Nov 08, 2018 - Sale 2492

Sale 2492 - Lot 12

Price Realized: $ 1,062
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
JEFFERSON DAVIS SHOULD BE "HANGED WITH THE WHOLE WORLD'S ACCLAMATION" (CIVIL WAR.) HENRY WARD BEECHER. Autograph Letter Signed, "H.W. Beecher," to George Washington Bungay ("My dear Mr. Bungay"), denying the charge that he said anything about Robert E. Lee's character, speculating that Lee knew nothing of the conditions at Andersonville and was powerless to prevent them, and suggesting that the crime of allowing such atrocities was the responsibility of Jefferson Davis and his Secretary of War. 3 1/2 pages, 8vo, written on a folded sheet; few short closed separations at scattered folds repaired with tissue, faint bleedthrough overall, moderate even toning overall. Np, 15 November 1865

Additional Details

"Have you read what I did say of Gen'l Lee, in the Independent? It is sometimes worth while to see what a man does say, not what reporters represent him as saying.

". . . I do not . . . say anything about his character at all, but speak simply of his conduct during and since the War.

"As to his power to prevent the atrocities of Andersonville, the assertion wh[ich] you make is without a particle of proof, viz., that he could have prevented it. He probably knew as little about it as Gen'l Dix or Gen'l Grant did of the fare of prisoners at Chicago, or Fort Delaware. And even if he did know it, burdened with his Army & with the incessant harassment of getting supplies, he could not meddle beyond a protest. An officer in command in the field has no business to assume the functions of a Gov't bureau at the capital. The Sec'y of War & Davis were the men on whom blame rests. Instead of trying Davis for Treason (& losing the case) I wish Gov't had the means of trying him for this Encylopedic Crime. Then he might be hanged with the whole world's acclamation."

From the Collection of William Wheeler III.