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To Mrs. S. B. Shaw.

You were curious to know who it was that offered to pay $1,800 for the redemption of Thomas Sims. It was Major-General Devens, who was United States marshal at the time of the rendition of Sims. He made the offer unasked; and when Sims found his way North again he sent him, through me, $100 to assist him till he could get into business. It seems to me a singularly noble proceeding. I suppose that his idea of the necessity of sustaining law, and his great admiration of Daniel Webster, led him to do what pained his heart at the time and troubled his conscience afterward. But you would rarely find a man who would atone so nobly for an error. Now [190] that the war is over, and slavery is abolished, I think his reason for enjoining secresy no longer exists. When I urged upon him that the moral influence of the action might do good, he did not renew his prohibition. In a recent letter to me he expresses great satisfaction that he has been enabled to take an active part in the struggle that has resulted in the emancipation of the slaves. How I wish that your darling Robert had survived to look back upon the Revolution as a thing completed, and to glory in his share of it! Yet perhaps it would not have been better so. I am glad it is proposed to erect a statue to him in Boston; but I hope they will not place it in the vicinity of Daniel Webster. If Webster had done his duty, there would have been no storming of Fort Wagner.

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