Originally published by Kettle Moraine Publications, October 10, 2018. ~ Ed.
~ Part I ~ “That Which Has Been Is That Which Shall Be”
Editor’s NOTE: All is not as it seems to be… As you begin to read the following by Al Benson Jr., you will begin to believe that this is about the so-called Civil War and several of it’s players. Well… it is and it isn’t. “Oh what tangled webs we weave…” This is the finest commentary on the American demise I have ever read, and once you have read it – you too will better understand the weaving of the web. ~ Ed.
The title of this article has one more line in it that would have made it too long for a title. That line is “And there is nothing new under the sun.” This is taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. It’s sort of a paraphrase of the 9th verse of chapter one–not an exact rendering, but close enough so you get the idea. Nowhere is this more applicable than in Washington, D.C. the District of Corruption.
Recently, I started working my way through a book by Helen Jones Campbell, which I found at a local library. The book is Confederate Courier and deals with the life of John Surratt Jr., the son of Mary Surratt, who was hung as one of the “co-conspirators” in the Lincoln assassination. I’ve done articles on Mrs. Surratt for this blog but its been a few years ago, and I contended that she was innocent of complicity in Lincoln’s assassination. She may have been complicit in a plan to kidnap Lincoln, but I don’t feel she was part of a scheme to kill him. But Washington being Washington, needed another sacrificial victim – guilty or innocent made no difference as long as someone’s agenda was moved along, in this case probably Edwin Stanton’s.
Campbell makes some interesting observations. She noted, on page 2 that “The war had been over for two years, and the Union preserved after a fashion, but nothing had gone back to being as it had been…” It never would either. The country had gone from being some semblance of a representative republic and was now in its first stages of socialist democracy–a course it has persevered in unto this day. If you think that’s far out, just look at the politicians today who blithely refer to the country as “our democracy.”
In regard to the trial of Surratt and the others Campbell observed: “In spite of protests by many government officials, legal authorities, and newspapers over the world, these civilians were ordered to face a military commission. ‘Unconstitutional’ said the public; civilians could not be tried by the military when established courts were open and available. But they had been….and by the rules of the court denied the right to speak a word in their own defense, such an outburst had shaken the city and nation that Stanton had wavered.” But not much!
However, the fun was only beginning. Campbell stated that “Witnesses had told horrifying tales of Jefferson Davis as instigator of the crime, of a plan to assassinate all the cabinet members, too, to burn New York City, poison its wells, pack explosives in coal cars, infect the North with smallpox….Each day’s testimony had rocked the town anew…No story was too lurid to repeat, no embellishment too wild.”
Campbell noted of Louis Weichman that “Stanton had questioned him, frightened him silly, and then committed him to Old Capitol Prison to think his story over. His testimony had hanged Mrs. Surratt, but after her death he suffered such great remorse that he had confessed to various friends. ‘I didn’t want to hang’ he had said. ‘If they’d let me say what I wanted to, she wouldn’t have hanged’.” When Stanton heard of this he called Weichman on the carpet about it. According to Campbell “Lou denied it and hurried out of town to a job the secretary found for him in Philadelphia….No sooner had this quieted down when a news story broke that a school for perjury had been conducted in the New National Hotel. A New York newsman, paid by Stanton, had written testimony and coached witnesses in its delivery. Eight such witnesses had testified and not one of them, including their tutor, had testified under his own name. This was testimony that linked the Confederate officials and John Surratt to the murder. Without this testimony there could have been no charge against him.”
All this proves one thing. The Deep State. whether 150 years ago or today, has an agenda that is destructive to the truth and they will push that agenda no matter who it hurts or how many lives it destroys. They couldn’t care less about any of that. Anyone thinking you can appeal to their “better nature” is naive in the extreme. These people prostitute themselves and others without hesitation to gain their desired goals. If they thought it would further their agenda they’d call God a liar–something they’ve done indirectly for decades already.
Washington, in the District of Corruption, is a city built on lies, deception, deceit, and hurt. When lives are destroyed its denizens laugh! To them that means they’ve done a good job. Today’s fascist Democrats are no different than yesterday’s radical Republican Yankee/Marxists. They all originated in the same slime.
What’s going on today in Washington is what has gone on before in Washington and even though the names may be different, it’s the same old socialist/Illuminist game that has been going on for a long, long time.
Those that pray imprecatory Psalms regarding many of Washington’s Swamp denizens are not all that much off track, in fact they may have figured out what the game is more than most have.
~ Part II ~ The name of the game is the same
The previous chapter, with material taken from the book Confederate Courier about the trial of John Surratt Jr. almost reads like a playbook for much of what goes on in Washington in 2018. It’s truly amazing how little some things change. Or maybe you could say the more they change the more they stay the same.
The trial of John Surratt Jr. was never only about Surratt. He was the vehicle used by the Deep State of his day i.e. Edwin Stanton and the Radical Republicans, the Yankee Marxists.
On page 138 was noted a letter that said, in part, “Mr. Matchett then requested me to mention to Surratt there was a means by which he could save his neck, have the shackles struck from his arms, and have his mother’s name rescued from odium if he would give the name of someone high in position who might have prompted the assassination as he and his party were no doubt tools in the hands of more important personages and that he need not look to Andrew Johnson for pardon as he dare not do it.”
Needless to say “The power behind these and other events that preceded Johnny’s trial was Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and leader of the radical faction of the Republican Party. He had been the power behind the military trial of the alleged conspirators , and his determination to convict the defendants had brought about Mrs. Surratt’s death…Stanton had a double interest now for unless John Surratt was found guilty, thus upholding the verdicts of the earlier trial, the whole radical faction might be destroyed politically.”
It was no secret in the right circles that Stanton really wanted to be president, i.e. dictator. Supposedly votes from the North and West could enable the radicals to hold onto power, but Southern votes had “to be reduced to a trickle. The strategy to accomplish this had been to disenfranchise Southern white men and bestow suffrage on the Freedmen, who would support their Northern liberators at the polls, thus preserving the radicals. But to their discomfiture the Radicals discovered that the new President, Andrew Johnson, would not follow blindly where they led. At first they threatened him with party power but when he continued to pardon Rebels and to revert to many of Lincoln’s conciliatory and personal vote-winning policies, they cast about for means of getting rid of him.” Any of this sound familiar today–a sitting president who goes his own way (and the way of those that elected him) instead of kowtowing to the Deep State and letting them call the shots, as they had for decades?
Campbell noted, on page 140, that shortly after Surratt’s arrest, Representative James H. Ashley from Ohio “had introduced before the House of Representatives a resolution to impeach President Andrew Johnson. The House Judiciary Committee thereupon had launched the necessary investigation. When the Committee began its search for evidence useful in removing President Johnson from office, it first of all requested the Secretary of War to supply copies of all information in his possession concerning persons accused of complicity in the murder of Lincoln. After the astounded committee read the Conover material, they immediately tried to locate the witnesses at the conspirators’ trial and bring them in for further questioning. The first of these, William Campbell, broke down under questioning. ‘This is all false,’ he cried miserably. ‘I must make a clean breast of it. I can’t stand this any longer.’ All the testimony by himself and the seven others had been manufactured, he confessed. Conover had written it out and coached the witnesses in delivering it.
His pupils had then traveled to Washington, made depositions at the War Department and, using their assumed names, had testified at the Conspirators’ Trial.” Do you realize what has just been said here? The Lincoln “conspirators” were convicted on false testimony!!! We have the identical situation going on right now in Washington–a Supreme Court Justice nominee is in the process of being convicted on false testimony–no evidence–just fake charges. However, in this sorry day and age you don’t even need a scintilla of evidence or proof–all you have to do is make the accusation and that’s enough–no evidence needed!
At least, in Surratt’s day, the promoter of perjury, Conover, was arrested and convicted of perjury, and sentenced to eight years in jail. Ironically, when John Surratt Jr entered the District Jail in February of 1867, Conover was there, in the cell across the hall opposite his, waiting to be transferred to the Federal Penitentiary in Albany, New York! Nowadays the perjurer wouldn’t be going to jail, he’d be going to Washington to receive an award from the Democratic National Committee.
~ Part III ~ End game…
It should come as no surprise that Edwin M. Stanton sought to manipulate the civilian court trial of John Surratt Jr. I suppose he felt that being Secretary of War gave him certain “prerogatives” not usually available to mere mortals.
A man who was a special War Department counsel, Albert Gallatin Riddle, was tapped by Stanton to oversee the “general management of the case.” Campbell observed that: “In other words, tlhe war secretary had arranged to dictate the trial of a civilian in a civilian court, as he had dictated the trial of civilians in a military court. Assisting the prosecution, the House Judiciary Committee worked night and day on plans to remove the president, and turn over to the War Department any information its members thought would help to unseat Andrew Johnson and hang John Surratt. Looking at this whole sorry situation it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to, in the words of Patrick Henry, “smell a rat.”
Surratt’s lead attorney, Joseph Bradley knew what the game really was. He was no neophyte. Although he was a Democrat he had supported the Union, but for all that, the Lincoln administration had never been on his top ten list of favorites. Campbell has stated that: “He (Bradley) knew, as all Washington now knew, that these radicals had used perjured testimony not so much to obtain the death of an innocent woman as to ensure political control…He knew all about Lou Weichman’s false testimony in court and his retractions in private…Infuriated by the prosecution’s bland denial of War Department control, he showed malicious delight in leading unsuspecting prosecution witnesses to admit they had been examined in Judge Advocate General Holt’s office.”
A big problem for the prosecution was to show that John Surratt had been on the scene to help Booth with the Lincoln assassination and they worked mightily trying to do that. They came up with all manner of people who said they saw Booth and Surratt together in Washington on April 14th. They had an impressive list of liars to “prove” this, as well as some who were actually mistaken.
Does this sound like the current situation with Kavanaugh? People are literally coming out of the woodwork (or from under rocks) to testify that they have seen Kavanaugh falling down drunk, gang-raping girls by the score, both he and his friends. Of course the stories fail to hold up and most people called on to admit they were at these “parties” state they know nothing about them. And there is no evidence to contradict them. But as I said in an earlier article–who needs evidence in today’s atmosphere? Isn’t just making the accusation enough? And if it isn’t enough for us, then we are all racists or whatever other perjury they can dredge up for us. After all, none of these people would ever lie to us, right? Right? Don’t all answer at once!
Just as this current situation is all about keeping Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court and dragging this sorry farce on until the midterms in hopes of a Demoncratic victory so they can impeach Trump, so the Surratt situation was all about validating the guilty verdict for the Lincoln “conspirators” so Stanton and company would not look as if they had railroaded the whole thing through, and if John Surratt were not found guilty, especially after all the perjured testimony, that’s exactly what it would look like. Stanton stood to have egg on his face. The price of removing that egg was attempted military control over a trial in civil court.
But hold on, to go back to the trial of the Lincoln “conspirators” it gets worse. Campbell noted, on page 277 that: “Sunday’s newspapers carried a bombshell: the majority of Mrs. Surratt’s judges had not been convinced of her guilt. Five of her nine judges had recommended mercy for her to the president. At last, the truth was out. The source of the information was incontrovertible. The reporters had seen the official Report of the Trial of the Conspirators. More specifically, they had seen, attached to the end of the report, the half sheet of paper on which the request for mercy had been made to the president. It bore the signatures of the five judges. The defense lawyers had not touched the report; it had not been admitted as evidence. At the end of the session Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt had come to the courtroom to retrieve the document, but the newsmen had already seen its explosive contents.” On Sunday next, the 4th of August, Andrew Johnson read in the news the commentary that blamed Mrs. Surratt’s death on him. The very next day, immediately, if not sooner, a messenger was sent to the office of Edwin Stanton, with orders to come immediately to the president, with the official trial report in hand.
The messenger carried this identical message to Mr. Stanton three separate times. After the third attempt, Stanton dispatched a ribbon clerk to the president with the report. No way was he going to face Johnson personally.
Enter again William P. Wood, former superintendent of Old Capitol Prison, who had been “a lackey to Stanton.” He showed up at the White House and spent some time with Johnson. Campbell noted that “He told the president that after Mrs. Surratt’s arrest he, Wood, had been sent to her brother, Zad Jenkins, with the promise that she would be released if she or her family gave any information about Booth’s whereabouts.” Relying on Wood’s promise, Zad gave him some information he had heard. “This tip led to Booth’s apprehension but Stanton had refused to honor his promise. Wood then tried to reach the president, but upon Stanton’s written order had been refused entry to the White House.”
Wood’s story shook Johnson up, and as Campbell noted: “Yet there before him lay the proof, the formal Brief Review of the Case which two years before had been delivered to him personally by Judge Holt. The long pages of report, convictions, statements of death warrants, all tied together will yellow linen tape. But there was something else; a half sheet of paper on which was written a recommendation for mercy for Mrs. Surratt. A black sheet of legal length paper separated it from the last page of the report…The pages were fastened together at the top and each page as read was turned back and folded under the unread portion. In that way the little half page had been hidden from sight.” Odd that Judge Holt had neglected to mention it. Odder still that it hadn’t been included in the “official publication of the trial, approved and released by Stanton, nor in the judge advocate’s annual report to the Secretary of War.” It would seem that, the way the report was presented to the president, that he never saw the clemency request–which was probably Mr. Stanton’ intention.
All this considered, Johnson wrote a letter to Stanton in which he said: “Sir: Public considerations of a high character constrain me to say that your resignation of Secretary of War will be accepted.”
Though Johnson removed Stanton, the radical Congress simply reinstated him under the Tenure of Office Act, but, thankfully, Johnson had the will to persevere–at which point Stanton simply refused to leave his office until he was removed by force. So the would-be dictator who would be president finally got his comeuppance–and Mrs. Surratt had to die so he could cover up his actions both before and after the Lincoln assassination. There are questions to this day as to his involvement in that situation.
So if you want to grasp the degree to which radicals in government usurp power to promote their own leftist agendas today, take a good look at what Edwin Stanton did in his day. Outside of the names, there is very little difference in the actions of radical leftists in and out of government. 1865 and 2018 ain’t all that much different.
~ The Author ~
Al Benson Jr. is the editor and publisher of “The Copperhead Chronicle“, a quarterly newsletter that presents history from a pro-Southern and Christian perspective. He has written for several publications over the years. His articles have appeared in “The National Educator,” “The Free Magnolia,” and the “Southern Patriot.” I addition to that he was the editor of, and wrote for, “The Christian Educator” for several years. In addition to The Copperhead Chronicles, Al also maintains Revised History.
He is currently a member of the Confederate Society of America and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and has, in the past, been a member of the John Birch Society. He is the co-author, along with Walter D. Kennedy, of the book “Lincoln’s Marxists” and he has written for several Internet sites as well as authoring a series of booklets, with tests, dealing with the War of Northern Aggression, for home school students.
He and his wife now live in northern Louisiana.