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[64] return them to the court. The report on this order showed that sixty-four Democrats and sixty Radicals had been elected to the House of Representatives. The court then issued a mandamus directing the report to be certified and sent to the Secretary of State. This mandamus never reached the board. After making their last return they went into secret session, decided that the elections in Edgefield and Laurens were void in consequence of the intimidation of voters in those counties. Certificates of election were withheld from those who had been elected in those counties, and thus securing to the Radicals a majority in the House of Representatives, they adjourned forever.

Great and just was the indignation of the court when this sharp practice was reported. The whole board was declared in contempt, a fine of one thousand five hundred dollars imposed on each of them, and they were committed to jail during the pleasure of the court. Fortunately they had made a return of the election to the court, and the clerk was directed to give certificates under the seal of the court to the members elected for Edgefield and Laurens.

But the Radical party have always found in the judiciary of the United States a judge who will be a convenient instrument in the game of rascality, and one was already in Columbia ready and willing to serve them. The session of the Circuit Court was at hand, and Judge Bond had reached Columbia fully a week before the time. His presence boded no good, and it was not long before the worst fears of the people were realized. A motion for the release of the imprisoned canvassers was brought before him and he granted it. On what ground he undertook to interfere with the Supreme Court I know not. He gave no reasons at the time, but promised to give them subsequently. If he ever did, the interest in the matter had died away and nobody cared to know how he could justify this unwarrantable blow at the independence of the State court. The judge had a duty to discharge to the party which had put him in power and he paid the debt. He would have had a more fragrant reputation had he been less true to the behests of his party.

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