by Al Benson Jr.
The Union League, both during and after the War of Northern Aggression is one of those groups you will seldom see mentioned in the ‘history” books. In all my growing up time I never saw the merest mention of them in any history book I came across. Public school history books ignored them. Oh you read about the Ku Klux Klan and how bad they were, but nary a word about the Union League. Proof that the winners get to write the “history” books!
The Union League is not mentioned because most of its actions had a negative impact on the country–so negative that to include them in any real history book would cause many to question the pristine purity of Yankee intent. And again, I don’t impute the term “Yankee” to all Northern folks. Anyway the intent of the Union League was so negative that they were just not mentioned, just dropped from the historical narrative. In fact, if you had not had the Union League with its radical intent, you might not have even had the Ku Klux Klan. at least not in the form it took.
The Abbeville Institute, http://www.abbevilleinstitute.org had this to say, in part, about the Union League: “The Union League is one of the most cryptic of civil war and reconstruction topics even though it was a wellspring of tyranny…According to historian Christopher Phillips the leagues ‘demanded undiluted loyalty to the wartime policies of Abraham Lincoln.’ Western Loyal Leaguers (a kissin’ cousin to the Union League) believed there was no such thing as loyal opposition. Voters either supported Lincoln or they were traitors. ‘Western Loyal Leaguers fought dissent with much more than words. In central Illinois one woman claimed the Republicans ‘were forming vigilance committees to identify every man and woman not loyal to Lincoln’…In 1865, Leaguers tarred and feathered seven Ohio women including one who was a widow of a recently deceased Union soldier…”
The article continued “At the end of the war, league chapters were opened in the South to serve as rallying points for whites that had opposed the Confederacy…The new goal of the Southern leagues…was to make sure the blacks registered to vote and voted Republican…The Union League recruited members with a cult of secrecy and exaggerated promises…” Just like politicians today, promise them all manner of goodies during Southern “reconstruction” and then not deliver on any of it.
Often League members couldn’t read or write and so just voted the way they were told to. Members were indoctrinated, and basically brainwashed, into believing that their interests “were perpetually at war with the Southern whites that were falsely accused of wanting to put blacks back into slavery…” In this way the Union League fostered racial animosity. The lasting harm of this horrible lie is that it has existed and persisted right down to our day. Only now it is being perpetrated by socialist Democrats. How many times have you heard, from some well-paid black demagogue “Vote Republican and they’ll put you back in chains.” It’s all bovine fertilizer, but unfortunately it fools many blacks who have not bothered to do any homework because its so much easier to just pull the Democrat lever down in the voting booth!
According to https://heritagepost.org the Union League in the South was formed to establish the black man’s party and “so bend the negroes by secret organization to the Republican party, so they could be detached and taken entirely from under the control of the white people of the South. The Union League is the right arm of the Republican Party…the League taught in practice that the white men of the South were enemies of the negroes , and it excited the latter to deeds of disorder and interference in every way with the whites…”
In other words, the League fostered racial animosity that continues down to our day, and is even promoted by some in Congress. Do you begin to see why the activities of the Union League are continually omitted from our “history” books? One more bit of our history “down the memory hole” as it were. If you want a little more about the Union League check out a book by John Chodes called Washington’s KKK: The Union League. I believe it was published by Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, South Carolina and can be found at Amazon.com