According to History.net, the civil war between the Republican Party (abolitionist states) and the Democrat Party (slave owning states) killed between 640,000 and 700,000 Americans. https://www.historynet.com/civil-war-casualties
The population of the country at that time, according to the 1860 census, was 31,443,322. That is an enormous figure, and dwarfs casualties during WW 2 as a percentage of the population. According to the World Atlas, this figure was 419, 440 from a population of 140 million.
So the Civil War was a big, big deal.
Interestingly, the events surrounding the election of 1864 – when Democratic Party candidate George McLellan faced off against the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln – are repeating themselves here in 2020.
Opposing Lincoln were antiwar Democrat Party forces embedded in the northern states, who were called Copperheads. The Copperheads wanted President Lincoln defeated so they could make an immediate compromise with the Confederate rebel leaders and end the abolition movement to free black slaves. The Copperheads were also called Peace Democrats, and many of them were simply anti-war, people who were opposed to the modernization of society represented by the Republicans, and who were essentially agrarians.
According to Wikipedia,
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 President Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the President as a tyrant destroying American republican values with despotic and arbitrary actions [sound familiar?].
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.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperhead_(politics)
In 1864, hatred of Lincoln was even more intense than the hatred of TRUMP. According to Wikipedia, quoting Mark Wahlgren Summers,
Copperhead newspapers were remarkable for their angry rhetoric. Wisconsin newspaper editor Marcus M. Pomeroy of the La Crosse Democrat referred to Lincoln as "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.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperhead_(politics)
TRUMP haters have compared him to Hitler, just as writers in 1864 compared Lincoln to Nero, who, interestingly, was accused of playing his fiddle while Rome burned. Sound familiar? If you’ve seen footage of the riots in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York, you can see American cities burning.
This dude drove down Manhattan streets in New York the other day, showing what has happened:
I personally don’t care what happens to stores owned by big multinational corporations, but if those were MY stores I’d be pretty pissed.
Mail-in Voting in 1864
But what is really interesting is that during the 1864 election mail-in balloting played a prominent role!
A fascinating Washington Post article (reprinted in Chron, so you don’t have to pay to read it) tells us what happened back then. A mail-in voting scam was perpetrated to shift votes to McLellan. According to the Post,
Traveling to Baltimore in the fall of 1864, Orville Wood had no way of knowing he would soon uncover the most elaborate election conspiracy in America's brief history.
Wood was a merchant from Clinton County in the most northeastern corner of New York. As a supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, he was tasked with visiting troops from his hometown to ‘look after the local ticket.’
New York legislators had only established the state's mail-in voting system in April with the intent of ensuring the suffrage of White troops battling the Confederate Army.
Troops from New York were allowed to authorize individuals back home to cast a vote on their behalf. Along with their mail-in ballots, troops would assign their power of attorney on slips that required four signatures: the voter's, the person authorized as a recipient, a witness to the signed affidavit and a fellow officer. These documents would be sealed in an envelope and shipped back home to be counted in the final vote. This was the process that Orville Wood intended to uphold, he would testify in court later. He quickly found out what a challenge that would be.
Wood arrived at Fort McHenry in Baltimore to visit with the 91st New York Regiment. There, an Army captain suggested that there had been some "checker playing" when it came to the gathering of soldiers' mail-in ballots. These suspicions of fraud were echoed when Wood visited wounded men at the Newton University Hospital. The rumors of wrongdoing led Wood to the office of Moses Ferry in Baltimore.
Ferry had been selected by New York Gov. Horatio Seymour to help oversee the voting process for New York's enlisted men. Seymour had vetoed the initial bill to establish mail-in voting and would go on to run against Ulysses S. Grant in the 1868 presidential election.
Wood masked his suspicions as he entered Ferry's office, portraying himself as a strong supporter of Lincoln's opponent, George McClellan. This was enough to gain Ferry's trust, he testified later.
Ferry told Wood that the votes from New York's 91st Regiment had already been tallied: 400 for McClellan and 11 for Lincoln.
Wood returned to the office later and, following Ferry's instructions, began forging signatures of the 16th New York Cavalry. Meanwhile, a clerk sat across the room signing ballots from the roster of names Wood had brought with him from home. Wood asked to personally deliver these fraudulent ballots, but Ferry said they would have to receive final approval from his colleague in Washington - Edward Donahue Jr.
Donahue soon arrived in Baltimore and met with Wood. It was revealed during this conversation that around 20 co-conspirators were already at work in D.C. to aid in the plot to deliver votes to McClellan. The following day Wood watched as Donahue and his crew formed a sort of assembly line, passing blank papers along to one another to be signed with the names of active enlisted men, wounded and dead soldiers, and officers who never existed.
“[...]Also discovered in Ferry's office was a list of around 400 names belonging to sick and wounded soldiers under treatment at a nearby hospital. In reference to the roster, Ferry joked, ‘Dead or alive, they all had cast a good vote.’
Ferry, Donahue, and their fellow conspirators found humor in their work. One accomplice mocked the outcry he expected from abolitionist newspapers following the corruption of the election. The men bragged about their past successes in fixing local elections back home.
Together, the men had shipped crates of fraudulent votes back to New York. But their scheme was over. Wood reported the operation to authorities. Ferry's office was searched, and on the morning of Oct. 27, 1864 - less than two weeks before the election - he and Donahue stood trial before a military commission.
Ferry offered a full confession that same day, even offering up the names of others involved in the scheme. Donahue proved more of a challenge.
Following the first day of the trial, a reporter for the New York Times wrote, ‘The honest electors of the state of New York have escaped an extensive and fearful fraud, a fraud in keeping with the proclivities of the party in whose behalf it was initiated, but one that, if unexposed might have subverted the honest will of the people and left the state and the nation at the mercy of those who would make peace with rebellion and fellowship with traitors.’
[...] In the months following Lincoln's victory – he won 221 electoral votes to McClellan's 21 – anti-abolitionist newspapers attacked his legitimacy, calling the trial another aspect of a conspiracy conducted by the president to ensure his reelection.”Dustin Waters, "Mail-in ballots were part of a plot to deny Lincoln reelection in 1864,", The Washington Post, reprinted in Chron.com at https://www.chron.com/news/article/Mail-in-ballots-were-part-of-a-plot-to-deny-15507606.php
Published 4:02 pm CDT, Saturday, August 22, 2020
Wow. The more things change, the more they stay the same! Perhaps this is one of the reasons TRUMP is so against mail-in voting, even though it happened 150 years ago. I think we’re in a lot better shape than we were back then, even with the USPS’s inefficiency, but we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a wild ride to November 3rd, and even beyond, because there’s likely to be lawsuits challenging the vote counts in many states, especially if the election is close.
Interestingly on February 17, 2020, the U.S. Postal Service filed a patent application for a secure blockchain voting system! The patent application was published on August 13, 2020. It says,
A voting system can use the security of blockchain and the mail to provide a reliable voting system. A registered voter receives a computer readable code in the mail and confirms identity and confirms correct ballot information in an election. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain.”http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=20200258338.PGNR.&OS=&RS=
Is the Post Office a Hopeless Mess?
Politico, no friend to TRUMP, posted an excellent article on the Post Office on August 20, 2020, “Five Myths about the Postal Crisis.” Among other things it says,
Congressional Democrats may well force a vote this weekend to give the Postal Service between $10 billion and $25 billion. They tried to do this in early March, as well, claiming that the agency was going to go broke due to a plunge in mail volume caused by COVID-19.
For his part, Trump last week said Democrats “want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.” And Trump said he wouldn’t let the USPS have the money.
Both sides are talking nonsense.
The Postal Service is cash flush. It has $13 billion in its Treasury account, more than it has had in years. The flood of parcels into the Post Office during COVID-19 has lifted the USPS’ third-quarter revenues higher than last year by $550 million. The CARES Act, signed by Trump in late March, also gave the agency an additional $10 billon borrowing line from the Treasury.”https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/20/5-myths-about-the-postal-crisis-399584
Perhaps we’re in better shape than we thought with mail-in balloting.