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[249] and preconceived opinions. Moreover, the historian must not sink into the annalist, who, instead of solving a problem, merely paints a picture. It is in accordance with this standard that the merits of any important cause will become manifest, and prove a stimulus to human progress.

The mighty conflict which for four long and bitter years convulsed our country, devastated our blooming fields and flourishing cities, and desolated our homes, was ended at Appomattox Courthouse. The cause for which it was waged and which had enlisted the warm sympathies and active participation of our noblest, purest and ablest minds — was lost. Seventeen years have passed since the sword was sheathed and the opposings chieftains shook hands. Peace and reconciliation, it was hoped, would follow war and resentment. But the cessation of actual hostilities did not at once re-establish general concord, mutual confidence and fraternal relations between the opposing sections. As the billows of the sea rise mountain high when lashed by the tempest, and after the war of elements has ceased, slowly, gradually, recede, until the mighty deep reassumes its wonted placid calm, thus it is with the passions of man. And our civil war forms no exception. These passions once so deep and intense, have gradually been softened by the mellowing influences of time, a better feeling and a better mutual understanding is daily spreading, and North and South can this day join hands and hearts as citizens of a united republic, who glory in the preservation of the Union.

But the question is asked, what is the aim of this Southern Historical Society? Is it not a sectional institution? Why foster creations that have a tendency to perpetuate a sectional spirit?

Permit me to answer this question by citing an incident from the history of ancient Israel.

It will be remembered that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, had received their inheritance beyond the Jordan on the express condition of sending their warriors to assist their brethren in the conquest of the promised land. They faithfully and honorably redeemed their promise, and after a seven years campaign were finally dismissed to their homes.

But no sooner had they reached the borders of the Jordan than they erected a great altar, visible from afar. When intelligence of this understanding reached the council of the people at Shiloh they were struck with amazement. They suspected that the two tribes and a half meant treason, intending to set up an independent establishment for worship, and to destroy the connection by which the tribes were linked

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