72 Southern Historical Society Papers.
[From the Daily States, August 19, 1007.]
A FRIENDLY CONTROVERSY.
A short time ago the Confederate Ladies' Memorial Associa- tion addressed to President Roosevelt a petition asking that the name of Jefferson Davis be restored to the "Cabin John Bridge," near Washington, where it had been chiseled out by somebody's order during the Civil War, it having been placed on a stone of the arch because Mr. Davis was the Secretary of War who ap- proved the plan for the bridge and under whose supervision it was constructed.
The Charleston News and Courier, it seems, protested against the action of the Memorial Association on the ground that it was not the affair of the Southern people but of those who were responsible for the mutilation of the stone. Our Charleston contemporary took the position that the stone should be left as it is, and in the event that the name of Mr. Davis is restored it should be done at the instance of and "by those who repre- sent the vandals that mutilated it." In this connection, the Neivs and Courier said:
"The mutilated stone on 'Cabin John Bridge,' as our Indiana contemporary says, 'reflects on us as a people' ; not upon the people of the South, nor upon the interests represented by any Confederate Association, but upon the people of the North. They mutilated the stone; let them restore it. It does not make the least difference to Mr. Davis' people whether they do or not, but as long as it remains in its present condition it will continue to 'reflect on us as a people.' 'We think,' says our contemporary, 'the name is better there for us than the blank space — far better.' Doubtless that is true, but it is not a matter in which Mr. Davis' people should interfere. That is all."
The Indianapolis News thinks the argument of the Neivs-and Courier is offered in a revengeful spirit, and declares that the mutilation of the stone bearing the name of Jefferson Davis — an act done in the heat of war-time — reflected "on us as a people and ought to be obliterated by a restoration of the name." In quite a kindly spirit the Indianapolis paper argues that Mr.