"For You O Democracy"
THE CONFEDERACY WAS PLAINLY DYING IN THE WINter of 1865, so plainly that Greeley began looking ahead to the cessation of hostilities and the reconstruction of his shattered country. The vision of a new nation, rising like the Phoenix from the ashes of civil war, roused him to a mood of passionate exaltation. As the war had developed into a struggle for human freedom, he declared, the North had become panoplied in righteousness. Clad in such shining armor, it would now "seek the establishment of a Republic as perfect in construction as it is pure in theory. . . . We shall contribute an invaluable chapter to history," he asserted. This contribution would be "the record of a civil war undertaken by Democracy in defense of Democracy, and of a victory consistent with itself, and unstained by fatal excesses. This lesson the world has long needed; and this lesson, by the grace of God, it shall now have!" 1 Greeley was looking down Whitman's democratic vistas, and his vision was that of the Good Gray Poet:
Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the
rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes,
and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.