Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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News of 150 Years Ago—January/February 1865


January/February 1865

By the start of 1865, the Northern press was confident that the defeat of the Confederacy was just a matter of time. Editorials from the Richmond papers especially were reprinted to show the desperation of the Southern people, exemplified by their proposals to arm slaves to bolster their armies. This editorial from the DEMOCRAT offered an interesting view on the subject.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, January 6, 1865.


Had the rebels obtained control of the entire Mississippi, and so occupied it with gunboats as to cut off Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and the rest of the loyal territory west of the Mississippi, from communication with the East; had they then pushed one of their largest and best armies, under their most skillful General, across
the border, and, after capturing Pittsburgh, moved on to the lakes; and were they now in possession of Buffalo, from it, as a base, threatening Cleveland and Chicago; were they, with another army, investing Washington; while, in power upon the ocean, they had succeeded in blockading every one of our ports, except New York, where their fleet was engaged in throwing shot and shell into the battery and Fort Lafayette—in these circumstances we would conclude the loyal cause to be “under a cloud,” as one of the Richmond journals expresses itself in speaking of Confederate affairs. Yet such a picture faintly portrays the desperate condition to which the rebel cause is now reduced….

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In November, 1864, Missouri voters elected delegates to a convention charged with writing a new state constitution. The delegates convened on January 6, 1865, at the Mercantile Library in St. Louis. The DEMOCRAT expected big things from the Convention.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, January 6, 1865.


Elsewhere will be found a list of names of members elect to the Convention which assembles in the city to-day. We learn that the members are generally present in the city, and may be be [sic] expected to go to work without delay. A glance at the list is sufficient to satisfy any one familiar with Missouri affairs for the last two years, that the radically loyal element of the State is strongly represented. So far as we enjoy the pleasure of their acquaintance, they are thoroughly in earnest and competent to do good and effective work. We look for nothing else at their hands. The responsibility they are called upon to assume is of the gravest character, and the country looks to them to be swayed neither by fear or favor in meeting and discharging it. We believe the action of the Convention will be such as to satisfy all reasonable expectations on this ground….

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On January 11, the convention voted to abolish slavery in the state without compensation. The DEMOCRAT was ecstatic, proclaiming jubilee across the state.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, January 12, 1865.


Missouri is free. Emancipation, real, genuine, radical emancipation is achieved. This is a victory equal to any ever won upon the field of battle, and as such deserves to be commemorated. We feel like celebrating the event for which we so long have labored, and doubt not that such is the universal feeling among the liberty-loving people of this community….

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On January 11, 1864, Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri submitted a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. Ratification by the States began almost immediately, with the required three-fourths majority reached December 6, 1865. The final House vote was in doubt through most of the roll call vote.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 6, 1865.


The Passage of the Constitutional Amendment—The Scene in the House.

[Special Correspondence to the Cincinnati Gazette.]


At last the time for the vote had come, and the previous question was demanded. Amid a hush that was painful, the pencils of the clerks noted down the answers to the call. The motion was carried, of course; but—it lacked two of a two thirds vote! A shivering sort of buzz ran through the disappointed galleries; but on the floor the Unionists, though anxious, did not look discouraged, while on the Democratic side could be seen a mingled expression of consternation and defiance. The leaders kept in the back ground; they felt the power of the moment too clearly to think of risking themselves against it; but smaller men made haste to try defeating the inevitable. One proposed adjourning; another laying the motion on the table; a third had a point of order, and a last expedient, flung out as a ruined gamester throws down his last trump card, the threat of filibustering….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, February 3, 1865.



Serenade to the President.

His Remarks on the Success of the Constitutional Amendment.



The Illinois and Michigan Canal Bill Passed.

From New York.

The Empire State Ratifies the Amendment.


Texas Intelligence.


The Rebel Deputies—President Lincoln Reported en route to Meet Them—Serenade to and Speech of the President—Vote on the Illinois and Michigan Canal Bill.

WASHINGTON, February 2.—The serenading party last night, having played several airs before the White House, the President appeared and was greeted with loud cheers. The President said he supposed the passage of the Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery throughout the United States was an occasion to which he was indebted for the honor of this call…

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The DEMOCRAT heartily approved, noting that public opinion on abolition had changed dramatically over the course of the war.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, February 3, 1865.


In referring to the adoption of the Constitutional amendment, prohibiting slavery in the United States, we think we can safely speak of it as the greatest victory of the war. In that event perished the cause of the rebellion. For every drop of blood shed in battle is slavery responsible. But for its malignant influence, we would to-day have had an unbroken peace and prosperity. But for its instigation, the sword would never have been drawn, and the conflict begun between brothers and countrymen. In striking the death blow at slavery, the nation reaches the root of the rebellion, and places itself right on the record in the prosecution of the war….

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