By the Bullet and the Bowl

“By the Bullet and the Bowl.”
From the New York Tribune.

In 1840 the Whig party elected Wm. H. Harrison President. He was inaugurated in 1841, March 4th. One month afterward he died, and his office fell to John Tyler.

How “Tyler too” carried out the principles under which he was chosen, the world too well remembers. He added a new and disgraceful verb to the language — to Tylerize has ever since been synonymous with partisan treachery.

In 1844, through the efforts of the Birney Abolitionists, Henry Clay was defeated — Polk elected, with Dallas for his Vice; Texas was annexed, the area of slavery was extended by nearly 300,000 square miles, and all was lovely.

In 1848, Zachary Taylor, a moderate Whig, and Millard Fillmore, not much of anything, were chosen President and Vice. Taylor did not suit the Southern drivers; he had a stupid way of acting honestly and straightforward — and so, within a brief period, he fell under the malarious vapors of Washington, and died, Fillmore succeeding, and duly Tylerized.

Next we had the Herald’s “poor Pierce,” who has not, to this day ceased from expressing his boundless servility to the slave whips of his southern masters. He was “sound” and served out his term in peace — the water was good.

In 1856, Mr. Buchanan, fully as sound as Pierce, was raised to the Executive chair, and under his administration — as in that of his predecessor — Washington was free from malaria — that is, Democrats; but when the new Republican party began to gain strength, and it was possible that they might become the ruling power of Congress, the water of Washington suddenly grew dangerous, the hotels (particularly the National) became pest houses, and dozens of heretics from the Democratic faith grew sick almost unto death. This singular phenomenon re-appeared from time to time until the great outbreak after the election of Lincoln. Then the wells and springs of the capital came into the care of loyal soldiers, and the water persistently remained healthy. This continued, in spite of the prayers of the faithless, for four years; there was not a “sick” congressman after Davis and his followers left.

But when the struggle of 1864 was over, and the water of the capital flowed clearly, there came a change in the tactics of the poisoners; a single bullet sufficed to restore their hopes. Abraham Lincoln passed away; Andrew Johnson supervened, and — like every other President elevated to the main office, from Aaron Burr to himself — he too, Tylerized, swallowed himself with the dexterity of an East India juggler, and came out from his contortions the branded property of Howell Cobb and his crowd of unregenerated rebels. Urged by the sentiment of a betrayed people, the House of Representatives recently put the recreant Executive on trial.

The trial was over, the hour for voting approached, when we had a return of that bad water, and two or three senators — Republicans, mind you — are prostrated with sudden illness.

What does it mean?

Why does it happen that whenever the current sets against the monster demon of slavery (and never at any other time) we find the air, water, and the whisky of Washington full of poison?

Why does it happen that when some great deed for freedom is on the point of accomplishment (and never on any other occasion), we find Presidents, previously in rugged health, instantaneously sent to their graves, and traitors always on hand to take their places?

Why is it now, just as we should have the vote upon the great question of impeachment, and when — up to the latest moment — it had been universally believed that Johnson would be convicted, why, we ask, do we hear at this critical moment of the dangerous illness of some of the most firm and conspicuous advocates of impeachment?

Is there any thing of chances that can explain these remarkable Ku-klux coincidences?

Alton Daily Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Jun 3, 1868

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