Saturday, April 14, 2012

Newspaper Story: Poor Kentucky

Here is a piece from the April 19, 1862 Covington Journal.

Poor Kentucky
Manifestly the Abolitionists hold the opinion that they have used Kentucky to aid in the accomplishment of their schemes. They humored her when her position was equivocal; but now when she cannot recede from a position they helped her to take, they treat her with scorn and contempt. Speaking of the passage by the House of White's abolition resolution, noticed in our last issue, the the (sic)Chicago Tribune says: 
 
"THE KENTUCKY MEMBERS AS USUAL SET UP A HOWL, BUT, HAPPILY OUR ARMS HAVE ADVANCED TOO FAR INTO THE SOUTH, AND IT IS NOT IMPORTANT NOW TO INQUIRE 'WHAT KENTUCKY WILL SAY ABOUT IT.'

---
I find this brief commentary interesting because one of President Lincoln's reasons for not being more aggressive in  pursuing emancipation was his desire not to offend the border states, particularly Kentucky and although he did not issue the first Emancipation Proclamation until 5 months after this editorial appeared, it does look like the Journal was starting to either understand or fear that the movement towards the ending of slavery was gradually going forward and gaining more support.

This also shows the confidence many Union supporters were gaining after successes in the western theater at Forts Henry and Donelson and at Nashville; a few weeks later, this confidence was all but gone after events in Virginia took place.

On the other hand, the line "when she cannot recede from a position" caught my attention as I have been paying more attention to the "Kentucky seceded after the Civil War" cliche and am trying to watch more carefully for signs of that starting during the war. Maybe that line proved to be true in that Kentucky remained in the Union during the war, not "receding" from its place, but once the war ended, anything could go. This line may not be a big deal at all, but it did catch my attention and has me trying to think if it does have any larger meaning, at least to us who benefit from hindsight.

No comments:

Post a Comment