Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge

The Peace Democrats were appalled when President Lincoln carried through on his promise and issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which they denounced in viciously racist language. On February 6, they organized the Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge, which published antiwar and anti-emancipation pamphlets.
-- Robert C. Kennedy, Harpers Week

After Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, they founded, with Morse as first president, the Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge.

Horatio Seymour, who was elected governor in 1862 as an antiwar and anti-emancipation candidate, was committed to restoring the union through concessions to the South.  Along with financier August Belmont [agent for the Rothschild's], corporate lawyer Samuel Tilden, and Samuel Morse, a leading nativist, he was a member of the Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge.  The society demanded the repeal of the Emancipation Proclamation because, they believed, an end to slavery undermined the economies of both the North and South.  At a July 4th mass rally a little more than a week before the 1863 Draft Riots, Seymour declared that "the bloody and treasonable and revolutionary doctrine of public necessity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government."
-- Alan J. Singer, New York and Slavery

Belmont was also anxious to help the Democrats win the elections of 1862. He did this in part through part-ownership of the New York World edited by colleague Manton Marble.  After Democrats won the governorship in 1862, Belmont organized the Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge to disseminate propaganda against Emancipation and the Lincoln Administration.

Samuel F. B. Morse, President
Manton Marble, Secretary
C. Mason, Corresponding Secretary
13 Park Row, New York

Hon. Robert C. Winthrop
Hon. George F. Comstock
Hon. Amasa J. Parker