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Goodenow, Robert (1800-1874) Astounding Disclosures!

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04714 Author/Creator: Goodenow, Robert (1800-1874) Place Written: Farmington, Maine Type: Broadside Date: 18 August 1858 Pagination: 1 p. ; 31.7 x 22 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04714 Author/Creator: Goodenow, Robert (1800-1874) Place Written: Farmington, Maine Type: Broadside Date: 18 August 1858 Pagination: 1 p. ; 31.7 x 22 cm.

Summary of Content: An inflammatory Republican attack on the Democratic Party. Subtitled: "What will the Pirate Democracy do next!" Attacks Democrats over Kansas, slavery, and general corruption of the party. In the second half of the broadside, Goodenow, a Congressman from Maine, defends himself against a Democratic attack on his own activity settling an estate, subtitled "The Lie is nailed to the Counter! A Statement of Facts."

Background Information: By 1858, a growing number of Northerners believed that two fundamentally antagonistic civilizations had evolved in the nation, one dedicated to freedom, the other opposed. They had come to believe that ...their society was locked in a life or death struggle with an aggressive slave power which had seized control of the federal government and imperiled the liberties of free people. Declared the New York Tribune: "We are not one people. We are two peoples. We are a people for Freedom and a people for Slavery. Between the two, conflict is inevitable." At the same time, an increasing number of Southerners expressed alarm at the growth of antislavery and anti-southern sentiment in the North.
This broadside, entitled ASTOUNDING DISCLOSURES!, underscores the political polarization that was taking place as the 1850s drew to a close.
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Full Transcript: What will the Pirate Democracy do next!
The Democratic Party has become so startlingly wicked, and its crimes and outrages so frequent and enormous, that active efforts are now being ...made...to turn the attention from the corrupt and putrid carcass, to the imaginary faults of the Republican Party. But the effort will prove vain, indeed. They can no more turn attention from their crimes and villainy, than they can fly from themselves.
Despised, defeated, overthrown, routed everywhere in the FREE STATES; finding nothing but reproaches and despair in their own hearts, they turn, and with a courage rendered desperate by debauchery, charge upon the vagaries of their own corrupt fancy!....
A party which has more capital invested in human flesh than in any other twenty articles of Commerce in our whole country;--a party which makes men for the market and women for the harem, as we raise sheep for the shambles. A party which would render the piracies of...[Captain] Kidd respectable by re-opening the Slave Trade, with all the soul-sickening horrors of the "middle passage!" A party which would rob weak and powerless Spain of the Island of Cuba, for the purpose of bringing a million of Slaves into the confederacy, and giving it the control of the vast National Councils! A party which would open our vast territories to this vile and withering curse.... A party that tried to make Kansas the burial place of liberty, that Slavery might flourish upon its gravel. A party which cheered on the assassin, who, with wood from dishonored soil, struck down, in the Senate House, Charles Sumner, "Liberty's chosen Senator," WHICH FOUL AND MURDEROUS ACT WAS DEFENDED UPON THE HILLTOPS.... A party which openly defends ballot-box stuffing.... A party which stigmatizes the yeomanry and laboring men of the North as "mudsills and greasy mechanics!"....
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People: Goodenow, Robert, 1800-1874

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PoliticsRepublican PartyDemocratic PartyBleeding KansasSlaveryAfrican American HistoryCorruption and ScandalCongressGovernment and CivicsEstateMorality and Ethics

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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