Bloody Monday—Louisville, Ky.

Louisville Anzeiger

August 5, 1855


(Translated by Joseph R. Reinhart)


Election Day

Election day is tomorrow and these are the last words we are able to direct to out fellow German citizens in this highly important matter. We ask you to consider them and then treat them as is proper for a free German man.

Freedom is the important possession of which out best and classic poets sing the praises of. Freedom is what we in the old fatherland, in the beautiful regions of the Rhine Valley, so zealously sought to strive for. The yearning, the right of a free German man to enjoy and practice, drove us Germans from the native group to search out a state in which we believed we would find the full individual freedom of man.

We have a chartered right to enjoy this freedom here, even if the intentions of the great men of the republic, our Constitution and laws are construed differently by their decadent descendants. The latter [constitutions and laws] however invites [one] by their regulations to come here; trusting on the truthfulness of these regulations and sense of justice of the local people, the German left his homeland and if he becomes a citizen here, he has a right, to exercise all rights of a free citizen, and the population has the duty to protect him in the exercise of these rights.

The freedom of man, his dignity and independence is also conditioned on his participation in the conducting of public matters. When it concerns to decide how the hard earned money of the people should be spent—when it asks itself whether the beliefs and freedom of opinion guaranteed by the Constitution are still a sanctuary of this nation or not —if our immigrant citizens are still supposed to be placed below Negro slaves, then it is high time for the free German man to act.

What is his highest power? The right to vote. With his vote he gives his political convictions expression and says by whom he becomes governed and to whom he wants to entrust his money. When the foreigner has sought the freedom here in this land, when it is offered to him, and he has as a free man the opportunity to help govern, when at the same time thousands of natives look down on him with contempt and announce to him he is incompetent and unworthy of the pleasure of freedom —Then it is the man’s duty to prove that he is a man, a free man. Then he has embraced the institutions of this land and therefore is a true American and he must go to the voting place. The factitious widespread rumors of the preparations of Know-Nothings however cannot be allowed to hold him back. We repeat in this connection that it is not so dangerous. Even if it were dangerous, the duty to vote remains the same. Because what can a free man lose greater than his right to vote and with it his freedom? Who dares not once attempt to vote, does not deserve the name of a free man


Louisville Anzeiger

August 5, 1855


Paper and Tickets


We reiterate our exhortation that no immigrant and prepared citizen neglect to take his naturalization papers with him to the polls. Without them he will certainly be turned away. Also do not forget to take a complete Anti-K. N. Ticket to the polls, because yghe can look at the names to prevent an error; perhaps for someone to vote, for those he wants not to vote. There are many candidates in the field and without a Ticket the voter might forget the one or other candidates.—The election tomorrow is so important that every mistake and every act of forgetfulness is sinful, which that foreigner who commits it cannot answer for. 

Louisville Anzeiger

August 8, 1855


Louisville in the Year of Salvation 1855


Death and desolation are everywhere around here. The heat is oppressive— The deathly quiet inactivity is disheartening and if a citizen goes out he has—before all other business—to remember to arm himself to go through the streets unhurt in the land of the free and the brave, in the land of “enlightened people.” (The gentleman ver[z]eih [apoligizes] to the [Louisville] Journal Hundreds of hired out-of-town vagrants still make their patrols through the streets even after the election. Louisville offers perhaps the first example in America where even after the election and after the victory of the ruling party, inns and shops remain closed, so they will not be plundered by rowdies. As we reported yesterday, the K, N. [Know-Nothings] elected their entire ticket through their infamous actions. They may be satisfied with that and in all the world it is the practice that after the election day the battle is considered ended. This however is not a rule with the K. N. Yesterday morning Germans and Irishmen were still being beaten up by scoundrels on the public streets. Towards noon there was raised a riot against the Irish quarter at 5th and Water streets, which was quelled by the mayor. The Catholic church was supposed to be attacked. This was however until now, as we write, hindered by the mayor. What tonight will bring with the mass of lawless rowdies who still overcrowd our city, we know not. The new day will show—This is the village of Louisville in 1855.

The election is over; is an election lawful; in other words: is it valid when only one party votes and the other is held away from the polls. Can such an election be called a people’s choice, and is in a republic any other, than a choice of all citizens possible and conceivable? We hope this question will not fall asleep; we believe that in spite of all the corruption in Louisville there are always enough independent citizens, who will not let the grumbling stop. The immediate future has to teach us whether we the citizens of Louisville may still be regarded as free republicans or not. *

So far as we were able to find out yesterday morning, there are still supposed to be exposed under the burned down frame houses on Main between 11th and 12th streets several more buried corpses. We have already announced five; yesterday two of them were displayed in the yard of the Courthouse. A neighbor of those unlucky places, who lived there for a year, assured that it is not possible on that basis that there are so few corpses. While the houses or barracks stood engulfed in flames, one saw men, women and children at the windows ringing their hands in despair; however as soon as they were seen they were shot at . . . [one full line of text was illegible] that twenty-five Irish families lived in the named frame houses, so the allegation that still more people lost their lives gains, probably double. This evening we will probably be able to report more. 

Louisville Anzeieger

August 9, 1855


What is America?

Our Loafers who mobbed the houses and plundered, men and women, old ones and children abused and killed, which began as election tools incendiary and whole squares burned down.—They carry the American flag in front of their criminal mobs. Does the Journal have the goodness to explain to the public whether or not this is a desecration of the flag or not? A Mob-Editor* should answer this. *[surely refers to Prentiss] Election Bets

As well known important bets were made for or against this or that candidate. According to general principles all premises that induced the bet must be fulfilled. The first prerequisite in election wagers is however certainly that an election takes place. No reasonable person can call the shameful events on Monday an election. Therefore we would regard everyone who pays the lost bets as fools. We ourselves regard election debts as debts of honor; consider however everyone justified, if they do not consider themselves bound after such events.

Louisville Anzeieger

August 9, 1855


Coroner’s Inquest

The Coroner reported yesterday about the following victims of the late election post-mortum:

W. Graham, a young man, a Messinggiesser?

Theod. Rhodes, a boatswain

John Hudson, Corner of green and Preston streets.

Paul Rothhaupt, from Germantown.

Joseph Allison, wounded in the head, died yesterday morning between 9 and 10.

Dennis Riordon, owned a feed store on 11th near Main Street.

John Chivers, corner of 11th and Main streets. [This is just a partial list of the twenty or more who lost their lives.] serv.gif

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