previous next

[7] home in Geneseo, as they appeared in the autumn of 1860, when the great conspiracy, which had for many years been plotting at the South to destroy the national government, proceeded from seditious language to treasonable acts, and finally dared to inaugurate civil war. James Wadsworth took at once the most open, manly, and decided stand on the side of the Union. From that moment till the day of his death he postponed all private affairs to public duties, and devoted his time, his thoughts, his wealth, and all the power which his position gave him, to the service of his country.

To this he was impelled by his political principles, no less than his personal character. He had come of old Federalist stock, and learned from his father to respect the Constitution and the national government which the people had created under it. So long ago as 1848 he had supported the Free-Soil party, which had proposed his name as a District Elector. He was consistent and persevering afterwards in his efforts on the same side. In 1856 he had received the nomination of State Elector from the Republicans; and now, in November, 1860, he was chosen a District Elector for Lincoln and Hamlin.

He owned immense tracts of land and had numerous tenants; and this, to a superficial observer, might seem likely to have diverted his sympathies toward the Southern slaveholders. He was also connected, by the marriage of one of his sisters, with a noble English family, and his associates and intimate friends had been chiefly formed among the wealthy classes, and in circles where the fires of patriotism were burning very low, if they had not gone out altogether. Some of his closest friends were indeed representatives of the best Southern society,β€” men possessing that refined and winning manner, the faint tradition of Huguenot politeness, which seems, in a few instances, to have survived the adverse influences that surrounded it, and which has been nowhere more unduly praised than at the North. But notwithstanding all these hindrances, Wadsworth remained a true, brave, Northern democrat. Mr. Lothrop Motley, in the letter from which I have already quoted, says of him: β€˜He believed, honestly, frankly, and unhesitatingly, ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Huguenot (New York, United States) (1)
Geneseo (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Wadsworth (2)
Lothrop Motley (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Hamlin (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November, 1860 AD (1)
1860 AD (1)
1856 AD (1)
1848 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: