Lincoln’s Proconsul To North Carolina
Edward Stanly was appointed by Lincoln to rule North Carolina as military governor after a Northern invasion had established a toehold in the northeastern part of the State. A native Tarheel, though in California at the outbreak of war, Stanly became disillusioned with Lincoln’s method of preserving the union as he watched shipload after shipload of looted furniture, artwork, pianos, carpets and libraries was taken northward. In a letter to Senator Charles Sumner, Stanly stated that "I was informed that one regiment of abolitionists had conveyed North more than $40,000 worth of property." After his resignation January 15, 1863, he said he had witnessed "the most shameful pillaging and robbery that ever disgraced an army in any civilized land."
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Lincoln’s Proconsul in North Carolina:
June 12, 1862:
"Stanly, the renegade, the traitor governor, appointed by Mr. Lincoln to rule his native State, finds the way of the transgressor hard. He has stopped the Negro schools as being contrary to the Statute Law of North Carolina, by which he has offended his Northern masters, but with a strange inconsistency he ignores the fact (of which Mr. (George Edmund) Badger has reminded him however) that his being here, as Gov, is as much an infringment on our rights, for the Laws of N.C. provide for an election of the Gov by the people. He said that if there was one man in N.C. whom he regarded more than another, one man whom he loved, that man was Richard S. Donnell, & yet the first sight which greeted him on stepping ashore at New Berne was the coffin of Mr. Donnell’s mother with her name & the date of her birth & death cut on it, waiting shipment to NY, her remains having been thrown out to give place to the body of a Yankee officer! Such is our foe.
June 22, 1862:
"We hear that Lincoln has recalled Stanly from the governorship of North Carolina. How true it is that it is hard to serve two masters! The shallow artifice by which he attempted to throw dust in our eyes by professing to govern us by the Statute Laws of N.C. displeased his Northern masters, whilst his being here at all is such an infringement of our rights that no plausibility could even gild the pill.
Richard Dobbs Speight, Gov of NC, was killed in a duel by Edward Stanly’s father many years ago. His grave was violated by the Yankees when they had possession of New Berne, and his skull stuck upon a pole was one of the first objects which met Stanly’s eyes as he landed in New Berne as Lincoln’s governor, appointed to subjugate his native State."
(Journal of A Secesh Lady, Diary of Catherine Edmondston, Beth Crabtree, editor, NCA&H, 1979, pp. 193-200)