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Cooping Gangs: Electoral fraud in the 19th century.

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posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 02:30 PM
The other day I was watching a clip on the mysterious death of US poet and author Edgar Allen Poe (he died in 1849, at the rather tender age of 40).

One of the theories regarding his death is that he may have been a victim of a Cooping Gang.
Similar to the press gangs that would follow in some US cities with the start of the Civil War (1861), cooping gangs would ply their victims with alcohol and narcotics, and then sent them to commit election fraud by voting more than once:

Cooping was a form of electoral fraud in the United States cited in relation to the death of Edgar Allan Poe in October 1849,[1][2] by which citizens were kidnapped off the street and forced to vote, often several times over, for an election candidate.[3] According to several of Poe's biographers, so-called 'cooping gangs' or 'election gangs' working for a political candidate would hold random victims in a room (the "coop") and ply them with alcohol to get them to comply or face beatings. Often their clothing would be changed to fool voting officials and vote multiple times, or they would be given disguises such as wigs, fake beards, or mustaches.

I assume this would only have affected male victims (since the 19 Amendment was only ratified in 1920).
Yeah, like I always try to tell people, having a willy wasn't a "systemic privilege", it was downright dangerous.

I guess in the time before serial numbers, identification documents, fingerprints, thumb-nail ink and so forth people voted on their appearance, as in the officer at the door says: "I haven't seen you today yet, go right in".
Imagine I had a time machine and could go back to the 1894 elections.
What a party I could have!
Ply me with vodka, and I'll march in as your Trump-man in the morning.
Oooh Tequila ... it's afternoon: "Helloo, I'm a lady and I'd like to vote".
And the officer goes: "Begone ye harlot, you may not vote".
"Oops, not ready for that yet, I guess. Sorry, my mistake".

I'm not sure, were people really press-ganged into voting?
Maybe at first, but I imagine it becomes increasingly jolly through the day.

Or is this all a big myth?

edit on 2-3-2021 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 02:53 PM
That's really interesting and I had not heard about those gangs. Thank you for that.

I think, based on his stories and what he portrays physiologically, yes not psychologically, he was well in tune with the bodily harms of narcotics and alcohol and liked both, so I think he just got too messed up and had a heart attack in the gutter.

I adore his writing by the way.
a reply to: halfoldman

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 02:58 PM
Although there's quite a bit on Edgar Allen Poe and various theories on his death (going to take some time to choose one), this is the only clip I found specifically on cooping:

I just wonder, could it still happen today?
Yeah in some very corrupt "third-world" countries I'm sure it could.
In the US?
Not for me to comment.

In SA, have all kinds of goodies suddenly appeared around election time?
Yeah but I don't think that's the same as roughing voters up, or intoxicating them to the point of poisoning.
Besides, the retribution usually comes after the election.

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 03:33 PM
Also, modern day "police" forces started when, after elections, there'd be passed out drunks and garbage all over town commons'.

The "police" were sober men conscripted to clean up the drunks and the garbage.

That's why when you "police" a campsite before you vacate, you're walking it to get up any garbage you've left behind.

True story, learned it in my "history of law enforcement" class.
edit on 2-3-2021 by LanceCorvette because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 03:44 PM
a reply to: halfoldman
A simpler approach, used in England when the electoral rolls were small, would have been to feed drinks to known opposition voters and keep them too drunk to go out and vote at all.

edit on 2-3-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 04:12 PM
a reply to: halfoldman

It is still dangerous today to have a willy, especially a white one

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 04:40 PM
Likewise in the Army we police our brass. Which reminds me I need to check where all that goes.

Ohhh for the civvies its not the top brass lol its your shells from firing.
I had a random thought at night...where did that all go?

a reply to: LanceCorvette

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 05:15 PM

originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: halfoldman
A simpler approach, used in England when the electoral rolls were small, would have been to feed drinks to known opposition voters and keep them too drunk to go out and vote at all.

Or the Lord of the manner would just ply them with drinks, he became everybody’s best mate and harvested their votes.

The Land owners party, giving the promise of a better life to the serfs for centuries.

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 06:04 PM
a reply to: halfoldman

Who makes this stuff up? Cooping is making barrels.
A cooper is a barrel maker.
A thatcher puts thatch on roofs.
A walker is a person who does the function of a washing machine.
Many names started out as jobs.

I always lugh at that last one, “Washingmachine, Texas Ranger”
edit on 3 2 2021 by beyondknowledge because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 07:14 PM
Did anyone notice, there's a Back to the Future (1985) reference in my OP?

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