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VP Beast Butler?
10-21-2014, 02:14 PM
Post: #1
VP Beast Butler?
I had never heard that Gen. Benjamin F. Butler was considered a viable candidate for VP in 1864, but turned down the offer.

http://iowa.scout.com/story/1469439-the-...-war?s=155
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10-22-2014, 04:55 AM
Post: #2
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Laurie, in Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle For The 1864 Presidency, author John C. Waugh mentions this story. His opinion is that "there is no hard evidence that Lincoln made such an offer to Butler, either directly or indirectly...Lacking sufficient hard evidence, I have downplayed the affair in this narrative." Waugh does talk about some who wanted to dump Lincoln and make Butler president. He quotes one man saying, "In order to save the country you must make Old Ben Butler President."
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10-22-2014, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2014 06:21 PM by J. Beckert.)
Post: #3
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Butler's repulsive conduct during his occupation of New Orleans alone should have precluded him from holding public office. Or ever taking another breath as a free man again.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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10-22-2014, 01:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: VP Beast Butler?
I think he had probaly already writen off the southern vote. Confused

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-22-2014, 07:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: VP Beast Butler?
I wonder how many of the "conquered" Confederate states had Lincoln on the 1864 ballot?
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10-22-2014, 08:03 PM
Post: #6
RE: VP Beast Butler?
(10-22-2014 04:55 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Laurie, in Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle For The 1864 Presidency, author John C. Waugh mentions this story. His opinion is that "there is no hard evidence that Lincoln made such an offer to Butler, either directly or indirectly...Lacking sufficient hard evidence, I have downplayed the affair in this narrative." Waugh does talk about some who wanted to dump Lincoln and make Butler president. He quotes one man saying, "In order to save the country you must make Old Ben Butler President."

That book sounds interesting, thanks for the heads up Roger!Wink
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10-23-2014, 04:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: VP Beast Butler?
(10-22-2014 07:13 PM)L Verge Wrote:  I wonder how many of the "conquered" Confederate states had Lincoln on the 1864 ballot?
There's info here:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St...tion,_1864
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10-23-2014, 07:10 PM
Post: #8
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Butler was a total *****.
Ben Butler makes choosing Andrew Johnson for VP look like a genius move!
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12-01-2014, 11:33 PM
Post: #9
RE: VP Beast Butler?
(10-22-2014 11:34 AM)J. Beckert Wrote:  Butler's repulsive conduct during his occupation of New Orleans alone should have precluded him from holding public office. Or ever taking another breath as a free man again.

Does Benjamin Butler deserve this? More than anyone, his early order to treat escaped slaves seeking refuge with the Union army set the Lincoln administration on the path toward emancipation. His "woman order" in New Orleans was very controversial, to be sure. Some Confederate sympathizers interpreted it as an invitation to the rape of women accused of abusing Union soldiers. But did it actually lead to rape and violence against women in New Orleans or elsewhere? I don't believe so. It seems as though it was effective in curbing abuse of Union troops by women who thought they could act without retribution.
Here is an interesting piece on the Woman Order in the NYT Disunion blog: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...the-women/

Don H. Doyle, author of The Cause of All Nations: An International History of America's Civil War, Basic Books. https://www.facebook.com/causeofallnations
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12-02-2014, 06:50 AM
Post: #10
RE: VP Beast Butler?
From what I have heard about Butler,he was too much of a"loose cannon"to be a viable running candidate or otherwise!
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12-02-2014, 07:43 AM
Post: #11
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Lots of people in Louisiana paint pictures of Butler in the bottom of their chamber pots during the occupation
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12-02-2014, 07:50 AM
Post: #12
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Here's one such specimen:

   

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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12-02-2014, 09:48 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2014 10:18 AM by Don1946.)
Post: #13
RE: VP Beast Butler?
(12-02-2014 07:43 AM)Wild Bill Wrote:  Lots of people in Louisiana paint pictures of Butler in the bottom of their chamber pots during the occupation

So, shall we let the rebel population of Louisiana decide what we make of Butler? If some put Lincoln's image on a chamber pot, would that change our view of Lincoln?

The Confederates demonized Butler because of the Woman Order and, even more so I would assume, because of the confiscation order. In December 1862 Jefferson Davis raised the black flag against black Union soldiers and their white officers, and in that same proclamation he singled out Benjamin Butler and his fellow officers for summary execution. Butler's trumped up image as a violator of southern womanhood was used, effectively I would estimate, to arouse Confederate indignation at home, but also to appeal to the British pro-rebel press abroad. Butler became victim of a propaganda war.

That said, Butler may not have made a good choice for vice president.

Let's not forget that Andrew Johnson rose to fame as the governor of Tennessee who meted out harsh treatment of rebel citizens in Nashville. "Treason must be made odious," was his constant refrain. Butler, in truth, might have been more lenient in comparison.

By 1864, the rose water policy that guided Union invading forces earlier in the war had given way to what Sherman called the "hard hand of war." The aim was now to break the South's will to fight, to undermine civilian morale, to destroy the sources of support for the rebel army, and to punish the rebel South. It would take tough-minded generals like Butler and Sherman to do the job.

Don H. Doyle, author of The Cause of All Nations: An International History of America's Civil War, Basic Books. https://www.facebook.com/causeofallnations
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12-02-2014, 11:23 AM
Post: #14
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Should we allow Yankees or whatever era decide to make of Ben Butler? Like Don they overlook so much, rationalizing everything as ok because they supposedly won the war.

Well, sort of. After all, took until 1965 before the North finally manned up and passed the civil rights measures in voting and public accommodations that their cause demanded, led by a Southern traitor (what do you expect from a Texan?) who wanted, by his own admission, to guarantee that blacks would vote Democrat for the next 200 years. Sounds a lot like what Stanton and Thad Stevens and others wanted back then.

I think that Butler would have made a great Vice President as he typified so much of what went wrong after four years of war. But wars are that way. They solve many questions but raise so many others.

Let's take Andrew Johnson of "Treason must be made odious" fame. His big change in Lincoln's supposed plan of Reconstruction was to disfranchise all Southerners of $20,000 worth of property unless they applied for pardon. So they came and good ole Andrew forgave them and vetoed Congress' plans of Reconstruction (much like the laws of 1964 and 1965) in 1866. And so he rose from fame to infamy.

So there was hope for Ben Butler. Wait a minute--didn't he spent the 1872 election sitting as a visitor holding hands through the bars of a jail cell, which housed that paragon of feminine virtue and presidential candidate for the Women's Rights Party, the notorious prostitute and con-artist, Victoria Claflin Woodhull?

The necessary "hard hand of war" that Don glorifies so much is indeed what happened in the end. Mark Grimsley is the author of the Northern side of that one, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995). But there is another side, too, presented in Walter Brian Cisco, War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Gretna, La.: Pelican Publishing Company, 2007). The latter sounds a lot more like Ben Butler.

An old Louisiana tale is about the mother and daughter walking down the main street in Baton Rouge, looking in the store windows. Suddenly, the girl pulls on her mother’s dress and points at the store window. “Look, Ma, ain’t that our silverware?” Sure enough, they didn’t call ole Ben “Spoons” for nuttin’!

So Butler, a House manager of the impeachment effort against Andrew Johnson, who cried rage over the missing pages of John Wilkes Booth’s diary (“Who spoilt those pages?), who supposedly “saved” US Grant as president from the blackmail attempts of a lecherous woman (Grant having an affair? Come on now!), and who saved Lincoln and the Union in 1861 as a War Democrat from one of the more populous states in the Union because he commanded in 1858 the largest army ever assembled in a summer militia camp, was one of the most adept of what Mark Twain once called America’s only native criminal class, politicians. He was no general.

But Lincoln kept him on as a lousy political general until he won the election of 1864 and allowed Grant to sack him for bungling the initial attack on Ft. Fisher. Butler lacked the one thing he needed to become vice president—character. But he sure makes for a great subject in history class lecture.
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12-02-2014, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2014 12:26 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #15
RE: VP Beast Butler?
Interesting to note that the lady who wrote the article that Don posted (which I found quite interesting) is an associate professor of history at LSU. Isn't that where you attended Wild Bill? It's a small world after all.

Say, that reminds me of a song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jiaU0xbOKs

Big Grin

Neet photo BettyO. I've seen cereal bowls with pictures on the bottom like that, but not chamber pots. So much for that antique cereal bowl I've been eating my Frosted Flakes from. You can bet that I'll be eating them from a different bowl from now on.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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