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Old Time Notes 
of Pennsylvania 

A Connected and Chronological Record of the 
Commercial, Industrial and Educational Ad- 
vancement of Pennsylvania, and the Inner 
History of all Political Movements since the 
adoption of the Constitution of 1838 


A. K. McClure. LL.D. 

Illustrated with Fartraite of over one hundred 
distinguished men of Pennsylvania, including 
all the Governors, Senatois, Judges of the 
Courts of to-day, leading Statesmen, Railroad 
Presidents, Business Men and others of note. 


Library Edition 



vi Contents 

LVII. — CuRTiN Re-elected Governor. 


Justice George W. Woodward Nominated for Governor by the Demo- 
crats When Lee Was Approaching Gettysburg — From the Demo- 
cratic Standpoint He Was Their Strongest Candidate — The 
Union Victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg Decided the Con- 
test of 1863 — Chairman MacVeagh's Adroit Handling of the 
Soldier Element — Soberness of Political Discussion in 1863 — 
Woodward Defeated and Curtin Re-elected — Woodward's Dis- 
tinguished Career 5J 

LVIII. — The Great Conscription Battle. 

The Complete Story of the Efforts Made to Declare the National 
Conscription Act Unconstitutional by a State Court — Volunteer- 
ing Had Ceased and Conscription Was the Only Hope of Filling 
the Union Armies — Proceedings Instituted at Nisi Prius Before 
Judge Woodward, Who Summoned the Entire Court to Hear and 
Decide the Important Question — After Exhaustive Argument 
Decision Delayed Until After the Election — The Court, by Three 
to Two, Declared the Act Unconstitutional — Chief Justice Lowrie 
Was Defeated by Justice Agnew — On Final Hearing Justice 
Agncw, Successor to Chief Justice Lowrie, Reversed Preliminary 
Hearing and Declared the Conscription Act Constitutional 64 

LIX. — Lee's Invasion a Necessity. 

Hooker's Brilliant Strategy in Crossing the Rappahannock to Meet 
Lee When Hesitation Lost Him the Battle — The Story of 
Hooker's Wounds — Great Depression Among the Loyal People 
of the North — The Blunder of the Confederacy — The Northern 
Invasion Was Enforced with a Hope of Winning a Decisive Vic- 
tory over the Union Army, and Securing the Recognition of Eng- 
land and France 74 

LX. — Maneuvering for the Battle. 

Hooker's Suggestions Rejected by Lincoln — Hooker's Strategy De- 
feated Lee's Movement to Cross the Potomac near Washington 
— Meade Suddenly Called to Command — Large Emergency Force 
Called to the Field — Severe Discipline of Lee's Army — Jenk- 

Contents vii 


ins*s Raid into Chambersburg — Ewell's Requisition for Supplies 
Including Sauerkraut in Midsummer — Lee's Headquarters at 
Shetter's Grove 85 

LXI. — Lee Defeated at Gettysburg. 

General Lee and His Leading Lieutenants in Chambersburg — Per- 
sonal Description of General Lee — Why Lee Moved to Gettys- 
burg — Remarkable Feats of Volunteer Scouts — Stephen W. 
Pomcroy Gave the First Word of Lee's Movement to Gettysburg 

— A Week of Appalling Anxiety at Harrisburg and Through- 
out the State — Lee's Retreat from Franklin County — Intense 
Passions That Denied Burial to a Confederate Soldier 96 

LXII. — Pennsylvania's Lustrous Record. 

The Declaration of Independence Proclaimed in Pennsylvania — 
Washington Assigned to the Command of the Army — The Con- 
stitution Framed in Carpenter's Hall with Washington Presiding 

— Gettysburg, the Decisive Battle of the War, Fought in the 
State — General Meade of Pennsylvania the Victor — Reynolds 
Killed and Hancock Seriously Wounded — Gregg, Another Penn- 
sylvanian. Fought and Won the Great Cavalry Battle of the War 

— How Gettysburg Was Made the Battle Ground — Why Meade 
Did Not Pursue Lee — Lincoln Was Disappointed 108 

LXIIL — The Senate Deadlock in 1864. 

General Harry White, a Republican Senator, in Libby Prison, Leav- 
ing the Senate with Sixteen Democrats and Sixteen Republicans 
— ^All Offers for White's Exchange Refused by the Confederate 
Government — Speaker Penny Retained the Chair — The Demo- 
cratic Senators Refused Him Recognition — General White's 
Father Delivers the Senator's Resignation to the Governor — Dr. 
St Clair Elected at a Special Election Restoring the Republicans 
to Authority — The Movement to Care for the Soldiers' Orphans 

— Curtin's Extraordinary Efforts to Give it Success — Violent 
Partisan Legislation Governing Elections in the Field — Jerrie 
McKibben, One of Curtin's Commissioners, Imprisoned by Stanton 

— The Story of His Release 120 

viii Contents 

LXIV. — How Lincoln Nominated Johnson. 


The Inner Story of the Sagacious Political Movements Which Nom- 
inated Andrew Jackson for Vice-President over Hamlin — How 
Lincoln Managed to Unite Pennsylvania for Johnson without His 
Movements Being Known — Cameron First in Lincoln's Con- 
fidence to Start the Johnson Movement — A Shade of Distrust 
Between Lincoln and Cameron — Why Lincoln Forced the Author 
to Become a Delcgate-at-Large to the National Convention — 
How Cameron and the Author were Elected without a Contest 
— The Delegation Finally United on Johnson 133 

LXV. — Lincoln Re-elected President. 

Pennsylvania Republicans Heartily United in Support of Lincoln — 
Cameron Made Chairman of the State Committee — Severe Re- 
publican Depression During the Summer of 1864 Because of the 
Failure to Achieve Victory in the Field — Lincoln Predicts His 
Own Defeat on the Twenty-third of August in a Note Sealed and 
Delivered to Secretary Welles — Pennsylvania Faltered in Her 
Republicanism at the October Election — The Author Called to 
Co-operate with Cameron in the November Battle — How Penn- 
sylvania Was Made to Vote for Lincoln on the Home Vote 146 

LXVI. — The Burning of Chambersburg. 

Chambersburg Destroyed by the Brutal Vandalism of Hunter in the 
Lynchburg Campaign — Its Destruction Made Possible by Hunter's 
Military Incompetency — Reports of McCausland's Movement 
from Mercersburg to Chambersburg — The Vandalism of Many 
Intoxicated Confederates While the Town Was Burning — A 
Heroic Woman Saves One of the Author's Houses and 
Bam — Chambersburg Could Have Been Fully Protected by the 
State Force Organized by Governor Curtin, but It Was Sent to 
the Potomac to Save Hunter 158 

LXVII. — The Border War Claims. 

James McDowell Sharpe and the Author Elected to the House to 
Secure Appropriation for the Desolated Town — How William 

Contents ix 


H. Kemble Became State Treasurer — Debate on the Amendment 
to the Constitution Abolishing Slavery Forced Sharpe and the 
Author to Participate — Sharpens Admirable Speech — Why the 
Relief Bill Failed — How the Appropriation of Half a Million 
Dollars Was Passed a Year Later 170 

LXVIIL — ^The Political Struggle of 1865. 

Chambersburg's Midnight Jubilee over the Surrender of Lee — The 
Long Strained Border People Had Peace at Last — Peculiar Polit- 
ical Conditions — How Cameron Lost His Candidate for Auditor 
General by His Struggle to Obtain Control of the Party Organiza- 
tion — Senator Heistand Defeated When He Expected a Unan^ 
imous Nomination — Hartranft Suddenly Forced to the Front — 
The Organization for Chairmanship of the Republican State Com- 
mittee Taken from the President of the Convention by Resolution 
of Stevens — A Sluggish Battle Resulting in the Success of the 
Republican Ticket 181 

LXIX. — Geary Nominated for Governor. 

Cameron's First Complete Control of the Republican Organization of 
the State — Geary Bitterly Opposed by Prominent Republicans 
Because He Had Been Willing to Accept the Democratic Nomina- 
tion — Quay and Tom Marshall Among the Foremost Belligerents 
— Geary Visits the Author After His Nomination — All Personal 
and Factional Interests Forgotten to Elect Geary to Rebuke 
President Johnson's Apostacy — Clymer, the Democratic Candi- 
date, Made a Gallant Struggle and Fell in the Race — Interesting 
Sequel to Geary's Pledges to the Author 192 

LXX. — Cameron-Curtin Senatorial Battle. 

A Majority of Republican Senators and Representatives Pledged or 
Instructed for Curtin — Cameron Adroitly Combined the Can- 
didates to Defeat Quay, Curtin's Candidate for Speaker — Stevens, 
Moorehead, Grow and Forney in the Field with Cameron — 
Governor Geary Aggressively for Cameron — Cameron Finally 
Controlled the Majority — Quay, After a Conference with the 
Younger Cameron and Curtin, Decided to Move the Unanimous 
Nomination of Cameron After He Attained a Majority — Quay's 
First Step Toward Affiliation with the Camerons — Republicans 
Lose the State in 1867 203 

xii Contents 


Interposition of President Grant Led to the Author's Final Ac- 
ceptance of the Candidacy — Colonel Scott Dined with President 
Grant and Cameron and Urged to Force the Author to Retire 
from the Contest — A Tempestuous Political Struggle of Ten 
Days — Nineteenth Ward Rounders Decide That the McQure 
Meeting Should Not Be Held — How They Were Finally Per- 
suaded to Peace 290 

LXXIX. — The Contested Senatorial Election of 1872. 

The Author Returned as Defeated by 891 Majority — Protracted 
Struggle to Get a Petition for Contest before the Senate — Inter- 
esting Incidents of the Struggle — A Special Law Enacted to Try 
the Case — Plan of Leaders to Draw a Set-up Committee — 
Clerk Hammersley Refuses to Do It, and Informs the Author — 
A Democratic Committee Obtained — Appalling Fraud Developed 
in the Trial of the Contest — Jail Birds Hired to Swear Falsely 
That They Had Repeated for McClure — Colonel Gray Acquits 
Himself of the Frauds 302 

LXXX. — Grand Jurors Protect Ballot Thieves. 

Interesting Story of the Failure to Bring to Trial Parties Guilty of 
Open and Violent Frauds — District Attorney Mann's Honest 
Effort to Convict Two of the Guilty Parties — Two Grand Juries 
Set Up to Ignore All Bills — The Prosecution Delayed for One 
Term Hoping to Get a Better Jury — The Next Jury Worse Than 
the Last, and the Author Forced the Prosecutions, Knowing That 
the Bills Would be Ignored — The Testimony Taken before the 
Magistrate That Had Been Given to the Grand Jury Presented to 
the Court — Court Remands the Bill Back to the Grand Jury — 
The Bills Held Until the Last Day and Then Again Ignored — 
Henry C. Lea Renewed the Prosecution, and the Next Grand Jury 
Ignored the Bill and Made Him Pay the Cost — Struggle in the 
Senate for a Better Election Law — The Party Leaders Decided 
to Have No Discussion in the Senate, and the Author's Bill 
Passed Unanimously — How Senator White Was Brought to 
Renew the Battle, and How the New Election Law Was Finally 
Enacted 31S 

Contents xiii 

LXXXI. — ^The Grant-Greeley Contest. 


Grant's Special Efforts to Harmonize the Curtin Elements in Penn- 
sylvania — The Author Twice Urged to Visit Grant with a View 
of Harmonizing the Party on a New Cabinet Appointment — 
Organization of the Liberal Republican Movement in the State 

— The Author Chairman of the State Committee, and of the 
Delegation to the Cincinnati Convention — Greeley's Visit to 
Philadelphia to Secure the Support of the Delegation for Presi- 
dent — Final Agreement on Davis for President with Greeley 
for Vice-President — The Brief Greeley Tidal Wave — Business 
Interests Aroused and Suddenly Halted It — The Sad End of the 
Life of the Great Philanthropist 327 

LXXXII. — Democrats Nominate Curtin. 

Peculiar Political Complications in the Contest of 1872 — The Evans 
Scandal — Some $300,000 Awarded a Qerk for Collecting Govern- 
ment Qaims — Investigation Moved in the Senate — How It 
Ended — Hartranft and Buckalew Nominated for Governor by 
Their Respective Parties — Curtin Nominated by the Liberal Re- 
publicans for the Constitutional Convention — Governor Bigler 
Retired from Democratic Ticket, and Curtin Taken in His Place 

— State Contest Unusually Desperate — Leaders Would Have 
Withdrawn Hartranft But for the Younger Cameron — Geary 
Forced to Grant Pardon to Yerkes and Marcer — Attempt of 
the Roosters to Make Cameron Pay for His Re-election — How 
the Governor's Salary Was Increased from $5,000 to $10,000 340 

LXXXIII. — ^The Constitution of 1874 Adopted. 

Desperate Efforts Made to Defeat Its Approval by the People — 
Mayor Stokley Halts a Stupendous Fraud in Philadelphia When 
It Was Found to be Unavailing — Earnest Legislative Work to 
Carry Into Effect the New Fundamental Law — A New Liberal 
Salary Bill for City Officers Vetoed without Benefit to Those 
Who Accomplished It — Ballot Reform Accomplished, and Many 
Machine Leaders Overthrown 352 

xiv Contents 

LXXXIV. — The Stokley-McClure Mayoralty Battle. 

Formidable Revolt Against Stokley's Administration — The Author 
Peremptorily Declines to Become a Candidate for Mayor — James 
S. Biddle Nominated by the Democrats, but soon Thereafter 
Declined — Democrats and Citizens Nominate the Author without 
Consulting Him — His Acceptance Seemed to Be an Imperious 
Necessity — Remarkable Galaxy of Republican Leaders Who Sup- 
ported Him — Interesting Episodes of the Campaign — The 
Author Advised Four Days before the Election of the Majority 
that would be Returned Aaginst Him — Stokley Returned Elected 
by over 10,000 Majority 363 

LXXXV. — Battle for the Great Exposition. 

Party Leaders Made the Issue of the Republican Centennial Mayor 
the Prominent One in the Contest — Democrats in the Legis- 
lature Provoked to Hostile Action against the Centennial Appro- 
priation — A Direct Appropriation Impossible — How an Ap- 
parent Appropriation of a Million Dollars Had Been Passed in 
1873 — The Desperate Struggle to Obtain the Million Dollars 
Needed — Finally Saved by the Positive Intervention of Colonel 
Scott — The Financial Revulsion Keenly Felt and Private Sub- 
scriptions Retarded Z7^ 

LXXXVI. — Wallace Elected U. S. Senator. 

Republicans Lose the State at the First Election under the New Con- 
stitution — Wallace Carefully Organized the Democrats, and had 
a Large Majority rf Friends in the Legislature — Nominated for 
United States Senator with But Few Dissenting Votes — Buckalew 
Hostile to Wallace, and Controlled Enough Votes to Defeat Him 
— Buckalew's Attempt to Deal with Mackey — Mackey Saves 
Wallace 387 

LXXXVII.— The Philadelphia "Times." 

The Author Fir«:t Purchased the Press from Colonel Forney — Con- 
tract Revoked — How the Times Was Founded — Personal 
F: i'^nd^ T.iko a Fourth Interest for the Author — Collins Gives 

Contents xv 


Instructions to the Editor — Final Success of the Newspaper — 
How the Original Partners Protected Collins in His Misfortune 

— Independent Journalism a Surprise to Philadelphia — Liberal 
Return to the Stockholders of the Newspaper — Personal Rela- 
tions of the Author with Political Leaders 398 

LXXXVIII. — Venality in Legislation. 

Corruption of Legislators Practically Unknown until Half a Century 
Ago — The Original Old Time Lobbyist Who Never Debauched 
Legislators — The Struggle Between Ignorance and Prejudice on 
the One Side, and Progfressive Elements of the State Looking 
to the I>evelopment of Wealth, Gave Importance to Venal In- 
fluences — The First Open Debauch in the Senatorial Contest 
of 1855 — Again Visible in 1858 in the Sale of State Canals to the 
Sunbury and Erie Railroad — War Brought Demoralization and 
Quickened Venality — Many Sternly Honest Legfislators Sup- 
ported Measures They Knew to be Corrupt — Venality Largely 
Ruled in Legislation until the Adoption of the New Constitution 

— Political Power Largely Ruled Legislation, But Diminished 
Individual Prostitution 410 

LXXXIX. — Hartranft Re-elected. 

Mackey and Quay Take Early and Vigorous Action to Retrieve the 
Defeat of 1874 — They Perfect the Republican Organization — 
Obtain Absolute Control of the Greenback and Labor Organiza- 
tions — Greenback Sentiment Very Formidable in the State — 
Hartranft Unanimously Renominated — A Protracted Contest 
for the Democratic Nomination — Judge Pershing Finally Chosen 

— The Labor and Greenback Parties Held from Fusion by Re- 
publican Leaders, and That Ejected Hartranft by 12,000 Plurality 

— The Democrats Carried the Popular Branch of the Legislature 

— Hartranft's Creditable Career as Governor — Later Collector 
of the Port and Postmaster — Finally Suffered Financial Disaster, 
and Made Earnest but Unavailing Efforts to Save His Friends. . . 422 

XC. — The Molly Maguire Murderers. 

The Most Appalling Chapter of Crime Ever Recorded in the Annals of 
Pennsylvania — History cf the Molly Maguire Organization — 
The Onterowth of the Ancient Order of Hibernians — Its Crim- 

xvi Contents 


inal Methods — Offensive Mining Bosses and Operators Murdered 

in Open Day — Political Power Contracted for Protection to 
Criminals — The Wonderful Story of James McParlan as De- 
tective Inside the Order — Gowan's Masterly Ability in Conduct- 
ing Prosecutions — Sixteen Molly Maguires Executed — Many 
Others Imprisoned, and a Dozen or More Fugitives from Justice. . 4 19 

XCI. — National Battle of 1876. 

Republicans Had Not Recovered from the Overwhelming Defeat of 
1874 — Democrats Held the House Most of the Time for Twenty 
Years — Tildcn Nominated for President — His Strength and 
Personal Attributes — Receives a Large Popular Majority for 
President — John I. Mitchell Brought to the Front — Nominated 
for Congress to Defeat Strang — Senatorial Deadlock of 1881 
Made Him United States Senator — Advised of His Selection 
by the Author in Washington — Made President Judge and 
Later Superior Judge — Retired for Physical and Mental Dis- 
ability 441 

XCII. — Anarchy Ruled in 1877. 

The Darkest Year in the History of Pennsylvania — Culmination of 
the Revulsion of 1873 — Business Depressed and Working Men 
Without Bread — Anarchy First Asserted Its Mastery in Pitts- 
burg by Destroying Several Millions of Pennsylvania Railroad 
Property — Took Possession of All the Railroads of the State, 
and Generally Throughout the Country — Governor Hartranft 
Absent in the West — Adjutant General Latta Rendered Timely 
and Heroic Service — Appalling Condition in Philadelphia — 
Mayor Stokley Calls for a Committee of Safety — The Author a 
Member — Interesting Incidents in Preserving Peace in the City 
— Stokle/s Magnificent Administration to Preserve Peace — 
Exceptional Military Service Rendered by Col. Bonnaffon's Regi- 
ment 453 

XCIII. — ^The Great Oil Deveiopment. 

The Humble Beginning of a Trade that has Risen to Hundreds of 
Millions— Professor Silliman's Chemical Investigation of Petro- 
leum—Colonel E. L. Drake Sank the First Oil Well — His 
Difiiculty in Raising One Thousand Dollars to Start the Oil De- 

Contents xvii 


vclopmcnt— He was More than a Year in Getting His Well 
Completed — Representative Rouse Regarded as a Hopeless Crank 
by his Fellow Legislators in 1859 — The Tidal Wave of Specula- 
tion in Oil Companies, Resulting in Sweeping Disaster — Des- 
perate Battles of the Oil Men to Reach Markets — The Annual 
Oil Product Now Over One Hundred Million Barrels — At First 
Worth Twenty Dollars a Barrel; now Worth One Dollar or 
Less 465 

XCIV. — ^James Donald Cameron. 

Became Prominent National Political Leader in 1876 — Member of 
the Grant Cabinet — He Forced the Struggle that Made Hayes 
President After an Overwhelming Popular Defeat — Hayes Re- 
jected Cameron for a Cabinet Office — His Father Resigned His 
Place in the Senate and the Younger Cameron Elected — Cam- 
eron Power Supreme in Pennsylvania Authority — Both the Cam- 
erons Four Times Elected to the United States Senate — How 
Governor Pattison and Secretary Harrity Saved Cameron's Fourth 
Election in 1891 — Marvelous Record of Political Achievement 
by the Two Camerons in Pennsylvania — The Younger Cameron's 
Dominating Influence in Tranquillizing South Carolina and Other 
Southern States — His Personal Attributes 475 

XCV. — HoYT Elected Governor. 

The Democratic Victory of 1877 — How Trunkey was Made Supreme 
Judge — Trunkey Defeats the Late Chief Justice Sterrett — Patti- 
son's First Victory by Election to the Controllership — Quay and 
Mackey Reform Their Lines for the Election of Hoyt — Notable 
Contest for Supreme Judge Between Chief Justice Agnew and 
Judge Sterrett — Quay Side-tracks the Greenback Party Against 
Fusion, Then Declares for Sound Money — Ho3rt Elected by 
22,000 Plurality with Over 80,000 Greenback Votes Side-tracked — 
Death of Mackey, Leaving Quay Supreme Party Leader 487 

XCVI. — Political Events of 1878-9. 

Quay Makes Himself Recorder of Philadelphia with Large Com- 
pensation — Locates in Philadelphia at Eleventh and Spruce — 
Chairman of Republican State Committee — Succeeded by David 
H. Lane as Recorder— The Office Finally Abolished — Quay 

xviii Contents 


Becomes Secretary of the Commonwealth Under Hoyt — The 
Pittsburg Four Million Riot Bill — Defeated After a Bitter Con- 
test — Convictions Followed for Legislative Venality — Quay 
Nominates Butler for State Treasurer — Serious Hitch When 
Butler Assumed the Office — How the Treasury Deficit was Cov- 
ered — Cameron and Quay Make Earnest Battle for Grant's 
Nomination for a Third Term 498 

XCVII. — Political Events of 1880. 

Quay and Cameron Call Early State Convention, and Declare in Favor 
of Grant for a Third Term — Cameron Chairman of National 
Committee — Ruled Strongly in Favor of Grant in Preliminary 
Proceedings — Reluctant Support Given to Garfield — Blaine's 
Appointment as Premier Offensive lo Quay and Cameron — State 
Offices Filled at the Election — Memorable Speeches in National 
Conventions by Ingersoll, Conkling and Dougherty 509 

XCVIII. — Senatorial Battle of 1881. 

Galusha A. Grow Made an Active Canvass for Senator — Henry W. 
Oliver the Organization Candidate — Serious Revolt Against 
Quay-Cameron Rule — Forty-seven Republican Legislators An- 
nounce Their Refusal to Enter the Caucus — Oliver Nominated 
on Second Ballot — Received a Majority of the Entire Republican 
Vote of the Legislature — Senator John Stewart Leader of the 
Revolt — Oliver Withdrew and General Beaver was Made Organ- 
ization Candidate — February 23d Both Factions United on Con- 
gressman John I. Mitchell — He Received the Full Republican 
Vote and Was Elected — Wolfe, Independent Candidate for 
Treasurer 520 

XCIX. — Pattison Elected Governor. 

The Independent Republican Revolt — Davies Defeated for State 
Treasurer — This Led to Full Independent State Ticket in 1882 — 
Futile Offers of Compromise — Pattison Nominated for Govern- 
or by the Democrats — Senator John Stewart as the Independent 
Leader — Character of the Campaign — The Democratic Ticket 
Elected by Independent Republican Votes 531 

Contents xix 

C. — Governor Pattison's First Term. 


An Administration of Both Successes and Failures — Appoints Lewis 
C Cassidy Attorney General — Pattison Assailed on Account of 
Cassidy — Attacks that Forced Cassidy to Accept — A Legis- 
lature Divided Against Itself — Futile Efforts at Reapportionment 
of the State — Except as to the Judiciary — An Extra Session of 
the Legislature — The Governor Became Unpopular on Account 
of This Session — How He Lost His Mastery of the State — 
The Election of 1884 — Pennsylvania Heavily Republican, though 
Geveland Elected President 542 

CI. — ^The Great Steel Industry. 

Steel Was Used Wholly for Edge Tools a Generation Ago — Struc- 
tural Steel Practically Unknown and Steel Unthought of for Rail- 
ways — Disston Developed American Steel for His Saw Works; 
for Many Years Had to Stamp Them as English — America Now 
Produces the Finest Steel in the World — Colonel Wright's View 
of the Helplessness of the South — Believed War Impossible in 
1861 Because the South Could Not Tire a Locomotive — Advent 
of Andrew Carnegie — Started at Five Dollars a Week Under 
Colonel Scott — Became the Great Genius of the Steel Trade — 
Raised Up Half a Score or More of Multi-Millionaires — He Is 
Now Among the Half-score of Richest Private Citizens in the 
World — His Gifts of Millions to Libraries and Education — His 
Thorough Self-reliance — He Alone Directed the Movements 
Against the Great Homestead Strike of 1884 — The Monuments 
Reared by Scott and Carnegie 553 

CII. — Quay Elected Senator. 

Quay's Senatorial Battle Begun in 1885 — His Earlier Political Re- 
lations and How He Stood toward Senator J. D. Cameron — 
Quay's Candidacy for State Treasurer — His Turning Down of 
McDevitt of Lancaster — His Geverly Managed Campaign and 
Election — The State Battle of 1886 — General Beaver, Who Had 
Been Defeated in 1882, Easily Chosen Governor — Quay Before 
the Legislature of 1887 — Triumphantly Chosen as U. S. Senator 
— Soon Becomes a Great National Leader — His Relations to 
Blaine — State Offices Filled in 1888 — How a Democrat Reached 
the Supreme Bench — The National Campaign of 1888 558 

XX Contents 

cm. — Quay and Wanamaker. 

Aftermath of the 1888 Election — How Wanamaker Became a Great 
Political Factor — Personal Choice of President Harrison for 
Postmaster General — Appointment Distasteful to Cameron and 
Quay — His Masterly Administration — He Acquires Powerful 
Influence in State Politics — The Contest for Governor in 1890 

— Delamatcr Made the Republican Nominee — Pattison Renom- 
inated by the Democrats — Ex-Senator Wallace and W. U. Hensel 

— Hensel's Important Position — Pattison Re-elected — Harrity 
and Hensel in Pattison's Cabinet — J. D. Cameron Re-elected to 
His Last Term in the Senate — The Bardsley Defalcation — 
How Quay Counteracted Its Effects 570 

CIV. — Pennsylvania Politics, 1892-1895. 

Quay and Cameron not Heartily for Harrison — But He Was Re- 
nominated — Cleveland a Presidential Candidate for the Third 
Time — Tammany's Intense Opposition to Him — Local Penn- 
sylvania Interests — Quay's Second Election as U. S. Senator — 
General Hastings Elected Governor in 1894 — His Relations with 
Quay not Very Cordial — Democratic Opposition not Formidable 

— Old-Timers Recalled to Public Life, Especially Galusha A. 
Grow — Governor Hastings and the State Committee — Organized 
Action Against Quay in Philadelphia — Penrose Sacrificed for 
Mayor — Creation of the Pennsylvania Superior Court 583 

CV. — Wanamaker versus Quay. 

Wanamaker's Ambition to Be U. S. Senator — Aspiration Hopeless 
Without Quay's Aid — Negotiating With Quay — An Agreement 
Reached — How a Rupture Came — Wanamaker as an Open, 
Aggressive Candidate — The Contest for the Party Nomination — 
Penrose Nominated and Elected — The National Politics of 1896 

— Gubernatorial Battle of 1898 — Quay Forced to Accept William 
A. Stone as Candidate — The Wanamaker Opposition of That 
Campaign — The Battle Fought in the Legislative Districts — 
Quay Prosecuted for Misappropriating State Funds — Fight for 
U. S. Senator in the Legislature — The Famous Deadlock of 1899 

— Quay Acquitted in Criminal Trial and Appointed U. S. Senator 

by Governor Stone 595 

Contents xxi 

CVI. — Quay Re-elected U. S. Senator. 


The McCarrell Bill of 1899 and the Quay Trial — Democrats Divided 
by Bryanisxn — A Faction of Them for Quay — Quay Appointed 
Senator by the Governor, but the Senate Refused to Admit 
Him — The Grounds for His Exclusion — A Memorable Political 
Gjntroversy — Senator Hanna's Position — A Great Humiliation 
to Quay — The State Convention and the Quay Battle in 1900 

— Wanamaker in State Politics — Overwhelming Republican 
Triumph — Quay Re-elected by the Legislature of 1901 — A 
Famous Declaration by Him — Death Ends His Career Before His 
Term Expires 608 

CVII. — Republican Revolt in 1901. 

Political conditions in Philadelphia started an Aggressive Revolt — 
Rothermel Rejected by the Party Leaders Because Fugitives, 
Charged With Political Crimes. Could Not Return While He 
Prosecuted — Formation of the Union Party — Judge Yerkes, 
Democratic Candidate for Supreme Judge, Endorsed by the Union 
Republicans, and Representative Coray Nominated for State 
Treasurer — The Violent Contest in the City — Colossal Frauds 
Practised in Philadelphia — Rothermel Returned as Defeated — 
Potter and Harris Elected by a Large Majority — The Revolt of 
1901 Made Quay Crucify Attorney General Elkin and Nominate 
Pennypacker for Governor 621 

CVIII. — After Quay the Deluge. 

Quay Died Just in the Omnipotence of His Political Power — His 
Death Developed Antagonistic Party Elements — The Struggle for 
United States Senator — Offered to Ex-Senator Cameron, Who 
Suggested Attorney General Knox — All finally Agreed to Sup- 
port Knox, and the Governor Withheld Proclamation for Extra 
Session — Knox First Appointed and Then Elected by Unani- 
mous Republican Vote — Revolution Developed in Philadelphia 

— Estrangement of Mayor and Party Leaders — Independent 
Ticket Elected in the City — Democratic State Treasurer Elected 
by Over Eighty-eight Thousand — Comparative Vote of 1904 and 
1905 — Justice Stewart Received a Unanimous Vote 625 


Volume II 

JAMES G. BLAINE FrontispUce 

State Legislator, Congressman, United States Sen- 
ator, Secretary of State and Candidate for Presi- 
dent in 1884. 



State Senator, Congressman, Speaker and Father of 
the House, following William D. Kelley, and died 
as such in 1890. 


State Senator, United States Senator, Congressman 
and Candidate for Governor. 


Common Pleas Judge, Supreme Judge, Chief Justice 
and Congressman. 


Commander of Union Army in Decisive Battle of 
the War, Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863 ; died 1872. 




Opened Battle of Gettysburg and Killed on the 
Field, July i, 1863. 


Major-General Cavalry, Defeated Stewart at Gettys- 


State Senator. Prisoner in Libby and Anderson- 
ville for a Year. Congressman. Common Pleas 


Common Pleas Judge, Congressman, Father of the 
House; died 1890. 


State Representative and Member of Constitutional 
Convention, 1873-4. 


State Representative, Speaker and Congressman. 


Aggressive Campaigner Who Never Accepted 


State Member of Legislature and United States 




State Treasurer and Great Party Leader. 


Attorney-General of Pennsylvania, and of the 
United States. 



Candidate for Senator at Special Election of 1872; 
Memorable Contest for His Seat. 


Prominent Philadelphia Publisher, and One of the 
Earliest Reform Leaders. 


State Representative, Congressman and National 
Commissioner of Railroads. 


City Councilman, Mayor of Philadelphia, 1870-79; 
Director of Public Safety, 1887-91. 


President of Centennial Exhibition and Minister to 
England, 1877-79. 


State Senator, United States Senator. 

FRANK Mclaughlin 400 

Founder and Publisher of " The Philadelphia 


State Representative, President Judge Who Con- 
victed " Molly Maguires." 


State Representative, Congressman, United States 
Senator, Common Pleas Judge and Judge of the 
Superior Court. 


Raised Rec^imcnt of Veterans in Two Days, 1877; 
Last Troops Discharged after Riots; Cashier of 
Customs in Philadelphia. 


The Man Who Bored the First Oil Well in Penn- 


United States Senator Four Times, and Secretary 
of War Under President Hayes. 




Governor, 1879-83 ; Soldier and Judge. 


State Representative, Senator, Candidate for Gov- 
ernor in 1878, and United States Marshal. 


Attorney-General and Representative in Congress. 


Major-General Who Received Pickett's Charge at 
Gettysburg; Commander-in-Chief of the United 
States Army, and Candidate for President in 
1880. Died in 1886. 


Leading Manufacturer, . Pittsburg. Republican 
Nominee for United States Senator in 1881. 


Congressman, Speaker During First Congress of 
the War. Recalled to Congress after a Long 
Interval and Closed his Service Fifty-two Years 
after his First Appearance. 



Comptroller of Philadelphia, and Governor of Penn- 
sylvania, 1883-1887, 1891-1895. 


Master of the Steel Industrv of the World. 


Assemblyman, District Attorney and Attorney-Gen- 
eral, 1883-^. 


State Representative, Secretary to Governor Curtin, 
Military State Agent at Washington and United 
States Senator, three times; died 1904. 


Prince of Merchants, Postmaster-General and Can- 
didate for Governor and United States Senator. 


Secretary of Commonwealth, 1891-95; Postmaster 
of Philadelphia, 1885-89, and Chairman of Demo- 
cratic National Committee, 1892. 

W. U. HENSEL 588 

Attorney-General, 1891-95. President of the State 
Bar Association. 




Adjutant-General and Governor from 1895 to 1899. 


State Representative and Senator, United States 
Senator, elected 1897 and re-elected 1903. 


Congressman and Governor, 1899-1903. 


City Treasurer of Pittsburg, and State Senator. 


Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge and Governor, 


State Senator, Common Pl^as Judge of Bucks 
County, Candidate for Supreme Judge. 


United States Attorney-General and since 1904 
United States Senator. 


The Varied Careers of the Two Great Democratic Leaders in PenxiS3rlyama 
for Nearly a Generation — Both Were Weakened by Leading Opposing 
Pactions Against Each Other — Leading Characteristics of the Two 
Men — Interesting Incidents of Their Factional Disputes — Wallace's 
Last Battle and Defeat Closely Followed Randall's Death. 

EIGHTEEN hundred and sixty-two brought to the 
front the two ablest of the Democratic leaders 
that Pennsylvania had for a full quarter of a 
century, after they became recognized Democratic 
factors in the politics of the State. These men were 
Samuel J. Randall, of Philadelphia, and William A. 
Wallace, of Clearfield. Wallace was elected to the 
senate in the fall of 1862, defeating Senator Louis W. 
Hall, of Blair, who had been elected in the same dis- 
trict three years before by a decided majority. Wallace 
served continuously in the senate for twelve years, 
when he resigned to accept the United States Senator- 
chip, to which he was elected in the legislative session 
of 1875. Soon after he entered the National Senate 
he was recognized by the Democrats as their leader of 
the body. After he had served his full term in Wash- 
ington he returned to the State senate, where he served 
until 1886, making sixteen years' service as State 
senator, and six years as United States Senator. 

Randall had served in the city councils, and was 
chosen in 1857 to fill an unexpired term in the State 
senate. I was first elected to the house the same year, 
and, although on opposing political sides, our acquain- 
tance of that session ripened into a friendship that 
lasted until he died, the father of the National House of 

»-. (17) 

i8 Old Time Notes 

Representatives. He was chosen to Congress in 1862 
from the First district of Philadelphia, composed of 
the Second, Third, Foiirth, Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh 
wards, defeating Webb, the Union candidate, by i ,447 

Randall and Wallace were equally able in the varied 
political conflicts they had to accept, but they were 
iinlike in temperament and in method. Wallace's 
finely-chiseled face, surmoimting his sjnnmetrical, 
manly form, always appareled in scrupulous neatness, 
would attract the attention of any one meeting him; 
while Randall's strong face, of heroic mold, with his 
often-careless dress and shuffling step, might pass 
through the multitude without special observation, 
but those who took a careful view of his features 
would see determination and self-reliance very clearly 

Of the two Wallace was much the greater organizer ; 
indeed, for a quarter of a century after his entrance 
upon the political stage of Pennsylvania the Demo- 
cratic party had no leader who equaled or even 
approached Senator Wallace in the power of organiza- 
tion, while Randall was a fighter rather than a strat- 
egist. Wallace would methodically and in detail plan 
a battle and then fight it to a finish, while Randall 
was always ready for battle regardless of method or 
preparation. Randall was impulsive, while Wallace's 
Scotch-Irish courage was greatly tempered by dis- 
cretion. Both were fast friends and implacable ene- 
mies, and the greatest misforttme that befell these two 
men during nearly a quarter of a century of varying 
tritunphs and defeats was the fact that they speedily 
became rival leaders, and their best energies were 
often entirely and desperately directed to the over- 
throw of each other. 

Each aimed at the mastery of the Democracy of 

Of Pennsylvania 19 

the State, and great as they were, neither was great 
enough to understand that the State was quite great 
enough for two such men, and that they could and 
should be in harmony with each other. I served with 
both of them in the Legislature, and, regardless of all 
the mutations in poUtical conflicts which at times 
made me support and at other times oppose them in 
their political struggles, the closest friendship was ever 
maintained between both of them and myself. I 
enjoyed the confidence of both, and in then- many fac- 
tional conflicts both conferred with me with absolute 

On several occasions when they were about to engage 
in a factional struggle I brought them together in my 
office face to face, and appealed to them to pool their 
issues and cease their factional warfare. In every 
instance they left me after agreeing to do so, and in 
every instance the agreement, was broken within a very 
few days, and each accused the other of precipitating 
the breach. In point of fact they, like all factional 
leaders, had dependent followers who hoped to profit 
by the triumph of their chief, and harmony would have 
lessened their importance. 

A pointed illustration of the difficulty of reconciling 
opposing factions was given in 1884, when RandaU 
had wrested the control of the party from Wallace, 
and had made himself so strong as a candidate for the 
Presidency that Wallace was powerless to oppose him 
with any measure of success. W. U. Hensel, later 
attorney general under Governor Pattison, was then 
chairman of the Democratic State committee, and a 
short time before the Democratic State convention met 
at Allentown, in 1884, Randall and Hensel were in my 
editorial office discussing the situation, and I proposed 
to Randall that he should, without consulting Wallace, 
or asking any pledges whatever from him, place him 

20 Old Time Notes 

at the head of the Randall delegation to the National 
convention. Randall's belligerent qualities asserted 
themselves with some violence at the suggestion, but 
Hensel heartily seconded the proposition, and Randall 
finally agreed that he would consider the matter 
ftdly and meet us again at dinner the same evening to 
decide it. 

Randall was very positive in the conviction that he 
should place his most devoted friends at the head of 
the delegation, but after discussing the matter he 
finally yielded reluctantly to the positive advice of 
Hensel and myself, and assented to Wallace as the 
head of the delegation. The plan was that it should 
be done without approaching Wallace on the subject, 
as even Randall had to confess that if Wallace accepted 
the position, as he certainly would, he would feel that 
his personal honor and manhood required him to make 
exhaustive effort for Randall's nomination. 

Wallace happened in my office on the following day. 
He spoke with some bitterness of the fact that the 
coming State convention would not be at all in sym- 
pathy with him. When I told him that he had been 
determined upon by Randall and his friends for the 
head of the Pennsylvania delegation to support Ran- 
dall for President, Wallace, on the impulse of the mo- 
ment, said it would be impossible for him to accept, 
but after a brief discussion of the matter he realized 
that it would be a high compliment to himself, and that 
in no way could he show his greatness more distinctly 
than by accepting the trust without condition and dis- 
charging his duties with the utmost fidelity. He left 
my office much gratified, but within forty-eight hours 
I received a curt letter from him stating that it was 
evidently meant to crucify him at Allentown by pre- 
senting and defeating him as a candidate for delegate- 
at-lai;ge, and advising me that the incident was closed. 

Of Pennsylvania 21 

I wrote him in reply not to bother himself about the 
Allentown convention, for he wotiM be unanimously 
elected, and that I knew he would oe highly gratified 
not only at the expression of confidence from the con- 
vention, but by the manly performance of his duty as 
chairman of the Pennsylvania delegation. He was 
imanimously elected, and I saw him at almost every 
stage of the conflict in Chicago, where he seemed to 
have but one inspiration, and that was to promote 
the nomination of Randall. His speech presenting 
Randall's name to the convention was one of the great- 
est and grandest of his life. 

When the delegates met at Chicago and were lined 
up on the Presidency, it finally became evident that 
BLandall could not be nominated, as his views on the 
tariff were not acceptable to a large majority of his 
party. I doubt not that Wallace shed no tears over 
the failure to nominate Randall, but in every public 
and private effort relating to the nomination he was 
tireless and earnest in support of Randall. 

It would naturally be asstmied that these two great 
leaders, when they were brought into such close rela- 
tions in 1884, would have ceased to be opposing fac- 
tional leaders, or at least had their factional hostility 
greatly tempered, but such was not the fact, and while 
Randall fully appreciated Wallace's manly exhibition 
of fidelity at Chicago, the battle of factions went on 
and continued until Randall's death on the thirteenth 
of April, 1890, when new political conditions arose over 
which neither could have exercised a mastery, and only 
a few months after Randall's death Wallace was 
defeated for Governor in the Democratic State conven- 
tion at Scranton. 

It was the final defeat that comes to almost every 
great leader, but he did not appreciate it fully tmtil, 
after the election of Pattison, his successful competitor 

22 Old Time Notes 

for the nomination, he found it impossible to command 
the attorney generalship of the State for himself. He 
was then broken in fortime, and his home, that he ever 
appreciated as the most sacred altar of his devotion, 
had long been shadowed by a most accomplished and 
beloved wife and mother groping her way through life 
by his side in the starless midnight of mental infirmity 

Randall and Wallace had little opportunity for 
successful State leadership, as they came into political 
control after the Democratic party had committed 
the fatal mistake of a doubtful or hesitating attitude 
in support of the war, and the only hope of Demo- 
cratic triumph in the State was by defection in the ranks 
of the majority party. 

Wallace was for a ntmiber of years chairman of the 
Democratic State committee. He struggled against 
fearful odds to maintain a hopeful Democratic organi- 
zation. In the United States Senate he was soon 
accepted as altogether the ablest of the Democratic 
Senators in defining the policy of the party on all 
important questions, and he fully sustained the repu- 
tation he achieved. Randall became Speaker of the 
House after having first suffered a defeat at the open- 
ing of the session. With the aid of Wallace, then a 
United States Senator, Kerr, of Indiana, tritmiphed 
over Randall in the caucus, but Kerr died a few months 
thereafter and Randall was then successful, and he 
was twice re-elected to that responsible position. 

Randall was a thoroughly loyal Democrat during 
the war, and was in the three months' service with 
General Patterson as a member of the Philadelphia 
Troop. He ever exerted a most wholesome influence 
in restraining his party from its general trend to array 
itself in opposition to the war, and his devotion to a 
liberal protective policy that cost him the nomination 
for the Presidency in 1884, twice defeated his party 

Of Pennsylvania 23 

in earnest efforts to return to a revenue tariff. After 
his retirement from the Speakership in 1880, he was 
made chairman of the committee on appropriations, 
where his strong integrity commanded the confidence 
and respect of all parties. His severe economy was 
often criticised, as he resolved all doubts against appro- 
priations and saved the Government many, many 
millions by his tireless efforts as watch dog of the 

It was chiefly through his efforts in the very closing 
hours of the session of Congress that General Grant 
was restored to the roll of the army as General, retired. 
Mr. Childs had been to New York and learned for the 
first time the exact character of the malady from which 
Grant was suffering, and that his life could not be pro- 
longed beyond a very few months at the most. It was 
just about the close of the Congressional session, and 
Mr. Childs urged me to proceed to Washington at once 
to present the matter to Randall, as without his aid 
it could not be accompUshed. I hastened to Washing- 
ton, Randall took hold of it without delay and forced 
its passage through the House, and nearly, if not quite, 
the last act that President Arthur signed in the Execu- 
tive office, where the President usually attends at 
the close of Congress, was the act restoring Grant to 
the army roll, and the last commtmication sent to that 
Congress by President Arthur, even after the hour of 
adjournment, when the clock had been halted in mark- 
ing the flight of time, was a message sending Grant's 
nomination to the Senate, which was promptly and 
unanimously confirmed. 

Randall never enjoyed fortime. He lived most 
frugally on his salary as a member of Congress, but 
his services were so highly valued as a Ph^delphia 
Congressman that a few business men, headed by 
Drexel and Childs, provided all the political expenses 

24 Old Time Notes 

for his district from year to year, and when a func 
was raised by Childs and Drexel jiist before Randalls 
death, to give a very moderate income to his family 
he refused to assent to it, and I was again sent to Wash 
ington by Mr. Childs to insist that he should not inter 
pose against a gift to his wife and children, who woulc 
be left dependent. He was then on his deathbed witt 
only a few days of life before him, and it was my las^ 
meeting with Randall until I stood beside his lifeles^ 
body at the tomb. 

He finally consented that, as the gift had no relation 
to public aifairs, it might be carried into effect. The 
money was invested by Drexel to jdeld an annual 
income of $2,000, and, since his death, when some of 
the investments proved imfortunate, the full value 
was restored by the original contributors. 

The one impassable chasm between Randall and 
Wallace was the fact that both could not be President 
of the United States. Both were very earnest candi- 
dates for that position for a number of years, as I 
know from very many conferences with them on the 
subject, and each was constantly in conflict to repress 
the other. 

After Wallace retired from the United States Senate, 
Randall won the control of the party and became chair- 
man of the State committee. He held the position for 
several years, but he was not ani organizer. He was a 
political fighter rather than a manager, and defeat 
came to him as it had come to Wallace, although 
Randall narrowly escaped the Presidential nomination 
in 1880 at Cincinnati. The convention was held in 
the balance for two days awaiting the final decision of 
Tilden, who would have been nominated by the con- 
vention had he not decided to withdraw. After 
delaying quite too long he sent a declination and 
advised the nomination of Randall, but it was too late. 

Of Pennsylvania 25 

The Hancock feeling had been well managed and 
reached a tidal wave, and Randall fell through the 
indecision of his friends. 

Wallace never was presented for President by his 
State, as Randall was in 1884, but for fifteen years 
before his retirement from active participation in 
politics he always looked hopefully to his election to 
the Presidency. Had Wallace been for Randall in 
1880, as he was in 1884, Randall would have been nomi- 
nated and might have been elected, as Hancock was 
crucified by Tammany. 

Thus, in striving to accomplish the great ambition 
of their lives, the only thing that they accomplished 
in that line was to hinder the advancement of each 

In 1886 Wallace had retired from the United States 
Senate, only a few years before, and had decided to 
become a candidate for Governor. He explained his 
purpose to me, and I well understood that his chief 
inspiration in the movement was to obtain such posi- 
tion in the party as would indicate his continued mas- 
tery in the State. I suggested to him that there was 
no reason why he and Randall should be at war on 
the subject, and proposed that they should meet in 
my office together, and in a few days they were there 
to confer on the subject. 

Like all intensely * inflamed factional leaders, they 
did many childish things in factional warfare, but I 
had a very plain talk with both of them, reminding 
them that they were lessening their own manhood and 
political importance by political conflicts, and I sug- 
gested to Randall that he should declare in favor of 
Wallace for Governor, to which he assented, and then, 
for the first and only time, as they shook hands at 
parting, I supposed the factional fight was ended, at 
least for a season. 

26 Old Time Notes 

But within ten days, doubtless because of the vio- 
lence of the followers of both the party leaders, Ran- 
dall conceived that he had good cause to break the com- 
pact, and he fought out at the State convention at 
York one of the bitterest struggles of his life, where he 
succeeded in defeating Wallace for Governor and nomi- 
nating Chauncey F. Black. 

Wallace was greatly mortified at his defeat, and 
intensely embittered against Randall, but his own 
senatorial district, after his defeat for Governor, gave 
him a unanimous nomination, and next to a imani- 
mous re-election to the State senate. 

Important incidents in the lives of public men best 
illustrate their qualities. When Randall transferred 
his force and thus assured the nomination of Cleveland 
for President, in 1884, it was understood, if not more 
formally agreed to, that Randall should control the 
patronage of the administration in Pennsylvania if 
Cleveland succeeded, and as his friends and the friends 
of Wallace were at daggers' points in every locality, 
Randall was naturally inclined to appoint his friends 
and offend his Democratic opponents. He at first 
carried this policy to such an extent that a tempest 
of protest reached the President, and a somewhat 
tempered line of policy was accomplished by a rather 
interesting incident. He had recommended for post- 
master of Huntingdon a devoted follower of his against 
the candidate presented by ex-Congressman Speer 
and Senator McAteer, whose political control of the 
Democracy of the cotmty was absolute. Randall 
succeeded in having Postmaster General Vilas endorse 
his candidate to the President. 

Speer called upon me and made an earnest appeal 
to save him if possible from such a fearful humiliation 
in his own home, that would practically destroy his 
usefulness in the party. I told him that I would give 

Of Pennsylvania 27 

it immediate and earnest attention, as Randall's 
affront to Speer and McAteer was unpardonable, 
although forced upon him by his factional supporters. 

It happened that Randall was in Philadelphia on the 
day that Speer visited me, and called to see me early 
in the evening. I said nothing to him about Speer *s 
complaint, but asked him whether he would do me the 
favor to deliver a letter to the President in person as 
soon as he returned to Washington. He answered that 
he would certainly do so promptly. I wrote a brief 
letter to the President, stating that Randall had ad- 
vised the appointment of a postmaster in Huntingdon 
who was opposed by ex-Congressman Speer and Senator 
McAteer, the absolutely controlling leaders of the 
Democracy in both the town and coimty, and that if 
the appointment was made neither Randall nor Cleve- 
land would be likely to carry a delegate in that section 
of the State for some years. 

After writing the letter I said to Randall that I 
thought I shotdd read it to him before it was given to 
him for delivery in person, and I read it. The masterful 
combativeness of his character was instantly exhibited 
in his strong face, but he made no other reply than that 
he would deliver the letter as he promised, and nothing 
further was said on the subject. 

Immediately on his rettim to Washington he called 
upon the President and delivered the letter. Natur- 
aUy, the President was greatly surprised at its contents, 
and turning to Mr. Randall he inquired whether the 
statements were true. Randall said that he was not 
prepared to dispute them, to which the President 
answered that the contest for postmaster in Hunt- 
ingdon might be considered as settled, and Speer's 
man was appointed. 

Wallace made his last battle in 1890, and his old 
rival was borne to his grave in the early part of the 

30 Old Time Notes 


Democrats Elected Their State Ticket in 1862 and One Majority on Joint 
Ballot in the Legislature — A Bitter Struggle for the Senatorship-^ 
Cameron Claimed the Support of One or More Democrats, and Re- 
ceived the Republican Nomination — Charles R. Buckalew Nominated 
by the Democrats — Democratic Apprehension of a Repetition of the 
Lebo, Maneer and Wagenseller Defection That Elected Cameron in 
1857 — Organized Rioters Crowded the Capitol and Declared That 
Any Democrat who Betrayed His Party Would not Leave the Hall 
Alive — Open Charge of Corruption Made Against Democratic Repre- 
sentative Boyer — Buckalew Elected by a Strict Party Vote — His 
Career in the Senate. 

THE election of 1862 was the first tritimph the 
Democrats had achieved in Pennsylvania 
for five years. They had elected Packer 
Governor in 1857 with an overwhelming majority of 
the Legislature, but they were defeated in every con- 
test thereafter, tmtil they won out in 1862, electing 
Slenker auditor general and Barr surveyor general by 
about 4,000 majority. 

The Unionists, as the Republicans were then called, 
had acctmitilated a very large majority in the senate, 
and held control of the body by nearly two to one even 
against the adverse vote of 1862. The Legislature 
stood 21 Republicans in the Senate to 12 Democrats, 
giving a majority of 9 to the Republicans, and the 
house stood 55 Democrats to 45 Republicans, giving 
the Democrats a majority of 10 in that body, and a 
majority of one on joint ballot. 

A United States Senator was to be elected and the 
closeness of the Legislature again brought Cameron into 

Of Pennsylvania 31 

the field, as he was a master mampxilator of close or 
tangled Legislattares, having elected himself to the 
Senate to succeed Buchanan in 1845 as an Independent 
Democrat with the aid of the Whigs and bolting 
Cameron Democrats, and re-elected himself in the 
Democratic Legislature of 1857, when he defeated 
Forney by the votes of Lebo, Maneer and Wagenseller. 
David Wilmot had been elected to the Senate to succeed 
Cameron when Cameron retired from that body in 
1861, having two years to serve, and as he was the 
ablest of the Republican leaders, it was at first expected 
that he would receive the nomination of his party for 
re-election; but Cameron called a number of the 
Republican leaders in cotmcil and he informed them 
that if he received the Republican nomination and the 
solid Republican vote, he could command one or more 
Democratic votes and thus assure his election. Wilmot, 
who was above all things manly and frank, said that 
he could not be elected ; that he knew of no Democratic 
votes he could command, and did not believe that any 
Republican could break the Democratic lines. He 
stated, however, that he would not interpose his 
interests to embarrass Republican success, and if the 
leaders believed that they could elect a Republican 
Senator by taking Cameron, he was entirely satisfied 
that they should do so. The result was that Wilmot 
was retired from the contest; Cameron became an 
aggressive candidate and received the Republican 
nomination, and many beUeved he would be elected. 

The factional bitterness between the Curtin and 
Cameron wings of the party had not been in any degree 
tempered, and at an informal conference of four of the 
leading anti-Cameron members of the Legislature, 
which I was invited to attend, the whole matter was 
fully discussed and the four members declared that 
they had fully decided not to vote for Cameron and 

32 Old Time Notes 

bring upon the party the stain of a corrupt election to 
the Senate if Cameron controlled one or more Demo- 
cratic votes. Two of those men, Thome, of Philadel- 
phia, and Laporte, of Bradford, who were prominent 
among the Republican leaders, had organized the 
revolt and declared that the policy was to give no sign 
of their purpose to vote against Cameron until the roll 
was called for the election of Senator. With four 
members of the house thxis positively and volimtarily 
pledged to defeat Cameron, his success was made abso- 
lutely impossible. Doubtless more could have been 
added to this list, but it was not deemed expedient to 
have it discussed, and the whole arrangement was made 
under a sacred obligation to secrecy. 

I doubt whether Cameron ever knew that such a 
movement had been consunmiated to defeat him, as 
the men who had decided. to carry out the programme 
never discussed it outside of their own circle. 

There was no visible defection against Cameron in 
the Republican ranks, and Cameron threw himself 
into the contest, and exhausted his vast and varied 
powers of control to command one or more Democratic 
votes. The assertion was openly and positively made 
on every side by his friends that he had the necessary 
Democratic support assured, and it soon became whis- 
pered that the Democratic vote upon which he relied 
for his election was that of Representative Boyer, of 
Clearfield, Boyer was silent on the subject for some 
time after his position had become discussed as a pos- 
sible or probable supporter of Cameron, but a condition 
speedily confronted him which compelled him to 
define his position, and he finally did so by declaring 
that he had been offered a large sum of money, vari- 
ously stated at twenty or twenty-five thousand dollars, 
to vote for Cameron for Senator, and that he had 
apparently entertained the proposition solely, as he 

Of Pennsylvania 33 

alleged, to prevent Cameron from debauching other 
Democratic members of the Legislattire ; but the 
friends of Cameron, and those who had conducted the 
negotiation with Boyer, boldly declared that he had 
willingly entered into the compact, and would have 
executed it but for the fact that his life would have 
been imperiled if he had voted for Cameron. I do not 
assume to decide which of these explanations is the 
true one, but it was generally accepted at the time by 
those who viewed the conditions intelligently and 
dispassionately, that Boyer did not thus expose him- 
self to public scandal and general distrust simply to 
prevent Cameron from dealing with some other Demo- 
cratic member of the Legislature. It is due to Boyer 
to say that, thirteen years later, when Wallace was 
elected to the United States Senate, leaving an tmex- 
pired term of one year in the State senate, Boyer was 
elected as his successor. 

The Democrats were greatly inspired to energetic 
action by the triumph they had achieved in the State 
after a series of defeats, and they well remembered how 
Cameron had been elected in a Democratic Legislature 
only six years before by diverting the votes of Lebo, 
Maneer and Wagenseller to the support of the Repub- 
lican caucus candidate; and at the first whisper of 
Cameron entering the field they asstimed that their 
slender majority of one in the Legislature made the 
battle an inviting one for Cameron. There were a 
ntimber of Democratic candidates for the Senatorship, 
but Charles R. Buckalew had so strongly entrenched 
himself in the confidence and respect of the Democrats 
of the State by his thoroughly honest, able and wise 
leadership in the senate, that he easily distanced his 
competitors, and was made the Democratic candidate 
for Senator with the hearty support of the entire party. 
There were no wounds within the Democratic house- 

34 Old Time Notes 

hold, such as had been caused by the forced nomina- 
tion of Colonel Forney in 1857, and there was no 
shadow of excuse for any Democrat to desert his party. 

The Democratic leaders took time by the forelock, 
and long before the Legislature met the most emphatic 
declarations were made in every section of the State 
demanding that there should be a imited party for 
Senator, and that if any Democratic senator or repre- 
sentative deserted his party to elect Cameron, he 
should be driven from the State, or made a stranger 
in his commimity. In Philadelphia the expressions 
were even more belligerent, and as the reports came 
from Harrisburg after the Legislature met that Wilmot 
had been forced to yield the field to Cameron becatise 
Cameron had given assurance of commanding Demo- 
cratic votes, the more violent elements of the party 
were inflamed to revolutionary action, and meetings 
were held in Philadelphia where it was openly declared 
that no Democratic member of the Legislature should 
be permitted to escape from the hall of the house alive 
if he cast his vote for Cameron. This was not mere 
bravado; it was deliberately planned, and I speak 
advisedly when I say that it would have been executed 
regardless of consequences. 

A week before the day fixed for the election of Senator 
it was well known to all that a Democratic vote for 
Cameron would mean a violent death for the man who 
cast such vote. All professed to deplore violence in or 
about the hall of the Legislature, but fair-minded men 
could not but feel that the Democrats were not wholly 
to blame for resolving to gain the fruits of their ad- 
mitted victory in the State, or leave a bloody land- 
mark to deter all future Democratic apostates. I was 
in Harrisburg at the time, and was the senior military 
officer on duty as assistant adjutant general of the 
United States, but was engaged chiefly, if not wholly, 

Of Pennsylvania 35 

in closing up the complicated affairs of the State draft 
that had been made several months before. I have 
seen many bitter conflicts in the Pennsylvania Legis- 
lature, but none that eqtialed the Cameron-Buckalew 
contest of 1863. Cameron's friends did not doubt 
that they had his election secured if their Democratic 
friends could be protected in deserting the party, but 
they also well understood, what was an open declara- 
tion on every street comer, that any Democrat who 
voted for Cameron would imperil his life. It was not 
only known that the Democrats meant to kill in the 
hall of the house any Democrat who voted for Cameron, 
but they knew that several organized bodies of men 
from Philadelphia, who had been assigned to the task, 
had accepted it and were more than ready for its 
execution. Such was the condition of affairs when 
Boyer made a public statement that he had been in 
apparent negotiation with the Cameron people for the 
sale of his vote, but that he had never intended to 
desert his party. 

A few days before the election of Senator, Governor 
Curtin had been called to Pittsburg in the performance 
of important public duties, and he sent for me before 
he left for Pittsburg, and informed me that he was 
advised of the pxirpose of Cameron's friends to call 
upon him and demand that he protect the Legislature 
by a military force. He told me that he would not be 
back in time to dispose of the proposition, and it would 
naturally come to me, as I was the military command- 
ant of the city. He asked my views on the subject, and 
I promptly answered that if a military force was to be 
thrown in and about the Legislature, he would have to 
summon the militia to perform that duty, as I would 
not permit any military force that I could command 
to commit such a violent exercise of military power. 
The Governor was entirely satisfied with my answer, 

36 Old Time Notes 

and as he knew that I was quite willing to accept the 
responsibility, he was content that the issue should be 
left to be disposed of by me from a military standpoint. 
Cameron called upon me and informed me that he 
could be elected United States Senator if the members 
of the Legislature were protected in voting as they 
wished to vote. I, of course, knew that he had no 
chance whatever of election, even if he obtained two or 
three Democratic votes, but I could not give him any 
information on that point. He made a most earnest 
appeal to me to assent to the announcement that a 
military force would protect the members of the 
Legislature in voting for United States Senator and 
protect them also from violence after they had left the 
hall. I answered Cameron, as I had answered the 
Governor, that I would never permit the gleam of the 
bayonet in the legislative halls to intimidate or protect 
legislators in the discharge of their duties, and that 
such an atrocious violation of the ftmdamental prin- 
ciples of civil government was not a question even to be 
discussed. There was no bitterness exhibited by either 
in the full discussion of the question, but he was most 
persistent in urging me to assure his election by order- 
ing the military force to take possession of the Capitol. 
I knew how hopeless the effort was, even imder the 
most favorable conditions, as he viewed it, but I was 
not at liberty to express any views as to the defection 
in his own party. He imdoubtedly believed that a 
military force to protect all who entered the hall of 
the house would assure his election, and it was only 
natural that he should feel greatly disappointed and 
grieved at my refusal to assent to his programme. After 
a conference of more than an hour Cameron left me 
without any exhibition of temper, but he certainly 
felt then that I was the one insuperable obstacle to 
his election to the Senate. 

Of Pennsylvania 37 

It was known to all the next day that the civil 
authority of the State would not be put under any 
restraint or offered any protection in the election of 
the Senator, and that practically ended the contest. 
Until then Cameron's friends were all absolutely certain 
that he would win. Several hundred men from Phila- 
delphia had come to Harrisburg solely for the purpose 
of making it impossible for a Democrat to vote for 
Cameron, and when they found that there would be no 
interference by the military, declarations could be 
heard in any of the hotels or on any of the street 
comers that the Democrat who voted against his party 
would never emerge from the hall of the house alive. 
The declarations were not only made, but the men who 
made them meant just what they said. The Demo- 
crats had control of the house, and with the officers of 
the body subject to the orders of Democratic leaders 
they had absolute control of the spectators to be ad- 
mitted to witness the Senatorial election. It is need- 
less to say that the "killers" and "bouncers** from 
Philadelphia were given the advantage of positions in 
the hotise, and they were very earnestly determined 
on the immediate death of any Democratic member 
who voted for Cameron. 

They knew that Boyer would vote for Buckalew, but 
they remembered that, when Cameron was elected 
over Forney, Lebo, Maneer and Wagenseller were not 
even suspected by the Democrats tmtil they cast their 
votes on the ballot for Senator. They had no knowl- 
edge of the determinedly organized opposition to Cam- 
eron within the Republican lines; they assumed, as 
they had every reason to assume, that Cameron would 
receive the tmited Republican vote, and they were 
apprehensive that the Cameron Democratic vote might 
come from a wholly unexpected quarter. It would 
hftve Qome, I did not then doubt, and I 4o JiQt now 

38 Old Time Notes 

doubt, but for the fact that every Democratic member 
of the Legislature well knew that he could hope to live 
over the day only by voting for Buckalew. 

The hall was crowded to suffocation, but the Demo- 
cratic officers of the house had taken care that sufficient 
of the Democrats who might be needed in an emergency 
should be admitted. George V. Lawrence, of Wadiing- 
ton, was speaker of the senate and presided over the 
joint convention, and by his side, on the speaker's stand, 
was John Cessna, Democratic speaker of the house. 
Lawrence was an accomplished parliamentarian, and 
heartily supported Cameron. He doubtless completely 
understood the situation, and knew when he called the 
convention to order that Cameron's election was im- 
possible solely, as he believed, because the Democrats 
who would be willing to vote for Cameron could do so 
only at the sacrifice of their lives. There was profound 
silence in the hall when the clerk of the senate began 
the roll call of the mcmlwrs, and it continued unbroken 
as the clerk of the houses proceeded to call the roll of 
representatives. There was not an expression from 
aT)y one until the name of Representative Sehofield, of 
Philadelphia, was called. He was a fearless and 
rather dramatic character, and he resjX)nded by rising 
in his ])lace and saying that in the face of an offer of 
$100,000 to vote against his party, he cast his vote for 
Charles R. Buckalew. Thoni(» and the other Republi- 
can members of the houses who had made the compact 
to defeat Cameron's election voUmI for him, as thev 
knew that no Democrat would su])])(^rt him, with the 
exception of Bartholomew La|K)rte, who had become 
so thoroughly divSgustc*d with the* C/ameron contest 
that he voted against him. After roll call the vote was 
tabulated and SjKjaker Lawrence announced that 
Charles R. Buckalew had received u majority of votes 
and was elected United Stat(*s Scimtor. As sum as 

Of Pennsylvania 39 

the election of Buckalew was announced the crowd 
broke out of the hall of the house, and from that time 
until long after the midnight hour the roystering Dem- 
ocratic element that had come to Harrisburg expecting, 
and rather wishing, to carve out a record that would 
make future Democratic apostates impossible, made 
their cheers echo throughout every part of the city. 

Charles R. Buckalew was one of the ablest men of 
the Democratic leaders of his time. He was not an 
organizer, he had little or no knowledge of political 
strategy, and was entirely imfitted for the lower strata 
methods of modem poUtics. He came to the senate 
in 1852 hardly known outside of !iis own district; he 
was singularly quiet and imobtrusive in manner, and 
never in any way sought to exploit himself. He won 
his position in the party solely by the great ability he 
possessed, his practical efficiency in legislation, and 
the absolute purity of his character. He was ordinarily 
a cold, imimpassioned speaker, but eminently logical 
and forceful. 

Only on a very few occasion^ did I ever see him 
aroused to the exhibition of emotion in public debate. 
He took the floor only when there seemed to be a 
necessity for it, and always brief and incisive in the 
expression of his views while presenting his arguments. 
Had he entered the National Senate under different 
conditions he would have made a more creditable 
record in that body, but during his entire six years of 
service his party was in a pitiable minority, and with 
his old-school Democratic ideas he could not advance 
with the new revolutionary conditions which surroimded 
and overwhelmed him. 

Buckalew was an old-time Democratic strict con- 
structionist, and he had no sympathy with the violent 
advances precipitated by war or the overthrow of 
slavery, by methods as violent in politics as were the 

40 Old Time Notes 

deadly struggles in the field to sustain it. He com- 
manded the imiversal respect of his Republican asso- 
ciates in the senate, and the unswerving confidence 
of his own party in State and country. In 1872, when 
the Democrats had every prospect of electing a Gover- 
nor, because of the Liberal Republican movement, 
they nominated Buckalew without a serious contest, 
and that meant that the party wanted Buckalew 
rather than that Buckalew wanted the office. He 
was not capable of manipulating the nomination for 
himself, and he was made a candidate solely because 
the party preferred him and presented him as the 
strongest and cleanest standard bearer that could be 
offered to the people. He accepted the nomination 
and spoke in a number of the leading centers of the 
State, but did not attempt a systematic canvass. The 
collapse of the Liberal Republican and Democratic 
coalition at the October elections is well remembered, 
and Buckalew fell in the race. Later he was elected 
to Congress, where he served two terms, and that 
ended his public career. In both the National Senate 
and House he seldom participated in debate, but was 
a most faithful and efficient practical worker in all 
matters relating to legislation. Soon after his retire- 
ment the work of a highly honorable and useful life was 
ended, and he crossed the dark river to the echoless 
shore beyond. 

Of Pennsylvania 41 




Curtin*s Broken Health Made his Retirement an Apparent Necessity — 
Curtin Movement to Nominate General Franklin, a Loyal Democrat, 
to be Supported by Both Parties, Rejected by the Democrats — Curtin 
Tendered a First-Class Mission by President Lincoln to Enable Him 
to Retire from the Contest — Interesting Interview with Lincoln 
by Cameron, Forney and the Author — Republican People Refuse to 
Accept his Withdrawal, and a Number of the Leading Counties 
Instructed for Him — He Was Renominated on the First Ballot. 

AS SOON as the desperate contest for the United 
States Senator had ended in January, 1863, 
the consideration of the gubernatorial con- 
test was the absorbing topic in political circles. It was 
not doubted at any time that Governor Curtin could 
command a renomination from the Republican party 
regardless of the opposition of Cameron, but two very 
important considerations made him and his friends 
take pause. He had been suffering for more than a 
year from a malady that required severe and exhaus- 
tive surreal operations, and his devotion to his exacting 
political duties never gave him opportimity to regain 
his strength. In the spring of 1863 there was every 
indication of a general and final breakdown of his 
physical system, and all felt that it was not possible for 
him to assume the responsibility and labors of another 
State battle for the Governorship. It would not have 
been possible for him to make a canvass of the State, 
and the general conviction of his friends was that if 
he accepted the nomination and attempted to make 
the fight, he would not survive the struggle. 

42 Old Time Notes 

The other consideration was one that was also a 
very grave one for himself and his friends to consider. 
Even with a thoroughly united party he cotild hardly 
hope to command success, and with Cameron *s implaca- 
ble hostility there was no reasonable prospect of his 
re-election. Our soldiers were disfranchised unless they 
could be furloughed home to vote, and with 75,000 
Pennsylvania soldiers in the field, a very large majority 
of whom would support Curtin, and denied the right 
of suffrage, the contest appeared to be utterly hope- 
less. Curtin fully realized the gravity of both con- 
siderations, which forbade an acceptance of a renomina- 
tion, and he was very earnestly desirous to be able to 
retire from office at the end of his term and have a 
successor who would be thoroughly loyal in his devo- 
tion to the cause of the government in its struggle 
against armed rebellion. He felt that the question 
of placing Pennsylvania in the attitude of giving the 
highest measure of moral and material support to the 
government was paramount to all pacrty interests, and 
had the Democrats of Pennsylvania accepted his sug- 
gestion, they would have had a Democratic Governor as 
his successor, and the party would have been planted 
on a platform of unquestioned loyalty to the Union. 

General William B. Franklin had won distinction 
in the army as a corps commander under McClellan. 
He was a native of Pennsylvania, a pronounced Demo- 
crat and earnestly loyal. When the Pennsylvania 
Reserve Corps was organized in 1861, Curtin first 
offered the command of that corps to General Mc- 
Clellan, who was then employed as a railroad engineer 
in Ohio, but on the very day that Curtin *s invitation 
had reached him, the Governor of Ohio had asked him 
to accept a major generalship and take command of 
a number of Ohio regiments then just organized, and 
the Legislature had in a very few minutes passed an 

Of Pennsylvania 43 

act making him eligible, notwithstanding he was not 
a citizen of the State. McClellan had given his con- 
sent to accept the Ohio command, and was thus com- 
pelled with great reluctance to decline the command 
of the Reserve Corps. Curtin then offered the command 
to Franklin, who had just been promoted to a colonelcy 
in the regtdar anny, but as the government had refused 
to accept the Reserves in immediate service, Franklin 
felt compelled to decline it, as it would retire him from 
active operations in the field. The command was 
then given to General McCall. 

When the question of Curtin 's candidacy was being 
very carefully considered by himself and his friends, 
I received an urgent despatch from him to come to 
Harrisbtirg, and I arrived at the Executive mansion 
in the evening. He told me that his purpose in sending 
for me was to inaugurate a movement for the nomina- 
tion of General Franklin as a candidate for Governor 
on a non-partisan platform. He believed that as 
there was no question of Franklin *s devotion to Democ- 
racy the Democrats would be glad to accept him, 
and Curtin *s plan was that the Republicans should 
endorse the nomination, and thus bring the two great 
parties in Pennsylvania to the support of the war in 
solid phalanx. It was a grand, patriotic conception, 
and one that I believed, as Curtin did, the Democrats 
would be willilig to accept, and there would have been 
no serious difficulty in securing for Franklin the endorse- 
ment of the Republicans. Franklin would have made 
a model Governor, and his election would have relieved 
the Democrats of the last vestige of disloyalty and 
greatly strengthened them for future contests. 

It was decided to call into private consultation a 
ntmiber of the Democratic leaders, and if possible get 
them enlisted in the Franklin movement, but we were 
both stirprised at the opposition at once developed 

44 Old Time Notes 

throughout the Democratic circles. The Democrats 
believed that they could elect the next Governor, 
becatise of the absence of the soldiers from the polls, 
and there were a number of earnest candidates, embrac- 
ing Judge Woodward, of the supreme court ; ex-Speaker 
Hopkins, of Washington; ex-Speaker Cessna, of Bed- 
ford ; Senator Clymer, of Berks, and half a dozen others 
who were most prominent on the surface. I was utterly 
amazed to learn that not one of the potential leaders 
of the party was willing to accept Franklin, and the 
chief objection to him was that his views on the war 
did not accord with the dominant sentiment of the 
party. It was a great opportimity for the Democracy 
of Pennsylvania, but the Democracy that had favored 
and prosecuted every war in which the country was 
engaged, and boasted that it was the war party of the 
country, was greatly demoralized and weakened in its 
most vital quality, and it could not throw its powerful 
energies into the support of the war for the maintenance 
of the Union. Its great leadership was dwarfed and 
paralyzed, and a very large projx)rtion of even the 
more intelligent Democratic people of the State be- 
lieved that the war must finally be ended by compro- 
mise, as the South could not be conquered into sub- 
mission to a reunion of the States. 

I conferred with Cassidy, who was then a great 
power in the Democratic organization of the State, 
and who was thoroughly up-to-date, not only in polit- 
ical management, but in complete knowledge of his 
party. His answer was very significant, as he said 
that the Democrats would not accept Franklin solely 
because it was the wise thing for them to do. He 
declared that the Democratic leaders had lost their 
power and were political suicides. In conference with 
Cessna he admitted the force of the argument in favor 
of Franklin, but as Cessna had been pronoimced in his 

of Pennsylvania 45 

loyal support of the Government, and as the Governor- 
ship was the one dream of his life, he was tmwilling 
to retire from the contest in favor of Franklin, when, 
as he put it, his own election would be just as pro- 
noimced a victory for loyalty as that of Franklin. 
It soon became evident that the Franklin scheme must 
be abandoned, and he was dropped out of the contest 
without his name ever having been in public discussion 
as a gubernatorial expectant. Franklin had no knowl- 
edge of the movement until after it had been abandoned. 
He told me later that he would have accepted the 
position because of the high honor it brought to him, 
but that personally he was very glad he would not be 
called from active service to civil life. 

After the Franklin episode it was evident to all that 
the battle for the next gubernatorial election would be 
a square struggle between the two parties in the State, 
and Curtin was very anxious to find some method by 
which he could retire without discredit. The delegates 
were being elected from week to week, and in most 
instances were instructed for him, but he still hoped 
that some conditions would arise by which he could 
escape the responsibility and labors of the campaign. 

Soon after Franklin's name had been dropped I 
received a message from Mrs. Curtin to come to Har- 
risbtirg at once, and I was with the Governor and his 
family the same evening. I was surprised to learn 
from Mrs. Curtin, the first opporttmity she had to inform 
me on the subject, that she had sent for me without 
the knowledge of the Governor, and that she wished 
to have a talk with me alone. When an opportunity 
presented she said that she had viewed with great 
anxiety the efforts made to have the Governor retire 
from the gubernatorial contest, but now she saw that 
his nomination was ahnost certain to be made, and that 
he would not decline it even though he felt that it 

46 Old Time Notes 

would be likely to cost him his life. He was in a very 
feeble condition, and Mrs. Ciutin said it would not be 
possible for him to accept the struggle of another cam- 
paign and siuvive. She pleaded with me with tears 
scalding her cheeks to find some method by which the 
Governor could be at once relieved from his position 
as a candidate, as it was a constant source of vexation 
and aggravated his illness. 

Later in the evening I had opportunity to confer 
with the Governor alone and told him frankly what 
Mrs. Curtin had done and said, and I added that she 
was entirely right, and that he must in some way be 
retired from the field as a gubernatorial candidate. 
He suggested that if a foreign mission were tendered 
to him it would be a plausible excuse for his retirement 
in view of broken health, and added that I might find 
some way of bringing that about. I said to him that I 
would go to Washington at once, and did not doubt 
it could be accomplished if he would permit me to do 
it in my own way. He agreed to leave the matter 
entirely in my hands, and I went to Washington 
on the night train. I had no settled plan of action 
tmtil I reached Washington. I had decided to confer 
with Forney, through whom I hoped that Cameron 
could be brought into co-operation with the arrange- 
ment. If I had intimated to Curtin that I contem- 
plated any relations with Cameron, he would have for- 
bidden it. I called at Forney's private office in the 
old building on Capitol Hill, where he often entertained 
friends, and where Cameron often went for a rest in the 
afternoon, as the relations between Cameron and 
Forney were then very friendly. I told Forney of 
my mission, and the necessities which had inspired it. 
It was necessary for Curtin to be retired, first, because 
he could not survive the battle, and second, because 
his election seemed doubtful in view of the Pennsyl- 

Of Pennsylvania 47 

vania soldiers in the field and the factional hostility 
that would be arrayed against Curtin. Forney was 
very warmly attached to Ctirtin and very cordially 
assented to the suggestion that he shotild be retired 
by the offer of a mission, and thus harmonize the party 
on a candidate who would not be offensive to any fac- 
tional interests in the State. I suggested that I be- 
lieved Cameron would favor the movement, as he would 
be gratified to have Curtin out of the Governorship, 
and also gratified to have him out of the State. Forney 
responded that Cameron would doubtless approve of 
it, and said that he could be called at once, as he was 
lying down upstairs in one of his rooms. 

Cameron was sent for and appeared in a few minutes. 
The matter was presented to him by both Forney and 
myself, and he said that he very heartily approved of 
the suggestion. I said to him frankly that he wanted 
Curtin out of the field because he was not his friend, 
and that I wanted him out of the field because I was 
his friend, and asked him to go with Forney and myself 
at once to the President and present the matter to 
him, to which both Forney and Cameron assented. 
Forney ordered a carriage and we went directly to the 
White House, where we foimd Lincoln alone. He 
was quite amazed to see Cameron, Forney and myself 
come together, as it was seldom that we were entirely 
in accord on any of the many political disputes which 
were before him. I stated the situation in Pennsyl- 
vania to the President with entire frankness, telling 
him that Curtin was too ill to survive the struggle, 
that his election was certainly doubtful because of the 
political conditions in our State and the absence of 
the soldiers from the polls, and that if he could tender 
Curtin a mission at the end of his term, so that public 
annotmcement could be made of it, it would entirely 
eliminate him from the race, and the factional bitter- 

48 Old Time Notes 

ness of the State wotdd not enter into the contest. 
Lincoln had a very high appreciation of Curtin and 
thoroughly understood the conditions. He said of 
course he would not offer Curtin anything but a first- 
class mission, to which Cameron replied that a second- 
class mission would serve the purpose, but I answered 
Cameron by stating that if a second-class mission was 
to be considered for Curtin, the conference was ended. 
Lincoln's face brightened as it always did when his love 
of humor asserted itself, and he said that he had but 
four first-class missions, all of which were filled by men 
who very much wanted to remain in them, and he 
added that he was much in the condition of Sheridan, 
the celebrated Englishman, whose rakish son had 
brought scandals about himself and his father. The 
father remonstrated with him about his life and in- 
sisted that he should take a wife, to which the young 
rake answered: **A11 right, father, but whose wife 
shall I take?'* He said he wanted a mission, but 
whose mission should he take? After some further 
conversation on the subject, Lincoln said that we 
could consider the suggestion as accepted and it would 
be carried out. He said that he did not yet know in 
what form he would put it, but if I would call back 
again in the morning he would give a formal answer 
that would be satisfactory to all. We retired soon 
after, and the next morning when I called on the Presi- 
dent, he handed me a letter in his own hand-writing 
to be delivered to Governor Curtin. The letter was 
as follows: 

Executive Mansion, Washington, April 13, 1863. 
Hon. Andrew G. Curtin: 

My Dear Sir: — If, after the expiration of your present term as 
Governor of Pennylvania, I shall continue in office here, and you shall 
desire to go abroad, you can do so with one of the first-class missions. 

Yours truly, 

A. Lincoln. 

Of Pennsylvania 49 

I rettimed to Harrisburg by the first train and 
delivered Lincoln's letter to Cnrtin. He was greatly 
delighted, and at once had me prepare a statement 
for the Associated Press annotmcing that the President 
had tendered to Governor Ctirtin a first-class mission 
at the expiration of his term ; that he had notified the 
President of his acceptance of the position, and that 
he would not, therefore, be a candidate for re-election 
as Governor. The annoimcement was a regular bomb- 
shell to the earnest Republicans of the State, who were 
enthusiastically devoted to Curtin, and , to the surprise 
of both Curtin 's friends and foes, within a few days 
thereafter half a dozen of the leading Republican cotm- 
ties of the State, including Lancaster and Chester, elected 
their delegates and instructed them to support Curtin 
for Governor regardless of his announced retirement. 

At the meeting with the President the question of 
who should take Curtin 's place as the Republican candi- 
date for Governor was freely discussed by Lincoln, 
Cameron, Forney and myself, although I did not intro- 
duce the subject. Forney suggested that John Covode 
would be the most available candidate, to which 
Cameron cordially assented, and after considerable 
discussion all agreed that the nomination of Covode 
would be almost certain to be generally accepted. I 
had informed Curtin on my return of the views ex- 
pressed as to Covode, and he at once said that he had 
no objection whatever to Covode 's candidacy, and 
would heartily support him. Senator Ketchum, of 
Luzerne; ex-Congressman Henry D. Moore, of Phila- 
delphia; Senator John P. Penny, of Allegheny, and 
several others were at once pressed into the field by 
their friends, but the Republican coimties continued to 
demand Ctirtin's nomination, notwithstanding his 
definite announcement that he was no longer in the 
race, and the pressure became so urgent for Curtin 's 

«— 4 

50 Old Time Notes 

acceptance that the several opposing candidates for 
the place cotdd make no progress. 

Large committees were appointed in many of the 
counties to visit the Governor in person at Harrisbtu^g 
and demand his acceptance of the nomination. Curtin 
repeated his declarations that his condition of health 
forbade him accepting further contests, but to all his 
protests the Republicans of the State turned a deaf ear, 
and within ten days of the meeting of the convention 
it had become evident that Curtin would be nominated 
in disregard of his public declination. He came to 
Chambersburg to spend a day or two with me and 
decide in what manner he should meet the new emer- 
gency that confronted him. He was entirely convinced 
that he ought not to accept the nomination, because 
his defeat would be quite probable, and because his 
health was such that he would be compelled either to 
let the contest go by default or sacrifice his life in the 
struggle to save himself and the party; but he was 
profoundly appreciative of the sentiment that demanded 
his nomination after he had publicly declined and in a 
manner that should have been entirely satisfactory 
to his personal friends. 

The question then to be decided was whether, after 
the convention had nominated him, he would answer 
with a perem]')tory declination, or bow to the judgment 
of the party and accept the issue with all its seriously 
threatened consequences. I very earnestly urged him 
to announce that he could not, under any circum- 
stances, accept the nomination, as I believed that he 
owed it to himself, his family and his friends to do 
so, but he did not reach a final decision until \s4thin an 
hour before he left me. We had sat up until after the 
midnight hour, going over every phase of the question, 
and while at breakfast he announced that he had 
reached a definite conclusion, and that if nominated, 

Of Pennsylvania $1 

he cotald not reject such a generous expression of 
devotion from the people of the State. 

Our county delegation had been chosen soon after 
his declination, and I had declined to serve as a dele- 
gate. I told him that I would obtain a substitution 
from one of our delegates and attend the convention, 
which I did. The convention met in Pittsburg, the 
hotbed of opposition to Curtin, and it was intensely 
inflamed by the old railroad war and Curtin *s approval 
of the repeal of the tonnage tax. It was publicly 
announced that if Curtin 's name was presented to the 
convention in Pittsburg it would be hissed and jeered 
by the galleries, and the statement was not entirely 
unwarranted. It was an imusually able convention 
with Mann, MacVeagh, Dickey, Judge Maxwell, Tom 
Marshall, Lawrence and many others who stood in the 
front of Republican leadership, and the opposition to 
Curtin, although a scattered and feeble minority, was 
intensely bitter in the struggle. At the first session 
of the body when Curtin 's name was mentioned it was 
hissed and jeered, but Tom Marshall, himself a delegate 
from Pittsburg, arose and apologized for the black- 
guards who had, in some way, foimd their way into the 
lobby, and gave notice that if there was any repetition 
of insult to the convention when any name was men- 
tioned he would at once move to have the gallery 
cleared, as a matter of justice to Pittsburg. There 
were no more offensive demonstrations from the gallery. 
Curtin 's friends had scrupulously avoided all provoca- 
tion and reached a ballot as speedily as possible. 
Covode, seeing that his case was hopeless, did not per- 
mit the use of his name, and the ballot resulted in 90 
for Curtin, 18 for Moore, 14 for Penny, 3 for Brewster 
and I for Moorehead. The opposition moved for 
the tmanimous nomination of Curtin, and it was 
received with the wildest enthusiasm. 

52 old Time Notes 


Justice George W. Woodward Nominated for Governor by the Democrati 
When Lee Was Approaching Gettysburg — From the Democratic 
Standpoint He Was Their Strongest Candidate — ^The Union Vic- 
tories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg Decided the Contest of 1863 — 
Chairman MacVeagh's Adroit Handling of the Soldier Element — 
Soberness of Political Discussion in 1863 — Woodward Defeated and 
Curtin Re-elected — Woodward's Distinguished Career. 

THE issue of the memorable gubernatorial con- 
test of 1863 was irrevocably decided by the 
repulse of Pickett's charge and the retreat 
of Lee's army from the battlefield of Gettysburg. It 
was not fully understood at the time, nor indeed at 
any period during the contest, that the mandate for 
Curtin 's re-election came from the decisive battle- 
field of the Civil War, but it was none the less the truth. 
Had Lee's campaign in Pennsylvania been crowned 
with any important measure of success it would have 
been accepted very generally in the North that the war 
was likely to be indefinitely continued, with none able 
to foretell the final result with any degree of certainty ; 
but when, on the Fourth of July, 1863, General Meade 
announced the retreat of Lee's army, and General 
Grant annoimced the surrender of Vicksburg, the con- 
fidence of the loyal people of the country was greatly 
strengthened, and the feeling was very general that the 
military power of the Rebellion was broken, assuring 
the overthrow of the Confederacy. 

The readers of the present day who did not live during 
the appalling trials of the war can have no just concep- 
tion of the dark clouds of doubt and despair which 

Of Pennsylvania 53 

hung over the North until after the victories of Meade 
and Grant in 1863. The Army of the Potomac had 
fought battle after battle, and suffered defeat in every 
struggle, with the single exception of the drawn battle 
of Antietam, and Grant had been twice repulsed at 
Vicksburg when he had attempted to carry the enemy's 
works by assault. So strong was the feeling in some 
of the great centers of the North that New York city 
was pltmged into bloody riots, with anarchy reigning 
for days because of the attempt to enforce the National 
conscription law, and the MoUie Maguire combination in 
the anthracite region of Pennsylvania was not entirely 
alone in the disposition to resort to revolutionary 
measures against the further prosecution of the war. 
When the enemy was on the border, with a large army 
threatening the invasion of the North, I saw regiments 
march away from the front to enforce submission to 
the law in the Schuylkill region. Congress had just 
enacted an effective National conscription law, and 
that was an invitation to all who were willing to accept 
violent measures against the government to precipitate 
their action. In fact until the defeat of Lee at Gettys- 
burg, and his retreat to his old battle lines of Virginia, 
there did not seem to be a ray of hope for the election 
of a Republican Governor in Pennsylvania with 75,000 
Pennsylvania soldiers disfranchised. 

The Democratic State convention met in Harris- 
burg when the thunders of Lee's guns were heard on 
the border in the Cumberland Valley. It was a great 
opportunity for the Democrats to give General Frank- 
lin a unanimous nomination, as it would have empha- 
sized the attitude of the party and relieved it of the 
crushing millstone of actual or apparent disloyalty 
that always more or less hindered Democratic success. 
It was one of the ablest conventions the Democrats 
ever held in the State, and it is safe to say that nine- 

56 Old Time Notes 

of the political centers of the State made him a miaster 
in directing the details of the struggle. He was aided 
by experienced men of tireless energy, and the organi- 
zation of the party in every township of the State was 
speedily accomplished. It required little more than 
intelligent and judicious direction, as never in any 
political contest that I recall were the people of both 
parties so soberly earnest in political effort. 

When the home organization was thus perfected, a 
great work, and the only one that gave promise of 
success, was systematically undertaken and carried 
out with a degree of perfection that has never been 
surpassed in political management. The 75,000 sol- 
diers in the field were generally devoted to Curtin. 
They had learned to accept him and speak of him as 
the ** Soldiers' Friend." Every Pennsylvanian in the 
field, however humble, who addressed the Governor on 
any subject, however trivial, received a prompt answer 
bearing the Governor's signature, and always heartily 
aiding the soldier's wishes or fully explaining why they 
could not be acceded to. The Pennsylvania soldier 
sick or wounded in a hospital, even though far off in 
the Southwest, felt the sympathetic touch of Curtin 's 
devotion to the soldiers by the kind ministrations of 
the Governor's special agents assigned to the task of 
caring for the helpless in the field. He had annoimced 
his purpose to have the State declare the orphans of our 
fallen soldiers to be the wards of the Commonwealth, 
a promise that was more than generously fulfilled, and 
the Pennsylvania soldiers killed on the field, or dying 
from sickness or wounds, were always taken possession 
of by officials representing the patriotic philanthropy 
of the Governor, and their bodies brought home at the 
expense of the State, for sepulture with their loved 
ones at home. 

Thus had Curtin not only won the personal affect irn 

of Pennsylvania 57 

of Pennsylvania soldiers by his practical devotion to 
their interests, but he was known to be in earnest 
sympathy with their cause, and even Democratic 
soldiers, of whom there were many, believed that the 
issue directly affected their attitude as soldiers and the 
care of the State for themselves and their famiUes, 
and their party prejudices largely perished. These 
Pennsylvania soldiers were disfranchised when the 
"Soldiers' Friend" was upon trial before the people 
of the State for the continuance of his loyal and humane 
administration. The election was held early in Octo- 
ber, a period very favorable for military operations, 
and it was not possible to expect any considerable 
number of them to be furloughed home to vote. 

The great problem of the campaign that Chairman 
MacVeagh had to solve was how to bring the influence 
of the disfranchised soldiers in the field into practical 
effect upon the fathers, brothers and immediate 
friends at home. There were very few families in the 
State which were not more or less directly interested 
in individual solders in the field. Most of them had 
fathers, sons or brothers offering their lives in the 
flame of battle for the preservation of the Union, and 
the hearts of every one at home, of fathers, mothers, 
sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, were ever 
thoughtful of their friends at the front, and ready to 
do anything within their power to add to their comfort 
and strengthen their hopes of success. One of the 
duties performed by Chairman MacVeagh 's committee 
was to ascertain every Democratic family that was 
immediately represented in the field, and there were 
thousands of Pennsylvania soldiers, officers and pri- 
vates, who needed no special appeal to make them take 
up the cause of the "Soldiers' Friend" in the contest. 
In their midst around the campfire the question was 
disctissed by the Pennsylvania soldiers, and certainly 

s8 Old Time Notes 

three-fourths of them sent home the most urgent 
appeals to their fathers, brothers and friends to vote 
to sustain the patriotic and philanthropic Governor 
of the State as a matter of duty in support of the sol- 
diers' cause. Not only did the soldiers appeal to the 
members of their immediate families, but to their 
many personal friends whom they knew at home, and 
the result was a mute but omnipotent expression from 
oiu" soldiers jn the field to their relatives and friends 
at home, that turned the scales and made Pennsylvania, 
with not less than 30,000 majority of Democratic 
voters at the polls, re-elect Curtin by over 15,000 

Curtin had also strengthened his cause with the 
soldiers by pressing upon the Legislature of 1863, that 
had adjourned before he was renominated, an amend- 
ment to the State Constitution, authorizing the soldiers 
to vote in the field, and it had been passed by both 
branches, but without cordial support from the Demo- 
cratic party. It was well understood that if the Re- 
publicans carried the Legislature at the election of 1863, 
the new Legislature, to meet in January, 1864, would 
pass the proposed amendment the second time, as re- 
quired by the fundamental law, and thus bring about 
the right of the soldiers to vote in the field. The Re- 
publicans carried the Legislature along with Curtin; 
the proposed amendment to the Constitution relating 
to soldier suffrage was promptly passed and a special 
election called by the Legislature for its ratification by 
the people in midsummer, so that at the Presidential 
election of 1864 the soldiers were given the right of suf- 
frage in the field. 

Governor Curtin was physically unable to make a 
general campaign of the State, but he made a few brief 
speeches, and the desire to see and hear him was such 
that when an appointment was announced for him in 

Of Pennsylvania 59 

any part of the State, the people as a rule came regard- 
less of party, and his broken health, that was so visible 
to all, aroused his friends to tireless action in his behalf 
to relieve him as far as possible from the necessity of 
exhausting his enfeebled powers in the contest. Judge 
Woodward made few deliverances in the campaign, 
and they were always of the most dignified and coiu*- ^ 
teous character. He avoided discussion of some of 
the vital issues pressed by his opponents because of 
his position as a judge. The constitutionality of the 
National conscription law had been brought before the 
courts, and the case of Kneedler vs. Lane was pending 
in the supreme court, of which he was a member, and 
it had been argued by able counsel on both sides before 
the October election. The fact that the decision of 
the supreme court was delayed until the 9 th of Novem- 
ber, a month after the October election, made the ques- 
tion of sustaining the National conscription act a vital 
one on the side of Curtin and his supporters, and Wood- 
ward was silent on the subject, as he was a sitting judge 
who had heard the case, and must join in delivering 
final judgment upon it. 

Had the supreme court decided the conscription act 
to be tmconstitutional before the election, as it did on 
the 9th of November, a month after the election, that 
decision alone, if supported by Woodward, would have 
defeated his election, and the fact that the decision 
was held until after the election became an important 
factor in hindering Woodward's success. Additional 
embarrassment was given to the Democrats by the fact 
that Chief Justice Lowrie was the other candidate on 
the Democratic State ticket, he having been renomi- 
nated to succeed himself. Thus the two leading mem- 
bers of the supreme court who held the constitutionality 
of the conscription act in their keeping, and failed to 
announce a judgment before the election, were aggres- 


6o Old Time Notes 

sively antagonized on the conscription issue, as it was 
well understood that without a National conscription 
act the armies could not be maintained in the field, 
and both from their judicial position were compelled to 
maintain silence, while their party leaders could not 
assume to speak for them. 

In all my long participation in and observation of 
political campaigns in Pennsylvania I can recall none 
that approached the contest of 1863 in impressive 
soberness. The wide-awakes and the marching clubs 
which made the air ring with hearty hurrahs in i860, 
were imfelt as a factor in 1863. There were marching 
clubs, of course, but they were not the rollicking, shout- 
ing, caped and lanterned boys who had enlivened the 
Lincoln campaign three years before. The hurrah 
speeches of ordinary political campaigns would have 
jarred harshly upon the sensibilities of the political 
audiences. The people came to hear words of truth 
and soberness; they came to unite soberly and ear- 
nestly for political action, and their convictions and 
their earnestness of purpose were ever with them. It 
was a struggle eye to eye and face to face, not for the 
triumph of a party, but for the triumph of a sacred 
principle involving the life of the Republic. Such 
were the convictions which ruled the contest, and they 
were universal. Never were so few doubtful voters 
returned by political committees; never did positive 
and aggressive conviction assert itself with so little 
ceremony and ostentation. The vote polled was the 
largest ever cast in the State, considering the absence 
of 75, 000 soldiers, as is shown by the fact that while 
Lincoln received 268,930 votes in i860, giving him some 
50,000 majority over all, Curtin in 1863 received 269,506 
votes, giving him a majority of over 15,000. 

I met Judge Woodward frequently during the cam- 
paign, and, like all who knew him, I cherished not only 

Of Pennsylvania 6i 

the highest respect but a strong personal affection for 
him. He was a man of strong partisan prejudice, 
resulting from the fact that he was a Democrat of the 
old school, a strict constructionist and sincerely con- 
vinced that there was no safety to popular govern- 
ment in the revolutionary iimovations which are ever 
precipitated by civil war. He regarded coercion as 
imwarranted by the Constitution, and logically held 
that the Emancipation Proclamation was an act of 
Executive usurpation. On a journey one afternoon 
from Philadelphia to Allentown, where I was to deliver 
an address for Curtin in the evening, Judge Woodward 
was my companion on the train, and we discussed the 
poUtical situation and the war with entire freedom, 
and, of course, with the utmost courtesy. He expressed 
his views very earnestly, because on aU the great ques- 
tions of the day his convictions were as earnest as they 
were sincere. As we approached Allentown I asked 
him in a jocular way whether he would permit me to 
declare to the audience I was to address that evening 
the views he had expressed on various subjects relating 
to the war, to which he answered that *' a conversation 
in the free intercourse common among gentlemen is 
of course not for public criticism." He knew of 
course that I was incapable of violating the sanctity 
of casual intercourse among friends I reminded him 
that he had two sons in the army who had won distinc- 
tion and stood among the heroic soldiers of the State, 
and asked him whether he or I in the opposing positions 
with the soldiers was best supporting the cause of the 
soldiers in the field. He answered with visible pride 
that his sons were soldiers, and as soldiers they would 
do their duty. 

His defeat was not only a great disappointment, but 
a severe humiliation. By the retirement of Chief 
Justice Lowrie, who was defeated at the same election, 

62 Old Time Notes 

Woodward succeeded to the chief justiceship, and he 
was one of the few members of our supreme court 
whose judicial deliverances ranked as approaching 
the ability of Gibson as a jurist. After his retirement 
from the supreme court, his taste for political life that 
had brought such keen disappointments in his defeat 
by Cameron for Senator in 1845, and his defeat for 
Governor in 1863, made him willing to accept a nomina- 
tion for Congress, and he was twice elected. In the 
House he at once took high rank as one of the ablest 
of the Democratic leaders, but entirely tmskilled in the 
political strategy that often makes men of moderate 
intellectual force the masters of intellectual giants in 
legislation. During his service in Congress he was 
prominently discussed as the Democratic candidate 
for the Presidency, but his political life was ended, 
and he never was formally presented as a candidate 
by his State. 

He had roimded oujt his patriarchal years, and he 
turned back to his first love, the court of contimon pleas, 
and annoimced his willingness to accept the nomination 
from the Democracy of Luzerne for that position, 
intending to end his career in the calm and quiet of 
local administration of justice. He was promptly 
nominated,, but those were times when local and general 
political tempests were common, and to the surprise 
of friends and foes, and to the fearful htimiliation of 
the great jurist himself, he was largely defeated by 
the Republican candidate. Soon thereafter he went 
abroad, where his culture could find pleasant enjoy- 
ment, and on the nth of May, 1875, "the swift message 
that traverses the seas with the rapidity of the lightning 
flash, told the story of his death. The supreme court 
was sitting at Harrisburg, and a case was on for hearing 
in which I was to make the closing argtmient on the 
following morning. The cable despatch was received 

Of Pennsylvania 63 

axmotmcing his death just a few minutes before the 
period of adjournment. Soon after the adjournment 
I was notified by the chief justice that I should deliver 
my argument in the pending case the next morning, 
and when it was concluded, announce the death of 
Chief Justice Woodward to the court, and then move 
adjournment. The next morning I delivered my 
argtiment on the pending case, and when through with 
it aimounced the death of Chief Justice Woodward 
in a brief address, of which the following was the con- 
cluding paragraph: 

" And now in the fullness of his days, ripe in years and 
wearing the chaplet of honors that even malice would 
not d^e to stain, he has passed away. The fitful 
clouds and angry tempests of prejudice and passion, 
which at times obscure the attributes of greatness, 
have long since vanished like the mists of the morning, 
and in the calm, bright evening time, he who so justly 
j udged between man and man appears before the great 
Judge of all the living. But his blameless life, his pure 
example, his reverenced judgments remain, and like the 
beautiful dream of the departed sun that throws its 
halo over the countless jewels which soften the deep 
lines of darkness, so will his lessons of wisdom and 
honesty illumine the path of public and private duty 
for generations to come. In respect to his memory I 
move that the court do now adjourn." 

64 Old Time Notes 


The Complete Story of the Efforts Made to Dedare the National Con- 
scription Act Unconstitutional by a State Court — Volunteering Had 
Ceased and Conscription Was the Only Hope of Filling the Union 
Armies — Proceedings Instituted at Nisi Prius Before Judge Wood- 
ward, Who Summoned the Entire Court to Hear and Decide the Im- 
portant Question — After Exhaustive Argument Decision Delayed 
Until After the Election— The Court, by Three to Two, Declared the 
Act Unconstitutional — Chief Justice Lowrie Was Defeated by Justice 
Agnew — On Final Hearing Justice Agnew, Successor to Chief Justice 
Lowrie, Reversed Preliminary Hearing and Declared the Conscription 
Act Constitutional. 

THE most momentous question ever submitted 
to the supreme court of Pennsylvania for its 
arbitrament arose in 1863, and was doubly 
momentous because of its immediate bearing upon the 
gubernatorial contest of that year, and also upon the 
power of the State to furnish its quota of troops to the 
Union army. The case is known to the profession as 
Kneedler vs. Lane (9 Wright, 238), but there were 
really three plaintiffs in the case, as three conscripts 
joined in the legal proceeding to restrain the provost 
marshal from forcing them into the military service of 
the government. The parties to the action were 
Henry S. Kneedler vs, David M. Lane, Charles S. Bar- 
rett, J. Ralston Wills, Isaac Ashman, Jr. The second 
was Francis V. Smith, against the same defendants. 
The third was William Francis Nickells vs. William E. 
Lehman, N. N. Marsellis, Charles Murphy and Eben- 
ezer Scanlan. Lane and Lehman were provost mar- 
shals imder the conscription act, and their associate 
defendants were the men who made up what was called 

Of Pennsylvania 65 

the enrolling board, of which there was one in each 
congressional district. 

Voltmteering had ceased, and it became a necessity 
for the government to fill up the ranks of its armies by 
conscription, or permit the Union to be overthrown 
by armed rebellion. Congress responded to this con- 
dition by passing **An act for enrolling and calling 
out the National forces, and for other purposes, ' ' that 
was approved March 3, 1863. The plaintiffs received 
notice that they had been drafted into the military 
service of the United States, and that from the time 
of receiving such notice they were under military regu- 
lations and subject to military rules, although not yet 
mustered into the service, and if they failed to report 
for duty at the time and place specified, the act pro- 
vided that they should be ** deemed as deserters and 
subject to the penalty prescribed therefor by the rules 
and articles of war." 

In those days one member of the supreme court usually 
was assigned to sit at nisi pnus, and the plaintiffs filed 
bills before Judge Woodward asking that the defend- 
ants be restrained from forcing them into military 
service, and that they be discharged. The importance 
of the case made Judge Woodward decide that it 
should be heard by a full court, and he fixed the 23d 
of September, 1863, for the plaintiffs and defendants to 
be heard by counsel before a full court in Philadelphia. 
On the day named all the judges of the supreme court 
were present, consisting of Walter H. Lowrie, of Alle- 
gheny, chief justice, with George W. Woodward, of 
Luzerne; James Thompson, of Erie; William Strong, 
of Berks, and John M. Read, of Philadelphia, justices. 
The political complexion of the court was four to one 
Democratic, Justice Read being the only Republican. 
George A. Coffee, United States district attorney; 
John C. Knox and J. Hubley Ashton, who were under- 

66 Old Time Notes 

stood to be associated with the district attorney in 
the case, were notified by the court of the time and 
place of hearing, but when the case was called no 
counsel appeared for the defendants, and George M. 
Wharton, Peter McCall, Charies IngersoU and George 
W. Biddle appeared for the plaintiffs. The court re- 
fused to proceed with the case until ftunished proof 
of ample notice to the counsel who represented the 
defendants, and a special messenger was dispatched 
by the court to ascertain whether such notice had been 
received, but the only answer given was that the 
defendants would not be represented by counsel in 
the proceeding. 

I do not doubt that political considerations had 
something, perhaps very much, to do with the failure 
of the defendants to appear by counsel. The Repub- 
licans assumed that the supreme court of the State 
had no authority whatever to pass upon the constitu- 
tionality of a National law, and the fact that Justice 
Woodward had entertained the proceedings and stam- 
moned the entire court to hear the case within two 
weeks of one of the most important elections ever held 
in the State, when Chief Justice Lowrie was the nom- 
inee of his party for re-election and Justice Woodward 
the nominee of his party for Governor, gave the Repub- 
licans what they regarded as an opportunity to em- 
phasize their aggressive hostility to such interference 
by the State judicial authority to obstruct the execu- 
tion of a National law that was the government's sole 
dependence in filling up our depleted army in the field. 
The case was ably argued chiefly by Mr. Wharton and 
Mr. Biddle, and the decision was withheld tmtil the 
gth of November, one month after the October election, 
when Chief Justice Lowrie had been defeated by Judge 
Agnew, and when Woodward had been defeated for 
Governor by Curtin. 

Of Pennsylvania 67 

This case entered into the State campaign at an early- 
stage, and it himg like a shadow over the loyal men of 
the Commonwealth, as they feared that a court com- 
posed of four Democrats with only one Republican 
might decide to declare the conscription act tmconsti- 
tutional, and thus not only hinder the reinforcement 
of our armies, but bring the State into actual conflict 
with the National authority. 

The RepubUcans were tirelessly aggressive in assail- 
ing the Democrats and the court, of which both of the 
Democratic candidates on the State ticket were mem- 
bers, as interposing to prevent the government from 
preserving its own life, and it was the common theme 
of every Republican orator on the hustings. The 
Democrats could only answer that the case was before 
an able and upright court, whose decision they "were 
prepared to accept, and that it was not an issue for 
popular discussion in the campaign. 

It was not then known, but Curtis' "Life of Buch- 
anan" brings out the fact, that ex-President Buch- 
anan felt that the issue was one of such magnitude 
that he departed from the generally tmiform rule of 
his life, and wrote an earnest personal letter to Justice 
Woodward, urging him to sustain the constitutionality 
of the Nation^ conscription law as the only means of 
safety, alike for the nation and for the party. 

Long before the battle ended it became whispered in 
political circles that Justice Strong was qtiite likely to 
sustain the conscription law. He had always been an 
earnest Democrat, had represented the Democrats of 
Berks in Congress, and was elected to the supreme 
court in 1857 along with Judge Thompson. The law 
then provided, as it now does, that when two supreme 
judges are elected at the same time they must decide 
by lot which shall receive the senior commission and 
thus become chief justice. Judge Thompson drew 

68 Old Time Notes 

the senior commission and rounded out his highly 
creditable judicial career by four years' service as 
chief justice. 

When Thompson became chief justice in 1867, Judge 
Strong resigned, chiefly because there was no hope of 
him obtaining the highest judicial honors of the State, 
and he located in Philadelphia to resume the practice 
of law. The position occupied by Judge Strong was 
one of peculiar embarrassment. He had represented 
the Democratic party in high civil positions, both 
political and judical, and he certainly cherished the 
highest personal respect for his associate, Justice Wood- 
ward, who was the Democratic candidate for Governor; 
but he felt that the issue was so grave, and his duty so 
clear and imperative, that he voted against his friend 
for Governor, and when the supreme court gave its 
decision in Pittsburg, on the 9th of November, 1863, 
Strong wrote an able and earnest dissenting opinion. 

The question was considered of such exceptional 
importance that each member of the court filed an 
elaborate opinion. Chief Justice Lowrie delivering 
what was given as the decision of the court. The 
opinion of Lowrie is temperate in tone. He opened 
with an expression of regret that the defendants had 
not been heard by cotmsel, to which he added : " For 
want of this assistance I cannot feel such an entire 
conviction of the truth of my conclusions as I would 
otherwise have. I cannot be sure that I have not over- 
looked some grounds of argument that are of decisive 
importance, but the decision now to be made is only 
preliminary to the final hearing, and it is to be hoped 
the views of the law officers of the government will not 
then be withheld." This declaration of the chief jus- 
tice, who delivered the opinion of the court, becomes 
specially important when it is read in connection with 
the final dissenting opinion of Justice Woodward. 

Of Pennsylvania 69 

Chief Justice Lowrie declares that the decision is only 
preliminary to the final hearing, while Woodward 
declares that it was the fiinal judgment of the court in 
the case. 

The chief objection presented by the three judges, 
who declared the conscription act unconstitutional, 
was that while Congress had power to raise and support 
armies, it was required to call out the nwlitia of the 
several States to execute the laws, to suppress insur- 
rection or to repel invasion. The conscription act did 
not call for the militia of the several States, although 
it called upon precisely the same men who constituted 
the militia of the Commonwealths, but they all agreed 
that if Congress did possess the power to call upon the 
men composing the militia of the State to reinforce 
the armies, the method of executing the law was 
entirely unwarranted. 

• The opinion of the supreme court, as delivered by 
Chief Justice Lowrie, concluded with the order dated 
November 9, 1863, granting a preliminary injunction 
in each of the cases, but requiring the plaintiffs to give 
bond with approved surety in the sum of $500, and the 
injunctions refused for any other purpose. 

Justice Woodward in his opinion was much more 
emphatic in his condemnation of the National conscrip- 
tion law. He denied that Congress had the power to 
draft the militia into the service of the government 
when engaged in a foreign war, and he added that " the 
power of draft to suppress insurrection is not to be 
employed, since another mode of suppressing insur- 
rection is expressly provided." Again he said, "The 
great vice of the conscript law is that it is designed on 
the assumption that Congress may take away, not the 
State rights of the citizen, but the security and fotmda- 
tion of his State rights, and how long is civil liberty 
expected to last after the securities of civil liberty are 

70 Old Time Notes 

destroyed?** Justice Thompson's opinion was quite 
as elaborate as the others, in which his constitutional 
objections to the conscription laws are stated in the 
most dignified and courteous manner. He insisted that 
the act ''plainly and directly destroys the militia 
system of the States as recognized in the Constitution. " 
While thus denying the right of Congress to reinforce 
our armies under the provisions of the conscription law, 
he expressed himself with great emphasis in favor of 
suppressing the Rebellion. He said : ** There is nothing 
on earth that I so much desire as to witness the sup- 
pression of the imjustifiable and monstrous Rebellion. 
It must be put down to save the Constitution, and the 
constitutional means for the purpose I believe to be 
ample, but we gain but little if in our efforts to preserve 
it from assault in one ciuarter we voltmtarily impair 
other portions of it.'* 

The dissenting opinion of Judge Strong attracted 
very general attention not only in the State, but 
throughout the count r>% as he was known to be trained 
in the same Demcx^ratic school with Judges Lowrie, 
Woodward and Thompson, and had worn Democratic 
honors. He sustained the constitutionality of the act 
in all its details, and Judge Read delivered a more 
elaborate dissenting opinion broadly sustaining the 
National law and refusing an injunction for the pro- 
tection of the plaintiffs. 

As previously stated, both Chief Justice Lowrie and 
Justice Woodward had been defeated for supreme 
judge and Governor just a month before the preliminary 
injunction had been granted, and less than three weeks 
before the retirement of Chief Justice Lowrie to be 
succeeded by Justice Agnew. 

On the 1 2th of December, 1863, when Agnew had 
taken the place of Lowrie in the court, Judg(* Strong 
was holding court in nisi prius in Philadelphia, and 

Of Pennsylvania 71 

ex- Judge John C. Knox appeared before him for the 
defendants in each of the several cases, and appealed 
to the court to dissolve the injunctions which had been 
granted. Judge Strong received the motion and 
appointed the 30th of December for their hearing, and, 
as in the former case, requested his brethren to sit with 
him so that the case might be heard by a full cotut. 
On the day named a full court appeared in Philadel- 
phia, and the case was fully argued by Kjiox for the 
defendants and by Biddle, McCall and Ingersoll for 
the plaintiffs. 

On the 1 6th day of January, 1864, the final decision 
of the court was rendered, Justice Strong writing the 
opinion, which was concurred in by Read and Agnew, 
and dissented from by Woodward and Thompson. 
The order of the court was as follows: "And now, to 
wit, January 16, 1864, it is ordered by the court that 
the orders heretofore made in all these cases be vacated 
and the motions for injunctions are overruled." The 
concluding sentence of the opinion of the court, delivered 
by Judge Strong, is in these words : "I am satisfied that 
the bills of the complainants have no equity and the 
act of Congress is such as Congress has the constitu- 
tional power to enact." 

Justices Read and Agnew also delivered separate 
concurring opinions. Justice Read's opinion concludes 
in these words: "The armies of the Union are not 
fighting for any single State, but they are fighting for 
their common cotmtry, the United States of America, 
as Americans, and those who have perished in this con- 
test for the preservation of the Union have died under 
the National flag which, I trust, will soon wave over 
the whole undivided territory of our glorious and once 
happy Union." Justice Agnew delivered his first 
opinion in this case, and he approaches the important 
duty of reversing a former judgment of the same court 

72 Old Time Notes 

in a somewhat apologetic manner. He referred to 
the fact that the claim was made that a new member 
of the court was bound by the rule of stare decisis. He 
said he bowed to that doctrine as a safe maxim wherever 
it applies, but he added: ** I must decide as my views 
and conscience dictate, and why not now? I find the 
case before me and I certainly cannot decide it against 
all my convictions of law, duty and patriotism." His 
opinion is the most elaborate of all those delivered by 
the court. 

Chief Justice Woodward, who had succeeded to the 
head of the court by the retirement of Lowrie, delivered 
a most vigorous dissenting opinion, in which Chief 
Justice Thompson concurred. He declared the pro- 
ceeding to be extraordinary, as the decision given on 
the 9th of November, at the preliminary hearing, "was 
as regular, fair and solemn a judgment as this court 
ever rendered." He insisted that it was final, and it 
was not within the power of the court to reverse it, 
even though the personnel of the judges changed. 
Chief Justice Woodward was a man of strong and earn- 
est conviction, and his elaborate dissenting opinion in 
the case bristles with fearless criticism of the action of 
the court in permitting a change of judges to change its. 
judgment, and also with the most pronounced expres- 
sions against the power of Congress to enforce such a 
conscription law. 

I have given in brief the story of the National con- 
scription crisis that convulsed the State in 1863. The 
three Democratic judges, Messrs. Lowrie, Woodward 
and Thompson, who decided against the constitution- 
ality of the conscription law, were bitterly denounced 
at the time for disloyalty to the government and 
unfaithfulness to their high judicial office, but as the 
intense passions of fratricidal war and of the partisan 
Strife that was accentuated by it have gradually per- 

Of Pennsylvania 73 

ished, all have accorded to those three great judges the 
credit of sincerity in the exercise of the highest judicial 
qtialities in rendering the decision. They had been 
trained in the political school that accepted the resolu- 
tions of 1798, which came from the great poUtical 
teachers — ^Jefferson and Madison — and with their long 
judicial experience and the isolation it involved from 
the world's progress it is not surprising that they 
revolted against the violent, indeed revolutionary, 
methods which become imperious when grave peril 
confronts the government. They were simply immind- 
ful that ''uncommon things make common things 
forgot," and that revolutionary perils often demand 
revolutionary protection. 

The considerate judgment of the State and of the 
country to-day is that their judgment was erroneous, 
but all of them retired from the judicial position that 
they had adorned without public or private blemish, 
and they are all named to-day among the men who have 
added to the luster of the first judicial tribimal of the 

74 Old Time Notes 



Hooker's Brilliant Strategy in Crossing the Rappahannock to Meet Lee 
When Hesitation Lost Him the Battle — The Story of Hooker's 
Wounds — Great Depression Among the Loyal People of the North — 
The Blunder of the Confederacy — The Northern Invasion Wa« 
Enforced with a Hope of Winning a Decisive Victory over the Union 
Army, and Securing the Recognition of England and France 

THE struggle between the legions of Caesar and 
Pompcy on the Plains of Pharsalia was not 
more decisive of the destiny of Rome than was 
the battle of Gettysburg in deciding the destiny of 
the Confederacy. Many bloody battles were fought 
thereafter between the Union and the Confederate 
armies before the war ended, solely because the most 
earnest and most heroic of all the jx^oples of the world 
were engaged in fratricidal conflict, and surrender was 
un thought of while battle could be waged. After all 
the bloody conflicts between the armies of Grant and 
Lee, and Sherman and Johnson, in 1864, Appomattox 
was simply the echo of Gettysburg. 

To reach an intelligent understanding of the battle of 
Gettysburg and its decisive judgment against the Con- 
federacy, the whole situation from military, political 
and material standpoints should be well considered- 
Much discussion has been inspired and many con- 
flicting views presented as to the considerations which 
decided the Confederate leaders to inaugurate the fatal 
Gettysburg campaign. The peo])le of the North were 
greatly discouraged by the failure of the Union armies 
to achieve the victories so confidently expected. The 
North had overwhehning numbers in the field, but their 

Of Pennsylvania 75 

different armies were operating in an enemy's coimtry 
with long lines of supplies which greatly reduced the 
effective fighting force, and they had the generally 
more serious disadvantage of being compelled, as a rule, 
to attack the enemy in chosen positions where his 
inferior numbers were more than atoned for by strictly 
defensive strategy and tactics. 

Hooker had opened the campaign of 1863 by moving 
out with his grand Army of the Potomac to attack Lee 
south of the Rappahannock. He was a magnificent 
specimen of the American soldier, a bom fighter and 
possessing absolute faith in his ability to march the 
Army of the Potomac to Richmond, or to any other 
points in the South. I saw him in the war office a 
fortnight before he made his movement, and he was a 
most interesting study. His handsome features, with 
a complexion as silken as a woman's, and his bright 
blue eyes grandly reflected the enthusiasm of the new 
commander. He conversed with great freedom on the 
campaign he was about to open, and I well remember 
his answer to my question as to the sufficiency of his 
force to meet the enemy in chosen and fortified posi- 
tions. He said he would cross the Rapidan without 
losing a man, which he did, and that he could then 
march the Army of the Potomac from the Rappahan- 
nock to New Orleans. To use his own Westemism, for 
he was among the " Forty-niners" in California, he told 
me that when he crossed the Rappahannock he would 
take the enemy ''where the hair is short." 

His march imtil he crossed the river is admitted by 
all experienced military men of the country to have been 
a masterly strategic movement, but when he was face 
to face with the enemy, then for the first time his 
limitations were exhibited. If he had marched directly 
from the Chancellorsville house, with Lee's command 
immediately in his front, and forced the battle, his 

76 Old Time Note. 

overwhelming ntimbers could hardly have failed to 
break Lee 's army in the center, and he then could have 
defeated it in detail; but he hesitated, and his hesita- 
tion was fatal. 

While standing on the veranda of the Chancellors- 
ville house, a solid ball from the enemy's artillery 
struck one of the pillars of the house, split a large piece 
from it that was hurled with great violence upon Hooker 
and struck him squarely on the breast. He fell insen- 
sible and remained so for a half hour or more. Stimu- 
lants were applied, and, when he was restored to con- 
sciousness, his first utterance was a command that no 
movement should be made by the army until he gave 
the orders himself. General Couch, senior officer of 
the army next to Hooker, was present, and greatly to 
his regret he was thus forbidden by his commander to 
make any movement. 

It was this hesitation and this accident, and this order 
from Hooker, that enabled Jackson to divide Lee's 
army in front of Hooker, make his rapid detour and 
strike the right of Hooker's army on front and flank, 
defeating and routing Howard's corps and compelling 
the final retreat of the army back to the northern side 
of the Rappahannock. This disaster to Hooker's right 
wing deprived General Sedgwick, commander of the left 
wing, then occupying Fredericksburg, of the sujjport he 
had been promised and confidently expected, and an 
overwhelming force of the enemy attacked him and 
compelled him to retreat with very serious loss. 

Such was the unpromising opening of the third year 
of the war, and the patriotic sentiment of the North 
was greatly chilled by our multiplied disasters. Gen- 
eral Grant was then besieging Vicksburg, and he had 
twice attempted to carry the enemy's defenses by 
assault, but was repulsed with heavy loss, and very 
grave doubts were cherished as to his final succe^ in 

Of Pennsylvania 77 

winning that Confederate stronghold, the final capture 
of whidi, as Lincoln so well expressed it, enabled the 
Father of Waters to "again go im vexed to the sea." 
The miUtary situation tmtil the Fourth of July was 
such as to offer little encouragement to the North to 
hope for substantial victories over the Confederate 

The government had exhausted its resources and 
energies to create an ironclad navy. It was the con- 
struction of the little Monitor by Captain Ericsson in 
its battle with the iron-mailed Merrimac that revolu- 
tionized naval warfare in a day, and we had in the early 
part of 1863 an iron-clad fleet that was regarded by 
many as invincible. It was believed quite capable 
of fighting its way into Charleston, and capturing that 
city, the fountain of rebellion, and it was decided that 
the despair of the people over military failures should 
be dissipated by a triumph of our ironclads in Charles- 
ton. TTie ironclad fleet was concentrated and hastened 
to the South Carolina waters. There was no secrecy 
in the movement, and it became generally known that 
on a particular day the fleet would be there and fight 
its way into the harbor and captiu'e the forts and city. 

The loyal North turned to this expedition as the one 
movement that was certain to turn the tide of battle 
and inspire the North by a substantial victory in the 
one place in the South that was regarded as most 
responsible for the fratricidal conflict. I accompanied 
Governor Curtin to Washington the day before the 
attack was to be made, and we spent the entire day 
and night until long after the midnight hour waiting 
for news at the Navy Department, but none came. 
Greatly disappointed, we returned to our hotel and 
were back in the White House immediately after break- 
fast, and found President Lincoln in the office of his 
secretary. He informed us that no news had yet been 

78 Old Time Notes 

received from the fleet. I have many times heard him 
discuss the sorrows and sacrifices of war when his great 
S3mipathetic heart poured out upon his sleeve the sorrow 
that he keenly shared of those who suffered from war, 
but I never heard him discuss the war as earnestly as he 
did on that occasion. He knew that the loyal North 
was struggling on in despair, and he felt that if Hooker's 
disaster at Chancellorsville and Grant's repulses at 
Vicksbiu'g were followed up by a repulse of our fleet 
at Charleston, the effect would be most serious. 

Suddenly the door opened and the face of Secretary 
Welles was partly thrust in as he beckoned the Presi- 
dent from the room. The moment we saw him all 
knew that he had no welcome message to bring. The 
President left, asking us to remain, as he would return 
as soon as he could give definite information. In half 
an hour he came back with his sad face deepened in 
sorrow as he told us that the fleet had been repulsed, 
and that the attempt to capture Charleston was abso- 
lutely hopeless. 

Such was the military situation in June, 1863, when 
the Confederate government committed the fatal error 
of transferring the war to the North by the invasion 
of Pennsylvania, whereby Lee's army, that was always 
outnumbered in men and gims by the Union army, 
gave up the advantages of defensive campaigns in 
which the strength of the enemy could be neutralized, 
and marched into Pennsylvania, weakening his army 
as he moved by the necessity of protecting his lines of 
supplies, and challenging the Union army to battle 
where its largest numbers could be best concentrated. 
The movement was entirely at variance with Lee's 
military policy and certainly never was advised by 
him as a desirable movement from a military stand- 
point. Viewing the Gettysburg campaign from the 
surface as presented by history, it will be pronounced 

Of Pennsylvania 79 

by all as a blunder worse than a crime, but when the 
facts are carefully winnowed out from the chaff of 
conflicting disputation it is not difficult to understand 
why the invasion of Pennsylvania was decided upon by 
the Confederate government. 

I have had many opportimities of conversing with 
the leading Confederate officials of that time, including 
such as President Davis, Vice-President Stephens, Post- 
master General Regan, Senator Orr and others, and with 
such military chieftains as Johnson, Longstreet, Beaiuie- 
gard, Pemberton, Hamilton, Fitzhugh and Custis Lee, 
Imboden, Chief of Staff Taylor, Alexander, and many 
othere, who were well informed on the subject. 

During a visit to Jefferson Davis, at his home in 
Mississippi, some ten years after the war, where he 
received me most hospitably, he spoke with great free- 
dom on all matters relating to the war, after exacting 
the assurance that no publication should be made of 
his utterances without his approval. I asked him 
why he had decided to send his army far from its base 
to meet an army that largely outnumbered it, in the 
enemy's country. His answer was that the move- 
ment was a necessity; that it was believed that Lee's 
army could defeat die Army of the Potomac wherever 
they might meet, and that such a victory won on 
Northern soil was most important to the Confederacy. 
I asked him distinctly whether General Lee had advised 
the Gettysburg campaign as a wise movement from a 
military standpoint, and he answered evasively by 
saying that it would not have been undertaken if he 
had not approved it. General Longstreet has criti- 
cised this statement when I gave it in another place, 
and declared that General Lee advised the Gettysburg 
cam|>aign and that he had personal knowledge of the 
fact. General Longstreet stated what he believed to 
be the exact truth, and what was the truth at the time 

8o Old Time Notes 

had he conferred with General Lee on the subject, bat 
no one who appreciates Lee's consummate ndHtiXaiy 
abili'^ and disoiction will ever assume that he advised 
the invasion of Pennsylvania simply as a desiiBUe 
military movement. It had become a military neces- 
sity; aJl questions of the expediency of the movement 
were silenced and Lee bowed to the inevitable. 

The one paramount reason for the Gettysburg 
campaign was the necessity for the Confederacy to gain 
the recognition of England and France, and the Gettys- 
burg campaign was solely the result of that imperious 
necessity. Lee bad then the largest Confederate army 
that ever was formed in line of battle, but he well knew, 
as did the Confederate authorities, that the supply of 
men was almost entirely exhausted, and that the South 
could not stand the strain of a long-contintied war. 
If the recognition of the Confederacy by Fruice.Aiid 
England could have been accomplished, it would prw> 
tically have ended the war, as the North would bave 
been unable to maintain the conflict with such odds 
against it. The campaign was most carefiUly planned, 
and it was expected that Lee should cross the Potomac 
east of the Blue Ridge, defeat the Union army in battle, 
and thus open the way for the speedy capture of Balti- 
more and Washington. Could that have been achieved 
there is little doubt that England and France would 
have promptly recognized the Confederacy and thus 
established it permanently among the nations of the 

But while the question of winning recognition from 
England and France made an aggressive movement 
necessary on the part of the Confederacy, there were 
other reasons which, in the opinion of the Southern 
leaders, fully warranted the belief that the chances 
were largely in favor of the complete success of such 
a campaign. The officers and men of Lee's army 



Of Pennsylvania 8i 

firmly believed that they could defeat the Army of the 
Potomac wherever they might be brought face to face 
in battle. They greatly underestimated the valor 
and fighting qualities of the Northern troops, who had 
been compelled to fight Lee 's army in chosen positions 
which often largely outweighed all of the Union army's 
advantage in numbers. A considerable portion of Lee's 
army during the invasion was in and about Chambers- 
burg for a week, and conversed freely with our people. 
Some of them doubted the expediency of an aggressive 
campaign in the North, but aU felt absolute confidence 
in achieving victory over the Army of the Potomac 
whenever and wherever they should meet in battle. 

In addition to the confidence that the Southern 
leaders all felt in the success of Lee 's army in any battle 
with the Army of the Potomac there was, in the judg- 
ment of most of them, a strong incentive to a campaign 
of invasion in what they regarded as a divided senti- 
ment in the North that would be developed into revo- 
lutionary action by the success of Lee's army in a 
battle on Pennsylvania or Maryland soil. General 
Lee himself refers rather vaguely to this condition, 
which certainly was regarded as one of the strong argu- 
ments in favor of the movement in his official report of 
the Pennsylvania campaign. After stating the military 
reasons for the movement, he adds : " In addition to 
these results, it was hoped that other valuable results 
might be attained by military success. ' ' 

Congress had enacted a National conscription law 
that was approved on March 3, 1863, ^-^^ ^ large draft 
had been ordered by the government. There were 
murmurs of revolutionary opposition to the draft in 
some sections of the country, notably in New York 
city, where fearful riots were the result of the enforce- 
ment of the conscription act, and in the anthracite 
r^ons of Pennsylvania, where the Mollie Maguires, 

82 Old Time Notes 

who had many s)rmpathetic followers, were in open 
rebeUion, and in Indiana, where powerful secret organi- 
zations were maintained to hinder enforced military 

It was naturally believed by the Confederate gov- 
ernment and by General Lee himself that if he suc- 
ceeded in defeating the Army of the Potomac on North- 
em soil, and captured Baltimore or Washington, not 
only the recognition of the Confederacy by European 
governments would follow, but that the North, in 
the face of such a hopeless conflict, would be precipi- 
tated into open rebellion against the war. The National 
conscription act was assailed before the supreme court 
of Pennsylvania, and the issue of its constitutionality 
was pending at the time of Lee's invasion, with the 
general belief that the decision of the court would 
be adverse to the validity of the law. Strong reasons 
were thus presented to both the civil and military 
authorities of the Confederacy in favor of the inva- 
sion of the North, and there is little reason to doubt 
that had success crowned Lee's struggle at Gettys- 
burg, and the capture of Washington or even Balti- 
more accomplished, the recognition of the Confederacy 
by foreign governments would have been prompt and 
general and the success of the Confederacy assured. 

Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens, Presi- 
dent and Vice-President of the Confederacy, with their 
trusted advisers in the administration of their govern- 
ment, had very carefully planned in all details the dip- 
lomatic aid that was to be given to the Gettysburg 
campaign in forcing the recognition of the Confederacy 
by European governments. None of them seemed to 
entertain any doubts as to the victory of Lee over the 
Army of the Potomac wherever he might happen to 
meet it on Northern soil, and a very important part of 
the great scheme was to have the government at 

Of Pennsylvania 83 

Washington refuse to receive Vice-President Stephens 
on a peace commission. It was believed that with the 
Union army defeated in Lee's campaign of invasion, 
and the Washington government rejecting peace pro- 
posals coming directly from the President of the Con- 
federacy, England and France would at once lead the 
way in recognizing the Confederacy. 

This is clearly established by a letter addressed to 
Vice-President Stephens by President Davis, dated 
Richmond, July 2, 1863, when the battle of Gettysburg 
was in progress, and when the only information from 
the field told of the overwhelming triim^ph of the Con- 
federates in the first day's conflict. In this letter 
President Davis prepared very careful instructions to 
Stephens, who was to proceed to Washington as mil- 
itary commissioner under a flag of truce. The letter 
was given to Stephens in duplicate. One was signed 
by Davis, as President of the Confederacy, but assum- 
ing that such a letter would not be received, because of 
the refusal to recognize such an officer of the Confed- 
eracy, the duplicate letter was signed by Davis as com- 
mander-in-chief of the military forces of the Confed- 
eracy. Of course, Davis well knew that President 
Lincoln would admit no Confederate commissioner 
with a peace proposal involving the perpetuity of the 
Confederacy, and in order to put the Washington gov- 
ernment in the position of having even refused a 
military commissioner to confer on matters relating 
to the conduct of the war, the duplicate letters were 

The Davis letter was written with scrupulous care, 
not for the ptirpose of instructing Stephens, who needed 
no instructions on the subject whatever, but to present 
the strongest possible case against the Washington 
government when it refused to receive the Southern 
commissioner after Lee had defeated the Union army 

84 Old Time Notes 

on Northern soil. In point of fact, it was a very 
shrewdly devised movement to force the Union gov- 
ernment into the attitude of going somewhat beyond 
the mere recognition of the belUgerent powers of the 
Confederacy or refusing to hear peace proposals. It 
was a paper most adroitly framed to inspire prejudices 
abroad to aggressive action in recognizing the South- 
em government, and Stephens proceeded at once on 
his mission, hoping that by the time he reached the 
Union lines he would learn of a decisive victory gained 
by Lee over the Army of the Potomac; but when he 
reached Fortress Monroe, and made his application for 
permission to proceed to Washington tinder a flag of 
truce as a military commissioner of the Confederacy, 
Pickett's charge had been repulsed and Lee was retreat- 
ing with a defeated army, and the officers of Fortress 
Monroe were promptly instructed from Washington 
to refuse Stephens permission to visit the Capital, or 
to enter the Union lines. 

Mr. Pollard, in his *' History of the Civil War, *' who 
was often the severe critic of Davis, but always the 
ardent supporter of the Confederate cause, states that 
Stephens, by verbal instructions, was ** fully empow- 
ered, in certain contingencies, to propose peace; that 
President Davis had sent him on this extraordinary 
visit to Washington anticipating a great victory of 
Lee's army in Pennsylvania, but the real design of the 
commissioner was disconcerted by the fatal day at 
Gettysburg, which occurred when Stephens was near 
Fortress Monroe,'* and that it was **in the insolent 
moments of this Federal success that he was sharply 
rebuffed by the Washington authorities. ' ' Thus is 
the evidence cumulative from every side that the 
Gettysburg campaign was dictated solely by the inex- 
orable necessity of gaining the recognition of foreign 
governments for the Confederacy. 

of Pennsylvania 8$ 


Hooker's Suggestions Rejected by Lincoln — Hooker's Strategy Defeated 
Lee's Movement to Cross the Potomac near Washington — ^Meade 
Suddenly Called to Command — Large Emergency Force Called to the 
Field — Severe Discipline of Lee's Army — ^Jenkins' Raid into Cham- 
bersburg — E well's Requisition for Supplies Including Sauerkraut in 
Midsiunmer — Lee's Headquarters at Shetter's Grove. 

AFTER the defeat of Hooker at Chancellorsville 
the opposing armies fell back to their former 
positions, and remained there tmtil the Gettys- 
btirg movement began. On the 2d of Jtme Lee's army 
was encamped on the south bank of the Rappahannock, 
near the city of Fredericksburg, and Hooker's army 
was on the north bank of the same river among the 
Stafford Hills and nearly opposite that city. Hooker's 
army consisted of eight corps, commanded by Rey- 
nolds, Hancock, Sickles, Meade, Sedgwick, Howard 
and Slocum, with Pleasanton's cavalry corps, and 
Lee's army consisted of four corps, commanded by 
Longstreet, Ewell, and A. P. Hill, with Stuart com- 
manding the cavalry. There has been much dispute 
as to the strength of the two armies which met at 
Gettysburg, but after a careful investigation of all the 
varied statements on the subject, I think it safe to 
assume that Lee's army numbered 80,000, and that 
Meade's army, as stated by himself in his testimony 
before a committee of Congress on the conduct of the 
war, numbered 95,000. His precise language was that 
his "army numbered a little imder 100,000, probably 
95,000." They were nearly or quite equal in artillery 
and cavalry, and Lee's army, flushed with repeated 

88 Old Time Notes 

plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellors- 
ville, the animal must be very slim somewhere ; could 
you not break him?" 

On the 5th of Jime Hooker began a movement to 
keep in touch with Lee and gradually advanced his 
different corps to hold the interior line between Lee 
and the Capital, and also between Lee and the Poto- 
mac. He had a very efficient cavalry force, and kept 
it constantly employed in reconnoissance to ascertain 
the movements of the enemy. On the 8th of June 
Hooker had his cavalry corps making a reconnoissance 
in force south of the Rappahannock. Pleasan ton's 
cavalry crossed the river at night and, protected by a 
heavy fog, struck the main force of Stuart's cavalry 
corps, compelled it to retreat, and came into possession 
of Stuart's headquarters, in which Stuart's important 
papers were captured, including Lee's orders outlining 
his movement into Maryland and Pennsylvania. A 
heavy infantry force came to the support of the Con- 
federate cavalry, and the purpose of the reconnoissance 
being fully accomplished, Pleasanton retired, but that 
cavalry conflict, and the information derived from 
General Stuart^s orders received from Lee, defeated 
one of the most important features of Lee's plan. 

Lee's purpose was to move along the east base of the 
Blue Ridge, cross the Potomac near Washington, where 
he could operate on an interior line. Hooker's army 
was promptly hastened forward and Lee was compelled 
to make his invasion by first entering the Shenandoah 
Valley, thus greatly lengthening his line, and making 
Baltimore and Washington, his objective points, twice 
or thrice the distance from him after he crossed the 
Potomac that they would have been if Hooker had not 
discovered his plans and compelled him to change 
them. If he had crossed the Potomac in the neigh- 
IxnrhQod of Poolsville and the Monocacy as was indi- 

of Pennsylvania 89 

cated in his instructions to Stuart, he woiild have been 
saved long marching to the upper Potomac and back 
again to Gettysburg, and cotdd have delivered his 
decisive battle certainly ten days sooner with less 
depletion of his army because of a shorter line from 
its base. 

On the 2 1 St of Jime Hooker had his army so placed 
that every approach to Washington south of the 
Potomac was completely guarded, and Lee was in the 
Shenandoah Valley and tmable to obtain information 
of Hooker's movements. Hooker's strategy in meeting 
Lee's movements was masterly, and when he foimd that 
Lee was certain to cross the Potomac he was moving 
with his army in Maryland extended on a long line 
north and south to enable him to concentrate speedily 
against Lee whether he moved by the Susquehanna or 
the Potomac Hne toward Washington. He urged that 
Milroy, who had some 8,000 men at Winchester, should 
evacuate that place, retire from the valley and join his 
conmiand. General Schenck, with headquarters in 
Baltimore, in whose department Milroy was operating, 
ordered Milroy to retire from the valley, but Milroy 
was a soldier with more courage than discretion, and 
begged to be permitted to remain, declaring that he 
wotSd defeat any force of the enemy that could be 
brotight against him. Schenck, imfortunately, left 
the question to the discretion of Milroy, and the result 
was that Milroy *s 8,000 men were defeated, routed, 
several thousand of them captured, along with vast 
stores of gtms and supplies, and that entire force was 
lost to the Army of the Potomac. 

It became known throughout Pennsylvania early in 
June that Lee's movement was reasonably certain to 
lead to the invasion of the North, and the government 
at Washington created two new military departments 
in Pennsylvania — that of the Monongahela, with head- 

Old Time Notes 

quarters at Pittsburg, assigned to Major Genera! W. T. 
H. Brooks, and the Department of the Susquehanna, 
with headquarters at Harrisburg, assigned to Major 
General D. N, Couch. On the 12th of Jime Governor 
Curtin issued a proclamation to the people of the State 
warning them of the danger of invasion and calling for 
volimteers to meet the emergency, but as the peril was 
to the National cause quite as much as to Pennsylvania, 
President Lincoln on the 15th called upon the States of 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio 
and West Virginia to funish 120,000 of their militia for 
temporary service. The Governors of the States 
seconded the call of the President ; but there was then 
hardly any organized mihtia remaining in the States, 
and the response was 25,000 from Pennsylvania, 
1 5,000 from New York, 5,000 from Maryland. 3,000 from 
New Jersey, 2,000 from West Virginia, making a total 
of 50,000. Most of them reported at Harrisburg, and 
General William F. Smith, better known as "Baldy" 
Smith, and General Dana were each given a division 
under General Couch. This emergency mihtia gave 
no aid to the Army of the Potomac in the battle of 
Gettysburg, but it is probable that the presence of 
General Smith's division at Harrisburg prevented 
General Rhodes, who occupied Carlisle and whose 
pickets were at one time within a few miles of Harris- 
burg. from ca].)turing the State Capital. Beyond that 
the mihtia rendered no service whatever. 

It was not the fault of the emergency troops, as they 
did all that was in their power. They were hastily 
throwTi together, without discipline, quartermaster 
or commissary organizations, and when marching 
through the Cumberland Valley lived upon the country 
and were vastly more destructive foragers than were 
the Confederates. Lee's anny was under strict dis- 
cipline and also under severe orders against the need- 

Of Pennsylvania 91 

less destruction of private property. E well's corps 
occupied the 200-acre field on my farm, at the edge of 
Chambersburg. The middle fences had all been de- 
stroyed by military visitors, and more or less of his 
corps remained there for a week. His 22,000 men did 
less injury to private property in a week's occupation 
than did one regiment of New York militia in a single 
day when it made its camp in the same field. 

General Jenkins, with a large cavalry force, led the 
advance of Lee's invasion, and he crossed the Potomac 
at Williamsport on the evening of Jime 14. The peo- 
ple in the Cumberland Valley had notice of the ap- 
proach of the enemy by the scattered fragments of the 
Milroy forces which covered all the highways reaching 
north in squads of ten, twenty or more, thoroughly 
demoralized, and well calculated to terrorize the com- 
munity. On the 1 5th of June the people of the border 
commenced a general exodus northward with their live 
stock, and the wildest excitement prevailed. Mer- 
chants hurried their goods away to points in the East, 
banks shipped all their money and families sent their 
valuables, while all the roads were crowded with fleeing, 
terrorized people, driving their stock away from the 
enemy. There was no military force whatever to 
impede the advance of Jenkins, and early in the even- 
ing of the 1 5th it was known in Chambersburg that his 
force was rapidly advancing upon the town. He 
reached Chambersburg about eleven o'clock at night, 
took possession of the town without a conflict, passed 
throtigh the main street leaving a strong guard in the 
town, and made his camp on my farm, as did all the 
armies of both sides in their valley campaigns during 
the war. He made his headquarters in my comfortable 
farmhouse, and used the large bam as a hospital, where 
Mrs. McClure provided the sick soldiers with all the 
necessaries, including medicines. I was impressively 

92 Old Time Notes 

reminded of this fact thirty years after the war, when, 
on a visit to Montgomery, Ala., while a guest of the 
hospitable Governor of the State. Notice was brought 
to the Governor that a man at the door specially de- 
sired to see me. The Governor did not recognize the 
name, but invited him to join us. When he came into 
the room he apologized in his awkward way for his 
intrusion, and said that having heard that I was visit- 
ing the city he had walked a number of miles that 
morning to meet me, and thank me personally for the 
kindness he received from my family when, as one of 
Jenkins' privates, he was on the sick list and was cared 
for in my bam. It seems like the irony of fate that 
this same command, imder the lead of McCausland, 
who became its commander after Jenkins fell, burnt 
the town of Chambersburg only one year later, includ- 
ing the bam where its sick had been ministered to, and 
the house where Jenkins received generous hospitality 
while he made it his headquarters. 

Jenkins' command did not destroy much property. 
There was little left in the country that was useful to 
the army, as stores were empty of goods, banks without 
money, and farmers generally without horses or cattle. 
His first order required all persons in the town possess- 
ing arms, whether guns or pistols, to bring them to the 
front of the court house within two hours, and the 
penalty for disobedience was that all who refused 
would expose their houses to search, and make them 
lawful objects of pltmder. A ntmiber of gtms and 
pistols were brought and delivered to him, but few of 
them were considered of sufficient value to be retained 
by the soldiers. 

Early in the morning of the 17 th of June Jenkins 
ordered the stores and shops to be opened for two hours 
to enable his men to purchase such goods as they 
desired, all of which were to be paid for, but, of coxxrse, 

of Pennsylvania 93 

in Confederate money. The order was obeyed to the 
extent of opening the stores and shops, but as most of 
them were nearly or entirely empty, there was little 
traffic. There were odds and ends of valueless stock 
not deemed of sufficient value to ship away, but the 
Confederate customers cleaned out the remnants and 
paid liberal prices in Confederate money that was 
printed by the army as it moved along. Jenkins then 
withdrew his force and fell back to Greencastle, and 
spent four days in that rich portion of Franklin County, 
gathering in all the property that could be made usef td 
to the army. On the 2 2d Jenkins' raid ended, and on 
that day he rejoined the advance of Lee's infantry 
between Greencastle and Hagerstown, when the inva- 
sion of Lee's army in force began. 

About ten o'clock on the morning of the 23d, Jenkins' 
cavalry returned to Chambersburg as the advance of 
the infantry that was closely following him. E well's 
corps was in the advance, and made liberal requisitions 
upon Greencastle on the 23d, and on the 24th it entered 
the town of Chambersburg to the music of the " Bonnie 
Blue Flag." 

Many requisitions were made by Ewell upon the 
citizens of Chambersburg, all of which were impossible 
of fulfilment, as all valuables that could be removed 
had been sent away. One of the most amusing 
features of his several requisitions was a demand for 
the immediate delivery of nine barrels of sauerkraut. 
He knew that sauerkraut was regarded as a very 
valuable antiscorbutic, and as some of his troop 
suffered from scurvy because of their unwholesome 
rations, he assumed that sauerkraut would be an 
invaluable remedy for those who were threatened with 
that malady. He was quite incredulous at first, when 
informed that sauerkraut was a commodity that could 
not be kept in midsimimer, and that such a thing was 

OT ' i ":rs where 
he :he table. 
tc ■> - --ambers- 
si ^ "■ ^-"-y T.lace 
n: '--^T :eature 
tl • - : ^r. article 



ii - :-:::T::ajid- 

1< - . . :' i ricarin- 

3 . .-■-::•■ rdinatl* 

f < ""rr.-; or IL'V, 



V -->^ -":-rc was 

1 -'.\.:e prop- 

1 . . r : . rbidding 

V. - y :he amiy, 

\ sv ic>Taguig 

. ..-/.vd. It is 

■/.-.: the order 
: ..-. . gener- 

: :f:";'.»wcd how 
. sC'iTows and 
.•.r.dcd wholly 
r ..'..y suj)])]iVs of 
::..:r.s had been 
.-. ::\ 'light ill. it 
• ^^ :he ])er)])lc of 
/"•\ :r.ills were all 
-.. : :.' their utmost 
. ..:-::: y, and Mi-s. 
v. ..s <»ne of the 
•/ y law jAirtner, 
^ .'t::eral Lee, who 
. . . v vis. only several 

Of Pennsylvania 95 

squares distant from Mrs. McLellan's residence. She 
was promptly admitted to his presence and appealed 
to him to permit supplies to be brought in to the people 
of the town without being seized by his army. Lee 
promptly arranged with her to have sufficient supplies 
of flour furnished to the people, and after his generous 
order she thanked him and asked him for his autograph, 
to which he replied : ** Do you want the autograph of a 
rebel?" Mrs. McLellan said: "General Lee, I am a 
true Union woman and yet I ask for bread and for your 
autograph." His answer was: **It is to your interest 
to be for the Union and I hope you may be as firm in 
your purpose as I am in mine." He gave her the 
autograph and Mrs. McLellan brought bread to her 
starving neighbors, and among her most cherished relics 
during her life was her autograph of Robert E. Lee. 

q6 Old Time Notes 


Goneral Lee and His Leading Lieutenants in Chambersburg — Persona] 
Description of General Lee — Why Lee Moved to Gettysburg — Re- 
markable Feats of Volunteer Scouts — Stephen W. Pomeroy Gave 
the First Word of Lee's Movement to Gettysburg — ^A Week of 
Appalling Anxiety at Harrisburg and Throughout the State — Lee's 
Retreat from Franklin County — Intense Passions That Denied 
Burial to a Confederate Soldier. 

ON MONDAY, June 29, 1863, General Lee, with 
the largest Confederate army that ever en- 
gaged in battle, had his entire command within 
the limits of Peimsylvania, with his headquarters at 
Chambersburg, and General Meade, who had just been 
assigned to the command of the Army of the Potomac, 
had his somewhat larger force on the line north and 
south in Maryland and Pennsylvania, with his head- 
quarters at Frederick City, ready to concentrate 
against Lee whether he moved eastward by the line 
of the Susquehanna or on the more direct line to Balti- 
more and Washington. Lee himself, with his staff, 
entered Chambersburg on the 26th, accompanied by 
General A. P. Hill. When they reached the center 
square of the town Lee and Hill, mounted on their 
horses, conferred alone for some time, and they were 
watched with great interest by the citizens, who were 
intensely anxious to ascertain the line upon which Lee 
would advance. After the consultation it was with a 
measurable sense of relief that they saw Lee turn east- 
ward on the Gettysburg pike. He proceeded to the 
little grove known then as Shetter's Woods, just out- 
side of the borough, where he made his headquarters, 

Of Pennsylvania 97 

and remained there until he started to Gettysburg on 
the 31st of June. 

The most careful and dispassionate observer among 
the people of Chambersburg of the movements of Lee 's 
army was Mr. Jacob Hoke, a prominent merchant, and 
his ** History of the Great Invasion of 1863," a volume 
of over 600 pages, is the most complete and accurate in 
all details of the Gettysburg campaign that has ever 
been presented. He witnessed the entrance of Lee 
and Hill into the town, and thus describes Lee on page 
167 of his admirable work: " General Lee, as he sat on 
his horse that day in the public square of Chambers- 
burg, looked every inch a soldier. He was at that time 
about fifty-two years of age, stoutly built, medium 
height, hair strongly mixed with gray, and a rough gray 
beard. He wore the usual Confederate gray, with some 
little ornamentation about the collar of his coat. His 
hat was a soft black without ornamentation other than 
a military cord arotmd the crown. His whole appear- 
ance indicated dignity, composure and disregard for 
the gaudy trappings of war and the honor attaching to 
his high station." 

Lee's army was then located as follows: Of E well's 
corps, Barley's division was at York, Rhodes' division 
at Carlisle, Johnson's around Shippensburg and Jen- 
kins' cavalry was at Mechanicsburg, less than ten miles 
from the State Capital. Of Hill's corps, Heth's division 
was at Cashtown, with Pender's and Anderson's be- 
tween Fayetteville and Greenwood, both in Franklin 
County and west of the South Mountain. Of Long- 
street's corps, McLaws and Hood were in the neigh- 
borhood of Fayetteville, Pickett's division was near 
Chambersburg to cover the rear of the advancing army ; 
Imboden's cavalry was at Mercersburg and Stuarts 
cavalry was in the neighborhood of Union Mills, Mary- 
land, north of Westminster. Lee was greatly em- 

98 Old Time Notes 

barrassed for two days at Chambersburg in deciding 
upon what line he shotild move, as he had no knowl- 
edge of the movements of the Union army. Stuart, 
who should have been between Lee and the Union 
army, and giving information to Lee of its move- 
ments, was driven from his course by the Union cavalry 
in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and it was not until 
Simday night, Jime 28, that a scout reached Lee's 
headquarters and gave him the first information that 
the Union army had crossed the Potomac and was 
concentrated, with Frederick as its center, ready to 
imite against Lee whether he should march by the Sus- 
quehanna or the line of the Potomac. 

This information quickly decided Lee to move to 
Gettysburg, and orders were sent by swift messengers, 
as all telegraphic commimication was interrupted, to 
Earley and Rhodes and all the other outposts to con- 
centrate as speedily as possible at Gettysburg. The 
celerity with which Hooker had moved his army across 
the Potomac on a line that always gave the fullest 
protection to the Capital, and compelled Lee to cross 
the Potomac west of the Blue Ridge, decided Gettys- 
burg as the great battlefield of the war. Had Lee 
crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, as he 
originally intended, or had he been advised of Hooker's 
crossing the Potomac two days earlier, his army would 
have been far east of Gettysburg by the time that the 
battle was fought, and he would have escaped the 
fatal necessity of fighting the Army of the Potomac 
in probably the strongest natural position it could have 
foimd between Williamsport and Washington. The 
only opposition that Lee's advance met with in the 
Cumberland Valley was an occasional feeble skirmish 
with the undisciplined militia commanded by General 
Knipe, of Harrisburg, who, being unable to give battle 
to the overwhelming numbers of the enemy that always 

Of Pennsylvania 99 

confronted him, discreetly retired down the valley until 
he landed in Harrisburg. 

Such was the attitude of the two opposing armies 
immediately before the battle of Gettysburg began. 
The entire Cumberland Valley was isolated from Har- 
risburg, as all communication by railway or telegraph 
was broken up, and every highway in the valley was 
covered by Lee's troops. My experience in enter- 
taining the Confederate officers in 1862, who had orders 
to take me as a prisoner to Richmond, but who waived 
their knowledge of my personality because of the 
hospitaUty they requested and received, taught me that 
it would not be discreet for me to remain at home to 
entertain our Southern guests. I went to Harrisburg 
on the last train that passed through the Cimiberland 
Valley before the battle, and remained there until Lee's 
retreat from the great struggle that inexorably pro- 
nounced the doom of the Confederacy. 

The more active men of Chambersburg well knew 
how important it was for information to reach Harris- 
burg of the movements of Lee 's army, and scouts were 
sent out every day and night when any movement of 
importance was made. It is marvelous how quickly 
the yoimg men of the town and neighborhood developed 
into the most daring and skillful scouts. The most 
prominent of them were Shearer Houser, Benjamin S. 
Huber, J. Porter Brown, Anthony Hollar, Sellers Mont- 
gomery, T. J. Grimeson, Stephen W. Pomeroy and Mr. 
Kinney. The only way that they could reach Harris- 
burg was by getting out on the northwest toward Stras- 
burg, and by climbing several spurs of the motmtains 
into Tuscarora or Sherman's Valley, and reach the 
Pennsylvania Railroad at Newport, in Perry Cotmty, 
or Port Royal, in Jimiata County. When the concen- 
tration toward Gettysburg began scouts were sent out 
generally with information written out by Judge 

100 Old Time Notes 

Kimmell on tissue paper either sewed in their garments 
or carred in a pocket where they could be promptly 
fingered into a little ball and swallowed in case of 

The movement of the infantry toward Gettysburg 
was sent out at once, but was not regarded as decisive 
of Lee crossing the motmtain to Gettysburg imtil on 
the night of the 29th, when the wagon train of the army 
was hurried through Chambersburg on the way to 
Gettysburg. It was then accepted as conclusive that 
the battle center of the campaign was to be transferred 
from the Cumberland Valley to the line between the 
South Motmtain and the Potomac, and it was con- 
sidered of the utmost importance to have the infor- 
mation sent speedily to Harrisburg, as the only way 
to reach the Union commander. Among the yoimg 
men who happened to be in the town was Stephen W. 
Pomeroy, of Strasburg, whose father had been an 
associate judge with Kimmell on the bench, and Kim- 
mell knew that he would be one of the safest who could 
be trusted with such a mission. Kimmell prepared a 
despatch without date or signature, briefly telling of 
Lee's movements, and the certainty of his concentra- 
tion on the Potomac line. This despatch was carefully 
sewed inside the lining of the buckle -strap of Pomeroy 's 
pants, and he was hurried off on his important mission. 
He went on foot to his father's home in Strasburg, 
where he managed to find a horse, and hurried across 
the mountain spurs into Path Valley and to Concord at 
the head of the valley where the mountain gap opens 
into Tuscarora Valley. He secured a fresh horse there, 
and rode rapidly down the Tuscarora Valley, exchanged 
horses again with an acquaintance near Bealtown, and 
he reached Port Royal on the Pennsylvania Railroad, 
between two and three o'clock in the morning, after hav- 
ing walked nearly twenty miles at a rapid gait and ridden 

Of Pennsylvania loi 

over forty miles. He walked up tx> the telegraph oper- 
ator and delivered his despatch, but he was in such 
an exhausted condition that he did not think of the 
necessity of signing it, or indicating in some way from 
whom it came. 

I was one of the most anxious party in the Gover- 
nor's room at Harrisburg waiting for some information 
of the movement of Lee's army, and not knowing at 
what hour Lee would swoop upon Harrisburg and hoist 
the Confederate flag over the Capitol. For three days 
we had no information, excepting that furnished by 
scouts, and while it was at times important, all of the 
reports received up to that time gave no inforaiation 
as to Lee 's purpose to deliver battle in the Cumberland 
Valley or south of the South Motmtain. There had 
been no sleep, except broken naps forced by exhaus- 
tion, and not one of the Governor's circle had been in 
bed for three nights. The whole State was simply 
paralyzed by the appalling situation, and one of the 
aggravating features of it was that no information 
could be obtained of Lee's movements or pur- 
poses. Colonel Scott was present, but rarely left 
the little room in which was the telegraph battery. 
About three o'clock in the morning of the ist of July, 
Scott brought into the Executive chamber an tmsigned 
despatch dated at Port Royal, telling that Lee's entire 
army was marching toward Gettysburg, and that the 
wagon trains rapidly followed, to which the operator had 
added that the messenger had left Chambersburg the 
day before and reached Port Royal through Path and 
Tuscarora Valleys, but no information was given as to 
his identity. 

The operator at Port Royal closed his office immedi- 
ately upon sending the despatch, and all efforts to get 
him for further explanation failed. General Couch, 
who was present, finding that in no way could th^ 

I02 Old Time Notes 

account be verified by reaching the messenger, at once 
crossed the river and advanced a strong picket force 
toward Carlisle, and early in the forenoon he discovered 
that Rhodes had withdrawn from Carlisle, and moved 
directly toward Gettysburg, and he at once advanced 
his force up the valley that was then entirely free from 
the enemy and re-established telegraph and railroad 
communication. As soon as the tmsigned despatch was 
received, it was repeated to Washington, and General 
Meade received it probably within less than an hour 
after it reached Harrisburg. It was the information 
given by this despatch that prompted General Meade to 
order Reynolds to make his reconoissanoe in force to 
Gett3rsburg, resulting in the first day's battle disastrous 
to the Union army, and the death of Reynolds. 

Events of overwhelming moment multiplied so 
rapidly upon the worn-out men at Harrisburg that the 
question of the author of the despatch giving the im- 
portant information was forgotten, and it was not until 
twenty years later that Governor Curtin, or any of 
those about him at the time, discovered who the mes- 
senger was. The Presbjrterian synod was meeting in 
Belief onte, and Governor Curtin was entertaining 
several of the ministers. At the breakfast table one 
morning the Governor mentioned the remarkable 
circumstance of the important information received 
about Lee 's movement to Gettysburg, and that he had 
never been able to learn who the scout was who brought 
the message. One of his guests, Rev. Stephen W. 
Pomeroy, a member of the synod, then told them for 
the first time that he was the scout, and at Curtin 's 
request wrote out for him a detailed account of his 

News from the battlefield was awaited with the wild- 
est interest, but none came imtil the morning of the 
second day, when the information of the death of Rey- 

Of Pennsylvania 103 

nolds and the ovenvhelmmg defeat of the two corps 
engaged, with the capture of some 4,000 prisoners, 
reached the North through Baltimore, and the first 
authentic accotmt of the battle was brought by Major 
Rosengarten and Captain Riddle, of Reynolds' staff, 
who brought the body of their fallen chieftain to sleep 
with his kindred. During all of the second of July 
many bloody conflicts occurred on the Gettysburg 
field, and there was continued tmcertainty and fearful 
apprehension as to the final issue of the conflict. Gen- 
eral Meade had communication with Washington so 
that any important event could be ascertained. The 
most hopeful view that could be taken of the reports 
of the second day's conflict was that it was without 
special advantage to either side, and all of the night 
of the second, and the morning and day of the third 
passed with the most painful tmcertainty prevailing at 
Harrisburg. Wayne MacVeagh was among the men 
who gave anxious days and sleepless nights to the 
occasion, and he spent most of his time close to the tick 
of the telegraph. About five or six o'clock in the after- 
noon he rushed into the Governor's chamber, and with 
a wildly tremulous voice read out Meade's despatch 
annotmcing the reptdse of Pickett's charge. All knew 
that such a charge was the last desperate effort of Lee 
to win at Gettysburg, and that his defeat was almost 
absolutely assured. It was the first moment of relief 
or anything approaching repose the worn-out men at 
the Capitol had been able to welcome for fully a week. 
Some immediately sought their beds for rest, while 
within half an hour there were many sleepers in the 
chairs and on the sofas of the Capitol rooms. Curtin, 
because of his feeble condition, was forced home to 
take his bed and remain there several days with the 
assiuance that he would be notified of any new peril 
that ^ose. 


I04 Old Time Notes 

The following morning, the natal day of the Repub- 
lic, the sun arose to spread its refulgence over a cloud- 
less sky, and the first news received from the battle- 
field was that Lee's trains were retreating toward the 
Potomac, and later came the message from Grant telling 
of the surrender of Vicksburg. The people of Pennsyl- 
vania not only felt that they had been rescued from 
invasion and the desolation of war upon their own soil, 
but they knew that the military power of the Confed- 
eracy was broken, and the dark cloud of imcertainty 
verging on despair, that hung over the great State for 
nearly a fortnight, speedily gave way to the strength- 
ened conviction and delightful hope that the Union 
could be restored by the valor of our arms. 

The sudden change made by the report of Lee 's defeat 
and the capture of Vicksburg was visible on every face, 
old and yoimg. The terrible strain was ended, the 
invasion was repulsed, and the many thousands of 
people in the Cumberland Valley, scattered all through 
the interior and eastern part of the State, with their 
stock and other valuables, began a general movement 
homeward. Many of the farmers had left their golden 
wheat fields ready for the reaper, but fortunately the 
Confederates expected to occupy the valley and harvest 
it, and no destruction of the grain fields was permitted. 
Most of the crops were thus saved, and in a few weeks 
industrial operations in the shops and valleys were 
very generally resumed. General Couch moved his 
forces forward through the Cumberland Valley and 
rapidly repaired the railway and telegraph lines, and 
by the loth of July he established his headquarters at 
Chambersburg. A large portion of Milroy's command 
had scattered off through the motmtains in squads of 
half a dozen or more, and in the general demoralization 
foraged upoii the country recklessly and often destruc- 
tively. It required nearly two weeks to get them re- 

Of Pennsylvania 105 

united. They were scattered along the Jtiniata Valley 
and in the mountains as far west as Altoona. Most of 
the people as they returned to their homes were amazed 
to fold their property in comparatively well-preserved 
condition, as Lee's orders against the wanton destruc- 
tion of property were scrupulously enforced by the 

The last echo of Lee 's army in the Cumberland Valley 
came from his immense train nearly twenty miles long, 
that left Lee at Gettysburg on the 4th and led the 
advance of the retreat. To escape the dashes of the 
Union cavalry, this immense train recrossed the South 
Motmtain and turned southward at Greenwood to the 
Potomac along the tmfrequented road on the mountain 
base, and where only the two small villages of New 
Guilford and New Franklin witnessed it. The wagons 
of this train were largely filled with the severely 
wounded, and accompanying it were all the wounded 
who were able to travel on foot. This train was thirty- 
four hours in passing a given point, and General Imbo- 
den, who had charge of it, and whose cavalry command 
protected it, stated in an article contributed to the 
Annals of the War that when compactly in line the 
train was seventeen miles in length. The number of 
wounded in the wagons and wallang was not less than 
10,000 or 12,000, and many of those who attempted to 
walk with the train fell by the wayside. These were 
gathered up and brought to Chambersburg, where a 
Confederate hospital was improvised, but the intense 
passions inspired by civil war made the people of even 
so intelligent and Christianlike a commtmity as those 
of Chambersburg at fo*st withhold kind ministrations 
to the woimded of the enemy. Dr. Senseny, my own 
family physician, was in charge of this hospital, and in 
the multiplicity of cares that crowded upon my return 
to Chambersburg I had given no attention to it. 

io6 Old Time Notes 

After these wounded Confederates had been in Cham- 
bersburg for a week Dr. Senseny called upon me, and 
made a personal appeal to inaugurate a movement to 
give much-needed relief to many of the suffering. It 
would not have been discreet for any other than a pro- 
nounced loyal citizen to take the first step toward 
relief for these sufferers, but my attitude was not one 
that could be questioned, and Mrs. McClure at once 
went with the doctor and visited all of the sufferers 
personally. That movement made an open door for 
all, and thereafter they had even more generous 
ministration than most of them could have obtained at 
home. A message was brought to me by Dr. Senseny 
from Colonel Carter, I believe a native of Tennessee, but 
then a resident of Texas, who had no hope of recovery, 
and had appealed to the doctor to bring him some one 
who would give him the assurance of Christian burial. 
I called at once and fotmd the sufferer, an unusually 
bright and handsome man, calmly watching the rapid 
approach of death. With beseeching eyes that would 
have melted the sternest enemy, he begged of me to 
give him the assurance that his body would receive 
Christian burial, and when he was told that I would 
personally execute his request, he reached out his 
trembling hand and gave most grateful acknowledg- 
ment. A few days thereafter he died, and I at once 
applied to the authorities of the Presbyterian church, 
of whose congregation I was a member, for permission 
to bury him in the cemetery, but it was promptly 
refused. A new cemetery company had been organ- 
ized a short time before, of which I was an officer, and I 
applied to that company to sell me a lot for the burial of 
the Confederate soldier, but that was refused. I then 
announced that I would set apart a lot on the comer of 
my farm on the public highway, and dedicate it by deed 
as the renting place of Colonel Carter. The incident 

Of Pennsylvania 107 

caused very general disctission, and finally several 
prominent members of the Methodist church decided 
that it was un-Christian to refuse burial to a fallen foe, 
and they permitted his body to be interred in their 
cemetery. Such were the appalling estrangements 
caused by civil war that a community noted for its 
intelligence and Christian character hesitated to give 
even decent sepulture to one who had fallen in the 
battle as conscientious in his convictions as were the 
brave boys who vanquished him in the conflict. 

io8 Old Time Notes 


The Declaration of Independence Proclaimed in Pennsylvania — Wash- 
ington Assigned to the Command of the Army — The Constitution 
Framed in Carpenters' Hall with Washington Presiding — Gettysburg, 
the Decisive Battle of the War, Fought in the State — General Meade 
of Pennsylvania the Victor — Reynolds Killed and Hancock Seriously 
Woimded — Gregg, Another Pennsylvanian, Fought and Won the 
Great Cavalry Battle of the War — How Gettysburg Was Made the 
Battle Ground — Why Meade Did Not Pursue Lee — Lincoln Was 

PENNSYLVANIA furnished the most lustrous 
chapters in the annals of the achievements of 
the Republic, not only in creating free govern- 
ment for the united colonies, but also in preserving it 
when it was assailed with monstrous power and deadly 
purpose. It was in Pennsylvania that Jefferson wrote 
the Declaration of Independence, and it was in Inde- 
pendence Hall that Jefferson^s immortal declaration 
was unanimously adopted and proclaimed to the col- 
onies and to the world on the Fourth of July, 1776. It 
was in Pennsylvania that Washington was called to 
the command of the army, and it was in Pennsylvania 
that the Constitution, framed by a convention that 
sat in Carpenters* Hall, with Washington presiding, 
framed what was generally accepted as the grandest 
fundamental law ever prepared by any country of the 
world. It was in Pennsylvania that sad records of 
Washington's winter in Valley Forge were written, 
when even the stoutest-hearted of the patriot leaders 
were trembling on the verge of despair, and it was in 
Pennsylvania that Washington started to cross th^ 

of Pennsylvania 109 

ice-bound Delaware to turn the tide of battle on New 
Jersey plains and give renewed hope to the cause of 

Just three-quarters of a century after the inaugura- 
tion of constitutional government the decisive battle 
that halted the dismemberment of the Republic was 
fought on the hills and plains of Gettysburg. It was 
the final arbitrament of the sword proclaiming the inex- 
orable judgment that "government of the people, 
by the people and for the people shall not peridi from 
the earth.*' 

The battle of Gettysburg was not only fought on 
Pennsylvania soil, but in no other important battle of 
the war was Pennsylvania heroism so generally and so 
conspicuously displayed. General Meade, a Pennsyl- 
vanian, was suddenly thrust into the command of the 
Army of the Potomac only three days before the battle 
of Gettysburg began, and he was the chieftain who won 
the greatest of all the Union victories in the fratricidal 
strife. Reynolds, another Pennsylvania soldier, was 
charged by Meade with the responsible duty of making 
the reconnoissance in force that precipitated the 
battle on the undulating plains between Gettysburg 
and Cashtown, where the heroic Reynolds fell early in 
the action when his single corps was driving the enemy. 
Hancock, another Pennsylvania general, was hurried 
to Gettysburg by Meade after the report of the defeat 
and death of Reynolds, and authorized to decide 
whether the discomfited corps at Gettysburg should 
fall back upon Meade's line or whether Meade should 
advance the entire army. It was Hancock's command 
that received and repiilsed Pickett's charge with the 
Philadelphia brigade in the Bloody Angle. Hancock 
lay on the field severely wounded until he was able 
to send the cheering report to his chief that the final 
charge of the enemy not only resulted in failure, but 

112 Old Time Notes 

condition with the means at my disposal, and earnestly 
request that I may at once be relieved from the position 
I occupy. ' * 

Hooker's request to be relieved of the command of 
the army was promptly acceded to, and on Sunday, 
Jime 28, Colonel Hardie, of the War Department, 
reached Frederick with the official order relieving 
Hooker and placing Meade in command of the Army of 
the Potomac. Meade had on several previous occa- 
sions peremptorily refused to permit himself to be con- 
sidered for the command of that army, but he was a 
true soldier, and with imconcealed regret at the neces- 
sity that compelled his advancement, he accepted the 
gravest responsibility assigned to any Union officer 
from the beginning to the close of the war. No braver 
and no more conscientious soldier than General Meade 
ever wore his country's blue. 

I first met Meade at the camp of the Pennsylvania 
Reserves on the day he first wore his brigadier's star 
and came to take command of a Reserve brigade. He 
was an imusually modest man imder all ordinary con- 
ditions, but he was the fiend of battle and regarded by 
all as the fiercest fighter of all the corps commanders. 
He was not at all elated by his promotion to the com- 
mand of the army, nor did he permit himself to be 
depressed by the terrible responsibility that had been 
thrust upon him. He felt that the safety of the Cap- 
ital, and indeed the safety of the Republic, were com- 
mitted to his keeping, and soldier-like he did not shrink 
from the appalling duty that had been assigned to him. 
He was compelled to take command of a widely-scat- 
tered army, wisely placed to be able to concentrate 
against Lee either on the Susquehanna or the Poto- 
mac line, nor did he even know where the different 
corps of his army were posted. He knew that he must 
meet Lee in battle, and he never thought of fighting 

of Pennsylvania 113 

any other than a defensive battle, as Lee would be 
compelled to attack him in his advance on Philadelphia 
or Baltimore. 

Asstiming that Lee was likely to cross the South 
Moimtain and follow the line of the Potomac to keep 
in closer touch with his base of supplies, Meade ordered 
General Humphrey to choose a position for defensive 
battle in the vicinity of Emmittsburg, resulting in the 
selection of the general line of Pipe Creek, where Meade 
expected to accept battle if Lee should move toward 
Gettysburg. So careful was he to prevent confusion 
in the movements of his army that he issued an order 
to the several corps commanders informing them of 
the line chosen for defense, and defining the position 
each corps should assume if ordered to that position. 
Gettysburg was chosen by neither conmiander; it 
was controlled by inexorable events. When informed 
of Lee's positive movement toward Gettysburg by the 
dispatch sent by Governor Curtin about three or four 
o'clock on the morning of July ist, he immediately 
ordered Reynolds to take his own and the Eleventh 
corps and make a reconnoissance in force, resulting in 
the death of Reynolds and the disastrous battle of the 
first day. As soon as advised of the result of the first 
day's battle, Meade ordered Hancock to the front to 
take command of all the forces there, and to advise 
whether the army should be concentrated at Gettys- 
burg or fall back to Pipe Creek. In the meantime 
all file different corps had been ordered to make forced 
marches toward Emmittsburg. 

Hancock arrived on Cemetery Hill during the night 
after the first day's battle, and after a careftS examina- 
tion of the position sent an urgent request to Meade to 
accept battle there, and Meade himself came upon the 
field early in the morning of the 2d. One of his first 
acts after deciding upon his new battle line was to issue 

a— 8 

ii6 Old Time Notes 

ceased and Pickett's division emerged from the woods 
and formed in line for its desperate charge upon the • 
nearest point of the Union line. A cltimp of small 
trees just behind the Bloody Angle made an objective 
point for the assailing forces, as the stone wall behind 
which the Union troops were defending at that point 
extended out a considerable distance, nmking the angle 
that is now known in history as the ** Bloody Angle ' ' 
of Gettysburg. Pickett's division was compelled to 
march three-quarters of a mile over an ascending plain, 
and the two fences which lined the Emmittsburg road. 
From the moment that they formed in line in the open 
field and commenced the advance they came imder the 
fire of 150 Union guns, which not only struck them in 
front, but enfiladed both flanks, and when they crossed 
half the distance a hail of infantry bullets met them. 
There was not a single general officer in the charge 
who did not fall either killed or wounded, and a divi- 
sion of some 5, 000 men retreated with the broken 
fragments under the command of a lieutenant colonel. 

Meade reached the battle near the Bloody Angle 
before the final repulse of Pickett's men, and personally 
witnessed the strangely heroic sons of the South who 
had fought their way through such a hurricane of death 
and crossed the stone wall to die or surrender in the 
Union lines. Thus late in the evening of the third 
day of the battle Meade had repulsed what he had 
reason to believe was, and what proved to be, the final 
charge of Lee's army, and he has been criticised because 
he did not immediately take the aggressive and assail 
Lee's broken columns. 

Lee's entire command was in strong position with 
Seminary Hill as its center, and if Meade's army had 
even been fresh and ready for exhaustive effort, it 
would have been midsummer madness for him to take 
the aggressive. If he had done so he would simply 


Of Pennsylvania 117 

have imitated the error of Lee in Pickett's charge, and 
the fruits of Meade's victory might have been measur- 
ably or wholly lost. Meade's entire army had been 
engaged in forced marches, repeated battles and severe 
labors to strengthen entrenchments, with nearly one- 
fourth of its number killed, wounded or captured, and 
it was not in a condition for aggressive movement, 
and Meade profited by the severe lesson that Lee had 
been taught. He held the safety of Washington and 
Baltimore in his hands, when the loss of either might 
have decided the issue of the war by the recognition of 
the Confederacy abroad, and I accord him the highest 
measure of heroic soldierly qualities in deciding to 
hold his defensive position of safety. 

On another occasion Meade exhibited a degree of 
heroic soldierly qualities that not one commander in a 
hundred would have had the courage to exhibit. Late 
in the fall of 1863 he discovered that Lee's army was 
divided, and he made a sudden movement to Mine 
Rim to strike Lee's forces in detail, but a mistake in 
the movement of one of his corps advised the enemy 
of the approach, and when Meade reached Mine Rim 
he found Lee's united army entrenched in an invul- 
nerable position. At a council of war it was decided 
to make an assault, and on the morning just before the 
assault was to be made, Meade personally inspected 
the position of the enemy and was brave enough to 
order his army to fall back without firing a gun. 

If Meade could have taken position in advance of 
Lee's retreating army, he could have greatly impeded 
it and made it suffer serious loss in the many moimtain 
gaps and ravines through which it was compelled to 
pass, but if Meade had attempted to pursue, there 
were many passes where a brigade could have held a 
corps at bay, and fight imder every possible advantage. 
Knowing this, Meade moved by the more open route 

ii3 Old Time Notes 

to the Potomac, and at Williamsport Lee was in posi- 
tion where, if Meade had attacked him, Lee would 
have had every advantage that Meade had in Lee's 
attack on the hills of Gettysbtirg. 

Lincoln was greatly disappointed that Lee left 
Gettysburg and crossed the Potomac without being 
forced to give battle again, and he never fully justified 
Meade 's failure to take the aggressive. I saw him soon 
after the battle, and as Gettysburg was in my senatorial 
district, and I understood the highways and moimtain 
passes, he made very minute inquiry as to the roads. I 
said to him that he did not seem to be entirely satis- 
fied with what Meade had done, to which he answered 
in these words : " I am prof oimdly grateful to Meade, 
down to my very boots, for what he did at Gettysburg, 
but I think if I had been Meade I would have fought 
another battle. ' ' While Grant and Meade were never 
in open or actual discord during the campaign of 1864, 
I speak advisedly when I say that Meade did not ap- 
prove of giving battle in the Wilderness, where the army 
suffered such frightful loss without seriously injuring 
the enemy. Some time after Grant's election to the 
Presidency, and before he was inaugurated, I was a 
guest at a dinner given to Grant by John Rice, Twenty- 
first and Walnut, Philadelphia. There were forty or 
fifty guests, and my seat happened to be by the side 
of General Meade, who was not very far from the guest 
of honor. In the course of our conversation I made some 
inquiry about the Wilderness campaign, and, to my 
utter surprise, Meade became much excited and spoke 
in terms of the strongest condemnation of the wanton 
sacrifice made by the army in that campaign. He 
said that if his suggestions and reports in relation to 
that campaign ever reached the public, the movement 
would be severely criticised. He spoke with so much 
feeling that I had to quietly remind him that he might 

Of Pennsylvania 119 

be heard by Grant himself. It is not surprising, 
therefore, that when Grant came to appoint a lieu- 
tenant general to succeed Sherman, he preferred 
Sheridan, whom he loved, to Meade, for whom he 
cherished no kindlier feeling than respect for him as a 

The nation has not justly appreciated and honored 
the incalculable service rendered by General Meade 
at Gettysburg, but in Pennsylvania, the grand old Com- 
monwealth that was his home, and where he now 
sleeps in the City of the Silent, his name should ever 
be lisped with reverence and affection. 

I20 Old Time Note's 



General Harry White, a Republican Senator, in Libby Prison, Leaving 
the Senate with Sixteen Democrats and Sixteen Republicans — All 
Offers for White's Exchange Refused by the Confederate Govern- 
ment — Speaker Penny Retained the Chair — ^The Democratic Senators 
Refused Him Recognition — General White's Father Delivers the 
Senator's Resignation to the Grovemor — ^Dr. St. CUir Elected at a 
Special Election Restoring the RepubUcans to Authority — ^The 
Movement to Care for the Soldiers' Orphans — Cortm's Extraordinary 
Efforts to Give it Success — Violent Partisan Legislation Governing 
Elections in the Field — ^Jerrie McKibben, One of Curdn's Commis- 
sioners. Imprisoned by Stanton — ^The Story of His Rdease. 

THE re-election of Curtin in 1863, with 75,000 
disfranchised soldiers in the field, and the 
leading Cameron men sincerely anxious for 
his defeat, gave Curtin a position of apparent political 
omnipotence in the State that would have made almost 
any other than General Cameron despair of being able 
to wrest the control of the party from the Governor, but 
Cameron was not only one of the most sagacious 
political leaders of this or any other State, but he was 
a man of tireless energy and would rise up from defeat 
after defeat to renew his battle for the mastery. He 
had taken no part in the gubernatorial contest imtil a 
short time before the election, when the intensity of 
patriotic sentiment in the State made it necessary for 
him to show his hand distinctly in favor of Curtin. A 
Republican mass meeting was called in Harrisburg to 
K^ addressed bv General Ben Butler, at which Cameron 
presided, and declared himself with emphasis in favor 
of the siicct^ss of the party candidate. 

Of Pennsylvania 121 

It was not then expected that Ctirtin was likely to 
live to complete his second term. Although he took 
little part in the campaign becaxise of his greatly en- 
feebled condition, it was, nevertheless, very exhausting 
because of the anxiety naturally felt, and the constant 
pressure upon his time by political as well as official 
duties. He was confined to his room for a week or 
more after the election. Although the severe strain 
was over, the reaction greatly prostrated him, and his 
family and friends were very apprehensive of an early 
collapse. He frequently appeared at the Executive 
office, but avoided all official duties which could be 
transferred to any of his subordinates. With all the 
care that he exercised for the restoration of his health, 
as the time approached for the meeting of the 
Legislature, to be followed soon by his second inaug- 
uration, there was no perceptible improvement in his 
physical vigor. 

I saw him at the Executive mansion on Friday, when 
his inauguration was to take place two weeks from the 
following Tuesday. He was quite feeble, and spoke 
about the difficulty of tmdertaking his inaugural ad- 
dress, saying that he had put it off from day to day 
until it had become a source of worry to him. I asked 
him to come to Chambersburg the next day and stay 
with me over Simday, adding that I would help him 
out with the inaugural, to which he answered: " Well, 
if you will write an inaugural for me and have it ready 
when I come to Chambersburg to-morrow evening, I 
will dismiss the subject and join you to rest over Sun- 
day." I told him I would have it ready. I returned 
home that evening and before retiring to bed wrote 
the address. I met the Governor at the depot the 
next evening and his first question was: ** Well, is the 
inaugural ready?'* To which I answered that it was. 
He seemed delighted that the inaugiu-al was disposed 

122 Old Time Notes 

of and he never made any allusion to it, nor any inquiry 
as to what it contained, until Sunday evening, when I 
suggested that as he was to return to Harrisburg the 
next morning it would be well for him to look at the 
draft of the inaugural I had prepared, and handed him 
the manuscript. He read it carefully, without remark, 
until he was through, when he said : " That's all right. ** 
He folded it up and put it in his coat pocket. No 
change was made in the draft I gave him, excepting 
the addition of the last two paragraphs, which were 
added by Attorney General Meredith. 

It must not be inferred from this statement that 
Curtin relied largely upon others for the preparation of 
his important State papers. If he had been enjoying a 
reasonable degree of health he would have prepared 
his second inaugural as he did his first, and all his other 
important State papers, excepting only such as involved 
legal questions, which were written by the attorney 
general. No Governor of the State ever was called 
upon to present so many imix)rtant official State 
papers as were called for by the varied emergencies 
which arose during Curtin *s administration, and with 
the few exceptions I have stated, he always prepared 
them himself. While Quay was his private secretary, 
he usually dictated and Quay would take it down in 
abbreviated notes, and as he was a master in the use 
of the best English, he always presented the copies to 
Curtin in faultless style. When dictating on a subject 
of special importance he was always on his feet, walking 
leisurely back and forth in the room with his snuff-box 
in hand, and when warmed up on his subject he was 
liberal in the use of the snuff. Curtin was unusually 
fluent in speech and when writing became irksome he 
soon learned to dictate with ease without impairing the 
vigor of his composition. 

After Curtin *s second inauguration it was decided 

Of Pennsylvania 123 

by his physicians that lie mtist take a season of abso- 
lute rest, notwithstanding the presence of the Legis- 
lature. They declared that he could not survive a 
winter in Harrisburg with the constant pressure that 
wotild be upon him even with the exercise of the great- 
est care. His system seemed to be entirely broken 
and his recuperative powers exhausted. President 
Lincoln had Secretary Welles tender him a government 
vessel to take him to Havana, where it was decided 
that he should spend part of the winter, and I well 
remember how despair was pictured upon the faces of 
his many friends who bade him farewell in Philadelphia 
when he started on his cruise for the South. Not one 
of us believed that we would ever see him again alive, 
but in Cuba his health improved rapidly, and by the 
middle of March he was back again in the Executive 
chamber enjoying a degree of vigor that he had not 
possessed for more than a year. There was then no 
Lieutenant Governor and the speaker of the senate 
could exercise executive powers only in the event of the 
death or resignation of a Governor. Thus Pennsyl- 
vania was for more than a month without an executive 
officer, which did not embarrass legislation, excepting 
that it saved the Legislature from the veto power of 
the Executive, as all bills passed by the senate and 
house became laws at the expiration of ten days after 
received in the Executive office, without the signature 
of the Governor, unless within that time the Governor 
exercised the veto power. 

It happened, however, that there was little or no 
legislation during the Governor's absence, as the senate 
had sixteen Democrats and sixteen Republicans, with 
Senator Harry White, of Indiana, in Libby Prison. 
He had been captured in Milroy's retreat from Win- 
chester, and it became known to the Confederate 
authorities at Richmond that as long as White was a 

124 Old Time Notes 

prisoner the Republicans, regarded by the South as the 
war party of the North, could pass no legislation. 
Liberal offers were made for the exchange of Senator 
White, but they were stubbornly refused, and the 
deadlock was finally broken by White's resignation 
and the prompt election of his successor. 

Many amusing incidents occurred in the senate dur- 
ing the deadlock. Partisan prejudice was then at its 
zenith and it was at times difficult for even grave sena- 
tors to maintain the courtesies which were always 
expected in the first legislative tribunal of the State. 
The Constitution was silent, and there was no law as 
to the particular method of organizing the senate, 
although it had been uniformly accepted by both 
parties that the senate was always an organized body, 
as the speaker was chosen at the close of every session 
to serve during the recess and take the office of Gover- 
nor in case of a vacancy. The uniform custom, how- 
ever, had been for the speaker who served during the 
recess to allow the clerk of the Senate to call the body 
to order, instead of the speaker taking the chair him- 
self, and call the roll of senators to elect a speaker. In 
point of fact, and I doubt not equally in point of law, 
Senator Penny, of Allegheny, who had been chosen 
speaker at a previous session to serve during the recess, 
was the speaker of the body until a successor was 
chosen, or his term as senator expired, but there had 
been no occasion for a speaker of the senate to exercise 
such authority, and it had never been done. The 
house was called to order by the clerk, because there 
was no other official of the body competent to exercise 
any authority tmtil a speaker was chosen. 

Of course, the Republicans well knew that they 
could not elect a speaker with sixteen Democratic and 
sixteen Republican senators, and the distempered con- 
dition of political affairs at that time made it impossi- 

of Pennsylvania 1^5 

ble for the two parties to reach a compromise organi- 
zation that wotild have been easy to accomplish tmder 
ordinary conditions, as the leaders of the two parties 
could have harmonized by a division of offices and 
committees. Such a solution of the problem, how- 
ever, was imthought of on either side in January, 1864, 
when the Legislature met and the Republicans decided 
in caucus that the senate was always an organized 
body and that Senator Penny should take the chair 
and continue to preside imtil his successor was chosen. 
To the surprise of the Democrats, when the senate met, 
Speaker Penny took the chair and called the body to 
order. He was one of the ablest lawyers of the State 
and a man so blameless in his public career that even 
his bitterest political enemies f oimd it difficult to assail 
him. The Democrats refused to recognize him as 
speaker, and exhausted their ingenuity to embarrass 
him in the position he asstmied, but he maintained 
himself with imbroken dignity during the long weeks 
through which the deadlock continued. The Demo- 
crats assumed that the senate was not an organized 
body and, therefore, incapable of any legislation. No 
matter what proposition was presented, the Democrats 
tmiformly voted against it on the grotmd that the 
senate was incompetent to consider the question, and 
as the Republicans were powerless to legislate they 
exhausted their ingenuity in making the Democrats 
vote against the divinity of the Bible, the Declaration 
of Independence and nearly every other vital feature 
of Democratic faith. 

Finally the elder Judge White, the father of Senator 
White, brought into the Governor's office Senator 
White's resignation, written on tissue paper that, as 
the father reported it, had been concealed in the Bible 
of an exchanged prisoner. The genuineness of the 
resignation was very generally questioned by the 

126 Old Time Notes 

Democrats, while the Republicans were qtdte willing 
to accept it without inquiry. It was promptly ac- 
cepted by the Governor, a writ issued for a special 
election to fill the vacancy at the shortest possible 
notice, and Dr. St. Clair, Republican, was chosen and 
entered the senate the morning after his certificate was 
received, when Senator Penny was promptly elected 
speaker and legitimate legislation began. 

The Legislature of 1864 inaugurated the Soldiers' 
Orphan School system of the State, but in a most 
hesitating and grudging manner. When on his way to 
church on Thanksgiving Day, of 1862, Governor Curtin 
was met on the street by two children begging alms. 
His sympathetic nature was attracted to the children, 
and he stopped to inquire into their condition. The 
first answer that came to him touched his heart. It 
was in these words: ** Father was killed in the war." 
He promptly gave them a liberal contribution and 
passed on to church, but he was so profoimdly impressed 
by the pathos of the remark made to him by the begging 
children that he gave little attention to the Thanks- 
giving sermon that grated harshly on his ears as he was 
called upon to give thanks for the prosperity and happi- 
ness the country enjoyed when the orphan children of 
fallen soldiers were begging on the streets. A few 
weeks after the Legislature of 1864 met, and in his 
annual message, he said: **I commend to the prompt 
attention of the Legislature the subject of the relief 
of the poor orphans of our soldiers who have given, or 
shall give, their lives to the country during this crisis. 
In my opinion their maintenance and education should 
be provided for by the State. Failing other natural 
efforts of ability to provide for them, they should be 
honorably received and fostered as the children of the 
Commonwealth. ' * 

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company had contrib- 

Of Pennsylvania 127 

uted $50,000 to be used by the State authorities in any 
way deemed best to aid in the prosecution of the war, 
and the Governor recommended that this $50,000 be 
made the nucleus of a fund for the care of the orphans 
of otir fallen soldiers, and a bill was introduced on the 
8th of April, 1 864, when the Governor had returned from 
his visit to Cuba, prepared by Professor Wickersham, 
at the request of the Governor, providing for the ap- 
pointment of a superintendent of schools for orphans, 
with authority to select from any of the schools estab- 
lished by the Commonwealth a certain number adapted 
for the use of schools and homes for the orphans. The 
Legislature hesitated to adopt a measure that would 
bind the State to the probable expenditure of millions 
of dollars, and finally passed a substitute bill simply 
authorizing the Governor to accept the $50,000 con- 
tributed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for 
the education and maintenance of the soldiers* orphans 
in such manner as the Governor might deem best. 

The Legislature of 1864 was severely criticised for 
its alleged want of liberality in dealing with the soldiers* 
orphans, but it must be remembered that in 1863 the 
financial condition of the State was not such as to 
warrant any severe extra strain upon it. The Gover- 
nor was greatly disappointed at the action of the Legis- 
lature, and decided to inaugurate the system with the 
$50,000 at his disposal and he appointed Thomas H. 
Burrowes as superintendent of soldiers* orphans, who 
placed a large number of children, from six to ten years 
of age, in the charitable institutions of the State. The 
first institution to accept and heartily second the 
movement was the Northern Home for Friendless 
Children, in Philadelphia, and it was the first soldiers' 
orphan home established in the State. 

The Governor felt assured that the system once 
wisely inaugurated would be heartily maintained by 

128 Old Time Notes 

the people, and at the close of the year 1865 there were 
eight schools for the older and seventeen homes and 
asylums for the younger children, making a total of 
1,329 pupils, but the only additional appropriation the 
Governor was able to obtain was $75,000. When the 
Legislature met in 1866 the Governor stormed the 
Legislature into hearty accord with the soldiers' 
orphan system by inviting 345 pupils of the soldiers' 
orphan schools of McAUisterville, Mount Joy and Para- 
dise, and asked permission of the house of representa- 
tives to have them appear in the hall. They came in 
the uniform of the schools, and Governor Curtin, in 
the presence of the members of both branches of the 
Legislature, an inspiring spectacle with the orphans 
clustered around him, delivered an appeal to the Legis- 
lature that silenced the opposition, and thereafter the 
soldiers' orphan schools were liberally supported by 
the State — supported, in fact, in later years to an 
extent that justly invited criticism. The system is 
still maintained imder the steady enlargement of its 
aims tmtil over $12,000,000 have been expended by the 
Commonwealth in obedience to Governor Curtin 's 
command that the orphans of our soldiers and sailors 
who fell or were disabled in military service should be 
made the wards of the State. No other State of the 
Union approached Pennsylvania in the care of the 
children of its fallen heroes, and with all the abuses 
which have crept into it long after Curtin 's control had 
ceased, it stands to-day as one of the grandest monu- 
ments of the beneficence of a great Commonwealth. 

Another very important act of the Legislature of 
1864 was the final passage of the proposed amendment 
to the Constitution of the State authorizing the sol- 
diers in the field to vote in their camps at all Pennsyl- 
vania elections. In order to make the amendment 
effective in the Presidential election of 1864, it was 

Of Pennsylvania 129 

necessary to call a special election to enable the people 
to vote on the amendment, as required by the Constitu- 
tion. A special election was fixed for early in August, 
and the amendment was sustained by an overwhelming 
majority. It was well known that the amendment 
would be ratified by the popular vote, and the Legis- 
lature of 1864 had a most bitter struggle in the passage 
of an elaborate election law providing for holding elec- 
tions and certifying returns by soldiers in the field. 
Partisan bitterness was then at what might be called 
high-water mark, and even the legislators who, under 
ordinary conditions, would have been conservative 
and just in framing an election law, were driven by the 
intensity of partisan prejudice to support an election 
law that practically gave the whole election into the 
hands of politicians, with little or nothing to restrain 
them in the perpetration of the most flagrant frauds. 
I was not then a member of the Legislature, but was 
requested by the Governor to join him in an earnest 
effort to temper the violent partisan features of the 
proposed measure, and secure an election law that 
wotild be accepted as at least reasonably fair to all. 
The bill as reported by the committee, and generally 
accepted as the party measure, bristled with invita- 
tions to fraud and opened the widest doors for its 
perpetration. I was present in the Executive chamber 
with Curtin when he had summoned ten or a dozen of 
the prominent Republicans of both senate and house 
and made a most earnest appeal to them to maintain 
the integrity of Pennsylvania elections by framing a 
perfectly fair bill to govern soldiers' elections in the 
field. All admitted the justice of the Governor's 
appeal, but none had the courage to brave the tidal 
wave of partisan passion that ruled. 

The result was that the Pennsylvania statute was a 
dishonor to the Commonwealth. Among other pro- 

I30 Old Time Notes 

visions it authorized the Governor to appoint State 
Conmiissioners to be present in the field on election 
day, but without power beyond the right to report 
irregtdarities or frauds. The bill was passed very late 
in the session, and the Governor could not withhold 
his approval. I urged him to appoint a number of 
Democrats of high standing among the State conraiis- 
sioners to vindicate his own sense of fairness, but his 
answer was: "Where can I find Democrats who will 
go?" I replied that we could certainly find half a 
dozen or more who would accept the Governor's com- 
mission, and among others I named Jerrie McKibben, 
of Philadelphia, and he was appointed along with 
several other Democrats. I notified McKibben of his 
appointment, and requested his acceptance, but his 
answer was that he couldn *t accept, as Stanton would 
have him in Old Capitol Prison in three days. I told 
him that Secretary Stanton would not attempt to 
imprison an officer holding a commission from the 
State of Pennsylvania tmless he committed some 
flagrant wrong, and that as I knew he was too discreet 
to tmdertake to interfere with the election in any way 
whatever, he was entirely safe from the Secretary. He 
did accept, and in three days after he joined the army, 
then around Petersburg, he telegraphed me to come to 
Washington at once, as he was in Old Capitol Prison. 
I hastened to Washington, reaching there about nine 
o'clock in the evening, and proceeded directly to the 
White House to present the matter to the President. 
I told him that several Democrats had been persuaded 
reluctantly to accept these commissions with the 
full knowledge that they would perform no official 
duties beyond delivering election papers committed 
to their charge, and that they had been appointed by 
Governor Curtin solely to give some semblance of fair- 
ness to the elections in the field. He at once sent to 

Of Pennsylvania 131 

the War Department for the papers on which the 
arrest had been made, and when he received them, in 
five minutes he saw that the order of arrest was made 
on the grotmd that he had delivered fraudtilent election 
papers, although he had delivered precisely the same 
papers prepared by the conmiissioners of Philadelphia 
that had been delivered by the Republican commission- 
ers. A typographical error that could not in any way 
afifect the election had been overlooked by the com- 
missioners, and McKibben was held responsible. Lin- 
coln pronotmced the arrest "a stupid blunder," and 
told me that he would at once discharge McKibben. 
He said he thought it was due to Stanton, who had 
ordered the arrest, to release McKibben on parole, to 
which I answered that McKibben could be at once 
released on parole and that I would call at the Presi- 
dent's room at ten o'clock the next morning, where I 
hoped Stanton would be present, and would have 
McKibben absolutely discharged. The President wrote 
out himself the order for McKibben 's release, and I 
hastened to Old Capitol Prison and supped with him at 
the hotel. 

I called at the White House the next morning at the 
appointed hour, but Stanton had not appeared. A 
few minutes later he came in. He entered the room 
in a violent passion and his first remark to me was: 
" Well, McClure, what damned rebel are you now trying 
to get out of trouble?" I told him that he had im- 
prisoned McKibben, whom he hated for no other 
reason than that McKibben 's father and family had 
been his friends in Pittsbtirg when he greatly needed 
friends, and that if he had looked for a moment at the 
papers he could not have committed such an outrage 
as to order the imprisonment. Stanton was flagrantly 
offensive in all he said, and refused to order McKibben 
discharged from parole, but said a formal application 

132 Old Time Notes 

should be made which he would consider. I told him 
that I did not know what Jerrie McKibben would do, 
but that if Stanton conmiitted the same outrage upon 
me, as there was a God above I would not leave the city 
until I cropped his ears. Stanton made no reply, but 
after rushing back and forth several times across the 
room, he suddenly left the Executive chamber and 
slammed the door violently after him. Lincoln said 
nothing during this belligerent interview, but after 
Stanton left, in his quaint way, he remarked that I had 
not been very successful in persuading the Secretary 
of War. He added, however, that the incident was 
closed, that McKibben was free and that his parole was 
a matter of no moment. I filed a formal application 
for McKibben 's release from parole, and after a week 
received a formal notice, all in the bold scrawl of Stan- 
ton's handwriting, stating that the subject of the parole 
of McKibben had been fully considered and that the 
interests of the service required that it should not be 
granted. The result was that Jerrie McKibben died a 
prisoner on parole some fifteen years later, and nearly 
ten years after the great War Minister had gone to his 
final account. 

Of Pennsylvania 133 


The Inner Story of the Sagacious Political Movements Which Nominated 
Andrew Johnson for Vice-President over Hamlin — How Lincoln 
Managed to Unite Pennsylvania for Johnson without His Movements 
Being Known — Cameron First in Lincoln's Confidence to Start the 
Johnson Movement — A Shade of Distrust Between Lincoln and 
Cameron — Why Lincoln Forced the Author to Become a Ddegate- 
at-Large to the National Convention — How Cameron and the Author 
were Elected without a Contest — The Delegation Finally United on 

THE political condition in Pennsylvania at the 
opening of 1864 was anything but serene. 
While the Republicans generally accepted 
and sincerely desired the renomination of President 
Lincoln, he was very earnestly and even bitterly opposed 
by some of the ablest leaders of the party, and among 
them Thaddeus Stevens, then the commoner of the 
House, who was violent against the policy of the Presi- 
dent, while such distinguished leaders as Chase, Wade, 
Sumner, Chandler, Henry Winter Davis and others 
openly proclaimed their purpose to make exhaustive 
effort to retire Lincoln. The Republicans at that time 
were in the attitude toward Lincoln that the Demo- 
crats were toward Cleveland in 1892. In both cases 
the people of the party were absolutely and earnestly 
in support of the candidates, while the leaders of the 
party were largely against them. The Republican 
people had absolute faith in Lincoln as the Democrats 
in 1892 had in Cleveland, and Cameron saw his 
opportimity to gain power and prestige by taking 
the lead in an aggressive movement in favor of Lincoln's 

136 Old Time Notes 

because of the terrible pressure that was upon him. 
He proposed that Lincoln should be seen the next 
morning, and he asstired Cameron that Lincoln would 
permit Cameron to antedate a letter of resignation and 
Lincoln write a kind acceptance. Scott saw the Presi- 
dent early the next morning, and Lincoln readily 
agreed to Scott's suggestion, resulting in the with- 
drawal of the original letter from Lincoln to Cameron 
and the substitution of the correspondence embracing 
Cameron's formal resignation and Lincoln's formal and 
very kind acceptance. Stanton had no knowledge 
that he was considered for the cabinet until he was 
notified that his nomination had been sent to the 
Senate for the Secretaryship of War, nor did any mem- 
ber of the cabinet know of the changes made. Even 
Chase, who delivered the letter to Cameron, had no 
knowledge of its contents. 

It is only just to Cameron to say that when a reso- 
lution of censure on his administration of the War 
Department was adopted by a Republican House, 
President Lincoln sent a brief special message to the 
House stating that the censure of Cameron was not 
wholly just, as in many things for which he was cen- 
sured the President himself was equally responsible, 
and a few years later the resolution of censure was 
rescinded by the House and expunged from its record. 

While the relations between Cameron and Lincoln 
were somewhat strained by Lincoln's method of retir- 
ing Cameron from the cabinet, Cameron did not hesi- 
tate to take advantage of the opportunity presented 
in the early part of 1864 to throw himself into the 
breach and become the ostensible leader of the move- 
ment to sustain Lincoln in Pennsylvania. The action of 
the Legislature that was inspired by Cameron brought 
out a very hearty and generally cordial response from 
the RepubUcans of the State in favor of Lincoln, and 

Of Pennsylvania 137 

from that time until the meeting of the State con- 
vention there was practically no Lincoln issue in the 
Republican politics of the State. I was then enjoying 
at home a season of reUef from public care, and trying 
to give some attention to private affairs. My devo- 
tion to Lincoln made me desirous to go as a delegate 
to the National convention from my own congressional 
district, and I was chosen by the unanimous action 
of the different counties without the formality of a 
conference. A few weeks before the meeting of the 
convention the President telegraphed me to come to 
Washington, and, notwithstanding the fact that at 
that time more than a majority of all the delegates to 
the National convention were positively instructed for 
him, without serious opposition to him in any of the 
States, I was surprised to find Lincoln apprehensive 
that he might not be renominated. He knew that a 
considerable number of very able men were earnestly 
against him, and when I told him that it was not pos- 
sible for him to be defeated with a majority of the 
delegates instructed for him, and nearly all of the 
remainder pledged to him, his answer was: "But I 
don't forget that I was nominated for President in a 
convention that was two-thirds for the other fellow. * * 
He surprised me by saying that he had sent for me 
for the purpose of having me made one of the delegates- 
at-large from Pennsylvania. Considering that I was 
already a member of the delegation, in which a man's 
usefulness was measured entirely by his ability and 
influence and not by the distinction of a delegate-at- 
large over a district delegate, I could not but regard 
the proposition as absurd, besides being, as I then 
believed it to be, entirely impossible. I told the Presi- 
dent that I could not, with any decency, appeal to 
the State convention to elect me a delegate-at-large 
when I was already imanimously chosen a delegate from 

138 Old Time Notes 

my district ; but Lincoln was persistent to an extent 
that I cotild not imderstand, and I finally asked him 
what he meant by asking me to attempt so imgraciotis 
and, to my mind, impossible a thing. He informed me 
that he had a letter from General Cameron, who said 
he would be a delegate-at-large from Pennsylvania, 
and he added that while he had no question of Camer- 
on's fidelity, he thought it most desirable that if Cam- 
eron was a delegate-at-large I should be one with him. 
He was most importvmate on the subject, and finally 
said: "I think you can accomplish it, and I want you 
to try." I told him that if opportimity offered I 
would accomplish it, but that I had not the remotest 
idea that it was within the range of possibility. 

I knew enough of Lincoln at that time to know that 
he had a settled purpose in view, but what it was I 
could not conauve, nor would he explain. He knew 
that my election as delegate-at-large could not, in 
any way, influence the action of Cameron, but he made 
it a command and I told him that I would see if it 
could be accomplished. On my return from Wash- 
ington I stopped over at Harrisburg without any 
definite purpose, and dropped in to see George Berg- 
ner, who, while a warm personal friend of mine, was 
a devoted follower of Cameron. Cameron was anxious 
to be a delegate-at-large and could not have been 
defeated, but his great desire was to be elected by an 
overwhelming vote, and he knew that could be accom- 
plished only by the concurrence of the Curtin people. 
After a few minutes' conversation with Bergner he 
remarked that we were now all for Lincoln, and there 
ought not to be any division in the party at the next 
State convention; that there was no State ticket to 
nominate and only electors and delegates-at-large 
to be chosen. He then broke the ice by stating that 
"the old man," meaning Cameron, wanted to be a 

Of Pennsylvania 139 

delegate-at-large and hoped there would be harmony 
in his selection. For the first time I saw a glimpse of 
an opening to accomplish what I had been instructed 
to do, and I answered Bergner by saying that certainly 
there should be no division in the convention as we 
were all for Lincoln and that Cameron and Curtin 
should be made delegates-at-large by a unanimous 
vote. I knew that Cameron would object to Curtin 
as they were not on speaking terms, and Bergner 
promptly answered that '*the old man" and Curtin 
couldn't get along together, but he added: ''We'll 
take you and Cameron. *' I asked him what assurance 
he had that Cameron would assent to the arrangement, 
and he informed me that if I would wait twenty min- 
utes he would see Cameron in person and bring me his 
assurance. He was delighted, of course, at the pros- 
pect of getting Cameron the support of the Curtin 
element. He rushed arotmd to Cameron's home, came 
back in a short time and stated that every friend of 
Cameron in the convention would heartily support 
me. I informed Curtin of the situation and he insisted 
that the plan should be carried out. The result was 
that Cameron and I were elected delegates-at-large 
by a practically imanimous vote on the first ballot, 
and John Stewart, my law partner, now justice in 
the supreme cotirt, was chosen to fill the vacancy in 
the district delegation. 

What special purpose Lincoln had in view in urging 
me to an effort that only by the merest accident could 
be accomplished, I could not understand, but three 
days before the meeting of the National convention 
that was held in Baltimore in Jvme, the President 
telegraphed me to come to Washington ; and then I dis- 
covered for the first time his masterly poUtical strategy. 
He startled me by stating that he desired me to support 
Andrew Johnson for Vice-President. I had no par- 

I40 Old Time Notes 

tictilar affection for Hamlin, but had not thoiight of 
voting for any other, and I especially distrusted John- 
son, whom I estimated as a very able and danger- 
ous demagogue. I did not then know that Cameron 
had been taken into the confidence of Lincoln several 
months before ; that Cameron was present when it was 
finally decided by Lincoln to make Johnson the candi- 
date for Vice-President, and that Cameron, at Lin- 
coln's request, had made a personal visit to General 
Butler, then commanding the Army of the James, 
to confer with him on the subject of nominating a 
War Democrat such as Butler, Holt, Dix, Dickinson or 
Johnson for the Vice-Presidency. Cameron was accom- 
panied on that visit to Butler by William H. Armstrong, 
the Republican leader of the House in the early part 
of the war, later a member of Congress and National 
Commissioner of Railways, and yet living in Philadel- 
phia. Lincoln doubtless knew that I would readily accede 
to his request to vote for Johnson, and as the movement 
required the severest discretion, he permitted no one 
of those to whom he confided his purpose to know of 
others whom he had consulted. He knew that Cam- 
eron was for Johnson at the time he insisted upon me 
becoming a delegate-at-large, and knowing that I 
would readily accept his advice, he logically argued 
that with Cameron and myself delegates-at-large 
representing the two great factions of the State, 
enlisted in the support of Johnson, the entire delegation 
would be certain to follow, and it did follow precisely 
as Lincoln had planned it. 

So cautious was Lincoln in the movement that 
Cameron did not know of my position on the Vice- 
Presidency, nor did I know what Cameron's was. 
Soon after I reached Baltimore to attend the conven- 
tion Cameron came to my room, where the present 
Judge Stewart was chatting with me. Cameron 

Of Pennsylvania 141 

pulled the bell, ordered a bottle of wine for the room 
and informed me that he had come to disciiss the ques- 
tion of the Vice-Presidency. His first proposition 
was that the Pennsylvania delegation should unite 
and give a complimentary vote to himself, which he 
knew I would object to. I told him that we had a 
very important duty to perform and that we would 
settle down at once, without playing marbles, to decide 
what the delegation should do. Cameron said that he 
was very friendly to Hamlin, but was entirely satis- 
fied that Hamlin could not be renominated, in which 
I concurred. He next stated that he was inclined to 
favor Johnson, of Tennessee, in which I also concurred. 
He next proposed that, as he was somewhat embar- 
rassed by his personal relations with Hamlin in the 
Senate, we should line up both sides of the delegation, 
cast a unanimous vote for Hamhn when the State 
was called, and at the end of the roll call before the 
vote was computed, change the vote of the State to a 
unanimous vote for Johnson, to which I readily con- 
curred. Then, for the first time, Cameron knew that 
I was to support Johnson, and I, for the first time, 
knew that Cameron was^to do the same . The delegation 
lined up on our programme to a man on both sides, 
with the exception of Thaddeus Stevens, who sat by 
my side in the delegation conference. When I voted 
to have the delegation give a solid support to Hamlin 
first and next to Johnson, Stevens turned his cold, 
gray eye upon me with an expression of profound con- 
tempt, and said: " Can't you get a candidate for Vice- 
President without going down into a damned rebel 
province for one?" Stevens saw that he stood alone, 
however, and he permitted the vote of the State to be 
cast in accordance with the programme. 

After the death of Hamlin, a score or more years 
later, in an editorial review of his life I referred to the 

142 Old Time Notes 

fact that Lincoln had accomplished the nomination 
of Johnson over him in 1864, and it was fiercely and 
insolently contradicted by Mr. Nicolay, who was Lin- 
coln's private secretary, and who gave the Associated 
Press a statement that I had misrepresented Lincoln's 
attitude, as Lincoln was heartily in favor of Hamlin's 
renomination. Quite a controversy ensued, and I 
gathered the oveiwhelming evidence proving Lincoln's 
position and efforts entirely outside of my own state- 
ment. Mr. Nicolay was a very faithful secretary; 
but I never met or heard of him in consultation with 
Lincoln in any matter, political or otherwise. He 
honestly believed that he knew what Lincoln was 
doing about the Vice-Presidency, and as he had stated 
in his "Life of Lincoln" that Lincoln was favorable 
to the nomination of Hamlin, his sensitiveness led him 
to commit the error of assuming and declaring that I 
had stated a palpable falsehood, as it could be no less 
if I was in error in declaring that I had voted for John- 
son in obedience to Lincoln's request. 

Most of those who had any inner knowledge on the 
subject have passed away, but there are yet enough 
living in Pennsylvania to fully establish the fact that 
Lincoln nominated Johnson over Hamlin for Vice- 
President in 1864, outside of my own testimony. Mr. 
Armstrong was with Cameron on his mission to Butler, 
sent by Lincoln to arrange for the nomination of a 
War Democrat. Judge Stewart, who succeeded me as 
district delegate, and knew all that transpired at Balti- 
more, is also cognizant of the fact that both Cameron 
and myself obeyed Lincoln in the matter. Ex-Con- 
gressman J. Rankin Young, still living in Philadelphia, 
some years after the war prepared an interview from 
General Cameron on the subject that was carefully 
revised by Cameron himself, and published in the 
New York ''Herald," telling how he had co-operated 

Of Pennsylvania 143 

with Lincoln in thQ early part of the year in a move- 
ment for the nomination of Johnson. 

Lincoln was nominated on the first ballot, receiving 
the ftoll vote of every State but Missouri, whose dele- 
gation was instructed for Grant, but it promptly 
changed to Lincoln before the vote was announced, 
making his nomination imanimous. On the roll call 
for Vice-President, Johnson received 200 votes, Ham- 
lin 150, Dickinson 108, with 61 scattering; but before 
the vote was announced Pennsylvania changed from 
Hamlin to Johnson and other changes followed rapidly, 
making the final announcement of the first ballot 494 
for Johnson, 17 for Dickinson and 9 for Hamhn. 

Lincoln was not influenced by prejudice or resent- 
ment in opposing the nomination of Hamlin. The 
reasons he gave me in support of the nomination of 
Johnson were so logical and conclusive that I would 
have voted for Johnson as a matter of duty to the party 
and to the country, regardless of my willingness to 
accede to the wishes of the President. They were: 
First, that the nomination and election of a Vice-Presi- 
dent from a reconstructed State in the heart of the 
Confederacy, who was a distinctly representative man, 
and had filled every office in the gift of the State, 
would add more strength to the friends of the Union 
in England and France, who were struggling against 
the recognition of the Confederacy, than could be 
accomplished in any other way, save by the complete 
overthrow of the Confederate mihtary power. Second, 
the strong pohtical necessity for nominating a distinc- 
tive War Democrat not then connected with the 
Republican party, to bring to the support of the 
administration the many thousands of War Demo- 
crats who were followers of men like Johnson, Dickin- 
son, Butler, Dix, Holt and others; and, third, the nomi- 
nation of Johnson, would desectionalize the Republican 

144 Old Time Notes 

party. Recognition of the Confederacy was yet a 
fearftd peril to the Union catise, and the nomination 
of Johnson demonstrated that substantial progress 
was being made in the restoration of the Union by the 
accomplished reconstruction of the State in the inner 
circle of rebellion. 

The convention met in Baltimore on the 7th of June, 
and I never saw a more hearty welcome given to any 
man in a public assembly than was given the Rev. 
Robert J. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, when he was 
made temporary president of the body. It was a 
brave act for any man from the South to confess him- 
self a RepubUcan, but when a man of the high char- 
acter and intellectual and moral attitude of Dr. Breck- 
enridge took the chair in the Republican National con- 
vention, it gave courage and hope to scores of thou- 
sands in the Southern States. Governor Dennison, 
of Ohio, was made permanent president, but the con- 
trolling mind of the convention was that of Henry J. 
Raymond, who acted in closest confidence with Lin- 
coln. He not only withdrew his State from the support 
of Hamlin, but was compelled to sacrifice Dickinson, 
another War Democrat, whose friends felt that he 
should be preferred to Johnson. He wrote the plat- 
form, became chairman of the National committee, 
wrote the campaign life of Lincoln, and he was, in 
fact, the ''leader of leaders'* of that great contest. 

There were many inharmonious elements in the con- 
vention. All felt that we were then approaching the 
period when the military power of the Confederacy 
would be overthrown, and the grave problem of recon- 
struction would be presented for solution. On that 
question there could have been no common ground of 
agreement in the National convention of 1864. There 
were many who, like Stevens, demanded the severest 
pimishment of the officials who engaged in rebellion, 

Of Pennsylvania 145 

the confiscation of their property, and the absolute 
denial of citizenship, while a majority were in favor 
of various shades of generous methods to accomplish 
reconciliation and reunion. While there was a general 
feeling of confidence in the re-election of Lincoln, the 
more intelligent of the leaders knew that they had a 
severe battle before them and most careful methods 
were developed to guard against disaster in November. 
It was known that General McClellan would be the 
opposing candidate; that he had many sincere sup- 
porters in the army and that the conservative elements 
of the coimtry had absolute confidence in him, while 
all the shades of the entire anti-war elements would be 
certain to support any candidate nominated by the 
Democrats. The Republican leaders did not assume 
that their victory was assured, and many grave con- 
ferences were held on the various subjects which might 
have a bearing on the conflict. It was a convention 
of great force, and it was most judiciously guided 
by wise leadership to place the party in the best atti- 
tude for a desperate conflict. The student of to-day, 
who looks over the history of that campaign, will 
naturally assume that Lincoln was re-elected without 
a struggle, as the vote appears to be overwhelming; 
but all who were at the Baltimore convention, and all 
who actively participated in the struggle, will remem- 
ber the gloom that hung over the Republican party 
diuing the summer months, and how triumph was 
finally decided by the victories of Sherman in Atlanta 
and Sheridan in the Valley. 


»46 Old Time Notes 


Pennsylvania Republicans Heartily United in Support of Lincoln — Cam- 
eron Made Chairman of the State Committee — Severe Republican 
Depression During the Summer of 1864 Because of the Failure to 
Achieve Victory in the Field — Lincoln Predicts His Own Defeat on 
the Twenty-third of August in a Note Sealed and Delivered to Sec- 
retary Welles — Pennsylvania Paltered in Her Republicanism at the 
October Election — The Author Called to Co-operate with Cameron 
in the November Battle — How Pennsylvania Was Made to Vote for 
Lincoln on the Home Vote. 

WHEN the Republican State convention met at 
Harrisbtirg in the early spring of 1864 there 
was a very general feeling of confidence that 
the Republicans would have little more than a picnic 
in the struggle for the Pennsylvania Presidential elec- 
tors. Curtin had carried the State the year before by 
over 15,000, with 75,000 soldiers disfranchised in the 
field, and as the army vote was certain to be added in 
1864, by a special amendment of the Constitution, the 
State was accepted as anchored in the Republican 
coltimn without any special effort. I was not a mem- 
ber of the convention and had no thought of being in 
any way responsibly involved in the contest, as I 
shared the belief that the State was entirely safe for 
Lincoln. Entirely without my knowledge, a paper 
was prepared by some members of the convention 
asking the president of the body to appoint me chair- 
man of the Republican State committee, and it was 
signed by two-thirds or more of the delegates. There 
were no State offices to fill that year, and the selection 
of the chairman of the State committee natiu-ally 

Of Pennsylvania 147 

devolved upon the president of the convention. The 
paper was presented to the chair by Representative 
Olmsted, since senator and president judge of the 
Potter district. 

George V. Lawrence, who had served in the house 
and two terms in the senate, was president of the con- 
vention and a close friend of Cameron. He received 
the paper and announced that it would be given due 
consideration. When I was advised of the movement 
I refused to take any part in the struggle for the place, 
as every consideration of personal interest made it 
undesirable. Lawrence held the matter ostensibly 
under advisement a few days, and then announced the 
appointment of General Cameron to the position. No 
man in the State was better equipped for the manage- 
ment of a campaign than was Cameron, and as there 
were no factional divisions in the State, with only 
National candidates and interests before the party, 
there was no disposition on the part of Curtin's friends 
to complain of the appointment. Cameron saw what 
he believed to be an opporttmity to achieve a great 
victory for the party without any serious effort or sac- 
rifice on his own part, and he committed the error of 
assuming that the campaign would manage itself and 
gave little thought or labor to the important task he 
had accepted. 

When Lincoln was renominated in Jtme the Republi- 
can leaders had just begun to realize that they might 
have a desperate contest before them, as Grant had 
fought desperate battles with fearful sacrifice of men 
williout attaining any material victories, and Sherman 
was struggling with Johnson in the Atlanta campaign, 
and grave apprehensions were felt that as he approached 
Atlanta and lengthened his line, and necessarily weak- 
ened his forces, he might fail in his movement for the 
capture of the city tlmt was the gateway of the Con- 

148 Old Time Notes 

federacy. Nor did political conditions improve during 
the summer months, and I well remember that during 
August the gravest apprehensions were cherished by 
the Republican leaders as to the National verdict, but 
none had any doubt about Republican success in Penn- 
sylvania. Lincoln, who was a close observer of the 
campaign, finally became discoiu'aged to the verge of 
despair. On the 23d of August he wrote the following 
memorandum : 

" This morning, as for some days past, it seems ex- 
ceedingly probable that this administration will not be 
re-elected. Then it will be my duty to co-operate with 
the President-elect so as to save the Union between 
the election and the inauguration, as he will have 
secured his election on such ground that he cannot 
possibly save it afterward.*' 

Lincoln sealed this paper and delivered it to Secre- 
tary Welles, with notice that it was to be opened only 
when the result of the election was known. I saw him 
about the middle of the same month and he was greatly 
depressed. He was human, as are all men, differing 
only in degree, and was naturally most solicitous for 
re-election to the highest civil trust of the world, but 
I believe that his anxiety for success in the contest was 
even greater for the preservation of the Union than for 
a mere individual triuniph. It was then that he first 
startled me with the proposition to pay $400,000,000 
to the South as compensation for their slaves if they 
would accept emancipation and return to the Union. 
Of course, the suggestion was made in the strictest con- 
fidence, because if it had been made public in the then 
high- water mark of sectional and partisan passion, even 
Vermont and Massachusetts might have been made 
doubtful ; but his reasons in support of the proposition 
were absolutely unanswerable. He said that the war 
was then costing about $4,000,000 a day; that none 

Of Pennsylvania 149 

could hope to close it by battle within the next hun- 
dred days during which period the war itself would cost 
the full sum he proposed for compensated emancipa- 
tion. He did not doubt that the military power of the 
Confederacy would be broken, but he feared that with 
the generally impoverished condition of the South the 
Confederate soldiers would not return to their deso- 
lated fields and breadless homes, but would precipitate 
anarchy in that section. After his election and after 
his conference with Confederate Vice-President Ste- 
phens, he prepared a message to Congress urging that 
$400,000,000 be oflFered to the South for compensation 
if emancipation and reunion were accepted. He read 
it to the members of the cabinet, by whom it was nearly 
or quite unanimously disapproved, and Lincoln folded 
the paper and endorsed on the back of it that it had 
been presented to the cabinet and disapproved. 

The burning of Chambersburg on the 30th of July, 
by General McCausland's force, precipitated new con- 
ditions in my section of the State. Most of the resi- 
dents in the town were entirely homeless and business 
was suspended. An extra session of the Legislature 
was promptly called by Governor Curtin and $100,000 
appropriated that was apportioned among the most 
needy. While nearly all the property destroyed was 
insured, the insurance was lost, as the destruction was 
caused by a public enemy. The people of Chambers- 
burg were, therefore, largely without capital or credit 
to resume their varied occupations, and despair very 
generally prevailed in all business and industrial circles. 

J. McDowell Sharpe, the leading Democratic member 
of the Chambersbiu-g bar, was then a member of the 
house, and after various conferences on the subject, it 
was decided that I should accept the Republican nomi- 
nation for the house, with the general expectation that 
both of us would be elected, to have an active Demo- 

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a statement 

rrr. to have 

ri ^ - "•---:>- in aggressive 

—r jr rrr^ m "ie subject 

z:.: -ttt f raie wotild be 

7":- rrs;:!:: was prac- 

- - ^rr-^ TPre no State 

- : - v-r:icl:can Congress- 
. u: n'r :et:r sucoessful- 

- ■_:: ;v Tr.r-.LT: interest fek 
: --^^ iZ*- z^=r:erally throxagh- 
- :. . J. -. :c "iose who suf- 

11- -T.-T-:. xrA the Repub- 
1^ j^;:r-jTS "^rere saved orJy 

"^-^rr.svivania in iSd 

- v:::ch i^avethe D?rro- 

L.-J^cuar was not cr:> 

Of Pennsylvania 151 

the choice of the Democrats for the Presidency, but 
they were generally and enthusiastically earnest in his 
support and hopeful of his election. He was a native 
of Pennsylvania, and strong appeals were made not 
only to Pennsylvania pride, but to the soldiers of the 
State, most of whom held McClellan in high respect. 
The Democrats had delayed their nonmiation of a 
National ticket imtil the 29th of August, when they 
assembled at Chicago, and they were most imfortunate 
in not having delayed their convention at least a week 
longer. When Horatio Seymour arose as presiding 
officer to call that convention to order, he addressed 
one of the ablest representative political bodies that 
ever met in the country, and every member was entirely 
confident of the success of their candidate for Presi- 
dent. The campaigns of Grant and Sherman up to 
that time had brought nothing in return but reports of 
desperate battles and appalling sacrifice, and the feeling 
was very general among Democrats and largely shared 
by Republicans that the Union could not be restored 
at the point of the bayonet. 

It was this political condition of fore-shadowed 
Republican disaster that Lincoln recorded in the 
private memorandum only a week before the convention 
met, that made the Democratic National convention 
commit the fatal error of declaring the war a failure 
and demanding the cessation of hostilities. The text 
of that portion of the platform was as follows: 

** That after four years of failure to restore the Union 
by the experiment of war, during which, under the pre- 
tense of military necessity or war-power higher than 
the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been dis- 
regarded in every part and public liberty and private 
right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity 
of the country essentially impaired — justice, humanity, 
Uberty and the public welfare demand that immediate 

1 52 Old Time Notes 

efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities with a view 
to an ultimate convention of the States/ or other peace- 
able means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable 
moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Fed- 
eral union of the States." 

That momentous declaration at the time of its de- 
liverance honestly reflected the views of nearly the 
entire Democratic people of the coimtry, and very 
many Republicans weie profoundly apprehensive that 
the declaration was only too true, but just when the 
convention had concluded its labors, the trained light- 
ning flashed the news to Washington from Sherman 
saying: ''Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.*' The loyal 
sentiment of the country was at once inspired, and the 
Democrats' delegates returning to their homes found 
every center of population -illtmiinated at night and 
full of waving flags by day, as the people hurled back 
upon them their fierce resentment at the declaration 
of the failiu'e of the war and at the demaryi for peace by 
compromise with rebellion. Sherman's victory at 
Atlanta was supplemented by Sheridan's victories in 
the Valley, and Sherman and Sheridan, and they alone, 
were the great campaigners who gave victory to Lin- 
coln and to the Republican party in the great struggle 
of 1864. 

On the morning after the October election the Presi- 
dent telegraphed me to come to Washington, as the 
result in the State was humiliating in the extreme, 
when Ohio and Indiana, the other October States, had 
large Republican majorities. As my personal contest 
for the Legislature was ended, Lincoln asked me to join 
Cameron and co-operate with him in getting the State 
into position for the November election. He realized 
the fact that the friends of McClellan were greatly en- 
couraged, and entirely confident that they would give 
the electoral vote of Pennsylvania to the one they 

Of Pennsylvania 153 

esteemed as Pennsylvania's great soldier. I reminded 
Lincoln that I cotild not mak^ such a proposition to 
Cameron, but that if Cameron desired it, I would be 
very glad to join him and give my entire time to the 
struggle. The day after my return home I received a 
letter from Cameron requesting me to join him, that 
had evidently been inspired by Lincoln himself, and I 
hastened to Cameron's headquarters at the Girard 
House, in Philadelphia, where I fotmd Wayne Mac- 
Veagh, who had been Republican chairman the year 
before, and had also been sent for by Cameron, and 
whose political relations at that time with Cameron 
were about the same as my own. 

Cameron was greatly distressed as he realized that 
he was to blame for having assumed that the battle 
would win itself. An address to the people of the 
State, that was written chiefly by MacVeagh, was signed 
by Cameron and sent out before the first conference 
ended, and I informed Cameron that I would remain in 
the city tmtil the election and would be subject to his 
orders at any time to aid him in the contest. I took a 
room at the Continental, as it was necessary that 
everything should be done in open and frank recogni- 
ton of Cameron as the head of the organization, and I 
advised Lincoln every night by letter of any changes 
in the situation. His election was not at that time in 
any degree doubtful, but the two most important 
States of the Union were admittedly trembling in the 
balance. New York had Seymour as Governor, and 
was so desperately contested by the Democrats that 
Lincoln carried the State only by 6,000 majority in a 
vote of 1,000,000. There was a reasonable possibility 
that McClellan might carry both Pennsylvania and 
New York, and although he could not even then ap- 
proach an election, the failure of the two greatest of 
the Northern States to sustain the administration 

154 Old Time Notes 

would have seriously weakened the power of Lincoln 
in prosecuting the war and attaining peace. 

It was of the utmost moment, therefore, that Penn- 
sylvania should be saved and by the home vote, as the 
vote in the army would be decried as a bayonet vote 
and would not carry the moral effect of a victory at- 
tained independently of the army. It was an absolute 
necessity, alike in the interest of war and peace, that 
Lincoln should carry Pennsylvania on the home vote 
as New York was considered more than doubtful. So 
anxious was Lincoln about the vote of Pennsylvania 
that he sent Postmaster General Dennison to see me 
privately at the Continental and go over the situation. 
He came and spent several hours with me and then 
returned to Washington the same night, without hav- 
ing seen any other person in the city. Abimdant means 
had been supplied to Cameron to organize the party in 
view of the adverse current presented, and he doubtless 
made the best possible use of it, but I had to tell Denni- 
son that I saw no perceptible advantage that had been 
gained, as the Democrats were as earnest and active as 
we were, and had concentrated all their efforts to carry 
Pennsylvania for McClellan. I told him to say to the 
President that if matters did not materially improve 
in the next few days, I would visit him in Washington 
to confer on the subject. 

Two days thereafter I telegraphed the President that 
I would see him that evening, and reached the White 
House about nine o'clock. I told him that I saw no 
reasonable prospect of carrying the State on the home 
vote. While the army vote would be reasonably cer- 
tain to give the electoral vote of the State to Lincoln, 
the mond force of the victory would be seriously im- 
paired. Lincoln was greatly distressed. He then 
expected to lose New York, and he felt that if Pennsyl- 
vania's home vote was in his favor, the power of his 

of Pennsylvania 155 

administration would not be seriously impaired even 
with New York adverse to him. I told him that Penn- 
sylvania could be saved by the home vote if he was 
prepared to do it, and that he could do it without any 
serious interference with army movements. By fur- 
loughing 5,000 Pennsylvania soldiers home from the 
Army of the Potomac, then besieging Petersburg, and 
5,000 soldiers from Sheridan's forces in the Valley, 
where fighting had been ended by the repeated defeats 
of Earley, he would be certain to have a home majority 
in the State. I knew that he had saved Grant when 
Congress and the country demanded that Grant should 
be crucified for the battle of Shiloh, and suggested to 
him that of course Grant would be glad to furlough 
the soldiers upon any expression of the President's that 
he desired it done, but Lincoln, for some reason, hesi- 
tated to make such a commtinication to Grant. I then 
said to him that Meade was commander of the Army of 
the Potomac, a soldier and a gentleman, and that he 
certainly could send an order to him with the request 
that it be returned, and that the order would be obeyed. 
He did send a subordinate of the War Department that 
night to General Meade, who furloughed the 5,000 
Pennsylvania soldiers home for the election, and per- 
mitted the order to be returned to the President. I 
asked him how it was with Sheridan, and Lincoln's 
face brightened up at once as he said: **0h, Phil, he's 
all right." A like order went to Sheridan and 5,000 or 
more of his Pennsylvania soldiers came home to vote. 
The result was that Lincoln carried the State by 5,712 
majority on the home vote, and that, with over 14,000 
majority in the army, gave him the State by over 

Never was a State more earnestly contested than was 
Pennsylvania between the October and November 
elections, in 1864. McClellan was personally poptdar, 

156 Old Time Notes 

was a man of the loveliest attributes and was univer- 
sally respected and generally beloved by all who knew 
him, while a large portion of the Democrats regarded 
him as the ideal soldier of the war. But for one grave 
political error that he committed the year before in the 
Curtin-Woodward campaign for Governor, I doubt 
whelJier he could have been defeated in the State by 
the home vote. Curtin had been his sincere friend, 
stood by him long after most of the Republicans had 
deserted him, and he had made earnest effort to have 
McClellan restored to the command of the Army of 
the Potomac when it was marching to Gettysburg, in 
which the leading business men of Philadelphia actively 

McClellan was then at his home in Orange, New 
Jersey, awaiting orders where he had been since he was 
reUeved from the command of the army in the fall of 
1862. He was doubtless sorely pressed to make a 
declaration in favor of Woodward and against Curtin, 
and he hesitated long about acceding to the demand, 
but finally, just on the eve of the election of 1863, he 
wrote to a prominent Democrat in Pennsylvania for 
publication a brief letter urging the election of Wood- 
ward. That certainly lost him more than enough votes 
in the State to have given him the home majority. 
McClellan was then in politics without political train- 
ing, and his judgment and inclinations wen* overruled 
when he gave the deliverance against Curtin. Grant, 
who was then at the head of the army and owed his 
position entirely to Lincoln, was severely discreet, and 
never gave an utterance during the contest bearing in 
any degree on the Presidential issue, but when Lincoln 
was re-elected he promptly sent him a generous con- 
gratulation. Lincoln was somewhat grit-vcd at Grant 
because he had given no utterance at all during the con- 
test, and that was his reason for not sending to Grant 

Of Pennsylvania 157 

his order or request for the furlough of Pennsylvania 
troops at the October election. 

I was much prejudiced against Grant when I found 
that Lincoln was unwilling to communicate his wishes 
to Grant while he did commtmicate with Meade. 
Some time after Grant's retirement from the Presidency 
I lunched with him at the invitation of Mr. Drexel and 
Mr. Childs, at Mr. Drexel's office, and in the course of 
conversation I led him back to that conflict and re- 
ferred to the fact that he had been discreetly silent. 
Grant's answer, which was doubtless the honest truth, 
was that he certainly could not inject himself into a 
political contest between the President, who had 
assigned him to the command of the army, and the 
general whom he had succeeded in the army. There 
never was a candidate nominated for President by so 
enthusiastic and confident a party as that which nonw- 
nated McClellan in Chicago, in 1864, who finally fell in 
such overwhelming and humiliating defeat, with a 
popular majority against him of nearly half a million, 
and receiving only twenty-one of the 233 electoral 
votes, from the States of Delaware, Kentucky and New 

158 Old Time Notes 


Chambersburg Destroyed by the Brutal Vandalism of Hunter in the 
Lynchburg Campaign — Its Destruction Made Possible by Hunter's 
Military Incompetency — Reports of McCausIand's Movement from 
Mercereburg to Chambersburg — The Vandalism of Many Intoxicated 
Confederates While the Town Waa Burning — A Heroic Woman Sav« 
One of the Author's Housea and Bam — Chamberaburg Could Have 
Been Fully Protected by the State Force Organized by Governor 
Curtin, but It Was Sent to the Potomac to Save Hunter. 

"V TEXT to the battle of Gettysburg, the echoes 
j^ of the most thrilling event of the Civil War 
■*• ^ in the North come from the burning of Cham- 
bersburg on the 30th of July, 1864, by a Confederate 
cavalry force under the command of General McCaus- 
land, and it is only in vindication of the truth of his- 
tory that I state that the destruction of Chambersbiu|[ 
was chiefly, or wholly, provoked by the brutal vandal- 
ism of General Hunter in the Lynchburg campaign, 
and its execution was made possible by his military 

Hunter succeeded Sigel in command of the Shenan- 
doah Valley in the spring of 1864, and was ordered 
by General Grant, then battling with Lee south of 
Spottsylvania, to advance upon Lynchburg and destroy 
the enemy's lines of communication and resources at 
that point. On the 5th of June General Hunter met 
a comparatively small force of the enemy at Piedmont, 
and defeated it, and after its retreat he formed a jxmc- 
tion with Crook and Averill at Staunton and marched 
toward Lynchburg by way of Lexington, where he 
arrived on tiie 10th, Hunter lost his opporttinity -to 

of Pennsylvania 159 

captirre Lynchburg by his delay at Lexington, where 
he was gtulty of many brutal acts of vandalism, such 
as the burning of the private residence of Governor 
Letcher, the Military Institute, and taking away or 
destroying memorable statues connected with the 
university founded by Washington and bearing his 
name. When Hunter arrived in front of Lynchburg, 
he foimd that General Earley had been ordered by 
Lee to make a forced march to meet him, and Earley 
occupied a position of such strength that Hunter 
declined to give battle. He explained that his failure 
to engage Earley for the capture of Lynchburg was his 
want of adequate ammunition, but if the statement 
is to be accepted as the true one, it simply proved the 
incompetency of a commander going into an enemy's 
country, so far from his base, with an army helpless 
for want of ammtmition. 

Htmter retreated along the Gauley and Kanawha 
Rivers to the Ohio, and returned to his base at Harper's 
Ferry by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. His circu- 
itous retreat uncovered the valley, and enabled Earley 
not only to take possession of it, but to advance upon 
Washington, defeat General Lew Wallace at the Mon- 
ocacy on the 9th of July, and compelled Grant to send 
Wright's corps from the Army of the Potomac to save 
the Capital. When Earley reached the outer defenses 
of Washington he found that General Wright was 
there with his corps, and that it was impossible for 
him to make a hopeful assault upon the Capital. He 
hastily fell back and reached Martinsburg with a vast 
train of supplies that had been gathered in his march. 
Hunter had arrived from the West when Earley reached 
Martinsburg, and he crossed the river and gave battle 
to Earley, but was defeated and compelled to recross 
the river and place his command in a defensive posi- 
tion between Hancock and Harper's Ferry. General 

i6o Old Time Notes 

McCausland's cavalry brigade was on Barley's left, 
and General Averill's Union cavalry brigade on Hun- 
ter's right. 

On the 28th of July General Barley directed McCaus- 
land to take his own mounted brigade and the cavalry 
brigade of General Bradley T. Johnson, numbering 
in all nearly 3,000 men, and proceed to Qiambersburg, 
where he was ordered to levy a tribute of $100,000 in 
gold or $500,000 in United States currency, and to 
bum the town if the requisition was not responded to. 
On the 29th McCausland crossed the Potomac at 
Cherry Run and McCoy's Ford, and advanced by way 
of Clear Springs and Mercersburg upon Chambersburg. 
The people of the town were advised by telegrams 
from Mercersburg of the advance of McCausland 's 
command, and a scene of indescribable confusion 
ensued. The money in banks and as much of the 
property in stores as could be gotten away were hur- 
riedly shipped to distant points, but it was known that 
General Averill's command was somewhere near Ha- 
gerstown with railway communication, and General 
Couch, who was in command of the department with 
his headquarters at Chambersburg, confidently ex- 
pected to have Ganeral Averill's force there before 
McCausland could arrive, if he continued his advance 
toward the town. 

When McCausland started on his raid the enemy's 
division of Rhodes and Ramsler, and the cavalry 
brigade of Vaughan, crossed the river at Williamsport. 
Vaughan moved on as far as Hagerstown, Md. Averill 
was thus threatened on both flanks, and fell back into 
Pennsylvania, reaching Greencastle, only twelve miles 
from Chambersburg, by sundown of the day that 
McCausland marched from Mercersburg to Chambers- 
burg. Averill's command could easily have been 
brought to Chambersburg in two or three hours. 

of Pennsylvania i6i 

When General Couch found that McCausland was con- 
tinuing his march to Chambersburg, having passed 
through Mercersburg to the Pittsburg pike, he sent 
three urgent despatches to Averill, at Greencastle, 
which were given to Averill 's own orderlies for immedi- 
ate transmission to him, but to these Couch received 
no reply, and near daylight, when McCausland had his 
command in line on Federal Hill, where his guns com- 
manded the town, Couch was compelled to hurry away 
in the last train held for the purpose, with his staff 
and a few orderlies, they being the only force he had 
in the place. He had a home guard in the town, of 
which I was a member, and we were sent out to picket 
the road along which McCausland was supposed to be 
advancing. As we were expected to hide in fence 
comers, I changed my dress for an old suit that could 
not be damaged by any amount of exposure, and left 
my watch, pocket-book, etc., in the bureau drawer at 
home. We remained out on the picket line for two or 
three hours, when General Couch sent word for us to 
return, as the enemy was approaching, and we should 
not be exposed to danger as we could accomplish 

I went directly to the headquarters of General 
Couch, and remained with him xmtil early the next 
morning, when McCausland 's command was within a 
few miles of Chambersburg. Couch had no force at 
Chambersburg beyond a little squad of less than 
twenty men under the command of an Irish corporal. 
They were sent out early in the day, and they advanced 
until they saw the signs of the enemy's approach, 
but they did not permit themselves to be seen, nor 
their presence made known to the enemy tmtil after 
dark, when the gallant corporal so maneuvered his 
handful of men that McCausland supposed he was 
confronted by a regiment, and so stated in his official 


.i62 Old Time Notes 

report. The corporal knew the roads perfectly, and 
he had his men scattered, and every now and then 
fired as the enemy appeared to be approaching. So 
admirably did he manage his little force that McCaus- 
land was not able to advance between Mercersbtirg 
and Chambersburg any faster than two miles an hoirr. 
Toward daylight the corporal returned to headquar- 
ters and reported that the enemy *s force was about 
3,000, and was then within two miles of the town. 
As Couch could get no commimication from General 
Averill, he was entirely helpless and notified his staff 
and the little band of men who had been fighting all 
night, that the train he had had in readiness for some 
time would leave in half an hour. 

I had left my home the year before, when Lee's army 
came, because of reliable admonitions that I should 
avoid capture, but as this was only a raid that could, 
at the most, last for a few hours, as we hoped to have 
Averill come to our aid at any time, I refused General 
Couch's earnest appeal to accompany him, and started 
out to my home, only to find my wife and family much 
more concerned about getting me away than about 
the advance of the enemy. Couch sent a staff officer 
to my house renewing the appeal for me to leave, 
and just then a close friend drove up in front of my 
house in a buggy, stopped and insisted upon me going 
with him. I accepted his invitation, as I hoped to 
be able to return to Chambersburg the following day, 
and we drove to Shippensburg, but before noon we 
had the first reports from Chambersburg that the town 
was in flames and vandalism running riot. In the 
evening my wife and family joined me at Shippens- 
burg and reported that only the family Bible had been 
saved from the house, as it was picked up by Mrs. 
McClure's mother as she took her departure, and an 
oil portrait of myself that himg in the parlor had 

Of Pennsylvania 163 

been hastily torn from the hook by Miss Reilley, who 
escaped with it through the back door. 

The Rev. Dr. Niccolk, then pastor of the Chambers- 
burg Presbyterian church, resided quite close to my 
home, and when he found the squad enter it he hastened 
to the house and gathered up a number of my clothes, 
but they were rudely taken from him and thrown into 
the fire. The work of burning the town was performed 
in the most hurried and brutal manner. Many of 
the command became wildly intoxicated from the 
liquors they foimd in the saloons and cellars, and while 
a large portion of the command revolted at the vandal- 
ism exhibited by many, they were powerless to prevent 
it, and for several hours the command was engaged 
in plundering and firing all the buildings in the center of 
the town. Bradley Johnson was the active commander, 
and he was most vindictive and merciless. He had 
left his home at Frederick, where he was a lawyer in 
good practice, to join the Confederacy, and when Lee's 
army marched through Frederick two years later, 
by Johnson's order his own home was burned, as he 
never expected to be able to occupy it again, and his 
lot was cast with the people who regarded all in the 
North as implacable foes. 

Fortimately, this burning of Chambersburg occurred 
in daylight of a simny midsummer day, and the sick 
and feeble were all removed from the peril of the flames. 
When the work of the destruction of the town had been 
well under way, two squads were ordered out to destroy 
the property that belonged to me on a farm at the edge 
of the town. Captain Smith, son of ex-Govemor 
Snfiith, of Virginia, headed the squad that burned my 
residence and bam. Mrs. McClure was ill, but able 
to be about in her room; and Captain Smith himself 
entered her chamber and notified her that she must 
be out of the house within ten nndnutes. She asked 

i64 Old Time Notes 

permission to take some valuable mementoes from 
the home, but it was rudely denied. She then reminded 
him that the same command, or part of it, had camped 
on the place under General Jenkins, who commanded 
the advance of Lee's army in the Gettysburg campaign, 
that the bam was their hospital, and that she herself 
ministered to them, and handed him a letter written 
to her by one of the sufferers when they moved toward 
Gettysburg; but in ten minutes both bam and house 
were enveloped in flames — ^the bam containing the 
entire crops from the large farm. Mrs. McCliu*e and 
those with her walked several miles in the country, 
where they were finally taken charge of by a neighbor 
and driven to Shippensbiu*g. 

On the southern end of the farm there was a brick 
residence and small bam, and Colonel Gilmore, of 
Baltimore, commanded the squad that was ordered 
to destroy the buildings. He rushed into the house 
and found Mrs. Boyd and her two children at break- 
fast. They were rudely and peremptorily ordered to 
leave the house at once, as he had orders to bum it 
and could not delay for a minute. She asked per- 
mission to finish her breakfast, but it was refused. 
She was a woman of heroic mold, and the wife of one 
of the most gallant troopers of the border, Colonel 
Boyd, later known in Philadelphia as connected with 
the publication of our **City Directory." She arose 
from the table, bidding her children to prepare at once 
to leave, and while they were gathering their little 
belongings, she said to Colonel Gilmore: **Do you 
know whose house this is?** To which he answered: 
"Certainly, it is Colonel McClure*s, " and Mrs. Boyd 
replied: **The house belongs to him, but it is now the 
home of myself and children, and of my husband, 
Captain Boyd, of the Pennsylvania cavalry, ' ' to which 
she added that Colonel Gilmore could now proceed 

Of Pennsylvania 165 

to the destruction of the property. He at once lifted 
his hat and answered that he wotdd not bum the home 
of so gallant a soldier, and he made a hurried retreat 
from the place. 

Captain Boyd was the most notorious scouting 
trooper on the border, and his name was as familiar 
in Virginia as Moseby's was in Pennsylvania. Gilmore 
well knew that if he burned the home of Captain Boyd, 
a score or more of Virginia homes would pay the pen- 
alty. Fifty suburban houses were passed on the out- 
skirts of the town by the squad of burners to reach my 
home and destroy it, and a like number of suburban 
houses were not disturbed by the Gilmore party that 
went to destroy the improvement at the southern 
end of the farm. At eleven o'clock in the morning 
McCausland received word from the scouts that Averill 
was approaching, and he gathered up his force hastily, 
and moved rapidly across the North Mountain into 
Ftdton County. Averill reached Chambersburg a 
few hours after McCausland had left the town, and 
he pursued McCausland, finally brought him to bay 
after three days of pursuit and defeated and scat- 
tered his command. He fotmd in the enemy's camp 
many of the valuables which had been taken from 
the homes of Chambersburg. 

The actual losses sustained by the people of Cham- 
bersburg in the destruction of personal and real prop- 
erty were finally adjudicated by a State commission 
that gave $1,628,431.58 as the aggregate value of 
individual property destroyed. Such a loss in a town 
of 4,000 poptilation made up entirely of residences 
and business places, without any large manufacturing 
establishments, plunged the entire community into 
the starless midnight of despair. Many were at once 
hopelessly bankrupted, many more struggled to rebuild 
th^ir homes and places of business ^t ^ time when 

1 66 Old Time Notes 

everything commanded inflated prices, and struggled 
for years to save themselves, but finally had to 3deld, 
as property depreciated while debts acctmiulated. 
The few who had wealth in country farms or securities 
could afford to rebuild their homes, but that number 
made up a very small percentage of the sufferers of 
the town. 

The burning of Chambersburg would have been 
utterly impossible if the steps the State had taken, 
imder Governor Curtin's earnest efforts to protect the 
border, had been allowed to serve their purpose. The 
Governor had a number of regiments organized solely 
for border defense within the State, but they were 
accepted in the military service of the government 
only on the very proper condition that in any enler- 
gency they should be subject to the orders of the gov- 
ernment. More than enough of these regiments than 
would have been needed to defeat McCausland in 
Chambersburg passed through the town within a few 
days before its destruction to reinforce Hunter on the 
Potomac, as he was then threatened by Earley, and 
Averill, whose force alone would have been sufficient 
to protect the town, was not at his headquarters near 
Greencastle when the despatches reached there, but 
was finally found, when too late to be of any service, 
sleeping alone in a fence comer some distance from his 
command, and his orderlies did not know where to 
find him. He was a gallant soldier, had been making 
forced marches to save his own command that he 
supposed was threatened on one flank by Vaughan, and 
on the other by McCausland, and he never dreamed 
of McCausland making the raid by Mercersburg to 
Chambersburg. He was doubtless exhausted, and 
thought that the only duty he could have for immediate 
performance was to save his command from destruction. 

I stated ^.t the outset of this chapter thac the destruc- 

Of Pennsylvania 167 

tioti of Chambersbtu^ was chiefly or wholly provoked 
by the vandalism of Hunter in his Lynchburg cam- 
paign, and that its execution was possible because of 
his incapacity. Already sufficient facts have been 
given in this statement to show that he was utterly 
incompetent to handle his army, not only up to the 
time when McCausland started on his raid, but if he 
had been equal to his important trust McCausland 
never would have been permitted to escape on any such 
mission. In his march through the VaUey from Lex- 
ington to L)mchburg he had been guilty of the most 
flagrant violation of the rules of civilized warfare. He 
had burned the homes of Senator Hunter, of Charles- 
town, his own first cousin, and bearing the name of 
General Hunter's father; of Confederate Congressman 
A. R. Boteler, whose wife was a cousin of General 
Hunter; of Governor Letcher, then Governor of the 
State; of J. T. Anderson, connected with the great 
Tredegar Iron Works, in Richmond; of E. I. Lee, a 
leading private citizen of the State, and the Virginia 
Military Institute. All of these were grand old colon- 
ial homes, and they were destroyed without any war- 
rant or even decent excuse whatever. In addition 
to these, many private homes were gutted by his troops, 
their contents wantonly destroyed, and the historic 
statues at Lexington were broken or taken away. 
Of course, he destroyed all the mills and factories on 
the line, as is common when a movement is made to 
impair the resources of an enemy, but from the 
time he started on his campaign until he was driven 
into retreat by a circuitous route, there were unmis- 
takable marks of the most brutal vandalism along 
his entire track. 

Earley had driven Hunter from Lynchbui^, where 
he retreated without accepting battle. With Lee's 
crippled condition in front of Grant, it was not possible 

i68 Old Time Notes 

for Earley to remain on the Potomac, and he gave the 
order to McCausland to proceed to Chambersburg and 
demand a ransom sufficient to cover the private prop- 
erty wantonly destroyed by Hunter in his raid, or 
faiUng in that to inflict a like punishment upon Cham- 

General Earley, in a pamphlet published some time 
after the war, entitled **A Memoir of the Last Year 
of the War for Independence by the Confederate 
States of America, ' ' speaking of the burning of Cham- 
bersburg, said: **For this act I alone am responsible, 
as the officers engaged in it were simply executing 
my orders and had no discretion left to them. ' * 

In the same paper he recites in detail many acts of 
vandalism committed by Himter in Virginia without 
excuse or provocation, and adds that it was necessary 
to carry the same method of warfare into the North 
to insure the safety of homes and properties in the 

While Earley does not give any special reasons for 
selecting Chambersburg on which to inflict this retribu- 
tion, it was well known then that throughout the South 
it was believed that John Brown made his base in 
Chambersburg, where he planned his wild raid on 
Harper's Ferry in 1859, solely because the people of 
Chambersburg were in sympathy with him. It was a 
natural supposition, but entirely tmtrue. There was 
not a single citizen of Chambersburg who knew John 
Brown as John Brown, during the six weeks or two 
months he made that town his residence. He was 
known only as Dr. Smith, and not a single resident of 
the place had any suspicion of his real ptirpose, as he 
announced to all that he was planning important 
mineral developments in Virginia. I saw John Brown 
a score of times or more during his stay there, conversed 
with him on several occasions, and never doubted that 


Of Pennsylvania 169 

he was the man he represented himself to be; but the 
fact that Chambersburg was made his base created 
deep-seated prejudice in the South against the town, 
and it is more than probable that, but for the John 
Brown raid, Chambersburg might not have been 
decreed to crucification for General Hunter's vandalism 
and incompetency. 

General Earley doubtless believed that he would 
halt the destruction of property in the South by the 
burning of Chambersburg, but from the 30th of July, 
1864, until the close of the war, not a single State in 
the South, where our armies penetrated, entirely 
escaped fearful retribution for the destruction of the 
old Ctimberland Valley town. On the slightest pre- 
text the Union soldiers, then scattered all through the 
South, were urged to deeds of vandalism when some 
desperate leaders would give out the cry: ** Remember 
Chambersburg. ' ' I met a Southern lady in Columbia 
five years after the war, whose home and all it con- 
tained were burned by Sherman's army. She told that 
the squad rushed into her home, ordered her to leave 
it, and to the cry: ** Remember Chambersburg," 
applied the torch and left it in ashes; and a hundred 
Southern homes were destroyed for every half -score 
that were destroyed in Chambersburg. It was a costly 
retribution to Chambersburg, but it was a twenty-fold 
more costly retribution to the South. Fortunately, 
before another year had passed away peace came at 
Appomattox, and the inmates of Southern homes no 
longer shuddered at the cry: "Remember Cham- 
bersburg. ' ' 

i7o Old Time Notes 


James McDowell Sharpe and the Author Elected to the House to Secure 
Appropriation for the Desolated Town — How William H. Kemble 
Became State Treasurer — Debate on the Amendment to the Con- 
stitution Abolishing Slavery Forced Sharpe and the Author to Par- 
ticipate — Sharpe 's Admirable Speech — Why the Relief Bill Failed — 
How the Appropriation of Half a Million Dollars Was Passed a Year 

THE McCausland raid that destroyed the beauti- 
ftd town of Chambersburg was the last visita- 
tion the people of that section had from the 
opposing armies of our civil war. General Patter- 
son's army, the first to march against the South in the 
Shenandoah Valley, in the early spring of 1861, en- 
camped on my farm at Chambersburg, and made that 
his base for a week or more. That occupation saved 
me the trouble of harvesting luxuriant fields of clover 
and timothy, as all the fields in grass were occupied 
by the anny and the crops destroyed. In 1862 Gen- 
eral Stuart made the first great raid of the war around 
McClellan's army after the battle of Antietam, and 
spent the night in Chambersburg, as I have already 
fully described, leaving me minus ten horses. His 
raid was followed by what were always the most 
destructive military movements in our valley, with 
the single exception of the burning of Chambersburg, 
the invasion of the militia or emergency men, sud- 
denly called out to protect the border, pitched together 
into companies and regiments without discipline, 
and hurriedly marched away without quartennast(^r 
or commissary resources. They practically lived on 

Of Pennsylvania 171 

the country, and they were necessarily very costly 

In 1863 two-thirds of Lee's army had its base in 
Chambersbtu^ for nearly a week, and E well's corps 
of over 20,000 men followed all previous military forces 
by camping on some 200 acres of level groimd on my 
farm, with railroad on one side and water on the other. 
Lee's army, however, was under the strictest discipline, 
and Eweirs entire corps, or most of it, was on the 
farm for a week ; and the officers occupied my residence, 
but they did much less damage than a single regiment 
of New York volunteers encamped on the same place, 
who were the first to reach Chambersburg after the 
battle of Gettysburg. The middle fences had then 
been destroyed by both armies, and the only crop 
that I was enabled to gather from the farm during 
the war was a bountiful harvest in 1864, that was 
entirely destroyed in the bam a few weeks after its 

The people of Chambersburg were left in a most 
destitute condition by the destruction of the town on 
the 30th of July, 1864. Nearly or quite two-thirds of 
the population were entirely homeless, without means 
and without the occupations which afforded them a 
livelihood. The people of the State responded very 
generously in sending supplies, but with more than 
2,000 people entirely homeless and breadless there was 
often want in many family circles. I had a large com 
and potato crop that had escaped the vengeance of 
McCausland, and as rapidly as these crops matured 
sufficiently for family use they were delivered from 
day to day to the sufferers until the last pound had 
gone, beyond a scant allowance for my own household. 
Unfortunately, we were then in the high tide of war 
inflation, when a dollar of current money bought no 
more than two-thirds its face value in labor or neces- 

172 Old Time Notes 

saries of life, but the business men who had means or 
credit hastily began the reconstruction of their homes 
and business places, costing them quite double what 
the properties commanded when many were forced to 
sell by the revulsion that followed. 

The people were inspired by the hope that the Leg- 
islature would come to their relief to a very generous 
extent, and, as I have explained in a former chapter, 
J. McDowell Sharpe, who stood at the front of the 
Chambersburg bar, and myself had been elected to the 
house and charged with the responsible duty of obtain- 
ing relief for our people who were struggling in the ashes 
of their desolated homes. Sharpe and I, of course, 
had but a single purpose in shaping our legislative 
actions, and that was to successfully perform the para- 
mount duty of obtaining relief for our neighbors. At 
the meeting of the Legislature on the first Tuesday of 
January, 1865, we agreed that we must subordinate 
all political efforts to the exceptionally grave duty 
imposed upon us ; that we would take no part in polit- 
ical disputation; that our attitude on all legislative 
questions should be governed by the advantage we 
could command for the passage of the relief bill. The 
house was largely Republican, and of course Sharpe, 
being the leading Democrat of the body, was voiceless 
in shaping its organization; but Olmsted, of Potter, 
was made speaker without a contest by the Republican 
friends of the border claim giving him a united support. 
He was a man of the highest character, and all we 
asked of him was an entirely fair committee to pass 
upon our important measure, to which he readily 
assented and fulfilled his promise. He was not asked 
to pledge himself to support the bill, as such a propo- 
sition would have been offensive to one of his delicate 
appreciation of official pride, but we had the assurance 
of absolute fairness, and hoped to have him with us 

of Pennsylvania 173 

when the struggle came, although his constituents were 
very generally against us. 

Before the Legislature met distant portions of the 
State, which were at no time imperiled by the Civil 
War, were inflamed to a considerable degree against 
our reUef bill by the tmited efforts of demagogues and 
lobbyists. It must be remembered that at that day 
the sum of $500,000 to be taken from the treasiny for 
appropriation outside of the ordinary expenses of the 
State was a startling proposition, and candidates for 
the Legislature in very many of the districts openly 
pledged themselves against what they called the border 
raid bill, to secure their election in doubtful districts, 
or to assure their renominations where elections were 
not doubtful. The entire northern tier of counties, 
then almost wholly agricultural, and where extreme 
frugality was the rule of the every-day lives of the 
people, were appalled by the proposition to take half 
a million dollars from the treasury of the State. Their 
farms were then taxed to support the Commonwealth, 
and $500,000 at that time seemed to be a vastly greater 
sum than $5,000,000 would seem to-day. 

Pittsburg was then in the violent throes of the rail- 
road repudiation struggle that conviilsed the people 
of Allegheny for many years, and their legislators had 
little S3niipathy with their brethren from the southern 
border, because their revolutionary movement had 
commanded little sympathy or support from any por- 
tion of the State east of the Alleghenies. Thus, a 
large portion of the members of the Legislature ap- 
peared at Harrisburg strongly prejudiced against any 
important border relief bill because of poUtical or local 
interests, and the professional lobbyists of the State, 
who then embraced a number of able and unscrupu- 
lous men, aided systematically in prejudicing legis- 
lators against our measure, hoping to obtain a lai^ 

174 Old Time Notes 

corruption fund to be used by them in securing votes 
for the bill, with large profits to the lobbyists them- 
selves. When we appeared at Harrisbui^ to inaugu- 
rate the struggle for the relief of Chambersburg, we 
were amazed to learn that a decided majority of the 
house was not only not in sympathy with us, but 
positively against us, and many of the members very 
aggressively so. 

It was this condition that brought into political 
prominence William H. Kemble, as he was made State 
treasurer by a combination between his Philadelphia 
friends and the organized supporters of the relief bill. 
I had known Kemble in a casiml way for several years, 
but never had opporttmity to know him beyond the 
flippant surface that he so often maintained, hiding 
his very strong natural abilities from all but those who 
knew him most intimately. We had some twenty 
Republican members of the house who immediately 
represented the border people, or who were sufficiently 
interested in the work of furnishing relief, to make 
them cordially co-operate with any movement deemed 
necessary to promote the passage of a liberal appro- 
priation. Philadelphia representatives were nearly 
all Republican, and they had been thoroughly organized 
to make battle for the election of Kemble as State 
treasurer. His competitor was Dr. Gross, of Alle- 
gheny, who had served several sessions in the house, 
was a man of the highest character, of admitted 
ability, and universally respected by all who knew 
him. Under ordinary circtimstances he would have 
been nominated for State treasurer, and would have 
filled the office with great credit, but the proposition 
came to us to give the support of the Republican 
representatives of Philadelphia for the border relief 
bill if we would tinite with them to make Kemble 
State treasurer. 

Of Pennsylvania 175 

The proposition was first made to me by ex-Repre- 
sentative Thome, with whom I had served in the hotise 
some years, and who was a devoted personal friend. 
He came to Chambersburg and made the proposition 
that a combination be made between the border and 
Philadelphia Republicans to make Kemble treasurer 
and to pass the relief bill. I was greatly siuprised when 
he named Kemble as his candidate, as I had only the 
merest superficial knowledge of the man, and when he 
first told me that the Philadelphians were unitedly 
and earnestly for him, and that we could not expect 
a general or cordial support for our relief bill from Phila- 
delphia without the border people supporting him, my 
answer was: ** Well, if you people can stand it, I can, " 
and the combination was made and carried dut with 
absolute fidelity on both sides. But for this alliance 
with Philadelphia the Chambersburg relief bill never 
would have been permitted to appear even on the 
house calendar. 

I learned to know Kemble better after he came into 
the office of State treasurer, and to appreciate his 
exceptionally great qualities. He was at times imptil- 
sive and indiscreet, but he discharged his official duties 
with great fidelity, and he started the important tax 
reform reUeving the farmers of the State entirely from 
taxation for State purposes and imposing it upon the 
then rapidly developing corporations. He became a 
recognized leader not only in State politics, but in 
finance, and was the chief author of the pecuniary 
success attained by our various city passenger railways. 
He was the best equipped man in passenger railway 
business not only in Philadelphia, but in any other 
section of the country, and he was unfaltering in his 
fideUty to personal or political friendships. He was 
twice re-elected State treasurer by the Legislature, and 
left the office at the expiration of three years with the 

176 Old Time Notes 

credit of the State fully restored, and our general 
financial condition immeasurably improved. 

Never did two men more earnestly struggle for the 
relief of their constituents than did Sharpe and myself 
at that session of the Legislature, but before a month 
of the session had passed it became obvious to us that 
success was not within the range of possibility. The 
measure was assailed by a large number of the rural 
newspapers, and the powerfully organized lobbyists 
who then clustered about legislative sessions were 
aggressively hostile because there was nothing in it 
for them. Sharpe and I made every combination 
within range to aid or hinder legislation if thereby 
there was a promise made for our single cause. Politi- 
cal disputation ran high in both senate and house, 
but we were stubbornly silent. As Sharpe was alto- 
gether the ablest member of the Democratic minority, 
his political friends complained somewhat that he was 
never heard in the political scraps that so often hap- 
pened in which he wotild have been theif ablest cham- 
pion. Finally we reached the proposed amendment 
to the Constitution of the United States for the abolish- 
ment of slavery, and the debate on it was altogether 
the most embittered of the session. Just when it was 
at the high-water mark of partisan frenzy, the Demo- 
crats demanded that Sharpe should be heard, and I 
had been also urged to participate in the debate on the 
other side. I saw that the Democrats, where we had 
our largest support for the relief bill outside of Phila- 
delphia members, were determined to have Sharpe 
speak, and I passed over to his seat and proposed that 
I would take the floor in support of the anti-slavery 
amendment, and that he should follow; that we would 
both deliver dignified addresses which would not be 
likely to call out violent interruption or criticism, and 
that after the delivery of the speeches we would then 

of Pennsylvania 177 

restune our attitude of absolute refusal to participate 
in political discussion. It soon became known that 
Sharpe and I had taken a temporary release from our 
bondage on political discussion, and, as the subject 
had already crowded the house with interested spec- 
tators, the senate soon adjourned for want of a quorum, 
and the Governor and heads of departments and 
senators crowded into the hail. Sharpens speech, 
although entirely spontaneous, was the ablest political 
address I ever heard him deliver, and his friends were 
greatly gratified. He was thoroughly familiar with 
the subject, as he had discussed the question very fully 
time and again on the stump, and he rose to the highest 
measure of his great ability on the sudden inspiration 
of a party call that he knew demanded of him an argu- 
ment fully worthy of himself. He was one of the few 
members of the bar who presented the uncommon 
quality of perfectly blending all the attributes of a 
great lawyer with all the attributes of a brilliant advo- 
cate, and he was one of the gentlest and most lovable 
of men. 

Hopeless as was the position of the Chambersburg 
measure, we could only struggle to the end, although 
it was during the last month of the session, simply the 
struggle of despair, and the Legislature finally ad- 
journed without any appropriation whatever for the 
relief of the impoverished people of the burned town. 
While the leading men of Chambersburg were fully 
advised of the progress of the battle, and knew that 
the defeat of the bill was inevitable, the majority of 
the people in their extreme necessities, struggling like 
the drowning man grasping at the straw, hoped even 
against hope that they would not be entirely abandoned 
by the State, and when the Legislature finally ad- 
journed without even seriously considering the relief 
measure their disappointment was as terrible as it was 


178 Old Time Notes 

general. Sharpe and I were in constant intercourse 
with the leading men of the town, and they knew long 
before the session ended that $500,000 cotild not be 
taken from the treastny of the State, even for the most 
deserving charity, without passing through the slimy 
embrace of a powerful and unscrupulous lobby. There 
were many conferences after the adjournment of the 
Legislature between the active citizens of the town, 
which Sharpe and I attended, and we both stated 
frankly that the appropriation that was absolutely 
indispensable to Chambersburg could not be obtained 
by any combination of personal or political interests, 
and that it could be accomplished only by 3delding 
to corruption that was then largely asserting its mas- 
tery in Pennsylvania politics, and especially in legisla- 
tion; and it was finally definitely decided to organize 
a movement at once to obtain the appropriation from 
the succeeding Legislature, and a dozen or more of 
those who had sustained the heaviest losses, and who, 
as a rule, could best afford to dispense with relief, 
should give their entire portion of the appropriation 
to promote its passage. The result was that new men 
were sent to the Legislature, and the battle for the 
relief of Chambersburg was made outside of the legis- 
lative halls. The measure passed both branches of 
the Legislature and was approved by Governor Curtin, 
and thus half a million came at last to the relief of the 
long-despairing sufferers of Chambersburg, less a con- 
siderable stmi that was filched from them by lobby 
extortion and Legislative venality. 

A ntimber of the heaviest losers did not receive one 
dollar, and I not only received no part of mine, which 
was the largest claim in the entire list, but in a severe 
emergency in the progress of the conflict I gave $2,500 
in addition, not a dollar of which was ever repaid, or 
expected to be repaid; but with all these resources, 

Of Pennsylvania 179 

we were unable to meet the ever-increasing demand of 
organized corruption. Finally I presented the matter 
to Colonel Scott, then vice-president of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad, who was a native of Franklin County, 
and had great affection for the people of the desolated 
town. He tmderstood the situation at a glance, knew 
the forces which surrotmded and the obstacles which 
confronted it, and he gave a peremptory order to his 
representative at Harrisburg to pass the Chambersburg 
relief bill tmder any and all circimistances. But for 
his timely and most generous interposition and sub- 
stantial aid, the relief bill would not have reached final 
passage. Beyond half a dozen men, who participated 
in the inner movements of the struggle, the people of 
Chambersburg received the liberal appropriation of the 
State without ever having heard the name of Colonel 
Scott mentioned as their chief benefactor. 

I should not have given any part of the inner story 
of the passage of the Chambersburg relief bill, but for 
the fact that it seems to be a necessity to maintain 
the truth of history, and in some future diapter I must 
discuss the question of corruption in Pennsylvania 
politics, especially in Pennsylvania legislation. I have 
given the facts in relation to the relief bill because it 
was an imperious necessity that the relief should be 
obtained, and a like imperious necessity that some 
should assume the responsibility of submitting to the 
demands of corruptionists to give success to a measure 
that was a naked charity. I served in nine sessions 
of the two branches of the Legislature, covering a 
period of sixteen years, and during the time that Leg- 
islative venality reached its high-water mark. I do 
not mean that Pennsylvania politics are any less corrupt 
now than they were then, but I think it is due to truth 
to say that the general individual venality in legislation 
these days does not approach the measure of venality 

i8o Old Time Notes 

that obtained during a portion of the time in which I 
served in the Legislature. 

There was then no such thing known as the power 
of party leaders to pass or defeat measures of legisla- 
tion which were not political, and venality became so 
general because of the vast power of the Legislature to 
promote individual and corrupt interests by special 
legislation tinder the old Constitution. Private legis- 
lation was practically ended by the Constitution of 
1874, and petty venality that had become so general 
under the former Constitution was largely dethroned. 
Now, measures of individxial profit are scaled on an 
immense basis; they are passed or defeated in our 
Pennsylvania Legislature largely or wholly as party 
leaders command, and the petty Legislative specula- 
tions of a few hundreds of dollars which were common 
in early times have now given way to colossal specu- 
lations by political leaders, and a small portion of the 
profits is gradually filtered down to the followers to 
enable them to keep their positions. It is a sorry 
chapter to appear in the annals of our great Common- 
wealth, but the history of our political, industrial and 
financial achievements would be incomplete with its 

Of Pennsylvania i8i 


Chambersburg's Midnight Jubilee over the Surrender of Lee — ^The Long 
Strained Border People Had Peace at Last — Peculiar Political Con- 
ditions — How Cameron Lost His Candidate for Auditor General by 
His Struggle to Obtain Control of the Party Organization — Senator 
Heistand Defeated When He Expected a Unanimous Nomination — 
Hartranft Suddenly Forced to the Front — The Organization for 
Chairmanship of the Republican State Committee Taken from the 
President of the Convention by Resolution of Stevens — A Sluggifh 
Battle Resulting in the Success of the Republican Ticket. 

THE darkest hour is sometimes just before the 
break of day, and the people of smitten 
Chambersburg realized the truth of the adage 
within a week or ten days after the adjournment of the 
Legislature that had refused them any measure of relief, 
leaving them to struggle with despair. About midnight 
on the Qth of April, 1865, when the sorely-depressed 
people of Chambersburg were at rest, many of them in 
hastily-improvised homes, the bell of the courthouse 
that had been hastily rebuilt awaked the community 
from its slumbers as it rang out its loudest tones. The 
ringing was continued for a considerable time, and in a 
little while the bells of churches, which had escaped 
the torch of the vandal, joined in the welcome music. 
It was known to all that there was then no immediate 
danger of a raid from the enemy, and all tmderstood 
that some cheerful news had come to the desolated 

I was waked from sleep in the little cottage formerly 
occupied by a colored house servant, that Captain 
Sxnitih, in his haste, had neglected to bum. My first 

i82 Old Time Notes 

impression was that shared by nearly all when the first 
toll of the bell was heard, that some new danger 
threatened, but very little reflection made me tinder- 
stand that there could be no immediate peril to the 
community, and that the bells were ringing out the 
proclamation of some achievement toward peace. 
After a hurried and imperfect toilet I hastened toward 
the town and first heard the echo of cheers from the 
center of the village, and as I approached nearer I was 
finally enabled to distinguish the shouts which mingled 
with the cheers of the people, annotmcing that Lee had 
surrendered. The trained lightning had flashed the 
same message from Eastern to Western sea, and there 
was tiniversal rejoicing throughout the entire loyal 
brotherhood of people, but in no one commimity was 
the news so profotmdly appreciated, or so wildly wel- 
comed, as in Chambersburg and its beautiftd and 
bountiful surrotmdings on the border. 

For four long years the people of Franklin County 
had been under the severe strain of border warfare. 
They had been raided in 1862 by Stuart, in 1863 by 
Jenkins, in 1864 by McCausland, who had levelled 
Chambersburg to ashes, and in addition Lee's army 
occupied the county for some days before the battle 
of Gettysburg. There was no time during those four 
years when Moseby, or any like commander of Southern 
raiders, could not have penetrated even as far north 
as Chambersburg in a single night, excepting only in 
the dead of winter. The people had not only suffered 
from actual raids, but by the appropriation of property 
alike by Union and Southern soldiers, and there was 
rarely a month during any of the four summers when 
they were not tinder the exhausting strain of appre- 
hension of raids or invasion from the South. To these 
long-suffering people, who had not only given their full 
quota of their fathers and sons to join in the flame of 

Of Pennsylvania 183 

battle for the Union, but had suffered constant waste 
and terrible anxiety, the surrender of Lee meant more 
than peace to the nation, and the final triimiph of the 
Union cause; it meant to them peace in their homes, 
protection against robbery, and safety in the pursuit 
of their daily avocations. 

I have many times seen aggregations of people ex- 
press enthusiastic delight, but never before nor since 
have I witnessed a mass of people express such whole- 
souled gratification. Not only those who rent the air 
with their cheers, and the many enthusiasts who shook 
hands and embraced each other in the fervor of their 
joy, but there were other htmdreds of men and women 
whose mute but expressive eloquence told the story 
that at last relief had come to the long-fretted and 
plundered people. To them it was not only peace to 
State and Nation, but it was rest in the homes which 
had long been racked by constant apprehension. All 
who were able to leave their beds were on the street, and 
remained there until the light of another day broke in 
the east as the sun arose to shine upon the liberated 

The surrender of Lee that was soon followed by the 
surrender of Johnston, and later by every organized 
Confederate command in the field, at once brought the 
people of the North to face the new grave problems 
which confronted them. The North had overthrown 
the military power of the Confederacy, and the Con- 
federacy itself was hopelessly destroyed, with its chief 
executive a prisoner at Fortress Monroe. General 
Grant, with all his heroic record, exhibited the highest 
heroism of his life when he dictated the generous terms 
on which the surrender of Lee's army was accepted. 
He was severely criticised by the more radical element 
of the Republican party, but the people of the country 
very soon learned to appreciate how grandly Grant had 

184 Old Time Notes 

vindicated himself, and how, in defiancxj of well-known 
views of the cabinet, he had opened the door wide for 
the return of peace by paroling Greneral Lee and all the 
officers of his army, tmder the solemn assurance that 
they could return to their homes and remain unmolested 
as long as they obeyed the laws of the government in 
force in their resyx^ctive localities. 

This condition, for which Grant was alone responsi- 
ble, made it impossible for the government, without 
violating its solemnly ])lighted faith, to persecute or 
ptmish any of the officers in Lee's army; and some 
months later, when President Johnson, in the floodtide 
of his vindictive assaults upon the South after he be- 
came President, decided to inflict ^ome punishment 
upon Lee and other officers. Grant, then the General of 
the army, notified the President that he would be 
guilty of an act of dishonor in violating any of the 
terms of Lee's surrender, and stated distinctly that if 
the President attempted it the General could no longer, 
with self-respect, hold a commission in the army of the 
United States. That position assunicd by General 
Grant, and that alone, saved Johnson from adding to 
his many other follies the prosecution of Lee's paroled 
officers and other Confederate generals. While all in 
the North had been for several years discussing the 
basis of peace with little agreement of public sentiment, 
Grant solved the problem himself by tc^aching the 
Nation that the way to peace was by the highest meas- 
ure of magnanimity to the vanquished. I honor Grant 
more for what he did at Appomattox than for any 
military achievement of his life. He not only heroic- 
ally blazed the way to peace, but his first thought after 
signing the surrender with Lee, and voluntarily issuing 
an order for all of Lee 's exhausted heroes to be bounti- 
fully fed from the Union commissary stores, made him 
hurriedly start to Washington to take the promptest 

Of Pennsylvania 185 

measures for the reduction of the army to halt the 
appalling expenses of the war. 

With all the enormous taxes gathered from the people 
to support the war; with the lavish expenditure for 
botmties that loaded not only cities and counties but 
townships with enormous debt, the debt of the nation 
was over two billions, and there were few, indeed, at 
that day who were hopeful that the National credit 
could be maintained. The government bonds were 
payable in coin, and silver was at a premium over gold, 
while in all the transactions of every-day life among 
the people the currency of the nation was accepted as 
a legal tender enforced by law, when a dollar of the 
lawful money of the country did not purchase two- 
thirds of its face value in the necessaries of life. Had 
President Johnson at once planted himself on a peace 
platform with Grant after he had waded into the 
Presidency through the tears of a bereaved nation, 
there would have been less disturbance and tmcer- 
tainty in the North, but he started out to pursue the 
leading men of the South most vindictively. He pro- 
claimed Davis and others as assassins of President Lin- 
coln, and his whole policy seemed to have but one aim 
and that to pltmge the two sections, at the close of the 
war, mto an aftermath of even more fiendish hatred 
and brutality than war itself had given. Forttmately, 
he changed his attitude before the summer ended, but, 
like the violently-swung pendulum that had gone 
beyond its normal point, the swing of vengeance 
naturally exceeded the normal point of generous peace 
in its rebound. 

These conditions brought the Republican leaders of 
Pennsylvania to a sober realization of the new duties 
which had come upon the party. We had a National 
administration that was ostensibly Republican, and 
yet the new President had already taken two positions 

1 86 Old Time Notes 

on the question of adjustment with the South so 
violently extreme and so violently opposing each 
other that the party was placed in a very embarrassing 
condition when the State convention of 1865 met at 
Harrisburg to nominate candidates for auditor general 
and surveyor general. The incumbents of those offices 
were Democrats, having been elected in the Republican 
break of 1862, catised chiefly by the Emancipation 
Proclamation, but neither Auditor General Slenker nor 
Surveyor General Barr was a candidate for renomi- 
nation. The Democrats were greatly encouraged by 
the varying radical policies of the President, and at 
the time their convention met they were hopeful, and 
with good reason, that Johnson would gradually, and 
at an early day, develop into a full-fledged Democratic 
President. They placed at the head of their ticket for 
auditor general the gallant Democratic soldier, General 
Davis, of Doylestown, who was not only distinguished 
as a soldier, but a gentleman of the highest character 
and admirable personal qualities. For surveyor gen- 
eral they nominated John Linton, of Cambria, who had 
been a Whig in the earlier days, and unusually strong 
in the interior of the State, and they made an earnest 
battle ; but public sentiment was easily aroused against 
placing the Democrats in power to make peace after 
four years of war, whose policy they had so generally 
opposed, and General Davis was defeated by over 

The Republicans had every indication of a very 
peaceful convention. John A. Heistand, of Lancaster, 
then editor of one of the leading inland Republican 
papers of the State, who had served in both house and 
senate, was a candidate for auditor general. He was 
ranked as a supporter of General Cameron, but while 
he faithfully followed Cameron in every emergency that 
called for a rallv of Cameron's friends, he maintained 

Of Pennsylvania 187 

very friendly relations with Governor Curtin, and 
nearly or quite all the men around him. He knew that 
the friends of Curtin would be likely to control the con- 
vention, and he personally visited Curtin and others 
closely connected with him and appealed to them to 
assent to his nomination for auditor general and have 
the party with a united front and a candidate who 
would not be presented to the people by a faction. He 
was a jolly, genial fellow, was personally liked by all 
who knew him, and some time before the meeting of 
the convention Curtin and his people had all assented 
to the nomination of Heistand for auditor general. 

The convention was composed of a number of the 
ablest of the Republican leaders, including Thaddeus 
Stevens, who had consented to come as a delegate for 
Heistand; General Todd, of Carlisle, who was one of 
the ablest and boldest of leaders in the fight; John 
Cessna, of Bedford, ex-Democratic speaker, with many 
others of much more than ordinary ability and influ- 
ence. The convention was known to have a decided 
majority of delegates who were friends of Curtin, but 
as there was to be no contest on the nomination of 
Heistand, a follower of Cameron, for auditor general, 
it was accepted all arotmd that there was little or noth- 
ing to do beyond the formality of making nominations. 
The morning session of the convention was devoted to 
the appointment of committees for permanent organi- 
zation, resolutions, etc., and after a brief session ad- 
journed to meet in the afternoon. 

Before the meeting of the afternoon session it became 
whispered arotmd that Cameron, not content with 
getting the head of the ticket from the Curtin conven- 
tion, had manipulated the committee on permanent 
organization by compelling Heistand to give his two 
members of the committee from Lancaster County to 
the Cameron side, and thus nondnate Johnson, a 

i88 Old Time Notes 

prominent and aggressive friend of Cameron, for 
president of the convention. Inquiry was at once 
made, and we ascertained that Cameron had forced 
Heistand to transfer the committeemen from his own 
county against their wishes to the Cameron candidate 
for president, and a murmur of indignation swelled up 
at once throughout the whole Curtin ranks, as Cessna 
was expected to be named without a contest. A hasty 
conference was called in which Stevens participated, 
as he felt that the transfer of the committeemen from 
his own county imder Cameron 's order was an outrage 
not to be pardoned, and we decided that instead of 
defeating the Cameron candidate for president of the 
convention, as we could have done, we would give him 
a unanimous election, and then when he entered the 
chair, and was presumably in possession of the power 
of the convention, we would publicly impale him. 

When Heistand was reproached for his perfidy to 
the Curtin people, he could do no more nor less than to 
admit that Cameron had demanded it of him, and in 
less than an hour the convention that was to nominate 
Heistand for auditor general tinanimously, organized 
10 defeat him, and then to strip the president of the 
convention of his power to appoint the chairman of 
the State committee. Stevens said that he would 
(-^bey his instructions and vote for the nomination of 
Heistand, but insisted that he had committed an out- 
rage that should be resented, and he participated in the 
conference that decided who should be presented to 
defeat Heistand, and how it should be done. Cam- 
eron's purpose in forcing Heistand to betray his Curtin 
friends in the selection of the president of the conven- 
tion was to be able to name the chairman of the State 
committee, either for himself or for some one who would 
be distinctly in his interest, and with a Cameron man 
at the head of the ticket, a Cameron man president of 

of Pennsylvania ^^9 

the convention, and a Cameron man chairman of the 
State committee, he would present the ai)pearance of 
omnipotence in the State. 

I was one of three men assigned to the duty of con- 
ferring with General Kartranft, who was present at the 
convention, but not a delegate, to ask him to accept a 
nomination for auditor general. I might here say that 
at that time General Hartranft was regarded by Curtin 
and his friends as their candidate for Governor the 
following year, 1866, and Hartranft, of course, had no 
thought of being auditor general, and reluctantly 
accepted it; but as the men who urged him to accept 
were the men upon whom he depended for the guber- 
natorial nomination, he finally yielded to their impor- 
ttmities, and agreed that his name should be presented 
to the convention if we thought it best to do so. 

It was known that the Democrats would present 
General Davis, a distinguished soldier, for the office, 
and it was arranged that General Todd, who had a good 
military record, and who was a most eloquent champion 
of any cause he supported, should present the name of 
Hartranft to the convention, and demand his nomination 
as a matter of justice to the gallant soldiers of Penn- 
sylvania. John Cessna, who had been a Democrat, 
legislator and speaker of the house, and who had been 
slatightered by Heistand, followed Todd in support of 
the soldier candidate, and several other able like 
appeals were made; and when the first ballot was 
footed up, Heistand was dumfotmded to discover that 
he was largely defeated by Hartranft, who had been 
sprung upon the convention just on the spur of the 
moment. The convention made its record consistent 
by nominating General J. M. Campbell, another gal- 
lant soldier, for surveyor general, thus presenting a 
solid soldier ticket of candidates exceptionally strong. 

After the nominations had been made the work of 

I90 Old Time Notes 

the convention was about to conclude, and Stevens 
rose in his place and offered a resolution that John 
Cessna be appointed chairman of the Republican State 
conmiittee. The Cameron leaders at once saw that 
they had not only defeated themselves in the conven- 
tion for auditor general, but that their control of the 
president of the body was to bring them nothing but 
humiliation. They vainly urged that it was the im- 
memorial custom of the party to have the president of 
the convention appoint the chairman of the State 
committee in constdtation with the candidates on the 
State ticket, but it was answered that the president of 
the convention of 1864 had appointed the chairman 
of the State comntiittee against the expressed wishes 
of nearly three-fourths of the members of the body. 
It was a hopeless fight for the already-defeated sup- 
porters of Cameron, and the resolution was carried by 
a decided majority. Cameron not only thus lost his 
candidate for aucHtor general, who would have been 
accepted by the Curtin people, but he had an aggressive 
anti-Cameron man placed at the head of the organi- 
zation, instead of one reasonably acceptable to both 
sides, as would have been done if Heistand had not 
been compelled to violate his faith with his Curtin 
friends and defeat himself. 

It was a most unexpected and humiliating defeat for 
Heistand, but he realized that he had been forced 
wantonly to provoke the battle that unhorsed him. 
He was popular with his people, who later sent him 
to Congress for two tenns, and closed his official career 
as naval officer of Philadelphia, a position with liberal 
salary and little or nothing to do. He enjoyed the 
navy office immensely, and frequently gave high 
encomiums to the genius of Alexander Hamilton, who 
had created one honorable and lucrative office with 
limited duties, which could be performed wholly by 

Of Pennsylvania 191 

assistants. Like many others, as age grew upon him 
he did not appreciate the celerity with which business 
conditions were advancing about him, and that jour- 
nalism was a most exacting mistress, and he went on in 
the good old quiet way imtil others outstripped him 
in his calling. Then broken health came ; his life-work 
was finished, and green memories come back to many 
in the gentle whispers from the tomb. 

igi Old Time Notes 


Cameron's First Complete Control of the Republican Organization of the 
State — Geary Bitterly Opposed by Prominent Republicans Because 
He Had Been Willing to Accept the Democratic Nomination — Quay 
and Tom Marshall Among the Foremost Belligerents — Geary Visits 
the Author After His Nomination — All Personal and Factional 
Interests Forgotten to Elect Geary to Rebuke President Johnson's 
Apostacy — Cl>'mer, the Democratic Candidate, Made a Gallant 
Struggle and Fell in the Race — Interesting Sequel to Geary's Pledges 
to the Author. 

WHILE the Republican victory of 1865 appeared 
to anchor Pennsylvania safely in the Republi- 
can column, the ne"v^ political conditions which 
suddenly confronted the Republicans in 1866 threw a 
serious element of doubt into the important battle of 
that year that involved the election of a Governor. 
President Johnson had adopted a reconstruction policy 
of his own, and attempted to enforce it by the most 
violent and proscriptive political methods. Had it 
been merely a liberal reconstruction policy the Repub- 
licans could have been brought into its support, but 
his reconstructed Southern States, many of which 
elected governors, senators, congressmen and legisla- 
tures, adopted such harsh measures in the treatment 
of the emancipated slaves that Republican sentiment 
generally revolted against the whole scheme. 

As Johnson had been in the Presidential office for a 
year or more with nearly three years to wield the 
enormous power and patronage of the Government, he 
was an important political factor. The list of Federal 
officials in the State had been largely increased by the 


Of Pennsylvania 193 

necessities of war, and while all of them were originally 
Republicans, most of them were tempered into sub- 
nussibn to the policy of the administration or passive 
approval. Johnson's policy appealed rather forcefully 
to the old war Democrats, who, while they ardently 
supported the Government on the question of defeating 
rebellion by military power, as a rule they had little 
sympathy with radical Republican views and aims. 
This political confusion presented an inviting field for 
the consummate political genius and energy of General 
Cameron. He kept himself in close touch with Presi- 
dent Johnson and soon became known as an important 
power in disposing of the President's patronage in the 
State. This power enabled him to wield considerable 
influence outside of his own formidable personal 
strength, in his struggle for the control of the State 
convention, and he woo out completely. 

I was a delegate to the convention, as were Colonel 
Mann, Colonel Quay, Tom Marshall, Senator Finney, 
Senator Ketchum and a number of other active Curtin 
men, and we were greatly surprised to learn, when the 
convention met, that it was absolutely a Cameron 
assembly. He had, for the first time, won absolute 
mastery of the Republican State convention and the 
organization, and his candidate for Governor was 
General Geary, who was specially objectionable to 
the men I have named and many others, because, 
within three months of the meeting of the convention, 
he had written a letter to Mr. Maguire that was given 
to the public, assenting to the use of his name as a 
Democratic candidate for the same office. 

The Curtin men had no special candidate for Gover- 
nor. General Hartranft, whom they had expected to 
make their candidate in 1866, had been forced to accept 
the nomination for auditor general in 1865, and he 
was more than willing to remain in the auditor gen- 

»— 13 

194 Old Time Notes 

eral's office instead of taking the chances of the gu- 
bernatorial nomination and election. So general was 
the confusion in Republican circles throughout the 
State, because of the friction between the President 
and the party, that grave apprehensions were enter- 
tained as to party success, and Cameron alone under- 
stood the exact character of the convention before it 
convened. He had not only won the convention and 
named the candidate for Governor, who was nominated 
and elected, but his purpose was for the convention to 
give either a direct or a quasi endorsement of the John- 
son administration. Cameron believed that the party 
cotdd be held intact even on such a platform and that 
he would thus have all the influence and patronage of 
the President to aid in his struggle for re-election to 
the Senate. 

Many conferences were held to form a combination 
by which a candidate for Governor cotdd be presented 
with sufficient strength to defeat Geary, but the Cam- 
eron lines were invincible. The proposition to give 
some form of endorsement to the administration of 
President Johnson was not developed until the con- 
vention met, and it had not been previously discussed 
in anv section of the State. It startled the active men 
of the convention who were opposed to Cameron, and 
the final conference was held in my room the night 
before the convention met, attended by some thirty 
prominent members of the body, and after very careful 
review of the situation we decided that formal notice 
should be given to General Cameron early the next 
morning that if the convention in any degree endorsed 
the administration of President Johnson a large min- 
ority of the delegates would immediately retire, organ- 
ize a Republican convention and nominate a Republican 
candidate for Governor. 

One of the most active and earnest of the men in this 

Of Pennsylvania 195 

movement was Colonel Quay, and he and Ketchum, of 
Luzeme, were charged with the mission of calling upon 
Cameron and informing him of the action taken at the 
conference. They waited upon Cameron early the 
next morning, notified him of the action of the confer^ 
ence, and Cameron at once abandoned any endorsement 
of Johnson, and gave the assurance that it would not 
be attempted, although he believed that it would be 
good policy for the convention to do so. 

When the convention met the proceedings at once 
exhibited imusual bitterness on the part of the mi- 
nority, and at every stage of the two sessions of the 
body the discussions were quite acrimonious. Tom 
Marshall was irrepressible, and he sent his pungent 
broadsides into the majority with all his grand elo- 
quence and vehemence. I was suffering from chills 
and fever, and I do not recall many very amiable ex- 
pressions from me in the various spats we had as the 
work of the convention progressed. I followed Mar- 
shall, who had poiu^ed out a torrent of protest against 
nominating as the Republican candidate for Governor 
one who had a few weeks before declared his willing- 
ness to accept the Democratic nomination for the same 
office, and I did not conceal my distrust of a candidate 
whose political opinions were so loosely worn. 

Geary was evidently much disturbed by the aggres- 
sive attitude of those who opposed his nomination. He 
called at my room at nine o'clock the next morning, 
where I was detained in bed by a chill, to set himself 
right on the question of fidelity to the party. He gave 
the most positive assurances that if elected Governor 
he would not only make a straightforward Republican 
administration, but that it should be free from the in- 
fluence of faction. I told him frankly that I did not 
have abiding faith in his fidelity to the Republican 
cause, but that he need give himself no concern as to 

198 Old Time Notes 

able and aggressive campaign. He was an accom- 
plished and impressive popular speaker, with graceftd 
manners, and one of the most genial and generally 
delightful of the many men I have met in legislative 
duties. We had served together in the senate, and 
while always on opposing political lines our personal 
friendship was never even strained in the many im- 
passioned conflicts we had dimng the war. I would 
gladly have welcomed him as the Governor of the State 
had it been possible to do so without a sacrifice that 
could not be measured in its far-reaching results in 
shaping the reconstruction of the dismembered States. 
He fought his battle boldly in support of the recon- 
struction policy of President Johnson, and until within 
a few weeks of the election he was confident that the 
Republican ranks would be sufficiently broken by the 
power of the National administration to enable him to 
succeed. He was heard in every section of the State, 
and certainly much to his advantage, and as the time 
for action came and the peo])le of Pennsylvania were to 
decide on the question of the full fruition of the issue 
settled by the arbitrament of the sword, all individual, 
factional and partisan interests were entirely effaced 
by the paramount question that was squarely Ix^fore the 
people, and demanded solemn and final judgment. 
Geary was elected by 17,178 majority, being some 5,000 
less than the Republican majority of the previous year. 
Clymer was highly appreciated by the Democracy 
of Berks, and after his defeat for Governor he was 
chosen, practically without opposition, to four con- 
secutive terms in Congress, where he stood in the front 
of the leaders of his party. He came into the State 
senate just as the Civil War began, when partisan and 
sectional passions were greatly intensified. He and 
Welsh, of York, were the accepted leaders of the Demo- 
cratic minority of the body, numbering only six of the 

Of Pennsylvania 199 

thirty-three, when Clymer first appeared. The Repub- 
licans of the body decided that the utmost courtesy 
should be shown to the little handful of Democrats, and 
an agreement was reached between Finney and myself on 
one side and Clymer and Welsh on the other, by which 
the previous question should never be called in the 
senate. The agreement obviated all necessity for call- 
ing the previous question, if accepted in good faith on 
both sides. The proposition made by the majority 
was that while in the extreme necessities of w^ar it 
might be necessary at times to legislate with great 
promptness on most important subjects, there would be 
the fullest opportunity given to the minority to be 
heard in discussion of the question before the body. 
If the Democrats desired protracted discussion, after- 
noon and night sessions would be held, without limit 
as to time, so that there should be the fullest expression 
by the minority. That agreement was scrupulously 
maintained by both sides, and the previous question 
was never called in the senate of Pennsylvania during 
the two terms in which I served as a member, although 
I had seen it called seventeen times in one night session 
when I was a member of the house. On my return to 
the senate from Philadelphia, in 1872, the leaders of 
both sides readily agreed to the same condition as to 
the discussion of the passage of all important measures, 
and thus the necessity for the previous question was 
entirely obviated. There was no reason why a body 
of thirty-three men, regarded as the first legislative 
tribtmal of the State, should smnmon the previous 
question to enable it to perform its legitimate duties. 

Clymer was a very ready debater, as was his associate 
leader, Welsh, of York, but neither of them was equal 
to the duty of realizing that old-time Democracy had 
expended its power, had exhausted its policy in sixty 
years of domination, and that it must accept new con- 


zoo Old Time N 

ditions in the wonderful progress of events to enable it 
to maintain its niaster>\ They were both resolute in 
their opposition to the great industrial and commercial 
development that began with our fratricidal conflict. 
It was a new era, an entirely new epoch, with absolutely 
new conditions, new aims and new duties. The Repub- 
lican party, being ne^', was bom to the mission of the 
new departiu^, but it was hard for old Democratic 
leaders to understand that they must advance their 
standard or be passed in the race and left to lag in the 
rear of ]jr<ygress. It was a hard lesson for any man to 
learn who ha^l been trained to the settled methods and 
boasted pr>licy of Democracy that had triimiphed i?v4th 
Jefferson sixty years before ; that had extended the flag 
first to LotiLsiana, thence to Florida, thence to Texas 
and then U) the Rio Grande and the Pacific Coast. 

It was deemed the oracle of destiny, and it seemed to 
have proved its right to the title, but mutation is 
indelibly stamped upon the political affairs of all the 
peoples of the world, and when new and revolutionary 
advance became a necessity to Democratic leaders, they 
were unequal to the duty and the opix)rtunity and they 
and their i)arty fell in the race. The defeat of Cl>Tner 
in Pennsylvania i>ractically decided that the Democrats 
sh<^>uld Ix; vcnceless in the reconstruction of the dis- 
severed Slates. 

I did not meet Geary again imtil after the election, 
when he happened to enter a car at Harrisburg in which 
I was seated on my way to Philadelphia. He was most 
effusive in his expressions of thanks for the earnest 
efforts I had made to aid in his election and insisted that 
I should name one of his cabinet officers. I did not 
doubt then that, however sincere he might have been 
at the time he made the proffer, no man I would be 
likely to name for the cabinet would be api)ointed. I 
knew how strong Cameron was in the advantageous 

Of Pennsylvania 201 

position he then occupied and how thoroughly he was 
skilled in all the methods of gathering the fullest 
harvest, and that fact precluded the possibility of 
Cameron's assent to any one I would have preferred 
for a cabinet position. Geary was persistent, however, 
and claimed that I did not appreciate his gratitude for 
the services I had rendered to him. It occurred to 
m.e, however, that a man who lived in my coimty, poor 
in ifortime, with a large family dependent upon him, 
then held the position of messenger in the office of the 
secretary of the commonwealth that I had secured for 
him. The opportimity seemed to be at hand to save my 
messenger, and I said to the Governor-elect that I 
would appreciate it as a favor if he would have this 
man continued in his place, to which he replied that I 
should notify the man at once that his continuance in 
office was absolutely assured. 

I did not personally meet the Governor tmtil long 
after he had been inaugurated, but I had a special 
reminder that he was Governor and in authority soon 
after he entered the office by the prompt dismissal of 
my messenger without any complaint whatever of want 
of fidelity to his duty. The cabinet was made by Cam- 
eron, whose close friend, Senator Louis W. Hall, of 
Blair, brought Cameron to favor the appointment of 
Francis Jordan, of Bedford, to the secretaryship of the 
commonwealth, and Benjamin Harris Brewster, of 
Philadelphia, was made attorney general. Jordan 
was one of the most competent and faithful men who 
ever filled this position. He was in the senate in 1855, 
was among the leaders in opposition to Cameron for 
senator, and most aggressive in his warfare upon Cam- 
eron politics. He was able, painstaking, thoroughly 
honest, and filled the position for six years without a 
blemish upon his record. 

Brewster was one of the m.ost brilliant members of the 

202 Old Time Notes 

Philadelphia bar, but an entire novice in politics. He 
had important professional relations with Cameron, 
was ardently devoted to Cameron interests, but he 
knew little about the public men of the State, and, un- 
fortunately, because of his inexperience or want of 
familiarity and general intercourse with men, he ac- 
cepted Cameron's friendships and hatreds to a very 
large extent in estimating the men of the State. In an 
interview that he gave to the public soon after he be- 
came attorney general he criticised me personally and 
politically in the keen invective he so readily com- 
manded, although it was entirely without provocation 
so far as I have any knowledge. I had met him only 
casually on several occasions, and he had no oppor- 
tunity whatever to estimate me from personal knowl- 
edge. How this conflict culminated in his removal 
from office two years and a half later and how we 
became devoted friends will embellish a later chapter. 

Of Pennsylvania 203 




A Majority of Republican Senators and Representatives Pledged or 
Instructed for Curtin — Cameron Adroitly Combined the Candidates 
to Defeat Quay, Curtin's Candidate for Speaker — Stevens, Moore- 
head, Grow and Forney in the Field with Cameron^ — Governor 
Geary Aggressively for Cameron — Cameron Finally Controlled the 
Majority — Quay, After a Conference with the Younger Cameron 
and Curtin, Decided to Move the Unanimous Nomination of Cam- 
eron After He Attained a Majority — Quay's First Step Toward 
Affiliation with the Camerons — Republicans Lose the State in 1867. 

WHEN the smoke of the contest of 1866 had 
cleared away, the leaders of both factions in 
the Republican party well understood the 
sittiation. Cowan's term in the United States Senate 
was about to expire, and his successor to be chosen. 
There was no misunderstanding as to who would lock 
horns in the contest for the Senatorship, as Cameron 
and Curtin, the leaders of the two factions, were by 
general consent accepted as the men who were to make 
the struggle. Curtin had the advantage of a much 
larger measure of strength with the Republican people 
of the State, and a clear majority of the Republican 
senators and representatives elected to the Legisla- 
ture were either instructed or distinctly pledged to 
sui>port him for Senator. The Legislature had thirty- 
three Republican majority on joint ballot — ^nine in 
the senate and twenty-four in the house, and Curtin's 
friends were confident that they could hold the majority 
they had imdoubtedly chosen. 
Cameron, however, in addition to his constcnmate 

204 Old Time Notes 

skill as a political manager, had greatly strengthened 
himself by having the new Republican Governor, 
with his cabinet, and all the power of his administra- 
tion, ready to give the most aggressive support to 
Cameron in his battle against Curtin, and the power of 
the Geary administration was sensibly felt in the Curtin 
lines before the inauguration. As an illustration of 
the earnestness with which Geary supported Cameron, 
the case of James W. Fuller, of Catasauqua, may be 
cited. He had long represented at Harrisburg large 
iron, railroad and other corporate interests in the 
Lehigh region, which employed him simply to keep 
them thoroughly posted as to all legislative move- 
ments which affected their interests. His stated 
salaries at that time from these various corporations 
for his services at Harrisburg amounted to $17,000, and 
he had, by his long acquaintance with legislators and 
experience in legislative business, become one of the 
most important factors in all legislation. He was an 
earnest friend of Curtin. and would have been one of 
the most useful men in the State to Curtin in the 
struggle with Cameron, as Fuller thoroughly under- 
stood Cameron's methods, and knew better than any 
other how to counter against them. 

It was necessary for Fuller to have intimate friendly, 
if not confidential, relations with the authorities of 
the State to render the best service to the corporate 
interests he represented, and he was notified before 
the inauguration of Geary that if he wished to main- 
tain his old relations with the State authorities h(^ 
must withdraw from the Curtin forces and aid in the 
Cameron contest. He presented the case frankly to 
Curtin, who told him that as it involved his usefulness 
to his friends and his means of livelihood, he could do 
no less than join the Cameron forces. He did so, and, 
while he was entirely faithful in all that he assumed to 

Of Pennsylvania ^05 

I^erform for Cameron, he promptly notified Ciirtin of 
every Ctirtin legislator who had been wrested from the 
Curtin ranks, and just how, when and where it had been 
done. Curtin was thus advised promptly and accu- 
rately of the defection that began soon after the election 
of Geary, by which Cameron, with his own ability as a 
poUtical manager and the power of the administration, 
was strengthening himself at the expense of Curtin. 
In this contest, that was one of the most memorable 
in the history of the State, J. Donald Cameron for the 
first time came to the front as a political factor. He 
had doubtless been an important aid to his father in 
many previous struggles, but when the Legislature 
met the younger Cameron openly assumed the leader- 
ship and managed the struggle for his father from 
start to finish. He had been little known or felt in 
politics, as he always avoided ostentatious participa- 
tion in anything, but he very soon exhibited the most 
skillful and heroic methods of manipulating the Legis- 
lature, and thus laid the foundation for his future 
triumphs when he succeeded his father in the Senate 
ten years later. 

Colonel Quay was Curtin 's leader in the house and 
was then serving his third term in that body. He was 
the logical Curtin candidate for speaker and as he had 
two years' experience in the house, and was intimately 
acquainted with all the leading members of the body 
and of the party in the State, his election as speaker 
was regarded by Curtin 's friends as absolutely assured. 
He entered into the contest in Quay's usual heroic way 
visited prominent men in every section of the State, 
and had a clear majority of the Republicans of the house 
positively pledged to his election. Cameron saw that 
with Curtin gaining the speaker of the house in a man 
so able and skillful as Quay, it would be a serious if 
not a fatal blow to his Senatorial aspirations. He 

2o6 Old Time Notes 

cotild not have defeated Quay single-handed. No 
one of the Republican members of the house ventured 
to make an earnest battle against Quay for the nomina- 
tion, but Cameron made the outside candidates for 
Senator, including Stevens, Moorehead, Grow and 
several others, agree to a combination to control the 
speakership of the house, and thus open the way for 
the defeat of Ctutin. 

As Curtin was altogether the strongest candidate 
in the Legislature, the field naturally was ready to 
join in any movement to weaken him, each hoping that 
if Curtin was shorn of the power of the speaker, he 
might not be able to control a majority of the caucus, 
and that in the bitter fight that would follow he would 
be accepted to harmonize the party. This combina- 
tion was made in which Stevens played an important 
part. He had no love for either Curtin or Cameron, 
but cherished the hoi):i that he would be finally imited 
upon for the Senatorship. He visited Chambersbui^ 
a short time before the meeting of the Legislature and 
made an earnest personal appeal to me to aid in what 
he said was the great ambition of his life. The grand 
old Commoner was then in feeble health, and his death 
occurred some eighteen months later. He sent for 
me to come to his room at the hotel in Chanilx^rsburg, 
where I found him lying on the bed, too weary to sit 
up while pleading for a six years* term in the Senate 
that all knew he could not live to finish. 

I was very warmly attached to Stevens personally, 
and would have made great sacrifice if it had been in 
my power to serve him. He knew my relations with 
Curtin; said that he did not ex]:)ect me to favor him as 
against Curtin, but he believed that Curtin could not 
be elected as he knew the combination was then made 
to take the control of the house from Curtin 's friends, 
and wanted the assurance that if anj-thing approaching 

Of Pennsylvania 207 

a deadlock came about, he should be made the com- 
promise candidate. I appealed to him to dismiss 
the thought of being Senator; reminded him that any 
ordinary Congressman might reasonably be ambitious 
to reach the highest legislative tribimal of the nation, 
but for a man who was the confessed Commoner of the 
nation during the greatest period of its history, and 
who was tmdisputed and absolute leader, to accept a 
seat in the Senate, would be to give up the highest 
honors the nation can accord to any one, and descend 
to the position of a Senator, where he would be no 
greater than most of his fellows. I said that the 
position of Commoner was the only one ever attained 
by an American statesman that could be won solely 
by universally conceded ability and merit; that while 
aU other great positions from President down were 
often filled by accident or fortuitous circumstance, the 
Commoner of the nation could reach his pre-eminence 
only by his confessed omnipotence in leadership. I 
had hoped thus to break the fall of Stevens in the 
Senatorial struggle, but the Senatorship was his dream 
by night and his thought by day, and candor com- 
pelled me to say to him that I did not have a ray of 
hope of his success. 

Stevens co-operated with Cameron to wrest the 
control of the house from Curtin, as he would have 
co-operated with Curtin to wrest it from Cameron 
had Cameron been the stronger of the two candidates 
.for Senator, and the combination finally decided on 
Glass, of Allegheny, for speaker. Quay fought his 
battle with all the skill and courage that he ever exhib- 
ited when engaged in political conflict, but the com- 
bination was too strong for him and he was defeated. 
While the outside candidates for Senator supposed 
that they had won something in the skirmish for them- 
selves, Cameron well tmderstood that the speaker was 

2o8 Old Time Notes 

his own man, althotigh taken from Moorehead's county, 
and when Glass was elected to preside over the house, 
with the power of appointing committees, and the 
general control of the legislation, the victory was a 
dean cut triumph for Cameron alone. 

The representative from my own county, although 
instructed to support Curtin by the Republican coimty 
convention with but three dissenting votes, and they 
were given to Grow, became an open supporter of 
Cameron before the caucus was held. Stevens con- 
fidently expected his vote, as he had large interests 
in the coimty in his Caledonia Iron Works, and had 
greatly aided our representative in his election, and he 
as confidently counted on the support of the senator 
from our district, a resident of Gettysburg, who was 
a son of one of Stevens' early and most devoted friends, 
but he, too, was one of the earliest conveits to Cam- 
eron's interests. Stevens was keenly wounded by 
the defection of the senator from his old home, and his 
comment, made in the grim bitterness that only Stevens 
could exhibit, was: **He must he a changeling; his 
father was an honest man. " While he had no sym- 
pathy with Curtin he was profoundly grieved that he 
had been misled into a combination on the speakership 
that had been planned wholly by Cameron and for 
Cameron, and that brought its fruits only to Cameron. 

The Senatorial contest con\Tilsed the State for sev- 
eral weeks before the Legislature met, and during the 
two weeks between the meeting of the Legislature and 
the Senatorial election the struggle at Ilarrisburg 
was one of the most bitter and desperate I have ever 
witnessed. Curtin had able and efficient managers, 
but they were decidedly outclassc^d and W'cre no match 
for the Cameron organization with Cameron and his 
son accepting the struggle as one of life or death. 
Cameron's methods and resources vastly exceeded those 

Of Pennsylvania 209 

of Ctirtin. During the entire contest, that I watched 
day and night with intense interest, and was well 
advised of every change made in the lines, we did not 
succeed in making a single break in Cameron's thor- 
oughly organized forces, and each day wotild bring to 
us confidential reports of some defection in our own 
ranks. Several days before the meeting of the caucus 
Curtin and those who thoroughly understood the 
inside situation realized that Curtin was beaten, and 
beaten by Legislators who were openly violating their 
solemn pledge or positive instructions. 

It was this stage of the Senatorial battle of 1867 
that led to the parting of the ways between Curtin 
and Quay. Quay was yotmg, able, tireless and am- 
bitious, and the yotmger Cameron appreciated his 
possible future. I have already stated in a former 
chapter the details of Cameron's invitation to Quay 
to confer on the subject of the Senatorial election, re- 
sulting in Quay's agreement, with others, to move to 
make the nomination of Cameron imanimous after 
he had obtained a majority of the caucus. He decided 
to take this action after a conference with Curtin and 
his closest friends, who informed him that he could 
not render further service to Curtin beyond voting for 
him, and that he should decide for himself what his 
course should be after the nomination was made 

Quay's decision to move to make the nomination 
of Cameron tmanimous was not inspired in any degree 
by the desire or purpose to separate himself from Cur- 
tin or his friends, but it placed him in close friendly 
relations with the younger Cameron, and political 
events entirely beyond the control of Quay himself 
logically led him into closer relations with Cameron. 
Very early in the first Grant administration it became 
evident that all who hoped for political power or prefer- 
ment in Pennsylvania could command it only by co- 


2IO Old Time Notes 

operation with the Cameron power of the State. One 
of the first acts of President Grant was to send Curtin to 
Russia as Minister Plenipotentiary, where he remained 
for more than three years, and with Cameron in the 
Senate and omnipotent with the Grant administration, 
the young Republicans of the State of prominence had 
to decide Ixjtween moving along with the Cameron pro- 
cession and accepting at«olute retirement. 

It was thus that the way was opened for Quay to 
become one of Cameron's chief lieutenants within a 
very few years, resulting finally in Quay acquiring 
the legitimate succession to the Cameron power of the 
State, which he wielded with often severely challenged 
but unbroken omnipotence until his death. As Curtin 
joined the Liberal Republican forces against Grant in 
1872, he practically severed his relations with the 
Republican organization of the State, and Quay, whose 
interests were bound up in the regular Republican 
organization, followed the party flag. While he and 
(Curtin were thus led into opposition lines in politics, 
Quay ever maintained his j^ersonal affection for Curtin, 
and when Curtin became the Democratic candidate 
for Congress in his district, Quay, who was then lead- 
ing the party organization, scrupulously avoided any 
conflict with the interests of Curtin in his district, and 
when Curtin contested the election after his first battle 
for Congress, Quay made earnest efforts, under cover, to 
have him admitted to the House. There was no element 
of apostacy or i:)erfidy to Curtin in the action taken by 
Quay. The mastery of Cameron in Pennsylvania was 
proclaimed by the absolute control of the State admin- 
istration, and his election to the Senate by a Repub- 
lican Legislature commanding the united Republican 
support. He had patiently, tirelessly and always 
most sagaciously, struggled during the ten years of his 
connection with the Republican party to obtain the 

of Pennsylvania 211 

control of its organization and win the Senatorship. 
His struggle for political power stands single and alone 
in the annals of Pennsylvania politics, starting with 
little popular support and violent opposition, and 
suffering defeat after defeat, only to rise up ready for 
another battle. He had twice wrested the United 
States Senatorship from a Democratic Legislature, 
and now, after many htimiliating discomfitures, he 
asserted his omnipotence in Republican leadership, 
and adorned himself with the jewel that had inspired 
him in every conflict. 

To say that Cameron's successes were the result of 
accidents which so often appear to control great politi- 
cal results, would be simply to confess ignorance of 
the truth or unwillingness to accept it. Only a great 
master could have achieved as Cameron did, and his 
plans were carried out successfully, not only in his 
own tritimphs, but in making his son his successor. 
Many men who were accorded more ability in public 
affairs, and with a larger popular following, one by one 
fell in the race before him. Defeat would bring them 
despair, while to Cameron it only brought fresh inspira- 
tion for the struggle. He was re-elected six years 
later without a contest, and, after having served fotir 
years of his last term he resigned his high position 
and named his son, J. Donald Cameron, as his successor 
without a visible ripple on the political surface. Not 
only was Cameron four times elected to the Senate 
by the Pennsylvania Legislature, but his son, who 
succeeded him, was also four times elected to the same 
position, and the mastery that Cameron established 
in the Senatorial struggle of 1867 has never been broken 
in its onmipotence until the present day. That such 
political achievement could not be attained by any 
other than a master of masters in politics will hardly 
be questioned by any of ordinary intelligence. His 

212 Old Time Notes 

aims and his methods were ever legitimate subjects 
of criticism, but historv records the fact that he not 
only won the position for himself and his successors, 
but commanded the support of the people of one of 
the most intelligent States of the Union. 

The Republican people of Pennsylvania were not at 
once prepared to accept Cameron's leadership, and in 
the contest of 1867 ^^^ followed the electon of Cam- 
eron to the Senate the party was listless and refused 
to res[x>nd to the appeals of leaders to save the organiza- 
tion from disaster. There was only one State officer 
to elect in 1867, that of supreme judge, and Henry W. 
Williams, of Allegheny, who was then serving by 
apfxwntment to fill a vacancy, was imanmously nomi- 
nated by the Republicans without any exhibition of 
factional feeling in the convention. Although not dis- 
turbed by factional strife, it was listless and perfunc- 
tory in its proceedings, and the Democrats strength- 
ened themselves by nominating Judge Sharswood, 
of Philadelphia, who stood in the forefront of the great 
jurists of the State, and the Reimblicans suffered 
defeat by a small majority, although they saved the 
I-^egislature. It was believed generally by the Dem- 
ocrats and by many Rejjublicans that the turning 
point of Republican jjower in Pennsylvania had been 
reached, and that Cameron and the party he then 
controlled would be relegated back to the minority 
power of the State. The Rei)ublicans were disturbed, 
and to some extent disintegrated, by the recimst ruction 
policy of Congress that led several of the Republican 
Senators to desert the party, including Senator Cowan, 
of Pennsylvania. The party was finally saved by 
General Grant consenting to become its candidate for 
President, and the war of factions was forgotten in 
Pennsylvania, as the people rallied to honor the Great 
Captain of our Civil War. 

Of Pennsylvania 213 


Republican State Convention of 1868 Overwhelmingly Anti-Cameron— 
Curtin Presented as Pennsylvania's Candidate for Vice-President — 
The Author Chairman of the Delegation to the National Convention 
— How Grant Became Republican Candidate for President — Colfax 
Nominated for Vice-President — Why Wade Lost the Nomination — 
Curtin Pressed for the Cabinet — ^The Author's Interview with Grant 
on the Subject — Curtin Made Minister to Russia. 

CURTIN was greatly grieved and humiliated by 
his defeat for Senator in the Legislature of 
1867, but he maintained himself with great 
dignity and submitted in silence to the wrong he 
believed he had suffered. He received Governor 
Geary as his successor in the Executive mansion with 
generous hospitality, although he knew that Geary 
was one of the important factors in accomplishing 
his defeat, and he retired to Bellefonte, where for a 
year or more he lived in the quiet enjoyment of his 
home and friends. Curtin possessed a most affec- 
tionate and sympathetic nature, and the people in 
whose midst he had been bom and grown up to reach 
the highest honors of the State were those with whom 
he loved to dwell. He was offered important business 
positions, but, imlike most of the ex-Governors of 
the State, he could not be tempted from the home of 
his kindred and friends. He and his brothers had 
inherited what in those days were regarded as large 
iron interests at his home, which had long been a 
source of embarrassment, but during the war they 
had become largely profitable; and he gave a portion 
of his time to business with his brothers in the man- 

214 Old Time Notes 

agement of their works. He took no part in the con- 
test of 1867, as little interest was felt by the party 
generally, and few even of the most active leaders 
were heard on the stiimp. He realized, as did all of 
those well informed as to the political situation, that 
there was great danger of the Republican party being 
wrecked in the Presidential contest of 1868. Penn- 
sylvania had been lost to the Republicans in 1867 by 
the election of the Democratic State ticket, and the 
recovery of the Republican mastery depended wholly 
upon the unshaped conditions of the future. 

The Republican party was saved in 1868 by the 
quarrel between President Johnson and General Grant. 
General Grant was not a Republican; he had never 
voted the Republican ticket, and his last vote for 
President in i860 was for Breckenridge, the radical 
slavery Democratic candidate, although he was a 
resident of Illinois, the home of Douglas. He had 
never given any expression of his acceptance of the 
Republican faith, nor of his desire or purpose to act 
in harmony with it. He was stubbornly silent in 
politics, and the Democrats shrewdly decided to make 
him their candidate for President, feeling confident 
that with him as their standard bearer they could 
certainly win, and there is little reason to doubt that 
if Grant had accepted the Democratic nomination, 
as was at one time more than possible, he would have 
been elected and the Republican party overthrown. 
I do not suppose that he would have made a radical 
Democratic President, but he would have carried out 
the policy of reconstruction on the generous and chiv- 
alrous lines that he first taught the country in his terms 
accorded to Lee at Appomattox. He had decided, as 
he then believed irrevocably, never to accept a political 
position. He had no taste for civil duties, and little 
acquaintance with them. He held the highest posi- 

of Pennsylvania 215 

tion ever held by any one in the army, a rank at that 
time accorded only to Washington and himself, with 
the right to retire without diminution of salary; but 
Grant, hke all other men, was human, and when the 
Presidency appeared to be clearly within his reach, 
even with all his general stabihty of purpose, he was 
unequal to the task of refusing the highest civil trust 
of the world. Had he done so he would have been 
the only man in the history of the Republic of whom 
such a story could be told. 

When Johnson decided to remove Stanton from the 
War Office in disregard of the tenure-of-office law, 
he called Grant to act as Secretary of War ad interim, 
I fully confiding in Grant as Democratic in sympathy. 
[ and as certain to co-operate with the President. The 
President claimed that when Grant accepted the 
position he gave the assurance that if the Senate 
refused to assent to the removal of Stanton he would 
not surrender the office, but would require Stanton 
I to fight his battle to regain the position from the out- 
t side; but when Grant was officially notified that the 
Senate had refused to concur in the removal of Stanton 
and Stanton appeared to claim the office, Grant at 
once quietly gave him possession and returned to his 
army headquarters. The President was greatly in- 
flamed at the action of Grant, and publicly denounced 
him as having been guilty of perfidy in surrendering 
the office to Stanton, to which Grant made answer 
that he had given no such pledge, and that it was his 
duty as a soldier to obey the law. The controversy 
became exceedingly bitter, and the entire cabinet 
joined in a statement over their signatures sustaining 
I the President, thus practically proclaiming Grant as 
guilty not only of violating his solemnly plighted 
faith to the President, but also of falsehood. 

The Republicans at once came to the support of 


2i8 Old Time Notes 

an3 who afterward, by the action of the Curtin 
forces which controlled the convention, was made 
chairman of the Republican State committee. When 
it is stated that I was unanimously elected chairman 
of the Pennsylvania delegation to the National con- 
vention, it need hardly be said that Cameron's influence 
was not then seriously felt at home, but he was in a 
position of great power and doubtless did much to 
prevent the support of Curtin by delegations from 
other States. He had been Senator and cabinet 
officer; had close relations with many of the Repub- 
lican Senators who could readily influence their States 
against Curtin; and when we reached Chicago and 
entered the struggle for the nomination of our candidate 
for the second place, we soon discovered that we were 
involved in a hopeless battle. 

The impeachment trial of President Johnson was 
in progress for some weeks before the convention met; 
and the judgment of the Senate acquitting him for 
want of a single vote to make two-thirds favorable to 
his conviction was announced to the Pennsylvania 
delegation when on its way to Chicago, and within a 
few hours of that place. It was confidently expected 
when the impeachment trial began that the President 
would be convicted and removed from office, and that 
Senator Wade, President pro tern, of the Senate, 
would become President for the period of eight months. 
Wade had lost his re-election to the Senate by the 
Democrats carrying his State the year before, and he 
at once became a candidate for Vice-President. He 
was a man of great individual strength in the Repub- 
lican party, and as it was believed that he would con- 
trol the entire patronage of the government for eight 
months before the new Republican President would 
come in, his nomination for Vice-President was accepted 
as certain. Had the Senate delayed its final judg- 

Of Pennsylvania 219 

ment in the impeachment case a week longer, Wade 
would undoubtedly have been nominated for Vice- 
President, solely because of the power he was expected 
to wield for eight months as President. 

When the acquittal of Johnson was announced, 
Wade's candidacy suddenly became absolutely hope- 
less. He was not personally popular because of his 
brusque and often offensive methods of expression, 
and a large majority of those who supported him for 
Vice-President did it solely because he was expected 
to succeed Johnson as President. His friends made a 
gallant struggle for him, however, but his defeat was 
known to all as inevitable. He received 147 votes 
on the first ballot and rose to 206, but on the last ballot 
he fell to 38, when Colfax received 549. Curtin had 
little chance for gathering any strength from the sur- 
rotmding States, as Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts; 
Senator Fen ton, of New York; Speaker Colfax, of 
Indiana, with Wade, of Ohio, held all the States sur- 
roimding Pennsylvania as their local candidates. Cur- 
tin received 51 votes on the first ballot and fell to 40 
on the third, when his name was withdrawn and his 
supporters generally went to Colfax. 

Colfax was in a fortimate position to be the second 
choice of a large majority of the delegates. He repre- 
sented the yoimger and more vital element of the party, 
and was one of the most genial and delightftil of men 
and an eloquent and impressive speaker. His State 
was regarded as one of the debatable pivotal States of 
the Union, and he was entirely free from the opposition 
of faction at home or elsewhere. The nomination of 
Grant was made tmanimously, of course, every vote 
in the convention being recorded for him when the roll 
was called, and when the result was annotmced a cur- 
tain was raised on the rear of the platform exhib- 
iting an immense full-length portrait erf the great 

aao Old Time Notes 

chieftain, which brought the convention and the laige 
audience attending it at once to their feet cheering it 
to the echo. 

Curtin at once came to the front, and was conspicu- 
ous in the battle from the opening of the campaign 
to its close. He spoke in different sections of Penn- 
sylvania, and was called to Indiana and other States 
where special effort was needed, and Grant was known 
to cherish a very high appreciation of Curtin s services. 

Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio were yet States 
which held their Stale elections in October, and the 
Presidential l>attle was fought in Penns>'lvania and 
Indiana, as it always had been, on the State ticket in 
October, as the result at the State election decided the 
electoral vote of the State in November. General 
Hartranft, who was then auditor general of the State, 
was unanimously nominated by the Republicans for 
re-election. The DonKxrrais nominated Charles E. 
Boyle, one of the ablest of their State leaders, as Ws 
ci'^m^vtitor. The Octolx^r States were earnestly con- 
test <\1 by the HonvxTats. Their triuni]>h in Pennsyl- 
var.ia the year IxMoro, aiul the nominatiin of Horatio 
Soxinour as their candidate for President, who was 
adm:t:i\i!y one of their ablest and strongest men, 
m;ide :ho:n ho|XM"ul that with the aid < f the Johnson 
adm:r.:>:ration thov oiuild defeat Grant. Pennsvl- 
vaivia was ov^ntoste*.! with dosix?ratiin. ar.d the largest 
ne:nv\?ra::c vote brought out that had ever been 
|vlU\i, but Hartrar.ft was ro-elocted by nearly 
mav'hty. In ln;viian,a the IVniocrats had their $tn?ng- 
es: leader, A. Hondncks, at the head cf their 
ticket, for Cn^von-iv^r. a man who always oiild ccm- 
nun.d mon? than tlio viistin.ot lVnircrri::c vote cf the 
State. Thoy ov^n.tulon.tly o\:\vtod ti^ oarr\- Penns\i- 
\*;inia and Inviian.a in iVtoN^r. and thus :\ recast the 
elect •>:: of Sexir.vnir in NovcinlxT. but with all the con- 

Of Pennsylvania ^21 

fidence and well-directed and enthtisiastic efforts that 
were made for Hendricks in Indiana, he was beaten for 
Governor by a little less than a thousand votes. 

Thus the pivotal October States, after the Democrats 
had exhausted their resources for the contest, declared 
for the Republicans, and there was practically little or 
no contest for the Presidency thereafter. The Dem- 
ocrats of New York determined to vindicate Seymour. 
He was their greatest and most beloved leader, and they 
gave him just even 10,000 majority in the State by 
an immensely developed majority in the city of New 
York. At the November election Pennsylvania gave 
nearly 30,000 for Grant, and Indiana came up with 
nearly 7,000 Republican majority, giving Grant a very 
large majority alike in the Electoral College and in the 
popular vote. 

Immediately after the election of Grant it was 
decided by a number of Curtin's friends to propose his 
appointment for a cabinet position. Curtin did not 
regard the movement with special favor, as he knew 
that if he entered the cabinet with Cameron in the 
Senate there would be a most imforttmate and contin- 
uous conflict to vex the administration in the dis- 
posal of Pennsylvania patronage; but without any 
concerted movement a number of the leading Repub- 
licans of the State strongly urged Grant to appoint 
Ctirtin as one of his cabinet advisers. Among them 
was Judge Read, of our supreme cotirt, who called at 
my office in Philadelphia, where I had become a resi- 
dent in the latter part of 1868, and handed me a letter 
addressed to General Grant, requesting me to deliver 
it in person as soon as I could visit Washington. He 
did not state its contents, and a few days thereafter 
I was in Washington and called upon General Grant 
at army headquarters and delivered the letter. He 
received v^e very kindly, and, after a brief conversa- 

222 Old Time Notes 

tion, without any reference to politics, I rose to take 
my leave. 

By the time I reached the door he had opened the 
letter, and saw that it related to Curtin's appointment 
as a cabinet officer, and he called me back. He in- 
formed me that the letter urged him to appoint Curtin 
to his cabinet, and he desired to say to me as one of 
Curtin's close friends, that, while he had a very high 
appreciation of Curtin's ability and character, he 
meant to appoint his cabinet officers entirely in con- 
formity with his own personal wishes, as it was his 
official family, and he felt that he should be free to 
select men chiefly with reference to their acceptability 
to himself. I had heard that he meant to appoint 
Mr. Bone, of Philadelphia, to the cabinet, who was a 
most estimable gentleman, but an entire novice in 
political or official affairs, and would be practically 
valueless to the administration because of his want 
of knowledge of public men and public duties. I 
answered the General by saying that he certainly had 
the right to apix^int a cabinet entirely acceptable to 
himself, but that he should remember that cabinet 
officers were representative ])ul)lic men, and that the 
success of his administrati(jn (le]Xjnded very largely 
upon their strength before the country. (5rant then 
clearly had the idea that a political administration 
could be run like an army, by regulation orders, and 
I saw that he did not receive kindly the suggestion 
I made as to the necessity f>f strengthening his admin- 
istration by cabinet ai)ix)intments, as he replied with 
evident feeling on the subject. 

I was greatly disappointed at this feature of Grant's 
idea of statesmanship, and with careful courtesy said 
to him that if I were suddenly called to the head of 
the army without military" experience, I would realize 
that my first great need would be generals, and that 

of Pennsylvania 223 

it was no discredit to him when called to the highest 
civil position of the country without experience in 
civil affairs, to say that his great need wotild be states- 
men. Grant suddenly closed the disciission in evident 
irritation, and I never again visited him during his 
eight years of the Presidency. 

I had been compelled to change my residence from 
Chambersburg, where lingered the warmest affections 
and sympathies of my life, to Philadelphia, because I 
was utterly bankrupted by the destruction of the town, 
and I meant to devote myself strictly to my profession 
and take no further part in politics after the election 
of Grant. I had no political aspirations whatever, 
and as I felt that I could not afford to struggle for 
political promotion even if I desired it, I left the Presi- 
dent-elect with no regret that I had offended him by 
telling him the truth that he was unwilling to accept, 
but would be compelled to accept sooner or later. 
Curtin felt no disappointment when the cabinet was 
annotmced without his name being in its list; and he 
was confident from expressions received not only 
from Grant himself, between the period of his election 
and inauguration, but especially from assurances given 
by Representative Elihu B. Washbume, who was 
early announced as the premier of the new cabinet, 
that Grant would, in some way, emphasize his regard 
for Curtin, which he did among his first official acts 
after his inauguration, by nominating Curtin as Min- 
ister to Russia. 

224 Old Time Notes 


The Senatorial Contest Shrewdly Managed by Colonel Thomas A. Scott— > 
When the Legislature Met No Contest for Senator Developed — ^John 
Scott Unanimoiisly Nominated — Elected by the Solid Vote of His 
Party — Scott's Creditable Record in the Senate — Keeping within 
Party Lines He Followed His Own Convictions — Curtin Went to 
Russia Knowing that It was Political Banishment — Honors Show- 
ered upon Curtin before His Departure. 

IN the State contest of 1868 the Republicans carried 
both branches of the Legislature, but by somewhat 
reduced majorities. The senate stood 1 8 Republi- 
cans to 15 Democrats, and the Republicans had 24 
majority in the house, giving them 27 on joint ballot. 
The term of Buckalew as United States Senator was 
about to expire, and there was very general surprise 
that the half dozen or more men who had so earnestly 
struggled for the coveted position two years before in 
the celebrated Cameron-Curtin contest, did not enter 
the race. True, Thaddeus Stevens, the ablest of them 
all, had crossed the dark river, and while a number 
were more than willing to make a contest for the Sena- 
torship if they could have met with any encourage- 
ment in doing so, it was v^r}'- early discovered by all 
that the position was irrevocably disposed of before 
the Legislature met. 

Colonel Thomas A. Scott had then become an im- 
portant factor in both State and National politics, 
and was greatly interested in our transcontinental 
railway system. He had been for a period president 
of the Northern Pacific, and later had undertaken 
the Herculean task of constructing the Texas Pacific, 

Of Pennsylvania 225 

expecting the aid of a government subsidy such as 
had been given to the Central and Northern lines. 
He wanted a man of the highest character, ability and 
integrity to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate, 
and one who would take an active interest in the devel- 
opment of the country. He, and he alone, accom- 
plished the election of John Scott, of Himtingdon, 
by the Republican Legislature of 1869. Although 
bearing the same name, there was no blood relationslup 
between the families. 

John Scott was then confessedly the leader of the 
bar in interior Pennsylvania, and was connected pro- 
fessionally with the great railway line of the State. 
He was a man of adimtted ability, tireless energy and 
imblemished reputation. He was not in any sense 
a politician, and knew little or nothing about the 
political methods by which men advance themselves 
to political distinction. He had been prominent in 
Pennsylvania politics as a Democrat, and was a dele- 
gate to the Democratic State convention of 1852, 
where he led the opposition to Buchanan's nomina- 
tion for President and was the author of the formal 
protest presented to the convention by nearly or quite 
one-third of the delegates, declaring against Buchanan's 
availability as the Democratic candidate for President. 
When the Civil War came he was a pronounced loyalist, 
and he accepted the Republican or Union nomination 
for the Legislature in Huntingdon County, in 1861, 
and was one of the half dozen War Democrats of the 
body who held the balance of power in the house 
during that session, and co-operated very cordially 
with the Republicans in support of the war. He did 
not, however, separate himself from his Democratic 
affiliations, and he was the unsuccessful candidate of 
that party for State senator in 1863; but in 1864 he 
joined ex-Speaker Cessna, of Bedford, the Rowes, 

226 Old Time Notes 

of Franklin, General Hartranft, of Montgomery, and 
a number of other War Democrats in support of Lin- 
coln, and thereafter acted with the Republican party. 

Colonel Scott then understood the politics of the 
State of Pennsylvania better than any other one man 
in the Commonwealth. His great trunk line was 
extending its tributaries into almost every approach- 
able section of the State, with the very hearty co-opera- 
tion of the prominent men of all parties where important 
local improvements were to be made, and his relations 
with the controlling men of the State in both parties 
were such that it was not difficult for him to make 
John Scott the candidate for Senator and have his 
election assured before the Legislature met. John 
Scott was nominated by a practically unanimous 
vote, and there was not even the semblance of a battle 
against him. Fortunately, he possessed every quality 
essential for a man to fill a seat in the highest legis- 
lative tribunal of the nation, and while many of the 
more active politicians were greatly disappointed to 
find a man unanimously nominated for Senator who 
would have been easily defeated if left to his own 
political resources, none could question the fitness of 
the selection, and I cannot recall another instance in 
which the party electing a United States Senator 
created and welcomed its candidate with such entire 
unanimity and cordiality as welcomed John Scott, 
and his career in the Senate brought no disappoint- 
ment to his many friends. 

He was politician enough to know that party inter- 
ests had to be respected, and at times something 
yielded to political necessities, but no man ever served 
a term in the United States Senate with a cleaner 
record than that made by John Scott. When issues 
arose which appealed to his sense of justice, no political 
influence whatever could swerve him from his duty. 

Of Pennsylvania 227 

I heard him deliver his first speech in the Senate a very- 
short time after his admission to the body, and it was 
a sore disappointment to some of the leaders of his 
party, who believed that the end always jtistifies the 
means in politics. A young Pennsylvania clerk had 
gone westward some years before to grow up with the 
country, and was successful in acquiring position and 
fortime. He wielded his power without regard to 
the lawfulness of his methods, and elected himself 
to the United States Senate, where he had served for 
one or more sessions. 

The Senate was petitioned to inquire into the integ- 
rity of his commission, but it was generally expected 
that it would be disposed of in some one of the regula- 
tion ways which had usually been adopted to avoid 
the expulsion of a Senator for improper methods in 
securing his election. It was this question that called 
out Senator Scott to make his first deliverance in the 
body, and although powerful influences had been 
employed to restrain him from aggressive attack upon 
the assailed Senator, he delivered an argument that was 
absolutely unanswerable, and was presented with such 
dignity and manliness that none attempted to dispute 
it. The result was that the assailed Senator, who 
until then confidently expected that the investigation 
into his case would be merely perfimctory, and that 
he would not be disturbed in his seat, resigned shortly 
thereafter and never again appeared in public life. 

General Cameron was then the senior Senator from 
the State, and he had very cordially co-operated with 
Colonel Scott in the election of Senator Scott. Cam- 
eron knew that Scott would not permit himself to be 
vexed about the patronage of the National administra- 
tion in Pennsylvania, as Scott had little acquaintance 
with the politicians or their respective merits, and had 
even less inclination to asstmie responsibility in the 

228 Old Time Notes 

struggles of contending applicants for Federal positions. 
Scott's election to the Senate gave Pennsylvania an 
able, brave, conscientious and faithful Senator, and 
left the patronage of the Grant administration, that 
was then, as now, indispensable to maintain a party 
organization, entirely to Cameron. 

When Curtin's nomination was sent by President 
Grant to the Senate for Minister to Russia, Cameron 
was anxious to defeat his confirmation, but while Scott 
knew that he was to some extent at least indebted to 
Cameron for his election, and was in no measure 
indebted to Curtin, who had simply been unfelt in 
the contest, he at once declared that a man of Curtin *s 
ability and services rendered to the State should not be 
stricken down by a Republican Senate, and expressed 
his purpose to make an earnest battle for Cxirtin's 
confirmation if opposition developed. The result was 
that Cameron yielded to Scott and Curtin was tmani- 
mously confirmed. Notwithstanding Senator Scott's 
service was during a period of unusual political activity, 
he never exhibited any interest in political manage- 
ment and never sought to shape political affairs in 
his State. He knew that it was a lesson he could not 
learn sufficiently to make him a leader in the rough-and- 
tumble struggle for mastery in State politics, and he 
was wisely content to perform his Senatorial duties 
with unbroken dignity and scrupulous fidelity. 

His disregard of political affairs and independent 
action on all occasions did not commend him to the 
politicians of his party in the State, and at the expira- 
tion of his six-year term, when the Democrats had 
possession of the Legislature and chose William A. 
Wallace as his successor, the State leaders denied him 
the empty compliment of a renomination, although no 
man who had served Pennsylvania in the Senate for 
many years was more justly entitled to it. It was 

of Pennsylvania 229 

' decided, however, that such men were not wanted in 
the political management that then prevailed, and 
Quay and the younger Cameron who then had abso- 
lute control of the organization, gave ex-Congressman 
John Allison, of Beaver, the honor of being nominated 
for United States Senator, only to be defeated by the 

I Democratic candidate. Soon after Senator Scott re- 

■ tired from the Senate he located in Philadelphia and 
Bbecame general solicitor of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
' Company, a position that he held and filled with great 

credit until his death. 

The Democrats of the Legislature nominated William 
A. Wallace for Senator, although Buckalew had served 
six years with very general acceptability to the party, 
and he and his friends naturally expected him to 
receive the only endorsement that coiild be given to 
him in 1869, by casting the Democratic vote for him. 
Wallace had entered the senate in 1863, and soon 

■ became the confessed leader of the party in the Legis- 
lature. He was the most accomplished organizer the 
Democratic party developed in his day, and he decided 

* to take the nomination for himself in 1869 to blaze 
the way for his election to the Senate some time in 
the future, when the Democrats might gain a majority 
of the Legislature. Buckalew and his immediate 
friends were not only greatly humiliated by this action 
of Wallace, but it caused a bitter estrangement that 

I nearly accomplished Wallace's defeat in 1875, when 

' Democrats had the Legislature and Wallace was 

fits nominated candidate for the United States Senator- 

lip. Buckalew appeared at Harrisburg and attempted 

Ito fight out the battle even by revolutionary methods 

Bto accomplish Wallace's defeat, but Buckalew was a 

■ novice in ])o]itical management when forced to size 
up with Wallace in a struggle, and Wallace finally 
secured enough of the Buckalew men to accomplidi 

230 Old Time Notes 

his election. The estrangement between Buckalew 
and Wallace remained tmreconciled until the grave 
extinguished their resentments. 

When Curtin accepted the position of Minister to 
Russia, he well imderstood all that it implied. He 
did not wish to go to Russia, although it was one of 
the only three first-class missions of the government. 
He understood that it was intended by the President 
to be a compliment for the services he had rendered 
the State and country and his support of Grant in the 
Presidential contest, but he well knew also that it was 
meant by others to retire him from the factional con- 
flicts of the party in the State. He knew that with 
Cameron in the Senate serving a term that would not 
expire until the end of the first term of the new Presi- 
dent, he could not hope to make a successful battle 
for the support of his friends with the President when 
every nomination of a friend of Curtin was certain to 
bring threatened and probable rejection in the Senate. 
For him to remain at home and battle against such 
fearful odds was simply to invite fretful struggles and 
repeated defeats, and to accept the position was the 
practical disintegration of the political organization 
he had in the State, and the elimination of himself 
and friends from mastery in the Republican organiza- 
tion. He was greatly gratified at Grant's courage in 
nominating him in the face of Cameron's protest, and 
after mature reflection he felt that it was his duty 
to accept the position and practically abandon all 
attempt to control the Republican organization of 
the State. 

His friends very generally approved of his decision, 
and when a large number of them accompanied him 
to New York and bade him good-bye on board the 
vessel when he was about to sail for St. Petersburg, all 
f^lt that they were no longer important factors in 

Of Pennsylvania 231 

Pennsylvania politics. Most of them were not of the 
place-hunting class, and could do quite as well, or 
better, for themselves in private pursuits than in seek- 
ing or even gaining political honors, but they all felt 
keenly the turn in political affairs that had practically 
made Curtin and themselves voiceless in the great party 
they had earnestly and so successfully struggled to 
create, and whose earliest victories they had won 
following the tall plimie of their beloved chief. Just 
before sailing for Russia he was, by the unanimous 
vote of both branches of cotmcils, tendered a public 
reception in Independence Hall, and that was attended 
by many thousands, and a public dinner was given to 
him in the Academy of Music, with the largest attend- 
ance of prominent men ever witnessed at any public 
dinner in Philadelphia. The ablest Republicans from 
every section of the State were largely represented. 
Judge Thayer presided, and the career of the great 
War Governor was told in eloquent story by half a 
score or more of the leaders who had battled by his 
side, but a strain of sadness pervaded the many fer- 
vent tributes paid to the man who was the greatest 
of all the popular leaders of the State, and whose record 
as the great War Governor stood out in matchless 

The position of Minister to Russia was practically a 
sinecure. Our relations with that Power were of the 
most friendly nature, and during his more than three 
years of service as Minister to the Court of the Czar, 
he never had a single grave diplomatic problem to 
solve. His sunny, genial ways made him a great 
favorite at the Russian court, and he was accorded a 
degree of confidence in Russian royalty and diplomacy 
that probably no other Minister to the Czar ever 
enjoyed. He was a special favorite with Czar Alex- 
ander, the grandfather of the present Czar Nicholas, 

232 Old Time Notes 

and the Czar commanded not only the earnest sym- 
pathy of Cxirtin, but the most sincere and earnest 
approbation of his freedom of serfs of Rtissia. So 
highly did the Czar appreciate Curtin as Minister that 
he specially sat to one of the great artists of Rtissia for 
a life-size portrait that was finished in the highest style 
of art, and personally presented to Curtin by the Czar 
himself. It yet adorns the Curtin home in Bellefonte. 
I was in constant correspondence with Curtin during 
his stay in London, and was one of the few to whom 
he expressed his views without restraint. He, of 
course, had many letters from his numerous friends 
throughout the State, and was fully advised of the 
progress of poUtical events, and the gradual com- 
plete mastery of the factional power of the State that 
was implacably hostile to himself and his friends. He 
was greatly fretted as he learned from time to time 
that the open friends of Curtin, who entered the field 
for political preferment either in the State or in the 
National administration, speedily crossed the dead 
line and was mercilessly crucified, but he was powerless 
to aid them, and could only sit in the grandeur of 
Russian royalty and bow in sorrow to the sacrifice of 
those to whom he was so ardently devoted. At the 
end of the first year he decided to return home and 
share the struggle of his friends, but they with one 
accord advised him that it would be a hopeless conflict, 
and that every consideration of political expediency 
dictated that he should remain. He was offered very 
large pecuniary compensation to become connected 
with business enterprises of Americans in Russia, 
which would have required his resignation as Minister, 
but he felt that as long as he remained abroad he 
would continue as Minister to the Russian Court. 

of Pennsylvania 233 


The Defeat of City of Philadelphia Candidates in 1868 Made Mann 
Enforce the Enactment of the Registry Law — Wide Open Doors for 
Fraud under Color of Law — The Author's Earnest Protest Against the 
Movement — Mann Regained the District Attorneyship Under It — 
Interesting Incidents in Halting Fraud at a Special Senatorial 

THE political conditions developed in Philadel- 
phia by the election of 1868 were well cal- 
culated to alarm the Republican leaders. 
With all the personal strength that General Grant 
brought to the party, the Democrats elected a majority 
of their ticket in the city, including mayor and district 
attorney, by majorities ranging from 1,000 to 1,900. 
Daniel M. Fox was the Democratic candidate for 
mayor, and General Tyndale his Republican opponent. 

Tyndale was opposed by severe churchmen, on the 
groimd that he was not entirely orthodox in faith, 
and the official returns showed about 1,900 majority 
in favor of Fox, and Furman Sheppard was returned 
as elected district attorney by a smaller majority. 
Such a disaster coming in a Presidential year, when the 
full vote of the party was polled and the organization 
supposed to be complete, gave little promise of future 
Republican mastery in the city that was claimed to 
be the great loyal city of the nation. 

Colonel Mann had been nominated for district attor- 
ney by the midsummer convention of 1868, but a frac- 
tion of probably one-fourth of the delegates in the con- 
vention bolted, organized a separate convention, and 
nominated Isaac Hazlehurst, a prominent Republican 



234 Old Time Notes 

of the city, with the declared ptirpose of defeating 
Mann by revolutionary action. Mann had been assis- 
tant district attorney for two terms under William 
B. Reed. He was the Republican candidate in 1856 
to succeed Reed, but the return was given in favor of 
Lewis C. Cassidy. 

Mann contested the return, and was awarded the 
position by the court. In 1859 he was re-elected with- 
out serious, contest, and won out for re-election again 
in 1862 and 1865. From the time that he succeed^ in 
entrenching himself in the office of district attorney 
he became the leader of the party in the city, and during 
his reign no one ever ruled with more complete omni- 
potence, but all such political power is certain to pro- 
voke factional hostility, alike from personal disappoint- 
ments and from those who sincerely protest against 
the autocratic political methods by which political 
masters are often compelled to execute their decrees. 

Mann was one of the most liberal and generous of 
political leaders, but the fact that he was omnipotent 
awakened formidable jealousies, and the additional 
fact that his political methods were at times necessarily 
arbitrary and unscrupulous aroused bitter antagonism, 
and when he was nominated for the fifth consecutive 
term, although the party organization was strength- 
ened by a Presidential contest, it became evident that 
he would be defeated. The Democrats nominated 
Furman Sheppard, who was confessedly their strong- 
est man. He was not only a man of great ability, 
but commanded the respect of the entire community, 
whether friends or foes in politics. After the nomina- 
tion of Sheppard, the Republican leaders saw that 
they were inviting a terrible disaster by permitting 
two candidates of their party to be in the field for dis- 
trict attorney, and Mann was finally induced to decline, 
as I have stated in detail in a former chapter. 

Of Pennsylvania 235 •' 

The disputing factions had agreed upon Charles 
Gibbons as the man upon whom all the Republican 
belligerents could be harmonized. Gibbons was one 
of the most brilliant of the old Whig leaders in Phila- 
delphia, and was elected from the city to the senate 
as* early as 1844, where he stood confessedly as the^ 
ablest of the Whig leaders in the body, although then 
quite a yoimg man. His fidelity to his own convic- 
tions led him to antagonize Philadelphia in the contest 
between the Baltimore & Ohio and the Pennsylvania 

He did not oppose the Pennsylvania enterprise, . 
but he insisted that if the Baltimore & Ohio, that had' 
first offered to construct the line through Pennsylvania 
to Pittsburg, was willing to complete a second road to 
the West, it should have the right to do so. It was then 
generally believed that two such lines could not be 
sustained in the State, and for his refusal to iieny the 
franchise to the Baltimore & Ohio, that, he had pre- 
viously earnestly supported when it was the only 
organization that promised to construct such a line, 
he was bitterly denounced at home and practically 
retired from politics for nearly a quarter of a century. 
He had not been involved in factional strife, as he took 
little interest in local politics, although an active mem- 
ber of the Union League and an ardent supporter of 
the war. He was not a map who had mingled with the 
people, and lacked in the important element^ of per- 
sonal popularity, although his clean record commended 
him very generally to the voting public. 

A very earnest effort was made by the reunited party 
to elect Gibbons, but the majority was against him, 
and he proceeded to contest the return. The case 
was heard by Judge Brewster, a sincere Republican, 
and one of the ablest of our common pleas judges. 
After hearing th^ case very patiently he awarded the 

236 Old Time Notes 

office to Gibbons by a small majority, and Sheppard 
retired, but upon a careful examination of the elab- 
orate opinion given by Judge Brewster, by which he 
figured out a majority in favor of Gibbons, Sheppard 
discovered that the judge had committed an error in 
his complicated computation, and that, figuring the 
result out upon the basis accepted by the court, Shep- 
pard was really elected. He petitioned Judge Brewster 
for a review of the case, and upon rehearing Judge 
Brewster reversed his own judgment and awarded the 
office to Sheppard. 

I had taken up my permanent residence in Phila- 
delphia in the siunmer of 1868, and in connection with 
Colonel Mann opened a suite of offices on Sixth Street 
near Walnut. While we occupied the same offices, 
there was no partnership in our professional engage- 
ments. We were naturally closely associated in politics 
and general affairs, as we had been for more than a 
decade of the past. The one position that he coveted 
was that of district attorney, and he immediately 
devoted himself to the task of accomplishing his return 
to that position. 

We had many and very earnest discussions on the 
subject. I believed that the Republican party could 
be restored to unity and success only by making its 
record command the approval of the intelligent and 
fair-minded people of Republican faith in the city, but 
he believed that the only way to defeat the Democrats 
in Philadelphia was to adopt Democratic methods, 
and improve on them. The portion of the city along 
the Delaware had long been a nmning sore of political 
debauchery, and at that time McMuUen was in the 
zenith of his power and could make his own Fourth 
Ward and the adjoining wards return majorities for him 
to his own wishes with little regard to the votes cast. 

The old-time Anti-Masons and Whigs, imder the 

Of Pennsylvania 237 

lead of Charley Naylor and others, had made the 
uptown wharf wards equally corrupt, and their major- 
ities at times depended wholly upon the interests of 
corrupt leaders in defiance of the ballots cast by the 
people. There was then no colored vote to stimulate 
commercial politics, nor did we have the low grade 
foreign element that has now become formidable in 
the city, and that is interested in politics only as 
voting to command cash or its equivalent, but the 
political debauchery of that day was at times even 
more boldly defiant of law than are the more modem 
and more colossal exhibitions of political debauchery 
which now stain the city of Philadelphia. 

It was this threatening political condition that made 
Colonel Mann and his close friends decide to enact a 
new election law that would give the Republican 
leaders not only the absolute control of every election 
board in the city, but that would also greatly eliminate 
the restraining power of the courts to prevent the con- 
siunmation of fraud. It was known as the *' registry 
law," as it provided for registration entirely under 
the control of the Republican organization, and only 
those registered with their approval could vote. By 
this method thousands who were opponents of the 
Machine organization were practically disfranchised, 
and in order to control the returns in the event of failure 
to command a popular majority, the selection of even 
the minority members of the election board was made 
by the same power that appointed the majority. Thus 
in every election district in the city the Republican 
mBjchine had the majority of the board and a nmiority 
of its own choice. 

In some instances the minority judges were chosen 
because of their utter ignorance, men who could be 
cheated before their eyes without tmderstanding it, 
and in other cases Democrats were selected who could 

238 Old Time Notes 

be corrupted by the majority. As an instance of the 
kind of minority election officers who were chosen, 
I recall the testimony of two such Democratic officers 
who testified in the contest I had for a seat in the senate 
in 1872. The registry law required that the vote of 
each hour should be proclaimed publicly from the win- 
dow, ostensibly for the purpose of detecting fraud, 
but, in point of fact, to give the leaders hourly informa- 
tion of the progress of the election and advise them in 
time of the necessity of resorting to desperate measures 
to create or increase a majority. 

These two Democratic election officers had voted 
for me at the special election for senator between one 
and two o'clock of the day, and the return of that hour, 
which they themselves had certified, did not give me 
a single vote. When they were questioned by the 
committee that was hearing the case as to why they 
had signed an election return that they knew to be 
false, they both stated that they knew it was wrong, 
but that they were informed that it was their duty 
to sign it along with the other officers. 

This registry law, after re])eatcd consultations in 
Colonel Mann's office, at sonie of which I was present, 
was framed by Mr. Gibbons, who was smarting under 
his defeat for district attorney, and who doubtless 
expected that he would be allowed another opportunity 
to make a contest for the place. Colonel Mann de- 
manded the law solely to restore himself to that position, 
but did not deem it necessary to advise Gibbons of 
his purpose. I was at the first reading of the bill and 
very earnestly protested against it. I declared that 
no man who respected his own position in the party 
and who ever hoped to command its confidence and 
favor by deserving it, could have any inspiration in 
future struggles under such an election law. 

Mann insisted that it was the only way by which 

Of Pennsylvania 239 

Democratic fraud could be defeated, and the leaders 
were finally brought together and decided that the 
bill should be unitedly supported in the Legislature 
and made the election law of the city. When the 
registry law was passed by the Legislature I openly 
denotmced it, and appealed to Governor Geary to 
veto it, but he was a candidate for re-election, and did 
not have the courage to withhold his approval. 

Under the law the Democrats had simply no chance 
at all to succeed in any of the local contests, and the 
power thus given to the ward leaders, who never take 
pause to think of the retribution they must invite, 
stimulated theni to the enactment of most appalling 
frauds. It was this registry law, and the startling 
debauchery of the ballot under it, that in a few years 
plimged Philadelphia into the throes of political revo- 
lution ; and when a senator, chosen in the revolutionary 
tide against the registry law, I passed through the 
senate by a tmanimous vote, and finally forced its 
passage in the house, a new election law that tore up 
by the roots the corrupt features of the registry law, and 
made honest elections again possible in Philadelphia. 

Mann succeeded in regaining the district attorney- 
ship tmder the registry law in 1871, although the 
revolt against the debauchery of the ballot had taken 
formidable shape, but in 1874, when the revolution 
was in progress and the Committee of One Htmdred was 
asserting its power, he was nominated for another 
term, but Sheppard defeated him by some 4,000 major- 
ity, and Mr. Ashe, who had been a member of the 
Legislature and was active in securing the passage of 
the registry law, was defeated by a hke majority for 
coroner by Dr. Goddard. 

Under the registry law the Republican leaders 
became accustomed to rely entirely upon their power 
over the registration of voters and over the returns to 

240 Old Time Notes 

win victory for the party. To avoid the necessity 
of falsifying returns that was always attended with 
some measure of danger, the custom was to swarm 
the city with repeaters on election day, and have 
them vote on the thousands of fictitious names put 
upon the list of registered voters. As a rule, election 
officers made little inquiry as to the vote of any man 
who was brought to the window by the Republican 
window-book man. 

I recall a very interesting illustration of the opera^ 
tions of the registry law and of the political methods 
in vogue at the time. A vacancy occurred in a down- 
town senatorial district in 187 1 and a special election 
was called. Curtin was then absent in Russia, and 
his friends made little or no effort to maintain organ- 
ized opposition to Cameron's supremacy. One of 
Cameron's shrewd methods was to present old-time 
followers of Curtin for local offices in close districts, 
who were j^rivately pledged to follow his fortunes when 
elected. There was every temptation for ambitious 
men to do so, as it was their only chance of advancement. 

The district was naturally Democratic, but under 
the registry law the Republican leaders had controlled 
it. Cameron quietly selected a business man of excel- 
lent standing in the district, who was knoA\Ti only as a 
consistent friend of Curtin, as his candidate for the 
place, as he was s]:)ecially desirous to control the 
Republican members of the Legislature for his re- 
election the following year. 

The candidate was well known to both Mann and 
myself, as he had co-operated with us in the battles of 
the past, and he called at our offices, got us together, 
and informed us that he was going to be a candidate 
for senator, and that he had been assured of the nomi- 
nation. We had good reason to believe that he was 
Cameron's candidate, and meant simply to decoy the 

Of Pennsylvania 241 

Ctirtin people into his support, and after a brief con- 
ference I put the question directly to him, whether he 
was riot pledged to support Cameron if elected. He 
insisted that he ought not to be called upon to make 
any declaration on the subject, as it would weaken him 
in the campaign, but claimed that Mann and I should 
support him earnestly because of our old associations. We 
exhibited no hostihty to him, and allowed him to depart 
hoping that he would be supported by the Curtin people. 

As soon as he had gone Mann and I conferred on the 
subject and decided that he should be beaten. If he 
had been openly and consistently for Cameron we 
shotdd not have taken any action in the matter, but 
we were both greatly vexed at the fraud he evidently 
expected to practise upon us. The intimation was 
given to a trusted leader of the Democracy that if 
they nominated a clean man, especially if they nomi- 
nated a soldier of good record, they might confidently 
rely upon his selection. 

They had an early conference, and decided to pre- 
sent Colonel Dechert, who, in point of ability, character 
and gallantry in war, filled the bill completely. The 
RepubUcans admitted that he would be a very strong 
candidate, but as they had all the machinery in their 
hands with ample means, they did not doubt their 
ability to win. A large amount of money was appropri- 
ated by the committee to cover the cost of the election, 
and most of it was applied to the payment of repeaters. 

Mann knew by whom the repeaters were to be 
organized and handled, and brought him to our office 
for conference. I knew him well, and our relations 
had been very friendly, as I had on a former occasion 
aided him to one of the most lucrative city offices. 
When he was informed that we wanted the candidate 
for senator defeated, he at once said that he would do 
whatever we advised, but he made the pertinent 


242 Old Time Notes 

inquiry: ''What am I to do with the boys?" He 
then informed us of the two or three scores of gangs 
of repeaters, all of whom were already employed, many 
of them from the city outside of the district and some 
from Delaware. A captain was assigned to each gang, 
and he had his route mapped out for him, indicating 
every election place at which he should stop and have 
his men vote. They were all to vote at from twenty 
to thirty different places, and as each gang contained 
from eight to twelve men, it can readily be seen that 
the repeaters alone were expected to add from two to 
three thousand to the vote for the Republican candi- 
date for senator. 

All these captains were imder the command of the 
man who was conferring with us on the subject, and 
received their orders directly from him. We instructed 
him to go on and carry out his programme and assured 
him that they would not be permitted to vote, but that 
they would not be arrested or troubled in any way 
unless they were guilty of riotous conduct. The 
arrangement was completed, and it was carried out 
to the letter. After this arrangement was made I 
immediately called upon Mayor Fox, and gave him all 
the facts, with the names of the captains and the route 
that each gang was to take from morning until night. 
It was necessary in order to checkmate this fraud that 
these gangs should not have reason to suspect that 
their plan had been discovered and that they would 
be halted in their work. The mayor selected sixty 
of his most reliable and discreet policemen to cover 
the lines where the repeaters were to do their work, 
with positive instructions that the gang should not 
be interfered with beyond the policemen going up to the 
captain when he reached a poll, quietly informing him 
that his mission was understood, that none of his men 
could vote at that poll without being arrested, and 

Of Pennsylvania 243 

that if they would move on without disturbance they 
would not be further interfered with. 

Mayor Fox gave the subject the most careful atten- 
tion, and in every instance when a gang appeared at a 
poll a policeman quietly stepped to the head man, 
told him that his business there was well known to 
the police, that if he attempted to poll any of the votes 
of his gang they would be promptly arrested, but that 
if they would quietly leave that poll he would permit 
them to pass without further interference. The result 
was a very quiet election, and the gangs of repeaters 
traveled their routes during most of the day, but foimd 
themselves stopped and forced to move quietly away 
from every poll. The leaders thus had no informa- 
tion of how their plan had been defeated, and believing 
that their candidate was certain to succeed, they 
patiently waited for the returns that they confidently 
expected would give them a decided majority. 

They expected the Democrats to poll a considerable 
fraudulent vote in the Fourth Ward and vicinity, 
and they decided not to attempt to interfere with them, 
as the policemen were all Democrats, but they had 
planned such a stupendous system of repeating in the 
other wards of the district, that then embraced all of 
Philadelphia south of Walnut and between the rivers, 
that they felt entirely able to overcome anything the 
Democrats might do. The result was that the Repub- 
lican frauds failed entirely without a suspicion of the 
failure on the part of the leaders tmtil too late to correct 
it, and the Democrats tmder the lead of McMuUen ran 
his end of the district in his own regulation way, and 
the Republican leaders were dumfounded when the 
returns came in, giving Dechert nearly 1,500 majority. 
This chapter of Phikdelphia politics more than a 
generation ago is necessary to make these papers a 
correct history of old-time political methods. 

244 Old Time Notes 


Sudden Acquisition of Wealth Brought a Tidal Wave of Shoddy Osten- 
tation — Precious Stones Flashed {rotn Gaudily Dressed Shoddyites-^ 
Bewildering Extravagance Became Common in Hospitality — Ladies 
of Culture Abandoned the Display of Jewels — ^The Gorgeous and 
Vulgar Exhibition of Shoddy at the Great Ball Given to Grand Duke 
Alexis, Son of the Czar — The Saturday Evening Club Organized to 
Halt the Shoddy Display of Profligacy in Entertainments — Political 
Demoralization Followed the New Social Eruption — ^The Inevitable 
Revolution Came, and Many Shoddyites Died in Poverty. 

WAR is the fruitful parent of demoralization, 
and of all such strifes civil wars are the most 
disturbing in all the important relations of 
life. They breed corruption in business and politics, 
and stamp their stain more or less even upon social 
and religious life. One of the most memorable of all 
the developments of our civil war was exhibited in 
what was long remembered, and is still remembered 
by many of the older residents of the city, as the reign 
of shoddy. 

When the war began in 1861, Philadelphia was 
suffering from very severe and protracted industrial, 
commercial and financial revulsion. The suspension 
of the banks in 1857, and the general depression that 
followed in all channels of industry, were not only felt 
very generally in every community, but fell with special 
force upon Philadelphia, that was then the great com- 
mercial metropolis of the Nation, and commanded a 
vast preponderance of the entire Southern trade. 
Labor was unemployed or very inadequately requited. 
Our manufacturers were fortunate if able to pay their 

Of Pennsylvania 245 

operating expenses, and oiir large commercial houses 
were greatly demoralized and simply struggling to 
tide over the severe strain that was upon them. I well 
remember in the early part of 1861, standing with 
several friends in front of the Continental Hotel for 
a considerable time, discussing the question of pur- 
chasing the Girard House for $10,000, subject to a 
mortgage of $100,000. Real estate values had reached 
the lowest ebb of more than a score of years, and the 
prospect of civil war spread the gloom of despair over 
the entire commercial, industrial and financial interests 
of the city. 

When the first loan of $50,000,000 was called for 
by the government to prosecute the war, the financial 
men of the coimtry regarded it as a task that would 
exhaust the financial resources of the nation, and I 
recall more than one instance in which I purchased 
the 7-30 bonds of the government below par. The 
vast resources of the coimtry were unappreciated and 
unknown to the people themselves. If they had then 
believed that a great civil war, costing many billions 
of dollars, was to follow the election of Lincoln, he 
would have been defeated by an overwhelming vote, 
or if they had dreamed at the beginning of the war 
that such enormous sacrifice of life and treasure would 
be necessary to maintain the unity of the States, the 
war would have been stmimarily abandoned in despair ; 
but before the close of the first year of the war new 
conditions appeared, and the people of Philadelphia 
saw that vast fortimes were to be gathered in legiti- 
mate enterprise by the continuance of the war. Our 
currency was cheapened by the entire suspension of 
specie payments, and the increased demands of 
government were logically followed by increased 
demands for consumption by the people. As money 
became abundant it speedily brought a tide of apparent 

246 Old Time Notes 

prosperity that surpassed the wildest dreams of those 
who had hoped for fortunes. 

I remember hearing Mr. Borie, of Grant's cabinet, 
discussing the wonderful advances in prices in the 
eariy part of the war. He cited instances in which a 
cargo of goods he had purchased for importation had 
advanced to more than double their cost before they 
came into his possession. All our mills and factories 
which had been maintained in fairly good condition 
were soon called upon to employ the utmost of their 
resources in the production of their wares or fabrics, 
and finally new and colossal establishments had to 
be created to meet the wants of the government and 
the public. Wealth came suddenly, and in large 
measure, to a class of our industrial people who had 
never dreamed of gaining more than a generous com- 
petence in their business. Many of them possessed 
little or no culture themselves, and they and their 
children, with rare exceptions, plimged into the most 
extravagant display in efforts not merely to imitate, 
but to surpass the hospitality and social distinction 
of the cultured families of the city. 

During the later years of the war, and for some time 
after it ended, there were more precious stones and 
costly jewels sold in Philadelphia than have ever been 
sold in any like period during the last forty years, 
which have presented repeated tides of prosperity 
vastly more substantial than was shown by the flashing 
inflation of war. 

I remember Mr. Caldwell, the founder of the present 
great jewelry house in Philadelphia, telling me of the ex- 
traordinary sales of precious stones and jewels made 
by his house, then occupying a comparatively small 
building below the Girard House. He said that the 
demand for diamonds at any price was so great that 
it was difficult to fill orders, and he added that the 

Of Pennsylvania 247 

peculiar feature of that trade was that the purchasers 
as a rule were often entirely unknown to him. He 
gave as an illustration of the class that was then indulg- 
ing in very costly jewels, that a lady gaudily dressed 
had entered his store, purchased a $5,000 diamond 
necklace, paid for it, coolly fastened it about her neck 
and wore it on her way home. A regular reign of 
shoddy dominated the city, and at the theatres, 
churches and other public places a profusion of dia- 
monds flashed from the hands and necks of women 
whose general demeanor indicated entire ignorance of 
the proper use of such decorations. So generally and 
profusely were the precious stones of the new shoddy 
leaders and followers flashed upon the public without 
regard to the fitness of the occasion, that the women 
of culture in Philadelphia absolutely abandoned the 
use of their jewels and generally appeared on all impor- 
tant social occasions in the simplest elegance. 

Entertainments became so lavish in expenditure 
and so gaudy in awkward decoration that only a 
very few of those who had been leaders in hospitality 
in the social circle of the city were able to approach 
their shoddy rivals in hospitable grandeur. Wealth 
was acquired with such marvelous haste that many of 
those who had been favored by forttme were utterly 
bewildered, and the inherent love of distinction that 
pervades all classes and conditions of mankind brought 
a flood tide of shoddy extravagance that absolutely 
tmsettled the whole social system of the city. 

I witnessed the crowning exhibition of this reign of 
shoddy a few years after the war, before the revi2sion 
that began in 1873 ^^^ ended in the most fearful 
business and industrial revulsions in 1877, when anarchy 
asserted its mastery from the Eastern to the Western 
sea. It was the occasion of the great ball given to 
the Grand Duke Alexis, son of Alexander II, then 

248 Old Time Notes 

Czar of Russia. Russia had endeared the American 
people to her emperor and government by the bold 
attitude assumed during our civil war, when we were 
threatened with the intervention of England and 
France, and most generous welcome was given to the 
son of the Czar, who is yet living as the highest honorary 
naval commander of the empire. He was young, 
bright, spirited, handsome and genial, and he had 
fallen in love with the wrong woman. To divert him 
from a boyish love affair he was sent by his father, 
with a magnificent suite of Russian naval officers, 
on a cruise around the world. 

Curtin was then our Minister to Russia, enjoying 
the most friendly sympathy of the Czar, and he had 
taken pains to pave the way for an overwhelmingly 
generous reception to the young duke in the chief city 
of Curtin 's home State. The result was the greatest 
social event in the history of Philadelphia. It was 
intended as a popular tribute to the distinguished 
visitor, and, of course, social class distinctions were 
effaced. The society leaders of the city heartily 
entered into the movement and bore their part with 
becoming dignity, while mingling freely with the host 
of over-dressed and jewel-spangled women who crowded 
in every part of the vast assembly. The Academy of 
Music, with the parquet floored to give ample scope 
for the dancing, was jammed, and never before or since 
has there been such a gorgeous display of costly apparel 
and jewels. 

I studied the picture for several hours, and it was 
one of the most impressive of the many like social 
events I can recall. Two well-known ladies of the city 
were long remembered for their appearance on that 
occasion in all the sweet simplicity of perfect elegance, 
as they were confessedly in the forefront of the many 
beautiful women who appeared on that occasion. 

Of Pennsylvania 249 

They were Mrs. Colonel Scott and Miss Schatimberg. 
Both were highly cultured, perfect in all the grades, 
courteous to all, but grandly displaying the highest 
dignity of American womanhood. They were elegantly 
dressed, of course, but in the quietest possible manner, 
and with each a single diamond solitaire completed 
the list of jewels, while most of the women around 
them were overladen with the most expensive laces 
and trimmings, and their heads, necks, waists, arms and 
fingers flashing the refulgence of a pitched together 
medley of diamonds and rubies. 

Of course, so costly and bewildering a reign as that 
given us by shoddy in the sweeping inflation of war 
cotdd not last. It brought new conditions to the 
homes of many htmdreds of our people, and opened 
the doors for the refinement and culture which com- 
mand universal respect, and while the mere vulgarians 
ran their course in the shoddy race until bankruptcy 
ended their career, education and refinement speedily 
foimd their way to the homes of many, and gave us 
a new generation of substantial people with business 
intelligence and social culture. When the revulsion of 
1873 began its terrible reaction, extravagance was 
speedily checked, and as wealth had ceased to come 
almost unbidden to a large portion of the shoddyites, 
the pawnbroker finally took the last inventory of their 
precious stones and jewels. 

This shoddy condition when at its zenith in extrava- 
gance in social and hospitable life prompted the more 
intelligent and cultured business and professional 
men of the city to confront it by a coimter-movement, 
and it resulted in the organization of what was long 
known as the Saturday Evening Club, for which many 
yet living in Philadelphia have most grateful memories. 

The club had a large membership, and it was made 
up entirely of representative men of the best business 

250 Old Time Notes 

and professional circles of the city, many of whom 
were able to keep more than abreast with the shoddyites 
in reckless extravagance if they had chosen to do so. 
They organized the club with peremptory rules for- 
bidding even the semblance of extravagance in the 
entertainments. The suppers given were substantial and 
elegant, but all the more costly dishes were excluded, 
and no member was permitted to exceed the rules in a 
display of hospitality tmder penalty of dismissal. 

I attended very many of these Saturday Evening 
Club meetings, and I am sure that those who can recafi 
them will agree that they were the most enjovable 
of all the sooal entertainments ever given in Pluladel- 
phia. There was no departure from the ordinary rules 
of gentility, and all appeared in the regulation evening 
dr^, but there was an absence of conventional sup- 
pression at all these assemblies that opened wide the 
door for the most generous intercourse between the 
guests. It was not tmcommon for several himdred 
of the leading men of Philadelphia to attend the Satur- 
day Evening Club. Chairs were taken from the rooms, 
leaving here and there a sofa to furnish rest to the weary, 
as the crowded condition of the rooms required the 
guests to remain standing dtiring the evening. 

In one comer of the dining-room at all the meetings 
of the club was a special table with chairs to accom- 
modate ten or a dozen men. It was known as the old 
men's comer, and they were allowed exemption from 
the standing rule, and were permitted to sit down to 
their supper and enjoy it in their own way. In the 
comer could be seen almost any evening the venefable 
General Patterson, the still more venerable William 
D. Lewis, with Lewis A. Godey, Joseph R. Chandler, 
General Cameron, General Cadwallader and others, 
and the brilliant Morton McMichael occasionally joined 
them exploiting himself as a kid, as he was not then 

Of Pennsylvania 251 

deemed quite venerable enough to be one of the 
veteran circle. 

At these gatherings you could meet the represen- 
tative men not only of the city but of the State, for 
distinguished men from any section of the Common- 
wealth who happened to be visiting the city were 
always invited guests, and no social gatherings that 
I have ever attended were so rich alike in entertain- 
ment and instruction. The moral effect of this move- 
ment was speedily felt throughout the shoddy circles, 
and brought to many an early appreciation of the fact 
that they were simply indulging in vulgar and costly 
display that offended the good taste of the public, 
and brought to themselves only contempt and shame. 
This club continued until the reign of shoddy perished, 
and it ended its good work when its purpose was com- 
pletely and grandly accomplished. 

Not only did the reign of shoddy assert itself with con- 
spicuous offensiveness in social life, but it also asserted 
itself to an alarming degree in the politics of the city. 
The Philadelphia Row offices had been cultivated to 
the limit in extortionate abuses, and a term in one of 
them was an ample fortune for any incumbent who 
knew how to husband his money. The overshadowing 
interest in the war. and the general prevalence of extra- 
vagance and display, made the people indifferent to 
equal extravagant jobbery in political life. Offices 
were created in the city furnishing what would have 
been considered fortunes before the war, and most 
channels of city authority were prostituted to graft 
that was generally largely expended in display. 

I recall a prominent politician of that time who was 
chosen by councils for the head of one of the city depart- 
ments with a salary of $3,000 a year. He was not a 
man of fortune ; on the contrary, he was probably bank- 
rupt at the time he gained the office, but immediately 

2S« Old Time Notes 

upon his election he gave an entertainment that not 
only crowded his hotise, but his entire yard that had 
been fitted up at an enormous expense, with a most 
lavish supper and abxmdance of wine. The entertain- 
ment cost nearly double an entire year's salary, but 
the expendittire of over $5,000 for a single entertain- 
ment was regarded as a mere bagatelle in many of the 
official circles of that day. Hundreds of men who before 
the war regarded a glass of beer as a luxury, guzzled 
wine imtil many were intoxicated, and long before the 
midnight hour there was high revelry in hotise and 
yard to the music of hundreds of canary birds siunmoned 
for the occasion to greet the guests with song. 

Every day about noon a party of ten or a dozen 
leaders assembled at Jerry Walker's, and their appetites 
were never appeased with less than a full ba^et of 
champagne, while on some occasions the gathering 
would multiply and two or three baskets would be 
smashed before the lunch ended. This reckless ex- 
travagance brought its inexorable penalty, and a 
majority of the men who thus had opportunities to 
possess large amounts of money by various species of 
graft died in comparative poverty. 

Another instance that I recall pointedly illustrates 
the reckless methods by which our financial depart- 
ments were then conducted. I was one day called 
upon by a prominent man of the city who had held 
high official position. He stated that he desired to 
engage me professionally in a matter that would be 
mutually advantageous to both of us. The Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad then paid, as I remember, about $30,000 
a year direct taxes to the city, and the proposed client 
suggested that I might, by reason of my close rela- 
tions with Colonel Scott, obtain permission from the 
company to take its check to the tax office, pay the 
company's taxes, and receive a properly executed 

Of Pennsylvania 253 

receipt for the same. I said that it might be possible 
for me to obtain permission from the company to 
deliver its check for the payment of taxes, but naturally 
inqtiired how that coidd benefit either the client or 

He assured me that if I obtained the check for pay- 
ment of the company's taxes he would go with me him- 
self and I should personally see the two financial officers 
of the city who were then required to sign the receipt 
and receive a properly executed and bona fide receipt, 
and immediately after the payment of the tax, one- 
third of the full amoimt wotild be paid to me, and the 
remaining two-thirds would be appropriated to the 
client and parties inside of the tax office. 

Of course the proposition was promptly rejected. 
It would not have done any good, and might have done 
me much harm if I had resented it in the aggressive 
manner that would have been fully justified under the 
circumstances. I declined the proffer on the ground 
that I could not join in a transaction that involved 
such a violation of the trust the company might repose 
in me, and that also might result in personal disgrace. 

I asked him how it was possible for such transactions 
to be made without detection, and he informed me 
that it was not an tmcommon thing to divide up be- 
tween outside counsel and inside grafters payments 
made to the treasury in very large stmia 

It seemed to me almost incredible, but the man 
understood his business well, was trained in all the 
high art of the grafting of that day, and was not in any 
sense a wild adventurer in the scheme. 

It became an open secret some years after a promi- 
nent and generally respected citizen was chosen to the 
tax office that the first day he entered upon his duties 
he appropriated $100,000 in cash to himself. I do not 
recall a single one of the larger thefts of public money 

254 Old Time Notes 

that brotight the gtiilty parties to exposure and punish- 
ment. Occasionally a petty subordinate would be 
caught in an awkward imitation of his principals and 
go to prison, but the leaders who invented and executed 
the bewildering debauchery and profligacy of those 
days suffered no more than general suspicion that their 
wealth had been lawlessly obtained, and the public had 
learned to look upon it as the regulation thing to regard 
it with comparative indifference. 

Revolution came, as it always must, to correct such 
appalling abuses, and it was the Committee of One 
Htmdred that finally swept the grafters from power in 
a tempest of retribution. Unfortunately tempestuous 
revolutions speedily exhaust their powers, and after a 
decade, in which nearly every important office in the 
city, from mayor down, was filled by reform candidates, 
some of the shrewder of the old machine leaders, with 
new leaders gradtially developed, stealthily crept into 
power, and substantial reform in the only truly Ameri- 
can and most intelligent city of the continent lingered 
only as a memory. 

of Pennsylvania 355 


The Ablest All- Around Republican Leader of Pennsylvania — Quay His 
Promising Lieutenant — How Quay Made Mackey State Treasurer — 
Mackey the Master Leader of the Party for a Full Decade — His 
Method of Controlling Conventions and Legislators — His Close 
Relations with Both Wallace and Randall — How He Saved the 
Electoral Vote of Florida for Hayes — Mackey Saved Wallace in His 
Contest for Senator — How He Defeated Fusion and Elected Hojrt 

THE year 1869 brought to the front Robert W. 
Mackey, the ablest all-around leader the Re- 
publicans of Pennsylvania have ever created. 
Qtiay, although a young man, had become an important 
factor in State politics. He was first felt in 1863, when 
by his admirable management he nominated Judge 
Agnew, of his own town, for the supreme bench. 
Agnew had little popular following, although eminently 
fitted for the judicial office, and his nomination had to be 
accomplished by earnest political efforts and combina- 
tions, in which Quay had then proved himself a master. 
In his last year of service in the house, in the session 
of 1867, the unfriendly barrier between him and the 
Cameron power of the State had been substantially 
overthrown, and in the Legislature of 1868 he readily 
accomplished the election of General W. W. Irwin, of 
Beaver County, to the office of State treastirer. He 
had in the early part of the war secured the appoint- 
ment of Irwin as commissary general of the State, and 
as that position ended with the termination of the war, 
he asserted his leadership by making Irwin State 

256 Old Time Notes 

Invin was not a man of great political force, and 
owed his position entirely to Quay, but some months 
after Invin entered the office of State treasurer a seri- 
ous difference arose between Irwin and himself. The 
reasons for the estrangement were never made public 
by Quay, but he decided, some months before the Legis- 
lature of 1869 met, that Iiwin should not be re-elected, 
and he brought out Mackey as his candidate. 

Mackey was then cashier of the Allegheny Bank. 
He had started his career without fortune, and almost 
without friends, but General George W. Cass, then presi- 
dent of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Rail- 
road, and an active Democrat, procured a position for 
Mackey when yet in his teens, and Mackey rapidly 
advanced himself by his extraordinary ability. Al- 
though Cass was the leading Democrat of Allegheny 
and Mackey was rapidly developing as the leading 
Republican, Cass stood loyally by him in every struggle 
that Mackey had and was largely instrumental in en- 
abling him to reach his important position in the bank. 
When Quay decided to make Mackey his candidate for 
State treasurer to defeat Irwin, Cass came promptly to 
Mackey 's aid, and whatever financial influences were 
felt in the contest might have been traced directly to 

So quietly did Quay manage his campaign against 
Irwin that Mackey was not publicly discussed until 
about the time that the Legislature met, but as the 
senators and representatives gathered in Harrisburg 
it was soon discovered that Mackey was a very formid- 
able candidate, and long before the caucus met Irwin 
was hopelessly distanced in the race. I first met 
Mackey when he came on to Harrisburg to exploit his 
candidacy for State treasurer, and was greatly disap- 
pointed in his appearance. He had every indication 
of a racking consumptive, and looked more like one 

Of Pennsylvania 257 

who should be seeking some sunny place to winter for 
the preservation of his health than to be struggling for 
a political position. He had every sign of hopeless 
physical infirmity, and his stooping shoulders and 
shuffling gait indicated lack of vigor. He was then 
little known outside of Pittsburg, and most of the 
leaders of the party were startled at Quay's audacious 
movement to displace his friend from his own coimty 
whom he had placed in office and give it to a compara- 
tive stranger who was generally regarded as imable to 
render any special political service in return ; but before 
Mackey was a year in the office of State treasurer he 
became not only the foremost of the Cameron lieuten- 
ants, but was well on the way to the absolute leader- 
ship of the party in the State. 

Curtin was then in Russia, and although his organi- 
zation was practically abandoned in the State, there 
was much irritation among his old friends who were 
severely ostracised by Senators Cameron and Cowan, 
who necessarily controlled the patronage of the 
National administration in Pennsylvania, and that bit- 
terness asserted itself to a sufficient extent in the 
Legislature of 1870 to bring about a combination be- 
tween the anti-Cameron Republicans of the Legislature 
and the Democrats that defeated Mackey for re-election 
and restored Irwin to the office from which Quay had 
ejected him. Mackey bore his defeat philosophically 
and immediately began his organization to re-elect him- 
self the following year, and so complete and methodical 
was his organization made that he not only defeated 
Irwin with ease, but held his organization in the hollow 
of his hand from that time until his death some ten 
years later. 

I was brought into more or less intimate intercourse 
with all the political leaders of the State for nearly 
half a century, and I have never known one on either 

as8 Old Time Notes 

side who was such a thorotighly accomplished political 
master as Robert W. Mackey. There was not a quality 
of leadership that he did not possess, and there was 
hardly a fault in his leadership that could be presented. 
His whole time during the seasons when most politi- 
cians were taking little interest in politics was devoted 
to preparing the way for the control of the coming 
Republican State convention and the coming Legis- 
latiu-e. When a Legislature adjourned he was thor- 
oughly familiar with the individual qualities of every 
member, and he knew just who of his party should be left 
at home and who shotdd be returned. He did not make 
his plans publicly known even in the localities where 
he was operating, but any member of the Legislattire 
who for any reason was deemed only fit in Mackey 's 
judgment for retirement to private life would discover 
when he turned his attention to his renomination that 
some unseen power had shaped the action of the party 
for his defeat, and those who in Mackey 's judgment 
merited re-election were quietly aided in every way 
before the contest for nominations was opened, and 
thus, as a rule, the men he wished to be renominated 
won out with ease, and those who were deemed un- 
worthy of renomination suffered defeat that apparently 
came from the voluntary action of their own people. 

It was not Mackey 's policy to debauch legislators or 
delegates to political conventions, but he expended 
money liberally in every senatorial and representative 
district to aid the election of the party candidates, and 
the result was that when a Legislature assembled at 
Harrisburg an overwhelming majority of the Republi- 
cans were Mackey 's devoted friends. Unlike some 
political leaders, he had no love for striking down men 
who were obstacles to the consummation of his plans. 
He would always exhaust all friendly offices, but when 
it became necessary for him to accept open war with 

of Pennsylvania 259 

any man he would strike from the shoulder, and few 
survived such a conflict with him. 

In like manner he superintended the election of dele- 
gates to State conventions. He often made candidates 
for the Legislature and for delegates to conventions 
long before others thought of ma^ng a contest for the 
place, and when money was needed to reconcile party 
differences or to elect his favorite candidates it was 
always freely supplied. He was the one party leader 
in Pennsylvania who accepted no vacation in politics, 
and while others were letting politics run their course 
waiting for the time to come arotmd for action, Mackey 
covered every district in the State and knew with almost 
absolute certainty who would be delegates to the State 
convention, and who the successfid candidates for 
legislative nominations months before the people of the 
local districts thought of agitating the subject. He 
was universally popular, a delightful and genial com- 
panion, a most imselfish and faithful friend, and was 
scrupulous to the last degree in fulfilling every political 
obligation that he made. From the time of his gener- 
ally accepted leadership, when he and Quay were the 
nominal lieutenants of Cameron tmtil his death, he 
never was defeated in a Republican State convention 
and never lost control of a single Legislature. 

Mackey 's omnipotence as a leader was not only felt 
by the Republicans of the State, but it often invaded 
the lines of the Democracy, and I can recall several 
occasions on which Mackey absolutely controlled the 
final action of the Democratic State convention. 
He had the personal friendship of nearly every Demo- 
cratic senator and respresentative, and he was gener- 
ously kind to the members without regard to their 
political faith. And the Greenback organization, that 
was a somewhat formidable political factor during 
his leadership, he made a mere plaything in his hands. 

26o Old Time Notes 

He became the substantial owner of its leaders, and on 
more than one occasion made it play a most illogical 
part by which he saved his own party from defeat. 
The Republican majority in the State was not then 
overwhelming, and for many years the Greenback 
party held the balance of power and would logically 
have fused with the Democracy if there had been 
resolutely honest Greenback leadership. But for his 
ingenious control of political factors which were natiu*- 
ally hostile to the Republican party, the Republicans 
would have lost the Governor in 1875, when Hartranft 
was re-elected, and again in 1878, when Hoyt tritimphed 
over Dill. 

The Democratic leaders would appear in the senate 
and house at Harrisburg breathing implacable hostility 
to Mackey's absolute mastery, but before the session 
was half over a majority of them would be found co- 
operating with Mackey in matters of mutual interest, 
and but few of them ever remained to fight the battle 
to a finish. His strength was in his wonderful knowl- 
edge of men, his ingenious adaptability to the qualities 
of those with whom he came in contact, with a willing- 
ness to render service to any and all whenever possible, 
and his absolute fidelity to his pledges. He is the only 
one of all the great leaders I have known in Pennsyl- 
vania who never ^vas accused of deception or failure in 
the fulfillment of his plighted faith. 

While Cameron was accepted as the leader of the 
party, he was sim])ly consulted in all the general move- 
ments made by Mackey, and I doubt whether Cameron 
ever attempted to reverse a policy that had been 
determined upon by his lieutenant. No man in the 
State ever wielded the same power in the Legislature 
for a full decade that was wielded by Mackey, and he 
always strengthened himself by rendering the kindest 
jroffices to all who had any just claim to Legislative 

Of Pennsylvania 261 

action. When a State convenion met he seldom ap- 
peared in it, but as a rule he dictated every movement 
that was made, every platform that was adopted, and 
every candidate who was nominated. He was so 
infirm in health that he was often unable to leave his 
room, and I have seen him when unable to leave his 
bed, and when his doctor forbade any disturbance, turn 
the doctor out of the room and receive two or three 
of his leaders who needed directions from their master 
as to how imexpected complications should be met. 
He was not only great in all the details of politics 
which so many leaders forget, but he was equally great 
in the greatest emergencies which arose to be met by 
the party. 

When he was State treasurer he suffered very heavy 
loss by the failure of Mr. Yerkes, then a banker in Phila- 
delphia, and now the great railway magnate of London, 
but his friends at once came to his rescue, and some 
three or four banks of the State placed to the credit of 
the Commonwealth the full amount of the deficiency. 
The treasury then always carried a cash accotmt of 
several milUons, and of course the credits thus given, 
while making the treasury absolutely solid, were not 
drawn upon by the State treasurer until he had accumu- 
lated sufficient money to make the deposits good. His 
power over the Legislature saved him in that emer- 
gency. The period had come when the State war 
taxes were intolerably oppressive, especially upon our 
manufacturing interests, and it became a necessity to 
repeal the taxes to save many manufacturers from 
bankruptcy. The Legislature had been appealed to, 
but it was always unpopular to vote to relieve the rich 
of taxes, and nothing was accomplished. There was 
but one man who could bring the Legislature to the 
point of giving the relief that was indispensable, and 
that man was Mackey. A combination of nianufag- 

262 Old Time Notes 

turers was effected, and proposed to give a large per- 
centage of one year's taxes if the repeal cotdd be ac- 
complished. The proposition was accepted by an 
outside party, but in fact by Mackey, and the repeal 
was accomplished, and Mackey 's losses were more than 

Mackey cared but little for money, except so far as 
he needed it in his liberal habits of life. During the 
decade of his great political power he lived largely on 
whisky, that he had learned to use chiefly for nourish- 
ment, but he never reached the stage of intoxication. 
He never knew what it was to enjoy a single day of good 
health during the period. He was a hopeless con- 
sumptive, and his lungs were measurably relieved by 
maintaining an external abscess, the healing of which 
would have been speedily fatal; and often his conver- 
sation would be interrupted by a paroxysm of coughing 
so violent that it seemed impossible for him to survive 
it» but when he mastered it, he would take the whisky 
stimulant, and proceed with his conversation as com- 
placently as if he were in the most robust health. 

It was Mackey who saved the electoral vote of 
Florida to Hayes in 1876. When the contest began 
after the November election the leaders of both parties 
were giving their best efforts to control the final decla- 
ration of the vote of South Carolina, Florida and 
Louisiana. Mackey was selected by the party leaders 
to visit Florida and take charge of the management of 
affairs in that State. He had purchased the Pitts- 
burg ** Commercial *' from Mr. Brigham a few years 
before, and Brigham had settled in Florida, where he 
had become a political power, as he was an experienced 
politician and a man of much more than ordinary 
ability. He received what he regarded as an ample com- 
petence by the sale of his paper, and decided to spend 
the remainder of his days on an orange farm in Florida. 

of Pennsylvania 


Mackey started on the same train and in the same 
car with two Democratic representatives, bent on the 
same mission, who did not personally know Mackey. 
He had every appearance of a far -gone invalid, and his 
distressing cough told the story that he was going South 
in search of siuishine and health. He overheard a 
conversation between the Democratic representatives 
in which they discussed their plans and determined 
in full detail how they were going to operate in Florida 
to obtain the electoral vote of the State. Mackey 
slipped out of the car, prepared a telegram to Brigham, 
giving the precise plans of the Democratic leaders, and 
before they arrived at the capital of the State all their 
movements were completely frustrated, and the elec- 
toral vote was gained for Hayes. 

In 1869, when Governor Geary had been nominated 
for re-election , Mackey was not enthusiastically devoted 
to Geary and would have been quite willing to see him 
defeated if an acceptable Democrat could take his 
place. His old friend. General Cass, was a candidate 
for the Democratic nomination for Governor, and 
Mackey exhausted his efforts to accomplish the success 
of his old friend and benefactor. Asa Packer was 
made a candidate for the nomination against his own 
wishes, and Thomas Collins, one of the leading railroad 
contractors of the State, then possessing ample fortune 
and considerable political experience, was devotedly 
attached to Packer. 

Mackey ascertained that a number of commercial 
delegates in Philadeljihia could control the nomination 
and give it to Cass, and without communicating with 
Cass or any of his friends, he made a deal with these 
delegates to support Cass, and put up his own checks 
for $12,000. "Tom" Collins, as he was familiarly 
named, found that the Philadelphians were in the 
market, ascertained the price, and a few hours before 

264 Old Time Notes 

the ballot, he gathered up $13,000 in spot cash, paid it 
over to the contracting leaders, and nominated Packer. 
Neither Cass nor Packer had any knowledge of the 
efforts made to purchase delegates in their interest, and 
Collins never informed Packer of the expenditure he 
had made to secure his acceptance as a Democratic 
candidate. I have heard Mackey refer to this incident 
as an evidence that in an emergency spot cash will 
beat checks. 

During Mackey 's rule there never was an apportion- 
ment bill passed that he did not fashion, and when in 
the senate and legislating to conform conditions to the 
new Constitution, I recall the care with which he re- 
vised every movement that was made. The regular 
senatorial term was to be four years thereafter, and 
one-half the senate was to be elected every two years, 
divided by odd and even numbers. He had the dis- 
tricts arbitrarily numbered so that the debatable dis- 
tricts would come in the off-years, when tmder his 
method of manipulation it was always possible to 
carry close or Democratic districts. 

He framed every tax bill, and, by the generous policy 
he aided the corporations in obtaining, he greatly 
enlarged their taxes and chiefly with their consent. 
He studiously avoided everything having the appear- 
ance of arbitrary legislative action, and commanded 
practically imiversal confidence from all the great 
corporate and industrial interests of the State, as well 
as the confidence of the people. He dictated the laws 
providing for the contest of Presidential electors, and 
for the trial of all other disputed elections in the State. 
I mention these facts to show what a thorough master 
Mackey was in all the minutest details of political 
management. He had the keenest perception to devise 
the most plausible methods for carrying out his pur- 
poses, and no point of vital interest was overlooked. 

of Pennsylvania 265 

During the entire pericxi of Mackey's RepubKcan 
leadership Wallace and Randall were the Demcxn*atic 
leaders of the State, and each had his ardent factional 
supporters against the other. They were seldom in 
accord, but both were devoted friends of Mackey, and 
he rendered most essential service to them that was 
not visible to the public. When he first became 
omnipotent in legislative control, a new congressional 
apportionment was to be made, and it was not only 
easy to make all the congressional districts of Phila- 
delphia strongly Republican, but it required a shoe- 
string district running along the wharf from South- 
wark to Richmond to corral the Democratic majority 
in one district. 

Naturally, the Republican leaders of the city wanted 
a Republican district in place of Randall's, but Mackey 
stood resolutely against it, and Randall's district was 
preserved by Mackey and afterward by Quay tmtil 
Randall's death. Randall owed his district wholly to 
Mackey, and it is needless to say that in many ways 
Randall reciprocated the kindness when it could be 
done without the betrayal of his party. 

Wallace always had very close relations with Mackey, 
and they rendered very important service to each 
other. While both maintained fidelity to their respec- 
tive parties, they many times could give valuable 
personal or political aid to each other, and it was always 
done. But for Mackey, Wallace would have been 
defeated for United States Senator in 1875. Buckalew 
had become greatly offended at Wallace for refusing 
him the compliment of a nomination for re-election at 
the expiration of Buckalew 's term. 

Buckalew was intensely embittered and went to 
Harrisburg and got more than enough Democrats in a 
combination to defeat Wallace's election, as the Demo- 
cratic majority was small on joint ballot, Mackey, of 

266 Old Time Notes 

coiirse, represented the Republicans in the LegislaturCp 
and knowing that only a Democrat cotdd be elected, 
was sincerely in favor of Wallace succeeding without 
making any proclamation of his wishes. 

Buckalew's manager proposed to Mackey that if 
Mackey would imite the Republicans he would defeat 
Wallace and elect any Democrat that Mackey might 
name. It was a plausible proposition, and had 
Mackey and Wallace been in the earnest political 
antagonism that their surface actions indicated it 
would have been readily accepted. Mackey, after 
apparently holding the proposition under advisement 
until near the time of election, gave as his ultimatum 
that the Republicans would unite with the Buckalew 
Democrats and elect any Republican United States 
Senator that the Democrats might name. 

He knew that the proposition was one impossible of 
acceptance, and that it would end in Wallace's election. 
I was present in Wallace's room in the Bolton House 
with a number of his leading friends on the day before 
the election of Senator, when he received information 
directly from Buckalew 's manager that the contest 
was ended, and that they would yield to his election 
because they could not succeed with any other Demo- 
crat. Buckalew could not afford to elect a Republican 
Senator in a Democratic Legislature, and he saw that 
if there was any break in the Democratic ranks, more 
than enough Republicans to elect Wallace would 
declare that, in a choice between Democrats, they pre- 
ferred him. Thus did Mackey make himself the leader 
of leaders of all political parties in the State, and his 
record of leadership stands out without parallel in the 
history of Pennsylvania politics. 

Mackey made his great battle in 1878, when in co- 
operation with Cameron and Quay he nominated Judge 
Ho^t lor Governor, one of the ablest men who ever 

of Pennsylvania 267 

filled the position. Political conditions were very 
uncertain, as the Greenbackers swept Maine from her 
Republican moorings at the September election, re- 
sulting in Democratic-Greenback fusion to control the 
Governor and the Legislature. The Greenback element 
in Pennsylvania was more than sufficient to wrest the 
State from the Republicans, but Mackey controlled 
its organization as absolutely as he controlled that of 
the Republicans. 

He had it meet first and nominate a candidate who 
was imder contract not to surrender to fusion; and 
having the Greenback element entirely eliminated as 
a danger signal, with Quay as chairman of the State 
committee, they decided to open the campaign by a 
distinct declaration in favor of the soimd money stand- 
ard. That would have been utterly fatal if the Green- 
back element had not been under absolute control, but 
with that danger entirely eliminated, it was the win- 
ning card for the Republicans to play. The result was 
that Hoyt was elected by 22,353 plurality, while Mason, 
Greenback, polled 81,758 votes. 

The severe strain upon Mackey in the great work of 
wresting victory in a contest where the people voted 
some 60,000 against him, with the opposition elements 
severed only by the most consummate leadership, was 
too great for Mackey *s enfeebled power. He went to 
New York for rest immediately after the election to 
spend a week or two with his friend Daly, who nursed 
him with the greatest care, but finding that he did not 
improve, his great desire was to be brought to his home 
in Pittsburg, where, after a few weeks of suffering, 
the greatest of all our Pennsylvania politicians quietly 
slept the sleep that knows no waking. 

270 Old Time Notes 

great Lehigh Valley Railroad system, and when he had 
it accxDmplished it absorbed his interests, and he had 
no taste for the diversion of political conflicts. He 
was forced into the nomination for Governor as he 
had been the year before forced into the position of 
being presented as Pennsylvania's Democratic candi- 
date for President. Geary, on the other hand, mingled 
with the people, loved display, and had kind words 
and liberal promises for all who came within the range 
of his acquaintance. His administration presented 
no distinctly discreditable features, and there were no 
political grounds upon which he could be assailed with 
effect. The campaign dragged along in a perfunctory 
way, as Packer did not attempt anything like a canvass 
of the State, and Geary was not a formidable political 

In every section of the State there were men of 
prominence and ability who had been practically 
retired from politics because of their devotion to Cur- 
tin, and this ostracism the Geary administration had 
aided in bringing upon them. John Covode was chair- 
man of the Republican State committee, and thor- 
oughly familiar with the political elements of the State. 
A month or so before the election he had been testing 
the conditions in various parts of the Commonwealth, 
and he had become alarmed at what was at least abso- 
lute indifference on the part of the Ctirtin people, as 
well as a large measure of indifference among the 
Republican voters generally. Colonel Mann, who was 
the Curtin leader of Philadelphia, had been forced off 
the ticket the year before, and his friends generally 
were made strangers to both National and State party 
patronage. He was still the great leader of the Repub- 
Ucan organization of the city, and without him at the 
front Philadelphia was a doubtful political problem. 
He had been urged to take the stiunp for Geary and 

had declined, and I had also dechned a similar invita- 
tion on the ground that I had absolutely retired from 
active participation in politics, as I had fully deter- 
mined at the close of the Grant campaign, when I 
settled in Philadelphia, to practise my profession. 

Mann and I occupied the same suite of law offices, 
and Covode called upon us and made a very earnest 
appeal to both of us to go to the front in support of 
Geary's re-election, I peremptorily declined, not only 
because it was then my purpose to retire from all active 
political efforts, but also because the only return I had 
received from Geary for earnestly supporting him 
three years before was systematic personal defamation 
from his own cabinet. Mann declined for the reason 
that Geary had joined in the systematic and relentless 
ostracism of all of Curtin's friends in the patronage of 
both National and State administrations. Covode 
became greatly alarmed, as he well knew that if the 
anti-Cameron men of the State decided to resent the 
hostility Geary had exhibited to them, Geary's defeat 
was inevitable. He asked whether we had no condi- 
tions to propose by which the two political factions 
could be brought into accord in support of Geary, but 
my answer was that the only political desire I cherished 
was to be entirely relieved of all political obligations 
and duties, and that I could not be interested in Geary's 
re-election while he had as attorney general a man 
who had, without any provocation whatever, indulged 
in pubhc defamation of my political record ; and Mann 
joined in the declaration that there could be no hearty 
co-operation in support of the ticket from the anti- 
Cameron people while Geary's present cabinet remained 
in office. 

Covode asked us to withhold definite answer for two 
or three days, saying that he would meet us again. On 
the second day after he left us he returned, obviously 


272 Old Time Notes 

after having conferred with Governor Geary, and made 
the plain proposition to us that Attorney General 
Brewster would be removed from office immediately 
after the election, and any person appointed as his 
successor whom we would name. We both answered 
that if the proposition should be seriously entertained 
no promise of a change in the State cabinet would be 
accepted, but that the change must be made as a con- 
dition precedent if we should decide to accept. This 
condition required Covode to ask that another inter- 
view be had on the following day, as he evidently had 
to confer further with his chief. He saw that Mann 
was inexorable, and he certainly knew that I specially 
desired not to become involved in politics at all, much 
as I was tempted to renew political efforts if thereby a 
change in the State cabinet could be effected. On the 
following day Covode appeared again, and stated that 
every condition we had proposed would be accepted; 
that an immediate change would be made in the attor- 
ney generalship of the State, and that any reputable 
Republican named by us would be made Brewster's 
successor. We accc])ted his proposition, and said that 
if he would return to our office in an hour we would 
name the new attorney general. Covode was greatly 
elated, as he believed that he had removed the most 
serious danger signal of the campaign. 

When Covode left us I asked Mann whom he wanted 
for attorney general, to which he answered that 
Attorney General Brewster merited the severest pun- 
ishment that could be inflicted upon him because of 
his persistent public criticism of both of us. He sug- 
gested that the man who would entirely fill the bill 
was Frederick Carroll Brewster, the half brother of 
Attorney General Benjamin Harris Brewster, as the 
appointment of Frederick Carroll would be the severest 
humiliation that could be given. 




Of Pennsylvania 273 

Frederick Carroll Brewster was one of the most ac- 
complished lawyers of the Philadelphia bar, but the 
two half brothers had never been upon terms even to 
the extent of personally recognizing each other. The 
sudden removal of Benjamin Harris Brewster from the 
attorney generalship, with Frederick Carroll, his tm- 
recognized half brother, as his successor was a crushing 
blow to the attorney general, and it came like a bolt 
from an unclouded sky. He was then at Atlantic City 
enjoying a rest, and the first intimation he had of the 
matter was a request from the Governor for his resigna- 
tion. He was dumfoimded when notified that his 
resignation was desired, and when he learned who was 
to be his successor he peremptorily refused to resign. 
Covode made an earnest appeal to Mann and myself to 
allow the matter to go over imtil after the election, 
personally pledging himself that the change would be 
made, but we both peremptorily refused, and the 
result was the immediate removal of Benjamin Harris 
Brewster, and the appointment of his half brother. 

But for this cabinet change Geary would undoubt- 
edly have been defeated. In one of the earlier chap- 
ters, when speaking of Asa Packer as one of the men 
who was a leader in the development of the Lehigh 
region, I stated the fact that the leaders in Philadelphia, 
in a conference with Mackey some time after the elec- 
tion, met for the piupose of deciding whether Geary's 
election could be contested without involving them- 
selves in personal peril. Geary's majority in the State 
was only a little over 4,000, being less than the majority 
returned in the city of Philadelphia, and it was then 
alleged to be largely or wholly fraudulent. The frauds 
perpetrated in Philadelphia were not conceived and 
executed for the purpose of electing Geary, but the 
arrangement made by Covode with Mann, who held 
the machinery of the city i^^ his hand, tnade him willing 

a— 18 

276 Old Time Notes 

mending Hall, of Bedford, for the judgeship he would 
send to the Legislature a special message in such terms 
as I desired, recommending the appropriation for the 
relief of Chambersburg. It is proper to say that Mr. 
Hall would not have been the choice of the members 
of the bar of Chambersburg for the judgeship. If he 
had been , no such proposition would have been made to 
me. I arranged by telegraph a confidential meeting 
of the entire bar of Chambersburg, and went there and 
presented the proposition to them. They were very 
reluctant to unite in recommending the proposed can- 
didate for judge, but a very large proportion of the 
people of Chambersburg were on the verge of bank- 
ruptcy, and they finally agreed that if Geary would send 
a special message to the Legislature, as he proposed, 
they would unite in naming Hall for the judgeship. 
I returned to Harrisburg, reported to the Governor, and 
he at once asked me to sit down at his desk and write 
the message I desired. I did so; he immediately 
had it copied, signed it, and sent it to both branches 
of the Legislature. The whole force of the adminis- 
tration was caiTicstly tlirown into the support of the 
appropriation, and it was by that arrangement, and 
that alone, that the additional $300,000 were received 
by the Chambersburg sufferers. Hall was appointed 
and elected, and served acceptably as judge until the 
judicial apportionment under the new Constitution 
separated Franklin, leaving him the president judge 
of the Bedford District. 

Geary continued as a hopeful candidate for the 
Presidency, and expected to unite the various elements 
of opposition to Grant. The first National convention 
of 1872 was held by the Lal)or Reformers in Columbus, 
and Geary's friends very actively supported his nomi- 
nation. On the first ballot he received the largest 
vote of any, being 60 for Geary to 59 for Horace H. 

Of Pennsylvania 277 

Jay, 47 for David Davis and 15 for Wendell Phillips, 
with a number scattering. On the fourth ballot David 
Davis was nominated, with Joel Parker, of New Jersey, 
for Vice-President. Had Judge Davis been nominated 
by the Liberal Republican convention in Cincinnati 
the same year he would doubtless have remained in 
the field, and would probably have been elected, but 
after the Liberal Republicans nominated Greeley, 
Davis and Parker both declined, and the Labor Reform 
organization was practically retired from the contest. 
Geary gave a luke-warm support to Grant, but was not 
thereafter in very hearty accord with his party. He 
served through his second term, making a creditable 
record and suddenly died very soon after he retired 
from the Executive chair. 

I had no personal acquaintance with Benjamin 
Harris Brewster beyond one or two very casual meet- 
ings, tmtil after he retired from the attorney general- 
ship. A few weeks after his retirement I met him one 
afternoon at George Laumaji's, whose liquor store on 
Ninth, below Chestnut, was one of the general resorts 
of the town for politicians, members of the bar and 
others who dropped in during the afternoon because 
they were certain to meet congenial people. When I 
entered the room there were probably twenty congre- 
gated there, including ex- Attorney General Brewster. 
He immediately arose, advanced half way across the 
room to meet me, held out his hand and said in the 
hearing of all, " I want very much to know the man 
who was big enough to dismiss me from the attorney 
generalship of the State." He added that he had 
greatly misunderstood me, and he desired thereafter 
that we should be friends, saying in his enthusiastic 
way that if ever he could be of service to me he was 
more than willing to do so. 

From that time xmtil the day of his death I had no 

28o Old Time Notes 

of the United States, and provided that no State shall 
make any law to " abridge the privileges or immtinities 
of citizens of the United States.*' That amendment 
to the National Constitution, fairly interpreted, gave 
stiffrage to the negroes, but the grant was hidden under 
diplomatic language, and was not accepted by any of 
the Northern States. Pennsylvania, although reliably 
Republican, did ** abridge the privileges'* of the colored 
citircns by denying them the right of suffrage, and the 
Republicans of the State on the hustings and in their 
party deliverances, denied that the fourteenth amend- 
ment gave suffrage to the black man. A very large 
proportion of the Republicans were unwilling to accept 
negro suffrage, and had it been enforced under the 
fotirteenth amendment as early as 1868, it would have 
been disastrous to the party. Congress did not assume 
to control the question of suffrage in the States, as that 
was confessedly a State prerogative, but it provided 
that where any particular class of citizens was dis- 
franchised the representation in Congress should be 
diminished accordingly. As Pennsylvania had the 
word ** white'* in her fundamental law, the negro 
voter was excluded, but the State was guilty of viola- 
tion of the fourteenth amendment by abridging the 
privileges of the colored citizen. 

The fifteenth amendment to the National Constitu- 
tion met the issue boldly. Its full text is as follows: 
" The right of citizens (;f the United States to vote shall 
not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by 
any State, on account of race, color, or previous con- 
dition of servitude.'' This amendment to the Con- 
stitution was ratified by the requisite number of States, 
Pennsylvania having voted for its ratification on 
March 26, 1869, and it was officially proclaimed as 
part of the Constitution, March 30, 1870, from which 
date the colored citizens of Pennsylvania had equal 

Of Pennsylvania 281 

right of suffrage with the whites. This amendment 
to the National Constitution did not assiime to regu- 
late the question of suffrage in the States, but it simply 
protected all races and classes of citizens from discrimi- 
nation on account of race. It left the States free to 
limit suffrage to the standard of property, intelligence, 
residence, payment of taxes, etc., but it eliminated 
the race question, and required that every privilege 
granted to the whites should be granted to the blacks. 

Fortunately the issue of negro suffrage had tq be 
met by the Republicans in Pennsylvania in 1870. when 
no State officers were to be chosen, and when there 
were no National issues of vital interest to invite 
political activity. The aggressive hostility to negro 
suffrage was confined to particular localities, embracing 
the slum districts of Philadelphia and the mining 
regions, where there was a large citizenship of foreign 
elements. The Irish, as a rule, were specially hostile 
to negro suffrage, and the same prejudices obtained 
very largely with the most of our mining element; 
there was no serious contest that year, and no special 
effort was made to organize the negroes, as no State 
officers were to be chosen and no exciting contest on 
local places to be filled in Philadelphia. In addition to 
the special race prejudices, a very considerable number 
of native Republicans, including some of large intelli- 
gence, were earnestly averse to an extension of suffrage 
that would bring in a considerable ntimber of voters 
who would largely increase the illiterate voters of the 
State. The result was that a very large proportion, 
and possibly even a majority, of the colored voters 
of Philadelphia were not organized and equipped for 
suffrage, and did not appear at the polls. 

The Democrats organized to control the congressional 
districts and the Legislature, and made an tinusually 
successful campaign. They could not hope to revolu- 

2»2 Old Tone Notts 

taocize any of the coK^nessiotial districts of 
pfasa. as neariv all the DesioGratkr wards iicxe ia 
dan s district^ and the other foor districts were s tiiWj g lj r 
RcpnhHran They diiL ho^ce\-er. make a mmNM 
ticii in the Second dsstrict by which Cfaarks O^CciDL 
who had represented the distXKt fcr a nttmber of yean^ 
was defeatai by J. D. Creefy, an Iruiepexident R^idb- 
Bran, by nearly a thotsand votes. Cessna. Rcpdb- 
ficaru c£ Bedford, who represented the Sizteezith dfak 
trict, was defeated by B. F. 31eyers; UbrreQ. Repdt^- 
fican, of Cambria, who represented the Gcweutc c n th 
c&strkt. was defeated by BL Milton Speer; AmBCroni^ 
Repcblican. cf Lycotnrr.g. who represented the Ei^it* 
eeirth district, was cfeteated by Herman Sherwood; 
GrTfiTtTn. Repcblicar. cf Mercer, who represented the 
TwcntieA distnct. was defeated by Sarrmel Griffith; 
Henry D. Fester, who bad been returned as ^ected in 
tiK Twenty-first dzstnct. but was otisted in a cootesift 
with Covode. was elected in that district over Andrev 
Stewart, and Donley, Republican, of Greene. wbt> 
represer.teti the 7':rer.Ly-:V'ur:h cistnct, wa^ defeated 
by \[cLeii2LrA. 

"The orly Demr,crat:c district gair.ei by the Repab- 
Hears was bv the election ci L. D. Shs:err:aker in the 
Luzerne *i:£tr:ct. over the late Cfciet J ustice McCo-Htim. 
Cessna, ilr.rrell and Armstrrng '^ere all defeated by 
ver>* srtall majcrrties. Meyers* returr.ei rnaj^i-rity over 
Cessna was rV. and Cessna con:estet.i but fafled to 
obtafr. a seat 'rr. the Republican K-juse. llorreu was 
defeated by rr and ArrrjE-trong by 17. but btc-th renssed 
tn contest' as neither ^ras wiHirj? tr. hijld a seat in 

The Der=i:crats succeeded 
:he war in jsainirjj o:ntn:I of 
the 5:ate senate, as the new Legislature had 17 Detn- 
ccratic senafrs to r6 Republicans. The Republicans. 
b'.wever. had 12 tnaji:rrty in the house. There is no 

Of Pennsylvania 283 

reason to doubt that the advent of colored suflFrage 
was the chief, if not the sole, obstacle to Republican 
success in the State in the contest of 1870. 

In 187 1 there were two State officers to be elected — 
attorney general and surveyor general, and Quay 
asserted his political power by nominating Dr. Stanton, 
of Beaver, for auditor general. Stanton was a repu- 
table village physician with little acquaintance in the 
State, and without political experience in leadership. 
He was nominated solely by the skillful management 
of Colonel Quay, and General Beath, a gallant soldier, 
of Philadelphia, was made the candidate for stu-veyor 
general. The Democrats entered the campaign with 
great confidence, relying upon the question of negro 
suffrage as the issue that would give them victory. 
To escape criticism for the attitude of the party in 
the Civil War, the Democratic convention unanimously 
nominated General McCandless, of Philadelphia, for 
auditor general, and Colonel Cooper for surveyor 
general, both of whom stood out conspicuously in the 
list of Pennsylvania soldiers who had proved their 
heroism in the flame of battle, and they made quite 
an aggressive campaign. The Democrats were con- 
fident of carrying the State outside of Philadelphia, 
and the Republicans appreciated their peril and made 
exhaustive effort to organize Philadelphia and bring 
out the largest majority that could be obtained. 

Colonel Mann had passed a new election system, 
known as the registry law, that practically placed the 
whole election machinery of the city in his own hands, 
for he was then the absolute commander of the party 
organization. It enabled him not only to name the 
majority of the officers of each election board, but 
also to name the minority, although required by the 
law to have a minority ostensibly of different political 
faith from that of the majority. The result was that 

^4 Old Time Notes 

the dection boards of the dty, in the districts wliefe 
dection fravds mere oommon, 'were almost or entnely 
in the control of the Republican organizatioo, as pur- 

as minority dection officers where voting eariy and 
often was the rule, while in the districts ¥diere fraud 
was unknown and could not be attempted with safety. 
Democrats of high character were selected as the 
minority officers. 

Mann was renominated for district attorney, and he 
regarded it as the great struggle of his life to regain his 
position, from which he was compelled to retire in 
x868 to harmonize the party. He was a master organ- 
iser, and had abundant aid in his political lieutenants^ 
and ample means to elect himself and save the State 
tidcet. A portion of the old anti-Sfann Republicans 
either refused to vote for district attorney, or cast their 
votes for Furman Sheppard, his opponent, who had 
fiUed the office with much more than ordinary credit. 
The negroes were thoroughly organized, provided with 
tax receipts, and ward and division leaders were given 
positions, or pay, to see that the entire negro vote was 
polled. While there was little political excitement 
throughout the State, the battle in Philadelphia was 
one of the most desperate that was ever fought, both 
sides pressing the struggle with tireless energ\% and 
employing all the resources they could command. In 
the districts where there was a large negro vote, and 
where the whites were below the average of general 
intelligence, campaign orators devoted themselves 
wholly to the task of inflaming the prejudices of the 
ignorant against the negro as a voter, and threats were 
made all through those regions of the cit>' that even 
violent efforts would be employed to prevent the 
nenoes from voting. 

The negroes were aroused on the subject, as the 

Of Pennsylvania 285 

appeals were made to them to assert their rights if 
they ever intended to enjoy them, and solemn deter- 
mination became very general amongst the negroes. 
The resiilt was that many riots occurred in the down- 
town portions of the city, where there was a large negro 
vote, and three negroes, Messrs. Cato, Chase and Gor- 
don, were murdered on the streets, and more than a 
score were seriously woimded by murderous attacks 
made upon the negroes when they attempted to vote. 
Professor Cato was one of the most cultivated negroes 
of the city, and neither he nor Chase nor Gk)rdon was 
guilty of any provocation whatever beyond his 
appearance at the polls to exercise his rights as 
a citizen. The Republicans carried the city by some 
13,000 majority, and the majority for the Republican 
candidate for auditor general in the State was little 
more than a thousand in excess of the majority received 
in the city. General Beath, who was a most gallant 
soldier and popular with the Grand Army, had over 
20,000 majority in the State, and Mann was returned 
to the district attorney's office by a majority con- 
siderably less than that received by the Republican 
State candidates. 

The Democrats lost the senate by one majority, the 
senators elected standing seventeen Republicans to 
sixteen Democrats, but ^ter the election, and before 
the Legislature met, Senator Connell, of the Fourth 
district in Philadelphia, died, leaving the senate stand- 
ing sixteen to sixteen, but the Republicans had a dozen 
majority in the house and on joint ballot. The senate 
remained a tie imtil the 30th of January, when a special 
election was held, in which Colonel Henry W. Gray 
was returned as elected over me as an independent 
candidate, but on a contest he was displaced and the 
seat given to me. 

It was wholly Colonel Mann's battle in the city of 

i86 Old Time Notes 

Philadelphia, and it was generally accepted that upon 
him depended the restdt in both city and State. His 
single ambition was to regain the district attorneyship, 
beheving that once recalled to it by the people of the 
city he cotdd hold it indefinitely. While Philadelphia 
has had great public prosecutors, such as William B. 
Reed, Furman Sheppard, Henry S. Hagert and Lewis 
C. Cassidy, who held the position for a brief period, 
it was not disputed that Mann was the ablest all- 
arotmd prosecutor who ever filled the position. He was 
a man of the tenderest sensibilities, and often in the 
discharge of his official duties strained the law to serve 
the mission of mercy, but when great cases came into 
the oyer and terminer and he was called upon to 
summon his masterly abilities for the battle no man 
could have surpassed him. either as trial lawyer or 
advocate. His theory of the proper method of regain- 
ing political control in Philadelphia seemed to stand 
vindicated by his re-election, and he felt confident 
that, with the control of the election machinery of the 
city in his own hands, his pcAver could be perpetuated 
indefinitely. In this he erred as nearly or quite as all 
political leaders err at some period of their careers. 
The registry law, by which he had practically made 
the Democrats voiceless in the control of the election 
boards of the city, aroused most violent opposition, 
and was the chief inspiration to the early revolution 
that swept him out of office by humiliating defeat 
three years later, and forced the constitutional con- 
vention that effaced the registry law and all its objec- 
tionable features from the statutes of the State. 

The one ineffaceable stain upon the administration 
of justice in Philadelphia is the fact that none of the 
murderous rioters of election day in 187 1 who killed 
Cato, Chase and Gordon and wounded many others, 
were ever brought to justice. Considering that Phila- 

Of Pennsylvania 287 

delphia had a Republican city administration, prosecut- 
ing officer and largely Republican judiciary, and that 
Cato, Chase and Gk)rdon gave their lives in an unoffend- 
ing df ort to exercise the right of citizenship by voting 
the Republican ticket, it is a blistering reproach upon 
Philadelphia that not one of the criminals ever .made 
atonement before the law. It was common in those 
days, and for years thereafter, for Republican speakers 
to accuse the South of hindering negro suffrage by 
violence and at times by murder, but here in Philadel- 
phia, the Republican citadel of the State, three murders 
were committed on the public streets in open day, 
and a score or more wounded solely because they 
attempted in an imoffending manner to exercise their 
right as citizens and electors, and not a single criminal 
was brought to pimishment. If the murders had been 
committed under cover of night and in the absence of 
witnesses, there might be some excuse for not discover- 
ing the guilty parties ; but here was murder, red-handed, 
at noonday, in the public streets of the city, and not 
a pistol was fired or a knife drawn with murderous 
intent that was not in the presence of witnesses. Sev- 
eral persons were arrested, but they were not the real 
guilty parties, and the failure to discover who the mur- 
derers were and bring them to justice can be explained 
only by the assumption that lawless political interests, 
which at times serve fraudulent elections, were potent 
enough to shield the murderers of the black men whose 
exercise of suffrage in the City of Brotherly Love was 
made in the baptism of their own life's blood. 

The murder of Cato, Chase and Gk)rdon aroused 
public sentiment to aggressive action, and within a 
few days after the election when the murders were 
committed, a public meeting was called in Concert 
Hall, that was crowded to its uttermost with leading 
citizens and presided over by ex-Governor Pollock. 

a88 Old Time Notes 

A number of speeches were made and resolutions 
adopted demandmg the prompt arrest and ptmishment 
not only of the murderers of Cato, Chase and Grordon. 
but of all who had attempted by violence to prevent 
colored voters from exercising the right of suffrage. 
On the other hand, the worst elements of the colored 
people were aroused to avenge the wrongs of their 
race, and the lawlessness of uie whites was a direct 
appeal to the baser elements of the blacks to resort to 
lawlessness in vindication of their rights. 

The violence resulting in murder and serious injtiries 
to many at the election of 1871, laid the foundation 
for the demoralization of a large portion of the colored 
voters of the city. They saw that the whites could 
resist them by violence without ptmishment, and they 
were inflamed to violent political efforts, which were at 
times inspired by corrupt compensation, to organize 
for the pollution of the ballot; and considering the con- 
ditions which then existed, with their limited oppor- 
tunities for appreciation of the sanctity of citizenship, 
they are much less to blame for their demoralization 
than are those who taught them the way to crime. 

Had the negroes been welcomed by their white 
fellow-citizens to the dignified citizenship the supreme 
law of the Nation had given them, there would have 
been an immense number of them ready to accept a 
just appreciation of its solemn responsibilities, and to 
teach their race the necessity of dignifying their citizen- 
ship, and proving that it had not been unworthily 
bestowed ; but no such helping hand has been given to 
the negroes in this city, and to-day, with honorable 
exceptions to be foimd in every section of the city, 
the colored voters are rated as mere commercial quan- 
tities in politics. They long held control of the political 
power of the city, and had they been organized by the 
honest aid to which they were justly entitled from their 

Of Pennsylvania 289 

white fellow-citizens, they wotdd not only have been 
a credit to our voting population, but their men of 
culture and distinction would have been called to 
positions of public trust, and thus invited all to fit them- 
selves to win public confidence and political advance- 
ment; but with all the power they possessed, we have 
never nominated a colored man in Philadelphia for a 
political position above the office of councilman; not 
one has ever sat in the Legislature, not one has been 
nominated for any of the city offices, not one has been 
thought of for Congress, and they were denied even 
representation on the police of the city imtil Mayor 
King, Democrat, elected nearly a decade after the 
negroes had been enfranchised, first promoted them 
to positions on the police. For this demoralization 
the black man should not be held solely, or even chiefly, 
responsible, for the crime was not only made possible, 
but it was practically enforced by the political methods 
of the white man. 

ago Old Time Notes 




teriotis Revolt Against the Methods of the Grant Administration — ^Death 
of Senator Connell Made a Special Senatorial Election in January, 
187s — ^Republican Leaders Tendered the Place to the Author, But 
with Conditions Tliat Could Not Be Accepted — Interposition of 
President Grant Led to the Author's Pinal Acceptance of the Candi- 
dacy — Colonel Scott Dined with President Grant and Cameron and 
Urged to Porce the Author to Retire from the Contest — ^A Tempestu- 
ous Political Struggle of Ten Days — ^Nineteenth Ward Rounders 
Decide That the McClure Meeting Should Not Be Held — How They 
Were Pinally Persuaded to Peace. 

THE year 1872 opened with the Republican sky 
overcast by clouded harmony and murmurs 
of discontent were heard in every section of 
the State and cotmtry. A large number of the ablest 
Republican United States Senators had become aggres- 
sively estranged from President Grant, who had entered 
the highest civil trust of the Nation an entire stranger 
to experience in civil administration, and had appar- 
ently not attempted to learn the difference between 
civil and military authority. A President who had 
provoked the open opposition of such Senators of his 
own party as Lyman Tnunbull, of Illinois; Charles 
Sumner, of Massachusetts; Carl Schurz, then of Mis- 
souri, and Reuben E. Fenton, of New York, certainly 
exhibited a lack of the qualities of statesmanship. 
These eminent leaders of the party were not offended 
because of disappointment in the distribution of 
political favors. They represented the able and inde- 

of Pennsylvania 291 

pendent statesmanship of the Nation, and throughout 
the ranks of the party in every section of the country 
there was very general discontent with the adminis- 
tration of Grant, who, like the Bourbons of old, had 
learned nothing and forgotten nothing in nearly four 
years of civil administration. 

By the upheaval of 1872, although he escaped defeat 
by the folly of the opposition, he was somewhat tem- 
pered and liberalized in his views, but he never fully 
broadened out to the highest stature of both military 
and civil manhood tmtil after his retirement from the 
Presidency at the expiration of two terms. He 
journeyed aroimd the world, and came in much closer 
contact with the people than ever before, and had he 
been nominated and elected President in 1880, when his 
friends made a desperate battle for a third term in 
Chicago, I doubt not that he would have made as nearly 
a faultless President as any who had ever filled the 
position. In 1872, however, he rejected the cotmsels 
of all who came in contact with his policy, and obsti- 
nately invited defeat by driving outside the party 
battlements very many of the ablest leaders of the 
Republican party. 

Revolt was exhibited in every part of Pennsylvania, 
and especially in Philadelphia, where opposition to 
ring rule had been intensified to the uttermost by the 
violent fall election of 187 1. Open rebellion was 
threatened on every hand. The issue in Philadelphia 
was suddenly precipitated in the first month of the 
year, (xeorge Connell, who had served four terms in 
the senate, and was elected to the fifth term on the 
loth of October, 1871, died within two weeks after his 
election, leaving a vacancy in the senate that then 
stood sixteen Democrats and sixteen Republicans. 
Although Mr. Connell died on the 27th of October, 
more than two months before the meeting of the Legis- 

993 Old Time Ncytes 

lature, it was held that the speaker of the senate could 
not issue a writ for a special election until the L^ps- 
lature met and had official notification of the vacancy. 
The restdt was that the writ was not issued until the 
first week in January, and the 30th of the montib was 
fixed for the special senatorial election. 

I had taken no part in politics after locating in Phila- 
delphia in 1868, not only because I felt that I had 
performed my fiill share of political service, but because 
my unfortunate financial condition demanded that I 
should devote my eneigies to my profession. I had 
not delivered a political speech during my residence 
in Philadelphia, with the single exception of a brief 
address at the indignation meeting held after the elec- 
tion of 1870 to denounce the murderous attacks made 
upon the colored men, resulting in the death of Cato, 
Qiase and Gordon, and really had no part in the political 
movements in the city beyond two political episodes 
relating to Geary's cabinet and the special election of 
a senator in the city, which have been described in 
earlier chapters. Having been overwhelmingly bank- 
rupted by the destruction of Chambersburg and rebuild- 
ing at the highest prices for material and labor, I 
desired only to be free to give my whole energies to 
business. I had been a resident of the city only a 
little more than three years and, of course, had no 
thought of being considered eligible for any city office, 
but a number of prominent business men, largely inter- 
ested in the general development of the State and in 
liberal legislation to aid them, personally appealed 
to me to become a candidate for senator. Among 
them were Colonel Scott, whose vast railway interests 
were yet in their infancy as compared with the progress 
attained to-day, and WUliam G. Moorehead, Jay Cooke's 
partner in what was then one of the greatest banking 
houses of the country, both of whom had gone through 

Of Pennsylvania 293 

desperate legislative stniggles to enable them to develop 
the wealth of the State, with a niimber of the leading 
business hotises largely interested in municipal and 
legislative reform. They earnestly virged me to con- 
sent to serve if elected, and they made like earnest 
appeals to the political leaders of the city, whose 
power over nominations was absolute, to tender me 
the nomination. 

They knew that I was not in accord with the pro- 
fligate rule of the city and that I was specially opposed 
to the registry law and the dishonest political methods 
by which political power was so often maintained. 
Fearing that the district might be in danger, the leaders 
finally agreed that they would tender me the imani- 
mous nomination. That would have meant an elec- 
tion without a contest, making the one condition, how- 
ever, that I should not attempt to repeal the registry 
law. A committee, consisting of William H. Kemble, 
John L. Hill and James McManes, called upon me and 
urged me to accept the nomination with the condition 
annexed. I told them frankly that I had openly 
opposed and denoimced the registry law from the time 
it was first presented to the Legislature as a disgrace 
to the Republican party and a reproach upon every 
intelligent, honest Republican citizen of Philadelphia, 
and that I could not accept the condition. They 
answered frankly that I cotdd not be nominated, to 
which I replied that as I sincerely desired not to be 
elected senator there were no regrets on my part, and 
I believed that the incident was closed. After further 
consultation the same committee returned with a 
modified proposition, that they would give me the 
tmanimous nomination for senator and instruct me 
to support the registry law, assxmiing that I could 
avoid opposing it because of the instructions imder 
which 1 was nomin^te^. I answered that if the noixii- 

294 Old Time Notes 

nation was accepted with such instructions it would 
be the duty of the person nominated to obey them, 
but that I could not, imder any circumstances, enter 
the senate without entire freedom to urge an honest 
election law. That ended the conference, and, as I 
supposed, eliminated me entirely from the senatorial 
contest, much to my own gratification. 

A few days thereafter William G. Moorehead came 
into my office and said that he desired to make a 
personal explanation in confidence. He had in his 
hand a paper that I had not seen or heard of, signed by 
himself and some fifty or more prominent citizens of 
the ward in which I lived, lu^ng me to accept the nomi- 
nation for senator. He had not been advised of what 
had transpired between the political leaders and 
myself, and supposed the question was still an open 
one. He said he very much desired my election to 
the senate, as he had been one of the first and most 
earnest in urging me to become a candidate, but that 
he had just received from Washington official informa- 
tion that would place him, or any other, in antagonism 
to the President who favored my election to the senate. 
He was one of the first who had signed the paper, and 
he asked my permission to erase his name from it, but 
added that while he could take no public part in the 
contest he would gladly aid my election if I became a 
candidate to any extent within his power, and he 
proved his sincerity by a $1,500 contribution to the 
cause. I asked him to let me see the paper, and he 
handed it to me. After looking over it I threw it into 
the open fire and said that I fully imderstood the 
delicacy of his position, and that as the paper was now 
destroyed he was entirely relieved. I added that now, 
for the first time, I felt inclined to become a candidate 
for senator. But for that incident I am quite sure 
that under no circumstances could I have been drawn 


Of Pennsylvania 295 

into a political contest at that time. The insolence of 
power as exhibited by a President dictating to the 
banker of the government whom he should support 
or oppose for a local legislative office provoked me to 
[defiant resentment, 

I immediately called together at Colonel Scott's 
office half a dozen or more of those who had been 
insisting upon my candidacy, and said to them that I 
was ready to make the battle, not as the candidate 
of the organization, but against it, if they were willing 
to support me, and they all heartily assented. It 
meant a desperate struggle against fearful odds, but 
I felt that the time had come when some one must 
lead a revolution and the duty seemed to devolve on 
me. There were a number of prominent candidates 
for the Republican nomination for the senatorship 
when it became known that my name was not to be 
presented, and after a desperate contest Henry W. 
Gray, then councilman from the Twenty-second ward, 
and prominent as the head of a piano manufacturing 
company, a position that he has filled for many years 
with credit, was nominated. Within twenty-four 
hours after the nomination was made, a letter was 
deUvered to me signed by some 800 citizens of the 
district, embracing the names of the leading business 
men and manufacturers, asking me to become an inde- 
pendent reform candidate for senator, and on the fol- 
lowing day I published a letter of acceptance, leaving 
but ten days in which to make the battle in the dis- 
trict. There was not a reform organization in a single 
ward of the district, and I was in the position of a 
bankrupt candidate starting out without organization, 
or any of the ordinary political resources, to give battle 
to a compact political combination that had created 
the election board in every division of the district 
and that could command tens of thousands to bring 

296 Old Time Notes 

out the vote and compensate fraud, but the time was 
ripe for rebellion, and I could do no less than accept 
the responsibility. 

The same influence that made Mr. Moorehead with- 
draw from open support at a time when I had no 
longer thought of being a candidate reached Colonel 
Scott, Cameron was in the Senate and the next L^s- 
lature was to elect his successor. He knew that I was 
not in favor of Grant's nomination, as Grant well knew 
himself, and Cameron, knowing my close relations 
with Colonel Scott, believed that through Scott my 
retirement could be enforced. Scott sent for me the 
evening of the day that I announced myself as a candi- 
date, and informed me that he was going South that 
night and would probably be away until after the elec- 
tion. He stated that he would stop in Washington, 
where he was to dine with Cameron and the President 
on the following day; that he might, after confer- 
ence with friends in Washington, change his mind 
as to the advisability of my continuing as a candi- 
date in the district; '* but, *' said he, " you were always 
obstinate and I don't suppose that it would make any 
difference if I did advise you to withdraw. ' ' I told 
him that such a contingency would doubtless be met 
to his entire satisfaction. He olwiously meant me to 
fully understand that any advices he gave me from 
Washington were not to be accepted, and without fur- 
ther conversation on the subject the matter was fully 
understood by both. 

On the following day Scott dined with the President 
and Cameron and the question of the Philadelphia 
senatorship was the chief theme of discussion. Cam- 
eron said that there was a very short way to settle it; 
that I was bankrupt and largely dependent upon Scott 
in the practice of my profession, and that if Scott 
demanded my retirement I would not refuse obedience. 

Of Pennsylvania 297 

Scott reminded Cameron that he had many oppor- 
tunities to discover how obstinate I was in political 
conflicts, and that he very much doubted whether he 
could accompUsh my withdrawal. He agreed, however, 
that he would send to me any despatch that Cameron 
might prepare. After dinner the work of preparing 
a despatch for Scott to send to me was gravely con- 
sidered by the President and the party, and Cameron 
finally drafted one that seemed to be satisfactory to 
all. It stated that Scott, after intercourse with a 
number of friends and on mature reflection, was fully 
convinced that it would be most imforttmate for me 
to make the battle for senator and urged me to retire. 
After the message had been fashioned to the entire 
satisfaction of the party and was about to be sent to 
the telegraph operator, Cameron called a halt and said 
that as Scott was going South and would not be home 
tmtil after the election, I would be likely to put the 
despatch in the waste basket, and deny that I had 
ever received it. To which Scott answered that he 
could obviate that difficulty by sending the despatch 
to R. D. Barclay, his secretary, with instructions to 
deliver it to me in person and get the answer. The 
following morning Mr. Barclay came into my office, 
trying to exhibit the indifference that would become a 
man entirely innocent of what he was doing, and said 
that he had a despatch from Colonel Scott, with in- 
structions to deliver it to me in person and get the 
answer. After reading the despatch I instructed 
Barclay to answer Colonel Scott that I was publicly 
committed to the contest and could not retire without 

A series of public meetings were at once annotmced 
by an improvised campaign committee covering every 
section of the district, and requiring me to speak from 
two tP three times every night. The Democrats lia4 

298 Old Time Notes 

in the meantime endorsed my nomination, as did the 
reform organization of the city, and I doubt whether 
ever a campaign of ten days aroused such intense 
interest among the people of the district. Meetings 
were overcrowded on both sides, and the Machine 
organization was strained to the uttermost to arrest 
the overwhelming revolutionary tide that confronted 
it. Among other places meetings were called in the 
Nineteenth ward, then the center of repeating and other 
pollution of the ballot in the uptown districts, and the 
Machine thugs in that region openly declared that I 
should not be permitted to speak in the ward. It will 
grate very harshly on the ears of all fair-minded citizens 
when I state that District Attorney Mann and Sheriff 
Leeds called at my office and notified me that I could 
not speak in the Nineteenth ward because they would 
be imable to preserve the peace, and could net be 
held responsible for the result. Mann was personally 
friendly, but owed everything to the organization, and 
had to go with it. Leeds was part of the organization 
and believed in all its measures even to the most des- 
perate of them. I reminded them that they should not 
call upon me, but as the highest officers charged with 
the protection of the peace and the maintenance of 
law and order they should go to the lawless people of 
the Nineteenth ward and notify them that freedom 
of speech was a right that belonged to all, and that 
any interference on their part would be promptly and 
severely punished. Leeds informed me that he could 
not maintain the peace, and the mayor was powerless, 
as the people there were in a riotous condition. I 
ended the conversation by notifying them that I 
would go there to speak at the time appointed, and that 
it was up to them to decide whether there should be 
riot or peace. After further conference with the mayor 
they decided that they must maint^n the peace, and 

Of Pennsylvania 299 

hundreds of policemen were ordered to be on duty 
at the time. 

Another question that was soberly considered in the 
office of the mayor of the city, in the presence of the 
district attorney, sheriff and Mr. McCullough, the 
secretary of the mayor, was whether the repeaters 
usually employed by the party could venttire out to 
vote against me in the face of the general uprising of 
the people. Mann earnestly protested against the 
use of any unfair means to defeat me, and Robert S. 
Tittermary, who was present, and who was closely 
related to the repeating system of the city, strongly 
advised against it on the groimd that the revolutionary 
spirit was too strong to attempt any violent meastires. 
After considerable discussion it was decided that 
repeaters should not be called out, and Colonel Mann 
came to my office and congratulated me on my assured 
election, as it had been decided at the mayor's office that 
the election should be fairly and honestly conducted. 

On the evening that I was to speak in the Nineteenth 
ward I applied to a friend in the city who imderstood 
jtist the kind of men I wanted and asked for a personal 
guard of twelve men, who were to be well armed and 
who knew how to fight in a battle with thugs. The 
men were not hard to obtain, and twelve men were 
brought together who had very positive instructions 
not to exhibit themselves in any ostentatious manner, 
that they should drop into the car along the route to 
the meeting, and when I got out of the car to be close 
arotmd me without exhibiting any sign of their pur- 
pose. When the car stopped in front of the hall the 
streets were filled with a boisterous crowd and hundreds 
of policemen were there on duty. Policemen had been 
placed in every saloon near the hall, and instructions 
given that imder no circumstances was I to be dis- 
turbed or interrupted. When I landed there the 

300 Old Time Notes 

sergeant of police met me and said he was instructed 
to escort me into the hall, to which I answered that I 
needed no escort and walked forward to enter the hall 
myself, along with the crowd, but around me were the 
men who were there for my protection. 

The room was crowded to suffocation and a laxge 
majority of the men were evidently in a very bad humor 
and chafing under the restraint the police had put upon 
them. I never faced quite so tminviting an audience, 
but there was only one thing to do, and that was to 
either become master of the situation at once, or have 
the thugs become masters. I commenced by stating 
that election frauds were more flagrant in that ward 
than in any other in the city; that at the last election 
the return was grossly fraudulent and false, and that it 
was made with the approval of the political leaders. 
Someone in the rear of the audience yelled out : " That's 
a lie,'' but he was knocked down almost before the 
sentence was finished, and when someone attempted 
to come to his aid he was knocked down as quickly. 
For the first time the political thugs discovered that 
they were not entirely on safe ground, and the behavior 
of the audience thereafter was excellent. I walked 
out of the hall and down to the car apparently alone, 
but close by were the twelve faithful men, who were 
then quite out of humor themselves because they had not 
succeeded in getting a row worthy of the occasion. The 
experience of that evening ended all disturbance at my 
meetings and the battle was fought out to a finish with- 
out violence. On Monday night, the evening before the 
election, the Hartranft ball was held in the Academy of 
Music, and someone who had managed to get hold of one 
of my tickets brought it to the leaders at the Hartranft 
ball and insisted that now, as they could duplicate my 
ticket, the repeaters should be turned out the next 
^y as the only hope of defeating me. There was 

Of Pennsylvania 3^1 

only a single name on the ticket, and I had a large 
ticket printed some three inches in length and one 
and a half inches in width. Nearly all of the leaders 
were present at the Hartranft ball, and some protested 
earnestly, including Mr. Tittermary, who was expected 
to take an active part, but they were overwhelmed and 
orders were issued that repeaters should resimie their 
vocation the next morning and exhaust their power to 
increase the vote against me. Tittermary was in 
with the repeaters who operated that day and played 
his own part in the work. He was dependent upon 
the party and had to obey orders, but when midnight 
of election day came, after the returns had all been 
received, a friend asked me to go to a particular room 
in a hotel down Chestnut Street. I did so, and there 
foimd Robert S. Tittermary, who gave me the entire 
programme of the fraud, planned and executed to defeat 
me, with the names of the actors and every place where 
fraud had been perpetrated and how it had been done. 
The result was that when I commenced a contest I 
did not have to grope in the dark, but knew exactly 
where to strike and whom to summon. A card published 
the next morning stated my purpose to contest the 
election, and the first man at my office soon after 
breakfast was Benjamin Harris Brewster, to offer his 
services as counsel in the case, expressly providing 
that no fee should be paid. Henry S. Hagert, Lewis 
C. Cassidy and David W. Sellers also volimteered and 
rendered important service. It was not difficult to state 
the facts on which the contest was made in the petition 
to go to the senate, as I was minutely informed by Tit- 
termary and later by others of all the plans adopted 
and carried into effect to defeat my election. Mr. Gray 
was returned as elected by 89 1 majority, and how that 
majority was falsely fashioned, and how it was cor- 
rected, will be an interesting story for another chapter. 

3oa Old Time Notes 


TION OF 1872. 

The Author Returned as Defeated by 891 Majorit}^ — Protracted Struggle 
to Get a Petition for Contest before the Senate— Interesting Incidents 
of the Struggle — ^A Special Law Enacted to Try the Case — Flan of 
Leaders to Draw a Set-up Conunittee — Clerk Hammersley Refuses 
to Do It, and Informs the Author — ^A Democratic Conmiittee Ob- 
tained — Appalling Fraud Developed in the Trial of the Contest — 
Jail Birds Hired to Swear Falsely That They Had Repeated for 
Mcdure — Colonel Gray Acqtiits Himself of the Frauds. 

THE morning after the special election held on 
the 30th of January, 1872, when Henry W. 
Gray was returned as elected senator over 
me, by 89 1 majority, I proceeded at once to prepare a 
petition setting forth the numerous frauds which had 
been practised by which a majority of over 2,000 had 
been transposed to nearly 900 majority against me. 
It was not difficult to prepare the petition, as the facts 
were all in my possession. It was not really necessary 
to present all the varied phases of fraud which had been 
perpetrated in the contest, but as the complete details 
of the pollution of the ballot box were known to me. I 
presented in the petition every feature of fraud that 
had been instituted, and gave all the details of its 
execution, making the petition a printed volimie of 
nearly 300 pages. 

On the 8th of February the petition was presented to 
the senate, and Amos Briggs, as attorney for Mr. Gray, 
then holding the seat, appeared before the body and 
filed a plea denying the jurisdiction of the body imder 

Of Pennsylvania 303 

the law. The general law of the State providing for 
legislative contests declared that no petition contesting 
a seat ** shall be acted upon by the Legislattire unless the 
same be presented within ten days after the organiza- 
tion of the Legislature next succeeding the election." 
As the special election was not held until nearly thirty 
days after the Legislature met, a strict construction 
of the act of 1839 precluded the admission of the 
petition; but the question had arisen in several cases, 
and in every instance it was accepted that when a 
special election was held during the meeting of the 
Legislature, the contestant was required to file his 
petition within ten days after the certificate of election 
was issued. The question was referred to the judiciary 
committee of the body, consisting of Messrs. White, 
Fitch and Mumma, RepubUcans, and Messrs. Wallace 
and Davis, Democrats. By a resolution of the senate, 
Messrs. Strang and Warfel, RepubUcans, and Purman 
and Buckalew, Democrats, were added to the committee 
for the consideration of the special case, and the major- 
ity of the committee, on strict party vote, reported to 
the senate that the petition could not be received imder 
any existing laws. 

Senator White, of Indiana, who had long been promi- 
nent in the Republican leadership of the State, took 
the laboring oar to enforce the poUcy of denying me 
the right to contest the seat of Gray before the senate, 
and when the Republican majority of the judiciary 
committee united in the report against the reception 
of my petition, it waS nattirally assimied by White and 
his friends that I would be denied a hearing, and, of 
course, could not obtain the seat. 

Partisan feeling was much embittered and White 
had every reason to believe that, with a Republican 
majority of one in the senate, as long as Gray held the 
seat he could indefinitely hinder the hearing of the 

304 Old Time Notes 

case, but he was not correctly advised as to the true 
conditions which existed in the senate. There were 
three Republican senators who were entirely satisfied 
that I had been elected, and who had decided that, at 
the proper time, they would assert themselves and 
assure a hearing of the case and my admission to the 
senate. These three Republican senators were Billing- 
felt, of Lancaster; Strang, of Tioga, and Davis, of 
Philadelphia. Before the judiciary committee re- 
ported against receiving the petition, Strang, who was 
one of the additional members added to the committee, 
conferred with me on the subject, and I concurred in 
his views that he should agree with the majority, and 
not show his hand at that stage of the proceeding, as 
it was entirely competent for the senate, whenever it 
was decided that the act of 1839 did not cover the case, 
to decide in its own way how the case should be heard 
and determined, as the senate was the sole judge of the 
election and qualification of its members. 

By agreement, Billingfelt, a ruggedly honest German 
from Lancaster, and Strang, certainly then the ablest 
of the Republican leaders in the body, and Davis, who 
had been twice si)eaker of the house, decided that they 
would allow White's policy to prevail until he had set- 
tled the question that the act of 1839 did not apply, 
and then they would demand a hearing of the case 
under a much fairer law. Under the act of 1839 the 
drawing of the committee would have been a mere 
lottery, and they were more than willing to let White 
have his own way in rejecting that act, as it would be 
certain to result in a much fairer special provision, 
either by statute of both houses or by special order of 
the senate, to form a tribunal for the trial of the case. 
As soon as it was decided bv the senate that under the 
act of 1839 the petition could not be received Senator 
Davis took the lead, and declared that it was the duty 

of Pennsylvania 305 

of the senate to receive the petition tinder a law of its 
own creation, and determine it as a matter of justice to 
the people of the district, as well as to the senate, and 
Strang and Billingfelt both joined in the demand that 
the case must be heard. A special law was framed and 
as a matter of courtesy it was sent to the house for 
concurrence. A caucus was immediately called by 
the Republican leaders imder Speaker Elliott, to decide 
against passing any law on the subject, believing that 
the senate would not attempt to treat the case without 
a statute passed by both branches. Thomas V. Cooper 
was then a member of the house and knew the situation 
thoroughly. He got together some twenty or thirty 
members, and gave notice that they would not obey 
the caucus decree to deny a hearing of my petition, 
and it had to be abandoned. The house, finding that 
the senate would act independently of it, finally agreed 
to accept the act prepared by Senator Billingfelt, which 
provided that the senate should select six of the seven 
members of the committee to try the case, each senator 
voting for but three, and that the remaining senators, 
excepting the speaker and the senator whose seat was 
contested, should have their names put in a box, and 
thirteen names drawn therefrom by the clerk, after 
which each side should alternately strike names from 
the list tmtil one remained, the remaining name to con- 
stitute the seventh member of the committee. 

Under this law the Democrats selected Buckalew, of 
Colimibia; J. Depuy Davis, of Berks, and Dill, of 
Union, and the Republicans elected White, of Indiana ; 
Fitch, of Susquehanna, and Mumma, of Dauphin. The 
election of these members of the committee left in the 
senate fourteen Republicans, including the speaker and 
Senator Gray, whose seat was contested, and thirteen 
Democrats, but of the fourteen Republicans remaining 
the speaker's name and that of Senator Gray could not 

a — 20 

ere compelled 

-,ey that it v-'as 
'Z bring out 
hes by sitnp^y 
e metnbets not 
tckets contain- 
was desired. 

,f Xd tickets 

all aliKe, ^ ^g 

^^^ Tl)S?crats 


^Ttto ^^,5^senator 
aired ^^^^f^^are, 
roolce,of^^ AH 

■d senator ^^^ 
use to ^^\ ^as 
in tlie box. ^^ 

^ ^^ ^^^D^ocrats 

red ^^Vd S tbeir 
h respondea 

by my <^°^^!^at ^^-as 
he pair f?^^J^%alled 
\ been snd^Ji^^g the 
^6. after arranges 

^■'-r'.SJ* before the <:^, 
I Senator Kni« ^^^^e of «» 

3o6 Old Time Notes 

go into the box, thusreducixig the Republican foroe from 
which the additional memb^ might be drawn to twelve, 
and with the names of Billingf elt , StiBng and Davis, wbo, 
without having made any public avowal of the subject, 
were positively and eam^tly desirous to aid in giving we 
the seat because they were entirely con vinced of my elec- 
tion, withdrawn from the Republican partisan column, 
left the opposition but nine senators while the thirteen 
Democrats, with Billingfelt, Strang and Davis added, 
made seventeen who meant to have a thorough investi- 
gation, fully satisfied that it would give me the seat. 

Of course the attitude of Billingfelt, Strang and 
Davis was not known to White and his followers, and 
they were quite hopeful that they might obtain a com^ 
mittee that would be subject to partisan commands. 
So embittered had the struggle become that positive 
orders were given to Geoige W. Hammersley, then 
chief clerk of the senate, to draw a majority of Repub- 
licans among the thirteen names to be taken from the 
box. Hammersley was a strong partisan, but an old 
and sincere friend of mine, and when he received the 
orders he immediately reported to me, and informed 
me that he would not imder any circiunstances per- 
petrate the fraud. There were two assistant clerks, 
the senior of whom was Thomas B. Cochran, of Lan- 
caster, a resolutely honest official, and the other was 
McKee, of Westmoreland, who was presumed to be 
entirely obedient to orders. Hammersley advised me 
that he would simply notify the masters that he would 
not serve in drawing the committee, and he knew that 
they would attempt to have McKee take his place, but 
Billingfelt was at once advised of it, and as Cochran 
was his own immediate constituent, he solved the 
problem very quickly by moving that Assistant Clerk 
Cochran take the place of the chief clerk in drawing 
the committee. With him against them, the Repub- 

Of Pennsylvania 307 

licans were in the minority, and they were compelled 
to assent to Cochran serving. 

I was amazed to learn from Hammersley that it was 
a very easy proceeding for the clerk to bring out 
names entirely according to his own wishes, by simply 
rolling tightly the tickets containing the members not 
wanted, and rolling more loosely the tickets contain- 
ing the names of members whose selection was desired. 
As the box is shaken in public view of the senate after 
the tickets are placed in it, the closely rolled tickets 
would settle to the bottom, and the looser ones remain 
on top, but Cochran folded his tickets all alike, and the 
drawing was watched with breathless interest. The 
senate was crowded to the uttermost and two Republi- 
can members who were paired with absent Democrats 
were forced to violate their pairs and permit their names 
to go into the box. They were Mr. Delamater,* of 
Crawford, father of the later senator who was candidate 
for Governor in 1890, who was paired with Senator 
Knight, of Bucks, and H. Jones Brooke, of Delaware, 
who was paired with Senator Finley, of Somerset. All 
that was necessary for these paired senators to fulfill 
their solemn compact was to refuse to answer when 
called to have their names placed in the box. It was 
well known to all the members of the body that both 
Delamater and Brooke had paired with Democrats 
who were then absent, but both responded to their 
names, and although challenged by my counsel, they 
both denied the obligation of the pair and that was 
conclusive. Senator Finley had been suddenly called 
to Philadelphia the day before, and after arranging the 

* Senator Delamater, after noticing this statement in the public press, 
recently wrote the author that injustice was done him in stating that he 
had violated his pledge, as he had notified Senator Knight before the case 
came before the senate that he would withdraw his pair because of the 
protracted illness of Senator Knight. 

3o8 Old Time Notes 

pair with Brooke, submitted it to me for appcoval. I 
at once assented to it, as I did not doubt that Mr. 
Brooke would faithfully fulfill his obligation, but when 
challenged he arose in his place and denied that he 
was paired with Senator Finley. Finley was tele- 
graphed at once the situation, and he returned the 
same evening. On the following morning he went 
into the senate before it had been called to cider, found 
Brooke in his seat, and informed him that he had 
violated his solemn faith, and that if he did not rise in 
the senate and confess that he had violated his pledge, 
Finley declared that he would horsewhip him befoie 
he left the Capitol, and the rugged senator from the 

f lades of the All^henies meant jtast what he said. 
Irooke at once admitted to Finley that he had paired 
and that he would m^ke a declaration to the senate, 
and when the body was cajled to order he arose in his 
place and said that he had unintentionally violated his 
solemnly plighted faith to the senator from Somerset, 
but that he did it when imder the influence of opiates, 
having been ill for some time, and that all memory of 
his pair had faded away. Brooke had long been in 
public life, was quite sensitive as to his reputation for 
integrity, and with tears scalding his cheeks he begged 
of the senate to forgive the wrong he had imconsciously 
committed, and accept his assurance that only severe 
mental and physical disturbance had made it possible. 
Fortunately the violated pairs did not affect the 
result. The names drawn from the box ran very nearly 
even in both parties, and when the twelfth was called 
six Democrats and six Republicans were on the list. 
Nearly all of those present in the body naturally as- 
sumed that the next name called would be conclusive 
as to the final judgment of the case, and the painful 
silence was broken when Clerk Cochran announced the 
name of William M. Randall, Democrat, of Schuylkill, 

Of Pennsylvania 309 

making seven Democrats and six RepubKcans in the 
list drawn from the box, but of the six Republicans one 
did not doubt my election, and would doubtless have 
so decided had he been called to serve on the commit- 
tee. Billingfelt, Strang and Davis united in the re- 
quest that I should not compel them to serve on the 
committee if I could avoid it, but that if necessary any 
of them would accept the responsibility, but with 
seven Democrats of the thirteen drawn I could safely 
strike all the Republicans, while Gray could only strike 
six of the seven Democrats named, and he left the 
name of Judge Broadhead, Democratic senator from 
Carbon, who composed the seventh member of the 

With a committee drawn that was asstmied on all 
sides as willing to do full justice to my claim for the 
seat, the desperate Republican leaders decided that 
they would make it impossible for me to finish the con- 
test before the close of the session. The committee 
was finally secured on the 21st of February, and at 
once organized with Buckalew as chairman and com- 
menced its sessions in Philadelphia at the Washington 
House. The committee sat patiently day and night, 
and as we were fully prepared for the exposure of the 
frauds the evidence was appalling to the leaders of the 
city. In order to show the methods of the leaders 
distinctly at the outset, I selected the Twentieth 
division of the Nineteenth ward, where they had re- 
turned thirty-five votes for me and 191 against me. I 
placed copies of the poll list in the hands of several 
thoroughly intelligent and energetic business men, and 
had them subpoena every man whose name was on 
the poll list to testify before the committee. The 
result was that a thorough canvass of the precinct was 
made, and 103 testified that they had voted for me, 
twenty-five testified that they had not voted at all, 

3IO Old Time Notes 

their names having been voted on by repeaters, and 
the men who made the canvass f otmd that forty-four 
of the names on the poll list were entirely fictitious, and 
that no such persons lived in the division. This devel- 
opment appalled the leaders and the next week we were 
dumf otonded by the Legislature passing through both 
branches a resolution filing the 24th of March for final 
adjournment, which was done solely to make it impos- 
sible, as they believed, for me to expose sufiident 
frauds to overcome the majority returned against me, 
as it left us but little more than three weeks which had 
to be divided with the other side. 

A conference was held that night with Brewster, 
Cassidy, Hagert and Sellers, who were acting as my 
cotinsel, and the first impression of all was that it would 
be impossible to finish the case in time for a report that 
session, and the conmiittee would naturally die with 
the Legislature. Cassidy was at times of most heroic 
mold, and he proposed that we should go before the 
committee the following morning, propose to close our 
case in eight days, giving the other side eight days to 
follow, and we to have two days in rebuttal, when the 
case must close. The natural inquiry of the other 
counsel was how the case could possibly be tried in so 
short a time, to which Cassidy answered: ** That's our 
business to find out; this is our only chance.'' He 
added that we had a friendly court, and that it was for 
the counsel to determine how the case should be pre- 
sented to justify the committee in reaching a just judg- 
ment. It was known that Buckalew would not reject 
the entire poll of a precinct, but Cassidy suggested that 
if the return was clearly tainted Buckalew would reject 
the return, and count only such votes as would be 
proven before the committee. That policy was adopt- 
ed, although kept sacredly secret in our own coimsels. 
Some ten or twelve of the worst precincts were selected 

Of Pennsylvania 311 

in which to prove that the return was false and fraud- 
ulent and could not be accepted. 

It required but few witnesses to establish that fact, 
but had the policy been understood by the other side 
they could have met us by calling individual votes in 
those precincts. Instead of confining our witnesses to 
ten or a dozen precincts whose returns were absolutely 
false, we would examine perhaps 200 or 300 witnesses 
a day at the several sessions, and not over twenty-five 
of the whole ntmiber would apply to the precincts really 
assailed. We proved frauds of the most flagrant char- 
acter, but they really coimted nothing in making up 
the case as it had been decided to present it, and the 
opposition was entirely deceived as to our purpose. 
When we closed after eight days in the presentation of 
many himdreds of witnesses, not more than 200 of the wit- 
nesses called were really vital, but they misled the other 
side and they never attempted to prove their vote in 
the precinct where we had the return absolutely tainted. 

The vote was then coimted and annoimced every 
hour, and the list of voters on the poll list was classified 
by hours. When our testimony was boiled down to 
the vital point we had proved in each of the assailed 
precincts that the return annoimced in each of them was 
false by several votes at eight o'clock in the morning, at 
one o'clock in the afternoon and at eight o'clock in the 
evening — in each case having proved more votes for me 
than had been returned; and while we had specially 
assailed ten or a dozen precincts we had generally 
assailed fully a himdred precincts, all of which were 
more or less rotten. The result was that when the 
testimony closed we showed that there were no lawful 
returns from these precincts, that they were proven to 
be false and fraudtdent at three different hours of the 
day, and the committee very properly accepted the 
view and counted only such votes as had been proved 

312 Old Time Notes 

before the oonunittee, resulting in my declared ejec- 
tion by 2IO majority. 

It is a notable fact that there was not an all^[atioa 
of fraud presented to the committee in a single precinct 
of the district that had returned me a majority, nor 
was one fraudulent vote proved as having been cast for 
me. An attempt was made to halt the terrible current 
of political frauds developed by the testimony, but it 
resulted only in making the fraudulent leaders openly 
di^[race themselves. They became impatient under 
the daily development of fraud that was made before 
the committee, while not a single allegation had been 
made of fraudulent effort on my side. Some of the 
more desperate leaders of the city decided that they 
would do something toward balancing the accoimt df 
fraud and force the stain of corruption upon my side. 
They gathered up five of the lowest vagrants of the 
city, au of them jail birds, one known as the " Educated 
Hog," another as "Stuttering Jimmy," another as 
" Ffying Dutchman" and all bore Uke distinctive names. 
They were gathered at the Little Brown Jug, a back 
saloon near Walnut and Sixth Streets, and after in- 
spiring them by a liberal use of bad whisky it was 
arranged with them to attend the hearing that day and 
each swear that they had acted as a band of repeaters 
on election day, had voted for me twenty or thirty 
times, and were paid by my friends. Among those who 
were present and had knowledge of this movement was 
Mr. Tittermary, who had given me the information in 
relation to the frauds perpetrated, and who had him- 
self led repeaters. He knew that these men had been 
paid ten dollars a piece, and would be paid ten dollars 
more after they had testified. They were in charge 
of a man named Douchman, who was a brother of 
the "Flying Dutchman," but not entirely of like vag^ 
rant qualities. 

of Pennsylvania 313 

Douchman was paid $200 for handling these men 
and he was instructed by Tittermary to go with a friend 
whom he had chosen to a private room in the Washing- 
ton House, where the meeting was held, and to send 
for me and tell me exactly what had been done. I was 
sent for to go to the room, and there foimd Douchman 
and the friend who had brought him. Douchman 
stated frankly that he was in for all he could make and 
that he had $200 from the other side, but if it paid 
quite as well he would rather tiim the thing to an honest 
accoimt. I asked him what he would require to have 
three of his five witnesses tell the truth. He promptly 
informed me that he would have it done any way I 
desired for $200. I said to him that if he did as I 
directed he would be paid the money, and the friend 
present assured him that he could accept my word. I 
directed him to pick out three of the men who would 
tell the truth and allow the other two to have no knowl- 
edge of the transaction, but they were to be placed at 
the head of the five and be called out first. The result 
was that within half an hour the five witnesses appeared 
and the ** Educated Hog" and ** Stuttering Jimmy*' 
were first called, and both testified that they did not 
live in the district, but that five of them had been em- 
ployed — naming all of them — to repeat for me, and 
that they had voted from twenty to thirty times and 
were liberally paid by some person, they did not know 
whom, but it was not myself. I had much difficulty in 
getting Mr. Hagert, who had charge of the case that 
day, to let the witnesses go, as the situation could not 
be explained at the table. He had sent both of 
them to prison and felt like destroying their reputa- 
tion as witnesses, but I finally, in a quiet way, got him 
to imderstand that he must simply let them go and he 
reluctantly assented. The third witness called was the 
"Flying Dutchrimn/' and when asked whether he had 

314 Old Time Notes 

voted at the election, he said no; that he didn't live 
in the district; that he hadn't voted on that day at all; 
that he and four others had that morning been employed 
at the Little Brown Jug and been paid ten dollars 
apiece to come there and testify that they had repeated 
for McClure, but that it was entirely false and he wasn't 
going to perjure himself. Briggs supposed that this 
was an individual defection and made the mistake of 
calling another witness. He answered pecisely as did 
the ''Flying Dutchman," and then the whole thing 
was accepted all around as a corrupt set-up to sub- 
orn perjury, to fasten the semblance of fraud 
upon my claim. I promptly paid Mr. Douchman his 
$200 and thought he had well earned the money. 

The case was practically abandoned by the opposi- 
tion after the exposure of the Little Brown Jug wit- 
nesses, and soon thereafter Senator Gray gave up his 
seat in the senate and did not return to it. The Legis- 
lature, learning that we were not to be defeated by 
final adjournment on the 24th of March, promptly 
rescinded the resolution so that we could have had 
increased time, but we did not need it. The result was 
that on the 27th of March the majority of the committee 
reported to the senate that the return of Henry W. 
Gray was false and fraudulent, that I had received a 
majority of the votes cast at the election, and I was 
sworn in as senator. It is due to Mr. Gray to state that 
in all the many and varied frauds proved against his 
cause there was no evidence that he had participated 
in or had personal knowledge of the corrupt methods 
adopted to effect his election, and he volunteered as one 
of the last witnesses in the case before the commit- 
tee to testify that if frauds had been committed to 
accomplish his return as senator he had not advised or 
assented to any other than lawful methods to secure 
his election. 

of Pennsylvania 315 




Interesting Story of the Failure to Bring to Trial Parties Guilty of Open 
and Violent Frauds — District Attorney Mann's Honest Effort to 
Convict Two of the Guilty Parties — Two Grand Juries Set Up to 
Ignore All Bills — The Prosecution Delayed for One Term Hoping 
to Get a Better Jury — The Next Jury Worse Than the Last, and the 
Author Forced the Prosecutions, Knowing That the Bills Would be 
Ignored — The Testimony Taken before the Magistrate That Had 
Been Given to the Grand Jury Presented to the Court — Court 
Remands the Bill Back to the Grand Jury— The Bills Held Until the 
Last Day and Then Again Ignored — Henry C. Lea Renewed the 
Prosecution, and the Next Grand Jury Ignored the Bill and Made 
Him Pay the Cost — Struggle in the Senate for a Better Election Law 
— The Party Leaders Decided to Have No Discussion in the Senate, 
and the Author's Bill Passed Unanimously — How Senator White Was 
Brought to Renew the Battle, and How the New Election Law Was 
Finally Enacted. 

THE Special senatorial election held in the Fourth 
Philadelphia district on the 30th of January, 
1872, was such an open and sweeping carnival 
of fraud, portrayed to the public from day to day by 
the leading newspapers of the city, that honest public 
opinion was aroused to aggressive action, and on the 
day after the election the Citizens' Municipal Reform 
Association issued a call, signed by R. Rimdle Smith 
as president, and Henry C. Lea as chairman of the 
executive committee, for a public meeting to be held 
on the evening of February 7 in Horticultural Hall, 
to protest against the growing election frauds of the 
city and take measures for convicting and punishing 
those who had been guilty of ballot pollution at the 

3i8 Old Time Notes 

public, so that witnesses would be reasonably safe 
against being coerced into falsehood. The arrested 
parties appeared before the magistrate, and offered to 
give bail for appearance at court, obviously to avoid 
the evidence against them getting before the public, 
but that was resisted, and the magistrate decided that 
the case should be heard. The witnesses were present, 
and their testimony made out the clearest case of gxiilt 
against both. All the details of their acts in perpetrating 
the frauds were given, and the testimony was reported in 
full and published in the leading newspapers of the cty. 

A new term of court began a few weeks later, and on 
Saturday before the beginning of the new term. District 
Attorney Mann called at my office and informed me 
in confidence that it would be utterly useless for him 
to send bills of indictment to the grand jury at the 
next term, as it was set ujd and would ignore every bill 
charging parties with election offenses. He gave me 
the name of the man who would be foreman of the 
grand jury, one of the prominent business men of the 
city, who assumed that Mann was desirous of having 
the parties acquitted, and informed him that the grand 
jury was absolutely set up to ignore the bills. He 
advised that the bills be withheld, and I could not do 
less than assent to it. 

When another term came around Mann again 
informed me that the new grand jury was even worse 
than the former one, and that it would be utterly hope- 
less to obtain a true bill against any person charged 
with election frauds. I am quite sure that District 
Attorney Mann acted in entire good faith, and that 
he believed prosecutions might be successfully con- 
ducted if allowed to rest for tw^o or three terms. I said 
to him that there was only one way to meet such a con- 
dition, and that was to face it and throttle it, and I 
directed him to send the bills to the grand jury. 

Of Pennsylvania 319 

He was thus relieved of all responsibility by my 
positive order and the bills went to the grand jury, 
where precisely the same testimony that had been 
given before the magistrate was given, and after holding 
the bills for a week or ten days, they were returned 
ignored. William H. Ruddiman, then a prominent 
Republican member of the house, and a man of high 
character, was called into the case with the assent of 
the Mimicipal Association, and asked to go before the 
court, present the testimony in open court that had 
been given to the grand jury, and ask the court to 
return the bills to the grand jury for reconsideration. 
Every material point of testimony was given in open 
court, and the court at once ordered the bills to be 
returned to the grand jury, with instructions to give 
proper consideration to the testimony. The bills 
were thus recommitted and were held by the grand jury 
imtil the last day of court, when they were again re- 
turned ignored. 

The active members of the Municipal Association 
were aroused to great earnestness of purpose in pros- 
ecuting the election frauds by the action of the grand 
jury, and Henry C. Lea, who was the leading spirit of 
the association, called upon me and said that he him- 
self would become the prosecutor if I would furnish 
him a case where the testimony was absolutely con- 
clusive as to the guilty parties. It was very easy to 
furnish such a case, and I took care to select a man for 
arrest of as little political importance as possible. 
Witnesses were brought before Mr. Lea and his counsel, 
whose testimony established the guilt of the accused 
parties beyond the possibility of doubt. Mr. Lea 
believed that his appearance as personal prosecutor 
in the court and chairman of the executive committee 
of the Mimicipal Reform Association would compel 
the grand jury to pay some respect to the law and the 

3ao Old Time Notes 

evidence in cases of election frauds. The arrest was 
promptly made and witnesses, whose testimony made 
a conclusive case against the prisoner, appeared before 
the grand jury. The bill was held by the jury until 
near the dose of the term of the court, when it was 
returned ignored and the prosecutor to pay the costs. 
So far from commanding we respect of the grand jury 
for the high position Blr. Lea occupied, not only as 
one of the foremost citizens of Philaddphia, but as 
the representative of the Munidpal Reform Association, 
he simply provoked the Machine leaders to the most 
arrogant assertion of their authority, and they aimed 
directly to humiliate him by requiring him to pay the 
costs of tile prosecution in a case where every juior 
knew that the accused party was guilty of the crime 

The aroused poptilar feeling against permitting a 
continuance of the systematic corruption of the bafiot 
in Philadelphia was intensified by the evidence pre- 
sented from day to day before the senate committee 
in the trial of the McClure-Gray case, and the public 
press of the city was practically unanimous in calling 
a halt in this blistering shame, and also in demanding 
the repeal of the registry law. My contest for senator 
was not decided until the last week of the session, too 
late to attempt the passage of any reform measures, 
but I carefully prepared a new election law during 
the summer, uniform throughout the entire State, 
containing every reasonable safeguard against corrup- 
tion of the ballot. Soon after the session of 1873 
opened, I read the bill in place. It was so fair in its 
provisions that it was difficult for senators to meet the 
question in debate, and the Republican leaders finally 
secretly decided that they would make no objection 
whatever to the consideration of the bill at any time 
I called for it, and would permit its passage in that 

Of Pennsylvania 321 

body by a unanimous vote. The chief purpose in 
refraining from any hostile discussion was to prevent 
the exposure of the Philadelphia frauds that would 
be inevitable if debate was provoked ; and, as they had 
entire confidence that the house would not pass any 
election bill, they felt quite safe in permitting it to 
pass the senate without opposition. 

Copies of the bill had been furnished to the leading 
journals of the State, and called out very general and 
earnest approval from most of the influential news- 
papers. After ample time had been given for the con- 
sideration of the measure by senators and for public 
criticism I asked the senate to fix a special evening 
session for the consideration of the biU, and it was 
imanimously adopted. When the special session met 
the first section of the bill was read, and I addressed 
the senate, simply pointing out the leading features 
of the bill and the errors they were intended to correct. 
It was proper in thus explaining the bill at the outset 
to do it without violent assault upon any, but I hoped 
that debate would follow to give me an opportimity 
to review the general methods of Philadelphia elec- 
tions. I discovered, however, that that was just 
what the party leaders did not want, and intended not 
to permit. When I had closed the brief address 
explanatory of the bill it was read section by section, 
and passed imanimously, and it was the intention of 
the party leaders to have the rules suspended, pass the 
bill finally that night and thus dispose of it. 

It was common imder the old Constitution when bills 
were passed up to third reading without opposition, for 
the speaker to put the question to the senate whether 
the rules should be suspended and the bill read a third 
time by its title for final passage, and the speaker of 
the senate followed the rule, I arose and suggested that 
I wished to give further consideration to one or two 

3d3 Old Time Notes 

features of the bill, and asked that it lie over until that 
evening a week, when a special session shoiild be called 
for its final consideration, and it was unaninxnisly 
agreed to. As a further peace offering a motion came 
from one of the party leaders that 10,000 copies of 
the bill, with my addr^ in support of it, be printed for 
the use of the senate. 

It was then obvious that debate on the bill in the 
senate was not to be permitted, and I was greatiy 
disappointed, as none of the varied corrupt n^thocu 
employed in Philadelphia elections had even been 
referred to before the senate. 

When the senate adjourned I called on Mr. Pedrick, 
then connected with the Associated Press, and asked 
him to write a despatch for the Associated Press, 
stating that Senator McClure's election bill had been 
considered at a special session of the senate, and after 
an explanatory speech from the senator was passed 
to third reading, when it was postponed for Gnal con- 
sideration at a special session to be held a week later, 
and Senator White, of Indiana, was expected then to 
reply to Senator McClure. White was a candidate 
for Governor and had great hopes of securing the 
machine organization of Philadelphia to bring a solid 
delegation for him from the city, and while the sen- 
atorial party leaders had generally imderstood the 
importance of avoiding debate on the election bill in 
the senate, and especially avoiding giving me an oppor- 
tunity to portray the appalling frauds practised in 
the city, the machine leaders in Philadelphia generally 
believed that such a policy was cowardly, and insisted 
that the attitude of the party should be openly and 
defiantly defended. 

When the newspapers of the next morning reached 
the senate, all of them containing the notice that 
Senator White was to defend the Philadelphia election 

Of Pennsylvania 323 

system of the party, they at once excited very general 
interest, and White was visibly disturbed, as he knew 
the policy of his senatorial associates was against 
permitting any discussion on the question in the 
senate, but the zeal of party leaders outside of the 
senate greatly outran their discretion, and they very 
heartily congratulated White, assuming that he had 
decided to come to the defense of the corrupt political 
system of the city. White and I sat in adjoining 
seats in the front row of senators, but the subject was 
never referred to by either of us, and I had no knowl- 
edge of his purpose imtil the special session met on 
the evening appointed, when, after the title of the bill 
was read. White took the floor in opposition. The 
senate was crowded, and the entire Machine delegation 
from the house was present to cheer the Indiana 
senator in his defense of their election system. White's 
speech was able, ingenious and plausible, as he was a 
debater of much more than ordinary ability, but he 
was specially vulnerable on the issue then at hand, 
as he had, in my own presence on more than one occa- 
sion, conferred with the potent political leaders of 
Philadelphia on the subject of revising the registry law 
and earnestly advised it because the act coiold not 
be justified. 

His speech naturally called out the facts that he 
had knowledge, and publicly confessed knowledge, 
of the infamous features of the registry law, and had 
advised the revision of the law to eliminate some of 
its most objectionable features. White had thus 
opened wide the door for me to arraign the election 
system of Philadelphia, and present all its sickening 
infamies, and it was done with all the earnestness 
and ardor I could command. White left the hall of 
the senate before I closed, and when I sat down there 
was dead silence in the hall, as the expectation was 

3^4 Old Time Notes 

general that White or some other senator would reply, 
but as none claimed the floor the speaker put the 
question on the final passage of the bill and it passed 
without dissent. 

The party leaders felt no special concern about the 
passage of the bill in the senate, as they had absolute 
confidence that it would never reach even a respectable 
hearing in the house; but conditions arose which 
finally enabled me to command enough Republican 
votes in the house to pass the measure, and very laigely 
through the men who were cotmted on as most certain 
to oppose it. In point of fact, the bill was passed in 
the house largely by the votes of men who owed their 
election entirely to the frauds made possible by the 
registry law. Under the old Constitution there was 
little or no restraint upon private legislation, and nine- 
tenths of all the bills passed were merely local measures. 
Philadelphia had rather a unique Machine delegation 
in the house, in which were Handy Smith, Bob Titter- 
mary, Jack McCullough, Ad Albright, Joe Ashe, Sam 
Daniels and others of like devotion to the theory of 
carrying elections by machinery. The Philadelphia 
representatives did not, as a rule, serve in the Legis- 
lature for the benefit of their health, and every member 
from the city who was of a speculative turn of mind 
brought with him a number of local bills, opening or 
vacating streets, changing grades, enlarging or other- 
wise amending local charters, etc., all of which were 
of individual interest to business men, who had learned 
that the only way to get their bills passed was to make 
a lump cash contract with their representatives, and 
generally they did not then have to give any further 
attention to the matter. The rates for the passage 
of such bills ranged from $500 up to five times that 

Strang was speaker of the senate, and, much to the 

of Pennsylvania 325 

disappointment of the party leaders, made me chair- 
man of mimicipal affairs, with a committee of my own 
selection. A host of these private bills relating to 
Philadelphia had been passed by the members of the 
house interested in them, and when they reached the 
senate they were referred to my committee, where I 
held them all imtil near the close of the session, expect- 
ing that they might become an important factor in 
some wholesome legislation. I knew all of the mem- 
bers well, and they did not conceal from me the pecu- 
niary interest they had in the passage of their bills. 
Most of them were entirely harmless and should have 
passed entirely on their merits. I was often and earn- 
estly importimed by the representatives interested in 
them to report them for passage, and I answered that 
all woiold be reported in time for consideration before 
the close of the session. 

There were a number of manly Republicans in the 
house who believed that the new election law should 
be accepted, and were ready to give it their support if 
its passage could be assured, and I finally ascertained 
that with the aid of the Philadelphia members inter- 
ested in the speculative bills the new election bill could 
be carried through the house, and I saw the opporttmity 
for utilizing those who had large pecimiary interests 
in local Philadelphia bills. I summoned several of 
them to a private conference and informed them that 
all of their bills woiold be reported and promptly passed 
if they complied with two conditions, both of which 
were entirely just. First, they must pass the new 
election law, and, second, they must vote to John A. 
Faimce full salary as a member of the house, as he 
had been elected and had been fraudulently ejected in 
a contest by one who was very largely interested in 
these local bills. This proposition was given to them 
^ an loltimattmi, and they had to choose between 

3«6 OW Time Notes 

compliance and losing thfir scores of specvilative meas* ] 
ures. They readily agreed ui vote the salary to Mr. 
Faunce, but the i<ka of voting for the reform election , 
biH was appalling. I was resolute, however, and they , 
finally agreed to the tenns projx^scd. The result was 
the passage of the new election law in disregard of J 
the orders of leaders, and Mr. Faunce was voted his j 
salary. When they had fulfilled every part of the ooo- 
tract the municipal committee reported and prom^ty 
passed the entire list of speculative private tarn. Wtttt 
very few exceptions the local bills referred to were 
tmobjectionable, and in no instance was one of fhon 
specially offensive or unjust. Such is the story of the 
battle for the overthrow of the r^fistry law of Pb3a- 
delphia, the most infamous election system ever adopbed 
in any of the States of the Union. 

of Pennsylvania 327 


Grant's Special Efforts to Harmonize the Curtin Elements in Pennsyl- 
vania — The Author Twice Urged to Visit Grant with a View of Har- 
monizing the Party on a New Cabinet Appointment — Organization 
of the Liberal Republican Movement in the State — The Author 
Chairman of the State Committee, and of the Delegation to the Cin- 
cinnati Convention — Greeley's Visit to Philadelphia to Secure the 
Support of the Delegation for President — Final Agreement on Davis 
for President with Greeley for Vice-President — ^The Brief Greeley Tidal 
Wave — Business Interests Aroused and Suddenly Halted It — The 
Sad End of the Life of the Great Philanthropist. 

THE year 1872 narrowly escaped being one of 
the distinct revolutionary periods in the politi- 
cal annals of the Republic, and had the revolu- 
tion succeeded, the political history of the cotintry 
woiold have been radically changed, and the Repub- 
lican mastery of the Nation either overthrown or so 
seriously broken as to place it in the attitude of an 
opposition party. Grant's first administration was a 
serious failure; a failure in nearly every important 
feature of the governmental authority. Grant was 
slow to learn that military and civil authority were two 
very distinct prerogatives, and he made no effort to 
popiolarize himself, or to reconcile the opposing ele- 
ments imtil he saw the threatened tempest as the 
serious agitation for the succession to the Presidency 
was generally discussed after the elections of 187 1. 
When Congress assembled in December, 187 1, the 
opposition to Grant became aggressive, and embraced 
in its leadership a nximber of the ablest of the Republi- 

3a8 Old Time Notes 

can Senators, including Stunner, of Massachusetts; 
Trumbull, of Illinios; Fenton, of New York; Schurz, 
of Missouri, and others, and for the first time Grant 
seemed to realize that he might have a serious contest 
for re-election. 

It is due to President Grant to say that he made 
several efforts to harmonize politiccd conditions in 
Pennsylvania by movements that were not known to 
the public. Governor Curtin, then Minister to Russia, 
had given notice of his piupose to retire and return to 
his home in Pennsylvania, and when he was on his 
ioumey homeward he was met in Paris by a man of 
Nationial prominence, who stated to Curtin that he was 
distinctly authorized to offer him his choice of either 
the French or English missions if he would remain in 
the diplomatic service. Curtin declined the offer, 
stating that his business interests required him to 
return to his home. When he arrived in London, after 
spending some time in Paris, he was met there by 
another very prominent official of our government, 
and earnestly urged to accept the English mission. 
The assurance was given that President Grant had 
directly authorized the proposition to be made to 
Curtin. He coiold only repeat his declination, as long 
before he left Russia he had definitely decided to retimi 
home and to make exhaustive effort to oppose the 
renomination or re-election of Grant. 

Some time in the late fall of 187 1 Mr. Borie, of 
Philadelphia, who had been Secretaiy of the Navy 
under Grant, called at my office, and, learning that I 
was at Colonel Forney's ** Press" office, he came there, 
and, after the usual salutations, he said that he was 
glad to find Colonel Forney present, as what he had to 
say was a matter that could be discussed very freely 
in his presence. He said that he was directed by the 
President to tender me the office of United States Dis- 

Of Pennsylvania 329 

trict Attorney, and earnestly tu^ed my acceptance of 
it. Independent of all political considerations, I could 
not have accepted the office, as it would have lessened 
rather than increased my professional income at that 
time, and greatly increased my labors. Colonel Forney 
heard the proposition, and made no suggestion imtil 
after I had given my reply. I stated that my accept- 
ance of the office would be very imfair to District 
Attorney McMichael, who then held the position and 
discharged the duties with credit, and that it could be 
regarded in no other light than as an effort to bring 
into the support of Grant the Curtin elements of the 
party, which had been relentlessly ostracised for three 
years. I informed Mr. Borie that my appointment 
would not in any measure harmonize the party; that 
there coiold be no party harmony imtil there shoiold be 
actual, open and positive change in the prospective 
policy of the administration, and the distinct recogni- 
tion of the Republicans of the State on their merits, 
regardless of factional interests. Mr. Borie insisted 
that such was the purpose of the administration, 
but I reminded him that it woiold be utterly im- 
possible for any such policy to be inaugurated when 
Cameron was in the Senate and held in his hands 
the confirmation of Pennsylvania appointments. Mr. 
Borie was a novice in politics, kind and generous in 
disposition, and was very desirous to have the party 
harmonized in support of Grant's re-election. Forney 
entirely agreed with me that tmder no circimistances 
could I accept the office proposed, without an openly 
proclaimed change of policy by which the proscription 
of Curtin 's friends should be ended, and in that event 
there would be no necessity to tender me any public 

A few weeks thereafter it became known that a 
change was about to be made in the cabinet by the 

330 Old Time Notes 

retirement of Attorney General Ackerman, who was 
succeeded by Mr. Williams, cf Oregon, on the loth of 
January, 1872, and a prominent administration official, 
residing in Washington, called on me and informed me 
that the President desired to confer with me in relation 
to the political situation in Pennsylvania, and especially 
in reference to the appointment of a new cabinet officer. 
I asked him whether the President had sent him 
specially to inform me that the President desired me 
to visit him in Washington, as a personal request from 
the President would be accepted by any citizen as a 

He answered frankly that he could not say that he 
had been sent to deliver that message to me from the 
President, but that the President had expressed a 
desire to have a conference, and upon that he had acted 
upon his own responsibility. I answered that I could 
not visit the President on such a mission without his 
personal request. I had not been in the White House 
during the entire period of his administration and could 
not hope to make such a visit without attracting some 
attention from the newspaper men, with whom I was 
very intimately associated. If I made such a visit, and 
thereafter did not support the President, it would be 
naturally assumed that I had obtruded myself upon him 
to ask political conditions that he could not accept, and 
I would be classed as opposing him because I could not 
obtain what was desired. 

Ten days later I was in New York engaged on some 
business, where I was detained two or three days, and 
received a despatch from Senatc^r Wilson, of Massa- 
chusetts, stating that he had called at my office and 
would proceed to New York and dine with me at the 
Hoffman House that evening, as he had important 
matters to present. I had known Wilson intimately 
for many years, and, like all who knew him, had great 

Of Pennsylvania 331 

affection for him and confidence in all that he did and 
said. He told me frankly that he had no message 
from the President for me, but that he had left the 
President the evening before and had discussed the 
political situation very freely, presenting the perils 
which confronted Grant in his contest for re-election. 
He suggested to Grant that with Grant's permission he 
would call upon me and bring me to Washington to 
confer on the subject of a cabinet appointment that 
should be given to Pennsylvania, satisfactory to the 
friends of Curtin. Wilson was very earnest in urging 
me to accompany him to Washington the following 
day, but when I fully explained the peculiar conditions 
existing in Pennsylvania and how the appointment of 
a Curtin cabinet officer would only multiply embar- 
rassments and lead to enlarged estrangements, he 
admitted that he could not complain of my refusal to 
accompany him to Washington. 

I reminded him that with a Curtin man in the cabinet 
from Pennsylvania there would be direct conflict be- 
tween the cabinet officers and Senator Cameron on 
every important appointment relating to the State, 
and as Cameron could not be displaced as Senator, 
while a cabinet officer could be displaced at any time, 
the result must inevitably be that the Curtin cabinet 
officer must bow to the continued ostracism and pro- 
scription of his friends or cause a new factional erup- 
tion that must result in his dismissal. These facts are 
mentioned to show that Grant was not indifferent to 
the terrible mutterings which arose against him at the 
close of the year 187 1, but he was without political tact 
and evidently had few advisers possessed of that qual- 
ity. So far as Curtin and myself were concerned he 
certainly meant to make a generous tender of recogni- 
tion, but he was forgetful of the fact that neither Curtin 
nor myself was seeking positions of any kind, and that 

332 Old Time Notes 

it was the vindictive policy of factional proscription 
that forced us into the ranks of opposition to the admin- 
istration. Grant evidently believed that I was unrea- 
sonably obstinate and that doubtless led to his vindic- 
tive hostility to my election to the senate on the 30th 
of January, 1872, and to my admission to that body 
after I had been coimted out. 

At the time of the occurrence before referred to, the 
idea of a Liberal Republican organization had not been 
seriously considered, and the Republicans opposed to 
Grant's renomination were entirely without definite 
purpose beyond their desire to make an effort to defeat 
his renomination. A peculiar issue had arisen in Mis- 
souri, where sectional passion precipitated murder 
between neighbors throughout the State, resulting in 
most sweeping disfranchisement of every citizen who 
had directly or indirectly aided rebellion. It was so 
monstrously unjust that it produced a reaction, and a 
Liberal movement was made to revise the Constitution 
and won an easy victory, in which Carl Schurz was a 
prominent leader. The Liberals of Missouri were not 
in sympathy with the administration of Grant, and 
early in January, 1872, a number of the leaders of that 
element met in Jefferson City and startled the countr}'- 
by calling a National convention of Liberal Republicans 
to meet at Cincinnati on the first of May to nominate 
candidates for President and Vice-President. It was 
generally regarded at first as a mere political flash in 
the pan, but it speedily crystallized a number of the 
ablest Republican leaders of the country in an effort 
to make it a great representative body and thus assure 
the defeat of Grant, believing that the action of the 
Liberals would be supported by the Democrats. 

I had given little attention to this movement until 
Mr. Greeley visited me and earnestly urged an imme- 
diate Liberal organization in the State, with a view to 

Of Pennsylvania 333 

sending a delegation to Cincinnati. He was not then 
prominently discussed as a Presidential candidate, nor 
did he intimate that he desired or expected to be a 
candidate. I had known Greeley well for many years, 
cherished the warmest personal affection for him and 
was in entire sympathy with him in his opposition to 
Grant's re-election. I agreed to confer with a ntimber 
of men in the State and see what response they woiold 
make, and I was utterly surprised to find how serious 
was the defection against Grant among many of the 
ablest and most influential of the Republican leaders. 
From the response that I received from such men as 
ex-Congressman Galusha A. Grow, J. K. Moorehead, 
Henry L. Cake, David Barclay and William Stewart, 
with ex-Senators Mason, of Bradford; Benson, of 
Potter; Lowrey, of Erie, and active campaigners like 
Thomas M. Marshall, of Allegheny; WiUiam H. Ruddi- 
man, of Philadelphia; M. C. Boyer, of Montgomery, 
and many others, it was evident that the Pennsylvania 
Republicans were ready for revolutionary action, and 
a conference of a ntmiber of leaders was convened in 
Philadelphia at an early day, a State committee organ- 
ized and a delegation selected to attend the Cincinnati 
convention, of which I was made chairman. 

The State committee was made up of the most active 
and influential old-time Republicans in every coimty 
in the State, and the delegation to Cincinnati would 
have compared favorably with any Republican dele- 
gation in the regular National convention. As chair- 
man of the Liberal State committee I opened up cor- 
respondence with prominent Republicans generally 
throughout the State, and the answers clearly proved 
the general imrest and distrust throughout the ranks 
of the party and the readiness for revolutionary action 
if there was hope that it coiold be successfully accom- 
plished. At the close of that campaign I destroyed 

334 Old Time Notes 

the letters by hundreds and hundreds of Republicans 
in the State of local prominence, and many oE them 
even of State distinction, who expressed their entire 
sympathy with the Liberal movement and their pur- 
pose to fall in with the procession as the campaign pro- 

Greeley soon became prominently discussed as a can- 
didate for President, along with David Davis, B. Grats 
Brown, Charles Francis Adams and others, but with all 
my affection for Greeley I could not entertain the ques- 
tion of crucif3dng him by making him a Presidential 
candidate to face inevitable defeat. Some three weeks 
before the meeting of the Cincinnati conventioni 
Greeley nnade an appointment to meet me at the 
Colonnade Hotel in Philadelphia, and he there frankly 
told me that he believed he could be nominated for 
President and appealed to me to give him the support 
of the Pennsylvania delegation as far as might be in 
my power. It was a painful interview, for there was 
no man living whom to serve would have given me 
greater pleasure, but I frankly told him that a Liberal 
Republican nomination would be valueless without 
the support of the Democrats, and as he had been their 
most stinging critic for thirty years, he could not hope 
to command their support. I reminded him that 
there was but one who was in a position to command 
the support of the Democratic party in its entirety, 
and also to command the support of the Republicans 
who desired to end the reign of Grant, and that was 
David Davis. Greeley was greatly disappointed and 
deeply grieved, but he knew that I was sincere, and he 
felt that my judgment was entitled to respect. He 
finally said, "Well, if the Democrats won't take me 
head foremost, perhaps they will take me boots fore- 
most," meaning that he might be nominated for Vice- 
President with Davis. I told him that could be done, 

of Pennsylvania 335 

and he left me apparently reconciled to the nonmiation 
of Davis for the Presidency and himself for the Vice- 

Soon after I met United States Senator Fenton, who 
was the leader of the Greeley delegation in the Cincin- 
nati convention, and foimd that he and Greeley had 
conferred on the subject, and that he was heartily in 
favor of Davis and Greeley. The Pennsylvania dele- 
gation was made up of about one-third of the radical 
element of the party that did not want Davis, because 
of his conservatism, but two-thirds of them promptly 
and heartily agreed to the support of Davis and Greeley. 
A conference was held in Cincinnati the night before 
the convention met, at which many of the leaders of 
the convention attended, and plans were perfected, as 
we supposed, for the nomination of Davis and Greeley 
on the following day. Believing that everything was 
arranged, we tarried over a late supper, and while we 
were thus enjoying ourselves, Frank Blair, of Missouri, 
whose candidate for the Presidency was Gratz Brown, 
seeing that the combination left Brown entirely out, 
proposed to make a combination with Greeley for Presi- 
dent and Brown for Vice-President, and on the follow- 
ing morning it was discovered that the friends of 
Greeley, who were a very important element of the 
Davis strength, were forced out of our line and com- 
pelled to faU back to the support of Greeley for Presi- 
dent. Senator Fenton earnestly protested against it 
as a wrong to Greeley, but without avail. 

The conservative forces were somewhat divided 
between David Davis and Charles Francis Adams, and 
as the defection of the Greeley men had left the Davis 
forces much smaller than the Adams forces, we dropped 
Davis as a hopeless candidate and joined in the support 
of Adams. Two-thirds of the Pennsylvania delega- 
tion voted for Adams after the first ballot, when they 

336 Old Time Notes 

voted for Curtin. On the sixth ballot Greeley lacked 
only a few votes of the nomination, and changes were 
promptly made in several of the delegations to give 
him the requisite ballot. Not until he had received 
a majority of the votes did I propose to our delegation 
to change the vote of the State, and it was then changed 
and the vote cast for Greeley. I regarded it as a prac^ 
tical surrender of the battle, as I did not believe it 
possible that the Democrats could be brought to the 
support of Greeley, but their condition was one of utter 
hopelessness, and I was surprised to find before mid- 
night that a number of the Democratic leaders there 
sent out instructions to their States to hold themselves 
in readiness to accept the Liberal Republican ticket, 
and, as is well known, the Democratic National con- 
vention gave a practically imanimous vote to Greeley 
and Brown as their candidates. 

At that time, when Greeley had apparently the 
united support of the Democrats and was enthusiastic- 
ally supported by most of the Liberals, the re-election 
of Grant seemed to be absolutely impossible. From 
that time until midsummer it seemed to be simply a 
tidal wave North and South for Greeley, and his elec- 
tion was generally accepted by his supporters and by 
ver}^ many of his opponents as absolutely assured, but 
when the revulsion came it was overwhelming in its 
power, and from causes which were entirely reasonable. 
The countr}^ was then in a state of fearful inflation, 
extravagance j^revailed in all classes and conditions, 
sjjcculation ran riot, and all thinking men knew that 
liquidation must come sooner or later, and soon at the 
latest, with fearful disaster in its trail. The question 
of resumption of specie payments was agitated by those 
who regarded sound credit as more important than 
inflated prosperity, and Greeley's only utterance on 
the financial question was that '* the way to resume is 

Of Pennsylvania 337 

to resume,*' clearly indicating that he thought the mat- 
ter of resuming specie payments was a mere question 
of directing it to be done. 

Business interests of the cotmtry were awakened to 
the peril that confronted them, and when the revulsion 
started in business circles it was the swiftest and most 
far-reaching of any revulsion I have ever seen in polit- 
ical contests. Prominent business Democrats of Phila- 
delphia came to the Republican headquarters and vol- 
imtarily paid Uberal subscriptions to secure the election 
of Grant. They knew that disaster must come, but 
they hoped by the election of Grant to postpone it for 
another four years, and while the Democratic leaders 
as a rule supported Greeley with great fidelity the rank 
and file remembered him only as the man who poured 
out his keenest invective against them for thirty years, 
and they stubbornly refused to support the ticket. 
More than enough Republicans voted for the Greeley 
State ticket in Pennsylvania to elect it by a large 
majority if the Democrats had given it cordial sup- 
port, but in nearly or quite every coimty of the State 
the combined Democratic and Liberal Republican vote 
was less than the full Democratic vote. They would 
very heartily have supported Davis and Greeley with 
him for second on the ticket ; and, viewing that contest 
from the most dispassionate standpoint, I do not doubt 
that had Davis been nominated he would have been 
elected by a very large majority, with the probability 
that the new party would have maintained its power for 
many years. Davis would have greatly tempered the 
passions of the Reconstruction period, wotdd have 
commanded the absolute confidence of the entire 
business and industrial interests of the cotmtry, and 
sectional strife would have practically perished by the 
dose of his administration. 

Although I regarded the contest as an utterly hope- 


338 Old Time Notes 

less one at the biginning after Greeley's nomination, I 
felt that I covdd not do less than accept the chairman- 
ship of the State committee and devote my entire time 
and eneigy to the contest. My affection for Greeley 
made that a necessity, and after his nomination by the 
Democrats, when his election seemed more than prob* 
able, I shared the anxiety of Greeley's closest friends 
as to what mi^ht be the restilt of his administmtion as 
I^:esident. About that time I was summoned to a 
confidential cotmcil in New York, at which Whitelaw 
Reid, Waldo Hutchins, General Cochrane and a number 
of others were present, to consider the question of hav- 
ing Greeley forewarned against committing himself on 
the question of his cabinet, as all seemed to agree that in 
the event of his election the safety of his administration 
would depend upon having an able and conservative 
body of constitutional advisers. They chaiged n:ie with 
the duty of conferring with him on the subject, and I 
was directed to find lum at his private headquarters in 
Brookl3m, where he was not accessible to the public. 
His finely chiseled, benevolent face brightened as he 
spoke of his assured election, and when I ventured to 
suggest to him that if called to the Presidency with such 
a combination of political supporters the choice of his 
cabinet would be a very grave duty, and that he should 
avoid all complications on the subject, he assumed that 
I was desiring to forestall him in the interests of Penn- 
sylvania, and he promptly replied that of course no one 
would be appointed to the cabinet from Pennsylvania 
without my approval. He was surprised when I told 
him that tiiat was just what I did not want; that it 
was most important that he should not be in any way 
committed to any one on the subject of the cabinet, as 
the success of his administration would depend upon 
it, and that such a cabinet as he would need could be 
determined upon only aft^^ his election. He assented 

Of Pennsylvania 339 

to the proposition and gave the assurance that he 
would be entirely free to advise with his most trusted 
friends if elected President, and make up the cabinet 
of the best men the existing conditions presented. He 
asked me to go to North Carolina and spend a week 
there, which I did, and when I left him I shook him by 
the hand for the last time, as we never met again. I 
had much correspondence with him, and after his 
defeat, that was made doubly distressing by the death 
of his wife, I wrote him expressing the sincerest sym- 
pathy, and had in reply a letter written the last day he 
ever held a pen in his hand. The full text of the letter 
was as follows: "I am a man of many sorrows, and 
doubtless have deserved them, but I beg to say that I 
do not foi^et the gallant though luckless struggle you 
made in my behalf. I am not well." His physical 
power was hopelessly broken, and soon thereafter it 
was foimd that his sorrows had imsettled his reason, 
and in a few days, in an asylum for the insane, Horace 
Greeley, one of the noblest and best of American phil- 
anthropists, passed to his final accoimt 

340 Old Time Notes 


Peculiar Political Complications in the Contest of 1872 — ^The Evans 
Scandal — Some $300,000 Awarded a Clerk for Collecting Govern- 
ment Claims — Investigation Moved in the Senate — How It Ended — 
Hartranft and Buckalew Nominated for Governor by Their Respec- 
tive Parties — Curtin Nominated by the Liberal Republicans for 
the Constitutional Convention — Governor Bigler Retired from 
Democratic Ticket, and Curtin Taken in His Place — State Contest 
Unusually Desperate — Leaders Wotild Have Withdrawn Hartranft 
But for the Younger Cameron — Geary Forced to Grant Pardon to 
Yerkes and Marcer — Attempt of the Roosters to Make Cameron 
Pay for His Re-election — How the Governor's Salary Was Increased 
from $5,000 to $10,000. 

THERE were many and iinusually strange com- 
plications in Pennsylvania politics in 1872. Be- 
fore the Republican State convention met to 
nominate candidates for Governor, Auditor General, 
three candidates for Congressmen-at-Large and twelve 
candidates for delcgates-at-large to the constitutional 
convention, Curtin and many of his followers had 
already cast their lot with the Liberal Republicans, 
and were therefore unseen and unfelt in the Republican 
organization of the State. General Hartranft, w^ho 
would have been the Curtin candidate for Governor in 
1866, had he not been forced to accept the nomination 
for auditor general in 1865 to defeat Cameron's attempt 
to control the convention and organization of that year, 
had served continuously in the office of auditor general, 
having been re-elected in 1868. In the meantime 
Robert W. Mackey had been several years in the office 
of State treasurer, and his exceptional ability as a 

Of Pennsylvania 341 

political leader made him altogether the master organ- 
izer and general director of the Cameron forces of the 
State, and they had undisputed possession of the party 

Hartranf t had served as auditor general with Mackey 
in the State treasury, and he would have gradually 
drifted away from the party element that originally 
supported him even if Curtin had remained within the 
party breastworks. A serious scandal was developed 
a short time before the campaign of 1872 opened be- 
cause of the payment to an entirely obscure man and 
without influence the sum of $300,000, ostensibly for 
services as State agent to collect some unsettled military 
claims against the National government. In point of 
fact there was no difficulty whatever about the collec- 
tion of the money. The claims had been distinctly 
defined by Governor Curtin and State Treasurer Henry 
D Moore, and the collection of the money was not in 
any degree doubtful, but by a combination of promi- 
nent State officials a bill was passed by the Legislature 
authorizing the payment of a large percentage to the 
State agent for the collection of military claims against 
the general government. Evans was appointed, se- 
cured the money without any difficulty, and the account- 
ing officers of the State apparently paid him $300,000 
for his services. It developed a terrible scandal in the 
State and involved Governor Hartranft, among other 
officials, but notwithstanding the efforts made in the 
courts and in the Legislature to get at the close com- 
bination that had been made to plunder the treasury, 
the movement was defeated in every instance by the 
combined power of the State authorities. 

It was well known that Evans had not received more 
than a mere moiety of the percentage paid, as he con- 
tinued to live obscurely and frugally and died prac- 
tically without estate. Dxiring the campaign of 1872, 

342 Old Time Notes 

when I was chairman of the Liberal State comniittee, 
and employed the best detective force to get into the 
inner citadel of the State frauds, I obtained positive 
and indisputable information where $52,000 of the 
Evans' $300,000 had been received by a prominent 
man, where he had invested it and how the securities 
were then held. When the senate met in 1873, we 
had a judiciary committee, composed of senators of 
the highest character and legal attainments, and I 
moved that the committee be instructed to investigate 
the payment of $300,000 to Agent Evans, with power 
to send for persons and papers and to report by bill or 
otherwise. The motion was unanimously adopted, 
and the committee met immediately upon the adjotim- 
ment of the senate. The information was furnished 
to the committee in detail, and it was decided that the 
following week subpoenas should be issued for the 
witnesses who were ready to prove where part of the 
Evans money had gone. It was decided also by the 
committee that none shc^uld be advised of its meeting 
to hear the witnesses exce])ting the witneSvSes them- 
selves and a sini^de officer of the senate. The senate 
adjourned on Friday until the following Monday, and 
on Saturday morning the ])erson against whom the 
investigation was specially directed vSuddenly dropped 
dead in his own home. No sul)i)Ocnas were issued, 
and when the committee met the next week, according 
to appointment, it was decided that no investigation 
should be made unless positive information could be 
had affecting other parties. The result was that the 
committee never met again and made no report what- 
ever to the senate. Most of the senators understood 
the situation, and the scandal was dropped by general 

Hartranft was nominated for Governor by what was 
then the Cameron organization of the State under the 

Of Pennsylvania 343 

immediate management of Mackey, the most brilliant 
State leader any party ever produced in Pennsylvania. 
Hartranft had won great distinction as a volunteer 
officer during the war, and he was in fact the ideal 
volunteer soldier of the State. He was an officer in 
the Fourth Pennsylvania regiment at Manassas just 
before the opening of the first battle of Bull Run, when 
the term of the regiment expired. Instead of remain- 
ing and joining their brethren in battle, as Hartranft 
earnestly urged them to do, the Fourth regiment, 
as stated by General McDowell in his official report of 
the action, marched away from the field " to the music 
of the enemy *s cannon." Hartranft at once severed 
his relations with his regiment, volunteered as a staff 
officer, served through the action, and was soon again 
in the field as colonel of a new regiment. He made 
no effort to exploit himself as a soldier through the 
newspapers, but in his quiet, imassuming way most 
faithfully performed every military duty, and finally 
won special distinction by his recapture of Fort Stead- 
man, one of the advance defenses of Grant's line near 
Petersburg, that had been captured in a gallant dash 
made by General Gordon. 

Hartranft was ordered with his command to recon- 
noiter and ascertain the situation, but was not ordered 
to attempt to carry the fort by assault. His men had 
great confidence in him as a commander, and when 
they moved near enough to recoimoiter the position 
Hartranft simply did not halt his soldiers, and by a 
sudden inspiration they rushed in upon Steadman and 
regained it. Hartranft 's modesty forbade his claiming 
any special credit for the victory that really made 
him famous, but it was his soldierly training of the com- 
mand that made the recaptvtre of Fort Steadman 
possible even without specific orders. He thus stood 
before the people of Pennsylvania as confessedly the 

344 Old Time Notes 

foremost of our many gallant voltmteer officers in the 
State, and his high character and modest personal 
qualities made him a favorite with all who knew him. 
He was the logical candidate of the party for Governor, 
and he was nominated practically without a contest, 
with Senator Harrison Allen, of Warren, for auditor 
general, and Lemuel Todd, Charles Albright and Glenni 
W. Scofield for Congressmen-at-Large, and twelve candi- 
dates for delegates-at-large to the constitutional con- 
vention, the head of whom was William M. Meredith, 
of Philadelphia. 

The Democrats appreciated the necessity of placing 
themselves in the strongest possible position before the 
people of Pennsylvania, believing that by the com- 
bination with the Liberals they could win. They 
nominated ex-Senator Charles R. Buckalew for Gov- 
ernor, who was confessedly the ablest of the Dem- 
ocratic champions in the State. Wallace was then in 
the State senate, and training for United States Sen- 
ator that he attained two years later. There was no 
factional opposition made by Wallace or any of his 
followers against Buckalew 's nomination, and he was 
presented to the i)eople by the united Democratic 
organization of the State. William Hartley was nomi- 
nated for auditor general and James H. Hopkins, 
Richard Vaux and Hendrick B. Wright were chosen 
as candidates for Congressmen-at-Large, with twelve 
delegates-at-large to the constitutional convention 
headed by ex-Governor Bigler. Cameron was United 
States Senator, and his re-election depended upon 
carrying a Republican Legislature at the fall election. 

The Liberal Republicans did not hold a State con- 
vention, but some time after Governor Curtin's return 
from Russia the Liberal State committee nominated 
him as delegate-at-large to the constitutional conven- 
tion, he being the only distinctive Liberal Republican 

Of Pennsylvania 345 

presented for a State office. The nomination was made 
after a full conference and understanding with the 
Democratic leaders. Mr. Randall, as chairman of 
the Democratic State committee, and I, as chairman 
of the Liberal Republican State committee, had 
repeated conferences on the subject, and after it had 
been ftdly considered by the Democratic leaders they 
decided that if the Liberals nominated Curtin as 
delegate-at-large they would withdraw one of their 
twelve candidates and accept Curtin in his place, 
whereby Curtin 's election wotild be absolutely assured, 
as each voter voted for twelve delegates-at-large to 
the constitutional convention, and the twenty-four 
receiving the highest votes were elected. Governor 
Bigler, who was at the head of the Democratic ticket, 
had taken very active part in bringing about the nomi- 
nation of Curtin, assuming that there would be no 
difficulty in making a vacancy in the list of Democratic 
nominations. After Curtin 's nomination had been 
made by the Liberals, however, Bigler found that all 
of his associates were very reluctant to retire, although 
a number of them were willing to do so under orders, 
and Bigler promptly solved the problem by sending 
his own declination to the Democratic committee, and 
Curtin was unanimously nominated in his stead. 

With Curtin on the Democratic ticket, and the Dem- 
ocrats supporting the Liberal candidates for President 
and Vice-President, it was only reasonable for the 
Liberals of Pennsylvania to accept the Democratic 
candidates for all the other State offices and the Dem- 
ocratic electoral ticket. The two lines of battle were 
thus distinctly drawn; the Democrats and Liberals 
on one side, and the Republican organization, imder the 
immediate command of Cameron, on the other side. 
Both Democrats and Liberals were generally embittered 
against Cameron, and believing, as they did in the early 

346 Old Time Notes 

part of the campaign, that they were going to win 
alike in State and Nation by a laige majority, they 
pressed the fight most aggressively, and Cameron was 
severely arraigned from the stump before the people of 
the State, whSe Hartranft's allied complications with 
the Evans swindle and with Yerkes, who was then in 
prison along with ex-Treasurer Marcer for the misuse 
of city ftmds, brought down upon him a floodtide of 
merciless criticism. So fierce were the assaults upon 
Hartranft, Cameron and the party organization that 
Mackey and Cameron finallv yielded and called a 
private conference of a number of the leading party 
men of the State to decide upon withdrawing Hart- 
ranft from the ticket. I speak advisedly when I say 
that Hartranft 's name would have been withdrawn 
from the ticket but for the heroic and defiant attitude 
assumed at that meeting by J. Donald Cameron, who 
had then become quite prominent as a leader, but rarely 
participated in party management except when grave 
emergencies arose. He peremptorily declared that 
the party could save itself only by assuming the aggres- 
sive and standing by its State ticket. While a nMijority 
of those in the conference were not really convinced 
as to the wisdom of the younger Cameron's policy, 
the divided judgment of the counselors made all obey, 
and from that time Cameron was abreast with Mackey 
and conducted one of the most aggressive campaigns 
ever made in the history of the State. 

Governor Geary was forced to pardon Yerkes and 
Marcer some time before the election, in return for 
which they furnished statements which relieved Hart- 
ranft from any guilty complication with or T^athout 
personal profit in the Evans swindle, and they were 
only just in doing so. The pardon reached Philadel- 
phia about noon, and the chairman of the State com- 
mittee immediately repaired to Cherry Hill, delivered 

of Pennsylvania 347 

the pardon and brought Yerkes and Marcer back to 
their freedom. In the meantime the business interests 
of the country had become profoundly disturbed over 
the possible election of Greeley, whose financial policy 
was unknown, and who was regarded as impetuous 
and visionary without the well-balanced quaUties of 
statesmanship. Never was a struggle fought more 
desperately before the people of the State, and the 
Republicans of Philadelphia, imder the registry law, 
exhausted their power to increase the party majority 
by frauds in which they had the ripest experience. 
"Nick" English, the leader of the ''lightning cal- 
culators, ' ' presided at the meeting of the return judges, 
when it was known that Hartranft was elected by 35,000 
majority. He knew also that many bets had been 
made that Hartranft would carry Philadelphia by 
20,000, and he lacked several thousand of that ntmi- 
ber, but English solved the problem by simply manip- 
ulating the figures, and officially certifying a majority 
for Hartranft in the city of over 20,000. The disas- 
trous defeat of Greeley left both Democrats and Liberals 
without heart or hope, and they made no attempt to 
bring to justice those who had been guilty of the most 
flagrant frauds. 

With the Democratic-Liberal combination defeated 
by nearly 40,000 at the October election, there was 
simply a landsUde for Grant in November, when he 
carried the State over Greeley by nearly 1 50,000. Cam- 
eron had not only a large Republican majority in the 
Legislature, but for the first time he had almost the 
solid support of the Republican senators and repre- 
sentatives, and his re-election to the Senate was accepted 
as absolutely assured. 

Such a campaign naturally brought into the Legis- 
lature an unusually large commercial element, and 
especially from the city of Philadelphia and the mining 

348 Old Time Notes 

regions. Cameron regarded his election as absolutely 
certain, and he congratulated himself that he would 
be able, for the first time, to command the nomina- 
tion of his party without a struggle, and secure his 
election by the voluntary votes of the legislators. He 
was devoted to thrift, and never expended money in 
politics imless the necessity was imperious. When 
the commercial men of the Legislature began to look 
over the field they saw that there was nothing for them 
in the Senatorial fight, and after a number of con- 
ferences they decided to appeal to the ambition of 
some man of large wealth by assuring him of the sup- 
port of the majority of the Philadelphia delegation. 
After the movement had been thoroughly matiu^ed 
the proposition was made to the elder Charlemagne 
Tower, a man of large wealth, residing in the anthra- 
cite region, and who was not without political ambition, 
but was altogether too shrewd to be robbed in a hope- 
less contest. He never gave his consent to the propo- 
sition, but apparently held it under advisement, and 
Cameron became very much alarmed at the new peril 
that confronted him. He believed that the Democrats 
and the few Liberals in the Legislature would gladly 
join in any combination to defeat his re-election, and 
with the majority of the Philadelphia delegation ready 
to deal for revolutionary action against Cameron he 
saw that he might become involved in a very severe 
contest. He well understood what the Philadelphia 
movement meant; that it was inspired solely by the 
hope that he would give a large amoimt of money to 
have them abandon it and fall back into the regular 
ranks, but while he could not afford to lose the Senator- 
ship, he was quite unwilling to win it at a high cost if 
it could be avoided. 

I had been active in the fight and had made Cam- 
eronism the issue from the beginning to the close of 

Of Pennsylvania 349 

the campaign, but my personal relations with Cam- 
eron in all our many bitter conflicts had never been 
strained, and I was not greatly surprised when I called 
at the office of Colonel Thomas A. Scott in response 
to a smnmons from him to find Cameron there with him, 
and to learn that I had been sent for to confer with 
Cameron and Scott on the Senatorial question. Cam- 
eron presented the question with entire frankness; 
said that he had won the Legislature and his election 
in an open fight; that he was entitled to it without 
being forced to lavish money on legislators elected in 
his interest, and that I had been sent for to inquire 
whether I intended to join the Philadelphia black- 
mailers in a combination to defeat him for Senator. I 
told him that I could not vote for him for Senator, but 
that he was entitled to a re-election to the Senate with- 
out debauching the Legislature, and that if a corrupt 
combination was made to defeat his election or to com- 
pel him to pay blackmail to the corruptionists I would 
openly and earnestly oppose any such movement in 
the Legislature. Cameron thanked me and closed 
the consideration of the subject by remarking, ** They 
can go to hell now/' 

The Senatorship became a matter of public discussion, 
and in an interview that I was asked to give I stated 
distinctly that Cameron for the first time in his life 
was entitled to the votes of a majority of the Legis- 
lature without the usual debauchery that had attended 
Senatorial contests in the State. I added that I would 
oppose his election by any and every honest method, 
but would not join in any corrupt combination against 
him for the benefit of Legislative mercenaries. The 
result was that the opposition started by those who 
expected to blackmail Cameron was compelled to yield, 
and Cameron received the entire vote of his party for 
re-election to the Senate without the cost of a dollar 

3 so Old Time Notes 

beyond what he had expended in the campaign. I cast 
my vote in the-senate for William D. Kelley. 

When the Legislature met in January, 1873, Gover- 
nor-elect Hartranf t proposed to come to my room one 
evening to confer on several matters. I was glad to 
welcome him, for I knew that whatever political envi- 
ronment he had met with he was thoroughly honest 
in purpose and would want to make a clean and cred- 
itable administration. He called at the time appointed 
and said that he desired me to londerstand his position ; 
that he realized the fact that he was very largely, if 
not wholly, indebted to the Cameron organization for 
his election and that he did not mean ever to be justly 
charged with ingratitude, but he added that, first of 
all, he meant to make a thoroughly dean, straight- 
forward administration of the State government, and 
as I had yet two sessions to serve in the senate he 
hoped that he would be able to command not only my 
support but that of all reasonable Democrats. He 
stated distinctly that he might be called upon at times 
to give offense to those who might assume that they 
owned him, but if necessary he would give offense rather 
than dishonor himself, and it is due to the memory of 
Hartranft to say that he faithfully fulfilled that promise. 

On several occasions during his two terms as Governor 
he was urged to perfonn more than questionable 
official duties to serve personal or partisan interests 
at the sacrifice of his own sense of right, and he reso- 
lutely refused to obey. During the two sessions of 
his first administration I never had occasion to criticise 
any act of the Governor before the senate and generally 
gave him very cordial and hearty support. Before 
leaving me at the private conference he suggested that 
if I could see my way clear to propose the increase of 
the salary of the Governor from $5,000 to $10,000 a 
year, and have it passed before his inaugiu^ation, it 

Of Pennsylvania 351 

would be regarded as a personal favor. I told him 
that I appreciated the fact that the present salary for 
the Governor was disgracefiilly inadequate and that 
I would gladly take the responsibility of proposing 
the measure if it did not conflict with the Constitution. 
I soon found that the subject had been quietly dis- 
cussed by leading Republicans and Democrats in the 
senate, all of whom agreed that the salary should be 
increased, but neither party wished to take the respon- 
sibility of proposing the measure. After a conference 
with such able Democratic lawyers as Wallace, Dill and 
others, and Strang, Rutan and other Republicans, I 
foimd that nearly or quite all were willing to support 
the measure if their particular party was not to be 
responsible for it. As I was the only member of my 
own party in the senate I was entirely independent 
and at once took charge of the bill. The Governor's 
salary was increased from $5,000 to $10,000 before 
Hartranft was inaugurated. I did not regard the 
question as entirely free from doubt under the pro- 
visions of the Constitution, but it was a case in which 
I believed that doubt should be resolved in favor of 
common justice. 

3s« Old Time Notes 



Detperata EfforU Made to Defeat Ita Approval by the Peo pl a Mayor 
Stoldey Malta a Stupendoua Fraud in Philadelpliia When It Waa 
Pound to be Unavailing^— Barneit Legialative Woric to Gerry Into 
Effect the New Fundamental Law— A New Liberal Salary Bill for 
City Officer Vetoed without Benefit to Thoee Who AcoompUhed It» 
Ballot Reform Accomplished, and Many Machine Leadeni Over* 

THE political conditions in Pennsylvania in 1873 
aroused the Republican reform sentiment oi 
the State to great activity, notwithstanding 
the overwhelming disaster the Liberals had suffered 
with the Dtnnocrats when Grant carried the State by 
nearly 140,000 the year before. There were scores <rf 
thousands of very reluctant votes cast for Grant by 
Republicans who were sincerely in favor of reforming 
the domination of the party. The Republican leaders, 
then wholly in harmony with Cameron, slated Judge 
Paxson, of the common pleas court of Philadelphia, as 
a candidate for supreme judge. There were no pro- 
tests against Paxson either as to his character or ability 
for the high office of supreme judge, but the fact that 
he was the predetermined candidate of the leaders of 
the organization called out aggressive hostility to him 
and the opposition concentrated in support of Judge 
Butler, of Chester, who afterward served as United 
States district judge until he was entitled to retirement 
by reason of more than ten years' service and being over 
seventy years of age. It was an open, strenuous battle, 
not against Judge Paxson in person, but against the 
political power that had dictated his nomination by 

Of Pennsylvania 353 

the State convention. Mackey was State treasurer 
and general political manager of the State. The State 
treasurer was to be elected by the people that year for 
the first time. When the convention met Mackey was 
amazed to discover that he was imable to force the 
nomination of Paxson over Butler, and he rescued him- 
self and his organization from defeat by taking Judge 
Isaac G. Gordon, of Fayette Coimty, who had some 
personal strength, as a side candidate, and with the 
Paxson vote thrown to him his nomination was accom- 
plished. Mackey was nominated for State treasurer 
without opposition. 

At the time the convention was held the work of the 
constitutional convention, then in session, had not 
been completed, and no expression was given on the 
question of constitutional reform. The Democrats 
exhibited little vigor when their State convention met, 
as the overwhelming defeat of the year before seemed 
to leave the party in an utterly hopeless condition in the 
State, but as the reform Republicans developed great 
activity, not only in the battle against the slated can- 
didate for supreme judge, but in the support of the new 
Constitution after it had been completed, the Demo- 
crats were somewhat inspired and one of the most active 
off-year contests of the State was the result. 

The fight for the adoption of the new Constitution 
became the absorbing issue. It was specially offensive 
to the debauched political elements of the State be- 
cause it destroyed the fee system that was a source of 
almost unlintiited plimder in Philadelphia, and tore up 
by the roots the registry election law that was the 
parent of monstrous frauds. The speculative and 
mercenary political interests of the State were naturally 
adverse to the new fimdamental law, and as the cam- 
paign neared its close they were greatly strengthened 
by the decision delivered by the supreme court setting 

354 Old Time Notes 

aside the method of holding the election on the adoption 
of the new Constitution iinder an honest election 
system in Philadelphia, provided by the convention 
itself. The decision of the court, delivered by Chief 
Justice Agnew, exhibited an imusual degree of preju- 
dice against the general reform movement, and, while 
it immediately quickened and encouraged the worst 
political elements to oppose the Constitution, it did 
much more to arouse the reform elements; and the 
court was so fiercely criticised by the press and on the 
stimip that Chief Justice Agnew felt compelled, in jus- 
tice to himself and the court, to publish a letter denjang 
the unfriendly construction that had been put upon 
the dicta that figured somewhat prominently in the 
opinion, and declared that, notwithstanding his objec- 
tion to some important features of the new Constitu- 
tion, he would vote for it. This letter eliminated the 
court from the partisan discussion during the remainder 
of the campaign and greatly encouraged the friends of 
the new Constitution, who had been struggling so 
tirelessly and earnestly to give it victory. 

The most dangerous element in opposition to the 
new Constitution was clearly developed only a few 
weeks before the election. It was a combination of 
prominent corporation interests in the State to accom- 
plish the rejection of the new fundamental law. This 
movement became plainly visible, as able representa- 
tives of great corporate interests took the stump to call 
upon the people to reject the work of the convention. 
The contest was regarded as fairly doubtful, as it was 
impossible to make any calculation from a political 
standpoint as to the result of the vote for the Consti- 
tution. Never in the history of Pennsylvania elections 
were such strange complications presented by counties 
of the same political faith and apparently sharing the 
same general interests. Adams County voted four 

Of Pennsylvania 355 

to one against it and Allegheny ten to one in its favor. 
Bedford voted three to one in favor of it, and Blair 
nearly two to one against it. Berks, the Democratic 
Gibraltar, voted four to one against it, and Columbia, 
another Democratic stronghold, voted four to one in 
its favor. Dauphin and Lebanon, both strong Re- 
publican coimties, voted against it by decided 
majorities, and Indiana, a coimty two-thirds Re- 
publican, voted two to one against, while Lancaster 
voted two to one in favor. Somerset, a strong Re- 
publican coimty, voted three to one against, and York, 
a Democratic stronghold, voted nearly two to one in 

With such confused conditions throughout the State 
it was impossible for the party leaders to make reason- 
ably safe calculations as to the result in the State, and 
it was finally decided by the Philadelphia party leaders 
that the city should give an overwhelming majority 
against the Constitution, regardless of the vote cast. 
The plan was conceived by those who held the city 
offices, whose himdreds of thousands of dollars iij 
illegal fees would be ended by the new fimdamental 
law, and the scheme was thoroughly organized in all 
its details to assure a return of not less than 50,000 
against the Constitution, which was regarded as suffi- 
cient to defeat it. I do not speak from nmior or cir- 
cumstantial evidence on this point, as two of the men 
who were actively engaged in the movement to make 
the false return in Philadelphia gave me the full details 
immediately after the election. 

An almost tragic incident occurred in the office of 
Mayor Stokley on election night. The returns from 
the city were coming in precisely according to arrange- 
ment, as under the registry law there was no limit upon 
the power of the dominant party in manufacturing 
rettims, but soon after ten o'clock oveiwhelming majori- 

Old Time Notes 

ties in favor of the Cwistitution came in from leading ' 
counties of the State, and it became evident that ' 
50,000 majority in the city would not affect the result. , 
A number of the city leaders were in the xa&yor's 
office, and it became evident that the Constitutkm 
would be adopted r^ardless of the frauds in I^iila- 
delphia. Stokley, who was nothing if not heroic, called 
the boys down in a manner mtich more emphatic than 
elegant, and gave peremptory orders that the Phihi' 
delphia returns should be corrected and returned as 
the vote had been cast. One of the men among the 
most active in the work, who gave me the informatiffli 
in detail, informed me that while they had no difficult 
in carrying out the fraud to return a large majority 
against the Constitution, the most difficult task they 
wA ever been called upon to perform was that of chang- 
ing the returns to make them appear reasonably honest, 
but it was finally accomplished, and the official vote 
as returned in Philadelphia was two to one in favor of 
the Constitution, giving some 25,000 majority for it 
instead of 50,000 against it. 

The majority in the State in favor of the adoption 
of the Constitution was 145,150. Mayor Stokley did 
not attempt to conceal the action he had taken in halt- 
ing those who were engaged in making a fraudulent 
return in Philadelphia. He was heartily in favor of 
defeating the Constitution, and though a man entirely 
free from venality in public and private life, he believed 
that in politics the end justifies the means, and when 
a patent fraud was about to be played without accom- 
plishing any substantial result beyond the di^ace it 
broxight upon the actors, he publicly declared that he 
and his administration would not be "put in a hole," 
and was peremptory in forcing a fairly honest return 
of the vote. 

The earnest and somewhat embittered battle on the 

Of Pennsylvania 357 

adoption of the Constitution overshadowed the contest 
for State treasurer and supreme judge. Gordon was a 
man of fair attainments, who had served in the Legis- 
lattire with imusual credit, had made a very acceptable 
record as a common pleas judge, and was a man of 
unquestioned integrity. He was not an important 
political factor, and he simply drifted with the ctirrent, 
while Mackey, who was absolutely in charge of the 
organization, managed his own contest, and to avoid 
accidents was careful to arrange with those in charge of 
the election affairs in Philadelphia to give him an in- 
creased majority of some 10,000 over his colleague on 
the State ticket. Under the registry law, that was 
then in its dying agonies with the advent of the new 
Constitution, it was not only possible, but easy of 
accomplishment if the proper combinations were made 
and the necessary cash supplied. The result was 
Mackey 's election by 25,000 majority over Hutchison, 
the Democratic candidate, while Judge Gordon's 
majority over Judge Ludlow, of Philadelphia, was 
14,286. Mackey's election was accomplished solely, 
by the majority in Philadelphia, as Hutchison had 
fifty-nine majority in the State outside of the city. 
The Republicans carried both branches of the Legis- 
lature, the senate having twenty Republicans, twelve 
Democrats and one Liberal Republican; the house 
forty-three Democrats and fifty-seven Republicans. 
The adoption of the Constitution did not affect the 
Legislature chosen that year, but after the session of 
1874 the senate was increased to fifty and the house to 
over 200, with biennial sessions. 

The adoption of the new Constitution imposed very 
important and responsible duties upon the Legislature 
that sat during the session of 1874. All private legis- 
lation was practically ended, and corporate charters 
Qould be obtained only under general laws. It b^c^nie 

358 Old Time Notes 

necessary therefore for the Legislature to enact such 
general laws as would give proper encouragement to 
the varied corporate interests of the State and to the 
further development of our wealth by increased cor- 
porate combinations, and it was necessary also to 
empower the courts to meet the countless emergencies 
which often arose and called for private legislation 
relating to matters of limited and local interest. 

A committe of twelve was created in the senate, 
specially charged with the preparation and presentation 
of the bills necessary to carry into eflfect the new Con- 
stitution, in which Senator Wallace proved himself to 
be a master legislator. He was the author of the cor- 
porate system then inaugurated, and it has been little 
changed until this day. It was necessary also to dis- 
trict the State into fifty instead of thirty-three sena- 
torial districts, and also to fashion the representative 
districts, a work in which there was great room for 
partisan strategy, and under the leadership of Mackey 
the Republicans got away with about all there was in 
sight. He was substantially the author of every 
apportionment bill that was passed, and fashicmed net 
only the senatorial and representative districts, but 
also the judicial districts, and in defining what districts 
should elect senators for two years, and what districts 
should elect for four years, as was necessary for the 
following elections, he fixed the heavy Republican 
senatorial districts to elect in Presidential years, while 
the debatable districts were left for the off year when 
political manipulation was much more easy than in 
the white heat of a Presidential struggle. In point of 
fact, while Mackey was in the leadership of the party 
organization he was practically the Legislature, for 
he framed or revised every important bill, and never 
suffered a defeat in his own political houschr)ld. He 
possessed the important quality of a party political 

Of Pennsylvania 359 

leader that is seldom found — that is the ability to hold 
his own followers in solid column, and divide the Demo- 
crats when necessary to win out. His influence in the 
Democratic lines was not so much with the commercial 
element as with the responsible leadership of the Demo- 
cratic organization. While he and Wallace had many 
desperate political tilts, there never was a time that 
either would not help the other if he could do so with- 
out sacrificing his own personal or political interests. 
As I was a senator during the session of 1874 it was 
natural that I was most desirous to carry into full effect 
the reforms of the Constitution that I had so long and 
earnestly advocated. I knew the trouble that would 
arise about passing a salary bill for the Philadelphia 
offices. It was an open secret then that the leading 
Row offices, as they were then called, paid the incum- 
bent from $50,000 to $100,000 a year, depending upon 
the measure of imscrupulous exaction of illegal fees, 
and not only those in office, but those expecting soon 
to come into these positions, would naturally resist the 
passage of a salary bill, as imtil such a bill was passed 
by the Legislature the old fee system would remain. 
Colonel Mann was then district attorney, having been 
elected in 187 1 after having been compelled to retire 
from the ticket in 1868, and he was entirely confident 
that he would be re-elected in the fall of 1874. General 
CoUis was city solicitor and expected to be re-elected. 
My close personal relations with both of them made me 
feel warranted in calling them into conference and pro- 
posing that they should assent to the passage of a very 
liberal salary bill, as was required by the Constitution. 
They were very reluctant about assenting to it, but 
after several conferences they finally agreed upon a 
scale of salaries for the different officers of the city 
ranging just about as the salaries are now, with the 
exception of the clerk of quarter sessions, that was 

36o Old Time Notes 

made $10,000 a year, and I framed the bill in accordance 
with otir agreement, and passed it through both 
branches of the Legislature. 

It was before the Legislature for some weeks, and 
during that time I never saw an indication of organized 
opposition to the measure. There was obvious reluc- 
tance on the part of the Philadelphians who trained 
with the organization, but they accepted the situation 
and permitted the measure to pass. It was held in 
the house and not passed imtil within ten days of the 
adjoiuTiment, which gave the Governor the right to 
hold the bill for a considerable period. Soon after the 
adjournment it was whispered that the bill would be 
vetoed by the Governor, and that in addition to tech- 
nical objections to the measure, he thought the salaries 
were excessive, as none of the city offices were rated 
below the salary of the Governor, and one or more 
exceeded his. Mann and CoUis, who had assented to 
the bill, became fully satisfied that they would be re- 
elected, and that if re-elected without the passage of a 
salary bill the old fee system would remain during their 
entire term, as the Constitution forbade the increase or 
diminution of the pay of public officers during the term 
for which they were elected. They earnestly pressed 
the Governor to veto the measure, and I was not 
greatly surprised one morning to find in the papers the 
announcement that the Governor had vetoed the salary 
bill. The result was that Mann was nominated for 
re-election with little or no opposition, but was defeated 
by some 4,000 by Furman Sheppard under the new 
election law enforced by the Constitution, and the fee 
system continued for three years in the district attor- 
ney's office for the benefit of Mann's competitor. 
Collis failed to obtain a nomination for another term, 
and his successor reaped the profits he had hoped to 
attain by the defeat of the salary bill. That experi- 

Of Pennsylvania 361 

ment ctired the opposition to a salary bill, and the next 
Legislature enacted one that was substantially a copy 
of the measure that had been passed and vetoed in 

The Constitution tore up the registry law by the 

roots and the last election held under it was the Febru- 
ary election of 1874, when a mayor, city treasurer and 
city solicitor were chosen, as at that time the election 
officers to hold future elections were chosen, and the 
overthrow of the registry law was the beginning of the 
end of the Republican domination that so long ruled 
in Philadelphia. The defeat of Mann for district attor- 
ney and Ashe for coroner in 1874 was followed by the 
election of a Democratic sheriff in 1876, by the election 
of a Democratic district attorney and controller in 
1877, and finally by the election of a Democratic mayor. 
The Committee of One Htmdred came into power and 
found it possible to enforce something approaching 
honest elections, and they thoroughly revolutionized 
the city. It was the best-directed reform movement 
of modem times. It was made up of practical business 
men, who understood that idealism in politics was good 
in theory, but utterly valueless in practice, and they 
not only defeated the notoriously corrupt machine men 
of the city, but they defeated men of the highest stand- 
ing who adhered to and sustained the organization, 
thereby giving it the benefit of their reputations. Such 
men as James Dobson, the elder Reybum, men whose 
integrity none could question, were defeated as Repub- 
lican candidates in strong Republican wards, solely 
because they tolerated or excused the profligate and 
corrupt measures of the party organization to which 
they adhered. During that season of reform nearly 
every important office in the city of Philadelphia from 
mayor down was filled by Democrats or Independent 
Reform Republicans, and Democrats were thrice elected 

Old Time Notes 

the important office of controller, who, as McMuIlen 
'ntly but expressively said, "sits on the chist, " 
r a full decade the Republican leaders were under 
fair notice that Machine candidates would be made to 
bite the dust, and the result was the defeat of many 
candidates of questionable character, and the nomina- 
tion and election of many men of the highest character 
and ability, but the labor of the reformer is a thankless 
isk. It is all work and no pay beyond the gratifi- 
cation of having performed a duty to the public, while 
the work of the partisan who makes politics a trade 
and lives thereby is untiring. Gradually, as the reform 
veterans retired from the struggle, the Machine men 
came to the front, but it was many years Ix^fore they 
regained the power to pollute the ballot box and to 
pollute municipal authority to an extent approaching 
that which had been common before the adoption of 
the new Constitution. There has been a steady battle 
fnr and against a thoroughly honest elcctriral system, 
an>] it will d^niblk'^s omtinut- until ihc po>]iic shall be 
goaded to revolution and adopt the only honest method 
of regulating elections by requiring every voter to regis- 
ter and making the official ballot one that compels the 
voter to choose each individual candidate for every 
office. Until that shall be done organized and corrupt 
political power will always be able to debauch the 
ballot, differing only in degree. 

Of Pennsylvania 363 




Formidable Revolt Against Stokley's Administration — ^The Author 
Peremptorily Declines to Become a Candidate for Mayor — James S. 
Biddle Nominated by the Democrats, but soon Thereafter Declined 
— Democrats and Citizens Nominate the Author without Consult- 
ing Him — His Acceptance Seemed to Be an Imperious Necessity 
— Remarkable Galaxy of Republican Leaders Who Supported Him 
— Interesting Episodes of the Campaign — The Author Advised 
Four Days before the Election of the Majority that would be 
Returned Against Him — Stokley Returned Elected by over x 0,000 

THE year 1874 was a revolutionary period in 
politics. The revolutionary efforts so earn- 
estly and fruitlessly made in 1872 gathered a 
liberal harvest in 1874, alike in city, State and nation. 
For the first time since the beginning of the war, the 
Democrats elected a majority of the popular branch 
of Congress; the entire Republican State ticket was 
defeated in Pennsylvania, and Mann and Ashe, Repub- 
lican candidates for district attorney and coroner in 
Philadelphia, were beaten in square contests by Dem- 
ocratic competitors. When the Greeley campaign 
failed so disastrously in 1872, it was generally assumed 
by the Republican leaders, and, indeed, confessed by 
many of the opposition, that only new conditions could 
organize a successful party to oppose the Republicans; 
but the reform seeds which had been strewn in 1872 
gradually ripened, and brought many serious disasters 
to the Republicans. 

It was a year of imusual political interest in Pennsyl- 

366 Old Time Notes 

plished master, and absolutely controlled the primary 
elections of his party. Earnestly as his renomination 
was opposed by many prominent Republicans, he was 
nominated for the Centennial term without serious 
opposition. The desire was general among that class 
to imite on a Citizens* ticket for the several municipal 
offices in co-operation with the Democratic organiza- 
tion, and at a conference held between prominent 
Democrats and prominent Reform Republicans just 
before the meeting of the Democratic City conven- 
tion they were tmanimous in demanding my nomina- 
tion as Stokley 's competitor. A committee of delegates 
from the Democratic convention called upon me on 
the morning before the body met, and informed me of 
their purpose to nominate me for mayor, and to accept 
me as the Citizens* candidate for that office. I told 
them that I could not entertain the question of accept- 
ing the nomination or the office, and that if nominated 
by the convention I would peremptorily decline. The 
strongest personal reasons forbade my acceptance of 
either the nomination or the office. I was bankrupt in 
property, having been made so by the destruction of 
Chambersburg during the war, and my private business 
interests demanded all my attention and care, while 
the hopelessly ill health of my wife made it impossible 
for us to accept the exacting social duties of the Cen- 
tennial year. 

The committee refused to accept my declination, 
and I then wrote a letter addressed to the president of 
the convention, stating that if nominated by the body 
I would certainly decline. This letter was handed to 
the committee with instructions to have it read in 
the convention. When the convention reached the 
question of nominating a candidate for mayor, the 
letter was read and the refusal to permit the use of my 
name was so emphatic that it was not presented to 

of Pennsylvania 367 

the convention, and James S. Biddle, a gentleman of 
the highest character and accompUshed attainments, 
was imanimously nominated. 

I felt greatly relieved when, as I supposed, I was 
finally eliminated from the mayoralty contest. Clean 
and accomplished as was Mr. Biddle, the reform organ- 
ization of the city failed to accept him, and nominated 
William E. Littleton, who was then president of select 
coimcil, and had made an unustially clean record as 
a city legislator. This action was a serious disappoint- 
ment to Mr. Biddle, and within a week or ten days he 
published a letter declining the Democratic nomina- 
tion for mayor, and the Democratic convention was 
reconvened two days thereafter to select a successor. 
I was in Harrisburg attending to senatorial duties 
when the convention met, happy in the beUef that I 
was no longer thought of as a candidate for mayor, 
and was greatly surprised to find that the Democratic 
convention had nominated me as the Citizens* candi- 
date and adjourned without day. The same evening a 
call was issued signed by a nimiber of leading Repub- 
licans for a Citizens* meeting in Horticultural Hall, 
to ratify my nomination as the Citizens' candidate for 
mayor. I was greatly distressed by this action of the 
convention and the Citizens* committee. I knew how 
desperate the contest would be, and however acceptable 
such a high honor from the people of Philadelphia 
would have been tmder ordinary conditions, the 
strongest business, personal and domestic reasons made 
me most anxious to escape the struggle. I returned 
from Harrisburg on Friday evening and met a nimiber 
of personal friends in conference to whom the situa- 
tion was frankly presented, but while they admitted 
that I had the best of reasons for seeking to avoid 
the contest, they insisted that it was no longer a matter 
of discretion with me, and that I must respond to the 

Old Time Notes 

call that had been made upon me. I reminded them 
that I had no money to expend in the contest, that on 
a salary of S5.000 a year and no other property inter- 
ests but debts, I certainly could not maintain the hos- 
pitaEty that was expected from the Centennial mayor, 
and one of the gentlemen present, the late Allison 
White, who was then a large aal operator residing in 
the city, stated that he was prepared to give the assur- 
ance on his own responsibility that within three days 
an ample fund would be subscribed to enable me to 
accept the position of Centennial mayor without appre- 
hension of financial embarrassment, and before the 
three days expired he exhibited to me a paper signed 
by ten or twelve citizens of large means creating a 
fund of $100,000 that was to be expended by a com- 
mittee in renting and furnishing prtjperly a house for 
the mayor and defraying all the expenses of main- 
taining it, and $50,000 of the fund was to be appro- 
priated for ofhciai entertainments during the Cen- 
tennial season. Amnpg the names signed to that 
paper with Mr. White's were those of J. Edgar Thomp- 
son, Thomas A. Scott, William Welsh, John P. Veree, 
and others. 

Amos R. Little, a retired merchant of large means 
and great earnestness in the cause of reform, became 
chairman of the Citizens' committee to conduct the 
campaign, and by the time that the immense mass 
meeting was held in Horticultural Hall there seemed to 
be no choice for me but to accept the battle or lie 
down in front of a challenging foe. I well xmderstood 
what such a contest meant. I knew the resources 
of the city administration, and well knew how unscrupu- 
lously and desperately those means were to be employed 
to the uttermost. I did not doubt that the battle 
could be won if the integrity of the ballot could be pre- 
served, but unfortunately while we had a new election 

y/,,, — c^/j/i/i^^- 

Of Pennsylvania 369 

law that imposed severe restraints upon many features 
of ballot frauds, the registry law election officers yet 
lingered. Although the law had been repealed by the 
supreme law of the State, the election officers elected 
the previous year remained and wotald perform their 
last duties imder the registry law at the mayor's elec- 
tion of 1874, thus giving to every division of the city 
an election board, every member of which was chosen 
by the Republican party leaders, although a minority 
of the officers were nominally Democratic. In the 
districts where frauds could not be safely attempted, 
thoroughly reputable election boards were appointed, 
but in all the divisions where fraud was possible tinscru- 
pulous Republicans were chosen and either corrupt 
or utterly ignorant Democrats. 

The election was just three weeks distant when I 
accepted the nomination, and certainly the most 
earnest campaign ever witnessed in Philadelphia 
was crowded into the brief period between that time 
and the election. Such Republicans as the venerable 
Horace Binney, who cast his last vote at that election; 
ex-Mayor Alexander Henry, William Henry Rawle, 
Henry Armitt Brown, E. Joy Morris, John W. Forney, 
William Welsh, John P. Veree, John J. Ridgway, Amos 
R. Little and many others, came to the front, and most 
of them along with such representative Democrats as 
George W. Biddle, Daniel Dougherty and others, were 
heard on the stump every night during the campaign. 
It was a battle royal from start to finish, and I spoke 
to from two to four large meetings every night. The 
poptilar wave of reform was immistakable, and tintil 
within four days of the election, bets were freely 
offered at 100 to 80 on the defeat of Stoldey. 

In that contest I had opporttinity to leam the 
ingenuity, the power and the desperation of the party 
organization that was leading the fight most aggres- 

370 Old Time Notes 

sivdy against us. Fortunately I had thotx>ughly 
reliable and courageous men even within the inner 
circle of the consultations of our opponents, and they 
never were permitted to surprise us by any of their 
many cleverly conceived pl^is to make a break in 
the tide that was against them. A captain of police, 
and one of the most intelligent and faithful officers 
of the body, had been my sincere friend for years, as 
I had once aided him in attaining a profitable position 
imder Governor Curtin. He was as discreet as he was 
faithful to his friendships. He made an appointment 
to meet me at a place where notice was quite improb- 
able, and frankly presented the situation to me, and 
the general orders imder which the police were acting. 
I had publicly stated whenever the subject was referred 
to that if elected mayor no competent and faithful 
policeman would be removed for political or personal 

He asked me to authorize him to give that assurance 
in the most positive manner to any of the policemen 
who might be employed to serve him in his desire to 
render service to me. A confidential council was held 
in the office of the mayor every day. What transpired 
there was made known to this captain of police, and 
when he had information that was important for me 
to have he had several faithful citizen friends who were 
entrusted with the mission from time to time, and I 
was thus kept fully advised of everything that was 
being done and with all the plans made for futtire 
political movements. 

At one of these meetings an apparent countryman 
was brought in by one of the police who was imscrupu- 
lous in his efforts to serve the mayor, and the country- 
man told the story that he lived in Trenton, that he 
was a drover, that I had stopped in Trenton overnight 
a year or two before, engaged him and others in a 

Of Pennsylvania 371 

game of cards and had cheated him out of $1,700. 
When I state that I had never stopped in Trenton in 
my life, the falsity of the story will be imderstood; 
but it was decided that an elaborate affidavit should be 
drawn setting forth my whole fraudulent operations 
as a card sharp and have it given to the newspapers on 
the following day. In the several speeches I delivered 
that evening I stated the fact that a man, giving his 
name, had been employed to sign such an affidavit; 
that it had been prepared and was to be given to the 
public on the following day, adding that I had never 
been in Trenton in my life excepting to pass through 
it in a train of cars. This premature publicity of the 
invented scandal made them abandon it, but when 
election day approached they foimd it necessary to do 
something to coimteract the revolutionary feeling 
that prevailed throughout the city, and it was delib- 
erately decided at a political coimcil in the mayor's 
office that certain police officers who imderstood that 
sort of duty should be detailed to New York and others 
to Baltimore and furnished funds to bring to the city 
a few days before the election from fifty to one himdred 
toughs who were trained in all manner of ballot frauds, 
to scatter over the city, boisterously hurrah for McClure 
until Simday or Monday before the election, when a 
ntimber of them should be arrested by the police as 
professional repeaters and be let off when confessing 
that they had come to repeat for me, but would abandon 
the project and go home. Within two hours after that 
was decided upon in the office of the mayor, I was fully 
informed of it, and that night in several speeches the 
whole programme was given in detail, with the names 
of the policemen who had been chosen at the coimcil 
to perform the duty. As the whole scheme was so 
circumstantially given, it was impossible for them to 
attempt the execution of the programme. These an- 

Old Time Notes 

icements naturally caused serious trouble in the 

■■-' vor's confidential council. Somebody was evidently 

ing out of schoctl and suspicion was so clearly 

•.cled against two gentlemen present, who. while 

rv sincerely and heartily supporting Stokley. were 
wn to be in friendly personal relations with me, 
c they retired from further political conferences at 

; mayor's office. 

The week before the election the party leaders saw 
that unless the tidal wave that was running against 
them could be halted in some way they were inevitably 
rtffeated, and they sent for Quay and Mackey. then 

: two ablest party leaders of the State. I had then, 
Mild always had before and since during their lives, 
dose personal friendly relations with both of them, 
although often compelled to lock horns with them in 
political conflicts. My relations with Quay were more 
than friendly, indeed they had been relations of close 
intimacy regardless of political struggles. Quay's first 
act when he came to Phila(k*lphia was tn invite me to 
dine with him alone, and I promptly accepted. At 
the dinner the whole general conditions of State and 
city were discussed in the frankest way, and he said 
that the most unpleasant duty he had ever been called 
upon to perform was the mission that he was then on 
in the city to defeat my election as mayor. I sug- 
gested to him that he might as well let mimicipal aflFairs 
alone and look after his State, but Quay's answer 
was: " If you're elected, where the hell will we be?" 
I told him that my election might seriously interfere 
with some of their political movements in Philadelphia, 
but I insisted that it would be well for the leaders of. 
the party, and certainly for the party, to adopt methods 
for its direction that could not be endangered by any 
honest municipal power, but the suggestion was not 
received by Quay with any degree of enthusiasm, and 



Of Pennsylvania 373 

after a pleasant dinner and chat we separated, he 
repeating the expression that he was very sorry that 
it was necessary for them to accomplish my defeat. 

Enormous sums of money were collected from the 
police and city officials, with large contributions de- 
manded from business men actively in politics, as the 
campaign became fearfully expensive. Money was 
lavishly squandered by the party leaders in every sec- 
tion of the city, where it was believed that money 
could accomplish political results, while the chief 
expense on our side was the employment of a detective 
force, and perfecting and maintaining complete oi^ani- 
zations in every division of the city. By the imited 
action of the Democrats and the Citizens, there was 
no lack of money in support of our cause. One promi- 
nent citizen, whose official position was such that he 
cotald not afford to be suspected of contributing to 
the Citizens' cause, sent a friend to me to say that he de- 
sired to purchase $10,000 worth of certain bonds which 
he knew were in my possession, and which were then 
entirely valueless and without the prospect of value, 
adding that if I would deliver them to the person a 
fair price would be paid for them. I sent the bonds, 
and the man brought back to me a sealed envelope 
containing ten $1,000 bills. The cost of organizing 
the entire city, obtaining detectives and manning 
every poll with the proper window men was about 
$30,000, all of which was contributed by a small circle 
of citizens. 

On Friday night before the election, when bets were 
made every evening in the Continental Hotel, usually 
at 100 to 80 in favor of my election, I received a mes- 
sage to go to a particular room in a private house. I 
immediately obeyed the stmimons, and at the place 
stated met a local party leader, who had repeatedly 
given me important information, was thoroughly up 

374 Old Time Notes 

in all that was being done, and in whose fidelity I had 
absolute confidence. He said that he had sent for me 
to advise me to go and stop at once all betting on my 
election; that to-morrow bets wotdd be freely offered 
even on my defeat by 10,000 majority, and that all 
such bets would be won by my opponents. He told 
me that it mattered not what vote was cast, I would 
certainly be returned as defeated by over 10,000. I 
inquired whether it was to be done chiefly by repeaters, 
to which he answered that he could not explain how it 
was to be done, adding, however, that the few Uiou- 
sand votes put in by repeaters would not affect the 
result. On the contrary, he said that little repeating 
would be done; that the election would be unusually 
quiet ; that there wotild be no attempt to rough voters 
at the polls, but that the result was absolutely pre- 
determined, and that the majority would be over 
10,000. I could not doubt the correctness of the infor- 
mation given me, and hastened at once to stop all 
betting on the election as far as could be accomplished, 
and the result was just as foreshadowed by my friend. 
The election was unusually quiet, and my friends 
believed the victory^ clearly won because of the absence 
of desperate and violent methods at the polls, but the 
official returns gave 10,985 against me. It was not 
until a year later that I discovered how the count had 
been accomplished. The ballot boxes of the city were 
then in the custody of the city authorities, and an extra 
box was sent out to the divisions which could be safely 
manipulated containing a given number of tickets for 
mayor. Some one and perhaps more of the election 
officers understood what the box meant, how many 
tickets were in it, and it was only necessary to substi- 
tute that box for the one in which the tickets had been 
received during the first half or more of the day, and 
either add or take from it before substituting the 

Of Pennsylvania 375 

number of tickets necessary to make it correspond with 
the poll list. There were watchers at the polls, but 
the elections were conducted with such apparent fair- 
ness, such an absence of repeaters and attempts to 
rough voters, that long before the day was over every 
watcher was entirely satisfied that his division was 
square, and all that was necessary was to watch an 
opportimity when he was off guard to change the box. 
No one ever informed me that the ballot boxes had been 
thus stuffed and exchanged, but the man who gave 
me the information before the election that was fully 
verified by the returns often spoke of the matter when 
we met in a casual way, but never would explain how 
it had been done. On one occasion I pressed him with 
unusual earnestness to explain to me for my own satis- 
faction how the fraud had been perpetrated, and he 
answered by saying that he couldn 't tell what had been 
done, or how it had been done, but added that if he 
had been called upon to meet such an emergency he 
wotald have done it in the manner before described. 
Thus ended the most desperate struggle ever made 
in the city of Philadelphia for its highest trust. On 
the ticket with me were Charles Henry Jones for city 
solicitor, and Mr. Peirce, of Peirce's Business College, 
for city treasurer, both of whom received the same 
blow and fell in the race. 

376 Old Time Notes 



PArty Leaden Made the Issue of the Republican Centennial Mayor the 
Prominent One in the Contest — Democrats in the Legislature Pro- 
voked to Hostile Action against the Centennial Ap p ropriation — 
A Direct Appropriation Impossible — How an Apparent Appropria- 
tion of a Million Dollars Had Been Passed in 1873 — ^The Desperate 
Struggle to Obtain the Million Dollars Needed— Finally Saved by 
the Positive Intervention of Colonel Scott — ^The Financial Revul- 
sion Keenly Felt and Private Subscriptions Retarded. 

IT WILL doubtless stirprise most of the intelli- 
gent citizens at the present time when it is 
stated that it required a very desperate strug- 
gle, with a large measure of legislative diplomacy, 
to obtain an appropriation from the State for the Cen- 
tennial Exposition. When the session of 1873 opened 
the Centennial Exposition was only three years distant, 
and it was an absolute necessity that Pennsylvania 
should contribute at least $1,000,000, with quite half 
that amount from the city municipality, to assure the 
success of the great enterprise. John Welsh, probably 
the most influential private citizen of Philadelphia, 
and one of the ripest of our business men, was placed 
at the head of the Centennial enterprise, and he in- 
formed me before the opening of the session of 1873 
that an appropriation of a million dollars must be 
obtained from the State to make the Exposition in any 
way creditable to the city. 

Strange as it may seem, there was little enthusiasm 
over the Exposition throughout the State, and when 
the Legislature met I was appalled at the positive 
hostility to a large appropriation in both branches, and 

Of Pennsylvania 377 

nearly eqtial in both the great political parties. After 
thorough conference with fellow senators and the 
leaders of the house, it was clearly evident that an 
appropriation exceeding $250,000 could not be passed 
in either branch. Mr. Welsh spent several days at 
Harrisburg with me, and personally understood the 
situation. He returned to the city in a condition 
bordering on despair. The necessity was imperative 
for favorable legislation promising at least a million 
dollars, and it was absolutely impossible to obtain that 
by any direct method. Finally, ^dthout consulting 
anyone, I framed a bill, the first section of which made 
a direct appropriation of $1,000,000 to the Centennial 
Exposition, but it was followed by various provisos. 
One required that a special Centennial fund should be 
created for the State treasury by taxes levied for the 
special purpose to cover the full appropriation ; another 
required the city of Philadelphia to make an appro- 
priation of $500,000 to the Exposition, and another 
fixed the limit of $250,000 as the appropriation from 
the State, in case a special Centennial fimd should not 
be provided by special taxes. It was most important 
to obtain a direct appropriation of a million dollars 
from the State in the first section of the bill, as it made 
a landmark for further legislation in the event of the 
failure of the conditions attached. 

Another section of the bill provided for a special tax 
of three per cent, upon the gross receipts of the passen- 
ger railways of Philadelphia, to be paid into the treasury 
and to constitute the Centennial fimd, out of which 
the million appropriation should be paid. Such a 
special tax was certainly of doubtful constitutionality, 
but it was a very good foil to disarm a considerable 
element of opposition to the bill. Another section of 
the bill provided that the $1,000,000 appropriated by 
the State, and the $500,000 to be appropriated by the 

378 Old Time Notes 

city, shotdd be expended on a memorial hall, to be 
erected in a suitable place in the park and to remain 
after the Centennial ended as a permanent place for 
the display of the indtistrial and artistic products of 
the Commonwealth. A ntmiber of the most distin- 
guished business men of the State, headed by ex- 
Governor Bigler and Ario Pardee, were named as 
supervisors to construct this building in accord with 
the Centennial authorities, and supervise the expendi- 
ture of the money appropriated by the city and State. 
Knowing that the weak point was its special tax on 
the gross receipts of the city railways, the bill was first 
submitted to William H. Kemble, who was then the 
master street railway man of the city, and who practi- 
cally dictated the general policy of that important 
interest. The street railways were greatly interested 
in the success of the Exposition, as it meant a rich 
harvest for them, and Kemble promptly agreed not 
only not to oppose the bill, but to favor its passage as 
the only way by which an appropriation or an apparent 
appropriation could be obtained. He laughed at the 
idea of forcing the street railways to pay special taxes, 
and said they were prepared to meet that question when 
it came. Kemble heartily co-operated in the support 
of the measure, and his action doubtless induced many 
legislators to favor the bill, believing that the city 
passenger railways would pay the entire $1,000,000 
appropriation. The bill was also submitted to Colonel 
Scott, without whose cordial support it could not have 
been passed. When he learned that Kemble was 
entirely willing to support it he said that Kemble imder- 
stood his business, as the city railways were not in any 
serious danger of special taxation, and the result was 
that the bill passed both branches in a very brief period 
and was approved by the Governor. While in point 
of fact the bill simply assured an actual appropriation 

Of Pennsylvania 379 

of $250,000, it was generally believed that at the next 
session any necessary amendments could be accom- 
plished to assure the full $1,000,000 from the State in 
some way, and the city authorities hastened to make 
a positive appropriation of $500,000, to be expended 
on the special State and city building in accordance 
with the act of Assembly. 

When the Legislature met in 1874 there were very 
confused political conditions, and the Philadelphia 
mayorality contest added greatly to partisan disturb- 
ance on the Centennial issue. The supporters of 
Stokley appealed to the people at every mass meeting 
to elect a Republican mayor for the safety of the Cen- 
tennial, as the entire State and National authorities 
were Republican, and the success ot the Exposition 
would be greatly impaired by my election. This was 
not simply an incidental issue of the contest, but it was 
made the main issue, and when Stokley was returned 
as re-elected the Democrats generally were not only 
very greatly chilled in their support of the Exposition, 
but absolutely driven into open opposition. No move- 
ment had been made in the Legislature imtil after the 
mayorality contest was over to revise the bill making 
a State appropriation to the Centennial, and when I 
returned to the senate, after three weeks of campaign- 
ing, I foimd every Democrat in the senate provoked to 
positive hostility to any further appropriation to the 
Exposition, while the Republicans were nearly evenly 
divided for and against it. 

My position in the senate was one of peculiar delicacy 
and responsibility. If I failed to secure the direct 
appropriation of a million dollars from a body that 
was then certainly two-thirds hostile to it, it would 
have been impossible to escape the accusation that 
political disappointment had made me indifferent to 
the success of the Centennial and false to senatorial 

38o Old Time Notes 

duties. There were a number of unusually able Demo- 
crats in the body at the time, including Wallace, DiU, 
Yerkes, and others, and the closest friendly relations 
existed between us, while on the other side were men 
like Strang, Cooper and Rutan, who were equally 
friendly, personally, and all of them broad gauge, liberal 
men. The first move made was a conference with the 
leading Democratic senators, to whom the situation 
was frankly presented in confidence and the position 
in which I would be placed if the appropriation failed, 
however faithfully and wisely I had supported it. 
They held the matter under advisement for some 
time and finally agreed that they would support the 
measure chiefly as a matter of jtistice to mj^self. It 
was generally accepted at the time that the proposed 
special tax on the gross receipts of the passenger rail- 
ways cotdd not be enforced and that there was prac- 
tically no special Centennial fund to be in the treasury 
by the bill enacted the previotis year. It was necessary, 
therefore, to make the appropriation of a million dollars 
direct to the Exposition, but the shock of such a drain 
upon the treasury was somewhat tempered by provid- 
ing that it should be paid in three payments, the last 
to be made on the 4th of July, 1876. 

Elliott, of Philadelphia, was speaker of the house, and 
greatly interested in the Centennial appropriation. He 
was a man of unusal force and rendered a most im- 
portant service in bringing the house into the support 
of the measure, but with all the combined power that 
could be brought to favor the bill at Harrisburg, it 
was foimd that we lacked a majority of votes in both 
hquse and senate. We struggled along for several 
weeks, and found it impossible to marshal a majority 
in support of the Centennial. S. S. Moon had long 
been the personal representative of Colonel Scott, of 
the Pennsylvania Railroad, at Harrisburg, and was, of 

Of Pennsylvania 381 

course, earnestly cooperating with the friends of the 
measure. He understood the situation better than 
anybody else. He not only knew who were for it 
and who against it, but he also knew who nndght be 
obtained for it if imperious necessity demanded unusu- 
ally persuasive methods. We went together to Colonel 
Scott, and presented the actual condition at Harris- 
burg, disclosing the fact that unless special and im- 
portant support could be brought to favor the appro- 
priation, it must certainly fail. Scott's final orders 
were in about these words: '* Well, Moon, see that the 
bill is passed; the Centennial must be made a great 
success." In the then existing conditions at Harris- 
burg that order from Colonel Scott meant the success 
of the bill, but the opposition fought tirelessly and 
desperately, and it was not until the early part of May 
that the bill making a clean appropriation of one million 
to the Centennial was finally enacted. 

The opposition managed very adroitly to amend the 
original bill and bring the two houses in conflict, result- 
ing in a committee of conference that finally reported 
to both branches the bill as it was enacted. It was in 
the closing days of the session, when prompt action was 
necessary. Just when the measure was called up for 
final action in the senate, and some member of the body 
was delivering an argument against it, a page brought 
me a message from Moon, stating that our lines were 
broken, and that a vote must not be permitted until 
he gave a signal from some position in the chamber 
where I cotild see him distinctly, by dropping his 
handkerchief on the floor in an apparently accidental 
way. The debate continued for half an hour or more, 
when no one seemed desirous to continue it, and a vote 
would have been precipitated had not the del^ate been 
renewed. Having had no signal from Moon, I was 
compelled to take the floor and to speak in support of 

384 Old Time Notes 

government could command all the loans needed for 
the prosecution of the war, and the financial success 
of the administration, in the face of most appdling 
dif&ctilties, was due to the rare financial g6nius and 
tireless energy of Jay Cooke. 

Private subscriptions to the Centennial were lai^gdy 
restricted by the new financial conditions of 1874-7 j- 
76, and the fact that the revulsion was felt through- 
out the entire State greatly increased the difficulty in 
obtaining a million appropriation from the Legislature 
in aid of the Centennial. John Welsh, who was the 
financial manager of the Exposition, had a most 
responsible and laborious task, but he was a man always 
dominated by his public spirit in support of the ad- 
vancement of the city, and he labored night and day, 
but even with the State and city appropriations he 
barely escaped financial failure. PubUc meetings were 
held throughout the city which were addressed by the 
ablest of our orators to inspire the people to contribute 
to the support of the Exposition, and committees were 
appointed to visit and personally solicit subscriptions. 
The importimities were not confined to people of wealth, 
but all classes and conditions were visited and urged to 
contribute according to their means, however small. 

It was then believed that the Exposition could take 
in sufficient money to pay all the expenses and fully 
reimburse the subscribers, but the appropriation made 
by Congress imfortunately embraced the clause making 
the government a preferred creditor, and as the receipts 
fell far below what was originally expected, the indi- 
vidual subscriptions were nearly or quite a total loss. 
There was very general business and industrial depres- 
sion during the Centennial year of 1876, and it was 
very severely felt in the receipts. Scores of thousands 
throughout the country who would have visited the 
Exposition if the War tidal wave of prosperity had not 



Of Pennsylvania 385 

been checked were compelled to forego the pleastire of 
personally celebrating the Centennial of the natal day 
of the Republic, but the general management of the 
enterprise made exhaustive and well-considered efforts 
to bring the largest possible attendance. John Welsh, 
by his patriotic devotion and tireless efforts to promote 
the Exposition, rendered a service to the city and State, 
that was known only to the few who aided him in his 
exacting labors, and has never been justly appreciated. 

The politicians, as a rule, did little in aid of the Expo- 
sition enterprise. Democratic leaders in both city and 
State were disgusted by the partisan slough into which 
the contest for the Centennial mayor had been plunged 
by the Philadelphia leaders, and the very men who had 
thus alienated a large element of contributors, when 
they had won out at the February election, allowed 
the Exposition to take care of itself, as they had more 
than enough on hand to keep their political fences in 
reasonable repair. The subscriptions from business 
men throughout the State were not ten per cent, of 
what they should have been imder ordinary good con- 
ditions, and the contributions were as a rule secured 
only by personal visit and solicitation. Had the busi- 
ness conditions of 1874-75 been as favorable as they 
were prior to the beginning of the revulsion of 1873, 
and had there been no political complications to chill 
the ardor of the Democrats, fully a million dollars 
more could have been obtained by the Exposition 
management, and with less than half the labor required 
to obtain the amount actually received. 

It was most fortunate that the Centennial was not 
delayed a year later. Had 1877 embraced the Cen- 
tennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence 
the Exposition would have been a colossal failure. 
Labor strikes prevailed throughout the country from 
the eastern to the western sea ; labor was largely unem- 

386 Old Time Notes 

ploved and pocnrly requited when empolyment was given, 
and finally a period of actual starvation was reached, 
and an eruption of anarchy engulfed all the great 
industrial centers of the land. Even the great trunk 
railways were in possession of the mob, and trains ran 
only as the mob dictated. Governor Hartranft was 
on a visit to the Pacific coast when the eruption came, 
and when he started to come home to make an earnest 
effort to maintain the peace of his great State, he fotmd 
that he could travel only by permission of anarchy. 
The leaders of the revolutionists were wise enough, 
however, to recognize the necessity of giving 5ie 
Governor of Pennsylvania a dear passage to his capital, 
and when both commerce and travel were interrupted 
almost to a standstill the train bearing the Governor 
to Harrisburg was handled with special care, and every 
facility aif orded for his speedy and safe return to his offi- 
cial duties. In Philadelphia the Pennsylvania Raibx)ad 
for some days could not send a locomotive out of its 
depot, and tiie bravest men were appalled at the 
possible mastery of anarchy. Had the Centennial 
Exposition struck such a year the receipts would not 
have paid operating expenses. 

of Pennsylvania 387 


Republicans Lose the State at the First Election under the New Con- 
stitution — Wallace Carefully Organized the Democrats, and had a 
Large Majority of Friends in the Legislature — Nominated for United 
States Senator with But Few Dissenting Votes — Buckalew Hostile 
to Wallace, and Controlled Enough Votes to Defeat Him — Buckalew's 
Attempt to Deal with Mackey — Mackey Saves Wallace. 

NOTWITHSTANDING the triumph of the Re- 
publican leaders in the Philadelphia mayor- 
alty contest of 1874, the political conditions 
of both city and State were very unpromising for the 
Republicans. The registry law election officers had 
be«i entirely supplanted at the February election, 
and the usual methods of controlling majorities in 
Philadelphia could no longer be employed. A new 
political factor had gradually developed in the city 
until it finally became a fearful millstone on the neck 
of the Republican organization. It was known as the 
Pilgrim Club, organized ostensibly as a social club, 
but it was soon discovered that the membership had 
been carefully chosen, and that it embraced a number 
of prominent Republicans and a lesser number of prom- 
inent Democrats who acted unitedly in Philadelphia 

Colonel Mann was one of the prominent Republican 
members, and Lewis C. Cassidy was one of the promi- 
nent Democratic members, and with Cassidy were 
Samuel Josephs, Senator Cochrane, son-in-law to 
Cassidy, and other Democrats who were ready to co- 
operate with the Pilgrim organization either for or 
against their own respective parties, if power or profit 

388 Old Time Notes 

coxdd thereby be attained. It made Cassidy, Josephs, 
Cochrane and all the other Democratic members of the 
club ardently support Stokley in the contest for 
mayor, and it beclame so aggressive that it finally 
asstmied to dictate the nominations of both parties. 
General Bingham, a member of the Pilgrim Club, was 
nominated for clerk of the quarter sessions in 1875, 
but the hostility aroused against the variegated political 
masters of the club made the Union League rebel, and 
by the vote of its own members it rejected Bingham as 
a candidate after his nomination had been made, and 
he narrowly escaped defeat. In the contest of 1874 
this peculiar organization alienated many of the more 
intelligent Republicans from the dominant power of 
the party, and throughout the State the Republican 
orranization lacked vitaUty. 

There was an unusually large State ticket to be 
elected, including two additional supreme judges added 
to that court by the new Constitution, but the people 
were allowed to vote for only one candidate for judge, 
thus assuring the election of the Republican and Dem- 
ocratic candidates, regardless of the success of either 
party in the State. The Republican convention, that 
was practically controlled by State Treasurer Mackey, 
with Quay, then secretary of the commonwealth, as 
a close second, nominated Judge Paxson, of Philadel- 
phia, for the supreme bench, with Senator Olmsted 
of Potter, for lieutenant governor, Senator Allen, of 
Warren, for auditor general, and General Death, of 
Philadelphia, for secretary of internal affairs. The 
ticket was a very creditable one, as Olmsted was one 
of the ablest and most respected of the prominent legis- 
lators of the State, while Allen had served creditably 
in both branches, and Beath was one of our most gal- 
lant soldiers. Paxson had long been on the common 
pleas bench of Philadelphia, and was recognized as * 

Of Pennsylvania 389 

one of the foremost of our Philadelphia jurists. The 
Democrats nominated Senator Latta, of Westmore- 
land, for Heutenant governor, Justus F. Temple, a 
Greene County farmer, for auditor general, General 
McCandless, of Philadelphia, for secretary of internal 
affairs, and Warren J. Woodward, of Berks, for the 
supreme court. 

In Philadelphia the important city offices of district 
attorney and coroner were to be filled, and Colonel 
Mann was nominated to succeed himself as district 
attorney, and Representative Ashe was nominated 
for coroner. The local candidates were both mem- 
bers of the Pilgrim Club, and they were presented by 
their opponents in every section of the city as the Pil- 
grim candidates. Furman Sheppard, who had been 
defeated by Mann three years before, was again nomi- 
nated as Mann's competitor, and Dr. Goddard was 
made the Democratic candidate for coroner. 

Mackey, who had won out the year before by his 
majority in Philadelphia, as he came to the city with 
fifty-nine votes against him, did not believe it possible 
that the Democrats could carry the State, as he believed 
that the congressional year, with an imusually im- 
portant State ticket, would call out a much larger 
Republican vote than he had received in 1873. The 
new Legislature to be chosen was the first to conform 
to the new constitutional provision enlarging the senate 
from thirty to fifty, and the house to about two hun- 
dred. A United States Senator was to be chosen by 
the Legislature, and Mackey gave special attention to 
the Legislative districts, but Senator Wallace, alto- 
gether the ablest of the Democratic organizers of his 
day, saw the opporttmity to carry the Legislature and 
thus win the United States Senatorship for himself. 
He devoted himself and his well-organized body of very 
devoted friends to the single duty of looking after the 

■^ . ^^ -■ . •, 

Of Pennsylvania 391 


greafly needed a much more flexible type of Senator. 
Mackey and Qtiay decided that, as a Republican could 
not be elected, lie only thing Hiey could do was to 
punish Scott for having been a faithful Senator, and 
they refused him a renomination, which was only an 
empty honor, beyond an expression of appreciation of 
his Senatorial record. While he cared little for the 
office, and was probably more than willing to retire, 
he and his friends were greatly mortified at the Machine 
whip that was plied upon him to make him retire from 
the Senate without even the empty nomination of his 
party. In order to emphasize the lesson, Quay selected 
John Allison, an ex-Congressman from his own town, 
to whom the party nomination for Senator was awarded. 

When Scott retired from the Senate he was soon made 
the general solicitor of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company, and continued in that responsible position 
until his death. No man in the public service left a 
cleaner record than did John Scott. 

As Wallace had given his personal attention to the 
nomination and election of Democratic senators and 
representatives, an overwhelming majority of the Dem- 
ocratic legislators were in favor of him for United States 
Senator, and in the Democratic caucus he was noini- 
nated by more than a three-fourths vote but some 
half dozen of the Democrats were devoted followers of 
Buckalew, and Buckalew was earnestly disposed to 
resent the humihation put upon him by Wallace, when 
Buckalew s term m the Senate had end^ Instead 
of accordmg to Buckalew the empty comi^liment of 
a nommation, Wallace took it lii!>;; ir- Undine it 
to be an intunation to the DemcS^X'^f 'S^^t^^ of 
bs purpose to contest for that honor in the future- 
Buckalew felt very keenly the slight that w^put upon 
to. and some of his friends were ready for revolu- 
tionary action against Wallace, r was at Hanis- 

390 Old Time Notes 

L^islative districts, and as the political tide proved 
to be in his favor, he won out handsomely, carrying 
nine Democratic majority on joint ballot. Madcey 
fotind l^is majorities for the State ticket very generally 
lessened, and the Democratic candidates came to the 
city of Philadelphia with nearly 18,000 majority. 
Philadelphia gave a little over 13,000 for the State 
ticket, thus enabling the State Democratic candidates 
to win out by over 4,000 majority. Judge Paxson 
had a majority against him witii his comrades on the 
State ticket, but he was saved as the minority mem- 
ber of the supreme judges. 

Not only did the Republicans lose their entire State 
ticket and the majority in the Legislattire, but they 
suffered severely from a loss of Congressmen. The 
delegation elected two years before contained five 
Democrats and twenty-two Republicans, while the 
delegation elected in 1874 contained seventeen Dem- 
ocrats and ten Republicans. Harmer was beaten in the 
Fifth district, in Philadelphia; Laporte was defeated 
by Powell, in the Bradford district ; Blair was defeated 
by Riley, in the Blair district; Stenger defeated Wistar, 
in the Franklin district; Hopkins defeated Negley, 
in one of the Allegheny districts, and Cochrane defeated 
Bayne in the other; Jenks defeated Harry White in 
the Armstrong district, and Egbert defeated Curtis 
in the Erie district. It was a Republican Waterloo, 
and was a most marvelous political achievement con- 
sidering that the victorious party was beaten in the 
State only two years before by nearly 140,000 majority. 

The term of John Scott was about to expire in the 
Senate. He had made an unusually creditable record 
as Senator. While always recognizing just obligations 
to party interests, he was not subject to orders from 
party leaders. Had the Legislature been Republican, 
he would not have been re-elected, as they wanted and 

Of Pennsylvania 391 

greafly needed a much more flexible type of Senator. 
Mackey and Quay decided that, as a RepubHcan could 
not be elected, liie only thing they could dcf was to 
ptmish Scott for having been a faithful Senator, and 
they refused him a renomination, which was only an 
empty honor, beyond an expression of appreciation of 
his Senatorial record. While he cared little for the 
office, and was probably more than willing to retire, 
he and his friends were greatly mortified at the Machine 
whip that was plied upon him to make him retire from 
the Senate without even the empty nomination of his 
party. In order to emphasize the lesson, Quay selected 
John Allison, an ex-Congressman from his own town, 
to whom the party nomination for Senator was awarded. 

When Scott retired from the Senate he was soon made 
the general solicitor of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company, and continued in that responsible position 
tintil his death. No man in the public service left a 
cleaner record than did John Scott. 

As Wallace had given his personal attention to the 
nomination and election of Democratic senators and 
representatives, an overwhelming majority of the Dem- 
ocratic legislators were in favor of him for United States 
Senator, and in the Democratic caucus he was nomi- 
nated by more than a three-fourths vote, but some 
half dozen of the Democrats were devoted followers of 
Buckalew, and Buckalew was earnestly disposed to 
resent the himiiliation put upon him by Wallace, when 
Buckalew 's term in the Senate had ended. Instead 
of according to Buckalew the empty compliment of 
a nomination, Wallace took it himself, intending it 
to be an intimation to the Democrats of the State of 
his purpose to contest for that honor in the future. 
Buckalew felt very keenly the slight that was put upon 
him, and some of his friends were ready for revolu- 
tionary action against Wallace. I was at Harris- 

Of Pennsylvania 393 

by messengers from Mackey and Qtiay of what trans- 
pired between them and Buckalew and was entirely 
confident that the Republican leaders, woiild in some 
way end the contest in his favor. 

When Mackey made the proposition to Buckalew to 
elect any Republican Senator that Buckalew might 
name and gave that as his ultimattim, Buckalew sud- 
denly abandoned the fight, and sent word directly to 
Wallace that the Buckalew Democrats would vote 
for him. I was in Wallace's room at the Bolton House 
when the Buckalew message was received by Wallace: 
The fight was thus ended, as Wallace was elected in the 
joint convention, practically without a struggle, and 
Buckalew retired rather more disgusted with the play 
that Mackey and Quay had made upon him than be- 
cause of the success of Wallace, and he never thereafter 
attempted to make himself felt as a factor in State 
politics. He was later twice elected to Congress, but 
rotmded out a career of rare distinction and usefulness 
by a himiiliating defeat for another term in Congress, 
in the strongest Democratic district in the State out- 
side of Berks. He struck the fearful revolutionary 
tide of 1884, when the State voted nearly two to one 

Wallace was the last Democratic Senator from Penn- 
sylvania, and the Legislature that elected him was the 
last Pennsylvania Legislature with a Democratic major- 
ity on joint ballot. Even in the revolutionary sweep 
of 1877, when the Democrats elected their State ticket 
by a larger majority than they attained in 1874, they 
failed to carry a majority of the Legislature. Thus 
for thirty years the Pennsylvania Legislature has been 
tmiformly Republican. When Wallace resigned his 
seat in the State senate to asstmie his Senatorial duties 
at Washington, Dr. Boyer, of Clearfield, who had been 
involved in the Senatorial scandal when Buckalew 

394 Old Time Notes 

defeated Cameron in 1863, was elected to serve Wal- 
lace's imexpired term. 

When Wallace became United States Senator he 
rapidly developed as a political organizer of the Senate, 
and in a very short time was formally recognized as 
the Democratic manager of the body. He was a most 
adroit politician, and as able in shaping the party policy 
in the United States Senate as he was in organizing 
his party forces in the State, and he r^arded hiis nomi- 
nation and election to the Presidency as altogether 
within the range of possibility. That was Wallace's 
chief error, as from the time he became a candidate 
for President he greatly impaired his own powers as a 
party leader. Randall had been in the House for a 
dozen years, and was a candidate for speaker when 
Wallace became Senator. Instead of heartily support- 
ing Randall, as was his true policy, he assumed that it 
would endanger his own prospects if Randall became 
speaker of the House, as he knew that Randall looked 
to the Presidency as a possible achievement. Wallace 
threw himself openly and aggressively into the fight 
against Randall, and was successful in defeating him 
by the nomination of Ker, of Indiana. Ker was 
elected, but died within a year, and Randall then 
became speaker without a serious contest. Wallace 
saw that Randall could not be defeated, and permitted 
the nomination to go by default. 

That was the beginning of an estrangement between 
Wallace and Randall that continued as long as they 
were actively in politics. I cannot recall a single 
political movement in the State thereafter in which 
they cordially co-operated, and Wallace's last battle 
was fought at Scranton for the nomination for Gov- 
ernor only a few months after Randall's death. New 
forces and new conditions had arisen such as confront 
every political leader aft^ the long exercise of power, 

Of Pennsylvania 395 

and he was defeated by a convention in which a major- 
ity of the delegates were of Wallace's old-time follow- 
ing, but the granger element had become very aggres- 
sive, and the ** hayseed" influence dominated the con- 
vention, and macle Wallace an impossible candidate. 
Soon thereafter his financial failure was annotmced, 
resulting from heavy investments made in timber 
lands and other Western property, most of which 
became valuable after some years, but not in time to 
save Wallace from bankruptcy. The last few years 
of his life he spent chiefly in New York city, struggling 
from day to day to hold his property and rescue him- 
self from his serious financial troubles. His political 
power, once so omnipotent in the State, had entirely 
passed away, fickle forttme had deserted him, and 
after a long and wearing struggle to retrieve his con- 
dition, the silver cord was loosed by fretting anxiety 
and the once great leader was borne to the City of the 
Silent at his moimtain home. 

The defeat of the Republican State ticket, and the 
loss of Republican control in the Legislature were 
appalling results to Mackey and Quay, and when they 
looked over the other States they f oimd little to encour- 
age them. Governor Hartranft would come up for 
re-election the following year, and they appreciated 
the necessity for most extraordinary efforts to restore 
Republican supremacy in the State. The elections 
of 1874 were a regular Democratic tidal wave, as they 
elected Democratic Governors in Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire and Connecticut; the Democratic Gover- 
nor in New York by over 50,000, and Governor Beadle, 
Democrat, was elected by a large majority in New 
Jersey. Ohio had elected a Democratic Governor 
the year before, and elected the Democratic State 
ticket that year by an increased majority. Indiana 
h^d also ^ven a large Democratic majority, and the 

396 Old Time Notes 

Republicans elected a State officer in Illinois only by 
division among the Democrats. The Democrats elected 
a large majority of the poptilar branch of Congress 
for the first time since the beginning of the Civil War, 
and Mackey and Quay fully appreciated the serious 
political conditions which confronted them. 

They at once directed their efforts to making a com- 
plete organization throughout the State for the re- 
election of Governor Hartranft, and it was carried to 
the extent of a positive contract made with the leaders 
of the Molly Maguires in Schuylkill Cotmty, by which 
the protection of the Governor was promised them if 
they would support the Republican ticket. 

It is due to Governor Hartranft to say that he had 
no knowledge of this compact at the time, and did not 
know of it tmtil some time after his re-election, if he 
ever knew of it, when Jack Kehoe, who had made the 
contract on the part of the Molly Maguires, had been 
convicted of murder in the first degree along with a 
number of his associates, and was in prison awaiting 
the death warrant of the Governor. Exhaustive 
efforts were made on the part of Mackey and others to 
save the life of Kehoe, but Hartranft yielded to these 
importunities only to the extent of delaying the execu- 
tion for an unusual period. The political compact 
with the Molly Maguires had been publicly discussed 
dtiring the campaign, and the delay in the execution 
of Kehoe finally brought out the most emphatic de- 
mand, not only from the Democratic journals of the 
State, but from many of the leading Republican organs, 
for the prompt issue of the death warrant. Whether 
Hartranft was ever advised of the compact that had 
been made for the protection of Kehoe and others is 
now uncertain, but it is safe to assume that, however 
he may have temporized the delay, he was incapable 
of such a flagrant disregard of his official duty as to 

Of Pennsylvania 397 

protect the lives of men who had in cold blood delib- 
erately planned and executed many murders without 
provocation. It was expected that Kehoe would make 
a statement when he appeared on the fatal platform 
for execution, but he tmderstood the situation, and the 
men who had made the compact with him were de- 
lighted to be able to say that he died game. 

Mackey and Quay were tireless in their efforts to 
rehabilitate the party organization to enable it to win 
the following year by the re-election of Hartranft and 
to regain the control of the Legislature. They took 
every legislative district in hand, gave personal atten- 
tion to the nomination of candidates wherever a con- 
test was probable, contributed freely to aid in the nomi- 
nation of available men, and in doubtful districts 
money was Uberally supplied to aid the Republican 
nominees. Live party organizations were made in 
every election district in the State, and long before the 
campaign opened, or the State nominations were made, 
and the result was that by the time the State conven- 
tion met they had the party in the best possible shape, 
and recovered the State by a small majority with the 
control of both branches of the Legislature. It was 
the work of these two men at the opening of the year 
1875 "that made the re-election of Hartranft possible. 
They were working day and night when the Democratic 
leaders were at rest, and it was organization alone 
that saved Governor Hartranft in the contest of 1875. 

400 Old Time Notes 

and exhibited Forney's cablegram closing the sale. 
Access was promptly given for the examination of all 
the departments of the paper, and arrangements were 
made to take possession of it on the firet of the fol- 
lowing month. 

The sale of "The Press" was publicly announced, 
and it was notice to the political leaders of the city 
that aggressive hostility to their mastery was about 
to conm)nt them. I went to Washington to complete 
arrangements for the Press Bureau at the National 
Capital, and when I returned Mr. Weigley informed me 
that Mrs. Forney was very much disturbed about the 
sale and desired to see me. The terms were so advan- 
tageous to Forney that I could not doubt that Mrs. 
Forney would be glad to approve the sale, if she fairly 
imderstood the conditions, but I was surprised to find 
her implacably and violently hostile to it. She stated 
that she had consulted Mr. Childs, Mr. McMichael and 
other prominent friends of Colonel Forney, who had 
cabled to Forney urging him not to consummate the 
sale, as they did not then know that the contract of 
sale had been signed by both parties and was complete. 
Mrs. Forney appealed to me in the agony of tears to 
permit the sale to be revoked. I well knew how errone- 
ously she reasoned on the subject, but I finally agreed 
that a cablegram should be sent to Forney over my 
signature authorizing him to revoke the contract if he 
desired to do so. The result was that within twenty- 
four hours Forney cabled revoking the sale, and Forney 
continued to conduct "The Press'* for several years 
with little profit, and finally sold it to its present owners 
for just one-half the price he would have received by 
the contract of 1875. 

The necessity for an independent newspaper was so 
generally understood, and the establishment of such a 
journal so earnestly desired, that the failure of "The 

Of Pennsylvania 401 

Press" purchase broiight Frank McLaughlin and 
myself into conferences on the subject of starting an 
entirely new paper. Our acquaintance was not inti- 
mate, although each probably well understood the 
qualities of the other, as McLaughlin was known to be 
one of the most accomplished printers and publishers 
of the city. He had ample capital, which I had not, 
but I had assurances from friends that my share of the 
needed capital would be furnished. It was a bold 
tmdertaking to start a new daily journal in Philadelphia 
without the hope of any official patronage, and with 
the assured hostility of the whole political power of 
city and State. McLaughlin was an extremely cau- 
tious man, but broad gauge and liberal in carrying out 
any enterprise he decided to accept. The man who 
really brought Mr. McLaughlin and myself together, 
and who finally resolved all doubts in McLaughlin's 
mind about engaging in the new venture, was Philip 
Collins, an old-time close friend of McLaughlin, who 
had retired from business as one of the greatest of our 
State railroad contractors, with an ample fortime, and 
located in Philadelphia. 

**The Age,'* theru owned by Dr. Morwitz, that had 
less than five himdred circulation, was offered for 
$30,000 payable in the stock of the new company, and 
that gave us the Associated Press franchise. One- 
fourth of the capital stock was taken by Governor 
Curtin, Charles A. Dana, Andrew H. Dill and Colonel 
Scott, represented by Senator Wallace, who kindly 
proposed to take the risk of the venture, and allow me 
at any time to become owner of their stock, by paying 
the par value and six per cent, interest. The owner- 
ship of the new paper was divided into four equal parts 
and held by Frank McLaughlin, his brother, John, 
Philip Collins and myself, holding the powers-of- 
attomey for those who had subscribed to my interest. 

2 — 26 

4od Old Time Notes 

The only things of value to us in the equipment of 
the old ^*Age" office were the cases, tables and an old 
double cylinder Hoe press, capable of printing about 
15,000 copies of " The Times" in an hour on one side. 
The outside forms were put to press about midnight, 
and before finishing the first run the pressman, who 
is now mine host of Dooner's Hotel, would go out on 
the street star-gazing, and if a fair morning was prom- 
ised, he would add 500 to the regular edition, and if 
stormy weather was indicated, he wotdd cut about 
the same nimiber from it. Of course, the weather 
was at times fickle and misled Pressman Dooner by 
furnishing a clear morning when he had printed a re- 
duced edition for a stormy morning, but these were 
unavoidable accidents. 

All of the men connected with the business part of 
the enterprise, including the four who kindly furnished 
my capital, have crossed the dark river, but two of the 
men who began with the issue of the first number of 
" The Times*' are yet well known in journalistic circles. 
Dr. Lambdin, now editor of the " Ledger," was manag- 
ing editor of the ** Times" when it was first issued, and 
continued to fill that position creditably imtil the 
** Ledger" finally purchased the paper and continued 
Dr. Lambdin on the staff. Louis N. Megargee, then 
an ambitious embryo reporter, was on the local staff, 
and wrote for the first issue an article of a column and 
a half, beginning the battle against the Philadelphia 
Pilgrims that not long thereafter ended in the destruc- 
tion of that organization. Philip Collins, without 
whom **The Times" probably never would have been 
started, was a man of few words, but he exhibited an 
imusual interest in the newspaper enterprise that was 
entirely outside of his business ideas and tastes. 

The first n timber was issued on the 13th of March, 
1875, in the "Old Age" building on Seventh Street, 

Of Pennsylvania 403 

above Chestnut, and on the day before its issue, when 
all hands were hard at work, Collins came into my 
editorial room, and after asking a few questions as to 
how things were progressing, he came up to me and 
said: "I have put a large amount of money in this 
enterprise and perhaps am largely responsible for 
bringing others into it. I believe that the paper can 
be made a great success, but if it fails I won't squeal. 
I have but one request to make of you ; that is that you 
shall nm this paper just as you damn please." I 
answered that while I expected to assume the responsi- 
bility for the tone and general policy of the paper, I 
should certainly rely to some measure upon the con- 
siderate judgment of my associates. The paper was 
started without a single subscriber, and none were 
distributed gratuitously. A fund of $50,000 was in 
bj.nk to aid in meeting the current expenses. At the 
end of three months we had drawn over $13,000 upon 
that f imd ; the next quarter the receipts and expendi- 
tures were about balanced, and at the end of the year 
we could have paid a dividend of six per cent, out of 
earnings and cash in hand. 

The second year we bought the property at Eighth 
and Chestnut with a mortgage of $50,000 upon it, and 
built the original Times building out of the drawer dur- 
ing the Centennial year, and bought two Hoe Perfect- 
ing presses, and the third year we paid the mortgage on 
the property with a considerable surplus in the treas- 
luy . No dividends were thus paid the first three years, 
and dividends were also passed some ten years later 
when the paper was reduced to a penny, and a htmdred 
thousand dollars of new machinery had to be purchased, 
and again when "The Times' " mechanical building on 
Sansom Street was burned in 1892, when the rebuilding 
and the increased plant cost $115,000 more than the 
insurance. Notwithstanding these five years in which 

404 Old Time Notes 

no dividends were paid, "The Times" in the twenty- 
six years in which it was tinder the direction of its 
founders paid its stockholders in cash dividends their 
entire capital five times over, and then sold the property 
at a premium of $275 per share, including every share 
of stock issued by the company. The dividends many 
years were as high as forty per cent, and in a short 
time they refunded to those who had aided it their 
money with interest. There were few stockholders 
outside of the four chief interests in the paper, and they 
had the assurance that under no circtunstances would 
the stock be sacrificed by a sale of a majority. 

That policy was carried out after all the foimders 
were dead but myself, and the sale was made to Mr. 
ICindred, who piu-chased every share of the stock at 
the same price. As an illustration of the fidelity that 
was cherished by the original foimders for each other, 
the case of Philip Collins may be given. He had suf- 
fered some losses in stocks in 1875, ^^^ he was tempted 
to resume his old business of contracting by an offer 
that came from London for the construction of a rail- 
way in Brazil. After consulting with Mr. Gowan, then 
president of the Reading, who heartily co-oj)erated with 
him, he and his brother, Thomas Collins, took the con- 
tract and sailed for Brazil with an outfit and a large 
company of operators. Within a year a decision of the 
English court rendered the fund that was relied upon 
for the construction of the road unavailable, and the 
result was that the Collinses returned hopelessly bank- 
rupt. When Philip Collins entered into the Brazilian 
contract he needed money, and he asked his associates 
to purchase his stock in **The Times'* at par and inter- 
est, and it was done. Money was not needed in the 
office, and the stock was put away in the safe to be 
held for any emergency that might arise. The pur- 
chase was absolute, and Mr. Collins never dreamed of 

Of Pennsylvania 405 

having any further interest in the concern. When 
he returned bankrupt, his associates decided that as he 
had been one of the most active in founding "The 
Times," and had now suffered great losses at an age 
when he could hardly hope to retrieve his forttme, he 
should have the benefit of his stock without giving him 
any formal ownership. The dividends were then forty 
per cent, and he was paid the dividends less interest 
upon the money from year to year, until finally the 
company again purchased his stock at double its 
original cost. He made the sale when we were about 
to reduce the price of the paper to a penny, as he re- 
garded its future success as somewhat problematic. 
When John McLaughlin died, leaving an estate heavily 
enctunbered, the stock was sold and purchased by the 
president of the company for the benefit of the children, 
who had a liberal income from it, even after the pay- 
ment of interest. 

Frank McLaughlin's health was sadly broken for 
years before his death, so much so that he was really 
incapacitated for handling a great newspaper enterprise, 
and at his death I was left alone of the original f oimders, 
and with a large majority of the stock held by guardians 
for minor children who were dependent upon its divi- 
dends for a livelihood. Finally the period came, by 
rapidly increasing competition in journalism, when 
the entire earnings of the paper would have been neces- 
sary for a year in advance to enable it to maintain its 
prosperous condition. Expending profits to make 
future profits assured meant the loss of much needed 
income to a number of children, and a conference was 
called with the guardians and executors who repre- 
sented the chief interests, and the facts were presented, 
leaving simply a choice between the sale of the prop- 
erty or expending its entire earnings for a year to 
enlarge its business. It was decided to sell, and Mr. 

4o6 Old Time Notes 

Kindred became a purchaser in 1899, when my editorial 
control of the paper ceased, although by the contract 
of sale I was requu^ to continue as editor. The policy 
of the paper on all matters political and otherwise was 
dictated by the owner, and I twice asked for a reduction 
of my own salary for the simple reason that I was of no 
more value to the paper than any other editorial writer 
who could furnish ^torials according to directions. 
'*The Times" finally ended its career by a sale that 
tmited it with the "Ledger." 

When ** The Times" was founded it was an imperious 
necessity that it should be severely and consistently 
independent. The public abuses in nation, State and 
city were the abuses of Republican authority, and that 
necessitated an aggressive crusade against the Repub- 
lican organization. In the first issue of the paper it 
was announced that it would be *' independent in 
everything, neutral in nothing," and it maintained 
that policy with scrupulous fidelity regardless of 
personal or party interests. Its first great battle was 
with the Pilgrim organization, whose leading members, 
assuming that ** The Times" could be easily overthrown, 
came out in a defiant challenge, denying the accusa- 
tions and assuring the public that the club would 
be continued indefinitely. It was a short, sharp and 
decisive campaign, and before a dozen moons had filled 
their houses there was a public sale of the furniture 
and fixtures, and the Pilgrim Club passed into history. 

The policy of supporting competent and faithful 
judges for re-election was declared at the outset, and 
the sincerity of purpose pointedly illustrated by earn- 
estly favoring Judge Biddle, the Republican candidate 
for judge, against a thoroughly competent Democratic 
competitor, while as actively opposing the remainder 
of the Republican ticket. The policy of supporting 
an independent judiciary and urging the re-election of 

Of Pennsylvania 407 

all faithful and competent judges, regardless of party, 
was maintained imtil "The Times" passed from the 
possession of its original foimders. 

Another policy from which it never departed was to 
solicit no patronage from political power. One of the 
first achievements of the new paper was the defeat of 
Rowan for sheriff and the election of Mr. Wright, the 
Democratic candidate, in 1876. When nominated, 
Mr. Wright called on the editor and desired to know 
what the attitude of '* The Times'' would be. He did it 
because it had long been the custom to visit editors, 
ascertain the expression they would make, and the 
attitude of the paper would be freely spoken of and 
discussed before its issue. He was sorely disappointed 
when informed that he must wait imtil ''The Times" 
was issued the next morning, to know what it had to 
say on the subject. He was doubtless agreeably sur- 
prised to find the most positive attitude in support of 
his election, and when elected he immediately called 
at the office of the paper to say that his entire adver- 
tising patronage would be given to *' The Times." He 
was amazed when informed that he could not publish 
any official advertisement as sheriff in the columns of 
the paper. His term covered the severe depression of 
1877, and the sheriff's advertising amoimted to over 
$30,000 a year to each of any two papers he selected 
for the purpose, but ** The Times" refused it, believing 
that it was necessary to establish in the public mind 
the absolute independence of the paper, and its refusal 
to accept the sheriff's advertising led to the re-organiza- 
tion of the ** Record" that laid the foimdation for one 
of the great newspaper properties of the city. A 
decade later the paper received official advertising, as 
its independent attitude was fully tmderstood, but it 
never permitted an abatement of a dollar for the benefit 
of the official advertising. 

4o8 Old Time Notes 


One of the most interesting f eattires of a long political 
career was my personal relations with the political 
leaders, especially of the city, with whom the paper was 
almost constantly in antagonism. There never was 
any personal estrangement between any of them and 
myself, although they were earnestly and defiantly 
assailed when occasion demanded it, and often defeated. 
The leaders of that day were Stokley, McManes, 
Leeds, Rowan, Hill, Kemble and others. There never 
was a time when any or all of them did not feel entirely 
free to come to my office and confer about political 
struggles then in progress, or soon to begin, and the 
utmost frankness was always exhibited with entire 
confidence in the sanctity of the expressions given. I 
many times called upon some of them and secured their 
aid in accomplishing political results which were not 
inconsistent with the policy of the paper. On one 
occasion I secured the co-operation of Mayor Stokley, 
McManes, Leeds, Hill and Kemble with the aid of 
Mackey, to defeat Republican candidates for several 
of the most important city offices. 

It was not done because they especially desired the 
defeat of those candidates, but because they did not 
care specially for them, and expected some time to gain 
reciprocal results of more importance to themselves. 
It was that combination that made Robert E. Pattison 
controller of Philadelphia, and twice Governor of the 
State. There was not one of those leaders who did not 
feel entirely free to come to the editorial office of " The 
Times'* and discuss, with entire frankness, any political 
proposition he desired to present, and their slated 
nominations were many times modified after a confer- 
ence in "The Times'* office, to avoid a desperate strug- 
gle in which their defeat was more than possible. I 
recall at least two occasions when candidates were 
withdrawn from the ticket after they had been formally 

Of Pennsylvania 409 


nominated, because it was a necessity to do so to avoid 
a desperate and doubtful struggle. 

All of these men suffered humiliating defeat at one 
time or another. McManes was defeated for re-election 
to the Gas Trust, Rowan and Leeds were each defeated 
for sheriff, and Hill, after having been slated for the 
nomination for sheriff practically without a contest, 
annotmced his decUnation in "The Times" office in 
favor of Enoch Taylor, who had been tinthought of 
for the place, because his election could not be supported 
by the paper and he saw immistakable signs of revo- 
lution on every side. He was then bankrupt and 
pleaded most earnestly for a chance to retrieve his 
fortunes, but while he could not be made a candidate 
for sheriff, he was enabled to realize a large income 
during Taylor's term, who received only his salary, 
while Hill received fifty per cent, of the advertising 
from the newspapers, giving him a much larger income 
than the salary of the sheriff. These relations made a 
political role so difficult to accept that it could be 
maintained only by never departing in the least degree 
from the absolutely independent policy of the paper, 
and that policy made **The Times** one of the most 
successful newspapers of the country. 

410 Old Time Notes 


Corruption of Legiilators Practically Unknown until Half a Century 
Ago— The Original Old Time Lobbyist Who Never Debauched 
Legislators — ^The Struggle Between Ignorance and Prejudice on the 
One Side, and Progressive Elements of the State Looking to the 
Development of Wealth, Gave Importance to Venal Influences— The 
First Open Debauch in the Senatorial Contest of 1855 — ^Again Vis- 
ible in 1858 in the Sale of State Canals to the Sunbury and Brie 
Railroads-War Brought Demoralisation and Qttickened Venality — 
Many Sternly Honest Legislators Supported Measures They Knew 
to be Corrupt — Venality Largely Ruled in Legislation until the 
Adoption of the New Constitution — Political Power Largely Ruled 
Legislation, But Diminished Individual Prostitution. 

*¥ TENALITY was practically unknown in Penn- 
\/ sylvania legislation half a centtiry ago. There 
^ had been several occasions when important 
bills were pressed upon the Legislature which aroused 
bitter partisan antagonism, when the debauchery of 
individual legislators was hinted at, but in no instance 
was it clearly established. The recharter of the United 
States bank as a State institution was a notable instance 
of the early legislative contests which called out impu- 
tations of unlawful influences, but in that case, instead 
of debauching members of the Legislature, when the 
bank secured the support of prominent senators and 
representatives, it accepted in the charter obligations 
to make public appropriations in which legislators 
were interested. The State canals had been a rtmning 
sore of corruption for many years, and it required 
extraordinary efforts almost every season to obtain 
the appropriations demanded by the canal board, 
as the conviction was very general that a considerable 

Of Pennsylvania 411 

percentage of the money thus appropriated was cor- 
ruptly applied; but as a rule the canal board had a 
party majority in the Legislature, and with the patron- 
age it possessed, its power over legislation was usually 
equal to all its requirements. 

The only method adopted for the passage of charters 
or private bills which met with opposition was what 
was then commonly spoken of as ** log rolling." That 
method consisted of combining interests in the 
support of a number of bills, many of which would have 
been opposed by a number of those in the combina- 
tion if each bill had been considered only on its merits, 
but by such combinations a majority could be obtained 
to pass a large number of bills in which members were 
specially interested. Log rolling was then denounced 
as the bane of honest legislation, just as venality is 
now denounced as a poison to the very vitals of popular 
government. Banks were then organized by a special 
charter passed by the Legislature, and on several occa- 
sions, when the Legislature was not specially friendly 
to bank charters, a combination would be formed, 
including a dozen or more bank charters and other 
private bills of interest to individual members, and thus 
by the log-rolling process all would be passed, but no 
one in those days entered the Legislature as many did 
later, and as some do now, with the expectation that 
they may reap large pectmiary profit by the legislative 

I well remember when there was but one man known 
in Harrisburg during the sessions of the Legislature 
who devoted his time to what would now be called 
lobbying. He was Captain Keams, one of the most 
popular of the packet captains on the canal in the boat- 
ing season, and who spent his winters at Harrisburg 
devoting himself to obtaining private legislation when 
wanted by his many friends throughout the State, 

41 a Old Time Notes 

who usually gave him what would now be regarded as 
a very insignificant fee for his trouble; but he never 
entertained the idea of debauching members of the 
Legislature, or tempting them by venal ofTers. As 
the Legislature then had tmlimited authority over pri- 
vate legislation, it was not tmcommon for individuals 
to be especially interested in the passage of local bills, 
and they preferred to pay Captain Keams a small fee 
because his knowledge of committees and legislators 
enabled him to accomplish what they could not accom- 
plish by their own efforts. 

In later years, when venality ran riot in legislation, 
the lobbyist became altogether the most important 
factor in Pennsylvania legislation, and I could name a 
dozen men who amassed liberal forttmes by plying 
their vocations as lobbyists. They were men of 
unusual intelligence and sagacity, some of whom had 
held important political positions, and when venality 
became the ruling power of l^pbslative authority and 
great interests involving at times millions of dollars 
were presented, none attempted to obtain legislation 
which affected pecuniary interests without accepting 
the slimy embrace of the lobby. These men have all 
passed away, and their names may be consigned to 
charitable forgetfulness. 

I served three years jn the house beginning with 
the session of 1858, and six years in the senate ending 
in 1874, and during that period of sixteen years ven- 
ality in legislation reached its tidal wave. I saw it in 
every phase, and many times supported measures when 
I knew that a considerable portion of those who were 
voting with me had demanded and obtained a price 
for their votes. When not in the Legislature I was 
connected with the military department at Harris- 
burg during the war and for some time after its close, 
and my connection with the public affairs of the State 

Of Pennsylvania 413 

covered the period when legislative results were often 
a supreme necessity, and when men, however honest 
in purpose, could not take pause to inquire what means 
were necessary for its attainment. 

The Democrats were then, as a party, hostile to 
banks, and with that partisan sentiment arrayed 
against the banks, a combination was formed by a 
number of venal legislators to extort money from the 
banks at the price of relieving them from the penalty 
of suspension. A committee of bankers were present 
at the opening of the session and pressed the passage 
of the bill with great earnestness, but they were dum- 
fotmded when, after a long delay, they were confronted 
with a demand for a considerable amount of money to 
be put down to save the bill from defeat. The repre- 
sentatives of the banks were appalled at the proposition, 
and decided to send for a number of prominent bankers 
to confer with them on the subject. Among the men 
sent for was the elder Boker, who had brought the 
Girard Bank up from the verge of insolvency to a 
thoroughly substantial and dividend -paying institu- 
tion. He was eminently practical and rugged in his 
methods. When the matter was submitted to him his 
answer was: "What's the use of praying when you're 
in hell. Pay the money and get your bill." There 
was no time to bring popular pressure to bear upon the 
Legislature, and Mr. Boker *s method was adopted, 
whereby the suspension of 1857 was legalized by the 

It is just half a century since Peimsylvania began, 
at first in a feeble way, to liberalize her policy by the 
encouragement of corporate organizations to develop 
her wealth. Until that time the State was held in the 
leading strings of ignorance and prejudice. Corpora- 
tions were looked upon by a very large portion of the 
people as mere organizations to obtain special privi- 

414 Old Time Notes 

leges from the State to enrich individuals, and many 
ouers tolerated tJiem only as necessary evils. Every 
effort made to liberalize the policy of the State was at 
first hindered by prejudice and later on by venality, as 
venality was stimulated by the necessities of great 
enterprises. The Pennsylvania Railroad would never 
have been more than a local line between Philadelphia 
and Pittsbui^ if the terms of its original charter had 
been maintained, and it had to struggle more than a 
decade against ignorance, prejudice and venality to 
liberalize the policy of the State and enable it to bring 
millions of trade to our metropolis, and to develop the 
cotmtless millions of wealth which have been gained 
to the State by the liberal and progressive corporate 
policy that was finally won after many desperate 

It was these combinations which gave birth to venal 
legislation in Pennsylvania. The corruption of Leg- 
islatures was not, as a rule, for benefits to individuals, 
excepting as they might profit by the grand enter- 
prises which they planned for tlie development of the 
vast resources of the Commonwealth. They were 
halted by the legislative corruptionist, and they were 
compelled to bow to his demands or leave the State 
to plod along with its commerce crippled and its wealth 
sltmibering. It was just such a condition as confronted 
the National Government in 1865, when the constitu- 
tional amendment abolishing slavery had been defeated 
in the first session of Congress. It was laid over, on 
motion to reconsider, and finally passed during the 
second session, when a number of Democrats changed 
their votes, some of whom received political advantages, 
lucrative appointments from the administration very 
soon thereafter. It was a supreme necessity to pass the 
amendment; it could be done in only one way, and 
that was adopted not from choice, but from necessity. 

Of Pennsylvania 415 

The bill for the sale of the Main Line to the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad as originally passed by the Legislature 
was not the creation of the lobby, as the railroad com- 
pany refused to accept the bill. That movement had 
behind it an overwhelming sentiment in favor of the 
sale of the public works, because of the corruption and 
profligacy which prevailed in their direction, and the 
Whig party was practically solid in support of it, while 
the best elements of the Democrats also favored the 
sale. It was made the great feature of Governor 
Pollock's administration, and he pressed it with ear- 
nestness upon the Legislature, and that important 
reform was accomplished chiefly or wholly by legiti- 
mate efforts; but the supreme court declared imcon- 
stitutional the section releasing the corporation from 
taxes on its property, including tonnage taxes, in con- 
sideration of certain payments made for the sale of 
the Main Line, and while the sale was declared to be 
legal when carried into effect, the tonnage tax ques- 
tion remained until the company, after many desperate 
struggles, finally accomplished its repeal in 1861. 

While the imperious necessity for a liberalized policy 
in Pennsylvania that would promote the development 
of our botmdless resources was the chief foimtain of 
venality in our Legislature in its desperate struggle for 
the period of half a generation with ignorance, prejudice 
and venality, it is only just to say that the first general 
debauchery of the Legislature was caused by a pro- 
tracted and most demoralizing political contest in 
1855, when fully a score of men at one time or another 
entered the contest for the United States Senatorship. 
It was the only Know Nothing Legislature the State 
ever had, and as a very large portion of its members 
had been nominated and elected by secret machinery 
that opened the widest doors for fraud, it is not sur- 
prising that such a Legislature should be a most inviting 

4i8 Old Time Notes 

most trivial bills involving any individual interest were 
made to pay tribute to comiptionists, and lobbyists 
and legislators studied day and night how they could 
introduce bills affecting existing corporations or other 
interests, and compel them to be halted by blackmail. 
They were known as "pinch" bills, and were one of 
the common features of legislation for many years, 
as the Legislature then had imrestricted power in pri- 
vate l^pusktion. 

War is a great demoralizer, and civil wars the worst 
of all, and our legislation during the war was so gen- 
erally controlled by comiptionists that it became 
accepted as one of the inseparable features of Pennsyl- 
vania legislation. Under even ordinary conditions, 
grave political necessities often arise, but during the 
war political necessities were often so imperious in 
every feature that no hopeftd means could be left 
unemployed to meet them. I well remember when 
the house was brought to the first vote on the question 
of sustaining the Government, after Sumter had been 
fired upon. It was of the utmost importance that we 
should hold the Democrats from a solid column against 
the government, and within two hours of the time 
that the house was to act, I was informed by a member 
of the body who well understood the situation, and who 
usually profited by such conditions, that for a very 
moderate sum of money a number of the Democrats 
could be held to the support of the government. A 
conference was hastily held in the Governor's office, and 
some six or eight men who were present contributed, 
from their own private means, an equal share of- money 
that was promptly paid and the contract fulfilled. 

I served continuously in the house and senate from 
the session of 1858 to the close of the session of 1862, 
and was thereafter officially connected with the military 
department of the government imtil the close of the 

Of Pennsylvania 419 

war. One of my important duties was to give special 
attention to legislation relating to the support of the 
State administration and to the government m pros- 
ecuting the war, and during that period I had full 
knowledge of the attitude of every member of both 
branches, and nearly or quite all of them knew that I 
was fully advised of the venal contracts of legislators. 
They knew that I was so situated that it would not only 
make me utterly powerless, but probably result in grave 
disaster on some most important matters, if an attempt 
had been made to expose and ptmish, or even to halt, 
the flood tide of venality. For years during that period 
I saw the private memoranda of the leading lobbyists, 
in which the name of every senator and every represen- 
tative was recorded who could be corruptly influenced 
in legislation, and I have seen in that record as many 
as seventy of the one htmdred members of the house, 
and more than twenty of the thirty-three senators. 
They were of different classes, the larger class ready to 
deal with or against anything, while the smaller class 
could be reached only on particular occasions, when 
they felt that they could do it with safety. 

While serving in the senate, the prominent venal 
traders in both branches never hesitated to discuss any 
contract for the support of certain measures, as they 
knew that I could not, and certainly would not, attempt 
to betray them. Venality was absolutely masterful, 
and with the terrible exigencies of war and the at times 
startling necessities which were suddenly thrown upon 
the administration, there was but one course open, and 
that was to utilize the Legislature as it was, inasmuch 
as it could not be made otherwise. 

I remember on one occasion a certain bill of local 
interest had been set up by a prominent lobbyist to 
be passed in the senate, but a short time before the bill 
was called a considerably larger stmi was offered to 

420 Old Time Notes 

defeat it, and the senator who dealt for the gang, who 
at the time had the money in his pocket to pass the bill, 
received the larger sum to defeat it, and it happened 
that he was called to the chair and presided with the 
money for both sides in his pocket, when the bill was 
considered and defeated. In both branches the venal 
elements were oi^ganized in small gangs of ten or a 
dozen in the house, and five or more in the senate, and 
bv seeing the leaders arrangements could be made, 
if the terms were acceptable, for the requisite niunber 
of votes without dealing with individuals. During 
all this tidal wave of legislative venality there were 
men of the purest purpose and sternest integrity who 
served in both branches, with full knowledge of the 
venal environment, but they knew that if they at- 
tempted to assail it they would simply be made 
utterly powerless to serve their constituents or any im- 
portant public or private interests they had at heart. 
This condition continued, varying only in degree, 
tmtil the adoption of the new Constitution in 1874. 
I was one of those who earnestly urged the constitu- 
tional convention for years before it was accepted, 
and chiefly on the grotmd that it was necessary to 
enlarge the Legislature as the only method of rescuing 
it from the mastery of venality, and it is only just to 
say that since the enlargement of the Legislature 
there has been no instance in which anything approach- 
ing a majority of either branch of the Legislature has 
been open to venal purchase. New conditions have 
arisen, by which partisan power largely commands legis- 
lation, and while measures quite as corrupt and pro- 
fligate as any of those enacted during the tidal wave 
of venality are occasionally enacted tmder the new con- 
ditions, it is generally chiefly by the power of political 
leadership, and only to a very limited degree by the 
debauchery of individual members. I have good 

of Pennsylvania 421 

reason to know that the general sweep of legislative 
venality was halted by the new Constitution. My last 
term in the senate ended just when the new Constitu- 
tion went into effect, and at no time during the war 
was legislative venality more common than it was in 
1873-74, the last of the limited Legislature under the 
old Constitution. Instead of the lobbyists of the olden 
time, the political masters of the present dictate im- 
portant legislation that involves profit to individuals, 
and the shame of a generally corrupted senate and 
house has been effaced from the annals of the Com- 

I have noted with interest the careers of the men I 
knew as corruptionists in the early days of my legis- 
lative career, and only a very small percentage of those 
who realized the largest profits by the sale of their 
votes enjoyed a competency throughout their lives. 
Money so easily made, and bringing with it a departure 
from honest purposes in life, logically inspired pro- 
fligacy and indulgence, and a large majority of those 
who once thought themselves men of moderate for- 
time, as the fruits of legislative corruption, died in 
poverty. Long continued and close observation of 
this once glaring evil that shadowed the Commonwealth 
with shame, clearly teaches that, as a rule, no public 
official can afford to make his official authority a 
matter of bargain and sale for individual profit, even 
as a business proposition, exclusive of the disgrace that 
the moral turpitude involved. There are apparent 
exceptions to the rule, as is common with all rules, but 
official venality is reasonably certain, sooner or later, 
to bring sorrow or shame, and often both. 

423 Old Time Notes 


Mackey and Quay Take Early and Vigorous Action to Retrieve the Defeat 
of 1874 — ^They Perfect the Republican Organization — Obtain Abso- 
lute Control of the Greenback and Labor Organizations — Green- 
back Sentiment Very Formidable in the State — Hartranft Unani- 
mously Renominated — ^A Protracted Contest for the Democratic 
Nomination — Judge Pershing Finally Chosen — ^The Labor and 
Greenback Parties Held from Fusion by Republican Leaders, and 
That Elected Hartranft by Plurality — The Democrats Carried 
the Popular Branch of the Legislature — Hartranft's Creditable 
Career as Governor — Later Collector of the Port and Postmaster — 
Finally Suffered Financial Disaster, and Made Earnest but Unavail- 
ing Efforts to Save His Friends. 

THE Republican disaster of 1874, by which the 
dominant party of the State lost its entire 
State ticket, the control of the Legislature 
and a United States Senator, made the leaders enter 
very early and earnestly upon the work of rescuing 
the State in 187 5, when a Governor and State treasurer 
were to be elected. Hartranft was about closing his 
first term as Governor, and, beyond his necessary 
identification with the Cameron-Mackey power of 
the State, his record had been generally creditable. 
He was highly respected personally and his superb 
record as a volunteer soldier warmly commended him 
to the loyal people of the State. He was not a leader, 
although generally level-headed as an adviser. He 
could do little or nothing to promote his own nomina- 
tion and election, but with Mackey and Quay to handle 
the organization he could safely rely upon the best 
possible results being obtained. They knew that the 
contest was doubtful, and they took time by the fore- 

Of Pennsylvania 423 

lock in fortifying themselves wherever their lines were 
weak, and they made very important incursions into 
the enemy's forces which were not visible to the public. 
There were two side elements in politics which were 
then largely commercial, and what Mackey and Quay 
did not know about handling such elements was not 
worth studying, and they practically assured the 
success of Hartranft by the early manipulation of the 
Greenback and Labor leaders. 

The Greenback sentiment had become quite strong 
among the Democratic people, and there were many 
Republicans who would have been glad to see their 
own party adopt the new theory. The Greenback 
movement was the first insidious form of repudiation 
that was formulated after the war. During the war 
there were open repudiationists, but small in number 
and influence, who openly proclaimed that it was im- 
possible for the nation to pay the enormous war debt, 
and frankly advised summary repudiation as the only 
relief. President Johnson, in a formal message to 
Congress, advised t5ie repudiation of the public debt by 
the payment of the amount of the principal in interest 
and make that absolute payment. The movement 
was given great vitality in 1868 by George H. Pendle- 
ton, of Ohio, who had been the nominee for Vice-Presi- 
dent with McClellan in 1864. He became an aggressive 
candidate for the Democratic nomination for President 
and openly proclaimed his policy of having but one 
form of paper money, all issued by the government, 
that should be receivable by all, including the govern- 
ment, as legal tender, excepting where specific contracts 
were made for different payment. The Democrats of 
Ohio were greatly enthused in support of Pendleton, 
and I well remember the Ohio delegation at the New 
York convention, that nominated Seymour for Presi- 
dent and General Blair for Vice-President, all wearing 

424 Old Time Notes 

badges in imitation of Greenbacks, and thousands of 
Ohio rooters, decorated in like manner, all hurrahing 
for Pendleton and plenty of money. 

It had evidently taken deep root in Ohio, and in 1873 
the venerable ex-Senator Alien was nominated as the 
Democratic candidate for Governor on a distinctly 
Greenback platform and elected over General Noyes, a 
gallant and crippled soldier of the war. This was the 
first form of practical repudiation while actually dis- 
claiming repudiation, and the free silver tidal wave 
was simply a fresh eruption of repudiation in a new 
form adapted to the new conditions of the coimtry. 
They logically led to Populism, that has since gravi- 
tated into Socialism, and greatly multiplied not only the 
tolerance of anarchy, but the actual growth of anarchy 
among the idle and vicious of the land. The socialism 
and anarchy of to-day are the logical fruits of the 
repudiation that began with the Greenback movement, 
followed by the variegated cheap money and get-some- 
thing-for-nothing movements which were injected into 
the politics of the country. 

Thfe RepuV)licans opened the campaign of 1875 i^ the 
early part of the year, hokling their convention at 
Lancaster on the 25th of May. Governor Hartranft 
was renominated for Governor by acclamation and on 
the second ballot, Henry Rawle, of Erie, was nomi- 
nated for State treasurer. The Democratic State con- 
vention met at Erie on the 8th of September, presided 
over by Hon. Hendrick B. Wright, of Luzerne. There 
was a protracted and somewhat embittered struggle 
over the question of adopting the Greenback theory 
as the party faith, but imder the lead of Frank Hughes, 
of Schuylkill, one of the ablest men of the State, who 
threw himself into the contest with great earnestness, 
the doctrine of a universal government paper money 
to be a legal tender in all dealings with the government 

Of Pennsylvania 425 

and between individuals, excepting where specific con- 
tracts were made of a different character, was formally 
proclaimed as the doctrine of the Democratic party. 

Among the prominent Democrats of that day were 
many men engaged in large financial and other business 
enterprises who were not prepared to take the plimge 
toward repudiation that was obviously involved in the 
newly declared policy of the party, and it chilled many 
who had been among its most earnest supporters. It 
was expected by the leaders who dominated the con- 
vention that the Democrats would lose a certain per- 
centage of their followers who were engaged in large 
business operations, but it was believed that the doc- 
trine of imiversal Greenback currency, that everybody 
should be compelled to accept, was popular with the 
masses of the people, and by accepting the policy they 
expected to control the State. They were disappointed 
in that expectation, however, as while they lost the 
support of many of their more prominent business 
men, they gained very little from the Republicans on 
the new monetary issue. Many Republicans were 
willing to accept the Greenback policy, but there were 
few suflSciently wedded to the new money theory to 
make them desert their party household. 

The convention was in session several days wrangling 
over the platform that was followed by a protracted 
struggle for the Gubernatorial nomination. Ex-Gov- 
ernor Bigler had a number of friends in the convention, 
and although he had made no open efforts to secure 
delegates, he was very anxious to obtain the nomi- 
nation. Judge Ross, of Montgomery, was the favorite 
candidate of the active leaders in the organization, and 
his vote steadily increased tmtil the tenth ballot that 
stood Ross 68, Bigler 54 and Pershing 50, with a niunber 
scattering. On the eleventh and last ballot the vote 
stood Pershing 145 and Ross 94, with 11 scattering. 

428 Old Time Notes 

modest in civil and private life as he was heroic when 
in the field, where he fairly won the distinction of being 
the foremost of Pennsylvania volimteer chieftains in 
the war. 

After he retired from the Gubernatorial chair he 
filled the positions of postmaster and collector of the 
port in Philadelphia. In 1 8 7 6 , a year after h is re-election 
as Governor, he was nominated as Pennsylvania's 
candidate for the Presidency by a practically unanimous 
vote at the State convention, and the delegation chosen 
to the National convention was instructed to vote for 
him as a unit. While he was voted for on every ballot 
at the Cincinnati convention, he never became formid- 
able as a candidate for the nomination, but his candi- 
dacy served the important purpose cherished by the 
Camerons, Mackey and Quay, to defeat the nomination 
of Blaine, to whose nomination they were very earnestly 

In the sudden iron boom of 1 882, when it was believed 
that the iron and steel trade would be permanently pros- 
perous in the country, Hartranft engaged in an im- 
portant iron enterprise in Virginia, of which he took 
personal charge, and many of his personal and political 
friends aided him in its capitalization. Like most of 
the iron enterprises organized at the time, it met with 
disastrous failure, and Hartranft devoted the few 
remaining days of his life to protect some of those who 
invested with him and were unable to stand the loss. 
He struggled along year after year, exhausting his 
vitality, and beyond a frugal living to himself and his 
family, he gave all his surplus earnings to the payinent 
of interest upon his iron bonds which were nearly or 
quite entirely worthless. The constant and exhausting 
worry of his financial condition certainly hastened his 
death, but while he lived he devoted his efforts to save 
his associate investors. 

of Pennsylvania 429 


The Most Appalling Chapter of Crime Ever Recorded in the Annals of 
Pennsylvania — History of the Molly Magmre Organization — ^The 
Outgrowth of the Ancient Order of Hibernians — Its Criminal Methods 
— Offensive Mining Bosses and Operators Murdered in Open Day — 
Political Power Contracted for Protection to Criminals — The Won- 
derful Story of James McParlan as Detective Inside the Order — 
Gowan's Masterly Ability in Conducting Prosecutions — Sixteen 
Molly Maguires Executed — Many Others Imprisoned, and a Dozen 
or More Fugitives from Justice. 

THE most tragic and deeply crimsoned chapter 
in the annals of Pennsylvania since the 
mastery of civilization over the savage, is 
the story of a murderous organization started within 
the Ancient Order of Hibernians some time in the early 
60 's, and continuing a regular carnival of murder 
against men who were entirely innocent of provocation 
by which scores of men were deliberately murdered, 
culminating in the execution of sixteen of the Molly 
Maguire criminals with a considerable number of 
additional criminals who became fugitives from justice. 
The Molly Maguires who made such an appalling 
record of crime in Pennsylvania were simply a revival 
of what was known as Ribbonism in Ireland some two 
generations ago. The Ribbon Society was organized 
within the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and oppressive 
landlords, importimate agents and resolute bailiffs 
were at times condemned to death by the Ribbon 
leaders, and one or more members of the oi^anization 
charged with the duty of committing murder. As a 
rule those who were entire strangers to the condemned 

Of Pennsylvania 431 

Board of Erin to the national headquarters in New 
York city, thence to the various State delegates, and 
by them to those who are subject to their orders. 

In the earlier days of mining in the anthracite region 
the majority of the miners were Irishmen, and most of 
them members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. 
They became greatly inflamed against the coal opera- 
tors, their employers, and gradually, and perhaps with- 
out originally intending it, drifted into the lines pursued 
by Ribbonism in Ireland. The chief center of the 
Mollies in Schuylkill Coimty was in Cass Township, 
where I first struck them, when in charge of the draft 
made under the State laws in 1862. At that time there 
had been more than a dozen murders in Cass Town- 
ship within a few years without any of the guilty 
parties being brought to punishment. I have stated 
in a previous chapter how the Molly Maguires not only 
obstructed, but absolutely defeated the draft in Cass 
Township, and how I was compelled, tmder personal 
instructions from President Lincoln, to revoke the 
order for the draft and release the conscripts on the 
mere pretense of evidence that the quota had been 
filled. It was an imperious necessity to prevent an 
open, desperate and bloody conflict in the heart of our 
great Commonwealth, that would have greatly strength- 
ened rebellion in the South and weakened the loyal 
cause in the North. 

This organization of Molly Maguires that seems to 
have had either the active or passive support of the 
Ancient Order of Hibernians generally, had its origin 
as early as i860, and grew rapidly as year by year it 
increased its power, and finally absolutely dominated 
the politics of Schuylkill County. It aimed to control 
the judges on the bench, the prosecuting officers of the 
cotmty, the commissioners and the jurors, and in 1872 
it had become so masterful in the political control 

43 2 Old Time Notes 

of the county that good people of all parties made 
common cause and elected Cjmis L. Pershing, of Cam- 
bria, who had never even visited Schuylkill County, 
president judge, and the heroic administration of justice 
inaugurated by Judge Pershing was a most important 
factor in the final exposure, conviction and execution 
of the Molly. Maguires. 

Every public officer in the coimty and in the adjoin- 
ing coimty of Carbon felt that his life was imsafe if he 
took any step looking to the exposure and punishment 
of these banded mtirderers, and they became so bold 
that they did not hesitate to propose terms in political 
conferences, offering their support to individuals or par- 
ties in consideration of money or protection for their 
criminals. It is an open secret, but well established, 
that in 1875, when Governor Hartranft was a candidate 
for re-election. Jack Kehoe, the brilliant and desperate 
leader of the Molly Maguires, met a prominent citizen 
of Pottsville in his own parlor, and was there solemnly 
assured that Governor Hartranft would protect the 
Molly Maguirc criminals in consideration of the organi- 
zation and all its power supporting Hartranft 's re- 
election. In the trial of Thomas, one of the Molly 
Maguire murderers, George Byerly, warden of the 
Schuylkill County jail, testified that in a conversation 
with Kehoe, then a prisoner, on the charge of murder, 
said: ** I do not think that we will get justice, but if 
we don*t get justice I don't think the old man at Har- 
risburg (Hartranft) will go back on us/* 

Hartranft was entirely ignorant of this pledge, and 
certainly never would have made it or permitted it to 
be made had he known of the proposition, but he was 
nevertheless very seriously embarrassed by the power- 
ful influence that demanded the protection of Jack 
Kehoe. Hartranft delayed the execution longer than 
is usual under such circumstances, but he finally issued 

Of Pennsylvania 433 

the death warrant, and Kehoe gave great relief to many 
in the State by dying with sealed lips. 

The organization had rendered such important 
political services to many prominent men of the State 
that they naturally made exhaustive efforts to save 
the lives of their friends. In one instance Lin Bar- 
tholomew, then in the forefront of the Schuylkill bar, 
and one of the ablest of the Republican State leaders, 
made an earnest struggle to save the life of Dtiffy, one 
of fotir mtirderers, who were to be executed on a certain 
day. He made a final appeal to the Board of Pardons 
for a reprieve for this particular criminal, but the Board 
divided on the question, even after Bartholomew had 
given assurance that one or more of the four men to be 
executed together would, by public confession on the 
scaffold, acquit his client. 

Hartranft acted within the lines of safety, alike to 
himself and to the administration of justice, by signing 
a reprieve and sending Mr. Farr, secretary of the Board 
of Pardons, to attend the execution, with orders 
to deliver the reprieve if any confession was made by 
the others acquitting Bartholomew's client. Farr 
attended the execution, and made known his mission 
only to the sheriff and the ministering priest. There 
were four to be executed, two were executed together, 
and the one whose reprieve was in the possession of 
Farr was held back with another until after the two 
were executed who were expected to give the additional 
testimony in their confession. They accepted the 
death noose in silence, and without protest from the 
priest, who had received the confession of the dying 
men, the whole fotir were executed, and Farr brought 
the reprieve back to the Governor. 

The political power of this organization became next 
to absolute in Schuylkill Coimty, and that domination 
lasted for a ntimber of years. So carefully were the 

a — aS 

Old Time Notes 

linalacts planned and the executions covered, that 

was more than ten years from the time that syste- 

atic murder was put into j^ractice by the Molly 

juires before any one of the guilty parties was 

ni^ht to jiistice. Franklin B. Gowaji. one of the 

St trial lawyers in the State, and a man of sublime 

rage, was district attorney of Schuylkill County 

ig the early operations of tlie Molly Maguires. He 

^at there was organized crime in the community, . 

murders and other felonious crimes were perpe- 

1 from time to time, and it was impossible to trace 

■juilty parties, showing that there was a powerful 

well organized element in the community that was 

itly supporting and protecting the criminals. He 

nearly every official of the county unwilling 

■>»ke a manly effort for the detection and punish- 

of the banded criminals, and it was largely 

h his political ingenuity that Judge Riley was 

ited in 1872, and Judge Pershing chosen to succeed 

Gowan then had a coiut that he knew he could 

irust, and he decided to devote his efforts untiringly 

to the discovery of the criminals, and bring them to 

the bar of justice. 

After repeated conferences with Allan Pinkerton, of 
Chicago, the head of the National Detective Agency, 
it was decided to select some yoimg man who was equal 
to the terrible undertaking to join the Molly Maguires, 
secure their confidence and report from time to time 
the crimes they planned and executed. After very 
careful investigation Pinkerton selected James Mc- 
Parlan, a young Irishman, bom in Armagh County, in 
1844, and a Catholic. He was only twenty-nine years 
of age when he accepted the fearfully perilous under- 
taking. He was a live, muscular fellow, about five feet 
eight inches in height, with fair complexion, dark chest- 
nut hair, a broad, full forehead, and a keen graj' eye. He 

of Pennsylvania 435 

was possessed of a wonderful memory which served 
him well later on. He started upon his journey in 
October, 1873, binder the name of James McKenna, 
and by representing himself as a fugitive from justice, 
claiming to have mtirdered a man in Buffalo, and slyly 
suggesting that he did not have to work hard for a 
living on accoimt of being a false coiner, he quickly got 
into the good graces of the Ancient Order of Hibernians 
in the various towns in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties 
which he visited. 

These representations of his misdeeds brought him 
into such favor that in April, 1874, he was formally 
initiated a member of the organization, and continued 
to be most active in its murderous councils until Feb- 
ruary, 1876, when his identity became known and his 
career as a detective came to an end. During that 
period of time McParlan discovered a condition of 
affairs in the Schuylkill coal region that is so appalling 
as to almost defy belief. He found that every Molly 
Maguire, as the assassins and incendiaries were known 
among themselves, was a member of the Ancient Order 
of Hibernians, and that the proceedings of that organi- 
zation were used for little other purpose than to order 
the destruction of life and property. Coimty conven- 
tions were little more than gatherings in which men 
were selected to kill others whom they had never seen. 
He discovered that the oath of secrecy was nothing 
more in its enforcement and its use than an oath to 
protect the murderer and to revenge with pistol or 
dagger a wrong supposed to have been done any mem- 
ber of the body. It would take many volumes to tell 
the full story of the details of this gigantic conspiracy 
to slay and bum. 

While other murders had been committed before 
that period, the first one directly traced to the Molly 
Maguires was that of Alexander Rae, a mining super in- 

Old Time Notes 


tendent. on the 1 7 tli of October. 1 864, who was shot on 
the jnibhc highway in Columbia County. The really 
guilty parties were tried for the murder at Blooms- 
burg, but their efforts in support of an ahbi were so 
overwhelming that they escaped; but twelve years 
later the murderers of Rae were executed for later 

On the 25th of August David Muhr. a colliery saper- 
intendent. n'as mttrdered in broad daylight and within 
two hundred yards of the cotIier\', but the murderers 
were so well hidden that they were ce^-er brot^t to 

On the loth o£ January-. 1S66, Hem^- H. Dunne, 
another mining stq^erintesKlent. was muidered in cold 
blood on the public h^^nray. but the gtiih} parties 
were never discovered uid no arrests were made. 

On the 1 jth of Uardi. 1S69. Wilbam H. Littkhaks, 
anodieT mining superintendent, was m ur dered on the 
jniblk- p?a-i ar-l the mtrrderer? wen- 'i^'-«" ■^'•^-^■vwed. 

'■ 'y---i'. ■; :;Qent 

murders of the same kind were committed in the same 
period, including those of George K. Smith. F. W. S. 
Langdon. and Graham Powell, all ot whom were 
cv^liery superintendents, or connected with lar^ 
mining operaticsis. 

On the 14th of Atigtist. 1S75. Gomer James was 
murdered at a picnic in Shenandoah, and sabsecfuent 
de\'elopnwiits proved that the murder was committed 
by Thcsnas Hurley, who had been selected at a cconty 
con\"ention of the order to cormnit the crime. 

On the nth of August Thomas G».T.-ther. a jastice 
of the peace, who had issued a warranr tor the arrest 
of U'lninm Loii-e, a criminal Mon>" ilagtnre. was shot 
and killed on the public street of Giraniville by L.r%-e, 
who fled and was ne\-er captured. 

On the 6th ci July. 1S75. Becjarr-r: F, Vest. 2. \'^'c^x 

Of Pennsylvania 437 

oflficer of Tamaqua, was shot by two then unknown 
men. In the trial of the suspected parties, who were 
convicted and executed, it was proved that Yost had 
offended another member of the order, and Hugh 
McGehan and James Boyle were ordered to murder 

On the first of September, 1875, ^^ Raven Run, 
Thomas Sanger, a mining boss, and William Uren were 
shot and killed by five men, who were members of the 
order, and on the third of September, 1875, John P. 
Jones, a mining boss, of Lansford, Carbon Cotmty, was 
shot and killed by Edward Kelly and Michael J. Doyle, 
members of the order. They had been assigned by 
lot to commit the crime. 

John P. Jones was one of the best known men in the 
anthracite coal regions and highly respected, and his 
murder occurred at a time when Go wan 's efforts, 
through McParlan, were bringing rich fruits. The 
first arrests made under Gowan*s systematic movement 
to bring the Molly Maguires to justice were those of 
Michael J. Doyle and Edward Kelly for the murder of 
Jones, and it was the culmination of the blood-thirsty 
reign of the thugs of the anthracite region. Mr. Gowan 
was then well equipped by inside information from 
the Mollies as to the leaders in these murders, and the 
public excitement was greatly intensified by the cold- 
blooded butchery of Jones. 

Doyle, Kelly and Kerrigan were the first Molly 
Maguires brought to the bar of justice, and their trial 
for the murder of Jones was called on the 1 8th of Janu- 
ary, 1876. Separate trials were demanded, and Doyle 
was first tried, convicted of murder in the first degree 
and sentenced to death. This was the first conviction 
of a known Molly Magtiire for murder in the Schuylkill 
region. Kerrigan turned State's evidence and told 
the whole story of the murder, by which he saved his 

Old Time Notes 

imas Hurley. Michael Doyle, James, alias "Friday," 

)nnell, James McAllister, John, ahas " Humpty," 

in. Jerr^' Kane, Frank Keenan, William Gimn, 

jagan. Thomas 'Neil and Patrick D. Gallagher, 

■-PijLgnose Pat." These men became fugitives, 

. Jieir residence has never been discovered. Doubt- 

ost of them have joined their criminal fellows on ■ 

er side, but some of them are living and in con- 

i oread of being overtaken by justice. , 

of Pennsylvania 441 



Republicans Had Not Recovered from the Overwhelming Defeat of 
1874 — Democrats Held the House Most of the Time for Twenty 
Years — ^Tilden Nominated for President — His Strength and Per- 
sonal Attributes — Receives a Large Popular Majority for President- 
John I. Mitchell Brought to the Front — Nominated for Congress to 
Defeat Strang — Senatorial Deadlock of 1881 Made Him United 
States Senator — ^Advised of His Selection by the Author in Washing- 
ton — Made President Judge and Later Superior Judge — Retired 
for Physical and Mental Disability. 

THE first National revolt against Republican 
power after the war occurred in 1874, when the 
Democrats elected a large majority of the 
popular branch of Congress, embracing 181 Democrats, 
107 Republicans and 3 Independents, and that revolt 
ctilminated two years later, in 1876, when the Demo- 
crats gave Tilden, their candidate for President, a 
popular majority of 250,000 over Hayes, and elected 
156 Democrats to 137 Republicans to the House. 

The reconstruction poUcy of the government as 
administered tmder Grant became specially offensive 
to many of the most thoughtful Republicans, while 
the severe factional mastery in Grant's administration 
alienated many others. During the severe pressure 
of early reconstruction, while a very large proportion of 
Republicans disapproved, of the radical policy adopted, 
they felt that they must sustain the Republican party 
imtil it had completed the rehabilitation of the States ; 
but the crop of adventurers who became rulers in the 
reconstructed States under carpet-bag power, and the 
low grade class of men sent to the Senate and House by 

444 Old Time Notes 

majorities to their candidates for President, but the 
majorities were not made up of Democratic votes. 
The Democrats have won, alike in Pennsylvania and in 
the Nation, only by Republican defection that empha- 
sized the purpose to restrain the abuses of Republican 
power, and the party was chastened in defeat by the 
deliberate action of its own people. Pennsylvania 
has had Democratic Governors and other State officers 
since the war, and the Nation has had Democratic 
Presidents and gave majorities for others who were 
not elected, but they have never won either a State or 
National victory wholly 'by Democratic votes. 

The contest of 1876 was a memorable struggle, not 
only because it was one of the most earnestly contested 
battles of our political history, but, also, because of 
the reversal of the popular majority by the electoral 
college, whose contestai seats were finally decided by 
an electoral commission created by Congress. Penn- 
sylvania had re-elected Hartranft the year before by 
a comparatively small majority that was worked out 
by the very shrewd manipulation of the Labor and 
Greenback organization of the State, and the Repub- 
licans felt that Pennsylvania would be a debatable 
State in a National contest. There were no State 
officers to be chosen, but the contest for Congressmen 
and the Legislature was fought out with great earnest- 
ness on both sides. 

Tilden's advent into politics presented an unusually 
brilliant record. He was a severely trained and tech- 
nical lawyer, so severely technical that his own will 
was successfully contested in the coiuts, but he proved 
to be a most masterful political organizer. The Repub- 
licans had made a shrewd move two years before by 
nominating General Dix, a War Democrat, for Gover- 
nor, and thereby saved the State. Dix made a highly 
creditable administration, but Tilden decided to make 

Of Pennsylvania 445 

a contest for the Governorship in 1874, and he planned 
and completed the most perfect organization the party 
had ever in the State, by which he not only nominated 
himself for Governor, but defeated Dix by a large 
majority. As soon as he became Governor, he started 
out to nominate himself for President, by the same 
method, and while he had no great popular following, 
although commanding the respect of all parties, he won 
his nomination with ease over Governor Hendricks, 
of Indiana, his chief competitor. 

Tilden was a severe cloister student, but he carefully 
studied the men of the cotmtry, and he had as his chief 
lieutenant in Pennsylvania William L. Scott, of Erie, 
one of the ablest Democratic leaders of that day, who 
was twice elected to Congress in the overwhelmingly 
Republican district of Erie and Crawford. Scott was 
at that time among the most forceful of the Democratic 
leaders in the State and a tireless worker, and Tilden 
had men of like qualities directing the battle for him 
in all of the States. He was not a man of personal 
popular qualities, being a bachelor student whose social 
attributes were neglected, but he was recognized as 
one of the ablest of our National leaders, as a man of 
imdoubted integrity, and as one who would speedily 
and surely correct the then serious abuses of Repub- 
lican power. 

He had strongly commended himself to the better 
class of the people of all parties by the courage he ex- 
hibited in taking an open stand for the exposure and 
punishment of Tweed, who was then the assumed Dem- 
ocratic leader of city and State. It was to Tilden more 
than to any other one man that Tweed owed his fall, 
and for that reason, and also becaxise of his generally 
reputable character, he commanded the respect of 
Republicans, and received many votes from the reform 
element of that party. Hayes received 1 7 ,904 majority 

6 Old Time Notes 

'er Tilden in Penn sylvan ia, nearly all of which was 

ven in the city of Philadelphia. The Republicans 

v;arried both branches of the Legislature by a decided 

lajority, and reversed the Democratic majority in i 

' congressional delegation that was elected in 1874, 

I'ng the Republicans seventeen of the twenty-seven 


: election of 1876 brought into prominence John 

itchell, of Tioga County, who was elected to Con- 

'SS in the district composed of Tioga, Potter, McKean. 

leron, Lycoming and Sullivan. He had served 

i!ral sessions as a State representative, and was one 

I prominent leaders of that body before he retired 

1 it. He was a man of thoroughly clean reputa- 

sternly honest in public and private life, but lacked 

- iteenncss of perception and tJie ability to lead in a 

■ without careful preparation, which are so neces- 

in a brilliant leader, but his high character and 

iiai quahties made him universally respected, and 

was one of the most iiifhienlJal members of the body, 

although lacking rhetorical attainments. 

His nomination for Congress, that led to his elec- 
tion, was what is commonly called in politics an acci- 
dent. The acknowledged Republican leader of Tioga 
County at that time was Butler B. Strang, a man of 
unusual ability, always ready for the forensic battle, 
no matter how suddenly precipitated, and in both 
house and senate he was accepted as the ablest lawyer 
of the body. He had served several terms in the house, 
from whence he was transferred to the senate, where 
his term ended in 1876. During a long legislative 
service I saw all the ablest legislative leaders of that 
period, and I do not know one who surpassed Strang, 
either in strategy or debate. He served in the senate 
with such distinguished legal luminaries as Wallace, 
Dill, Yerkes, White, Rutan and others, and he stood 

Of Pennsylvania 447 

fully abreast with the ablest of them, and his admirable 
personal qtialities attached his friends to him with 
hooks of triple steel. 

He was as feariess as he was able, and it was his mis- 
forttine to offend the Cameron power that was domi- 
nant at that time. He was too great to take orders 
from any political or personal power, and his promi- 
nence in the northern section of the State was a con- 
stant menace to the Cameron mastery. Had Strang 
been the trained and tireless political manager that 
Cameron was, he could have dominated his district 
and section of the State, but the one distinguishing 
characteristic of both Strang and Mitchell was their 
general indifference to political movements even in their 
own immediate locality, and both loved the ease of 

Strang confidently expected to be the next Congress- 
man from Tioga Cotmty, and his ambition would have 
been realized had he imderstood and interposed against 
the far-reaching management of Cameron. It was 
generally conceded that Tioga County was not entitled 
to the Republican candidate for Congress in 1876, 
according to the rule of rotation that generally obtained 
in the rural sections, and Strang paid no attention, 
whatever, to the congressional matter, believing that 
the county could not, and should not, receive the nomi- 
nation at that time ; but when the county convention 
met Cameron's friends were fully advised of his pur- 
poses, and in the absence of Strang as a candidate, 
the name of Mitchell was proposed to the convention 
for what was generally regarded as the empty compli- 
ment of a congressional recommendation. While the 
convention did not understand it, the Cameron mana- 
gers well understood what it meant, and when Mitchell 
was given the conferees of Tioga County, the other 
cotmties were careftdly manipulated by Cameron's 

448 Old Time Notes 

friends to nominate Mitchell as the district candidate, 
and thus, for a decade at least, preclude the possibility 
of Strang's congressional aspirations being gratified. 

In addition to this shrewd overthrow of Strang in 
his own district, Cameron threw himself into the brearfi 
in the Republican State convention, where Strang was 
a candidate for State treasurer, and his nomination 
generally conceded, and the same influence and methods 
which were employed to defeat him at home were 
employed with equal success in the State convention, 
and Strang was mortified by a defeat that utterly 
astotmded himself and his friends. 

Cameron thus succeeded in practically ending the 
political power of Butler B. Strang, who, thereafter, 
was comparatively imkno^^Ti and unfelt in the politics 
of his section, as he was usually not an aggressive man, 
although a desperate fighter when engaged in earnest 
conflict, and a few years thereafter, in a moment of that 
fearful despondency that hurls reason from her throne, 
he sent the death bullet into his owti brain and ended 
his career as a suicide. Had he sought the nomina- 
tion for Congress in his county in 1876, it would have 
been accorded to him without a serious contest, but 
he doubtless would have been defeated for the nomina- 
tion in the district. He could have bided his time, 
however, for his county of Tioga, possessing as it did 
more than the entire Republican majority of the dis- 
trict, could not have been long denied a representative, 
and had Strang entered the National councils his record 
would have been distinguished among the able repre- 
sentatives of Pennsylvania. 

Mitchell entered Congress, served without making 
his impress in the proceedings of that body, was re- 
elected in 1878, and was about closing a four years' 
term of service in Februar>% 1881, when the same for- 
tuitous circumstances which had sent him to Congress 

Of Pennsylvania 449 

in 1876, made him a United States Senator, althotigh 
tmthoiight of as a candidate imtil after the Legislattire 
had become involved in a bitter factional contest. 
His career in Congress was not distinguished for either 
industry or participation in debate, but he was a 
straightforward, honest representative, and was re- 
spected as widely as he was known. 

I happened to be in Washington on the night that he 
was agreed upon by the disputing factions at Harris- 
burg as a compromise candidate for Senator, and was 
in Mitchell's room engaged at a game of whist with 
him and two others, with several visiting spectators. 
Colonel Lambert was then on "The Times" staff with 
me, and was at Harrisburg carefully watching the 
Senatorial struggle. His high character and attain- 
ments as a journalist, and his admirable personal 
qtialities, gave him access to the inner circles of all 
political movements then as they do to-day, and about 
half past ten o'clock in the evening, when engaged 
at whist with Mitchell and our partners, a telegram 
was brought to me from Lambert, stating that Mitchell 
had been agreed upon by both the disputing factions 
for United States Senator, and would be elected on 
the following day. 

I handed the despatch to Mitchell, and with equal 
surprise and delight he annotmced it to the others in 
the room, whereupon a rush was made to congratulate 
him, and all did so but myself, as I remained seated at 
the table. He finally turned to me and said: "You 
are the only one who has not congratulated me. ' ' I 
at once arose and took him by the hand, and told him 
that if he felt equal to the discharge of the high duties 
of Senator so as to make his name remembered by the 
Nation when he retired from it, he was to be congrat- 
tilated. His head involuntarily dropped toward his 
breast, and he said: ** McClure is right, but I will try. '* 

450 Old Time Notes 

I had great respect and much affection for him, and 
knew that his election to the Senate, while it would 
make a stainless record, would not rank him among 
the leaders of the Nation. He was just in the prime 
of life, and in the possession of perfect physical and 
mental vigor, but who of all the men who have carefully- 
studied the records of the first legislative tribimal of 
the cotmtry can recall a single monument of statesman- 
ship that owes its creation to Senator Mitchell ? He 
was not at all alone in his class, for Pennsylvania and 
many other States have repeatedly sent men to the 
United States Senate whose names are unknown in 
the important annals of National legislation. 

Mitchell entered the Senate on the 4th of March, 
1 88 1, and his first and only great utterance or move- 
ment that he made in either politics or legislation was 
in leading a revolt one year later against the Cameron 
power that had not only sent him to Congress, but that 
had made him the compromise candidate for United 
States Senator, as in the factional fight in the Legisla- 
ture Cameron's power was largely dominant. What 
particular influence led him to make a revolution 
against the organization of the party has never been 
given to the public. That he was honest in his con- 
victions none who knew him could doubt, but what 
special provocation made a man who had studiously 
avoided factional warfare throw the ])lume of his 
Senatorship into a revolutionary movement not only 
against his party, but against the men who had given 
him the most important positions he had held, seemed 
incomprehensible; and when it is remembered that he 
led a revolution aguinst General James A. Beaver, 
the Republican candidate f )r Governor, a man of the 
cleanest record and the sternest integrity, and a 
gallant and maimed soldier, who had been nominated 
without a serious contest in the State convention, his 

of Pennsylvania 451 

revolutionary action seemed even more diffictilt of 

I witnessed the nomination of General Beavei; and 
when the convention adjourned there was not the sign 
erf revolt in any quarter. There was not a cloud visible 
even so large as a man's hand on the political horizon, 
and the members of that convention adjourned with- 
out a doubt as to General Beaver's election; but 
suddenly the revolt sprang to the surface, and when 
it was lid by a Republican United States Senator 
against the Cameron rule of the State, the movement 
was quickened in every section, and for once the flower 
of Saiator Mitchell was felt from center to circum- 
ference of the State. 

I saw him at the Independent Republican conven- 
tiop, and it was the only time that I ever saw him 
thoroughly aroused, aggressive and defiant. His posi- 
tion and enviroimient made him altogether the most 
important factor in the revolutionary movement, and 
brought to the Independent convention a very large 
number of representative Republicans from every part 
of the State. A full State ticket was nominated with 
Senator (now Judge) Stewart, of Franklin, for Gover- 
nor. Stewart had been the leader in the senate in the 
revolt against the election of Oliver and others, who, 
in turn, were adopted as the candidates of the Cameron 
end of the party for United States Senator, and when 
he accepted the nomination it was notice that the 
battle of the revolutionists would be made a fight to 
the finish. 

Stewart canvassed the State, as did Beaver and 
Pattison, and the struggle became one of desperation. 
There was no hope, whatever, of Stewart's election, and 
the fact that his candidacy had but a single practical 
aim, and that the defeat of the regular Republican State 
ticket, made many of the Independent Republicans 

Old Time Notes 

)te directly for Pattison for Governor in order to 
ssure tlie defeat of Beaver. The result was the elec- 
n of Pattison, by a pluraUty nearly equal to Stewart's 
te, and the entire State ticket, including candidates 
*nr lieutenant governor, secretary of internal affairs, 
nreme judge and congressmen-at-Iarge, fell with 

ftfter this grand exhibition of aggressive action on the 
rt of Senator Mitchell, he practically retired from 
ticipation in factional conflict, and thereafter acted 
lerally in harmony with the regular organization, 
.1 was unfelt in the party leadership of the State. 
was universally respected and ver)' generally 
■oved at home, and when he retired from the Senate 
was practically without power in the general 
action of the politics of the State, he announced 
iself as a candidate for president judge in his home 
mty, and although his opponent was the Repub- 
m incumbent who had served ten years with general 
:eptability, Mitchell was nominated by a decided 
majority and became president judge of his district. 
He continued in that position until a few years ago, 
when a vacancy was made on the Republican State 
ticket by the enforced withdrawal of the candidate 
for judge of the superior court, when Mitchell was 
accepted by the leaders and was elected to the second 
appellate tribunal of the State, but his service was 
very brief in his new judicial capacity, as paralysis 
suddenly laid him low, from which he has never re- 
covered. For a considerable period after he became 
entirely unfitted for the performance of any judicial 
duties he retained his position, hoping to be able to 
resiune his judicial work, but finally the physical wreck 
sadly impaired his mental powers, and he was retired 
from the bench by a law passed chiefly for his benefit. 



Of Pennsylvania 453 


The Darkest Year in the History of Pennsylvania — Culmination of the 
Revulsion of 1873 — Business Depressed and Working Men Without 
Bread — Anarchy First Asserted Its Mastery in Pittsburg by Destroy- 
ing Several Millions of Pennsylvania Railroad Property — Took 
Possession of all the Railroads of the State, and Generally Through- 
out the Country — Governor Hartranft Absent in the West — Adjutant 
General Latta Rendered Timely and Heroic Service — Appalling 
Condition in Philadelphia — Mayor Stokley Calls for a Committee 
of Safety — The Author a Member — Interesting Incidents in Pre- 
serving Peace in the City — Stokley's Magnificent Administration 
to Preserve Peace — Exceptional Military Service Rendered by Col. 
Bonnafifon's Regiment. 

EIGHTEEN hundred and seventy-seven was the 
darkest year of the last half century in the 
history of Pennsylvania. The excessive in- 
flation, bewildering extravagance, and tidal wave of 
speculation which had prevailed for years under the 
immense volimie of depreciated currency during the 
war were brought to a halt in 1873, when liquidation 
began. At no time in the history of the coimtry were 
the people so largely and so generally in debt, as all 
channels of industry, commerce and trade had been 
steadily expanded for a ftdl decade from the beginning 
of the war, and all intelligent observers of the sittia- 
tion knew that a terrible reckoning must come, but 
each hoped that it would be postponed imtil he had 
reached a solid financial basis. 

When the revulsion began in 1873 ^^ was generally 
believed that it would be only temporary, but the 
liquidation that was then begim continued steadily 
and relentlessly imtil it culminated in 1877, when most 

454 Old Time Notes 

of the great States of the Union were plunged into 
anarchy. As liquidation continued, the wages of 
labor were reduced when the industrial classes had been 
enjoying for ten years the most prosperous season 
they had ever known, and had naturally drifted into 
excessive extravagance in imitation of the people of 
fortune about them. The severe necessities which 
were felt in almost every home restrained expenditures, 
thus largely limiting consumption, resulting in the en- 
forced limitation of products, and employment of 

Many were forced into bankruptcy after 1873, ^^^ 
when 1877 was reached the general business depression 
and paralysis of industry was more general than at 
any other period during the last half of the nineteenth 
century. Labor strikes for increase of wages that 
it was not in the power of the employers to pay, were 
common in all the great centers of industry, and there 
were himdreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania 
without bread in their homes to satisfy the demands 
of hunger. A mob cxas])craled by ])inching want is 
not only always unreasoning, but is always dcs]>crate 
and revolutionary, and on the 19th of July, 1877, in 
the city of Pittsburg, the rule of anarchy began when 
the mob took ])ossessi()n of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
and refused to allow the freight trains to be moved. 

Governor Hartranft was in the far West on a visit 
to the Pacific coast, and Adjutant General James W. 
Latta was com])elle(l to act in the absence of the Gov- 
ernor, and on a])plication of the sheriff of Allegheny 
County for military to aid in maintaining the peace, 
he ordered troops to Pittsburg. The appearance of 
troops upon the railway called out the revolutionary 
elements along the entire line between Philadelj^hia 
and Pittsburg, and within twenty-four hours the rail- 
road was practically blocked at every im])ortant i)oint 

of Pennsylvania 455 

between the two great cities. The Baltimore and 
Ohio was also seized by the revolutionists, and in a few 
days the great trtink lines to the far West were abso- 
lutely in the hands of the people, who were inflamed to 
the point of anarchy. 

Philadelphia passed through an exceedingly severe 
ordeal, and although I had Uttle political sympathy 
with Mayor Stokley, I regard it as only just to say that 
the preservation of the public peace in this great city 
was due almost wholly to his tmfaltering courage and 
wisely directed efforts to prevent an eruption of law- 
lessness. He knew the people of the city, had grown 
up with them, and he specially tmderstood the class of 
our citizens who were likely to be inflamed to violence. 
The only power exhibited by the mob in the city was 
in taking possession of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
depot in West Philadelphia, from which point all trains 
were then started. The mob held possession of the 
depot and the line for most of two days, but it was * 
finally suppressed by the appearance of a small body 
of regular troops, whose presence intimidated the rioters, 
as they had a wholesome fear of the willingness of 
reg^ular troops to obey orders and fire upon mobs when 
necessary, while the volimteer troops sent to Pittsburg 
and other points of the State greatly inflamed the 
rioters and provoked them to desperate lawlessness. 
In no instance did they attempt any violent move- 
ments in the presence of regular troops. 

The police force of Mayor Stokley was entirely inade- 
quate to the emergency, and he addressed letters to 
some two htmdred citizens asking them to meet 
promptly at the mayor's headquarters to consider the 
best methods of preserving tiie peace of the city. 
Although the relations between the mayor and myself 
were then somewhat strained, I was among those he 
invited to attend that meeting. John Welsh, then 

Old Time Notes 

ps the foremost of Philadelphia's citizens, 
caiiea to the chair, and Mayor Stokley frankly stated. 
to the meeting, held with closed doors, that he desired- 
that a Committee of Safety be appointed by the meet-, 
ing to consist of five persons, who should act with the. 
mayor, and whose judgment he could freely accept in 
any emergency that required extraordinar>' measures 
to be taken for the protection of person and property. 
He desired that the judgment of this committee ^ould 
be full warrant for him to take any measures deemed 
necessary, even without authority of law, to suppress 
violence in the city. The meeting promptly decided 
to comply with his request, and charged Mr. Welsh 
with the duty of selecting the committee of which ho 
should be chairman. The mayor gave no details to 
the meeting of the conditions in the several sections of 
the city, beyond stating that violence was threatened ' 
in different localities. 

Before the meeting was held he had issued an order 
forbidding persons to congregate anywhere on the 
streets, and his police were privately instructed to pre- 
vent any meetings in the disturbed portions of the city. 
His policy was to keep the revolutionary elements 
scattered and ignorant of their strength, and in that 
he was eminently wise, for had the revolutionary ele- 
ments of the city known their strength they could have 
precipitated Philadelphia into anar^y in an hour. He 
had also given private instruction to the officers of 
several regiments of the city to be ready to march at 
the shortest notice, and to guard against extreme con- 
ditions he had a boat on the Schuylkill, and another 
on the Delaware, laden with ammimition, so that the 
military could be supplied even if the depositories of 
ammunition were destroyed. 

When the meeting adjotuned I thought it due to Mr. 
Welsh to advise him not to think of me as a member of 


Of Pennsylvania 457 

that committee, and I told him privately that my 
relations with the mayor were not such as would make 
it agreeable for him to have me serve in that capacity. 
I went to my office, but was not there more than thirty 
minutes when I received a notice from the mayor that 
I was appointed one of the Committee of Safety, and 
my presence was required at his office at once. I was 
greatly surprised, but it was a call that could not be 
disobeyed, and I hurriedly returned to the mayor's 
office, where Mr. Welsh informed me that he had 
appointed me in obedience to the special request of the 
mayor himself, thus relieving me of all embarrassment 
in entering upon the responsible duties. The Com- 
mittee of Safety consisted of John Welsh, ex-Mayor 
McMichael, ex-Mayor Fox, Senator Cochran and my- 
self, and when we had gathered in the mayor's office we 
were all startled at the condition of affairs in our city. 
While imder Mayor Stokley*s admirable use of has 
police to prevent any gatherings whatever in any part 
of the city, there was every indication on the surface 
of a peaceful and quiet commimity, the mayor informed 
us how difficult it had been for him up to that time to 
keep the revolutionary elements apart, and to prevent 
the city from being plimged into anarchy. He stated 
all the precautions he had taken , in which he had acted 
with great intelligence and firmness, and said that the 
first need of the city was to double its police force, for 
which he had no lawful authority. He stated, how- 
ever, that any means necessary to preserve the public 
peace would be employed by him regardless of their 
lawfulness if approved by the Committee of Safety. 

The committee at once imanimously authorized him 
to double the police force, then consisting of but little 
more than a thousand men in the entire city. My first 
awakening to the actual situation in Philadelphia was 
caused by a reply that Mayor Stokley made to my sug- 

4s8 Old Time Notes 

gestion that there were thousands of intelligent and 
law-abiding skilled laborers of the city who were without 
employment, and who doubtless would be very willing 
to be taken on the police force. The mayor's answer 
was that we had plenty of the very class I had described, 
many of whom owned their own homes, and who were 
without employment, but while they would not join 
in revolutionary proceedings themselves, they cotdd 
not be induced to employ force to restrain the starving 
laborers who had been inflamed into riotous action by 
the few vicious spirits who are ever ready in a com- 
munity to incite to lawlessness. 

At first blush the task of obtaining a thousand 
capable and faithful policemen seemed next to impos- 
sible, but the mayor suggested that they should be 
foimd in the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic. 
He paid what I have ever regarded as the highest 
tribute ever paid by any one to the veterans of our 
civil war, when he said that there was not a Union 
soldier who had served with credit in the army, how- 
ever poor, or liowcver dissolute, who could not be 
trusted to enforce law and order in the community 
against all classes and cc^nditions. The result was that 
the police force in the city was ]:)r()nij)tly doul^led, and 
chiefly, if not wholly, from the ranks of the Grand 
Army, and not one of the men thus called to duty failed 
to give honest and faithful service to the city. 

In one of the ui)town sections of the city there was 
very serious (listurV)ance, and systematic cdorts were 
made by a few ringleaders to ])reci])itate a riot, in imi- 
tation of the mastery of anarchy in Pittsburg. The 
police officer in charge of that sc^ction was present at 
the first meeting of the Committee of Safety, and gave 
a detailed account of the danger of a breach of the 
peace being precipitated that night. The mayor very 
coolly asked him wliether he knew the man or men who 

Of Pennsylvania 459 

were studiously seeking to* inaugurate lawlessness, to 
which the policeman answered that he did; that one 
man was the leader of the whole movement, and he 
was tireless in his efforts to precipitate revolution. The 
mayor quietly remarked to his police officer that he 
should have a good force on hand, and that, if any 
riotous action was forced upon him, he should see that 
the right person or persons were killed. The policeman 
seemed to imderstand the mayor perfectly, and bowed 
himself out. 

On the following morning the same officer made his 
report in the presence of the mayor and the committee, 
and he stated that a riot had been started in his section, 
but that the ringleader was killed before it had attained 
any great importance, and that the lawless elements 
were then easily controlled. The mayor thanked the 
police officer, and he again bowed himself out. Who 
had killed the man was never inquired into, and the 
newspapers simply stated that a riot had been started 
in one of the uptown sections of Philadelphia, and that 
one man was killed, but the policeman certainly could 
have told by whom and how the rioter had fallen. 

Within twenty-four hours after the Committee of 
Safety met with Stokley, when he was invested by the 
committee with dictatorial powers, he had the city so 
completely imder control that an outbreak was simply 
an impossibility. He was greatly fretted that the 
railway depot was held so long by a mob, and he was 
restrained from going to the depot on a locomotive with 
the engineer to move a train out of the city, only by 
the earnest protest of the committee against thus 
imperilling his own life. The committee met with him 
three times each day for more than a week, when the 
regular mimicipal authorities were entirely equal to 
maintaining the public peace. It made no record of its 
proceedings, and neither the newspapers nor the publiq 



Old Time Notes 

the soldier who had given peace and protection to the 
community. He has long held the responsible position 
of cashier of customs in the port of Philadelphia, and 
his handled hundredsof millions of government money 
with scrupulous fidelity. He suffered severe wounds 
during the Civil War, which have caused and ever will 
cause him much suffering, and he is one of the very few 
pensioners who, when called to official position by the 
government with ample salary for his livelihood, has 
imiformly covered his pension check back to the 
treasury of the United States, thereby presenting an 
example that should be imitated by every pensioner 
who is given official position by the government with 
adequate salary for the supjxjrt of himself and family. 

Of Pennsylvania 465 


The Htimble Beginning of a Trade that has Risen to Hundreds of Mil- 
lions — Professor Silliman's Chemical Investigation of Petroleum — 
Colonel E. L. Drake Sank the First Oil WeU— His Difficulty in 
Raising One Thousand Dollars to Start the Oil Development — He 
was More than a Year in Getting His Well Completed — Representa- 
tive Rouse Regarded as a Hopeless Crank by his Fellow Legislators 
in 1859 — The Tidal Wave of Speculation in Oil Companies, Result- 
ing in Sweeping Disaster — Desperate Battles of the Oil Men to 
Reach Markets — The Annual Oil Product Now Over One Himdred 
Million Barrels — At First Worth Twenty Dollars a Barrel; now 
Worth One Dollar or Less. 

ONE of the most marvelous developments of the 
mineral resources of Pennsylvania during the 
half century just closing, was that of the petro- 
leum industry. As an article of commerce and imiversal 
use, petroleum was unknown fifty years ago. The ex- 
istence of petroleum springs in Western New York, 
Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia had been 
known to the Indians for many generations, and to 
the white settlers for at least a century. But that it 
was stored in great rock reservoirs ready to gush forth 
by the thousands of barrels daily at the magic touch 
of the artesian drill, had never been dreamed of. 

An oil called "kerosene'* had been manufactured 
for several years prior to 1855 from bituminous shales, 
and the increasing use and demand for this illuminant 
prompted chemical investigation of some specimens 
of petroleimi secured from springs along Oil Creek. 
Professor B. Silliman, Jr., professor of chemistry in 
Yale College, completed a thorough analysis of some 
petroleum taken from a spring on Oil Creek nearly 

2 — 30 

466 Old Time Notes 

two miles south of Tittisville, at nearly the identical 
location where, four years later, the first successful 
petroleum well was drilled by the late Colonel E. L. 
Drake. In his report upon this analysis, which was 
published in the spring of 1855, Professor Silliman 
said, **The crude oil was tried as a means of illumination. 
For this purpose a weighed quantity was decomposed 
by passing it through a wrought iron retort filled with 
carbon and ignited to redness. It produced nearly 
pure carburetted hydrogen gas. the most highly illum- 
inating of all carbon gases. In fact, the oil may be 
regarded as chemically identical with illuminating gas 
in a liquid form. It biuned with an intense flame. 
Compared with gas the rock oil gave more light than 
any burner except the costly argand, consuming two 
feet of gas per hour. These photometric experiments 
have given the oil a much higher value as an illumina- 
tor than I had dared to hope." Until this time the oil 
had been collected from the surface of the springs and 
sold in small bottles as a medicine, under the name of 
Seneca Oil, the name being derived from the Seneca 
Indians, who had been the first to collect it and utilize 
it for medicinal pur])oses. Professor Silliman s analy- 
sis four years in advance of its discovery in sufficient 
quantities to he of real commercial value had deter- 
mined its principal use in the future, although he 
probably was not aware of this at the time. 

Silliman 's report attracted wide attention, and a 
company was soon organized with a capital of a quarter 
of a million dollars, to purchase lands and erect such 
machinery as might be required to collect all the oil in 
the vicinity of the spring from whence the test sample 
had been taken. Even at this time, however, the most 
sanguine promoters of the plan to develop the ])etroleum 
industry had not dreamed of boring artesian wells to 
tap subterranean deposits of the fluid. Their only idea 

Of Pennsylvania 467 

was to develop and utilize to the fullest possible extent 
the product of the various surface springs which were 
known to exist. One result, however, of the agitation 
was the employment of Colonel Edwin L. Drake to 
visit the property near Titusville and make a report of 
the best means of securing paying quantities of oil. 
Stopping on his way from New Haven, to view the salt 
wells of Syracuse, Colonel Drake visited Titusville near 
the close of 1857. Remaining a few days to transact 
legal business and examine the lands, he proceeded to 
Pittsburg, visiting the salt wells at Tarentum, on the 
way. The salt wells at Syracuse and Tarentum gave 
him the idea of boring for oil, and he hastened back to 
Connecticut to conclude a scheme of operating the 
property. Provided with a fund of one thousand dol- 
lars as a starter, Drake was engaged at a thousand 
dollars a year to begin operations, and arrived in Titus- 
ville early in May, 1858. So inexperienced was he, 
however, in the art of drilling wells, and so many diffi- 
culties and discouragements did he encounter, that it 
was not until August 28, 1859, a year and a third after 
he had arrived at his post to begin the work, that the 
drill had reached the depth of seventy feet and pierced 
the rock deposit in which the stored petroletmi had 
been waiting for ages. A twenty -barrel well had been 
tapped, and the foundation of the great oil industry, 
which has since grown to an annual value of more than 
one hundred millions, had been laid. 

When oil was first developed in Venango County by 
boring wells, most of those engaged in the enterprise 
became enthusiastic over the meastire of wealth they 
expected to realize, but the public generally regarded 
the whole scheme as unpromising. I well remember 
serving as a representative at Harrisburg in 1859 with 
Mr. Rouse, a member from Venango, who was one of 
the earliest pioneers in oil development. He had half 

Old Time Notes 

small vials of different qualities of oil in his , 

CL, and soon was regarded by his associates gener- 

in the house as an unbalanced crank on the oil 

Lion. He was constantly telling us, like Mulberry 

rs, that "there's millions in it," but he could not 

;e one of his associates to invest a dollar in oil 

lopment. He was an intelligent and enterprising 

,, and had studied the question as thoroughly as it 

ji possible then to master it, and in a very few years 

acquired a lai'ge fortune from his oil wells, but his 

work was cut short when one of his flowing wells 

denly took fire when he was close to it, and his life 

i given in a struggle with the flames. He was a. 

heior without kith or kin about him, and his entire 

iiune was equally divided between the improvement 

the reads of the county and the support of the 


in this connection some comparative figures will be 
teresting. The total production of oil for llie \'ear 
1659 was 1,87,^ 1 arrels. which liroui;hl an a\'cyaL:c ]"irice 
of twenty dollars a barrel. The following year, 1 860, the 
production increased to 547,439 barrels, at an average 
price of $g.6o per barrel, the lowest monthly price being 
$2,75. In 1861, the year of the beginning of the Civil 
War. the Empire and other large wells producing 
thousands of barrels a day each were struck. The 
production for the year went up to 2,119,045 barrels, 
and the price went down to ten cents a barrel. The 
process of refining the oil for general use had not as yet 
been perfected, and the market was flooded with oil for 
which there were no purchasers. Getting it to market 
was also a costly as well as tedious process. Railroads 
had not yet penetrated the oil country, and pipe lines 
were unknown. The favorite method of getting the oil 
from the wells to where it could find purchasers and 
consumers was by loading it into fiat boats, which were 

Of Pennsylvania 469 

floated out of Oil Creek by a series of artificial floods, 
called '*pond freshets," and so down the Allegheny 
River to Pittsburg. In the dry midsummer season, 
when there was too little water for flat boat navigation, 
the oil was hauled in barrels over a series of miserable 
country roads to Meadville and other points along the 
Atlantic and Great Western Railway, a distance of 
thirty miles. This was merely a temporary stage of 
the development of the great oil industry, however. 

The breaking out of the War of the Rebellion in 1861 , 
and the low price of petroletmi at that time, incident to 
a rapidly increasing production, and the crude and 
costly processes of refining and marketing the oil, 
tended for a short time to check the development of 
the petroleum industry. This check was only tem- 
porary, for the output of the flowing wells already 
tapped inspired railway building, and in a short time 
one branch of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway 
was constructed from Meadville to Franklin, and later 
to Oil City. Another branch was laid from Corry to 
Titusville, and extended first to Miller Farm, six miles 
below, on Oil Creek, and then to Shaffer Farm, a mile 
further toward Oil City, which was the terminus of this 
branch for several years. This left a ten-mile stretch 
of the Oil Creek Valley from Shaffer Farm to Oil City 
still without a railroad, but with railroad privileges at 
either extremity; the product of this rich producing 
region was easily handled from either direction, for oU 
could be towed up the stream in flat boats by horse 
power as well as floated down the stream with the 
current. With these improved transportation facil- 
ities and a gradually perfected system of refining, the 
market for petroleum steadily expanded. Long before 
the close of the Rebellion, it became an important 
source of revenue to the Federal government. Congress 
levying a tax for war purposes of twenty cents a gallon 

Old Time Notes 

ujwn refined oil, and one dollar per barrel upon crude. 
Practically all the oil refined in the country paid this 
doi:ble tax. onlj- that which was exported in the crude 
form escaping the tax upon refined. 

With the advance in the price of oil due to improved 
methods of transportation and refining, an era of wild 
speculation set in. Fabulous fortunes were made in a 
year by such fortunate operators as Orange Noble. 
George B. Delainater, Dr. M. C. Egbert, the Phillifjs 
Brothers, and the owners of the BenninghofT, Tarr. 
McClintock, Rynd, and other farms, the names of which 
became household words the country over. Promoters 
and speculators swarmed through Venango, Crawford, 
Warren and Forest counties, buying and leasing lands 
without regard to their location, and in most instances 
with no evidence that oil was to be found beneath them. 
With these land purchases and leases as a basis, hun- 
dreds of stock companies were formed and the stocks 
sold in New York, Philadelphia. Pittsburg and every- 
where where men and women with small or large sav- 
ings could be induced to invest upon a promise of 
becoming millionaires within a year. The depreciated 
and suj.>erabuniiriiit currency (}f the war period greatly 
Stimulated this speculative fever. Everybody had 
money, and very few believed that it would prove 
stable in value. They were quite willing to exchange 
it for something that promised substantial wealth, and 
thus it came to pass that during the period from 1862 
until 1865, when this petroleum stock company bubble 
finally burst, there were very few people east of the 
Allegheny River and north of Mason and Dixon's line, 
with surplus means at command, who were not owners 
of some of this oil stock. Except in a few instances in 
which capable business men were placed at the head of 
these oil producing corporations, these stock schemes 
proved failures, enriclung only the promoters who 

of Pennsylvania 471 

floated and sold the stocks. The most successful com- 
pany of this period was known as the Columbia Oil 
Company, a Pittsburg corporation, of which Andrew 
Carnegie, then just beginning to come into prominence, 
was a stockholder. The great majority of these com- 
panies were neither honestly organized nor intelligently 
administered, the purpose of their founders being 
merely to enrich themselves by stock sales, leaving 
their deluded shareholders to make the best of their 
foolish bargains. A farm costing four or five thousand 
dollars, upon which there were no oil wells and no 
promise that oil would be found by the most Uberal use 
of the drill, in many instances furnished the basis for a 
concern capitalized at a half million dollars. 

During this period of wild inflation there was a 
sufficient number of people who, by lucky strikes, 
acquired fabulous wealth, almost in a day, keeping the 
public interest in the oil field in a state of the most 
hopeful expectancy. Johnny Steele, since known to 
the world as *'Coal Oil Johnny,*' a raw cotmtry lad, 
just arrived at his majority, fell heir to the Widow 
McClintock farm, with a btilging bank accotmt and a 
dozen wells producing high priced oil. Visiting Phil- 
adelphia, he squandered his money on hackmen, min- 
strel troupes and everything else which attracted his 
fancy, creating the impression among those who wit- 
nessed his fantastic extravagance that any fool cotdd 
make a fortune by going into the oil business. The 
collapse of these speculative corporations, which came 
about the closing period of the war, would at any other 
time have inflicted a deadly blow on what has proved 
to be one of the most profitable industries of Pennsyl- 
vania and the nation. But with the disbanding of the 
Union armies, a great multitude of self-reliant men, 
trained to the hardships of an army life for four years, 
were turned loose to begin the world for themselves, 



Old Time Notes 

, plentiful sprinkling of the most energetic, 
and capable drifted to the oil region, 
men, vrith others equally capable, began at the 
*^in, learned the business, drilled wells, dressed 
5, lived in shanties and boarded themselves, and 
ied and improved upon the methods of drilling and 
ig oil. Learning how to drill for oil, a half a 
n of these men would lease a piece of territory, 
:;t a derrick and machinery and drill a well them- 
/es, often eating and sleeping in the shanty engine 
jse while the work was in prepress. By this process 
s trained the great group of successful oil operators 
D have expanded tlie jjroduction of America:! oil 
uum 2,500,000 barrels in 1S65 to 100,000,000 barrels 
i 1903. With the close of the war the speculative 
od of oil development came to an end, and from 
time the production of petroleum became first a 
iq Limate and pennanent, and later a scientific, in- 
dustry. The hving oil princes, like Ex-Senator Lewis 
Emer>'. Jr., of Bradford, John Fertig and the McKin- 
neys of Titusville, Thomas \V, Phillips, the only sur- 
viving member of the firm of Phillips Brothers, and 
others scarcely less well known, have accumulated great 
fortunes by producing oil as a legitimate business, 
every detail of which they have learned by careful 
attention and practical experience. 

The petroleum industry has extended far beyond 
Pennsylvania. Oil is produced largely in New York, 
Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Indian 
Territory, Kansas, California and a half dozen other 
States and Territories, the total production at this time 
exceeding 100,000,000 barrels per year, but the business 
had its origin in Pennsylvania, and in every State and 
territory where it is now produced the successful 
operators are Pennsylvanians or men from other States 
who first learned the business in Pennsylvania. That 

of Pennsylvania 473 

a new and unheard of business should have sprung up 
and expanded from nothing to an annual output of 
more than $100,000,000 in the space of forty-five years, 
would at first' blush seem incredible, but there is no 
disputing the figures. And the $100,000,000 estimate 
covers only the value of the crude material. The 
manufactured product, and it is nearly all manufac- 
tured to prepare it for consumption, brings two or 
three times the value of the crude, so that it has come 
to be one of the most valuable of our great American 
productions, and one of our most important articles of 
export to foreign countries. 

That Pennsylvania has not reaped the full benefit to 
which the State was entitled from this great natural 
product, is now conceded. Every gallon of Permsyl- 
vania oil should have been manufactured in Pennsyl- 
vania, and that which was sent abroad should have 
been exported from Pennsylvania's chief seaport, if the 
natural advantages of location and distance to market 
had been permitted full force and effect. That more 
than half of Pennsylvania's great product is refined and 
exported from New York and New Jersey and other 
States, is due to legislative stupidity. One of the 
important features of the oil industry has been the 
development of a system of transportation long dis- 
tances through pipe lines. The legislation which per- 
mitted the laying of pipe lines for the transportation of 
oil at first was confined to eight counties of northwest- 
em Pennsylvania, with a proviso that no pipe line 
should be laid within a mile of the State line. This 
bottled up the oil producers as to the cheapest and 
most natural method of bringing their great product 
to the seaboard. It was not tmtil a pipe line had been 
laid the whole length of the State of New York, through 
a free pipe line law passed by the Legislature of that 
State, that the Legislature of Pennsylvania consented 

Old Time Notes 

its own petroleum bottle by passing a 
in the session of 1883, ten years after it 
lg ive been passed, and after the representa- 
i from the oil region had vainly urged its passage. 
; meantime the mischief was irreparable, for the 
jii of crude oil had been di\'erted to the shores of 
York Bay, where great refineries and export 
■fhotises had been established. Since the passage 
he free pijje law, a portion of this lost traffic has 
€n recalled to the shores of the Delaware, but not a 
irrel of it should ever have been lost. No more 
nrcible example of the lack of real statesmanship 
lich has characterized the law making power of 
nnsylvania for half a century could be furnished 
an a mere recital of the fact that the manufacture and 
export of one of the State's great natural products has 
■y^n concentrated at the seaports of two other States 
ough the folly and stupidity of its own legislators, 
■wno for ten years prohibited petroleum from flowing 
down hill through their own State to their own sea- 

of Pennsylvania 475 


Became Prominent National Political Leader in 1876— Member of the 
Grant Cabinet — He Forced the Struggle that Made Hayes President 
After an Overwhelming Popiilar Defeat — Hayes Rejected Cameron 
for a Cabinet Office — His Father Resigned His Place in the Senate 
and the Younger Cameron Elected — Cameron Power Supreme in 
Pennsylvania Authority — Both the Camerons Four Times Elected 
to the United States Senate — How Governor Pattison and Secretary 
Harrity Saved Cameron's Fourth Election in 1891 — Marvelous 
Record of Political Achievement by the Two Camerons in Pennsyl- 
vania — The Younger Cameron's Dominating Influence in Tran- 
quillizing South Carolina and Other Southern States — His Personal 

JAMES DONALD CAMERON, son of Simon Cam- 
eron, who established a political dynasty in 
Pennsylvania more than a generation ago, that 
at times has been halted but never overthrown 
until the present day, became a prominent leader 
in National politics in May, 1876, when President 
Grant appointed him to fill a vacancy in the cabinet, 
placing him at the head of the War Department. 
Until then, while he had been a very important State 
leader for some years, and had become largely the 
manager of his father's political interests in the State, 
he had not been known or felt in the arena of National 
politics, and his appointment to the cabinet was 
attributed to the influence of his father, then in the 

He was always an tmusually reticent and tmemo- 
tional man, and was little seen or felt, even in the 
political contests of the State, outside of the private 
conclaves where battles were planned and their execu- 

Old Time Notes 

in definitely arranged. He was not ambitious to 
uc conspicuous at the front, but distinctly preferred 
V) rule without being ostentatious in the exercise of 

a power. The few who knew him intimately fully 
Opreciated his ability, but in the public estimation 

a qualities were unappreciated because not imder- 

At the lime of his appointment to the cabinet, 
Senator Cameron and President Grant were in very 
close accord, and both vi:idictively hostile to Blaine, 
who was then apparently the leading candidate for 
the Republican nomination for President; and the 
purpose of the President and the Camerons was clearly 
signaled soon after the younger Cameron's appoint- 
ment to tile cabinet, by the Pennsylvania Republican 
convention, while certainly two-thirds of the Repub- 
lican people preferred the nomination of Blaine, being 
manipulated to instruct the delegation to the Cinciniiati 
convention to vote as a unit for the nomination of 
Governor Hartranft for Prcsidt-nt, and the now Secre- 
tary of War headed the delegation and was its chair- 
man. But for the Cameron combination in Pennsyl- 
vania Blaine woxild certainly have been nominated 
for President, and certainly would have carried as 
many States as gave their electoral votes to Hayes; 
but with the hostility of the National administration, 
it is doubtful whether the States of Louisiana. Florida 
and South Carolina would have been manipulated for 
Blaine as they were for Hayes. 

The yoiinger Cameron's record as Secretary of War 
was chiefly notable for the bold and defiant stand he 
took in the most public way to declare that Hayes 
was elected President over Tilden, and that the power 
of the army would sustain the Republicans in the dis- 
puted States in the South in their struggle to secure 
the electoral votes for the Republican candidate. 

Of Pennsylvania 477 

He was nothing if not heroic, and once exhibited his 
genuine Cameron grit by peremptorily refusing a very 
earnest demand from his father for the appointment 
of a yotmg man to a lieutenantcy in the army. The 
father was greatly disappointed, supposing that he 
had only to suggest the name to his son to secure a 
commission in the army, and he exhibited some tem- 
per at the refusal, but afterwards he often spoke of 
the incident with pride in the positive characteristics 
of his son. 

Hayes' election was accomplished by the manipula- 
tion of the three Southern States which had given 
popular majorities for the Democratic candidate, and 
all the power of the administration was exhaustively 
exercised to attain the declared election of Hayes, 
in which both the Camerons had played a conspicuous 
part. Indeed, but for the initiative taken by Secre- 
tary of War Cameron, and the defiant attitude he sus- 
tained in the struggle, it is very doubtful whether the 
declared election of Hayes could have been accom- 

It was naturally assumed by the Camerons that 
Hayes would recognize his obligations to the Camerons, 
and that the least he could do would be to continue 
the younger Cameron in the cabinet. Great pressure 
was brought upon Hayes in favor of Cameron, delega- 
tion after delegation visiting him in Ohio before he 
went to Washington, and occupying much of his time 
after he had arrived at the Capital. The last delega- 
tion that called was headed by Benjamin Harris 
Brewster, and embraced a number of prominent 
Pennsylvanians. Hayes then annotmced that he would 
choose a new Secretary of War, and he was bitterly 
denotmced as an ingrate by most of the Pennsylvanians 
who had made desperate battle for Cameron's reten- 
tion in the cabinet. 

The failure to have the younger Cameron contmued 
in the cabinet suddenly brought the elder Cameron 
to the immediate fulfilment of a puqjose that he had 
long had m view after he foiuid himself securely in 
the Senate with the power of his State behind him. 
He did not conceal his desin? to establish a Cameron 
dynasty and have his son succeed him in the Senate. 
I have heard him express the purjjose on several 
occasions. I was not in accord with the political 
aims and methods of the Camerons, but always main- 
tained pleasant relations with them, and I wtII remem- 
ber on one occasion, when in conversation with the 
elder Cameron, he jocularly remarked that I ought 
to be United States Senator some time, but that I was 
young enough to wail for him to finish his career and 
have his son follow him for one or more terms, when, 
if I cherished Senatorial ambition. I might be grati- 
fied if I learned to behave myself politically. 

The elder Cameron had lieen elected to the Senate 
four different times; first, by a Democratic bolt and 
fusion with the Whigs in 1845 when he defeated Judge 
Woodward; in 1857. when, by the bolt of Lebo, Maneer 
and Wagenseller, Democratic Representatives, and the 
support of the Republicans, he was elected over Forney ; 
in 1867. when he was nominated by the Republicans 
over Curtin and elected by the full party vote, and again 
in 1873, when he was nominated and re-elected prac- 
tically without a contest. 

His first election was to fill an unexpired term of 
four years, and his second election ended in four years 
by his resignation to accept a position in the Lincoln 
cabinet. The third election gave him a full term, 
and at the end of four years, after his fourth election, 
he resigned in 1877 to give place to his son. The 
elder Cameron thus resigned from the Senate when 
in the very zenith of his power, and there is little doubt 

Of Pennsylvania 479 

that he cotild have continued to serve as Senator tintil 
his death twelve years later. It was his settled pur- 
pose to retire at some time in favor of his son, and the 
refusal of President Hayes to continue the yotmger 
Cameron in the cabinet precipitated the resignation 
of the elder Cameron, who desired to teach the new 
administration that the man he had rejected for Secre- 
tary of War had the power of a great State behind 
him, and could enter the Senate practically without a 

The Cameron power in all the departments of author- 
ity in Pennsylvania was then supreme. Hartranft 
was Governor, and Mackey and Quay were lieutenants 
of rare efficiency. No intimation of Cameron's resig- 
nation was given tmtil every plan was perfected for 
the election of the younger Cameron. The Legisla- 
ture was in session when Hayes refused to continue 
Cameron as Secretary of War, and not only the Repub- 
lican leaders, but most of the Republican followers 
in the Legislature were quickened in their devotion to 
the yotmger Cameron by the defeat he had suffered at 
the hands of the President who had been elected chiefly 
by Cameron's strategy. 

The elder Cameron visited Harrisbiu^g, conferred 
with Hartranft, Mackey, Quay and others, and inside 
of twenty-four hours had the leaders in both branches 
of the Legislatiu^e thoroughly posted and ready to 
accept the yotmger Cameron when the resignation of 
the father was annotmced; and when those who were 
ambitious for Senatorial honors hurried to Harrisburg 
to make a battle for the vacant Senatorship, they 
foimd that the Senatorial incident was closed, and that 
opposition to the Cameron power would be utterly 
hopeless. The result was that James Donald Cameron 
was elected to fill the tmexpired term of two years of 
his father in the Senate, and it goes without saying 

48o Old Time Notes 

that one of the Senators from Peimsylvania was not 
enthusiastic in support of the Hayes administion. 

In the contest of 1878 the Republicans carried both 
branches of the Legislature by a large majority, and 
Senator Cameron was re-*lectcd for a full term of six 
years, practically without a contest. Again, in 1884. 
when Blaine was defeated for President, the Republicans 
carried the State and Legislature, and Cameron re- 
ceived his third election to the Senate without serious 
opposition in 1885, but when the time came for his 
fourth election to the Senate in 1 8q i , he was threatened 
with very serious opitositioii, and at one time it looked 
as if his defeat was not only possible, but probable. 

In the contest of 1890, when Quay, with Cameron's 
assent, had forced the nomination of Delamater for 
Governor, and lost the head of the ticket by Pattison's 
election to a second tenii, the revolt against the Cam- 
eron power was large and aggressive, and Cameron's 
open hostility to what was laiown as the " force bill, " 
then pending in the Senate, became a serious menace 
in bis Senatorial stn.igglf, Cameron had uniformly 
opjiost'd ihc fdiTc bill aflci- the first exjx'riincnt had 
been made in that line, believing that it was unwise 
as a political measure and dangerous in many respects. 

Soon after the Legislature had met in 1891, Cameron 
telegraphed me to meet him at the Continental Hotel, 
where I found Quay in company with him. Quay, 
for reasons of policy, was supporting the force bill, 
although at heart earnestly against it, but, above all, 
he desired the re-election of his colleague. Cameron 
informed me of the situation at Harrisburg; that he 
might be compelled to vote on the force bill before the 
election of Senator, and, if so, his opponents would 
probably organize open defection against him. He 
said that his nomination by the caucus was assured 
under any circumstance, and that he could be defeated 

of Pennsylvania 481 

only by a combination between force bill Republican 
bolters and the Democrats. 

Pattison was soon to be inaugurated as Governor 
and Harrity was annotmced as secretary of the com- 
monwealth. They were both within two squares of 
the Continental Hotel, and Cameron desired that they 
should be conferred with and informed of the ground 
upon which Cameron was likely to be opposed. The 
Democrats were intensely hostile to the force bill, and 
he authorized them to be informed that he was opposed 
to it and would vote against it, but he believed himself 
entitled to the assiu^ance that if his defeat for Senator 
was threatened because of his voting against the force 
bill, the Democrats should not permit a combination 
against him for the election of a force bill Republican. 

I left Cameron and Quay and at once visited Pattison 
and Harrity, and received their positive assiu^ance that 
if a revolt was attempted against Cameron by the 
force bill Republicans, the Democrats would not per- 
mit him to be defeated for what they regarded as the 
most patriotic act of his life. There was no hesitation 
on the part of either Pattison or Harrity, and when 
Cameron was informed of their purpose he expressed 
his contempt for his factional opponents. 

It soon became known at Harrisburg that if a bolt 
was attempted against Cameron the Democrats would 
support him against any force bill Republican, and as 
his defeat was impossible, the Republicans gave him 
a practically united support. He served the ftdl 
fourth term for which he was elected, and then voltm- 
tarily retired from public life. During his last term 
he was not entirely in accord with his party on the 
silver question, but he had gathered all the laurels 
of a Senatorial career, was weary of its exactions, 
and his retirement was in ftdl accord with his own pur- 
poses and desires. 

»— 31 

4^ Old Time Notes 

of battle in the contest of 1877, It was an unusual 
pfooeeding, but they felt confident of success, and 
inspired confidence among the people by boldly coming 
to the front and challenging the dominant party to 
battle. Their convention was held at Harrisburg on 
the 33d erf At^ijst, with Congrc-ssnian William S. 
StfiOga* as permanent president. Three State officers 
were to be elected^suiireme judge, auditor general 
and State treasurer. Henry \\arren Williams, of 
AXb^ieay, who had been appointed to the supreme 
benol to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation 
of Justice Strong in 1867, and was elected the same 
year, died in 1877, and President Judge Sterrett, of 
Allegheny, was appointed to fill the vacancy. It is 
worthy of note that two men liearing precisely the 
same name, Henry Warren Williams, one residing in 
AOi^heny, and the other in Tioga, without rclation^ip. 
were candidates for the supreme judgeship. The 
Allegbeay judge first succeeded and died in office, 
and a few >-ears thereafter M'illinms <-)f Tioga was 
appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death 
of Chief Justice Mercur, and was elected for a full term 
the same year, and like his namesake died after a 
decade or more of service. 

The contest for the Democratic nomination for 
supreme judge became intensely embittered, chiefly 
because the late William M. Singerly, then a strong 
Democratic power in Philadelphia, threw himself into 
the breach to prevent the nomination of Furman 
Sheppard, who was the favorite of the convention, 
and would certainly have been nominated but for 
Singerly's aggressive and skillful tactics. The first 
ballot gave Trunkey 71 and Sheppard 64, with a large 
scattering vote diffused among a half a score of candi- 
dates. On the second ballot Sheppard received 103 
votes to 100 for Trunkey, with 48 votes scattering; 

Of Pennsylvania 489 

on the third ballot, that was taken in almost breath- 
less silence, every delegate answered to his name but 
** Uncle Jake ' ' Zeigler of Butler, the leading Democratic 
politician of his section, who had been clerk of the 
house for many years. He had retired between ballots 
with some friends to sample the old rye of the Brady 
House, and as the ballot progressed, and his absence 
was noted, several exploring parties were sent out to 
bring him in before the ballot ended. 

When the last name on the list was called the vote 
stood Tnmkey 124 and Sheppard 124, but just then 
"Uncle Jake" entered the hall, and stood up in the 
main aisle smiling like a bridesmaid, and asked that 
his name be called. The clerk at once responded and 
Zeigler 's vote was given for Tnmkey, thereby making 
him the candidate, and giving the State a supreme 
judge. William P. Schell, of Bedford, who had served 
in both house and senate, was nominated for auditor 
general on the second ballot, and Amos C. Noyes, of 
Clinton, who had served several sessions in the house, 
and was one of the most popular of the leading lumber 
men of his region, was nominated for State treasurer 
on the fifth ballot. He was popularly known through- 
out the campaign as ** Square- timber Noyes." The 
platform was very shrewdly drawn to commend the 
party to the disturbed elements of the State. 

The RepubUcan convention met at Harrisburg on 
the 4th of September with ex-Congressman William 
H. Armstrong as permanent president. Justice Ster- 
rett was unanimously nominated for the supreme court 
to succeed himself, and William B. Hart, of Mont- 
gomery, was also nominated by acclamation for State 
treasurer. A single ballot was had for auditor general, 
when John A. M. Passmore, of Schuylkill, was nomi- 
nated over Howard J. Reeder by a vote of 165 to 82. 
The platform was reported by Representative John 

Old Time Notes 

was skilfully drawn to meet the new con- 

h confronted the party, but revolutionists 

r Lon.^ i)ause to study political deliverances. 

in revolutionary times new parties are bom in a day, 

1 old side-sliow organizations are brought into 

ewed activity. The workingmen held a State con- 

ition at Harrisburg on the loth of September, and 

laminated Jxidge William Elwell, of Columbia, for 

ipreme judge, John M. Davis, of Allegheny, for auditor 

leral. and James L. Vv'nght, of Philadelphia, for 

ite treasurer. The Greenback party also held a 

ite convention at Williamsjxjrt on the i9lh of Sep- 

'■Tiber. of which Frank W. Hughes was chairman, and 

njamin S. Bentley, of Lycoming, was nominated 

r supreme judge, with James E. Emerson for auditor 

general, and James L. Wright, the Workingmen's 

candidate, for State treasurer. The Prohibitionists 

also held a State convention on the 14th of September, 

at which ex-Congressman A. A. Barker presided, and 

nominated A. D. Winton, of Luzerne, for supreme judge, 

A. A- Barker for auilitor general, and Samuel Comey, 

of Chester, for State treasurer. 

The Repubhcans made exhaustive efforts to get their 
broken Hnes reformed, but it was an utter impossibility 
to bring the revolutionary tidal wave to an ebb, and 
the entire State ticket was defeated by nearly 10,000 
majority. While the Democrats carried all the State 
officers, the Republicans held both branches of the 
Legislature, having 31 senators to 19 Democrats, and 
120 Republicans in the house to 81 Democrats. 

The election of 1877 brought to the front Robert E. 
Pattison, then a young lawyer in the office of Lewis C. 
Cassidy, and spoken of rather contemptuously by his 
political opponents as "Cassidy's boy." He had just 
begun a moderately successful career at the bar, and 
was little knovn to the public when his name was first 

Of Pennsylvania 491 

presented. The proposition to place a young man 
without official experience in the important office of 
city controller was not at first regarded with general 
favor, but the more the people studied the character 
and qualities of Pattison the more valuable he was 
regarded. Two common pleas judges were to be 
elected, and Judges Fell, Republican, and Ludlow, 
Democrat, were accepted by both parties and received 
the imanimous vote of the people. 

There was a very earnest struggle for the nomina- 
tion for district attorney, involving a number of am- 
bitious expectants, but after a considerable wrangle 
they were all set aside, and Judge Thayer was made the 
compromise candidate against Hagert, who had been 
assistant district attorney under Sheppard. Patti- 
son 's competitor was Mr. Sayre, an active and popular 
Republican, and Dr. Gilbert, the Democratic candidate 
for coroner against Mr. Knorr, who was an earnest 
Republican and generally acceptable as a candidate, 
but while the candidates on the Republican State 
ticket all received majorities in Philadelphia of from 
6,000 to 7,000, the entire Democratic city ticket was 
elected by majorities ranging from 1,000 to 2,000. 

This defeat of the city ticket was the result of internal 
dissensions within the party, and not because of special 
objections to any of the candidates. The selection of 
Thayer was regarded as specially strong, but he was 
seriously weakened by Benjamin Harris Brewster 
accepting the nomination of the Labor party for the 
same office, and receiving some 5,000 votes. The 
public estimate of Judge Thayer was shown one year 
later when he was unanimously re-elected as judge. 

With such a disaster as that suffered by the Repub- 
licans in both city and State in 1877, it was only natural 
that the Republican leaders who were masters in their 
line would exhaust their resources to regain the State 

493 Old Time Notes 

in 1878, when a Governor was to be elected, and Repub- 
lican mastery was secured in that contest only by the 
shrewdest political strategy on the part of the Repub- 
lican leaders. The Greenback issue had become a 
very dangerous one, and clearly held the balance of 
power between the two parties. Its most active 
leaders were trained in commercial politics, and Mackey 
and Quay began their campaign by getting absolute 
control of the Greenback organization. Its State 
convention was held in Philadelphia on the 6th of May. 
and Samuel E. Mason, of Mercer, was nominated for 
Governor. The only condition that Mackey and Quay 
required from the Greenback leaders was that they 
should nominate Mason, who was pledged to remain in 
the field, and under no circumstances to consent to a 
fusion between the Greenback and Democratic jjarties. 

Such f usioa would have been natural, as a large major- 
ity of the Democrats to a greater or less degree believed 
in the Greenback poHcy. and a fusion with that party 
by the Democrats, with n Democrat for Oo\-pninr and 
a Greenback man for Lieutenant Governor, would have 
swept the State. A counter movement was made in 
the Greenback convention to nominate William H. 
Armstrong as the candidate for Governor, believing 
that he would be accepted by the Republicans and thus 
give the Greenbackers the semblance of victory, but 
Mackey and Quay had the Greenbackers ticketed 
through and baggage checked with all the Greenback 
leaders involved in the deal, including the Greenback 
nominee for Governor, sworn to resist fusion under 
any and all circumstances. 

The Republicans held their State convention at 
Harrisburg on the 1 5th of May with Mayor Stokley as 
permanent president. Henry M. Hoyt, the slated 
candidate for Governor, was nominated on the first 
ballot by a vote of 161 to 47 for Grow, 29 for Wicker- 

Of Pennsylvania 493 

sham, 1 2 for Beaver and i for Morrell. For Lieutenant 
Governor Charles W. Stone, of Warren, was nominated 
on the first ballot by a vote of 182 to 59 for J. Howard 
Jacobs, and Aaron K. Dimkel, of Philadelphia, was 
nominated for secretary of internal affairs on the first 
ballot by a vote of 122 to 106 for McClellan. 

The only earnest contest of the convention was 
on the nomination for supreme judge. Chief Justice 
Agnew^s term in the supreme court was about to expire, 
and he was then well on toward the patriarchal age. 
He was highly respected alike personally and judicially, 
and under ordinary circumstances it is quite probable 
that even his age would not have precluded his renomi- 
nation, but Judge Sterrett had resigned the president 
judgeship of Allegheny to accept the appointment of 
supreme judge in the disastrous year of 1877, when he 
suffered defeat with his associates on the State ticket, 
and Quay and Mackey were pledged to the nomination 
of Sterrett, although Quay was a fellow townsman of 
Agnew, and had nominated him fifteen years before. 

The two most notable speeches I have ever heard in 
a State convention were made on that occasion by the 
late Lin Bartholomew, of Pottsville, in favor of the 
nomination of Judge Sterrett, and by ex-Congressman 
William H. Koontz, of Somerset, pressing the renomi- 
nation of Agnew. Those addresses rank amongst the 
ablest of the political deliverances I have heard in a 
Pennsylvania State convention. Each of the speakers 
knew the responsibility he had asstmied, and both 
acquitted themselves in a masterly manner, but the 
organization was omnipotent, and Sterrett was nomi- 
nated on the first ballot by 154 to 92 for Agnew. 

The Republican ticket was one of tmusual strength. 
Hoyt was one of the ablest men who ever filled the 
gubernatorial chair of Pennsylvaania, and with his 
clean record as citizen, as judge and as soldier he was 


494 Old Time Notes 

a formidable candidate to assail, while Judge Sterrett 
commanded the conlidcnce of the entire profession 
of the State, and was universally respected i>ersonaIly 
as widely as he was known. Stone, the nominee for 
Lieutenant Governor, had been a prominent name in 
Pennsylvania jxilitics. having served very creditably 
in Congress, and was a prominent candidate for Gov- 
ernor against his namesake to succeed Hasitngs. 

The Democratic State convention met at Pittsburg 
on the a 2d of May with ex-Senator Buckalew permanent 
president. The contest for Ciovemor was unusxjally 
animated, as Wallace, who favored the nomination of 
Andrew H. Dill, locked horns with William L. Scott, 
of Erie, in urging the nomination of ex-Congressman 
James H, Hopkins, of Allegheny. Wallace won out 
and nominated Dill on the third ballot by a vote of 
136 to 89 for Hopkins and 27 scattering. Judge 
Ross, of Montgomery, was nominated for supreme 
judge on the first ballot, receiving 162 votes with 71 
for Sheppard and 10 for Golden. John Fertig, of 
Crawford, was nominated for Lieutenant Governor 
on the third ballot, the vote being 162 to 64 for Sow- 
den, and J. Simpson Africa, of Huntingdon, was 
unanimously nominated for secretary of internal affairs. 

The Prohibitionists met at Altoona on the 20th of 
May, and nominated Franklin H. Lane, of Hunting- 
don, for Governor, and the party would have made no 
figure in the contest if it had not nominated Chief 
Justice Agnew for supreme judge, and soon after the 
nomination had been made. Judge Bentley, the Green- 
back candidate for supreme judge, retired from the 
ticket, and the Greenbackers accepted Agnew as their 
candidate. Thus a fusion was effected between the 
Greenbackers and Prohibitionists on the single office 
of supreme judge, but the Republican leaders did not 
fear any fusion embracing the Democratic party. 

of Pennsylvania 495 

The Republicans knew that they had a desperate 
contest before them, and Quay took the chairman- 
ship of the State committee and became the immediate 
commander in the battle. He had the Greenbackers 
safely side-tracked against fusion with the Democrats, 
and well knew that more Democrats than Republicans 
would follow the distinct Greenback party flag. He 
knew also that the Democratic business interests in 
the State were not in sympathy with the Greenback 
policy, and he astounded the Democrats and many 
of his own followers by opening the campaign with 
Galusha A. Grow as the oracle declaring distinctly 
in favor of maintaining the credit of the government 
by adhering to the gold standard, and reaching specie 
payments as rapidly as could be done without embar- 
rassment to the business and industrial interests of 
the cotmtry. Under ordinary conditions such a policy 
would have been fatal, as it would have rushed the 
Democrats and Greenbackers into fusion, but Quay 
well knew that he had created an impassable gulf 
between those two parties, and he decided to take 
the chance of losing a few Greenback Republicans and 
winning a larger number of sotmd money Democrats. 

No campaign ever organized and fought in the State 
was more skilfully planned and executed. Many of 
the Greenback people were aroused to aggressive 
action in demanding that in the face of the gold stand- 
ard being flung into their faces by the Republican 
organization, the Democrats and Greenbackers should 
make common cause, as thus united they undoubtedly 
had the power to carry the State. The Greenback 
candidate for Governor was faithful to his agreement, 
and the Greenback leaders in charge of the campaign 
threw every obstacle in the way of fusion. 

The fact that Judge Agnew polled 99,316 votes for 
supreme judge by a fusion between the Prohibitionists 

Old Time NoteS 

^P and Greenbackers alone, clearly shows that even a 
measurable fusion {)etween the Greenbackers and the 
Democrats would ha\'e defeated the Republican State 
ticket. Fortunately for Quay, the Greenbackers had 
no party leaders to make battle for the integrity of 
their organization. Many of them were purely com- 
mercial, and others idealists who were always ready to 
follow a hopeless flag in supjxjrt of their faith, rather 
than mingle it with the faith of others to gain victorj*. 

Hoyt took the stump, and his speeches were among 
the ablest ever delivered in the State. He did not 
enthuse audiences as Curtin did. but he seriously 
impressed all intelligent hearers, and came out of 
the struggle a very much more highly appreciated 
man than he was when he entered it. Dill made few 
speeches, but what he did make were of a masterly 
type. He was one of the ablest men then connected 
with State authority, as he had served a long period 
in the scmate, but he was one of the most unassimiing 
of all our public men. He was personally popular, 
for none nif)re nearly completed the circle of all the 
admirable personal qualities of a public man. No one 
in the Senate was more highly respected by the Repub- 
licans than was Andrew H. Dill, and thus the two great 
parties had eminently able representatives at the head 
of their tickets, and men completely equipped alike in 
character and attainments to fill the office of Governor 
with the highest measure of credit. 

Africa, the Democratic candidate for secretary of 
internal affairs, had creditably served in the Legisla- 
ture, although representing a strong Republican dis- 
trict, and was very highly respected, while Dunkel, 
his Republican competitor, suffered to some extent 
from defection within his own party. The result 
was the election of Hoyt by a plurality of 22,253, ^th 
Mason, Greenback candidate, receiving 81,758 votes. 


Of Pennsylvania 497 

Stone's plurality was 23,255, Sterrett's plurality was 
23,821, with Agnew, Greenback-Prohibition, polling 93,- 
316 votes, and Dunkel was elected by 12,159 plurality. 

In Allegheny County Agnew received 10,181 votes, 
the Democratic candidate for supreme judge received 
11,999, and Sterrett 19,518, showing a majority in 
Allegheny against the Republicans, although their 
State ticket received a plurality of nearly 10,000. In 
a number of the cotmties in the State the combined 
Greenback and Prohibition vote cast for Agnew was 
larger than the Democratic vote, but the compact 
between the Republicans and the Greenbackers had 
held good from start to finish, and Quay won the most 
important victory in the State that was gained solely 
by the most superb political strategy. 

When it is remembered that at the September elec- 
tion of that year the strong Republican State of Maine 
faltered, and the Greenbackers and Democrats elected 
the entire State officers and both branches of the Legis- 
lature, defeating Hale for Congress, the perfection of 
Republican strategy in Pennsylvania may be tmder- 
stood. Quay and Mackey began early to perfect the 
policy to divide and conquer the opposition, and they 
were successful at every stage of the struggle. The 
Republicans, of course, carried both branches of the 
Legislature, having 32 senators to 15 Democrats, 2 
Greenback Democrats, and i National, and the house 
had 107 Republicans, 78 Democrats, 7 Greenback 
Democrats, 3 Greenback Republicans and 6 National. 
It was in this campaign that Quay made himself the 
acknowledged Republican master in the State, as 
Mackey died a few weeks after the election, and Quay, 
green with the laurels of his great victory, became 
the supreme leader of the party. 





Quay Makes Himself Recorder of Philadelphia with Large Compensation — 
Locates in Philadelpliia at ElevsDth and Spruce — Chairman of 
Republican State Commit tee-^Succceded by Dnvid ii. Lane as 
Recorder— The Oflit-e Finally AboliGhed — Quay Becomes Secrelafv 
o( the Commonwealth Under Hoyt— The Pittsburg Four Million 
Riot Bill— Defeated After a Bitter Contest— Convictions Followed 
for I^jtitlnlive Venality — Quay Nominates Butler for State Tress- 
uror — Serious Hitch When Butler Assumed the Office — How the 
Tieanury Deficit was Covered — Cameroa and Quay Malie EamcMt 
Bftttlo for Ciront's Nomination for a Third Term. 

THE disastrous Republican defeat of 1877 made 
the leaders of tiie party b^in at once to po^ 
feet the organization, and to devise the policy 
for the campaign of 1878, when a Governor was to be 
chosen, Mackey lived in Pittsburg, and had complete 
control of the organization in the Western counties. 
Quay's home was in Beaver, within the radius where 
Mackey could direct party movements without the aid 
of Quay. The Camerons were centrally located at 
Harrisburg, but in Philadelphia they had no great 
party leaders. 

Quay's political methods were always expensive, 
and being then without fortune himself, it was decided 
by Quay, Mackey and the Camerons that the office of 
recorder for the city of Philadelphia should be revived 
with greatly enlarged powers, which would yield to 
the official not less than $30,000 a year. The bill 
provided that the recorder should be appointed by 
the Governor with the approval of the senate, and did 
not require him to be a resident of Philadelphia at 

of Pennsylvania 499 

the time he was commissioned. The measure was 
very desperately fought by most of the Democrats 
and some reform Republicans, but it was carried 
through the Legislature and approved by Governor 
Hartranft, who soon thereafter nominated Quay for 
the position. 

It required a two-thirds vote in the senate to con- 
firm him, but after much agitation and some scandal 
the confirmation was effected by the aid of the Dem- 
ocratic senator from York. It is notable that for 
many years York furnished more Democratic legis- 
lators who served the Republican organization than 
any other dozen counties of the State. At no time 
during the political rule of Quay was he without power 
over the Democratic organization in York County, 
and in 1901 it was the direct vote of a Democratic 
member from York for Quay's candidate for speaker 
that enabled him to get control of the house by the 
defeat of General Koontz, the fusion candidate. Dem- 
ocratic demoralization logically followed such con- 
tinued commercial Democratic politics in one of the 
strong Democratic cotmties of the State, and the cul- 
mination was reached in 1904 when the Republicans 
carried the cotmty by a decided majority. 

Quay at once located in Philadelphia, and made his 
home in a large double house on the northeast comer 
of Eleventh and Spruce Streets. He believed that 
with his official power, and his close relations with 
the leaders of the party in the city, he could dominate 
the eastern part of the State, while Mackey ruled the 
west, but the recorder bill was very odious throughout 
the State, and specially odious to the citizens of Phila- 
delphia, who were needlessly taxed to furnish a large 
income solely for the benefit of a political leader. 
Quay soon discovered that the office he had wrung 
from the Legislature weakened rather than strength- 

soo Old Time Notes 

ened his power, as there was very general disapproval 
not only of the creation of the office of recorder, but of 
filling it with a political leader from Western Pennsyl- 

Quay discharged his duties as recorder with great 
moderation by neglecting to enforce the collection of 
the large fees he could have commandc-i]. He was also 
made diairman of the State committee, and devoted 
himself exclusively to the severe duties that position 
imposed in the gubernatorial contest of 1878. He 
won out by the most carefully-pLinncd and well- 
executed political methods which ha\c liecn described 
in a former chapter, and when Hoyt was elected Gov- 
ernor he was ready to abandon the recordership. and 
was succeeded by David H. Lane, one of the most 
level-headed and widely-respected of the local Repub- 
lican leaders. Lane made a great struggle to halt 
the tidal wave that demanded the repeal of the recorder 
act, and proposed to revise the duties and ]jreroga- 
tives of the recorder, to cut off extravagant fees and 
make it an eminently useful position to the public, 
but public sentiment was overwhelmingly against 
the whole scheme, and the recorder bill was finally 

It was only natural that Governor Hoyt should 
tender the position of secretary of the commonwealth 
to Quay, and it was done soon after his election and 
promptly accepted. Hoyt called to the attorney 
generalship Henry W. Palmer, from his own town, a 
lawyer of eminent ability and one of the most con- 
scientious of all our Pennsylvania officials. The Ho;4 
administration would have been rather tmeventful 
but for the agitation and scandal developed in the 
Legislature of 1879 growing out of what was commonly 
known as the "Riot bill," and his defiant political 
deliverance made just before the election of 1882, when 

Of Pennsylvania 501 

he declared against the Republican organization and 
State ticket headed by General Beaver. 

Several millions of property were destroyed by the 
Pittsburg mob in the desperate riots of 1877, in which 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company was almost the 
only sufferer. The laws of the State made Allegheny 
County liable for the destruction of property by a 
mob within its jurisdiction, but prominent lawyers 
of Pittsburg invented the defence that the mob had 
been provoked to violence and the destruction of 
property by the State ordering its militia to Pittsburg, 
thus greatly inflaming the riotous spirit of the people 
without having sufficient military force to protect 
person and property. They insisted that as the State 
had, by its mistaken military movements, caused the 
destruction of property by the mob, the losses should 
be paid from the State treasury and not by the people 
of Allegheny Coimty. 

This theory was accepted by the leaders, and it 
was decided to pass a bill making an appropriation of 
some $4,000,000 to be applied to the payment of 
property destroyed by the mob, or so much thereof 
as might be needed. This bill aroused fierce oppo- 
sition, not only throughout the State, but within the 
Legislature, and the measure was fought with despera- 
tion. A large lobby was brought to Harrisburg to 
aid the passage of the bill, and that intensified the 
opposition, and led to charges of the employment of 
corrupt influences to command the approval of the 

Just when the battle for and against the meastire 
was at its height, a resolution was adopted by the house 
providing for the appointment of a committee of five 
" for the purpose of investigating the charges made by 
the member from Union (Mr. Wolfe) and any other 
improper influences brought to bear upon members 

rime Notes 

tin at Tisburg to sjx-'culate largely m some par- 
ular stcxrks al>out which they belie\"ed they had 
a reliable tip. and without Treasurer Noyes partici- 
pating in the ojieration. and most likely withoal even 
knowing it, a large amount of the State money was 
used to aid the speculators. It was not draiATi directly 
from the treasury, but loans were obtained from banks 
which had State deposits, with the assurance thai they 
would not be called until the obUgaiions were paid. 
It was common m iha ; it had been for many 

years before, and as it n^, i, as a rule, from that 

time to the present, for » treasurers to favor 

pohtical or personal friei r serve private spec- 

ulative interests of their own f the use of the pubhc 
money in the treasury just i r. Noyes did, although 
in violation of both the lettpf d the spirit of the law. 
It happcncf^l that the %U Dcculation was a mis- 
venture, and a large amount oi money was lost, involv- 
ing Quay in Uie most serious financial troubles he ever 
experienced, State Treasurer Butler sternly refused 
to accept the assets of tiie treasury' as they were pre- 
sented to him, and required that every accoimt should 
be put upon a strictly lawful basis, to obviate all per- 
sonal risk on the part of the new treasiu^r. Many wild 
stories have been published by the vindictive enemies 
of Quay relating to this episode in his poUtical career. 
Detailed accounts have been given of how he was with 
difficulty hindered by his friends from plunging into 
the Susquehanna and ending his troubles with his life, 
all of which were wholly inventions of the mahce that 
ever pursues successful men. 

Quay was not built in that way. I have seen him 
in many very severe trials, and in every instance the 
graver the difficulties the more heroic he was in meet- 
ing them. The yotuiger Cameron and Kemble promptly 
came to his relief by advancing a large amount of money 

Of Pennsylvania 503 

years declared in favor of a sound financial policy, as 
Quay had won out with it in the election of Hoyt. 
For several years prior to that time the Republicans 
regarded it as unsafe to make a distinct declaration in 
favor of the gold standard. 

The Democratic State convention met at Harris- 
burg on the 1 6th of July, over which A. H. Coffroth 
presided, and Daniel O. Barr, of Allegheny, was nomi- 
nated for State treasurer. The Greenbackers also 
held a convention at Altoona on the 1 5th of July, and 
nominated Peter Sutton, of Indiana, for State treas- 
urer, and the Prohibitionists met at Altoona on the 
23d of September and nominated W. I. Richardson, 
of Montour, for the same office. The contest was not 
a spirited one, as the Democrats had little hope of 
success. The result was the election of Butler by a 
majority of 58,438. The Greenbackers had fallen down 
to 27,208 votes, and the Prohibitionists to 3,219, 
giving Butler a decided majority over all. The Legis- 
lature was also Republican by a large majority. The 
senate had 32 Republicans, 15 Democrats, 2 Green- 
back Democrats and i National, and the house con- 
tained 107 Republicans, 78 Democrats, 7 Greenback 
Democrats, 3 Greenback Republicans and 6 Nationals. 

One of the many serious troubles injected into Quay's 
public experience occurred when State Treasurer 
Butler came to Harrisbtirg in the spring of 1880, to 
take charge of the State treasury. Butler's predecessor 
was Mr. Noyes, of Clinton, a man of imusual intelligence, 
but eminent for his amiable and confiding qualities. 
He was not a financier, nor had he any knowledge of 
banking, and he entrusted the management of the 
treasury almost entirely to Mr. Walters, his cashier, 
who was a very shrewd and capable man with a fond- 
ness for speculation. 

A combination was made by Quay with several 

Old Time Notes 

5n with house hill 103." The committee con- 
. M. Rhodes. C. B. Elliott. Charles S. Wolfe, 
yie and G. E. Mapes. It began its inquiry on 
4tn of April and ended on the 33d of May, when 
;ported to the house declaring that eight persons, 
.dding three members of the house, had been guilty 
'■nrrupt solicitation and should be prosecuted. 
u |irosecutions were tried before Judge Pierson 
I tne Harrisburg quarter sessions, and after much 
l^al sjmrring and considerable delay, the accused 
paJlics decided to plead guilty, believing that they 
woiili! Ik- ])unishcd only by fine, but to the overwhelm- 
ing surprise of the defendants and the very general 
surprise of the public, Judge Pierson sentenced them 
to the ijenitentiary, and that error of the trial judge 
opened the way for their pardon, as it was held by 
Attorney General Palmer, whose integrity and abihty 
were unquestioned, to be a sentence entirely unwar- 
ranted. The scandal arising from the efforts to pass 
the bill arousfi! such aggressive opposition that the 
measure was abandoned, and the riot losses were finally 
amicably adjusted by Allegheny County. 

The year 1879 was an off year in politics, as the only 
office to be filled was that of State treasurer, and Quay 
decided upon Samuel Butler, of Chester, as the party 
candidate for that position. That nomination was de- 
signed as a tub to the reform whale, as the Butler 
element, in which Judge Butler, brother of the candi- 
date for State treasurer, was an important factor and a 
candidate for a seat in the supreme court, was not in 
sympathy with the machine. When the leaders decided 
in favor of Butler, the reform sentiment of the State 
readily acquiesced, and at the convention held at 
Harrisburg on the 23d of July, of which Galusha A. 
Grow was president, Butler was nominated by accla- 
mation, and that convention for the first time in many 

Of Pennsylvania 505 

that was probably aided by liberal deposits from 
the treasury, and in a few years Quay was able to repay 
his friends, with a moderate fortune left to himself. 
•He was bold in everything, and as bold in speculation 
as he was in politics. Three times during his public 
career he would have been utterly bankrupt if called 
to a settlement of his affairs, and he was as many times 
the possessor of a liberal fortime. He was evidently 
fortimate in his financial operations during the tidal 
wave of increased values that occurred several years 
ago, as at no time during his life was his accumulated 
wealth so great as at the time of his death. 

The death of Mackey, that occurred only a few weeks 
after the election of Hoyt, in the fall of 1878, was a 
great loss to Quay. Mackey was one of the safest of 
advisers in finance as well as in politics, and he equaled 
Quay in boldness of conception and execution; but 
while Quay lost a most important colleague in the 
management of the RepubUcan organization, of which 
Mackey was always the acknowledged leader, the 
death of Mackey made Quay practically the absolute 
arbiter of Republican movements and policy in Penn- 
sylvania. He had the benefit of the coimsels of both 
the Camerons, but the elder Cameron had practically 
retired from active participation in political affairs, 
and the yoimger Cameron, while most valuable in 
advising and directing political operations, greatly 
preferred that some other than himself should be at the 
front and take the honor with its exacting labors. 
Quay was thus practically in charge of the Republican 
organization of the State, and never was forgetful of 
the necessity of wielding his authority. 

As the National contest of 1880 approached it pre- 
sented a very serious problem to be solved by Quay 
and Cameron. They had defeated Blaine for the 
Presidency in the Cincinnati convention of 1876, after 

5o6 Old Time Notes 

a desperate struggle and by a very narrow margin, 
and Blaine was looming up as an apparently invincible 
candidate for the Presidential nomination of iS8o. 
Both Quay and Cameron were weary of Hayes and 
distrustful of Blaine. They wanted a President who 
would be in thorough accord with them, and not quib- 
ble over the advancement of men useful in pohtics, j 
even though somewhat shady on the score of merit. i 

They very nmch wanted a Republican President, but 1 
they felt that they could not afford to accept Blaine, 
although they were confronted by the fact that an 
overwhelming majority of the RepubHcan people of 
the State were earnestly devoted to Blaine, and de- 
sired his nomination. Blaine was a native of Perm- i 
sylvania, having been bom in Washington County, | 
was educated in the State, and was for some time a ' 
teacher in the deaf and dumb asylum of Philadelphia at 
Broad and Pine. He became a resident of Maine by 
the accident of marrying an accomplished Maine teacher 
in Kentucky, when Blaine held a position in one of 
the prominent educational institutions of that State. 
His wife's strong love of her home on the far north- 
east coast, decided the destiny of the man who rose 
to be the most idolized man of his party since the days 
of Henry Clay, but who, like Clay, was destined never 
to be President. 

Blaine's close political associations in Washington 
were not in sympathy with the Quay-Cameron asso- 
ciation, and as Quay and Cameron had defeated 
Blaine for President in 1876, by sheer manipulation 
that made Pennsylvania practically voiceless in the 
contest, they felt that they had little to expect from 
Blaine if he became President. The differences which 
existed between Blaine and the Quay-Cameron forces 
were not logical. They were politicians of much the 
same tj^pe. Blaine believed in old-time political 

Of Pennsylvania 507 

methods, and while he gave a passive approval to the 
civil service ideas, he was never in sympathy with 
them. His political theory was that the land belonged 
to the saints, iand that his party were the saints, but 
for some reason, never fully imderstood outside the 
circle immediately interested, Blaine became offensive 
to Cameron, Quay, Mackey and Kemble, and the 
breach was steadily widened imtil death interposed to 
end the contest. They could have made terms with 
Blaine, as Blaine would doubtless have agreed to their 
absolute supremacy in Pennsylvania if he became 
President, but they were entirely distrustful of Blaine, 
and rejected all of the many overtures which were 
made to bring the warring interests into harmony. 

Grant was the ideal President of the men who were 
in harmony with him. He never quibbled about the 
demands they made upon him if it was within his 
power to grant them. Grant, after having made a 
journey around the world, had returned home and 
received the grandest ovations ever accorded to an 
American citizen. It was believed by his friends that 
the public sentiment was so strongly in sympathy 
with him that he could be nominated and elected to a 
third term, and it was only natural that Quay and 
Cameron should turn to Grant as the most available 
man to serve them in overthrowing Blaine in the con- 
vention of 1880. 

They did not proclaim their preference for Grant, 
but carefully canvassed the State, beginning even 
before the advent of the year 1880, and quietly ar- 
ranged for the election of delegates to the State con- 
vention at a period long before the time the masses 
of the party gave any thought to the subject. When 
the work* of arranging for the ejection of delegates 
was completed, an obedient State committee was 
summoned and a snap State convention was called 


508 OH Time Notes 

to meet on the 4th of February to nominate State 
officers, and select delegates to tlie National CLinvention. 

The friends of Blaine had practically no knowledge 
of the systematic movement that had been made to 
give the State to Grant until they were astounded by 
the call for the State convention at the earliest period 
that had ever been named for the meeting of such a 
body, and when they attempted to organize for the 
election of delegates, they discovered that the field 
had been carefully gleaned by Quay and Cameron, and 
that it was impossible, in the brief period they would 
have for organization, to make successful battle against 
the machine. The result was that Pennsylvania was 
first in the field in 1880 with her State convention, 
with nearly unanimous instructions for Grant's nomi- 
nation for the third Presidential term, and with a 
practically solid Grant delegation instructed to vote 
as a unit for the hero of Appomattox. 

Blaine thus lost, at the very opening of his great 
battle of 1880. the moral power of the second State 
of the Union, and one in which he well knew that a 
large majority of the Republicans were sincerely and 
earnestly anxious for his nomination as the candidate 
of the party for President, and when the vote of the 
National convention is carefully scanned, any intelli- 
gent student will understand that it was this shrewdly 
conceived and boldly executed movement of Quay and 
Cameron, at the opening of the year 1880, that defeated 
Blaine's nomination at Chicago. True, Grant fell 
with him, but Blaine lost the Presidency, and it was 
Quay and Cameron who dealt the fatal blow. 

Of Pennsylvania 509 


Quay and Cameron Call Early State Convention, and Declare in Favor 
of Grant for a Third Term — Cameron Chairman of National Com- 
mittee — Ruled Strongly in Favor of Grant in Preliminary Proceed- 
ings — Reluctant Support Given to Garfield — Blaine's Appointment 
as Premier Offensive to Quay and Cameron — State Offices Filled at 
the Election — Memorable Speeches in National Conventions by Inger- 
soll, Conkling and Dougherty. 

CAMERON and Quay were compelled to face a 
huge proposition as 1880 approached, as 
Blaine's nomination for the Presidency could 
be defeated only by the diversion of Pennsylvania from 
its undisputed favorite candidate, and even with that 
accomplished, most exhaustive efforts were required 
by the powerful combination that had accomplished the 
defeat of Blaine at Cincinnati in 1876. Cameron was 
then in the Senate, and Quay was secretary of the 
commonwealth with their leadership in the State on 
all ordinary propositions practically tmdisputed, but 
to wrest the State from Blaine in 1880 was a task of 
great magnitude, and it could not have been accom- 
plished in any other way than by a snap movement 
that precipitated the convention earlier than any had 
ever been held before, after the State had been quietly 
organized by Cameron and Quay when the Blaine men 
were entirely off guard. 

Long before the advent of 1880 Cameron and Quay 
had quietly organized every section of the State for 
the election of delegates to the State convention, and 
not until an official call was issued for the convention 
to meet on the 4th of February, 1880, had the Blaine 


Old Time Notes 

people any intimation of the movements to give 1 
State to Grant. Even with all the advantage the 
leaders had of quiet manipulation when the Blaine 
people were patiently waiting for the time to act, the 
instructions for Grant, and requiring the delegation to 
vote as a unit for his nomination, were passed by a vote 
of 133 to 1 13, Had there been an open, square battle 
between Blaine and Grant in the State, even with all 
the power of the organization against Blaine, it is not 
only possible, but quite probable that he would have 
carried a majority of the convention. 

Conkling, then as supreme in New York as Cameron 
and Quay were in Pennsylvania, followed with an 
early convention in that State, and declared in favor 
of Grant with like instructions to the delegation to 
vote as a unit. Thus the two greatest of the States 
led off for Grant, and for the time his noniination 
appeared to be inevitable, but Blaine had a vastly 
larger popular following than had Grant, and it was 
aroused to desperate resist;mce. Never was a pre- 
liminary battle for the Presidency so earnestly con- 
tested as in the struggle between Grant and Blaine 
in 1880. Every State was battled for with desperate 
energy, and when all the delegations had been chosen 
to the National convention, Blaine, with the field, had 
a clear majority against Grant, but Grant had a like 
clear majority against Blaine. 

The vote in the convention on the first ballot was 
304 for Grant, 284 for Blaine, 93 for Sherman, 31 for 
Washburn, 34 for Edmunds and 10 for Windom. It 
was a struggle of giants, and the convention lasted for 
more than a week. Thirty-six ballots were taken, and 
Grant varied from 304 to 309 until the thirty-fourth, 
when he reached 312, and on the thirty-fifth his high- 
est vote was obtained, 313. On the thirty-sixth and 
last ballot his vote fell back to 306. Blaine never 

Of Pennsylvania 511 

exceeded his first vote of 284 on any of the many 
ballots, but polled that vote several times. His last 
vote before the final break to Garfield was 257, and 
on the final ballot he received only 42, his friends 
having almost bodily gone to Garfield. 

The nomination of Garfield was not in any measure 
acceptable to Cameron or Conkling. True, they had 
defeated Blaine, and thus accomplished one of the great 
purposes of the combination, but they long hesitated 
to give a cordial support to Garfield. The friends of 
Garfield immediately after his nomination called upon 
Conkling, and requested him to indicate a candidate 
for Vice-President, but he refused, in the contemptuous 
manner that he so often exhibited, to give any inti- 
mation on the subject. As Arthur was a delegate 
and cast the vote of New York on several occasions 
when Conkling was otherwise engaged, and as he was 
known to be the special favorite of Conkling, the Gar- 
field people nominated him for Vice-President, but 
for the time being the nomination of Arthur did not 
seem to temper the keen disappointment of Conkling. 
Garfield had been nominated by the supporters of 
Blaine, and Conkling feared that Garfield would be 
much more friendly to Blaine than he could afford to 
have the President. I saw Garfield and Arthur at the 
general reception given to them on the evening after the 
nominations had been made, and the occasion was 
chiefly notable for the absence of Conkling and Cameron. 

The nomination of Garfield was not cordially re- 
sponded to by the followers of the Republican leaders 
in either New York or Pennsylvania. I saw Cameron 
frequently, and during the early stages of the contest 
he did not regard Garfield's election as probable, and 
was not disposed to lose sleep at the prospect of a 
Republican National defeat. The organization in the 
State was in his own hands with John Cessna as chair- 

512 Old Time Notes 

man of the State committee, and imder any circum- 
stances the vote of Pennsylvania would be given to 
Garfield, but New York was then regarded as certain to 
vote Democratic. The Republican leaders in the 
Eastern States were very slow to organize for the 
National battle, and in the early part of the stmimer 
Garfield was so much alarmed at the situation that 
he voluntarily visited New York and stopped at 
the same hotel where Conkling made his home, and 
although Garfield was there for several days, Conkling 
never called upon him. 

Later in the struggle, when the leaders were required 
to decide between victory or defeat, Conkling was 
pressingly invited by Garfield to visit him in Ohio, 
and after a conference in which Grant, Cameron and 
others participated, it was decided that Conkling 
should accept the invitation and confer with their 
candidate. The result of that conference was that the 
entire Grant combination decided to give an earnest 
support to Garfield, and Grant himself went so far as 
to attend a meeting and deliver a public address in 
favor of the Rei)ublican candidate. General Hancock, 
who was the Democratic candidate for President, had 
a strong hold upon the ])eo])le, and was a very popular 
and dangerous antagonist for Garfield. Thus after 
having been apparently quite willing for Garfield's 
defeat for several months after his nomination, the 
Grant-Cameron combination found, when they de- 
cided to elect him, that they had an immense contract 
on their hands, and Garfield's election was finally 
accomplished only by a combination with Tammany 
that made them betray Hancock. 

The first blow that struck the Grant leaders after 
the election of Garfield was his public announcement 
that Blaine would be called to the premiership of his 
cabinet. When the cabinet was sent to the Senate 




Of Pennsylvania 51 j 

for confirmation, Cameron, more level-headed than 
Conkling, supported it in its entirety, but when Blaine's 
name was read in the Senate Conkling said to a fellow 
Senator that he must either retire from the body or 
hold his nose to escape the stench of Blaine's name, 
and he quietly adjourned to his committee room. 
Another cabinet nomination, that of Wayne MacVeagh. 
for Attorney General, had peculiar dual significance. 
He was not of the Grant school of politics, but he was 
the brother-in-law of Senator Cameron, for whom the 
entire Cameron family cherished just pride. The 
appointment of MacVeagh would have been fully 
justified entirely on his own merits, as he possessed 
high legal attainments, and a reputation without 
blemish, but mere individual merit and fitness sel- 
dom control cabinet appointments, and with all of 
McVeagh's admitted qualifications for the Attorney 
Generalship, Garfield certainly intended the appoint- 
ment as a compliment to the Cameron power of the State. 
Conkling had no faith in Garfield after the appoint- 
ment of Blaine, and he was not a man who concealed 
his distrust of those who had provoked his disfavor. 
Finally, the nomination of Robinson for collector of 
the port of New York, who had led the anti-Conkling 
forces in the National convention, cam.e like a light- 
ning stroke from an tmclouded sky, and he and Piatt, 
then a new Senator, in a sudden fit of resentment, sent 
their resignations to the Governor of New York, and 
started home confidently expecting to command a 
re-election. Conkling naturally held Blaine responsi- 
ble for the nomination of Robinson, but Attorney 
General MacVeagh assured me that Blaine had never 
suggested the appointment, and did not know that it 
was to be made until the President had acted in the 
matter. The desperate and disastrous struggle made 
by Conkling and Piatt for re-election to the Senate 

a— 33 

5i6 Old Time Notes 

Two memorable speeches were made in the National 
conventions of 1880. The speech of Robert G. Inger- 
soU, presenting the name of Blaine in the Cincinnati 
convention of 1876, suddenly crowned him with 
National fame in a single day. It was received with 
imusual enthusiasm because IngersoU was little known 
beyond his own State before he delivered that address, 
and I remember well when IngersoU was announced at 
Cincinnati as the man who was to present the name 
of Blaine to the convention, there was very general 
apprehension that he would not be equal to the occa- 
sion ; but I have heard many able speeches in National 
conventions, and never heard one that was as forceful 
and impressive as that of IngersoU presenting the 
name of Blaine for the Presidency. 

Conkling's speech nominating Grant in the Chicago 
convention of 1880 is well remembered as one of the 
grandest efforts of his life. I sat on the platform 
within ten feet of him when he rose to deliver it. He 
was a man of imusually handsome face and form, with 
a manner that had the air of majesty, and when his 
clear silver voice rang out the first sentence to the 
convention and spectators, making an assembly of 
fully 10,000 people, the effect was electrical. His first 
utterance was : " When asked whence comes our can- 
didate? we say, 'from Appomattox.' " It was a bold, 
defiant deliverance, rather assertive than persuasive, but 
it was grand in eloquence and sublime in earnestness. 

The late Daniel Dougherty delivered the most im- 
pressive address of his fife before the Democratic con- 
vention at Cincinnati in 1880 when he presented the 
name of Hancock for the Presidency. Dougherty 
was not a delegate, and had taken little interest in the 
proceedii^ of the convention until, after a long delay, 
Tilden's letter of declination was received, when he 
plunged into the fight and urged the selection of Han- 

Of Pennsylvania 517 

cock, whose nomination was practically settled just 
before the convention met. It was regarded as most 
important to have some one present Hancock's name 
whose address would be fully worthy of the great 
occasion, and the Pennsylvanians at once suggested 
that Dougherty was the man. A member of the 
delegation gave Dougherty a substitution, and in- 
formed him that he was assigned the task of presenting 
the name of Hancock to the convention. 

Dougherty never spoke on important occasions 
without careful preparation and thoroughly commit- 
ting his address to memory. He had only a few hours 
to prepare his address, and that doubtless gave it the 
merit of brevity. Within an hour of the meeting of 
the convention, Dougherty came up to me in front 
of the St. Nicholas Hotel, and in a rather excited 
manner asked me to step aroimd the comer. I did so, 
and he requested me to permit him to recite his Han- 
cock speech, and suggest any revision that I might 
think necessary. The recitation did not require over 
six or eight minutes, and I was the sole audience while 
Dougherty repeated, in smothered tones, but with all 
his impassioned manner, the magnificent address that 
gave him National fame as a poUtical orator. It was 
as faultless as it was beautiful, and no changes were 
suggested. The speech was received with the wildest 
enthusiasm as he styled Hancock "the superb," and 
one whose record was as stainless as his sword. 

The only rift in the lute of Dougherty's eloquent 
presentation of Hancock was in the fact that Randall, 
of Pennsylvania, was a candidate for the Presidency, 
and on the second ballot received 128^ votes to 320 
for Hancock. Immediately after the ballot was an- 
notmced the Pennsylvanians changed solidly to Han- 
cock, and the final summing up of the ballot gave 
Hancock 705 votes to 33 scattering. 


Old Time Notes 

In Pennsylvania the Republicans held their own in 
the Congressional delegation, electing 19 of the 27 
Congressmen, and the Legislature consisted of 33 
Republican senators to 18 Democrats and i National, 
and 122 RepubHcan representatives to 78 Democrala 
and I Greenbacker. 

While occasional murmurs were heard in different 
sections of the State against the (,'ameron-Quay rule, 
everything on the pohtical snrface indicated entire 
harmony and unity of action among the Republican 
leaders, Ho>t was apparently as solidly in accord 
with Cameron as was Quay himself, and none then 
dreamed that they were just on the threshold of the 
fonnidable revolt and deadlock of the Legislature, 
elected the same >'ear, on the United States Senator- 
ship. The most potent of political revolutions are 
often started in a single day, and apparently almost 
by a single breath, while oftentimes the most flagrant 
political affronts to the people are sullenly submitted to. 

Galusha A. Grow had made an earnest canvass of 
the State as an avowed candidate for United State 
Senator. The leaders welcomed him as an efficient 
champion of the Republican cause, fully conscious of 
their power to defeat him in the caucus for Senator, 
and thus, as they supposed, end the contest. Grow 
is not of a revolutionary type of political leaders. He 
is as amiable as he is able, and while he was often 
grieved at the action of his party, he was counted on as 
one of the most willing to bow to party orders, and fall 
in to support the party flag; but the unrest of the inde- 
pendent element throughout the State had been 
quietly and surely widening and deepening, and an 
unusual number of able men. independent in their 
tendencies, were in the Legislature of 1881. 

From under this apparently serene political surface 
there was a sudden eruption when the legislature met 

Of Pennsylvania 519 

that dumfotinded the leaders, defied their mastery, 
held the Legislatiire in deadlock on the Senatorship 
from the 19th of Jantiary to the 23d of February, and 
defeated every candidate the organization presented; 
and the aftermath of that contest came in 1882, when, 
after a imanimotis nomination for Governor by an 
apparently harmonious party. General Beaver was 
suddenly confronted by an independent eruption that 
defeated him at the polls. 


5*0 Old Time Notes 



GoJusha A Grow Made an Active Canvass for Senator— Hen rj- W Oliver 
the Orgnniiation Candidate — SeriouB Revolt Against Quay-Cameron 
Rule^ Forty -Re ven Republican Legislators Announce Their Refusal 
to Enter the Ciiucus — Oliver Nominated on Second Ballot — Received 
ft Majority of the Entire Republican Vote of the Legislature — Sena- 
tor John Stewart Leader ol the Revolt — Oliver Withdrew and 
G«neial Beaver wai Mode Organication Candidate — February >jd 
Both Factionn United on Congressman John I Mitchell — He Re- 
t«ved the Full Republicans Vote and Was Elected — Wolfe. Independ- 
ent Candid:ite for Treisuror. 

THE battle between Garfiekl and Hancock for 
the Presidency did nut call out extraordinary 
exertions from either political party, as the 
State was not regarded as in any sense debatable, but 
both sides well maintained their organizations, and 
very general interest was cxhiliited in the contest, as 
is common in all National elections. The one question 
that was agitated during the campaign was the United 
States Senatorship, as the Legislature would be called 
upon to elect a Senator to succeed Senator Wallace. 
Several avowed candidates were in the field, but the 
only one who commanded general attention and re- 
ceived instructions in a number of the counties was 
Galusha A. Grow, who had served a dozen years in 
Congress and was Speaker of the House during the first 
two years of the war. He was not in favor with the 
Cameron-Quay organization, and had to make his 
battle against it. The organization did not present a 
candidate during the campaign, and Grow apparently 
had the field largely to himself, but he well understood 
that before the meeting of the Legislature the domj- 



♦ i 



» 1 








! i 

Of Pennsylvania 521 

nant political power of the State would determine 
upon a man who would be Grow's competitor. 

The man who was preferred by the regular party 
organization for the Senatorship was Henry W. Oliver, 
of Pittsburg, but his name was not canvassed before 
the people, nor was he an importtm.ate candidate. He 
was one of the most respected and successful yotmg 
business men of Pittsburg, and while not seeking party 
favors, he had been a veiy efficient supporter of the 
party organization, and his intimate familiarity with 
the political questions of the time may be imderstood 
when it is known that he drew the tariff planks of he 
Republican National platforms for the Cincinnati 
convention in 1876, and the Chicago convention of 
1880. He was as unasstmiing as he was courteous in 
all his intercourse with his fellows, and I doubt whether 
any business man in the State, of his years, more 
thoroughly imderstood the great and varied interests 
of the Commonwealth, and how to give them the most 
practical and certain development. 

His quiet manners and close devotion to business at 
home made him a comparative stranger to the public 
outside of his immediate business circles, and when 
his name was presented as the candidate of the organi- 
zation for the Senatorship it was at once resented by 
the Independents as an attempt to force a man into 
the position of Senator from Pennsylvania who lacked 
the intelligence and culture befitting the high station. 
The Independents in their address to the public, after 
they had taken their revolutionary attitude, criticised 
Mr. Oliver's qualifications as follows: "Wholly inex- 
perienced in public life, Mr. Oliver was not known to 
the people of the State beyond the limits of his own 
cotmty imtil named in connection with this distin- 
guished position. Why one so obscure should have 
be^n selected out cJf the great body of the people as the 

522 Old Time Notes 

one of all others best qualified to represent the State, 
is not for us to explain/' 

This reflection upon Mr. Oliver was far from being 
just, and the Independents who thus criticised him 
finally gave a tmited vote for Mr. Mitchell, who did not 
approach Mr. Oliver in any of the great qualities 
necessary to make an efficient and respected United 
States Senator. Oliver was not an orator, not so 
much because he was wanting in ability to engage in 
public disputation, but chiefly because his life pursuits 
exhausted his energies in other directions, and his dis- 
taste for ostentatious display made him avoid the 
platform, but no man would have more intelligently 
mastered every problem of National legislation, or 
defended it more intelligently than Mr. Oliver if he had 
been called to the Senate. 

He never was justly appreciated by his party or the 
public tmtil after the Senatorial contest, but he com- 
manded the respect of friends and foes by his chivalrous 
retirement when he found that his name was an ob- 
stacle to party unity. In the business revulsion that 
followed a year or two later, Mr. Oliver was over- 
whelmed and l)ankru]:>tcy appeared to confront him, 
but his creditors had absolute confidence in his ability 
and integrity, and they generously aided him in his 
efforts to rehabilitate his broken fortune. In a few 
years he had paid all his obligations, principal and 
interest in full, and for a number of years before his 
death he was one of the multi-millionaires of Pittsburg, 
and certainly in the forefront of the most respected 
public-spirited and philanthropic citizens. 

How keenly the injustice to Mr. Oliver, by his defeat 
for Senator in 1881, has been appreciated by the party 
in Pennsylvania, is evidenced by the fact that had he 
been living he would have succeeded Senator Quay 
without a contest ; and Governor " Pennypacker, in 

Of Pennsylvania 523 

tendering the appointment to his brother, George T. 
Oliver, to fill the unexpired term of Qtiay, stated that 
while George T. Oliver fully possessed the character 
and ability to justify his appointment to the Senate, 
the commission was tendered to him largely because it 
would in some measure atone for the wrong to his 
brother. Mr. Oliver declined the appointment, and 
it was then tendered to Senator Knox. 

When the Legislature met in January, 1881, it was 
known that Mr. Oliver was the candidate of the regular 
organization for the Senatorship, and that it had the 
power to force his nomination. The independent sen- 
timent had been greatly increased and intensified by 
the action of Cameron and Quay in calling the early 
convention of 1880 and wresting the State from Blaine 
by sending a Grant delegation to the National conven- 
tion. As Grant failed to obtain the nomination, the 
party harmoniously united in the support of Garfield, 
but when the Independents reached the contest for 
Senator, they were ready for revolutionary work, and 
Grow was their favorite candidate. 

The Legislature on joint ballot contained 1 54 Repub- 
licans, 92 Democrats, with 4 Greenbackers and Fusion- 
ists. The Republican caucus, to nominate a Senator, 
was fixed for January 13th, and on that day 47 Republi- 
can senators and representatives signed and published 
a pledge to stay out of the regular caucus, declaring 
that in their belief it was "not for the best interests 
of the Republican party or the welfare of the State 
that we should go into a caucus for the election of a 
candidate for the United States Senate." 

The caucus was held at the time appointed, at which 
98 Republican senators and representatives appeared. 
The first ballot gave Oliver 51, Snowden 12, Grow 10, 
Gimilan 5, Bingham 5, Ward 4, White 2, Stone 2, 
Koontz 2 and Morrill 2. On the second ballot Oliver's 

5*4 Old Time Notes 

vote rose to 63, and on the third ballot to 79, being 
four majority of the entire Republican vote of both 
branches of the Legislature, and he was declared the 
nominee. The Democrats in caucus renominated Sen- 
ator Wallace by a practically imanimous vote, and the 
Independents lined up in support of Grow. On the 
first ballot twenty Republican senators voted for 
Oliver, 12 for Grow and 16 for Wallace, with i for 
Agnew. In the House Oliver received 75 votes, Grow 
44, Wallace 77 with 3 scattering. The vote of the 
joint convention footed up 95 for Oliver, 93 for Wallace, 
56 for Grow, with i each for Agnew, Brewster, Baird 
and MacVeagh. 

The time fixed by law for the two branches of the 
Legislature to meet in joint convention, having failed 
to elect by a separate vote in the resjiective branches, 
was the 19th of January, when two ballots were taken 
with precisely the same result. On the T7th of Janu- 
ary, the day before the two branches voted sejiarately 
on the senatorship, two addresses were issued to the 
public, one signed by Senator McNeil, of Allegheny, 
and chairman of the Republican caucus, presenting 
to the people of the State the attitude and defense of 
the regiilars, and on the same day the Independents 
issued a public address that was signed individually by 
fifty-five members of the senate and house defending 
their action, and opposing the election of Oliver. 

The Democrats had sufficient power to make a com- 
bination with either the regulars or the Independents, 
and assuring the election of the candidate they united 
in supporting. They could readily have made advan- 
tageous terms with either and secured fair congressional 
and other apportionments, but Wallace commanded 
the Democratic forces, and he resisted all efforts to 
make a combination with either of the Republican 
factions. He was an intense square-toed Democrat, 


Of Pennsylvania 525 

and was natiirally averse to lowering the Democrats' 
standard, as he regarded it, by a fusion with any type 
of political opponent. Wallace not only acted in 
accordance with his own tastes in standing resolutely 
against fusion, but he was willingly repaying an obli- 
gation to Cameron and Quay, in which Mackey was 
an important figure, who six years earlier had stood 
resolutely against the fusion of the RepubUcans with 
the Buckalew Democrats to defeat Wallace. In all 
Republican factional contests Wallace was in hearty 
sympathy with the regular machine. 

With the Democrats thus practically eliminated from 
the contest, it became a struggle of endurance between 
the Republican factions, and as they were required 
by the law of Congress, imder which Senators were 
then and are now elected, the joint convention was 
compelled to meet every legislative day and vote for 
Senator until one was chosen. During nearly two 
weeks the opposing lines came up imbroken day after 
day, but by the time that the second Saturday was 
reached and many members desired to go home and 
spend Simday with their families, as was their habit, a 
general imderstanding was reached that any members 
who dseired to go home on Saturday should be at 
liberty to do so, and that neither side would attempt 
to rally its forces and elect a Senator by a minority 
vote because of absentees. 

Under the law, if a bare majority of the entire 
Legislature appeared in joint convention it would be 
a legal convention with a full quortmi, and a majority 
of that bare majority would constitute a quortmi and 
could elect a Senator. It was necessary, therefore, 
to have an imderstanding on the subject. The result 
was that on the second Saturday, Oliver's vote fell 
from 95 to 42, Grow's from 56 to 32 and Wallace's 
from 93 to 47. The joint convention continued to 

S26 Old Time Notes 

meet in the hall of the hottse at noon each secular day 
of the week from the 19th of Jantiaty to the 9th of 
Februaty, without any change in the monotonous 
grind of the three opposing elements casting fruitl^s 
ballots for a Senator. 

On the 9th of February Mr. Oliver addressed a com- 
munication to the Republican members of the assembly 
that was most dignified and temper&te in tone. In it 
he said, ** For myself, realizing that the party nominee 
cannot be elected, owing to tiie refusal of a large and 
respectable number of Republicans to join with their 
brethren in the choice of the majority, it is due to my 
supporters to say that I am no longer a candidate, and 
they are free to select any other worthy Republican." 
On the same day Mr. Grow addressed a letter to Sena- 
tor Davies, one of the Independent Republicans, in which 
he said : " Please withdraw my name as a candidate for 
United States Senator in the joint convention of the 
L^[islattu*e/' to which he added his thanks to the 
senators and representatives who had supported him. 

The regulars, after full consultation, decided to pre- 
sent the name of General Beaver, and they believed 
at the time they did it that the Independents could be 
induced to accept it. It is an open secret that very 
trivial circumstances prevented the union of the Inde- 
pendents with the regulars for the election of Beaver. 
Factional feeling was intensely inflamed, and it was 
quite possible for an accidental expression or action to 
prevent a union of the belligerent Republican forces. 
The Independents finally decided to support Congress- 
man Thomas M. Bayne, of Allegheny, and the first 
ballot, on the loth of February, gave Wallace 86, 
Beaver 63 and Bayne 62. Daily joint conventions 
were held from the loth of February imtil the 2 2d 
without any change in the struggle, except the varying 
of ballots because of absentees. Beaver's highest 

Of Pennsylvania 527 

vote was 80 and Bayne's highest vote was 62. On 
Satiirday, the 19th of February, the total vote polled 
by the three parties was 69, being 28 for Beaver, 21 
for Wallace and 20 for Bayne. 

On the 17 th of February the utter hopelesness of 
the struggle between the Republican factions was well 
understood by all, and after some outside consultations 
they, on that day, agreed that each should appoint a 
conference committee of twelve that should be em- 
powered to select a candidate for Senator who must 
receive a two-thirds vote of both committees. The 
Independent committee consisted of Senators Davies, 
Lee, Stewart and Lawrence, and Representatives 
Wolfe, Silverthome, Mapes, McKee, Slack, Stubbs, 
Miles and Derickson. The committee of the regulars 
consisted of Senators Greer, Herr, Smith, Keefer and 
Cooper, and Representatives Pollock, Moore, Marshall, 
Hill, Eshleman, Thompson and Billingsley. 

The joint conference committee held daily sessions, 
and balloted for a candidate without result imtil the 
evening of the 2 2d of February, when they unani- 
mously agreed upon John L Mitchell, of Tioga, then 
Congressman from the Sixteenth District, as a com- 
promise candidate. On the morning of February 
23d a joint Senatorial caucus attended by all the regu- 
lars and Independents was held in which Mitchell was 
unanimously nominated, and in the joint convention 
of that day the vote for Senator was: Mitchell 150, 
Wallace 9 2 , Mac Veagh i and Brewster i . Thus ended 
one of the most earnest and memorable Senatorial con- 
tests in Pennsylvania, that was surpassed in despera- 
tion and endurance only by the jangled Senatorial con- 
test of 1855, when the Know Nothings controlled the 
Legislature, and when, after a most embittered contest, 
the Legislature adjourned without electing a Senator, 
giving the Democrats the opportunity to elect Cover- 

528 Old Time Notes J 

nor Bigler the following year when they had f 
control of the Leigslature. 

Senator Mitchell was accepted by the Indepen 
with some reluctance, and he was generally reg; 
as rather more acceptable to Cameron than tc 
bolters, but he was tmiversally respected by sen. 
and representatives of his section of the State thj 
was then representing in Congress, where the I 
pendent sentiment largely predominated, and 
pledge was given by his supporters from that re] 
that under no circumstances would he become sul 
dinate to the regular machine domination of the St 
He was not asked to give any pledge for himself, t 
he was elected to the Senate entirely free from i 
embarrassing obligations, but he fully vindicated ' 
theory presented in the address of the regulars to 1 
people of the State defending the nomination of OHv 
in which the following deliverance was made: " 
compromise means temporary relief from a seemi] 
difficulty, and weakness and decimation for yea 
thereafter. Compromise under existing circumstano 
means previous consultation with a few leaders, wh 
care more for their own prejudices and hatreds tha 
for the iiiiily of t!ie parly. The selection of a vacillat 
ing man — the usual result of compromise — will be i 
source of constant chagrin and demoralization." 

Mitchell was not a man of great intellectual force, and 
until his bold break against the party organization one 
year after his election to the Senate, he was always 
regarded as a submissive partisan. Cameron and 
Quay felt entire confidence that he would act with the 
organization, as Cameron had accomplished Mitchell's 
nomination for Congress when his county was not 
entitled to it. not so much for the purpose of giving 
success to Mitchell, as to preclude Senator Strang 
from a future election to Congress. Mitchell served 


Of Pennsylvania 529 

in the Senate highly respected personally, but without 
any conspicuous legislative achievement, and his 
Senatorial career is now chiefly memorable because of 
the bold and defiant manner in which he assailed the 
Cameron-Quay organization in 1882, defeating General 
Beaver for Governor, and transferring the State to 
Democratic authority. 

While Senator John Stewart ,of Franklin, was the 
acknowledged leader of the Independents, the most 
aggressive and declamatory of the bolters was Repre- 
sentative Charles S. Wolfe, of Union. It was an open 
secret that he was ambitious to be elected United States 
Senator by a fusion between the Independents and the 
Democrats, and he was inflamed to desperate hostility 
by the fact • that Cameron and Quay, of the regular 
Republicans, and Wallace, leading the Democrats, 
were acting in accord against fusion. 

Only the office of State treasurer was to be filled in 
1 88 1, and the Republicans did not call their convention 
imtil the 8th of September, when they met at Harris- 
burg, and the Independents locked horns with the 
regulars in that body in the struggle for the State 
treasurership. Silas M. Bailey, of Fayette, was nomi- 
nated on the first ballot over Senator Davies, of Brad- 
ford, one of the Independent Republican senators, 
by a vote of 157 to 84. Wolfe attended the convention 
and was greatly humiliated by the overwhelming 
defeat of the Independents. On the following day he 
annoimced himself as an independent candidate for 
State treasurer, by a telegram addressed to the Phila- 
delphia "Times. " The text of his annoimcement was as 
follows: "The black flag has been raised against the 
Independent Republicans of Pennsylvania. Please 
announce that, on my own responsibility, I am an Inde- 
pendent Republican candidate for State treasurer in 
full sympaliiy with the administration, and against 


53° Old Time Notes 

tlie rule of the bosses. I will stump the State, and 
give my reasons for this action." 

The Republican leaders were startled at the sudden 
and defiantly hostile attitude assumed by Wolfe, and 
they made exhaustive efforts to get the party into line. 
The Democrats held their convention at Williamsport 
on the 28th of September, and nominated Orange 
Noble, of Erie, for State treasurer, and for a time it 
looked as if the Independents would overwhelm the regu- 
lars by the election of a Democratic State treasurer. 

Wolfe fultiiled his promise and spoke in diflerent 
sections of the State, but failed to make any serious 
impression upon the party organization. He was 
regarded as a disappointed poUtical aspirant, and that 
greatly weakened his cause, but he fought the fight out 
with desperation until election day. Senator Cooper 
was chairman of the State committee, and managed 
the Republican battle with great skill. It was an off 
year, and the Democrats, having known little else than 
defeat for twenty years, could not be organized to poll 
a full vote, wliile the more vital and comiiletely 
equipi>ed Republican organization brought out a suffi- 
cient proportion of its voters to elect Bailey by 6,824 
pluraHty. while Wolfe polled 49,984 votes. It was a 
great opportunity for the Democrats, but they were 
lacking alike in organization and vitality, and the 
regular Republican organization won out even with 
50,000 defection in favor of an Independent Republi- 
can candidate. 

Of Pennsylvania 531 


The Independent Republican Revolt — Davies Defeated for State Treas- 
urer — This Led to Full Independent State Ticket in 1882 — Futile 
Offers of Compromise — Pattison Nominated for Governor by the 
Democrats — Senator John Stewart as the Independent Leader — 
Character of the Campaign — The Democratic Ticket Elected by In- 
dependent Republican Votes. 

WHILE the Republican factions seemed to have 
been very cordially united in the election of 
Mitchell to the Senate in 1881, the Independ- 
ent revolt against the dominant power of the party 
pervaded every section of the State, and the Independ- 
ents felt that they had little to expect from the leaders 
of the party then in power. At the Republican State 
convention of 1881, when there was only a State treas- 
urer to elect, the Independents urged the nomination 
of Senator Davies, of Bradford, who had been promi- 
nent among the Independent senators in the Legis- 
lative battle that resulted in the election of MitcheU. 

Had the Republican leaders been wise, they would 
have accepted Davies and thus ended the dispute, but 
the State treasurer was too important to the organiza- 
tion, and Davies was defeated by a decided majority, 
and Mr. Bailey, the slated candidate of the leaders, was 
nominated on the first ballot. On the following day 
Charles S. Wolfe's card was published all over the State 
announcing himself as an Independent candidate for 
State treasurer, giving as the reason that the black 
flag had been hoisted over the Independents by the 
leaders, doubtless referring to the defeat of Davies in 

53 2 Old Time Notes 

the State convention. The Independent organization 
was thus continued, and as is usual in all factional 
fights, the estrangement was widened and deepened 
every day. 

The Independents took the initiative for the impor- 
tant contest of 1882 that involved the election of 
Governor, Lieutenant Governor, secretary of internal 
affairs, judge of the supreme court, and Congress- 
man-at-Large. They began their movement to fight 
out the battle against the bosses on the 1 6th of Decem- 
ber, 1 88 1, when the State committee of Independents 
issued a call signed by I. D. McKee, chairman, and 
Frank Willing Leach, secretary, asking the Independ- 
ents to send representatives from each county to a 
State conference to be held in Philadelphia on the 12th 
of January, 1882, to consider the question of nominating 
an Independent Republican State ticket. 

This conference was held four months before the meet- 
ing of the regular Republican State convention, and 
was intended to take such action as would force the 
regular orp^anizalion to yield to the demands of the 
ie\'C)lutionists. At that confci'cnce it was decided to 
hold a State eoTivention for the nomination of a State 
tieket on the 24th of May, whieh wcaild be two weeks 
after the rej^jular Republiean convention was to be held 
at Ilarrisburj^, on the loth of the same month. Thus, 
the two calls for the regular and the Independent 
Re])ublican conventions were both issued several 
months before the time of meeting, and the leaders of 
the Rej^ulars at once l)efj[an nej^otiations to unite the 
conventions on the same ticket and ])latform. 

After some outside conference it was agreed that a 
committee should be a]:)ix)inted b\' the organization of 
e:ich of the two factions to consult on the sul)ject of 
the j)arty differences. The Inde])endents selected 
Charles vS. Wolfe, I. I). McKcc, TVancis B. Reeves, 

Of Pennsylvania 533 

J. W. Lee and Wharton Barker, and the r^^ulars, 
appointed by Chairman Cooper, were M. S. Quay, John 
F. Hartranft, C. L. Magee, Howard J. Reeder and 
Thomas Cochran. These committees had a prelimi- 
nary conference in Philadelphia on the 20th of April, 
when they adjourned to meet on the evening of May 
ist, at which they agreed upon peace propositions, 
in which every point in dispute was substantially con- 
ceded to the Independents. 

The peace resolutions uneqtiivocally condemned 
the use of patronage to promote personal or political 
ends, demanded protection of competent and faithful 
officers against removal, obedience to the popular will 
of the State in the National convention, prohibited 
compulsory assessments for political purposes, and 
the provisions asked for by the Independents for the 
election of delegates to the State conventions, and 
prohibiting snap conventions, with an open declaration 
that all Republicans, Independents and Regulars, 
should participate in party primary elections. This 
declaration of principles and party policy was signed 
by every member of the two committees nine days 
before the Regular Republican convention met. 

Judging the dispute by the records made, and the 
agreement reached by the opposing factions, it would 
seem that there was no further ground for continued 
revolt against the regular organization, but the Inde- 
pendents knew that the Regular leaders were not sin- 
cere in their devotion to civil service reform, and had 
little faith in their purpose to accept in its full and fair 
letter and spirit the agreement that had been made. 
It was this distrust that made the Independent com- 
mittee issue an address on the 3d of May urging the 
Independents to a full representation at the State 

534 Old Time Notes 

convention to meet in Philadelphia on the 24th of May 
for the nomination of State candidates. 

In that address it was declared that if the Regular 
Republican convention, to meet on the loth of May, 
** failed to nominate as its candidates men who in their 
character, antecedents and affihations are embodi- 
ments of the principles of true Republicanism free 
from the iniquities of bossism," such nominations 
** should be emphatically repudiated by the Inde- 
pendent convention/' 

The Regular Republican convention convened at 
Harrisburg on the loth of May. I witnessed its pro- 
ceedings, and noted the fact that but one sentiment 
seemed to prevail in the body, and that was to place 
the party in a position to command the support of all 
fair-minded Independents. General Beaver was nomi- 
nated for Governor by acclamation, and Senator 
Davies, of Bradford, one of the leaders in the senate in 
the Independent movement in the Legislature of 1881, 
was also nominated by acclamation as the candidate 
for tlic second place on the ticket. John M. Greer, of 
Butler, was noniinated for secretary of internal affairs; 
William Henry Rawle, of Philadelphia, for supreme 
judge, arid Thomas M. Marshall for Congressman-at- 
Larjije. The platform declared \n favor of every feature 
of reform demanded by the Independents, even to the 
minutest details. 

The Independents had been conceded the nomina- 
tion for lieutenant governor, an office that is important 
only to the man who holds it. It is absolutely with- 
out power in legislation, and usually without a voice 
in the dispensation of patronage. William Henry 
Rawle, who was nominated for supreme judge, was 
one of the ablest and most aggressive of the reform 
Republicans of Philadelphia, but as his office was with- 
out patronage, the Independents saw that all the can- 

Of Pennsylvania 535 

didates for offices wherein political influence could be 
wielded had been accorded to the Regulars. 

The result was that the Independents held their 
convention in Philadelphia on the 24th of May, and it 
had the appearance of a sudden volcanic eruption. 
Senator Mitchell, usually one of the most submissive 
of party leaders, was there and fierce as the tigress 
defending her cubs, while from every section of the 
State came men of high character and intelligence, who 
commanded for the convention the highest measure of 

There was no personal objection to General Beaver, 
who was one of the purest and cleanest men of the 
State, with a most gallant record as a soldier, losing 
his right leg in battle, but they distrusted the power 
that had nominated him, and that they feared would 
dominate him, and the many qualities, which imder 
ordinary circumstances would have argued so strongly 
in his favor, were powerless against the aggressive 
earnestness of the Independents. 

The Independent platform was practically a repeti- 
tion of the reforms which had been agreed upon by the 
two factional committees, to which was added the 
following: ** We demand, instead of the insolence, the 
proscription and the tyranny of the bosses and machine 
rulers, the free and conscientious exercise of private 
judgment in political affairs, and the faithful discharge 
by those who assume representative trust of the ex- 
press will of the people." 

Senator John Stewart, of Franklin, was nominated 
for Governor by a vote of 139 to 62 for Judge Agnew, 
Levi Budd Duff, of Allegheny, was nominated for 
lieutenant governor, George W. Merrick, of Tioga, 
for secretary of internal affairs, William McMichael, 
of Philadelphia, for Congressman-at-Large, and George 
Junkin, of Philadelphia, for supreme judge. The 

536 Old Time Notes 

Independents selected altogether their best eqmpped 
man for such a battle when they nominated Senator 
Stewart ; a man of sterling honesty, of unfaltering fear- 
lessness, eminently able and always aggressive when 
called into conflict. His record, alike as citizen and 
soldier, was unblemished, and his mingled logic and 
eloquence as a campaigner made many thousands re- 
solve their doubts in favor of the Independent cause. 

Exhaustive efforts were made by the Regulars after 
the nomination of the Independent ticket to reach an 
adjustment of the differences, and unite the party to 
avert defeat. The Regulars were quite willing to con- 
cede any place on the ticket except that of Governor. 
They could not afford to have a resolute and fearless 
Independent in the position of Governor for four years. 

Thomas M. Marshall had been nominated by the 
Regulars for Congressman-at-Large, and after some 
hesitation formally declined to be a candidate, and 
the regular convention was reconvened at Harrisburg 
early in June, and nominated Marriott Brosius to take 
his place. This convention took the initiative to bring 
about a imion of the two factions ii])on one ticket, and 
a formal communicaticni was addressed to ( hairman 
McKee, of the In(le])endent committee, and it was at 
once communicated to the Indei)endent candidates. 

On the 13th of July a k^ter signed by vStewart, Dnff, 
Merrill and Jiinkin, of the Indei)endent ticket, was ad- 
dressed to General Beaver and the other Republican 
candidates, who, after statinp^ their ])osition, projc\^e(l 
that all the candidates on both tickets should withdraw, 
and that none of them should accept a noniinatic n 
from any convention that year. New primaries \\ere 
to be held in which all Republicans were to he at lib- 
erty to participate, believinjj that such a convention 
would nominate an accej^table ticket. Mr. McMichael, 

Of Pennsylvania 537 

the Independent candidate for Congressman-at-Large, 
refused to join in the proposal to decline. 

On the 1 5th of July General Beaver and all his fellow 
Republican candidates united in a letter to Chairman 
Cooper in answer to the letter they had received from 
the Independent candidates, decHning to accept the 
proposition, in which they said: "To say that in the 
effort to determine whether or not our nomination was 
the free and unbiased choice of the RepubHcan party 
we must not be candidates, is simply to try the ques- 
tion at issue/' Thus ended the efforts of the leaders 
of the two Republican factions to attain unity in 1882. 
Everything that gave ])romise of unity had been ex- 
hausted, and the question of harmonizing was never 
afterwards raised during the contest. Both the fac- 
tions stripped for the battle, and it was universally 
accepted as a fight to a finish. 

The Democrats fully appreciated the advantage that 
the divided Republican party gave them, and they 
were very fortunate in presenting a candidate for 
Governor who had twice f3een elected by the aid the 
reform element had given to the Democratic party to 
the office of controller of Philadelphia, in which posi- 
tion he had discharged his duties with unfaltering 

The Democratic State convention met at Harris- 
burg on the 28th of June, with George M. Dallas as 
permanent president. William U. Hensel presented a 
very careftdly prepared and conservative platform, 
which was unanimously adopted. The contest for 
Governor seemed to be narrowed to Robert E. Pattison 
and ex-Congressman James H. Hopkins, of Allegheny, 
with a number of candidates receiving a scattering 
vote. On the first ballot Hopkins received 87 to 61^ 
for Pattison, but Pattison 's vote steadilv increased 
imtil the sixth ballot, when he received 126 J to 119 J 

538 Old Time Notes 

for Hopkins, with two scattering. Chauncey F. Black 
was nominated for lieutenant governor, and Silas M. 
Clark for supreme judge. J. Simpson Africa for secre- 
tary of internal affairs, and M. F. Elliott for Congresa- 
man-at- Large. 

Pennsylvania had thus presented to her people three 
candidates for Governor, all men of distinction, and all 
of unblemished reputations. General Beaver addressed 
the convention after the nomination, in which he said: 
" I have made no pledges to living man as to what my 
future course shall be. I can make none now or here- 
after except this — in the approaching political cam- 
paign the harmony and success of the Republican party 
shall be the one great object of desire and effort on 
my part." 

Senator Stewart was a member of the convention 
that nominated him for Governor, and accepted the 
position in a brief speech, in which he said: "The 
Harrisburg convention would send the Republican 
party on a mission not of princijilcs, but of spoils. We 
would have the grand old organization disenthralled 
and redeemed. I say disenthralled because Pennsyl- 
vania is to-day in a state of vassalage, of bondage, and 
the voice of the honest people of Pennsylvania has not 
been represented in a Republican convention in a 
decade. It is from that control that we would deliver 

The Commonwealth Club, of Philadelphia, gave an 
enthusiastic reception to Pattison soon after the con- 
vention adjourned, at which he presented his acceptance, 
in which he said : " There is a widespread discontent at 
what is forcibly called boss government. This is not 
without much reason. Popular discontent has gener- 
ally good cause, for the people have no advantage in 
unnecessary agitation and disorder. The great evil 


of Pennsylvania 539 

of boss government is that the interest of the official 
is made inimical to faithful public service. ' ' 

The Prohibitionists held a convention at Altoona on 
the 23d of April, and nominated A. C. Pettitt for 
Governor, with a full ticket. The Greenback State 
convention was held on the i8th of May, and nomi- 
nated Thomas A. Armstrong for governor, and the 
Labor convention met in Philadelphia on the 28th cl 
August, and indorsed the nomination of Armstrong. 

The Republicans did not regard the battle as entirely 
hopeless, as they had elected their candidate for State 
treasurer the year before, with the Independents in the 
field supporting Wolfe, who polled nearly 50,000 votes, 
but they did not at first appreciate the increased earn- 
estness, as well as the enlarged numbers, of the Inde- 
pendents, which had been created by a year of constant 
friction between the factions. They counted largely 
on the high character and war record of General 
Beaver to command the soldier vote of the State, but 
failed to reckon the advantage the Independents had 
in presenting an equally gallant but more fortunate 
soldier at the head of their ticket, with McMichael, 
another honored soldier, as the candidate for Congress- 

The Independent Republicans had no hope of Elect- 
ing their ticket. They could doubtless have made a 
fusion with the Democrats and swept the State by a 
large majority, but they stood squarely on the platform 
of what they declared to be honest Republicans and 
fought out their battle with the single purpose, as 
Senator Stewart declared it, to disenthrall the State 
from the oppression of boss rule. In other words, the 
battle of the Independents was directed solely to the 
defeat of the regular Republican ticket, and that pur- 
pose was well understood by those who managed the 
organizations involved in the struggle. 

S40 Old Time Notes 

The three caadidates far Governor were all able and 
popular campaigiiers. and tfae>- enthused their iiieads 
by addressing tai^ assemblies m every section of the 
State. The Republican ac;ganizaticHi was in the hands 
oC Senator Cooper, who was a most accomplished chief- 
tain in a desperMe contest. He Inought the r^ulars 
into the most perfect organization, and as the election 
approached the\' seemed to have increased confidence 
in the success of their ticket, and the organizatiaii 
boldly predicted a decisive \Tctor>- over both the Demo- 
crats and the Indepoidents. 

While under ordinary- conditions such political 
methods would ha\'e been highly advantageous, it 
proved to be unfortunate fcr the Regulars, as it cfaai^ged 
tibe action of many thousands of Independents who 
sincerely desired Stewart's election, but who voted 
directly for Pattison to assure the defeat of the Regu- 
lar ticket. This is e\'ident from an examination erf the 
results of the dection. Wolfe polled nearly 48.000 
Independent Republican votes the year before, when 
the IndejT'ender.t organization was feeble in OTTT.parison 
with its strength in 1882, but Stewart received 5,000 
less votes in the State than were given to Wolfe. 

In Philadelphia, where the Republicans could readily 
command a majority of 30.000 or more in a square 
contest, and where the Independent sentiment was 
stronger than in any other section of the State. Stewart 
received only 7.999 votes, while Pattison's vote was 
within nearly 3.000 of Beaver's. The vote of Alle- 
gheny exhibited a like landslide of the Independents to 
Pattison, where Stewart received only 4,726 \-otes, 
while Beaver had less than 2.000 plurality over Patti- 
son. In Tioga County, the home of MitcheD, the vote 
was ver^- nearly evenly diWded between the three 
parties; Pattison recei\-ing 2,257, Beaver 2,270, and 
Stewart 2,211. 


of Pennsylvania 541 

The result in the State gave Pattison 355,791, 
Beaver 315,589 and Stewart 43,743, electing Pattison 
by 40,202 plurality. The other candidates on the State 
ticket fell with their chief. Black was elected lieu- 
tenant governor by a plurality of 36,028; Clark, for 
supreme judge, by 40,762; Africa, for secretary of 
internal affairs, by 36,944, and Elliott, for Congress- 
man-at-Large, by 40,995. 

With a knowledge of the peculiar conditions which 
then prevailed, and carefully scanning the reforms of 
that election, it is fairly doubtful whether Pattison was 
not elected by the direct support of Republicans, as 
nearly one-half of the Independents of the State voted 
the Democratic ticket to emphasize their implacable 
hostility to the Republican nominations of the State. 

The Independents closed the battle of 1882 as abso- 
lute masters of the political situation in Pennsylvania, 
and they confidently expected that, with the co-opera- 
tion they had reason to believe they would command 
from Governor Pattison, they could enforce a complete 
reorganization of the Republican party in the State, 
and the measurable subordination of its most offensive 
leaders. Why they failed will be told in another chapter. 


Old Time Notes 


Boib SiKCOM^ «id Fulsrct — Apjcwti Lcwv 
C Cauid^ htXoroft G«nml — Pattuon AMwicd oa . 
Cufidr — AlUcIu tlui Forced Cucidy lo .Aeccftf — A Lect*lMuR 
Divided Agamu IimII— Futile Efloru at I 

Stale — nx»p< u to tbt^ Judiciirj — An £stn Smmoc of thr Le^- 
Uturr — Thr Govimfw Becanir trnpci)raU/ oa AceooM of Thi* S«M«in 
— How H* LoM Ha M><tcTy ol the StJte — The E]ect>oo of 18R4 — 
Pennfrlrania Heavily Rciniblican, thnugti Ckicland Becied Pmidetit 

GOVERNOR PATTISON was called to the chief 

It Magistracy of the Commonwealth under political 
I ^^ conditions which would have enabled any 
[ ■agacioui man in politics to hold the divided Republi- 
^can party in open conflict and overthrow its mastery; 
Vmt, while Pattiwni was jiist!>' estimated for his stem 
integrity in public and private life, and had exhibited 
great ability and unswerving fidelity in the important 
office of controller of the city, he was without political 
experience when he entered the broad field of Penn- 
sylvania f>olitics. He was unequal to the duty of 
shaping the jiolicy of his own administration. 

Plis first serious error was the appointment of Lewis 
C. Cassidy to the attorney generalship. If the public 
had known at the time Cassidy was appointed, that he 
would administer the responsible duties of his office, not 
only with great ability, but with absolute fidelity, the 
v;ide revolt against the appointment would have been 
measurably or wholly halted, but Cassidy was the 
Colonel Mann of Democratic politics, and both were 
ready at times to sacrifice party interests to their own 

Of Pennsylvania 543 

mutual interests. Both were members of the Pilgrim 
Club, an organization made up of the leaders of both 
parties to divide ofl&ces and public profits between 
themselves, and from the day of Pattison's nomi- 
nation for Gk>vemor he was assailed not only by the 
Republicans generally throughout the State, but by 
William M. Singerly, in his widely read * 'Daily Record," 
as **Cassidy's boy'' who would be the nominal Gov- 
ernor, while Cassidy would be the administration. 

The Republicans were warranted in thus assailing 
Pattison, because Mr. Singerly's * 'Record," the only 
Democratic organ of Philadelphia, violently opposed 
him from day to day. and declared that Cassidy would 
necessarily be his attorney-general, and Samuel 
Josephs his secretary of the Commonwealth. These 
assaults upon Pattison were keenly felt in the contest 
by those who managed his campaign, as Pattison was 
little personally known outside of Philadelphia. 

A month or more before the election, Cassidy called 
at my office, and expressed his apprehension that 
Pattison might be defeated by the charges made, not 
only by the Republican press generally, but by Mr. 
Singerly's widely read newspaper, that he (Cassidy) 
would be one of the Pattison cabinet, and prominent 
in directing the administration. He insisted that I 
should announce, editorially, on the authority of 
Cassidy himself, that under no circtimstances would 
Cassidy be called to any public office under Pattison, 
if Pattison became Governor of the State. In obedi- 
ence to that direction from Cassidy himself, I annotmced 
editorially in 'The Times" on the following day that 
Cassidy had distinctly authorized a public annouce- 
ment that if Pattison was elected Governor, Cassidy 
would not be called to any official position imder his 
administration. That annotmcement was given to the 
Associated Press, to appear simultaneously in all the 

S44 Old Time Notes 

daily journals of the State the following morning. It 
silenced the objections which had been urged with 
greatest effect against Pattison's election. It was 
accepted by all as the absolute truth, as it was given 
to the public not only on Mr. Cassidy's own authority, 
but by his own voluntary direction. 

What was regarded as the gravest obstacle to Patti- 
son's election was removed by Cassidy eliminating 
himself entirely from the new administration, but a 
few weeks after the election Cassidy called at my office, 
and appealed to me to release him from the promise 
that had been given to the public through me, not to 
accept any position under the Pattison administration. 
He informed me that Pattison desired him to be attor- 
ney-general, and that he especially desired "the oppor- 
tunity thus offered him to prove how clean and credit- 
able a record he could make as attorney-general of the 
Commonwealth. I did not doubt his sincerity and 
personally regretted that I had no right and no authori- 
ty to release him from the obligation he had made to 
the public through me. If it had been a mere personal 
l)ledge to myself, T could have done so, but it was a 
1 pledge that I had [ijiven to the ])ublic on his authority, 
and with it had j^iven the ])Ositive assurance that the 
])roniise was made in good faith, and would be sacredly 

Cassidy was my own ])ersonal counsel at the time, 
but his acce])tance (vf a cabinet appointment after the 
solemn ])led<^^e given to the jniblic with my own positive 
editorial endorsement would involve ''The Times" 
and its editor in j^rotescjue insincerity, and I informed 
him that that ])ledge was made under such circtmi- 
stances that neither he nor 1, nor any other, could 
release him from its fulfilment. vSome time l)ef ore this 
interview with Casisdv, Pattison had called at mv 
office, and discussed the n:!osiif]^. of his cabinet in a 

Of Pennsylvania 545 

general way, giving a number of names that seemed 
to be considered. He named Cassidy among others, 
and I stimmarily dismissed his name, and reminded the 
Governor that Cassidy 's public pledge, that was given 
the widest publicity throtighout the State, precluded 
his selection, to which Pattison made no reply. 

I never had another conference with either Pattison 
or Cassidy about his cabinet or on any political sub- 
ject, before the inatiguration, and when the new Gov- 
ernor sent Cassidy 's name to the Senate for attorney 
general, "The Times'' denounced the appointment as 
an act of bad faith, on the part of Cassidy, to the people 
of the State, that the Governor should not have per- 
mitted, and demanded that his solemnly plighted faith 
given to the public by Cassidy should be sacredly main- 
tained. This criticism was resented by both the Gov- 
ernor and his attorney general, and the result was polit- 
ical estrangement between the State administration and 
**The Times'' during Pattison 's term. 

It is due to Attorney General Cassidy to say that he 
manfully maintained his purpose, expressed to me at 
the time he desired his appointment to be sanctioned, 
by administering the office not only with all the mas- 
terly legal ability he possessed, but with absolute 
integrity and fidelity. Not one of the many eminent 
men who have filled the office of attorney-general in 
Pennsylvania made a cleaner or better record as law 
officer of the Commonwealth than did Lewis C. Cassidy. 

The appointment of Cassidy was the entering wedge 
that soon thereafter separated the Independent Repub- 
licans from the Pattison administration. The Inde- 
pendents expected from Pattison not only an honest 
administration of the government, but they expected 
the Executive to rise above the mere partisan influence 
in the administration of his office. The senate was 
largely Republican, and the House largely Democratic, 

Old Time Notes 

It year, as ^H 

CTTPiiiiinnal ^^^ 

and it was the duty of the Legislature of that j 
commanded by the Constitution, to pass congressional, 
judicial and legislative apix)rtionments. The appor- 
tionments then existing had been made by the Repub- 
licans, and were shaped greatly to the advantage of 
that party. They had much to lose by new apportion- 
ments framed on an equitable basis, and much to gain 
by allowing the old apjxirtionmcnts to stand. 

The Democratic house insisted uixin a number of 
congressional, legislative and jiKjicial districts corres- 
>nding to their proportion of the vote of the State, a 
■ojxjsition that was imjxissible of execution because 
2 party did not have a majority in the counties of the 
Hte which would have been necessai-y to carry out ■ 
sir purpose without violent gerytnander. The Re- 
rblicans of the State, after much wrangling between 
e two houses, finally yielded to the Independents of 
B body who desired to act with entire fairness, and 
-esented a congressional bill that was reasonably fair 
«u the Democrats, and much better than the then 
existing formation of districts, but it was sternly re- 
jected by the Democrats, and addresses were issued to 
the public by the Republicans of the senate and the 
Democrats of the house, appealing their respective 
causes to the people of the State. 

Finding that it was impossible for the two houses to 
agree upon an apportionment, the resolution for final 
adjournment on the 6th of June was passed by both 
branches, but on the morning of that day Governor 
Pattison addressed them a message, summoning them 
to meet in extraordinary session, beginning on the 7th 
of June, for the purpose of passing congressional, legis- 
lative and judicial apportionments. Both branches 
met in extra session on the 7th of June, and, after intro- 
ducing a number of apportionment bills, adjourned 
until the 19th. Partisan prejudices were inflamed by 

Of Pennsylvania 547 

this protracted and bitter controversy, and there 
seemed to be no prospect of reaching an agreement. 
On the nth of July, the Republicans of the senate 
presented their idtimatum, known as the McCracken 
congressional bill and the Longenecker legislative 
apportionment, with a resolution for final adjournment 
on the 24th of the month. 

An arrangement was finally reached on the judicial 
apportionment on the 30th of July that was signed by 
the Governor, but the continued struggle on the other 
apportionments seemed to widen disputing parties 
rather than to bring them together. The wrangle 
continued imtil the loth of September, when the two 
houses adopted a resolution directing the appropriation 
committee to report an appropriation bill to pay the 
expenses of the extra session, but the Governor re- 
turned it with a veto. On the 14th of September the 
senate decided to meet only on Tuesday and Friday. 
The house met daily and denounced the senate as 
revolutionary in its actions for refusing to sit continu- 
ously until the resolution called for was completed. 
Finally, on the 30th of November, the Democrats, 
satisfied that congressional and legislative apportion- 
ments could not be passed, agreed to final adjourn- 
ment on the I ith of December. On that day the Legis- 
lature of 1883 adjourned sine die, making a special 
session of 189 days after a regular session lasting from 
the first of January to the 6th of June. 

In the apportionment dispute the Governor became 
alienated from all his Independent Republican support, 
and at the election of 1883 the Republicans carried 
their State ticket by nearly 20,000 majority. The 
Republican State convention had met in Harrisburg 
on the nth of July, and nominated J. B. Niles, of 
Tioga, for attorney general, and William Livsey for 
State treasurer. The Democrats held their convention 

S48 Old Time Notes 

at Harrisbtirg on the first of August, and nominated 
Robert Taggart, of Warren, for attorney-general, and 
Joseph Powell, cf Bradford, for State treasurer. Only 
the friction between the Independents and the Pat- 
tison administration to force apportionments satisfac- 
tory to the Democrats made it possible for the Re- 
publicans to elect their State ticket. The majority 
for auditor general was only 17,075. 

The State administration of Governor Pattison thtis 
lost its mastery over State and legislation by a struggle 
for partisan advantages that was not only unwise in 
conception, but blundering in execution. The Legis- 
lature at that time had no fixed salary for extra sessions, 
and the pay was Sio per day for each member with the 
usual salary to officers, making the Legislature of 1883 
the most costly in the history of the Commonwealth. 

Pattison had, with Cassidy as attorney general, 
William S. Stenger, of Franklin, as secretary of the 
Commonwealth, a lawyer of great ability, with large 
experience in politics, as he was thrice elected to Con- 
gress in a district naturally Republican. How any 
administration with two so capable men as Cassidy 
and Stenger, botli ripe in political experience, could 
have persisted in the blunder of a regular and an extra 
session of the Legislature lasting nearly a year, is 
difficult to understand. 

In all matters outside of mere partisan interests the 
Pattison administration was clean, aggressively honest 
and commanded the respect and confidence of the 
masses of the people. The Granger element was then 
a vital one in the State, and Pattison was in sincerest 
sympathy with its general aims and methods. He 
thus retired from office at the expiration of his term, 
leaving an administration that was a failure viewed 
from a mere political standpoint, but that was regarded 
by the people generally as worthy of confidence because 

Of Pennsylvania 549 

of its fidelity to the interests of the people against the 
encroachments of corporations, and it was that feeling 
that recalled Pattison to the Governorship four years 
later in defiance of the ablest political leaders of the 

Eighteen hundred and eighty-four was a Presidential 
year, and both parties entered the fight with complete 
organizations, and the hearty support of their follow- 
ers. The Republican convention met at Harrisburg 
on the loth of April. The only State candidate to be 
nominated was that of Congressman-at-Large, and 
General E. S. Osboume, of Luzerne, was nominated on 
the third ballot. The Democratic convention met at 
Allentown on the i8th of April, and nominated Gen- 
eral William W. H. Davis, of Bucks, Congressman-at- 
Large, without the formality of a ballot. Prohibition 
and Greenback conventions were held, the first nomi- 
nating A. N. Attwood for Congressman, and the latter 
nominating James Black. 

For the first time the enemies of Blaine, who had 
defeated him in 1876 and 1880 by diverting Pennsyl- 
vania from him, gave up the contest in this State, and 
the State convention declared in favor of the nomina- 
tion of Blaine and Robert T. Lincoln for Vice-President. 
The Republican National convention met at Chicago 
on the 3d of June, and John R. Lynch, colored delegate 
from Mississippi, was nominated for temporary chair- 
man by Theodore Roosevelt, now President of the 
United States, and elected over Powell Clayton, of 
Arkansas, by a vote of 431 to 387. This was the first 
time that a colored man had ever presided over a 
National convention of either of the great parties. 

The contest for President was between Blaine and 
President Arthur, and there is little doubt that Arthur 
would have been nominated but for the fact that Blaine 
had been twice defeated in conventions in which his 

sso Old Time Notes 

friends felt that he would have been nominated if fair 
play had been the rule, and they could postpone his 
nomination no longer. Arthur was very popiilar with 
the people generally, as he had made a most dignified 
and generally acceptable administration. On the first 
ballot he received 278 votes to 364 for Blaine. On the 
foiuth ballot Blaine had 540 to 201 for Arthur, with a 
number scattering when the nomination of Blaine 
was made unanimous, and John A. Logan was nomi- 
nated for Vice-President without the formality of a 

The Democratic National convention met at Chicago 
on the 8th day of July, and I have, in a former chapter, 
told how the friends of Randall controlled the State 
convention and placed Wallace at the head of the 
delegation with instructions to support Randall for 
President, and I have also given in detail the circum- 
stances which led to the withdrawal of Randall in 
favor of Cleveland, thereby assuring Cleveland's suc- 
cess. Cleveland's nomination was effected on the 
second ballot, receiving 683 votes to 81^ for Bayard, 
45^ fc;r Hendricks and 10 scattering. 

The National contest was a very eaiTiest one, but 
Blaine made the mistake of assuming the management 
of his own c'ani])ai^n. Defamation of l)oth candidates 
1)ec'ame rife long before the contest ended, but while it 
li'^ntred largely in the [X)litical speeches and part}' 
(M-gans of the cr)untry, it is doubtful whether it changed 
a thousand voles out of the many millions cast. The 
]:)rincij)al scandal against Cleveland was sent to Blaine, 
mid he committed the error of forwarding it to his 
National committee, and the chief scandal against 
Blaine was sent to Cleveland, l>ut he forwarded it to 
his National committee with ])ositive instructions not 
to give it ])ul)licity. 

When Cleveland was most l)itterly and m.alignantly 

Of Pennsylvania 551 

assailed, the Indianapolis ''Sentinel," the leading 
Democratic organ of the West, astounded the country 
by bringing out the Blaine scandal with picturesque 
embellishments. When Cleveland was advised of the 
publication of the personal scandal printed against 
himself his answer was: *'Tell the truth." Blaine, 
always impulsive and often imbalanced in judgment, 
as any man would be who asstmied the management 
of his own campaign for the Presidency, brought stdt 
against the Indiana journal that had given publicity 
to the scandal. He evidently did not appreciate the 
lesson that Clay had learned when he declared, after 
his final defeat for the Presidency, that if there had 
been another Henry Clay to direct his battle he would 
have been elected. 

That Blaine erred in bringing his suit was later evi- 
denced by the fact that after the election he withdrew 
it, and never pressed its trial. I well remember the 
morning the announcement was made of Blaine's suit 
against the ** Sentinel." I was then resting in the 
mountains, and after breakfast was sitting in front of 
the hotel with President Arthur, Secretary Frelirg- 
huysen. Judge Strong, William Henry Rawle and one 
or two others, when the New York papers were brought 
to us, and all of them were profoundly impressed with 
the fact that Blaine had committed a serious blunder. 
The paper that had made the publication was one of 
the greatest violent partisan jotimals of the country, 
and conducted with great ability. Its answer to Blaine 
was a challenge for a speedy trial and the emphatic 
reiteration of the details of the scandal. This action 
of Blaine greatly magnified the importance of the 
scandal, and m.ade it a serious political factor, while 
from the day that Cleveland made the simple answer, 
"Tell the truth," and thus challenged his accusers, the 

Old Time Notes 

defamation gradually faded out and ceased to be seri- 
ously employed or felt in the struggle. 

There was practically no contest in Pennsylvania, 
as it was not possible to wTest the State from Blaine, 
and the resoui'ces of the party were largel>- directed 
to aid the contest in New York. Blaine carried the 
State by 81,019, leading his ticket some 6,000, as the 
majority for Congress man-at- Large was only 75,227. 
The National contest was decided in New York, where 
Cleveland carried the State by i.ioo majority, and 
more than enough to have changed the result in favor 
of Blaine was lost by Blaine accepting a public dinner 
from Jay Gould and others, and meeting the ministers 
of New York, wliere the Burchard incident occurred. 
He had made his fight and practically won his battle, 
but on his way home he unfortunately tarried in New 
York city, and the two incidents referred to cost him 
vastly more than enough to have reversed the vote 
of the State and thereby made him President. 


' f 

Of Pennsylvania 553 



Sted Was Used Almost Wholly for Edge Tools a Generation Ago— Struc- 
tural Steel Practically Unknown and Steel Unthought of for Rail- 
ways — Disston Developed American Steel for His Saw Works; for 
Many Years Had to Stamp Them as English — ^America Now Pro- 
duces the Finest Steel in the World — Colonel Wright's View of the 
Helplessness of the South — Believed War Impossible in 1861 Because 
the South Could Not Tire a Locomotive — Advent of Andrew Car- 
negie — Started at Five Dollars a Week Under Colonel Scott — Became 
the Great Genius of the Steel Trade — Raised Up Half a Score or More 
of Multi-Millionaires — He Is Now Among the Half-score of Richest 
Private Citizens in the World — His Gifts of Millions to Libraries and 
Education — His Thorough Self-reliance — He Alone Directed the 
Movements Against the Great Homestead Strike of 1884 — ^The Monu- 
ments Reared by Scott and Carnegie. 

THE development of the steel trade during the 
last twenty years is entirely unexampled among 
the industrial enterprises of the world. I weU 
remember, in the early seventies, when common iron 
rails for our railroads commanded from ninety to one 
himdred dollars a ton, and President J. Edgar Thompson, 
of the Pennsylvania Railroad, made the first experi- 
ment in the use of steel rails, at a cost of one hundred 
and seventy-five dollars per ton, to be used on the mul- 
tiplied tracks about the Philadelphia station of the com- 
pany, because the constant use of the tracks wore out 
the iron rails in a very few years. Steel was then un- 
thought of for railroads and structural steel was prac- 
tically imknowTi, but to-day nearly or quite all of the 
imposing buildings erected have a complete steel struc- 
ture. Steel was practically tmthought of, excepting 
for edge tools, until the discovery of the Bessemer pro- 

554 Old Time Notes 

cess half a century since, but great improvements 
have been made in the manuf acttire of steel, and it is 
now in universal use for railroads, which are gener- 
ally laid with steel rails ranging from eighty to one 
hundred potmds to the yard. 

When Mr. Disston, who fotmded the Disston Saw 
Works, of Philadelphia, b^an his work on a very small 
scale, he informed me that his tools would not have 
been accepted by the public if they had not been made 
entirely of English steel, as it was then believed that 
America could not produce steel sufficiently refined 
for edge tools. He was a well-trained, practical me- 
chanic in his line, and he finally produced an American 
steel that was thereafter tised entirely in his works, but 
for manj' years his product would have been unsalable 
if not stamped as English steel. To-day, America pro- 
duces the finest steel in the world, and not only supplies 
the entire American market, with rare exceptions, but 
exports a considerable proportion of its product to 
Germany and other foreign countries. 

When the Civil War began in 1861, there was not a 
poimd of steel produced south of the Potomac and Ohio 
rivers. I remember dining with Colonel John A. 
Wright at his home at The J. Edgar Thomi)son Steel 
Works, near Lewistown, soon after the Presidential 
election of i860. The secession of the Cotton States 
had already begun, and all were appalled at the pros- 
pect of fratricidal war. Colonel Wright was then re- 
garded as the most experienced steel manufacturer in 
the State or country, and I was amazed when he told 
me to dismiss all a]Dprehension of a war with the South, 
as the South could not then furnish tires for a single lo- 
comotive, and it would be impossible for it to maintain 
a war for a year when cut off from the many things for 
which it was solely dependent upon the North. He 
was right as to the producing power of the South, at 

Of Pennsylvania 555 

that time, but even without steel the Confederacy man- 
aged to maintain a bloody war for four long years, and 
to-day Birmingham, Alabama, produces cheaper iron 
and steel than can be furnished in any other industrial 
center of the world, and exports many thousands of 
tons annually. 

The man who had the genius, energy and courage to 
develop the steel trade in this country to the highest 
possible point of perfection was Andrew Carnegie. I 
knew him well when he was quite a young man and the 
clerk of Thomas A. Scott. He was exceptionally 
bright, genial and tireless in industry, and at first thought 
he was getting along well in the world on a salary of 
five dollars per week. He had the best of training un- 
der President J. Edgar Thompson and Vice-President 
Colonel Scott, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was 
greatly aided by them in making his start as a manufac- 
turer. He finally located near Pittsburg, and there for 
many years mastered every feature of the steel business, 
promptly utilized and cor.trolled, if possible, every im- 
provement invented, until he finally became known as 
the *' Steel King" of the new world. There grew up 
around him a number of men who began the work in 
early life, most of whom were trained to the thorough 
mastery of their great business enterprise, the details 
and profits of which were practically unknown to the 
outside world. There are to-day, now in more or less 
active business in the great industrial enterprises of 
the country, half a score or more of multi-millionaires, 
solely because of their early association and training 
with Carnegie. Charles Schwab, whom I recall in his 
very early manhood as a driver of a two-horse stage up 
in the Alleghenies, was fortunate in becoming one of 
Carnegie's boys, and when the United States Steel 
Company was organized, with a capital of a billion dol- 
lars, Schwab became its president with a salary of one 

ss^ Old Time Notes 

hundred thousand dollars a year. Later, he retired 
from that position and is now engaged in steel enter- 
prises involving many millions. 

Andrew Cam^e is to-day in the fore-rank of the few 
preeminently prominent Americans, both in his native 
country of Scotland and his adopted country in the new 
world; certainly ranks among the half-score of richest 
private citizens in any country, and it is doubtless 
whether any, excepting Rockefeller, surpasses him in in- 
dividual fortune. His love for the people among whom 
he was bom made him return to Scotland, where he has 
acqiaired one of the most magnificent estates in the 
Province, and where he dispenses his charity with a 
lavish hand. He spends most of his winters in his pa- 
latial residence in New York, constructed by himself 
some years ago, and devotes his spare time to the syste- 
matic advancement of education in the United States. 
He is eminently practical ; his money was acquired by 
the most careful and thoroughly practical methods, and 
his chief interest in gratifying his benevolent tastes is 
in teaching all that they must help themselves. His 
expenditure in this country in the establishing of 
libraries and the cause of education generally has 
already amounted to many millions. Himdreds of 
libraries have been established throughout the country 
by his generous contributions, all of which teach the 
highest appreciation of self-advancement by requiring 
libraries to be generously supported by those to whom 
they were given. Of all our multi-millionaires, Car- 
negie is the most generous giver, and he studiously aims 
to obtain the best practical results to the beneficiaries 
of his gifts. 

Mr. Carnegie possesses, in an eminent degree, the 
inherent Scotch quality of self-reliance. One of the 
severest trials through which he passed was in 1884, 
when the Homestead strike convulsed the nation, and 

Of Pennsylvania 557 

certainly contributed to, or controlled, the election of 
the first Democratic President who niled after the War. 
He was generously just to those in his employ, but 
sternly just when his vast industries were halted by 
what he regarded as most imhealthy control of the 
imited labor of the State. He remained in Scotland 
during the entire strike, which lasted many months, 
but absolutely commanded the situation on this side by 
refusing the concessions demanded. The result was 
great sacrifice on the part of Carnegie, but when his bat- 
tle was won he was safe from a repetition of such inter- 
ruptions in his business, and from that time until his 
entire great enterprise was absorbed by the United 
States Steel Company, he rapidly accumulated wealth. 
While his business was conducted in the most method- 
ical and economical manner consistent with his general 
business methods, he was always the first in the steel 
trade to foresee advantages and grasp them, regardless 
of necessary cost. The result was that when the pro- 
position came to combine the great steel estabhsh- 
ments of the cotmtry, Carnegie was the most important 
factor, as he was the great teacher of the trade, and 
when he finally retired he was one of the richest private 
citizens of the world. It is worthy of note that Colonel 
Scott, the great railroad genius of the coimtry, and 
Mr. Carnegie, the great steel genius of our land, both 
started in their careers friendless and fortuneless, and 
they have left the greatest monuments of industrial 
and commercial progress to be found in the annals of 
the State. 

558 Old Time Notes 



Quay's Senatorial Battle Begun in 1885 — His Early Political Relations 
and How He Stood Toward Senator J. D. Cameron — Quay's Candi- 
dacy for State Treasurer — His Turning Down of McDevitt of Lan- 
caster — His Cleverly Managed Campaign and Election — The State 
Battle of 1886 — General Beaver, Who Had Been Defeated in 1882, 
Easily Chosen Governor — Quay Before the Legislature of 1887 — 
Triumphantly Chosen as U. S. Senator — Soon Becomes a Great 
National Leader — His Relations to Blaine — State Offices Filled in 
1888 — How a Democrat Reached the Supreme Bench — The National 
Campaign of 1888. 

^UAY'S battle for the United States Senatorship 
began in 1885. ^^^ purpose was not openly 
declared, but all in close relations with him well 
understood that his struggle for the position of State 
treasxirer in 1885 was simply a preliminarj'' skirmish 
to gain a commanding ])Ositi(^'!i whcrcl)y he could win 
out in the wScnatorial coiUcsl of 1 886-87, when he fought 
his Senatorial battle in the o]kmi. 

Quay had l')r.g lorjkcd t^^ the Ur.iicd States Senate 
with earnest cx] JcctatioriS. \'ery few of his friends knew 
how nearly he became inv(;lved in a direct struggle 
with Cameron in 1867, when Curtin and his friends dis- 
covered that Cameron had Curtin defeated in the Re- 
publican caucus. Quay was tlien a meml)er of the 
liouse, admittedly the Re])ul'li(\'ir. leader of the l)ody, 
and was the Curtin candidate for sjx^aker, but was 
defeated by a combination of the field Senatorial candi- 
dates organized by Canieron. The contest for Senator 
had reached largo cr)n^rpcrcial ])roportions which Curtin 
was unwillin.c: (t uv<\}>V' '<^ meet, and at that stage 
Quay comnu;nir::U'l to me in strict confidence that he 

Of Pennsylvania 559 

was seriously considering the question of taking Curtin's 
place in the Senatorial battle, and playing the commer- 
cial game to the limit against Cameron. 

Quay was without fortune himself, but he had one 
friend, who then possessed a large fortune, and could 
have made a commercial combination in support of 
Quay that would have stood abreast with the Cameron 
organization. George K. Anderson was a Juniata 
Cotmty boy, with whose people I was well acquainted 
while residing there, and when General Irwin, of 
Quay's county, and largely by Quay's influence, was 
appointed commissary general at the beginning of the 
war, I induced Quay to join me in pressing the appoint- 
ment of Anderson as a clerk imder General Irwin, and 
it was accomplished. Anderson knew that he had 
obtained his position largely through the influence of 
Quay, and never ceased to appreciate it. 

In the early days of the oil development in Venango 
County, an oil company was formed chiefly by men 
in Harrisburg, and Anderson was selected to manage 
it. He was thus in the oil region at the beginning of 
the oil fever, and soon commenced operating for him- 
self. He was most fortunate in his ventures, and at the 
time of the Senatorial contest of 1867 his net income 
was estimated at $2,500 a day, and he was able to com- 
mand probably a million of money. He proposed to 
back Quay, if they could see any chance of winning out 
against Cameron. Quay held it under advisement for 
several days, but finally decided that the double risk 
of failure and exposure was too great to assume, and 
he never made himself known as a candidate, but 
finally arranged with the younger Cameron to move 
the imanimous nomination of Cameron after he 
had received the votes of a majority of the caucus. 
That was the beginning of Quay's relations with the 

5*0 Old Time Notes 

Anderson became ambitious for political advance- 
ment himself, and I simply repeat his own statement 
to me when I say that he spent $70,000 in a contest 
with the elder Delamater for the Republican nomina- 
tion for State senator in Crawford County. Dela- 
mater was also a man of fortune, and doubtless was 
compelled to expend a lai-ge amount of money. He 
defeated Anderson in his first attempt to reach the 
Senate, but Anderson was nominated to succeed Del- 
amater, and served a senatorial term. Finally, as his 
revenues from oil gradually diminished, his generous 
nature made it difficult for him to diminish his lavish 
gifts and expenditures, and the result was that he 
became hopelessly bankrupt, and the last time I saw 
him he borrowed a small amount of money to pay his 
expenses to Washington to accept an appointment in 
Arizona, or New Mexico, where he died soon after enter- 
ing upon his official duties. 

The Legislature to be elected in 1S86 was to choose a 
United States Senator to succeed Senator Mitchell, of 
Tioga, and Quay decided that he would make his battle 
for the Senatorship at that time. He did not at first 
intend to be a candidate for State treasurer, and James 
McDevitt, of Lancaster, was practically slated for the 
office by Quay and his friends very early in the year, 
but Quay saw that he had little hope of winning the 
Senatorship in the Legislature of 1887 unless he could 
place himself in the position of supreme command of 
the party. He did not want the office of State treas- 
urer, as it would have been practically under his con- 
trol if McDevitt had been chosen, but he was Napoleonic 
in his methods and decided that if he could obtain a 
nomination and election as State treasurer in the face 
of the independent sentiment that had erupted and 
overwhelmed Cameron and himself three years before, 

of Pennsylvania 561 

he would be absolute master of the party organization, 
and thus command the Senatorship. 

Mackey was dead; the yoimger Cameron had just 
been re-elected to the Senate by the Legislature of 
1885, and was the nominal leader of the party in the 
State with Quay as lieutenant. Quay knew the danger 
of provoking a sudden and desperate revolt among fiie 
Independents by proposing himself as a candidate for 
the only office to be filled in 1885, but he perfected his 
plans with the sagacity that he ahvays exhibited in 
his many political struggles. 

My first knowledge of his candidacy for State treas- 
urer came from himself before his name had been pub- 
Hcly mentioned in any quarter. He called at **The 
Times*' office and frankly told me that he had decided 
to be a candidate for State treasurer himself. I was 
greatly surprised at his announcement, as I appre- 
hended that he would at once rekindle the Independent 
revolt, and that his name on the ticket would inflame 
it to huge proportions, but he well understood the peril 
that confronted him, and before he permitted his name 
to be announced as a candidate for State treasurer he 
personally visited a large number of the leading Inde- 
pendents, and after full conference with them, in nearly 
every instance he either obtained their assent to his 
(*andjdacy or so mollified them as to prevent anything 
like a spontaneous eruption against him. 

The result was that when his name was pubUcly 
announced as a candidate for State treasurer most of 
those interested in poHtics were amazed to learn that 
no general protest came up from the Independents, 
and that only in exceptional instances were feeble pro- 
tests called out against him. It was indeed surprising 
that an Independent movement, embracing a large 
niunber of the most intelligent and influential Republi- 
cans of the State, that had made open battle against 

562 Old Time Notes 

Quay's master}' onh* three years before, as a rule either 
actively or passively assented to his candidacy for 
State treasurer, when his would be the only name on 
the State ticket. 

The onlv trouble he had in his contest for nomination 
was from McDevitt, his own friend whom he had origi- 
nally slated for the position and who took the bit in his 
mouth, and resolutely refused to decline in favor of his 
chief, but oxen with McDevitt in the field Quay was 
nominated (m the first ballot in the convention that met 
at Harrisburj; on July 8th, by a vote of 196^ to 27 for 
J. H. Longenccker and 15 for McDevitt, with 12 votes 

The Democratic convention met at Harrisburg on 
the 26th of August and nominated Conrad B. Day, of 
Philadelphia, as Quay's competitor. The Greenback 
party nominated X. C. Whitney and the Prohibition- 
ists nominated Barr Spangler. Quay looked well to 
the organization of his party, and in an off year, as it 
was, a party that has organization and discipline can 
be most effect i\'ely handled. He understood the whole 
State and left r/» means unemployed to secure a sub- 
stantial vict(»ry Un' himself. The result was his elec- 
tion l)y a iiiajority of 4:^,516. 

lie iKid. thus \v<»n his hi.c^h i)osition as jxDlitical master 
(.{ the ])arty ])y a very larjj^e majority from the people, 
and witli the State treasury as his base for political 
(.'peratioTiS duriiii^ the following^ year it was not difficult 
for I'i::"! t > :'ha]>e the new Lej^isl'ature by timelv atten- 
tion to no,mi!iations and i^^enerous support to his friends 
in doubtful <]istricts and have it substantially at his 
own commarid. 

The trinmj'hant election of Quay for wState treasurer 
lilazed tlie v/ay very distinctly for the renomination and 
election i){ fieneral Beaver in 1SS6. He had been 
defeaterl by the Independents four years before, not 

Of Pennsylvania 563 

because of personal objection to his qualifications or 
character, but solely because he was the candidate of 
Cameron and Quay, and as the people had just given 
Quay a large majority for a most responsible office in 
a square contest, the nomination and election of 
Beaver were practically assured. The Republican 
State convention nominated Beaver by acclamation, 
and Senator William G. Davies, of Bradford, who had 
been one of the Independent senators in 1881 and was 
defeated with Beaver in 1882, was also renominated for 
lieutenant governor without a contest. Senator A. 
Wilson Norris was nominated for auditor general, and 
General Thomas J. Stewart for secretary of internal 

The Democrats had a bitter struggle in their con- 
vention over the nomination for Governor. In a 
former chapter I have related the circumstances of 
Senator Wallace announcing himself as a candidate for 
the Democratic nomination for governor, and that 
Randall had in personal conference assented to it, but 
their factional followers were always averse to anything 
like unity between them, and they forced the issue of 
separating Randall and Wallace in the struggle, and 
Randall, being then dominant in the party, defeated 
Wallace's nomination and made Chaimcey F. Black 
the Democratic candidate. With him were nominated 
Colonel R. Bruce Ricketts for lieutenant governor, 
WiUiam J. Brennan for auditor general and J. Simpson 
Africa for secretary of internal affairs. 

As the Independents had acquiesced in the election 
of Quay there was no visible grotmd for revolt against 
the nominations of Beaver and Davies, and excepting 
in a few individual cases the old Independents fell in 
imder the party flag. Beaver entered the campaign 
and fought it out heroically from start to finish, visiting 
every section of the State and speaking at 

564 Old Time Notes 

several meetings in a da)-. Black was then just in 
the prime of intellectual and physical vigor, and 
stumped the State from Lake Erie to the Delaware, but 
it was a hopeless battle from the start. The Repub- 
lican party was practically united and gave a very ccn*- 
diai support to Beaver, while the Democrats were 
somewhat disintegrated by the Graiwer elenient that 
forced Black into the support of a State policy that 
chilled a considerable Democratic el^nent m business 
and financial circles. 

The Prohibitionists nominated Charles S. W<^e, who 
was the free lance candidate for State treasurer several 
years before, and a natural and able kicker, but even 
with the regular Prohibition nomination he polled little 
more than half the vote he had received when an Inde- 
pendent Republican candidate for State treasurer. 
The entire Republican ticket was elected by substan- 
tially the same vote, with over 40,000 plurality, 
aiKl the Republican L^slature was carried witib 34 
Republicans in the senate to 16 Democrats, and 135 
Republicans in the house to 67 Democrats and one 
Greenback and Labor. 

Go\'ernor Beaver was inaugurated with imposing 
ceremonies, as the Republicans emphasized their 
appreciation of restoration to authority in the State, 
after four years of Democratic rule. He called a 
strong cabinet about him, consisting of Charles W. 
Stone, of WaiTen, as secretary of the commonwealth, 
W. S. Kirkpatrick, of Northampton, for attorney 
general, and Daniel S. Hastings, as adjutant general. 

It was not disputed by any that Quay had an over- 
whelming majority of the Republicans of the Legis- 
lature pledged to his election for United States Senator, 
but he was ambitious to have his nomination as nearly 
unanimous as possible, and he very adroitly introduced 
a district system of Legislative conferences in different 

of Pennsylvania 565 

sections of the State, to which the Republican senators 
and representatives of the district were invited, and 
in each of these conferences it was proposed and earn- 
estly urged that they should cast a united vote in favor 
of the candidate preferred by the majority. 

In each of the districts thus mapped out Quay had 
a clear majority ; in nearly every instance the plan was 
successful, and the result was that Quay was nominated 
in the RepubUcan caucus on the 4th of January, 1887, 
by a vote of 154 to 9 for Galusha A. Grow. In the 
Democratic caucus Senator Simon P. Wolverton was 
nominated as the Democratic candidate, receiving 46 
votes to 14 for Wallace, 4 for Robert E. Wright and 3 
for James F. Comley. The vote in the senate for 
United States Senator was 33 for Quay, 14 for Wolver- 
ton and 3 not voting. In the house, Quay received 
133 to 66 for Wolverton, 2 not voting. 

Quay thus carried to tritmiphant completion the 
policy he inaugurated in 1885, when he announced 
himself as a candidate for State treasurer, and when, 
as he told me when conferring on the subject at the 
time he informed me of his purpose to be a candidate, 
he felt that he must either take the risk of a defeat for 
State treasurer, or lose the control of the organization 
of the State. He said he was fully convinced that he 
must make a battle for the State treasurer, or surrender 
the party sceptre, and he added that he preferred to 
fall fighting to being relegated to a secondary position 
in party control. From the time of Quay's election to 
the Senate in 1887 imtil his death, he wielded absolute 
mastery in the Republican party of the State. 

Eighteen himdred and eighty-seven was an off year 
in politics, and with the triumphant election of Qtiay 
as State treasurer in 1885, of Beaver, as Governor, in 
1886, and Quay as United States Senator in the Legis- 
lattire of 1887, Quay's domination of the party in the 

S66 Old Time Notes 

State was conceded by all. There were a few Independ- 
ents who criticised Quay's methods and autocratic 
mastery, but there was no popular demand in the 
party ranks for revolt, and Quay entered upon his new 
career as a National L^slator with the most serene 
political conditions as his environment. 

The country was enjojdng an unusual degree of pros- 
perity. The National treasury was overflowing with 
surplus revenues, as the Cleveland administration had 
severely halted improvident appropriations, and the 
Democrats, with a united Republican party confronting 
them, accepted the situation in Pennsylvania as utterly 
hopeless for them. Chief Justice Mercur had died 
early in the year, and Henry Williams, of Tioga, was 
appointed to succeed him. The Republican State con- 
vention tmanimously nominated Judge Williams for 
election, and William B. Hart for State treasurer, and 
the Democrats nominated J. Ross Thompson, of Erie, 
for the supreme court, and Bernard McGrann, of Lan- 
caster, for State treasurer. There were no Congress- 
men or Legislators to elect to inspire interest in local 
contests, and the political battle of 1887 was a per- 
functory one, as the Democrats understood from the 
beginning that they had no })rosj^ect of winning. The 
result was the election of the Republican State ticket 
by over 40,000 majority. 

The year 1888 developed Senator Quay as a great 
National leader. He had served only a single session in 
the Senate, but he was speedily recognized as a very 
important political factor, and he at once assumed a 
potential attitude in the direction of National party 
affairs. Blaine had been defeated in 1884, and he wa:: 
undecided as to his candidacy for 1888. Blaine war. 
a fatalist, and was profoundly impressed, after his 
defeat for the nomination in 1876, that he was fatc\- 
never to reach the Presidency. I remember hi.. 

Of Pennsylvania 567 

saying soon after his defeat at Cincinnati that he 
had the largest measure of popular following and 
yet believed that, like Clay, he could never reach 
the Presidency. 

Quay was not an ardent supporter of Blaine for the 
nomination in 1884. His fellow Senator, Cameron, 
had just married into the Sherman family, and Quay 
and Cameron decided to take the initiative in Pennsyl- ' 
vania, where they had absolute control, and select an 
instructed delegation for Senator Sherman for President. 
Had Blaine been a positive candidate, the selection of 
a Sherman delegation in this State would have involved 
a contest, but while Blaine would doubtless have very 
willingly accepted the nomination if he had reasonable 
prospect of election, he hesitated to allow himself to be 
considered as an aspirant, and Quay and Cameron had 
an easy triumph in carrying the delegation for Sherman. 
Quay placed himself at the head of the delegation, and 
selected Adjutant General Hastings to present Sher- 
man's name to the convention in behalf of Pennsyl- 
vania. Quay and Cameron were both verj'- earnestly 
enlisted in the Sherman cause, but General Alger had 
made serious inroads upon Sherman's support in the 
South, and the National convention at Chicago, after 
several days of balloting, finally gave the nomination 
to General Harrison, of Indiana. 

Two State offices were to be filled in 1888 — supreme 
judge and auditor general, and the Republicans nomi- 
nated Thomas McCamant for auditor general and 
James T. Mitchell, the present chief justice, for the 
supreme court. The Democrats nominated Henry 
Meyer for auditor general and J. Brewster McCollom 
for the supreme court. As the contest was regarded 
by the Democrats as hopeless, they had much diffictilty 
in selecting a candidate for supreme judge. It was 
offered to Judge Arnold, Samuel Gustine Thompson, 

568 Old Time Notes 

who later filled the position by appointment, and a 
number of other prominent members of the bar, but 
all declined, and when the convention met there were 
several aggressive candidates for the nomination 
who lacked the character and attainments neces- 
sary to make an acceptable ticket for so dignified a 

Finally Judge McCoUom's name was presented with- 
out his knowledge, and the assurance given by close 
friends that he would accept, and he was placed on 
the ticket. Soon after the nomination had been made. 
Judge Trunkey of the supreme court died in London, 
making two vacancies to be filled, and under the Consti- 
tution the people could vote for but one candidate, thus 
assuring the election of both the Republican and the 
Democratic candidates. 

While the contest of i8S8 was very earnestly fought 
in the debatable States the Democrats of Pennsylvania, 
knowing that they could ntit give the State to Cleve- 
land, confined their efforts largely to the Congressional 
and Legislative districts. The Republican majority 
for electors and State officers was about 80,000, but 
McCoUom, Democrat, was elected supreme judge along 
with Mitchell, being chosen as the minority candidate, 
as provided by the supreme law of the State. 

The Republicans realized when the National cam- 
paign of 1888 opened that they had a desperate strug- 
gle before them, and that under all ordinary condi- 
tions the most successful and efficient party manage- 
ment would be likely to win. It was this condition 
that called Senator Quay to the chairmanship of the 
National committee, and there is little doubt that New 
York was given to Harrison, in the face of a large Dem- 
ocratic majority for the State ticket, solely by Quay's 
strategy and lus combinations with Tammany. New 

Of Pennsylvania 569 

York decided the election against Cleveland and in 
favor of Harrison. Quay was undoubtedly the chief- 
tain of the struggle, and he was at once recognized 
throughout the entire country as one of the most ac- 
complished leaders of the party. He was thus recog- 
nized imtil the day of his death, and the story of Ins 
career from that time until his life work was ended will 
furnish another most interesting chapter in the annals 
of the Commonwealth. 

Old Time Notes 



Aftermslh of the 18M8 Elcciion — How Wanamaker Became a Grest'J) 
Political Factor — Personal Choice of President Harrison for Pofal- 
masier General — Appointnienl DisUsicful lo Cameron and Quay — 
His Masterly Administration — He Acquires Powerful Influence 
State Politics — Tlic Contest for Governor in iPgo— Dclamater Made 
the Republican Nominee — Patlison Renominated by the Oeniocr>l« 

— Ex-Senator Wallace and W. U. Hcnsel — Hcnscl'a ImportaiU 
Position — Patlison Re-elected — Harrily and Hensel in Paltisoii'i 
Cabinet — J. D, Cameron Re-elected lo His Lait Term in the Ser.alc 

— The Bardsley Pcfnlcntion — How Quay Counteracted Its Effect. 

QUAY'S management of the National campaign of 
1888, in which he wrenched victory from the 
very jaws of defeat liy his skilful iiolitical move 
ments in New Yitrk city, the cit.idc! of Democratic 
power, made him suddenly and universally recognized 
by his party as its most accomplished political leader. 
It is entirely safe to assume that but for Quay's sagacity 
and heroic methods in managing the contest in New 
York, Cleveland would have been re-elected President, 
as Cleveland was the only man on the Democratic 
ticket who did not receive a majority in the Empire 
State. Harrison carried New York over Cleveland by 
14,373 plurality, and at the same election Hill was re- 
elected Governor by 19,171, Jones, Democratic candi- 
date for Lieutenant Governor, had 22,234 plurality, 
and Gray, Democratic candidate for court of appeals, 
had 3,425 plurality. 

It was the most expensive National campaign ever 
conducted in the country. The business men, especi- 
ally the manufacturers, contributed more generously 

Of Pennsylvania 571 

than ever before or since to defeat Cleveland and over- 
throw the Mills tariff that was framed on the basis of 
revenue with only incidental protection. Philadelphia 
manufacturers contributed hundreds of thousands of 
dollars, and John Wanamaker and Thomas Dolan were 
in the forefront in giving and obtaining the imusually 
large contributions which were poured into the treasury 
of the National committee, and that was handled ex- 
clusively by Quay himself. 

Quay was never accused of economical methods in 
either public, political or private affairs. He knew 
that only by having an immense campaign fimd at his 
command could he make a successful deal with certain 
Tammany leaders who were quite willing to crucify 
Cleveland, and to either restrain Democratic frauds or 
neutralize them by imitating Democratic methods. 
He was the sole manager of the political movements in 
New York which controlled the National contest, and 
to him was universally accorded the credit of having 
won the battle that made Harrison President. 

Just when Quay seemed to have reached the very 
zenith of fame and power as a political leader, he 
brought to the front by his own achievement the one 
man who, in all Quay's struggles in Pennsylvania, was 
able to lock horns with him, greatly endanger his power 
from year to year, and finally defeated him for re-elec- 
tion to the Senate. That man was John Wanamaker. 
He was imtrained in the poHtical methods of the time, 
but he was an ardent Republican, had fairly won his 
position as a prince of merchants, was in hearty sym- 
pathy with a large religious element of the State, and 
was a master in all movements which commanded his 
efforts. He was singularly keen in perception, fearless 
in action, able and adroit as a disputant, and no man 
in the State more thoroughly imderstood the great 
business and industrial interests of the entire country. 

Old Time Notes 

He very wannly espoused the cause of Harrison, 
between them there was the most cordial reUgious as 
well as ]X)Utical sympathy, and they were certainly in 
sincei'e accord in the desire to elevate the political sys- 
tem of the government and purify uur iwlitical methods. 

The first cloud tiiat came upon the then brilliant 
political horizon of Senator Quay was the announcement 
by President Harrison of John Wanamaker as Post- 
master General. It did not meet the approval of either 
of the Pennsylvania Senators, as neither Cameron nor 
Quay was in s)"m]3athy with \\"anamaker's ideal 
political theories. It was President Harrison's own 
appointment, and when the Senators were consulted 
on the subject, they assented to it chiefly because they 
saw that they could not offer substantial objections to 
Wanamaker s promotion, while it soon became evident 
that Harrison intended to make the appointment and 
that objections would be unavailable, 

I had Senators Cameron and Quay with me at dinner 
alone a few days after the inauguration nf Harrison, as 
I desired to learn the actual political conditions, and 
found them both at that early day thoroughly dis- 
gruntled at Harrison. Quay told of his first visit to 
the President, when he expected to receive the most 
fervent and grateful congratulations on his achieve- 
ment, but he was greatly disappointed and almost dum- 
founded at Harrison's statement that Providence had 
been on their side and gave them the victory. Quay, 
the son of an old-school Presbyterian preacher, had as 
severe a religious training as Harrison himself, but he 
had learned the lesson that when elections were to be 
won, as a rule, religious services and religious methods 
were not among the most effective. Quay spoke of the 
President's expression of gratitude to Providence for 
his success in wresting New York from the Democracy 
as the utterance of a political tenderfoot. To use 

Of Pennsylvania 573 

Quay 's own expression : * * Providence hadn ' t a damned 
thing to do with it, ' ' to which he added that he supposed 
Harrison would never learn how close a number of 
men were compelled to approach the gates of the peni- 
tentiary to make him President, where he could return 
thanks to the Almighty for his promotion. 

Wanamaker entered the cabinet as Postmaster Gen- 
eral, and it is admitted by all that his record in the 
management of the Post Office Department has rarely 
been equaled and never surpassed in any of the impor- 
tant qualities of statesmanship. His administration 
of his department was clean from beginning to end, and 
he was progressive even beyond the point to which he 
could bring his party. He conceived and drove the 
entering wedge that doubled and has finally quad- 
rupled the service of the postal department to the peo- 
ple of the entire country, and I doubt whether the 
President had in any of the members of his Cabinet a 
man of clearer judgment on any of the many intricate 
questions which are presented to the Government for 

While he was thoroughly in accord with the President 
in his convictions as to an ideal civil service and the in- 
tegrity of elections, he imderstood much better than 
did the President that our political system could not be 
revolutionized in a day, and that men in power must 
deal with existing conditions on broad and liberal Hnes. 
Beyond selecting a postmaster for his own city of 
Philadelphia, who was not acceptable to the political 
leaders, he accorded to the Senators and Representa- 
tives of the party in the State their full measure of con- 
trol of the patronage of his department and of the 
Government. He carefully avoided forcing any issue 
with the Senators and Representatives, and while all 
knew that his own individual ideas of administering the 
Government were at variance with the dominant meth- 

574 Old Time Notes 

ods, they had no reason to complain that he 1 
lessly obstructed their plans. 

While Harrison was not heartily supported by t 
party because be obtruded his ideas and political cc 
victions ofTensively at times, Wanamaker comniandi 
the respect of the leaders generally, and did much 
prevent growing estrangement bet^\'een partj' leade 
and the administration. Harrison was severely coi 
scientious, and a stranger to the art of popularizin 
himself. He was universally respected, but the bes 
comnientar;^ that could be made upon his position as i 
political leader is given in the fact that while he hac 
served six years in the Senate with men who were ir, 
active politics when he was nominated for President, 
there was not one of his associate Senators who came 
to the front to struggle for his nomination. No mari 
ever entered the Presidential office ■with higher ideas 
of unfaltering devotion to public duty, but Wana- 
maker, with equally high ideals in politics, possessed 
consummate tact and never undertook to amend or 
overthrow the political organization because it did not 
accord with his views in its political methods. 

Wnnamaker gi^eatly strengthened himself with the 
party in his State and commanded the respect of the 
entire country for his administration of the Post Office 
De]iartment. and retired without ever having com- 
mitted a breach between himself and the Republican 
Senators and Representatives of the State. Thus. 
Quay's exce])tionally brilliant achievement in forcing 
a Republican Presidential majority in a State that 
elected all of the other Democratic candidates, brought 
to the front Wanamaker as a Cabinet officer, whereby 
Wanamaker was trained for the desperate struggles 
he made later in the State to overthrow Quay's mastery. 

Eighteen hundred and eighty-nine was an off year, 
with no State officer to elect but a State treasurer. 

Of Pennsylvania 575 

The Republicans nominated Mr. Boyer, who was later 
speaker of the house and superintendent of the n^it, 
and the Democrats nominated Mr. Bigler, of Clearfield, 
son of the ex-Governor. The Democrats were generally 
discouraged and had little incentive to make a vigorous 
contest, and they were defeated by over 60,000 in the 
State. There was not a ripple on the surface indicat- 
ing opposition to Quay's domination of the party in 
Pennsylvania, but in 1890 a Governor and other State 
officers were to be elected, and Quay committed the 
error, so often exhibited by poHtical leaders, of attempt- 
ing to force the nomination of a candidate for Gover- 
nor against the undoubted sentiment of the party. 

The contest for Governor in 1890 was between Sena- 
tor Delamater, of Crawford, and Adjutant General 
Hastings, of Centre. Delamater had been prominent 
as a Republican senator, was generally regarded as a 
rich banker and imderstood to be a favorite of the 
Standard Oil Company, that was then at war with a 
large element of oil producers in the State. In all of 
Quay's political career he never allowed himself to get 
out of touch with the Standard Oil corporation, and in 
some severe emergencies it proved to be a very im- 
portant factor in his achievements. Delamater was 
not wanting in ability, nor was he vulnerable in char- 
acter, but he was not the choice of the Republican peo- 
ple, and his nomination had to be forced by the power 
of the organization. 

Hastings had made himself very generally and popu- 
larly known to the people of the State by his heroic 
efforts at Johnstown after the terrible cfisaster that 
almost effaced the towTi and sacrificed thousands of 
lives. He was sent there by Governor Beaver to see 
what could be done to begin the work of restoring trans- 
portation and rehabilitating the desolated city. Hast- 
ings found that the work required heroic direction. 

Old Time Notes 

and he assumed the responsibility of leading the great 
work of gathering the dead for sepulture and gradually 
restoring a number of the homes. He labored night 
and day. giving up every comfort and greatly endan- 
gering his health, and thus made himself ver>' gratefully 
known to the great mass of tlie people of the State. 

He entered the contest for Governor without any aid 
from the Quay organization, but long before the con- 
vention met it was clearly evident that Hastings could 
be defeated for the nomination only by the most abso- 
lute and despotic command of the Quay leadership. I 
saw Quay alone two weeks before the convention met, 
and found him greatly exercised about the nomination 
for Governor. He then reahzcd that the nomination 
of Delamater would alienate a large portion of the 
Republican people from his fellowship. l)ul he did not 
believe it possible for the Democrats to defeat any can- 
didate the Republicans might nominate. I told him 
that I thought the wise thing for him to do was 
adjust himself to the manifest wishes of his party, 
which he rephed that he very much desired once to 
have a Governor of his own. 

He forced the nomination of Delamater by the sheer 
power of the party organization, and Hastings, who 
was young enough and shrewd enough to understand 
that the future belonged to him, came promptly to the 
front and led the fight for Delamater's election. He 
thus made himself solid with the Republican people 
of the State, and from that time until the convention 
met four years later, it never was possible for the party 
leaders to get even an organized movement against 
Hastings as a candidate. 

The nomination of Delamater led to open revolt, 
and the Democrats saw their opportunity. They were 
not then led by mere political traders who care only 
for personal honors or advantage, but by those who 


in- ^m 
to ^B 

Of Pennsylvania 577 

thoroughly understood the political conditions and 
knew how to adjust the party to give it the promise of 
victory. Governor Pattison had left the Executive 
office at the end of his first term with a strong Demo- 
cratic element opposed to him, but there was universal 
confidence among all the people in his public and pri- 
vate integrity, and the Granger element was a powerful 
factor in politics at that time. 

The man who managed the Pattison nomination and 
election was William F. Harrity, of Philadelphia. 
Harrity had been chairman of the city committee in 
Philadelphia, where he held the Democrats in complete 
organization, and achieved repeated victories by 
association with the reform Republicans. When the 
contest for the Democratic nomination for Governor 
was in doubt between Senator Wallace and Governor 
Pattison, Harrity decided the issue by accepting Patti- 
son as the candidate because he believed that Pattison 
was the most available. He was not at variance with 
Wallace, but the reform Republican element that was 
in revolt against Delamater was not in sympathy with 
Wallace, while it was in very hearty sympathy with 
Pattison, and looking to the legitimate party interests 
he accepted Pattison because he believed Pattison 
could be elected. 

Harrity, Hensel and Black were measurably es- 
tranged from Pattison during his first administration. 
Hensel and Black were ranked as friends of Randall as 
against Wallace, and when Harrity decided to support 
Pattison they refused to ^o along with him. Hensel 
and Black had their respective delegations in Lancaster 
and York instructed for them for Governor, and when 
the convention met at Scranton they joined Wallace in 
opposition to Pattison. When it became apparent 
that Wallace could not be nominated, Wallace, Hensel 
and Black decided to make a combination to nominate 

a— 37 

Old Time Notes 

Silas M. Clark, of Indiana, then a judge of the supreme 
court. The three joined in a tel^ram to Clark at 
Indiana siniply asking him to not answer any de- 
spatches received from Scranton during the sessions 
erf the convention, and a despatch in which three great 
leaders of the party joined was respected by Clark. 
Wallace assumed that he could deliver his followers to 
Dark. It was arranged that he would go into the con- 
vention, withdraw his name and nominate Clark, and 
that Hensel and Black should follow, declining and 
ckclaring for Clark. 

After fixir^ their programme they separated late in 
the Tiight, and an hour or two later Wallace returned 
to Hensei's room, roused him up. and informed him 
that he could not deliver his followers to Clark, ar.d 
that his withdrawal would make enough of a break to [ 
Pattison to give him success. After a few minutes of 
awkward silence Hensel said : " Well, Wallace, what are 
you going to do?" To which he answered, "I am j 
going to let my name go before the convention and take 
my licking. What are you going tu do?" Hensel 
answered. " I propose to pack my satchel in the morn- 
ing and return home." Pattison was nominated, re- 
ceiving 200 votes, with 132 for Wallace, 12 for Robert 
E. Wright. 12 for Hensel and 11 for Black. Although 
specially invited. Wallace and Hensel refused to appear 
before the convention after the nominations were 
made. As a tub to the opposition whale Black was 
again nominated for Lieutenant Governor. 

Hensei's position in the party w-as one of unusal im- 
portance. He was not a place-hunter, but was con- 
spicuous for his devotion to honestl}' organized Democ- 
racy. He had tried to nominate Clark for Governor in 
1882 when Pattison was first nominated and elected, 
and he was then tendered the nomination for Congress- 
man-at-Large that meant aMlM^on, bMflk^took the 

Of Pennsylvania 579 

floor in the convention and declined in favor of Morti- 
mer F. Elliott, who was nominated and elected. He 
was made chairman of the State committee by the 
coimtry candidates against the protest of Pattison, 
Cassidy and the immediate friends of Pattison, but he 
managed the contest with such consimimate skill, with 
Harrity's aid as chairman of the Philadelphia city 
committee, that all confessed his eminent ability 
and unfaltering fidelity. 

While opposed to Pattison *s nomination in 1890, he 
delivered a number of addresses in important centers 
of the State in support of Pattison which attracted 
more attention than any of the many other leading 
speeches. His address in the Academy of Music in 
Philadelphia was one of the ablest of the political deliv- 
erances of the time, and when Pattison was elected, it 
was only natural that Harrity should be tendered the 
secretaryship of the Commonwealth, and the Governor 
was quite willing to yield to Harrity 's wishes to have 
Hensel his associate in the cabinet. Their appoint- 
ment to the cabinet was simply the logical result of 
the battle they had won, and both made exceptionally 
creditable records as State officers, records which are 
models of intelligent and thoroughly honest adminis- 
tration. Harrity was so highly appreciated as a 
political leader that two years later he was invited to 
accept the chainnanship of the National Democratic 
committee, and he conducted the Cleveland cam- 
paign of 1892, winning the last victory of the Democ- 
racy in our National contests. 

A successor to Cameron in the Senate was to be chosen 
by the Republican Legislature elected at the same time 
that Pattison was chosen Governor, and there was an 
evident disposition on the part of some of the Republi- 
can senators and representatives to rebel against the 
Quay-Cameron domination of the State by defeating 


Old Time Notes 

Cameron's election. The result might have ' _ _ 
doubtful but for the fact that Cameron was open 
hostile to the Force bill then pending in Congress, fc 
which some of the radical Republican leaders assume 
that they could control elections in the Southern State 

I have stated in a previous chapter how Camero 
and Quay visited me in Philadelphia a short time be 
fore the meeting of the L^slature. and how it was tbei 
arranged with CWivemor-elect Pattison and Harrity 
then prospective secretary- of the Commonwealth. U 
come to the support of Cameron for the Senaiorship il 
the Republicans organized against him on the ground 
of his opposition to the Force bill. It soon became 
known that the Democrats would make any sacrifice 
to sustain a Republican Senator who was opposed to 
the Force bill, and Cameron "s election was thereby tnade 
absolutely safes. The Republicans saw that they could 
not defeat him, and they ga\'e him an almost united^ 
party vote, but there was much smothered hostilitjM 
to the Quay-Cameron domination, as they were accused 
of losing ihe Govenior to the party in the State by 
defying the wishes of the Republican people. 

Eighteen hundred and ninety-one was an off year, 
but the defalcation of John Bardsley. treasurer of 
Philadelphia, whcreliy the State and city lost a large 
amount of money, involving Republican Auditor 
General McCamant and State Treasurer Boyer, sud- 
denly threw the Re]")u!jlican leaders into confusion, and 
threatened the party with defeat. Pattison was 
(lovcrnor, and his stern integrity made him hew to the 
line in bringing the financial officers of the State to 
accountability. He summoned the senate in special 
session to pass ujxm the question of dismissing the audi- 
tor general and State treasurer for complicity in the 
embezzlement of Slate money. 

The senate was £t-orHy Republican, and most of its 

Of Pennsylvania S8i 

members regarded the preser\'ation of the Republican 
party as of paramoimt importance, and they were most 
willing to find some way of escaping judgment upon 
the State officials. The legal acumen of Rufus E. 
Shapley opened a way for them by insisting that their 
alleged offenses were indictable in the courts, whereby 
their dismissal could be accomplished as the logical 
result of conviction. His argument was one of master- 
ly ability in support of the theory that the senate could 
not usurp the place of the grand jury and the criminal 
courts where offenses were committed by jjublic officers. 
The senate welcomed the back door of escape that was 
offered them, and without passing upon the merits of 
the case, dismissed it for want of jurisdiction, but the 
people of the State w^ere greatly aroused, and Quay's 
mastery was very seriously threatened. 

Quay well appreciated the peril that confronted him, 
and when his State convention met he had an elaborate 
platform adopted in which Postmaster General Wana- 
maker was highly commended for his "clean, business- 
like and comprehensive administration of postal 
affairs.'* It also commended the Republican officials of 
Philadelphia for the prompt conviction of John Bards- 
ley for embezzlement, and demanded that the proper 
officials should " prosecute to conviction any and ever}' 
guilty official without regard to politics.'* 

He knew that he could not propose any candidate 
for auditor general who was active in political affairs 
and command the confidence of the people, and he 
nominated General Gregg, the greatest of Pennsyl- 
vania's living soldiers at the time, for auditor general. 
Gregg had never been in politics, but his nomination 
w'as an absolute assurance to the people of the State 
that the office would be administered with absolute 
integrity and fidelity. With him he nominated J. W. 
Morrison for State treasurer, a man of high character 

Old Time Notes 

Kd ability. The Democrats nominated Mr. 

man of blameless reputation, for auditor 

id Mr. Tilden, a prominent business man, 

lie treasurer, but the nomination of Gregg saved 

xty. as it placed a man in the one important 

>n in the State where profligacy or fraud in the 

oi State funds could be halted. The result was 

election of the Republican State ticket by over 

» for auditor general, and 54.000 for State treas- 

Quay thus saved the jxirty and his political 

ix r in the State by giving the people an auditor 

ai who would certainly halt ever>' attempt at the 

opriation of the funds of the State. 


of Pennsylvania 583 



Quay and Cameron Not Heartily for Harrison — But He Was Renomi- 
nated — Cleveland a Presidential Candidate for the Third Time — 
Tammany's Intense Opposition to Him — Local Pennsylvania Inter- 
ests — Quay's Second Election as U. S. Senator — General Hastings 
Elected Governor in 1894 — His Relations with Quay Not Very 
Cordial — Democratic Opposition Not Formidable — Old-Timers Re- 
called to Public Life, Especially Galusha A. Grow — Governor Hast- 
ings and the State Committee — Organized Action Against Quay in 
Philadelphia — Penrose Sacrificed for Mayor — Creation of the Pemi- 
sylvania Superior Court. 

EIGHTEEN hundred and ninety-two opened with 
generous promises to the Republicans. The 
country was enjoying a more than ordinary 
degree of prosperity, as our manufactures had been 
greatly quickened by the McKinley tariff bill of 1890, 
although it had been repudiated overwhelmingly by 
the people in the election of a Congress soon after its 
adoption, when the Democrats reached high water 
mark in their majority of Congressmen. Harrison was 
universally respected and there was very general con- 
fidence in his public and private integrity. He was 
not personally popular with the leaders of the party, 
but the Republican people had faith in him and de- 
manded his renomination. 

While Harrison was in some measure an element of 
weakness on the Republican side, Cleveland appeared 
in the early part of the campaign of 1892 as a much 
greater element of discord in the Democratic party 
than was Harrison with the Republicans. The Demo- 
crats of New York elected a solid delegation to the 

Of Pennsylvania 585 

and Independents, and a majority of 80 in the House. 

While Quay was not an enthusiastic supporter of 
Harrison, the Legislature to be chosen that year would 
be charged with the election of his successor, and he 
gave special attention to the State contest, resulting 
in a majority of 63,747 for Harrison in the State, and 
substantially like majorities for Judge Dean, Repub- 
lican, over Judge Heydrick, Democrat, for the Supreme 
court, and for William Lilly and Alexander McDowell, 
Republicans, over George A. Allen and Thomas P. 
Merritt, Democrats, for Congressmen-at-Large. His 
special care of the senatorial and representative dis- 
tricts was exhibited in gaining an increased Republican 
majority on joint ballot in the Legislature, the senate 
standing ;i^ Republicans to 17 Democrats, and the 
house 134 Republicans to 70 Democrats, giving the 
Republicans 80 majority on joint ballot. 

No organized opposition was developed against 
Quay's re-election, and on the 17th of January, 1893, 
he was elected to his second full term in the Senate, 
receiving ;^;^ votes in the State senate, to 14 for George 
Ross, Democrat, one for William Mutchler, Democrat, 
one absentee, and one present but not voting. In the 
house the vote was 132 for Quay, 66 for Ross, one for 
William F. Harrity, one for John Dalzell and four 
absentees. Quay 's nomination in the caucus was made 
on the first ballot, the vote being 146 for Quay, 14 for 
Dalzell, one for Gobin and three absent. 

Quay's election by practically a unanimous vote of 
the party in the Legislature, and without any serious 
attempt at organized opposition to his leadership, 
apparently made him more strongly entrenched in 
supreme authority over party affairs in the State than 
he had ever been before, and the off year contest of 
1893 gave him a largely increased majority, as Jackson, 
the party candidate for Stat^ treasurer, was elected 

S86 Old Time Notes 

over Osborne, Democrat, by 135,146, and Jtid^ D. 
Newlin Fell, Repul^ican, was dected supreme judge 
over Samuel G. Thompaon, then serving by appoint- 
iTient of Oovemra' Pattiaon to fill a vacancy, by sub- 

staiilially the same majority. 

In 1S94 Quay vas competed to face a political con- 
ditiuii in which he could not be absolute master. His 
])arty leadership was undisputed, but the Republican 
people of the State wanted Geiwral Hastii^ for Gov- 
ernor in 1890, when Quay forced the nomination of 
Delamater, who was defeated. Hastings had made 
the fight on the sttunp for Delamater, came out of the 
contest greatly strengthened, and Quay could not 
defeat him for the nomination in 1894 without resortii^ 
to such violent methods as would have ^ain defeated 
the parly- He was literally compelled to accept a 
candidate for Governor whom he did not want. 

There was no open estrai^ement between Quay and 
Hastings, but Quay knew waX Hastings was human, 
and did not forget the fact that Quay had crucified 
him four years before. Quay's only course was to fall 
in with the support of Hastings, and while their rela- 
tions were apparently close and friendly during the 
campaigTi, each distrusted the other, and both felt that 
the time was not far distant when an open issue would 
arise between them. Quay accepted the situation and 
gave Hastings the nomination practically without a con- 
test. With Hastings were nominated Walter Lyon, 
for Lieutenant Governor, Amos H. Mylin, for auditor 
general, and General J. W. Latta, for secretary of in- 
ternal affairs, with Galusha A. Grow and Mr. Huff, 
for Congressmen-at-Large. 

The Democrats nominated William M. Singerly for 
Governor, by a unanimous vote, with John S. Rilling 
for Lieutenant Governor, David F. Magee for auditor 
general, W. W. Greenland for secretary of internal 

Of Pennsylvania 587 

affairs, and Mr. Meyer and Mr. Collins for Congress- 
men-at-Large, and he entered into the contest with 
great enthusiasm and high hopes of success. He 
traversed the State in a special car, saw the people of 
every section, and when he returned home a week before 
the election, he was absolutely confident of his success. 
It was his first experiment in contact with the enthu- 
siasm of country political assemblies, and he informed 
me three days before the election that he certainly had 
more than an even chance to be the next Governor of 
the State, and he was dumfounded when a majority of 
nearly a quarter of a million was rolled up against him, 
with substantially like majorities for all the Republi- 
can candidates. 

The contest of 1 894 called back into public life a man 
who for more than fifty years has been intimately con- 
nected with National affairs, and who rendered most 
conspicuous service to his party and to the country. 
Galusha A. Grow was made a compromise candidate 
for Congress in the Wilmot district in 1850. Wilmot 
had been renominated for a fourth term, but the old 
line Democrats had bolted against him, and nominated 
another Democratic candidate. Ten days before the 
election Wilmot agreed to withdraw if Grow was taken 
in his place, and he was accepted and elected as a 
regular Democrat. He was re-elected in 1852 on the 
Democratic ticket, and in 1854 was elected to a third 
term as an anti-slavery Democrat. In 1856 his anti- 
slavery convictions brought him into the most sympa- 
thetic relations with the Republican party, and he was 
elected to a fourth term as a RepubUcan, and was re- 
turned as a Republican by the same district in 1858 
and i860. In 1862 a new apportionment had been 
made, giving him the district of Luzerne and Susque- 
hanna instead of his old district of Susquehanna, 
Bradford and Tioga, and in the Republican sltimp of 

Old Time Notes 

1862 he was defeated after having served twelve yeart I 
consecutively in Congi-ess. 

Mr. Grow has many important monuments to hia I 
statesmanship to make his name memorable. He was.l 
the author of the free homestead law, and battled I 
many years before he achieved success. Even when | 
he had accomplished the passage of a very crude home- J 
stead bill by both branches of Congress, it was defeated i 
by the veto of President Buchanan. He was so highly 1 
respected that when Congress met in 1861. just when I 
the Civil War had spread the shadows of the angel of 1 
sorrow over the entire land, he was elected speaker of 1 
the House, and he was the acknowledged leader of the J 
loyal forces in the popular branch of Congress. He I 
accomplished the final passage of the homestead law t 
that has given free homes to tens of thousands of otir ] 
|)eo]ile. and his slogan in the political battles of those 
days was free soil, free homes and free schools. 

Hadhenotbeen retired from Congress by an unfortun- 1 
ate Congressional apj'^ortionment. that attempted to give 
;in additional Republican district, he would doubtless 
have continued to preside over the House during the 
entire period of the war. He was not a political mana- 
ger in the narrow and meaner sense of the term. No 
man could better master a broad wise policy for the 
party in State or Nation, but he was a stranger to the 
arts of modem politics, and for many years was not in 
favor with the dominant power of the Republican 
party in Permsylvania. After fiUing a vacancy for one 
year, he was nominated for Congressman-at-Large in 
1894 chiefly because Quay believed it to be wise to 
make that concession to the anti-machine element of 
the State. Grow had been the independent bolting can- 
didate for Senator in 1 88 1 , and had been turned down 
several times in struggles for the Governorship or the 
Senatorsliip. Quay exhibited his usual sagacity in 

Of Pennsylvania 589 

thus calling Grow back to the political life he had 
honored years before, and so acceptable was Grow's 
service in the National Congress that he was renomi- 
nated and re-elected to four consecutive terms as Con- 
gressman-at-Large, ending his last service in the 
councils of the Nation on the 4th of March, 1903, just 
fifty-two years after he had first appeared there, and 
the two periods of his service aggregated twenty-one 
years, a continuous service of twelve years beginning 
in 1 85 1, and a continuous service of nine years begin- 
ning in 1895. He was one of the Republican leaders 
whose skirts were never stained by personal graft or 
poUtical dishonesty, and his ability as a disputant, 
with his genial personal qualities, commanded the 
mingled respect and affection of all who were brought 
into intimate relations with him. 

The Congressmen-at-Large were elected simply be- 
cause of a new apportionment that gave Pennsylvania 
two additional members, and the Legislature failed to 
add the additional districts. But for the fact that an 
apportionment had been passed by the Legislature to 
fill our entire delegation by separate districts in 1902, 
there is little doubt that Mr. Grow would have been 
continued as Congressman-at-Large as long as his 
advancing years left him equipped for the performance 
of its duties. Although well passed the patriarchal 
age when he retired from his long and conspicuous 
Congressional service, he was one of the most active 
and efficient of all our Representatives, and he stood 
out with singular eminence as one of the great men of 
the past who live with continued usefulness in the 
present. By the tidal wave that carried the Republi- 
can ticket to overwhelming victory the Democratic 
strength in the Legislature was almost annihilated, the 
Senate standing 43 Republicans to 7 Democrats, and 
the House 117 Republicans to 27 Democrats. 

S90 Old Time Notes 

While Governor Hastings did not precipitate a fac- 
tional war wth the Quay jxjwer of the State, it soon 
became evident that the relations between the Governor 
and the Senator threatened the party with internal 
disturbance. Several times they were on the point of 
open breach during the first month of the administra- 
tion, but the sore was temporarily healed by the inter- 
position of frientls and compromised, but later all 
masks were torn off on both sides, and Hastings decided 
to lock horns with Quay to wrest the party mastery 
from the old Senatorial leader. When the estrange- 
ment between the two leadei's had passed the jioint of 
compromise, Quay adopted the heroic method of pub- 
licl}' announcing himself as a candidate for the position 
of Chairman of the Kepublican State committee some 
months before the meeting of the State convention that 
would have the jxjwer of apiK>intment. 

Quay's announcement was met by the public an- 
nouncement of f Jovemor 1 lastings that he would be a 
delegate in the coming State conventi'in, and would 
be a candidate for president of the body. It was the 
custom of the party for the president of the State con- 
vention to appoint the chairman of the State con- 
mittee. after consulting the candidates on the State 
ticket, but the president of the convention is only a 
servant of the body, and subject to its orders on all 
questions of party policy. In 1865, when Cameron, 
by adroit management, secured the president of the 
convention that had a majority of Curtin delegates in 
it, Cameron expecting thereby to get possession of the 
State organization by naming the chairman of the com- 
mittee, the convention, on motion of Thaddeus Stevens, 
elected John Cessna chairman by resolution of the 
body, and Senator Welsh was, in like manner, made 
chairman of the Democratic State committee by the 
Reading convention of i860. 

of Pennsylvania 591 

The arrangement to bring out Governor Hastings as 
an open cand&date for president of the convention, with 
a view of controlUng the State committee, was made in 
Philadelphia at a dinner given to the Governor by some 
of his special friends, who were hostile to Quay. Late 
in the night after the dinner adjourned, one of the guests 
came to the editorial office of '*The Times,'' and