Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/355

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

States on February 5, 1871, "a Federal union of free States." "We have not," he answered. "The senator (Morton) has gone somewhat into the history of the fifteenth amendment, the rightful adoption of which is controverted by his State in the concurrent resolutions passed by the legislature of Indiana." * * * In Kansas, in the election preceding, negro suffrage had been defeated by fifteen thousand majority. In the State of Ohio the majority against negro suffrage was fifty thousand. * * * In the State of Michigan the people refused to give suffrage to the negroes by a majority of thirty-four thousand. * * * The very gentlemen who claim that the ballot is necessary to protect the negro; who attach such immense importance to the ballot; when the ballot has been exercised by their own constituents, adverse to their wishes and party interests, disregard it, as if it were no more than waste paper. * * * The senator from Indiana well says 'it is a political necessity to his party at this crisis.' Again on February 20, he asked, "what sort of power have they built up in the South by purifying the ballot down there?" "You have put in power throughout that Southern country a class of men who have made plunder their business and sole pursuit. Your reconstructed State governments are organized conspiracies against the lives, liberties and property of the people. * * * The rotten edifices of corruption, built up in the South under your laws, were never erected by men who had any idea of purifying the ballot. It was done by men who intended by fraud to destroy the ballot." So spoke this Union soldier, who, in Missouri, was outspoken in opposition to slavery at a time when Lincoln deemed it impolitic to be explicit in Illinois. "An indestructible Union composed of indestructible States!" But how can States which a president and congress can overthrow and reconstruct when and as they please, be "indestructible?" Might not the phrase be paraphrased—"an indestructible Union composed of States whose rights might be perpetuated!" A consummation not unlike the forethought of the Irish agent, who, to build a wall of defence for the landlord's castle, pulled down the castle to provide stones for the wall. In order to secure the black man's rights the white man's must be taken from him. Was the negro, as Jefferson surmised, simply a flail in the hands of enemies of a republic to accomplish results which otherwise