Transcript of Polk’s Diary

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Author: James Russell Lowell  | Date: 1848

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CHAPTER III—WILMOT PROVISO AND COMPROMISE

The Doughface’s Creed (1848)

BY JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

I DU believe in Freedom’s cause, Ez fur away ez Paris is; I love to see her stick her claws In them infarnal Pharisees; It’s wal enough agin a king To dror resolves an’ triggers,— But libbaty’s a kind o’ thing Thet don’t agree with niggers.

I du believe the people want A tax on teas all’ coffees, Thet nothin’ aint extravygunt,— Purvidin’ I’m in office; Fer I hey loved my country sence My eye-teeth filled their sockets, An’ Uncle Sam I reverence, Partic’larly his pockets.

I du believe in any plan O’ levyin’ the taxes, Ez long ez, like a lumberman, I git jest wut I axes:

I go free-trade thru thick an’ thin, Because it kind o’ rouses The folks to vote,—an’ keeps us in Our quiet custom-houses.

I du believe it’s wise an’ good To sen’ out furrin missions, Thet is, on sartin understood An’ orthydox conditions;— I mean nine thousan’ dolls, per ann., Nine thousan’ more fer outfit, An’ me to recommend a man The place ’ould jest about fit.

I du believe in special ways O’ prayin’ an’ convartin’; The bread comes back in many days, An’ buttered, tu, fer sartin;— I mean in preyin’ till one busts On wut the party chooses, An’ in convartin’ public trusts To very privit uses.

I du believe hard coin the stuff Fer ’lectioneers to spout on; The people’s oilers soft enough To make hard money out on; Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his, An’ gives a good-sized junk to all,— I don’t care how hard money is, Ez long ez mine’s paid punctooal.

I du believe with all my soul In the gret Press’s freedom, To pint the people to the goal An’ in the traces lead ’em; Palsied the arm thet forges yokes At my fat contracts squintin’, An’ withered be the nose thet pokes Inter the gov’ment printin’!

I du believe thet I should give Wut’s his’n unto Cæsar, Fer it’s by him I move an’ live, Frum him my bread an’ cheese air; I du believe thet all o’ me Doth bear his souperscription,— Will, conscience, honor, honesty, An’ things o’ thet description.

I du believe in prayer an’ praise To him thet hez the grantin’ O’jobs,—in every thin’ thet pays, But most of all in CANTIN’; This doth my cup with marcies fill, This lays all thought o’ sin to rest,— I don’t believe in princerple, But, O, I du in interest.

I du believe in bein’ this Or thet, ez it may happen One way or t’ other hendiest is To ketch the people nappin’; It aint by princerples nor men My preudunt course is steadied,— I scent wich pays the best, an’ then Go into it baldheaded.

I du believe thet holdin’ slaves Comes nat’ral tu a Presidunt, Let ’lone the rowdedow it saves To hey a wal-broke precedunt; Fer any office, small or gret, I could n’t ax with no face, Without I ’d ben, thru dry an’ wet, Th’ unrizzest kind o’ doughface.

I du believe wutever trash ’ll keep the people in blindness,— Thet we the Mexicuns can thrash Right inter brotherly kindness,

Thet bombshells, grape, an’ powder ’n’ ball Air good-will’s strongest magnets, Thet peace, to make it stick at all, Must be druv in with bagnets.

In short, I firmly du believe In Humbug generally, Fer it’s a thing thet I perceive To hey a solid rally; This heth my faithful shepherd ben, In pasturs sweet heth led me, An’ this ’ll keep the people green To feed ez they hey fed me.

[James Russell Lowell], The Biglow Papers, [First Series] (Cambridge, 1848), No. vi., 75–80.

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Chicago: James Russell Lowell, "The Doughface’s Creed (1848)," Transcript of Polk’s Diary in American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. Albert Bushnell Hart (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1903), Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WZ4GZBI378K4WD.

MLA: Lowell, James Russell. "The Doughface’s Creed (1848)." Transcript of Polk’s Diary, in American History Told by Contemporaries, edited by Albert Bushnell Hart, Vol. 4, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1903, Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WZ4GZBI378K4WD.

Harvard: Lowell, JR, 'The Doughface’s Creed (1848)' in Transcript of Polk’s Diary. cited in 1903, American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WZ4GZBI378K4WD.