THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LI JANUARY, 1948 No. 3
Zezas Vewspapers and icolt
RALPH W. STEEN
ON February 1i, 1909, the centennial of Lincoln's birth,
the Houston Post declared in an editorial that the "peo-
ple of the South have always felt that his untimely and
tragic end was one of the severest catastrophes of the war pe-
riod." Most Texas editors would doubtless have agreed with the
Post in the statement, and since 1909 Texas papers have had
nothing but good things to say about Lincoln. Yet the statement
is not an accurate one, and editors of the period 1860-1865
would have been outspoken in their disagreement. It was not
until the hatreds engendered by war had cooled that Texas
newspapers began saying nice things about Lincoln. In the twen-
tieth century most Texas newspapers have presented him as a
man of few faults and many political virtues. Editors in Con-
federate Texas had no such opinion of the man. The Texas press
accepted Lincoln's election in 186o as a tragedy and his assassi-
nation in 1865 as a major blessing.
Even before the official announcement of the outcome of the
186o election had been received in Texas there were some anti-
Lincoln demonstrations. Thus a liberty pole was erected in
Gonzales and the Lone Star flag run up to its head, while Lin-
coln was burned in effigy.2 After the result of the election was
known, mass meetings were held in many parts of the country
and the burning of Lincoln in effigy was a usual feature of the
meetings.3 A gathering at Indianola in 186o was distinguished
by a number of placards. Some of them read: "The Time Has
Come"; "State Rights"; "The 2nd of March"; "Cotton Is King";
1Houston Post, February 1p, 19o9.
sIndianola Courier, November 1o, 186o.
albid., November 24, 186o.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/. Accessed July 29, 2015.