Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/79
Restoration of Name of Jefferson Davis. 67
Hon. Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, acted without authority ; if the present Secretary of War does not feel himself empowered to act, why cannot we make an appeal direct to His Excellency, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States ?
It is not necessary to arouse the country in order to accomplish this act ; the name can be restored quietly, without fuss or com- ment, just as it was removed without authority.
Much has been said and written about the magnanimity of General U. S. Grant, in making terms with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Will our President and Secretary of War be less magnanimous in dealing with Jefferson Davis, who was no more guilty of treason than was General Robert E. Lee?
There are some who oppose this movement and think that the erasure honors the name of Davis more than the restoration will do. In answer to this, I will say, as an American I desire my government to be just to every man, and as the chiseling off of the name of Jefferson Davis was an indignity offered to him, it is the duty of the government to make restitution and to replace the name where it properly belongs.
This is the era of peace and good will. Sectional prejudice is fast dying out. Our young men, descendants of those who wore the gray, rallied around the Stars and Stripes and shed their blood in defense of our re-united country. Last year our gov- ernment appropriated $200,000 for the marking and perpetual care of the graves of Confederate soldiers buried in Northern cemeteries. This was a most generous act, and worthy of the great American people. Will these patriotic citizens deny this one act of justice to a man whose only fault was that he served his people faithfully, according to the light that was given him, and for which he was made the vicarious sufferer?
This is the centennial year of the birth of Jefferson Davis. Is it not time to declare all animosities wiped out and to let the people of the whole country join hands and rejoice that peace — blessed peace ! — reigns all over the land ?
Mrs. W. J. Behan, President C. S. M. A.