Monday, April 28, 2014

Thursday, April 28, 1864

Maggie Voris was here to dinner.  Mr. Burgess here in the afternoon.  He is very much excited about the Statue of Liberty which has been placed over the Capitol at Washington.  He calls it “an Idol” “a molten image” set up for men to worship.  He says he has written to President Lincoln and to many of his own friends on the subject.  He says that we shall have no victory & no peace until Dagon falls and he rather hopes the rebels may take & burn Washington so that the idol may be destroyed.  He kept me nearly an hour after I should have been in Prayer meeting, trying to make me understand that I was part owner of the “goddess” and therefore guilty of idolatry.  I told him God knew my heart, I had no vote, had not been consulted nor had I been consenting to it, & therefore declined all responsibility.  That “this idol” might be his but it was not mine & then advised him to go on to Washington & attend to it.  He talks like a crazy man.
Mrs. McClure & Emeline were here to prayer meeting.

Peggy's comments:

Here is a photograph of the “Statue of Freedom” on the Capitol, erected in December 1863.  And another showing a close-up of the statue.

The Old Stone House was where Julia Cutler lived along with her brother William Cutler, William’s wife Lizzie, and their only surviving child, Sarah.  Mr. And Mrs. Burgess lived a short walk away with Lizzie's sister, Maggie Voris.  Mrs. Burgess was the mother of Lizzie Cutler and Mr. Burgess was Lizzie’s step-father.  In 1864 he was 80 years old and it seems that he had not mellowed with age.  He had always been very earnest, against slavery, an advocate of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors, opposed to the use of tobacco and  opposed to secret societies.   His vision seemed to be failing and he frequently visited the Cutlers, asking Julia to read aloud newspapers.  Rev. Burgess’s tirade about the newly erected Statue of Freedom seems to have been too much for the usually calm Julia.

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