The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.
you are a pronounced Republican.  I neither ask nor expect you to change your politics.  Knowing you as I do, it would be useless for me to make such a request of you even if I desired to have you make such a change.  All I shall ask of you is that you be not offensively active or boldly aggressive in political matters while you hold a commission from me.  In other words, I want to render you a service without having you compromise your political standing, and without making the slightest change in your party affiliations.  However, recognizing as you must the delicacy of the situation resulting from the position I occupy and the relation that I sustain to the administration, you will, I know, refrain from saying and doing anything that will place me in an embarrassing position before the public and before the administration with which I am identified.  The office to which I refer is that of special agent of public lands.  The salary is fifteen hundred a year and expenses.  The place is worth from two thousand to two thousand five hundred a year.  I shall not send you down South, where you may have some unpleasant and embarrassing experiences, but I will send you out into the Black Hills, where you will not be subjected to the slightest inconvenience and where you will have very little to do, but make your reports and draw your pay.  If you say you will accept the appointment I shall give immediate directions for the commission to be made out and you can take the oath of office within the next twenty-four hours.”

Of course I listened with close attention and with deep interest to what the honorable Secretary said.  When he had finished, I replied in about these words: 

“Mr. Secretary, I fully appreciate the friendly interest you manifest in me, and I also appreciate what you are willing to do for me.  If I have rendered you any services in the past, I can assure you that they were not rendered with the expectation that you would thereby be placed under any obligations to me whatever.  If I preferred you to others in your own party it was because I believed in you the State would have the services of one of its best, most brilliant and most eloquent representatives.  It was the good of the State and the best interests of its people rather than the personal advancement of an individual that actuated me.  The exalted position now occupied by you I consider a confirmation of the wisdom of my decision.  But the fact cannot be overlooked that while you are an able and influential leader in the Democratic party, I am, though not so able nor so influential, a leader,—­locally, if not nationally,—­in the Republican party.  While I can neither hope nor expect to reach that point of honor and distinction in the Republican party that you have reached in the Democratic, I am just as proud of the position I occupy to-day as a Republican, as it is possible for you to be of yours as a Democrat.  Even if it be true, as you predict—­of course

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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