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[70] came, and Mackey put a chair by the side of the Speaker and called his party to order. It was now a contest, the issue of which seemed to depend upon the powers of endurance of the parties.

Neither would yield, neither would, by adjourning, leave the field open to the other. In this game the true house had some advantages. They were all white; they had means of their own on which they could subsist, and the people of Columbia were ready to supply all their wants. But this contest was soon brought to an end. General Ruger informed General Hampton that the Edgefield and Laurens' delegation would not be permitted to remain in the State House after midday of December 2d. This was a flat contradiction of his declaration of the true intent and meaning of his orders, and General Hampton wrote him such a reply as an indignant gentleman might write to one who had deliberately told him the thing that was not. Dispatches were instantly sent to Washington to make a statement of the case, with what effect we know not, but certainly the obnoxious gentlemen were not removed at the time indicated. On the night of the 3d a large number of negroes were sent to the State House, constituting what was called a constabulary force, and the next day Mackey informed Wallace that at 2 P. M. the constabulary force, aided by the United States troops, would proceed to clear the Hall of obnoxious persons.

This was, doubtless, a trap for the purpose of forcing a collision, which would give the troops a pretext for more active interference, since it was more than probable, judging from the temper of the men, that if one of these negro constables should lay his hands on any of the men, his life would be the penalty of his temerity. Whether the troops would take a hand was uncertain, but the appearance at the door of officers who bore no good will to the cause of the Democrats, was ominous of evil. Determined, therefore, to offer moderation to violence, and not to do that which their adversaries wished them to do, Wallace and the House left the Hall and returned to that in which they had originally organized.

The next day the mock-house counted the votes for Governor, and by striking out the votes of Edgefield and Laurens made a majority for Chamberlain, and on the 7th he was inaugurated. It was a sad ceremony. The Hall of the House of Representatives, in which it was performed, was closed to all except to members of the two Houses and a few invited guests. As no judge of the Supreme Court would administer the oath, it was done by the probate judge. And meanwhile the House received a blow from which it could not

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