Stolen Elections

“without a little bloodletting this Union will not, in my estimate, be worth a rush.” – Zachariah Chandler, U.S. Senator from Michigan1

According to his Civil War Diary, Edward Henry Dickerman listened to a speech by Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler on July 23rd, 1861. The men of the Michigan 3rd Infantry volunteers had just covered the retreat of the Federal troops from the first Battle of Bull Run. In Edward’s words, “We retreated back to Washington whiped but not badly.”

Senator Chandler “made us a little speech and shoed us that we had not disgraced our flag.”

Zachariah Chandler was a vocal abolitionist and stood in firm opposition to slavery. He served as Mayor of Detroit and ran for Governor of Michigan in 1852 as a member of the Whig party. Later, he was instrumental in forming the new Republican Party and helped found the state GOP in Michigan. Chandler became a U.S. Senator and served from 1857 to 1875.

Never afraid to stand up for what is right, Chandler was a fierce anti-slavery advocate and opposed compromise with the Southern secessionists, even at the cost of war. Chandler declared “without a little bloodletting this Union will not, in my estimate, be worth a rush.”

According to a short biography2 of Zachariah Chandler, “When war came, he helped organize and equip the first regiment of Michigan volunteers. In the Senate he obtained a position on the powerful Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, which exerted pressure on the Lincoln administration for a more aggressive war policy and harassed cautious or conservative Union Army generals, especially George B. McClellan. Chandler was also chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce; he promoted the passage of measures creating a national banking system, higher tariffs, and other legislation to finance the war and aid Northern industrial growth. He was critical of Lincoln’s moderate conditions for restoration of the South to the Union and bitterly opposed to Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction policy. A roughhewn, grim-visaged, hard-drinking, plain-speaking man, Chandler denounced Johnson as a traitor and voted for the President’s conviction on impeachment charges in 1868.”

In his final speech given October 31, 1879 on the night of his death, Zachariah Chandler spoke about many topics of political concern in his day. Among these comments Chandler talked of the “Twelve members of the Senate – and that is more than their whole majority – twelve members of the Senate occupy their seats upon that floor by fraud and violence…” and “With majorities thus obtained they dare to arraign the loyal men of this country, and say they want honest elections” to which there was much laughter and applause. “They are mortally afraid of bayonets at the polls.”

He goes on to state the when offered “a law forbidding any man to come within two miles of a polling place with arms of any description” the Democrat Senators “promptly voted it down, for they wanted their Ku-Klux there.” “They were afraid, not of Ku-Klux at the polls, but of soldiers at the polls.”

Chandler continues, “But they are afraid to have inspectors. What are they afraid to have inspectors for? The law creating those inspectors is imperative that one must be a Democrat and the other a Republican. They have no power whatever except to certify that the election is honest and fair. And yet they are afraid of those inspectors, and then they are afraid of marshals at the polls. Now, while the inspectors cannot arrest, the marshals under the order of the court can arrest criminals; therefore, they said: ‘We will have no marshals.’ “

“What they want is not free elections, but free frauds at elections.”

My, how history repeats itself. Just as in the 1860’s and 1870’s when Democrats refused to allow inspections at polling places, today’s Democrats do everything within their power to thwart election inspectors. They obfuscate poll watchers, stuff drop-boxes with fraudulent ballots, delay and alter actual election results and accuse anyone questioning the results or methods of today’s elections as “threats to democracy.”

Certainly with the advent of electronic tabulators and computer software that cannot be easily traced, their methods have changed, but today, as in the past, what they want is not free elections but free frauds at every election.

Perhaps it is time once again for a little bloodletting.

Jeff Dickerman
Ionia, Michigan


[1] Letter to Michigan Governor Austin Blair dated February 11, 1861.

Descendants of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman

Samuel[8] Dickerman was an eighth generation descendant of Thomas[1] and Ellen Dickerman, the original immigrant ancestors of nearly all living Dickerman’s in the U.S.  Samuel’s father was also named Samuel and his mother was Mary Lewis.   The line goes back as follows:

Samuel[8], Samuel[7],  Samuel[6], Samuel[5], John[4], John[3], Thomas[2], Thomas[1]

Samuel[6] and Persis have an interesting story, but this entry is about Samuel[8] and Mary and their children.  This researcher has spent many hours over several decades tracing the lives and history of this Civil War era family.  On March 31st, 1849, Samuel[8] set sail for California aboard the Brig Taranto in search of gold in the fields of California.  He was about to participate in the Gold Rush of 1849 as one of the original “Forty-Niners”.   Sam’s name (S.Dickerman) appears in several lists, including this entry from the New York Herald of April 7th of that year.

Samuel joined The Shawmut Mining and Trading Association along with others from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Each of the sixty men in the company paid $300 in shares for the opportunity to sail to California in search of gold.  After a brief legal challenge (see Massachusetts District Court decision of March, 1849), the Taranto set sail from Boston commanded by Capt. Saunders.  The brig sailed around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America with stops in Brazil and other South American ports.  From there, the ship sailed north to San Francisco Bay where is was abandoned by the crew and passengers – all seeking fortune in the Gold Fields of California.  Eventually, the Brig Taranto was sold at auction.

Sadly, Sam died within a year leaving his wife, Mary (Russell) Dickerman and younger children, including Edward Henry[9] Dickerman, great-great grandfather of this author.  With older brother James and younger sister Diantha in tow, Mary moved into the Wilderness in west-central Michigan to live with her brother, Albert G. Russell.  Mary eventually met and married Arnold Payne, the first white settler of Gratiot County, Michigan whose biography can be found in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Gratiot County, Michigan.  Mary (Russell) Dickerman Payne is buried in the “Old Payne Cemetery”, now known as as the Fulton Township Cemetery.


Owen Louis[12] and Lee (Olson) Dickerman in the Old Payne Cemetery with the headstone of Mary (Russell) Dickerman Arnold.

Samuel[8] Dickerman was reported to have died in California in 1850 though we have no record other than the writings of E.H. Dickerman.  Edward passed this information on to Edward Dwight Dickerman who wrote and published the Dickerman Genealogy.  Mary died August 30, 1865.

Russell'n_coverResponding to a challenge from my Uncle Jim (James Samuel[12] Dickerman) to locate the parents of Mary (Russell) Dickerman, with our cousin Russell E.[12] Dickerman we have been able to show that Mary was descended from Jason Russell of Menotomy, Massachusetts.  The entire story of our research efforts is described in the short story, “Russell’n Through the Leaves“, available on this server in PDF format.

Jason Russell was killed on his own doorstep defending his home during the retreat of the British from Lexington and Concord on the first day of the Revolutionary War.  Jason’s home is now a museum maintained by The Arlington Historical Society and worth a trip back east to visit.


Judy (Dickerman[13]) Craig at the Jason Russell House – Arlington, Massachusetts

The research required for this work has lead us to long-lost cousins including Russ[12] and Geri Dickerman of Nashua, New Hampshire, Owen[12] and Lee Dickerman, formerly of Somerset, Massachusetts, Charlie[12] and Diane Dickerman of Vermont, and even Richard[12] and Wendy[13] Bolles, descendants of Frank Bolles Dickerman.  (The Bolles-Dickerman connection will be the subject of a  future entry and a fascinating story by itself.)

Other Descendants of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman are undoubtedly out but not yet known to this author.  A brief summary of the original Civil War era children are:

Children of Samuel[8] Dickerman and Mary Russell:

S.R. Dickerman

Sgt. S.R. Dickerman – photographed around 1861/62

 – Samuel R. Dickerman[9] – born in 1828 in Mason, New Hampshire.  Sam served in the Mexican War and in the New Hampshire regiment during the Civil War.  S.R. Dickerman died at Andersonville prison and left diaries.

– William R. Dickerman[9] born in 1830 and died young in 1841 at Nashua, New Hampshire.

 – Charles A. Dickerman[9] born in 1832 in Topsham, Vermont.  Lived in Cambridge, Mass and is the ancestor of Owen[12], James[13],  and Charles[12] Dickerman.  Charles named his eldest son for younger brother Edward Henry Dickerman[9] below.

– Albert L. Dickerman[9] born in 1834 in Vermont.  Albert married Thankful Robbins and lived in Riviere du Loop, Canada for many years.  After Thankful’s death, Albert remarried Eliza Kerrigan and moved to Kenton, Kentucky along with son, James Albert Dickerman[10].  Our research continues to search for possible descendants of James.

– James H. Dickerman[9] born in 1836 in New Hampshire.  James served during the Civil War and was mortally wounded, dying in 1863.  James had children including Dorr Dickerman[10] who lived and died in Michigan.  Still searching for any descendants.

– Nelson M. Dickerman[9] born in 1838 and died within a year.

14 EHD0001 At Discharge

Edward Henry Dickerman at Discharge.   Original tintype taken around 1862. – Image courtesy JSD[12]

– Edward Henry Dickerman[9] born in Nashua in 1840.  E.H. Dickerman is the subject of much research including the original website.  Edward served with the Michigan Third Infantry and left diaries available for download and viewing.  E.H. Dickerman[9] is the ancestor of this author.

– Mary Diantha Dickerman[9], born in 1843 and died in 1870 in Fulton Township, Michigan.

14 Edward H Dickerman

Edward Henry Dickerman[9] with Army Insignia – Image courtesy JSD[12]

Civil War Diaries of Edward Henry Dickerman


Susan (Dickerman[13]) Smith of El Cajon, California has transcribed the Civil War Diaries of Edward Henry Dickerman[9], her Great-Great Grandfather.   Edward  was one of the seven children of Samuel[8] and Mary (Russell) Dickerman and the Great-Great Grandfather of Susan.

Full scans and the full text can be downloaded here:

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary No. 1 – 1861

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary No. 2 –  1861/1862

and the full transcriptions:

E.H. Dickerman Civil War Diary Transcription



Edward enlisted with the Michigan Third Infantry and is listed in Steve Soper’s Old Michigan Third pages.