Some personal traits of character.
The life now closed was one of conflict from youth to manhood, and from manhood to the grave.
Before he was a man in years he was an officer in the army of his country, and intermissions of military and civil services were but spent in burnishing the weapons which were to shine in the clash of opposing interests.
The scenes of the hearthstone and of the cloisters of friendship and religion have no place on that large canvas which portrays the great events of national existence; and those who come forth from them equipped and strong to wrestle and contend leave often behind them
the portions of their life-work which, could others know them, would reverse all conceptions of character and turn aversion to affection.
Those who knew Jefferson Davis
in intimate relations honored him most and loved him. Genial and gentle, approachable to all, especially regardful of the humble and the lowly, affable in conversation, and enriching it from the amplest stores of a refined and cultured mind, he fascinated those who came within the circle of his society and endeared them to him. Reserved as to himself, he bore the afflictions of a diseased body with scant allusion even when it became needful to plead them in self-defense.
With bandaged eyes and weak from suffering, he would come from a couch of pain to vote on public issues, and for over twenty years, with the sight of one eye gone, he dedicated his labors to the vindication of the South
from the aspersions which misconceptions and passions had engendered.
At over four-score years he died, with his harness on, his pen yet bright and trenchant, his mental eye undimmed, his soul athirst for peace, truth, justice, and fraternity, breathing his last breath in clearing the memories of the Lost Confederacy
Clear and strong in intellect; proud, high-minded, sensitive: self-willed, but not self-centred; self-assertive for his cause, but never for his own advancement; aggressive and imperious, as are nearly all men fit for leadership; with the sturdy virtues that command respect, but without the small diplomacies that conciliate hostility, he was one of those characters that naturally make warm friends and bitter enemies; a veritable man, ‘terribly in earnest,’ such as Carlyle
loved to count among the heroes.