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[203] and disfranchisement. Men like Hunter, Campbell, Baldwin, Stephens and Lee ought to have been invited to public positions, to help to restore the old Union, and then, instead of a vulgar sectional conquest, keeping the South as a mere province for long, weary years to be harried and plundered and lied about, there would have been a genuine restoration of the Union and a rapid growth of the old national feeling, in which consists the real strength of the Republic. Well did the eloquent Kossuth say: ‘Hatred is no good counsellor.’ No government built on hate can stand, or ought to stand.

In this sketch I have omitted much and I have elaborated nothing. A regard for your time, and for the superior knowledge of man of those around me, admonishes me to be as brief as possible. I will not close, however, without averring my belief that not even George Washington himself (to whose character and services Mr. Hunter has rendered the most original and instructive tribute ever uttered by man), was more pure, disinterested, and patriotic than he was in his public action. Gentleness, charity, and truth were bound up in his very nature. Of malice he had none. He was not devoid of ambition, but he had none of the vulgar arts of self-seeking, and the distinctions which came to him so often came unsought. He was easy of access, affable to the humblest citizen, always open to the suggestion and advice of his friends; never dogmatic or disputatious, never rash or aggressive. In his time of greatest prosperity and power, he was modest almost to diffidence, When trial and adversity came, as they did, ‘not as single spies, but in battalions,’ he bore deprivation and affliction with a singular fortitude. He suffered with and for the South. A special expedition of marauders was dispatched by Butler, which, emulating the savagery of the British during the Revolutionary War in Virginia, destroyed his plantation in his absence.

After the war closed he was made a State prisoner, imprisoned at Fort Pulaski, subjected to coarse and brutal treatment, such as no Southern gentleman ever deals out to a negro, and when a beloved child was being borne to the grave, he, who had never harmed or wished to harm a human being, was denied the privilege of dropping a tear on the grave, or offering comfort to the bereaved mother. He was not sordid. He was too old fashioned for that. His life at Washington as a Senator of great influence, was as simple and unostentatious as that of any plain Virginia farmer. With ample opportunities

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R. M. T. Hunter (2)
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