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unionblue

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As a lifelong resident of the Garden State, the unique politics of New Jersey before and during the Civil War have always been of particular interest to me. Thus, the purpose of this thread is to delve into reasons why New Jersey rejected Lincoln twice and behaved in many ways like a Border State with regard to emancipation and Reconstruction.

Obviously, there was precedent for New Jersey's political position during the years leading up to and during the war. It was the last Northern non-Border state to abolish slavery, doing so in 1804 and through a system of gradual - extremely gradual - emancipation. In fact, the long apprenticeships required by the New Jersey emancipation law resulted in "a handful of slaves among its population" counted as late as the 1860 Census (Hawk, Franklin and Marshall College, 2017). In addition, New Jersey's emerging position as an economic powerhouse - specifically with regard to textile production - undoubtedly created a crucial trade relationship with the cotton states (I believe a similar economic relationship contributed to the large anti-Lincoln, anti-war contingency in New York City).

Still, there are some assertions about the factors that shaped New Jersey politics that I want to explore and evaluate further. The previously-cited Hawk article states, "The political culture of New Jersey more closely resembled a slaveholding Border State like Kentucky or Delaware than its neighboring free states of New York and Pennsylvania." I cannot agree fully with this. Kentucky, in my view, was perhaps the least loyal of the Border States and shared almost nothing in common culturally or economically with New Jersey. The comparison with Delaware, however, is much more appropriate geographically, culturally, and socioeconomically. I also cannot agree totally with the contrast between New Jersey and New York. Yes, New Jersey rejected Lincoln twice while New York voted Republican - albeit by narrow margins - in both 1860 and 1864. However, New Jersey Governor Joel Parker was a staunchly pro-war Democrat while New York Governor Horatio Seymour was ambivalent towards the war at best. New York City Mayor Fernando Wood was so passionately pro-Confederate that he wanted to declare it a free city. As for Pennsylvania, it was certainly a more pro-Lincoln state than either New Jersey or New York. The Keystone State's influence in this regard is evident, as the South Jersey counties near Philadelphia voted for Lincoln twice while their North Jersey counterparts soundly rejected the Republican tickets of 1860 and 1864.

Any insights on New Jersey politics of the time, including comparisons with other Union states and/or factors that may have contributed to the Garden State's lukewarm attitude towards the Lincoln Adminstration, are much appreciated!
I have never come across any information that on a per capita basis New Jersey had more or less young men enlist in the Union Army then any other state. I have never come across any information that New Jersey's troops had a higher desertion rate then any other state.
I have never come across any figures for men from New Jersey joining the Confederate Army not to say any did not. One book cited by @CSA Today estimated 2k men from Pennsylvania joined the Confederate Army and a source cited by @CM Winkler estimated 4k men from Indiana joined the Confederate Army.
McCellen was a native son if New Jersey and perhaps to much us made if the 1864 Presidential election. McCellen made it quite clear that if he won he would not grant Independence to the Confederacy.
By November 1864 the Confederacy was basically defeated. There was no viable path to Independence.
Leftyhunter
 
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I have never come across any information that on a per capita basis New Jersey had more or less young men enlist in the Union Army then any other state. I have never come across any information that New Jersey's troops had a higher desertion rate then any other state.
I have never come across any figures for men from New Jersey joining the Confederate Army not to say any did not. One book cited by @CSA Today estimated 2k men from Pennsylvania joined the Confederate Army and a source cited by @CM Winkler estimated 4k men from Indiana joined the Confederate Army.
McCellen was a native son if New Jersey and perhaps to much us made if the 1864 Presidential election. McCellen made it quite clear that if he won he would not grant Independence to the Confederacy.
By November 1864 the Confederacy was basically defeated. There was no viable path to Independence.
Leftyhunter
Agreed, I have never come across such information either. There’s no question that New Jersey troops proved to be some of the most valiant and loyal in the Federal Army. That’s why I’m searching for factors that may have contributed to New Jersey’s appetite for, politically speaking, a more conservative form of Unionism. There’s no question that the state was pro-Union. What it wasn’t, however, was pro-Lincoln. McClellan being a favorite son was a factor for sure, but there’s definitely more to the story.
 
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Agreed, I have never come across such information either. There’s no question that New Jersey troops proved to be some of the most valiant and loyal in the Federal Army. That’s why I’m searching for factors that may have contributed to New Jersey’s appetite for, politically speaking, a more conservative form of Unionism. There’s no question that the state was pro-Union. What it wasn’t, however, was pro-Lincoln. McClellan being a favorite son was a factor for sure, but there’s definitely more to the story.
Just speculating that perhaps voters from New Jersey were more in favor of free trade and more favorable to the Democratic Party then other states.
Leftyhunter
 

trice

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As a lifelong resident of the Garden State, the unique politics of New Jersey before and during the Civil War have always been of particular interest to me. Thus, the purpose of this thread is to delve into reasons why New Jersey rejected Lincoln twice and behaved in many ways like a Border State with regard to emancipation and Reconstruction.

Obviously, there was precedent for New Jersey's political position during the years leading up to and during the war. It was the last Northern non-Border state to abolish slavery, doing so in 1804 and through a system of gradual - extremely gradual - emancipation. In fact, the long apprenticeships required by the New Jersey emancipation law resulted in "a handful of slaves among its population" counted as late as the 1860 Census (Hawk, Franklin and Marshall College, 2017). In addition, New Jersey's emerging position as an economic powerhouse - specifically with regard to textile production - undoubtedly created a crucial trade relationship with the cotton states (I believe a similar economic relationship contributed to the large anti-Lincoln, anti-war contingency in New York City).

Still, there are some assertions about the factors that shaped New Jersey politics that I want to explore and evaluate further. The previously-cited Hawk article states, "The political culture of New Jersey more closely resembled a slaveholding Border State like Kentucky or Delaware than its neighboring free states of New York and Pennsylvania." I cannot agree fully with this. Kentucky, in my view, was perhaps the least loyal of the Border States and shared almost nothing in common culturally or economically with New Jersey. The comparison with Delaware, however, is much more appropriate geographically, culturally, and socioeconomically. I also cannot agree totally with the contrast between New Jersey and New York. Yes, New Jersey rejected Lincoln twice while New York voted Republican - albeit by narrow margins - in both 1860 and 1864. However, New Jersey Governor Joel Parker was a staunchly pro-war Democrat while New York Governor Horatio Seymour was ambivalent towards the war at best. New York City Mayor Fernando Wood was so passionately pro-Confederate that he wanted to declare it a free city. As for Pennsylvania, it was certainly a more pro-Lincoln state than either New Jersey or New York. The Keystone State's influence in this regard is evident, as the South Jersey counties near Philadelphia voted for Lincoln twice while their North Jersey counterparts soundly rejected the Republican tickets of 1860 and 1864.

Any insights on New Jersey politics of the time, including comparisons with other Union states and/or factors that may have contributed to the Garden State's lukewarm attitude towards the Lincoln Adminstration, are much appreciated!
In the Election of 1860, New Jersey split the Electoral College vote 4-3. There was a "Fusion" vote in some areas where the supporters of the other three candidates joined together in an "anybody-but-Lincoln" vote. Lincoln lost where the "Fusion" movement was and won where the vote was split up.

There is a book called The Secession Movement in the Middle Atlantic States ( 1973) by Fred Niklason, who I think was a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson. This is a really, really dry book that uses statistics and old newspaper accounts to look at the five states (NY-NJ-PA-MD-DE) on the eve of the Civil War. It comes to the conclusion that NJ was the most-likely-to-secede, IIRR. The Paramus library had a copy many years ago.
 
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In the Election of 1860, New Jersey split the Electoral College vote 4-3. There was a "Fusion" vote in some areas where the supporters of the other three candidates joined together in an "anybody-but-Lincoln" vote. Lincoln lost where the "Fusion" movement was and won where the vote was split up.

There is a book called The Secession Movement in the Middle Atlantic States ( 1973) by Fred Niklason, who I think was a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson. This is a really, really dry book that uses statistics and old newspaper accounts to look at the five states (NY-NJ-PA-MD-DE) on the eve of the Civil War. It comes to the conclusion that NJ was the most-likely-to-secede, IIRR. The Paramus library had a copy many years ago.
Thanks for the suggestion - I’ll definitely try to track down a copy of that book.

And yes, I am familiar with the 1860 Fusion Ticket in NJ. While Lincoln was awarded four of New Jersey’s seven Electoral votes, the Fusion (in the candidate of Stephen Douglas) won the state’s popular vote. I have to believe that NJ’s large immigrant community, most of whom fit squarely in the “Northern Democrat” category, as well as its burgeoning manufacturing sector (creating the economic relationship with the cotton states), were central to the rejection of Lincoln in 1860. I am sure that similar voting patterns can be found in ethnic wards of neighboring New York City and Philadelphia, despite the latter’s reputation as a more solidly Republican city at the time.
 

trice

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Just speculating that perhaps voters from New Jersey were more in favor of free trade and more favorable to the Democratic Party then other states.
Leftyhunter
New Jersey was usually aligned with "the South" in Congress. NJ was the last state to emancipate their slaves before the Civil War. Southern planters were far more likely to send their sons to Princeton than Harvard or Yale.
 

trice

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Thanks for the suggestion - I’ll definitely try to track down a copy of that book.

And yes, I am familiar with the 1860 Fusion Ticket in NJ. While Lincoln was awarded four of New Jersey’s seven Electoral votes, the Fusion (in the candidate of Stephen Douglas) won the state’s popular vote. I have to believe that NJ’s large immigrant community, most of whom fit squarely in the “Northern Democrat” category, as well as its burgeoning manufacturing sector (creating the economic relationship with the cotton states), were central to the rejection of Lincoln in 1860. I am sure that similar voting patterns can be found in ethnic wards of neighboring New York City and Philadelphia, despite the latter’s reputation as a more solidly Republican city at the time.
NJ and PA were the two states where Republicans pushed the iron-and-steel tariff in the 1860 Election. The area of NJ that applied to would be places from Bayonne over to Paterson and down towards Allaire. Up in Bergen County there was little support for Republicans, Lincoln, or the Civil War (although there are 3 brothers who served in the same USCT regiment buried in Park Ridge).
 
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New Jersey was usually aligned with "the South" in Congress. NJ was the last state to emancipate their slaves before the Civil War. Southern planters were far more likely to send their sons to Princeton than Harvard or Yale.
Was this unique to New Jersey among Northern states, or was it just more conspicuous in New Jersey because of its small size? New York City, for example, seemed to have been a Democratic bastion with no love lost for Lincoln or, in some cases, the war effort in general (i.e., the 1863 Draft Riots and Fernando Wood's attempts to obtain "free city" status). However, the politics of New York State as a whole were not as strongly Democratic due to heavily Republican areas Upstate and in Western New York. New Jersey, on the other hand, seemed to have been divided into a mostly Republican southern half (counties adjacent to Philadelphia) and a mostly Democratic northern half (counties adjacent to NYC and the Upper Delaware Valley). Thus, a slightly more populous North Jersey gave the Democrats a statewide advantage. Still, I have never heard of New Jersey being grouped with the South in Congress. Yes, NJ was the last Northern state to emancipate, but that was still 57 years before Fort Sumter. In addition, New Jersey was strongly pro-Union throughout the war, and Governor Joel Parker was a steadfastly pro-war Democrat. I don't see any widespread evidence of Confederate sympathies in New Jersey during the Civil War, only a distaste for the Lincoln Administration's policies and ambivalence towards emancipation as a war goal in certain areas of the state.
 

Story

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A popular narrative of the Civil War assumes that all Northern states stood united behind President Abraham Lincoln in their loyalty to the Union. However, the case of New Jersey suggests that this narrative of devotion is simply a myth. The agrarian economy of New Jersey kept the state firmly opposed to universal emancipation, and New Jersey behaved more like a border state than its geographic neighbors of Pennsylvania and New York. By examining New Jersey's response to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Election of 1864, the myth of Northern unity is broken by understanding persistent state-level economic factors.

An Anomalous Case of Southern Sympathy: New Jersey 's Civil War Stance Emily A. Hawk Franklin & Marshall College Class of 2016
https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/v...com/&httpsredir=1&article=1082&context=gcjcwe
 

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"Single causer" is a term I think would be worth adopting. It both references and contrasts "Lost Cause" and nicely encapsulates the belief of those who express the idea that slavery was the sole factor that could cause secession and war.
If both terms have to include "causer," I'm not sure that "Single Causer" contrasts with "Lost Causer" because the word "single" has no real value to those who disagree with Lost Causers.

It could be in fact a single cause or it could be a thousand causes, but to a non-lostcauser the important thing is historical accuracy.

Maybe "Lost Causers" vs "Historical Causers" would be more fitting.
 
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Abstract
A popular narrative of the Civil War assumes that all Northern states stood united behind President Abraham Lincoln in their loyalty to the Union. However, the case of New Jersey suggests that this narrative of devotion is simply a myth. The agrarian economy of New Jersey kept the state firmly opposed to universal emancipation, and New Jersey behaved more like a border state than its geographic neighbors of Pennsylvania and New York. By examining New Jersey's response to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Election of 1864, the myth of Northern unity is broken by understanding persistent state-level economic factors.

An Anomalous Case of Southern Sympathy: New Jersey 's Civil War Stance Emily A. Hawk Franklin & Marshall College Class of 2016
https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/v...com/&httpsredir=1&article=1082&context=gcjcwe
I've read the Hawk article. It makes some very strong arguments, but the "agrarian economy" argument is, in my opinion, inconsistent. The reality is that New Jersey was a free state not dependent on slave labor, albeit one that had instituted an extremely gradual emancipation system 57 years before the start of the war. By the eve of Lincoln's election, New Jersey had become an industrial powerhouse, with cities like Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and Camden having developed into bastions of manufacturing. These cities offered plentiful job opportunities to new immigrants. So, we have two reasons why, in Hawk's words, "state-level economic factors" contributed to New Jersey's rejection of Lincoln's policies. For one, New Jersey industrialists were protective of the economic relationship with the cotton states, meaning that a faction of powerful people in the state would be unenthusiastic about the prospect of war with the South. Another factor is the state's large population of first-generation Americans at the time. Ethnic Irish and others who had recently arrived to U.S. shores were undoubtedly wary of the competition an influx of freedmen from the South would create in the low-wage job market (i.e., in the factories of New Jersey cities).
 

WJC

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***Posted as Moderator***
This thread has taken a strange turn: while some are reporting 'name-calling', others seem to be developing new names to call others.
Let's get back on the topic, "Slavery as the primary cause of the Civil War: the Real lost Cause Argument".
 

WJC

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The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
 

trice

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Was this unique to New Jersey among Northern states, or was it just more conspicuous in New Jersey because of its small size? New York City, for example, seemed to have been a Democratic bastion with no love lost for Lincoln or, in some cases, the war effort in general (i.e., the 1863 Draft Riots and Fernando Wood's attempts to obtain "free city" status). However, the politics of New York State as a whole were not as strongly Democratic due to heavily Republican areas Upstate and in Western New York. New Jersey, on the other hand, seemed to have been divided into a mostly Republican southern half (counties adjacent to Philadelphia) and a mostly Democratic northern half (counties adjacent to NYC and the Upper Delaware Valley). Thus, a slightly more populous North Jersey gave the Democrats a statewide advantage. Still, I have never heard of New Jersey being grouped with the South in Congress. Yes, NJ was the last Northern state to emancipate, but that was still 57 years before Fort Sumter. In addition, New Jersey was strongly pro-Union throughout the war, and Governor Joel Parker was a steadfastly pro-war Democrat. I don't see any widespread evidence of Confederate sympathies in New Jersey during the Civil War, only a distaste for the Lincoln Administration's policies and ambivalence towards emancipation as a war goal in certain areas of the state.
Certainly more pronounced in NJ.

The state was also apparently unique in one other thing: emigration. According to an article I read (once, long ago, no idea where), when people from Northern states (those North of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Ohio River) moved within the country, they moved to a new Free State/Territory. When people from Southern States (those South of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Ohio River) moved within the country, they moved to a new Slave State/Territory. The exception was New Jersey, where more people moved to a Slave State/Territory.

On NJ Republican areas, the ones you are pointing to are also the industrial areas of NJ. The ones you are calling Democratic were overwhelmingly rural (anything near the Shore was essentially hard-to-reach and lightly populated before the RR got there; not sure what places out near Hackettstown were like in 1860.)

On Slavery: gradual emancipation in NJ was R-E-A-L-L-Y S-L-O-W. NJ denies there are any left in 1860; the Federal census of 1860 shows a few (all but one are over age 65) which NJ describes as "indentured for life". There was also a cute little deal running in NJ where slaveholders freed their underage slaves -- making them wards of the state -- and then took them back as guardians for the wards. The state paid them for taking care of them until adulthood. At one point, this pay amounted to roughly 25% of the state's annual budget. It was also administered by local commissioners who decided who to place the newly-freed slaves with -- and they might be slaveholders themselves.

Bergen County was an area that was not very enthusiastic about the Civil War. In 1861, IIRR, the legislature had to threaten drafting up this way to get the men needed for the first call for troops in 1861 and the 9-month regiment raised up here for the 1864 Campaign is generally regarded as the worst of the NJ regiments (Colonel is buried in the same cemetery with those three USCT brothers). That NJ regiment was down in VA that Spring-Summer, but was never brought up for combat by Grant or Meade.
 
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The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
Not seeing the connection. Many Union soldiers were members if the Democratic Party especially those recruited in such states as New York and other majority Democratic states.
Many Union generals were Democratic most notably Major General Butler who endorsed Jeff Davis for President in 1860 plus Major Generals Rosecrans and McCellen were Democrats. No doubt other's.
More then likely most of the 104k Unionist soldiers voted Democratic although some especially from Tennessee voted for John Bell in 1860.
Leftyhunter
 
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