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The Louisiana Infamy

The Louisiana Infamy image
Parent Issue
Day
19
Month
January
Year
1877
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

When I reached New O.-leans 1 asoeitainod, f rom gentlemen of all parüea, not oaly Demócrata bnt Iïspnblicans, that tbe Returniug Board of Louisiana, that aiiomaly in OYcrumont, was expocted to couut out the Tüdjn electora. No one eoemed to entertain a doubt ftbout it. Althougu there was a majörity i roportid of 8,054 in favor of tbc highest Tilden elector, not a man tetmed to hsve any doubt about the result. I had more fait'.i t'aau some of my irieiida. I believe conBtitutionally I beloinj to tl at claeB of mon who are aometimcs called optimists, and 1 lelieve tha inttrpretation of ttat word ia a man who, wüeu he hai a good breakfiist, expeota to hare a goo i dinner, I 1 atarted out to get acqnaiiited with tbe Bo; lurning Board. Itaw tbemand oonversftd with ! them. I iy I had had hope, bu( af ter I ooni veraod with tho UeSuniiDg Board wbatever bofe I had bof ore perished. It isn't necssía'y ' to te!! yon ho the lnard are. The law of the : fíale required that the board should consist of Ovo members. bnl theboarditself resolved that four wae enough, and God knows of siich men they were ruore than eiaugb. The law reqnirea that it ehall be composed of men of j different polilical partu h. Tniy were sil B'jpublioans. Qov. Wellf, it was ' said, bad been a Uuiou tnan, and it ia said he had bien an oíd s'aveholder. and a bard and merellefn mas , tT. Gen. Andeieon had boen a soldier io ttie Confedérate anny, aud not p. vfiyyotxl one, e.ithf-r. Mr. (.'Kinave, by íar tha m .nt honfcaf, I ehink, vi tbo crowd, wu ona oí onr folI ■. i h _i African deecent. I fouud h.in to bu 11 cUrii id vidictive man, tliat Lad boen tuugbt that tbe Democratie party was the outmy of his raco, and be had no more scrnple in iKaiing witli the Democratie paity thans soldier has on the battie-lield ir. doaling with a foe. Ct tho fourth momber of the buaia I need not spoak. They wore all liapnbliean, aud tbcy wt re asked to ii 51 up the vaoancy on the boaid, and they extiibited their fairnea by eayiög that they thonght tbo Democrats had fo1 feited their place en the board, bee&uso two ycaïs ago a gentleman appoiutod in the interest, af tbfi Dflmpnrflt.io fift-'3 hA roa-'"' Ti. ose lonr men, m violation cf tbo law.i of the iHate, in v:oltiou of the spirit of even thopo 1ad lasrs, dtermined, of thömöolvoe, Iha they would make a count ; and, more Uian tila!, ihoy doteraiincd fiat no prafaue Ucnu 0&c fibonld irOi tbe origina! [mpfra. Evcry :lu. L Ihey rpp inttd was uot so muoh a Jte pb ie .n ai & teratit and tooi of their own. ITiia delegation witli which I was associated was made up of men that the country had boen taught to regard at least as honest men. Tberewas, firat. and the moet active and the most influential, Lyman Trumbull, of this State. Itaere was Gov. Bigler, of Ponnnylvania ; George W. Jalian, of Indiana ; Mr. P. H. Watson, Aeeistant öecrotary of War at one time onder Bcanton. I need not go over all the men who wtro thore. On the other band, Senator John Sherman and othor gentlemen eqaally eminent had been sent there by the Premdent. My fehow-citizeus, wben we reached New Orleans it waa pur desire to learn the trath of tho cae in Louisiaaa. I will aasert, for my aeociato?, that evaiy oue of them was e&ger to learn the very tmth of the oase, and if the trmnhadsiiowQ thitthellayes elector were chosen every oue of them, in my judgment, would, without hesitation, have certifled that fact to theconntry. Bat we were powerless in the face of this crowd of reckless partisans. We propOBed to the commtesion appoiuted by the Preaident and lieaand by Senator Sherman to unite with them, and together a oitizons investígate tlie facto of the caso, employing our joint ioilnence to oütain accesB to papers and employing our joint inlluence to induce this Returning Board to do the right tking, tliat we might go home to the North and allay popular excitenient and populai feeling hy telling the people, behind both corm&iSíioas, what the trutti wae. Tueee gentlemen, appointed by the President, absoïutcly declioed to confer with ua at all, and in doing that iusisted in subetance that the forma of tho law must be regarded. They told us, ia eubBUnoo, that they couldn"t presume to interiore witü the inlerual affaire of a State, and, while these gentlemen were so aenmtive of State rights, yon could feo, lying off ;u the river, anchored head up stream, with their batteriea dirocted on the city of New Orleans, a man-ofwar and a monitor, and we found the Cuètom House a citadel fillod with armtd men, sent thoro by the President to protect that seoundrelly Retumiug Bardin ita facctions. And yot they told U8, with all the deücacy and odesty and hesitation of aii old-timo, doubledistilled States-righta man, that they couldn t venture to interfere in the affnira of the State. They had no occaeion to interfere. ïhey knew that their work was done before they went there, and I aay that John Hluirman and hia associateg went to New Orleans not to learn what the truth wa, bat to learn how to apologize lor a frand. That was their commission. Thia lleturning Board wrh sucu as I have described, and these gentlemen sejit by tho President declined to oo-operate witJi ns, and I submit to you, my fellow-citiene, if to nnite with them to learn the truth waan't the rational, sensible, patriotio way of doing it? Well, after thia wa done, we were invited to atteud the opening of the returns, and from that the citizens of Loaiüiana hemselves, who were interested in the invssigation, were exoluded. We sat there and eaw hu papers oponed. I at thero vigilant and watchful, bat I hall never forget tho appearance of a f riend of mine who was present, and ordinaiily thonght as close and watchful and cautious flH I was guilelet s and unauspicions. 3e seemed to suspect Bomething wrong, and ook no paina to conc, ui the f aot tbat he auspectod. I recoilcct that one day he was iutont, hrough hia apectaclcs, examimng some papers wl.ou thee returaa woro reooived by heboard, and tbat thedate that was announced n connection with the roturn was the I 8th of November. Saúl he, looking at the papers : ' ' iiow in it that iugide of this aoalei l jackot of returns, received, you say, on the 8th of November, tuere are "afttdavits sworn to, dated on tho 21at ?" We were allowed to eo tbat much, but veir aoon theso paper were shuillud off into anotlier room. and when hese gentlemen that were interestsd, but wbo were not al owed to look at the paporn themselvcs, a&kud that they might bo representod on the clerical forcé, ílov, Wells said : " Tho clorka are all appoiuted." é. voico - "Whatdid öherman aay to thal?" It ia haidly neccBary to repeat whut he said, but if you aek ïow bö looked 1 will teil you. It was a detected rand, and that detectod fraud would have been ollowcd by many other if bo much paina had not boen takeu to preveut a careful eupervison of the o returns. We were xllewocl to Bee Ikmu returiiB wliich the Democratie c jmmitUe of the State with great care bad ooilocted from he voticg piases in the State - returiit) from ach parih. which in Louigiana ia a división iko our couutiea. A copy of Uxaa waa laced in mv IihuOu, witli a.n opportuuity to ;ompare the Democratie returns with tho reuniH made bv the olection oilioere in cvory armh in Loiuaiana, and the actual honeat reul t cl tho eloction, on u compariaon made by se with the retnma made by tho returniug i . ;- was that tho highost Dooie ora: io eleo or ail MOjiTed Hj.CöU votes and ihe lowcstelectr ou tho Hayea ticket had r&ceived 74,'JU2 otea. Alter thi reuull, obtaiued by a careful examinai.ui of the returua uiï-lebj the ollcer w: o ocnducted the eleotion, lliere was ettll no I !o .- dribt (hst theHajB and Wbee!er „re wo t' beoounted in, and wheti it was all over fna'or John Sherman addres?ed me a note, I btiiig iuoidentullj' a representativo of 01 ir friendo. He saya: " It r oür pnrpose to comtnuuicale t) the President copiea of the tcntimon? of witn. taken onder tbe order of tho board of return ing offloerj b aforo the comroiiwionen, bat wo have no mnins of getting oopka of the depofcitions taken in bohaif of tho Democratie can didatex for fectora. If jon will eecuri copies of uch depositions '.vo tiiH iMth p!canretranmit them witb. oopU h of the dopoaitione takon by the lioirablicau oandidates, o tliat, if printed hereafter, the whole body of testimony may ba read aud considered toetUer. No doubt a requoat by you to tho gentlemen taking the depoaitiona wiil enable y. u to comply with our reijuest for a ■ py of them." 1 rotumed tiia anawer that we wonld nnite wiLb Hiem ; t)j?,t we had cpuolnded to ü!e a pioteet and exhibito, and ëübiïiit all tho tsotimony for pubKc.ation. ïon see thero ia no promiso on bis ]irt that thero witl be a puh'ication, and 80 we iuformed him finally that the peoplecf the oouuiry shoula ato the protest with the objections lo tho returns and the prooi appiicable to them ; Ihtt we would file thotc, aud let thom go ont to tho country certified byboth partiea to thia profoeition. Mr. John Sbtrinan refiweJ to agree, W, on the contrary, sent to Washington a grent mase of stntf gathffed in Louütiana, whero aüidavits are as cUeap a almoet anytbingyou cali imagine; artidavita takon in the f iastom House tliere, beforo unnatied and noki?owu p3rsonp. and signed by men wlio have no idea of tlieir ooutcuto. Thee woro Bent to President Orant, and by Pres:dant Grant commnnicited to Congreas, with the utmost appearanco of einoeiity and solemnity, and thoy I nvc gone ont to the conntry, and Ü1C36 géntlen.on have lndortod Oov. Wella, and it Is sid that he is tho kou of the Iïod. Levi WeliK. It tl aid tlxat Ciea. Andersou is a ViKinian anl conein of .he (Mn. Andciion of Fort Silmter notoriety, and Mr. Caaauave n.l Hr. Keonc-r are spoken of aa boiiu; gentlemen of tUe highest rrpntation. TIn ao meu are all indcraed by Senator Shorman. You have een the report, and jou have eeen what efforts wero mudo to arriva at the truth, what effortg were made to colleot the trut'i, and 3011 havj sccn wi'h wtatanosesB tueir efforts met. They have reported that Loufeiana bse gono for elector pledged to votefo: Ha.' iüJ WlioelOT Now I come to the mest htimiliaiag part of tUis whole story. John Bhetman and tho ex-Goveruor of Ohio are among the most respectable meu in the coantrv, and Senator Trnmbull and Gov. Bigler and Mr. Watson and Mr. .Iiilian nd othew, for whom I havo no lens respect than Ibem, are equally enuneut and held in cijually high esteem "by the c:un'ry. Tiiese two delejaúv i weLt to Lonisia.ua, ao Tar as I know, althongli I suspset Bcoij than I know or daro assert, for I have no doubt that )1 these gentloitun had free acnass to all the paper of the Ketuiniog Boan1.. These aentiemeu, liaving eqnal claims, 80 far (ia I know, to the eonfldence of the oonntry, eijnal means of arrïving at the tiutli, have gone before the country-Mr. Sh.rman and Kis asüociatea assorting that Lonisiana had elected Hayes electora, Lyman Trambull and hi aasociateB aaserting a the'r belief that the Tilden electora wero electctd by the people of the State. Why thia conflict betwoon delegationa equally houest 't I confesé when I come before the people of the State of Illinois, with hom 1 lieve ipeut nearly ail the years of my Míe. a people who have honored me to the utmost extentof mmerit, wiicn I come, too, with gentlemen who have been nonored by tüe Sa.to, and who are worthy of all the honor they have recsived, and flnd that there is this irroconcilable diiference of statement upon the samo facía. I feel that aomeorall of Tía ahoiúd Ij3fairly ol jacta of public cMcratiou and contempt. ín this caae aoincbody haa lied, Hnd we go before the people of the cemtry npon thi groat isoue, and they a?k i'. vhiit ara e to do about it ? I recollect that a gentleman, the editor of a Piosbyterian j paper 111 'iVn'.K1: .s c. iütK-atü tl. e namea of the 1 delégate on both sides, and saya: "When ; men hke tliesc d:ffer ao a'oont the fact, what ars the poopla to do ':'' fhe ([iiOition muit Be 1 I decided, .tlie quesdon r.f ftno waa eleoted President ut tlie last laction, and you have ' ct to solv .' it, eitlicr by yonrseivea or by your ; represent at i vea. Gentlemen teil U9 that tho queation ín an alarming one. It ia a q ïetion oï law ani fao ft thst admita of a certani solutio:i. Ye havo uupposed that the consti'utiouai iki of tbe Uuitel funiisli the means of Bovina auy dU]ut. t tltat miht arise in ; gard to ar y politica! j ïestton. Ia soni3 trios, wh re cli ere has bseu a lisíate about the Buccesaion, mea have taken arm? and followedtheKed Rom and the White lïoae, and milMon of menjuve süed the r ;ves apon the battle-tioM lo iljUnnmo wbo shonld 1)9 their master. Thcre aro no i-iioh jicdj.ie ii tilia i country. Ia this country U-e couH'iuition ia tho sjv.ru! and tlioUnu. The President ia a mero mag st.it-, w.th ljmited power, and it ia on!y v..th.u the la-s', few yiara tüa: wo havu Leja iaai htiriziiiff cnríclves slib tlio iaoa tüat the l'resident in our mastor. It Í8 oniy whou the people havo tokrated Uie appoirance of l'ederai troarb at iittie icctioi Beate, wiicre there ia a coutrover. y about oho ehnl! bo thï Ovamor. and ail o"f a tiiidden thero la n i' i'i of bavnüeca. It i tlii eircnmstanoe nu oiih buanae U:e O;Io i.f ihis rO'ii.trv ii('ii!c-'i)úd ihst tliis aaine Pieti.ieut, wlio, I bcliove, B the only lVesideut win) baa aaid that he is the repreeentative of a party, and whose Seoretary of the Interior is the acknowledged head of a poHtical party, and the only President who has taken hold öf t, party organization, is running the Repnblican party. Untü that time, I say, no one wöuld have anticipated the prospect of difficnlty growlng out of the settlement of this queation. The only dangor there i of strife a tho reault of tiiis dispute is that the man in power will emnloy Uie army to opérate against thepeoplr. Iknow that these Repnblicau circlta and Repnblican newspapers teil ns that Orant is President now, and not. Uuchaiian ; they teil m that the President wil! inaugúrate Gov. llaves, and one of ihe groatoatd:flicultits I have "ie to endnre the tauntH of powor. They Uunt lis that they will employ power to aolve this qucHÚOD, a'id in that lies our only danger. Let them k.ep thoir soldiers and themselres. and havo ui to solve this quentioa throngh the agency of the constitntioual authorities of the 'eoiuitty. There is no more danger in the solution of this question than there was in holding the eleotion upon the 7th of November, f have poken of those humiliating circums-anciH. Now thequeKtion is one which yon murtt decide, and yon must form an opinión. Tbe qnestion is an exceedingly simple oae. In the State of Louisiana 110 man eau vote tiultus be lm been regiaterod asa voter. You cannot, as you can in Illiiiüi.-, aupply the names of thoira who have been omitted by the registration ; but every man, when he offers his vote, taktn to theOommissiouer of IUoction his eertifkate of registration, and every Commiujioner of Election wan appointed by William Pitt Keliogg hinnir. I under a law that allowi hiin to remove aur j CommUmoner of Kagistratiqn at hie pleasure. Then of tbo 161,009 votes in Louituana it is admittd by evorybody that every man whose name was on the poll-liet was a "l&wf ui voter. Then the elcctions were conducted by oñicors appointed by (he Commianioaera of Registration. No Uemocrat was aliowed to rcgistr or reoeive the votos, or reoorJ a vote, or ceitify a vote, or open a poll or canvats a vote : everythiüg was in the hands of William Itt Kellogg, wlio was frovornor, though not by the voioe of the poople, nor the grace of God, and wlio was a candidate for 3'rec idential elector, and a candidato for the Uulted States Ssnato, and who wil) no dou'jt be elected by iiisLegislatnre within the nxt week. I was abcmt to say that this was a guarantee of fainictH. and a guirantee that Demcorats could not have actod lawloesly. These men who receivod aud co.inted the vote certifled to the Katnrning Board at New Orleans that the highest Uemocratic elector had received 8,95 votes more thau the loweat Republican elector. Oiiiinarily this wonl I furnish a pretty good guarautee tliat the KepublieauH had Htiown their boet hand. 1 cooipared all these rttoirDH acd know what the figures show. Thcn what was tiie prospect ? Tlicaa returcg were laid before this Ruturmujj Board. 1 aui Roing upon tbe grouud that the Itstnrning Bjard were houobt. for which inay God forijive me. They commencod this scitiou upou the 20th of November, aud they anucnueed to ns that they wonld get through by the tth of December. These contested pariahes are ome of them 400 milee from Xew Orleans, and, by the way, the law requires that the proteatH against intimidation and frauil and bribery Miall be atached tothe returns, and a copy of them ghall be filed in the parish whore the poople liv. and that some notice f hould begiven that tbere woud be s controversy a bout it. That was not done. The returns were sent to New Orleans, somu of them by the mail and some were brought by the Supervisors thr ïuaelves. and there, in the (?UBtom House of Xow CWoins, that fcntring hole of iniqaitr, tl af. pnbho building built ïfitb your money and mine ; th&t nest of unclean birds, thero they wero roturnea, doctorpd, sud lixed uji and handod over to the Returning Board. These men roiected everything, and siroply looked into the question to soe how many votoe cou'd be thrown out to give tbe party all it wanted. Thoy threw out 13,350 Democratie votes. That was doïng pretLy well: Lut tlioy aluo threwont 2,040 Republicau votes. Tney told u thcy wore going to throw out tho bull-dosed parihea. There were flve of them. Wo auppoeod that was all that would ba done. That was all they ulaimed it was noceaaary to do. But after throwinf; out all tbe buU-dosed parishes thore was eitill a DemccrRtio majorily of over 1,000. That would not do The original plan was to thiow out all the Iull-dos2d parishes. Tho iiual plan was to take wherevor tlKT. waa a BepubiicaD majority and ratain it. and whou there wi .s a Democratie majority to throw it out; and they rotaincd evety paiinh where there was a Hepublioau majority, and wherover thero was a Democratie majjrity they threw it out. It is dtrango to yon, iny fellowcitizens. If there waa a single Kepublican poll in the State thrown out, oither for iutimidatiou : or anytbiDg elsp, I don 't knuw it ; but all the i polls that were thrown out, every one of them, ; were poll where there was a Dauiocratio jrity, aul in odo op3 they threwou' i whole pariíh bc we tlif y would uot í-cld the ■ ton. Iv.euo ave ihe faotsupon wi.ich i bu') atd tnjself reporto! to tl'o people of fhc Mortli that "Tilden and Iloudricka had amsj rity. Wc tUonght that Ibc returns made by ihe üaVri wlio conduc'.eá the lcctiou wcre the bost, Ctílecally ah tho mtmbBrs of the Kilnrninf; ! Boord bê;l ??cen denonrxod bylc(i('i"n Ropnb Kenia, no ronrfi ío lht (uta Mr. Wheeler went down Hiele lio aítueii;, C3n hiV.cá certain i membere of tlio Legitlatnro ittarcü't by Üie ; board to v cato Ihcir plíc-B and let Demoerolfl ! Ulie thonn. I nec, bowtver, that Mr. V ce íeaifttñt Eipectaut Whooler says tbat, while ielnounc6Q t'.ie'r aota aa Uitga', he never meant to impoach theií hrtsntÍBiiB. f}3ntlemen, these are tlie lcaí-n favta of tüe caise. Now wbat are yon going to do abolió t ? What have yon done f rom the foundation of lbo fkivornment ? We have Bimply ; disdiarged our dnty as good citizens, ai!(1havo relied with confidonoe upon the fact thst everyaody e!3 would do the ssrao thiug. (ientleni(-ri, onr Republicin friende, wlicn tluy fouud that the thinR lid fjone agains': tliom. wanted ] to tam tbo Vice l'resideot of the Henate into a retnrning boaid. Th cv wanted tbo country to believe that- but my fi'ictid Oen. F.rcswoith so ridllcd that idea tino momiig that it is UsiJly worth wbile for mo to boiher witli it. Theywauted to hold that the Vico President tro tem. wbh tli3 crjuvaicnt of all tho returniag boards put togetbor. I have heard that ono woman hsd eciren devitó, bilt here thoy are loadiog upou thid poor Vice President fonr tbat are mueh wofss than the seven that troubled tlie woman. Wtll, Uut idea was fonni to Le sbsurl t!it Vioo President Ferry ehould sett'e a questiem Ümt involves not neoessarily the peace, bnt which involves the pilic? of thm cottntrj' for years to ceme. Tuathas btfci) abandouid by the Republlcn party, bnt tho We I'reBident ea3S that whon tho two houses moet in joint semionliocna make a cottain dcotoioa from which there may le n appf n!, bnt that the 8enn'.o mv íintain hini, wbile the Home may vate thO otlier tvt y. aud tht lie unan deo.ue between them. íf onr aojidental Vice l'resideut. Tliomaí W, Ferry, oí Michigan, entertain a bc lief tbs', tba. thing wil) fooi anybody, he had bettr go back into the sawlog bnuines?. in which he has beon engsged. That qtwsion muet ba decid 3d i y ( angress, aud CongitMö is oompceed of two houeeti, the genate :md tho Heme o f Representa tivea, and if the two liouses shall not agroe npon tliig qiunlioii the vote miut berejected. It lias beon done before, and why shonld the oíd míe berevcrfíii now ? f i voice- "To elect Hayes.") Tliat msy be good enongh reason for those that wsnt that done. 1 don't. What then? Why, the Federal constitntlon ha made provisión for uat that case. If thore in no election by :ue electora, the Federal conutitutiou declarea thattheiouse thall thenproceed to pleet,. N'ow, who object? to that ? Rpnblicau politioians. But wi!l the Ilopubhcan people? I tèJI you we haven't yet got to the point in this country wïien auy koot of politiciaus suall be ! able to taha hold of the peoplo and make them indorae a palpable wrong ai'xi fran '. The Republican peo]ile and the Democratie people are alike. They have thoir political fcoliug and passions general n poliiical conteste, but do yon believethat a majority of the State of Illinois wiii cousent to Iw the toóla aad 8la.vea ot Zíck Chandler and that class of men 'í No ; they would ecarnit. My (ellow-citizens, we knów onr hoie ír on clinging to the conatitution ae the ark of onr safety, and when these facts are discusafed in proper totnpei by tbe people of this counlry, of both porties, I l.ave no doubt about a proper solution of it.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus