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tv   Lectures in History 1864 Presidential Election  CSPAN  April 24, 2021 8:00pm-9:21pm EDT

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on lectures in history christopher newport university professor jonathan white teaches a class about the 1864 presidential election pitting incumbent abraham lincoln against his former top general democrat george mcclellan with casualties mounting and union armies stalemated in the field professor. white says by august 1864 lincoln was unpopular with the electorate leaving the commander-in-chief convinced he would lose. but a democratic platform conciliatory to the confederates viewed by many as traitorous coupled with the fall of atlanta to union forces helped propel lincoln to a landslide victory. all right. good morning. everyone today. we're going to be talking about the election of 1864. and i've put on the screen here for ballots from that election. and i want you to look at these ballots and think about what you see.
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what do these ballots look like? how are they different from ballots that we use today? any ideas kim? there's a lot of patriotic symbols for us today on the ballots. it's just the names and then also with the candidates they have which state that they're from and on our presidential ballots. i don't think we have those good. that's right. so there's a lot of patriotic symbols that you see and also they list the state where the candidates are from of course. the constitution makes it so that you can't have a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate from the same state. so in case you weren't sure they make sure you know, george mcclellan the democrat is from new jersey george pendleton the vice presidential candidates from ohio. what else do you see on these ballots? what's what else jumps out at you jeremiah on the top they have banner on the top. whereas like today. they're very systematic with just like the bubble and the name, i guess for computer reasons like they put through the scanner today. that's right good.
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so one is there's a banner at the top, right? it tells you the state it tells you the ticket and i want to focus focus on that in particular now. i mentioned today when we fill out ballots, there's bubbles on them. why are there bubbles on the ballots? we fill out? what are we? why do we fill the fill out those bubbles and how might that point to something that's different about these ballots. go ahead kelly. well, especially for like presidential elections. they would have candidates from multiple parties. whereas this looks like. it's just listing the republican candidates for president of like the union. yeah, there's no bubble. that's exactly right. so today when we go to vote. i imagine we all voted last year when you went to vote. you got a ballot now that ballot was provided to you by the local government. so if you voted in newport news, you went to a local public school and you got you picked up your ballot and you get that ballot and it's a big piece of paper. it's usually probably about eight and a half by 11 and it
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lists all the candidates of all the parties, right? that ballot is printed by or ordered by the local government and it's given to you with all the candidates and you choose who you're going to vote for? elections in the 19th century were very different. in the 19th century. it was actually the political parties that printed the ballots and so when you wanted to vote you would go to the polling place. you would find an operative from your political party. so if you're a republican you find the republicans there if you're a democrat you find the democrats there and you would get a ballot from your party operatives, and then you would take that ballot and it only lists the candidate of your party. you take that ballot and that's what you use to go vote with. now several of you pointed out the symbols and the banners that you see on these ballots again very different from the ballots that we use today and because they were printed by the parties the parties wanted to highlight
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certain aspects of who they were as a party or what they stood for and these are four different ballots from different parts of the country the two on the right are from ohio. the one here on the left is from michigan and this one says montgomery county. i didn't look up which montgomery county it was it could be pennsylvania or another state. and you'll notice that they all are different right? in fact, this one is written in german. you guys might have noticed that what they're doing is printing their own ballots that are going to then be very recognizable to people who are going to vote. and so if you go pick up a ballot, it might be pink or blue or yellow. it might have a big eagle or shield at the top or even the face of a candidate. and you then walk through a crowd to vote? and so you're carrying a very distinctively colored and imaged piece of paper that allows everyone around you to know
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exactly how you're voting. today in america. we have what's called the australian ballot the secret ballot and when you vote you don't have to tell anyone how you voted. it's your own private business. but in the 19th century all of your neighbors got to see exactly how you were voting. and that gives people a lot of information right wouldn't the parties today? love to know exactly how everyone votes because it would give them a tremendous amount of information. and in the 19th century, there's a lot of pressure then on people to vote a certain way. there's a lot of violence in elections and we'll talk about that later on in the class. and there's a lot of intimidation. let's imagine that you're a young person working for someone and you want to vote one ticket, but you know, your boss wants you to vote the other ticket. your boss is going to see how you vote. and so you might decide well, i really believe in this particular party, but i don't want to lose my job. and so i'm going to vote the
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other way because i don't want my boss to see me doing the wrong thing. i wanted you to see these ballots as we start talking about the election of 1864 because it's really important to realize how different the elections were. and in fact now when we vote, you know, you go into at least when i voted here in newport news the way it works is you get your ballot and you go to a little table and it has sides on it, right? so no one can see you fill it out and then you put in the ballot face down into the scanner and it reads what you've done. in those days not only did you get a distinctively colored ballot with symbols on it that you're walking through a crowd. so everyone sees it when you finally vote. you drop it into the ballot box and guess what the ballot box is a glass bowl. so from the moment you get your ballot until the moment you deposit it. there's absolutely no secrecy. i actually brought in a couple examples of ballots. i've told you guys throughout
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the semester how i collect weird things. and so i have a whole collection of ballots and this is one from maryland. it's for a congressional election. and in this case they have an image of george washington at the top the a patriotic symbol that this candidate for congress wanted to be associated with and then i've got a couple ballots from the gubernatorial election of 1863 in pennsylvania. this is the democratic ticket and this is the republican or union ticket. the democratic ticket in this case is pretty ordinary. there's not a lot on it other than the names other thing. i love about this one is someone after the election wrote copperhead ticket the top in pencil. but this republican ticket is really beautiful and i have a couple of these in my collection on the back side. they have an american flag. so you might be able to see that there and again they want to put the symbols and the messages forward in the ballots that their voters are going to then
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be taking to the polls. and so here you can see no compromise with treason. in the mcclellan ballot. he says the union must be preserved at all hazards. these are the messages that the parties want put forward. i'm going to show you this just for a second a couple of years ago. there was a huge cache of these ballots from the election of 1864 that sold at auction. there were about 260 or 270 of these. it sold for $8,000. i wish i could have bought it, but i just well, i didn't know about the auction at the time. all right. now i'm gonna take us back to the beginning of the election campaign season and we're going to work our way until november and there's a couple reasons i wanted to spend a day on a class talking about trees and and talk about the election of 1864 first. this is the first election that happens when the nation is at war and in the middle of a gigantic civil war and one of the most remarkable aspects of this election is that it
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happened at all democrats thought that lincoln might can't sell the election. he had no intention of doing that you might recall when we read lincoln's message to congress on july 4th. 1861. he said this is a people's contest and he was fighting to show that democracy could prevail so from lincoln's perspective. he can't cancel the election. so it's going to move forward now lincoln is the republican incumbent. but there were a lot of members of his party the republican party who were very dissatisfied with lincoln. they were known as radical republicans if we were to use modern parlance, we would say they were to the left of lincoln and from their perspective. he was not radical enough. he wasn't pushing for african-american rights enough. he wasn't he hadn't pushed for emancipation quickly enough. and he seemed like he was going to be too lenient on the confederates. and so radical republicans began pushing to try to dump lincoln from the ticket and replace him and in fact one of the most
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prominent radicals to try to do this was lincoln's own secretary of the treasury, sam and chase. and this is a cartoon that i absolutely love it shows lincoln asleep in his bed. there. he is in the white house asleep and you have all these radical republican operatives measuring his shoes trying to figure out who can we put in to take lincoln spot? they tried very hard to get someone to replace him. but ultimately when the republican convention meets in baltimore in june of 1864. they renominate lincoln for president. now you may recall from an earlier class that lincoln's vice president was a man from maine named hannibal hamlin and hannibal hamlin was seen as a little more radical than lincoln was and the republicans were worried that having two strong republicans on the ticket might hurt them in the polls. and so they decided at the convention to dump hannibal
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hamlin and choose a man named andrew johnson of tennessee to be lincoln's new vice presidential running mate. andrew johnson was actually a democrat. he had never become a republican, but he was the only senator from the south to remain in or i should say the only senator from a confederate state to remain in the us senate and lincoln had made him military governor of tennessee. and so he seen as this very loyal guy and what the republicans think is if we bring in a war democrat onto the our ticket it'll broaden our appeal to voters and we're likely to win. now i had you all read the republican. platform from 1864 and it's a it's a long platform. there's about a dozen or so planks in it, but i want to just focus on the first five. platforms were very important in the 19th century because they
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put out the message that the party wants the voters to know. this is what we stand for. in looking at the republican platform from 1864 what jumped out at you? what are the republicans saying to voters that they believe in that they stand for or that they want to do. go ahead jordan. well first they're like slavery is the cause and like the strength of the rebellion, and it's like hostile to all forms of republican government. that's right. why why do you suppose they single out slavery the way they do slavery is the cause of the rebellion. it's hostile to all republican government and when we say republican there we mean small are republican government. what why do they want to make a big point about slavery do you suppose? go ahead. kelly slavery was one of the big differences and one of the
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primary reasons that caused the south to try to secede a big part of that was because their economy relied so heavily on it. so if you are a republican isolating that difference and seeing that this is something that would be difficult to compromise on. yeah solidifying their opposition to it as a party would probably be like helpful. that's exactly right slavery is the cause of the war slavery is the cause of the rebellion. you want to make sure we don't ever have war again get rid of slavery and so lincoln and the republicans are going to then try to amend the constitution which we ultimately get is the 13th amendment and that will forever end slavery and therefore make it so that we won't have civil war over this issue again, daniel. go ahead. because on number two, it talks about how they're determined not to. not to compromise with rebels so their strong chance against slavery could also be interpreted as we're not going to negotiate with the traders. that's right.
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that is going to be a key point that we're going to come back to when we talk about the democratic platform in a couple of minutes for the republicans. they're not going to compromise. they're not going to compromise they want what they call unconditional surrender. and that's going to be a very different approach from the democratic platform of 1864. and you may remember last week a week or so ago. we read that message that jefferson davis wrote to the confederate congress in february of 1864 where he's calling for the the ability to suspend the rid of habeas corpus. and what does davis say, he says, you know, there are people in the south who want to compromise and let slavery go, but we're not willing to do that. the republicans understood that the confederates were not going to compromise on the slavery issue. they were going to have to be defeated on the battlefield. and they were exactly right on that. anything else in the republican platform that jumped out of you bethany? in the first one they talk about
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laying aside all differences a political opinion. so they're showing that the union should come together whether or not their democrat or republican. that's right, laying aside political differences and you'll notice on the slide here. i call it the republican and then i put in printes and quotes union ticket. and the reason i did that is the republicans in 1864 actually dumped the name republican and ran on what they called the union ticket. and so when you voted in that year you weren't technically voting republican you were voting union and again their idea is we're going to try to broaden and appeal to anyone who wants to see the union restored and will even make a war democrat our vice presidential candidate now, of course after lincoln's assassinated they're going to really regret having made johnson vice president, but in in the moment in june of 1864, it seemed like a good idea. anything else in the republican platform kaylee? um the fifth one it talks about how they approve the measures
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which lincoln has taken to defend the nation, so they're probably talking about getting rid of habeas corpus and how they stand by that decision. that's right there. they approve of the measures that lincoln has taken so he's taking some strict measures. he suspended the rid of habeas corpus. he's issued an emancipation proclamation and they want to come out and publicly say we support our president we support our candidate in what he's done to try to win the war. anything else on the platform? okay. now, this is june of 1864. and the war is really important for understanding how the election is going to turn out. the summer of 1864 was actually a very bad time for the union robert e. lee the confederate general and ulysses s. grant the union general are hammering each other in virginia and many of you are probably from this area of virginia starting around fredericksburg. they pushed down to petersburg to me in the spring and summer
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of 1864 and this is a very bloody period of the war this is known as the overland campaign the union army loses. i think some 50 to 60,000 men during about a period of a month. i mean these casualties statistics are almost unfathomable for us today. now in in the past when a battle had happened, usually there would have been a break in the fighting and then maybe a month or two later they would fight again, but what grant does is he keeps pushing forward and forward and forward fighting a battle losing fighting again the next day. now ultimately grant gets stuck at petersburg and he lays siege to lee's army. and with all of these casualties and with all of this death the northern public begins to become very weary. and lincoln starts to wonder. if maybe he won't be reelected.
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because if the union can't win victories if the union can't capture richmond or can't capture atlanta. then people are going to think what are we fighting for? we can't win this thing. and i want to show you a couple of cartoons that capture the northern image at least the northern democratic image of lincoln at this time. in this image on the left you have lincoln looking like a tyrant. he's got a dagger yankee liberty and you have the goddess colombia representing the nation trying to restrain him in his rampage. meanwhile on the right you have lincoln looking like a dunce like he's not in control of the situation and not only that you've got casualties in the background and he's trampling on the constitution. so whereas the republicans as kaley pointed out are praising lincoln for what he's doing. there are a lot of democrats who are saying lincoln is a tyrant. here's another one showing lincoln as a phoenix rising out of the ashes of things that are sacred to americans.
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the united states constitution free press states rights habeas corpus public credit in this period in the summer of 1864 lincoln is really unpopular with the voters and he becomes convinced that he's going to lose the election and i always think it's helpful for us today in 2021 to look at images like this because we often think about lincoln as the marble man in washington dc this larger than life statue our greatest president. and we forget how unpopular he was at different periods of his presidency the summer of 1864 being one of his lowest points. here's another cartoon columbia demands her children and so here again, you have the goddess columbia or liberty saying mr. lincoln. give me back my 500,000 sons all these men who have died on the battlefield. and in this cartoon lincoln says something that he said a lot. well, the fact is by the way
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that reminds me of a story a lot of times when people came to lincoln to talk to him about things he would say. oh that reminds me of a story and then he would tell them a funny story. and so this shows lincoln as as an unserious person as someone who doesn't grasp what's going on in the war? by august of 1864 lincoln is convinced that he's going to lose. and again, the democrats believed that lincoln might cancel the election, but there's some really strong evidence that he never intended to do that and one of the pieces of evidence is this document here. this is known as the blind memorandum and the reason it's known as the blind memorandum is lincoln took a piece of paper and he wrote this out which i'll read in a second and then he folded it up and sealed it and he had his cabinet sign it and they didn't know what they were signing. so let's look at what this says. this morning as for some days
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past it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be reelected. then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the president-elect. as to save the union between the election and the inauguration as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards. and then he signed it a lincoln. here's what lincoln is saying? now the democrats have not yet had their convention so he doesn't know who the democratic nominee is going to be. although he he pretty much has a hunch. it's going to be george mcclellan a union general. but lincoln's saying it's so clear that i'm going to lose this election. that i'm going to have to work with the president-elect. whoever that may be. to save the nation between november 8th when the election is held and march 4th 1865 at the next inauguration. he says because whatever happens
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after the inauguration the new president's not going to be able to save the country. so i've got a sacrifice my pride and work with the person who defeated me in order to save the union. and again, he has his whole cabinet sign this and they don't know what they're signing. but he's again essentially getting them to pledge to work with him to work with their political enemy. around the same time lincoln calls frederick douglass the great abolitionist to come to the white house to have a meeting. and lincoln says to him douglas. i hate slavery as i have the quote here. i hate slavery as much as you do and i want to see it abolished altogether. and he says to frederick douglass, you know, i issued the emancipation proclamation and i thought that the slaves would flee to union lines and come over and gain freedom and they're not doing that as quickly as i had hoped they would. and he says to douglas that by the time the election's over and
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there's a new democrat in the white house. he's going to repeal the emancipation proclamation and slaves are going to lose their chance. and so he says to douglas. we've got to come up with a plan to free as many slaves as possible before i'm out of office and they actually can they think about john brown who we talked about two or three weeks ago how john brown wanted to take an army basically into the south and free the slaves and they come up with a plan modeled after john brown where they're gonna take what douglas called a band of scouts into the south and basically tell the slaves run away now now get to the north now. while there's still a republican in office. fortunately, nothing had to come of this plan or lincoln's blind memorandum because things would take a turn for the better in about a week after douglas's meeting, but douglas later wrote about this. he said this what lincoln said on this day showed a deeper
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moral conviction against slavery. then i had ever seen before in anything spoken or written by him. and this meeting with lincoln really gave douglas an intense appreciation for lincoln as as an anti-slavery president. now the democrats had planned to hold their convention in the early summer of 1864, but they saw how bad things were going that they thought let's postpone it so that we can wait and see how bad things get. and then we'll nominate our candidate and we'll still leave ours enough time to campaign. and so they were supposed to meet in the beginning of the summer, but they postponed to the end of august and they meet in chicago in 1864. and this is an image showing you the crowds who are lining up to go inside of what was known as the wigwam and lincoln was also nominated in chicago in a wigwam in 1860 four years earlier. this is a different wigwam than
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we're lincoln was nominated. and so these are the crowds going in and then here's the crowd inside of the chicago wigwam where they're going to nominate george mcclellan for president. now a couple weeks ago we talked about clemente landingham the ohio democrat who had escaped to or been sent to the south and then escaped to canada clemente landingham right before the democratic convention sort of sneaks back into the united states and he is a very powerful presence at this nominating convention. in fact, he is going to have a very strong voice in the writing of the democratic platform that you read for today. now the democrats nominate george mcclellan for president, george. mcclellan had been a union general early in the war. he was very popular among the soldiers. and he was a pro-war democrat, but he was also pro-slavery. they wanted to balance their ticket by putting.
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a vice presidential candidate on who was a peace democrat right before spring break. we read the debate between lincoln and the new york democrats and lincoln and the ohio democrats over the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the arrest of clement vlaningham george pendleton the man on the right here was one of the signatories on the matthew birchard letter that you read. he's in ohio peace democrat and what the democrats thought was again. we can like the republicans to an extent we can have a broad appeal. we'll have a war democrat as our vice as our presidential candidate. we'll have a peace democrat as our vice presidential candidate and we'll have a broad appeal that way. but the thing that really hurt the democrats that year. was their platform. so if you would take out the democratic platform that you read for today. i want us to focus mainly on the first four planks of this platform. what jumped out at you in the message that the democrats put forward and keep in mind as you
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think about this. this is august of 1864. they are feeling really confident that they're going to win this election at the same time that lincoln is lacking confidence in the election daniel. go ahead number four talks about how they will they will not usurp state powers and states not currently an insurrection. yeah, that's right. so they're they're very keen on protecting the rights of the states. what else jeremiah in the first one they said that they would adhere to the union under the constitution. but then in the second one, they revert back saying that if the states don't like what the union is doing they still have the power to succeed. yeah, let's so the first one. let's look at these in turn right. so the first one resolved that in the future as in the past we will adhere with unswerving fidelity to the union and constitution. as only the solid foundation of our strength security and happiness as a people. so that's the framework that
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they want they say and as a framework of government equally conducive to the welfare and prosperity of all the states both northern and southern so let's pause on that for second. what do you see? let's what do you you see in that opening plank? what are some of the messages that are getting across kelly? i was worth saying that. our currently like given the circumstances the south really seems to think it's not. yeah, that's right. so i think you're exactly right. they do see the union and the constitution as conducive to so the democrats had a slogan that said the constitution as it is in the union as it was in other words, they believe that the constitution was good enough to for the american people to live under and part of the constitution as it is means the constitution with slavery. and so that's why they're
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willing to say this is good enough for the north and the south the south. hey, you can come back. if we're elected you're going to get to keep slavery. then the second one that jeremiah point is to that this convention does explicitly declare as the sense of the american people. that after four years of failure to restore the union by the experiment of war. during which under the pretense of military necessity or war power higher than the constitution. the constitution itself has been disregarded in every part and public liberty and private right alike trodden down. and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired justice humanity liberty and the public welfare demand. that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities. with a view to an ultimate convention of the states to
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bring about. peace. what are they talking about in this plank? what do you see go ahead come and the line where they say after four years of failure to restore the union by experiment of war. it sounds like they're kind of focusing on the point of like the mishaps that are going on the war right now i special for the union and calling it an experiment of war is just like referring to them playing with the lives of soldiers. yeah that idea that cartoon. we're linking just doesn't seem to be taking things seriously, right eric. go ahead. the poem for a convention of the states. it sounds like they want to rewrite the solution to put more in it. yeah, they may be open to that right they want to convention of the states now, they want the convention of the states to negotiate. peace. but maybe they'll offer something to the south of a better protection for slavery that could very well happen true feels like they're completely willing to just surrender instead of like actually just seeing the war through especially with how close they are to richmond and everything. yeah, you know how lincoln
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predicted in that blind memo that whoever the democrat is who's elected president. they're not going to be able to save the union. i mean lincoln doesn't he's not a prophet. he doesn't know what the democrats are going to write but he has a hunch. and clement landingham in this plank is making it pretty clear how he feels about the this can the union win. this war has been a failure elijah. clearly go and when they're talking about the warpower higher than the constitution almost in the sarcastically i think and then it also the third resolution they talked about how they're going against basically what happened in the fifth resolution by the republicans saying that when they praise lincoln for what he did all he did to keep the border states and all that. they're saying no, this is like we're 100% against this and he definitely abused his powers. that's right. i want to build on this point. the republicans are very critical of the rebellion right they have a lot to say about the evil of civil war and the evil the rebellion. what do the democrats have to
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say about? the rebellion kim like eli said in the third resolution it talks about a shameful violation of the constitution and they talk about holding a revolutionary to resist this power that lincoln's using. yeah, they're more upset with lincoln right there. they're in a political opposition. so they're not going to praise lincoln which is understandable but notice that they they have harsher words for lincoln much harsher words. and really nothing. criticizing the confederacy. i mean when i read through this, i don't really see any criticism of the confederacy who is up in arms. i see an olive branch appeal. hey, let's get together and have a convention of the states and try to negotiate peace and bring you back in the union. but the confederate the democrats don't understand that the confederates aren't going to compromise. they don't want to compromise. they don't want to come back into the union. they want to be their own
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pro-slavery republic. and so i think there's a naivete on the part of the democrats here. and also a sense that they see a connection between themselves and the confederates. whereas the republicans see the confederates as the enemy and to the points that jeremiah and kim pointed out about the secession and revolution when they talk about revolution here. they're saying if lincoln keeps violating our rights, we have a right of revolution. we have a right to overthrow. linkage administration and you know because the democrats had nothing bad to say about the confederates rumors started spreading in the in the newspapers that the confederates had written this platform for them. and in fact the new york times said the convention was made up entirely of quote black-hearted traders. and so again this tree is an issue is going to be to this
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election. see now this is a cartoon that shows mcclellan in 1862 or it shows soldiers singing about mcclellan. i should say called mcclellan as our man a favorite song of the army of the potomac george mcclellan had been very popular among the soldiers in 1862 when he had been their general. but now in 1864 things have changed. now mcclellan is tied to a peace democrat or copperhead and you can see in this political cartoon. there's a little band holding them together that says party tie. and so on the one hand you have mcclellan trying to say that to these two union soldiers a i'm still the same guy you loved. while the copperhead is talking to clement the landingham and the governor of new york horatio seymour saying it's okay to vote for this ticket because we're
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really a peace democrat ticket and platform. and this division between the democratic party is going to really hinder them in the election. the other thing that really hinders them in the election is that union general william tecumseh sherman captures atlanta at the very beginning of september 1864. and now the war no longer looks like a failure. four days earlier the democrats have said after four years of failure. we need to negotiate with the south. that's no longer a viable position. and from the fall of atlanta in september of 1864 and then a couple of other union victories in september and october it becomes pretty clear that lincoln is going to win re-election by october of 1864. most republicans have a lot of confidence that lincoln will win. while all this was going on there was actually one other
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ticket in the field. i mentioned at the very beginning of the lecture that that some radical republicans had tried to get rid of lincoln as the republican ticket republican nominee for president. they're actually was in cleveland a what was called a radical democracy convention and they nominated this guy here john c fremont. we've encountered fremont before in this class when we've talked about missouri in 1861 in the guerrilla warfare fremont was an abolitionist and so the radicals nominate john c fremont on their own ticket to try to get him to be the president of the united states. and fremont is on the ticket or a running and as a candidate from may of until early september. and finally in early september some people negotiate with him and are able to convince him to drop out of the race so that by the beginning of september of 1864. it's just going to be two candidates. it's going to be lincoln against mcclellan and it looks pretty good for lincoln.
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now i want to show you some cartoons some political cartoons from this campaign. and again, this is a course on treason. so you're going to see how trees and comes out in a of these images. this one's called compromise with the south and you'll notice at the bottom dedicated to the chicago convention. so we're dedicating this image to the democrats. and you've got a wounded union soldier. he's lost his right leg. he's on a crutch. he and the goddess of liberty are kneeling over the grave. that is in the memory of union heroes in a useless war if this war is a failure if the democrats see it as a failure then it's a useless war and what are they doing? they're bowing down to jefferson davis. the confederate president the republicans want to depict the democrats as being subservient to the traders of the south. the republicans are going to make a lot of hay out of this
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democratic platform and also the division of the democratic ticket between a war pro-war democrat and an anti-war democrat. so here you have mcclellan as two-faced and you know one side of his face. he's talking about pro war the other side. he's sounding peace and he's standing on a very rickety platform. and if you look at the platform we've talked about this before when we talked about benedict arnold a very long time ago. the devil is a very strong image in when you look at cartoons about trees and so the devil and jefferson davis and clement the landingham and another new york democrat are holding up the democratic platform here. the republicans are going to depict the democrats as weak a weak. peace horse pulling the chicago platform. here you have a lot of devils again treason and devils are very prominent in this election
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campaign. so you've got mcclellan who's bowing down before jefferson davis. he's being ridden on his back by a devil. there are devils throughout the the sky here. you can see an angel being driven away at the top, right? and on the top left here the different devils and symbols there represent democratic newspapers who are seen as traitorous and again mcclellan's crafty policy with the traitorous chicago platform in full bloom. i'll go through these fairly quickly. we've got more devils here. there's lots of devils in these cartoons again. these images represent democratic newspapers. another cartoon of mcclellan. you've got death oppression states rights prejudice injustice cowardice. and devil's looming in the background. over the man they're going to control. this cartoon gives voters a very
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clear choice. if you are trying to cross the abyss of war. who do you want to lead you do? you want lincoln to lead you across the union plank all of one piece? or do you want the democrats with mcclellan to lead you across a divided plank? war democrat on one side that's worm eaten and peace democrat. it's a clear choice for voters. this one. i love you've got mcclellan and pendleton kind of looking like circus performers and so mcclellan's on a war and a piece still and then george pendleton. he just has a a piece still he's got one and he's not going to be able to do anything like that. we often today talk about races as a horse race when we talk about campaigns and that was a theme that you see in 1864. lincoln is being pulled by a strong white war horse.
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mcclellan is being pulled by a two-headed horse that has war and peace heads. who are you going to want pulling you? and i think this is the last one. again, you've got pendleton riding a peace donkey. you've got mcclellan who split between peace and war. now i wrote a book in 2014 about the election of 1864 and most of my book focused on what soldiers thought of lincoln and what soldiers thought of emancipation and i i looked at a lot of soldiers who were anti-lincoln who spoke out against lincoln and got punished in court-martialed for speaking out against lincoln and emancipation. but one of the things i did in this book was i looked at the history of absentee voting in america? and in fact the first large-scale instance of what we today call absentee voting or voting by mail took place in 1864. and so i want to tell you a little bit about that.
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in part because it's still pretty relevant to us today and some of you may have voted absentee last november. during the war of 1812 two-states, pennsylvania and new jersey passed laws that enabled soldiers to vote when they they were away during the war. and the pennsylvania law remained on the books by the time the civil war came around. and so by 1861 there's only one state that allows soldiers to vote and that's pennsylvania and in october of 1861. there were state elections that were held and pennsylvania soldiers voted as far away as virginia. the problem in those elections was that there was a tremendous amount of fraud. in fact, i found one regiment from philadelphia that had 900 votes cast for one candidate, even though i think there were fewer than 100 men in that regiment who were from the city where that candidate was from so there was a lot of fraud and in may of 1862 the pennsylvania supreme court ruled that it was
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unconstitutional to allow soldiers to vote away from home. well in the fall of 1862 there were congressional elections and the democrats trounced the republicans. and lincoln in the republicans came to believe that the reason they lost. is that democrats were at home still able to vote while republicans were dutifully serving in the army? and so for the last for the next year and a half republicans throughout the north are going to push for extending the right to vote to soldiers. 15 states pass laws that allow soldiers to vote in the field and four states pass laws that allow soldiers to mail their ballots home what we today would call mail-in voting. so that by the time of the election of 1864? 19 northern states have done something really new in american politics and that is allow men to vote when they aren't home
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for the day of the election. now republicans made the case that soldiers of all people deserve the right to vote because they are sacrificing their lives on the battlefield. they're risking their lives. democrats countered these arguments by saying that if we allow soldiers to vote, there's going to be a lot of fraud and intimidation in the elections and this is a cartoon that captures. i think a lot of the racism of the democratic party at that time and then also their message for why they opposed allowing soldiers to vote. here you have a democratic soldier who's lost his leg in the battlefield. he's wanting to cast his mcclellan ballot. and you have a caricature of an african-american soldier coming up. he's got a canteen full of whiskey written on it there and he's going to stop the the democratic soldier this veteran
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from voting and so democrats oppose allowing soldiers to vote saying if we allow soldiers to vote there will be a lot of fraud and coercion but ultimately they have what are seen is very unpatriotic arguments. how can you oppose allowing soldiers to vote? and so they lose that debate in most of the states. the campaign the elections in the field could be very vigorously debated and i'll talk about it a little bit more in a little bit, but i wanted to just show you a couple images of what it looked like when soldiers voted in the field. they often had to improvise because they didn't have all the full trappings of the parties that were at home. so they might set up a table and collect the ballots there or they might do it in the back of a wagon as they're doing in this case collecting the ballots there. sometimes they would even have to do it on whiskey barrels as you can see here. they're collecting the ballots there. they often didn't have ballots physically real printed ballot. so sometimes they would just
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hand write their own for lincoln or for mcclellan. now i want to talk about some of the more controversial and unseemly aspects of the election of 1864 and i'm going to take us back in time a little bit to earlier in the year, but i wanted to sort of have these things together. i'm going to start us off in the border states. now we've talked a lot in this class about how incredibly horrible things were in a lot of the border regions of the civil war. there was a lot of upheaval a lot of gorilla fighting a lot of burning of people's homes and property that sort of thing and in the summer of 1864 lincoln suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in, kentucky. now this is somewhat controversial right because kentucky's a loyal state. and lincoln actually put in his suspension order that this was not to interfere with any elections in, kentucky. but the union general there
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stephen burbridge decided. yeah. i know what lincoln said that this isn't supposed to interfere with elections, but i think it's important that it does. and so three days before a state election in july of 18, july or august of 1864 general burbridge ordered that the name of a democratic candidate for judge alvin duvall be stricken from the ballots. i mean imagine if that were to take place today someone in authority were to say we think someone's disloyal. he's a traitor so he can't be voted for anymore three days before an election. that's exactly what general burbridge did. somehow the democrats of kentucky got their act together. they found another candidate within three days. they telegraphed his name across the state and he ended up winning the election but judge duvall fled, kentucky because burbridge had wanted to arrest him. he actually made his way up to canada where he hit out for a while and general burbridge actually arrested the lieutenant
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governor of kentucky and the chief justice of the state supreme court as well as a lot of other people and when you saw in the democratic platform, and they're complaining about interference of elections, and they actually mentioned, kentucky. this is one of the things they have in mind. you can understand why the democrats are upset and say this may require a revolutionary response. in may of 1864 there was something that sometimes known as the great gold hoax or the great civil war gold hoax. and this took place in new york city. there were two journalists. one was named joseph howard. this is howard here. and these two journalists had a plan. they wanted to make a lot of money. and so this is the plan that they came up with. we're gonna buy up gold. we're going to then cause a public panic. so that the american people lose confidence in the government gold prices will skyrocket and
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then we'll sell the gold. and will make it we'll make a mint. and so joseph howard and the other journalist the way they decided to do this is they're going to write a bogus draft proclamation and they're going to sign it with abraham lincoln's name and they say abraham lincoln is calling for 400,000 men to be drafted. now remember, this is may of 1864. this is when the war is reaching a low point public confidence is already low if lincoln is going to call for these soldiers. it's going to make people lose heart. and so howard and the other journalists write this bogus proclamation. they go to the associated press, which was a pretty new thing back then they go to the associated press at four in the morning and they they give them this bogus draft proclamation. and the associated press spreads it to the other new york newspapers. now most of the new york newspapers thought this looks a little fishy we're not gonna run this draft proclamation until we
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know for sure that it's authentic. but two new york newspapers the world which i have depicted here. this is matt and marble the editor of the world. and another new york paper democratic paper called the journal of commerce. they both run it. this bogus draft proclamation runs may 18th 1864 and lincoln is as angry as he's probably ever been in his life. lincoln had actually been writing a draft proclamation and he thought someone in the white house had leaked it. and he issued an order to the union general in new york named john dix. and you're not going to read that so i'm going to read you what lincoln wrote a little bit of what he wrote. and you can hear the language of treason his secretary of war called this a treasonable forgery and this is what lincoln said. whereas there has been wickedly
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and traitorously printed and published this morning in the new york world and the new york journal of commerce a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the president. and to be countersigned by the secretary of state which publication is of a reasonable nature designed to give aiden comfort to the enemies of the united states and to the rebels now at war against the government and their aiders and the betters. you general dix you are there for hereby commanded forth with to arrest and imprison in any four or military prison in your command the editors proprietors and publishers of the aforesaid papers. and then he goes on to say they should be tried in a military court a military tribunal. this was the only time in his entire there were about 125 newspapers that were shut down during the civil war. sometimes by mob sometimes by soldiers. this was the only time that
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lincoln personally ordered the shutting down of a newspaper. and they were democratic newspapers. they were the political opposition, but he was convinced that they were engaged in treason. general -- was a little unsure that this was the right thing to do and he actually hesitated and didn't arrest the editors at first, but he did send soldiers in and soldiers shut down the newspapers and they investigated and eventually figured out that it was joseph howard and this other guy and so those two journalists got arrested. but this gives you a sense of of how you know the high decibel level of politics in the election of 1864. mountain marble was really upset that the governor didn't protect him and his property. the governor wanted to let this thing play out in court. and matt and marble wrote a private letter. to another new york democrat. he said this he said governor
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seymour should have ordered the state militia to eject the trespassers and restore to us our offices and protect us in the pursuit of our lawful business. the governor should have protected us. federal troops are occupying our newspaper offices. the governor should send in. state troops to stop them. and to another new york democrat marble said that seymour had quote missed the opportunity to interpose the arm and shield of the state of new york. between mr. lincoln and the oppressed within the circumference of the state. does that language sound familiar to anyone? that the governor should have interposed the arm and shield of the state of new york. where have we heard that before kim interposition from the virginian-kentucky resolution? that's right inner position from the virginia and kentucky resolution in 1798 where james madison comes up with this theory of inner position that the state if the federal
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government takes away the rights of estate citizen the state should interpose itself between the federal power and the citizen and protect the right of the citizen and here is is a new york editor calling for the governor or privately wishing that the governor had done that. in the autumn of 1864. there was something that made sensational headlines. and that was there were believed to be secret societies hidden throughout the north. mostly in the midwest but also in places like central, pennsylvania. they went by different names like the knights of the golden circle or the order order of american knights or the sons of liberty. and these secret societies were suspected of wanting to overthrow the union from within. and in fact, some of them were believed to want to make the midwest break away from the union and form a new country.
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which would be known as the northwest confederacy. if you've ever seen the movie national treasure or national treasure two, have you guys seen that one? it's a good movie. it's disney the opening scene shows nicolas cages ancestor in a in a tavern and these two guys come up to him and try to get them to figure out some treasure map which of course is not real history, but at any rate and nicholas cage's ancestor in the movie looks at them and sees that they have a lapel pin that says kgc on it and he says oh your knights of the golden circle. i'm not gonna help you and then they shoot and kill him. so the knights of the golden circle have gotten some play play in hollywood in recent years. historians debate whether or not these secret societies really were dangerous or whether they were more paper tigers. that weren't going to really cause much damage some historians think they were really dangerous other ones think that they weren't but
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suffice it to say in the fall of 1864 a group of secret society members in the midwest were arrested. and the federal government then tried them before military tribunals and sentenced some of them to be executed. these were known as the indianapolis treason trials. the most famous one of these men to be sentenced to be executed was an indian indiana lawyer and politician named lambden, milligan. and a week from today you're going to read a case from the supreme court called ex parte milligan, and we're going to talk about how the supreme court dealt with this case. from the republican perspective. this was great fodder for an election. you want to you want to now? i think the republicans generally believe that these guys were guilty of these conspiracies anyway, but you want to win votes you connect your opponents to treasonable conspiracies that are helping.
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the confederacy and it's going to win you vote and so headlines screamed across newspapers and actually for today you read the diary of david mcdonald and you when you read when he was talking about the dodd trial and so forth. this is what he was talking about. the last kind of big controversy. i'll talk about before we get to the election itself. is loyalty oaths. throughout the civil war there were a lot of loyaltios that were created some were created by the federal government by congress some were created by state governments some were created by military authorities. and they were instituted for all sorts of different kinds of people. and one of the times that they were used most was in election season. and the idea was we don't want disloyal people voting. so we're going to make them take a loyalty oath. now the problem is when these things are created by an
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individual person or by a military commander. they're not always going to necessarily just test loyalty. so there was one loyalty oath that most of these more controversial ones were also in border regions. there was one loyalty with created by a military commander in kentucky that required voters to swear allegiance quote to the present administration and its laws. another controversial one came out of tennessee here's andrew johnson. he's the military governor of tennessee. and he's the republican vice presidential candidate. here's a part of the oath that andrew johnson required and i'm going to read it and i want you guys to respond to it. i solemnly swear that i will henceforth support the constitution of the united states. and defend it against the assaults of all its enemies. that i am an active friend of the government of the united states. that i will cordially oppose all
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armistices or negotiations for peace with rebels and arms until the constitution of the us and all laws and proclamations made in pursuance thereof that could include the emancipation proclamation. be established over all the people of every state. you see in this oath? the andrew johnson's requiring a voters in tennessee kim go ahead. he specifically talks about rebels and arms so people in the seceded states that have taken up arms against the union probably in the federal army good. so confederates are certainly excluded from voting good. what else eric? yeah, i see in this oath a lot of the sort of famous antipathy. he had towards the confederacy because as i recall from like high school history, he was very angry at them. yeah, andrew johnson had come from a poor background and he really resented rich planners and around eight. i think was 1864 65. he said trees and must be made
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odious. so when when johnson actually became president in april of 1865 people thought because of his background that he was gonna come down hard on former confederate planners. he ended up of course pardoning most of them, but you can see some of that antipathy here elijah. what do you think? not only the rebels and arms as you kind of counting out but also those that as you got underline there that would agree to negotiations for peace with them. so he's just counting out like those that believe with the democratic platform. yeah, daniel. do i add to that? yeah. i mean it kind of reminds me the same rhetoric that is talked about in the republican platform of not not compromising with rebels at all. yeah, that's a reminder of that's right. no compromise with traders. and as elijah pointed out this strikes right at the heart of the democratic platform because the democrats say the war has been a failure. we need to stop fighting. we need to have a peaceful negotiation to convention of the states. we need to get together and try
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to work it out to bring the union back together. and andrew johnson the vice presidential candidate on one ticket is essentially saying in my state where i'm military governor you can't vote for the other guy. because the other guy in their platform says this and i'm saying you have to swear to oppose that. new york democrats wrote to lincoln. they said you're forbidding. he's forbidding democrats from voting in, tennessee. a group of tennessee democrats went to the white house and met with lincoln. and they were really upset with how lincoln responded. they said to lincoln that lincoln was quote making a selfish corrupt use of his power. and these are lincoln this is not lincoln at his finest lincoln replied quote. i expect to let the friends of george b mcclellan managed their side of this contest in their own way and i will manage my side of it in my way. endemic the democrats who met
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with lincoln from tennessee. they said that this undignified and rude response from our course despite. was was an exhibition exhibition of party spite and petulance? about a week later lincoln sent them a letter where he somewhat disingenuously said i don't have any control over what andrew johnson does in his state, of course lincoln had appointed a military governor, but never mind. oh one other controversy i forgot about so i told you about the soldiers votes and how soldiers how four states allowed soldiers to mail their ballots back home. this led to a really big controversy with new york soldiers. new york had state agents that worked in different cities that would care for the wants of soldiers. and the state agents in baltimore and washington dc were caught forging soldiers ballots creating just fake names for soldiers and mailing them back in crates.
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it's estimated that maybe 9,000 ballots were sent back to new york by these guys in baltimore. there were two guys in baltimore who are arrested and three in washington dc who are arrested for what we today. i guess might call ballot harvesting. so they're creating these fraudulent ballots and they get caught doing this the two guys in baltimore get tried before a military tribunal. they don't have any lawyers they have they try to defend themselves one guy relents and says, hey, i'm guilty. i did it the other guy tries to defend himself not very successfully and they get sentenced to life in prison. the judge advocate general or sorry the judge advocate which is the the prosecutor in that case. called for he said this he said that the seriousness of these crimes call for a vigorous punishment. and i do not hesitate to say merits the extreme penalty of death. election fraud in his mind would lead to death. the sentence in their case was life in prison meant they
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ultimately were commuted three years later. the guys in washington dc who were arrested for the same crime were able to get a delay in their trial and they got better they were able to get lawyers and the lawyers were able to defend them and they ended up being acquitted. and secretary war stanton was convinced for the duration of the war that they were guilty, but they were found not guilty by military court. this is a political cartoon from 1864. called how the copperheads obtained their votes. and you can see it has these democratic agents who are hovering over the name of a dead union soldier and his ghost is up there above them. saying how can you do this? in fact on the top corners? you have the ghost words a curse upon you for making me appear disloyal for making out a ballot in my name for the democrats. disloyal to my country for which i have fought and died.
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and just like the republicans were able to win a lot of votes by talking about the secret societies in the midwest and those indianapolis trees and trials these sort of headlines for fraud for democrats perpetrating fraud to win the election hurt the democrats in the north as well. now i want to i'm going to show you a couple images to give you a sense of what the election looked like and then we'll wrap things up. the election was a very raucous affair in the north. there was a lot of campaigning. this is a democratic rally in new york city. you can see all the the placards and the banners that people are wearing and signs. they're holding up. you can see the symbols like the eagles and you know, they're passing out campaign literature. here's another image of a this is in. i think this is near times square in new york city right here. you've got a small platform and
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here's an order who's delivering a stump speech for the democrats. he's illuminated by these little lights up here, and then you've got just a lot of a big crowd that's gathered around to here. the campaign rhetoric was really heated. i'm going to read you a little bit of an editorial from a democratic newspaper from wisconsin. this is from the la crosse democrat. and listen to what they say. the man who votes for lincoln now is a traitor. lincoln is a traitor and murderer. he who wars against the constitution of our country is a traitor and lincoln is one of those men. he who calls and allures men to certain butchery is a murderer and lincoln has done all this. had any former democratic president warred upon the constitution or trifled with the destinies of the nation as lincoln has he would have been hurled to perdition long since
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and now listen to this last sentence. and if he is elected to miss govern for another four years. we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good and so vitriolic the rhetoric was in that day where you have democratic newspapers publicly calling for the assassination of abraham lincoln. well, i'll show you a couple scenes from the election. i mentioned at the very beginning of the class when you would want to vote you would go and you would find your party operatives and get a ballot from them. and so this shows you the if you're a republican you go to this little. hut thing and you get your union ballot there if you're a democrat you go there and you get your ballot from the democrats they worked very hard to get invalid soldiers out to the polls. make sure that they can vote. so this is an image of carriage bringing them out.
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there was some fraud in the election now i told you about the democratic fraud where they're stuffing crates full of soldiers absentee ballots and sending them home. there was also fraud among republicans and this is an this guy's probably a democrat just based on the way. he's depicted and caricatured, but i want to read you excerpts from two letters by soldiers who were out in indianapolis during the election october 13th, 1864 dear brother. this was from the state elections. did you ever attend an election out west it is a big thing. the people are more enlightened. of course. it is a natural consequence that there is more liberty and freedom than in massachusetts and benighted lands. so much so that people vote as many times as they please and allow all their friends to do the same provided. they are sound on the goose. so if you vote the right way your friends will let you vote a lot. it is estimated that the 60th,
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massachusetts regiment cast about 6,000 votes for governor morton last tuesday, and i know that some of the boys have company i voted 10 and 12 times each one. afterwards two or three carloads to the regiment were taken to the town of greenville about 30 miles from here and treated to a big dinner. it is a copperhead town or has been. i think the boys hardly did their duty while there for the town gave about 600 republican majority. and then another soldier said this yesterday was the state election here. and most of our regiment went down to the city and voted some of the boys voted 25 times each governor morton. the republican candidate was elected by a large majority. so the massachusetts men helped elect him. elections back then are a little bit different than what we experience. we do experience something that they experience then long lines. this is a line of men waiting to
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vote in new york city. i do want to point out here leaning against this lamp post as an african-american man in 1865 states plus new york allowed black men to vote and the reason i say plus new york is if you were a black man in new york you needed to own a considerable amount of property to be able to vote, but you can see here a very well-dressed assemblage of men including what appears to be a pretty well to do african-american man who's waiting to vote. in the wealthy parts of manhattan the election appeared very orderly. this is an image from a london newspaper people in london. wanted to know what the election looked like. and directly on the same page directly below. this is what the election looked like in five points a poor slum in new york city and you can see again here are the huts where you're going to go get your lincoln and your mcclellan ballots, but in the poor part of the city, you've got a lot of violence you have more animals
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roaming the streets. you have a fight breaking out here. inside of the polling place in five points. this is what you would have found when you went to vote again. there's lots of kegs of whiskey or something here and if you look right in the middle, you see these glass bowls. those are the ballot boxes where you cast your ballot. these are two images that i absolutely love i all these are i have most of these hanging on my office wall at home and these two i have hanging right behind my chair. this is an image that captures these were side by side a two-page spread of a new york newspaper on the left hand side. they they feature the democrats on the right hand side. they have the republicans. the democrats are getting men drunk getting them to go vote. the republicans are veterans who have suffered in different wars. so this is a veteran of the war of 1812. this is a veteran of the civil
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war going arm in arm to vote and the republicans really wanted to put this message out if you're loyal to the country, you will vote like these men do if you're disloyal to the country. you'll vote like these men do now i can't say this for sure, but i like to think this is the case. if you look in these men's hands you'll see. in the democratic operatives hands, there's these little pieces of paper. and i'd like to think that those are particular kind of ballot that was used to try to win elections in the 19th century. they used to some people would make ballots that were lots of pieces of tissue paper kind of stuck together and the voter when he went to vote would shove it into the ballot box real hard and when it went got shoved in all those pieces of paper would break apart and turn into multiple ballots in the ballot box. so i always like to think that's what the democrats are holding there. today when we have elections.
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we watched tv cable news or we go to different websites and we get to see the election returns as they come in. in the 19th century, what they would do is they would go to a local newspaper office and the telegraph would bring the returns in throughout the night. and so this is a crowd in new york city outside of the new york herald office and here's a newspaper man, and he's putting up new numbers. and so this is how the voters would find out the result of the election. abraham lincoln won with a massive majority he carried 55% of the vote. he won about 2.2 million votes to george. mcclellan's 1.8 million. in the electoral college, he won by a landslide. he won 212 to 21. and so here is lincoln being carried in on the shoulders of a large majority and then this was a cartoon that ran right after the election. it was called long abe lincoln a little longer. he's going to be in office for
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they think another four years. i want to very quickly circle to two aspects of the election and then i'll let you go. this soldier vote in the election. didn't win too many things it's likely that the soldier vote won for the republican one lincoln the states of new york and connecticut, but those states had their votes mailed home and cast with the home vote. so we don't know for sure. but if soldiers voted in the same way that they did in the field then it's likely that soldiers brought lincoln, new york and connecticut. the one election where soldiers votes made a huge difference was in, maryland. in october of 1864, maryland had a referendum for a new state constitution that would abolish slavery in the state. and the home voters of maryland voted against the constitution.
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but the union soldiers from maryland were so supportive of it that and voted so overwhelmingly in favor of it that they actually carried that election. freedom in maryland, and this is a celebration that took place of emancipation in maryland. this fall i'm going to be publishing a collection of 125 letters from african-american's to lincoln. and i want to read you just a short excerpt from one of the black men who wrote to lincoln to give you a sense of what this election meant to a lot of african-american's during the period because for them this is lincoln defeating the slave holding confederacy pledging himself to amend the constitution to end slavery forever and restoring the union. and there was a man named richard brumby who sent a letter to lincoln describing a comrade of his name george w jackson. and according to brumby's letter george w. jackson was actually somehow
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secretly gathering information about the secret societies that were around. and this is how brumby describes this black soldier george w jackson. he said i will give you all the pure and truthful satisfaction about this george w jackson. his captain said he went by his tent one monday night and he was praying at two o'clock in the night for you to be reelected. for three hours, and it waked up all at the camp who was here. he did not stop the next morning. said the captain george who will be elected. master abraham lincoln how do you know? why captain god told me so why he will be elected the next four years after this and four years after that. god blessed mr. president. for that black soldier the abraham the election of abraham lincoln was very meaningful now. i don't know if god told him that lincoln would be re-elected for four years after that
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because clearly lincoln would be assassinated a few months later. i want to close by just highlighting how important it was that this election was held in wartime. that for lincoln while the nation was grappling with the issue of treason on a massive level the south fighting against the north and also threats of treason from within the north itself with these secret societies. it was still incumbent upon lincoln to hold the election and to abide by the results. he never wavered in that. he never thought about canceling the election or not. turning over the white house to george mcclellan should mcclellan have beaten him. and i think the election of 1864 is one of the most important elections in our history because of the very fact that it was helped. it was held while all of these massive problems were going on in the country.
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so on thursday, we're going to talk about the assassination of lincoln and the treason prosecution of jefferson davis. and then on tuesday a week from today, we're going to pick up with the ex parte milligan case and you'll be able to see how the election of 1864 how some aspects of it carried on into the post-war period and still have significance for us today. thank you all so much and i'll see you all on thursday. you can watch lectures in history every weekend on american history tv. we take you inside college classrooms to learn about topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11 that saturday at 8pm at midnight eastern on c-span 3 you're watching
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american history tv covering history. c-span style with event coverage eyewitness accounts archival films lectures and college classrooms and visits to museums and historic places all weekend every weekend on c-span 3 the first white house curator was hired during the kennedy administration to oversee a growing art collection.
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next on american history tv public history fellows. sarah fling talks about the women artists whose work is part of the collection as well as the first ladies who have made their own contributions the white house historical association. i'm absolutely thrilled to share some of the talented women that are featured in the white house collection with you all in honor of women's history month now, i just wanted to start by saying that this presentation is a brief overview of some of the highlights in the white house collection, but it's certainly not exhaustive. so if you're interested in more information, i'll be taking questions like colleen said, but you can also look on our website white house now, let's head to the next slide. i'd like to begin our exploration of the white house collection by diving into its history now the white house has a long history of collecting and displaying


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