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18 December 2003
[CIVIL WAR]. DAVIS, Jefferson. Autograph letter signed ("Jefferson Davis") to Mrs. Ayres, Memphis, 27 February 1872. 4 pages, 4to.
AN UNREPENTANT JEFFERSON DAVIS CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPAL OF STATES' RIGHTS
In this lengthy, revealing letter, the former Confederate president defends the South's war against the Union--a war, he claims, that was waged solely to defend the Constitutional principle of state's rights. He thanks Mrs. Ayres for sending a rebel flag that flew over the capitol in Montgomery, and then launches into his spirited defense of the Confederate cause. "Pity it is that its advocates are so few and its enemies so many. I have prayerfully waited for the reason to perceive...those great principles of state rights and constitutional compact, which the founders of the Union set as safe guards to Liberty, Fraternity and Happiness among their posterity. Those who could not foresee, might by retrospect learn the evils of departure from the fundamental conditions on which the States of the Confederation entered into a 'more perfect Union.' We have all the evil's of Pandora's box, have we the consolation that lay at the bottom of it? Pardon my dear Madam for this...it comes from zeal in a cause alike dear to us both: The honor, the welfare and the happiness of our country grew with its support. Let the record of the last decade answer the question. Were they not ruined by its fall?"
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