Emancipation of the Working Classes~October 1864~24th to 29th

Emancipation of the Working Classes ~ Karl Marx

The German exile Karl Marx delivers a stirring speech to a leftist gathering in London, England. Immigrant conscripts are arrested in Richmond for trying to evade military service. A Georgia woman tells her sweetheart how much she treasures his letters. A Virginia woman informs her brother of the deaths of friends. Another updates her husband on family and community news. A hospitalized soldier writes of his desire to vote in upcoming presidential election. The radical Wendell Phillips encourages abolitionists to keep the pressure on Lincoln for the total elimination of slavery. Canada moves toward confederation.

CW graves-3

October 24– Monday– Richmond, Virginia– “An inquest was held on Saturday, on the body of James J. Brooke, the little boy, eight years old, who was shot by Williamm Bohannon, one of the nurses at Seabrook’s Hospital. We have before given the facts of the murder. A witness before the Coroner testified that the child was not more than five feet from Bohannon when the latter shot him. The jury rendered in their verdict that the child had come to his death by a gunshot wound, inflicted by Bohannon. The murderer will be examined before the Mayor this morning.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

October 24– Monday– London, England– “If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure? It was not the wisdom of the ruling classes, but the heroic resistance to their criminal folly by the working classes of England, that saved the west of Europe from plunging headlong into an infamous crusade for the perpetuation and propagation of slavery on the other side of the Atlantic. The shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by Russia: the immense and unresisted encroachments of that barbarous power, whose head is in St. Petersburg, and whose hands are in every cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations. The fight for such a foreign policy forms part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes. Proletarians of all countries, unite!” ~ Speech by Karl Marx to the International Working Men’s Association.

Engels & Marx with Marx's daughters

Engels & Marx with Marx’s daughters

October 25– Tuesday– Richmond, Virginia– “Daniel O’Donnell, Patrick Grant, John Doyle, A. Mehegan, P. Farley and F. Curran, Irishmen and conscripts, were yesterday morning picked up by General Garey’s scouts on the Williamsburg road, near Boar Swamp, ten miles below the city. The party were evidently attempting to make their way to the enemy’s lines. They were all detailed conscripts, who have recently been ordered to go to their commands in the field. They have been committed to the Castle. O’Donnell is a plumber and gas-fitter, doing business on Broad street, above Ninth. He being put hors de combat, the city is, we believe, without an accomplished gas-fitter.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 25– Tuesday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Nothing affords me greater pleasure than a perusal of your letters. I hope the time is not far distant when we shall see each other. I do really think you ought to be permitted to visit Georgia this winter. Two years is a long time to be kept from home enduring so many hardships, sufferings and dangers. I haven’t a word of news to write concerning the two armies, in this state. Hood, though, is certainly in Sherman’s rear, and doing much damage.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her fiancé Confederate soldier Alva Benjamin Spencer.

October 25– Tuesday– Kaluga, Russia– Birth of Alexander Gretchaninov, composer. [Dies January 3, 1956.]

Alexander Gretchaninov, 1911

Alexander Gretchaninov, 1911

October 26– Wednesday– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– Two men are arrested for having robbed Martin Feely, a city councilman, of $4500 yesterday.

October 26– Wednesday– Moffett’s Creek, Virginia– “I seat myself this morning to write you the limited page. Received a letter dated 12 September last week. All are well this morning. Hope you also are in health and tolerable comfort. I have sad news to inform you of. Your friend Sergeant Ben Hupp was killed last Wednesday [the] 19th at Cedars Creek. ‘Twas a great shock to me to hear of it and I judge will be much more so to you who was an (almost) inseparable companion. Seems as if death has come nearer to you than ever before. We can’t help but feel his death. Not more than 3 weeks since he was at home and now dead. Can scarce believe it’s true. Ought not this to be sufficient to rouse you to reflection? Yes and God grant we may not be hardened by this, his Providence. Mrs Hupp only yesterday eve received a letter from Baylor informing her of the circumstances the first she knew of it. . . . Hope you will get home before winter– if not can we send from here any thing for your comfort or will you be allowed to receive.” ~ Letter from Mary A. Smiley to her brother Thomas Smiley.

freshly buried dead soldiers

freshly buried dead soldiers

October 26– Wednesday– Richmond, Virginia– “At the Mayor’s Court: William Bohannon, charged with murdering a boy named James J. Brooke, on Friday afternoon last, was sent before the Hustings Court for examination. His counsel, A. J. Crane, Esq., expects to prove that the accused is irresponsible for his actions, on account of mental deficiency.” ~ Richmond Daily Whig.

October 27– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Yesterday about noon, as the Camp Lee train was coming down the Fredericksburg railroad, Broad street, a number of boys, white and black, as usual, jumped on to steal a ride. As the train passed Third Street one of the boys, a free Negro named Harris, about fourteen years old, from some cause fell from the position he had taken in rear of the tender. The passenger coach wheels passed directly over his head, crushing his skull horribly and killing him instantly. Accidents of this kind are constantly occurring on this road, but the warnings seem to be utterly lost on the boys, who, we believe, would, in spite of the efforts of the railroad officers to keep them off, continue to jump on the train if a dozen of them were killed a day.” ~ Richmond Sentinel.

October 27– Thursday– outside of Atlanta, Georgia– “At 10 ½ o’clock some 30 Yankees rode up. Took Phillip’s wagon and two horses, all our meal and flour, one keg of syrup and several articles from the house that I do not know of, one bushel [of] grain, the last we had. They stayed some 15 or 20 minutes and put back over the river. They also took John E’s saddlebags and a large tin cup.” ~ Diary of a local farmer.

cavalry raid

cavalry raid

October 27– Thursday– Quebec City, Quebec, Canada– The conference on confederation ends and the delegates return to their provinces to submit to the various provincial legislatures the “Seventy-Two Resolutions” which they have adopted.

October 28– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “As for the common world, . . . the Governors and Senators, whose voices are loudest in this canvass, their dissent does not surprise me. It took them twenty years to find out that the Abolitionists were no fanatics, and to join us in 1861. I cheerfully give them ten years more to see, not men like trees walking, but clearly, the whole meaning of this issue and its needs. Day dawns gradually from twilight to noon, for all who keep their eyes open; for those who will open their eyes wide enough only to take in a party platform or candidate, it remains always twilight. Reform cries always, ‘No danger in opening your eyes wide!’ Lincoln will obey the strongest. Only agitation will keep us the strongest, or show him that we are so. Agitate! agitate! now, in the harvest time, when every ear in the nation is open, when hearts and minds are malleable! Indeed, gentlemen, this course is our only safety. Remember the pregnant words of Macaulay, ‘The true secret of the power of agitators is the obstinacy of Government. Liberal governments make moderate citizens.’ Mr. Lincoln, in 1848, when he opposed the Mexican war, dared to tell Polk and his party that it was the duty of a good citizen to distinguish, in such times, between the President and the Country. . . . Gentlemen, I will cheerfully support any man for the Presidency whom I believe honest, capable, and resolved to end this war so as ‘to form a more perfect union,’ to ‘insure domestic tranquility’ forever, ‘to establish justice’ for all men of every race, and ‘to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity meaning by ourselves every one born under the flag, and every one who takes refuge beneath it. Against every other man I mean to agitate, till I bayonet him and his party into justice.” ~ a recent speech by Wendell Phillips, quoted in today’s edition of The Liberator.

Wendell Phillips

Wendell Phillips

October 28– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “The election yesterday passed off without the occurrence of any of the serious disturbances which too often attend such occasions. We heard of one or two little skirmishes in different parts of the city but none of them attained the dignity of an ‘engagement.’ Not a little ill-feeling was created by ‘challengers’ at some of the precincts who insisted that every foreigner offering to vote should exhibit his naturalization papers. In one instance an old gentleman who proposed to vote the Union ticket was challenged. He was requested to produce his papers. He could not do so, having mislaid them. He was naturalized forty years ago and has been voting ever since, but in consequence of not being able to find his papers he could not voteyesterday. There were other cases of similar hardship that came to our knowledge. Quite a number of Copperheads refused to take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of West Virginia, as provided by law, and therefore were not allowed to vote. The great majority of those to whom the oath was presented, however, took it, but with a wry face, and deposited their votes.” ~ Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.

October 28– Friday– Moffett’s Creek, Virginia– “I received your letter on Tuesday evening and was glad to hear that you were well & I hope when these few lines reach you may still be enjoying good health. I would have written yesterday but there was no one to take the letter to the Post Office, as there was no one at home but myself until it was too late. Alex is staying with us now he came down the same day you left so we are doing better than we expected. We heard some very bad news yesterday heard that Mr Hupp was killed last Wednesday shot just below the eye and never knew what hurt him. Becca and Sister were over last Friday night– Becca is going down to Churchville next week for the cloth and wants me to go down to Aunt Sallies– she will have a buggy and thinks it will be a good opportunity for me. I expect to go over to the meeting tomorrow or next day. next time you write let me know whether Davis is there or not & how he is getting along. There was two burials at New Providence last Sabbath– Miss Eliza Beard and Mr Culton’s child. We are all well. when you write again direct to Greenville as I expect to be over at Pa’s. I believe I have told all the news. As Mag is waiting I will have to close. I hope you will get home soon. May God watch over and protect you is the prayer of your devoted Wife.” ~ Letter from Ginnie Ott to her husband Enos.

CW graves

October 29– Saturday– McDougall Hospital, New York City– “I am still here but am fit to go [to] the Regiment at any moment. The sooner the better. All soldiers here living in Michigan, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey and New York soldiers living west of Albany, were transferred or furloughed. It is reported here that Pennsylvania troops are to stay here and vote. I don’t know how it is. There was no agent around yet, to give us tickets. Five sixth of the men won’t vote if kept here, since men from other states were transferred. The Doctors say that they have no order for us yet and don’t know if one will come for us or not. The Ohio troops are in the same fix. I expect we will be kept here and not get a chance to vote. To day every man in the Hospital was Vaccinated. There is now about three hundred men here since the rest were transferred. Out of the 300 men here not fifty votes will be poled if they are kept here. Can’t you send me a blank filled up, all but signed, so that I can send it home and still vote? If I don’t get it nothing will be lost. Don’t write to me until you hear further from me, but send a blank or something so that I can vote, as soon as you receive this. From three to eight die every day here. I am well.” ~ Letter from Union soldier Henry C. Metzger to his father in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

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