On this date in History: This little tale has to do with politicians doing their job well and in this case, by perhaps the greatest politician in US history. The Civil War had been blowing and going since the first shots were fired at Fort Sumnter in April 1861. From the outset, there were a number of abolitionists in the North who wanted President Lincoln to openly claim that the war was about slavery. In a practical sense, it was, but the president did not want to publically say so and instead said the aim of the war was to maintain the Union. But, that wasn’t enough for New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley.
Greeley had started the Tribune in 1841 as a platform for his reformist ideas. He advocated westward expansion, temperance, support for the labor movement and opposition to land monopoly and capital punishment. If you think about it, in some form or another, all of these “reforms” became part of the national landscape, though capital punishment has returned over the last 30 years to become more common again with some restraint. Greeley actually got elected to Congress for a short time and one of his ideas eventually became the Homestead Act in 1862. But, it was in that year that Greeley was really chomping at the bit for the president to take action. On this date in 1862, Greeley wrote a sharp editorial in his newspaper that called on the president to declare free all slaves in the border states of Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Delware. Lincoln had resisted such calls in the past because he wanted to make sure those 4 slave states that featured the “peculiar institution” remained with the Union. He needed them as they all were in strategic locations. Missouri was needed to control the Mississippi. Kentucky was needed to control the Ohio. If Delaware and Maryland turned, then Washington DC would be surrounded.
Now, Congress had passed the Confiscation Act of 1861 and of 1862. This allowed the Union Army to seize Confederate property as part of the war effort. This included slaves. But Union commanders were reluctant to do so and Lincoln did nothing to encourage them to do so. Now remember, the “liberal” or reform party of the time was the Republican Party and Greeley had been an organizer from the outset. He could not understand how a Union victory could come about without destroying slavery and said, “the Union Cause has suffered from a mistaken deference to Rebel slavery.” Lincoln responded immediately in a letter to the New York Times, referencing Greeley’s article written on the 19th, but published on the 20th. If it had been the 20th century, Abe would have no doubt hit the tube. Even then, Lincoln knew the adage that an attack unanswered is an attack capable of persuading.
Now, it was true that Lincoln had never publically indicated any preference for Greeley’s views. But, he had abhored slavery since he was a young man and publically stated his opposition to the practice on numerous occasions. Nevertheless, he knew it was delecate matter and so he waited. Greeley could have saved his ink because just a month after Greeley’s thunderous editorial, because a month before, Abraham Lincoln had read a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation to Secretary of State William H. Seward and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. After a few changes, Lincoln then waited for a Union victory. It wasn’t a great victory but the Battle of Antiem was good enough. Following that dubious victory, Lincoln presented his preliminary version of the proclamation that announced that all slaves held in rebellious states to be forever free. Now, that probably didn’t suit Greeley because it left the men, women and children in servitude in the 4 northern states. But, Lincoln knew that as a practical matter, the eradication of slavery as a war measure in the Confederacy necessarily meant that, after the war, slavery would end elsewhere. He had always argued that he did not have the Consitutional authority to get rid of slavery in the states. But, as Commander in Chief, he could. So, at the right time, he took what he could get when the public would support him as a way to win the war. The final version of the Emancipation Proclamation took effect January 1, 1863. Afterward, there was no way after a bloody Civil War and all but four states free that those 4 states could remain as a slave culture. Greeley, while noble in cause, had no ability in the art of politics and is probably why President Lincoln goes down in history as one of America’s greatest statesman while Greeley’s time in Congress didn’t last long and is little remembered.
Keep this in mind whenyou hear of politicians taking what they can get today with an eye for the future when they think that they can get the whole pie. Also, be wary of those who try to compare themselves to the master politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln.
Weather Bottom Line: We had some shower activity in the morning hours and conventional wisdom would suggest that this will suppress rain chances until the atmosphere has a chance to become more unstable. Afternoon heating should do the trick. The 6Z model runs have come more into agreement and follow pretty much what I had suggested previously which was we’d end up somewhere in between the rather menacing outlook by previous GFS runs and the pedestrian solution by the earlier NAM. It looks like prime time for the risk of strong t’storms will be in the early evening…say 5pm to 8pm. The severe parameters have come down on the GFS and gone up on the NAM with the NAM actually having a SWEAT index higher than the GFS, but its not totally clear because the GFS does not have a specific set of data for the 6pm time..it doesn’t come out hourly so it’s possible that indeed the SWEAT index of the GFS is as high or higher than the NAM but you can’t tell because its in between the reporting times. Anyway, look for t’storms this
afternoon, some could be strong. The biggest threat of stronger winds and potential tornadic activity is northeast of Louisville toward the Great Lakes in assocation with the parent low. I think this scenario bodes well for the east coast and the track of Hurricane Bill. The front is not quite as pokey as previous suggestions and therefore should make it the coast in time to keep Bill away. The models also more or less agree on an inch or so of rain but the GFS seems more interested in having some over-running rain into Friday morning and that makes some sense. I would think rain totals of something over an inch would probably be realistic. Afterward, this strong trof will still lower temperatures through the weekend below seasonal averages with highs around 80 with some folks not getting out of the 70’s on Saturday and maybe Sunday.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0717 AM CDT THU AUG 20 2009
VALID 201300Z – 211200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS RED RIVER/LOWER MS RIVER VALLEY
INTO THE NORTHEAST…
ANOTHER DIFFICULT SEVERE TSTM FORECAST TODAY AS LARGE AREA OF VERY
MOIST AIR REMAINS ESTABLISHED FROM THE SRN PLAINS/DEEP SOUTH INTO
THE NORTHEAST…WHICH WILL BE OVERSPREAD BY SEASONABLY STRONG
MID/UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC FLOW. A SERIES OF WEAK IMPULSES AND
ASSOCIATED SURFACE WIND SHIFTS/FRONTS WILL LIKEWISE ROTATE ACROSS
MUCH OF THE CENTRAL/NERN U.S. AND CONCENTRATE AREAS OF STRONG/SEVERE
THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH THE PERIOD.
…MID SOUTH/OH RIVER VALLEY INTO THE ERN LAKES/MID ATLANTIC…
APPEARS IMPULSE SUPPORTING BROKEN LINE OF TSTMS MOVING ACROSS IND
EARLY THIS MORNING WILL CONTINUE ENEWD THROUGH THE DAY…WITH
PRECEEDING AIRMASS BECOMING MARGINALLY TO MODERATELY UNSTABLE BY THE
EARLY AFTERNOON. WITH MODEST SWLY FLOW ALOFT STRENGTHENING THROUGH
THE DAY…DEEP LAYER SHEAR SHOULD BECOME MORE THAN ADEQUATE FOR
SMALL LINES/CLUSTERS OF STORMS CONTINUING INTO THE EARLY TO MID
EVENING. PRIMARY NEGATIVE ACROSS THIS REGION IS FORECAST WEAK LAPSE
RATES WHICH WILL LIMIT AVAILABLE INSTABILITY. HOWEVER…FORECAST
SOUNDINGS SUGGEST PARAMETERS WILL BE SUFFICIENT FOR ISOLATED WIND
DAMAGE AND HAVE ADJUSTED PROBABILITIES/SLGT RISK EWD ACCORDINGLY
NEWD TOWARDS SURFACE WARM FRONT LIFTING NWD ACROSS NY THIS
FARTHER SW…SVR RISK REMAINS MORE CONDITIONAL ON RECOVERY OF
AIRMASS AHEAD OF SSEWD MOVING SURFACE COLD FRONT/OUTFLOW INTO THE
MID-SOUTH/MID MS RIVER VALLEY. GFS IS THE MOST AGGRESSIVE IN
REDEVELOPMENT…WHILE NAM/HIGH-RES WRF SUGGEST LESS COVERAGE OF TSTM
ACTIVITY LATER TODAY. SHEAR OVER THIS REGION WILL REMAIN SUFFICIENT
FOR ORGANIZATION OF STRONG STORMS…AND WILL THEREFORE MAINTAIN SLGT
RISK AS ANY ENSUING DEVELOPMENT WOULD SUSTAIN A RISK OF WIND
DAMAGE/ISOLATED LARGE HAIL INTO THE EVENING.
…SRN PLAINS/LOWER MS RIVER…
EXTENSIVE AREA OF TSTMS HAS PERSISTED MAINLY NORTH OF A SURGING
SURFACE OUTFLOW EARLY THIS MORNING MOVING ACROSS THE MID-SOUTH INTO
CENTRAL OK. APPEARS AN ISOLATED THREAT OF LARGE HAIL AND STRONG
WINDS REMAINS POSSIBLE WITH THE MORE ROBUST ACTIVITY THROUGH THE
MORNING OVER OK INTO CENTRAL AR. WHAT DEVELOPS LATER TODAY…AND
WHERE…REMAINS A QUESTION ATTM. THE FARTHER SOUTH THE SURFACE
OUTFLOW/EFFECTIVE FRONT SETTLES…THE WEAKER THE LARGE SCALE WLY
FLOW WILL BE. ALTHOUGH A MODERATE TO STRONGLY UNSTABLE AIRMASS
SHOULD EVOLVE WITHIN THE WARM SECTOR FROM THE TN VALLEY INTO
TX…WEAK SHEAR AND ONLY MODEST LAPSE RATES SHOULD TEMPER OVERALL
ORGANIZED SEVERE THREAT. REGARDLESS…THREAT OF ISOLATED LARGE
HAIL/DAMAGING WINDS FROM WEAKLY ORGANIZED CLUSTERS/LINES MAY WARRANT
MAINTAINING CATEGORICAL SLGT RISK ACROSS MUCH OF THIS REGION.
…UPPER MS RIVER VALLEY AND VICINITY…
DESPITE BROAD AREA OF WNWLY WINDS THROUGH THE TROPOSPHERE AND
RESULTANT WEAK LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE…MODELS GENERATE MARGINAL
SBCAPE AND SHALLOW MOIST CONVECTION UNDER MID LEVEL POCKET THIS
AFTERNOON. APPEARS LOW PROBABILITIES OF HAIL/WIND NEAR SEVERE
LEVELS IS WARRANTED WITH THE STRONGER CORES THIS AFTERNOON.