There was one Yankee who saw Lincoln for exactly who and what he was, and understood perfectly what he was trying to do. This Yankee had the courage to say so, even in the face of Lincoln's tyranny. In fact it was that blatant tyranny which compelled this Yankee to speak out, and it was that tyranny that compelled Lincoln to crush all criticism of himself or his policies.
The Yankee was Clement L Vallandigham, a member of the US House of Representatives, living in Dayton, Ohio. He spoke on the House floor, criticizing Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. Although he expressed his devotion to both the Union and the Constitution, he accused Lincoln of being not in the least devoted to the Constitution, but in contempt of it. He said that Lincoln's inaugural address was spoken with the forked tongue and crooked counsel of the New York politician, leaving thirty millions of people in doubt whether it meant peace or war. He also denounced the Republican's prized Morrill tariff as obscure, ill-considered, ill-digested, and unstatesmanlike.
Vallandigham generally took Lincoln to task for his many usurpations of power, his disregard for the Constitution, and for acting more like a dictator than a president -- actions which were wicked, cunning, and constituted a dangerous violation of that very Constitution which this civil war is professedly waged to support. The Representative went through a long list of specific examples, including usurping Congress' responsibility to borrow money when necessary, suppression of the press and free speech, suspension of habeas corpus, his blockade of Southern ports, starting a war without consent of Congress, quartering soldiers in private homes without owner consent, interfering with the internal affairs of state governments, censorship of telegraph communications, violations of some people's right to bear arms, and other Constitutional infractions.
The Representative pointed out that even European monarchs would likely lose their crown (and probably their head), for many of the same sorts of tyrannical actions Lincoln had taken. And Abe had done those things, not to free slaves or preserve the Union, but to overthrow the present form of Federal-republican government, and to establish a strong centralized Government in its stead. Lincoln's real purpose, stated Vallandigham, was to finally implement the Whig merchantilist economic agenda, with its national banks, huge permanent public debt, high tariffs, heavy direct taxes, vast government spending and misappropriation of funds, etc. In short, Lincoln and his Republican cronies were trying to establish in the US the world's largest political patronage system.
In order to achieve that, Lincoln had to destroy the Constitution, and with it all states' rights, and eventually all states, leaving only an all-powerful federal government, unrestrained, unrestricted, unaccountable. Just what Alexander Hamilton had always longed for and worked for.
In a constitutional democratic republic, that speech would have been just another day of political wrangling on the House floor. It would have been countered by someone with opposing views, and the Representatives would have been doing just what they were hired to do. But under the despotic Lincolnstitutional nation of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Vallandigham's speech was treason, and the Representative was a traitor. Lincoln simply could not allow that sort of free speech, because he knew that Vallandigham was absolutely right.
Union soldiers arrived at a private residence in Dayton, Ohio, on May 4, 1863, at 2:30am. They knocked down the door, without a warrant, took Representative Vallandigham to a military prison in Cincinnati, then later deported him to the South. From there, he moved to Canada. Lincoln's response to Vallandigham proved that everything the Representative had said was true.
Lincoln didn't have to go to such extremes in the case of everyone who criticized him. He simply had his gestapo make an example of a few people he considered traitors. Most people took the hint and kept their mouths shut, or they said what they knew Lincoln wanted to hear. But by May, 1863, most people had already learned that lesson, and there were already thousands of political prisoners rotting in prisons. Vallandigham was luckier than most.
Why? Because there were too many Vallandigham supporters in Ohio. They were outraged by Lincoln's heavy-handed response, even if they didn't particularly agree with Vallandigham. They defiantly nominated him for the office of governor, even though he had already been deported. Lincoln and his gestapo knew just how far they could push the people without triggering a severe backlash. Most dictators have a pretty good sense of how much they can get away with. With the US army and navy at his disposal, Lincoln got away with an entire country.
It has not yet been returned to its rightful owners. It probably never will be. Because most of the victims are oblivious to the hideous nature of the crime committed. The accomplices are determined to keep it that way.
Learn more about the truth of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln here.