previous next
[269] which Major-General Butler is placed under the orders of the Governor of Massachusetts, in respect to raising and organizing volunteers.

In the present condition of national affairs, the Governor considers it impolitic and unpatriotic to embarrass the public service by undue nicety of etiquette; and he regrets that Major-General Butler's views of duty in this particular should not have corresponded with his own, so as to render the present correspondence unnecessary.

After disclaiming all intentional discourtesy, the letter thus refers to the letter quoted entire on a preceding page:—

General Butler's letter of Oct. 12, written to Governor Andrew, but not addressed to him, except in so far as he is mentioned in the third person, after the fashion of dinner invitations, and the like, on private and social occasions, and not signed by the Major-General with any addition of rank or command, and frequently re-iterating the Governor's constitutional title and name, with significant and conspicuous marks of quotation surrounding them whenever repeated.

It is customary to affix marks of quotation in manuscript to indicate passages or expressions borrowed from some other to whom they ought to be credited. But I am not aware, that a name given in baptism, or inherited from a parent, or a title conferred by the Constitution on a magistrate as his official description, are in any sense original ideas, or expressions which it is usual to designate by marks of quotation. Nor is this a matter in which a gentleman of Major-General Butler's learning and urbanity could have erred by mistake. . . . When a gentleman has violated the substance of courtesy, as did General Butler in that letter of Oct. 12, by a studious, indirect, insinuating, but not less significant, intentional act of impoliteness towards a magistrate whose only offence was fidelity to his duty, to the laws, and to the rights of his official position, he cannot be permitted, without comment, to arraign another for a supposed breach of military intercourse, simply formal, technical, and arbitrary, as he has assumed to arraign me in this matter through yourself.

This letter would have been addressed directly to General Butler, had the Governor not been advised that he was at Washington. He soon after returned, and, on the 28th of December, wrote to the Governor a letter in which he says,—

I disclaim most emphatically any intentional or even accidental discourtesy to the Governor of Massachusetts.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (2)

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.
Benjamin F. Butler (6)
John A. Andrew (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.
October 12th (2)
December 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: