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Alexis Ferry Journal: Volume 2
Ferry began his journal with the subjects of atheism and religious fanaticism, which he believed were “deux monstres qui peuvent déchirer et dévorer la société” (two monsters which can tear up, or divide, society). He noted the expansion of Islam, Christianity, and the philosophies of the Chinese and what he believed was the superiority of Christian morality. Ferry criticized the Catholic priesthood, claiming that it was dangerous in that “il possède les secrets des familles” (it possesses the secrets of families) and used religion to cover its vices. On February 22, 1865, he expressed concern about his son who was at war. There are entries on General Lee, the politics of Europe and how they could be affected by the American Civil War. Ferry refuted the asserted greatness of the Anglo-Saxon race at the time, yet commented with chagrin on the admittance of John Sweat Rock, a black abolitionist, to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as the progressive politics of Lincoln and of the Republican Party. Ferry pulled a few quotes from the Tribune on what it referred to as the "insolent demands of the enemy (the North)" and also quoted the Richmond Enquirer on the negotiations taking place between commissioners and President Lincoln and William H. Seward. This journal contains his reflections on the concept of the South's independence from the North and his description of conditions in the South in 1865. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Butler, and Fernando Wood were all figures Ferry made full entries about, expressing his admiration for those who fought on behalf of the Confederate states and evincing his disdain for those who were against them. He reacted to the news of the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston and the defeat of the South at the end of the Civil War and news concerning the then recent presidency of President Andrew Johnson. Ferry included poems and letters written to him by Alfred de Roman in 1854, 1855, and 1857. Included is also a copied letter (initially published in a paper) written by John Wilkes Booth and a letter from a white Southerner written to a newspaper which referred to the American Civil War as "the war against the interests of white labor." Ferry shared his thoughts on the bravery and heroism of First Commander Florian Cornay, paid homage to the Louisianian troops, and added several notes on the Battle of Appomattox Court House and other events toward the end of the Civil War. There is an expenses worksheet for care of his slaves, home, and family, in addition to several pasted articles about the Confederacy at the end of the journal. Illustrations of quill pens and inkwells embellish parts of the second volume. Some entries are written in English.
Tulane University Digital Library
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
12.375x8.375x1, 266 pages
Alexis Ferry journals, Manuscripts Collection 331, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118