Platte City, Mo.
Oct. 1, 1865
My sister-in-law, Mrs. McDonald, writes me that you have of late suffered with
some disorder which had prostrated your strength & which had left you in feeble health.
I learn too that you contemplate a removal of your residence probably to Virginia. I
hope, sire, that in a cooler climate you may regain your lost flush and that it may put an
end to your disease. But where in all the South will you be free from all the indignities
and persecutions of those witches who now possess our country! I fear very much the
present condition of things has much to do with your illness for the body cannot long
hold a troubled mind without suffering some departure from health.
I fear like Cato you deem it a misfortune to have outlived the liberties of your
country. The obscurity of my name renders me secure, but not from that pain which
every sensitive mind must experience upon hearing of the wrongs & sufferings of a once
I had hoped that you would still serve your country, by directing the public mind
in some wise policy which might result in an amelioration if their lamentable situation,
that a heady compliance with the inquisitions of the government would have gained the
people of Florida some immunity from that rigor with which the administration is pleased
to think necessary in its reconstruction policy. But I understand such not to be the case.
That the people are insulted by its black troops, and that its appointments of state officers
have been most unhappy. The Greeks and Romans were often unjust to individuals.
Aristides was banished, Phocion was put to death, and the divine Socrates was
condemned to drink hemlock... besides the illustrious Generals, orators, & Poets who
suffered ostracism: but worse than this, than all, the Southern people, after a most
gallant struggle, have been plundered, degraded, and oppressed to satisfy the demands of
a party which is more cruel and intolerant than the Inquisition. It is not satisfied with all
the blood that has been spilt & it laughs at, and derides a people overwhelmed with
misfortune and humiliation.
My affection for you, sir, began with the kindness and charity with which you
regarded my innumerable follies and will be continued to the end of my life by the
remembrance of those virtues m which so adorn your character, that I am sure you must
even command the respect both of your private and political enemies. I enclose you a
letter of Algernon Sidney. It speaks for itself, & I am sure the sentiments of this great
man will find a response in your heart. The present condition of things, particularly in
this state, shows how very true it may be, that a country may contain many millions of
people who have no country at all.
With sincere wishes fir your health, prosperity, and happiness, and that heaven
may even bestow its kindest blessings upon your wife and little ones.
I am, my dear General,
Very truly yours,
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.