Seminary, Dec. 23,1859.
. . . I have the New Orleans papers of the 18th. I see that the election of speaker was still the engrossing topic, John's vote being 112, 114 being necessary to a choice. Still I doubt his final success on account of his signing for that Helper book. Without that his election would be certain. I was at Alexandria yesterday and was cornered by a Dr. Smith, a member of the Board of Supervisors and at present a candidate of this Parish for a seat in the state senate, to which he will surely be elected. He referred pointedly to the deep intense feeling which now pervades the South, and the importance that all educational establishments should be in the hands of its friends. I answered in general terms that I had nothing to do with these questions, that I was employed to do certain things which I should do, that I always was a strong advocate of our present form of government, and as long as it remained I should be true to it, that if disunion was meditated in any quarter I should oppose it, but that if disunion did actually occur, an event I would not contemplate, then every man must take his own course and I would not say what I would do. I still believe somehow or other efforts will be made to draw me out on these points and I shall be as circumspect as possible.
A good many gentlemen and ladies have been here to see the Seminary which begins to attract notice. All express great pleasure at seeing the beautiful building and hope it will become a center of attraction. About the time you receive this we will begin to receive cadets and then things will be pretty lively. I will have nothing to do in the way of teaching this term, my time will be mostly taken up by supervising others, and seeing to the proper supplies and furnishment. . .
SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 86-7