William E. (William Eaton) Chandler.

Letters of Mr. William E. Chandler relative to the so-called southern policy of President Hayes, together with a letter to Mr. Chandler of Mr. William Lloyd Garrison .. online

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Online LibraryWilliam E. (William Eaton) ChandlerLetters of Mr. William E. Chandler relative to the so-called southern policy of President Hayes, together with a letter to Mr. Chandler of Mr. William Lloyd Garrison .. → online text (page 1 of 8)
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19—47372-2 SPO





Southern Policy of President Hayes,



" I do not care for myself, but I do care for the poor colored men of
the South. The colored man's fate will be worse than when he
was in slavery."
" The loyal people of the South need special and powerful protection."
" Loyalty should be respected, and treason made odious."
" If you want a law faithfully and fairly administered, entrust power
only to its friends."


" How he stands condemned out of his own mouth. How he has
broken all his oft-repeated pledges of protection to those who, to
save his election, heroically encountered terrible sufferings and
deadly perils in getting to the polls."




GIBSON BPtOTHEES, 1012 Penna. Ave., Washington, D. 0.
LWhere Ordsrs should bs addressed. See Isst page of cover.]




Concord, N. H., FebruarT/ 11, 1878.

Continued requests for copies of Mr. Chandler's letters
have made necessary this edition, [in connection with which
is published a letter from Mr. William Lloyd Garrison.]

Notwithstanding the criticisms and denunciations which
the letters have elicited, none of the statements of fact
therein have been effectively denied or disproved. No
person named has made denial over his own signature,
and various reported interviews have contained only eva-
sions, or denials of facts not charged. The substantial
correctness of all the facts stated in the letters is hereby

Persistent attempts have been made by hostile news-
papers to create the impression that the letters assail the
title of President Hayes and propose to reopen the Pres-
idential election -controversy. This misrepresentation was
promoted by the fact that the telegraphic reports of the
letters gave in full, point numbered lY, relative to the ful-
filment of the Louisiana bargain, but only a brief sum-
mary of the remainder. An entire perusal of the letters
will correct all misapprehension on this point. They con-
tain expressions like the following :

" Unquestionably he should have asserted in every pos-
" sible way the moral and legal validity of his own title."

" Wisdom and honor, therefore, it seems to me, clearly
" required that President Hayes should maintain his own
" rightfulness of title. * * * Had he done so, in my


" belief, the Democratic cry of friuid would have been the
" merest folly."

In fact, instead of assailing the Presidential title, one
^- complaint in the letters is that President Ha3'es has himself
effected a taint npon his own title by iiis betrayal and de-
struction of the lawful governments of South Carolina and
Louisiana, and his abandonment of the principles of the
Kepublican party and adoption of the principles of the
Democratic party, which it is inconceivable that he would
have done if he had believed in his own rightfulness of title,
- ^nd desired to stand by and vindicate it. Therefore, for
whatever re-agitation or re-investigation of the Presidential
question there may take place, the President and his ad-
visers, the Louisiana bargainers who sold their republican
birthright for a mess of pottage, are responsible, and not
those Republicans who denounce and repudiate the trade
and the treason.

It may also be added that it cannot be possible that the
true interests of the Republican party are to be subserved
by denying or concealing an}^ fact connected with the
Presidential canvass or countings. If any such exist dis-
creditable or dishonoring to the party or to the President,
to Secretary Sherman, or Senator Matthews, or Mr.
Chandler, or any other members of the party, the sooner
they are exposed, reprobated, and repudiated, the better
and safer for the future of Republican principles and the
Republican organization.

The briefest possible summary of the points of the let-
ters is —

I. That President Hayes was chosen President by the
Republican party on a radical platform pledging federal
power to protect human rights and lawful governments at
the South ; Soutli Carolina and Louisiana giving him their
indispensable votes, and also electing Republican State

II. T4tftt after his actual installation, secured by a prior
secret bargain that he should do so, he Jactively and per- X
sonaliy tore down the lawful State governments of South
Carolina and Louisiana, and established rebel mob govern-
ments in their stead ; violated the Republican pledges to K
protect liuman rights and maintain the supremacy of the law,
released negro-murderers whom he was elected to prose-
cute and punish, gave federal power at the South to rebel
Democrats, glorified the rebel soldiers at the expense of
Union soldiers, taunted the black race witli its helpless-
ness, and shamefully boasted of his betrayal of it.

III. Tiuit this, liis degradation of himself and his be-
trayal of his party, has annihilated its organization at the
South, mailing Republican ascendency there impossible, and
has almost destroyed tlio party at the Nortli, so that the
only way to prevent a Democratic victory in 1880 by rea-
son of a solid Soutli and a divided North, is to promptly
repudiate an administration and a policy which is dishon-
oring, paralyzing, and destroying tUe Republican party.

If to utter these facts and conclusions be treason, let the
most be made of it. Mr. Chandler is content to rest upon
the following endorsement by Mr. Garrison, whose unsel-
fish devotion to the cause of human rights, and whose clear
vision and calm judgment make his commendation, if not
wholly deserved, yet most warmly gratifying:

" Honoring you fob yodk political courage and pa-
" triotic fidelity, i am emulous to meet any amount of
" personal detraction in common with yourself. active


" publishing your letter to the republicans of n e\v
" Hampshire. Feel no anxiety as to what will be the
" judgment of the future, and care nothing for the


" denunciations of the misled and time-serving.

" My faith in the triumph of the right lies in the not
" far distant future, though for the present it is be-
" trayed.

" Very truly yours,


" January 29, 1878."

CoNcoKD, N. H., Dec. 26, 1877.

To the Republicans of New Hampshire :

It is my privilege and duty as your representative on the
Republican National Committee to state to you the rea-
sons for my hostility to the so-called southern policy of
the administration of President Hayes.


The Presidential campaign of 1876 was carried on with
no announced change of the principles of the Republican
party concerning the Southern States lately in rebellion.

The Cincinnati Convention had declared the Republican
party to be "sacredly pledged'' to the complete protection
of all the citizens of the South "in the free enjoyment of
' all their rights." "We declare it to be tiie solemn obli-
' gation of the Legislative and Executive Departments of
' the Government to put in immediate exercise all their
' constitutional powers * * * for securing to every
' American citizen complete liberty and exact equality in
' the exercise of all civil, political, and public rights. To
' this end we imperatively demand a Congress and Chief
' Executive whose courage and fidelity to these duties
' shall not falter until these results are placed beyond
' dispute or recall."

Mr. George William Curtis, in the Convention, had
commended his favorite candidate as one who, "armed
" with the power of the Government of the United States
" as district attorney of Kentucky, hunted and liunted and
" hunted the Ku-Klux until the Ku-Klux disappeared."
" The life of every man at tlie South is safe in the hands
" of this man from Kentucky, who has known, as "^ou of
" the South have bitterly learned, * * * the mortal
" perils of the struggle."

Governor Hayes, in liis letter of acceptance, endorsed
the resolutions, and specially declared himself in favor of
" the complete protection of all citizens in the free enjuy-
" ment of all their constitutional rights," " What the


" South needs most is peace, and peace depen !s upon the
" supremacy of the law. There can be no enduring peace
" if the constitutional rights of any portion of tlie people
" are habitually disregarded."

The candidate for Vice-President, Hon. William A.
Wheeler, announced it to be the mission of the party to
secure "to every American citizen complete liberty and
" exact equality in the exercise of all civil, political, and
" public rights. This will be accomplished only when the
" American citizen, without regard to color, shall wear
" this panoply of citizenship as freely and securely in the
" canebrakes of Louisiana as on the banks of the St.
" Lawrence."

The Presidential campaign was carried on, so far as
methods and utterances were concerned, in no respects
differently from the campaigns of 1868 and 1872. The
duty of the Federal Government to interfere by all pos
sible constitutional and legal means for the protection of
life and a free ballot at the South, was the principal issue
of the contest. The " bloody shirt," as it is termed, was
freely waved, and Governor Hayes himself urged promi-
nent public men to put forward, as our best argument, the
dangers of " rebel rule and a solid South."

On the 8th of November, when he tliought himself de-
feated, he uttered these words : " I do not care for myself,
" * * * but I do care for the poor colored men of
" the South. * * * Northern men cannot live there,
" and will leave. * * * The Southern people will
" practically treat the constitutional amendments as nulli-
" ties, and then the colored man's fate will be worse than
" when he was in slavery. * * * That is the only
" reason I regret that the news is as it is."

On this main issue — the necessity of keeping Federal
power in Republican hands and using it for the protection
of black and white Southern Republicans — was the Presi-
dential campaign, by Governor Hayes' advice and procure-
ment, carried on and won.


On the morning of the 8th of November it was apparent
thiit Hajes and Wheeler were elected by One majority, if
South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana had given them
their votes. But immediately the Tilden forces — hungry
Northern and desperate Southern Democrats — determined
to prevent the counting of the votes of those States for the
Republican candidates; and threats, attempts to bribe, and
all manner of foul influences were arrayed to seduce or
intimidate the local Kepublican officials who were to de-
clare the result.

To counteract these machinations, Governor Hayes sent
a large array of distinguished persons to the contested
States, from Ohio notably the following :
Messrs. John Sherman, (afterwards made Secretary of the
Treasury ;)
Stanley Matthews, (private counsel for Governor
Hayes ; afterwards made U. S. Senator by his in-
fluence ;)
Edward F. Noyes, (afterwards made Minister to

France ;)
John Little, (Governor Hayes' Attorney-General ;)
Samuel Shellabarger, (Governor Hayes' private coun-
sel ;)
James A. Garfield, (afterwards member of Electoral
Commission and Administration candidate for
and many others went there from other sections.

In' South Carolina and Florida, owing to the manifest
facts and to the noble fearlessness of Governor Daniel H.
Chamberlain and Governor Marcellus L. Stearns in pro-
tecting the canvassing boards, the correct result of the elec-
tion — the choice of Hayes electors — was declared, without
extraordinary assurances from the northern visitors.
r In Louisiana, however, tliere had been tlirovvn into the
ballot-boxes over 7,000 more votes for the Tilden than for
the Hayes electors, and to make Hayes President it became
necessary for the Heturning Board, acting under peculiar
local laws, to throw out more than 7,000 Tilden votes on


account of alleged murder, riot, and intimidation, prevent-
ing a fair and free election in certain parishes. To perform
this extraordinary, even if justifiable, work in the face of
an armed and infuriated Democracy required men of un-
daunted courage; and such courage the Returning Board
possessed. It required also that the Board should have
assurances that the national exigency demanded its per-
formance ; that the moral sentiment of the North would
approve it ; and that they themselves should be protected
from evil consequences to be apprehended from the vio-
lence of a mob-government, which it was known would be
established by one Nicholls, a pretender to the office of
Governor against Stephen B. Packard who was sure to be
found to be elected Governor if the Hayes electors should
be found to have been cliosen.

All these assurances were freely and forcibly given by
Mr. Senator Sherman and his associates. ^Mr. Stanley
Matthews declared to Mr. J. E. Leonard^ and on more than
one occasion, that Hayes and Packard should stand or fall

A reported interview of Governor Hayes, Dec. 3, with
Mr. W. R,. Roberts, of the Now Orleans Times, having
occasioned alarm as to the future course of the prospective
President toward Southern Republicans and the Louisiana
and South Carolina governments, Governor Hayes, through
his private secretary. Captain A. E. Lee, (since made con-
sul-general to Frankfort,) and General James M. Comly,
of the Ohio State Journal, (since made Minister to the
Sandwicli Islands,) denied the reported interview, and all
sympathy with the sentiments therein expressed.

Encouraged and forced forward by these assurances the
Returning Board boldly performed its duty, gave voice to
the murdered Republicans of the bull-dozed parishes of
Louisiana, and made Hayes President and Packard Gov-
ernor of Louisiana, by titles indissolubly connected in law,
in morals, and by every rule of honor that prevails among
civilized men.

The same tender regard for the Louisiana Republicans
und for the result which they had achieved continued


during the ensuing struggle in Congress. The Returning
Bourd were arrested and confined at Washington bj the
Confederate House of Representatives. Sick and in prison,
they were visited by Senator Sherman and his associates,
and urged to stand firm until relief should come from the,
advent to power of the President whom they had made.
Before the Electoral Commission, to maintain and vindicate
their work. Governor Hayes personally continued the em-
ployment of Messrs. Matthews and Shellabarger, while
Senator Sherman, from his place in the Senate, on Dec. 14,
threatened negro insurrections unless Hayes should be
counted in and the " poor colored men " placed under his
devoted care:

" There arc other remedies, but I do not like to discuss
" them. * * *

" We can teach the negroes that they have an inherent
' right of e^f-defence. * * * The negro might soon
' be taught, especially in those parishes where there are
' three black men to one white man, that he has the right
' of self-defence ; but who wishes to even suggest, or inti-
' mate, or anticipate such liorrors ? Who wishes to see a
' war of races ? Yet, rather than see what has occurred
' in Louisiana, these men will learn * * * that they
' can resent these outrages ; that the negro can defend his
' cabin, his wife, his children, from these outrages, and
' that he will be justified by the laws of God and man in
' repelling these assaults, whether they come by day or
' by night. I do not want to see this done ; I fear it, and
' yet it will come * * * unless you give to the ne-
' groes the rights which are secured to them by the Con-
' stitution of the United States.

" I do believe that under a wise policy, with an Admin-
' istration that will be firm in maintaining: the rights of
' the blacks as well as be generous to the whites, all the
' clouds that are now lowering upon our house will pass
' away, and be in the deep bosom of the ocean buried."

With substantial unanimity the Republicans of the coun-
try seconded the determination of their representatives in
Congress to declare and achieve the election and inaugum-


tion of President Hayes ; and the Republican party was
never more courageous, harmonious, or united than on the
day of his accession.


Coming to the Presidency under these remarkable cir-
cumstances, what should have been President Hayes'
course ?

1. Unquestionably he should have asserted in every
possible way the moral and legal validity of his own title,
and of every step taken by his procurement or desire in
the long series of events which established it.

2. He should have maintained faithful and scrupulous
allegiance to the principles of the Republican party, by
proclaiming which the victory had been won, and to the
men of that party whose unprecedented efforts and courage
had elevated him to a station of the highest honor and
power as its representative.

3. Above all, he should have avoided any yielding or
concession to the Democratic party, from which the Pres-
idency had been so suddenly, unexpectedly, and exaspe-
ratingly wrested.

It is inconceivable that any wise or honorable man
should be willing to take the Presidency, and then suffer
or effect any taint upon his own title. Governor Hayes
had it in his power at any moment, from November 8 to
March 4, to avoid the responsibilities of the office, but
thought not of doing it. On the contrary, at every stage
in the ])rogress of the countings. State and National, his
active influence was present through his counsel, agents,
and intimate friends, pressing forward the struggle. Not
declining, but eagerly den)anding and taking the place, it
necessarily follows that he was bound to maintain the in-
tegrity of his claim thereto and of the means by which it
was made effectual. Any other course would be sure to
bi'iiig deserved condemnation and disgrace upon himself,


the men of the party who had been prominent in his be-
half, and upon the party itself.

To make concessions to the defeated Democracy and to
abandon the principles of his own party would not only
proclaim his doubts as to the rightfulness of his own elec-
tion, but would also be an admission that such election,
even if rightful and lionest, was undesirable for the country.

If the men and principles of the Democratic party were
to control the country, why should they not do so through
Samuel J. Tilden, their appropriate representative ? Why
the protracted labor, the high excitement, the dangerous
struggle, the death or ruin of Southern Republicans, if the
principles of the Republican party were to be abandoned
and the Administration to be made Democratic in all re-
spects except in name?

Wisdom and honor, therefore, it seems to me, clearly
required that President Hayes should maintain his own
rightfulness of title, and stand by the men and principles
of his party. Had he done so, in my belief, tlie Demo-
cratic cry of fraud would have been the merest folly ; the
Republican party would have remained dominant in every
Northern State and in several Southern States, and would
have swept the country in the recent fall elections. In-
stead of all this what do we see ?


Almost the first act of the new Administration was to
fulfil a bargain tliat had been made during the Presiden-
tial count, by which, if Hayes should be President, the
lawful governments of Louisiana and South Carolina were
to be abandoned, and the mob-governments in those States
were to be recognized and established.

Certain Democrats in the House of Representatives, see-
ing that, by the recurring decisions of the Electoral Com-
mission and the regular proceedings of the two Houses
under the electoral bill which they luid warmly supported,
Hayes would surely be President, had conceived the plan


of saving something from the wreck. They had, therefore,
threatened by dilatory motions and riotous proceedings to
break np the count, and then opened negotiations with
sucli timid or too eagerly expectant Republicans as they
could find ready. They had succeeded beyond their most
sanguine expectations. Senator Sherman had visited Ohio
and consulted Governor Hayes. Mr. Henry Watterson, a
Democratic member, and anephewof Mr. Stanley Matthews,
had acted as go-between; and on the one side Messrs.
Matthews, Charles Foster, John Sherman, James A. Gar-
field, and on the other, L. Q. C. Lamar, John B. Gordon,
E. J. Ellis, Randall Gibson, E. A. Burke, and John Young
Brown, had agreed (1) that the count should not be broken
up in the House, but that Hayes should be declared and
inaugurated President, and (2) that upon Hayes' accession
the troops should be witlidrawn from protecting Governors
Chamberlain and Packard, and that the new Administration
should recognize the governments of Wade Hampton, in
South Carolina, and F. H. Nicholls, in Louisiana.

By certain general and indefinite letters since given to
the public, by a secret writing now in the hands of E. A.
Burke, and in other ways, the agreement was authen-
ticated ; and President Grant was immediately requested
by Governor Hayes' counsel on no account to recognize
Packard or Chamberlain, but to leave the ultimate decision
us to their fate to the incoming President.

After the inauguration the bargain was speedily fulfilled.
As soon as the electoral vote of their States was safe, Gov-
ernors Packard and Chamberlain had been notified by
Messrs. Matthews and Evarts to get out. Governor Cham-
berlain was now summoned to Washington and informed
that he must surrender. He protested against his taking-oflf.
The President hesitated, but Wade Hampton demanded
the performance of the bargain. Mr, Matthews was sent
for, came from Ohio, and within twenty-four hours the
United States flag was ordered down in Charleston and
Governor Ciuimberlain stamped out.

As to Louisiana, tlie fulfillment proceeded more slowly,
but none the less surely. Packard had made, March 21st,


a constitutional call for Federal aid, which it was difficult
to withhold from one as surely Governor as Hayes was
President. And yet there was the bargain.

As a subterfuge, an unconstitutional commission, con-
sisting of

Messrs. John M. Harlan,

JosEPu 11. Hawley,

C. B. Lawrence,

Wayne McYeagh,

John C. Bkown,
was sent to New Orleans, instructed gradually to destroy
the Packard Legislature by seducing or forcing its members
into the Nicholls Legislature. But they proving too stub-
bornly Republican, the commission telegraphed the Presi-
dent that notliing would destroy Packard but the actual
order witlidrawing the troops. At the word, the President
gave tlie order, Packard was crushed, and the commission
returned triumphant to Wasliington, to be "recognized" —
one of them. General Harlan, by an appointment as Supreme
Court Judge; another, Mr. Lawrence, by the release of
Jake Rehm, the great whiskey conspirator and defrauder of
the revenue at Chicago ; General Hawley was offered
the appointment as Cliief Commissioner to the Paris Exhi-
bition, but declined because the salary was to be only five
thousand dollars ; and throe offices were tendered to Mr.
McVeagh, but declined on the ground that his signal ser-
vices demanded more ample recognition ; the English
mission was next assigned him, but circumstances have
made its delivery inexpedient or imj)ossible.

One other hope remained to Governor Packard. He
had a lawful court of justice, and miglit aj^peal to that.
But there were two vacancies, and it required all three of
the judges, Lndeling, Leonard, and John E. King, to make
a quorum. Judge King was immediately appointed
collector of New Orleans, Packard's court was struck
down and the Nicliolls mob-government reigned supreme.
The bargain was in every way fulfilled, and Mr. Burke had
no occasion, as had been threatened, to make public the
secret agreement. Hayes had been made President by the


fidelity and courage of Puckurd uiul Chamberlain and their
devoted followers, and his Administration had trampled

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Online LibraryWilliam E. (William Eaton) ChandlerLetters of Mr. William E. Chandler relative to the so-called southern policy of President Hayes, together with a letter to Mr. Chandler of Mr. William Lloyd Garrison .. → online text (page 1 of 8)