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.

The National Committee prepares the roll of the delegates to the Convention, and, in doing so, it decides primarily every contested seat.  If the contests thus decided should give any one candidate a majority, that majority will be sure to retain the advantage thus secured.  It will thus be seen that if any change is necessary this is the place where it should first be made.  It occurs to me that instead of changing the basis of representation the most effective remedy for the evils now complained of is to have the delegates to National Conventions elected at popular primaries, instead of by State and district conventions.



It was upon the territory which now comprises the States of Kansas and Nebraska that the preliminary battles in the interest of freedom were successfully fought.  This is especially true of that part of the territory which now comprises the State of Kansas.  But not only for that reason has that State occupied a prominent place before the public; other events of national importance have had their birth there.  It was Kansas that furnished one of the Republican United State Senators who voted against the conviction, of Andrew Johnson,—­who had been impeached by the House of Representatives for high crimes and misdemeanors in office,—­and thus secured the President’s acquittal.  That State also furnished one of the most remarkable men that ever occupied a seat in the United States Senate, John J. Ingalls.

I distinctly remember him as an able and brilliant young Senator when,—­in 1875, under the leadership of Senator George F. Edmunds, of Vermont,—­he took a prominent part in the successful fight that was made in that body to secure the passage of the Sumner Civil Rights Bill.  It was this fight that demonstrated his fitness for the position he subsequently occupied as one of the distinguished leaders on the Republican side of the Senate.  He was a natural born orator, having a wonderful command of the English language; and, while he was somewhat superficial and not always logical, he never failed to be interesting, though he was seldom instructive.  For severe satire and irony he had few equals and no superiors.  It was on this account that no Senator was anxious to get into a controversy with him.  But for two unfortunate events in the career of John J. Ingalls he would have filled a much more important position in the history of his country than it is now possible for the impartial historian to give him.

Kansas, unfortunately, proved to be a fertile field for the growth and development of that ephemeral organization known as the Populist party,—­a party that had secured a majority in the Legislature that was to elect the successor to Mr. Ingalls.  The Senator evidently had great confidence in his own oratorical ability.  He appeared to have conceived the idea that it was possible for him to make a speech on the

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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