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cause of animadversion upon the college. however, take a different view, and think that my services, in the position tendered me by the Board, will be advantageous to the college and the country, I will yield to your judgment and accept it; otherwise I must most respectfully decline the offer.
Begging you to express to the Trustees of the college my heartfelt gratitude for the honor conferred upon me, and requesting you to accept my cordial thanks for the kind manner in which you have communicated its decision, I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,
R. E. LEE.
JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States, was born in Todd County, Kentucky, but his father removed to Mississippi soon afterwards, and he was reared and partly educated in that state. Later he attended Transylvania University in Kentucky, and in 1824 entered West Point. He was graduated in 1828 and served seven years in the army, being stationed in Missouri and Minnesota. On account of ill-health he resigned in 1835 and travelled, and then settled on his Mississippi plantation, “Brierfield.”
He was elected to Congress in 1845; served in the Mexican War with great distinction and was injured in eye and limb at the battle of Buena Vista. He was Secretary of War in President Pierce's cabinet, and was a Senator when Mississippi seceded from the Union.
He made his farewell to the Senate in January, 1861, and returned home where he was at once appointed commander
of the State troops. But he had been elected president of the new Confederacy by the Convention at Montgomery, and he was inaugurated, February 18, 1861. On the change of the capital from Montgomery to Richmond, he removed to the latter city and remained there until the war was ended.
He was imprisoned for two years at Fort Monroe, to be tried as a traitor to the United States. Being finally released on bail, he went for his health to England and Canada; and then he resided in Memphis and at " Beauvoir," Mississippi, which latter place was his home when he died. This home," Beauvoir," he had arranged to purchase from Mrs. Dorsey, who was a kind and devoted friend to his family and had assisted him in his writing; but on her death in 1879, it was found that she had left a will bequeathing it to him and to his daughter Varina Anne. He, like Lee, had always declined the many offers of homes and incomes made by their devoted and admiring friends.
On him, as President of the Confederacy, seems to have fallen in some sense the whole odium of the failure of that cause; and this passage from Winnie Davis' "An Irish Knight" has a touching application to his case: "Thus died Ireland's true knight, sinking into the grave clothed in all the bright promise of his youth; never to put on the sad livery of age; never to feel the hopelessness of those who live to see the principles for which they suffered trampled and forgotten by the onward march of new interests and new men. Perhaps Freedom like some deity of ancient Greece, loved him too well to let the slurs and contumely of outrageous fortune dim the bright lustre of his virgin fame." He is enshrined in the hearts of thousands.
His daughter, Varina Anne, or Winnie," the Child of the Confederacy," as she is lovingly called, is a writer of
some ability. She was educated in Europe, and has written “An Irish Knight" [story of Robert Emmet], and articles for magazines. Mrs. Jefferson Davis' Life of Mr. Davis is a work of rare excellence and interest. See also Davis Memorial Volume, by J. Wm. Jones.
Rise and Fall of the Confederacy.
Autobiography, [unfinished; it is included in Mrs. Davis' book.]
Mr. Davis' writings have a force and dignity of style that accord well with his character. "His orations and addresses are marked by classical purity, chaste elegance of expression, a certain nobleness of diction, and a just proportion of sentence to idea."-John P. McGuire.
TRIP TO KENTUCKY AT SEVEN YEARS OF AGE, AND VISIT TO GENERAL JACKSON.
(From Autobiography in Mrs. Davis' Life of Davis.*)
My first tuition was in the usual log-cabin school-house; though in the summer when I was seven years old, I was sent on horseback through what was then called "The Wilderness"-by the country of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations to Kentucky, and was placed in a Catholic institution then known as St. Thomas, in Washington county, near the town of Springfield.
When we reached Nashville we went to the Hermitage. Major Hinds wished to visit his friend and companion-in-arms, General Jackson. The whole party was so kindly received that we remained there for several weeks. During that period I had the opportunity a boy has to observe a great man—a stand-point of no small advantage-and I have always remembered with warm
*By Permission of Mrs. Davis,
affection the kind and tender wife who then presided over his house.
General Jackson's house at that time was a roomy loghouse. In front of it was a grove of fine forest trees, and behind it were his cotton and grain fields. I have never forgotten the unaffected and well-bred courtesy which caused him to be remarked by court-trained diplomats, when President of the United States, by reason of his very impressive bearing and manner.
Notwithstanding the many reports that have been made of his profanity, I remember that he always said grace at his table, and I never heard him utter an oath. In the same connection, although he encouraged his adopted son, A. Jackson, Jr., Howell Hinds, and myself in all contests of activity, pony-riding included, he would not allow us to wrestle; for, he said, to allow hands to be put on one another might lead to a fight. He was always very gentle and considerate.
Our stay with General Jackson was enlivened by the visits of his neighbors, and we left the Hermitage with great regret and pursued our journey. In me he inspired reverence and affection that has remained with me through my whole life.
LIFE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Those who have intimately known the official and personal life of our Presidents cannot fail to remember how few have left the office as happy men as when they entered it, how darkly the shadows gathered around the setting sun, and how eagerly the multitude would turn to gaze upon another orb just rising to take its place in the political firmament.