Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/363
Why Jefferson Davis Was Never Tried.
were to be tried before Judge Underwood his conviction would be inevitable with such a jury as could be counted on, and that it would not be wise to expect anything from an appeal to the Supreme Court as then constituted.
I was decidedly of the opinion then, and am now, that if the matter could have been presented to Mr. Davis, he would have agreed with me and have insisted upon having the point of any risk to himself disregarded, but it was manifestly not practicable to obtain his wishes, and it was, as they thought, and as they believed, to be wholly in accordance with the well recognized obligatory principles of their profession, their duty to acquiesce in a course which would bring security to their client and relief from a situation which had been most trying.
And so it was that on the next day the illustrious prisoner was released and with no stain upon his name, but without that thorough vindication of his cause and his people which, I think it is now generally recognized, would have resulted from a fair trial.I alone survive of those who were present at this dinner, but my memory is perfect as to every detail, and I am sure I state precisely what occurred on that occasion. So far as I know, there has been no statement made by any of Mr. Davis' counsel of the particulars of what transpired at the time of his release, and I cannot but think that it may be well to have this that I have written made a matter of record.