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[79] out fortunes for themselves, were afterwards known by the significant appellation of carpet-baggers. These were the men who controlled the Legislature.

As no property qualification was required for a seat in that body, it was by many regarded as a pleasant and easy way of making money, and it was not long before it was discovered that besides the salaries, which were unprecedentedly large, every member had the means of making an honest penny by the sale of his vote. A new business arose and prospered in Columbia, a sort of political brokerage, by which men contracted with speculators to buy the votes of members when they were interested in the passage of any measure. Here was a corruptible Legislature under the influence of men utterly corrupt. This corruption was barefaced. The corrupt men who governed the Legislature had no sense of decency, no compunction, provided they got what they wanted. In all civilized communities the rights of a minority are secure, even if utterly unrepresented, there is a public opinion which restrains even corruption and checks it in its mad career. In South Carolina there was no public opinion. Society was divided into the conquered whites, who were destined to satisfy the voracious appetites of the carpetbagger, and the needy and ignorant negro, directed by his hungry teachers.

The whites had no rights which they were bound to respect; if they paid the enormous taxes which were levied upon him, the negro was satisfied; he had done all that it was necessary for him to do in the degenerate State.

It was utterly vain to arraign any one on the charge of corruption. The more corrupt a man was supposed to be, the greater was his power with the party. The wretched Whittermore had been expelled from the House of Representatives in Congress for the petty crime of selling a cadetship. This disgraceful petty crime never lost him any of his power. He continued as before to govern the Peedee country, and was, doubtless, the more esteemed because of his cleverness in making a corrupt bargain. So, too, the infamous Leslie, who did not even deign to deny the charges of huge fraud in the land commission swindle, but defied his accusers, threatened to expose their crimes and lodge them in the penitentiary; and he continued to govern and to represent the county of Barnwell as long as he chose.

Not only were charges of corruption unavailing to destroy their power among the ignorant masses, they were impotent to weaken their influence with the leaders. Every one of them accused every

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