Cover image for Lincoln's critics : the Copperheads of the North
Lincoln's critics : the Copperheads of the North
Klement, Frank L.
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Publication Information:
Shippensburg, PA : White Mane Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxxvii, 261 pages ; 24 cm
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E458.8 .K68 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"Professor Frank Klement's writings forever changed how all students of the Civil War view President Abraham Lincoln's Northern critics based in the Democratic Party. Lincoln's Critics combines in one volume both Klement's final insights in his most recent articles, and the best of his earlier writings on this subject so important for understanding the American political process at its most stressed time."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Professor Frank L. Klement, a nationally recognized Civil War expert, taught history at Marquette University for more than thirty-five years

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Klement (1908^-94) was the premier historian of Lincoln's opponents in the North, dubbed Copperheads by Republicans to connote poisonousness and stealth. Klement corralled his major professional papers and some previously unpublished articles in this, his last book, to create "in essence, a Copperhead Bible." From delving in archives throughout Copperhead country--the Midwest, then called the Northwest--Klement came to see the Copperheads as victims of a bad rap. Virtually all Democrats, they had valid complaints about the war's devastating early effects on their region's economy and the Lincoln administration's abuse of Constitutional rights. Their fears about emancipation, though exacerbated by racism, were basically economic--workers, especially Irish and German immigrants, feared losing jobs to free blacks. Republican propaganda, backed up by military bullying, undermined the Copperheads' credibility, and their support dwindled when the Northwest economy changed from depression to boom as the war dragged on. Klement blamed nationalist mythologizing about Lincoln for obscuring the complicated truth about the Copperheads. Although not organized into a smooth, continuous narrative, these articles tell an utterly fascinating story. --Ray Olson

Choice Review

Prior to his death in 1994, Klement (emeritus, Marquette Univ.) prepared a final summary of his lifetime of research on the Civil War Copperheads of the Midwest. Largely constructed from previously published journal articles connected by introductory material and supplemented by unpublished work on Copperheads and the Catholic Church, Grangerism and Copperheadism, and Copperhead historiography, the volume serves two purposes. First, it provides the fullest statement of Klement's thesis that the Copperheads were conservative critics of wartime change, not traitors. Second, it furnishes insights into Klement's development as a scholar. Contributing to this goal is an excellent introductory chapter on Klement by Steven K. Rogstad. Although Joel Silbey's A Respectable Minority (CH, Oct'78) offers the best short introduction to Civil War era Democrats, libraries supporting courses in historiography as well as public libraries seeking a lively and accessible historical work on the Copperheads should consider this work. Upper-division undergraduates and above. P. F. Field; Ohio University

Table of Contents

Steven K. RogstadRonald P. Formisano and William G. ShadeFrank L. Klement
A Personal Note as a Prefacep. v
Acknowledgementsp. viii
Introductionp. ix
Part I A Case for Lincoln's Critics
I Copperheads in the Upper Midwest during the Civil War: Traitors, Politicians, or Dissenters?p. 3
II President Lincoln, the Civil War, and the Bill of Rightsp. 24
Part 2 Background of Dissent
III Economic Aspects of Middle Western Copperheadismp. 43
IV Middle Western Copperheadism and the Genesis of the Granger Movementp. 53
V Controversy Regarding the Copperheads
Section 1 "The Concept of Agrarian Radicalism"p. 64
Section 2 "Copperheadism, Grangerism, and Conflicting Contentions: A Rebuttal"p. 82
Part 3 Democrats as Copperheads and Critics
VI Catholics as Copperheads during the Civil Warp. 93
VII Midwestern Opposition to President Lincoln's Emancipation Policyp. 109
VIII Ohio Politics in 1863p. 118
IX "Brick" Pomeroy: Copperhead and Curmudgeonp. 135
Part 4 Rewriting Copperhead History
X Civil War Politics, Nationalism, and Postwar Mythsp. 149
XI Nationalism and the Writing of Civil War History: An Essay in Historiographyp. 164
XII In Retrospect and Morep. 175
Notesp. 184
Frank L. Klement Bibliographyp. 239
Indexp. 252