Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/80

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76 South, rn Ilixdn-n-ol ,SVvvV7// Papers.

state them for the information of the Southern people, and especially of the people of Texas.

"Judge Reagan replied to him at considerable length, and in the plain and vigorous English which generally characterizes the writing of that venerable gentlemen, he said, directly and positively, that no offer had ever been made, nor was any such offer reported to Mr. Davis or his Cabinet, either in writing or verbally, by the commis- sioners, who, as he said, stated orally to Mr. Davis all that occurred."

It is proper to state that Colonel Sexton was a member of the Confederate Congress; that he has ever since been a prominent law- yer in this State, and that he is a man of the highest social, moral and professional standing, whose word no one who knows him would question.

I do not make these quotations to show a conflict between them and other statements attributed to Mr. Stephens. They may all be true, and still there is no conflict between them. These statements show, what Mr. Stephens' book and the other evidence shows, that no such offer was made. The other statements show that in certain private conversations between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, some such matter was talked of. We may understand that .both sets of statements being true, and relating to different questions, there is no conflict between them.

Mr. Watterson says: " I regret that Judge Reagan has seen fit to recur to a question I thought was settled." Innocent Mr. Wat- terson. When settled, and how ? I am now contributing my part towards the settlement of this question as truth and justice de- mands that it should be settled. Mr. Watterson assumes to advise me that it was untimely and ungracious to discuss this question at the Confederate Reunion at Nashville. I choose to discuss it before the brave and true men, who, having lost the cause for which they fought, have an interest in seeing that history shall not be perverted to the dishonor of that cause, and of the men who represented it.

Mr. Watterson also says that " I have no personal motive, as Judge Reagan has, for making any special plea in favor of any par- ticular view." I do not know what personal motive Mr. Watterson attributes to me; but I confess to having a high and holy motive in this matter. It is, that the truth of history be established, in order that justice may be done to the dead and the living, and that the coming generation shall not be taught to believe false statements as to that history, tending to dishonor the President of the late Con-