Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/61

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51
Patriotic Letters of Confederate Leaders.

of war. No time for visiting when the invader threatens the homesteads! Liberty and independence secured and peace established, he will appropriately manifest his high appreciation of the courtesy with which he has been honored. Till then he returns his thanks. Such is the spirit which his letter breaths, and it is in harmony with that of the people of his State and of the Confederacy.

Here is the correspondence:

St. Petersburg, 27th July, 1861.
[8th August.] 

My Dear Captain Maury—The news of your having left a service which is so much indebted to your great and successful labors, has made a very painful impression on me and my companions-in-arms. Your indefatigable researches have unveiled the great laws which rule the winds and currents of the ocean, and have placed your name amongst those which will be ever mentioned with feelings of gratitude and respect, not only by professional men, but by all those who pride themselves in the great and noble attainments of the human race. That your name is well known in Russia, I need scarcely add, and, though "barbarians," as we are still sometimes called, we have been taught to honor in your person disinterested and eminent services to science and mankind.

Sincerely deploring the inactivity into which the present political whirlpool in your country has plunged you, I deem myself called upon to invite you to take up your residence in this country, where you may in peace continue your favorite and useful occupations.

Your position here will be a perfectly independent one. You will be bound by no conditions or engagements, and you will always be at liberty to steer home across the ocean, in the event of your not preferring to cast anchor in our remote corner of the Baltic.

As regards your material welfare, I beg to assure you that everything will be done by me to make your new home comfortable and agreeable, whilst at the same time the necessary means will be offered you to enable you to continue your scientific pursuits in the way you have been accustomed to.

I shall now be awaiting your reply, hoping to have the pleasure of soon seeing here so distinguished an officer, whose personal acquaintance it has always been my desire to make, and whom Russia will be proud to welcome on her soil.

Believe me, my dear Captain Maury, your sincere well wisher,

Constantine, Grand Admiral of Russia.


Richmond, Va., 29th October, 1861.

Admiral—Your letter reached me only a few days ago. It fills me with emotions. In it I am offered the hospitalities of a great and powerful Empire, with the Grand Admiral of its fleets for patron and friend. Inducements are held out such as none but the most magnanimous