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[67] respected. On the night of the 27th the troops took possession of the State House, and it was evident that the morrow was to be a day of unusual excitement. On the morning of the 28th some gentlemen, strangers as well as members, visited the State House, but were refused entrance by the soldiers on guard. It was now certain that difficulties would be experienced by those members who had not been favored by the Board of Canvassers. At twelve o'clock the whole body of Democratic members, sixty-four in number, went to the State House, led by the Edgefield delegation, at the head of whom was Mr. Shepherd. At the door of entrance some demur was made to their admission, but it was not persisted in, and they reached the lobby. At the door of the Representative Hall they found a corporal with a guard of soldiers, acting under instructions from Chamberlain, conveyed by his agents, who stood by the corporal. He called for their credentials, and by their voices determined who had a right to sit in that house.

And in the name of God, who were these judges who thus presumed to determine who were the representatives of the people of South Carolina? First and foremost was a man named Dennis. He might have been a general, he certainly sported that title; a Massachusetts man, some said a kinsman of Chamberlain, and certainly his henchman. His most famous exploit was the furnishing the State House at the enormous expense of $90,000, of which sum he took at least half as his commissions. There was also one Jones, a mulatto from the North, who had been the clerk of the House of Representatives, and who, with the clerk of the Senate formed a partnership under the firm of the Republican Printing Company. The clerks of the two Houses made contracts for printing with this company, that is, with themselves, and in a very short time they were confessedly among the rich men of Charleston, and lived in houses which were the admiration of all beholders. E. W. M. Mackey occasionally assisted in this unholy work, but the consummation of the crime called away the last two, and Dennis remained sole arbiter of the composition of the House of Representatives.

When it was ascertained that those gentlemen who had no credentials from the Secretary of State would not be admitted, the whole body of Democrats refused to enter and withdrew. On the steps of the State House Shepherd read to the indignant multitude a solemn protest against this intrusion of military force in the organization of the Legislature. The immense crowd, wrought to frenzy at this highhanded act of usurpation, might have overpowered the troops

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