Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 15, 1864

March 15, 1864

---On this date, Pres. Lincoln passes the power for governing the state of Louisiana from the military governor to the newly-elected civilian governor.  He writes an interesting letter to the newly-elected Governor Michael Hahn concerning black suffrage: 

I congratulate you on having fixed your name in history as the first free State Governor of Louisiana: now you are about to have a commission which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise. I barely suggest, for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in, as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. They would probably help in some trying time to keep the jewel of Liberty in the family of freedom. But this is only a suggestion, not to the public, but to you alone.

---The melancholy Lt. Tenney* writes of his activities at home, and refers to his recent break-up with Fannie:
15th. All the young folks were invited to Dea. Turner’s to tea. I remained at home. Played chess with Thede. Read some— attending preaching in the evening. Prof. Fairchild made a good discourse. Got out my letters from Fannie, reviewed them and burned them. It seemed hard and sad to do so, but I knew it was best. Could not discover any change in the style of her letters in the spring of 1861. They seemed full as warm and affectionate then as ever during the whole year.

*See March 14, 1864

---Mary Boykin Chestnut of Richmond writes in her diary of family tragedy (the death of her mother-in-law), fashion tragedy, and of the rising cost of living in the Confederate capital:

March 15th.—Old Mrs. Chesnut is dead. A saint is gone and James Chesnut is broken-hearted. He adored his mother. I gave $375 for my mourning, which consists of a black alpaca dress and a crape veil. With bonnet, gloves, and all it came to $500. Before the blockade such things as I have would not have been thought fit for a chamber-maid.

Everybody is in trouble. Mrs. Davis says paper money has depreciated so much in value that they can not live within their income; so they are going to dispense with their carriage and horses.


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