THE COPPERHEAD’S DREAM.
A Copperhead one evening lay,
After the labors of the day,
And mused on chances of success,
And of the future strove to guess.
He’d envied every office holder,
and now, perhaps, grown somewhat bolder,
Thought that without some dire mishap
He’d get a share of public pap,
And with his golden hopes elated,
He ever pro and con debated;
He thought o’er every plot and scheme,
Then slept, and dreamt a pleasing dream.
He dreamt to office — when elected –
No more he loyalty affected,
But in his sinecure secure,
He had the loaves and fishes sure,
He in his office stretched at ease,
Had nought to do but pocket fees.
He dressed up in the height of fashion,
(For finery he had a passion),
Then tired of lounging, strutted ’round
As Fortunatus’ purse he’d found.
His quondam friends, when e’er he met,
(He quickly learned how to forget),
Especially the Union party,
(To whom his greeting once was hearty),
He gave a very frigid shoulder,
As well became an office holder;
And — tho’ for this his cronies praised him –
Kicked down the ladder that had raised him.
The noise it made was such a smasher,
That, like the basket of Alnaschar*,
It woke him up. Alas! ’twas day,
His dream of spoils had passed away,
Black night had raised its sable curtain,
And brought him back his state uncertain.
He rose, and girded up his loins,
And feeling no ways gay or frisky,
Went and bummed a little whisky.
–Klamath Facts and Figures.
The Golden Era – Sep 10, 1865
Title: The Stanford Dictionary of Anglicised Words and Phrases
Editors: Charles Augustus Maude Fennell, John Frederick Stanford
Publisher: University press, 1892
Hide your mean heads from the light of the sun,
Smite your base hearts with conscience’s lashes,
Blush if you can for the deeds you have done.
Weep for the aid you have given to traitors,
Do let repentance illumine your souls;
Souls? if you had them your crimes would be greater,
Snakes of humanity crawl to your holes.
Crawl to your holes!
You that incited rebellion and treason;
You that have aided it all that you can;
You that have fought against conscience and reason,
And all of the rights that are sacred to man,
Hark! — through the land, from each tower and steeple,
The knell of rebellion most solemnly tolls!
Flee from the scorn of intelligent people;
Noisome serpents — bah! crawl to your holes.
Crawl to your holes.
Now when the moon of rebellion is setting,
Why do you struggle and fight against fate?
Can you not cease your complaining and fretting?
Try to be men ere you find it too late.
The tide running northward in haste is retiring,
The wave urged by freemen triumphantly rolls,
The time has gone by for your plots and conspiring –
Reptiles and renegrades return to your holes.
Low, sneaking Copperheads,
Vile, hissing Copperheads,
Crawl to your holes!
Village Record (Franklin Co., PA) Sep 16, 1864
NOTE: I ran across a couple of versions of the above poem.
Old Description of a Copperhead
In one of the speeches made during the last war with Great Britain, by Felix Grundy, of Tennessee, occurs the following description of a thorough-going Copperhead, as seen at the present day:
“An individual goes over, joins the ranks of the enemy, and raises his arms against his country; he is clearly guilty of treason under the Constitution, the act being consummated. Suppose the same individual not to go over to the enemy, but to remain in his own neighborhood, and, by means of his influence, to dissuade ten men from enlisting; I ask in which case has he benefited the enemy and injured the country most!”
Again, he says, in answering the question, whom, then, do I accuse?
“I accuse him, sir, who professes to be the friend of his country, and enjoys its protection, yet proves himself by his actions to be the friend of its enemy. I accuse him who sets himself to work systematically to weaken the arm of the Government, by destroying its credit and dampening the ardor of its citizens; I accuse him who has used his exertions to defeat the loan and prevent the young men of the country from going forth to fight their country’s battles; I accuse him who announces with joy the disasters of our arms, and sinks into melancholy when he hears of our success. Such men I cannot consider friends to this nation.”
Mr. Grundy was a model Democrat, in his day, we believe. Copperheadism does not seem to have been “Democracy” then. But “the fathers” were in darkness. The gospel of the new church had not opened its light upon them. Oulds and Vallandigham were not.
The Tioga County Agitator (Wellsborough, PA) May 4, 1864
DIALOGUE. — UNCLE SAM — SECESH — COPPERHEAD.
Secesh – Stoop down here, Uncle!
Uncle Sam – What for, Secesh?
Secesh – I want to cut your throat!
Uncle Sam – Guess not. It don’t want cutting.
Copperhead – Yes, stoop down, Uncle!
Uncle Sam – What! do you, too, want to cut my throat?
Copperhead – O, no — never! I wouldn’t do such a thing for the world! I only want to hold your arms pinioned behind your back while Secesh cuts it. That’s very different, you see!
Uncle Sam – No, I don’t see it.
Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) Sep 16, 1863
CURIOUS WILL –
A will found at Port Royal, recently, by some Union soldiers there, presents a fact not often set forth out of DIXIE. The testator, John Cooper, of Caroline county, Va., gives his property to his wife and daughter, but to do this he is compelled to emancipate his wife, who was his slave, and thereby — according to aristocratic Virginia practice — legitimatize his bastard daughter, born of the aforesaid slave. Will some of our Copperhead Democrats please favor us with a lecture on amalgamation?
Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) Jul 24, 1863