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Dark Days For America

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New Oklsans, Deo. 6. Tho Hon. Abram S. Hewitt, Chuiruiiui Democratie National Commtttco The Returning Board of Louiaiana having this day promulgated as tho result of the recent eketion in that Statu that the Hayes anc WUeeler candidate for electora received a majority of the vote, we, who, by iuyitation watched the próceedings of the board in open Ing and canvaasing the returns till it won into aecret session, doom it our duty to ltiy be foro 3'ou and tlie public such facts connecte with t'ie electiou and the return as will, we tbink, clcarly show that the action of the Be turning Board in proclaiming tho oloction o the Hayes electora is arbitrary, unfair, an( without warrant of law, and we adopt, as ap plicable to thia canvaas, the language of a ro port made to thtt United Statea Houao of liep resentativee, in 1875. by Geo, F. Uoar, William A. Wheelcr, and WiUiara P. Frye, in regard to the convass of 1874, wüich they aay 'Tho so-callod canvass made bv the Return ing Board in the intcreat of Keliogg aeems to nato havo novaJidity, and is entitled to no re speet whatever." We also adopt the lan guape of this Hamo report upon the conditioi of Louisiana in 1875: "In the State oi Louiaiana thcro is a Qovornor in office who owea hia soat to tho interference of the national power, which liaa recognized hia title to his offioe, not by reason of any ascertain ment of the faots by legal preceas, but has based its action solely on the ïliegal order of a Judge. "In the same State there is a Legislatura, one branch of which derives ita au thorit y pnrtl; from the eame order, the other being orgamzed by a rnajority who have boon estab lifhed in power by another interferonoe of the national Govornmeut, and which raajority de rivea ita title, not from any legal ascertain ment of the f acta, but frora the certifícate o a Keturning Board which hasmisoonceivedant excoeded its legal authority. " Nov. 18, 1876, before the Keturning Board commencod the canvaas of the electoral roto the candidatos for electora on the Democratie ticket preeented a protest against i.s jurisdic tion over the subject, or its canvasa of the votes relating to the same. This protest was summarily overruled _by the board, withou affording an opportuñity for argument. No legal proposition in our opinión ia clearer than that the board was mistaken au to its power? and that it ha'l nothing whatever to do with the electoral vote. The conatitution of the United States declares : " Eaeh Stute shall ny. pvint, in such marnier of tho Legislatura there of may direct, a number oí electora cqual to the whole number of Senators and Representa tivea to. which the State may be entitled in Congress, but no Senator or Representativo or person holding an ollice of trust or profi nnder tho United States shall De appointed an eleetor." The Logislaturc of Louiaiana haa either di reoted tho manner in which the eleotors in tha State shall be appointed, or it haa not. The election law of 1872 and amndmente, unde which the Roturmng Board is created and acts makes no provisión as to the manner of appoincing electora of President and Vico Preei dent, whother by the Legislature or by a vote f the people, nor whether by the State at larg or by Oongressional district, nor doen it contain any provieions as to the qnalification oi eleotora, the place where thoy are to meet, nor for rilling vacaneieB. Saction 71 of that act doclares as follows : '■ That this act ehall take effect from and after its passage, and that all others on the subject of eleolion lawa be and the same are hereby repealed." This is not an implied but a direct repeal of all prior election laws to which it refera, and if it rcpeala the previona act of 1868, reviaed in 1870, providiug for the appointmont of Presidontial electors, it rcpeala the whole of it and all its provisión?, and thcro ia no law of tho State on that subject, and of courae the board would have no juriRdiction to canvasa votes cast forsuch oflicers. If, on tho other li and, tho act of 1872 doea not repeal tho law of 1870, the Preaiaential electora mast be appointed and the canvais of the votea theroof must be made in aceordancewith the law of 1870, and the Returning Board has no jurisdiction over the .subject, as will be seen by roference to some of the provisions of the act of 1870, which are as followa : Sec. 2,821. Every qualincd voteriu the State shall voto for electora as follows : Tivo persons shall bc eulectod from tho 8tafo at Jarge, and one person shall bo chofien from each Congressional district in tuis State; and in case any ticket shall contain two or names of persons residingi u tbc eaine district (excopt the two cboseu f rom tho state atlarRe), the flrst of Buch naiues ouly shall be considered as ünly voted for. 8ec. 2,825. No person shall be considered a qualifled eleotor who is nüt a qualiñed voter in the district for wliich he ia cuioytu, or io case cf beluK Bclpctcd for the State at Iarge, then of eome pariï-h of tho State. Sec. 9,826. Immediatcly after the rooeipt of a return from each parish, or on the fourth Munday of November, if the returns should not soouer arrive, the Governor, in tho pioíenco of tho iSocretary of State, the Attorney General, a District Judge of the district in which the sc.t of Government may be established, or auy two of theui. shall examine tho roturns anri ascertain therefrom tho perBons wüo have been duly elected elector. Sec. 2,829. The electora s-hall meet at the Beat of Government on the day appointed for their meeting by the act of CouKreB - ïhe iirpt Wednesday in December- and nliall tlxen and there proceed to execute theduties and st-rvices enjoined upon them by the constitution of the United States, ia tho manner thereiu prescribed. SfcC. 2,830, If any one or more of the olcctor choBen by the pcoplc uliail fail, from any causo whatevor, to attend at tuc appointed place at the of 4 p. m. of the day prescribed for thcir meeting, it BhaLl be the duty of tho other electora lmmcdiatcly to proceed by ballot to iil such vacauy or vacan ejes. It is immaterial, so far as alfecta the jurisdictie) of the Returning Board, whether the act of 1870, relating to the appointment of Prcsidential electora, ia repcalod or not. If repealed, thero ia no law in Louiaiana for the apiX'inUnent of Preaidential Electora if not! d, then 1 lm oauvxaa of the returns cast for tuch olectora must bo nitide by the Governor, m the prsence of the Secretary of State, tho Attorney (leñera!, a Judge of tho district in wUch tbe eoat of Government may bo oslsbliabod, or any two of them, as reijuired by the act of 1870, and in makiug such cauvass they would be conti ued to an aacertainment of the persons doeted, accordirg to the returns, without authority to re ject votea. In uo ovent can the Returninf; Board have juriadiction of tho returus of the electora of President and Vico President, and their canv&ss of the same is theroforo a niülity. and entitled to no respect from flny one. In another aspect it may be important to detormine whether the act of 1870 is repealed, for if it ia the atatutea of the State próvido no mede of rilling vacancioa in the Electoral College, and it ia understocd that two of the electoral candidatos on the Repubican ticket held oflïcea of trost or proilt under the United States at tbe time of the election, and could not therefore be appointed olectora, Other objoctiona woro made to the jurisdiction of the Iieturuing Board. Thft it was anti-republican that it was in conflict with the coiihtitntiou of the State, in that it undertook to exerciso judicial fuuctions, and in that with only four membera it was not legally conBtituted. The Election law declaren: '-That five pereone, to be elected by the Sonate from all politica! partios, ahall be the returning oflioers for all elecriona in the State, a mujority of wiuiiii shall conatitute a quorum, and havo powor to make tho returus of all oloction. In caae of eny vacancy by doatb, reaignation, or otherwise, by either of the board, then the vacaney shaia be filled by the residue of the Bosrd of Returning Oflieors." The present board consista of only four members, to wit: J. Hadison Wella, T. C. Anderaon, G. Oassnave, and Louis M. Kenner, one of whom, T. C. Apderson, was a candidato for the State Senato at tlio recent electiou on the Itepnblican ticket. All aro members of the Bepnblican party. They are the samo persons who conatituted the 1! - turniug Board in 1874, and canvassed tho olection roturna of that year, and of whom a committeo of the House of Kepreeontativoa of the United States, compoeod of Moeörs. Hoar, Whfeler, Fryo, Koster, Phelps, Uarshall and Potte , after caroful examination of its action, ■lid : "We are conetrained to declare that tho action of the Roturning Board, on tlio wholo, was arbitral, unjnsfc, and, in our opinión, ülegaL" The vacancy in tho board, ocoasioued by the reaignation of Osoar Arroyo, in December, 1H74, lias never been filled, although ropeated applicutiona by thorepresentativce ef thoDcnjooiiktic-Conservativo party of tho Stato nud ita cindidat(s have been made to the board to flll the namo. The foretïoing comtnittee of the Houae of Bepreseutatives, commenting on tho failure of tho boaid to till the vacanoy in 1871, hen it ooourred, aaid : "Your committee thmk tho iaw as to tho conatitution of tbo board was not complied with." If tbis view be correct, tho board ia not so couütituted as to have aut.hority to act at all. The entire clerical forcé appointed by the board at ita present seseicu to compilo the votos caat is aleo Kepublican, and tbo board rufuaod an application to appoint any cierk or to allow any pcreon of the opposito party to bö i present to wimcaa tho compilation, and even excludfd the Uuitod States Supervisors of Elcction nnder tho act of Congres. Tho laws of Louisiana requiro a regiutratiou of votors every ttvo yeara by oilioora appointod by the Governor of tho State - tho rogistratiou to comraence tho laat Monday of Augnat proceding the general electiouin November. The Eloction law óf tho 8ate contains tho folio wing proviuions for condneting the olection, makmg returuH, oto., to-wlt: Sec. 26. Bc it further eaacteti, etc,, That in any parish, preeiuct, ward, city, or town, iu wliich, during the time of registration, or revisión of registration, or on any day of clection, thero shall be tiuy riot, tumult, acts of violence, intimidntion, and disturbance, bribery, or corrupt inñuencc at any place within eald parish, or at or Dear any poll, or voting-place, or place of registratinn, or revisión of registration, which riot, tumult, act of violence, intimidntion, and disturbance, bribery, or corrupt influencea shall prevent, or tcud to prevent a fair, free, praccable, and full veto of uil the qualiñed elector of said prrish, precinct, ward, oity( or town, it hall bc the duty of tbe CoinmissioncrR of Kleotion, if such riot, tumult, actn of viok-nec, intiinidation, auf disturbauce, bribery, or corrupt influom.-es octmr on the day of election, or of tho HnporviBor of Iïfcgintration of tbo parieh, if thoy oceurduriug the time of registratief!, or revisión of registration, to make in duplícate un= der oath a clear and full tatoment of all tbe facts relatiug thereto, and of the efïcct produced by siich riot, tumult, acts of violence, intimidaticn, and distnrbance, bribery, or corrupt influences to prevcuting a fair, free, peateable, aud full regmtration or clection, and of the number of quaHfied electors deterrcd by bticIï riot, tumult, acts of violcnco, intimidation and disturbanco, bribery, or corrupt influencos f rom tering or voting, which statement ■■lutll also bc corroborated uniler oath by thrce espectable citizens, qualifled electora of the paribh. When fiuch btat-inent is inado by a CommiBsioner of Eleetion, or a Supervisor of licfistrntion, ho nhall forward it iu duplícate tothe Supervisor of liegiRtration of the pariali ; if in tho city of New OrleanH, to the iHecretary of Htate( ono copy of which, if made to tho Supervisor of Ilcitration, Bhall be forwarded by him to the returnini? officers provided for in section 2 of this act, when ho makes the returns of election In hts paribh. Bis copy of fatd Btatoment shall be eo annexcd to bis returnfi of clection by paste, wax, or some adheBive subetanco, that the same can be kept together, and the other copy thfí Supervisor of Regtetration shall deliver to the Clerk of tho Oourt of hls parish for the ue of the District Attornoy. BUK 13. Be Ü further cnacted, etc, That it slitül be the dnty of the Commiseiouers of Election at each poll or voling place to keep a Met of the names of tbe persons voting at such poll or voting place, which list shall be numbored froin ono to tht1 tinl : and aaid list of voters, with thüfr natnea and nurabers as aforesaid, Bhall be Bigned and sworn lo is correct by the Commissloners immedlateiy on cloíing of the poÜB, and bef ore leaving the place, and. before oponing the box. If no Jndge or JustJoo of the Peace, or other persou authorlzed to adininister Buch oath, be present to do so, It raay be administered by any voter. The votes shall bo counted by theCommiBsionerB at each voting place iinmediat-Iy aftcr closing tbo electiou md v.'ithout inoviiifi tbe boxee f rom the place where tbo votes vrere rect-i. i!, and the counting must be done ín the preaence of any bystander or citizen who raay be present. Taily-liets sball be lept of tüe count, and afti-r the cotintthi; bftllotfl Cüuutt'd nhall be put back int o the box and preaervcd untü after the uext terni of tho Oriminal or District Court, as the case may be ; and in tho parinhes, except Orleans, tho Coinmifwionfra of Election, or any ono of them selected for that ï urposet Bhall carry the box and ileliver it to tlie Clerk of the District Court, who shall preservo the sanie, au abuve required ; and iu the parish of Orleans the box halt be delivrred to the Clerk of the First District Court for the parish of Crleaus, and be kept by him aa above dírecteil. Sec. 43. Beitfurtker enacted, etc., That immediately upon the close of the polls on tho day of electiou, the CommiBsioners of the Election at each poll or voting-place ehall proceed to count the votes, as provided in Sec. 13 oí this act, and afur tney shall have so counted the votes anti made a liet of the Dames of all the persons voted for. and the ofttces for wmext tney were voted for, and tht1 number of votes reccived by each, the nuuiber of ballot contAined iu the box and the uumber rejected, and tho reaaous therefor, duplicates of such lists Rhall be made out, eigned, and Bworn to by the Coiumiseioners of Election of oach poll, and such duplícate lists shall be delivere-3, one to tho Supervisor of Registratiou of the pariBh, and one to the Clerk of tho District Court of tho arísh, and i the pariah of Orleane to the Secretary of Htate, by ono or all of said Commissioners in pcrwon within twenty-four hours aTter the clolng of tho polls. It shall be the duty of the Supervisors of Rogistration, within twenty-four houre after tnc rpceipt of all the return b for the different polllng-places, to cou solídate Buch returns to be certiñea aa correct by the Clerk of the District Court, and forward the Consolidated returns with the origináis received by him to the returning omcers provided for in Sec. 2 of tbiK act, the said report and returns to be inciosed in an envelopo of etrong paper or cloth, securely sealed and forwarded by mail. He sball forward a copy of any statement of any violenco or disturbance, bribery or corruption, or otlier ofifouses Bpecjfled in Sec. 26 of this act, if any thore be, together with alt memoranda and tally-lists used iu making the count and statement of the votce. Sec. 2. Within tcu dayB after the closing of the election eaid roturníng offlcere ehall meet in New Orleans to cauvasB and compilo the statements oJ votes ruarte by the CoinmiseionerB of Election, and make returns of the election to the Socretary oi State. They sUall continue in session untü snch returns have been compilod. Tho presiding officer shall at such meeting open, in the presence of the said returning emeers, the Btatementi of the Commisdoaers of Ëlcction, and the said retiurning oüicfrf Bhall, f rom said statements, canvas and compile the returns of tho election in duplícate ; one copy of bucIi returns thcy ehall file in the office of the Secretary of State, and of ono copy they shall make public proolamation, by printing in tho omcial journal ana such other newspaper as they may deern proper, declaring the uamea of all persons and officen voted for, tho numbor of votes for each person, and the nauics of the persons who have been du'y and lawfully olected. The roturns of the electious tlius made and promulgatcd Bhall bo prima facio evidence in all courts of juBtlce and before all civil oflicera, until set aside after a conteat according to law, of the right of any pereon named tüereln to hold and exercise the office to which he shall by such return, be declared elected. The Governor shall, within thirty days thoreafter, issuo commissions to all omcers thns declared elected, who are required by law to be commiseionod. Sec. 3. Be ü further enacted, etc, That in such canvass and coinpiïatlon tbo relurning officera shall observe tho followmg order : TÏiey snall compile first the statements f rom all polls or votln-placea at which therc shall have been a fair, freo and peaceable registratton and election. Whenever froiu auy poll or voting-place there shall )e received tho statement of auy Supervisor of RegiBtration or Commissioner of Election. in form as required by section 26 of this act, on aftidavit of tkree or more citizens, of any riot, tumult, acts of violence, intimidation, armed disturbance. bribtry or corrupt iufhience, which preventod, or tended to prevent a fair,free and peaceablevote,of ftll qualiñed elrctors entitled to votv at such poll or voting-place, such returning officers hall not canvasa, count'or compile the Htatments of votes from such poll or voting-p:ace until the etatomenta from all other polls or voting-places Bhalï havo beoa canvassed and conjpiled. 1'lie returnjng offleers shall then procoed to investígate tho statements of riot, tumult, ets of viulecce, iutimldalion, armed disturbance, bribery or corrnpt influencéf at any such poll or voting-place ; and if from the ovideuce of such statement they ehall be convinced that such riot, tumult, acts of violenoe, intimidation. armed disturbance, bribery, or corrupt influence dM not materially interfere with the purity and freoüom of the election at such poll or votingplace, or dil not prevent a sufíicicnt number of qualifled voters thenat from registering or voting to mat'.-rally chango the resultof tho election, then,. and not otherwiso, said re turning officers chalí canvas. and compile tho vote of such poll or votingp'ace with those previousïy canvaesed and conipited : but if s&id rc-turning ofneera sball not be fully satidflcd thercof, i'. shall be their dnty to exatii int furiher tbntimony in regard thoreto, aud to this end ihey sball have power to end for persons and papers. If , after such oxamiuation, the said rcüurning office rs shall bc convinced that Baid riot, tumult, acts of violence, intimidation, armed dis:nrbance, bribery, or corrupt influences did materialíy Int erf ero with hv purity and free dora of the election at such poü or votiug-placo, or did prevent a sumciont numuer of the qualifled electors tbercat rom r e jilote ring and voting to materially chance the rcsnlt of ihe election, then tho said returning oincers chai! not canvaPB or compilo the statement of the votea of bucü poll or votiiig-placo, but shall f-xclnde it from their rotnrns: provided. that any iprson interested iu said floctlon byreasonof bt-ing i candidato for office Bhall be allowed a hearing bti"bre H.tid returning oflU-ers upon making application within the timo ollowed for tlio forwarding of the returns of said eleation, Unuer eection 2 of tho foregoing provisious, t will bo Been tbRt the duty of the Board of ;e;,nrning Oifioetfl ia Bimil&rt) that of State Üanvaaeiug Boards in most of tbe otüor Statea of tho Union - aimply "to canvas and compile he statements of the Commies ion ors of Election1 and proclaim the reeult ; and tbie is the whole duty of the Itetnming Board, unleaa the [yommieoioners of Eleetion or the Supervisor of Homo parish imposes upo: it a further duty, aa provided in ö(ctions2C and 43. Iu commonting upon tho powera of the Returning Board we avail ourdclves of the abe argument of Judge Öpofford made boforo iL No one has tho right t - &ttack the retmns from any poll, warJ, or pariH'a in the State on account of nndue influenco, intimidation, or othGr acta of violence, unleen the foundation ïlierefor be firet laid by the Btatoment of the Comm i pionere of Election 8t the particular ioIÏ, if tito acta oocurred on eleotion-doy, or of ihe Supervisor of Registration of the pariah if ihey ocourred during rogistration, aa provided in ncctiouB 26 and 4. The board has no legal anthority to roceive or give eiVoct to statements of outeide partios, till the proper Oommisaionera of Election and Supervisor have spoken. Nor Jïaa tho board boon inveeted witii the power to instituto complainta againat any poll, k-ojlleio, or of ita own motion. It cannt )lot out or f all to count a solitary voto rotiirned, inlea a legal foundation haa beon laid for ncjniiy by tho Supervisor of tho paruh whore he voto was cast, or by one of tue Commisriionorri of Eleotion roportiug through sucb Supervisor; ar.d evon they - the Supervisor and orumiísíoner - can ouly lay a foundation for nquiry in tbe board bymaking and forwarding n tlio preaoribed manner thoir oñioial "atatomente" con temieran eous! y with their retares. md in the very form Bot íortl by section 26 of ho act iu quettion. ChaJlenin the votea of vhole cities and pariehes, by unohicial porsone, even though they are canilidsttja, is a etartling aud lawloi-H innovation. No oiitüide protest can hi ontertaiuod ; heauHO even a Supervisor' : 'ítatement" can eci'ivö no ooneirieration by tlio board, but must bo whoïly diaregardotï, uniese made at a ime anï i a mannor which no outside party ould pofiöibly compJy witli. Iiia "rtiatomeut" or tbat of lii aubordiuato ComniitiBioDer) muat form an mtegidl ptirt of hi return aLl ffici'ïl report; it canuot bo mao up at a differüt (imeaofl place from the return, towh:cutbe aw retmireB it tü be attachud by " pate, wax, r 8OU1O other adhoaive aubHtance," aud a duïlicato thereto must ba lodged by hioa with tho )lerk of the Court of hisparinh; it muat ba mado undor oath ; it must be " clflaf and f uil statement of all the facti and of tho effect prodnced thoreby. Btioh a statemont soannexedandoent by mail is the only kind of statement tlie board can notice at all so as lo instituto an inquiry hito tho intimidation, etc. Ttio uitent of tlie la'.v is plain and indisputable, that all the Supervisors fdjonld bo ougagod Himultaneonly, 'in thoir nevera! parislio, in cnroplotinj: their retnrna and í-tHomeutñ on the spot wlioro the dootion was lieldj witbout cominufiicatiori with osou othor, or witü poroons boyou.i tlie parish, and bofore they cftii obtain infOTmatkm of what hsa bceu doce in otüer parishes, or of the general roeult. And tho reasou for these minute, ïnandatory, and imperativo provisión is cqnally obvioua. It was precisely to ahut out from conBideration by tho Roturuing Board all such ex post facto complaints as have been trampea up and illefjally thrust in hore at the last msmeut by Mr. Kellogg, Mr. Packard, Mr. Brewster, and oven by aomo of tne Supervisors themselves. The law han not been complied with; moet of tbO Supervisors who have put in complainta liavo not writteu them at the proper time and in tho proper parish ; they have -nol annexod them to thcir returns, soaled and ent them by mnil ; they have brought down their returns to this city with nu utateruent i o v.unexed, luit havo patched up statement hre at au Improper place. ïhey could onry fulfill thoir ciutim arxording lo law by iniahiug their returns, attached statements aud all, audmailing them. caled up in one onyelópo, at one of their parish poütofncen, within Lbo time required bj law. It ia appalliug to think tU .t statemouta thuv madq contrary to law, after the result of the election through the Stato waa known willi arproxirnate accuraev, mado a an afterthought by disappointed candidatos and their friends, with an evident view to cast a drag-net of snspicion over parishes enough to reverso the emphatic verdict cf tho, mado, too, at so late a iUy and so great a distance from many of the parinhoH strilck at, tiiat it ia impoamble to have any fair inveatigation, shuld reoeivo conaidcration. Commentiug ou tho foregoing proviaions of the Louisiana statute, Mesera. George F, Hoar, W. A. Wheeler, and W. P. Frye, in their report made Feb. 23, 1875, said : Upon thia htatute we are all clearly of opinión tbat tho Returning Iïoard bas no right to do unylliinK exaept to canvatfi and compile the return whichwere lawiully made to them by local ofücors, except In cases where they were accompanied by tho certificaten of the Supervisors or CommlRflionern provided in the third sectioc. Ia suoh caaos, the last sentencc oí that sectlon shows that they would ordinarily exerciwe the grave and delicate dnty of inveBtip.ating charges of riot, tumult, bribery, or rorruption, on a hearing of the partiCH intoreeted in tho olftc. It never i'oilld have been meaut that this board, of lts own motion, sitting in New Orleans, at a distaüco from the place erf voting, and wiihout nottoe, could decide the right of persons claiminc to bo electcd. ■ Tiierc! as no more daugerous fono of eelf-delufiion than Ihat whieh indui't h men in high places of public trust to viólate law, to reilress or prevent hat Uiey deern public wrong. These ref ereuces to the report of the Congressional Contmittee upon the action of thia samo Returnmg Board in 1874, and ita conatruction W tUe stature, are made that the public roay kuow how tbia board and it rulings were regsrded by promiteut gentlemen, one of tbom a oandidate for Vice President at the reeent election. at a timo when ite decieion did not affi-ct a Preaidential election. We regard it as indiaputable that tho Koturning Board bas no juriadietion to inquire into and reject the returns of any voting-place in the State on account of iutimidation, acts of violence, or otlier causo mentioned in the etatute, niilaas the foundation for auch inquiry and reject ion is laid at tho time and in the manner provided by the atatnte. In no case did Mie Supervisor of Hegiatratioii delivor to tlie Clerk of the Couft of bis pariah, aa required byaection 26, a duplícate statement made acd awom to by the Commisaioners of Election, and corroborated by tbreo Citizen, of any riot, tumult, acte of violonc3, intimidation and diatnrbanco, bribery, or corrupt inflnence?, and of the facts relating thereto, ocenrring on the day of eloction, nor any hke statement of hia own that any auch actaocenrred during the time of regiMtration or the revisión of registration. Wlion the returns were opened by the Returning Baard, auch statements wore fonnd among the papers in a few iuatancea, but not in rolatiun to the pariahes of either Onacbita. Morohouae, T'.ast liatón Rouge, Eaat or West Feliciana, and such were the manifest offorta on the part of the officers of election to conceal their acte, and confuse and misiead persous interested in A proper investigation of the facts relating to the election, that it was impossible to determino whether any such statements had been made by the Commieaioners of Election or the Supervisor of Regietration and attaché:! to the retnrna of the Supervisor in any parish in the State at the time and in the marnier required by Secs. 20 and 43. Thia fact leaves the Returning Board wiahout jurisdiction to mquire into acts of violence, etc., at the election or during registration, and with no othor duty to perf orm except to can vass and compile the votes rotnrned, aa the returning oflicere of any other State would do : and, as the returns opened by them show a majority for the Tilden elector?, it ought to be ui end of all controvtr-jy on tho subject. But as tho board, in the face of these iacts, bas come to the extraordinary couclu'ion to declare that the Hayes electora have a majority, it ia proper to look further into its action. Tho flrat meeting of the board attended by us was held Nov. 20, at which application in behalf of tho oudidates on the DemocratieConservativo ticket that all the proceediDga of the board ahonld be public, and that interested candidates ehould have leave to be proaent, by themselves or oounsel, at the opening of the returns, with the right to inspect the same, was refuaed, and certui rules wero aüopted, against several of whicli protoets were fllod, and particalarly against rulo 9. which declared that: 9. No ex-parte aindavits or statements shall be received in ovidence excopt as a basis to show that imch fralld, intimidatiou, or other illefjal practica bad at somo poll, requires inveatigation ; but the returns and afhdavits authorizcd by law, made by olficers of elecfcion, or in verification of statements as required by law, shall be roceived in cvidence as prima facie. Under this rulo aeveral hundred ex-parte aftldavits were prepaiwl and sworn to iu'New Urleaus charging intimidation ar d othor illoghl aots in distant pariahes, were then put into the envelopea inclosing the Supervisor' Consolidated returns, which ha-1 teen brought to tho city oí New Orleans and keptopen for the pnrposo. Tuin was done to support statemeuts of iutimidatiou or other illegal acta interpolated by Supervisors long after thoir Consolidated returns had been made out and sworu to as correct and flled with the proper District Clork without any protetjt or allegction of inflmidation or other acta of violonco. Tho preceedings of the board in executivo session, to wbich we were admitud, conaisted iu opening tho returns from each parish and examíning tho votes for l'recidential electora. If no proteat or objction appeared among the papera, and thero was no outeide protest from any ono. the returns were sent to a private room to be talulaied by the olerka, all cf wl'.orn wore Republicana, who kopt the r action oecrot. If any protest wai found among tle papers, or from outeide partiea, the returts wore laid asido, to be afterward conaidered by tho baard in aooret. In tho few casos in which tbere were charges of fraud, iiitimidation, or othor illegal acts, tho candidates er th ir atlerneys wero permitted to take oopies of tho charges, and testimony taken on written interrogatories was submitted in regard to anch parisbea. Dec. 2 after all the returns had boen opened, the board went into secret aeasion, and we woro not permitted to see the oompilation of returns already made. nor to know what rules the board adopted in passing npon contested cases, nor the procesaos by wjiich it arrived at resulte. We have been furniahod a triplícate, or a certified copy of tho duplícate, statement of the CommiRsioners of Election at each voting-place in the State, frem whicli has been compiled a conaolidated statement of the entiro vote of the State for Presidential electora. From this statement, which wo believe to be accurate, the majority for the higbost Tilden elector over tho lowest llaves elector ie 8,957, and the majority for the lowest Tilden elector over the bigbent Hayes elector ia 6,300. The returns in our nossesaion correspoud preewdy, in moet cases, with thoao opened by the R3tuming Board. Tho differenca in the aggregats srieoa mainly from the fact that the board did not have all the returns before it. The Superviöoré, all of whom were Republicana, many of them employés in the Custom House ia New Orleans, somè non-residents of of tho State, aDd one of them under indictment for murder, withheld the statements of the Commissioners of Election in soms instancee whoro Democratie mfijoritie woro givcn, amomiting in the aggregato to about 1,500 votos. Tlio Returning Board refused to receive certiiied copies of the duplicntos of tbeao miaaing rotunia filed in tho oftioe uf tlie Secretary of State aud the Clerka of the District Courta, or tako ny effectivo meaauros to procuro the origínala. Tho Roturniii! Board, in proolaiming tho resnlt of the vote for electora, makes no statement of tho votes caat in the sevcral parisbes, bnt simply announces tlie aggregato vote for oach elector in tlie State, giving the Hayes olectors majoritios varying from 4 62G to 4,712. To accomplish which tbey disfranohUed 13.350 Democratie and 2,042 Ropnbliein votere. Thia annonncomont is medo in the face of the facts that the statements made by the Commisaioners of Electiou showed a majority rangiug 'roa; (!,3'J0 to 8,057 for tho Tilden electora. S'o attempt ia mado to give a reason for this arbitrary action of tbe boaid, nor is tbere auy statement to show what votos were conntcd and what rejected. Aa well might the otlieers canvasaing tho returns of tho election for Presidential eloctom iu Oliio or MaDsachunotta declare the Tilden ' doctors in thoso Stetos eleoted, iu the faso of tiio fact that the return chowed a majority for tbe Hayes eleotors. We have ahuwu that it ia queetionable whethir tbe K'slaturci o' Louisiaua baa made provisión fcr the appoiutmeut cf electora at all ; tbat if it bas mdft such jïrvisiou. it has not vestcd the Returniog Board with authority to eanvaus the returns oL the votos cast for offioera and that if it were posaible to con ' tlio statnto as conforricg euch autliority ''' ' Retufning Board, then tlieeamo statute r tne anthorit of tfc bofiid to tho canm compilation of " the atstomonta of v)lesr by the Commiasionern of Bleciion," wj. authority to reject any on acccmnt of DtS tiou or otJier act of vielenco, unlwji ne ,'" riation thorefor be firat laid aa providêa ü- Í Mtittuto ; that the evidenoo iloea uot di tliat hiicli foundation waa laid m ' inetanco. There ie, howovor, STidenc" attempta surreptirions'y to lay mieh f flation after tho conaoiidated returns "' completed, and that the Supervisor?4 Eloction in many inijtanoos unlawinllj.! held their returns (or tbat pnrpose, aud 1 polatet wong them ex-parto aflidavit, t,? in secret in Pow Orleans, before a T'. States Comniiemonor. whioh tho board ht.4 jiiriü.'ltction to conaider. Tlie eviaence taken on both füdrte, so f3it haa beon acoessiblo to ub, disclose a sti',' lawlctwnoes in certain parighes,' not in the s a gcuorally, about the cauee of which part, not agrued. Tbo Demócrata attribute it i0 ! iuefttcienoy and irabeoility of tbe State Gg-.y ni'.'iit, hich tboy allego to be a usurpat reating wholly for eupport ir the ff; army, without tho confídonco of ïespect oí ■'■ poople, and without tho dispositiva to prt , or pnniah crime wbich they can penen t( x litical ne8. Bneh a ntate of tbiugg, w & be expected. haa !ed to dworder, and, i.) e inataooes, to the mout shocking barbaritieTiie Bopnblioans, on the other band, tt-j ute the lawlosaneeB to the hontility of theL against the colored raco, and as largely j Í politici. The niurders and ontragee which have 1 bronght to onf notico are frequently ooa tcd by persons of tho same race upone other, and in a large majortty of casoe h?.,, polttical aignificance. Mnny suc cuses woro brought totUeKt of tho board by ex parte affidavita, withoa: gard to the time of their occurrence mi tin they did not have tbe sligbtoot onnectioo the recent election. Strangelt nough, :, ásauzaed by the Itepnblicans, wbo Imn _ completo control of the State Govenroeot fc yeais, that, if they coaldshow that l&wcwa prevailed in certain locaiitiBR, and crime 'a unpunished, tlioae facts furalabed i t% son why they should be continueil in potg notwithetanding tho largo majority of U; cast againat them. Another asaumption of the Hepnbliouti that all the cok red men in the State are uw sarily Republicana. This ia by no meMjtiti We were viaittd by a large numbr of cdxii persona, from different parta of the 8ttt 'it cluding the alloged disturbed district, ti made speeches and took an active part iitli canvass in favor of the Democratie ticket, u wtw gave, among other reasona for uo d - that tbey had been deceived by Kepnbiii officials, iTho had proved diahoneat and. rnpt, had robbed tuem of the school uw, and btirdened thom with unnecesBary tui and they believed it for the interest of tteoj. ored racé to nnite their fortunes wift j, whites, whoae intereste, like their owb, ia identified with the State. It is certain that tboneands of colored te soiia voluntarily and activeiy ipported tb Democratie ticket. The entire Vpte of b Stato, at the recent election, is abcut 15ii grtater than ever bofore; and, even iniíst iahes where intimidación ia charged, it tmx in the aggiegate, any preyiou vote. TheCs greasional committee, which, it ia undersU will Boon vwit tho State armed with an'.brto send for persons and papers, and inqniis;:: all the f acts connected with the receut eléett and the action of the Ketnrning Bosni.r; have groater facilitieh for arriving at thetrsi than we poaaess; bnt with tho lewwidmt iaota bofore us s have been discloced ij ti ftction of the lleturning Board, we do notSs tate to declare that ita proceedinge. asmtuf by us, were partial and unfair. aüd that iLtn milt it has announced is arbitrarv. iilcütl, i entitled to no respect whatever. Tiftcen yeara ago, when Fort Snmter n flred upon'by men who sought a diaruptao the Union, a millioo patrioti", withont iejui to party afiiliatione, sprang to its delen. E the same patriotic citizens now sit idly bj ui see representative government overt)iron ! ueurpation and f rand? Shsll the Ut 40,000,000 people, coustitntionally exprowi be thwarted by the corrupt, arbitrar? and ift gal action of an illegally-constitated Rotamia Board in Lonisiana, whoao wrengfol difet herctof ore, iu all respeote similar to te pres: action, haa been condemned by all parties! ï is an admitted fact that Mr. Tilden reeckrf i majority of a quarter of a müliou ol ö votos at the recent eloction. This jority is ready and williug to tntei to tho rule of the minority when oaniite tionally entitlod to demand euch enbinwiic but in it willing that by an arbitrary and lúe declar&tion of votea in Louiaiana the náooriij shall usurp power ? These are dark dnji H the American people when auoh qaestio&a ui foroed upon their conaideration. If it c true, aa ome insist, that noither the vbiteu tho colored veters have in all instancfis bis afforded an opportunity to givo fröö tipresaia to thoir wiahes at tbe ballot-box, bW. w,f austaining a fraudnlent and ille-:al declsna of the votes cast, stille tue voiceof thei iona of voters who have froely espreeiedtl choice, and thus seek to correct a great rea by committing another immeasurably giw! wrong? Cau wo sanction such action of the Lo'JBia Returning Board, and therebv forma pi dont under the anthority of whic'a a party ons In power may forever perpet Uite ita rule, f at ond constitutional liberty ? Bball Bacl the fate of this republic at the beginnini' tbe second century of its existence, ie the mentous question now preaentedíor thed mination of the American people. JOHN SI. l'ALJIEft üruAS TBDurai, WlIXUM BlOUS, Geoege B. Sxiw . Geobob W. Jiaw P. H. Watsos.


Old News
Michigan Argus