Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hell-Born and Hell-Bound

This entry is from "Speech of Andrew Johnson at Cincinnati, Ohio, June 19, 1861", Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record, Vol. 2.

Andrew Johnson was senator from Tennessee, Military Governor of Tennessee, vice-president, and after Lincoln's assassination, President of the United States. 

Johnson was a "Unionist."  Unionists were fiercely loyal to the Union but were not much interested in the fate of the African American. He was the only Southern U.S. senator not to resign at the onset of the the Civil War, even when Tennessee seceded.  He helped bring Lincoln votes when  he was reelected during 1864, but made a controversial president during the reconstruction era.

Here is part of a speech he made on June 19, 1861 explaining how he felt about secession.
. .. I look upon the doctrine of secession as coming in conflict with all organism, moral and social.  I repeat, without regard to the peculiar institutions of the respective States composing this Confederacy; without regard to any Government that may be found in the future or exists in the present, this odious doctrine of secession should be crushed out, destroyed and totally annihilated.  No government can stand, no religious, no moral, or social organization can stand, where this doctrine is tolerated.  It is disintegration -- universal dissolvement -- making war upon every thing that has a tendency to promote and ameliorate the condition of the mass of mankind.  Therefore I repeat, that this odious and abominable doctrine -- you must pardon me for  using a strong expression -- I do not say it  profane sense -- but this doctrine I conceive to be, hell-born, and hell-bound, and one which will carry everything in its train, unless it is arrested and crushed out from our midst. . . .
Andrew Johnson photograph, attributable to Jessie Whitehurst, from the Library of Congress collection

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