The Rhetoric of Loyalty: Partisan Perspectives on Treason

Robert M. Sandow

in Deserter Country

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240845 | DOI:

Series: The North's Civil War

The Rhetoric of Loyalty: Partisan Perspectives on Treason

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In May 1863, the Republican newspaper of Clearfield carried a didactic episode copied from the Hollidaysburg Whig. The author of the newspaper intended the brief piece to illustrate the meaning of loyalty and treason for citizens of a nation torn by fratricidal conflict. In the opening months of war, communities in the Pennsylvania mountains became deeply entangled in a debate over the meaning of loyalty. The public discussion on loyal behavior reverberated broadly across the North, but lumber region Democrats were among the first in the state to push the boundaries of dissent. While the pressures of the war itself strained northern society, partisan politics increased community divides and affected previously ordinary aspects of everyday life. In rural regions where the authority of the state was weak, members of the community enforced their own order through forms of public censure.

Keywords: Pennsylvania; Hollidaysburg Whig; loyalty; treason; partisan politics; loyal behavior; dissent; war

Chapter.  17392 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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