Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge

January 1. This morning Mason and Slidell and attachés were put on board a tugboat and taken to Provincetown, where the British gunboat “Rinaldo” was waiting. She sailed that night at six in the face of a severe northwest gale.

Mr. William Appleton is failing. He died February 15.

Incendiary fires in the South have become very frequent. They are undoubtedly set by negroes. Charleston, though half burned down, is reported as having been set on fire again in three or four places. At Richmond the theatre has been burned. At Nashville seven hundred thousand dollars of commissariat stores were destroyed by fire; a powder mill near New Orleans was blown up, etc. The distress in Secessia must be very great, the women and children unfortunately suffering for the sins of others.

Published in The Autobiography of T. Jefferson Coolidge, 1831–1920 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923), 37.