RedState's Water Cooler - October 22, 2018 - Open Thread: Charleston Newspaper's Attack on Abraham Lincoln: 'A Horrid Looking Wretch He Is'

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‘A Horrid Looking Wretch He Is’

Politics has always been a dirty business. But, with the exception of President Trump, few politicians were assailed more severely than Abraham Lincoln. He was attacked viciously, relentlessly and personally. Americans were on the brink of civil war and much was at stake.


Needless to say, Charleston’s city newspaper, the Mercury, vehemently opposed Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy in 1860. An excerpt from an editorial follows:

A horrid looking wretch he is, sooty and scoundrelly in aspect, a cross between the nutmeg dealer, the horse swapper, and the night man, a creature ‘fit evidently for petty treason, small stratagems and all sorts of spoils.’ He is a lanksides Yankee of the uncomeliest visage, and of the dirtiest complexion. Faugh! After him, what decent white man would be President?

The Southern Confederacy of Atlanta declared that:

The South will never permit Abraham Lincoln to be inaugurated President of the United States; this is a settled and sealed fact. It is the determination of all parties in the South. Let the consequences be what they may, whether the Potomac is crimsoned in human gore, and Pennsylvania Avenue is paved ten fathoms deep with mangled bodies, or whether the last vestige of liberty is swept from the face of the American continent, the South, the loyal South, the constitutional South, will never submit to such humiliation and degradation as the inauguration of Abraham.

And true to their word, they seceded when Lincoln won the presidency.

The war went badly for the Union Army throughout most of 1864. Lincoln was running for reelection against one of his former Generals, George B. McClellan, whom he had fired for his indecisiveness on the battlefield. The vitriol directed against Lincoln during the campaign was startling.


An editorial appearing in the New York World ridiculed Lincoln and his running mate, Andrew Johnson:

The age of statesmen is gone; the age of rail splitters and tailors, of buffoons, boors and fanatics has succeeded…In a crisis of the most appalling magnitude requiring statesmanship of the highest order, the country is asked to consider the claims of two ignorant, boorish, third-rate backwoods lawyers for the highest standings in the Government. Such nominations, in such a conjuncture, are an insult to the common sense of the people. God save the Republic!

The New York Herald had similar words for Lincoln:

President Lincoln is a joke incarnate. His (first) election was a very sorry joke. The idea that such a man as he should be president of such a country as this is a very ridiculous joke. His debut in Washington society was a joke; for he introduced himself and Mrs. Lincoln as ‘the long and short of the Presidency.’ His inaugural address was a joke…His cabinet is and always has been a joke. All his state papers are jokes. His letters to our generals, beginning with those to General McClellan, are very cruel jokes…His emancipation proclamation was a solemn joke…His conversation is full of jokes…His title of ‘Honest’ is a satirical joke…His intrigues to secure renomination and the hopes he appears to entertain of a re-election are, however, the most laughable jokes of all.


Just as Lincoln’s hopes for reelection were all but dashed, as we all know, the Union’s losing streak came to an end. A series of Union victories had turned the tide of the war and Lincoln was reelected to a second term.


Funniest Moments from the 2016 Trump Campaign Video:

In the spirit of the season, please watch this very amusing video by Youtube’s Mark Dice.

Photo of the Week:

Photo credit:…assets/2018/10/Fauxhicans.jpeg


Quote of the Week:

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.

Patrick Henry


As Always, This Is An Open Thread


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