Author Archives: Allen Gathman

October 19, 1865: Preparing for the Mass Convention

The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of October 19, 1865 published the call for a Mass Convention in st. Louis to support presidential reconstruction and to oppose the new Missouri constitution with its “cocklebur” oath that kept former Confederates out of … Continue reading

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October 12, 1865: More from Mississippi

As promised, the Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of October 12, 1865 ran the second installment of “Baldface”s report of his travels in Mississippi. This one has some fascinating stuff: the destruction of the railroads, the value of black soldiers, class … Continue reading

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October 5, 1865: A visit to Mississippi

The Cape Girardeau Argus prints a letter from a local who is traveling down the river to Mississippi. It’s interesting how quickly battle sites became objects of tourist interest. The writer’s account of seeing Fort Pillow shows how strongly the … Continue reading

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September 28, 1865: A response to the Boston Letter

(I don’t have a picture of the writer, so here’s Andrew Johnson, to whom the response is addressed.) In late August of 1865, a group of some 200 Bostonians, including a US Congressman, a former president of Harvard, and several … Continue reading

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August 25, 1865: The Boston Letter

Jared Sparks The letter below was signed by a large group in Boston. It makes a detailed argument for black suffrage, based both on justice and expediency. The signers include Jared Sparks, president of Harvard University from 1849-1853, Nathaniel Thayer, … Continue reading

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September 21, 1865: A reply to “Anxious Parent”

Last week a letter to the editor from “An Anxious Parent” asked some probably rhetorical questions about the implementation of the Ironclad Oath in the new Missouri Constitution. This week’s Argus runs a response from a strong Unionist. Mr. Editor: … Continue reading

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September 21, 1865: Challenges to the Ironclad Oath

The Cape Girardeau Argus reports, perhaps with a hint of approval, on some challenges to the new Ironclad Oath in the Missouri 1865 Constitution. The New Constitution Father Cummings, a Catholic priest of Louisiana, Mo., has been fined $500 in … Continue reading

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September 14, 1865: An anxious parent

An item in the Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus, 9/14/1865. Apparently a local is getting a little snarky about the new “Drake” constitution of Missouri, passed in April, 1865, which included the ‘Ironclad’ or ‘Kucklebur’ Oath, which was contained in Article … Continue reading

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August 25, 1865: Welcome, Johnson!

The New York Times reports that the (white) citizens of Richmond invite the new President to visit. A little sucking up as they try to reestablish their hegemony in the state? RICHMOND.; President Johnson and the Cabinet Invited to Visit … Continue reading

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August 24, 1865: Killing off the hotheads

The New York Times speculates, a bit optimistically, that the temporary decline of violence in the South due to the absence of fallen soldiers will continue. The author expects that the abolition of slavery will transform southern culture. Public Order … Continue reading

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