Death of White Radicals


Donald Trump spoke in Eugene Oregon yesterday. I see him as The Third Party Candidate who destroyed White Christian Radicals, and is prepared to defeat White Leftist Radicals, or, what’s left of them after President Obama decimated our ranks by not giving us anything to do – or say! He launched a Giant Give-away Program that appeared to be retribution for Whites taking Blacks as slaves. Whether this is true or not, is not being discussed on the Left, lest one look like a Right White Racist. Their racist voice is not gagged. They have been very vocal. Trump is only amplifying their White Voice. Many white people are listening, especially young whites who know very little about the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, and how whites took part in that – while sustaining the Bohemian Hippie Movement. Did any Black Liberal Democrats bother to inform this new generation? No! They have been basking in their Victory, enjoying The Change. The tables have been turned!

Spooky Noodles, my Man in San Francisco, and myself, have concluded you can run old ideas by the young every seven years because they hate history and are Know Nothings. Just tweek the expiration date, and render it new! After seven years, an eleven year old is now eighteen. When you are 18 you are an immortal know-it-all fully prepared to turn over all your power to an Old Immortal Know-it-all like Donald Trump. They love his foolish ways. When placed on a stage with Hillary Clinton, she will come off as a scolding old school marm. She will be nasty and rude. Donald will be elected President of the United States and King of Democratic Radicals. Black Voters will be in shock. They have Obama to blame for killing the two major parties. He ended politics in America the day he took office. It takes two to tango. Trump has reborn Politics in America.

On this blog, I declared the Republican Party Dead. I became a Republican and declared myself the Heir of the Republican party. I suggest I used the Power of Prophecy to see the future ! I was right! I own great religious power. However, I am also a secular agnostic who will give birth to a New White Radicalism based upon the German Turners who fought for, and gave up their life, for, the Emancipation of Slaves. Germany did not take part in the Slave Trade and thus are free and clear of the Guilt Trip laid upon all white by black radicals of the Democratic Party. But, more than that, I don’t have to follow the Black Radical Jazz Cosmology that claimed everything that is Cool, came from black folks. If not for the German Turners, all black people would still be slaves!

Jon Presco

The meeting was held in Turner Hall, the center of German American liberalism in the state. Speaker after speaker tied the struggle for the vote for African Americans back to the failed struggle for democracy in Germany in 1848. They rejected the idea of many native-born white Americans that blacks could live in the United States as both free and barred from the vote. The attorney Georg Hillgartner asked the audience, “Is he a free man who is muzzled on account of his skin color? Or is that a free state…whose people’s hands are bound in regard to their custodians and lawmakers?” If blacks could not vote, they would be at the mercy of their white neighbors, including those who had fought for the Confederacy.8

“The Great Republican Reform Party Calling on their Candidate”, an 1856 print which is a political cartoon about John C. Frémont, the first Republican party candidate for president of the United States. In the 1840’s and 1850’s, radical social reform movements (such as slavery abolitionism, alcohol prohibitionism, pacifism, socialism, and after 1848, feminism) and/or what were considered eccentric currents of thought (such as Transcendentalism, Mormonism, Oneida, “spirit-rappers” or Spiritualism, etc.) were sometimes stigmatized by being lumped together as “the Isms”. Southerners often prided themselves on the American South being free from all of the pernicious Isms (except for alcohol temperance campaigning, which was fully compatible with traditional Protestant fundamentalism). For example, on Sept. 5th and 9th 1856, the Richmond, Virginia Examiner ran editorials on “Our Enemies, the Isms and their Purposes”, while in 1858 “Parson” Brownlow” called for a “Missionary Society of the South, for the Conversion of the Freedom Shriekers, Spiritualists, Free-lovers, Fourierites, and Infidel Reformers of the North” (reference: The Freedom-of-thought Struggle in the Old South by Clement Eaton). And George Fitzhugh wrote “Why have you Bloomers and Women’s Right’s men, and strong-minded women, and Mormons, and anti-renters, and ‘vote myself a farm’ men, Millerites, and Spiritual Rappers, and Shakers, and Widow Wakemanites, and Agrarians, and Grahamites, and a thousand other superstitious and infidel Isms at the North? Why is there faith in nothing, speculation about everything?”[1]

This cartoon seeks to stigmatize the Fremont campaign and the Republican party (which was the first broadly-successful political party in United States history to firmly and unyieldingly oppose all attempts at the geographical expansion of slavery) by associating them with the “Isms”, most of which were politically very controversial (and some of which were considered to be offensively immoral by many) at the time. The advocates of the Isms are shown making demands on Fremont:

Advanced Fourierist/Transcendentalist thinker
“The first thing we want is a law making the use of Tobacco, Animal food [i.e. meat], and Lager-bier a Capital Crime –“
Woman wearing an extremely masculinized version of the Bloomer costume (with straight pants instead of harem pants, and extremely short skirts over them), and also smoking (which was considered a masculine prerogative at the time)
“We demand, first of all, the recognition of Woman as the equal of man, with a right to Vote and hold Office. –“
Roughly-dressed character, holding liquor bottle
“An equal division of property, that is what I go in for –“
Ugly woman (from Oneida?) wearing a dress with poorly-constructed narrow hoops (at a time when fashionable belles wore very broad hoops, while women who declared their relative independence from ephemeral fashion trends didn’t wear hoops at all)
“Col., I wish to invite you to the next meeting of our Free Love association, where the shackles of marriage are not tolerated, & perfect Freedom exists in love matters, and you will be sure to enjoy yourself, for we are all Freemounters. –” [this last word a double entendre]
Catholic prelate
“We look to you, Sir, to place the power of the Pope on a firm footing in this Country–“
Black man in exaggerated faux-dandy attire (representing abolitionism)
“De Poppylation ob Color comes in first — arter dat [after that], you may do wot you pleases–“
“You shall all have what you desire — and be sure that the Glorious Principles of Popery, Fourierism, Free Love, Woman’s Rights, the Maine law [alcohol prohibition], & above all the Equality of our Colored Brethren shall be maintained if I get into the Presidential Chair”.

The cartoonist was motivated by political expedience in grouping Catholicism together with the more commonly-recognized “Isms” (which leads to a certain degree of internal inconsistency in the cartoon); it was the Democratic party which was more often accused of relying on the support of Catholic immigrants, whose presence some considered dangerous to the American political system. However, there was a political campaign smear rumor current in 1856 that Fremont was a Catholic (the purpose of which was to prevent Fremont from gaining support from those who were suspicious of Catholics).

Edited from image on the Library of Congress website.

In St. Louis the two election districts with the highest percentage of German-born immigrants were the First and Second Wards, each about 55% German. In the 1860 election, only 10% of Missouri voters went for Lincoln, but the First and Second Wards went 65% for the Republican. The formerly Democratic German had moved towards Lincoln because they opposed the expansion of slavery.1

When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, many Missouri Germans were angry with the president, not because they opposed emancipation, but because the proclamation did not end slavery in Missouri. Lincoln believed that he only had the power to end slavery as a war measure in those states in revolt against the United States. Germans believed that Lincoln ignored the fact that Missouri’s governor had run off with a sizable portion of the old state militia to join the Confederates and that the state was regularly invaded by highly mobile Confederate forces. The state was also riven by pro-Confederate guerrilla activity. The German community argued that slaveholders were behind the Missouri rebels and that ending slavery was necessary to break their power.2

St Louis was the most important city west of the Mississippi in 1865.

As German-born soldiers filled up the ranks of Missouri’s Union regiments, they fought beside black soldiers. Some of the blacks were from Kansas, where they had gone in the 1850s after escaping slavery. Others were black refugees freed by the advance of Union armies into the Confederacy. German antipathy towards slavery was heightened by a sense of comradery with black troops fighting for the same cause. The German immigrants became advocates for their black fellow soldiers, but their voices were not always heard.3

When a delegation of Missouri Germans travelled to Washington to speak with Lincoln about the expansion of the Emancipation Proclamation to cover their own state, he refused to see them. Lincoln’s Postmaster General Montgomery Blair had written the president to beware of the Missouri Germans, calling them “revolutionists, not reformers.”4

In 1864 some of the Missouri Germans backed an attempt to challenge Lincoln from the Left by nominating a Radical anti-slavery man for president. When Lincoln outflanked them by endorsing the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the Germans returned to the Republican fold and put their energies into revising the Missouri constitution to abolish slavery in their state.5

Eight of the sixty-six delegates to the Missouri Constitutional Convention were born in Germany. One of the immigrants, Arnold Krenkel, was elected Convention President. While nearly all native-born Republicans believed that Missouri’s blacks should be freed, the status of blacks in freedom was contentious. Many thought that blacks, if they were free, should not be given the right to vote. Even among whites, women and young people under the age of 21 were not allowed to vote. One could be both a citizen and be deprived of the privilege of voting in 19th Century America.6

In early January 1865 Missouri adopted a German-backed ordinance abolishing slavery. On January 15, the German community held a mass meeting to celebrate its victory in ending slavery and to call for citizenship rights for blacks. The editor of the leading German-language newspaper in the state, Emil Preetorius, told the immigrants that they could not stop at emancipating the slaves. “The principle of freedom and equality,” he said, required that black men being given the right to vote. He said that the “principles of the Declaration of Independence” required that “distinctions based on color” be eliminated. 7

The Ordinance Abolishing Slavery was so important that it was printed as a commemorative print.

The meeting was held in Turner Hall, the center of German American liberalism in the state. Speaker after speaker tied the struggle for the vote for African Americans back to the failed struggle for democracy in Germany in 1848. They rejected the idea of many native-born white Americans that blacks could live in the United States as both free and barred from the vote. The attorney Georg Hillgartner asked the audience, “Is he a free man who is muzzled on account of his skin color? Or is that a free state…whose people’s hands are bound in regard to their custodians and lawmakers?” If blacks could not vote, they would be at the mercy of their white neighbors, including those who had fought for the Confederacy.8

Arnold Krenkel, the Constitutional Convention’s president, told the assembled Germans to disregard the racially charged rhetoric of the opponents of black citizenship. He said that the possibility that citizenship might one day lead to the election of a “Negro president or governor” should not frighten them. The German assembly agreed to petition the Constitutional Convention for the vote for African Americans.9

As the Constitutional Convention did its work of drafting a charter for post-war Missouri, the German delegates consistently tried to move the document towards equality. They were not always successful, but they forced the Convention delegates to confront their own prejudices. For example, when the new Constitution defined the qualifications for governor to include that he be “white,” the Germans took their fellow Missourians to task. They backed a minority report calling for the elimination of the racial requirement. 10

The German members of the drafting committee dealing with the Executive office wrote that “we believe that the all-merciful God is the Father of all, and that, before Him, all men are equal.” The German delegates said that their consciences and their constituents demanded that they protest against “any distinction” to be made in the Missouri Constitution “between white, black, red, or brown.” They rejected the suggestion by moderate Republicans that racist exclusions be incorporated into the Constitution to secure its passage in a state with a segregationist native-born electorate. They wrote that “we were not sent here to pander to a prejudice…but to deal equal justice to all, without regard to color.”11

Echoing Krinkle’s speech at the Turner Hall, the Germans refused to be bullied by the fear that blacks might rise to the highest offices in the state. They wrote boldly that they were “not afraid that a colored man will ever be an aspirant to the office of Governor, or any other state office.” Instead, they argued, “should he-though sprung from a race systematically kept in ignorance by the tyranny of the white man—still be the superior of his white competitor…we do not wish that he be barred out because…his skin was not as white.”12

The Austrian Jewish delegate, Isidor Bush, argued in a speech from the Convention floor that voting was not a privilege that whites could choose to extend or deny to free blacks. Instead, he said, it was “the right of everyone who lived in the civil society of a free government.” He told his fellow delegates that extending the vote to blacks was the “necessary, unavoidable, logical consequence of freedom.” 13

The Germans, who had less than a decade before been the targets of the Know Nothings because of their immigrant identity, drew parallels between the discrimination they had faced and the even greater persecution of blacks. Newspaperman Preetorius wrote that “differences of race and color should be as unimportant as those of belief or descent,” fully understanding that just a few years earlier immigrants had been attacked because of their religion and “descent.”14

When the Missouri Constitution did not go adopt the full platform of racial civil equality advocated by many Germans, the immigrants denounced the more conservative delegates as embodying the prejudices of the Know Nothings. They warned that “racial intolerance” might soon be coupled with efforts to clamp down on immigrant communities.15

While the Germans failed to achieve civil equality for blacks in Missouri, their accomplishments were marked. They had helped keep the state in the Union when Missouri’s governor had plotted to take it out in 1861. They had pressured Lincoln into supporting the 13th Amendment. They had helped end slavery in a state that had been slave from its founding. Most importantly, they had spoken, fought, and died for the most racially egalitarian program proposed by any large group of whites in the state. 16


German Immigrants, Race, and Citizenship in the Civil War Era by Alison Clark Efford published by Cambridge University Press (2014) is an excellent new study of German immigrants during the Civil War Era. This article relies heavily upon Professor Efford’s research.


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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