Saturday, April 2, 2016

Early Anti-Civil War Comments

Here are two stories found in the Covington Journal of July 13, 1861. Some fighting in the war had already occurred, but the first Battle of Bull Run - and the realization that this would be a long, hard war - was still a few days away.  Nevertheless, that did not stop one speaker from expressing not anti-war thoughts, but anti-civil war thoughts. It is interesting that he deprecated Civil War, but believed "glory and honor" were available in other wars. The second article also specifically disapproves of civil war and clearly considers the disputes over slavery as a reason for the turmoil, while referring to states' rights as well. 

The second story showcases a bit of the partisanship concerning the war, at least from the media's perspective. I occasionally hear people today complaining about "biased" journalism or of highly partisan politics, but many people do not seem to understand that these issues are nothing new, and often are even less intense than in the past.

It is also noteworthy that both stories mention William Seward, along with Lincoln, as among those to blame, showing that the writers held Seward in high regard - perhaps as high as they held the President at this point -much like Seward himself did.


Untitled Story
Hon. Edmund Burke of Newport, N.H., at a meeting recently called in that city for the purpose of raising funds for a volunteer company, said:

"This war is a war against our own brothers. There is no glory to be won in such a war. There were both glory and honor to be won in a war against a foreign enemy, but not in the miserable business of butchering our own brothers."

True - every word of it, and people are beginning to open their eyes to the unconstitutional acts of Lincoln, Seward & Co., - the men who appear so anxious to have our "hitherto glorious banner made the standard or apologist of Despotism;" and "to have it so stained with the blood of brothers, and covered so thick with the clots of human kindred gore, that we can no longer tell how many stars are on it, or whether any still shine there!"

This was reprinted from the Bridgeport Farmer of Connecticut

The Democracy Against the War
Our exchanges from all portions of the free States, show that the Democracy are very generally giving their voices against the unnecessary and unnatural civil war, inaugurated by Seward, Lincoln, Giddings &c., for the invasion of Sovereign States, and the abolition of slavery. The Democratic press of the West is beginning to express itself very plainly against the war. And so of the Democratic press of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and other States.

This was reprinted from the Concord Standard of New Hampshire 

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