Josiah Gorgas Journal

    Source citation
    Wiggins, Sarah Woolfolk, ed. The Journal of Josiah Gorgas: 1857-1878. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995, p. 8.
    Author (from)
    Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins
    Date Certainty
    Leah Suhrstedt
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
    March 6th, [1857] Yesterday we received the news of the inauguration of President Buchanan. His inaugural address is brief and to the point. He expressed his conviction that his election envinced the devotion of the people to the constitution and the union, hopes that agitation on the subject of slavery will cease, deprecates corruption in the government, which flows in a great measure from the superabundance of money in the treasury, is satisfied with the limited reduction of the Tariff just made, believes in that sort of “squatter sovereignty” which is exercised at the formation of a State constitution, recommends the expenditure of surplus funds for increase of the navy, believes in a strict construction of the constitution, but thinks a military road to California one of the measures necessary for the common defense, & that in our foreign policy non-interference should guide us, except where self-preservation requires action, and that territory may be acquired consonant with honor & justice without just cause of complaint to other nations. Mr. Cass, Secy of State, Mr. [Howell] Cobb [of Ga.], Treasury, [John B.] Floyd of Virginia, War, Jacob Thompson of Miss., Secy. Interior, [Isaac] Toucey, of Conn., Navy, are said to be the Cabinet. Yesterday evening Minnie & I went to a fancy ball of children. Finding nothing to amuse me I walked back & read the paper, returning to the ball at 10, no refreshments except such as we purchased, which consisted of a bowl of whitish liquid with 3 or 4 oysters in it under the name of stewed oysters. Our dinner to Govr & Mrs. Hamlin, spoken of before passed off very pleasantly & we formed a pleasant impression of both the Govr. & his wife. He has now resigned his place & resumed his seat as Senator for six years. I met his successor, Mr. Williams at dinner at Mr. Gilmans. He is not a man of the world I should judge. Having had my attention directed to him when I first came here as an active “black republican,” I had a rooted antipathy to the man, which I find it difficult to overcome. We were however quite civil to each other & he took pains to apologize for not making my acquaintance before. Our pay has been increased by the Congress just dissolved, greatly to the gratification of the recipients & I believe everybody concedes the justice of the augmentation. It increases my income by about $650 per annum, & we begin already to speculate on the possibility of buying a plantation & 40 or 50 slaves, to settle down upon when we get old. Minnie’s heart yearns for the darkies & she is prepared to spoil any number of them by indulgence. The weather is stormy, snowy, sunshiny & blowy by turns. Thermometer sometimes near zero & then up to 40 or 50.
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