Freedom Discussions

The Real Reason Why Lincoln Imprisoned and Deported a Democratic Congressman

by Thomas DiLorenzo, LRC

One of the most tyrannical acts of any government official in all of American history is Lincoln’s imprisonment and deportation of Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham (D-Ohio) without any due process for merely opposing the administration’s policies, as he was elected to do by the people of his Dayton, Ohio congressional district.  Some insight into why King Lincoln behaved in such a Stalinist manner is gained by readingthis 1862 speech by Congressman Vallandigham in opposition to the Lincoln administration’s Legal Tender Act.  In the speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives he predicted that the Act, by flooding the country with paper money backed by nothing, would lead to:

“ . . . high prices, extravagant speculation, enormous sudden fortunes, immense fictitious wealth, general insanity.  These belong to all inordinate and excessive paper issues.”

In a passage that sounds like an exposition of the Austrian School of Economics’ business cycle theory Vallandigham said:  “What is to be the result of this?  The collapse follows the inflation, and is terrible and disastrous just in proportion as the bubble has been magnificent.”

“The object of all this . . . is to subjugate the States and the people perpetually to the Federal government” and to aggrandize the political posture of “Abraham Lincoln . . . now President and Caesar of the American Republic.”

And every word of it was true.  That’s why he had to be deported.  (Thanks to Ishmael).