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[348] converse with his family and friends and seemed to enjoy it greatly. But he never mixed up work and pleasure. There were no formal receptions or large companies at the President's. But nevertheless, this old house has its pleasant flavor of social traditions.

During the winter of 1861-‘62 Mr. Hunter's Virginia friends insisted on his giving up the Cabinet place he held and going into the Confederate Senate, in order to represent Virginia. In a matter of that kind he felt that he ought to yield to their wishes and accordingly he was elected to that body, his term beginning February 22, 1862. Here he gave his attention chiefly to finance. He was the author of the principal financial measures of the Confederacy, the tax in kind, the interconvertible bond, and others. He was also president pro tempore of the chamber.

When Mr. Hunter vacated the State Department Mr. Benjamin was transferred from the War Department to fill the position. He, therefore, entered on his duties February 22, 1862, and remained with Mr. Davis so long as there was a semblance of his government. He was a man of wonderful and varied gifts, rare eloquence and accomplishments, a great lawyer, senator, and man of affairs. He could dispatch readily and speedily a very large amount of business. I have known him to compose a most important State paper of twenty pages or more at a single sitting in a clear, neat chirography, and with hardly a single word interlined or erased. His style was a model of ease and perspicuity. Mr. Davis set the highest value upon his services and his friendship. A Secretary of State is bound to consult his chief on every important matter lying within his province. Mr. Davis's room and Mr. Benjamin's were barely a hundred feet apart upon the same floor, and there was hardly a day in which Mr. Benjamin did not visit the President in his office, not so much on affairs of his own department as to learn the army news of which Mr. Davis was sure to be informed, if anybody was. With such relations, therefore, between these two gentlemen, and much more of which I do not propose to speak, it is a moral impossibility that Mr. Davis would dream of transacting diplomatic business outside of the regular channels. If Mr. Davis had not fully trusted his secretary he would have dropped him and appointed some one whom he could trust. Mr. Davis practically left the State Department to its secretaries. He has said that he left finance to Hunter and Memminger, and this was quite true.

The grand objective point of Confederate diplomacy for four years was to secure recognition as an independent government for the

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