28 thoughts on “The 1868 Presidential Election

  1. wgdavis October 27, 2012 / 5:54 am

    Almost amazing that someone of Seymour’s politics still existed in the north. Gads, still opposing civil rights for Freedmen!

    No question, the hero of the war gets my vote. Put it down to my 1/4″ wide liberal streak. 😉

  2. John Foskett October 27, 2012 / 8:06 am

    Tough choice – the guy who won the war for the Union or a borderline traitor.

  3. SF Walker October 27, 2012 / 8:50 am

    I chose U.S. Grant. The moderate form of Reconstruction under Andrew Johnson wasn’t sufficient to protect black or white voters in the South and the expungement of the prominent Rebels responsible for secession and the war left them an avenue to return to power in their states. Even if Seymour had won, Congress would still have been dominated by the Radical Republicans. It’s questionable whether he’d have been able to implement his version of Reconstruction.

  4. Al Mackey October 27, 2012 / 9:12 am

    No brainer. The Man Who Saved the Union.

      • Brad October 27, 2012 / 3:27 pm

        Seymour did that? Yes, that’s right, another traitor like most of your ilk.

      • Al Mackey October 27, 2012 / 4:03 pm

        Lee? No, he’s not on the ballot.

        • PalmettoPatriot October 28, 2012 / 8:01 am

          Fighting a defensive war can not be viewed in the same way as fighting an offensive one. For example, if the Tibetans are attacked by the Chinese and fight back, the deaths from such a war are on the heads of the Chinese because they are the aggressors. Since the US was clearly the aggressor by invading VA and the South, initiating a war to prevent the South’s independence, the half a million or so deaths’ from that war are on the heads of the US leaders and military commanders. Grant, as one of their leaders, bears a great deal of the responsibility for the deaths, rapes, plunder and destruction inflicted upon vast numbers of people.

          • John Foskett October 28, 2012 / 9:39 am

            On the other hand, having to put down an illegal rebellion after the rebels have attacked a U.S. military installation and seized it means that the blood is on the hands of those who threw the first punch. And that covers more than just the deaths, rapes, plunder, and destruction inflicted during the invasions of Kentucky, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

          • PalmettoPatriot October 28, 2012 / 10:11 pm

            ‘Illegal rebellion.’

            I notice that in 2014 Scotland is going to vote on secession from the UK. The London government is permitting the Scots this option, behaving in a far more civilised manner than the DC government, which preferred to kill Southerners than allow them to be independent. Meanwhile, I notice that Italy and Spain are taking the Lincolnite position of refusing to allow the Venetians and Basques, respectively, the right of self-determination. I can only assume that Madrid and Rome, much like DC, would rather mass slaughter Venetians and Basques than allow them the right to be independent.

            lol… And (a dwindling number of) people call this disgusting regime ‘the land of the free.’ lol What a sad, pathetic joke.

          • Al Mackey October 29, 2012 / 6:28 am

            Interesting to hear yelping for self-determination from someone defending the right to own slaves. Apparently black southerners don’t enter into your definition of “southerners.”

          • Brad October 29, 2012 / 4:18 pm

            It’s bad enough that you know nothing of American history but now you opine on Spanish history on which you obviously know less than nothing, including the currents that run through Spanish history of separatism vs maintaining a country together. You might want to start with reading about La Reconquista and the struggle to unite the country.

          • rcocean October 28, 2012 / 11:00 am

            Last time I looked the South started the war by attacking Fort Sumter. And of course, invading Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky is a funny way to fight a “defensive war”. You also ignore the fact that Jeff Davis and his “Confederacy” were not a legitimate, elected, government and had no right to coerce and murder Southern Unionists or the loyal citizens of East Tennessee and West Virginia, or wage on the US Government. So, not my friend, the Southern power elite got what it deserved.

          • PalmettoPatriot October 28, 2012 / 10:17 pm

            Can I ‘attack’ a piece of my property occupied by a stranger? Can South Carolina ‘attack’ an island in the SC harbour of Charleston, land that belonged to SC when she unwisely acceded to the ‘Union’ – land which reverted to her control once she seceded from that failed ‘Union’? No.

            This is a very weak argument on the part of forced-Unionists/ anti-self-determinists.

            It’s sad that you would defend the killing of half a million people on these pathetic grounds.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 28, 2012 / 10:23 pm

            Hey, PP, while we have you here telling us about how bad it is to kill people … how come you were so quiet when your buddy Pat Hines talked about killing innocent children?

            Did you think we were going to forget that Hines and you are friends? Is the southern nationalism you preach to be advanced through the slaughter of innocents?

          • Al Mackey October 29, 2012 / 6:30 am

            South Carolina gave up all claim to Fort Sumter so the claim that it reverted to her control is pure baloney, which makes your entire post invalid.

          • Mike Musick October 29, 2012 / 10:16 am

            Just a footnote: Fort Sumter was not built on an island in Charleston harbor. Rather, it was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which dumped 70,000 tons of New England granite on a sandbar to serve as the base for the fortification it then constructed.

          • Jimmy Dick October 28, 2012 / 11:30 am

            Bottom line is that the southern states rebelled against the legal government in Washington DC. The Constitution spells it out that the government has the authority to put down insurrection. Blaming Grant has no merit when it was the secessionists in the South who caused the war. Personally, I understand why after four hard years of bitter war, the terms were pretty generous at Appotmatox, but I would not have blamed the US government for hanging some selected secessionists. It would have been counterproductive in the short term, but after seeing what occurred during Reconstruction it would have been extremely productive in the long term.

          • Al Mackey October 29, 2012 / 6:24 am

            “Fighting a defensive war can not be viewed in the same way as fighting an offensive one”
            Inherent in a nation’s right to self-defense is the right to put down treason, so yes, the Federals were fighting a defensive war in that they were defending the United States against a massive treason movement.

            “the US was clearly the aggressor by invading VA and the South,.”
            Apparently you’ve never heard of Fort Sumter.

            Grant was the one who prevented R. E. Lee’s trial for treason.

        • John Foskett October 28, 2012 / 8:08 am

          And most of the ones Saint Bobby killed were his own.

          • Brad October 28, 2012 / 1:19 pm

            C’mon, let’s not let the facts get in the way.

  5. Noma October 27, 2012 / 5:14 pm

    The only person to run for president on the “Let Us Have Peace” platform. Plus, the man who wanted to implement a Marshall Plan to save the South. Is there any way that could have succeeded — especially if it included complete protection of civil rights for African Americans? At least he tried, and tried very hard.

  6. Louis October 27, 2012 / 8:26 pm

    Grant – my opinion of him as a president much higher than when I was in college. He was not a raging success but at least his heart was in the right place. Hard to say that about Seymour.

    • Bummer October 28, 2012 / 11:38 am

      My wife and I moved to a very small North-Midwestern town fifteen months ago. We were both raised in Southern California and the furious pace of business, travel, raising and educating our children left little time for self realization or reflecting on the heritage that our ancestors had bequeathed us.

      Our new community and life style is so refreshing. The town folk wave, smile and go to church on Sundays. The big event in town is high school sports and an antique tractor parade. Living life, as it comes and basic subsistence is the norm. Patriotism is an underlying truism in our new environment. People rely on a basic common sense, truth and experience in making business and political decision. These folks make up their own minds regardless of popular thought or opinion. This local mindset easily reminds me of the Civil War era, when victorious leaders were more concerned with goals, results and success.


      “I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.”

      William Tecumseh Sherman

  7. rcocean October 28, 2012 / 11:07 am

    Sadly, no one in 1868 really wanted to make the tough long-term decisions necessary to make Reconstruction work. Grant was probably the best we could do then.

    • SF Walker October 29, 2012 / 5:43 am

      That’s true. I think the Radical Republicans, for all the flak they take today for their harsh policies, may have understood the mindset of the defeated South better than anyone else.

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