Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "They Have Overdone It!," November 2, 1859

    Source citation
    “They Have Overdone It!,” Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, November 2, 1859, p. 2: 5.
    Original source
    Indianapolis (IN) Journal
    Newspaper: Publication
    Chicago Press and Tribune
    Newspaper: Headline
    They Have Overdone It!
    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.

    They Have Overdone It!

    The Indianapolis Journal thinks that the Democracy have overdone the Harper’s Ferry affair; and gives the following as the reasons for its opinion:

    They have not used the material furnished them by the insurrection with quite enough show of a desire to simply get out the truth, and leave it to do its own work. They have let it appear entirely too plainly that they were disposed to play every card in their hands for all it was worth, and a little more, in other words they were willing to cheat a little, in the hope of making the game surer. A few instances will illustrate this blunder.

    First. The magnitude of the insurrection was exaggerated at one time, being Democratically estimated to include 700 men. There were never over 22.

    Second. The telegraph shows a little too plainly the side it is working for. No one who has watched the reports with any care has failed to see how openly it lends itself to the Democratic use of the insurrection. At one time it tells us that “Gov. Wise has found a bushel of letters in Brown’s house, which implicate large numbers of Republicans.” At another it tells us that Andrew Hunter has found another bushels of letters containing a roll of the conspirators, and “a receipt from Mr. Greeley for letters,” thus by inuendo [innuendo] implicating Mr. Greeley. After this dirty lie has had a chance to travel all over New York, and do all the harm possible, the same reporter tells us that “the receipt is probably for letters written to the Tribune.” The contemptible whelp knew just as well when he sent the first report that the receipt was a simple business paper with no manner of connection with the riot, as he knew it on Friday when he so admitted it to be, but three days of a lie just now are worth a good many Democratic votes, he thinks, and so he lies. This is a specimen of the way the Democrats use the telegraph, which has a reputation for impartiality and can therefore make a lie go further than their papers could do, to make capital for the New York election. At still another time we are told that Mr. Forbes has made revelations implicating Mr. Seward, Mr. Chase, Gov. Fletcher and ever so many Republicans. When the revelations appear they show that Forbes may have told his “underground railroad” plans, not an insurrection though, to various Republicans, but it shows that they let him starve in his scheme, for he complains bitterly of Seward and others for not supporting him and his family while he is engaged in nigger stealing. Again we are told that Brown has made confessions, and Sheriff Campbell has obtained information implisating [implicating] a large number of leading Northern men, “and when published they will make a great sensation.” Why are they not published? Simply because they are just such trash as the Constitution published. And it will do a great deal more service in New York to tell what the letters will do, than to let the public see the letters, for one can lie and the other can’t. All through the whole affair the telegraph has hinted at awful revelations and sensations and great Republican injuries in connection with the riot, and shows in every respect a disposition to fill the public with terrible apprehensions, just in time for the New York election, but it his [has] never made any of the revelations that would produce such great results. This feature is significant. The Democrats have played the telegraph a little too strong for their good. It is a great card undoubtedly, but they have let the public see what they are doing with it. They have tried too hard to “squeeze blood out of a turnip,” that is, they have wasted a great deal of labor in making a complicity in the insurrection out of Horace Greeley’s business receipt, out of Giddings [illegible ], and out of Mr. Seward’s and Mr. Chase’s knowledge of an “underground railroad” scheme, derived from Forbes a year and a half before, and which they appreciated so highly as to let him severely alone to such an extent that he abuses them in round terms.

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