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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.
THREE TROUBLED STATES
IN Grant's second term, the divergence between the Republicans on Southern questions, though never taking permanent form, often found marked and effective expression. In the Senate, the controlling group, who were also the special friends and allies of Grant, were radicals, and generally of a more materialistic class than the earlier leaders. Fessenden had died in 1869; Sumner was alienated, and died in 1874; Wilson had passed into the insignificance of the VicePresidency; Trumbull was in opposition. At the front were Chandler, of Michigan; Oliver P. Morton, War Governor of Illinois, powerful and partisan; Roscoe Conkling, of New York, showy and arrogant. In the House the foremost man was James G. Blaine, Speaker until with the Democratic majority he became leader of the opposition; brilliant in speech, fascinating and “magnetic” in personal intercourse, always prominent and popular, but almost never closely identified with any great principle or constructive measure. Very prominent on the floor was General Butler, a foremost radical toward the South; always a storm-center; an advocate of inflation, an ally of most bad causes, an effective mischief-maker; followed, feared, and hated with equal ardor. The membership of the House was notable for able men, the Hoar brothers, Henry L. Pierce, Eugene Hale, Dawes, Hawley, Poland, Garfield, Kasson, and others of almost equal mark. The death of Thaddeus Stevens, in 1868, had left the House without a master. The Greeley
campaign, disastrous though it was, had started a contagious spirit of independence. During Grant's second administration, 1873-7, there was shown in the House, on important questions, a degree of independence rare in American politics. It was the growing Republican opposition to Federal interference in the South that hastened its end, and prepared the way for the consummation of that result under President Hayes.
We now return to the individual cases of three Southern States. To South Carolina fell the bitterest experience of misgovernment. Its black majority was organized and led by a group of white men of the worst character, who were resisted for a time without success by a better element in the party. Under four years' administration of Governor R. K. Scott, a Northerner, and two of F. J. Moses, Jr., a South Carolinian-who later disappeared from public view in a penitentiary,-money was lavished in profligate expenditure; hundreds of thousands spent for legislative furniture and luxuries; franchises were corruptly sold; bogus enterprises enriched; debt piled up by millions, and thrown off by millions. (Repudiation, be it said, always came easily to the South, before the war and after; during reconstruction and after; whether the borrowed money had been spent for railroads or squandered by thieves; and the ghost of an unpaid $300,000,000 still scares Southern Senators when a general arbitration treaty is discussed.) South Carolina
went from bad to worse for six years.
When, in 1872, the honest Republicans bolted, under an unimpeachable candidate, Reuben Tomlinson, a Philadelphia Quaker, and gave him 35,000 votes, the Democrats stood scornfully aloof-" better a native thief than an honest Yankee!" But in 1874 came a revolution in the Republican ranks. Honesty triumphed, under the lead of the elected governor, Daniel H. Chamberlain, of Massachusetts birth
and education,-a remarkable man; shrewd, long-headed, a past master in political management; with high aims; by no means indifferent to personal success, but generally succeeding in combining personal and public service. With a Legislature in which two-thirds were Republicans, and whites and blacks were about equal in number, he achieved a surprising reversal of the evil tendencies that had prevailed. In the Legislature the best of the Democrats backed him, together with the best of the Republicans, and overmatched the corruptionists. Stealing was stopped; the abuses of the pardoning power were ended; the tax laws were amended so as to secure uniformity and equality of assessment; expenditure was reduced and regulated. These were the statements of the Charleston News and Courier, the leading paper of the State, in July, 1876, when another election was coming on. Most of the Democratic papers had praised and supported Governor Chamberlain. It was now very seriously contemplated, and advocated by the News and Courier, to let him be re-elected without opposition. But the old-time pride of race and party was too strong, and the Democrats nominated Wade Hampton. They supported him with little scruple as to means, with free use of intimidation and proscription, with frequent threats and often the reality of violence. There was a shocking massacre at Hamburg. Governor Chamberlain called on the President for aid, and a thousand troops were sent into the State. When the election came, there was claimed a majority for Chamberlain and for the Republican Presidential ticket. The claim was instantly and fiercely challenged by Hampton's supporters. And here the story pauses, until it joins the main current of national affairs.
Mississippi was under Republican control until 1875. If one attempts to judge of the character of that control, he plunges into a sea of contradictions almost enough to sub