assassin was seized and punished. So when Earl St. Vincent, who was Admiral Jervis, had, a while in the naval service of England, a proposal made to him for the assassination of Napoleon Bonaparte, then at war with his country, he made this memorable reply: "Lord St. Vincent has not words to express the detestation in which he holds an assassin." The incident will be found recorded at page 204 of second volume of Tucker's Memoirs of that nobleman, who honored, alike himself and human nature by the utterance cited.
The contrast between the acts and impulses of the historical personages thus instanced, in evincing their detestation of the revolting propositions described, and those of Davis in cooly entertaining and considering as ordinary matters of business, even more horrible schemes, is the occasions referred to finds its fullest illustration in the important testimony which I am about to detail of the direct and immediate part borne by him as a chief conspirator in assassination. It was in the summer of 1863 that the deigns entertained by leading rebels against the person and the life of President Lincoln appear to have taken definite form. The scheme then resolved upon was, not to murder the President at Washington, but by a coup de main to seize him and transport him within the rebel lines, with the understanding, however, that if an attempt were made to rescue him his life should be at once taken. The full knowledge and approval of this scheme, known in rebel circles as the kidnaping plot, on the part of Davis, and the immediate direction of it which he assumed, are set forth in the deposition of a witness taken be me at this Bureau on the 23rd of November last.* This witness, whose statements may be fully relied upon, was, as he represents at the time specified, in the service of the rebel General Winder, at Richmond, and had been informed by the latter of the plot in question, the execution, the execution of which had just then been determined upon. Presently afterward he encountered at a drinking saloon in Richmond the son of a leading rebel, who, being in a drunken and excited condition, was declaring in the presence of a crowd of persons the details of the pending scheme of crime, and asserting, to quote the language of the deposition-
That there was a plot laid to kidnap or kill the Yankee President, and that they would have him at Richmond inside of a month to split the wood and to cook the Yankee officers grub in Libby Prison.
The witness at once arrested the speaker, placed him in confinement, and reported the circumstance to Winder. When Davis heard of this arrest of the son, as it is expressed, of his particular friend, he sent to Winder for an explanation, and the latter thereupon required the witness to accompany him to the office of Davis. what occurred at this interview is detailed in the deposition as follows:
General Winder said to Mr. Davis that I was the man who had made the arrest and would explanation to him all about it. In reply to Mr. Davis' questions I then related to him what --- (naming the party arrested) - had said and that I had felt it my duty to arrest him. Davis seemed much excited about it, and General Winder said that their plans and schemes would be let out by such damned drunken characters as --- and that he ought to be hung. By this time several other gentleman - naming three persons - had come in, having heard what was going on. General Winder continued talking and said that they must bring the "monkey," meaning President Lincoln, soul and body, to Richmond; but that if they could not bring him alive they must bring his scalp. Mr. Davis then spoke up, saying, "Gentlemen, you must capture him and bring him, if possible, to Richmond without hurting a hair of his head, but if an attempts is made to recapture him you must see that he never reaches Washington alive." Mr. --- (naming one of the three persons) observed that they would require more means than they had to carry out their purposes, to which Mr. Davis answered by saying to General Winder that he must furnish all necessary
* See deposition of Wright, p. 815.