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[177] most shameful corruption, bribery and roguery. It is impossible for the industry of the State to pay the taxes. There is no security for property. It is impossible for this thing to go on and preserve order in the State.

As our purpose is not to go into the details of this administration, we content ourselves with Governor Perry's statement. There is one fact of which we would be glad to be made certain. Was it a foregone conclusion that the ex-Confederates were to be forced into acts of violence, such as would call for the active interference of the general government. That such was the wish at or about the close of Radical rule, there can be no doubt. But was this a fixed idea when the government was begun? The Reconstruction acts were partly vindictive, partly political. It was hoped and expected that by giving the right of suffrage to the negro, the Southern States, or a large number of them, would be secured to the Republican party. The negro must, of necessity, be a Republican. Hence the investing him at once with political power, and excluding all those States from a seat in Congress until the negro element had been thoroughly incorporated in its constitution. At first the whites were made to feel that they no longer controlled the negro, and the Republican party was completely in the ascendant. But it was not long before the old relations of kindness between the two races began to revive. The negro found his friends among his old masters. The adventurers who came here to make their own fortunes were quick to perceive this and to dread the consequences. Hence they made untiring efforts to stir up the evil passions of the negroes against the whites; unto this feeling Governor Scott lent himself a willing agent. It was his duty to organize the militia; in doing this he recognized only the black race. They were formed into companies and regiments; to these arms were distributed, which are aptly described by Governor Perry as fruitful of the worst of crimes. The whites were not allowed their share of the public arms. It was a sense of the danger to which the whites were exposed at thus being kept without arms that gave rise to the rifle clubs, which were a grievance to Governor Chamberlain, which were denounced by General Grant, but which it is truth to say, became the only power which at one time saved the State by its moral power alone from the extreme horrors of anarchy. When General Hunt called on some of these clubs to assist in restoring peace to the city after one of the most terrible riots that had ever been known in it, he was instantly reported to the government at Washington, and was almost as instantly sent on duty elsewhere.

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W. F. Perry (2)
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