Investing Money in Treason–Part Two

by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

Rev. Higginson had credentials as both a radical abolitionist and a revolutionary (and in many instances there was little difference).

Historian Otto Scott, in his book The Secret Six–the fool as martyr  revealed about Higginson that “He wanted to be seen as a man of action: not as a clergyman. In May 1857, speaking to the American Anti-Slavery Convention in New York, he made his hopes clear. ‘The question of slavery is a stern and practical one. Give us the power and we can make a new Constitution…how is that power to be obtained? By politics? Never. By revolution, and that alone’.” That statement, plus his known association with Kansas looters and socialist Forty-Eighters  has to give you some faint glimmering as to what Rev. Higginson was really all about. As a Unitarian, he was already a potential revolutionary and apostate, no matter how “civil-sounding” the media descriptions of him are. But don’t go away, folks, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Ann Braude, author of Radical Spirits has also  identified Higginson as one, who, with many other abolitionists, was involved in Spiritualism. On page 73 of her book she has noted  that: “Spiritualism preoccupied Garrisonians during the 1850s but elicited a wide range of responses. Many reformers believed in Spiritualism but rarely identified themselves with the movement, focusing their public activities first on abolition and second on women’s rights. This group included Garrison, Lucy Coleman, Elizabeth Buffam Chase, Betsy Mix Cowles, Thomas Wentworth Higginson…” Higginson said: “Undoubtedly the facts of Spiritualism are the most important yet launched upon the history of humanity,…But the philosophy of Spiritualism is yet to be born…” Braude informed her readers that, for all this, “Higginson found time to deliver and publish two addresses endorsing Spiritualism.” Higginson must have felt it was pretty important if he took time and trouble to publish these.

As you research this history and begin to connect the dots, you find disturbing trends that show the connections between abolitionists, socialists, Unitarians, Spiritualists, and many in the Women’s Rights movement. Not good! Yet how many of our “history” books dealing with this period bother to alert their readers to any of these connections. Don’t all trip over each other holding up your various editions!

One thing you have to say for Higginson is that he was consistent in his beliefs–in gross error, but consistent. Or you could say he was “seldom right, but never in doubt.” He was a life-long leftist radical (yes, they did exist way back then). He lived from 1823 until 1911–lots of time to do lots of damage (and he surely did). Even in his old age he continued this trend. Guess he was, at that point, too old to do anything else.

In 1906 he joined with other leftist radicals Jack London and Upton Sinclair to found the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. This socialist organization for college students eventually evolved into the Student League for Industrial Democracy–which eventually morphed into the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Anyone remember this happy little group of bomb-throwers that was so very active in the (communist) “peace movement” of the 1960s? Some of them turned into those bomb-throwers with the Molotov cocktails, the ones that were so very willing to kill for peace.

One of the better known among this “peace-loving” assembly was one William Ayres. He was a leader of the SDS in 1968-69.  He belonged to a faction of the SDS called “The Weathermen.”  According to Wikipedia, “Ayers had previously been a roommate of Terry Robbins, a fellow militant who was killed in 1970 along with Ayers’ girlfriend, Oughton and one other member in the Greenwich Village townhouse  explosion, while constructing anti-personnel bombs intended for a non-commissioned officer dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey…Later in 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket affair…The blast broke almost 100 windows and blew pieces of the statue onto the nearby Kennedy Expressway.”

This same William Ayers, just coincidentally, happened to be a close friend of the former occupant of the White House, Comrade Barack Obama.

If anyone ever tells you that past history has no bearing on what goes on today he is either naïve, dumb, or he sincerely hopes you are.

You can trace the radicalism of Ayers and his SDS bomb-throwing buddies all the way back through the predecessors  of the SDS, right to the organization that Thomas Wentworth Higginson helped to found back in 1906. Here was a man, born in 1823, whose radicalism can be traced down through his spiritual grandchildren to our own day. Folks, please wake up and start to connect the dots!!!

Learn to ignore those who inform you that the past has no bearing on either the present or the future. As the man says “He who controls the past also controls the future.”

The Biblical admonition “study to show thyself approved…” is a true admonition. It applied to God’s Word, the Holy Bible, but it also applies to history and we have to become more aware of that, much more aware, than we presently are, especially if we are Christians.

“…Always Ready to Invest Money in Treason…”

by al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

In 1858 abolitionist/terrorist John Brown was appealing for funds for his terrorist activities. Even terrorists have to pay for the chaos they create. The subject of this article, Rev. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, noted, upon receiving Brown’s plea for funds that “I am always ready to invest money in treason, but at present have none to invest.” So, for Higginson, the treasonous intent was clearly there, even if they money to support it wasn’t.

Most who have studied our history seriously already know that, in his terrorist assault on the Federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia,  John Brown had the support, both moral and financial, of a group called The Secret Six. These men were very well-known and well connected Northeasterners (New England and New York) who were radical abolitionists (as opposed to common-sense abolitionists). They wanted the institution of slavery gone immediately, if not sooner, no matter what the consequences of such a rash act were, and they were willing todo, or to delegate someone else to do, whatever that took, no matter how bloody that work might become or how many might be hurt. Their “noble” ends justified their means in their own eyes. They were very typical Yankee/Marxists whether they realized that or not.

One of the most bold among them in his insistence that “It’s my way or the highway”  was our subject, Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Wikipedia has described him as “…an American Unitarian minister, author, abolitionist, and soldier. He was active in the American abolitionist movement during the 1840s and 1850s, identifying himself with disunion and militant abolitionism.” Disunion? Heavens! When the South sought disunion via legitimate secession that was supposed to be treasonous, or to be rebellion (it wasn’t). It seems, though, that Higginson’s form of disunion must have been okay because he was never castigated for it like the South was. Perhaps he was approaching it from the proper theological (Unitarian) perspective. To paraphrase–one man’s disunion may be another man’s dictatorship.

After the War of Northern Aggression was over Higginson devoted much of the remainder of his life to striving for the “rights” of slaves, women, and other “disenfranchised” groups.  In other words, he hewed to the socialist line and agenda, as his later life will reveal. When he became the pastor of the Free Church in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1852 he supported abolition, labor rights, women’s rights, along with temperance.

The group The Secret Six, of which Higginson was one, helped John Brown to raise both supplies and financial help for an intended slave revolt, to take place at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Frankly, it was a terrible place to foment a slave revolt. It was in the hill country of western Virginia and there were just not all that many slaves in that region. Brown and whoever helped him couldn’t have picked a worse place, but then, who knows if such a poor choice was coincidence or something more?

When Brown’s poorly orchestrated attempt failed and he was captured, Higginson even made plans to help him escape from custody, although the plans never panned out.

J. C. Furnas, in The Road to Harpers Ferry noted, on page 336 that “Higginson’s memoirs admitted that his boldness in rescuing slaves and backing Old Brown did not come wholly from moral conviction but from …intrinsic love of adventure…boyish desire for a stirring experience…”

After John Brown’s death, Higginson also planned to rescue those among Brown’s raiders who were still awaiting trial. He even went so far as to bring Jayhawker terrorist James Montgomery east from Kansas “to see what he could do as leader of a group of liberty-minded German exiles from the revolutions of 1848 whom Higginson had recruited.” So Higginson had recruited a batch of socialist Forty-Eighters, under Montgomery’s command, to try to break the remaining raiders out of jail. This shows that Rev. Higginson must have had contact with the socialists and Marxists that came to this country after their socialist revolts flopped in Europe. And his “recruiting” of James Montgomery is also enlightening.  Montgomery was among the most unsavory of the Kansas Jayhawkers–an outright pillager and plunderer.  Interesting that a Unitarian clergyman should be so well-acquainted with looters, thieves and socialists. Birds of a feather perhaps?

To be continued.


by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

2018 is the 170th anniversary of the 1848 socialist/communist revolts in Europe that I have so often written about. The year I was born, 1938, was only the 90th anniversary of those revolts. When I was born they were less than a century past. Just goes to show you how fast time passes when you’re having fun.

Often I have reflected back on those revolts and how they have affected our history in this country and just who was ultimately responsible for those revolts. I think you can trace the original sources responsible for those revolts back to the French Revolution and those that hired a third-rate political hack, Karl Marx, to write the Communist Manifesto. 

From time to time I check out the internet to see what has been posted there about the Forty-Eighter socialists lately. There is material about them on the internet that was not there when Donnie Kennedy and I wrote our book, Lincoln’s Marxists, several years ago. This proves that this is a subject that is still of interest and concern to some folks, because new material always seems to be turning up. Some of the people  posting new material don’t always get the history right, but at least they are still discussing it, or  propagandizing about it, depending on which side of the spectrum they are coming from.

One article I came across recently was from October of 2012. It was on and the headline for the article was Forty-Eighter Socialists Found Republican Party which is a bit of an understatement. The article was a bit of a mixed bag, but the author noted that: “Jessie and John Fremont were friends with Louis Kossuth who lived with Mazzini in Britain for three years. The Freemont bodyguards were foreign socialists. Folks who think Obama is a socialist are morons.” I reckon that makes me one of the head morons in the country, though I have lots of company. The author of this internet article was right about the Fremonts and totally in error regarding Comrade Obama.

The author noted: “The Forty-Eighters were Europeans who participated in or supported the socialist revolutions of 1848 that swept Europe. In Germany, the Forty-Eighters favored unification of the German people, a more democratic government, and guarantees of human rights.” The accuracy of that statement begs the question of how you define “a more democratic government”  and the “guarantees of human rights” are for who??? Bear in mind that those on the Left do not always define such nebulous terms the way we have been conditioned to define them.

There was also an article about Carl Schurz on the New York Times opinion pages in June of 2012 by Andre M. Fleche in which he dealt with Schurz and the Forty-Eighters. Fleche observed that before the 1848 revolts “…the German states were a divided patchwork of independent and absolutist kingdoms, and many people, including Schurz, dreamed of a strong German nation that would earn respect abroad and protect freedoms at home.” What he is really saying here is that these people wanted a strong, centralized government–and, in all honesty, where have you ever heard of such a government “protecting freedoms?” Mostly such governments work at dispensing with freedoms–they seldom protect them. So what the Forty-Eighters claimed they wanted was really at odds with the kind of government they advocated to get it. Were the Forty-Eighters aware of this. Most undoubtedly were. A few among the less politically aware among them had  probably not thought it through. Fleche said: “The Forty-Eighters, as they came to be known, brought with them (to America) their commitments to participatory democracy and radical reform.” The key word here is “radical.” Again, these comments depend on how you define “democracy” and the Leftists do not define it as normal Americans do. He observed that the German socialist revolutionaries were really hostile to slavery. He neglected to mention that they were, the majority of them, Freethinkers, and therefore, also hostile to Christianity. That little tidbit usually gets left out of articles about these people.

When the War started, Lincoln planned to use Schurz as a US representative to Europe, and he bundles him off to Spain.  Although the frustrated Schurz went, he didn’t stay all that long. He felt that “…a true revolutionary belonged in the field…” Having taken part in the 1848 socialist revolts, he wanted a military command. According to Fleche: “He finally got his chance in 1862. In April, Congress confirmed his appointment as brigadier general, and in June he joined John C. Fremont’s command in the Shenandoah Valley. There he was reunited with fellow Forty-Eighters Franz Sigel, Alexander von Schimmelfennig and many others who had fought for freedom in Germany. Together, their presence in the Army would endow the Union cause  with a moral urgency and worldwide significance.” You will have to pardon me, please, if I make one small comment about this last statement of Fleche’s–it’s total rubbish!!!

We have to learn to get it through our thick heads that the Forty-Eighters did not, ever fight for freedom in the sense that Americans understand that word. If we take Fleche at face value, collectivism is supposed to represent freedom. So we should ask the question–for who, and to do what? Fleche is an assistant professor of history at Castleton State College, or at least he was when he wrote this. He is also the author of a book–The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict. I haven’t had a chance to read the book, but it’s interesting that he recognizes the War as a revolution. So did Karl Marx!

Professor Fleche also wrote an article that appeared on called America’s First Red Scare. Sorry, I don’t have a date for this one. I don’t recall one on the article I read but you may be able to do a search by typing in the article name and author. In this instance, Fleche was, naturally, referring to the Forty-Eighters just before (and during) the War.  He noted Confederate sympathizers in Missouri saying “These reds and forty-eighters are to blame for everything.” He noted that such complaints sounded like what we heard in the “Red Scares” in the early twentieth century. And he commented: “Though little recalled today, in the years before the Civil War Americans debated not only the future of slavery but also the future of free wage labor. Americans argued over the merits of socialism, communism, and the meaning of the revolutions  that has swept the Western world during the preceding century. The Civil War engaged all of these issues.” Even Fleche has to admit that the whole thing was lots more complicated than deciding what to do about the slavery issue, which was peripheral at best.

He noted that Southern intellectuals, some of whom were clergymen, were very concerned about the direction the North was going in, theologically as well as politically. They took a long look at what was happening in the North (rank apostasy) and decided the South would be much better off without all that socialist drivel. Seeing where socialism (progressivism) has taken us in our day, can you blame  them for wanting to avoid it?

All the problems we had in 1848 and in 1861-65 and following, we are still beset with today. The War solved none of them. It was never intended to. Rather it amplified many of them–as it was intended to, while the perpetrators of these problems sought to cover up the fact that they existed.

The spiritual descendants of the Forty-Eighters remain with us today.  They are alive and well, mostly in soft political positions in Washington and various state capitols–where they are still at work, Trump notwithstanding, to implement the agenda of their ideological ancestors.

Taken from The Copperhead Chronicle newsletter for the first quarter of 2018

Two Freethinkers–Joseph Lewis and Abraham Lincoln

by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

Recently a friend at church loaned me a book he had picked up at a book sale. He thought I might find it of interest, and he was right. Some real gems here. The name of the book is Atheism and it was written by a Joseph Lewis, who was the president of the Freethinkers of America.

I don’t know if there are different variations of freethinkers or not, but the ones I have read about are virulently anti-Christian. Mr. Lewis’ book on atheism takes a broad swipe at religion in general but goes to great pains to attack the truth of Holy Scripture specifically.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that those who claim to be generally anti-religious spend most of their efforts denigrating the Christian faith and the Bible. So I have to  conclude that, in the long run, they are not nearly as anti-religious as they are anti-Christian. All the more reason as far as I am concerned to defend Jesus Christ and the Christian faith because this is the one faith that everybody seems to be against. The truth of John 14:6 stands out here. “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

Lewis goes to great lengths to promote the fallacious concept that atheism is something that “liberates” people from the staid old dogmas of the Christian faith. I have to say, though, that Mr. Lewis’ arguments just plain fail to convince me that his particular version of anti-Christianity is all that “liberating.” Lewis’ atheism is little more than another man-made secular attempt to  promote man as his own god  so he won’t be forced to depend on the Triune God of Scripture for his salvation and worldview. What is it the man says–“been there, done that, got the tee shirt.” And to what end???

Lewis wrote several books over the years according to a brief biography of him I pulled off the internet. According to this bio, one of his books was Lincoln the Freethinker, published back in 1925.

Lewis delivered an address at a banquet of the Freethinkers’ Society of New York in February of 1924 that had the same title as the book, so that may have been the genesis of the book, I don’t know.

From what I’ve read so far of Mr. Lewis’ anti-Christian ramblings I find almost nothing he and I would agree on–except Abraham Lincoln’s anti-Christian worldview. From the research Donnie Kennedy and I did for our book Lincoln’s Marxists a few years back I would have to say that Mr. Lewis hit this one nail right on the head. His New York speech in 1924 noted several things about Lincoln that Donnie and I found. One thing was, and I can’t figure for the life of me why, that shortly after Lincoln passed from this mortal coil there seemed to be an effort among some Christian writers to turn him into some kind of super-Christian and books were published that attempted that. This sort of propaganda (that may be what it really is) has continued down to our day, with books like Abraham Lincoln the Christian which I believe was published several years ago for the home school audience.

Suffice it to say, the home school audience deserves better. If you want to give home schoolers the truth about Lincoln then why not have them read The Real Lincoln by Tom DiLorenzo which is guaranteed to give them a good view of the authentic Lincoln. Lincoln’s old law partner, Herndon, tried to discourage some of the pious platitudes Christian writers threw out there about Lincoln. Herndon could authoritatively do this because he knew Lincoln had never really had any consuming interest in the Christian faith except to poke fun at it.

Judge David Davis, who had quite a legal career in Illinois over his lifetime, and who knew Lincoln, said “Lincoln had no faith in the   Christian sense of the term–he had faith in law, principles, causes and effects.” It’s interesting that the world looks at Lincoln as though he were a pious, humble Christian and looks at true Christians like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and JEB Stuart as though they were some special kind of Nazis because slavery still existed in the South. The “historians” have forgotten to inform them that slavery previously existed in the North and that there were four slaveholding states that remained in the Union during the War. Oh, I know–details, details! Who needs to know the real history? Just lionize Lincoln and castigate the South and everyone is happy. After all, it’s what our public institutions of “learning” have trained you to do, isn’t it?