While the Society for the Diffusion of Political Knowledge took the (relatively) high road, the popular press launched a gloves-off campaign that mixed racism, solidarity with labor, attacks on war profiteers, and, increasingly, calls for peace. At various points the Lincoln administration banned “Copperhead” papers from the mails. Republican infringements of civil liberties generated more support for Peace Democrats. The Lincoln administration suspended habeas corpus and arrested or detained hundreds. In New York City political prisoners were housed in Fort Lafayette, just off the Brooklyn shore from Fort Hamilton. The Copperhead Donkey In PDF Format
|Nast cartoon of Democratic donkey, from "Harper's Weekly", January 19th 1870.|
Rearing donkey labelled "Copperhead Papers" kicks lion labelled "Hon. E.M. Stanton". Caption: "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion. And such a Lion! and such a Jackass!" High Resolution Image
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Edwin M. Stanton From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Edwin McMasters Stanton (December 19, 1814 – December 24, 1869), was an American lawyer, politician, United States Attorney General in 1860-61 and Secretary of War through most of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. Less noteable, is his short term as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. He served for less than one day.
His father was a physician of Quaker stock. Stanton began his political life as a lawyer in Ohio and an antislavery Democrat.
Stanton was politically opposed to Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860. After Lincoln was elected president, Stanton agreed to work as a legal adviser to the inefficient Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, whom he replaced on January 15, 1862. He accepted the position only to "help save the country."
He was very effective in administering the huge War Department, but devoted considerable amounts of his energy to the persecution of Union officers whom he suspected of having traitorous sympathies for the South. On August 8, 1862 Stanton issued an order to "arrest and imprison any person or persons who may be engaged, by act, speech or writing, in discouraging volunteer enlistments, or in any way giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or in any other disloyal practice against the United States."
The president recognized Stanton's ability, but whenever necessary Lincoln managed to "plow around him." Stanton once tried to fire the Chief of the War Department Telegraph Office, Thomas Eckert. Lincoln prevented this by defending Eckert and told Stanton he was doing a good job. This led to Eckert keeping his job. Yet, when pressure was exerted to remove the unpopular secretary from office, Lincoln replied, "If you will find another secretary of war like him, I will gladly appoint him."
Stanton became a Republican and apparently changed his opinion of Lincoln. At Lincoln's death Stanton remarked, "Now he belongs to the ages," and lamented, "There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen." He vigorously pursued the apprehension and prosecution of the conspirators involved in Lincoln's assassination. These proceedings were not handled by the civil courts, but by a military tribunal, and therefore under Stanton's tutelage. Stanton has subsequently been accused of witness tampering, most notably of Louis J. Weichmann, and of other activities that skewed the outcome of the trials.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Edwin M. Stanton
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