JACKSON, THOMAS J. ["Stonewall"], General C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("Thomas") to his sister, Laura Jackson Arnold, Lexington, Virginia, 2 February 1861. 4 full pages, 8vo, worn at folds on verso, slightly browning, otherwise fine.
JACKSON ON SECESSION: "IF...THERE SHALL BE A DETERMINATION ON THE PART OF THE FREE STATES TO DEPRIVE US OF OUR RIGHTS...I AM IN FAVOR OF SECESSION"
An exceptionally interesting letter at a crucial period. Jackson, a professor at Virginia Military Institute, considers the troubled political situation: Lincoln had been elected, six states had already seceded and were to meet in Montgomery on the 4th, while a Virginia Peace Commission convened in Washington, in a futile attempt to avoid sectional war: "...I have had a very severe cold and for the last two or three weeks have been suffering from neuralgia...I send you a Catalogue of the Institute by the same mail with this letter. I am much gratified to see a strong union feeling in my portion of the state, but it may go a little further than I think it ought, though I hope not. For my own part I intend to vote for the Union candidates for the convention to the people, for their final decision of the questions involved, as this will not only be an additional safeguard to our liberties, but will give time for an amicable adjustment of our difficulties. But if after we have done all that we can do for an honorable preservation of the Union, there shall be a determination on our part of the Free States to deprive us of our rights which the fair interpretation of the Constitution, as already decided by the Federal Court, guarantees to us, I am in favor of secession...You ask whether Col. Smith has offered his services to South Carolina. I have not heard the subject mentioned here, but I am well satisfied that he has not, though he is in my opinion, throwing his influence in favor of secession."