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Author Topic: The Crisis of Sucession: 1865  (Read 3414 times)
Spamage
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« on: August 15, 2012, 08:13:24 pm »
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No, I haven’t forgotten about my other timeline which I’m taking a short break from. This timeline is centered on the POD of the Grants attending Ford theater on April 14th instead of quickly leaving the city. It ultimately develops into one of the most renowned assassinations that never was.




“General Grant?”

Ulysess S. Grant turns to see a young man walking towards him in the alley just outside of Ford’s theater where he decided to smoke a cigar as to catch some air while avoiding the large crowds around the city.
“Yes”
He responds slightly disappointed at being recognized.
“I just need a moment of your time, sir”
The man slowly begins getting too close for Grant’s comfort. Suddenly there is a sharp pain as he realizes the man has pulled a knife out. He falls to his knees. The young man continually stabs him until he reaches a total of 14 times. Ulysses “Sam” Grant slowly falls out of consciousness and is dead within moments.

Across town 2 other murders are taking shape.



Secretary of State Seward’s house is in total disarray while being raided by an unknown intruder. Fanny was pistol whipped and was knocked unconscious. Bell, the families African Servant was stabbed in the vertebrae, George Robinson and Augustus Seward were both killed brutally after trying to stop the man. Now however, there is no one to stop him. He beats Seward to a pulp and stabs him many, many times. Although there would be a chance at surviving Seward slowly bleeds to death as his family lies around him either dead or unconscious.



At the Kirkwood hotel Vice President Andrew Johnson is roused from his sleep within his hotel room. He was napping fully dressed and so takes little time to reach the door. Upon opening he sees a man, obviously drunk, holding a pistol which he slowly moves up and aims towards the Vice President’s head. He tries to cry out but noise escapes him. The last thing he hears is the sound of the gunshot and the last thing he sees in his killer standing over him.
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 09:08:51 pm »
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Cool stuff!
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 01:33:14 am »
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Cool stuff!
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Drink Too Much:
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=147022.0

An Empire of Stars and Stripes:

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=156974.0

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Endorsements:
President: Hillary Clinton
Governor: Brown (CA), Corbett (PA), Scott (FL)
House: Emken (CA)
Other: Rob McCoy (CA Assembly)

---------------------------------------

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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 05:43:48 pm »
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John Wilkes Booth felt as though fate was on his side. First the Lincolns had decided to go to Ford’s over Grover’s and now General Grant happened to be taking a smoke in the alley to the opposite side of where his horse was stored. Killing Grant had been easy enough. He didn’t have enough time to realize what was happening and begin to struggle. “Now”, he silently reassured himself “will come the end of the great tyrant and I shall become the most admired man of the South.” His thoughts drift to his escape as he heads closer and closer to the Presidential Box. Before he knows it he has arrived…….



Julia Grant was furious. First she was forced to go to the theater with the gossip Mary Lincoln and now she was stuck here all alone while Ulysses insisted on getting some air. Now that she thought about it he had been gone quite a while. Maybe she ought to go find him. “I’ll be back” she told Lincolns before silently getting up and walking towards the door. As she neared it she had a sudden feeling that she should stay in the box. She shrugged it off however and quickly exited the room eager for a break from the play.



As Booth neared the door it suddenly opened. Julia Grant was going somewhere. Presumably to find her husband. If she did then the plan would come crashing down. Moving out of the shadows he slowly creeps behind Mrs. Grant and just before she leaves the dark hallway he stabs her many times not thinking clearly while doing so. She just lets out a muffled cry and is knocked unconscious or possibly dead. Booth doesn’t have time for such issues and quickly abandons her body hoping no one comes down the hallway if the following minutes. He retraces his steps and sneaks silently into the box. He hears his cue from the play quickly takes aim at Lincoln’s head and fires. The audience is so loud no one hears but Mary Lincoln who immediately begins shrieking. Booth thinking quickly hits her and jumps down onto the stage. He shouts “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” Before darting out of the theater getting onto his horse and quickly riding away.



The crowd hearing Mary’s scream looks up following the strange man jumping onto the stage and yelling something in Latin. What they see shocks them the only visible person is Abraham Lincoln who is couched as though he is sleeping. Panic erupts as people see him as dead. The few doctors in the audience rush up to the box to assist him but on their way they see Julia Grant in the fetal position coughing up blood. Her dress is stained with it. One doctor urgently begins assisting her while the others continue moving. Within moments theater guests begin reaching the box as well. The doctor sends them out to find Ulysses and tell them to look everywhere around the theater including the alleys. Word soon begins spreading around Washington that Lincoln is dead and so is Mrs. Grant.



Edwin Stanton is awoken from sleep and immediately rushes towards the theater on the way hearing that a messenger had just arrived at the Seward House and found all but 2 people dead. Seward’s daughter and servant had luckily escaped with their lives. In complete urgency Stanton orders some Union soldiers to the Kirkwood to find Johnson and others to locate Grant at Ford’s. It only takes a few minutes for the soldiers to arrive at the hotel and when they do they find Johnson’s door ajar and the man himself dead on the floor.



At the theater Grant is found in almost the exact same situation as his wife only he has already passed. Many of the soldiers who first found him cannot hold back their tears and begin to weep. The 2 great leaders of the Civil War are dead.
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 09:14:08 pm »
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Keep it up!
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Drink Too Much:
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=147022.0

An Empire of Stars and Stripes:

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=156974.0

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Endorsements:
President: Hillary Clinton
Governor: Brown (CA), Corbett (PA), Scott (FL)
House: Emken (CA)
Other: Rob McCoy (CA Assembly)

---------------------------------------

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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 09:52:53 am »
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Oh God. Sad Some of the great American leaders are dead thanks to this madman. Please, Stanton, lead the witch hunt to bring him to justice!
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 02:51:07 pm »
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It was now late evening in Washington and Booth plus all 3 of his counterparts managed to escape the city. With people running towards Ford’s theater it was all but impossible for Stanton’s “Union cronies” to get to the bridges in time. Plus Booth knew that once the soldiers did arrive the men guarding the bridge would lie and say no one went across to save themselves both the humiliation and punishment. Although he isn’t sure at this time whether or not this assumption was correct or not he soon discovers he was right.



Mary Surratt is nervous. She has just heard of how Booth’s plan went and knows she will likely be caught. She figures turning herself in would serve just as well and may clear her on most charges silently she prays the Hail Mary as she walks up to the Police Station. “Excuse me sir” she tells the officer manning the station. “I’ve got information on the assassins tonight.” The man looks startled. He quickly rushes off to talk to his superior who immediately goes to get Union officers. The desk clerk then takes Mrs. Surratt into custody.

Back at Ford’s Stanton takes charge of the situation. He orders the doctors and soldiers present to carefully transport the President across the street to the Peterson House. Mrs. Lincoln recovering from her blow to the face follows the procession but faints upon seeing the injured and bleeding Julia Grant who is to be taken to her hotel room where doctors are waiting. Upon seeing this Stanton makes a quick order of having Mrs. Lincoln moved back up to the theater box where she’ll be protected until she wakes. He then instructs Mrs. Grant’s doctors to move her immediately as her repetition of the word “Ulysses” was causing panic throughout the crowd who was now searching for the General.


Lincoln in Peterson House
As he exits the building Stanton is then caught by one of his messengers who tells him Grant has been stabbed to death. Stanton quickly responds “And what of Johnson?” When the messenger tells he doesn’t know Stanton begins worrying and calls for both the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate as they all need to discuss the matter of succession now that it is clear Lincoln will not survive. It is then he discovers what has happened to the Vice President. Stanton is furious and yells out “God damn those rebel scum. I will bring death to all of them!”

Across the city news begins spreading. 3 men dead,1 woman seriously injured, and the President dying. Union troops comb the city searching for any suspicious people and seal off the city. Little do they know they’re too late.

In the midst of her interrogation Mary Surratt tells Union officers that the assassins will go to her tavern for weapons. He sends out a small force of Calvary and promises she will be pardoned if they even catch one of the other conspirators. Surratt appears relieved but is still nervous at spending the rest of the evening in Jail.
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 06:15:02 pm »
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As the Lincoln assassins near Surratt’s tavern George Atzerodt is sent to scout ahead. Booth figures he is dim witted, a drunk, and not overly enthusiastic so he could be lost to the law if Surratt did betray them. Booth wants to take no chances even though Surratt’s boardinghouse was used as the primary meeting place. As Atzerodt nears the door he suddenly cries out. Union troops swarm out and capture him others begin moving towards the area where they saw him emerge. Taking their hint Booth and his other 2 riders press South, weaponless.



As it nears one in the morning Julia Grants passes away from her wounds. Across Washington crowds mourn and there is a great feeling of spite and revenge that the groups now feel towards the South. In the Peterson House Lincoln lays dying while Stanton, Colfax, and Foster all meet in the next room to discuss who shall replace Lincoln. Both Stanton and Colfax want the job but Foster, the one legally next in line, denies any interest fearing for both his life and the task of reuniting the now even more divided country. Foster then completely overlooks Colfax and states his support that Stanton be the next President and the secretary agrees, Stanton makes a proposal to be sent to Congress stating he will be temporary President as he is the highest remaining member of Lincoln’s cabinet but a special election be planned and held almost immediately. It is agreed upon but will not be able to be passed until Monday when Congress resumes work following the Easter holiday. However Colfax and Foster decide to supersede the holiday due to the emergency as it is necessary the legislation giving Foster and Colfax the job be repealed.



Surratt is awoken just as Atzerodt enters the prison. He sees her scowls realizing she has betrayed him and his partners as she is being released. She exits the prison and briskly walks back to her Boardinghouse where she tells her son to leave the country immediately as she fears for his life. He promises to set out as soon as possible. Mary Surratt is now a free and will be from all charges.

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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 07:49:50 pm »
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Special Election! Cool. I wonder when it'll take place (November 1865?) and I'm guessing whoever becomes the Republican/National Union nominee will have an easy time. Either a good land-slide or a contentious election between warring rogue factions of the Republican party. (Radicals vs. Lincoln moderates?)
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 07:56:02 pm »
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Special Election! Cool. I wonder when it'll take place (November 1865?) and I'm guessing whoever becomes the Republican/National Union nominee will have an easy time. Either a good land-slide or a contentious election between warring rogue factions of the Republican party. (Radicals vs. Lincoln moderates?)
I don't want to give too much away but I can tell you it will be generally dominated by the GOP although GOP may not be fully United. So your guess may be pretty close!
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2012, 08:22:52 pm »
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Special Election! Cool. I wonder when it'll take place (November 1865?) and I'm guessing whoever becomes the Republican/National Union nominee will have an easy time. Either a good land-slide or a contentious election between warring rogue factions of the Republican party. (Radicals vs. Lincoln moderates?)
I don't want to give too much away but I can tell you it will be generally dominated by the GOP although GOP may not be fully United. So your guess may be pretty close!

Yes!
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 08:41:11 pm »
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Special Election! Cool. I wonder when it'll take place (November 1865?) and I'm guessing whoever becomes the Republican/National Union nominee will have an easy time. Either a good land-slide or a contentious election between warring rogue factions of the Republican party. (Radicals vs. Lincoln moderates?)
I don't want to give too much away but I can tell you it will be generally dominated by the GOP although GOP may not be fully United. So your guess may be pretty close!

Yes!
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Drink Too Much:
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=147022.0

An Empire of Stars and Stripes:

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=156974.0

Quote
FOOL!  I AM Cathcon!

Endorsements:
President: Hillary Clinton
Governor: Brown (CA), Corbett (PA), Scott (FL)
House: Emken (CA)
Other: Rob McCoy (CA Assembly)

---------------------------------------

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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 06:44:44 pm »
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I hate to overwork a writer, given I myself have had cases of writer's block, confusion, and utter laziness, but I hope you're not too angry that I'm asking for more. Great stuff.
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 06:53:34 pm »
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Its fine I'm working on an update as we speak either out tonight or tomorrow morning! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 10:12:34 pm »
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Stanton couldn’t help but think about the President’s gravelly last breath earlier that morning. It haunted him, even when he left the Peterson house and was en-route to his office where the oath would be administered. All thoughts of the President’s death where averted, however, when a young Union Soldier approached him just outside the last door he’d pass through as a standard U.S. Citizen and the first one he’d pass through as a President.

“Sir we have the identities of the 4 collaborators.”

“And who are they?” Stanton was quick to respond. The sooner he found out the sooner he could organize a manhunt.

“John W. Booth, David Herold, Lewis Powell, and George Atzerodt.”

 “Are you sure?” Stanton responded upon hearing the name of a quite famous actor. “

Yes sir,” the soldier responded.

 “Several theater workers identified Booth and the woman who ran the boardinghouse where they met gave us the other names. She also gave their likely location and we were able to apprehend Atzerodt.”

“Where is he now” Stanton quickly asked.

“En route to Washington where we’ll keep him on the Montauk.”

“Very well, I’ll tend to those matters soon enough.” Stanton then entered his office.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As Booth woke up he momentarily forgot where he was. “Lucy?” he said softly before opening his eyes and remembering all those events which had taken place in the previous evening. He looked around, seeing his counterparts and the vast bog that they were hiding in. Tonight they’d move. “Tomorrow I’ll be home free” was one of many thoughts that zipped through Booth’s head. After making a quick diary entry Booth crept out of parts of the woods and looked upon the Potomac River. His one and now only door to safe haven. But would he be able to cross it in time?”



Congress was in a frenzy. The immediate calling for an emergency session hadn’t gone unanswered by anyone. First they repealed all legislation that made the President Pro Tempore and Speaker of the House President based on the current situation as many preferred Stanton to the current President Pro Tempore, who himself, stated many times since the previous evening he wouldn't want the Presidency under any standards. Although Stanton’s proposals passed Congress divided on other issues. The Republicans wanting punishment for the South were styled Radicals by others within the party. The moderates were called just that the moderates. The Radicals passed several bills (they held majority in both houses) punishing the South including pushing the reentrance of all the state back a decade. Robert E. Lee was called to be taken into custody and so was any other captured General. Also rewards were issued for Jefferson Davis along with the Lincoln killers. As Schuyler Colfax (one of the few undecided on which party to join) watched the chaos of shouting, yelling, and debating he firmly decided he would be the next president.



Back at Stanton’s office Edwin enters the room and sees the Speaker of the House holding a Bible. He nervously walks towards him and follows his instructions word for word.  I do solemnly swear that I Edwin Stanton will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God. Edwin Stanton was now the 17th President of the United States of America.



George Atzerodt knew he was in serious trouble. First he had killed the Vice President and then he fled the scene. Now having been captured because of the traitorous b---- Mary Surratt he was in prison and knew he would face death. The Union soldiers promised him many things if he told them where Booth was going and he needed to keep refusing. “The more time they have, the less likely it’ll be that I die in vain.” He continually thought to himself. But now after he told them e would cooperate they masked him bound him and gagged him. Silently in his dark room aboard the Montauk George Atzerodt began to cry.


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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 01:50:08 pm »
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It's very interesting, but completely incorrect.

According to the Presidential Succession Act, the President pro tempore of the Senate would serve as Acting President until special election.

From 1792 to 1886 the line of succession was as follows:

1. Vice President
2. President pro tempore
3. Speaker of the House

Cabinet officers were not included to the line of succession until 1886.

Of course, due to events in your TL, Congress could amend this in order to allow Stanton to serve as Acting President, but the law is not retrospective.

Therefore, Senate PPT Lafayette S. Foster would succeed Lincoln.
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 01:54:07 pm »
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If I may suggest an easy way to resolve this problem:

Foster is succeeding Lincoln as per law, but since political establishment want Stanton to become President, Congress may quickly amend the act and Foster would simply resign in Stanton's favor. Legitimacy is saved.
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 02:53:41 pm »
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If I may suggest an easy way to resolve this problem:

Foster is succeeding Lincoln as per law, but since political establishment want Stanton to become President, Congress may quickly amend the act and Foster would simply resign in Stanton's favor. Legitimacy is saved.

Very well, I'll edit it in as to save accuracy. Forgot about the Pro Tempore being after the President.  Instead of Foster even being sworn in I'm just having him refuse the job fearing for his life following the assassinations of the leaders above him. Although technically in the hours between Lincoln's death and Stanton's inauguration he is President his "rule" per say is to short and ignored by everyone, including Lafayette Foster himself.
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 12:52:41 am »
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Update this morning (Pacific Time)
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 10:20:23 am »
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Finally the night had arrived. John Wilkes Booth was to escape across the Potomac. A local man had been easily convinced to take them across the river and off they had went. Now in the middle of the Potomac Booth finds out about the new President. “Stanton was chosen, it was a tough situation though with Colfax seeming so eager.” The local man informs Booth, Herold, and Powell. This information surprises John. “First they elect a tyrant and now they overlook rules set by the founders? What is this goddam nation coming to?” he says, with a harsh tone of disdain. “What a nightmare.” The man seems slightly perplexed. “And what do you, a northerner, have against the Union of the States?” This response infuriates Booth. He hates being held as one of the people who caused in his opinion, the bloodshed that was the Civil War. He doesn’t respond and this gives the boat man a sense of anxiety. Brushing it off he continues across the river.


The Union officers have just caught a break. Several Union soldiers unaware of the Presidents assassination due to their return home tell the detectives that they saw a boat with 4 men crossing the river. They send a telegram to Stanton’s secretary who immediately responds with the President’s sentiment that they must capture the men dead or alive.


Arguments on the House Floor

Edwin Stanton is now worried. With the prospect of a new election just 7 months away he needs to know whether or not he’ll run for an actual term. He decides against it after a little thought. He knows he probably would be the only one to keep the Republican party united between the Radicals and the newly styled “Lincolnians”. As he stares out of his office he calls his secretary to him. “Arrange a speech for tomorrow afternoon.” The man doesn’t respond but quickly goes off to do his new duty. Stanton now settles in for an Easter of speech writing. Little does he know he’s just sealed the fate of the Republican party.



Richard H. Garrett was mildly outraged. 3 unknown men had just came sauntering up to his house claiming to be soldiers of the Confederate Army but then they demand lodging on Easter. Garrett may still be a loyal Confederate but he is also religious and taking men in on Easter instead of celebrating the Lord’s Resurrection is just to much to ask. “Go on friends, there’s no lodging here. Sure the man with the mustache had pulled a knife and threatened him but he stood his ground. Suddenly, right now, he realized something. “Those men! The dead President!” Richard Garrett faints on his farm in Northern Virginia.
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2012, 12:26:47 am »
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NOTE: Now that I’ve settled events in Washington this update will be on the sole conclusion of the Conspirators. I plan to continue until the Special Election at which point an epilogue will be given detailing the future of the nation and what it learned from this great travesty.
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2012, 01:30:40 pm »
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Cool stuff. Really looking forward to the election!
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2012, 06:15:02 pm »
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Resolution of the Conspirators


Lincoln's Funeral

The next few days proved to be at times perilous and at others hopeful for the grieving nation. Lincoln’s funeral was duly held (at the expense of his widow’s sanity, however) and the manhunt was in full swing to capture any and all believed to be involved in the Conspiracy. The morale continued to decline, however, when it was discovered John Surratt had fled and was no where to be found. Mary, his mother, was already guaranteed her safety and fearing for her life fled D.C. for the countryside where she then set up a permanent residence with her daughter near her tavern.



Life would not be easy for Booth, Powell, and Herold. Following their rejection by Thomas Garrett they began wandering with starving Confederate Veterans. Booth couldn’t contain himself and told many what he had done. Some agreed with his choices and others did not. One, whose name is long forgotten, disagreed so much he told several Union officers about seeing Booth and they began to track him. Almost a full month after Lincoln’s killing Booth and his followers were subjected to capture by the Union Army in rural North Carolina. They were taken back to Washington where a quick, slightly unfair, war trial was held and found all 3 men as well as their companion George Atzerodt guilty and sentenced them to death. Booth’s last words just seconds before death were “God damn America!” President Seward himself attended the hanging and expresses hatred for Booth’s saying. Upon the executions completion he ordered their bodies to be cremated instead of giving them the usual right of burial. The ashes were then encased in a box given to the U.S. Government. To this day it is considered classified and is unavailable for public display.

Although not directly involved in the killing of the leaders Lincoln’s half drunk, off duty bodyguard was punished severely. We was sentenced to 10 years of jail time of which we only served 5 before dying. Today many scholars still argue over whether or not he deserved his punishment.



Robert E. Lee was taken into military custody and was severely mistreated while in prison. He was acquitted after around 7 months behind bars by the next president  Wink. However, his strength, dignity, wealth, and land had all been lost in the war and he died just 1 year upon being freed as a very poor man.



Jefferson Davis was captured in the Florida Everglades by some Seminoles and was immediately sentenced to death. Although the Lincolnians supported his pardoning the Radicals held majority and saw that he was hung on July 7th, 1865. His wife pleaded to the government to spare his life and upon her  failure went insane.
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2012, 12:48:47 am »
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The following months were very chaotic in Washington. In early May Schuyler Colfax put forward and sucessfully passed a bill that would punish states that had seceeded by making it 10 years before they'd be readmitted. Many considered the young leader to be a likely Lincolnian buthe sided with the radicals. His diary provides insight as he shares that he would have become a Lincolnian but "too many brave men have fallen to the hands of the rebels". The memberships figures of Congress were quite shocking as the Radicals controlled the House and the Senate-


U.S. House 38th Congress
Speaker: Schuyler Colfax-R
Majority Leader: Thaddeus Stevens-R

Radical Republicans: 95
Lincolnians:55
Unaffiliated Democrats: 30

Total: 180

U.S. Senate 38th Congress

President: Vacant
President Pro Tempore: Daniel Clark-R
Majority Leader: Henry B Anthony-R


Radical Republicans: 25

Lincolnians: 22
Unaffiliated Democrats: 1

Total: 48

The new 2 parties were composed as such:
   Radical Republican Party- The Radical Republican Party consisted of Union Party Members, embittered Democrats, and Republicans seeking revenge against the South. The Party believed in delayed reunion, full rights for African Americans, temporary military governments for the South, and severe punishments towards all Southern leaders. They dominated congress and gained all of their goals by November 1865.

   The Lincolnian Party- The Lincolnians were primarily Democrats from border states and neutral Republicans. They believed in early reunion, no punishment for those who seceeded and full rights restored to the South as a way to end resentment of either side. They passed little legislation in the 38th congress as they were out of power. However, one of the few bills which did pass was the freeing of Robert E. Lee.

   The President, Stanton, refused to take a side believing the parties should be united in the time of mourning for the nation. However, he did have heavy Radical sympathies and signed almost all of their bills into law.

   By June people began stating their presidential intentions. The quickly planned conventions were approaching the Radical's would be held in New York City while the Lincolnians chose Chicago in honor of the slain President. Here are the candidates who decided to run-

Radicals-
Schuyler Colfax
Thaddeus Stevens
Charles Sumner
John C. Fremont
Benjamin Wade

Lincolnians-
Samuel C. Pomeroy
James Harlan
Thomas Hendricks
William A. Richarson

As the conventions began no candidate was favored for either party.

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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2012, 04:47:09 pm »
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I was just thinking that Grant might serve as a united figure. Too bad he's dead. Sad I'm thinking that other Civil War leaders might be pushed forward as a unity candidate. A couple of our Presidents, Hayes, Garfield, and Harrison, all served in some leadership positions in the Civil War.
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