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perhaps, would desire to do better, to do the best they can, and give in their adhesion and support. “If the efforts for reconstruction of government in Louisiana are successful and recognized, peace is possible and proximative. “The Tribune, a journal ostensibly devoted to the interests of the colored race, but apparently controlled by white men who seem to have failed in the struggle for leadership in the work of reconstruction, says, that of three alternatives presented to the people of Louisiana, all of which are elaborately argued, the true course is to vote against the Constitution. Its authors are unprincipled tricksters, it says, and their work must necessarily be detrimental to the public weal. The Tribune exhibits as much force in the expression, as the Times does in the suppression of its real sentiments, and puts the strongest point upon its avowed hostility. “The canvass in the parish of Orleans is animated, and reminds one of the contests of 1860. Opposition more resolute and capable is the only aliment required to give to the political arena the interest once inspired by “the contests of the fierce democracy.’ “We are informed that between nine and ten thousand legal votes are registered to the parish of Orleans alone. The vote of the State is likely to exceed that of the gubernatorial election some five thousand, probably presenting an aggregate vote of fifteen to seventeen thousand. This is certainly a sanguine, perhaps an over estimate. “In the First Congressional District the contest will be animated, and the vote large. Abell and Bonzano are the candidates—the first opposing the Constitution and emancipation, and the latter (Bonzano) advocating the Constitution with emancipation and compensation for loyal slaveholders. Bonzano is the author of the article of emancipation as it stands in the Constitution to be voted upon, and Mr. Abell was its most persistent and able opponent. “In the Second District, Dr. Dostie, independent, opposes Mr. Field, a supporter of the Constitution, but of strong Democratic proclivities. Mr. Field is known to the country as the unsuccessful claimant of a seat in the House of Representatives last winter. He failed in being recognized, on account of the fact that no opportunity was given for a general participation in the election, and the small vote given for the various candidates claiming membership to the House of Representatives. He is a strong man on the stump, and will make his mark in the councils of the nation if elected. But the faithful doubt him, and he has for an opponent Dr. Dostie, State Auditor. Dr. Dostie is regarded by his opponents as the Robespierre of the revolution without the passion for bloodshed with which his ancient Republican prototype has been charged, his defenders say falsely charged. Whatever is true of Robespierre of the French Revolution, his successor of the great American Rebellion is governed by a spirit of the purest benevolence. He is earnest, but not malevolent, ‘ he roars you as gentle as a sucking dove;’ even in his anger. In former times when the city was decimated by pestilence, the Doctor was one of the leading men of the Masonic Order who dared death in every form, and carried to every stricken fellow-man, comfort and consolation, if not relief—the Garibaldi of the hospitals. Between these contestants the struggle will be animated, not virulent. ‘Let the winners pass!” “It will not be strange if Louisiana becomes the pivot upon which the revolution will turn; at any rate, it already attracts a large share of public attention. “The manifesto of recent date upon our state affairs has excited more discussion than any political paper for some years. “We are informed upon very good authority, that the President has written a letter expressing his approval of the draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the people, and an earnest desire for its ratification by them. It is therefore an affair of moment in the minds of other people than our own.” From among the many cards sent to the city papers, expressing a desire to see Dostie, the friend of education, in Congress, we select the following, as expressive of the
feelings of many of the loyal teachers in New Orleans in 1864:
“Although the political issues involved in the present Congressional canvass are of paramount importance, yet it may not be out of place to consider such other issues as are collateral to the main question: educational matters of vital importance will be placed in the hands of the next Congressional Representative. Louisiana has not yet availed herself of that bountiful donation of land offered by Congress to establish Agricultural Colleges. There are, also, we believe, vacant cadetships due to this State, both at West Point and at the naval schools and ‘civil service.” Secretaries will without doubt be appointed during the present session. Three such prizes held out to our High School pupils would be glorious incentives to activity. Therefore, if other things are equal, it becomes the duty of all who love the youth of our schools and hope to see them enjoy the advantages procured for those of other cities, to vote for Dr. Dostie, the tried friend of schools and children. To him, more than to any other man, is due the loyal standing of our public schools. He is everywhere beloved by the young people of New Orleans. “TEACHER.”
The Delta of September 8th, in referring to the result of the Congressional contest, says:
“Dr. Dostie is justly regarded as one of the leading spirits in the cause of the people. A more devoted or disinterested champion of liberty has not appeared upon the political stage during the present century.
“The majority of the delegates to the Parish Convention, being satisfied with Colonel Field, presented his name as a candidate for that office. All the primary elections, so far as we can learn, were fairly conducted. The delegates were presumed to know the wishes of their constituents, and the Free State party was, in a measure, in honor bound to ratify their action. The moment the nomination was made known, every friend and supporter of the party and its principles became tacitly pledged to support the nominee.
“In such a light must be viewed the result of the recent election. To this must be ascribed the defeat (by a small majority) of Dr. Dostie, who is one of the most popular men in the Congressional District—one against whom not a breath of suspicion could be cast—a true patriot, an indefatigable worker in the Union cause, a tried friend and an honest man. Had Dr. Dostie consented to run in time to have had his name presented to the Convention, the result might have been different. With the party nomination, he would have kept pace with the vote in favor of the Constitution. As it was he received comparatively a large vote.”
The election of September 8th, resulted in sending Mr. F. Bonzano, and A. P. Field to Washington. The action of Congress in not admitting them to participate in the councils of the nation are recorded in the official documents of the National Legislature.
Dr. Dostie's only disappointment at his defeat in the Congressional contest, arose from an ardent desire to labor in Congress for the interests of Louisiana. He had watched with the discernment of a true reformer the developments in his adopted State; had gloried in the downfall of despotism and the elevation of the oppressed laboring classes, and studied diligently the advantages to which her wealth, strength and resources entitled her as a free State in the Union. He desired to be in a position where he could labor for the interests of the emancipated masses, made free by the acts of President Lincoln.
His public documents, private letters and sayings, all prove that his standard was elevated to the dignity of pure and true statesmanship. Judging from his record, his comprehensive and just views of the measures necessary to carry out republican laws, we can not doubt but that he might have maintained a high position among the radical members of the 39th Congress.
November 29th, 1864, the Union men of New Orleans, assembled on Lafayette Square to ratify the election of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Addresses were delivered by Governor Hahn, General Hamilton, Judge Heistend, and Dr. Dostie. The annexed resolutions were adopted:
“Jęesolved, 1st. That in the recent re-election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States, we behold one of the sublimest spectacles ever presented to