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were constantly baffled through his misplaced and tenacious confidences. The vast expenditures of the war, the cheating incident to its great contracts, the speculation favored by a fluctuating currency, the huge enterprises invited by the return of peace,-had infected private and public life with a kind of fever; the treasury was an easy mark; and while the people held to Grant for his personal honesty, and re-elected him, an army of rogues throve under his lax administration.

The let-alone policy toward the South, to which Grant was prompted both by his virtues and his limitations, would not on the whole have been unacceptable to the mass of the Southern whites. Left wholly to themselves, those States would soon have righted themselves from the unstable equilibrium in which they had been placed by the imposition of an ignorant electorate. Natural forces,-just or unjust, benignant or cruel,—would soon have reversed the order. But the nation at large would not at once abandon its protectorate over its recent wards, the freedmen. For their greatest need, education, it assumed no responsibility. But when stories were rife of abuse and terrorism under the masquerade of the Ku-Klux, Congress interfered, even if by some stretch of its constitutional power, to bring the raiders under the arm of Federal law. When elections were reported to be controlled by fraud and intimidation, it seemed incumbent on the national government to protect the ballot-box by which its own members were chosen. When rival bodies claimed each to be the legitimate government of a State, it was necessary for the Washington authorities to decide which they would recognize, and it was a natural sequence to back their decision by the military force. And in all of these cases, the maintenance of law and order easily became confused with the support of factions allied politically with the party in power at Washington.

As the Southern Republicans were gradually outvoted or overpowered at home, their appeals for help from the general government became more urgent, while the continuance of such interference became more questionable to thought

ful men.

Before this state of things, there was a gradual division of opinion among Republicans at the North, and especially among their leaders. Against the call to protect the freedmen and bridle the slave-holding spirit in its new forms, rose the call to return to the old respect for local rights, and let each Southern State manage its own affairs, as did each Northern State. To this changed attitude came some of the staunchest of the old anti-slavery leaders, and many of the younger generation. During the early years of Grant's administration, the question did not present itself in acute forms. The Ku-Klux law of 1870, though it might strain the Constitution a little, received general acquiescence because the abuse it aimed at was so flagrant. But the ostracism of the entire official class of the old South was growingly recognized as a grievance and a wrong. It was the spirit of proscription that brought on the political crisis of 1872. That proscriptive spirit broke up the Republican party in Missouri; the liberal element, led by Carl Schurz and B. Gratz Brown, held a State convention. Their movement fell in with a strong rising tide of opposition to Grant's administration within the Republican party. Its grounds were various,-chiefly, a protest against wide and gross maladministration, a demand for a reformed and scientific civil-service, opposition to the high tariff, and the desire for a more generous and reconciling policy toward the South. The movement was especially prompted by a group of leading independent journals conducted by very able men,—the New York Evening Post, under William Cullen Bryant; the Nation, edited by E. L. Godkin; the

Cincinnati Commercial of Murat Halstead; the Louisville Courier-Journal of Henry Watterson; the Springfield Republican of Samuel Bowles. Sympathetic in the main was Horace Greeley's New York Tribune. In more or less close alliance were a few of the congressional leaders, notably Sumner, who had quarreled bitterly with Grant over the proposed annexation of San Domingo; Trumbull, who was never in close touch with his old party after the impeachment trial; and Carl Schurz, who was now in the Senate.

A national convention was held at Cincinnati, in May, 1872. The Democrats had so little hope of separate success that they stood ready to fall in with the new departure, and this gave greater importance to its action. For its Presidential candidate, the foremost name had been that of the elder Charles Francis Adams. Of the most distinguished family in the country's political annals; one of the founders of the Free Soil party; a conservative but resolute Republican; minister to England through the war, and most serviceable there by his firmness and wisdom; eminent by character, experience, and mental equipment; so indifferent to office that he almost openly scorned the proffered honor, -he seemed to the reformers a nearly ideal candidate, however much his reserved and distant manners might handicap him before a popular constituency.

But the spite of a disappointed aspirant, B. Gratz Brown, and the caprice of the convention, turned its choice by a sudden impulse to Horace Greeley. It was a choice that from the first moment not only defeated but almost stultified the liberal movement. It mattered not much what principles the convention set forth. Tariff reform it had already set aside, and Greeley was a zealous protectionist. For scientific civil-service reform he cared nothing, and to mistakes in his personal choices he was at least as liable as Grant.

His revolt against Grant was due partly to a dispute about State patronage. Only in generous sentiment toward the South did he fitly represent the original and best element of the convention. He was dropped at once by the Evening Post, the Nation, and a large part of the liberals. The Democrats, despairing of any other way to success, indorsed his nomination. But the acceptance of a candidate who for thirty years had been showering hard words on the Democracy was almost grotesque. The South was halfhearted in his support. A few of the faithful nominated Charles O'Conor on an independent Democrat ticket. The question was only of the size of the majority against Greeley.

His wisest supporters avowed as the best significance of his candidacy: “It means that the war is really over.” Greeley had proved the sincerity of his friendliness toward the South at a heavy cost. President Johnson held Jefferson Davis in long imprisonment, with the aggravation not only of close confinement and even a temporary manacling, but of a public accusation of complicity in the murder of Lincoln. It was treatment wholly unfit for a prisoner of state and a man of Davis's character. Its effect on the South may be judged by imagining how the North would have felt had Lincoln fallen into Southern hands and been kept in shackles and under the charge of assassination. The imprisonment of Davis and the avowed purpose to try him as a traitor were utterly out of keeping with the general recognition that secession and its sequel were to be dealt with as a political wrong and not a personal crime.

Greeley, who on the very morning after Lee's surrender had called for a universal amnesty, showed his faith by his works when at the opportunity in May, 1867, he offered himself, in company with Gerrit Smith, as bondsmen for Davis, thus obtaining his release, and incurring for himself

a storm of obloquy. The storm was short-lived, but revived in greater fury when Greeley became a Presidential candidate against Grant, with the support of the Democracy and the South. The campaign was full of bitterness and abuse. In Harper's Weekly, of which the editorial page was conducted by the high-spirited and gentle George William Curtis, Nast assailed the liberals in savage cartoons; in one Sumner was depicted as scattering flowers on the grave of Preston Brooks, and another showed Greeley shaking hands with the shade of Wilkes Booth over the grave of Lincoln. From the other side Grant was attacked with equal ferocity.

Greeley went down in overwhelming defeat, and died of exhaustion and a broken heart before the electoral votes were counted. But something had been gained. There had been a breaking of old lines. And one of the South's main grievances had been almost removed. Within a month after the Cincinnati convention, its call for amnesty was vindicated by a bill passed in Congress removing the disabilities of almost all the excluded class. Out of some 160,000, only about 700 were left on the proscribed list.

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