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[60] increasing. In the fall of 1849 I was elected one of the members of the Legislature from De Soto county after a very heated and closely contested canvass. In January, 1850, I took my seat in the Legislature. Gen. John A. Quitman was at the same time inaugurated governor of the State. The celebrated compromise measures were then pending in the Congress of the United States, and the country much excited on the topic then being discussed. Jefferson Davis and H. S. Foote were then the United States Senators from Mississippi. I took the same view of the question with Davis and Quitman—voted for a resolution in the House of Representatives of Mississippi requesting Senator Foote to resign his seat, inasmuch as he did not reflect the will of the State in voting for the compromise bill. I sustained cordially and sincerely all the prominent measures of Governor Quitman's administration, and believed great injustice and wrong was done the South in the passage of the compromise bill by the Congress of the United States. In 1851 I was renominated by the Democratic party of De Soto county for a seat in the Legislature. My health at this time was very bad, which precluded me from making a thorough canvass of the county. The contest was an exceedingly warm one and in many portions of the State was even bitter. It has passed into history. Mr. Davis was defeated for governor by General Foote. The whole Democratic party was left in a minority; with the rest I was defeated by over a hundred majority in an aggregate vote of about eighteen hundred; resumed the practice of law; succeeded as well as could be hoped; health still bad from fever and ague.

In 1853 Jefferson Davis was tendered the position of Secretary of War in Mr. Pierce's Cabinet. In answer to a letter of mine in February of this year he advised me to proceed to Washington city where he would use his influence to procure me a commission in the new rifle regiments then about to be raised by Congress for frontier defense. My health by this time, became so bad from the effects of sedentary habits and the agues engendered in a miasmatic climate, that friends and physicians advised me to remove from Mississippi to a colder and dryer climate. I accepted Mr. Davis's proposal and repaired to Washington city, where I arrived on the night of the 4th of March, 1853, in time to learn that the bill to raise a rifle regiment had failed for want of time to receive President Fillmore's signature. I remained, however, a fortnight without making any effort or application to receive any other position. The bill to organize the territory of Washington had become a law on the 3d of


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