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[181] His administration was only a continuation of that of his predecessor, with, perhaps, even less regard for decency. He ran a mad career, and was last heard of in the Criminal Court of New York, where the former Governor of South Carolina figured as a petty swindler.

We have introduced the history of the first two administrations only to serve as an introduction to that of Chamberlain, who was the last, the most plausible and the best cultured, and the most dangerous of all. But here a difficulty meets us. A full and true narrative of those two years would require a volume of no less bulk than a whole year's publication of this magazine; a naked statement of the facts which distinguished this period would be flat and tedious. It is one thing to say that atrocious deeds were done; it is another thing to enter into the details of these atrocities. Without these last one cannot form a vivid conception of the infernal life which the white people of South Carolina led during that eventful period. Even during the war, when tidings were full of disasters and of the deaths of our brave soldiers, our minds were not so depressed as they were during a large part of the Reconstruction era. Then indeed we had the comfort of hope and the consciousness of manliness exercised in a cause dear to us; but now hope was almost gone from us, and we could show no manliness except in the fortitude with which we endured our humiliation. The country was against us and regarded with an evil eye all that we did, with a perverse understanding all that we said. The President was a fiery partisan against us, listened to no counsels except those of our enemies. Our officers were not ours, but those of our negroes; one of the Governors had said that Winchester rifles in the hands of the negroes was the best means of securing peace in South Carolina, and the other was a renegade, with as much of the bitterness of the renegade as a man so steeped in licentious debauchery could feel. We now had a new man; for a long time we did not know how to regard him. A very few months before the election which defeated him was held, he was favorably regarded as our candidate for the next election. When at last he discovered that he had utterly lost our confidence, he threw off the mask and showed himself what he really was, a monster of deceit, of malignity, and of imbecility. In attempting to give the history of his administration, we shall not condense; we will omit many scenes which may well be recorded, but we shall select those which were conspicuous, and spare no details to paint them in their hideous and disgusting colors.

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