Weldon B. Heyburn (1852-1912) was born in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania and served as senator from Idaho 1903-1912. Heyburn spoke at a Union League meeting in 1910 against Lee’s statue being placed in the Capitol (the Union League was instrumental in turning the Southern black man against his white neighbors). It was said that “the system of [Heyburn] was fairly diseased with venom” and hated anything Southern. Heyburn died in November 1912 -- “Dixie” lives on.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
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“Dixie” Played at the Heavenly Shore
“Heyburn Howls at “Dixie”: Heyburn orders the band to stop playing “Dixie.” He waves his hand in Idaho and exclaims: “This is a Republican meeting; we want no such tunes here!” Music that comes “like the sweet South” rouses his rage. He hates everything that comes from the South except the darky delegates to Republican conventions.
This is the same Heyburn who was found snarling at the heels of Lee when Virginia set up her majestic statue in the United States Capitol. It is the same Heyburn who has succeeded by constant effort in making for himself a distinct place as the pest of the Senate. He may stop his hired bands in Idaho; but Heyburn can no more stop “Dixie” than the old woman who brushed the beach with her broom could sweep back the sea.
Lee could get no farther than Gettysburg with his armies; but “Dixie” has marched on for forty years, conquering the North, annexing Canada and Mexico, and sweeping its way through Europe. It makes China hum and India pat its foot. Japan is its ally and all Africa its possession.
Wherever the blood of man bounds to martial music there “Dixie” sings its stirring strains. It will live long after the bloody shirt vanished and the mouthiest Heyburn is dead. Long ago it ceased to be the air of a section and took its place among the hymns of the nation. No medley of patriotic airs is complete without it. Like the “Marseillaise,” it not only recalls glorious memories and historic deeds, but its notes stir the blood and sound forth like the trumpet call of battle.
“Dixie” will not die. Whole legions of Heyburn’s braying with 10,000,000 jackass power cannot drown its martial notes. It has become a part of the music of nations and, let us hope, also of the spheres; and if the good things of earth are preserved in the hereafter, Heyburn will find himself greeted when he reaches the heavenly shore by a celestial band playing in its most effective style the tune he hates so much.
We trust before that time he may have become reconstructed and reconciled, so that he may not turn his back on Paradise because “Dixie” is in the musical repertoire. – Baltimore Sun.
(Heyburn Howls at “Dixie,” Confederate Veteran, November 1910, pg. 523)