Mary Chesnut is one of the most famous southern diarists of the American Civil War. Part of the elite because of her husband’s wealth and high positions in the Confederacy, she rubbed elbows with many prominent personalities of the era, and was an intelligent and perceptive observer of the people and events around her.
On October 15, 1861, she finished her diary entry on a particularly intriguing note. Chesnut wrote: “Lamar (L. Q. C., and the cleverest man I know) [no doubt referring to Lucius Q. C. Lamar, a politician and judge from Mississippi] said to me in Richmond, in one of those long talks of ours, ‘Slavery is too heavy a load for us to carry.‘”
Any thoughts from the readers of Civil War Emancipation about what Mary Chesnut meant in relating what Judge Lamar said?
Source: C. Vann Woodward, ed., Mary Chestnut’s Civil War (New Haven, Ct.: Yale University Press, 1993), 217.