Copperheads and Unconditional Unionists

Autograph Manuscript Subscription for copies of a speech made by Rep. George H. Pendleton Before the House on January 19, 1862, Signed by 56 Members of the US House of Representatives.

Washington, D.C: 1862.

1 p., pen and ink on paper, docketed on verso. Folio. Copperheads and Unconditional Unionists. Old folds, else very good. Item #251158

This compelling, historical manuscript was penned during the contentious and hostile political environment that was pervasive during the Lincoln Administration. The subscription is for a speech by Pendleton arguing the constitutionality of the proposed “Legal Tender Act,” authorizing the government to issue paper money, popularly known as “greenbacks,” that were not backed by an equal value in gold or silver, to help finance the war. Despite intense opposition, the act was passed in February 1862, and laid the foundation for a permanent paper currency.

Notable signatures on the subscription, of which 10,700 copies were ordered at 50 cents apiece (Pendleton ordered 2,000), include rabid “Copperhead” and hated Southern sympathizer, Clement Vallandigham, who was famously tried and convicted of treason in 1863, and subsequently banished to the Confederacy; Kentuckian John Crittenden, author of the unsuccessful, “Crittenden Compromise” of 1860; and the speech’s author, George Pendleton, leader of the peace wing of the Democratic Party who ran for Vice President on the failed McClellan-Pendleton ticket that ran against Lincoln during the presidential election of 1864.

The manuscript is signed by Republicans, Democrats, and members of the Unconditional Unionist Party and includes: William H. Wadsworth, Kellian Van Rensalear Whaley, George W. Dunlap, Daniel Wolsey Voorhees, William Alexander Richardson, Anthony Lausett Knapp, William Joshua Allen, Albert Gallatin Porter, John Benedict Steele, Erastus Corning I, Theodore Medad Pomeroy, Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh, Chilton Allen White, Albert Gallatin Riddle, William Eckart Lehman, Charles John Biddle, Sydenham Elnathan Ancona, William Gay Brown Sr., Jacob Beeson Blair, Joseph Eggleston Segar, James Sidney Rollins, Thomas Lawson Price, William Steele Holman, William Gaston Steele, James Edward English, George Thomas Cobb, Elijah Hise Norton, Chauncey Vibbard, Henry Grider, James Addison Cravens, Nehemiah Perry, Warren Perry Noble, Philip Johnson, John Law, and others.

Price: $750.00 Free International Delivery