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"Who are the biggest scoundrels in American history?" Topic

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Action Log

17 May 2016 11:20 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Who are the biggest scalawags in American history?" to "Who are the biggest scoundrels in American history?"

17 Jan 2019 6:55 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardRemoved from Wargaming in the USA boardCrossposted to General Historical Discussion board

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Winston Smith30 Jan 2016 8:07 a.m. PST

My nominations:

1) Jamie Wilkinson
2) Aaron Burr

Feel free to add more.

mwindsorfw30 Jan 2016 8:13 a.m. PST

Aaron Burr was the first name that came to mind when I saw the title of your post.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 8:34 a.m. PST

Winston, I was going to suggest that you add "no longer living," to prevent turning the Dog House into a cyber Black Hole of Calcutta, with hundreds of our members incarcerated, but I see I'm too late.


Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 8:34 a.m. PST

Richard Nixon?

Huey Long?

Joseph McCarthy?

Rich Bliss30 Jan 2016 8:35 a.m. PST

John Tyler

Winston Smith30 Jan 2016 8:36 a.m. PST

Grelber, adults who have been here a few years know what they are doing.
Let them stomp on the land mines if they wish.

Besides, the DH has been empty for far too long. Just as there must always be a Stark in Winterfell, it is unnatural to have an empty DH.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 8:39 a.m. PST

Soapy Smith

abelp0130 Jan 2016 8:41 a.m. PST

J. Edgar Hoover, nuff said. Read any bio on him.

JSchutt30 Jan 2016 8:41 a.m. PST

The guys that met at Jekyll Island…

Personal logo Aladdin Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 8:58 a.m. PST

Daniel Sickles: Union corps commander at Gettysburg, politically appointed, got his corps shot up, stole the money for his own memorial bust, shot dead his wife's lover in sight of the White House, hired slick lawyers to get him off using the first temporary insanity plea in U.S. history, took a prostitute to meet Queen Victoria, etc.


BobGrognard30 Jan 2016 9:03 a.m. PST

George Washington. Rebelled against the King to whom he'd sworn an oath. All because he wanted to steal and sell land from the Indians which the British had protected by treaty. He then had the front to talk about rights of man. Presumably the "Inalienable rights" to steal the land of others.

He set a precedent which many others followed. A true scoundrel.

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 9:11 a.m. PST

Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson, Joe McCarthy

raylev330 Jan 2016 9:17 a.m. PST

"which the British had protected by treaty." Right. It was under the British that the entire eastern seaboard was taken from Native Americans.

piper90930 Jan 2016 9:38 a.m. PST

J Edgar Hoover, a good choice.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 9:41 a.m. PST

Leopold Jefferson. He was a 6 foot, 6 inch Southerner who collaborated with the Republicans, earning the Southerns' label "scalawag".

Afterall it was a 1848 labor and then post-ACW term. Aaron Burr couldn't have been one… Americans hadn't invented them yet.

But yeah, Sickles is certainly one, though not as tall.

42flanker30 Jan 2016 9:51 a.m. PST

It was under the British that the entire eastern seaboard was taken from Native Americans

Chokes on scone and clotted cream with babies brains.

Er, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish (working south)? Chuck in a few Germans.

Mebbe, leetle bit Franchee too?

Also, there was no such thing as a 'British' until the Union of Crowns in 1707, so most of those colonies you might be thinking about were English, albeit populated by settlers of diverse origin.

The fact of the 'British' colonies that existed in 1763 doesn't contradict the attempt to prevent further conflict with the indigenous peoples in the trans-Appalachian hinterland, conflict for which the British would have to pay in terms of defence costs and diplomacy (and the settlers in blood). We know how willing the enrepreneurial class in the colonies (including the very people speculating in trans-Appalachian land) were to share in those defence costs.

zoneofcontrol30 Jan 2016 10:04 a.m. PST

"But yeah, Sickles is certainly one, though not as tall."

Sickles didn't have a leg to stand on. He was always in a pickle.

cosmicbank30 Jan 2016 10:10 a.m. PST

Major William J Scalawag. 1811-1874 Of the Bostan Scalawags.

piper90930 Jan 2016 10:24 a.m. PST

William Tecumseh Sherman.

John Chivington (of Sand Creek Massacre infamy).

William Westmoreland.

Sloppypainter30 Jan 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

Robert E Lee. Violated his oath as a U.S. officer and joined a rebellion against his country. Should have hanged him after the war.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 10:39 a.m. PST

James Madison, faked his country into an ill-concealed land grab of a was but got his arse kicked whilst the economy was crippled and the country nearly fragmented

ArmymenRGreat30 Jan 2016 10:42 a.m. PST

@Sloppypainter – I don't think he violated it. He resigned from the US Army first.

21eRegt30 Jan 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

Nathan Bedford Forrest. At *best* couldn't control his men, then went on to found the KKK.

21eRegt30 Jan 2016 10:52 a.m. PST

Randolph Hearst, creator of "Yellow Journalism" that drew the US into an expansionist war with Spain.

Ottoathome30 Jan 2016 11:10 a.m. PST

The only "scalliwags" anywhere, any time are those who like to play the "Let's you and him fight!" game. That is, create dissent and animosity for no other reasons than the schadenfreude they want to stir up. This is especially true in a place where people meet for a pleasant social atmosphere and to discuss favored topics like their hobbies and common intersts. The scalliwags want to ruin this and see other people get angry and force them into ooutrageous and impolite statements.

Don't take the bait.

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 11:15 a.m. PST

John Wilkes Booth

RavenscraftCybernetics30 Jan 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

The Rosenburgs

Personal logo Tacitus Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 11:31 a.m. PST

Oooh, I second Booth. Where's Benedict Arnold?

Only Warlock30 Jan 2016 11:59 a.m. PST

Hmm long list. Several of the Kennedy clan, Benedict Arnold, Alger Hiss.

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 12:44 p.m. PST

George McClellan

George Custer

Ned Almond

Pictors Studio30 Jan 2016 12:58 p.m. PST

Definitely Andrew Jackson makes the top of my list.

vtsaogames30 Jan 2016 1:03 p.m. PST

William Hull
Horatio Gates
James Wilkinson
John Floyd
Simon Cameron

Hull was just criminally incompetent and a coward.
The others were also venal, Wilkinson amazingly so.

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
– Simon Cameron

Supercilius Maximus30 Jan 2016 1:16 p.m. PST

Interesting how many people are naming Nixon – Nixon was far from the most corrupt, he just got caught. Kennedy was far worse, in both his personal and public lives.

M C MonkeyDew30 Jan 2016 1:19 p.m. PST

Emperor Norton
John Daly
William Tweed
Woodrow Wilson
Deleted by Moderator
And that guy who invented infomercials

Winston Smith30 Jan 2016 1:20 p.m. PST

Nixon was not a crook. Just ask him.

Andrew Preziosi30 Jan 2016 1:43 p.m. PST

Another vote for Wilkinson.

42flanker30 Jan 2016 1:55 p.m. PST

Maybe 'scalawag' isn't the same as 'scallywag' over here. 'Scallywag' certainly implies 'lovable' (as in 'lovable rogue'?) Not admirable, not necessarily forgivable but not entirely beyond the pale either – unless he's a 'scally' nicking the lead off your roof.

Some of the names quoted so far are downright bad hats, evil sh!ts and barstewards. I suppose it's a matter of gradation.

As a result of Gore Vidal's case for the defence, I can't help but have a soft spot for Aaron Burr.

sneakgun30 Jan 2016 2:00 p.m. PST

Christopher Columbus
Andrew Jackson – Trail of Tears
Henry Laurens Dawes author of the Dawes Act, biggest land swindle in US History
Major Samuel M. Whitside commander at the Wounded Knee Massacre

Mike O30 Jan 2016 2:27 p.m. PST

Can I recommend a book called "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" by Christopher Hitchens? :


Covering his role from 1969 to 1977 in collusion with the likes of Nixon and Ford and the rest of the criminal crew in the CIA.

Plus "Rogue State" by William Blum for a few more suspects over a much longer period? Reagan, Caspar Weinberger, Oliver North and the new set of war criminals toperating during the 1980s.


Don Manser30 Jan 2016 3:17 p.m. PST

Woodrow Wilson
Robert Byrd


jdpintex30 Jan 2016 3:20 p.m. PST

Woodrow Wilson
Whole Kennedy clan
Benedict Arnold
Sickles, McClellan, Sherman

M C MonkeyDew30 Jan 2016 3:42 p.m. PST

Oh, please add anyone who thought firing on Fort Sumter was a good idea.

peterx Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

Another vote for Richard Milhouse Nixon
his VP Spiro Agnew
G. Liddy
George Schultz
Edwin Meese
Donald Rumsfield
and the list just from fairly recent history is just too long.

If we include all of American history, we also have very long list off rapscallions, slimeballs, nincompoops, scallawags, and very vicious violent scum.

Waco Joe30 Jan 2016 4:34 p.m. PST

Kevin Murray wink

Valator30 Jan 2016 4:37 p.m. PST

Jamie Wilkerson? the 4th kid on Malcolm In the Middle?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 6:55 p.m. PST

Aldrich Ames

Korvessa30 Jan 2016 7:32 p.m. PST

Rules lawyers who are constantly wrong about rules and then decry you as a rules lawyer when you have to challenge their wrongness.

And Johnny Cochrane

gregoryk30 Jan 2016 7:37 p.m. PST

Joe McCarthy

nevinsrip30 Jan 2016 7:51 p.m. PST

Joe McCarthy and Nixon get votes because the liberal press
hated them.
Deleted by Moderator

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2016 8:14 p.m. PST

While most of the time I get good information from TMP, there are often times like in this thread where people are going on and on about something they know nothing about. Nobody has defined what they're talking about. Yet members are happy to just keep throwing out all sorts of names of people they don't like.

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