From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cooping was a form of electoral fraud in the United States during the 19th century by which unwilling participants were forced to vote, often several times over, for a particular candidate in an election.[1][2] Generally these innocent bystanders would be grabbed off the street by so-called 'cooping gangs' or 'election gangs' working on the payroll of a political candidate, and they would be kept in a room, called the "coop", and given alcoholic beverages in order for them to comply. If they refused to cooperate, they would be beaten or even killed. Often their clothing would be changed to allow them to vote multiple times. Sometimes the victims would be forced to wear disguises such as wigs, fake beards or mustaches to prevent them from being recognized by voting officials at polling stations.

Edgar Allan Poe is thought by some to have been the victim of cooping before his mysterious death in early October 1849.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marcotte, Frank B. (2005). Six Days In April Lincoln And The Union In Peril. Algora Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-87586-314-6. 
  2. ^ The Congressional Globe. Office of the Congressional Globe. 1865-02-24. p. 1083. 
  3. ^ Walsh, John Evangelist. Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000. p. 32–33. ISBN 0-312-22732-9
  4. ^ Peeples, Scott (2007). The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe. Camden House. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-57113-357-1.