An Honest man.
--The course of Governor Brown
, of Mississippi
, affords one of the most striking examples of public virtue which has occurred in this self-seeking age. He has been, says the Charlotte Whig, Governor
of the House of Representatives, and Senator
For many years Mississippi
has conferred upon him her highest honors.
But when the war commenced he volunteered as a private, and has been serving on foot as a Captain.
Recently, some twenty prominent Mississippi
officers in Virginia
addressed him a letter, urging him to accept the place of Senator
in the permanent Congress and giving as a reason that he can be of more service in the Senate than on foot in the field.
From his reply we make the following extract:
"When I took up arms in defence of the South
it was to illustrate by example the heartfelt sincerity with which I had for so many years urged our people to strike for equality in the Union
, or independence out of it. I cannot now, camped as we are in sight of the enemy, consent to lay down these armes, except it be to render my bleeding country more efficient service somewhere else.
Arms, as you all know, is not my profession, and if I bear them it is from necessity and not from choice.
That I have not sought a higher command than a captaincy has been because my early training, habits of thought, and pursuits in life have not been such as to qualify me for such command.
Unskilled as I am in the arts of war, I have felt at liberty to do no more than risk my own life in the pending conflict.
I shrank instinctively at the beginning, and ever since, from the responsibility of risking the lives of others."
How truly noble is this, how worthy of honor, of veneration, of universal imitation!
Here we have, as our Charlotte
contemporary well observes, an experienced statesman, possessed of a high order of intellect, and well acquainted with men and things, modestly declining any military office which would place the lives of others at his disposal, on the ground that he has not been trained to arms, and that he ought, therefore, to do no more than risk his own life in the pending conflict.
How does this contrast with those possessed of not one-tenth the knowledge and qualifications of Gov. Brown
, who seek field offices, and obtain them too, in many instances not on the score of merit, but on account of party services.
Equally worthy of admiration are the following sentiments contained in the same letter of Gov. Brown
All honor to the man. The heart of a true patriot heats in his generous and noble breast:
"Opponents before the war in a peaceful strife for ascendancy in politics, the war has forced arms into all their hands, thrown one flag over their heads, and marked out for them a common destiny.
Under such circumstances it is a duty so clear as to make elucidation needless that all past differences should be laid aside, not in theory, but, in face,
and that the most cordial brotherhood should be habitually cherished and practiced.
This cannot be, if the old and dominant States Rights party does not make a fair division of honors with their former opponents and present allies."