Friday, April 27, 2018

The United States of Despotism?

“No words we could use would bring relief to the harrowed feeling of, or redress of wrongs perpetrated upon thousands of unoffending citizens by their unwarranted incarceration in American Bastilles during the Administration of the late President Lincoln. We contemplate the cruelties, oppressions, persecutions, and imprisonments, committed during that long night of political despotism, with alarm. We shudder for the future of the country, when we take a retrospect of the late past.” 

In an era in which serious concerns are discussed regarding police abuse, government surveillance, standing armies, increasing division and strife and the potential loss of constitutional rights, American Bastille details the accounts of the imprisonment and sufferings of approximately 70 people at the hands of the State (including pastors, Judges, U.S. Senators, Doctors, Farmers, Editors, Foreign Ministers and women) from places like New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana and Ohio. Marshall writes that their stories have been preserved “for the purpose of preventing, in the future, a repetition of the errors and crimes committed in the past, and to aid in the preservation of those rights, liberties, and franchises transmitted to us by the fathers of the Republic, to be protected, defended, and guarded by us, as a sacred trust.” 

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