The Washington Post

One town’s opinion: Birthplace of Lincoln critic Oramel Barrett better ignored

Many small towns are searching for a way to make a connection to the Civil War during the commemoration of the war’s 150th anniversary but some connections should be forgotten, according to an opinion piece in Vermont’s Rutland Herald. The Herald named Norwich as the birthplace of Oramel Barrett, who went on to own and edit the Daily Patriot and Union in Harrisburg, Pa. in the 1860s.

According to the Herald, Barrett deserves no attention as a hometown boy in Norwich because of his strident criticism of President Lincoln, in particular the president’s Nov. 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address. Barrett, a Democrat, said the address was nothing but silly remarks.

“We have read the little speech of President Lincoln, delivered on the occasion of dedicating the national cemetery, a plot of ground set apart for the burial of the dead who fell at Gettysburg.” Barrett wrote for his paper. “He acted without sense and without constraint, in a panorama which was gotten up more for his benefit and the benefit of his party than for the glory of the nation and the honor of the dead.”

He refused to print the address saying the words deserved oblivion and offered the hope, “that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.”


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