G. Frisbie Hoar Tells It: Adventures in Research

columbia America's symbol pleads for the right of Black solidiers to vote

Thomas Nast 1865. Columbia pleads for the right of Black soldiers to vote. Public domain, source Wikipedia.

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, in deploring America’s war with Philippine insurgents.

 

Master of Lunacy

 

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