Sunday, February 27, 2011

2 different accounts of Lincoln's inaugural journey

The Covington Journal, this time from February 16, 2011, published this pair of very different reports from a couple of Cincinnati newspapers that covered President-elect Lincoln's trip to Washington D.C.

Not the Man for the Times
The Columbus correspondent of the Cincinnati Enquirer , speaking of Lincoln's reception at that place says: 
Mr. Kirk, President of the Senate, welcomed him in a short but pretty speech, though the delivery was a little too much on class-meeting order.  The reply of Mr. Lincoln was an exceedingly commonplace concern. Many Lincoln men muttered, "We are sold; he is not the man for the times."

The other article was untitled.

The following from the Cincinnati Gazette, the leading Republican organ of the West, is suggestive: 
 "THE NATIONAL OVATION - The progress of Mr. Lincoln from Springfield to this point has been a continued ovation. The demonstrations of the people have been enthusiastic beyond description. The concourse of the masses, wherever he goes, has been altogether unparalleled. Words and numbers avail little in the way of describing such scenes. Tens of thousands came out to greet him at Indianapolis, and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands have thronged about him. If it were ever doubtful that the hopes of the country repose upon him - that he is looked to with confidence as the chosen instrument for resuscitating the Government, and saving the Union, no many can any longer doubt the fact. The people believe that the man who is to be a second "savior of his country" is now on his way to the national capitol. It is a time of general jubilation and rejoicing, such as was never before witnessed."

I read a few sports message boards and sometimes see posters complaining about "biased" media coverage; this often leads to someone making comments like "What has happened to journalism, when real reporters just reported the facts and did not add their opinions to it?"

Whenever I see that, I have to chuckle and wonder what they would think of journalism of 150 years ago. With the two very different reports from Lincoln's journey (though, of course, both could be true - masses could be happy while a few men may have made disparaging remarks), it appears that maybe the "good old days" of press coverage were not always so good.

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