By Robert Penn Warren
Publish 12 months note: initially released in 1980
In 1979 Robert Penn Warren again to his local Todd nation, Kentucky, to wait ceremonies in honor of one other local son, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, whose usa citizenship had simply been restored, 90 years after his demise, by way of a unique act of Congress. From that nostalgic trip grew this reflective essay at the tragic profession of Jefferson Davis — "not a latest guy in any experience of the notice yet a conservative known as to regulate what was once, in a single feel, a revolution."
Jefferson Davis will get His Citizenship Back is additionally a meditation via one in every of our most valuable males of letters at the ironies of yankee historical past and the paradoxes of the trendy South.
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Additional info for Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back
T h e crucial doctrine left no way for Davis—certainly for a man of his temperament—to deal with such governors as Joseph Emerson Brown, of Georgia, and Zebulon Baird Vance, of North Carolina, who, for all practical purposes, were doctrinaire to the point of mania or treason in withholding men and supplies from the central government. In fact, as the first Confederate Secretary of War, Leroy Pope Walker, pointed out, in the early days of the war two hundred thousand volunteers could not be armed, because the doctrine of states' rights allowed individual states to withhold equipment.
He read history and the works of such theorists as John Locke and Adam Smith. He sank himself word by word into the literature of our national origins, of the philosophers and the politicians. He practically memorized the Constitution. Nor did he forget the classics. T h e new emptiness of the house at Brierfield was too much for him now. He spent much of his time at Hurricane, and there, with Joseph, he found the clash of minds and interests, col- 37 laboration in ideas, and a never-ending tide of speculation.
T h e n , on J u n e 1, 1924, a bronze cap was set on the summit. Certain diehard Confederates, it is said, had wanted to push on to surpass the 25 Washington Monument, but the common victory in France seemed to make such feeling antiquated, too. T T 7 H O was this Jefferson Davis? Eventually, I came to know something about him, and about the speculations concerning the inner man. In those early days when I visited the unfinished monument, I knew, of course, that he was born in my Todd County—though at the date of his birth, J u n e 3, 1808, the county had not yet been carved from the larger entities of Christian and Logan Counties, now adjacently eastward and westward.
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