Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

. (page 33 of 56)
Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 33 of 56)
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"The Herald of Sunday published a most preposterous account
of what it terms 'a brilliant o\'ation' given to D. A. Mahony in this
city last Saturday evening on his return from prison. No one who
was in the city then and saw what occurred could read its stilted
description without laughing at its absurd falsehoods." — (Times,
November 18, 1862.)

"The Democrats of Dubuque county, like Democrats everywhere,
who have contended for the 'Constitution as it is and the Union as
it was,' have been called traitors because they favored the suppres-
sion of the rebellion by legal and constitutional means. The charge
of treason is now applied to men who seek to uphold laws. They
who apply the name traitor boast that it has been their effort for
sixteen years to destroy this government. To this school belong
the leaders of the Abolition party in Iowa and to this class belong
the men who in darkness and secrecy caused your arrest. The news
of your arrest struck the people with astonishment. What was the
specific charge? Where were the affidavits? Did anyone ever
know who made the affidavits? I never did, except as a vague
rumor." — (Judge Wilson in welcoming speech.)

"I am come back, fellow-citizens, more than ever devoted to the
principles for the advocacy of which I was incarcerated. I am
come back resolved to adhere to them and advocate them. I told





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them at Wasliington that they should hear from me and they said
they expected to. In due time they shall." — (Mahony in his reply
to welcoming speech. )

"The reception speech was delivered by Judge Wilson. As he
embraced this occasion for throwing off the mask which he wore
before the election, and by which many loyal voters were induced
to vote for him, we shall notice it further." — (Times, November
18, 1862.)

Again in November, 1862, was draft threatened; the return of
Mahony and the disloyal speeches of such men as Judge Wilson
threw a damper on enlistments.

' Late in November, 1862, the Times demanded the suppression of
the Herald upon the following grounds : i. That it was preparing
for a practical demonstration of treason; 2, that it would induce
Democratic party followers to rise in mob resistance to the draft
and the war tax; 3, that if allowed to continue it would bring
about the same state of things witnessed in Pennsylvania and Wis-
consin. The Herald denied all this charge.

The report of the hospital at Camp Franklin from September 18
to November 30, 1862, showed that the whole number admitted
was 193; returned to duty, 163; furloughed convalescent, 7; dis-
charged, i; died, 8: remaining in the hospital, 24. Typhoid, bil-
ious and lung fevers prevailed. Men of the Twenty-first, Twenty-
seventh, Thirty-second and Thirty-eighth regiments suffered most.

In December Mr. Mahony addressed a four-column article to
President Lincoln, giving his views on the conduct of the war; it
failed to convince the Administration that it should change its
policy. The Thirty-eighth Regiment, Colonel Hughes, left for the
front December 1 5 ; they made a fine appearance as they marched
tlirough the streets. One of the barracks at Camp Franklin burned
in December ; part of the Forty-second Regiment saved the others.
Late in December the Silver Greys were on furlough. The Forty-
second and the Irish regiment were consolidated; O'Brien of the
latter became lieutenant colonel. General Vandever was here for
the holidays and was serenaded. The Ladies' Aid Society gave
the soldiers at Camp Franklin a splendid dinner on Christmas,
1862; turkeys, pies, cakes, fruit galore.

"Another Compliment. — Two companies of the Thirty-eighth
marched by our ofifice in good style yesterday and, while passing,
their band (a good one, by the way) played Dixie in a very credit-
able manner. At the expense of being called a Secesh, Butternut,
Copperhead or Dimmycrat, we must solemnly avow that we know
of no tune when properly played that so soothes our savage breast as
does Dixie, and we don't care who knows it — except the U. S.
marshal." — (Herald, December 13, 1862.)

"We believe that he (Lincoln) has violated the most solemn of
all oaths over and over again. We believe that for the purpose of


giving liberty to the slave he has enthralled the freemen and while
life lasts and our present convictions are retained, we will oppose
him and counsel opposition to the bitter end. Wliat right has he
to play the usurper over men as free as he ? What right has he to
burden the country with an ever-eating, never-satisfying debt? What
right has he to destroy the nation as he has and then proceed to
render it forever abject as he does. The people who submit to the
insolent fanaticism which dictated this last act (emancipation proc-
lamation) are and deserve to be enslaved to the class which Abra-
ham Lincoln self-sufficiently declares free. If they possessed a
tithe of the spirit which animated Rome when Catiline was expelled
from its walls, or of their own immediate ancestry who went to
war for an act which seemed to encroach upon their liberties, they
would hurl him into the Potomac, Cabinet, Congress and all." —
{Herald, January 3. 1863.) On J^inuary 6 Mahony spoke of Lin-
coln as "a brainless tyrant, a perjured public servant, a blundering
partisan, a buffoon President."

The Herald continually misunderstood and misconstrued the ob-
jects of the war, if its statements are to be believed. At all times
it insisted that the object was to free the slaves and establish a
despotism, that "save the Union" was a mere pretext ; that the freed
slaves would be poured on the North to the ruin of free white
labor: that tlie freed slaves would be used by the Federal officers
to aid them in stealing the cotton of the South. The fact or the
northern view seems never to have entered Mr. Mahony's head, or
else he was playing the cards for the Secessionists living in this
county. He said "emancipation and re-Union are incompatible
objects of the war; he who is for emancipation must be for dis-
union, for emancipation is dis-Union with the South. As the
South can never be conquered the war should stop." He resumed
connection with the Herald January i, 1863, and said:

"I shall continue to advocate the application of constitutional
principles to the administration of the government, not only with a
fervor unabated by my temporary subjection to arbitrary power but
with a zeal stimulated with a zealous regard for American liberty,
by the experience which I have acquired, by how easy it is to subvert
the best government of nations and to subject millions of freemen
to the outrages of a military despotism.

The Dubuque Times of yesterday announces, probably by au-
thority, that Governor Kirkwood has decided not to enforce the
draft. The results elsewhere attending this 'vindication of go\-
ernment authority' have not been so encouraging as to enamor
his excellency with the system, and so we go free. The 'exempt
brigade' can burn up their tickets of physical debility and inability:
they are not wanted. The war is getting to be a little unpopular
ami the draft unhealthy." — {Herald, January 8, 1863.)

Seventeen privates of the defunct Irish regiment applied for


release from further military duty and asked for writs of habeas
corpus to Judge Hempstead, which were granted. As they had
been mustered into the service of the United States government,
they were remanded back by Captain Byrnes to the service for
tliree years or during the war.

The barracks at Camp Franklin were sold at auction for $1,564
in January, 1863. Believing from the start that the war was
waged for the purpose of destroying slavery, Mahony said, January
10; "We have therefore given it no countenance, contributed to-
ward it no support." The Forty-second (Irish regiment) and the
Forty-third were merged into the Seventh cavalry regiment early
in 1863.

"Has not the proclamation of emancipation discouraged enlist-
ments? has it not demoralized the army? has it not united the
South to a man ? has it not disaffected the border states ? Is it not
the crowning act of Lincoln's folly?" — {Herald, January 18, 1863.)
"Camp Franklin is now desolate, not a solitary soldier inhabit-
ing a single barrack. The governor says that no more troops will
be rendezvoused in Dubuque, so notoriously secessional is the
character of its leading citizens. The governor does us proud by
clearing us of all charges of Abolitionism." — {Herald, January
16, 1863.)

Referring to Vallandingham's disloyal speech, Mr. Mahony said,
January 20, 1863 : "It is bold, logical, direct and positive. The peo-
ple think with him and were he prepared to lead would act with him
at the word. We must and will have speedy peace." This meant,
if anything, open and armed revolt against the administration.

"Train's Lecture Last Evening. — Globe Hall was well filled last
evening to listen to the lying renegade from Massachusetts. Rebel
sympathizers were there — men who have sons in the rebel army
were there — men who pray daily that our armies may be over-
thrown (the only prayers they ever make) were there — and all
of them applauded to the echo his infamous lies and treason. Ah,
well, let the poor fool lie and talk. If it were not for the sweet
pleasure it gives the Tories here we wouldn't care a fig for the
effect of last night's lecture." — {Times, January 20, 1863.)

In January, 1863, the Chicago Tribune called Mahony "the
Dubuque traitor: the spawn of a felon's cell." The Herald ridi-
culed the appointment of Herron to a major-generalship and said :
"His appointment is a suggestive commentary on the poverty-
stricken military ability which characterizes the Federal army."
Children of loyal parents sang during recess at the public schools
"John Brown," which act was objected to by disloyal parents.

"The record we have labored to make up is one of opposition to
the war — not a factious but a frank and conscientious opposition.
We did not believe that war could restore the Union of these states,"
said the Herald of February 18, 1863.


The Times declared on February 20, 1863, that the administra-
lion had just as much right to suppress a paper which was opposed
to it as it liad to spike a cannon of the enemy. The Herald asked
the citizens if they \vere wiUing to submit to such extinguishment
of the rights of free press.

The Herald and all disloyalists were so outspoken in February
that the Times and the Union men planned to secure here a branch
of the Loyal Leagtie. Such a company was organized at Cascade
early in 1863.

'Tn view of the disloyal and treasonable conspiracy against the
government of the United States, for its overthrow by its enemies,
and which is evidently fast developing itself throughout the North-
west, we whose names are hereunto subscribed do agree and fonn
ourselves into a company or association to be called the "Cascade
National Union Guard," to co-operate with like associations in this
state, for the protection of life, liberty and the Union, to hold in
check disloyal organizations, or any armed resistance to the laws,
and at all times to be under the control of the state of Iowa, to
organize, meet and drill after the manner of the state militia." Dr.
W. H. Francis was sponsor of this company. It was armed and
commanded by ex-soldiers.

"Our citizens do not know that in our county a secret society
has begun to ramify — that in our city it has its adherents and that
William L. Bradley is one of its instruments. They do not know
that an S. B. society has been started here under Abolition auspices
in Chicago and is rapidly spreading over the country. They think
that when we warn the people of the danger we are fools or alarm-
ists and fearful of our own shadow. We tell our readers that
there is danger in the very air and that this administration and
its minions, unable to conquer and devastate the South, are de-
termined to conquer and subjugate the honest Union loving,
patriotic masses of the North. Abolitionism is bent on mischief.
Do our readers want further proof? They shall have it." — (Her-
ald, February 24, 1863. )

A spy of the Herald reported that one night he saw Bissell,
Conger, Allison, Blocklinger, David, Shiras, Adams and others
steal out one by one from a secret meeting in old Turner Hall.
"What did it mean?" was asked. The branch of the Loyal League
was thus organized in this city and supplied with arms by the
authorities. This fact angered the disloyalists. The Herald ad-
\-ised caution and said : "We must be cautious in bringing them
within the operation of the laws, that we do no wrong; we must
meet them at the ballot box." This movement checked for a time
much of the disloyalty here. The Herald said the objects of this
society were to establish a military despotism. It was at this time
that the Herald and its friends began to be milder in their attacks
on the administration and less rabid in their strictures on the war.


Abolitionism was taken into the school elections and caused much

"We are glad that the proprietor and editor of the Times does
not misunderstand our position. That office is safe just so long
as is the Herald office undisturbed. We are assured by Mr. Stew-
art tiiat we are in no danger from mob violence. That is sufficient.
There will be no conflict between ourselves or our friends and the
friends of that establishment so long as our rights are respected."

— (Herald, February 25, 1863.) "There is danger in this society
and it should be met. The South is not subjugated and cannot
be, but the North is to be brought under the yoke. We believe if
the people could be aroused from their lethargy they would fling
off the brood which hover around and defile the sources of power."

— ( Same. )

On March 11, 1863, a large delegation of Republicans from
farther west in the state assembled here at the office of W. B.
Allison. The Herald took fright and declared "those midnight
gatherings of a lawless confraternity have no worthy object for a
stimulus. They are held to plot against the liberties of their polit-
ical opponents and unless we awaken in time to an appreciation
of our danger we shall find ourselves subjected to the merciless
tyranny of an organized mob. The S. B.'s of Fayette county
claim as the object of their existence the destruction of 'an organ-
ized conspiracy in Dubuque to revolutionize the government.' These
men have no knowledge of such an organization, for there is none.
They are making this the pretext for their organization simply
that they may be allowed to proceed without interference. The
society in this city meets almost niglitly. Whether it is yet in
possession of arms we do not know ; we are informed, however,
that it is. But preparations will not injure anybody and may
prove invaluable. We therefore advise a public meeting of the
Democracy called under the auspices of the Democratic club to con-
sider the steps proper to be taken for the formation of an open
day organization to defend ourselves against midnight conspirators
and would-be assassins." — (Herald, March 14, 1863.)

Early in 1861 Lieutenant Sessions, of Cedar Falls, in a speech
at the public park in Dubuque, called the Herald a secession sheet
and declared that the office ought to be mobbed. For this the
Herald denounced him through the Iowa State Journal as a cow-
ard for advising such an attack on a defenseless newspaper office.
On March 8, 1863, two years after the above event, the editor of
the Herald (local editor probably Armstrong or Hutchins) stopped
at a hotel in Cedar Falls and while there was approached by Lieu-
tenant Sessions, who demanded an explanation of the article in
the Journal. Not receiving a satisfactory explanation, he proceeded
with his fists to take revenge then and there. He struck the editor
several tiines in the face, bringing the blood, and a crowd rushed


in, shouting "Give it to him; he is a Secessionist." The editor was
pretty thoroughly cowed and was severely beaten to the evident
delight of the shouting crowd that had hastily gathered. About
the same time a squad of soldiers at Waterloo took an agent there
of the Dubuque Herald and ducked him repeatedly in the river to
show their distaste for that newspaper and for the alleged dis-
loyalty of the agent.

About this time there arose all over Iowa and the Northwest a
general demand from all persons actively and earnestly engaged
in putting down the rebellion that the course in opposition to the
prosecution of the war should cease in Dubuque, city and county.
The Herald, though still outspoken and apparently defiant, began
to modify its tones of severity and instead of howling as before
vented its wrath and hate in ominous growls.

On March i8, 1863, the Herald passed from the control of Stil-
son Hutchins to that of Patrick Robb, Esq. Mr. Hutchins and
Mr. Mahony took charge of the Philadelphia Journal.

At this time (early in 1863) tliere were several deserters in
this county and they were shielded by their relatives and neigh-
bors. When the officers approached, warnings were sounded. Lieu-
tenant Downey called for recruits for the Seventh regiment, where-
upon the Herald of March 4 said: "The business of obtaining
recruits is, however, 'played out' here just at present ; so we think
Lieutenant Downey will not be troubled with a very large muster
roll for some time to come." This open and manifest opposition
to enlistments was not lost upon the Times and the Union leaders.
The Herald, with Mahony, Hutchins and Armstrong, was the
strongest secession sheet in the state, if not in the West. All three
possessed unusual ability. Hutchins made a fortune of several
million dollars by 191 1.

Mr. Mahony published a book in April, 1863, entitled "Prisoners
of State," in which he related his experiences while confined in the
old capitol prison at Washington. The Copperheads here cut out
the heads of Liberty on the copper cents, made pins of them and
openly wore them — copper head. At an open meeting of the
Union League at Julien Theater on March 21, H. H. Heath, D. E.
Lyon, John O'Meara and G. Grosvenor delivered speeches. It was
at this time that many Democrats began to disapprove of the severe
course of the Herald and its supporters and sided with those who
favored a continuance of the war. The Herald received a setback
which was prol)ably the cause of the reorganization of its editorial
staff. Lieutenant-Colonel O'Brien sent seventy recruits to the
Seventh cavalry late in March.

"It has been very hard to impress upon a certain class of the
community a true conception of the designs of the party in power.
Plainly and unequivocally, readers of the Herald, its members are
determined either upon your subjugation or a revolution. What


else do you think that their midnight meetings betoken ? For what
other purpose are they being provided with arms? Now from the
hps of tlie governor we have the admission that such is a fact.
This was done, he said, 'because secret organizations of disloyal
men had banded together to inaugurate rebellion and civil war in
the state. If the citizens now refuse to heed our warning, abso-
lutely refuse to place themselves in a position of safety, they must
not reproacli us when tliey pay the penalty of their apathy. We
say to them, organize everywhere, organize in every school dis;
trict, no matter how few or many. We have done our duty. We
have placed before the people a knowledge of the dangers which
beset and threaten them." — (Herald, April 12, 1863.)

J. B. Dorr, Jesse Clement, Edward Langworthy, E. R. Shank-
land, H. Knowlton, Thomas Gilliam, D. Leonard, F. Hinds and
Colonel O'Brien and others went to Waterloo April 15, 1863, to
attend the formation of a Grand Union League of the state of

In April, 1863, the editors of the Herald, at the request of
several subscribers, ordered from New York eight Colt's revolvers
which were to be sent by the American Express. Upon their arrival
liere they were detained by J. B. Henion, collector of the port of
Dubuque, who apprised Mr. Hutchins. of the Herald, of what he
had done. The bo.x was marked "current funds," and Mr. Hutch-
ins was refused possession by order of the collector. Mr. Hutchins
wrote a formal note demanding to know the reasons for the de-
tention, and was answered that sucii was the order from the gov-
ernment, and the act containing such authority was cited and lan-
guage quoted — "until further orders no powder of any description
and no arms, large or small, will be permitted to pass into the
state of Iowa * * * except such as are moving under military
authority." The Herald accordingly said: "The arms were kept
from our possession by virtue of no law, but in express contra-
vention of law and. without employing force, we were and are
powerless. * * * fhe game is too transparent to win — too
bold to deceive any sensible man. Its purpose is to put the Demo-
cratic party at the mercy of armed Union Leagues. We saw at
Fairfield on Monday forty armed Union Leaguers drilling on the
public square. What does it portend ? We are no alarmist. Noth-
ing do we so much fear and desire to avoid as war at home. We
cannot stand still and be bound hand and foot. We zuill not!
Our only defense is to provide against outrage, and that we will
provide against it these men may be sure. Upon them will be the
responsibility of the assault; but when it comes, when we are
reduced to the alternative of the conflict or subjection, we shall
not hesitate in the choice. We can get arms in spite of them.
We advise all to provide for their security without delay, and in


the fear of God, biil not of man, we warn these conspirator"! \\.
cease their wicked efforts." — {Herald, April 26. 1863.)

According to Mahony tlie four acts of despotism were; i. Tax
bill ; 2, conscription bill ; 3, finance bill : 4, indemnity bill.

Late in April, 1863, the provost marshal at St. Genevieve. Mis-
souri, issued an order suppressing the Dubuque Herald at that
point. The order of General Hascall broke the hearts of the
Herald editors. They called it the "last act of the tragedy." All
disloyal newspapers were to be suppressed. The order said: "All
newspapers and public speakers that counsel or encourage resist-
ance to the conscription act, or any other law of Congress passed as
a war measure, or that endeavor to bring the war policy of the
government into disrepute, will be considered as having violated
the order above alluded to and treated accordinglv." The Herald
said: "If this order of Hascall's means anything it means that we
are now at his mercy. Because we take the risk of the action does
it render it less dangerous? We do talk to see if we cannot arouse
the people to action, in order that they may not be shot down like
dogs or driven like cattle."

The "death of civil liberty" was the arrest of Vallandingham
and his sentence to be sent .South, said the Herald savagelv and
bitterly. "We might as well speak plainly respecting this affair and
let the consequences which follow plain speaking follow this.
That the administration have the power to punish recusants we are
well aware and we refrain from sa3'ing a great many things we
are impelled to say because we do not wish to invite its attention
or the exercise of its arbitrary power. But there are times, how-
ever, when to fail to speak is criminal, and this is one of them.
A crime has been committed against the most vital right of the poor
and the rich, the humble and exalted — the right to think, to speak,
to live. When this thing is consummated then_j)lainly before the
American people does Abraham Lincoln stand — the murderer of
the nation. The plea of military or governmental necessity is a
flimsy screen which will command no respect. No necessity can
justify the monstrous outrage." — [Herald, May 15, 1863.)

"The Herald sustains the government, the Times does not. The
administration subverts the government, and the Times approves
of the subversion. The Herald makes a wide distinction between
the administration and the government — as wide as the difference
between Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution of the United
States. The Herald supports the Constitution against the despot-

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 33 of 56)