By Al Benson Jr.
Should you happen to run across the name of Charles A. Dana in a “history” book somewhere what you will probably find out is that he was assistant secretary of war in the Lincoln administration—and that’s most likely all you will find out. Or you may find out, in an exceptional “history” book, that he had been associated with Horace Greeley in the publication of Greeley’s New York Tribune. Again, they won’t tell you anymore than that. After all, the educational rationale seems to be that people don’t really need to know this stuff—it’s only old history.
The fly in the buttermilk is that often “old history” comes back to haunt us. True, we can’t go back and change it, but if we are aware of what really happened we can work to make sure we don’t repeat the same error. If we don’t know then we may well do the same stupid thing—over and over again.
Donnie Kennedy and I, in our book Lincoln’s Marxists, (Pelican Publishing, Gretna, Louisiana) sought to show conclusively that socialism and communism had been alive and well in this country long before anyone believed it was, in fact well over 100 years before anyone believed it was.
Charles A. Dana, Lincoln’s assistant secretary of war is a prime example. In his earlier years Dana had been associated with Brook Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Brook Farm was yet another communistic endeavor in this country in the early 1840s that didn’t make it. It folded in 1847. However, one of Brook Farm’s projects was a left-of-center publication called The Harbinger. Among those who wrote for this periodical was George Ripley and Charles A. Dana.
After Brook Farm had folded Dana went to work for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. As part of his work there Dana went to Europe in 1848 (what a coincidence!) where he covered the 1848 socialist and communist revolts, not only for the Tribune but for other papers as well. At that time he became well acquainted with Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and who knows who else in the Forty-eighter movement. Upon his return to this country in 1849 he was made managing editor under Greeley for the Tribune. Should you wonder why a friend of Karl Marx was made managing editor for Greeley’s newspaper you could do a little digging and find out that Horace Greeley was also a socialist—something else your “history” books probably didn’t pass along to you. I remember seeing Greeley’s name in history books all through my growing-up years and nowhere was there a mention of his socialist proclivities.
As proof of his affinity for Karl Marx, Charles Dana hired Marx to write columns for Greeley’s paper in 1851. He was to be a regular correspondent. Marx’s command of the English language wasn’t the greatest and so his friend, Engels, ended up writing many of his columns for him, but Marx was the one that was paid for them. So typical of Marxism in general—you do the work and I get the rewards! Since Greeley’s paper was one of the most influential in this country what Dana had done was to give Karl Marx an open pipeline to reach the people of America with his propaganda.
Dana and Greeley parted company in 1862 over some dispute, at which point Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, another sterling character, snapped up Dana and made him “Special Investigating Agent” for the War Department. Dana spent a lot of time with Grant’s army and ended up recommending that Grant be placed in command of all the Union armies. I have often wondered what Dana, a socialist, saw in Grant that made him recommend him. Needless to say, the “historians” don’t tell us.
As we noted in Lincoln’s Marxists “…we have a New York newspaper, owned by a socialist (Greeley), publishing articles written by the father of modern communism (Marx), who had been hired to write for Greeley’s paper by still another man with socialist leanings (Dana). What an interesting mix!” And you mean to tell me we had no problems with socialism and communism in this country until Roosevelt in the 1930s? Hogwash! Anyone telling you that is gypping you out of 100 years of real history!
According to http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org Dana was named as Assistant Secretary of War in 1864 and served until 1865 in that capacity. James Harrison Wilson, who wrote a biography of Dana, wrote that Lincoln “appears to have taken Dana into his utmost confidence… and to have consulted with him fully about the amendment to the Constitution to legalize the abolition of slavery…” Which means that the Emancipation Proclamation was little more than war propaganda and Lincoln knew it. Too bad he couldn’t have told our present day “historians.” So we have a man who was a socialist and friend of Karl Marx who had Lincoln’s “utmost confidence.”
We’ve had lots of socialist influence in this country long before we were supposed to have had it according to the historians. We also had Forty-eighter Carl Schurz who ended up being the Secretary of the Interior in the Hayes administration and we had Robert Dale Owen, the son of socialist Robert Owen, who helped craft the infamous 14th Amendment. Do you wonder why your public school “history” books never bother to mention any of this? It’s because you and your kids are not supposed to know about it. How much have the socialists and communists helped to influence the direction this country has gone in since the Lincoln administration? More than you are supposed to be aware of. With this kind of thing going on since the early 1860s is it any wonder why we now have an Obama administration? Folks, stop and think about it for a bit. Wake up and smell the coffee before it is banned for us ordinary folks along with our guns.