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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harper's Weekly: Southern Reaction to Emancipation Proclamation

Please read the article's from Harper's Weekly, a popular American magazine during the 19th century: Southern Reaction to Emancipation Proclamation. Harper's Weekly (A Journal of Civilization) was an American political magazine based in New York City. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor. During its most influential period it was the forum of the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. By 1860 the Weekly’s circulation had reached 200,000. The article in question begins halfway down the first column, with the headline:

"HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1862.

THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATON IN SECESSIA."

It continues on to the following page. Please comment. Consider: The danger of reporting during the war, how such articles might affect the public perceptions of Lincoln, the war, and how they may be different depending on whether the reader was from the North, South, an immigrant, a free African America, pro-secession, an abolitionist, etc. Honestly, the positions to consider are endless.

20 comments:

cvalenti2 said...

This was the longest time I've ever spent reading a newspaper. It was, unlike most of the other documents, easier to read. It was very informative and interesting so I imagine it appeared that way to the readers 148 years ago. The moment I decided this piece of writing was as awesome as I am saying it is now was on the second column when the word "bugaboo" was used- truly a work of art :,). Bugaboo, my peers, means- something that causes fear or worry. The all-mightiness of this article (language-wise) continued when the word moonshine was used just seconds later- these people were great.
But that's not the point.
This article contained many concepts that were discussed in the book/class. Such include, the South's negative view of Lincoln, their 'fear' of a slave revolt, the ineffective passing of the emancipation proc., etc. Also, this article struck me most when the writer, sounding very biased towards the North, proclaimed that the South was not fearful of being harmed by the slaves if they were to revolt, but they were fearful that if they lost the war, then they would loose their slaves.
This may affect the perception of some in the North as they may have changed their view of why the war was being fought. On the other hand, if pro-Southerners read this article they would grow defensive of the confederacy. The dangers of reporting in this time period must have been great because if a group of pro-Southerners in the North read this, they may feel offended and even hurt the writer of this article or damage the institution it was made in in protest. If the reader were an immigrant, they may be more influenced by this article than others as they may judge the South harshly after reading this because this piece was in favor of the North. But, the immigrant might also take up Southern opinions from this article. For example, the foreigner would agree that Lincoln was an 'ape' or grow in fear of slaves revolting if they lived in the South. If a free African American read this, they may be thankful that someone established the fact that slaves weren't killing families in revolt and that African Americans are not as vicious or so different as they were made out to be.
My question is what would a pro-Southern article have looked like?

Ross said...

I do agree with Sarah regarding her statement that this newspaper was easier to read than previous primary documents and I can begin to see a slight shift in the way they speak and write as it is becoming more like our, modern-american vernacular. Another facet of this article that i found intriguing was the talk about "Negro insurrections" as the author called it. According to the author the North, as well as myself, expected slaves to rise up against the south and rebel in order to help the North free them. He goes on to say there have been some rebellions but that they have been smothered by the South, so much so that they're not important enough to be mentioned in the book or in class. This is a fact that has always surprised me and something I was interested to hear about from a Northerner's perspective. I can only imagine the danger of writing these types of articles during the civil war. One obvious reasons is the fact that it may taint the judgement of people, either residing in the North or South, that are on the fence about their loyalties in the civil war. Say, for instance, a farmer from the Border States gets a hold of this article. Before reading this he had not yet fully developed a thought on the civil war because he doesn't own any slaves. After reading this, because he believes he lives in the South, and this author has thoroughly criticized southern ways he develops a hate for the North and could possibly have even started a small revolt of his own, setting off the delicate situation of the Border States role in the civil war. This, among many other situations, pose a serious threat to the writers and publishers of a newspaper like this one. (i also agree with Sarah that either the specific writer or newspaper itself could be harmed, or in some other way targeted but i didnt want it to seem like i was stealing her ideas.)

michellepleban said...

Right at the beginning of the article the confederates are portrayed as murderers saying that they're not only going to kill soldiers on the battle field but also any northerner who steps on southern land. Reporting during a war can increase the tensions between the two sides. When northerners read this, it probably angered them and made them hate the southerners. But this article also sided with the southerners a little too. The writer comes up with a point on what's going to happen with all the slaves when they are free. He says they'll be more trouble than their owners because they'd have to feed them until they find labor but then again the U.S. keeps expanding so there'll be more work to be done. Articles in the war affected everyone differently because it was the author's opinion on ideas. He's going to write good things on his views while hate on those he doesn't. Not everyone has the same views so there's not doubt people are going to get upset.

jessalves10 said...

I think Michelle is right. Although this author is obviously opposed to slavery and supports the Union side, he also wonders on how freed slaves will affect the nation. I think that if whites can be taught, then so can anyone else, no matter who they are.
I don't agree that the recently amancipated slaves would be more trouble than their owners, though. I realize that yes, it will be harder on the people to have to support these newly freed people as they look for work, but their owners were the ones who went to war with the north. The owners are therefore more trouble. By getting rid of slavery, we at least solve one problem. I think that this author deffinatley had an agreeable stand on slavery and the war, but his views aren't all agreeable. I'm sure that if he offended anyone, they wouldn't feel guilty harming him and teaching him a lesson. If the writer realized how dangerouse this could have been, then he was either very brave or very supportive of his views.

Diana said...

This article describes southerners as very violent people who take fighting in the war quite seriously and harshly. When reporting a news article during the war, there would be high chances of danger to the author, such as it may anger many pro southerners in the Confederacy and even in the Union. The article and our book states,"They call Mr. Lincoln an "ape" a "fiend" a "beast" a "savage" a "highwayman". The author is trying to inform northerners how little respect southerners have towards Lincoln and how much they hate him. By reading this article the public's perception on the war may change because they may have thought differently about the war, but then think of something else when they read this. A person living in the south may have not known how the Conferates dealed with battles and their way of fighting and may actually feel bad for the north. If a Northerner read this, they may have a higher hatred to the south and continue fighting until the win the cause. If a Southerner read this, they may feel offended and harashed by the north in saying what they have done. Yet I completely agree with Michelle that everyone has different views on this topic and those during the Civil War who read this whether in the north or south will have mixed views on what they think. What interested me was how the article said,"The thing, the only thing, which the rebels do fear is the loss of "four thousand millions of property." I believe that this should be something the southerners should be afraid of since they were the revolters and may actually lose all of their land and not the northerners

Yazan said...

after reading ross's novel, im sorry to say that i disagree with him about where he says that their language is easier to read. sure i can see that their language is more informal, but it is still monotonous and boring.
but i did find some of their vocab funny. i guess when they say a negro uprising they mean a revolt? i also like how they diss lincoln. he is an ape, a feind, a highwayman... isnt that supposed to be a theif? it seems that they are trying to find any word to insult him whether or not it is relevant.

BigBri said...

I still do not understand why the south did not like Lincoln so much if he was going to allow slavery in the places that were already in the south. If they can contain their slavery why would they ever secede from the union if they have been using the north by using their cotton to create products. I do not believe that the south's secession was utterly stupid by the south. Everything was basically being provided by the north.
I know everyone has been saying they agree with Michelle about this piece can be interpreted many ways based on the readers viewpoint,but in general, I think everyone, both north and sout, did not like this newspaper like Diana said. For the most part, almost everyone took offense to this whether it be hatred for the south or mad at what the north is saying about the south.,thus people only having one opinion on this newspaper.This newspaper did not really raise morale(not sure bout spelling) within the people.

C.Slotter said...

I think that articles like these were important during the Civil War because they kept both sides informed on what was going on in the war. Both sides could also use articles to convince people to join their side. I think this article is more biased towards the North, especially at the beginning when it shows the confederates as brutal murderers. This article would help the North get more energized and willing to defeat the South. The South would be angered by this article, and would also fight back harder and possibly cause destruction in revenge. I like how Sarah thought of how the immigrants would react. I agree with her; I think the immigrants could side with either the North or the South depending on what ideas they picked up on in the article. For example, a person who payed attention to the slave revolts in the South or the unjustness of the Confederacy might side with the North; a person who picked up on Lincoln's foolishness or the effects of slaves being freed might support the South.

Krista said...

I'm not sure what else I could add because everyone pretty much summed it up, but I can't leave this blank so I'll do my best to form an educated response to the article and others' opinions. I would have to side with Michelle the most because I completely agree that this newspaper took both side, North and South, when it came to discussing the problems brought about by the war. The quote that I found most interesting was , "No man's life was safe below Mason and Dixon's line who exercised the right, guaranteed to him by the Constitution, of saying what he thought upon public affairs: He was insulted, hunted, hung." It made me develop a better understanding of how some Southerners felt they were being stripped of the rights given to them in the Constitution; It relived that it was not just a war for slavery, but a war for equal balance between the North and South. What surprised me the most about this news paper was the section about health and sanitation while serving in the Civil War. Because so many people died of disease during the war I thought it was because the soldiers didn't know any better about sanitation, but doesn't this article show they were informed? It also mentioned the Surgeon General, who is that guy?! He's still around now warning us about the dangers of smoking and drinking. Overall I enjoyed looking through this paper because it gives you a gimps of what the average person thought about the war and about the everyday life of those on and off the battle field.

Jeanette said...

After reading this article, I could see the different views of how people perceived Lincoln. For example, the rebellious southerners disliked him, although it gave them an excuse to secede, and considered him to be an "ape", "fiend", "beast", "savage", and "highwayman". (Abolitionists, and as the book states, "just about every important nonsouthern group", were for Lincoln / the Republican party.) The fact that reporters include peoples’ opinions usually very strongly, such as in this article, leads me to conclude that writers affect the public’s opinion about controversial topics like slavery; to have them sway towards one side. When the writer talks about the war, they say how it “will not have been in vain if its fire purges men's souls of some of the dross of peace”. The author is pro-war in this article, as they find “patriotism and self sacrifice” to be important. Since they act enthusiastic towards the subject, the readers will also be influenced by this.
As to the dangers of reporting during the war, I agree with Diana; that the author is at a great risk of angering the different groups of people. An example of this is when “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published; it was such a strong political force for the abolishment of slavery, and caused the South to resent its northern neighbors even more.

mrowl12345 said...

I am very interested at the souths persistant and stuborn view on slavery at this point in the war. Their entire ecomey is based off of slaves and their cotten and when Lincoln established the Emancipation Proclimation you can tell he means buisness. For Lincoln to declare that all slaves were free in a place where he clearly had no grounds to do so was in my opinion pretty brassy, and i respect that.
Also in the article it mentions the battle at Antietem as they interview a Confederate solder. As we learned in class, the battle at Antietem was a turning point in the war in favor of the union, and it allowed lincoln to publish the emancipation proclimation. Although the emancipation proclimation didnt free any slaves in the south, it did however boost moral in the north and all that buisness. But to hear things from a southern perspective, how they are simply apauled at the fact lincoln would try and abolish slavery and how they will defend it, even with their lives was astonishing. It is interesting to see how the war over restoring the union turned into a war over slavery, which in my opinion is what the war was really over all along.
Also i find it funny how the press loves to criticize lincoln. They call him an ape, a beast and all that jazz. Even in our reading the south seems to have called lincoln every name in the book. I find it interesting how even today people resort to similar tactics when attacking political figures verbal. On an unrelated note, stop with the whole "i read your novel blah blah blah" it was funny once, im talking to you Yazan.

Becky said...

OK FIRST I"M SOOO UPSET BECAUSE I ACCIDENTALLY HIT THE BACK BUTTON WHEN I ALREADY HAD WRITTEN A NOVEL!!!! Alright basically I, like Ross, always wondered why slaves didn't rise up against their owners but it makes alot of sense that there were armies organized that the slaves couldn't compete with because they didn''t have a real way of communicating or getting anything together. We know I'm the toughest kid in the school so if I wouldn't do it you can't blame anyone else.
The most powerful thing in this article though has to be when it talks about all the extreme measures that are gone to to stop the rebellion. It says, "They do not win affection although they do compel respect, as power always does." The south wasn't going to like what happened, but they were going to accept it because the North said so and they were more powerful.
I had a relization though. How could Lincoln expect the south to be part of then country after this? The war was creating even more sectionalism. The north was improving communication and transportation by the day; trains, telegraphs, and even a national bank. The south was strengthening the belief that their economy depended on slavery and they were still heavily rural. The two parts of the country or seperate countries depending on who you ask were completely different and the south would have no respect for a government who was trying to change their whole way of life. The union seems to be destroyed at this point. This bias northern article even proves it. So it had to be a war on slavery... not to maintain the union.
Alright on another note I don't appreciate that this actually isn't due until tomorrow at 11:59 as it states on edline. It is very unlikely that I would be asleep anyways, but I could be asleep right now.

amanda said...

wow I hate internet. Like becky I had just written out a comment I was extremely proud of and then POOF NO COMMENT FOR YOU BWAHAHA. I hate this.

To sum it up what i had basically said was that i hate how they capitalized the beginning words in new columns because those words screamed in my head whenever i had just started to get into reading.

Secondly regarding the quote:
Simply because they do not yet believe that we mean what we say, when we declare that the Union shall be maintained. For the Union we know is the nation; and to destroy the Union is to ruin the nation.

I disagree when the north says that the south does not understand how serious the north is. I believe the south understands fully. The south doesn't fight to destroy the nation, the south fights because they disagree with the north.

I would continue to repeat what my former comment said but I may be here all day trying to remember...

Mike said...

I agree with Ross when he says that the type of language they are using is more like our own, and easier to understand. As well, I agree with Michelle for the fact that the newspaper wasn't biased when discussing the different problems within the war. This newspaper did mention of some aspects such as the fact that the South had a deep dislike of Lincoln, and how they had called him such names such as "Ape" (so clever) and "beast". These Southerners sure knew how to create great names. As Jess stated, the author of this article had to have guts to post a newspaper like this during this time. With all the riots and crazy people during the Civil War, there was no telling what would happen to the author, but he was dedicated and truly wanted his voice to be heard, which is admirable. As well, I noticed the strict view on slavery that the author had. This could affect different groups in either a good or bad way, which could in turn affect the well being of the author him/herself. With the topic of Postage Stamps, I'm not fully sure on what they are, however, it seems like the author doesn't like them. They are supposedly a type of currency in replacement for the gold, but it is constantly being worth less, just like all currency. This article was quite long, but at the same time it was still an interesting read, to see the views on a person during the Civil War. BY THE WAY, just like everyone else, I almost started to cry because my internet like froze for a second and almost shut down. Phew...And Jake's comment made me laugh.

smurftastic44 said...

I agree with Sarah, the way this newspaper article is written is much easier to read than previous documents. The language is much more straight-forward and it did not have an overuse of metaphors, which seemed to be the main cause of my problems with comprehension in the past.
Actually, I found Sarah's response to be very helpful and insightful in many ways. I would have no idea what "bugaboo" meant without her!
I thought that the document was a mix between Southern ideas and Northern ideas, which must have been very controversial since it was a North-based newspaper (at least I believe it is, can anyone confirm that for me please? You never know with Wikipedia). I found that the parts that opposed the South seemed a bit exaggerated, but I bet this was useful for politicians who supported the Union because back then no one questioned whether a newspaper was telling the truth or not. The part that really made me think that the writers were a bit overzealous about the situation was the third paragraph in "'Our Fellow-Citizens'" which showed the unwillingness to forgive the South for rebelling against the Union. I think that forgiveness was key to reuniting the Union. Of course people on both sides of this argument were not very forgiving, and this sort of thinking led to difficulties in the future. Thankfully we have come a very long way since the Civil War, but there will always be that underlying tension between the North and South because of our very different lifestyles.

Sukhmeet said...

I agree with Ross, that this article was easier to read, making it easier to understand. I also know why slaves couldn't stand up against their owners, and it was because there were armies ready to retaliate on slaves if they committed any disorderly conduct. I also agree with Brian, about why the south didn't get along with Abe Lincoln. All the south wanted was their slaves, to keep their economy stable. Lincoln ended the spread of slavery, but not slavery itself, so the South had nothing to worry about. This article shows both the confederate and the union views on the war, but was more bias toward the north, which angered people in the south.

jlchacho said...

Didn't exactly read everyone's comments, but I did skim over Sarah and Ross's, and I must agree that this was alot easier to read than other documents we've analyzed. I also agree with Ross that they seem to be speaking in a more modern tongue, too.
In addition to this, I notice that the document was very harsh on the idea of emancipation. it mentioned that if the Union were to undergo the proclamation, it would be raising a 'black flag.' It also mentioned there would be many bloody deaths for soldiers and Northerners found on Southern land, as a result of the proclamation. After reading this, it occurred to me that the author of this article was promoting quite a few hideous ideas. He/she was promoting torturous trials for Northerners on Southern land, just because the South would loose their slaves. It, therefore, occurred to me that the authors of newspapers like this may be putting some dangerous ideas into politicians heads. The idea of torturing innocent people because one did not get their way, that reminded me of my younger brother whining because they couldn't get a toy at the store. It was. Brutal act by the author's of these Southern articles, and it seems to me that the Southern authors were promoting quite the brutal and harsh tortures upon Northerners. Not that my opinion matters, but I definetly did not like the tone this article portrayed.

mike51095 said...

I thought it was funny how the South called Mr. Lincoln, “an ape, a fiend, a beast, a savage, a highwayman." I like how the author uses some humor to keep the readers attention in this article. It seems to me that the South just hated the North just because of Lincoln. As soon as Lincoln was elected some Southern states seceded before even giving Lincoln a chance. I found it interesting when Harper said, "The slaves, when freed, are much more likely to trouble us than their old masters." When I first read this statement I was a bit confused with Harper's logic but then after thinking about it I realized that Harper had a good point. When the slaves are freed they will not be able to acquire jobs so that means that the government would have to pay for their food. This could hamper the economy for many years. -Mike Signore

pat said...

I agree Caitlin when she says that these articles were very important to society so people could stay informed. Sure, these would probably anger one side over the other occasionally, but it was good for people to understand how the North and South had conflicting opinions on the proclamation. I don't really see why the masters were so worried about slave revolts. They clearly were unorganized, untrained, and had little, if any, weapons. I don't agree with the article where it talked about the slaves being more trouble than their old masters. If slaves took advantage of the homestead act they could get their own land and not cause any problems. People made a big deal of the slaves being the main reason for the South's economy. They never thought to try any other way to help their economy prosper and that was what made everyone so scared of freeing their slaves.
Just considering the different views on this topic must have made it very dangerous to write articles like such. Personally, I probably wouldn't because i'd be afraid of getting shot.

pat said...

so that comment is from caitlin glazier haha not pat. I'm on his google account and forgot to sign out accidentallyy