Forums / Political & Legal / The Man Without a Country -- by Edward Everett Hale

4 years 16 weeks ago, 11:50 AM

Schuyler

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In a recent Gunslot discussion it was claimed that the story, "The Man Without a Country" was actually inspired by the "fact" that Abraham Lincoln was put on trial in Chicago AFTER the Civil War and, for his many crimes against the Constitution, was exiled from the country, thus inspiring this story. In this short note I hope to explain this story to you and show why the idea that it was inspired by Lincoln's exile is a delusional flight of pure fancy.

The story by Hale was first published in The Atlantic Monthly in December, 1863. It doesn't take a genius to pay attention to the date of publication here, during, but well before the end of hostilities. It's a short story. Here it is: http://www.bartleby.com/310/6/1.html

The basic plot is this: Phillip Nolan, a US Army lieutenant, became involved with the treasonous affair of Aaron Burr, former Vice President of the United States and killer of Alexander Hamilton. This happened in 1807. Nolan is brought to trial as an accomplice. During the trial he expresses disdain for the United States and says he never wants to hear of the United States again.

The judge grants him his wish and he is sentenced to life at sea aboard Naval gunboats where the crews are directed never to speak of the United States again. Over his years in exile Nolan gradually changes his position to become an ardent patriot. He constructs a map of the United States and seeks to fill it with all the states of the Union. In one of the more dramatic points of the story he finally gets a sailor to tell him what state is in the remaining hole in his map, for which he is very grateful.

Ironically, given the context in which this story was originally cited, the story when published was considered very patriotic and pro Northern. It was basically attempting to cast "The United States" as a singular nation rather than the "United States" as plural, a conglomeration of states that were united (or not). In other words, it was designed to "preserve the union," which are the words of Abraham Lincoln.

One of the rules of logic states that if you make a statement such as "All crows are black." And then subsequently find a white crow, then your generalization becomes invalid. It is null and void. Here we have one fact, that the story was originally published in 1863, that shows that the idea of this story being inspired by a fictional Lincoln trial is invalid. It is null and void.

There are those who believe George Bush is actually a reptilian from another dimension. There are those who believe that space aliens have abducted millions of individuals to harvest their DNA. There are those who believe 9/11 was an inside job and that "Building Seven" was brought down by explosives. There are even those who believe the planes that hit the twin towers were holograms. There are those who believe the moon has a breathable atmosphere and that aliens come from the planet Clarion, which is exactly opposite the earth in the same orbit around the sun, so we can't see it. People from Clarion can speak all languages and are all Christians. There is no ending to the stupidity of belief.

The Leftie liberal socialists believe Obama is a "Light Worker." They believe that McCain started the disastrous fire aboard his own aircraft carrier. They believe Sarah Palin had her daughter's baby (or vice versa). They believe that the recent "Restore Honor" rally was attended by about 100,000 people and that they are all racists. There are even people on the left who believe Islam is a religion of peace. It's almost good that they are so delusional, because that means they do not understand the depth of conviction of the Tea Party Movement. But these people are also dangerous because their beliefs are setting us up for a socialist dictatorship.

I am a firm believer of being open minded and willing to at least consider alternative theories, but not so open minded that your brains fall out. I am also strongly committed to the United States of America as one country, comprised of all fifty states and the territories. I am completely against any attempts by any groups, whether they be Black Nationalists or any other separatists, to dividing this country along any lines whatsoever. I consider that treason and I refuse to be a party to it and will work actively against it.

So, if anyone wishes to declare their personal aspirations above or against the United States of America, I can only hope and pray that the right people are listening in to our conversation.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
4 years 16 weeks ago, 2:03 PM

greg az

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well said Schuyler

As always you've posted a great read.. and a thoughtful analogy of the issue.. Not that im all that sure what the issue is.. but you still expressed it well..

Philip Nolan was a trivia question some years ago.. or rather who was the man with out a country.. This was in the mid 70's if i remember.. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that this interesting bit of American history is no longer on any curriculum in any school district..

Maybe thats correct.. Obviously you have to exclude some parts of history to include others.. I guess this is just a natural act of something going extinct.. That it illustrates anything other than what we were taught is not being taught today is another issue.. but pretty sure that the trivia question that everyone had on the tip of thier tongues some years ago would draw blanks today...

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 16 weeks ago, 4:35 PM

ecaman

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Great post Schuyler

I'm impressed by your erudition and your excellent command of the language. I'm also impressed by your excellent grasp of the facts of what has happened in our country. We must all be, and remain vigilant to protect the US and preserve our freedoms and rights. We must also, all of us, VOTE in November, and in November, 2012.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 16 weeks ago, 5:23 PM

luckybychoice

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allright shuyler

well said.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
4 years 15 weeks ago, 8:42 AM

TLtactical

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You do always seem to make well written and thought out postings.

I would go so far as to add to what you wrote a bit along the lines that history is in fact a matter of perception of reality and that the actual interpretation of reality itself is left merely to the individual's interpretation of what is known or believed by one's own self.

This being said is history ever black and white?

Or is it rather a culmination of a broad spectrum of colors dependant on a broad array of ingredients and contaminations that turn what was one gray into yellow or red?

Back To Lincoln: Regardless of what anyone feels about Lincoln he was in fact the President that caused a war within the country against our own people. The South voted out of the Union and should have been left to govern themselves and been allies as Canada and the US or even Mexico and the US as they are in some ways today. It is my humble honest opinion that Lincoln was responsible for attrocities against his own countrymen and that he was little more than another politician using altruism as a facade to hide behind.

Our country has been led to a path of federalism ever since Lincoln and to me that is unfortunate and outright wrong. I want to live in this country as a FREE MAN who chooses his own fate and is left alone by the government. We all need to take more responsiblity for our lives and push the government further away in my humble honest opinion...

Best Regards TL “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ---Aristotle Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)
4 years 15 weeks ago, 5:13 PM

Schuyler

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I was responding to a claim that the Nolan story was inspired by Lincoln's exile. I think I have pretty well proven that this is completely impossible. You can't have a story published in 1863 be inspired by something that supposedly happened years after its publication. That is nonsensical.

I do realize that 'history is written by the victors' and that it has taken a long time to get to the other side of the story. I am in NO WAY supporting the North or Lincoln with my observations. Like many American families today, I had relatives who fought on both sides. My father's side was 100% southern. The very first "Schuyler" lived in Alabama (He was a preacher) and my grandmother's side had several people who fought for the Confederacy.

Whatever history teaches must be scrutinized in an effort to find the truth. Making up fanciful stories that are not in any way supported by facts is counter-productive to this process.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
4 years 10 weeks ago, 9:55 PM

runawaygun762

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and find that I'm still too dumb to fully appreciate Schuyler's posts.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.

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