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(caption) To the Army and People of Kentucky
John T. Pickett
From the John Hunt Morgan Papers, call number 2842, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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RICHMOND, January 8th, 1864.
My friends have induced me to become a candidate to represent the eighth Congressional District composed of the counties of Henry, Trimble, Carroll, Gallatin, Boone, Grant, Kenton and Campbell, in the Congress of the Confederate States.
Peculiar circumstaeces place me in the most disadvantageous condition of being personally unknown to most of my fellow-citizens of Kentucky. I may, therefore, be pardoned for introducing so much of my personal history as to say that I was born in Kentucky, and spent most of my youth there, and have never voted nor acquired a domicil in any other State than that of my birth. It is true, many years of my manhood have been passed in the public service--having been honored with foreign appointments under the administrations of Presidents Polk, Pierce and Buchanan, but I have yet to learn that representing one's country in a foreign land could disfranchise a citizen, or even his children born abroad. My last place of residence was Newport, Campbell county, and it was whilst making my home there that I was appointed consul to Vera Cruz; which position I held at the time of the election of Lincoln, but which I resigned before his inauguration, and entered the Confederate States service. In May, 1861, I was honored by President Davis with the important trust of Commissioner to Mexico. Returning in May, 1862, I was appointed to a position in the army and assinged to duty as chief of staff to our own noble Breckinridge, with whose gallant division I served a campaign in Mississippi. Broken in health, I have been obliged to retire from active service, but have devoted myself in another mode to the public good and to the cause of the soldier, in whom alone is the hope of the country.
Fellow-citizens, I have no ambition other than the redemption of our beautiful State and the independence of our common country. If you think that many years passed in the observation and study of the systems and polity of other governments qualify me to fill a place in the national councils, I ask your suffrages. I rejoice that party politics cannot enter into this canvass. My esteemed competitors and myself have but a common interest and a common object, otherwise I would not have engaged in this, my first, and probably my last political contest. Should I fail to meet the approval of your vote, I will at least find myself still with a conscience void of reproach and a self-respect undiminished.
JOHN T. PICKETT.