The Tragic Conflict: The Civil War and Reconstruction

By William B. Hesseltine | Go to book overview

19
The Governors and Emancipation

New York Herald

The treasonable developments at the Convention of State Governors, held on Wednesday at Altoona, in Pennsylvania, fully confirm the opinion we have long since expressed that a plot had been set on foot by the radicals at the North to abolish the Union, the Constitution and Negro slavery together, without regard to the legal, moral or social obstacles in the way, or any disastrous consequences that might ensue from the execution of their desperate programme. Even the President himself, if he should continue to stand in their path, must be swept away, and with him all the guarantees of law and public order.

That a revolutionary conspiracy has been organized for some time at the North, under the designation of the Roundheads, or the Puritans, is now placed beyond a doubt. The originators are the lineal descendants of the rebel Roundheads in England, who kept that country for forty years in hot water and civil war. This treasonable conspiracy began in New England; but it has its ramifications in New York and various other Northern States, and some of its ruling spirits are to be always found at the national capital.

The first intimation we had of the existence of this secret organization was the disloyal response of Governor Andrew of Massachusetts to the call of Secretary Stanton for troops, in May last, when he refused to send the desired regiments, intimating that the call was not a "real," but a sham one, but that if the President was in earnest, and would proclaim Negro fraternity and equality, and let the blacks fight side by side with white men, then "the roads would swarm with the multitudes that New England would pour out to obey the call" of the Secretary of War. In other words,

New York Herald ( Septemher 26, 28, 1862).

The official version of the origins of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which Logan borrowed from Carpenter, was seriously challenged at the time by the New York Herald. A Herald reporter attended the meeting of Northern governor's at Altoona, and reported their astonishment at the news of the President's proclamation. The Herald's version was repeated by Kentucky's Senator Lazrous Powell in Congress, and called forth a vigorous denial by Lincoln.

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