Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I hope there will be honest patriots enough . . .

Unlike Barack Hussein Obama, II, my ancestry is not in question. The second of five ancestors whose genes seemed to force me down the road I took in the Fall of 2014, was Francis Preston Blair, my great, great, great, grandfather.  In 1830, Francis Preston Blair published the Congressional Globe. He gained national importance as a political journalist and ran the printing business for Congress. He was the leader of Andrew Jackson’s “kitchen cabinet.  When the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Bill passed – opening up the territories to slavery – Francis Preston Blair was roused to fight: “I hope there will be honest patriots enough found to resist it," he said, "and that the present aggression will be rebuked. I am willing to devote the balance of my life to this object.”

As a result, Francis Preston Blair left his old party in favor of the new Republican Party.  Swiftly rising in the new party, he chaired both the 1856 and the 1860 Republican conventions where he exercised great influence in the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for president.  In support of the ideals of the Constitution, Francis Preston Blair wrote a very influential letter in 1856 which concluded: 
What a revolution in the course of the first half century Slavery wrought, in the principles that gave birth to our Republic!  It is now insisted that the Constitution carries the principle of bondage wherever its flag make an acquisition.  Against this spurious Democracy, which has thus perfected its system in the Kansas Act, and made it their test, I, as a Democrat of the Jefferson, Jackson and Van Buren school, enter my protest.
In this Century, it is a different sort of “bondage” which enslaves the People: That of a political system which in name only represents the “will of the People”, for it is beholden only to the power elite which fuels the perpetuation of those in power by making them unaccountable for their actions. 

Thus, I, like Francis Preston Blair, was compelled to “devote the balance of my life to this object”, i.e., the “rebuke” of this modern-day slavery and found in the Fall of 2014 that indeed  -- though from an unsuspecting quarter -- there was “honest patriots enough found” to join me.
Source: William Ernest Smith, The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics, pp:334-336 (2 vols., 1933)


Post a Comment

Play nice!