Tag Archives: Vincennes Western Sun
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St. Patrick’s Day Sentiments from Saint Louis

The Hibernian Society of Saint Louis celebrated the 17th of March in an appropriate manner. The following were among the sentiments offered:

 Ireland —Down trodden and oppressed, though still unconquered, may the slumbering echoes of freedom in the hearts of her sons burst forth with a splendor that will dazzle and abash her oppressors. 

The Memory of Washington ,whose name will always be the watchword of freedom and the knell of tyranny. 

The President of the United States —The Chief Executive of a free people, by far more potent, and at the same time more secure than any crowned head, because he has for his body guard, a nation of freemen.


Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Weekly Vincennes Western Sun
Date: March 27, 1858
Title: St. Patrick’s Day.
Location: Vincennes, Indiana


“Yom Kippur” or the Day of Atonement Explained

Our A Midwestern Perspective section of our Civil War collection consists of seven newspapers published in Indiana between the years of 1855 and 1869. These items provide pre-and post-Civil War information, in addition to coverage of the Civil War itself. These newspapers, including the The Vincennes Weekly Western Sun, contain a lot more than just Civil War coverage.

After sunset this evening the Jews, all over the world, commence celebrating one of their most solemn holidays, called “Yom Kippur,” in the Hebrew language, which, being interpreted, means Day of Atonement.

The origin of the festival will be found in Leviticus, XXIII, 26–33; And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: “Also on the tenth day of the seventh month, there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls and offer an offering, made by fire, unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work on that same day, for it is a day of atonement: for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be, that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be, that doeth any work on that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls, in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.”

One of the peculiarities of the festival is that the Jews abstain from any and every kind of food from sunset this evening until sunset to-morrow evening. The Jews of this place, those believing in one God, having faith in the Bible and belonging to the Abrahamic Covenant, will have their business houses closed during that time–from this evening till tomorrow evening.

This year observing Jews will begin to celebrate Yom Kippur on the sunset of Tuesday, the 25th of September, 2012.


Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Vincennes Weekly Western Sun
Date: September 29, 1860
Title: “Yom Kippur” Or Day of Atonement
Location: Vincennes, Indiana

President Andrew Johnson

Johnson Acquitted!

On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate voted against impeaching President Andrew Johnson and acquits him of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

In February 1868, the House of Representatives charged Johnson with eleven articles of impeachment for vague “high crimes and misdemeanors.” To put this in perspective, in 1998, President Bill Clinton was charged with two articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice during an investigation into his inappropriate sexual behavior in the White House Oval Office and Nixon faced three charges for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

The Impeachment Excitement

A correspondent gives the following account of the proceedings of the impeachment court last Saturday, and the final vote on the eleventh article;

WASHINGTON, May 16.–The caucus, at a late hour late hour last night, had determined on the programme. Notice had been served on the Radical leaders by General Grant that he would not accept the Presidential nomination if President Johnson was acquitted . The Senate would refuse to postpone a vote, unless delay would improve the prospects of conviction. The impeachers were again between Scylla and Charyddis as to what could be done. The compromise agreed upon, as developed in the proceedings to-day, was, that a vote should be taken on the 11th, which was believed to be the strongest article, and if defeated on that to adjourn until after the Chicago convention, and hold on to Grant.

When the Court opened, Messrs. Howard and Conkling were in their seats, and Mr. Grimes absent Mr. Fessenden rose, with a troubled look, and suggested the postponement of the vote for half an hour. At this moment Mr. Grimes entered, pale and feeble, leaning on the shoulder of a friend.

Theodore R. Davis's drawing of the Andrew Johnson Impeachment Trial

Theodore R. Davis's drawing of the Andrew Johnson Impeachment Trial

Mr. Anthony, doubtful, being the first on the roll, all eyes were turned on him. When he, in faltering tone, voted “guilty,” a buzz ran through the chamber, but no loud demonstration was made.

Mr. Fessenden, being called, rose, stretched his tall form to its full height, and stood erect, and listened attentively to the question by the Chief Justice. Mr. Sumner, who sits behind him, leaned over to catch a glimpse of his face, while with perfect composure, and clear voice, he voted “not guilty.”

The next doubtful Senator called was Mr. Fowler, and all eyes were immediately fixed upon him. Mr. Fowler answered “not guilty.”

Mr. Grimes had spoken, and was known to be for acquittal. When his name was called, he, too weak to rise, answered “not guilty.”

Mr. Henderson next rose, nervous under the battery of Radical eyes. Messrs. Conkling, Thayer, and Morton leaned forward to hear him vote “not guilty.”

The next doubtful man called was Mr. Ross, who sprang to his feet and voted “not guilty,” to the great astonishment of the Jacobins, who had counted on him to secure conviction, on this article. He had been visited during last night by various Radical delegations, all reporting Mr. Ross as certain on the eleventh article. His vote was the bombshell which scattered their hopes.

The President now had six Republican votes, and Mr. Van Winkle was certain. Seven secured acquittal. The contest was won. Mr. Ross had settled the question. The President was triumphant and impeachment lost. The Managers looked pitiable. Butler’s bald head was the color of a cooked lobster; Bingham rested his forehead on the table; Sevens bit his pale lips, and Logan sqirted tobacco juice.

Mr. Butler soon seized his hat and passed out at the door. He met a friend, who said “Pleasant result, General.” Butler replied, “G–d d–d this thing.” and rushed by.

The House immediately authorized the Managers to proceed to take testimony as to the influence brought to bear on Senators to induce them to vote for acquittal. This is understood to be the trick of the cattle fish, to escape under cover of its own dirt.


Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Vincennes Weekly Western Sun
Date: May 23, 1868
Title: The Impeachment Excitement
Location: Vincennes, Indiana

In the same issue:

The “impeachers” of this city were the ugliest, fiercest, maddest looking set of fellows on Saturday that we have ever seen. Some of them tried to look as mean as old Butler himself, but only one or two succeeded.


Lincoln and Seward for Peace – A Letter from Russia

From the abuse heaped upon every Democrat or other Union-loving man who dares to favor peace, we are surprised to have the evidence before us that Secretary Seward and even the President himself have just committed themselves to the doctrine of “peace and compromise.”

For proof of this, we have only to refer to the flattering manner in which they have just received the dispatch from the Emperor of Russia (Alexander II of Russia, also known as Alexander the Liberator), transmitted by Gortschakoff, upon our national troubles, in which it is forcibly and truthfully urged that:

The struggle which unhappily has just arisen can neither be indefinitely prolonged, nor lead to the total destruction of one of the parties. Sooner or later it will be necessary to come to some settlement what-so-ever it may be, which may cause the divergent interests now actually in conflict to coexist. The American nation would then give proof of high political wisdom in seeking in common such a settlement before a useless effusion of blood, a barren squandering of strength and of public riches, and acts of violence and reciprocal reprisals shall have to come to deepen an abyss between the two parties of the Confederation, to end, definitely, in their mutual exhaustion, and in the ruin, perhaps irreparable, of their commercial and political power.

Tsar Alexander II

Tsar Alexander II

His Imperial Majesty still places his confidence in that practical good sense of the citizens of the Union who appreciate so judiciously their true interests. His Majesty is happy to believe that the members of the Federal Government and the influential men of the two parties will seize all occasions, and will unite all their efforts to calm the effervescence of the passions. There are no interests so divergent that it may not be possible to reconcile them by laboring to that end with zeal and perseverance, in a spirit of justice and moderation.

Abraham Lincoln (Painting 1869)

Abraham Lincoln (Painting 1869)

Could a stronger more or urgent appeal for peace, reconciliation, and compromise be made? (more…)


The First Week of War: April 15th Telegrams – Part Two

News continued to pour in from all over the Union and newspapers were issuing multiple editions every day just to keep up with all the reports.

As April 15th progressed, the telegraph offices were working overtime to transcribe the news coming over the lines.

April 15th Telegrams – Part Two

Washington — April 15

John C. Baum is appointed Postmaster at Cincinnati. The War Department has accepted the Governor of Rhode Island’s offer of a regiment to be sent to Washington without delay.

Richmond, Virginia — April 15

Lincolns proclamation was received with execrations.  The public is fearfully excited and say the military would sooner die than obey it’s requirements.

Cincinnati, Ohio — April 15

Market for uncurrent money greatly unsettled; dealers not disposed to buy.  Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa are 10 cents discount; New Orleans 5, Maryland 2. American gold selling at 5 percent premium – Exchange on the East 1 percent premium.

Richmond, Virginia — April 15

The Commissioners presented Lincoln’s reply to the convention.  Several Unionists said of the President means to subjugate the South there was but one course for Virginia to pursue.  Opinion is divided whether to secede now or wait and operate with the border states.  All feel that the crisis has arrived.Friends of Gov. Letcher say he will refuse to entertain the President’s proclamation.  The general opinion is that Lincoln having repudiated Virginia’s efforts for peaceful solution, she must aid in defending the South. (more…)

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