Antebellum: Joyful Times Before the Storm

– 15 May 2017 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

So often the memories of times before a great calamity are colored and distorted by romanticism and nostalgia. It is easy for one to remember golden years filled with prosperity and happiness, all the more heavenly in contrast to the horrors and deprivations that followed.

Yet, in cases where a nation was destroyed, its society uprooted and forcibly transformed, the years preceding such revolutionary changes unquestionably experienced more prosperity and stability and innocence than the bleak years that followed. This was true in the French and Russian revolutions, and it was true for the South in the American Civil War. The following letter demonstrates this fact.

In this letter, written sometime between the years 1850 and 1856, an unknown woman using the pseudonym “Kate Cunnyngham” describes her light-hearted experiences at a fox hunt in rural Tennessee. Several of her letters, which detailed her travels throughout the antebellum South, were compiled in the book The Sunny South, or The Southerner at Home: Embracing Five Years Experience of a Northern Governess in the Land of the Sugar and the Cotton, published in 1860.

Mr. —

Have you ever been fox hunting? If you have, you have seen very respectable, rough and tumble enjoyment ; if yon have not, there are yet before you certain experiences.

I have already spoken of the fine, broadly spread landscape, visible from the portico of Overton Park Lodge. In the late autumnal months when the crops are well gathered, and there is nothing to trample down in the fields, this wide landscape is converted into a vast fox hunting ground, full eleven miles across. By concert the neighboring planters open their fences with many a gap across the country, and so a clear ride of ten or twelve miles is left free to the adventurous huntsman or huntswoman.

Two evenings ago as I was about to mount my beautiful dapple mule, (don’t laugh at my mule, for it is the dearest little fellow with ears like velvet, and feet and fetlocks like an antelope’s, a special gift to me for its beauty and gentleness, from Colonel Peyton,) to pace down the avenue to the turnpike, I was surprised to see suddenly appear in sight a party of seven young gentlemen. They were riding at top speed, and in great glee, and all came dashing up toward the villa at that rapid rate the Tennesseean loves to ride.

“Ah, my boys,” cried the colonel, “who was about to ride out with me, removing his foot from the stirrup, while I hesitated whether to remain on the flight of steps or fly from such a battalion. “Don’t go, Miss Kate. They are only some of the young fox hunters come over to make preparations.”

And before I could escape—

“Miss Conyngham, gentlemen!”

The young men, who drew up their horses on seeing a lady, lifted their caps and hats, and I was struck with their general appearance; four of them being fine-looking, yet dressed in blue linsey woolsey, with boots pulled on over their pantaloons; and the other three in thick coats and caps, or broad felt hats slouched behind—a very common head covering in these parts and not unpicturesque.

Every young man was armed with a gun, and attended at least by two dogs, and beautiful creatures some of them were —not the young men, Mr. —, but the hounds.

“Well, colonel, we have come over to settle upon the day,” said one of the young gentlemen.

“That is right! I like to see the rising generation prompt to engage in such noble sports. I think that the day after to-morrow we will give Reynard our compliments in person. I will have my men ready, and if you will meet me at the edge of the wood, by the lion’s head cliff, at six in the morning, we will do our best for a day’s sport.”

“We’ll be there, colonel,” was the response; “and then we shall stand a chance of bringing down a deer or two,” added one of them. “I saw one on the ridge by the creek as I rode over.”

“No doubt we shall see plenty of sport. And you must accompany us, Miss Kate,” added the colonel turning to me, as I stood with the bridle of my mule in my hand, trying to check his restive movements, for the prancing horses of the young men fired his ambition to prance too.

After suffering myself to be urged a little by two of the young gentlemen, I consented to join the party, if other ladies did so. The cavalcade then escorted us to the gate of the main road, and the horsemen separated each to his own home; while the colonel and I took a forest road, that, after a league’s windings, came out near the villa. As we rode, the colonel entertained me with a great many anecdotes of hunting, from Bruin to the Hare. As we approached the mansion on our return, the avenue was temporarily blocked up by not less than fifty slaves of both sexes; for it was now twilight, and they had just completed their day’s work, and were wending their way to their village, or quartier.

The women carried hoes upon their shoulders, and trudged along, some dull, and with expressionless faces, others laughing and singing. The men, I remarked, were more cheerful than the women, and had more lively countenances. One and all were clad in their coarse white cloth, known as negro cloth— the men with straw hats and the women with handkerchiefs upon their heads. I have not yet seen a negro woman wear a bonnet on Sundays, it is only a gayer kerchief.

As we passed, they drew up on each side of the narrow road for us to pass—the men all taking off, or touching their hats, and replying with a smile to their master’s salutation of “Good evening, boys!” and the women—some of them, slightly nodding, but without the smile. One of them had a huge cotton basket upon her head.
“Peep into it,” said the colonel, as I rode by. I did so, and beheld four little cunning black babies!—they were nestled together, and quite naked. These babies had been taken by their mothers to the field, and while they were at work, were placed under the care of the girl who had them in charge.

I am already getting reconciled to slavery, since I find that it does not, in reality, exhibit the revolting horrors I was taught in the North to discover in it. There are many things to admire and to interest one in the social and domestic condition of the slaves, and I am almost ready to acknowledge that the African is happier in bondage than free! At least one thing is certain: nearly all the free negroes I have ever seen in the North were miserable creatures, poor, ragged, and often criminal. Here they are well clad, moral, nearly all religious, and the temptations that demoralize the free blacks in our northern cities are unknown to, and cannot approach them.

Even many former slaves looked back on their lives before the Civil War with nostalgia, to the point where their narratives are discounted today. In reality, most of them lived harder lives after the war.

As we drew near the front of the villa, my mule, not liking the shrill cry of a superb peacock, which conceived the idea of welcoming us with a song, and a resplendent unfolding of his prismatic-eyed tail, started to run with me at top speed. I am a tolerable rider, and as I could not fall far if I were thrown, the mule being so little and low, I did not feel half the alarm the colonel manifested for my safety, who began to ride after me; when finding his horse only gave fresh impetus to the speed of my mule, he drew rein, and called to a negro man to stop my career. But the mule was not to be stopped. Instead of taking the carriage-way, he bolted across the lawn, and made straight for the stable. To stop him was impossible. I found I might as well pull at a granite column as at his jaws. The door of his stable was open, and I saw that he would only stop at his crib. I measured the ground to spring to it, but the dreadful idea that my skirt might entangle with the horns of the saddle, deterred me. In another moment the stable was reached! The door was open. I threw myself forward, clasped neck and mane, and stooping low went safely in with him. The suddenness with which he stopped at his manger, tossed me into the rack, out of which I was taken unhurt, and with many a joke and laugh upon my mule race. But a mule race is not a fox hunt, you say! Bide a wee, sir.

Yours,

Kate.

Ingraham, J. H., “Letter VII.” The Sunny South, or the Southerner at Home, Embracing Five Years’ Experience of a Northern Governess in the Land of the Sugar and the Cotton, 56-60. Philadelphia: G. G. Evans, 1860.

Janus:

Cycles and seasons govern collective human behavior, whether they are irregular economic cycles from decade to decade, or the lifespan of a nation or civilization across the centuries. Likewise, some primeval force seems to take hold of a people once every human life-span or so, a force that drives a people to stand up and fight their enemies, to die if they have to, to declare that the time for compromise has reached its end because further concessions will ultimately destroy who they are as a people. Sometimes the people aim their wrath at enemies outside the gates, sometimes at the enemies within.

We are living in the cusp of such a time today. Traitors and parasites rule over the white nations of the West. They seek our displacement as a people at the very least, and they are setting the world stage for another fratricidal world war to cement their power. And the white people under their rule remain almost hopelessly confused and divided, ready to kill each other because the time for compromise has reached its limit. The lines are being drawn.

In perhaps months, or maybe a few years, the blood of thousands or millions will flow. And in the years after this season has passed, when whatever remains of the nations struggle to rebuild, the survivors will look back on today’s opulent, relatively peaceful, and carefree years as a golden age. And in many ways, in comparison to the future, maybe these years will actually be golden ones.

As we prepare ourselves for the battles to come, I recommend that we take the time to give thanks for our families and good friends, for the decent people that still exist out there, for good health and good hospitals, for our plentiful food and clean water, and every other joyous and fragile thing that we tend to take for granted. Let us appreciate them while we can.

May the Lord have mercy on us all.

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The War on White Monuments: Duke Supporters and Soros Marxists Clash in New Orleans

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– 24 September 2016 –

Janus:

Janus-smallA Leftist group called “Take Em Down NOLA” led a protest in New Orleans against the slow process of removing four Confederate statues and to demand further removals, particularly to take down the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square.

Via the Kansas City Star:

Hundreds of people turned out Saturday in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter to protest a statue of Andrew Jackson and Confederate monuments in the city.

New Orleans has been struggling with what to do with a number of Confederate-era monuments in the city. The City Council voted last year to remove four of the monuments after heated public meetings but the effort has been stalled in the courts. A major hearing on their removal is slated for Wednesday.

Take Em Down NOLA, a group that has been advocating for the removal of monuments it describes as being linked to the city’s white supremacist history, called for a demonstration Saturday to take down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square to protest the slow progress of taking down the Confederate monuments.

The Jackson statue is not one of the four Confederate monuments that the council voted to remove. Jackson is considered a key figure for leading the defense of the city in an 1815 battle against the British. But Michael Quess Moore, one of the group’s organizers, said Jackson was also a slave-owner who as president signed the controversial Indian Removal Act.

[. . .]

Shortly before the protesters arrived, white supremacist David Duke and a small group of supporters converged on the square, calling for the statue to be protected.

As Duke, who is also running for Senate, talked to supporters he was heckled by bystanders.

“I am here to defend our American heritage. Our Louisiana heritage and our New Orleans heritage,” he said.

The protests were largely peaceful although a few fights broke out between demonstrators. WWL-TV reported that seven people were arrested.

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Bunch of Google degenerates with their printed signs and printed shirts. They appear well-enough funded. And no doubt the old white cuck on the right feels very self-righteous in joining this anti-white protest. I’m sure he brags about his involvement to anyone who will listen.

What is this “Take Em Down NOLA” group anyway?

Their website offers the following description:

We the people of New Orleans demand that the Mayor and City Council take immediate action to remove all monuments, school names and street signs dedicated to White Supremacists. These structures litter our city with visual reminders of the horrid legacy of slavery that terrorized so many of this city’s ancestors. They misrepresent our community. We demand the freedom to live in a city where we are not forced to pay taxes for the maintenance of public symbols that demean us and psychologically terrorize us. We demand:

  1. That the city release a timeline for the immediate removal of the monuments;
  2. That the city expand the definition from 4 specific monuments to encompass all monuments to White Supremacy;
  3. That the city develop a community driven process for the removal of the monuments and the choosing of their replacements.

If you really want to sign the petition, their site mentions that you will receive “periodic updates on activism opportunities from ColorOfChange.org.” Goody.

So what is Color of Change? From the ColorOfChange site:

Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.

The Activist Facts website—which helpfully exposes the funding, agendas, and personnel of various Left-wing activist groups—mentions the Color of Change’s ties to George Soros:

Through the years, Color of Change has received considerable funding from groups controlled by George Soros, the billionaire best known for backing left-wing nonprofit groups. Since 2009, Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) has given $550,000 to Color of Change and its parent organization, Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL). Among other recipients of donations from Soros are ACORN, People for the American Way, and MoveOn.org, where James Rucker previously served as Director of Grassroots Mobilization. Color of Change has had numerous campaign partnerships and close ties with MoveOn.org.

Color of Change “partners” with, and is a project of CEL. CEL directs a number of other projects that could be considered carbon copies of Color of Change—most of these projects seek to engage and mobilize minority citizens to expand their political voice generally through the use of the internet. Similar to Color of Change, these organizations masquerade as champions of suppressed and disadvantaged individuals in order to advance their progressive political agenda.

Effectively, Soros and other billionaires are able to funnel their millions of dollars in donations into MoveOn.org, CEL, and ultimately Color of Change to rally left-wing supporters to vote.

It’s interesting that these types of groups have already expanded their attacks on Confederate symbols to include Andrew Jackson tributes and memorials.

Once local and state governments quickly remove these symbols of whiteness, the Leftists will immediately demand the purge of other white icons, such as Christopher Columbus, most of our slave-owning Founding Fathers, and Henry Ford.

The cultural Marxists will not be satisfied until they have not only removed all of white history, but whiteness itself.

“If Donald Trump is Nominated By the Cleveland Convention What Course Should Establishment Republicans Pursue?”

Cindy+McCain+Ann+Romney+Romney+Visits+Peanut+6HDjvHBpdSJl-480

– 5 March 2016 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiThe situation with the divided Republican Party today, where one group of politicians refuses to support their party’s front-runner and conspires to destroy him at every opportunity, shows a great similarity to the situation of the Democratic Party in 1860 that led ultimately to the Civil War.

The Democratic Party should have won the 1860 presidential election rather than lose to Lincoln and the Republicans. In those days the Democratic Party represented conservative forces throughout the United States, people who wished to preserve the status quo.  The new opposing party, the Republicans, having formed in 1854 out of the abolitionist remnants of the fallen Whig party, continued to pursue a relatively radical agenda that failed to appeal to a solid majority. The conservative Democrats should have easily defeated the radical Republicans.

However, the Democrats could not agree on a candidate. Southern Democrats refused to accept the front-runner, Stephen A. Douglas, because of his moderate stances on slavery in the territories. Unionist Democrats could not agree to the Southern “Fire-Eater” demands to add protections of slavery in the territories to the party platform, believing that such protections would ensure Democratic losses in the Northern states. For various reasons, many of them hidden from the public, neither side would compromise on what should have been a minor issue: the decisions of settlers to settle the question of slavery in their respective territories.

The following article, written in the Louisville Journal on April 20, 1860, demonstrates this stubborn and heated refusal of both sides to compromise on any issue:

The Southern Confederacy, a fire-eating paper that has nominated Alexander H. Stephens for the Presidency and Daniel S. Dickinson for the Vice-Presidency, and keeps their names flying at its mast-head, asks in staring head-lines, “IF STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS IS NOMINATED BY THE CHARLESTON CONVENTION, WHAT COURSE SHOULD THE SOUTHERN STATES PURSUE?” and answers the portentous question as follows:

The South has nothing to fear from a dissolution of the Union, but everything to gain. And whilst we desire its perpetuation upon a constitutional basis, still if it is to be held in tact simply for the purpose of subserving the fanatical interests of a piratical and sectional combination, we would prefer to see it torn into fragments and scattered to the four winds.  The South as a people neither asks nor expects anything but their constitutional rights.  This, if we mistake not, she is determined to have in the future at all hazards.  The nomination of Judge Douglas by the Charleston Convention—by the combined vote of the North, would in our estimation, be an overt act of sufficient importance to cause a dissolution.  For his nomination would be in the name of that party which can only give security to Southern interests.  When that party representing a meagre minority of doubtful proclivities so far forgets the rights of the slaveholding States as to thrust upon them a disguised hypocrite, let them reap as they have sown.  And should any Southern State prove in that convention particeps criminis to so foul a deed, we trust enough will be left whose escutcheons are untainted to retire from the plot house of treason and nominate a ticket that will rally to its standard every true Southron.  Let us have a ticket that is to the “manor born,” and one that will inaugurate Southern Independence in fact and in truth.  In these views we believe we are endorsed by nine-tenths of the Southern people.  Woe unto those at the South who have attempted to inveigle us into the support of the Arnold Douglas.  And woe be unto him from the South who casts a vote for our worst enemy.  It is deplorable indeed that even the name of Judge Douglas is mentioned in connection with the Charleston Convention.  It is significant of the awful fact that there are many amongst us who are ready to surrender the last vestige of hope—the last anchor of protection!

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The stubbornness of Democrats in 1860 led to the division of the party in two and a victory for Lincoln. Had they not split, Lincoln would have lost the election, with the Civil War likely delayed or prevented.

Now, all this rumpus, be it observed, is kicked up by a paper whose avowed first choice for the Presidency stands squarely on the policy of Douglas, and whose avowed first choice for the Vice-Presidency stands squarely on both the doctrine and the policies of Douglas.  That is to say, Stephens assents to absolute non-intervention, and Dickinson subscribes to squatter-sovereignty.  And the Southern Confederacy must be perfectly aware of this.  So much for the sincerity of the most blazing of the fire-eating organs.  The Confederacy’s flourish about Douglas is mere gammon.  If Douglas should be nominated at Charleston, it would presently throw up its cap and bells and shout as loudly over the deed as our neighbor of the Democrat himself.  No doubt of it; and if it didn’t perhaps the result would be much the same.

We entreat the Charleston Convention to pay no regard to this sort of vaporing.  It signifies nothing.  The bark of the fire-eater is deafening but his bite is not in the least hurtful.  In fact, he seldom gets his own consent to bite at all.  His selfishness subdues him.  He is really the most tractable of animals.  Show him which side of his bread is buttered, and he will keep it uppermost, at the cost of every command of the decalogue.  Therefore, let the Charleston Convention proceed, un-awed by these empty fulminations.  Let Douglas be nominated by all means.  He is the best living embodiment of the instincts and tendencies of the Democracy, and we should like at this stage of our history to encounter that destructive and demoniacal spirit in its sharpest and most naked form.  We should like it above most things.  It would save a world of argument touching the character of our adversary if we could just point to the horns and the cloven foot in full view!  Douglas is on every account our first choice for the Charleston nomination.  We hope the Convention will steady its nerves and not take fright at the dramatic roaring of Snug the joiner.

So in those days we had a group of stubborn politicians who vowed, if their hated candidate for president won their party’s nomination, to potentially destroy their own political party, deliberately divide their party to ensure the victory of the opposition, and possibly drag their entire nation into civil war.

And today we likewise have a group of hysterical, uncompromising politicians who vow, if their hated candidate for president wins the nomination, to potentially destroy their party entirely, divide their party ticket to ensure victory for the other party, and to possibly deepen divisions within the country that ultimately lead to civil war.

The parallels to the present time don’t bode well for the near future of the United States.

Louisville Journal XXX, No. 116 (1860): 2

Mark Twain: Concerning the Jews

mark-twain-circa-1999

– 29 October 2015 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillaiIn 1896, Mark Twain wrote an article about political troubles in the Austrian Empire. His description of anti-Semitism in that country generated several letters from American Jews, one of which inspired Twain to write a detailed response in which he analyzes the situation of Jews throughout the world, published in the September 1899 edition of Harper’s Magazine as “Concerning the Jews“.

Twain wrote sympathetically of the Jewish people, citing their civic behavior, charity among themselves, and industriousness along with other upright qualities found among good citizens.  He downplayed religious prejudice as a cause for hatred of the Jews, instead believing that the Gentile, in his inability to compete against Jews on equal terms, grew to disdain this alien people.  Twain then advised Jews to participate more visibly in military service, forming volunteer Jewish fighting units, and to organize themselves as political units, presumably so Gentile nations would find useful allies in Jewish political groups, thus gaining for the Jews the sympathy and cooperation of the ruling classes.

In 1883, the year I was taken, people in the United States did not give much thought about Jews, as they were only a small minority in some of the larger cities.  In Cleveland where I worked, a few Hebrew temples could be found, and Jews owned several businesses, particularly in the garment industry.  From what I could discern, we could only distinguish Cleveland’s Jews from Cleveland’s Christians by the customs of their separate religion, and perhaps, as Mark Twain later wrote in his article, from their conspicuous lack of drunkards and beggars.  Certainly the typical educated American citizen at this time knew of the existence of Jews, and he perhaps engaged in business with them from time to time, but we considered our differences to be religious rather than “racial”, to use a modern term.  While most respectable citizens of my time, including myself, would not associate with the Hebrews in the privacy of our homes because they were non-Christian, we did not find in them anything otherwise objectionable, and in many cases Cleveland’s Jews were highly esteemed.

Keep in mind that large-scale immigration of Jews to the United States really began in the 1880’s, and I lack first-hand experience of these later immigrants who also arrived in Cleveland.  But from what saw in my time, I largely agree with Mark Twain’s assessment in 1899.

Concerning the Jews

By Mark Twain

Some months ago I published a magazine article descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial Parliament in Vienna. Since then I have received from Jews in America several letters of inquiry. They were difficult letters to answer, for they were not very definite. But at last I have received a definite one. It is from a lawyer, and he really asks the questions which the other writers probably believed they were asking. By help of this text I will do the best I can to publicly answer this correspondent, and also the others – at the same time apologizing for having failed to reply privately. The lawyer’s letter reads as follows:

I have read ‘Stirring Times in Austria.’ One point in particular is of vital import to not a few thousand people, including myself, being a point about which I have often wanted to address a question to some disinterested person. The show of military force in the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated the riots, was not introduced by any Jew. No Jew was a member of that body. No Jewish question was involved in the Ausgleich or in the language proposition. No Jew was insulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the Jews were the only ones of the nineteen different races in Austria which did not have a party – they are absolutely non-participants. Yet in your article you say that in the rioting which followed, all classes of people were unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the Jews. Now will you kindly tell me why, in your judgment, the Jews have thus ever been, and are even now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt of baseless, vicious animosities? I dare say that for centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same Jew. It seems to me that ignorance and fanaticism cannot alone account for these horrible and unjust persecutions.

“Tell me, therefore, from your vantage-point of cold view, what in your mind is the cause. Can American Jews do anything to correct it either in America or abroad? Will it ever come to an end? Will a Jew be permitted to live honestly, decently, and peaceably like the rest of mankind? What has become of the Golden Rule?”

I will begin by saying that if I thought myself prejudiced against the Jew, I should hold it fairest to leave this subject to a person not crippled in that way. But I think I have no such prejudice. A few years ago a Jew observed to me that there was no uncourteous reference to his people in my books, and asked how it happened. It happened because the disposition was lacking. I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse. I have no special regard for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a little his way, on account of his not having a fair show. All religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. We have none but the evidence for the prosecution, and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English; it is un-American; it is French. Without this precedent Dreyfus could not have been condemned. Of course Satan has some kind of a case, it goes without saying. It may be a poor one, but that is nothing; that can be said about any of us. As soon as I can get at the facts I will undertake his rehabilitation myself, if I can find an unpolitic publisher. It is a thing which we ought to be willing to do for any one who is under a cloud. We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents. A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order. In his large presence the other popes and politicians shrink to midges for the microscope. I would like to see him. I would rather see him and shake him by the tail than any other member of the European Concert. In the present paper I shall allow myself to use the word Jew as if it stood for both religion and race. It is handy; and, besides, that is what the term means to the general world.

In the above letter one notes these points:

1. The Jew is a well-behaved citizen.

2. Can ignorance and fanaticism alone account for his unjust treatment?

3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?

4. The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.

5. Will the persecution ever come to an end?

6. What has become of the Golden Rule?

Point No. 1.

We must grant proposition No. 1 for several sufficient reasons. The Jew is not a disturber of the peace of any country. Even his enemies will concede that. He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, he is not noisy, he is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is not quarrelsome. In the statistics of crime his presence is conspicuously rare – in all countries. With murder and other crimes of violence he has but little to do: he is a stranger to the hangman. In the police court’s daily long roll of “assaults” and “drunk and disorderlies” his name seldom appears. That the Jewish home is a home in the truest sense is a fact which no one will dispute. The family is knitted together by the strongest affections; its members show each other every due respect; and reverence for the elders is an inviolate law of the house. The Jew is not a burden on the charities of the state nor of the city; these could cease from their functions without affecting him. When he is well enough, he works; when he is incapacitated, his own people take care of him. And not in a poor and stingy way, but with a fine and large benevolence. His race is entitled to be called the most benevolent of all the races of men. A Jewish beggar is not impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but there are few men that can say they have seen that spectacle. The Jew has been staged in many uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as I know, no dramatist has done him the injustice to stage him as a beggar. Whenever a Jew has real need to beg, his people save him from the necessity of doing it. The charitable institutions of the Jews are supported by Jewish money, and amply. The Jews make no noise about it; it is done quietly; they do not nag and pester and harass us for contributions; they give us peace, and set us an example – an example which we have not found ourselves able to follow; for by nature we are not free givers, and have to be patiently and persistently hunted down in the interest of the unfortunate.

These facts are all on the credit side of the proposition that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen. Summed up, they certify that he is quiet, peaceable, industrious, unaddicted to high crimes and brutal dispositions; that his family life is commendable; that he is not a burden upon public charities; that he is not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the reach of competition. These are the very quint-essentials of good citizenship. If you can add that he is as honest as the average of his neighbors – But I think that question is affirmatively answered by the fact that he is a successful business man. The basis of successful business is honesty; a business cannot thrive where the parties to it cannot trust each other. In the matter of numbers of the Jew counts for little in the overwhelming population of New York; but that his honesty counts for much is guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale business houses of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square, is substantially in his hands.

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I suppose that the most picturesque example in history of a trader’s trust in his fellow-trader was one where it was not Christian trusting Christian, but Christian trusting Jew. That Hessian Duke who used to sell his subjects to George III. to fight George Washington with got rich at it; and by-and-by, when the wars engendered by the French Revolution made his throne too warm for him, he was obliged to fly the country. He was in a hurry, and had to leave his earnings behind – $9,000,000. He had to risk the money with some one without security. He did not select a Christian, but a Jew – a Jew of only modest means, but of high character; a character so high that it left him lonesome – Rothschild of Frankfort. Thirty years later, when Europe had become quiet and safe again, the Duke came back from overseas, and the Jew returned the loan, with interest added. ^*

[Footnote *: Here is another piece of picturesque history; and it reminds us that shabbiness and dishonesty are not the monopoly of any race or creed, but are merely human:

“Congress has passed a bill to pay $379.56 to Moses Pendergrass, of Libertyville, Missouri. The story of the reason of this liberality is pathetically interesting, and shows the sort of pickle that an honest man may get into who undertakes to do an honest job of work for Uncle Sam. In 1886 Moses Pendergrass put in a bid for the contract to carry the mail on the route from Knob Lick to Libertyville and Coffman, thirty miles a day, from July 1, 1887, for one year. He got the postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter for him, and while Moses intended that his bid should be $400, his scribe carelessly made it $4. Moses got the contract, and did not find out about the mistake until the end of the first quarter, when he got his first pay. When he found at what rate he was working he was sorely cast down, and opened communication with the Post-Office Department. The department informed him that he must either carry out his contract or throw it up, and that if he threw it up his bondsmen would have to pay the government $1459.85 damages. So Moses carried out his contract, walked thirty miles every week-day for a year, and carried the mail, and received for his labor $4 – or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, the route being extended after his bid was accepted, the pay was proportionately increased. Now, after ten years, a bill was finally passed to pay to Moses the difference between what he earned in that unlucky year and what he received.”

The Sun, which tells the above story, says that bills were introduced in three or four Congresses for Moses’ relief, and that committees repeatedly investigated his claim.

It took six Congresses, containing in their persons the compressed virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and cautiously and carefully giving expression to those virtues in the fear of God and the next election, eleven years to find out some way to cheat a fellow-Christian out of about $13 on his honestly executed contract, and out of nearly $300 due him on its enlarged terms. And they succeeded. During the same time they paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions – a third of it unearned and undeserved. This indicates a splendid all-around competency in theft, for it starts with farthings, and works its industries all the way up to ship-loads. It may be possible that the Jews can beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking chances.]

The Jew has his other side. He has some discreditable ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, because he cannot get entirely rid of vexatious Christian competition. We have seen that he seldom transgresses the laws against crimes of violence. Indeed, his dealings with courts are almost restricted to matters connected with commerce. He has a reputation for various small forms of cheating, and for practising oppressive usury, and for burning himself out to get the insurance, and for arranging cunning contracts which leave him an exit but lock the other man in, and for smart evasions which find him safe and comfortable just within the strict letter of the law, when court and jury know very well that he has violated the spirit of it. He is a frequent and faithful and capable officer in the civil service, but he is charged with an unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier – like the Christian Quaker.

Now if you offset these discreditable features by the creditable ones summarized in a preceding paragraph beginning with the words, “These facts are all on the credit side,” and strike a balance, what must the verdict be? This, I think: that, the merits and demerits being fairly weighed and measured on both sides, the Christian can claim no superiority over the Jew in the matter of good citizenship.

Yet in all countries, from the dawn of history, the Jew has been persistently and implacably hated, and with frequency persecuted.

Point No. 2.

“Can fanaticism alone account for this?”

Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for nearly all of it, but latterly I have come to think that this was an error. Indeed, it is now my conviction that it is responsible for hardly any of it.

In this connection I call to mind Genesis, chapter xlvii.

We have all thoughtfully – or unthoughtfully – read the pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity, made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts of the poor, and human liberty – a corner whereby he took a nation’s money all away, to the last penny; took a nation’s livestock all away, to the last hoof; took a nation’s land away, to the last acre; then took the nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a corner which took everything, left nothing; a corner so stupendous that, by comparison with it, the most gigantic corners in subsequent history are but baby things, for it dealt in hundreds of millions of bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds of millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing that its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt to-day, more than three thousand years after the event.

Is it presumable that the eye of Egypt was upon Joseph the foreign Jew all this time? I think it likely. Was it friendly? We must doubt it. Was Joseph establishing a character for his race which would survive long in Egypt? and in time would his name come to be familiarly used to express that character – like Shylock’s? It is hardly to be doubted. Let us remember that this was centuries before the crucifixion.

I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians. I read it in a translation many years ago, and it comes back to me now with force. It was alluding to a time when people were still living who could have seen the Savior in the flesh. Christianity was so new that the people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and had but confused notions of what it was. The substance of the remark was this: Some Christians were persecuted in Rome through error, they being “mistaken for Jews.”

The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing against Christians, but they were quite ready to persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of Christianity? I think so. What was the origin of the feeling?

When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful Sunday-school simplicity and unpracticality prevailed, the “Yankee” (citizen of the New England States) was hated with a splendid energy. But religion had nothing to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to be about five times the match of the Westerner. His shrewdness, his insight, his judgment, his knowledge, his enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in applying these forces were frankly confessed, and most competently cursed.

In the cotton States, after the war, the simple and ignorant negroes made the crops for the white planter on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the plantation, supplied all the negro’s wants on credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of the negro’s share of the present crop and of part of his share of the next one. Before long, the whites detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the negro loved him.

carpetbagger

“The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the plantation, supplied all the negro’s wants on credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of the negro’s share of the present crop and of part of his share of the next one.”

The Jew is being legislated out of Russia. The reason is not concealed. The movement was instituted because the Christian peasant and villager stood no chance against his commercial abilities. He was always ready to lend money on a crop, and sell vodka and other necessaries of life on credit while the crop was growing. When settlement day came he owned the crop; and next year or year after he owned the farm, like Joseph.

In the dull and ignorant England of John’s time everybody got into debt to the Jew. He gathered all lucrative enterprises into his hands; he was the king of commerce; he was ready to be helpful in all profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the rescue of the Sepulchre. To wipe out his account with the nation and restore business to its natural and incompetent channels he had to be banished the realm.

For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four hundred years ago, and Austria about a couple of centuries later.

In all the ages Christian Europe has been obliged to curtail his activities. If he entered upon a mechanical trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the business. If he exploited agriculture, the other farmers had to get at something else. Since there was no way to successfully compete with him in any vocation, the law had to step in and save the Christian from the poor-house. Trade after trade was taken away from the Jew by statute till practically none was left. He was forbidden to engage in agriculture; he was forbidden to practise law; he was forbidden to practise medicine, except among Jews; he was forbidden the handicrafts. Even the seats of learning and the schools of science had to be closed against this tremendous antagonist. Still, almost bereft of employments, he found ways to make money, even ways to get rich. Also ways to invest his takings well, for usury was not denied him. In the hard conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep them in good training and well sharpened up, or starve. Ages of restriction to the one tool which the law was not able to take from him – his brain – have made that tool singularly competent; ages of compulsory disuse of his hands have atrophied them, and he never uses them now. This history has a very, very commercial look, a most sordid and practical commercial look, the business aspect of a Chinese cheap-labor crusade. Religious prejudices may account for one part of it, but not for the other nine.

Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did not take their livelihoods away from them. The Catholics have persecuted the Protestants with bloody and awful bitterness, but they never closed agriculture and the handicrafts against them. Why was that? That has the candid look of genuine religious persecution, not a trade-union boycott in a religious disguise.

The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and Germany, and lately in France; but England and America give them an open field and yet survive. Scotland offers them an unembarrassed field too, but there are not many takers. There are a few Jews in Glasgow, and one in Aberdeen; but that is because they can’t earn enough to get away. The Scotch pay themselves that compliment, but it is authentic.

I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to do with the world’s attitude towards the Jew; that the reasons for it are older than that event, as suggested by Egypt’s experience and by Rome’s regret for having persecuted an unknown quantity called a Christian, under the mistaken impression that she was merely persecuting a Jew. Merely a Jew – a skinned eel who was used to it, presumably. I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian’s inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business – in either straight business or the questionable sort.

In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which frankly urged the expulsion of the Jews from Germany; and the agitator’s reason was as frank as his proposition. It was this: that eighty-five per cent. of the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews, and that about the same percentage of the great and lucrative businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands of the Jewish race! Isn’t it an amazing confession? It was but another way of saying that in a population of 48,000,000, of whom only 500,000 were registered as Jews, eighty-five per cent. of the brains and honesty of the whole was lodged in the Jews. I must insist upon the honesty – it is an essential of successful business, taken by and large. Of course it does not rule out rascals entirely, even among Christians, but it is a good working rule, nevertheless. The speaker’s figures may have been inexact, but the motive of persecution stands out as clear as day.

The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the newspapers, the theatres, the great mercantile, shipping, mining, and manufacturing interests, the big army and city contracts, the tramways, and pretty much all other properties of high value, and also the small businesses, were in the hands of the Jews. He said the Jew was pushing the Christian to the wall all along the line; that it was all a Christian could do to scrape together a living; and that the Jew must be banished, and soon – there was no other way of saving the Christian. Here in Vienna, last autumn, an agitator said that all these disastrous details were true of Austria-Hungary also; and in fierce language he demanded the expulsion of the Jews. When politicians come out without a blush and read the baby act in this frank way, unrebuked, it is a very good indication that they have a market back of them, and know where to fish for votes.

You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation; the argument is that the Christian cannot compete with the Jew, and that hence his very bread is in peril. To human beings this is a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected with religion. With most people, of a necessity, bread and meat take first rank, religion second. I am convinced that the persecution of the Jew is not due in any large degree to religious prejudice.

No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his money he is a very serious obstruction to less capable neighbors who are on the same quest. I think that that is the trouble. In estimating worldly values the Jew is not shallow, but deep. With precocious wisdom he found out in the morning of time that some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and that over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite – but that they all worship money; so he made it the end and aim of his life to get it. He was at it in Egypt thirty-six centuries ago; he was at it in Rome when that Christian got persecuted by mistake for him; he has been at it ever since. The cost to him has been heavy; his success has made the whole human race his enemy – but it has paid, for it has brought him envy, and that is the only thing which men will sell both soul and body to get. He long ago observed that a millionaire commands respect, a two-millionaire homage, a multi-millionaire the deepest deeps of adoration. We all know that feeling; we have seen it express itself. We have noticed that when the average man mentions the name of a multi-millionaire he does it with that mixture in his voice of awe and reverence and lust which burns in a Frenchman’s eye when it falls on another man’s centime.

Point No. 4.

“The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.”

Perhaps you have let the secret out and given yourself away. It seems hardly a credit to the race that it is able to say that; or to you, sir, that you can say it without remorse; more than you should offer it as a plea against maltreatment, injustice, and oppression. Who gives the Jew the right, who gives any race the right, to sit still, in a free country, and let somebody else look after its safety? The oppressed Jew was entitled to all pity in the former times under brutal autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had no way to help his case. But he has ways now, and he has had them for a century, but I do not see that he has tried to make serious use of them. When the Revolution set him free in France it was an act of grace – the grace of other people; he does not appear in it as a helper. I do not know that he helped when England set him free. Among the Twelve Sane Men of France who have stepped forward with great Zola at their head to fight (and win, I hope and believe ^*) the battle for the most infamously misused Jew of modern times, do you find a great or rich or illustrious Jew helping? In the United States he was created free in the beginning – he did not need to help, of course. In Austria and Germany and France he has a vote, but of what considerable use is it to him? He doesn’t seem to know how to apply it to the best effect. With all his splendid capacities and all his fat wealth he is to-day not politically important in any country. In America, as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod-carrier, who had a spirit of his own and a way of exposing it to the weather, made it apparent to all that he must be politically reckoned with; yet fifteen years before that we hardly knew what an Irishman looked like. As an intelligent force and numerically, he has always been away down, but he has governed the country just the same. It was because he was organized. It made his vote valuable – in fact, essential.

[Footnote *: The article was written in the summer of 1898. – Ed.]

You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically feeble. That is nothing to the point – with the Irishman’s history for an object-lesson. But I am coming to your numerical feebleness presently. In all parliamentary countries you could no doubt elect Jews to the legislatures – and even one member in such a body is sometimes a force which counts. How deeply have you concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France, and Germany? Or even in America, for that matter? You remark that the Jews were not to blame for the riots in this Reichsrath here, and you add with satisfaction that there wasn’t one in that body. That is not strictly correct; if it were, would it not be in order for you to explain it and apologize for it, not try to make a merit of it? But I think that the Jew was by no means in as large force there as he ought to have been, with his chances. Austria opens the suffrage to him on fairly liberal terms, and it must surely be his own fault that he is so much in the background politically.

As to your numerical weakness. I mentioned some figures awhile ago – 500,000 – as the Jewish population of Germany. I will add some more – 6,000,000 in Russia, 5,000,000 in Austria, 250,000 in the United States. I take them from memory; I read them in the Cyclopaedia Britannica ten or twelve years ago. Still, I am entirely sure of them. If those statistics are correct, my argument is not as strong as it ought to be as concerns America, but it still has strength. It is plenty strong enough as concerns Austria, for ten years ago 5,000,000 was nine per cent. of the empire’s population. The Irish would govern the Kingdom of Heaven if they had a strength there like that.

I have some suspicions; I got them at second-hand, but they have remained with me these ten or twelve years. When I read in the C. B. that the Jewish population of the United States was 250,000, I wrote the editor, and explained to him that I was personally acquainted with more Jews than that in my country, and that his figures were without a doubt a misprint for 25,000,000. I also added that I was personally acquainted with that many there; but that was only to raise his confidence in me, for it was not true. His answer miscarried, and I never got it; but I went around talking about the matter, and people told me they had reason to suspect that for business reasons many Jews whose dealings were mainly with the Christians did not report themselves as Jews in the census. It looked plausible; it looks plausible yet. Look at the city of New York; and look at Boston, and Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and Chicago, and Cincinnati, and San Francisco – how your race swarms in those places! – and everywhere else in America, down to the least little village. Read the signs on the marts of commerce and on the shops; Goldstein (gold stone), Edelstein (precious stone), Blumenthal (flower-vale), Rosenthal (rose-vale), Veilchenduft (violet odor), Singvogel (song-bird), Rosenzweig (rose branch), and all the amazing list of beautiful and enviable names which Prussia and Austria glorified you with so long ago. It is another instance of Europe’s coarse and cruel persecution of your race; not that it was coarse and cruel to outfit it with pretty and poetical names like those, but that it was coarse and cruel to make it pay for them or else take such hideous and often indecent names that to-day their owners never use them; or, if they do, only on official papers. And it was the many, not the few, who got the odious names, they being too poor to bribe the officials to grant them better ones.

Now why was the race renamed? I have been told that in Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, and often changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer, escape military service, and so on; and that finally the idea was hit upon of furnishing all the inmates of a house with one and the same surname, and then holding the house responsible right along for those inmates, and accountable for any disappearances that might occur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for self-interest’s sake, and saved the government the trouble. ^*

[Footnote *: In Austria the renaming was merely done because the Jews in some newly acquired regions had no surnames, but were mostly named Abraham and Moses, and therefore the tax-gatherer could not tell t’other from which, and was likely to lose his reason over the matter. The renaming was put into the hands of the War Department, and a charming mess the graceless young lieutenants made of it. To them a Jew was of no sort of consequence, and they labelled the race in a way to make the angels weep. As an example, take these two: Abraham Bellyache and Schmul Godbedamned. – Culled from “Namens Studien,” by Karl Emil Franzos.]

If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came to be renamed is correct, if it is true that they fictitiously registered themselves to gain certain advantages, it may possibly be true that in America they refrain from registering themselves as Jews to fend off the damaging prejudices of the Christian customer. I have no way of knowing whether this notion is well founded or not. There may be other and better ways of explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of our Jews got into the Cyclopaedia. I may, of course, be mistaken, but I am strongly of the opinion that we have an immense Jewish population in America.

Point No. 3.

“Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?”

I think so. If I may make a suggestion without seeming to be trying to teach my grandmother how to suck eggs, I will offer it. In our days we have learned the value of combination. We apply it everywhere – in railway systems, in trusts, in trade unions, in Salvation Armies, in minor politics, in major politics, in European Concerts. Whatever our strength may be, big or little, we organize it. We have found out that that is the only way to get the most out of it that is in it. We know the weakness of individual sticks, and the strength of the concentrated fagot. Suppose you try a scheme like this, for instance. In England and America put every Jew on the census-book as a Jew (in case you have not been doing that). Get up volunteer regiments composed of Jews solely, and, when the drum beats, fall in and go to the front, so as to remove the reproach that you have few Massenas among you, and that you feed on a country but don’t like to fight for it. Next, in politics, organize you strength, band together, and deliver the casting vote where you can, and, where you can’t, compel as good terms as possible. You huddle to yourselves already in all countries, but you huddle to no sufficient purpose, politically speaking. You do not seem to be organized, except for your charities. There you are omnipotent; there you compel your due of recognition – you do not have to beg for it. It shows what you can do when you band together for a definite purpose.

And then from America and England you can encourage your race in Austria, France, and Germany, and materially help it. It was a pathetic tale that was told by a poor Jew in Galicia a fortnight ago during the riots, after he had been raided by the Christian peasantry and despoiled of everything he had. He said his vote was of no value to him, and he wished he could be excused from casting it, for, indeed, casting it was a sure damage to him, since no matter which party he voted for, the other party would come straight and take its revenge out of him. Nine per cent. of the population of the empire, these Jews, and apparently they cannot put a plank into any candidate’s platform! If you will send our Irish lads over here I think they will organize your race and change the aspect of the Reichsrath.

You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in politics here, that they are “absolutely non-participants.” I am assured by men competent to speak that this is a very large error, that the Jews are exceedingly active in politics all over the empire, but that they scatter their work and their votes among the numerous parties, and thus lose the advantages to be had by concentration. I think that in America they scatter too, but you know more about that than I do.

Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear insight into the value of that. Have you heard of his plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own – under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At the Convention of Berne, last year, there were delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was received with decided favor. I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let the race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride any more.

Point No. 5.

“Will the persecution of the Jews ever come to an end?”

On the score of religion, I think it has already come to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and there in spots about the world, where a barbarous ignorance and a sort of mere animal civilization prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided. Among the high civilizations he seems to be very comfortably situated indeed, and to have more than his proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no particular matter. By his make and ways he is substantially a foreigner wherever he may be, and even the angels dislike a foreigner. I am using this word foreigner in the German sense – stranger. Nearly all of us have an antipathy to a stranger, even of our own nationality. We pile gripsacks in a vacant seat to keep him from getting it; and a dog goes further, and does as a savage would – challenges him on the spot. The German dictionary seems to make no distinction between a stranger and a foreigner; in its view a stranger is a foreigner – a sound position, I think. You will always be by ways and habits and predilections substantially strangers – foreigners – wherever you are, and that will probably keep the race prejudice against you alive.

800px-18960415_antisemitic_political_cartoon_in_Sound_Money

“History Repeats Itself”. “This is the U.S. in the Hands of the Jews”. Anti-Semitic USA political cartoon in 1896. Portrays Uncle Sam being crucified like Jesus. Two figures labeled “Wall Street Pirates” with caricatured Jewish features poke him with a spear and raise a poisoned sponge to his lips. The tub of poison is labeled “Debt”, the poisoned sponge “Interest on Bonds”, and the spear “Single Gold Standard”. Below, figures labeled “Republicanism” (Caricature of James G. Blaine) and “Democracy” (Caricature of Grover Cleveland) pick Uncle Sam’s pockets.

But you were the favorites of Heaven originally, and your manifold and unfair prosperities convince me that you have crowded back into that snug place again. Here is an incident that is significant. Last week in Vienna a hailstorm struck the prodigious Central Cemetery and made wasteful destruction there. In the Christian part of it, according to the official figures, 621 window-panes were broken; more than 900 singing-birds were killed; five great trees and many small ones were torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far and wide by the wind; the ornamental plants and other decorations of the graves were ruined, and more than a hundred tomb-lanterns shattered; and it took the cemetery’s whole force of 300 laborers more than three days to clear away the storm’s wreckage. In the report occurs this remark – and in its italics you can hear it grit its Christian teeth “. . . lediglich die israelitische Abtheilung des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich verschont worden war.” Not a hailstone hit the Jewish reservation! Such nepotism makes me tired.

Point No. 6.

“What has become of the Golden Rule?”

It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken care of. It is Exhibit A in the Church’s assets, and we pull it out every Sunday and give it an airing. But you are not permitted to try to smuggle it into this discussion, where it is irrelevant and would not feel at home. It is strictly religious furniture, like an acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of those things. It has never been intruded into business; and Jewish persecution is not a religious passion, it is a business passion.

To conclude. – If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent. of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Postscript The Jew As Soldier

When I published the above article in Harper’s Monthly, I was ignorant – like the rest of the Christian world – of the fact that the Jew had a record as a soldier. I have since seen the official statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented in the armies and navies of both the North and the South by 10 per cent. of his numerical strength – the same percentage that was furnished by the Christian populations of the two sections. This large fact means more than it seems to mean; for it means that the Jew’s patriotism was not merely level with the Christian’s, but overpassed it. When the Christian volunteer arrived in camp he got a welcome and applause, but as a rule the Jew got a snub. His company was not desired, and he was made to feel it. That he nevertheless conquered his wounded pride and sacrificed both that and his blood for his flag raises the average and quality of his patriotism above the Christian’s. His record for capacity, for fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in the field is as good as any one’s. This is true of the Jewish private soldiers and the Jewish generals alike. Major-General O. O. Howard speaks of one of his Jewish staff-officers as being “of the bravest and best”; of another – killed at Chancellorsville – as being “a true friend and a brave officer”; he highly praises two of his Jewish brigadier-generals; finally, he uses these strong words: “Intrinsically there are no more patriotic men to be found in the country than those who claim to be of Hebrew descent, and who served with me in parallel commands or more directly under my instructions.”

Fourteen Jewish Confederate and Union families contributed, between them, fifty-one soldiers to the war. Among these, a father and three sons; and another, a father and four sons.

In the above article I was not able to endorse the common reproach that the Jew is willing to feed upon a country but not to fight for it, because I did not know whether it was true or false. I supposed it to be true, but it is not allowable to endorse wandering maxims upon supposition – except when one is trying to make out a case. That slur upon the Jew cannot hold up its head in presence of the figures of the War Department. It has done its work, and done it long and faithfully, and with high approval: it ought to be pensioned off now, and retired from active service.

Twain, Mark, “Concerning the Jews.” Harper’s Weekly, September, 1899.

A Very Different Democratic Party: The Democratic Platform of 1880

election-of-1880

– 12 August 2015 –

Barzillai “19th Century” Bozarth:

19th-century-barzillai

For the election of 1880, the last one in which I had the privilege to participate, the Democratic Party nominated Winfield Scott Hancock, a former Union general who favored states’ rights, against the Republican congressman from my state of Ohio, James Garfield.

Bad blood remained between the two parties because the Republicans had snatched victory from the election of 1876 despite contesting twenty electoral votes that the Democrats would, without doubt, have mostly won.  Democrats in Congress agreed to a compromise in which the Republicans would end Southern reconstruction in exchange for taking all twenty contested electoral votes, thus securing an unjust victory for Rutherford B. Hayes.

The election of 1880 was also very close, with only a few thousand votes separating the two candidates out of more than nine million cast.  I myself voted for Hancock despite Garfield representing my Congressional district in northeastern Ohio.  However, Garfield clearly won the electoral votes necessary to secure the presidency.  It didn’t serve him well, however, as he was killed by an assassin’s bullet just six months after taking office.

It is interesting to compare the party platform of the Democratic Party of 1880, which I generally supported, to the Democratic Party of today, which I now find abhorrent.

In 1880, the Democrats opposed the centralization of federal power and Chinese immigration, while favoring sound currency and civil service reform.  Their platform that year was remarkably succinct.

The Democrats of the United States, in Convention assembled, declare:

1. We pledge ourselves anew to the constitutional doctrines and traditions of the Democratic party as illustrated by the teachings and example of a long line of Democratic statesmen and patriots, and embodied in the platform of the last National Convention of the party.

2. Opposition to centralization and to that dangerous spirit of encroachment which tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever be the form of government, a real despotism. No sumptuary laws; separation of Church and State, for the good of each; common schools fostered and protected.

3. Home rule; honest money, consisting of gold and silver, and paper convertible into coin on demand; the strict maintenance of the public faith, State and National, and a tariff for revenue only.

4. The subordination of the military to the civil power, and a general and thorough reform of the civil service.

5. The right to a free ballot is the right preservative of all rights, and must and shall be maintained in every part of the United States.

6. The existing administration is the representative of conspiracy only, and its claim of right to surround the ballot-boxes with troops and deputy marshals, to intimidate and obstruct the election, and the unprecedented use of the veto to maintain its corrupt and despotic powers, insult the people and imperil their institutions.

7. We execrate the course of this administration in making places in the civil service a reward for political crime, and demand a reform by statute which shall make it forever impossible for a defeated candidate to bribe his way to the seat of the usurper by billeting villains upon the people.

8. The great fraud of 1876-77, by which, upon a false count of the electoral votes of two States, the candidate defeated at the polls was declared to be President, and for the first time in American history, the will of the people was set aside under a threat of military violence, struck a deadly blow at our system of representative government. The Democratic party, to preserve the country from the horrors of a civil war, submitted for the time in firm and patriotic faith that the people would punish this crime in 1880. This issue precedes and dwarfs every other. It imposes a more sacred duty upon the people of the Union than ever addressed the conscience of a nation of free men.

9. The resolution of Samuel J. Tilden not again to be a candidate for the exalted place to which he was elected by a majority of his countrymen, and from which he was excluded by the leaders of the Republican party, is received by the Democrats of the United States with deep sensibility, and they declare their confidence in his wisdom, patriotism, and integrity, unshaken by the assaults of a common enemy, and they further assure him that he is followed into the retirement he has chosen for himself by the sympathy and respect of his fellow-citizens, who regard him as one who, by elevating the standards of public morality, merits the lasting gratitude of his country and his party.

10. Free ships and a living chance for American commerce on the seas, and on the land no discrimination in favor of transportation lines, corporations, or monopolies.

11. Amendment of the Burlingame Treaty. No more Chinese immigration, except for travel, education, and foreign commerce, and that even carefully guarded.

12. Public money and public credit for public purposes solely, and public land for actual settlers.

13. The Democratic party is the friend of labor and the laboring man, and pledges itself to protect him alike against the cormorant and the commune.

14. We congratulate the country upon the honesty and thrift of a Democratic Congress which has reduced the public expenditure $40,000,000 a year; upon the continuation of prosperity at home, and the national honor abroad, and, above all, upon the promise of such a change in the administration of the government as shall insure us genuine and lasting reform in every department of the public service.

  • November 2017
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