Monday, January 16, 2017

Fake News in the American Civil War

Confederate President
Jefferson Davis (1861)

Apparently the news media has been in the habit of producing “fake news” for a very long time.

In late 1861, the New York Herald reported: “Our latest telegraphic advices from Louisville, Washington and Fortress Monroe assure us positively of the death of Jefferson Davis….Considering that his health has been in a very shattered condition for several years, and considering his extraordinary labors, anxieties, and exhausting excitements of the last five months, we think it remarkable that he was not carried off three or four months ago.”

This was a case of wishful thinking.  Davis was alive and active.  Indeed, he lived another twenty eight years, dying at the age of 81.

Southern editors lambasted the article as “Yankee delusion and unreliability,” denouncing the Herald as a “mendacious journal…(with) a record for lying second to none.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jefferson Davis Funeral (1889)

In 1860, disgruntled secessionists in the deep North rebel against the central government and plunge America into Civil War. Will the Kingdom survive? The land will run red with blood before peace comes again.

A brief look at love, sex, and marriage in the Civil War. The book covers courtship, marriage, birth control and pregnancy, divorce, slavery and the impact of the war on social customs.

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