Monday, April 23, 2012

An Article on "The Spirit of Abolitionism"

This article appears in the Covington Journal of April 26, 1862. It shows the Journal's usual feelings about the subject, and includes a nice amount of sarcasm in the concluding paragraph.

The Spirit of Abolitionism
"While looking at the scene on the floor of the House, I thanked God even for this war with its present and prospective misery and suffering. Hard as our present experience may seem, terrible as are the aggregate of present suffering, and frightful as are the burdens we must bequeath to our children, the glorious triumphs of right - of which the noisy procession of events is the only minister - could not have been purchased at a less cost. 'Less would not suffice for the agriculture of God. Upon a night of earthquakes he builds a thousand years of pleasant habitation for men. Less than thee fierce ploughshares would not have stirred the stubborn soil."

So writes the Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune in connection with the passage by the House of the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia."I thanked God." For what? For a victory on the field of battle? For an assurance of peace? For a hope of the restoration of the Union, and the renewal of fraternal feeling? Oh, no, for none of these things. Slavery is abolished in the District of Columbia! Thank God for this war, with its present and prospective misery and suffering - for its enormous debt which will be entailed upon our children's children; the widows and orphans it has made; the ten thousand dead at Bull Run and Ball's Bluff and Pittsburg Landing; the twenty thousand wounded men writhing in agony! "Less than these fierce ploughshares would not have stirred the stubborn soil" and brought forth the fruit of abolitionism! This is the exultation of a fiend.

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