Newspaper Page Text
SECRET OF THE GREAT SEAL OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES
James H. Jones, Body-Servant to President Jefferson Davis, Tells How He Hid It, and Will Never Divuke Pia?
[9p?ort?J fro Th? Tlmea-XMepatoK)
WMhlnston, D. C. October 25.?
Place. Deanewood, D. C; time, now.
But to any one sitting en the porch
of the oooy, little 'home In the twi?
light, watching the moon creep orcr
the big. dark hill and Hetened to the
croaking of the froge down In the
damp hollows beyond the ear tracks,
It didn't aeem like now. For the old
man In the armchair was talking In
low tones about the old day/i. the days
of fifty years ago. He was living
again the past. In the time <rt Are and
?word, of big battles and big men.
when "Richmond rocked to roaring
guns." and history was made anew
at each sunset
"Yes," ho mused, "I am tho man who
hid tho great seal of tho Confederacy,
and am the only person, either dead
or alive, who knows where it 1? to?
It was James H. Jones, who was
epeaklng. Ho 1? now a man of over
eighty years, tall and slender, with
a straight figure that Is clothed In
the same style ho wore fifty years ago
?boots, long frock ooat. black suit,
?mail black tie and high collar. Be?
fore Mr. Davis was made President,
Jones waited on him at the famous
Bt. Charles Hotel In New Orleans, and
when the war broke out and Mr. Davis
was elected 'head of tho Confederacy,
Jones aocomuanled him as a body
servant, but was a free man and was
paid wages for his services. He Is a
native of North Carolina, but of In?
dian descent, his father having been a
Creole and his mother a Chorokee.
The Indian blood shows very plainly
In the swarthy skin and high cheek?
bones, as well as In the tall, lithe fig?
ure that even age cannot bend.
From the day he entered Mr. DaviB's
service till he left him a prisoner at
Fortress Monroe, Jones was a faith?
ful servant and a trustworthy friend
to the whole family. At present Jones
Is living with his son. Dr. William
Jones. In the new Suburb of Deane
-wood, ?Mut (our mllm out on tho
B?nning? line, near Washington.
Ho Tea to Richmond,
"I was with Mr. Davit," the old man
continued. "When he went to Mont?
gomery, which was the first capital of
the Confederacy, and then we moved to
Richmond. The mansion there was a j
big- house, with large pillars and beau-,
tlful grounds. Mr. Davis had a private I
office In the house, but his business |
office wi| down the street. Bvery
morning1 about ten I went down with
him. They were pretty busy ttmes. I
too. There were Cabinet meetings, and ,
I had to show the gentlemen in. And >
every day there were genorals com- I
Ing for consultations. Many a time I I
have seen General Deo come In for a I
talk with Mr. DsvIh. and thorc were |
Generale Stuart and Jackson, too, that
I remember well.
"Life In Richmond then was not gay. I
We had receptlone at the mansion j
sometimes, but no balls, and Mrs. |
Davis had a houseful of young children. ,
There were Willie and Jeff and Joe \
and Miss Maggie and Miss Winnie?
all llttlo children. I remember when
little Joe was killed. It happened that!
all the fnmlly were out of the house, j
the maids were gone and only the I
cook at home. She told me that little [
Joe had fallen, and *-a? probably dead, i
so I ran down to Mr. Davls's office. '
Mrs. Davis was In the room with him, j
and I told them one of che children \
was hurt. It seems the child had been
walking around the rolling of the
porch, which ran high above the
ground, and below was a brick walk.
The fall killed blm.
"While I do not believe In slavery,
I naturally wanted our troops to win.
We In Virginia, especially Richmond,
thought that Yankees were something
awful in those days?that they had ,
horns?and some folks were as afraid j
of a Yankee as they were of Satan I
himself. "Do you know," and tho old I
man's voice sank Into an Impressive
Jame* H. Jones, body-servant to President Jeflerson Davis.
whisper, "I haven't gotten over that
feeling yet?I somehow can't abide a
Yankee this very day!"
"Over the darkening sky flushed the
electric glow that hangs over the city,
a golden mist brighter than the moon?
light. And now, with the glory of the
light from the capital of the nation
of the free shinning down on him, It
seemed strange to hear one speak with
the feelings of fifty years ago.
Shovrs Great Distress.
"I was In Mr. Davit's room when the
news was brought to him of the death
"The Store That Saves You Money"
Not only sells Furniture of every description at
genuine underselling prices and on the most
liberal credit terms, but we guarantee satisfac?
tion to every customer. _
$24.75 Buys this
$35.00 Parlor Suite
Large, massive frames of birch-mahogany and polished, up?
holstered in green plush; an extraordinary value at the price.
New Method Gas
Ranges and Hot
The only guaranteed Gas
Range. Will save you 25 per
cent, in gas bills over any other
make. They possess patented
improvements not found on any
other Gas Range._
$10.75 Buys this
Heavv 2-inch posts and large size fillers; an S18.00 value tor
$9.50 Buys this Exact $12.00 Couch
Solid oak frames and covered in plain velour or rhase leather.
Buys this ex?
t e e d con?
has bent glass
Now is your opportunity to secure Rugs
at a great saving. Nowhere else will you
find a larger assortment of qualities or more
9x12 Tapestry Brussels Rugs,
9x12 Kxtra Quality Velvet
Rugs, S30.00 value .
9x12 Sandford's Axminster
Rugs, S35.00 value .
They are here in great
abundance and in all
-?.-oods and finishes.
hogany Rocker, highly
polished and guaranteed
$16.50 JBuys this Exact
tion, and is
at the price.
of General Jackson. I well remomber
his distress, and that he exclaimed:
"The death of Jackson Is the loss of
a hundred thousand men." I also re?
member a little Incident about Gen?
eral Lee. One day?I think it was at
the time of tho Seven Day's fight
around Richmond?Mr. Davis had m?
to drive him and General Dee out In
tho suburbs, to Inspect tho fortifica?
tions. The Yankee army was not very
I far off, either. As we were about to
' start I heard General Deo say to Mr.
Davis: "Mr. Davis, do you think your
coachman Is trustworthy?"
"General Dec," Mr. Davis answered,
"you can trust Jones as well as you
can trust me?wc are perfectly safe
"I never blamed General Lee a bit
for that speech. You see the Yankee
lines were not so far out, but that I
could have run my horses out to them,
and a fine thing It would havo been
for the Yanks to have gotten the
President of the Confederacy and the
commanding-general of the Southern
army at one clip. They got home all
safe, you can bet.
VAbout the seal? Well, it was this
way. The first seal the Confederacy
ever used was made in Montgomery,
and engraved on wood with knives?
It was used to commission Admlrol
I Semmes that became such a famous
I flg/hter afterwards. In Richmond one
came from Baltimore?this was In
! 1863. But the last one. the one that
j Mr. Davis vgave to me to hide, was
j made In England, by ordeTS of Mr.
Mason, and shipped over, coming by
the Fanny, a blockage runner. It ar?
rived in a beautiful rosewood hox. all
Inlaid with pearl and ivory. Just like
a pistol-case. It was made of silver
with some ornamentations of gold nnd
weighed about ten pounds. The face
had a fignire of General Washington on
horseback, a wreath of corn, wheat,
tobacco and cotton flowers, and a
Latin motto. This seal was never
Kntrnwfed With Grrnt Seal.
"Shortly after It came Mr. Davis
j called me into his private office and
i put Jt Into my hands "Jones," ho
said. "I want you to hide this nnd
never tell any one where you put It."
I took the seal and hid it. The seal
la there t?-day. Xo humnn helng, ex?
cept myself, ever knew or ever will
know where I put it
r "It was a sacred trtist given me by
Mr. Davis, that I will not betray and ,
I I will go down to my grave with Itj
i safe. Mr. Davis himself ? never asked |
j me where I put it. Time and again!
j people havo tried to get the secret |
I awny from me?but they never could, i
II remember one man. a lawyer, talked
I to me for five hours trying to worm]
I out the Information, but he did not '?
? succeed. Another man told me ho
I would give me $15,000 for the secret.
( But I will never betray my trust.
"It has been said that tho Yankee
, army, w.hen it tcok Richmond, got. the!
I seal and brought it to Washington;]
; that is not true. It. was hidden by mo j
where no man knows, and where no
j man will ever know.
"Shortly before General Lee surren
, dered Mr. Davis Intrusted me with an?
other important commission. He called :
me Into his Cabinet room, and I re?
member that many members of It were |
sitting around; amongst them, I think,!
were Secretary Benjamin and Mr.
Reagan. Mr. Davis told me ho wanted1
me to take some government money'
down South?$13,000,000, ho said tlioj
I amount was. Then he gave me in-1
; structlons that I was to go on tlie j
train as far us Newberry, S. C, and j
; deliver the treasure to Captain Parker, i
? "The next day I put the fat My ear
' rlage and team on the car for a blind,
j then plied the kegs of money under
I the fodder. We coupled on the train
j and started out, no one ever dreaming
I that the car w,lth tho carriage, hor.-.es
< and fodder contained $13,000,000 in
j coin. In South Carolina I turned the
I money over to Captain Parker, who
I burled It, but it was afterwards dug
i up by the government officers when
! they deemed it safe from attack.
1 s ii<-nation of Illclinioml.
"Do I remember the evacuation of
Richmond, Was 1 with Mr. Davis when
ho wu.? captured? Yes. I remember our
flight from Richmond as If It were yes
j terday. In early April, ISG5, we all
, knew that the end was probably near,
for Grunt wua dogging General Lee's i
tracks, nnd our general was about I
worn out. I remember tho last Sunday
,wc were In Richmond. Generals l.ce
and Grant were at AppomattOX, The j
city waited breathlessly for the news, i
A pall of coming disaster hung over,
us. Mr. Davis went to church as usual ;
j Hint morning, and while he was gone
I came a message for him. Knowing It '
j to be Important, I hurried to the |
I church. The family pew was up at ,
j the very front. When I entered tho
' services were being rood, but the win
j gregatlon, seeing mo going with a
I message to the President, know that
I something had happened, and waited.
I psi? the envelope In Mr. Davls's hand;
he broke it open and read it, then rosa
? and walked out of tho church. The
entire consrrscratloM fallowed him. But
he said not a word, only went home.1
The messago told of General Lee's sur?
"Mr. Davis, attended by a small
troop and aovcral of his Cabinet, as
well as by Burton Hurrlson. h's prlvatu
secretary, set out on horseback to go
South. My Idea Is that tho plan was to
Join Goneral Johnston or go to Cuba,
but I never knew fully. The rest of
the family left town on the train,
Joining Mr. Davis when they left the
railroad far South..
Capture of Mr. Davis.
"The capture took place near Irwln
vllle, Ga. We made camp about twi?
light, and J remember that Mr. Davis
had a bad attack of neuralgia, so went
to rest early. We were In a woods of
palm pines, the horses picketed to the
wagons, and tho whole party asleep
early. But as I hod to wash some or
Miss Winnie's clothoe. I remained up.
It was bright moonlight, and I stood
by the fire over tho tub?in faot. I be?
lieve It was that very flro that guided
the Yankees to our camp. Well, along
about 3 o'clock in th* morning 1 saw
a man with a sabre creeping through
the trees. The ground was soft, and
his footsteps made no noise, but I
know It wns none of our parly. So I
called Mr. Harrison.
"I know that the Yankees were try?
ing to catch Mr. Davis, and ns none of
our men hud sabres. It seemod very
plain that the man skulking about in
tho shadow of the pines was after us.
But Mr. Hurrlson refused to call Mr.
Davis, thinking I was unduly alarmed.
I then called to Colonel Lovett, of
\ Texas, but he also refusod to awake
Mr. Davis. Then 1 in turn told Mr.
Reagan, Colonel Wood and Colonel
Johnston, but not a soul wo.uld take
the liberty of waking him.
"Presently from out of the pines, on
all aides, completoly surrounding us,
rode a body of Yankees. I knew that
was the end. I ran Into Mr. Davls's,
tont, whero he and bis wife lay asleep.
I shook him, and ho Jumped up. Ho
was completely dressed oxcopt his
boots, but I grabbed a waterproof capo
and threw it about his shoulders. Ho
started out of the tent door. Just a
fow feet before the tont stood a Yan?
kee trooper, with his gun pointing
right at Mr. DavlB.
"When Mrs. Davis saw this sh'o
rushed out, half-clad as she was, and
begged tho man not to shoot
"I noticed then that I had by mis?
take put Mrs. Davls's cape on Mr.
Davis, so I darted into the tent, got Mr.
Davls's cape, took off the one he had
on, put that on Mrs. Davis and put
tho ono belonging to Mr. Davis on
him. It lb this incident that started
tho famous story about his trying to
escape in woman's clothes. Mr.
Davls's capo wus almost exactly like
that of his wife, and made from tho
same goods. Ho also had a small
shawl about his head on account of
"Well, after I got the capes right,
I knew all was up, go I ..aid to Mr.
Davis that he hnd better come over
to the tire and get a cup of coffee
He and I then walked over to the lire,
where I hud a pot on boiling, and I
handed him a cup. As he stood drink?
ing it. Colonel Prltchard. who com?
manded tho Yankees, came up.
"Is your name Jones?" he said to
"Yes," I answered.
"Is this Mr. Davls's camp?" he
"It is." I said.
"Where is Mr. Davis?" he again
"He is this gentleman standing
hero drinking this coffee,** I made
Truth About Capture.
"Colpnel Pritchard then spoke to
Mr. Davis, and the two men stood for
some ttme In conversation. Mr. Davt"?
never went In any woman's clothing;
never went out with one of the ser?
vants pretending he was going to the
spring, and no Yankee ever laid ills
hand on him?those tales are all rot.
1 was there every minute of the time;
I saw everything that went on, and
what I tell is the truth and the whole
B5BB5B555355S ? ?n 3m --ji
You will find all the latest
novelties. A visit to this de?
partment will convince you
of the great variety we are
and Cluny, m?n Qg
choice, per pair <P&m*J?
Hall and Stair
Big line to select from. All
grades; all colors.
Odd Size Rugs 0?r Spe?
Geo. W. Anderson
215 E. Broad Street.
truth about the capture of Mr. Davis.
"Wo packed up then and went along
with tho Yankees. I wds the only one
of the servants to accompany Mr.'
Davis to Fortress Monroe.
"Yes. air. they were stirring times.
And ?#?' would havo won If only wo
could have got enough men. But tho
Yankees had the men and the money,
And the old man's voice dropped.
"Yankees" wore evidently his pet hor?
ror yet. The wind blow chill up tho
hollow and sang mournfully through
the telephone wlree overhead. Far
off down the track twinkled a row of
electric lights, and sweeping by with
a rattln. bang and glare crashed a trol?
ley car. But tho old man heard It
not. His thoughts were with the past
and Its historic dead, with the states?
men and soldiers of his youth, with
those who had written the life of a
nation on a hundred blood-stained
Heids?and perhaps he longed to be
amongst them?to "cross over the rivet
and rest in the shade of the trees."
Bristol Social News
[Special to Tho Tlmos-Dlspatch.]
Bristol. Va? October 28.?Mrs. Georg?
Kader iirrlved hero from Sherman, Tex.,
this w,oek to visit Mrs. Harry Shelton.
Miss Blancho Wilkinson has entered
school at Oaksmore," & girl's school,
overlooking Long Island Sound.
Mrs. Robert Hunt is visiting rela?
tives in Middle Tennessee, and will go
I thonco to Georgia before returning?
Mrs. S. B. Owen and daughter. Miss
Alice, left this week for their home
In Florida, after spending the summer
and fall In Bristol.
Captuln and Mrs. John H. Preston,
of Seven Mine Ford, were guests of.
their daughter, Mrs. Robert Gray, on
Moore Street, this week.
Mr. and Mrs. D. A- Vinos have re?
turned to Johnson City, efter a. visit
to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hoggs.
Mr. and Mrs. P. S. Shelton have re?
turned to Floyd county, after a visit
to their son. Harry Shelton, and family.
Mrs. Walter Dtckonson, of Castel
wood, Va.. was the guest of Mrs. N. H.
Reeve this week, and from Bristol
went to Jobnaon City to visit her
Mrs. Robert I- Taylor has returned
to Washington. D. C, to Join Senator
Taylor, after a visit to her sisters, Mrs.
B. L, Dulaney and Mrs. H. D. Bach
man, Jr., here.
Miss liulalla Kendrlck has returned
from a visit to friends In Virginia.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sheen announce
the birth of a son, who has been chris?
tened W. G. Sheen II.
Mrs. .T. A. Muse has returivM from
Ashovllle, N. C, whore she visited her
Houston Social News
[Special to The Tlmes-lTtspatch.1
Houston, Vn., October 38.?Tho Rov. James
Brammer, D. D., and Mrs. Grammer, ot
Winchester, are vlsiWn* at the rectory.
Dr. Grammer conducted services at St.
John's Church. Houston, on last Sunday In
tho absenco of the Rov. Flournoy Bouldln.
Mrs. E. G. Dorscy. who for the past fort
nlghtnlght has been visiting- Miss Nannte
Tredwoy, of Danville, returned to her homo
in Houston on Monday.
Miss Mary R. Thornton, of Courtvlew, Is
cntertnlnlng Informally at a house party
In honor of the Rev. James Grommer, D.
D., and Mrs. Orammer. Among others of
Miss Thornton's guests arc Miss Fanny H.
I Coles, of Riverside, Halifax county, and
I Mrs. Mary Green, of Houston.
Miss Mildred Edmunds returned to her
borne In Houston on Monday after spend?
ing the week-end with Mr. and Mrs. Rob?
ert Edmondson, ot South Bwtoh.
Mrs. Frank Wllllng-ham and Miss, Lula
Edmondson returned to Houston on Sunday
evening after eeveral weeks' visit to New
Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Frost, who havo been y
spending some weeks In Keswick, Albe-/
marie, county, have returned to their liome'
Judge William R. Barksdalc, who has
been holding court at Lunenburg Court?
house, returned to his homo In Houston
Dcnjumln Wyehe, of Houston, formerly
librarian nt the Carnegie Library. San An?
tonio, Tex.. Is compiling an Index to the
county marriage records from the year 17S3
to tho present. Besides being a work of
great utility, tho labor of Mr. Wyehe will
prove of great Interest from a historical
viewpoint, during the early years of the
county there being a constant stream of
emigration and Immigration, many fam?
ilies, prominent In the history of the coun?
try, leaving this portion of Virginia for
Ohio. Kentucky and Tennessee, also Mis?
souri. Adddcd interest attaches to Its
valne, as It is learned that Dr. Lyon G.
Tyler, of Wtlllamsburg. will print Instal?
ments of tins Index In the William and
Radford Social News
[Special to The Tiinos-Dispatr.h. J
Radford, Va., October 1%.?Mr. and Mrs.
.fumes Fleming Martin have Issued Invita?
tions to the wedding of their daughter.
Miss Lena Mae. and Walter Reams Rob?
erts, Jr.. to take place Wednesday even?
ing, November S, at 8 o'clock, In ibo First
Baptist Church, East Radford.
In the convention of the Women's Auxil?
iary of the Episcopal Church, meeting In
Salem, KaJford had two missionary repr??
sentatives, John Wilson, secretary of Boone
University at Werchlng, China, and Dea?
coness Adams, of thu Home Mission. Mrs.
Elizabeth Adams was one of the ? dele?
Misses Maggie Epllng and Thelma Mar?
tin left Wednesday for a months' stay to
Williamson and Huntington, W. Va.
C. E. Ep?ng spent a tew days In Hoan
ok? this week.
T. J. Northcroas returned Tuesday from
Mrs. W. A. Wilson returned home Tues
duy after visiting her daughter, Mrs. Ear
ley, in Saltsvllle. ?
Miss Eva shunklln, ot Meadow Creek, Is
visiting Mrs. K. B, Shanklln.
Missis Laura ami Masklu Inglm returned
Wednesday from Itoanoke.
Richard Slmmerman, of Dublin Instltu
1 lion, spent Soturduy and Sunday last with
I Thornton Scott.
j T. W. Simpson has returned home from
North Carolina, where he has boon at
I Charlie Zimmerman, of Roanoke College,
j spent the week-end with his parents, Mr.
wind Mrs. Zimmerman.
Mrs. George, Mitchell and ?ttie ilaughter,
I Margaret, and Miss Blanch Uoyer, arc vls
| Itlng relatives in Johnson City,
i Or. D. E. Motley, of Washington Cbrls
| tin it College, ivas m town this week.
Miss Antonette Harvey returned to her
home In Middle.sburuugh Tuesday after
visiting Misses Laura and Mackle Ingles.
Guy Johnson, of Roanukn College, and
Sidney Juhnson. of University of Virglnlu.
hi>. ;m a few days with their parents thlt
West Point Social News
I i Special to Thu Tlmes-Dlspatch.J
.Vest 1'oliit, October 38.?The Boy
, .Scouts organisation la creating much
, Interest In West Point. Two troops,
consisting of two patrols each, or slx
| teen boys, were formed, The patrol
lenders are as follows: No. 1. Richard
j Bronddus, leader; Charles Uray, t?
si.itiiiit leader. Patrol No. 2, Itlehard
. Corr, lender; assistant lender, OtllO
! Owens. Patrol No. 3. Jack Marshall.
1 leader; Richard Wlllams, assistant.
1 Patrol No. 4, Juck Clements, leader;
i ICddle Wolfe, caststniit leader.
t Mrs. A. U Stratford, of Richmond,
! is u guest of Mrs. Thomas P. Ilagby
1 this week.
Mrs. .lane Wilkinson, Mrs. Joseph
( Wilkltpson and daughter, Elizabeth,
; are visiting friends in Norfolk.
Miss Mae Owens hus returnod from
I a week's visit to friends In Walker
.Mr and Mrs. Philip Hoff man en?
tertained a few friends on their
J. Klwood Corning und A. Julian
Bugby were nt King William Court?
house on Wednesday.
Mrs. George Field has returned from
a visit to her daughter, Mrs. J. C.
Neule, In Chesterfield.
The Thimble Club was entertain**
tatfs. week by Mrs. B. B. Bagby.