Monthly Archives: October 2011

Winds of Change

Pope JohnXXIII

On the 28th of October, 1958, the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals was gathered in secret session to elect a new pope to succeed Pope Pius XII who had died October 9th. Among those present was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, a cardinal from Venice who had purchased a round-trip railway ticket to return to Venice after the conclave. Roncalli was a month away from his 77th birthday. He himself was surprised at his selection. Roncalli chose “John” as his papal name, the first time in over 500 years that this name had been chosen. Other popes had avoided its use since the time of the “Anti-pope John XXIII” during the schism in the late fourteenth to early fifteenth centuries which resulted in a line of popes in France and another line in Italy.

On his choice of name, Roncalli said, “I choose John . . . a name sweet to us because it is the name of our father, dear to me because it is the name of the humble parish church where I was baptized, the solemn name of numberless cathedrals scattered throughout the world, including our own basilica. Twenty-two Johns of indisputable legitimacy have [been Pope], and almost all had a brief pontificate. We have preferred to hide the smallness of our name behind this magnificent succession of Roman Popes.”

Indeed, the short, pudgy, aging man had been chosen, after the relatively long rule [nineteen and a half years] of Pius XII, as a short-term or interim pope. But most people  under-estimated what the man would do. A small hint came from his compassionate comment to the Swiss guards who carried his papal chair in procession. This was before the use of the “pope-mobile” now in common use by his successors. He expressed sympathy to the tall, strong young men “because we are so much heavier” than his thin predecessor. A larger hint could be found in his work as Nuncio and Vatican Representative between 1935 and 1945 to Greece and Turkey. According to recognition extended by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation (IRWF) on September 7, 2000, during those terrible years of the Second World War, he helped:

> Jewish refugees who arrived in Istanbul and were assisted in going onto Palestine or other destinations by Nuncio Roncalli.

> Slovakian children who managed to leave the country as a result of Nuncio Roncalli’s interventions.

> Jewish refugees whose names were included on a list submitted by Rabbi Markus of Istanbul to Nuncio Roncalli.

> Jews held at Jenovats concentration camp, near Staragradiskas, liberated thanks to Nuncio Roncalli’s intervention.

> Bulgarian Jews who left Bulgaria thanks to Nuncio Roncalli’s request to King Boris of Bulgaria.

> Romanian Jews from Transnistria who left Romania as a result of Nuncio Roncalli’s intervention.

> Italian Jews helped as a result of Nuncio Roncalli’s interventions.

> orphaned children of Transnistria on board a refugee ship that weighed anchor from Constanza to Istanbul, and later arriving in Palestine as a result of Nuncio Roncalli’s interventions.

> Jews held at the Sered concentration camp who were spared from being deported to Nazi death camps in Poland as a result of Nuncio Roncalli’s intervention.

> Hungarian Jews who managed to save themselves thanks to the “conversions” into Christianity through the baptismal certificates sent by Nuncio Roncalli to Hungarian Nuncio, Monsignor Angelo Rota.

When a group of Jews visited him after he became Pope, John walked up to them and simply repeated the Biblical greeting, “I am Joseph, your brother.” (Genesis 45:4)

Unwilling to be a quiet stop gap pope, with great excitement Pope John called an ecumenical council, fewer than ninety years after the First Vatican Council. Before that, the Council of Trent had finished work in 1563. Cardinal Montini, who followed John as Pope Paul VI, remarked quietly to a friend that “this holy old boy does not realize what a hornet’s nest he is stirring up.” The Second Vatican Council wrought major changes in Roman Catholicism, including a revised liturgy, a stronger emphasis on ecumenical relations, and a radical shake-up of Catholic religious communities.

John received thirty-two heads of state at the Vatican, more than any of his predecessors. He wrote and preached often on the need of peace in the modern world. His magum opus, Pacem in Terris, was published just two months before John himself died in June of 1963.Yet he could grant a papal audience to a traveling circus, and gently pat a lion cub named Dolly, saying “You must behave here. We are used only to the calm lion of St. Mark.”

As a Lutheran, I believe, as my church prepares for Reformation Sunday this weekend, that some of Dr Luther’s criticism of the church of Rome remains valid. All of Christianity must return to the ancient principle of “ecclessia semper reformanda”–”the church always stands in need of reform.”

And I am happy that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to which I belong, commemorates John XXIII on June 3rd each liturgical year. He was wise, holy and loving. Among many other things, he wrote:

“God desires us to follow the examples of the saints by absorbing the vital sap of their virtues and turning it into our own life-blood, adapting it to our own individual capacities and particular circumstances.”


“A peaceful man does more good than a learned one.”

He showed us how.

Robin Hood of the Depression

Many a starving farmer

The same old story told

How the outlaw paid their mortgage

And saved their little hold.

Others tell you ’bout a stranger

That come to beg a meal,

And underneath his napkin

Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City,

Twas on a Christmas Day,

Came a whole car load of groceries

With a letter that did say:

“Well, you say that I’m an outlaw,

You say that I’m a thief.

Here’s a Christmas dinner

For the families on relief.”

Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered

I’ve seen lots of funny men;

Some will rob you with a six-gun,

And some with a fountain pen.

–Woody Guthrie


Medieval England’s Robin Hood had troubadour Alan a-Dale to sing of his exploits. The Depression-era Pretty Boy Floyd had folk singer Woody Guthrie to sing of his. While Robin Hood had numerous folk tales told of him, in John Steinbeck’s classic novel of the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath, the character Ma Joad, the moral and emotional bedrock of her family, several times describes Pretty Boy Floyd as a young man driven to a tragic fate by economic hard times.

 On Monday, October 22, 1934, local law officers and FBI men, led by a top agent named Melvin Purvis, shot and killed 30 year old Charles Arthur Floyd in a cornfield near East Liverpool, Ohio as Floyd tried to evade capture. With unemployment at 21.7%, President Roosevelt demanding $10.5 billion to cure America’s economic problems and a corporate coalition including Dupont, Montgomery Ward, General Motors and Sun Oil opposing every New Deal measure, Pretty Boy Floyd was a hero to many poor, honest working people. When the burial took place back in Floyd’s home area in Oklahoma on October 28, 1934, an estimated crowd of twenty thousand people made it one of, if not the largest funeral in Oklahoma history.

Grave of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd

 Charles Floyd was born February 3, 1904 in Bartow County, Georgia to a poor farming family of Welsh descent. When he was seven years old, the Floyd family, searching for better opportunity, moved to Sequoyah County, in the mideastern part of Oklahoma near the Arkansas border. By the time he was sixteen, Charles, nicknamed “Choc” for his fondness for home-brewed Choctaw beer, had worked as a hired hand here and there and become involved in a few minor run-ins with the law. As Prohibition led to bootlegging which attracted people anxious to make some quick money, Floyd grew involved, even though by 1924 he was married and had a baby son, whom he named Jack Dempsey Floyd after the famous boxer. Invited by friends, Floyd participated in a payroll robbery on September 11, 1925, which netted $11,929 for the bandits. (That would equal about $148,000 today). However police captured Floyd. He was tried and sentenced to five years in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.

 Following his release from prison, Floyd went to Kansas City, ready to apply his prison education in crime to making some serious money in hard times. In a boardinghouse he met his future girlfriend, Beulah Baird, who gave him the nickname “Pretty Boy.” For the next four years Floyd and several accomplices carried out a string of thirty or more successful bank robberies from Ohio to Oklahoma. Eager to impress the general public of Pretty Boy’s evil character, law enforcement implicated him in several serious crimes which he did not commit.

From a Wanted Poster for Floyd

On October 18, 1934, Floyd and an associate, with two women companions, left Buffalo, New York, headed west. While driving through northeastern Ohio in fog, Floyd lost control of his car and hit a telephone pole. No one was injured, but the car was inoperable Fearing they might be recognized from wanted posters, Floyd and his associate sent the two women to find a tow truck. The women accompanied the tow truck driver into a town to have the vehicle repaired while the two men waited in a field.

 Later that morning (October 19), a passing motorist saw two men dressed in suits lying by the roadside with no vehicle around. Feeling it was strange, he told Wellsville, Ohio, Police Chief John Fultz, who with two other officers, went to investigate. When Floyd’s companion saw the officers coming, he fled into the woods, pursued by two officers, while Fultz went toward Floyd. Floyd immediately drew his gun and fired. In the exchange of fire, Chief Fultz was wounded in the foot. Floyd fled into the nearby woods. The other two officers enlisted the help of local retired police officer Chester Smith, a sniper during World War I. Eventually they captured Pretty Boy’s colleague. Floyd remained on the run.

 At least three differing accounts exist of Floyd’s capture and death. The accounts agree that, after obtaining some food at a local pool hall owned by Charles Joy, a friend of Floyd’s, Floyd hitched a ride in East Liverpool, Ohio, on October 22. From that point on, the reports vary. He was spotted by police at which point he jumped from the vehicle and ran for a line of trees. Local retired officer Chester Smith fired first, hitting Floyd in the right arm, knocking him to the ground. FBI agents later attempted to claim all the credit, denying local law enforcement were even present at the actual shooting. According to the local police account, Floyd regained his footing and continued to run, at which point the entire team opened fire, knocking him to the ground. Floyd died shortly thereafter from his wounds.

 According to the FBI, four FBI agents, led by Purvis, and four members of the East Liverpool Police Department, led by Chief Hugh McDermott, were searching the area south of Clarkson, Ohio, in two separate cars. They spotted a car move from behind a corn crib, and then move back. Floyd then emerged from the car and drew a .45 caliber pistol, and the FBI agents opened fire. Floyd reportedly said: “I’m done for. You’ve hit me twice.”

 However, Chester Smith, the retired East Liverpool police officer and World War I sharpshooter, described events quite differently in a 1979 interview for Time Magazine. In an article entitled “Blasting a G-Man Myth,” Time Magazine, September 24 1979, Smith, was credited with shooting Floyd first. Smith said that he deliberately wounded, but not killed, Floyd. He added, “I knew Purvis couldn’t hit him, so I dropped him with two shots from my .32 Winchester rifle.” According to Smith, after being wounded, Floyd fell and did not regain his footing. Smith then disarmed Floyd. At that point, Purvis ran up and ordered, “Back away from that man. I want to talk to him.” Agent Purvis questioned Floyd briefly, and receiving curses in reply, ordered Agent Ed Hollis to “Fire into him.” Hollis shot Floyd at point-blank range, killing him. When asked if there was a cover-up by the FBI, Smith answered, “Sure was, because they didn’t want it to get out that he’d been killed that way.” Others denied Chester Smith’s allegations.

 In March 1939, almost five years after the death of Pretty Boy Floyd, troubadour Woody Guthrie, a native of Okemah, Oklahoma, wrote the song praising the outlaw’s life and adventures. Guthrie, one of the best known American singer-songwriters and folk musicians, left a vast musical legacyof political protest songs, traditional ballads, blues and children’s songs. Often he performed with a guitar bearing the slogan “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues tunes. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” Those hard times and those down-on-their-luck farmers inspired songs such as “The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd.” Songwriters and singers including Bob Dylan, Odetta, Phil Ochs, Judy Collins, Richie Havens, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and Tom Paxton have acknowledged their debt to Guthrie.


Woody Guthrie and his guitar

On September 26, 1992, The Peace Abbey, a multi-faith retreat center in Sherborn, Massachusetts,”dedicated to creating innovative models for society that empower individuals on the paths of nonviolence, peacemaking, and cruelty-free living. . . . by offer[ing] a variety of programs and resources that teach, inspire and encourage one to speak out and act on issues of peace and social justice,”posthumouslyawarded Guthrie their Courage of Conscience Award for his social activism and artistry in song which conveyed the plight of the common person.

 About song writing Woody Guthrie declared, “I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built. I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.”

 Maybe, just maybe, that’s why, when times are tough, ballads about characters like Robin Hood and Pretty Boy Floyd will find singers and appreciative audiences. Because in days like these, lots of us feel a bit angry about those who rob us with a fountain pen . . . or a computer . . . or a stock market scheme.

Twas a Famous Victory

On this day, October 21st in 1805, the British Navy fought and won one of the most significant naval battles in European history and lost one of its national heroes in the course of the fight. Off the coast of Spain, in the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the Straits of Gibraltar, twenty-seven British warships with 17,000 men and 2,148 canon, commanded by Lord Horatio Nelson, engaged a combined French and Spanish fleet of thirty-three warships with nearly 30,000 men and 2,568 canon. This was the Battle of Trafalgar, one of the most famous battles of the Napoleonic Wars.


Battle of Trafalgar-October 21, 1805

By 1805, France and Britain had been waging war, on-and-off, for more than a decade. The French, under Napoleon Bonaparte, had become the best army in the world at that time while the British Navy really, truly ruled the waves around the globe. Some have compared the struggle to a war between a tiger and a shark.

The Battle of Trafalgar ranks as the most decisive British naval victory of the wars. Led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory, the British defeated the combined French and Spanish ships under French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. The British suffered 458 killed, including Nelson, and 1,208 wounded but lost none of their ships. On the other hand, the French lost 2,218 dead, another 1,155 wounded, and about 4,000 sailors, including Admiral Villeneuve, were taken prisoner by the British. One French ship was utterly destroyed and ten others captured. Of the Spanish ships,eleven were captured, along with somewhere between 3,700 to 4,000 sailors. Spanish casualties included 1,025 dead, and 1,383 wounded. Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of his fleet and died a few months later from wounds suffered during the battle.

 The British victory confirmed in a spectacular manner the naval supremacy which Britain had established during a long series of wars with France between 1700 and 1805 and was achieved partly through Nelson’s use of non-conventional tactics. Nelson, and later the Duke of Wellington in the British Army, became heroes to the British. The adulation continued through most of the twentieth century. Both successfully adopted new methods of fighting. My favorite story of Nelson’s quintessential British nature is from the Battle of Copenhagen harbor in April 1801. Nelson had previously lost an eye and a good part of one arm. When being advised that his commander was signaling by flags that he should withdraw, Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye and declared, “I really do not see the signal.” He kept attacking and despite heavy losses, eventually received the Danish surrender.

 At Trafalgar, Nelson received a mortal wound from a French sharpshooter as HMS Victory prepared to repel boarders from the French ship Redoutable. Aided by another British ship, Victory not only repelled the French boarders but killed so many of them that the captain of the Redoutable surrendered.

 Over 10,000 sailors and soldiers attended Nelson’s funeral. As with many heroes, Nelson defies any easy description, being a rather complex and sometimes quixotic personality. His fame reached new heights after his death, and he came to be regarded as one of Britain’s greatest heroes, ranked alongside the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Wellington. In the BBC’s 100 Greatest Britons program in 2002, Nelson was voted the ninth greatest Briton of all time.


Admiral Horatio Nelson

Perhaps it is true: “There will always be an England.”

October’s Obstacles

October 1861 brings no hope of speedy resolution of the six month old conflict. President Lincoln deals deftly with Muslims and with Catholics. In the North the debate about emancipation of slaves continues. Confederate emissaries Mason and Slidell begin their journey to Europe and the international incident which will threaten war between the United States and Great Britain. A prestigious journal rejects Whitman’s poems. Anti-Semitic feeling raises its ugly head in the Confederate War Department. An upstart Union general antagonizes an old war horse. Confederate forces win another battle. Replaced by transcontinental telegraph service the Pony Express goes out of business. And a Russian anarchist arrives for a short stay in the United States.

 October 1–Tuesday–Boston, Massachusetts–Helped by Senator Charles Sumner, the publishing house of Walker, Wise and Company publishes The Rejected Stone, or Insurrection versus Resurrection in Americaby Moncure Daniel Conway, a twenty-nine year old abolitionist minister, originally from a slave-holding family in Virginia. In his book Conway presents a powerful and thoughtful argument detailing the necessity of emancipation.

Moncure Daniel Conway


October 2–Wednesday–Washington–President Lincoln sends a letter to Abd ul Aziz Khan, who succeeded his brother on the throne of the Ottoman Empire when the brother, Abd ul Mejid Khan, died back on June 25th of this year. Lincoln sends his regrets and best wishes. “Permit me also to assure Your Majesty of my constant and earnest desire to maintain the amity and good correspondence which have always subsisted and still prevail between the two nations, and that nothing shall be omitted on my part to cultivate and promote the friendly sentiments always entertained and cherished by this Government in its relations with His late Majesty. And so I recommend Your Majesty to the protection of the Almighty.”

October 3–Thursday–London–Britain, France and Spain sign a treaty agreeing to undertake joint military operations to collect debts from Mexico.

October 4–Friday–The U S Navy awards a contract to John Ericson to build an iron-clad warship, a “Monitor.”

October 4-Washington–General Winfield Scott writes to Secretary of War Simon Cameron, complaining of the General McClellan’s conduct. “He, however, had hardly entered upon his new duties, when, encouraged to communicate directly with the President and certain members of the Cabinet, has in a few days forgot that he had any intermediate commander, and has now long prided himself in treating me with uniform neglect, running into disobedience of orders of the smaller matters – neglects, though, in themselves, grave military offenses.”

October 4–Canton, New York–Birth of Frederic S. Remington, American artist and sculptor who will become famous for his art about the American West.

October 5–Sunday–London–In an editorial, the London Post expresses support for an independent “Southern Nation” in North America and urges Her Majesty’s Government to support the Confederacy.

October 8–Tuesday–General William Tecumseh Sherman replaces General Robert Anderson as commander of Union forces in the Department of the Cumberland.

October 9–Wednesday–Washington–The President’s Cabinet meets in special session tonight to hear a report by General McClellan on army readiness and operational plans.

Walt Whitman

October 10–Thursday–Boston, Massachusetts–The editors of The Atlantic Monthly send a rejection letter to Walt Whitman of Brooklyn, New York. “We beg to inclose to your address, in two envelopes, the three poems with which you have favored us, but which we could not possibly use before their interest, which is of the present, would have passed.”

October 11–Friday-Washington–President Lincoln writes to Mohammed Said Pacha, Viceroy of Egypt concerning the treatment of an employee of some American missionaries.”Great and Good Friend: I have received from Mr. Thayer, Consul General of the United States at Alexandria, a full account of the liberal, enlightened and energetic proceedings which, on his complaint, you have adopted in bringing to speedy and condign punishment the parties, subjects of Your Highness in Upper Egypt, who were concerned in an act of cruel persecution against Faris, an agent of certain Christian missionaries in Upper Egypt. I pray Your Highness to be assured that those proceedings, at once so prompt and so just, will be regarded as a new and unmistakable proof equally of Your Highness’ friendship for the United States, and of the firmness, integrity and wisdom with which the Government of Your Highness is conducted.”

October 12–Saturday–Charleston, South Carlina–The Theodora leaves Charleston Harbor for Havana, Cuba. On board are the Confederate commissioners to England (James Mason) and France (John Slidell).

October 13–Sunday–Danish West Indies–The U S warship San Jacinto, under the command of Captain Charles Wilkes, arrives in St Thomas on its way home from duty on the African coast where it was looking for slave ships.

Captain Charles Wilkes, USN

October 14–Monday–Secretary of War Cameron authorizes General William Tecumseh Sherman to organize and arm fugitive slaves if Sherman deems it necessary for his operations.

October 15–Tuesday–San Francisco, California—Mikhail Bakunin, Russian revolutionary and anarchist, arrives in the United States.


Michael Bakunin

October 16–Wednesday–Cuba–Confederate commissioners James Mason and John Slidell arrive to take transit to England on a British ship. Captain Wilkes of the San Jacinto also arrives in Cuba and learns from local informants and newspapers that the Confederate commissioners will depart from Cuba on November 7th on a British ship.

October 16–Clontibret, Ireland–Birth of J B Bury, Irish historian, classical scholar, and philologist.

October 17–Thursday–Washington–President Lincoln hosts Thomas Clay, son of Henry Clay, and several other Kentuckians as dinner guests.

October 18–Friday–Boston, Massachusetts-Today The Liberator lists the total number of colored persons in the New England States, based on last year’s census. In all of the New England states, 24,141 in total, of whom 9,454 live in Massachusetts.

October 20–Suday–Berlin, Germany–Birth of Maximilian Harden, influential German journalist and editor.

October 21–Monday–Virginia–In a decisive victory at Ball’s Bluff, Confederate forces defeat Union forces of almost equal numerical strength, inflicting heavy casualties. Union losses total 921, dead, wounded and missing, while the Confederates lose about 155 total, dead, wounded and missing.

October 21–Washington–President Lincoln contacts the Roman Catholic Archbishop Hughes of New York regarding chaplains for military hospitals. He writes, “Rt. Rev. Sir: I am sure you will pardon me if, in my ignorance, I do not address [you] with technical correctness. I find no law authorizing the appointment of Chaplains for our hospitals; and yet the services of chaplains are more needed, perhaps, in the hospitals, than with the healthy soldiers in the field. With this view, I have given a sort of quasi appointment, (a copy of which I inclose) to each of three protestant ministers, who have accepted, and entered upon the duties. If you perceive no objection, I will thank you to give me the name or names of one or more suitable persons of the Catholic Church, to whom I may with propriety, tender the same service. Many thanks for your kind, and judicious letters to Gov. Seward, and which he regularly allows me both the pleasure and the profit of perusing.”

October 24–Thursday–Western Union completes the final segment of the transcontinental telegraph from Denver, Colorado to Sacramento, California. The Sacramento office sends the first transcontinental telegram to President Lincoln in Washington.


Romanticized Pony Express rider

October 24–Washington–President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, attend the funeral of Colonel Edward D. Baker, who died three days ago, during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, Virginia. At the time of his death, Baker served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon. Some years before, he practiced law in Springfield, Illinois, where he became a good friend to Lincoln. Lincoln named his second son, Edward Baker Lincoln, in Baker’s honor.

October 24–West Virginia–In a controversial election, a significant number of voters come out in favor of creating a new state as spelled out by the Wheeling Convention.

October 25–Friday–Berlin, Germany–Death of Friedrich Carl von Savigny, age 82, one of Europe’s most respected and influential 19th century jurists and historians.

October 26–Saturday–The Pony Express announces its closure. Since it began operations in April, 1860, the operation has lost about $200,000 and is now surpassed in speed by the transcontinental telegraph.

October 27–Sunday–Richmond–John Beauchamp Jones, a clerk in the War Department of the Confederacy complains to the pages of his diary. “Still the Jews are going out of the country and returning at pleasure. They deplete the Confederacy of coin, and sell their goods at 500 per cent profit. They pay no duty . . . . The press everywhere is thundering against the insane policy of permitting all who avow themselves enemies to return to the North . . . . I tremble when I reflect that those who made the present government, and the one to succeed it, did not represent one-third of the people composing the inhabitants of the Confederate States.”

October 29–Tuesday-Near Pilot Knob, Missouri–A Union infantryman named Horace writes to his mother, describing the rebel forces encountered in a recent fight. “I went on the battlefield as I said and can say for sure that the rebels are not half clad. The were most all in shirt sleeves, with no uniforms at all. Some with caps, some with hats and all poor ones at that. Why I never saw a lot of threshers but what looked more like soldiers than they. They were armed with every variety of arms imaginable. They were, it is said, 5000 strong; 1500 cavalry, that run in every direction at the first volley from our troops.”

October 30–Wednesday–Chambersburg, Pennsylvania–Today’s issue of The Valley Spirit attacks General Fremont and the idea of emancipation. “A proclamation of emancipation by the President would not be worth the paper on which it is written in assisting our armies to victory. It is necessary to whip the rebel armies before we can reach the slaves–and after we do whip their armies the supposed necessity for arming their slaves would no longer exist. Emancipation as the means of subduing rebellion is sheer humbug. . . . The whole agitation of this subject is a practical absurdity, as irrational as all the theories of the crazy Abolitionists. But they are never easy unless plotting some sort of mischief. Happily the Government turns a deaf ear to their outcries. We have no idea that the policy of emancipation will be attempted and have therefore confined ourselves to exposing its utter folly and absurdity as a means of suppressing rebellion.”

October 31–Thursday–President Lincoln relieves the elderly General Winfield Scott from duty as Supreme Commander of the United States Army.