Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A "sore" loser

While imprisoned at Fortress Monroe the former President of the Confederacy wrote his wife a letter. Recently, I was watching C-Span's "Lincoln: 200 Years" series and during that episode author James Swanson mentioned the idea that Jefferson Davis was involved in Lincoln's Assassination. Inspired by this conversation I did not look into Jefferson Davis involvement or lack thereof but I instead looked at the Jefferson Davis Papers which are conveniently online.

Throughout his letter Davis updates his wife on the wars ending and adds his own interesting ending:

"I think my judgement is undisturbed by any pride of opinion or of place, I have prayed to our heavenly Father to give me wisdom and fortitude equal to the demands of the position in which Providence has placed me. I have sacrificed so much for the cause of the Confederacy that I can measure my ability to make any further sacrifice required, and am assured there is but one to which I am not equal, my Wife and my Children. How are they to be saved from degradation or want is now my care. During the suspension of hostilities you may have the best opportunity to go to Missi. and thence either to sail from Mobile for a foreign port or to cross the river and proceed to Texas, as the one or the other may be more practicable. The little sterling you have will be a very scanty store and under other circumstances would not be counted, but if our land can be sold that will secure you from absolute want. For myself it may be that our Enemy will prefer to banish me, it may be that a devoted band of Cavalry will cling to me and that I can force my way across the Missi. and if nothing can be done there which it will be proper to do, then I can go to Mexico and have the world from which to choose a location. Dear Wife this is not the fate to which I invited when the future was rose-colored to us both; but I know you will bear it even better than myself and that of us two I alone will ever look back reproachfully on my past career."

What fascinating statements from a man, on the run, who obviously will spend the rest of his life missing what the Confederacy stood for but no regret the events that transpired. In many ways he wasn't a "sore" loser as many authors have protrayed him to be. He was saddened by the loss of his "lifestyle" which obviously had to go had to go. Slavery and white supremecy was finally appraching its apex and in less than 100 years it would forever be ended. At least in theory.

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