The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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appointment of Governor by the President; that he was only invited for advice and conference, and not for making offices, and that he would not unite in any recommendation of any one for this, or any other office.

        "It was then proposed to organize the meeting, and on motion of Dr. Powell, Mr. Moore was called to the chair.

        "Mr. Moore said he concurred in the sagacious views of Mr. Eaton, and declined to take the chair. He, with Governor Swain and Eaton, retired to another room."

        "Dr. Powell then moved that Colonel J. P. H. Russ be appointed chairman, which was carried, and on motion of Dr. Powell, the name of W. W. Holden was inserted as Governor.

        "The President was then sent for, who came in and seemed gratified at the selection.

        "The party then dispersed.

        "The President gave Governor Swain and myself permits to visit Governor Vance in prison.

        "Friday, 26th May, 1865.

        "Governor Swain and myself rode to Carrol Prison where we saw Governor Vance, Governor Letcher, and Governor Brown confined in the same place. Governor Vance was in good spirits and health.

        "Governor Corwin, of Ohio, also called to see Governor Vance, and denounced the outrage of imprisoning him without process of law and without crime, three Governors of sovereign States confined together, and he promised Vance that he should use every effort to get him out. Which pledge he nobly redeemed.

        "He asked Vance, 'for what crime was he imprisoned?'

        "Vance replied, 'he did not know,' 'unless that Governor Holden, who had voted for the Ordinance of Secession in Convention, and had pledged the last man and the last dollar, and failed to redeem his pledge, and now he, Vance, was his security, and had to suffer.'

        "We remained with Gov. Vance more than an hour, when we returned to my house.

        "As weather was rainy and disagreeable, Gov. Swain remained within doors, and we conversed on historical matters, and the stirring events of the last few days, of which he forebodes much evil.

        "I read, at his request, my diary," (as above recorded.)

        "He asked for a copy, as he thought it concise and correct, to send to Mrs. S."

        The memories of these times cannot but be interesting, as showing the prominent part that Gov. Swain bore in these eventful scenes, and the sad condition of affairs. They have never been published.

        Gov. Swain, after visiting New York, returned home with feelings of depression and distress.

        Hoping to restore tone to his mind and body, before taking a final leave of Chapel Hill, he was preparing for a visit to his native mountains of Buncombe. On the 11th August, 1868, riding in an open buggy, his horse took fright, ran away, and threw him with violence to the ground. He was carried home in a bruised condition. No one thought him seriously injured; but his hour had come. On 27th August he fainted away, and without a struggle or groan passed from time to eternity.

        Gov. S. married, 12th January, 1824, as previously stated, Eleanor, daughter of William White, Secretary of State, (1778 to 1811,) and granddaughter of Gov. Richard Caswell. His widow now resides in Raleigh. A daughter, who married General Aiken (in 1865,) of Illinois, where she now resides. Gov. S.'s remains are interred at Raleigh.

        We have now finished, from authentic sources, an account of the services of David L. Swain, of which his State may well be proud. In his public as well as his private character, there was much to admire and to love.

        As a statesman and politician he was patriotic, yet conservative and cautious. Rather a believer in St. Paul's advice, if it be possible, live in peace with all men--almost verging on the practice of the good saint of--

                         Being all things to all men.

        He certainly never was intolerant or vindictive. In the early days of the Republic he would have been a Federalist; in the log cabin
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