previous next


He was in all truth the most ferocious, cruel and vulgar beast that ever figured in human form in this country.

But, living or dead, the truth of history must be written of him, and it is not worth our while to soil the mantle of Charity by spreading it over his beastly record. John Young Brown, of Kentucky, told the plain truth of him when he described him in Congress some years ago as ‘brutal in war, pusillanimous in peace, and infamous in politics.’ His character was as vile as his features were hideous and repulsive. He was unable to understand an honest man's thoughts, or a gentleman's feelings, and he therefore gloried in his villainy and boasted of his shame.

A man more utterly destitute of moral sense than Beast Butler never lived in this country.

Soon after the war one of our newspapers published an acrostic on Butler:

Brutal and vulgar, a coward and knave,
Famed for no action noble or brave;
Beastly by instinct, a drunkard and sot,
Ugly and venomous, on mankind a blot;
Thief, liar and scoundrel in highest degree,
Let Yankeedom boast of such heroes as thee.
Every woman and child shall for ages to come
Remember the monster, thou vilest of scum.

John Young Brown addressed the House in these words:

Mr. Speaker,—The South is broken. It lies in helplessness and despair, with homes dilapidated, villages wasted, its people bankrupt. Is there nothing in that situation to touch you with pity? If your magnanimity cannot be touched, will you not be moved by the sense of justice? By a conspiracy between the Attorney-General and Kellogg and a drunken Federal Judge, the sovereignty of State was overthrown. That usurpation has been perpetuated since by bayonets. But recently, one of your Generals entered the legislative halls, as Cromwell entered the English Parliament with Colonel Pride, and ruthlessly expelled the occupants. Onward and onward you go in defiance of the sentiment of the country, without pity and without justice, remorselessly determined, it seems, to drive the Southern people to destruction, to give their roofs to the flames and their flesh to the eagles. A Federal General steps on the scene and sends a dispatch to the world that the people of the State are banditti. We have heard it echoed everywhere that they were thieves and murderers and night-riders. The clergy of that State, Jew and

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.

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.
Ben Butler (2)
Richard Brown (2)
Pride (1)
Kellogg (1)
Oliver Cromwell (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: