previous next

[198] Tennant had acted without his knowledge or consent, and that the arms should be again delivered up. It does not appear that he took any steps to execute his promise, and for several days Edgefield was the scene of riot and incendiary outrages. Houses were burned in the dead of night at the peril of the inmates. General M. C. Butler's house was burned, and a party implicated in the crime asserted that he had done it at the instigation of Tennant. Affairs were daily becoming worse and worse; it was discovered that hired laborers were leagued with Tennant against the peace of their employers, whose bread they were eating. These employers did then what common sense dictates—they dismissed such traitors from their service—and this ordinary act of self-preservation was treated as a crime, and a proposition seriously made by Elliott to punish it. An attempt was made to arrest Tennant for burning Butler's house, but he refused to be arrested, and fired upon the posse which was sent to arrest him. The Governor, instead of going himself to the scene of disorder, sent one of his henchmen—one General Dennis—to preserve the peace. Tennant retired to the swamp, and Dennis retired to his superior, defeated and disappointed. The eccentric Judge Mackey was now sent as a peacemaker. General Butler was arrested on a charge by Tennant that his life was threatened by him, but the charge was not sustained. A sort of peace was trumped up by Mackey, how, we do not know. In his report he denounced the government of Edgefield as the most infamous to which any English speaking people had ever been subjected, and denounced the militia as perverted to the worst uses; if a negro, he says, quarrel with a white man the militia is called out to settle the quarrel; he therefore recommended that the Edgefield militia be disbanded and their arms called in.

Meanwhile the Legislature assembled again and the Edgefield troubles were immediately brought up by Elliott, who denounced in the bitterest terms those farmers who had dismissed their servants who were plotting against them. A bill was introduced to lay a special tax upon Edgefield for the support of those turbulent rioters who had been dismissed from service. The enormity of this bill did not operate against its passage, but Elliott discovered that it could never be enforced, and it was tabled with his consent.

The events of the year 1875 which showed the progress of corruption were chiefly of a financial character, and the detail of them would be long and tedious, and which I am willing to confess I know too little about to undertake to give. One was the failure of Hardy

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Edgefield, S. C. (South Carolina, United States) (3)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Tennant (6)
R. K. Elliott (3)
Mackey (2)
A. T. Dennis (2)
M. C. Butler (2)
G. D. Hardy (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1875 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: