Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

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rested and reorganized, and communica-

75,000 tions with Richmond were re-established,

Knights of the Golden Eagle.. 70,000 the Army of the Potomac began to cross

^^ the river (Get. 26), 100,000 strong. The

59,821 Nationals were led on the east side of the

58,000 Blue Ridge, but failed to strike the re-
Confederates over the mountain
or to g et ahead of them; and Lee

chanics ..................... 49,189 pushed Longstreet s troops over the Blue

Catholic Benevolent Legion ....... 44,000 Ridge to Culpeper Court-house, between

Ancient Order of Foresters ...... 38,098 , , J>. ,

Tribe of Ben Hur 36,429 ^ ie Army f * ne Potomac and Richmond.

Sons of Temperance ............. 34,614 ready to dispute the advance of the Na-

Independent Order of B nai B rith. 31,750 tionals. Quick and energetic movements

i?;SS Y ere , now r cessary to sever and defeat> in

23,200 detail, Lee s army.

22,901 On Nov. 5 McClellan was relieved of
22,718 command, and General Burnside was put
19,487 . ,. , -UM-J.

17,533 m his P lace - A sense of responsibility
16,782 made the latter commander exceedingly
14,095 cautious. Before he moved he endeavored
13>1 7 to get his 120,000 men well in hand.
54,913 Aquia Creek was made his base of sup-
- plies, and he moved the army towards
5,722,016 Fredericksburg on Nov. 10. Sumner led
the movement down the left bank of
the Rappahannock. By the 20th a greater
See portion of Burnside s forces were opposite
Fredericksburg, and their cannon com-



Disbanded in 1900.

Frazier s Farm, BATTLE OF.



manded the town. Simmer demanded the
surrender of the city (Nov. 21). It was
refused. The bridges had been destroyed.
A greater portion of the inhabitants now
fled, and the town was occupied by Con
federate troops. Lee s army, 80,000
strong, was upon and near the Heights of
Fredericksburg by the close of November,
and had planted strong batteries there.
The army lay in a semicircle around Fred
ericksburg, each wing resting upon the

Rappahannock, its right at Port Royal
and its left ( miles above the city. Pon
toons for the construction of bridges
across the Rappahannock were not re
ceived by Burnside until the first week in
December. Then 00,000 National troops
under Sumner and Hooker lay in front of
Fredericksburg, with 150 cannon, com
manded by General Hunt. The corps of
Franklin, about 40,000 strong, was en
camped about 2 miles below.


On the morning of Dec. 11 the engineers
went quietly to work to construct five
pontoon bridges for the passage of the
National army. Sharp-shooters assailed
the engineers. The heavy ordnance of
the Nationals on Stafford Heights opened
upon the town, set it on fire, and drove
out many troops. The sharp-shooters re
mained. They were dislodged by a party
that crossed the river in boats, the
bridges were rebuilt, and by the evening

of the 12th a greater portion of the Na
tional army occupied Frederick sburg, and
on the morning of the 13th made a simul
taneous assault all along the line. The
Confederates, with 300 cannon, were
well posted on the heights and ready for
action. The battle was begun by a part
of Franklin s corps, Meade s division, sup
ported by Gibbon s, with Doubleday s in
reserve. Meade soon silenced a Confed
erate battery, but very soon a terrible




storm of shells and canister-shot, at near yield. Hooker sent 4,000 men in the track

range, fell upon him. He pressed on, and of French, Hancock, and Howard, to at-

three of the assailing batteries were tack with bayonets only. These were

withdrawn. Jackson s advance line, under hurled back by terrific volleys of rifle-

A. P. Hill, was driven back, and 200 balls, leaving 1,700 of their number pros-

men made prisoners, with several battle- trate on the field. Night soon closed the

flags as trophies. Meade still pressed awful conflict, when the Army of the

on, when a fierce assault by Early com- Potomac had 15,000 less of effective men

pel led him to fall back. Gibbon, who than it had the day before. Burnside, in-

came up, was repulsed, and the shattered tent on achieving a victory, proposed to

forces fled in confusion ; but the pursuers send his old corps, the 9th, against the

were checked by General Birney s division fatal barrier (a stone wall) on Marye s

of Stoneman s corps. The Nationals could Hill, but Sumner dissuaded him, and, on

not advance, for Stuart s cavalry, on Lee s the 14th and 15th, his troops were with-

right, strongly menaced

the Union left. Finally,

Reynolds, with rein

forcements, pushed back

the Confederate right to

the Massaponax, where

the contest continued un

til dark. Meanwhile,

Couch s corps had occu

pied the city, with \Vil-

cox s between his and

Franklin s. At noon

Couch attacked the Con

federate front with great

vigor. KimbalFs bri

gade, of French s divi

sion, led, Hancock s fol

lowing. Longstreet w as

posted on Marye s Hill,

just back of the town.

Upon his troops the Na

tionals fell heavily, while

missiles from the Confed

erate cannon made great

lanes through their ranks.

After a brief struggle, French was thrown drawn to the north side of the Rappahan-

back, shattered and broken, nearly one-half neck, w r ith all his guns, taking up his

of his command disabled. Hancock ad- pontoon bridges. Then the Confederates

vanced, and his brigades fought most vig- re-occupied Frcdericksburg.

orously. In fifteen minutes, Hancock, Free Commonwealth, PLAN FOR A.

also, was driven back. Of 5,000 veterans See MILTON, JOHN.

whom he led into action, 2,013 had Freedley, EDWIN TROXELL, author;

fallen, and yet the struggle was main- born in Philadelphia, Pa., July 28, 1827;



studied law at Harvard College in 1845;

Howard s division came to the aid of removed to Philadelphia in 1851. His

French and Hancock: so, also, did those publications include Philadelphia and its

of Sturgis and Getty. Finally, Hooker Manufactures; History of American .17 cm-

crossed the river with three divisions, nfacturcs; Leading Pursuits and Leading

He was so satisfied with the hopelessness Men, etc.

of any further attacks upon the strong Freedmen, the former slaves who were

position of the Confederates, that he emancipated during the American Civil

begged Burnside to desist. He would not War.
in. 2 E 433


Freedmen s Bureau. Early in 1805 men of the city of New York, send greeting :
Congress established a Bureau of Freed- A , 1 a meeting of the Common Council, held

at the Common Council chamber in the City
men, llefugees, and Abandoned Lands, at- IIall of the city of New Yo rk, the follow-

tached to the War Department; and early ing resolutions were unanimously agreed to:

in Mav GEN. OLIVER O. HOWARD (q. v.) " Whereas, the Corporation of the city

. . TT entertains the most lively sense of the

was appointed commissioner. He ap- late brilliant achievements of Gen. Jacob
pointed eleven assistant commissioners, all Brown on the Niagara frontier, considering
array officers; namely for the District th em as proud evidences of the skill arxl
of Columbia, Gen. John Katon, Jr. ; Vir- IST^^T at^KT.SSlK
ginia, Col. O. Brown; North Carolina, Col. ample proof of the superior valor of our
E. Whittlesey; South Carolina and
Georgia, Gen. R. Sexton; Florida, Col.
T. VV. Osborne; Alabama, Gen. W.
Swayne; Louisiana, first the Rev. T.
W. Conway, and then Gen. A. Baird;
Texas, Gen. E. M. Gregory; Missis
sippi, Col. S. Thomas; Kentucky and
Tennessee, Gen. C. B. Fisk, Missouri
and Arkansas, Gen. J. W. Sprague.
The bureau took under its charge the
freedmen, the refugees, and the aban
doned lands in the South, for the pur
pose of protecting the freedmen and the
refugees in their rights, and returning
the lands to their proper owners. To
make the operations of the bureau more
efficient an act was passed (Feb. 19,
18GG) for enlarging its powers. Presi
dent Johnson interposed his veto, but it
became a law. The bureau was dis
continued Aug. 3, 1868, with the exception hardy farmers over the veteran legions of
of the educational supervision, which re- the enemy, Resolved, that, as a tribute of
, . . , ,. .-. ,.1 respect to a gallant officer and his intrepid

mamed in force by act of Congress until associateS) who have added sucll lustre to

July 1, 1870. our arms, the freedom of the city of New

Freedom of a City. The conferring of York be presented to Gen. Jacob Brown,

all t^e T^rivilpo-Pa nf a r-Hiypn a that his portrait be obtained and placed in
all the privileges ol i citizen upon a the gallery of pol . traits belonging to this

stranger, or one not entitled to such privi- city> and that the thanks of this corporation

leges because of non-residence, is an an- be tendered to the officers and men under his

cient way of honoring one for meritorious Command. Know ye that Jacob Brown, Es-

,. quire, is admitted and allowed a freeman

services. When the eminent lawyer of and a citizen of the gaid citV) to have> to hold,

Pennsylvania, Andrew Hamilton, had ably to use, and en.ioy the freedom of the city, to-
defended the liberty of the press in the case gether with all the benefits, privileges, fran-
c T T , r/ , \ \ chises. and immunities whatsoever granted or
of JOHN PETER ZENGER (q. i>.),the corpora- belonglng to the gaid city . By or | er of the

tion of the city of New York conferred the may0 r and aldermen. In testimony whereof

freedom of the city upon him. The certif- the said mayor and aldermen have caused the

icate of such honor is usually enclosed in seal of th J> sa|d city to be hereunto affixed.

, , . Witness : De Witt Clinton, Esquire, Mayor, the

a gold box, bearing on the underside of the fourth day of Fe bruary, in the year of our

lid an inscription indicative of the event. Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen,

The following is a copy of the certificate and of the Independence and sovereignty

of freedom which the corporation of the of the United States ^ ^rSW"
city of New York gave to GEN. JACOB
BROWN (q. v.) after the battles of Chip-

pewa and Lundy s Lane, in the summer This form of honor has been bestowed

of 1814: 1-ut seldom in the United States; in Eu-

" To all to whom these presents shall come, rope, and especially in England and Scot-

De Witt Clinton, Esq., Mayor, and the Alder- land, it is frequently granted.




Freedom of Speech. The first amend- Those grand lodges are in full adiiation
inent to the national Constitution, rati- with the English grand lodge, of which
fied in December; 1791, after forbidding the Duke, of Connaught is the grand
Congress to make any law respecting an master, and the grand lodges of Ireland
establishment of religion, or prohibiting Scotland, Cuba, Peru, South Australia]
the free exercise thereof, says, "or ?xew South Wales, Victoria, and Mexico
abridging the freedom of speech or of the and also with the masons of Germany and
press; or the right of the people to peace- Austria. They are not in aililiation and
ably assemble, and to petition the govern- do not correspond with the masons under
nient for a redress of grievances." This the jurisdiction of the grand orient of
secures the invaluable right of utterance France; they, however, affiliate with and
of opinions, and reserves to all citizens recognize masons under the jurisdiction
the privilege of making their grievances of the supreme council,
known to the national government. This Free Negroes. The alarm expressed in
is a privilege of American citizenship in debates on the act prohibiting the slave-
striking contrast with European methods, trade, in 1809, because of the increase and
and one that has been abused but seldom, influence of free negroes, was manifested

Freedom of the Press, THE. See LOVE- in the legislation of several States im-
JOY, ELIJAH PARISH. mediately afterwards. Indeed, such fears

Freeman, FREDERICK, clergyman; born had existed earlier. In 1790 North Caro-
in Sandwich, Mass., in 1800; was ordained lina passed an act prohibiting emancipa-
pastor of the Presbyterian Church in tion, except for meritorious services, and
Plymouth, Mass., in 1823; subsequently by allowance of the county courts. South
took orders in the Protestant Episcopal Carolina had passed, a similar act in 1800:
Church. Among his works are a History also another act the same year, declaring
of Cape Cod; Annals of Barnstable it unlawful for any number of free ne-
County; Genealogy of the Freeman groes, mulattoes, or mestizoes to assemble
Family, etc. He died in Sandwich, Mass., together, even though in the presence of
in 1883. white persons, " for mental instruction or

Freemasonry, a secret fraternal organ- religious worship." There had been two
ization of which there is no certain in- alarms of insurrection in Virginia (1790
formation as to the time of its intro- and 1801), and in 1805 the freedom of
duction into the United States. According emancipation, allowed by an act in 1782,
to many masonic writers a provincial was substantially taken away, by a provi-
grand lodge (St. John s) and also a sion that, thenceforward, emancipated
private lodge were established at Boston, slaves remaining in the State one year
Mass., by Henry Price on July 30, 1733. after obtaining their freedom should be
.Benjamin Franklin, who is supposed to apprehended and sold into slavery for
have been initiated in England, published* the benefit of the poor of the county,
the masonic constitution in 1734; and Overseers of the poor, binding out black or
during the same year Henry Price was mulatto orphans as apprentices, were for-
constituted grand master over all North bidden to require their masters to teach
America. On Nov. 4, 1752, George Wash- them reading, writing, and arithmetic, as
ington became a member of the order and in the case of white orphans; and free
on Aug. 4, 1753, was made a master blacks coming into the State were to be
mason. The first masonic hall in the sent back to the places whence they came.
United States was built in Philadelphia in The legislature of Kentucky in 1808
1754. The returns of the grand lodges passed a law that free negroes coming
of the United States and British America into that State should give security to
for 1899-1900 were as follows: Whole depart within twenty days, and on failure
number of members, 857.577 ; raised. 40,- to do so should be sold for one year, the
175; admissions and restorations, 21,325: same process to be repeated, if, at the end
withdrawals, 16,G03; expulsions and sus- of the year, they should be found in the
pensions, 597; suspensions for non-pay- State twenty days afterwards. This law
ment of dues, 16,844; deaths, 13,507. Gain remained in force until the breaking-out
in membership over preceding year, 21,028. of the Civil War.



Free. Postage. See FRANKING PBIVI- vote of 157,000. The compromise meas-

LEGE. ures of 1850, and the virtual repeal of

Free School System. See EDUCATION, the MISSOURI COMPROMISE (q. v.) in the

ELEMENTARY ; MANUAL TRAINING SCHOOLS, act for the creation of the Territories of

Free - soil Party, a political party Kansas and Nebraska in 1854, greatly in-

founded in 1848 upon the principle of the creased the strength of the Free-soil

non-extension of the slave system in the party, and it formed the nucleus of the

Territories. It was an outgrowth of the historical Republican party in 1856, when

LIBERTY PARTY (q. v.) of 1840. The im- the Free-soilers, as a distinct party, dis-

mediate cause of its organization was the appeared.

acquisition of new territory at the close Free Ships, Free Goods. See EM-

of the war with Mexico, which would, if BARGO.

not prevented, become slave territory. In Free-thinkers. The freedom of thought

a bill appropriating money for the nego- and expression on theological subjects

tiation of peace with Mexico, submitted which now happily prevails did not

to Congress in 1846, DAVID WILMOT exist in the eighteenth century. Then

( fj. v. ) , a Democratic member from Penn- a person who openly opposed the ae-

sylvania, offered an amendment, " Pro- cepted tenets of orthodoxy was os-

vided, that there shall be neither slavery tracized, and hence it is that, even in

nor involuntary servitude in any Terri- this day, Franklin and Jefferson are some-

tory on the continent of America which times spoken of as infidels (that is,

shall hereafter be acquired by or annexed opposers of the Christian religion), a

to the United States by virtue of this charge cruelly unjust. They were simply

appropriation, or in any other manner, ex- free-thinkers, men who indulged in the

ccpt for crime," etc. It was carried in exercise of reason in dealing with the

the House, but failed in the Senate; and theology of the day. The first American

in the next session it was defeated in free-thinker was Jeremiah Dummer, for

both branches. This was the famous many years colonial agent in England of

" Wilmot Proviso." Connecticut, and author of the Defence

Resolutions to this effect were offered in o] the ~Ncw England Charters. Franklin
both the Democratic and Whig conven- was one of his converts, yet never car-
tions in 1846, but were rejected. A con- ried his views so far as to deny, a? Dum-
sequence of such rejection was a consid- mer did, the supernatural origin of the
erable secession of prominent men, and Christian religion. Franklin was no prop-
many others, from both parties, especially agandist of his peculiar theological views,
in Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. He thought religion necessary for the good
In New York the seceding Democrats of individuals and society, ostensibly ad-
were called "BARNBURNERS " (q. v.) and hered to the Church of England, and never
the two classes of seceders combined were countenanced attacks upon current relig-
called " Free-soilers." The two combined, ious ideas. The first work of a free-
and at a convention held at Buffalo, thinker published in America was Ethan
Aug. 9, 1848. they formed the Free-soil Allen s Oracles of Religion. From pas-
party. The convention was composed of sages in his Notes on Virginia, published
delegates from all the free-labor States, in London, 1787, it is evident that Jefferson
and from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, was of similar mind in many things, yet
&nd the District of Columbia. They nom- his views of the necessity and goodness of
inated MARTIN VAN BUREN (q. v.) for the Christian religion were similar to
President of the United States, and those of Franklin. Paine was of an en-
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS (q. v.) for Vice- tirely different stamp. He made attacks
President. The ticket received a popular upon the Christian religion, and nothing
anti-slavery vote of 291,000, but did not seemed too sacred in the later years
receive a single electoral vote. The Free- of his life to escape the wrath of his
soil Convention at Pittsburg in 1852 nom- pen. His attack upon Washington, and
ir-ated JOHN P. HALE (q. v.) for Presi- his scoffing essay against Christianity,
dent, and GEORGE W. JULIAN (q. v.) for left his otherwise bright name under a
Vice-President, who received a popular cloud.



Free Thought. On the general subject
of the growth of Free Thought with
special reference to the United States,
we present a condensation of Professor
Goldwin Smith s views.

The history of religion during the past
century may be described as the sequel
of that dissolution of the mediaeval faith
which commenced at the Reformation.

At the Reformation Protestantism threw
off the yoke of pope and priest, priestly
control over conscience through the con-
fessional, priestly absolution for sin, and
belief in the magical power of the priest
as consecrator of the Host, besides the wor-
ship of the Virgin and the saints, purga-
tory, relics, pilgrimages, and other inci-
dents of the mediaeval system.

Though Protestantism produced a multi-
tude of sects, especially in England at the
time of the Commonwealth, hardly any
of them were free-thinking or sceptical ;
those of any importance, at all events,
were in some sense dogmatic, and were
anchored to the inspiration of the Bible,

Under the Restoration religious thought
and controversy slept. The nation was
weary of those subjects. The liberty for
which men then struggled was political,
though with political liberty was bound
up religious toleration, which achieved
a partial triumph under William III.

The Church of Rome, to meet the storm
of the Reformation, reorganized herself at
the Council of Trent on linos practically
traced for her by the Jesuit. Papal autoc-
racy was strengthened at the expense of
the episcopate, and furnished at once with
a guard and a propagandist machinery of
extraordinary power in the order of Loyo-
la. That the plenary inspiration of the
Bible in the Vulgate version, and includ-
ing the Apocrypha, should be reaffirmed
was a secondary matter, inasmuch as the
Church of Rome holds that it is not she
who derives her credentials from Scrip-
ture, but Scripture which depends for the
attestation of its authority upon her.

Of the disintegrating forces criticism
the higher criticism, as it is the fashion
to call it has by no means been the only
one. Another, and perhaps in recent times
the more powerful, has been science, from
which Voltaire and the earlier sceptics
received little or no assistance in their at-

tacks; for they were unable to meet even
the supposed testimony of fossils to the
Flood. It is curious that the bearing of
the Newtonian astronomy on the Bibli-
cal cosmography should not have been
before perceived; most curious that it
should have escaped Newton himself. His
system plainly contravened the idea which
made the earth the centre of the universe,
with heaven above and hell below it, and
by which the cosmography alike of the
Old and the New Testament is pervaded.
The first destructive blow from fhe region
of science was perhaps dealt by geology,
which showed that the earth had been
gradually formed, not suddenly created,
that its antiquity immeasurably transcend-
cd the orthodox chronology, and that
death had come into the world long before
man. Geologists, scared by the echoes of
their own teaching, were fain to shelter
themselves under allegorical interpreta-
tions of Genesis totally foreign to the in-
tentions of the writer; making out the
" days " of Creation to be aeons, a ver-
sion which, even if accepted, would not
have accounted for the entrance of death
into the world before the creation of
man. Many will recollect the shifts to
which science had recourse in its efforts
to avoid collision with the cosmogony sup-
posed to have been dictated by the Creator
to the reputed author of the Pentateuch.

The grand catastrophe, however, was
the discovery of Darwin. This assailed
the belief that man was a distinct cre-
ation, apart from all other animals, with
an immortal soul specially breathed into
him by the author of his being. It show-
ed that he had been developed by a nat-
ural process out of lower forms of life.
It showed that instead of a fall of man
there had been a gradual rise, thus cutting
away the ground of the Redemption and
the Incarnation, the fundamental doctrines
of the orthodox creed. For the hypothesis
of creation generally was substituted that
of evolution by some unknown but natural

Not only to revealed or supernatural
but to natural religion a heavy blow \vas
dealt by the disclosure of wasted aeons
and abortive species which seem to pre-
elude Hie idea of an intelligent and om-
nipotent designer.

The chief interpreters of science in its



bearing on religion were, in England, law which, if fully carried into effect,
Tyndall and Huxley. Tyndall always de- must have- fearfully darkened life. It
clared himself a materialist, though no produced in Jonathan Edwards the phi-
one could less deserve the name if it im- losopher of Calvinism, from the meshes of
plied anything like grossness or disregard whose predestinarian logic it has been
of the higher sentiments. He startled found difficult to escape, though all such
the world by his declaration that matter reasonings are- practically rebutted by our
contained the potentiality of all life, an indefeasible consciousness of freedom of

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 67 of 76)