The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch, Post 17

The following excerpt is from the diary of Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch.

Saturday, Oct. 26th, 1862

Of public affairs, the chief have been the defeat of the rebels near Sharpsburg & elsewhere, & their evacuation of Maryland and Kentucky, - and the President’s emancipation proclamation. This measure I approve, though with some hesitation. A year since, I was much opposed to such a thing, lest it should disgrace our case by the horrors of a servile war; but the south are now in arms & can defend their homes if they please; it will therefore only weaken the force which they bring against us; and the danger of a servile war is eclipsed by the nearer and worse danger of national destruction. The President does not call on the slaves to rise; and he gives the rebels three months’ warning before his promise of freedom to the slaves goes into operation. Our hope is, it will be a means of weakening their force and dividing their counsels, and that our forces may advance, & put down the rebellion & slavery together...I chronicle, with decided disapproval, the formation of a party here, - old acquaintances under a new name, - called ‘the People’s party.’ The object is to displace Gov. Andrew and Senator Sumner, - and such men; the pretence is, to support the president. He does not seek to be supported against his best friends.

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 10 October, 2012, 1:00 AM


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