Discussion Just for Curiosity: Pre-War Newspaper Comparison

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The National Era, March 9, 1854

Below: William Seward Senate Speech Continued -

Seward concludes his speech by examining the political gains and losses shared between freedom and slavery throughout the past 15 or so years. He compares the political shifts as a pendulum that swings back and forth, at once to favor freedom then slavery.

In this portion of his speech, we see Seward express a variation on the statement, “the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” He appears to give it his own spin, one that would eventually be popularized (and brought into its modern form) by Martin Luther King Jr. in the next century.

Nevertheless, the concept was first expressed by an abolitionist minister named Theodore Parker, in 1853, less than a year before Seward gave this particular speech. So, I’m assuming Seward heard the expression from Parker or his acolytes, though I have no way of knowing that to a certainty.

Pendulum of Freedom

Seward informs the Senate slaveholders that they must consider for themselves which way they think the pendulum is ultimately swinging. They obviously want it to point toward the abrogation of the Missouri line and the opening up of Nebraska. So be it, Seward seems to say, but he implies that such sentiment is politically shortsighted and fails to take into consideration the universal movement of things toward freedom.

Where slave States may see the political pendulum swinging temporarily from point to point, advantage or disadvantage, Seward sees it as something akin to a truth, momentarily vibrating on a pivot:

“I see in the changes of the times only the vibrations of the needle, trembling on its pivot. I know that in due time it will settle; and when it shall have settled, it will point, as it must point forever, to the same constant polar star, that sheds down influences propitious to freedom as broadly as it pours forth its mellow but invigorating light.”

Struggle Seemingly Eternal

The interests of slave States and free States are not going away. They never have and won’t anytime soon, or so Seward declares. As soon as it is thought issues are settled, dead and buried, those differing interests are eventually resurrected in the halls of Congress and begin to clash all over again:

“Say what you will, do what you will, here, the [differing] interests of non-slaveholding States and of the slaveholding States remain just the same; and they will remain just the same, until you shall cease to cherish and defend slavery, or we shall cease to honor and love freedom!”

Conservatism vs. Progressivism

Neither side, according to Seward, is willing to give ground. That ground, he suggests, is between conservatism and progressivism, and he makes no bones about which side he thinks wrong:

“The slavery agitation you deprecate so much,” Seward informs his fellow Southern Senators, “is an eternal struggle between Conservatism and Progress, between Truth and Error, between Right and Wrong. You may sooner, by act of Congress, compel the sea to suppress its upheavings, and the round earth to extinguish its internal fires, than oblige the human mind to cease its inquirings, and the human heart to desist from its throbbings.”

European and Asian Immigration

The slave interest of the South cannot stop the flood of immigrants pouring in from Europe. These immigrants are “educated, vigorous, enlightened, enterprising freemen,” Seward notes. Twenty years from now, he predicts, these Europeans will be followed up by freemen from Asia.

“You may obstruct, and so turn the direction of those peaceful armies away from Nebraska. So long as you shall leave them room on a hill or prairie, by river side or in the mountain vastnesses, they will dispose of themselves peacefully and lawfully in the places you shall have left open to them; and there they will erect new States upon free soil, to be forever maintained and defended by free arms, and aggrandized by free labor.”

Freemen vs. Slaves

Seward agrees that slavery has “an ever-flowing spring” as well, but the South’s spring pours forth “a blackened tide” that cannot keep up with the volumes of immigrants as he describes above.

Southern slaveholders, he asserts, should be wise enough to understand that these “tides of freemen and of slaves will never meet, for they will not voluntarily commingle.”

If, however, they are somehow forced to mingle, “it is easy to see,” Seward asserts, “which of them will overcome the resistance of the other, and which of them, thus overpowered, will roll back to drown the source which sent it forth.”

Higher Law

Seward informs the Southern Senators that they “may legislate and abrogate and abnegate as you will, but there is a Superior Power that overrules all your actions, and all your refusals to act . . . and overrules them to the advancement of the happiness, greatness and glory of our country - that overrules, I know, not only your actions, and all your refusals to act, but all human events, to the distant, but inevitable result of the equal and universal liberty of all men.”

End -


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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: Senate Speech of George Badger delivered on February 16, 1854 regarding Nebraska Act

Several installments -

Senator Badger, a Whig from North Carolina, proposes to show that the repeal of the Missouri Compromise is not a violation of the principle of good faith; that the bill being offered for its repeal, stating it is “‘inoperative and void,’ is the appropriate method and language which should be used for the purpose of producing the effect designed by this measure.”

The nature of the Missouri Compromise was one of legislation. In fact, Badger notes, it was an act of legislation authorizing the people of Missouri to form a State government and to prohibit slavery in certain Territories.

Section 8 of the Missouri Compromise Act states as follows:


Badger asserts that the language in this Section is plain: “it was intended to apply to all organizations of government, States or Territories.”

The term territory as used in this Section, according to Badger, is all encompassing, particularly as it relates to the prohibition of slavery. That prohibition of the institution is made “without reference to any mutations in the political condition of the domain.”

In other words, the word “territory” applies to all the “land or domain” north of 36-30, and slavery therein is ‘forever prohibited.’”

It was not, Badger declares, meant to prohibit slavery in those domains “until they become States.” It could not have been so. Otherwise, he asks, “how does it happen that out of the territorial organizations we excepted the very State which the act provides should come into the Union?”

The issue back then was whether Missouri should not be compelled by her constitution to exclude slavery.

Some folks claimed Missouri should be allowed to do whatever she pleased, while others claimed that she should be controlled in regard to what she should do when becoming a State.

The arrangement made to resolve the issue was this: “to leave unto Missouri a right she claimed . . . and to relieve her from the restriction or condition which it was proposed by the opponents of the extension of slavery to impose upon her admission into the Union.”

So, according to Badger, the bargain encompassed by the Missouri Compromise essentially came down to this:

That Missouri “should be admitted into the Union with the exercise of her own power and discretion upon [the subject of slavery], provided that slavery should be excluded from the rest of the territorial domain [north of 36-30] acquired by the cession from France.”

Continued -

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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: 2/16/54 Senate Speech of George Badger Continued -

Having concluded that the Missouri Compromise applied to both States and Territories, and that the framers of that law thought it was perpetual in its application to both States and Territories, Badger believes the law was also intended to apply to subsequent territories acquired by the US, not just the territory ceded by France.

This view is in contradistinction to senator Seward and other Northerners who believed the Missouri Compromise line was limited in its scope, i.e., limited to the Territory of Louisiana acquired from France.

Badger finds no evidence in the record that Congress “considered that there was something particular in regard to the territory ceded by France; and that what would be right with regard to that would be wrong with regard to territory which might be ceded by another power.”

Texas Annexation

Senator Badger points to the annexation of Texas to prove his point that the Missouri Compromise line was intended to be extended over subsequent territories:

“When Texas came into the Union,” Badger declares, “the Missouri compromise line was taken up and extended through her, as a matter of course; and. . . [found] just as applicable in principle to Texas as to the particular territory to which it had been originally applied.”

The provision introduced into the joint resolution for the annexation of Texas is as follows:


The Texas legislation simply “took up and applied the rule, which was introduced in the first act, under the name of ‘the Missouri compromise line,’ and applied it to the new territory, as a matter of course.”

According to Badger, the Texas provision “was a clear construction put by Congress, in the year 1845, upon the meaning and interpretation of the exclusion contained in the act for the admission of Missouri passed in 1820.”

Simply put, these legislative provisions represented a policy of intervention by Congress “to establish a geographical line, and to permit slavery one one side the line and excluding it on the other.”

According to Badger, “any exclusion of a power of a State either to admit or to exclude slavery imposed by the government of the United States must be vain, idle, and inoperative, as an act of power.”

Consequently, Badger states, this is why the bill to repeal the Missouri Compromise line contains the language that such Federal legislation is inconsistent “with the principle of non-intervention recognized by the legislation of 1850.”

Continued -

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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: 2/16/54 Senate Speech of George Badger Continued -

Badger explains that a majority of Southerners had attempted to uphold the legislative intent of the Missouri Compromise line in the years before 1850.

He had already shown how the annexation of Texas applied the principle.

Badger continues by recalling how he and other Southerners (as well as some Northern Democrats) “asked nothing, we sought nothing, but the simple recognition of the Missouri Compromise line, as carried still further out upon its original principle, and that it was refused us; and that the territorial governments established in 1850 were constructed in utter disregard of the Missouri compromise.”

Badger finds it “absurd” for Northerners, at this late hour, to “call upon us to maintain a compromise which has been repudiated and disavowed by themselves.”

To prove this accusation, he points to a Senate amendment to the bill to establish the territorial government of Oregon in 1848. The motion to amend was made by Senator Douglas of Illinois, calling for the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific.

The motion is as follows:


Badger states that this motion asked the Senate to “recognize and apply the principle, the postulate, the fundamental truth, the assumed position upon which the resolution of 1820 was based, and carry it to the Pacific ocean.”

The Senate carried the provision by a vote of 33 to 21. According to Badger, every Southerner in the Senate voted for it (see text below for list of names for and against).

However, it did not carry in the House and thus the measure failed. In short, Free Soil Northerners in the House refused to apply the principle - a principle now they wish upheld.


Again, Southerners attempted to uphold the principle of the Missouri line with the admission of California into the Union. Those measures too were voted down by Northern senators and representatives.

Southerners, according to Badger, tried every form possible to uphold the Missouri line in regards to California. In fact, Badger states, Separate motions made by Senators King, Davis (of Mississippi) and Foote to uphold the principle all failed to pass.

Badger tells the Senate that “we have manifold evidences that southern gentlemen upon this floor desired nothing in the world but the Missouri compromise line.”

This was despite differences among Southerners. In fact, Badger recalls, some Southerners “thought the line was a constitutional exercise of power; others thought it was not; but so anxious were they that this whole matter should be closed up, and future agitation avoided, that without reference to any difference of opinion upon the subject, all we asked was the carrying out of the principle established in 1820, by the continuation of the line through the newly-acquired Territories.”

All this to no avail - or so says Badger.

Continued -


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: 2/16/54 Senate Speech of George Badger Continued -

Senator Badger explains that the North continued to repudiate the Missouri line despite Southern attempts to preserve it.

Wilmot Proviso and New Mexico Territory

He points to the Territory of New Mexico, the bulk of which lies south of the Missouri line.

According to Badger, Northerners moved to apply the Wilmot Proviso to the New Mexico Territory instead of recognizing the traditional Missouri Compromise Line.

Badger sees this as yet another prior repudiation by the Northerners of the compromise line which they now wish to somehow reestablish.

He seems to indicate that it is simply too late - or at least inconsistent - for the North to now ask for its return:

“Here were those of us [Southerners], not only arguing, but I may almost say begging, for the recognition of the Missouri Compromise line. We could not obtain it. The Missouri compromise line was rejected; it was repudiated; it was, in effect, declared not to be applicable to those territories, and that the principle of it should not extend to them.”

Badger asserts that the line has now been correctly construed to be inapplicable. If the North had simply applied the Missouri line back then, he seems to say, the present problems would likely have never arisen.

But because the Missouri restriction limited slavery according to latitude, it has been, Badger declares, deemed “‘inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the States and Territories recognized by the legislation of 1850.’”

“Now,” Badger continues to say, “after it has been utterly repudiated, after a totally different system of legislation has been adopted, in defiance of our votes and remonstrances, I think it is a little unreasonable, and a little absurd, that gentlemen should call upon us to respect a compromise which they themselves have destroyed.”

“They have refused to carry out the contract in its spirit and fair meaning,” Badger explains. Yet, he points out, “[t]heyseek to maintain whatever of it is beneficial to themselves, and to disregard all the residue.”

Continued -


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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: 2/16/54 Senate Speech of George Badger Continued -

Slaves: “This is their country as well as ours.”

Senator Badger turns his attention to the 3 million slaves living in America and their relation to the Territories. From his perspective, it is not worth people bothering themselves with “investigating into the propriety of those slaves being here, into the . . . lawfulness of keeping them in the condition of slavery, or into the misfortune or calamity which may result from retaining them in slavery.”

“They are here. They are slaves. They cannot remain here except as slaves. Everybody knows that,” Badger states. “They cannot,” he continues to say, “be put into any situation in our country which will not be vastly more injurious to them, physically and morally, than the identical state and condition which they now occupy.”

According to Badger, the slaves cannot be sent back to Africa: “if you could buy them and remove them,” he speculates, “permit me to say that a more cruel act of tyranny and oppression could not be perpetrated upon any body of men.”

Even if the abolitionists could do this, Badger declares, the slaves themselves would be against it. They “would reject with horror the idea of being transported to those barbarous and foreign climes of Africa.”

According to Badger, American slaves simply have no attachment to that continent. Besides, he continues, “this is their country as well as ours. You cannot remove them; they are obliged to remain here, and they are obliged to be slaves. That is clear.”

Will Be No Competition with Free Labor if Slavery Allowed into Territories

It is obvious to Senator Badger, then, that the correct and moral policy “is to allow this [slave] population to diffuse itself in such portions of the Territories as from climate and soil are adapted to slave cultivation[.]”

In doing so, there would be no competition with free labor, he insists: “Slave labor will not be profitable, and largely employed anywhere, except upon the grand staples of the south - tobacco, cotton, sugar and rice.”

Consequently, Northerners will not have to compete with slaves in the production of these Southern staples. Where the cultivation of these staples ceases, he assures his fellow senators, Northerners can rest assured that “a slave population is not going to spread itself.”

Continued -


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
The North Carolina Standard, June 11, 1856

Below: 2/16/54 Senate Speech of George Badger Continued -

Senator Badger views the Northern position as hypocritical. That position once refused to extend the Missouri line but now wants it reinserted in relation to the Kansa-Nebraska Act.

Again, Badger states that Southerners were willing to extend the Missouri Compromise Line to the Pacific, even though it reeked of Federal intervention. However, in those earlier decades, Northerners refused to extend the line, especially in the years leading up to the 1850 negotiations. In fact, Northern politicians sought to ban slavery, not only in the region above the 36 deg. 30 min. line, but in all areas in the Territories lying south of there. This is seen, for example, in the Wilmot Proviso.

Badger insinuates that if the North had simply agreed to extend the line, then the concept of Congressional non-intervention would have never arisen and all these present troubles non-existent.

Now, however, with the issue of non-intervention decided, the North switches sides, demands that the line be reasserted and slavery prohibited in the Kansas Territory.

To Badger, this is akin to building a “Chinese wall or barrier” around the Southern people and its institutions. Why not, he asks, let the issue of slavery in the Territories adjust itself in conformity to the 1850 measures?

“Live in your free States,” he says. “Rejoice in the possessions of the many advantages you have. But if there is a strip of land belonging to the United States, upon which a Southern planter can make cotton or sugar, why grudge it to him? He reduces no man from freedom to slavery to make it.”

According to Badger, no Southern planter is going to remove his slaves to a region that is not profitable: “he certainly will not do it unless the lands are better, the crops larger, and he and his slaves can live more comfortably . . . .”

“I will ask, in the name of heaven,” Badger offers, “whom does it hurt? You love freedom. We do not ask you to make freemen slaves. You profess to have a regard for the black man; can you resist the only measure which can enable us to make a progressive improvement of his condition as the amount of black population increases?”

“It is, therefore, as it seems to me,” Badger states, “wise and just to pursue the principles indicated in, and out of which sprang, the legislation of 1850. It is unjust to no section of the country.”

Continued -


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio

The content of this speech reveals the beliefs and emotions that many Ohioans had concerning the war in mid-1863. The response to this speech is considered the reason Brough was encouraged to seek the office of Governor.

Though a war democrat, Brough was elected Governor of Ohio on the Unionist Party ticket in 1864, the only governor of Ohio to date who was neither a Republican or a Democrat.

Brough begins his speech by declaring that he has been a lifelong and devoted Democrat and intends to remain so in the future. He did not vote for Lincoln, nor does he agree with some of his policies, but feels all Americans should stand by the President during this time of crisis:

“Although there is a President in office that I did not help to put there, and although in all human probability I would not cast a vote for him to morrow, yet in this great contest I acknowledge him - not the head of a party, but as head of the government, as the Executive officer of the nation. And like a soldier fighting in the ranks, I hold it to be my duty to obey him . . . .”

He asserts that many of his disagreements with Lincoln are minor: “It is not whether this or that man’s rights have been infringed upon, or whether some cannon-wheel has been run over a corner of the Constitution; but the question now is, what is the loyalty of every man to his Government in this contest?”

Slavery as a Domestic Institution

“I have no more delicacy in approaching the topic of slavery than any other,” Brough declares, “but in doing it I will first say that with slavery as a domestic institution, both as to master and slave, I have nothing whatever to do. I have no care in regard to it.”

“I have always been willing to leave [the South] free in the enjoyment of their slaves; and if it be their curse, I have no right to complain that they hug it to their bosoms.”

“And as between the masters and his slaves, I have always been compelled to believe that the servant had the best of it. I have been content that the Southern people should have all the laws desired for the recovery of their slaves when they escape from their bondage, and I would be willing to it now.”

“I don’t wish to disturb the relations existing between them; if they will keep their relations to themselves and away from the people of the free States. I have no disposition to meddle with it.”

Slavery as a Political Institution

“But there is another character of the institution of slavery, and against it I do fight. It is the political character which has been given to it for the last five and twenty years; and that is the character which our people are looking to to-day.”

“So long as the slaveholder was content to keep the institution in his own territory, it didn’t become an element of alarm to either section of the country; but there came up, as long ago as the nullification times of Calhoun, the idea that slavery was to be made the balance of political power in this country.”

“It was contended, on the part of Southern statesmen,” Brough continues to say, “that whenever a free State should be admitted to the Union, a slave State should enter at the same time - that in Congress free and slave States were to be represented equally.”

Brough makes sure his listeners understand his distinction here: “When I speak of slavery in this connection,” he declares, “I desire to be understood as speaking of it in its political character, and not as a domestic institution.”

- continued

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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Lincoln’s Inauguration Did Not Bring About Present Rebellion

Brough argues that the cause of the present Rebellion was not caused by Lincoln’s election but, rather, by the decades’ long Southern thirst for political power and the insistence that the political character of slavery be made the balance of the country.

“Mr. Lincoln has no more to do with the inauguration of this rebellion,” Brough asserts, “than would an act of the Chinese Emperor in his kingdom have done.” Such a declaration, according to Brough, is nothing but a pretext claimed by Southerners:

“The Southern politicians saw what everyone else has seen, that on account of the institution of slavery, the political power of the government was passing out of their hands. They found out long ago,” Brough continues, “what the world could have told them much sooner, that civilization and material prosperity could not go hand in hand with slavery.”

According to Brough, the South began to realize that “the time was not far distant when the States north of Mason’s and Dixon’s Line would control the destinies of this country.”

The South, therefore, said to the North that “you must adopt the rule that slavery should go hand in hand with freedom, in order to preserve the equilibrium of power.”

This, according to Brough, became a great burden to the North: “We struggled under it as long as we could, but when they piled on this additional amount the Democratic resolution staggered at it - They of the South said, it is either that or we will secede and dissolve the Union. . . . You are bound to take this thing or we will secede. Well, they patched up another compromise and nominated Buchanan.”

- continued


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Brough accuses the South of preparing for war long before Lincoln’s election. He alleges that during the Buchanan administration, “men were called into the Cabinet from the Southern States who made themselves busy as bees preparing for the conflict.”

I’m not sure how he connects Buchanan’s Secretary of Navy to the South - it is my understanding that the secretary was Isaac Toucey, a Connecticut man - but he nevertheless asserts that the Navy Secretary “sent forth all the ships of the fleet to far distant seas, whence they could not be recalled short of a year or two.”

Brough also alleges that Buchanan’s Secretary of War (Jeff Davis/ John B. Floyd) “took from the arsenals, in the North, all the guns and munitions he could get at, and crowded them into Southern hands, who had been taught to use them.”

“For four years,” Brough contends, “they were busy disarming us, and quietly engaged in placing the arms among themselves.”

Brough then recounts the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Charleston as additional proof. According to Brough, a cabal of Southern States conspired to make sure no Democrat could win the national election so that they could then use a Republican victory as the pretext for war.

“There was a great many men who knew beforehand what was going to come to pass . . . . There were men there who had determined to create a division between the North and South.”

“They struck down the Democratic Party [at Charleston] because it was in their way. They knew well enough that if they had nominated Douglas [or any other candidate] and given him an honorable support in the South, he would have been elected. But if he had been elected, secession would not have been a pretext for inaugurating this rebellion.”

“They split the party in twain,” he continues, “and adjourned to Baltimore, where the same thing was repeated; and it was done for the purpose of getting a pretext for inaugurating this rebellion.”


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Brough turns his attention to those in Ohio who are opposed to the war and the Lincoln Administration. Opponents come in several guises: Those who believe the Republicans are, in reality, Whigs; those who oppose Republican violations of the Constitution; and those who are against the Emancipation Proclamation.

The last of which garners the greatest opposition.

Abolition and the Emancipation Proclamation

Brough announces to the crowd that he thought “Mr. Lincoln was not very wise in issuing his Emancipation Proclamation.” Brough believed at the time that the policy would cause too much division in the country. He states without explanation that “the same thing could have been accomplished in some other way . . . .”

Leaving the “policy” aspect of the Proclamation aside, Brough states that the question at this time is “should the government employ the slaves of the South in putting down this rebellion?”

“If you call this policy abolitionizing the war,” he declares to the crowd, “it is a species of Abolitionism which I have not learned heretofore. Does any man put himself on the ground that it is unconstitutional to use every means, either in the hands of the enemy or our own, to put down the rebellion?”

Legally speaking, slaves are similar to horses and mules, he observes. If the army is allowed to confiscate horses and mules, why not slaves?

“[E]very slave working upon a plantation of the enemy,” Brough observes, “is equal to two men in the rebel army engaged in shooting down the men in the Union army.”

“Do you say we shall not take him, and lead him to fight his own master and oppressor? - Do you want any more of our own race to be slaughtered that we can avoid?”

“You call this abolitionizing the war?”

Brough claims that some orators are insisting that it is unconstitutional to interfere with slavery in the South:

“I should like to know,” he asks “what constitutional right they have? They have the constitutional right to be whipped, if we can do it, and I think we can.”

“The word ‘slave’ is not in the Constitution,” he continues to say. “It is true that it says something about fugitives from labor, and that is all the right in regard to slavery they ever had in the Constitution. All other rights of slavery they obtained under their own State Constitutions.”

Brough announces that the political aspect of slavery is dead and it perished with the sound of the first gun at Charleston. “It is utterly and totally dead, and can never be revived. For this, if for no other reason, the Northern people can never admit the institution into the nation again, even upon an adjustment of the present difficulties, which could hereafter at any moment plunge them into another civil war.”

“You never will settle this contest,” Brough declares, “whether by arms or diplomacy, without removing the cause that produced it.”



Dec 28, 2019
Going back in time to read news papers is great.
I went to the Boston public and looked at old papers. The layout was the same the ads were the same, its like I was reading a modern news paper.
I am lookong forward to reading more.

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Arbitrary Arrests as Dissatisfaction with War

“The old maxim,” Brough tells his audience, “is that the laws are silent in the presence of arms. You have very little right to complain here. . . . There is no doubt of the power of the government to protect itself, under any circumstances.”

“If this power is not inherent in the Government, it is not worth a rope of sand; and the man who had the power, and does not exercise it, is not worthy of his place as a ruler.”

“Suppose we admit that the Constitution has been strained a little,” Bough goes on to say, “it is not strained any further than old Jackson strained it, down in New Orleans, when he arrested Judge Hall.”

According to Brough, if the people are upset about the Administration’s policies, they ought to say: “‘We will let this question alone for the present, and if there is anything wrong that can be remedied by a change, we will not call these men back but put others of greater trust in their places.’”

“We cannot afford to quarrel among ourselves at this time,” he continues. “It is neither good sense or good judgement, to say nothing of sound patriotism.”

Brough insists that Ohioans should not look to some sort of peace compromise either. The South, he asserts, will not hear of it anyway.

“Are you prepared to dissever the bonds of this Union? - Then don’t talk about peace, till you have won it with honor, under the Constitution and the flag, and reduced the rebels to subjection. I tell you that you can win no peace by diplomacy for they will make no concessions to you, and they will spurn you, if you ask them to make it.”


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Brough Addresses Those Ohioans Who Desire Peace

“You tell me you want to stop the shedding of blood. Let me tell you something I know in regard to this point. The men who are fighting our battles don’t want you to make any dishonorable peace to save them. All that those gallant men ask of you is to stop your blessed tongues - stop sowing dissension - stop giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and let them fight out the contest.”

“Is the country suffering in any degree? Have we not the sunshine and shower? Do we not receive the fruits of our labor in due season? Our taxes, you say are heavy, and so they are; but our produce is better, and money is plenty and as good as ever had, and the world is free to our commerce.”

“There is nothing that calls to an honorable peace but the arbitrament of the sword; and he who clamors for any other, does not understand the position we occupy, or is actuated by a motive which I dislike here to name.”


alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Jun 11, 2012
Delaware Gazette (Ohio), June 26, 1863

Below: Speech of John Brough on the Duty of Citizenship, delivered in Marietta, Ohio - continued

Fearing Migration of Emancipated Blacks into North No Reason to Oppose War

“Some one is troubled for fear there will be a vast number of negroes turned loose, who will come up and interfere with Northern labor.”

“[T]here is no use to argue on this question, for where they will go, or what they will do, we must leave for the future to determine.”

“There may be a portion of the blacks that will scatter throughout the North, but a small portion, for the climate and character of the labor will drive them away.”

“The probable result will be that the political character of the institution having been destroyed, emancipation in some form will permit them to remain where they are.”

“But, for fear that such a result may not come to pass, are you prepared to take the other alternative and go down on your knees and sue for peace?”

“Are you ready to let [Southerners] take all this virgin territory of the West, and cover it with their slaves shutting out your brothers and sons from obtaining homes for themselves and their children after them, in order to keep them away from us? Are you prepared to say that you will yield to them again the political power of the nation?”

“You must conquer this rebellion, or submit to a recognition of the Southern Confederacy. You can do but one of these two things; it is folly to attempt anything else, for there can not exist a slave Confederacy and a free Confederacy side by side on this continent. They could not live together.”