Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/8

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The impulse to build to Jefferson Davis a monument, typical of the South in the war, was so universal when the great hero died that a general agreement was had in a few hours by telegraph. The movement was inaugurated by the Southern Press Association, and it is co-operated in by Confederate veterans everywhere. The Jefferson Davis Monument Association at Richmond, chartered under the laws of Virginia, has special charge of the work. The active co-operation of every newspaper and periodical in the South is sought in behalf of this Fund. It is very desirable to procure name and postoffice of every contributor of $1 or more.

Let every Southerner and friend of his people look at the situation, and he or she will want to do something. In our National Capital there is an equestrian bronze statue at nearly every turn, to some hero of the war, but none of them are for our side. Proud patriots want for this final tribute not less than $250,000. Twice as much has been raised at the North for one individual monument. Shall we stop short of half as much for one symbolic of our cause?

Here are a few extracts from the thousands that have been published:

R. M. Johnson, editor Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, says: "I will give the matter attention at once, and will aid the movement in every way in my power."

C. A. Read, editor Times, Lewisville, Texas, says: "I am fully in accord with the movement and will give the matter prominence in the Times. It will afford me pleasure to help the cause all I possibly can."

"Mr. Davis deserves a monument, as lasting as our native hills, for the splendid record he made in the cause of liberty. As an exemplar his character should be held up to the youth of the country; as an embodiment of everything good in human nature."

An ex-Union soldier, a popular humorist and lecturer, volunteered to "give a night anywhere at any time for Jeff Davis," and added: "Think of that man's integrity, of what he accomplished with the resources at hand—he was an American!"

A beautiful sensation occurred at a reunion of the ex-Confederates of Tennessee at Winchester, Gen. G. W. Gordon, of Memphis, in an oration said:

"There is one whom we would remember to-day. We cannot forget him who has left to his countrymen and to posterity one of the noblest examples unfaltering devotion to truth and principle of which the political history of the human race gives an account; one who presented in his own person a sublime instance of an unmurmuring and heroic endurance of unmerited suffering. When feeble, sick and helpless, and in prison indignities and chains were added. He loved the people of the South, and was true to them to the last. And I trust they will erect a monument to his memory so magnificent and imposing that it will have no equal upon the vast shuns of America—a monument that will tell the world that he was a patriot and that the cause for which we fought and our comrades died was constitutional, right and just. Then let the monument be built. And let it be built with a munificence and magnificence commensurate with the fame and fidelity of the man and the grandeur of the principle it is intended to commemorate."

Just here Chief Justice Turney handed him this letter from a venerable lady seventy-eight years old, who was the architect of her own fortune and is dispensing it with Christian zeal:

S. A. Cunningham:

Seeing from the papers that you have been appointed by the committee to collect funds for our beloved and honored Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, I desire to offer you the small sum of $500—the widow's mite. I had the pleasure of entertaining him and his wife at my home in Havana, Cuba, soon after his release. To Mr. Davis, one of the brightest intellects of his time, the truest and most honorable of men, who sacrificed everything for the South and those he loved, I hope every man, woman and child will do all they can to raise the highest and grandest monument ever built to mortal man. Resp'y, S. E. Brewer.

The committee appointed by Gen. J. B. Gordon, of Georgia, Commander of the United Confederate Veterans, of one from each state, met in Richmond, Sept. '92, by direction of the Chairman, Gen. W. L. Cabell, of Texas, to consider the location, cost of construction, plans, etc., for the Davis Memorial. Richmond Association participated in the proceedings by invitation.

The general purpose was set forth by the Chairman and a series of resolutions were adopted:

They were that "as Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, and has been selected by Mrs. Jefferson Davis as the burial place of her husband, it is regarded the most appropriate place for the erection of a monument to his memory. The United Confederate Veterans will co-operate with the Davis Monument Association of Richmond and the Southern Press Association in its efforts to erect the same."

Also, that State organizations be formed, and "that the Chairman appoint for each Southern State and for the Indian Territory a sub-committee of five members, each of which shall have within its territory the entire control and supervision of all matters pertaining to this sacred object, including the collection of funds by popular subscription, and shall have authority to name a suitable and responsible person as Treasurer, to receive the same and forward quarterly to the Treasurer of the Richmond Association."

Monroe Park was selected for the location of the monument. It was resolved too, that the character, probable cost and plans be determined by the Richmond Association, and as soon as a sufficient amount of money is in hand to justify it, the work of erecting the monument be commenced.