Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 40 of 56)
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of clubs from Table Mound and other townships. A prominent
feature in the display was a squatter sovereign's wagon, gotten up
mainlv by Thomas Faherty. It was a huge tent mounted upon a
large express wagon furnished by A. A. Cooper and drawn by
eight horses. The tent was illuminated beautifully and upon every
side were appropriate mottoes. The entire procession was one mile
in length, with the marchers, some two, some four and other six
numbers abreast. It is impossible to describe the imposing beauty
and effort of the long procession. The night was clouded, adding
very much to the effect of the display. Many buildings along the
route were illuminated, while a dense crowd stood on the side-
walks or walked along with the procession. They were finally
disbanded by J. H. O'Neil in an eloquent speech." {Herald, Oc-
tober 12 and 13, i860.)

Late in October both parties organized and carried into effect
the plan of holding political meetings in all portions of Dubuque
county. Such were held at Key West, Buncombe, Gordon's school-
house. Hempstead, Epworth, Worthington, Dyersville, Evergreen,
Pin Oak, Peter Fries, Renner's schoolhouse, Peosta, Cascade,
Glasnevin, Centralia. Pott's tavern, Ehler's schoolhouse and else-

A strong effort to fuse the Douglas and Breckenridge wings of
the Democracy in Dubuque county late in October, i860, resulted
in failure. Resolutions offered before the latter were several times

The Democrats of Epworth made preparations to erect a large
hickory pole and prepared the pole for the following morning.
During the night their rivals hauled it away and the Democrats
were forced to prepare another and erected it and were addressed


by Governor Hempstead, Colonel Ross, Frank H. Jennings and
J. G. Armstrong.

John A. Kasson spoke here on the issue October 27, i860; he
addressed the Republicans at the Julien theater. The Republican
county convention met here October 2-/. i860, and nominated can-
didates for delegates to the judicial convention and a candidate
for district clerk.


Democratic electors 3>059

Republican electors 2,092


Samuels (D.) 3,211

Vandiever (R. ) 445


John M. Corse (D.) 3,114

Elijah Sells (R. ) 2,115


J. F. Bates f D. ) 2,976

J. P. Farley (R.) 2,124

James A. Langton (Indp.) 137

The Republicans held a magnificent jubilation on the evening
of November 12, i860, to voice their joy at the results of the elec-
tion. There were many bonfires, torchlight processions of the
Wide Awakes, broadsides of artillery, etc.

The Herald of November, i860, said: "The Finale. — Well, we
(the Democracy) are licked and like Lazarus, by dogs, to borrow
an idea. The smoke from the battlefield has lifted and we find
ourselves flat on our backs. Although sometimes a degrading one
the horizontal position has its peculiar enjoyments and advantages.
With his back to the earth one fronts the stars."

"We hope our Republican friends will not hereafter claim all the
decency, morality, etc.. after the fact becomes known that on Mon-
day night 200 kegs of beer were drunk. The Wide Awakes will
give a grand ball Friday niglit. The tickets read that Malon
Shavours (colored) is one of the managers. Good, if true. It
also reads 'all Republicans invited without distinction of color.'
We suspect that there is a 'nigger in the woodpile.' " {Herald,
November 14, i860.)

"Those of our readers who have thought we were hasty in ex-
pressing our opinion that some of the Southern states would secede


will probably have reason to think as we did when they read the
telegraphic news in the Herald this morning. We merely antici-
pated the action of the Sonth. from circumstances which could
scarcely result otherwise than as we predicted. Let those who have
brought these disasters on the country look to the consequences."
(Herald. November 14, i860.)

"The North has made no aggressions on the rights or interests
of the South." (Times, November 22, i860.) Late in Novem-
ber, i860, the National Democratic Club of Dubuque assembled
and passed resolutions rehearsing practically their arguments of
the last campaign and justifying the South in resenting the inter-
ference of the North with its institution of slavery. These reso-
lutions were denounced by a writer in the Herald of November
28; he said: "The resolutions are simply a justification of the
South in its violent and revolutionary measures."

"Two short weeks only have intervened since it became known
that Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency and in these
two weeks the calamities which have befallen the country have
no precedent in the election of a chief magistrate. The disasters
which the country is now experiencing were foreseen and foretold,
but such was the mad fanaticism of some and the reckless disre-
gard of consequences of others and the incredulity of many, that
the warning voice of those who foresaw the evils was disregarded
and treated with scorn and derision." (Herald, November 22,
i860. )

The earl}- secession reports from the South particularly affected
the Dubuque markets, because of its direct dealing with St. Louis,
New Orleans and other down-river points. Much of the grain
and flour had usually been consigned to New Orleans houses, but
now it was deemed unsafe and all was chaos. They had to seek
new points and consignees.

"So much for electing a man — the exponent of personal liberty
iiills. nigger suffrage and equality, Beecherism, Stoweism, nigger-
ism and a dozen other isms and tomfooleries upon which the en-
lire North under the lead of Abolitionized Massachusetts has gone
mad." (Herald, November 23, i860.)

Re\-. John C. Holbrook, in the pulpit here on December 9, i860,
said : "Rather than deprecating the present commotion, I regard
it as one of the most hopeful signs of the times. Ratiier than com-
promise by any sacrifice of what we have gained I would let the
Union go. Let the slaveholding states slough off, then we at the
Nortli will remain a free nation that will not be scoffed at by the
other powers of the world." This coming from the pulpit caused
many dissenting comments. A-lr. Holbrook said his statements
had been misrepresented and misunderstood. He denied the con-
stitutional right of a slaveholder to take his slaves into any por-
tion of the United States to reside there; but further said that if


it was his constitutional right he would assent thereto long enough
to Inue that right set aside by the courts. Slavery had no exist-
ence anywhere by natural law, and could exist nowhere until legis-
lated there.

On February 26, 1861, W. B. Allison, E. C. David, Dr. Hen-
nion, J. W. Taylor, John Bittman and half a dozen other left
here for Washinglon to be jjresent at the inauguration of President

"The policy of Mr. Lincoln appears to us to tend toward a per-
manent disruption of the Union and to thus recognize the theory
of the 'irrepressible conflict' between the systems of labor and the
civilizations of the Nortli and South. Those who expected Mr.
Lincoln and his partisan advisers to coerce and subjugate the re-
\olted South will be doomed to disappointment. He will, on the
contrary, while making a show of resistance to the course of the
seceded states, remain passive to transpiring events until the gov-
ernment there becomes so well established as to command respect."
(Herald, March 23, 1861.)

There was much interest, though no excitement, shown in re-
gard to the municipal election in the spring of 1861. Several tried
to make the election non-political, but failed. The Democratic
city convention was harmonious and good men were named for
the ofifices. H. S. Hetherington was nominated for mayor. The
Republican city convention was equally quiet and harmonious. H.
L. Stout was nominated for mayor. As there had been some dis-
pute over the point, it was resohcd that the ticket should be called
the Republican ticket. Mr. Rebman moved that it be called the
Union ticket, but Dr. Thomas thought this would be borrowing
Democratic thunder — the Democrats had lately talked so much
about the Union.

The vote for mayor in .April, 1861, was: Hetherington (D. ).
1,041; Stout (R.), 1,294. Only a short time before Hethering-
ton had run for mayor on the People's ticket. The newspapers
did not know whether to praise or abuse him. "There were more
votes cast with reference to private and personal interests and per-
.sonal regard than is usual in elections in this city. It cannot be
regarded as a party triumph." (Herald, April 2, 1861.) The
Times claimed the election as a Republican victory ; it was also
claimed by the Herald as a Democratic victory.

D. A. Mahony, signing himself cliairman pro tem of the Demo-
cratic state executive committee, called a meeting of the state
Democracy to consider the questions agitating the Union, and was
taken to task for so doing by J. B. Dorr, who said he had no
authority to issue such a call nor to assume the role of chairman
]3ro tem of the committee.

At the Douglas obsequies here in June D. S. Wilson delivered
the principal oration. It was the second largest audience ever


collected in Dubuque, said the Herald, the largest having come in
October, i860, to hear Senator Douglas speak. Schools closed ;
business was suspended. The man upon whom the citizens of
Dubuque had crowned so mucli honor was fittingly remembered
at his death.

The state convention of the Democracy called by Mr. Mahony
was repudiated and another was convened in 1861. The Dubuque
convention naming delegates to the latter resolved as follows :
That the present war between the disloyal states and the govern-
ment should not be regarded as sectional, nor anti-slavery, nor
for subjugation, but solely for the maintenance of the Union, the
preservation of our Magna Charta and the suppression of the re-
bellion ; that at the time when the country is resisting a war of in-
vasion and destruction indifiference is impossible to the patriot and
neutrality is cowardice if not premeditated disloyalty; that this con-
vention view with unqualified condemnation the course of those
papers at the North which cry peace when there is no peace, ar-
guing to the best of their ability against the side of the govern-
ment and in favor of the cause of the Confederate states, deny-
ing the achievements of the Union army and magnifying those of
the enemy ; that the call of a state convention of the Democracy
by Dennis A. Mahony was a wanton usurpation of authority — a
bold, reckless efifort to disorganize the Democracy and force it in
opposition to the war; and that this convention is proud of the
glorious conduct and achievements of our noble Iowa First. These
resolutions show that at the outset of the war the Democracv of
Dubuque county, until led away after false gods by Soutiiern
apostles, was ready to support the administration in its efforts to
crush the rebellion. That many of the Democrats of this countv
should be led astray by such artful pleaders and logicians as Mr.
Mahony and the Southern wing of the Democracy here is not to
be wondered at ; in fact, under the specious sophistry of such men
the majority of the Democracy soon came to regard President
Lincoln as a tyrant and usurper and the war one of subjugation,
outrage and crime. Xo wonder tiiey opposed the war.

In the fall of 1861 Col. W. H. Merritt was Democratic candi-
date for governor. The election of October, 1861, was one of the
most exciting that had ever been held liere. The Union Democrats
and the Republicans united, but were defeated by a reduced ma-
jority. The Democratic majority throughout the county was about
760. The contest between Cumniings (R.) and Hewitt (D.) for
the shrievalty was fought with a rancor and bitterness rarely wit-
nessed here. During the battle Mr. Hodnett, who was connected
with the Herald, attempted to cowhide Jesse Clement, editor of
tlie Times, and either succeeded or did not, depending on the parti-
san \iew. Hodnett was tried, convicted and sentenced to twentv-


five days in jail, but managed to evade service. The following
appeared in the papers :

Barnes to Pettit : You pour forth your slimey abuse, etc. I
brand you, Henry W. Pettit, as a base liar, and you dare not
resent it. — Barnes.

Pettit to Barnes : Your statement about me is correct, but I
object to your spelling slimy with an e.- — Pettit.

"Have We a Government? — The course of the party in power
warrants the inquiry. Have we a government? or rather, Have we
men at the head of the government who know how to administer
it? The experience so far has been that the Lincoln administra-
tion has been worse for the country than a failure. It has inflicted
injuries on the United States from which it may never recover.
The sooner the party in power be got rid of the better." {Herald,
December i8. 1861.) "Another Military Prisoner. — The telegraph
informed us last evening of the arrest of Gen. George W. Jones
and that he has been sent to Fort Lafayette. The arrest was made
by Prime Minister Seward, under the sanction of His Majesty Abe
the First. X^erilv, we live in a free countrv." (Herald. December

"By way of preparation for the next spring and fall elections,
the emissaries of treason are busy at work both in this city and
county. Throughout the county they are calling people's meet-
ings and passing througli them resolutions manufactured for the
purpose and alike in substance, if not in words, to be published
in the Dubuque Herald, declaring that the war was caused by
Yankee speculators and Abolitionists, denouncing the war tax and
calling on the people to unite in a crusade against the New England
manufacturers, the banks, railroad companies and Abolitionists.
It needs but a glance at their resolves to see that they are distin-
guished treason." (Times, February 18, 1862.)

"The so-called Democratic convention which met at the court-
house on the 24th inst. and w-as presided over by the editor of the
Herald, had in its members some well-meaning men ; but in the
main and in the intent of its fuglemen it was nothing but a gath-
ering of the fag ends of the Breckinridge traitors of this city. It
was a JefT Davis-Mahony crowd which did the bidding of its chair-
man, even to the adoption of certain resolutions, which he said he
wanted passed to endorse his political course and the course of his
])ai)er, the Herald." (Times, March 30, 1862.)

In the spring of 1S62 the Republicans, Abolitionists and
"shoddv" Democrats united and renominated H. L. Stout for
mayor by acclamation and also a full city ticket. In 1861 they called
their city ticket "Union"; in 1862 they called it "National Union."
They resolved that slavery was a great evil and "the sum total of
all villainies :" and that concessions to armed rebels, so ardently
advocnted here, would appear to be a weakness and would


strengthen the rebellion. Ben M. Samuels was president of the
Democratic Club.

The Democratic convention was stronger and more pronounced
in its views than the Republican convention. John H. Thedinga
for mayor and a full ticket were nominated. The Times charged
that the resolutions written in advance were prepared by Mahony.
They recited that the assumption of arbitrary power under the
pretense of a military necessity was an act of despotism and un-
constitutional and continued :

"Resolved, That in taking a retrospective view of the past his-
tory of the country we perceive the rise of a fanatical party which
has manifested itself in the phases of Abolitionism, Prohibitory
Lawism and Higher Lawism in opposition to every principle of
the constitution and to popular rights ; and to the success of which
that i^arty has acquired in the country and in the control it has
obtained not only of the Federal government, but in the govern-
ments of the Northern states, we trace the first cause of the Re-
bellion which has been so calamitous to the people of these United

"Resolved, That as Abolitionism was the cause of the existing
rebellion we do not perceive any prospect of peace, founded upon
the security of the people in the protection of the constitution, until
the Federal, state and municipal governments shall be rescued from
the control of Abolitionism and till the treason of abolitionism shall
be treated as a crime by the government and as a dangerous and
reprehensible evil in the body politic by the people."

The resolutions at half a dozen meetings were similar and ended
by declaring that the Democrats were right to oppose such a party ;
that the appointment of Stanton over Cameron was justified ; that
arbitrary arrest and the disregard of the habeas corpus should
cease ; that as war was forced upon the country it should be prose-
cuted along old constitutional lines ; that the existing financial pol-
icy should be condemned, and that a recognition of states' rights
should prevail. The Democrats elected their entire city ticket by
substantial majorities — 319 in case of the mayor..

"The Democrats of this city were almost beside themselves last
night with exultation. It was not merely the rejoicing of the lips,
but the outburst of the heart. No wonder that they exulted. For
months past every term of opprobrium was cast upon them, every
contumelious epithet which the mean, corrupted heart of Abolition-
ism, Republicanism and shoddyism could conceive was applied to
them, till to be a Democrat became almost a martyrdom. Once
more Democrats can fee! that their principles are in the ascendant
and that the time is not far ofif when they will be able to save the
Union by restoring to the administration of the government men
who will conform to and enforce the Constitution as their rule
of government. Let us have such a celebration of the event as


will give the finishing stroke in Dubuque to the enemies of the
Union and tlie Constitution." (Herald, April 8, 1862.)

"It must never be forgotten that the victory of Monday was not
what our enemies would try to make it appear to the discredit of
the Democratic party — a success of Secession. No, friends and
fellow citizens : it was a victory for the Constitution and the Union."
[Herald, April 9, 1862.) "The man that beat you is one of the
keenest in Iowa. A Pharisaical, Janus-faced trickster, a dissem-
bling pretender, a political knave, a juggling hypocrite, a man
who wishes well to the South and ill to the North ; a shuffling, de-
ceiving liar: an artful, sly, designing, diplomatic Machiavellian.
* * * You know who we mean." {Times. April 9, 1862.)
"The news of the battle in Tennessee caused considerable anxiety
in this city, as several Iowa regiments were known to be at Pitts-
burg Landing." {Herald, April 10, 1862.)

"The Re(/ister (Linn County) makes a great mistake in saying
that the Herald is ably pro-slavery. It is not pro-slavery at all. in
the true, honest sense of the expression. The Herald is not nor
never was an advocate of slavery. It finds slavery existed in some
-States, and finds this existence recognized as a legitimate thing in
the Constitution, which the Herald respects, obeys and is deter-
mined to maintain." — {Herald, May 10, 1862.) "What's up?
The Abolition and Republican papers of the state, from the drowsy
Dubuque Times to the spiteful Gate City at Keokuk, have made a
simultaneous onslaught on the Dubuque Herald. What do they
expect to accomplish by this movement?" — {Herald, May 8, 1862.)

At the Republican convention of the Third congressional district
( 1862) W. B. xAllison was nominated for Congress. "Mr. Allison,
it is fair to presume, was thought by his political friends to be
their strongest candidate, although a large minority of them
thouglit otherwise, and so do we. From our point of view. i\Ir.
Allison is the very man for us to beat the easiest. As a neighbor
and fellow citizen we respect Mr. Allison, but as a politician we
look upon him as one of those who have brought our country to its
perilous condition." — I Herald, .August 8, 1862. )

In 1862, G. Blocklinger, of Dubuque, was a delegate to the state
Republican convention. The county Democracy in June endorsed
the course of Mr. Mahony toward the national administration.

Early in July, 1862, the attempt to mob the Herald office was
commenced, but was realh' prevented by the leading men of both
parties, who advised against such a step; it was Cummings, the
sheriff, who prevented it. Marslial Conger assisted. Two citizens,
Koch and Sittig, were made uncomfortable by the mob. The inten-
tion of the mob was to destroy the Herald office.

In 1862 the Democrats nominated D. A. Mahony for Congress.
He won in the convention by a majority of one and a fraction
votes. It was generally understood tliat his nomination was made


in order that the public should know that his course was approved
by the congressional and state Democracy. His letter of accept-
ance was rejected by the government censor as improper by reason
of its disloyal sentiments.

At an immense Democratic meeting here in September, 1862,
resolutions condemning the emancipation proclamation and de-
manding that the Union be left as it was were passed unanimously.
Among the speakers were Ben M. Samuels, Thomas M. Monroe,
Thomas Rogers. Stilson Hutchins, Daniel Cort, J. H. Emerson
and others.

"There never has been a moment since the war became of any
considerable magnitude that Abraham Lincoln and his associates
have wavered in their design to free the slaves of the South. They
have held to this purpose from the very birth and inception of the
partv to which they belong. They have succeeded so far as an open
avowal of sentiment can be styled success. But we have confidence
that the people will teach these men that constitutions and laws
are to be observed bv the servants of the public as well as by the
public itself, and that the effort to subvert them will result in their
immediate and eternal destruction. They have played with fire —
let them look well tliat they are not badly burned." — {Herald, Sep-
tember 26. 1862.)

"The tide is flowing strong against the purposes of the present
administration. There have been but three meetings held lately
in Dubuque county of a Democratic character, but such meetings
were never known before. The enthusiasm of the people knew
no bounds. Their indignation, long pent up, found utterance.
Every denunciation of the Abolitionist authorities and their pur-
poses received a hearty endorsement ; every allusion to the Consti-
tution and its integrity, resounding applause. It is not well to
refuse to heed the temper of the people. They made the powers
that be. and although in their giddy exaltation they forget their
derivation, the people can and will unmake them as easily." —
(Herald, October 4, 1862.)

It was the appearance in the Herald of such articles that caused
the arrest of Mr. Mahony in August. 1862, as narrated elsewhere,
and his confinement in the old Capitol prison at Washington, D. C,
for about three months. Mr. Allison ran against Mr. Mahony
for Congress in 1862 and won by 1,654 majority; Mahony's
majority in Dubuque county was 1,424. The total vote of the city
of Dubuque was 2,228. Jefferson and Taylor townships returned
Republican majorities.

"In the town of Epworth, where one year ago Messrs. Samuels,
Hewitt and Fortune were mobbed by a crowd of cowardly Aboli-
tionists, Mr. Mahony received seventy-two votes. The Abolition
majority was decreased from eighty to forty by the untiring energy


of Messrs. Moore, Hogan and others." — {Herald. October i8,

"We can point to Dubuque and her glorious Democracy with a
just pride. There she stands, fearless and triumphant. Over-
shadowed by military prestige, her citizens arrested and hurried
to prison without charge or trial, resisting the appliances of shame-
less and unscrupulous power, rejecting the bribes of easy official
virtue, she stands nobly erect, a Democratic county by nearly
double her last year's majority. The minions of power, the cow-
ardly, threatening Abolitionists, had best take warning and menace
her no longer. .\s nobly as she has done, she has a power in
reserve which it would not be healthy to arouse." — {Herald, Octo-
ber 18, 1862.)

"In this city the Republican party has not yet nominated a city

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 40 of 56)