Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative

Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative

Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative

Jefferson Davis: His Rise and Fall, a Biographical Narrative

Excerpt

The morning of January 21st, 1861, was, in Washington, cold but fair, so that by eleven-thirty the carriages rapidly approaching the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue were splattered a little less than usual with the village mud of the "city of magnificent distances." On the sidewalks, from Willard's Hotel near the Treasury on down past the National Hotel and thence to the Capitol itself, little knots of people gathered, quickly dispersed, formed into other knots of people. It had been a month and a day since the secession of South Carolina. Excitement was high; the common business of the hour went undone. And in the last twelve days four more states had left the Union. Most of the local population, being Southern, openly rejoiced, for the doddering and neutral President was obviously, out of sheer bewilderment, going to let the seceding states have their way. To the Republicans, who were held at bay until March 4th, Buchanan's indecision was little better than treason; to the Southerners, who had put him in office, it was downright bad faith.

Traitor was now beyond doubt the rôle of Senator Davis from Mississippi: his state had been, on January 9th, the next after South Carolina to go out of the Union, and still he remained in . . .

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