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In Short, No!

July 2024
1min read

I join the Democrats! Never so long as there are sects in churches, weeds in gardens, fleas in hog pens, dirt in victuals, disputes in families, wars with nations, water in the ocean, bad men in America, or base women in France! No, Jordan Clark, you may hope, you may congratulate, you may reason, you may sneer, but that cannot be. The thrones of the Old World, the courts of the Universe … the New World may commit the national suicide of dissolving this Union,—but all this and more must occur before I join the Democracy!

I join the Democracy! Jordan Clark, you know not what you say. When I join the Democracy, the Pope of Rome will join the Methodist church. When Jordan Clark, of Arkansas, is president of the Republic of Great Britain by the universal suffrage of a contented people; when Queen Victoria consents to be divorced from Prince Albert by a county court in Kansas; when Congress obliges by law James Buchanan to marry a European princess; … when Alexander of Russia and Napoleon of France are elected Senators in Congress from New Mexico; when good men cease to go to heaven or bad men to hell; when this world is turned upside down; when proof is afforded both clear and understandable, that there is no God; when men turn to ants, and ants to elephants, I will change my political faith and come out on the side of the Democrats!

The above tirade was the reply of the Unionist editor, the Reverend William G. Brownlow of Tennessee, to Jordan Clark of Camden, Arkansas, when he urged Brownlow to join the Democratic party in the 1860 election. It is reprinted from the Bulletin of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, July, 1959.

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