evidently did not accompany the presidential party from Richmond
on the fateful April 2, 1865, for on the following day he was met in the streets of the latter city by Rev. Dr. Hoge
, of Richmond
, who, after questioning him closely, learned that he, unlike the remainder of President Davis
' Cabinet, was not the guest of Major Sutherlin
Being hard pressed by the reverend gentleman, Mr. Benjamin
reluctantly admitted that he had, owing to the crowded condition of the city, been unable to secure board. (Dr. Hoge
, in answer to a query, assures me that this was simply an accident and was in nowise attributable to race prejudice.) The clergyman, who was a great friend of Mr. Benjamin
's, insisted that the latter should accompany him to his abode and share his apartments with him. This the Secretary
refused to do, saying that Dr. Hoge
's hostess was a stranger to him, and that it would be an unwarranted impertinence for him to intrude upon the family uninvited.
allayed his fears after some argument, assuring Mr. Benjamin
that any friend of his would be more than welcome to the household.
The following Sunday Mr. Benjamin
gave an exhibition of his admirable tact, which can best be described in the words of Dr. Hoge
At the breakfast table the conversation turned to the subject of church services, and Mr. Benjamin inquired casually of our hostess where she was going to worship that day. Now, I happened to know that as a member of Mr. Davis' Cabinet, official etiquette demanded that he should accompany his chief to his (the Episcopal) church, and when our hostess replied, in a tone that almost implied an invitation, “We are going to the Presbyterian Church to hear Dr. Hoge preach,” I wondered what Mr. Benjamin would do. He never hesitated a moment, but in his most affable manner asked: ‘May I have the pleasure of accompaning you?’