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