Letter #19 – OCTOBER 2, 1864  

This letter reflects the profound political disagreement in voters' attitudes to Lincoln. It also explains how the northern supporters of slavery are still willing to get freed slave to substitute for them in the draft. There is a revealing final paragraph crossed out but clearly legible. It appears to reflect TJ's worst fears as the war continued namely that England and France would see a failure to reelect Lincoln as justification for moving to support the south and thus perpetuating slavery.


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But I hope we are safe in the assurence of the reelection of Abrm Lincoln and persevering in restoring our union by antislavery war and the abolition of human bondage here for ever. We are making every possible effort to insure success. Last night the Lincoln men had a torch light procession here in Reading. It was more than 2 miles long and a grand turnout. Two hundred men belonging to a Lincoln club in Philadelphia came up by extra train and joined us in it. Meetings, speech making and all the hub hub & holabaloo of electioneering is going on all over the north. The proslavery speakers are abusing and belying President Lincoln in the most vulgar and blackgard style. I have heard many of them declare he is a far greater tyrant than King Charles 1st of England ever was, and that he ought to be hanged in the same rope that hung John Brown. All this vituperation, slander, and abuse is heaped upon Abrm Lincoln for interfering with the institution of slavery, although it is as plain as the noonday sun that slavery caused the rebellion and was the main strength and support of the rebells. But our genuine copperhead will never forgive Abrm Lincoln for proclaiming freedom to the slaves and arming them against their rebel masters; and yet, when a copperhead is drafted, or even to avoid the draft, he is very willing to hire a "nigger" to go and fight in his place. Our county of Berks is about 3/4 copperheads. They always hold every office among themselves that is in the gift of the people of the county. In the last draft 500,000 men the quota of our county was as soon as they found they must raise the men or submit to a draft, they appointed

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two copperheads as commissioners, and send them down in to the rear of our armies to enlist enough of the freed slaves to fill our entire quota, also authorizing them to give 300 dollars bounty to every blackman they could get untill our quota was filled, the county paying the money by tax on real estate. Such are the sneaking cowards that compose the northern proslavery party. But they were too late. The quick antislavery men of the eastern states had secured every able bodied black substitute to be had, and given them 5 to 600 dollars a man bounty. So our "nigger" haters had to come back and give 525 dollars a head for white men here. The U.S. gives 100 dollars in addition. Making 625 dollars bounty, & that too only for a years service. This with 15 dollars a month pay, and all clothing & food found, is equal to ten shillings a day English, & found in every thing. Do you think we are not able to make war when we can pay a million of men in that splendid style? for fighting for their own freedom I have heard of 25 hundred dollars being given in New York for 3 year substitutes ___. I must close this letter now.

[All following was crossed out with X's]

But I want you to write to me immediately. As soon as possible, and say if I am right in my conjecture, that if we of the north should elect a bitter proslavery president and return to a most cruel proslavery national policy; your tories, your rich haters of America and its free institutions, will then be entirely free to aid our rebels as much as they like, and, their being no longer a public opinion in our favor to restrain them, the governments of England, France & other nations will recognize the Southern Confederacy and forcibly intervene to desolve our union and break up the United States. I will pay the postage of your letter & I want it for my own guidence. Remember me kindly to your Father & all old friends.

Yours affectionately
Thomas Jackson


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