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Contested LoyaltyDebates over Patriotism in the Civil War North$
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Robert M. Sandow

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279753

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279753.001.0001

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“Dedicated to the Proposition”

“Dedicated to the Proposition”

Principle, Consequence, and Duty to the Egalitarian Nation, 1848–1865

(p.21) “Dedicated to the Proposition”
Contested Loyalty

Melinda Lawson

Fordham University Press

Melinda Lawson explores the meaning of national loyalty through the writings of abolitionist leader Wendell Phillips, anti-slavery Congressman George Julian, and President Abraham Lincoln. The author stresses that elite men were moved by notionsof “duty,” compelling them to uphold moral principles in their civic roles. Lawson’s work suggests the challenges men of antislavery conviction faced in a slaveholding republic where the Constitution nurtured the “peculiar institution.” Theirs was not a national loyalty of blind allegiance to the Constitution and the laws. Instead, each of the three held as sacred the ideals of liberty and equality written in the Declaration of Independence. This chapter traces how each man navigated the complicated duties of a true patriot through disunion and war.

Keywords:   Abolitionism, Declaration of Independence, Duty, Loyalty, Patriotism

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