Cleveland (OH) Herald, “The Border States,” April 16, 1861

    Source citation
    “The Border States,” Cleveland (OH) Herald, April 16, 1861, p. 2: 2.
    Original source
    Louisville (KY) Journal
    Newspaper: Publication
    Daily Cleveland Herald
    Newspaper: Headline
    The Border States
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    The great anxiety as the effect of the war news will be as to its reception in the Border Slave States. This bloody issue will immediately bring out the Union feeling in those States – that is if there is any such feeling to be aroused – or it will demonstrate that the Union sentiment is blasted wherever slavery treads. Be this as it may, the shock has come none too soon, for anything is better than suspense. – As anticipation of a pleasure always outstrips reality, so does dread of a suspended blow more injure the victim than the blow itself. Give us naked realities, awful as they may be, but deliver us from specters.

    The experiment of inaction as an antidote against secession in the Border States, evidently is not active enough; it made the rebels only the more arrogant and threatening, while the conservatives of the Border Slave States evidently looked upon it as the result of fear, not the dictate of friendship and humanity.

    To Baltimore the war news has called out a sentiment in favor of the Union, the very existence of which two weeks since was denied. One [of] the most malignant and pestiferous secession sheets in the land is published at Baltimore, and Maryland was fast sinking into the arms of disunion. The lethargy is now thrown off, and, if we may judge from her great commercial center, Maryland is a Union State.

    From Kentucky we hear merely, thus far, the response of Louisville. The Courier, a desperate secession paper, on the day the bombardment commenced, announced that hostilities had been brought on by the treachery of the Federal Government and called on Kentuckians to take up the cause of the South. Looking to that day’s Journal to read as we hoped a noble appeal for the Starts and Stripes we found – nothing. We have all along believed that Kentucky was more certainly for disunion than Virginia, for in the former State we see no naked Union sentiment, while the West part of the latter State is as unqualifiedly for the Union as is Ohio.

    Since writing the above, we see in Monday’s Journal that paper abuses Mr. Lincoln as follows:

    The policy announced in the Proclamation deserves the unqualified condemnation of every American citizen. It is unworthy not merely of a statesman but of a man. It is a policy utterly hair-brained and ruinous. If Mr. Lincoln contemplated this policy in the inaugural address, he is a guilty dissembler if he has conceived it under the excitement raised by the seizure of Fort Sumter, he is a guilty hotspur. In either case, he is miserably unfit for the exalted position in which the enemies of the country have placed him. Let the people instantly take him and his Administration into their own hands if they would rescue the land from bloodshed and the Union from sudden and irretrievable destruction.

    In the same paper it leans towards the Union cause, by a review of the whole question as to who is responsible for bringing on hostilities, and says:

    The revolutionists and not the Government first violated the existing status, or status quo ante bellum. And upon the heads of the revolutionists falls the responsibility of this lamentable collision. They have assumed the awful responsibility deliberately and in cold blood.

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