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A House Divided: Personal accounts of family living at the Hermitage during Civil War

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Public Library in conjunction with the Hermitage present, While Civil War battlefields never reached northern New Jersey, it was a grim and turbulent time for the Rosencrantz family at the Hermitage. As Northern “peace” Democrats with a deep entanglement with slavery, the family was caught between both sides. Drawing from personal accounts of the family spread throughout Virginia, Philadelphia, and Bergen County, this presentation explores their experiences during an era that defined not only the nation, but the Hermitage as well. Guest speaker: Victoria Harty. Register here. Co-sponsored by the Hermitage.

Questions? Contact Sarah Kiefer at 201-670-5600 x135 or skiefer@ridgewoodlibrary.org.

Mon, Apr 12  7pm | A Home Divided:
The Hermitage During the American Civil War

The Democrat Party was badly divided in the late 1850s, having fallen prey to sectional bickering. They were unable to unify in 1860, a shortcoming that assured the election of Abraham Lincoln. During the course of the Civil War, the Democratic Party in the North comprised two factions:

War Democrats were firmly supportive of military efforts to maintain the Union, but was loudly critical of Lincoln’s conduct of the war and still in favor of slavery Democrat criticism grew with the lengthening list of Union military losses and with the president’s heavy-handed actions, such as the suspension of habeas corpus. The War Democrats represented the vast majority of Northern party members.

Northern “peace” Democrats also known as the Copperheads were also no better than than  their Sothern counterparts . The foundation of the Democratic party was the support of the Institution of slavery.

Peace Democrats hoped that the Union could be salvaged, but felt that military means were not justified. This faction asserted the following:

The North was responsible for pushing the South into secession

The Republicans were committed to establishing racial equality, a prospect opposed by many working class immigrants who wanted to protect their low-paying jobs and by racists

Lincoln had become a tyrant and was bent upon destroying civil liberties

The war was a national tragedy and must be ended, even if that meant granting independence to the Confederacy.

 

2 thoughts on “A House Divided: Personal accounts of family living at the Hermitage during Civil War

  1. “Lincoln had become a tyrant and was bent upon destroying civil liberties”

    ..specifically, the liberty to OWN OTHER PEOPLE. The monster.

  2. I’m glad that they’ve been keeping that home in pretty decent shape. Back in the early 80s it was a shit hole

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