“The great volcano at Washington … belching forth the lava of political corruption”


In 1839, Abraham Lincoln (then a member of the Illinois state legislature) gave a speech concerning the banking industry in the United States, and more specifically the operations of the Treasury Department and its regulation of US banks.  Most of the speech need not concern us today;  and we probably would not agree with many of Lincoln’s policy proposals on the matter, particularly given the disastrous mismanagement of the US economy by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury over the past few decades.

However, in summing up his argument, Lincoln gave a rallying cry to all who believe in freedom and resistance to tyranny, whatever that might involve.  I think it’s worth reminding ourselves of his words.  I think they apply just as much to our situation today as they have to any previous crisis in American history.

Many free countries have lost their liberty; and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it may proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her.

I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption, in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing, while on its bosom are riding like demons on the waves of Hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course, with the hopelessness of their effort; and knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away.

Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it I never will.  The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.  If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors.  Here, without contemplating consequences, before High Heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty and my love.  And who, that thinks with me, will not fearlessly adopt the oath that I take.  Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed.  But, if after all, we shall fail, be it so.

We still shall have the proud consolation of saying to our consciences, and to the departed shade of our country’s freedom, that the cause approved of our judgment, and adored of our hearts, in disaster, in chains, in torture, in death, we NEVER faltered in defending.

That says it all, doesn’t it?  About the only thing to add today might be, “Let’s Go Brandon!” (or words to that effect.)



  1. Peter,

    Where did you get your ivermectin?

    I have had Covid part D and I do not want to go back to the hospital should I get it again.



  2. I am no Luteran and know little of the peculiarities of the doctrine which makes them different from other sects, but Martin Luther's words are hard to improve upon: "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."

  3. When you shop for the ivermectin, look beyond the first few search pages. The prices get better, but check the reviews about shipping.
    ALSO CHECK that you are buying the ivermectin only, and not one of the combined medicines which has other drugs in it. Dosages are usually indicated in units per 100 lbs, so work it out from there.
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    John in Indy

  4. Five weeks ago I was staring up at Lincoln's massive granite head, beside those of Jefferson, Washington, and Teddy Roosevelt, and appreciating the beauty, and contemplating. And in the end, after I was done, I felt I had to say a few words of apology to them.

  5. TheOtherSean:

    Two out of four, maybe. Teddy was the soul of the Progressive Party, which worked hard to ruin this country. Lincoln gave us the Federal leviathan, while setting the country back for decades, or longer. Washington used the .gov to ruin the farmers, as virtually the first action of his rule.

    The higher a politician gets, the harder one must look to see any good in them.

  6. Just happy happenstance that Lincoln chose the Eastern Terminus for the Intercontinental Railroad to be Council Bluffs. /sarc

    I have read the book, BTW. It was dry read, IIRC, and Ambrose is enthusiastic about the whole enterprise regardless of all the corruption that he describes.

    I suggest the whole chapter be read for proper context


    Nothing Like It in the World
    The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869
    Picking the Route 1830-1860


    That is why Lincoln's question to Dodge was inevitably an integral part of the question of slavery's future in the American Republic, an economic question that was also the burning political and overwhelmingly moral question of the day. Lincoln, meanwhile, was about to accept seventeen lots in Council Bluffs as collateral for a loan he was considering making to fellow attorney Norman Judd. So he was in Iowa, among other reasons, to see for himself if the lots were worthwhile as collateral. The answer to that question was the railroad potential of the Great Plains.


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