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Harper's Weekly Text
November 8, 1862, p. 715 (3-4)


A fictional New England woman, Charity Grimes, writes a letter to the editor of Harper’s Weekly in which she describes an argument with a neighbor woman.  First, Mrs. Grimes gives the neighbor woman’s political background.  Her father was a Methodist who “turned dimmykrat” (Democrat).  After joining the Odd Fellows, the father dyed his whiskers, for which he was expelled from the Methodist church.  Since the war began, he has become a Quaker, quaking every time he hears mention of the draft.  Mrs. Grimes also states that the neighbor woman likes to play cards, and that she once foretold the death of a man who choked on flap-jacks.  In her account of the argument, Mrs. Grimes was ironing when the neighbor woman burst into the house, incensed over the news of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.  Though the neighbor woman wants the north to win the war, she began to pray that Lincoln would leave the southerners’ slaves alone.  In response, Mrs. Grimes began to pray in support of Lincoln.  This prompted the neighbor woman to attack Mrs. Grimes with the flat iron, thus inciting Mrs. Grimes to retaliate with a pair of tongs.  Of the two bruised women, Mrs. Grimes has had the final revenge in writing a “sarkastical poim” about her position on Lincoln’s new proclamation.

Harper's Weekly References


"Slavery Practically Abolished"
October 4, 1862, p. 626 (1-2)

Military Background:

"The Abolition of Slavery.  A Proclamation"
October 4, 1862, p. 627 (2-3)


"Lincoln’s Last Warning"
October 11, 1862, p. 656 (1-2)

"Sensation Among ‘Our Colored Brethren’"
December 20, 1862, p. 816 (1-4)

"The Emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863"
January 24, 1863, pp. 56 (1) – 57 (4)


"The President and Slavery"
September 6, 1862, p. 562 (1)


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