By Gilbert H. Muller
This definitive twin portrait bargains a clean point of view on Abraham Lincoln and William Cullen Bryant’s an important position in raising him to the presidency. The e-book additionally sheds new gentle at the effect that “Bryant and his category” (as Lincoln known as the unconventional Republican faction whose perspectives Bryant articulated) wielded at the leader govt. How the wary president and the preeminent editor of the Fourth property interacted—and how their ideological conflict tilted progressively in Bryant’s favor—is the center piece of this research. a piece of meticulous scholarship and a version of compression, Lincoln and Bryant is a watershed account of 2 Republicans struggling with universal enemies (and one another) in the course of the Civil battle era.
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Extra info for Abraham Lincoln and William Cullen Bryant: Their Civil War
Are you ready for assimilation? ” If Northern Democrats delighted in branding Lincoln a supporter of Negro equality, Democrats in the South, along with southern newspapers and much of the population, were apoplectic. Dixie’s imagination was on fire over the prospect of emancipated blacks engaging in “robberies, rapes, and murders” as one overwrought Southerner declared. Lincoln himself was labeled the incarnation of John Brown—and, in a now familiar epithet, the descendant of a chimpanzee. He was burned in effigy in public squares and denounced in Southern newspapers.
For his February 7 editorial, “A Democratic Leader,” Bryant made a startlingly personal and vicious attack on an “enlightened” Virginia congressman who argued that slavery was the natural condition of society. A brilliant prose stylist, Bryant ridiculed his adversary: “Was there ever, out of Bedlam, anything more thoroughly crazy that the conceit that slavery is the ‘normal’ or true relation of man to man in society? Slavery is a state which denies the essential humanity of the largest part of the human race; the very laws of it convert men into mere chattels, or at least into brute beasts; it deprives them of the right to property, one of the fundamental conditions of society; it obliterates the ties of marriage, the source of all regular social union; it prevents the free exercise of the human faculties, out of which the progress of society springs; it is incompatible with the education of more than an inconsiderable fraction of the members of society; it produces directly the most enormous social vices, miseries, and convulsions; yet we are told by Mr.
Greeley was not a Lincoln supporter, but nevertheless hailed the Illinois politician as “one of Nature’s orators” in the editorial that accompanied the entire speech on February 28. Bryant also ordered his staff to reproduce Lincoln’s address in full. As he composed his companion editorial, “Mr. Lincoln’s Speech,” Bryant must have been satisfied that his own position on the extension of slavery had been vindicated by the Illinois lawyer. Since the beginning of the year, he had been publishing a stream of biting editorials condemning the Democratic Party, the extension of slavery, and pro-slavery groups in both North and South.