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[557] rhetorical proclamations. He also privately wrote to the Mayor, to urge an addition of two or three hundred men to the police force. Instantly the Mayor's office was thronged with negroes, eager to be selected for this service. The Mayor was, like the Governor, a Radical, but he knew better than the Governor did the temper of the people with whom he had to deal, and refused to comply with this insidious suggestion. He did even more; he signified to the officers of the rifle clubs that he would depend on their aid for the suppression of riots, and this kept the town quiet until the President came to the aid of the Governor by suppressing the clubs as seditious and dangerous conspirators.

It was now determined to give the negroes an opportunity for another riot, the whites taking care to make such preparations as to insure, not only a speedy suppression, but such a suppression as would convince the deluded tools of the Radical adventurers that they were not, as they fondly believed, the masters of the city. One of the nights for the regular meetings of a Democratic colored club was selected. The members were urged to be present, and protection was solemnly promised them. The signs, as the day drew to a close, were ominous; a restless, feverish uneasiness seemed to come over the negroes. Large numbers from the country were coming in (whose attitude bore threats), and a fearful night was anticipated.

At an early hour the several clubs were at their headquarters; detachments were detailed to be present at the meeting of the colored Democrats, to give them the aid and protection which had been solemnly promised them, and arrangements were perfected for speedy communication with each other in case of an alarm. It was significant of the temper of the soldiers, who were expected by the Governor to bring the seditious Democrats to a sense of duty, that some of them went to the gun-room of the artillery club and volunteered their services to work the guns in the event of a disturbance. This movement shows that the apprehension of trouble was general and deeply-seated. Men, not belonging to any military club, assembled, armed, at certain designated places, and, when night was fairly closed all who remained at their homes were in breathless expectation of a fearful riot.

It was a fearful night, one never to be forgotten by the women of the city, and the few men who remained at their homes. Never was a city more awfully silent. Not a footstep was heard on the street— not a voice gave indication that human beings were about interesting themselves in the affairs of the town. Nothing broke the awful silence, except the quarterly chimes of St. Michael's bells, which came

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Saint Michael (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
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