Sunday, August 19, 2012

An election with many local ties to the phrase Rum, Romanism & Rebellion!

Well... is anyone tired of the election yet?????  

I am!  This whole thing has gotten out of hand..and this back and forth, back and forth, without any real information or with information that changes depending on the day.... has really got me.

I remember an interesting story that I was spouting at dinner last week about the R & R thing..I remembered a Republican minister with local ties who went to fill a speaking engagement for another person who had to cancel.  His name was Dr. Samuel Dickenson Burchard  and he got up and gave the usual preacher long winded speech.. in - part off the cuff ..when he interjected the alliteration actually...Rum, Romanism & Rebellion!

A reporter who was half asleep pick up on it..and the rest is history!!!!  I quote here from the website Rum, Romanism and Rebellion...

"Days before the election, James Blaine visited the crucial swing state of New York, attending a morning meeting in a New York City hotel. During a speech made by Presbyterian minister Samuel Burchard, the Democratic Party was assailed as the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.” In many ways, this phrase singled out Irish Catholics, many of whom lived in the large urban centers like New York and Boston. The phrase catered to the stereotype of the drunken Irishman and demeaned the Catholic faith. Most all Irish were Roman Catholic."

"The term “Rebellion” was a typical post Civil War Republican ploy of “waving the bloody shirt,” reminding voters that it had been the Democrats who were responsible for the great bloodshed and connecting them to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. "

"Catholic priests took to the pulpit the weekend before the election and urged church members to vote against the Republicans. When it was all over, Cleveland carried the state."

Well Dr. Samuel Dickenson Burchard was from the famous Burchard family of Pecksport in Eaton.   His brother was the famous Sylvester Burchard who brought the first breeding herd of Holsteins to the USA and who was also a  famous judge of the breed.  Sylvester was married to Ali Morse of the famous Morse family of Eaton. 

What is interesting is that I have some things of Dr. Burchard's in the Old Town of Eaton Museum.  One is the story told by his niece that after the election Grover Cleveland (who also had ties to Eaton - his brother was the minister of the Eaton Congregational Church)- invited Burchard to the White House to thank him for his remarks and laugh..Burchard said he didn't want to be seen doing it for obvious reasons, so the President sent a coach with curtains drawn for him and brought him to the White House in secret!

In fact though..Blaine also lost that election because of Republicans who jumped sides and became known as "Mug Wumps"!

A humorous side note!!!!

When asked about the loss, James Blaine was reported to have said: “I should have carried New York by 10,000 votes if the weather had been clear and Dr. Burchard had been doing missionary work in Asia Minor or China.” Blaine’s great mistake had been not distancing himself from Burchard’s comments."

Cleveland was an honest man...view short biography!

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