Saturday, May 21, 2011

150-years-ago: Lee praised; Lincoln called 'Old Secessionist'; Germans of the South

Gen. Robert E. Lee
(Library of Congress)
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 21, 1861


There is not probably in the armies of any country in the world a finer specimen of the gentleman and soldier than Gen. Lee. In his profession he has no superior, and when his preparation and arrangements for the great struggle come to be known, it will be seen that nothing has been left undone which the utmost resources of military genius and wisdom could suggest. His devotion to Virginia is unbounded, and never, since the days of Washington, has she had in the field a nobler and more efficient representative.


Lincoln an Old Secessionist.

The Missouri Republican, of April 29, thus proves that Lincoln is fully committed to the doctrine of Secession:

Abraham Lincoln a Teacher of Secession "Philosophy." --It will probably surprise Mr. Lincoln's friends quite as much as we have been surprised, to learn that he is fully and unequivocally committed to the very "philosophy" which he is now endeavoring to "crash out" by bringing to bear against its adherents the whole military power of the Government. Yet such is the fact.

The following is an extract from a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln, (the sameLincoln who is now President of the United States,) in the House of Representatives, January 12, 1848. And in order to enable every reader to assure himself of its authenticity, we will mention that the speech may be found in the Appendix to the Congressional Globe of the 30th Congress, (1st session,) page 94.--The following is a literal extract:

"Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right — a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any Portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, put down a minority, intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their movements. Such minority was precisely the case of the Tories of our Revolution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws, but to break up both, and make new ones."

We may well let this "go to the country" without note or comment. But we must remark that the "philosophy" here taught legitimates and justifies the Southern rebellion in all its extent. On this point there can be no debate. What will Mr. Lincolns friends say to it? For ourselves, we respectfully dissent.

We are indebted for this precious scrap of political history to the researches of the editor of the Watertown Union. It cannot fail to produce some little "sensation." It is to be hoped Mr. Lincoln will treat the subject more at length in his message on the opening of the ensuing extra session.


Confederate soldier with gun and sword.
Liljenquist Family collection (Library of Congress)
 The Germans of the South.

At a large meeting of German citizens, in Savannah, Ga., last week, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, The German adopted citizens at New York, and other places in the United States, in public meetings, and through their newspapers, have declared that the German adopted citizens in the Confederate States were opposed to the Government of these Confederate States, and would not support it, and whereas, as inhabitants of the city of Savannah, we owe supreme and unconditional allegiance to the State of Georgia, which has been so happily exempt from every yoke of tyranny, and which has given us prosperous and happy homes; and whereas, the German population of the Northern States, prompted by ignorance, prejudice and fanaticism, have come forward and proffered their services for the unconstitutional and tyrannical purpose of subjugating us and our fellow-citizens; therefore, be it

Resolved, That we, consider this Government of the Confederate States as constituted and organized with almost the unanimous consent of the governed; and that for this reason we consider it based upon purely Democratic principles.

Resolved, That we, therefore, will cheerfully support this, our new Federal Government, to the fullest extent of our capabilities.

Resolved, That we think those German refugees, the Democratic leaders in Germany in 1848, in our revolutionary movement there, stultify themselves by proposing to bring back by force a people under a Government that they abhor as much as the Venetians abhor the Austrian Government.

Resolved, That while we deeply deplore the necessity forced upon us of perhaps imbruing our hands in the blood of brothers of our dear old Fatherland, yet the cause of the South being our cause, we accept the range of hostility and battle thus offered, and will respond to every call of patriotism, defending our rights, our homes and our firesides to the last extremely, against every and all invaders and oppressors.

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