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[189] him in his quarrel with Fremont. They indorsed Fremont's emancipation proclamation, which the President, at Blair's instigation, it was charged at the time, revoked.

Blair was a man not only of strong ambition but of arbitrary temperament. He could not tolerate the idea of a newcomer pre-empting what he had considered his premises. If he could not rule he was ready to ruin. That disposition accorded with both his mental and physical make-up. Bodily he was a bundle of bones and nerves without a particle of surplus flesh. His hair was red, his complexion was sandy, and his eyes, when he was excited and angry, had a baleful expression that led some one in my presence on a certain occasion to speak of them as “brush-heaps afire.”

He was not an eloquent man, although a ready and frequent public speaker. His voice was not musical. His strong forte was invective. He was nearly always denouncing somebody. Apparently, he was never so happy as when making another miserable. Sometimes his personal allusions were very broad. He was accustomed in his speeches to refer to one of Missouri's United States Senators as “that lop-eared vulgarian.” That he was not almost all the time in personal difficulties was due to the fact that he was known to be a man of exceptional courage. He was a born fighter. Physically I think he was the bravest man I ever knew. I witnessed several manifestations of his fearlessness, but one particularly impressed me.

I have spoken of the Camp Jackson affair. Although the people in the Rebel encampment surrendered

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