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presidential contest,- the election of Abraham Lincoln, followed by the immediate movement of South Carolina and other slave States to sever the Union, and to set up a Confederacy of their own. He was not unprepared for the momentous emergency. The hour was dark; but his path of duty he could clearly discern, and in it he would walk.

Speech of Mr. Harriman, of Warner, in the House of Representatives, June 17, 1858, on the Dunbarton election case. [Mr. Harriman, having considered all the evidence in detail and at length,

closed as follows :-) He [Mr. H.] submitted to the House, if on this loose, suspicious, uncertain testimony – testimony reeking with rank fraud all through, they would unseat a member, honestly and fairly elected by the unimpeached records of the town, to a seat in this House? He believed this evidence could rightfully have no weight: it was light and thin as air; it was tainted with fraud through and through, and was therefore not sufficient to hang a dog upon.

The counsel for the remonstrants in this case had declared in committee room that this was a party question, and the fact could not be concealed; but he [Mr. H.] had supposed that we had higher duties to perform here than merely to subserve the interests of party. He supposed that law, justice, and right should be the lights by which our path should be illuminated. If otherwise, then whoever is not of the dominant party in this House might take his hat and retire at once, for on the principle thus laid down, there is power only in numbers.

If this is a party question, who made it so? Who instigated this proceeding ? who nursed it in its incipiency, and who to-day stand godfathers over it? That there are unscrupulous politicians in our midst, who, in the pursuit of their sordid and selfish aims, halt at nothing, seems to be fully conceded. He [Mr. H.] had read, in a very influential paper in this city, of a "junto;" a "faction;" a “clique;" a "knot of conspirators;" an "irresponsible cabal, whose head is in Washington, and whose tail is in this city;" a party of “scullions ;” and much more to the same effect.

They are accused of “low intrigue,” of “shameless and disgraceful conduct,” of “striking down every man who has independence enough to act according to the dictates of conscience.” And all this is said of the pure and incorruptible Republican party, by a leading Republican journal. If it be all true (and it did not become him to dispute bis friend, the editor of the “New Hampshire Statesman”), then it behooves the people of the State to guard vigilantly and well their every right. In this very city is the “tail” of the cabal whose head is in Washington, and in this very city there has been no lack of “cash contributions for bleeding Kansas." Whether there have been any party “scullions" here who would appropriate any of those "cash contributions" to the Republican cause in Dunbarton, let every man judge. That town had been a chosen theatre of action for a few years past, and last March the managers felt that all was safe there. Every trap had been carefully set and baited. But the best laid schemes do sometimes fail. And now to break the force of their fall, they come in here with the impotent and futile cry of fraud. ... Gentlemen tell us the purity of the ballot-box must be preserved, and he [Mr. H.] would respond Amen to that sentiment, but observation had bid him to beware of that cry when coming from a certain quarter. He had seen a gentleman from the town of Pembroke hold a seat in this house, through an entire session, when the gentleman himself knew that he had no more right here than any other citizen of that town. He was not elected, and his conscience revolted at the idea of coming here to represent a people who had never chosen him. But this party, whose leaders are the especial guardians of the purity of elections, compelled him to come in here to take the oath of office, and act till the closing hour.

He had seen three gentlemen from the town of Meredith occupy seats here up to the final adjournment, who were

not elected on the second Tuesday of March, nor the next day, nor for weeks thereafter, and whose constitutional right in this hall was no better than that of any three men who might be picked up in the street.

He had seen in the city of Manchester, last March, two hundred citizens and voters, whose right of suffrage was, in his view, as clear and unquestionable as that of the members of this House, totally disfranchised, and cheated out of their constitutional privilege by Republican selectmen, acting under the voluntary advice of partisan judges.

He had seen the evidence that in this Dunbarton case, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five dollars, and in one instance, six months' house-rent, had been paid apiece for voters, by this party which is shrieking for the purity of the ballotbox!

He had seen in other sections of the country the most corrupt and wicked deeds done under the specious cry, — The purity of elections! In secret conclave men have advised the carrying of pistols and daggers to the ballot-box! With hideous yells and unearthly shouts they have stifled free speech and attacked the free press! Peaceable citizens have been maltreated and murdered in the honest discharge of their duty at the polls! Women and children have been driven into the flames of burning buildings and roasted alive, and beneath the arching smoke and the lurid flame, enveloping the heavens in a blaze, these men have shouted, Glory! and to shuddering consciences have cried, “The purity of the ballot-box must be preserved!”

This is the system of purifying elections now being attempted in the case before the House! The will of the people is to be disregarded ; their rights are to be wrested from them, and their sovereignty is to be trampled boldly in the dust.

But the Democracy of that sterling town will never falter. They'll stand by their guns to the last, and will repel this accusation of fraud with a voice of thunder.. Send this man away, and you commit a wrong against him, you commit a wrong against the town he represents, and you commit a great and daring wrong against public justice and morality. You destroy the sacredness of elections. You render the ballot-box no longer inviolable. You wrest from the people's hands their rights. You lay down a principle which must inevitably lead to strife, anarchy, and bloodshed.

You have might on your side in this hall, but God knows you can't lay your hands on your hearts and say this act would be right. But we stand not here to entreat; we beg no indulgence, we ask no quarter. We say, if mad counsels are to prevail, and this deed is to be done, you will do it at your peril. There is a day of reckoning at hand. The people, aroused, will in their might grind to powder your "juntos,” your “cliques,” your "knots of conspirators,” your “scullions” of parties, and no bright resurrection from the tomb will await you.





The historic year 1861 had come, and the dire sound of civil war was in the land. Rebel guns had dismantled Sumter. Recreant sons, in the South, had raised their hands against their country's life. The loyal sentiment of the North was aroused; party feeling was hushed, and party lines, for the moment, were erased. Crush the rebellion and save the country” was, for the nonce, the single watchword of the Northern heart. War meetings were held throughout the uprisen North. At one of these, held in Warner, Mr. Harriman presided, and made a calm, but firm and decided speech in favor of vindicating the national authority over every rood of our territory, by all the power for self-preservation inherent in the national government, as the protector of the nation's life. What an expense of treasure, of blood, of tears, would have been saved, had all Northern men taken and held the same patriotic ground! But, to the shame of many, the truth of history compels it to be said that a party very soon, and very generally, under various pretexts, opposed the war against rebellion, and thus encouraged the rebellious South to greater effort and to firmer endurance. Indeed, but for the aid confidently relied on from a political party at the North, the South would probably never have begun the contest. But Mr. Harriman, though unsupported by life-long party associates, stood firm in his position, that the wicked and inexcusable action of the South must and should be met by arms to the salvation of the Union. In the earliest days of the war, to a friend who inquiringly suggested,

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