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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.
office in such a creditable and satisfactory manner that he was elected in 1871 Sheriff and Tax Collector of that important and wealthy county, the most responsible and lucrative office in the gift of the people of the county.  He was holding that office when elected to the United States Senate.  Senator Alcorn felt, therefore, that in taking sides against him and in favor of Ames in 1873 Mr. Bruce was guilty of gross ingratitude.  This accounted for his action in refusing to escort Mr. Bruce to the President’s desk to be sworn in as Senator.  In this belief, however, he did Mr. Bruce a grave injustice, for I know that gratitude was one of Mr. Brace’s principal characteristics.  If Senator Alcorn had been a candidate from the start for the Republican nomination for Governor, Mr. Bruce, I am sure, would have supported him even as against Senator Ames.  But it was known that the Senator had no ambition to be Governor.  His sole purpose was to defeat Senator Ames at any cost, and that, too, on account of matters that were purely personal and that had no connection with party or political affairs.  Mr. Bruce, like very many other friends and admirers of the Senator, simply refused to follow him in open rebellion against his own party.  I am satisfied, however, that Mr. Bruce’s race identity did not influence the action of Senator Alcorn in the slightest degree.  As further evidence of that fact, his position and action in the Pinchback case may be mentioned.  He spoke and voted for the admission of Mr. Pinchback to a seat in the Senate when such a staunch Republican as Senator Edmunds, of Vermont, opposed and voted against admission.  In spite of Senator Alcorn’s political defeat and humiliation in his own State, he remained true and loyal to the National Republican party to the end of his Senatorial term, which terminated with the beginning of the Hayes Administration.  Up to that time he had strong hopes of the future of the Republican party at the South.

CHAPTER VIII

Improved financial condition of Mississippi under the Ames administration

The administrations of Governor Alcorn and of Governor Ames, the two Republican Governors, who were products of Reconstruction,—­both having been elected chiefly by the votes of colored men,—­were among the best with which that State was ever blessed, the generally accepted impression to the contrary notwithstanding.  In 1869 Alcorn was elected to serve for a term of four years.  Ames was elected to serve the succeeding term.  Alcorn was one of the old citizens of the State, and was therefore thoroughly identified with its business, industrial, and social interests.  He had been one of the large and wealthy landowners and slave-owners, and therefore belonged to that small but select and influential class known as Southern aristocrats.

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