In an old pamphlet, entitled Address Illustrative of the Nature and Power of the Slave States, and the Duties of the free States, a reprint of a speech delivered by Josiah Quincy, past mayor of Boston and President of Harvard, on Junes 5, 1856 "at the request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Quincy, Mass." I found the following dedication, regarding that year's upcoming Presidential election.
Dedicated to THE PEOPLE OF THE FREE STATES, who are entreated to consider the views and statements it presents.
The question to be decided, at the ensuing Presidential election, is, Who shall henceforth rule this nation, - the Slave States, or the Free States? All the aspects of our political atmosphere indicate an approaching hurricane. Whether it shall sweep this Union from its foundations, or whether it shall be prosperously weathered, depends, under Heaven, on the man whom the people shall choose to pilot them through the coming storm. In my judgment, that man is JOHN CHARLES FREMONT. I have not, and never had, any connection with the party that selected him. Personally, I know him not; but I have read the history of his life, and believe him to be a man as much marked out by Providence for the present exigency of our nation as Washington was for that of our American Revolution.
He comes, from whence great men usually do come, from the mass of the people. Nursed in difficulties, practised in surmounting them; wise in council; full of resource; self-possessed in danger; fearless and foremost in every useful enterprise; unexceptionable in morals; with an intellect elevated by nature, and cultivated in laborious fields of duty, - I truest he is destined to save this Union from dissolution; to restore the Constitution to its original purity;. and to relive that instrument, which Washington designed for the preservation and enlargement of freedom, from being any longer perverted to the multiplication of Slave States and the extension of slavery.
Quincy, July 1856
Of course, the Election of 1856 resulted in the election of the Democratic candidate James Buchanan instead of Fremont.
On this anniversary of perhaps the most famous and most often memorized speech in American history, I was thinking about the Gettysburg Addr...
I'm not really sure how to approach this idea that popped into my head today, but it seems like a good idea or question to mention here ...
Having completed the two essays in Why the Civil War Came that deal with what they called the failure of the American political system, I h...