Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/53

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Jefferson Davis.

cinctly in his preface thereto in these words: "The object of this work has been from historical data to show that the Southern States had rightfully the power to withdraw from a Union into which they had, as sovereign communities, voluntarily entered; that the denial of that right was a violation of the letter and spirit of the compact between the States; and that the war waged by the Federal Government against the seceding States was in disregard of the limitations of the Constitution, and destructive of the principles of the Declaration of Independence." He closed the second and last volume of this work with the following words: "In asserting the right of secession, it has not been my wish to incite to its exercise: I recognize the fact that the war showed it to be impracticable, but this did not prove it to be wrong; and now that it may not again be attempted, and that the Union may promote the general welfare, it is needful that the truth, the whole truth, should be known, so that crimination and recrimination may forever cease; and then, on the basis of fraternity and faithful regard for the rights of the States, there may be written on the arch of the Union 'Esto perpetua.' "

The death of Mr. Davis occurred at New Orleans about one o'clock a.m., December 6, 1889. His funeral ceremonies were worthy of the illustrious character of the deceased statesman. Public meetings were held in many cities and towns of the South to give expression to the common sorrow, and the flags of the State Capitols were placed at half-mast. His character was eulogized, and the newspapers generally, North as well as South, printed complimentary and laudatory notices of him. He was buried temporarily in New Orleans, and later his remains were removed to Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, where there were erected for them a tomb and monument. A special funeral train conveyed them from New Orleans to Richmond, passing through several States. At many places convenient stops were made, that the assembled people might make respectful and affectionate tributes to his memory. The train moved day and night almost literally in review before the line of people who thronged the route and stood with uncovered heads to see it pass. It was appropriate that his remains should rest at last in Richmond, the city which was the immediate scene of his labors as the Confederacy under his guidance for four years maintained an unequal