Sunday, January 27, 2013

Silence Of The Press

The owner of the “Philadelphia Evening Journal, Albert D Boileau was arrested on January 27th 1863 for allegedly printing anti-Union stories.

Albert D Boileau was the proprietor of the Philadelphia Evening Journal.  On the night of January 27th 1863 Union military authorities arrested him under a warrant drawn up by the War Department in Washington, DC.   The charge was that he was printing anti-Union propaganda.  It centered around an editorial he had published on January 20th 1863 entitled “Davis’ Message”.  Boileau was held for a few days at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland until he made an apology and was released.

“I, ALBERT D. BOILEAU, citizen of Philadelphia, editor and publisher of the Philadelphia Evening Journal, now confined in Fort McHenry, for the publication of an editorial article, under the title of "Davis' Message," in that newspaper, Jan. 20, 1863, and for the publication of other articles of like dangerous character, tending to the support and encouragement of the rebellion against the Government of the United States, do hereby freely and voluntarily express my regret for the publication of that article, or of any other article of like tendency or character, and distinctly disavow such-article or articles being published with my proper authority or knowledge, and declare that each publication has been made by other persons, agents or employees, without my sanction and intention, and I do hereby further give to Maj.-Gen. HOBERT C. SCHENCK, commanding the Middle Department and Eighth Army Corps, by whose order, in behalf of the Government, I have been arrested, my sacred parole of honor that upon being discharged from my present imprisonment, and the suspension of the publication of my newspaper being removed, I will not write, print, or publish, or permit others in my name to write, print, or publish, any articles having such dangerous character, or tending to the support or encouragement of the rebellion; but will demean myself in all things as true and loyal citizen of the United States, intending only to support the Government, the Constitution and the Union as a faithful citizen should; and it is to be further understood that these declarations and pledges are made as well to relate to matter hereafter to be published in the weekly newspaper called the Democratic Leader, made up from the daily Philadelphia Evening Journal itself, and to any other newspaper that may be published or controlled by me.”


Seeker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeker said...

I very much like your blog on Civil War,

The piece you have about the Philly paper... Im not sure what your editorial comment is, other than to show it. Notice the editor was released, apologized for "tending to support and encourage the rebellion".

Compare that please to the South, not during war, but during peace time for decades.

Before 1820s, there were dozens of anti slavery publications in the South.

But as slave numbers exploded, the whites became fearful of slave rebellion, in some areas blacks outnumbered whites 2-1, and fear of Haiti type genocide of whites was very real.

In the North, of course, you could speak, write, preach against slavery, you could read and listen to anti slavery things.

But in the South, all that was illegal, starting about 1820s. By 1860, most people in South had never heard a legal sermon against slavery, never read a legal book openly against it. Some people had those books, but you risked being arrested. And they were very hard to get.

But the most stunning was the preachers. Even preachers could be and were arrested -- for speaking against slavery in church.

In one case, a NC preacher's neighbor didn't like him, turned him in for owning an anti slavery book, he was arrested, and would have been whipped if he had not found bail money, left, and never came back for the actual appeal.

Northern churches were busy with anti-slavery crusades. People could and did stand on street corners and rail against slavery-- in the South, that got you whipped,by law.

It was a huge process of oppression -- not just laws. Ships were searched regularly, mail was searched -- long before the CW ever started. SC started searching ships for anti slavery books and pamphlets from 1810!!

This was the basic difference between North and South.

When anyone asks you why US didn't get rid of slavery without war -- that is the answer. As long as these anti-incendiary laws existed,there was literally no way to get rid of slavery.

James Debow, of Debow's Review, bragged in 1843 that all opposition to slavery was now silenced "By God's Holy Word". He was right, all opposition to slavery was silenced, but it was because of these torture laws for people who openly spoke, wrote, preached, or even owned a book against slavery.

And you were not just asked to apologize. If caught you could were whipped and jailed. So people who hated slavery moved. Writers like Cassus Clay and Hiton Helper were "escorted" to Ohio, and told not to return.

You will find 100 times more articles about LIncoln suspending habeas, as you will find about Southern widespread brutal repression of free speech for decades during peace time.

Compare that to DURING A WAR - putting a guy in jail and letting him out two days later if he apologized! No whips! No crowd gather to have fun watching you tortured.