1 full page, 4to. Fine condition. " />
New York, East
12 May 1999
DAVIS, JEFFERSON, President C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("Jeffer Davis") as Senator, to D. Funstur, Washington, D.C., 11 July 1860. 1 full page, 4to. Fine condition.
DAVIS EVOKES VIRGINIA'S DEDICATION TO "THE PRINCIPLES WHICH SAVED THE GOVERNMENT IN 1800"
Senator Davis has been invited to speak to a Democratic political group in Virginia, probably on issues involved in the 1860 Presidential campaign, already in full swing: "I regret that my health will not permit to accept the kind invitation communicated by you, to address the Democracy of Alexandria Va. tomorrow evening. My heart will be with you and my hope is confident that the land of Washington of Henry, of Jefferson and Madison will not fail to appreciate and to maintain the principles which saved the government in 1800 and which are involved in the issues of 1860." The "issues of 1860"--mostly centered on the issue of slavery in the territories and the growing disaffection of the Southern states--were ominously evident by the date of this letter. "There was never any question that the coming Presidential campaign would be the focus of the year and, as Davis had predicted...the watershed of the sectional controversy" (W.C. Davis, Jefferson Davis, p.280). The Democratic party had fractured at the Charleston convention in April, although Douglas had been chosen its nominee in a follow-up meeting in June; Lincoln became the Republican nominee in May, while the Southern Democrats, who had bolted the convention in May, nominated John C. Breckinridge, calling for federal protection of slavery in the territories. Talk of secession became increasingly common.
Provenance: Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby Parke- Bernet, 4 December 1981, lot 1107).
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