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[179] who had proved himself a capable and just judge, and a democrat and eminently representative Carolinian, popular and distinguished. The people, in their county nominations, generally observed the same spirit of compromise, and selected as their candidates white and black, Democrats and Republicans—giving full effect to the spirit of the platform. Certainly, if ever a party was organized outside of political issues, this was. There was literally nothing in it to repel any citizen of any school of politics, except the few who, clinging to the issues of the past, were offended by the liberal concessions made to the colored people. If, therefore, we could establish our charges against the then existing administration of the State Government, we had a right to count upon the support of all honest men. These charges were, in general terms, incompetency, extravagance, prejudice and corruption, and there is not a county or precinct in the State where they were not proven to be true, to the conviction of the commonest understanding, and to an extent wholly unparalleled in the annals of civilized governments. These proofs were never refuted. They stand uncontroverted, as they were incontrovertible, ineffaceably impressed upon the recorded acts of the Government. Had the battle been permitted to rest upon this issue, you would to-day have been rejoicing in the restoration of peace and good government to this stricken and desolated State.

The wicked leaders of the prejudiced and benighted masses of colored people, who looked to them for guidance with the simple faith of childhood, knew too well where their strength lay not to avert this blessed boon from their deluded followers. True to the principle of ‘rule and ruin’ which has ever actuated them since they came among us, they appealed to that spirit of antagonism which slumbered until they came, and led their victims blinded to the sacrifice. They pretended that we were not in earnest; that our leading men did not support us; that our liberalty of principle and practice was but premeditated treachery—a subtle and deceptive scheme to acquire power; that that power, when acquired, would be used to put them back into slavery; that we were the same people who had held them in bondage for so many generations, and fought four years to rivet their chains, and could never be trusted; they raked the ashes of the past to find the old sores of slavery, opened them afresh, and reveled in the torture they inflicted by the cruel pictures they drew of wrongs which were either never endured or as unexceptional as child-murder in New England. The more fiercely raged the mad passions of the crowd, the greater their efforts to aggravate and infuriate them. They told them every conceivable

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