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Mr. Chamberlain's last act in his relations to public affairs in South Carolina evidenced his slavery to his party and his disregard for standards of right when its interests were involved. The selfappointed committee who in March, 1877, submitted a scheme for the adjustment, through a commission, of the troubles in South Carolina, consisted of Daniel H. Chamberlain, D. T. Corbin and John ). Patterson. The ex-Governor well knew the public record and the character of each of these his chosen and confidential friends. He knew, or should have known, that Corbin had used his place as United States Attorney as a means of persecution in order to swell his fees—that he had helped to pack the juries in the Kuklux trialsthat in the course of those trials he had suborned some witnesses and was believed to have corrupted others-that in those trials he had taken advantage of his office to insult a clergyman and speak disrespectfully of a lady, and had made a false statement to the courtthat he had on some occasions taken advantage of his Federal office to offend persons having business with the court—that he was without one aspiration of a gentleman and never rose to the plane of a reputable lawyer—and that as a final act (in aid of Mr. Chamberlain) he had fraudulently used money of the State to pay members of the Mackey body to vote for himself for the office of United States senator.
John J. Patterson's conduct-certainly his bribery of the Legislature to send him to the Senate—was notorious. It was as well known to Mr. Chamberlain as to the people to whom the press of the country gave ample information at the time of the infamous transactions.
Mr. Chamberlain explicitly declared that whatever the abuses and offenses prevailing in the negro government, there was, nevertheless, more of good than of evil in its administration. In the course of an interview, December 23, 1876, with the correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, the ex-Governor said:
It is quite too much the custom in speaking of what are called the "carpetbag" governments of the South to present only one side of the picture. I freely admit that there is one side which is to a large degree discreditable to the State Governments of South Carolina for some part of the time since 1867. And I have during my own administration considered it my duty, for the best interests of the State, of the Republican party, and especially of both races of people living on this soil, without regard to party, to oppose and discountenance
many of the practices that have grown up under our State Government since Reconstruction. In consequence of being engaged somewhat conspicuously in this work of correcting Republican abuses, it has been very erroneously supposed that I was a wholesale denouncer of the Government which has existed here since Reconstruction.
The fact is that I have never lost sight of the benefits the new order of things has conferred upon this State. And I say now, very deliberately, that in my judgment the so-called “carpetbag” governments of South Carolina have done more for the permanent prosperity and progress of South Carolina than any other agency which has ever existed in this State.
ATTITUDE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. When Congress passed the act readmitting South Carolina into the Federal Union that body "washed its hands of the whole business" of restoration. A civil government had been established, in which the negro race was dominant; and men of that race, guided by a few whites, were to work out the problems which the new situation plainly presented. The legislative power thus apparently exhausted, it was left to the Executive to give promised protection to the State Government from "domestic violence" and from any disturbance of the conditions wrought by the process of restoration according to the Congressional plan.
Towards the new State Government the attitude of the President was throughout that of dogged friendship. Upon the mere statement of the Governor troops were sent into the State. In election years, though there was neither sign nor suggestion of domestic violence, soldiers were sent to different polling-places just as the head of the negro government desired.
The legislation embodied in the Enforcement acts of 1870-71 gave new opportunities for the use of Federal troops. How the President used his powers—with what apparent flippancy he established martial law in several counties of South Carolina-has been sufficiently told.
The position of President Grant in sending soldiers into a Southern State was simple. The demand of the Governor, founded upon his mere allegation of domestic violence, was conclusive in every case. The character of the applicant was not considered. The word of Frank Moses or John Patterson or Cass Carpenter was taken against that of Kershaw or Conner or Bratton. There was no room for either explanation or remonstrance. What was most unfortu
nate for the people of South Carolina, what was chiefly dishonorable to President Grant, was the help he gave to the representatives of the negro government when there was no sign of domestic violence or purpose of resistance to the laws. Every Republican GovernorScott, Moses, Chamberlain—was made to feel that without reference to justice or honesty or decency he could always rely upon the support of President Grant. John J. Patterson, notoriously corrupt, actually a criminal, always had the ear of the Executive. It will be remembered that it was after a visit from Honest John that the President in his treatment of the taxpayers' committee was guilty of the most unseemly acts ever done in the White House.
The Federal courts in South Carolina were in ill repute for quite twenty years after the Civil War. Judge Bryan, as early as 1867, thought it proper, in granting a motion to remand a case to the State court, to express his belief that the parties could have their rights protected and adjudicated as fairly in the Federal as in the State court-evidently realizing that many of the white people doubted the fairness of the Federal tribunals. In a very recent case Judge Pritchard, of the United States Circuit Court, in the course of a de cree, referred to the feeling, once somewhat prevalent among the people of North Carolina, that the Federal court was "a foreign court, and as such hostile to the interests of the people of the State" -attributing that feeling to the unpopularity of the internal revenue laws. To this feeling reference was made by Judge Goff, in an opinion delivered in a South Carolina case in 1895.
Judge Bryan, in standing by the Constitution as he viewed it, in seeking to maintain the dignity and preserve the purity of the Federal courts in South Carolina, did his full part in saving them from the disrepute, not to say disgrace, which came upon them in some others of the Southern States. These efforts were especially useful in view of the character and purposes of the circuit judge, H. L. Bond. An outright partisan, hating the white people of the South, of small learning (though, truth to tell, fine intellect), a product of the bad times in Maryland in the early 'sixties, Judge Bond never rose above the plane of a pettifogger sitting in the seat of justice. In him the lowest of the fellows who were leaders in his party in South Carolina found always a hearty coadjutor. A careful reading of the story of the Kuklux trials must bring the conclusion that Judge Bond connived at much that was disgraceful. He was at every stage the
33—R. S. c.
partisan of the Government in the issues tried before him. He evidently sympathized with the palpable manipulation of the juries in the interest of the prosecution. He was offensive to lawyers and witnesses for the defense-on one occasion guilty of coarse behavior to a clergyman on the stand. He ruled a lawyer for contempt, heard argument, pocketed the case and never rendered a decision. Thus he went to his grave a self-convicted shyster, a self-convicted coward.
Of D. T. Corbin, the District Attorney, enough has been written to show how much he did to bring the Federal courts into disrepute.
The administration of the internal revenue laws was well calculated to destroy the white people's confidence in the Federal Government. Prosecutions were brought upon the flimsiest pretexts. Reputable citizens were arrested, recognized to appear at court, and then released on the payment of money. However innocent, they found it cheaper to pay the sum demanded than to go to trial in Charleston or Columbia. One instance of this corrupt extortion of money must be given to illustrate the style in which the revenue laws were administered. A merchant dealing in cigars had bought his license, and had it in his showcase where, first lying flat, it had rolled up. That merchant was arrested on the charge of not having his license "exposed," and was forced to settle at a cost of more than a hundred dollars. The deputy collector—the "informer"—who put up this job was John B. Hubbard, of whose doings enough has been told to give some idea of his character. For eight years he stood high in Republican circles.
The corrupt officials in South Carolina for more than eight years had the moral support of the Federal Government, the constant help of its courts and its administrative officers.
Such being the character of the negro government of South Carolina, such the motives and conduct of its agents, it naturally became a "stench in the nostrils of decent people” and a disgrace to the country. The Federal bayonets removed, the power of the thieves destroyed, the so-called government fell to pieces of its own imbecility, came to nought of its own all-pervading corruption. Negro domination had proven as well an injury to the black race as an offense to the white
an experiment always doomed to failure—the device of those who, in the name of freedom and justice, had inaugurated and sustained a government that was never worthy of the name.
Aiken, D. Wyatt....
.21, 340, 342, 347, 352, 361, 394
. . . . . .
116, 159, 147, 239,
13, 15, 21, 62, 77, 86, 113,
.60, 77, 88, 104, 225, 286, 313, 366,
... 107, 123, 225,
. 202, 209, 404, 406,
.15, 21, 250, 342, 351,
34, 43, 44,
348, 350, 360, 433,
..77, 106, 109, 226,
..113, 143, 229,
87; Republican elector, 102; Solicitor, 104; in taxpayers' conven-