America's Civil War
History 393
 Professor John C. Willis

Thompson Powell
Thaddeus Stevens

Halifax Co[urt] Ho[use], Va. 
Feb. 22nd 1866 

My Dear Thad:

Since you will not let our so-called representative get into your Circus, please do the clean thing and be good enough to send me a few Public Documents.   I will thank you for a volume of U.S. Statutes, or of the Congressional Globe, or even some of our own colored speeches. 

Now, Thad, I know you are a rum old chap and a "good hater", after Dr. Johnson's own heart, but I had no hand in the burning of your foundry and you must do me this little favor.   Let me ask you a civil question.   Which feeling is strongest & uppermost in your Abrahamic bosom -- love of the negro, or hatred of the white man of the South?   Tell me truly, do you care a farthing for the negro, but don't you hate the white men of the South till you can't rest? 

I will bet you a clean shirt (and lend you one to "put up") that, after all your rhodomontade & hysterics over this dark subject, you never gave one dollar in charity to the poor negro;  that Mr. Henry Wilson never gave ten cents, and that Mr. Charles Sumner never gave one cent, out of their sensitive pockets, for his benefit.   Bet me, dear Thad, if you dare! 

I think you can afford to let our so-called representative into the show;  he is a preacher and a plain man, who could not do you any harm, if he were to try.   We had to hunt a long time for a man who could swallow the nauseous test oath, & we found him in a "corner obscure and alone." 

Send me the Pub. Docs., my dear Thad, for I shall be looking for them most anxiously.   I am a brother of Hon. Paulus Powell of this state, who once sat in Congress with you, I expect, and am more of a gentleman than the great majority of Southern men, according to your refined notions of them.   Send me the documents, Thad, & I'll pay you for them.   What's the figure? 

Thompson Powell 

P. S.   For Heaven's sake, my dear Thad, let the Southern States alone for a little while, till they can catch their breath & go to work.   They are not worth pillaging & persecuting yet -- awhile. 

T. P. 

SOURCE:   Thompson Powell to Thaddeus Stevens, 22 February 1866, Thaddeus Stevens Papers, Library of Congress. 

This document and others linked to it through the America's Civil War World Wide Web site are produced and made available for the non-profit educational use of students at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.  Visitors to these pages are enjoined against copyright infringement or for-profit applications. 

Back to Top