Thursday, October 1, 2015

That Pattern Began To Crack

Below is an excerpt from And Wait For The Night by JohnWilliam Corrington...:

From the starched rectitude of the family, through the unsullied rondo of the schools, to the rich properties of his father’s bank, young Lodge had stepped without a hitch. There was one city: Boston.  One church: Episcopal. One state superior in all ways: Massachusetts. One law: gentlemanly conduct and smart business practice. One political party: Whig. And one view of life not sicklied o’er with the film of degeneracy and indecency: his kind of life. It was possible for a man to be born, to live, and to die within this regimen. It had been done. His father had done it. But as the century moved forward into the middle 1840’s, that pattern began to crack and shred along the edges. 

House In Louisiana (Chalmette Battlefield)

Vast new territories were being consumed into the Union (already swollen beyond decent bounds by the damnable and possibly treasonous Louisiana Purchase—which yet might prove the seed of ultimate disunion) and almost all of this territory was either in the hands of slave-state representatives, or well on the way to falling into their grasp. Not that Lodge, in 1845, was an abolitionist. Hardly that. Abolitionists were seedy radicals at least as distasteful as the slave-owning, pseudo-aristocratic barbarians themselves. A conservative man would have as little truck as possible with the latter and no conversation with the former at all. Still, the slave-power burgeoned and thrived: in Virginia, Nat Turner had revolted, slaughtered, been captured, and executed, and still the threat of another Santo Domingo, another slave-rising under a L’Ouverture yet to make himself known, seemed to hover over the states south of Washington City. Even a conservative like Jonathan Lodge could say this much: --The system is basically unstable. 

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