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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.
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:
“Resolved, 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 the gladdened eyes of the lovers of liberty and Republican institutions. The doubtful are convinced, the hopeful assured, and the confident are elated ; that, notwithstanding the outside pressure of a gigantic civil war, and a factious and fierce opposition from within, the great experiment of a constitutional Government, based on universal suffrage, has not failed. Clear above the din of battle and the clamor of faction was heard the low, but articulate voice of the people. Was it not the voice of God 2 “2d. That we also rejoice in the election of Andrew Johnson to the next highest office in the Republic. It is fitting that he, a Southern man, alone “faithful found among the faithless,” should preside over that august body, before which he raised—but raised in vain—his voice in thunder tones of remonstrance against the suicidal act of secession. “3d. That peace, and not war, is the primal, and healthful condition of nations. That we ardently desire peace on the basis of the integrity of the Union, and if the knot of our complications can be untied by the pen of diplomacy, while the sword is upraised to cut it. If possible let diplomacy arrest the impending blow.”
DOSTIE AND BARKER.
To his friends, in whom he reposed confidence, Dostie was all gentleness and good humor. His winning simplicity and kindness of manner, made him very popular with his numerous friends, but with Jacksonian temper he sometimes poured out his fury upon the heads of his enemies he believed capable of injustice, fraud and oppression. There has been, since the existence of slavery, a class of men in the South who have spent their lives jealously watching all who did not spring from Southern chivalry or Southern slave aristocracy. Their greatest pleasure has been to watch an opportunity to scandalize those they chose to brand as “political agitators, inovators, new comers, &c., always adding those who spring from the lower classes.” Pre-eminently among this class in New Orleans stands the name of Jacob Barker, Esq., whose idol was money; a man in society without money, in his eye, had no rights in common with the wealthy aristocrat. Dostie who was born in poverty, and had been deprived of his honest earnings by rebels and aristocrats, had but little sympathy with the Barker class.
The following correspondence simply illustrates one of the many contests between the monied Goliah's of New