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Breakup with James Spaulding

William Fidler reports that it was in the last months of 1860 that Augusta decided ‘her love for James Spaulding was not compatible with her love for the South.’   Spaulding had recently founded the New York World and in its pages urged the South to accept the election of Lincoln, warning the South it could not win a civil war and that “with the first overt act of treason, the heavy hand of the executive will fall.”  Augusta is thought to be the author of a series of unsigned articles in the Mobile Press Register some months later excoriating the North in melodramatic terms for its “insult and aggression.”

The correspondence between Augusta and James Spaulding has not survived.  But the war had made them enemies.   “James Spaulding’s zeal for the Union remained undiminished throughout the war,” writes Fidler, “and in all the South there was no more ardent Confederate than Augusta Jane Evans.”   Fidler finds it unlikely they ever corresponded or saw each other again.   Spaulding was stricken with paralysis in the late 1860s and died in 1872.