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[395] commissioned officers of such company should act as the judges of election. The aid of the President of the United States was also obtained to help on the ratification of the new Constitution, and he concludes a letter on the subject by saying, ‘I shall be gratified exceedingly if the good people of the State shall, by their votes, ratify the new Constitution.’

Notwithstanding the aid of the President, of the soldiers' votes, and a most stringent oath, and the exclusiion of every person who had in any manner, by word or act, aided the cause of the Confederacy, the majority for the so-called constitution was only 375. The total vote was 59,973. In 1860 the vote of the state was 92,502. Thus was the state government subjugated and made an instrument of destruction to the people; thus were their rights ruthlessly violated, and property millions of dollars in value annihilated.

The reader must have noticed, in all these proceedings which resulted in the subjugation of the state governments, the cautious and stealthy manner in which the government of the United States proceeded at the outset in each instance until it got a strong foothold, that then the mask was thrown off, and both governor and people were made the unresisting victims of its unscrupulous and lawless outrages.

In the state of Kentucky the first open and direct measures taken by the government of the United States for the subjugation of the state government and people, thereby to effect the emancipation of the slaves, consisted in an interference with the voters at the state election in August, 1863. This interference was by means of a military force stationed at the polls to sustain and enforce the action of some of the servants of the government of the United States, the object being to overawe the judges of election, secure the administration of a rigid oath of allegiance, and thereby the rejection of as many antagonistic votes as possible. Indeed, it was intended that none but so-called ‘Union’ men should vote—that is, men who were willing to approve of every measure which the government of the United States might adopt to carry on the war and revolutionize the state. At the same time, no man was allowed to be a candidate or to receive any votes unless he was a well-known advocate of the government of the United States. It will be seen that these measures excluded the largest portion of the former Democratic party, although they might be practically ‘Union’ men, and placed everything in the hands of the administration party, where, by the use of similar machinery, it remained a great many years after the war closed.

Meantime, on July 31, 1863, the commanding general of the

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