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 41 of 56)
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ticket, the Union League being deputed to take the matter in hand
and, like the old midnight Know Nothing Lodge, nominate a ticket
in the dark. The conspiracy broadens. It involves, if it succeed,
all we hold dear as Americans." — {Herald, April 3, 1863.)

Vote down the Union Leagues; vote down midnight conspirators!
Who wants to vote the nigger emancipation ticket? Who wants
Iowa covered with indolent blacks? Answer at the polls. Every
candidate but one on the Abolitionist ticket is a member of the
Union League. Vote them down. To elect the Abolitionist ticket
tomorrow is to drive a nail in the coffin of civil liberty. It is far
better to crush them at the ballot bo.x than to be obliged to meet
them with the cartridge box." — {Herald, April 5, 1863.)

At the Burns festival Mr. Allison delivered an eloquent address
in which he took occasion to e.xtol President Lincoln. The Herald
said : "Of course, Mr. Allison at is a fit eulogist and has
reason to be grateful to him (Lincoln), if for nothing else than
'he constitutional manner in which he eflfected the imprisonment
of an ugly opponent," meaning Mr. Mahony, who had been a can-
didate for Congress against Mr. Allison. In January, 1863, Mr.
Mahony was urged here for the nomination by the Democracy for
governor of Iowa. Henry Clay Dean made a strong anti-war
speech here in February.

Without much open e.xcitement the citizens of both parties in
]\Iarch, 1863, began with suppressed rage and fire to prepare for
the municipal elections. The Republicans nominated Franklin
Hinds for mayor and the Democrats renominated J. H. Thedinga.

"We are again gloriously successful, despite military mobs and
provost marslials. The most desperate efiforts were made by the
opposition to carry our municipal election on yesterday. The cohorts
of Abolitionism, drilled and disciplined under the direction of the
Union League, thoroughly organized and confident of success,
have been met and defeated by the sterling Democracy of Dubuque,
by majorities ranging from three hundred down. Dubuque is yet


a free city under Democratic rule. Thank hea\en tliat we are not
yet at the mercy of midnight conspirators. No person outside of
Dubuque can appreciate tlie difficulties under which we labored.
We were opposed by the wlioie force of the military stationed in
the city and represented by such men as J. B. Dorr. We were
obliged to fight the Union League, numbering, it is claimed, over
a thousand members. On Sunday morning the Times came out
with a statement to the effect that a ]3rovost marshal had been
appointed for Dubucjue and vicinity, and that deputies had been
selected to attend each poll and take down the name of every
person for conscription who should cast a vote. In pursuance of
this threat. Lieutenant David was sent to the Fifth ward, where
he was permitted to remain all day, practically by his presence
intimidating the people, the fruit of which is seen in the loss of our
candidate for alderman in that ward by two majority. In the First
ward Lieutenant Duffy was foolish enough to try the same game,
and by a murderous assault on Mr. Henneberry, one of the judges,
put his life in imminent peril. Yet despite all this, despite threats
and cajolery, Dubuque repudiates the whole horde and stands erect
in Democratic integrity. By the loss of John Rugamer, our can-
didate for alderman, in the Fifth ward, by two majority, the city
council stands, Democrats 4, Republicans 6. While this is to be
regretted, it amounts to nothing, practically. We have every city
officer, from highest to lowest." — (Herald, April 7, 1863.)

"Dubuque takes no step backward. Within two weeks her
uiajority has been increased from 90 to 250. She is good for the
latter at any time, in spite of all the L'uion Leagues out of jail." —
(Herald, April 7, 1863.)

The Democratic county convention in May, 1863, took strong
grounds against the prosecution of the war. The Republicans were
equally strong for its prosecution. Among the Democratic speak-
ers were Mahony, Richards, Hutchins, Jennings, O'Neill, Den-
linger, Stewart, Fmerson, Shields, etc. Among the Republican
s]ieakers were Lyon, Shiras, Lorimier, Allison, Cooley, Conger,
Clark, Heath, Bissell, Dorr, David, Adams. Rhomberg and others.
On the Fourth of July, 1863, the Republicans and Democrats held
separate celebrations because they could not agree about the reading
of the Emancipation Proclamation. The great federal victories
in the field early in July caused great rejoicing here among war
advocates. General Tuttle, the Democratic candidate for governor,
came out in favor of the war ; the Herald disagreed with him but
supported him. At a Union mass meeting at Dubuque in August,
when Senators Harlan and Trumbull and Mr. Washburne, of
Galena, were here, there were present about eight thousand people.
Senator Harlan spoke three hours ; delegations were present from
all the surrounding counties.

"Mrs. McCall, of Dubuque, Iowa, was in the city yesterday, on


her way frcm Wenipliis to her home, on a brief visit of absence
from duty as a hospital mirse. Slie has been in the service since
June, 1861, when the Third Iowa Infantry was organized. Two
of her sons enHsted in that regiment, and she was resolved to go
along, and has stuck to it in all the \'icissitudes of battles and blood
and marching and sickness ever since. Some time ago she was
assigned to duty as hospital nurse at Memphis. She is a hale,
hearty woman with a most pleasant face, one that would have more
good effect on a sick soldier than the doctor's potion. She is about
thirty-five years of age and exhibits the ner\ous activity and energy
of a girl of eighteen. The Third Iowa boys call her mother." —
(St. Louis Republican, about August 26, 1863. )

The Democratic county convention in September, 1863, after
passing its resolutions against the continuance of the war, thanked
Daniel Cort for his resolution as a member of the county board
to appropriate $300 for the relief of each drafted man. The lan-
guage of Mr. Cort's resolution and of the resolutions of the Demo-
cratic committee was "for the relief of drafted men." It was not
stated that the appropriation was to raise volunteers, clear the
county quota, or e\en to hire substitutes: but was for the relief
of the poor unfortunates who might be drafted. The Herald and
its adherents generally held that as the conscription act was
unconstitutional and an outrage, the county board was justified in
assisting the citizens who were forced to leave their homes by the
arbitrary power of the government. The Times, having charged
Mr. Mahony and Fernando Wood with being responsible for the
New York draft riots, was sued for libel and bound over for $2,000.

"We therefore earnestly appeal not only to those who are Demo-
crats on principle already, but to such of our fellow citizens as are
not under the influence of fanaticism, to organize themselves to-
gether for the purpose of resisting the attempt which is designed
to be made to subvert the government and to subject one portion of
the people of the North to the despotism of the party which is
aiming to hold and wield power, regardless alike of the Constitu-
tion, the laws, and the rights of their fellow citizens." — (Herald,
July 4, 1863.)

Mr. Mahony was candidate for sheriff in 1863. At an immense
Democratic meeting at Cascade late in September, 1863, speeches
were made by Richards, Barker, Cort, IvIahon\'. Cantillon and
Hutchins; there were "seven solid hours of speaking" during both
afternoon and evening; delegations from all the surrounding
country were present ; fifty teams came from Temple Hill alone.
A. C. Dodge. James W. Grimes, Re\-. Ames, D. N. Cooley, John A.
Kasson and Shubael Adams spoke in Dubuque during the fall. .\t
a big Democratic meeting in Epworth, IMahony, Richards, O'Neill
and Lepper were the speakers. The Republicans made great efforts
til defeat Mahonv, candidate for sheriff, and to elect Mr. Swivel.


Stone (R.) and Tuttle (D.) were candidates for governor, the
former receiving 2,114 votes in Dubuque county and the latter
3,280. Mahony received 3,124, Swivel 2,152 and Fortune (Ind.)
45 for sheriff. At this time tlie Republicans favored a registration
law. The vote of that part of the Twelfth regiment from this
county was Stone (R.) 210, Tuttle (D. ) 23. The final result,
including the soldiers' vote, was: Mahony, 3,149; Swivel, 2,596;
Fortune, 47. In 1862 tlie Democratic majority was 1,524; in 1863
it was 1,315.

When James W. Grimes was re-elected United States senator at
Des Moines in January, 1864, the Democrats unitedly voted for
John D. Jennings, of Dubuque. Mr. Cort, of Dubuque, bolted
the caucus and voted for J. W. Love. The Democratic club at
Dubuque was a strong political factor in 1863-4.

On February 10, 1864, the Republicans held their convention in
Dubuque to choose delegates to the Republican state convention
to be held at Des Moines, Februarv 22. The following were
chosen: Piatt Smith, J. K. Graves, H.' Markell, E. C. David, D. N.
Cooley, J. A. Rhomberg, D. E. Lyon, E. R. Shankland, C. Wull-
weber, M. Blumenauer, O. P. Shiras, P. H. Conger, George L.
Matthews, H. C. Fellows, Thomas Lawton, Gustave Grahl, J. L.
McCreery, Henry Heil. William Luther and C. H. Foote.

Li the spring of 1864 the Democrats nominated John Thompson
for mayor and the Republicans nominated Mr. Cummings. The
former received 1,175 votes and the latter 1,018. The Democrats
elected all the city officers. The principal question at issue was the
payment of the city debt.

In 1864, the Democracy, here as elsewhere, was split into war
and peace factions. In the Democratic state convention the Dubuque
delegates divided, Jennings and McLenan favoring war and Hutch-
ins, Monroe, Richards and Robb favoring peace. D. A. Mahony
was a strong peace man. It was claimed that Jennings and Mc-
Lenan violated their instructions, and a row resulted. On the
Democratic state ticket Thomas M. Monroe was named for supreme

The call for a peace mass meeting at Dubuque on August 25,
1864, was signed by D. A. Mahony, John H. O'Neill, Thomas
Hardie Reuben S. Long, Thomas M. Monroe, John Deery, John
Hndnett, Timothy Mason and Nicholas Leffert. An immense
crowd, probably 15,000 people, was present at Jackson Square.
Henry Clay Dean, John F. Duncombe, D. A. Mahony, John H.
O'Neill, B. B. Richards, Stilson Hutchins and other brilliant
orators spoke. The resolultions advocated peace at any price.
Several distinguished speakers from abroad were present.

"After more than three long years of subjection to a most intol-
erable despotism and cruel tyranny; after suffering evils of govern-
ment administration without precedent in the most execrable rulers


of the past and without |jarallel in our own times; after submitting
to usurpation of power in pubhc servants whose autliority is cir-
cumscribed by law such as no monarch claiming to rule by divine
riglit was ever bold enough to grasp; and after enduring more than
€\"er a people did before in the same length of time in the sacrifice
of life and waste of money; and acquiescing in blind obedience and
craven servility to the behests of power arbitrarily and illegally
exercised, * * * the popular will has now, in the agony, it may be,
of the nation's death, become sensible at last that the body politic
is in danger of dissolution and aspires to preserve it from such a
fate." — (Herald. August 4, 1864.)

"A very animated discussion took place on Main street last
evening, each of the disputants vying with each other in the
violence with which the Abolitionists were assailed. The very
common and just conclusion was reached that Abe Lincoln is too
ugly in phiz, too weak in intellect and too tyrannical in the exercise
of power to be allowed to 'run the machine' another four years." —
(Herald, August 30. 1864.)

The Republican county convention was conducted by Bissell,
Wiltse, Shiras, Karrick. Rupert. Hetherington, Matthews, Blumen-
auer and others.

The resolutions adopted declared that the success of the Repub-
licans in November was essential to the preservation of the Union
and libertv, praised Mr. Allison's course in Congress, and recom-
mended his renomination and favored a continuance of the war
along lines already announced and well known.

The nomination of McClellan for the Presidency suited the
Dubuque county Democracy; the renomination of Mr. Lincoln
suited the Republicans. The campaign was brilliant and vindictive.
Lnmense meetings were held and eloquent addresses delivered by
distinguished orators. Patrick Quigley was president of the Demo-
cratic association. At this time it was conceded that B. B. Richards
was one of the most brilliant stump speakers in the state. He was
candidate for elector on the Democratic ticket and was also candi-
date for Congress against Allison. Richards and Allison stumped
the district together and spoke to immense crowds.

On October 22. 1864, Kirkwood spoke at the Athenseum. The
Herald spoke of him as "the man who wears the dirtiest shirt west
of the Mississippi river"; also, "Kirkwood the unwashed." On
October 26, Governor Stone and John H. O'Neill held a joint
debate at the Athenaeum. There was a large attendance, though
the rain fell in torrents. Schuyler Colfax spoke here October 29.
The November (1864) election resulted in this county as follows:
McClellan electors, 3,319; Lincoln electors, 1,744. For Congress:
Richards (D.) 3.316, Allison (R.) 1,753. The balance of the
county ticket ran about the same.

"This is a noble record for Dubuque county. It shows that


there is at least one bright spot in Iowa that has not been overrun
and blotted out by the scum and filth of Abolitionism." — {Herald,
November 15, 1864.)

"As a patriot we cannot but deplore the result of the recent
election, because we believe the re-election of Mr. Lincoln opens the
road to certain dissolution and untold misery. * * * No reason-
able man will contend that the country can survive four years more
of strife. The end, whate\er it is, must come during Mr. Lincoln's
second term of office, and then will come the fearful reckoning.
* * * The duty of Democrats is plain. We cannot control or
direct the policies of the administration, and shall not be respon-
sible for results. Our mission is simply that of the wrecker — to
rescue and save from the noble Ship of State whatever remains of
constitutional liberty." — {Herald, November 13, 1864.)

"Stock Market. — The market for McClellan stock is dull and
drooping, with more sellers than buyers at 50 per cent discount.
Hoklers are anxious to effect sales, and are not particular about
rates. Copperhead 64-90's ha\e overstocked the market and an-
other supply will not be needed in four years for national use.
McClellan badges and medals are given away, holders having no
further use for them. A whole torchlight procession could be
bought for a song; small lots are in demand for sale at auction." —
{Herald, November 12, 1864.)

In March, 1865, E. C. David was reappointed postmaster at
Dubuque. The Times announced the name of William B. Allison
for United States senator. In April. 1865, both parties nominated
John Thompson for mayor, because the principal and almost the
only issue was to put the city debt in tangible shape and pay it.
He received a total of 1.898 \'otes. The Democratic majority on
the balance of the ticket varied from 274 to 578. They swept the
city and county. Every city officer, fourth-fifths of the council,
seventeen out of nineteen county supervisors, and every county
officer were elected by the Democrats.

Early in April, 1865, t'le Herald wanted President Lincoln to
offer amnesty to the South, including right to slave property, states'
rights, no federal interference — in fact, place the South where it
was before the war. "By doing this, Mr. Lincoln can remove much
of the stigma that attaches to his name for the tyranny and oppres-
sion of which he has been guilty." — {Herald, April 6, 1865.)

"The Republican journals are united in their efforts to secure for
the liberated negroes the right of sufifrage. * * * This plan to
turn over the best portion of our country to the control of the
negro will miserably fail." — {Herald, May 19, 1865.)

David Styles was present at the old settlers' meeting July i, 1865.
He had opened the second hotel in Chicago, and came to the
Dubuque mining region about 1830. He had voted for George
Washington for President. V. Herancourt placed a glass and


frame over tlie photographic picture of 258 portraits of Dubuque
county early settlers. A number of the early settlers refused to
take part in the celebration of the Fourth of July if the Emancipa-
tion Proclamation was to be read immediately after the Declaration
of Independence. They did not want "politics" introduced into
the celebration. The result was that people divided on political
lines and held several celebrations, at one of which, at least, the
Emancipation Proclamation was read. The Republicans cele-
brated at the Gardens and the Democrats at Eagle Point and Ham's
Island. In the Republican procession was a wagon with thirtv-four
young ladies representing the states. The Good Templars went to
Cassville to celebrate.

All Dubuque turned out to the Grant reception, Wednesday,
August 23, 1865. "The display made last Wednesday on the recep-
tion of General Grant was one of the finest and most creditable
that e\er took place in this city. The crowd has been \ariously
estimated at from 10,000 to 25,000 persons. The sidewalks on
Main street from the First Ward market to Fourteenth street was
a solid crowd of human beings awaiting the arrival of the hero of
the day. Every window and doorway on the line of march was
filled with admirers of the General. For a large assemblage of
people it was the most orderlv we ever saw." — {Herald, August 25.

The Herald found fault with every act of the administration
during 1865 after the close of the war. It objected to negro suf-
frage, punishment of the leaders of the rebellion, reconstruction
of the southern states, trial of the Lincoln assassins; a large stand-
ing army; the outrage of military trials; the Chicago sanitary fair,
and particularly abused Stanton and Butler.

In 1865, Col. Thomas H. Benton. Jr., was Democratic candidate
for governor. At the Democratic county convention, held in Dyers-
ville, August 19, Gen. George W. Jones called the delegates to
order and J. H. Emerson was chairman. The resolutions affirmed
Democratic policies. W. B. .Allison spoke at the .Athenreum, Octo-
ber 5. The ditTerences between President Johnson and the radical
Republicans were dissected and explained. The Herald's abuse of
Secretary Stanton was notable at this time ; it also lashed Judge
Burt for saying that the Democrats wanted to keep the negroes
under because otherwise they would outrival the Democrats and
secure all the plums. At the October election the vote for governor
was: Benton (D.) 2,842, Stone (R. ) 1,552; for sheriff, Mahony
(D.) 2,729, Cummings (R.l 1,639. Alahony lost most of the
soldier vote.

In February, 1866. a large meeting of the Dubuque Democrats
approNcd the veto by Prcsirlent Johnson of the Frecdman's Bureau
bill. Among the speakers were Stilson Hutchins. Frank Jennings.
C. J. Rogers and George \\'. Jones. In ]\Tarch, 1866. a large


■"Union" meeting was held and resolutions were passed expressing
the opinion that Congress had the right to say upon what terms
the rebellious states should come back into the Union. Among the
speakers were Judge Burt, O. P. Shiras, General Wiltse, C. Wull-
weber, C. G. Hawthorne and others. The following citizens signed
the call for this meeting: F. E. Bissell, O. P. Shiras, George Crane,
Frank Gilbert, James Burt, H. L. Stout, Richard Waller, Jacob
Christman, T. C. Roberts, R. Bonson, C. H. Booth, James Thurs-
ton, Thomas Finn, R. Spaulding, W. Westphal, G. L. Torbert,
John H. Lull, Edgar Tisdale, John Mihlhop, A. Tredway, William
Anderson, John W. Smith, D. E. Lyon, George D. Wood, W. J.
Gilbert, C. G. Hawthorne, C. Leckie, J. W. Cox, A. G. Chapin.

During 1864 and 1865, as a claim for public approval, the Democ-
racy of Dubuque showed that Mayor Thompson's administration
had reduced the city indebtedness $353,000; the old indebtedness
of $390,000 had been wiped out partly by a new issue of bonds;
the old Gelpcke debt, which had hung for years over the city like a
pall, had all been taken up. In 1865-6, $68,000 of indebtedness
had been paid ; in the latter was a debt of $5,000 due since the old
levee was built ; also the debt of Timothy Davis for the old cemetery
lot, the interest on which had far exceeded the principal. All the
city scrip had been taken up; at one time it was as low as 35 cents
on the dollar. All this had been done without borrowing or with-
out increasing the taxes. But there were no special local issues;
the election ran along Democratic and Republican principles and
policies. A large vote was polled, much larger than had been
expected. The whole Democratic ticket was elected by majorities
ranging from 148 to 320, the average being close to 250; total
vote, 2,502. Mr. Thompson was re-elected mayor. Mr. Kingman
was the Republican candidate. Thompson received 1,385 and
Kingman 1,117 votes. The receipts for the fiscal year 1865-6
were $67,288.44, and the orders redeemed, $66,990.74.

In 1866 there was open opposition at Epworth against the violent
partisan speeches of C. C. Hewitt and Frank Jennings ; they were
prevented from speaking and in a measure assailed. In October.
1866, L. H. Cady was likewise assailed and prevented from speaking
there by a crowd. Democrats were furious and later went there
prepared for trouble and were permitted to speak. Democratic
speakers were also opposed at Centralia, but were permitted to
finish. At the October election liquor was allowed at the polls.

For secretary of state. Van Anda (D.) received 3,117 votes and
Wright (R.) 2,186. For Congress, Noble (D.) received 3,131
and Allison CR.) 2,097. Taylor and Jefferson townships went
Republican. In Table Mound township there was but one Repub-
lican vote out of 115 polled.

In the spring of 1867 the Democrats nominated W. W. Wood-
worth for mayor and the Republicans nominated J. K. Graves.


Cliarges of corruption in city affairs were made and facts stated.
The question of compromising, repudiating or paying in full the
city debt was all important.

"The Sarah Lee Porter case is a test one that will decide whether
the city owes $1,000,000 or $200,000. Under the policy adopted
in 1864, over one-third of the entire city indebtedness has been
conditionally retired without imposing unusual burdens; but let this
Sarah Lee Porter case be determined against the present council
and there is an end of all compromise, for if Sarah Lee Porter
recovers one hundred cents on the dollar of her claim, then any
other creditor may do likewise." — (Alderman Hetherington in
council, March 29, 1867.)

This contest was hotly fought : the Democrats were determined
to retrieve their loss of October, 1866. The streets were soon
strewn with circulars, ballots and beer kegs. Teams with banners
and mottoes were out to hurry indifferent voters to the polls. It
was one of the most exciting municipal elections ever held in
Dubuque. Woodworth (D. ) received 1,393 votes and Graves (R. ")
1,639. The Democrats elected by small majorities the city ticket
except mayor and marshal. Many Democratic votes were cast for
Graves because of the announcement that he was a supporter of
the policies of President Johnson.

Allison for the Senate was the Republican program in 1867.
In July, 1867, Judge Burt sued the Herald (Ham and Carver) for
$20,000 for libel. The Democrats opposed negro suffrage in Iowa
and any interference by Congress with the sovereignty of the states.
The Germans in Dubuque organized in opposition to the prohibitory
law. Payment of government bonds in greenbacks was advocated
by the Democracy. Henry O'Connor (R.) and W. T. Barker (D. )
held a joint discussion in Dubuque in October; they were candidates
for attorney-general.

The election in October, 1867, resulted in Dubuque county as
follows: For governor. Mason (D.) 3,335. Merrill (R.) 1,915;
for sheriff, Buckman (D. ) 3.435, Cheeney (R. ) 1,824. Thus the

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 41 of 56)