Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart

By Felicity Allen | Go to book overview
Save to active project

XVIII
An Unseen Hand

On November 3, 1865, Jefferson Davis wrote to Varina: “Jno. Mitchel has been released. He was permitted to take leave of me, through the grates, and offered to write to you.” John Mitchel was the only other prisoner at Fortress Monroe besides Davis and Clay. He had come to say goodbye. This journalist, styled by Varina “the Irish patriot, who had escaped British imprisonment, had brought three sons to the Confederate army, two of whom were killed. He had worked for Richmond newspapers before going to the Daily News in New York, where he was arrested for no stated reason on June 6. He was just as arbitrarily freed on October 30. 1

Mitchel did write to Varina, putting the best face on things. “When I bade [Davis] good bye he was in morning deshabille, and looked haggard, but I assure you when he dresses to go out he looks as well, steps as firmly and holds his head as high as ever he did on Capitol Square.” After Davis was given “a good dry room, Mitchel could see the improvement in health “as we met in our walks.” (He and Clay had also been moved to Carroll Hall.) He felt sure that Varina would soon welcome her husband home, “not much worn in body, and not one whit bowed down in spirit.” “But for the present a magnanimous public requires to be feasted with daily bulletins describing his suffering and humiliation.” 2

Dr. Craven told Mitchel that Davis's “health is at present pretty good.” But Jeff was writing to Varina, “I have not been out to walklately, on account of a series of boils or a carbuncle with a succession of points which rose in my right arm pit and which has prevented me from putting on my coat since the day I last wrote to you [October 20] until a few days back.” 3

Of course he could not go out without his coat—meaning suit coat, for he had no topcoat—not because it was cold, but because he could

-434-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 809

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?