Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Freeport Question

Stephen A. Douglas Greeley’s New York Tribune ran a story on August 21, 1860 about Stephen Douglas’ stump speech in Augusta, Maine. As always, the Republican Tribune is pretty snide about Douglas. The correspondent reports that an audience member posed … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, Stephen A. Douglas, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

John Brown marches on

An editorial in the New York Times, August 20, 1860: If the disembodied spirit of JOHN BROWN be observant of earthly affairs, and ordinarily conversant with the primary rules of arithmetic, the aspect of affairs in Virginia at the present … Continue reading

Posted in John Brown, Slave insurrection, Slavery, Virginia | Leave a comment

Yancey the Fire-Eater

William Lowndes Yancey The New York Times of August 20, 1860 reports that the Breckinridge Democrats are uneasy: The Seceders have believed that they could either defeat LINCOLN, and by carrying the election into the House secure the Presidency through … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Alabama, John Bell, Secession, Stephen A. Douglas, William Yancey | 5 Comments

Civil fragmentation: Fox and MSNBC in 1860

We hear a lot about the fragmentation of civil discourse in the 21st century because of web sites and networks devoted to specific viewpoints; a very similar situation obtained in 1860, with newspapers playing the roles of Fox News and … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Causes of the war, John Bell, John C. Breckinridge, Stephen A. Douglas | 1 Comment

Missouri split, and the Gov takes a snort

A correspondent writes to the New York Times from St. Louis. Having, during the canvass, traveled through some thirty of the interior counties of the State, and having no political, or other reason for misstating the facts, I know that … Continue reading

Posted in Frank Blair, Missouri | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Coolie Trade

Chinese “Coolie” being whipped on a transport ship (Harper’s Magazine, June 1864) I want to continue yesterday’s discussion of the slave trade. Both excerpts from Southern papers mentioned the “coolie-trade” as a result of restrictions on African slavery; by this … Continue reading

Posted in Slave trade | 1 Comment

The Slave Trade

The slave trade was abolished in America by Congressional action on January 1, 1808, with strong support from both North and South. By the late 1850s, though, a few southern “fire-eaters” were calling for it to be resumed. A couple … Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Causes of the war, Slave trade, Slavery, Stephen A. Douglas, William Yancey | 2 Comments

19th century troll?

In online discussions, “trolling” is the practice of intentionally advocating a position that is calculated to provoke an impassioned reply from others. Someone who does this habitually is a troll. If I’m not mistaken, trolling predates the internet by quite … Continue reading

Posted in Charles O'Conor, Frederick Douglass, New York, Slavery, Virginia | 4 Comments

Who the heck was John A. Dix?

Gen. John A. Dix Well, every time I look at a newspaper article, I wind up getting sucked in to another whole epic. When I looked at the paper for August 13, 1860, the first thing that caught my eye … Continue reading

Posted in John A. Dix, John C. Breckinridge, New York, Stephen A. Douglas | 2 Comments

Signs and portents.

One thing I keep noticing is how many letters to the editor of the New York Times in 1860 tell about meteors people saw. You don’t see that too much now. But then, the letters describe some serious meteors. One … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Walt Whitman | 1 Comment