August 9, 1866: Boon for sheriff

Okay, the new sheriff will exterminate the radicals — “by good reasoning”, though. A letter to the editor of the Cape Girardeau Argus, August 9, 1866.

By the way, it doesn’t appear that Mr. Boon (or Boone) was successful — the sheriff of Cape Girardeau county in 1867 was Harman Bader.

Mr. Editor:

As the time is fast approaching for the Democracy of this District to select and elect, if possible, in November, a simon-pure, dyed in the wool Conservative Union man for the office of Sheriff, the people of Old Randall desire you to say, through the columns of your valuable paper, that Wm. H. Boon should be the man. The Squire was born in Cape Girardeau county, and has lived in this township from a mere child; is well known throughout the county as being honest, industrious, and fully qualified for the office. He has been strictly loyal, always opposed to fanaticism, and a perfect hater of Radicalism. We feel safe in saying if Mr. Boone will consent to announce himself in your paper, as a candidate for the office of Sheriff, he will receive a larger vote than anything in the shape of a Radical. Announce yourself, William, and start out on your beat with the determination of exterminating, by good reasoning, the sickly Rads of Cape Girardeau county, and you will receive the support of


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July 25-26, 1866: Nominating candidates for Congress, radical and otherwise

Joseph W. McClurg
Governor Joseph W. McClurg of Missouri

The New York Times for July 25, 1866 ran a very short squib about the Radicals holding a convention in Missouri, where Joseph W. McClurg was re-nominated. McClurg served three terms in House as representative from Missouri district 5; this would be his last, as he resigned to run successfully for governor.


A Radical Convention

Sidelia[sic], Mo., Tuesday, July 24.

A Radical Convention was held here to-day, for the nomination of a candidate to Congress. The Convention was very large and enthusiastic. It is estimated 10,000 people were present. Joseph W. McClurg was nominated for reelection by declamation.

Meanwhile, the Cape Girardeau Argus of July 26, 1866 reprints a call to re-nominate and reelect the reprsentatives from districts 1 and 3, who are “the only representatives of the people of Missouri” — i.e., the ones who want ex-Confederates back in power. District 1 was St. Louis County, while district 3 included all of Southeast Missouri, including Cape Girardeau.

By the way, I owe thanks to archivist Tyson Koenig at Kent Library for finding this very helpful site showing historic Congressional District boundaries.

Messrs. Hogan and Noell –

These gentlemen occupying at present the most prominent position in the lower house of Congress, as the only representatives of the people of Missouri, are looked to, not only by their own State, but the entire West, as the guardians of their interest at Washington. Of all the members from Missouri, they alone have stood firmly by the Constitution and the President, and are understood to possess an influence with the administration corresponding to the manly position they have taken in its support. The people of Missouri look to them to protect their interests, and to see that the Federal offices held by the enemies of President Johnson and his policy, are transferred at the earliest practical moment, from the hands of disunion Radicals, to those of true and loyal men, whose influence will be exerted to carry out the policy of the President. These gentlemen deserve renomination and election. Not only the people of the First and Third Districts, but the people of the whole state expect it. It would be ingratitude, should it be otherwise. The people should see that these faithful servants are rewarded.

[Lexington Express]

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July 19, 1866: Have to stop our enemies at the polls

Charles D. Drake
Charles D. Drake of Missouri

The Cape Girardeau Argus of July 19, 1866 is determined to vote out the Radicals in the upcoming election.

The Canvass

Has now fairly opened. What our enemies are doing – what evil machinations they are deliberating – what schemes or plots they are designing, we are as yet but partially apprised of. The abortion of the worst passions of wicked men, engendered in the cauldron of civil strife, made thick and slabby by a brother’s blood, and seasoned hot with imported treason, they have arisen, in times of great sorrow and public calamity, by unlawful and revolutionary means, to high places and great power, and by those means alone they are now compelled to sustain themselves or fall beneath the high wrath of an outraged people. Yet, although a small and degraded minority, they are by no means to be despised. They have built around themselves strong and apparently impregnable fortifications, whose false colors glare in the eyes of the weak and short-sighted as made of the Constitution and laws of the State, imperative, mandatory and prohibitory, when in fact if these tests be applied to them, they will be found to be composed on nothing but flimsy paper. Long and patiently have the good people of Missouri crouched beneath this iron rod of despotism. But now, with noble and loyal leaders everywhere in the field, it is the imperative duty of every individual to rally around the standard which is being erected for their emancipation – a standard which bears upon it the sign manual of the founders of our Government, the support of every wise and disinterested patriot of the land, and the high approval of the Chief Executive of the States. No one so low but has high duties to perform in the coming struggle, and no one so base as he who, knowing his duty, should allow himself to be drawn from positive duties and responsibilities by the scowl or threat of serfs, the bought slaves of our present usurping masters. Let every man now firmly resolve to do all in his power – all that his position in life can accomplish, and the truth will be, before the end of November next, demonstrated, that Charles D. Drake, Tom Fletcher and his negro troops, are but chaff before the wind.

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July 12, 1866: I guess they don’t like the Radicals

The Cape Girardeau Argus seems to be having some trouble filling its column inches, to judge from the amount of bombast stuffed into this item. Shorter version: “The Conservatives held a convention in St. Louis on July 3 and 4, and they hate the radicals and plan to to try to defeat them in November. We’ll print their statement as soon as we can get hold of it.”

Conservative State Convention.

The immense assemblage of the wise and the learned, the great and the good, the pride, the strength and the wealth of our State, which crowded the Mercantile Library Hall of St. Louis on the 3d and 4th days of July last, has given us a bright view into the horoscope of the political future, and shown us that the sun of Liberty is dawning on a clear, unclouded sky upon oppressed and down trodden Missouri; and that radical usurpation and radical anarchy is crouching in the dust.

The coming struggle is Missouri’s redemption. — every man who stood on that floor a delegate was painfully alive to the condition to which Missouri from high estate had fallen. They, like the gallant heroes of ’76, felt and knew themselves to be but the exponent of outraged and down-trodden people who, in their might and wrath, have sworn that they will no longer be the suffering and degraded slaves whose walk has been, under radical rule, in dark and bloody ways, whose bodies are scarred with the lash of proscription and persecution of opinion, the disenfranchisement of political rights and honor worse, and as degrading as that of the Grecian Helot; whose chains are wrapped around their strong limbs in many an intricate coil, whose heavy links were forged in the fires of religious bigotry, political fanaticism, and degrading, groveling and treacherous personal ambition.

Yet this convention is but the torch which shall light the mine at whose explosion Missouri Radicalism shall quake, tremble, and fall, to rise no more. The time set apart for convening together the delegates of this remarkable and heroic expression of the people’s will was most auspicious; and, like the hour selected for the death of the great patriot, Thomas Jefferson, seemed to be gladdened by the sweet smile of a most just and retributive Almighty providence. — The wrongs which the patriots of 1776 suffered in their day, the people of Missouri and these States suffer now; and like them, they have determined that the despotism of a political tyrant which has heretofore bound them in the vilest slavery, is and ought to be totally dissolved, and that they have full power, under the constitution, to do all things which a free and independent people may of right do, and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, they mutually pledge to each other “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.”

Of such is the army of heroes who will meet to conquer the radical tyrants of Missouri in November next; — tyrants who have no other armor but selfish interest, the holding of office, and the bloody passions and prejudices of the dark epoch we have just passed. We particularly call the attention of the public to the address to the People of Missouri by the Union Conservative State Convention, a copy of which we will furnish our readers in a few weeks.

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July 4, 1866: An Independence day for conciliation.

Shiloh - Cloud Field

The New York Times editorial, July 4, 1866.

The National Anniversary.

Of all the nations of the earth, this alone has its birthday celebration. Of all peoples we alone can point to the day and hour when we became a recognized nationality. There are celebrations elsewhere, and days of annual observance. The birthdays of monarchs, the memories of battles won or conspiracies defeated, the martyrdom of saints, the building of temples — these have their appropriate ceremony on each recurring anniversary. But they are of limited significance. An artillery salute and morning reception, a ridiculous pageant, a few additional genuflexions before an altar and a few words counted on a rosary, are all that they call forth. By such the popular heart is untouched. There is on their account no national holiday. There is no general rejoicing among the people.

Independence Day is ceasing to be so much a point from which we are to look back upon a long series of trials and achievements, as a point from which we should look forward with wise consideration at what we may by our own acts become or in what by our own short- comings we may fail. The great central idea associated with the day is that of the defense and preservation of the Union. Every flag that waves to-day is an emblem of that Union and its greatness; every cannon that thunders forth its salute to that flag bids us beware how we permit it to be stained by factious dissensions. The unity that we have fought for must be perfected.

It is for us all to remember today that our war has scarcely ended, when a new and equally terrible affliction has commenced its desolation of some of the fairest parts of Europe. As we write the news comes of two millions of men in arms just commencing their work of mutual slaughter. [The Austro-Prussian or Seven Weeks’ War began June 14, 1866.] The Powers between whom this contest has arisen are our friends, and with our self-congratulations must be joined the feeling of sorrow for the trials which they will have to undergo. The thought, too, arises of how great a contrast there is between our war and theirs. We fought for Union and for freedom, they have drawn the sword for conquest and dynastic interests. There can be but a mutual weakening of each other among them; we, on the other hand, have consolidated our nation by the blood of patriots. Their progress must be arrested for a time, and may be for centuries; out of our struggle we came stronger and better equipped than ever for the efforts toward advancement in all that dignifies a people.

The day suggests to us to strive for a Union not only of territory, but of hearts. The flag should not only cover but be beloved by all who own its sway. Independence Day is no less the inheritance of the North than of the South, and we must take care not to perpetuate fraternal strife between its folds. The true policy for all is the encouragement of affection and confidence in every section of the Union. None so sincerely honor this country, or so truthfully celebrate its festival, as those who hold out the hand of generous friendship toward those who have erred from their ways and have returned. On a day like this we can afford to forget the differences of the past; in the days to come we can equally afford to let those differences be forever buried. The lesson to be learned is how to forgive and to put away all uncharitableness, and when it is learned and acted upon, the Fourth of July will bring with it no regrets that there may be some who have no welcome for its coming. There will be orators today for whom the victories of our armies and the valor of our soldiers will be somewhat trite, and for whom still less the annual fling at insincerity abroad, or even a glowing tribute to the memory of the Fathers, is the only theme for an oration. But there is for them a nobler, higher subject upon which they may dilate. They may tell the people that we are now passing through a trial of our honor and fair fame; that we are offered the chance of being as magnanimous in peace as brave in war; that there is before us the task of healing wounds that yet bleed, and of proving that since we have laid aside the sword we have not laid aside our manhood too. They may tell the people that the Union is saved, but that a further victory is to be gained — one over prejudice and faction; they may exhort the people to show that they are not afraid of antagonists whom they have conquered, and that they believe in the reality of that Union for which they have sacrificed so much.

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June 28, 1866: Captain Magwire campaigns

St. Charles Hotel
The St. Charles Hotel, Cape Girardeau, MO

The Cape Girardeau Argus of June 28, 1866 reports on a visit from a state Democratic noteworthy, Capt. George A. Magwire. I can’t find much about Magwire, other than some land dealings and a couple of lawsuits, so it appears he didn’t rise to any high office. He did make a big impression on the conservative unionists in the area, apparently. Reading between the lines, it appears that he had a pretty tough time in Cape Girardeau itself — the Radicals who supposedly were cowed into “a decent, respectful silence” were still being “loud-mouthed” and “turbulent” as successive speakers took the rostrum. The radicals at Hamburg, MO were more reserved, and then he had quite the triumph in Jackson — then as now more solidly conservative than Cape, I guess.

The Campaign Opened

Political speaking at Cape Girardeau, Hamburg and Jackson — Conservatism Rampant, Radicalism Couchant.

According to appointment, Captain Geo. A. Magwire, by request of the State Central Democratic Committee, addressed the citizens of Cape Girardeau County from the balcony of the St. Charles hotel in this city Tuesday evening, June 19th, taking for his theme the political iniquity, destructive policy and unpatriotic course of the Radical element. The captain did not confine himself exclusively to the discussion of the unenviable merits of [Senator Charles D.] Drake, [Governor Thomas] Fletcher & Cox but took the party in all its ramifications from Thaddeus of Berkshire, to Babcocke of unknown parts; and if ever gangrened flesh suffered from the scalpel, the Radicals caught it in the operation they underwent at the hands of this skillful young doctor of radical putridity. Argumentative and caustic, he went at the Radicals in a masterly effective style, to their utter discomfiture, and achieved a total demolition of their bayonet-sustained, fraudulently enforced, cur-dog politics. Of course they attempted to howl him down, and assailed him with snappish blackguardism; and we were not a little surprised to see Tom Stockton, a negro who had attained much commendation for good behavior, disgrace himself by joining an outside rabble, who in the beginning thought they could intimidate so small a man as the Captain. Tom, if you wish to sustain yourself for the future, don’t be found again in such company as the U.S Deputy collector, our long-legged wide-mouthed county judge Smith, Pres. Whitney, or Common Pleas Judge Jimmy McWilliams et allii, even if they do shout loud. If that little Radical crowd in front of the beer saloon didn’t catch a Tartar when they waked up Capt. Magwire, then we don’t want a cent. He turned on them with such cutting invective and inimitable satire that they were but too glad to compromise with a decent, respectful silence.

Capt. Magwire went on to say that it was possible to augment the numerical strength of even so bad a party as the Radicals, but disturbing conservative orators on public occasions was not calculated to have that effect, as the loss of two radical votes at Warrensburg, resulting from a radical attempt to silence Frank Blair, would prove. After speaking one hour and a quarter, to the unbounded satisfaction of his friends and the loudly demonstrated chagrin of his enemies, Captain M., with a graceful and eloquent peroration, withdrew from the stand where he had distinguished himself by a complete subdual of his turbulent, loud mouthed opposers, to give room to

Col. Clark of Mississippi

The Colonel briefly stated that he was a warm supporter of Andrew Johnson, an advocate of Conservative Democratic principles, and a bitter opponent of the Radical party in its mildest and every phase, and every iniquitous proceeding, and closed by announcing himself a Congressional candidate, to be governed by the action of the Democratic Convention, and pledged to support its nominee.

Judge Green

then took the stand, and occupied the time with an effective argument, so lucid, sententious and unanswerable that every intelligent hearer was satisfied that the Conservatives were justly vindicated, and the Radicals so completely busted that their pitiful howls bore a ludicrous resemblance to the yelpings of a scalded dog.

Who Was It

took a position on the opposite side of the street and attempted something -whether a reply or not – could not be clearly ascertained? -but if it was, he took good grounds, for he was standing on the steps of the Argus office, and better ground a Radical couldn’t occupy. Whoever he was, it is certain he was not disposed to throw any light on the subject or his countenance — a commendable thing probably — as it is reasonable to suppose that one would not dignify and exalt the other, and be was by no means desirous of making his shame public.

A Cowardly Scoundrel

Some dirty, cowardly scoundrel, who bears about the same resemblance to a decent man as a boiled dog to a spring chicken, illustrated his sneaking propensities by throwing a rock into a window of the St. Charles, striking and severely injuring an old man. The guilty wretch who threw the stone was evidently wincing under the merited flagellation he had just received from the fiery Captain Magwire, and sought a true Radical mode of exhibiting his spleen, by a sneaking, cowardly act in the dark.

On Thursday 21st inst. Capt. Magwire made an effective and fruitful speech at Hamburg, Scott county. – His audience were composed mostly of Radicals with a large delegation the most respectable Radicals from Commerce. They were all gentlemen, and listened to him with marked attention, extending to him every courtesy due from them to a stranger. He was answered by Col. Foster of the last named place, who maintained his political opinions and fought the arguments of his opponent with the firmness and the kind politeness of a true gentleman. Mr. Magwire concluded amid the hearty applause and kind greetings of the assembled crowd.

On Saturday, he addressed the good people of Jackson, the county seat of Cape Girardeau. The assembly here was so large that all could not hear this great and triumphant philippic. Every time he hit — and he did hit often and hard — the new Constitution, Charles D. Drake, Tom. Fletcher, and his bought pups, the applause which he received made the welkin ring. The ladies vied with one another in rosy cheeks and approving smiles. The hospitality which every home profusely offered — the sweet music which gushed from many a rosy lip, and sprang from many a tapering finger, made the Captain feel that he was a welcome and desired guest. His reception here was an ovation.

We are under many obligations to Capt. Magwire for this visit to Southeast Missouri. The good which he has accomplished has far surpassed our most sanguine expectations; and while we return to him our hearty thanks, we still with pleasure anticipate the time when we shall see his pleasant face again. Captain, many of the fair ones complain that last week they suffered from the “palpitation of the heart.”

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June 21, 1866: The income tax

Income Tax ruled unconstitutional

The Cape Girardeau Argus ran a short item explaining the still new income tax law. As the cartoon above from 1895 indicates, a later version of such a tax would be declared unconstitutional. The issue was finally resolved by the 16th Amendment.

The Income Tax.

The duties on incomes are payable within sixty days after the return of the schedule to the assessors – that is, on or before the 30th day of June. The income must be reckoned for the year ending December 31st, 1865, and the tax is 5 percent on all sums between $600 and $5000, and 10 percent on the excess over $5000. The deductions permitted are:

First. The sum of $600 from all incomes.

Second. All national, State, county, and municipal taxes paid within the year (including the income tax paid last summer.)

Third. The amount actually paid for rent, of any homestead occupied by the tax-payers or his family.

Fourth. The amount paid for usual or ordinary repairs, taking the average of the preceding five years.

These are all the deductions that can be made.

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May 3, 1866: Montgomery Blair on Reconstruction

Montgomery Blair

The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of May 3, 1866 ran a lengthy essay by Montgomery Blair denouncing the Civil Rights Act and the Freedmen’s Bureau as unconstitutional impositions on the powers of the southern states. His argument starts with a long comparison of the treatment of Maine residents after the war of 1812 to the treatment of former Confederates. It seems to me that this comparison elides the crucial difference in the circumstances. Mainers were forced to cooperate with a superior force of British troops. Southerners were the troops, and can hardly argue that they were coerced by outside forces. It’s a “good Germans” argument.

As for the issues he raises against the Civil Rights Act, it may indeed grant special protections to black southerners — but we know what happened when those protections were removed. He concludes by claiming that the Radicals want to rule the south like Britain rules Ireland, because apparently the Irish, like black Americans, constitute an inferior race that can be easily manipulated by puppeteers in the dominant region.

The entire essay, to me, suffers from the crucial fault of all the “presidential Reconstruction” arguments; it fails to consider the rights or needs of black Americans in a restored “happy Union”.

Address of the National Johnson Club to the People of the United States

To the people of the United States:

One year ago the bloody civil war that threatened the ruin of our happy government closed. The generals and soldiers on both sides met on the field of battle and gave the world the highest example of magnanimous feeling, when the blood had ceased to flow, that was ever exhibited. There was not a look of hostility interchanged. The victors, who were well supplied, gave to the vanquished whatever was necessary to their comfort; and both, with a just appreciation of the noble courage and sense of patriotism which had animated each army through the four years’ struggle, were justly proud that they were a kindred race, and the offspring of the free institutions which had made them heroes. They knew what all the world now knows, that it was a dark, long brooded conspiracy through which ambitious politicians had secured control of the powers of government in two remote sections of the country, north and south, madly excited by the slave question, that producing collision, had brought the men on each part to the rescue of their homes and the governments that were dearest and nearest to them.

Ought not such a close of the war, under such leaders as Grant and Sherman — tendering friendship, peace, and honorable terms to their rivals of the same school, Lee and Johnston, for themselves, their armies, and the country, confirmed by pledges that the result was accepted by the vanquished as deciding forever against them the issues on which the battle was joined — be considered conclusive that nothing should be demanded but what had been staked on the event and has since been fully surrendered?

Has not the right of secession boon repudiated? Has not the institution of slavery been renounced, and the freedom of the slaves confirmed by constitutional amendments, state and national? Has not the Confederate debt been annulled and the obligations of both sections to pay the national debt been admitted? Have not the newly acquired rights of the freedmen been provided for by state legislation as promptly as possible in the section lately in war and anarchy? Have not the whole people with the exception of a few outcasts, robbers and cut throats — the shirks thrown off by the embode [sic] hosts that represented the principle of the contest on either side as unworthy of the cause — followed the example of their leaders, and consented that all the aims of war, as proclaimed by the national legislature and executive during its continuance, should be accomplished? And now, what hinders the consummation of the main object — the communion of the States in the happy harmony which made the new continent the glory of the world for almost a century.

There is a fragment of a party in the northeast which, like the junto created by Calhoun, the Catiline of the south, were never contented with the constitution of the United States. The Essex junto of Boston dominated in New England, as the Calhoun junto of Charleston dominated over the slave oligarchy of the South — both these factions were imbued with the British principle at war with the spirit of democracy inherent in our constitution — and how invariably the instinct of aristocracy works to the same end will be seen by, a glance at the juntos of Boston and Charleston in producing the severe ordeals to which they have subjected the constitution of our country. The war of 1812 was the war brought on by the Essex junto — the Henry-Hartford convention conspiracy, brought to a head by the Charleston secession ordinance. the British government made the difficulties with our government, in sympathy with the malcontents of New England, whom the triumphs of the democracy under Jefferson and Madison had banished from power. They became a British faction bent on severing the union with the united states — uniting with Canada and prosecuting their unembargoed tree trade under the British flag, the British having compelled the embargo restriction on our government to produce the state of feeling in New England to enable the conspirators to drive the people to a separation. The Hartford convention was the development of this scheme. Maine was taken possession of by a British force. Its power was recognized throughout New England. The government of the United States was interdicted from levying forces in New England to meet the enemy. The British soldiers in Canada, and all along our frontiers to the far west were supplied with everything from New England, while the American soldiers were perishing for the want of food and clothing amid the snow storms along the Canada line. At such moment the commissioners of the Hartford Convention appeared at Washington to proclaim their purpose of secession to President Madison, to use the phrase of one of them, “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must!” Mr. Foresyth and his brother commissioners from the south followed this precedent when they came to Washington, spent a month in negotiation with Messrs Seward, Holt and Stanton asking “audience to adjust (to use their own words) in a spirit of amity and peace the new relations springing from a manifest and accomplished revolution in the government of the union,” and as an earnest, acknowledging the fact the surrender of fort Sumpter was demanded, and it was acceded to by Mr. Seward, who gave Judge Campbell assurance, authorizing him to say to the commissioners, “I feel entire confidence that Fort Sumpter will be evacuated in the next five days.” Fortunately in the days of the Hartford convention there was a Gen. Jackson, as there is now a Gen. Grant. The British had felt his power throughout the war in the southwest, as well as the vigor of the navy on the seas, and when the Essex junto commissioners arrived in Washington to renounce the government, the victory of New Orleans and the news of peace met them. They lost the voice which they came to utter when they found the roar of the British lion hushed on the ocean and on the plains of New Orleans. They went home, but they were not proscribed. The governments of New England had sympathized with the foreign enemy, but the mass of the people had not as yet been forced into the ranks of the enemy — their means had been largely contributed to support the British power under the awe its presence inspired and the influence of the traitors among them exerted. But none of these men were punished. Maine, which was in fact under the paw of its ensign as a conquered country, was not considered out of the union. Its officials, although they obeyed orders emanating from British authority, and rendered important service to that government, and were in fact guilty of treason, if the power of compulsion, though not extorted, had not justified it, were not questioned by our government farther than to draw from our courts decisions that submission to a power that could not be resisted rendered treasonable acts justifiable.

But now the tables are turned, and there is no such allowance for the people of the South, who were under duress while the conspirators were establishing an absolute usurpation over them by military force, and the leading men in the administration going out and that coming in, at Washington, were both united in a negotiation with that usurpation to acknowledge “peace and amity” with it, as the result of a “manifest and accomplished revolution in the government of the union,” and this confirmed by the promise of the Premier that the strongholds of the United States in the harbor of Charleston should be surrendered to that usurping Government. The men who stood by the union in the south until the whole region was given over by the Government bound to protect them, but which,instead of interfering in their behalf, was capitulating for their surrender, had no alternative when thus permitted to be environed within the military lines of the foe, which expelled everything union beyond their border, but submission. What right has the national government now to hold those men subject to penalties for acquiescing in their enforced condition, and yielding to the will of the state governments and the military power thus established, and going into the war, more than the United States had to hold the men of Maine liable to punishment for giving aid and comfort to the British army there in the war of 1812? The districts there found no difficulty after the war was over in getting a representation in Congress. There was no test oaths imposed to exclude them. Why should the conspiracy of the Calhoun junto bring greater punishment on its innocent victims than did that of the Essex junto and its Hartford convention? The scheme of each was equally criminal — a dissolution of the union — but the means of the latter were much more invidious, for a foreign force was introduced into the heart of the country, hostile to all the essential principles of our republican system.

And is there no atonement in the calamities with which the unfortunate masses of the south have been visited from the despotism of the usurpation which would never have been put over them had not the treachery and collusion of our national Government assisted? Nothing in the utter ruin which succeeded the invasion of our army, which necessity made destroyers, to plead for justice and generosity to the victims of a war guiltless of its provocation? The whole South has been a field of battle — all its agriculture has been to a great extent, prostrate for four years; towns and homesteads innumerable have been swept away in flames; half a million of its most vigorous youth have perished in battle; countless millions of money, invested in the means of production, have been lost, and its proudest cities are ruins. Charleston remains, like the ruins of Carthage of old, an appropriate monument of the perfidy which has sunk the Sunny South in darkness and desolation. Meantime the North has risen in increasing grandeur and wealth throughout the progress of the war. What hearts those men must have, who standing aloof from the war and enjoying the glory and blessings of the victories won by our gallant armies, without sharing their toils and perils, now instead of imitating the soldiers’ magnanimity in lifting up a fallen brother, would strike down the helpless; and who demand spoil, confiscation, more blood, and would have it shed on a scaffold, where they could enjoy the tragedy at ease, as in a theatre.

How differently felt that true friend of the union — President Lincoln! — His humane instincts taught him that the bleeding gashes made by the sword, which had severed for the time the affections of the country, were best cured when soonest bound and healed with the first intention. He looked upon the States as members of the same body, still united to it by all the indestructible ligatures of the Constitution, but suffering, under the weight of the usurpation, a suspended animation. That removed, the states were in a condition to resume their functions with all the rights and faculties imparted to them by the Constitution. When the military power had done its duty delegated by the supreme law, and had suppressed the insurrection, had extirpated its cause, and all impediments to their normal prescribed action, by what right did Congress interpose assume to prescribe conditions not to be found in the supreme law which was a law of congress itself, and which established the state rights in derogation of which Congress attempted to legislate?

It was upon this attempt that Lincoln put his veto [Presumably the “pocket veto” of the Wade-Davis plan]. Congress undertook to enact conditions not in the Constitution of the United States, upon which the southern states should act with their sisters of the North. This the president considered sheer arrogation. It was presuming that the States were dead; that the general Government had failed in its duty to suppress the conspiracy and insurrection under which they were compelled to succumb for a time, the States had committed suicide — had become mere outlying territories conquered from a foreign enemy. The whole pretext was built up of false assumptions. The President proclaimed that the war was waged by the nation on the principle that the states in which the rebellion reigned were parcel of the nation — could nor should not be separated from it by their own or any other power; that neither the Congress of the United States, nor that of the usurping Confederacy, could alter their status in the union. Upon this issue, elaborately argued over the country and in Congress, the President was nominated for re-election by the Republican convention at Baltimore, which reaffirmed his principles. Leading members of the party in Congress protested against the doctrine, called it in question in an able manifesto, which was an appeal to the people against it, but their vote ratified it at the polls. [by re-electing Lincoln? It’s not as if there had been a stricter Reconstruction option for them to choose.] It was brought up at the last session of Congress for practical application in the admission of Louisiana, and was only defeated by a sort of revolutionary tactics on the part of Mr. Sumner and five other senators, who when the bill was on its passage, took the floor and announced the determination to speak out the session and lose the bills necessary to support the government and carry on the war.

Now, the whole Radical Party have assumed, as their party principle, the anti-constitutional doctrine that the States put in abeyance by rebellious usurpation shall only be recognized as in the Union when submitting to terms described by an act of Congress. This attains the point at which the Essex junto — the high-flying Federalists of the North, at the beginning of the Government, have fixed the power of the General Government. The whole policy of this aristocratic body of politicians has ever been and is now the consolidation of the supreme power in the hands of Congress. Its legislation is to pervade the states and supplant that of their legislatures. They make a full manifestation of their design in the Freedman’s Bureau bill and their Civil Rights bill, by which they undertake to establish a nation of negroes, among a nation of whites, and render them independent of the laws and courts of the states in which they reside — and in contempt of all sense of justice and humanity, their revolutionary measures invading the rights of the States, and annulling their municipal laws, by excluding them from their rights in the Union, and their representation from the halls of Congress, and governing them as England once governed Ireland, refusing to heat her voice in the Imperial Parliament. As Ireland was governed by laws sent to her from England, so the eleven states of the South, still excluded from representation in Congress, although they have given proof of entire submission to the laws and Constitution, and acquiescence in all the issues determined by the war, are governed by laws shaped in a caucus, and passed by a Congress representing another section of the country exclusively.

The Constitution expressly provides that the President of the United States and congressional representatives shall be chosen by the votes of persons in each State authorized by it to elect the popular branch of its legislature. This right is expressly reserved to each state to prevent the consolidation of all power in the Congress of the United States. If that body had the right to make the votes empowered to elect it, the British parliament would not be more omnipotent. The leaders in the present Congress have repeatedly declared that the only loyal men in the South are the negroes, and they insist that they shall be entitled to universal suffrage, while every white man should be excluded who cannot take the test-oath, denying that he had ever sympathized with any one engaged in rebellion. Congress has not yet ventured to annul the clause in the Constitution giving the creation of electors to the several States; but Mr. Sumner, who speaks for the Senate, has asserted that the late emancipation amendment to the Constitution warrants the concession of suffrage to the negroes, and a measure has been introduced in the House of Representatives to deny it to all the white people disqualified by the test-oath. But neither of these expedients need be resorted to now. Congress, by excluding from the national legislature the whole race in the south that fought the battle for our independence, and who contributed largely in founding what has hitherto been looked upon as the white man’s Government, established by his courage, intelligence and labor as his own freehold, and as the inheritance of his children, renders any further disfranchisement superfluous, and his degradation is completed by putting the negroes upon higher ground than the whites in other respects, educating their children at the national expense, feeding, clothing, and sheltering the hundred thousands who reject the tempting wages which invite them to return to employment in the South — according to them seats in the galleries of the two houses the males attired in every variety of costume, the females, (at least the better looking of them) rustling in silks (it is to be hoped not at the expense of the Treasury); the men repaying with applause the recognition by Senators of their service that saved the country, and the women repaying by bouquets the glances with which they are honored from below. It is reasonable, indeed, that they should occupy positions in the chambers from which multitudes of men and women of our kindred are turned away daily. The legislation being directed for the most part to put up the blacks and degrade the white race in the proscribed States, it is proper that the favorites who take the deepest interest in the debates should be preferred as the audience.

This preference of race is exhibited, it is true, in the name of perfect equality. The phrase is a thin disguise. The measures which are proposed to produce this equality are all fraught with injustice and violation of fundamental law. The Freedmen’s Bureau bill proceeded on confiscation of the lands of the South, without trial and conviction of the owners, in violation of the express terms of the Constitution. It established tribunals and created a municipal code, multitudes of judicial and executive officers to execute it, in derogation of the rights of the States, and for the benefit of a whole people to whom the courts of the whole States were open, but which were curtailed in their rightful jurisdiction by the intervention of Congress, which the army was to be called in to carry into effect by forcing submission to the judgment of the head of each bureau – a judgment from which there was no appeal. The law wan simply an agrarian law to plant the black race to supplant the white, and make a new government with an army to enforce it over the prostrate States. How much better and wiser would it be to provide homes and a country and a refuge on the vacant domain of the government for the inferior race, where they might enjoy an actual equality under the instruction and protection of the great Republic; where they might assert substantial independence and be stimulated by the highest motives to cultivate the nobler faculties of man? The vacuum left by these transplantations would, as Jefferson contemplated in this event, be supplied from the North and from our Northern kindred nations. No part of the earth is more inviting to the white race than the Sunny South. All its products are golden, and of cheaper acquisition than gold itself in the richest mines, and nothing has prevented this rich region from being filled with such a population but the protection which has been extended to the black race whilst held as slaves by the strong arm of the white race. Such an exchange of population, whilst advantageous to both races, would make our government homogeneous and secure in peace by peaceful methods. This result is inevitable. Radical policy may hasten it by causing it to force itself on by that inhuman process which delivered the non-civilized portion of our continent from the barbarian tribes its original possessors. But it is altogether better that the wiser course pointed out by Mr. Jefferson should be adopted.

The Civil Rights bill is a scion of this more formidable predecessor. It purports to grant civil rights to the blacks — to place them as citizens on perfect equality with the whites. Its dictum is that there shall be no discrimination in the races in regard to civil rights, and yet the very first step in the code takes from the State Courts their independence as judicial tribunals and breaks down the authority of the people who created them. If the judges of the State Courts decide against any of the grants or immunities conferred upon the freemen by the Civil Rights bill, the judge is to be fined or imprisoned for it, no matter how conscientious his decision, or whether it be founded on his views of the Constitution or the laws of the State which he is sworn to administer. There is no such penalty affixed in case of a judgment against a white man whose person or property may be involved in the judge’s decision. In case a white citizen of a state sues another he is confined to seek justice in a State Court. The negro is privileged to prosecute in the State Court, in the District Court of the United States, or the Circuit Court of the United States. So he may drag the white man through all the tribunals of the country. Is not this discrimination? But there is another of still more practical importance. The bill requires that commissioners be appointed throughout the States to become prosecutors of suits for freedmen litigants. The new tribe of pursuivants of litigation are to receive a premium from the treasury of $10 for every suit they can induce the freedman to permit to be brought in his name, and $5 additional is to be paid on the warrant when issued. For similar services a State justice receives 25 cents. A poor white man nowhere in the world has such assistance in asserting his rights or redressing his wrongs. He has to pay the tax and fees when he appeals to the Courts for justice and the lawyers for counsel, but for the freedmen there is a host of commissioners provided, to instigate and prosecute suits prompted by fees in advance, which alone would make a lucrative pursuit, to say nothing of what might be obtained from the plaintiff or extorted from the defendant. There seems to be some discrimination of races where we find the purse of the nation opened to one race and stimulating huntsmen to hunt the other as a sort of prey. This must be meant as retaliation on the whites (although paroled and promised peace at their homes) for the cruelties of Senator Mason’s fugitive slave bill. The latter, however, only reached a few individuals. The hired beagle of the civil rights bill will hunt the white man down at his home or drive him from it, and he is commissioned to drag State Judges from their courts to trial before United States courts, and thence to the punishment they adjudge, for error of opinion.

It is obvious from the course of Congress, as already manifested that it means to maintain the power now held over the national Government and tyranny over the South, by the use to which the African population is to be converted. Mr. Stevens made this evident when he asserted in his speech that giving them franchise would defeat the weight of the South in the Government. It is clearly the design of the measures already broached to subordinate the South to the North as Ireland is subordinated to England by the hostilities and distraction that inevitably arise between two distinct nations brought to confront each other in the same State and Government, asserting an association on terms of an equality which the nature, habits, prejudices, the very from, complexion, as well as the education and status of the races in , the Government, from its origin to this hour render incompatible. England has her Orangemen and Irishmen in eternal strife, and arbitrates between them with the sword. It is the policy of the rump parliament to produce the same relations between the two sections of our country, instead of the happy union which Lincoln and Johnson have labored to renew.

The congress is now a revolutionary convention. The President’s comment on the scheme it proposes is as just as that in which he rebuked Davis and his followers when they abandoned ibej senate to broach the the Senate to broach the extinct rebellion. He raised his warning voice then against their designs in the speech which be made in the presence of the conspirators. He characterized their crime by the name with which the world now brands it. The Johnson club, now inaugurated, predicates its political action on the principles and policy avowed in his messages and on his views of the schemes of the enemies of the Government, disclosed in his speech on the 22d of February, from which we quote the passages which may be considered prophecy. He says:

“The rebellion is put down by the strong arm of the government but we are almost in the midst of another rebellion there is an attempt to concentrate the power of the government in the hands of a few and thereby bring about a consolidation which is equally dangerous and objectionable with a separation. We find that in effect, by an irresponsible central directory nearly all powers of government are assumed without ever consulting the legislative or executive department of the Government by resolution reported by a committee upon whom all the legislative power of the government has been conferred. That principle in the constitution which authorizes and empowers each branch of the legislative department to be judge of the election and qualification of its own members has been virtually taken away from these departments and conferred upon a committee, who must report before they act under the Constitution and allow members, duly elected, to take their seats. By this rule they assume that there must be laws passed, that there must be recognition in respect to the State in the Union with all its practical relations restored, before its representatives are admitted.” * * * I stand prepared, so far as I can, to resist these encroachments upon the constitution and government.

Montgomery Blair, President.
Chas. Mason, Cor. Sec’y.

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April 26, 1866: Welsh Indians in Arizona?



The Cape Girardeau Weekly Argus of April 26, 1866 printed this fanciful item on the front page. I can’t find any mention of “Moke” Indians anywhere else. A mis-hearing of Maricopa? In any case, as is typical for racist nineteenth century accounts of notable American Indian ruins, the author is careful to make it clear that the “savages” currently encountered can’t be related to the people who built these amazing works. And if you can claim that they’re actually Welsh and thus white, even better. The descendants of Madoc theory has a long history, usually associated with the Mandan much further north. “Colonel Porter”, to whom the current item attributes the theory, is also pretty mysterious, and since the idea had been kicking around since 1608, it wasn’t original to him anyway.

Arizona was the theater of an ancient civilization which has left monuments, not history. Well-constructed houses are existing there untenanted, and evidences of extensive mining and agriculture. it was evidently not Aytec, but Tolecan or ante-Tolecan civilization. Among the structures erected by its former people is a house larger than the city hall of New York and five stories high. Certainly that surpasses Mr. Benedict Arnold’s windmill at Newport in the point of marvel. The Apaches, a specimen of Indians analogous to the Malays of India, now overrun the territory and cannot be civilized. The Mokes are a more interesting people. They live upon the mountains and cultivate the land in the valleys, for which they pay a tribute of l-10th to the Apaches. They now number about 1,200, are of fair complexion and somewhat European features. Some welsh colonists of Utah visited them and found a remarkable similarity of language, the same intricate system of consonantal words, and other dialetic belonging to the Cymraeg. Colonel Porter, from these facts, wove out the theory that Prince Madoc, who left North Wales in the reign of Henry II of England, was the founder of an American colony, of which the Mokes are the descendants.

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April 19, 1866: Popular support for veto?

Cape Girardeau Argus, April 19, 1866. I’m wondering just how the people were polled on their attitudes toward vetoes in the 18th and 19th centuries. I think probably in the editor’s imagination.

The Richmond Examiner has the following piece of political history:

It is a noteworthy fact in American history that every presidential veto has been sustained by the people, We can recall no instance to the contrary. Mr. Tyler’s vetoes were quite as successful as those of General Jackson. Judging from present indications, the late veto of President Johnson will command a larger popular support than any act of any American President.

Posted in Andrew Johnson, Civil rights, Veto | Leave a comment