Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Rebel Captured Last Slave Ship, John J. Guthrie-- Part 5: 'I Shall Do What Which My Conscience Enjoins Me'

So, John Guthrie probably had promotion and command in mind as he came across the Atlantic Ocean.  But...,

However, little did the victorious sailors (no doubt anticipating prize money) and their executive officer, Guthrie, know that their was to be the last slave ship captured by the U.S. Navy.  Upon reaching New York on August 25, 1861, they learned that on their voyage home, that fighting between the North and South had begun.  The Civil War was on.

It was a sad moment as they said goodbye to former shipmates and prepared for the next phase of life, often as enemies.

John J. Guthrie faced a tough decision.  He was visited by a senior officer of the U.S. Navy, who said, "Guthrie, I hope you will remain in the service."

According to family tradition, he replied, "I shall do what which my conscience enjoins me, as I understand my duty."

His friend replied, "I know you will," and departed, knowing that Guthrie would head back to Portsmouth.

--Old B-Runner

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