Letter #18 – SEPTEMBER 28, 1864  

Thomas Jackson's mind is on elections and that sets him off on an extensive rant against supporters of the "copperhead proslavery party" who "evade all responsibility for their baseness by charging all the terrible results of their treason, the war, battles, bloodshed . . . upon the administration of the government they rebelled against"


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Reading, October 11th. P.S. I commenced this letter 2 weeks ago and have written it just as I could spare time. Perhaps it is not worth publication unless as showing the rambling ideas of one who resides in this troubled republic!

It is election day here. We are all voting for State Officers today. (We vote for president a month hence.) Myself, my two sons, and every voter in my employ vote the "freedom and union ticket" There has been much speechifying on both sides. The copperhead proslavery party have lied far more defiently, impudently and outragously than I have ever heard them before.

You would naturally think that the party who were put in power, by honest,but simple and ignorant mens votes 8 years ago, and then proved the vilest traitors history tells of, winding up at the end of their 4 years term of office by betraying the whole military and naval and financial resourses and property of our national government directly into the hands of its worst enemies and freedom's worst foes, would not have the cheek, the brazened hardihood, to come forward and ask the people to put them into power again & place confidence in them just as if they had always been the most honest men and purest patriots in the world. But they do. And worse yet. Like the running robber crying,"Stop theif" they coolly . . .

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evade all responsibility for their baseness by charging all the terrible results of their treason, the war, battles, bloodshed and losses of the rebellion upon the administration of the government they rebelled against and upon which they themselves first made war, forcing it to fight in self defense or be overthrown.

Last night I heard a proslavery lawyer make a speech against the "Abolition administration" (as he called it) of Abe Lincoln, in which he read a paper telling the price of meat, bread, butter, sugar, coffee, calico etc before the war & what it is now, and then boldly charged "Abe Lincoln and the Abolitionists" with causing the whole of the advanced cost and putting ruinous taxes as well. He said not a word about his own party being in power, and encouraging the rebels when the war began and for 4 months after.

Sometimes I think it impossible for these rascals to get the government into their hands again, notwithstanding they are all preaching "peace and union". Then I think there is no telling the influence that cowardice & averice may have over the prudence and common sense of many men. Then I think that it may happen that I shall come back to my native land in my old age as poor as I left it in my youth. But if it ever should be so, rest assured that the rankest tory in England would be,

Yours affectionately.
T. Jackson

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As noted in Letter #13, these two pages may be part of the above letter but we have no evidence to confirm that, so here we deal with them as if part of a separate letter.

Reading such strong opinions from Thomas Jackson about contemporary politics makes us wonder whether his employees had any option but to agree with him and announce that they too were members of the "freedom and union" ticket! It would be interesting to know if he employed any "negroes"

It is noteworthy that Thomas Jackson attended a speech by someone whose views were totally different from his own. We wonder whether he did not know in advance what he was getting into (doubtful); or whether he went with the intent of challenging the speaker (more likely in public meetings in those days?); or whether that generation was more willing to at least listen to both sides of the issue, unlike the situation that appears to exist in USA today.

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