dustry.nThe Transcendentalists moved intonpolitics during the Mexican War. Likentheir imitators during the 1960’s, thenTranscendentalists saw racist motives innthe American war against Mexico, butnnot in Mexican hatred of Americans. ThenTranscendentalists spoke openly againstnthe war and heaped scorn upon thosenwho fought. One of the politicians attractednto the movement was Lincoln,nwhose speeches on the issue in the Housenof Representatives arc interesting. Dr.nAllen does not dwell on such events; he isninterested only in the literary Emerson,ndisconnected from larger issues.nrJy 1850, the Mexican War was over,nand gold had been found in California.nThe gold rush had a great impact; it introducednthe get-rich-overnight syndromenand helped create a highly publicized,nessentially deceptive myth aboutnour society. Thoreau, Emerson’s devotednacolyte, called it “The world’s raffle. Itnmakes,” he said, “God a moneyed gentlemannwho throws coins in the dust tonsee men grovel….” He considered it annevil that some men could strike it rich.nHis attitude is common today but wasnunknown to earlier periods, when envynof the good fortune of others was held tonbe too base an attitude for open expression.nBut the gold rush was not as revealingnof Emerson’s character as the Compromisenof 1850. That settlement of thenslavery issue, which forbade the expansionnof slavery and marked the first officialnrecognition that it was a finite, limitednsystem, was greeted at Concord as anbetrayal. Emerson, a one-time admirernof Webster, turned into an acid and venomousncritic. Dr. Allen regards his furynwith equanimity, but it marked a sharpnturn away from tolerance and civility innEmerson’s life. He proceeded, fromn1850 onward, to encourage the mostnradical and violent participants in thencontroversy, who eventually becamenknown to historians as the Committee ofnSix. Dr. Allen pretends not to have heardnof them.nTwo of the Six were clergymen, twon8nChronicles of Cttlturenwere businessmen, one was the teachernof the Emerson children, one was a physician.nIt was this group—consisting entirelynof friends and associates of Emersonnand Thoreau—which financed, armednand encouraged the infamous JohnnBrown, whom Dr. Allen terms “the martyr.”nBrown, as historian James Malin hasnmade clear, conunitted a series of atrocitiesnin Kansas, beginning with the massacrenof five innocent settlers. Dr. Allennsays that Brown did this “because theynwere pro-slavery men.” The record doesnnot prove that; the victims were poornfarmers who had never owned slaves;ntheir only offense was to be from thenSouth and to live near Brown. After thatnmassacre. Brown became a tool of thenSix, who relished and rejoiced in hisnaimes. Brown stole cattle and goods,nthreatened settlers, was “an embezzler, anmurderer, cattle thief and liar.” Emersonndecided, in the late 1850’s, that Brownnwas a hero. Of the Kansas struggles hensaid, “All the right is on one side.”nDr. Allen does not tell the reader thatnin his early thirties Emerson believedn”that the Negro was innately inferior tonthe white man, and that slavery was hisnnatural lot. It was not until 1844 thatnEmerson publicly repudiated this beliefnupon niiaking ‘the proud discovery thatnthe black race can contend with thenwhite.’ “* In 18 50 Emerson declared thatnslaveowners had no rights within Massachusetts.nThat was, publicly, his bravestnposition.nBut both Emerson and Thoreau believednthat John Brown, being guided byna “higher law,” was right in his violentnapproach. In 1857 Brown visited Concord,nwas taken to lunch at the Thoreaunhome, and later was invited to be Emerson’snhouseguest. A few days later Brownnspoke at the Concord Town Hall, andnEmerson expressed great pleasure in thenhero’s remarks. Later he took up a collection,nsince the Captain was always shortnof cash. When Brown finally revealed hisncolors at Harper’sFerry in 1859, Emersonnthought the hero had “lost his head.”nBut he did not repudiate a crime thatnbegan with the murder of a free blacknbaggagemaster and led to the deaths ofnmany more innocents. In fact, Emersonnspoke of Brown as a saint and said thatnhe would “make the gallows as gloriousnas the cross.” This parallel with Jesusnshocked Hawthorne into a new understandingnof the extent of Emerson’s departurenfrom Christianity.nJ. he Emerson cult began in earnestnafter the Civil War. The abolitionists,nonce the South had been goaded intonleveling the first blow, suddenly becamenperfervid patriots—with Emerson atntheir head, although he was not so carriednaway as to want his own son to fight.n*Gilman Ostrander, “Emerson, Thoreau andnJohn Brown,” The Mississippi Historical Review, Where they had feared arrest and im­nMarch 1953.nprisonment for treason earlier, the SecretnnnIdealism in AmericanProfessor Alan Wolfe, a gauchiste publicist for The Nation—thenjournal for the wealthy who believe in socialism (of all hues) as thenbest weapon against poverty—on Professor Samuel Huntington’snlatest book:nNot for Huntingron the use of intelligence to improve the lor ofnmankind.nGod save us from those who would use intelligence to improve the lotnof mankind. It would be interesting to heat the expletive that annaverage Pole, Vietnamese, etc. might use to comment on ProfessoinWolfe’ s idealism. •n