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Dubuque County 
January, 1863

 ~ Contributed by Julia Krapfl ~


"We believe that he (Lincoln) has violated the most solemn of all oaths over and over again. We believe that for the purpose of giving liberty to the slave he has enthralled the freemen and while life lasts and our present convictions are retained, we will oppose him and counsel opposition to the bitter end. What right has he to play the usurper over men as free as he? What right has he to burden the country with an ever-eating, never-satisfying debt? What right has he to destroy the nation as he has and then proceed to render it forever abject as he does. The people who submit to the insolent fanaticism which dictated this last act (emancipation proclamation) are and deserve to be enslaved to the class which Abraham Lincoln self-sufficiently declares free. If they possessed a tithe of the spirit which animated Rome when Catiline was expelled from its walls, or of their own immediate ancestry who went to war for an act which seemed to encroach upon their liberties, they would hurl him into the Potomac, Cabinet, Congress and all."

--(Dubuque Herald, January 3, 1863)


On January 6 Mahony spoke of Lincoln as "a brainless tyrant, a perjured public servant, a blundering partisan, a buffoon President."

The Dubuque Herald continually misunderstood and misconstrued the objects of the war, if its statements are to be believed. At all times it insisted that the object was to free the slaves and establish a despotism, that "save the Union" was a mere pretext; that the freed slaves would be poured on the North to the ruin of free white labor; that the freed slaves would be used by the Federal officers to aid them in stealing the cotton of the South. The fact or the northern view seems never to have entered Mr. Mahony's head, or else he was playing the cards for the Secessionists living in this county. He said "emancipation and re-Union are incompatible objects of the war; he who is for emancipation must be for dis-Union, for emancipation is dis-Union with the South. As the South can never be conquered the war should stop." He resumed connection with the Herald January 1, 1863, and said:

"I shall continue to advocate the application of constitutional principles to the administration of the government, not only with a fervor unabated by my temporary subjection to arbitrary power but with a zeal stimulated with a zealous regard for American liberty, by the experience which I have acquired, by how easy it is to subvert the best government of nations and to subject millions of freemen to the outrages of a military despotism.

The Dubuque Daily Times of yesterday announces, probably by authority, that Governor Kirkwood has decided not to enforce the draft. The results elsewhere attending this "indication of government authority' have not been so encouraging as to enamor his excellency with the system, and so we go free. The 'exempt brigade' can burn up their tickets of physical debility and inability; they are not wanted. The war is getting to be a little unpopular and the draft unhealthy.

--(Dubuque Herald, January 8, 1863)


Seventeen privates of the defunct Irish regiment applied for release from further military duty and asked for writs of habeas corpus to Judge Hempstead, which were granted. As they had been mustered into the service of the United States government, they were remanded back by Captain Byrnes to the service for three years or during the war.

The barracks at Camp Franklin were sold at auction for $1,564 in January, 1863. Believing from the start that the war was waged for the purpose of destroying slavery, Mahony said, January 10: "We have therefore given it no countenance, contributed toward it no support." The Forty-second (Irish regiment) and the Forty-third were merged into the Seventh cavalry regiment early in 1863.

"Has not the proclamation of emancipation discouraged enlistments? has it not demoralized the army? has it not united the South to a man? has it not disaffected the border states? Is it not the crowning act of Lincoln's folly?"

--(Dubuque Herald, January 18, 1863)


"Camp Franklin is now desolate, not a solitary soldier inhabiting a single barrack. The governor says that no more troops will be rendezvoused in Dubuque, so notoriously secessional is the character of its leading citizens. The governor does us proud by clearing us of all charges of Abolitionism."

--(Dubuque Herald, January 16, 1863)


Referring to Vallandingham's disloyal speech, Mr. Mahony said, January 20, 1863: "It is bold, logical, direct and positive. The people think with him and were he prepared to lead would act with him at the word. We must and will have speedy peace." This meant, if anything, open and armed revolt against the administration.

"Train's Lecture Last Evening.--Globe Hall was well filled last evening to listen to the lying renegade from Massachusetts. Rebel sympathizers were there--men who have sons in the rebel army were there--men who pray daily that our armies may be overthrown (the only prayers they ever make) were there--and all of them applauded to the echo his infamous lies and treason. Ah, well, let the poor fool lie and talk. If it were not for the sweet pleasure it gives the Tories here we wouldn't care a fig for the effect of last night's lecture."

--(Dubuque Daily Times, January 20, 1863





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