Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lt. Gov. Jacob's Rant at Paris, Kentucky

On or about the 4th day of April, 1864, the lieutenant governor of Kentucky and former Union officer, Richard T. Jacob, made a speech at the Odd-Fellows Hall in Paris, Kentucky. This particular speech was heard by several officers stationed in the town and who then reported it to higher authorities.

One officer, Colonel A.A. Clark of the 40th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry stated in an affidavit that he head Jacob "utter seditious language, and strive to provoke and excite the people of Bourbon county to forcibly resist the enlistment of negroes." Clark explained that he was so offended by the language that Jacob used, which was both "violent and insulting" that he left the building and as he was doing so heard Jacobs say, "I know that Lincoln's tools don't like to hear the truth; no Kentuckian who is not a slave will ever support him [Lincoln] in his lies or tyranny, but will resist him with arms in his hands."

Clark's statement was corroborated by his lieutenant colonel Matthew Mullins, who claimed he was present for the whole Odd-Fellow's Hall speech.  Mullins called the oration "inflammatory and seditious" and said it was attempt to instigate a civil war within Kentucky. Mullins's affidavit stated Jacob "advised the people of Kentucky to rise up in mass and resist with all their power the endeavors of 'Lincoln and his minions' to enlist negroes in the army of the United States. That the people in their might and power ought to rise up and go and hurl Abraham Lincoln, the despot, from his seat. That Charles the First of England had lost his head for less offence than Mr. Lincoln's [Emancipation] proclamation, and that he, Mr. Lincoln, might yet also lose his head."

Major Joseph Stivers of the same regiment too heard Jacob's rant and said the lieutenant governor called "Mr. Lincoln a usurper and tyrant, and the armies of the southern confederacy (so called) should never surrender to the abominable authorities of the United States government, for if they did they would be disgraced, and that if they now laid down their arms to the present administration these States would be unworthy of ever being received back again into the Union." Captain Charles R. Curtis, also of the 40th Kentucky was in addition present and claimed that Clark's and Mullins's statements against Jacob were correct and true.

In November 1864, Jacob, who had campaigned vigorously for George B. McClellan, was arrested at his Oldham County home and exiled to the Capital of the Confederacy. He appealed directly to President Lincoln in late December 1864 and was allowed to return to Kentucky in January 1865.

Image courtesy Library of Congress.

No comments:

Post a Comment