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action since his return, in removing from places of trust and power corrupt and venal officials, in the correction of abuses, in purifying the ballot—the only palladium of our liberties as a people—and in preparing the way by which the people of Louisiana can safely and harmoniously take part in the restoration of civil government, and return to their proper place in the councils of the nation. We pledge him our countenance and support in all his endeavors to restore to Louisiana a loyal and constitutional State Government. 2. Resolved, That in the policy of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, as exhibited in his administration, and especially in those great acts of his, the proclamation of amnesty and for the restoration of civil government in Virginia and North Carolina, and in his pledged support of a similar policy in Louisiana, we hail a return to peace and prosperity, and that good feeling which should ever exist among citizens of a common country, and to him we pledge our hearty and ac
tive support. It had been reported that Dr. Dostie would attempt to speak from the platform erected upon Lafayette Square on the night of June 17th. An armed police force was ordered to be stationed around the stage and in different parts of the Square. Dostie was called upon to address the assembly, whereupon several policemen sprang from the side of Governor Wells and seizing a number of peaceable citizens, conducted them to jail, and as there were two hundred policemen (faithful to the powers that ruled) within calling distance, resistance was useless. The following statement is from the pen of Wm. Baker, appointed Street Commissioner of New Orleans under the administration of General Sheridan, Military Commander of the Gulf Department:
“To the Editor of the True Delta : “The conduct of the police at the meeting on Lafayette Square on Saturday evening is a matter of general comment. It would seem from their numbers that the meeting was held for their special benefit, for nearly all the police in the city were there. They behaved themselves in a scandalous manner. Had the meeting been held in the capital of Austria or under any other despotic government their conduct could not have been worse. I saw several citizens dragged off and ordered to be locked up for expressing their opinion to their neighbors and acquaintances. In some cases one or two policemen were set to watch quiet and peaceable citizens with orders to arrest and lock them up if they dared to speak. Had they been known to be thieves or pickpockets they could not have been treated worse. “It may be pretended that they were disorderly or making a disturbance. It is not true. Of the five or six whom I saw arrested not one was making any disturbance. One policeman went up and pointed out a prominent citizen whom I saw standing a few feet from me, and told a policeman to arrest him if he opened his mouth. And this without any kind of an excuse. “If the police force is to be used to suppress public sentiment, as they were a short time ago used for political purposes at the ballot-box, the quicker we have a military government, pure and simple, the better. Were the men at the head of our affairs elevated to power to crush out the liberties of the people, prevent the free expression of opinion, and once more enslave both black and white 2 Are we to have the old thug rule—the brass knuckle, knife, pistol and slung-shot ?
“The talk which I heard in the Square on Saturday evening about establishing law and order is a cheat. The very men who we are told are going to do these most desirable things, give the lie to their flattering, fawning sycophants. Within the last two weeks we have had several instances. The forcible ejectment of the Auditor from his office, in violation of all law—the breaking open a safe—the expulsion of a man from his property and place of business, he having paid a license (and a large one at that) for the privilege, is an outrage, in violation of law, and if such acts can be committed by mere brute force, without hindrance, no man is safe.”
“It is time that this community ask itself what manner of men we have among us? And now, forsooth, men must go to public meetings and hold their tongues, by order of a set of hired bravos and ruffians, called policemen. Is it for this our ‘erring brethren should be invited to participate in the management of our affairs?”
On the evening of the great demonstration in honor of Governor Wells, Dr. Dostie walked to Lafayette Square with his friend, Alfred Shaw, Esq., stood in front of the platform, and listened attentively to the remarks of the Governor of Louisiana. He heard his party defamed by that gentleman; saw liberty disgraced by the police organizations; the policy of Abraham Lincoln, and the Free State Government of his beloved Louisiana pointed at with derision and scorn, yet viewed it all with the heroic firmness and hopeful calmness of a true philosopher. He believed that the progress of corrupt men would be impeded by the action of that man who as Governor of Tennessee had declared that “Treason should be made odious.” On that night Dostie was surrounded by enemies, who had decreed that he should perish politically; that he should never succeed in business; that he should finally be the victim of conspiracy. Surrounded by gloom and poverty; struggling with a power destined to crush him, he was yet comparatively a happy man, such was his philosophy. A friend who called upon him a few days after his expulsion from his Auditor's office, was surprised to find him in excellent spirits. Upon denouncing Governor Wells, Dr. Dostie replied: “I don’t think of Wells as my personal enemy. I could take him by the hand to-day if he would reform in his principles. I care not for my own sufferings. What are they compared with many others ?” Taking the Life of Governor Brownlow from the table, he said, “I have just been reading of Brownlow's sufferings, caused by rebel rule. I look into the future, bright with hopes. Events point to victory, peace and unity. Man may decree, but there is a Ruler of events whose divine laws conflict with injustice and oppression. That Infinite power rules the nations of the earth.” Such was the heroic, unselfish philosophy of Dr. Dostie.
The eighty-ninth anniversary of our Independence was an event in which thousands of emancipated human beings desired to participate with heartfelt gratitude. The committee appointed by the constituted authorities of the city of New Orleans resolved to celebrate the day. That committee was principally composed of citizens who had been in league with the rebellion and slavery. The Republican party was almost entirely excluded from acting with that committee in making arrangements to celebrate our day of Independence. The speaker chosen to deliver an oration upon the occasion was an ex-colonel of the Confederate army, who had never avowed his conversion to the principles of republican liberty.
Dostie and his radical brethren decided to draw up another programme, in which they invited the true friends of loyalty and independence to participate in the great national jubilee of Freedom which the 4th of July, 1865, was to the Emancipated of the South. The annexed is the announcement of that celebration:
CELEBRATION OF THE FOURTH OF JULY.
At a meeting of the National Republican Association, held on Friday evening, June 30th, it was unanimously