The Sober Second Thought

August 25, 1869


The North and the South realize that it is time to move on from the war and resume normal times. One of the important facets in this is allowing the South to govern themselves, rather than having "Carpetbaggers" in office.


The Sober Second Thought. We have long contended that the time was not far off when the Republican party would be compelled to abandon the exciting issues and rancors engendered by the war and fall back upon the practical questions affecting the real interest* of the nation--its present peace and thrift, and its future growth and power. The realization of this prophecy is coming upon us fully as rapidly as could well be expected. The Presidential election was a sort of breakwater for these issues and passions. They ran on like a headstrong wave until they reached that event, and were there checked and finally thrown back. They have been gradually receding since, and must, are many months, be swallowed up in a pacific sea. It is impossible that this great nation can be kept for any long period agitated, and torn, and lacerated by intestine hatreds and discords. They must be ended by the restoration of peace and harmony amongst the people, and through the people as the source of power, or they must be ended by the sword--the sword in the hands of the Emperor--the Emperor of the whole nation--controlling and restraining New York as much as Virginia. Governor Palmer, of Illinois, who seems to be something more than a mere partisan, or a mere party " rough," who, indeed, has much of the statesman and patriot in him, if we may judge him by a few striking passages in his recent speech to the people of Ohio, declared in that speech that the people would no longer sustain a party on account of its past deeds. He contended that there must be something in the way of solid merit in principles and policies applicable to the present condition and wants of the nation : and lie went even so far as to say that it was the duty of the Republican party to restore the system of Government to its original character of harmoniously adjusted States and general Government: that that party should cause each part of the system to move in its own orbit; " that to the States be left their duties under the constitution, and that the general Government discharge its duties." Now this is rather unusual talk for a man belonging to the predominant Republican party; but it is the true talk. We must have Republican peace--the peace of the Republican system, separate as billows, one as the sea,--or we must have the Imperial Government. And we must have concord and equal rights of people and States to insure the Republican system. The press of the north begin to see this. They appreciate the importance, nay the indispensable necessity, of turning from the disturbing questions that have so vexed the nation, and. looking to the present and the future, above all of restoring equality to men and States. There is no deliverance outside of this policy
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Ali O'Hara




“The Sober Second Thought,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed August 8, 2022,