Fort McHenry 1862

Public Sentiment in Maryland in July 1862

A correspondent of the Philadelphia Press writing from Frederick, Md., says:

‘The people agree that our government has been far too lenient towards the rebels in the valley of Virginia, and that the government,if it expects to conquer the rebels, must treat them in a far different way than it has done heretofore. They think that, after the treatment our forces have received, no measures are too harsh for the rebels, and the sooner we stop ‘playing war’ with them the better for ourselves and the country.

On the Negro question a great change has come over this part of the country, and those who were a year ago counted our most ultra pro-slavery men, are now on the other sideband do not hesitate to declare that if the ultimatum must come at last either to free and arm the slaves, or let the Union be dissolved,they are willing that the former plan should prevail.

I was talking to one of the richest and most respected citizens of the place today,and in answer to the question what rethought of the President signing the bill forth abolishment of slavery in the District of Columbia replied somewhat as follows:

Well,sir, one year ago I was very ultra on this question, and would not rest till I had denounced any proposition made, to free the negro in any place. I was then as good a Union man as now. But I have had my eyes opened, and having seen the barbarous way the rebels have treated Union soldiers, I do not hesitate to say that I would do anything in my power, even to arming the Negroes, to crush out this rebellion. President Lincoln is honest and I believe that when he signed the bill for the abolishment of slavery in the District of Columbia, he did it with the consciousness that the majority of the people would approve it, and therefore I approve of his course.

This is only one in a hundred cases of a like character that I have come in contact with, and goes to show the wonderful change now working in this part of Maryland.Verily the world moves.

Source

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: Douglass’ Monthly
Date: July, 1862
Title: Public Sentiment in Maryland
Location: Rochester, New York

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