Jun 26, 2006

A Fair Weather Rebel

"This individual {Herman Stump} was an ardent advocate of the rebel cause in Harford County, Maryland, and was attached to a volunteer military association recruiting and getting under discipline there with a view to entering the rebel service. Apprehending arrest he fled in August, 1861, to Canada where he remained three months or more before his name was brought to the notice of the Department of State. His father and other friends then commenced importunities for some sort of safeguard for him to return home which continued till early in January, 1862, when the Secretary of War gave assurance to Stump that he would not be molested on his return home by any authority of the Government unless he should commit some offense thereafter which might make his arrest necessary. During the absence of Stump in Canada he divested himself of title to all property he previously held to guard against the danger of confiscation."*

It's interesting to note that a John Stump of Harford County got off scott free after being accused of selling grain to the British (a hanging offense) during the Revolutionary War. Could the ability to weasel out of things be genetic? Hmmm.

Anyway, Herman Stump (1837-1917) went into politics after the war and after a successful career in the state senate, he went on to Capital Hill where he championed renewal of the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act. Later he was appointed to serve as, of all things, Superintendent of the Office of Immigration.

*From "The OR."