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John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.
of the fact that he was confronted with conditions which he had not fully anticipated.  He could then see, as he had never seen before, that he had been brought face to face with a condition and not a theory.  He was thus obliged to make his choice between accepting those conditions upon the one hand, and on the other the empty and temporary honor of serving as an elector on the Blaine Republican ticket.  His convictions, his manhood and his self-respect were on one side; his material interests and family obligations were on the other.  His mental condition during that period can better be imagined than described.  After giving thoughtful consideration and sleepless nights to the matter, he at length decided to yield to the pressure and decline the use of his name.  He informed me of his decision through the medium of a private letter which he said he had written with great reluctance and sincere regret.  The committee thereupon named Dr. Jackson, of Amite County, an old line Republican, to fill the vacancy.

It will thus be seen that in pursuing a course that Mr. Blaine thought would place southern Democrats under obligations to him he placed a weapon in the hands of his own personal and political enemies by which they were enabled to crush and silence his friends and supporters; for after all it is not so much the love of fair play, as it is the fear of punishment, that actuates the average man in obeying the laws and respecting the rights and privileges of others.  Mr. Blaine’s friends and supporters at the South were the very people who stood most in need of that security and protection which can come only through a thorough and impartial enforcement of laws for the protection of citizens in the exercise and enjoyment of their civil and political rights, as well as the enforcement of laws for the protection of life, liberty and property.

Judge H.F.  Simrall, one of the most brilliant lawyers in the State,—­who came into the Republican party under the leadership of General Alcorn in 1869, and who had served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State,—­made an effort to canvass the State for Mr. Blaine, but his former associates, with whom he tried to reason, treated him with such scanty courtesy that he soon became discouraged and abandoned the effort.

There were two factions in the Democratic party, Mr. Lamar being the recognized head of one of them.  His political enemies suspected and some of them accused him of being partial to Mr. Blaine.  To save himself and his friends from humiliation and defeat in his own party it was necessary for him to dispel that suspicion, and disprove those accusations.  With that end in view he made a thorough canvass of the State in the interest of Mr. Cleveland and the Democratic party.  The State was returned for Mr. Cleveland by a large majority, for which Mr. Lamar was in a great measure credited.  Mr. Blaine finally saw his mistake, which he virtually admitted in the speech

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