Category Archives: Abolitionists

March 30, 1865: Beecher wants to go to Charleston

The prominent abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher is anxious to go to Charleston for the planned celebration of the recapture of Fort Sumter. It’s a big occasion, and he seems a bit impatient with the Secretary of War for not getting … Continue reading

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March 7, 1865: Give us back our monarchy!

Henry Ward Beecher *************************************************************** The editor of the Richmond Daily Dispatch ridicules Henry Ward Beecher’s call for letting black men vote. The piece is almost a self-caricature in its racism, but the anti-democratic underpinning is far more interesting. “This thing … Continue reading

Posted in Confederacy, Henry Ward Beecher, Suffrage | 1 Comment

October 30, 1864: Robert J. Breckinridge speaks

The New York Times reports on the speech given by Robert J. Breckinridge* in Cincinnati. Breckinridge was the uncle of John Cabell Breckinridge, one of Lincoln’s opponents in the 1860 election and now a Confederate general. The uncle, though, had … Continue reading

Posted in Clement L. Vallandigham, George McClellan, Ohio, Robert Jefferson Breckinridge | Leave a comment

July 8, 1864: A challenge from the left

Wendell Phillips writes to the New York Times to confirm his rejection of Lincoln as insufficiently abolitionist. The Independent of this week contains another letter from Mr. WENDELL PHILLIPS. He says, by way of introduction: “I have no wish to … Continue reading

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March 31, 1864: Douglass fair in New Orleans

The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports that New Orleanians are honoring Frederick Douglass for his abolition work. The one-paragraph item contains 7 sets of scare quotes, so the reader will understand that the Dispatch would never refer to Douglass as “illustrious” … Continue reading

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March 21, 1864: Enlisting slaves in Kentucky?

Robert J. Breckinridge The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports that Governor Bramlette of Kentucky opposes union enlistment of Kentucky slaves. He appealed to Robert J. Breckinridge (uncle of John Cabell Breckinridge, but an abolitionist and unionist*) for support, but Breckinridge says … Continue reading

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April 9, 1863: Why should a colored man enlist?

From Douglass’s Monthly, April 1863, an admonition to black men to join the Union army and fight for freedom. WHY SHOULD A COLORED MAN ENLIST? This question has been repeatedly put to us while raising men for the 54th Massachusetts … Continue reading

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February 22, 1863: Epithets

The New York Times analyzes the nicknames used by the two sides against each other, concluding with a tirade against the copperheads. Epithets and Nicknames A Study for the Times. Men betake themselves so naturally to the use of epithets, … Continue reading

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October 1, 1862: Frederick Douglass on the Emancipation Proclamation

Frederick Douglass, in Douglass’ Monthly for October 1862, celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation, and calls for renewed resolve to defeat the rebellion. EMANCIPATION PROCLAIMED Common sense, the necessities of the war, to say nothing of the dictation of justice and humanity … Continue reading

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July 17, 1862: Morgan’s raiders at Robert J. Breckinridge’s farm

Robert Jefferson Breckinridge William C.P. Breckinridge Reverend Robert Jefferson Breckinridge was the uncle of John Cabell Breckinridge. Unlike his nephew, R.J. Breckinridge was a Unionist and an abolitionist, and had been instrumental in the efforts to keep Kentucky in the … Continue reading

Posted in John Hunt Morgan, Kentucky, Robert Jefferson Breckinridge | 1 Comment