Lot 464: Matthew F. Maury

RR Auction

2015-10-29 11:34:01

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Lot 464: LS signed "M. F. Maury, C. Navy," 23 pages, 7.75 x 9.75, August 4, 1862. Letter to Robert Fitz Roy in London, giving an account of the war in an effort to gain English recognition of the Confederacy. In part: "It has been about a year since I last wrote you; since that time, the war has passed through several phases and Lincoln has tried it on as many new tacks. At first, you recollect, he only intended to repossess and occupy the public places in the South...The battle of Manassas satisfied him that that wouldn't do...His object now is no longer to 'repossess' the custom house and occupy the public places of the South, but to subjugate and exterminate a whole people...The Yankees are fighting for self government they say-they are doing battle for the freedom of man, for a free press, free speech, for free worship and the right of self government...Many Englishmen seem, to think that African Slavery is at the bottom of all our present troubles; no such thing. The cause of them are deep seated and ramified...The old Government of the United States had become utterly corrupt-and it had corrupted people, with or without slavery, the dissolution of that government was bound to occur...And in proof that we understand better than you, the smothered animosity of the northern mind against us, behold the bitterness, the envenomed hatred, the Savage and barbarous spirit in which they are waging this war upon us, Hayman who excited the indignation of the London Brewers to such a pitch, was mild and merciful in comparison to some of Lincoln's Lieutenants...They who hold that slavery is the cause of this war, shew that they have by no means been attentive observers or close students of the American government, its institutions, its operations and people. The truth is, the government had, in many ways and for divers reasons, ceased to answer the purposes for which it was established. In that fact and not in slaves, is to be found the cause of this war." Maury goes on to discuss the economics, trade, and the development of the Confederate Navy. Scattered foxing, some dampstaining and brushing to ink throughout, and a few small edge tears, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a custom-made clamshell case. Maury wrote this letter for publication in the London Times, where it appeared under the title 'How the South Bears the War.' As Maury was already an internationally known figure through his long career in the US Navy and his important scientific studies, he dealt with foreign nations in attempting to garner support and assistance for the Confederate cause. He traveled throughout Europe, where he acquired ships and supplies in addition to his role as a propagandist. This lengthy letter, an example of Maury's devoted efforts, offers remarkable insight into the Confederate mindset at the beginning of the war. RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts Friday, 23rd October 2015 Estimate: $800-1000
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