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Chapter 15:

  • General Logan returned to the Senate
  • -- striking victory after exciting campaign -- reception given to us by the legislature and citizens of Springfield -- membership of the Senate in 1879 -- the presidential campaign -- numerous candidates -- attack of Lowe, of Alabama, on General Logan -- his subsequent apology -- return of General Grant from his world-tour -- receptions at Galena and Chicago -- banquet of the Army of the Tennessee -- Grant a candidate for President -- opposition of Blaine and others -- the Fitz -- John Porter case and General Logan's part in it -- the Illinois convention of 1880 controlled by Logan -- Garfield's nomination at Chicago -- General Logan's loyal work in the following campaign.

When we arrived home we found that General Logan's friends had been very busy in the matter of securing the members of the legislature who were favorable to his return to the United States Senate. We found also that the many letters which we had written from Washington in reply to inquiries from General Logan's friends as to what he would do had been most effective. At the November election, although it was an off year (meaning that it was not a Presidential-election year), the Republican party won many victories, and changed the complexion of Illinois politics completely. There was no longer any doubt as to which party would control the legislature when it should meet in January, 1879, or who would succeed Senator Oglesby, whose time was to expire March 4, 1879. Oglesby was a candidate himself, but from written pledges sent to General Logan and his friends it was well known that General Logan had a majority of the legislature. [372]

Although feeling confident of success, General Logan insisted that I should accompany him to Springfield, as he was loath to go into any contest unless I was near him. It was evident that there would be no such scenes as were enacted in the legislature of 1876-7, and that the “Reformers” had had their day, and had been retired to private life. The Republican and Democratic parties would have straight nominees for the senatorship; there would be no more mongrels with which to contend.

The legislature met January 1, and it was refreshing to us to be so cordially received when we arrived in Springfield, on January 4, accompanied by Doctor C. A. Logan, late American minister to Chile, and to be made to feel that there was a unanimous desire for General Logan's re-election. We were soon ensconced in the same old rooms in the Leland Hotel which we had occupied at the time of General Logan's first election to the Senate, and though we missed so many of the dear friends who were there at that time to lend their aid to the general's first election, we found their places had been taken by others who were equally enthusiastic and energetic in their daily efforts in my husband's behalf.

The legislature being strongly Republican, it was not long in organizing and settling down to business, the most important object being the election of the United States senator. The caucuses of both parties were held soon after the organization, and nominations were made for the officers of House and Senate. Naturally, General Logan had opposition, as, of course, it was impossible for any man to please everybody. The Chicago Tribune and Times fought him as usual. The Times because it was a Democratic paper, and the Tribune on the ground of free trade. Upright, patriotic men all over the State had arisen en masse to put down the men who had created so much trouble in the legislature in 1877. Senator David Davis was most enthusiastic in his support of General Logan, though he had himself been elected by a combination of the [373] disgruntled elements of both parties, each claiming him as their own. It was soon discovered that it would be impossible for any malcontent to cause a postponement of the holding of the caucuses, the action of which was equivalent to an election in those days.

My observation has been that the old-fashioned conventions and caucuses were purer methods than the latter-day primaries and indifference to the mandates of a convention. If a man went into a convention and voted for a candidate, he regarded it as a pledge to support his candidate, and it was a rare thing for any man to take the chances of jeopardizing the confidence of his party and his friends by bolting a caucus or convention in which he had participated. It is impossible to account for the change in political affairs at the present day on any other theory than that the foreign elements that have crept into the party organizations are so impregnated with socialism and the various theories of socialists and anarchists that they wish to destroy rather than to build up.

The caucus for electing the officers of the legislature was held on January 7. There being little rivalry for the vice-presidency of the senate and the speakership of the house and subordinate offices, it passed off very harmoniously. Soon afterward it was agreed to hold, on January 17, the Republican caucus for nominating the United States senator.

When the time arrived there was not an absentee among those entitled to be present at the Republican caucus, which included every Republican member of the House and Senate, and there were but few who were disposed to disturb the harmony of the caucus. When the vote was taken it was as follows: total for General Logan-eighty; for General Oglesby-twenty-six. A legislature composed of more honorable men never met in the State of Illinois. Both candidates stood high in the estimation of the people of the State, but the majority were sure that General Logan could render the greater services to his State and country. [374]

There were in Chicago at that time several aspirants for the Senate whose only foundation for such ambition was the fact that they had money, which had been inherited or made by devotion to private business, when men like Logan and Oglesby were serving their country in the field or forum. These men were unknown outside of the city and had nothing in common with the people. It was easy enough for them to promote the election to the legislature of impecunious men who, if they could do nothing else, could at least cause dissension in the party, and who had in the past aided in bringing about the defeat of the Republican party. They had done this, although they represented only the men who had caused their election for the purpose of promoting the aggrandizement of ambitions with no foundation except that of a financial nature. Mr. C. B. Farwell and E. B. Washburne, of the Republican party, and Lambert Tree and Franklin MacVeagh, of the Democratic party, were candidates from Chicago, while Hon. William R. Morrison and General John C. Black were candidates from the central and southern part of the State. General Logan, having had such an overwhelming majority of the party which controlled the legislature, was made United States senator as soon as all the forms prescribed by the Constitution were complied with. Mr. Frank Riddle and one or two others, without being able to give any legitimate excuse for their action, violently opposed General Logan's election while it was possible for them to make any trouble. When it became apparent that General Logan had such a large majority they were silenced and concluded that they would vote for him. It was always said that, having complied with the instructions of men whose creatures they were, they did not wish to be read out of the Republican party, so they came in and voted for General Logan at the last.

Everybody was so rejoiced over General Logan's election that a magnificent reception was tendered to us by the legislature and the citizens of Springfield, at the Leland Hotel, [375] where we were stopping. At this reception I was assisted by Mrs. T. B. Needles, wife of Senator Needles; Mrs. James Shaw, wife of Speaker Shaw; Mrs. Joslyn, wife of Senator Joslyn; Mrs. White, wife of Senator White; Mrs. D. N. Bash, wife of Senator Bash; and Mrs. J. A. Connelly, wife of Major J. A. Connelly. A pleasant feature of this reception was the presentation to

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