Monday, September 26, 2005


A few months ago, I discussed a Dickensian novel by "Orpheus C. Kerr," a 19th-century American political humorist, and concluded that it was pretty bad. As partial recompense, here's a piece of political satire that shows Kerr to better advantage. Before reading it, though, you should read Lincoln's Address on Colonization, of which Kerr's piece is a very close parody. "Colonization" in this context meant settling freed slaves outside the United States, either voluntarily or compulsorily. While most African-Americans rejected the idea, it was popular among white antebellum Americans who wanted to see slavery end, but in a conservative way. Lincoln himself supported voluntary colonization, and in the address linked to above he tried to convince a delegation of African-Americans of its virtues. Kerr's opinion was different, as his parody makes clear.

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