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The friends of Dr. Dostie were anxious that he should be appointed Surveyor of the Port at New Orleans. Through the influence of Members of Congress and others the name of Dostie was sent by the President to the Senate to be confirmed. This unwelcome news soon reached his rebel enemies in New Orleans, and the President was besieged with the numerous pleadings of his rebel friends to withdraw from the Senate the name of the “Radical fanatic,” Dostie. The whole city of New Orleans was thrown into excitement over this supposed victory of radicalism. “What l” said his enemies, “shall this man who has been so conspicuous in the Yankee reign, as a Union man, as a man who has advocated negro rights, be allowed by our President to occupy a position which none but those who defend our cause should fill ?”
The press denounced his appointment, and his patriotic radical record was soon pictured to the President. The representation to the Chief Executive that Dostie would be an “impediment to his cherished plans of reconstruction,” had the desired effect; the name of Dostie was withdrawn from the United States Senate, and a man was appointed as surveyor of the port of New Orleans who would agree with “My policy.” Said Dr. Dostie, when his name was sent to the Senate, “I have not been wrong in placing confidence in the President. He knows me to be a loyal man, and yet he proposes to place me where I may exert an influence against disloyal men.” Said one who had lost all confidence in Andrew Johnson, “You will never be allowed to retain any position long under the administration of President Johnson. You are an honest radical; your enemies are the friends of the President.” Said Dr. Dostie, after his name was withdrawn, “I am not yet willing to give up my confidence in Andrew Johnson. My enemies have misrepresented me to him. Personally considered I do not so much regret the withdrawal of my name (although I had every assurance that I should have been confirmed by a loyal Senate,) but I knew it would be a victory of the radical party in Louisiana, who are losing all confidence in the President. The appointment by him of a radical Union man would have secured faith in him. I believe he will yet appoint a loyal man to the position, and should he, I shall not murmur.” The President’s appointee was a man of known rebel proclivities. The following letter was written by Dr. Dostie to President Johnson at that time: NEw ORLEANs, Feb. 1, 1866. “Andrew Johnson, President of the United States: “SIR:—I feel deeply obligated to you for having conferred upon me the appointment of Register of the Land Office for the State of Louisiana, and afterwards you saw proper, without any solicitation on my part, to ap
point me Surveyor of the Port of New Orleans, which appointment (after you had sent it to the Senate) was withdrawn by you. Your reasons for withdrawing the appointment are unknown to me, and may be of such a character as to make it desirable (on your part) that I should vacate the position to which you first assigned me. I therefore tender my resignation, to date from the 5th of February, as I had determined upon when I learned of my appointment to the Surveyorship.
“I will cheerfully give way to abler and better men than myself, who seek to serve the country and the cause of the Union. I can assure your Excellency that no one could feel keener than myself any blow that might be aimed against those men who have at all times and under the most trying circumstances stood up for an undivided country, and those great principles you have advocated and defended.
“I remain, respectfully yours,
President Johnson’s vetoes of the “Freedman’s Bureau Bill,” and “The Civil Rights Bill,” converted Dr. Dostie from his error in reposing confidence in a traitor to the cause of liberty. Dostie became a radical in his opinions of Andrew Johnson of the class of Wade, Butler and Sumner, and with thousands of others he stood by Senator Wade, when that noble statesman rose in the Senate chamber and said in reply to Senator Lane of Kansas, (who defended the President in his vetoes of the Civil Rights and Freedman’s Bureau Bill,) “Who is your President that every man must bow to his opinion, if you please? Why, sir, we all know him—he is no stranger to this body. We have measured him, sir. We know his height, his length, his breadth, and his capacity—all about him, and you set him up as a paragon, and declare here, upon the floor of this Senate, that you are going to wear his collar. Is that the idea—that you are going to be his apologist and defender on whatever he may propose? Three millions of people, sir, exposed to outrages and insults and murder from these worse than human savages, their former masters; murdered, as we are told, every day; their lives taken away; their humanity trampled under foot; and when Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, is endeavoring to tender them some little protection, how are we met here ? Every attempt of your Moses has been to trample them down, making them worse, and throwing every obstruction in the way of everything proposed by Congress.” Said Dostie, “Next to President Lincoln I trusted President Johnson. When I was compelled to see in him a traitor to liberty and loyalty my indignation knew no bounds.” In the following address delivered before the Republican Association of New Orleans, May 9th, 1866, he thus expresses a measure of that indignation: “FELLOw-CITIZENs—The conflict between Freedom and Despotism now agitating the nation is rapidly developing those great principles which form the basis of republican government. In the antagonism raging there are two parties in the field—the Republican party, which maintains that liberty, equality and justice are the prerogatives of all men, and should be the foundation of government; the other, the “Democratic * party, which disgraces that name by denouncing human equality and the rights of man: “In this battle of ideas no middle ground can be taken by friends of freedom, of democracy, of republicanism. The events of the past four years have clearly developed to the American people the fact that the elements in our country at war with republican institutions can no longer with impunity be permitted to endanger the life of the nation. “Patriots and heroes have written, with pens dipped in the blood of thousands, upon the corner-stone of the Republic : Liberty—Progress—Democracy. “No human power can thrust this Republic of Liberty