G. Frisbie Hoar Tells It: Adventures in Research
I recently read a NYT obit of George Frisbie Hoar, political veteran of fifty-plus years, Massachusetts Senator, anti-imperialist, who died in 1904. I was curious to learn something about Mr. Hoar, because he may be a distant and peripheral family connection. I enjoyed this excerpt illustrating his oratorical style (and which bears on the Spanish-American war, a topic taken up in Hammersmith):
I confess I do not like to think of the genius of America angry, snarling, shouting, screaming, kicking, clawing with her nails. I like rather to think of her in her august and serene beauty, inspired by a sentiment, even toward her enemies, not of hate, but of love, perhaps a little pale in the cheeks, and a dangerous light in her eyes, but with a smile on her face; as sure, as determined, unerring, invincible as the Archangel Michael when he struck down and trampled upon the demon of darkness.
Hoar was referencing to the concept of America as a Being, known as Columbia; as Britannia allegorically represents England. This speech was made during our country’s expansion period of the 1890’s, deploring America’s war with Philippine insurgents.