Two themes dominated the editorial opinions of Lecky Harper in the Democratic Banner as 1861 drew to a close: A desire to see secession defeated and hatred of abolition and abolitionists.
On Nov. 19, this appeal to patriotism appeared amid reports that President Lincoln would issue another call for troops to increase the size of the army:
“We are now in a position, telegraphs Colonel Forney, to estimate the strength of the force to be met in the field, and to meet that force effectually, we will require a million of men. The rebellion has hitherto been under-estimated; now the veil has been removed; our work is presented before us; it is not of small magnitude, but it is not beyond our control. We are more than equal to this duty; our resources in men and means are far more than equal to all that will b required of us. If there is a deficiency in any one thing it is PATRIOTISM, the very element which gained for us our liberty and our government. Are we ready to acknowledge that we have lost the patriotism of our fathers, or are we prepared to maintain and perpetuate those glorious principles of government which they by their blood and treasure purchased for us, and bequeathed to us, en trust, as our inheritance and as that of our children?”
It will be interesting to see how Harper’s patriotism develops in the wake of the events of 1862.
The next week, on Nov. 26, Harper fires a round at the abolitionists, then sinks into a virulent racism that sounds to modern ears like something spouted by a Ku Klux Klan member:
“Elsewhere in this issue of the Banner we publish articles, showing, most clearly, that the Abolitionists, unless they can manages to convert the present war into a mere raid against Slavery, are determined to make war upon the Administration of their own choice, and destroy every hope of reconstruction of the Union. The course of the Abolitionists of the North is just as detestable and traitorous as the course of the Secessionists of the South — both are enemies of our country and its Constitution, and both should receive the same treatment — put where the dogs wouldn’t bark at them.”