Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

FOREWORD

W

this author has introduced some historical personages and has aimed to portray them faithfully and with impartiality to the conflicting issues they represented. In his pen portraits of Lincoln and analyses of his unique character the author has been aided by the memories of his father, who was a friend of Lincoln. During the last years of Jefferson Davis' life the author was one of his inner circle of friends and he has drawn on his own recollections in portraying the great but ill-starred Cavalier.

"It was thus I knew Jefferson Davis,” the author says, “a quarter of a century ago; I a young and ardent collegian; he still surrounded by the slaves and their descendants who had scorned to accept the freedom proffered by the Emancipation Proclamation; he still the high-souled aristocrat and cavalier, dignified and stately as any prince-royal, with moral character unscathed, and with all the sweet gentleness and simplicity of a child.

"I last saw him one day at noon. The morning had been spent in his Nibrary, in his garden, and in driving together over his plantation, holding high discourse concerning God, eternity, and the immortality of the soul. Lunch had been served on the south veranda overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and afar the green isles of the Southern Seas. A colored servitor stood behind each chair, as in the 'good old days,' and a large bouquet of sweet Southern roses graced the center of the table. The carriage that was to bear me to the station was waiting at the foot of the veranda-steps. With all the dignity of a Roman senator, Mr. Davis arose and took my hand, his other hand resting on my shoulder, and gently said: 'Good-bye-good-bye, my friend!

And may the good God ever have you in His keeping, and speed you in your quest! And my best wishes to your people, and to all the people of the North; and to the great American Union: Peace, Prosperity, and Perpetuity!'”

« ZurückWeiter »