Rumors in the Kitchen

WHITE HOUSE kitchen in the summer of 1862. We “overhear” snatches of dialogue.

MALE# 1 -
All I know is what I hear. I keep my mouth closed and my ears open and I hear a lot of things in this house. And I hear that old Abe is getting set to issue a proclamation setting the slaves free -all four million of them.

FEMALE #1-
Now, where did you ever hear such a thing?


MALE #1 –
Mr. Seward whispered it to Mr. Nicolay, but I heard it just the same. Emancipation! Freedom! Old Mr. Lincoln's going to set our brothers and sisters free! He doesn't even need Congress! He's going to issue a Proclamation!

FEMALE #2 –
Pay no attention to what you hear in this house. Believe what they do, not what they say. Ain't no way any white president is going to set black folk free, nowhere, nohow.

FEMALE #1 –
'Sides, the other white folk wouldn't stand for it no way.

MALE #1 –
Seems to me Mr. Lincoln needs black men in the Union Army to win this war.

MALE #2 –
{LAUGHTER) Ha! You are as tetched in the head as old Mary!

FEMALE #2 –
Don't call Mrs. Lincoln tetched.

MALE #2-
Well, ever since Young Mr. Willie died, she's been acting strange, crying all the time ... didn't you see them hoodoo men ... what do you call it ...

FEMALE #1 –
Spiritualists.

MALE #2 –
... trooping in here the other night?
MALE #1 –
Don't prove nothin'.

FEMALE #1 –
I heard old Mary herself going on about Willie being still alive.

MALE #2 –
Like he was a ghost or something, and she was talking to him.

FEMALE #2 –
(LOUDLY) The two of you stop that! Get back to your work and mind your own business.

MALE #1 –
I'm telling ya' he's going to set the slaves free!

MALE #2 –
How's he going to get the white people to agree.

MALE #1 –
I overheard Mr. Chase talking to Mr. Seward, and he said if the Rebs have no slaves there will be no one to do the work back home. No crops. No money. Their soldiers would have to go home to do the work. That means no war.

MALE #2-
Mr. Lincoln's got to do something because the Union Army is getting whupped.

MALE #1 –
Old Mr. Johnny Reb is beating Billy Yank like a drum. Mr. Lincoln can't even find a general who knows how to fight!
MALE #2 –
Abe'll be dead and gone before Little Mac gives him a victory.

MALE # 1 –
That McClellan is all show and no fight.

FEMALE #2 –
And ya'll are all talk and no work ... which you need to get back to!

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