Book Chat
Jefferson Davis, American
William J. Cooper

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 08/03/08 and covered the Prologue and Chapters 1, 2 & 3.

8/3/2008 9:07 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the first discussion on William J. Cooper's book, Jefferson Davis, American Reminder, please refrain from using the private message feature during the chat.

8/3/2008 9:09 pm (et) Basecat: We should start with the preface and the one thing that sticks out in my mind is how Cooper wishes us to think on Davis's life. As in remember he was from another time, and not from our time. A point I agree wholeheartedly, as I find myself doing the hindsight routine often when I study the CW.

8/3/2008 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: I loved that introduction. A man of his times . I agree we so often put our thoughts and rules on people of the past

8/3/2008 9:10 pm (et) ks: One (or at least this one) needs to remind to not judge based on present ideas of morality.

8/3/2008 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: That first sentence grabbed me right away .

8/3/2008 9:13 pm (et) Basecat: What I liked about the preface, he tells us what kind of book he has written.. A lot of historians don't do that.

8/3/2008 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: He tells us he will write about the man and the people and times he interacted with . straight forward.

8/3/2008 9:14 pm (et) ks: The sentence that stood out to me was that concerning how a patriotic American came to lead the great struggle to destroy the United States...

8/3/2008 9:15 pm (et) Babs: The writing is straight forward as well. I don't find myself having to reread paragraphs to figure out what he's talking about.

8/3/2008 9:16 pm (et) Basecat: Pat, which is a good reminder that back then there really was no National patriotism, and more based on where one grew up. Very different from today's standards.

8/3/2008 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: Then again I question about patriotism today, but that's for another day.

8/3/2008 9:17 pm (et) calcav: Thinking heavily on the paragraph..."At the outset I want to address..." He had some strong feelings that many others did not embrace. I would say he was a man of his environment more than a man of his times.

8/3/2008 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: Might even say both Tom.

8/3/2008 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: He was very much a man of the Planter Class as Sherman describes them in his Memoirs.

8/3/2008 9:19 pm (et) calcav: Well put Susan - Browner

8/3/2008 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Nita

8/3/2008 9:21 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on the Preface before we move to "The saddest day of my life"?? That speech in the Senate chamber sets up the book very neatly

8/3/2008 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: Would be interesting to know what he would have been like if he had been born in the North.

8/3/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: I am amazed at the formality and mannerly way the military and government withdrew from each other .

8/3/2008 9:23 pm (et) Basecat: Susan...I tend to believe if he had been born in the North he would have defended that side of the story as heartily as he defended the South.

8/3/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: I think you are right .

8/3/2008 9:24 pm (et) ks: And could still make the statement about "the stern conviction of necessity, the demand of honor" governing his actions.

8/3/2008 9:26 pm (et) Basecat: The thing that stands out to me about his farewell speech was the crowds drawn into the galleries to actually see and hear it. Made me wonder if folks still attend in such numbers in the galleries when the Senate is in session.

8/3/2008 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: I have sat in the gallery of the Senate in awe of the speakers back when Goldwater and Symington and Kennedy was in his prime

8/3/2008 9:27 pm (et) ks: Had read previously, perhaps in the book we read on Varina, about her having sent a servant at 7 AM to hold her place and the crowding of the gallery.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Now I think it is mostly tourist.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) Babs: I attended when I visited D.C. in the 70's. I was in awe as well.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) Basecat: Pat...mentioned in the book as well...that she did send a servant to save a seat.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) ks: When I've been there it's been primarily tourist and/or student groups.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) Babs: I think it is more restricted now.

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Ks I love where it said the women in hoops were even sitting on the floor

8/3/2008 9:28 pm (et) ks: Yes, that's why it again came to mind, Steve. :)

8/3/2008 9:29 pm (et) Babs: I believe it was the Ishbel Ross book that described it.

8/3/2008 9:29 pm (et) ks: How recently, Babs? I'm sure my visits were pre 9-11.

8/3/2008 9:29 pm (et) Basecat: Never have done that, which is why I in if regular folks could just show up and watch the proceedings as they did back then.

8/3/2008 9:30 pm (et) ks: That Ishbel Ross... ;) You guys missed out not joining the NFFFL-ers. ;)

8/3/2008 9:30 pm (et) Babs: When I did it, you had to go to the office of your state rep or senator and get a pass.

8/3/2008 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: I had to have a pass from my rep or senator.

8/3/2008 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: Got my from my cousin though who worked for a congressman.

8/3/2008 9:31 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks for the info. on that. Had no clue.

8/3/2008 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: I spent alot of my time in the gallery while I was there for a whole month.

8/3/2008 9:31 pm (et) Basecat: What did you all think of his speech?

8/3/2008 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: I think I went almost every day.

8/3/2008 9:33 pm (et) Basecat: To me, it really was not a politically laden speech...He spent time hoping all who had argued with him on issues knew that it was not a personal attack, a way to make amends for past disagreements.

8/3/2008 9:34 pm (et) ks: There's info online, Steve. You can obtain visitor passes in advance by contacting the offices of your representative and senator and requesting that they mail a House pass and a Senate gallery pass (Capitol switchboard is tel. 202/224-3121). District of Columbia and Puerto Rico residents should contact their delegate to Congress. If you don't receive advance passes, you'll have to pick them up yourself at your members' offices.

8/3/2008 9:35 pm (et) Basecat: Pat...Mr. Basic goes to Washington...Not sure the American people are ready for that...yet.:)

8/3/2008 9:36 pm (et) ks: It was hard for me to read without those "brittle, ill-tempered personality, ideologue with poor political skills" images that Cooper mentioned in the preface coming to mind. I've been taught pretty well by other authors how to NOT like Jeff Davis. :)


8/3/2008 9:38 pm (et) calcav: Steve, his statement that he wanted to make amends caught my interest. A long standing impression has been that Davis knew how to carry a grudge. I look forward to seeing how Cooper addresses this.

8/3/2008 9:38 pm (et) Babs: Me too. Cooper paints a much softer picture of him than did Ross.

8/3/2008 9:39 pm (et) Basecat: calcav...Am on the same page, and agree with what Pat posted, because this is not the Davis I know.

8/3/2008 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: Power on laptop is gone and power not on yet. so will sign off and read what you all have to say later on. I just want to say I am amazed at how many times Davis seems to dodge the bullet in his young years. He gets off it seems every time there is a problem .

8/3/2008 9:40 pm (et) ks: I was surprised to read that bit about how after the CW Davis would sign the books he acquired on page 61 because he could never forget 1861. Had not read that anytime previously.

8/3/2008 9:41 pm (et) Basecat: Hard for me to accept the make amends concept, and then went the other way in the next few weeks...Will be interesting to see how Cooper does write about it.

8/3/2008 9:41 pm (et) Basecat: Good one as well Pat...Had never heard that one either.

8/3/2008 9:42 pm (et) calcav: It may not have been a political speech, but it certainly sounds like a politician giving the speech.

8/3/2008 9:43 pm (et) Basecat: calcav...Very true...just very strange to me under the circumstances.

8/3/2008 9:43 pm (et) ks: Perhaps we're a bit jaded, huh? Especially now with elections coming up and the plethora of ads where the politicos are saying (with much feeling) that which they think needs to be heard. :-P

8/3/2008 9:44 pm (et) Basecat: Pat...Probably, and shows that some things really don't change.

8/3/2008 9:44 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on his farewell speech??

8/3/2008 9:45 pm (et) amhistoryguy: May be a case of what Davis DID, being more telling than what he SAID.

8/3/2008 9:45 pm (et) calcav: He was saying "so long" without burning any bridges...while he took the richest state in the union with him.

8/3/2008 9:46 pm (et) Basecat: If not, let's delve into Chapter 1 "There My Memories Begin.

8/3/2008 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: The story of the Davis family reminds me of the Lincoln family, as the Patriarch was always looking to find a better situation for his standing, as in wealth and property. No patience.

8/3/2008 9:48 pm (et) Babs: Nit pick alert. Cooper refered to his "step brothers". If they were his mother's sons by a previous marriage they would be his "half brothers".

8/3/2008 9:49 pm (et) ks: First thing that struck me in Chapter One was that I had no idea what a "carter" was? Did everyone else know? I had to do some serious googling before I came up with...

8/3/2008 9:49 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...and clearly shows the difference in time, as I do not know a Mom who has had 10 kids by age 48. :)

8/3/2008 9:50 pm (et) Basecat: Glad you looked it up Pat...Did not have the time to do so...what is it?

8/3/2008 9:50 pm (et) calcav: Assumed it was a man with a cart...I didn't google...was I wrong?

8/3/2008 9:51 pm (et) Babs: Base, Not nowadays, but my grandmother had 12 kids by the time she was 42.

8/3/2008 9:51 pm (et) ks: Carters were the equivalent of what is known today as a haulage contractor. In the 19th century - and even up to the late 40s and early 50s ran regular services between villages and towns in Norfolk (and many other counties), carrying parcels - including livestock - between villages and towns in Norfolk (and many other counties), carrying parcels - including livestock - ...

8/3/2008 9:51 pm (et) ks: Info stuck trying to copy/paste. ;)

8/3/2008 9:52 pm (et) calcav: Just what we guessed...early UPS.

8/3/2008 9:52 pm (et) ks: Before the days of omnibuses the carter was the only provider of public transport for either goods or people. Either that or another site said "carters" were musicians. Had a hard time believing Evan Davis was a musician. ;)

8/3/2008 9:53 pm (et) Basecat: And should clarify, just saw a report the other day about a couple celebrating the birth of their 18th child...

8/3/2008 9:53 pm (et) Basecat: Have any in here been to Davis's birth site?

8/3/2008 9:54 pm (et) calcav: I had always taken the story that Jeff's middle name was Finis as gospel. What a surprise. A good story shot to pieces.

8/3/2008 9:54 pm (et) ks: Same here, calcav.

8/3/2008 9:54 pm (et) ks: Not I, Steve.

8/3/2008 9:55 pm (et) Basecat: calcav...Was new to me as well, as I thought he dropped the midle name because he did not like it.

8/3/2008 9:56 pm (et) calcav: I hope Cooper is wrong...the Finis name is a god story.

8/3/2008 9:56 pm (et) calcav: Oops GOOD story. I am living in Mississippi but I don't think he is a god.

8/3/2008 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: I had a question as to why Jeff's Dad was so focused on him getting a fine education, and really no mention why he was singled out..

8/3/2008 9:57 pm (et) ks: LOL. Didn't even notice the typo. I "saw" GOOD on my screen. ;)

8/3/2008 9:58 pm (et) ks: I wondered about that also, Steve. Why the necessity of this last child being well educated?

8/3/2008 9:58 pm (et) Babs: Basecat, I wondered that too. He did seem to be doted on.

8/3/2008 9:58 pm (et) calcav: I was wondering too-browner

8/3/2008 9:59 pm (et) Basecat: Pat..Wish Cooper explained that he was #10....

 8/3/2008 9:59 pm (et) Fifer: enters the chatroom.

 8/3/2008 9:59 pm (et) Fifer: Evening folks

8/3/2008 9:59 pm (et) Basecat: And how about the way his Dad went about it...Not even telling his wife, and Jeff leaving without saying goodbye to his Mom?

8/3/2008 9:59 pm (et) ks: And so determined was he that he kept the plans for Jeff's travel to St. Thomas College a secret even from his wife??

8/3/2008 10:00 pm (et) ks: :)

8/3/2008 10:00 pm (et) Babs: I would have put saltpeter in his pudding.

8/3/2008 10:00 pm (et) Basecat: Could it have been because of religious reasons??

8/3/2008 10:01 pm (et) calcav: Samuel must have expected a fight from the Mrs. I wonder what her reaction really was and just how long he had to sleep in the arn.

8/3/2008 10:02 pm (et) Basecat: By that I mean the Davises were Baptists and maybe Mom would object to her son going to a Catholic runn school??

8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) ks: I would think she'd object to her 7 year old going to ANY school "so distant as to be practically in another universe".

8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) Basecat: Loved the line when Jeff wanted to become a Catholic, and the priest said maybe best you just eat catholic food..:)

8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Davis book by McElroy, mentions that Jeffersons very early education had been found to be very unsatisfactory, and that this greatly disturbed Jefferson's father who determined to do something about it.

8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) Babs: What is Catholic food?

 8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) Fifer: What Catholic school are you talking about

8/3/2008 10:03 pm (et) calcav: Was Jane a Catholic. Cooper says on page 12 she did not become a member of the Baptist Church - Browner

8/3/2008 10:05 pm (et) Basecat: "A biscuit and a bit of Cheese" Babs. :)

8/3/2008 10:06 pm (et) ks: St. Thomas College located in Washington County in Central Kentucky

8/3/2008 10:06 pm (et) Basecat: St. Thomas Prep School in Kentucky Fifer.

8/3/2008 10:06 pm (et) calcav: Sending a 10 year old up the length of the Natchez Trace was an almost reckless choice. VEry dangerous road at that time.

8/3/2008 10:06 pm (et) Basecat: Browner...Can't say if I know...Yet another thing Cooper did not explain all that well.

8/3/2008 10:07 pm (et) ks: If she were a Catholic I'd see even less sense in his hiding the fact that he was sending their son away to a Catholic school. Book does say that JD had fond memories of it.

 8/3/2008 10:07 pm (et) Fifer: A very Catholic area for rural Kentucky. The Diocece is based in Bardstown.

 8/3/2008 10:08 pm (et) Fifer: I went to college in Kentucky. Knew several people from Washington County. They were all Catholic like myself.

8/3/2008 10:08 pm (et) ks: Books states that it was the first Roman Catholic ed. institution west of the Allegheny Mountains.

 8/3/2008 10:09 pm (et) Fifer: I know I'm coming in/ in the middle. What book are you talking about?

8/3/2008 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Found it interesting as well that St. Thomas took all in no matter what faith...and did not go out of their way to become one of us. etc.

8/3/2008 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: William Cooper's bio. on Jefferson Davis.

8/3/2008 10:10 pm (et) ks: Fifer, this is the first discussion over Jefferson Davis, American. It's a book of over 750 pages, so we'll be discussing it for quite a few weeks.

8/3/2008 10:12 pm (et) ks: This chapter contained a lot of good (make that "easily read and digested") info on Jeff's early education. Seemed a good way to start fleshing out the story.

8/3/2008 10:12 pm (et) Basecat: Know amhg mentioned Jeff's dad not happy with the school's out there, but wish I knew why in Jeff's case that became a big deall.

8/3/2008 10:13 pm (et) calcav: St. Thomas did give him the education needed to out-spell a pig!

8/3/2008 10:13 pm (et) Basecat: Another great story calcav...I automatically thought of Wilbur..:)

8/3/2008 10:14 pm (et) Babs: I wonder what the trick was.

8/3/2008 10:15 pm (et) Basecat: Let's get into Chapter 2...Jeff's time at the Point.

8/3/2008 10:15 pm (et) ks: And Transylvania... :)

8/3/2008 10:16 pm (et) Basecat: That too.:)

8/3/2008 10:17 pm (et) Basecat: Obviously, Davis loved his time at Transylvania. Highly doubt if his Dad lived he would have attended West Point. Seems that was Joe's call.

8/3/2008 10:17 pm (et) ks: Did seem a shame that Jeff wasn't allowed his Sr. year time at Transylvania and had to go to bottom of the totem pole at West Point. Especially given his popularity at Transylvania. But he wouldn't go against the counsel of Brother Joe.

8/3/2008 10:18 pm (et) Basecat: How about the prices of admission back then?? :)

8/3/2008 10:19 pm (et) ks: Had not read previously about Davis and his record with demerits and Benny Havens. That brought stories from AoT to mind. :)

8/3/2008 10:20 pm (et) Basecat: Pat...and how he defended his actions when bought up on charges.

8/3/2008 10:20 pm (et) ks: Seemed he had a lawyer's mind, didn't it?

8/3/2008 10:20 pm (et) calcav: I was surprised by his deficiency in mathematics. Good thing it wasn't a counting pig.

8/3/2008 10:22 pm (et) Basecat: calcav...was interesting how he described being taught mathematics....that he copied the rules, but could never understand them...Much more proficient in languages.

8/3/2008 10:22 pm (et) Basecat: Pat...:) and he got away with it. BTW...Tend to think he passed out during the great Eggnog Riot.

8/3/2008 10:22 pm (et) calcav: His escaping punishment for the egg nog riot was nothing short of a miracle.

8/3/2008 10:23 pm (et) ks: :) ....counting pig

8/3/2008 10:25 pm (et) ks: calcav, especially given the fact that he may have gotten away with it because he may have been too drunk to come out of his room and so missed the riot.

8/3/2008 10:25 pm (et) Basecat: Cooper makes a good point that Thayer could not throw out all those involved in the would have been the death knell for the Point IMHO.

8/3/2008 10:26 pm (et) calcav: He did have the sense to go to his room without complaint.

8/3/2008 10:26 pm (et) ks: Another fact I didn't know previously was that Edgar Allan Poe had gone to WP. Remained less than a year, but I didn't know he'd even tried.

8/3/2008 10:26 pm (et) Babs: He's lucky he could find his room.

8/3/2008 10:27 pm (et) Basecat: Interesting to look at how you could accumulate demerits as well...No wonder so many dropped out.

8/3/2008 10:27 pm (et) Basecat: Also makes me wonder if Bobby Lee ever had fun..:)

8/3/2008 10:28 pm (et) calcav: Jeff met A.S. Johnston at the Point. They ALMOST met at Transylvania. Johnston completed his studies there just before Jeff arrived.

8/3/2008 10:28 pm (et) Basecat: Then again...according to Thayer's rules...Fun was not allowed.

8/3/2008 10:29 pm (et) Babs: Base, Lee didn't have any fun until later when his children tickled his feet.

8/3/2008 10:29 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...LOL..and a good point..:)

8/3/2008 10:30 pm (et) ks: And note that JD never spoke favorably about any of his instructors at WP...even though (in Cooper's words) he "absolutely prized West Point."

8/3/2008 10:30 pm (et) Basecat: BTW...there is a Benny Havens up there, but not as far from the campus as the original one.

8/3/2008 10:30 pm (et) ks: I can't remain any longer. Other plans going. Thank you all. Base, I updated YODB.

8/3/2008 10:31 pm (et) calcav: Thayer did not have good words to say about Cadet Davis. - Browner

8/3/2008 10:31 pm (et) Basecat: Liked the part when they were drinking...tradition was they would turn away so no one could prove who was drinking.:)

8/3/2008 10:31 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks Pat. Night.

8/3/2008 10:31 pm (et) ks: logs off.

8/3/2008 10:31 pm (et) calcav: Goodnight KS, Calcav & Browner

8/3/2008 10:32 pm (et) Basecat: calcav..Was interesting to read Thayer's thoughts on Davis...Should check the notes when he made that declaration.

8/3/2008 10:34 pm (et) Basecat: Let's move on to Chapter 3... Ever Ready To Render My Services

8/3/2008 10:34 pm (et) calcav: Steve, he made the statement in 1855 when Jeff was Secretary of War.

8/3/2008 10:35 pm (et) Babs: I question Cooper's saying (on page 33) that Davis' rank declined as he progressed through WP. True he graduated in the bottom half of his class of33, but when he was a pleb there were 71 in his class. I think he deserves some credit for being ahead of the dropouts.

8/3/2008 10:35 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks Calcav... and when you think on it...he was right.

8/3/2008 10:35 pm (et) Babs: Linc, We are still at it.

8/3/2008 10:36 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...I agree...especially when his class listing was lowered by the demerits he accumulated.

8/3/2008 10:37 pm (et) calcav: Would like to read WHAT prompted Thayer to make the comments - Browner

8/3/2008 10:37 pm (et) Basecat: Browner. which is also a good point, as he made those comments prior to the CW.

8/3/2008 10:38 pm (et) Basecat: Only thing I can think of, is Jeff's fervent loyalty to the South's so called rights.

8/3/2008 10:39 pm (et) calcav: Just how much control over his alma mater did Jeff have as Secretary of War?

8/3/2008 10:40 pm (et) calcav: That question might actually be answered in a few chapters.

8/3/2008 10:41 pm (et) Basecat: As to his Military career, to me it seems to be a lot of ho hum, than any full fledged action. Had no clue he was in charge of transporting the Chief to St. Louis after the Black Hawk war.

8/3/2008 10:41 pm (et) Basecat: Hope it is Cal cav.

8/3/2008 10:42 pm (et) Basecat: Kinda surprised he lasted as long as he did in the service.

8/3/2008 10:42 pm (et) Basecat: Seems to me a lot of tedium and boredom.

8/3/2008 10:43 pm (et) calcav: Interesting how Copper points out Jeff exaggerating his involvement in the Black Hawk War.

8/3/2008 10:43 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: His military career certainly didn't start off that great. It least he learned how to make furniture. I'm surprised he decided to stay in the military.

8/3/2008 10:43 pm (et) Basecat: Exactly, as he was on leave..

8/3/2008 10:44 pm (et) Basecat: Furniture from hell..:) Cracked me up..:)

8/3/2008 10:44 pm (et) calcav: And what a first day with the regiment; Colonel away on duty, Lt. Col. under arrest, Major deep into a game of solitaire.

8/3/2008 10:44 pm (et) calcav: And cheating at solitaire - Browner

8/3/2008 10:44 pm (et) Basecat: Where you can cheat, and nobody can tell.:)

8/3/2008 10:45 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I thought the description of the furniture was hilarious .. never heard furniture described like that.

8/3/2008 10:45 pm (et) Babs: Seems like he would have noticed in the making of it that the shelves were an impractical height.

8/3/2008 10:45 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Just thought of how big those pieces were...and am glad I was not one who had to move them.:)

8/3/2008 10:46 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: But perfect for paperbacks if you lay them flat . That first assignment must have been a real culture-shock after West Point.

8/3/2008 10:47 pm (et) Basecat: Also had no clue that wrestling with wolves was a sport back then.

8/3/2008 10:47 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Regarding Jefferson's early education - Samuel Davis wrote JD a letter, June 25, 1823, which includes the following, "Use every possible means to acquire useful knowledge as knowledge is power, the want of which has brought mischief and misery on your father in old age - that you may be happy and shine in society when your father is beyond the reach of harm is the most ardent wish of his heart."

8/3/2008 10:48 pm (et) Basecat: LF...especially after the discipline he found at the Point was not true in the real army.

8/3/2008 10:49 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Base, nothing much has changed, really. We get out of college and find out the real world is nothing like school.

8/3/2008 10:49 pm (et) Basecat: Dave...Thanks for posting that...and continues to make me wonder if he shared that same message with his other children.

8/3/2008 10:49 pm (et) Basecat: LF. Very true...but at least I was not given demerits for my faux pas in college.:)

8/3/2008 10:50 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Well, how many guns did you shoot out of windows.

8/3/2008 10:51 pm (et) Basecat: LOL...I streaked on Mom's weekend...That's bad..:)

8/3/2008 10:53 pm (et) Basecat: And on that note...we have been discussing the book for 2 hours, and best our conversation end for this evening. Homework will be Chapters 4, 5 , & 6. Thanks to all for an excellent chat. :)

8/3/2008 10:53 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Dave, stay on-line. Have a question for you.

8/3/2008 10:54 pm (et) Basecat: My apologies to all, as there is a lot of info. to cover in the book, and can't be done in 60 minutes. Hope you don't mind.

8/3/2008 10:55 pm (et) amhistoryguy: A letter written by Jane Davis to son Jefferson, in 1836, mentions "all her children" are in school.

8/3/2008 10:56 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Please, don't mind at all. I tried to read in the car on the way home from Wisconsin/Iowa & only got to pg 52. Looking forward to next week. Thanks

8/3/2008 10:58 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks LF...Know it is longer time wise than usual...and will probably be that way for the rest of the chat.

8/3/2008 10:58 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I think Davis had wonderful parents. It sounds like they even made provisions for his education after their death. Joe just picked up the ball with Jeff's education. You probably went over all that, though, earlier.

8/3/2008 10:59 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Are we officially off the discussion now?

8/3/2008 11:00 pm (et) Basecat: LF...We did, and only reason why Jeff went to West Point is because of Joe's influence. And yes...we are officially off the discussion until next week.