The Works of James M. Whitfield: America and Other Writings by a Nineteenth-Century African American Poet

By James M. Whitfield; Robert S. Levine et al. | Go to book overview

LETTER TO THE PACIFIC APPEAL, 2 AUGUST 1862 85

MR. EDITOR—“Put down the rebellion at all hazards!” is the cry of the Governors and people of the loyal States; but there is one hazardous step yet to be taken, which would help the work wonderfully. There have been many killed and much money spent, but the fighting has only passed from one white American’s hands to that of another, and yet the rebellion is not put down. The U.S. Government must make an alliance with her own people, i.e. the people of color to help

85. From the 9 August 1862 issue of the Pacific Appeal (p. 2), an African American newspaper established in 1862 and edited by Philip A. Bell (1808–89). Whitfield wrote his letter from Marysville, a thriving gold-rush town approximately 120 miles northeast of San Francisco. During the same month that Whitfield published this letter, the War Department authorized General Rufus Saxton to form the Union army’s first black regiment, the First South Carolina Volunteers. The Union army began actively recruiting black troops shortly after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863.

-203-

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