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I am now permitted to write to you under two conditions, viz., that I confine my self to family matters, and that my letter shall be examined by the United States Attorney-General before it is sent to you.
This will sufficiently explain to you the omission of subjects on which you would desire me to write. I presume it is, however, permissible for me to relieve your disappointment in regard to my silence on the subject of future action toward me, by stating that of the purpose of the authorities I know nothing
I often think of 'old Uncle Bob' and always with painful anxiety. If Sam has rejoined him he will do all in his power for the old man's comfort and safety.
The Smith land had better be returned to the heirs. No deed was made, and the payments were for movable effects and for interest ; their right to the land, which alone remains, clearly revives, since I am unable to make the payment which is I believe due, and shall be unable to fulfil the engagements hereafter to mature ; therefore, the sooner the case is disposed of, the better. . . have the prayer-book you sent, but the memorandum placed in it was withheld. . . .
. . . The confidence in the shield of innocence with which I tried to quiet your apprehensions and to dry your tears at our parting, sustains me still. f If your fears have proved more prophetic than my hopes, yet do not despond. ' Tarry thou the Lord's leisure, be strong, and He will comfort thy heart.' Every day, twice or oftener, I repeat the prayer of St. Chrysostom
To the surgeon and regimental chaplain I am under many obligations ; the officers of the guard and of the day have shown me increased consideration, such as their orders would permit. The unjust accusations which have been made against me in the newspapers of the day might well have created prejudices against me. I have had no opportunity to refute them by proof, . . . ; and can, therefore, only attribute the perceptible change to those good influences which are always at work to confound evil designs
Be not alarmed by speculative reports concerning my condition. You can rely on my fortitude, and God has given me much of resignation to His blessed will
Men are apt to be verbose when they speak of themselves, and suffering has a rare power to develop selfishness, so I have wandered from the subject on which I proposed to write, and have dwelt upon a person whose company I have for some time past kept so exclusively that it must be strange if he has not become tiresome
It has been reported in the newspapers that you had applied for permission to visit me in my confinement ; if you had been allowed to do so the visit would have caused you disappointment at the time, and bitter memories afterward. You would not have been allowed to hold private conversation with me
Remember how good the Lord has always been to me, how often He has wonderfully preserved me, and put your trust in Him. ... JEFFERSON DAVIS.
- Jefferson Davis
- Jefferson Davis: ex-President of the Confederate States of America; (1890), Davis, Varina