« AnteriorContinuar »
labors for liberty and exertions to protect the down trodden and the laboring classes. A true reformer, he bore a name worthy to be placed by the side of a Wilberforce, Lovejoy, Cobden or a Bright. His noble standard of radical Unionism upon which not a blot had been discovered was in direct antagonism to the prejudices of the aristocrats and rebels by whom he was surrounded. Jealous of the growing popularity and influence of Dostie, his enemies had cherished their wrath to pour it upon the head of their victim. "The proud spirit of Dostie shall be crushed," said a coalition who had conspired to plot his distraction. Governor Wells was the leader of that faction which had determined upon the downfall and death of the patriotic Dostie. The first blow was struck on the 13th of June, 1865. It was the seizure of the Auditor's office. As one of the many high-handed acts of despotism connected with the establishment of the iron rule of the Slave power and thuggery in New Orleans during the administration of Johnson, we present the following account of the seizure of the Auditor's office from the True Delta of June 14:
"Few of our citizens are now unaware that the office of Dr. A. P. Dostie, State Auditor, was yesterday entered by a body of the city police, and the Auditor forcibly and summarily expelled. We give below a plain, simple statement of the facts in the case, without comment of any kind:
"Between 11 and 12 o'clock,several policemen, headed by the Acting Chief of Police, Mr. John Burke, and accompanied by Mr. Julian Neville, entered the Auditor's office. Approaching Dr. Dostie, Mr. Neville presented a paper, after glancing over which the Auditor said, *I shall probably be prepared to comply with this to-morrow morning.'
"Upon the Doctor refusing positively to vacate immediately, Mr. Neville turned to Lieut. Burke, and said: 'I now turn this over to your hands,' and left the place. Mr. Burke then informed Dr. Dostie that he was 'in charge of the office;' to which the latter replied that 4 this is a State office, and I am a State officer, and it will require force to dispossess me.' Mr. Burke replied: 'My orders are to take possession, and I shall certainly do so.' Dr. Dostie asked if he had written orders. Mr. Burke said he had. Dr. Dostie asked to see them, and they were shown him. He then asked for a copy, but Mr. Burke replied: 'I have no orders to let a copy be taken.'
"For a moment Dr. Dostie went to his private room, and returning, instructed Mr. Kruse—one of his clerks, to take charge of his private papers. He then again protested against the proceedings, and said he would be expelled only by force. In a loud tone of voice he then exclaimed, turning toward the latter gentleman, who was in the office on business: 'If I must go, I wish first to say a few words in presence of Mr. Kruse and Mr. Blake,'
"Here he was interrupted by Mr. Burke, who addressed one of his subordinates, as follows: 'Bhome, put the Doctor out!' The policeman advanced and seized Dr. Dostie by the shoulders, with the remark: 'I can handle you like a book.' The Doctor, seeing further resistance useless, thereupon left the office.
"The police remained in possesion of the office, retaining the private letters and papers of the Auditor and his clerks, and even some of Dr. Dostie's wearing apparel. Lieutenant Burke went in search of Mr. Neville, to whom he gave the keys, with the exception of that belonging to the safe, which he retains, and which he will refuse to give up. The Doctor locked the safe while the officers were in the outer office.
"Dr. Dostie received no notification of his expulsion prior to the arrival of the police. The following is the authority upon which Lieutenant Burke acted:
"mayoralty Of New Orleans, ) June 13, 1865. J "Lieut <7! Burke, First District Police:
"Sir—You will proceed immediately to the office of Auditor of Public Accounts, now in the possession of Mr. A. P. Dostie; and declared vacant by His Excellency, Governor Wells.
"You will take possession of the office and the records, and deliver the same at once to Julian Neville, Esq., appointed by the Governor, Auditor pro tempore.
"You will see that Mr. Neville, is placed in secure possession of the office.
"If physical force is needed, you will use it, and you will commit to prison any individual or party who interferes in any degree, in the execution of this order.
"(Signed.) G. Burke,
"After executing the above, Lieutenant Burke made the following report:
"Office Of The Chief Of Police, ) New Orleans, June 13, 1865. j "Son. Glendy Burke, Acting Mayor:
"Sir—I have the honor to report that in obedience to your order of this date I proceeded, in company with Julian Neville, Esq., to the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts.
"Mr. Dostie positively refused to vacate the office, whereupon I called a policeman to eject him in as gentle a manner as the circumstances of the case admitted of.
"I securely closed the doors, delivered the keys to Mr. Neville, and placed a guard of policemen on the office, with instructions that none but Mr. Neville or his deputies should have access thereto.
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant, (Signed) J. Burke,
Lieut, and Acting Chief of Police.
"The following is the order of the Governor referred to by Mayor Burke:
[by The Governor.] State Of Louisiana,
Executive Department, ) "new Orleans, June 13, 1865. \ Whereas, The General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, at its last session, did adopt a joint resolution in the words following to wit:
[No. 38.] Joint Resolution, Requesting the Governor of the State to see that all laws are enforced in the case of all persons holding civil offices under the State who are required to furnish bonds for the performance of their official duties.
Whereas, Persons are holding and exercising the duties of civil offices in the State who have not furnished bonds as required by law.
Resolved by the Senate and Houes of Representatives, in General Assembly Convened, That the Governor of the State be and is hereby requested to take immediate measures to compel all such persons to furnish bonds according to law, and in default thereof to remove such persons from office.
Resolved further, That where bonds have been given, subject to the approval of the Governor of the State, he be and is hereby requested to investigate the solvency of all such bonds, and if he shall deem the bond or bonds insufficient, to require new bonds to be furnished satisfactory to him.
(Signed) Simeon Belden,
Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Signed) Louis Gastinel,
Ex-Officio Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate.
Approved March 29, 1865.
(Signed) J. Madison Wells,
Governor of the State of Louisiana. A true copy:
S. Wrotnowski, Secretary of State. And Whereas, Acting in pursuance of the special authority conferred on me therein, as well as by my constitutional obligations to see the laws enforced, I deem it my duty to address the said A. P. Dostie, Auditor of Public Accounts, by letter, requiring him to furnish a new and sufficient bond, as will appear by copy herewith, viz:
State Of Louisiana, Executive Department, ) New Orleans, April 15, 1865. J A. -P. Dostie, Esq., Auditor of Public Accounts:
"Under authority of joint resolution of the General Assembly, (copy of which is herewith annexed,) and regarding your bond on file in the Secretary of State's office as insufficient, not one of the sureties being assessed for real estate, you are hereby notified that you are required to furnish a new bond, 'with not less than five good and sufficient securities,' satisfactory to me, within thirty days from the date hereof.
J. Madison Wells, Governor of Louisiana. Arid, whereas, The said A. P. Dostie has failed to furnish the required official bond within the time prescribed by law, and the consequence is that the State is without adequate security for protection against any illegal acts that may be committed by him: