previous next


This seemed to fret him much. Mr. McLaughlin then said to him that he had also examined the question, and that his school was against the letter of the law. This fretted him still more. I then said to him, “Major, whilst I lament that we have such a statute in our Code, I am satisfied that your Sunday school is an ‘unlawful assembly,’ and probably the grand jury will take it up and test it.”

This threw him off his guard, and he replied with warmth: “Sir, if you were, as you should be, a Christian man, you would not think or say so.” Thus also thrown off my guard, I replied tartly, in words not now remembered; when he turned upon his heel and walked to his house on the opposite side of the street.

I passed on home, and had not gone half way when I began to rebuke myself for my rudeness to Major Jackson, and determined to return and apologize to him.

Reaching home, I found my wife and relative, Major Dorman, sitting together. I told them what had occurred, and requested my wife to give me an early supper, that I might return and make my apology.

I returned to my office after dusk taking with me a negro boy to bear my apology in writing to Major Jackson.1

I had commenced writing it, and when half written I heard a tap at my office door, when Major Jackson stepped in, saying: “Mr. Davidson, I am afraid I wounded your feelings this evening. I have called to apologize to you.” “No Major,” I replied, “no apology from you to me. I am now writing my apology to you.”

He remained for more than half an hour conversing with me, and when he left he said in these words: “Mr. Davidson, these are the things that bring men together and make them know each other the better.”

The half-written note of apology I now find amongst my papers.

This incident speaks for itself, and reveals some, at least, of the features of that great and good man.

1 The following is a copy of the unfinished note of apology referred to:

Saturday night, May 1, 1858.
Major Jackson,
Dear Sir,--As I shall not have an opportunity of meeting you again before Monday, I will not rest content until I shall have tendered you a becoming apology for the hasty, and I fear, uncourteous reply made by me to you in conversation this evening----.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall Jackson (4)
J. D. Davidson (3)
William McLaughlin (1)
Dorman (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 1st, 1858 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: