Thursday, February 04, 2010

Today -100: February 4, 1910: Of negroes and Scots, and substitutes

Thomas Watson, twice the Populist candidate for president, in that party’s declining years, fiercely criticizes Andrew Carnegie for saying that “the lowest negro of the South is more advanced than were my ancestors in Scotland 200 years ago.” Sez Watson, “Every intelligent man knows that in saying what he did about the Scotch, he lied, and in blarneying the Afro-Americans he despicably lowered himself: at the same time he insulted – fragrantly – grossly – infamously – every man that has in his veins the blood of old Scotland.”

One of the many well-off Northerners who paid a substitute to fight for them in the Civil War was one Abraham Lincoln. A statue to his substitute, J. Summerfield Staples, who died 10 years before, has been proposed for his home town of Stroudsburg, PA.

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