Lincoln Discussion Symposium
VP Beast Butler? - Printable Version

+- Lincoln Discussion Symposium (
+-- Forum: Lincoln Discussion Symposium (/forum-1.html)
+--- Forum: Abraham Lincoln - The White House Years (/forum-3.html)
+--- Thread: VP Beast Butler? (/thread-1988.html)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

RE: VP Beast Butler? - LincolnToddFan - 12-28-2014 02:28 PM

[What could our forefathers have done pre-1860 to prevent the Civil War]// quote

The late, great Southern historian Shelby Foote opined that the Civil War was a tragic result of the American failure at the art of compromise, which is something that had been an exceptionally American talent before 1860-1861.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Thomas Thorne - 12-28-2014 03:12 PM

(12-28-2014 02:10 PM)L Verge Wrote:  Could compensation for emancipation/manumission (what's the difference between those two terms?) have turned the tide?

Emancipation is government action which frees slaves. Manumission is the act of private persons freeing one or more of their own slaves.

The South was incapable of freeing its slaves in 1861 because it could not imagine any other technique than slavery to ensure subordination of African Americans. The alternative was freed slaves or rebellious slaves destroying Southern civilization. What made John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry so frightening was that it reinforced the prevalent Dixie paranoia enshrined in Jefferson's quote "we have a wolf by the ears and dare not let go."


RE: VP Beast Butler? - L Verge - 12-28-2014 07:25 PM

Congratulations, Tom, you passed my quiz on emancipation vs. manumission. In Maryland, citizens had to file manumission papers for the slaves that were emancipated. Isaac Surratt came home from the war in time to assist Anna with that part of the
mess that had been dropped in her lap. They also acquired an administrator to take care of other difficult estate matters.

I'm not sure that I would use "Dixie paranoia" to explain decades of incidents such as Nat Turner's Rebellion and other lesser insurrections that had plagued the South. I can understand the frustration and anger from one side, but also feel the fear of death or poverty on the other. I suspect that I would have the same feelings upon hearing of Nat Turner or John Brown as I feel now when I turn on the news and see the continuation of Ferguson and other areas. How do we make it stop before it gets totally out of control?

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Hess1865 - 12-28-2014 10:01 PM

To get back to Butler, about 25 years ago I read a bio about him called 'Stormy Petrel'.
While reading about his rule of New Orleans, a line said that Butler had closed 'all the whipping houses'.

Whipping houses???

I had never heard of such a thing, so I immediately had to look it up.
Now of course this was before the internet, and I had to hit the local library, where I found the answer.

A 'whipping house' was basically an establishment where, if you were too old and infirm, or faint of heart, you would send your misbehaving slave(s) and pay someone there to whip them for you!!!!!


I can't begin to believe places like this actually existed!
And what kind of sadist sicko would do this for a living???
I'm not trying to stir things up here more than it already is, but I'd appreciate more knowledge about these 'whipping houses'.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - HerbS - 12-29-2014 08:32 AM

Another example of Man's inhumanity to man!Put your seatbelts on,and your landing gear down.We have gone through a very un-civil,Civil War,and it still exists today!Racism at it's best!

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Wild Bill - 12-29-2014 10:12 AM

Allowing other to whip slaves was quite common in the South. If there were no whipping houses the local sheriff was charged with the task. The notion was that the man wielding the whip has no concern for the slaves and thus laid the strips well on. It also absolved the slave owner of any responsibility. There is always someone available for such dirty work throughout history, regardless of the cause, as Herb points out.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - HerbS - 12-29-2014 10:50 AM

The question that I have had[for years].Why would you dammage your own$$$$property?Hey,they paid big bucks for slaves!

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Wild Bill - 12-29-2014 11:46 AM

Depended on the owner. Slave owners were really against the nightly slave patrols punishing their slaves. These were made up of nonslaveholders and brutal in their treatment of slaves out without a pass. Slaveholder could sue in court for "property damages," which included cases or rape.

Sometimes discipline in the group was maintained by the sacrifice of a single malefactor. In Charleston, slaves were punished by forcing them to walk a treadmill for hours, sparing the bloodshed associated with the whip. But usually the master or overseer just strung the offender up by the wrists and beat them bloody. It doesn't take many blows before one's laid raw, especially if a cat 'o nine tails is used. Read Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast.

Remember that the US Navy used such devices, as did the army, the merchant marine, freighting companies out West--it was a different time. Civil War soldiers were broken to command by stringing them up by their thumbs, tying them to a spare wagon wheel on the rear of a caisson (and turning the wheel 90 degrees to really inflict pain), tying a stick under their knees with the wrists being tied in place to hold the whole rig together, and such. These were real torture devices deemed legal under the law, military or civilian. Diane Feinstein would positively bust a gut over this stuff. Waterboarding was used against guerrillas in the Philippines in the early 1900s. Read Bruce Catton's trilogy on the Army of the Potomac for a lot of these.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - HerbS - 12-29-2014 02:29 PM

Thanks Wild Bill and My name is Kate,I think that severe punishment and discipline is truely a learned mis-behavior!

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Wild Bill - 12-29-2014 06:04 PM

If I remember the army patrol tied John Lloyd up by his thumbs to get him to talk about Booth and all he knew about Mrs Surratt, etc.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Gene C - 12-29-2014 06:59 PM

Do you remember where you read that?

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Hess1865 - 12-29-2014 07:07 PM

Thanks Wild Bill and others for informing me more about the horrors of the whipping houses.
This is one incredible forum!!

RE: VP Beast Butler? - RJNorton - 12-29-2014 07:08 PM

Gene, one source is p. 133 of Bettie Trindal's biography of Mary Surratt. Her footnote is David Rankin Barbee, "The Murder of Mrs. Surratt," a paper presented at the Emerson Institute, 25 February 1950. The David Rankin Barbee Collection, Georgetown University Library, Washington, DC.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - L Verge - 12-29-2014 07:40 PM

That had been local lore as long as I can remember, but I always heard that they threatened to do that to Lloyd - not sure that the threat was given even a chance of being carried out. Barbee's Papers are impressive, but he was definitely of the first-half of the 20th century thinking on the innocence of poor Mrs. Surratt. At one point, he even claimed that Booth and Herold did not come even close to the Surratt House, choosing a route that would take them closer to the county seat of Upper Marlboro - and farther away from the Potomac River.

RE: VP Beast Butler? - Thomas Thorne - 12-30-2014 01:26 AM

Re John Lloyd, I hope the new John Surratt bio alluded to in a new thread will address JHS's complete failure to even mention the name "John Lloyd " at the Rockville and other lectures in 1870. Surratt taunted Weichmann for betrayal of their friendship,matricide,cowardice and even threw in inability to ride or shoot. Probably only time constraints prevented him ripping Weichmann for not paying his cable bill.

Yet John Lloyd, the most damaging witness against his mom, total silence. We know the defense sought to discredit Lloyd as an unreliable drunk but they never claimed he was tortured and they never claimed he lied. I believe John Surratt knew Lloyd had secrets not worth rubbing his old tenant the wrong way. In 1870 the government still had some arrows in their legal quiver that could be fired at a too reckless John Surratt.