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Encyclopedia > Copperheads (politics)

The Copperheads were a vocal group of Democrats in the North (see also Union (American Civil War)) who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. The name Copperheads was given to them by their opponents, the Republicans, because the deadly copperhead snake can strike without warning (unlike a rattlesnake). Binomial name Linnaeus, 1766 Synonyms Boa contortrix - Linnaeus, 1766 Scytale contortrix - Sonnini & Latreille, 1801 Scytale Cupreus - Rafinesque, 1818 Scytale cupreus - Say, 1819 Tisiphone cuprea - Fitzinger, 1826 [Cenchris] marmorata - F. Boie, 1827 Acontias atro-fuscus - Troost, 1836 [Toxicophis atro-fuscus] - Troost, 1836 T[rigonocephalus]. cenchris - Schlegel, 1837 Trigonocephalus Contortrix - Holbrook, 1838... The History of the Democratic Party is an account of a continuously supported political party in the United States of America. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial)  States that seceded under CSA control  States and territories claimed by CSA without formal secession and/or control Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia... The Republican Party of the United States was established in 1854 and is one of the two dominant parties today. ... In biology, a copperhead is any of four species of venomous snake: the American copperhead of eastern North America, and three species of Australian copperhead. ... Species 27 species; see list of rattlesnake species and subspecies. ...


They were also called "Peace Democrats" and "Butternuts" (for the color of the Confederate uniforms). The most famous Copperhead was Ohio's Clement L. Vallandigham, who was a vehement opponent of President Abraham Lincoln's policies. Binomial name Juglans cinerea L. The Butternut (Juglans cinerea), also occasionally known as the White Walnut, is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada, from southern Quebec west to Minnesota, south to northern Alabama and southwest to northern Arkansas. ... Clement Vallandigham Clement Laird Vallandigham (velan´digham, -gam) (July 29, 1820 – June 17, 1871) was an Ohio unionist of the Copperhead faction of anti-war, pro-Confederate Democrats during the American Civil War. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Agenda

Scurrilous Copperhead pamphlet from 1864
Scurrilous Copperhead pamphlet from 1864

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Copperheads nominally favored the Union and strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists, and they demanded immediate peace and resisted draft laws. They wanted Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the president as a tyrant who was destroying American republican values with his despotic and arbitrary actions. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (747x1206, 203 KB) Summary Copperhead 1864 pamphlet, USA Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (747x1206, 203 KB) Summary Copperhead 1864 pamphlet, USA Licensing This image is in the public domain in the United States. ... This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War. ... Republicanism is the political value system that has dominated American political thought since the American Revolution. ...


Some Copperheads tried to persuade Union soldiers to desert. They talked of helping Confederate prisoners of war seize their camps and escape. They sometimes met with Confederate agents and took money. The Confederacy encouraged their activities whenever possible.[1] Most Democratic party leaders, however, repelled Confederate advances. The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ...


Newspapers

The Copperheads had numerous important newspapers, but the editors never formed an alliance. In Chicago, Wilbur F. Storey made the Chicago Times into Lincoln's most vituperative enemy. The New York Journal of Commerce, originally abolitionist, was sold to owners who became Copperheads, giving them an important voice in the largest city. A typical editor was Edward G. Roddy, owner of the Uniontown, Pennsylvania Genius of Liberty. He was an intensely partisan Democrat who saw black people as an inferior race and Abraham Lincoln as a despot and dunce. Although he supported the war effort in 1861, he blamed abolitionists for prolonging the war and denounced the government as increasingly despotic. By 1864 he was calling for peace at any price. For other uses, see Chicago (disambiguation). ... The Chicago Times was a newspaper in Chicago, Illinois. ... Uniontown is a city in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Pittsburgh and part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. ... Though most indigenous Africans possess relatively dark skin, they exhibit much variation in physical appearance. ...


John Mullaly's Metropolitan Record was the official Catholic paper in New York City. Reflecting Irish opinion, it supported the war until 1863 before becoming a Copperhead organ; the editor was then arrested for draft resistance. Even in an era of extremely partisan journalism, Copperhead newspapers were remarkable for their angry rhetoric. "A large majority [of Copperheads]," declared an Ohio editor, "can see no reason why they should be shot for the benefit of niggers and Abolitionists." If "the despot Lincoln" tried to ram abolition and conscription down the throats of white men, "he would meet with the fate he deserves: hung, shot, or burned."[2] Through the 1864 election, Wisconsin newspaper editor Marcus M. Pomeroy called Lincoln "fungus from the corrupt womb of bigotry and fanaticism" and a "worse tyrant and more inhuman butcher than has existed since the days of Nero... The man who votes for Lincoln now is a traitor and murderer... And if he is elected to misgovern for another four years, we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good." New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... The United States presidential election of 1864 saw Abraham Lincoln, the Republican running on a coalition ticket, win by a landslide over the Democratic candidate, George B. McClellan. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ...


Copperhead resistance

The Copperheads sometimes talked of violent resistance, and in some cases started to organize. They never actually made an organized attack, though. As war opponents, Copperheads were suspected of disloyalty, and Lincoln often had their leaders arrested and held for months in military prisons without trial. Probably the largest Copperhead group was the Knights of the Golden Circle; formed in Ohio in the 1850s, it became politicized in 1861. It reorganized as the Order of American Knights in 1863, and again, early in 1864, as the Order of the Sons of Liberty, with Clement L. Vallandigham as its commander. One leader, Harrison H. Dodd, advocated violent overthrow of the governments of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri in 1864. Democratic party leaders, and a Federal investigation, thwarted his conspiracy. In spite of this Copperhead setback, tensions remained high. The Charleston Riot took place in Illinois in March of 1864. Indiana Republicans then used the sensational revelation of an antiwar Copperhead conspiracy by elements of the Sons of Liberty to discredit Democrats in the 1864 House elections. The military trial of Lambdin P. Milligan and other Sons of Liberty revealed plans to set free the Confederate prisoners held in the state. The culprits were sentenced to hang but the Supreme Court intervened in Ex parte Milligan, saying they should have received civilian trials. The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret society originally founded to promote Southern interests and prepare the way for annexation of a golden circle of territories in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean which would be included into the United States as southern or slave states. ... Clement Vallandigham Clement Laird Vallandigham (velan´digham, -gam) (July 29, 1820 – June 17, 1871) was an Ohio unionist of the Copperhead faction of anti-war, pro-Confederate Democrats during the American Civil War. ... For other uses, see Indiana (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Largest metro area Chicago Metropolitan Area Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (140,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The U.S. House election, 1864 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1864 which coincided with the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. ... Lambdin P. Milligan (March 24, 1812 – December 21, 1899) was a lawyer, farmer, and a leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle. ... The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym SCOTUS[1]) is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. ... Holding Suspension of habeas corpus is unconstitutional when civilian courts are still operating; the Constitution provided for suspension of habeas corpus only if civilian courts are actually forced closed. ...


Most Copperheads actively participated in politics. On May 1, 1863, former Congressman Vallandigham declared that the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free the blacks and enslave Southern whites. The Army then arrested him for declaring sympathy for the enemy. He was court-martialed and sentenced to imprisonment, but Lincoln commuted the sentence to banishment behind Confederate lines. The Democrats nevertheless nominated him for governor of Ohio in 1863; he campaigned from Canada but was defeated after an intense battle. He operated behind-the-scenes at the 1864 Democratic convention in Chicago; this convention adopted a largely Copperhead platform, but chose a pro-war presidential candidate, George B. McClellan. The contradiction severely weakened the chances to defeat Lincoln's reelection. is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... Commutation of sentence involves the reduction of legal penalties, especially of terms of imprisonment. ... Ohio Governors Ohio was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803. ... The 1864 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois. ... For the 1960s commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, see George McClellan (police commissioner). ...


Profile of the average member

The sentiments of Copperheads attracted Southerners who had settled north of the Ohio River, the poor, and merchants who had lost profitable Southern trade.[3] Copperheads did well in local and state elections in 1862, especially in New York, and won majorities in the legislatures of Illinois and Indiana.[3] Copperheads were most numerous in border areas, including southern parts of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana (in Missouri, comparable groups were avowed Confederates). The Copperhead coalition included many Irish American Catholics in eastern cities, mill towns and mining camps (especially in the Pennsylvania coal fields). They were also numerous in German Catholic areas of the Midwest, especially Wisconsin. View of Pittsburgh, the largest metropolitan area on the Ohio River, where the Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join at Point State Park to form the Ohio River Cincinnati, Ohio is a well known city along the Ohio River, historically known for its riverboats. ... This article is about 1862 . ... Irish population density in the United States, 1872. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the Midwestern region in the United States. ...


Historian Kenneth Stampp has captured the Copperhead spirit in his depiction of Congressman Daniel W. Voorhees of Indiana: Kenneth Milton Stampp (July 12, 1912 - ), Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley (1946-1983), is a celebrated historian of slavery, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction. ... Senator Daniel W. Voorhees Daniel Wolsey Voorhees (September 26, 1827 - April 10, 1897) was a lawyer and United States Senator from Indiana. ...

There was an earthy quality in Voorhees, "the tall sycamore of the Wabash." On the stump his hot temper, passionate partisanship, and stirring eloquence made an irresistible appeal to the western Democracy. His bitter cries against protective tariffs and national banks, his intense race prejudice, his suspicion of the eastern Yankee, his devotion to personal liberty, his defense of the Constitution and State's rights faithfully reflected the views of his constituents. Like other Jacksonian agrarians, he resented the political and economic revolution then in progress. Voorhees idealized a way of life which he thought was being destroyed by the current rulers of his country. His bold protests against these dangerous trends made him the idol of the Democracy of the Wabash Valley. [Stampp, p. 211]

Sycamore is a name applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. ... The Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana, showing the Main Street bridge, and the Amtrak station. ... States rights refers to the idea, in U.S. politics and constitutional law, that U.S. states possess certain rights and political powers in relation to the federal government. ... Jacksonian Democracy refers to the political philosophy of United States President Andrew Jackson and his supporters. ...

See also

Originally an actual mask made of dough, doughface is now a term used in a disparaging context for someone, especially a politician, who is pliable, moldable like dough. ... In the 19th century, the United States invented or developed a number of new methods for conducting American Election Campaigns. ... Link titleAnti-war Popular opposition to the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, was widespread. ... The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret society originally founded to promote Southern interests and prepare the way for annexation of a golden circle of territories in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean which would be included into the United States as southern or slave states. ... The Red Strings (Also Heroes of America) were a Southern society, equivalent to the more famous Copperheads, in the Confederacy during the American Civil War. ...

Notes

  1. ^ William A. Tidwell, April '65: Confederate Covert Action in the American Civil War. Kent State University Press. 1995. pp. 155-20.
  2. ^ McPherson p560
  3. ^ a b "A People & A Nation, A History of the United States" Norton, Katzman, Escot, Chudhacoff, Paterson, & Tuttle, editors, Vol I, Houghton Mifflin Co.: Boston, 2001, LCC# 81-84809, ISBN 0618005536, pp. 393-395.

References

  • Curry, Richard O. "Copperheadism and Continuity: the Anatomy of a Stereotype" Journal of Negro History (1972) 57(1): 29-36. online at JSTOR at most academic libraries.
  • Curry, Richard O. "The Union as it Was: a Critique of Recent Interpretations of the 'Copperheads.'" Civil War History 1967 13(1): 25-39. Online at JSTOR
  • George, Joseph, Jr. "'Abraham Africanus I': President Lincoln Through the Eyes of a Copperhead Editor." Civil War History 1968 14(3): 226-239. Online via JSTOR.
  • Gray, Wood. The Hidden Civil War: The Story of the Copperheads (1942), emphasizes treasonous activity
  • Klement, Frank L. The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960).
  • Klement, Frank L. The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War (1998)
  • Klement, Frank L. Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the North (1999)
  • Klement, Frank L. Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War (1984)
  • Milton, George F. Abraham Lincoln and the Fifth Column (1942)
  • Nevins, Allan. The War for the Union (4 vol 1959-1971), the standard scholarly history of wartime politics and society.
  • Silbey, Joel H. A Respectable Minority: The Democratic Party in the Civil War Era, 1860-1868 (1977)
  • Stampp, Kenneth M. Indiana Politics during the Civil War (1949)
  • Walsh, Justin E. "To Print the News and Raise Hell: Wilbur F. Storey's Chicago 'Times.'" Journalism Quarterly 1963 40(4): 497-510. online at JSTOR
  • Weber, Jennifer L. Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North (2006)
  • Wubben, Hubert H. Civil War Iowa and the Copperhead Movement (1980).

Joseph Allan Nevins (May 20, 1890 - March 5, 1971) was an educator, historian, and author and journalist. ...

External links

  • The Old Guard 1863-1867 is online at Making of America.
  • Ohio Copperhead History

  Results from FactBites:
 
Copperheads - an introduction - Citizendium (1382 words)
Copperheads reinterpreted this insult as a term of honor, and wore copper liberty-head coins as badges.
Probably the largest Copperhead group was the Knights of the Golden Circle; formed in Ohio in the 1850s it became politicized in 1861.
Indiana Republicans used the sensational revelation of an antiwar Copperhead conspiracy by elements of the Sons of Liberty to discredit Democrats in the 1864 House elections.
Copperheads (politics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1340 words)
The name Copperheads was given to them by their opponents the Republicans, probably derived from the venomous snake (the American copperhead) that strikes without warning — Copperheads reinterpreted this insult as a term of honor, and wore copper liberty-head coins as badges.
Copperheads nominally favored the Union but they strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists, and they demanded immediate peace and resisted the draft laws.
Probably the largest Copperhead group was the Knights of the Golden Circle; formed in Ohio in the 1850s it became politicized in 1861.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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