Eliphalet Kimball in “Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly”

ABOLITION OF CAPITAL AND LABOR.—NATURAL GOVERNMENT.

Reform of labor is conservative. Reform of society is destructive. What is needed toward the reform of society is the abolishment of labor and capital. Their relations are those of master and slave, and the idea of their adjustment is an absurdity, for there is no justice in them. They can be abolished only by destroying all artificial law, fur that is the cause of them, as it is of all other social wrongs. Artificial government is disorder. Its unavoidable effects are overgrown wealth and suffering poverty, luxury and fashion, ignorance and priestcraft. Natural government is freedom, equality, fraternity, justice, order, knowledge and happiness —it is the whole of social science. What is called “anarchy” is true order. Everything is always right when nature can take its course. Her healing power pervades alike the material and the mental or social world. Mankind naturally incline to goodness. If they inclined to evil, they would not make laws to prevent it; and the fact that they make such laws proves they are not necessary. A healthy constitution of society is a spontaneous growth. If human speech can regulate itself without artificial law, and is good as it is, under all the bad influences of law-damned society, then of course human actions can do the same. Under natural government the most virtuous have most influence; under artificial law the most wealthy have it.

All debts would be honestly paid if there was no law to collect them. It would be free honesty. Legal oaths, by treating everybody as liars and making use of fear, stifle veracity and promote falsehood. Free veracity is what is needed. Natural marriage and an equal chance for women would put an end to prostitution, venereal disease and lust; because the marriage law, with the inferior and helpless condition of women, is the cause of them. Esteem is the foundation of love. Free love is free esteem. Without esteem it is lust. The marriage law is free lust. Natural government is freedom of goodness and restriction of evil. Artificial government is restriction of goodness and freedom of evil. In entire freedom from legal restraint, all the virtues are called into use, and the bad traits are inactive. Under artificial government it is the reverse. The expression “liberty and law” is contradictory nonsense. “Law and order” is another. If nobody claimed to own land, everybody would occupy what they needed, and nobody would trouble them. Of course, there could be no disputes about land when nobody’ claimed to own it. It would be the same as it is when a company of men go on the water together in boats to catch fish, or on the hills to pick wild berries. Water and wild berries are free, and that prevents the possibility of disputes and of monopoly. Roads and bridges would be built spontaneously if there was no law for it. Parents would educate their children at home as they ought to. Natural government would destroy commerce, and it ought to be destroyed. Merchants are the poison of society. They introduce luxury and fashion, inequality, dishonesty, aristocracy and crime. The merchant princes will be the nobility of this country and govern it, unless the working people unite, take the government into their own hands and then destroy it entirely and forever. The early degeneracy and decay of this Republic has been hastened by commerce. Under natural government and without commerce love of money would be almost unknown. Plainness and simplicity would be the style. All would work, and only a little labor would be necessary. Scarcely ever a person would think of wronging another; but if he did, the whole weight of society would be turned against him and force him to do right. Freedom for every one to do what he pleased would be protection to all. The separation of the brain into its different organs fits man for society, and that is government. Statesmanship is ability put to a bad use. Artificial government is called a necessary evil. This is nonsense. Nothing evil is necessary. Nothing necessary is an evil.

A more foolish contrivance than representative government could not be. It tends necessarily to corruption and monarchy, as in our own country. Representatives cannot and should not be trusted. If the people are foolish enough to want laws, it is their business to make them and keep the power in their own hands. Nothing could be more imprudent and fatal than for the people to give up their own judgment and the management of public affairs to a few men. Even if they were good men it makes no difference, ‘but the people know little or nothing of the candidates they vote for. Trial by jury, we all know, is worthless and scandalous. Natural government and true democracy is this: when a crime is committed or a wrong attempted, for all the people of the neighborhood to do what they please about it. The people, by practice, would become good judges and jurors. No people on earth can maintain a republican government many years. The fault is not in the people. The people of one country arc as capable of it as those of another. Natural government would maintain itself in purity as long as it was natural government. Every person living is fit for natural government, and it rectifies the conduct of the worst men.

All human contrivances to regulate society ought to be swept away at once, and nothing “built up” instead. Let Nature do the “building up,” and then this world will be a good one. Nothing short of this is reform. There is no such thing as carrying destruction too far, nor doing it too suddenly. Insurrection of the working people is order. Society under artificial government may be compared to an habitual drunkard. The distress he feels in giving up the habit is a necessary means that nature uses to restore his system to its natural and healthy state. Just so with law-drunken society. The disturbance, and sometimes violence, that would follow from the destruction of artificial government would be necessary for the removal of great social wrongs. Nature’s cures are always sudden and violent. In diseases of the elements, her cures are thunder and lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes. In diseases of the human body her cures are fevers, pain, eruptions, dysentery, vomiting and discharge of blood. The unreasoning people consider them diseases, when in truth they are not; they are the cure of disease. Society that is thoroughly diseased can only be cured by abolishing all artificial law and letting social thunder and lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, fever, pain, eruptions, vomiting, dysentery and bleeding have their course. Legislation can never do it; the cause cannot be the cure.

Belief in the necessity of artificial law is lack of reason. It is a traditional prejudice, like belief in hell-fire, which few persons have judgment enough to throw off. On nearly all subjects that require the use of abstract reason, the people in general are in the dark, and their belief is wrong. He was a fool who first used the expression, “What everybody says must be true.” The belief of forty millions of people in the United States is of no weight whatever against the belief of one truly rational person. The belief of such a person is proof, and his assertions are proof. He knows he is right and never changes his belief. Those who need proofs have only to read the history of the last three thousand years. Artificial government has been the general course of the world, and it has had more than a fair trial. Its effects have always been a hell upon earth. Wherever natural government has been in force, it has worked well. That the object of artificial law originally was never equality and justice, but power and plunder, is proved by the fact that monarchy was the first government of every people. In no country has the first government been republican. A republic is only monarchy made a little better—a political Protestantism—a step toward natural government. Artificial government was never established to protect the weak against the strong, because there are no weak ones until that has made powerful ones. It is entirely inconsistent with the self-government of the universe, of which man is part. The boundless and eternal universe pronounces against it.

Eliphalet Kimball, Orford, N. H.

December 20, 1873.

Eliphalet Kimball, “Abolition of Capital and Labor.—Natural Government,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 7 no. 6 (January 10, 1874): 13-14.


NATURAL EDUCATION.

Natural education, by means of one’s own reason and goodness, is dependent on right generation. Natural education is the first requisite in making a good citizen. A deficiency of reason and goodness is the worst kind of ignorance, which book-learning can never enlighten and make up for. Great learning and great ignorance are often found together.

Confidence in Nature and in man, when free from artificial law, is a dictate of reason and goodness. A love of equality amounting to enthusiast proves a noble character. Jackson was remarkable for that quality. Garabaldi is. Great ability is in separable from it. Aristocrats and monarchists are deficient in reason and goodness. The greatest crimes and the most dishonesty are committed by the leading men, including the wealthy, the businessmen, the politicians and the clergy. Their crimes are the greatest, because they affect society throughout and lead to aristocracy and monarchy. They impress their character and example upon society, and have made it bad as it is. They are the “criminal and dangerous classes.” They are the cause of the less injurious crimes committed by the poor. The laboring poor have no influence upon society except for good. In all countries they are the most virtuous class. Jackson said to a visitor, “about all the virtue left is in the laboring people.” “The clergy are aristocrats.” The poor have more natural education than the rich. Ignorance of books is not a cause of crime. The learning of schools is not a promoter of virtue. Science is good but reason is better. To a truly rational person science is not necessary for a knowledge of truth.

We often read that education is the support of Republican government. What kind of education? The learning of schools is not of the first importance. A republican government cannot endure with commerce, rich men, luxury and fashion. Plainness and equality are the first requisites. A person may be unable to read, but if he has a large reason and goodness he is not ignorant. A person may have good book-learning, but if he has small reason and goodness he must always be ignorant. The natural character is unchangeable. Nothing can ever make it better or worse. The conduct, however, is sometimes influenced by outward circumstances, but conduct and character are two different things. The tree is not always known by its fruit. Grafted trees are not. Grafting never changes the tree. Bend the twig, but it will always be the same tree. To have an educated people they must be rightly generated. Napoleon Bonaparte said he never had any education that was an advantage to him, except mathematics. Reason, goodness and firmness, each in the highest degree, are the qualities that make a man a commander and statesman. All great commanders are great statesmen. The same qualities of mind make both; military abilities are civil abilities.

If anybody out to be restricted from voting it is the wealthy men and the clergy, or else it ought to depend on the degree of reason and goodness a man was born possessed of. Nobody, however, ought to be deprived of it. as a general things the rich vote with selfish motives, but the poor with motives of justice and public good.

Eliphalet Kimball.

Oxford, N. H., Jan. 7, 1874.

Eliphalet Kimball, “Natural Education,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 7 no. 19 (April 11, 1874): 7.


Suggestions.

The reasons are many and powerful why husband and wife should not sleep in the same bed or even the same room. It is a familiarity that in time extinguishes love. Even by day, absence a good share of the time is necessary to the life of love. What is the cause that brother and sister have no love for each other? It is not because they are brother and sister; it is because they have lived from earliest childhood in the same family. Sleeping in the same bed is too much temptation to intemperance in sexual intercourse, the most ruinous to the constitution of all kinds of intemperance. That kind of intemperance is very common with men and their wives. It is an arrangement of Nature that the night should be devoted entirely to sleep and rest. At night, after the fatigues of the day, the body and mind are in an unsuitable condition for sexual intercourse, and especially for begetting children. If the parents are fatigued at the time of conception, their child is born fatigued. Never should a child be begotten in darkness; the light of the sun at the time and a full view of each other by the parents are necessary to the perfection of the child. Men should go to the beasts and learn wisdom.

Sexual cohabitation without love has the ruinous effects of masturbation, although in a less degree. It exhausts the system without satisfying the mind. When people are obliged to live on food they don’t like, they never feel satisfied and don’t know when to leave off in eating. They are more apt to eat too much than when they have food that suits them. Intemperance is more likely without love than with it. If promiscuity is cohabitation with or without love indifferently it is condemned by free love, because free love is love always. No wonder that the people are old at seventy years, and so many die in childhood. It is according to Nature that people shall live four or five times as long as it takes them to grow, which would extend human life to about the age of one hundred and twenty-five years. If they were born right and always lived right, they would undoubtedly reach that age in health. In that case nobody would die in childhood and there would be no orphans.

The fools that make the laws have made one to punish for indecent exposure of the person. If nature produces anything indecent, then of course she is guilty of obscenity; if she does not then the authors of that law are guilty of libel upon her. The custom of exposing the whole person, each sex to the other, is not only modest and decent, but is necessary to morality. It s the intention of nature and a proof of her wisdom, that men and women shall see each other naked. Concealment causes morbid contemplation and curiosity which stimulates passion. People have a propensity to find what is hidden. Freedom of bodily exposure causes indifference; undoubtedly if it was the custom to go naked, there would be less of lust and less of sexual cohabitation than there is now. If Nature produces anything that ought to be concealed she is not much of a workman.

ELIPHALET KIMBALL.

Eliphalet Kimball, “Suggestions,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 8 no. 3 (June 20, 1874): 4.


SPARKS FROM THE FLINT OF REASON.

The human will is governed in fate. Of course, nature is fate, and the will it part of nature. The will is not made, it grows. It comes into the mind of its own accord like all the other thoughts. The will could not be made without another will to make it with. That other will would have to be made by will, so there would be an endless chain of wills backward. If any person’s will, whether for good or evil, had been different from what it was, it would have been a miracle. Art also is fixed in fate, as it is a production of nature through man. If any work of art had been different from what it was, it would have been a miracle. Man and woman are mere machines in the bands of nature, and the will is the mainspring of the machine. We often hear it said, “a person can do right if he has a mind to.” That is nonsense. No person can help doing right if he has a mind to, and no person can help doing wrong if he has a mind to. Nobody can have a mind to do right unless the mind comes to him. The same reasoning applies to the will of God, supposing there is such a being. The will of God is governed in fate. He does not make his will, and could not without another will to make it with. He did not create himself, and could not have done it without another self to do it with. It is impossible for him to be bettor or worse than he is. He is obliged to be what he is and do what he does. He has neither merit nor demerit; he deserves neither praise nor blame. He must be the effect of causes before him, so that a first cause is impossible. “Free will” in man or God is nonsense.

It is a common, but incorrect way of speaking—“it is possible, but not probable.” Whatever is possible is sure to happen, and therefore it is probable. Everything that is probable is certain. The man who goes into battle and comes out unhurt was in no danger whatever, as it was not possible for him to be injured.

Man is not accountable to God, supposing there is such a being. God is accountable to man. A God would have no right to create man without asking his leave, nor govern him without his consent. What right would he have to give out his commandments to men? No right at all. It would be the duty of the Creator to make his creatures happy both here and hereafter, supposing there is an hereafter. He would have no right to punish after death. If he did do it, it would prove him a usurper, despot and devil. If God has made a hell he ought to be kicked into it.

Christians think they must be cringing slaves to their God, and they shall be damned if they have any manly independence and self-respect. They think it wicked to take even the devil’s name in vain, and hell must be spoken of with reverence and awe. Profane language is neither good nor bad. It is of no consequence whatever, as it is words without meaning. If God damns people after death, of course it is his will to do it. The Christian who prays “ God’s will be tone,” says, in effect, “ God damn your soul to hell.” Damnation is sworn without meaning it, and prayed for in earnest. The clergy are much opposed to profane language, and the reason is it makes light of their God, devil and hell. Without these three, and unless the people stand in awe of them, the clergy cannot carry on their trade of imposture. The preaching of the clergy is the cause of profane language.

All the works of nature prove there is no God, if anybody knows what a God is. Every natural production is caused by that which makes it necessary. For instance, animals need more hair in winter than in summer. The cold which makes it necessary also makes it grow. People need warmer blood in winter than in summer. The cold weather which makes the need of warm blood, also makes it warmer by closing the pores of the skin and stopping sweats, whereby the beat of the body is retained. One of the Christian arguments for a God is this: “A watch had a maker, therefore the world must have had a maker.” As much as to say the Creator of the world is a man like the maker of a watch, and that the manufacture of a watch proves that worlds are manufactured. We might as well say that the natural growth of a tree proves that watches are a natural growth. Only one thing could prove the existence of a God, and that is, seeing him at work making a world and all things upon it. All we see at work are natural causes or the properties of matter. If there were a “Supreme Being” he would be plain to be seen as the sun. Why does not this “God” show himself to his children? Does he think he should not bear acquaintance, and so keep himself out of sight like the kings of the earth? Supposing there is a “God,” the worship of him is mean, base and degrading in the highest degree. It is entirely without reason. No decent “God” would wish to be worshiped. The Jehovah of the Jews and Christians was originally invented in ancient heathen Asia, where the people almost worshiped their kings. If “God” has a “word” for us he ought to come and speak it to us, and not send it in a book written by we know not whom. A revelation from “God” ought, in the first place, to reveal who or what he is, otherwise mankind would be fools to accept this revelation. The Bible gives us no rational information about him. The book does not even say there is a “God.” It gives us no intelligence what a “spirit” or “soul” is. The Bible does not say that religion is a good thing, and people ought to have it. The book nowhere claims to be the “Word of God.” The words “God,” “soul” and “spirit” have no meaning, and all religion is false and mischievous. Religion is an invention of the clergy. Those who think they need religion are persons who are deficient either in reason or goodness, or both. They who cannot depend upon their own minds are badly off. A traditional and blind belief in this imaginary “ God ” is one of the chief causes that have filled the earth with social wrongs and human woes.

A desire of immortality would be no argument for its truth. Naturally there is no such desire, and accordingly no regret for non-existence before conception. The natural desire is long life on this earth. The feelings revolt at the thought of eternal life either hero or hereafter, with no possibility of escape from it. It fills the mind with horror. Unwillingness to die is repugnance to a future state. Heaven, with its eternity of idleness and sameness, would be a place of misery. A God would have no right to take “ souls ” there without asking their leave, and gaining their consent. Eternal rest is an impossibility, because there can be no rest without previous fatigue. The natural, rational and comforting thought is eternal death. Welcome, endless destruction of mind! It is enough that the materials of the body have eternal life. We ought to be satisfied that we were born, and can live a few years on this earth, and see what there is. Hope of heaven is a mind perverted by religious falsehood. Man desires nothing which he is unable to comprehend. As it is impossible for his finite mind to grasp infinite objects, he cannot comprehend time without beginning or end, space without bounds, or worlds without number. Consequently, his desires are limited to limited objects. He wants all of a good thing, and the word all implies limits. The word has no proper application to the universe. There is no such thing as all time, all space, nor all worlds. Man does not desire and would not be satisfied with eternal time after death, because he would want all time when there is no such thing. He would want to outlive time in order to have it all. The human mind is unfitted for eternity. Of course, every star is a world, and either inhabited by living beings or getting ready for them. The most interesting thing a person could do, were it possible, would be to visit them, and see who and what there is upon them. In doing it he would not be satisfied, because he would want to visit them all and could not, because they are infinite like space.

Man shares the destiny of his glory, eternal oblivion. Every history perishes in time, and with it all knowledge of noble deeds. Napoleon said it caused him sadness to think the time would come when his great deeds would be forgotten. Bad men have reason to rejoice that they and their infamy are lost in the oblivion which Napoleon regretted.

Allowing that man has something which is called a “soul,” if it is immortal it never could have had a beginning. Whatever is eternal in the future was eternal in the past. Man is only a few pounds of thinking dirt.

Our republican government was not founded on the Christian religion, but in opposition to it. The Bible says nothing about democracy, equality and the rights of man. It is all monarchy and submission. The American Revolution, and especially the great and glorious French Revolution, were contrary to the Bible. In the words of Anacharsis Cloots, “Reason dethrones the kings of the earth and the King of Heaven.”

The public has no right to punish crime. Under natural government there could be no crime. Every crime that is committed is caused by having artificial law. Those who are governed by others cannot learn to govern themselves.

We read in the Bible that God told Moses he might see his “back parts.” Was that “obscenity” and “indecent exposure of his person”? Does God wear clothes to cover his “back parts,” or go naked? Comstock ought to attend to him.

The noblest thing ever done was Lucifer’s revolt against the tyrant of heaven. All gods are monsters that ought to be destroyed.

Eliphalet Kimball.

Orford, N. H., January, 1875.

Eliphalet Kimball, “Sparks from the Flint of Reason,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 9 no. 22 (May 1, 1875): 3.


THE CAUSES OF SOCIAL WRONGS AND THEIR REMEDY.

Orford, New Hampshire, Dec. 1, 1875.

Artificial law, commerce, and religion are the causes of the wrongs, sufferings, and crimes that have always prevailed in civilized nations. Natural law, or the healing power of nature, would regulate society as it does the human body. Artificial law is a poison, which prevents the course of nature, and is sure to disorder society. It turns morality upside down, and keeps it so by force. It protects bad rich men in wronging others, but is no benefit to honest men. The stillness of legal despotism is disorder.

Artificial law creates commerce. Commerce makes rich and powerful men. The rich make the class of suffering poor as a natural consequence. Commerce and merchants cause luxury and love of show, avarice, speculation, selfishness, dishonesty, and crime; then comes aristocracy and next monarchy. Artificial law, commerce, and religion make leading men. The leading men have corrupted society, and are the secondary cause of all the crimes that are committed. They have corrupted the government and ruined the United States. Every rich man, every man who lives in fashionable and showy style is a curse to his country. Commerce was the cause of negro slavery. It is pretended that commerce promotes peace, civilization and fraternity. The contrary is true. Commerce was at the bottom of the piratical wars of England in India and China and others the world over. Commercial avarice caused the great national crime committed by the United States against Japan in forcing her to open her ports. It will be the ruin of the Japanese. The support of republican government is plainness and exemption from large estates. Education or school learning has no power to sustain freedom. Learning makes no man better, wiser, more free nor more just to the rights of others. In all countries, the most virtuous, patriotic and respectable class, are the laboring poor, whether they have school learning or not. Ignorance is not a cause of crime, nor is intemperance. Aristocracy is the immediate cause of crime, and aristocracy itself is the greatest of all crimes. The tramps, as they are called, who perambulate the country, are a natural consequence of aristocracy.

Natural government would make property sufficiently equal and ensure the prevalence of freedom and virtue. It would give all an equal chance. The people would move spontaneously and unite to do all necessary acts of restraint, punishment, protection, justice, charity and utility. Men who are bad by nature would have no use for their bad qualities, and their good ones alone would be called into action. The fact that men establish government from a belief of its necessity, proves it needless. If they were inclined to disorder and evil they would not make laws to prevent it. Even the trees of the forest avoid injuring each other. They shoot forth few or no branches that can interfere with neighbors. Unprincipled men believe in the necessity of human government. Destitute of moral restraint, they naturally think that all mankind resemble themselves. Those who wrong their fellow-men by lawful means, fear to trust themselves without legal protection.

The chief duty of a statesman is to undo what has been done. Wisdom builds up no system of artificial government. It clears away the short-sighted and pernicious contrivances of men, to give free course to the system of nature. This is true “progress.”

Supposing that all man-made laws in the United States were abolished at once, disturbance and violence would take place only where they were needed. In parts of the country cursed with luxury, monopoly and rich men, society could be equalized and purified without violence. In neighbor­ hoods where the people were plain and none very rich, things would go on as they did before. If any undertook to commit crimes they would soon be straightened. Society would ferment and work itself clear like a barrel of new cider. Habitual rum-drinkers and opium-takers experience great distress when they undertake to leave off the habit. If they persevere in their abstinence they come right at last. Just so with law-drunken society. Within ten or fifteen years after the reign of natural law commenced, everything would be right. None would be very rich and none very poor. Every man and woman would have land enough for a home and a support if they wanted it. Every debt would be honestly paid. The people would all be friendly to each other. Crime would be impossible under natural government. Freedom for every one to do what he pleased would be protection to all. This state of things would continue as long as man-made laws were kept out. From the most ancient history down to the present time, artificial government has had its way in every so-called civilized nation, and the only consequence has been wrongs, crimes, blood and tears. It is high time to have natural government. As to myself I don’t need a trial of it to convince me, because I know now. Belief in the need of artificial law, like belief in a God, is not natural and rational, it is entirely a prejudice of education. Those who are weak enough to have the belief had better be in better business.

Eliphalet Kimball

Eliphalet Kimball, “The Causes of Social Wrongs and Their Remedy,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 11 no. 7 (January 15, 1876): 2.


REASON, GOODNESS AND FIRMNESS.

The inborn qualities of reason, goodness and firmness are the fundamental principles of a good mind. Goodness comprehends all virtues. Reason includes many kinds of ability. Firmness includes energy and courage. These three qualities are conscience, and they are refinements. They are natural education or self-education. Without them book- learning would be undigested and useless. They are what make a good citizen and good voter, even if the person has no book-learning, and is unable to read. The character is good and great according to the degree it has of these qualities. Without goodness there can be no real greatness or ability. The highest degree of reason, goodness and firmness is a great mind and noble character—a commander and statesman. In other words, it is the military character, which is the perfection of the human mind. Greatness is ability and virtue in great things. War and statesmanship are the greatest things. The greatest general is the greatest statesman. History presents great warriors as almost the only persons who have founded empires, been able lawgivers, and raised nations to greatness. True warriors are the truest friends to peace; superior to prosperity as they are to adversity. They are least liable of all men to abuse power or wrongfully assume it. They are always friends to equality and to the laboring people. Heroism is the sublimity of goodness.

No man of true military character ever overthrew a good government or injured the cause of freedom. Julius Caesar did not. The Roman people had already lost their freedom through the corruption of luxury and unequal wealth, and the aristocracy had usurped the political power. Caesar took the power out of bad hands into his own. His death by the hand of Brutus was, no doubt, a loss to the Roman people Instead of a benefit. Napoleon Bonaparte had no confidence in republican governments, and there he was right. He abolished the form of it in France, but maintained equality. With him merit alone was the only nobility or road to promotion. He thoroughly despised aristocracy. Undoubtedly the absolute government of such a man would be better than a republic. Instead of being made Emperor he ought to have abolished all artificial government and given nature a chance to govern France. He would have been the greatest benefactor the world ever know.

Unmilitary characters, with armies at their command, have often overthrown republics, usurped the sovereign power and enslaved the people. Napoleon the Little was the opposite of a military character, an aristocrat and tyrant by nature. He destroyed two republics, that of France and that of Mexico. The kings of Europe are not military characters, and they keep down their subjects with large standing armies. To be at the head of an army is one thing, to be born a military character is another thing.

Previous experience in government affairs is not necessary to a statesman, nor is book-learning. Cromwell, we know, had superior abilities as a statesman. He raised England to a height of greatness that she never saw before nor since. If he was a great statesman, it follows that he was a great warrior. Bonaparte’s ability as a statesman was equal to his military talents. While at St. Helena he said that his fame with posterity would rest not on his military achievements but on the code of laws he drew up for France. His goodness was equal to his ability, although in some things ho was very unwise.

Washington was not a military character and statesman—not a great man—although an honest one. Winfield Scott was no general or statesman, and not much of a man. Grant is no military character or statesman. Wellington was not a military character nor a good man. In the war of the Rebellion the Union armies had but two genuine commanders within the knowledge of the writer: General Thomas and General Isaac J. Stevens. The United States have had but one President, Andrew Jackson; all the others were without efficiency in war or peace. Napoleon Bonaparte said that in all Italy, among a population of eighteen millions, he found only two men. Victoria C. Woodhull comes near to being a military character. Garibaldi is a true military character. His nobleness proves it. His enthusiasm of equality and enthusiasm of truth prove his nobleness. He is a born enemy to aristocracy and priestcraft.

The military character is extremely rare. It is doubtful whether more than one man in ten millions is one of them. Accordingly, very few persons can know and appreciate it, or distinguish who is one and who is not. The others judge only by success. People can comprehend only such persons as resemble themselves. The parents of all true military men were superior persons. The writer of this comprehends it because he is one of them. His parents were the right kind of people for it. A chain of remarkable and adverse circumstances, beginning in early youth, have alone prevented its display. These remarks concerning myself are addressed only to those who are worthy of them. They are only justice. People judge others according to what they are themselves. In that way I shall be judged by my readers. A man’s opinion of others proves what he is himself. If we should “see ourselves as others see us” we should appear to ourselves of different and contra colors.

All examples in history agree with the decision of reason that generalship and statesmanship require the same qualities of mind.

Eliphalet Kimball

Oxford, N. H.

Eliphalet Kimball, “Reason, Goodness and Firmness,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 11 no. 16 (March 16, 1876): 1.


ARE BAD PEOPLE CAPABLE OF LOVE?

It appears not, because love is gained by kindness and goodness, qualities that are not understood and appreciated by bad people. Beauty raises lust, but love don’t think much about the looks.

Eliphalet Kimball

Eliphalet Kimball, “Are Bad People Capable of Love?,” Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly 11 no. 23 (May 6, 1876): 3.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 1983 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.