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no fear. He faced his enemies with the same daring spirit with which he had petitioned General Twiggs for a pass in 1861, and passed his enemies, who sought every opportunity to insult him upon the street with stoical firmness.
Said he “I am reminded daily that my enemies seek my life and attempt to destroy my reputation. I am pointed at as a fanatic, an immoral man; am accused of every crime but that of disloyalty to my Government, and in the eyes of my enemies that is my greatest crime. But I have faith in my God, faith in my Government, and am in possession of a clear conscience. My enemies may be numberless, but my philosophy points me to a happy future.”
Surrounded by a despotism which proscribed Union men in their business, deprived them of their political rights; endangered their lives, liberty and property, loyal men naturally sought relief from a tyranny that was depriving them of every blessing due to humanity. The basis of the Constitution of 1864 was liberty, justice and equality. That basis was in harmony with the acts of a radical Congress. To that the loyal people of Louisiana appealed. At the mention of the Convention of 1864, delirium and fury seized the “reconstructed.”
According to the following resolutions adopted by the Convention of Nov. 1864, it was proposed to re-assemble that Convention in 1866.
“Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns, it shall be at the call of the President, whose duty it shall be to re-convoke it for any cause, or, in case the constitution should not be ratified, for the purpose of taking such measures as may be necessary for the formation of a civil government for the State of Louisiana. He shall also, in that case, call upon the proper officers of the State to cause elections to be held, to fill any vacancies that may exist in the Convention, in parishes where the same may be practicable. “IResolved, That in case of the ratification of the constitution, it shall be in the power of the Legislature of the State at its first session, to reconvoke the Convention in like manner, in case it should be deemed expedient or necessary for the purpose of making amendments or additions to the constitution, that may, in the opinion of the Legislature require a reassembling of the Convention, or in case of the occurrence of any emergency requiring its action.” At this important crisis, Judge Abell of the Convention of 1864, hastens to give the following advice.
“NEw ORLEANs, June 27, 1866.
“Editors of the Picayune—If you believe with me that the attempt to reconvene the Convention of 1864 is unlawful and calculated to disturb the peace and good order of the State, you will publish the following, that the people may know how stands the matter. I am bold to say I look upon the whole matter as a conspiracy against the constitution and people of the State.
“I am clearly of the mind that the Convention of 1864 has filled its mission and is a lifeless body, and that it cannot and will not be reassembled by constitutional or legal authority. But if without constitutional or legal authority, it should do so, I will then, as I now do, protest in the name of the people and State of Louisiana, against touching the constitution of 1864 without the consent of the people, expressed at the ballot-box or by the Legislature.
“I am not an apologist of that instrument; it was conceived in usurpation, and brought forth in corruption; but like unto all human institutions, it has some good points, and will answer all the purposes of a State government until the people shall, by deliberation and experience, adopt a constitution to accord with their wishes and interest under the changed state of political and social order.
“Yours, respectfully, E, ABELL.”
The concentrated wrath of the leading rebel organ in New Orleans, in view of the daring of loyal citizens, finds vent in the following words: “The Jacobins of 1864 are at work. They are in league with a Jacobin Congress and seek to overturn our Democratic Government.” In 1866, the press of New Orleans, with but two exceptions, (the Tribune, edited by colored men, and the Advocate edited by the Rev. J. P. Newman) was identified with the enemies of liberty and loyalty. Outside of the men and measures connected with “our cause” and “my policy,” nothing relating to political or philanthropic movements escaped the vile attacks of the press. The Freedman's Bureau, the Civil Rights Bill, Republican ideas, the officers of the United States army and navy, Congress, Philanthropists and Reformers, who opposed slavery and rebellion all over the land were subject to their low scandal. Some of their vile epithets were, “The Rump Congress,” “The Rump Convention of 1864,” “The fool, Abe Lincoln,” “The Beast, Butler,” “The crazy fanatic Sumner,” “The nigger worshipper Dostie,” etc. The 4th of July, 1866, was celebrated in the following manner in New Orleans, by the “Reconstructed Party’” of that city. From the New Orleans Press, July 5th, we quote the following: “The ninetieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was celebrated in this city on Wednesday. “There was not a large attendance at the Fair Grounds on the morning of the Fourth. “About noon, at the central stand, the few hundred people in attendance were called to order, and Mayor Monroe was introduced as the presiding officer. “In presenting to the audience Mr. I. N. Marks, President of the Firemen’s Charitable Association, as the reader of the Declaration of Independence. Mayor Monroe took occasion to say that he differed from one expression of opinion in that document to the effect that “all men were created equal.” The nigger could not be considered the equal of the white man; and as the writer of the Declaration, Mr. Jefferson, was a slaveholder, it stood to reason that he never could have meant to include the nigger in that assertion.”
CALL FOR A CONVENTION.
On the 7th of July, Judge Howell issued the following proclamation:
Whereas, By the wise, just and patriotic policy developed by the Congress now in session, it is essential that the organic law of the State of Louisiana should be revised and amended so as to form a civil government in this State in harmony with the General Government, establish impartial justice, insure domestic tranquility, secure the blessings of liberty to all citizens alike, and restore the State to a proper and permanent position in the great Union of States, with ample guarantees against any future disturbance of that Union.
And whereas, It is provided by resolutions adopted on the 25th day of July, 1864, by the Convention, for the revision and amendmeut of the Constitution of Louisiana, that when said Convention adjourns, it shall be at the call of the President, whose duty it shall be to reconvoke the Convention for any cause; and that he shall also, in that case, call upon the proper officers of the State to cause elections to be held to fill any vacancies that may exist in the Convention, in Parishes where the same may be practicable.
And whereas, at a meeting held in New Orleans, on the 26th of June, 1866, the members of said Convention recognized the existence of the contingency provided for in said resolutions, expressed their belief that the wishes and interests of the loyal people of this State