The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.

CHAPTER III

THE REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION OF 1869

Although it was not charged nor even intimated that my acceptance of the office of Justice of the Peace was the result of bad faith on my part, still the appointment resulted in the creation for the time being of two factions in the Republican party in the county.  One was known as the Lynch faction, the other as the Jacobs faction.

When the Constitution was submitted to a popular vote in November, 1869, it was provided that officers should be elected at the same time to all offices created by the Constitution and that they, including members of the Legislature, were to be chosen by popular vote.  The county of Adams (Natchez) was entitled to one member of the State Senate and three members of the House of Representatives.  Jacobs was a candidate for the Republican nomination for State Senator.  The Lynch faction, however, refused to support him for that position although it had no objection to his nomination for member of the House.  Since Jacobs persisted in his candidacy for State Senator the Lynch faction brought out an opposing candidate in the person of a Baptist minister by the name of J.M.P.  Williams.  The contest between the two Republican candidates was interesting and exciting, though not bitter, and turned out to be very close.

The convention was to be composed of thirty-three delegates, seventeen being necessary to nominate.  The result at the primary election of delegates to the convention was so close that it was impossible to tell which one had a majority, since there were several delegates,—­about whose attitude and preference there had been some doubt,—­who refused to commit themselves either way.  In the organization of the convention the Williams men gained the first advantage, one of their number having been made permanent chairman.  But this was not important since there were no contests for seats, consequently the presiding officer would have no occasion to render a decision that could have any bearing upon the composition of the body over which he presided.

Both sides agreed that the nomination for State Senator should be made first and that the vote should be by ballot, the ballots to be received and counted by two tellers, one to be selected by each faction.  When the result of the first ballot was announced, Jacobs had sixteen votes, Williams, sixteen, and a third man had one.  Several ballots were taken with the same result, when, with the consent of both sides, a recess was taken until 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  The one delegate that refused to vote for either Jacobs or Williams made no effort to conceal his identity.  To the contrary, he was outspoken in his determination and decision that he would not at any time or under any circumstances vote for either.  Strange to say, this man was also a colored Baptist preacher, the Rev. Noah Buchanan, from the Washington district.  Members of both

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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