Lincoln Creates the First Surveillance State...

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5fish

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Do you all realize one main reason why Lincoln was so effective at being President? He and Stanton had access to everyone T-mail traffic so they knew what congressmen and senators, newspapers and ect were up to... Knowledge is power and he had the knowledge...

Here is the question would Lincoln have given up wiretapping telegraphs after the war was over?
 

unionblue

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Do you all realize one main reason why Lincoln was so effective at being President? He and Stanton had access to everyone T-mail traffic so they knew what congressmen and senators, newspapers and ect were up to... Knowledge is power and he had the knowledge...

Intelligence is not always a game-changer. It has to be trusted AND believed. And not "all realize" any such thing. This is your theory and your opinion. Own it.

Here is the question would Lincoln have given up wiretapping telegraphs after the war was over?
Edited Speculation, sensationalism, and unsupported conviction, none of it having any meaning except in the "What if" catagory.
 
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WJC

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Here is the question would Lincoln have given up wiretapping telegraphs after the war was over?
I don't know why not. To his credit, and to Johnson's after the assassination, all of the 'extra-constitutional' actions were rescinded. It is one of the few examples in our history where an Administration gave up powers it had acquired.
 
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Lincoln's Administration did set up a surveillance state between hijacking the telegraph lines to Pinkerton's spies and Lafayette Bakers spies and loyal reporters...
Aside from incendiary words ("surveillance state", "hijacking"), where is the evidence that Lincoln did more than was necessary to win the war?
 

5fish

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Speculation, sensationalism, and unsupported conviction
The situation room speculation...

Aside from incendiary words ("surveillance state", "hijacking"),
Those are correct descriptive words...

I found the following and one Can say Lincoln created the beginnings of the first modern Situation Room in the Telegraph office...

Link:https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860

Here:

Four months into his presidency Lincoln sat with his generals and waited while the thunder of cannon could be heard from the battlefield at Manassas, just 30 miles outside the capital. Their lack of activity was almost surreal. The General-in-Chief, Winfield Scott, was so accepting of the tradition of being unable to communicate rapidly with the front that he took a nap during the battle. The president found it necessary to awaken his top commander as the battle raged.

Here:

Throughout the entire history of armed conflict, the ability to have a virtually instantaneous exchange between a national leader at the seat of government and his forces in the field had been impossible. As a result, field commanders had been the closest things to living gods. Cut off from the national leadership, the unilateral decisions of the generals determined not only the fate of individuals’ lives, but also the future of nations. It was for this reason that heads of government, such as Henry V at Agincourt or Bonaparte in Russia, had remained with their troops to combine both national and military leadership.

Here:

During Second Manassas (Bull Run) the Confederates cut the telegraph connections with Washington. Unable to communicate with his key generals, Lincoln opened a telegraphic dialog with a subordinate officer that continued for several days. The telegrams between the president and Colonel Herman Haupt were at one point the national leadership’s best source of information. The telegraph office became, as Eliot Cohen identified, the first White House Situation Room where the president could be in almost real time communication with his forces while at the same time participating in strategic discussions with his advisors.

Here:

The slightly fewer than 1000 telegrams Abraham Lincoln sent during his presidency also provide us with an insight that his other writings cannot. Because Lincoln kept no diary we must rely on his correspondence and speeches for insights into the workings of his mind and the nature of his interactions with others. In this regard, however, Lincoln’s telegrams can be the next best thing to a transcript. Whereas Lincoln’s letters were well thought out précis designed to stand on their own, many of his telegrams are spontaneous responses to a specific stimulus. Thus they constitute the closest we will ever get to a tape recording of Lincoln’s interaction with his generals. Read in tandem with the messages he received, these telegrams are like eavesdropping on a conversation with Abraham Lincoln.

The story of Abraham Lincoln and the telegraph is perhaps the greatest untold story about this great man. Through these messages it is possible to watch Lincoln’s confidence grow and in turn to observe his growth as a leader. What is most remarkable, however, is that Abraham Lincoln applied the new telegraph technology in an absence of precedent. Without the guidance of text, tutor, or training Lincoln instinctively discerned the transformational nature of the new technology and applied its dots and dashes as an essential tool for winning the Civil War.


I know I have given all those Lincoln fans smiles on their faces... With the telegraph, Lincoln gave us the first electronic surveillance by the state and gave us the White House situation room... Link to the story and there is more to the story...

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860
 

unionblue

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The situation room speculation...



Those are correct descriptive words...

No, they are meant to sensationalize and garner attention to a belief, not a historical accounting.

I found the following and one Can say Lincoln created the beginnings of the first modern Situation Room in the Telegraph office...

Link:https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860



https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860
"Situation room" is a lot less sensation seeking than "wiretapping" and "created the first surveillance state" and requires the reader to actually consider sources and read them without having conclusions shoved down their throats.

Unionblue
 
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5fish

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I found support...

https://www.theverge.com/2013/7/6/4499636/how-lincoln-used-telegraph-office-to-spy-on-citizens-before-nsa


1862, Lincoln authorized sweeping control over the American telegraph infrastructure for Edwin Stanton, his secretary of war. Telegraphs were re-routed through his office, and Stanton used his power to spy on Americans, arrest journalists, and even control what was or wasn't sent. It was a critical tool in wartime, but a massive invasion of privacy that surely angered citizens.

Here:

Mindich argues that despite the huge differences in scope and technology, the Lincoln-era example is a neat comparison to the current war on terror. For those that take issue with the current NSA procedures, he says, the only real solution is to end the war — that's the only way Stanton's grasp of the telegraphs was loosed. "As the war ended, the emergency measures were rolled back. Information — telegraph and otherwise — began to flow freely again." Until this war is over, Mindich cautions, invasive governmental overreaching is a fact of life; whether it's Western Union or Microsoft, Lincoln or Obama, that's how it's always been.

I found this: read the last paragraph... The link list a bunch of Lincoln's stomping all over the 1st amendment...

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1059/civil-war-u-s

Censorship of telegraph dispatches from reporters
Advancements in technology led to new types of censorship. The development of telegraph lines in the 1850s allowed reporters on the battlefield to provide near-contemporaneous accounts of strategies and troop movements. As the Civil War began in April 1861, the Lincoln administration censored telegraph dispatches to and from Washington.

Gen. George McClellan had initially gathered a group of Washington correspondents and reached an agreement on censorship of telegraph dispatches.

The House Judiciary Committee investigated the matter in December 1861 and issued a report stating that the government should not interfere with the transmission of telegraph communications “except when it may become necessary for the government, under the authority of Congress, to assume exclusive control of the telegraph for its own legitimate purpose.”


Do these Lincoln's thoughts trump our Consitution...

Thus, with respect to civil liberties, Lincoln presented a choice in a speech of July 1861: “Must a government of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?” (Wilson 2006: 78). Under this choice, survival of the nation — as the foremost constitutional principle — took precedence over protections found in the First Amendment and other provisions in the Constitution.
 

wbull1

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I found support...

https://www.theverge.com/2013/7/6/4499636/how-lincoln-used-telegraph-office-to-spy-on-citizens-before-nsa


1862, Lincoln authorized sweeping control over the American telegraph infrastructure for Edwin Stanton, his secretary of war. Telegraphs were re-routed through his office, and Stanton used his power to spy on Americans, arrest journalists, and even control what was or wasn't sent. It was a critical tool in wartime, but a massive invasion of privacy that surely angered citizens.

Here:

Mindich argues that despite the huge differences in scope and technology, the Lincoln-era example is a neat comparison to the current war on terror. For those that take issue with the current NSA procedures, he says, the only real solution is to end the war — that's the only way Stanton's grasp of the telegraphs was loosed. "As the war ended, the emergency measures were rolled back. Information — telegraph and otherwise — began to flow freely again." Until this war is over, Mindich cautions, invasive governmental overreaching is a fact of life; whether it's Western Union or Microsoft, Lincoln or Obama, that's how it's always been.

I found this: read the last paragraph... The link list a bunch of Lincoln's stomping all over the 1st amendment...

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1059/civil-war-u-s

Censorship of telegraph dispatches from reporters
Advancements in technology led to new types of censorship. The development of telegraph lines in the 1850s allowed reporters on the battlefield to provide near-contemporaneous accounts of strategies and troop movements. As the Civil War began in April 1861, the Lincoln administration censored telegraph dispatches to and from Washington.

Gen. George McClellan had initially gathered a group of Washington correspondents and reached an agreement on censorship of telegraph dispatches.

The House Judiciary Committee investigated the matter in December 1861 and issued a report stating that the government should not interfere with the transmission of telegraph communications “except when it may become necessary for the government, under the authority of Congress, to assume exclusive control of the telegraph for its own legitimate purpose.”

Do these Lincoln's thoughts trump our Consitution...

Thus, with respect to civil liberties, Lincoln presented a choice in a speech of July 1861: “Must a government of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?” (Wilson 2006: 78). Under this choice, survival of the nation — as the foremost constitutional principle — took precedence over protections found in the First Amendment and other provisions in the Constitution.

Sir, please note the difference between your description "stomping over the first amendment" and the author's description "censorship." The language you choose to use is like saying: stolen and mangled avian embryos instead of scrambled eggs.
 
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WJC

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The situation room speculation...



Those are correct descriptive words...

I found the following and one Can say Lincoln created the beginnings of the first modern Situation Room in the Telegraph office...

Link:https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860

Here:

Four months into his presidency Lincoln sat with his generals and waited while the thunder of cannon could be heard from the battlefield at Manassas, just 30 miles outside the capital. Their lack of activity was almost surreal. The General-in-Chief, Winfield Scott, was so accepting of the tradition of being unable to communicate rapidly with the front that he took a nap during the battle. The president found it necessary to awaken his top commander as the battle raged.

Here:

Throughout the entire history of armed conflict, the ability to have a virtually instantaneous exchange between a national leader at the seat of government and his forces in the field had been impossible. As a result, field commanders had been the closest things to living gods. Cut off from the national leadership, the unilateral decisions of the generals determined not only the fate of individuals’ lives, but also the future of nations. It was for this reason that heads of government, such as Henry V at Agincourt or Bonaparte in Russia, had remained with their troops to combine both national and military leadership.

Here:

During Second Manassas (Bull Run) the Confederates cut the telegraph connections with Washington. Unable to communicate with his key generals, Lincoln opened a telegraphic dialog with a subordinate officer that continued for several days. The telegrams between the president and Colonel Herman Haupt were at one point the national leadership’s best source of information. The telegraph office became, as Eliot Cohen identified, the first White House Situation Room where the president could be in almost real time communication with his forces while at the same time participating in strategic discussions with his advisors.

Here:

The slightly fewer than 1000 telegrams Abraham Lincoln sent during his presidency also provide us with an insight that his other writings cannot. Because Lincoln kept no diary we must rely on his correspondence and speeches for insights into the workings of his mind and the nature of his interactions with others. In this regard, however, Lincoln’s telegrams can be the next best thing to a transcript. Whereas Lincoln’s letters were well thought out précis designed to stand on their own, many of his telegrams are spontaneous responses to a specific stimulus. Thus they constitute the closest we will ever get to a tape recording of Lincoln’s interaction with his generals. Read in tandem with the messages he received, these telegrams are like eavesdropping on a conversation with Abraham Lincoln.

The story of Abraham Lincoln and the telegraph is perhaps the greatest untold story about this great man. Through these messages it is possible to watch Lincoln’s confidence grow and in turn to observe his growth as a leader. What is most remarkable, however, is that Abraham Lincoln applied the new telegraph technology in an absence of precedent. Without the guidance of text, tutor, or training Lincoln instinctively discerned the transformational nature of the new technology and applied its dots and dashes as an essential tool for winning the Civil War.

I know I have given all those Lincoln fans smiles on their faces... With the telegraph, Lincoln gave us the first electronic surveillance by the state and gave us the White House situation room... Link to the story and there is more to the story...

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/30860
Thanks for the interesting information on how Lincoln made full use of the latest communication technology.
However, nothing in these excerpts supports your claims that Lincoln misused the system through large scale, unrestricted eavesdropping. Further, had he done so to the extent you claim, that would most certainly have been an acceptable and appropriate war measure.
 
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5fish

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I caught him ruffling through the draw of t-mails again in the draw but learn he would stop spying once he got down to raisins...raisins!

Quote “Well, boys, I am down to raisins.” ... It must be code ... lol


In March 1862 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton insisted in centralizing all telegraph communication for the war at the War Department’s old library next to his office. The President therefore had to go to the telegraph office there to read war despatches and send his own. (The telegraph office had previously been located in two other locations in the same building, but General George McClellan had his own telegraph service at his headquarters in 1861-1862.) The office gave Mr. Lincoln an opportunity to write and think in peace as he waited for telegrams to arrive and be deciphered – as well to socialize in a way that was impossible elsewhere in Washington. Telegraph operator Albert B. Chandler reported the President said: “I come here to escape my persecutors. Hundreds of people come in and say they want to see me for only a minute. That means if I can hear their story and great their request in a minute, it will be enough.”1 One telegraph operator, Homer Bates, later recorded Mr. Lincoln’s routine:

When in the telegraph office, Lincoln was most easy of access. He often talked with the cipher-operators, asking questions regarding the despatches which we were translating from or into cipher, or which were filed in the order of receipt in the little drawer in our cipher-desk.
Lincoln’s habit was to go immediately to the drawer each time he came into our room, and read over the telegrams, beginning at the top, until he came to the one he had seen at his last previous visit. When this point was reached he almost always said, “Well, boys, I am down to raisins.” After we had heard this curious remark a number of times, one of us ventured to ask him what it meant. He thereupon told us the story of the little girl who celebrated her birthday by eating very freely of many good things, topping off with raisins for desert. During the night she was taken violently ill, and when the doctor arrived she was busy casting up her accounts. The genial doctor, scrutinizing the contents of the vessel, noticed some small black objects that had just appeared, and remarked to the anxious parent that all danger was past, as the child was ‘down to raisins.’ ‘So,’ Lincoln said, ‘when I reach the message in this pile which I saw on my last visit, I know that I need go no further.”2​

Here the Link with more stories of Lincoln: http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/washington/the-war-effort/war-effort-telegraph-office/
 

WJC

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I caught him ruffling through the draw of t-mails again in the draw but learn he would stop spying once he got down to raisins...raisins!

Quote “Well, boys, I am down to raisins.” ... It must be code ... lol


In March 1862 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton insisted in centralizing all telegraph communication for the war at the War Department’s old library next to his office. The President therefore had to go to the telegraph office there to read war despatches and send his own. (The telegraph office had previously been located in two other locations in the same building, but General George McClellan had his own telegraph service at his headquarters in 1861-1862.) The office gave Mr. Lincoln an opportunity to write and think in peace as he waited for telegrams to arrive and be deciphered – as well to socialize in a way that was impossible elsewhere in Washington. Telegraph operator Albert B. Chandler reported the President said: “I come here to escape my persecutors. Hundreds of people come in and say they want to see me for only a minute. That means if I can hear their story and great their request in a minute, it will be enough.”1 One telegraph operator, Homer Bates, later recorded Mr. Lincoln’s routine:

When in the telegraph office, Lincoln was most easy of access. He often talked with the cipher-operators, asking questions regarding the despatches which we were translating from or into cipher, or which were filed in the order of receipt in the little drawer in our cipher-desk.​
Lincoln’s habit was to go immediately to the drawer each time he came into our room, and read over the telegrams, beginning at the top, until he came to the one he had seen at his last previous visit. When this point was reached he almost always said, “Well, boys, I am down to raisins.” After we had heard this curious remark a number of times, one of us ventured to ask him what it meant. He thereupon told us the story of the little girl who celebrated her birthday by eating very freely of many good things, topping off with raisins for desert. During the night she was taken violently ill, and when the doctor arrived she was busy casting up her accounts. The genial doctor, scrutinizing the contents of the vessel, noticed some small black objects that had just appeared, and remarked to the anxious parent that all danger was past, as the child was ‘down to raisins.’ ‘So,’ Lincoln said, ‘when I reach the message in this pile which I saw on my last visit, I know that I need go no further.”2​

Here the Link with more stories of Lincoln: http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/washington/the-war-effort/war-effort-telegraph-office/
Another very interesting vignette about Lincoln.
However, if you meant it to show evidence of his "surveillance state", it does no such thing.
 

5fish

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Tie up a few loss ends...

How far back do we have to go to find the origins of wiretapping?
It starts long before the telephone. The earliest statute prohibiting wiretapping was written in California in 1862, just after the Pacific Telegraph Company reached the West Coast, and the first person convicted was a stock broker named D.C. Williams in 1864. His scheme was ingenious: He listened in on corporate telegraph lines and sold the information he overheard to stock traders.

Here: President Andrew Johnson moved the telegraph into the Whitehouse.

Even though telegram technology emerged in the mid-1840s, it wasn’t until the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln pioneered government use of the messages. Under Lincoln’s leadership, the War Department housed a telegraph room that would become an early Situation Room during important battles. (Before this development, government officials had been forced to use public telegram offices to send messages.) In 1866, the offices of the White House were remodeled, and with the makeover Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, moved the telegraph room into the White House. Johnson made sure to have it right next to his office, so urgent messages could be relayed quickly.
 
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Tie up a few loss ends...

How far back do we have to go to find the origins of wiretapping?
It starts long before the telephone. The earliest statute prohibiting wiretapping was written in California in 1862, just after the Pacific Telegraph Company reached the West Coast, and the first person convicted was a stock broker named D.C. Williams in 1864. His scheme was ingenious: He listened in on corporate telegraph lines and sold the information he overheard to stock traders.

Here: President Andrew Johnson moved the telegraph into the Whitehouse.

Even though telegram technology emerged in the mid-1840s, it wasn’t until the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln pioneered government use of the messages. Under Lincoln’s leadership, the War Department housed a telegraph room that would become an early Situation Room during important battles. (Before this development, government officials had been forced to use public telegram offices to send messages.) In 1866, the offices of the White House were remodeled, and with the makeover Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, moved the telegraph room into the White House. Johnson made sure to have it right next to his office, so urgent messages could be relayed quickly.
You do realize that the telegraph installed outside of Stanton's office (the War Dept.) was owned by the USMT and was part of the 8,000 miles of telegraph lines and terminals installed by the military that were used by the Federal government during the war?
 

5fish

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You do realize that the telegraph installed outside of Stanton's office (the War Dept.) was owned by the USMT and was part of the 8,000 miles of telegraph lines and terminals installed by the military that were used by the Federal government during the war?
I know the Military created its own...
 
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