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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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On the Draft

What will be the effect of the draft on the political parties? The Copperheads intended to turn the draft to their advantage by hypocritically pretending to help the poor, while their true object was to prevent the towns from paying the conscripts. To accomplish this object, the leaders hit upon the idea of making the cities and towns vote to pay each drafted man three-hundred dollars and allow him to keep it and go into the army or pay it into the government and stay at home. This all looks very fair but when you analyze it you will see their true motive. They knew they never could get the loan taken and therefore every drafted man must either go or pay three-hundred dollars himself. This was the plan in order to get rid of paying anything themselves. The deception was so apparent that it soon showed itself and then they turned and said that the cities and towns would never have voted to raise a dollar if they had not driven them to it.

Now let us see how the city stands with those towns that voted to pay every man who was drafted three hundred dollars, when the Copperheads had everything their own way. Portland voted to pay every man who was drafted and went into the army or furnished a substitute three-hundred dollars. Westhook, where the Copperheads ruled, voted to pay every drafted man three-hundred dollars whether he went into the war or stayed at home, giving him his choice which to do. Portland has got her loan taken while Westhook cannot raise hers or the leaders do not want her to and never intended that she should.

Now, Mr. Copperhead, if you are as good a friend to the poor as you pretend to be, why do you not step up and toe the mark as Portland has done and take the Westhook loan and not wait for Union men to do it for you? You never intended to take it and never will. Now how does it affect the poor? In Portland, the poor man who happens to be drafted gets from the city three-hundred dollars, and then by paying out of his own pocket twenty-five or fifty dollars can provide himself with a substitute, instead of paying three-hundred and fifty dollars himself as is the case in the towns where the Copperheads conducted the raising of the money.

Such has been the effect of this deception. It was a trick, laid by the Copperheads and now they are caught in their own trap. Let the poor conscripts call on these leaders and ask them to take the loan and advance the money and show whether they are ready to back up the proposition as the loyal men have done. They have done what they agreed to, and if these Copperheads do not back up theirs you will know it was all a trick and a tool with which to work against the administration.

1864

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