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An Attempt to Describe the Future of the United States

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The entire collection is scanned and online.

What’s in the entire collection?

This collection consists of six bound sections of a partial manuscript written during a voyage from Brazil to New York City aboard the S.S. Emily B. Souder in 1863 and 1865 by an unknown author. The work explains the author's views on the American Civil War, self-governance, and slavery. The author describes himself as a "true democrat" and optimist who maintains faith in Americans' ability to govern themselves. He is a supporter of the federal government, and mourns the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He is, however, critical of abolitionists and their conviction "that they are specially appointed by Heaven to bring about freedom of the Southern slaves regardless of all considerations whatever; and that the constitution, peace, good order, paternal love and the general happiness of whites and blacks, should all be sacrificed upon the alter of compulsory abolitionism."


The S.S. Emily B. Souder was built in Philadelphia for E. A. Souder in 1863. The wooden propeller ship measured 203 feet from bow to stern, and carried passengers and freight between South America, Caribbean and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States until she sank off the coast of Jamaica in 1878. The Emily B. Souder gained notoriety for bringing yellow fever to New Orleans in the late 1870s, precipitating an epidemic that ultimately claimed 4600 lives in that city before spreading up the Mississippi River.

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