As anti-viral restrictions begin to ease up slightly in the midst of run-up to the 160th anniversary of a most uncivil war, we bring you (in part) local, editorial and national headlines from a time …
As anti-viral restrictions begin to ease up slightly in the midst of run-up to the 160th anniversary of a most uncivil war, we bring you (in part) local, editorial and national headlines from a time when the harmony of Union was almost lost, but then restored.
At the same time and pending fewer restrictions on certain sites (along with the ability to schedule a visit), we hope to improve the “Look Back” section with a full run through from Minnesota statehood to the present, at standard preset intervals. As such, we ask for patience.
114 Years Ago
CANNON FALLS BEACON March 9, 1906 STANTON Locals Mr. and Mrs. Will Smith entertained a small party of young people Monday evening.
Mrs. Harrison Miller has been very sick some days with pneumonia. Gertrude Hegvik Mrs. Gertrude Hegvik, beloved wife of John J. Hegvik, died at her home in Leon, Tuesday, March 6th, of pneumonia. The funeral arrangements were not complete in time for this announcement.
155 Years Ago HASTINGS CONSERVER August 22, 1865 RETURNED.—Among the many returned soldiers we notice Brevet Brig. Gen. W. G. LeDuc, of this city. It is said he intends devoting a portion of his time to agricultural pursuits, and has sent home a variety of valuable animals, including a number of Cashmere goats, to stock his farm. From his well-known activity and energy, we expect his efforts will prove successful.
Expanding the Voter’s Franchise.
The great issue this fall is or seems to be whether… those of African descent… vote or not; whether color is any criterion of manhood. One party holds that those who took up arms in defense of our common liberties are equally entitled to fulfil the no less important duty of a citizen, that of having a voice in the selection of men to preside over affairs of state. The other contends that (he) is intellectually inferior to the whites, and in capable of exercising the judgment requisite for participation at the ballot box. In a measure, both are right. (Those who fought), by their gallant conduct throughout our recent civil war, are entitled not only to their freedom from servitude, but to exercise the rights and privileges of citizenship, voting included. Yet, owing to the severity of their bondage and the hard-heartedness of their task-masters, but a small minority are sufficiently informed to entrust them to the full extent. They must be educated, raised up from the servile condition in which they have fallen, before they should, as a body, have the gift of suffrage conferred upon them.* …Our theory, though by no means a new one, is that mental ability should be the test of right to the elective franchise, rather than color; that a man; whether white or black, should be able to read and write, and at least possess real or personal property in the amount of $200, before being qualified to participate at the polls. This we believe to be the true policy, and, if thoroughly carried out, would work a healthy reform in the present political system.
*This emphasis on education first was essentially shared by Booker T. Washington, a former slave and founder of Tuskegee University, and reflects a sentiment from that era.
The Democratic State Convention The democratic state convention met in St. Paul on the 16th inst., But thirty- eight delegates were in attendance, representing twenty-one counties. The principal business was the adoption of a platform, which is given below. The convention, without making any nominations, adjourned till Sept. 7th, one day after the meeting of the republican convention.
1. Resolved, That the men of all parties rejoice together in the return of a peace which has restored the integrity of the federal union and vindicated its power; and that the policy of wisdom as well as duty for the administration (of Andrew Johnson) to adopt such measures of conciliation as will bring back the era of fraternal feeling, and reunites the lately discordant states in the bonds of a more perfect union.
2. Resolved, That while we deplore the death (on April 15) of our honored chief magistrate, taken off by the hand of an assassin at a moment untimely and critical, we recognize with the highest satisfaction the attitude of his successor in the leading measures of his administration—which recognizes the sovereignty and ignores the suicide of states; that we pledge to his administration our cordial and united support so long and so far as he adheres to fundamental and historic dogmas of the government, which in the past have been cardinal doctrines of the democratic faith 3. Resolved, That the pronounced hostility of the republican press and leaders to President Johnson’s policy of re-organization, coupled as it is with…(resolutions continue online at the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub, a window to past events and thinking).
A MISTAKE.—It is said that the committee on credentials for some time refused to allow the delegation from Dakota County to take their seats in the late democratic state convention because the name of LEWIS SMITH did not appear on the list. Our county auditor has so long acted in that capacity that it was not supposed that a genuine set of delegates could be sent without his name at the head. On being assured, however, that the gentleman was positively absent from home on a visit East, they were admitted with the rest.
160 Years Ago PRESCOTT TRANSCRIPT March 9, 1861 INAUGURAL ADDRESS of President Lincoln Delivered at the Capitol, on Monday the 4th, at 12 o’clock, M.
Fellow Citizens of the United States: In compliance with a custom as old as the Government is itself, I appear before you to address briefly, and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President of the United States before he enters on the execution of the duties of his office. I do not consider it necessary at present to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement. Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the South that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace and their personal acuity are to be endangered.
There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension: indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you…I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins on me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in the States…If the minority in such a case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which will in turn ruin and divide them; for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority shall refuse to be controlled by such a minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this….Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy…If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side of the dispute, there is still not a single reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties. In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not mine, is the momentous issue of civil war.
The Government will not assault you…ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Washington, D. C., March 4, 1861