Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 5, 1861: Rumors of Jeff Davis's Death Spread

With recruiting underway for three-years troops, northern newspapers began to spread the rumor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis' death.  Some people hoped this could mean a swift end to the war.

The September 6, 1861 issue of The Easton Daily Evening Express stated, "The little boys on the streets hurrah after this style just now: 'Hurrah! Jeff Davis is dead!'."

The Easton Daily Evening Express printed the following dispatch in the September 6 issue, "THE DEATH OF JEFF DAVIS RE-AFFIRMED.  Louisville, Sept. 5. A gentleman just from Richmond, who passed through this city this morning, says that on Saturday evening the serious illness of Jeff Davis was freely canvassed on the streets, and little hope was entertained of his recovery.  The probable changes which would ensue on his death were freely mentioned.  On the gentleman's arrival at Nashville, he learned that the rebel Congress, which had adjourned at midnight on Saturday, has been called together by Alexander H. Stevens, the serious illness of Davis being the ostensible cause.  My informant considers the flags at half-mast, as reported, indicative of his death.  Positive assurances are said to have been received this morning by a prominent Secessionist and ex-Mayor of this city, of the death of Jeff Davis."

History shows the reports of President Davis' death were very much premature.  Davis survived illness and the war.

Copyright 1999-2011: Jay C. Richards

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