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“It is enough to say that these different kinds and sources of evidence have left no doubt whatever in my mind that intimidation has been used, and actual violence, to an extent requiring the aid of the United States Government, where it was practicable to furnish such aid, in South Carolina, in Florida, and in Louisiana, as well as in Mississippi, in Alabama, and in Georgia.
“The troops of the United States have been but sparingly used, and in no case so as to interfere with the free exercise of the right of suffrage. Very few troops were available for the purpose of preventing or suppressing the violence and intimidation existing in the States above named. In no case except that of South Carolina was the number of soldiers in any State increased in anticipation of the election, saving that twenty-four men and an officer were sent from Fort Foote to Petersburgh, Va., where disturbances were threatened prior to the election.
"No troops were stationed at the voting-places. In Florida and in Louisiana, respectively, the small number of soldiers already in the said States were stationed at such points in each State as were most threatened with violence, where they might be available as a posse for the officer whose duty it was to preserve the peace and prevent intimidation of voters. Such a disposition of the troops seemed to me reasonable, and justified by law and precedent, while its omission would have been inconsistent with the constitutional duty of the President of the United States 'to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' The statute expressly forbids the bringing of troops to the polls, 'except where it is necessary to keep the peace,' implying that to keep the peace it may be done. But this even, so far as I am advised, has not in any case been done. The stationing of a company or part of a company in the vicinity, where they would be available to prevent riot, has been the only use made of troops prior to and at the time of the elections. Where so stationed, they could be called, in an emergency requiring it, by a marshal or deputy marshal as a posse to aid in suppressing unlawful violence. The evidence which has come to me has left me no ground to doubt that if there had been more military force available, it would have been my duty to have disposed of it in several States with a view to the prevention of the violence and intimidation which have undoubtedly contributed to the defeat of the election law in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, as well as in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida.
“By Article IV, section 4, of the Constitution, The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature can not be convened), shall protect each of them against domestic violence.'
“By act of Congress (Rev. Stat., U. S., sec. 1034, 1035) the President, in case of 'insurrection in any State,' or of 'unlawful obstruction to the enforcement of the laws of the United States by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings,' or whenever domestic violence in any State so obstructs the execution of the laws thereof, and of the United States, as to deprive any portion of the people of such State of their civil or political rights, is authorized to employ such parts of the land and naval forces as he may deem necessary to enforce the execution of the laws and preserve the peace, and sustain the authority of the State and of the United States. Acting under this title (69) of the Revised Statutes, United States, I accompanied the sending of troops to South Carolina with a proclamation such as is therein prescribed.
“The President is also authorized by act of Congress ‘to employ such part of the land or naval forces of the United States'
as shall be necessary to prevent the violation and to enforce the due execution of the provisions' of title 24 of the Revised Statutes of the United States for the protection of the civil rights of citizens, among which is the provision against conspiracies to prevent by force, intimidation,
or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President, or VicePresident, or as a member of Congress of the United States.' (Rev. Stat., U. S., 1989.)
“In cases falling under this title, I have not considered it necessary to issue a proclamation to preclude or accompany the employment of such part of the Army as seemed to be necessary.
“In case of insurrection against a State government, or against the Government of the United States, a proclamation is appropriate; but in keeping the peace of the United States at an election at which members of Congress are elected, no such call from the State or proclamation by the President is prescribed by statute or required by precedent.
“In the case of South Carolina, insurrection and domestic violence against the State government were clearly shown, and the application of the governor founded thereon was duly presented, and I could not deny his constitutional request without abandoning my duty as the Executive of the National Government.
The companies stationed in the other States have been employed to secure the better execution of the laws of the United States and to preserve the
peace the United States.
“After the election had been had, and where violence was apprehended by which the returns from the counties and precincts might be destroyed, troops were ordered to the State of Florida, and those already in Louisiana were ordered to the points in greatest danger of violence.
“I have not employed troops on slight occasions, nor in any case where it has not been necessary to the enforcement of the laws of the United States. In this I have been guided by the Constitution and the laws which have been enacted and the precedents which have been formed under it.
“It has been necessary to employ troops occasionally to overcome resistance to the internal-revenue laws,
from the time of the resistance to the collection of the whisky tax in Pennsylvania, under Washington, to the present time.
“In 1854, when it was apprehended that resistance would be made in Boston to the seizure and return to his master of a fugitive slave, the troops there stationed were employed to enforce the master's right under the Constitution, and troops stationed at New York were ordered to be in readiness to go to Boston if it should prove to be necessary:
“In 1859, when John Brown with a small number of men made his attack upon Harper's Ferry, the President ordered United States troops to assist in the apprehension and suppression of him and his party, without a formal call of the legislature or governor of Virginia, and without proclamation of the President.
“Without citing further instances, in which the Executive has exercised his power as commander of the Army and Navy to prevent or suppress resistance to the laws of the United States, or where he has exercised like authority in obedience to a call from a State to suppress insurrection, I desire to assure both Congress and the country that it has been my purpose to administer the executive powers of the Government fairly, and in no instance to disregard or transcend the limits of the Constitution.
“U. S. GRANT.” The bill passed by the House of Representatives at the second session of the Forty-fourth Congress proposed to reduce the numerical strength of the Army and to prevent its use in support of the claims, or pretended claims, of any State government or officer, until such government should be duly recognized by Congress. The reason assigned for this was the improper use of the Army in the Southern States. Thus, Mr. J. D. C. Atkins, a member from Tennessee, said:
“Had the people been allowed without Federal coercion to manage their own affairs since the war,
they would have done so much more justly to all concerned and with far greater satisfaction to a very large majority of the people even of the Northern States.
"The disrupted condition of society which the war left among other evils as a heritage to the South, and which almost always follows civil wars from necessity, afforded a pretext for the use of the Army in those States. And as the dominant party determined to tear down the old State governments and also the new ones which were set up by President Johnson and enter upon its famous and ill-advised reconstruction policy-and I only speak of it now for the purpose of a historical illustration—and to do this were compelled to inaugurate the rotten-borough or carpet-bag system of representation and government, which required, or they supposed it did, the presence of the Army to make it successful, time, partial success, and habit have rendered the use of the Army in the Southern States a seeming necessity to the ruling authorities at Washington. It is to this use of the Army that I object. It is degrading to the dignity of an American soldier to make a policeman of him; it is insulting to his chivalry and patriotism, it is dwarfing his noble profession to the ignoble level of a Turkish Janizary, who never tasted the sweet waters of liberty, but was born and bred beneath the frowning shadows of despotism and thinks it an honor to lick the hand of his master, or but touch the hem of his garment, or die for his defense.
“American soldiers policemen! Insult if true, and slander if pretended to cover up the tyrannical and unconstitutional use of the Army by protecting and keeping in power tyrants whom the people have not elected; and but for Federal military protection their governments would fall at the first breath of popular expression. The hollow insincerity and circumlocution which have attended every step of the unconstitutional use of the United States Army deserves the scorching denunciation of every true soldier and of every lover of his country and of its Constitution.