May 25, 1861

Macomb Eagle

Extreme Views.

We regret to see the expression of individual opinions, by men who are known to be extremists or ultraists, taken as a correct reflex of the sentiment of the people in the section where they live.  In a period of excitement like the present it is more than usually important to guard against expressions of acquiescence that these extremists are not speaking beyond the mark.  It is a quality of excitable persons that they seldom form a correct view of the causes and actions of the people by whom they are surrounded; and those who have long cherished particular fancies on any subject, are seldom capable of forming an unbiased opinion when that subject is remotely or theoretically assailed.  Accordingly when Revs. Palmer of New Orleans and Thornwell of Charleston are found declaring that it is the object of the South in this war to establish slavery in the free States, we can only look upon such a declaration as being on a par with that of northern abolitionism, which says that this war is to wipe out the last vestige of slavery on the American continent.  Now we of the North know that this declaration of the abolitionists – whether it comes from preachers or papers – is a libel upon the sentiment of the country.  We know that the great mass of our people cherish no such intention and expect no such result.  We believe that the great majority of the republicans themselves would denounce the government and deny it all material aid and assistance, were it to announce a purpose so palpably in violation of the Constitution and laws, and so repugnant to all honorable warfare.  We should protest against the people of the South believing the utterances of these abolitionists – these northern extremists – that it is our intention to extinguish slavery.  And we likewise believe that too much importance should not be attached to the utterances of isolated individuals in the South that slavery must be extended.  It was the promulgation of these extreme views, and their acceptance as the sentiments of the people of the respective sections, that has done so much to alienate the one from the other and to increase the obstacles in the way of a peaceful adjustment of the difficulties between them.  A little reflection will satisfy the reader that we can do better than to take the extravagant remarks of individuals as a correct index of the sentiments of millions of people.

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“Gone Glimmering.”

The republican papers say that all party distinctions are “in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”  They tell us that they are “republicans” no longer and we must be Democrats no longer.  As to the latter part of this proposition, we can only say that we will think about it.  We rather think, however, that we can’t be caught with such a suspicious looking bait.  As to the former part, viz: that they are no longer republicans, we have not the least doubt.  They never called themselves by the same name long enough to give the public a chance to convict them of their misdeeds, always assuming an alias when charged with the iniquity they had wrought.  The evils brought upon the country through their organization have effectually broken up republicanism, have literally annihilated their party, and the scattered elements now discard the odious name in order to re-unite under some taking alias. – The republican party is defunct.  It has committed suicide.  Lincoln and the office-seekers have attended to its funeral, and its newspaper organs are now publishing its obituary.

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The Way Democrats are served.

The Albany Argus says it learns from a well informed source that Democratic Postmasters are being removed all over the North, at the rate of one hundred a day.  There are no parties now.  We are all for the Union.  But then those who used to be republicans are exceedingly fortunate in receiving all the important civil offices, which is all right enough, and nearly all the important military offices, which all right enough, too we suppose, as Democrats had nothing to do in getting up the war.

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Egypt Responding. – The regiment called for from this congressional district is now full, and more companies are offering than can be accepted.  No less than a regiment of as hardy and brave me as ever bore arms will be rejected, and compelled to stay at home until further demands for troops are made.                                                                                          – Cairo Gazette.

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–          We learn from Cairo that the military authorities have resolved to enforce the blockade at that point with greater vigor than before.  Provisions of all kinds are not only cut off from the seceded and revolted states, but hereafter none are to be permitted to pass to Kentucky.

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–          The Peoria Union says, that Gov. Yates had ordered the sum of six dollars to be advanced to every Illinois volunteer to aid them in procuring uniform.  By a liberal construction of the law it is supposed that the amount will be considered in the light of a donation.

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Hot Times at Fort Sumter!

The ice business will be continued as heretofore, with PURE ICE, by the subscriber.  All orders left at the American House, or if sent by mail directed to D. N. Lane, will be promptly attended to.  Hotels, saloons, families, and orders by Railroad furnished at short notice.                   D. N. LANE.
Macomb, May 25, ’61.

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Communication from John M. Walker, Esq.

At the request of Mr. Walker we publish below a communication addressed by him to the editor of the Macomb Journal.  The reports relative to Mr. W. were hatched out by certain republicans, circulated among republicans, and believed by republicans.  Therefore it seemed fitting that the reply or refutation to these falsehoods should appear in a republican paper, as it would then reach the class of persons whose minds needed to be disabused of false information.  But the editor of the Journal, for reasons best known to himself, refused to let the refutation be placed in his paper.  How far this is courteous and manly we leave for others to judge.  We hope there are enough republicans who read the EAGLE, to sufficiently correct the injury which some person’s thoughtlessness (possibly malice) had attempted to fix upon the character of an upright and honorable as well as patriotic citizen.

At home, April 30th, 1861.

Editor of the Journal, Macomb, Ills.:

As you are the organ of the republican party of this county, and believing that, as a high0minded journalist, you wish to disabuse any slander that may have been circulated and a false impression created thereby in the public mind, I feel called upon by a sense of justice to myself and family, as well as respect for public opinion, to ask the insertion in the next issue of your paper of the following communication.

One day last week I was astonished at a report that I heard as being circulated in your town that I was branded with being a traitor to my country, and was threatened with mob violence – that I was to be hung without trial by either judge or jury – (and since then I heard that I was really hung, and forced off this mortal coil at the end of a rope, a disgrace to my family and connection) – that I had a secession or palmetto flag flying on my premises, and that I was a disunion rebel and not fit to live.  To the whole of the reports I can with truth pronounce them false as hell, and as black as the heart that invented and put them in circulation.  The only thing that was hoisted on my premises that is in any respect in the nature of a flag, was done by two hands that I had at work cutting out a fence row through some brush (both of them as Simon pure republicans as Horace Greely, or any that your heart could wish), and in order to see where to run to, they got a slip of old red calico and tied to the top of a pole and hoisted it, unknown to me until the next day; and also both myself and wife at different times hoisted a piece of an old sack or shirt-tail to a pole as a signal for our hands to come to dinner; and at any time if any of these self-made Union protectors had come at the signal, would have received a piece of corn bread and slice of bacon, and could have washed it down with a glass of buttermilk.

My father, after fighting for seven years through the revolutionary war to gain the liberty, to establish our present glorious government, could only bequeath to me his patriotic devotion to the banner of his beloved country; and I have tried to leave it in the same manner to my children.  I opposed Mr. Lincoln’s election on the ground (as I thought and believed) of his being the candidate of a sectional party, and if elected this very thing of a disruption of our glorious Union would be the consequence.  I also opposed the notion of coercion to settle the difficulty between the South and the rest of the United States.  I believed it would drive the other slave States off and make the breach wider and more difficult to heal.  I believed all could be settled without civil war, which, of all the curses that could fall on a nation, it is the worst. – Our heaven blest Union extended all over the South as well as the North, and I wanted to give all parts the rights that was intended to be secured by our constitution.  But since the fall of Fort Sumter I think the chance of compromise was so impaired that we could not look to it for the present, and I know no flag but the stars and stripes which I have always tried  to defend, and have neither thought nor expressed any thing but devotion to our common country and sustaining of its honor, and used the same argument now, that I did against Mr. Lincoln, when he was charged with having refused supplies to our army in Mexico; that the true doctrine was, like a man in defense of his wife, not to stoop and ask whether she is right or wrong, but to be for her in every emergency.  To show that at least I did not wish to the place least obstacle in the way, and to encourage the raising of troops to go to the standard of our country, I told one of my hands, whom I had hired for the entire season, that if he wanted to go, his engagement with me need not stop him – I would settle with him for what time he was here, and let him off.  Which I think will compare favorably with some of my neighbors who are died in the wool republicans, and who peremptorily refused for a son who lacked but a few days being 21 years of age, and who refused for a hired hand to go, saying if he did he should forfeit what he had already earned.  If acting as above stated, and thinking our country and constitution extends both sides of Mason and Dixon’s line makes a traitor to his country, I rejoice to be called one.  But before those self-constituted guardians of the honor of the country set at defiance law and order, let them read the constitution and be posted according to its provisions, before the blood hounds of persecution are let loose.  And they had better reflect and not assassinate either person or character.  My health being bad, owing to a deranged or congestive state of the liver, which causes much irritability of the nervous system, so much so that I have to employ my little daughter as an amanuensis to write this communication, and when I have heard it said that rather than yield one line of the Chicago platform or one principle of the republican party, they would see the Union destroyed and all the South massacred, and news of civil war was not bad and that there was no Union out of the free States, I have no doubt made remarks that have been twisted into disaffection to the present policy of the reigning dynasty of the country, that might as well have been let alone, especially in times of excitement like the present. – This communication is much longer than I intended, but in justice to myself, I could not make it shorter.    Respectfully,
John M. Walker.

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