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[84] to come from persons who represented the President, advising him for the sake of peace and the good of his country to yield his right to the office of Governor. Chamberlain replied that the communication embarrassed him beyond endurance. He had hoped for active interference in his favor, and was advised to surrender his rights. In this whole matter he was acting, not for himself, but for others, and he could assume no responsibility. And it was well for us that it was so; that he would make no terms. The government at Washington and the better class of Republicans at the North, had conceived a lofty opinion of this man. They regarded him as a genuine Reformer and hailed him as the great leader whose mission it was to reconcile the conflicting races in the State, and lead them both to a higher plane of civilization. So deeply had his utterances impressed the Northern mind, that, when Hampton was nominated, the Nation, one of the leading Republican papers at the North, declared that the nomination was the mad act of a people constitutionally inclined to mischief; and now that his fall was certain it was sought to break it and soothe his disappointment by concessions and compromises. They did not know that compromise with such a man would have been a surrender of all that we had gained, and very fortunate was it for the State that Chamberlain himself rejected it.

Though only six weeks elapsed between the ascension of Hayes and the final collapse of Chamberlain, it is not easy to imagine the excitement which prevailed among us at what seemed an unnecessary delay. We were sure of having the fruits of victory, but the government in Washington was in no hurry to gratify us. It was now upwards of four months since the inauguration of Hampton, and yet, owing to the hesitation of the President, the people could not feel that they were free from the thraldom of military despotism, and they murmured at the unaccountable delay. Was the President afraid to leave Chamberlain a helpless victim in the hands of the Democratic party? It may well have been so. The Republicans had industriously taught the people of the North that South Carolinians are constitutionally inclined to mischief, and it might be that the teachers believed the lessons which they had so industriously circulated. At length, after some toying and coquetting with the subject, the President, on the 23d March, invited both Hampton and Chamberlain to visit him in Washington. The Governor accepted the invitation. But he took care to give the President notice that he had no favors to ask, no compromises to offer or accept; that he did


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