The President replied: “You have given good and sufficient reasons for a change. Leave with me the name of the man you desire to have appointed, and his name will be sent to the Senate as soon as Congress meets.” I cordially thanked the President, and assured him that he would have no occasion to regret making the change. In explanation of his Civil Service order the President remarked that quite a number of office-holders had seemed to misunderstand it, although it was plainly worded, and, as he thought, not difficult to understand. There had never been any serious complaints growing out of active participation in political campaigns on the part of office-holders, and that it was not, and never had been, the purpose of the administration, by executive order or otherwise, to limit or restrict any American citizen in the discharge of his duties as a citizen, simply because he happened to be an office-holder, provided that in so doing he did not neglect his official duties. There had, however, been serious complaints from many parts of the country about the use and abuse of Federal patronage in efforts to manipulate party conventions, and to dictate and control party nominations. To destroy this evil was the primary purpose of the civil service order referred to.
I told the President that his explanation of the order was in harmony with my own construction and interpretation of it. That is why I made the recommendation for a change in the postmastership at Summit. The change was promptly made. I then informed the President that there was another matter about which I desired to have a short talk with him, that was the recent election in Mississippi. After calling his attention to the sanguinary struggle through which we had passed, and the great disadvantages under which we labored, I reminded him of the fact that the Governor, when he saw that he could not put down without the assistance of the National Administration what was practically an insurrection against the State Government, made application for assistance in the manner and form prescribed by the Constitution, with the confident belief that it would be forthcoming. But in this we were, for some reason, seriously disappointed and sadly surprised. The reason for this action, or rather non-action, was still an unexplained mystery to us. For my own satisfaction and information I should be pleased to have the President enlighten me on the subject.
The President said that he was glad I had asked him the question, and that he would take pleasure in giving me a frank reply. He said he had sent Governor Ames’ requisition to the War Department with his approval and with instructions to have the necessary assistance furnished without delay. He had also given instructions to the Attorney-General to use the marshals and the machinery of the Federal judiciary as far as possible in cooeperation with the War Department in an effort to maintain order and to bring about