August 12

August 12, 1863

Wednesday. What a poor prophet I am! We are here yet. So many are sick, the colonel has decided to wait for a transport to take us to Plaquemine, about twenty-five miles above here. The doctor says anything like a hard march would add greatly to the sick list. The plan just now is to wait until the heat of the day is over, and if no boat comes along to start and march by easy stages through the night, and then rest up to-morrow. Company B has but thirteen men now that are not sick or ailing.

August Twelfth

I will say that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor inter-marry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And, inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior; and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

Abraham Lincoln


The Mississippi Constitutional Convention meets in Jackson, 1890, principally for the purpose of restricting suffrage



August 12

August 12, 1852. (Lancy.)--Each sphere of being tends toward a higher sphere, and has already revelations and presentiments of it. The ideal under all its forms is the anticipation and the prophetic vision of that existence, higher than his own, toward which every being perpetually aspires. And this higher and more dignified existence is more inward in character, that is to say, more spiritual. Just as volcanoes reveal to us the secrets of the interior of the globe, so enthusiasm and ecstasy are the passing explosions of this inner world of the soul; and human life is but the preparation and the means of approach to this spiritual life. The degrees of initiation are innumerable. Watch, then, disciple of life, watch and labor toward the development of the angel within thee! For the divine Odyssey is but a series of more and more ethereal metamorphoses, in which each form, the result of what goes before, is the condition of those which follow. The divine life is a series of successive deaths, in which the mind throws off its imperfections and its symbols, and yields to the growing attraction of the ineffable center of gravitation, the sun of intelligence and love. Created spirits in the accomplishment of their destinies tend, so to speak, to form constellations and milky ways within the empyrean of the divinity; in becoming gods, they surround the throne of the sovereign with a sparkling court. In their greatness lies their homage. The divinity with which they are invested is the noblest glory of God. God is the father of spirits, and the constitution of the eternal kingdom rests on the vassalship of love.

127. John Adams

Philadelphia, 12 August, 1776.

Mr. A. and Colonel Whipple are at length gone. Colonel Tudor went off with them. They went away about three o'clock this afternoon. I wrote by A., and Colonel Whipple too; by the latter I sent two large bundles, which he promised to deliver to you. These middle States begin to taste the sweets of war. Ten thousand difficulties and wants occur, which they had no conception of before. Their militia are as clamorous, and impatient of discipline, and mutinous as ours, and more so. There has been seldom less than four thousand men in this city at a time, for a fortnight past, on their march to New Jersey. Here they wait, until we grow very angry about them, for canteens, camp kettles, blankets, tents, shoes, hose, arms, flints, and other dittoes, while we are under a very critical solicitude for our army at New York, on account of the insufficiency of men.

I want to be informed of the state of things with you; whether there is a scarcity of provisions of any kind, of West India articles, of clothing. Whether any trade is carried on, any fishery. Whether any vessels arrive from abroad, or whether any go to sea upon foreign voyages. I wish to know, likewise, what posture of defense you are in. What fortifications are at Nantasket, at Long Island, Pettick's Island, etc., and what men and officers there are to garrison them. We hear nothing from the Massachusetts, lately, in comparison of what we did when the army was before Boston.

I must not conclude without repeating my request that you would ask some of the members of the General Court to send me horses, and if they cannot, to send them yourself.

126. John Adams

Philadelphia, 12 August, 1776.

Mr. A.[150] sets off to-day, if the rain should not prevent him, with Colonel Whipple, of Portsmouth, a brother of the celebrated Miss Hannah Whipple, a sensible and worthy man. By him I have sent you two bundles of letters, which I hope you will be careful of. I thought I should not be likely to find a safer opportunity. By them you will see that my private correspondence alone is business enough for a lazy man. I think I have answered all but a few of those large bundles.

A French vessel, a pretty large brigantine, deeply laden, arrived here yesterday from Martinique. She had fifty barrels of limes, which are all sold already, at such prices that the amount of them will be sufficient to load the brig with flour. The trade, we see, even now, in the midst of summer, is not totally interrupted by all the efforts of our enemies. Prizes are taken in no small numbers. A gentleman told me, a few days ago, that he had summed up the sugar which has been taken, and it amounted to three thousand hogsheads, since which two other ships have been taken and carried into Maryland. Thousands of schemes for privateering are afloat in American imaginations. Some are for taking the Hull ships, with woolens, for Amsterdam and Rotterdam; some are for the tin ships; some for the Irish linen ships; some for outward bound, and others for inward bound Indiamen; some for the Hudson's Bay ships, and many for West India sugar ships. Out of these speculations, many fruitless and some profitable projects will grow.

We have no news from New York. All is quiet as yet. Our expectations are raised. The eyes of the world are upon Washington and Howe, and their armies. The wishes and prayers of the virtuous part of it, I hope, will be answered. If not, yet virtues grow out of affliction. I repeat my request that you would ask some of the members of the General Court if they can send me horses; and if they cannot, that you would send them. I can live no longer without a servant and a horse.


[150]Samuel Adams.

Paris, August 12, 1882

Salisbury's collapse[185 ] is less decisive than mine, and although there is a pleasant corner in the House of Lords, my journey ends in nothing better than disappointment and in having set you to write notes all day. My accounts show that they are not comfortable at home, so that I have no right to be basking in the ethereal sunshine of Downing Street.

It was a monstrous thing to do, suggestive of Mrs. Todgers, but I left the Dante in his[186 ] room at the H. of Commons. It was too late to ring at No. 10,[187 ] for I kept him talking till near eleven. But there was some symbolic propriety about the title[188 ] of the unbound volume—unbound because they did not remember the binding of the rest. Of course the impression of my one well-filled day in town—even with the part of Cordelia left out—is the very opposite of that under which I lately wrote. The session ends with a great blaze of his mastery and power. But the best of it all is, that I found him so wonderfully vigorous and well and even content. It did indeed impress me most deeply.

It is remarkable how little he chooses to realise the tremendous loss of authority and power which the party will incur by his retirement, and he has no idea how little he would soon be in harmony with them. However, Ireland is not all right yet; and there are obvious complications impending in Egypt which he cannot leave unsolved. With that, there will still be time for the Reform Bill.

Late at night I found slipped under my door your rejected letter, which will be cherished with the rest. If writing made up for sight!

This letter is written by scraps, in various places and countries. I crossed with Forster, on his way to Russia, and got him to tell me his inner history. I shall be at St. Martin the day after to-morrow....

Shorthouse's[189 ] letter could not go with Dante, and I will enclose it in my next. I have got Democracy. The Mays, considered an authority on the subject, do not think much of it. Forster does, and says it is not by Mrs. Adams. He says that Bright has no idea that he left either too early or too late. Will you—very earnestly—put my excuses before Mrs. Gladstone for my way of dealing with her boundless hospitality?

[185 ] Lord Salisbury was unsuccessful in persuading his party to throw out the Irish Arrears Bill in the House of Lords.

[186 ] Mr. Gladstone's.

[187 ] Downing Street.

[188 ] "Paradise."

[189 ] Letter written by Mr. Shorthouse in answer to Lord Acton's criticism of "John Inglesant."

Another day still finds us marching in dust and under a scorching sun. The heat has indeed been intense. Many a poor soldier has fallen out on the way from exhaustion and sunstroke. We have passed through Newtown and Middletown, both of which were nearly deserted, and those left are bitter secessionists. We have been chasing the enemy, which accounts for our marching so hard; its rear guard left Newtown as we entered it. We camped for dinner here and to wait for stragglers to catch up.

An amusing thing occurred here. Three young officers, Lieutenants D. G. Hill, G. P. Welch and myself, went to the only hotel to get dinner, but found the front door locked and the blinds all drawn. The back yard and garden containing vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, etc., in luxuriance, was inclosed by a high brick wall about eight feet high with an entrance on a side street. A matronly-looking attendant unlocked the door at our request, and admitted us to the garden and back door of the hotel, which stood open to the kitchen, which we entered, the attendant remaining within hearing. Here we found the landlady, who declared in an assumed, distressed manner that she had nothing in the house to eat, the enemy having taken everything she had, at the same time relating a tale of woe which I presumed might be partially true, if not wholly so. Soon, however, after parleying, she produced a plate of fine hot tea biscuit, nervously forcing them into our very faces, saying, "Have biscuit! have biscuit!" which, rest assured, we did.

After this I started to leave. The colored woman who had admitted us, having heard all that was said, hid by the corner of the house en route to the garden entrance, and when I passed shyly told me that a table in the parlor where the curtains were down, was loaded down with a steaming hot dinner with the best the house afforded, prepared for a party of rebel officers who had fled about when it was ready because of the approach of our army. I returned to the kitchen bound to have that dinner just because it had been prepared for rebel officers and told the landlady what I had discovered, and that we must  have that dinner, but were willing to pay her for it. Seeing she was outmanoeuvered and that her duplicity was discovered, she looked scared and laughing nervously led the way to the parlor, where we found the table actually groaning with steaming viands as though prepared for and awaiting us. She graciously bade us be seated, presided at the table with dignity and grace as though nothing had happened, and we met her with equal suavity, laughter and dignity as though she was the greatest lady living, she admitting when through, that she had had a "real good time." We paid for the dinner and parted good friends.[1]

[1]The landlady had a young son—a lad—who a few years later, after the war, graduated from West Point and was assigned to the Sixth U. S. Cavalry, my regiment. One evening years afterwards in quarters at Camp Apache, A. T., among other stories I related this to a lot of officers, when Lieutenant ——, who was present, to my surprise informed me it was of his mother we got our dinner, and that he had heard her laughingly relate the incident. He was a good officer and fellow, but knowing what rabid secessionists some members of the family were, including himself, the charm of his friendship was gone, but I never let him know it. He is now many years dead. The landlady was very stubborn, and unwilling to oblige us until cornered, when her detected duplicity disconcerted her, and with a nervous laugh she yielded to our demand because she thought she had to. Otherwise we should have only helped ourselves in a courteous way and paid her for what we got.