The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864

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Continental Monthly, Vol. 5,
Issue 2, February, 1864

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February, 1864, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone
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Title: Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864
Author: Various
Release Date: June 11, 2006 [EBook #18554]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Janet Blenkinship and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was
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|Transcibers note: The letter "o" with a macron is rendered [=o] in this
text, | |the letter "e" with a macron [=e]. |

* * * * *
VOL. V.--FEBRUARY, 1864--NO. II.
* * * * *

Mr. Jefferson, in his lifetime, underwent the extremes of abuse and of
adulation. Daily, semi-weekly, or weekly did Fenno, Porcupine Cobbett,
Dennie, Coleman, and the other Federal journalists, not content with
proclaiming him an ambitious, cunning, and deceitful demagogue,
ridicule his scientific theories, shudder at his irreligion, sneer at his
courage, and allude coarsely to his private morals in a manner more
discreditable to themselves than to him; crowning all their accusations
and innuendoes with a reckless profusion of epithet. While at the same
times and places the whole company of the Democratic press, led by
Bache, Duane, Cheetham, Freneau, asserted with equal energy that he
was the greatest statesman, the profoundest philosopher, the very sun of
republicanism, the abstract of all that was glorious in democracy. And
if Abraham Bishop, of New Haven, Connecticut, compared him with
Christ, a great many New Englanders of more note than Bishop,

pronounced him the man of sin, a malignant manifestation of Satan. On
one or the other of these two scales he was placed by every man in the
United States, according to each citizen's modicum of sense and temper.
We say, every man--because in that war of the Democrats against the
Federalists, no one sought to escape the service. Every able-tongued
man was ready to fight with it, either for Jefferson or against him.
When Jefferson passed away triumphant, toleration set in. His enemies
dropped him to turn upon living prey. They came to acquiesce in him,
and even to quote him when he served their purpose. But the
admiration of his followers did not abate. They canonized him as the
apostle of American democracy, and gave his name to the peculiar
form of the doctrine they professed. For many years the utterances of
the master were conclusive to the common men of the party--better far
than the arguments of any living leader. Of late we have heard less of
him. The right wing of the democracy begin to doubt the expediency of
the States' Rights theory; and with the wrong wing his standing has
been injured by the famous passage on slavery in the 'Notes on
Virginia.' The wrong wing of the Democratic party are the men who
cry out for the 'Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was'--a cry full
of sound and often of fury; but what does it signify? The first gun that
was fired at Fort Sumter shattered the old Union. If peace men and
abolitionists, secessionists and conservatives were to agree together to
restore the old Union to the status quo ante bellum, they could not do it.
'When an epoch is finished,' as Armand Carrel once wrote, 'the mould
is broken, it cannot be made again.' All that can be done is to gather up
the fragments, and to use them wisely in a new construction. An Indian
neophyte came one day to the mission, shouting: 'Moses, Isaiah,
Abraham, Christ, John the Baptist!' When out of breath, the brethren
asked him what he meant. 'I mean a glass of cider.' If the peace party
were as frank as the Indian, they would tell us that their cry signifies
place, power, self. The prodigal sons of the South are to be lured back
by promises of pardon, indemnification, niggers ad libitum, before they
have satiated themselves with the husks which seem to have fallen to
their portion, and are willing to confess that they have sinned against
heaven and against their country. The arms of the peace men are open;
the best robe, the ring, the fatted calf are ready. All that is asked in

return is a Union (as it was) of
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