Friday, March 30, 2012

Cincinnati Enquirer Comments on Wendell Phillips

From the Cincinnati Enquirer of March 31, 1862 comes this story, a virtual follow-up on the story about the riot at Pike's Opera House when Wendell Phillips spoke a few days previously. It sounds like the Toledo Blade really got under the editor's skin and struck a nerve with his kind words toward Phillips.

Note also the talk about maintaining good relations with southern states and the unstated admission that economic interest ruled the writer's passions. In that regard, the author was almost the stereotypical money-grubbing "Yankee," yet the opposition to abolitionism is quite evident.

The article, apparently, was titled Another Negro Agitation Bill, though that does not seem accurate. Maybe the indexing was mixed up.

Is it a wonder that a city that harbors and fosters the Cincinnati Enquirer should mob the scholar, philanthropist and Christian? - Toledo Blade (Rep)

Wendell Phillips, if he is all that the Blade says he is, may nevertheless be a very mischievous  person.  H acknowledges that he has labored for nineteen years to produce a dissolution of the Union, and that he is opposed to a restoration of it as it was. He further acknowledges that no period of his life was so agreeable to his conscience as the nineteen years he was laboring to dissolve the Union. The Cincinnati Enquirer never labored an hour or a moment for the dissolution of the Union, and is warmly for it as the fathers of the Republic made it. The Enquirer was laboring to aver the great calamity of a dissolution, while WENDELL PHILLIPS was laboring to bring it about. The Enquirer, during its long life, has been the supporter of the Union and the Constitution, while WENDELL PHILLIPS has been the reviler and opposer of both - pronouncing the one to be "a league with hell" and the other "a covenant with death." The Enquirer has never labored to sow seeds of discord and hatred between the sections, whose inevitable crops could not be other than tears and blood and national calamity. WENDELL PHILLIPS, on the contrary, as much as any man, North or South, is responsible for the present civil war, and for the lives and treasure it will cost, and the burdens it will impose on the present and coming generations in the way of grinding, oppressive taxation.

The whole interest of the Enquirer was and is wrapped up in the prosperity of Cincinnati and in her avenues of trade and commerce, and the great marts which they reached. What added to the business of the city increased the prosperity of the Enquirer. The constant hum of our workshops and manufactories, the noises made by the arrival and departures of steamboats and railroad trains, the rattling of drays and wagons, the click of the trowel, were all music to our ears, for the spoke of the industry, prosperity and peace of our city. Whatever was calculated to continue and make permanent, these things found in the Enquirer a constant friend and ready advocate. And on nothing did they depend more for success and permanency than in maintaining the most close and amicable relations with the people of the so-called slave States. Those relations the Enquirer strove most assiduously to cultivate. And while those relations were maintained, Cincinnati prospered almost beyond precedent. What has been the condition of the city since those relations were disturbed through the pestilent agitation of the slavery question by WENDELL PHILLIPS and is Abolition coadjutors, every intelligent man among us knows. Who, then, should be fostered the most by Cincinnati, the Enquirer or WENDELL PHILLIPS? The one has been her friend, has grown up with her, is identified with her prosperity and has labored for her success. The other, through the influence of his pernicious and successful efforts to break up the friendly relations between the two sections, and to bring about, alas! too successfully, the dissolution of the Union, has done Cincinnati irreparable injury. The candid reader can not hesitate as to the answer truth and justice demand should be given.


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