nothing so much 


as in the sadness it produces when I view it as but an 
additional evidence that Power, in its incipient and 
dangerous strides in trampling on the liberties of a 
country, is never wanting in able and brilliant advocates 
and defenders. I have not access to the authorities by 
which to expose its many radical errors. It is no answer 
to Mr. Johnson. It does not graze a single position 
assumed by him. Its main ground, that the Constitution, 
with its guarantees as to rights of persons and property, 
is intended and was made for peace only and not for war, 
is fundamentally wrong. The Constitution was made for 
war as well as peace. To the various questions put by 
the Judge Advocate : Whether in war, men are not slain, 
prisoners captured, property taken, all without due pro- 
cess of law; the answer is, that they are not; no more 
than a man who, in peace, puts himself in defiance of 
the law oflScers, and is shot down by the sheriflf or his 
posse: that is due process of law in such case. So in 
war. In the cases of rebellion and insurrection, 
the only military forces known to the Constitution 
are such as are called out in the nature and char- 
acter of the posse comitatus. For their government, 
when so called out, laws are made, as well as for 
the government of such permanent force as may be 
kept on hand. 

What a soldier rightfully does in taking life in battle 
he does according to law prescribed, and orders given in 
accordance with that law. All seizures of property 
are wrongful and the injured party is entitled to redress 
before the courts unless the seizure be in pursuance of 
law allowing just compensation. No soldiers, even in 
war, can be rightfully quartered on any man's premises 
except in accordance with law previously prescribed. 


This is an express provision of the Constitution. The 
idea that the Constitutional guarantees are all suspended 
in war and that during war martial law takes the place 
of the Constitution is monstrous. The Judge Advocate's 
remark about the natural principles of self-defence, 
and that the nation, as a man, may resort to any means 
to save its life, is rhetoric and not argument ; its sentiment 
is ruinous to liberty. The life and soul of the United 
States Government is the Constitution and the principles 
with all the rights therein guaranteed. Whoever strikes 
at them, or at one of the least of them, strikes a deadly 
blow at the life of the Republic. Nothing can be more 
absurd than that the life of a man can be preserved by 
an extinction or suspension of all the vital functions 
of his organism; and yet this is no more absurd than is the 
argument of those who speak of warding off a blow at 
the life of the nation, by a suspension or violation of the 
guarantees of the Constitution. 

Geary has brought the daily papers. I see an article 
in the Tribune on Negro franchise at the South ; with its 
general tone I am pleased. The World has an impres- 
sive editorial on the question of the extinction of the 
Negro race. To return to my thoughts, which Geary 
interrupted: With the persons on trial at Washington 
I have no sympathy other than such as I have ever had 
for fellow-beings in suffering. But I think they ought 
to be tried by the Constitutional tribunals and that jus- 
tice should be meted out according to law under the 
Constitution. In trying them there is less necessity 
for creating dangerous precedent than in almost any 
other case that could arise. The crime charged, and 
nearly proved (as far as I have seen), against several 
is so atrocious and appalling that no fear need have 


been entertained in leaving disposition to the regular 
courts of the District. 

2.30. — Dinner: as good as epicure could desire. 
The salmon (by the by, the best fish for constant diet 
I have ever seen) was as good as could be. Took a 
little of all the good things except the pumpkin pie; I 
did not take a little of that barely, but ate all of it except 
the pastry. Read Cicero. Walked my room. Saw 
in Boston Journal one of the best and most sensible of 
Mr. Lincoln's friendly, good illustrations by jokes. 
General Sherman tells it.* 

6.15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. Paid board 
bill, $22.75 ^md $5.00 making $27.75. All up to date 
$95.98. Tea as usual. Geary would not accept the 
draft I drew in his favour for $5.00; so my expenses are 
really but $90.98. 

* Shennan asked Lincoln if he must capture Jeff Dans or let him esc^w. linooln rq)Ued with 
an anecdote in which a temperance lecturer, rehisinc liquor in his lemonade, suggested that a drop 
mightbeptttin**UBbekiiownst"tohim. **Yoamightlet Jeff escape unbeknownst tome," linoofai 


JULY I. — Wrote to Linton. This is his birthday. 
Inclosed letter to Dr. Willis, of Savannah, request- 
ing him to forward. Would like to copy it, but 
have not space. I have ordered another blank book. I 
am compelled to shorten entries. Read papers. Read 
Cicero. Dinner at 2:30. Better appetite than for 
several da)rs. The lamb was a choice bit. Geary 
usually brings the most select parts of whatever he has 
to choose from. 

6:15. — The rain cut my walk short. Geary brought 
a clothes-brush, 62 j^ cents, the blank book, $2, and a cane- 
bottom chair, $3.50. All expenses up to date, $97.10^. 

Sunday. — Cloudy and raining. Read eleven chap- 
ters in Job before breakfast. Finished Cicero on "Ora- 
tory," and commenced his conversations on orators. 
Felt greatly the need of cyclopedias which are ever at 
my elbow at home. I want to give locality, dates, and 
proper position to his characters, and to take views from 
these various standpoints of the prominent men who 
figure in his pictures. Otherwise, I see only profiles; 
I wish to examine them in front and rear as well. In 
this way only am I accustomed to form my own 
estimate of character, and of the true position all 
celebrities, ancient and modem, should occupy in 

This treatise of Cicero upon "Orators" falls in style 



below everything else I have read from him. In some 
parts it is but slipshod narrative that drags limpingly 
along. How much of tliis may be due to the translation 
I do not know. His "Oratory'' I had not read before 
since I read it in the original at college. I was highly 
pleased with it then, and am much more so now. I only 
regret that I did not make it my study when first admitted 
to the bar. With all its gloss and tinsel of rhetoric, I 
find it abounding in practical good sense and the highest 
principles of wisdom. 

At the usual hour for walking, rain came down in 
floods. Just before expiration of hour, I ascended the 
steps and looked out, but was driven back by rain. Tea 
as usual. This volume closes with the record of a gloomy 

July 3. — The sun shines and all nature seems cheer- 
ful. Still reading Job. I was more struck this morn- 
ing with the character of Elihu than ever before. He 
is certainly a representative man; more so than Job. 
Thousands of Elihus are to be met with to one Job. I 
have encountered many. Finished Cicero's "Letters." 
The reading of these fragments tends to produce noth- 
ing so much as a sadness — not at all lessened by sus- 
picion of their authenticity thrown out by the editor. 
This suspicion but gives them the character, to some 
extent, of vague and indistinct whispers, overheard in the 
dark, passing between uncertain and unknown parties, 
concerning the fortunes and fate of those in whom we 
feel deep interest. With some of these letters, whether 
genuine or spurious, I was impressed. This first from 
Cicero to his brother Quintus, written at Thessalonica, 
after his first exile, touched my profoundest sympathy. 


Whose heart is so dead that he can read without a sign, 
if not without a tear, this: 

Could I be unwilling to sec you? Nay, I was rather 
unwilling to be seen by you. For you would not have 
seen your brother. You would not have seen him whom 
you had left, him whom you had known, him who had 
attended you some way on your journey: him to whom 
weeping, you had bidden farewell, yourself weeping — 
of whom you when departing had taken leave after he 
had attended you some ^ay on your journey: you would 
have seen not even a trace or image of him but a sort of 
eflBigy, a breathing corpse. And I wish that you had 
seen or heard that I was dead. I wish that I had left you 
surviving not only my Ufe but my dignity. 

These letters, as well as other writings acknowledged 
to be Cicero's, show for Quintus an unusual affection. 
These brothers seem to have been knit together by 
closest and tenderest ties, their several beings almost 
blended into one. Bearing somewhat similar relation to 
my only surviving brother as Cicero bore to Quintus, 
causes me, perhaps, to appreciate his fraternal afifection 
more keenly than others dififerently situated may do. 
One of Cicero's letters to Quintus interests me in its deli- 
cate allusion to some family matters ; he refers to the mar- 
riage of his daughter, Tullia, to Crassipes, and remarks : 

On the 6th of April, I gave the wedding feast to Crassi- 
pes, but at this banquet that excellent boy, your and my 
Quintus [his nephew, son of Quintus], was not present 
because he had taken some offence; and therefore, two 
days afterward, I went to Quintus, and found him quite 
candid; and he held a long conversation with me, full 
of good feeling about the quarrels of our enemies — 
what would you have more ? Nothing could be in better 


taste than was his language. Pomponia, however, made 
some complaints of you; but these matters we will dis- 
cuss when we meet. 

So, it seems that men and women then were subject 
to like passions, whims, caprices, and gossip, even in the 
best-regulated families, as they are now. But what 
could have been more brotheriy than this little com- 
munication, and how could the matter have been put 
more delicately? 

Another Fancy Sketch, yet not Altogether 


[/?. M. Johnston entering prison by window of imag- 

Johnston. How are you to-day, my good friend ? We 
are all very anxious about you. Linton and I, and Jack 
Lane, Simpson, Ben Harris, and Ben Hunt had a long 
talk about you the other day. Indeed, I see nobody but 
inquires if I have any news from you. 

Prisoner. I am truly glad to see you, and just as truly 
wish it were under different circumstances. I wish it 
were even just as it was at Liberty Hall, when you and 
Jack came over there last February, arriving at night, 
drippmg wet after a long ride on horseback through 
mud and rain. I am, in bodily health, quite as well 
if not better than then, and as to my mental anxiety, etc., 
I believe I am as well off. I have new troubles, but 
am greatly relieved of others which pressed heavily 
then. War is over; the issues are known; there is to be 
no more bloodshed — at least, in the field ; anxieties for 
friends are removed. 

Though I was prepared for it — nerved for it as you 


would be for the extraction of a tooth — my arrest and 
close confinement, privations, discomforts, and being 
cut off from the worid and all communication with 
friends, was a great shock — crashing, and crushing. 

You know how I was welded by strongest and ten- 
derest ties to the dear ones at home; how I was linked 
in sympathy and soul with Linton; how strongly I was 
attached to the persons and scenes about my home, and 
to the old homestead with its cherished associations; 
attached not only to my relatives, those near in blood to 
me there, but to my servants, my dogs — my ever-faith- 
ful daily companions — my gardens, my trees, my orchard, 
my vineyards. To all these I was bound by such cords 
as you know bind few mortals. But that shock has, to 
some extent, passed off. I am almost as cheerful in my 
solitude here as I was at home; not that my home attach- 
ments grow less strong (the very thought of that result 
would almost kill me!). I have become more master 
of myself; better able to discipline emotions according 
to dictates of reason. But even yet — as was the case 
this morning, when my thoughts in their wanderings 
embraced Linton, yourself, and other dear ones, and 
dear spots at home — suddenly my eyes fill with the 
rising flood- tide of the heart. 

I make it my business, under a system I have instituted, 
to occupy my thoughts as much as possible with sub- 
jects entertaining, useful, instructive, and amusing. I 
have access to a good Post library; I get the daily papers. 
I read a good deal, write a good deal; so, time passes off 
on the whole much more pleasantly than when I was 
first locked in these walls. 

Johnston. I am glad to hear this. Really, I cannot see 
anything here that could amuse me, though, as you know, 


I like to laugh, and am as fond of fiin as anybody. What 
can you find to amuse you ? 

Prisoner. Oh, plenty. Humour can be found in almost 
anything, in men's actions, looks, voices, attitudes. I 
have a guard pacing by my window, night and day. 
Great variety of countenance and manner is exhibited 
by the different men on the beat; divers little conversa- 
tions are heard, which present elements of humour. There 
is a family living in the rooms over me; there is a piano- 
forte up there; there are children; and there is a cat; of 
all of which I have become apprised by divers sounds 
which, if I were to take off as I could, would make you 
laugh; but I can't do it because there is no knowing 
who might hear me nor what would be the consequence. 
I am a prisoner, you see; and nothing in the world do 
people more dislike than to be made the subject of fun 
or jest. Amusement, however, may be drawn from peo- 
ple and their doings without the least detriment to their 
characters or dignity, just as honey is extracted from the 
flower without an injury to it : but this they do not under- 
stand. I used to think that even Rio [his dog] did not 
like to be laughed at ; nor even yet Frank — that little 
black dog of mine to which you once applied harsh 
terms because he gave you decided demonstrations that 
he did not like to be made sport of. Do you remem- 
ber your letter to me afterward? 

Johnston. Ha! ha! ha! You've made me laugh, 
though I little expected it when I came in. I had forgotten 
my row with Frank. I am relieved to find you in such 
spirits. I know Linton and Lane and all the rest will be 
glad to hear it, but really I don't understand how you 
can be thus in your situation. 

Prisoner. My situation gives me no uneasiness except 


as it afiFects others and subjects me to personal incon- 
venience and discomforts; and except, of course, as to 
the great outrage on my rights and my indignation on that 
score — there is no bounds to that; I have no disquie- 
tude as to the result as it may aflfect me personally, if it 
does not bring on disease. As for my character or repu- 
tation, or the agonies of the extreme penalty of a con- 
viction for treason, such reflections disturb me little; 
not half so much as the smartings I feel from a sense of the 
injustice done me. 

Johnston. What do you mean? 

Prisoner, I mean this : that while others quite as much 
or more implicated than I in the late troubles, are at 
large on parole — some honoured with high ofl&cial posi- 
tion — I am confined in this cell. Take even Johnson, 
of our State — for whom I entertain a high personal 
regard — did not he advocate and vote for secession can- 
didates when I was opposing secession with all my might ? 
Look at Perry, just appointed Provisional Governor of 
South Carolina. Did he not accept and hold the ofl&ce 
of District Judge under the Confederate Government, 
filling the vacancy arising by the resignation of McGrath 
when elected Governor? Look at the conduct of the 
officials at Washington toward Governor Brown of 
Georgia, Governor Smith of Vfa-ginia, General Cobb of 
Georgia, and thousands besides, in granting them par- 
dons or paroles, while I am held here. I am gratified that 
these gentlemen have received favours; but my sense 
of the injustice done me is intensified by the discrimination 
against me. 

Johnston. Have you any reasons for the Government's 
course? What do you think they really intend 
to do? 


• Prisoner. I have no idea. Perhaps they have no defi- 
nite idea. They may want to distress, worry, wear me out, 
and impoverish me under this mode of imprisonment; 
or they may, so soon as the Federal courts in the 
Southern States are again regularly established, transfer 
me for trial, conviction, and execution as an example, 
I being a leader in the "rebellion," as they 
term it. 

Johnston. What has become of your special applica- 
tion for amnesty ? Have you received any answer ? 

Prisoner. No. But this is what I have done. [Shows 
his letters to the President as entered in this Journal.] 

Johnston. [Reads both.] Don't you think you acted 
too soon in making your withdrawal ? 

Prisoner. No; my greater doubt has been as to the 
making of the application. 

Johnston. By withdrawal of your case you take it 
from their consideration. 

Prisoner. That cannot blot the facts from their 
memory. I was and am willing to accept the fate of war 
and to abide by it, but to supplicate them for mercy I 
never shall. 

Johnston. You are getting too serious again. I would 
rather have your humorous vein. 

[Enter Geary with Prisoner's dinner. Johnston exits 
through window of imagination, causing Prisoner to 
laugh at the anxiety depicted on his countenance in 
his hasty retreat lest he should be seen by Geary.] 

The papers were brought; nothing of interest except a 
letter from General Ewell, a prisoner here. About 
5, there was great shouting and "huzzaing" by soldiers on 
the parade ground. Something must be in the wind. 


6:15. — Usual walk. On the western bastion, took a 
survey of Boston, and gazed toward Cambridge, think- 
ing of Linton and his law-school days there; wheeled 
about and kept on the tramp for the full hour. Lieut. 
W. informed me that the "huzzaing" I heard was a de- 
monstration upon the departure of two companies of his 
Volunteer Battalion which have been mustered out of 
service. The boys were going home, and there was 
jollification generally. Geary brought tea at the usual 
hour, that is, soon after my return from evening walk; 
with it, a saucer of raspberries. Made my supper 
mostly of raspberry tea. I have heard of raspberry tea 
in Confederate times; I never drank any before; and as 
Judge Berrien said to Cable about the Hock wine, per- 
haps the raspberry tea which I heard of was not of the 
" Hock " kind which I partook of to-night. That, perhaps, 
was a concoction of the, leaves; mine was juice of the 
berries "straight" with a little sugar and milk. 

I ' 


JULY 4. — The ever-memorable Independence Day, 
an anniversary which should be hailed with pro- 
roundest emotions of gratitude and patriotism by 
every friend of Constitutional liberty and representative 
government the world over. Great celebration will 
doubtless be made throughout the North. As an indi- 
cation of its spirit, I clip an editorial from the Boston 
Journal^ which is a fair sample of the genius of the times 
now rampant in this section. Would I could see in past 
or future so much to exult over, to look to with assurance, 
as this editor seems to see! The war, which every true 
friend of liberty has deeply regretted, has been terminated, 
it is true. But how? By maintenance of the principles 
set forth in Independence Hall on this day, 1776, that 
governments derive their just powers from the consent of 
the governed? Has it not been terminated rather upon 
the principle that might gives right ? that the weak must 
)deld to the strong? Have not the States South, which 
joined those of the North in a pledge of their "lives, for- 
times, and sacred honour" in the achievement of their 
separate Independence and Sovereignty from King 
George of England, been completely overrun, and sub- 
jugated to the rule of a Ring at the North? Where is 
the boasted liberty that makes the people of the United 
States the freest on earth? Why am I here without 
warrant, or charge of crime ? Why are the forts, prisons, 
and bastilles all over the land, this day filled with thou- 



sands, imprisoned as I am? How is it that no man 
is safe in the utterance of his sentiments unless they be 
in accordance with the views of those who rule in almost 
absolute sway from the Canadian to the Mexican borders ? 

This liberty and freedom, over which this Boston 
editor so exults, is like the freedom of which a Ken- 
tuckian once boasted in Lexington, according to a story 
Judge McKinley, of the United States Supreme Court, 
used to tell: a Congressman from the District had said 
something or had cast some vote offensive to parties in 
the city; they got up an indignation meeting. The 
demonstration was at night; a long procession with 
torches and drums, tin pans, and like accompaniments, 
marched through town bearing the delinquent in efl&gy, to 
be hanged in the suburbs with all possible marks of 
obloquy. Some one on the sidewalk said in undertone 
to his neighbour: "This is a d shame!" Where- 
upon, one in the crowd, overhearing the remark, stepped 
up to him who made it and, seizing him by the collar, 
exclaimed: "What is that you said, sir? I'll let you 
know this is a free country, and we will do what we 

d please, and you shan't say anything about it!" 

This is the sort of freedom the Boston editor exults in. 

My morning Bible-reading on this ever-memorable anni- 
versary of constitutional law and liberty brought to mind 
a case analogous in some respects to mine. " Paul [a pris- 
oner] earnestly beholding the council, said, "Men and 
brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God 
until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded 
them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 
Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou 
whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, 
and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?" 


Those in Washington and elsewhere who make such an 
ado about preserving the life of the Nation, should be 
brought to know that no more fatal blow could be struck 
to the vitals of the Republic than one against the prin- 
ciples and guaranteed rights of the Constitution. These 
constitute its life and soul. So long as these are main- 
tained, we shall have a free country, whether divided 
into one or more confederations, of which we may well 
be proud, but without maintenance of these, the boast 
of freedom is but mockery. We may in name be free, 
but in fact we shall be nothing but serfs and slaves. 

Daily papers at usual hour, 10:30. Wrote Linton; 
enclosed letter to Dr. Willis, of Savannah. Firing of 
guns shows that the day is being observed here. I have 
been perplexed last night and to-day over the follow- 
ing charade; cannot find the key to the answer- 

My first's the last destructive foe 

Of nature's fairest form below; 

My second is Albion's boast, 

And both defends and decks her coast; 

My whole (such change from union flows) 

The bitterest boon the earth bestows. 

Dinner: an elegant one. Geary brought the volume 
requested of "American Cyclopedia." I read the article 
on Cicero, but did not get the information desired. I 
fell into my second daytime nap here. Thermometer 
to-day ranged from 78 to 80. I never before was in 
such a uniform temperature, day and night. The varia- 
tion is seldom more than four or five degrees in any twenty- 
four hours; the greatest since I have been here has not 
been more than thirteen. This uniformity is main- 
tained by constant fire. The grate has not been with- 
out fire since I came. By raising or lowering the windows. 


I preserve uniformity; this can be done until the external 
heat shall tell upon the room, or until it penetrates as low 
down as I am — in a sort of Mammoth Cave. 

6:15. — Took usual walk with Lieut. W. We looked 
for the advertised balloon ascension at Boston, but it 
did not come ofiF. To south and southeast there was a 
magnificent rain-cloud in full view. 

July 5. — My circulation is too sluggish; I do not like 
my symptoms. My morning reading included Paul's 
defense before Festus and Agrippa, an ingenious and 
strong speech. What fixed itself most deeply on my 
mind this morning was the reason Festus gave Agrippa 
for bringing Paul before him. His own investigation 
had found no legal charge against Paul. He brought 
Paul before Agrippa, his superior, that after examina- 
tion by Agrippa he, Festus, might have somewhat to write 
in sending Paul to Rome: "For it seemeth to me unreason- 
able to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes 
laid against him." There is good sense in this and some 
regard to human rights and liberty that the screaming- 
eagle orators of yesterday might have done well to con- 
sider. There is something in it that the rulers at Wash- 
ington might profit by. 

This morning, after breakfast, Geary brought me a 
lump of ice and put it in my pitcher. 

Daily papers. A long account in the Herald of Mr. 
Davis's flight and capture; well written and graphic. 
One thing it would imply, that the writer had remained 
with Mr. Davis until his capture, and had then escaped. 
Still, how could such a party know what occurred in Mr. 
Davis's tent ? None of his staff were in the tent with him, 
as Reagan told me. Reagan told me he knew nothing of 


what occurred in Mr. Davis's tent. Is it not strange 
that the Herald does not give the writer's name ? 

3 p. M. — The firing of a salute on the parapet and a 
band of music pla)dng indicate that the Post is hon- 
oured by some notable visitor, an officer of rank. A 
crowd passed in front of my cell ; this walk is much higher 
than my windows, though there is a space of some eight 
or ten feet between the prison wall and the wall on which 
it runs; in this space the guard keeps up his constant 
beat. I was walking my room, smoking my after-dinner 
pipe, my meerschaum. Two officers, judging from 
swords and other insignia, stopped opposite one of my 
windows and looked down upon me. I paid no atten- 
tion, but walked on. After a while other crowds came 
and stared down. I did not again glance up to see who 
they were or what they looked like. I got a glimpse of 
the first party only as I, Diogenes-like, looked up to see 
what obstructed my light. When I was tired of walking, 
I resumed my seat and my reading. Again a crowd 
darkened the window. I then took up this Journal and 
commenced this entry; during its writing, the window 
has been repeatedly darkened. Once, I threw up my 
eyes and saw quite a crowd of boys squatted down to get, 
I suppose, a good view of, or a peep at, the rebel ex-Vice- 

Have again been thinking of the charade that puzzled 
me. An answer occurs which fits, but I should hesitate 
to offer it in a company in which there were ladies, because 
it might be thought ungallant in such a presence. I will, 
however, venture to put down here what I think was in 
the head of the churly propounder when, in his poetic 
ravings, smarting perhaps under rebuffs from a certain 
quarter, he produced this enigma: *^ Woman," 


6:15. — Took usual walk. Lieut. W. informed me thai 
the salute was in honour of General Robert Anderson and 
Rear-Admiral Farragut who visited the fort with a party. 
He asked me if I knew Elder Harmon Lincoln, of Boston. 
Upon my saying I did, he asked if I would be willing to 
see the elder, who had gotten permission from the Secre- 
tary of War to visit me, but not knowing whether I would 
recollect him, or be willing to receive him, had requested 
the Lieutenant to make inquiry. I told the Lieutenant to 
say to Mr. Lincoln that I remembered him very well; he 
boarded for a while in our mess at Mrs. Carter's in Wash- 
ington, D. C, Mrs. Lincoln with him; I should be glad 
to see him, and Mrs. Lincoln also, if she is living. If 
living, she must be very old ; he must be aged ; he was an 
old man when I knew him sixteen years ago. Lieut. W. 
said he is over eighty. I had sciatic pain in hip, and did 
not walk much. Rested under the arbour. Geary 
brought tea. 

July 6. — Have been quite sick since breakfast ; on my 
bunk a good part of the time. Read Rev. Jacob M. 
Manning's speech on the Fourth before the City Govern- 
ment of Boston. It is a fair specimen of clerical rhetoric 
and political sentiments in this section, I suppose. As 
far as my observation goes, preachers have less charity 
and magnanimity than any other class of men. These 
are qualities for which, as a class, they are not distin- 
guished. There are many exceptions, such as Henry 
Ward Beecher and others of much less note. Still, what 
I have said is true of the average in all sects. So much 
have I been impressed with this, that I would seldom per- 
mit a preacher to sit on a jury for the trial of any person 
accused of crime, when I was counsel for the defense, if 


I could prevent it. It has been my usual course promptly 
to challenge for cause, and for no other cause than that 
the jxiror presented was a preacher. In some mstances, 
when I knew the preacher personally and knew him to 
be imbued with the spirit of his Master, and a liberal, 
unprejudiced mind, capable of arguing facts and of act- 
ing justly, I annoimced, "Content." Such was the case 
with old Uncle Bird, Carlos W. Stevens, and others I 
could name. 

I once had a pointed talk with a reverend gentleman of 
my own church, who imdertook in a pious way to lecture 
me on the sin of defendmg crimmals. I was engaged in' 
Richmond Court in the defense of Keener, charged with 
murder of Reese, one of the most important criminal cases 
in which I ever appeared. Excitement against Keener 
was intense. The homicide had been committed at a 
house of ill-fame. Little or no sympathy was felt for him 
in any quarter, and least of all among those professing 
to follow the teachings of Him, who, in the case of the 
Syrophenician woman, said to those demanding con- 
densation : "Let him who is without sin cast the first 
stone." Facts clearly showed that the homicide was 
not murder under the law; that, at most, it was man- 
slaughter, if not a perfectly justifiable act under the 
State Code. But the reverend doctor of divinity, wholly 
incapable of weighing these facts, with the usual blood- 
thirsty propensity of his calling, demanded to know if I 
did not think I was committing a sin in preventing the 
execution of "justice?" I replied: "No. In the first 
place I do not consider Keener guilty of murder under the 
law; the law requires that he should not be so convicted 
or punished. In the second place, if the facts were dif- 
ferent and he were guilty, I should not feel myself a 


sinner in endeavouring to procure his release. If we 
all had justice done us, that justice which with your 
view of the facts and the law you are so anxious should 
be meted out to Keener, we should, according to your 
own teaching, have been in hell long ago. If Christ died 
to save the guilty from damnation, I do not think I sin 
in trying to prolong their lives that through grace they 
may escape hell. Much less do I feel that I commit 
a sin in trying to save one who is not guilty, even though 
I oppose a multitude." This closed oxir conference. He 
.gave me up, perhaps, as a reprobate. 

But I did not abate my exertions for Keener. Such 
was the feehng agamst him inspured by clerical advo- 
cates of justice, and others imbued with like ideas, that 
he was convicted on the first trial; convicted in part by 
judicial wrong rulings to which I took exceptions : the case 
went to the Supreme Court; a new trial was granted; 
and Keener was acquitted. The judge and the preachers, 
as well as the whole tribe of Javerts, were scandalized at 
the escape of their victim. The old Aztec Priests could 
not have felt more rage at the escape of one stript and 
boimd for their sacrificial altars, than did these fanatical 
devotees who wanted human oflfering made to their idol 
of human justice. But I rejoiced in the successful per- 
formance of much labour and in a result that was a nearer 
approximation than that of their desire to the standard 
of Divine Justice. If I am ever to be tried for anything, 
may Heaven deliver me from a jury of preachers ! I do 
mean to express disrespect to ministers of the Gospel. 
They are but mortals with the rest of us. They have 
their weaknesses and faults; and their most striking 
defect is a want of that charity which they, above all 
men, should not only preach but practise. They are too 


impressed with the idea that they are Gkxi's vice-gerents 
here below, especially commissioned to deal out His 
wrath and vengeance. 

Eight weeks to-day have I been a prisoner; six weeks 
in this place; all without the slightest intimation of the 
cause. Seized by an armed force, sent here by an armed 
force, kept in close confinement, guarded by an armed 
force, deprived of all means of appealing to judicial power 
for redress ; and yet Eagle-orators and reverend rhetoricians 
scream and shout about the glorious freedom we enjoy. 

P. M. — The article on naturalization in the cyclo- 
pedia attracted my attention. It is strange what errors 
have crept into vogue and pass without scrutiny or ques- 
tion; especially on naturalization and its sequence, citi- 
zenship of the United States. The subject is treated as if 
Congress were empowered by the Constitution to confer 
upon aliens citizenship of the United States distinct 
from citizenship of particular States and Territories. 
The truth is, Congress has no power to naturalize or to 
confer citizenship of the United States. Its only power 
is to establish a uniform rule to be pursued by the respec- 
tive States and Territories on admitting aliens to their 
own citizenship. Before the Constitution was adopted, 
each State possessed the right as an Independent Sov- 
ereign Power to admit to citizenship whom she pleased, 
and on such terms as she pleased. All that the States 
did on this point in accepting the Constitution, was to 
delegate to Congress the power to establish a uniform 
rule so that an alien might not be permitted to become 
a citizen of one State on diflFerent terms from what might 
be required in another; especially, as in one part of the 
Constitution it is stipulated that the citizens of each 
State shall be entitl^ in all the rest to the rights and privi- 


leges of their citizens. But no clause of the Constitution 
provides for or contemplates citizenship of the United 
States as distinct from citizenship of some particular 
State or Territory. When any person is a citizen of any 
one of the States united, he thereby, and thereby only, 
becomes and can be considered a citizen of the United 
States. Errors in the public mind on this question are 
radical and fundamental, and have the same source as 
many others equally striking. 

I was first struck with these on the annexation of 
Texas. How could her representatives, it was asked, 
take their seats in Congress, not having been citizens 
of the United States for the term of years required by the 
Constitution? The answer, upon the true principles of 
the Constitution and the only citizenship it contemplates, 
was plain : members and senators could not present them- 
selves until the State was itself one of the United States; 
then, whoever might present himself as a member, having 
been seven years a citizen of Texas, would, in the terms 
and meaning of the Constitution, have been seven years 
a citizen of the United States then constituted; so, of the 
senators for nine years. Just as was the case of the 
North Carolina and Rhode Island members and senators; 
these States having come in some time after the eleven 
others had put the Government in operation, their mem- 
bers and senators were in no sense citizens of the United 
States until their States ratified and adopted the Con- 
stitution; and in no other view of the subject could they 
have been properly admitted. 

July 7. — When I woke it was raining. I had a severe 
pain in my foot; could hardly walk. Rheumatism, I 
suppose. Read II Timothy. This letter of Paul's is 


written with spirit and energy. Breakfast; the coflfee 
was cold. Geary went at my request and brought me 
another cup, hot and smoking. 

9 :3o. — The sim breaks forth. I have a premonition 
that I shall get news from home to-day. 

Morning papers. Telegram from Philadelphia, pub- 
lished in all, is important if the country were in con- 
dition to hear and defend the truth. It is that "In the 
Cozzens habeas corpus case. Judge Thompson, of the 
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, ordered the release of 
Cozzens and delivered an opinion that the right of the 
President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus is only given 
him by Congress during the continuance of war." This 
little item, as the chronicled cloud, no bigger than a man's 
hand, would soon spread over this land if the political 
atmosphere were only in proper meteorological condition. 
As thmgs are, perhaps we shall hear nothing more of it. 

I p. M. — No letters. My fire is nearer out than on any 
day since I have been here, yet the thermometer stands 
at 79. My foot still pains; I can limp about, but my sys- 
tem seems out of order; shooting pains in left wrist; had 
them in right hand this morning; I fear a general attack 
of rheumatism. Read Aristotle's "Politics." Dinner: 
turtle soup, etc. ; good but I could not indulge. 

6:15. — Lieut. W. called for the walk. I doubted if 
my foot would bear me, but concluded to try; I would 
have an airing, if nothing more. I got along in a limping 
way until on the terreplein; rested under the arbour; 
took a turn, but made so bad an out of it that I returned to 
the arbour. Lieut. W. informed me that his full name is 
Wm. H. Woodman. I asked, as I wanted to write for 
some tobacco to be sent me in his care. He told me that 
Reagan says a man of their party, named Stewart, escaped 


with Colonel Wood from the Davis camp when Mr. 
Davis was captured. He must be the writer of the Herald 
article. Geary brought tea. Darkness is approaching. 
I had looked almost confidently for some news to-day. I 
will betake myself to my pipe and Aristotle until bedtime. 

July 8. — Had a quiet and pleasant sleep. Woke at 
dawn in a dream, my eyes streaming with tears. I was 
at home, down at the Homestead, at one time in Bob's 
house [his Negro servant] where he had a sumptuous 
dinner prepared for me; then I was in the field in the 
midst of high com loaded with large ears — numbers 
on each stalk, and the like of which I had never seen 
before. Here were Bob, Fountain, George, and Harry, 
and Charlton, Bob's little son. I was seated, talking to 
them about their new condition, contrasting it with their 
former; pointing out some of the evils they would most 
probably encounter, advising and instructing them how 
to act so as best to guard against these when I should be 
gone; impressing upon them the importance of industry, 
honesty, economy, obedience to the laws, with as few 
dealings with the vicious of their own and the like class 
of the white race as possible. I was telling Bob and 
Harry how to bring up their children. It seemed as if I 
was about to leave them forever, never to see them again, 
and was giving them my last parting words. In this vale- 
dictory, the fountains of the heart were broken up, and 

I was lecturing and weeping at once. 

Read I Timothy; not so connected, clear, or able as 

II Timothy. Some parts seem to have suflFered in trans- 
lation; for instance: 

But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise 
thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profit- 


eth little : but godliness is profitable unto all things, having 
promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to 

This gives the impression that Paul placed little esti- 
mate on benefits of bodily exercise. I am inclined to think 
otherwise, that the great advantage of exercise in the 
development of the physical part of man was taken by 
him as an admitted fact; and that he designed to show 
that like exercise of the moral or spiritual part is of as 
much higher importance as the soul is greater than the 
body. His idea, it seems to me, was that bodily exercise 
profits only in a limited degree and for a limited time 
while exercise of the spiritual part of man, leading to 
"godliness," is profitable to the entire man in all things 
present and to come. Paul was a close reasoner, and 
I cannot see why he should have said, "For bodily exer- 
cise profiteth little," as an illustration of anything he had 
said before. 

Wrote Raymond Burch to express me Savage's book, 
"Representative Men"; wrote Travis, at Richmond, 
to send me by express 5 lbs. of smoking tobacco. Geary 
brought papers. Read account of the execution yester- 
day of those condemned in the assassination trial. 

While I was lying on my bunk, still glancing over 
the papers to see if I could, in any comer or nook, find 
anything of interest, Lieut. W. entered, bringing me a 
letter, stating as he handed it to me, that it was from my 
brother but looked as if it had gone through the wars. 
I reached for it with great eagerness. The envelope 
was worn and torn; it bore no marks of approval from 
General Dix or anybody else. The letter was dated 
May 24th, the day before my arrival here, the day on 
which Myers wrote me. This seems the first letter Linton 


has written me. Where it has been this long time I 
can't imagine. I have an idea that it reached here yes- 
terday, but was kept back by Major Allen because of its 
having no endorsement of approval. When I opened 
it, and recognized the well-known hand, my eyes filled 
with tears. The reading did me great good, gave me great 
satisfaction. Where could this letter have been kept so 
long? And why has it been withheld? May not the 
same parties have other letters still held back for the pur- 
pose of torturing me? 

6:15. — Walked out with Lieut. W. My foot well 
enough to allow me to limp. Saw the two balloons that 
were advertised to ascend from Boston this evening. 
Both had been up some time, and both aeronauts were 
visible. One airship was oflF to the southeast in which 
direction it finally went out of sight; the other flew over 
the harbour up toward the city; it was still in view when 
I came down, had shifted position and seemed to be 
going somewhere north of Cambridge. Lieut. W. told 
ft. . me General Tackson was released from this place to-day — 
the order came this morning, and he left this evening. I 
am truly glad of his good fortune. But why he should 
be discharged and other officers kept, I do not under- 
stand ; nor do I understand why he should be discharged 
and I held. He bent his energies to bring about seces- 
sion ; I strove with all my power to prevent it. I addressed 
the legislature against it; he opposed me in speech there 
and then; and afterward in a series of letters published 
in pamphlet form. I doubt not his patriotism and hon- 
esty in it all ; but I don't see why justice that lets him go 
at large keeps me here. I have a high personal regard 
for Jackson, and rejoice at his liberation. Geary brought 


SUNDAY, July 9. — The fife, the drum, and the 
drill go on as on all other days. No more 
regard is paid to Sunday here than in Siam, 
Timbuctoo, China, or the Fiji Islands, and yet the Fourth 
of July Eagle-screaming preacher-orators rant lustily 
about this being a land of Christianity as well as liberty. 
It is as much one as the other. It is, very much mixed. 
There are in it many devout worshippers of the true 
God; there are many who enjoy liberty. Who, how- 
ever, has any security for that liberty he enjoys ? Rights 
without securities or the power to enforce them are 
little less than mockeries. Who can read without deepest 
indignation the daily accounts of tortures inflicted by 
high officials, and that, too, upon the poor imfortunate 
race to whom they are proclaimed to be, imder God 
and our Christian Government, the ministering angels 
of deliverance and liberty? Such, for instance, as the 
thumbscrew operation the other day at Raleigh, upon 
the poor Negro who died from it ; and that other infamous 
outrage at Fortress Monroe upon another poor son of 
Africa who sought and obtained relief by drowning. 
Mrs. Stowe ought to write another book. The Legrees 
are multiplying fast all around. 

Finished Hebrews. Reviewed simply as an off-hand 
letter, hastily penned to be sent by Timothy, as it seems 
to have been, it is a wonderful production; in learning, 
style, vigoxir of thought, and form of illustration, far 



above the class of like character in that day even m 
Greece or Rome. 

Geary brought the Sunday Boston Herald. No news. 
This is a racy paper. The column devoted to "Fact 
and Fancies" is generally rich. A good thing in it to-day 
is a pass of some years ago between Saxe, the poet, and 
Chief Justice Redfield, of Vermont. Saxe was running 
for Governor of Vermont and, being a Democrat, had 
little prospect of election, as his party was largely in the 
minority. The Chief Justice, on meeting him, said 
jocosely, " So, Saxe, you expect to be Governor?" "Yes," 
said the latter, "I expect to govern myself under the 
misfortune of a defeat." "Ah?" said the Judge; "it 
is a great man that is governor of himself." "True," 
said Saxe, "but he is greater who is judge of himself." 
Another good thing done up as original, is this: "When 
lenity and cruelty play for power, the gentler gamester 
is soonest winner." This is by no means origmal with 
Messrs. Baily & Co., the publishers of this spicy journal. 
It was said by Shakespere, and there is a philosophy 
in it that some high officials, now playing for power in 
this country, might profit by. 

Gleaned everything from the Herald; read it to the 
advertisements, and even some of them. Walked my 
room. Got a good view of Reagan as he returned from 
his evening walk. He saw me, and we exchanged bows 
for the first time since we parted on the Tuscarora. 
Whether such salutations are against prison rules or no, 
I do not know. I shall inquire; I do not wish to violate 
any of the rules, though I am clearly convinced that my 
confinement and everything pertaining to it is illegal, 
wrongful, and an outrage on my personal rights. 

6.15 — Took usual walk. Soon after I mounted the 


parapet my hat blew over the wall. Lieut. W. called 
to a soldier to go over and get it. Meanwhile, I stood 
bareheaded in wind and sun. On the soldier's coming 
to me with the hat, I said "Thank you"; he replied 
in the old vernacular, "You are welcome, sir." I told 
Lieut. W. of my having bowed to Reagan as he passed 
my window, and asked if it was against rules. He replied 
that it was against his orders to allow any communica- 
tions. I considered this equivalent to a prohibition. 
Twinges of toothache; threatened with neuralgic head- 
ache. Came in from walk before expiration of hour. 
Saw, as I returned, two Confederate prisoners carrying 
buckets of water. One bowed to me. I did not recog- 
nize either. They were under guard. They must 
rank as high as major, for all prisoners under that grade 
have been released. Wish I knew who they were. 

July loth — Did not sleep well; suffered a good deal. 
As Geary was late bringing breakfast, I read both Epis- 
tles to the Thessalonians, written in the names of Paul, 
Silvanus, and Timothy. Evidence from style is strong 
to my mind that Paul did not write either. They were 
joint letters, perhaps penned by Timothy; and Paul 
signed them as did the others. In the conclusion of the 
second, he says, "The salutation of Paul with mine own 
hand," which is the token in every epistle. From this 
it would seem that he actually wrote with his own hand 
nothing but this salutation at the end, which was token 
that he endorsed what had been drawn up by others. 

8.30 — Answered Linton's letter. On the subject 
of his visit to me, wrote I would be glad to have him 
come if he should be permitted: how to advise in this 
matter, I hardly knew; I supposed that special applica- 


tion would have to be made to the Secretary of War; if 
he were to make an application stating the facts, and get 
it approved by Governor Johnson, it might have weight 
with Secretary Stanton. I added: 

In no event do I wish anything in such application 
but a simple statement of the facts of the case, with the 
reason assigned for the interview. I wish nothing like 
entreaty or adventitious influence brought to bear in 
my behalf. You understand me. I wish no favours 
and I shrink from no responsibility. I would sooner 
die, be hanged, quartered, and gibbeted than to beg for 
kindness from any mortal on earth, though I am as grate- 
ful as any one ought to be for favours given with that 
dignity which becomes the bestower and the receiver. 

Took up Aristotle on "Economics." His views on 
family government and economy, the marriage relation, 
the duties of man and wife, are admirable. His treatise 
on politics, I consider of little value; but there are some 
good ideas in it, such as that of "quality and quantity" 
in the composition of States; and that property, popu- 
lation, and virtue, or "riches, number, and merit," are 
the three great elements to be looked for in forming a 
government for society. But the true idea of repre- 
sentation in the administration of the supreme power 
residing in all commonwealths, does not seem to have 
entered his head. He saw clearly the evils attending 
all kinds of governments — monarchies, oligarchies, 
aristocracies, and dembcrades — and clearly shows pref- 
erence for a mixed government partaking in some 
measure of each of these forms. His opinion that the 
ends of all government should be the general good, or 
the happiness and prosperity of all the individuals of the 


state without injury to any, is also apparent. This is 
a correct and great idea in itself. 

But he excludes slaves from this consideration. As per- 
sons they do not, in his view, form any part of society. 
This is a very great error. Much that he says upon 
slavery has the sanction of reason and justice, but a great 
deal has not. Though slavery be justified on groimds 
stated by him, slaves enter nevertheless into the compo- 
sition of society as constituent elements, and the interest 
and rights of that portion of society should be looked 
to and guarded in its laws as well as those of any other 
part. What he says of emancipation being held out to 
slaves upon their proving themselves worthy, meets 
my full endorsement. 

July 2. — Not well. Read Colossians; written in 
better style than either Thessalonians. I think Paul 
wrote this himself. 

9.15 — Breakfast. Took little of anything. 

2 p. M. — It has been raining all day. I have felt 
worse physically than at any other time since I have 
been here. At eleven the surgeon called. My pulse 
was then about eighty; it had been as high as one hun- 
dred. My head still ached. He sent me some pills 
and a small bottle of buchu. 

Daily papers; nothing to interest me, but I whiled 
away the time the best way I could, reading and glean* 
ing. Had hoped for a letter. It cannot be that my 
friends have forgotten me. Is it possible that my letters 
are withheld by the authorities? I am slow to believe 
this. The reason I receive no letters from home is prob- 
ably due to the lack of mail facilities in the South. 

6.15 — Lieut. W. called for the walk, but I did not 


venture out. I was too weak. I have been reading 
Bacon's "Essays" and looking over some numbers of 
Harpefs Weekly Lieut. W. sent me last night. The 
thought of being seriously ill here preys heavily on my soul. 

July 12. — Didn't get to sleep until late. SuflFered 
much pain. Feel better this morning, but prostrated. 
Read Philippians; another of Paul's earnest, clear, and 
powerful exhortations. While I was making this entry 
Lieut. W. and Dr. Seavems called. 

If any mortal ever existed with more cause than I 
have for disquietude of mind and bodily suflFering, I 
sincerely pity him. Weak and frail from my cradle, 
my whole life has been one of constant physical pain. 
Health I have never known. Yet my exertions, from 
the time I have been able to make any, have been directed 
more to the benefit of others than to my own. I have 
thought more of the suflferings of others than of my own, 
and have done more for the relief of others than I have 
ever done for my own relief; yet, strangely, misfortunes 
multiply and intensify upon me. Here am I, bereft 
of friends, cut off from communication with them, 
deprived of those needful attentions and comforts which 
even such means as I have been able to procure by my 
own labour might command were I permitted to use 
them in paying some one to stay with and wait on me, 
doing such things for me as I am unable to do myself 
and which my necessities require. And all for what? 
What have I done that I should receive such treatment ? 
Did I bring on the war? Did I stir up men's blood to 
strife ? Did not I do everything in my power to prevent 
it ? Are not thousands who did exert themselves to bring 
it on now at large ? Whatever be my fortitude to bear, 


I am far from being insensible to injustice. I feel that 
I am wronged deeply, grievously. I, who never inten- 
tionally wronged man or brute, feel myself the helpless 
victim of the most cruel and wanton wrongs. Against 
them whatever of spirit there is in me, so far from being 
humbled or overwhelmed by such treatment, only rises with 
new energies in protest. Unable, as I am in this cell, to 
do anything else, I can, at least, and do, therefore, here enter 
my protest against such gross injustice and inhumanity. 

I was walking my room when Lieut. W. brought 
me two letters, saying one contained news from my 
brother. With great anxiety, I read them. One from 
Dr. Willis, of Savannah, of the 6th, stated that he had 
received a letter from Linton, of 29th June, saying all 
were well, but that he had heard nothing from me. The 
other, from Joe Myers, Augusta, 28th June, reports 
all well, rains plentiful, crops good; he has written me 
three letters; Dr. Paterson got the one I wrote him, 
and took two out of the office for Linton from me. Both 
letters did me a great deal of good, but somehow before 
I was aware of it, tears were dropping on the pages. 

Geary brought papers. In the New York Times is an 
interesting article in the form of a circular from G. W. L. 
Bickley, President of the Order of the Golden Circle.* 
It is dated from this Fort, 28th June, 1865. He is a pris- 
oner here; and, bad as my condition is, his seems to 
have been greatiy worse. In weighing this difference, 
his physical ability to stand more than I can must be 
taken into account. I could not have stood what he 
has. I should have died. The other evening, I men- 

* According to the circular, it comprised men, of all sections and creeds, opposed to crudty in 
warfare, and radicalism Norlhem or Southern; Bickley had beoi kept in dose confinement from 
July, 1863, and carried from prison to prison as his friends would discover his whereabouts and 
seek to secure his release or trial. 


tioned that on returning from my walk I saw persons 
whom I took to be Confederate prisoners going, under 
guard, with buckets for water; and that one of them 
bowed to me. I inquired next day of Lieut. W. who they 
were. He said one was a Captain Hunter of the Navy, 
and the other Dr. Bickley of the Golden Circle. Bickley's 
circular is an able paper. Men are not to be judged 
by appearances. Little idea had I that either of the 
bucket-bearers was master of such thoughts as are found 
in this circular. 

6 p. M. — I ventured out. My main object was to 
let my room have an airing while I got one myself. I 
did not feel able to walk. We ascended to the music 
arbour; there I rested; a sprinkle of rain kept us under 
the shed until I thought it best to return. Lieut. W. 
brought to my notice what purports to be an extract 
from my speech, in the Georgia Secession Convention. 
He said he had been requested to ask me if it was genu- 
ine. It is the same as that in the John M. Botts letter, 
which I have mentioned. I told him it was not correct; 
when or how it ever got started, I did not know. He 
said there was lately published another extract, purport- 
ing to be from a speech of mine in Congress, in 1859, 
about which there is some question, and he should like 
to know if that was genuine. Upon our return he went 
and got it. This "extract" is utterly false and was 
probably fabricated to prejudice the public against me. 
Lieut. W. expressed himself as highly gratified at hearing 
what I said about it. The "extract" represents me as 
indulging in a tirade of abuse of the North generally. 
The heading introduces it as a specimen of what Mr. 
Giddings* used to call "plantation manners." 

* Joshua Giddings anti-slavery leader and anthcc. 


JULY 13. — I clipped from the Boston Journal a 
piece headed "The Hero of the British Tories," 
copied from the London Herald. The Herald^s 
appreciation of Mr. Davis is as much over the true mark 
as the JournaVs is under it. Mr. Davis is neither the 
greatest nor the worst man in America, in the United 
States, nor in the late Confederate States. How he 
will tower in history or be estimated by posterity, I 
do not know. It certainly is not my object to detract 
from Mr. Davis, but the truth is that as a statesman he 
was not colossal. If he had been a statesman of great 
stature the condition of this country, or of those States 
which put him at the head of their aflFairs, would be far 
different from what it is. After the Government was 
organized at Montgomery, it was reported that he said 
it was " now a question of brains." The remark I thought 
a good one. 

If the real truth of history in relation to the Southern 
Cause shall ever be written, it will be to this effect : The 
Southern mind was influenced and misguided by a class 
of public men, politicians not statesmen, newspaper 
editors, and preachers, who possessed far more ambi- 
tion and zeal than wisdom and knowledge. By their 
power over the passions and prejudices of the multitude, 
they precipitated the Southern people into reassumption 
of their independence as States, more as an escape from 
anticipated wrongs than from actual grievance. These 



people were as patriotic, as true and loyal to the principles 
of the Constitution as were their fathers, in 1776, by 
whose acts and sacrifices these principles had been 
established. They were led to believe that the only 
way to maintain and preserve these principles was to 
take the course they did. Independence was resorted 
to by them, the resumption of the reserved sovereignty 
of each State separately, and the formation of a new 
confederation, as the only means left for the security 
and perpetuation of the great principles of self-govern- 
ment established by their ancestors in common with 
the ancestors of their former brethren of the North, 
and which were set forth and guaranteed in the Consti- 
tution of the United States. It was through their devo- 
tion to these principles that the Southern masses were 
precipitated into the fatal step they took. If the states- 
manship of the leaders had been equal to their ambition 
and zeal, the results would have been vastly diflFerent. 
The people, the masses, even those who opposed seces- 
sion as long as that was an open question, did more 
than their part. Never did a people exhibit higher 
virtues in patriotism, in courage, in fortitude, and in 
patience under the severest trials and sacrifices. The 
disasters attending the conflict are chargeable to their 
leaders, to the men in authority, to those to whom the 
control of public destiny was confided, and to no one is 
it more duly attributable than to Mr. Davis himself. 
He proved himself deficient in developing and directing 
the resources of the country, in finance and in diplomacy, 
as well as in military affairs. To specify and establish 
his deficiencies and errors in each of these particulars 
would require more time and space than I now have, 
even if I had inclination. His greatest failure in states- 


manship was either in not understanding the popular 
aim and impulses, or in attempting to direct the move- 
ment to different ends from those contemplated by the 
people who had intrusted him with power. K he did 
not understand the purpose of the people, he is certainly 
not entitled to any high rank as a statesman. If he did 
understand them, and used position to abuse confi- 
dence, then he equally forfeits the title to honest states- 

Now the leading object of the Southern masses was 
the security and perpetuation of Constitutional Liberty. 
They had no hostility to the Union per se\ on the contrary, 
their attachment to it was strong; had grown with their 
growth and strengthened with their strength. It was 
only when their leaders had taught them that they should 
no longer remain in the Union and preserve their rights 
and liberties that they, in an evil hour, resolved to quit 
it. It was not that they loved the Union less but tfiat 
they loved Constitutional Liberty more. This was the 
spirit that animated and moved the masses, improvised 
armies, and rendered the South so united, so enthusi- 
astic and successful during the first years of the war. 
It owed its origin to the apprehension and belief impressed 
upon them by their leaders, that their liberties were 
endangered from disregard for constitutional barriers 
by the authorities at Washington. This was greatly 
increased by President Lincoln's proclamations and 
orders blockading the ports, calling out the militia with- 
out authority of law, and assuming the royal prerogative 
of suspending the writ of habeas corpus, a prerogative 
no sovereign in England in this day would dare assume; 
these acts brought the border States to the side of the 
Confederacy; and it was these acts and others of like 


character that rendered the Southern people, however 
before divided, ahnost a unit in the cause, as they sup- 
posed, of the maintenance of their liberties. These acts 
were heralded as confirmation of the wisdom of their lead- 
ers who had forewarned them. Those who had opposed, 
not only now ceased opposition, but in many instances 
rushed with zeal to the front ranks of the defenders of 
the Constitution. The Union they considered gone, 
but the Constitution must be saved. 

This was the state of things when Mr. Davis went to 
Richmond. This was the state of things at and after 
the first battle of Bull Run. This was the state of things 
up to his inauguration as President under the Consti- 
tution for the permanent government. At that time 
he was at the head of a more united people than ever 
man was before in a war of such magnitude; nay more, 
he not only had the cordial support of his own people, 
but he and they had the sympathy of at least seven-tenths 
of their nominal enemies. More than half the North 
were politically hostile to the dominant party at Wash- 
ington, while at least two-tenths of the Republicans 
were ominously alarmed for their own liberties because 
of what they considered usurpations at Washington. 
Under these circumstances, if Mr. Davis had had tiiose 
high qualities that mark the great statesman, how easily 
he could have controlled events for the safety, honour, 
dignity, and glory of his country, instead of taking that 
course which has brought disaster, desolation, and ruin, 
not only on that country but upon himself. He utterly 
ignored, or did not understand, the popular sentiment 
which was not directed so much to disunion as to 
security of right. The Southern masses would have been 
satisfied with a settlement of the strife upon any terms 


giving security to their rights under the Constitution; 
they had no desire for separate independence except 
as a last resort. Had Mr. Davis possessed any states- 
manship, can anybody doubt that, under the circum- 
stances, he could have shaped events so as to effect a 
settlement that would have been satisfactory to the 
great majority of the people of both sections, making 
more secure, as it might have done, the liberties of both 
sections or the entire country ? 

But he was no sooner established in office under the 
permanent Constitution, than he began to exhibit total 
disregard for the principles, aims, objects, and views 
of the masses of his own people. One of the first things 
he asked of Congress was suspension of the writ of habeas 
corpus. He asked that he might be permitted to do 
the very thing the doing of which by Mr. Lincoln had 
brought thousands and thousands to the Southern armies. 
Then came his demand for conscription, the first great 
fatal step he took. That act by Congress struck the 
Confederate cause a stunning blow upon the brain-cap 
from which it never recovered. Had Mr. Davis been a 
statesman he would have understood the people. They 
were fighting for rights, not for dynasty. Every indica- 
tion of a sympathizing movement on the part of the 
Northwest or the North toward making a common 
cause for the maintenance of a common liberty for a 
common country he repelled. He looked to nothing 
but independence or separate nationality. His internal 
policy thoroughly impressed many people with the con- 
viction that the only independence he was looking for 
was the establishment of an irresponsible despotism of 
which he was to be the head. Whether such was his 
real object or not, such at least many at first feared; 


and the people very generally toward the close believed 
such to be his object. Hence, that sudden letting down, 
that wonderful collapse, that unexpected "falling out of 
the bottom of the bucket" of the Confederate Cause, 
which has been the subject of so much surprise. I cannot 
extend these remarks. I only wish here to say that 
whatever else may be said of Mr. Davis it cannot be 
correctly said that he was, or is, a statesman in any 
exalted sense of that term. It would be difficult to find 
in the history of the world a man with such resources 
at his command who made such poor use of them. 

Never was there such a body of people as those of 
the Southern States, possessed as they were of so many 
high qualities of mind and soul, to say nothing of mate- 
rial powers and resources, so miserably misled, mis- 
directed, and misgoverned as they were. It would be 
hardly less just to claim statesmanship for him of a high 
order when the case was as it was, he holding the posi- 
tion he did. It is with no ill will to him I thus express 
myself. It is from a profound conviction that if he had 
been a man equal to the crisis, a man with the right 
head and heart for the occasion, a man of real ability, 
patriotism and wisdom, we should now have peace and 
liberty on a much better basis and securer footing than 
the country now has, ever had, or will have. Whether 
the old Union would have been restored under the Con- 
federate States Constitution, or whether some, or what, 
modifications might have been made in it, looking to the 
best interests of all parties concerned, it is useless now 
to speculate. 

The above remarks are penned as if I were a disinter- 
ested spectator, a bare "looker-on in Vienna," one simply 
conversant with all the facts without taking any active 


part in making them. Indeed, such chiefly has been 
mv situation. I have been a close observer, but in no 
way, not to the least extent, a controller of events. The 
lack of wisdom on the part of the leaders who brought 
about the "precipitation," I saw from the first, or thought 
I saw. My opinion then was, and was expressed, that 
some of them were influenced more by passion, impulse, 
and ambition than from any strong motive of patriot- 

Should Mr. Davis be executed, this will also go a long 
way in giving him name and place high on the roll of 
martyred heroes and statesmen. His present imprison- 
ment has made him thousands of friends and sympathizers 
where there were few. This, too, is the way history is 
made up. All this I know; but it does not change my 
opinion, nor modify its expression to the extent herein 
made. Men's acts and policies often tend to produce, 
and are efficient in producing, just what they profess 
to desire to prevent. So it was in his case. A desire to 
maintain Southern institutions was the object professed, 
but these institutions were safe enough for all practical 
purposes. There had been no positive aggression on 
them, or violation of the Constitution in respect to them 
by the Federal Government, though there had been breach 
of faith by several Northern States. It was, however, 
apprehended that some such violation would be made, 
and to guard and provide against apprehended danger, 
the counsel of these leaders was instantly to abandon 
the Union and take position outside of the Constitution, 
not trusting to its proper barriers. This was done 
while there were decided majorities in both Houses of 
Congress in favour of sustaining all the guarantees of 
the Constitution, The people followed this advice and 


in their new position lost everything. The advice and 
the result are as if the commander of a fort should counsel 
its inmates to leave their position behind its walls and 
sally forth to repel an approaching attacking party, 
lest if they should remain where they are, to receive 
the assault, they may all be cut to pieces. 

Apprehensions may have been well founded ; Southern 
institutions may have been doomed anyhow; but in no 
possible event could the people of the South have suf- 
fered worse than they have; in no probable event could 
they have suflfered one-tenth what they have, even if 
their peculiar institution had been swept away by an open 
and palpable breach of the Constitution. But the 
truth is this: by following the advice of their leaders, 
they put the whole machinery of the Federal Govern- 
ment, with all its claims and powers, in the hands of a 
small party at the North, comparatively a very small 
pojrtion of the population of that section. What wise 
man, now looking at the past, can doubt that if the South- 
em people had remained in their strong position behind 
the ramparts of the Constitution, the assaults of that party 
would have been harmless; and that long before this, 
it would have been impotent to do any injury to those 
thus fortified? Their leaders suggested and they fol- 
lowed the very course above all others their enemies 
would have had them take. 

It is one thing to look at matters after they have occurred 
and a very diflferent thing to judge of what would have 
happened under a diflFerent line of policy. With politi- 
cians it is as it is with quacks in medicine : if the patient 
survives, the great work of cure is claimed to the credit, 
honour, and skill of the doctor who almost killed him in 
spite of nature : while if the patient dies from the prescrip- 


tion of the quack, it is all, with due submission and 
resignation, turned over to the score of Providence. So, 
I suppose, it will be with the Southern States, their cause, 
their institutions, their ruin, and their leaders. These 
Southern leaders were certainly short-sighted; they 
evinced no wise forecast of statesmanship. Mr. Davis, 
in my opinion, ranks with the rest of them. If he had 
been a real statesman, he would have opposed seces- 

With several of these leaders, whose names I need 
not mention, I was intimate. A few were, and are, 
men of great ability, equal to any of their generation 
on the continent, with native genius of a high order, 
thoroughly cultivated; practised on the hustings, in the 
forum, and in the public councils. In eloquence and 
the power of swaying the passions of the masses, they 
had no superiors in any age or country. Some, I believe, 
wrought themselves up into a misguided patriotic fervojur; 
like some religious enthusiasts, they exhibited zeal with- 
out knowledge; yet I believed them to be honest in it. 
Of others I had, and have, a different opinion. These 
latter were influenced more by ambition than by impulses 
of patriotism. Still, I believe even these mistook their 
ambition for patriotism. They aimed at nothing but 
good government under their own administration. All 
were more or less blinded by passions, prejudices, or 
zeal. They had but little of that cool calculating wisdom 
that marks the true and generous statesman. Such 
will be the language of history if the record .is ever rightly 
made. Mr. Davis belonged to neither of these classes. 
I doubt if he really favoured secession. He simply 
went with the crowd. He made no secession speeches 
that I ever heard of. He is a man of good character, 


well educated, of more than fair ability, and of agreeable 
manners, but, in my judgment, far from being a states- 

Lieut. Woodman brought me a letter from Dr. Berck- 
mans, Augusta, July i. This was a real treat, and I 
feel greatly obliged to the doctor. Wish I could feel as 
sanguine of my early release as he expresses himself to 
be. He sends me a photograph of Marshall P. Wilder, of 
Boston, President of the American Horticultural* Society 
of 1857. I should like to make the acquaintance of Mr. 
Wilder on the doctor's account. 

This day completes the ninth week since my arrest, 
the seventh of my incarceration here without accusation, 
warrant, or notification of the cause, and yet it is claimed 
that this is a free country. 

I see in the Boston Journal an editorial on a speech 
by Wendell Phillips ; t and the report of an interview 
between President Johnson and a Richmond delegation, t 
Such pieces cause me deep pain and mortification from 
the clear, vivid view they present of the complete sub- 
jugation and degradation of my country. How more 
abject could any people be, and dependent on the mercy 
of another than are now the people of the South on the 
people of the North. The evening paper says it was 
decided in Cabinet meeting to keep in abeyance for the 
present the question of pardon of the Confederate gen- 
erals and others of high official station. 

6.15 — Walked out with Lieut. W. I was too weak 

* Perhaps The American Pomological Sodety is meant. The encyclopEdias give no account 
of any horticultural society of this date of which Mr. Wilder was president. 

t Urging measures to protect Congress against the seating of Southerners in that body. 

% Leading dtizens asking Johnson to amend the " Qause" in the Amnesty Proclamation 
(excluding owners of this much), as it tied up capital and so worked hardship on the poor. 
Johnson replied insultingly that the rich men at the South had brought cm the war, etc. 


to walk much. I rested twice, and returned before time 
was up. Lieut. W. has just come and handed me a book, 
entitled the "Rebellion Record.'' I expect to find 
much in it to entertain me. I am truly obliged to him 
for it, and so told him. 

Geary brought tea as usual. I took a few sips and 
asked what would be the prospect of my getting milk 
instead. He said I could have as much milk as I wanted, 
and proposed to go and get some. I replied, if it would 
not be too much trouble to him, I wished he would. 
He brought me a glass of rich, cool milk. 

Until lights were extinguished, looked over the "Rebel- 
lion Record." I see my letter on Martial Law to 
Mayor Calhoun of Atlanta. 

July 14. — Read Galatians, a letter written by 
Paul's "own hand." It is firm, earnest, and zealous, 
of great power and clearness. One expression in it 
has given rise to a great misconception concerning the 
doctrine of "falling from grace," that is, the possibility 
of one who has once been regenerated, or "bom again'* 
of the spirit, falling back into his original condition, 
and becoming a reprobate. Now, without sa3dng any- 
thing on this point of controversy, I mean only to give 
my opinion that the text has nothing to do with that 
doctrine. The words are, "Ye have fallen from grace," 
but the whole verse reads : " Christ is become of no effect 
unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; 
ye are fallen from grace." The meaning, taken with 
the context, is, as it appears to me, simply this: those 
who look to the law for justification and not to Christ 
through faith, rely on themselves, on works alone and 
not on grace, for their salvation. You who do this, 


says Paul, rely on something other than grace; you 
abandon grace. The whole epistle seems to have been 
written to eradicate a certain misconception amongst the 
Galatians, who seemed to think that the Mosaic cere- 
monies were not done away with in Christ's dispensation. 
Some amongst them taught that circumcision was to be 
continued. What Paul says of his interview with Peter 
is worthy of note as it exhibits the characters of the 
two men in striking contrast and shows the spirit and 
temper in which Paul dealt with a co-labourer. 

Read in "Rebellion Record" Toombs's speech before 
the CJeorgia Legislature in November, i860. This is 
an able speech; but it is not exactly as delivered; he 
wrote this out after my speech in reply to his was reported. 
I never wrote mine save to the extent of correcting the 
notes of Mr. Marshall's report. Mr. Toombs's written 
speech contains replies to views presented by me in 
answer to portions of his delivered speech. The speech 
as delivered by him was much more eloquent, animated, 
and soul-stirring than this, prepared for the press after 
the ardour and fire of the occasion had passed oflF. The 
ideas in the main are the same, save on the few points 
excepted, but the language, strong and powerful as it 
is, is not equal to that he used in delivery. It is not so 
concentrated, does not hurl his thoughts in such burn- 
ing, blazing, irresistible, Jove-like bolts as did his words 
when prompted by his huge brain all aglow. 

Geary brought the morning Boston paper, and New 
York Tribune y Times, and Herald of yesterday. I see 
confirmation of yesterday's telegram that the Cabinet 
does not intend to make decision on special appeals for 
amnesty in the case of Confederate generals or other 
high officials for the present; these cases are to be held 


in abeyance. The Times has an editorial to the eflfect 
that Mr. Davis, and the other high civil officials now in 
custody, will before long be put on trial before a civil 
tribunal. Boston Post gives definition of "Amnesty," 
as accepted by all writers of authority: "A sovereign 
act of clemency by virtue of which the past is consigned 
to oblivion and the victor and the vanquished are placed 
on an equal social and political footing." Would it 
not be better to say "placed on their former (ante-bellum) 
social and political footing?" 

II a. m. — Lieut. W. and Dr. Seavems called to see 
how I am getting along. Told the doctor I was free 
from pain and doing well, After a short stay they left. 
When they came in, they found me spreading out my 
silk underwear before the fire to dry thoroughly. Ever 
since I have been here, my clothes have been sent in rather 
damp, particularly silks. I find that silk is the most 
difficult of all cloth to dry; it seems to have a stronger 
affinity than any other for water. 

Have nearly finished Bacon's "Essays." Am dis- 
appointed in them. They are nothing but loose sayings 
on divers subjects. They are, in some respects, not unlike 
Solomon's Proverbs. The best is on "Friendship"; 
there is much worth reading in that. 

6.15 — Did not walk much. Felt weak. Had but 
little conversation. Stopped once at the eastern bastion 
and looked over the parapet upon the sea — the quiet, 
deep, mysterious ocean, emblem of time, of eternity, 
of the soul, and of God. My eyes filled with tears; why, 
I could not tell. A deep, sad voice seemed to come up 
from its silence, responsive to the melancholy brooding 
in my heart. To me all things in nature looked sad. 
The ships out at sea, with their flapping canvas, looked 


sad. The prisoners on the opposite bastion, walking 
to and fro in pairs, looked sad. The soldiers, sitting 
about their quarters in the fort below, looked sad. The 
very chirping of the swallows held a note of sadness. 
Indeed, all nature — earth, sea, sun, and sky — looked 

Geary has just brought me a glass of milk, which, 
with some bread, made my supper. Lieut. W. has just 
brought me another "Rebellion Record." 

July 15. — Rose as usual at 7.30. Read in Corin- 
thians. Geary brought breakfast at 8.30. Lieut. W. 
and Dr. Seavems called while I was eating. No new 
directions. Wrote to Governor Johnson of Georgia: 

Governor: Please excuse me for addressing you oflBi- 
cially a few words in my own behalf. I am now a pri- 
soner, as you may know, in this place. I have been here 
upward of seven weeks. My health is far from good. 
My privations are telling upon the energies of a consti- 
tution at all times weak. I am becoming more enfeebled. 
On this account I wish for release on parole, or for a 
mitigation of the rigour of my present conj&nement, 
so as to be allowed to take such moderate out-door exer- 
cise as I am able, in walking at pleasure on the grounds 
during the day, and to be allowed to procure the ser- 
vices of some one to be with me at all times to render 
such attention as my condition requires. Besides, I 
am anxious for release on parole for other considerations. 
Much business in my hands at home requires immediate 
and prompt attention ; business aflFecting not my private 
interests alone but the interests of others; of a profes- 
sional character as well as of a more fiduciary nature. 
I have the management of several estates, and am guar- 
dian of a number of minors, as well as of persons of colour, 
under our late laws. It is important for the interests 


and welfare of others, therefore, that I be permitted to 
explain, arrange, adjust, and turn over these trusts. I 
have asked the President for release on parole in con- 
sideration of these things. It has not been granted. 
From what I have keen able to hear in my present situa- 
tion, I am induced to believe that perhaps such matters 
depend to some extent upon the recommendation of the 
Provisional Governors of the States, who are presumed 
to be better acquainted than others with the facts of each 
case. In this view of the subject I now address you. 
You have known me from our college and classmate 
days. My whole life, or my public acts, at least, are 
known to you; therefore, upon them I make no comment, 
further than to state what you yourself know, that my 
utmost exertions to prevent the troubles that have come 
upon the country, were put forth at the critical time when 
like exertions to bring them on were made by many who 
are now at large, some on parole and some with amnesty 
fully granted. I think I may be excused in alluding 
to this as a reason why, upon the principles of equal 
justice, release on parole, under the peculiar circum- 
stances of my case, should be granted to me. 

Now, if, in view of these matters, and from your own 
sense of what is right and proper and not prejudicial to 
the public interest in the premises, you feel at perfect 
liberty to call the attention of the authorities at Washing- 
ton, the Secretary of War, or the Secretary of State, or 
the President, or whoever may be the proper one to 
address, to the facts as you know them, with a recom- 
mendation for release on parole, etc., I need not state 
that I should consider it a great personal favour and 
should appreciate it exceedingly. I simply present my 
case to your notice and ask that you act upon it accord- 
ing to your sense of public duty. I ask for myself indi- 
vidually nothing that may not be approved fully, cordially, 
and cheerfully by the dictates of your own judgment, 
looking as well to public interest as to the accommodation 
of private individuals. I should like very much to hear 


from you and to know, at least, that this communication 
is received by you. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

After sending this to Lieut. W. to be mailed, I wrote: 

Governor: It is but proper to state for your informa- 
tion, that in case I should be released on parole I would 
say or do nothing tending to thwart, obstruct, or oppose 
the policy of the Administration in restoring and read- 
justing the relations between the States and the Federal 
Government; on the contrary, if permitted, I would do 
all in my power in aid of the speediest restoration of 
harmony and prosperity on that line of policy. But I 
have no desire to take any part in public aflfairs. What 
I earnestly wish, and all I ask for, is to be permitted to 
look after my health and private matters. I am perfectly 
willing to abide by any terms or conditions restricting 
my intercourse with the people, that may be imposed. 
My word of honour may be relied upon in any pledge 
that I may give upon this or any other subject. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

In the papers I see an account of Governor Brown's 
arrival in Macon on his return home. He was arrested 
two days before I was, and has been released on parole. 
Looking over the "Rebellion Record" I see reports of 
my speeches in Richmond on the 23d April, 1861, and 
in Atlanta on the 30th June and the 23d May, which 
do me great injustice, especially that of the Richmond 
speech. I used no such language at Richmond; I 
spoke strongly against unconstitutional use of power 
in blockading Southern ports, calling out the militia 
without authority of law, and other stretches of authority 


by the Administration at Washington, as foreshadowing 
the breaking down of all the safeguards of liberty under 
the Constitution, and the ulitmate consolidation of the 
Government into an absolute despotism; and I urged 
union of effort by all friends of Constitutional liberty 
everywhere, as the surest hope for the present and the 
future; the ark of the covenant of our fathers was with 
us; the fate of American Constitutional liberty, the 
light and hope of mankind, was with us. But I used 
no epithet or term of personal disrespect toward Mr. 
Lincoln then or on any other occasion. The reporter 
wrote out such an account as suited his purpose. I 
have often been provoked by similar liberties. So much 
so, that for the last two years I have almost invariably 
refused to make a speech unless I could revise the report. 
There seemed to me from the beginning a fixed design 
on the part of the Richmond press to keep me in a false 
position before the public. My general views and 
feelings in 1861 can be known by reference to my speech 
in the Virginia Secession Convention. It was in a 
secret session; it was oflf-hand, but it set forth clearly 
the views I entertained; it was published with the pro- 
ceedings of the Convention. The Convention had a 
reporter in their secret sessions, but of this, I knew nothing 
at the time. 

Reports of the Atlanta speeches are such sketches 
of my remarks as it suited the reporters to make. I 
have no idea that there was intention to misrepresent, 
but any writer who undertakes to reproduce from memory 
what he hears another, and particularly a public man, 
say, will be apt to give to it the colouring of his own 
thoughts. There was, for instance, no boasting in my 
speech. My heart was filled with sadness. My appre- 


hension was that what I had to say, when I was called 
out and almost forced to speak against my will, would 
disappoint the people. I did not say, "Well, let them 
come on; we are prepared for them." After speaking 
of the threatening prospects, I said, "We must prepare 
to meet the crisis. Argument is exhausted and, if needs 
be, we must now stand upon our arms." This, I know, 
was the form of expression used; for I was called on 
for a speech at almost every depot on the road, and I 
have reason to remember this expression from repetition, 
if nothing more. I used no gasconade. Nor did I say 
that Mr. Davis would head our armies. All this colour- 
ing was added by the reporter, either from what others 
said, or from a misconception of what I really did say 
about the removal of the Government and Mr. Davis 
to Richmond. The idea that we "could call out a mil- 
lion of people, and then another million \vhen these were 
cut down" never entered my head. 

The Milledgeville speech against secession, November, 
i860, as in the "Record," is in the main correct. It 
was an oflF-hand address. Mr. Marshall's report, taken 
from the Georgia papers doubtless, was copied in the 
New York Times from which the "Record" got it. The 
"Comer-stone" speech, which I made in Savannah, 
appears in the "Record." The report was taken from 
the Savannah Republican; how it was made I have 
before stated; I see in this report several errors; for 
instance, in the estimate of the property of the Southern 
States. But in the main it is correct. The item, in 
the "Diary" part of the "Record" from the New York 
Post J of my having been tendered a place in Mr. Lincoln's 
Cabinet, is without foundation in fact. 

The item about Linton's approval of the Ordinance 


of Secession in Georgia is also without foundation. He 
greatly disapproved it. Thus it is that records, histories, 
and biographies, in most instances, aye made up. Some 
truths with more fictions strangely interwoven, and all 
so transcribed as to make such a figure of a man that 
he could never recognize it as intended for him if it were 
not duly labelled, marked, and laid away with his name 

6.15 — Took usual walk with Lieut. W. He was up 
to Boston to-day and my letters did not get oflF. On 
request, he has returned them; and I have copied them 
into one, making a postscript of the second. It is now 
nearly the hour to extinguish lights. 


SUNDAY, July i6. — Dreamed of Dick JoW 
ston, his wife, and daughter, Mary Walton; 
of the whole family; I was at his house. It 
would be as impossible by language to convey an idea 
of the eflfect of this dream as it would be for me to repro- 
duce in s3rmbols strains of music which had just swept 
by, producing the sweetest harmony and the most sooth- 
ing melody. Read both Corinthians. Became absorbed 
in study of these letters by Paul; new ideas, new views, 
latent force and beauty disclosed themselves, as the 
outlines and just perspective of a picture by a master 
hand opens up on close and studied gaze. Adversity 
has compensations. But for my present confinement, 
I might never have enjoyed as I do these masterly pro- 
ductions. And perhaps Paul spake not of himself but 
by commandment when he said, "For our light afiliction, 
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 

I think that if many of the ministers of the Gospel 
would, on the Sabbath, read to their congregations one 
of Paul's Epistles, instead of giving their own comments 
on particular texts, such exercise would be attended vdth 
infinitely more good than the sermons usually preached. 
Few people read connectedly these Epistles, the best 
sermons ever produced except the Sermon on the Mount. 
The real doctrine presented in the whole argument is 
lost by looking only at fragmentary scraps. Much of 



the preaching of these da)rs, to say nothing of the manner 
of reading the Scripture in families, or by individuals, 
is of the same kind as the dilating upon, or the reading 
of, "garbled extracts" from speeches. 

Read Sunday Herald. See that Mr. Orr, late Mem- 
ber of Confederate Congress from Mississippi, has been 
pardoned. Walked out with Lieut. W. Saw ship 
coming in and going out of the harbour. The tide, 
that emblem of fortune and of the fluctuations of the 
soul, was at full flow. Lieut. W. told me that General 
DuBose is becoming homesick. Another prisoner was 
pardoned to-day, Postell, of Savannah, Ga; a blockade 
runner; would have been discharged some time ago, 
but refused to take the oath. 

July 17. — Dreamed of being at my sister Cather- 
ine's. It did not occur to me that she was dead. The 
dream was like my visits to her years ago, when most 
of her children were small. It was an exceedingly 
pleasant dream, notwithstanding I was weeping while 
talking to little MoUie in my lap. My tears were of 
pleasure, or at least, not of grief, when I woke. The 
time of my dream was when MoUie was about seven 
years old. She is grown. So far back on the dial- 
plate of time was my spirit in its rovings. To give 
another an idea of my dream would, as I said yesterday, 
be as impossible as to reproduce in symbols the strains 
of a melody which had refreshed the spirit. Let none 
who may read these jottings suppose that when I note 
dreams, now and then, these are my only dreams. I seldom 
sleep without dreaming. For the most part my dreams 
seem nothing but the aberrations of my own mind. 
Again, they seem special visitations; visitations of two 


kinds: social or every-day visits, and visits portending 
something that impress as presentiments. 

It was raining torrents when I got up. Geary was 
late coming in. He usually makes the fire a little after 
6; I was up before he had it going. 

Much has been said on friendship. Goldsmith asks, 
What is it? And, in poetic reverie, answers, "A phan- 
tom, a shade that follows wealth and fame." Bums, 
in like strain, makes a better suggestion. Cicero has 
written a book on it. But Bacon's short essay, which 
I have again read, embodies in a nutshell more true 
philosophy than all else I have seen upon this subject. 
Intercourse with his kind is almost essential to man's 
existence. The ties that bind him to his fellows, the 
cords of friendship, are the sympathetic nerves through 
which communication is kept up between himself and 
outside humanity. According to Bacon, the cultivation 
of friendship is essential to the development of the aflFec- 
tions and the understanding; and these are necessary 
to all success. Every one needs some congenial spirit 
to whom he can unbosom himself; the stoutest of hearts 
requires such relief. This "communicating of a man's 
self to his friends" does indeed work "two contrary 
eflfects." "It redoubleth joys and cutteth griefs in halves, 
for there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend 
but he joyeth the more, and no man that imparteth his 
griefs to his friend but he grieveth the less." What 
Bacon says of the eflfect of conversation in the develop- 
ment of the understanding is true. As well said is this: 
"A man were better reciting himself to a statue or a pic- 
ture than to suffer his thoughts to pass in a smother." 

Judge CoUamer, of Vermont, now in the U. S. Senate, 
then member of the House, used to tell an anecdote 


of a man who was in the habit of talking to himself^ 
which anecdote greatly amused Judge Story, one of our 
mess at Mrs. Carter's in Washington in the winter of 
1844-45. J^dge Story had quite a taste for humour; 
it was a common saying with hun that a man should spend 
one hour every day in laughing. In Collamer's anecdote, 
a man caught in the awkward predicament of talking 
aloud to himself and asked why he did it, replied that 
he had two good reasons: "First, he always liked to talk 
to a sensible man; and second, he always like to hear 
a sensible man talk." According to Bacon he might 
have given one reason better than the two assigned. 

The Tribune has a good article against military usurpa- 
tion and a strong appeal for restoration of the writ of 
habeas corpus; but arguments on such subjects before 
the people or their rulers is much like casting pearls 
before swine. 

Walked out with Lieut. W. He informed me that his 
battalion will be mustered out of service in about two 
weeks. This was disagreeable news. I doubt if any- 
body will fill his place who will be so kind to me. He 
expressed a desire that aU prisoners here might be dis- 
charged before he left; in which I cordially united. I 
rather think all the military prisoners will be, but not 
Reagan and myself. He brought the six other volumes 
of the "Rebellion Record." 

July 18. — Soon after breakfast, had a severe par- 
oxysm of pain. It grew worse. Saw Lieut. W. pass 
the window, called to him, and asked him to send Dr. 
Seavems. I was apprehensive of an attack of calculus. 
The pulse was 100. The Doctor came, and returned 
to his oflBice to bring something, which he applied exter- 


nally. I remained for some time quiet on my bunk and 
the paroxysm passed oflF. 

Last night, before extinction of lights, now at ten, 
I looked over the volumes that Lieut. W. brought me. 
The little in them relating directly to myself is of the 
same sort as that before referred to: for instance, my 
Charlotte, N. C, speech of 1863, as reported in a Char- 
lotte paper, is a complete distortion of my tone, temper, 
and sentiment. I complained of the misrepresentation 
soon after I saw it. This report in conjimction with 
that in a Columbia, S. C, paper of a speech I made soon 
after, caused me to decline further to address the people. 
I could not get what I said truthfully published. The 
leading idea of my Charlotte address was to arouse the 
public to a proper appreciation of Constitutional liberty 
and a determination to direct all their energies to its 
maintenance. I called attention to the popular tendency, 
under the guidance of the Richmond press, to give up 
all liberties in the delusive hope of thereby being the 
better enabled to preserve them. I had become alarmed, 
at the tone of our press at the seat of government and 
under the eye, if not the direction, of the President and 
his Cabinet. I knew that our people had gone into the 
struggle with no other view than to maintain and pre- 
serve the principles of the Constitution as established 
by their fathers, and if this great object should be aban- 
doned by the Government, our cause would be hopeless. 
If, however. Government and people should prove true 
to this cause, I doubted not that, finally, after great 
sacrifices, much tribulation and suflFering, war would 
be brought to a close upon some settlement securing the 
rights and sovereignty of the States and perpetuating 
the principles of self-government. 


I held out no prospect of early termination of war; 
made no appeal to the country to sustain the author- 
ities at Richmond and put down croakers. "Croakers" 
were not named by me. I rather endeavoured to impress 
the people with the unportance of bringing public senti- 
ment to bear upon the authorities, thus keeping them 
upon the only line in which I saw how success, even 
after the severest and most prolonged suflFering, could 
be won. I thought the movement of General Lee into 
Pennsylvania a most ill-advised measure. I did not 
openly arraign or condemn it; no good could be thus 
accomplished. But by pointing out the course we should 
pursue, I must have left the impression on all thinking 
minds that I did not approve that expedition and much 
less Morgan's expedition into Ohio. Our policy was 
to husband our resources, act on the defensive, keep 
the people alive to the real cause, and zealous in its 
maintenance. If this should be done, I doubted not 
that, sooner or later, a reaction would take place at the 
North (perhaps in the change of administration if not 
before), and in that way, the true friends of Constitu- 
tional liberty. North and South, could and would adjust 
the questions at issue upon the basis looking to the real 
interest of all parts of the once prosperous and happy 

"Reconstruction," that is, abandonment of our cause 
and return to the Union in hopes, or with the expectation 
by the States, of being received and treated as before 
secession (this was the idea of reconstruction as the term 
was then used), I looked upon as utterly delusive. The 
idea that the old Union and the old Constitution (as it 
had been) with all its comeliness of proportions, its gov- 
ernment of united and delegated powers with the reserved 


rights of the States, could ever in that way be restored 
I regarded as vain and hopeless. But I at no time had 
any opposition to any such Union or Unions as might 
be effected by reason upon the same principles as those 
upon which the old Union had been formed. My whole 
soul was enlisted in the establishment of the principles 
of self-government as we had received them from our 
fathers, both of the South and the North. The only 
object I earnestly looked to as the final result of the 
deplorable struggle was the recognition and establish- 
ment of these principles throughout the continent. 

The Richmond letter, in the "Record," to the Tribune^ 
pretending to state the objects of the mission to Wash- 
ington which I proposed in July, 1863, is without founda- 
tion in this respect. These objects were set forth in my 
letter to Mr. Davis, proposing the mission. My note 
to Rear Admiral Lee, as published in the Record, is 
incorrect; the true sense is marred by punctuation. The 
report of my speech in Augusta, July 11, 1861, is in the 
main correct, though there are several egregious errors 
in it: as, for instance, the amount of taxable property 
in New York; and my stating that I was not particular 
in my statistics. The truth is, I was exact. I had 
prepared them. Here, they are given correctly in hardly 
a single instance, I never saw the report of this speech 
until after it was printed, when too late to correct it. 
I never spoke of myself as a "Southern orator"; "chroni- 
cler" was the word I used. I resented this report the 
more from the fact that I had requested the reporter to 
submit it to me before giving it to the press. When I 
saw him on the stage, I regretted his presence there. 
It caused me to omit one topic I fully discussed in all 
my speeches about the produce loan: that was the point 


on which I diflFered with the Government about the 
cotton loan; and my policy for raising the blockade 
with cotton. 

The Government plan was to receive the product of 
the sale of cotton as a loan ; mine was for the Government 
to buy cotton with bonds; and then with the cotton, 
as an clement of power greater than money, to raise the 
blockade. I did not wish these views to reach the enemy, 
and as I saw a reporter present, I did not give them. 
These views I later presented at Crawfordville in vindi- 
cation of myself, when my plan had been ignored and 
rejected, myself unjustly assailed and my views misrep- 
resented. When I was in Augusta, on this cotton loan 
agency in the summer of 1861, I was in strong hopes, 
as I stated on all occasions, that after the assembling of 
Congress in Richmond, the Government would change 
its policy on this subject, and adopt some such scheme 
as I was in the habit of presenting to the people. If 
I had not had such hopes I should never have raised my 
voice in behalf of the Cotton Loan; there is hardly any- 
thing in my past life that I have looked upon with so 
much chagrin and regret as my hopes connected with 
that matter. When I spoke in Augusta, I was, as I 
afterward found, influenced by illusive hopes, not only 
as to the cotton business but as to the general views 
of our Government officials on the war, both as to the 
manner of conducting it and the ends aimed at. I 
thought I was speaking for them in giving my own 
views on these subjects. In this, I later found out, or 
thought I did, by their acts and policy, that I was sadly 

Daily papers. In the Herald, an address by Governor 
Brown to the people of Georgia. I like its general tone, 


style, and views as I do most that comes from him. I 
have differed with him on many important matters, 
and on none other so important as secession; yet I have 
ever regarded him as a man of unquestionable ability 
and patriotism. In his address, I see he has been released 
upon the ground of his being at the head of the State 
forces, and entitled to a parole on surrendering them, 
under the same conditions as generals in command. 
Rather a fictitious ground, I think; but I am glad of his 
release. There is much in luck. Some seem to have 
been born under propitious stars, and by nature to be 
lucky. He is of this class. I have often remarked it. 
In the greatest difficulties that threaten him, when one 
sees hardly any chance for his escape or for his surmount- 
ing them, some little lucky incident turns up in his behalf. 
With me, the contrary has been true. Luck never was 
my forte. I am curious now to know on what grounds, 
fictitious or real, Governor Letcher [of Va.] has been 

Read in the Record Andrew Johnson^s speech in the 
U. S. Senate, July 1861. It is the ablest paper I have 
seen from any quarter against the Confederacy. Johnson 
does not argue the right of secession, the constitutionality 
of the suspension of habeas corpus, etc. ; he reviews the 
objects aimed at by many leading men in the secession 
movement in terms able, eloquent, and true. This 
country's great misfortune is that it was thrown into the 
ridges or waves of party like a ship between two seas. 
The controlling parties were only a small portion of the 
people on either side — the extremists, North and South; 
but these few held the lever and shaped destiny. Johnson 
did not belong to either. In political association, he 
was connected with the extremists of the South; in senti3 


ment and sympathy, with the great mass in both sections 
who were devoted to the Union as the embodiment of 
the principles of good government, and who believed 
that good government depended on its preservation. 
This address, I have no doubt, did more to arouse the 
North and excite the war spirit than any other one speech. 
Delivered when and where it was and by whom, a 
Senator from Tennessee and a Breckinridge Democrat, 
it struck a tremendous, a terrible, if not a fatal blow, to 
the Confederate cause, in allaying inquiry into usurpa- 
tions at Washington and exciting indignation and resolute 
determination to put down at the South what is described 
as unprovoked, actrocious rebellion prompted by dis- 
appointed ambition without pretext of justifying cause. 
Such was doubtless the impression made upon the 
Northern masses by this speech: no doubt it was spread 
broadcast. Thousands rushed to war, animated by the 
mcst patriotic motives; just as thousands at the South, 
so animated, rushed to the same bloody fields. What 
a strange spectacle! brother not only fighting brother, 
but for the same object — to perpetuate their liberties 
achieved by their common fathers. Is there a parallel 
in the history of the world? Yet such is the truth, the 
truth as to the great majority in the armies on both sides. 
The extremists North, the few that held the lever, were, 
it is true, looking to other and ulterior objects; they availed 
themselves of the p)owerful aid of Johnson and a few 
others over the South of like sentiments though of less 
ability; and of the high and generous patriotic sentiments 
of their own people to eflfect their sinister object, which 
the extremists at the South had given them opportunity 
to effect: that is, to break down State institutions by the 
war power. 


JULY 19. — Sun shining in my room. I feel 
very weak. I lay down on my bunk, and took 
up the Bible. Just as I had finished Revela- 
tions, Geary brought the daily papers. I read General 
Dix's order retiring from command of the District of 
the East, and Gen. Hooker's assuming command. While 
I was looking over the papers, Lieut. W. brought me 
Linton's letter of the 6th. This letter did me a great 
deal of good, but not so much as it might have done if 
he had gone more into particulars: if he had told me 
how my crop was, how much wheat had been made, 
how the oats had turned out, how the com had held out; 
and such information as I think he might have got from 
John A. Stephens and Mary Reid, who were with him. 
He speaks of two previous letters; that of the 24th of May, 
and another that has not arrived. I hope I will soon 
receive it. 

Have been resting, reading nothing in particular. 
The newspapers I glanced over, then walked the room 
a while, then took the bunk; alternating repeatedly, 
allowing the mind as much relaxation as possible. If 
I had some friend to join me in a game of piquet, or 
something of the kind, to divert the mind from cares 
that oppress it, how much good it would do me! Much 
is said in the papers about the treatment of prisoners 
at Andersonville and other places, where I doubt not 
conditions were bad enough, but my opinion is that 



the severest, most cruel punishment that can be inflicted 
upon a rational, intelligent being is solitary confinement. 
If it was an act of inhumanity in the Confederate authori- 
ties to keep prisoners at Andersonville, where there was 
so much bodily suflFering from necessity, what sort of 
act is it in the U. S. authorities to keep me here ? Punish- 
ment was not intentional at Andersonville; the sufferings 
there necessarily attended the situation. No better 
provision could be made, and it was not the fault of the 
Confederate authorities that prisoners were held, but 
of the authorities at Washington who refused to let them 
be exchanged though fully apprised of their condition. 
But in my case and that of a number similarly situated, 
the suffering is inflicted intentionally as a punishment, 
and that, too, without any conviction of offense. 

Walked out as usual. Lieut. W. told me he had sent 
off General Ewell and Major Brown, of Ewell's staff, 
to-day. Right glad am I that the General, lame as he 
is, has been discharged. Major Brown is related to 
Mrs. Ewell. Saw notice in evening's paper of Mr. 
Davis's ill health. Also, a remark that Mr. Seward is 
reported,* by some Georgia persons, to have made 
about me. I see it stated that G. B. Lamar has been 
released from the Old Capitol Prison. 

July 20. — Thor's Day, as our ancestors called it, 
the Day of Thor. I am not so versed in their mythology 
as to know if they looked to Thor as a good and propi- 
tious deity or the genius of bad luck. On Thursday 
I was arrested, ten weeks ago to-day; Thursday, I was 

* An Atlanta paper of July 8 publishes thb: ^Two gentlemen from Geccgia made an appeal to 
Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, to the effect that some privileges promotiTe of his comfort should 
be bestowed upon the Hon. A. H. Stephens. The Secretary kindly assured diem that he would 
investigate, and if it could be done, the privileges solicited would not be withhdd." 


imprisoned in these walls eight weeks ago. It is a day 
of the week which will not be forgotten by me while mem- 
ory lasts. 

Lieut. W. has just called to see me and to say that he 
is going to Boston to-day if he can get off, and that 
Lieut. Newton will attend me in his absence. I requested 
him to see what a single bedstead and mattress and a 
large feather pillow could be got for in Boston. My 
bunk is uncomfortable; I must get some other sort of 
bedding if I can. Also requested him to ascertain if 
I may be allowed a screen; and, if so, the probable cost. 
I want a folding paper-screen to protect me, when stript 
and bathing, from the gaze of passers-by. 

Lieut. W. brought in Lieut. Newton and gave him an 
introduction. Lieut. Newton approached me and shook 
hands. This was the first civility of the sort extended 
to me since I have been in this cell. When I saw him 
approaching with the evident intention of offering his 
hand, I arose and met him, cordially responding to the 
courtesy. I permitted the advance, however, to come 
from his side. My first introduction to any one here 
was to the surgeon, I believe, when there was no offer 
of this sort, or anything indicating a disposition to enter- 
tain such civilities. I have felt here at times much as 
I have often imagined a well-bred Negro in our country 
felt toward those who set themselves, in their own 
estimation, above him. I stood quite as much upon 
my dignity as those who seemed to think that it would 
be a condescension on their part to take my hand or 
offer theirs. The first advance, I thought it proper, 
should come from the other side. I had no idea of sub- 
jecting myself to the mortification of having my offered 
hand rejected or reluctantly taken. My habit was always 


to shake hands with persons of all colours, races and 
conditions whose actions displayed modesty, respect 
and good bearing; my instructions to my servants on 
this point of manners, so far as concerned white people, 
was to be always ready to shake hands when the offer 
was made by the white person, but never to make the 
advance in that form of salutation. This I thought the 
best rule to be governed by: the superior, or whoso con- 
siders himself such, whether in bare position or other- 
wise, should always make the advance. Officers never 
shake hands with men of the line, and I suppose they 
look upon a prisoner as no better than one of their men 
of the line. This was not the case with Lieut. Newton. 

Another Fancy Sketch, yet not 
Altogether Fancy: 

Visitant. [Entering through the window of imagina- 
tion.] Well, how are you to-day? 

Prisoner. Not so well as when you were last here. 

Visitant. What is the matter? anything special? 

Prisoner. This cold stone floor and damp atmosphere 
do not agree with me. I am growing weak — losing 
flesh — can't balance myself in walking — haven't the 
right use of my legs. I have sat here in this chair until 
the hip-bones are sore, and it seems as if the hips them- 
selves have become weak. There is exceeding weakness 
in the region of the loins when I go to walk. Sometimes 
I almost stagger. From some cause, I know not what, 
I am not so well by far as when you were here last. 

Visitant. Maybe your mind — your confinement 
and brooding — has something to do with it. 

Prisoner. If I could but have the free use of myself as I 
please, go in and out when I please, take exercise in walk- 


ing or driving when and as I might please, and confer 
with friends here and elsewhere without restraint, I 
think my mind would be as much at ease as it has been 
for many long years. 

Visitant. Do you feel no anxiety as to your fate ? When 
I was last here, I thought you would have been discharged 
before now. I must confess that I, and your friends 
generally, have become much more uneasy than we 
were. What is your idea as to the intention of the 
authorities ? 

Prisoner. In my judgment, the authorities have no set- 
tled purpose. I and others are held only as political capital 
out of which they will make the most they can. They 
have probably not reached any conclusion as to the 
best market to operate on. We are kept as hostages for 
the good conduct of our friends and sympathizers at large, 
and as an example in terrorem over them. That is the 
present political market in which we are speculated upon. 
When that closes, what new enterprises may open up for 
bold strokes, time must determine. All that is certain is 
that we are political capital to be made the most of accord- 
ing to times, circumstances, and exigencies. We are held, 
as captives were by the old Aztec tribes, to be disposed 
of in such way as will most promote the interest of the 
captors. The main thing is the ransom, the poUtical 
advantage to follow the disposition determined upon. 
Little thought or care about the captives is indulged in. 
Whether they shall be graciously set at large, or be piously 
delivered over as victims tc the eager priest at the public 
sacrificial altar, is a matter which depends upon which 
course will pay best. I feel intensely the wrong of my 
confinement as well as its privations and discomforts, 
but I trust my fortitude will not fail to sustain me 


throughout; and even to the end, let that be what it may. 
It is my earnest wish that no friend of mine shall be 
influenced in any degree in his course by my treatment 
or fate, but that all will act from their own conscientious 
sense of duty to themselves and the country. What 
in my opinion that duty is, I have told you. 
[Enter Lieut. Newton. Exit Visitant.] 

Lieutenant. Here is a letter just come by the mail. 

Prisoner. [Rising and receiving it.] Thank you, sir. 
[Lieut. N. exit.] 

Letter from Hidell, Memphis, Tenn. Dinner at usual 
hour. The syrup is excellent. At first, I thought from 
its thinness, it had been watered. It is maple S3nrup, 
quite thin but well prepared. It stays in my room and 
I use it when I please, and I have a fancy for it. 

Lieut. Newton called at 6.30 to walk with me; 
said he could not find the key to my room and was detained 
thereby. I was not able to walk mucli. Staid out only 
a short time. 

July 21. — Had a bad dream last night; it was 
about Eliza at home : she was badly hurt, the hurt inflicted 
by Harry, not intentionally. Judge Cone figured; it 
did not occur to me in my dream that he was dead. 

Before breakfast I glanced over Romans. I is 
written with great ability, but there are parts, as Peter 
says, "hard to be understood." The letter, it seems, 
was not written by Paul; this occurs in the conclusion: 
"I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the 
Lord." Did Tertius copy, or write at Paul's dictation? 
The argumentative strain is characteristic of Paul, hut 
the style in some particulars is not his. The repeated 


questions with the answer, " God forbid," is not seen in 
liis other letters. One thing remarkable in all his writ- 
ings is that they say so little about the life and teachings 
of Jesus while in the body. They embody the Christian 
teachings, yet seldom refer to anything Christ did or 
said while on earth. Paul alludes to the Lord's Supper, 
the resurrection, and to the persons by whom Christ was 
seen ; but he makes no mention of the miracles, parables. 
Sermon on the Mount, or any of the general principles 
inculcated by Christ. The same is true of the other 
apostolic letters. Peter makes a brief reference to the 
transfiguration. It is singular that all the apostolic 
letters say so little about the sublime and divine teach- 
ings of Christ himself. Paul seems to rest all his super- 
structure of Christian principles upon his own miraculous 
conversion and the teachings of the Divine Spirit in his 
own breast together with the precepts of the Prophets. 
He seems to have been thoroughly familiar with the 
Old Testament; he often quotes from it. But he seems 
not to have known much of the actions and sayings of 
Christ when in the flesh except what was imparted to 
him in his own spiritual development and through the 
agency of the Spirit. 

Lieut. W. brought letters from Joe Myers, Gip Grier, and 
my old friend, J. A. Stewart. I answered all, and wrote 
to John A. Stephens. I was right glad to see Lieut. W. 
I was not expecting him before Monday. He has got to 
be a sort of familiar acquaintance, the only one I have 
here. Reread all my letters. Spent the evening on 
my bunk in silent meditation. Walked at usual hour. 
Was weak but better than yesterday. Lieut. W. with 
me. This has been the closest and sultriest day since I 
have been here. The thermometer has not been higher, 


not above 82, but there has been no breeze, no draught 
in my room except that produced by the fire, which is 
the only way the smoke from my pipe escapes. For 
supper, bread and milk. Opened the Bible and the eye 
fell on Job x. — its every line applicable to me ! 

Saturday, July 22. — This day, thirty-one years ago, 
I rose at dawn. I had slept but little. It was the 22d 
of July, 1834; a day of intense interest to me. I was to be 
examined for admission to the bar in Crawfordville. 
I had been reading law for a short time only, not much 
over six weeks in all. I had had no instructor; had 
bought and appUed myself to such books as I had been 
informed were necessary: Blackstone's Commentaries, 
Chitty's Pleadings, Starkie on Evidence, Maddox's 
Chancery, the Statutes of the State, and the Rules of the 
Court. All these I had read and reread, and had got 
the general principles well fixed in my head. But how 
I should be able to stand the ordeal of a legal examina- 
tion, I did not know. I had never witnessed one. All 
I knew about it was what my friend, Swepston C. Jeflfries, 
a lawyer in the village, had told me. Should I be rejected, 
my prospects and fortunes would be blasted. My anxiety 
and agitation as the time grew near were great. The 
night before examination was spent in reviewing, in 
systematizing and arranging in my mind the principles 
of each text-book, under the various heads, in the best 
order and method I could. It was nearly day when I 
got through and lay down to rest. I am not certain 
that I slept any. When it was light enough to see how 
to read, I was up and at my books again. Examination 
was to be at eight in the court-room. I was in my place 
at the appointed time. I remembered my examination 


for college and how I had been mistaken in all my special 

The examining committee were : Joseph Henry Lump- 
kin, one of the most eloquent men in the State as well 
as one of the best lawyers. He has been a Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the State since the organization 
of that tribunal in 1846. He was to examine me on the 
Common Law. Wm. C. Dawson, then one of the most 
prominent members of the bar, was to- examine me on 
the Statutes of the State, the Rules of the Court, etc. 
He was afterward in Congress and the Senate; he was 
a man of great amenity of manners, a wit and humourist; 
his personal popularity for several years was greater 
than that of any other man in the State. Daniel Chandler, 
then Solicitor General, was to examine me on the Criminal 
Law. He was considered the most eloquent and prom- 
ising of the rising young men of the State. Two years 
later he moved from Washington, Ga., where he then 
resided, to Mobile, Ala., where in connection with the Hon. 
John A. Campbell, his brother-in-law, he attained great 
eminence but not so great as was expected. He still 
resides in Mobile. In grace and beauty of declamation, 
flow of language and energy of expression, he had few 
superiors. The presiding judge was *the famous Wm. 
H. Crawford. Jeffries had informed me of a remark 
reported of the Judge upon some similar occasion, which 
gave me about my only consolation. It tended to show 
that he was not very exacting. Jeflfries said that the 
Judge, after an examination to which he paid little 
attention, ordered: "Swear him, Mr. Clerk; if he knows 
nothing he will do nothing." I thought if he would take 
but the same course and do the same by me, I would 
be satisfied ! 


Examination began, Judge Lumpkin leading off on 
Blackstone, with which four books I was perfectly 
familiar; I had in my mind an analysis of every chapter. 
He also had in his a distinct outline of the whole method 
and system of these Commentaries. With the first question, 
"What is law in its most general sense and application 
of the term?" promptly answered, he went on in the 
regular order, which suited me exactly. He had but to 
name the subject of a chapter, and I gave the whole 
substance without a balk. He seemed surprised and 
pleased. Only one question I missed: "What is neces- 
sary for the validity of a plea in abatement?" I paused. 
He stated, "It must be sworn to." This I knew well, 
but it had not occurred to me that it would answer his 
question. When through, he turned to Judge Crawford 
and said he was perfectly satisfied with the examination, 
had never heard better. That was very gratifying to 
me. Mr. Dawson followed with questions in his depart- 
ment. So with Mr. Chandler. Both used complimen- 
tary terms of me in reporting to the Judge. The Judge, 
I noticed, was paying attention all the time to the exam- 
ination. When the last report was made, he said: 
"Take an order for the admission, Mr. Solicitor, and 
have the oath administered. I, too, am perfectly satisfied." 
Thus, the ordeal was over. 

Several members of the bar, the Examining Committee 
first, came up, giving me a congratulatory welcome into 
the fraternity; then others, particularly my old friend, 
Jeffries, who had taken deep interest in the examination, 
and was profuse in commendation. After these, while 
the clerk was preparing to issue the license and the oath, 
and I was still on the outer circular bench where I had 
sat during the examination, other manifestations were 


made which were equally gratifying. These were by 
old rustic acquaintances, some of my schoolmates in early 
days, and some old farmers in the vicinity, neighbours 
and friends of my father, who, from the interest they took 
in me, had come that morning to see how I would acquit 
myself. While the examination was progressing, they 
had been silent but deeply agitated spectators, equally 
moved and agitated with myself. When it was over, 
and they could do so without attracting attention, they 
came up, one after another, to where I was sitting, and 
leaning over the railing, with smiling countenances, 
expressed profound gratification in their own homely 
way. For from what they saw and heard, though they 
knew no law, they knew that all had passed off well. 

Such were incidents and scenes of my life on this day, 
thirty-one years ago. How different from my present 
surroundings! Judge Crawford held but one court 
after that at which I was admitted. Next week he went 
to Wilkes; and on his way to Madison court, was taken 
ill and died. Mine was the last lawyer's license he ever 
signed. Jeffries died three years later in the prime of 
manhood. Dawson rose to great eminence; he died in 
1855. Chesley Bristow, the old clerk who made out 
my license and who was one of my best friends, lived 
until 1845, when he too passed away. Quinia O'Neal, 
then Clerk of the Inferior Court, who took great interest 
in my success, and had spent much time in my room 
during my studies, witnessed the examination with great 
pleasure. He is still living, or was when last I heard 
from him. His head is white with age ; he is near seventy. 
For thirty years he held some of the clerkships of our 
courts, and for several years, all of them. He lived 
with me for some time after his wife died. Two years 


ago, he resigned all his offices in consequence of the 
infirmities of age, and moved to Dougherty County to 
reside with his daughter. Last summer, he came up 
to Liberty Hall and spent the hot months with me. He 
is a most remarkable man. Few excel him in propriety 
and virtue. He was known for years in our village by 
the sobriquet of "The Parson." 

Did not rise this morning till eight. Found the Bible 
open as I left it last night. Again read Job x. Took 
a cup of coflfee. At eleven Lieut. W. called. I was 
reading the daily papers. He sat down and talked 
with me for some time — the first time he has sat down 
and talked with me since I have been here. He talked 
about my health, and asked about such modifications of 
confinement as I thought would be more conducive to it. 
I told him the privilege of going out and in when I pleased 
and taking exercise at will would be an advantage; also 
having the locked door of my room open so as to allow 
free passage of air through my quarters. The main 
thing was to be released from close custody and to have 
the privilege of getting some one to stay with me and 
attend to my wants. If I had some one to rub me when 
I bathe, it would strengthen me. I am not able to rub 
myself. At this point, recollections of home, and remem- 
brance of kind attentions I have ever had when sick, 
rushed upon me so suddenly and with such force that 
before I was aware of it, I was weeping. I bowed my 
head and wept in anguish, the more from the fact that 
I could not restrain myself in his presence. 

He retired, and, after awhile, brought Dr. Seavems. 
They found me walking my room, smoking my meer- 
schaum, and trying to allay disquietude. The Doctor 
took a seat; so did I. He talked for some time on the 


same subject that Lieut. W. had conversed on. But 
I was not in condition to converse. I could not talk with- 
out betrayal of emotion. He did not talk to me as if 
he had any sympathy with me in my condition, bodily 
or mental; made no examination of the pulse, and asked 
no such questions as physicians usually do who have 
any inclination to inquire into or prescribe for disorders. 
He seemed to act as if he thought that all that was the 
matter with me was lowness of spirits. Perhaps in this 
he was partly right, yet lowness of spirits is a formidable 
disease when its effects are telling upon all bodily func- 
tions. I do myself think my present debility is attribut- 
able in part to mental causes, to the mind's being deprived 
of its accustomed stimulants of social and friendly inter- 
course. I greatly need that recreation which an hour 
or two of social conversation daily with some friend or 
acquaintance would furnish. This natural nourishment 
which the mind requires and for which mine is famished, 
would add nourishment and strength to my body. 

The Doctor, in a light and agreeable manner, advised 
stimulants: asked about my whisky and recommended 
it. I told him I had some yet (all of Harry's bottle is 
not gone; I have besides the gin Lieut. W. gave me), 
but that I do not like alcoholic stimulants; I did not 
feel that they would do me any good in my present con- 
dition, though ale or lager or some such drink, tonic 
as well as slightly stimulating, might possibly benefit 
me. The conversation lasted ten minutes, when he and 
Lieut. W. retired, the Doctor saying he would recom- 
mend to the commanding oflGicer some modification of 
my confinement; what, I do not know. 

I stretched myself on my bunk with Cicero on "Moral 
Duties." I commenced reading, but soon found myself 


weeping. Read I could not. The crevasse was broken 
and the current continued to flow in spite of all my 
efforts to stop it. I walked the room, and the tears 
still came. I washed my face again and again, and still 
the tears would not cease. Everything around seemed 
sad. I looked out upon the far-off sky; the fogs and 
clouds are now gone; but the sky looked as sad as all 
things else. 

Dinner at usual hour. I had no appetite. I did not 
seem sick or in any pain, but I felt that heavy load upon 
the mind that we feel when some dear one is dead in 
the house. My soul is sick, and I have no one to whom 
I can impart my griefs. I took a few mouthfuls of food 
— the tears rolled down upon my plate. I set the things 
aside, and resumed my "walk about the room. 

Walked out at usual hour with Lieut. W. Rested 
in the shade of the wall. Saw a curious seashell. Kcked 
it up. Lieut. W. said it was a sea-snail's. Supper was 
brought by a new orderly; Geary has gone to town to 
be absent until Monday. The new hand at the bellows 
does not do as well as Geary. My fire was nearly out. 
He did not know how to manage it. Before it was started, 
all the coals had to be taken out of the grate and wood 
added. I fear I shall greatly miss Geary. 

As I returned from the evening walk, a little girl handed 
me a bunch of flowers. They were sweet and pretty. 
I have put them in a tumbler of water on my table. 

July 23. — Read in Psalms. Breakfast 8.15, before 
fire was made. New orderly does not know how to get 
the fire going. Lay on my bunk. Lieut. W. brought 
Harper^s Weekly. The Boston Herald says order has 
been issued for release on parole of all Confederate officers 


on their taking the oath of allegiance. Good news to 
DuBose and all oflficers confined here and elsewhere. 
I requested Lieut. W. to send the Surgeon to see me. 
He said Dr. Seavems was away but would call on his 
return. He brought letters from John A. Stephens and 
F. T. Bristow, both dated July 10. Their perusal did 
me much good. 

Lieut. W. and the Surgeon called. I submitted to 
the latter a paper in writing touching my case, as I did 
not feel able to talk about it. Spent the evening reading 
Cicero on Moral Duties. At 6.30 walked out with Lieut. 
W. It was so hot we kept in the shade of the wall below. 
As we passed Dr. Seavems's quarters, he came out and 
offered me a chair to rest a while. I accepted. Mrs. 
Seavems soon appeared, and he gave me an introduction 
to her. This was unexpected; she remained, and talked 
with me some time. She seemed to be an exceedingly 
agreeable lady, easy to become acquainted with. I saw 
the little girl who handed me the flowers yesterday. 
It was Mrs. Seavems's little daughter, Annie, a pleasant- 
looking, kind-hearted little girl. After spending about 
twenty minutes in conversation with Mrs. Seavems, 
which really did me a great deal of good, I walked on 
with Lieut. W. We went upon the terreplein and looked 
over the parapet. The tide was low. We saw a good 
deal of shipping. The Lieutenant said they had had 
quite a sight a few hours before in the passing of the 
VanderbUt and the Dictator; if he had seen them in time, 
fie would have brought me out to get a view. I told him 
I should have liked to see the Dictator though I did not 
like her name. If there is anything in the world I detest, 
it is the idea of a dictator ; the ship I might have admired, 
but her name I never could. We remained until sun- 


down. I looked for the new moon in the clear sky but she 
was not visible ; too young and new, changed only yester- 

Baily, the new attendant, brought tea and bread. I 
fed much better than for several days. The letters from 
home did me good, and the conduct of the Doctor this 
evening, and the conversation with Mrs. Seavems, small as 
that little incident was, did me good. I feel the effects yet. 

July 24th. — Did not sleep much. Was quite ill in 
the night. Soon after breakfast. Dr. Seaverns and Lieut 
W. called. I was writing to Linton and John A. 

Lieut. W. called again and brought me a bouquet of 
flowers, from Mrs. Captain Livermore, I believe he said. 

At the usual hour for walking, Lieut. Newton called 
for me. While memory lasts I can never forget the 
unutterable pang that struck my heart when I saw him 
instead of Lieut. Woodman. Lieut. W. had gone to 
Boston with the released officers. We walked out but, 
oh how badly, badly, badly did I feel, and do now — 
sick in body and sick in heart. I expected to see Lieut. 
W. before he went oflE with the officers. I was sadly 
disappointed in this. I did not think they would get 
off before to-morrow. 

July 25. — Slept more last night. This is the begin- 
ning of dog days. The Sun rose very hot. Read several 
Psalms; these verses did me good: "I had fainted, unless 
I had believed to see the goodness of God in the land 
of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, 
and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say, on the 
Lord." Wrote Secretary Seward as follows: 


Dear Sir: I take the liberty of addressing you a few 
lines in my behalf. This, I have intended to do for 
several days but have not been in that condition physically 
or mentally to do it as I wished. In both respects I 
have been almost completely prostrated. I have been 
induced to address you partly because you are the only 
member of the Cabinet with whom I have any personal 
acquaintance, but mainly because I suppose the subject 
matter relates properly to your Department. One 
thing especially that I wish to say to you is in reference 
to the Hampton Roads Conference. 

But in the first place, allow me to say that I have lately 
seen a circular from the Attorney General, dated 12 th June, 
requiring all special applications for amnesty to be accom- 
panied with the prescribed oath of allegiance. It has 
occurred to me that perhaps the absence of that oath, 
or the omission of it, in my application is the reason I 
have heard nothing from it, or on the minor requests in 
it anterior to my second letter to the President. Will 
you be kind enough to have me informed if this is the 
case? Is this asking too much? I did not know at 
the time mine was sent on that such was the require- 
ment before any such application would be considered. 
My attention has been called to it only within the last 
few days. If this be a defect in my application, you may 
assure the President, as I hope you will, that the omission 
arose entirely from my not knowing of any such require- 
ment, and if the paper shall be returned to me, I will 
most cheerfully and in the most perfect "good faith," 
as I stated in my first letter to the President, supply the 
omission: or without its being returned, will, upon being 
notified that that is lacking for its consideration, take 
the oath before any officer who may be directed to admin- 
ister it. Due allowance, I trust, will be made for one 
situated as I am, being cut oflE, as I am, from communica- 
tion with the world to a great extent, and being, more- 
over, so much enfeebled by disease as I am. 

I take this occasion, also, to state to you my earnest 


desire to be at least released on parole, or on bond in 
any amount that may be thought sufficient. There are 
reasons of very great importance why I should be thus 
released, relating not only to myself, to the preservation 
of my health and perhaps of my life, but to the interest 
of others. On this point, I refer you to my letter to the 
President. You will allow me to say, moreover, that 
I do not think if I were permitted to see the President 
and to confer with him face to face, as others equally 
complicated with myself, if not more so from the posi- 
tions they held, in the late Confederate organization, 
have been permitted to do, I would quickly satisfy him 
that, upon public consideration alone, without reference 
to those of a private nature, I am equally entitled to such 
release. I know that no man more true, more loyal, 
or ardently devoted to the Constitution of the United 
States and the principles of civil and religious liberty 
it embodies than I am, ever breathed the vital air of 
Heaven; and no one can rejoice more heartily than I do 
at the prospect of seeing peace, harmony, and prosperity 
once more restored to this whole country under its benign 

On the question of restoration, I have some views 
that I would take pleasure in communicating to you and 
the President, particularly on the subject of suffrage so 
far as that relates to the coloured race. This I regard 
as a question of not less importance than that of emanci- 
pation itself. Upon its wise and proper solution depend 
the future interests of both races. I have thought a great 
deal upon this subject, and may be excused in saying 
that I think the question can be adjusted upon the 
principles on which all representative governments should 
be based. These principles require such a structure 
of society as will secure the rights of all without injury 
to any. While I have no desire ever to mingle in public 
affairs again, yet I should take pleasure in giving these 
views to the President and the people of my State. You 
and the President may be assured that these counsels, 


if I were permitted to give them, would tend to nothing 
but the speedy restoration of harmony and prosperity 
upon a permanent and lasting basis. 

My object in making these remarks, I trust will not 
be misconstrued. I wish only to make myself better 
understood. It is far from my intention thereby to pro- 
pitiate favour. I know, in the extraordinary and wonder- 
ful events through which we have passed, I, With the 
wisest and best men, may have committed errors in judg- 
ment as to the best means to be used, or the best course 
to be taken, for the preservation and perpetuation of 
the liberties of our fathers. But I do know, whatever 
error I may have committed in this respect was of the 
head and not of the heart. And if to err in the wisest 
and the best is but human, it is some consolation to know 
that to excuse and forgive is divine. On the point of 
amnesty and pardon, therefore, in my own case, I have 
no further argument or appeal to make. I wish the 
President to act upon it, if he be pleased to consider it, as 
he may think best under his own sense of duty to me and 
the country. But what I do ask and entreat upon the 
subject of release on parole or bail is, at least, a mitiga- 
tion of the rigour of my present confinement. I consider 
it as due to humanity. For I assure you that continued 
close confinement with its necessary privations, is, in 
the complication of disorders with which I am afl3icted, 
equivalent to death. I cannot believe that suchi a result 
is the object of my imprisonment. But it is due to you 
and the President to let you know that in my belief such 
will be the effect. 

What I wish to say to you upon the subject of the 
Hampton Roads Conference is this: I have lately seen 
a publication taken from the Chronicle and Sentinely 
Augusta, Ga., purporting to be my version of the Con- 
ference and what transpired at it. You may have seen 
this publication. Be assured that I authorized no such. 
Where the editor got his materials from, I know not. 
I have not seen him since the Conference and have had 


no communication with him. Some things in the publi- 
cation are true, but in it are many errors, and even the 
truths are so stated as to make a very erroneous impres- 
sion on several points. I felt much annoyed at the pub- 
lication, and I desired to have it denied in the papers 
that I had any knowledge of it. This, however, I could 
not have done. I, therefore, avail myself of this oppor- 
tunity to make denial as I thus do to you. It is, perhaps, 
a matter of but little consequence any way, but I wish 
you to know that that publication was without my know- 
ledge or sanction. Upon the subject of that Conference, 
I made no report for the public but that which was 
joint with the other Commissioners and which was pub- 
lished in the Richmond papers. Upon the main points 
in that Conference, those upon which it was sought, I 
have never even in private made any statement that could 
reach the public. For great public reasons, I abstained 
from it. 

To you in this communication it is also proper to 
state that this Hampton Roads Conference was not such 
a one as I desired at that time and was striving to obtain. 
I consented to it from the hope that, from what / had 
heard, an armistice might possibly be eflEected upon the 
"exterior" question to which you referred in your letter 
to Mr. Adams.* To the extent of an armistice only did 
that policy meet my approbation. Under an armistice 
I was strongly in hopes that such a Conference as I desired 
would take place, and that a restoration of peace upon 
some satisfactory basis, without the further eflEusion 
of blood, would speedily follow. From the beginning, 
I had been of the opinion that if reason should once be 
permitted to get control of the questions, peace and 
harmony would soon be restored. It was with these 
views only, looking to objects not embraced in any power 
or instructions given to the Commissioners, that I con- 
sented to be a party to the Conference. Hence, the free 
interchange of views we had upon the whole subject of 

^ Reference, perhaps, to Seward's idea, expressed before the war, to Charies Fiands Adams, that 
yrosp c tt of a foreign war would unite the sections. . 


the war. I was in strong hopes that good would result 
from that interchange of views, as I assured Gen. Grant 
on our return; that while nothing definite or satisfactory 
had been eflfected, yet I was in strong hopes that good 
would result and that peace might be the consequence. 
While it is far from my wish or intention to cast blame 
or censure upon any person whatever, it is but due to 
myself to say that no one could have been more chagrined 
and mortified than I was at the course adopted at 
Richmond after the report of the Conference was made. 
This much, by way of explanation on this subject, I 
have thought it due to you and myself to state. 

All of which, without any regard to method or order, 
but with much feebleness, is submitted to your considera- 
tion. Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

I requested Corporal Geary to give the letter to Lieut. 
Newton to be mailed. I was much exhausted after 
copying it. It was not to my liking but I was too weak 
and feeble to better it. I sent it as it was. It thus 
throws out something upon which the mind can look and 
hope for a week, perhaps, at least. This may keep me 
from sinking, as I feel I should do without something 
on which to hang hope. To such extremity am I reduced. 
After getting through with the copy, I got up to walk 
but it was with difficulty. The legs seem to have lost 
their proper use. 

While I was writing above entry, Lieut. Newton brought 
me three letters: from S. J. Anderson,* of i8th July, and 
Raymond W. Burch, i6th July, and Miss Elizabeth R. 
Nichols, 19th July, Washington, D. C; she is sister of J. 
Nichols. t AH these letters had been sent here, and then 

^ S. J. Anderson was a deric in the House when Mr. Stephens was a Member. 
t The name rendered Nichols may be " Echols." 


back to General Hooker for inspection. Hence my delay 
in getting them. Their perusal did me good. It shows 
me that I am not forgotten. Yesterday and to-day 
have been two of the most miserable days I have passed. 
Why, I do not know. But with weakness and pains of 
the body, the mind seems to have sunk under the appre- 
hension that if I remain here much longer I shall be 
bedridden, and that thought is harrowing. I do my 
best to drive it off. 

The doctor called while I was writing to Mr. Seward. 
He asked if I had been able to use the catheter he 
sent. I told him I could not give it such bend as was 
necessary for introduction without much pain. If I had 
something that was round and smooth, I might give it 
such bend. He suggested a glass tumbler. That I 
shall try. 

If any one shall ever see these pages and feel surprise 
at such an entry, or curious to know why I make it, let 
this explanation suffice: I am writing now simply to 
stamp here as far as I can, the full impression of my 
present situation and surroundings, and also to occupy 
the mind, to give it any other direction rather than let 
it brood over matters that it can neither change nor con- 
trol. There is nothing so essential in keeping the spirits 
up, or, if that is impossible, to keep them from utter 
collapse, as to keep the mind employed at something, 
and to draw it away from reflections on its cares, anxieties, 
and disquietudes. This journal thus far has been of 
great service to me in this particular. Had I not had 
access to books and stationery, and something thus to 
divert the mind, I believe I should have died or gone 
crazy before now. 

6.15. — I was unusually weak this evening: more 


so than in my previous walk. Geary brought me tea 
and toast. I took some of each. 

I omitted to state in its right place a little incident of 
to-day. A little girl brought me some flowers: she got 
the guard to hold her up, and gave them to me between 
the bars. 

plie impression made upon Mr. Stephens by small 
acts of kindness is indicated in his "War Between the 
States" by the following reference to this flower-giver, 
the child of Major and Mis. Appleton: 

"Their charming little daughter, Mabel (not four 
years old), brought me flowers almost daily. She would 
get the guard to raise her up, and would put them 
herself, with her little tiny hand, between the bars of 
the iron grate of the window, where was placed a vase 
to receive them when I was unable to take them my- 
self.''— Editor.] 


JULY 26. — A clear, bright morning. I slept little 
last night, not an hour of good sleep. Waited 
anxiously for Geary. He came at 7.20. I soon 
got up, weak, weary, and unrefreshed. Read Hosea. 
Took cup of coflEee. Succeeded in using catheter; it was 
painful and weakened me very much. 

Had a sort of row with bedbugs. Was certain last 
night I felt one. Examined my bed to-day and found 
several. What I am to do to get rid of them, I do not 

I p. m. — Feel better. Read the daily papers. Saw 
Governor Johnson's address in Macon, Ga., and his 
proclamation for an election in October. See announce- 
ment of prisoners released from this fort. It is not 
correct, I think, in the statement that Judge Reagan 
and myself are the only ones left. Lieut. Newton told 
me yesterday that there are two others. These, I think, 
are Dr. Bickley, of the Golden Circle, and Captain Hun- 
ter,* the two I saw going for water. The most import- 
ant item to me is that Mr. Seward leaves Washington 
to-day for Cape May. If so, he will not get my letter. 
Another instance of the bad luck that attends me. It 
so happened that when my application was sent on, 
it was, according to report, turned over to him ; and just 

* Whether this prisoner is the same as " Vernon, " hereafter named in connection with Bidiley, 
the Journal does not indicate. Inquiries to the War Department as to whether there were a Huntev 
and a Vernon in prison at Fort Warren with Bickley, or as to Bickley, have been returned with the 
statement that it would be a violation of the rules of the Department to answer. 



about that time, Mrs. Seward died ; he was called away, 
and perhaps has never given any consideration to it. 
And now, just as I send him a special letter, he leaves 
before it reaches him. Surely I am unlucky! 

Dinner at the usual hour. I felt better than for five 
days past. For the first time in that period, I was hungry. 
The heavy gloom that has rested over me for several 
days seems to be lifting from the soul as a fog rises from 
the bottom of a lake. 

Dr. Seavems and Lieut. Newton called to see how 
I was. Lieut. Newton took some of my Chanticleer 
brand of smoking tobacco as a sample for Lieut. [Cap- 
tain?] Livermore. It is the best I ever used. I gave 
him a pipeful yesterday while he was sitting with me 
after our early return from walk. He liked it very much 
and so to-day took some for his friend to try. The 
doctor sat some minutes after the Lieutenant left. 

Finished the first book of Cicero on "Moral Duties." 
I can hardly believe the translation does Cicero justice 
in this: "All who follow mechanical pursuits are mean." 
I cannot think his idea was that there was any moral 
deficiency in this class; their pursuits were simply not 
those of high ambition : that he meant to speak of them- 
selves as viciously low or to be regarded with scorn is 
inconsistent with what he says elsewhere of the estimate in 
which even slaves should be held, and how they should 
be treated. 

I see in the evening paper that the Macon Telegraph 
has an article expressing apprehension, endorsed by the 
Atlanta Intelligencer ^ of a Negro insurrection. I cannot 
think there is any real foundation for this. 

6.15 — I was truly glad to see Lieut. Woodman enter 
my room for the evening walk. He is the only man I 


have met here who begins to fill the place of an acquaint 
tance. He even begins to fill that of a friend, or I begin 
to give him such a place in my feelings. Walked on the 
terreplein. Was weak, but stronger than I have been. 
I rested a while; as the sun was sinking, I got a view 
of the new moon in perfect crescent form. If there is 
anything in signs, I shall certainly have good luck this 
moon ; for I got, directly over the right shoulder, a clear 
view of her in an unclouded sky. So we shall see how 
it will turn out. Perhaps I may be as unfortunate in 
this sign as Dave Holt was in his sign of a wet moon. 
The story Dave told of himself was, that after losing 
all his money gambling in Kentucky, he had to foot it 
home to Georgia. In Tennessee he could go no further 
without money and had no way of raising it except by 
work. A farmer oflFered him ten dollars and board for 
a month's work at splitting rails; it was about dark; 
Dave had no other hope for lodging. He happened to 
glance at the new moon; all signs portended much rain. 
He said he would accept if he should not be required to 
work in the rain. The farmer agreed. Dave expected he 
would not have to work half his time, for, he said, it was 
a "perfectly dripping new moon." To his mortification, 
twenty-six of the driest days he ever saw succeeded. 
This Dave Holt was author of the letters signed "Ned 
Bucket," and published by papers all over the country. 
Who "Ned Bucket" was, nobody for a long time knew. 
The letters were humorous, witty, and sometimes scur- 
rilous. Anonymous letters came to be called "Bucket 
letters." This is the Dave Holt who made the cele- 
brated speech at Montgomery, Ala., on the departure of 
volunteers to aid Texas in 1834 or '35 ; Dave, again broken 
in fortune, was one of that band of patriots. Funds 


had been raised to equip the volunteers ; a boat chartered 
to take them: a flag with a lone star was to be presented, 
an orator was appointed. A crowd assembled to bid the 
soldiers adieu. The presentation speech was made on 
the banks of the river. To this Dave responded, from 
the deck, in behalf of his comrades. His speech was 
short and pithy: 

Fellow citizens, ladies and gentlemen: 

This great cause is little understood: 

We patriots here form a noble band 

Who quit our country for our country's good. 

He was at the Alamo, but escaped from the massacre. 
When asked how he got away, and if he did not run he 
said, he did "some tall walking." Dave was a character. 

After my sight of the new moon, I descended with 
Lieut. W. to the plane below, and paid a visit to Dr. 
Seavems's office; sat with him a while, and made the 
acquaintance of the hospital steward, a curious character. 
He keeps a register of the weather. Told me that he 
used to be at Old Point. Knew my friend. Judge Wa)me, 
and his son-in-law, Dr. Cuyler. Returned at sundown 
to my cell. For supper, took a glass of milk, and some 
blackberries, the first I have seen this year. I ate more 
for supper than for several days. I feel a great deal 
better than for a week. Oh, if I could only keep my 

Thursday — Did not rest well in the night. I was 
still feverish. The flies, which have become numerous 
in my room and very annoying, prevented me from 
sleeping after daylight. Read in Job. My spirits under- 
went the changes of the tide. At low ebb, they chimed 


in with the sentiments of the third chapter; and they 
rose to the point of fortitude, patience, hope and faith 
as I reached the close of the fifth. Breakfast: Geary 
brought plain combread for the first time. I have 
asked for this but the cook did not know how to prepare 
it. I gave directions and she has succeeded pretty well. 

I am sitting in a quiet meditation, smoking my second 
pipe, free from pain except the uneasiness that accom- 
panies weakness. This is the ninth round of seven days 
since I have been in this prison. This too is the 27th of 
July, a day ever memorable to me as the anniversary of 
important epochs in my life. On this day in 1827, a boy, 
I quit my then home at my uncle and guardian's, and 
started to school at Washington, Ga. That was i, great 
turning point in my life. Thursday, 27th July, 1843, 
when 32 years old, I started from home on my first elec- 
tioneering tour in a canvass for Congress. That, too, 
was another great turning pomt. These points, their 
turns, and the roads taken in both cases, led me here. 
Perhaps it is best for me that I am here. Believing in 
the providence of God, I so accept it. 

I delivered to Geary four short letters for mailing. 
One was to Linton by way of Augusta, one to Raymond 
Burch, one to Miss Nichols, Washington, D. C, and one 
to S. J. Anderson, New York. This is a sultry morning. 
The sun shines hotly in my room. There is no air stir- 
ing. From appearances, it will be one of the hottest 
days of the season. It is now only 9 a. m. My room, 
however, is always warmest in the forenoon; it fronts 

Have been reading Cicero's second book on "Moral 
Duties." His standard of morality, honour, and virtue 
was very high. I know of none higher taken by Chris- 


tian philosopher. Paley's [English divine and moralist] 
is not so high. If writings can be taken as index of the 
mind, I should think Cicero a better man than Paley. 
I feel disposed, however, to condemn one point he makes 
speaking of advocates: "The duty of a judge in all 
trials to follow truth; that of a pleader sometimes to 
maintain the plausible though it may not be the truth." 
But he is not so objectionable as Dr. Paley on the same 
point. Paley says, "There are falsehoods which are 
not lies ; that is, which are not criminal, as when no one 
is deceived, as is the case in parables, fables, novels, 
jests, compliments in the subscription of a letter; or a 
servant's denying his master; or a prisoner's pleading 
not guilty; or an advocate asserting the justice of, or his 
belief in the justice of, his client's cause. In such 
instances, no confidence is destroyed because none was 
reposed ; no promise to speak the truth is violated because 
none was understood to be given." Now, in some of 
these instances, the doctrine laid down is monstrous. 
It so seemed to me when a boy at college and it has so 
seemed to me through life. 

I could never justify the practice of having a servant 
say his master or mistress is not at home when the reverse 
is true. Such practice lessens the regard of servants 
for the truth for the truth's sake ; it instills the principles 
of prevarication. They cannot discriminate between a 
lie of this sort and any other told to answer convenience ; 
if, indeed, there can be any discrimination, which I doubt. 
How much more conducive to good morals, to let the 
servant say that the master or mistress is engaged, or 
cannot receive company. Cicero tells a good story illus- 
trating the absurdity of this polite custom of "denying." 
Some Roman of distinction, calling to see his friend, 


was told by the servant that the master was not at home, 
when the visitor knew otherwise. Soon after, this friend 
called on him. Hearing inquiry made of his servant, 
he spoke out, telling the visitor he was "not at home." 
"But," said the visitor, "don't I see you and know that 
you are at home?" The other replied, "Why, I had to 
believe your servant the other day, and can't you believe 

What Paley says of a pleader being justified in assert- 
ing the justice, or his belief in the justice, of his client's 
cause, leaving inference that he may rightfully do this 
when he does not believe as he asserts, seems wrong 
in principle and highly immoral. It goes further wrong 
than Cicero, who says only that the pleader may main- 
tain the plausible, that is, I suppose, present the plaus- 
ible view to judge and jury without declaration of belief 
in its truth. Even to that extent, the rule cannot receive 
my sanction, if the advocate knows the fact to be con- 
trary to his view. When he is in doubt as to how the 
fact really is, then I hold that he is not only justified in 
presenting the case of his client in as fair and plausible 
light as possible, but that it is his duty to do so. When 
he is convinced of the truth or justice of his client's case, 
his whole soul should be thrown into its defense; but in 
all that is said or done by him in this, the strictest regard 
to truth, propriety, and decorum, should be maintained. 
All cases involving the principles here discussed depend 
on matters of fact, or questions of law, or both combined : 
that is upon conclusion of law from matters of fact. No 
advocate should ever assert as matter of fact in his client's 
case what he knows is not such; any code of morals 
justifying him in this does not deserve the name. The 
same is true as to any assertions he may make touching 


the law of the case. Lawyers should be bound, in all 
they do and say, by the same strict and pure principles 
of morality that should bind other persons. By this 
rule I have ever held myself governed. 

My rule from the time I was admitted to the bar was: 
first, to investigate a case submitted to me, to inquire 
into the facts and the law applicable to it; then, if I did 
not believe the party entitled to success before the court, 
I told him so and declined to appear or prosecute the 
case. Cases are often very complicated, presenting 
great variety of facts as well as involving many points of 
law; such, I have never hesitated to take and to do 
with them the best I could, if on any points there seemed 
to be right or justice with my client, or if what was right 
and just in the premises was unsettled and a matter 
of doubt. These remarks apply particularly to civil 
and equity cases. My rule in criminal cases has been 
never to appear in capital cases for the prosecution of 
any one whom I did not fully believe guilty as charged, 
and not always then. When I have appeared for the 
prosecution, it has been only when the nature of the 
offense was such as made it my duty, apart from all 
pecuniary considerations, to aid in bringing the offender 
to justice. In defense of persons charged with homicide, 
I have seldom declined to appear; I have never failed 
to appear when there was the least doubt as to the fact, 
the motive, or the criminal intent; or the proper conclu- 
sion from the facts, the intent, and the law. I know 
how readily from sympathy we may be misled in judgment 
concerning the actions of those in whose cause we are 
enlisted. I am prone from constitutional tendency to 
sympathize with unfortunates in distress from any cause 
whatever. Hence, I am fully conscious of how my judg- 


ment, touching the real guilt of those I have defended, 
may have been misled. But I can say that I never 
defended any person charged with crime when I did 
not fully believe every position as to fact, motive, and 
law, assumed by me before judge and jury. 

I never appeared in the prosecution of a person charged 
with murder who was not condemned, and no client of 
mine, white or black, was ever hung. One that I appeared 
against died before the time set for execution ; the other 
(there were but two) was hung. I engaged in the pros- 
ecution of another case but gave it up before trial, on my 
election to the vice-presidency. I have had clients who 
on first trial were found guilty and sentenced to be hung, 
but new trials were granted for error in the rulings of 
the judge; and final acquittal, or a modification of the 
verdict, reducing the grade of oflFense from murder to 
manslaughter, which I insisted was the right finding, 
has been the result in all. I have not, in every case, 
fully believed in the innocence of the accused whom I 
defended. For instance, in the case of a woman charged 
with poisoning her husband: there was no latitude for 
motive, no grade in the oflFense, most foul was the crime; 
all the evidence was circumstantial ; the links in the chain 
were incomplete: it was far from being conclusive either 
way. I did not hesitate to throw my energies before 
judge and jury in presenting the inconclusiveness of the 
testimony, and insisted that under the law, when there 
was doubt, there should be acquittal. There was an 
acquittal. This was nearly twenty years ago. The 
woman is still living, or was lately. No further dis- 
covery has ever been made. 

On Paley's idea, lawyers, as a class, are nothing but 
a set of mental prostitutes whose calling is to make a 


living by lying, and who are excused from all responsi- 
bility to the moral law in this respect from the fact that 
their infamy is so notorious that nobody is expected to 
believe them, and upon the principle that where there 
is no deception there is no falsehood, and no crime or 
turpitude in telling a lie. In vindication of that profes- 
sion to which I belong and which has been the pride 
and glory of my life, I propose to say a few things. 

No pursuit in life is more honourable or useful than 
that of the law, when followed as it should be. None 
requires more rigidly a stout adherence to all the pre- 
cepts and principles of morality, or the possession and 
practice of the highest and noblest virtues that elevate 
and adorn human nature. Not even the office of the 
holy minister opens up such a wide field for simply doing 
good to one's fellow man. The lawyer's province is 
to aid in the administration of justice, to assist the 
oppressed, to uphold the weak, to contend against the 
strong, to defend the right, to expose the wrong, to find 
out deceit, and to run down vice and crimes of all grades, 
shades, and characters. What a field is his for calming 
passions, allaying strife, composing disputes, settling 
quarrels, and quieting contentions. 

A good lawyer is ever a peacemaker. Pettifoggers 
there may be whose sole object is to stir up litigation that 
they may profit by it. The man who enters the bar 
with soul fired by aspirations fitting his high vocation, 
looks to nothing but the advancement of justice. The 
tangled web of most private controversies can be better 
unravelled and straightened by bringing the parties 
together in private conference than by carrying them 
into court. This the lawyer, properly imbued with the 
spirit of his calling, will always strive to effect. Con- 


tentions that originate in impulse, passion, or misunder- 
standing can often in this way be speedily adjusted and 
reconciliations brought about. In controversies involv- 
ing doubtfxil questions of law in the settlement of estates, 
the descent of property, construction of wills and con- 
veyances, the judicial forum must be the resort. But 
with what intense regard for truth, for right and justice, 
does the lawyer investigate facts and pore over his books, 
preparing himself for such occasions. In the Temple 
of Justice he glories in the fact that everything is weighed 
in her scales. Reason and wisdom are his necessary 
weapons. The materials to be handled are human acts 
coloured with human passions, prejudices, and infirm- 
ities. What a field here for exhibition of the noblest 
virtues in exposing knavery, fraud, villainy, and false- 
hood of every sort, and of securing to honesty, right, 
and truth, their just reward. 

The lawyer is brought in contact with men of all charac- 
ters, the lowest and the vilest as well as the highest and 
purest. Hence, his means of acquiring thorough know- 
ledge of human nature are superior to those of all other 
classes combined. His opportunities, not only for allay- 
ing strife, settling quarrels, and bringing about recon- 
ciliations, but for giving proper rebuke to crime and 
iniquity, are better and far more numerous than those 
of the minister of the Ck)spel. He sits, as it were, in 
the marketplace and on the highways; not a day passes 
in which he may not and should not dispense with a liberal 
hand the Christian charities of his counsel in the succour 
of the needy, the destitute, the wronged, the widow, and 
the orphan. There should be nothing mean or low 
about him. He should understand the shifts of fraud, 
deceit, and cunning, in order to be able to circumvent 


those who deal in these, without ever practising or counte- 
nancing them himself ; but, on the contrary, ever expos- 
ing and holding them up to condensation. He should 
have no ambition but to serve his fellow men and to do 
good. In doing the greatest possible good to others, 
he achieves the greatest good for himself. 

The doctor has not called to-day: it is now near six. 
I looked anxiously for letters by morning mail, and by 
the evening, but none came. I grow anxious to hear 
from Linton. Why do I not get that other letter he 
wrote? or the letters written by him since? Only 
greatest eflForts prevent me from falling into deepest 
melancholy while thinking of him. Tears start when 
my thoughts turn toward him. O my brother! how 
I pray my God for you! that He may protect, guide, 
and direct you! I felt much better the forepart of the 
day. Now, gloom seems creeping over me like the twi- 
light which foreruns the night. 

Lieut. Newton did not come for the walk until 6.30. 
I was impatient, fearing something had happened. Lieut. 
Woodman has gone to Boston again. I fear I shall 
see little more of him. His main duties here have been 
to look after prisoners. All of these are gone except 
Reagan, myself, Vernon, and Binckley. I do not know 
if I have before stated that Vernon is an Englishman, or 
claims to be such. He was captured on a blockade- 
running expedition, and will not take the oath; if he 
would, he would be discharged. Lieut. W. will spend, 
I expect, but little time at the fort between this and the 
mustering out of his company, which he looks for the 
first of August. In my walk, I called and sat a while 
with Dr. Seavems. Then went on the terreplein to where 
I used to see the Confederate officers. It made me sad. 


I saw quarters where DuBose and Jackson lodged so 
lately. Oh, if I could then have gone where I was this 
evening and talked with them, what relief it would have 
been to me! Geary brought tea and bread for supper. 
No milk. 

July 28. — Did not sleep well. Cause, general 
weakness, perhaps. I lay on my bunk quietly but sleep- 
lessly. After the relief guard at 12.30, went into slumber 
which lasted until day. Rose at 6.45. "Truly the light 
is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold 
the sun." Read Ecclesiastes. In this book is practical 
wisdom for everyday life. It is a matter of doubt to 
me whether Solomon believed in the immortality of the 
soul. Some portions of his treatise indicate that he did; 
others that he did not. For instance : 

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth 
beasts: ... as the one dieth, so dieth the other; 
yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no 
preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go 
unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust 
again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth 
upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward 
to the earth ? 

His standard of morals in these writings is high; up- 
rightness of conduct in all things, and in all conditions in 
life, from subject to ruler, with purity of heart, and rever- 
ence and devotion to God, is strongly enjoined. This, 
he teaches, is best for man and society without regard 
to a future state, or without any argument drawn from 
that view. '^Sorrow [even without looking further than 
this life] is better than laughter: for by the sadness of 


the countenance the heart is made better." My opinion, 
founded upon observation, is that adversity makes men 
better or worse. It is never negative. It is a terrible 

Daily papers. I see another letter from Fortress 
Monroe about the health of Mr. Davis. He is per- 
mitted to walk out. I am truly glad to know this. I 
was very anxious to get letters. I do not understand 
why I hear nothing further from Dr. Willis or Linton. 
I was also expecting to hear from the application sent on 
for mitigation of my confinement, but it is now near 
noon. As no announcement has been made to me of 
any reply, I take it for granted that if any has come, it 
is unfavourable. I rejoice that I am so much better 
than when the application was made, that I can, I trust, 
now stand an imfavourable reply. Then, I do not know 
how it would have been. Dr Seavems called, while 
I was reading Ecclesiastes. It is the earliest call he has 
ever made me. 

The drum is beating the hour of noon. It is a clear 
hot day. Finished Cicero's third book on "Duties." I 
like his doctrine against concealment of defects, quality, 
etc., in matters of trade. Open, fair, honest dealing 
alone is honourable. It marks the upright man. Walked 
the room until mail hour. Lieut. Newton brought me 
the book Burch sent. Savage's "Representative Men." 

6.15 — Walked out with Lieut. N. Called at Dr. 
Seavems's. We walked around the parapet, three- 
quarters of a mile, I think. Find Lieut. N. agreeable, 
and disposed to talk. He gave it as his opinion that it 
would be windy to-morrow; said he had signs for wind 
and rain. His sign for wind were clouds which he pointed 
out: one of his signs for rain is when swallows and sea- 


gulls fly low, near the ground or water. For supper, 
I took bread and water. 

July 29. — Geary, by direction, put on no coal this 
morning. He kindled a wood fire; this was to make 
suflBcient draft to clear the room of tobacco smoke and 
other impurities. The morning clear and hot. 

Read the Song of Solomon. How this book came 
amongst the inspired writings, I cannot imagine. Who 
gave the headings of the chapters, as, for instance: '^The 
church's love for Christ. 5. She confesseth her deform- 
ity. 7. and prayeth to be directed to his flock. 8. Christ 
directeth her to the shepherds' tents," etc. I should 
like to know upon what authority or principle it was done. 
To me it is inexplicable. From nothing in this composi- 
tion can I perceive that any such allegory was in the 
mind of the writer. It seems only such love-songs as 
Solomon may be supposed to have indulged himself in 
writing. Nothing in it is of a debasing character; in 
this it is far above the standard of many such produc- 
tions. But that Solomon had any idea of Christ, or 
the Christian Church in his mind in writing these love 
ditties, if they be so termed, I see no grounds for concep- 
tion. This interpretation of the text seems to me not 
only a forced construction but not much short of impious. 

Wrote to Sheppard Knapp, President of Merchants' 
Bank, New York, asking to be informed if Dr. Willis 
had reached New York and had got the letter I addressed 
him, care of Knapp. 

9.30 — Dr. Seavems called. Sat and talked some time. 
He told me that Major Allen, who commands here, 
has been ordered to take command of his Regiment, 
the 2d U. S. Artillery; is to go to San Francisco. Major 


Appleton, of the ist. Mass. Vol. Art. Reg., now stationed 
here, is to command for the present. This regiment, 
it is expected, will soon be mustered out. The doctor 
remains, but does not know how long. He expects to 
have other duties assigned him soon. Into whose hands 
I am ultimately to fall, I do not know. I was intro- 
duced to Major Appleton several evenings ago in my 
walk with Lieut. W. He seemed kind and agreeable. 
I met him again yesterday at Dr. Seavems's. I donH 
know that my situation will be worse under him than it 
has been. I asked the doctor if he had heard anything 
from his recommendation in my behalf. He said, "Not 
a word." 


JULY 29. — Oh, what a change has come to me 
since the last sentence was penned! As I was 
finishing the last word, Dr. Seavems entered 
my room, and announced that he had just got an 
order authorizing my release from close confinement. 
The boat had come while I was writing, bringing the mail 
and with it the order. He took it out and read it to me. 
By it, I am allowed to go in and out at pleasure, and 
walk the grounds when I choose, between sunrise and sun- 
set ; see any member of my family or any of my personal 
friends; and converse with officers and persons in the 
fort besides those having special charge of me. In other 
words, I am simply put on parole in the fort. This was 
elating and joyous news. At least, one might so imagine 
and I should have thought so ten minutes before; but 
it brought from me a flood of tears, an outburst of weeping. 
The doctor instantly retired. 

Lieut. Newton soon came and read me a duplicate 
that Major Allen had received; and immediately took 
the lock oflF my door. No language can express the 
relief that sound gave me — the sound of the clanking 
iron as it fell upon my ears. Jean Valjean could not 
have felt greater relief when the lid of his coffin was lifted 
and he was saved from being buried alive. The clank- 
ing of that same iron when I was for the first time locked 
up in a prison had penetrated to my very soul ! 

I instantly wrote two letters to Linton, announcing 



the fact and urging him to come to see me as soon as he 
could. I gave them to Geary to be mailed. I then 
thought of writing to President Johnson, thanking him 
for the order. A doubt arose. Was it proper to return 
thanks for what I considered my due by rights ? I did 
not deliberate long. How others might consider it I 
do not know, but the rule I have adopted for myself 
in all such cases is to do what I think right, what my 
own impulses dictate, without regard to the opinion of 
others. Because he has done me a wrong is no reason 
why I should not do right. The Scriptural rule is to 
bless those that despitefuUy use you. I addressed him 
a short note of sincere and grateful acknowledgments. 

I wrote two letters to Linton because I wished to send 
by diflFerent routes — one by Augusta and one by Atlanta 
through Gip Grier, hoping one or the other might reach 
him in the shortest possible time. Lieut. Newton then 
brought me two letters from home; from William G. 
Stephens, 17th July, and Mr. Bristow, i8th July. So 
this has been a day of good things. By both I learned 
that all were well and that the com crop was promising; 
the wheat had been thrashed, measuring 126 bushels. 
There were good rains at the time, which will, I trust, 
secure the com crop. In great thankfulness to God, 
the giver of all good, was my heart uplifted. 

Dinner. I had more appetite than yesterday, and 
ate more freely. I took a drink of Harry's whisky. 
This was in remembrance of him. Spent the evening 
walking in and out the shady passes ; and reading Cicero 
on "Friendship." It was a great relief to me to walk out 
and in as I pleased and to feel once more that I am in 
some measure a free man. 

At 5 went to Dr. Seavems's office. He was gone to 


Hull. Conversed with Harrington. I saw his ther- 
mometer and hydrometer. Met Lieut. Newton. Nearly 
the first thing he said was, "I told you it would be windy 
to-day." Sure enough, it has been. I went into the 
library and made the acquaintance of the Librarian, Mr. 
Bamham, as I understood his name to be. I then, 
alone, walked slowly, resting at times, all around the 
fort on the terreplein, looking out upon the sea which 
was now a true emblem of my soul in full tide. But as 
that tide shall subside, so must it be with this tide in my 
On my return met Major Allen, just back from Boston. 

He shook me by the hand and congratulated me. Stated 
that he leaves Monday. Major Appleton was present 
and seemed kind and agreeable; Mrs. Appleton came 
up, and he introduced me. She gave me some pretty 
and fragrant flowers, for which I thanked her. She 
is quite a young-looking lady, and very agreeable in 
manners. At sundown I returned to my quarters. 

Geary brought a glass of milk and some blueberries. 
He also kindled a small wood fire. I had had no fire 
in my room since morning. This is my first day here 
without constant fire, which is necessary, hot as the atmos- 
phere may be, to keep the room dry, and clear it of smoke 
and other impurities. To-day, I smoked outside of my 

Sunday — Slept better than for a week. Rose 
refreshed. Walked out at my own pleasure, without 
let or hindrance. I no longer live in my room. Wrote 
to Mr. Bristow and to Wm. G. Stephens and directed 
letters to care of Gip Grier, Atlanta; delivered them in 
person to Major Allen to be mailed. I called on him, 


not only to deliver the letters but to see about the parole 
I am to give under, the new order. He was very friendly 
and aflFable, and told me the Adjutant would attend to 
the parole; he expects to take his final leave of the fort 
to-morrow. Returned to my quarters. Lieut. Wm. 
Ray brought me a copy of the new order which is in 
these words: 

Head Quarters of the East, 
New York City, July 27, 1865. 
Telegram received: 

"Washington, July 27, 1865. 
^^ Major General Hooker: By directions of the Sec- 
retary of War, the Commandant at Fort Warren is 
authorized to extend to Mr. Stephens any indulgence 
and freedom from close confinement that may be bene- 
ficial to his health and to allow him to have enjoyment 
of books, papers, and society, with exercise in the open 
air, and furnish him such indulgence in fruits, food, 
and beverages as may be agreeable to him and benefi- 
cial to his health, using proper precautions for his safe 
detention, or taking his parole to remain in custody 
and make no eflFort to escape. He may receive the visits 
of his family and personal friends under such restric- 
tions as the proper police of the Fort may require. 
Acknowledge receipt. 

(Signed) E. D. Townsend, A. A. G.'' 

Official copy respectfully furnished for the information 
of the commanding oflScer Fort Warren. 

(Signed) D. T. Van Buren, 
Br. Brig. Gen. A. A. G. 

Also brought in duplicate my parole under the above 
order, which I signed. It is: 

I, Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, hereby give my 
parole of honour that I will not make any effort to escape 


or communicate with any soldier (other than the officers 
of this Fort), prisoner, or citizen, without permission. 
That I will remain in my quarters during the hours 
from retreat to reveille and from half-past three to half- 
past four p. m., also during the time the steamboat is 
at the wharf, and that I will not knowingly violate any 
rule or regulation of the Post (which in duplicate I sign). 

Fort Warren, B. H. 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

In looking at the date of order, I was struck with the 
fact that it is 27th July, a notable anniversary of two 
important events in my life. 

Reviewed Matthew. No one, it seems to me, can study 
the teachings of Jesus without being deeply impressed 
with their extraordinary purity and sublimity, viewed 
simply in the light of human teachings. The more one 
is versed in the lore of ancients or modems on morals 
and wisdom, and in all that philosophers have declared 
on ethics and casuistry, the more deeply is one impressed 
with the preeminence of the code of Jesus. The standard 
raised by Jesus is the image of divinity itself. Some things 
in this gospel strike me as strange. Why did Jesus tell 
those on whom he performed miraculous cures to say 
nothing about it ? Why enjoin his disciples not to make 
known that he was the Christ ? 

3.30 — Lieut. Newton called and brought me a small 
paper-box filled with fruit, and a note, from A. W. Salter, 
Boston, presenting the fruit, and couched in sympathetic 
terms. These are the first ripe peaches I have seen this 
year. Who this kind friend is, I cannot imagine. I 
must find out if possible. The handwriting is like 
a lady's, very much like Mrs. Craig's* used to be. When 

* Daughter of Dr. Church, President of the State University (of Ga.); by her second mar- 
liage, Mrs. Robbe liyed North and befriended Qmlederate prisooera. 


I saw the address on the note, I thought it must be from 

I am not as soKtary as I thought. Coming in just 
now from a stroll in the long passage, I saw a mouse 
darting across the room and seeking shelter in an oppo- 
site hole. He had been feeding on crumbs that fell 
from my dinner when the plates were removed to the 
window sill. The poor creature seemed terribly fright- 
ened and made escape with the greatest dispatch; but 
he need not; I would not have hurt him; I would have 
petted him. I must tame this mouse if I can. 

6 p. M.— Went to Kbrary. Librarian not in. Went 
to see Dr. Seavems. He had gone to Hull. Sat with 
Mrs. Seavems in the pariour. Looked over the doctor's 
books. Walked out and wound my winding way on and 
around the terreplein. Met Majors Allen and Appleton 
and Mrs. Appleton, they coming one course and I going 
the other. She descended from the parapet (they were 
on that) and gave me a bunch of sweet-scented flowers. 
After thanks, etc., and a few words more, I pursued my 
way and they theirs. Before I got half round, I came 
to them again. It was at the western bastion, where 
there is a bench; they were seated. They invited me 
up. Major Appleton came to assist me. This kind act 
I could not repel by refusing, so, with his aid, I ascended 
the parapet, and sat with them about fifteen minutes 
in agreeable conversation. It was getting late and cool, 
so I returned to my quarters. Geary had a good coal 
fire, as I had directed. He brought me for supper milk 
and bread. I took some of my sugar and one of my 
peaches and made a good dish of milk and peaches. 
On receipt of these peaches, I got Lieut. Newton to take 
six to Judge Reagan. At least, I asked him to do it 


if not against orders; told him he need not inform Judge 
Reagan where they came from, but simply say a friend 
sent them. I have not seen him since to know what 
passed between him and Reagan on the delivery. I 
hope Reagan relished them. 

July 31. — Twelve months ago this morning, then 
Sunday, Linton and I left Sparta for my home in Craw- 
ford ville. On that night was what he called our "Hegira 
to the Homestead." Never can I forget that night and 
its incidents. 

The bugle sounds the hour of noon. I have just 
returned from a stroll. The air was pleasant and brac- 
ing, the walk was one of the most agreeable I have taken. 
I met Mrs. Appleton and passed the morning salutations 
with her. 

5 p. M. — ^Went out on the terreplein. Walked all around 
twice, resting now and then. Encountered many persons, 
ladies and gentlemen, who seemed visiting at the fort. 
Some gazed at me intently. One man with two little 
boys went down to the library evidently with the sole 
purpose of getting a view of me; for he, with the boys, 
got there just as I was leaving and turned back as I came 
up. The library is on the same level with my quarters, 
that is, partly underground. On the walk I wore a new 
hat I got from Boston to-day through the sutler. The 
old one was looking shabby. Returned about sundown 
to my quarters. Met Dr. Seavems; he had been to see 

The evening paper gives an account of General Grant's 
reception at Faneuil Hall. Sunday's Herald and this 
morning's Post describe his arrival in Boston on Satur- 
day. General Grant is a remarkable man and, if he 


Uves and continues in good health, wUl figure largely 
in the future history of this country. I consider him one 
of the most remarkable men I ever saw. He is modest, 
unassuming, and possesses a wonderful degree of common 
sense, a thing uncommon in his day amongst men of 
position and station. I was never more surprised in any 
person than in General Grant when I saw him at City 
Point last February. Very soon after being in his com- 
pany, I was deeply impressed with his genius and charac- 
ter. What is to be his future, time will determine. But 
the measure of his deeds and fame, whether for good 
or evil, is very far from being felt yet. The impression 
he made on me was favourable in every respect. In 
manners he is simple, natural, and unaffected; in inter- 
course, frank and explicit; in thought, perception, and 
action, quick; in purpose, fixed, decided, and resolute. 
His ambition, if such may be termed his aspirations, 
is high, honourable, and noble. Such is the opinion 
I formed of General Grant in my first acquaintance 
with him. Such is my present opinion. 

Had Mr. Lincoln lived, under his administration 
with General Grant's counsels, the condition of the 
Southern States at this time, I think, would have been 
far diflFerent from what it is and will be. I look with 
more interest to Grant's future than to that of any 
man living. Every man is more or less the creature 
of circumstances. He is no exception to this rule. How 
far he may hereafter be controlled by circumstances 
which he cannot control, is a problem in the solution of 
which the destinies of this country are deeply involved. 
He is the Great Man of the Continent; great, not in 
learning, acquirements, or accomplishments, but in con- 
ception, thought, and action; one of those master spirits 


which seldom fail, if Kfe and vigour of faculties continue 
to impress tiiemselves upon the age in which they live 
and to mark grand epochs in their country's history. 
Saw nothing of my mouse to-day. If he is about, he 
kept close, though I noticed that a piece of potato which 
I placed on the floor for him, should he seek food while 
I was asleep, was gone when I got up. Whether Geary 
or the mouse removed it, I do not know. I will bait 
my mouse again. 

August I. — Went up and witnessed the drill. Was 
unusually weak in the knees; could not stand long. 
Sometimes I fear I shall lose the use of my legs. Finished 
St. Mark. He is clear, as is Matthew, on Jesus's injunc- 
tions that His disciples should not reveal that He was the 
Christ. Yet Jesus told the High Priest that He was the 
Christ. A strange thing is Matthew's tracing Jesus's 
genealogy to David through Joseph, Mary's betrothed. 
How could this connect Jesus with David or Abraham 
in the line of regular descent ? This reflection is directed 
into a new channel by what Jesus said in the Temple: 
"How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David? 
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord 
said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand. David, 
therefore, himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he 
then his son?" It occurs to me that Jesus was impress- 
ing upon the people the truth that Christ was not, by 
prophecy, to be David's seed of the flesh; the idea that 
he was to be such being an error. Deep-rooted errors 
in the Jewish mind regarding the Messiah were hard to 
eradicate; even the disciples did not at once understand 
the incarnation; the error may have lingered in Mat- 
thew's mind when he was tracing the genealogy. It 


is plain that Jesus endeavoured to make the people under- 
stand that Christ was to be of the seed of Abraham 
and David not according to the flesh but the spirit. 

The papers say that Captain Wirz * of Anderson- 
ville, is the only military prisoner now in custody. The 
Great Eastern was to sail on the 21st or 2 2d ult. with the 
Atlantic Cable. Before many days, we shall hear some- 
thing of deep interest from this effort to bridge the ocean 
with telegraph wires. 

Lieut. Woodman returned to-day. He came in to 
see me. I was truly glad to see him. He feels to me 
more like an acquaintance and friend than any one I 
have met here. He made me a second call, bringing me 
a letter from Mrs. Raymond Burch. Lieut. Newton called 
and delivered to me a most beautiful bouquet, made of 
various most fragrant flowers, from Mrs. Captain Liver- 
more. I installed it in a tumbler of water on my table. 

12.30 — Just returned from a round on the terreplein. 
The men were all at their dinners, workmen and soldiers. 
Saw nobody but the guards. Never before has the fort 
presented such an appearance of quiet. I was never 
out at this hour before. Except for weakness in my 
two knees, I have felt pretty well to-day. If I had Lin- 
ton here, I could spend the time pleasantly even in these 
bonds. Glancing over Cicero on "Friendship" occupied 
me until dinner. This book is an almost faultless pro- 
duction. Still, I believe Bacon's essay says more. But 
Bacon by no means supersedes Cicero. Bacon tears 
up the foundations of the philosophy, blasts the works 
from the quarries; Cicero polishes these rough materials 

* Captain Henry Win was hdd responsible for Imital treatment of prisonera at Anderaonville, 
vrhen he commanded. He was included in Johnston's surrender and entitled to benefit of its terms, 
but he was arrested, tried by military commissioa, and hanged Nov. lo, 1865. 


for use and ornament. Every young man should study 
Bacon on this subject: then he should study Cicero. 
I must postpone the notations I intended to make. My 
pen is in bad condition and my fingers are stiflf and 
pain me. 

Walked out, first to the library: door closed, librarian 
out. Went to Harrington's hospital rooms. Noticed 
his thermometers — the wet and dry bulbs; at 69 and 74, 
indicating great dryness in the atmosphere. Harring- 
ton told me the other day that he never knew the dif- 
ference at this place greater than five degrees. It is 
therefore to-day at the maximum. Stopped at Dr. 
Seavems's. He and Mrs. Seavems were gone to Hull, 
the servant-girl said. She set a chair for me in front of 
the door, the doctor's easy-chair. I rested, and then 
ascended the ramparts to see the Dictator go out to sea; 
she was to go at high tide, about 6.30. How I got the 
information is rather an important fact in my prison 
life. While I was looking over the papers, Major Apple- 
ton paid me a visit. His object was to inquire about 
my diet, to ask how meals are served, and to make sug- 
gestions on that point if they are not served to suit me. 
It was all very kind of him. His visit seemed prompted 
by general motives of kindness rather than one particular 
object. During his visit he told me the Dictator was 
expected to go out. So I went on the ramparts to get 
a view of her. 

On coming to the western bastion, saw Major Appleton 
on a bench, the only one on the parapet, with some 
gentleman whom I did not know. I passed on to where 
the musicians were performing, and took a seat on one 
of the circular stones on which the gun-carriages run 
around. Listened to the music. The band consists 


of 12 performers. After awhile, Major Appleton joined 
me, taking a seat by my side. We conversed on the 
subject of grasshoppers, which, with locusts, and other 
like plagues, are a nuisance here just now. Mrs. Apple- 
ton joined us. Lieut. Woodman also. Nothing being 
seen of the Dictator, I proposed a walk to Lieut. W. 
He said good humouredly, "Well, it seems quite natural" : 
and we started, I taking his arm as I was quite weak 
in the knees. We went around the terreplein, keeping 
outlook from the parapet for the Dictator. He showed 
me a large 200-lb. Parrot gun on the northern bastion, 
We met, and he introduced me to. Captain Livermore, 
whose wife has been so kind to me. Saw nothing of the 
monster monitor. 

Night once more upon the earth; and I am alone 
in these quarters which constitute my present home. 
Unless the little mouse is eyeing me from his hole, I have 
no other companion. I think he is about somewhere; 
he may not be alone, may have plenty of company of 
his kind for aught I know. The bread I put out for him 
last night was all gone this morning. In speaking of 
companions, however, I ought not to omit the flies. I 
should do them as great injustice by such omission as 
they do me by their annoyance. I have much more of 
their company than I like. Perhaps I ought not to 
omit companions of another sort; whose nature is to 
stick to you closer than a brother and to keep you awake 
all night. Since my row with them the other day, I have 
not seen or heard anything more from them. If they 
have made any attack, it has been a sly one in small 
force. I have little doubt that some are about, for the 
fort is well stocked with them. Of course, I mean 


Alone! Did I say? Oh, I am far from ever being 
alone. Right by my window the sentry or guard is ever 
walking; by night and day, in rain or shine, his step 
soimds on the hard stone. Like the ticking of a clock 
at all hours of the night that step is heard if I chance 
to be awake. Now, is this not company ? The truth is, 
this is company, and I feel it to be. It is not exactly 
such as I like best, but prisoners cannot choose their 


A UGUST 2. — Read St. Luke. Breakfast : salmon, 
f^L steak, coflFee, potatoes; and combread made 
according to my directions and better than 
ever before. Cook improving. Lieut. W. brought me 
copy of the Re public y of Richmond, July ii, which, he 
said, some of the generals had sent him. It publishes 
a list of persons whose property had been proceeded 
against for confiscation; some few are known to me. 

A little girl, five or six years old, came into my room 
with a small bunch of sweet flowers, and gave them to 
me. Whose daughter she is, I know not. I thanked 
her kindly. Spoke soft words to her. She seemed 
pleased, and as she went out I heard her child's voice 
say to the guard, "He doesn't keep his door locked 

I see in the Post that the President has had a relapse; 
the telegram says he is again too much indisposed to 
receive visits. General Dick Taylor, it is said, has 
returned to Washington from Fortress Monroe, having 
been permitted an interview with Mr. Davis. Am 
very uneasy about not hearing from Linton, Dr. Willis, 
or Mr. Knapp. There is something strange in this. 
Linton must have written. Why haven't I received 
the letters? 

11.45 — Walked out again. The sky is most blue 
and clear except where large fleecy clouds float lazily. 
Clouds and sky bring to my mind many a scene — scenes 



at home — at the old homestead — days in the field in 
my boyhood, and of late years too. Grass, clover, and 
vegetation here generally begin to wither and dry up, 
suffering for rain. Great numbers of grasshoppers are 
everywhere; never saw anything of this sort before. 
From the eastern bastion saw a large steamer going to 
sea. The noon signal was given. All hands, workmen 
and soldiers, except the sentries or guards, seem to knock 
off and take leisure at that hour. I remained on the 
terreplein, resting under the shade of the music-stand, 
thinking of scenes far away; of home, of Sparta, of 
Linton, and of where he and I were this time last year! 
We were at old man Robertson the woodwright's in South 
Carolina. We rested in the shade until our buggy was 
fixed; then we had a plain but good dinner in company 
with this strange philosopher of the wood-bench. I 
can now fancy ourselves there, lounging on the ground, 
waiting for the cool of the evening and thinking and 
talking of matters at home. Oh, that he were with me 
now! Why does he not write? Sorely was my heart 
fretted with these thoughts as I sat under the music- 
shed this day. 

Lieut. Ray has furnished me with the following state- 
ment of my account with him up to 31st July: 

Gold deposited I560. 

Premium on acc't sold $160. 53.20 

Bills paid 128.12 


Remaining on deposit in Gold . . . $400.00 
" " " " Currency . 85.08 

Paid newspaper bill for July. Aggregate for all papers 
$6.27 — a rather frightful monthly expense. Ought I 


not to lessen it ? I must consider this. Lieut. W. called 
and handed me Harper^s Weekly of the 5th. This paper 
is always issued ahead of date. Its editorial in this, 
as in most issues I have seen here, is exceedingly bitter 
in feeling against the Southern people. Lamentable 
indeed will be the state of things in the South if such 
sentiment becomes predominant at the North. Should 
this be the case, what will become of the whole country 
I cannot imagine. 

Had another row with bedbugs. I searched the 
coats I use as pillows, and the comers and edges of the 
shuck mattress; discovered a good many, though small. 
To none did I give quarter. Notwithstanding all my 
sadness of heart and lowness of spirits, the humorous 
did so lay hold of me while I was thus occupied, that I 
could hardly repress the inclination to laugh, especially 
when I suspected from suspension of footsteps that the 
guard was looking in on me engaged in this rather ungen- 
teel work. My suspicion was but too well founded ; turn- 
ing toward the window, I saw him gazing upon me with 
intense curiosity. This did not cause me to desist. I 
was determined to make thorough work and rid m)rself 
of these pests if I could. It may be a low calling and a 
rather mean business in the eyes of one of my guards — 
this of a man pursuing and slaying bedbugs — but no 
one knows what he will come to. I hold nothing low or 
mean for a man to do which is necessary to health and 
comfort, when he has no one else to do it for him. It 
might be more becoming and more in accordaace with 
the fitness of things were I to give my attention to a dif- 
ferent sort of work which would enable me to procure 
from others this sort for myself. But when I am not 
permitted, I am bound by the laws of nature to do this 


service for myself. It may not always be so, or it may, 
and it may even be worse. Prison life is a horrible 

Evening Journal. Nothing of importance in it. I 
was anxiously looking for letters, especially from Linton 
or Dr. Willis; but none came from anybody. A man 
in prison is soon forgot, or little thought about, by the 
majority of those whom he considers friends. I know 
I am not forgotten by Linton: and the fact that I get 
no letter from him renders me very unhappy. Lieut. W. 
came to take me for a walk round the fort on the outside 
of the walls. We went out at the sally-port through 
which I entered here ten weeks ago to-morrow. The 
walk was pleasant, the scene new. I saw to our right, 
as we were going on the north side from west to east, 
some monuments indicating graves. Upon my inquiry, 
Lieut. W. told me there were a few graves there; one, 
that of a Georgian. I approached this; it is by itself, 
under a marble slab supported by granite pillars and 
inscribed to the memory of Johnston, Engineer of the 
Atlanta. He died i6th Oct., 1863. The monument 
was erected, as the inscription shows, by his brother 
officers, prisoners here at the time. Lieut. W. told me 
he died of a kidney disease. With a sigh to his memory, 
I passed on. I rested once on the circuit around the fort. 
We came in at the sally-port. I have not felt so well 
as yesterday. Pain in the left side; am weak and low- 
spirited. Now, while the shadows of evening gather, 
a corresponding twilight rests upoH my soul. 

Thursday, August 3. — Twelve weeks ago I was 
arrested and taken from my dear home. Ten weeks I have 
been an inmate of these walls. How long. Oh how long ? 


How many more weeks, months, or years, before I shall 
be permitted to visit that home — if that day is ever to 

Lieut. W. called to let me know that the Dictator 
and the Vanderbilt were passing out. We went on the 
ramparts. The Vanderbilt came alongside the fort 
and we got a good view of her. The Asia, from Halifax, 
passed her just below the fort, firing two guns in salute; 
the Vanderbilt saluted by her flag alone. As the Asia 
passed the fort, she dipped the British flag; she had both 
United States and British flags flying, the former at the 
forward, the latter in the rear. Lieut. W. and another 
of the ofiicers dipped the fort's flag in return. We were 
on the bastion by the flagstaff. Lieut. W. then carried 
me through one of the casemated bastions. 

The heart yearned for letters, for something from 
Linton. It is nearly a month since the date, 6th July, 
of his last letter received. How long shall I be in sus- 
pense! Could I but get news that he is well! How it 
would revive my sinking spirits ! When, Oh when shall 
I hear from him! Wrote to Gip Grier and to Harry. 
Lieut. Woodman brought me the ''Life of John Wilson," 
which Mrs. Salter, of Boston, sent; he mentioned that 
she had addressed me a letter and he had informed her 
that all correspondence with me must be through the 
Commanding General of the Department of the East. 
We had a long and friendly talk. 

While I was smoking after dinner, and promenading 
the passage, occasionally resting in the door at the end, 
a gentleman, a stranger here, saw me as I leaned against 
the door-facing. I perceived, in an instant, that he was 
agreeably surprised at something. He quickly went 
forward, and soon returned with several ladies, who stood 


and gazed down on me with marked curiosity. I stood, 
and gave them a fair opportunity to gaze to their hearts' 
content, puflSng away at my pipe all the time. Who 
they were, I do not know. I don't think they evinced 
much sympathy for me; still, they may have felt kindly. 
One's feelings cannot always be judged by looks. It 
is enough, perhaps, that they evinced no unkindness. 

Took up my book, stretched myself on my bunk; did 
hot read far before I dropped asleep. Woke up when I 
heard the cry outside, "Boat! boat!" It was just s; 
the evening boat had reached the wharf. 

On the terreplein, I met little Annie Seavems coming 
with a bunch of flowers for me. It was a beautiful little 
bouquet and quite fragrant. A thunder cloud lay over 
to the northwest. The thunder was not disagreeable 
music; it awakened long trains of recollections. There 
has been but little thunder here this summer. The clouds 
shut out the sun; it was very pleasant to walk. Oh, 
if I had Linton with me, how pleasantly we could spend 
the time here, even in my imprisonment ! When I reached 
the western bastion, I found Lieutenants Woodman and 
Hibbell sitting on the bench. Lieut. W. assisted me up, 
and I took a seat with them. He handed me a letter, 
received for me this evening, from Mr. Baskerville, dated 
31st July, replying to mine about the tobacco, and saying 
it had been sent by express. Mr. B. said my letter to 
Travis had not been received ; Travis was there and well. 
This letter did me a great deal of good. On my way 
to my quarters, I passed Major Appleton sitting in front 
of his door. Stopped and talked with him. He men- 
tioned an article on Headly [Washington's biographer?], 
that his father had spoken to him about; promised to 
get it and show it to me, if he could. I find that he is 


related to my old friend, Wm. Appleton, of Boston, 
and also to Appleton, of Maine, well known in our 
history. Samuel Appleton and his brother Nathan, 
he told me, are both dead. I am very much pleased 
with Major Appleton. Mrs. Appleton joined us before 
I left. 

August 4. — Lieut. W. brought me a letter from Shep- 
pard Knapp, 2d inst., which says Dr. Willis reached 
New York the evening before and had received my letter. 
The Lieutenant informed me that a Georgian, who had 
come to see me on permit from the War Department, 
was in his room; he believed the name was Abbot. 
He asked me to go up and see my caller. As we went 
out, he told the guard to let me pass up and down from 
my rciom to his during the day. He said that he was 
going out and would leave me with my friend. The 
visitor proved to be Mr. J. R. Parrott of Cartersville. I 
did not recognize him at first. I knew him well by name 
and reputation, but never met him to know him but once 
or twice before. This is the first old acquaintance who 
has called to see me since I have been here; at least, 
the first I have been permitted to see. I was truly glad 
to see him. It did me a great deal of good. We talked 
for some time. I wanted to light my pipe and thought 
we could enjoy ourselves better in my own room, so 
invited him down; but before we were seated, the guard 
came in and said it was against orders for Mr. Parrott 
to enter my room. I had understood that we might 
pass up and down at pleasure. But in this it seems I 
was mistaken, the permission appl)rmg to myself. I told 
the guard I regretted the mistake, and we returned to 
Lieut. Woodman's room, where we remained until Mr. 


Parrott took the boat back to Boston, I had Geary 
bring dinner for both of us there. 

Our conversation was long and agreeable. He had 
been in Washington for some time; came here because 
of desire to see me and to do anything for me he can. 
He told me that Senator B. H. Hill has been released. 
Expressed great desire that I should be; said it was 
through his offices that Governor Brown had had an 
interview with the President; or, as I do not recollect 
his exact words, that he had served Governor Brown 
all he could in getting a release. He knows the Presi- 
dent personally. He expects to be in the Georgia Con- 
vention; said he was very desirous that I should be out 
of prison and in the Convention. I told him I was 
most anxious to be out either on parole or bail ; I believed 
if I had not been released from close custody I should have 
died; I could not have stood it much longer; nor did 
I now think that I could stand long confinement here 
even on present terms. I had no desire to take part in 
public matters, yet, if permitted, should very cheer- 
fully and willingly give my views upon some matters 
connected with suflFrage. A wise settlement of Negro 
franchise I considered a matter of great importance for 
the future well-being of both races, especially if the blacks 
are to remain where they are. I gave him my plan. I said 
I should like very much to see the President and explain 
to him the system. If he approved, I should willingly 
make it known ; if not, I should be silent. I was utterly 
opposed to throwing any obstacle in the way of the speed- 
iest mode that could be adopted for restoration of peace 
and harmony. The first great object of all the country's 
well-wishers should be the establishment of quiet, order, 
and dvil government. As long as the policy of the 


Administration was directed to this end, it ought to be 
supported by the people, though everything in it might 
not be best in individual opinions. I was anxious to 
see the Administration move back on the old track. Under 
present conditions, there could be nothing but confusion, 
lawlessness, and anarchy; military rule is, of all rules, 
the worst for any people. 

I was highly gratified at this friendly visit. I feel 
greatly obliged to Mr. Parrott. He said he would do 
what he could for my release. I hope he may be able 
to do something effective. What effect the presentation 
of my views may have upon the President, if he makes 
such presentation, I have no idea. I am inclined to think 
the impression would not be favourable. For, somehow, 
I have an idea that the President is against allowing suf- 
frage to the blacks in any form. 

I bade him good-bye with a sad heart. Told him to 
see Judge Erskine, of Georgia, now in New York, and 
Judge Wayne and J. W. Forney in Washington; they 
might each and all do something for me, perhaps. If 
he would mention the subject to them, and they were 
willing, I should be greatly obliged. I cannot state one 
thing in a hundred that we talked about. Oh, how much 
we talked about Linton! His kind feeling as expressed 
toward Linton was the first thing that unlocked my heart 
for a free and full talk with him. 

At Major Appleton's quarters, Mrs. Appleton handed 
me the publication on heraldry, of which the Major 
spoke yesterday. I was introduced to Miss Appleton, 
the Major's sister, I suppose. The Major soon joined 
us. We had a pleasant conversation. I think him an 
exceedingly clever gentleman. Mrs. Appleton is a charm- 
ing woman. In the Heraldry Journal is a letter from me, 


Feb. II, 1854, to one Wm. H. Stephens of Copenhagen, 
N. Y. In the Journal I saw the Appleton coat-of-arms. 
The family dates back to 1300 and something. Returned 
at drumbeat to my quarters. For supper, milk and blue- 
berries. Lieut. W. called and sat with me after drum- 
beat. Had a long and agreeable talk. 




3l UGUST 5. — Read in John. Went up to see 
/^L Lieut. W. He was out. Saw Captain Baldwin. 
He invited me into his parlour. Met two yoimg 
ladies — Miss Ripley and another whose name I did 
not catch. Talked with the Captain until Lieut. W. 
came up. His room adjoins Captain Baldwin's quar- 
ters. Went in and saw him. 

It is now ten, the hour this day last week that I was 
released from close confinement. One week since the last 
clank in locking and unlocking of my door fell upon my 
ears! The absence of that harsh, grating sound has, of 
itself, done me great good. But strange to say, the week 
since last Saturday seems the longest of my imprisonment. 
I have more incidents to measure time by. The days 
have certainly passed more pleasantly, but in retro- 
spect the period seems much longer than for any other 
week. This, perhaps, is also due to my great anxiety 
to hear from home, and especially from Linton. Since my 
deliverance,to the extent that it has been granted, my whole 
soul has been yearning to conunune with some congenial 
spirit in my better fortunes. May I get letters to-day! 

No letter, but another visitor. H. G. Cole, of Marietta, 
called soon after the above entry. He was announced by 
Lieut. Woodman, who said he would bring the caller 
into my room if I preferred. I told him I should, and 
he soon returned with Mr. Cole. I received him gladly. 
We took our prison dinner together, just such a dinner as 



Parrott and I had yesterday. We talked a great deal. 
The talk did me much good. This is the man for whose 
discharge from Charleston jail I made such exertions, 
without eflFect, last year. He was arrested in Marietta, 
nth May, 1864, carried to Charleston, and kept in 
confinement until January with no charge preferred. I 
did all I could to get his release, but no heed was paid to 
my letters; I hear from him that those to himself were 
not received. This shows the carelessness of officials to 
have been worse than I knew. I alluded to his case in 
my speech before the Confederate Senate, when referring 
to abuses of military power and suspension of habeas 
corpus. Strange are the vicissitudes of life. He told 
me that Governor Brown was carried as prisoner through 
Marietta on the nth May, 1865 — twelve months to the 
day from Cole's arrest, and on the same day that I was 
arrested. May Cole's eflForts to serve me be more eflFec- 
tual than mine were for him ! His will cannot be stronger 
than mine was. I bade him farewell with a sad heart. 
I have known him since 1840. What changes and scenes 
have we passed through since then! He left with me 
$100 in gold from Mrs. Judge Erskine, of Georgia, and 
$100 in greenbacks from himself. I took these amounts 
at his earnest request. I may need them, but I hope not. 
Lieut. W., who went to Boston to-day, has just come in 
and handed me some beautiful flowers, a paper box of 
peaches, and a bundle of papers, the London Times, from 
Mrs. Salter, of Boston. Oh that Linton would now come! 
When shall I see or hear from him ? This has certainly 
been a day of good things to me, but one letter from Lin- 
ton would have given my heart more relief than all these, 
much as I prize them. I handed Lieut. W. the money 
left by Mr. Cole. 


5 :3o. — Walked out. A strange phenomenon struck 
my attention. A thundercloud had passed, and there 
seemed to be smoke coming over the walls on the eastern 
side of the fort as if a fire were outside. I ascended the 
parapet from the terreplein by the nearest flight of steps 
to see what it was, and found it fog. The whole sea was 
covered with dense fog, and as it would rise to the top of 
the walls it would sail over like smoke. On going round, 
I found it growing denser, and before I completed the cir- 
cuit the whole was so filled with it that I could hardly 
see any person below. I was truly in a cloud. It swept 
by me like mist. The sun was for a while dimly visible 
through the mist, but became obscured. The fog ca^me 
from the east. Thunder was heard in the distance. A 
steamer seemed to be stopped near by, befogged; she 
blew off steam for some time near the same place. It 
got so dark and thick above, I thought it might pour down 
rain, and descended to seek shelter. But I found very 
little fog below. I could see over the drill ground without 
difficulty. Dr. Seavems was sitting in front of his door, 
and I went to see him and Harrington's hydrometer. 

I sat and talked with Dr. Seavems for a few minutes, 
when Major Appleton joined us. He handed me some 
extracts from a Georgia paper giving account of the meet- 
ing at Augusta, over which Judge Jenkins presided. 
Judge Jenkins's speech is most admirable. The Major 
said these extracts had come in a letter to General DuBose; 
he thought they might interest me; so, as General DuBose 
was gone, he handed them to me. He also handed me 
a pamphlet by Wm. H. Whitmore, entitled "The Cavalier 
Dismounted," requesting that I read it and give him my 
opinion, stating that he had not read it. Somebody 
had handed it to him in Boston. On the back is printed: 


"We are the gentlemen of this country. Robert Toombs 
in i860." I remarked that I thought Mr. Toombs had 
never uttered or written such a sentiment. 

August 6. — I read "The Cavalier Dismounted." If 
the Major asks what I think of it, I shall refer him to 
Artemus Ward's interview with Brigham Young. Ar- 
temus remarked to the Prophet: "I believe you are a 
married man," to which the Prophet replied: "Pretty 
much." If Mr. Whitmore has made truthful exhibit of 
facts, I think the Cavalier is "pretty much" dismounted. 
But I am not inclined to )deld the first point. I do not 
think his first text true; I have no idea Mr. Toombs 
ever said, or seriously said, what is ascribed to him. The 
writer puts up a man of straw and then claims credit for 
its demolition. 

I regard any attempt by people of this republic to trace 
ancestry to the nobility of England or any other country 
as inconsistent with the spirit which should animate the 
breasts of descendants of the sires of '76, North and 
South. On the real issue in this pamphlet, that is, whether 
more "gentle blood" as it may be termed, of old England 
settled in New England or in the South, my opinion has 
always been that more settled in Virginia than in any other 
colony. Nothing more distinctly marks the character of 
a people than their religion. I believe Virginia was the 
only colony adopting the Church of England as its estab- 
lished system of worship. This shows the structure of 
her society, which in various respects followed more closely 
the English type than did that of any other colony. 

To assume that the South was peopled by Cavaliers and 
the North by Puritans, making distinction thereby in the 
castes of the sections, is absurd. I know of but few 
persons who have ever attempted to impress such an 


idea upon the public. In some editorials in Richmond 
papers I noticed during the war some expressions incul- 
cating this notion of caste diflFerence and opposition, but 
I looked on these only as a device to inflame popular 
passions, and written perhaps by a New Englander domi- 
ciled in the South, as an evidence of his loyalty to the 
Confederacy. A few descendants of Cavaliers scattered 
through the South may also have employed such boast. 
Thus may have been influenced the Committee reporting 
on the Confederate Seal [a cavalier mounted]. 

A large majority of the colonists of the South were 
from other countries than England. Georgia, it is true, 
was planted by the English; yet little "gentle blood" was 
amongst her early immigrants excepting the trustees and 
superintendents. At the time of the Revolution her 
purely English element was comparatively small. The 
same may be said of North and South Carolina. Society 
in Virginia and South CaroUna had more of the EngUsh 
tone than in the other colonies, and more in Virginia than 
South Carolina. In the former colony only, I think, did 
the tone impress itself upon the general ideas of the 
people. Notwithstanding the great influx of heteroge- 
neous materials, there was still enough of this English ele- 
ment to hold the ascendancy and to move all other ele- 
ments into its mode of thought, action, and develop- 
ment. The Episcopal Church was established, English 
ideas of aristocracy as to rights of primogeniture and as 
to other things were retained in a sort of apish fashion, 
nothing more; but even this seeming semblance of British 
aristocracy, so pleasing to the fancy of the F. F. V.'s 
[First Families of Virginia], did not obtain, I think, in any 
other colony. Nor did they find favour with the great 
majority in even that commonwealth at the date of the 


Revolution, much less since. Every vestige of it, so far 
as external forms were concerned, was swept away under 
Mr. Jefferson. 

That subordination of the black race which was called 
slavery gave rise to a certain development of society, not 
at all English, however, bearing some features of an 
aristocracy. But this was by no means so general as 
might be inferred from much lately seen in print about 
the subject of the "slave oligarchy" of the South. It 
was by no means the controlling force. In South Caro- 
lina alone, by her peculiar Constitution, could it be cor- 
rectly said that the slaveholders as a class held the political 
power. The anti-slave element was always strong in 
Virginia; but for external agitation, I have little doubt 
slavery would have been abolished there long ago, or 
have been greatly modified. The same is true of North 
Carolina. Throughout the South no feeling was more 
general, none stronger with the voting majority, than a 
deep-seated detestation of the very name "Aristocracy." 
Eight-tenths of the people of Georgia, I believe, were 
thorough Jeffersonian Republicans and would have been 
as thorough abolitionists as Jefferson if they could have 
seen what better they could do with the coloured people 
than they were doing. They had a hard problem to solve, 
and the external agitation kept down internal inquiry and 
discussion as to whether there was any proper and safe 
solution. I do not think there was a county in Georgia 
where a man could have been elected to the State Legis- 
lature, or to any other office, upon the principles of an 
aristocracy, or if he were even known to favour any such 

As for Mr. Toombs, it was a matter of pride with him, 
a thing of which he boasted on the stump and the hust- 


ings, that Georgia had sprung from paupers and "tack- 
landers," that she had made herself what she was by her 
own exertions ; as she was dependent upon none save her- 
self for her achievements in the past and present, so he 
wished her to be in the future. Few men of his real 
genius and intellect, whom I have ever met, placed lower 
estimate than he on descent and heraldry. Deeds and 
worth, with him, constituted manhood. In writing to 
me from Europe in 1855, he stated that he had not been 
presented to a crowned head or a lord in the old world; 
his intercourse had been with the masses, with the people. 

This morning, I finished John, in many respects most 
remarkable of the Gospels. John represents Jesus, on 
all occasions, as making known that he was the Christ. 
He makes no allusion to the injunctions, given by Christ, 
according to the other writers, that it should not be made 
known that He was the Christ. He makes no allusion 
to the Lord's Supper; this seems strange. He is the only 
one who mentions the washing of the feet. 

12:45. — An editorial in the London Times states that 
Vice-President Stephens had written a very ingenuous 
letter, to say the least of it, about the Hampton Roads 
Conference. I suppose this alludes to the Chronicle and 
Sentinel publication. Thus it is with a man's character. 
A lie gets out : it is never headed oflF. Thus men form their 
opinions of other men through the medium of false- 
hoods. Not one in the thousands who will form a false 
opinion of me from that editorial will ever know the 
truth in the case, nor how harassed I have been by that 

In my walks saw a little boy reading. I stopped, took 
a seat by him, and rested while I talked to him. I asked 
what he was reading. A novel, he replied : it was a little 


primer-looking sort of a child's book. I asked him to 
let me see it. He handed it to me. It was a dime novel, 
"The Black Ship.'' I asked his name. He said he was 
Charles Nutler, son of the laundress here. On my further 
inquiry, he told me he was ten years old ; had been to school 
in Boston from the time he was six until he was nine, which 
was last year, when his mother came to the fort. He has 
been here ever since, and has not been to school any- 
where, but likes very much to read. He went to Sunday- 
school in Boston, but there is none here. He has studied 
reading, writing, and arithmetic; he is a promising boy. 
I told him he ought to read history. He said he would 
if he had any. "Call," said I, "at my room and I will 
lend you Prescott's 'Conquest of Mexico,' which is very 
interesting." "They won't let me go to your room," 
said he. "They won't?" said I. "Then, I will send it 
to you." "Who waits on you?" asked he. "Isn't it 
Corporal Geary?" "Yes," said I. "WeU," he repUed, 
"I will get him to bring it to me." "Very well. There 
are three volumes. I will send the first; when you finish 
that, I will send the second, and so on." "There are 
three volumes, are there?" said little Charles with a 
surprise indicating that he was assuming a bigger job than 
he had had any idea of. "Yes," said I, rising to go on 
with my walk, "there are three volumes, but they are not 
large ones. You can soon read them." With this I 
bade him good evening, and resumed my walk while he 
resumed his reading. 

I came up with Major Appleton, Dr. Seavems, and 
Lieut. Woodman standing in front of the Major's quar- 
ters. I told the Major I had read the pamphlet he lent 
me yesterday, and would bring it up to-morrow. He said 
I need not return it, and went on to ask what I thought 


of it. I told him I was interested in it, and commented 
on it *' pretty much" as I have in these pages. 

For supper, milk and bread. I feel very well to-night, 
though much weaker than yesterday. All things con- 
sidered, I have passed this Sunday as well in mental feel- 
ing, if not better, than any since I have been here. I 
have been more quietly resigned somehow. I have great 
cause to be thankful to God for this condition of 

August 7. — Ante-breakfast reading in Acts. Peter, 
after the ascension, seems, according to Luke, to have 
remained in the belief that Christ was to come from the 
House of David after the flesh. This is strange. It 
shows how dimly even the disciples perceived at first the 
great truths of Christ's mediation. 

To what I said yesterday about Mr. Toombs, it is 
proper to add that he was by no means disregardful of the 
good name of his ancestry ; he simply never seemed to me 
to claim merit to himself barely on account of their good 
name. I have often heard him speak of them and their 
virtues. His father came to Georgia from Culpeper, 
Virginia. His grandfather, or great-grandfather, I for- 
get which, came from England. During his sojourn in 
Europe in 1855, he visited the place from which his pro- 
genitor had come, and found branches of the family. 
Of a kinsman he met, he spoke in high terms as a man 
of great respectability and private worth of character; the 
Christian name I forget, as well as the name of the 
locality so sacred to himself in the "fatherland." 

Toombs had great reverence for his parents; for their 
virtue, propriety, and uprightness, he revered their mem- 
ory. His mother I knew. She was a most excellent 


Christian woman. She died in 1848. He was devotedly 
attached t<i her, and was deeply aflFected by her death. 
His father died when he was only a few years old. He 
always spoke of his father with tenderest regard, but 
never boastfully. His father's energy, enterprise, and 
honesty were the attributes that seemed to claim his strong- 
est veneration. Toombs was born, July, 1810, about 
twelve miles from my birthplace. I have often heard the 
old neighbours speak of his father as a man of strong 
and vigorous mind, a good neighbour and citizen, thrifty 
in business as a planter, and a most excellent, worthy man. 
Toombs himself has great fondness for agriculture. He 
is one of the most successful planters from the Potomac 
to the Rio Grande. His plantation discipline and his 
treatment of his slaves was on a perfect system of reason, 
justice, and humanity, looking as much to the welfare of his 
dependents as to his own pecuniary interests. Notwith- 
standing his engagements in law and politics, and the fact 
that his plantation was two hundred miles from his domi- 
cile, he held its management under complete control; 
planned all the crops, and by correspondence kept in- 
formed just how matters were going on, and gave direc- 
tions. His system and its success was wonderful. 
He would have as overseers only men of sobriety, good 
sense, and humanity. 

Toombs is one of the most extraordinary men I have 
ever known. As a talker, I have never known his equal. 
As a lawyer, I have never seen his superior before judge 
or jury. As a legislator in debate, few in House or 
Senate ever wished to encounter him; none ever did to 
win any laurels by it. His mind is very quick and active. 
Contrary to general opinion, he has always been a close 
and hard student ; but his power of analysis and general- 


ization are so great that he can acquire more in less time 
than any one I ever saw. In reading the report of a case, 
or an author on any subject, he at once seizes upon the 
real ideas, gleaning the vital part from the general ver- 
biage by a process rapid as intuition. As public speaker 
or "stump orator," no one in any age or country ever had 
more power than he in the days of his prime. He was 
thoroughly read in local law, in United States history, and 
in national law. His true greatness did not consist in 
statesmanship; he was governed too much by passion 
and impulse. As lawyer, debater, popular orator, 
planter, political economist, it would be difficult to find 
his equal. His superior could not be found in his 

As husband, father, and friend, his virtues show most 
conspicuously. He is generous, liberal, and noble. 
There is nothing sordid in him ; nothing mean about him. 
He is open, bold, and frank to a fault. He has been, 
as he often says, his own greatest enemy in his freedom and 
extravagance of speech. His remarks are often pointed, 
cutting, and sarcastic, but there is no malice in his nature, 
not the slightest. Under impulse, he has often denounced 
in severest terms persons whom, when the excitement 
was passed, he would take cordially by the hand. There 
is not the least guile or hypocrisy in him; he speaks and 
acts just as he feels at the moment. Self-control and 
mental discipline he lacks more than anything else, to 
have made him one of the most influential men on the 
continent. He has brain enough, if its energy had been 
properly directed, to govern an empire. As there is 
enough waste of water at Niagara to turn the machinery 
of the world if it were controlled and applied, so with 
Toombs, there is and has been waste enough of mental 


power for want of system and discipKne to control the 
destinies not only of this continent, but of all the nations 
intimately connected therewith. 

Such are my opinions of the natural ability and genius 
of Robert Toombs. Of his defects, for he has them, as 
who has not, I will say nothing here. They were such as 
put upon him the stamp of human nature and the frailties 
incident to the fall of man. There is nothing in them, 
however, mean, low, or vile; nothing that impairs the 
lustre of his private and domestic virtues; nothing that 
touches the relations of husband, father, master, friend, 
or neighbour. Some spring from an undiscipUned am- 
bition, and some from nothing but an exuberance of 
good nature and conviviality. I have often thought of 
Toombs in reading of Alcibiades, although he is free from 
many vices that darkened the character of the Athenian. 
He is eminently a man of principle, and governed by the 
most scrupulous sense of right and justice in all matters 
except in those pertaining strictly to himself and the 
objects of his ambition. In this exception, lie some of 
the defects alluded to, but they are only small spots upon 
the sun as compared with the crimes of Alcibiades. In 
genius, he and the Greek have many points in conunon; 
and while in nothing is Toombs the Greek's inferior, 
in moral tone he is vastly the superior. 

Dr. Seavems called to see me, and to inform me that he 
is about to leave for New York, expecting to be gone two 
weeks, should so long leave of absence be granted. He 
expressed the opinion that perhaps he might not find me 
here on his return. I inquired if he had any reason 
for it. He said "No"; but that he does not think it the 
intention to keep me here long. This opinion would have 
been more cheering if grounded on anything authoii- 


tative. I received it as an evidence of the surgeon's 
personal kind feeKngs. 

Went into the adjoining room, and offered to pay Mr. 
Devine, the tailor — he that gave me a pipe — for sewing 
a button on my pants Saturday before I got up; he would 
receive nothing. I thanked him sincerely and by way 
of making him some return that he could not object to, 
gave him some of my peaches. For this, the good lady 
who sent them would excuse me, I feel assured. Morn- 
ing papers, but no letter. Oh how long, how long shall 
I remain in such suspense? My head aches. I see 
nothing in the papers I care a fig about. A letter from 
home, from Linton, is what I want. Sorely depressed 
do I feel to-day. 

11.30 — Went to Lieutenant Woodman's room. Re- 
turned Harper* s Weekly. Went to sutler's. Saw both 
the brothers Hall; had long and pleasant talk with them 
in their oflBce or store. They told me that the things 
ordered had come — a button, Scotch Ale, and tin bath- 
tub. They gave me the button, and Geary came for 
the ale while I was there. I left at the noon or drum 
signal. Went on the terreplein. Walked round it twice, 
counted the steps and made it 1050; so, twice round is 
a little over a mile. Descended, somewhat fatigued but 
feeling better. Opened a bottle of ale and took a glass 
full with ice. Have been reading the "Life of John 
Wilson" [Christopher North]. Was much struck with 
this sketch of Miss Edgeworth in one of Lockhart's 
letters to Wilson: "Miss Edgeworth is at Abbotsford 
and has been for some time, a little, dark, bearded, sharp, 
withered, active, laughing, talking, impudent, fearless, 
outspoken, honest, Whiggish, unchristian, good-tempered, 
kindly, ultra-Irish body. I like her one day and damn 


her to perdition the next. She is a very queer character. 
Particulars some other time." This is rather racy 
word portraiture. Book laid aside. Musing, I have 
a presentiment that I shall hear good news. I don't 
think I am superstitious in the proper sense of that term, 
but I do believe in a Divine Providence and in His mani- 
festations to me in spiritual communication. O Father, 
strengthen my belief! Whether this presentiment be 
true or not, O Father who knowest all things — things 
unknown to us — if this be but a vain fancy on my 
part, forgive its expression. Give me faith, patience, 
and fortitude. 

Lieut. Woodman brought me Harpefs Weekly. He 
remained some time and we talked about the Atlantic 
Cable. This was suggested by the Tribune on my table 
which compares the new cable with the old. The whole 
news-reading world will be agog and on tiptoe for a few 
days to know the result of the second great experiment 
to unite the Western and Eastern Hemispheres by tele- 
graph. The Great Eastern is daily and hourly expected. 
A few days must end suspense on this big question. 
With earnest hopes for the success of the enterprise, I wait. 

I read Ilarpefs Weekly. My eyes are failing. Per- 
haps I use them too much. I cannot now, in this room 
at least, cat without the aid of glasses. I was surprised 
Friday when I went into Lieut. Woodman's room, and 
saw in his large mirror how white my head is getting. 
But the decline of my eyesight is far more serious than 
the whitening of my hair. For three or four days, the 
eyes have seemed weak and sore, apart from their dim- 
ness of vision. 

A heavy cloud darkens the room so I can hardly see. 
A tempest of rain or wind, or both, is threatening. Not 


much lightning or thunder. The boat has come and 
gone. No letters for me — no news — nothing from 
home or any quarter. Oh, if those at home knew how 
I long for a letter from some of them, they would find 
some way to communicate with me or to get lettei^ to 
me! Why do I not hear from Linton? My heart is 
sorely oppressed. It is now over a month since the date 
of his last letter. What is the cause of the delay? The 
rain pours, the floods come. Here I am, solitary and 
alone, in this darkened cell. 

While the storm lasted, I went up to Lieut. W.'s 
room where I could look out, have more light; see the 
rain fall on the ground, always a pleasant sight to me, 
but which I had not witnessed since the shower that fell 
when we were on the Clyde in Hampton Roads. The 
Lieutenant showed me General Wade Hampton's letter 
to the people of South Carolina. From this it appears 
that Hampton has not left the State and does not intend 
to leave it, at least for the present. The letter is good 
in tone and spirit, but, in some respects, I question the 
policy advised. When the storm was over, I came down 
to my room, got my thick shoes and strolled forth. The 
sun was breaking through the clouds in the west; a rain- 
bow was in the east. The ground was wet, but the air 
delightful. I had not walked long before Major Ap- 
pleton joined me. We had a pleasant talk on rather 
abstruse subjects: nature, creation, the cosmos, life, 
the intellect, the soul, the Trinity, etc. I find that he 
is a Swedenborgian. He promised to let me have some 
of Swedenborg's writings. I have been waiting to learn 
something of this great theologian's doctrines. The 
walk and talk were very agreeable. The more I see of 
Major Appleton the more I like him. 


AUGUST 8. — Rose at seven. Took a bath in 
my new tin bath-tub, the best I have had since 
^ I have been here. It was a perfect luxury. 
Strolled about. Took up "Life of Wilson" and stretched 
myself on my bunk. Had not read many pages before 
Major Appleton called with two pamphlets containing 
extracts from Swedenborg. Lieut. Woodman called; 
took my thermometer to see what it would stand at in 
his room. 

10.30. — Lieut. W. again returned, bringing me a 
letter. The writing in the address I did not recognize. 
On opening it, how my heart leaped for joy when I saw 
from the hand, as well as the old blank-book paper, that 
it was from Linton. And only one who has gone through 
something similar can imagine how greatly rejoiced 
I was, when assured by its perusal that he and all were 
well ; and especially, when by a second and third perusal, 
noting every word closely, I felt assured that he was in 
as good state of mind as I could expect or hope for. This 
letter was dated 20th July. There is some mystery 
about its detention. It was approved by General Hooker 
in New York on ist August, eight days ago. It has been 
longer coming from New York than in reaching that 
point from Sparta. Whose is the negligence or fault? 
I cannot believe that the oflBcers here arc to blame; I 
am fully persuaded that they have promptly discharged 
their duty. This letter has done me a vast deal of good. 



To the great Ruler of the universe, my heart goes up in 
gratitude. Oh, that He may have my brother and all 
that are his in His holy keeping! Though we are sep- 
arated, may that brother's heart and mine beat in unison! 
He speaks of having written me four letters. Two 
besides this have come to hand. Of mine, he had received 
those of 3d and 8th of June and 4th of July; none of the 
rest. I do hope he has by this received mine of 29th 
July, and that he is on his way here or soon will be. 
May God bless, save, protect, and bring him to me 
speedily ! 

The papers say Mr. Seward has returned to Washington 
from Cape May. The Herald has a long article on the 
Atlantic Cable with maps, etc. Finished Swedenborg's 
"Doctrine Concerning the Lord." It is a master pro- 
duction, the clearest exposition I have ever seen of the 
doctrine of the Trinity. It embodies some ideas I have 
long entertained. But what seems to be his idea of the 
resurrection is not one of these. The Scriptural view, 
I think, is that our material bodies will rise with our 
spirits or souls. 

A Real Prison Sketch, No Fancy About It 

[Prisoner reading. Enter little girl, about four or five 
years old, standing at the door with some flowers.] 

Prisoner. Oh what pretty flowers! Let me see them. 

Child. [Handing them.] They are for you. 

Prisoner. Ah! [Takes and smells them.] Thank you. 
They are so beautiful and so sweet. Where did you get 

Child. My mamma gave 'em to me. 


Prisoner. Ah! What is your name? 

Child. Mabel Appleton. 

Prisoner. Oh! It was you who brought me the 
flowers the other day! Those in the window — wasn't 
it you? See them in the window. Was it you that 
brought me those? 

Mabel. Yes ; and they are not faded yet. 

Prisoner. No, I put them in water. [Rising and taking 
them down and showing them to her.] You see I have 
kept them fresh. They are ahnost as beautiful as when 
you brought them. Now, I am going to put these with 
them. [Puts them in the same glass.] See them, how 
beautiful they are ! and smell, how sweet they are ! [She 
takes the glass and smells.] 

Mabel. My mamma says perhaps you will go away 

Prisoner. Ah, I hope I may. That would be good 
news to me. 

Mabel. Why, what do you want to leave here for ? 

Prisoner. Oh, I want to go to my home and see all the 
folks there. I have some little girls, some little nieces, 
I want to see. One is just a little larger than you. She 
is a pretty, sweet little girl, very much like you. She 
wants to see me so bad and I want to see her and her 
little sisters. That is what I want to go home for. That 
is one reason I want to leave. 

Mabel. What is her name ? 

Prisoner. Her name is little Emm Stephens. 
[Mabel, looking on the floor, as if in profound thought 
about something, walks out.] 

Prisoner lays down his book for some time. Thinks 
of home, little Enmi, Becky, Claude, and their 


6.15. — Sallied forth on a walk. While I was on 
the bastion, six o'clock signal was given. From the 
ocean and the white-sail ships and dark-smoking steamers, 
my attention was drawn to a scene within the fort. The 
signal was of the day's end to all the workmen. Instantly, 
all noise of the stone-cutters ceased. Hammers, chisels, 
all tools, were dropped. The ground seemed alive with 
men moving about, as a schoolroom is alive with boys 
when recess is announced. Some go one way, and some 
another, for this article or that where it had been laid 
down during the day. All soon fall into a line to that part 
of the fort in which this class of inmates are quartered, 
some moving faster and some slower, some erect and 
some stooping. It is to me not an unpleasant spectacle, 
that of a weary labourer, coat on arm, trudging home- 
ward from his daily toil at evening tide. It awakens 
many reminiscences of my youth. The associations 
are hallowed. 

Lieut. W. joined me. We saw a propeller going to 
sea, a trading- vessel heavily laden. He told me that 
he leaves here soon. He has made arrangements to go 
into the hotel business at Hilton Head, S. C. He intends 
to leave by September. I was sorry to hear of his going. 
I should feel very sad at being left here by him. He 
asked me if I knew a man named Dawson, of Georgia, 
I told him I knew several of that name. He said he had 
been informed by the War Department that a man of 
that name had been granted permission to visit me. I 
told him I expected it was Andrew H. H. Dawson. He 
said that was the name. I shall be truly glad to see 
Mr. Dawson. On return from walk (at sundown, for 
we had sat on the bench on the parapet and talked 
until the sun was nearly set) I found on my table a plate 


of large fine apples and a card, "Mrs. E. E. Harrington's 
Compliments." Geary came in and told me Mrs. H, 
had sent them. In colour they are like my early May 
apples, but they are as large as our largest horse-apples. 
They fill the room with rich aromatic odour. Lieut. 
W. came and brought me a speech by Mr. Everett, Rox- 
bury, May, 8, 1861, in which I am mentioned. 

August 9. — Suffered a good deal of pain. About 
six Geary came in. I got him to bring me a cup of hot 
coffee. This did me some good. Resumed reading in 
Acts. Still quiet but weak. Daily papers. No news 
of the Great Eastern or cable. A statement that Mr. 
Davis is not to be tried by a commission and is to be 
sent out of the country. 

Called on Major Appleton to return his books. Found 
him and Mrs. Appleton in. Sat and talked some time. 
Found both quite agreeable. He showed me several 
relics of the war; the most interesting were the keys to 
the jail at Darien, Ga. He invited me to call in at any 
time. Resumed my stroll. Saw a sailboat pass with 
a jolly party aboard; music and dancing on deck. The 
crowd seemed a gay one, enjoying themselves to heart's 
content. There was much waving of handkerchiefs 
toward the fort as the yacht, or whatever the craft may 
be called, passed the landing on the west side. 1 was 
on the western bastion. With wind and tide in her 
favour, the craft shot by like a thing of life. 

Evening Journal. A break in the cable. No news 
from the Great Eastern, communication cut off. No 
signals at farther end of the line after 700 miles of cable 
was laid. General Mercer, of Savannah, has been sent 
to Fort Pulaski. What for, I don't know. 


Sallied forth for evening walk. Met a number of 
strangers, coming from the other way, they on the parapet, 
I on the terreplein. A pleasure party had just come 
down in a boat, which was at the landing, as I saw 
on passing round. Never while memory lasts can I 
forget an incident that occurred upon my meeting with 
the avant courier of this party. This is enough to enter 
here. I went on round to the music-stand, where I sat 
down and wept; wept bitter tears of anguish for my 
beloved State in this, her hour of desolation, with worse 
prospects before her unless God in his mercy shall give 
wisdom from on high to those under whose control her 
destinies are soon to fall. Was of heavy and oppressed 
heart all evening. Saw a prisoner under guard carrying 
a bucket of water. Thought it must be Dr. Bickley. 
Found a small paper box containing peaches and toma- 
toes from Mrs. Salter on my table, for which she has 
my sincere thanks though I can express them only in 
this way. 

Thursday, August lo. — Some incidents occurred 
last night that made an impression on my mind. Some 
one kept up an occasional whispering with the guard 
on duty between 6.30 and 8.30. The guard would 
keep his pace three or four rounds, then stop and whisper 
with this person. Their intercourse was in the lowest 
whisper, not a word could be heard by me. It was not 
a low talk, but a whisper in the strictest sense. Still, 
it could be heard just to the left of my window. It was 
repeated until this guard was relieved at 8.30. It was 
strange and mysterious. If it had been but once or 
twice, I should have thought nothing of it; if it had been 
low talk, I should have thought nothing of it, but the 


manner satisfied me that the intent was that I should 
not hear. This, too, was not all ; for later, I woke — was 
it providential? I cannot tell, but again I heard the 
whisper in the same voices, the same stride of the same 
guard going a round or two and then stopping for the 
conference. I raised my head and caught two words, 
"Corporal Geary." I know, from the same man being 
on duty, that it was somewhere between 12.30 and 2, 
for the guard is relieved for four hours; each serves 
two hours and returns in four. From the name of him 
who waits on me, my curiosity was the more excited, 
especially as I could catch nothing else. Were they 
plotting in reference to me ? 

I lay awake until the relief guard came: then another 
strange incident occurred. The newcomer walked just 
long enough for the departing officer to be beyond sound 
of his tread, when he came inside and went into a room 
not far distant from mine; or, at least, the sound of his 
walking seemed to indicate this. There, he remained, 
how long I do not know, but he did not return to his 
beat while I was awake. I fell into another sleep. 
These unusual incidents impressed me deeply. What 
they mean, I cannot imagine. That there is something 
in the wind between those two whisperers which they 
were desirous I should not know, seems pretty clear. 
Whether the relief guard after 2.30 was in the secret, 
or whether his strange course had anything to do with it 
all, I do not know. This last man's time was not out 
when I awoke. He remained until 4.30. When I awoke, 
I saw him peeping in at my window. I got up and went 
to the window and gave him a scrutinizing look in return. 
His countenance and general bearing, I shall not soon 
forget. Geary made his appearance at six; I had a fire 


and was reading in Acts. He soon brought me a cup 
of hot coflFee. 

9 A. M. — Lieut. Woodman has just called to tell 
me he has been relieved of all duty and leaves on the 
2oth. He goes to Boston to-day, but will be down again 
and see me before his final departure. This announce- 
ment affected me a good deal. I feel more attached to 
him than to any other man in the fort. He has ever been 
kind and attentive. Have just sent for him. He returned 
and I presented him with Prescptt's "History of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella" as a slight token of my high regard, 
and in appreciation of his many acts of kindness. He 
accepted with thanks, etc. As he left my room, I could 
not suppress a flow of tears. This, however, was with 
myself, in my room alone. He nor any mortal, God 
alone saw it. 

I see by the Washington telegrams that Hon. H. V. 
Johnson has applied for pardon. His application was 
presented by Mrs. Stephen A. Douglas. 

Heard heavy firing at a distance. Went up on the 
terreplein. They were trying guns in South Boston 
gun-works, a man on the parapet told me. On the way 
round, one of the labourers putting down the circular 
stones on the east side of the fort for the circular gun- 
carriages to move on, rose, as I approached, wiping the 
sweat from his forehead with the fingers of his right hand, 
and said in Irish brogue: "Good day, Mr. Stephens." 
I knew from his tone that he felt kindly toward me. 
I stopped and talked with him some minutes. He used 
to work in Washington on the North Capitol. While 
I was talking with him about his work and hearing the 
explanations which he took interest in making, the noon 
signal sounded. Again I witnessed the spectacle of the 


labourers knocking oflf from toil, and winding divers ways 
to their quarters for dinner and rest. Some gathered up 
shoes, some jackets, and some coats, and bore these along. 
All seemed more or less jaded, but cheerful, and not one 
who passed me did so without a respectful and, in most 
instances, a kind recognition. Most were Irishmen. 

I went to the library and got Richardson's new book, 
"The Secret Service, The Field, The Dungeon and The 
Escape." I doubt the author's accuracy. I doubt if he 
saw Negro women in raw hide shoes ploughing in Kentucky 
in February, which is too early for ploughing. Rawhide 
shoes I never saw anywhere. I heard that they were 
used by our soldiers to some extent, being made and 
fitted to the foot when the hide was fresh and green, 
with the hairside next the foot. How a man could see 
the kind of leather shoes were made of, worn by workers 
ploughing in a field which he was passing on a railroad 
train, I cannot understand. Then again, he speaks of 
seeing Negroes ploughing and hoeing in fields near Mem- 
phis. Now, what were they hoeing? Hoeing is a business 
not done in cotton-fields, and of such he is speaking 
in February. Overseers were there, armed with guns. 
This I never saw in all my life and in all my travels 
through the South. I have sometimes seen a man, 
superintending plantations, carry his gun with the view 
of bagging game, but never for any purpose in connection 
with his business as overseer. These are all small mat- 
ters. But my rule with a record is to judge its accuracy 
as a whole by accuracy on those points within my 

Some one knocked at my door. "Come in," said I. 
Whereupon, a man in uniform, with sword, etc., whom 
I had never seen before, entered. He said nothing, but 


handed me a note and retired. The note was from 
Mrs. Appleton, requesting my autograph, and stating 
that she expects to leave to-morrow. This was dis- 
agreeable news; Mrs. Appleton has shown me great 
kindness, not only by acts but in manners. Her note 
I laid away amongst my letters. I wrote a reply. After 
thinking a while, I wrote another which I liked better 
and sent it by Geary. 

My dear Mrs. Appleton: Allow me to express to you 
my deep regret and pain at hearing of your expected 
departure so soon from this place. Perhaps I may never 
see you again. In that case, accept this return of my 
sincere thanks for the many acts of kindness and sympathy 
you have shown toward me in my present suffering and 
affliction. Whatever fortunes await me in the future, 
these deeds of benevolence on your part, be assured, 
can never be forgotten while memory remains. May the 
smiles and blessing of Heaven rest upon you and all 
yours, wherever you may go, now and forever, is the 
earnest prayer of Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Mrs. Mary R. Appleton. 

Walked out. On starting I took the Major's "Ritual 
of the New Church" that he lent me yesterday; it was 
a present from his wife to him and I thought maybe he 
was going, too, and I wanted the book returned. I 
found no one in their rooms. Carpets were all up, 
furniture all, or nearly all, removed. I laid the book 
on the Major's table and went on. After I passed Har- 
rington's office, Mrs. Appleton came running after me; 
I turned and met her. She invited me back to the Doc- 
tor's quarters, from which she had come. I talked with 
her and Mrs. Seavems for some time. She leaves 


to-morrow, and the Major the next day. He quits the 
service and takes charge of business for a coal company 
in the Kanawha Valley. So, one by one, my friends 
leave me. No sooner do I begin to form attachments 
than they are broken. Into whose hands I shall now 
fall, I do not know. With a sad heart I bade Mrs. Apple- 
ton good-bye. 

The western sky was obscured by a thick black cloud. 
A small monitor was lying out in the harbour. I looked 
upon that, musing; and at the thickening darkness of 
the west, fit emblem of the prospect before me. Soon, 
I shall be left here with no one with whom I have an 
intimacy except Geary, the corporal, and the Irish tailor 
who works in Geary's, room, Mr. Devine, who is very 
friendly with me. 

When I turned, with heavy heart, I saw Major Apple- 
ton approaching, another gentleman with him. This 
gentleman I found to be Mr. Burlingame, an old Congress 
acquaintance. We met cordially. I was right glad to 
see him, and he seemed equally glad to see me. His 
sister is Captain Livermore's wife — no. Captain Liver- 
more is Mrs. Burlingame's brother, that is the way of it, 
I believe. The BurUngames are on a visit to the Captain. 
The Major, Mr. Burlingame, and I walked on to the 
eastern bastion, and there sat down and had a long 
pleasant talk on public affairs. Mr. B. told me that he 
met the Hon. John E. Ward,* of Georgia, in China; Mr. 
Ward came over with him; he left Ward in Paris: had 
just now got a passport for Ward and Mr. Seward's 
permission for Ward to return home. I am in hopes 
he may exert his influence in getting me released on 
parole. I told him frankly that I was very desirous 

* U. S. Minister to China, X858-6Z; succeeded by Barlingame. 


of release, and thought that, as so many others receiving 
it had been far more responsible for the war than I, I 
ought to be released on the same terms. We came down 
at the signal for retreat, he going in to take tea with the 
Major, and I returning to my quarters. I hope to 
see him in the morning. I made these entries by 
candlelight. Lieut. Newton called about eight and sat 
until after nine. We spent an agreeable hour. I feel 
obliged to him for his visit. 

August II. — Had another long talk with Mr. 
Burlingame. Met him on the sidewalk. Lieut. Newton 
had called, and told me he was out on the walk, giving 
me notice, I suppose, because of hearing me remark 
last night that I should like to see him again. Mr. 
B. invited me into Captain Livermore's quarters. We 
sat and talked for more than an hour, mainly on public 
affairs. It would be unjust to him to state here from 
memory anything he said. I will barely enter the sub- 
stance of what I said on leading points. I expressed 
my desire for release on parole, and that the Administra- 
tion be informed of my strong reasons for it. I said I did 
not think I could stand the winter here; though I can 
get along perhaps while warm weather lasts : especially if 
allowed communication with Reagan, thus diverting my 
mind. My trust business at home as lawyer, guardian, 
executor, etc., required my attention. I wished to look 
after my deceased brother's family and to provide for 
the education of his minor children, now at the age when 
this is most important. I wished to provide for those 
who had heretofore been my slaves. Also, release ought 
to be granted on public considerations, as similar paroles 
had been granted to others who were much more active in 


bringing on the wax and in its management. In public 
aflFairs I had no wish to take part. My views were that a 
cordial cooperation with the Administration in all proper 
eflForts to restore order and harmony, by bringing the 
seceded States back into practical relations with the Gen- 
eral Government, ought to be given by all patriots. North 
and South. With regard to the new order of things, 
as affecting the Negroes, I earnestly desired that every 
effort be made to give the experiment a fair trial. A 
great social problem was presented for solution. I 
saw many difficulties and great dangers ahead, more 
perhaps than most people apprehended. I had devoted 
much thought to the subject, and while I was not sanguine, 
I was anxious that every possible effort be made to solve 
the problem in a way that would end in the advancement 
of civilization and humanity. 

Regarding treatment of prisoners at Andersonville 
and other places, which was brought up, I said that the 
matter had caused me deep mortification and pain. 
From all I had heard, the sufferings of prisoners were 
terrible. I had no idea, however, that these sufferings 
were by design or system on the part of Mr. Davis and 
other authorities at Richmond. Something akin to what 
might be styled indifference or neglect toward our own 
soldiers on the wounded and sick lists I have witnessed 
with distress. I had thought there was sometimes great 
neglect even of these by those having them in charge. 
To this subject I had given a great deal of attention. 
I had never seen in Mr. Davis any disposition to be 
vindictive toward prisoners of war. I had seen what I 
thought evidence of his inattention : especially in one case 
that had given rise to some personal explanation between 
ourselves, in which he had relieved my mind of some very 


unpleasant impressions previously resting upon it. It 
seemed that he had done what I had not known before 
the explanation on his part that he had. I had no idea 
that there was any settled policy of cruelty on his part 
to prisoners. 

In all my conversations with him, on the subject of 
prisoners, he put the blame of non-exchange on the 
authorities at Washington: he always expressed earnest 
desire to send home all we held upon getting in exchange 
our men equally suffering in Northern prisons; our 
prisoners, it was said, were treated as well as they could 
be under the circumstances: those at Anderson ville were 
crowded into such a miserable pen because we had no 
other place in which to secure them: they had the same 
rations as our soldiers: ours suffered greatly to my own 
knowledge, not only in the hospitals, but in the field for 
food. The advice I had given was to release all prisoners '} / 
on parole of honour, whether the authorities at Washing- 
ton exchanged or not. I had advised such course as 
one of humanity and good policy. Against it was urged 
that if we were to release all our prisoners, our men would 
be held and treated not as prisoners of war but as traitors, 
and would be tried and executed as such; our authorities- 
must hold Federals as hostages for Confederates. On 
the whole, therefore, while great and unavoidable suffer- 
ing was endured by our prisoners, and some, perhaps, 
occasioned by subordinates, which could have been 
avoided, yet I had no idea that there was any settled 
design or system adopted by Mr. Davis or the heads of 
departments to aggravate hardships. And I could not, 
after looking over the whole matter, come to any other 
conclusion than that some blame rested on the authori- 
ties at Washington. War at best is a savage business; 


it never had been and never would, perhaps, be waged 
without atrocities on all sides. Hence, my earnest desire 
during the late conflict to bring about pacification by 
peaceful negotiations at the earliest practical moment. 
I explained to Mr. B. and gave him the full history of 
my proposed visit to Washington in July, 1863. Our 
conversation lasted upward of an hour. 

Went to Lieut. Newton's room. Sat some time witli 
him, looking over his books. He showed me around 
In the quartermaster and commissary's rooms. Saw 
the great bakery and cook-rooms. Went into the hall 
where Company A. was at dinner. Everything was 
neat and clean. The room was filled with the savoury 
smell of good viands. Got on a pair of scales and Lieut. 
Newton pronounced my weight 94J pounds. I learned 
that there are here now five prisoners instead of four. A 
new one came in the last few days. Lieut. Newton 
does not know who he is or why imprisoned; he is kept 
in close quarters and not allowed to go out at all. I feel 
anxious to know more about this unfortunate: "A 
fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind." Besides, I 
never yet saw or heard of one confined in the walls of 
a dungeon, that I did not feel interest in his behalf. 
Misfortune ever excited my sympathy. At school, 
when a small boy, I read, with great appreciation of the 
sentiment : 

Teach me to feel another's woe, To hide the fault I see; 
That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me. 

All of Pope's "Universal Prayer," I committed to 
memory of my own accord when but a small boy, soon after 
I learned to read. I learned it in a borrowed book and 
committed it to my own memory to have it always with me. 


3.30. — Just saw Reagan pass my window. I had 
got through with the biggest row I have yet had with 

5.30. — Geary gone to Boston. Baily brought evening 
paper. The pardon of H. V. Johnson has passed. I am 
glad to hear it. Reading Richardson's book. As further 
evidence of inexactness, he speaks of Gen. "Daniel'' 
E. Twiggs. General Twiggs's name was David. This, 
it is true, is another small matter, and the error may 
have been the printer's. As to the mistake about myself 
— my once being a "mail carrier" — that, as it stands, 
is not his. He reports a ^^ColoneV^ as relating that he 
knew me when I was an orphan boy, and that I was 
"mail carrier." I was an orphan boy; and at one time, 
if I could have got such a situation as mail-carrier, I 
would have gladly accepted it; that was when I sought 
the position of clerk in Thompson's store, in Crawford- 
ville, say in the winter of 1826-27. But no such good 
luck, as I should have thought the opening, struck my 
path. That "Colonel" never knew me as a "mail- 
carrier." I doubt if he ever knew me at all. 

Sallied out for a walk. Lieut. Newton overtook 
and handed me two letters. One from Dr. Willis states 
that he will call to see me about the i8th. The other 
from S. J. Anderson. What he says about "complete 
pecuniary arrangements" I do not understand. I trust 
he means no such thing as compensating any person 
for exertions in my behalf. I should be mortified at 
any such arrangement made by any friend of mine. I 
do not know exactly whether I would accept enlargement 
so procured. Met Annie Seavems; she gave me some 

Lieut. Newton called and brought a box of peaches 


and canteloupes sent me from Boston, by Mrs. Salter 
perhaps. Also, my tobacco from Mr. Baskerville. It 
is excellent. He took me for a tramp round the fort 
outside. I was stronger than for a month. We stopped 
at Johnston's grave. The stone says, Edward J. J. 
Johnston, died i6th Oct. 1863, aged 36 years and nine 
months. The Lieutenant showed me where two men 
shot for desertion had been buried. He pointed out 
where they stood when shot. Their bodies were removed 
by friends. What a history might the life of each of these 
unfortunates present, if correctly portrayed ! Who knows 
what trials, temptations, wrongs, griefs, and suflFerings 
were theirs ? We went to where the men practise target- 
shooting daily; from the ramparts above, I have often 
looked on them at practice. 

Suddenly one of those sea-fogs bobbed up. The 
whole fort was enveloped as in cloud. We could hardly 
see anything. The reason I never noticed this phenome- 
non till recently is that I was always in my cell, and when 
I looked out and saw it that was foggy, I did not know 
but that it was fog such as we have in our country. The 
walk did me good. I gave Baily an apple, and Mr. 
Devine two fine peaches. 

August 12. — Prison Scene. Life Sketch. 6.30 a. m. 
— Prisoner wakes and sees the rays of the sun against 
the wall. Rises and looks at the thermometer, sees it 
is at 74, places it on the outside of his window and takes 
his bunk again. The guard cautiously approaches the 
thermometer, very much as quadrupeds of all species, 
from a cow to a puppy, draw near and reconnoitre what- 
ever is set within their view which they do not exacUy 
comprehend — advancing step by step, and endeavouring 


with nose and eyes to ascertain what it is, whether some- 
thing of danger or something to eat, now approaching 
a little nearer, and now squatting back a little. Thus, 
the guard shyly approached the thermometer, evidently 
not knowing what it was and dubiously anxious to make 
an examination; Prisoner on bunk watching his motions. 
The guard is too low of stature to see Prisoner over the 
window-sill, though his head is visible to Prisoner. At 
lasts he gets near enough, and by rising on tiptoes, is 
high enough to gain a view, as Prisoner supposes, of the 
shining quicksilver bulb on the lower end of the tube: 
instantly there is a squat and retreat as if he was looking 
for the thing to go oflF. Prisoner rises, in his silk shirt 
and drawers, and goes to the window, takes the thermom- 
eter in full view of the guard and examines it, sees that 
it has fallen to 71, then hangs it on the wall at its usual 
ulace : all of which guard witnesses with curiosity manifest 
in countenance. Prisoner resumes bunk, which is too 
low for guard to see occupant. Here he lies for some 
time, when there is a tap at the door. 

Prisoner. Come in. [Enter BaUy.] Good morning, 
Mr. Baily. 

Baily Good morning. Shall I make a fire? 

Prisoner. You may put on a little wood, no coal. [Pris- 
oner had a coal fire last night.] But first, I wish you 
would have a button sewed on my pants. The button 
is on the table. Take it and the pants to Mr. 

[Baily retires with the pants and button. Quickly 
returns with the button sewed on.] 

Prisoner. Ah! that is right. [Dresses while Baily 
makes the wood fire.] 

Baily. When will you have your breakfast? 


Prisoner. As scx)n as it is ready. [Exit Baily and 

Baily. Breakfast will be ready in about ten minutes. 

Prisoner. [Dressed] All right. [Takes up his Bible. 
Enter Baily with breakfast in thirty minutes. Prisoner 
lays down book and sits up to the table.] 

Prisoner. What time does Mr. Reagan breakfast? 

Baily. At half-past eight. 

Prisoner. Does he board with IMr. Hall, as I do? 

BaUy. No, he gets his rations from the Post. Some- 
times he buys vegetables. 

Prisoner. Are his rations cooked and sent to him? 

Baily. Yes, sir; his vegetables are also cooked for him. 

Prisoner. Are you a corporal? 

Baily. No, sir. I was clerk in the office for the 
prisoners under Lieut. Woodman. 

Prisoner. And you still hold that position ? You are 
just a private on that and other duties that may be 
assigned you in connection with it? 

Baily. Yes, sir. 

Prisoner. Do your parents live in Boston? [Baily 
is youug, in appearance not more than i8.] 

Baily. No, sir. They reside about thirty miles from 

Prisoner. What church were you brought up in? 

Baily. The Congregationalist. [Baily retires. Pris- 
oner finishes breakfast, and walks his room, musing, and 
longing for somebody to talk to.] 

[This sketch gives the incidents of the morning and 
some glimpse of my prison life.] 

ID A. M. — Baily has just brought me a nice piece 
of watermelon, red meat and black seed. It is his own 
present. Thanks to him. It is excellent. First I have 



seen this year. But it is not so sweet and delicious as 
Georgia melons ! 

Went out to take my leave of Major Appleton. He 
is not going until night; will call and see me first. Sat 
and talked with him until the morning boat was 
announced; then came to my quarters where I must 
remain while it is at the landing. In a few minutes after 
the last line was penned, I heard hasty footsteps 
approaching. A rap. "Come in." Enter Lieut. New- 
ton accompanied by General Pratt, an old Congress 
acquaintance from Connecticut, and by a friend of his, 
introduced as Mr. Bacon. General Pratt I knew well 
in Congress: had high regard for him, and appreciated 
him as a gentleman of intelligence, integrity, and virtue: 
a true patriot of the old school. He had called to see 
me, bringing his friend. I was well pleased with Mr. 

We talked rapidly for about fifteen minutes, when 
Lieut. Newton, who had left us, returned. Lieut. Wood- 
man came to inform the visitors that the boat was about 
to leave. I insisted that they should stay and dine 
with me and go up in the evening boat, but the General 
said he was obliged to go now. I was very much grati- 
fied at the visit. It did me good. I believe I am feeling 
better to-day than any day since I have been in this prison. 
General Pratt urged me to visit him, when I should be 
released. I told him I would if I could; I did not know 
when my release would be. He spoke as if he thought 
it would be before winter. I hope his opinion may prove 
well founded. In the papers, I see denial that H. V. 
Johnson has been pardoned. 

12.30. — Called on Mrs. Livermore. Sat and talked 
with her a half-hour. Find her very agreeable and 


well educated. She lent me a book, "An Historical 
Research," anti-slavery in character, by George Liver- 
more, of Boston, uncle to Captain Livermore. The 
Captain, I understand, will command here when Major 
Appleton leaves ; his Christian name is Charles Frederick, 
for in the book is this: "Lieut. Chas. Fred. Livermore, 
with the kind regards of his uncle, G. L." It is now 
two weeks since my release from close confinement. 
I have improved wonderfully in strength and health. 

4.20. — Major Appleton called to bid me good-bye. 
He sat and we talked until now; he has just left me. 
His name is J. M. Appleton. He has treated me with 
a great deal of kindness, and I deeply regret his leaving. 
My best wishes attend him. He has done all for my 
comfort and well-being since I have been under his charge 
that he could consistently with orders. Nothing more. 
For this, I am truly grateful. 

5 p. M. — A tap was heard at my door. "Come 
in," I said. I turned, and saw Mrs. Appleton enter- 
ing with beaming smiles and bearing in her hands a 
bundle of books; she was followed by two men bringing 
for my window a box of flowers that heretofore had been 
in the Major's. She remained but a moment, had to 
return on the boat. A last good-bye was given. I am 
alone again. The books are Swedenborg on "Heaven 
and Hell," "The Last Judgment," and others, all works 
I have been desirous of getting for some time and I am 
truly obliged to her on that account; besides, I deeply 
appreciate her spirit of kindness. Surely I have much 
more to console me than many other prisoners have 
had. Walked out. Met Lieut. Woodman and went 
to his room. Sat and talked with him until his tea time. 
Learned from him that the new prisoner is from the 


North and charged with frauds in the mUitary service. 
Walked on the rampart. Saw two propellers going in 
to Boston. Went to Harrington's office. Sat and 
talked with Captain Baldwin in front of his quarters. 
His rooms are over mine. 

9. p. M. — Lieut. Newton called and sat for upward 
of an hour. Time spent in pleasant conversation about 
General Grant and others. 


SUNDAY, August 13. — When I awoke the 
drum was beating, I thought for six, but on 
inquiring of Baily, who came, I learned that it 
was for eight. Breakfast was on my table almost as 
soon as I was ready. Finished Acts. Every time I 
read of Paul's arrest, imprisonment, and noble defense, 
the more I am impressed with his character. He was 
a man of great learning, ability, and eloquence; in tact 
in oratory not inferior to Cicero; in purity, uprightness, 
and genuine earnestness of soul, without a parallel 
amongst the ancients even as an orator. Eloquence, 
after all, depends more upon real zeal, unaffected earnest- 
ness, deep and strong convictions, than on any of the 
arts and graces taught in the schools. 

Geary returned by morning boat. Bright, and with 
a smile, he announced himself, bringing the Sunday 
Boston Herald. I was glad to see him. He went to bring 
me a pitcher of water while I looked over the papers. 
Lieut. Newton had called to say that he was going up to 
Boston to-day and that Lieut. Woodman is in conunand 
of the fort. Captain Livermore is on detail service, on a 
court martial in a neighbouring island. Lieut. Woodman 
soon called, handing me a letter from Miss Nichols, of 
Washington City. She writes that she has seen Governor 
Corwin in my behalf and is hopeful that I shall be released 
before long. Hope is a good thing to rely on when we 
can get nothing more substantial. Can she refer to 



the Hon. Thomas Corwin, of Ohio ? * I am in doubt. I 
thought he was in Mexico. She says he expressed senti- 
ments favourable to me. How I longed for letters from 
home, from Linton ! 

Cut my canteloupe. Took out three slices, handed 
Geary the remainder and told him to divide with Baily 
and Mr. Devine. It was very fine, but fearing bad 
results, I took a drink of gin, the last of Lieut. Wood- 
man's present. I have on hand some of Harry's whisky. 
That bottle is not empty yet. 

Noon. Finished Richardson's book. Some little 
errors I have mentioned. His prison sketches are appal- 
ling; I had no idea there was such a state of things in 
Salisbury, N. C. He puts part of the responsibility 
rightfully upon Mr. Stanton. 

I p. M. — Returned from the terreplein. The sky 
is cerulean. All nature, the air, the ocean, everything 
is serene. Few sails of any kind are seen ; the few visible 
seem to be at anchor, at rest. In the fort, all is still; 
no one stirring, no one to be seen except the guards on 
duty, and they seem conscious that it is Sunday: the 
surroundings for the first time since I have been here, 
reflect the fact that it is the Holy Sabbath. My mind 
wandered far away, dwelling on distant scenes. 

How are all at home? How do the yard, the grove, 
the lot, and all things about Liberty Hall, appear to 
those who are there to-day? How would it appear, 
whom should I see and what would they be doing, could 
I but look upon my home? Is there preaching in the 
church? Is the road blocked up with horses and car- 
riages, and crowds of persons walking round about and 

* Former Govemcn' of Ohio, U. S. Senator, Secretary oi the Treasury, Chairman of House 
Committee of conciliation in i860; Mimster to Mexico, 1861-64. One of Mr. Stephens's 1 
friends; Mr. Stephens's speech aa the Galphin Claim, 1853, defends him. 


passing in and out of the gate — while Tim, Dora, and 
Fanny * stand on the fence gazing at strange faces and 
things stranger than faces to their young, curious, inquisi- 
tive minds? Or, is it one of those quiet, still Sabbaths 
when nobody is astir but old Aunt Matt t and Eliza, J such 
Sabbaths as I have often witnessed ? These, and similar 
reflections flitted through my mind as I made my usual 
circuit. I even thought how pleasantly I could pass 
my days of confinement here if I but had Linton with 
me; and were a few changes made. 

If, for instance, I could be taken out of this low, under* 
ground, damp room. If I could be allowed a better 
and more comfortable bed, one not filled with vermin. 
Could I be permitted to occupy one of the rooms above, 
removed from the scent of the foul air from the sink 
which reaches me here. With such furniture and com- 
forts as I might then bring about me, could I but have 
Linton with me, I really do not know I could anywhere 
else enjoy more pleasure than in this Fort. Contempla- 
tion of the sad condition, desolation, and ruin of my 
country must of necessity force sorrow upon me, let me 
be where I may. Were I at home, I might see many 
things to oppress the heart from which I am relieved at 
this distance. We poor mortals show our short-sighted- 
ness in nothing more than in choosing what we suppose 
to be best for us. It may be best for to me remain here 
— without Linton — in this damp low room, on this 
hard stone floor with all the other discomforts. 

Went all round the Island with Lieut. Woodman. It 
must be much more than a mile in circuit. I became 
fatigued. Saw soldiers bathing in the sea. 

I have a presentiment that in this pending fourteenth 

* little NegrocB; Haxry** children, f An Afled Negzess. X Harry's wife, die cook. 


week of my confinement I will see the last of its worst 
features. I record this impression reverently. It may 
be but a phantom of the imagination, yet it gives hope 
while it lasts. 

August 14. — Violently ill again. Sent for Harring- 
ton. Lieutenants Newton and Woodman came to see 
me. Senator Henry Wilson called, and sat some time; 
Captain Baldwin was with him. I am now up, very 
weak. These paroxysms exhaust me. After my usual 
bath this morning, the extremities became cold; legs and 
thighs grew quite cold; I wrapped up in bed, but did 
not get reaction until Harrington administered brandy. 
At 1.30, Lieut. Newton called to tell me that permission 
has been granted by telegram from Washington for me 
to see Mr. Reagan one hour daily. This is a great 
privilege. He left to call again at two. He brought 
me Bums's works, as I requested, from Boston; price 

3.15. — Lieut. Newton has not come yet. Geary 
brought me a good bowl of soup. 

Sutler has just sent his bill, $42.15. Paid it. 

While I was writing the last line, Lieut. Newton called 
for me, and I went to see Reagan. It was all I could 
do to repress the flood that welled to my eyes as I entered 
his room and saw him approaching. His voice choked 
as he bade me "Howdy" — or what it was, I do not 
recollect. I know he spoke, and choked, and smiled. 
Nor do I recollect what I said. I was careful to say little 
until the mood upon me should pass. He had but one 
chair. Geary soon brought my cane-bottomed chair. 
Lieut. N. left us. Reagan was sewing on a button when 
we entered. He had on the same suit as when we entered 


this prison. Coat is pretty well worn. The pants, I 
think he bought at Hilton Head. We spent nearly an 
hour pleasantly indeed. I staid until Lieut. N. came 
to take him on his evening walk. I felt much better than 
in the morning. I was able to remain and enjoy myself 
the whole time. I soon learned that solitary confine- 
ment has been horrible to him; no less than to me, I 
think. He has not known that he could board, as I do, 
with the sutler. 

"Well, what did you talk about?" somebody, if any 
such body ever reads this, will be ready to ask. If so* 
I have to say that we talked a little about almost every- 
thing and said nothing in particular. We spent the time 
pretty much as people in the country do when some one 
comes home unexpectedly after a long absence, all shiver- 
ing in the cold, after nightfall, during the short interval 
between "howdy" and getting supper ready. We had 
no special talk on anything. He spoke in general terms 
of his application, of a document he had sent to Texas, 
advising the people to accept the condition of things. 
He showed me some flowers Mrs. Appleton had sent him, 
and spoke in the kindliest terms of her attentions. He 
showed me the little mauls he uses as dumb-bells for 
exercising his arms and the muscles of his chest. He 
told me how he had been living. We flew from one 
subject to another just as an elastic ball bounds from 
one point to another under any force that drives it along. 
So passed our brief first interview. I returned to my 
quarters, greatly rejoiced at this new arrangement, 
thinking that my presentiment of a change for the better 
was not altogether illusory, and with a grateful heart to 
the Giver of all good. 

5.45. — Another paroxysm; was much weakened. 


Mr. Harrington called; he talks sensibly upon diseases; 
his knowledge is practical; he has been in the hospital 
many years; and being kind-hearted and sympathetic, 
he could not fail to learn a great deal. He told me he 
should try to have me moved to another room, one on 
the upper floor, drier and healthier than this. I hope 
he may succeed. 

6.30. — Walked up to Captain Baldwin's room; 
then took a few rounds on the pavement in front of the 
officers' quarters. This is the least walk of any day 
since I have been here, but I am glad I was able to take 
it, short as it was. The band played the most plaintive 
tune; one they often play. 

There are two messes. One for the Major's (when 
he was here), the captains' and the ofl5cers' families, 
with the sutler. I get my meals from this. The other 
is that of the lieutenants over the way at Mrs. Nutler's. 
Mrs. Nutler is the laundress. The hours of meals differ, 
the lieutenants' being an hour earlier. 

August 15. — Did not sleep much. There was 
much noise in rooms not far off, noise of revelry and 
dissipation without music or song. I guessed it to be 
a jollification that Lieut. Woodman was having with 
his brother officers before his departure. In this I was 
right, as Geary told me this morning. This in Zacha- 
riah impresses me: "Turn you to your stronghold, ye 
prisoners of hope : even to-day do I declare that I will 
render double unto thee." I am a prisoner of hope. 
But what is the double to be rendered unto me ? Double 
chastisement or double deliverance ? or is not the promise 
to me at all? 

Sent Geary to sutler's for a pack of cards, so that 


when I go to see Reagan to-day, we may entertain our- 
selves with a game of euchre or piquet; price Si.oo. 

Examined Colton's "New Adas" of 1863. The 
other evening, while I was conversing with Captain 
Baldwin about the currents in the ocean, particularly 
the Gulf Stream, he asked if I had seen this Atlas, wherein 
the currents are marked out. I said I had not, but 
should like to see it; he sent it to my room. I find the 
currents, in the main, as I had supposed. Some egregious 
errors are in this Atlas. On my principle of testing 
general accuracy by accuracy in matters with which I 
am familiar, I examined Colton on such matters. He 
gives the census of my county, Taliaferro, in i860 thus: 
whites 1,693, fr^^ blacks 41, and slaves 2,849. I do not 
know exactly what the relative population was then, 
but am certain that there were not 1,200 more blacks 
than whites in it. He gives Atlanta's population thus: 
1840, 1,000; 1850, 2,572; i860, 4,416. Now, in 1840, I 
do know that there was not a soul in Atlanta, The 
place was not settled. I stood on its present site of 
Atlanta on the 21st July, 1843, and there was not a habited 
house there. It was a perfect forest. Some excavations 
for the railroad had been made, a store or gin-house 
put up, and a frame for a dwelling was in process of 
erection; but not a family was living there. Dr. Glen- 
worth, of Sandtown, and myself, going from Decatur to 
Campbellton, stopped on that day at the present site 
and took lunch. I have not time now to. point out the 
many small errors about Georgia in this Atlas. The 
error as to Atlanta's population for 1840 is no more strik- 
ing than for i860; instead of 4,416, it was not much under 

Last night, I examined Mr. Livermore's "Historical 


Research or Opinion of the Founders of the Republic 
on Negroes as Slaves, Citizens, and Soldiers." The 
work shows much research. The general conclusions 
are correct. The criticism upon Chief Justice Taney's 
decision, I do not think exactly fair; the argument does 
not meet the points squarely. I doubt if Judge Taney 
would have denied a single position as to the facts assumed 
or set forth here. The legal consequences of these facts 
are entirely a diflferent matter. Still in that Dred Scott 
case, I think Justice Curtis had the better of the argument. 
But Mr. Livermore does not seem fully to understand the 
extent to which Judge Curtis differed from the Chief Justice. 

Lieut. Woodman called. Left me Harper^ s Weekly. 
The same bitterness continues in this paper against the 
South. The sketches illustrating the flight of "Jeff 
Davis," pretendedly by an English artist and made on the 
spot, are all gammon. There is no truth in them. Wash- 
ington, Ga., where this parting scene between Mr. Davis 
and his cabinet is represented to have taken place, is 
well known to me. There are no such buildings in that 
town as this cut purports to picture from life. 

10.30. — The surgeon from Gallops Island, who 
attends Dr. Seavems's patients in his absence, called. 
I did not learn his name. He seems to be a pleasant 
and intelligent gentleman. I went round to see Reagan. 
Geary went with me to open the door to Reagan's quar- 
ters, carrying my chair. Reagan read me his letter to 
the people of Texas.* Lieut. Newton had told him that 
there was no objection to his showing it to me. He ad- 

* Reagan sajrs in his **Memoirs" (aa6-aa7) that this letter was approved by Senator Henry 
Wilson, of Massachusetts, Charles O'Conor, of New York, President Johnson, Secretary 
Seward, and others who urged him to get Texas **to lead o£F in that line of policy [qualified 
Negro su£Frage] as the only means of avoiding military government. On my return home I 
found that the people were not in condition to reason on the subject, and I had to abandon 
the idea of trying to bduce them to make such conces;iions as . . . would have saved 
them from military governments and universal Negro suflbage." 


vises extension of the franchise, with some restrictions, to 
the black race, but with no discrimination against Negroes 
as a race in future extensions. 

Without depriving any now possessing the franchise, 
he advises that, for the future, restrictions, appl3dng to 
all alike, be thrown around it. I greatly prefer my plan; 
still, I see no insuperable objection to his. After talking 
over these matters, we entertained ourselves at euchre; 
then I taught him piquet. After leaving his room, I 
visited Captain and Mrs. Livermore. I learned from 
her that Mr. Hall, the sutler, no longer serves the mess 
from which I get my meals. He has given it up. It 
is now under her management. I did not inquire into 
particulars; I was just leaving when the change was 
announced to me by her in asking about my meals, if the 
times of serving and the character of food suited me, 
etc. I must make further inquiries. Perhaps I may 
have to contribute more as my share. I pursued my 
walk. The sea was calm; litUe air was stirring, and 
few sails to be seen. Away oflF to the right of Boston, in 
Chelsea perhaps, is a spot from which a vast colunm 
of smoke is forever ascending. At this spot, Lieut. 
Woodman told me soon after I came here, are copper 
works. The smoke from the furnaces, like the smoke 
from perdition, seems to ascend forever. Day and night, 
Sunday, and all other times it is ever rising. 

Another Fancy Sketch, yet not Altogether 

[R. M. Johnston entering by the window of imagination.] 
Johnston, Well, sir, how are you? 
Prisoner, [Rising quickly.] Why, Dick, how are you ? 
I am so glad to see you. Another verification of the 


old adage, "Think of ," you know. I was thinking 

of you, and here you are. How have you been ? The 
last time you were here, you cut so abruptly upon the 
coming in of Lieut. Newton, that I feared you were 
scared oflF for good, had deserted me; were so afraid of 
being locked up here with me that you made up your mind 
to keep away from these not very interesting quarters. 
But be seated. Tell me why you came through that 
window. Why didn't you get permission to visit me, 
and come in at the door ? I am permitted now to receive 
my friends. I am looking every day for Linton. I 
wrote him two weeks ago to come and bring you if you 
could come. I have various privileges extended to me 
now. I hope the midnight of my individual misfortunes 
is passed, and the dawn is at hand. 

Johnston, What makes you think so? 

Prisoner. I could not tell were I to try. You know 
my opinion about our triune nature — the material, the 
intellectual, and the spiritual. This feeling springs 
from the spiritual. Its operations are beyond all principle 
of bare intellectual ratiocination. But this is apart from 
what I intended to talk to you about. How are you 
getting on in Georgia ? 

Johnston. Bad enough, worse than I expected. This 
Negro problem is presenting new aspects. Far more 
difficult questions than even emancipation rise to view. 
What are we to do with these questions? The present 
and future are darker than any period in the past. 

Prisoner. Quiet and repose is what the people need. 
They are not in condition to grasp and settle these ques- 
tions. In delirium tremens^ the first object is to get the 
patient asleep. There is no hope unless he can rest 
for at least a short time. The patient in this case, the 


body politic, is in excitement, has been bordering on 
delirium tremens^ if not actually in that horrible state. 
The first essential is repose. This end should be attained 
by the earliest possible restoration of law and order, 
the bringing of the States back into practical relations 
with the Central Government. Whenever this is done 
upon almost any rational basis, normal functioning 
will begin throughout the organism, new life will manifest 
itself, and returning health. 

Johnston. And are you hopeful of the future? 

Prisoner. Yes, as much as for several years past. I have 
great confidence in the capacity of man for self-govern- 
ment. I believe in the vigour of the young manhood 
of the American people. I know the public is suflFering 
extremely from late dissipations; the whole body is sick 
nigh unto death, North and South. This young Hercules 
of a Republic is bordering on delirium tremenSy but I 
feel assured that if he can but get quiet, if sleep can be 
induced and his nervous balance restored, all will yet 
be well with him. With the normal action of the Ameri- 
can system once restored, those great principles of civil 
and religious liberty which underlie all our institutions, 
and which are now overridden, will again arise in their 
original power and strength. But there are great difii- 
culties ahead; the prospect is gloomy enough. 

Johnston. I am glad to see you hopeful. I was begin- 
ning for the first time to despair. Heretofore, you have 
always presented a darker side than I had seen — since 
i860 until now. 

Prisoner. Do not suppose me more sanguine than I am. 
Things are no worse than I have expected, and not yet 
so bad as I am prepared to see them before they mend. 
The difficulties ahead are appalling. They may, how- 


ever, be surmounted. This is the hope that calls every 
patriot to lend a hand to speedy restoration of peace, 
law, and order upon any practical basis. Let this be 
the first great object. If this fails, there is no fathoming 
the abyss into which we may be plunged. 

Johnston. I am glad to find you more cheerful than 
you were. I suppose you are not entirely without 
something to amuse you even here? But I confess I see 
nothing that could stir a vein of humour in my nature. 

Prisoner. [Laughing.] Why, sir, humour is a strange 
thing. I have sometimes been almost offended with myself 
for a disposition to laugh. I have fondness for humour 
in my saddest moments. I see a great deal in prison 
life to laugh at ; if I had you and Linton with me, I think we 
could amuse ourselves as much here as men ought to when 
their country is passing through such an ordeal as is ours. 
[Enter Lieut. Woodman bringing Governor Alfred Cum- 
ming. Exit Johnston through the window aforesaiaj 

Governor Gumming spent only a few moments; re- 
turned to Boston by the boat. He promised to spend 
to-morrow with me. The Great Eastern has been heard 
from. The cable was [illegible word] 2d August. 

Mr. Harrington tells me that the doctor who called 
this morning is named Monroe, and that he has recom- 
mended a change of quarters for me, removal from the 
stone floor to a room above. If this be granted, I shall 
be greatly relieved. Gole writes that it was at his instance 
I am allowed to visit Reagan daily. I begin to see the 
dawn. Unto Thee, O Father, be my thanks reverently 
poured forth! 

On the ramparts, Lieut. Woodman joined me. We 
walked round twice, then rested on the bench. We 


went on the parapet, I taking his arm. I was a little 
afraid to walk on it without support; being weak, was 
afraid I should fall or pitch over. For supper, bread 
and milk. Days are shortening, nights lengthening. 
Longer time 'twixt candle-light and bed-going than in 
June. After supper, I read the Georgia papers that 
Governor Gumming left, and got all the information 
I could from the good, beloved, but down-trodden old 
State. My heart and my soul are with her. I read even 
the advertisements to see if I could find any familiar 
names. In one issue, I saw editorial notice of the order 
• to take possession of Toombs's house and Steadman's 
order countermanding it.* I do hope DuBose got home 
in time. I am afraid my house will be confiscated in 
a similar way by the Freedman's Bureau. Lieut. W. 
came down and talked with me. I gave him a short 
sketch of myself and also of Linton. He inquired about 
Linton. He really seems to take an interest in my affairs. 

August 1 6. — Was perplexed last night in regard 
to writing to the President for a personal interview. 
If he were to grant it, I do think I could show him that 
I am justly entitled to release on parole. If he should 
reject the application, it would be mortifying. I did 
not sleep much. I was feverish and restless. Rose early. 

I have drawn up a letter of which this is a copy: 

Mr. President: With profound acknowledgments for 
the relaxation of the order for my close confinement, 
I am induced to make another appeal to you. I am 
anxious to have a personal interview and conference 
with you. I am not without strong convictions that if 

* The Freednuui'f Bureau ordered Mrs. Toombe to vacate it to their use. General Steadman 
restored it to her. 


I could have such an interview I could easily satisfy 
you that my request for release on parole or bail should 
be granted no less on public than private considerations. 
Will you please grant such interview? If you should, 
and I should be released so far as to go to Washington, 
I need not assure you, I trust, that in case the further 
release on parole to go to my home should not be granted 
after the interview, I should return to this place. My 
conduct and well-known position before my arrest and 
since, I feel assured, is sufl&cient guarantee that in no 
possible contingency would I attempt to escape. My 
petition is earnestly though briefly submitted. Act 
upon it as you think best. Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Went to see Reagan. Expect Governor Cunmiing 
by the morning boat. Geary came in while we were 
pla)ang piquet, and told me that the gentleman, my 
friend, had come. I came back to my room, and much 
to my surprise, found Dr. Willis; but we had hardly 
concluded salutations when Governor Gumming was 
shown in. They spent the day. We took dinner in 
the mess-room — the first time I have eaten out of my 
cell since the 25th of May — no, the dinner with Parrott 
must be excepted. I was truly glad to see both. I 
felt sad, however, all day from a letter that Lieut. Wood- 
man handed me soon after their arrival. It was from 
Linton. The tone affected me deeply. My friends 
left me at five. I read and reread Linton's letter. I 
shall now look for him daily. For supper had milk and 
some of my peaches that Mrs. Salter sent yesterday; 
she sent me some pears, too. I took Reagan some of 
both this morning. At 8.30, Lieut. W. called. I 
read to him Bums's "Soldier's Return." He sat and 
we talked until ten. 


THURSDAY, August 17. — This ever -memor- 
able day has again returned. It is fourteen 
weeks since my arrest, since I was deprived 
of my liberty, and that without warrant, without charge, 
without judicial process; this in a land boasting of its 
freedom. I am impressed with an idea that with this 
week will end in some measure the darkness of my trials, 
and that the dawn will begin. It may be hallucination. 

Lord, in very mercy grant my hopes be not illusions! 

1 am strong in hopes that Linton will be here before long. 
Oh, that my hopes may be realized! It would do me 
so much good to see and have him here with me. 

Papers came. Nothing of interest except announce- 
ment from Washington that Mr. Davis is to be tried, 
and at an early day, for treason before a proper court, 
and that the suspension of the habeas corpus writ is 
soon to be itself suspended. Lieut. Newton brought 
me a letter from Mollie Greer, 31st July, and one from 
Prof. R. M. Johnston, 25th. Mollie's greatly relieved 
me. All her brothers are at home and well. It is the 
first news I have had from them touching their safety 
in the late war. I am impressed with the fact that on 
the very day when I was recording my dream of being 
at Dick Johnston's home, Linton was with him. He 
was sick. Was not my spirit also with him? 

Reagan read me his application for anmesty and all 
the papers appertaining to it, including his letters to 



Mr. Seward and Attorney-General Speed. While we 
were engaged with these papers, we were gazed upon 
through the windows by a crowd of strangers visiting 
the fort. They had a band of music and were dressed 
in uniform as if belonging to some military force. After 
dinner I called at Captain Livermore's and sat and 
talked with Mrs. Livermore. Miss Livermore, Major 
Livermore's cousin, I suppose, was with her; quite good- 
looking, intelligent and agreeable. Mrs. Livermore was 
out in the squall last night; was in a yacht and became 
somewhat frightened. 


August 18. — Was ill last night; sent for Mr. Har- 
rington. He called again this morning before I got up. 
He is a very kind-hearted man. Lieut. Newton called 
soon after I was up. We had some conversation about 
the orders relating to privileges extended me. I have 
not seen that allowing me to see Judge Reagan an hour 
daily. I said I thought it would modify my parole to 
keep my room during Reagan's walk; and that I might 
even walk with him if I so choose to use the hour. He 
promised to look up that order and let me see it. 

Lieut. W. called about the order releasing me from 
close confinement. Says it cannot be found amongst 
the papers here. I showed him the certified copy Adju- 
tant Ray gave me. Lieut. Newton brought me letters 
from Sister Elizabeth and John A. Stephens. Nothing 
from Linton; and no news from Washington. Dr. 
Monroe called. Said no news from application for 
change of my quarters. The prospect looks dark, but 
somehow I feel hopeful that a change will take place 
before long. May God grant it ! 

Went to see Reagan. He requested me to bring away 


and read a memoir he has prepared for his children. I 
do not know but that, in bringing it away, I might be 
violating my parole. I haven't been able yet to see the 
order allowing my conference with Judge Reagan, and 
do not know the conditions or restrictions, or if there 
are any. I told him that I had better get the sanction 
of the ofl&cer in command. Reagan has applied for 
release from close confinement and for privilege to mess 
with me. Called on Lieut. Newton, and asked to see 
the order. He told me it was lost. For dinner had 
a meat pie; I sent it to Reagan. Mr. Harrington gave 
me a bottle of bitters which he thought would be good 
for me. Called on Captain Livermore, now in com- 
mand, and sought information about Reagan's memoir. 
He said there was no objection to my taking it to my 
room and reading it. I sat in the parlour and talked 
a while. Mrs. and Miss Livermore were there. 

Finished Swedenborg on "Heaven and Hell"; "The 
World of Spirits," etc. Many things in this book are 
obscure to me. If I understand Swedenborg, salvation 
is not the result of immediate mercy and grace but the 
result of these combined with the acts and will of the 
recipient. These views accord nearly with my own. 
Divine vengeance, as taught by many, I could never 
comprehend. The Divine Being I was always inclined 
to regard as the very embodiment of love and mercy; 
punishments as the inevitable consequences of violation 
of law, moral or physical; Scriptural commandments 
and injunctions as admonitory, given to man to enable 
him to see the law and to avoid violation with the con- 
sequences, as he has power to do through Divine aid 
and faith in the Redeemer. I believe, too, in the cultiva- 
tion of the higher attributes and qualities of man, his 


third part, which I call the soul, just as I believe in the 
cultivation of his second part, which I call mind or 
intellect. Soul-culture is as distinct, in my opinion, 
from mental-culture, as mental from physical; it has a 
sphere of its own and is governed by laws as diflferent from 
those of bare mental culture, as the laws of the latter 
differ from the laws of bare physical culture. In religious 
or spiritual matters, as they are called for lack of a better 
term for things relating to the culture of the soul, reason, 
technically speaking, has nothing to do. The whole 
lies in a sphere beyond human reason. 

6. p. M. — In the evening paper is an account of 
"Fort Warren." I think some items about me were got 
from Governor Gumming. Not that about the little 
girl; for none such was mentioned to him; the statement 
that I gave her a gold dollar is fiction. I had not one 
to give, nor should I have made such return for her 
kindness if I had one. I should have thought it might 
be oCEensive to her. But I did thank her kindly, tenderly, 
sincerely, and I felt disposed to kiss her, and would have 
done so but from the apprehension that that might not 
be kindly received. She was a beautiful, innocent little 
girl, four or five years old; Mabel Landon Appleton, as 
I understood her to give her name. Went on the 
ramparts. Lieut. Woodman joined me. I took his 
arm and we made two circuits. He told me his resigna- 
tion had been accepted, and the acceptance would be 
here to-morrow. So, with to-morrow, his official con- 
nection with this Post and the army will cease. He 
said he should be down next week, but I suppose I shall 
never again have such a conversation or walk with him. 
This evening's stroll I suspect is the last we shall ever 
take together. I may see him when he returns and may 


have the opportunity of speaking with him, but I do not 
expect ever to have with him again such free and easy 
talks as we have had on our evening strolls. He told 
me it was Judge Reagan who gave the little girl the gold 
dollar. He expressed regret that he should not be here 
when Linton arrives — "when your brother comes." 
This interest to see Linton made him feel more like a 
friend to me than before. 

August 19. — Read in Zachariah: "Turn you to the 
strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I 
declare that I will render double unto thee." I was 
struck with the agreement between that verse and this 
in Nahum: " The Lord is good, a strong hold in the 
day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust him. " 
Strange feelings seized upon me. That the Lord is a 
strong hold in the day of trouble I know. But for His 
sustaining grace, I should have been crushed in body 
and soul long ere this. Yet do I fully trust Him ? 

Lieut. Newton called to see how I am. He said a 
box of fruit had come for me. He would send it down. 
Geary brought it and a lot of papers, all from Mrs. Salter, 
my kind and attentive lady friend in Boston. 

It is now three weeks since the locks were taken from 
my door. Went to the library. Met Captain Baldwin 
at the door of his quarters. He invited me in; insisted 
that I should feel at home in his parlour; should come up 
there and sit during the day as it is more comfortable 
than in my room. Mrs. Baldwin is gone. No person 
there but the Captain and he is gone during the day to 
attend a court martial. 

Last night, read Swedenborg's "Last Judgment." 
Like his other works, a wonderful production. The 


first chapters I can understand: further reading suggests 
that he had poured over abstruse subjects, endeavouring 
to reconcile spiritual mysteries with the laws of human 
understanding, until reason lost its balance. Still, 
there is nothing in his explanation of sacred text more 
mysterious than the text itself. Whether he w'as under 
Divine illumination or labouring under hallucination, 
I do not know, but that he was sincere, I believe. 

Since my last big row with bedbugs, I have made it 
a business every day or two to search for and break 
them up. I have just been at this work of self-preserva- 

As for my mouse, I have never, since the instance given, 
got a sight of it. But I have kept up my dropping of 
crumbs; they disappear when I am out or when my 
eyes are off the spot; I suppose the little creature is 
about but keeps close, not knowing that I would not 
hurt it. It may see from its hiding-place, what I do with 
the chinches, and draw conclusions which prompt it to 
keep out of my power. I have often felt sorry for what 
I have to do to these blood-suckers. Most willingly 
would I turn them loose and let them go away if they 
would go and stay, but this they will not do. Between 
them and me, therefore, there is "an irrepressible con- 
flict." Either I or they must be extinguished. This 
seems to be fixed in the laws of our nature. I am sorry 
it is so, but so it is. Toward the mouse I feel very much 
as Bums expressed himself to one in his day: 

I doubtna, whyles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? Poor beastie, thou maun live; 
A daimen icker in a thrave 

'S a sma' request: 
I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave, 

And never miss 't 


Not so with these vermin that feed on my blood. Of 
that I have not a drop to spare without missing it, to say 
nothing of the torture at having it sucked out as they 
do it. I would willingly let them alone if they would let 
me alone, and I would even contribute something to their 
• support and sustenance. But to live and let live is not 
in accordance with the laws of their existence. Hence, 
they justly bring their death upon themselves. 

10.30. — Boat brought papers, but no letters, no 
news from Linton. Gloom again creeps over my soul. 
I am disappointed and grieved at heart. O Lord, sus- 
tain me! The papers are largely taken up with the 
failure of the cable, or rather the accident that has 
befallen it. Whether it be failure or not, is not settled. 
I see that Mrs. Davis and family with Mrs. Howell, 
her mother, have arrived in New York. The Times 
has a leading article against the Southern people. I 
took Reagan a pile of English papers that Mrs. Salter 
sent down to me and him. He has sent me his memoirs. 
Met Captain Baldwin at his door, went in and sat with 
him until dinner was announced. He went to his 
dinner and I retumied to my room. 

My heart is filled with gratitude to the Father of all 
mercies. Lieut. Woodman has just entered my soom, 
bringing a telegram from President Johnson to the 
Commandant of the Post directing him to give me as 
comfortable quarters here as he can, and to say to me that 
he (the President) has received my letter and will reply. 
Oh, if I had Linton with me now, how full would be my 
joy notwithstanding I am a prisoner! How light is 
my burden compared with what it has been! The full 
dawn of day is certainly upon me! May the sun of my 
deliverance soon arise! Oh, may Linton soon come! 



When Lieut. W. entered, I was reading Reagan's memoir. 
I have become interested in it, but can pursue it no more 
this evening. My feelings are too much excited. I 
pour out my heart in the last Psalm. "Let everything 
that hath breath praise the Lord." 

Walked out. Sat at the door of Dr. Seavems's quarters, 
talking with Mrs. Seavems, a Mrs. Davis, and other 
ladies. Then went on the ramparts. Saw many sail- 
vessels west of the fort, all seemingly at anchor. I 
counted fifteen and one large brig, apparently a steam- 
propeller. What it all means I cannot imagine. My 
walk was lonely. I thought many things. Why has 
Linton not come ? Why has DuBose not written to me ? 
What is the prospect of President Johnson's replying 
to my letter? Suppose he should release me on parole, 
sending me home by sea from this place to Savannah. 
May I expect anything as good? and yet, that, now, 
before Linton comes, would be painful. Maybe Linton 
will reach here in a few days. 


SUNDAY, August 20. — I am in my new quar- 
ters. I am out of the hole. I am on deck. I 
am in a comfortable room, with fair and beauti- 
ful prospect out toward the South and rejoicing in a 
brilliant sunlight. I have just taken my dinner, and 
read letter from my old and true friend, J. A. Stewart, 
Rome, Ga. It was handed me in my new quarters. 
My heart is full; I will not attempt to give utterance to 
my emotions. If I did but have Linton with me, I 
should feel better. 

This morning, I finished Reagan's manuscript and 
took it round to him with a few notes I had made. We 
conversed until one. I read him my first two letters to 
the President. On returning to my old quarters, I 
found Geary, who told me, "We have moved." He 
conducted me to our new quarters. I say "our," as 
he said "we," for he comes with me. The apartments 
consist of three rooms, a sort of pailour, in which I now 
am, fronting south, a room in the rear in which my 
bed is placed, a neat and comfortable bedroom; and one 
in the rear of that for Geary. By opening doors and 
windows, we have a draft through all the rooms. The 
new arrangement suits me admirably. I doubt if I 
could, as to rooms, be more comfortable in any hotel 
in Boston or New York. In furnishings I am rather 
deficient, but my situation is infinitely better than it has 
been. The removal is from a cell to a palace so far as 



comfort is concerned. If Linton now would but, or 
could but, come. Oh, what detains him ? This question 
weighs heavily upon me. It is now 21 days since I 
wrote him to come. 

7.15 p. M. — Took Reagan's manuscript to Mrs. 
Livermore, as she had expressed a wish to read it; she 
was present when I asked the Captain about my reading 
it, and evinced this desire. Captain Livermore was 
taking an evening nap. I sat with Mrs. Livermore a 
half-hour or more. She gave me a book of sermons 
by F. W. Robertson, of Brighton, England. After 
leaving the Captain's quarters, I visited Lieut. Wood- 

August 21. — Morning bright and beautiful, the 
first in my new quarters. Felt much better than for 
months. Last night, after nine. Captain Livermore 
and Lieut. Woodman called, and we spent some time 
in conversation. Captain L. showed me, in the Boston 
AdvertiseTy a piece about my confinement, health, etc. 
I spent last night, when not engaged with this company, 
in reading Robertson's Sermons. Robertson belonged 
to the Church of England, but his doctrines on the 
Trinity are those of Swedenborg. The sermon indicating 
this was preached 26th May, 1850, from I Thess. v, 23. 
It considers man in his three-fold nature of matter, and 
two other distinct principles, soul, and spirit, as I have 
been believing for a long time. 

Lieut. Woodman called to take final leave of me. 
He said he might come on a visit to the fort again before 
leaving Boston for Hilton Head; if so, he would see me; 
it was not certain he would be here again. I gave him 
a letter as a testimonial of my regard for him and my 


recognition of his official courtesy, civility, urbanity, 
and kindness to me, hoping it might be of service to him 
should he meet with any of my personal friends in his 
new home, as they may thereby be induced to render him 
all aid in their power in extending his acquaintance in a 
strange land. We parted perhaps never to meet again, 
but I hope otherwise. I hope yet to have the pleasure 
of entertaining him with such hospitality as I can com- 
mand at Liberty Hall. It would afford me great pleasure 
to meet him there, and make some return in kind for 
his many acts of generous sympathy toward me. 

Old sayings about the dreams one may have the first 
night in a new room filled my mind when I retired. I 
lay awake for a long time. It is strange that while Linton 
has occupied more of my thoughts since I have been 
here than all other people and all other subjects com- 
bined, yet I have never once had a dream in which he 
figured prominently. I have dreamed of being at his 
house and of his being there and well, but in another 
room. In no instance have I dreamed of conversing 
with him. 

1.30. — Found Reagan suffering with pain in the 
back. He did not get much sleep last night for the 
mosquitoes; his face was very much bitten. He was 
less cheerful than I have yet seen him. We took to 
piquet and euchre. I generally beat at the first, and he 
at the latter. In comes dinner. It is to-day set on 
another table in my bedroom. A very good dinner, 
and I had a pretty good appetite. Went to sutler's 
■ and got some shoe-strings, a pocket-knife, and a piece 
of red cord. Made me a window-curtain by pasting 
newspapers together. 

Little Charles Nutler called on me, as I was coming 


from Hall's, for the book I promised him. I told him 
to come along with me and get it. He said, "They won't 
let me in your room." "Oh yes," I replied, "they will 
let you in now. Anybody can go in my room now. 
Come along." Rather doubtfully he came, but when 
he saw where I was going, he brightened up hopefully. 
"Ah, they have moved you, have they?" "Yes," said I. 
On entering, the little fellow again exclaimed, "Oh, you 
have a good room now." "Yes," said I. "They don't 
lock you up now, do they?" "No," said I. "Didn't 
you feel bad when they kept you locked up?" "Oh 
yes, horribly bad." "But you got sort of used to it, 
didn't you, after you had been there awhile?" "A 
little used to it, but I believe I felt worse the longer I 
stayed there, locked up all the time." "How long are 
they going to keep you, I wonder?" "I don't know; 
not much longer, I hope." "Why, you don't mind 
staying here now, do you? Don't you like this place?" 
" Oh, I like the place very well, but I want to get home to 
see the people there." "I like it very well," said he, 
"but I am going to leave before long to start to school 
again." This is a sample of our conversation. I gave 
him Vol. I., "Conquest of Mexico." When he reads 
that he is to bring it back and get another. He is too 
little to be intrusted with all at once. 

August 22. — I dreamed of Linton. It was a strange 
dream. I was travelling, was starting somewhere on 
a sort of onmibus. The vehicle was crowded. I was 
on the front seat, outside with the driver. I was expect- 
ing and looking for Linton. The consciousness of being 
a prisoner was in me, but what was the object of my 
movements or where I was going, did not seem to be 


in my mind. I had no idea about it. As we were 
getting under way and had taken the last passenger, 
filling every inside seat, I saw Linton standing some 
thirty yards in advance of us and to our right, apparently 
waiting. He was in the act of starting to meet us when 
my eyes first caught sight of him. He was greatly changed 
but I knew him. He looked tall and thin, taller and 
thinner, I thought, than I had ever seen him, and quite 
sunburnt, rather sallow than ruddy. He had on a 
colonel's uniform. I was delighted to see him; felt a 
little disposed, as he came up, to chide him for his delay; 
but when he approached near enough to speak, nature 
gave way in smiles and tears as I bade him howdy. 
This was done as he mounted the steps of the vehicle, 
while it kept in motion, and took part of my narrow 
seat in front. At this point, before a word was spoken 
by him that I can recollect, I awoke and the vision was 
gone. For a long time I lay awake. This strange 
vision made upon my mind a deep and vivid impression 
which continues. 

Lieut. Newton called while I was writing the above. 
I asked if any letters came for me yesterday. He said 
one came but had to be returned to General Hooker 
for approval. He could not tell me who it was from. 
It occurs to me that Harry's son, Tim, also appeared 
to me in my mental rovings during sleep last night. 
He was not the Tim, the little boy, I left at home; was 
about half -grown; was not docile and obedient as always 
heretofore but self-willed and obstinate. 

In my walk yesterday, a little incident occurred as I 
was ascending the stone steps to the ramparts. I can- 
not go into detail, and only mention the fact, that I may 
hereafter, if opportunity permits, enlarge upon it. It 


made a deep impression upon me. Reagan is better, 
but is still suffering greatly, in body and mind, from 
close confinement. This is a cloudy cool day. Some- 
how I am strongly impressed with the idea that I shall 
hear from Linton this evening. I am fondly indulging 
this hope. It keeps up the spirits. Corporal Geary 
brought a letter from Gip Grier, dated the 12th; acknowl- 
edges "all" my letters. I suppose he means those of 
30th July, when I wTote through him to Linton, John 
A. Stephens, and George F. Bristow. He said he had 
sent my "letters'' on, does not specify that he got the 
one for Linton, and had sent that on, but I hope this 
is the case. If so, he must have sent it as early as the 
12th; and Bristow, if at home, got it by the 13th, and then, 
if my plan succeeded in carrying out, Linton, if in Sparta, 
must have got it by the 14th, a week ago yesterday. So, 
I feel almost certain that if he were at home then and 
well, he is now on his way here; and if he meets with no 
accident, will be here in a day or two. I answered 
Gip before making these entries. I see in the Boston 
Post that H. V. Johnson, of Georgia, is in Washington. 
He might be of some service to me if so inclined. I 
have no idea that he is disinclined^ and yet he may not 
be inclined. He may be indifferent; that is, he may 
be completely occupied with his own affairs. 

7. p. M. — Evening mail. No letters for me, so 
Lieut. Newton told me himself. He is the officer in 
special charge of prisoners since Lieut. Woodman left. 
I went to him in person, so anxious was I. 

August 23. — Finished Robertson's " Sermons.'* 
Two, I place in the first rank of all sermons I have 
heard or read; that already mentioned and one on "Chris- 


tian Aim and Motive." I may copy these in this Journal, 
making comments. 

9.30. — It rained heavily last night. Lieut. Newton 
called to see me. He has been up all night on duty. 

11.30. — Went to the sutler's and bought some 
pens and writing paper; and some tacks for putting up 
my curtain. Went on ramparts to see the boat come in 
from Boston, hoping it might have Linton on board 
and that I might get a glimpse of him. The boat came. 
I left the rampart before she landed. Saw no person on 
deck like him. Morning papers. Cut out several 
articles, such as the Herald^s Fortress Monroe letter stat- 
ing that preparations are being made there for the trial 
of Mr. Davis, an account from Washington of the post- 
ponement of the Wirz trial, and Governor Perry's 
second Greenville [S. C] speech. My heart is sick at 
no news from Linton. Went to see Reagan. Found 
him better. We played piquet and euchre. I beat 
him for the first time at euchre. Lieut. Newton came 
in to tell me that he had left a letter on my table; said 
he did not notice it closely; it was a short letter from 
New York. This satisfied me that it was not from 
Linton or home, and I stayed my allotted time with 
Reagan. The letter is from S. J. Anderson. He prom- 
ises to come to see me if he can get permission; he thinks 
he can on General Hooker's return to New York, 

Thursday, August 24. — Another cycle of seven days; 
fifteen weeks since I have been a prisoner; thirteen since 
I have been in this fort, this little kingdom within a king- 
dom, this little despotism within a despotism. It is true 
I am much better conditioned than I have been, have 
more comforts and privileges, and feel more like a free 


man; yet these comforts and privileges come at the 
pleasure of him in whose temporal power I am. Despotic 
power still holds me in its clutches. How long, O Lord, 
how long shall this continue? Shall I ever again enjoy 
the rights of a freeman? Began Daniel. 

Dreamed last night of Toombs. How changed from 
the Toombs of other days! My mind reverts to the 
dream of Linton. The more I think of it, the more I 
am impressed with the fact that he did not speak, nor 
was there any manifestation of joy on his side at seeing 
or joining me. He simply mounted the vehicle and took a 
part of the very narrow seat beside me. It rained that 
night. To dream of the dead is said to be a sign of rain. 

Last night I read Coleridge. The Corporal brought 
me Matthew Arnold's "Essays in Criticism" presented 
by Mrs. Salter. She referred to this book in her note 
of the 20th ; there has been, I suppose, neglect in delivery. 
There is not the same prompt attention in delivering 
letters or anything else to prisoners, or at least to myself, 
as when Lieut. Woodman was in charge. He used to 
deliver my letters in ten minutes after the mail arrived; 
often, at least, he did this. Now, I never get them 
short of two or three hours after; sometimes I think not 
until the next day. 

12 M. — Called to see Captain Livermore's family. 
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard are visiting them. Mrs. Leonard 
is Mrs. Livermore's sister. She is a well-educated and 
highly intelligent lady. We conversed on many topics. 
Mr. Leonard is a partner, he informed me, of my old 
Congress friend, George Ashmun,* of Massachusetts. 
Mr. Leonard lives in Springfield. 

* Ashmun offered in Congieas, 1848, Stephens's amendment to the resolutions ttintiHng 
General Twiggs for gallantry m the MeTJcan War; and reported in the Whig Convcntioo of 
x8sa, the Whig platform, whidi Webster amended at Stephens's suggestion. 


Lieut. Newton has removed the restriction that I should 
remain in my room during Reagan's hour abroad. This 
evening, as Reagan returned from his walk, he stopped 
at the pump near my door. I went out and joined him in 
taking some fresh water; that, Lieut. Newton permitted. 

While we were there, Mrs. Livermore came out and 
spoke to the Judge, apologizing for keeping his manu- 
script so long. Her winning and agreeable manner and 
her kind language seemed to do him good. Asked 
Harrington about the range of the thermometer h«-e 
during the winter. He brought me the registry for last 
winter; the average for December at 7 A. m. was 30, the 
lowest o, and the highest 43. 

August 25. — I got a first view last evening of the 
new moon, three days old, in a perfectiy clear sky and 
without the least intervening obstruction. She was 
also seen over the right shoulder. But she was so young, 
and blushing so, or rather paling so in the rays of the 
sun not yet down, that she was not brilliant. I only 
saw clearly her form and outline. What matters it how 
we see a new moon for the first time? Nothing, accord- 
ing to reason, and yet something in our nature prompts 
a desire for signs, auguries, and supernatural manifesta- 
tions. It is bom with us. It possesses us, and asserts 
its power before even reason. Reason may bid it down, 
yet it is there by a law of our nature, a law not of the 
reasoning faculty but of another part, which I call soul. 
And may not reason well pause in its own conclusions 
and consider whether a law so general in the nature of 
man is without effect, even though the operations are 
beyond its comprehension? I do not think I am at all 


Mr. Leonard called to take leave of me. Before he 
left, Lieut. Woodman came with a friend (whose name 
I did not distinctly hear), to take his final leave. After* 
sitting some time, which was passed in agreeable con- 
versation, all three gentlemen left me with final farewells. 
The whistle of the boat is now heard. Oh, that it may 
bring me good news! It is now three calendar months 
almost to the minute since I entered the walls of this 
fort, between 10 and 11 o'clock of the 25th of May. 

In last night's Washington telegrams in the Boston 
Post this morning, I see that Linton reached Washington 
yesterday. This caused my heart to bound with joy! 
My prayer is thus far answered. He is, I hope, well 
and coming to me. He is on the way! I shall look 
for him to-morrow, and next day, and every day, until 
he comes. Governor [Joe] Brown is with him. I 
wish he, too, would come, but I hardly think so. I 
clipped an editorial from the Tribune, Greeley's second 
reply to Thurlow Weed. If Greeley is not an honest 
and truthful man, I have never met one. I do not agree 
with him in many things, but I have a high regard for 
his directness of purpose and integrity of motive. He 
is, on his line, a true and earnest man. He is withal 
an able man. The Corporal, while I was reading the 
papers, brought me a letter from Mr. Bell, a New York 
publisher, proposing to publish anything I may wish 
issued in book form. This is the letter, I suppose, that 
Lieut. Newton told me reached here some days ago and 
was returned to New York for General Hooker's 

The Corporal returned and brought me two boxes 
from Mrs. Salter, one of flowers and one of sweet cakes. 

Called on Mrs. Livermore. The Captain came in 


with two gentlemen, captains of engineers, I understood, 
of the name of Amesby. He told me he had received an 
order to-day to release Judge Reagan from close con- 
finement. I was about to start on my daily visit to 
Reagan when the Captain told me this. The news did 
not retard my motions at all ! When I reached his room, 
I discovered from the glow on his countenance that 
some other person, or a bird of the air, had anticipated 
me in communicating it. The joy and gladness it 
imparted showed itself not only in his looks but in the 
very motions of the body and the tones of the voice. 
We played piquet and euchre as usual. During this 
time, Lieut. Newton came and took the lock off his door. 
I could conjecture what his feelings were when the last 
clanking of that lock was heard. I doubt if anybody 
can who was never in a like situation. 

Reagan called and sat with me until retreat was beat; 
except for about an hour before the evening boat, when 
we went on the terreplein, confining ourselves to the 
southern part. Orders came to allow Dr. Bickley and 
Vernon the northern ramparts for their walk. We are 
not to speak to them; or more correctly, in conformity 
with instructions to allow them more liberty, we cannot 
walk round the parapet. Reagan seemed weak and 
wearied, and I felt no disposition to walk; so we sat on 
the western bastion until the boat came; then stayed 
in my room until retreat sounded. Dr. Seavems came 
in. I was surprised at his returning before his leave 
is out, which would not be until Monday. He sat and 
talked more than an hour with us. He has been 
to Chicago on a visit to his brother. After supper, Mr. 
Devine, the soldier tailor, who was my neighbour in my 
old quarters, called, and I was glad to give him a wd- 


come. He seems like an old friend. He teUs me he 
has been a soldier in the United States Army since 
1837; is now on a sort of detail for his company to do 
their sewing, mending, and tailoring. He is an Irish- 
man. The Irish somehow take to me by constitution 
or affinity. I told my good friend, for so I regard him,' 
that I had another button off and must get him to sew 
it on. He seemed glad to do something for me. 

August 26. — A telegram from Washington in the 
N. Y. World says Linton and Governor Brown are there, 
endeavouring to have me released on parole. I did 
expect a letter from Linton to-day ; but I am not so deeply 
anxious since I see that he is in Washington. That 
news gives me great relief. But I fear he will be dis- 
appointed in his efforts. This will cause him pain and 
that will distress me more than my confinement. Intense 
as is my wish to be at home, yet I greatly prefer to stay 
here for years, if I should be spared so long, than that 
he should feel unhappy on account of my desire. With 
the privileges I now enjoy, I can bear imprisonment, 
can bear being cut off from all the dear ones at home if 
I can but be assured that they do not suffer mentally 
or physically on my account. I am anxious to see 
Linton and talk over all these matters with him. I 
want to talk to him as I have never yet done, of my 
reliance upon Divine power. 

10 p. M. — After supper, Dr. Seavems called and 
sat for an hour. Conversation turned on Southern 
society, enterprise, etc. I gave him a description of the 
Midway Community, the Midway congregation in Liberty ^ 
County, as it presented itself to me in 1833, as one of the 
best examples of human society on the face of the earth. 

:• .J,'. ^*-^ 


I spoke of Louis Le Conte as the most learned man I 
ever saw, the most fully informed on all subjects to which 
I had seen his attention called. 

Sunday, August 27. — Last night, before I got 
fairly to sleep and just as I began to do^, Linton seemed 
to be approaching my door hastily. I rose in great joy 
to meet him. As I seemed to rise, I awoke. It was 
a vision. He did not speak, nor did I. What to make 
of this, I do not know. I have not dreamed of talking 
with Linton since we parted at my gate. The whistle 
of the boat announces its arrival with the mail. May 
it bring me news of Linton if not Linton himself! 

Boston Herald brought in by Geary. See that Linton 
and Governor Brown were tr)ring to get an interview 
with President Johnson yesterday. If they succeeded, 
Linton may possibly reach here to-morrow. But I fear 
they failed; am in great suspense. Lieut. Newton 
brought me a letter from Joe Myers, dated New York, 
25th inst. Myers says he and Linton left home Thurs- 
day, the 17th. He left Linton in Louisville, Ky., with 
Governor Brown and Judge Lochrane.* Myers is to 
remain in New York until Linton reaches there, then 
he is to come with Linton to see me. He says Linton 
was to stop in Washington; says all were well when he 
left home. 

Lieut. Newton also brought two copies of the Augusta 
[Ga.] Transcript sent by Governor Gumming, I suppose. 
In pencil on one is this: "The New York Commercial 
correspondent says Alexander H. Stephens will soon 
be released." I saw yesterday a publication from the 
State Department which I think foreshadows a great 

* Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia in 187 1-72. 


deal. It is to the effect that pardoned rebels can get 
passports, just as other citizens, to leave the country; 
and that application of rebels not pardoned will be acted 
on, etc. The policy indicated is, therefore, to grant leave 
to quit the country to those entitled to this pardon. 

Noon. — Reagan and I walked on the parapet. 
The day was beautiful. Everything was still and quiet in 
the fort, reminding us of Sundays on a plantation where 
stillness reigns, and when all who are to be seen are lolling 
or lounging about at rest. The drill and constant sounds 
of music which were kept up on Sunday as on other days 
when first I came, have been discontinued. The morn- 
ing beat of the drum and the reveille are yet heard, and 
some other hours are signalled by tap of drum or blast 
of bugle; but the regular everyday rounds of music are 
not continued; still, there is no preaching, no public 
religious exercise, on Sundays. 

It is now a week since I have been in my new quarters. 
I have improved wonderfully in physical condition. In 
mind, I am greatly relieved from the oppression that 
bore me down so sorely while in the old. 

Reagan and I again strolled on the parapet; saw a 
large steamer pass the fort to Boston. Some said she 
was an emigrant ship; some, that she was a U. S. trans- 
port bringing home Massachusetts troops. 

August 28. — Geary brought me the New York 
Day Book of 26th, which came to Lieut. Woodman yester- 
day, marked for me. Samuel Anderson sent it, I sup- 
pose. In it I see an article headed, "Alexander H. 
Stephens. " If he wrote it, I have no doubt his intentions 
were good, but it abounds in mistakes as is usual with 
such articles. Had some conversation with Corporal 


Geary last night. Advised him, when discharged from 
the service, to go South, study law, and make a man of 
himself. I think from what I have seen of him that he 
would succeed at the bar. He is young, has energy, 
perseverance, integrity, a fondness for books and for 
information. A telegram from Washington in the Boston 
Post, says nothing has been done by the Georgians there 
on the subject of my release. 

Saturday night. When Dr. Seavems was here, I 
showed him how to make magic squares upon the princi- 
ple which Dr. Le Conte taught me. He told me yesterday 
that he had tried and could not make one. I went round 
to-day and showed him again. Walked out with Reagan. 
Saw the transport arrive at Gallops Island with the S4th 
Mass. Regiment of Coloured Troops. They have come 
to be mustered out of service. 


AUGUST 29. — Examined the original Greek on 
Robertson's text on the triune nature of man. 
Yesterday, Mr. Bamham brought me from 
Boston a Greek Testament, Greek Lexicon, Latin Gram- 
mar, and Robertson's "Sermons." I ordered some 
second-hand books. Last night after candle-light, I read 
Arnold on Joubert, and became interested in extracts 
from Joubert's writings. 

The morning boat came. Last night's telegram to 
the Post says Linton had an interview with the Presi- 
dent yesterday. I shall now soon know the result. Pa- 
tience, patience! On the boat came C. T. Bruen, Journal 
Clerk in the late Confederate Senate, to spend the day 
with me. 

The evening boat has come and gone. Mr. Bruen 
and I had a pleasant time. We took dinner in the mess- 
room. I must go round and see Reagan. Bruen's 
being here has kept me from him. 

Met Reagan near my door. We went on the parapet. 
He told me of a telegram in evening paper stating that 
an officer who had been to see Mr. Davis reported that 
Mr. Davis spoke in denunciatory terms of Hunter and 
myself, saying if we had remained firm the Confederacy 
would have triumphed, etc. Reagan and I concurred 
in the opinion that Mr. Davis had not indulged in such 
expressions. At the same time, as I told Reagan, I have 
but little doubt Mr. Davis conscientiously believes as 



this telegram reports him to have expressed himself, so 
little does he realize what was the real cause of the col- 
lapse of the Confederacy. Supper under a new arrange- 
ment. Reagan and I hereafter mess together. We took 
our tea together in the mess-room this evening. He asked 
the blessing. 

At night, alone. It was, in passing, a pleasant day. 
The visit of Bruen was interesting. What disturbs 
me is self-examination. At the table I, in a pretty full 
flow of spirits, illustrated several matters with humorous 
anecdotes, one of which it would have been improper 
to relate in the presence of ladies. It had nothing 
improper to the ordinary taste when told in a company 
of gentlemen. It was Martin J. Crawford's celebrated 
"cat story.'' Bruen and I laughed over its aptness; 
but as we passed out of the room, it occurred to me that 
Mrs. Livermore might possibly have heard it. Now, 
this disturbs me greatly ; and it has caused me gravely to 
consider whether I should ever again in any conversa- 
tion indulge in any vein of humour unfit for the ears of 
a lady. Ought men, even by themselves, ever to indulge 
in anecdotes from which, by sense of propriety, they would 
refrain in the presence of ladies the most refined? Is 
not the thing in itself degrading more or less to man's 
nature? It is useless to argue: "Oh, it makes no dif- 
ference even if Mrs. Livermore did hear it; she knows 
you were not aware that she was within hearing." That 
is not the point. Ought we not at all times to act and 
speak, not only as we would in the presence of the 
best and purest on earth, but as we would speak in 
the presence of the best and purest in Heaven? Is 
not this the proper discipline of our minds, thoughts, 
aflFections, and actions? Ought not humour to be 


chaste ? Is any humour chaste to which ladies cannot 
listen ? 

August 30. — ni. I took a drink of Harry's whisky; 
this seemed to do me good, but a sad thought passed 
through my mind as I put down the bottle ; and that was 
that Harry's whisky was most out. There is but about 
one more drink left. Bruen promised to send me a bottle 
of brandy. I cannot well do without spirits of some 
kind as a medicine. Breakfast with Reagan. The 
grace was said by me this morning at the Judge's request. 

Last night I read Arnold on Spinoza and Marcus 
Aurelius. I have not yet been able to satisfy myself as 
to this critic's general object. It seems to me that it 
is not good, that his spirit is evil, that he conceals himself 
as well as he can and attempts to inculcate his own 
views through the teachings of others. 

Will Linton come to-day? This thought absorbs my 
mind. He has not written to me. This is a mystery. 
Would he not have done so if he had not been under 
some deep affliction in body or mind, himself? It seems 
to me he would. This disquiets me. My earnest wish 
and prayer is that all may be well with him and that I 
shall yet see him. Oh, that this earnest desire of my heart 
may be fulfilled! but if this shall never be, teach me, 
O Lord, to bow to thy will. 

Last night, I proposed to Geary to teach him Latin 
if he would take it up. Asked him what he thought 
about it. He said he thought it was useless to begin 
because he thought I would be released soon. I told 
him I thought my release quite uncertain ; while I hoped 
it might be, and soon, yet we should not act on that sup- 
position; and if he would begin, I would take pleasure 



in assisting him so long as I remain, let that be a long or 
short time. I handed him my Adam's Latin Grammar, 
and told him to look over the first page down to Penna, 
and see what he thought of it, and of the undertaking. 
Maybe after that, he would be able to come to a more 
definite conclusion. He took the grammar. I heard 
him reading aloud in his room some time afterward, as 
I have often heard him before, but whether it was Adam's 
Grammar or something else, I did not know. He is 
very fond of reading books as well as papers. 

Mess board-bill brought in; to date from i8th August, 
at $1 a day less 19 cts. commutation, $11.34. Gave 
check. Reagan called and we played euchre. We 
quit even at four games apiece. When we first began 
playing, he usually beat me at euchre. To-day I told 
him the "dog and wolf" story to illustrate our turns 
of fortune, and it amused him. A man who had a dog 
which he bragged on as a wolf-killer, went to a neigh- 
bouring district to catch a noted wolf that had mastered 
all the dogs in the vicinity. He felt certain his dog would 
make an end of the wolf. A crowd joined in the chase. 
The wolf was started, the dog was on trail, the cry was 
up, pursuit was hot, the dog was soon out of hearing 
of the horsemen. Riding full speed in the direction of 
the last yelp, the man of the wolf-dog foremost, they came 
upon a traveller of whom the dog-owner asked, had he 
seen anything of the dog and wolf? **Oh yes," said he, 
" they went by here just now." " How were they going ?" 
eagerly asked the dog-owner. "Oh," said he inquired 
of, "nip and tuck, hip and thigh, but the dog was a little 
ahead y 

Walked around to see Mrs. Livermore. She is an 
exceedingly pleasant and agreeable woman, well informed, 


intelligent, and of most winning manners, winning 
mainly by reason of perfect naturalness and simplicity. 

A pleasant time Reagan and I had at table, talking of 
old Congress acquaintances, particularly of McConnell 
and Bowdon, his successor. I told the Judge of a remark 
McConnell made to me in the House about his condition 
in the next world, as he feared it would be. He was an 
extraordinary man, one of the most eccentric geniuses 
I ever knew. He was intemperate, profane, and yet 
very religiously inclined. He had a high regard for 
worship and always seemed to join devoutly with the 
chaplain in morning prayers. One day (he sat by me) 
while we were talking together, conversation turned on 
religion. He seemed deeply affected. He spoke of his 
wife with the most tender devotion; said she was a 
pure Christian, that she had prayed earnestly for him. 
"I know she will, when she dies, go right to heaven, 
while I fear," he added with tears in his eyes, "that I 
shall go as straight to hell. But I tell you, Stephens, 
if God does send me to hell, he will send one of the best 
friends there he ever had in this world." All this was said 
with the most perfect sincerity and the deepest emotion. 

John Pettit, of Indiana, was well known to be a sort 
of freethinker; some said he was a disbeliever in the 
Christian religion. One day during the debate on the 
Oregon question — about terminating the joint occu- 
pancy of Oregon — a number of members were per- 
mitted by general consent to offer and have laid on the 
table propositions on this exciting subject. Pettit asked 
that the same leave be granted him. McConnell, who 
had a strong aversion to Pettit because he had opposed 
the election of a chaplain and because of his supposed 
irreligious sentiments, sprang to his feet and said, "Mr. 


Speaker, I object.'^ A decision was asked. McConnell, 
with great earnestness of manner, called on the members 
to vote down Pettit, not to grant Pettit the leave asked, 
because, he said, "Pettit does not believe in the Saviour 
who died for him." This coming from a man of his 
habits seemed queer, but in it he was thoroughly honest 
and in earnest. 

Soon after the boat came, Lieut. Newton sent me in 
a letter from Linton. This was most welcome. It was 
written on Sunday. It ought to have been here yesterday. 
He makes no mention of my letter telling him of my 
release from close confinement, or of any letters received 
from me since his last. This is strange. I do wish he 
would come along here and not be spending his time 
and money in Washington. I am, however, greatly 

General Denver, from Washington, came to see me, 
Judge Reagan with him. They sat and talked until 
tea time. Captain Livermore called and took General 
D. with him to tea. Reagan and I went to our room 
to tea, and then I learned from him to my surprise that 
General Denver is on a visit here to him and me from 
the authorities at Washington; Denver left Washington 
Saturday; he had not seen Linton. There is some 
mystery about this to me. After tea. Captain Livermore 
with General Denver returned to my room where Judge 
Reagan was. The General sat until 9. We talked over 
many matters, but he said nothing implying that he was 
an agent from Washington; he gave us the opinion that 
Reagan and I would be held here for some time and 
then released. He remarked that he thought there would 
he changes in the Cabinet before long; Stanton would 
certainly go out at an early day; and changes would then 


be made here. He thought Mr. Davis would be tried, 
and at Richmond. To-day, I got a letter from Messrs. 
O. D. Case & Co., of Hartford, Conn., proposing to pub- 
lish anything I may be preparing for the press; they 
enclosed this letter from the Hon. Horace Greeley: 

Office of the Tribune, N. Y., Aug. 28, '65. 
Dear Sir: Messrs. O. D. Case & Co., of Hartford, 
Conn., publishers of my history of our great struggle, 
presuming that you may be prompted to give your view 
of this contest in some permanent form, would be glad 
to. arrange with you for publishing your book, and would 
be willing to grant liberal terms. I assure you that 
they are abundantly able and have every facility for 
giving your work a large sale, and I venture to request 
that you do not arrange with any other house before 
conferring with them. Yours, 

Horace Greeley. 
The Hon. A. H. Stephens. 

Thursday, August 31. — Sixteen weeks are now com- 
plete since the bright mom when I rose for the last time 
at my quiet and beloved home to greet the bracing air. 
Four lunar months have rolled around, and I am still 
far from those scenes to me so dear. Breakfast at 8, 
Reagan and I together in our new mess-room. He 
told me that General Denver sat with him last night until 
10; he and Denver left my room at 9. He thinks the 
main object of Denver's visit here is to see him about 
certain treasury drafts of the Confederate Government; 
to get information by which the funds as covered by 
these drafts, amounting to a few thousand pounds sterling, 
may be got possession of by the authorities at Washington. 
Reagan told all he knew about them, but that was not 
certain or definite. To me, the visit, without this expla- 


nation, seemed very mysterious. This may be the sole 
object. Answered Linton's letter of the 27th, address- 
ing him at Willard's Hotel, Washington, but I have very 
little idea that my letter will reach him. 

General Denver called to take leave. Sat a few min- 
utes and then left with friendly parting expression 
of sympathy and the statement that he would do what 
he could for me. One thing he said gave me the impres- 
sion that he thinks Mr. Seward rather vindictive toward 
me for some cause which he cannot understand. 

Ten-o'clock boat came. I see from the Boston Post 
that Linton left Washington yesterday for this place, 
and that I shall probably be paroled. I am greatly 
encouraged. From this letter I do not think he left until 
he got the parole or learned that it was definitely decided 
that there would be no action soon. In the latter case, 
it would hardly have been published that there was a 
probability of parole, but rather that he had not suc- 
ceeded. This is my intrepretation. I am hopeful, but 
shall not permit myself to be carried away with hope. 
Corporal Geary brought me a joint letter from Thomas 
Chafin, Jr., and his son, James, of Columbus, Ga. 

I shall look for Linton this evening or certainly to-mor- 
row morning. Oh, that no accident may befall him in 
coming! May our Father in Heaven watch over, guard, 
and protect him, and bring him safely here! Answered 

At 3.30, went to the ramparts and staid there until 
the boat arrived. I thought Linton might come. Boat 
came. No letters and no news from Linton. I shall 
wait patiently until to-morrow. I shall now look for 
him certainly by the morning boat. The Judge and I 
went again upon the ramparts. We saw Bickley and 


Vernon walking on their part. We also saw the poor 
soldiers on a beat with burdens on their backs, evidently 
suflFering punishment for some offense. The punish- 
ment seems to be to walk on a line or beat on the drill- 
ground back and forth, with heavy packs on their backs. 
They seemed very tired, and I pitied them. We returned 
to my room; then went to our mess-room for tea; then 
came back to my room where we sat and talked for 
some time; the subject was Mr. Davis. I gave the Judge 
an outline of the correspondence between myself and 
Mr. Davis last winter. While we were out, Mr. Har- 
rington brought his hydrometric registry and left it on 
my table. 


FRIDAY, Sept. i. — The summer has gone. Sep- 
tember is here. How much longer shall I 
remain? Linton, I expect, will be here to-day. 
The news he will bring will settle the question whether 
I am to be paroled or remain. 

7 p. M. — ^Alone in the twilight. What emotions have 
I experienced since my last entry! Linton came by the 
morning boat. I was certain, on my first view of his 
countenance, that he had not with him any order for 
my release, or any news to that effect. He soon told 
me by words what I had read in his face. I was not much 
disappointed; was not depressed; I was prepared. 
Governor H. V. Johnson came with him; did not enter 
my room with Linton, but followed soon after. Reagan 
and I were playing piquet when Linton appeared. 
Reagan quickly left, as he is not permitted to hold con- 
versations with my visitors. Governor Johnson was 
unwell; rested on my bed a good portion of the day. 
Linton and I talked a great deal. We spent a pleasant 
day; he did not bring his baggage from Boston and went 
back this evening for it. Johnson went by same boat; 
is going back to Washington and to Georgia; said he 
would have another interview with the President on 
my account if he could get it. I indulge but slight hopes 
of early release; am prepared in mind to remain here 
for some time to come. I am not oppressed at the out- 
look. I am schooled to patience. I feel sad at Linton's 


having to leave me, but am sustained by the prospect 
of having him back to-morrow to spend some weeks 
with me. This will be a great comfort. 

Letters from John A. Stephens, Frank Bristow, Harry, 
the Hon. Peterson Thweatt [former Comptroller-General of 
Ga.], Mr. Baskerville, C. A. Beasley, and R. M. Johnston 
added to the good things received this day. But pleasures, 
like other excitements, leave the spirit in a state of ebb- 
tide. The news Linton brought from home was not all 
pleasant. Some was very sad ; two of my county friends 
are dead, D. L. Peek and Esau Ellington. Things at 
home, too, are not going on as well as I could wish. I 
need not state particulars here. After dinner, Linton 
and I called on Captain and Mrs. Livermore; met 
Mrs. and Captain Perry, their guests. The boat left 
at 5; I bade Johnson good-bye with a full heart; also, 
Linton for the night. I felt very sad when I turned away 
from them. Oh, may Linton return in the morning safely! 

Governor Johnson brought good news for Judge 
Reagan; he had seen in Washington Robert McMatthew, 
who was intrusted with the care of conducting Reagan's 
children to Texas. Reagan had not heard from his 
children since February. McMatthew told Johnson 
he had placed them safely with their grandmother in 
Texas. Reagan and I took supper by ourselves. Linton, 
Johnson, and I dined together. 

Sept. 2. — Was taken ill last night. Linton returned 
by morning boat. Reagan spent the morning with me 
until he came. Dr. Seavems called early. Corporal 
went for him. Linton has moved my bed into the front 
room. Mr. Harrington brought me some arrowroot 
nicely prepared. 


Sunday Sept. 3. — After midnight, the fever I had had 
all day passed oflf. Read in Ezra. Linton read me 
portions of this journal. He read the first pages yesterday. 
To-day, he read on from where he left oflf yesterday. 
When he got to the second day's imprisonment here, 
I told him to stop. It made me sad. For some cause, 
his emotions overpowered him and he wept aloud. I, 
too, wept, but told him not to grieve. It was all over 
I hoped. I had suffered greatly, but did not now. The 
doctor called soon; called again before noon, and again 
this evening. Linton and I spent the day in talking. 
How pleasant a day it was to me! Linton dined in the 
mess-room. Our breakfast was served here. After 
dinner, Linton lay down for a nap. I walked round to 
see Reagan. We walked out on the ramparts. Then 
Linton and I walked on the ramparts. 

Tuesday, Sept. 5. — Sundown. Retreat is beating. 
I have been crowded with company. Dr. and Mrs. 
James T. Paterson of Georgia, William D. Crocket 
and wife from Boston, and Malcolm Mosely (Dick 
Johnston's nephew). Sergeant in U. S. Infantry at Fort 
Independence, called. Had quite a dinner party. Seven 
of us sat down at the table. Geary waited upon us very 
well. All went by the boat at 5. Early in the day, I 
wrote to Harry, John A. Stephens, Mr. Baskerville and 
others. No news in the papers except a telegram frorti 
Washington saying it is now fixed to have Mr. Davis 
tried before the Chief Justice at Norfolk in October. 
Letter from John A. Stephens. All my people well. 
All well at the homestead. Senator Henry Wilson sent 
me a copy of his book, "Anti-Slavery Measures in Con- 


Sept. 6. — Linton and I walked out twice. In the 
evening, I joined Reagan in a walk. Dr. Seavems 
called and sat with us an hour after night. Linton and 
I had called to see him but he was not in. We called 
on Mrs. Livermore; sat some time in conversation; 
the Captain was with us part of the time. Mrs. Liver- 
more has sent us some of the best pears I ever ate. This 
entry is not made on the 6th but on the 7th, such has 
become my negligence of my journal since Linton came. 
Wrote several letters. 

Linton got a letter from S. J. Anderson which gives 
the opinion that no demonstrations in my behalf by the 
Republicans in New York would avail anything, but 
that I will be pardoned and released "before long." This 
he learned, through Sheriff Kelley, from Republicans. 
Linton and I met Mrs. Appleton on the parapet. She 
was on a visit here, spending the day with Mrs. Seaverns. 
Mrs. Seavems and little family of children were walking 
with her. I called to see her in the evening. Linton 
was reading my journal. After my visit, Reagan and 
I took a long walk on the parapet. 

I wrote a number of letters of introduction for Mr. 
Micajah O. Hall who is going to Atlanta to open a book- 
store. He has been a clerk in the sutler's office. Linton 
wrote to the Hon. B. H. Bigham, Washington, D. C. 
Dr. Seavems called at 9 p. m. I was in bed; Linton 
was reading. He came to tell me that the ladies, Mrs. 
Livermore and Mrs. Seavems, had wormed out a dif- 
ferent answer to the charade from the one I got. Their 
answer was "wormwood" [see p. 306, 308]. 

Sept. 9. — The Corporal tells me that Mrs. Nutler, 
who has moved, will do no more washing here. What 


I am to do, I do not know. She was the only person 
here who took in washing. The Corporal thinks I will 
have to send washing to Boston. Got two copies of 
the ConstittUionalist of Augusta, Ga. In one, saw 
two letters from Judge Stames to Colonel M. C. Fulton, 
of Snow Hill. The Atlanta Intdligencer comes 

6 p. M. — Mr. Myers came. I was very glad to see 
him. He brought me a bottle of brandy and a box of 
cigars. We spent a pleasant day. He told me all the 
news about home, and of some things that have happened 
since he left. Amongst other things, he brought me 
the pen with which I am writing. It is a good pen; 
cost $4.50 in New York. I was sad when he left. Linton 
went out on the ramparts to see him depart; I sent by 
him to Mr. John Phillips, of Boston to supply me with 
a bedstead, bed, and bedclothes. Myers said he would 
send me an overcoat and five pounds of candles. I sent 
by him two peach seeds for Harry to plant, and also some 
sweet cakes for Ellen, Tim, Dora, Fanny and Quin 
[young Negroes, Harry's children]. 

Sept. II. — Made no entry yesterday. It was Sun- 
day. Passed the day pleasantly with Linton. He read 
to me most of the time, when we were not walking out. 
We spent a very pleasant time after candle-light, talking 
of old matters, scenes of his early childhood, his recol- 
lections of events at the old homestead before he was 
three years old, of Aunt Nimmie Gordon; and of 
many things which awakened pleasant but melancholy 
reminiscences. My old Aunt Betsy, Uncle Aaron, 
and many other persons once dear to us both, were 
talked of. 


Sept. 12. — Linton went to Boston. Phillips brought 
my bed and other things down; $73.13. Reagan and 
I spent the day together and watched for the approach 
of the boat from Boston. Linton returned. Brought 
me various articles needed. Wm. Prescott Smith, of 
Baltimore, called. Promised to call again; was passing 
by to Portland, Maine. 

Sept. 13. — Did not sleep well on my new bed. I 
thought from smell the feathers were old. Wrote to 
Senator Henry Wilson. Linton received a letter from 
S. J. Anderson which seems to settle the question of 
my release; all prospects buried for the present. Hon. 
Anson B. Burlingame came down to the fort at 4, with 
a party of friends. In this were Sir Frederick Bruce, 
the British Minister. Also Mrs. Van Lew and daughter, 
from Richmond; they came to see me. A Mrs. Revere 
also called, as did Mr. Livermore, father of the Captain, 
who, by the by, has been promoted and is now Major. 
General Schouler, Adj .-General of the State, called. 
He seems to be a warm friend to me. Mr. Burlingame 
seems quite kind-hearted. These gentlemen told me 
that Governor Andrew (of Mass.) has written to Wash- 
ington in my behalf. 

Sept. 15. — I told Linton I had a presentiment that 
I should be released before long. I was reluctant to 
tell him this, for I thought he might consider it super- 
stitious, and so it may be, but O my God, in Thy mercy 
make it true ! I dreamed of being at home, of seeing Bob 
and giving Charlton a coat. Judge Erskine, who now 
resides in New York, called to see me. By the evening 
boat, Major Jones, Quartermaster for New York State, 


who resides in Albany, called. He is my relative. He 
showed me a letter from Colonel Babcock, of General 
Grant's staflF, stating that the General is in favour of 
my release. He presented me with a light walking- 
cane. I met him at City Point last February; he was 
kind and attentive to me there; sent me a dozen Scotch 
ale. Rev. Dr. Stebbins, of Cambridge, Major Liver- 
more's uncle, called this evening; the Major brought 
him. Dr. Stebbins expressed strong sympathy for me 
and an earnest desire for my early discharge. 

Sept. 1 6. — Linton was to have gone to Boston to-day 
to see after some matters for me; but, as I was taken ill 
and as Lieut. Newton was going up, he remained. I wrote 
to the President and to General Grant. I reminded the 
President of his promise by telegram to reply to my request 
for a personal interview, and again urged it as it is import- 
ant for me to be released — if I am to be released — by 
the middle of October. To General Grant, I gave the 
facts of my case and asked him, if consistent with his 
sense of duty, to lend the great weight of his name and 
influence for my release on parole; this is a copy: 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. Grant, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir: All the apology I have to offer for this 
letter, as well as its explanation, is to be found in the 
facts herein presented. I am now in confinement in 
this place, as you are probably aware. I have been here 
since the 25th of May last. I am exceedingly anxious 
to be paroled as a great many others have been, who were 
arrested as I was. I think I am as justly entitled to 
discharge on parole as many of those to whom I allude. 
No man in the Southern States, I think, exerted his powers 
to a greater extent than I did to avert the late lamentable 


troubles of our country, no man strove harder to bring 
about peace, and no man can be more anxious to see peace, 
order, harmony, and prosperity restored than m)rself. 
You knew my feelings on this subject when we met at 
Hampton Roads. They were correctly set forth in your 
telegram to the Secretary of War ; upon that, the Hampton 
Roads Conference was granted. When I parted with 
you, I assured you that while nothing definite had been 
accomplished, I was hopeful that good would result. 
In that hope I was disappointed. No one could have 
been more pained, mortified, and chagrined than I 
was at the result. I refer to this because you were then 
fully informed of my views. And I now drop you this 
line simply to ask you, if you feel at liberty to do so, to 
lend the great weight of your name and influence with 
the President, and the Secretaries of War and State, for my 
release on parole. I have applied to the President for 
amnesty, but if the President for any reason feels dis- 
posed to postpone decision of that matter, I am perfectly 
content. What I desire mainly is a release from impri- 
sonment on parole, as others, or on bail, if it should be 
required. In no event would I attempt to avoid a prose- 
cution or trial, if it should be thought best for any reason 
to adopt such a course toward me. I wish release 
both in consequence of my health and private affairs. 
My case and request are briefly submitted to you. Act 
in the premises as your sense of duty shall direct. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Sunday — I feel better, but am not well. Read in 
Psalms. I talked with Reagan for some time. He is low- 
spirited. I advised him to write again to the President. 

Sept. 18. — William W. Simpson, of Sparta, Ga., 
called, a most agreeable surprise. His news from home 
generally was interesting. He spent the day with us. 


Reagan sent for me and submitted a letter he had written 
to the President. I liked it very well. He said he would 
send it this evening. Last night Linton and I read his 

Sept. 19. — Linton went to Boston. General W. 
Raymond Lee had written at Miss Van Lew's instance, 
asking Linton to meet him at his office this morning. 
Before he left, we had a long talk on revolutions and 
resort to violence as a means of advancing human rights 
or progress. He agreed, as heretofore, that these great 
ends are better attained in the forum of reason than in 
the arena of arms. By the boat, some friend sent a copy 
of the National Intelligencer in which appears in my 
behalf, an article signed "Justice." Who wrote it, I 
cannot imagine. The fact that none of the leading papers 
have republished it, convinces me that there is not that 
general sympathy in my behalf at the North which I 
supposed might exist. My views are changed on that 
point, and I am nerved with new fortitude and patience 
to bear my lot. I am now satisfied that I am nothing 
but a sort of political hostage, held without any regard 
to personal merits or demerits and simply to answer the 
purpose of designing men in accomplishing their own 
selfish ends. I am merely a victim to be sacrificed to 
propitiate others. 

I see R. M. T. Hunter is in Washington, and in con- 
ference with Seward. Here I am held in this prison 
while leading fire-eaters, Mr. Davis and a few others 
excepted, are at large. 

By evening boat I got a letter from the Hon. B . H. Bigham 
replying to mine; and one from Joseph Myers, New York ; 
Myers says he has sent me a pair of blankets and a bottle 


of cologne; and that an overcoat has been sent to me as 
a present by some one. Bigham writes that Seward 
assigned as a reason for my detention, the fact that I 
was Vice-President of the Confederacy, and in the case 
of Mr. Davis's death, the presidency would devolve on 
me; it would be hazardous to set me at large until all 
the seceded States are back in the Union with Secession 
Ordinances abrogated, etc. This reason has not enough 
speciousness, even as a pretext, to commend it to my 
charitable consideration. Linton did not return. 
Reagan and I walked out. Waited two hours looking 
for the boat and Linton. We talked over our misfor- 
tunes pretty freely and fully. Dr. Seavems called after 
supper and played piquet until 10.30. 

Sept. 20. — I wrote this letter to the Hon. Wm. H. 
Seward : 

Dear Sir: You will, I trust, excuse me for addressing 
you upon a subject of very great interest to me personally: 
I mean, my release on parole. I am induced to do this 
from a letter just received from a distinguished friend 
in Washington. That friend writes to me that the 
reason you assigned to him for my continued imprison- , 
ment was the fact that I was the Vice-President under 
the Confederate States orgam'zation and in case of the 
death of Mr. Davis the duties of that office would devolve 
on me, etc. : hence, the danger of permitting me to go 
at large until all the States of that organization should 
be restored to their proper relations to the Federal Gov- 
ernment. ... In my letter to the President making 
special application for amnesty, etc., I expressly stated 
that all further contest was abandoned; that it was 
not abandoned as soon as I wished it to be, but its 
abandonment, when it was, had my cordial approval; 


and I accepted the results of the war [illegible words] and 
I was willing to abide by the results in good faith, 
and to take the prescribed oath of fidelity to the Con- 
stitution of the United States. Can you or the authorities 
at Washington desire to have stronger evidence than this 
that no such danger as suggested by you need be enter- 
tained from my enlargement ? Indeed, I stated to the Pre- 
sident that I would, if released, use my utmost exertions 
and influence in bringing about a restoration of peace 
and harmony in the country on the basis of the Execu- 
tive policy. I present these facts for your consideration 
as a full answer to the objection raised by you to my 
release in that view. Again, if released on parole or bond, 
I should still be in custody of the authorities on such 
terms as they might think proper to prescribe. Allow 
me to add in explanation of my importunity on this sub- 
ject, that it is a matter of the utmost importance to my 
present welfare and that of others, to say nothing of my 
health, that if I am to be released at all, it should be done 
at an early day — at least by the middle or latter part 
of October. By that time my business at home, the 
nature of which you are apprised of, now in suspense, 
must be attended to, or great confusion, if not ruin to 
me, must ensue. My presence is almost absolutely 
necessary for any proper settlement of estates and trust 
property in my hands. These matters have been post- 
poned in expectation that I would be released, to give 
them my personal attention. They cannot be postponed 
beyond the dose of this year. If I am not released before 
cold weather sets in, I could not, without great hazard 
and risk tmdertake the travel home before next summer. 
It is, moreover, essential to the well-being of the freedmen 
with their families on my place at home that I should 
perfect my arrangements with them at least by the first 
of November. They are anxiously and earnestly looking 
for me now daily. I must confess that I cannot see any 
reason of State policy that should keep me in prison — 
especially as so many others infinitely more responsible 


than myself for all these troubles have been fully par- 
doned. Of this I do not complain. I think the Presi- 
dent has acted patriotically and wisely in the clemency 
exercised by him in this particular. I only mean to say 
that I cannot see any reason of State policy that applies 
to me that does not apply with equal force to many I 
could name of these. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Linton came. Says the opinion prevails in Boston, 
with those he met, that I will be released soon. Hope 
their opinion may prove true. Got a letter from Frank 
Bristow; Tim had lost one of his calves; it died. I am 
sorry for the calf as well as for Tim. 

Thursday — Nineteen weeks since Tiy arrest; seven- 
teen, I have been in this fort. I did not sleep well. 
Pain in the chest. A pair of superb bed-blankets came 
by the boat, where from I do not know. 

P. M. — ^Linton got a letter from Gen. W. Raymond 
Lee, of Boston, or West Roxbury, stating that he thought 
he might safely say the day of my release is at hand. He 
invited us, when I shall be released, to spend an evening 
with him and meet Governor Andrew, etc. This was 
cheering news to me. Telegram from Joe Myers, inform- 
ing me of his safe arrival home, and that all were well 
at my home and at Sparta. Lieut. Newton called, with 
board and appendages, to teach me the Garrison Game. 
I took the men and beat him the first time. Linton then 
took the officers and beat him with the men. It is on 
the "Fox and Geese" order, but much more complicated. 
Dr. Seavems also called, and he and I played piquet 
until Newton left; then Linton and he played piquet. 


Sept. 22. — Dr. Paterson came by boat. He brought 
a copy of the Boston Traveller containing a com- 
munication about my release on parole. We spent a 
pleasant day. He left by evening boat. No news in 
in the evening Boston Journal. I am now in suspense 
about my case. No reply from General Raymond Lee 
to Linton's note of this .morning. Linton got a long 
and interesting letter from Mrs. Salter. Mr. Harring- 
ton brought me in his registry of the meteorological 
changes, etc. 

A cat fias taken up in my room. He belongs to the 
boat's mess, and has remained all day, quite domesticated. 
I patted him on the head this morning down in the mess- 
room of the boat's crew, and he took up with me immedi- 
ately. Dr. Seavems called after supper. Sat a while and 
told us of a ride in the horse-car to-day in Boston with Dr. 
Paterson and Mr. Crocket. Linton read to me Schlegel 
on Literature. 

Sept. 23. — The cat staid all night with me. By the 
boat I got a basket of fruit from Mrs. Paterson: peaches, 
pears, and plums. Linton and I took a long walk. The 
evening boat did not come. We staid on the rampart 
until retreat beat. After I went to bed, the boat came. 
The Corporal brought me the Journal. No news. Noth- 
ing about my release. Did not go to sleep for hours, 
thmking of my imprisonment, and broodmg over my 

Sunday — Had bad dreams ; dreamed of seeing several 
people hanged. After breakfast, Linton and I walked 
on the ramparts. He gave me this conundrum: "Why 
is your old overcoat (I had put it on for the walk) like 


a good Christian?" After searching my mind for some 
word that would express similarity in the line of tribu- 
lation or adversity, I gave it up. Whereupon, he said, 
"Because it has received Devine assistance." Mr. 
Devine had mended it. We whiled away an hour, wait- 
ing for the boat. 

The cat, which we have named Tom, answers to his 
name and seems quite at home with us. 

The mail came without the boat, or in advance of it. 
Somebody sent me the Boston Express, which has two 
articles advocating my release. Got my two Georgia 
papers; I see Judge Jenkins's acceptance of nomination 
to the State Convention. Linton got a note from General 
Lee, of Boston. It states that Governor Andrew has 
not returned, and that the opinion he expressed about 
my early release was based on opinions expressed to 
him by some who are in communication with the powers 
at Washington and who ought to know. 

The boat came at noon, and with it the Boston Herald 
containing last night's Washington telegram. I was 
disappointed and mystified at seeing no allusion to my 
release. I feel heartsick. "Soon" and "before long," 
as applied to my release by those who use such terms, 
may mean weeks or months; even years, compared with 
life or eternity, may be styled, "soon," or "before long." 
I feel worse than for weeks. 

Sept. 25. — The papers contained nothing about my 
release. Mr. Mallory at Fort Lafayette, the Times says, 
had an interview with Secretary Stanton. Linton had a. 
letter from Miss Van Lew, at Yonkers, saying I would 
soon be released. She had seen General Hooker; said 
Governor Andrew would call to see me as soon as he 


could. This does not look much like my release at an 
early day. Governor Andrew was then with Secretary 
Stanton in New York. She requested Linton to write 
again, giving her the names of prominent and active 
secessionists who had been pardoned; also, those who 
had been paroled. Linton answered her; wrote her a 
good letter. The boat came. No letters. The Savan- 
nah News came, sent me from Hilton Head, I suppose, 
by Lieut. Woodman. No allusion in evening paper to 
my release. I feel more chagrined and humiliated than 
since my arrest; I feel that I have been treated with 
indignity and insult. I am enraged at myself for 
ever having made to President Johnson or Mr. 
Seward anything other than a simple statement of 
my case and a demand for my constitutional and 
legal right. I should feel better if I had borne in 
silence whatever they saw fit to inflict, even if it had 
been death. 

Sept. 26. — I got a basket of fruit from Mrs. Salter, 
and Linton received a long letter from her. The label 
on the basket bore her name. Directly under was this 
in pencil, "How are you, Alex?" Who added this is 
a mystery to me. It is perhaps a taunt by some enemy. 
This brings to my mind a tract sent me a few days ago 
through the mails. It is a campaign tract for 1864, 
and is made up of what purports to be extracts from 
my speeches; all forgeries; I made no such speeches. 
Yesterday, in conversation with Major Livermore, I 
told him of these forgeries. I showed him my "Union 
speech," of November i860, and as it appears in the 
"Rebellion Record." He showed me a letter he had 
received from the Hon. Mr. Upham, of Salem, expressing 


a wish to come to see me again. I thanked him and 
told him I should like much to see Mr. Upham. 

I see in the New York Times an abstract of a sermon 
by Henry Ward Beecher, which is rather remarkable. 
He freely admits all I ever maintained about the inferi- 
ority of the Negro race to the white. The only real 
difference in our views concerns the system by which the 
influence of the superior race can be best exerted upon 
the inferior for the latter's advantage. Subordination 
of the inferior, I thought necessary. Hence, the "Comer- 
stone" idea in my Savannah speech. 

Linton wrote to General Lee, inquiring if he could 
give any opinion from his sources of information as to 
whether I should be released in the course of a week. 
He also wrote to Dr. Paterson for me, asking him to 
send me the Harpefs Monthly for October, containing 
Jordan's article on Mr. Davis and as many of the recent 
numbers of Harper^s Weekly as he could get. He wrote 
Mrs. Salter for both of us. I paid Mrs. Livermore a 
visit, and had a long talk with her on thje President's 
policy and the state of the country. I told her that I 
thought the President was committing a great error in 
bringing into prominence the secession element at the 
South instead of the original Union element. This, 
in my opinion, is but sowing dragons'-teeth, though I 
hope my opinion is not correct. It is acting over the old 
policy of the General Government after 1850: the Union 
men of that day were ignored; the secessionists were 
brought inmiediately into power; and the secession 
movements of i860 were the fruits. 

Sept. 27. — Wrote a letter to General James S. Pratt, 
of East Glastonbury, Ct., in answer to one from hincL 


Boat came. A letter from the Hon. H. V. Johnson, Wash- 
ington, says nothing more encouraging than that I should 
with patience and fortitude bear what is upon me in hopes 
of deliverance after a while. He had not been able to get 
an interview with the President. The Hon. Mr. Upham, 
of Salem, Mass., spent the day with us. He was in Con- 
gress with me; he is an intelligent and agreeable gentle- 
man. The time passed pleasantly. We walked on the 
ramparts. Mr. Upham is a friend of mine. Major 
Livermore delivered me a message from Lieut. Woodman, 
and a card bearing his "kind remembrances." He is 
at the Sea Island Hotel, Hilton Head, S. C. Evening 
boat brought two letters for Linton. One from Mrs. 
Salter in which she says that Colonel Ives, who married 
Miss Cora Semmes, is her brother. The other, from 
General Raymond Lee, in answer to Linton's note, 
advises Linton to remain until next week to see if I shall 
not be released by then. Governor Andrew, he says, 
has not returned, but is expected by Monday night. 
Dr. Seavems called after supper and sat until late. We 
had a long talk on public aflfairs, the policy of the admin- 
istration, my confinement, etc. 

Thiursday — Thursday is said to have been an unlucky 
day for the house of Henry VIII. , of England. On a 
Thursday, he died; so did his son Edward, his daughter 
Mary, and the great Elizabeth. It has certainly been 
an unlucky day for me. This completes the twentieth 
week since my arrest. If I had known, when I entered 
these walls, that I should be here eighteen weeks, could 
I have stood it? I might; no one knows what he can 
stand. But I feel certain such knowledge would have 
greatly increased my tortures of mind. For though I 


did think I might be imprisoned for years, yet there was 
a latent hope that confinement would be short. This 
sustained me even in the darkest hour. Wrote to Lieut. 
Woodman. Linton is reading the first volume of this 
journal. I am low-spirited. O Father, let not my pre- 
sentiment of two weeks ago be unfulfilled! I know 
Thou dost move the hearts of men ; in Thee, and not in 
them, do I put my trust. 

A despatch to the World says "it is believed that General 
Howell Cobb has been arrested on charge of complicity 
in the atrocities at Andersonville." I think this can 
hardly be true. Dr. Paterson writes Linton to come up 
to Boston to consult upon some plans which he has on 
foot in my behalf; says it is understood that the Presi- 
dent has left the case to Seward. I answered the Hon. H. 
V. Johnson's letter; expressed the hope that he might 
be in our State Convention and that all things would 
then be done rightly; said I thought the suffrage, under 
proper restrictions, ought to be extended to the freedmen, 
that they should be permitted to testify in the courts, 
and that provision should be made for the education 6f 
their children. Linton left me to go up to Boston. 

Sept. 29. — Last night, Reagan took supper with 
me and sat until 9.30. We played piquet. He beat some 
of the games, but I beat most. Dr. Seavems called. He 
was amused at a story I told Reagan, illustrating our game. 
I had seven cards, hearts, all but the king, three aces and 
a six sequence; I stood at 98 and he at 10. I thought 
I was safely out, I announced my hand. Reagan called, 
"Not good," to my astonishment. He had seven 
spades and seven sequence on the king, four kings and 
three jacks, and four other sequence, which gave him 


ninety; this, with the ten scored, put him out. The story 
was this: "When Colonel Alfred Cumming, a very 
popular man, was running for Mayor of Augusta, the 
contest was thought to be very close. About three on 
election day, a friend, in great excitement, came to him 
in his office and found him very quiet. He was strong 
with the people, and master of all electioneering arts. 
The friend, surprised to find him so composed, said, 
"Colonel, they are giving us the devil down at A ward. 
They have polled at least twenty-five illegal votes there; 
the day is lost, I fear." "Never mind," said the Colonel 
coolly, "if they are giving us the devil at A ward, we are 
giving them hell in the same way at B ward. Don't 
be uneasy about the result." And so it turned out; 
he had beat his opponents on their own line of attack. 
"So," said I to Reagan, "while I thought I was giving 
you Jesse on hearts, you were giving me fits on spades." 
Reagan last night turned over the spittoon again. He 
is terrible on spittoons. This is twice he has turned 
one over in my room. He seemed quite concerned about 

, Tomcat has deserted my room for several days. What 
has become of him, I do not know. 

Wrote another letter to Mr. Seward, simply to say 
that Linton would remain here until next Tuesday; if 
I am to be released by the middle of October, a few days 
earlier would make no diflference to him (the Secretary), 
I supposed : and it would add greatly to my gratification 
and Linton's if I should be permitted to accompany 
him home; I did not wish to annoy the Secretary with 
importunities, but merely to let him know in case a 
release was contemplated at all, how I would be aflFected 
by a month's, a week's, or even a day's delay. I was 


without authenic information, but wrote because divers 
rumours that I was to be released before long had reached 
me. I thought it was proper he should know how a 
few days earlier or later might affect me as to my private 
business at home and my personal accommodation in 
getting there. 

Walked out. In our walk on the rampart, Reagan 
called my attention to some sort of sea-monster out in 
the harbour just south-east of the south-eastern bastion. 
What it was we could not make out. It moved about 
in the water exactly like a serpent, holding its head 
above the surface. From currents produced by its move- 
ments, it appeared to be not less than fifteen feet long; 
it might have been twenty. We got sight of no part 
but the head and breast. It moved up to a rock, and 
put its head and breast on it, much as a water-moccasin 
does. We were about 400 yards away, and could see 
only its general outline. The head looked at that dis- 
tance fully as large as a man's. In our second walk on 
the rampart, we staid until the boat came to the wharf, 
saw Linton get oflf, and then returned to our respective 
quarters. Linton brought no special news. Dr. Pater- 
son had conversed with him on his plan, which was a 
petition from Boston men, etc. 

Sept. 30. — I got a passport for Dr. Salter and fam- 
ily to visit me. Linton sent it by mail. Linton met the 
Hon. John E. Ward in Boston. Just returned to this 
country. He sent me kind messages, and the British 
Qimrterly Review for July, which has an article on the 
American War. Mrs. Salter sent me "Silvio Pellico." 
A Washington telegram in the Herald states that certain 
State prisoners at Fort Warren, Fortress Monroe, etc., 


who axe expecting unconditional release are soon to be 
ordered to Washington for trial; that the provost-mar- 
shals are getting evidence against them. This, I am 
disposed to regard as a settler of the question of my 
early release. Be it so. All I desire on this line is an 
early hearing. Suspense is what hurts me most. This 
intimation of a trial, however, I regard as merely a mean 
trick ; to divert efforts made in my behalf, it is pretended 
that the Government has strong evidence against me. 
I consider it as a semi-official answer to my letters about 
my early release. 

Yesterday, notice came to the garrison to get ready 
to be mustered out at an early date. There was a general 
shout by the men when the news reached them; all seemed 
greatly elated. This morning, preparations are being 
made for their early return home. Linton and I walked 
on the rampart. Showed him where Reagan and I saw 
the sea-monster yesterday, the rock on which he put his 
head and breast. Linton thought it at least 400 yards 
from the bastion. Went round to see Reagan. He had 
seen the telegram in the Herald. It had affected him, 
I think. 

Lieut. Newton has brought me a letter from Mr. 
Seward. It is in these words: 

Department of State, Washington, Sept. 26, 1865. 
Alexander H. Stephens, Esquire, 
Fort Warren, Boston Harbour, Mass. 

Sir: Your letter of the i8th instant has been received 
and submitted to the examination of the Attorney-General. 
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

WttLiAM H. Seward. 

Comments are unnecessary. 


Sunday — October is here and I am here too, in Fort 
Warren. Linton wrote Mrs. Salter to come down 
to-morrow. In the evening he wrote to Becky [his little 
daughter]. We walked out three times this beautiful 
day. I went to see Reagan. Had a good long talk with 
him. He was transcribing his biography in a blank- 
book. Seemed oppressed, but not wholly uncheerful. 
Geary went to town to-day. Baily waits on us in his 
stead. I finished "Silvio Pellico" ♦ last night. Read 
aloud to Linton. 

Oct. 2. — I am looking for Mrs. Salter. Dr. Seavems 
called with a message from Mrs. Appleton, and two 
photographs of herself out of which I was to select one 
for my keeping. I made my choice. I must write to 
her. [Copy found among his papers]: 

Dear Mrs. Appleton: A thousand thanks to you 
for your kind remembrance and the photograph through 
Dr. Seavems. Verbal acknowledgements are all the 
requital I can make now for favours bestowed. These 
utterances of the heart, however, you will, I trust, accept 
at the greatest value that sincerity can give them. Please 
present my highest regards to the Major when you write 
to him. Give little Mabel a kiss for me. The- whole 
group — father, mother, and the little darling — wiU 
ever hold a cherished place in my memory. 

Yours truly and sincerely, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Linton told me this morning that he will go not before 
Thursday. This is gratifying to me, yet I fear he ought 
to go. The boat whistles at Gallops Island. I am 

* SQvio Pdlico's book b a teoocd of his prison life. 


anxious to see Mrs. Salter and her daughters. Oh, if the 
boat should also bring good news for me from Washington! 
How my heart would beat with joy, and in gratitude 
to God! The boat whistles at the landing. Soon our 
friends will be here. 

Mrs. Salter did not come. No news in papers except 
that the Hon. L. P. Walker has been pardoned. So it goes. 
I am glad at another's good fortune. But I do complain 
of being kept here to the hazard of my health and the 
ruin of my private affairs while leading men who forced 
the South into secession against my eflforts are not only 
permitted to go at large but are pardoned. The course 
of the Administration toward me seems personal and 
vindictive. Dr. Seavems told me this morning that an 
old lady died here yesterday, the mother of Mrs. Nutler, 
the late laundress. 

Reagan came round after the boat left, and brought 
the joyous news that the indulgence is extended him to 
meet his friends generally, and to mess with Linton and 
me; and that he is to be removed from his damp under- 
ground cell to a room on a level with mine. This was 
good news indeed, and I felt exceedingly glad. He, 
Linton, and I immediately took a walk together on the 
rampart. The day was beautiful. On our return, 
Reagan and I played piquet. We all dined together; 
this was very pleasant. 

Boat brought Mrs. Salter and her two daughters. 
Miss Mary and Miss Edith. I was much pleased with 
the mother as well as with the daughters. The youngest, 
Edith, is about eleven years old; Miss Mary is grown, 
and has an intellectual, as well as a modest appearance. 
Miss Edith gave Mr. Reagan a basket of delicious grapes^ 
Mrs. Salter brought me a picture, which she presented. 


requesting me to hang it at the head of my bed while 
there, and to take it home with me. It is the portrait of 
a man devoutly holding the cross. She also left with 
me a work by a French author on Protestantism and 
Catholicism. They all went back by the boat. Linton 
accompanied them to the wharf. I got the Corporal 
to take the basket of books packed this morning — books 
Mrs. Salter had lent me. The Judge and I staid in my 

I feel deeply mortified with myself for the irritation 
of spirit I permitted myself to-day over my imprison- 
ment. It is wrong to grow impatient under conscious 
wrong. O Father, forgive me the trespass as I for- 
give all who trespass against me! "Father, forgive 
them; for they know not what they do.'' Reagan, 
Linton, and I supped together. I felt badly thinking 
of my passion. May the Lord forgive it! Lieut. 
Newton brought the board-bill for Linton, me, and our 
visitors, up to 23d September. I gave a check for it, 

Oct. 3. — Mr. Phillips came down. Said he would 
have another bed, of good feathers, sent. Linton wrote 
a note to Mrs. Salter, and by the boat got one from her 
reporting arrival home last night. I rather looked for 
Governor Andrew, as General Lee said in his note to 
Linton yesterday that the Governor would come yesterday 
or to-day. Major Livermore called, and showed me a 
letter from the Hon. Charles W. Upham, desiring a copy 
of Harry's letter which I read to him the day he was 
here. While the Major was talking, the whistle of a boat 
was heard. He thought it might be from a boat bringing 
Governor Andrew, and left. Linton, Reagan and I 


walked on the rampart, and saw a small boat at the 
wharf; supposing that Governor Andrew might have 
come in it, we returned. But we have seen nothing of 

I read Harry's letter to Major Livermore. He asked 
if Harry wrote it himself. I told him I did not think 
so, but I had not the least doubt about its being his own 
dictation and, in most instances, his own words. We had 
a long talk on reconstruction. I told him frankly that 
I thought, with all due deference to the wisdom of 
the authorities at Washington, President Johnson had 
committed a great error in his reconstruction policy 
in building up the old secession element in the South. 
None should have been proscribed, yet the basis of 
reconstruction should have been on the old Union 
element, the men who believed that the Union was 
not a curse to either section but that it was, when 
properly administered, for the best interest of the people 
of all the States, etc. 

The boat arrived out of regular time. Brought Gen- 
eral Ripley. At night, Linton and I played Francois 
Fou. He beat me badly as he generally does. I went 
to bed and he read me to sleep with Disraeli's "Curi- 
osities of Literature." 

Oct. 4. — I could enjoy myself very well here 
if it were not for agitation of the question of 
my release. I am most anxious to go home; but 
this would cease to disturb me so much were I 
once satisfied that it is impossible, and were I not 
kept excited by hope and expectation. Evening paper 
copies from Georgia paper the news that it had been 
telegraphed to Atlanta that I am paroled. This was 


doubtless to aSect the elections that took place in 
Georgia yesterday. 

Linton wrote this evening to Mrs. Salter. By the boat 
he got two notes from her, or rather letters; I received 
a box of grapes and pears; also got a box of fruit from 
Mrs. Erskine and "Pepys' Diary" from Judge Erskine. 
Tomcat has come back again and is domesticated. 
Linton and I played Frangois Fou for several hours; 
after supper, we resumed the game. He then wrote a 
long letter to Mrs. Salter. 

Oct. 6. — Last night Linton got a letter from Mrs. 
Salter, stating that she, Miss Mary, and little Edith 
would come down to-morrow. After I went to bed 
last night, Linton answered her note. I answered 
Gip Grier's letters. Got another letter from Sec- 
retary Seward.* I cut from the papers several 
notices of my imprisonment, advocating my release. 
Amongst others Judge Bigham's letter to G. W. Adair, 
Atlanta, Ga. 

Oct. 7. — Mrs. Salter, Miss Mary, and little Edith 
came by the boat. Linton went to the wharf to meet 
them. A most pleasant day we had of it, indoors and 
out. Mrs. Salter brought me a beautiful floor-cloth, 
thick and warm, and rich in colours, just such as I 
have in my library at home. Miss Mary read to us 
"Enoch Arden," and other pieces from Tennyson. I 
never before saw any beauty in Tennyson. Her reading 
gave his productions a charm I had never perceived 
before. Little Edith amused herself with the marble 

t He undoubtedly preserved it, but it is not unoog hia papcn. 


and board with which the Garrison Game is played. 
She also went out and found two beautiful puppies 
which she brought in, nestled up to her breast. We 
walked out on the parapet, Judge Reagan with us. The 
sky was beautiful; on the whole, it was one of the most 
charming and agreeable days I have spent at this Post. 
Geary had gone to town, so Baily waited on us at dinner. 
Mrs. Salter carried away the measure that Mr. Devine 
took for a sackcoat, vest, and pants for me. She also 
took with her some of my clothes to mend. I have 
a letter from Robert A. Matthews, Washington, and one 
from Mr. Force, of Greensboro, Ga., who is in Boston 
and wishes to see me. 

Sunday — Rested well last night. Dreamed of Bob 
at home. Linton said this morning he did not think 
he slept an hour all night. Wet, gloomy, day. Judge 
Reagan got a letter from his mother-in-law, the first 
directly from her in several months. The wood has given 
out. I sit with my overcoat on. Dr. Seavems called. 
We had a full conversation on the subject of the collapse 
of the Confederacy It began by his asking me if I had 
seen General Jordan's article in Harper^s Monthly. 
I told him that Jordan's article was superficial. The 
errors and blunders of Mr. Davis noticed by Jordan 
were small matters compared with errors not noticed. 
The first great error was in favouring secession; the 
second was the end he aimed at by it, the establishing 
of a close Southern Confederacy; the third was the 
policy adopted to secure that result; all, I thought, 
serious errors in statesmanship. I enlarged upon all 
these views, differing widely with Jordan on conscrip- 
tion^ etc. 


Oct. 9. — I got this letter from General Grant, or 
rather, from his aide : 

Washington, D. C., Oct., 1865. 
A. H. Stephens, Esq., 
Fort Warren, Boston, Mass. 

Lieut.-Gen. Grant desires me to say in reply to your 
note of Sept. 16, that he has already spoken once or twice 
to the President in reference to your case, and will do so 
again. Respectfully yours, 

C. B. Comstock, Bret. Brig.-Gen., A. D. C. 

Linton got a letter from Miss Van Lew, in which she 
alludes to me. Whereupon I wrote her as follows: 

My dear Miss Van Lew: I am truly obliged to you 
for your message through my brother. You will please 
accept my sincere thanks for your kind remembrance, 
and especially for the interest you manifest in having 
me released from this place. I was elated some weeks 
ago with the hopes of an "early" release, but I say to 
you frankly that I am now free from such illusory antici- 
pations. I have settled down into a quiet state of 
mental composure, prepared patiently to wait the course 
of events. Whether the objection to my release, which 
you mention as having heard, has an3rthing to do with 
my prolonged imprisonment, or has eflFected a change 
of purpose once fonned in my favour on the part of 
authorities at Washington, I do not know. My con- 
tinued imprisonment has, at times, seemed to me so 
unaccountable that I have been forced to attribute it 
to some malign influence, springing from motives of 
vindictiveness to me personally for some cause or other 
to me entirely unknown. 

There is not the slightest foundation in fact for the 
"objection" which you have heard mentioned, to wit, 
that my "Union speech at Milledgeville, in i860, was 


a prearranged thing for Secession service, to win influence, 
and that at the time it was made, the other speech, so 
contrary and opposite, was ahready written," etc. 

My speech for the Union, in November, i860, was an 
earnest and honest outpouring if ever such emanated 
from human heart and head. And never before or since 
have I uttered a sentiment inconsistent with it. Since 
I have been here, I have been taunted by anonymous 
commimications calling my attention to certain extracts 
from speeches made by me, which were published at the 
North in pamphlet form under the heading of " Campaign 
Tract for 1864." These are forgeries outright. None 
such, either in words or sentiments, were ever made 
by me. One other remark on the statement of facts 
on which this objection rests. I never wrote a speech 
to be delivered in my life, except college essays or 
addresses. The Union speech was extemporaneous. 
The only report ever made was that by Mr. Marshall. 
Upon that speech and its sentiments, even down to 
abiding by and sharing the fortunes and fate of my 
State if she should go against my counsels, I now stand. 
This much I feel it is my duty to you and myself to 

My course, whether right or wrong, has been at least 
uniform, conscientious, and consistent with my principles. 
I opposed the movement that led to the war with my 
utmost power in the most perfect good faith. I opposed 
it on grounds of policy alone, not on grounds of abstract 
right. I am in no way responsible before God or man 
for the origin of the war (at least intentionally), nor for 
its continuance, much less its atrocities. I did all I could 
to avert the monster evil in the beginning, and after it 
was upon us, I did all I could to mitigate its horrors and 
to end them as speedily as possible. After the war was 
commenced, all my energies were directed to getting the 
questions involved taken from the arena of arms and 
submitted to the forum of reason and justice for peace- 
ful solution and adjustment, not upon a sectional but 


upon a broad and continental basis. My oflFending 
has this extent. No more. 

Please excuse so much about myself. Your message 
seemed to make it not only proper but almost necessary 
for your own correct understanding of my true position 
in these matters. With sentiments of the highest esteem 
toward you and kindest regards toward your mother, 

I remain, Yours Truly, 

Alexander H. Stephens. 

Oct. 10. — Dreamed of the Hon. Solomon G. Haven, 
He was in Congress with me. He died since the war. 
Dreamed of the Hon. Francis H. Cone who has been dead 
some time. Last night Captain Allen, of the fort, called 
and sat with us. He is from Buffalo. We talked of 
Haven, who was once Mayor of Buffalo. 

Linton made a conununication to me to-day which 
deeply impresses me. What it was I will not state here 
further than that it was in relation to his future life. 

The evening boat now leaves Boston at 3 and gets 
here at 4. Tomcat has become quite domesticated 
again. Yesterday Linton tried an experiment in seeing 
how much Tom could eat. He ate all we left from din- 
ner, and still looked for more. 

Oct. II. — Letter from John A. Stephens stating 
that all are well. The freedmen, from his account, 
were doing well. He and Major Henly Smith were 
candidates for the Convention.* The letter was dated 
30th September; the election was to take place on the 
4th October; so I suppose John is elected, of which, 
if so, I shall be truly glad. Linton sent his letter to Mrs. 

* Called undor President Johnson's proclamation providing for restoration of the State ** to 
Its constitution^ relatioDS with the Federal Government" 


Salter to-day. By boat we got the papers, nothing in 
them except the Journal which states that Dr. Seavems, 
of this post, and several other surgeons, are to be mustered 
out of service. The Tribune expresses the hope of 
Reagan's and my early release. The New York Day 
Book sends an extract that I wished to see, a published 
letter by Lieut. Newton, of this fort, about me. It 
makes out a very good case of treatment toward me. 
I am "furnished meals from the officers' mess." I am 
furnished at my own expense. This is very kind, indeed. 
My room is comfortably supplied. This, too, and all 
else I get here, except soldiers' fare and soldiers' rations, 
is at my own expense. I do not consider it very humane 
to imprison a man and impoverish him by allowing him 
to spend what he has while depriving him of all power 
to make more, or even to save what he has made. 

Received a suit of clothes, presented by Pierce and 
Bacon, of Boston; vest and pants came to-day; the coat, 
cap, and shawl yesterday. Also by express an overcoat 
from New York, sent by Mr. L. W. Harris, of Carter, 
Kirkland & Co., and presented, he says, by Thos. F. 
Hooker, formerly of Rome, Ga., and now of Aberdeen, 


f I Thursday, Oct. 12. — TWs never -to-be -for- 
I gotten day of the week is again upon me. It 
^ is a blustering morning. Linton went up by 
the boat. 

Soon, Dr. Seavems appeared and stated that orders 
had come for my release. Major Livermore soon fol- 
lowed with the telegram. It embraced Judge Reagan 
and myself. So, I am again free as far as personal 
locomotion is concerned. It is just twenty-two weeks 
to the day since the first keys were turned upon me as 
a prisoner. What events come to me on Thursday! 
Major Livermore said he would give me a copy of the 
order. Meantime I see in the Boston Post the General 
Order embracing Judge Campbell, General Clark, Judge 
Reagan, myself, and Trenholm. I wish Linton were 
here. Wrote letters to John A. Stephens, C. T. Bruen, 
S. J. Anderson, Lieut. W. H. Woodman. 

Linton returned by the evening boat. He, Reagan, and 
I took a last evening walk on the rampart. Dr. Seav- 
ems called after supper and sat some time. 

Oct. 13. — I rose early and now make this last entry. 
I expect to start by this evening's boat for my dear home. 
It is a long and hazardous trip for me, beset with many 
dangers, and I am beset in the outset with many anxi- 
eties concerning many things. But, O God, in whom 
I put my trust, deliver me from all evil ! 



Crawfordville, Ga., Oct. 27, 1865 — ^Thanks be to the 
Giver of all good, the Father of all mercies, and the 
Bestower of all blessings, I am once more at home! I 
am sitting in the same room and at the same table from 
which I arose to suffer arrest on the nth of May. As 
'a sequel to this Journal, I record briefly some of the 
incidents intervening between my departure from Fort 
Warren and my reaching home, yesterday, Thursday: 

On the 13th of October, Linton, Judge Reagan, and 
I left Fort Warren at 4, on the William Shandy the regu- 
lar evening boat. I gave Corporal Geary my bedding 
and room furniture and nearly all the things that I had 
had brought there for my use and comfort, except books 
and wearing apparel. The amount paid by me for 
these articles was about $100. Linton gave him $10 in 
currency. I gave Major Livermore my copy of Greeley's 
"American Conflict"; Lieut. Newton my Prescott's 
"Conquest of Mexico"; Dr. Seavems my Robertson's 
"Sermons," Greek Testament, lexicon, etc. To Cor- 
poral Geary I gave my copy of Bums's "Poems" and 
wrote him a friendly farewell letter. All the officers of 
the fort and all the men seemed kind in feeling toward 
me, and all who met with me took a friendly leave. Mrs. 
Livermore was sick, I did not see her, but addressed 
her a note. I saw Mrs. Seavems, the doctor, Mrs. Har- 
rington, Captain Baldwin and Mrs. Baldwin. Lieuts. 
Niebuhr and Newton accompanied us to Boston. Linton 
was quite unwell and hardly able to attend to an3^thing. 
I packed all his clothes and felt very badly on his account. 
We slept at the Revere House, where rooms had been 
ordered for us by friends in Boston. 

It was about 6, and a little after dark when we reached 
Boston. Great numbers of persons called to see us 


at the Revere House, amongst them Mrs. Salter and Dr. 
Salter. Linton and I had a room to ourselves, and 
Reagan one to himself. Mrs. Salter brought me an 
invitation from Mr. Thos. W. Pierce to spend Saturday 
and Sunday at his coimtry place. Saturday morning 
I bought two trunks and packed all our things, carpet- 
bags and all, in them. 

Sunday — Went out to Mr. Pierce's Saturday night, 
Judge Reagan with me. Linton remained at the Revere 
House ; was better when we left him than on the previous 
evening. We went by train some 25 miles, starting at 
5 p. m., and reaching Pierce's about 7.30. Mr. Pierce 
is a relation of ex-President Pierce, and a gentleman of 
wealth and great generosity. He has a beautiful place 
at Topsfield; is a merchant and was worth about four 
million before the war. He had large interests at the 
South and may lose a good deal there. Saturday night 
there was a heavy fall of rain. It was greatly needed; 
there had been an unusual drought throughout New 
England. I told our host that our welcome had brought 
the long-prayed for rain. Several gentlemen were invited 
to meet us at dinner, but in the storm which has con- 
tinued all day, no one came except Mr. Edward Pierce, 
our host's brother, and the Hon. Mr. Hillard,* who drove 
out from Boston in spite of the weather; no trains run 
on Sunday. 

We spent a pleasant day at Topsfield. It is a famous 
spot. Here is where the witches lived; and where two 
old women, whose names I forget, were arrested for witch- 
craft. The stone-pile on the road where, it was charged, 

* Reference probably to G. S. HilUrd. lawyo;. legislator, author and joumalbt U. S. 
District Attorney for Mass., x866*7oi or Frands Hilliard, jurist, legislator, and author may be 


they held their nightly orgies, is still pointed out. Mr. 
Pierce has a variety of fruit trees — especially pears — 
Massachusetts is noted for pears. By far the best pears 
I ever saw grew in this State. 

Oct. 1 6. — We left Topsfield at 8; drove over four 
miles to depot. Mr. Pierce has a splendid team; said 
he could get $6,ooo for the pair. Reagan drove to Bos- 
ton with Mr. Edward Pierce; Mr. Hillard travelled with 
Mr. F. W. Pierce and me on the cars. All the persons 
I saw or met on this trip, common people and all, seemed 
delighted to see me out of prison. Reached Boston at 
lo; found Linton better. Many persons called to see 

Oct. 17. — Last night great numbers called. It 
was late before I got to bed. I wish I could mention all 
my visitors; their names are on the cards which I have 
kept and laid away. Mr. Hillard was the last to leave. 
He sent by me a message to President Johnson, that 
if he, the President, will pursue the course he has mapped 
out, he will get the support of everybody in New England 
whose support is worth having. In this, I did not fully 
agree with Mr. Hillard, but received the message as he 
gave it. He went with me to take leave of Mrs. Salter's 
family. It was past midnight before we got to sleep. 
Linton was better but not well. We rose early and took 
the cars by Springfield and New Haven to New York, 
Reagan, Linton, and myself. I forgot to state that 
Lieuts. Newton and Niebuhr called Saturday and took 
leave of us. Also, Sergeant Malcolm Mosely, who had 
come up with us from Fort Independence. 


Oct. 18. — In New York; at Astor House. Great num- 
bers of people called, amongst them the Robbe family 
(Elizabeth Church Craig) and S. J. Anderson. Quite un- 
well, which prevented my calling on Mr. and Mrs. Robbe. 

Thursday — Left for Washington at 7 ; that is, Linton 
and I left. Mr. Reagan remained in New York. I have 
parted with him perhaps forever. We had been with 
or near each other since the 14th of May. At Fort War- 
ren, we spent some pleasant days together. Prisoners 
or common sufferers in any cause are apt to become 
attached to each other. I became much attached to 
Reagan. I think him a clever, upright, honest man. 
He had but few opportunities for education or culture 
in his youth. He is, in the common acceptation of the 
term, "self-made." The real foundations of his charac- 
ter are truth, integrity, and energy. He wrote, while 
in close confinement, a biographical sketch of his early 
life for the information of his children. This he let me 
read. Its perusal was exceedingly interesting to me. 

Oct. 20. — In Washington. Reached here last night 
at seven. A great many old acquaintances and other 
persons called to see me. Saw Joseph H. Echols and 
Judge O. A. Lochrane of Georgia. Called to see Presi- 
dent Johnson early in the morning; went about 7.30, 
Lochrane with me. Met at the White House door an 
Irishman who knew me. Said he had known me ever 
since I brought Mr. Smith O'Brien there to introduce 
him to Mr. Buchanan; he gave me his name, but I 
(iidn't hear it distinctly. I asked him if he could de- 
liver my card to the President. He was very glad to see 
me and seemed disposed to favour me in any way he 


could ; said he could not deliver it, but would hand it to 
Slade* who would. I told him to bring Slade to me; 
this he did. I asked Slade if he would deliver my 
card to the President personally. He said he could. 
I think my Irish friend had given him a private talk 
in my behalf. I gave my card to Slade. It was a 
blank piece of square-cut paper with these words writ- 
ten on it: 

"Alexander H. Stephens would like to present his 
respects in person to the President, if agreeable and 
convenient to him." 

I was immediately invited by Slade up into the sitting- 
room, where I waited a while. The President came in. 
We held an interview of about an hour and a half. I 
delivered Mr. Hillard's message. He directed his secre- 
tary to leave us, and we had the interview to ourselves. 

The conversation took a wide range. It was upon 
public aflFairs generally. I gave him my own views very 
fully and freely upon the subject of Negro suflFrage. I 
told him the adjustment of that question belonged exclu- 
sively to the States separately, but in my judgment the 
States ought not to exclude the blacks entirely from the 
polls. I outlined the plan of a classification I had thought 
of, but said I believed it too late now to consider such 
a change in our system. As things are, I thought the 
principle should be established of allowing the franchise 
to such members of the black race as could come up to 
some proper standard of mental and moral culture with 
the possession of a specified amount of property. Such 

* Answering inquiry, Col. W. H. Crook, of the official staff of the White House from 
Lincoln's time till now, wrote me : "William Slade was President Johnson's steward, a man 
ci whom he was very fond." Editor, 


an arrangement would be right in duty. It would have 
a good effect at the South in breaking the strength of the 
violent radical element, and it would have a beneficent 
effect upoii the black population in holding out a strong 
inducement for improvement. I thought the blacks 
should be allowed to testify in the courts; arrangements 
for schools should be made, and some system adopted 
to require them to educate their children. 

Our talk was civil and agreeable. I can only give 
in brief its outlines. My inference from the conversation 
was that his policy was to have the Negroes, as soon as 
possible, removed from the country as the Indians were. 
He was very evidently desirous to have the proposed 
Amendment * to the Constitution of the U. S. adopted 
by the South. I could see no purpose for this but the 
ultimate removal under this Amendment of the Negroes 
by Congress. 

Oct. 21. — Linton better. Last evening we called 
to see John C. Burch, the Misses Nichol, and Judge 
Wayne, also my old landlord and cook, Crotchett. John 
was glad to see us, drove out to his brother Raymond's, 
and brought Raymond, Raymond's little daughter, 
Maggie, and her brother, Alexander, in to see me. Mar- 
garet is named for my mother, and Alexander for me. 
They sat with me till past midnight. 

This morning we started for L)mchburg. The Burches 
were at the depot to see us off. We passed through Alex- 
andria, by Manassas, Gordonsville, Charlottesville, and 
reached Lynchburg at 5 p. m. The desolation of the 
country from Alexandria to near Charlottesville was 
horrible to behold. 

• The Thirteenth, abolishing lUvery, 


Oct. 22. — We — Linton, Judge Lochrane, and myself 
rested at L)mchbiirg. Professor Holcombe, a Mr. 
Mosely, and a Mr. Britton called to see me. They 
expressed the opinion that I would run some hazard 
of personal violence in passing through East Tennessee 
on the route we were following. The account given 
of the state of things there was very bad. I was fixed, 
however, in my determination to pursue that route. 

Oct. 23. — Left L)mchburg for Bristol at 7. Took 
our leave of the hotel and of Ralph, one of the best 
coloured servants or waiters I ever saw. Passed the 
mountains, the tunnel. Met on the cars a daughter of 
William Ballard Preston; she lunched with us. We took 
dinner at no place, took supper at Wytheville. I had a 
good sleep on two seats in the cars fixed for the purpose. 
We reached Bristol about 5 a. m., took breakfast and 
changed cars. 

Oct. 24. — Passed through East Tennessee. From 
all we heard, a terrible state of things is there; no law; 
all men who sympathized with the Southern Cause, it 
is said, have to leave the country or be killed. Just 
before we reached Knoxville, an elderly man came in 
to see if he could get a seat for his mother. The seat 
was procured; an old woman, seemingly eighty, or 
upward, maybe a hundred, was brought in. She was 
very infirm and decrepit. The son, an old man, said his 
mother had never been on the cars before. She seemed 
alarmed when we started. He stood by her and told 
her there was no danger. He went no farther than the 
next station; there he bade her farewell; he said: "Well, 
mother, I must leave you here; there is no danger. 


Good-bye." He took her hand, she choked in her utter- 
ance of good-bye, and the big drops trickled down her 
cheeks. She seemed to be quitting the country. From 
Knoxville to Dalton I paid fare — not being able to 
find the U. S. quartermaster on whom I had an order 
for transportation from that place to Crawfordville. 
Got to Dalton at 2 ; staid until 10. 

Oct. 25. — War has left a terrible impression on 
the whole country to Atlanta. The desolation is heart- 
sickening. Fences gone, fields all a-waste, houses burnt. 
Reached Atlanta after 7. 

Thursday — Linton and I left Atlanta at 6, parting 
from Lochrane there. We took dinner at Union Point 
and reached home at 3 p. m., 24 weeks to a day from 
my arrest. 

Oh, how changed are all things here f Change, change, 
indelibly stamped upon everything I meet, even upon the 
faces of the people ! I learned at the depot that all were 
well at the lot and at the homestead. But poor Binks 
was dead. The cars had run over him some weeks ago, 
when he was going with Harry to the mill at Union 
Point. This news filled me with sadness. Among the 
other and great pleasures I had promised myself was 
this small — no, not small — one of meeting Binks. 
Harry was at the depot and told me the sorrowful news. 
As we came from the depot to the house, the children, 
Ellen, Tim, Dora, Fanny, and Quin, all met us out by 
the Academy. The children all cried for joy. Dora 
blubbered right out; the eyes of all, except Fanny and 
Quin, were tearful; Eliza met us at the gate; her eyes, 
too, were full. 


The house and lot looked natural and yet withal sadly 
changed in some respects. I seemed to myself to be 
in a dream. But my heart went up in fervent thanks- 
giving to Aknighty God for preserving and guiding, me 
back once more to this spot so dear to me. 

And with this entry this Journal doses forever: Linton 
this day left me for his home. He went to meet again 
his dear little ones. He has been constantly with me 
since the ist of September. He has a severe cold, and 
I fear he got wet to-day for it commenced raining soon 
after he left. I am to look after my affairs here and at 
the homestead, to see my dear ones there. Next week 
I am to go over to see Linton and his children. May 
God bless himi 



DURING Mr. Stephens's stay in New York, his 
room at the Astor House was thronged with 
callers, among these Senator Wilson, George T. 
Curtis, and a number of other prominent men. His 
appearance, as described by the press, was that of a 
"skeleton with eyes more piercing in their gaze by reason 
of the straggling white locks that fell over his temples in 
silken threads." Until his imprisonment, his hair had 
kept its glossy chestnut. He "walked with the feeble- 
ness of age"; his "conversation, manner, and handgrasp 
indicated his natural goodness of heart." 

The Georgia Legislature, convening under the John- 
son reconstruction measures, elected him, over his pro- 
test, to the United States Senate. In a letter, Feb. 5, 1866, 
to President Johnson, explaining "the motives of the 
Legislature," Mr. Stephens said : 

It was thought that as the Hon. H. V. Johnson [elected 
for the short term] and myself had been the most promi- 
nent ejcponents of the Union sentiment of the large 
body throughout the South who had gone with their 
States against their judgment, our utterances would be 
received as most expositive of their views now — to say 
nothing of secessionists, who, I assure you, as I did at 
Fort Warren, are more ready to listen to me now. I 
have no desire for office. Still I could not refuse the 
call of the people to serve them if I be permitted to do so. 
I can of course do nothing unless my parole shall be 
enlarged, and I be at least permitted to go to Washington 



and confer with you. I do not wish to embarrass you 
in your policy for the restoration of the Union. If you 
think my presence in Washington would not only do no 
good in this respect but would in the least degree em- 
barrass you, I do not ask enlargement of parole. But if, 
on the contrary, you may be of opinion that it would do 
no harm and might possibly do some good, then I respect- 
fully ask it. Individually, I think that a personal con- 
ference with you and others at Washington might do 
some good. Still, I may be mistaken. 

The parole was granted Feb. 26. On Washington's 
birthday, he addressed the Legislature, advising cheer- 
ful acceptance of the issues of war, charity, patience, 
a fair trial of the new system as aflFecting the Negro, 
with qualified suffrage for the race. "The whole United 
States is our country to be cherished and defended as 
such by all our hearts and arms," he said. The address 
was widely published and applauded. His evidence 
before the Reconstruction Committee of Congress was 
of similar temper on Uke points, though a brave and 
candid exposition of the Southern attitude on all matters 
about which he was questioned. The New York Times 
pronounced it "statesmanlike" and "the ablest 
analysis of Southern political action" yet given. Of 
the Washington atmosphere toward him socially and of 
his impression of it politically, we are informed by Mr. 
Stephens in this letter in April 8, 1866, to his brother: 

The President received me with frankness and, I may 
say, cordially. The Cabinet received me as cordially 
as any Cabinet ever did. All sides — Democrats and 
Republicans, Conservatives and Radicals — seemed glad 
to see me. General Grant seems to be very marked 
in his regards for me. The invitation given me to spend 


the evening with him, to which I alluded in my other 
letter, was for one of his receptions. There was a very 
large company. President Johnson was there — the 
first instance of a President of the United States ever 
going out into society, as it may be termed, or accepting 
an invitation to join a party of friends on such an occa- 
sion. I was impressed with one thing; that is, that 
General Grant and the President seemed a little awk- 
ward, or not at ease, in the characters they were acting; 
both seemed to be out of their element. This, in Grant, 
I was pleased at; but somehow, I would have preferred 
to see the President more graceful and elegant — or 
rather, more at ease. Everything passed off agreeably. 
There was a perfect jam, and a great array of fashion 
and court style. I was more looked at than any man 
present, and more talked to, though I endeavoured to 
keep in the background. Sir Frederick Bruce sought 
an introduction to me. He is a gentleman of fine appear- 
ance and talks well. I declined to see him on his visit 
to Fort Warren; Mr. Burlingame told me, at the time, 
that Sir Frederick wished to see me, and Major Liver- 
more said if I would request to see Sir Frederick, he 
would, under his orders, allow it; but I told Mr. B. 
that it might not be approved at Washington, as I was 
a State prisoner and Sir Frederick a foreign minister, 
etc. Sir Frederick alluded to his visit, etc. 

I called to see Senator Wilson yesterday. This was 
in discharge of an act of duty for his personal kindness 
to me at Fort Warren. He introduced me to Mrs. 
Wilson at General Grant's party; I therefore called to 
see them both. We had a long pleasant talk, differing 
widely on many points, but agreeably. 

Nothing will be done toward the admission of South- 
em members this session. This question will most prob- 
ably be decided by the fall elections. The most radical 
men in Congress — the most rabid — talk with me heart- 
ily, freely, and fully; and, I think I may say, almost 
unanimously would prefer to see me in the Senate to any 


other man from the South — or at least, they say so. 
So my election has certainly done the State no harm. 
The point on which they are going to rally is a propo- 
sition to amend the Constitution on the suflFrage question 
— to allow admission to those States which will agree 
to an amendment allowing representation on the ratio 
of votes. I need not say that I think it will be a dan- 
gerous platform for us before the Northern people. How 
easily this might have been avoided by the Southern 
people in allowing a wisely-restricted suflFrage to the 
black race in their new constitutions! This platform 
emanates from no real philanthropic sentiment for the 
Negro; it is founded upon a desire for power. It is not 
believed that the South will grant suflFrage to the black 
race. The object is to deprive the South of political 
power, and to leave the poor unfortunate sons of Africa, 
as our fellow citizens, to tiheir fate. 

Mr. Stephens was never allowed to take his seat in 
the Senate. The friendlier feeling, which was beginning 
to obtain between the sections at the time of his release, 
was soon turned to exceeding bitterness by the action 
of a Radical Congress in overthrowing Johnson's recon- 
struction measures and inaugurating the period which 
has become infamous in our history as that of carpet-bag, 
scalawag, and Negro rule in the South. Mr. Stephens 
was a delegate in August, 1866, to the National Union 
Convention in Philadephia from which so much good 
was hoped and so little came. Replying March 29, 1867, 
to a letter from Dr. E. M. Chapin, Washington, D. C. 
he gives his views of the times : 

My judgment was that it [the Convention] would 
prove a failure. . . . The Congress plan of Recon- 
struction will be carried out, whether the whites who are 
not disfranchised join in forming the new organizations 


or not. ... I think they should be governed by the 
public interest only. They should not be controlled by 
sympathy for the disfranchised class. As for myself, 
I would not only cheerfully submit to proscription for- 
ever, but I would oflFer up my life if thereby a restoration 
of the Union under the Constitution could be effected. 
By taking part, they may secure control, and thus save 
themselves from the dominion of the black race. Thus 
might they erect a temporary shield against impending 
danger. All depends upon the ethnological problem: 
Whether self-government can be successfully maintained 
by the Caucassian and African races, when they exist 
in the proportion that they do in this section, upon the 
basis of perfect political equality in all respects. I do 
not think the problem can ever be solved so. My earnest 
desire is that the experiment may succeed. Had the 
existence of the Union been recognized by Congress, as 
it was by the President, and had I not been disfranchised, 
my purpose was to devote all my energies to giving the 
experiment of the civil equality of the black race before 
the law the fairest possible trial. I was not opposed to 
a qualified suflFrage with the door open for enlargement. 
"Blood is thicker than water." No man-made law can 
prevent antagonism between races — between Scotch 
and English, Irish and English, German and French, 
when interests or prejudices clash; much less between 
the white and black races. . . . We cannot remain 
long under military rule without the North's sharing our 
fate. . . . The only hope is for reaction at the 
North in time to save the Republic. 

To the Hon. Montgomery Blair he wrote Feb. 3, 1867: 

For your letter and the pamphlets I return my thanks. 
I have carefully read General Blair's speech. ... If 
both races would act rightly, all might move on smoothly. 
No labour is so well suited to the South, and nothing 
is more essential to the direction of that labour than the 


superior skill and provident care of the white man. All 
possible eflFort should be made to bring about harmonious 
action. This can only be done in conformity with nature. 
The natural inequality must be recognized. With this 
should follow ample legal protection for the weak against 
the strong. . . . After the most intense study, I 
have come to the conclusion that one of three results 
will be the issue of our race question: (i) The races 
will be brought to harmonious action on the line indicated. 
(2) A war of races ending in the destruction of one or 
the other. (3) Exodus of the black race. A few of 
my many reasons for preferring the first to General 
Blair's colonization idea are: (i) I beUeve it to be the 
interest of both races to live together on the basis out- 
lined, if it can be worked. (2) The expense of remov- 
ing three and a half million people would be enormous — 
probably more than the Government could meet. (3) 
The sufferings and loss of life attending the migration 
of such a vast multitude would be enough to shock human 
nature. (4) The Negro race can not maintain civiliza- 
tion except when m contact with a higher type of human- 


He devoted his time of political inaction to writing 
his "Constitutional View of the War Between the States," 
andiiis "School History of the United States." In 1881, 
he wrote a "History of the United States." The first 
is his masterpiece. The London Saturday Review said 
of it, "No contribution to the history of the Civil War 
of equal value has yet been made, or is hkdy to be made, 
unless some one of General Lee's few surviving lieuten- 
ants should do for the military history of the struggle 
what Mr. Stephens has done for its political aspect." 
He taught "for recreation" a law class of young men 
who "agree to reimburse me hereafter for their board." 

His "War Between the States" brought him $35,000 


in royalties on a sale of 70,000 copies. A newspaper 
venture absorbed most of the profits from his books, 
and his bounties and hospitalities kept him in straits. 
He bought, in 1871, the Atlanta 5«n, that he might have 
columns of his own in which to fight the proposed coali- 
tion of the Liberal-Republicans and Democratic parties; 
which coalition came about, however, with Greeley 
for Presidential standard-bearer in 1872. His course 
in opposing Greeley was unpopular. Before an Atlanta 
audience, Dec. 20, 1872, he said: 

Three weeks ago I was requested for my views on the 
public situation. I appointed the second day after 
the election. When the time arrived, I was not here. 
Mr. Greeley's obsequies were being performed. I knew 
him weU. Between us personally never a harsh word 
or feeling passed. He was as truly an honest man as 
any I ever met. That is true, notwith3tanding our great 
political differences. He belonged to that party which 
advocated centralized government ; that doctrine and party 
I could not favour. It was inappropriate for me to speak 
of matters which had necessary reference to him, in the 
hour of his funeral. I have canvassed Georgia for twenty 
years. I have been diseased and infirm all that time. 
I have made more than a thousand appointments, per- 
haps, and never failed to fill more than two till now: 
these by an occurrence which laid me aside for two months 
[the Cone encounter], and that some of you may remem- 
ber. These matters I state in reply to a fling at me in 
the papers. 

The charge had been made that I was not in accord with 
the people of Georgia, that I do not move with her Dem- 
ocracy. What are the principles of her Democracy? 
Were they not the principles adopted in this hall in 
August, 1870? Who brought them here? That brother 
of mine to whom such touching allusion has been made. 
That brother came from my house. They brought you 


into power. . . . Am I thus accused because I 
did not go with the Convention of 1872 in its nomination 
of Greeley — when the majority adopted the candidate 
but utterly refused the platform? I did not think that 
good policy. You all know now its results. . . . The 
liberties of this country depend on these principles taught 
by the Revolutionary fathers: that this is a great con- 
federated republic and not a consolidated empire. With 
a hxmdred and fifty thousand earnest men, there will 
be no diflSculty that cannot be overcome in recovering 
our liberties. There are true men at the North, men 
true to Democratic principles in New Hampshire, Maine, 
Massachusetts. It is a great mistake to suppose that 
therie are not true men there, as true, liberty-loving men 
as you are. 

"The principles that brought you into power" is a 
reference to the Georgia Platform in 1870, framed by 
Mr. Stephens and his brother. On this platform the 
State wrested her government from carpet-bag rule. 
In the fall of 1872, the people sent Mr. Stephens to 
represent his old Eighth District in Congress. He was 
again in the seat which he had occupied for sixteen years, 
and perhaps he was more at home in it than he had ever 
been when presiding over the Confederate Senate. He 
had an. influence there that had never been his in the 
Confederate Senate. He addressed himself to his old 
task of reconciling sections, preserving peace, and, as 
alwa3rs, of proclaiming the sacredness of the Constitu- 
tion. A newspaper described his appearance : 

An inunense cloak, a high hat, and peering somewhere 
out of the middle a thin, pale, sad face. How anything 
so small and sick and sorrowful could get here all the 
way from Georgia is a wonder. If he were laid out in 
his coflSn, he needn't look any different, only then the 


fires would have gone out in the burning eyes. Set as 
they are in the wax-white face, they seem to bum and 
blaze. That he is here at all to offer the counsels of 
moderation and patriotism proves how invincible is the 
soul that dwells in this sunken frame. He took the 
modified oath in his chair, and his friends picked him 
up in it and carried him off as if he were a feather. 

"Whatever he wants done is done, and every measure 
he advocates passes," a Northern paper said kindly 
but not quite correctly. He tried to adapt himself to 
conditions, doing the best he could "with circumstances 
as they arise," according to the rule he cites so often in 
his Journal. For instance, believing Tilden to be the 
legally elected president, he advised acceptance of the 
finding for Hayes because resistance might have plunged 
the country into another war. He was criticized for this 
and for several other stands that he took, but events or 
a maturer consideration justified him in each case. His 
speech on the unveiling of Carpenter's picture of Lincoln, 
"The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation," was 
the dramatic event of his term of 1878 in the House. 
It is no mean proof of his wisdom and tact that he dis- 
charged his oflBce of representing the South on this occasion 
in a manner approving itself to both sections. Yet he 
simply told the truth as he saw it. The larger part of 
his tribute to Mr. Lincoln personally is printed in the 
earlier pages of this book; taking up its concluding 
sentences, we produce his statement of Lincoln's pur- 
pose and of the South's part in emancipation. 

Every fountain of his heart was ever overflowing with 
the "milk of human kindness." From my attachment 
to him, so much the deeper was the pang in my breast 


at the horrible manner of his taking V)flF. . . . Eman- 
cipation was not the chief object of Mr. Lincohi in issu- 
ing the Proclamation. His chief object, to which his 
whole soul was devoted, was the preservation of the 
Union. The Proclamation itself did not declare free 
all the coloured people of the Southern States ; it applied 
only to those parts of the country then in resistance to 
the Federal authorities. If the emancipation of the 
coloured race be a boon or a curse to them, then, repre- 
senting the Southern States here, I must claim in their 
behalf, that the freedom of that race was never con- 
summated and could not be until the Southern States 
sanctioned the Thirteenth Amendment, which they did, 
every one of them, by their own former constituencies. 

"During the conflict of arms," he said, "I frequently 
despaired of the liberties of our country both North and 
South." He pleaded for friendship between the sections, 
for conscientious discharge of duty to the Negro, and 
for faithful adherence to the Constitution. This was the 
spirit of his every argument as long as he was in the House. 

In 1882, he retired from Congress, after a service, 
all told, of twenty-six years, to become Governor of 
Georgia, accepting the position in spite of great age and 
feebleness, because her people assured him that he alone 
could unite her jarring factions and heal her political 
wounds. Transference of his domestic life from his 
familiar quarters at the National Hotel, Washington, 
and his beloved Liberty Hall to the Executive Mansion 
in Atlanta was a trial for him at his years, but he was 
deeply touched at the mark of public confidence which 
placed him there. During his brief period of office he 
was very busy and not unhappy. The one criticism 
recorded of his administration is that he made excessive 
use of the pardoning power. 


Again we will take up the thread of his family life. 
A romance grew out of his brother's visit to him at Fort 
Warren, where Mrs. Salter and her daughters were his 
good angels. Judge Stephens and Mary Salter had 
met before, when she was very young and when they 
were both visitors in Washington City, where her uncle, 
Joseph C. Ives, and his wife, the sister of Senator Semmes, 
were living and were as great social favourites as they 
afterward found themselves in Richmond. During the 
war. Colonel Ives, though a New Yorker, was on Mr. 
Davis's personal staff, his sympathies following those 
of his wife. The development of an attachment, which 
ended in marriage in 1867, was the natural sequence of 
the meeting between Linton and Mary at Fort Warren, 
a sequence that gave much happiness to Mr. Stephens as 
well as to themselves. A great sorrow befell Mr. Stephens 
in 187^ when Linton died, and the "light of his life" 
went out. But he found relief from grief in renewed 
public activities and in fresh interests in friends and 
associates and in the young nieces and nephews that 
clustered around him. Upon "Billy," as William Grier 
Stephens was affectionately called, Linton's mantle 
most nearly fell. Billy died, and then John A. Stephens 
became the staff of the statesman's declining years. From 
Mr. Stephens's numerous letters to John, space must be 
claimed here for a few characteristics extracts; as for 
this, written at Liberty Hall to John in Atlanta just 
before the Convention of 1870 to which Judge Stephens 
and Herschel V. Johnson were delegates: 

I wish you would go to the Post Office and get me 
500 stamped envelopes. Linton teUs me he will be in 
the Convention. I have written Governor Johnson 
asking him to come and see me on his way to Atlanta. 


Shall I take the liberty of inviting him to your house? 
Or, will you write to me and ask me to extend an invita- 
tion to him for you? I know the Govemor*s means 
are limited, and it may be that it would be very accept- 
able to him to be invited to stop with a friend. I know 
that in my life such an invitation would on many occa- 
sions have been very acceptable. If he accepts, I want 
you to consider the extra expense as chargeable to me. 
I will willingly foot the bills for all the good eating — and 
he likes good eating — that you may furnish him. If 
you will write me a letter telling him and Linton to go 
to your house, I will myself deliver it. 

Of course John wrote the invitation, and dutifully 
fell in with his uncle's plan to establish for himself an 
Atlanta centre of hospitality. As John was vicarious 
entertainer, so was he minister of mercy. After Harry's 
death in 1881, Mr. Stephens wrote from Washington: 

Be sure and attend Harry's sale. I want you to buy 
all the shucks, com, etc., unless the bids go above the 
town price. I do have sympathy for the poor old horses 
and will give more for them than they are worth. I 
should buy them simply to feed them. If my feelings 
are thus for dumb brutes which have served me faithfully, 
how much stronger are they to human beings! I wish 
Eliza and her children to have all the aid in my power to 
render them comfortable. I shall write her of my views 
of what she shall do and what I will do to aid her. I 
wish you to attend to having her dower properly assigned. 
My deed to Harry is of record. 

Rarely is there a letter to John that does not charge 
him with some commission for an old servant or some 
other beneficiary. One knows not whether to smile or 
sigh at Mr. Stephens's quaint interest in the family 
babies, as displayed in thoughtful epistles to "Sister 


Mary" and "Cousin Emma" (John's wife) about the 
trials of these infant prodigies in croup and measles. His 
care for business and domestic affairs of his nephews 
was unfailing. "I was exceedingly anxious to know 
how you were fixed up for the reception of Cousin Emma; 
whether you had got your furniture moved in time to 
occupy your house that night," he writes, on John's 
moving to Atlanta in 1869, a young lawyer making 
up as well as he could for time lost in the war. "How 
are you getting on in your practice?" *'I have no 
objection to association of my name with yours in bringing 
the case. It is just such a case as I like to plead. From 
the facts stated, your client has been greatly wronged." 
The following, written eight days after John reached 
Atlanta, repeats advice given to Linton years before: 

I am glad to hear you have got a case. This is your 
first in your new location, and I can not do better than 
to repeat that a young man's first cases at the law 
are the most important to him he will ever have. His 
reputation is at stake. It should be a leading object 
with him to succeed in them beyond expectation. He 
ought to take no case except such as he beUeves on inves- 
tigation to be right. 

This to John, in 1870, is a blow at graft: 

What Mr. meant by what he said to you about 

the State Road, I cannot conjecture. I do not wish 
you to have anything to do with him. Lobb3dng before 
a corrupt legislature is one of the lowest and meanest 
businesses anybody can engage in. A legal opinion, 
professionally given, has no sort of impropriety in it. 
I have given such in more cases than one. In such, I 
represent a client's interest before the Legislature as I 


would before a court. But this is a very different thing 
from becoming interested in procuring legislation not as 
a matter of legal right and duty but of policy, and that, 
too, without any consideration of the public interests. 
Were I a member of the Legislature, I should advocate 
a sale or lease of the State Road if I could get it effected 
upon proper terms, but nothing could induce me as an 
attorney to accept a fee or reward from outside parties 
to procure such legislation. If a question of law should 
arise as to how such a lease or sale was to be perfected, 
I should not hesitate to charge a proper professional fee 
for giving an opinion. But I could never be induced to 
offer an opinion to influence the Legislature to seU or 
lease the road. That, in my judgment, would be exceed- 
ingly reprehensible. I hope you will even have nothing 
to do with parties who can make such propositions to 

It happened that the road was leased later in the 
year, and Mr. Stephens took an interest to the "extent 
of his property." The next year, there was a cry of 
"swindle." When information seeming to show that 
the State had been cheated in the lease was received by 
Mr. Stephens, he promptly deeded his holdings back 
to the Commonwealth. 

He named one condition to his candidacy for governor 
that the public did not know; it was that John and 
"Cousin Emma" should enter the Mansion with him: 
"I shall die there, and I want you to close my eyes," 
he said. They did not care to give up their cozy home 
for that temporary abode, but they went with him; and 
it was a great pleasure to him to have them there and to 
hear the children pattering about the place. He proudly 
made John Adjutant-General of Georgia, a position 
which the gallant ex-Confederate held with credit to him- 


sdf and to his State, under successive governors until 
faOing health compeUed him to resign the year before 
his death in 1887. Never in the history of the Mansion 
before or since have so many needy people and so many 
tramps been fed there in the same period of time — or 
perhaps any period — as during Mr. Stephens's residence. 
"Cousin Emma" dutifully endeavoured to keep the 
gubernatorial nose from the grindstone. One morning 
she entered his room, where he was dictating to his sec- 
retary, and proudly displayed her accounts, showing 
a good saving in housekeeping expenses for the 
month. "Uncle Alex" praised her thrift, and turning 
to his secretary, said: "Seidell, add $25 to the check 
in that last letter for the woman who asked me to 
help her." 

From the Sesqui-Centennial in Savannah, where the 
people greeted him lovingly, Mr. Stephens came back 
to the Mansion to die. Sunday at dawn, March 4, 1883, 
after a brief illness, he breathed his last. Thursday, 
he was laid to rest in a vault in Oakland Cemetery 
pending removal of his remams to CrawfordviUe, 
where he now sleeps in the grounds at Liberty 


While he lay in state in the Capitol in. Atlanta, many 
of the poorest class of whites came from a distance to 
pay their respects. Many Negroes came. Never before 
in the history of Atlanta was there such a funeral pro- 
cession as the long line of military and civic bodies and 
mourning populace which followed him to the tomb. 
Not only in Georgia, not only in the South, was pub- 

* The ownership of liberty HaU it now vested in the Stephens Monumental Association, 
which is seeking to establish at Crawfordvilie, as a memorial to Mr. Stephens, a school for 
poor boys and girls. The Daughters of the Confederacy have some oversi^t of the dwelling 
and will doubtless have final charge of it and arrange for its preservation as a National shrine. 


lie tribute paid to his memory. In far-oflf Vermont, 
State oflBces were closed on the day of his fimeral and 
the National flag was displayed at half-mast over the 
Capitol. When the news of his death reached Wash- 
ington City, the House of Representatives unanimously 
adopted a resolution expressing "hearthfelt sympathy 
with the people, not only of Georgia, but of the whde 
country, in the loss of a statesman and a patriot." 




Abolition, in Philadelphia, 15; 
Seward, leader, 25; Stephens 
charged with, 29, 31 ; his view of, 
17,54, 199-201,249; manifesto, 37 

Adair, G. W., 525 

Adams, Charles rrands, 374 

Adams, John Quincy, 21, 30 

African Church, 84, 183, 241 

Aikens, Gov. 222 

Alabama, 67, 164 

Alexander, A. L., 279 

Alexandria, 537. 

Alfriends, The, 154 

Allen, H. A., 132, 135, 179, 39^1 39^, 

Allison letter, 34 

American people, "our common 
country,'^ 53, 59, 60, 74, 82, 94- 
96, 146, 196-97. 200 330, 463-65. 
Amesby, Captains, 486 
Anderson, Gen. Robert 309 
Anderson, S. J., 22, 375, 382, 447, 

482, 489, 503. 505 
Andersonville, 233-36 403, 444 
Andrew, Gov. J. A., 505, 511, 513, 

514. 516, 523 
Anthony, Negro servant, 101-23, 
164, 177, 180, 204, 221 
J.'Vv' Appleton, Majon meets Stephens, 
^ 393; kindness to, 399, 404; other 

mention, 405, 413, 415, 419-420, 
424, 431-32, 436, 441-42. 451-52. 
Appleton, Mabel Landon, 377, 433- 

Appleton, Mrs., 396, 399, 400, 405, 

413. 415. 436. 441-42, 452, 458. 

503. 521 
Appleton, Wm., 413 
Appleton, Samud, 413 
Arago, D. P., 44 
Aristocracy, Southern, 420-23 
Arnold, F.G., 44 
Arnold, Matthew, 483, 493 
Arnold, Richard, 164 
Ashmim, George, 483 
i45ia. The, 411 
Astor House, 23, 535, 543 

Athens, Ga., 8, ill, 277 

Atlanta, Douglas in, 5^, 107; Sher- 
man, 78; fall, 248; rums, 104, 107, 
539; Stephens, prisoner, 100-04; 
m 1843, 460; other mention, 150, 

179, 341-42. 524. 549. 554. 557 
Atlanta, The, 145, 410 
Atlanta Intelligencer, 379, 504 
Atlanta Sun, 549 
Atlantic Cable, 44, 403, 430, 433, 

436, 465. 474 
Augusta, Ga., 52, 106, no, 150, 154, 

164, 179, 247, 351-52 
Augusta Constitutionalist, 504 
Avary, Mrs. Robert Lee, 90 
Aztec, 311 

Babcock, Colonel, 80, 506 

Babinet, J. P., 44 

Bacon, Mr., 451 

Bailey, Corporal, 370, 448, 450, 455, 

Baker, Sallie, 154 
Baldwin, Captain, 417, 453, 457, 

A59, 472, 474, 532 
Baldwin, Mrs., 472, 532 
Balloons, 307, 317 
Baltimore, 14, 56 
Barksdale case, 154 
Bamett, Ga., 109, 179 
Bamham, Mr., Librarian, 396, 491 
Bartow, Prancis S., 89 
Baskerville, H. C, 164, 177, 204, 

221, 260, 412, ^8, 501 
Baskerville, Hamilton, 260 
Baskins, James, 3 
Bates's testimony, 139, 216 
Baton Rouge, 34 
Battle, Isaac, 13 
Beasley, C. A., 501 
Beecher, Henry Ward, 309, 515 
Bell, Mr., publisher, 485 
Benjamin, Judah P., 84, 216, 247 
Benton, Thomas H., 14 
Berckmans, Doctor, 223 
Bermuda, 222 
Berrien, Judge J. M., 16 
Bible Reading, 152; Prisoners of 

Hope, 459, 472, 483; Paul, a 



prisoner, 305, ^07; Paul and 
Cicero. 454; Epistles, 320, 336, 
34$ » 3^! Job and John, 262; and 
Elihu, 296; Job, 145, 225, 286, 
390, 381; Psalms, 229, 232, 370; 
Solomon and immortality, 390; 
Song of, 392; code of Jesus, 398; 
the Incarnation, 361, 398, 402, 
42 J, 425 ; falling from grace, 336 

Bickley, G. W. L., 324, 378, 437, 
486, 498 

Bigham, Hon. B. H., 503, 508, 525 

Bingham, J. A., 291 

Binks (dog), 88, 180, 211, 539 

Bird, Rev. W., 10, 43, 310 

Blair, F. P.. 77. 79» 81. 83. 265, 547 

Blair, Montgomeiy, 61, 547 

Bob (Negro), 315, 505, 526 

Bond & Co., 150 

Boston, and Webster, 36; kindness 
to Stephens, 92; view of, 209,244, 
261, 303; dopper Works, 462; 
Gun Works, 439; Stephens in, 
532-34; other mention, 45, 185, 
357. 370, 400, 424, 476, 477. 500, 
506,508,511, 513.517 

Boston Advertiser, 477 

Boston Express, 513 

Boston Herald, 129, 207, 210, 230, 
319. 326, 346, 368, 400. 454, 488, 

Boston Journal, 129, 133, 146, 151, 

260, 304, 335, 530 

Boston Posl, 164, 222, 239, 264, 271, 

338, 400, 407, 481, 485, 490, 491, 

Boston Traveller, 217, 512 

Botts, John Minor, 25, 215 

Bowdon, Hon. Mr., 495 

Boyce, Hon. W. W., 219 

Boykin's Memorial of Cobb, 58 

Breckinridge, J. C, 139, 186, 216 


Bristol, Tenn., 538 

Bristow, Chesley, 365 

Bristow, G. P., 87, 154, 481, 501, 

British Quarterly Review, 519 

Brown, Gov. Joe., Stephens' esti- 
mate, 353; other mention, 58, 151, 
177, 210, 352, 414, 418. 487, 488 

Brown, Major, 356 

Brown, Milton, 18 

Brown's Raid, John, 60 

Bruce, Sir Frederick, 505, 545 

Bruen, C. T., 491, 531 

Buchanan, President, 29, 41, 51, 
I93> 224 

"Bucket Letters," 380 

Buena Vista, 22 

Buffalo, N. Y., 529 

Bunker Hill, 209, 261 

Burch, Raymond W., 288, 375, 382, 

537; Alex., 537; J. C, 289, 537; 

Margaret, 289, 537 
Burlingame, A. B., 442-46, 505, 545 
Bums, Robert, 347, 457, 467, 473, 

Burt, Hon. Mr., 18 

Cabell, E. C, 22 

Calhoun, J. C, 15, 18 

Calhoim, Mayor, 336 

California, 27, 35, 37. 54 

Cambridge, 261, 303, 317, 506 

Cameron, Doctor, 143 

Campbell, J. A., 79, 214, 531 

Campbellton, ^60 

Canadian Mission, 105, 165, 181-83 

Cape May, 378, 433 

Capital punishment, 279 

Carpet oag rule, 550 

Carter's, Mrs., 49, 309, 348 

Carter, Elirkland & Co., 530 

Cass, Lewis, 19 

Cat, The, 512-13, 518, 529 

Catholics, 43, 47 

Catiline, 279 

Cavaliers and Puritans, 420 

Chaingang, The, 245 

Chancellorsville, 78 

Chandler, Daniel, 363 

Chapin, Dr. E. M., 546 

Charade, 306, 308, 503 

Charleston, 29, 46, 56, 63, 80, 418 

Charleston Courier, 47 

Charlotte, 139, 216, 349 

Charlotte Democrat, 216 

Charlottesville, 537 

Charlton (little Negro), 315, 505 

Chelsea, 462 

Chicago, 45, 486 

Chronicle and Sentinel, 264, 271, 

275. 423 
Church, Rev. Dr., 9, 230, 398 

Citizenship, 129, 148, 192; naturali- 
zation, 312 

City Point, 78, 401, 506 

Clark, General, 531 

Clarke Men., 15, 232 

Qay, C. C, 105, 110-25, 165, 178 

Clay, Mrs. C. C, 110-25 

Clay, Henry, 14, 17, 22, 36, 49 

Clayton, J. M., 25 




Cobb, Howell, 20, 97, 41, ^ 5^ 
139. 146,177. 2 16» 220.247,30*/ 

Cobb,T.R.R., 58,67 

Cole, H. GL. 417, 465 

Coleridge, Samuel T., 483 

Collamer,^cob, 49, 347 

Colquitt, W. T., 47 

Columbia, S. C, 76, 219, 236, 349 

Columbus, Ga., 11, 14, 150 

Compromise of 1850, 26, 36, 40, 54, 

Compromise, Clayton's, 33 

Compromise, Missouri, 31, 37, 39t¥> 

Comstock, C. B., 527 

Cone, Judge P. H., 35, 529 

Confederacy, Stephens and presi- 
dency, 50-2, 509; Vice-President, 
51, 62; why ha adhered to, 51, 62, 
189-96, 281-84; charged with 
treason to, 35, 52, 107, 200? 
prisoners, 233-36, 356, 444-45; 
administration, 64-73, 75-9, 83, 
85. 93» 167; collapse, 165-70, 201, 
241, 281, 326-33 

Confederate Cause, what it was, 
74, 165-71, 235, 338-30. 544 

Congress^ Confederate, Stephens m, 
62; measures of, 71-2, 330; peace 
and, 77, 84; Stephens wxmld 
resign, 49 

Congress, U. S,, Stephens in, 10, 13, 
17. 50, 61, 63, 71, 81, 93, 495; 
Reconstruction Committee, 544; 
refused seat, 543, 546; in the 
House, 550-52; at his death, 558 

Congressional Year, 44 

Connecticut, 27 

Connel, Cosby, i^ 

Constitution, "life and soul of 
Nation," 148, 293, 306; compact, 
190-92, 215; "richest inherit- 
Qoce,** 58, 95; cause he had at 
heart, 94, 147-49, 372; South 
tried to save, 329; violations, 32, 
71, 167, 169, 210, 328, 350, 342; 
m war, 292; other mention, 31, 
41. 53» 56. 189, 196, 201, 219, 

329.33?. 510,537 
Constitution, Confederate, Ste- 
phens's resolution, 171-74, 195; 
administration's violation, 32, 71, 

_94. 167, 330 

Constitutional Union party, 28, 39 

Constitutions of Aragon and Castile, 

227-29, 272 
Cooper, Major, 105 
Corbin, Major, 178 

Cornerstone Speech^ 173^4. 

Oorwixi, Governor, 454 

Cotton, 64-8, 352 

Craven, T.i^^ 681 

Crawford, W» H.,. 15, 16, 230, 28<5u. 

363. 565; G. W., 24, 27r Joel.. |6; 

Marttn, 4.02 
Crawfordvilk, 7, 10, >t, 13, 43, 64, 

86, 108, 205, 36au 447, 53», 539r 
_ 40, 557 

Cnttenden, J. J., 24, 217, 34, 49 
Croak, Lieutenant, 13^,^ iJT 
Crocket, Mr., 512 
Crook, Col. W. H., 536 
Ciotchett» 537 
Culpeper, Va., 4^5 
Gumming, Gov. Alfred, icTSu 465*. 

467. 47i»^i«; Mrs.^ 1791 
Curtis, G. T., 543 
Curtis, Justice, 39, 94^46l 
Cuyler, Doctor,. ^1 

Dahlgren, raid of ^ 336 

Dalton, Ga., 218, 539 

Darien, Ga., 436. 

Davis, Jefferson,, author of "nem 
plank," 63; Confederate Presi^ 
dent, 62, 330; and Stin>lieiis com- 
pared, 63-64; Toomos on, 67; 

dictator, dynastyv 7^-'3. 1^7* 3^*9- 
30; on cotton, 65, 68, 352; deser- 
tions, 169; political course, 70-3, 
84. 145, 1^7-70, 2At, 326-35. 343. 
349-52; Stephens s estimate, 85, 
93, J26-35, 492; Northern peace 
sentiment, 75-7, 330; to prison- 
ers, 235, 444-46; death reported, 
5i'-2; Lincoln's assassination, 139, 
181-83, 216; capture, 105, 307, 
J15, 461 ; to Fort Monroe, 106^25; 
m irons, 95, 133; Jordan on, 515, 
526; other mention, 140, 144, 147, 
241, 343, 407, 436, 468, 482, 497. 
499, 508. See Peace Conference, 
Slavery, etc. 
Davis, Mrs. Jefferson, 66-8; jour- 
ney to Fortress Monroe, 109-25; 
baby, no, 119; black ward, 116; 
sends mattress, 113; orders din- 
ner, 117; asks that servant go 
with Mr. S., 123; in New York, 

Davis, Winnie, no 

Dawson, A. H. H., 92» 435 

Dawson, W. C.,.363 

Decatur, 460 

Democratic Party, i6-20i, 2^,40^ 

56, 6a, 75, 254, 544^ 54^ 



Denver, General, 496 

Devine, Mr., 429, 442, 448, 455, 486, 

513. 526 

Dictator, 72, 369, 404, 41 1 

Disraeli's "Curiosities of Litera- 
ture." 554 

Dix, Gen. J. A., 130, 134, 139, I47» 
152, i79» 271, 274. 316, 432 

Dobbins's School, 279 

Doty*s resolution, 37 

Dougherty County, 366 

Douglas, Stephen A., 29, 37, 41, 51, 

55. 107 
Draper, General, 22 

Dreams, 258-59, 262, 345, 346, 468, 

478, 479-80, 483 
Dred Scott Case, 39, 461 
DuBose, D. M., 123, 134, 162, 211, 

220, 369, 390, 419, 475 
DuBose, Mrs. D. M., 123, 162, 211 
Duncan, T. W., 104, 108 
Duncan, Mrs., 44 
Dyer, Major, 144 

East Haddam, 213 

Echolas, J. H., 555 

Education, Stephens struggles for 
his own, 5-12, 227; helps others 
to get, 43, 226; Chairman of Com- 
mittee, 30; advocate of State 
University and higher education 
of women, 30, 44; education 
denied Negro, 174, 250; would 
have been given, 175; advises his 
servants, 213; advocates, 517, 

Eliza, chief woman servant, wed- 
ding, 87; widowed, 534; other 
mention, 456, 539, 554. 
Elliott, Bishop Stephen, 249 
Emancipation, Lincoln on, 81, 83, 
137, 281; his object, 552; the 
South and, 552; Hunter on, 83, 
137; Stephens's views, 250, 254, 
136, 372; Aristotle on, 322 
England and Oregon, 18-19; ex- 
pansion, 31; friendly promises to 
the South, 67; and Espy, 44; and 
Davis, 326; hberty, 33, 7A, 171. 
328; King George, 304; Church, 
420, 477; Toombs's ancestry, 425 
"Enoch Arden," 525 
Equality, dogma of, 157-61 
Erskine, John, 239, 415, 505, 525 
Erskine, Mrs., 418, 525 
Espy, J. P., 44 
Europe, 65, 67, 73. 74 
Evans, Gen. Clement A., 233 

Evans, Mr., 154 
Everett, Mr., 436 
Ewell, General, 220, 302, 356 
Exile, 217, 244, 279 
Expansion, 31-2, 41, 52-4 

Faneuil Hall, 36, 64, 400 
Farragut, Rear Admiral, 309 
Felix (Negro), 104, 106, 107 
Fillmore, President, 27-8 
Florida, 186 
Follett's Yacht, 220 
Force, Mr., 526 
Ford, Bill, 23 
Forney, J. W., 415 
Forsyth, John, 55 
Fors)rth, Senator John, 15 
Fort Delaware, 122; Independence, 
534; Lafayette, 513; Pulaski, 214, 

Fort Warren, Stephens's first view, 
14; library, 132, 299, 399, 400; 
Sunday, 156, 318, 455, 489; 
music, 164, 404; gun carriages, 
404, 439; guards, 238, 265-67, 
300, 406, 437-38, 448; Company 
A at dinner, 446; noon signal, 403, 
408, 439; night signal, 435, 440; 
messes, 459; incident, 480; Cap- 
tain Moody's report, 122; grass 
cutters, 186; chaingang, 245; 
graves, 410; visitors, 150, 186-87, 
217, 308, 400 

Stephens in, 91-3, 138, 153, 
283, 306, 358, 366, 396; odors, 
vermin, 378, 381, 456; rations, 
I75f 178, 181, 183, 185; from sut- 
ler, 178, 209, 222, 257, etc.; juste 
mUieUf 222; expenses, 128-29, 
132, 149, 151, 155, 162, 164, 179, 
209, 408, 457, 494; solitary, " cut 
off," 133, 136, 281, 299, 323, 376, 
431; sick. 206, 457, 469, 501; 
weeps, 366-67; stared at, 150, 
185, 187, 308, 400; failing vision, 
etc.. 181, 289, 375-76, 430; asks 
commtmication with friends, 10 1- 
02, 112, 122, 128, 130-33. 135; 
granted, 152; asks pardon, parole, 
trial, mitigation, 189, 204, 252, 
286-88, 339-4i» 366-67, 371-75. 
466; enlargement, 394; transfer, 
92, 459, 465, 474-75; release 
sought, 92, 500, 503-28; release, 

Fortress Monroe, 80, 108, 133, 164, 

179. 407. 519 
Foster, Gen. I. R., 105 



Poster, Thomas, 12 
Fountain (Negro), 109, 315 
Fourth of July, 13, 304, 318 
France, friendly promises to South, 
67; and Epsy, 44; the Directory, 

Freedmen's Bureau, 466 

French Academy of Sciences, 44 

Friendship, 180, 338, 347, 395, 403 

Fulton, Col. M. C, 504 

Gales & Seaton, 45 
Gallops Island, 461, 490, 521 
Garrett, J. W., 02 

Geary, Corpond, 129; kind and at- 
tentive, 151, 223, 233, 214, 240, 

295. 307. 314. 436. 454. 457. 461, 
502; muster, 291; refuses draft, 
204; Stephens misses, 243, 368; 
glad to see, 244-45; advises him 
to study law, 490; offers to teach 
Latin, 493; gifts, 532; other men- 
tion, 222, 243, 262, 285, 289, 302, 

336, 399. 424, 438, 442. etc. 

George (Negro), 109, 186 

Georgia, Stephens's love for, 150, 
193, 196, 214, 21