My Family History – Wiped Out

Above are images of the Benton family: Garth, Christine, and my niece, Drew. Doesn’t Garth look like his kin Senator Thomas Hart Benton, who had a duel with Andrew Jackson? Am I being punished because my kinfolk made much real history?

https://rosamondpress.com/2013/12/07/my-benton-kindred-saved-masonic-library/

On the facebook group Oakland History, I spend two days posting on the history of the Forty-Eighters and Jessie and John Fremont who emancipated the slaves of Missouri. I did this not show off as I suspect other members demised, but, I knew this history was coming back in play. The day after I am unfriended, and all my history, sponged, there is another Trump-Attack on American History.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9mont_Emancipation

The owner of Oakland History is glad I am gone so the group can go back to arguing about Kaspar’s Hot Dogs.  The moderator more than likely prided himself in knowing one historic fact by heart – it was wrong to hate the Indians. He waited years for his little light to shine, for someone to come along and say they hate Indians. DELETE!

Colonel Thomas Hart Benton saved Albert Pike’s Masonic Library. The Freemasons were hunted down. No one is hunting Amy Alee, or her Alien allies. If they read this, they will dismiss the importance of Trump BUTCHERIING our history, because, he is the Head Alien Hunter, and ONLY has it out for the RH Club members! The rest of us are free to go on our merry way, and do those coo-coo things we fully human folks are prone to do, like voting, and sticking hot dogs up our ass!

I fall back on humor, to keep fro crying. For all my work, I get very little feedback due to being………..OVERQUALIFIED!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2017

Albert Pike Comes to Oakland

Drew Benton’s great grandfather saved Albert Pike’s Masonic library, thus, Scottish Rite Freemasony. Above is the Sottish Rite Temple in Oakland where was located a Chapter of the Rose Croix. Jon Presco Oakland, in 1880, had become the city second in importance to California after San Francisco. A number of Masonic Lodges were occupying the new Masonic Temple at Twelfth and Washington Streets. In the summer of 1883 Supreme Grand Commander Albert Pike 33o visited Oakland and he selected twelve men to receive the 4th through 32nd Degrees. Within days after their initiation 19 other Scottish Rite members joined with them and soon petitioned the Grand Consistory in San Francisco. After much discussion and some dissent, agreement was reached and charters were granted for a Lodge of Perfection, Chapter of Rose Croix and Council of Kadosh

 

Trump’s right-wing populism is built on historical amnesia

WorldViews

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President Trump won an election based on a promise about the past: “Make America great again,” he proclaimed, conjuring up the mythic “good old days” while railing about the supposed disaster and mess of the present.

But the funny thing about Trump’s nostalgia is that the president has proved, time and again, that he doesn’t know much about the past after all.

That was obvious on Monday after Trump was interviewed on radio by the Washington Examiner in which he extolled President Andrew Jackson and suggested Jackson could have prevented the Civil War from taking place.

Here’s the full excerpt of what Trump said:

I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that — he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

As we wrote earlier, the White House has overtly embraced Jackson’s proto-populist legacy. Trump showed off a Jackson biography on his desk at the Oval Office and paid a visit to Jackson’s grave in Tennessee in March. His advisers grandiosely described Trump as a “Jacksonian” president. But there are so many dubious claims in just a few sentences here that they cast doubt on Trump’s basic grasp of his own branding, let alone American history.

“One glaring issue here: Jackson wasn’t really angry about what was happening with the Civil War, because he died more than a decade (1845) before it started (1861),” observed my colleague Aaron Blake, who generously pointed to the source of what may have been Trump’s confusion. “Jackson in 1832 and 1833 oversaw the Nullification Crisis, in which Jackson used the threat of military force to make South Carolina pay tariffs. The situation was eventually resolved but is viewed as a precursor to the Civil War.”

Later on Monday, the president went on to tweet:

But while Jackson may have preserved the Union during his time in office, he was hardly opposed to slavery — the fundamental issue at the heart of the Civil War. Jackson was a slave owner and displayed no “big heart” for the human chattel who secured him his livelihood. My colleagues at the Retropolis blog wrote about a notice Jackson published in the Tennessee Gazette in 1804 urging the return of a “runaway” slave, a “mulatto” who “talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes” and “will pass for a free man

By the time Frémont took command in St. Louis on July 25, 1861, Union forces under Lyon had fought in several engagements against the Missouri State Guard. On August 10, a combined force of Missouri State Guard, Confederate States Army, and Arkansas Militia, consisting of about 11,000 troops, closed in on Lyon’s Union force numbering approximately 5,000 near Springfield, Missouri.[17] During the ensuing Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Lyon was killed and the federal force routed. Pro-secession sentiment surged throughout Missouri following the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. Estimates by Union army officials placed the number of armed secessionists in Missouri at roughly 60,000.[18] Alarmed by the increasing turbulence, Frémont declared martial law in the state of Missouri on August 30, 1861.[19]

Proclamation and reaction[edit]

Just before dawn on August 30, Frémont finished penning his proclamation of martial law and read it to his wife and a trusted advisor, Edward Davis of Philadelphia. Davis warned that officials in Washington would never stand for such a sweeping edict. Frémont responded that he had been given full power to put down secession in Missouri and that, as a war measure, the proclamation was entirely warranted.[20]

The most controversial passage of the proclamation, and the one with the greatest political consequences, was the following:[3]

All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up arms against the United States, and who shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free.[21]

The two extreme measures described within this passage threatened to alienate Unionists in each of the border states. Drawing a line from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Leavenworth, Kansas, Frémont declared capital punishment would be administered to any secessionists bearing arms north of that line.[19] Further, the proclamation freed the slaves of any secessionists who took up arms against the government. Frémont issued his proclamation without consulting any authority in Missouri or Washington.[3]

The proclamation freed very few slaves. First, and most prominently, two slaves belonging to an aide of the former Gov. Jackson, Frank Lewis and Hiram Reed, were given their manumission papers. This act received significant coverage by the St. Louis press.[19] Frémont then issued papers to 21 other slaves.[22] However, the greatest significance of the proclamation came in the form of political ramifications. The proclamation set a political precedent, over which there was tremendous disagreement, that the Civil War was a war against slavery.[23] This threatened to tip the delicate political balance in border states. Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland all might have been pushed towards secession if such a precedent had been backed by the federal government at the beginning of the war.[24]

Unionists in Missouri were divided in their reaction. Radical Republicans, who favored abolition, were overjoyed. This included much of the St. Louis press.[3] Frémont surrounded himself with men of this faction, and several Radical Republican politicians had come to St. Louis with him as aides and advisors. These included Illinois Congressman Owen Lovejoy (brother of the antislavery journalist Elijah Lovejoy who had been murdered in 1837 by an anti-abolitionist mob), Ohio Congressman John A. Gurley and Indiana Congressman John P.C. Shanks. All ardent abolitionists, these men encouraged and influenced Frémont’s proclamation.[25] More moderate Unionists were troubled by Frémont’s proclamation and pro-slavery conservatives were outraged.[19] Most important, among the moderates in Missouri alienated by Frémont’s proclamation was the new governor of Missouri, Hamilton Rowan Gamble, whose authority Frémont had now superseded by declaring martial law. Feeling that Frémont had greatly overstepped his authority, Gamble began to work for Frémont’s removal.[3] In neighboring Kentucky, there was widespread outrage. Although the proclamation pertained only to the state of Missouri, Kentuckians feared that a similar edict might be applied by Frémont to their state. Most slaves in Kentucky belonged to Unionists and threatening to free them could have pushed the state into the Confederacy.[2]

Lincoln’s reaction and Frémont’s removal[edit]

A painting depicting President Lincoln seated in an ornate wooden armchair. He wears a black suit and bow tie. He is leaning forward, legs crossed, with one hand on his chin.

President Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln learned of Frémont’s proclamation by reading it in the newspaper.[23] Disturbed by Frémont’s actions, Lincoln felt that emancipation was “not within the range of military law or necessity” and that such powers rested only with the elected federal government.[26] Lincoln also recognized the monumental political problem that such an edict posed to his efforts to keep the border states in the Union. He was particularly worried about reports he heard of the furor in Kentucky over the edict, writing, “I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game.”[27] According to Lincoln in a letter to a supporter of Frémont, a unit of Kentucky militia fighting for the Union, upon hearing of Frémont’s proclamation, threw down their weapons and disbanded.[27] Lincoln determined the proclamation could not be allowed to remain in force. However, to override the edict or to directly order Frémont to strike out or modify the paragraph had its own political dangers—such an act would outrage abolitionists throughout the North. Sensitive to the political pitfalls on all sides, Lincoln wrote to Frémont, “Allow me to therefore ask, that you will, as of your own motion, modify that paragraph…”[24]

Frémont wrote a reply to Lincoln’s request on September 8, 1861 and sent it to Washington in the hands of his wife, Jessie Benton Frémont, who met with the President in the White House on September 10. In the letter, Frémont stated that he knew the situation in Missouri better than the President and that he would not rescind the proclamation unless directly ordered. Angered, Lincoln wrote Frémont the next day, directly ordering him to modify the emancipation clause to conform with existing federal law—that only slaves themselves acting in armed rebellion could be confiscated and freed.[4]

Lincoln could not allow Frémont’s insubordination to go unpunished. However, his dilemma again lay in politics. Removal of Frémont over the emancipation issue would infuriate radicals in Congress. Lincoln determined that if Frémont were to be removed, it would have to be for matters unrelated to the proclamation. He therefore sent Postmaster General Montgomery Blair and Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs to Missouri to evaluate Frémont’s management of his department.[5] On his return, Blair reported that a tremendous state of disorganization existed in Missouri and Frémont “seemed stupified…and is doing absolutely nothing.”[6] When Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas made his own inspection and reported to Lincoln that Frémont was, “wholly incompetent,” Lincoln decided to leak Thomas’s report to the press.[28] Amidst the resulting public outrage against Frémont, Lincoln sent an order on October 22, 1861, removing him from command of the Department of the West.[6]

Aftermath[edit]

For Frémont, the personal repercussions of his proclamation were disastrous. His removal from command of the Western Department did irreparable damage to his reputation.[3] Giving Frémont a second chance, Lincoln approved his appointment to command the strategically important Mountain Department, overseeing the mountainous region surrounding the Virginia and Kentucky border. Frémont’s forces were badly defeated, however, in the Battle of Cross Keys in Virginia on June 8, 1862.[3] He eventually resigned from frustration at being passed over when Lincoln appointed Maj. Gen. John Pope to command of the Army of Virginia, and spent the rest of the war awaiting a new appointment which never came.[3]

For Lincoln, the immediate effects of Frémont’s removal resulted in the furor the president had anticipated from northern abolitionists. Massachusetts Governor John Albion Andrew, a Radical Republican and abolitionist, wrote that Lincoln’s actions had a “chilling influence” on the antislavery movement.[29] The outrage was only a short-term effect, however, and soon subsided.[29]

The most significant long-term consequence of the Frémont Emancipation was the effect it had on Lincoln’s perceptions of emancipation and, specifically, how it should be accomplished. As historian Allen Guelzo describes, Lincoln became determined, after Frémont’s failed proclamation, that emancipation could not be a matter of martial law or some other temporary measure that would later be challenged in courts. To ensure its permanence, Lincoln felt, emancipation would have to be put into effect by the federal government in a manner that was incontrovertibly constitutional.[30] Equally important, the timing of emancipation would need to be orchestrated carefully, so as not to interfere with the war effort. Although in 1861, Lincoln had not yet espoused the idea of immediate emancipation and still hoped to work with state governments to accomplish gradual and perhaps even a compensated emancipation, the Frémont incident solidified Lincoln’s belief that emancipation was the President’s responsibility and could not be accomplished by scattered decrees from Union generals. This realization was one of several factors that led to Lincoln’s own Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862.[7]

About Royal Rosamond Press

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