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Mr. Toombs.

The Confederate State Department had in its service some of the most gifted sons of the South. It was organized in Montgomery, Ala., on February 21, 186. The Hon. Robert Toombs, of Georgia, was the first Secretary of State. He was a man of large, powerful frame, with long, shaggy locks, and was thoroughly unconventional. He had been a distinguished member of the United States House of Representatives and was even more eminent in the Senate, where his logic, passion and oratorical gifts made him a power. Had he possessed the musical tones and trained voice of Jefferson Davis or Benjamin he would have come down to us with a great reputation for eloquence, but his delivery was marred by his vehemence, impetuosity, and consequent imperfect enunciation. He was no office man and did little work in his department. He was quoted as saying that ‘he carried the business of the State Department around in his hat.’ He may have reasoned that diplomacy must needs wait on some positive military success, and at that time there had been little actual conflict of arms. In addition to this, Mr. Toombs was looking forward to military service, and during the summer of 1861 he left the Department to become a brigadier-general. He achieved no special distinction in this role, and his fame must rest chiefly on what he said and did during his long and brilliant service in the Federal Congress. Alexander H. Stephens said of his speech of January 7, 1861, that it deserved a place by the side of that of Pericles on a like occasion.

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