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present Acting Mayor is directed to surrender to him all
the papers connected with that office.
“By command of Major General Banks.
Finding General Banks an impediment to his plans, Governor Wells hastened to Washington to unbosom his favorite theories to his friend Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. At this crisis of political affairs in Louisiana, the friends of liberty looked to President Johnson as their future deliverer from rebel intrigue. In a paper edited by colored men in New Orleans, at that time, we find the following article, expressive of that confidence : “The removal of Hugh Kennedy from the office of Mayor and the appointment of Colonel S. M. Quincy to that place, has been the event of the week of most interest to our people. The appointment of Dr. Kennedy to the Mayoralty by the late General Hurlbut, through our departed Governor Wells, was the beginning of a new rule of Copperheads and rebels, out of which, if it were possible, slavery would be re-established, and all the old wrongs of the slavocracy would be again fastened upon us. Slavery never had a stronger advocate than Dr. Kennedy, nor a more practical supporter than Gov. Wells, who, owning three hundred of us in bondage, could not be expected to repent in a day, as indeed he did not ; for instead of emancipating his slaves he had them brought near New Orleans, where he helped to support them, while he made political capital with the Radicals out of this professed humanity.
“Governor Wells was loud in his professions of radical politics, which secured for him the nomination and election for Lieutenant Governor. How much he must be wedded to the spirit, if not to the fact of the ‘old evil,” may be known by his removal of Union Free State men, and his appointment of rebel sympathizers and registered enemies to their places, at the very time when our new President, the brave and loyal Andy Johnson, the liberator of our race in Tennessee, was speaking every day to delegations against just such men and such policy as our Governor was advancing. “We cannot help being thankful to God, who all through this revolution for our freedom has sent us deliverance at the right time, that on this occasion the strong hand of our friend, Major General Banks, was present to protect us from the new rule of rebels and copperheads. Defeated here, Governor Wells and Dr. Kennedy, with a few of their friends have gone to Washington, to lay the last hope and the last prayer of the returning rebels, and the anxious Copperheads of Louisiana, at the feet of the heroic President Johnson, who, all his life, has been fighting to overthrow just such men as now ask him to restore them to power. “May they have a good time in learning from our noble President that the scepter has departed from their hands, because they held it for evil, and henceforth there is for them only repentance and quiet submission to the true people whom the God of Freedom has appointed to rule.” Soon after the arrival of Governor Wells in Washinglon, the annexed order was sent to the excited city of Yew Orleans, from near the Executive Mansion :
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 21, 1865.
To J. S. Walton, Treasurer, City of New Orleans:
SIR: I hereby notify you as Treasurer of the city of New Orleans, not to pay at the peril of your securities any warrant drawn upon you for pay of individuals, material for public uses or other purposes whatsoever that may have been made or authorized by Col. S. M. Quincy, a colonel of a colored regiment of United States volunteer troops, or any other person acting or pretending to act under the appointment of Major-General Banks, Commanding General Department of the Gulf, as said General Banks acted contrary to law, and his proceedings are disapproved by the President of the United States, in suspending the civil authorities of the city of New Orleans and overthrowing the laws and ordinances instituted for its good government.
I have the honor to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Governor. To a greater length could testimony be extended, but enough has been written to show that never was reposed confidence more betrayed than the nation’s trust in the successor of Abraham Lincoln.
June 4th, 1865, General Banks was removed from the Gulf Department and General Canby resumed command of the same. The acts of a Nero never created a greater consternation among his subjects than did the following order in the loyal ranks of New Orleans, who saw in it only the hand of Governor Wells and his advisers, Hugh Kennedy and Glendy Burke:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, |
NEW ORLEANs, La., June 8, 1865. Special Orders, No. 152. [Extract.] sk :}; :k :}; >}: >k :}; >}: :: * >k 17. Mr. Hugh Kennedy is appointed Acting Mayor of the city of New Orleans. Col. Samuel M. Quincy, 73d U. S. Colored Infantry, is relieved from duty as Acting Mayor, and will rejoin his regiment. He will turn over to Mr. G. Burke, who is authorized to act until the arrival of the Acting Mayor, the duties of the office in which he is now acting. By order of Major-General E. R. S. Canby, C. H. DYER, Capt. and Asst.-Adj.-Gen. In league with the Chief Magistrate, with an armed police force at his command, and with the Nero qualifi
cations of Glendy Burke to lead in municipal affairs until the arrival of “Lord” Hugh Kennedy, Governor Wells was prepared to instigate the hidden policy of the ruler who swayed his iron scepter over the poor oppressed people from the throne he had erected to the cause of the rebellion in the Capital of our Republic. Loyalty in New Orleans was made odious; liberty was disgraced, and Union leaders and reformers were marked for rebel vengeance. Oppression and indignity was the fate of all who dared to resist the unjust decree of despots and tyrants. To the proud spirit, patriotic heart, and iron will of Dostie this despotism was keen agony. Said a friend: “I went to Dostie's office to consult with him upon the strange state of affairs in the city. I found him in an agitated state of mind. I suggested ‘that had Hahn remained Governor, things might have been differently conducted, and reflected upon Hahn's statesmanship in resigning his office. In his decided manner he remarked, ‘Governor Hahn is no prophet; when he resigned his office as Governor, he could not foresee the murder of Lincoln. He acted, as he thought, in favor of the interests of his State, expecting to labor in the United States Senate for Louisiana. President Johnson is no traitor, but he listens to the advice of corrupt men who throng the Executive Mansion. The acts and sayings of Johnson have been my study too long to doubt his honesty. When he appreciates the condition of Union men in Louisiana our rights will be protected.’” The finger of destiny plainly pointed to Dostie as the victim to be sacrificed to traitor hate and tyranny. His public acts and progressive movements made him a conspicuous mark for those who viewed with contempt his