Saturday, May 10, 2008

John C. Breckinridge's cane

Isaac Bassett, a Senate employee for over 64 years during the 19th Century, left a rich collection of written reminiscences upon his death in 1895. It was his hope that these notes would be used to publish a memoir of his life as a Senate employee (from

I contacted the NARA in January 2008, and one of the archivists burned a copy of Bassett's written notes and collected papers to a DVD and sent it to me free of charge. Since this blog deals with the Army of Tennessee, I thought it might be of interest to delve into General Breckinridge's senatorial past. I have included an excerpt concerning a cane left behind by Breckinridge after his departure from Washington City.

"I have in my posetion [sic] a cain [sic] that that he left at the Capitol when he left during the rebelling it is made of a peese [sic] of the Charter Oak. I consider it quite a relic and would like to keep it but if any of the children comes for it they shall have it on the head of the cain [sic] is the words
The Equality of the States
Connecticut, Kentucky
Presented to Hon. J.C. Breckridge[sic]
By his friends-Hartford Conn’t
Since riting[sic] the above I have delivered the cain[sic] to his son Clifton Breckridge[sic] he was veary[sic] thankful in receiving it" (Bassett, Box 14A, page 13)

More to follow...

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