1864 Presidential Campaign


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 22, 1864

Welcome to our online archive of Harper's Weekly newspapers. These pages were published during the Civil War, and yield unique insights into the important people and events making up the war. The papers have incredible illustrations created by eye-witnesses.

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


General Butler

General Butler

Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Battle of Pilot Knob

Richmond Campaign

Grant's Richmond Campaign

Mobile Bay

Mobile Bay


Rebel Ironclad Tennessee

Peace Plan

Democrats Plan for Peace

Battle of Chapin's Farm

Fort Harrison

Battle of Fort Harrison

Peeble's Farm

Battle of Peeble's Farm

Shenandoah Valley

Sheridan's March up the Shenandoah Valley




[OCTOBER 22, 1864.





THAT the peace section of the Democratic party, the men whose friends are in arms against the Government, intend to help their friends with arms, if they can, is a secret to nobody. That " peace" means riot, massacre, and war, just as " Conservatism" means anarchy, the experience of the last year has fully proved. The existence of associations the purpose of which is to resist the result of the election if opportunity offers, is beyond question. The Society of Knights of the Golden Circle, and all the other forms of conspiracy, are matters. of public knowledge. All these associations are manned and managed by members of the Chicago party. All the threats of resisting the election now proceed, as they did four years ago, from members of the Chicago party. The Convention of that party resolves that " the direct interference of the military authority of the United States   in the approaching election will be held as revolutionary, and resisted with all the means and power under our control." All the speakers at the MACPENDLETON Ratification Meeting in New York repeated this threat ; and the Democratic Union Association resolved the other evening, " that a Presidential election effected through Maryland by a suppression of the press, and, by consequence, of the ballot-box, would be an act of revolutionary violence, not binding upon the people of the United States, under the Constitution, or in morals, or in conscience."

The Chicago party is the one under whose domination free speech and a free press and ballot have always been suppressed in half the country, and constantly threatened in the other. Its whole policy has been the maintenance of slavery, with which free speech and all other Republican and Democratic institutions are incompatible. Therefore nobody imagines that the Chicago party, as such, is any more solicitous for free speech now than ever before. But it is desperate. The best men of the late Democratic party have left it just in the degree that it deserted its own principles. Its remainder is without a solitary leader of real power. It is in the hands of desperate demagogues or cal-low neophytes. It is reduced to a minority, who still clutch the organization and call themselves by the old name. But the followers of HORATIO SEYMOUR, AUGUST BELMONT, CLEMENT L. VALLANDIGHAM, ROBERT C. WINTHROP, and FERNANDO WOOD, are not the great triumphant Democratic party of JEFFERSON, MADISON, and JACKSON.

The resolutions of which we are speaking are the formal announcement that, if the present managers of the party can Mexicanize this country, they certainly will. For what is the military interference against which they protest, and which they declare to be just occasion of armed resistance ? It is simply the care taken by the United States authorities that rebels shall not vote. It is the care taken that the Government shall not be put into the hands of JEFFERSON DAVIS and his conspirators. Is it an arbitrary assumption of power to prevent traitors from voting ? Is it a crime for which the Government may be justly overthrown that it forbids the bitterest enemies of the Government from controlling it? The Chicago party insist that

" HARRY GILMORE" shall vote in Maryland. He is an open armed enemy of the United States ; but he is a voter, says the Chicago doctrine, by the law of Maryland, The intention is plain. The military power of the rebellion being now on the way to destruction, the Chicago party wish to restore the vigor of treason by giving to it civil ascendency.

Meanwhile Governor ANDREW JOHNSON, Of Tennessee, has issued his proclamation, by which all free white men, citizens and soldiers, twenty-one years of age, citizens of the United States, and for six months before the election citizens of the State of Tennessee, duly registered, and who take the most stringent oath of fidelity to the United States Govenment, are admitted to vote, and all others will be prohibited from voting.

Is this tyranny ? We ask every citizen and soldier in the land, Is it a destruction of our liberties that neither JEFFERSON DAVIS, nor ALEXANDER STEPHENS, nor BENJAMIN, nor WIGFALL, nor ROBERT LEE, nor HOOD, are to be allowed to vote for President until they shall have taken an oath of fidelity to the Union and Government ? The Chicago party declares that it is. The Chicago party denounce such conduct as the imposition of illegal oaths. The Chicago party proclaims that such conduct justifies revolution.

And these are "Conservatives !" They went to Charleston four years ago, and said that if they could not rule they would ruin. They have been trying to do it ever since. By arms in the South and by arts in the North they have endeavored to destroy the Government. Pleading a sensitive regard for the Constitution, they have been in open sympathy with those who are warring upon it, and now declare that, in the midst of a fierce war, to require an

oath of fidelity to it before voting is reason enough for rebellion. A people that have so patiently and heroically maintained a war during four years to defend their Government are not very likely to betray themselves upon the eve of victory by surrendering it to the friends of their enemies. If those friends decide to take up arms they will find the people ready. Four years have taught the American people that they must maintain themselves against domestic enemies. They have had tolerable success thus far, and they will probably not yield to threats and resolutions what they have refused to shot and shell.


WHEN the news of SHERIDAN'S victories in the Valley began to arrive, a month ago, a man standing in front of a newspaper bulletin, and reading the good tidings, looked very gloomy, and remarked to his melancholy neighbor, " If this sort of thing goes on, ABE LINCOLN will be re-elected." How did that gentleman look, we wonder, on Wednesday morning, when the news from Pennsylvania began to arrive ? It was a continuation of this sort of thing." It was news of the people doing at home what the soldiers are doing in the field妖efending the Union, the Government, and the Country. It was saying to SHERIDAN and GRANT and SHERMAN and FARRAGUT, "You shall not fight for a nation that is unworthy your heroism." It was shouting to the brave boys in the field, with three times three, " Strike home, and you shall be supported!"

The contest in Pennsylvania was most earnest and intense, The Chicago-London party had deserted all other points to concentrate upon the keystone of the arch. If they could only start that from its fidelity they hoped that the whole fabric would crumble. If they could persuade Pennsylvania to speak doubtfully for the Union in October, they were confident they could induce the country to surrender to rebellion in November. Beaten there they foresaw defeat every where, Consequently, no effort has been spared. Money in profusion, and the most reckless and desperate political trickery have been lavished upon the State. They have strained every nerve to draw Pennsylvania from her support of the American Union and Government, and, by the blessing of God and her faithful people, the combined forces of Treason, foreign hate, and rebellious Slavery have signally and disastrously failed.

It is a State triumph, a national triumph, and a triumph of universal liberty and good government. It proclaims to the whole world the inflexible resolution of the American people to maintain their Union and Government without compromise with rebellion, and without asking the permission of traitors and foreign foes. All hail, Pennsylvania! As you are the keystone of the Union, so you have struck the key note of the chorus of Union victory. " We do not think the war a failure. We do not ask for an immediate cessation of hostilities. We do not believe the Government of the United States powerless, and surrender to armed treason the only hope of national safety," says Pennsylvania ; and already the amen is gathering which will burst triumphant from the popular heart on the eighth day of November.


THE State of VALLANDIGHAM, who advocates it division of the Union into four parts葉he State of GEORGE H. PENDLETON, the Chicago companion of GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, who thinks that the United States Government has no right to defend itself against treason and rebellion, has spoken again as she always speaks, for Union, liberty, and law. She has declared against her recreant sons, and for the undivided country. She sustains ABRAHAM LINCOLN, and with him GRANT and SHERMAN, SHERIDAN and FARRAGUT, the army and the navy of the "United States.

Every true lover of his country and his kind has the right to rejoice over the noble result in Ohio, for it is another vindication of the American principle of popular government It is another proof that in the very heat and crisis of a civil war the people can still calmly see their highest duty and faithfully perform it. The mother of the West has spoken. and the great and glorious family will echo her words in November.


WE had not dared to hope for victory in Indiana ; but so overpowering is the popular sentiment of patriotism that the most doubtful of States disdains the imputation of uncertain fidelity, and stands by her gallant and noble MORTON.

As we survey the field of Tuesday's work, what is the natural feeling? After that of devout gratitude that the people have been so true to their highest interests, is it not a resolution that the whole country shall do what Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana have done ? After Indiana, need we despair of little New Jersey, where our friends are so steadily and cheerily

working? To the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, all Union loving Americans owe a debt that they will not forget, and that they will discharge most satisfactorily to the brave men of those States by going in November and doing likewise.


THE Macon Confederate Union newspaper has an official account of the reply of Governor BROWN, of Georgia, to an inquiry concerning the peace negotiations between him and General SHERMAN. Governor BROWN'S reply is long, but its substance is small. It is merely State sovereignty. If the United States want peace, says the Governor, let them confess that they are not the United States, and they can have it. Let them confess that their Government is destroyed, and that the Union is a foolish chimera---let them agree that every State may do exactly as it chooses葉hat the Constitution is a compact which any one of the parties may break at will葉hat the Union is a partnership at the pleasure of the partners ; in a word, that WASHINGTON, HAMILTON, and MADISON knew nothing of the Constitution, but that Mr. JOHN C. CALHOUN was its only true expounder 様et the United States merely do this, let Mr. LINCOLN proclaim an armistice, and then let every sovereign State decide for herself whether she will join the old or the new League, and we can have peace at once.

Governor BROWN adheres to the Chicago platform, and to the views of Mr. PENDLETON, the Chicago candidate. These are precisely the political opinions of CALHOUN, of JEFFERSON DAVIS, and of GEORGE H. PENDLETON, " Just give it all up," says Governor B. ; "just agree that you are all in the wrong, and we all in the right; just confess that the war is a crime, as friend PENDLETON calls it, and there we are."

Whoever votes for Mr. PENDLETON Votes for the views of Governor BROWN. If his vote be honest, he can not regard the war as any thing but a monstrous wrong against the rights of the States, If Mr. PENDLETON'S theory of our Government be correct, that it is a mere league or confederation of sovereign powers, then the war, waged upon the ground that the United States are a nation and their Government a Government, is totally unjustifiable. It comes to that at last. To negotiate, to compromise, is to surrender the national principle, and to concede that the authority of the United States is a name and the American flag a foolish rag. That is what Governor BROWN of Georgia urges. That is what JEFFERSON DAVIS and JUDAH BENJAMIN declare. That is what HORATIO SEYMOUR and his Chicago Convention assert; and to bring it to a test before the American people, that Convention declares the war a failure, and invites us to acquit JEFFERSON DAVIS by voting for General MACPENDLETON.


MR. HORATIO SEYMOUR, the Governor of New York and the President of the Chicago Convention, made a speech after the nominations of that body in which he said ;

" What think he [MACPENDLETON] is an able man too. But no matter--we intend to carry this election upon what lawyers call the general issue."   .

What, then, according to Governor SEYMOUR, is " the general issue?"

General Dix says that it is whether we shall prosecute the war until the rebels lay down their arms, or make immediate efforts for a cessation of hostilities and a convention.

General LOGAN says that there are but two parties葉hose who support and encourage the rebels, and those who oppose them.

General Wool, says that the Chicago candidates were nominated by a convention that sympathized with rebels, and whose platform was dictated by Southern traitors.

General BUTLER says that it is for the loyal men of the North to see the it that the rebellion does not end in the separation of the States, as proposed by the Southern leaders, aided by the election of General MACPENDLETON and the Chicago platform.

These are authorities upon the real issue as weighty, perhaps, as Mr. HORATIO SEYMOUR. But what says he? What, in his view, is the issue now presented to the American people ?

On the 31st of January, 1861, he made a speech in Albany--the Tweddle-Hall speech. It was enthusiastically applauded, and was published as a campaign document by the present Chicago party. A constitutional election had just ended. The party to which Mr. SEYMOUR belonged, and which had controlled the Government for many years, had been removed from power by a constitutional majority of the people. A section of his party at the South had already seized the national property, and openly threatened the existence of the Union and of the Government. The simple question was, shall the authority of the Government be maintained, or surrendered to menace ? " The condition of our affairs," said Governor SEYMOUR, "forces upon us the alternative of compromise or civil war." He considers these altenatives, and then concludes: " When unnatural war

shall have brought upon our people its ruin, and upon our nation its shame, to what ground shall we be brought at last ? To that we should have accepted at the outset." What is that? Compromise. Mr. JAMES S. THAYER, Mr. SEYMOUR'S companion upon the Tweddle platform, said that the Southern States had a right to secede, and if the Government tried to prevent them it ought to be resisted by arms. Mr. VALLANDIGHAM said at Dayton that he always knew it would come to compromise. Mr. FERNANDO WOOD, two years ago, declared that the war could have no other result.

The issue, then, according to Mr. SEYMOUR, supported by his friends of the Chicago Convention and Mr. WOOD, is this : that the constitutional majority of the people have no right to govern, and ought to yield to threats and arms; that when a part of the citizens are dissatisfied with the result of an election, and resist it by force, they are to be allowed to have their way, and the majority and Government, not they, are to yield.

But again, on the 28th October, 1861, Mr. HORATIO SEYMOUR made another speech, and once more stated the issue : " If it is true that slavery must be abolished to save this Union, then the people of the South should be allowed to withdraw themselves from that Government which can not give them the protection guaranteed by its terms." That is to say, if some citizens to save slavery, abhorred of God and man, take up arms to resist the result of a constitutional election, and to destroy the Government and the nation, we must allow them both to be destroyed rather than touch slavery ! The Union may go to the dogs, but human slavery must and shall be preserved !

This is what lawyers call "the general issue," says Mr. HORATIO SEYMOUR, and upon this we intend to ask the country to vote for our Chicago candidates, who are to be the agents of our policy. The general issue, therefore, fairly stated by the President of the Chicago Convention, is LINCOLN, Liberty, and Union, or MACPENDLETON, Disunion, and Slavery. For that issue the American people are quite ready.


THE late speech of JEFFERSON DAVIS is very significant. At first it seemed so evidently a cry of frantic desperation that it was doubtful whether it were authentic. But, authentic or not, it is equally significant. If he really made it, it is the most pitiful wail of baffled treason. If it were forged by the Macon paper in which it appears, the object of the forgery could only have been to dispirit the rebels by the apparent despair of their chief, with the farther purpose of suggesting submission by revealing the hopelessness of the rebellion.

But there seems no reason to doubt its authenticity. JEFFERSON DAVIS did probably make the speech ; or something of which this is a general report. He doubtless called General BUTLER a beast, because Mr. DAVIS is not choice in his epithets, and has formerly spoken of his loyal fellow-citizens as hyenas. Doubtless he spoke of General BUTLER as seeking, in his efforts to exchange prisoners, "to whitewash himself by intercourse with gentlemen ;" although in what particular a Southern planter who sells babies and lives by the unpaid labor of men and women whom he whips at pleasure, is more gentlemanly than a Northern lawyer or mechanic who lives by his own honest labor, Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS fails to show. Doubtless he said that " the end must be the defeat of our enemy," for JOHNSTON and HOOD had drawn SHERMAN from his base all the way to Atlanta; and because the rebellion holds hardly a quarter of the area with which it began ; and because as DAVIS himself says immediately afterward, "You have not many men between eighteen and forty-five left." Doubtless he said, " The city of Macon is filled with stores, sick, and wounded." Doubtless he added, " Two-thirds of our men are absent, most without leave." Doubtless, too, he added, "In Virginia the disparity in numbers is just as great as it is in Georgia." .And doubtless, as a logical conclusion, he said, "Let no one despond. Let no one distrust; and remember if genius is the beau-ideal, hope is the reality."

There are those who have tried hard to form some heroic conception of JEFFERSON DAVIS, to represent him as a fine historical figure. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, GLADSTONE, spoke of his " creating a nation." The rebel penny-a-liners for the British newspapers and for our own Copperhead journals have been very fond of comparing his "dignity" with Mr. LINCOLN'S want of it. But where was ever seen such sorry want of pluck in the defeated leader of a great and wicked enterprise? Where was ever heard such a shameful whine as this Macon speech? The Roman Catiline, DAVIS'S great exemplar, but less guilty than he, died sullen and gloomy upon the field. But this renegade American, this wretched traitor who has brought all the woes of war upon his country because he was defeated at an election, whimpers, " If one half the men now absent without leave will return to duty we can defeat the enemy. With that hope I am going to the front. I may not realize this hope, but I know there are men there (Next Page)




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