Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Sensible Representative

William McKee Dunn, courtesy wikipedia
 
The Covington Journal of February 1, 1862 included this commentary from an Indiana politician.

Mr. Dunn, A Republican Representative from Indiana, in a recent speech in the House, said:

"I tell you that, if the general emancipation of Slaves is to be our policy, our Union is forever gone, and there is no redemption for it. We might still have a Union of free States - a great and powerful Union - a Union which would in time throw its shadow over any other Confederacy on this continent; but as to restoring the Union as it was two years ago, it is impossible if we make this a war upon slavery. With four millions in bondage, with all the value of that property as it is called, interwoven with every other interest in the South, and forming the support alike of old age, middle age, widowhood and orphan hood, the attempt to blot it out of existence by a fierce foray on the part of the Government is as wild and chimerical a scheme as ever entered the brain of a madman."

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The "Mr. Dunn" referred to was  William McKee Dunn, who lost his 1862 re-election bid. This was likely part of the nationwide backlash against Republican policies, including President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and the progress (or lack thereof) in winning the war.  This link states that in the the October elections (after Lincoln's proclamation), the Democrats ended up "winning seven of the eleven congressional seats and a large majority in the state legislature."

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