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Who watches Jeopardy?
05-21-2019, 11:07 AM (This post was last modified: 05-21-2019 11:13 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #22
RE: Who watches Jeopardy?
(05-21-2019 12:10 AM)Steve Wrote:  
(05-20-2019 11:42 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  There was another "Lincoln" question on tonight's (May 20, 2019) Jeopardy. James Holzhauer correctly answered the question as asked as John Brown.

However, I disagreed with the implications of the question. So, I submitted the following online form to the show. On the form, I could not highlight the two critical elements of the short question that bothered me. But I do so below:

I disagree with the Lincoln question on John Brown.

Excerpt from Lincoln's Cooper Institute Address (Feb. 27, 1860):


John Brown’s effort was peculiar. It was not a slave insurrection. It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in which the slaves refused to participate. In fact, it was so absurd that the slaves, with all their ignorance, saw plainly enough it could not succeed. That affair, in its philosophy, corresponds with the many attempts, related in history, at the assassination of kings and emperors. An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a people till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to liberate them. He ventures the attempt, which ends in little else than his own execution. Orsini’s attempt on Louis Napoleon, and John Brown’s attempt at Harper’s Ferry were, in their philosophy, precisely the same. The eagerness to cast blame on old England in the one case, and on New England in the other, does not disprove the sameness of the two things.

I checked the J! Archive and the text of the question was:

Abraham Lincoln called this man's efforts at Harpers Ferry "peculiar", ending "in little else than his own execution"

There are no errors in the quoted remarks of Lincoln or any attempt to change their intended meaning from the text of the 1860 speech.

My point is that many people at the time and many people today believe that John Brown was undeniably a martyr/hero in the antislavery movement. When I heard the words of the question and the correct response, I could not initially believe that Lincoln had said those words regarding John Brown. That is what started me on my quest for the truth.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her book Team of Rivals, at page 226, writes of the seizure of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry:

On October 16, 1859, as Lincoln prepared for a trip to Kansas, the remaining bonds of union were strained to the point of rupture when the white abolitionist John Brown came to Virginia, in the words of Stephen Vincent Benet, "with foolish pikes/And a pack of desperate boys to shadow the sun." Brown and his band of thirteen white men and five blacks seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry with a bold but ill-conceived plan of provoking a slave insurrection. The arsenal was swiftly recaptured and Brown taken prisoner by a federal force under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee, accompanied by Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart.

Brown was sentenced to death. . . . In the month between his sentence and hanging, the dignity and courage of his conduct and the eloquence of his statements and letters made John Brown a martyr/hero to many in the antislavery North. His death, when it came, was mourned by public assemblies throughout the Northern states. "Church bells tolled," the historian David Potter writes, "black bunting was hung out, minute guns were fired, prayer meetings assembled, and memorial resolutions were adopted."

Doris Kearns Goodwin then writes at pages 226-227 about the Southern response to the Harpers Ferry raid:

The immediate impact of the intrepid raid, which "sent a shiver of fear to the inmost fiber of every man, woman, and child" in the South, was unmistakable. While antislavery fervor in the North was intensified, Southern solidarity and rhetoric reached a new level of zealotry. "Harpers Ferry," wrote the Richmond Enquirer, "coupled with the expression of Northern sentiment in support . . . have shaken and disrupted all regard for the Union; and there are but few men who do not look to a certain and not distant day when dissolution must ensue." The raid at Harpers Ferry, one historian notes, was "like a great meteor disclosing in its lurid flash the width and depth of that abyss" which cut the nation in two. Herman Melville, in his poem "The Portent," would use the same metaphor, calling "Weird John Brown/The meteor of the war" --the tail of his long beard trailing out from under the executioner's (sic "morituri") cap.

Therefore, in my opinion, to condense Lincoln's statement made in his Cooper Institute Address (Feb. 27, 1860) regarding his assessment of John Brown's effort at Harpers Ferry to the few particular words of the actual Jeopardy question, even though correctly quoted, is very misleading as to Abraham Lincoln's actual intelligent thoughts on the subject in the context of the times.

Finally, Doris Kearn Goodwin writes this relevant footnote to history at page 228:

At the time of Brown's execution on December 2, 1859, Lincoln was back on the campaign trail, telling an audience in Leavenworth, Kansas, that "the attempt to identify the Republican party with the John Brown business was an electioneering dodge." . . . He acknowledged that Brown had displayed "great courage" and "rare unselfishness." Nonetheless, he concluded, "that cannot excuse violence, bloodshed, and treason. It could avail him nothing that he might think himself right."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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Messages In This Thread
Who watches Jeopardy? - David Lockmiller - 04-23-2019, 09:41 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 04-24-2019, 03:56 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Gene C - 04-24-2019, 09:57 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 04-25-2019, 03:53 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 04-30-2019, 03:52 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 04-30-2019, 08:15 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Joe Di Cola - 04-30-2019, 02:31 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 04-30-2019, 02:43 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Anita - 05-07-2019, 03:03 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Anita - 05-07-2019, 05:26 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - L Verge - 05-07-2019, 06:45 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 05-21-2019, 12:10 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - David Lockmiller - 05-21-2019 11:07 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Gene C - 05-21-2019, 11:28 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Thomas Kearney - 05-21-2019, 03:16 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Anita - 05-21-2019, 04:01 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Thomas Kearney - 05-22-2019, 05:09 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 05-22-2019, 05:25 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 05-21-2019, 04:50 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Gene C - 05-23-2019, 06:35 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Anita - 05-23-2019, 10:03 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Thomas Kearney - 05-23-2019, 11:10 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Anita - 05-23-2019, 12:39 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 06-03-2019, 12:19 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Thomas Kearney - 06-03-2019, 03:07 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 06-03-2019, 03:48 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 06-04-2019, 01:30 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - L Verge - 06-03-2019, 07:37 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Gene C - 06-04-2019, 05:42 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 06-04-2019, 08:03 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - L Verge - 06-04-2019, 10:20 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - L Verge - 06-04-2019, 02:22 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 06-05-2019, 04:09 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - davg2000 - 06-05-2019, 08:31 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - RJNorton - 06-05-2019, 07:01 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Thomas Kearney - 06-05-2019, 02:26 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - L Verge - 06-05-2019, 04:09 PM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Gene C - 06-06-2019, 08:30 AM
RE: Who watches Jeopardy? - Steve - 06-07-2019, 09:57 PM

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