Voter Fraud


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 12, 1864

This site features an online archive of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers allow you to read eye-witness reports on the important events of the war, and view stunning illustrations of the battles and leaders of the war.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Custer with Flags

George Custer with Flags

Voter Fraud

Voter Fraud

Arming Slaves

South Arming the Slaves

Election Poster

Election Poster

Army of the James

Army of the James

General Ricketts

General Ricketts

General Grover

General Grover

Honest Abe

Honest Abe Carton

Shenandoah Valley

Sherman in the Shenandoah Valley

Get out the Vote

Democrats Get Out the Vote









(Previous Page) extent of the crime which has been committed against our citizens at home, and against our brave soldiers in the field. There is nothing whatever to contradict or to soften this damning evidence of guilt. And it would appear from the testimony that even an officer in the army, a Commissary-General, had lent his aid and sanction to the crime. A list of the soldiers from Columbia County was sent to DONAHUE to help on the shameful forgery. The following letter, which was intercepted, shows to what use the list was put:


MY DEAR SIR,—I send with this note a number of ballots for your county. I have made out a number from the list you sent me.

I also send a package put up by Mr. FERRY, State Agent, and you will find a note from him explaining things. I guess you have enough. Fearing that you might not I inclose envelopes and powers of attorney sworn to; you can fill them up for Columbia or any other county.

You can fill them up as well in your county as we can here. If you want names of enlisted persons, ascertain them from the Supervisors' list of any county.

In haste, your friend,   F. D., JUN. You can procure large envelopes for attorneys' names at Albany. Put in some good names for attorneys.

Thousands of soldiers' votes have been forged, and many of them have been sent home. Every vote thus fraudulently given has deprived some soldier of his franchise, the most invaluable of his rights as an American citizen. Nor has this injury been confined to the living. The Copperheads have dared not simply to forge the votes of living soldiers, but even to desecrate our honored dead.


YONDER the bleak old Tavern stands—the faded sign before,

That years ago a setting sun and banded harvest bore :

The Tavern stands the same today—the sign you look upon

Has glintings of the dazzled sheaves, but nothing of the sun.

In Jackson's days a gay young man, with spirits hale and blithe,

And form like the young hickory, so tough and tall and lithe,

I first remember coming up—we came a wagon-load, A dozen for OLD HICKORY—this rough November road.

Ah ! thirty years—they help a man, you see, in growing gray,

They can not take the manly soul that makes a man alway !

It's thirty years, or near : today I go to vote once more;

Here, half a mile away, we see the crowd about the door.

My boys, in EIGHTEEN SIXTY-my boys ? my men, I mean!

(No better men nor braver souls in flesh-and-blood are seen)

One twenty-six, one twenty-three, rode with their father then:

The ballot-box remembers theirs—my vote I'll try again !

The ballot-box remembers theirs, the country well might know

Though in a million only two for little seem to go; But, somehow, when my ticket slipped I dream'd of Jackson's day

The land, I thought, has need of One whose will will find a way !

" He did not waver when the need had call'd for steadfast thought

The word he spoke made plain the deed that lay behind it wrought;"

And while I mused the Present fell, and, breathing back the Past,

Again it seem'd the hale young man his vote for Jackson cast!

Thank God it was not lost! —my vote I did not cast in vain !

I go alone to drop my vote—the glorious vote again;

Alone—where three together fell but one today shall fall;

But though I go alone today, one voice shall speak for all !

For when our men, awaking quick, from hearth and threshold came,

Mine did not say, "Another day!" but started like a flame ;

I'll vote for them as well as me ; they died as soldiers can,

But in my vote their voices each shall claim the right of man.

The elder left his wife and child—my vote for these shall tell ;

The younger's sweet-heart has a claim—I'll vote for her as well !

Yes ! for the myriad speechless tongues, the myriad squandered lives,

The desolation at the heart of orphans and of wives !

I go to give my vote alone—I curse your shame-less sham

Who fight for traitors here at home in Peace's holy name!

I go to give my vote alone, but even while I do, I vote for dead and living, all — the living dead and you !

See yonder tree beside the field, caught in the windy sough,

How conscious of its strength it leans, how straight and steadfast now !

Of Lincoln bends (for all, in him, my vote I mean to cast)

What winds have blown! what storms he's known! —the Hickory's straight at last!



THE political campaign which ends in the election of the 8th of November decides the most important question in history. It has always been the fate of republics hitherto to be destroyed by faction. Party-spirit has over. powered patriotism. It has been, therefore, feared by many of the best and wisest men that we should encounter the same peril and succumb to the same fate.

That fear is now about to be confirmed or dissipated forever. The American people are about to say that their national Government, like all other Governments, has the right to defend its existence by force against foreign enemies and domestic rebels; or it is about to declare that JOHN C. CALHOUN and JEFFERSON DAVIS and GEORGE H. PENDLETON are right, and GEORGE WASHINGTON, ALEXANDER HAMILTON, HENRY CLAY, ANDREW JACKSON, DANIEL WEBSTER, and STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS were wrong in their theory of our Government, It is about to declare that the Union of the United States is the merest partnership at will of sovereign powers, in which the prosperity of the whole is at the mercy of the whim or the anger of the smallest part—or it is to proclaim, unmistakably, that the United States are a nation, with national attributes, with a national history, with a national authority, with a national honor, and a national flag.

The Chicago party concedes the destruction of the Government, because it declares that the attempt of the Government to maintain itself by force is a failure. But if it has failed to enforce its authority against rebels, it can hereafter exercise over them only so much authority as they choose to allow. That is to say that the United States Government may do in the State of South Carolina just what South Carolina permits, and nothing more. But the United States Government may do as much as that in England. Therefore, if the Chicago platform tells the truth, the United States Government is already and hopelessly overthrown in each of the rebel States. That is the end of the Union. That is the ruin of the country.

Now the Chicago platform is the authorized exposition of the views of the party that supports General McCLELLAN, and Mr. PENDLETON, who is the candidate of the Chicago party for Vice-President, entirely approves what he calls " the beneficent principles" of that platform. Does not every man, therefore, who votes for the Chicago ticket necessarily vote for the Chicago doctrines ? Or is the letter of General McCLELLAN considered to be a breakwater against the terrible swell of anarchy which proceeds from the Chicago doctrine?

Yet what is the substance of that doctrine but compromise, and what does General McCLELLAN suggest as the means of restoring the Union but compromise? If rebels refuse to compromise they are to be delivered over to " ulterior consequences"—which means, doubtless, a more abject compromise. But the significant point both in the Chicago platform and the McCLELLAN letter is, that armed rebels against the Government are not to be put down by force, but are to be coaxed or bought off. That is equally the overthrow of the Government, for it is -a premium upon rebellion.

Between the unconditional and the conditional maintenance of the Government the people are now to choose. If they shall decide for the latter, universal disintegration of the Union and endless wars between little neighboring States inevitably ensue. If they elect the former the power and the importance which belong to a great nation will secure them permanent peace, prosperity, and liberty. General McCLELLAN and GEORGE H. PENDLETON represent the conditional, ABRAHAM LINCOLN and ANDREW JOHNSON the unconditional maintenance of the Government. May God guide our choice!


THE Union citizens of this country have always insisted that the soldiers should vote. They have always held that no American citizen should lose his rights under the Government merely because he loved that Government enough to go into the field and fight for it. The Copperheads have always insisted that he should.

In Maine the soldiers' voting law was passed, and the only majorities against it were in Copperhead towns. In New Hampshire the law was passed by the Legislature by a vote of about 175 Union men to 105 Copperheads. In Vermont the Union Legislature promptly passed the bill. In Rhode Island it was opposed only by the Copperheads. In Connecticut the Copperheads unanimously opposed it. In New York the Union men passed a bill by 65 yeas to 59 Copperhead nays, and HORATIO SEYMOUR, President of the McCLELLAN Chicago Convention, vetoed the bill ; but the Union men finally succeeded by appealing to the people of the State, and procuring an amendment to the Constitu-

tion which the Copperheads desperately voted against. In New Jersey 37,000 Union citizens asked the passage by the Legislature of a voting law for the soldiers. The Legislature refused by 31 Copperhead nays to 19 Union yeas. In Pennsylvania Judge WOODWARD, the Copperhead candidate for Governor, in favor of whose election General McCLELLAN wrote a letter, opposed the law. The Unionists then carried an amendment to the Constitution. The greatest majorities for it were in the Union counties ; the only majorities against it were in Copperhead counties. In Delaware, where the Copperheads control the Legislature, the soldiers have been denied the right of voting. In Ohio the Copperheads steadily and in every way opposed the law. But it was passed by Union votes and sustained by the Supreme Court of the State. In Michigan 19 Union Senators to 10 Copperhead, and 53 Union to 23 Copperhead representatives, passed the law. In Illinois the Copperheads controlling the Legislature, defeated the law; and General JOHN A. LOGAN, the bosom friend of DOUGLAS, is disfranchised because he believes as DOUGLAS said upon his death bed " A man can not be a true Democrat unless he is a loyal patriot," and because he is nobly fighting for his country. In Wisconsin the bill passed by 19 Unionists to 7 Copperheads in the Senate, and 52 Unionists to 40 Copperheads in the Assembly. In California, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri the Union men against the steady Copperhead opposition have secured the soldiers' right to vote. In Indiana the Copperhead Legislature refused it.

Such is the prodigious record. In every State the Copperhead supporters of McCLELLAN and PENDLETON have opposed in every way and at every stage the right of American soldiers to vote, because they were in the field fighting for their country. The Copperheads made Patriotism a crime.

Very well. American soldiers are not fools. They know exactly what they are fighting for; therefore, in the case of the single State of Ohio, out of 55,000 soldiers' votes cast in October there was a majority of 48,000 for the Union. And now, as appears by the confession of Mr. J. FERRY, the Copperhead State Agent for the Army of the State of New York, a vast conspiracy was undertaken by the Copperheads to forge the soldiers' vote, and elect GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, the friend of VALLANDIGHAM, by defeating the honest will of the soldiers in the field.

Does any loyal American citizen still ask himself whether the Copperheads and their Chicago platform and candidates are faithful to the Union and the Government ? Was this universal Copperhead opposition to the soldiers' voting law in the Legislatures, and this vast effort at a fraudulent defeat of the fair consequences of the passage of the law, in the interest of the United States Government, or of JEFFERSON DAVIS and the rebellion?


THE sudden and startling raid from Canada across the frontier of Vermont is a striking illustration of the practical consequences of State sovereignty and disunion. The rebels assert that they are only maintaining State sovereignty. But in a system like that they propose every State would be a little separate foreign power to every other, and each would be always exposed to such armed surprises, robberies, and murders as those of the recent raid into Vermont. The absolute and hopeless anarchy resulting from the triumph of the rebels' doctrine of State sovereignty can not be conceived. We may judge of its inevitable tendency by remembering that when, in the winter of 1860-61, some of the Southern States declared their secession from the Union and the resumption of their sovereignty, FERNANDO WOOD, then Mayor, suggested that the city of New York might find it wise to secede from the State. And then the First Ward might have found it wise to secede from the Second ; and so the entire fabric of social order have fallen into common ruin.

The doctrine of supreme State sovereignty is the doctrine of humiliation and. disgrace The famous history of this country is that of united Colonies and States. Before they were united there was no history. The history of England and France is the story of weakness, shame, and anarchy, until the various parts were welded into a great national whole. It is not an Englishman's boast that he is a Kentish man or a Yorkshireman, but an Englishman. It is not a Frenchman's pride that he is a Gascon or a Burgundian, but a Frenchman. It is not Yorkshire or Burgundy that protects them, that gives them importance, that makes them respected and feared. It is the name and the nation of England and France that does this. The flag of their country is not a Kentish or Gascon flag —it is the British and the French ; it is the cross of St. George and the tri-color.

It is precisely so with us. The power of this nation in the world is not the power of Maine, or Delaware, or Missouri, or California; it is that of the United States. The importance of every citizen is not that he is a Vermonter or a Georgian, but an American of the United States. The flag that defends him every where in the world is not the Pelican of Louisiana, or the

[NOVEMBER 12, 1864.

Palmetto of South Carolina, or the Anchor of Rhode Island, it is the glorious Stars and Stripes. The doctrine of supreme State sovereignty plucks all power and significance from that flag. It makes it represent not the overwhelming force of a nation—not the terrible energy of a trained and resistless army and navy. but the ridiculous impotence of a guerrilla band. The doctrine of supreme State sovereignty is national suicide.

Yet that is the doctrine of the rebellion and of the Chicago tender to the rebellion. The Chicago platform confesses the victory of this doctrine over the national power of the Union. General McCLELLAN, in his letter approving compromise with the rebel chiefs, stands straight upon the Chicago platform, for he proposes to treat with those who, by force of arms, assert State sovereignty against the national supremacy. Should such a policy be adopted by the people of this country in his elevation to the Presidency, every State would be a separate power exposed to the incursions of neighboring enemies. Every State must maintain an army to defend its frontier against St. Alban raids. If the States made a compact not to harm each other, it would he as fruitless as Mr. PENDLETON now declares the Union to be. " If the States refuse to observe the compact," he says, "you have no right to force them to observe it."

If, then, armies must be maintained to defend sovereign State lines, does any man think he would escape the permanent draft which would be necessary to fill those armies? Would he avoid the taxes necessary to support those armies? When Pennsylvania and Ohio chose to threaten Delaware, what hope or refuge would Delaware have? Chicago and Richmond aim at separation as a means of peace. Many a man in the North thinks that a vote for the Chicago candidates would give the country peace, and release him from drafts and taxation. But if what we say be true—and who will deny it?—does he not see that Union, and Union alone, is strength and consequently security and peace ? And does it not follow that, if the power of the Union is assailed, it must be maintained unconditionally, or else he entirely overthrown? Whoever dictates conditions is master of the field. When once the Union is destroyed by force of arms—as the Chicago platform declares is now the case, we have before us endless wars, taxes, and conscriptions ; we have impotence, ruin, and anarchy, ending in hopeless despotism.

Let every thoughtful citizen bear these things in mind, and then vote for M'CLELLAN and PENDLETON, who represent this policy, if he can.


Goon citizens will have observed that the party winch has most loudly clamored for free speech in this campaign has been the party whose adherents have made almost all the disturbance in the canvass. Union meetings have been constantly interrupted by McCLELLAN partisans. Have Union men any where attempted to break up McCLELLAN meetings ? Union flags have been cut down by the friends of the Chicago platform and McCLELLAN. Have Union men cut down and torn McCLELLAN banners? Processions have been attacked, speakers have been insulted, every kind of interference and annoyance has been practiced. Have these things been the work of loyal Union citizens or of McCLELLAN partisans? Are the men who, have declared that, in certain events, they will not submit to the result of the election, friends of Mr. LINCOLN or of General McCLELLAN ?

We do not assert that Union men may not sometimes have been guilty of interruptions of the meetings of the Chicago party ; but we challenge contradiction in saying that the disturbing element at the vast mass of meetings where there has been any disturbance was composed of McCLELLAN partisans. These are the men who bawl for free speech. They call the President of the United States—as we know in a certain instance—" the obscene ape of Illinois," and the next moment shout that the liberty of speech is annihilated. They print articles to favor the insurrection against the Government of the United States, appealing to every base passion of ignorant men, or meanly sophisticating in smooth phrases to excite hostility to the authorities, and then cry aloud that the freedom of the press is in danger.

These things they do with absolute impunity, and shriek incessantly that the liberties of American citizens are imperiled, because now and then a man has been summarily arrested for helping the enemies of the country. That this power, which necessarily resides in every Government at war, has been in every instance wisely used, we do not claim ; nor could such power ever be used at all, whatever the emergency, without complaint from somebody. But we do insist that it has not been so used as to inspire distrust of the intention. It has been used, as in this country it always must be, subject to impeachment. To say that loyal citizens have lost their liberties, or are, in general, in danger of "bastiles," is ludicrously false.

Such things show the spirit of the Democratic party. Is it a faithful, loyal, patriotic spirit? Does it raise such cries really to save the Government, or to get it into their hands ? Are the men who break up Union meetings truly in favor (Next Page)




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