Unbeknownst to many, the secessionist movement had early roots in New England, dating back to the early 1800s. When the Civil War broke out, a number of northern newspapers sympathized with the Southern states. On November 24, 1860, the Concord (New Hampshire) Democratic Standard complained of “fanatics and demagogues of the North” who “waged war on the institutions of the South” and appealed for “concession of the just rights of our Southern brethren.” Two days later, the New York Journal of Commerce condemned the “meddlesome spirit” of people of the North who wanted to “seek to regulate and control” people in “other communities.” Other newspapers, including the Bangor [Maine] Daily Union defended secessionists.
We offer an interesting 4 pp, 4 ¾ x 7 ¼, ALS, by Mary to her sister, Portland [NH], September 5, 1861, in which she discusses Northern support for secessionists, highly unusual but an important part of Civil War history. She writes, in small part, “…Has Perly enlisted? George Veslo has been here and said he heard he had but I do not believe it. Tell him to report himself for I want to know his war pulse beats. Are there many going to war from NB [New Boston]? Who? What does Father think of the war? Now don’t forget to answer those questions soon -- & Benj, is he a secessionist? & Elisa? Tell me all about it. Most all the Democrats here are in favor of the war but I have heard that there was lots of secessionists in N.B. [New Boston] – is it so…”
Folds, light toning, but very readable. A small piece has been removed from page two, but the letter appears complete.
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