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[371] not conceived at least the possibility of its adoption, and this points to the conclusion that the leading minds in the South were, to his knowledge, very far from identifying slavery, in the abstract, with the Confederate cause. In corroboration of this inference I would recall:

1. A proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, issued at the beginning of the war. In it he tried to bribe the Southern States back into the Union by the promise of the maintenance of slavery, and failed.

2. A speech by President Jefferson Davis, delivered, I believe, in 1864, and at Alanta, Ga. In it he expressed the following sentiments (I quote from memory): ‘There are some who talk of a return to the Union with slavery maintained, but who would thus sacrifice honor to interest.’

With this quotation I will close my narrative. The plain statement of facts it contains will, I have no doubt, convince any unbiased reader that the supposed scheme of a retrocession of Louisiana never had any foundation in fact. Indeed, I should not have thought it necessary even to contradict such a myth were it not that my silence might have been misinterpreted and allowed some cloud of suspicion to hover over the memory of departed friends. Their unsullied honor and untarnished fame are, however, in themselves proof against attacks which, be they base or futile, must inevitably recoil upon ,their authors, exposing them to ridicule or contempt.

C. J. Polignac. Villa Jessie, Cannes, France, April 17, 1901.

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