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Title: Zachariah Chandler - An Outline Sketch of His Life and Public Services
Author: Post, Detroit, Tribune
Language: English
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                          ZACHARIAH CHANDLER:

                           AN OUTLINE SKETCH


                     His Life and Public Services.


                     THE DETROIT POST AND TRIBUNE.

                      WITH AN INTRODUCTORY LETTER


                      JAMES G. BLAINE, OF MAINE.

    O iron nerve to true occasion true,
    O fall'n at length that tower of strength
    Which stood four-square to all the winds that blew!






                     THE DETROIT POST AND TRIBUNE,


                            Electrotyped by
                        A. W. HABBIN, Detroit.

                               PRESS OF
                            WRIGHTON & CO.,
                            CINCINNATI, O.


                     THE REPUBLICANS OF MICHIGAN,


                          ZACHARIAH CHANDLER,

                      THIS RECORD OF HIS LIFE IS


It is stated elsewhere that this work is written "BY THE DETROIT
POST AND TRIBUNE." Unusual as this form of announcement is on the
title-pages of books, there certainly may be an authorial as well
as an editorial impersonality; in this case the phrase succinctly
expresses the fact, namely, that the volume represents the joint labors
of the staff of THE POST AND TRIBUNE, alike in the collection and the
treatment of its material.

While its preparation has been almost wholly a matter of original
research, such use as was necessary has been made of historical data
contained in "The Centennial History of Bedford, N. H.," published in
1851, in Horace Greeley's "American Conflict," and in Henry Wilson's
"History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power."

Needed information has been furnished by those intimately connected
with Mr. CHANDLER, but the work has not been submitted to their
revision, and they are not responsible for the form of the narrative,
nor for the personal estimate it embodies.

This book presents a sketch of the life and the public services of a
remarkable man. It has been written from the standpoint of political
sympathy, and with the hope of deepening the wholesome influences so
powerfully exerted upon public sentiment in his lifetime by ZACHARIAH
CHANDLER. The aim has been to make it accurate in statement, and to see
that its chapters should fairly draw, in outline at least, the picture
of the career of a genuine leader of men.



I am unable to give any personal or special incidents in the life of
Mr. Chandler not open to his biographers from other sources. I was not
so intimate in my relations with him as were some others, nor did I
know him better than many others who like myself were associated with
him in public life for a long period. I knew him well, however, both on
the side of his private life and his public life, and in every phase he
was a man of strong character.

The time in which a man lives, and the circumstances by which he is
surrounded, control his fate even more largely than his personal and
inherent qualities. Mr. Chandler was fortunate in the time of his
removal to the West, fortunate in the era which brought him into
public life. When he became a citizen of Michigan the days of hard
pioneer life were ending, extensive cultivation of the soil had begun,
products for shipment were large and rapidly increasing. Facilities
for transportation were already great. The Erie Canal had been open
for several years, and steamers had multiplied on the Great Lakes.
Everything was in readiness for a strong-minded, energetic, competent
man of business, and Mr. Chandler had the good fortune to settle in
Detroit at the precise point of time when the elements of success were
within his grasp. For a quarter of a century thereafter his career was
that of a business man intensely devoted to his private interests,
and participating in public affairs only as an incident and with no
effort to secure advancement. The result of this steady devotion to
business was that Mr. Chandler found himself at forty-four years of age
possessed of a large property, constantly and rapidly increasing in

Coincident with this condition in his financial fortunes came a
crisis in the political affairs of the country, involving the class
of questions which took deep hold on the mind and the heart of Mr.
Chandler. The curbing of the slave power, the assertion and maintenance
of freedom on free soil, undying devotion to the Union of the States,
and the bold defense of the rights of the citizen--these were the
issues which in various phases absorbed the public mind from the repeal
of the Missouri compromise in 1854 down to the close of Mr. Chandler's
life. And on all the issues presented for consideration for twenty-five
years Mr. Chandler never halted, never wearied, never grew timid, never
was willing to compromise. On these great questions he became the
leader of Michigan, and Michigan kept Mr. Chandler at the front during
the prolonged struggle which has wrought such mighty changes in the
history of the American people.

It is a noteworthy fact, not infrequently adverted to, that the
political opinions of Michigan both as Territory and State, for a
period of sixty years, were represented, and indeed in no small degree
formed, by two men of New Hampshire birth. From 1819 to 1854 General
Cass was the accepted political leader of Michigan, and only once
in all that long period of thirty-five years did her people fail to
follow him. That was in 1840, when the old pioneers and the soldiers of
1812--generally the friends of Cass--refused his leadership, and voted
for the older pioneer and the more illustrious chieftain, William Henry
Harrison. From 1854 till Mr. Chandler's death the dominant opinion
of Michigan was with him; and her people followed him, trusted him,
believed in him. During that quarter of a century the population of the
State more than trebled in number, but the strength of Chandler with
the newcomers seemed as great as with the older population with whom
he had begun the struggle of life in the Territory of Michigan. The
old men stood firmly by him in the faith and confidence of an ancient
friendship, and the young men followed with an enthusiasm which grew
into affection, and with an affection which ripened into reverence.

Mr. Chandler's life in Washington, apart from his public service, was
a notable event in the history of the capital. His wealth enabled him
to be generous and hospitable, and his elegant mansion was a center of
attraction for many years. Nor were the guests confined to one party.
Mr. Chandler was personally popular with his political opponents,
and the leading men of the Democratic party often sat at his table
and forgot in the genial host, and the frank, sincere man, all the
bitterness that might have come from conflict in the partisan arena.

It is fitting that Mr. Chandler's life be written. It is due, first of
all, to his memory. It is due to those who come after him. It is due
to the great State whose Senator he was, whose interests he served,
whose honor he upheld. I am glad the work is committed to competent
friends, who can discriminate between honest approval and inconsiderate
praise, and who with strict adherence to truth can find in his career
so much that is honorable, so much that is admirable, so little that is
censurable, and nothing that is mean.

                           Very sincerely yours,

                                                         JAMES G. BLAINE.

  WASHINGTON, February 15, 1880.





  The town of Bedford, N. H.--King Phillip's War--Land grants to
  surviving soldiers--Souhegan-East--Grant of a charter--Naming
  the town--The early settlers--The thirst for civil and religious
  liberty--Records of the church--The thrift of the people--Native
  humor--A patriotic record--Services in three wars.                  19



  The Chandlers of New England--The first Zechariah
  and his possessions--Settlement in the intervale of
  the Merrimack--Genealogy of the family--Noted family
  connections--Prominence in church and State--The family
  residences--Birthplace of Zachariah--Inherited traits--A strong,
  self-reliant boy--His school-days--One term as teacher--Work on
  the farm--Military experience--Clerk in a store--His journey
  Westward--Affection for the old town--Some of Bedford's emigrants.



  Business start in Detroit--The cholera epidemic--Caring for
  the sick--Characteristics of the young business man--Nearest
  approach to an assignment--Pushing his business--Visits
  to the interior--Strong friendships--His young clerk and
  successor--Commercial integrity and sagacity--Accumulation of
  property--Helping the Government credit--Incorruptibility as a
  Legislator.                                                         44



  Early explorations of the Lakes--A mission at the Sault--Passage
  of the Strait--First settlement at Detroit--Steam navigation
  upon the Lakes--Organization of the Territory--An imperial
  domain--Detroit in 1833--Marvelous development of a great City and
  State--Statistics of 1879.                                          54



  A conspicuous figure in politics--Lewis Cass, his career and
  characteristics--A strong contrast--Mr. Chandler as a Whig--A
  sinewy worker at the polls--The Crosswhite case--Making a
  firm friend--Nomination and election for Mayor--A sharp
  campaign--Invitation to Kossuth--Nominated for Governor--An
  energetic but unsuccessful canvass--First nomination for the
  Senate.                                                             71



  The Compromises of 1820 and 1850--Annexation of Texas--Calhoun's
  farewell--Profound Northern indignation--Memorable debates in
  Congress--"Free Democrat" action in Michigan--Public anti-slavery
  meetings and private conferences--The Whig Convention at
  Kalamazoo--Steps toward union--A stirring address--"Under the Oaks"
  at Jackson--A notable convention--Formation of the Republican
  party--A ringing platform--The first of a series of uninterrupted
  successes--Work of Mr. Chandler in the campaign.                    89



  Work in the campaign of 1856--The National Conventions--Aid in
  making Michigan radical--Republican success in that State--An
  earnest Senatorial canvass--Mr. Chandler nominated over Mr.
  Christiancy and others--His election--Composition of the
  Thirty-fifth Congress--Subsequent career of his associates.        119



  Preparations for Disunion--Imbecility of the Administration--Gloomy
  forebodings--Mr. Chandler's first prepared address--A vigorous
  and unanswerable speech--The Dred Scott decision--The John Brown
  raid--A warning to traitors--Denunciation of treason--Personal
  peril--Giving "satisfaction" to Southern "gentlemen"--Mr. Chandler
  not to be bullied--The Chandler, Cameron and Wade compact.         133



  Beneficence of "The American System"--Reply to the "mud-sill"
  speech--Defense of free Northern labor--Review of the tariff
  controversy--The Morrill tariff of 1861--Modifications proposed in
  1867--The priceless value of the skilled mechanic.                 151



  The Committee on Commerce as first organized--Unavailing
  protests--Mr. Chandler's first speech in the Senate--The St. Clair
  Flats improvement--A defeat and significant prophecy--The work,
  its cost and value--Mr. Chandler a member and then Chairman of
  the Committee on Commerce--The wide scope of that committee's
  labors--One-half of the entire amount expended by the United
  States for rivers and harbors appropriated during Mr. Chandler's
  chairmanship.                                                      164



  First formal step of secession--Buchanan's "No coercion"
  message--Organization of the Southern Confederacy--Mr.
  Chandler opposes compromise--Thwarting the plots of rebel
  leaders--Securing the appointment of Secretary Stanton--Unwritten
  reminiscences--Denunciation of traitors and imbeciles--The proposed
  Peace Congress--The "blood-letter" and its justification.          182



  President Lincoln's arrival in Washington--Mr. Chandler's advice
  as to the Cabinet--Conciliatory character of the inaugural--An
  illustration of Southern perfidy--Surrender of Fort Sumter--A
  Detroit meeting--"But one sentiment here"--Reception of Michigan
  men in Washington--Visit to Fortress Monroe--Crossing the
  Potomac--Proposed confiscation of rebel property--"Two parties in
  the country, patriots and traitors"--Vindication of Michigan's
  record--An advance movement urged.                                 201



  The disaster at Ball's Bluff--A committee of inquiry proposed
  by Mr. Chandler--Organization of the Committee on the Conduct
  of the War--Opposition and subsequent co-operation of the
  Administration--Confidential Relations with President Lincoln and
  Secretaries Cameron and Stanton--Laying out work--Mr. Chandler's
  great speech against McClellan--Distrust of McClellanism in
  politics--The Fitz-John Porter case--Last work of the committee.   215



  The political reverses of 1862--The "Union movement" in
  Michigan--Re-election of Senator Chandler--Proposition to arm
  the colored people--The Fremont proclamation and the Hunter
  order--Opposition to the colonization schemes--Influence with the
  Secretary of War--The Trent affair--Aid to Michigan soldiers in the
  Washington hospitals--"We must accept no compromise."              250



  The political and military successes of 1863--The Cleveland
  convention--Nomination of Fremont and Cochrane--Renomination
  of Abraham Lincoln--Resignation of Secretary Chase--Peace
  negotiations at Niagara Falls--The Wade-Davis manifesto--Nomination
  of McClellan--Mr. Chandler's conferences with the disaffected
  Republicans--Resignation of Postmaster-General Blair--Withdrawal of
  the Fremont ticket--An overwhelming political triumph.             263



  The Assassination of President Lincoln--The War Committee
  meet President Johnson--Revengeful disposition of the new
  Executive--Legal questions in reference to the trial of
  traitors--An important paper by Benjamin F. Butler--A practicable
  method for prosecuting Jeff Davis--Change of sentiment in President
  Johnson--He abandons the party that elected him--Development of his
  "policy"--Hindrance to successful reconstruction--The impeachment
  resolutions and trial--Disappointment of Mr. Chandler at the
  failure to convict--General work in the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth
  Congresses.                                                        279



  Work in the campaign of 1868--Mr. Chandler's re-election to the
  Senate--The Fifteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights bill--Edwin
  M. Stanton's death and the fund for his family--Mr. Chandler's
  opposition to Southern war claims--His purchase of the Confederate
  archives--The value of these documents--Election of Senator
  Ferry--Mr. Chandler's fidelity to his friends--His denunciation of
  Southern outrages--His comparison of the two parties--His defense
  of President Grant against Charles Sumner's attacks--The "Salary
  Grab" opposed by Senator Chandler and his colleague--The Republican
  Congressional Committee and its efficient work--Intimacy between
  Mr. Chandler and James M. Edmunds--The latter's usefulness.        298



  Condition of the government credit in 1861--The first issue of
  "greenbacks"--Mr. Chandler's opposition to any increase in the
  amount--Taxation recommended as a substitute--Opposition to the
  taxation of national bonds--Arguments for payment in coin of the
  "greenbacks" and bonds--Advocacy of the national bank system--The
  panic of 1873--Resistance to every measure of inflation--Mr.
  Chandler's speeches in January and February, 1874--The Resumption
  act.                                                               319



  Political reverses of 1874--The contest in Michigan a
  complicated one--Republican success by a narrow margin--A close
  Legislature--Resistance to Mr. Chandler's re-election--His
  pronounced success in his party caucus--A combination of a few
  Republicans with the Democrats elects Judge Christiancy--Like
  results elsewhere--Mr. Chandler's confidence--"A candidate for
  that seat"--Letter to the Republican members of the Legislature--A
  seeming calamity proves to be a benefit--Appointment as Secretary
  of the Interior--Changes in the _personnel_ of the Department--How
  Alonzo Bell became Chief Clerk--The first blow falls--An entire
  room closed as a measure of "practical reform"--Purification of
  the Bureau of Indian Affairs--"The most valuable men" suddenly
  dismissed--Order against the "Indian attorneys"--President
  Grant's support--Changes in the Bureau of Pensions and the
  General Land Office--Mr. Chandler's admirable executive
  qualities recognized--Anecdotes of his Cabinet service--Fighting
  the patronage-seekers--A cowardly informer--A head to the
  Department--An investigation that failed--"Pumping a dry
  well"--Close of Mr. Chandler's term--Tributes of Secretary Schurz
  to the practical efficiency of his predecessor.                    337



  Mr. Chandler made Chairman of the National Republican
  Committee--His original confidence in the result--Apathy in the
  West--Aid to Ohio--The closeness of the contest apparent--Measures
  to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat--Mr. Chandler's
  firm attitude during the remainder of the contest--Its great
  value--Dissent from the "policy" of the new Administration--A
  Cabinet anecdote--Mr. Chandler retires to private life--A visit
  to the Pacific coast--Other extended trips--The marsh farm near
  Lansing, Michigan--An important experiment in the reclamation
  of wet lands--Mr. Chandler's "expensive theory"--The method
  of drainage explained and illustrated in detail--Successful
  results of the earlier experiments in cultivation--General farm
  equipment--Houses, barns and stock--Relaxation at the farm--Mr.
  Chandler's correspondence--The answering of every letter his
  rule--The power of his oratory--Terse sentences, Saxon words, and
  brief speeches his aim--The sincerity and honesty of the man--The
  strength of his friendships--His hearty social qualities--His
  Washington and Detroit residences described--Narrow escape from
  a serious accident in 1858--Mr. Chandler's family--His domestic
  happiness--His wife and daughter his sole heirs.                   356



  Development of "Greenback" strength in the West--Resolute
  resistance in Michigan to the spread of financial heresy--Mr.
  Chandler leads the Republican battle--A great victory--It is
  followed by his fourth election to the Senate--He takes his seat
  in time to answer rebel eulogies in the Senate on Jeff. Davis--His
  brief and telling response--It strikes the chord of patriotic
  feeling--The popular response--The "extra session" of 1879--Mr.
  Chandler's last Congressional speech.                              374



  Mr. Chandler at the front in the political contests of 1879--He is
  greeted by a popular ovation--His name urged for the Republican
  presidential nomination in 1880--Grant his own choice--Work affects
  his strong constitution--His Chicago speech--Dead in his bed at the
  Grand Pacific Hotel on Nov. 1, 1879!--The national grief--Funeral
  and burial.                                                        386






  STEEL PORTRAIT OF ZACHARIAH CHANDLER,                  _Frontispiece._

  THE CHANDLER HOMESTEAD AT BEDFORD, N. H.,                           33

  THE BIRTHPLACE OF ZACHARIAH CHANDLER,                               35

  BIBLE,                                                              37

  THE SCHOOL HOUSE AT BEDFORD, N. H.,                                 39

  THE CHANDLER BLOCK (Detroit),                                       49

  DETROIT IN 1834,                                                    65


  Jackson, Mich., July 6, 1854),                                     111

  THE NATIONAL CAPITOL AT WASHINGTON,                                127

  THE SHIP CANAL AT THE ST. CLAIR FLATS,                             173

  PORTRAIT OF SENATOR CHANDLER IN 1862,                              217

  PORTRAIT OF THE LATE JAMES M. EDMUNDS,                             315

  THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT AT WASHINGTON,                             341

  THE CABINET OF PRESIDENT GRANT--1876-'77--(From a Sketch by
  Mrs. C. Adele Fassett),                                            347

  THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,                       353

  PLAT OF THE MARSH FARM,                                            361

  THE "BIG DITCH" OF THE MARSH FARM,                                 363

  THE MAIN HOUSE AT THE MARSH FARM,                                  365

  THE LARGE BARN AT THE MARSH FARM,                                  367

  MR. CHANDLER'S RESIDENCE AT WASHINGTON,                            369

  MR. CHANDLER'S RESIDENCE AT DETROIT,                               371

  THE STATE CAPITOL OF MICHIGAN,                                     377

  THE SENATE CHAMBER AT 3 A. M. OF MONDAY, MARCH 3, 1879,            381

  THE GRAND PACIFIC HOTEL AT CHICAGO,                                389

  Volk's Plaster Cast),                                              391

  THE TRIBUTE OF GEN. U. S. GRANT (_fac-simile_),                    393

                          ZACHARIAH CHANDLER.



In the valley of the Merrimack, fifty miles northwest from Boston,
is the New Hampshire town of Bedford. It is a community of thrifty
farms, with striking characteristics, and almost a century and a half
of entertaining history. Simplicity of manners and sturdiness of
character prevail among its people to-day, and the vigor of the stock
of its original settlers, the loftiness of their traditions, and the
puritanism of its civilization have made it a nursery of strong men.

King Philip's War ended in a Pyrrhic victory for the New England
provinces. The subjugation of the savages was only accomplished when
one in twenty of the men among the colonists had fallen and a like
proportion of their families was houseless, and it left behind it what
was in those days a heavy debt. More than half a century elapsed before
there was any substantial recognition of the claims of the survivors of
that war and their descendants. It was not until 1732, after numerous
petitions and prolonged discussion, that "the Great and General Court
of Massachusetts" granted land enough for two townships "to the
soldiers who had served in King Philip's or the Narragansett War and to
their surviving heirs-at-law." This grant was subsequently enlarged to
seven townships, as appears from the following record of proceedings in
"the Great and General Court or Assembly for His Majestie's Province of
the Massachusetts Bay," under date of April 26, 1733:

  A Petition of a Committee for the Narragansett Soldiers, showing
  that there are the number of Eight Hundred and Forty Persons
  entered as officers and soldiers in the late Narragansett War,
  Praying that there may be such an addition of Land granted to them,
  as may allow a Tract of six miles Square to each one hundred and
  twenty men so admitted.

  In the House of Representatives, Read, and Ordered that the Prayer
  of the Petition be granted, and that Major Chandler, Mr. Edward
  Shove, Col. Thomas Tileston, Mr. John Hobson and Mr. Samuel
  Chandler (or any three of them,) be a Committee fully authorized
  and empowered to survey and lay out five more Tracts of Land for
  Townships, of the Contents of Six miles Square each, in some of
  the unappropriated lands of this Province; and that the said land,
  together with the two towns before granted, be granted and disposed
  of to the officers and soldiers or their lawful Representatives, as
  they are or have been allowed by this Court, being eight hundred
  and forty in number, in the whole, and in full satisfaction of the
  Grant formerly made them by the General Court, as a reward for
  their public service. And the Grantees shall be obliged to assemble
  within as short time as they can conveniently, not exceeding the
  space of two months, and proceed to the choice of Committees,
  respectively, to regulate each Propriety or Township which is to
  be held and enjoyed by one hundred and twenty of the Grantees,
  each in equal Proportion, who shall pass such orders and rules as
  will effectually oblige them to settle Sixty families, at least,
  within each Township, with a learned, orthodox ministry, within the
  space of seven years of the date of this Grant. Provided, always,
  that if the said Grantees shall not effectually settle the said
  number of families in each Township, and also lay out a lot for
  the first settled minister, one for the ministry, and one for the
  school, in each of the said townships, they shall have no advantage
  of, but forfeit their respective grants, anything to the contrary
  contained notwithstanding. The Charge of the Survey to be paid by
  the Province.

  In Council read and concur'd.

                                                             J. BELCHER.

In June of 1733 these grantees met on Boston Common for the purpose of
making a division of the lands thus appropriated, but twenty veterans
of the Narragansett War being then living. They organized into seven
societies, each representing one hundred and twenty persons, and each
represented by an executive committee of three. These committees
convened in Boston on the 17th of October, 1733, and, by drawing
numbers from a hat, apportioned to their societies the following
seven townships set apart from the public domain under the grant:
No. 1, in Maine, now called Buxton; No. 2, Westminster, Mass.; No.
3, Souhegan-West, now Amherst, N. H.; No. 4, originally at the Falls
of the Amoskeag, where Goffstown now is (subsequently exchanged for
lands in Hampden county, Mass.); No. 5, Souhegan-East, N. H.; No. 6,
Templeton, Mass.; No. 7, Gorham, Me. Thomas Tileston, of Dorchester,
drew "Number 5, Souhegan-East;" of the one hundred and twenty grantees
whom he represented, fifty-seven belonged to Boston, fifteen to
Roxbury, seven to Dorchester, two to Milton, five to Braintree, four
to Weymouth, thirteen to Hingham, four to Dedham, two to Hull, one to
Medfield, five to Scituate, and one to Newport, R. I. In the fifteen
Roxbury grantees was Zechariah Chandler, who was one of the few who
personally took up land under the grant and settled upon it one of his
own family. As a rule the grantees sold their claims to others. On the
town records Zechariah Chandler's name is signed in the right of his
wife's father, Thomas Bishop, who served against King Philip. His son,
Thomas Chandler, took possession of the land and was among the pioneers
of the town. To-day the Chandler family is believed to be the only
representative in Bedford of the original grantees. It was in 1737,
1738, and 1739 that systematic settlement practically began in this
part of the Merrimack valley.

In 1741 New Hampshire became a separate province, and in 1748 the
farmers of Souhegan-East, finding themselves without any township
organization and without the power to legally transact corporate
business, called upon the government for relief. As a result, it is
recorded that on the 11th of April in that year Gov. Benning Wentworth
informed the Council of New Hampshire "of the situation of a number of
persons inhabiting a place called Souhegan-East, within this Province,
that were without any township or District, and had not the privilege
of a town in choosing officers for regulating their affairs, such as
raising money for the ministry," etc. Thereupon a provisional township
organization was authorized, under which the municipality was managed
until 1750, when, on the 10th of May, the following petition was sent
to the Governor, signed by thirty-eight citizens, among them Thomas

  To his Excellency, Benning Wentworth, Esq., Governor and
    Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's Province of New Hampshire,
    and to the Honorable, his Majesty's Council, assembled at
    Portsmouth, May 10, 1750.

  The humble Petition of the subscribers, inhabitants of
  Souhegan-East, so-called, sheweth, That your Petitioners are major
  part of said Souhegan; that your petitioners, as to our particular
  persuasion in Christianity, are generally of the Presbyterian
  denomination; that your petitioners, through a variety of causes,
  having long been destitute of the gospel, are now desirous of
  taking proper steps in order to have it settled among us in that
  way of discipline which we judge to tend most to our edification;
  that your petitioners, not being incorporated by civil authority,
  are in no capacity to raise those sums of money, which may be
  needful in order to our proceeding in the above important affair.
  May it therefore please your Excellency, and Honors, to take the
  case of your petitioners under consideration, and to incorporate
  us into a town or district, or in case any part of our inhabitants
  should be taken off by any neighboring district, to grant that
  those of our persuasion, who are desirous of adhering to us, may
  be excused from supporting any other parish charge, than where
  they conscientiously adhere, we desiring the same liberty to those
  within our bounds, if any there be, and your petitioners shall ever
  pray, &c.

This petition was presented on May 18, 1750, to the Council, which
unanimously advised the granting of a charter, and this the Governor
did upon the following day. The name of the town was changed by
Governor Wentworth from Souhegan-East to Bedford, it is said in honor
of the fourth Duke of Bedford, then Secretary of State in the ministry
of George II. This was the formal organization of the present town,
which has a territorial extent of about twenty thousand acres of land.

Of the early population of this and neighboring towns "The Centennial
History of Bedford" (published in 1851) says:

  With few exceptions the early inhabitants of the town were from
  the North of Ireland or from the then infant settlement of
  Londonderry, N. H., to which they had recently emigrated from
  Ireland. Their ancestors were of Scotch origin. About the middle
  of the seventeenth century they went in considerable numbers
  from Argylshire, in the West of Scotland, to the counties of
  Londonderry and Antrim, in the North of Ireland, from which in
  1718 a great emigration took place to this country. Some arrived
  at Boston, and some at Casco Bay near Portland, which last were
  the settlers of Londonderry. Many towns in this vicinity were
  settled from this colony. Windham, Chester, Litchfield, Manchester,
  Bedford, Goffstown, New Boston, Antrim, Peterborough and Acworth
  derived from Londonderry a considerable proportion of their first

  Many of their descendants have risen to high respectability, among
  whom are numbered four Governors of New Hampshire, one of the
  signers of the Declaration of Independence, several distinguished
  officers in the Revolutionary War and in the last war with Great
  Britain, including Stark, Reid, Miller, and McNeil, a President
  of Bowdoin College, some Members of Congress, and several
  distinguished ministers of the gospel.

It was a Scottish stock, with an Irish preceding the American
transplanting, that peopled Bedford. There were among its original
settlers a few families of English and fewer still of pure Milesian
extraction, but the Scotch descent was overwhelmingly predominant,
and the austere theology and noble traditions of the Kirk of Scotland
formed the leaven of the community. Their religious history dated back
to John Knox. Their immediate ancestors were the sturdy Presbyterians
with whom James I. colonized depopulated Ulster after he had crushed
the Catholic uprisings. Those involuntary colonists made that the
most prosperous of the Irish provinces, and at a critical moment for
the cause of Protestantism added to the annals of heroic endurance
the defense of Londonderry against the army of James II. But to their
simple and tenacious faith the tithes and rents of the Anglican Church
were scarcely less abhorrent than Catholic persecution, and the
example of Puritan emigration ultimately led them by thousands to
American shores. Much of this tide of settlement was diverted by the
Puritan pre-occupation of New England soil to the Middle and Southern
States, but a strong current set up into northern New England and
occupied (with much other territory) the valley of the Merrimack. It
was to these Scotch-Irish Presbyterians that the greater number of
the grantees of Bedford--as a rule the descendants of Massachusetts
Puritans--sold their claims, and the community became what their labors
and influence made it. The Chandler (representing an original grantee)
was one of the few Bedford families which sprang from English stock and
possessed Puritan antecedents.

The settlement of Bedford was thus the outgrowth of an unquenchable
thirst for civil and religious liberty. A profound conscientiousness
added these simple, devout, frugal, and industrious people to the
pioneer assailants of the North American wilderness. The ancient
records and the published annals of the town afford a quaintly
interesting picture of early New England civilization. Its background
is the rock of religious faith, and to repeat the chronicles of the
Bedford church for the eighteenth century is to write the history
of the township for that period. The original grant required the
maintenance of "a learned, orthodox ministry." The petition for
the charter of Bedford set forth that "your petitioners, as to
our particular persuasion in Christianity, are generally of the
Presbyterian denomination," and assigned as the chief reason for asking
incorporation that they "having been long destitute of the gospel, are
now desirous of taking the proper steps in order to have it settled
among us," but "not being incorporated by civil authority are in no
capacity to raise those sums of money which may be needful." The
official records of formal township proceedings abound in such entries
as these:

  _Feb. 15. 1748._ _Voted_--That one third of the time, Preaching
  shall be to accommodate the inhabitants at the upper end of the
  town; one other third part, at the lower end of the town; the last
  third, about Strawberrie hill.

  _July 26, 1750._ _Voted_, There be a call given to the Rev. Mr.
  Alexander Boyd, to the work of the ministry in this town.

  _March 28, 1753._ _Voted_, Unanimously, to present a call for Mr.
  Alexander McDowell, to the Rev'd Presbytery for the work of the
  ministry in this town.

  _March 13, 1757._ _Voted_,--That Capt. Moses Barron, Robert Walker,
  and Samuel Patten, be a committee for boarding and shingling the

  _March, 1767._ _Voted_,--That the same committee who built the
  pulpit, paint it, and paint it the same color the Rev. Mr.
  McGregor's pulpit is, in Londonderry.

  _June, 1768._ The meeting-house glass lent out[1]; Matthew Little's
  account of the same. David Moore had from Matthew Little, six
  squares of the meeting-house glass; Daniel Moor had 4 squares of
  the same, Dea. Gilmore had of the same, 24 squares. _November 20,
  1768_, the Rev. Mr. John Houston, had 24 squares of the same; Hugh
  Campbell had 12 squares of the same; Dea. Smith is to pay Whitfield
  Gilmore 6 squares of the same; James Wallace had 15 squares of the
  same; John Bell had 9 squares of the same; Joseph Scobey, one quart
  of oil.

  A true record.

                                    Attest, WILLIAM WHITE, _Town Clerk_.

  [Extract from the "town meeting warrant" (call) for 1779]: As for
  some time past, the Sabbath has been greatly profaned, by persons
  traveling with burthens upon the same, when there is no necessity
  for it,--to see whether the town will not try to provide some
  remedy for the same, for the future.

The Bedford church has been ever the center of all public activity.
Its officers have been the officers of the town. From its pulpit
have been made all formal announcements. Within its walls have been
inspired every important home measure, and its influence has stimulated
each wise public action. In the early records the school-house also
shares prominence with the meeting-house, and the later generations of
Bedford's inhabitants were men and women of solid primary education and
thorough religious training. Thrift and industry made them prosperous,
and they raised large families of powerful men and vigorous women.
The mothers and daughters shared in the field work, and even carried
on foot to Boston the linen thread from their busy spinning wheels.
Physical and moral strength characterized the race, and they built up
a community of comfortable homes, severe virtues, strong religious
instincts, a stern morality, and long lives. Neither poverty nor riches
were to be found among them, and the simplest habits prevailed. Silks
were unknown, and homemade linen was the choicest fabric. Brown bread
was the staple of life, and wheat flour a luxury. Tea and coffee were
rarely seen, but barley broth was on all tables. Shoes were only worn
in winter, except to church on Sundays when they were carried in the
hand to the neighborhood of the meeting-house. The saddle and pillion
were used in journeys. Splinters and knots of pitch pine furnished
lights. The hymns were "deaconed out" by the line at the meeting-house,
and at the appearance of the first bass-viol in the gallery (about
1790) there was a fierce rebellion among the more austere of the
worshipers. There was community of effort in all important enterprises,
and no man needed aught if his neighbor could supply it.

But this frontier picture is not wholly stern in its lines. Along with
this simplicity of life and severity of religious doctrine there was no
lack of frolic and rough joking, and the other rugged characteristics
were relieved by shrewd wit and native humor. The annals of Bedford
are entertaining and abound in such anecdotes as these: Deacon John
Orr (the grandfather of the mother of Zachariah Chandler) was a sturdy
Irish-Scotchman, whose temper under extreme provocation once got
the better of his devoutness and led him into a vigorous profanity
of speech. This glaring dereliction in a church officer called for
reprimand, and he was waited upon by the minister and a delegation of
his brethren who asked, "How could you suffer yourself to speak so?"
"Why, what was it?" His offending language was repeated to him. "And
what o' that!" said he, "D'ye expect me to be a' spirit and nae flesh?"
Late in life Deacon Orr visited Boston with a load of produce and
put up at a house of entertainment where, after he had drunk several
cups of tea, and refused a final invitation, the landlady said that
it was customary to turn the cup upside down to show that no more
was wanted. He apologized and promised to remember the injunction.
The next morning he partook of a huge bowl of bread and milk for
breakfast, and not wanting the whole laid down his spoon and turned
the dish upside down with its contents on the table. The hostess was
naturally angry, but was met with the statement that he had merely
followed her own direction. The answer of a brother deacon to one of
the congregation who complained, "I could na' mak yesterday's preaching
come together," was a compend of practical Christianity: "Trouble
yourself na' about that, man--a' ye have to do, man, is to fear God
and keep His commandments." It is also told that the objections of one
of the staunch Scotch Presbyterians of Bedford to the marriage of his
daughter with an urgent suitor of Catholic parentage were overcome by
the apt query, "If a man happened to be born in a stable would that
make him a horse?" And to one of the rural theologians of the town
is credited this contribution to ecclesiastical distinctions: "The
difference between the Presbyterians and Congregationalists is this:
The Congregationalist goes home and eats a regular dinner between
services, but the Presbyterian postpones his until after meeting."
After a most vigorous quarrel between the minister and one of the flock
over a boundary line dispute, the wrathful member of the congregation
was prompt at service on Sunday with the following explanation: "I'd
have ye to know, if I did quarrel with the minister, I did not quarrel
with the Gospel."

That this was a community of uncompromising patriotism follows from its
character. In the French and Indian war the New England forces were at
one time under command of Col. John Goffe, of Bedford, and the number
of privates enlisted from that town was large. The New Hampshire
regiment which joined the expedition of General Amherst against Canada,
commanded by Colonel Goffe, was raised largely among the Scotch-Irish
emigrants of Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, and had in its ranks
many Bedford men. In the Revolutionary War a large portion of its
able-bodied citizens were in the first American army that beleaguered
Boston and fought at Bunker Hill; nearly or quite half of all who
could handle a musket were with Stark at Bennington, and with Gates at
Saratoga. General Stark lived but a few rods from the town line on the
north, and one of his most trusted officers was Lieutenant, afterwards
Colonel, John Orr, of Bedford. The town records abound with votes taken
to carry out the measures proposed by the Continental Congress, and
also chronicle one case of semi-Toryism and its punishment. In 1776
Congress advised the disarming of all who were disaffected towards the
American cause, and the selectmen of the New Hampshire towns circulated
this pledge among their people:

  In consequence of the above Resolution of the Continental Congress,
  and to show our determination in joining our American brethren, in
  defending the lives, liberties, and properties of the inhabitants
  of the United Colonies, We, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly
  engage and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our power, at
  the risk of our lives and fortunes, with arms, oppose the hostile
  proceedings of the British Fleets and Armies against the United
  American Colonies.

Among its Bedford signers were John Orr, Zachariah Chandler, and Samuel
Patten (all ancestors of Zachariah Chandler,) and the report made from
that town was this:

  To the honorable, the Council and House of Representatives, for
    the Colony of New Hampshire, to be convened in Exeter, in said
    Colony, on Wednesday, 5th inst.

  Pursuant to the within precept, we have taken pains to know the
  minds of the inhabitants of the town of Bedford, with respect to
  the within obligation, and find none unwilling to sign the same,
  except _the Rev. John Houston_, who declines signing the said
  obligation, for the following reasons: Firstly, Because he did
  not apprehend that the honorable Committee meant that Ministers
  should take up arms, as being inconsistent with their ministerial
  charge. Secondly, Because he was already confined to the County of
  Hillsborough, therefore, he thinks he ought to be set at liberty
  before he should sign the said obligation. Thirdly, Because there
  are three men belonging to his family already enlisted in the
  Continental Army.

Mr. Houston, who was thus officially reported as the only Bedford Tory,
had occupied the town pulpit for over fifteen years, and was a man of
scholarship and purity, but he had become a loyalist in sympathy at
the outbreak of the Revolutionary troubles, and was as inflexible in
conviction as his neighbors. Originally (in 1756) the town had voted
that his salary should be at the rate of forty pounds sterling a year
for such Sundays as they desired his services. When they felt unable to
pay they voted him one or more Sundays for himself, and then deducted
from his salary proportionately. In 1775, after prolonged controversy
with him, his case was brought before town-meeting (on June 15th), and
he was unanimously dismissed by the adoption of a vote setting off for
his own use all the Sabbaths remaining in the calendar year. The town
records contain this explanation of the action:

  _June 15, 1775._ _Voted_--Whereas, we find that the Rev'd Mr. John
  Houston, after a great deal of tenderness and pains taken with
  him, both in public and private, and toward him, relating to his
  speeches, frequently made both in public and private, against the
  rights and privileges of America, and his vindicating of King and
  Parliament in their present proceedings against the Americans; and
  having not been able hitherto to bring him to a sense of his error,
  and he has thereby rendered himself despised by people in general,
  and by us in particular, and that he has endeavored to intimidate
  us against maintaining the just rights of America: Therefore, we
  think it not our duty as men or Christians, to have him preach any
  longer with us as our minister.

The resolute and uncompromising spirit, which thus sternly resented
and punished unpatriotic sympathies in one whom the people had been
accustomed to hold in reverence, was manifested on all occasions. This
is a document of later date, signed by a Bedford committee, which seems
not to have been suggested by any outside action, but to have resulted
from the impulses of the citizens themselves:

                                                _Bedford, May 31, 1783._

  To Lieut. John Orr, Representative at the General Court of the
    State of New Hampshire:--

  Sir:--Although we have full confidence in your fidelity and public
  virtue, and conceive that you would at all times pursue such
  measures only as tend to the public good, yet upon the particular
  occasion of our instructing you, we conceive that it will be an
  advantage to have your sentiments fortified by those of your

  The occasion is this; the return of those persons to this country,
  who are known in Great Britain by the name of loyalist, but in
  America, by those of conspirators, absentees, and tories;

  We agree that you use your influence that these persons do not
  receive the least encouragement to return to dwell among us, they
  not deserving favor, as they left us in the righteous cause we were
  engaged in, fighting for our undoubted rights and liberties, and as
  many of them acted the part of the most inveterate enemies.

  And further,--that they do not receive any favor of any kind, as we
  esteem them as persons not deserving it, but the contrary.

  You are further directed to use your influence, that those who are
  already returned, be treated according to their deserts.

In the War of 1812 there were more than two hundred men in Bedford
armed and in readiness to march whenever called upon, and in this two
hundred was one company of about sixty men over forty years of age
and therefore exempt from military duty. In the War of the Rebellion
Bedford invariably filled its quota without draft and without high
bounties, and it paid its war debt promptly.

It was in this community of stalwart, clear-headed, freedom-loving,
sturdily honest, and uncompromisingly sincere men and women, that
Zachariah Chandler was born and that the foundations of his character
were durably laid.


[1] The glass for the meeting-house was procured before the building
was ready for it, and it was loaned to different members; the careful
record kept shows how scarce and costly an article it then was.



The Chandlers of New England are the descendants of William Chandler,
who came from England in the days of the Puritan immigration--about
1637--and settled in Roxbury, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Chandlers of Bedford, N. H., are the posterity of one of his
descendants, Zechariah Chandler of Roxbury, who was among the grantees
of Souhegan-East in the right of his wife, the daughter of a soldier
in King Philip's War. They were the conspicuous English family in that
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian settlement, and their farm is the only one in
that town which is still in possession of the lineal descendants of an
original grantee. That Zechariah Chandler was a man of some means is
shown by this document, which is still on record and reads curiously
enough in the biography of a most inveterate and powerful opponent of
slavery and the slave power:

                                              BOSTON, November 11, 1740.

  Received of Mr. Zechariah Chandler, one hundred and ten pounds, in
  full, for a Negro Boy, sold and delivered him for my master, John

  £110                                            WM. MERCHANT, Jun'r.

This slave was taken to Bedford, but soon freed by his owner, when he
assumed the name of Primas Chandler. Although past the usual military
age, in 1775 he enlisted as a private in the service of the colonies,
was captured by the British at "The Cedars" and was never afterwards
heard from by his friends. He left a wife and two sons in Bedford, but
his family has since become extinct.

The first settlers in Bedford located chiefly on the rocky and hilly
territory which is now the central and most thickly inhabited portion
of the town. East of this, in the smooth and fertile intervale of
the Merrimack, judging by the names on the most ancient maps, the
settlers were chiefly of English descent, and among them was Thomas
Chandler, the son of Zechariah, and the first actual occupant of the
land granted to his father. He married Hannah, a daughter of Col. John
Goffe, by whom he had four children--three daughters and a son named
also Zachariah, who married Sarah Patten, the second daughter of Capt.
Samuel Patten. This Zachariah, the grandfather of his namesake, the
Senator, died on April 20, 1830, at the age of 79, and his widow died
in 1842, aged nearly 94. From them were descended the two families of
Chandlers, who in the present generation have been prominent in Bedford.

The oldest son of Zachariah was named Thomas, and was born August 10,
1772. He had four children--Asenath, who married Stephen Kendrick, of
Nashville; Sarah, who married Caleb Kendrick; Hannah, who married Rufus
Kendrick, a well-known citizen of Boston; and Adam, who now lives in
Manchester, where also reside his three sons, Henry and Byron, who are
connected with the Amoskeag National Bank, and John, who is a prominent
merchant of that city. The only daughter of Zachariah, Sarah, remained
single, and lived at the old homestead, which had become her property,
until her death in 1852. Throughout that whole region she was known for
years as "Aunt Sarah."


Samuel, the second son of Zachariah, was born May 28, 1774, and
married Margaret Orr, the oldest daughter of General Stark's most
trusted officer, Col. John Orr. They had seven children, one of whom
died in infancy. Those who reached maturity were Mary Jane, who was
successively married to the Rev. Cyrus Downs, the Rev. David P. Smith,
and the Rev. Samuel Lee, and who is still living, the last surviving
member of the seven, at the present homestead; Annis, who married
Franklin Moore and became a resident of Detroit; Samuel, Jr., who,
after four years at Dartmouth and Union colleges, lost his health
and died in Detroit in 1835; Zachariah, the subject of this memorial
volume; and John Orr, who, after graduating at Dartmouth, spent one
year in Andover Theological Seminary, came in feeble health to Detroit
where he was tenderly cared for by his brother, and finally went by way
of New Orleans to Cuba, where he died in January, 1839, his remains
being subsequently removed to the Bedford burying-ground. The father,
Samuel, died in Bedford on January 11, 1870, at the age of 95, and the
mother in 1855, at the age of 81.

The Chandlers during the three generations from Thomas to Samuel were
thus allied by marriage to three of the most noted families, not only
in Bedford but in New Hampshire, the Goffes, Pattens and Orrs. They
were generally long-lived, although consumption developed in different
generations, and were always prominent in town and church matters. The
Thomas Chandler who first settled in Bedford was one of the signers
of the petition for incorporation in 1750, and was conspicuously
connected with all local movements at that time. His grandson Thomas,
the Senator's uncle, was in the Legislature several terms, and in
Congress from 1829 to 1833, being elected as a Jackson Democrat. His
name is frequently mentioned in the records of the church where he was
choir-leader and where he formed a class for instruction in sacred
music. He was also selectman for many years, and held other positions
in connection with the town government. He as well as his father "kept
tavern" on one of the main New England thoroughfares of those days, and
both were widely known through that region. Samuel, the father of the
Senator, played the first bass-viol ever used in the church choir, and
helped to stem the tide of indignation with which the introduction of
this "ungodly" instrument was met by the more rigid members of that
orthodox Presbyterian body. His name often appears in the records
as clerk of the church, selectman, and town clerk. He was for over
twenty years consecutively a justice of the peace, and in his hands
was usually placed such business as the settlement of estates. In the
list of town officers the name of Chandler appears almost every year,
and in almost all church and public gatherings for over a century some
member of this family was present among the active and public-spirited


The first house built on the Chandler farm was on the east side of
the river road, and not far from the present homestead. It was torn
down many years ago, but the cellar was visible until within a
comparatively recent period. The second house was built before the
Revolutionary War, by the grandfather of the Senator, and this is
still standing, though it has been remodeled and modernized. It was
used as a tavern and court-house during that war. In this the second
Zachariah and his wife lived for many years, and in this they and their
daughter Sarah died. During their declining years they were cared for
there by the mother of Rodney M. Rollins, the present occupant and
owner of the place, and the house, with forty acres of land, was willed
to Mrs. Rollins by "Aunt Sarah" previous to her death. This was the
first alienation from the possession of the family of any part of the
Chandler farm. Although the house has been remodeled, it retains many
of its old features, and one apartment at the northwest corner has been
preserved nearly as it was at the time of the Revolution. It is called
the Revolutionary room, and has still in its furniture some of the
chairs that were there a hundred years ago, and among its fixtures an
ancient buffet, carved by hand and unchanged except by paint since 1776.

On the opposite side of the road, fronting the east, and in sight of
the Merrimack, where it takes its broad sweep above Goff's Falls, is
the present Chandler homestead, which was built by Samuel Chandler in
1800, before his marriage. It remains to-day almost precisely as first
constructed, and seems good for half a century more. Its rooms are
large, and the ceilings unusually high for a farm-house of the earlier
times. The front portion contains four large apartments on the lower
floor, and in the rear are the dining-room, the kitchen, the pantry,
and store-rooms. In the second story are five bed-rooms, with closets
and additional store-room, and above these is a spacious attic. Among
the furniture are chairs and chests of drawers of pro-revolutionary
times, one of the ancient four-post bedsteads common a hundred years
ago, and brass andirons which would delight the eyes of a lover of
antique relics. Here still lives the Senator's oldest sister, and here
the family of seven were born.

In the ancient family bible, printed in 1803 and preserved by Mrs. Lee,
is an entry of a birth, of which this is a fac-simile:

[Illustration: Zacharias Chandler

Born Decʳ. 10ᵗʰ 1813]

It will be noticed that the given name is written Zacharias. Mrs. Lee
still speaks of her brother as Zacharias, and his name is also so
printed in the Chandler genealogy in the centennial history of Bedford.
The Senator in his signatures simply used the initial of his first
name, but he ultimately adopted the ancestral Zachariah, and that was
the name which he made famous, and by which he will be known in this

Zachariah Chandler's father and paternal grandfather, Samuel and
Zachariah, are described as spare men of medium stature, but energetic
and full of endurance. His mother, Margaret Orr, was tall and powerful;
her distinguished son resembled her in face, and inherited from her
many of his most vigorous traits. She was a woman of great strength
of character and robust sense, and exercised a large influence over
her children. Her family was a remarkable one; her father was the
conspicuous man of his day in his part of New Hampshire; her brother,
Benjamin Orr, became the foremost lawyer of Maine early in the
present century, and served one term from that State in Congress; her
half-brother, the Rev. Isaac Orr, was a man of many accomplishments
and a diverse scholarship, a prolific writer on scientific and
philosophical topics, and with a claim on the general gratitude as the
inventor of the application of the air-tight principle to the common

The boy Zachariah was healthy, strong, quick-tempered, and
self-reliant, and the contrast was marked between his sturdiness
and the constitutional feebleness of his short-lived brothers. The
traditions of his childhood, still fondly cherished by his surviving
sister, all show that from his cradle he was ready to fight his own
battles, and that his "pluckiness" was innate. One juvenile anecdote
related by Mrs. Lee will illustrate scores that might be repeated: His
father's poultry-yard was ruled by a large and ill-tempered gander, the
strokes of whose horny beak were the dread of the smaller children. The
oldest brother was one day driven back by this fowl while attempting to
cross the road, when the young "Zach.," then three years old, called
out "Do, Sammy, do, I'll keep e' dander off," and rushed into a pitched
and victorious battle with the "dander," during which his brother made
good his escape.

His rudimentary education was obtained in the little brick school-house
at Bedford, which remains substantially unchanged and is still used.
Here he attended school regularly from the age of five or six until he
was fourteen or fifteen. He had an excellent memory, and was a good
scholar, standing well with others of his age. He was a leader in the
boys' sports, always active, and entering with zest into every frolic.
Of these days, one of his early playmates--now the Rev. S. G. Abbott,
of Stamford, Conn.--thus writes: "The death of Mr. Chandler revives
the memories of half a century ago. The old brick school-house where
we were taught together the rudiments of our education; the country
store where his father sold such a wonderful variety of merchandise
for the wants of the inner and outer man; the broad acres of field
and forest in the ancestral domain where we used to rove and hunt;
his uncle's 'tavern,' the cheerful home of the traveler when there
were no railroads, situated on a great thoroughfare, constantly alive
with stages, teams, cattle, sheep, swine, turkeys, and pedestrian
immigrants--all these form a picture as distinct to the mind's eye as
if a scene of the present. No unimportant feature of that picture in
my boyish memory was a rough-built, overgrown, awkward, good-natured,
popular boy, who went by the never-forgotten, familiar sobriquet of
'Zach.' He never forgot it. After more than forty years' separation,
when I called on him in the capitol, and apologized for calling him
Zach., in his old, rollicking way he said 'Oh, you can call me _old_
Zach., that's what they all call me out West.'"


In his fifteenth and sixteenth years he attended the academies at
Pembroke and Derry, with his older brother, who was fitting for
college. In the winter following he taught school one term in the
Piscataquog or "Squog" district. As is the rule in country schools,
many of the pupils were about as large as the teacher, and the "Squog"
boys had the reputation of being especially unruly. The usual disorders
commenced, but after some trouble the energetic young man from the
Chandler farm established his supremacy, and the scholars recognized
the fact that there was a head to the school. Mr. Chandler always spoke
with interest of his brief experience in teaching, although he never
claimed any particular success in that calling. While he was thus
employed the teacher of the brick school, in which he had been so long
a pupil, was a Dartmouth sophomore who in his "boarding around" was
especially welcome at the house of Samuel Chandler. This was James F.
Joy, who then formed with the young Zachariah an intimacy, which ranked
among the causes that determined Mr. Joy's own selection of Detroit as
a home, and lasted through life.

In the latter years of his school life young Chandler worked on the
farm through the summer, and the last season that he was home he took
entire charge, employing the help and superintending the labor. Thomas
Kendall, who was with him during three summers, and who is still living
in Bedford, says, "Zach. was a good man to work and a good man to
work for." He was just in his dealings with the men, but vigorous as
an overseer, and himself as good a "farm hand" as there was. Stories
are still told of his achievements in mowing contests with the men.
He had no liking, as had many of his fellows, for hunting or fishing,
but he was fond of athletic sports, and was the best wrestler in town.
"Whoever took hold of Zach.," says Mr. Kendall, "had to go down."

During one of the last years of his residence at Bedford, Mr. Chandler
was enrolled in the local militia company and turned out at the
"general muster." He did not, however, succeed in bringing himself
to perfect obedience to the orders of the young captain, whom he
knew he could easily out-wrestle and out-mow, and was arrested for
insubordination. He was kept under arrest through one afternoon, but
the court-martial which had been ordered for his trial was recalled
and he was released. He was afterwards for a short time on the staff
of the commanding officer, General Riddle, but his removal from New
Hampshire took place at about this time. After his Janesville, Wis.,
speech, two days before his death, Mr. Chandler was called upon by
the Captain Colley who had placed him under arrest nearly fifty years
before. Mr. Colley is now a resident of Rock county, Wis., and had
driven a long distance to listen to his old-time subordinate, or rather
insubordinate, and to revive with him old memories.

In the year 1833 Zachariah Chandler entered the store of Kendrick
& Foster of Nashua, and in September of that year, moved by the
same impulse that has sent so many New Englanders into the growing
territories, turned his face Westward, and in company with his
brother-in-law, the late Franklin Moore, came to the city, which from
that time to his death was his home. He had not then shown in any
marked degree the qualities which made his future success so eminent,
and was apparently simply a good specimen out of thousands of the
energetic, determined, and sagacious young men, who, leaving more
sterile New England, have subdued the forests, moulded the politics and
conducted the business of half a dozen Western States.

For the old homestead and its occupants, and for the town of Bedford,
Mr. Chandler always entertained a warm affection. He was a good
correspondent, and his home letters, which until his entrance into
public life were frequent and long, breathed a genuine feeling of
filial and brotherly affection. After his election to the Senate, with
the voluminous correspondence which his official position involved,
his letters to the old home became less frequent, but to the last
he kept up occasional communication with the surviving friends at
his birthplace. During his father's life he visited Bedford twice
or more each year, and after his father's death made at least one
annual journey there. In 1850, when the centennial celebration of the
incorporation of the township occurred, Mr. Chandler was among those
invited to be present, and sent the following letter of regret:

                                                  DETROIT, May 16, 1850.

  GENTLEMEN:--I regret exceedingly my inability to accept your kind
  invitation to be present at your Centennial Celebration of the
  settlement of the good old town of Bedford. It would have afforded
  me great pleasure to meet my old friends upon that occasion, but
  circumstances beyond my own control will prevent. The ashes of the
  dead, as well as the loved faces of the living, attract me strongly
  to my native town, and that attachment I find increasing each day
  of my life. Permit me, in conclusion, to offer: "_The town of
  Bedford_--May her descendants (widely scattered through the land)
  never dishonor their paternity."

  Be pleased to accept, for yourselves and associates, my kind
  regards, and believe me,

  Truly yours,
                                Z. CHANDLER.

His later visits were looked forward to with much interest, not only by
his relatives, but by the neighbors, to whom a talk with him was one of
the events of the year. He was there always genial and friendly, kept
up his acquaintance with the old residents, and thoroughly enjoyed his
association with them. His last visit to the homestead was after the
close of his campaign in Maine, in August, 1879. He then met many of
his boyhood friends, and enjoyed a ramble over the undulating fields
which stretch from the central hills toward the banks of the Merrimack.
And as he drove for the last time down the road from the house of his
birth toward Manchester, he pointed to a pine grove which skirts the
northern border of the Chandler farm, and said to his companion, "That,
to me, is the most beautiful grove in the world."

New Hampshire has been prolific in strong men with the granite of
its hills in the fibres of their characters. Bedford itself has been
the birthplace of scores of the leading men of the thriving city of
Manchester; of Joseph E. Worcester, the lexicographer; of Benjamin
Orr, of Maine; of David Aiken, Isaac O. Barnes, and Jacob Bell, of the
Massachusetts bar; of the Hon. David Atwood, of Wisconsin; of Judge
A. S. Thurston, of Elmira, N. Y.; of Hugh Riddle, of the Rock Island
Railroad, and Gen. George Stark, of the Northern Pacific; of the Rev.
Silas Aiken, of the Boston pulpit; and of others of large influence in
their generations. But upon no one of its sons was the impress of its
peculiar history so indelibly stamped as upon the young man who left
it to aid in founding a powerful State amid the Great Lakes, and who
became the foremost representative of that State's vigorous political
conviction and purpose.



In 1833 Zachariah Chandler, then still a minor, joined the current of
Western emigration from New York and New England which had sprung up
with the completion of the Erie canal, and in the fall of that year
entered into the retail dry-goods business at Detroit. Franklin Moore
(the husband of his sister Annis), who had already visited Michigan,
came with him as a partner in the enterprise, and the original firm
name was Moore & Chandler. At the outset the young merchant had some
assistance from his father, who, the tradition is, offered him $1,000
in cash or the collegiate education which his brothers received, the
money being chosen. Samuel Chandler also subsequently bought a store
for his son's use, but it is understood that all such advances were
speedily and fully repaid. The building in which the future Senator
first laid the foundation of his ample fortune was located where the
Biddle House now stands; it adjoined the mansion of Governor Hull, and
was subsequently transformed into the American House. Upon its shelves
Moore & Chandler displayed a small general stock, representing the
ample assortment usual in frontier stores, and saw a promising business
answer their invitations. In the following spring they removed to a
brick store (on the site now occupied by S. P. Wilcox & Co.), near the
main corner of the town (where Woodward and Jefferson avenues meet).
In the summer of 1834 Detroit was visited by the Asiatic cholera,
which appeared in malignant form, and was attended by an appalling
death rate, and an almost entire suspension of general traffic. Mr.
Chandler did not yield to the prevalent panic, but remained at his
business and was indefatigable in his efforts to relieve the universal
distress. His vigorous constitution and plain habits guarded his own
health, and he cared for the sick and buried the dead without faltering
amid the dreadful scenes of the pestilence. For weeks he and a clerk
(Mr. William N. Carpenter, of Detroit) alternated in watching by sick
beds, and, with others of like strength and courage, brightened with
unassuming heroism the gloomy picture of a season of dreadful mortality.

On August 16, 1836, the firm of Moore & Chandler was dissolved, and the
junior partner retained the established business, and continued its
vigorous prosecution. Those who knew him then describe a fair-haired,
awkward, tall, gaunt and wiry youth, blunt in his ways, simple in
habits, diffident with others, but shrewd, tireless in labor, and of
unlimited energy. He worked day and night, slept in the store, often
on the counter or a bale of goods, acted as proprietor, salesman,
or porter as was needed, lived on $300 a year, avoided society, and
allowed only the Presbyterian church to divide his attention with
business. He kept a good stock, especially strong in the staples,
bought prudently, and there was no better salesman in the West. His
trade became especially large with the farmers who used Detroit as a
market, and the unaffected manners and homely good sense of the rising
merchant soon gave him a popularity with his rural customers that
foreshadowed the strong hold of his later life on the affectionate
confidence of the yeomanry of the State.

The training which this intense application added to native vigor of
judgment early made him a thorough business man, exact in dealings,
strong in an intuitive knowledge of men, sound in his judgment of
values, prudent in ventures, and of an unflagging energy which pushed
his trade wherever an opening could be found. As interior Michigan
developed he added jobbing to his retail department, and became known
as a close and prudent buyer, a shrewd judge of credits, and a most
successful collector. A business established at the commencement of an
era of marvelous growth, pushed with such industry, drawn upon only for
the meagre expenses of a young man living with the closest economy,
and unembarrassed by speculation, meant a fortune, and at twenty-seven
years of age Mr. Chandler found himself with success assured and wealth
only a matter of patience. His nearest approach to financial disaster
was in the ruinous crash which swept "the wild-cat banks" and so many
mercantile enterprises out of existence in Michigan in the year 1838.
Like others he found it almost impossible at that time to obtain money,
and the Bank of Michigan which had promised him accommodations was
compelled by its own straitened condition to decline his paper. Thus
it happened that a note for about $5,000 given to Arthur Tappan & Co.
of New York fell due and went to protest. Mr. Chandler, accustomed to
New England strictness in business and exceedingly sensitive on the
point of meeting all engagements, was inclined to treat the protest as
bankruptcy itself, and called upon his Bedford friend, James F. Joy,
then a young lawyer in Detroit and for years afterwards Mr. Chandler's
counsel, to have a formal assignment drawn up. What followed is given
in Mr. Joy's language: "I looked carefully into his affairs, and found
them in what I believed to be a sound and healthy condition. I then
said: 'I won't draw an assignment for you, Chandler; there is no need
of it.' 'What shall I do?' was his answer, 'I can't pay that note.'
My reply was, 'Write to Tappan & Co. and say that you cannot get the
discounts that have been promised, but that if they will renew the note
you will be able to pay it when it next falls due.' He took my advice
and went through, and never had any trouble with his finances after
that. I reminded Mr. Chandler of that occurrence about two months
before his death, when he said he remembered it perfectly, and added
that if it had not been for that advice he might have been a clerk on a
salary to this day."

Mr. Chandler's was the first business in Detroit whose sales aggregated
$50,000 in a single year, and the reaching of that limit was hailed
by the community as a great mercantile triumph. He showed increasing
commercial sagacity at every stage of his active business life. He
pushed his jobbing trade in all directions and made his interior
customers his personal friends. He invested his surplus profits in
productive real estate which grew rapidly in value. He was never
tempted into speculation, and he was very reluctant to incur debt. As
a result, ten years after he landed at Detroit he had a reputation
throughout the new Northwest as a merchant of ample means, personal
honesty, large connections, and remarkable enterprise.

Between 1840 and 1850 Mr. Chandler reduced his business to a purely
wholesale basis and made himself independently and permanently rich. He
had opportunities and they were improved to the full. [And it may be
here said without exaggeration that every dollar of the fortune with
which he closed his career as an active merchant represented legitimate
business enterprise; it was the product of personal industry and good
judgment put forth in a field wisely selected and with only slight aid
at the outset.] The wiry stripling had become a stalwart man, despite a
family consumptive tendency which at times caused alarm. Prosperity did
not affect the plainness of his manners and speech, nor the simplicity
of his character, and maturity added method to, without impairing, his
powers of personal application. He was a man alive with energy and
thoroughly in earnest. He was active and influential in all public
matters in Detroit. Every year he drove through the State, visited its
cross-roads and its clearings, saw its pioneer merchants at their homes
and in their stores, made up his estimate of men and their means,
studied the growth of the State, and marked the course of the budding
of its resources. He thus kept himself thoroughly informed as to the
material development of Michigan, and acquired that intimate knowledge
of the State and its representative men which formed such an important
part of his equipment for public life. His companion in these numerous
commercial journeys was the man who succeeded him in the Senate, the
Hon. Henry P. Baldwin of Detroit, who came to Michigan largely through
his solicitations, was engaged in business for years by his side,
and remained his intimate associate through life. This part of Mr.
Chandler's career abounded in the making of friendships which endured
until death. While strict in all his dealings, he was considerate and
his sympathy was quick with struggling industry and honesty. He aided
when they needed it many who afterwards rose to position and wealth,
and these men became the most firmly attached of his supporters in his
public career.

[Illustration: THE CHANDLER BLOCK.]

Shortly after 1850 political affairs commenced to receive Mr.
Chandler's attention, and he gradually entrusted more and more of the
actual management of his large business to others, though he still for
some years directed in a general way the operations of the house. He
had been already absent one winter on a trip to the West Indies for his
health, and had made a brief and not wholly satisfactory experiment
(about 1846) at establishing a jobbing fancy-goods trade in New York.
With these exceptions he had made his Detroit dry-goods business his
personal charge. The firm name had generally been Z. Chandler & Co.,
although it was for some time Chandler & Bradford, and some of his
relatives had been and were associated with him in business. From his
second location he had moved his stock to more commodious quarters on
the site now occupied by the Chandler Block, and in 1852 he again moved
to the stores built jointly by himself and Mr. Baldwin on the southwest
corner of Woodward avenue and Woodbridge street. In 1855, as outside
matters commenced to press constantly upon Mr. Chandler's attention,
there came into his employment as a clerk a young man of twenty-three
from Kinderhook, N.Y., Allan Shelden. He showed an aptitude for
business and a capacity for work that recalled to the head of the
house his own earlier days, and Mr. Shelden's rise in his employer's
confidence was rapid and permanent. On Feb. 1, 1857, just before Mr.
Chandler took his seat as the successor of Lewis Cass in the Senate,
the firm name was changed to Orr, Town & Smith, with Mr. Chandler as a
special partner, with an interest of $50,000. In the fall of that year,
it became Town, Smith & Shelden; in the fall of 1859 it was changed to
Town & Shelden; on Feb. 1, 1866, it was again changed to the present
name of Allan Shelden & Co. Three years later Mr. Chandler ceased to
be a special partner, and thus finally sundered his formal connection
with the business he had established. The mercantile pre-eminence in
Michigan of his house in its line of trade has been maintained by his
successors, and it now occupies the magnificent Chandler Block, built
for its accommodation by its founder in 1878 on Jefferson avenue in
Detroit. Mr. Shelden himself continued in confidential relations with
his predecessor, and was entrusted in later years with the management
of a large share of his private affairs.

During his active business life no Northwestern merchant surpassed
Mr. Chandler in credit, in enterprise, or in success, and he left the
counter and office of his store with wealth and with an unsullied
mercantile character. His commercial integrity and sagacity always
remained among his marked characteristics. He made profitable
investments, became interested in remunerative enterprises, and, while
he lived generously after his income warranted it, saw his riches
steadily increase under prudent and shrewd management. At the time of
his death, his estate which was absolutely unincumbered was roughly
estimated as exceeding, at the least, two millions, representing
valuable business property in Detroit, several farms, large tracts of
timbered lands, the marsh farm at Lansing, residences in Washington and
Detroit, bank stock, government and other securities, and investments
in railroad and like enterprises. His business habits remained in full
vigor to the last. He was punctuality itself in all appointments; he
was rigid in his adherence to his engagements; he hated debt, and never
permitted the second presentation of an account; he did business on
business principles and with business exactitude; he spent money freely
but knew where and for what it went; and always his counsel was sought
and prized by men engaged in enterprises of the largest magnitude.
Without being ostentatious or profuse in his charities he was a large
giver, rarely refusing a meritorious application for aid, but he
invariably satisfied himself that the object was worthy, and put a
heartiness into his "no" when a refusal seemed to him to be in order.

His business instincts he never relaxed except for well-considered
reasons. The ditching of the marsh farm he regarded as an experiment
of far-reaching public importance, and he paid its cost cheerfully for
the sake of settling the question of the possibility of reclaiming such
lands. Some of his "imprudences" of this deliberate and well-weighed
sort proved profitable. During the war and when the credit of the
United States was at an alarmingly low ebb as shown in the ruling
prices of its bonds, he visited the city of New York in company
with Representative Rowland E. Trowbridge, of his State. On the way
there he spoke, in private, in a tone of unusual depression of the
financial difficulties of the government, and lamented the absence of
any available remedy. The next day there was a decided improvement in
the rates for "governments" on Wall street, and the firmer feeling
it created never wholly disappeared but was followed by a gradual
appreciation in this class of securities. Mr. Trowbridge called
his attention to the advance on the day following, and the Senator
answered, "I know all about it. I gave my broker orders to buy heavily
and the street, finding that out, said 'Chandler is just over from
Washington and knows something,' and so they followed my lead, and
there was a rush which sent the market up." Years afterwards, Mr.
Chandler was reminded by Mr. Trowbridge of the permanent character
of the improvement in the government's credit which attended his
speculation and of his own profit in the matter. He replied that while
he had sold many of his bonds bought during the war, he still held
those which came into his possession at that time, cherishing them
for their associations with an investment which he made at some risk
to help the treasury in its difficulties and which had proved very

During his public life information legitimately acquired and the
broadening of his judgment by contact with men undoubtedly helped his
investments, and thus added to his wealth, but individual pecuniary
advantage he resolutely ignored in shaping his public career. And his
sturdy incorruptibility as a legislator was proverbial at the capital.
An illustration of this fact was shown in his strenuous resistance to
and emphatic denunciation of the bills to remonetize and coin without
limit the old silver dollar. While these measures were pending he had
considerable investments in silver mining stocks, which would have been
greatly increased in value by the proposed policy, but, showing one
day to a friend a large draft representing a silver-mine dividend, he
said, "I ought for personal reasons to favor these bills, but I can't
consent to make money at the expense of the people." Another incident
exemplifies this phase of his character: In February, 1873, the city
of Manistee, on the shore of Lake Michigan, sent Gen. B. M. Cutcheon
to Washington to secure an increased appropriation for the improvement
of its harbor. Senator Chandler, as the chairman of the Committee on
Commerce and with a reputation for vigilance in caring for Michigan
interests, was naturally relied upon for valuable assistance. He
received General Cutcheon cordially, gave his personal attention to the
matter of introducing the representative of Manistee to influential
Congressmen and to department officials, and then made an appointment
for the consideration of what his own share in the work should be.
At that private meeting he expressed to General Cutcheon his cordial
sympathy with his errand, but added, "My hands are tied; the fact is
that I am interested in large tracts of pine on the Manistee river,
and, if I should take charge of your appropriation, it would be said,
'Chandler is feathering his own nest;' and if I am going to retain my
influence for good here, I must keep clear of even the suspicion of a

The great multitude who knew Mr. Chandler as a public man knew
nothing of this early chapter of business life. It wholly ante-dated
his appearance at Washington, and the channels in which his strong
energies made themselves felt there and in his younger days were widely
distinct. But it is a fact that he was a remarkable man of business and
as thorough a merchant as ever developed in the West a great trade from
small beginnings. His was a doubly successful career. Before he had
reached middle age he had won success in business and a fortune. Then
he entered public life and made himself a leader of men in a historic



The forty-six years of Zachariah Chandler's life in Michigan saw a vast
material empire supplant an almost unbroken wilderness. His commercial
enterprise and success and his labors as a legislator were among the
influential agents in this marvelous development and give its story a
title to a place in his biography.

As early as 1634 Jesuits Brebuef, Daniel and Davost, following a route
explored by Samuel Champlain eighteen years before, passed up the
River Ottawa, across Lake Nipissing, down French river and along the
lonely shores of the great Georgian bay to the dark forests bordering
Lake Huron. Brebuef reached there first; Daniel came later, weary and
worn; Davost came last of all, half dead with famine and fatigue.[2]
Champlain had been before them, and other explorers preceded Champlain,
but these three were the first Europeans who made a habitation by the
shores of the great lakes which roll their tireless flood down through
the gateway of Detroit. They erected a hut, and daily rang a bell to
call the surrounding savages to prayers. Behind them was the tangled
forest they had penetrated; at their feet were the broad waters of
Lake Huron; beyond--toward the setting sun--was an abyss so soundless
that no echo had ever come from it. And these three soldiers of the
cross, converters of the heathen, unarmed and alone amid a multitude
of savages, were the advance ripples of the mighty wave that two
centuries later was to break across the lake at their feet and the
rivers below them and surge over the trackless wilderness beyond.

Seven years later (September, 1641,) Charles Raymbault and Isaac Jaques
embarked in a frail birch-bark canoe, paddling northwest from Georgian
bay among the countless islands of the St. Marie river, amid scenery
that filled them with delight. After seventeen days the Sault de St.
Marie burst upon their enraptured vision. There they were welcomed
"as brothers" by the Chippewas and there began the first known white
settlement in Michigan.

On the 28th of August, 1660, Rene Mesnard left Quebec, resolved to
make greater progress in the exploration of the Northwest. He ascended
the Sault in a canoe, coasted along the northern shore of the upper
peninsula of Michigan, and on the 15th of October of that year reached
the head of Keweenaw bay to which he gave the name of St. Theresa.
Eight years later (1668) a permanent mission was established at the
Sault. In the autumn of 1678 occurred an event forever memorable in the
annals of Michigan. There was then laid on the Niagara river the keel
of the first large vessel built on the shores of the great lakes. It
was completed and launched early in the following summer, and on the
7th of August, 1679 (200 years ago), amid the discharges of arquebuses
and the sound of swelling _Te Deums_ it began the first voyage ever
made by Europeans upon the upper inland seas of North America. This was
the "Griffin," sixty tons burden, carrying five guns, with La Salle
commander, Hennepin missionary and journalist, and a crew of Canadian
fur traders. Three days later (August 10), after many soundings, they
reached the islands grouped at the entrance of Detroit river. They
thus knew the lake was navigable by vessels of large size--this was
one step toward solving the destiny of the West. Ascending the river,
the explorers passed by a large number of Indian villages; these had
been visited years before by Jesuit missionaries and _coureurs des
bois_. Some fix the date as early as 1610, but others make it later,
no names being given in either case. Louis Hennepin gives the earliest
description of the river: "The strait (De troit) is finer than Niagara,
being one league broad, excepting that part which forms the lake that
we have called St. Clair." The strait once voyaged and understood, its
value was quickly appreciated by the French as a means of resisting the
inroads of the persevering English (who from New York and New England
were pressing upon their possessions in the East), and of preventing
British interference with the valuable hunting privileges or with
the Indian tribes dwelling upon the borders of the Northern lakes.
With this in view the Marquis de Nonville, Governor-General of the
Canadas, ordered (June 6, 1686) M. Du Lhut, who had been commandant at
Michilimackinac, "to establish a post on the Detroit, near Lake Erie,
with a garrison of fifty men," and the order added, "I desire you to
choose an advantageous place to secure the passage, which may protect
our savages who go to the chase, and serve them as an asylum against
their enemies and ours." In obedience to these instructions, M. Du Lhut
proceeded to the entrance of the strait from Lake Huron, where he built
a fort and established a trading post (on the site of the present Fort
Gratiot) which he called Fort St. Joseph. Thus (1686) was made the
first settlement by Europeans in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

The misfortunes of the war with England which terminated with the peace
of Ryswick (Sept. 1, 1697,) still further convinced the most sagacious
of the leading French colonists of the importance of a fort on the
Detroit river which would command this channel of communication with
the great lakes above. Impressed with this fact, Antoine de la Mothe
Cadillac, a Gascon sailor who amid a career of romantic adventure came
to be commandant at Michilimackinac, crossed the Atlantic in person,
and earnestly and repeatedly pressed upon the colonial minister, Count
Ponchartrain, the necessity of the prompt establishment of a permanent
post on the Detroit, where it would bring the French forces in closer
proximity to the Iroquois and would give them command of the waters
of the upper lakes and of the great fur trading regions about them.
Cadillac did not urge this as a missionary enterprise but for its
commercial and military advantages, and the force and vigor of his
representations prevailed at the palace. He sailed from France with the
royal order, "Take prompt possession of Detroit," with this supplement
from Ponchartrain: "Prosecute vigorously; if the Jesuits obstruct,
return and report." Cadillac arrived in Quebec early in the first year
of the eighteenth century (March 8). Three months later (June 5) his
preparations were made, and on that day he took his departure from La
Chine. With him were Captain Tonti, Lieutenants Dugue and Chacornacle,
fifty soldiers, and fifty Canadian traders and artisans. Nineteen days
later he arrived upon the site of the present city of Detroit. In his
memoir Cadillac wrote: "I arrived at Detroit, July 24 (1701), and
fortified myself there immediately. I had the necessary huts made and
cleared up the ground preparatory to its being sowed in the autumn."
When he touched the shore of Michigan, with pomp and ceremony he
erected a cross, a cedar post beside it; then with a sword in one hand
and a sod in the other he made solemn proclamation with many words of
"possession taken" of all the country round about, from the great lakes
to the south seas, in the name of the King of France.

Thus French Michigan began, and so it remained until Wolfe's victory
gave new rulers to Canada and to all the French possessions beyond.
On Nov. 29, 1760, the French flag floated for the last time over
Detroit, as a part of the dominion of France. On that day Maj. Robert
Rogers, an English provincial officer, native of New Hampshire, took
possession in the name of another king, ran up the Cross of St. George,
fired a salute, gave some round British cheers, and (the Treaty of
Paris confirming this occupation) Michigan was English. It so remained
until the Revolution and the treaty of 1783 made it American. But
it was not until thirteen years after (1796) that it was evacuated
by the British garrison; in June of that year Captain Porter with a
detachment of American troops entered the fort and hoisted the Union
flag for the first time, and took formal possession in the name of the
United States. The Hull surrender again swept Detroit and that part of
Michigan lying within its command under the Cross of St. George (Aug.
16, 1812,) to remain until Perry's victory and the subsequent military
successes of General Harrison expelled the English and restored it
permanently to the Union, on Sept. 28, 1813. During the Revolution
Detroit was the headquarters of British power in the Northwest, and
from it were sent out the expeditions which ravaged the frontiers of
Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The British captain, Rogers, who took possession in 1760, afterwards
reported the population (1765) as: Able-bodied men, 243; women, 164;
children, 294--total, 701. This was exclusive of the garrison, who
were sent away as prisoners of war, and included the 60 men, women and
children who were slaves. He also reported that of the French families
remaining in the settlement there were 23 men able to bear arms, 24
women, and 41 children. The others were probably English who had
followed upon the track of the troops. Captain Rogers's report gives
strength to this supposition. It says: "There are in the fort many
English merchants, several of whom have bought houses." Then it gives
this insight into the industrial condition of the settlement: "Of farms
there are 40, and some fourscore acres in depth with a frontage on
the river; of these several farms are at present in cultivation." The
number of acres under cultivation is given as 404; number of bushels
of wheat raised the preceding year, 670; bushels of corn, 1,884. The
report quaintly adds: "The Indian corn would have been in greater
abundance, had proper care been taken of it; the most part has been
devoured by birds."

Here remote from the world, with the joyous sparkling of the great
river at their feet, the luxuriance of the forest about them, the
cottages of the settlers peeping out from the green foliage in which
they were half hidden, these simple colonists lived uneventful lives,
surrounded by the beauty and the bounties of nature. The forests teemed
with game, the marshes with wild fowl, and the rivers with fish. The
long winters were seasons of enjoyment. In summer and autumn traders,
voyageurs, _coureurs des bois_, and half-breeds gathered from the
distant Northwest, and the settlement was boisterous with rude frolic
and gaiety. This was Detroit and Michigan in 1765.[3]

Between the French surrender and American occupancy, little was done
toward the development of the peninsulas. In 1796 there were a few
straggling settlements on the Detroit river, as also on Otter creek
and on the rivers Rouge, Pointe aux Tremble, and other small streams
flowing into Lake Erie. The French Canadians had extended their farms
to a considerable distance along the banks of the St. Clair. Detroit
was a small cluster of rude wooden houses, defended by a fort, and
surrounded by pickets. Villages of the Ottawas and Pottawatamies stood
on the present site of the city of Monroe, and near them were a few
primitive cabins constructed of logs, erected by the French on either
bank of the river Raisin; this was called Frenchtown, and is now part
of Monroe. On the upper lakes there were the posts on the island of
Mackinac, at St. Marie, and at St. Joseph (on the St. Joseph river).
The transition from France to England  had given the monopoly of the
fur trade to the Hudson Bay Company, thus changing the direction of
its profits; otherwise the effect upon Michigan had been a change of
masters, flag and garrison, and little else. And the shifting from
England to the United States also meant only new faces and new colors
in the fort; otherwise it was for the time effectless.

The interior of the country was but little known except to those
engaged in the fur trade, and they were interested in depreciating
its value. Even as late as 1807 the Indian titles had only been
partially extinguished, and no portion of the public domain had been
brought into the market. The opposite shore was occupied by a vigilant
and jealous foreign power. The interior of the future State swarmed
with the savages who yet made it their home, and an Indian war was
threatening. These things repelled the tide of immigration that was
already surging over Ohio and the country bordering on the Ohio river.
Fourteen years after American possession the population of Michigan
was given as: Whites, 4,384; free blacks, 120; slaves, 24--total,
4,528. Five years before the number of householders in the lower
peninsula was officially given as 525. There are antecedent estimates
of population and assertions, but no facts that can be relied on. It
is, however, probable that at the time of the British evacuation (1796)
the population did not exceed 2,500 souls, for two years afterwards
(1798) Wayne county, then co-extensive with the present State of
Michigan, sent a representative to Chillicothe, where it was claimed
that the Northwest Territory was entitled to a delegate in Congress
because there were then 5,000 inhabitants within its boundaries. It can
scarcely be possible that half of that aggregate was in Michigan alone,
and that its settlers then equaled in numbers those scattered over
the inviting and fertile region which now includes the powerful and
populous States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

The growth of the decade succeeding 1810 was trifling. In 1820 the
census showed but 9,048 souls in Michigan Territory, which included
the present State and the region beyond the lakes north of Illinois.
The war was over. Indian depredations had ceased and the Indian titles
had been quieted. The perils of settlement were removed. The seeming
obstacles of the toil and privations of frontier existence were mere
cobwebs in the way of the hardy and adventurous. But there yet remained
serious impediments to Michigan's growth. Distance was one, for the
State was still difficult of access, and canals and railroads were yet
in the future. A more serious impediment was a blunder. On May 6, 1812,
Congress passed an act requiring that 2,000,000 acres of land should
be surveyed in Michigan Territory. The surveyors went into the forest
with their chains and poles, and the result was a report to Congress
which may be thus summarized: "Many lakes of great extent; marshes
on their margins; marshes between; other places covered with coarse
high grass; this grass covered with water from six inches to three
feet; lakes and swamps over half the country; the intermediate space
poor, barren and sandy; the dry land composed of sand-hills, with deep
basins between and more water; the margins of many of the streams and
lakes literally afloat, or thinly covered with a sward of grass with
water and mud underneath; the country altogether so bad that there
would not be more than one acre out of a hundred, if there would be
one out of a thousand, that would in any case admit of cultivation."
Official stupidity had its effect on Congress, and in 1816 (April 29)
that body cancelled the survey order, and abandoned Michigan to the
hunters and trappers and their game. For two years this continued;
but the adventurous would plunge into the wilderness and would come
back and talk of beautiful valleys, broad prairies and fertile soils.
Explorations widened and a multitude of witnesses came with their facts
to prove that the curtain of forest concealed something more inviting
than marsh and barren and sand-hill. Then the government (1818) ordered
a new survey and out of all this came part of the truth, namely: There
was in this wilderness an immense variety of forest trees--oak, maple,
ash, elm, sycamore, locust, butternut, walnut, poplar, whitewood,
beech, hemlock, spruce, tamarack, chestnut, white, yellow, and Norway
pine. There were plains and natural parks; there were level prairies
and hills rising with gradual swell away to the center of the State.
Of soils there were deep sandy loams mixed with limestone pebbles,
deep vegetable moulds mingled with clay producing dense and luxuriant
vegetation, brown loams mingled with clay, deep vegetable moulds with a
surface covering of black sands. There was water in abundance, rivers
and streams and creeks and beautiful lakes. All these reports and more,
confirmed and re-confirmed by pioneers and surveyors, came back from
the interior, until the exceeding richness and great agricultural value
of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan was established.

But another event was to exercise a most important influence upon the
future State. In 1817 the first steamer upon the Northern lakes, the
"Ontario," was launched, and, amid bonfires, illuminations and most
lively demonstrations of joy, made her first trip upon Lake Ontario.
This heralded the dawn of a material revolution. One year later, on the
27th day of August, 1818, the "Walk-in-the-water," the first steamer
launched above Niagara Falls, came up to the wharves of Detroit after
a passage of forty-four hours from Buffalo. This vessel, of only 340
tons, and lost three years later, was a puny affair, but wise men
saw in her advent the promise of a future which time has more than
realized. Then in the wake of the steamer, Congress (1819) ordered
the public lands of Michigan placed in the market for sale. At this
time Detroit contained 250 houses, 1,415 inhabitants, and the entire
territory a population of 8,896. In 1825 the Erie canal was completed,
and its far-sighted projector, De Witt Clinton, sailed amid national
acclamations from Lake Erie to tide-water. It completed the link of
direct water communication with Michigan, and the stream of Western
emigration was quickly swollen to a torrent.

Mr. Chandler first came to Michigan in 1833. Three years before (1830)
the census of the entire territory, as it was constituted when Illinois
was admitted to the Union, was 32,531. The growth during the preceding
decade had been steady, not immense; that was to come after. It was
in the year of 1833 that the first settlement was made in the present
State of Iowa. And in that fall (September) the people of Detroit were
rejoicing that "arrangements were in train for the establishment of a
new stage-line route to Chicago, by which travelers can go from one
place to the other in five days." There was not then a mile of railroad
in the territory, and not until five years after (1838) was the first
twenty-nine miles completed to Ypsilanti. Detroit was still a frontier
post numbering less than 4,000 inhabitants. On all the Western lakes at
the beginning of that year there were but eighteen steamers, ranging
from fifty to 395 tons in burden, and aggregating but 3,710 tons, and
with the best of these a voyage of thirty-nine hours from Buffalo to
Detroit was a remarkable passage. All this was improvement; yet the
Detroit merchant in that year could not expect to receive his purchases
made in New York within less than from three to six months after the
time of setting out to procure them. During the winter steamboats and
river craft were ice-bound, and the settlements at Detroit, the River
Raisin and elsewhere throughout the broad peninsula, were shut out from
the Eastern world, except as travelers braved the tedious and painful
staging through Canada to Buffalo, with its week of continuous day and
night journeying.

A year later (1834) Congress defined the boundaries of Michigan
Territory. Let the finger trace on the atlas the northern borders
of Ohio and Indiana, follow around the south shore of Lake Michigan
to the boundary between Wisconsin and Illinois, pursue that line to
the Mississippi river, then down its stream to the north line of the
State of Missouri, along that westward to the Missouri, and up that
river until between the 25th and 26th degrees of west longitude the
finger reaches the faint line, coming down into the Missouri from the
north, of the White Earth river--all the land and lakes between the
Detroit straits and this little White Earth river and between the
line so traced and the British possessions, was Michigan Territory in
1834 and until Michigan was admitted as a State into the Union. It
was an imperial domain, larger than Sweden and Norway united; nearly
three times greater than England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the
Channel islands; surpassing the united territories of France, Belgium,
Switzerland, Denmark and The Netherlands; even exceeding the combined
acreage of Italy and the German Empire. Yet in all this region, when
Mr. Chandler displayed his first stock of goods in Detroit, there
was not one mile of railroad or telegraph, not one steam mill or
manufactory, but one city approaching 4,000 inhabitants and not one
exceeding it, and not a single mile of paved street or sewerage. There
was but one water-works, and no gas-works. There was not one daily
newspaper, and but few of any kind. The valuable iron deposits of
the Upper Peninsula were undiscovered. The wealth of pine timber was
unknown. In the previous year (1832) the total value of foreign and
domestic produce exported from Michigan amounted to but the trifling
sum of $9,234, and in the preceding federal census (1830) the entire
civilized population of this vast area of limitless possibilities was
less than 33,000, although there were then in the Union twenty-four
States with a population of 12,866,020.

[Illustration: DETROIT TN 1834.]

Mr. Chandler came in with the first swell of the great tide of
emigration which broke over Michigan Territory. Up to within a brief
period preceding, that extensive and fertile region was scarcely known
except as it appeared on maps. Its rich prairies, its fertile plains,
its deep forests with all their wealth, were a _terra incognita_ to all
white men except the fur traders. But it was being rapidly known and
understood. Its fame had rolled back over the East, and the fruits were
seen in the new faces and sturdy forms swarming to Detroit as a point
of departure to the new and beautiful land. In that year (1833) it was
a matter of boasting that as many as "one hundred and seventy-five
emigrants had landed in Detroit in one day." The next year _Niles'
Register_ had a report from Detroit that the arrivals had reached the
magnificent proportions of "nine hundred and sixty in one day," and
that "the streets of Detroit were full of wagons loading and departing
for the West," principally for the region about Grand river. And the
same journal said: "The character of these emigrants is in every
respect a subject of felicitation. They will give Michigan a capital
stock of wealth and moral worth unequaled by any of the newly-formed
States, and scarcely approximated by Ohio."

In 1833 and for more than a year afterward the business part of Detroit
was confined to the narrow space bounded by Wayne and Randolph streets,
Jefferson avenue and the river, and at the same time there were but few
buildings on Jefferson avenue above Rivard, and but one on Woodward
avenue north of State street. Old wind-mills lined the shores; the
little unsightly French carts clattered through the streets; ducks,
geese and pigs were the only city scavengers. This sounds like another
age--another continent--but it was the Detroit and Michigan of but
forty-six years ago. Change came with population--slowly at first, then
with increased speed, then with immense strides. Mr. Chandler lived
to see it all and to be a part of it. He came with the early tide
of population; he saw the tide rising, at first languid, halting and
uncertain; he saw it year by year gathering momentum and volume until
it swelled and rolled over Michigan a mighty flood of brawn and brain,
of enterprise and conscience.

On the fifth day of November, 1879, tens of thousands of people looked
upon the dead face of the stalwart Senator and followed his body to
its last resting place in the city to which he had come in 1833.
Forty-six years and a few weeks had passed; no more. But in that time
the city which he made his home had spread its wings until it covered
an area of thirteen and a half square miles, with 300 miles of streets
(seventy-six miles paved), and some of them among the broadest and
most beautiful in the world, shaded by rows of graceful trees of
luxuriant foliage, and adorned by stores and private residences rich
in finish and architecture. It had 200 miles of water-mains and 150
miles of sewers, making it one of the most perfectly-drained cities
on the continent. Its population had grown to be 120,000, and its
taxable wealth to exceed $87,000,000. School buildings, representing
a public investment of $650,000 and accommodating 15,000 pupils, were
scattered through its wards, and numerous churches and abundant public
and private charitable institutions made proclamation of the faith and
philanthropy of its citizens. Great manufacturing enterprises lined its
wharves and suburbs; scores of railroad trains arrived at and departed
from its depots daily; and the commerce of the lakes was passing along
its river front at the rate of thousands of tons hourly.

But the change in Michigan had been no less marvelous. The State
has a representation in the present Congress of the United States
exceeding that of any one of eight of the first States of the
Union, equaling the representation of that of two others (Georgia
and Virginia), and only exceeded by that of three of the original
thirteen--Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. In a single
county of the Upper Peninsula, in 1833 supposed to be only a mass of
barren, uninviting and uninhabitable rocks, there are three cities
either one of which has a greater population than the Detroit of that
day, and in Michigan out of its forty-three cities and 178 villages
(April, 1879) there are over thirty more populous than Detroit in
1833--some of them with populations from five to eight times greater.
The people of the State are a million and a half in number, spread over
the greater part of the Lower Peninsula, about the Sault, and from
Marquette to Ontonagon and south to Menominee in the Upper Peninsula.
Its newspapers have grown to twenty-three dailies and over 300 with
less frequent issues. Its railroads have developed from non-existence
to 3,500 miles, owned by thirty-six corporations, connecting Detroit
and the principal cities of Michigan with all portions of the State,
penetrating to every center of population and industry, costing over
$160,000,000, and paying in each year for salaries and operating
expenses over $13,000,000. Strong institutions for the care of the
deaf and dumb and the blind and for the insane, a thriving college
for agricultural education, and that noblest monument of the wisdom
and forethought of the latter-day founders of Michigan, the State
University, were all planted in these years. And with this, the public
school system was nourished until there are over 300 graded schools and
over 6,000 public schools in the State, with property valued at over
$9,000,000, paying almost $2,000,000 yearly in teachers' wages, and
with annual resources amounting to nearly $4,000,000. In the mountains
of the Upper Peninsula, so long reputed a barren wilderness, have been
discovered exhaustless mines of the richest iron ores and the most
extensive and valuable copper deposits known on the globe. The Saginaw
Valley has poured a briny stream of wealth upon the State from its
unfailing salt-wells, and from the forests about and beyond to the
westernmost limits of Michigan have been gathered great treasures of
pine and hard woods. And while nature was yielding its hidden stores
to enrich the State its skilled citizens were not idle. Over 10,000
manufacturing establishments in Michigan now employ upward of 70,000
people, pay more than $25,000,000 annually in wages, make an infinite
variety of wares, and turn out products each year amounting in value
to more than $130,000,000. The statistics of agricultural development
are equally remarkable. The log cabin and the clearings have yielded
to ample farms. The marsh, the pine barren, even the hyperborean
soil of the Upper Peninsula, have been transformed into productive
wheat-fields. The cereals of Michigan exceed in their annual product
70,000,000 bushels, and $45,000,000 in their value. Highly cultivated
and valuable farms (over 111,000 in number and with a total acreage of
10,000,000) cover the greater part of the Lower Peninsula. Comfortable,
even stately, farm houses dot the landscape. School-houses, churches,
villages, towns and cities stand where the forest was. The wilderness
has fled away. Everywhere there are evidences of peace, prosperity,
happiness and a high civilization. It is magic; courage, intelligence
and industry have been the magicians.

The changes in the other parts of the Michigan Territory of 1833 have
been no less marvelous. Four States have been carved out of that
region whose boundaries in 1834 were traced on the atlas--Michigan,
Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota--and the great wheat farms of Dakota
will soon develop into a fifth. This entire territory to-day has eight
Senators, twenty-nine Representatives and one Delegate in Congress,
has over 11,000 miles of railroad, seventy-seven daily papers and over
1,100 weekly or monthly publications, and several great cities larger
than Philadelphia and New York when the United States had taken its
second census. It has a population greater than that of the thirteen
colonies which successfully defied the power of Great Britain during
the Revolution, greater than that of the six New England States in
the present day. It produces a larger amount of breadstuffs than the
whole Union yielded when Mr. Chandler first came to the territory, and
contains more wealth than did all the States fifty years ago.

This is a marvelous story of growth. Nothing in the Old World has
equaled it. Nothing the New has exceeded it. It has confounded
prophecy. It has outrun imagination. It is the achievement of a
stalwart race. It is the triumph of faith, of zeal, of courage. It
dazzles the men of to-day. And it will stand for centuries to excite
the admiration of the historian and the wonder of the future.


[2] Parkman's "Jesuits in North America."

[3] This is Parkman's picture in "The Conspiracy of Pontiac."



The conspicuous figure in Michigan politics, when Zachariah Chandler
landed at Detroit and for twenty-five years afterward, was Lewis Cass.
He was a man of ability and many accomplishments, irreproachable in
private life, and with a claim upon the enduring gratitude of the
people of the Northwest for his large share in the founding of mighty
States about the shores of the great lakes. He came to Michigan with
military distinction, and had added to his laurels civic honors as a
territorial ruler, as a skilful negotiator with the Indians, and as
an intrepid explorer. General Cass was a warm political and personal
friend of Andrew Jackson, and his influence made Michigan a strongly
Democratic territory and State. In 1831 he had been appointed Secretary
of War in President Jackson's cabinet, and in 1836 he was sent to Paris
as the United States Minister at the court of Louis Phillippe. The
courage, vigor and skill of his attack upon the "Quintuple Treaty,"
which embodied Great Britain's theories on the then delicate topic of
the right of search on the high seas, and which was defeated by the
refusal of France to ratify the preliminary negotiations, made his
ambassadorship an event in European diplomacy, and gave him a national
reputation on this continent. His return to Detroit in 1843 was
attended by unusual popular demonstrations at every important point in
his Westward journey. In 1845 Michigan sent him to the Senate, and in
1848 the Democracy nominated him as its candidate for the presidency.
That a man who thus made a new commonwealth influential in national
politics should call about him a strong following and mould public
sentiment at his own home was natural, and the State of Lewis Cass was
long regarded as staunchly Democratic. His party held control for years
of the main avenues of political preferment, and not a few young men
of parts and ambition who came to Michigan as Whigs were led into the
ranks of the Democracy by the fact that it was the only organization
which had honors and offices to bestow.

General Cass was a courtly gentleman, dignified in manners, who, with
a natural boldness of character which never lost wholly its power of
self-assertion, gradually became ultra-conservative in his Democracy.
Originally he had anti-slavery tendencies, but the Southern drift
of his party, which became apparent about the time of his return
from France, carried him with it, and he grew to be one of the most
assiduous originators and supporters of the series of compromises
which so long defeated justice and encouraged the aggressions of the
slave power. The result was that in time the hammer of his personal
influence in Michigan was broken on the anvil of New England ideas,
while his name became the symbol of "hunkerism" in the Northwest;
but in December, 1860, his octogenarian patriotism flamed up in the
presence of armed treason and executive imbecility, and he branded
the administration of James Buchanan as it deserved by indignantly
resigning the portfolio of the department of state. No political
contrast could well be more vivid than that between Lewis Cass and the
man who succeeded him in the Senate, and replaced him in the political
leadership of Michigan, representing a greater State, a nobler
political cause, and instead of the make-shifts of compromise ideas
which are to-day embodied in the fabric of American civilization.

Zachariah Chandler's father was originally a Federalist, and then
a Whig. The son brought with him to Detroit Whig sympathies and
anti-slavery convictions, but no predisposition to political activity.
For many years he refused to divert his energies from his mercantile
pursuits, and took no share in party contests, except such as would be
natural in the case of any enterprising citizen with a lively interest
in public questions. He was known as a staunch Whig, and he thoroughly
identified himself with that party when in both Michigan and the Union
its victories seemed accidental, and its defeats certain. Between
1837 and 1848 his name frequently appears among the officers of Whig
meetings, or as a member of the election day vigilance committees of
his party, and (very rarely) as a ward delegate to Whig conventions. He
was a regular contributor to the campaign fund, and he did his share
of work at the polls. At that time the labors of election day were not
those of persuasion merely. Partisan feeling was bitter, and in the
population of the growing frontier city, there was a strong ruffianly
element, which was as a rule Democratic in its sympathies. In close
contests mobs sometimes gathered about the voting places, and sought
by jostling and occasional assaults to keep away from the ballot-boxes
the more timid or fastidious of the Whigs. On these occasions Mr.
Chandler was among the men of strong frames, sinewy arms, and pugnacity
of spirit, who furnished the Whig muscle to defeat this variety of
"Loco-foco trick." He and Alanson Sheley (now a well-known Detroit
merchant) were, with a few others of like strength and stature, the
Whig body-guard who forced a way for voters through the dense crowd,
and interposed for the rescue of the threatened. There is no lack of
amusing anecdotes of this species of service rendered by Mr. Chandler
to the Whig party; and it was at times attended by serious danger. In
later years he credited Mr. Sheley with having saved his life in one of
these election disturbances, and frequently recalled reminiscences of
the muscular exploits of those days. It was not until Mr. Chandler was
a Whig of nearly twenty years' standing, that he became that party's
candidate for any office, or that he actively interested himself in
its committee work and practical management. He cast a void vote for
Harrison in 1836, before Michigan had been formally admitted; he
attended the monster meetings and sang campaign songs in the log cabins
of 1840, and gave then a valid vote to Harrison; he denounced Tyler's
political treason, and in 1844 cheered for Clay and Frelinghuysen; he
opposed General Cass in 1848, and at that time delivered his maiden
speech, in support of "Zach." Taylor; but it was not until 1851 that
he manifested any especial taste for or skill in politics, or that he
allowed his name to be used as a candidate for position.

The Whigs of Michigan were as a rule of New England extraction, and the
masses of the party were always staunchly anti-slavery in sentiment.
They charged General Cass's denunciation of the "Quintuple Treaty" to
a disposition to seek Southern approval by indirectly shielding the
slave trade: they opposed the annexation of Texas, applauded the Wilmot
Proviso, and were restive under Southern aggression and slaveholding
arrogance at the capital. The few Congressmen whom they were able to
elect voted uniformly for free institutions and against the extension
of human bondage. Michigan's first Whig Senator, Augustus S. Porter,
while still new in his seat, opposed alone Calhoun's resolutions in
"the Enterprise case" (a vessel employed in the coastwise slave trade
had touched at Port Hamilton in the British West Indies, and some
negro chattels who formed part of her cargo had taken advantage of
English law to assert their manhood and freedom), and cast a solitary
vote to lay them upon the table. Of this act Joshua R. Giddings wrote:
"Seeing that eminent Senators around him interposed no objection to
the passage of the resolutions, Mr. Porter, obeying the dictates of
his own judgment and conscience, heroically met the overwhelming
influence arrayed against him, and showed the most cogent reasons for
rejecting the resolutions, by exhibiting the absurdity of the attempt
to induce the British government to acknowledge the laws of slavery
and the slave trade to exist and be enforced within her ports." Both
Mr. Porter and William Woodbridge voted against the resolution for the
annexation of Texas. In the House of the Twenty-seventh Congress Jacob
M. Howard acted with the friends of freedom on questions involving
that issue, and in the Thirtieth Congress William Sprague, the second
Whig Representative, was openly classified as a Free Soiler. In 1849
the Whigs and Free Soilers united to support Flavius J. Littlejohn
for Governor, and the Whigs of Michigan as a whole were a body of
intelligent and conscientious anti-slavery men, and made their
political weight felt on the side of free institutions.

Mr. Chandler was from his boyhood radical in his opposition to human
bondage, and for a time hoped that the Whig party of the North could be
used to effectually resist the conspiracy of the slave power against
the territories. His anti-slavery activity preceded his appearance
in politics. Detroit was an important terminus of the "Underground
Railroad," that mysterious organization which so skilfully and quietly
transported colored fugitives from the Ohio to Canadian soil, and Mr.
Chandler, while still absorbed in business, was a frequent and liberal
contributor to the fund for its operating expenses. He manifested an
especial interest in the Crosswhite case, which, played a conspicuous
part in the fugitive slave law agitation preceding the compromises of
1850. Adam Crosswhite was the mulatto son of a slave mother who was
owned by his father, a white farmer in Bourbon county, Kentucky. While
a boy he was given as a servant to his half-sister, a Miss Crosswhite,
who married a slave-dealer named Stone. Her husband subsequently sold
her brother for $200, and Crosswhite ultimately became the chattel
of a Kentucky planter named Giltner living in Carroll county. When he
had reached the age of forty-four and had become the father of four
children, he learned that his master was planning to sell a portion of
his family. The parental instinct drove this man to a step which he had
not taken through any desire for personal freedom, and he determined
upon flight. He succeeded in getting his entire family across the Ohio
in a skiff, and into the hands of the "Underground Railway" managers
in Indiana. There was a vigorous pursuit, and at Newport the fugitives
were nearly captured, but Quaker shrewdness concealed and protected
them, and after weeks of stirring adventure, during which the father
and mother were compelled to separate, they reached Michigan, and
became the occupants of a little cabin in the eastern part of the
present city of Marshall. They were quiet and industrious citizens,
and by thrift and unremitting labor commenced making payments on
their homestead. In time the history of the fugitives became known
to their neighbors, and finally some one with the genuine spirit
of the slave-driver sent to Kentucky information concerning their
hiding-place. In December, 1846, Francis Troutman came to Marshall,
ostensibly as a young lawyer in search of business, but in fact as
Giltner's representative in identifying his fugitive slaves and
planning their recapture. He did his work well, through artifice and
with the help of aid which he hired at Marshall, but did not succeed
in perfectly concealing his plans. Crosswhite received warning of the
impending danger, and both armed himself and arranged with sympathizing
friends for prompt assistance. The abduction was finally attempted
early on the morning of Jan. 27, 1847. Troutman was assisted by David
Giltner, Franklin Ford, and John S. Lee, all Kentuckians, and the four
men were well armed. Crosswhite saw their approach, and succeeded in
giving the alarm, but before his friends commenced to assemble the
Kentuckians broke in the door of his cabin and informed the negroes
that they must go at once before a magistrate where it was proposed
to prove the fact of their escape from slavery. While the preparation
of the children for the winter's ride to the justice's office was in
progress, a crowd, at first largely composed of colored men but soon
including many whites, gathered about the cabin, and promptly made
the fact apparent that they were in no mood to permit the proposed
restoration of human property to its Kentucky owners. The courage of
the slave-hunters did not prove equal to the occasion, and finally
Troutman resorted to argument. He harangued the jeering crowd on the
sanctity of the fugitive slave law and the legality of Giltner's
claim, even offering as proof of his law-abiding spirit not to take
back to slavery a child born to the Crosswhites since their escape.
The response to this proposition to do exact justice by separating an
infant from its mother may be imagined, and in the end the Kentuckians
abandoned their attempt. Crosswhite had meanwhile complained against
them for trespass, and they were then arrested, convicted and fined
$100. Money was also at once raised in Marshall by which the negroes
were sent to Detroit and thence to Canada. While the excitement was
at its hight some of the prominent citizens of Marshall joined the
crowd, and endeavored to restrain them from violence and to convince
the slave-hunters of the folly of attempting to defy the aroused
indignation of the community; they were careful, however, to avoid any
violation of the law. Troutman met their remonstrances by a demand
for their names. One of them replied, "Charles T. Gorham; write it in
capital letters." The answer of another was, "Oliver Cromwell Comstock,
Jr.; take it in full so that my father may not be held responsible
for what I do." Troutman also obtained the name of Jarvis Hurd, these
three being well-known residents of Marshall and gentlemen of pecuniary
responsibility. Nothing further took place at the time, and in a few
days the Kentuckians returned to their State, which was soon aflame
with wrath at this "Northern outrage." Public meetings were held to
denounce the "abolition rioters," the most exaggerated accounts of
the Marshall release were circulated and believed, the event received
Congressional attention, and finally the State of Kentucky made an
appropriation for the prosecution of all who were concerned in the
escape of the Crosswhite family. Troutman returned to Michigan in the
summer of 1847, and brought an action to recover the value of the
rescued slaves, in the United States Circuit Court, against a large
number of defendants; the case as tried, however, was practically a
prosecution of Messrs. Gorham, Comstock, and Hurd. The Kentuckians
retained a large array of counsel, including John Norvell, the veteran
Democratic leader, while the defense was represented by Theodore
Romeyn, Wells & Cook, and Hovey K. Clarke, with Halmer H. Emmons
(subsequently United States Circuit Judge) and James F. Joy as counsel.
Gerrit Smith also came from New York to argue the constitutional
question involved, but the defendants' attorneys did not deem it
prudent in a jury trial at that time to ally themselves with so radical
an abolitionist. The case was taken up before Justice John MacLean,
in 1848, and attracted national attention. The first trial took place
in the June term and resulted in a disagreement of the jury. A second
trial followed in November and December of the same year and ended
in a verdict for the plaintiffs of $1,926 and costs; the expenses of
defending the suits had also imposed heavy pecuniary burdens upon the
Marshall gentlemen. Mr. Gorham was then a Democrat, and found among his
party friends a strong feeling that it was important at that time and
in so conspicuous a case that Michigan should manifest a disposition to
rigidly enforce the fugitive slave law, as these were the years when
General Cass's presidential aspirations culminated, and when it was
essential that his hold upon Southern confidence should be preserved.
There was no lack of private expressions of Democratic sympathy with
the defendants, and assurances were given that they should not be left
to meet alone the heavy expenses involved, but among the Democratic
leaders there was an unmistakable wish that the prosecution should
be vigorously pushed for the sake of its political effect, and this
secret pressure had a powerful influence. This case interested Mr.
Chandler from the outset, and he watched every development closely.
Early in the proceedings he met Mr. Gorham, with whom his acquaintance
was then but slight, and said to him, "I am satisfied from what I have
seen and learned that this case is being manipulated in the interest
of the Democratic party, and that you are to be sacrificed to appease
the slave power of the South, so that Cass may not be damaged by the
result. Offer no compromise; fight them through to the end; I will
stand by you, and see that you do not suffer." He was as good as his
word, gave and helped to raise money for the defense, and attended
the trial to the close. Mr. Gorham, who received no Democratic aid of
importance, became one of his firmest and most intimate friends, and
when Mr. Chandler was appointed Secretary of the Interior Mr. Gorham
(who had then served five years as United States Minister at The Hague)
became the Assistant Secretary of that department. Of the same period
of Mr. Chandler's life this characteristic anecdote is told: John
Sumner, one of his Jackson customers, passed Sunday as his guest in
Detroit, and at church listened with him to a sermon of pro-slavery
flavor, followed by a prayer by a visiting clergyman in which the
Divine blessing was earnestly invoked upon the down-trodden and the
oppressed. At the conclusion of the services Mr. Chandler stepped to
the foot of the pulpit, sought an introduction to the utterer of the
prayer, and said: "Thank you for that prayer! It was all that I have
heard this morning that was worth hearing." Throughout the days of
Mr. Chandler's earnest attachment to the Whig party, his anti-slavery
feeling was pronounced.

In 1848 Mr. Chandler fleshed his political broadsword with one
or more speeches in behalf of General Taylor. He had been an
occasional participant in the debates of the Young Men's Society,
the training-school for not a few of Detroit's eminent men, but in
that year for the first time he addressed a miscellaneous audience
on public questions. His earlier speeches showed the strength of the
man, and despite some ruggedness were effective. In the State election
of 1849 Mr. Chandler took no active part. In 1850 he was one of the
Wayne county delegates to the Whig State convention, which met at
Jackson on the 18th of September, and nominated a ticket headed by
George Martin, of Kent, for Secretary of State; the following campaign
was a local one, arousing but little interest, and in it Mr. Chandler
did not prominently share. On February 19, 1851, the Whigs of Detroit
held a convention to select a city ticket for the charter election
in March, and after one informal ballot Mr. Chandler was unanimously
nominated by them for Mayor. This event marks the commencement of his
career as a popular, shrewd, and successful political leader. The
Democratic candidate for the Mayoralty was Gen. John R. Williams, a
native and one of the foremost citizens of Detroit, the president of
the Michigan constitutional convention of 1835, and the senior officer
of the State militia. He had been the first Mayor of the city, and had
held that place for six terms, and was a man of practical ability, the
owner of a large estate, and popular with the people. His personal
strength made him a formidable candidate, and his defeat not easy of
accomplishment. Mr. Chandler's answer to the delegation who waited
upon him with the question, "Will you run on the Whig ticket against
John R. Williams?" was, "I will and I will beat him too," and he put
all his energy into the campaign which followed. The Whig convention
by resolution presented his name to the people of Detroit as that of
"a man identified with its improvements, prominent in its welfare, and
interested in its prosperity," and in the Whig journals he was warmly
commended as "known to every man, woman, and child in the city as a
man of strict integrity, active and industrious business habits, of
great liberality of views, both in person and sentiment, and of the
purest moral character; eminently popular and affable in his habits of
intercourse with his fellow-citizens, his extensive business operations
have brought him in daily contact with all, through a long course of
years." His election was also urged on the ground that he was the only
candidate "known to be in favor of extending the various enterprises
of sewerage, pure water, pavements and sidewalks, just as fast as the
needs of a young city shall require," and because his "course in his
own business, and in relation to the public interest, has been an
energetic, discreet and efficient prosecution of everything upon which
he has laid his hands." During this canvass Mr. Chandler gave what is
believed to be the only lecture of his life, and its marked success
undoubtedly helped him at the ballot-box. It was delivered before
the Young Men's Society upon February 25, 1851, its theme being "The
Element of Success in Character." The newspaper report of it was as

  The theme chosen by Mr. Chandler. "The Element of Success in
  Character," though much worn, was most successfully treated.
  Intending only to discourse from his own observations and
  experience, his views were as philosophical as they were practical.
  Therein was the charm and _takingness_ of the lecture. Without
  rhetorical flourish the composition was excellent, severe in its
  simplicity and directness, nevertheless abounding in beauty. For
  originality, aptness of quotation and illustration, and felicitous
  use of language, it ranks with the choicest productions before the
  society. In his own person he furnished the very best illustration
  and proof of success. Such a lecture from any one would do good,
  but how much greater its influence when enforced by the living
  example the lecturer himself affords of the truths of his teaching.

Mr. Chandler organized his first political battle with characteristic
thoroughness and system, visited every ward, called upon the voters,
and made a remarkable personal canvass. The result was that when the
ballots were counted it was found that he had carried every precinct
in Detroit and had defeated his opponent by 349 majority in a total
vote of less than 3,500. He led by nearly 400 the average vote of his
ticket, and the Democrats elected at the same time a large proportion
of their candidates. The victory was celebrated by a Whig serenade,
at which the Mayor-elect made a modest and brief speech of thanks.
This manifestation of personal strength and political skill at once
attracted State attention, and it became the source of new Whig hope.

Mr. Chandler's term as Mayor continued for one year, but was devoid of
especial incident, although even now some interest will be felt in this
official letter to Kossuth, which the Hungarian patriot answered with a
note of regretful declination:

                                      DETROIT, January 10, 1852.

  _To his Excellency Louis Kossuth_:

  DEAR SIR: By resolution of the Common Council, it becomes my
  pleasing duty to invite you to visit the city of Detroit and
  partake of its hospitalities. Much as we esteem you personally,
  highly as we appreciate your public and private worth, it is not
  to these alone that we do homage, but to the great principles
  which you advocate. We hail you as the champion of republicanism
  in Europe, as God's instrument in arousing throughout the world
  a hatred of despotism, as a man who has sacrificed his all, and
  offers his life upon the altar of liberty, as a teacher of "even
  bayonets to think." We, sir, have not been disinterested spectators
  of your glorious struggle for Hungarian independence. We watched
  with most intense interest the commencement and progress of that
  sanguinary conflict. When we saw the people rising in their might,
  the nobleman and citizen vieing with each other in devotion to
  their country's cause, emulous in sufferings and sacrifices, under
  such a leader, we felt that victory must crown your exertions;
  and when we saw the elements of Despotism uniting to crush this
  (to them) detested spirit of Freedom, when we saw the temporary
  triumphs of your oppressors, we felt that all was not lost--that
  the Almighty Ruler of the Universe would neither leave nor forsake
  you in your low estate, that the days of despotism were numbered.

  Again would I invite you to visit Detroit and partake of its
  hospitalities. Again would I assure you of our deep sympathy for
  your down-trodden country, and I hazard nothing by the assertion
  that that sympathy will manifest itself in a tangible form. Whether
  our government will act in your behalf as a government, is not for
  me to say; whether it would be proper for it to do so, is not for
  me to discuss at this time. But that you have the deep sympathy of
  our entire population is manifest to all.

  With great respect, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

         _Mayor of the City of Detroit_.

At the conclusion of Mr. Chandler's term as Mayor the Common Council of
Detroit, by unanimous vote, spread upon its records this resolution:

  _Resolved by the Common Council of the City of Detroit_, That in
  retiring from the office of chief magistrate of this city the
  Hon. Zachariah Chandler, by his urbanity, fidelity and zeal in
  the discharge of his official duties for the past year, merits
  the admiration and respect of the Council, and that in retiring
  to private life he carries with him our cordial wishes for his
  happiness and prosperity.

In November, 1852, occurred Michigan's first general election under
the constitution of 1850. The Democratic candidate for Governor
was Robert McClelland, who had already held that office during the
preceding short term. General Cass alone surpassed this gentleman in
personal strength with his party in the State. Mr. McClelland was an
upright and able man, who had served with distinction in Congress, and
had held many important offices in Michigan; he subsequently became
Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Pierce. While
a member of the House of Representatives he had assisted in drafting
the original Wilmot Proviso, but he had grown conservative with his
party, and in 1852 came before the people as a warm champion of the
compromises of 1850. Personally he was a man of some reserve, but
affable with acquaintances and respected everywhere. He was renominated
enthusiastically and with every prospect of an easy re-election.
With the single exception of William Woodbridge, who was borne into
office on the Whig tidal-wave of 1839 and 1840, Michigan had chosen
an unbroken line of Democratic Governors. At the first election after
its admission to the Union, Stevens T. Mason had a majority of 237 in
a total poll of 22,299. The term for which Governor Woodbridge was
chosen (he resigned to take a seat in the Senate) was followed by six
successive Democratic victories. John S. Barry was elected in 1841
with 5,326 majority over his Whig competitor, Philo C. Fuller, and two
years later he defeated Dr. Zina Pitcher by 6,493 votes. Alpheus Felch
in 1845 had 3,807 majority over Stephen Vickery, Whig, and in 1847
Epaphroditus Ransom was chosen over James M. Edmunds by 5,649 votes. In
1849 John S. Barry was again elected, defeating Flavius J. Littlejohn,
Whig and Free Soiler, by 4,297 votes in a total poll of 51,377. In
1851, which was the last election under the old constitution, Robert
McClelland led Townsend E. Gidley 6,926 votes. The Liberty party, as a
distinct organization, also existed six years in Michigan, beginning
in 1841 with 1,214 votes and ending in 1847 with 2,585. Thus from 1841
to 1852 not only did the Democrats control Michigan but at every State
election had a clear majority over all shades of opposition.

In 1852 the chronic difficulties of the Whig situation in Michigan
were aggravated by the fact that the Baltimore convention which
nominated Scott and Graham had condemned that anti-slavery sentiment
of the party, which gave it all its virility in the West. The greater
portion of the Northern Whigs with Mr. Greeley supported the ticket
and "spat upon the platform," but some of them abandoned old party
affiliations and joined the Free Soil Democrats, who put up Hale and
Julian as their national candidates and in Michigan nominated a full
State ticket headed by Isaac P. Christiancy. The Whig State convention
of 1852 met at Marshall on July 1, and was called to order by Henry T.
Backus as chairman of the State Central Committee, and presided over by
Cyrus Lovell of Ionia. In the preliminary consultations Mr. Chandler's
was the name chiefly urged for the head of the ticket, on account of
his acquaintance throughout the State and the political strength and
capacity he had shown as a candidate in Detroit. This is an extract
from the official record of the convention:

  On motion of W. A. Howard of Detroit a ballot was taken for
  Governor and was announced by the tellers as follows:

  Z. Chandler,         76
  H. G. Wells,          7
  G. A. Coe,            2
  H. R. Williams,       1
  J. R. Williams,       1
  George R. Pomeroy,    2

  On motion of Mr. DeLand of Jackson a formal ballot was had as

  Z. Chandler,         95
  H. G. Wells,          2
  J. R. Williams,       1
  Blank,                1

  Mr. Chandler was not present and inquiry was made if it was known
  whether he would accept the nomination. Mr. Wm. A. Howard of
  Detroit, chairman of the delegation from that city, said on the
  part of that delegation that he had seen Mr. Chandler previous to
  leaving Detroit, and Mr. Chandler had said to him that he was not
  a candidate for any of the offices under consideration, that he
  preferred working in the ranks, but that should the convention see
  fit to nominate him he was with them.

[Illustration: =Temperance Ticket.=

  For Governor,
  Zachariah Chandler.

  For Lieut. Governor,
  Andrew Parsons.

  For Secretary of State,
  George E. Pomeroy.

  For State Treasurer,
  Bernard C. Whittemore.

  For Auditor General,
  Whitney Jones.

  For Attorney General,
  Nathaniel Bacon.

  For Sup't of Pub. Instruction,
  U. Tracy Howe.

  For Com'r of State Land Office,
  Nathan Power.

  For State Board of Education,
  Isaac E. Crary, for the term of six years.
  Grove Spencer, for the term of four years.
  Chauncey Joslin, for a term of two years.

  For Member of Congress 1st District,
  William A. Howard.

  For Member of Senate,

  For Representative,

  For Sheriff,
  Henry B. Holbrook.

  For Clerk,
  Jeremiah Van Rensselaer.

  For Prosecuting Attorney,
  D. Bethune Duffield.

  For Judge of Probate,
  Rufus Hosmer.

  Circuit Court Commissioner,
  John S. Newberry.

  For Register,
  Robert E. Roberts.


The result was hailed with hearty cheering, and Mr. Chandler soon
formally accepted this nomination and commenced a most energetic
personal canvass of the State. The Temperance party made up a ticket in
that year from the Democratic and Whig candidates, and Mr. Chandler was
also retained as its nominee for Governor, but this action was without
practical importance in the campaign or at the polls. During the fall
of 1852 the Whig nominee for Governor labored unremittingly. He visited
all the leading towns in the State, and spoke constantly from the
middle of September until the week before election. The list of his
appointments included Jonesville, Coldwater, Constantine, Cassopolis,
Howell, Lansing, Eaton Rapids, Hastings, Allegan, Grand Rapids, Ionia,
DeWitt, Corunna, Flint, Saginaw, Lapeer, Almont, Romeo, Mt. Clemens,
Ann Arbor, Jackson, Marshall, Battle Creek, St. Clair, and Detroit. His
addresses were vigorous, entertaining and telling, and while he neither
then nor afterward sought for the polished sentence or rounded period,
he showed that capacity for plainness and force of reasoning and for
hard-hitting which ultimately made his oratory so characteristic
and effective. In this series of speeches he dealt largely with the
national questions of Protection and Internal Improvements, and also
with the business aspects of the State administration. His friends
laid especial stress upon his strength as "a business man of energy,
integrity and success," and urged his election because he bore "the
reputation, well earned by a long course of business experience, of
being a keen and shrewd business man of the highest moral tone," and
because he was "endowed with remarkable business talent," and had
been "identified with the growth and interests of the State." Mr.
Chandler was also helped in this contest by his mercantile friendships
throughout Michigan, and by the natural pleasure with which his fellow
merchants saw one of their own guild fighting his way to political
distinction along the paths so largely occupied by men of professional
callings. As part of the organization of this canvass he mailed large
quantities of gummed "slips" bearing his name to acquaintances in all
parts of the State, and this is believed to be the first instance
in which this now common weapon of political warfare was used in
the Northwest. The Democrats found themselves compelled by this
unprecedentedly vigorous attack to put forth most strenuous efforts,
and General Cass labored assiduously to prevent the loss of his own
State. So pronounced did the opposition of the veteran Democratic
leader to the head of the Whig ticket become, that Mr. Chandler
laughingly said to friends by way of comment upon it, "I am afraid that
it will take General Cass's Senatorial seat to balance the account
between us."

But the national tide was then overwhelmingly against the Whigs,
and Southern distrust of General Scott and Northern wrath at the
circumstances of his nomination brought that party to the Waterloo
defeat from which it never recovered. Michigan cast 41,842 votes for
Pierce, 33,859 for Scott, and 7,237 for Hale. Mr. Chandler received
34,660 votes for Governor against 42,798 for McClelland, and 5,850 for
Christiancy. He thus received 801 more votes than Scott; he also led
the entire Whig State ticket by from 500 to 4,000 votes, and received
over 11,000 more votes than had ever been given to any Whig candidate
for Governor. He had made a resolute fight, and again strikingly
manifested his personal strength with the people and his political

In the Michigan Legislature of 1853, which was chosen at the same
State election, the Democrats had a majority on joint ballot of
forty-eight, and the Whig minority included but seven Senators and
twenty-one Representatives. The term of Alpheus Felch as United States
Senator expired on March 3, 1853, and Charles E. Stuart was chosen
as his successor. The Whigs gave expression to their high estimate
of the value of Mr. Chandler's services in the preceding campaign
by complimenting him with their united vote for the Senate, and the
footings of the Legislative ballot for that office were:

  C. E. Stuart,    27
  Z. Chandler,      7

  C. E. Stuart,    49
  Z. Chandler,     21
  H. K. Clarke,     1

This was the last important political action of the Whig party of
Michigan. Before another State election its formal dissolution had been
pronounced, and the great body of its members had gathered around the
cradle of infant Republicanism.



The darkest hour for the anti-slavery cause preceded the dawn of 1854.
The compromises of 1850 had closed that long series of so-called
bargains, by which the South had forced surrender after surrender
from the North in the vain hope of preserving by such artificial
devices its traditional preponderance in the government, so constantly
threatened by the rapid development of the free States and the
marvelous settlement of free territory. Behind the Louisiana purchase
from Bonaparte was slavery's demand for new States to reinforce
its political strength. Florida was bought from Spain for the same
reasons. The Missouri compromise of 1820 involved the admission of a
new slave State to the Union, and the organization of Arkansas as a
slave territory; it was the work of the advocates of slavery extension,
and was practically a surrender of free territory to bondage, the
only consideration being the exclusion of slavery from soil on which
(judging from all the experience of American settlement up to that
time) it could not be established nor maintained. The annexation of
Texas had been forced to add to the Union an enormous expanse of slave
territory, capable, it was hoped, of early division into several slave
States. The Mexican War was a peculiarly Southern scheme, having as
its real aim the conquest of an empire which was to include human
bondage among its established institutions. The futile plans for
the annexation of Cuba came from the same prolific source, and were
inspired by the same need of forcing the expansion of the political
power of the slave South to prevent its being outstripped by the
magnificent growth of the free North. But the forces of nature prove
more potent than human devices, and the last speech of John C. Calhoun
(read for him in the Senate on March 4, 1850,) showed how clearly this
fact had impressed itself on the ablest and acutest of the Southern
statesmen. That farewell address sketched minutely the history and
condition of the steadily-growing disparity between the North and the
South, declared in effect that the South with its institutions could
not permit Northern ascendancy, demanded from the North constitutional
amendments "which would restore to the South in substance the power
she possessed of protecting herself before the equilibrium between the
sections was destroyed," added that on no other basis could the South
safely remain in the Union, and said that, if this demand was refused,
"we would be blind not to perceive that your real objects are power and
aggrandizement, and infatuated not to act accordingly." To this candid
avowal of the Southern programme (ten years later it became evident
that Mr. Calhoun had stated then the slave power's ultimatum) the
answer was the final surrender of 1850. The compromise measures of that
year pledged the United States to the subdivision of Texas into new
(slave) States, organized Utah and New Mexico without any prohibition
of slavery within their boundaries, forbade the abolition of slavery in
the District of Columbia, and set the odious machinery of the Fugitive
Slave law in operation throughout the North. The consideration Freedom
received for these concessions was the admission of California to the
Union (it was evident that nothing but invasion and conquest could ever
make it a slave State) and the abolition of the slave trade in the
District of Columbia, amounting to a removal of the auction blocks of
slave dealers from the shadow of the Capitol to the narrow streets of
decaying Alexandria.

The opiate of compromise sufficed to keep still dormant the conscience
of the North, and the national acquiescence in this adjustment was
emphatic. The Whig and the Democratic parties in 1852 both formally
accepted in their platforms the legislation of 1850 as a decisive
and just settlement of the slavery question, and they polled almost
3,000,000 votes, while for the Free Soil ticket, representing hostility
to slavery extension and to pro-slavery compromises, but 155,000
votes were cast. The victory of the Democrats, who embodied in much
the fullest degree the spirit of concession to Southern demands,
was an overwhelming one. They carried 27 out of the 31 States, and
had 254 electoral votes out of 296, with a clear popular majority
over the entire opposition. In the Senate they had 14 majority out
of a membership of 62, and in the House a majority of 84 in a total
membership of 234. The condition of public sentiment then is thus
described by the most accurate and graphic historian of that era:

  Whatever theoretic or practical objections may be justly made to
  the compromise of 1850, there can be no doubt that it was accepted
  and ratified by a great majority of the American people, whether
  in the North or in the South. They were intent on business--then
  remarkably prosperous--on planting, building, trading and getting
  gain--and they hailed with general joy the announcement that all
  the differences between the diverse "sections" had been adjusted
  and settled. The terms of settlement were, to that majority, of
  quite subordinate consequence; they wanted peace and prosperity,
  and were no wise inclined to cut each other's throats and burn each
  other's houses in a quarrel concerning (as they regarded it) only
  the _status_ of negroes. The compromise had taken no money from
  their pockets; it had imposed upon them no pecuniary burdens; it
  had exposed them to no personal and palpable dangers; it had rather
  repelled the gaunt spectre of civil war and disunion (habitually
  conjured up when slavery had a point to carry), and increased
  the facilities for making money, while opening a boundless vista
  of national greatness, security and internal harmony. Especially
  by the trading class, and the great majority of the dwellers in
  seaboard cities, was this view cherished with intense, intolerant
  vehemence.... Whatever else the election of 1852 might have meant,
  there was no doubt that the popular verdict was against "slavery
  agitation" and in favor of maintaining the compromises of 1850....
  The finances were healthy and the public credit unimpaired.
  Industry and trade were signally prosperous. The tariff had ceased
  to be a theme of partisan or sectional strife. The immense yield of
  gold in California during the four preceding years had stimulated
  enterprise and quickened the energies of labor, and its volume as
  yet showed no signs of diminution. And though the Fugitive Slave
  law was still denounced, and occasionally resisted by abolitionists
  in the free States, while disunionists still plotted in secret and
  more openly prepared in Southern commercial conventions (having for
  their ostensible object the establishment of a general exchange
  of the great Southern staples directly from their own harbors
  with the principal European marts, instead of circuitously by way
  of New York and other Northern Atlantic ports) there was still a
  goodly majority in the South, with a still larger in the North and
  Northwest, in favor of maintaining the Union and preserving the
  greatest practical measure of cordiality and fraternity between the
  free and slave States, substantially on the basis of the compromise
  of 1850.

This was the blackest chapter in the history of the agitation for
Freedom on this continent. The era seemed to have been at last reached
of national surrender to slavery's demands, and of the purchase
of peace by the abandonment of (with the promise never to resume)
resistance to "the sum of all villainies." John Quincy Adams had said
that up to his day "the preservation, propagation, and perpetuation
of slavery" had ever been "the animating spirit" of the American
government. Daniel Webster had bitterly declared in 1848 that there was
no North in American politics, and that the South absolutely controlled
the government. Certainly, in 1853, the surface of the political
situation fully justified the indignant words of Gerrit Smith: "Were
this government despotic and her religion heathen, there might be some
hope of republicanizing her politics and Christianizing her religion;
but now that she has turned into darkness the greatest of all political
lights and the greatest of all religious lights, what hope is left for

It was at this juncture, when its triumph appeared to be complete, that
slavery fatally overreached itself. The Missouri compromise of 1820,
which _forever_ prohibited slavery in all of the original Louisiana
territory north of 36 degrees, 30 minutes of north latitude, had
remained unquestioned upon the statute books for a generation. The
South had received the full benefits of its share of that bargain,
which added Arkansas and Missouri to the ranks of the slave States. In
the interminable discussions of 1850 there had been no suggestion that
the compromise measures of that year were intended to either disturb
or supersede the Missouri compact, and the first message of Franklin
Pierce congratulated the country on the sense of repose and security
in the public mind which the compromise measures had restored, and
added the pledge, "this repose is to suffer no shock during my official
term, if I have power to avert it." Before two months had elapsed,
the North heard with astonishment and indignation the doctrine laid
down in Congress by the representatives of the slave power that the
Missouri compromise had been abrogated by the measures of 1850, and
that the vast domain between the Missouri and the Rocky Mountains, rich
in all material and political possibilities, was open to slaveholding
settlement. A few days more passed, and it was discovered that this
claim was receiving the powerful support of the administration, and
that it would also be championed by Stephen A. Douglas, with his
formidable energy, personal influence, and rare skill in debate, as a
step towards the vindication of his dogma of "Popular Sovereignty." Of
the memorable four months' struggle over this issue, the following is a
sketch in outline:

Soon after the Thirty-third Congress assembled, in December, 1853,
Senator A. C. Dodge, of Iowa, introduced a bill to organize the
Territory of Nebraska out of the magnificent region between Missouri
and Iowa and the Rocky Mountains. It was referred to the Committee on
Territories, and was reported back by Senator Douglas with amendments,
none of which, however, proposed to repeal the prohibition of slavery
included in the Missouri compromise. Upon this, Senator Archibald
Dixon, of Kentucky, a Whig who declared that on the question of slavery
he knew no Whiggery and no Democracy, but was a pro-slavery man,
gave notice that he should offer an amendment, providing that the
act of 1820 should not be so construed as to apply to the territory
contemplated by this act, nor to any other territory of the United
States. Senator Douglas thereupon had the bill recommitted, and
subsequently reported in an entirely different form, creating _two_
territories, Kansas and Nebraska, instead of one, and including the
provision that all questions pertaining to slavery in the territories
and in the new States to be formed therefrom should be left to the
action of the people thereof through their appropriate representatives,
and that the provisions of the constitution and laws of the United
States in respect to fugitives from service should be carried into
faithful execution in all the organized territories the same as in the
States. This was, equally with Senator Dixon's proposition, a direct
violation of the provision of the Missouri compromise, which was in
these words (Section 8): "That in all that territory ceded by France
to the United States under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of
36 degrees and 30 minutes of north latitude, not included within the
limits of the State contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary
servitude, otherwise than as the punishment of crime, shall be and is
hereby forever prohibited." In the last report, however, the pill was
sugar-coated with Mr. Douglas's catch-word of "Popular Sovereignty."

The territory which the Kansas-Nebraska bill was intended to organize
was included in this quoted prohibition. That bill as introduced, in
the section that provided for the election of a delegate to Congress
from Kansas, had the stipulation:

  That the constitution and all laws of the United States, which are
  not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect
  within said territory as elsewhere in the United States.

To this the amended bill added the following reservation:

  Except the section of the act preparatory to the admission of
  Missouri into the Union, approved March 6, 1820, which was
  superseded by the principles of the legislation of 1850, commonly
  called the compromise measure, and is declared inoperative.

A similar provision with a like reservation was added to the section
providing for the election of a delegate from Nebraska. A prolonged and
brilliant debate followed in the Senate, and finally in place of the
original reservation the following was adopted, on motion of Senator
Stephen A. Douglas, by a vote of 35 to 10:

  Except the section of the act preparatory to the admission of
  Missouri into the Union, approved March 6, 1820, which, being
  inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress
  with slavery in the States and territories, as recognized by the
  legislation in 1850 (commonly called the compromise measure), is
  hereby declared inoperative and void, it being the true intent and
  meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any territory or
  State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof
  perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions
  in their own way, subject only to the constitution of the United

Senator Chase then moved to add to the above the following:

  Under which the people of the territory, through their appropriate
  representatives, may, if they see fit, prohibit the existence of
  slavery therein.

This amendment was voted down, yeas 10, nays 36, the Senate thus
declaring its understanding that the people of the new territories
should _not_ be allowed to prohibit slavery previous to their admission
as a State. The bill passed on the morning of March 4th, by a vote
of 37 to 14. In the House a separate bill had been introduced, but
when it came up for consideration the Senate bill was substituted for
it--by a parliamentary trick its opponents were prevented from offering
amendments--and the bill was passed, yeas 113, nays 100. It went back
to the Senate, in form as an original measure, but in effect the Senate
bill, and on May 26 was finally passed by that body and was approved by
President Pierce on May 30. The debate had been a memorable one; for
the friends of Liberty, while they resisted to the last the surrender
of what had been once bought for Freedom, joyfully recognized the fact
that this act would in its logic make every compromise repealable,
and thus kill in the womb all future political bargainings. Benjamin
F. Wade said in the Senate that "the violation of the plighted
faith of the nation would precipitate a conflict between liberty and
slavery; and that, in such a conflict, it will not be liberty that
will die in the nineteenth century. You may call me an Abolitionist
if you will; I care little for that, for if an undying hatred to
slavery constitutes an Abolitionist, I am that Abolitionist. If man's
determination at all times and at all hazards, to the last extremity,
to resist the extension of slavery, or any other tyranny, constitutes
an Abolitionist, I before God believe myself to be that Abolitionist."
William H. Seward said: "You are setting an example which abrogates all
compromises.... It has been no proposition of mine to abrogate them
now; but the proposition has come from another quarter--from an adverse
one. It is about to prevail. The shifting sands of compromise are
passing from under my feet, and they are now, without agency of my own,
taking hold again on the rock of the constitution. It shall be no fault
of mine if they do not remain firm." Charles Sumner closed his protest
against this removal of "the landmarks of freedom" by declaring the
measure to be "at once the worst and best bill on which Congress ever
acted--the worst inasmuch as it is a present victory for slavery, and
the best bill because it prepares the way for the 'All hail hereafter,'
when slavery must disappear. Sorrowfully I bend before the wrong you
are about to perpetrate. Joyfully I welcome all the promises of the

The response of the North to the abrogation of the Missouri compromise
justified these predictions. To this overthrow of a solemn compact
for the purpose of opening a vast empire to attempts at slave
colonization, men of every shade of anti-slavery conviction made
answer by eagerly seeking ways of uniting in effective resistance to
such a crime against civilization. Amid an excitement, which grew
profounder as the contest progressed, and which was fed by the press,
the pulpit, and the lyceum, and was organized by public meetings,
the demand became daily stronger for political action on the basis of
uncompromising hostility to the aggressions of the slave power. Before
the Kansas-Nebraska controversy was finished the Whig party had ceased
to exist, the Democracy had become a pro-slavery organization, the era
of compromise had passed away, and the young giant of Republicanism
stood on the threshold of the territories commanding slavery to stand
back. This vast and far-reaching political revolution was accomplished
through the wholesale sacrifice of cherished ties by the friends of
free institutions and through their hearty union in the new party
of Freedom. The State in which this fusion of anti-slavery opinion
into Republicanism was first accomplished was Michigan, and the
Republican party as a distinct organization was born and christened
under the oaks of Jackson on the 6th of July, 1854. Political opinion
in that State was peculiarly ripe for this step. Its Whigs were with
but rare exceptions staunch anti-slavery men. Even Senator Cass's
great influence had failed to keep all the Democrats submissive to
pro-slavery compromises. The Free Soilers were strong in character
and several thousands in number. Thus when the opportunity came for
decisive action it found the men ready.

The Free Democrats of Michigan, encouraged by the increase in their
vote in 1852, and responding to an appeal of the "Independent Democrats
in Congress" (signed by Salmon P. Chase, Charles Sumner, Joshua R.
Giddings, Gerrit Smith, Edward Wade, and Alexander De Witt) for popular
resistance to the attack on the Missouri compact, held the first
political convention of 1854 in that State. It met in Jackson, on
February 22d, under a call issued at Detroit on January 12, and signed
by U. Tracy Howe, Hovey K. Clarke, Samuel Zug, Silas M. Holmes, S. A.
Baker, S. B. Thayer, S. P. Mead, J. W. Childs, and Erastus Hussey,
forming the state central committee of that party. The convention
was called to order by Hovey K. Clarke, and it organized with Wm.
T. Howell of Hillsdale as president. The committee on resolutions
consisted of Hovey K. Clarke, Fernando C. Beaman, Kinsley S. Bingham,
E. Hussey, Nathan Power, D. C. Leach, and L. Moore, and a committee of
twenty-four was appointed to nominate a State ticket. The committee on
resolutions reported a platform prepared by Hovey K. Clarke, declaring
freedom national and slavery sectional, and denouncing the attempt to
repeal the Missouri compromise as an infamous outrage upon justice,
humanity and good faith. The nominating committee submitted this list
of candidates for the State offices:

                     Governor--Kinsley S. Bingham.
                  Lieutenant-Governor--Nathan Pierce.
                   Secretary of State--Lovell Moore.
                   State Treasurer--Silas M. Holmes.
                   Auditor-General--Philotus Hayden.
                  Attorney-General--Hovey K. Clarke.
          Commissioner of Land Office--Seymour B. Treadwell.
       Superintendent of Public Instruction--Elijah H. Pilcher.
          Member of Board of Education--Isaac P. Christiancy.

Kinsley S. Bingham was a pioneer farmer of Central Michigan, one of
the very best representatives of his influential class, and a man of
sterling sense, strong convictions, and excellent abilities. He had
served with honor in the State Legislature, and had as a Democratic
Congressman sustained alone in his State delegation the Wilmot
Proviso. His nomination was in itself the strongest possible appeal
to the anti-slavery Democrats of the State. The ticket also had upon
it the names of gentlemen who had in the past acted with the Whigs.
The convention ratified the reports of its committees, and after
listening to a few speeches adjourned. It was a significant fact that
two of the speakers were conspicuous Whigs, Henry Barns of the Detroit
_Tribune_, and Halmer H. Emmons; Mr. Emmons was especially emphatic
in his expression of the hope that before the day of election "all
the friends of freedom would be able to stand upon a common platform
against the party and platform of the slave propagandists."

Cotemporaneously with this organized action of the Free Soilers, but
outside of it and of all party lines, there were held many public
meetings throughout Michigan to denounce the Kansas-Nebraska act.
Some of these were county conventions in form, and others were local
mass-meetings. One of the latter took place at Detroit on the 18th of
February; Zachariah Chandler was among the many prominent citizens who
signed its call, and was one of the five speakers from its platform
(the others were Jonathan Kearsley, Samuel Barstow, James A. Van Dyke,
and D. Bethune Duffield). The tone of all the speeches was wholesomely
defiant, and this was also true of the resolutions adopted which were
reported by a committee consisting of Samuel Barstow, Jacob M. Howard,
Joseph Warren, James M. Edmunds, and Henry H. Le Roy. The effect of
this demonstration in the metropolis of the State upon public opinion
was marked, and it and like non-partisan action did much to pave the
way for the fusion of July. Powerful contributions to the same movement
came also from the strong and growing current of sentiment in that
direction throughout the entire North, and from the significant results
of many of the spring elections. Both New Hampshire and Connecticut
elected anti-administration candidates in March and April, and in
Michigan anti-slavery coalitions were successful in quite a number of
municipal contests, notably in the important city of Grand Rapids which
chose Wilder D. Foster mayor on that issue.

Throughout the spring of 1854 many private conferences (Mr. Chandler
sharing in them) were held in Michigan among representative men of
the Whigs, Free Soilers, and Anti-Nebraska Democrats to discuss the
feasibility of union and consider plans for its accomplishment. The
early action of the Free Soilers was in fact a practical obstacle in
the way. That party represented but a small element of the anti-slavery
sentiment of Michigan, and neither the sincerity of its purpose, nor
its tender of the olive branch by placing Whig names on its State
ticket, nor the soundness of its platform on the slavery question could
counterbalance the many reasons why the Whigs would not surrender
a time-honored organization and march bodily into the camp of what
they had always regarded as a faction of impracticables. There was
also much in the State situation to encourage Whig hope, for the
party there was almost solidly anti-slavery and certain to profit by
the weakening of the enemy through the revolt of the Anti-Nebraska
Democrats. But there was a vigor of principle and an intelligence of
sentiment in the Whig party of Michigan which encouraged the belief
that it would not subordinate essentials to a name, and that it would
assent to an anti-slavery union under conditions not involving any
seeming self-degradation. In fact it was called upon to make the only
real sacrifice involved in the desired coalition. The Free Soilers
were powerless, and had nothing to lose and everything to gain in
the new movement; the Anti-Nebraska Democrats were condemned by, and
without influence in, their own party; but the Whigs were strong
in numbers, and were asked to surrender a historic name, honorable
traditions and reviving hope for a doubtful experiment. But that the
hour demanded precisely this act of self-denial was clear, and men
of resolution and principle grappled with the problem of making it
possible. Altogether the most important work in that direction was done
by Joseph Warren, editor of the Detroit _Tribune_, then an influential
Whig paper, which began the publication in its columns of a series of
vigorous and well-considered articles advocating the organization of
a new party composed of all the opponents of slavery extension. This
policy accorded with the drift of public opinion, and, involving as
it did the disbanding of both the Whig and Free Soil organizations,
avoided any appearance of surrender and humiliation. Public and private
discussion made its wisdom plainer, and the proof of its feasibility
was followed by steps for its accomplishment. An indispensable
preliminary was the withdrawal of the "Free Democrat" ticket, as this
would remove the chief stumbling-block in the path of the anti-slavery
Whigs. Mr. Warren, whose personal labors at this juncture were of the
utmost value, writes with reference to the spirit with which the Free
Soil leaders met the demand for this step:

  One of the first and chiefest obstacles to be overcome in order to
  ensure the co-operation of all the opponents of slavery extension
  in the movement looking to the organization of a new party, was
  to induce the Free Soilers to consent to the withdrawal of their
  ticket from the field, thus placing themselves on the same footing
  as the Whigs (who as yet had made no nominations), free from all
  entangling alliances and in a position to act in a way likely to
  prove most effectual. But formidable as this obstacle seemed to
  be in the beginning, it was promptly removed through the wisely
  directed and patriotic efforts of the prominent leaders of the
  party. Such men as Hovey K. Clarke, Silas M. Holmes, Kinsley S.
  Bingham, Seymour Treadwell, all on the Free Soil ticket, F. C.
  Beaman, S. P. Mead, I. P. Christiancy, W. W. Murphy, Whitney Jones,
  U. Tracy Howe, Jacob S. Farrand, Rev. S. A. Baker, proprietor,
  and Rev. Jabez Fox, editor of the Detroit _Free Democrat_, were
  especially active and influential in preparing the way for this
  necessary preliminary step.

This readiness of the Free Soil leaders to make the sacrifices required
on their part bore prompt fruit. The Kansas-Nebraska bill was passed
by the House on the 22d of May, and three days after a stirring call
was issued for a mass convention of the Free Democrats of Michigan at
Kalamazoo on June 21st. The village of Kalamazoo had long been a center
of anti-slavery sentiment, and the agitation against the pending bill
had been especially vigorous there and in the surrounding counties.
The call was full of fiery denunciation of the slavery propagandists,
and its vigor and _vim_ showed how thoroughly the people were aroused.
The convention itself, owing to bad weather and other inauspicious
circumstances, was not a large one, but its character and action were
significant and important. Among those in attendance were four of
the candidates on the "Free Democrat" ticket, including Kinsley S.
Bingham. M. A. McNaughton was made president, and Hovey K. Clarke,
from the committee for that purpose, reported a series of resolutions
reviewing the disgraceful proceedings of the session of Congress,
denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska bill as the crowning act of a series of
aggressions by which slavery had become the great national interest
of the country, and appealing to the virtue of the people "to declare
in an unmistakable tone their will that slavery aggression upon their
rights shall go no further, that there shall be no compromise with
slavery, that there shall be no more slave States, that there shall
be no slave territory, that the Fugitive Slave law shall be repealed,
that the abominations of slavery shall no longer be perpetrated under
the sanctions of the federal constitution, and that they will make
their will effective by driving from every place of official power the
public servants who have so shamelessly betrayed their trust, and by
putting in their places men who are honest and capable, men who will be
faithful to the constitution and the great claims of humanity." A final
resolution directed the appointment of a committee of sixteen, two from
each judicial district, to consult with others for the organization
of a new party animated and guided by the principles expressed in
the resolutions, and it empowered that committee, in case of the
establishment of an "efficient organization" of such a character,
to surrender the "distinctive organization" of the "Free Democrats"
and withdraw the State ticket nominated on the 22d of February. This
action, reached after a vigorous discussion, cleared the way for the

A few days before the meeting of the Kalamazoo convention, but after
its probable course had become apparent, a call had appeared in the
columns of the Detroit _Tribune_ (it was copied, after the Kalamazoo
action, by the Detroit _Free Democrat_ also) for a mass-meeting at
Jackson, on July 6, of all the opponents of slavery extension. This
was signed by several thousand leading citizens of Michigan, in all
parts of the State, including Zachariah Chandler, Jacob M. Howard, H.
P. Baldwin, H. K. Clarke, Franklin Moore, John Owen, Jacob S. Farrand,
Shubael Conant, J. J. Bagley, E. B. Ward, R. W. King, James Burns,
Charles M. Croswell, Allen Potter, Austin Blair, Isaac P. Christiancy,
Chas. T. Gorham, and others. The signatures filled two newspaper
columns in close type, and it was announced on the last day that
several hundred names had been received too late for publication. The
text of this document was as follows:


  A great wrong has been perpetrated. The slave power of this country
  has triumphed. Liberty is trampled under foot. The Missouri
  compromise, a solemn compact, entered into by our fathers, has been
  violated, and a vast territory dedicated to freedom has been opened
  to slavery.

  This act, so unjust to the North, has been perpetrated under
  circumstances which deepen its perfidy. An administration placed in
  power by Northern votes has brought to bear all the resources of
  executive corruption in its support.

  Northern Senators and Representatives, in the face of the
  overwhelming public sentiment of the North, expressed in the
  proceedings of public meetings and solemn remonstrances, without
  a single petition in its favor on their table, and not daring to
  submit this great question to the people, have yielded to the
  seductions of executive patronage, and, Judas-like, betrayed the
  cause of liberty; while the South, inspired by a dominant and
  grasping ambition, has, without distinction of party, and with
  a unanimity almost entire, deliberately trampled under foot the
  solemn compact entered into in the midst of a crisis threatening
  to the peace of the Union, sanctioned by the greatest names of our
  history, and the binding force of which has, for a period of more
  than thirty years, been recognized and declared by numerous acts
  of legislation. Such an outrage upon liberty, such a violation
  of plighted faith, cannot be submitted to. This great wrong must
  be righted, or there is no longer a North in the councils of the
  nation. The extension of slavery, under the folds of the American
  flag, is a stigma upon liberty. The indefinite increase of slave
  representation in Congress is destructive to that equality between
  freemen which is essential to the permanency of the Union.

  The safety of the Union--the rights of the North--the interests of
  free labor--the destiny of a vast territory and its untold millions
  for all coming time--and finally, the high aspirations of humanity
  for universal freedom, all are involved in the issue forced upon
  the country by the slave power and its plastic Northern tools.

  In view, therefore, of the recent action of Congress upon this
  subject, and the evident designs of the slave power to attempt
  still further aggressions upon freedom--we invite all our fellow
  citizens, without reference to former political associations, who
  think that the time has arrived for a _union_ at the North to
  protect liberty from being overthrown and down-trodden, to assemble
  in mass convention on Thursday, the 6th of July next, at 4 o'clock,
  P. M., at Jackson, there to take such measures as shall be thought
  best to concentrate the popular sentiment of this State against the
  aggression of the slave power.

The response to this appeal was the gathering at Jackson, on a
bright mid-summer day, of hundreds of influential men from all parts
of Michigan, representing every shade of anti-slavery feeling, and
thoroughly alive to the importance of the occasion and the difficulty
of the task projected. The convention far outstripped in numbers the
preparations for its accommodation, and, after filling to excess the
largest hall in the town, it adjourned to meet in a beautiful oak
grove, situated between the village and the county race-course, on a
tract of land then known as "Morgan's Forty." The growth of Jackson has
since covered this historic ground with buildings, and the spacious
grove has dwindled to a few scattered oaks shading the city's busy
streets. A rude platform erected for speakers was appropriated by the
officers of the convention, and about it thronged a mass of earnest
men, the vanguard of the Republican host. In a body so incongruous
and unwieldy, confused purposes, discordant views, and conflicting
interests were unavoidable, but the universal fervor of the fusion
sentiment formed a broad foundation for harmonious action, and the
convention did not lack for shrewd and sagacious political managers
with the skill to direct earnest effort into practical channels. Such
differences of opinion as there were on questions of policy and as
to candidates exhausted themselves in private conferences and secret
committee deliberations, and the convention itself did its business
with promptness, without discord, and amid a genuine enthusiasm.

Its temporary chairman was the Hon. Levi Baxter, of Jonesville, a
pioneer settler of Southern Michigan, and the founder of a family of
marked prominence in that State. He was well known as the master spirit
of many important business enterprises, had been a Whig and then a Free
Soiler, and had been elected to the State Senate by a local coalition
of both those parties in his own county. After a brief address by
Mr. Baxter, Jeremiah Van Renselaer was chosen temporary secretary,
and this committee on permanent organization was appointed: Samuel
Barstow, C. H. Van Cleeck, Isaac P. Christiancy, G. W. Burchard, Lovell
Moore, James W. Hill, Henry W. Lord, and Newell Avery. While they were
deliberating, the convention adjourned to the oak grove, and there
listened to brief speeches until a permanent organization was effected
with the following gentlemen as officers of the first Republican State
convention ever held:

  President--David S. Walbridge, of Kalamazoo.

  Vice-Presidents--F. C. Beaman, Oliver Johnson, Rudolph Diepenbeck,
  Thomas Curtis, C. T. Gorham, Pliny Power, Emanuel Mann, Charles
  Draper, George Winslow, Norman Little, John McKinney, W. W. Murphy.

  Secretaries--J. Van Renselaer, J. F. Conover, A. B. Turner.

Mr. Walbridge was a prominent merchant of Central Michigan, and an
exceedingly active and earnest Whig. He had already served several
terms in the Legislature and was afterward a Republican Congressman
for four years from Michigan. His selection as president of the
convention was a wise recognition of the important Whig element in its
membership. The great throng next separated into representatives of
the four congressional districts, and chose the following committee
on resolutions: Jacob M. Howard, Austin Blair, Donald McIntyre, John
Hilsendegen, Charles Noble, Alfred R. Metcalf, John W. Turner, Levi
Baxter, Marsh Giddings, E. Hussey, A. Williams, John McKinney, Chas.
Draper, M. L. Higgins, J. E. Simmonds, Z. B. Knight. The chairmanship
of this important committee naturally fell to Jacob M. Howard,
of Detroit, a lawyer of eminence and rare powers, the first Whig
Congressman from Michigan, and a man of deservedly high reputation
for intellectual vigor and personal integrity. He was afterward for
nine years a Republican Senator, and at Washington earned national
distinction as the author of the Thirteenth Amendment and by much
able and laborious public service. Mr. Howard had prepared a draft
of a platform in advance of the convention, and the committee met to
consider it under a clump of trees on the outskirts of the grove (at
the present intersection of Franklin and Second streets in the city
of Jackson). No material modifications were made in the document,
which was adopted substantially as written by Mr. Howard, except that
Austin Blair proposed to add two resolutions relating to State affairs
purely. As to the expediency of this action there was some difference
of opinion, and finally Mr. Blair submitted his propositions as a
minority report, and the convention adopted and thus added them to the
main platform. Over the resolution formally christening the new party
"Republican," there was no especial discussion. There had already been
suggestions made throughout the country that, for the new organization
evidently about to be born, it might be expedient to revive "the name
of that wise conservative party, whose aim and purpose were the welfare
of the whole Union and the stainless honor of the American name."[4]
The history of this resolution in the Howard platform has been thus
given with undoubted correctness by Mr. Joseph Warren in a published
letter: "The honor of having named and christened the party the writer
has always claimed and now insists belongs jointly to Jacob M. Howard,
Horace Greeley and himself. Soon after the writer began to advocate,
through the columns of the _Tribune_, the organization of all opponents
of slavery into a single party, Horace Greeley voluntarily opened a
correspondence with him in regard to this movement, in which he frankly
communicated his views and gave him many valuable suggestions as to the
wisest course to be pursued. This correspondence was necessarily very
short, as it began and ended in June, it being only five weeks from the
repeal of the compromise, May 30, to the Jackson convention. In his
last letter, received only a day or two before it was to assemble, Mr.
Greeley suggested to him 'Republican,' according to his recollection,
but, as Mr. Howard contended, 'Democrat-Republican,' as an appropriate
name for the proposed new party. But this is of comparatively little
consequence. The material fact is, that this meeting the writer's
cordial approval, he gave Mr. Greeley's letter containing the
suggestions to Mr. Howard on the day of the convention, after he had
been appointed chairman of the committee on resolutions, and strongly
advised its adoption. This was done and the platform adopted."

While the committee on resolutions was absent, the convention was
addressed by Zachariah Chandler, Kinsley S. Bingham, and a number of
others. No complete record was made of Mr. Chandler's remarks upon
this occasion, but the report of the convention in the Detroit _Free
Democrat_, prepared by its secretary, contains this: "We would say in
parenthesis that an allusion most generously made by Mr. Chandler to
Mr. Bingham drew from the crowd three rousing cheers for the latter
gentleman." The Jackson _Citizen_ also gave the following reference
to Mr. Chandler's remarks: "When in the course of his speech he gave
a brief history of the Wilmot Proviso in Michigan, alluding to the
anti-slavery resolutions passed by a Democratic State convention
in 1849, and the resolutions of instructions to our Senators and
Representatives in Congress by the Legislature on the same subject,
and then exclaimed that 'not one of our Representatives had ever been
_honest_ enough to carry them out except Kinsley S. Bingham, a spark
of enthusiasm fired the crowd, the shout of approbation ran through
the vast assembly, and, if any doubt had previously existed as to who
should be the man, that doubt was then removed." These addresses were
followed by the report of the committee on resolutions, which was read
by Mr. Howard amid frequent outbursts of applause, and was as follows:

  The freemen of Michigan, assembled in convention in pursuance of
  a spontaneous call, emanating from various parts of the State, to
  consider upon the measures which duty demands of us, as citizens of
  a free State, to take in reference to the late acts of Congress on
  the subject of slavery and its anticipated further extension, do

  _Resolve_, That the institution of slavery except in punishment
  of crime is a great moral, social and political evil; that it was
  so regarded by the fathers of the republic, the founders and best
  friends of the Union, by the heroes and sages of the Revolution
  who contemplated and intended its gradual and peaceful extinction
  as an element hostile to the liberties for which they toiled;
  that its history in the United States, the experience of men best
  acquainted with its workings, the dispassionate confession of
  those who are interested in it; its tendency to relax the vigor
  of industry and enterprise inherited in the white man; the very
  surface of the earth where it subsists; the vices and immoralities
  which are its natural growth; the stringent police, often wanting
  in humanity and revolting to the sentiments of every generous
  heart, which it demands; the danger it has already wrought and the
  future danger which it portends to the security of the Union and
  our constitutional liberties--all incontestably prove it to lie
  such evil. Surely that institution is not to be strengthened and
  encouraged against which Washington, the calmest and wisest of our
  nation, bore unequivocal testimony; as to which Jefferson, filled
  with a love of liberty, exclaimed: "Can the liberties of a nation
  be ever thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis,
  a conviction in the minds of the people that their liberties are
  THE GIFT OF GOD; that they are not to be violated but with His
  wrath? Indeed, I tremble, for my country when I reflect that God
  is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; that, considering
  numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel
  of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events; that
  it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty
  has no attribute which can take sides with us in such a contest!"
  And as to which another eminent patriot in Virginia, on the close
  of the Revolution, also exclaimed: "Had we turned our eyes inwardly
  when we supplicated the Father of Mercies to aid the injured and
  oppressed, when we invoked the Author of Righteousness to attest
  the purity of our motives and the justice of our cause, and
  implored the God of battles to aid our exertions in its defense,
  should we not have stood more self-convicted than the contrite
  publican?" We believe these sentiments to be as true now as they
  were then.

  _Resolved_, That slavery is a violation of the rights of man as
  man; that the law of nature, which is the law of liberty, gives to
  no man rights superior to those of another; that God and nature
  have secured to each individual the inalienable right of equality,
  any violation of which must be the result of superior force; and
  that slavery therefore is a perpetual war upon its victims; that
  whether we regard the institution as first originating in captures
  made in war, or the subjection of the debtor as the slave of his
  creditor, or the forcible seizure and sale of children by their
  parents or subjects by their king, and whether it be viewed in
  this country as a "_necessary evil_" or otherwise, we find it to
  be, like imprisonment for debt, but a relic of barbarism as well
  as an element of weakness in the midst of the State, inviting the
  attack of external enemies, and a ceaseless cause of internal
  apprehension and alarm. Such are the lessons taught us, not only
  by the histories of other commonwealths, but by that of our own
  beloved country.

  _Resolved_, That the history of the formation of the constitution,
  and particularly the enactment of the ordinance of July 13, 1787,
  prohibiting slavery north of the Ohio, abundantly shows it to have
  been the purpose of our fathers not to promote but to prevent
  the spread of slavery. And we, reverencing their memories and
  cherishing free republican faith as our richest inheritance, which
  we vow, at whatever expense, to defend, thus publicly proclaim our
  determination to oppose by all the powerful and honorable means in
  our power, now and henceforth, all attempts, direct or indirect, to
  extend slavery in this country, or to permit it to extend into any
  region or locality in which it does not now exist by positive law,
  or to admit new slave States into the Union.

  _Resolved_, That the constitution of the United States gives to
  Congress full and complete power for the municipal government of
  the territories thereof, a power which from its nature cannot be
  either alienated or abdicated without yielding up to the territory
  an absolute political independence, which involves an absurdity.
  That the exercise of this power necessarily looks to the formation
  of States to be admitted into the Union; and on the question
  whether they shall be admitted as _free_ or _slave_ States Congress
  has a right to adopt such prudential and preventive measures as
  the principles of liberty and the interests of the whole country
  require. That this question is one of the gravest importance to
  the free States, inasmuch as the constitution itself creates an
  inequality in the apportionment of representatives, greatly to the
  detriment of the free and to the advantage of the slave States.
  This question, so vital to the interests of the free States (but
  which we are told by certain political doctors of modern times is
  to be treated with utter indifference) is one which we hold it to
  be our right to _discuss_; which we hold it the duty of Congress
  in every instance to determine in unequivocal language, and in
  a manner to _prevent_ the spread of slavery and the increase of
  such unequal representation. In short, we claim that the North is
  a _party to the new bargain, and is entitled to have a voice and
  influence in settling its terms_. And in view of the ambitious
  designs of the slave power, we regard the man or the party who
  would forego this right, as untrue to the honor and interest of the
  North and unworthy of its support.

  _Resolved_, That the repeal of the "Missouri Compromise," contained
  in the recent act of Congress for the creation of the territories
  of Nebraska and Kansas, thus admitting slavery into a region till
  then sealed against it by law, equal in extent to the thirteen old
  States, is an act unprecedented in the history of the country, and
  one which must engage the earnest and serious attention of every
  Northern man. And as Northern freemen, independent of all former
  parties, we here hold this measure up to the public execration, for
  the following reasons:

  That it is a plain departure from the policy of the fathers of
  the republic in regard to slavery, and a wanton and dangerous
  frustration of their purposes and their hopes.

  That it actually admits _and was intended to admit_ slavery into
  said territories, and thus (to use the words applied by Judge
  Tucker, of Virginia, to the fathers of that commonwealth) "sows the
  seeds of an evil which like a leprosy hath descended upon their
  posterity with accumulated rancor, visiting the sins of the fathers
  upon succeeding generations." That it was sprung upon the country
  stealthily and by surprise, without necessity, without petition,
  and without previous discussion, thus violating the cardinal
  principle of republican government, which requires all legislation
  to accord with the opinions and sentiments of the people.

  That on the part of the South it is an open and undisguised
  breach of faith, as contracted between the North and South in
  the settlement of the Missouri question in 1820, by which the
  tranquillity of the two sections was restored; a compromise binding
  upon all honorable men.

  That it is also an open violation of the compromise of 1850, by
  which, for the sake of peace, and to calm the distempered pulse of
  certain enemies of the Union at the South, the North accepted and
  acquiesced in the odious "fugitive slave law" of that year.

  That it is also an undisguised and unmanly contempt of the pledge
  given to the country by the present dominant party at their
  national convention in 1852, not to "_agitate the subject of
  slavery in or out of Congress_," being the same convention that
  nominated Franklin Pierce to the Presidency.

  That it is greatly injurious to the free States, and to the
  Territories themselves, tending to retard the settlement and to
  prevent the improvement of the country by means of free labor, and
  to discourage foreign immigrants resorting thither for their homes.



  That one of its principal aims is to give to the slave States
  such a decided and practical preponderance in all the measures of
  government as shall reduce the North, with all her industry, wealth
  and enterprise, to be the mere province of a few slaveholding
  oligarchs of the South--a condition too shameful to be contemplated.

  Because, as openly avowed by its Southern friends, it is intended
  as an entering wedge to the still further augmentation of the slave
  power by the acquisition of the other Territories, cursed with the
  same "leprosy."

  _Resolved_, That the obnoxious measure to which we have alluded
  ought to be _repealed_, and a provision substituted for it,
  prohibiting slavery in said Territories, and each of them.

  _Resolved_, That after this gross breach of faith and wanton
  affront to us as Northern men, we hold ourselves absolved from all
  "_compromises_" (except those expressed in the constitution) for
  the protection of slavery and slave-owners; that we now demand
  measures of protection and immunity for ourselves; and among them
  we demand the _repeal of the fugitive slave law_, and an act to
  abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.

  _Resolved_, That we notice without dismay certain popular
  indications by slaveholders on the frontier of said Territories of
  a purpose on their part to prevent by violence the settlement of
  the country by non-slaveholding men. To the latter we say: Be of
  good cheer, persevere in the right, remember the Republican motto,

  _Resolved_, That postponing and suspending all differences with
  regard to political economy or administrative policy, in view of
  the imminent danger that Kansas and Nebraska will be grasped by
  slavery, and a thousand miles of slave soil be thus interposed
  between the free States of the Atlantic and those of the Pacific,
  we will act cordially and faithfully in unison to avert and repeal
  this gigantic wrong and shame.

  _Resolved_, That in view of the necessity of battling for the first
  principles of republican government, and against the schemes of an
  aristocracy, the most revolting and oppressive with which the earth
  was ever cursed, or man debased, we will co-operate and be known as
  REPUBLICANS until the contest be terminated.

  _Resolved_, That we earnestly recommend the calling of a general
  convention of the free States, and such of the slaveholding States,
  or portions thereof, as may desire to be there represented, with a
  view to the adoption of other more extended and effectual measures
  in resistance to the encroachments of slavery; and that a committee
  of five persons be appointed to correspond and co-operate with our
  friends in other States on the subject.

  _Resolved_, That in relation to the domestic affairs of the State
  we urge a more economical administration of the government and a
  more rigid accountability of the public officers: a speedy payment
  of the balance of the public debt, and the lessening of the amount
  of taxation: a careful preservation of the primary school and
  university funds, and their diligent application to the great
  objects for which they were created; and also further legislation
  to prevent the unnecessary or imprudent sale of the lands belonging
  to the State.

  _Resolved_, That in our opinion the commercial wants of Michigan
  require the enactment of a general railroad law, which, while
  it shall secure the investment and encourage the enterprise of
  stockholders, shall also guard and protect the rights of the public
  and of individuals, and that the preparation of such a measure
  requires the first talents of the State.

The resolutions were adopted almost unanimously, and thereupon Isaac
P. Christiancy, as chairman of the committee of sixteen appointed by
the Kalamazoo convention, came forward and announced the absolute
abandonment of the State ticket and organization of the Free
Democracy--an act which was greeted with loud and prolonged applause. A
committee of ninety, consisting of three from each Senatorial district
in the State, and including the names of Jacob M. Howard, Moses
Wisner, Charles M. Croswell, Fernando C. Beaman, and Chas. T. Gorham,
was next appointed to nominate a State ticket, and the convention
adjourned until evening. At that session, which was held in one of the
village halls, a State central committee was chosen, and the committee
on nominations reported the following ticket which was unanimously
endorsed by the convention, this closing its formal proceedings:

             Governor--Kinsley S. Bingham, of Livingston.
            Lieutenant-Governor--George A. Coe, of Branch.
           Secretary of State--John McKinney, of Van Buren.
              State Treasurer--Silas M. Holmes, of Wayne.
             Attorney-General--Jacob M. Howard, of Wayne.
              Auditor-General--Whitney Jones, of Ingham.
    Commissioner of Land Office--Seymour B. Treadwell, of Jackson.
     Superintendent of Public Instruction--Ira Mayhew, of Monroe.
        Member Board of Education--John R. Kellogg, of Allegan.
            (To fill vacancy)--Hiram L. Miller, of Saginaw.

The response of the anti-slavery masses to the action of the convention
was prompt and cordial. Some of the more earnest and enthusiastic
Whigs who had hoped that the Northern wing of their party could be
transformed into an efficient champion of slavery restriction--Mr.
Chandler had shared in this feeling--at first doubted the wisdom of
what had been done. They found themselves called upon to make large
sacrifices of cherished traditions and ties, and felt that their
representation upon the fusion State ticket was not in due proportion
to the number of votes they would be expected to contribute to its
election. But this not unnatural feeling of early disappointment
had but a brief existence among the Whigs of strong anti-slavery
convictions. As the good faith of the movement, the spontaneous
character of the popular uprising, and the possibility of accomplishing
anti-slavery union throughout the North became clear, they laid aside
all hesitation and joined with sincere ardor in the work of Republican
organization. Before the close of the summer of 1854 the strong
leaders and the intelligent rank and file of the Michigan Whigs had
accepted the new fellowship, and the action of the Jackson convention
received their hearty acquiescence and loyal support. Mr. Chandler
rendered valuable service in the following campaign as an organizer of
Republicanism throughout Michigan, and put into this work enough of his
characteristic vigor to earn from the Democratic papers the title of
the "traveling agent" of the "new Abolition party."

There was still among the Whigs a small conservative minority who,
chiefly through the inspiration of pro-slavery sentiment and under
the leadership of the Detroit _Advertiser_, made a desperate effort
to prevent the abandonment of their party organization. They procured
the signing of a circular addressed to the Whig committee asking that
a State convention should be held, and in compliance with this request
a call was issued for a convention to meet at Marshall on October 4.
When it assembled it was found that the great majority of its delegates
favored union with the Republicans. They controlled its proceedings
throughout, and put in the chair Rufus Hosmer who was then the head of
the new Republican State central committee, elected a State central
committee composed of ardent fusionists, defeated the schemes for the
nomination of a ticket, and issued an address urging the Whigs of
Michigan to unite in this campaign with all other opponents of the
spread of slavery. This decisive action made the Michigan election of
1854 a contest between Republicanism and the Democracy (which held its
convention at Detroit on September 14, and placed John S. Barry at the
head of its State ticket).

The local result of the Jackson convention was a permanent political
revolution. In November the Republicans elected their entire State
ticket (giving Mr. Bingham 43,652 votes to 38,675 for Mr. Barry),
three of the four Congressmen, and a Legislature with an overwhelming
majority in both branches against the Kansas-Nebraska policy. The
Republican ascendancy thus established in Michigan has never been
impaired. That party has been victorious in every State election since
1854; and of the Governors since chosen every one who was at that time
a resident of the State (Henry H. Crapo did not settle in Michigan
until 1856) was a member of the Jackson convention. Michigan has also
since sent only Republicans to the Senate; every one of them except
Thomas W. Ferry (who had barely attained his majority in 1854) was a
prominent actor in the scenes "under the oaks." It has sent seventy-six
Republicans and only seven Democrats to the House of Representatives,
and the Republicans have controlled both branches of every Legislature
since 1854. Iowa is the only State which can point to a similar record
of uninterrupted Republican victory. In Vermont the Democrats have been
uniformly defeated, but the opposition ticket in 1854 was not called
Republican. Of the States which have been admitted since 1854, three
(Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota) have been steadfastly Republican, but
Michigan surpasses them in the duration, while she equals them in the
quality, of her fidelity to the party of Freedom. Each of the other
Northern States has at least once chosen an anti-Republican Governor,
while Michigan (with Iowa) has been uniformly Republican.

The claim that Michigan was the first State to organize and name the
Republican party cannot be successfully disputed.[5] The convention
"under the oaks" of Jackson ante-dates by a week or more all similar
bodies. The first Republican convention in Wisconsin was held at
Madison on July 13, 1854. Its call was issued (July 9) after a number
of Anti-Nebraska meetings had been held in different parts of the
State, and invited "all men opposed to the repeal of the Missouri
compromise and the extension of the slave power" to take part. This
convention adopted the following as one of its resolutions:

  _Resolved_, That we accept the issue forced upon us by the slave
  power, and in defense of Freedom, will co-operate and be known as

The Anti-Nebraska men of Massachusetts met in convention on July 19
of the same year, and organized the Republican party in that State by
adopting the following resolution:

  _Resolved_, That in co-operation with the friends of Freedom in
  sister States, we hereby form the Republican party of Massachusetts.

But the Republicans did not carry Massachusetts that year, the
Anti-Nebraska vote being cast almost solidly for the successful
Know-Nothing ticket. In Vermont, on July 13, 1854, a mass convention
was held of persons "in favor of resisting, by all constitutional
means, the usurpations of the propagandists of slavery." Among the
resolutions there adopted was one which closed with these words: "We
propose and respectfully recommend to the friends of Freedom in other
States to co-operate and be known as Republicans." A State ticket was
nominated, but, the State committees of the various parties being
empowered "to fill vacancies," a fusion ticket was afterward placed in
the field, voted for and elected under the name of Fusion. On the same
day a convention was held in Columbus, O., which organized a canvass
which swept that State at the fall elections; during this campaign
most of the Anti-Nebraska candidates called themselves Republicans,
and the party formally adopted that name at the State convention in
1855 which nominated Salmon P. Chase for Governor. It will be seen
that the Jackson convention preceded all these kindred gatherings. To
this statement may be profitably added the testimony of Henry Wilson,
who, after thoroughly investigating the whole subject of the origin of
Republicanism, wrote:[6]

  But whatever suggestions others may have made, or whatever action
  may have been taken elsewhere, to Michigan belongs the honor of
  being the first State to form and christen the Republican party.
  More than three months before the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska
  bill the Free Soil convention had adopted a mixed ticket, made
  up of Free-Soilers and Whigs, in order that there might be a
  combination of the anti-slavery elements of the State. Immediately
  on the passage of the Nebraska bill, Joseph Warren, editor of
  the Detroit _Tribune_, entered upon a course of measures that
  resulted in bringing the Whig and Free Soil parties together, not
  by a mere coalition of the two, but by a fusion of the elements
  of which the two were composed. In his own language, he "took
  ground in favor of disbanding the Whig and Free Soil parties and
  of the organization of a new party, composed of all the opponents
  of slavery extension." Among the first steps taken toward the
  accomplishment of this vitally important object was the withdrawal
  of the Free Soil ticket. This having been effected, a call for a
  mass convention was issued signed by more than 10,000 names. The
  convention met on the 6th day of July, and was largely attended.

  A platform drawn by the Hon. Jacob M. Howard, afterward United
  States Senator from Michigan, was adopted, not only opposing the
  extension of slavery, but declaring in favor of its abolition
  in the District of Columbia. The report also proposed the name
  of "Republican" for the new party, which was adopted by the
  convention. Kinsley S. Bingham was nominated for Governor, and
  was triumphantly elected; and Michigan, thus early to enter the
  ranks of the Republican party, has remained steadfast to its then
  publicly-avowed principles and faith.

It is true that the Michigan convention of July 6, 1854, was only one
development of a vast national agitation. The forces that gave it being
were at work throughout the continent. Like movements were on foot in
every Northern State. Kindred bodies met in the same month to take
the same action. But to the men who gathered on that mid-summer day
in the oak grove at Jackson belongs the honor of being the first to
comprehend a great opportunity; they were wise enough to improve all
its possibilities, and there founded and named the party of the future.


[4] Israel Washburn in an address at Bangor, Me.

[5] The Senator from Virginia has stated that the Republican party
originated in New England, from Know Nothingism. It is not true, sir;
it had no such origin; it originated in no such place and from no
such source. The Republican party was born in Michigan, on the sixth
day of July, 1854. It had no origin from Know Nothingism or any other
thing, except the outrageous, the infamous repeal of the time-honored
Missouri compromise by the Congress of that year. It was christened
the Republican party at its birth. It is perfectly evident the Senator
from Virginia knows nothing at all about the Republican party, its
origin, its ends, or its aims. He does not know anything about its
birth or its principles. I merely wish to correct the misapprehension
on his part that it was born in New England or anywhere else out of the
State of Michigan. There is where it was born, sir; and we glory in the
production of such a child.--_Mr. Chandler in the Senate, December 14,
1859, in reply to Senator Mason, of Virginia._

[6] Wilson's "Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America," volume 2,
page 412.



The abrogation of the Missouri compromise was followed by the arbitrary
enforcement of the Fugitive Slave act in important Northern cities, and
by a determined struggle between freedom and slavery for the possession
of the virgin soil of Kansas. These phases of "the irrepressible
conflict" were attended by many exciting incidents which constantly
strengthened the new anti-slavery party in the North and in the end
made it the main competitor of the Democracy in the presidential
election of 1856. The decisive character of its victory in Michigan
in 1854 made Republicanism especially strong in that State, and the
events of each successive month of 1855 and 1856 added to its power
both in numbers and in sentiment. Throughout this period Mr. Chandler
labored, in public and in private, and with earnestness and effect, to
inspire the new party with vigor of conviction and unflinching firmness
of purpose. No man did more than he to make it thoroughly "radical,"
and his former prominence as a Whig rendered his efforts especially
fruitful. His earliest Republican speeches did not differ from his
latest in courage of opinion, in plainness of expression, or in
manifest sincerity of conviction. On September 12, 1855, he addressed,
with Henry Wilson, an immense mass-meeting at Kalamazoo, and denounced
the border-ruffian crimes in Kansas in the strongest terms. On the 30th
of May, 1856, he was one of the speakers at a large meeting held in the
city of Detroit to consider the assault of Preston Brooks upon Charles
Sumner. He there gave expression to Republican indignation in the
plainest language. After fitly describing the era of pro-slavery murder
in Kansas, and the recent crime of "a cowardly assassin on the very
floor of the Senate of the United States," he offered two resolutions,
one demanding the impeachment of Franklin Pierce for his action in
relation to Kansas, and a second to expel Rust, of Arkansas, for his
attack upon Horace Greeley, and Preston Brooks for his assault on Mr.
Sumner. Then he said in substance:

  This is not a time for argument. It is a time for action, for
  speaking boldly and fearlessly.... This assault is upon the entire
  North. So long have craven doughface representatives sat in her
  places in Congress that the South has come to doubt our manhood....
  We should uphold the hands of our representatives, and tell them
  that an indignity offered to them is an indignity offered to us.
  [Applause.] ... The resolution calling for the impeachment of
  the President is one proper to be offered. He has connived at
  and aided all this Kansas treachery and wrong. He supports the
  bogus Legislature of Kansas and orders its odious laws enforced.
  If Thomas Jefferson was to read his preamble to the Declaration
  of Independence in Kansas, he could be condemned by those laws
  to imprisonment in the penitentiary for two years.... What the
  British did at Lexington, the United States troops, under the
  orders of President Pierce, did at Lawrence. Our fathers resisted
  by all means in their power. We should imitate their example. What
  should we do?... We should send enough men there to put Kansas in a
  peaceable condition.

Mr. Chandler also said: "Had I been on the floor of the Senate when
that assault occurred, so help me God, that ruffian's blood would
have flowed," and he closed by declaring that Detroit should send one
hundred men to Kansas, and by pledging himself, if that was done, to
devote his entire income while they were there to aiding in their
maintenance. He also made a forcible speech at a Kansas relief meeting,
held in Detroit, to greet Gov. Andrew H. Reeder, on June 2, 1856,
and then headed a subscription paper for the aid of the struggling
Free State men of that territory with the sum of $10,000. Actions and
utterances of this kind in the plastic days of Michigan Republicanism
gave to it that resolute and robust character which has been the source
of its power.

The first national convention of the Republican party was held at
Pittsburg on the 22d of February, 1856, under a call issued by
the chairmen of the Republican committees of Ohio, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It was attended by
delegates representing twenty-seven States and territories, and
provided for the national organization of the Republican party by
creating a general executive committee and calling a convention, to
meet at Philadelphia on June 17, to nominate a presidential ticket.
Michigan was represented at Pittsburg by a delegation of eighteen,
headed by Zachariah Chandler, and including Kinsley S. Bingham, Jacob
M. Howard, and Fernando C. Beaman. Mr. Chandler was also a member of
the committee which reported the plan for the national organization of
the Republican party, and he participated briefly in the debates of
that important gathering. The Michigan convention to elect delegates to
Philadelphia was held at Ann Arbor, on March 8, 1856, and was addressed
by Mr. Chandler and other prominent Republicans. He was a member of the
Philadelphia convention, acting as an alternate for Charles T. Gorham,
and, after Fremont was nominated, formally promised that the electoral
vote of Michigan should be given for the ticket. He was there made the
member for his State of the first Republican National Committee. The
Michigan delegation at Philadelphia originally supported Mr. Seward for
the presidency, but finally joined in the movement to nominate General
Fremont on the first ballot. For the vice-presidency the majority of
the delegation supported William L. Dayton, but Mr. Chandler, with four
others, voted for Abraham Lincoln.

In the following campaign Mr. Chandler was among the most active of
the Republican leaders. He aided liberally in the work of organizing
the party throughout the State, and spoke at Detroit several times,
and at Kalamazoo, Lapeer, Port Huron, Adrian, Coldwater, and other of
the important cities and towns of Michigan. He also held one joint
discussion with Alpheus Felch, at Olivet, on October 16. The tone of
his public utterances in 1856 will appear from these extracts from his
speech at Kalamazoo (on August 27) before an immense mass-meeting,
which was also addressed by Abraham Lincoln and Jacob M. Howard:

  The Republicans of Michigan stand by the constitution, and when
  their defamers proclaim that they are a disunion party, as they
  do so often, they publish what they know to be a falsehood.... We
  are determined to stand by the constitution in all its parts, and,
  more than that, to make our adversaries stand by it in all and
  every part.... Our opponents have ignored this constitution with
  but a single exception. And what is that exception? It is the key
  to their character and their principles. In this whole instrument
  they acknowledge but one clause, and that is the right to reclaim
  fugitive slaves from their hard-earned freedom!

  We intend to make our opponents stand by this clause: "The citizens
  of each State shall be entitled to the privileges of all the
  States." But how is this at present on the Missouri? The citizens
  of Massachusetts, of New Jersey, of Pennsylvania or of Michigan,
  if they but presume to enter Kansas, are sent back with a guard or
  murdered in cold blood, while the citizens of the South are aided
  on their way to plant in that beautiful territory the accursed
  blight of slavery. We will make them stand by the constitution in
  all its parts, or, by the Eternal, we will have a different state
  of things here. The oak shall bear other fruit than acorns if the
  constitution be not upheld.

  Here is another clause of that instrument: "Congress shall make no
  law abridging the freedom of speech or the press." How is it in
  Kansas to-day regarding this? If any man shall dare to deny the
  right to hold slaves in that territory he is imprisoned for a term
  of five years.

  Our opponents must also stand by this clause of the constitution:
  "A well-regulated militia being necessary of a free state, the
  right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
  That clause of the constitution is trampled under foot, and the
  Democratic platform in sustaining Pierce's administration virtually
  sustains and endorses the disgraceful outrage.

  Here is another clause: "No person shall be deprived of life,
  liberty or property without due process of law." The whole history
  of the Kansas matter shows how shamefully this clause has been
  rejected by those who uphold the administration.

  There are but two candidates for the Presidency and but two
  platforms. The issue--the only issue--is: Shall slavery be
  national? Shall it be under our protection, or shall it be under
  the protection of the slave States only? The whole question of
  platforms is in that. It is the only question.... The policy of
  this government for twenty-five years has been pro-slavery. The
  first act toward breaking that policy was the election of Banks
  as Speaker last winter. It was the first of what I hope will be a
  series of victories.

  A few years ago there was great commotion in the land. We were told
  "the Union is in danger." "What shall be done?" That was the first
  question. What was the answer of the men in power? "Use the utmost
  power of the government; the Union must be saved." Armed men went
  through the streets of Boston. Troops were ordered there in great
  numbers. Ships of war were sent to Massachusetts Bay. What was the
  terrible danger of the Union? There was a Negro lost! A slave had
  run away! A poor African had escaped from his master and--lo, the
  Union was in danger! "Use all the power of the government; the laws
  must be enforced." Other troops were ordered there. The militia
  were called out. They surrounded the jail. A sloop of war was sent.
  Burns was borne back to his master and the Union was saved!

  There came a later cry, "the Union is in danger." This time it
  was heard from bleeding Kansas. Armed bands were committing
  daily depredations. This appeal reached the government, and what
  answer is made by the party in power? "I see nothing to call for
  executive interference." "Nothing?" Yet an empire is being crushed.
  "Nothing?" Yet houses are being robbed and burned, and helpless
  women and children murdered! "No cause for interference?" The
  reason is plain. There was no Negro lost.

Michigan fulfilled the pledge made in her behalf at Philadelphia by
Mr. Chandler, and gave to the Fremont electors 71,762 votes, while the
Buchanan ticket received but 52,136 and the Fillmore strength was only
1,660. The Republicans thus more than trebled their majority of 1854,
and in this year carried all of the four Congressional districts of the
State. Their victory in the legislative districts was overwhelming, and
they elected twenty-nine of the thirty-one Senators, and sixty-three of
the eighty Representatives. The term of Lewis Cass as Senator of the
United States expired on the 4th of the following March, and his State
had thus decided that he should give place to a representative of its
earnest and aggressive Republican sentiment. Mr. Chandler was at once
recognized as the leading candidate for the position by reason of his
positive qualities, his personal strength with the business classes
of the State and the masses of the people, and his prominence as a
representative of the strong Whig element in the Republican ranks. The
senatorial canvass was an earnest one, but it was from the outset clear
that Mr. Chandler was the first choice of decidedly the largest number
of legislators, and that no other man possessed his popular following.
Some unavailing efforts were made to combine against him the friends
of all other candidates, but the fact that he was also "the second
choice" of many members defeated this plan, and the Republican caucus
met at Lansing on January 8, 1857, with his marked lead in the contest
still unimpaired. Three ballots were taken at its first session, the
third giving Mr. Chandler a clear majority of all the votes cast. The
caucus then adjourned until the following day, when he received a still
stronger support on the fourth ballot and was formally nominated on the
fifth. The following is the record of the balloting:

                             FIRST SESSION.            SECOND SESSION.
                       +-----------^------------+     +-------^-------+
                      /  First   Second   Third  \   /  Fourth   First \
                       Informal Informal Informal     Informal  Formal
                        Ballot.  Ballot.  Ballot.     Ballot.  Ballot.

  Zachariah Chandler,     37       45       49          54       80
  Isaac P. Christiancy,   17       21       22          33       --
  Austin Blair,           18        7        6          --       --
  Moses Wisner,           12        9       10          --       --
  Jacob M. Howard,        --        6        6           3       --
  Kinsley S. Bingham,      3        7        2          --       --
  George A. Coe,           4       --       --          --       --
  James V. Campbell,       1       --       --          --       --
  Halmer H. Emmons,       --       --       --           1       --
  Blank,                  --       --        1          --       --
  Scattering,             --       --       --          --        8
                         ----     ----     ----        ----     ----
      TOTAL,              92       95       96          91       88

This result was received with the heartiest enthusiasm by the
Republicans, and the caucus greeted its nominee, when he came before it
to return his thanks, with prolonged cheering. The scene which followed
has been thus described by an eyewitness: "This was the only time in
an acquaintance of nearly thirty years that I ever saw Mr. Chandler
abashed. When brought before the caucus he trembled with emotion, and
it was several minutes before he could compose himself to even briefly
return his thanks. He has often said that it was the only time that his
courage and nerve absolutely failed him and that he completely broke
down. The rejoicing was so hearty and unselfish that it overcame him,
and he trembled like a child." On the 10th of January the two branches
of the Legislature voted for Senator, the Democrats complimenting
General Cass with their ineffectual votes. The record of the balloting
was as follows:

                         SENATE.  HOUSE.  TOTAL.
  Zachariah Chandler,      27       62      89
  Lewis Cass,               2       14      16
  Blank,                   --        1       1

In the following joint convention of the two Houses the resolution,
reciting the action taken separately and finally recording Mr.
Chandler's election, was adopted without any dissent. Among the members
of the Legislature whose votes made him the first Republican Senator
from Michigan were Thomas W. Ferry, in later years his colleague in the
Senate, Omar D. Conger, who became afterward a Republican leader in the
lower branch of Congress, and George Jerome, a most intimate political
and personal friend throughout life.

The Senate of the Thirty-fifth Congress met in special session at
Washington, on March 4, 1857, Franklin Pierce having convened it at the
request of his successor, who was inaugurated on that day. The names
upon its rolls were these:

  Clement C. Clay, Jr., and Benj. Fitzpatrick, of Alabama;

  Robert W. Johnson and Wm. K. Sebastian, of Arkansas;

  David C. Broderick and Wm. M. Gwin, of California;

  James Dixon and Lafayette S. Foster, of Connecticut;

  Martin W. Bates and James A. Bayard, of Delaware;

  Stephen R. Mallory and David L. Yulee, of Florida;

  Alfred Iverson and Robert Toombs, of Georgia;

  Stephen A. Douglas and Lyman Trumbull, of Illinois;

  Jesse D. Bright and Graham N. Fitch, of Indiana;

  James Harlan and Geo. W. Jones, of Iowa;

  John J. Crittenden and John B. Thompson, of Kentucky;

  Judah P. Benjamin and John Slidell, of Louisiana;

  W. P. Fessenden and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine;

  Anthony Kennedy and James A. Pearce, of Maryland;

  Charles Sumner and Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts;

  Zachariah Chandler and Chas. E. Stuart, of Michigan;

  Albert G. Brown and Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi;

  James S. Green and Trusten Polk, of Missouri;

  James Bell and John P. Hale, of New Hampshire;

  John R. Thomson and William Wright, of New Jersey;

  Preston King and William H. Seward, of New York;

  Asa Biggs and David S. Reid, of North Carolina;

  Geo. E. Pugh and Benj. F. Wade, of Ohio;

  William Bigler and Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania;

  Philip Allen and James F. Simmons, of Rhode Island;

  Josiah J. Evans and Andrew P. Butler, of South Carolina;

  John Bell and Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee;

  Samuel Houston and Thos. J. Rusk, of Texas;

  Jacob Collamer and Solomon Foot, of Vermont;

  R. M. T. Hunter and James M. Mason, of Virginia;

  James R. Doolittle and Charles Durkee, of Wisconsin.


This Senate met in the old chamber now occupied by the Supreme Court,
but around which then clustered fresh memories of Clay, Webster,
Calhoun and their cotemporaries. The Secretary, Asbury Dickins,
called the body to order, and in the absence of John C. Breckenridge,
Vice-President elect, James M. Mason of Virginia was chosen to preside
temporarily. After the roll was called of the members with unexpired
terms, the list of newly-elected Senators was read. As they responded
to their names they advanced to the front of the presiding officer's
desk, in groups of four, to take the oath of office. The first group
were Bates, Bayard, Bright and Broderick; the second consisted of
Simon Cameron, Zachariah Chandler, Jefferson Davis and James Dixon.
This scene was the subject, twenty-two years later,[7] of the most
effective speech ever delivered by Mr. Chandler; probably no speech
ever uttered in the Senate more thoroughly touched the popular heart or
was more widely read. Of the men who were then United States Senators,
parts and witnesses of this scene, Fitzpatrick, Sebastian, Broderick,
Dixon, Bates, Mallory, Iverson, Douglas, Bright, Crittenden, Thompson,
Slidell, Fessenden, Kennedy, Pearce, Sumner, Wilson, Green, Hale,
Thomson, Wright, King, Seward, Pugh, Wade, Allen, Simmons, Evans,
Butler, John Bell, Jas. Bell, Andrew Johnson, Houston, Rusk, Collamer,
Foot, Mason and Durkee (perhaps others) preceded Mr. Chandler to the
grave. Of this number, one (Broderick) was killed in a duel and two
committed suicide (Rusk killed himself at Nacogdoches, Tex., on July
29, 1857, and Preston King on August 15, 1865, and while collector of
the port of New York, jumped heavily weighted into the Hudson river).

Of the members of this Senate Hamlin, Wilson (his original name was
Jeremiah Jones Colbath) and Johnson became Vice-Presidents, and
Johnson, on the death of Abraham Lincoln, became President. Mr. Hamlin
was the only one still in the Senate at the time of Mr. Chandler's
death, and his service had not been continuous but was broken by his
Vice-Presidential term. Sons of Cameron and Bayard were in 1879 in the
seats occupied by their fathers in 1857. Seward became Secretary of
State, Cameron Secretary of War, Fessenden Secretary of the Treasury,
and Harlan and Chandler Secretaries of the Interior. Durkee became
Governor of Utah, Jones Minister to Colombia and Cameron Minister to
Russia. Jones was, on his return from Colombia, arrested for treason
and confined in Fort Warren. Bright was expelled for treasonable
correspondence with the enemy; Polk was expelled for treason, and
Sebastian, who retired from the Senate when Arkansas seceded from
the Union, was also expelled, but after the war, ample proof being
furnished that he was and always remained true to the Union, the
resolution of expulsion was rescinded. Doolittle, Trumbull, Dixon and
Foster, who were Republicans in 1857, afterward joined the Democracy,
and Mr. Seward also ceased to be in sympathy with the party to which
he was indebted for his greatest honors. Gwin identified himself with
the Confederacy, then became _aide_ to the unfortunate Maximilian, by
whom he was created "Duke of Sonora," and is back again at Washington
as a lobbyist. Douglas and John Bell were defeated candidates for the
Presidency in 1860. Houston was Governor of Texas when the ordinance
of secession passed and was deposed from his office by the disunion

Jefferson Davis, who swore to support the constitution and the Union
at the same instant with Mr. Chandler, within four years rebelled
against the government and became President of the so-called "Southern
Confederacy." Slidell, the most skilful of the disunion leaders, and
Mason were appointed by the rebel government Commissioners to Great
Britain, and while on their way across the ocean were seized by Captain
Wilkes, commanding the United States steamer San Jacinto, taken from
the British vessel Trent, and carried to Boston harbor, where they
were confined in Fort Warren on a charge of treason. This seizure the
Department of State declined to uphold, and on the demand of Great
Britain the "embassadors" were released. Slidell died abroad in merited
obscurity. Benjamin became Secretary of War of the Confederacy, and
after its downfall emigrated to England, became a British citizen,
and is a prosperous lawyer in London. Toombs was Confederate Secretary
of State, and is still living in Georgia, crying as he did in 1861
"death to the Union." Mallory was Confederate Secretary of the Navy,
and for a time after the war was imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. Hunter
was also Secretary of State of the Confederacy; since the war he has
been Treasurer of Virginia, but with the political revolution of 1879
retired to private life and poverty. Clay was a Confederate Senator
and diplomatic agent; in 1865 he was imprisoned in Fortress Monroe.
Fitzpatrick was the original nominee for Vice-President on the Douglas
ticket in 1860, but declined; he became a rebel but without prominence.
Robert W. Johnson was a Confederate Senator and afterward practiced law
in Washington. Yulee (whose original name was David Levy) retired from
the Senate to join the Confederacy, ceased to be conspicuous, and is
now president of a railroad in Florida. Iverson was a Brigadier-General
in the rebel army, as was also Toombs. Brown was Captain in the
Confederate army and a member of the Confederate Senate. Butler died
during the following recess of Congress, and Evans, his colleague, died
before the war. All of these Southern Senators, who retired with their
States in 1861 were afterward formally expelled from the Senate.

When Mr. Chandler entered the Senate the House of Representatives was
controlled by the Democrats, but out of 234 members ninety-two were
filled with the fresh blood of the Republican party. Some of these
men were then distinguished, and others have become so since, but of
the entire number of Representatives only twelve yet remain in either
branch of Congress. Henry L. Dawes is a Senator from Massachusetts,
Lafayette Grover from Oregon, Justin S. Morill from Vermont, Zebulon
B. Vance from North Carolina, George H. Pendleton from Ohio, and L. Q.
C. Lamar from Mississippi. Samuel S. Cox, a Representative from Ohio
in 1857, is now a Representative from New York. Alex. H. Stephens of
Georgia, Alfred M. Scales of North Carolina, John H. Reagan of Texas,
Otho R. Singleton of Mississippi, and John D. C. Atkins of Tennessee
are again members of the House. Stephens was Vice-President of the
Confederacy; Scales was Captain, Colonel and Brigadier-General in the
rebel army; Singleton was Aid-de-camp to Gen. Robert E. Lee; and Atkins
was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fifth Confederate Tennessee regiment, and
afterward a member of the Confederate Congress.

Others who were members of the House in 1857 afterward added to the
reputations they then enjoyed. Schuyler Colfax has been Vice-President.
A. H. Cragin, R. E. Fenton, Thomas L. Clingman, Frank P. Blair, Jr.,
John W. Stevenson, Edwin D. Morgan, Joshua Hill, and George S. Houston
have been United States Senators. Israel Washburn has been Governor of
Maine, John Letcher of Virginia, and C. C. Washburn of Wisconsin. N. P.
Banks was a General in the Union army, and is United States Marshal of
Massachusetts. Daniel E. Sickles was also a General in the Union army
and afterward Minister to Spain. Francis E. Spinner was for many years
Treasurer of the United States. John Sherman has been a Senator, and is
Secretary of the Treasury. Elihu B. Washburne was Minister to France.
John A. Bingham is Minister to Japan, and Horace Maynard to Turkey.
Anson Burlingame was Minister to China, and afterward the embassador
of that empire to negotiate treaties with foreign powers. William A.
Howard is Governor of Dakota, and John S. Phelps of Missouri. The roll
of the dead of the Thirty-fifth House of Representatives far exceeds
that of the living.

Zachariah Chandler entered the Senate of the United States with an
abiding faith in Northern civilization and its right to supremacy,
with a wise distrust of Southern professions, with a just hatred of
institutions poisoned by slavery, with a determination to attack
treason wherever found, with an unquestioning belief that his cause was
right and its defeat impossible, and with as resolute a spirit as ever
crossed the threshold of the Senate chamber. His nature was without an
atom of compromise, and was strong in the rugged qualities of courage,
honesty, sincerity, firmness, and moral intrepidity.


[7] "The Jeff. Davis speech," March 3, 1879.



Mr. Chandler became a Senator of the United States at the time when
the Southern followers of John C. Calhoun had determined that the
preservation of slavery was impossible without disunion, and had
commenced preparations for that desperate measure of defense. The heavy
vote given to Fremont in the North, the failure of the attempt to plant
slavery in Kansas, the widening schism in the Democracy itself on
the issue of slavery-extension, and the certainty that the census of
1860 would greatly increase the voting power in Congress of the North
and Northwest--all made it plain that the South could not reinforce
its waning strength with new slave States. Its leaders saw that the
alternative before them was a systematic repression of slavery pointing
toward its ultimate extinction, or the creation of a new government
pretending to be a republic but "with its foundations laid, its
corner-stone resting upon, the great truth that the negro is not equal
to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is
his natural and normal condition."[8] Every civilized instinct urged
them to assent to peaceful and gradual emancipation, but they chose the
alternative of disunion from a belief that in no other way could the
political ascendancy so long enjoyed by the ruling classes of the South
be maintained. The administration of James Buchanan was their period
of preparation. Whatever of needed assistance his sympathy failed to
supply was furnished by his imbecility of purpose. In his Cabinet and
in federal offices throughout the South active disunionists plotted
and labored to make all things ready for rebellion and unready for
its suppression. Chronic compromisers, Northern believers in slavery,
and State Rights theorists were their useful allies. In Congress they
threatened and bullied, and month by month made the demands of slavery
more arrogant and exacting, scheming to kindle the war spirit of the
South and to widen the breach between the sections, until they could
offer to the North the ultimatum of abject surrender to the slave
power or disunion and civil strife. The representatives of the North
at Washington met these early developments of treason in various
moods; there was no lack among them of those who were inclined to
submit; there were many who disbelieved in the reality of the purpose
underlying Southern vaporing and bluster, and this class included
earnest and able Republicans; but there were also some who did not
doubt that the slave power would try secession before accepting defeat,
and who, yielding not one inch of the right to menaces, proposed to
treat disunion, whether threatened or attempted, as treason and to
denounce and resist it as such.

Early in his Senatorial career Mr. Chandler became convinced that
the purpose of rebellion was a well-defined one at the South, that
preparations to make it successful were in active progress, and that
the longer the crisis was delayed the more difficult would be the
task of its suppression. Between 1857 and 1861 his comments to his
intimate friends on the outlook were exceedingly gloomy, and he often
declared that he saw no possible escape from war. If the government
was to be maintained on the basis on which it was founded and was
not to be revolutionized in the interest of slavery, he believed
that an armed conflict with the men who had determined to change its
character was inevitable. He did not underestimate their ambition,
their desperateness of purpose, or their readiness for violence.
But neither in public nor in private did he quail before them in any
degree, and his only plan of action was the simple, straightforward and
characteristic one of meeting their threats with defiance and their
treason with all the force required for its punishment. In a time of
vacillation, feebleness and moral cowardice, and while he was still
new in the Senate and hampered by his own inexperience and the usages
of that body, what he did say and all his acts and influence were
important contributions to that invigorating of Northern sentiment
which the times so greatly demanded and which alone made possible the
national uprising of 1861.

As a matter of record, the first time Zachariah Chandler's voice
was heard in the Senate chamber, he asked that "Cornelius O'Flynn
have leave to withdraw his memorial and papers from the files of the
Senate." The first caucus he attended was that in which the Republican
minority decided to make a vigorous protest against the unfairness
of its treatment in the appointment of the Senate committees of the
Thirty-fifth Congress. In his first speech he added, on the floor
of the Senate, to the protest of his party an equally vigorous
remonstrance against the complete ignoring of the commercial importance
of the Northwest in the selection of members of the Committee on
Commerce. In his second speech (on the proposition to increase the
army) he said in significant language: "If they will show to me that
they require a force in Utah to put down rebellion I will vote for it,
I care not whether it be one regiment or one hundred regiments." His
first prepared address in the Senate was delivered on the 12th day
of March, 1858, and had as its theme that most reckless of the slave
power's efforts at self-extension, the attempt to force upon Kansas
what was known as the Lecompton constitution.

This was a pro-slavery instrument, framed by a constitutional
convention elected and controlled by Border-Ruffians, apparently
ratified at an election whose managers allowed no one to vote against
it but only to vote for it with slavery or for it without slavery (even
the "without" was fraudulent, because property in slaves already in
Kansas was in any event guaranteed until 1864), and overwhelmingly
rejected at the only election which in any degree fairly represented
the opinions of the genuine settlers of the territory. Mr. Chandler's
speech on this topic, the absorbing one of that day, was prepared with
much care and delivered from manuscript. Portions of it were read to
Senators Cameron, Wade and Hamlin before it was uttered. While it was
spoken with the impulsive manner that generally characterized his
speeches, it was the result of long deliberation and of such careful
study of phraseology as was necessary to make it explicit and forcible.
It was listened to by a large audience. Mr. Chandler had in private
conversation spoken with much vigor of the duty of the Republican party
in case the Lecompton constitution of Kansas was accepted and the new
State admitted under that instrument, and his remarks had been freely
quoted. His reputation for radicalism of opinion and plainness of
speech had also reached Washington, and there was a general interest
felt in his first prepared address. He began speaking about fifteen
minutes after the Senate was called to order (in the chamber now
occupied by the Supreme Court) and held the floor for nearly three
hours. The spectators included many members of the House, among them
John Sherman, since Senator and Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander
H. Stephens, afterward Vice-President of the Confederacy, and John A.
Logan, now well-known as both soldier and Senator. The address was
one of power and was attended by marked effect.[9] It contained this
description of the fate of three Michigan emigrants to Kansas:

  Men have been hunted down by sheriffs and by _posses_ from other
  States, by border-ruffians--everywhere under the color of law. Sir,
  the State of Michigan has over a thousand of her people in Kansas
  to-day. Three of her citizens, and many other good men, have been
  murdered in cold blood. Two of them, Barbour and Brown, I know
  were as good men as can be found on the face of the earth. The
  other--Gay--was Mr. Pierce's Land Agent for the territory. He was a
  Nebraska pro-slavery Democrat. He was met one day, with his son, on
  the road, and asked whether he was for Free-State or pro-slavery.
  He had become a little Free-Statish in his views, and, not dreaming
  of danger, he said: "I am a Free-State man," and he was shot down,
  and his son, in attempting to defend his father, received a bullet
  in his hip, and is now a cripple in Michigan. I speak with some
  feeling. My own constituents, my own people, have been brutally
  murdered, and I should be recreant to my trust if I did not speak
  with feeling on this subject. I know the men from Michigan who are
  in Kansas to be as good men as can be found within these United
  States, and when any one says the emigrants from Michigan to the
  territory of Kansas are picked from the purlieus of cities I tell
  him he knows nothing about the subject and that it is not true.
  They are as good men as the State of Michigan produces; they are
  honest and brave; they know their rights and, knowing, dare defend

But those parts of the speech which most thoroughly stirred his hearers
and fell with unaccustomed force on ears which rarely heard such
defiant tones, were these:

  I cannot permit this bill to pass without protest. It was conceived
  and executed in fraud.... It is one of the series of aggressions on
  the part of the slave power which, if permitted to be consummated,
  must end in the subversion of the constitution and the Union.... It
  strikes a death-blow at State sovereignty and popular rights....
  When Missouri applied for admission as a slave State ... the North
  objected. They declared it was agreed to that no more slave States
  should be admitted into the Union.... Agitation ran high. The South
  then as now threatened a dissolution of the Union. The North then
  as now denied her power to dissolve it.... During this excitement
  the hearts of brave men quailed.... A new compromise was made....
  As a part of this compromise slavery was forever prohibited north
  of 36° 30'.... The compromise was acquiesced in.... Peace again
  reigned through the land, ... and this peace continued until the
  discovery of the new doctrine of popular sovereignty.... This is
  called a new compromise.... We are told we must accept it because
  the Union is in danger.... But that set of people who have been
  in labor and suffering and trial for so long a time on account of
  the Union have passed off the stage. In their places are men who
  love this glorious Union and love it as it was made by the fathers;
  men who will not whine "danger to the Union," but brave men who
  will fight for this Union to the death.... The old women of the
  North who have been in the habit of crying out "the Union is in
  danger" have passed off the stage. They are dead. Their places will
  never be supplied, but in their stead we have a race of men who
  are devoted to this Union and devoted to it as Jefferson and the
  fathers made it and bequeathed it to us.

  Any aggression upon the constitution has been submitted to by the
  race who have gone off the stage. They were ready to compromise any
  principle, any thing. The men of the present day are a different
  race. They will compromise nothing; they are Union-loving men; they
  love all portions of the Union; and they will sacrifice anything
  but principle to save it. They will, however, make no sacrifice of
  principle. Never! Never! No more compromises will ever be submitted
  to to save the Union! If it is worth saving, it will be saved; but
  if you sap and undermine its foundations it must topple. It will be
  the legitimate result of your own action. The only way that we ever
  shall save this Union and make it as permanent as the everlasting
  hills will be by restoring it to the original foundations upon
  which the fathers placed it....

  The people of Kansas are almost unanimously opposed to this
  constitution; yet you propose to force it upon them without their
  consent. It cannot be done. The government has not bayonets enough
  to force a constitution upon the necks of any unwilling people....
  It is our purpose to avoid the shedding of blood upon the soil of
  the United States by civil war. While I will not charge on the
  supporters of the Lecompton constitution the purpose, in civil
  war, of shedding blood upon the soil of the United States, I do
  charge that they, and they alone, will be responsible for every
  drop of blood that may be shed in consequence of the adoption of
  that constitution. I trust in God civil war will never come; but
  if it should come, upon their heads, and theirs alone, will rest
  the responsibility of every drop that may flow. I trust in God that
  this question will never be pushed to that extremity, for I would
  have less respect for the people of Kansas than I now have if I
  supposed they would tamely submit to have a constitution thrust
  down their throats without authority of law, and against law,
  without making resistance. I would disown them as the descendants
  of the men who fought our revolutionary battles if I did not think
  they would resist any illegal attempts to force a constitution upon

A speech of such vigor of opinion was not without marked effect. There
was a disposition among the less radical Republicans to rate it as
imprudent, and there were some attempts at rebuking Mr. Chandler for
being so outspoken. He received these criticisms good-humoredly, but
felt confident of his position and constantly defended it. The effect
of his demonstration on the Democratic side was marked; the new Senator
from Michigan surprised his political opponents by the directness and
force of his attack, but won from them the respect always accorded
to boldness and candor. Mr. Chandler also showed spirit on little as
well as great occasions. In the latter part of the following April,
the Democrats attempted to coerce the Republicans into voting upon the
same bill for the admission of Kansas. Without any ill-temper, but with
no lack of earnestness, Mr. Chandler arose, and said: "I understand
gentlemen on the other side to say that no adjournment shall take place
until this question is disposed of. If that is their determination I
can assure them that no adjournment will take place until the 7th of
June. When I say that no adjournment will take place until that time,
I mean what I say. I propose to take a recess until 9 o'clock, and I
advise gentlemen to bid farewell to their families for thirty days at

In 1858 fuel was added to the anti-slavery flame by the Dred Scott
decision, in which the majority of the Judges of the Supreme Court
affirmed, that as a matter of history the negroes at the time of the
formation of the constitution "had no rights which the white man was
bound to respect," that as a principle of law neither emancipated
slaves nor the emancipated descendants of slaves were entitled to
claim the rights and privileges which the constitution provides for
and secures to citizens of the United States, and that under a correct
constitutional construction acts excluding slavery from the territories
were without validity. This utterance was rendered especially obnoxious
by the fact that the court, while leaving Dred Scott in slavery on the
ground that the United States tribunals had no jurisdiction in his
case, practically asserted jurisdiction for the purpose of deciding
(outside of the real issues of the trial as limited by its own
finding) that Congress could not exclude slavery from the territories.
In reference to this decision Mr. Chandler said in the Senate on the
17th of February, 1859:

  What did General Jackson do when the Supreme Court declared the
  United States Bank constitutional? Did he bow in deference to
  the opinion of the court? No, ... he said he would construe the
  constitution for himself, that he was sworn to do it. I shall do
  the same thing. I have sworn to support the Constitution of the
  United States, and I have sworn to support it as the fathers made
  it and not as the Supreme Court have altered it. And I never will
  swear allegiance to that.

In October, 1859, "Old John Brown" made his memorable attempt to
liberate the enslaved negroes of the South by the descent upon Harper's
Ferry. The rashness of his unaided attack on a giant wrong is protected
from ridicule by a heroism worthy of Thermopylæ and by a death which
Sidney's last hours did not surpass in moral grandeur. Mr. Chandler,
with deep respect for Brown's motives and the unique simplicity of
his character, was earnest in condemnation of his methods and of the
utter foolhardiness of his effort. Congress was not in session when
Brown seized Harper's Ferry and convulsed Virginia with fright, and Mr.
Chandler was not in Washington. When Congress did meet in December,
Brown had just been hanged, and the excitement was still feverish. A
Senate committee, consisting of Mason of Virginia, Jefferson Davis,
Fitch of Indiana, Democrats, and Collamer and Doolittle, Republicans,
was at once appointed to investigate the raid, and while the resolution
providing for it was under consideration Mr. Chandler made one of his
telling speeches. In it he thus ridiculed "the reign of terror" at the

  Senators ask us why we have no sympathy with Virginia in this
  instance. Sir, we do not understand this case at all. What are the
  facts? Seventeen white men and five unwilling negroes surround
  and capture a town of 2,000 people, with a United States armory,
  any quantity of arms and ammunition, and with 300 men employed in
  it--as I am informed, employed in it under a civil officer--and
  hold it for two days. These I understand to be the facts, and you
  ask, Why have we not sympathy? We do not understand any such case
  as that. The Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Brown) asks, What would
  we say if North Carolina and Virginia were to attack the armory at
  Springfield? I do not know what is the population of Springfield,
  but I will guarantee if any seventeen or twenty-two of the Generals
  ... of the States of Virginia and North Carolina were to attack
  Springfield, if there was not a man within five miles of there, the
  women would bind them in thirty minutes and would not ask sympathy
  and the matter would not be deemed of sufficient importance to ask
  for a committee of investigation on the part of the corporation.
  Why, sir, Governor Wise compared the people of Harper's Ferry to
  sheep, as the public press state. That is a libel on the sheep. For
  I never saw a flock of fifty or a hundred sheep in my life that had
  not a belligerent ram among them. We do not understand any such
  panic as this. If seventeen or one hundred men were to attack a
  town of the size of Harper's Ferry anywhere throughout the region
  with which I am acquainted, they would simply be put in jail in
  thirty minutes, and then they would be tried for their crimes and
  they would be punished and there would be no row made about it.

The pointed passage of the speech was the one in which he thanked a
Southern Governor for demonstrating so conspicuously that treason was a
crime punishable by death. He said,

  I am in favor of the resolution because the first execution for
  treason that has ever occurred in the United States has just taken
  place. John Brown has been executed as a traitor in the State of
  Virginia, and I want it to go upon the records of the Senate in
  the most solemn manner to be held up as a warning to traitors,
  come they from the North, South, East or West. Dare to raise your
  impious hands against this government, its constitution and its
  laws--and you hang!... Threats have been made year after year for
  the last thirty years, that if certain events happen this Union
  will be dissolved. It is no small matter to dissolve this Union.
  It means a bloody revolution or it means a halter. It means the
  successful overturn of this government or it means the fate of John
  Brown, and I want that to go solemnly on the record of this Senate!

These were the speeches of a man untried in public life and still in
the early years of his first Congressional term. The Senate which
he thus addressed listened also to Charles Sumner's magnificent
philippics--blows "struck with the club of Hercules entwined with
flowers," to the philosophic eloquence of Seward in his moral prime, to
Wade's sturdy fearlessness of speech, to the wit of Hale, and to the
vigorous oratory of Fessenden. But no man measured more accurately
than Zachariah Chandler the political forces of that day, no man
branded the hatching treason with his blunt precision and homely power,
and no man asserted with more boldness the courage and the purpose
of the North. In that hour resolute words were useful in themselves;
but the lapse of twenty years has shown that Mr. Chandler was then as
clear-sighted as he was intrepid in spirit and plain in speech.

This unsparing denunciation of treason to plotting traitors was not
without personal peril. Mr. Chandler became a Senator at a time when
the South had unleashed its brutality at Washington and regarded
resistance to its demands as justifying violence and insult. Horace
Greeley, while visiting Washington, was assaulted and injured in the
Capitol grounds by Rust of Arkansas, on account of some criticisms
in the _Tribune_ on Congressional action. Preston Brooks committed
(on the 22d of May, 1856) his assault on Charles Sumner in the Senate
chamber, a crime which was publicly upheld by Toombs, Slidell, Davis
and other Southern leaders, and which led South Carolina to unanimously
re-elect the ruffian to the House when he resigned after the adoption
of a vote of censure. Henry Wilson's denunciation of this attack upon
his colleague as "brutal, murderous, and cowardly" was followed by a
challenge from Brooks, to which he responded by arming himself and
by a note declaring that while he repudiated the duelling code he
"religiously believed in the right of self-defense in the broadest
sense." John Woodruff, a Connecticut Representative, having stigmatized
Brooks's act as a "mean achievement of cowardice," was tendered a
duelling challenge which he declined to receive. Anson Burlingame
pursued another course. Of the assault on the Massachusetts Senator,
he said: "I denounce it in the name of the constitution it violates. I
denounce it in the name of the sovereignty of Massachusetts, which was
stricken down by the blow. I denounce it in the name of humanity. I
denounce it in the name of civilization, which it outraged. I denounce
it in the name of that fair play which bullies and prize-fighters
respect." To this the response was a challenge from Brooks, which
Mr. Burlingame accepted, and, selecting Canada as the spot for the
meeting, had the satisfaction of seeing the representative of South
Carolina chivalry refuse to abide by the code he had himself invoked.
William McKee Dunn, of Indiana, was challenged by Rust, of Arkansas,
for words spoken in the House, and, naming "rifles at sixty paces" as
the weapons, learned that such was not the "satisfaction" desired by
Southern "gentlemen." Owen Lovejoy denounced the crimes of slavery
in front of the Speaker's desk in the House, with the fists of angry
Southerners shaking in his face, and amid their yells and threats.
Potter, of Wisconsin, cooled off the hot blood of Roger A. Pryor by
accepting his duelling challenge and selecting bowie-knives as the
weapons. Amid all this there was much chronic servility among Northern
members to Southern insolence, which gave pungent force to Thaddeus
Stevens's sarcasm (uttered during the prolonged contest over the
Speakership of the Thirty-sixth Congress) that he could not blame the
South for trying intimidation, for they had "tried it fifty times and
fifty times, and had always found weak and recreant tremblers in the
North." Mr. Chandler entered the Senate with the firm resolution that
he would not be bullied, that he would not submit to bluster, and that
if occasion came he would fight without hesitation. His decision did
not spring from love of quarrel or mere passion, but was the fruit
of mature reflection and was based upon a clear purpose. He saw that
the Southerners in Congress vapored and threatened for effect; that
they believed that Northern men would not fight, and that they would
be permitted to offer unlimited insults without arousing resentment.
The public sentiment of the North was against duelling or fisticuffs,
and the Southerners supposed--and sincerely--that this was the result
of cowardice and not of conscience. This condition of opinion was of
decided assistance to the conspirators who were plotting disunion at
the South, and the stigma of pusillanimity was the source of no little
practical weakness with the North. Under these circumstances Mr.
Chandler fully determined--as did Mr. Wade, Mr. Hamlin, Mr. Cameron,
and one or two other Senators--that if occasion offered, so that
justice should be clearly upon his side, he would fight. This was a
deliberate purpose, not reached through any admiration for fighting
men, nor through belief in force as a method of argument, but from
a conviction that the moral effect of such a demonstration of the
personal courage of Northern representatives would be of service to the
nation. Mr. Chandler knew himself to be physically capable of meeting
almost any assailant; he prepared himself for a collision by muscular
exercise and the practice of marksmanship, and, while he did not seek,
he made no effort to avoid, an encounter.

On February 5, 1858, there was a personal altercation in the House of
Representatives between Galusha A. Grow, of Pennsylvania, afterward
Speaker, and Lawrence M. Keitt, of South Carolina, who was killed in
battle, during the rebellion, at the head of a Confederate brigade.
Mr. Harris of Illinois, an Anti-Nebraska Democrat, had offered a
resolution for the appointment of a committee to ascertain by an
investigation whether the Lecompton constitution was the work in any
just sense of the people of Kansas. Coming from such a source, the
resolution would have received a majority of votes in the House,
but its opponents resorted to parliamentary stratagem to prevent
its passage, "filibustering" for several hours. Amid the attending
excitement there was a very heated colloquy between Grow and Keitt,
which ended in blows on both sides, Keitt being the first to strike.
Grow resisted, and a general melee followed which was participated
in by many members. The affair was afterward adjusted, and both
apologized to the House but without apologizing to each other. This
occurrence impressed Mr. Chandler deeply, and, as soon as he heard of
it, he went to the Hall of Representatives, and assured Mr. Grow of
his approval and his readiness to render any desired aid. It was the
first outbreak of the kind which came within his personal observation,
and confirmed him in his belief that it was the duty of the Northern
minority to resist all encroachments upon their personal and official
rights. Not long afterward a colloquy occurred in the Senate between
Simon Cameron and Senator Green of Missouri, in which the lie was
given, and only the prompt interference of Vice-President Breckenridge,
who was in the chair, prevented a personal altercation. The Democrats
were insisting upon a vote upon the bill to admit Kansas under the
Lecompton constitution, while the Republicans were endeavoring to
secure longer time for debate. It was about 4 o'clock in the morning
when the offensive words were exchanged. Vice-President Breckenridge
at once rapped with his gavel, and commanded both Green and Cameron
to take their seats. After order had been restored, Senator Green
continued his remarks, and, referring to Cameron, said: "I will not
use a harsh word now; it will be out of order. But if I get out of
this Senate chamber I shall use a harsh word in his (Cameron's) teeth,
for there no rule of order will correct me.... As to any question of
veracity between that Senator and myself, in five minutes after the
Senate adjourns we can settle it." Mr. Cameron's reply was: "I desire
to say, if these remarks are intended as a threat, they have no effect
upon me." The debate was continued at length, but a small group of
Senators was soon after seen in earnest conference in a cloak-room. It
was composed of Senators Chandler, Cameron, Wade and Broderick, and
the result of the consultation was, that by the advice of his friends
Mr. Cameron armed himself, and prepared for self-defense in case he
was attacked by Green. The Senate remained in continuous session for
over eighteen hours, and for some time after the quarrel. Meanwhile Mr.
Green's passion cooled, and the expected collision did not take place
(explanations were ultimately made by both in the Senate chamber). But
when the Senate adjourned, Mr. Chandler accompanied Mr. Cameron to his
lodgings, as a measure of precaution. Out of this affair grew a formal
agreement between Mr. Chandler, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Wade, which was
reduced to writing, and sealed with the understanding that its contents
should not be made public until after the death of all the signers. His
copy of this historic document is still among Mr. Chandlers papers,
but it will not be made public while Mr. Cameron lives. Of its purport
one,[10] who knew intimately the men and the circumstances and motives
of this act, has written:

  The assaults of the violent Southern leaders upon some of
  the ablest and purest Republicans in the Senate, known to be
  non-combatants, finally became unbearable to some of the less
  scrupulous Republicans, until, in the midst of one of the most
  denunciatory tirades of one of the fire-eaters, there was noticed
  a little group of the lately-admitted Republicans in a side
  consultation on the floor of the Senate. Precisely what was said in
  consultation is not known to the writer, nor is it likely that it
  will transpire during the lifetime of either of the three gentlemen
  engaged. It is, however, known that the group was composed of
  Senators Wade, Cameron, and Chandler; that it was agreed between
  them substantially that the business of insulting Republican
  Senators on the floor of the Senate had gone far enough, and that
  it must cease; and further, that, in case of any renewed insolence
  to any other Republican Senator of the character which had been
  practiced, it should be the duty of one of the three to take up the
  quarrel and make it his own to the full extent of the code--to the
  death if it need be. The compact was not only made, but signed and
  sealed, and remains sealed to this day. Its import, however, became
  known, and the demeanor of the Southern fire-eaters, though still
  violent and disloyal, soon after became courteous personally toward
  Republican Senators.

  They did, however, feel around a little to ascertain whether the
  whisperings as to the fighting Senators could be relied on. They
  had a scheme to assault Senator Chandler in the street, but a
  little inquiry as to his strength and skill led to its sudden
  abandonment. A blustering Southerner took offense at the remarks
  of Senator Wade, who had said in relation to an assertion made by
  him, that such a statement would only come from a liar or a coward.
  Of course this could not be borne by the high-toned cavalier, and
  his friend, or agent, or servitor called on Senator Wade, not with
  a formal challenge, but to ascertain how Wade would probably act
  in the event of a challenge. As soon as Wade pierced the diplomacy
  of the agent so far as to become aware of his purpose, he told him
  to tell the old coward that he dare not fight. This was not quite
  satisfactory. The agent or spy seemed anxious to know what kind of
  weapons Wade would choose in case of a contest. On learning this,
  Wade said, "rifles at twenty paces, with a white paper the size of
  a dollar pinned over the heart of each combatant; and tell him, if
  I do not hit the one on his breast at the first shot, he may fire
  at me all day."

  These inquiries seemed to cure all further desire on the part of
  the chivalry for personal combats. Threats, however, continued to
  be made of street assaults and caning, generally pointing to the
  more prominent of the non-combatants in the Republican ranks.

  Certain of the Republicans went thoroughly armed all the time,
  and these, for weeks together, took turns in walking with their
  non-belligerent colleagues to and from the Capitol, to protect them
  from personal assault.

The decided practical value of Mr. Chandler's bearing at that time
and of his known determination to maintain his official and personal
rights at all physical hazards cannot be doubted. It made itself
felt among his associates on both sides of the Senate chamber, and
earned for him early recognition at Washington as a bold and staunch
leader of his party. Personal influence was the natural outgrowth
of positive qualities so fearlessly displayed, and he became a man
whose opinions were sought and whose energy in execution was prized
by his fellow-Senators. A close personal intimacy with Mr. Wade, Mr.
Hamlin and Mr. Cameron sprang up at this time, and general agreement
of opinion on public questions led them into concerted action as
representatives of the more "radical" element. Much of their work was
beneath the surface and is not a matter of record, but the results of
their efforts at that crisis to infuse vigor by all possible means into
the lifeless national sentiment of the North and to prepare the people
for the coming struggle were important and durable.

Mr. Chandler was heard with interest during the sessions of 1858-59-60
on other questions than those connected with the conflict over slavery.
His speech (on Feb. 17, 1859) in opposition to the bill appropriating
$30,000,000 to "facilitate the acquisition of Cuba by negotiation"
attracted some attention. Its scope and tenor will appear from this

  This is a most extraordinary proposition to be presented to the
  Congress of the United States at this time. With a Treasury
  bankrupt, and the government borrowing money to pay its expenses,
  and no efficient remedy proposed for that state of things; with
  your great national works in the Northwest going to decay, and
  no money to repair them; without harbors of refuge for your
  commerce, and no money to construct them; with a national debt of
  $70,000,000, which is increasing, in a time of profound peace,
  at the rate of $30,000,000 per annum--the Senate of the United
  States is startled by a proposition to borrow $30,000,000. And
  for what, sir? To pay just claims against the government, which
  have been long deferred? No, sir; you have no money for any
  such purpose as that. Is it to repair your national works on
  the Northwestern lakes, to repair your harbors, to rebuild your
  light-houses? No, sir; you have no money for that. Is it to build
  a railroad to the Pacific, connecting the Eastern and Western
  slopes of this Continent by bands of iron, and open up the vast
  interior of the Continent to settlement? No, sir; you say that
  is unconstitutional. What, then, do you propose to do with this
  $30,000,000? Is it to purchase the island of Cuba? No, sir; for
  you are already advised in advance that Spain will not sell the
  island; more, sir, you are advised in advance that she will take a
  proposition for its purchase as a national insult, to be rejected
  with scorn and contempt. The action of her Cortes and of her
  government, on the reception of the President's message, proves
  this beyond all controversy. What, then, do you propose to do with
  this $30,000,000?... It is a great corruption fund for bribery and
  for bribery only.... But let us admit for the sake of argument
  that this proposition is brought forward in good faith and will be
  successfully terminated. What do any of the Northwestern States
  gain by the purchase of this island of Cuba? I know something of
  Cuba, something of its soil, something of the climate, something of
  its people, their manners and customs, something of their religion
  and something of their crimes. I spent a winter in the interior
  of the island of Cuba a few years since and can, therefore, speak
  from personal knowledge.... Much of the soil of the island is rich
  and exceedingly productive, but it is in no way comparable to the
  prairies and bottom lands of the great West. You can go into almost
  any of your territories and select an equal number of acres and
  you will have a more valuable State than you can possibly make out
  of Cuba.... You propose to pay $200,000,000 for the island, $10 an
  acre for every acre of land on it.... You are selling infinitely
  better lands, and have millions upon millions of acres of them, at
  $1.25 per acre. You propose to pay $200,000,000--nearly $200 a head
  for every man, woman and child, including negroes, on the island.
  And for what? For the right to govern one million of the refuse of
  the earth.

During this same period Mr. Chandler was very active in helping on the
work of Republican organization throughout the country. In the campaign
of 1858 in Michigan, he spoke repeatedly in the larger towns of that
State, great audiences gathering to hear him, and answering with
growing enthusiasm his vigorous attacks on the administration and its
master, the slave power. The result was that Moses Wisner, Republican,
was elected Governor by a vote of 65,202 to 56,067 for Charles E.
Stuart, Democrat. The Republicans also carried every Congressional
district (William A. Howard obtained his seat after a contest with
George B. Cooper) and had a large majority in both branches of the
Legislature. That body, on meeting in January, 1859, elected Kinsley
S. Bingham to the Senate, and Michigan has always since that year been
represented in the upper branch of Congress by two Republicans. Charles
E. Stuart, whom Mr. Bingham succeeded, was a man of ability who had
manfully refused to support the Lecompton outrage, and with Stephen A.
Douglas and David C. Broderick had been classed as an Anti-Nebraska
Democrat. Mr. Bingham was a thorough Republican, and during his brief
Senatorial term (he died in October, 1861,) stood side by side with his
colleague on all political questions.

In the Presidential campaign of 1860 Mr. Chandler labored with untiring
zeal to secure Mr. Lincoln's election. Early in the fall he spoke with
marked effect in the State of New York. Throughout August, September,
and October he addressed a series of great mass-meetings at different
points in Michigan (at Hillsdale 8,000 people gathered to hear him,
at Cassopolis 10,000, at Paw Paw 5,000, and at Kalamazoo 20,000).
In October he visited Illinois, speaking at Mr. Lincoln's home
(Springfield) on the 17th of that month.[11] His last speech in that
campaign was made in the Republican wigwam at Detroit on November 1,
and was alive with the spirit of victory and the firm purpose to secure
its rewards. On the day of election his State answered his appeals with
an increased Republican majority, giving Lincoln 88,480 votes to 65,057
for Douglas, 805 for Breckenridge, and 405 for Bell.


[8] Speech of Alexander H. Stephens at Savannah on March 21, 1861,
after his election to the rebel Vice-Presidency.

[9] Of this speech the New York _Courier and Enquirer_ said: "The
speech of Mr. Chandler on the 12th places him among the first debaters
of the country. No more unanswerable exposition of the usurpation in
Kansas has been made." The Chicago _Tribune_ said: "Mr. Chandler made
his first formal speech in the Senate to-day. That body paid him the
compliment of unwavering attention through the whole of his able and
effective speech. The passage in which he described the murder of
Brown, Barbour and Gay ... excited the sympathies and passions of his
audience to a pitch rarely observed in parliamentary debate."

[10] The Hon. James M. Edmunds, for many years Commissioner of the Land
Office, and afterward postmaster of the Senate and of Washington City.

[11] The Springfield _Journal_ of October 18 said: "Senator Chandler,
of Michigan, made yesterday one of the best speeches to which our
citizens have had the pleasure of listening during the campaign.... The
meeting was a magnificent one and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed."



Zachariah Chandler as a Republican Senator was a thorough Whig in
both his advocacy of an enlightened national system of Internal
Improvements and his constant and efficient championship of the cause
of the Protection of American Industries. It has been justly said that
"the Great West of to-day owes its unequaled growth and progress, its
population, productiveness and wealth, primarily, to the framers of the
federal constitution, by which its development was rendered possible,
but more immediately and palpably to the sagacity and statesmanship
of Jefferson, the purchaser of Louisiana; to the genius of Fitch and
Fulton, the projector and achiever, respectively, of steam navigation;
to De Witt Clinton, the early, unswerving and successful champion
of artificial inland navigation; and to Henry Clay, the eminent,
eloquent, and effective champion of the diversification of our national
industry through the Protection of Home Manufactures." No man knew
better or acknowledged more fully the truth of this analysis than
Mr. Chandler. His own State abounded with evidences of its justice,
and his firm faith in the protective principle was also strengthened
by the teachings of his practical mercantile experience and by his
general commercial sagacity. No State presents to-day more abundant
proofs of the beneficence of "the American system" than Michigan, and
no personal contributions to the protection of its interests and the
diversification of its industries equaled those given on every possible
occasion by Mr. Chandler throughout his prolonged Senatorial service.

Political economy has been well defined as "the science of labor-saving
applied to the action of communities, its aim being to save labor
from waste, from misapplication, and from loss through constrained
idleness." The objects of Protection are the ennobling of labor and
the enhancing of its productiveness, and its method is interdicting
an unwholesome competition which looks no farther than securing mere
cheapness of production at whatever cost of human energy, comfort
and enlightenment. There has never been an intelligent and sincere
protectionist without a thorough faith in the vast importance and
inherent nobility of Labor. On this as on all great questions Mr.
Chandler's convictions were radical, and he was right fundamentally.
He had been himself a laborer. The store, the farm, the factory, the
work-shop, are all one in this--their duties are labor. Mr. Chandler
knew the worth of free labor. He had witnessed its seed-planting and
wonderful fruitage of development in Michigan, and he honored the
strong, hardy, intelligent and self-reliant race who were the laborers
there, and of whom he was one. He had early opportunity to make this
plain in the Senate. Hammond of South Carolina, a true representative
of that turbulent, rebellious State and of the embodied insolence of
its master class and of the man-owner's contempt for free labor, made
at this time his notorious "mud-sill" speech. "There must be laborers
in every community, a low, degenerate class, who hew the wood and
draw the water, ... the mud-sills of society, in effect they are
slaves;" this was its idea. It was a frank avowal of the estimate put
by the slaveholding oligarchy upon the Northern laborers, upon the men
who have made this country what it is. Mr. Chandler was then young
in the Senate, and had spoken but rarely, but to this insult to his
constituency he was quick to reply. In his speech of March 12, 1858,
the first in which he addressed the Senate at any length, he said:

  It is an attack upon my constituents. Under the Senator's version,
  under his exposition of slavery, nine-tenths of the people of
  the North are or have been at some time slaves; for nine-tenths
  of the people of the North have at some time been hirelings and
  laborers. We do not feel degraded by being laborers. We believe it
  to be respectable.... Travel on any road in the State of Michigan,
  and you will find flourishing farms on almost every 160 acres,
  with comfortable dwellings, and a high state of improvement and
  cultivation.... You will find the owners of these farms with four
  or five sons of their neighboring farmers hired out by the day
  or the month or the year.... These young men go to service or
  labor until they get money enough to buy a farm; then they, too,
  become the employers of labor.... These men are never degraded by
  labor.... They are the foundations of society there. Some of these
  men who are at work by the month during the summer on farms are in
  the Legislature making laws for us in the winter.

There was more of it to the same effect--honest, indignant words in
defense of free Northern labor, and in eulogy of the men who toiled.
And the tone of these portions of the speech was wholesomely defiant,
without a shade of truckling to Southern insolence. Nine years later,
in discussing proposed tariff amendments in 1867, Mr. Chandler said
in the Senate, "I thank God we are able to pay good prices to our
laborers." These utterances indicate the vein in which he always made
his voice heard and influence felt whenever the interests and rights of
labor were challenged either by speech or attempted legislation.

The tariff controversy in the United States dates back half a
century. This republic in its colonial days was agricultural. There
were no mines nor manufactures. Each house did its own spinning and
weaving. There were small shops for the making and repairing of a
few articles, and luxuries and fine goods for the rich were imported
from the factories of Europe. The great labor-saving appliances of
the nineteenth century did not exist even in imagination. The water
power of the country was unused and its boundless wealth of minerals
unknown. The people were farmers or traders. For them the government
was founded, and apparently there was no contemplation of anything
beyond. It was years before a change came, but, once begun, it hurried
with rapid stride, until to-day more than one-twentieth of the entire
population of the United States are engaged in manufacturing, as many
more are employed in occupations connected with and dependent upon such
enterprises, and the capital invested in productive industries exceeds
by millions of dollars the entire national debt.

These changes as they progressed made new demands upon the government.
After the development of the steam engine, and after later inventions
and contrivances had cheapened the production of cotton, woolen and
other goods, household spinning-wheels and looms were silent, and
the United States imported nearly every manufactured article needed
by its people, sending out in return the products of its farms and
plantations, its tobacco, cotton and grain. Year after year this
draining process went on, the manufacturing towns of Europe growing
great and prosperous, the United States widening and increasing in
population, but adding little to its wealth. The mill-owners of
Europe bought their cotton in South Carolina or Georgia, transported
it across the Atlantic, made it into cloths, and returned them to
New York or Charleston. The American purchaser paid the cost of both
transportations, the cost and profit of manufacture abroad, all the
profits of middle-men who handled the goods, and all the cost of
exchanges. By this process America toiled, while England and the other
manufacturing States of Europe reaped the harvest. Thoughtful people,
knowing that capital employed in production feeds, clothes and lodges
the industrious workman, adds to the wealth of the nation, adds to its
strength, adds to its power of resistance, and lessens the individual
burden of taxation, and comprehending the inevitable result of the
drain in progress, asked, Is there no way of preventing this? They
saw the raw material produced in bountiful profusion, saw the water
power of the country running away to the sea unvexed by use, and
naturally asked, Is it not possible to bring the miners and smelters,
the founders, machinists and laborers, the mechanic and manufacturer
of every description, here, to place them beside the raw material, to
utilize this wasted power, and to save the losses and attrition that
are impoverishing the country? When these thoughts took shape in the
active brains of Americans, the change began. Mills and factories
sprang up by the water-courses. Tall chimneys, clouds of smoke and
glowing furnaces came after. Thus American manufacturing was born.

But as the first mills and factories were established, these
discoveries were made: In building a mill in England the laborers and
mechanics could be hired at wages from twenty to forty per cent. lower
than prevailed on this continent. The cost of machinery, most of it
being brought from Europe, was also greater. Foreign manufacturers
could hire their capital from the immense reservoir of Europe, where
it had been accumulating for centuries, at from four to six per
cent. interest. Here the borrower must pay eight or ten per cent. or
even higher. There was another and even graver matter presented to
the consideration of the pioneer manufacturer. Labor in Europe was
cheap--so cheap that, combined with abundant capital and low interest,
it enabled the foreign manufacturer to pay two ocean transportations
and yet undersell an American competitor at the very door of his own
mill. Should the American mechanic be asked to toil for the pauper
wages of Europe? Should it be the policy of this government to gather
about its factories the hungry-eyed, ill-clad, impoverished, ignorant
and hopeless crowds which are found in the manufacturing towns of the
old world? Could American institutions endure this? Where the people
are all agriculturists, except under very extraordinary circumstances
they need never want for food, and such circumstances are rarely
chargeable to misgovernment or to bad laws. The farming classes are
widely scattered; they are conservative and self-reliant, not given
to mobs and outbreaks, nor to obeying the will of self-constituted
leaders as do men gathered in great masses. But the men of mills
and shops and factories, unless they are well paid, must suffer;
and when they suffer their discontent threatens society itself.
Despotic governments may apply the gag of a bayonet or the silence of
a musket ball, but this is not possible in a republic resting upon
the uncompelled support of all the people. Plainly, if a government,
constituted as is this, is to be preserved, the mechanics, the laborers
in mills and mines, in shops and factories, must be paid enough to
support themselves and their families in comfort, to educate their
children and to permit the thrifty to make savings. If the time ever
comes when the millions of American workers upon whose assent this
government exists are reduced to the condition of the pauper labor
of Europe, this republic and its golden promises of freedom will
most certainly ignobly perish from the face of the earth. From such
circumstances and ideas as these sprang the doctrine, accepted by
almost all of the earlier statesmen of the republic, that the revenue
system of the United States must be so modeled as to stimulate domestic
manufactures, protect them from ruinous foreign competition, and
promote that diversification of industry which is so essential to the
prosperity and independence of free labor.

The first tariff measure (passed by the First Congress and approved by
George Washington) imposed but low duties, but in some of its details
practically recognized the protective principle, and in its preamble
declared one of its purposes to be "the protection and encouragement
of Domestic Manufacture." From 1807 to 1815 the United States was in a
great degree driven from the ocean. A part of that time it was involved
in a war with Great Britain, with an embargo laid upon its ports.
During these years the home manufacturer had no foreign competition
to fear, and factories sprang up to meet the local demands, drawing
about them laborers and their families, making a quick market for
the productions of the soil, and placing consumer and producer side
by side. But this was the result of accident and not of deliberate
policy. The scene changed when the raising of the embargo brought into
the country a flood of manufactured articles representing cheap labor,
cheap interest and cheap capital. Then came the demand for the levying
of such duties on the products of foreign labor as would protect the
American manufacturer and enable him to pay a suitable compensation
to the American workman. The first response to this was the tariff of
1816, justly styled "The Planters' and Farmers' Tariff," because it
gave protection to coarser commodities which least required it, and
withheld it from those articles in whose production others were to
be used. Eight years afterward came a third tariff varying little in
its general features, but with rates of duties slightly increased.
Four years later (in 1828) was enacted the first thoroughly American
protective tariff, but it was soon destroyed by the act of July 12,
1832 (the outcome of the Nullification controversy), which completely
abolished its protective features. Within a few months, through the
exertions of Mr. Clay, this measure was modified by what was known
as the compromise tariff act, which continued in force until the
passage of the protective tariff of 1842. This was in time displaced
by the free-trade tariff, which went into force four years later, in
June, 1847. It was followed in 1861 (March 23) by the Morrill tariff,
a thoroughly protective measure, which with some modifications yet
remains on the statute books.

In 1816, notwithstanding it had just emerged from war, the country's
industrial condition was at least hopeful, but the consequences of
the tariff of that year promptly manifested themselves. The American
manufacturer was undersold at the door of his mill by the foreigner;
factories closed, wages shrunk and the demand for labor diminished.
Prices of all kinds of planter's and farmer's produce declined in
turn, and to industrial prostration was speedily added agricultural
depression. Henry Clay pronounced the seven years preceding 1824 the
most disastrous this nation had ever known. But almost from the moment
of its passage the country felt the impetus of the protective tariff of
1828. Furnace doors were thrown open; foundries were built; the cobwebs
that had gathered about factory machinery disappeared in the whir of
busy wheels; labor came again into demand; immigration increased; the
products of farms and plantations brought good prices; and the public
revenue grew until the national debt was extinguished. Prosperity thus
became universal throughout the land. When this protective tariff of
1828 gave way to the gradual reductions in duties of the compromise
measure of 1832, there followed a repetition of the scenes that
succeeded the tariff of 1816. From 1837 to 1842 mills and furnaces were
closed, wages were reduced, laborers sought in vain for employment, the
poor-houses were filled and manufacturers, farmers and planters became
bankrupts together. Even the public treasury was unable to borrow at
home as small a sum as $1,000,000 at any rate of interest, and the
great banking houses of Europe refused it credit, so that it was forced
to the humiliation of selling its securities at ruinous discounts. The
passage of the protective tariff of 1842 marks the date of another
business revival. Old mines were re-worked and new ones were opened.
Mill-fires were re-lighted and new mills sprang up in all directions.
Money became abundant, and public and private incomes exceeded all
precedent. Farmers and planters secured easy markets and ample prices
for their produce, and laborers' homes grew bright with plenty. Then
came the Free-Trade tariff of 1846 and the commercial decadence which
culminated in the disasters of 1857. California and its gold delayed
the catastrophe but could not avert it. From the moment of the repeal
of the protective tariff, the inflow of British iron and cloth began
and the receding tide carried back American gold, impoverishing
the country. Industry was stricken to the earth, and day by day
saw the dependence of the United States on foreign markets growing
until when the crash came it was complete. The vast flood of gold
from California had gone into European vaults and in its stead could
only be shown receipts for foreign goods consumed and the wrecks of
American industries. The Morrill tariff was followed by an unparalleled
mercantile and manufacturing development, which not even the disastrous
effects of an inflated currency (in 1873-76) could more than briefly

Mr. Chandler, who knew well these facts, and had learned "the American
doctrine" in the days of Clay, had taken his seat in the Senate when
the crash of 1857 came, and was active in demanding and shaping that
revolution in the revenue system which has made the United States one
of the great manufacturing nations of the world. He was an ardent
champion of the Morrill tariff (of 1861), and aided materially in
perfecting its details, watching with special vigilance those of
its provisions which affected the vast interests of the Northwest.
He believed in the largest possible application of the protective
principle, and favored aiding every American producer and every
American manufacturer who could complain on valid grounds of foreign
competition. Every demand for protection, which gave reasonable promise
of increasing the yield of any staple or of developing a new industry,
received his energetic support. To any revenue measure or proposition,
which seemed to him calculated to advance foreign at the expense of
American interests, he was uncompromisingly hostile. The abrogation of
the Reciprocity treaty with Canada he labored most assiduously to bring
about, and he resisted with all his characteristic pertinacity each
successive effort to restore a compact which imposed such heavy burdens
upon the lumbermen, salt manufacturers, and farmers of the Northwest.
Throughout his Senatorial term all measures affecting duties in
any form or proposing any modification in their schedules found him
alert, well-informed, and determined to maintain the protective policy
against any assault.[12] Very much the greater, and undoubtedly the
most effective, part of his labors for an American tariff was put
forth in committee-rooms and in the earnest use of argument and
influence with fellow-Congressmen; he relied much more upon this work
than upon speech-making for results--and results he always ranked far
above display or mere publicity. Still he spoke not unfrequently on
tariff questions, and a few quotations will illustrate satisfactorily
his positions and methods. This passage shows how radical was his

  This nation to-day should be an exporter of iron instead of an
  importer. There is no valid reason why we should buy one single
  pound of iron from any other nation on the globe. Our mountains
  are filled with the purest ores on the face of the earth.... If I
  had my way I would absolutely prohibit the introduction of foreign

The context does not sustain an absolutely literal construction of the
last sentence. Mr. Chandler had seen Michigan when its copper mines
were unworked, its limitless riches of iron undiscovered, its salt
deposits unknown, and its pine forests unfelled. He had seen these
industries passing through various stages of prosperity and disaster
as they were affected by prevailing tariffs, now shielded by a wise
policy of protection and now at the mercy of foreign producers, who at
times (to use their own admission) "voluntarily incur immense losses
in order to destroy American competition and to gain and keep control
of American markets." He saw these industries grow from nothing,
until the annual yield of Michigan's copper mines became 20,266 tons,
of its iron mines 1,125,231 tons, and of its salt wells 1,885,884
barrels, and until its lumber product expanded to the enormous total of
2,700,000,000 feet in one season. They thus became powerful interests,
employing a great host of laborers and offering support to thousands
of families. These facts and the tone of what Mr. Chandler said on
kindred topics make it plain that by the absolute prohibition of the
introduction of foreign iron he meant not an embargo, but the affording
of such ample protection to the iron industries of the entire country
as would make it impossible for the products of foreign cheap labor to
compete in its markets with those of American labor, and as would make
the United States a seller and not a buyer of iron and its wares.

With all his earnestness as a protectionist, he kept the interests
of labor predominant in his consideration of this subject. For
instance, in some remarks upon the lumber tariff, he said: "It is
perfectly well known that the great value of lumber is in the labor
and the transportation, and while we in the United States are paying
our laborers (in lumber) $2 a day, they are in the British Provinces
paying but from 75 cents to $1 per day." And he steadily voted for
such protection of the lumber trade as would enable producers engaged
in that business to pay large wages, and opposed every suggestion
which looked to impoverishing or pauperizing the American artisan. He
uniformly upheld American industry and labor of every kind against
the competition of the world. He felt that the highest civilization
can only be secured through that policy of industrial diversification
which brings consumer and producer side by side, and he favored giving
it the widest possible scope. He frequently declared, "I cannot vote
to discriminate against any particular branch," and he firmly believed
in protecting everything his country could produce. His vigilance in
caring for all interests and his grasp of the practical details of
tariff legislation will appear from one or two brief citations from
speeches made in 1867 on proposed modifications of the Morrill tariff.
The duty on pig-metal was then $9 per ton, and it was proposed in the
new bill to admit scrap-iron on the payment of a duty of $3. On this
proposition Mr. Chandler said:

  The effect of this tariff will be to admit all the rails in the
  world into the United States at a duty of $3 a ton. We will
  become the recipients of all the scrap-iron in the world.... And
  the effect will be to put out every blast furnace in the United
  States, and stop the mining in every mountain in the country....
  The expense of re-rolling bars is only about $30 a ton. You
  admit scrap-iron at this nominal duty, and the result will be to
  utterly destroy the revenue you now receive from iron--you will
  import nothing but at the duty of $3 per ton. This scrap-iron is
  worth two or three times as much as pig-metal. Pig-metal has to
  be puddled once. It costs to-day $28 per ton to put pig-metal
  into scrap, and yet you put a duty of $9 per ton on pig-metal
  and propose a mere nominal duty of $3 per ton on scrap.... This
  is absolutely abandoning the whole iron interests of the United
  States, save and excepting the rolling-mills.... The State of
  Pennsylvania takes about 300,000 tons of Lake Superior ore to mix
  with her inferior ore, and transports it by water 700 or 800 miles,
  and afterward by land carriage--a very expensive carriage--from
  50 to 300 miles. This ore is mixed with the Pennsylvania ores,
  and transported then a long distance at very great expense. The
  demand for pig-iron is for rolling.... Calling material nothing,
  it costs the manufacturers $60 per ton of scrap-iron to take the
  ore and the coal from the mine and deliver at the works, every
  cent of which is labor.... There are in the world 100,000 miles of
  railroads, of which 36,000 are in the United States, and 64,000 in
  the rest of the world. These railroads are laid, on an average,
  with rails weighing 56 pounds to the yard, and use 49,000 tons
  net to the mile. This gives the 64,000 miles abroad 3,136,000
  tons of iron. This has to be re-rolled on an average once in ten
  years; consequently one-tenth of this amount is let loose upon some
  country every year in the shape of scrap-iron. That would make the
  amount of railroad scrap alone 313,600 tons per annum, which it is
  proposed to admit at a duty of $3 a ton, and which it costs to-day
  $60 a ton to put in the form of scrap in the United States. This
  is Free Trade in the broadest sense. It is worse than that.... It
  will build up rolling-mills, but it will break down every forge
  in the United States.... It will stop our mines in Michigan that
  yield ores richer than any other in the world.... It will make this
  country the _entrepôt_ for the scrap-iron of the world.

He would not build up the rolling-mill at the expense of the mine and
the blast-furnace. He would not build up one industry upon the ruins of
any other. His many speeches and his more numerous votes in the Senate
all indicated the same clear purpose to avoid discrimination against
home interests where possible, and to protect everything American
against everything of foreign production.

One phase of this many-sided question which made a deep impression upon
Mr. Chandler remains to be mentioned. In common with all thoughtful
Americans, during the course of the rebellion he realized the priceless
value of the large-brained, energetic and highly-skilled American
mechanic. He had marked these men in every brigade, upon every field of
the war, enabling commanders to overcome obstacles which without them
would have been insurmountable. He had seen mills and factories and
shops pouring into the storehouses of the government the multitudinous
articles without which a successful prosecution of the war would
have been impossible, and that, too, with a rapidity which was as
amazing as it was unexampled. He was from his early manhood a strong
protectionist. But when he realized what the American working-men had
done for the country and for freedom, and how its protected trades had
served the government in its hour of trial, he was still more confirmed
in the wisdom of the system which fosters American industry and secures
to the country the priceless heritage of prosperous and intelligent
laborers and mechanics.


[12] The following letter is written by a gentleman thoroughly familiar
with the history of tariff legislation at Washington for many years:

                                        WASHINGTON, D. C., Jan. 5, 1880.

Some eight years ago, when a serious reduction in the copper tariff was
proposed, I know that Mr. Chandler rendered valuable aid in bringing
the facts before the Senate in his clear, terse way--going straight
to the mark. Then, as always in practical matters, his prompt manner,
his business knowledge, and his immense power of will made him the man
to be called on, and he ever responded to the call, and had a power
wonderful indeed to "push things." When the act to reduce internal
revenue taxes--which had passed the House almost unanimously, and had
been perfected by the mutual labors of Congressional committees and
representative business men--was before the Senate for final action in
March, 1868, an effort was made by Senator Fessenden, of Maine, to add
to it as a "rider" a clause affecting the copper tariff, which would
surely have delayed if not defeated the measure. Senator Chandler spoke
ten minutes, putting concentrated power in his words, and showing the
great importance of passing the act and the needless mischief that must
come of saddling it with another question. He succeeded in defeating
the Fessenden amendment, the act passed without it, and it reduced the
annual burden of internal revenue taxation some $60,000,000 (all this

The Senator's views on tariff legislation were broad and comprehensive,
recognizing the interdependence of all branches of industry and the
importance of such action as should bear with equal justice on all:
knowing no East, nor West, nor South--no petty and narrow jealousy
between farmer and merchant and manufacturer--but seeking the wise care
and healthy growth o£ a varied home industry all over the land.

On these subjects he showed practical sagacity and the same moral
courage and bold vigor that marked his great efforts for freedom and
justice to all in the last and grandest year, which so nobly closed
a public career which will live and grow in the minds of future
generations. Very truly yours,

                                                      GILES B. STEBBINS.



Upon the day following that on which Mr. Chandler first took his seat
in the Senate Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana offered a resolution, from
a special committee in regard to the formation of committees, amending
the thirty-fourth rule of the Senate by providing that thereafter the
standing committees of that body (their members are selected by the
Senate itself and not by its presiding officer) should be appointed
at the commencement of each session of Congress. The Committee on
Commerce then, and from that time until the special session in the
spring of 1875, consisted of seven members. Mr. Benjamin's resolution
was adopted, and on March 9th the standing committees for the special
session were, on motion of Mr. Seward of New York, announced. The
Committee on Commerce was composed of Messrs. Clay of Alabama,
chairman, Benjamin of Louisiana, Bigler of Pennsylvania, Toombs of
Georgia, Reid of North Carolina, Bright of Indiana, and Hamlin of
Maine. Mr. Chandler was assigned to the Committee on the District of
Columbia, of which Mr. Brown of Mississippi was chairman. Mr. Hamlin
of Maine was also appointed on this inferior committee, giving it two
Republican members, while the Committee on Commerce had but one. The
general assignment of places to the minority was so inadequate and
unfair that a Republican caucus (the first Mr. Chandler attended)
had been called to consider the matter. Mr. Chandler, although a new
member, was one of its speakers and gave strong expression to his
sense of the injustice with which both his party and the Northwest
had been treated. It was decided to make a formal protest against the
constitution of the committees, and, as a result of this consultation,
when Mr. Seward's motion was made, Mr. Fessenden of Maine, as the
spokesman of the Republicans, denounced the unfairness of the majority
with force and vigor. In his remarks he said "that there was not an
individual member of the Republican party in the Senate who deemed
that a just and fair division had been made in the appointment of the
committees, especially two or three of them." He also declared that
there was not a just and fair division with reference to questions
coming before the committees, and then gave this illustration: "Take,
for instance, the Committee on Commerce. On that committee the
Republican party, numbering twenty out of the sixty-one members of the
Senate, is assigned, of the whole number of seven, one member.... The
interests of the whole lake region, the interests of New England and of
New York, involving, as those large portions of the country do, such
an infinite superiority of all its commerce, are found with only two
members out of the seven." Mr. Hamlin here corrected Mr. Fessenden's
statement, by saying, "My colleague is mistaken.... The interests of
which he speaks have only _one_ member on that committee, not two." Mr.
Hamlin was right; there was but one member of the Committee on Commerce
to represent the immense interests of the country of the Great Lakes of
the Northwest and of the whole of New England and New York, and that
single member was himself. But the Republican protest, well-grounded as
it was, proved then unavailing.

At the first regular session of the Thirty-fifth Congress, beginning
in December, 1857, Mr. Allen, of Rhode Island, presented under the
rule a new list of the standing committees of the Senate for adoption.
That on Commerce was only changed by the substitution of Mr. Allen
for Mr. Bright of Indiana, increasing its New England but diminishing
its Western membership. Messrs. Hamlin, Chandler and Wilson again made
vigorous remonstrances against the unjust formation of the standing
committees as a whole. This was Mr. Chandler's first speech in the
Senate, and it was as follows:

  I find in the "Globe" of yesterday the following announcement: "The
  caucus of all parties in the Senate has agreed to constitute the
  committees as follows." And then follows a list in detail. This
  announcement, as I understand it, is incorrect. I believe that no
  such caucus has been held. I am informed that a Democratic caucus
  was held, and the committees made up, leaving certain blanks to be
  submitted to the Republicans for them to fill. They saw fit to fill
  these blanks, under protest. No such caucus as is announced in the
  statement which I have read was ever held. No assent has ever been
  given by the Republicans of this Senate to any such formation of
  committees as is there announced.

  I rise, sir, to protest against this list of committees as
  presented here. Never before, in the whole course of my
  observation, have I seen a large minority virtually ignored in a
  legislative body upon important committees. This is the first time
  that I have ever witnessed such a total, or almost total, ignoring
  of a large and influential minority. But, sir, whom and what does
  this minority represent? It represents--I believe I am correct in
  saying--more than half--certainly nearly one-half--of all the free
  white inhabitants of these United States; it represents two-thirds
  of all the commerce of the United States; and more than two-thirds
  of the revenues of the United States; and yet this minority,
  representing the commerce and revenues of the nation, is expected
  to be satisfied with one place upon the tail end of a committee of
  seven on Commerce. I may almost say that that committee is of more
  importance to the Northwest than all the other committees of this
  body, but the great Northwest is totally ignored upon a committee
  in which it takes so deep an interest. Not a solitary member of
  this body from that portion of the country is honored with a
  position on that committee, and yet you have been told of the
  hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of commerce which is there
  looking for protection to this body.

  Sir, we are not satisfied, and we desire to enter our protest
  against any such formation of committees as is here presented. But
  we would say to the gentlemen on the other side of the chamber; You
  have the power to-day; you can elect your committees as you see
  fit; you can give us one representative on a committee of five, or
  one on a committee of seven, or none on any of the committees, if
  you think proper. Exercise that power in your own discretion; but,
  gentlemen, beware! for the time is not far distant when the measure
  you mete out to us to-day shall be meted to you again.

Senators Pugh, Bayard, Gwin and Brown, from the Democratic side,
defended the list as presented by Mr. Allen, and his resolution for its
appointment was adopted by a strict party vote of thirty to nineteen.
The Republican protests were again unheeded by the Senate, but in less
than four years Mr. Chandler's prediction, that the situation would be
reversed, was fulfilled.

Before Mr. Chandler entered the Senate there had been some work done
by the United States upon the most serious natural obstacle to the
navigation of the Great Lakes, the tortuous channels and extensive
shoals at the mouth of the St. Clair river, known as the "St. Clair
Flats." Largely through Senator Cass's efforts an appropriation of
$45,000 had been made in the Thirty-fourth Congress (it was passed over
Franklin Pierce's veto) for this work, and this sum had been expended
under the supervision of Major Whipple in the clearing out of a channel
through the shoals of about 6,000 feet in length, 150 feet in width,
and nine feet in depth at low water. This improvement, valuable as it
was, did not prove at all adequate, and was made much less useful in
the few following years by a lessening in the depth of the water of
Lake St. Clair. The rapidly-growing commerce of the lakes manifestly
demanded the early construction and permanent maintenance through these
shoals of a first-class ship canal, which could be safely used in all
conditions of water and weather by vessels of the largest class. Mr.
Chandler clearly perceived the necessity for this important national
work, determined to rest not until its completion, and commenced
at once his attack on the great obstacles in its way--namely, the
disposition of the older States to undervalue the commercial importance
of the Northwest, and the traditional hostility of the Democracy to
all internal improvements. The first measure, which (on January 14,
1858) Mr. Chandler gave notice of his intention to introduce, was a
bill "making an additional appropriation for deepening the channel of
the St. Clair Flats;" when introduced it was referred to the Committee
on Commerce. There an effort was made to strangle it by persistent
inaction. Accordingly, on April 24, Mr. Chandler introduced in the
Senate a resolution instructing the Committee on Commerce to report
back this bill for action by the Senate. This resolution not receiving
immediate consideration, on May 3 he called it up and demanded a vote.
Mr. Clay, the chairman of the committee, opposed it with much temper,
and moved to lay it on the table, but this motion was lost by one vote.
Mr. Clay then attacked Mr. Chandler's resolution as insulting to the
Committee on Commerce, and said he spurned the idea that the committee
could be instructed to report in favor of a certain appropriation for
a certain work, and that he should despise himself if he was capable
of obeying such instructions. Mr. Hamlin, the sole Republican member,
expressed his gratification at the fact that the Senator from Michigan
(Mr. Chandler) had offered this resolution; he thought that it was
appropriate, and that the action of the committee called for such
instructions. Mr. Clay having inquired, "What is the use of having a
Cabinet or an engineer corps, if the Senate is to take these matters
into its own hands?" Mr. Hamlin replied, "What is the use of a Senate,
if the Committee on Commerce, or the Cabinet officers, or the engineer
corps, are to control these matters?" and insisted that the Committee
on Commerce was a creature of the Senate, within its control, and that
if it differed from the Senate in regard to any proposition before
it, that body had the right to instruct the committee what action
to take. He added that because the committee had agreed to make no
appropriation excepting for certain specific matters, it did not follow
that the Senate must adopt its views, and be controlled thereby;
that the servant had no right nor authority to bind the master, and
that the committee was the servant of the Senate. Mr. Clay finally
yielded the point that the Senate had the right to order a committee
to report back the bill, but still objected to the proposition to
have it instructed to specify a certain amount to be appropriated, and
Mr. Chandler consented to modify his resolution so as to instruct the
committee to report back the bill for the action of the Senate without
recommendation as to the amount of the appropriation. Mr. Benjamin,
at this point, moved, as a substitute for the pending resolution, a
general order to the committee to report on all public works upon
which there had been any expenditure, and this motion prevailed. Mr.
Chandler, who was after a specific point and not a mere generality,
accepted this as a defeat, and began anew by giving notice on the spot
that he should ask leave at a subsequent day to introduce a bill for
the improvement of the St. Clair Flats, making an appropriation of
$55,000, this being the amount estimated by the United States engineers
as necessary at that time. On May 10 he presented this bill, but the
Senate refused to refer it, and adopted a motion to lay it upon the
table. Mr. Chandler met this second defeat without discouragement,
and later in the session did succeed after two efforts in procuring
the addition of this item of $55,000 to the civil appropriation bill.
But the threat of an executive veto of the whole measure, if this
appropriation was not omitted, proved potent with the Senate, and it
was ultimately stricken out. Mr. Chandler closed his last speech on
this measure at that session, with a demand for a vote by yeas and
nays, and these words:

  I want to see who is friendly to the great Northwest, and who is
  not--for we are about making our last prayer here. The time is
  not far distant when, instead of coming here and begging for our
  rights, we shall extend our hands and _take_ the blessing. After
  1860 we shall not be here as beggars.

Of this resolute struggle of his first Congressional session, Mr.
Chandler said in an address at St. Johns, in Michigan, on Oct. 17, 1858:

  When I took my seat in the Senate I supposed every section of
  the country would be fairly heard in the details of business.
  There were twenty Republican Senators representing two-thirds
  the revenue, business and wealth of the country. How were they
  placed on committees? Out of seven in the Committee on Commerce
  they had one. I call attention to this fact. It bears the mark
  of design. How does this work?... I introduced at an early day a
  bill appropriating money for the St. Clair Flats, and it went to
  this Southern Committee on Commerce. I procured all the necessary
  maps and plans and estimates, and gave them into their charge.
  One hundred days rolled away and they had not deigned to examine
  them. I then introduced a resolution instructing them to report.
  Subsequently I introduced a bill myself which was laid on the
  table. By the most untiring efforts I succeeded in getting the
  desired appropriation tacked upon an appropriation bill and passed.
  But the President's friends threatened a veto of the whole bill
  unless this was stricken out--and that was done. Thus committees
  were packed against us and we were thwarted at every turn.
  Thousands of dollars can be obtained for almost any creek in the
  South, while the inland seas of the North are denied a dollar, and
  we are left to take care of ourselves the best we can.

The second session of the Thirty-fifth Congress began in December,
1858, and on the 21st of that month Mr. Chandler moved to take his St.
Clair Flats bill from the table. This time it was passed by a vote
of 29 to 22, and sent to the House where it encountered a vigorous
opposition but was finally passed, its introducer working for it
with the utmost energy in the committee-rooms, on the floor, and by
private solicitation. It reached Mr. Buchanan in the last days of that
Congress, and he killed it by withholding his signature but without
a formal veto. The Thirty-sixth Congress met in December, 1859, and
on the 4th of January Mr. Chandler's bill to deepen the St. Clair
Flats channel made its appearance. On February 2 Mr. Buchanan informed
Congress, in a special message, of his reasons for "pocketing" the
measure at the last session. This veto took the position that the
improvement of harbors and the deepening of the channels of rivers
should be done by the respective States, and suggested that Michigan
in conjunction with Upper Canada should provide the necessary means to
carry out the contemplated improvements in the channels of commerce
between those two countries, whereas the plain fact was that the
interest of that State in such works was a mere tithe of that of
the whole Northwest. Mr. Chandler reviewed this message at length
in the Senate on February 6, exposing Mr. Buchanan's misstatements
in detail, and denouncing the Democratic construction of the
constitution. Jefferson Davis at once came to the defense of the veto
on constitutional grounds, and a running debate followed on the subject
between Messrs. Chandler and Bingham of Michigan, Hamlin, Crittenden,
Davis, Toombs, Wigfall and others. Mr. Crittenden condemned the veto,
while Toombs and Wigfall joined Davis in its defense. Thus the plotters
of rebellion assumed a hypocritical attitude as defenders of the
constitution. Their treasonable daggers were yet concealed beneath
their Senatorial togas, as they stood in their high places and assumed
a virtue that they never had, that of being patriots with a deep regard
for the fundamental law of the land. No action followed this debate,
but on February 20 Mr. Chandler moved that his bill be made the special
order for the 23d. This motion prevailed, but when that day arrived
the Senate refused to proceed with its consideration, Mr. Chandler
protesting against this delay in a speech pointing out the necessity
for prompt action. On March 13 he moved to take the bill from the table
but the Senate refused. Six days later he renewed the motion with the
same result. Eleven days after that he did succeed in getting the
measure made the special order for April 10, but again other business
displaced it, and so no action was taken before adjournment. The second
session of this Congress commenced in December, 1861, with civil war
imminent and no chance for the consideration of any project of internal
improvement. At the meeting of the next Congress the Democracy found
itself in a petty minority, and remained powerless at Washington for
many years. As soon as it became plain that rebellion could not destroy
the life of the nation, Mr. Chandler brought forward again his bill for
the improvement of the channels at the head of Lake St. Clair, and with
the powerful support of his colleagues and the commercial interests of
the Northwest obtained without difficulty from Republican Congresses
such appropriations as were required for the prompt construction of a
great ship-canal, ranking to-day among the most important and useful
of the public works of this continent. Its history and statistics are
given in this extract from an official report for the year ending June
30, 1879:

  This canal (according to its present plan) was projected by Col.
  T. J. Cram, of the Corps of Engineers, in August, 1866, as the
  best method of improving navigation at the mouth of the St. Clair
  river. He proposed opening the lower tortuous reach of the south
  channel, and making a direct cut from its mouth proper to deep
  water in Lake St. Clair. His project was approved, and construction
  began on the 20th of August, 1867, under contract with Mr. John
  Brown of Thorold, Canada. The original plan was a straight canal
  300 feet wide in the clear, and 13 feet deep at low stage of water,
  protected by dykes 5 feet in height and 58 feet wide on top, built
  of the material dredged from the channel and thrown behind a pile
  and timber revetment. The canal was completed in the autumn of
  1871, and turned over to the charge of Maj. O. M. Poe, Corps of
  Engineers, on the 11th of December. As completed, the banks are
  7,221 feet in length, and constructed mostly of dredged sand thrown
  behind a revetment consisting of piling in two rows driven 13 feet
  apart and parallel, and capped with a timber superstructure 5
  feet high, the front row being supplemented with a single row of
  sheath-piling to prevent the sand bank from washing back into the
  canal. As originally planned, the reverse faces of the embankment
  were to be permitted to take their natural slope, but as it was
  found that the banks if left so would be gradually washed away,
  they were secured eventually by a pile and plank revetment. The
  timbers in the superstructure were carbolized to prevent rotting,
  but the process proved a disastrous failure, owing to its imperfect
  application, and the timbers thus treated are as a general rule
  at this date a mere shell with a core of dry rot. The banks were
  planted with willows and sodded in some places. The history of
  the work since Major Poe took charge, excepting as regards the
  deepening of the channel for 200 feet of its width to a depth of 16
  feet, as projected by that officer, has been a monotonous routine
  of stopping leaks on the canal face, due to the imperfection of the
  single row of sheath-piling, which permits the sand to be sucked
  through by passing vessels, and propeller-wheels working near the
  revetment. These leaks have been stopped from time to time at
  various points by various devices, such as marsh sod, etc.... The
  deepening of the canal was begun under Major Poe's direction by
  contract with Mr. John Brown of Thorold, Canada, in June, 1873, and
  finished September 23, 1878, under the direction of Major Weitzel,
  who had in the meanwhile relieved Major Poe.


  Up to the time when the canal was turned over as completed to Major
  Poe, it cost in construction and repair $472,837.84. There was
  subsequently expended by Majors Poe and Weitzel $101,533.63, partly
  in repairs, but mainly in deepening the canal; and afterward,
  up to the close of the present fiscal year, $19,162.78 were
  expended in repairs and protection. It will thus be seen that the
  canal has thus far cost $586,111.56 in construction, improvement
  and repair.... Colonel Cram's original estimate of the cost of
  this work was $428,754. The whole amount appropriated has been
  $590,000. The annual cost of maintenance is $5,000. There are two
  light-houses on the banks.

The value of the commerce which annually passes between the willow-clad
piers of the canal is estimated by hundreds of millions, and in every
season its cost has been more than made good by the disasters and
delays it has averted. Mr. Chandler regarded his efforts to secure its
construction as the hardest fight of his Congressional service, and
there is nothing in his public life more thoroughly characteristic
of the man than the skill, energy, and persistence with which he
championed this measure in the face of the strongest obstacles, and
in spite of repeated defeats, session after session and Congress
after Congress, until entire success crowned his labors. Many others
co-operated with him and aided in securing the ultimate victory; but
circumstances and his indomitable will placed him at the front in the
decisive struggle, and this great public work is an enduring monument
of the value of his services to the vast commercial interests of the

At the second session of the Thirty-fifth Congress the earnest protests
of the year before bore fruit, and the Committee on Commerce then
appointed was composed of Senators Clay of Alabama, chairman, Bigler
of Pennsylvania, Toombs of Georgia, Reid of North Carolina, Allen
of Rhode Island, Hamlin of Maine, and Chandler of Michigan. This
commenced Mr. Chandler's connection with that committee; he remained a
member of it throughout all his Senatorial terms, and was its chairman
and inspiring spirit during the years of its greatest activity and
usefulness. It is one of the most important standing committees of the
Senate of the United States, and during Mr. Chandler's chairmanship
its labors were gradually increased, partly through the growing
business and commerce of the country, and partly by having new topics
assigned for its consideration and action, because of the prompt
attention and rigid scrutiny given to all matters coming under the
supervision of Mr. Chandler as its head. To this committee are referred
under the rules nominations of collectors of customs, appraisers
of merchandise, surveyors of customs, of officers appointed to or
promoted in the revenue marine service, of the chief officers in the
life-saving service, and of all incumbents of consular positions. It
also considers bills fixing the compensation of such officers; bills
relating to marine hospitals and the customs, consular and life-saving
services; bills concerning the interests of the commercial marine of
the country, including the registry, enrollment and license of vessels,
their inspection and measurement, tonnage-tax, entrance and clearance
fees, names and official numbers, the lights to be carried, the
steam pressure allowed, the providing of small boats and life-saving
apparatus on passenger steamers, and restrictions upon the number of
passengers or kind of freight; and bills granting medals for heroic
service in saving life in case of shipwreck or similar disaster. To it
are referred all measures for the improvement of rivers and harbors
in the interests of commerce; for the construction of breakwaters,
harbors of refuge, ship-canals, and locks for slack-water navigation;
for the building of bridges across navigable rivers, or other waters of
the United States; for the establishment of ports of entry and ports
of delivery; for the establishment of customs collection districts
or changing the boundaries thereof; granting American registers to
foreign vessels (usually passed where a wreck of a foreign vessel has
been purchased and rebuilt by an American citizen); and relating to
the duties and districts of supervising and subordinate inspectors
of steam craft. There is hardly any conceivable question relating to
vessels of the United States that Congress has not power to act upon,
and such matters, unless pertaining to the naval service, are always
referred to the respective committees on commerce of the Senate and
House, Congress as a rule following their recommendations where no
political question is involved. In addition to an immense mass of
measures coming under the classes enumerated, the Senate Committee on
Commerce, during Mr. Chandler's connection with it, considered and
reported bills to admit ship-building material free of duty, to prevent
the extermination of the fur-bearing seals of Alaska, authorizing the
appointment of shipping commissioners, and defining a gross of matches.
All these facts are recited to show the great variety of questions that
are referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce--greater than are sent
to any other Congressional committee.

No particular changes took place in the _personnel_ of this committee
as already given until in the last year of Buchanan's administration.
At the closing session of the Thirty-sixth Congress it consisted of
C. C. Clay, chairman, Bigler, Toombs, Clingman, Saulsbury, Hamlin,
and Chandler. Senator Hamlin having been elected Vice-President,
resigned (in January, 1861) his Senatorship, and Mr. Baker of Oregon
was appointed to fill the vacancy thus caused on this committee. In the
middle of January Mr. Clay resigned to join the rebellion, and A. 0. P.
Nicholson of Tennessee was made a member of the committee in his place.
On the 24th of January, 1861, by the unanimous consent of the Senate,
the Vice-President filled all the vacancies on the standing committees
caused by the retiring of the Southern Senators, and the Committee
on Commerce then, as re-constituted, consisted of Senators Bigler,
chairman, Clingman, Saulsbury, Chandler, Baker, and Nicholson.

At the special session of the Thirty-seventh Congress (in March,
1861) the Senate committees were radically reorganized, and the
new Committee on Commerce, the first appointed by the Republican
party, consisted of Zachariah Chandler, chairman, Preston King, Lot
M. Morrill, Henry Wilson, Thomas L. Clingman, Willard Saulsbury, and
Andrew Johnson. Mr. Chandler continued in the chairmanship until he
ceased to be a member of the Senate in 1875. Mr. Clingman soon joined
the rebels, and his place on the committee was filled by Mr. Ten
Eyck of New Jersey. From session to session changes were made in its
membership, and among the names on its rolls during the fourteen years
that Mr. Chandler sat at the head of its table were Edwin D. Morgan,
James H. Lane, Solomon Foot, Timothy O. Howe, James W. Nesmith, Justin
S. Morrill, John A. J. Creswell, George F. Edmunds, James R. Doolittle,
William P. Kellogg, George E. Spencer, Roscoe Conkling, William A.
Buckingham, J. R. West, John H. Mitchell, John B. Gordon, George R.
Dennis, and George S. Boutwell. Mr. Chandler was succeeded in the
chairmanship when he left the Senate by Roscoe Conkling of New York;
soon after he was re-elected in 1879 the Democrats regained control,
and the Committee on Commerce of the Forty-sixth Senate was organized
by them. Mr. Chandler was made a member of it, and at the time of his
death it consisted of Senator Gordon of Georgia, chairman, Ransom of
North Carolina, Randolph of New Jersey, Hereford of West Virginia, Coke
of Texas, Conkling of New York, McMillan of Minnesota, Jones of Nevada,
and Chandler of Michigan.

Mr. Chandler's business principles were carried out in his committee
work as thoroughly as they had been in his mercantile career. He
believed that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well. It was
the custom of the Senate Committee on Commerce to assemble formally
once a week, for the consideration of such petitions and bills as had
been referred to it for action. Whenever the appointed hour for meeting
arrived Mr. Chandler was always in his seat, while its other members
but rarely displayed anything like his promptitude. It annoyed the
chairman to have any one late, and it was his custom to proceed with
business as soon as a quorum was present, or if no quorum appeared
within fifteen or twenty minutes, to assume that there was one and
commence work; no protests against this course were ever made by
the tardy or absent members. The location of the room of the Senate
Committee on Commerce during Mr. Chandler's whole term of Senatorial
service was in the northwest corner of the capitol, on the floor
leading to the galleries. Its windows look down upon the city of
Washington, with the broad, historic Potomac and the forest-crowned
Virginia hills the distance, and the sunset view from them--including
the blue glimmering river, the golden gossamer clouds, the green
foliage upon the brow of the hills in the extreme horizon--could never
be excelled in an artist's most vivid conception.

The first bill reported by Mr. Chandler as chairman of the Committee on
Commerce was one to provide for the collection of duties on imports and
for other purposes. He brought it in five days after the appointment
of the committee at the first session of the Thirty-seventh Congress,
and asked that it should be put upon its passage at once. A single
objection carried it over under the rules until the next day, when it
was passed by a vote of 36 to 6. The scope of the bill was extensive.
It provided for confiscating to the United States all vessels belonging
to rebels, for closing ports of entry in rebellious States, and for
the employment of additional revenue cutters. It also authorized the
President under certain circumstances to declare by proclamation
States, sections, or parts of States, in insurrection against the
United States, and prohibited all commercial intercourse between such
insurrectionary States, or parts of States, and the rest of the Union
so long as the insurrection should continue. It was thus among the
earliest and most important of the war measures.

It is not necessary to occupy space with the details[13] of the
enormous mass of business transacted by the Senate Committee on
Commerce during Mr. Chandler's chairmanship. It was in those years
that the sentiment of every section, in favor of extending the
fostering care of the government to the aid of internal commerce,
was consolidated and organized until it bore down all opposition and
completely reversed the general policy and practice of the United
States. How important and complete this revolution was will appear
from the table of the appropriations for river, harbor and kindred
improvements made at successive Congressional sessions since the
foundation of the republic.

Mr. Chandler was the firm friend of an intelligently-planned and
general system of internal improvements. His labors, and those of men
like him, have borne fruit in manifold aids to commerce scattered over
river, lake and ocean--light-houses, breakwaters, harbors of refuge,
straightened and deepened channels, ship-canals and improved natural
highways. He was prompt to recognize the claims of all sections, but
was especially vigilant in regard to the necessities of the Northwest,
and his memory will long be cherished throughout the region of the
Great Lakes as that of the most ardent and efficient champion of its
commercial development.


                     YEARS.        AMOUNT.
  Monroe.          { 1822[14]      $34,200
                   { 1823            6,150
                   { 1824          145,000
  J. Q. Adams.   {   1825           40,600
                 {   1826           88,900
                 {   1827          160,200
                 {   1828          565,300
  Jackson.         { 1829          254,200
                   { 1830          377,600
                   { 1831          637,000
                   { 1832          693,500
                   { 1833          546,300
                   { 1834          791,200
                   { 1835          505,200
                   { 1836        1,198,200
  Van Buren.     {   1837        1,681,700
                 {   1838        1,467,200
                 {   1839           18,000
                 {   1840          .......
  Tyler.           { 1841           17,500
                   { 1842          .......
                   { 1843          233,000
                   { 1844          701,500
  Polk.          {   1845            7,000
                 {   1846          .......
                 {   1847           14,220
                 {   1848          .......
  Taylor-Fillmore. { 1849           20,000
                   { 1850          .......
                   { 1851          .......
                   { 1852        2,099,300
  Pierce.        {   1853              900
                 {   1854          140,000
                 {   1855          .......
                 {   1856[15]       775,000
  Buchanan.        { 1857          .......
                   { 1858          .......
                   { 1859          .......
                   { 1860          .......
  Lincoln.       {   1861          ....... } Term of Z. Chandler
                 {   1862          ....... } as Chairman of the
                 {   1863          ....... } Senate Committee on
                 {   1864          537,500 } Commerce.
  Johnson.         { 1865           23,000 }
                   { 1866        3,579,700 }
                   { 1867        4,816,800 }
                   { 1868        1,601,500 }
  Grant.         {   1869        2,200,000 }
                 {   1870        4,173,900 }
                 {   1871        5,047,000 }
                 {   1872        5,603,000 }
                 {   1873        6,102,900 }
                 {   1874        5,282,500 }
                 {   1875        6,643,500 }
                 {   1876        5,213,000
  Hayes.           { 1877          .......
                   { 1878        8,337,000
                   { 1879        7,912,600
                     TOTAL,    $80,292,270


  This table only includes $750,000 of the $5,250,000 appropriated to
  pay Capt. James B. Eads for the jetty improvements at the mouth of
  the Mississippi.

  The total of these appropriations during the years of Mr.
  Chandler's term as chairman was $45,610,800, or more than one-half
  of the entire amount.


[13] Mr. Chandler entered the Senate when Congress was under the
control of Democratic majorities. He was in the minority, but he never
feared to assert his views, and denounce measures of doubtful advantage
to the best interests of the country. The policy of the dominant party
had been uniformly adverse to internal improvements--especially to
making appropriations for harbor and river improvements. Soon after
taking his seat, Mr. Chandler brought this important subject before
the Senate, and insisted upon the necessity of fostering and aiding
internal commerce. He introduced several measures, with this object in
view.... These improvements were not then considered; but his vigorous
speeches and persistent efforts subsequently compelled their partial
recognition, and Mr. Chandler was placed on the Committee of Commerce,
of which he was made chairman when the Republican party came into
power, and so continued to the end of his Senatorial labors. It is
not too much to say, for it is only the truth, that to Mr. Chandler's
untiring zeal in this capacity, the country is indebted for many of
those magnificent harbor and river improvements, which have been made
since the Republican party came into power. Says a recent writer--an
excellent authority, "The evidences of their utility are seen on every
hand, scattered along our seaboard, along our extended lake coast,
and upon all our rivers. The beneficent effects of these improvements
are demonstrated by our vastly-increased and increasing commerce, its
greater safety, the economy with which the work is performed, the
extraordinary development of our agricultural and mineral resources
and the increased compensation of productive labor." Reference is
thus made to Mr. Chandler's efforts in behalf of those great internal
improvements in aid of the commerce and internal development of the
country, in order to demonstrate his peculiar fitness for the position
which he has just been commissioned to fill.--_Editorial of the
Washington Chronicle of Oct. 20, 1875, announcing the appointment of
Zachariah Chandler as Secretary of the Interior._

[14] There were no appropriations for these purposes prior to 1822.

[15] This sum was contained in bills which were passed over the
President's veto and included the first appropriation for the St. Clair



The news of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the
United States--through strictly constitutional methods, by a large
majority of the electoral vote and by a plurality of over half a
million in the popular vote--was received with cheering and expressions
of joy in many of the Southern cities. The men who exulted there were
those who believed that with this pretext sectional passion could
be kindled into instant rebellion, and they at once set about the
work of consummating disunion before the close of the term of the
traitorous and imbecile administration of James Buchanan. On Nov. 12,
1860, South Carolina ordered the election of a convention to take
the formal step of secession, and the other cotton States promptly
followed its example. Congress met on the 3d of December, and listened
to a message from President Buchanan, in which he said: "After much
serious reflection I have arrived at the conclusion that no power to
coerce into submission a State which is attempting to withdraw, or
has actually withdrawn, from the confederacy, has been delegated to
Congress or to any other department of the Federal government. It is
manifest upon an inspection of the constitution that this is not among
the specific and enumerated powers granted to Congress; and it is
equally apparent that its exercise is not 'necessary and proper for
carrying into execution' any one of these powers." On December 20 South
Carolina adopted its ordinance of secession. Mississippi did likewise
on Jan. 9, 1861, Florida on January 10, Alabama on January 11, Georgia
on January 18, Louisiana on January 26, and Texas on February 1. On
Feb. 4, 1861, a convention of delegates from the seceding States met in
the city of Montgomery and proceeded to form and organize the "Southern
Confederacy." These events were attended by popular demonstrations
throughout the South, in which the Union was denounced with unstinted
bitterness and its power defied with the utmost audacity, and by the
active drilling of the local militia and the organization of large
bodies of armed men. More than all this, the officers of the United
States in that section abandoned their positions, and sub-treasuries,
post-offices, large sums of money, arsenals, arms, ammunition,
fortifications, and vessels of the United States were seized in all the
leading cities of the South, and used to prepare for war upon the power
from which they had been stolen. The value of the government property
thus confiscated by the rebels before the nation fired a shot was not
less than $30,000,000. On Jan. 5, 1861, the United States steamer Star
of the West was fired upon in the harbor of Charleston and driven
out to sea, and within that month a bloodless siege of Fort McRae at
Pensacola compelled its surrender to rebel forces by a United States
garrison. Amid these events the traitors in Buchanan's Cabinet boldly
resigned their portfolios, and Southern Congressmen with insolent words
left their seats at the capitol "to join their States." The President
himself was fitly described by Henry Winter Davis as "standing
paralyzed and stupefied amid the crash of the falling republic, still
muttering, 'Not in my time; not in my time; after me the deluge.'"

There were three ways of meeting these overt acts of high treason,
namely: (1.) Submitting, either by sympathy and connivance, by frank
surrender, or by an equally effective supineness. (2.) Meekly offering
to rampant rebellion the bribe of fresh concessions to slavery. (3.)
Treating armed secession as treason and its promoters as traitors,
and dealing with it and them as such. The first method did not lack
for supporters outside of the South. Thousands of Northern Democrats
justified secession and promised the cotton States support. Their
papers predicted that in case of war "it would be fought in the
North,"[A] that "no Democrat would be found to raise an arm against his
brethren of the South,"[16] and that "if troops should be raised in
the North to march against the people of the South, a fire in the rear
would be opened upon such troops which would either stop their march
altogether or wonderfully accelerate it."[17] The Mayor of the great
city of New York suggested in his annual message that that metropolis
might well consider if the time did not seem to be at hand when it
could profitably throw off allegiance to the United States and erect
itself into "a free city." In public meetings and in party conventions
like utterances were heard and applauded, all justifying the
declaration of Lawrence M. Keitt in the city of Charleston that "there
are a million of Democrats in the North who, when the Black Republicans
attempt to march upon the South, will be found a wall of fire in their
front." These sympathizers with rebellion were reinforced by the
holders of anti-coercion theories, by commercial timidity, and--most
unexpectedly--by some Republican sentiment in favor of permitting
peaceful separation rather than facing civil war. This sentiment was
fortunately short-lived and not cowardly in its origin, but it found an
advocate in, and was given public expression by, the most influential
Republican journalist of that period, Horace Greeley, and it did much
to encourage rebel arrogance and to distract the national councils.
But that was the most numerous class which comprised the men who
proposed to meet actual civil war with servile tenders to traitors in
arms of new guarantees for slavery and with humble petitions for their
acceptance. With the meeting of Congress in December, 1860, these
gentlemen became the conspicuous figures at Washington, and for three
months labored industriously upon compromise schemes, every one of
which was, in its essence, a proposition that Freedom should do homage
to Slavery, and that the verdict of the people at the polls should
be shamefully reversed to placate men who had deliberately plotted
treason, and who again and again rejected with frank contempt offers
of "conciliation." There were some who co-operated in these movements
for the sake of gaining time and keeping the border States out of
rebellion until Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, but the great source
of the compromise clamor of that winter was either some feeling of
friendliness to the slave power or moral flaccidity.

It need not be said that Mr. Chandler was not found in either of these
classes. For three years he had regarded this crisis as imminent. He
did not believe that the South would now abandon its cherished dream
of independent empire for any compromise. He did not propose to shrink
back one inch before armed rebellion or to surrender one iota of
principle to traitorous threats. He went to Washington determined to
maintain the supremacy of the government at every cost, to listen to no
plans of concession, to offer to disunionists only the alternative of
obedience to the constitution or the penalties of treason, and to labor
incessantly to stir into indignant action the slumbering sentiment of
nationality in the hearts of the Northern people. It is in such hours
that men of his indomitable stamp step to the front, and he became at
once a pioneer leader of that uncompromising and tireless spirit which
was the citadel of the Union cause. He spoke but rarely on political
questions during the last session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, but was
active in all the Republican consultations of that eventful period. In
them he steadfastly opposed any policy that savored of bending to or
temporizing with rebellion, and in the face of not a little Republican
demoralization urged that the crisis should be met with the spirit
of Jackson and of Cromwell. Speaking of this session he afterward
said: "If I could have had my way, when treason was proclaimed on the
floor of the Senate the traitor would never have gone free from the
capitol." With the Southern leaders he was frank in his denunciations
of their course and plans. In a chance conversation at this time with
the craftiest of their number, Slidell of Louisiana, he asked how the
pending struggle would end, and Slidell replied, "Oh, we will all go
out, and the Union will be broken up."

"And what are you going to do with the mouth of the Mississippi?" said
Mr. Chandler.

"We will, of course, have to seize and hold that," was the answer, "but
we will not tax your commerce."

To this, Mr. Chandler's indignant response was, "We own that river, Mr.
Slidell; we bought and paid for it; and, by the Eternal, we are going
to keep it. It was a desert when we bought it, and we will make it a
desert again before we will let you steal it from us."

Mr. Chandler labored assiduously to thwart the plots of the rebel
leaders, and to make such preparation as was possible for the coming
strife. It was at this time that he formed that close intimacy with
Edwin M. Stanton, which continued until the death of "the Carnot of the
United States." Mr. Stanton, as the Attorney-General of the Buchanan
Cabinet in its closing months, rendered service of the largest value
to the nation by urging vigorous measures on his imbecile chief, by
boldly confronting the traitors who were among his colleagues, and
by secretly and promptly informing the Republican leaders of each
new development of the disunion conspiracy as revealed in Cabinet
consultations. His information and counsels furnished sure guidance at
a time of the greatest peril, and this it was that led to the early
appointment by Mr. Lincoln to the Secretaryship of War of a man whom
the public then chiefly knew as a minor Cabinet officer in a detested
administration. Mr. Chandler always rated Mr. Stanton's services to the
Union cause in the early months of 1861 as second only in value to his
herculean labors in the War Department; placed the highest estimate
upon his ability, vigor, and patriotism; aided greatly in securing
his appointment and confirmation as one of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet;
remained his firm friend and counselor, and was largely instrumental
in obtaining from President Grant the nomination to the justiceship of
the Supreme Court which so shortly preceded his death. It was also at
this time that Mr. Chandler began to distrust the political fidelity of
Mr. Seward, whose spoken suggestions of compromise and whose persistent
negotiations with rebel emissaries, however diplomatic in origin and
intent, were fruitful sources of Southern hope and Northern weakness.
Time increased rather than diminished this dislike, and Mr. Chandler
was always an impatient critic of Mr. Seward's influence upon the
Lincoln administration, and saw in the course of the Secretary of State
of Andrew Johnson's Cabinet only the fulfillment of his own suspicions
and predictions.

The secret history of these exciting days, teeming with incident and
concealing many startling revelations, has yet been but sparingly
written; it is doubtful if the veil will ever be more than slightly
lifted. Mr. Chandler himself guarded scrupulously from public knowledge
much that was well known to him and a few associates and would have
shed light on the hidden springs of actions of vast moment. This class
of information he treated as state secrets, whose perishing with
the actors in the great drama was desirable for public reasons. A
well-known Washington journalist, who dined one day with Mr. Chandler
and Mr. Wade, and listened with interest to their reminiscences of "war
times," suggested to these gentlemen that their recollections should be
recorded while they were still fresh for the benefit of history, and
did succeed at first in obtaining their consent to an arrangement by
which the two "war Senators" were to devote one evening in each week
to the relation of the inside history of the period between the fall
of 1860 and the end of Johnson's administration. These narratives were
to be taken down by a stenographer, whose notes were to be written
out, carefully compiled, and subjected to the revision of Messrs.
Chandler and Wade. The manuscript was then to be sealed and placed in
such keeping as should make it certain that it would not be published
until the lapse of many years. On the following Saturday night the
literary gentleman was promptly at Mr. Chandler's residence with the
stenographer. Mr. Wade shortly afterward came in, and at once said:
"I have been thinking this matter over, Chandler, and you must allow
me to decline. There is no use in telling what we know unless we tell
_the whole truth_, and if I tell the whole truth I shall blast too
many reputations. These things would be interesting and valuable if
they were preserved in a book, but they would not be as valuable as
the reputations that would be destroyed. The days we were going to
talk about were exciting days, when good men made mistakes, and their
mistakes ought to be forgotten." Mr. Chandler promptly assented, and
the reminiscences were never written.

In the Senate at this time Mr. Chandler's course was bold and
straightforward. On Feb. 19, 1861, he denounced on its floor "traitors
in the Cabinet and imbeciles in the Presidential chair." He steadfastly
opposed the Crittenden Compromise, well described by Charles Sumner
as "the great surrender to slavery," and the circumstances of his
opposition to "the Peace Congress" attracted national attention then
and afterward. The Legislature of Virginia in January, 1861, adopted
resolutions inviting a conference of delegates from the various States
to meet at Washington on February 4, and consider how the pending
"unhappy controversy" could be adjusted by (of course) some plan giving
"to the people of the slaveholding States adequate guarantees for the
security of their rights." Twenty-two States answered this invitation,
and their representatives, presided over by John Tyler, deliberated in
Washington for nineteen days, and in the end recommended to Congress a
so-called "compromise measure," which was thus justly characterized at
the time: "Forbearing all details, it will be enough to say that they
undertook to give to slavery positive protection in the constitution,
with new sanction and immunity--making it, notwithstanding the
determination of the fathers, national instead of sectional; and, even
more than this, making it one of the essential and permanent parts of
our republican system." Its origin and its avowed object made this body
distrusted from the outset by the sincere anti-slavery men, who did
not believe that it could accomplish anything except to still farther
debauch the public mind of the North. The result proved that it was
called in the interest of slavery, and was designed to strengthen
that system. Mr. Chandler from the outset opposed all Republican
participation in this Congress, and, through the urgent recommendations
of its Senators, Michigan was one of the five Northern States which did
not send delegates. But after the Congress had met and was at work, it
was thought that the friends of freedom on its floor might be able to
accomplish something if they were increased in numbers, and accordingly
application was made to Mr. Chandler and Mr. Bingham to procure the
appointment by their State of delegates who could take their seats
before final action was reached. Under such circumstances those
gentlemen telegraphed to Lansing a request for the appointment of a
delegation, and followed the message up with letters of the same tenor,
which, although in the nature of private communications to Governor
Blair, were shown at Lansing, and soon appeared in the newspapers; they
were as follows:

                                              WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 1861.

  MY DEAR GOVERNOR: Governor Bingham and myself telegraphed you on
  Saturday, at the request of Massachusetts and New York, to send
  delegates to the Peace or Compromise Congress. They admit that we
  were right and that they were wrong; that no Republican States
  should have sent delegates but they are here, and cannot get away.
  Ohio, Indiana and Rhode Island are caving in, and there is danger
  of Illinois; and now they beg of us for God's sake to come to their
  rescue, and save the Republican party from rupture. I hope you will
  send _stiff-backed_ men or none. The whole thing was gotten up
  against my judgment and advice, and will end in thin smoke. Still I
  hope as a matter of courtesy to some of our erring brethren, that
  you will send the delegates. Truly your friend,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

  _His Excellency Austin Blair._

  P. S. Some of the manufacturing States think a fight would be
  awful. Without a little blood-letting, this Union will not, in my
  estimation, be worth a rush.

                                              WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 1861.

  DEAR SIR: When Virginia proposed a convention in Washington, in
  reference to the disturbed condition of the country, I regarded
  it as another effort to debauch the public mind and a step toward
  obtaining that concession which the imperious slave power so
  insolently demands. I have no doubt, at present, but that was the
  design. I was therefore pleased that the Legislature of Michigan
  was not disposed to put herself in a position to be controlled
  by such influences. The convention has met here, and within a
  few days the aspect of things has materially changed. Every free
  State, I think, except Michigan and Wisconsin, is represented, and
  we have been assured by friends upon whom we can rely, that, if
  those two States should send delegations of true, unflinching men,
  there would probably be a majority in favor of the constitution
  as it is, who would frown down the rebellion by the enforcement
  of laws. These friends have urged us to recommend the appointment
  of delegates from our State, and in compliance with their
  request, Mr. Chandler and myself telegraphed to you last night.
  It cannot be doubted that the recommendations of this convention
  will have a very considerable influence upon the public mind and
  upon the action of Congress. I have a great disinclination to
  any interference with what should properly be submitted to the
  wisdom and discretion of the Legislature, in which I place great
  reliance. But I hope I shall be pardoned for suggesting that it
  may be justifiable and proper by any honorable means to avert the
  lasting disgrace which will attach to a free people who, by the
  peaceful exercise of the ballot, have just released themselves from
  the tyranny of slavery, if they should now succumb to treasonable
  threats, and again submit to a degrading thraldom. If it should be
  deemed proper to send delegates, I think if they could be here by
  the 20th it would be in time. I have the honor, with much respect,
  to be, Yours truly,

                                                          K. S. BINGHAM.

The Legislature of Michigan refused to follow even these
recommendations (although an effort to make the two Senators
themselves delegates received a strong support), and that State was
not represented at any stage of the abortive Peace Congress. On the
27th of February Senator Powell of Kentucky presented to the Senate
newspaper copies of these letters, and then moved to lay aside the
army appropriation bill which was pending, in order that the Senate
could proceed at once to amend the constitution. He added that it
might "better be at that than be appropriating money to support an
army that is to be engaged, it seems, in the work of blood-letting."
Mr. Chandler followed by stating that the letter was a private one of
which no copy had been preserved, but that whether the printed copy was
accurate or not he adopted it as his, and would at another time speak
on the questions it involved. He added: "The people of Michigan are
opposed to all compromises. They do not believe that any compromise is
necessary; nor do I. They are prepared to stand by the constitution of
the United States as it is, to stand by the government as it is; aye,
sir, to stand by it to blood if necessary." On the 2d of March Mr.
Chandler made his promised speech in reply to Mr. Powell. He commenced:
"I desire to ask the Senator whether, after we have adopted this or
any other compromise, he is prepared to go with me, and with the
Union-loving men of this nation, for enforcing the laws of the United
States in the thirty-four States of this Union." Powell's response was:
"I am for enforcing the laws in all the States that are within the
Union, but I am opposed to making war on the States that are without
the Union. I am opposed to coercing the seceded States.... We have no
right, under the constitution, to make war on those States." Upon this
frank admission from one of its most ardent advocates of the utter
fruitlessness of compromise, this confession that it would be a sale
without consideration, Mr. Chandler's comment was: "That is just what
I expected; it is just what I want the North to know; that those men
who profess to be for the Union with an 'if' are against it under all
circumstances." He then quoted the letter of Thomas Jefferson written
at Paris on Nov. 13, 1787, to Colonel Smith, and closing as follows:

  And what country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not
  warned from time to time that the people preserve the spirit of
  resistance? Let them take up arms! The remedy is to set them right
  as to facts; pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
  in a century or two? The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from
  time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its
  natural manure.

And with this authority of Thomas Jefferson on "a little blood-letting"
as his text, Mr. Chandler spoke nearly an hour, denouncing the
treason about him with unsparing vigor and branding the Democracy
as responsible for the impending crime against the nation. In the
face of such distempers he did not hesitate to pronounce war for the
suppression of rebellion the only adequate remedy. The tone and style
of this speech will appear from these extracts:

  This is not a question of compromise. It is a question whether
  we have or have not a government. If we have a government it is
  capable of making itself respected abroad and at home. If we
  have not a government, let this miserable rope of sand which
  purports to be a government perish, and I will shed no tears
  over its destruction. Sir, General Washington reasoned not so
  when the whisky rebellion broke out in Pennsylvania; he called
  out the _posse comitatus_ and enforced the laws. General Jackson
  reasoned not so when South Carolina in 1832 raised the black flag
  of rebellion; he said: "By the Eternal, I will hang them;" and he
  would have done it.

  After these illustrious examples, we are told that six States
  have seceded, and the Union is broken up, and all we can do is
  to send commissioners to treat with traitors with arms in their
  hands; treat with men who have fired upon your flag; treat with
  men who have seized your custom-houses, who have erected batteries
  upon your great navigable waters, and who now stand defying your
  authority! What will be the result of such a treaty? You would
  stand disgraced before the nations of the earth, your naval
  officers would be insulted by the Algerines, your bonds would not
  be worth the paper on which they are written, to-morrow. If you
  submitted to this degradation your government would stand upon a
  par with the governments of South America and the Central American

  Sir, I will never submit to this degradation. If the right is
  conceded to any State to secede from the Union, without the consent
  of the other States, I am for immediate dissolution; and if the
  State which I have the honor in part to represent will not follow
  that advice, I, for one, upon my own responsibility and alone,
  will resign my seat in this body, and leave this government, so
  soon as I can prepare the small matters I shall have to arrange,
  _for emigration to some country where they have a government_.
  I would rather join the Comanches; _I will never live under a
  government that has not the power to enforce its laws_.... I see
  before me some of those men who have been fighting this corrupt
  organization (the Democratic party) for the last twenty years,
  who now turn about in dismay at the threatened disruption of the
  government. Why are they terror-stricken? Why do they not stand
  firm and denounce you as infamously connected with a plundered
  treasury instead of cowering before your threats? This thing has
  gone far enough.... Sir, this Union is to stand; it will stand
  when your great-grandchildren and mine shall have grown gray--aye,
  when they shall have gone to their last account, and their
  great-grandchildren shall have grown gray. But the traitors who
  are to-day plotting against this Union are to die. I do not say,
  literally, that they are all to die personally and absolutely; but
  they are soon to pass from the stage, and better and purer men
  are to take their places. God grant that that consummation, "so
  devoutly to be wished," may be early accomplished!...

  For the Union-loving men of this nation, for the true patriots of
  the land, there is no reasonable concession that I would not most
  cheerfully make; but for those men who profess to be Union men and
  who are Union men with an "if"; who will take all the concessions
  we will give them--all that they demand--and then turn about and
  say "your Union is dissolved," I have no respect; and for them I
  will do nothing. For the men who love this Union, who are prepared
  to march to the support of the Union, who will stand up in defense
  of the old flag under which their fathers fought and gloriously
  triumphed, I have not only the most profound respect, but to their
  demands I can scarce conceive anything that I would not yield. But,
  sir, when traitorous States come here and say, unless you yield
  this or that established principle or right, we will dissolve the
  Union, I would answer in brief words--no concession, no compromise;
  aye, give us strife even to blood before yielding to the demands of
  traitorous insolence.

This "blood letter" (as it was commonly termed) Mr. Chandler was often
called upon to meet in the course of his subsequent public life, and
he never failed to justify its writing or to stand by its language. In
the extra session of the Senate in March, 1861, John C. Breckenridge
alluded to "Senatorial threats of blood-letting," and Mr. Chandler
retorted by re-reading Jefferson's letter and re-asserting the purpose
to meet attempted treason with force. In the last session of the
Thirty-seventh Congress (on Feb. 13, 1863) William A. Richardson of
Illinois said in a debate upon a war loan measure:

  The Senator from Michigan, at the outset of this controversy,
  declared in a letter to the Governor of the State of Michigan, that
  this government was not worth a rush without some blood-letting.
  Standing in array against all our history for seventy years,
  standing in array against the peace of the country for seventy
  years, the constitution itself in every proceeding from that time
  to this being but compromise, he declared at the outset against any
  compromise for the peace of the country, and he is responsible to a
  very large extent for the arbitrament of war that is now upon us.
  He is responsible for those consequences that are now flowing to
  us from the position assumed then strongly by him at the head of a
  dominant party in the country.

Mr. Chandler was prompt in meeting this attack, and said:

  Mr. President: I do not propose to-day to go over my record. It has
  been made before the country and the world. There let it stand.
  So far as my loyalty and devotion to the country are concerned,
  I doubt if any man ever seriously attempted to cast suspicion on
  them. But, as I said before, my record is made. I stand upon it
  and am proud of it in all its entirety. The Senator alluded to the
  blood-letting letter, as it is called in Michigan. That letter
  has been discussed before the people of that State. Thousands and
  tens of thousands, and, for aught I know, hundreds of thousands
  of copies of it, were scattered broadcast throughout that State.
  What were the circumstances under which that letter was written?
  We had traitors in this body proclaiming from day to-day that this
  government was then destroyed, and there was no rebuke from the
  Senator of Illinois or his friends. There was no rebuke from the
  administration then in power, whom he aided in placing there. They
  proclaimed that the government was entirely destroyed; and that it
  should never be restored. Senators proclaimed on this floor that
  you might give them a blank sheet of paper and allow them to fill
  it as they pleased, and still they would not live with us under the
  same government.... Here in this hall and in the other chamber,
  and on the streets wherever you went, you heard traitors declare
  that the government was ended, declare that if you attempted to
  coerce the rebel States it would lead to war. I believed then, as I
  believe now, that they intended to break up this government; that
  they intended a disruption of the nation. And I believed then, as
  I believe now, that without the intervention of armed force to put
  down armed rebels and traitors, your government was destroyed.
  Believing it, I so wrote to the governor of a sovereign State--a
  confidential note, it is true, but that is of no account. I stand
  by that letter precisely as it was written. A majority of the
  people of this nation believe to-day, as I believed then, that
  there was and could be but one way to save the nation, and that
  was by putting down armed rebels by force. That is what I believed
  then, what I believe now.

  Another thing the Senator says: Nobody is more responsible for this
  bloody and wicked war than myself. Mr. President, let us look a
  little into the matter of responsibility. There is a responsibility
  somewhere, and a fearful responsibility, for this rebellion and
  this dreadful war, but that responsibility is not upon my soul....
  You may go through all the ranks of rebeldom, aye, sir, you may
  take all the officers of your regular army, who have deserted by
  hundreds and violated their oath, and gone into the ranks of the
  enemy, and are fighting to overturn the government; go and poll the
  whole of them, and you cannot find one that ever co-operated with
  me politically. They are all Democrats, every man. Yes, sir, and go
  among the officers of the navy who have deserted and gone over to
  the enemy, and are now fighting against their flag and attempting
  to overturn this government; poll them, and among all the hundreds
  of them you cannot find a single Republican--not one. No, sir, they
  are all Democrats, every man. You may go and poll the whole four or
  five hundred thousand men the rebels have now in arms against this
  government, and you cannot find a man who was ever a Republican or
  who even sympathized with the Republicans. They are all Democrats
  or "Union men" such as we had here two years ago, men who had
  professed to be for the Union when their hearts were with the
  enemies of the government. Sir, go among the Northern sympathizers
  with the rebellion, the men who are proclaiming to-day that this
  government is overturned, and that it will never be restored, who
  are to-day denouncing your currency and saying that your money is
  not worth the paper upon which it is written; search through all
  the sympathizers with this rebellion, and you cannot find a man who
  ever co-operated with me politically--not one. They are Democrats,
  but yet, forsooth, I am responsible for this war.... I have no
  responsibility for this rebellion, nor have the party with which
  I act. We have with perfect unanimity, in every instance, come up
  to the support of the government. When the government demanded
  400,000 men, every single individual on this side of the house
  voted to give them 500,000 men. And when they demanded $400,000,000
  to support the government, every man on this side of the house
  voted to give them $500,000,000 to save the nation. Sir, we have
  been ready under all circumstances to make any and every sacrifice
  so that this nation might be saved. Our armies are in large force
  and ably commanded; they are ready to advance and crush the
  hydra-headed monster of rebellion. Aye, sir, but we have an enemy
  insidious and dangerous. The seat of the rebellion is to-day not in
  Richmond, it is among the copper-headed traitors of the North, and
  if this government is overturned, if we should fail in saving the
  government, it will be, not from the force of rebels in our front,
  but because of the accursed traitors in our rear.

In the course of a debate in the Senate on Feb. 16, 1866, upon
reconstruction topics, Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana said:

  When the good and the patriotic, North and South, representing the
  yearning hearts of the people at home, came here in the winter
  and spring of 1861, in a peace congress, if possible to avoid
  this dreadful war, then the Senator from Michigan announced to
  his Governor and the country that this Union was scarcely worth
  preserving without some blood-letting. His cry before the war
  was for blood. Allow me to say that when the Senator's name is
  forgotten because of anything he says or does in this body, in
  future times it will be borne down upon the pages of history as the
  author of the terrible sentiment that the Union of the people that
  our fathers had cemented by the blood of the Revolution and by the
  love of the people; that that Union, resting upon compromise and
  concession, resting upon the doctrine of equality to all sections
  of the country; that that Union which brought us so much greatness
  and power in the three-quarters of a century of our life; that
  that Union which had brought us so much prosperity and greatness
  until we were the mightiest and proudest nation on God's footstool;
  that that grand Union was not worth preserving unless we had some
  blood-letting. Mr. President, it is not the sentiment of the
  Senator's own heart; it is the expression of a bitter political
  hostility; but it will carry him down to immortality; he is sure of
  living in history; he has gained that much by it.

To this Mr. Chandler's response was instant. He said:

  The Senator from Indiana has arraigned me upon an old indictment
  for having written a certain letter in 1861. It is not the first
  time I have been arraigned on that indictment of "blood-letting."
  I was arraigned for it upon this floor by the traitor John C.
  Breckenridge, and I answered the traitor John C. Breckenridge,
  and after I gave him his answer he went out to the rebel ranks
  and fought against our flag. I was arraigned by another Senator
  from Kentucky, and by other traitors upon this floor; I expect to
  be arraigned again. I wrote the letter, and I stand by the letter
  and what is in it. What was the position of the country when the
  letter was written? The Democratic party as an organization had
  arrayed itself against this government--a Democratic traitor in the
  Presidential chair, and Democratic traitors in every department
  of this government, Democratic traitors preaching treason upon
  this floor and preaching treason in the hall of the other House,
  Democratic traitors in your army and in your navy, Democratic
  traitors controlling every branch of this government. Your flag
  was fired upon and there was no response. The Democratic party
  had ordained that this government should be overthrown, and I, a
  Senator from the State of Michigan, wrote to the Governor of that
  State "unless you are prepared to shed blood for the preservation
  of this great government the government is overthrown." That is
  all there was in that letter. That I said, and that I say again.
  And I tell that Senator, if he is prepared to go down in history
  with the Democratic traitors who then co-operated with him, I am
  prepared to go down on that "blood-letting" letter, and I stand by
  the record as made.

  Because I wrote to the Governor of my State that unless he was
  prepared to shed blood for the preservation of this government
  it was overthrown, now I aim to be arraigned as going down to be
  remembered in history! Yes, sir, I shall be remembered, and I
  am proud of the record. May it stand, and stand as long as this
  government stands! When that Senator and the men who co-operated
  with him shall have gone down to eternal infamy my record will be

In the closing session of Mr. Chandler's Congressional service Senator
Benjamin H. Hill of Georgia, in the course of a reply (on May 10, 1879)
to a declaration of his on the previous day that "there were twelve
Senators on the other side whose seats were obtained and are held by
fraud and violence," again read and commented upon "the blood letter."
Mr. Chandler promptly answered as follows:

  Mr. President, this is the fourth time since 1861 that allusion
  has been made to a letter written by me to the Governor of the
  State of Michigan; first it appeared in a newspaper published in
  Detroit; a copy was sent to me and a copy was likewise sent to
  the late Senator Powell. The letter was a private note written to
  the Governor and no copy retained. Senator Powell approached me
  with his copy of the letter and asked if it was correct. I told
  him I did not know; I had written to the Governor of Michigan a
  private note and had kept no copy and could not say whether this
  was correct or not. He told me that if it was a correct copy he
  would wish to make use of it, and if it was not he did not propose
  to make use of it. I said, "Sir, I will adopt it, and you may make
  any use of it you please." So to-day that is my letter. If not
  originally written by me, it is mine by adoption.

  And, Mr. President, what were the circumstances under which that
  letter was written? I had been in this body then nearly four years
  listening to treason day by day and hour by hour. The threat, the
  universal threat daily, hourly, was, "Do this or we will dissolve
  the Union; if you do not do that we will dissolve the Union."
  Treason was in the White House, treason in the Cabinet, treason
  in the Senate, and treason in the House of Representatives; bold,
  outspoken, rampant treason was daily and hourly uttered. The threat
  was made upon this floor in my presence by a Senator, "You may
  give us a blank sheet of paper and let us fill it up as we please,
  and then we will not live with you." And another Senator stood
  here beside that Senator from Texas and said, "I stand by the
  Senator from Texas." Treason was applauded in the galleries of this
  body, and treason was talked on the streets, in the street cars,
  in private circles; everywhere it was treason--treason in your
  departments, traitors in the White House, traitors around these
  galleries, traitors everywhere!

  The flag of rebellion had been raised; the Union was already
  dissolved, we were told; the rebel government was already
  established with its capital in Alabama; "and now we will negotiate
  with you," was said to us. Upon what basis would you negotiate?
  Upon what basis did you call your peace convention? With rampant
  rebellion staring us in the face! Sir, it was no time to negotiate.
  The time for negotiation was past.

  Sir, this was the condition of affairs when that letter was
  written; and after Mr. Powell had made his assault upon me in this
  body for it I responded, relating what I have related here now with
  regard to it, and I said, "I stand by that letter," and I stand by
  it now. What was there in it then, and what is there in it now? The
  State of Michigan was known to be in favor of the constitution and
  the Union and the enforcement of the laws, even to the letting of
  blood if need be, and that was all there was and all there is in
  that letter. Make the most of it!

  The Senator from Georgia says that I did not shed any blood. How
  much blood did he shed?[18] [Laughter.] Will somebody inform us the
  exact quantity of blood that the Senator from Georgia shed?

  Mr. HILL, of Georgia: The difference between us is that I was not
  in favor of shedding anybody's blood.

  Mr. CHANDLER: Nor I, except to punish treason and traitors. Sir,
  the Senator is not the man to stand up on this floor and talk
  about other men saving their own blood. He took good care to put
  his blood in Fort Lafayette where he was out of the way of rebel
  bullets as well as Union bullets. He is the last man to stand up
  here and talk to me about letting the blood of others be shed.

  Mr. President, I was then, as I am now, in favor of the government
  of the United States. Then, as now, I abhorred the idea of State
  sovereignty over National sovereignty. Then, as now, I was prepared
  even to shed blood to save this glorious government. Then, as now,
  I stood up for the constitution and the Union. Then, as now, I was
  in favor of the perpetuity of this glorious government. But the
  Senator from Georgia, was, as he testified before a committee, "a
  Union secessionist." I have the testimony here before me. Will
  somebody explain what that means--"a Union secessionist?" Mr.
  President, I should like to see the dictionary wherein a definition
  can be found of "a Union secessionist!" I do not understand the
  term. He says they have the right to have a solid South, but a
  solid North will destroy the government. Why, Mr. President, the
  South is no more solid to-day than it was in 1857.... It has been
  solid ever since, and it was no quarrel with the North that made
  it solid. It was solid because it was determined either to "rule or
  ruin" this nation. It tried the "ruin" scheme with arms; and now,
  having failed to ruin this government with arms, it comes back to
  ruin it by withholding supplies to carry on the government. Sir,
  the men have changed since 1857. There is now but one member on
  this floor who stood here with me on the 4th of March, 1857. The
  men have changed, the measures not at all. You then fought for the
  overthrow of this government, and now you vote and talk for the
  same purpose. You are to-day, as you were then, determined either
  to rule or ruin this government, and you cannot do either.

This letter was also for years constantly quoted and denounced by the
Democratic press of Michigan with the hope of by this means breaking
the Senator's hold upon the confidence of the people of his State. He
uniformly met these attacks, not only without the shadow of apology,
but with the most emphatic defiance. On the stump he repeatedly
declared that "that letter was a good one," that he would not qualify
a sentence nor retract a word of it, that he "stood by it" without
reservation, and that he believed when he wrote it and knew afterward
that it pointed out the only path in which the nation could then walk
with honor and with safety. Time has shown that Mr. Chandler was right
and that the men who deprecated his boldness were wrong, and that the
real statesmanship of the winter of 1860-61 was that which proposed not
to parley with, but to draw the sword upon, "foul treason." The paper
which at that time first printed "the blood letter" and made it the
text for unsparing and constant denunciation of its author was edited
by a man who grew to be one of the foremost of American journalists,
and--always hostile to Republicanism--published in 1879 the chief
Northwestern organ of Independent opinion, which said, in announcing
Mr. Chandler's sudden death in its city: "To superior intellectual
endowments he united a force of will and resolution of purpose that
hesitated at no obstacle. Few men ever displayed in a more remarkable
degree the courage of opinions. No dread of unpopularity, no fear of
consequences, ever troubled him. His famous 'blood-letting letter,'
written near the opening of the Southern rebellion, was a faithful
manifestation of the man. When frightened party chiefs of the North
were running up and down with peace propositions to placate Southern
fire-eaters and patch up a new truce between free civilization and
slave barbarism, Zach. Chandler stood up in his place in the Senate
and in terms of intense, bitter scorn, denounced all such efforts as
the pitiful manifestations of political cowardice and folly. He had no
word of regret to utter upon the departure of the Southern Senators;
but told them that the North would whip them back, and that in their
humiliation the bond of nationality would be strengthened. He had no
dread of the threatened blood-letting, but believed it to be the only
way of curing the Southern ulcer, and that the nation would afterward
be the healthier for it." And

         "Thus the whirligig of Time brings in his revenges."


[16] Bangor, Me., "Union."

[17] Detroit, Mich. "Free Press."

[18] An allusion to the common report that, during a secret session
o£ the Confederate Senate, William. L. Yancey received injuries in a
personal encounter with H. H. Hill from which he finally died.



Abraham Lincoln reached Washington on the 23d of February, 1861, having
come from Harrisburg _incognito_, and in advance of the announced
time, because of threats of assassination. Mr. Chandler was one of the
first persons informed of his arrival, called upon him at once, and
was in frequent consultation with him thereafter with reference to the
formation of his Cabinet and the policy to be pursued toward the South.
Mr. Chandler earnestly opposed placing any but the most uncompromising
Union men at the head of the departments, urged bold and decisive
measures toward armed traitors for the sake of the moral effect of such
a course, and advised the most emphatic declarations in the inaugural
of the President's intention to enforce the laws at all hazards. Mr.
Lincoln had seriously thought of inviting two gentlemen from the
Southern States to seats in his Cabinet, the names chiefly considered
by him being those of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, and James
Guthrie of Kentucky. Mr. Chandler strongly opposed any such concession
to the rampant dis-unionism of the slave States, and the hostility
of the wing of the party with which he acted finally led Mr. Lincoln
to abandon his original plan and select Edward Bates of Missouri and
Montgomery Blair as the Southern members of the Cabinet. Mr. Chandler
also advised that Breckenridge, Wigfall, and other avowedly disloyal
Congressmen should be arrested at once, and urged that the "Secession
Commissioners," when they came to Washington, should be dealt with
summarily as traitors and not be permitted to even informally negotiate
with the Administration. He always believed that this summary
treatment of rebellion at the outset would have greatly curtailed its
dimensions, but the President was guided by Mr. Seward and others,
whose counsels were different and who hoped to prevent the impending
war by mildness. Accordingly the inaugural was almost apologetic in
tone toward the South; throughout March, men like Stephen A. Douglas
inquired whether the Administration meant peace or war; flagrant
treason was still defiantly uttered on the floor of Congress, and John
Forsyth and M. J. Crawford, embassadors from the "Confederacy," spent
weeks in Washington holding relations with the new Secretary of State
which, if not "official," looked like a concession in fact of the
practical independence of the seceded States. The first official favor
Mr. Chandler asked from President Lincoln was the appointment of his
life-long friend, James M. Edmunds, as Commissioner of the General Land
Office, and Mr. Edmunds was promptly nominated to that position and
confirmed by the Senate.

At noon on March 4, 1861, Vice-President Hamlin took the chair of the
Senate and directed the secretary to read this proclamation convening
an extra session of that body:



  WHEREAS, Objects of interest to the United States require that the
  Senate should be convened at twelve o'clock on the 4th of March
  next, to receive and act upon such communications as may be made to
  it on the part of the Executive: Now, therefore, I, James Buchanan,
  President of the United States, have considered it to be my duty
  to issue this, my proclamation, declaring that an extraordinary
  occasion requires the Senate of the United States to convene
  for the transaction of business, at the capitol in the city of
  Washington, on the 4th day of March next, at twelve o'clock at noon
  on that day, of which all who shall at that time be entitled to act
  as members of that body are hereby required to take notice.

[Sidenote: [L. S.]]

    Given under my hand and the seal of the United States at
        Washington, the 11th day of February, in the year of our
        Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the
        independence of the United States of America the eighty-fifth.

                                                         JAMES BUCHANAN.

  By the President: J. S. BLACK, _Secretary of State_.

Sixteen new Senators then took the oath of office, and at fifteen
minutes past one o'clock James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln entered the
Senate chamber, arm in arm, accompanied by Senators Foote, Baker and
Pearce, members of the Committee of Arrangements, and were conducted
to seats in front of the secretary's desk. In a few moments afterward,
those assembled in the Senate chamber proceeded to the platform on the
central portico of the eastern front of the capitol, to listen to the
inaugural address of the President elect. Then the oath of office was
administered to him by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the
administration of the government by the Republican party had commenced.
The business of this extra session of the Senate was chiefly limited to
the confirmation of executive appointments, although there were some
exciting discussions upon the political situation. Mr. Chandler, on
taking possession (as the new chairman) of the room of the Committee
on Commerce, had his righteous wrath at the men who had availed
themselves of their official positions to plot treason against the
government still further stimulated by finding in one of the drawers
of the large committee table the original draft of the secession
ordinance of Alabama, which had been prepared in the national capitol
by Senator Clement C. Clay, his predecessor in the chairmanship of
the committee.[19] This illustration of Southern perfidy Mr. Chandler
carefully kept, and at his death it was among his private papers. The
executive session of the Senate closed on March 28, 1861, and Mr.
Chandler at once returned to Detroit.

At 5.20 A. M. on April 12, 1861, a mortar in the rebel battery on
Sullivan's Island in the harbor of Charleston fired a shell into Fort
Sumter. This was the announcement to the world of the decision of the
rebels to delay no longer, but to at once

    "The purple testament of bleeding war."

On the 13th Major Anderson abandoned the unequal contest, and
surrendered the blazing ruins of his fortress to Beauregard; on the
14th his garrison marched out with the honors of war; and on the 15th
Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, a force which it was
believed would trample out rebellion in ninety days. The North answered
Charleston's cannon and the President's appeal with a magnificent
assertion of its latent patriotism, and the war spirit flamed up in
every State. On April 17 the business men of Detroit held a public
meeting at the invitation of its Board of Trade, at which the firm
purpose to support the government in its contest with treason was
emphatically declared, and all needed assistance in troops and money
was pledged. Senator Chandler escorted General Cass to this gathering,
and their entrance, arm in arm, typifying as it did the solidification
of the Union sentiment of the North, was followed by long-continued
cheering. Both gentlemen spoke in tones of earnest loyalty and amid
constant applause. That night the following letter was mailed to

                                        DETROIT, April 17, 1861.

  _Hon. Simon Cameron._

  DEAR SIR: One of the most distinguished Democrats in this
  country[20] says: "Don't defend Washington. Don't put batteries on
  Georgetown Heights, but shove your troops directly into Virginia,
  and quarter them there."

  Stand by the Union men in Virginia and you will find plenty of them.

  By this bold policy you will save Virginia to the Union as well as
  the other border States.

  There is but one sentiment here. We will give you all the troops
  you can use. We will send you two regiments in thirty days,
  and 50,000 in thirty days more if you want them. General Cass
  subscribed $3,000 to equip the regiments.

  There are no sympathizers here with treason, and if there were we
  would dispense with their company forthwith. Your friend,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

Michigan justified her Senator's pledges by promptly raising and
equipping many more troops, than the State was required to furnish
under the call for 75,000 volunteers, and this correspondence soon

                                        DETROIT, April 21, 1861.

  _Hon. Simon Cameron._

  MY DEAR CAMERON: ... I will esteem it a very great favor if you
  will officially call for at least one more regiment to go to the
  front immediately from this State. You did not call for but one,
  but we have got two all ready, and have raised $100,000 by private
  subscription to equip them. Truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.


                                     WASHINGTON, April 29, 1861.

  _Hon. Z. Chandler._

  DEAR SIR: ... It would give me great pleasure to gratify your
  wishes, but this can only be done in one way. The President has
  determined to accept no more for three months' service, but to add
  to the regular army twenty-five more regiments whose members shall
  agree to serve two years unless sooner discharged. This will enable
  the Department to accept another regiment from your State. Truly

                                      SIMON CAMERON, _Secretary of War_.

To this suggestion the response was prompt, and the enlistment of men
and formation of companies for three years' service went briskly on,
Michigan sending only one three-months' regiment to the field. Mr.
Chandler was active in stimulating and organizing the war movements at
home, both by untiring personal labor and by liberal subscriptions of
money, until the first regiments were ready for marching orders. He
was one of the speakers at an imposing Union meeting held in Detroit
on April 25, with Lewis Cass in the chair, and he there said: "A
greater contest than the Revolutionary war is now about to take place.
It is to be tested whether a republican government can stand or not.
The eyes of all Europe are upon us, and we will convince them that
ours is the strongest government on earth." He also made an earnest,
and in the end successful, effort to procure from the War Department
such orders as should obtain for the Michigan men an opportunity for
prompt service against the enemy. It was originally intended to send
the regiments from his State to Cairo, but his influence accomplished
a change in this plan and they were directed to report to Washington
for immediate duty. In May Mr. Chandler went to the capital to aid in
preparing for their reception and to urge upon the authorities, who
were then declining the profuse offers of troops, the importance of
accepting all the regiments tendered by his own and other States and
of promptly attacking the constantly growing rebellion by invading
its territory and interfering with the organization of its armies.
On the 17th of May, 1861, the First Regiment of Michigan Volunteers
arrived in Washington, Col. O. B. Willcox commanding. They were met at
the depot by Senator Chandler and escorted to quarters he had aided
in securing for them in a business block on Pennsylvania Avenue. Mr.
Chandler was active in providing for their comfort, purchased supplies
for them out of his own private purse, was present at their parade when
they were formally mustered into the service of the United States by
Adjutant-General Thomas, and asked the Secretary of War to send them at
once to the front for active duty. His request was complied with and
this regiment was prominent in the first important military movement of
the war.

After he had seen the Michigan troops well cared for, Mr. Chandler, on
the 19th of May, in company with Senators Wade and Morrill and John
G. Nicolay, the private secretary of President Lincoln, sailed for
Fortress Monroe to visit General Butler, and see the condition of his
newly-organized army. On the following day the party started to return
on the steamer Freeborn, and as they were passing through Hampton Roads
heard heavy cannonading, which proved to be an artillery duel between
the steamer Monticello and a battery erected by the rebels at Sewell's
Point, where the Elizabeth river empties into Hampton Roads. The
Freeborn went at once to the assistance of the Monticello, and being of
light draft approached within 300 yards of the battery and opened fire
with her guns. The columbiads of the Virginians were soon disabled, and
the rebels were scattered in every direction, Mr. Chandler pronouncing
the spectacle "the best ball-playing he had ever seen." On her voyage
up the Potomac the Freeborn seized two suspicions boats, and found them
loaded with a company of fifty rebel soldiers on their way to join
"the Confederate army." Both vessels were brought to the Navy Yard at
Washington and they were the first prizes taken during the war, and the
men on board were the first rebel prisoners captured.

On the night of the 23d of May, the Union forces at Washington crossed
the Potomac and proceeded to seize and fortify advantageous positions
on Virginia soil. The First Michigan accompanied the famous Zouave
regiment by ferry-boats to Alexandria, taking possession of that city
in the night. Mr. Chandler went with the Michigan men, and was the only
civilian who was allowed to accompany this wing of the expedition. He
was with a detachment of soldiers who surprised and captured a party of
forty rebel dragoons, including four officers, and he was in Alexandria
when Colonel Ellsworth fell and private Brownell instantly avenged his
death. Of this event, since obscured by four years of carnage, but
which then first brought to excited millions some sense of the dreadful
realities of war, he was the first to bear the news to the authorities
at Washington.

Mr. Chandler remained at the capital some weeks, working industriously
in helping on the preparations for war, and urging the most vigorous
and sweeping measures upon the Administration. He believed and said
repeatedly that the call for 75,000 men for three months was a mistake.
He was no optimist, and never thought that a rebellion, so carefully
organized and left so long undisturbed, could be subdued without a
desperate and bloody struggle. He thought that 500,000 rather than
75,000 volunteers should have been called for to serve through the
war, and judged that the effect of such a proclamation upon the
country, and particularly upon the South, would have been salutary, as
showing the determination of the government to crush the rebellion at
once and forever. While the raw levies of volunteers were massing in
Washington in May and June, there was a lamentable lack of discipline
and organization. The commissary department of the army was feeble and
inefficient, and there was a want of proper and sufficient food for the
soldiers. Mr. Chandler's executive capacity was very useful then to the
Secretary of War in assisting in the organization of a commissariat
and in procuring supplies and equipments, and he spent no small sum
in obtaining food for the soldiers when the regular rations were not
forthcoming. Although entirely without military training, Mr Chandler's
business experience, his quick perception, and his clear judgment made
his services at this period of confusion and mismanagement of great
value to the country. In June he returned to Michigan for a few days,
and on the 21st of that month spoke (with the Hon. Charles M. Croswell)
at Adrian, on the occasion of the presentation by the ladies of that
city of a stand of colors to a volunteer regiment in camp there.

On the 4th of July, 1861, the Thirty-seventh Congress met in extra
session, and adjourned on the 6th of August, after having enacted laws
to increase the army and navy, and to provide the means and authority
necessary for the vigorous prosecution of the war. The scope of the
work undertaken by this Congress was far greater than that of any
preceding session. Many of the members had but little experience in
legislative matters, but their patriotism was sincere and ardent, and
their acts embodied the national purpose to maintain the integrity of
the republic at any cost. On the second day of the session Mr. Chandler
said in the Senate:

  I desire to give notice that I shall to-morrow or on some
  subsequent day introduce a bill to confiscate the property of
  all Governors of States, members of the Legislature, Judges of
  Courts, and all military officers above the rank of lieutenant
  who shall take up arms against the United States, or aid or abet
  treason against the government of the United States, and that said
  individual shall be forever disqualified from holding any office of
  honor, emolument or trust under this government.

This bill was introduced on July 15, and was referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary; it reported back a measure of much narrower scope,
which was passed, and is known as the confiscation act of 1861. The
origin of Mr. Chandler's bill was the fact that John Y. Mason of
Virginia, who had been expelled from the Senate for treason, owned a
large amount of property in Pennsylvania, and so indignant were the
people of the county in which it was located at his treachery, that a
guard was kept over it constantly to prevent its destruction by a mob.
Mr. Chandler believed it was important that the government should be
enabled to legally seize for its own use such property as this; there
were also many officers of the army and navy who were undecided whether
to go with the rebellion or remain at their posts. He wished to add
to the penalties of treason to affect them, as well as those wealthy
citizens of Washington and Maryland who had formerly been in office
and who sympathized with the rebellion and gave the South as much
encouragement as they dared. His proposition proved then too vigorous
to obtain the endorsement of his colleagues, but within a year its
principle received Congressional sanction. During this session (on July
18) Mr. Chandler said in the Senate with characteristic force:

  The Senator from Indiana says there are three parties in the
  country. I deny it, sir. There are but two parties, patriots and
  traitors--none others in this body nor in the country. I care not
  what proposition may be brought up to save the Union, to preserve
  its integrity, patriots will vote for it; and I care not what
  proposition you may bring up to dissolve the Union, to break up
  this government, traitors will vote for that. And those are the
  only two parties there are in the Senate or the country.

It is not necessary to add that Mr. Chandler voted at this session
for every measure to organize armies and to raise means for their
maintenance, and that he favored at all times vigorous and summary
measures in dealing with the enemies of the republic.

General McDowell's "invasion of Virginia" on May 23 was followed by
several weeks of military inactivity on the Potomac, broken only by a
dash of the Union cavalry into Fairfax Courthouse and the skirmish at
Vienna, where a regiment of Ohio troops, who were backed on a railroad
train into a rebel ambuscade, lost twenty men. On July 16 the Union
army began a forward movement against the rebels who were found in
position about and along a creek known as Bull Run. After a short
and indecisive engagement on that day, General McDowell commenced to
concentrate his forces for an attack on Beauregard's line, but various
delays prevented any definite movement until Sunday, July 21. On that
date was fought the battle of Bull Run, ending in a complete Union
defeat, attended by severe losses and a panic-stricken retreat by many
regiments, and followed by great national dismay and alarm. An inquiry
into the blundering strategy, political half-heartedness, and poor
generalship, which were the causes of this unnecessary and most serious
reverse, are foreign to the purpose of this work. Mr. Chandler was one
of a large number of members of Congress who joined the army on the eve
of battle, and watched its progress to the final disaster. The First
Michigan was among the regiments engaged in the thickest of the fight,
and the Second and Third were in the brigade of Gen. I. B. Richardson,
which acted as a rear-guard in the retreat of the army and prevented
defeat from becoming a total rout. Mr. Chandler himself aided in
halting and rallying the panic-stricken fugitives,[21] and reached
Washington late at night, covered with mud and wearied with travel
and hunger. He drove at once to the White House, where he found Mr.
Lincoln despondent, exhausted with his labors, and greatly depressed
by the defeat and the loss of life involved. Mr. Chandler urged upon
the President the necessity of vigorous measures, the wisdom of calling
for more troops, and the certainty that the North would follow the
Administration in meeting a reverse with undismayed and redoubled
energies. He asked Mr. Lincoln to issue an order for the enrolling of
500,000 men at once, "to show to the country and the rebels that the
government was not discouraged a whit, but was just beginning to get
mad." Mr. Chandler's vitality, the timely vigor of his bold words, and
his overwhelming earnestness acted as a tonic upon the over-burdened
Executive, and he left Mr. Lincoln cheered, encouraged and resolute.
The governors of the loyal States were at once appealed to for more
troops, and the answer of the North to Bull Run was the rush of tens
of thousands of men into camp and the organization of great armies
along the Potomac, the Ohio and the Mississippi. Secretary Stanton,
who knew of this midnight interview, estimated its effect upon the
course of events as of the utmost importance, and repeatedly said that
Mr. Chandler's opportunely-manifested courage and vigor then saved the
Union from a great peril.

In the task of reorganizing the army after Bull Run, of clearing
Washington of fugitives, and of extracting order from chaos, Mr.
Chandler rendered important aid to the authorities, and after the
adjournment returned to Michigan and threw his strong energies into
the work of raising and equipping troops. This letter (which was not
followed by any practical results, owing to various causes) is of
interest as showing the spirit of those days:

                                         DETROIT, Aug. 27, 1861.

  _Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War._

  MY DEAR CAMERON: A Colonel Elliott, member of the Canadian
  Parliament, is desirous of raising a regiment of Canadian cavalry
  for the war against treason. I don't know how the Administration
  may look upon this proposition, but there are many reasons in favor
  of its acceptance.

  1. Colonel Elliott is a brave and experienced officer.

  2. He is in favor of the closest union between the Canadas and the
  United States, and believes that this fraternal union upon the
  battle-field would tend strongly to cement a yet closer connection.

  3. It would satisfy England that hands-off was her best policy.

  The moment it is proven that black men are used in the Southern
  army _against us_, I propose to recruit a few regiments of negroes
  in Canada myself to meet that enemy, and I think this would be an
  opening wedge for the movement of emancipation.

  My colleague will introduce Colonel Elliott to you and explain more
  at length. Truly, your friend,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

To this same period also belongs this characteristic defense of his
State and the Northwest against what Mr. Chandler believed--and with
reason--to be an unjust statement:

  _To the Editor of the New York World_:

  My attention has been called to an article in your valuable and
  patriotic paper in which you say: "The extreme Northern States,
  from Maine to Michigan, have not done their duty, and it is high
  time that State pride aroused them to emulate the noble example
  of New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island." As I am sure you
  would not willingly do injustice to Michigan, I ask you to state
  editorially, the population and the number of regiments in the
  field for the war from each of the States whose example is to be
  emulated. Michigan had at Bull Run one three-months' regiment (now
  recruiting and in for the war) and three regiments for the war,
  _and not a private soldier in camp in the State_. Since that time
  she has sent seven regiments for the war, making ten regiments now
  present in the army, in addition to which she furnished to other
  States over 2,000 men, _now in the field_, for the reason that the
  government would accept no more men from Michigan at that time,
  and the patriotic ardor of our citizens could not be restrained.
  We have now in camp nearly 4,000 men, and shall send two regiments
  this week and two more within a few days.

  The Northwest has done her whole duty; how is it with the East?
  The Northwest has exceeded every call made upon her, and yet you
  lack men and are denuding over 2,000 miles of border territory of
  troops for the defense of Washington. If New York, Pennsylvania,
  New Jersey, and the New England States cannot defend Washington, in
  God's name what can they do? The Northwest will defend the lines
  from the mountains of Virginia to the Rocky Mountains. She will
  sweep secession and treason from the valley of the Mississippi,
  aye, _and will defend the Potomac, too, if she must_. But is
  not this Union worth as much to New York, Pennsylvania, and
  Massachusetts as to the Northwest? Why, then, so tardy in supplying
  troops? Had five of the forty Northwestern regiments now on the
  Potomac been with Lyon he would have won the battle and cleared
  Missouri! Had five been with Mulligan he would now be in possession
  of Lexington! Could ten of them be sent into Kentucky to-morrow (in
  addition to what they have) they would clear the State of secession
  in ten days, and threaten Tennessee! Could ten be sent to Rosecrans
  he would clear the mountains of Virginia and threaten the rear of
  the grand army! But, no; this cannot be done--because the East will
  not do her duty. If she does not at once, the whole world will cry
  shame. Respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

  DETROIT, Sept. 30, 1861.

During the Congressional recess he also sent this letter of
characteristic suggestions to the Secretary of War:

                                         DETROIT, Nov. 15, 1861.

  _Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War._

  MY DEAR SIR: The time for delivering a battle upon the Potomac has
  now passed, and something _must and can be done_. In my opinion the
  following plan is still feasible, and will close the war:

  Let Rosecrans be ordered immediately to Kentucky with his army
  of veteran Northwestern troops. Substitute an equal or larger
  number of Eastern troops with an Eastern general, who will act
  strictly upon the defensive. Send your Northwestern troops now
  upon the Potomac to Cairo _at once_. Send Pope (if he is the man)
  to Missouri with sufficient arms to supply all the Northwestern
  regiments in readiness to march on the 1st day of December. Let an
  abundance of transports and material be provided at Cairo and St.
  Louis, by that date (December 1st).

  Give the order, "Forward," and _then cut the wires_.

  Stop all official communication with the Army of the Northwest.
  That army, if thus untrammeled, will _spend New Year's day in New
  Orleans_, _via_ Memphis, and will reach Washington _via_ Richmond
  by the 1st of May next.

  In the meantime Sherman, Butler, and Burnside can take care of
  South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, and North Carolina will fall
  of itself with Virginia and the Gulf States.

  Is this plan feasible?

  None but a traitor will say you Nay, for you and I know that
  200,000 Northwestern soldiers, with Rosecrans's and Lyon's
  veterans, _can_ and _will go wherever they are ordered_, and _on

  As to your Army of the Potomac, select 100,000 men of your city
  regiments which look well on parade, and keep them for reviews.
  Send the balance to the Gulf States. We want none of them out West.

  We will, by recruiting during the winter, keep our Grand Army up to
  200,000 men, and furnish garrisons as fast as needed for captured
  towns. Very truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

Congress re-assembled for its regular session in December, 1861,
and Mr. Chandler was called upon (on Jan. 17, 1862) to present
the credentials of the Hon. Jacob M. Howard as his colleague from
Michigan, _vice_ Kinsley S. Bingham, who had died suddenly in the
preceding October. Mr. Howard remained a Senator for ten years, winning
distinction in that position. Throughout his term his relations with
his colleague were intimate and cordial, and the foremost merchant
and the first lawyer of Michigan stood side by side in the Senate in
the support of every important measure which had for its object the
encouragement of loyal sentiment, or the strengthening of the military
and financial arms of the government, or the prompt suppression of the


[19] Mr. Clay (C. C. Clay, Jr., of Alabama), chairman of the Committee
on Commerce, drew up in the room of that committee the original
ordinance of secession for the State of Alabama, while he, a rebel
traitor, was drawing the pay of this government. It was drawn upon
government paper, written with government ink, and copied by a clerk
drawing $6 a day from this government. I found it in that room and I
have it now.--_Zachariah Chandler in the Senate, April 12, 1864._

[20] This undoubtedly refers to Lewis Cass.

[21] Whatever credit there was in stopping the rout (at this point) is
due wholly to Senators Chandler and Wade, and Representatives Blake,
Riddle, and Morris. These gentlemen, armed with Maynard rifles and navy
revolvers, sprang from their carriages some three miles this side of
Centreville, and, presenting their weapons, in loud voices commanded
the fugitives to halt and turn back. Their bold and determined manner
brought most at that point to a stand-still. Many on horseback, who
attempted to dash by them, had their horses seized by the bits. Some of
the fugitives who were armed menaced these gentlemen. None, however,
were permitted to pass until the arrival of the Second New Jersey
Regiment, on its way to the battle-ground, turned back the flying
soldiers and teamsters.--_Washington Intelligencer, July 22, 1861._



During the Congressional recess of the autumn of 1861 gross
mismanagement led to the annihilation at Ball's Bluff of a brigade of
Union troops, led by Senator Edward D. Baker of Oregon. They had been
sent across the Potomac in flat-boats and skiffs, were left without
adequate support, and, being surrounded by a vastly superior force of
rebels, were driven to the edge of the river, and there either killed,
wounded, captured, or driven into hiding places along the banks. Their
commanding officer, who displayed throughout a high order of personal
courage, was shot at the head of his line before the final rout.
General Baker was a man of eloquence and many gallant qualities, and
his death created a profound impression; that he was sacrificed by
military incapacity cannot be doubted.

Congress met on Dec. 2, 1861, and on the first business day of the
session Mr. Chandler offered a motion for the expulsion of John C.
Breckenridge, who had at last joined the rebels, and it was unanimously
adopted. On December 5 he introduced this resolution:

  _Resolved_, That a committee of three be appointed to inquire into
  the disasters at Bull Run and Edward's Ferry (subsequently changed
  to Ball's Bluff), with power to send for persons and papers.

Mr. Chandler said, in explanation of his motion, that these reverses
had been attributed to politicians, to civilians, to everything but
the right cause, and that it was due to the Senate and to the country
that they should be investigated and that the blame should rest where
it belonged. After some discussion the Senate adopted the resolution
with only three dissenting votes, first amending it by providing for
a joint committee of both branches, and by enlarging the scope of
its inquiries so as to include "the conduct of the war." The House
concurred in the action, and the famous "Committee on the Conduct of
the War" was thus created. On December 17, Mr. Chandler moved that the
Vice-President should appoint the Senate members, adding: "I do not
know what the parliamentary usage may be in a case of this kind. If
that usage would give me the position of chairman, I wish to say that,
under the circumstances, I do not wish to accept it." Mr. Chandler
had also privately requested Mr. Hamlin to appoint Senator Wade to
the chairmanship, saying it was important that a lawyer should be
given that place, and his desires were followed in both respects.
The first committee, as announced at that time, consisted of the
following Congressmen: On the part of the Senate, Benjamin F. Wade,
Zachariah Chandler and Andrew Johnson; on the part of the House,
Daniel W. Gooch of Massachusetts, John Covode of Pennsylvania, George
W. Julian of Indiana, and Moses F. Odell of New York. Of the original
committee, George W. Julian is the only one who survived Mr. Chandler.
When Andrew Johnson was appointed Military Governor of Tennessee, he
resigned his position upon the committee, and Senator Joseph A. Wright
of Indiana took his place. Mr. Wright served but a year, and after
the expiration of his term the Senate branch of the committee in the
Thirty-seventh Congress consisted of only Mr. Chandler and Mr. Wade.
William Blair Lord, now one of the official reporters of the House of
Representatives, was appointed its clerk and stenographer.

[Illustration: ZACHARIAH CHANDLER IN 1862.]

The tone of the Congressional discussion upon Mr. Chandler's
proposition shows that this was regarded as an exceedingly important
step, for the resolution clothed the committee with powers of very
unusual magnitude, which, if abused, must have seriously embarrassed
the Administration. Mr. Lincoln and Secretary Cameron, as well as
General Scott and General McClellan, opposed its appointment at the
outset, but Mr. Chandler took prompt and successful measures to assure
the President that, if the plans of its projectors were carried
out, the committee would be used only to strengthen the hands of
the Executive, and promised that it should be made a help and not a
hindrance to the vigorous prosecution of the war. On this point the
Hon. James M. Edmunds, who was thoroughly informed as to the secret
history of that period, has said:

  The writer knows that the Administration was not without fear
  that this was an unfriendly measure. A member of the Cabinet
  expressed such fears to him, and said that the President had not
  only expressed doubts as to the wisdom of the movement, but also
  fears that the committee might, by unfriendly action, greatly
  embarrass the Executive. On being told by the writer that the
  measure was not so intended, but, on the contrary, that it was the
  intention of the mover to bring the committee to the aid of the
  Administration, he expressed much gratification, and said it was
  of the utmost importance to bring such purpose to the knowledge
  of the President in some authoritative way, and at the earliest
  moment possible. This conversation was at once reported to Senator
  Chandler, whereupon both he and Senator Wade went immediately to
  the President and the Secretary of War, and assured them that it
  was their purpose to bring the whole power of the committee to the
  aid of the Executive. From this moment the most cordial relations
  existed between the committee and the Administration.[22]

President Lincoln and Secretaries Cameron and Stanton ultimately
placed great reliance upon the committee, and constantly, throughout
the war, it gave them the most valuable assistance. Mr. Wade and Mr.
Chandler were deeper in the confidence of Secretary Stanton, from
their connection with it, than were any other members of Congress, and
differences of aim and opinion between them were exceedingly rare.

Upon organizing for work the committee found itself confronted with
an enormous task, inquiries into every phase of the organization and
management of the Union armies being referred to it for consideration.
"Upon the conduct of the war," to quote from its own report, "depended
the issue of the experiment inaugurated by our fathers, after the
expenditure of so much blood and treasure--the establishment of a
nation founded upon the capacity of man for self-government. The nation
was engaged in a struggle for its existence; a rebellion, unparalleled
in history, threatened the overthrow of our free institutions, and the
most prompt and vigorous measures were demanded by every consideration
of honor, patriotism, and a due regard for the prosperity and happiness
of the people." And its sphere of duty was the constant watching of the
details of movements, upon whose result depended such vast interests,
as well as the safety of thousands of lives. The committee, in laying
out its work, followed the suggestion of Mr. Chandler, which was,
first, to obtain such information in respect to the conduct of the war
as would best enable them to point out the mistakes which had been made
in the past, and the course that promised to ensure the avoidance of
their repetition; second, to collect such information as the many and
laborious duties of the President and Secretary of War prevented them
from obtaining, and to lay it before them with those recommendations
and suggestions which the circumstances seemed to demand. Working in
such a field, the committee soon became a second Cabinet council,
and its proceedings were constantly at the President's hand. Its
sessions were nearly perpetual, and almost daily its members were in
consultation with the President or the Secretary of War. Many of its
transactions were never committed to paper, and, as the members were
sworn to the strictest secrecy, will never be revealed. Secretary
Stanton was frequently present while the committee was in session, and
its door was always open to him. There was never any lack of harmony
between him and its chief members, but, on the contrary, the utmost
confidence was exchanged, and this committee was the right arm of the
War Department in the darkest days of the rebellion. Repeatedly, after
the examination of some important witness, did Mr. Chandler or Mr.
Wade go at once to the White House with the official stenographer,
when Mr. Stanton would be sent for and the stenographic notes of the
evidence would be read to the President and Secretary of War for their
information and guidance. From such conferences there sprang many
important decisions, and the files and records of the committee were
constantly referred to and relied upon as sources of exceedingly useful
knowledge and hints both at the White House and at the War Department.

Many subjects presented themselves for investigation, any one of which
would, in ordinary times, have required the exclusive attention of a
separate committee, and to follow out every line of inquiry suggested
was manifestly a practical impossibility. Therefore the committee
decided not to undertake any investigations into what might be
considered side issues, but to keep their attention directed entirely
to the essential features of the war, so that they could ascertain and
comprehend the necessities of the armies and the causes of disaster
or complaint, and the methods of supplying the one and remedying the
other. Attempts were made repeatedly to use its power to punish enemies
or to avenge private grievances, but its members adhered resolutely to
the straightforward course originally marked out as the path of its

The first subject which the committee carefully inquired into was the
defeat at Bull Run. Many witnesses were examined, chiefly officers
who were engaged in the battle--Generals Scott, McDowell, Meigs,
Heintzelman, Butterfield, Fitz-John Porter, and others. The testimony
was very voluminous, but the committee reached an early and unanimous
opinion as to the causes of the disaster. Their report, written by Mr.
Wade, said: "That which now appears to have been the great error was
the failure to occupy Centreville and Manassas at the time Alexandria
was occupied, in May. The position at Manassas controlled the railroad
connections in all that section of the country.... The next cause of
disaster was the delay in proceeding against the enemy until the time
of the three months' men was nearly expired. The enemy were allowed
time to collect their forces and strengthen their position by defensive
works.... There had been but little time devoted to disciplining
the troops and instructing them, even in regiments; hardly any
instruction had been given them in brigade movements, and none at all
as divisions." General McDowell prepared a plan of campaign, which
was approved by the Cabinet, and the 9th of July was fixed upon as the
day for the advance; but the movement did not commence until a week
later than the appointed time. Transportation was deficient, and there
was much delay resulting from lack of discipline among the troops, and
when the battle came the Union forces were fatigued and not in good
fighting condition. "But," said the report, "the principal cause of
the defeat was the failure of General Patterson to hold the troops of
General Johnston in the valley of the Shenandoah." Patterson had 23,000
men, while Johnston had but 12,000. Still, Patterson disobeyed the
orders of General Scott, which were to make offensive demonstrations
against General Johnston so as to detain his army at Winchester, and
if he retreated to follow him and keep up the fight. Those orders
were repeated every day for more than a week in the telegraphic
correspondence between Scott and Patterson. Finally, General Scott
heard of a large force moving from Patterson's front, and telegraphed,
"Has not the enemy stolen a march on you?" To this Patterson replied,
"The enemy has stolen no march upon me," while at that very time his
large army was watching an empty camp and Johnston was far on his way
to reinforce the rebels at Manassas. Patterson did not discover that
Johnston had gone until he was miles distant, and the consequence
was that McDowell had both Beauregard and Johnston to fight, while
Patterson, with 23,000 men, was lying idle in his camp. This is the
substance of the report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War
on the battle of Bull Run, and was the official announcement to the
country of the inefficiency of the organization and generalship of the
Army of the Potomac.

But before the committee was organized the men who were responsible
for this failure had been displaced, and General McClellan had been
made the commander-in-chief. He had taken the reins of authority amid
national acclamations, and was then at the height of a remarkable
popularity, which it is now known was adroitly stimulated for political
purposes by the conservative press. But on the investigation into the
second subject taken up by the committee (the disaster at Edward's
Ferry or Ball's Bluff) facts came to the knowledge of its members
which created the suspicion in their minds that General Stone, who was
charged with the blame of that defeat, and who, as the scape-goat, was
arrested and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette, was not alone responsible
for the calamity, but that the real fault would be found higher up.
This suspicion they were never able to substantiate by absolute proof,
and it was not expressed in any of their reports.

The third topic taken up by the committee was the military management
of the Western Department, under General Fremont. This was an inquiry
of special importance, for the reason that that officer, upon taking
command at St. Louis, issued a proclamation declaring free all slaves
whose masters were engaged in rebellion against the United States.
This order caused a great excitement throughout the country, and the
Republican party was widely divided in opinion as to its legality
and propriety. President Lincoln was conservative on the question,
and revoked the Fremont order, much to the disappointment of Mr.
Chandler and the other more "advanced" Republicans. Hence the committee
approached the subject with unusual interest, and, after a thorough
investigation, made an elaborate report. That part of this document
which relates to General Fremont's order in regard to slaves was signed
by Messrs. Wade, Chandler, Julian, and Covode, and showed the ground on
which these gentlemen then stood with regard to emancipation; it was as

  But that feature of General Fremont's administration which
  attracted the most attention, and which will ever be most prominent
  among the many points of interest connected with the history of
  that department, is his proclamation of emancipation. Whatever
  opinion may be entertained with reference to the time when the
  policy of emancipation should be inaugurated, there can be no doubt
  that General Fremont at that early day rightly judged in regard
  to the most effective means of subduing this rebellion. In proof
  of that, it is only necessary to state that his successor, when
  transferred to another department, issued a proclamation embodying
  the same principle, and the President of the United States has
  since applied the same principle to all the rebellious States; and
  few will deny that it must be adhered to until the last vestige of
  treason and rebellion is destroyed.

The committee heartily endorsed General Fremont's administration,
declaring it to have been "eminently characterized by earnestness,
ability, and the most unquestionable loyalty." They also examined into
various minor military matters and movements, including, particularly,
rebel barbarities and the return of slaves to their masters by the army.

It was as a member of the Committee on the Conduct of the War in the
Thirty-seventh Congress, and from the evidence taken in its inquiries,
that Mr. Chandler obtained the mass of information which enabled him
to make the most important of his war speeches, that of July 16,
1862, in which he exposed so conclusively General McClellan's utter
incompetence. Ample as was the foundation of facts upon which rested
this effective arraignment of conspicuous incapacity, the attack was
one requiring genuine boldness, for it defiantly invited a storm of
denunciation and, if it had failed of justification by the event, would
have certainly ended its maker's political career. Notwithstanding
his tardiness, his timidity, his inefficiency as a commander in the
field, and his political sympathy with the more unpatriotic classes
of the Northern people, General McClellan was still strong with the
people and entrusted with great powers. The Democracy warmly commended
his sentiments and methods, and labored incessantly to prevent any
diminution of his hold upon the public confidence. The Army of the
Potomac yet regarded him as "the young Napoleon," and its corps
commanders were, with but few exceptions, his personal adherents. The
long-suffering President was submitting with patience to his unjust
complaints, after having labored incessantly to stimulate into activity
his chronic sluggishness, fearful, with characteristic over-caution,
lest his summary removal should divide the North and breed a dangerous
disaffection in the face of the enemy among his troops. Many who did
not believe in the sincerity or ability of the man also smothered
their distrust, for fear that criticism would only weaken the common
cause and with the hope that even in his nerveless hands the mighty
weapon of the national resources would at last fall--even if by its
own weight only--on the enemy with decisive force. At this juncture,
and under these circumstances, Mr. Chandler, with characteristic vigor
of statement and plainness of speech, placed before the Senate and the
country the demonstration of McClellan's imbecility.

Originally Mr. Chandler believed that McClellan's selection as the
practical successor of General Scott was a wise one, and hoped to see
his organizing capacity in camp supplemented by enterprise and courage
in the field. Distrust first sprang up with the persistent inaction
of the Army of the Potomac throughout the last months of 1861, and it
was strengthened by contact with the man himself and the study of his
character and his plans. An illustration of how this change of opinion
was brought about is given in an incident which occurred in the room
of the Committee on the Conduct of the War. That committee sent for
General McClellan as soon as they took up matters relating to his
command, in order to consult with him informally as to the situation.
This was in January, 1861, while he was in Washington "organizing" his
army, and while there was no little impatience felt because he did
not move. He was not formally summoned before the committee then, but
simply called in for general consultation. After the regular business
was finished, Mr. Chandler asked him bluntly why he did not attack
the rebels. General McClellan replied that it was because there were
not sufficient means of communication with Washington; he then called
attention to the fact that there were only two bridges and no other
means of transportation across the Potomac.

Mr. Chandler asked what the number of bridges had to do with an advance
movement, and McClellan explained with much detail that it was one
of the most important features of skillful strategy that a commander
should have plenty of room to retreat before making an attack. To this
Mr. Chandler's response was:

"General McClellan, if I understand you correctly, before you strike at
the rebels you want to be sure of plenty of room so that you can run in
case they strike back!"

"Or in case you get scared," added Senator Wade.

The commander of the Army of the Potomac manifested indignation at this
blunt way of putting the case, and then proceeded at length to explain
the art of war and the science of generalship, laying special stress
upon the necessity of having lines of retreat, as well as lines of
communication and supply, always open. He labored hard to make clear
all the methods and counter-methods upon which campaigns are managed
and battles fought, and, as he was an accomplished master of the theory
of war, succeeded in rendering himself at least interesting. After he
had concluded, Mr. Wade said:

"General, you have all the troops you have called for, and if you
haven't enough, you shall have more. They are well organized and
equipped, and the loyal people of this country expect that you will
make a short and decisive campaign. Is it really necessary for you to
have more bridges over the Potomac before you move?"

"Not that," was the answer, "not that exactly, but we must bear in mind
the necessity of having everything ready in case of a defeat, and keep
our lines of retreat open."

With this remark General McClellan left the room, whereupon Mr. Wade

"Chandler, what do you think of the science of generalship?"

"I don't know much about war," was the reply, "but it seems to me that
this is infernal, unmitigated cowardice."

The committee, after this interview, made a careful inquiry into the
strength of the rebel forces confronting the elaborate intrenchments
about Washington, and became convinced that the army at and about
Manassas was a handful compared with the magnificent body of troops
under McClellan's command. They submitted these facts to the President
and his Cabinet at a special session held for that purpose, and urged
the importance of an instant advance. With one single exception (a
Cabinet officer) the heads of the departments and the committee agreed
that an offensive movement from the line of the Potomac into Virginia
was important and must be made. General McClellan promised that his
army should start, but it did not. Toward the close of the winter
the President ordered a general advance, but the Army of the Potomac
still remained immobile. Finally, on March 10, under the peremptory
orders of the President, it did advance to Centreville and found there
deserted camps, wooden guns, weak intrenchments, and traces of the
retreat of not more than a single full corps of rebel troops. It was
during this most aggravating delay that members of the committee had
another characteristic interview with General McClellan. On the 19th of
February a sub-committee waited upon the Secretary of War[23] to ask
why the army was idle, and why the city of Washington and the North
side of the Potomac river were crowded with troops when the enemy was
all in Virginia. Mr. Wade said that it was a disgrace to the nation
that Washington was thus allowed to remain to all intents and purposes
in a state of siege. To this Secretary Stanton replied that the
committee could not feel more keenly upon this subject than did he,
that he did not go to bed at night without his cheek burning with
shame at this disgrace, and that the subject had received his earnest
attention, but he had not been able to change the situation as he
wished. General McClellan was then sent for, and Secretary Stanton
stated to him the object of the visit, and repeated the inquiries as to
why an advance movement was not made into Virginia, the rebels driven
away from Washington, and the soldiers who were idle in their camps in
and around the city sent to active duty.

General McClellan answered that he was considering the matter, but
that instant action was impossible, although he hoped that he would
soon be able to decide what ought to be done. The committee asked what
time he would require to reach a decision. He replied that it depended
upon circumstances; that he would not give his consent to have the
troops about Washington sent over to the Virginia side of the Potomac
without having their rear protected more fully, and better lines of
retreat open; that he designed throwing a temporary bridge across the
river as soon as possible, and making a permanent structure of it at
his leisure. That would make three bridges, and then the requisite
precautions would be completed.

Mr. Wade replied, with great impatience, that with 150,000 of the best
troops the world ever saw, there was no need of more bridges; that the
rebels were inferior in numbers and condition, and that retreat would
be treason. "These 150,000 men," Mr. Wade said, "could whip the whole
Confederacy if they were given a chance; if I was their commander I
would lead them across the Potomac, and they should not come back until
they had won a victory and the war was ended, or they came in their
coffins." Mr. Wade spoke strongly and plainly throughout the interview,
and the Secretary of War endorsed every word he uttered. The committee
had another conference with Secretary Stanton on the following day at
his residence, at which it was decided that they should co-operate
with him in an effort to persuade President Lincoln either to displace
McClellan or to compel him to commence an active campaign at once.
On the 25th of February this conference with the President was held,
and it was followed by others, Senators Chandler and Wade finally
threatening to make the laggardness of the commander of the Army of the
Potomac a subject of debate in the Senate, and to offer a resolution
directing the President to order an advance forthwith. The first result
was what the committee were so anxious to accomplish. In March, the
armies commenced to move, and McClellan, at last taking the field in
person, pushed out to Centreville, and then followed up this delayed
advance by his flank movement to the Peninsula, driving the rebels out
of Yorktown by a month's work with the shovel, and following General
Johnston up to Williamsburg, where a bloody victory was won, but its
fruits were left ungathered. This campaign was short, bloody, and
blundering, ending with the battle of Malvern Hill, which was also
deprived of its proper importance by McClellan's failure to follow up
his advantage with a prompt advance upon Richmond, and which thus in
the end amounted to but little more than another Union reverse. Mr.
Chandler always firmly believed that had McClellan moved toward the
rebel capital and not toward his gunboats after Malvern Hill, the war
would have been shortened by two years.

When it first became evident that General McClellan was, by sullenness
and incapacity, throwing away advantages gained by the heroism of his
troops on the Peninsula, Mr. Chandler determined to denounce him on
the floor of the Senate, but was restrained by Mr. Stanton, who urged
that, while the campaign was still in active progress, there was yet
some hope of a change for the better, and that to destroy confidence in
a commanding officer under such circumstances might injure the army
in the field. After Malvern Hill these reasons ceased to have force,
and Mr. Chandler commenced the careful preparation of his speech. This
time the Secretary of War endorsed the timeliness as well as the truth
of the _expose_, and the Committee on the Conduct of the War by formal
vote authorized the use of the testimony taken before it and not yet
made public. After he had gathered and grouped the facts which formed
the basis of his arraignment, Mr. Chandler submitted them to a friend
upon whose good judgment and sincerity he greatly relied, and asked:

"Knowing all these facts, as I do, what is my duty?"

The answer was: "Beyond all question, these facts ought to be laid
before the country, for the knowledge of them is essential to its
safety. But they will create a storm that will sweep either you or
McClellan from public life, and it is more than probable that you will
be the victim."

Mr. Chandler said: "I did not ask your opinion of the consequences, but
of my duty."

To this it was replied: "The speech ought to be made, and no one else
will make it."

Mr. Chandler simply said: "It will be made to-day; come and hear it."
And he did make it, in the midst of a running discussion on a bill "to
provide for the discharge of state prisoners and others," which was the
special order in the Senate for that day (July 16, 1862).

Mr. Chandler commenced by briefly reciting the history of the
appointment of the committee, and then gave from the evidence taken at
its sessions a compact summary of the causes of the Bull Run disaster,
fortifying each point with citations from the testimony. After closing
this part of his speech he proceeded to review the Ball's Bluff
catastrophe, saying:

  Were the people discouraged, depressed? Not at all. Untold
  thousands rushed into the shattered ranks, eager to wipe out
  the stain and stigma of that defeat (Bull Run). From the East,
  the West, the North, and the Middle States, thousands and tens
  of thousands and hundreds of thousands came pouring in, until
  the government said, "Hold, enough." The Army of the Potomac,
  denuded in August of three-months' men and scarcely numbering
  50,000 efficient men, swelled in September to over 100,000, in
  October to 150,000, in November to 175,000 and upward, until,
  on the 10th day of December, the morning rolls showed 195,400
  men, and thirteen regiments not reported, chiefly intended for
  the Burnside expedition, but all under the command of General
  McClellan. During the months of October, November, and December,
  the weather was delightful and the roads fine. The question began
  to be asked in October, when will the advance take place? All had
  the most unbounded confidence in the army and its young general,
  and were anxiously waiting for a Napoleonic stroke. It came, but
  such a stroke! That a general movement was being prepared the
  whole country had known for weeks; but when the terrific blow was
  to be struck no one knew save the commander of the Army of the
  Potomac. The nation believed in its young commander; the President
  relied upon him, and all, myself included, had the most unbounded
  confidence in the result of the intended movement. It came! On the
  21st of October, McCall's division, 12,000 strong, was ordered
  to Drainesville upon a reconnoissance. Smith's division, 12,000
  strong, was ordered to support him. McCall's reconnoissance
  extended four miles beyond Drainesville, and to within nine miles
  of Leesburg. Stone, on Sunday, was informed of McCall's and Smith's
  advance, and directed to make a slight demonstration upon Leesburg.
  How? He could do it in but one way, and that was by crossing the
  river and moving upon it. [Mr. Chandler here introduced a mass of
  testimony and official orders to show that Col. E. D. Baker, whom
  General Stone sent across the Potomac at Ball's Bluff, had ample
  reasons to believe that he would be sustained in that advance,
  and reinforced if necessary. He proceeded:] Thus it is shown that
  Colonel Baker had reason to expect reinforcements, for the enemy
  were to be pushed upon their flank by General Gorman.

  At two o'clock on Monday morning Colonel Devens crossed the river
  upon a reconnoissance with 400 men at Ball's Bluff, opposite
  Harrison's Island, as directed by General Stone. At daylight
  Colonel Baker was ordered to cross to the support of Colonel
  Devens. I have read his orders. One scow and two small boats were
  their only means of transportation. At eight o'clock on Monday
  morning the fight commenced by Colonel Devens, and Colonel Baker
  was placed in command, as is alleged, with discretionary orders.
  Colonel Baker knew that Smith and McCall were at Drainesville,
  or within striking distance, that our troops were crossing at
  Edward's Ferry, or, in other words, that 40,000 effective men
  were within twelve miles of him, and that at least 30,000 were
  upon the Virginia side of the Potomac, and that, in the nature of
  things, he must be reinforced. He did not know that at half-past
  ten A.M., of Monday, or two and one-half hours after Colonel Devens
  commenced the fight, the divisions of Smith and McCall commenced
  their retreat by the express orders of General McClellan. He knew
  that Colonel Devens was contending with greatly superior forces,
  and, like a gallant soldier as he was, he hastened to his relief
  with all the force he could cross with his inadequate means of

  Colonel Baker has been charged with imprudence and rashness; but
  neither the facts nor the testimony support the charge. Instead
  of rashly or imprudently advancing into the enemy's lines, as
  was alleged, he did not move ten rods from the Bluff, and the
  only sustaining witness to this charge was one officer, who swore
  that he thought Colonel Baker imprudently exposed himself to the
  enemy's bullets. This kind of rashness is usually pardoned after
  the death of the perpetrator. At two o'clock P. M. Colonel Baker
  found himself in command of about 1,800 men upon Ball's Bluff,
  including Devens's men and three guns, and the fighting commenced.
  The alternatives were fight and conquer, surrender, or be captured.
  That noble band of heroes and their gallant commander understood
  these terrible alternatives as well upon that bloody field as we
  do now, and nobly did they vindicate their manhood. During all
  those long hours, from two o'clock P. M. until the early dusk of
  evening, the gallant Baker continued the unequal contest, when he
  fell pierced by three bullets and instantly expired. A council
  of war was called (after the frightful death-struggle over his
  lifeless remains and for them), and it was decided that the only
  chance of an escape was by cutting through the enemy and reaching
  Edward's Ferry, which was at once decided upon; but, while
  forming for the desperate encounter, the enemy rushed upon our
  little band of heroes in overpowering numbers, and the rout was
  perfect.... How many were killed in battle, how many drowned in
  the relentless river, will never be correctly known; suffice it
  to say, our little force was destroyed. Why was this little band
  permitted to be destroyed by a force little more than double its
  numbers in presence of 40,000 splendid troops? Why were McCall and
  Smith ordered back at the very moment that Baker was ordered to
  cross? If we wanted Leesburg, McCall could have taken it without
  the loss of a man, as his movement in mass had already caused its
  evacuation, and the enemy did not return in force until after
  McCall had retreated. If we did not wish to capture Leesburg, why
  did we cross at all? Of what use is "a slight demonstration" even,
  without results? These are questions which the people will ask,
  and no man can satisfactorily answer. Why were not reinforcements
  sent from Edward's Ferry to Colonel Baker? The distance was only
  three-and-a-half miles. We had 1,500 men across at two o'clock on
  Monday, and the universal concurrent testimony of officers and men
  is that a reinforcement of even 1,000 men--some say 500, and one
  gallant captain swears that with 100 men he could have struck them
  upon the flank,--would have changed the result of the day. Why were
  not reinforcements sent? Stone swears, as I have already shown,
  that there were batteries between Edward's Ferry and Ball's Bluff
  which would have utterly destroyed any force he could have sent to
  Baker's relief, and that Baker knew it. But Stone was not sustained
  by a single witness; on the contrary, all swear that there were
  not, to their knowledge, and that they did not believe there were
  any, and a civilian living upon the spot, and in the habit of
  passing over the ground frequently, swears there were none; and
  again, Stone, when questioned as to the erection of forts under the
  range of his guns upon his second examination, swears positively
  that there is not a gun now between Edward's Ferry and Ball's
  Bluff, and never has been. Why, then, were not reinforcements sent
  from Edward's Ferry? Let the men who executed and planned this
  horrible slaughter answer to God and an outraged country. General
  Banks swears that his orders were such from General McClellan,
  that, upon his arrival at Edward's Ferry, although his judgment was
  against crossing, he did not feel himself at liberty to decline
  crossing, and he remained upon the Virginia side until Thursday....
  So much for the wholesale murder at Ball's Bluff.

Mr. Chandler next attacked General McClellan's disastrous
procrastination. Describing the lapse of an army of 150,000 men into
a state of chronic inaction in its intrenchments about Washington
after the Ball's Bluff disaster, he laid before the Senate and the
country documents which proved these facts: In October, 1861, the Navy
Department requested that 4,000 men might be detailed to hold Matthias
Point on the lower Potomac, after the gunboats should have shelled
out the rebels, who were then in possession, and thus in control of
the navigation of that important river. General McClellan agreed to
furnish the infantry; twice the Navy Department prepared its vessels
for the expedition, but the troops did not report for duty, so that,
finally, the gunboats were necessarily detailed for other service, and
the unnecessary, expensive and humiliating blockade of the Potomac
continued for months. Mr. Chandler then proceeded:

  Why was this disgrace so long submitted to? No man knows or
  attempts to explain. Month after month one of the most splendid
  armies the world had ever seen, of 200,000 men, permitted itself
  and the national capital to be besieged by a force _never_
  exceeding one-half its own number.

  During the month of December, the nation became impatient. The
  time had arrived and passed when we were promised a forward
  movement. The roads were good, the weather splendid, the army
  in high condition, and eager for the fray. How long the roads
  and weather would permit the movement, no man could predict;
  still there was no movement. The generals, with great unanimity,
  declared that the army had reached its maximum of proficiency
  as volunteers, but still there was no movement. Under these
  circumstances, the Committee on the Conduct of the War asked an
  interview with the President and Cabinet, and urged that the winter
  should not be permitted to pass without action, as it would lead
  to an incalculable loss of life and treasure by forcing our brave
  troops into a summer campaign, in a hot and to them inhospitable
  climate. The President and Cabinet were united in the desire that
  an immediate advance should be made, but it was not made, although
  we were assured by General McClellan that it would be very soon,
  that he had no intention of going into winter quarters, and he did
  not! While the enemy erected comfortable huts at Centreville and
  Manassas for their winter quarters, our brave and eager troops
  spent the most uncomfortable winter ever known in this climate
  under canvas, as thousands and tens of thousands of invalid
  soldiers throughout the length and breadth of the land will attest.
  Why did not the army move in all December, or why did it not go
  into winter quarters? No man knows, nor is any reason assigned.

  On the 1st day of January, 1862, and for months previous to that
  date, the armies of the republic were occupying a purely defensive
  position upon the whole line from Missouri to the Atlantic, until
  on or about the 27th of January the President and Secretary of War
  issued the order forward. Then the brave Foote took the initiative,
  soliciting 2,000 men from Halleck to hold Fort Henry after he had
  captured it with his gunboats. They were promptly furnished, and
  Henry fell; then Donelson, with its 15,000 prisoners; then Newbern,
  and the country was electrified. Credit was given where credit was
  due. Do-nothing strategy gave way to an "immediate advance upon
  the enemy's works," and the days of spades and pickaxes seemed
  to be ended. On the 22d of February a forward movement upon our
  whole line was ordered, but did not take place. The Army of the
  Potomac was not ready; but on the 10th of March it moved, against
  the protest of the commanding general and eight out of twelve of
  the commanders of divisions; but the President was inexorable, and
  the movement must be made. It proceeded to Centreville, and there
  found deserted huts, wooden artillery, and intrenchments which
  could and can be successfully charged by cavalry. It proceeded
  to Manassas, and found no fortifications worthy of the name,
  a deserted, abandoned camp, and dead horses for trophies. The
  enemy, less than 40,000 men, had leisurely escaped, carrying away
  all their artillery, baggage, arms, and stores. Our Army of the
  Potomac, on that 10th day of March, showed by its muster-roll a
  force of 230,000 men. Comment is needless! The Grand Army of the
  Potomac proceeded toward Gordonsville, found no enemy, repaired the
  railroad, and then marched back again.

  Why this Grand Army of the Potomac did not march upon Richmond has
  never been satisfactorily explained, and probably never will be.
  One reason assigned was lack of transportation; but there were two
  railroads, one by way of Acquia Creek and Fredericksburg, the
  other via Manassas and Gordonsville, which could have been repaired
  at the rate of ten miles per day, and our army was ample to guard
  it. Had this overwhelming force proceeded directly to Richmond by
  these lines, it would have spent the 1st day of May in Richmond,
  and ere this the rebellion would have been ended. This grand army,
  _ably_ commanded, was superior to any army the world has seen for
  five hundred years. Napoleon I. never fought 130,000 men upon
  one battle-field. Yet this noble army was divided and virtually
  sacrificed by some one. Who is the culprit?

  Before the advance upon Manassas, General McClellan changed his
  plans, and demanded to be permitted to leave the enemy intrenched
  at Centreville and Manassas; to leave the Potomac blockaded, and
  to take his army to Annapolis by land, and there embark them for
  the rear of the enemy to surprise him. In the council of war
  called upon this proposition, the commanding general and eight out
  of twelve of the commanders of divisions (and here permit me to
  say that I am informed that seven out of the eight generals were
  appointed upon the recommendation of General McClellan) voted that
  it was not safe to advance upon the wooden guns of Centreville, and
  to adopt the new plan of campaign. The President and the Secretary
  of War overruled this pusillanimous decision, and compelled
  McClellan to "move immediately upon the enemy's works." He marched,
  and the trophies of that memorable campaign are known to the Senate
  and the country.

  At Fairfax, General McClellan changed his plan and decided not to
  advance upon the rebels with his whole force, but to return to
  Alexandria, divide his army, and embark for Fortress Monroe and
  Yorktown. It was decided that 45,000 men should be left for the
  defense of the capital, and he was permitted to embark. After much
  delay (unavoidable in the movement of so vast a force, with its
  enormous material) the general-in-chief himself embarked. Soon
  after he sailed it came to the knowledge of the Committee on the
  Conduct of the War that the capital, with its vast accumulation
  of material of war, had been left by General McClellan virtually
  without defense, and the enemy's whole force, large or small, was
  untouched in front. [Mr. Chandler here introduced the official
  testimony to prove that General McClellan had so denuded Washington
  as to compel the President to interpose and detain General
  McDowell's corps for its adequate defense. He then said:] The
  country has been deceived. It has been led to believe that the
  Secretary of War or somebody else has interfered with General
  McClellan's plans, when he had an army that could have crushed any
  other army on the face of the earth. One hundred and fifty-eight
  thousand of the best troops that ever stood on God's footstool were
  sent down to the Peninsula and placed under command of General
  McClellan; and yet the whole treasonable press of the country has
  been howling after the Secretary of War because of his alleged
  refusal to send reinforcements to General McClellan. As I said the
  other day, he has sent every man, every sabre, every bayonet, every
  horse, that could be spared from any source whatever to increase
  that grand army under General McClellan in front of Richmond. Why
  did he not enter Richmond? We shall see.... It is not for me, sir,
  to state the strength of McClellan's army at this time; but I know
  it is 158,000 men, less the number lost by sickness and casualties.
  Does any man doubt that this army, ably handled, was sufficiently
  strong to have captured Richmond and crushed the rebel army? I
  think not, if promptly led against the enemy; but instead of that,
  it sat down in malarious swamps and awaited the drafting, arming,
  drilling, and making soldiers of an army to fight it, and in the
  meantime our own army was rapidly wasting away. Unwholesome water,
  inadequate food, overwork, and sleeping in marshes, were rapidly
  filling the hospitals, and overloading the return boats with the
  sick. Sir, we have lost more men by the spade than the bullet,
  five to one, since the army started from Yorktown under McClellan.
  Had the soldiers been relieved from digging and menial labor by
  the substitution of negro laborers, the Army of the Potomac would
  to-day, in my estimation, contain 30,000 more brave and efficient
  soldiers than it does. Had it been relieved from guarding the
  property of rebels in arms, many valuable lives would have been
  saved. Yorktown was evacuated after a sacrifice of more men by
  sickness than the enemy had in their works when our army landed at
  Fortress Monroe. The battle of Williamsburg was fought by a small
  fraction of our army, and the enemy routed. During the battle,
  General McClellan wrote a dispatch, miles from the field of battle,
  saying he should try to "hold them in check" there.... He would try
  to "hold them in check!" He could not hold them. He could not stop
  his eager troops from chasing them. After a small fraction of his
  army had whipped their entire force and had been chasing them for
  hours, he penned that dispatch and sent it to the Secretary of War,
  and, if I remember aright, it was read in one of the two houses of
  Congress. As you may suppose from that dispatch, there was no great
  eagerness in following up that victory. Three Michigan regiments
  were not only decimated, they were divided in twain, in that
  bloody battle at Williamsburg. They fought there all day without
  reinforcements. One Michigan regiment went into the trenches and
  left sixty-three dead rebels, killed by the bayonet, weltering in
  their blood. But who has ever heard, by any official communication
  from the head of the army, that a Michigan regiment was in the
  fight at Williamsburg? I do not blame him for not giving credit
  where credit is due, for I do not believe he knew anything more of
  that fight than you or I.

  When that battle was fought and won, all the enemy's works were
  cleared away, and we had an open road to Richmond. There was not a
  single fortification between Richmond and Williamsburg. All we had
  to do was to get through those infernal swamps, march up, and take
  possession of Richmond. What did we do? We found the worst swamp
  there was between Richmond and Williamsburg, and sat right down
  in the center of it and went to digging. We sacrificed thousands
  and tens of thousands of the bravest troops that ever stood on
  the face of God's earth, digging in front of no intrenchments, and
  before a whipped army of the enemy. We waited for them to recruit;
  we waited for them to get another army. They had a levy _en masse_.
  They were taking all the men and boys between the ages of fifteen
  and fifty-five, and magnanimously we waited weeks and weeks and
  weeks for them to bring these forced levies into some sort of
  consistency as an army. The battle of Fair Oaks was fought. There
  the enemy found again a little fraction of our army, very much
  less than half, and they brought out their entire force. I have it
  from the best authority that they had not a solitary regiment in
  or about Richmond that was fit to put in front of an enemy that
  they did not bring to Fair Oaks and hurl upon our decimated army.
  Again the indomitable bravery of our troops (of the men, of private
  soldiers, the indomitable energy of Michigan men and New Jersey
  men--but I will not particularize, for all the troops fought like
  lions), and the fighting capacity of our army not only saved it
  from being utterly destroyed by an overwhelming force, but gave us
  a triumphant victory. The enemy went back to Richmond pell-mell.
  I have been informed by a man who was there at the time, that two
  brigades of fresh troops could have chased the whole Confederate
  army through the city of Richmond and into the James river, so
  utter was their rout and confusion.

  And what did we do then? We found another big swamp, and we sat
  down in the center of it and went to digging. We began to throw up
  intrenchments when there were no intrenchments in our front, no
  enemy that was not utterly broken. We never took advantage of the
  battle of Fair Oaks. Again Michigan soldiers were cut to pieces
  by hundreds. Go into the Judiciary square hospital in this city,
  and you will find more than half the occupants are Michigan men
  who were shot at Fair Oaks and Williamsburg, men who stood until
  a regiment of 1,000 men was reduced to 105, and even then did not
  run. Sir, these men have been sacrificed, uselessly sacrificed.
  They have been put to hard digging, and hard fare, and hard
  sleeping, and if there was any hard fighting to do they have been
  put to that; and, besides all this, at night they have had to guard
  the property of rebels in arms. They have been so sacrificed that
  two or three of the Michigan regiments to-day cannot bring into the
  field 250 men each out of 1,000 with whom they started.

  Fair Oaks was lost; that is to say, we won a brilliant victory,
  but it did us no good; we did not take advantage of it. Of course
  it would have been very unfair to take advantage of a routed army
  [laughter]; it would not have been according to our "strategy." We
  magnanimously stopped, and commenced digging. There was no army in
  our front, there were no intrenchments in our front; but we did not
  know what else to do, and so we began to dig and ditch, and we kept
  digging and ditching until the rebels had impressed and drilled and
  armed and made soldiers of their entire population. But that was
  not enough; they sent Jackson up on his raid to Winchester, and
  we waited for him to come back with his twenty or thirty thousand
  men. We heard that Corinth was being evacuated, and of course
  it would have been very unfair to commence an attack until they
  brought their troops from Corinth, and so we waited for the army at
  Corinth to get to Richmond. After the rebels had got all the troops
  they ever hoped to raise from any source, we did not attack them,
  but they attacked us, as we had reason to suppose they would. They
  attacked our right wing, and, as I am informed upon what I must
  deem reliable authority, they hurled the majority of their entire
  force upon our right wing of 30,000 men, and during the whole of
  that Thursday our right wing of 30,000 men held their ground, and
  repulsed that vast horde of the enemy over and over again, and held
  their ground at night. Of course you will say a reinforcement of
  twenty or thirty thousand men was sent to these brave troops that
  they might not only hold their ground the next day, but send this
  dastardly army into Richmond a second time, as at Fair Oaks. No,
  sir, nothing of the sort was done.

  At night, instead of sending them reinforcements, they were ordered
  to retreat. That was "strategy!" The moment they commenced their
  retreat, as is said in the dispatches, the enemy fought like
  demons. Of course they would. Who ever heard of a retreating army
  that was not pursued by the victors like demons, except in the
  case of rebel retreats? No other nation but ours was ever guilty
  of stopping immediately after a victory. Other armies fight like
  demons after a victory, and annihilate the enemy, but we do not.
  Our left wing and center remained intact. A feint was made upon
  the left and center, and I have here, not the sworn testimony, but
  the statement of one of the bravest men in the whole Army of the
  Potomac--I will not give his name, but a more highly honorable man
  lives not--that when his regiment was ordered under arms, he had
  no doubt that he was going to march into Richmond. He believed the
  whole force of the enemy had attacked our right wing; he believed
  there was nothing but a screen of pickets in front; and he thought
  that now our great triumph was to come off. His men sprang into
  line with avidity, prepared to rush into Richmond and take it at
  the point of the bayonet. He never discovered his error until he
  saw a million and a half dollars' worth of property burned in
  front of his regiment, and then he began to think that an advance
  upon Richmond was not intended. And it was not! We had been at
  work there and had lost 10,000 men in digging intrenchments; we
  had spent months in bringing up siege guns, and we abandoned
  those intrenchments without firing one gun. Our army was ordered
  to advance on the gunboats instead of on Richmond. This colonel
  told me that his regiment fought three days and whipped the enemy
  each day, and retreated each night. The left wing and center were
  untouched until they were ordered to retreat. No portion of our
  vast force had been fought except the right wing under Porter, and
  they whipped the enemy the first day.

  This is called strategy! Again, sir, I ask, Why was this great
  Army of the Potomac of 230,000 men divided? Human ingenuity could
  not have devised any other way to defeat that army; Divine wisdom
  could scarcely have devised any other way to defeat it than that
  which was adopted. There is no army in Europe to-day that could
  meet the Army of the Potomac when it was 230,000 strong, the best
  fighting material ever put into an army on the face of the earth.
  Why was that grand army divided? I simply charge that grave and
  serious errors have been committed, and, as I have said, no other
  way could have been devised to defeat that army. If the 158,000
  men that were sent to General McClellan had been marched upon the
  enemy, they could have whipped all the armies the Confederates
  have, and all they are likely to have for six months. One hundred
  and fifty-eight thousand men are about as many as can be fought on
  any one battle-field. One hundred and fifty-eight thousand men are
  a vast army, a great deal larger army than that with which Napoleon
  destroyed 600,000 of the Austrians in a single year. One hundred
  and fifty-eight thousand men ably handled can defeat any force
  the Confederates can raise; and that is the force that went down
  to the Peninsula. But, sir, it lay in ditches, digging, drinking
  rotten water, and eating bad food, and sleeping in the mud, until
  it became greatly reduced in numbers, and of those that were left
  very many were injured in health. Still they fought; still they
  conquered in every fight, and still they retreated, because they
  were ordered to retreat.

  Sir, I have deemed it my duty to present this statement of facts to
  the Senate and the country. I know that I am to be denounced for so
  doing, and I tell you who will denounce me. There are two classes
  of men who are sure to denounce me, and no one else, and they are
  traitors and fools. The traitors have been denouncing every man who
  did not sing pæans to "strategy," when it led to defeat every time.
  The traitors North are worse than the traitors South, and sometimes
  I think we have as many of them in the aggregate. They are meaner
  men; they are men who will come behind you and cut your throat in
  the dark. I have great respect for Southern traitors who shoulder
  their muskets and come out and take the chances of the bullets
  and the halter; but I have the most superlative contempt for the
  Northern traitors, who, under the pretended guise of patriotism,
  are stabbing their country in the dark.

The effect of this speech was profound. It enraged McClellan's friends
to the highest pitch; it was not supported at the time by any like
utterance in Congress, and at first many who believed it to be true
condemned, or at least deprecated, the fierceness of the attack;
but those who knew that "the young Napoleon" at heart preferred a
pro-slavery compromise to the conquest of a durable and honorable
peace, and who had marked with righteous indignation the attempt of
his _claquers_ to make the Secretary of War the scape-goat for his
own blunders, greeted with enthusiasm the signal courage of the man
who, in the face of abuse, prejudice, and popular blindness, dared to
tell with words of rugged force this story of disastrous imbecility.
Mr. Chandler disregarded the remonstrances of weak friends, and met
without quailing the storm of vituperation he had invited. Events
made themselves his justifiers and within four months[24] President
Lincoln, with the full approval of the patriotic masses of the North,
relieved General McClellan from all command and abruptly terminated
his military career. Nothing contributed more to this salutary change
than Mr. Chandler's arraignment, of which it has been well said, that
"with words resembling battles he told the American people that they
were leaning upon a broken reed, that 'the idol of the soldiers' was
as incapable of helping them as the idols of the heathen, and that
McClellan was only digging graves for the brave men who followed him
and a last ditch for the cause he defended; he shocked by his language
the mass of the people into a right comprehension of the death's dance
this military Jack-o'-lantern was leading them through the swamps of

Mr. Chandler, who took this step after full deliberation and not
from any passing impulse, rated the McClellan speech as his most
important public service, alike in its necessity, its timeliness,
and its results. He also felt that it involved more real hazard,
and made larger demands upon his courage, than any other act of his
Senatorial career, for such relentless invective could scarcely fail
to mortally wound either its object or its maker. Had time shown that
he had uttered calumnies and not the sober truth, he would have been
inevitably driven from public life; and even when he spoke, the men who
thoroughly doubted McClellan were still a small minority. History has
shown that his indictment was as true in substance as it was unsparing
in terms and bold in spirit.

Two other matters naturally group themselves with this speech: Mr.
Chandler distrusted McClellanism in the Army of the Potomac as
thoroughly as he did McClellan. The investigations of this committee
convinced him that General Pope's campaign was so unfortunate because
of the insubordination of General McClellan's friends among the corps
commanders, and led him to believe that the same cause crippled the
movements of both Burnside and Hooker, who, if faithfully supported,
would have won decisive victories. So strong were his convictions on
these points, that when General Grant became commander-in-chief he
called upon the Secretary of War and requested him to make out a list
of the incompetent, suspected and insubordinate generals of the Army of
the Potomac, to be furnished to that officer so that he would be able
to place them where they could do the least harm in the service. This
Secretary Stanton promised to do. A few days afterward Mr. Chandler
called again at the War Department, and, learning that this had not
yet been done, said, "I will make out the list myself and send it to
Grant;" and he did so, Major-Gen. C. C. Washburn being its bearer.
Mr. Chandler carefully studied and vigilantly watched the Fitz-John
Porter case, and approved of the findings of the court-martial, except
the failure to inflict the death penalty, which he believed that the
character and consequences of Porter's action fully merited. The
attempt to secure the reversal of this verdict and the re-instatement
in the army of the dismissed officer aroused his sternest indignation,
and he fought it resolutely at every stage--and successfully, while
he remained in the Senate. He spoke at length on this subject in that
body on Feb. 21, 1870, declaring that he did so in fulfillment of a
voluntary pledge given some years before in the same chamber to General
Pope, "that justice should be done to him and to his campaign in the
valley of Virginia, even although I were called upon to vindicate him
from my seat in the Senate." After rehearsing the facts connected with
Pope's movement, which was planned to create a diversion of Lee's
army for the extrication of McClellan's forces from the Peninsula, in
conformity with the suggestion of Gen. James S. Wadsworth, and showing
that Pope had frequently requested to be relieved from the hazardous
work laid out for him and that he had only a force of 42,000 men
scattered between Harper's Ferry and Acquia Creek, Mr. Chandler said:

  I asked him in the presence of the committee: "What is to prevent
  you from being struck by a superior force of the enemy and
  overwhelmed?" Said he: "Nothing on earth is more probable than
  that I shall be struck by a superior force and shall be whipped;
  but I will keep my troops near the mountains, and there are no
  ten miles where there is not a gulch up which I can take my men
  and small-arms, and, by abandoning my artillery and baggage,
  save my men; I shall probably be whipped, but it must be done."
  Any military man can see and appreciate the difficulties and
  responsibilities of so desperate a campaign. "Yet," said he, "it
  must be done."

  Well, sir, General Pope started on that campaign. Had he announced
  to the newspaper press of Washington, or of the North, the number
  of his men or his object, the object itself would have been
  defeated. General Pope did what I believe is allowable in war: he
  perpetrated a _ruse de guerre_. He sent his scouts all through the
  mountains of Virginia proclaiming that he had an army of 120,000
  men. And, sir, he fooled the newspaper correspondents of the city
  of Washington and of the whole North. General Pope, when he started
  on that campaign, had no more idea of going to Richmond than he had
  of following Elijah to Heaven in a chariot of fire without seeing
  death. He started with one single object, and that was to save the
  army of McClellan, or to do all that was in his power to save it.
  He massed his troops, and that terrible battle of Cedar Mountain
  was fought; and by that battle he not only fooled the people of
  this country, but he fooled the rebels. The rebels believed that
  he had 120,000 men, and that, unless they fought him and crushed
  him before he could unite with the Army of the Potomac, their cause
  was lost; and he drew upon his shoulders with that little force the
  whole rebel army, so that, when McClellan started for Yorktown,
  there was not even a popgun fired at his troops. The _ruse_ was
  a perfect success, and, as I told General Pope then, "I consider
  that your campaign has been one of the most brilliant that has been
  fought up to this time"--which was February, 1863--"you saved two
  armies; you first saved the Army of the Potomac, and then you saved
  your own."

  Sir, General Pope fought for eleven days, fought night and day,
  fought the whole rebel army with his little force, his force never
  having exceeded 70,000 men,--comprising not simply his own army,
  but also General Burnside's forces, and the 20,000 men who had in
  thirty days been brought up from the Army of the Potomac, and of
  whom Porter's corps was part. The force which he had met with these
  was that originally in his front, but overwhelmingly augmented by
  that rebel force from which McClellan, with his 90,000 men, had to
  be delivered by a demonstration in their rear. He fought for time.
  He defended every brook, every barn, every piece of woods, every
  ravine. He fought for time for the Army of the Potomac to reach him
  and unite with him, so as to crush the advancing and overwhelming
  force of the rebels.

Mr. Chandler then reviewed at length (and with copious citations from
the testimony of eye-witnesses and the official orders) the facts as
to Fitz-John Porter's course in Pope's campaign, adding extracts from
the reports of rebel officers which had come into the possession of the
government since the war, and closed as follows:

  Mr. President, if I had more time I should like to go more fully
  into this subject; but I cannot. The court, after forty-five days
  spent in careful investigation, brought in unanimously the verdict
  against Porter. Many of the members of that court were in favor of
  sentencing him to suffer death. It is rumored, and many believe,
  that the only reason the death-penalty was not inflicted was the
  fear that Mr. Lincoln, whose kindness of heart was so well-known,
  would not execute the sentence; and, hence, they unanimously
  brought in the verdict they did. It was first carefully examined
  _seriatim_ by the then Secretary of War and the President. No more
  just tribunal ever investigated a case, I presume to assert, than
  this tribunal, and there its finding stands.

  It may be asked, How came it that a misunderstanding, almost as
  universal as complete, was suffered to be put upon the country?
  General Pope himself says: "The next day it (my report) was
  delivered to General Halleck; but by that time influences of
  questionable character, and transactions of most unquestionable
  impropriety, which were well known at the time, had entirely
  changed the purposes of the authorities. It is not necessary,
  and, perhaps, would scarcely be in place, for me to recount these

  It is as well known to others present as to me that, during
  that gloomy, eventful Sunday which succeeded the last battle on
  Saturday, the 30th of August, the President and Mr. Stanton were
  overrun and overcome with statements that, unless McClellan was
  restored to command "the army would not fight." These statements
  came from men who did not mean it should fight, who could not in
  the exigency of the moment be displaced. The President was able
  afterward to relieve McClellan and court-martial Porter. Had he
  lived, he would have seen justice to General Pope awarded also. It
  remains for me, while I live, to do my portion of that duty.

  There is one other point to which I wish to allude. During this
  very trial--during the very pendency of the trial--Fitz-John Porter
  said, in the presence of my informant, who is a man whom most of
  you know, and who is to-day in the employment of Congress, and
  whose word I would take as soon as I would most men's--though
  I told him I would not use his name, but I will give his sworn
  testimony, taken down within two minutes after the utterance was
  made--Fitz-John Porter said in his presence: "I was not true to
  Pope, and there is no use in denying it." Mr. President, what was
  "not true to Pope"? If he was not true to Pope, whom was he true
  to? Being true to Pope was being true to the country; "not true
  to Pope" was being a traitor to the country. Sir, "not true to
  Pope" meant the terrible fight of the 30th of August, with all the
  blood and all the horrors of that bitter day; "not true to Pope"
  meant the battle of Antietam, with its thousands of slain and its
  other thousands maimed; "not true to Pope" meant the first battle
  of Fredericksburg, with its 20,000 slain and maimed; "not true
  to Pope" covered the battles of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor,
  and all the dreadful battles that followed. Had Fitz-John Porter
  been true to his government, Jackson would have been destroyed
  on the 29th of August, and on the 30th the rebels could scarcely
  have offered any resistance to our victorious army. "Not true to
  Pope" meant 300,000 slain and 2,000,000,000 of additional dollars

  Sir, I wish to put this on the record for all time, that it may
  remain. Let Fitz-John Porter thank God that he yet lives, and that
  he was not living at that time under a military government. I told
  General Pope, in the first interview I had with him, that I had but
  one fault to find in the whole conduct of the campaign. He asked,
  "What is that?" Said I, "That you ever allowed Fitz-John Porter to
  leave the battle-field alive!"

In 1877 Porter at last succeeded, by the most persistent effort, in
obtaining the order for the re-examination of his case, and when Mr.
Chandler re-entered the Senate in 1879, he found himself confronting
an organized movement to secure that officer's restoration to his
old rank with full pay since the date of his dishonorable dismissal
from the army. To this contemplated action he proposed to offer the
most strenuous resistance, and the last volumes he drew from the
Congressional Library were authorities he wished to consult in the
preparation of his argument against the reversal of the Porter finding.

Mr. Chandler's positive opinions in the McClellan and Porter cases were
shared by his colleagues of the Committee on the Conduct of the War
of the Thirty-seventh Congress, and are justified by their elaborate
reports covering the history of the Army of the Potomac from the
battle of Ball's Bluff to the close of the Fredericksburg campaign.
The Thirty-eighth Senate adopted a resolution continuing the existence
of this committee, and, the House concurring, the old members, so
far as they were in Congress, were re-appointed. Senator Harding of
Oregon took the place of Mr. Wright, and afterward Mr. Buckalew of
Pennsylvania succeeded Mr. Harding. From the House, Mr. B. F. Loan of
Missouri was appointed as the successor of Mr. Covode. Wm. Blair Lord
was re-elected clerk and stenographer. This committee also devoted
much of its time to the troubles of the Army of the Potomac. General
Burnside had resigned the command because of a misunderstanding with
the President, brought about by the interference of Gens. John Cochrane
and John Newton, and General Hooker was appointed in his place, with
General Halleck as commander-in-chief. But Halleck disliked Hooker,
and forced his resignation by overruling his plans and countermanding
his orders, General Meade succeeding. The committee examined closely
into this matter, reaching the conclusion that Hooker had not been
fairly dealt with, and incidentally disposing of the false statement
then current that that officer was intoxicated at the battle of
Chancellorsville, and was defeated from that cause. The committee
condemned Hooker's removal, and Mr. Chandler firmly believed in his
courage, patriotism and ability, and regarded him as the victim of
circumstances. These facts make it an interesting coincidence that
these two men--both bold, frank and positive in their respective
spheres of public activity--should have died sudden and painless deaths
within the same week.

The committee did not believe that the selection of General Meade
for the command of the Army of the Potomac was a fortunate one,
and doubted his ability to properly control his subordinates. While
there is no reference to the matter in their report on this subject,
it is a fact that they recommended the removal of General Meade from
command, and the re-instatement of Hooker. On the 4th of March, 1864,
Mr. Chandler and Mr. Wade called upon the President, and told him that
they believed it to be their duty, impressed as they were with the
testimony the committee had taken, to lay a copy of it before him, and
in behalf of the army and the country demand the removal of General
Meade, and the appointment of some one more competent to command. The
President asked what general they could recommend; they said that for
themselves they would be content with General Hooker, believing him to
be competent, but not being advocates of any particular officer, they
would say that if there was any one whom the President considered more
competent, then let him be appointed. They added that "Congress had
appointed the committee to watch the conduct of the war; and unless
this state of things should be soon changed it would become their duty
to make the testimony public which they had taken, with such comments
as the circumstances of the case seemed to require." General Meade was
not removed, but General Grant was, within a week, given command as
general-in-chief, and assumed personal direction of the movements of
the Army of the Potomac.

During 1864 and 1865 the committee (besides considering many minor
matters) also investigated, with care:

1. The disastrous assault upon Petersburg on July 30, 1864; their
report exonerated General Burnside from the responsibility for
the repulse, and held that the disaster was attributable to the
interference with his plans of General Meade, whose course in the
matter was severely censured.

2. The unsuccessful expedition of 1864 up the Red river in Louisiana,
which the committee (Mr. Gooch dissenting) emphatically condemned.

3. The first Fort Fisher expedition, the committee, in its report,
approving of General Butler's course in withdrawing from the projected

During the inquiry into the Petersburg fiasco, the sub-committee were
in session at General Grant's headquarters, and Mr. Chandler was his
guest, renewing there an early acquaintance and laying the foundations
of their future close friendship. Some incidents of their intercourse
were characteristic.

General Sherman had just reached Savannah, and the mystery of the
objective point of his great "march to the sea" had thus been solved
for the public. This memorable exploit was discussed at length between
General Grant and Mr. Chandler. The former said that the suggestion
was Sherman's, and so was the entire plan of the campaign. Sherman had
urged it for a long time before he (Grant) would consent, but finally
the conditions were ripe, and the order was given. General Grant added
that Sherman was the only man in the army whom he would have entrusted
this campaign to, as he was especially adapted for such a command, and
said: "Congress ought to do something for Sherman. He deserves a great
deal more credit and honor than he has ever received." "What can we do
for him?" asked Mr. Chandler. "Increase his rank," was the reply. "We
have made you lieutenant general," responded Mr. Chandler, laughingly,
"and I suppose we could make him a general, and thus put him over you."
"Do it," said Grant, promptly. "If he carries this campaign through
successfully, do it. I would rather serve under Sherman than any man I
know." General Grant also said that when he received a dispatch that
Thomas had attacked Hood, he felt that a great victory was already won.
He added: "I did not have any anxiety about the result; when Thomas
attacks, a victory is sure. He is a slow man, but he is the surest man
I know. Once in motion, he is the hardest man to fight in this army.
He never precipitates a battle unless he is all ready, and knows his
points, and you may rest easy when he attacks, for the next news will
be the enemy's rout. When Thomas once gets in motion the rebels have
not force enough to stop him."

Upon the final adjournment of the Thirty-eighth Congress (on March 4,
1865) it continued the existence of the Committee on the Conduct of the
War for ninety days, in order to afford it time to finish its work.
During this period it closed up some pending inquiries and prepared
its final reports. Its last action was an examination into General
Sherman's unauthorized and unfortunate negotiations with General
Johnston, which the committee disapproved and that officer's superiors
promptly repudiated. The final report of the committee bears the date
of the 22d of May, 1865, and its closing passages are as follows:

  Your committee, at the close of the labors in which the most
  of them have been engaged for nearly four years past, take
  occasion to submit a few general observations in regard to their
  investigations. They commenced them at a time when the government
  was still engaged in organizing its first great armies, and before
  any important victory had given token of its ability to crush
  out the rebellion by the strong hand of physical power. They
  have continued them until the rebellion has been overthrown, the
  so-called Confederate government been made a thing of the past,
  and the chief of that treasonable organization is a proclaimed
  felon in the hands of our authorities. And soon the military and
  naval forces, whose deeds have been the subjects of our inquiry,
  will return to the ways of peace and the pursuits of civil life,
  from which they have been called for a time by the danger which
  threatened their country. Yet while we welcome those brave veterans
  on their return from fields made historical by their gallant
  achievements, our joy is saddened as we view their thinned ranks
  and reflect that tens of thousands, as brave as they, have fallen
  victims to that savage and infernal spirit which actuated those who
  spared not the prisoners at their mercy, who sought by midnight
  arson to destroy hundreds of defenseless women and children,
  and who hesitated not to resort to means and to commit acts so
  horrible that the nations of the earth stand aghast as they are
  told what has been done. It is a matter for congratulation that,
  notwithstanding the greatest provocations to pursue a different
  course, our authorities have ever treated their prisoners humanely
  and generously, and have in all respects conducted this contest
  according to the rules of the most civilized warfare....

  Your committee would refer to the record of their labors to show
  the spirit and purpose by which they have been governed in their
  investigations. They have not sought to accomplish any purpose
  other than to elicit the truth; to that end have all their labors
  been directed. If they have failed at any time to accomplish that
  purpose, it has been from causes beyond their control. Their work
  is before the people, and by it they are willing to be judged.

The volumes which contain the official record of the proceedings of the
Committee on the Conduct of the War are and always must be regarded as
the most valuable single magazine of historical material relating to
the Great Rebellion. They have been liberally used in the preparation
of every important account of our civil strife yet published, and the
men, who shall in the light of another century estimate the greatness
and significance of that "throe of progress," will inevitably look
in their pages to the graphic narratives of those who were parts
of memorable movements and actors in famous battles as a means of
information, and to the conclusions of those who prosecuted inquiries
so zealously when the events were yet fresh in the memory as a source
of guidance. Infallibility is not a human attribute, and the work of
this committee was not free from misapprehension and mistake. Time,
which has shown some of its errors and will correct others, has also
sustained the essential justice of its most important conclusions,
which will stand unreversed on the pages of impartial history.

But the chief value of the labors of this committee is not to be
found in its collection of rich materials for the future chronicler.
To its unrecorded but potent influence upon the conduct of the war,
adequate justice has not yet been done. Its unwearied investigations
constantly exposed corruption, incompetence, and insubordination, and
placed in the hands of the authorities the means of discovering and
punishing the knavish, the weak, and the disloyal. Its activity was
a perpetual prompter to energy, and a vigilant detective by the side
of inefficiency and disaffection. As the result of its labors, the
unsuccessful, the half-hearted, and the traitorous gave way to the
able and the patriotic; because of the knowledge of its relentless
questioning, indolent men were vigilant, and laxity was transformed
into vigor. Its unremitting labors stayed up the hands of the War
Secretary in the heaviest hours of his great task, and usefully
informed the counsels and shaped the decisions of the White House. If
its every session had been permanently secret, and not a line of its
proceedings existed as a public record, there would still remain an
ineffaceable transcript of the results of its action in the correcting
of mistakes of organization and that crushing of sham generalship which
alone made final victory possible.


[22] In "The Republic" magazine of April, 1875.

[23] Edwin M. Stanton had succeeded Simon Cameron on Jan. 13. 1862.

[24] On Nov. 7, 1862.



Conscription, taxation, and the reverses of the Union arms in the
summer of 1862 in Virginia and elsewhere materially affected the
political currents of the ensuing fall, and the tide of reaction
against the war feeling reached its highest flood in the closing
elections of that year. Horatio Seymour was then chosen Governor of
New York; the States of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and
Illinois gave anti-Republican majorities, and ten of the principal
Northern States, which in 1860 rolled up over 200,000 Republican
majority, gave over 35,000 to the Opposition, while the footings of
their Congressional delegations showed a Democratic majority of ten
replacing a Republican preponderance of forty-one. In Michigan a
successful effort was made to fuse all the "conservative" elements in a
so-called "Union movement," which obtained some support from lukewarm
Republicans and was thus enabled to manifest unusual strength. Its
platform was dissent from "radical" measures in general, and the force
of its attacks was centered upon Senator Chandler and his record, as
representing the most aggressive type of Republicanism. He accepted
this challenge unhesitatingly, and fought the campaign through without
a hint at retraction or an apologetic word. He defended the "blood
letter" and the "McClellan speech" on every stump; he repeated before
the people the bold utterances with which he had stirred the Senate;
he declared to every audience that his record he would not qualify by
a hair's breadth, and that by it he was prepared to stand or fall;
and he denounced with unstinted severity the weakness of some of his
critics and the disloyalty of others.[25] The brunt of the battle in
his State fell upon him, and the vigor and courage of his personal
canvass attracted widespread attention. He spoke in all the leading
cities of Michigan during the campaign, and worked uninterruptedly
until the day of election. The result was the casting of 68,716 votes
for the Republican State ticket to 62,102 for the "Union" candidates,
and the choice of five Republicans out of the six members of Congress,
and of a Legislature constituted as follows: Senate--18 Republicans
and 14 Fusionists; House--63 Republicans and 37 Fusionists. This
Legislature, on assembling in January, 1863, re-elected Mr. Chandler
to the Senate in accordance with the unmistakable wish of his party
and the universal expectation. The most strenuous efforts were made
to detach Republican support from him, but they failed utterly. In
the caucus the vote was taken _viva voce_, and it was unanimous for
Mr. Chandler. In the Legislature he received the support of the
representatives of his party as well as that of one or two members
chosen by the Fusionists. The Opposition selected a candidate of
Republican antecedents, and its vote was divided as follows: James F.
Joy, 45; Alpheus Felch, 2; Hezekiah G. Wells, 1; Solomon L. Withey, 1.
In his address of thanks before the nominating caucus, Mr. Chandler
said: "I do not claim my re-election as a personal tribute. It is,
rather, a tribute to principle. It indicates that the patriotic sons
of Michigan stand firm in support of the government and a vigorous
prosecution of the war."

Not only did he thus modestly measure the significance of his
re-election, but he bent every energy to make that felt which the
people meant. Strafford's motto of "Thorough"--although the spirit was
that of Hampden and Pym and not of the apostate Earl--expresses the
fixity of purpose and the ardor of zeal with which he strove to make
irresistible the blows of the Union against its assailants. Before the
people, on the floor of the Senate, within the White House, at the
private offices of the War Department, in committee-room, and as part
of his daily intercourse with men of all ranks and classes, he urged
the use of every resource for the defense of the nation and demanded
the sternest punishment of those who had dared

            "to lay their hand upon the ark
    "Of her magnificent and awful cause."

As a Senator his vote was recorded for every important war measure,
relating to the revenues, the finances, and the armies of the Union.
Upon the great questions of public policy which bore so powerfully
on the progress of the struggle he uniformly led his party. At the
first Congressional session of the war he urged the employment of
confiscation as a legitimate and effective weapon for checking and
punishing rebellion; the measure he introduced at that time proved to
be too sweeping to receive an immediate enactment, but within a few
months Congress did advance on this subject to his ground. When General
Butler declared that the slaves who fled to his camp from work upon
the rebel intrenchments were "contraband of war," and reported his
action to the authorities at Washington and asked for instructions, Mr.
Chandler was one of the first to appreciate the adroit wisdom of that
epigrammatic construction of military law, and his co-operation with
Secretary Cameron in urging the approval of General Butler's action
upon the President and General Scott was very valuable and effective.
Immediately after the battle of Bull Run he, with Mr. Sumner and
Mr. Hamlin, called upon Mr. Lincoln with a proposition to organize
and arm the colored people. Mr. Chandler even then favored the full
exercise of the President's constitutional war powers, and urged that
they should be used, first, to set the slaves free; and, second, to
make the slaves themselves aid the work of abolishing slavery and
maintaining the Union. He believed that this institution was the
backbone of the South, that the war was brought on to save it from the
civilizing tendencies of the age, and that among the first steps taken
by the Federal government, when thus assailed by slavery, should be
the proclaiming of freedom to all bondsmen and the guaranteeing of the
protection of the government to the free. He argued that such a policy,
promptly declared, would produce chaos in the South, would subject the
Confederate government to the danger of local uprisings of the negroes,
and would thus make victory easy. But the Administration was not
prepared to take a step so far in advance of popular opinion, and for
some months the prevailing policy was one which prohibited the soldiers
of the Union from protecting or harboring fugitive slaves, and in some
instances made slave-hunters of the troops. When General Fremont, on
the 31st of August, issued his proclamation in Missouri, declaring
free all slaves belonging to persons engaged in the rebellion, Mr.
Chandler was among those who most heartily approved this step. The
President was alarmed, as he feared the country was not ready for such
an act, and greatly modified the Fremont proclamation, as he also did a
still more sweeping order of General Hunter in the following May. Mr.
Chandler's disappointment at this was extreme, but within a few months
he saw emancipation resorted to by the Administration as a war measure,
and a death-blow dealt to "the relic of barbarism." That part of the
report for 1861 of Simon Cameron as Secretary of War, which urged the
most summary attacks upon the institution of slavery as the surest
means of dealing mortal blows to the rebellion, and which Mr. Lincoln
suppressed, Mr. Chandler heartily endorsed, and every manifestation by
Northern commanders of a disposition to make their armies defenders
of the slave system aroused his indignation. The act of March 13,
1862, prohibiting by an article of war the use of the troops for the
returning of fugitive slaves to their masters, he earnestly supported,
and the act of April 16, 1862, abolishing slavery in the District of
Columbia, was a measure in which he especially interested himself, and
whose final passage he celebrated by an entertainment given to its
most devoted friends at his rooms in the National Hotel of Washington.
The abortive colonization schemes which were tried about this time, at
Mr. Lincoln's urgent recommendation, Mr. Chandler privately opposed
as utterly inadequate and as a mere diversion of force into useless
channels, but for public reasons he made no open resistance to the
experiment. For the laws of June 19, 1862, forever prohibiting slavery
in the territories, and of June 28, 1864, repealing the fugitive slave
statutes, it need not be said that he labored with unflagging industry.

Mr. Chandler was very active in advocating the use of colored troops
as soldiers, being months in advance of the Administration in this
respect; he urged this policy upon the authorities unsuccessfully
for weeks, and then worked earnestly to secure legislation from
Congress authorizing the enrollment and enlistment of negroes. This
movement was so strenuously resisted at the capitol that in the end a
compromise was effected upon a bill, which was approved on July 16,
1862, authorizing the receiving of colored men as laborers in the
army to dig trenches and do other work of non-combatants. But after
the Emancipation Proclamation black men were accepted as soldiers by
order of the President, and regularly enrolled and paid. Mr. Chandler
always believed that that proclamation and the enlistment of freedmen
in the army were two of the most powerful blows at the rebellion,
and often remarked, when talking upon the subject, that they were
worth 300,000 men. While the controversy over this important step
was unsettled, General Butler, at New Orleans, found himself in need
of reinforcements, and was actually compelled to organize and arm
several regiments of colored soldiers, whom he knew to be especially
well adapted to the performance of a certain class of duties in that
region which could not be done by soldiers from the North, who were
not acclimated. This step on his part followed his definite refusal,
under instructions from Washington, to permit General Phelps to do
the same thing (that officer resigning for this very reason.) While
the correspondence on this whole topic was in progress with the
authorities, General Butler appealed to Senator Chandler, writing him
long letters showing the sanitary necessity of having negro garrisons
in some localities, and touching upon the other phases of the question.
He also asked the Senator's aid in securing arms and equipments for
these colored troops, and obtained from him valuable assistance in
pushing on the requisitions at the War Department in defiance of
official "red tape." On this general question Mr. Chandler said in the
Senate, on June 28, 1864:

  I believe that this rebellion is to be crushed, is to be
  exterminated, and I believe that every man who favors it, whether
  he be a member of this body or a member of the Southern army, is
  to be crushed and to be exterminated, unless he repents. That is
  what I believe.... I thank God the nation has risen to the point of
  using every implement that the Almighty and common sense have put
  in its hands to crush the rebellion.... We do not need another man
  from north of the Potomac. Let us bring the loyal men of the South
  in to put down treason in the South, and there are men enough and
  more than enough to do it. We have heard enough about not using
  black men to put down this rebellion. I would use every thing that
  God and nature had put in my hands to put down this rebellion; but
  first I would use the black element, bring every negro soldier who
  can fight into the army. A negro is better than a traitor. I say
  this advisedly. I consider a loyal negro better than a secession
  traitor, either in the North or the South. I prefer him anywhere
  and everywhere that you please to put him. A secession traitor is
  beneath a loyal negro. I would let a loyal negro vote; I would let
  him testify; I would let him fight; I would let him do any other
  good thing and I would exclude a secession traitor.

The seizure of the rebel emissaries, Mason and Slidell, by Captain
Wilkes, on the British steamer Trent, was heartily applauded by Mr.
Chandler, and he opposed with much earnestness their surrender at the
demand of Great Britain. Mr Seward's policy in the matter seemed to him
to be humiliating and the possibility of a second war, in case Captain
Wilkes was sustained, he did not dread, believing that the nation would
treble its military strength in the face of such a danger, that the
South would suffer from an alliance with a country so long regarded as
the hereditary foe of the American people, and that the end would be
the conquest and annexation of the British American provinces. He was
greatly incensed by Great Britain's prompt concession of belligerent
rights to the South and by its blustering bearing in the Trent case,
and at one time suggested a policy of non-intercourse with that power,
which he regarded as an inveterate enemy. In later years he advocated
the most vigorous pushing of "the Alabama claims," and at the time
of the British war with Abyssinia offered in the Senate a resolution
recognizing King Theodore as a "belligerent" in the general terms of
the Queen's proclamation of May, 1861 in regard to the Confederacy.
He never ceased to believe that the United States, in the settlement
of its war claims with Great Britain, ought to have refused to accept
anything less than the annexation of the Canadas.

Mr. Chandler in the Senate favored imposing severe penalties on the
gold gambling in Wall street, which affected so injuriously the
national credit. In the preparation of the internal revenue laws of
1862, imposing a large number of taxes and affecting vast interests,
he gave exceedingly valuable aid, his own business experience and his
familiarity with commercial details making his suggestions practical
in form and wise in scope. Every measure to secure the stringent
enforcement of the laws for the punishment of treason received his
hearty support, and his denunciation of traitors and their open or
secret allies continued to be vigorous and unsparing.[26] His industry
time alone seemed to restrain, for his zeal was inexhaustible and his
magnificent physical powers bore the tremendous strain unyieldingly.
His public record during the four years of the war makes it possible
to apply to him, without extravagance, Lord Clarendon's description of
Hampden: "He was of a vigilance not to be tired out or wearied by the
most laborious, and of parts not to be imposed on by the most subtle or
sharp, and of a personal courage equal to his best parts."

The "little, nameless, unremembered acts" of these days were of
no slight aggregate importance and thoroughly illustrate the
characteristics of the man. There was no reasonable service that he
was not quick to render to any volunteer who applied to him for aid. A
blue uniform gained for its wearer prompt admittance to his room and
a careful hearing for any request. Repeatedly private soldiers saw
him leave men of rank and influence to listen to their stories, and
lay aside matters of pressing moment to act upon their complaints or
relieve their distress.[27]

He visited the hospitals to seek out Michigan men whom he could
help, and to see that they were properly provided for, while their
applications for furloughs and for discharges, if entrusted to his
care, were so pushed as to obtain prompt action from the authorities
in spite of routine and official tardiness. He advanced large sums of
money to help destitute and invalid soldiers homeward,[28] or to aid
the friends of fallen or wounded men upon their melancholy errands.
Upon all occasions he was especially attentive to the humblest
applicants, and the ease of the private soldier in distress and need
touched his sympathies the most quickly. His was a familiar figure in
all the departments, often accompanied with a squad of sick, crippled,
even ragged, veterans, in search of delayed furloughs, or of arrears
of pay, or of the medical examinations preceding invalid discharges,
or of some service which "red tape" had delayed. In the words of one
who possessed abundant opportunities for obtaining knowledge, "This
could be said of Mr. Chandler to a greater extent than of any other
public man I ever saw, that he would spare no pains in doing even
little things for men who were of the smallest consequence to one in
his position. He would take great trouble in hunting up minor matters
for enlisted men, and this it was that made him so popular among the
soldiers." His activity in their behalf was not limited by State lines;
he answered any appeals that came to him, although he was especially
prompt and vigilant in helping the "Michigan boys."[29]

At the War Department Mr. Chandler was as well known as (and was
reputed to be scarcely less powerful than) the Secretary himself. Mr.
Stanton's brusqueness never daunted him, and few stood upon such terms
of privileged intercourse with that no less irascible than great man.
Repeatedly he elbowed his way through the crowded ante-chamber of the
Secretary's office, pushed past protesting orderlies, strode up to Mr.
Stanton's private desk, and obtained by emphatic personal application
some order which subordinates could not grant in a case needing prompt
action.[30] Where other men would have encountered rebuff he rarely
failed. In connection with this phase of his public activity these
letters are of interest:

                                  DETROIT, Mich., July 29, 1862.

  _Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War._

  DEAR SIR: Brigadier-General Richardson, of this State, is reported
  as being absent from duty without leave. This is not true. He is
  absent on sick leave, and is not able to join his command. Will
  you not, in accordance with the wishes of the whole delegation,
  assign him to the command of Michigan soldiers now being raised?
  His presence here, and the assurance that he is to command, will
  greatly stimulate enlistments. We are proud of him as one of the
  best fighting generals of the army. Very truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

                                         DETROIT, July 31, 1862.

  _Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War._

  SIR: There is a fine company of ninety-five splendid men guarding
  _three rebel prisoners_ at Mackinac. Would it not be well to put
  those rascals in some tobacco warehouse or jail and send these
  troops where they are needed? General Terry would like a command in
  some other division than the one he is in. Can you not accommodate
  him? The soldiers at Mackinac are anxious for active service and
  are well drilled. Very truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

                                          DETROIT, Aug. 9, 1862.

  _Adjutant-General Thomas._

  DEAR SIR: Are the boys of the Michigan First (Bull Run prisoners)
  exchanged yet? I promised them it should be done at once, and now
  find them enlisting again under the supposition that it has been
  done. The list is with the Secretary of War. Our quota is full, and
  our blood is up. They were yesterday paying $10 for a chance to
  enter some of the regiments. Very truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

                                         DETROIT, Aug. 28, 1862.

  _Hon. Wm. A. Howard._

  DEAR SIR: Will you say from me to the Secretary of War that I
  deem it of vital importance that some one be authorized to open
  and examine rebel correspondence passing through the Detroit
  postoffice? Mr. Smith (of the postoffice) informs me that letters
  come through directed to rebels at Windsor. Truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

                                         DETROIT, Nov. 15, 1863.

  _Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War._

  DEAR SIR: I telegraphed you to-night to send heavy guns and
  ammunition to the lakes. The reason was this: Upon examination
  I found that we could improvise a navy in about two hours which
  could cope with any rebel armament which could be placed upon the
  lakes, _if we had big guns_. But my investigation furnished one
  68-pounder, condemned, and four 32-pounders, without powder, at
  Erie; and this was our whole armament on the lakes, except one
  32-pounder upon the Michigan, and a few 6, 10 and 12-pounders. We
  must have guns of large calibre at each of the principal ports.
  If you cannot spare eleven-inch guns immediately send us some
  eight-inch or some old 68-pounders, with ammunition. A tug,
  costing not over $30,000, with one eleven-inch gun on board and
  a crew of twenty men, could destroy a million dollars' worth of
  property on the lakes every twenty-four hours, and we would be
  powerless. She would sink the Michigan with one judiciously-placed
  shell. We are not alarmed, but we want big guns and _must have
  them_. The lake marine is scarcely second to the ocean in tonnage
  and value, and it must be protected. We had no idea of our defenses
  until the late scare. Truly yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

Mr. Chandler's influence with public men and in the private councils
of the nation's leaders at Washington was throughout the war always
invigorating. From the very outset, and while the patriotic instinct
of the North was "still, as it were, in the gristle and not yet
hardened into the bone," he urged upon the executive authorities
summary measures, and the striking of hard and quick blows. He advised
them to arrest traitors while their treason was still in the bud.
He urged them to make early and incessant attacks on the enemy, and
counseled implicit reliance on the devotion and loyalty of the North.
The Union cause saw no hour so dark that the eye of his courage could
not penetrate its gloom; the rebellion won no victory that shook his
absolutely "dauntless resolution." Every suggestion of peace except on
the basis of Freedom and the national supremacy he denounced. Every
hint of conciliating armed traitors he scouted as, in Hosea Biglow's
phrase, mere "tryin' squirt-guns on the infernal Pit." To the real
statesmanship of that period he thus gave expression in a public
dinner at Washington early in 1863: "We must accept no compromise; a
patched-up peace will be followed by continued war and anarchy." He
chafed like a caged lion before half-heartedness, imbecility and delay.
His sincerity and his earnestness revived the discouraged and aroused
hope, and his strong convictions inspired men of weaker moral fibre
with something of his own inflexibility. He never hesitated to use
plain words in dealing with the nation's enemies, he never lost faith,
and he never admitted the possibility of defeat. At the White House
his visits were ever welcome, his advice received, and the virility
of his understanding and the fervor of his patriotism recognized. Mr.
Chandler appreciated to the full extent the innate strength of Abraham
Lincoln's remarkable character and its rare loftiness, and, different
as were their dispositions and widely divergent as often were their
opinions, he never lost confidence in the President's aims and never
ceased to be one of his trusted counselors. Many features of executive
policy he condemned plainly and boldly to the President himself,
but frankness and sincerity prevented his criticisms from becoming
unpalatable, and Mr. Lincoln often acknowledged his indebtedness to the
practical wisdom and the tireless zeal of the Michigan Senator.

Cecil said to Sir Walter Raleigh, "I know that you can toil terribly."
This Mr. Chandler did through those eventful years. His labor was
without cessation. The great demands upon the energies of the public
man were equaled by appeals for private effort which he would not
decline, and in every channel of profitable work for the Union cause
he made his strong will and his aggressive vitality felt. Industry,
so unusual and efficient, multiplied the power of his Roman firmness,
and these qualities, guided by his strong understanding, high courage,
sincerity of conviction, and the ardor of his patriotism, made him a
leader of men in years when leadership without strength was impossible.
His impress is upon the events of that era, and of the war for
Emancipation and the Union he could say with Ulysses, "I am part of
all that I have met." Through the tempest of civil strife his strong
spirit battled its way unflinchingly to the goal, and title was fitly
bestowed in the people's knighting of Zachariah Chandler as "The Great
War Senator."


[25] I pity the man who, in this hour of peril, stands back and says,
"this is an abolition war, and I won't go." ... There are but two
classes of men now in the United States, and there are no middle men;
these two classes are patriots and traitors. Between these two you must
choose. A man might as well cast himself into the gulf that separated
Dives from Lazarus as to stand out in this hour of trial.--_Speech at
Ionia on September 6._

It has taken time to educate us. If we had won certain victories the
war would have been over, but the cause would have remained. The
proclamation pronouncing emancipation, for which God bless Abraham
Lincoln, is educating the people, and soon we will be ready to go
forward.... We can never secure a permanent peace until we strike a
death-blow at the cause of the war.--_Speech at Jackson on October 7._

[26] Extract from a debate in the Senate on April 12, 1864:

MR. POWELL, of Kentucky: The Senator from Michigan, if I understood
him, said that I was now the friend of traitors?

MR. CHANDLER: You did understand me properly. You have been the friend
of traitors, and I voted to expel you, as a traitor, from this body.

MR. POWELL: Do I understand you to say that I am now the friend of
traitors and of treason?

MR. CHANDLER: You co-operated with traitors, and I have never known you
to cast a vote that was not in favor of rebellion.

[27] It is exceedingly gratifying to witness the marked attention Mr.
Chandler bestows on soldiers. One day I happened to be in his room,
when a major-general and a senator came in. Shortly after a sprightly
young soldier came to the door. When about to enter, the young man
hesitated to interrupt their conversation, but Mr. Chandler at once
gave his attention to the soldier, who, on being asked to take a seat
and tell what he desired, said he was a paroled prisoner and wished a
furlough home, and that he had been told that all he had to do was to
apply to him and he would be sure to get it. Mr. Chandler immediately
took his papers and secured the furlough for him.--_Washington letter
of 1863._

[28] Mr. Chandler said that during the late war, while he was in
Washington, he loaned our soldiers several thousands of dollars, in
small sums of from $2 to $10 each, but that the whole amount was repaid
to him with the exception of about $10, and he was satisfied that the
poor men who owed him that small amount had given their lives for their
country.--_Hon. M. S. Brewer in the House of Representatives, Jan. 28,

[29] This tribute comes from a well-known officer of the Michigan
volunteer regiments:

                                              DETROIT, February 3, 1880.

Could all the acts of kindness and aid rendered by Senator Chandler to
the soldiers of Michigan, their families and friends, during the war,
and especially to those who filled the ranks, be gathered together
and written out, the volumes that contained them would be large and
numerous. No soldier, however humble, ever applied to him, when in
distress or trouble, that he did not receive a patient hearing and, if
possible, speedy aid. No soldier's wife, father, mother, or other kin
ever wrote him a letter that was not answered. To these facts there are
thousands who can testify to-day, and many thousands more who could do
so were they not in their graves.

In those dark days he was always sanguine of the final triumph of our
armies, and he always assured the soldiers of his positive convictions
that in the end they would be victorious. None except those who had
experience can ever know what cheerful assurances and hopeful words
from those high in authority did to nerve men for the work of severe

The trials and fatigues of army life, and the uncertainty of the
final results, were lessened vastly by the assuring words of brave,
indomitable men like Zachariah Chandler. All honor to his memory, as
also to the memory of his great associates in high places during those
memorable days!

                                                            R. A. ALGER.

[30] This anecdote is related by a prominent Michigan officer: I
accompanied Senator Chandler once to the War Department to secure the
re-instatement of a paymaster who, it had been clearly ascertained,
had been unjustly dismissed. The papers were in the possession of the
proper bureau, and action had been promised, but was delayed. A great
body of eager applicants were gathered about the Secretary's door,
which was guarded by two sentries with crossed bayonets. He pushed
rapidly through the mass of people to the entrance of the private
office, where the sentinel said, "The Secretary is very busy, Mr.
Senator." "I know he is," was Mr. Chandler's response, and laying a
hand on each bayonet he pushed them up over our heads, opened the door,
and we were in Mr. Stanton's presence. Once there, he commenced a
vigorous denunciation of the tardiness of the Department, upbraided the
Secretary because no action had yet been taken in the case according
to promise, and astonished me by the earnestness of his criticisms.
Mr. Stanton heard him pleasantly, said when he stopped, "Are you all
through, Chandler?" and then gave the order we needed.



The Republican reverses of the fall of 1862 were not repeated in 1863.
Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the anti-draft riots in New York, and the
formal acceptance of Vallandigham as a trusted party leader by the
Democracy stimulated and strengthened the Union spirit of the North,
and the State elections of that year were emphatic endorsements of
the party of freedom and of its policy. The political verdicts of
the spring of 1864 were equally gratifying to the friends of liberty
and the advocates of a vigorous prosecution of the war, and, with
the accession of General Grant to the command of the Union armies
and his "advance all along the line," it became evident that nothing
but discord among the Republicans could deprive them of a sweeping
victory in the presidential election. The masses of that party were
unequivocally in favor of Mr. Lincoln's renomination; the common people
saw one of themselves in the White House and fully met his firm trust
in them with an answering confidence. But among men of influence within
the Republican ranks there was an exceedingly earnest opposition to
his second candidacy. Some of this sprang from rival aspirations;
more of it from disappointed office-seeking and from personal pique;
but there was outside and above such considerations a strong feeling,
entirely disinterested in origin and honorable in character, and held
by thousands of sincere men, that the President was unduly conservative
in policy and that a man of more aggressive temperament ought to be
elected in his stead. There were also not a few experienced politicians
who regarded the personal opposition to Mr. Lincoln as sufficiently
formidable to jeopard party success, and who were inclined to think
that the selection of some candidate who was not identified with the
existing Administration, and thus would not be compelled to defend
its acts, was demanded on the ground of superior "availability." The
anti-Lincoln wing of the party at that time included such men as
Mr. Chase and Mr. Greeley, was represented by many of the leading
newspapers, including the entire New York press except the _Times_,
and counted among its especially active members not a few of the most
earnest and devoted of the original Abolitionists.

In this chaotic condition of party sentiment a call appeared (in April,
1864) addressed "To the Radical Men of the Nation," and requesting them
to meet by representatives in convention at Cleveland, O., on May 31.
Those of its signers who were best known were B. Gratz Brown, Lucius
Robinson, John Cochrane, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
George B. Cheever, James Redpath, Wendell Phillips and Emil Pretorious.
Its tone will appear from this paragraph:

  The imbecile and vacillating policy of the present Administration
  in the conduct of the war, being just weak enough to waste its men
  and means to provoke the enemy, but not strong enough to conquer
  the rebellion--and its treachery to justice, freedom and genuine
  democratic principles in its plan of reconstruction, whereby the
  honor and dignity of the nation have been sacrificed to conciliate
  the still-existing and arrogant slave power, and to further the
  ends of unscrupulous partisan ambition--call in thunder tones upon
  the lovers of justice and their country to come to the rescue of
  the imperiled nationality and the cause of impartial and universal
  freedom threatened with betrayal and overthrow.

  The way to victory and salvation is plain. Justice must be throned
  in the seats of national legislation, and guide the executive will.
  The things demanded, and which we ask you to join us to render
  sure, are the immediate extinction of slavery throughout the whole
  United States by Congressional action, the absolute equality of
  all men before the law without regard to race or color, and such a
  plan of reconstruction as shall conform entirely to the policy of
  freedom for all, placing the political power alone in the hands of
  the loyal, and executing with vigor the law for confiscating the
  property of the rebels.

This document was widely published, and the New York _Tribune_ in
advance approved the calling of this convention, although it did not in
the end support its action. The call was answered by about 350 persons
from fifteen States; while very few of them were men of more than
limited reputation, yet they made up a body representing widespread
convictions strongly and sincerely held. Ex-Governor W. F. Johnston
of Pennsylvania was the temporary and Gen. John Cochrane of New York
the permanent presiding officer of the convention. It nominated John
C. Fremont for President, and General Cochrane for Vice-President, and
adopted a platform exceedingly radical in terms, including declarations
in favor of unconditional emancipation, a one-term presidency, the
Monroe doctrine, and the wholesale confiscation of the property of the
rebels. Two letters were received by it which at the time produced a
strong impression. In one of them, Lucius Robinson, then Comptroller of
New York, severely condemned "a weak Executive and Cabinet," and urged
the nomination of General Grant, "a man who has displayed the qualities
which give all men confidence." In the second, Wendell Phillips
attacked a Republican administration with that polished invective which
had made him one of the most formidable assailants of the slave power.
He wrote:

  For three years the Administration has lavished money without
  stint and drenched the land in blood, and it has not yet
  thoroughly and heartily struck at the slave system. Confessing
  that the use of this means is indispensable, the Administration
  has used it just enough to irritate the rebels and not enough to
  save the state. In sixty days after the rebellion broke out the
  Administration suspended _habeas corpus_ on the plea of military
  necessity--justly. For three years it has poured out the treasure
  and blood of the country like water. Meanwhile slavery was too
  sacred to be used; that was saved lest the feelings of the rebels
  should be hurt. The Administration weighed treasure, blood, and
  civil liberty against slavery, and, up to the present moment, has
  decided to exhaust them all before it uses freedom heartily as a
  means of battle.... A quick and thorough reorganization of States
  on a democratic basis--every man and race equal before the law--is
  the only sure way to save the Union. I urge it, not for the black
  man's sake alone, but for ours--for the nation's sake. Against
  such recognition of the blacks Mr. Lincoln stands pledged by
  prejudice and avowal. Men say, if we elect him he may change his
  views. Possibly. But three years have been a long time for a man's
  education in such hours as these. The nation cannot afford more. At
  any rate the constitution gives this summer an opportunity to make
  President a man fully educated. I prefer that course.

  The Administration, therefore, I regard as a civil and military
  failure, and its avowed policy ruinous to the North in every point
  of view. Mr. Lincoln may wish the end--peace and freedom--but he
  is wholly unwilling to use the means which can secure that end.
  If Mr. Lincoln is re-elected I do not expect to see the Union
  reconstructed in my day, unless on terms more disastrous to liberty
  than even disunion would be. If I turn to General Fremont, I see a
  man whose first act would be to use the freedom of the negro as his
  weapon; I see one whose thorough loyally to democratic institutions
  without regard to race, whose earnest and decisive character, whose
  clear-sighted statesmanship and rare military ability justify my
  confidence that in his hands all will be done to save the state
  that foresight, skill, decision, and statesmanship can do.

Generals Fremont and Cochrane promptly accepted the nominations
thus tendered them. General Fremont resigned his commission in the
army before doing so, and in his letter of acceptance accused the
Administration of "incapacity and selfishness," of "managing the war
for personal ends," of giving to the country "the abuses of a military
dictation without its unity of action and vigor of execution," and of
"feebleness and want of principle" in its dealings with other powers.
He further vindicated the Cleveland action by declaring that, "if
Mr. Lincoln had remained faithful to the principles he was elected
to defend, no schism could have been created," and added: "If the
convention at Baltimore will nominate any man whose past life justifies
a well-grounded confidence in his fidelity to our cardinal principles,
there is no reason why there should be any division among the really
patriotic men of the country." There was a lack of any popular response
to this demonstration, and it at once appeared--and, in fact, this was
the sum of the original expectations of its shrewder promoters--that
this movement was only formidable as a rallying point for any serious
disaffection which might spring up in the future.

The "Union National" convention assembled at Baltimore on June 7,
with every State, except those still wholly in possession of the
rebels, represented upon its floor. It adopted a platform denouncing
any peace by compromise, endorsing the Administration, and demanding
the abolition of slavery by constitutional amendment. Abraham Lincoln
was renominated for the Presidency, receiving every vote save that of
the delegation of Missouri radicals who supported General Grant, and
Andrew Johnson was on the first ballot nominated for Vice-President as
the representative of the Union men of the South. The response of the
masses and the leading papers of the Republican organization to this
action was prompt and hearty; but, notwithstanding this encouraging
fact, the political horizon grew rapidly darker. General Grant was in
that summer fighting a series of bloody battles on and about the banks
of the James, whose immediate results were indecisive, the attendant
steady reduction of Lee's available force not being then apparent at
the North. In like manner, Sherman was forcing his way through the
mountainous regions between Chattanooga and Atlanta, winning no great
victories and losing thousands of men; the mortal effects of his blows
at the rebels are evident now, but could not be seen then. General
Early, in July, swept down the Shenandoah and over the Potomac, burning
Chambersburg and threatening the defenses of Washington, finally
making good his retreat. In the face of this military situation, so
encouraging to discontent and so calculated to invite criticism, the
premium on gold rose rapidly to its highest war point. This disastrous
depreciation of the paper money of the government was materially
helped by the unexpected resignation, on June 30, of Secretary of the
Treasury Salmon P. Chase. Differences of opinion as to some details
of department management were assigned as the cause of this step,
but its real origin was much deeper, and Mr. Chase's course was
universally ascribed, and was undoubtedly due, to lack of sympathy
with and confidence in the Administration. The effect of a change in
so important a position at such a critical moment was profound, and it
gave a powerful stimulus to Republican disaffection. This was followed
by the abortive peace negotiations at Niagara Falls with C. C. Clay, J.
P. Holcombe and G. N. Sanders. That this was a crafty scheme to place
the Administration in a false position before both the North and the
South cannot now be doubted. It failed to yield all that its projectors
hoped, but it did ensnare Mr. Greeley most disagreeably, and it had the
effect of furnishing the enemy with grounds for charging the President
with being "hostile to peace except on impossible conditions." It
also materially augmented the public restlessness and deepened the
vague apprehensions which naturally sprang from such exhibitions of
cross-purposes among the leaders of the national cause. Another event
followed which was of still graver moment:

The problem of the reconstruction of the Southern States after the
defeat of the rebel armies was from the outset surrounded with grave
difficulties, and the views held upon this subject by the ablest
Republicans were diverse and conflicting. Bills and resolutions
embodying various theories of reconstruction were presented in
Congress early in the war, but nothing was done with them, and no
definite policy was fixed by enactment or even determined upon in
private consultations. On Dec. 8, 1863, and in connection with the
transmission to Congress of his third annual message, Mr. Lincoln
issued a proclamation offering amnesty to all rebels (with a few
conspicuous exceptions) who should take an oath of loyalty, and
declaring that whenever, in any of the seceded States, persons to the
number of not less than one-tenth of the votes cast in such States at
the presidential election of 1860, having first taken and abided by the
prescribed oath, should re-establish a State government, republican in
form and recognizing the permanent freedom of the slaves, it should
"be recognized as the true government of the State." This plan Mr.
Lincoln explained and defended at length in the message, and under it
provisional governments were soon organized in Louisiana and Arkansas,
and application was made for the admission of their Senators and
Representatives to Congress. The President's action in this respect did
not receive congressional sanction and was not endorsed by the majority
of his supporters at the capitol. Many held that the subject was one
which was wholly within the control of the legislative branch of the
government, and that his proclamation was itself an unwarrantable
assumption of authority by the Executive. Others objected strenuously
to the "one-tenth clause," as oligarchical in tendency and certain to
leave the real advantages of position within easy reach of the disloyal
majority in any State thus reconstructed. As a rule those who opposed
Mr. Lincoln's scheme favored establishing provisional governments in
the South until there should spring up a loyal majority, which could be
safely trusted with political power. Congress, therefore, referred the
message and proclamation to special committees, refused to recognize
the Louisiana and Arkansas governments, and passed on the last day of
the session a reconstruction act differing radically in terms from the
President's plan. Its bill provided that provisional governors should
be appointed with the consent of the Senate, that an enrollment of
white male citizens should be made when armed resistance ceased in
any State, and that when a majority of the citizens so enrolled took
the oath of allegiance the loyal people should be entitled to elect
delegates to a convention to establish a State government; upon the
adoption of an anti-slavery constitution by such a convention it was
to be certified to the President, who, with the assent of Congress,
was to recognize the government thus established as "the lawful State
government." This measure the President defeated by withholding his
signature. On July 8, 1864, he issued a second proclamation upon the
subject, setting forth that he had not signed this bill because "less
than one hour" intervened between its passage and the adjournment of
Congress, and because he was not ready by its approval to be inexorably
committed to this or any other specific plan of reconstruction which
would set aside the _quasi_-governments of Louisiana and Arkansas and
thus repel their citizens from further efforts in the same direction.
He added that he was not yet prepared to admit the "constitutional
competency of Congress to abolish slavery in the States," although he
did earnestly desire that it should cease through the adoption of a
constitutional amendment. The proclamation closed by declaring that he
was satisfied with the terms of the bill, and by pledging the hearty
co-operation of the Executive with all who might avail themselves
of the method therein laid down to return to their places in the
Union. In response to this proclamation, which treated the process
of reconstruction as a matter of executive discretion merely, there
was published early in August a vigorously worded and cogently argued
manifesto, addressed "To the Supporters of the Government," and signed
by Senator Benjamin F. Wade and Representative Henry Winter Davis, as
chairmen of the committees of their respective houses upon the _status_
of the rebel States. This document commenced with the declaration that
its authors had "read without surprise, but not without indignation,"
the President's proclamation, and proceeded as follows:

  The President, by preventing this bill from becoming a law, holds
  the electoral votes of the rebel States at the dictation of his
  personal ambition. If those votes turn the balance in his favor, is
  it to be supposed that his competitor, defeated by such means, will
  acquiesce? If the rebel majority assert their supremacy in those
  States, and send votes which elect an enemy of the government,
  will we not repel his claims? And is not that civil war for the
  presidency inaugurated by the votes of rebel States? Seriously
  impressed with these dangers, Congress, "the proper constitutional
  authority," formally declared that there are no State governments
  in the rebel States, and provided for their erection at a proper
  time; and both the Senate and House of Representatives rejected
  the Senators and Representatives chosen under the authority of
  what the President calls the free constitution and government of
  Arkansas. The President's proclamation "holds for naught" this
  judgment, and discards the authority of the Supreme Court and
  strides headlong toward the anarchy his proclamation of the 8th of
  December inaugurated. If electors for President be allowed to be
  chosen in either of those States, a sinister light will be cast
  on the motives which induced the President to "hold for naught"
  the will of Congress rather than his governments in Louisiana and
  Arkansas. That judgment of Congress which the President defies was
  the exercise of an authority exclusively vested in Congress by
  the constitution to determine what is the established government
  in a State, and in its own nature and by the highest of judicial
  authority binding on all other departments of the government....
  A more studied outrage on the legislative authority of the people
  has never been perpetrated. Congress passed a bill; the President
  refused to approve it, and then by proclamation puts as much of
  it in force as he sees fit, and proposes to execute those parts
  by officers unknown to the laws of the United States and not
  subject to the confirmation of the Senate! The bill directed the
  appointment of provisional governors by and with the advice and
  consent of the Senate. The President, after defeating such a law,
  proposes to appoint without law, and without the advice and consent
  of the Senate, military governors for the rebel States! He has
  already exercised this dictatorial usurpation in Louisiana, and he
  defeated the bill to prevent its limitation....

  The President has greatly presumed on the forbearance which the
  supporters of his administration have so long practiced, in view
  of the arduous conflict in which we are engaged, and the reckless
  ferocity of our political opponents. But he must understand that
  our support is of a cause and not of a man; that the authority of
  Congress is paramount and must be respected; and that the whole
  body of the Union men of Congress will not submit to be impeached
  by him of rash and unconstitutional legislation; and if he wishes
  our support, he must confine himself to his executive duties--to
  obey and execute, not make the laws--to suppress by arms armed
  rebellion, and leave political reorganization to Congress.

  If the supporters of the government fail to insist on this, they
  become responsible for the usurpations which they fail to rebuke,
  and are justly liable to the indignation of the people, whose
  rights and security, committed to their keeping, they sacrifice.
  Let them consider the remedy for these usurpations, and, having
  found it, fearlessly execute it!

The damaging force of this attack was undoubted. Mr. Wade was a
veteran of the anti-slavery "Old Guard," and was known through the
North to be as sturdy, true and honest as he was "radical" in his
Republicanism. No man sat in the House who surpassed--but few men
then in public life equaled--Henry Winter Davis in mental vigor, in
brilliant accomplishments, and in moral fearlessness. Originally sent
to Congress by the Maryland "Americans," it was his vote which elected
Mr. Pennington to the Speakership in 1859; to the formal censure of
that act by his Legislature he replied by telling the men who voted
for it to take their message back to their masters, for only to their
masters, the people, would he reply. He made a magnificent fight
against secession in his State, and waged there a still more gallant
battle for emancipation, winning both. In the House he spoke always
with force, often with impassioned eloquence, and the Republican
ranks contained no champion more ardent in patriotism or more firmly
attached to the fundamental principles of Freedom. The formal uniting
of these two men, both able, influential and unquestionably sincere,
in strictures so severe upon the President, materially invigorated the
"radical" opposition to the Baltimore ticket, increased Republican
discouragement, and furnished the Opposition with additional ground
for accusing the President of the gross use of arbitrary power. The
series of events thus recapitulated naturally gave to the action of the
Cleveland convention a fresh importance, and by the fall of 1864 it had
become a factor of moment in the political calculations of the year.

Greatly encouraged by the evident demoralization of the dominant
party, the Democrats held their national convention at Chicago on
August 29. Its platform in effect declared the war "a failure," and
its ticket consisted of George B. McClellan, representing war without
vigor, and George H. Pendleton, representing peace by compromise. The
most conspicuous figure on its floor was Clement L. Vallandigham, a
banished traitor _posing_ as a martyr, and the sedition which was
thinly disguised in its deliberations was boldly shouted to cheering
mobs about its hall and in front of the great hotels which its
delegates thronged. The character and action of this body made clear
the issues of 1864; in Mr. Seward's apt language, the people were
called upon to decide whether they would have "McClellan and Disunion
or Lincoln and Union." To make the latter the accepted alternative was
impossible without complete Republican harmony, and to restore that
fully and promptly was plainly a matter of the first importance. This
task was undertaken by Mr. Chandler, whose relations with all parties
peculiarly fitted him for the work. He was a pronounced "radical," and
had steadfastly opposed many features of Mr. Lincoln's policy;[31] but
honest disagreement of opinion had not impaired his full confidence
in the man, and that firm grasp upon the practical aspects of all
political questions, which was one of his marked characteristics then
as always, prevented him from putting in jeopardy essentials by unduly
magnifying differences as to details. To the wisdom of renominating
Mr. Lincoln he assented, and his election he believed necessary to the
preservation of the government. With Mr. Wade he was on terms of the
closest intimacy; both Mr. Davis and General Fremont were his personal
friends; and his record and public attitude gave him a claim upon
the attention of the "radicals" everywhere. His qualifications as a
mediator were thus numerous and apparent, and were rounded out by his
political experience and sagacity.

Mr. Chandler commenced work by visiting Mr. Wade at his home in Ohio,
being accompanied thither by his intimate friend and adviser, the Hon.
George Jerome of Detroit. The Ohio senator's vigorous common sense was
Mr. Chandler's ally in the long interview that followed, and it only
required a thorough review of the situation to convince him that, if
Lincoln was defeated, the Union cause, and not an individual, would
be the sufferer. Mr. Wade, however, urged that Mr. Lincoln himself
should make some sacrifices of opinion and preference in the face of
the common danger, that the "radical" element of the Republicans was
entitled to more considerate treatment at his hands, and that, at
least, his Cabinet, which was wholly within his control, should not
contain men who were obnoxious to the stanchest members of his own
party. Mr. Wade then denounced in the strongest terms the presence
in and influence upon the Administration of Montgomery Blair, whom
he believed to be at heart a Democrat. Later years have shown how
well-grounded were the doubts then felt of Mr. Blair's political
trustworthiness, doubts which were, even in 1864, general and strong
enough to lead the Baltimore convention to declare in its platform
that it regarded "as worthy of public confidence and official trust
only those who cordially endorsed" its principles. Mr. Wade readily
agreed, as the result of this conference, to pursue any course that
should command the approval of his associate in the manifesto, and Mr.
Chandler left him to visit Mr. Lincoln at Washington and Henry Winter
Davis at Baltimore. He obtained from the President what were practical
assurances that Mr. Blair should not be retained in the Cabinet in the
face of such strong opposition if harmony would follow his removal. Mr.
Davis promptly recognized the logic of the situation, and expressed his
willingness to accept Blair's displacement as an olive branch and give
his earnest support to the Baltimore ticket.

Mr. Chandler next proceeded to New York, and opened negotiations there
with the managers of the Fremont movement. He had expected Mr. Wade to
join him, but was disappointed in this; he met at the Astor House the
Hon. David II. Jerome of Saginaw and the Hon. Ebenezer O. Grosvenor of
Jonesville, with whom he frequently counseled, and he also obtained the
assistance of George Wilkes of the _Spirit of the Times_. Mr. Wilkes
was well known as the master of a pure and vigorous English, and no war
correspondent equaled him in accurate, lucid and graphic descriptions
of important movements and famous battles. The public, however, did
not know the extent of his political ability, of his skill in affairs
and of his patriotic energy, and these qualities proved of the highest
usefulness to Mr. Chandler in the completion of his delicate mission.
Without the aid so intelligently and zealously rendered by Mr. Wilkes,
Mr. Chandler doubted whether complete success would have been possible.
The negotiations were protracted for some days, but ultimately the
leaders of the Fremont organization agreed that, if Mr. Blair (whom
General Fremont regarded as a bitter enemy) left the Cabinet and all
other sources of Republican opposition to the Baltimore nominees were
removed, the Cleveland ticket should be formally withdrawn from the
field. While these conferences were in progress Mr. Chandler learned
that the editor of one of the influential evening papers of New York,
who had originally doubted the propriety of Mr. Lincoln's renomination,
had concluded that his election was not possible and had prepared "a
leader" urging his withdrawal, the holding of a second convention, and
Republican union upon either General Fremont or some other candidate
who could command the solid party support. It was not until the day
of the intended publication of the article and after it was in type
that Mr. Chandler learned of its existence, and then by instant and
earnest efforts he obtained its withholding until the result of
his labors could be known. Ultimately all obstacles yielded to his
persistence and skill, and he started for the capital to inform Mr.
Lincoln of the close of the negotiations and to ask the fulfillment of
the assurances concerning Mr. Blair's removal. On reaching Washington
he went instantly to the White House, was admitted to an immediate
private interview with the President in preference to a great throng
of visitors, and reported in detail the successful result of his
labors. On the day of this call upon Mr. Lincoln (Sept. 22, 1864) the
newspapers published General Fremont's letter withdrawing his name as a
presidential candidate. In it he said:

  The presidential contest has in effect been entered upon in such a
  way that the union of the Republican party has become a paramount
  necessity. The policy of the Democratic party signifies either
  separation or re-establishment with slavery. The Chicago platform
  is simply separation. General McClellan's letter of acceptance is
  re-establishment with slavery. The Republican candidate is, on the
  contrary, pledged to the re-establishment of the Union _without_
  slavery, and, however hesitating his policy may be, the pressure of
  his party will, we may hope, force him to it. Between these issues
  I think that no man of the Liberal party can remain in doubt. I
  believe I am consistent with my antecedents and my principles in
  withdrawing--- not to aid in the triumph of Mr. Lincoln, but to do
  my part toward preventing the election of the Democratic candidate.
  In respect to Mr. Lincoln, I continue to hold exactly the
  sentiments contained in my letter of acceptance. I consider that
  his administration has been politically, militarily and financially
  a failure, and that its necessary continuance is a cause of regret
  to the country.

On the following day this correspondence took place:

                  EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 1864.

  _Hon. Montgomery Blair._

  MY DEAR SIR: You have generously said to me more than once that,
  whenever your resignation could be a relief to me, it was at my
  disposal. That time has come. You very well know that this proceeds
  from no dissatisfaction of mine with you personally or officially.
  Your uniform kindness has been unsurpassed by that of any friend,
  and while it is true that the war does not seem greatly to add to
  the difficulties of your department, as to those of some others, it
  is not too much to say, which I most truly can, that in the three
  years and a half during which you have administered the general
  postoffice I remember no single complaint against you in connection
  therewith. Yours as ever,

                                                        ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

                                  POSTOFFICE DEPARTMENT, Sept. 23, 1864.

  MY DEAR SIR: I have received your note of this date referring to
  my offer to resign whenever you would deem it advisable for the
  public interest that I should do so, and stating that in your
  judgment that time has come. I now, therefore, formally tender my
  resignation of the office of Postmaster-General.

  I cannot take leave of you without renewing the expression of my
  gratitude for the uniform kindness which has marked your course
  toward me.

                               Yours truly,
                                                                M. BLAIR.

  _To the President._

Mr. Blair's resignation was accepted by the majority of Republicans
throughout the North as a "cleansing of the Cabinet,"[32] and party
lines were at once re-formed. The "radicals" became earnest supporters
of the Baltimore ticket, no Republican demand for a new nomination or a
second convention appeared, Mr. Davis ceased his trenchant criticisms,
and Mr. Wade took the stump and made a series of exceedingly effective
speeches in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Military success also came with its
powerful help. General Sherman crowned his campaign by the capture of
Atlanta, General Grant drew the coils of "the anaconda" daily tighter
about the rebel capital, and General Sheridan fairly "swept" Early from
the valley of the Shenandoah. The results of the September elections
had been dubious in significance, but those of October were decisive
Republican victories and preceded an overwhelming triumph in November.
Mr. Chandler (who had in 1863 taken an active share in the campaigns in
New York and Illinois,[33] Michigan not holding any general election
in that year) returned from his labors of mediation to his own State
and spoke to almost daily mass-meetings in its chief towns throughout
the month of October. Michigan gave to the Lincoln electors a majority
of 16,917, and sent only Republicans to the Thirty-ninth Congress. Mr.
Chandler's contribution to this result was not unimportant, but it
was of meagre value compared with his labors upon a broader field in
healing grave dissensions and in quietly removing a cause of danger
which was deeply founded, and which, although now almost forgotten, was
then of no slight actual proportions and of very serious possibilities.
It was characteristic of the man that this self-prompted and successful
service, one of the greatest he ever rendered to Republicanism, was
rarely mentioned by him afterward, and never as if it was more than
was due to the cause of his political faith nor as if it gave him any
especial claim upon the party gratitude.


[31] Mr. Chandler explained the ground of his opposition to the ten
per cent. loyal basis plan of reconstruction proposed by Mr. Lincoln
for the admission of Louisiana and Arkansas. There were not more
than seven or eight members of the Senate with him at the beginning
of the session on that question, although there was a large majority
before its close. The Democrats did not believe in this ten per cent.
doctrine, and they voted with those who did not believe in admitting
those States without guarantees. This admission was finally prevented
by a night of filibustering. Only six Republicans remained and voted
during that night. The result, however, proved that those six men were
right, and that Mr. Lincoln and the others were wrong. If Louisiana and
Arkansas had been admitted, then we would have been compelled to admit
all the other States in the same way, and to-day we would have eleven
rebel States in the Union. Those two States, Louisiana and Arkansas,
had become the most intensely rebel of all the States that were in
rebellion.--_Report of his speech, before the Republican caucus at
Lansing on Jan. 6, 1869._

[32] Mr. Greeley's comment in the New York "Tribune" was: "Precisely
why Mr. Lincoln thought this action called for at this moment, rather
than at any other time in the last four months, we are not told." This
chapter shows that Mr. Chandler could have "told" him.

[33] If the North had been a unit the rebellion would long ago have
been crushed. But the rebels found out we were not a unit at any time,
so they persevered, so they invaded Pennsylvania, so they hoped to take
Washington, and to raise insurrection all over the land. The only hope
of the South to-day is in the traitors of the North.... They will fail
in the contest. Instead of having established a slave empire they will
have, by their own acts, destroyed all the securities that slavery
ever possessed. They will have swept away all the compromises by which
slavery has been tolerated by a forbearing people.--_Senator Chandler
at Springfield, Ill., on Sept. 7, 1863._



On the evening of April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated
at Ford's theater in the city of Washington. The universal grief was
fitly described by Disraeli, who said, in the British Commons, that the
character of the victim and the circumstances of his death took the
event "out of all the pomp of history and the ceremonial of diplomacy;
it touched the heart of nations and appealed to the domestic sentiment
of mankind." Its effect upon the American people was profound, and it
deepened vastly the public appreciation of the essential barbarity of
the prejudices, passions and ambitions which had plunged the republic
into civil war.

The members of the Committee on the Conduct of the War returned on
the evening of this crime from Richmond, having made an unsuccessful
attempt to visit North Carolina for the purpose of taking testimony in
regard to the Fort Fisher expedition. On the following morning they
met, and addressed a formal note to Andrew Johnson, who had, while a
Senator, served upon that committee, expressing the wish of his "old
associates" to call upon him and acquaint him with "many things which
they had seen and heard at Richmond." They were promptly admitted to
his apartments at the Kirkwood House, and were among the first to talk
freely with the man who had been so tragically made President of the
newly-restored Union. Mr. Johnson had just been sworn into office by
Chief Justice Chase in the presence of some of the Cabinet and a few
Congressmen, and naturally the conversation chiefly turned upon the
pursuit of the assassins, and the proper punishment of the men who
had inspired or countenanced this crime, as well as of its actual
committers. As a sequel of this conference, an important meeting was
held on the following day (Sunday, April 16, 1865) in the President's
rooms. By appointment Senators Chandler and Wade and John Covode (an
original member of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, then a
contestant for a seat in the House) called upon Mr. Johnson, and
proceeded to consider with him what policy should be pursued toward
the chiefs of the conquered rebellion. They believed that the public
interest required that examples should be made of a few of the more
guilty of the Southern traitors, and urged such a course upon the
President. They found him--confronted as he was with the danger of
assassination, and recollecting his own sufferings as a Southern
Unionist--eager for measures of extreme rigor, and were compelled at
the outset to seek to moderate a violence of intention on his part,
which was certain to defeat the aim they were anxious to secure,
namely: that of impressing the public with a sense of the justice as
well as the severity of the punishment of deliberate and inexcusable
treason. Andrew Johnson's disposition was to give to the contemplated
proceedings rather a revengeful than a sternly retributive complexion.
The relations of Mr. Chandler, Mr. Wade and Mr. Covode with their
former fellow-committeeman were then exceedingly intimate, and they
labored to restrain his vehemence and to direct his determination into
a channel of action which should be just and not passionate, and should
thus yield wholesome influences. It had been suggested that Davis
and other fugitive rebels should be allowed to escape to Mexico or
Europe, and the question of their punishment thus evaded; this plan was
promptly condemned by all the participants in the conference, and there
was a general agreement that the leaders of the rebellion should be
arrested as rapidly as possible and held to answer for their offenses.
The next question that arose related to the best method of procedure
after these men had been captured, and then it was decided than Gen.
Benjamin F. Butler should be sent for to give his advice as a lawyer.
Mr. Covode undertook this errand and soon returned with him. Mr.
Chandler then stated to General Butler the subject of the conference,
and the President added that he was anxious to make a historical
example of the leading traitors, for its moral effect upon the future,
and took exceedingly extreme ground on this point, much more so than
the other gentlemen were willing to approve. All of those present
expressed their opinions in turn, after Mr. Johnson had concluded, and
all agreed upon one point, namely: that in the case of the seizure of
Jefferson Davis he should be summarily punished by death. Mr. Chandler
remarked, with emphasis:

"You have only to hang a few of these traitors and all will be peace
and quiet in the South. A few men have done the mischief, and the
masses of the people were misled by them. They have put the country
in great peril to gratify their political ambition and they ought to
suffer the penalty of treason as a warning to all men hereafter."

To this Andrew Johnson replied that Mr. Chandler could not know the
full enormity of the crime Davis and his associates had committed,
that Northern men could never realize the sufferings the rebellion had
brought upon the loyal people of the South, and that no punishment
could be too severe. He added that he was determined that a precedent
should be established that would be forever a terror to such men as had
conspired to overthrow the government.

After some further conversation, the President asked General Butler
for his professional opinion, as to whether Davis, Benjamin, Floyd,
Wigfall, and the other civil officers of the Confederacy, could be
tried by a military commission. General Butler replied that if they
could be arrested in the insurrectionary States--in any locality
under military control and where no civil authority existed or was
recognized--they could be arraigned before such a tribunal, but a court
of this character would have no jurisdiction if the criminals should
get upon foreign soil, or, before being apprehended, reach any district
where the civil law was in force. Mr. Chandler then urged that Davis
should, by all means, be secured before he had a chance to leave the
seceded States; and inquired as to the situation of the troops in the
South and the probability of their defeating an attempt by Davis to
fly through Mexico, or by boat on the Gulf. President Johnson replied
that no way was open for his escape, but that he would be captured,
dead or alive. The supposition that Davis was implicated in the
assassination plot was then discussed with some difference of opinion,
and finally the President asked General Butler to indicate a plan for
the prosecution and punishment of Davis and his associates, for the use
of the government. General Butler consented and the conference ended.

With the preparation of the memorandum thus requested, General Butler
occupied almost his entire time for several weeks, investigating
precedents, and examining authorities with the utmost thoroughness.
During this work he was repeatedly in consultation with Mr. Chandler,
who saw all of his notes and made many suggestions; before its
completion, Davis had been captured and sent to Fortress Monroe.
General Butler's plan was submitted to President Johnson in the latter
part of May, 1865. It was long and elaborate, was based upon an
exhaustive examination of the history of all military tribunals, and
set forth in substance these propositions:

1. That Davis could be tried by a military commission, having been
captured while in rebellion in a locality where no lawful civil
authority existed. This tribunal could sit at Fortress Monroe, where
Davis was a prisoner, as that was still within the military lines.

2. That this commission should be composed of the thirteen officers
of the highest rank in the army; this provision would have made it
consist of Lieut.-Gen. U. S. Grant; Major-Generals H. W. Halleck, W.
T. Sherman, George G. Meade, Philip H. Sheridan, George H. Thomas, and
Brigadier-Generals Irwin McDowell, Wm. S. Rosecrans, Philip St. George
Cooke, John Pope, Joseph Hooker, W. S. Hancock, and John M. Schofield.

3. That in case of conviction, before the sentence should be executed,
Davis should be allowed an opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court
of the United States; this would silence criticism, secure Davis all
his legal rights, and establish a precedent which might stand for all

4. That the only doubt that existed as to the conviction of Davis
was to be found in the question of the jurisdiction of the military

5. That the prosecution should hold Davis's assumption of military
authority against the United States as the overt act of treason, and
that his military orders, his commissions of officers, his official
announcements of himself as "commander-in-chief of the military and
naval forces of the Confederate States," his official reviews of
troops, the official reports made to him by commanders of armies in
rebellion, should be proven to establish the case.

6. That the record of the oaths taken by him as an officer in the
United States army, as a Senator, and as Secretary of War, should be
shown with evidence that he had violated them.

7. That the various acts of cruelty to prisoners of war committed
by his orders should be proven; other minor counts could also be
introduced in the indictment to secure an accumulation of charges.

General Butler's memorandum further set forth that the prosecution
should expect to be met by the defense:

1. With the question of jurisdiction.

2. With an attempt to prove the right of secession.

3. With the claim that the duty of allegiance to a state was superior
to the duty of allegiance to the general government.

4. With the claim that the acts of which Davis was accused were
performed by him as the head of a _de facto_ government, to which
office he had been elected under forms of law.

5. With the further point that the recognition of this _de facto_
government by the United States in the exchange of prisoners, in the
acceptance of terms of surrender, in the observance of flags of truce,
and in correspondence of various kinds, amounted to such a recognition
of the existence of a government with which it was at war, as must
prevent the United States from claiming that participation therein was

These were the chief points which General Butler thought the defense
would set up, and in his brief he grouped a powerful array of
precedents and decisions upon which the prosecution could rest its
case and meet these objections. During the early stages of this work,
Mr. Chandler, General Butler and others, who firmly held that stern
punishment should be meted out to a few conspicuous rebels--not in a
spirit of vengeance, but from a belief that salutary results would
follow if it should be established as a historical fact that in the
United States treason is a high crime whose penalty is death--were
constantly anxious lest the President should by some violent act or
word destroy the moral effect of their position. In public he said
repeatedly at this time that "the penalties of the law must be in a
stern and inflexible manner executed upon conscious, intelligent and
influential traitors," but his private utterances far outstripped
this language, and were often scarcely less than bloodthirsty. Mr.
Chandler, on one occasion, came away from the White House greatly
disturbed by Mr. Johnson's disposition to treat this subject with mere
anger, and characteristically said to Senator Wade and Mr. Hamlin,
"Johnson has the nightmare, and it is important that he should be
watched." General Butler's memorandum Mr. Chandler heartily approved
as clear in scope, just in spirit, and certain to prove effective in
operation, but, by the time it was fully completed, a great change
had taken place in the disposition of the President. In April he was
in favor of hanging every body; in June he was opposed to hanging
any one. He finally ignored entirely the memorandum which General
Butler had drawn up at his request, and decided that Davis should be
tried by the civil authorities at Richmond, where his crimes had been
committed. As a result the arch-rebel was allowed to remain in prison
at Fortress Monroe for nearly two years, because of the lack of a
civil court competent to take jurisdiction of his case. In 1866 he was
indicted and arraigned, and in 1867 was admitted to bail; a year later
a _nolle prosequi_ was entered, and the case against him dismissed.
Before this matter had reached its second stage even, Mr. Chandler had
become convinced that Andrew Johnson had determined to desert the party
which had elevated him to the vice-presidency, and with that knowledge
ceased to act as his adviser and became one of the most active of his
political enemies. The leniency of the course finally pursued toward
Davis Mr. Chandler then and afterward regarded as a grave public
mistake, and believed that the failure to enforce the death penalty
where it was so thoroughly deserved was exceedingly unfortunate in its
influence upon popular opinion, and did more than any other one cause
to encourage the disloyal classes of the South in their plans for
ultimately recapturing the political supremacy they had forfeited by

Precisely the causes which led Andrew Johnson so quickly back into
close fellowship with the men whom he had regarded as his inveterate
enemies will never be known. It is probable that originally they
were slight, but his temperament rapidly widened disagreement into
irreconcilable hostility. His maudlin speech on Inauguration-day so
incensed many of his supporters that the Republican senators, at a
formal gathering, actually considered a proposition (urged by Mr.
Sumner) to request him to resign the office he had disgraced. The
conference decided against such a step, but Mr. Johnson heard of the
movement, and regarded those who approved it with much bitterness;
his hatred of them undoubtedly fed his growing dislike for the party
of which they were influential leaders. Again, he was a thorough
representative of the "poor whites" of the South. He felt their
jealousy of the planting aristocracy which monopolized political power
in his section, and this made him such a vigorous opponent of the
secession conspiracy which that oligarchy organized and led. But he
also shared in the prejudice of his own class against the negroes,
and, when he saw the disposition of the Republicans to accord to the
freedmen equal rights and privileges before the law, he refused to
join in that movement and set doggedly about defeating such plans.
Precisely how great Mr. Seward's influence over him was at this time
is not clear, but it is certain that the change in his attitude toward
Republicanism was simultaneous with the slow recovery of his Secretary
of State from the blows of Payne's dagger. His combative obstinacy also
made him fiercely resent the vigorous criticisms which his "policy"
of reconstruction invited when first announced; Congress did not meet
for months after his accession to the presidency, and its leaders were
not in position to check his course, either by organized remonstrance
or by legislative interposition; the rebels who had been denouncing
him savagely were prompt to flatter his vanity and to offer promises
of support; and, as a result, when the Thirty-ninth Congress met on
December 4, 1865, the break between the President and the Republican
party had passed beyond mending. Mr. Johnson entered at once upon
that shameful course, which included the betrayal of those who had
trusted him and the disgrace of his high office by lamentable public
exhibitions of passion and boorishness, and which led to great and
durable public injury by trebling the difficulties surrounding the
delicate and important work of reconstructing the "Confederacy." Mr.
Chandler's distrust of the President commenced with his change of tone
in regard to the punishment of treason and with the first manifestation
of his intention to assume full control of reconstruction and to
practically restore the rebels to power in the subdued States. They
had one stormy interview at the White House, in which Mr. Chandler,
after touching upon the implicit character of his confidence in the
President during their senatorial service, denounced his new course as
a violation of his sacred pledges and a base surrender to traitors, and
left him indignantly and forever. From that time he regarded Andrew
Johnson as a public enemy, whose opportunities for evil were to be
lessened by every possible lawful restriction. He did not oppose the
efforts made by his more hopeful associates in December, 1865, to
re-establish harmony between the Capitol and the White House, but he
predicted their failure. All the legislation which diminished Johnson's
power for harm he ardently supported. The bills to admit Nebraska and
Colorado (the Colorado bill failed at this time) he was especially
active in pushing, from a belief that it was important to increase the
Republican ascendency in the Senate while there was an uncertainty as
to how much strength the "Johnson men" proper (Senators Doolittle,
Dixon, Norton, and Cowan) might develop. It was largely through Mr.
Chandler's untiring exertions, also, that the Fortieth Senate elected
Benjamin F. Wade as its President, and thus made him the acting
Vice-President of the United States, a position of the very highest
responsibility in the then critical state of national affairs.

Mr. Chandler aided in shaping and passing the reconstruction measures
of 1866-'67-'68, not for the reason that they precisely embodied his
ideas of the true method to be pursued, but because they presented a
plan upon which the Republicans could be united, which was practicable,
and which promised to reorganize the Southern States on the basis of
the supremacy of the loyal elements in their population. When Andrew
Johnson took the first step in unfolding his "policy" (by his general
amnesty proclamation and by the appointment of a provisional governor
for North Carolina, both acts bearing the date of May 29, 1865) the
"Confederacy" had ceased to exist, its chieftain was a captive, its
armies were prisoners of war on parole, its capacity for resistance had
been consumed in the furnace of battle, but its bitterness still glowed
and the prejudices and ambitions which gave it being were undestroyed.
The amnesty proclamation relieved, with a few exceptions, those who
bore arms against the government and the most virulent supporters of
rebellion who remained at home from all pains and penalties on the sole
condition that they should subscribe to an oath of future loyalty.
The provisional government proclamations permitted all persons thus
amnestied, who were voters according to laws of the States previous
to the rebellion, to elect delegates to conventions to amend the
local constitutions and restore the States to their "constitutional
relations with the federal government." By this process the loyal
colored men of the South were denied the right to participate in the
work of reconstruction and the entire machinery of reorganization was
placed in the control of men whose hands were yet red with Union blood.
Their discretion was only hampered by three conditions, compliance
with which was made essential to the presidential approval of their
work. They were required to annul the secession ordinances, to formally
recognize the abolition of slavery, and to repudiate all debts created
to promote rebellion. Beyond this, the disloyal classes of the South
were left in undisputed mastery of the situation. The control of the
insurgent States, and of the lives and fortunes of the loyalists,
white and black, were surrendered absolutely to the men who but a few
weeks before had been wrecked in the catastrophe which overwhelmed the
rebellion. That they were prompt to improve this unexpected, undeserved
and mistaken leniency need not be said. Their use of their new power
was both presumptuous and intolerant. In elections, which proscribed
Union men as unworthy of trust, conventions were chosen which accepted
ungraciously the mere fact of emancipation, and which repudiated
the rebel debts only under repeated presidential compulsion. State
governments were then organized, which placed men whose disloyalty had
been conspicuous in responsible positions, and which sent unamnestied
leaders of the rebellion in the field and in council to Washington as
claimants of Congressional seats. The State legislation which followed
embodied in shameful laws the unquenched diabolism of the slave power.
In statutory phraseology these enactments declared, "politically and
socially this is a white man's government," and, impudently asserting
that Congress was without any power over the matter, the men who had,
in form, admitted the death of slavery proceeded to establish peonage
in its stead. No body of laws adopted by any civilized nation in
this century has equaled in studied injustice and cruelty those by
which the "Johnson governments" of 1865 and 1866 sought to prevent
the freedmen from rising from the level of admitted and hopeless
inferiority, and to convince the blacks that in ceasing to be slaves
they had only become serfs. Colored people were denied the right to
acquire or dispose of public property. It was made a crime for a negro
to enter a plantation without the consent of its owner or agent.
Freedmen were declared vagrants, and punished as such for preaching
the gospel without a license from some regularly organized church.
Colored men failing to pay capitation tax were declared vagrants and
the sale of their services was permitted as a penalty. Black persons
were prohibited from renting or leasing lands except in incorporated
towns or villages. Their owning or bearing arms was declared to be a
violation of the peace. For a negro to break a labor contract was made
an offense punishable by imprisonment. Colored laborers on farms were
prohibited from selling poultry or farm products, and it was made a
misdemeanor to purchase from them. This class was also denied the right
of forming part of the militia, and it was made an offense for any
freedman to enter a religious or other assembly of whites, or go with
them into any rail car or public conveyance. White persons "usually
associating themselves with freedmen, free negroes, or mulattoes"
were also declared to be vagrants in the eye of the law. The colored
people were prohibited from practicing any art, trade or business
except husbandry, without special license from the courts. And most
infamous of all were the statutes for the compulsory apprenticeship
of colored children with or without the consent of parents, which
practically re-established over the next generation of the freed people
slavery with the whipping-post and overseer's lash. One State by joint
resolution tendered thanks to Jefferson Davis "for the noble and
patriotic manner in which he conducted the affairs of _our_ government
while President of the Confederacy," and other resolutions were adopted
declaring that "nothing more is required for the restoration of law
and order but the withdrawal of federal bayonets." [The fell spirit
and tendency of the reaction which was thus revealed found still more
significant expression in the revolting butchery in and around the
Mechanic's Institute of New Orleans on the 30th of July, 1866.] Some
of these infamous measures were adopted in all the insurrectionary
States, others in only some of them, but without exception the new
Southern governments which Andrew Johnson's "policy" created were
founded upon the traditions of the slave system and the memories of
"the lost cause." The objection that the President had, in thus taking
the work of reconstruction into his own hands, usurped authority
devolved upon Congress by the constitution, was a strong one, but it
received but little popular attention. Anger at the results of that
"policy" obscured the mere disapproval of its methods. When it was seen
that the rebellion had merely changed its theater of action, and that
what it lost on the battle-field it proposed to secure by legislation,
there was but one opinion among the masses of the people who had
heartily supported the war and were sincerely anxious to preserve its
fruits. Their emphatic demand was that the illegal and reactionary
governments set up by the President should be overturned, and the South
reconstructed in the interests of loyalty and liberty. Congress, as
part of its stubborn contest with Andrew Johnson, undertook this work.
It refused to recognize the pretended State governments or to admit
their Congressmen. It divided the territory of the conquered States
into five military districts, and placed it under the control of the
army until a juster system of reconstruction could be applied. It then
provided that in the calling of conventions to frame new constitutions
colored men should be permitted to vote; that those revised instruments
must confer the elective franchise upon all loyal colored people
and all whites not disfranchised for rebellion; that the work of
the conventions must be submitted to the colored and white people
not disfranchised for approval; that the Thirteenth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the national constitution must be ratified; and that
the State constitutions so adopted must be submitted to and accepted
by Congress. Upon this general plan the South was reconstructed, not
without much friction, not wholly to the satisfaction of the men who
marked out this course of procedure, but with the faith (or at least
the trust) on their part that it would restore that section to the
Union with genuinely free institutions, that it would protect the
emancipated slave in his rights, and that it would substitute for
disloyal communities States controlled by those whose interests and
traditions lay with the national cause. The reconstruction laws were
not vengeful in character; the aim of the men who passed them was not
retaliation, not even retribution except in so far as the application
of mild penalties to treason might increase the security of the future.
To prevent a repetition of the terrible struggle which had just closed
was the aim; that a political system had been devised, which both
recognized human rights, and by its natural operations would exclude
from political power the men who had plunged the country into civil
war, was the hope. Within ten years the scheme failed utterly, and what
it was designed to prevent had been accomplished upon its ruins. No
body of laws can maintain itself in the face of organized murder and
terrorism which authority refuses to either punish or prevent.

The reconstruction measures, while they commanded Mr. Chandler's
general assent, were laxer in details than he would have made them.
He felt, as Thaddeus Stevens said, that much that they ought to
have contained was "defeated by the united forces of self-righteous
Republicans and unrighteous Copperheads," but held that the bills
which were passed deserved support as a whole on the ground that it
was not wise to "throw away a great good because it is not perfect."
Schuyler Colfax closed one of his speeches upon this subject as
follows: "Loyalty must govern what loyalty preserved." Mr. Chandler
complimented him warmly and said, "You got it all into one sentence,"
and that doctrine and the belief in equal rights for citizens of
every color guided his share of the work upon all measures affecting
reconstruction. His chief regret was that the process of this
reorganization was not prolonged until the loyal sentiment of the South
had become strong enough and intelligent enough to maintain itself. If
his wishes had prevailed, the provisional governing of that section
would have been continued until the education of the blacks, the death
of the rebel leaders, and the extinguishment by time of the prejudices
and animosities of the war had accomplished such a wholesome revolution
in sentiment throughout that section as would in itself have been a
loyal and durable reconstruction. As this was not possible, he spared
no effort to make successful the experiment which was attempted; if
others had been as resolute and faithful as he, it would not have
failed. He did not share in the disposition of so many Republicans to
abandon what had been just commenced because of the imperfection of its
first fruits. He stood manfully for the maintenance by Northern opinion
and by the aid of the United States of the loyal State governments
of the South, not claiming they were faultless, but because they
were based on justice and were far better than that which would take
their place if they fell. When they were assailed by assassination,
by massacre, and by systematic terrorizing, he believed that it was
the duty of the general government to use all its authority and all
its force to protect its citizens in their rights and to prevent the
harvesting by unpunished traitors of the fruits of atrocities as
brutal and bloody as Saint Bartholomew. The policy of political murder
triumphed finally at the South, not through any weakness of such men as
he, nor through any failure upon his part to denounce that vast crime.
He labored strenuously to kindle Northern opinion into such a flame
of just wrath as would have made impossible that victory of organized

Mr. Chandler, was often described by political opponents as "the
relentless enemy of the South;" nothing was farther from the fact.
That small minority of the Southern people, who ruled that section
with oligarchical power before and during the war, who organized and
led the rebellion, and who have now regained supremacy by outrage and
murder, he always distrusted and attacked. But the great majority of
the people of the South--the blacks whom those men rob of their rights
and the whites whom they mislead--he profoundly pitied, and their
cause he espoused. For them he demanded equal rights before the law, a
free ballot box, the common school, and an opportunity to prove their
manhood. Those who resisted a policy so just and civilizing he was
quick to denounce in unstinted terms, and upon them he did not waste
conciliation. They--not "the South"--found him the inappeasable, but
still "the avowed, the erect, the manly foe."

In the elections of 1866 the issues were chiefly those connected with
reconstruction, and Mr. Chandler as usual spoke in his own and other
Western States, exposing the malign results of Mr. Johnson's "policy"
and in advocacy of the Congressional plan and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The general tenor of his speeches will appear from this extract from an
address delivered at Detroit, at the close of the political campaign:

  These perjured traitors are permitted to live here, but we say
  to them they can never again hold office unless Congress by a
  two-thirds vote shall remove the disability; why, a man who has
  committed perjury alone, right here in Michigan, you would not
  allow to testify before a justice of the peace in the most petty
  case. But we forget the perjury of the rebels which would send them
  to the State prison, we forget the hanging which follows treason,
  and say to them simply, that for the future they can never hold
  office. Personally I am not in favor of the last clause of this
  section which gives Congress the power to remove this disability by
  a two-thirds vote. I would have let this race of perjured traitors
  die out, out of office, and educate the rising generation to
  loyalty. But it is in the amendment and I advocate its adoption as
  it is.

Often during the progress of the obstinate struggle between Andrew
Johnson and Congress his attempts to evade law and his encroachments
upon the powers vested in the legislative branch of the government led
to the serious consideration in the House of Representatives of the
question of impeachment. Several resolutions ordering the preferring
of charges against him at the bar of the Senate were presented without
action, but on the 7th of January, 1867, the Hon. J. M. Ashley of
Ohio offered a preamble, beginning, "I do impeach Andrew Johnson,
Vice-President and acting President of the United States, of high
crimes and misdemeanors. I charge him with usurpation of power and
violation of law in that he has corruptly used the appointing
power; ... corruptly used the pardoning power; ... corruptly used
the veto power; ... corruptly disposed of public property; ... and
corruptly interfered in elections." With this preamble was a resolution
referring the charges to the Judiciary Committee to inquire if the
President had been guilty of acts which were "calculated to overthrow,
subvert or corrupt the government." By a vote of 108 yeas to 39 nays
this reference was ordered, but no report was made until November
25, 1867, and then a resolution of impeachment was submitted by Mr.
Boutwell in behalf of the majority of the committee. On December 7,
this resolution was rejected by a vote of 57 to 108. Encouraged by
this result Mr. Johnson, who had suspended Edwin M. Stanton from the
Secretaryship of War during the Congressional recess of 1867, and whose
action had been disapproved by the Senate under the Tenure of Civil
Office act, undertook to force Mr. Stanton out by a second suspension
on February 21, 1868, accompanied by an order appointing Gen. Lorenzo
Thomas Secretary _ad interim_. Mr. Stanton declined to acknowledge the
President's power to take this step, refused to give place to General
Thomas, and for many days and nights remained in constant occupation
of the department offices. The House of Representatives at once
arraigned the President before the Senate for this attempted violation
of the Tenure of Office act, and his trial followed. Chief Justice
Chase presided; the proceedings lasted from February 25 until May 26,
1868; and in the end Mr. Johnson was acquitted, exactly the number of
Republican Senators necessary to defeat conviction voting with the
Democratic minority. These proceedings Mr. Chandler watched with the
liveliest interest, and the failure of the impeachment was one of
the most bitter disappointments of his political career. He sincerely
believed that Johnson's course fully merited a verdict of "guilty,"
and he felt that the great difficulties surrounding the problem of the
loyal reconstruction of the South would disappear if the executive
department of the government was administered with the Jacksonian vigor
and patriotism of Benjamin F. Wade. Mr. Stanton's refusal to permit the
President to displace him without the consent of the Senate he endorsed
with the utmost heartiness, and, while the Secretary remained in his
office to prevent its seizure by Mr. Johnson's _ad interim_ appointee,
Mr. Chandler spent night after night with him, and did all that was
possible to strengthen his resolution and to lighten his voluntary
confinement. On one occasion, when there were signs of an intention on
the part of the claimant to use force, Mr. Chandler, General Logan,
and a few others gathered together about a hundred trusty men, who
occupied the basement of the department, and there did garrison duty
until the danger was past. During Johnson's trial Mr. Chandler was not
forgetful of his position as a judge, and was an attentive listener to
the evidence and the arguments before and in the court of impeachment.
He was restive under the length of the proceedings, however, and did
advise the managers on the part of the House to push the case along
as rapidly as possible, urging that the public interest required the
ending of the general suspense. He felt then, and said afterward, that
the delay was used to effect combinations with, and apply pressure to,
individual Senators, which would induce them to favor acquittal. That
this was done he never doubted, and he repeatedly denounced in the
strongest terms, both in public and private, the action of the seven
Republicans (Senators Fessenden, Trumbull, Grimes, Henderson, Fowler,
Ross and Van Winkle) who voted "not guilty" with the Democrats and
the "Johnson men." He was especially indignant at the course of Mr.
Fessenden and Mr. Trumbull, and on several occasions in after years
came into sharp personal collision with them during the Senate debates.
The final failure of the impeachment movement he felt as a blow. One
who knew him well has said: "He believed that republican government was
at stake and impeachment a necessity. Never was there a time when he
came so near despairing of the republic as at that event."

The Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses remained in nearly continuous
session for over three years "watching the White House." Outside of
the exciting political topics which received so large a share of their
attention, they were compelled to deal with important financial,
commercial and material questions affecting vitally the general
interest. The currency and public debt demanded simplification; the tax
system was to be changed from a war to a peace footing; the commercial
wrecks of many years called for a bankrupt law; bounties were to be
equalized, pensions provided, and war claims adjusted on wise bases;
neglected internal improvements clamored for renovation and extension;
the ocean commerce required national care; and innumerable minor
interests, long neglected under the stress of civil war, needed instant
attention. Mr. Chandler worked with characteristic energy and practical
wisdom in all these branches of legislative activity, and rendered
public services of varied and permanent usefulness.



In the presidential election of 1868 Mr. Chandler was even more than
usually active, both as an organizer and speaker. He delivered nearly
forty addresses in his own State, which gave to the Grant and Colfax
ticket 31,492 majority, and elected a Republican Congressman in each
of its six districts. The Legislature chosen at the same time had 66
Republican majority upon joint ballot, and re-elected Mr. Chandler
for his third Senatorial term, the Democratic vote being cast for the
Hon. Sanford M. Green of Bay City. In the Republican caucus there
was practically no opposition to Mr. Chandler's renomination, and
he received on the first and only ballot 78 votes, 13 other ballots
being cast for seven gentlemen by way of personal compliment. The
inauguration of President Grant, on March 4, 1869, renewed Mr.
Chandler's influence with the executive branch of the government, and
the political and personal friendship between him and the modest,
resolute, and illustrious soldier who succeeded Andrew Johnson grew
mutually stronger and more appreciative from that day.

Very much of the legislation of President Grant's first term, which
received Mr. Chandler's vigilant attention and absorbed no small share
of his energy, related to the details of the public business, and
furnishes no biographical material of permanent interest. He supported
the Fifteenth Amendment in all its stages, and also the Civil Rights
bills, which he regarded as incomplete, but still as the taking of
steps in the direction of justice.[34] It was his firm purpose to
contribute his share toward making American citizenship mean something,
for both black and white, and, if life was spared, to cease not his
labors until the humblest freeman in the United States should be in
firm possession of every natural and constitutional right, should have
free access to an honest ballot-box, should suffer no proscription for
his political opinions, and should be amply protected in his liberty to
think, say, go, and do as he pleased within the limitations laid down
by law for the regulation of the conduct of all. The battle, in which
he was so eager and stalwart a leader, will not be finished until that
result is forever secured.

Early in General Grant's term the friends of Edwin M. Stanton
determined to secure for him such an official appointment as should be
congenial to his tastes and guarantee him an adequate support in old
age. His iron constitution resisted the enormous labors of the civil
war successfully. For many months he worked from fifteen to twenty
hours in each day; his assistant secretaries were energetic and trained
men of affairs, but their strength successively gave way in attempting
to keep up with their chief. When the strain was finally withdrawn, it
was perceived that his own powers were greatly exhausted. Rest restored
their tone somewhat, and he made one or two legal arguments and public
addresses, which showed that his intellectual vigor was undiminished,
but these efforts were followed by extreme nervous prostration. Under
these circumstances, Mr. Stanton's friends determined to secure for
him a judicial appointment. For such a position he was qualified by
eminent professional attainments, and this fact and the permanency
of tenure made the tender of a place upon the bench grateful to him.
Accordingly, when Judge Grier resigned his position as a member of
the Supreme Court, Mr. Stanton's appointment to the vacant Associate
Justiceship was at once urged upon President Grant. Mr. Chandler was
very active in this matter and pressed it with all his energy. The
effort was successful, and on Dec. 20, 1869, this nomination was sent
to the Senate and promptly confirmed. Four days afterward, and before
his commission was made out, Mr. Stanton's overtaxed constitution
broke down, and he died after a brief illness, in the fifty-fifth
year of his age, as thorough a sacrifice to the nobility of his own
patriotic devotion during the war as the bravest soldier who fell on
any of its battle-fields. During his fatal illness, Mr. Chandler was a
frequent watcher at his bedside, and was one of the last persons with
whom the dying statesman conversed. After his death it was found that
the man who had controlled the disbursement of hundreds of millions
had died poor, and had not left an estate adequate to the support of
his children. Congress directed a year's salary of a Justice of the
Supreme Court to be paid to his heirs. Mr. Chandler and others of his
friends also set on foot a movement to raise a national memorial fund.
A meeting of Republicans was called at the residence of Congressman
Samuel Hooper of Massachusetts, and a committee was there appointed
who collected over $140,000 (Mr. Chandler contributing $10,000 and
President Grant $1,000), which was invested in United States bonds and
placed in the hands of a few trustees, of whom Surgeon-General Barnes
of the army was chairman, for the benefit of the Stanton family.

During General Grant's term the subject of "war claims" commenced to
attract national attention. Originally the Republican Congresses dealt
liberally with the South in the matter of compensation for damages
inflicted upon its loyal citizens during the rebellion. By a series of
carefully-guarded laws (and by a few private relief measures passed to
meet exceptional cases) a large sum was paid to residents of the rebel
States who suffered war losses, and were able to produce satisfactory
proof of their fidelity to the Union. In this matter the national
government certainly went to the extreme verge of generosity. The
experience attending the disbursement of the money thus appropriated
established conclusively the fraudulent and outrageous character of a
large percentage of these claims. In thousands of cases investigation
showed conclusively that arrant rebels were willing to swear that they
had been "Union men," and that small losses had, by false affidavits,
been magnified into great sums. As reconstruction broke down, and
the survivors of the rebellion gained in strength at the Capitol, a
new danger arose. No statute of limitations barred the indefinite
presentation of claims to Congress, and it soon became evident that,
not merely Southern loyalists, but avowed rebels who suffered losses
in the war were looking to the general government for compensation
for the damages which their own treason had invited. The movement on
the Treasury in their interest did not take on the form of an attack
in front, but by the flank. It commenced with plausible applications
for the "relief" of Southern institutions and corporations, and not
of individuals. It further manifested itself in propositions for such
a relaxation of the terms of the laws and regulations governing this
class of claims as would abolish all distinctions of "loyalty" and put
the "Confederate" upon an equal footing with the Union applicant for
this kind of "relief." The precise dimensions of this scheme, which
has been well characterized as "an attempt to make the United States
pay to the South what it cost it to be conquered in addition to what
it cost to conquer it," have not yet fully appeared, but the cloven
hoof has been sufficiently revealed to justly arouse and alarm the
loyal sentiment of the North. Mr. Chandler's record upon this question
affords a striking illustration of the soundness of his judgment as to
the scope and tendency of any particular line of public policy. When
this subject first demanded attention, he took the position which his
party substantially assumed ten years later. His clear and practical
mind saw what the consequences would be of any general reimbursement of
war losses, and he strenuously resisted the taking of any false steps
at the outset. Thus, on March 2, 1865, upon the bill to pay Josiah O.
Armes for the destruction of property within the rebel lines, he said
in the Senate:

  I hope this bill will not pass the Senate.... If you pass it, if
  you set this precedent, if you say to every rebel and every loyal
  man, and every man throughout the South, by the passage of this
  bill, that you intend to pay for every dollar of property that has
  been destroyed by order of our generals, you will give a more fatal
  blow to the credit of the government than by any other act that you
  can perform in this body. I should look upon the passage of this
  bill as a national calamity, and one that we cannot afford at this
  time to bring on our heads. It will do more to shake the faith of
  our own citizens and of the moneyed centers of the world in the
  credit of your securities than any other act you could perform.

In his address before the Republican caucus which renominated him for
the Senate in January, 1869, he also said:

  The moment this government begins to allow claims for damages
  accruing to individuals during the war in the South, it is placed
  in a position of great peril. Every rebel in the South who lost a
  haystack or barn by fire during the war will prove his loyalty and
  secure damages. It requires the greatest vigilance to prevent some
  of these claims from being allowed, as they are continually being
  pressed upon Congress, and probably will be for many years. The
  laws of war do not require nor justify the allowance of this class
  of claims even to loyal men. If they are loyal, then they have
  served the government, and that is compensation enough. If they are
  disloyal, they have no claim.

These quotations indicate his original position on this issue, taken in
the days when it had received but the slightest public attention. They
are exactly in the line of the vigorous utterances upon the same topic
which formed one of the important features of his public addresses in
1879, when the subject had aroused marked popular interest, and other
leaders had stepped up to the platform he had so long occupied.

But Mr. Chandler did more than strenuously oppose the payment of the
"war claims" of Southern disloyalists; his farsightedness placed in
their path a serious practical obstacle. In 1873, a Colonel Pickett,
who had been confidentially connected with the War Department of
the "Confederacy," came to Washington and offered to sell to the
authorities a vast quantity of the archives of the rebel government,
which he had secreted before the capture of Richmond. Congress was
not in session, and the Secretary of War, having no authority in law,
refused to buy the documents. Mr. Chandler was in that city at the
time, and Pickett was referred to him as a man of means and as one who
would be apt to appreciate the importance of such a purchase. After
one or two calls, Mr. Chandler determined that the matter deserved
investigation at least. He asked for a schedule of the documents and
for a statement of their prices. Pickett promptly furnished the former
and offered to sell them for $250,000. Mr. Chandler, after a careful
examination of the schedule, replied with a proposition that, if the
papers corresponded with the list furnished, he would pay $75,000 for
them. This offer was at last accepted, and Mr. Chandler deposited that
sum in a Washington bank, subject to Pickett's order after a thorough
examination of the documents had been made. Confidential clerks
were at once set at work upon them, and it was found that they even
surpassed their owner's representations as to value. The purchase was
therefore completed, and the documents became the private property
of Mr. Chandler, who had them locked up in a vault. When Congress
met, a bill was passed authorizing the Secretary of War in general
terms to purchase the archives of the Confederate government if it
was ever possible, and appropriating $75,000 for this purpose. As
soon as the bill became a law Mr. Chandler transferred the documents
to the Secretary of War, and they are now in the possession of that
department and constitute one of the most valuable and useful features
of its record of the rebellion. The amount that has been saved to the
government by this purchase, in furnishing evidence to defeat rebel
claims, already exceeds many-fold the original price. Case after case
in the Quartermaster-General's office, before the Southern Claims
Commission, and before the Court of Claims has been defeated by
evidence found among these papers.[35] One single conspicuous instance
in which they saved to the Treasury more than four times their entire
cost attracted much deserved attention at the time. On Nov. 16, 1877,
an effort was made by leading Southern Democrats in the House of
Representatives to pass under a suspension of the rules, and without
debate, a joint resolution, ordering the immediate payment of several
hundred thousand dollars to mail contractors in the rebel States who
forfeited their contracts at the commencement of the rebellion. An
objection from the Hon. Omar D. Conger prevented action on that day,
but the resolution came up again on Feb. 15, 1878. Representative John
H. Reagan of Texas, who had been the Postmaster-General of the rebel
Cabinet, then took charge of the measure, and assured the House that
the resolution was a purely formal matter, that it only provided for
the payment of liabilities incurred before the war commenced, and that
the rebel government had never paid these men for the same services.
The Hon. Edwin Willits of Michigan, by a timely examination of the
phraseology of the resolution, discovered that it provided for the
payment of these contractors, not down to the actual beginning of
the rebellion, but until May 31st, 1861, many weeks after the rebel
government had been formed and after the firing upon Fort Sumter.
Calling attention to this fact, he obtained the further postponement of
the consideration of the resolution. When it came up again (on March
8, 1878) Mr. Willits came to the House armed with a volume of the
rebel statutes and with important extracts from documents contained
in the rebel archives. With this evidence he demonstrated in ten
minutes' time, beyond question, that the rebel government had assumed
the payment of this class of claims, that it confiscated United States
money and applied it to that purpose, that the men so paid agreed
to refund to the rebel treasury any money subsequently given them
on this account by the United States, and that the joint resolution
was but an attempt to pay a second time contracts already paid and
also properly declared forfeited through treason. The scene attendant
upon this _expose_ was a dramatic one, and it resulted in the virtual
abandonment then of the measure by those who were responsible for it.
This result would not have been possible, had not the rebel archives
thus opportunely yielded up their secrets. Their possession by the
government is undoubtedly worth millions to the Treasury.

In 1871, the second term of Jacob M. Howard, as Senator from
Michigan, expired, and Thomas W. Ferry, then a member of the House of
Representatives, was chosen as his successor. With his new colleague
Mr. Chandler's relations were always close and cordial, and upon the
questions of reconstruction, equal rights, and the national supremacy
their accord was complete. Mr. Ferry rapidly attained distinction in
the upper branch of Congress, and was for several successive years the
President _pro tempore_ of the Senate. The death of Vice-President
Wilson in 1875 made him Acting Vice-President of the United States,
and he held that responsible position throughout the trying weeks of
the electoral dispute of 1876-'7, when his good sense, the perfect
discretion of his course, and the dignity and impartiality with which
he discharged duties of the gravest character amid vast and dangerous
excitement, both deserved and received universal praise. Mr. Ferry was
re-elected during this critical period, and, as Mr. Chandler's term as
Secretary of the Interior was then about to close, it was suggested
in some quarters that Michigan should send him back to the Senate in
Mr. Ferry's stead. The quality of Mr. Chandler's fidelity as a friend
and of his estimate of Mr. Ferry's public usefulness were shown in the
fact that, anxious as he avowedly was to become again a Senator, these
suggestions obtained from him only peremptory negatives, and his advice
and influence contributed to Mr. Ferry's unopposed re-election. Mr.
Howard died suddenly at Detroit from apoplexy shortly after the close
of his Senatorial service. As further illustrating the nature of the
friendship existing between him and his colleague from Michigan, and
the estimation in which he was held by the eminent men with whom he
came in contact, this private letter from Mr. Chandler to President
Grant, with an endorsement made thereon by the latter, is here given:

                                             WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 1870.

  MY DEAR SIR: Secretary Cox has done my colleague an unintentional
  but a serious injury.

  In 1869 the whole Michigan delegation united in recommending the
  Rev. W. H. Brockway, one of the most popular Methodist clergymen in
  the State, for Indian Agent.

  He was nominated and confirmed, but acquiesced in the transfer
  of Indian affairs to the military. Since the adjournment of
  Congress, my colleague made a personal request to the Secretary
  of the Interior, that the Rev. Mr. Brockway be commissioned as
  Indian Agent for Michigan. Instead of sending the commission, he
  has sent a man from New Jersey to attend to our Indian affairs.
  This has given offense to the most numerous and powerful religious
  denomination in the State and seriously injured my colleague. I ask
  for my colleague that the New Jersey commission may be immediately
  revoked, and Mr. Brockway may be at once commissioned....

  It is really important that this be done at once. Very
  respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.

  _To President U. S. Grant._


  Referred to the Secretary of the Interior.

  I think Mr. Brockway might with great propriety be assigned to the
  Indian agency in his own State, to which he has once been appointed
  and confirmed.

  He is a minister, and therefore the new rule adopted will not be
  violated by his appointment.

  I want, besides, to accommodate Senator Howard, whom I regard as an
  able supporter of the Republican party and of the Administration.

  Sept. 22, 1870.                                            U. S. GRANT.

Mr. Chandler was a member of one or two of the special Congressional
committees appointed to investigate those atrocious political murders
which made infamous the return of the disloyal classes to power in the
South. This general subject received no small share of his attention;
the facts which investigation disclosed deepened his conviction
of the essential barbarity of much that passes for civilization in
that section, and added to the inflexibility of his opposition to a
political system, which was responsible for the atrocious crimes of the
Ku-Klux-Klan, "the Mississippi plan," the White League, and the "rifle
clubs," and for the horrible massacres of Colfax and Coushatta, of
Hamburg and Ellenton.

Two of his speeches in the Senate in 1871 and 1872 attracted general
attention and were widely republished. One of them was delivered on
January 18, 1871, in reply to Mr. Casserly of California, who had
challenged a comparison between the records of the Republican and
Democratic parties. In the course of twenty minutes Mr. Chandler
rapidly sketched the services of the Republican party in defeating the
Democratic plot to surrender the territories to slavery, in crushing a
Democratic rebellion, in emancipating four million slaves, in building
a trans-continental railway to the Pacific coast, in inviting the
settlement of the Great West by a homestead law, in establishing the
national banking system, in maintaining the public credit against
Democratic attack, and in reconstructing the South on the basis of
freedom and loyalty. He closed as follows:

  These measures were carried, not with the Democratic party, but
  in spite of the Democratic party. Sir, we are not to be arraigned
  here and put on the defensive, certainly not by that old Democratic

  And now, Mr. President, they ask us to do what? To forgive the past
  and let by-gones be by-gones. You hear on the right hand and on the
  left, from every quarter, "Let by-gones be by-gones; let us forget
  the past and rub it out." Sir, we have no disposition to forget
  the past. We have a record of which we are proud. We have a record
  that has gone into history. There we propose to let it stand. We
  never propose to blot out that record. There are no thousand years
  in the world's history in which so much has been accomplished for
  human liberty and human progress as has been accomplished by this
  great Republican party in the short space of ten years. Blot out
  that record? Never, sir, never! It is a record that will go down
  in history through all times as the proudest ever made by any
  political party that ever existed on earth. But, sir, do gentlemen
  of the Democratic party want to blot out their record? I do not
  blame them for wanting to, for that record is a record of treason.
  It, too, has gone into history, and there it must stand through all
  ages. Sir, the young men of this country are looking at these two
  records, and they are making up their minds as to which they desire
  their names to go down to history upon; and I am happy to say that
  of the young men now coming upon the stage of action, nine out of
  every ten are joining this great Republican party. They desire that
  their record shall be associated with those who saved this great
  nation, and not with those who attempted its overthrow. The day
  is far distant when that old Democratic party that attempted to
  overthrow this government will again be entrusted with power by the
  people of this nation.... Mr. President, if this record of the two
  parties does not please my Democratic friends, I have only to say
  to them that they made it deliberately and they have got to stand
  by it.

On June 6, 1872, Mr. Chandler replied in the Senate to that part of
Mr. Sumner's elaborate attack upon General Grant in which he declared
that Edwin M. Stanton had said, in his last days, "General Grant cannot
govern this country." The excessive egotism, which marred Mr. Sumner's
character and which inspired that unfortunate speech, was always a
cause of impatience with Mr. Chandler, and this display of it aroused
his anger. In his reply, he challenged squarely the credibility of Mr.
Sumner's statement. He first read from Mr. Stanton's reported speeches,
to show that their enthusiastic and repeated commendation of General
Grant by name proved that Mr. Sumner's assertion that Mr. Stanton had
also said, "In my speeches I never introduced the name of General
Grant; I spoke for the Republican cause and the Republican party," was
exactly contrary to the fact. He then proceeded:

  Mr. President, I had occasion with Mr. Wade, formerly Senator from
  Ohio, as member of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, to see
  Mr. Stanton, I think once a day on an average, during the whole
  war, and I was in the habit of visiting him up to the time of his
  death, and never, under any circumstances, did he express in my
  presence any but the highest opinion of General Grant, both as to
  his military capacity and as to his civil capacity.

  Mr. President, on the Friday before the death of E. M. Stanton, I
  had occasion to visit him in company with two friends, members of
  the other House, one Hon. Judge Beaman, then a member for Michigan,
  the other Judge Conger, now a member from Michigan. We had that
  day a long interview of not less than an hour and a half, wherein
  Mr. Stanton expressed the highest opinion of President Grant, both
  as to his military and civil capacity. I awaited an interview with
  these parties before making this statement, and their recollection
  is the same as my own. I have likewise held two or three interviews
  with Senator Wade since then, and his recollection of the
  expressions of the late E. M. Stanton is equally strong as my own
  to-day. Mr. Stanton said, in the presence of two witnesses, "The
  country knows General Grant to be a great warrior; I know he will
  prove a great civilian." ...

  Mr. President, the relations between the President of the
  United States and the late Secretary Stanton were of remarkable
  kindliness. Never did I hear either express any but the highest
  esteem and regard for the other.... I think the last interview
  he ever had was the interview with me in the presence of these
  two living witnesses.... Surgeon-General Barnes was his attending
  physician at the hour of his death. According to his testimony,
  from the hour I last saw him up to the time of his death, there was
  no change, so far as can be known.

  In another part of this speech the President is arraigned as a
  great gift-taker. Sir, General Grant was a great taker. Few men
  have ever been as eminent as takers. He took Fort Donelson with
  some twenty or thirty thousand soldiers; and he took Shiloh, and
  took Vicksburg, and took the Wilderness, and took Murfreesboro'
  and Appomattox and all the rebel material of war. He, with his
  army, took the shackles from 4,000,000 slaves. And, sir, after he
  had taken the vitals out of the rebellion, he was urged by his
  friends to accept a small donation to take himself out of the
  hands of poverty, a thing that has been done by all nations and by
  all grateful peoples in all ages of the world. Sir, he is to be
  arraigned as a great gift-taker because he accepted the voluntary
  contributions of a grateful people!

  Why, sir, there were few men of capacity, few men of fitness to
  occupy positions under this government who did not subscribe,
  gratefully, anxiously subscribe, to that fund to relieve U. S.
  Grant from his poverty. And yet, he is to be arraigned here as a
  gift-taker, as though that was a crime!

  Mr. President, there are two classes of people in this world,
  and we see specimens of them both. We have great _o-ra-tors_ and
  great men of business. On this floor our _o-ra-tors_ have occupied
  the time of this session to the exclusion of business, and while
  these _o-ra-tors_ have been wasting the time of this body to the
  detriment of the business of the nation, willing to indulge in
  windy orations at the expense of the government, U. S. Grant,
  President of the United States, has been managing the affairs of
  this nation better than they were ever managed before. While your
  _o-ra-tors_ were here delivering windy words, he was paying the
  national debt faster than these _o-ra-tors_ could count it. While
  they were _o-ra-ting_, he was negotiating treaties and attending
  to the civil service of the nation. While they were _o-ra-ting_
  on this floor during the war, he was winning victories in the
  bloodiest part of the fight. And now, while they are _o-ra-ting_
  on this floor, he is endearing himself to the hearts of the
  whole people of this land as no other man ever did. Stanton was
  prophetic; he is not only great in war, but he is greater as a

The act of March 3, 1873, which raised the annual salaries of
Congressmen from $5,000 to $7,500, gave also to this increase a
retroactive effect and made it apply to the members of Congress who
passed the measure and whose official terms ended on that very day.
Public opinion did not approve of any aspect of this change, but it
condemned vehemently the voting by Congressmen to themselves of $5,000
each for services already rendered and in addition to liberal salaries
fixed at the time of their acceptance of office. So emphatic were the
manifestations of popular wrath at both this act and its methods,
that the next Congress promptly repealed "the salary grab," as it was
commonly called. Mr. Chandler's integrity and good sense kept him
from any participation in this obnoxious performance. He opposed the
increase of compensation earnestly in the Senate, voted against it
at all stages of the contest, and refused to accept his "back pay."
When the bill had been passed and the increased salary had been placed
to his credit on the Senate books, he went to the Treasury with his
colleague and they deposited the difference between the old and the new
rate to the credit of the government, writing the following letter to
the Secretary of the Treasury:

                                             WASHINGTON, March 28, 1873.

  SIR: Herewith find drafts on the Treasury, one of $3,906.80 payable
  to Z. Chandler, the other of $3,920, to T. W. Ferry, being avails
  of retroactive increase of salary passed during the expiring days
  of and for the Forty-second Congress, and this day placed in our
  hands by the Secretary of the Senate.

  Not willing to gain what we voted against, we request that the same
  be applied toward the cancellation of any of the six per cent.
  interest-bearing obligations of the nation. Lest such return be
  distorted into possible reflection upon the propriety of dissimilar
  disposition by others, you will oblige us much by giving no
  publicity to the matter. Very respectfully, yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER,
                                                            T. W. FERRY.

The amount refunded was the exact difference between the sums allowed
under the old and the increased rate. The new law gave an increase of
salary for the term, without mileage. The old law allowed $5,000 less
salary, but gave mileage in addition. Mr. Chandler and Mr. Ferry took
the amount due them under the old system, and returned the additional
sum which was allowed them under the new. The spirit of scrupulous
honesty which dictated this proceeding is shown in the last sentence
of the joint letter, asking that publicity might not be given to their
action. They took this step voluntarily and not under any constraint
from public opinion.

In the general elections of 1870 and 1872 Mr. Chandler was exceedingly
active, making the usual number of public addresses, and also
devoting much time to organization and to the general distribution of
political literature. The latter branch of party effort had become
the special province of the Republican Congressional Committee.
For more than twenty years there have been two distinct executive
organizations within the Republican party, independent of each other,
but always working in harmony, namely: The National Committee, and the
Congressional Committee. The latter is composed of a Representative
in Congress from each State, chosen by the Republican members of the
respective delegations. No man can serve upon this committee unless
he holds a seat in Congress, and States which have no Republican
Congressmen are unrepresented in its membership. Mr. Chandler and
James M. Edmunds were the founders of the Congressional Committee as
a practical and influential working body; their plans and efforts
first made it a power in American politics, and it remained under
their joint control until Mr. Chandler became chairman of the National
Committee. The special objects which it aimed to accomplish were the
securing of a uniform treatment of political topics by newspapers
and speakers throughout the country, and the circulation (under the
franking privilege, or otherwise) of instructive and timely documents.
During the reconstruction era it also devoted much attention to the
work of Republican organization in the South, where special efforts
were necessary to form into effective voting masses the emancipated
slaves, not yet freed from the blindness of bondage or familiar
with the responsibilities of citizenship. But the great aim of the
committee--all else that it did was subsidiary to that--was the
circulation of political literature. This end it sought to reach by
two methods: First, by the publication and mailing to individuals and
to local committees in all parts of the country of such Congressional
speeches as treated thoroughly and effectively any phase of the
current political situation; second, by furnishing the Republican
press, through the medium of weekly sheets of carefully prepared
matter, with accurate information as to the facts underlying existing
issues and with suggestions as to their best treatment before the
people. Obviously this work could be done to much better advantage
at Washington than elsewhere, for the capital city is the focus of
the thousand currents of political opinion and the depository of
the official statistics of the nation. Hence it was deemed wise
to establish a system of guidance from that point of the public
discussions of each national campaign, so that increased intelligence,
cohesion, and efficiency could be given to the general attack on
the enemy; this idea--which is, in brief, that the systematizing of
the political education of the people is an important element of
well-planned party warfare--James M. Edmunds always held tenaciously;
aided by Mr. Chandler's friendship, influence, means, and co-operation,
he proved its soundness most conclusively.

Early in his Senatorial service Mr. Chandler was made the chairman
of this committee, and Mr. Edmunds its secretary. The two men were
admirably matched. Mr. Edmunds was a natural planner, keen in his
intuitions, shrewd in observation, and a skillful judge of the bearing
and tendency of party and public policies. In determining what was the
most promising line of attack, where the weakest points of the enemy's
lines were to be found, wherein the strength of any position lay, or
what strategy would make victory the most certain and complete, he had
no superior. When his acute and experienced judgment was reinforced by
Mr. Chandler's vigor in execution, influence with public men, and large
wealth great results never failed to follow. These two men quickly made
the Congressional Committee one of the most powerful agencies of party
warfare known in American politics. In many campaigns its influence was
almost literally felt in every Northern township, and its labors were
not without some effect, more frequently greater than less, in unifying
and invigorating the contest in every Congressional district from
Maine to Texas and Florida to Oregon. Its work was done quietly, but
most thoroughly; its managers rather shunned than courted publicity;
and the people at large, who were informed and inspired by its labors,
knew nothing of its methods and activity, hardly the fact of its
existence. From 1866 to 1874 Mr. Chandler was very active in connection
with this committee, and never failed to provide the agencies and the
resources for the adequate carrying on of its work. When its treasury
grew empty his private check made good any deficiency, and repeatedly
his advances upon its account reached tens of thousands of dollars.
His confidence in Secretary Edmunds was implicit, and the latter's
mature recommendations never failed because of any lack of means. In
1870 the work of this committee was especially productive; its value
became much more clearly apparent then than had ever been the case
before, and Mr. Chandler repeatedly said to the President and other
Republican leaders, "Judge Edmunds is the Bismark of this campaign." In
1872 Mr. Edmunds first suggested the necessity of meeting the Greeley
movement by the thorough searching of the files of the New York
_Tribune_ and of Mr. Greeley's record, for the ample material therein
contained which would make impossible his support by the Democratic
masses. Mr. Chandler approved of this plan, and promised that the
money needed should be forthcoming. Before all the work was completed,
his advances had reached nearly $30,000. At times, in the course of
efforts of this character, Mr. Edmunds guided the pens of upward of
three hundred writers gathered under his general supervision, while
the results of their labors informed the editorial pages of thousands
of Republican newspapers, and thus reached millions of voting readers.
For some time, also, a monthly periodical named _The Republic_ was
issued, which preserved in durable form the most careful and elaborate
articles prepared under the committee's supervision. This work of the
political enlightenment of the people, clearly the most rational agency
of party warfare, has never been executed on this continent with the
thoroughness, intelligence and efficiency which marked the labors of
the Congressional Committee when Mr. Chandler was at its head and Mr.
Edmunds was its executive officer.

[Illustration: JAMES M. EDMUNDS.]

The man whose name is so closely coupled in these pages with that
of Mr. Chandler deserves the grateful and lasting remembrance of the
Republican party. James M. Edmunds was a natural politician of the
best type. Patriotic instincts and sincere convictions were interwoven
with his nature. The party whose tendencies satisfied those instincts,
and whose policies most nearly accorded with those convictions, he
served loyally and with rare capacity; more than this, he served it
unselfishly. He cared nothing for prominence, and never sought after
reputation. He made no speeches, he rarely shared in any public
demonstration, he held no conspicuous positions, he manifested no
personal ambition, but for twenty years he was the trusted counselor
of famous men at the capital, his influence was felt in national
legislation and party movements, and important events with which his
name never was and never will be connected received the impress of his
acute observation and sagacious judgment. Especially in Republican
political management was he a wise and strong "power behind the
throne." Mr. Edmunds was a native of Western New York, but emigrated
to Michigan in 1831. He was for many years a prominent business man
at Ypsilanti, Vassar and Detroit, in that State, and was always
politically active. The Whigs sent him repeatedly to the Legislature,
and made him their (unsuccessful) candidate for Governor in 1847. He
was chairman of the Republican State Central Committee from 1855 to
1861, and Controller of the city of Detroit for two of those years.
At the commencement of Mr. Lincoln's administration he removed to
Washington, and was there successively Commissioner of the General
Land Office, Postmaster of the Senate, and Postmaster of the city of
Washington. Personally he was a tall and spare man, exceedingly plain
in his manners and simple in his tastes, utterly without either the
liking for or faculty of display, retiring in disposition, firm of
purpose, of strict integrity, and exact in his dealings and habits.
Mr. Edmunds's remarkable strength as a politician consisted in his
experience, in his lack of any personal aspirations, in his skill
in controlling men and the accuracy of his judgment as to their
motives, and in an almost prophetic ability to reason out the probable
direction and effect of any given plan of action. He became a man
whom those charged with great responsibilities could profitably and
safely consult, and his well-considered and shrewd advice often had
decisive weight at the White House, on the floors of Congress, and
in the private councils of eminent men. Outside of the Congressional
Committee, he did much campaign work in directing organization and
suggesting plans. He was one of the founders of the Union League,
and directed its operations during the years of its great political
usefulness in the South. It may be said without exaggeration that no
single member of the Republican party ever rendered it services as
great and as slightly requited as were those of James M. Edmunds.

Mr. Chandler's close friendship with Mr. Edmunds covered a period of
nearly half a century, and included an implicit confidence in the man
himself and in his prudence and the sagacity of his judgment. The
comment made upon their intimacy by one who knew them both well was,
"Sometimes it seemed to me that no man could be as wise as Mr. Chandler
believed that Judge Edmunds was." They were in almost constant
consultation upon public questions, their co-operation was ever hearty,
and this friendship the Senator valued as a priceless possession. "In
death they were not divided;" the dispatch, which announced that Mr.
Chandler's busy life had ended so suddenly in Chicago, came to Mr.
Edmunds while infirm in health; it affected him powerfully, and his
spirit did not pass from under the shadow of this blow; within a few
weeks his own death followed.


[34] To a letter of confidence and congratulation, written to him
at the time of his last Senatorial election, by a committee of the
colored citizens of East Saginaw, Mich., Mr. Chandler replied (under
date of Feb. 20, 1879): "I hope to be able to assist in the grand but
unfinished work of securing equal political rights for every citizen of
this country, black as well as white, South as well as North."

[35] The value of this class of documents will further appear from two
quotations from the official "Digest of the Report of the Southern
Claims Commission upon the Disallowed Claims," only two being taken
where many might be. "Claim No. 193" was preferred before this
Commission by W. R. Alexander of Dickson, Ala., for $13,443, for cotton
and horses furnished to the Union army. Mr. Alexander produced evidence
to show, and swore himself, that he had been a consistent Union man.
The Digest (1 vol., p. 55) says: "Among the papers of the rebel
government found at Richmond is a letter, now in the War Department, a
copy of which Adjutant-General Townsend has furnished to us. It reads
as follows:

"'DICKSON, Ala., August 1, 1861.

"SIR: I have heard that the War Department was scarce of arms, and I
have taken it upon myself to look up all the old muskets I can find and
I now send them to you, and I hope they will kill many a Yankee. I have
had one musket fixed to my notion, which I send with the others for a
model. All here are delighted with our victory, both white and black.
Yours, respectfully,

                                                       WM. R. ALEXANDER.

"P. S. I send these guns, ten in number, to the Ordnance Department,
Richmond, Virginia.

                                                                W. R. A.

_"The Hon. L. P. Walker."_

"On October 11, 1872, the counsel for the claimant, John J. Key,
Esq., appeared before the Commissioners and requested that the claim
be withdrawn, admitting the disloyalty of the claimant. The claim is

       *       *       *       *       *

"Claim 135" was preferred by J. P. Levy of Wilmington, N. C., for
$10,000. After he had sworn to his own loyalty, he was called upon
to face some letters found in the rebel archives. The Commission say
(p. 33, 1 vol., Digest): "The original letters were furnished the
Commission by the War Department from the captured rebel archives, and
copies of several of them were filed with this report.... We have in
them the claimant at the outbreak of the war calling upon the rebel
government to punish the superintendent of his brother's plantation
for insulting the rebel flag; and, again, asking the rebel Congress
to pass a law granting him his brother's plantation on account of his
signal service to the rebel cause; and, again, offering a ship, to be
commanded by himself, for the rebel service; also, tendering for the
benefit of the rebel army, patent fuse train and soda baking-powders,
and boasting and complaining of the large amount due him from the rebel
government for supplies for the rebel army. And now this shameless
traitor, perjurer and swindler comes before us and swears, with brazen
effrontery, that the government of the United States owes him, as a
loyal adherent to the cause of the Union and the government throughout
the war of the rebellion, for supplies furnished the army, the sum of
$10,000. We reject this claim."



In 1873 the bubble of an irredeemable currency, inflated prices, and
wild speculation burst in the United States, and the era of universal
shrinkage, commercial collapse, and industrial stagnation began. The
financial condition of the government and the people at once became the
absorbing topic of public discussion, and for five years the questions
connected with the currency and the national credit were those which
most completely absorbed popular attention. Mr. Chandler's share in the
prolonged controversy over the financial problem was a conspicuous one;
he came into it equipped with clear ideas and a consistent record; he
contended for the causes of rational finance and public honesty without
wavering in the face of the strongest opposition, and without any
departure from sound doctrine; and he saw the courage and persistence
of those with whom he acted finally rewarded by the enlightenment of
the people, the restoration of a convertible currency, and the raising
of the credit of the United States to the highest standard. For obvious
reasons his record upon all the phases of "the financial question"
can be most satisfactorily treated in a single chapter. That record
will show that he began at a point to which many other public men
were brought only by years of education, and it well illustrates the
clearness of his conceptions of the principles underlying questions
connected with what may be called the practical departments of

Not the least of the difficulties, which at the outset confronted
the administration of Abraham Lincoln, was the fact that the public
treasury was empty and the national credit impaired. In October, 1860,
the government had contracted a five per cent. loan of $7,000,000 at a
small premium; four months later, a six per cent. loan had been sold
with difficulty at about ninety cents on the dollar. It was true,
by way of offset, that the country was in a generally prosperous
condition. The commercial wrecks of 1857 had disappeared, crops were
abundant, and general business had become again remunerative. This was
an element of national strength, but it was not a quickly available
resource. War meant large immediate expenditure, for which the means
must be promptly provided. There was no time to create and organize
upon an extensive scale the machinery of direct taxation, and some
doubts were then felt as to whether the people would not grow restive
under any general imposition of new burdens. The entire stock of coin
in the North was estimated at but about $121,000,000, while the paper
money in existence was exclusively composed of the notes of state
banks organized under diverse and often insecure systems, and much
of it circulated only at a discount. This condition of the currency
created the fear that the rapid negotiation of large government loans
could not be accomplished without the serious derangement of the money
market; the withdrawal of considerable sums from circulation, even
temporarily, business men believed would be impossible without great
injury to domestic enterprise and commerce. All these circumstances
forced the government (which found itself facing absolutely without
preparation organized rebellion) to resort at once to the issue of a
national paper currency in the form of non-interest-bearing treasury
notes of small denominations. Congress, at its extra session in July,
1861, passed the necessary act for this purpose, and $50,000,000 of
these notes ($10,000,000 more were subsequently authorized) were placed
in circulation; originally they were made redeemable in coin on demand
at any United States sub-treasury, and thus violated none of the
established principles of sound finance. This expedient facilitated
the negotiation of loans, and provided "the sinews of war" for 1861.
But, when Congress met in December of that year, it had become plain
that the struggle would be of indefinite duration, and that past
expenditures would be greatly exceeded in the months to come. To add to
the embarrassments of the situation, at about this time the banks of
the North suspended specie payments, and the Treasury Department was
compelled as a matter of self-protection to also stop redeeming in coin
its own notes then outstanding. It was as a means of escape from this
emergency, that the first issue of greenbacks was authorized (by the
act of Feb. 25, 1862). These notes were not redeemable on demand, but
to secure their free circulation they were made a "legal tender" for
all purposes except the payment of duties and of the interest on the
public debt. The abandonment of the self-operating method of redemption
and the resort to the compulsion of the "legal tender" enactment, as
a means of keeping these notes in circulation, constituted a step
which the Thirty-seventh Congress took with extreme reluctance. A
small minority of its members resisted this measure to the last, but
what seemed to be the overshadowing necessities of the situation and
the earnest appeals of Secretary Chase finally forced the passage of
the law. Mr. Chandler was one of those who, without approving of the
principle of this legislation, still voted for it, on the ground that
it was essential to the public safety at that moment and justified
by the urgency of the situation. But he regarded it as a temporary
expedient, a mere plan for an emergency, and not as a permanent policy.
The first act authorized the issue of $150,000,000 of "greenbacks" and
directed the retiring of the $60,000,000 of treasury notes previously
paid out; this $150,000,000 Mr. Chandler believed it was possible to
so control and use as to avoid the evils inseparable from inflation.
But the proposition to double the amount of "greenbacks," which came
in less than half a year from the Treasury officials, he strenuously
opposed. On June 17, 1862, he offered this resolution in the Senate:

  _Be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives_, That
  the amount of "legal tender" treasury notes authorized by law shall
  never be increased.

On the following day he called up this resolution, and said:

  The effect of the recommendation (to issue $300,000,000 of "legal
  tender" notes) has been most disastrous. The mere recommendation,
  without any action of Congress on the subject, has created such a
  panic, and has so convinced the moneyed centers of the world that
  we are to be flooded with this paper, that gold has risen in price
  from two and three-quarters to seven per cent. premium. National
  credit is precisely like individual credit. It is based, first,
  on the ability to pay; and, second, upon the high and honorable
  principle which would induce the payment of a liability. When the
  proposition to issue treasury notes was first made, it was received
  with great apprehension by Congress and by the nation.... There
  was at that time a vacuum for $50,000,000 that must be filled from
  some source.... I then believed that $100,000,000 was requisite,
  and that $100,000,000 was enough. I believe so now. When you issue
  $100,000,000 of currency you must either find a vacuum or you must
  create one for it. A hundred millions in addition to the existing
  circulation would at any time create great disturbance in the
  financial condition of this country.... The moment you authorize
  the issue of $300,000,000 your coin will rise to ten or twelve
  per cent., and your notes will full to 90 or 85. The result will
  be that the government will be paying just so much more for every
  article it purchases than it would if you kept your circulating
  notes at or about the value of coin.

  Again, the moment you reduce the value of these notes, even
  to the point at which they now stand, even to seven per cent.
  discount, you drive out of circulation the coin of the country.
  The temptation is too strong to be resisted to use something
  else besides coin for change and for small circulation. Are we
  to be reduced to a shin-plaster circulation, as is the case
  to-day all through the South? That will be the result if you
  force upon the country an amount of circulating notes beyond its
  requirements.... I consider it a duty we owe to the country, a
  duty we owe to ourselves, to proclaim that under no circumstances
  shall a currency, irredeemable in coin, beyond the present issue of
  $150,000,000, be thrust upon the money markets of the country.

But the pressure toward a reckless currency expansion was irresistible,
and the pending bill passed. Mr. Chandler's prophecies were promptly
verified, for the gold premium rose and the "shin-plaster currency"
made its appearance with but little delay. Moreover, these issues only
stimulated the thirst they were intended to quench, and the general
inflation of prices soon again produced an apparent scarcity of
currency. Early in 1863 a demand came from Mr. Chase for authority to
increase the "greenback" circulation to $400,000,000. Congress granted
this application, but Mr. Chandler opposed it, saying in the Senate:

  When the first proposition was made to issue $150,000,000 of
  treasury notes, I favored it; but when the proposition was made to
  increase that to $300,000,000, I opposed it.... I prophesied what
  the result of thus thrusting $300,000,000 of irredeemable paper
  upon an already overstocked market would be. I said it would carry
  up coin to an unlimited extent. The result has proved that my
  predictions were true. Now it is proposed to issue $400,000,000;
  we propose to thrust them upon an already over-supplied market....
  It is our duty to protect the people, so far as in our power, from
  this great depreciation in the specie value of the circulating
  medium, and this we can only do by decreasing its volume.

The general positions which he stated thus early Mr. Chandler
firmly held throughout every stage of the subsequent contest over
the "currency question." He believed that irredeemable paper money,
although issued by the government itself and made a "legal tender" by
supreme authority, was an unmixed evil; that only the most imminent
peril could justify an even temporary resort to its use; that it ought
never to be employed except within narrow limits; that any excessive
issues, if made, should be promptly called in; that it should be made
redeemable on demand in coin, "the money of the world," at the earliest
possible moment; and that ultimately it should be wholly withdrawn
from circulation by the issuing power. Accordingly, he opposed the
propositions to still further increase (to $450,000,000) the issue
of "greenbacks," supported the principle (while objecting to some
of the details) of the act of April 12, 1866, ordering their steady
contraction, and was opposed to the act of Feb. 4, 1868, stopping
such contraction. The reduction in the volume of the "greenbacks" he
believed to be an indispensable preliminary to the resumption of specie
payments, saying in the Senate: "The government will never resume so
long as it has $400,000,000 of outstanding demand notes." As he opposed
during the war excessive issues of the "greenbacks," so after it closed
he steadily favored the reduction of their volume with the view to the
early restoration of their convertibility and their final redemption
and canceling. The hesitating and halting policy, which perpetuated all
the unwholesome influences of inflation and added to the severity of
the inevitable collapse, was followed against his protest and in the
face of predictions, which were inspired by his intimate knowledge of
natural commercial laws, and were verified by the event.

In the constant discussions of financial measures during the war, Mr.
Chandler did not earnestly oppose the frequent resort to the issue of
irredeemable paper without offering as a substitute policies which he
believed would yield relief, equally adequate, much less costly, and
far less unwholesome in tendency. He proposed to provide the means for
meeting the enormous expenditures required of the government by more
thorough direct taxation and by larger loans; and he believed that
increased imposts, by strengthening the credit of the government, would
greatly improve its standing as a borrower in the money markets of
the world. Briefly, the policy which he favored, in lieu of the mass
of temporary expedients which were adopted, was this: (1.) Declare
that the issue of "legal tender" treasury notes should not exceed
$150,000,000, and thus stop their depreciation by ending all fear
of their inflation. (2.) Tax freely, and by this means convince the
world that the United States could and would redeem its treasury notes
and pay the interest and principal of its bonds. (3.) Use the credit
thus created to borrow on the most advantageous terms, and avoid all
measures that might in any way tend to impair the negotiable value of,
or the general confidence in, the national securities. He developed
these general ideas repeatedly in his speeches and votes, while
questions relating to them were before Congress. On May 30, 1862, he
said in the Senate:

  We voted at an early day in the session that we would raise a tax
  of $150,000,000 from all sources.... What was the result of that
  vote? On the very day that that solemn pledge was given to the
  country and the world ... the six per cent. bonds of the United
  States stood at 90 cents on the dollar in the city of New York.
  To-day with an expenditure of more than a million dollars a day,
  ... under this simple pledge in advance, of what you would do, your
  bonds have gone up from 90 cents to above par, and are now sought
  for, not only at home but abroad. If you violate that solemn pledge
  given to your country and to the world, what will be the effect on
  your securities? Let Congress violate that pledge, and you will
  see your bonds not only not worth 104½ but you will see them below
  85.... The world abroad does not believe your simple asseveration
  that you would impose a tax, but the people of this Union do and
  consequently they themselves have carried your bonds from 90 to
  104½. But the world does not take them. Impose your tax; carry out
  your solemn pledges, and you will see your bonds eagerly sought
  for in the moneyed centers of the world.... I hope we shall not
  only carry out this pledge which we have given, but I care not if
  we exceed it.... Under this pledge ... you are now able to borrow
  money at six per cent. instead of seven and three-tenths, and you
  are to-day reaping the reward of your pledge of good faith.

All just tax measures Mr. Chandler vigorously supported, as furnishing
the solid basis of national credit and public integrity, and time
established the ability and the willingness of the people to sustain
this war burden. Had the heavy taxation been accompanied by an
adherence to sound principles in the management of the currency and
a resort to borrowing when needed, it would have reduced the cost of
conquering the rebellion by at least $1,000,000,000, probably by nearly

The maintenance of the public credit at a high standard was exceedingly
important during the war, but it was of no less moment after the
collapse of the rebellion, and is as great to-day as it has ever been.
On no public question was Mr. Chandler more vigilant and outspoken
than on this. Any attack on the integrity of the national promise
represented by the bonds of the United States he denounced vigorously,
whether it took on the form of the taxation of these securities,
or of propositions to pay them in depreciated currency, or of bald
repudiation. On May 20, 1862, he said, upon the proposition to tax the

  I believe it to be for the best interest of the government--not
  for the benefit of moneyed men, not for the benefit of moneyed
  institutions, but for the benefit of this government--to proclaim
  in advance that we will never tax these bonds. I believe we
  shall receive the _quid pro quo_ now, to-day, or whenever we
  negotiate. It is for our interest, not for the interest of moneyed
  institutions, to offer these bonds. Here is the best security in
  the world, and we proclaim to the world, if you take these bonds
  they shall never be taxed. I believe we shall realize more to-day,
  or to-morrow, or this year, or next year, for these bonds by that
  course, than if we were to impose a tax of one and a-half, or
  three, or five, or any other per cent. These bonds are negotiable.
  We are the negotiators. They are not in the hands of third parties.
  We are to borrow for our daily wants, ... and I believe it to be
  for the interest of the government to declare in advance that there
  shall never be a tax of any sort, kind or description upon these
  bonds which we are now offering to the world in such enormous

Mr. Chandler said, in 1868, in a public address at Battle Creek, Mich.,
(on August 24):

  The national debt is a sacred obligation upon this government,
  and it is to be paid, every dollar of it. But it is a Democratic
  debt, every dollar. If anybody should talk of repudiation it should
  be the Republican party, who had no instrumentality in creating
  it. But did you ever hear a Republican talk of repudiating it? It
  is a large debt. It is the price we pay for government. Is the
  government worth the cost? If it is, then the debt is not only an
  honest debt, but it has been worthily contracted. The Democrats
  propose to pay this debt in greenbacks, and they propose to pay the
  greenbacks by issuing more greenbacks. What do we gain by that?
  Issue $2,500,000,000 more greenbacks and they would not be worth
  the paper they are printed on, because the supply would flood the
  country and be greater than the demand.... It is a measure of
  fraudulent repudiation. In five or ten years the country might
  recover financially, but we would never wipe out the national
  disgrace that would follow that repudiation. It means the absolute
  annihilation of all values. These extra issues would be utterly

Mr. Chandler accordingly voted for the act of March 18, 1869, which
formally declared that the United States would redeem its "greenbacks"
and pay the interest and principal of its long term bonds in coin, and
which was simply a new pledge that the government would do what it was
already honorably bound to do both by fair construction of its own
legislation and by the explicit and repeated promises of its agents.
The full maintenance of the public faith, both as a matter of honor
and of wise policy, he always upheld, and saw his arguments sustained
and his prophecies made good in the steady improvement of the nation's
credit and the refunding of its debt at greatly reduced rates of

Of the national banking system Mr. Chandler was an original supporter.
He regarded it as certain to become a lasting feature of the fiscal
system of the United States, and as destined to ultimately furnish
the paper money of the Union. The uniformity of its circulation, the
security afforded to bill-holders, and the excellent results attending
its method of governmental supervision, he considered as unanswerable
arguments in favor of its permanent maintenance. It was his firm
opinion that ultimately these banks would furnish all the national
currency, and that their notes would supplant the "greenbacks." If
national banking should be kept free, and redemption in coin required
by law, he believed that the result would be a thoroughly-secured and
readily-convertible paper currency, whose volume would be controlled
by commercial demand and not by legislative caprice or political
agitation, and which would lubricate and not obstruct the machinery of

When the national bank bill first made its appearance in Congress,
Mr. Chandler (in February, 1863) favored it as a measure of relief
offering a quick market for $300,000,000 of government bonds, and as
sure to supply "a better currency than the local banks now furnish."
Holding the views he did, he supported the measures which promised to
substitute bank notes for "greenbacks," although he opposed those which
contemplated any expansion of the aggregate volume of both issues. For
instance, in 1870, when the inflation element in Congress introduced a
bill to add $52,000,000 to the national bank circulation (banking was
not then free, it not being deemed prudent to leave the issue unlimited
while all the paper money was irredeemable), he offered on January 31
an amendment to make the sum $100,000,000 and to withdraw "greenbacks"
to an amount equal to the bank notes issued under this provision. He

  The simple effect of my proposition, if adopted, will be to keep
  the circulation to a dollar where it is. If no new banks are
  started, no greenbacks are withdrawn, and if banks are started
  anywhere, then an amount of greenbacks must be withdrawn equal to
  the amount of national bank bills put in circulation. Should the
  whole $100,000,000 be taken we will be just $100,000,000 nearer to
  specie payments than we are to-day, ... and in the meantime the
  amount of national currency will not be changed in the slightest

  MR. SUMNER: There is salvation in that.

  MR. CHANDLER: Of course there is salvation in it; that is why I
  offer it.

All proposals made at the time to increase the aggregate paper
circulation he resisted, saying:

  That is a step in the wrong direction.... If you let it go out
  that this is to be the policy of Congress, you will see gold go
  up immediately, ... because it will show that the Congress of the
  United States is in favor of expansion instead of a reduction of
  the currency.

After the panic of 1873, when there was such a universal clamor for
further inflation, and scores of propositions were introduced to add
many millions to the existing volume of "greenbacks" and of bank notes,
Mr. Chandler again insisted at all proper opportunities that resumption
was the most essential step toward financial soundness, and that the
substitution of bank notes for "greenbacks" would aid greatly both
in reaching and in maintaining specie payment. On Feb. 18, 1874, he
offered an amendment to a pending bill, directing "the Secretary of
the Treasury to retire and destroy one dollar in 'legal tender' notes
for each and every dollar of additional issue of bank notes," and spoke
upon this proposition at length. He did not urge it as a complete
remedy for the existing situation (contraction and resumption would
alone furnish that), but he said:

  This is a step in the right direction. In 1865 I advocated upon
  this floor the substitution of bank notes for greenbacks as a step
  toward the resumption of specie payments, and a rapid step toward
  that resumption. I am now simply advocating what I advocated then.

Mr. Chandler's wishes on this subject were not gratified at that time
nor during his life, but before his death he saw the demand that the
Treasury should cease to be a bank of issue approved by the soundest
financial sentiment of the country. His belief, that the paper money
of the Union should be furnished by commercial institutions operating
under properly regulated governmental supervision, that is, by the
national banking system perfected and enlarged, has been long held by
the ablest and clearest students of monetary problems in the United
States; it is to-day constantly growing in popular strength, and the
result it aims at will form part of any durable settlement of "the
currency question."

In 1873 the vacillating and halting financial policy of the
nation--which had tried and abandoned contraction, and while looking
toward the resumption of specie payments had, in fact, retreated
from it--bore fruit in speculative collapses, followed by a panic in
business circles and widespread commercial disaster. Congress met
amid the crumbling of unsound enterprise, and was called upon to meet
a terrified demand for a renewed inflation of the already excessive
volume of irredeemable paper. To cure the fever, men demanded more
miasma. To repair the ruin, which all history proved to be the natural
result of an oversupply of currency, it was proposed to still further
increase that supply. Measures to this end were introduced at once,
and pushed with great vehemence. They were sustained by a misled but
powerful public sentiment, which was especially strong in the West
and influenced the great mass of that section's representatives at
Washington. Mr. Chandler never served his country better than he did in
that hour. Unmoved by the clamor about him, and refusing to listen to
the cries of even his own people when they demanded false leadership,
he firmly resisted every measure of inflation and every suggestion
that added embarrassments to the business of the future, or increased
the difficulties of preserving the public faith. The pressure in favor
of the inflation bill which President Grant vetoed was unusually
strong. The Western Congressmen were almost a unit for its passage,
but no solicitations, no force of numbers, prevented Mr. Chandler from
opposing and denouncing it. His speech in opposition to this bill (on
Jan. 20, 1874) commenced with one of his terse sentences, which went
straight to the marrow of the situation, and furnished a motto for the
cause he championed. It was, "We need one thing besides more money,
and that is better money." This phrase furnished the text for many
addresses and editorials, and stood upon the title-page of the weekly
circular issued by the friends of a sound currency in Boston during the
controversy which preceded the passage of the Resumption act of 1875.
In the same speech Mr. Chandler said:

  To insure prosperity we ought to have something permanent,
  something substantial. Then the business of the country will
  conform itself to the facts and regulate itself accordingly. This
  panic (of 1873) was exceptional, as indeed all panics are. A panic
  among men is precisely like a panic among animals. I once saw
  2,000 horses stampede, and they were just as the same number of
  thousands of men would be in a panic. It is the feeling of animal
  fear, and one encourages the other, and so it goes on until it
  becomes a perfect insane rush for something, nobody knows what.
  Prior to this late panic, as is well known, many of our capitalists
  had over-invested in wild railroad schemes; they had undertaken to
  do impossible things; when the panic struck them it ought not to
  have had the least effect outside of Wall street and operators in
  railroad stocks. But the panic swept like a tornado all over the
  land, affected values everywhere, values of all kinds. Whoever had
  money in bank sought to draw it out and hide it away. The panic
  was universal, and yet this nation was never more prosperous than
  it was the day before the panic struck. And to-day there is as
  much money in the Union as there was then. Every dollar that was
  here then is here now. Besides, the enormous borrowers, the men
  who would pay any price for money--one-half per cent. a day, one
  per cent. a day, or any other given price--have failed and gone
  out of the market. And now the money is seeking the legitimate
  channels of commerce for interest and use.... The best time for the
  resumption of specie payment that has occurred since the suspension
  was in 1865, at the close of the war, when gold had fallen from
  over 200 to 122. In a few days values had shrunk, and the people
  of the nation were comparatively out of debt, and were ready then
  for a resumption of specie payments, but the government was not.
  The government owed more than $1,000,000,000, that was maturing
  daily in the shape of compound interest notes, seven-thirties and
  other obligations that must be funded or disposed of. Hence the
  government was not prepared for specie payments at that time,
  although the people were.... From that day to this we have been
  drifting and floating further and further away every hour from the
  true path--the resumption of specie payments. I have advocated
  from the first the earliest possible payment in coin. I believe
  there is no other standard of value that will stand the test, and
  I believe the time has arrived, or very nearly arrived, for coming
  to it. I have not the same timidity in fixing a date that some of
  my friends on this floor have. I believe that if we were to resolve
  to-day that we would resume the payment of our greenbacks in coin
  on the 1st day of January, 1875, and authorize the Secretary of
  the Treasury to borrow $100,000,000 in coin to be used in the
  redemption of the greenbacks, and sell no more gold until the 1st
  of January, 1875, on that day we would have $200,000,000 of coin
  in the Treasury for the redemption of the greenbacks. I am not
  particular as to date. I merely suggest the 1st of January, 1875.
  But I would accept an earlier date than that if it were deemed more
  advisable, but certainly I would not extend it more than six months

  It is no part of the business of this government to issue an
  irredeemable currency. We cannot afford to place ourselves beside
  the worn-out governments of Europe--we cannot afford to place
  ourselves on a par with Hayti and Mexico. We are too rich a people
  to do it; and it is a disgrace to us as a nation that we have
  allowed it to continue one single hour beyond the hour when it was
  in our power to remedy the wrong.

  The proposition to increase our paper currency is a step in the
  wrong direction, and I, for one, am utterly opposed to taking
  even one step in the wrong direction when I know what the right
  direction is.

As part of the same general discussion, Mr. Chandler made a carefully
prepared financial speech in the Senate on Feb. 18, 1874, in which
he first graphically sketched the history of "wild-cat banking" in
Michigan, and then said:

  After the failure of these banks the cry was still, "More money;
  and we must have more money; the country is suffering for more
  money." The cry was responded to, and more money was furnished.
  The Treasury of the State of Michigan, already owing $5,000,000,
  undertook to furnish more money, and the State issued treasury
  notes _ad libitum_, and the "more money" men got more money until
  the value of the state treasury notes, which have been paid to the
  last dollar at par, ran down to thirty-seventy cents on the dollar;
  and almost every city in the State, including the city of Detroit,
  responded to the cry of "more money," and issued shin-plasters;
  and individuals, realizing that "more money" was needed, issued
  shin-plasters. So the State of Michigan was flooded with more money.

  Well, sir, you can see at a glance that the State of Michigan
  needed more money. We had as a people been speculating almost to a
  man. It was not confined to the merchant, the banker, the man of
  wealth; but the mechanic, the farmer, the laborer, every man who
  could buy a piece of property of any sort, kind, or description,
  bought it, ran in debt, laid out a town, sold the lots, gave a
  mortgage, and then wanted "more money" to pay that mortgage.

  When the collapse came it was absolute; there was no mistake about
  it; the collapse was perfect. Then the people of Michigan had
  enough of "more money;" and when our constitutional convention
  met, as it did a few years later, they put into the constitution a
  clause prohibiting the Legislature forever from chartering a bank
  or affording the means of furnishing "more money;" and the people
  acquiesced in it. They had enough of the "more money" cry; and for
  twenty-five years there was no more cry in the State of Michigan
  for irredeemable money.... The losses to which I have referred did
  not fall upon the moneyed men of the State of Michigan, the men
  who were in sound condition. They fell upon the laboring man, the
  farmer, and the mechanic. They fell upon the men who could least
  afford to submit to the loss. So it is now. Why, sir, our values
  are fixed by a foreign market, and in coin. There is not a bushel
  of corn or a bushel of wheat raised in Indiana, or Illinois, or
  Michigan, the value of which is not fixed by the foreign value
  in coin of that particular article. When you enhance the cost of
  production by an inferior currency you put that loss upon the
  producer, and the loss falls not upon the wealthy man, but upon the
  laborer and producer. Money will take care of itself all over the
  world. If it is not safe in this country, it will find a country
  where it is safe, and it will go to that country, no matter where
  that may be. Hence, capital requires no protection whatever from
  this body; money will take care of itself; but the poor man, the
  laboring man, the man who submits to all the losses from this
  depreciated currency, is the man who suffers all the pain and all
  the injury that are inflicted by this false legislation....

  Now, sir, we come to the crash of 1873. On the 15th day of
  September, 1873, this nation was in a more prosperous condition
  than perhaps it had been for the last twenty-five years. Every
  branch of industry was prosperous, every interest of the people
  was prosperous; but in a day, at the drop of the ball at twelve
  o'clock on the 16th of September, the panic struck. What produced
  this tremendous panic and crash in this great and prosperous
  country? It was over-speculating in railroad securities. It was by
  men undertaking to do what it was utterly impossible for them to
  do, to wit, for individuals to float untold millions by their own
  credit; and when the people became alarmed for fear the crash would
  come, the crash came, and there was no salvation from it. But, sir,
  on that very self-same day the nation was more prosperous than it
  had been for the last twenty years in all its interests--business,
  banking and every other. The crash ought not to have extended one
  yard beyond Wall street and the few producers of railroad iron who
  were manufacturing for these defunct railroads. But, sir, the panic
  was so great that it spread until it became universal, and values
  sank until there seemed to be no bottom, and everybody was affected
  throughout the length and breadth of this broad land.

  But, Mr. President, that panic was of short duration. Many failures
  took place, and particularly among stock and railroad operators;
  but the main business of the country still went on with a few
  notable exceptions. Some manufacturers stopped for the want of
  money; others stopped for the want of credit. The men that had
  been issuing their paper without intending to pay it, issuing
  millions of dollars of paper which they knew they could not meet
  at maturity, trusting in luck to meet their obligations--those
  men cannot borrow money; their lines are full everywhere; nobody
  will loan them money; but, sir, upon undoubted security money is
  to-day cheaper than it has been at any time for the last twenty
  years. These great borrowers, without the expectation of paying at
  maturity, are to-day all out of the market. No man will loan money
  to a person who does not pay at maturity. Every man that desires to
  borrow money for legitimate business can borrow it to-day cheaper
  than he could borrow it at any time in the last twenty years. Sir,
  you may legislate for this class who have over-speculated, you may
  legislate for the benefit of the men who have built factories,
  built steamboats, built mills, bought mills, bought mines, bought
  everything for sale, and given their paper knowing they could not
  meet it unless they could borrow the money over again; you may
  legislate them $100,000,000 or $1,000,000,000, and you will not
  help them in the slightest degree....

  Now, Mr. President, I will ask the attention of the Senate while
  I show the effect upon the purchasing value of money of issuing
  your greenback circulation from the day it was first issued to the
  present time. In 1862 we commenced the issue of greenbacks. In
  January, 1862, the premium on gold was 2.5 per cent.; in February
  it was 3.5; in March, 1.8; in April, 1.5; in May, 1.3; in June,
  6.5; in July, 15.5; in August, 14.5; in September, 18.5; in
  October, 28.5, in November, 31.1; in December, 32.3. It will be
  remembered that the then circulating medium (which was at that time
  state bank notes) amounted to about $200,000,000. This circulation
  was increased during the year 1862 by the addition of $147,000,000
  in greenbacks, and that increase of circulation carried the value
  of gold from 102.5 on the 1st of January to 132.3 on the 31st day
  of December following.

  In 1863 the necessities of the government compelled us to increase
  the greenback circulation to a yet larger extent. We issued during
  that year $263,500,000 additional, carrying up our greenback
  circulation to $411,200,000, in addition, of course, to our bank
  circulation, whatever it may have been. During the month of January
  of that year the premium on gold was 45.1 per cent.; during
  February, 60.5; March, 54.5; April, 51.5; May, 48.9; June, 44.5;
  July, 30.6; August, 25.8; September, 34.2; October, 47.7; November,
  48; December, 51.1. In other words, the average rate of premium
  upon gold during that whole year was 45.2 per cent. I hold in my
  hand a paper showing the cash value of this emission for 1863. The
  emission of greenbacks at that time was $411,200,000. The average
  premium on gold was 45.2 per cent. The actual cash purchasing value
  of that $411,000,000, during the year 1863, was $283,195,000, and
  that was the whole purchasing value of that money during that year.

  Then we come to the next year, 1864. That year, we increased our
  circulating medium by the addition of $237,900,000, making the
  whole amount $649,100,000. In 1864 the price of gold was, in
  January, 155.5; February, 158.6; March, 162.6; April, 172.7; May,
  176.3; June, 219.7; July, 258.1, or less than 40 cents on the
  dollar in coin for your greenbacks after you had carried the amount
  up to $649,000,000. In August the price was 254.1; in September,
  222.5; in October, 207.2; in November, 233.5; in December, 227.5.
  There is not a man here who does not remember, nor is there a
  farmer or mechanic throughout the length and breadth of the land
  who does not remember, that he then paid 60 cents for cotton goods
  that he had been in the habit of buying for 12½ cents, and that he
  paid for everything else in the same ratio. The merchant took care
  that he met with no loss; but the laboring man, the farmer, the man
  of muscle, was the man who submitted to this great loss, while the
  merchant and while every man with money took care of himself.

  During that year the average price of gold was 203.3 per cent., or
  your money was a fraction less than 48½ cents on the dollar during
  the whole year. You had out that year $649,100,000, and the value
  of gold was 203.3, and the purchasing value of your $649,100,000
  was $319,281,000, and that was the whole of it.

  In 1865 you again increased the volume of your circulating medium
  by the amount of $49,800,000; making the whole amount of your
  circulation $698,900,000. During the month of January, 1865, the
  price of gold was 216.2; during February, 205.5; in March, 173.8;
  in April, 148.5; and after that it stood at 135.6, 140.1, 142.1,
  143.5, 143.9, 145.5, 147, 146.2. The average of the year 1865 was
  157.3; and what was the purchasing value of your greenbacks that
  year? Every man here will remark that that year we were disposing
  of our bonds at the rate of hundreds of millions of dollars a
  month; money was passing through the Treasury almost without limit.
  We had $1,000,000,000 that must be negotiated, and negotiated at
  once--seven-thirties and compound-interest notes and other floating
  liabilities that must be funded; and during that year the war had
  closed, and while we were negotiating at this enormous rate, the
  price of gold fell to 153.3, and during that year the purchasing
  value of our circulation attained a higher rate than during any
  other year. That year, although our circulation of greenbacks was
  $698,900,000, and the premium on gold 57.3, the actual purchasing
  value of that $698,900,000 was $444,310,000.

  In 1866 we retired $90,000,000, leaving $608,900,000, and the
  average premium on gold that year was 40.9 per cent. The purchasing
  value of the $608,900,000, with the premium on gold at 40.9, was

  The next year, 1867, we retired $72,300,000, and premium on
  gold fell to 38.2. So we went on reducing until we got down to
  $400,000,000, and then we struck 14.9, 11.7, 12.4 and 14.7 as the
  premium on gold. There the matter has stood, and I have here from
  year to year, the purchasing value for each year....

  Mr. President, what we want is purchasing value, because the
  intrinsic value is measured by the purchasing value. There is
  not a bushel of wheat that goes from your State or from mine the
  purchasing value of which is not fixed by the gold value on the
  other side of the Atlantic. We are shipping millions and tens of
  millions and hundreds of millions of our agricultural products
  every year, and the value of these products is fixed in gold on the
  other side of the Atlantic; and yet by this increase of circulation
  we enhance the value of everything that the producer raises, but
  when the product comes to the market its value must be fixed by its
  price in gold across the Atlantic....

  Mr. President, I know of no way to substitute the Treasury of the
  United States for the banking experience of the last ten centuries.
  We have the experience of the past, we have the experience of our
  own nation, we have the experience of the world. Now, do we propose
  to throw aside this experience, and to launch our boat upon a wild
  and uncertain sea, an ocean of expansion and no payments?

  Sir, there are very few persons within the range of my acquaintance
  who desire expansion of an irredeemable currency. Certainly the
  people of Michigan have had abundance of experience of that kind.
  But wherever you go you will find two classes of men who are making
  a great noise about "more money." One is the speculator, the
  impecunious speculator, who has, perhaps, bought real estate and
  given a mortgage, and thinks that his only chance is to reduce the
  value of your currency until it falls so low that the people would
  rather take his land than hold your money; and the other is the man
  who has issued his paper without intending to pay when it matures,
  and who can borrow no more money upon any terms until he pays what
  he already owes.

On the 14th of January, 1875, the act for the resumption of specie
payments became a law. Mr. Chandler was a member of the Senate when
this bill passed. He had but one objection to it; the time fixed
for resumption was unnecessarily remote. Neither present exigency
nor needed preparation required the delay, and he believed it to be
opposed alike to economy, patriotism, and public honor. But it was
the best that could be secured; insistence upon an earlier date would
have divided the friends of resumption, prevented the passage of any
bill at that time, and postponed the day of specie payments. For these
reasons Mr. Chandler favored the measure, and a few weeks later,
when he retired from the Senate, it was with the consciousness that
he had only voted for an irredeemable and inconvertible currency to
meet the imperious exigencies of civil war, that he had opposed its
undue expansion, that he had sustained every measure of contraction
calculated to lessen the difficulties of the return to a sound basis,
and that he finally had crowned his Senatorial career by support
of a measure which insured the return of the government to the
constitutional standard of values.



Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-four was a year of unusual political
disaster. The prevalent commercial depression both naturally and
seriously injured the party in power, and this and other causes
combined to produce a general relaxation of Republican vigor, which
bore its inevitable fruit in a series of damaging reverses in the fall
elections throughout the Union. The contest in Michigan was complicated
by an organized movement on the part of the opponents of Prohibition
to secure a repeal of that State's stringent law against the liquor
traffic, and to more surely reach that end its License League formed
an alliance with the Democracy, by which the latter was greatly aided.
The result was that the Republican plurality upon the State ticket
was reduced to 5,969 in a total vote of 221,006, that three of the
nine Congressional districts were carried by the Opposition, and that
a Legislature was chosen in which the Republican majority upon joint
ballot was but ten. Upon this body, so closely divided, devolved the
choice of an United States Senator. To a man of Mr. Chandler's positive
qualities and aggressive methods an active public life was impossible
without creating strong enmities, and the attention which, had he been
more subtle, he would have given to conciliating hostility his direct
nature preferred to devote to showing appreciation of friendship. The
equality of parties in the Legislature, and the passing disposition
among Republicans to look with disfavor upon what has been since
termed "stalwart leadership," supplied the local opposition to Mr.
Chandler with the looked-for opportunity for successfully resisting
his re-election. Michigan Republicanism as a whole gave him its
usual hearty support, and, so far as the contest was waged within
the recognized lines of partisan warfare, his personal triumph was
flattering and signal. In the regular caucus he received fifty-two
votes against five ballots cast for three other candidates, and his
nomination was made unanimous with but one dissenting voice. A small
Republican minority refused to participate in the caucus, and after
a prolonged and exciting struggle a combination was formed between
six of these men and the solid Democratic and Liberal Opposition,
which (on the second ballot in the legislative joint convention) gave
precisely the necessary majority of all the votes cast to Isaac P.
Christiancy, then one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of Michigan.
Mr. Christiancy was an original Republican, but had in some instances
in the past so far satisfied the Democrats by his public course that
he had been once re-elected to the Supreme Bench without opposition,
his name having been placed at the head of the Democratic State ticket
after his nomination by his own party. This fact materially facilitated
the coalition which secured Mr. Chandler's defeat. Like results in
pending Senatorial contests in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska showed
that more than merely local influences had contributed to bring about
this event.

Mr. Chandler, with that strong faith in his own position which was so
useful a characteristic of the man, did not believe that his defeat
was possible until it was accomplished. His disappointment was keen,
but he bore it manfully, and, assuring his friends that he should be
"a candidate for _that seat_ when Judge Christiancy's term ended," he
started for Washington to close up his eighteen years of continuous
Senatorial service. Many and sincere were the expressions of grief
among earnest Republicans everywhere at what seemed to be the abrupt
termination of the public career of so influential a man. Mr. Chandler
himself was as strongly affected by his fear that Republicanism might
have received a severe blow from the method by which his re-election
had been prevented as by any sense of mere personal failure. In a
letter written in the following March, in response to an invitation
from the great majority of the Republican legislators of Michigan to
address them on political topics, he said:

  Thanking you cordially for your continued confidence, I assure
  you most sincerely that when I enlisted in the Republican ranks
  it was for the whole war, which, I trust, is to be continued
  until the complete and final triumph of Republican principles,
  the pacification of the whole people, and the establishment of
  equal and exact justice for all men in every section of our common
  country. It will be my pride to prove to my friends, and to my
  enemies, if there are such, that I can be useful as a private
  soldier. In all the future contests of the Republican party with
  its opponents you may order me into the ranks with full confidence
  that I will respond with all my time, if need be, and with such
  ability as I can command.... We shall not yield in the forum the
  great principles which have triumphed in the field, nor shall we
  further waste in internal strife the strength which should be
  organized against our opponents. I have faith in the future of our
  country, because of my confidence in the continued success of the
  Republican party.

Ultimately it became evident that his defeat in 1875 was not a personal
calamity, he himself afterward saw that it had opened the way for him
to broader fields of public usefulness, and that in what then seemed to
be a fall he had in fact only "stumbled up stairs."

After the termination of Mr. Chandler's third Senatorial term (on March
3, 1875), his name was connected, both in current rumor and in the
deliberations of influential men, with several prominent positions.
It was at one time predicted that he would be nominated for the St.
Petersburg embassy, and at another that he would succeed Mr. Bristow as
Secretary of the Treasury. Ground was not lacking for both reports, but
the appointment which was actually made involved a far more complete
test of his faculty of administration than would have attended
either of the others. The Interior Department is the most complex
division of the executive branch of the government. A great diversity
of interests are under its charge, and its duties are dissimilar,
widely ramified, and encumbered with a perplexing multiplicity of
details. During President Grant's second term this Department,
notwithstanding the personal honesty of Secretary Columbus Delano, had
fallen into bad repute. It sheltered abuses and frauds which tainted
the atmosphere, but were not hunted down and removed by its chiefs.
From the scandals which this state of affairs created, Mr. Delano
finally sought escape by a resignation, which took effect on Oct. 1,
1875. General Grant, who was determined to appoint to the place a man
whose integrity, sagacity and vigor should make it certain that he
would not tolerate incompetence and rascality among his subordinates,
tendered the position to Mr. Chandler. After some hesitation, and no
little urging by his friends, that gentleman accepted, and on Oct.
19, 1875, his commission as Secretary of the Interior was executed
and sent to him. (His nomination was, on the meeting of Congress in
December, promptly confirmed by the Senate, all of the Republican and
three of the Democratic Senators voting affirmatively, with only six
Democrats recorded in the negative). Mr. Chandler entered at once
upon the discharge of his new and difficult duties. No man could have
had less of the professional "reformer" about him--in fact he was not
chary of expressing the most contemptuous skepticism concerning much
that paraded itself as "reform"--but the exemplification which he
gave of practical reform was at once thorough and brilliant. Without
ostentation, without the faintest savor of cant, he went at his work
in unpretentious, business-like, manful, and clear-sighted fashion. A
firm believer himself that "corruption wins not more than honesty,"
he gave durable lessons on that theme in every bureau of the Interior

[Illustration: THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT.[36]]

The first step of Mr. Chandler's administration was the infusion of new
blood. He applied to James M. Edmunds for aid in the selection of a
Chief Clerk, and was by him advised to tender that important position
to Alonzo Bell, then holding a place in the Treasury. What followed
illustrates some of Mr. Chandler's methods of transacting business:

Mr. Bell, at his desk in the Winder Building, received a dispatch
on the afternoon of Nov. 8, 1875, which read: "The Secretary of the
Interior desires to see you." On the next morning at nine o'clock he
was in waiting in the ante-chamber of Secretary Chandler's office, and
shortly thereafter that gentleman entered. In a few moments Mr. Bell
was summoned into his room, and Mr. Chandler said, "Good morning, Mr.
Bell. I suppose General Cowen (the then Assistant Secretary) has told
you what the business with you is?" Mr. Bell answered, "I have had a
very pleasant talk with him, but there has been no business alluded to
by us." Mr. Chandler then said, "I have concluded to appoint you Chief
Clerk of the Interior Department; will you accept?" "Yes, sir," was
the reply. "Very well," said Mr. Chandler, "go ahead." Mr. Bell went
at once to the Treasury, filed his resignation, and within an hour
returned to the office of the Secretary of the Interior. He found him
in conference with two Senators, and this conversation followed: "Mr.
Secretary, I have taken the oath and I am ready to go to work." "Very
well, do you know where to find the Chief Clerk's room?" "No, sir."
"Well, sir, it won't take long to look it up." Mr. Bell started on the
search for it, and within a few moments had relieved the gentleman
temporarily in charge, taken possession of its desk, and commenced
business. Mr. Chandler, also on recommendation of Mr. Edmunds, promoted
John Stiles from a minor place to the Appointment Clerkship. The
Assistant Secretaryship of the Department he requested the President to
tender to Charles T. Gorham of Michigan, who had lately relinquished
the embassy of the United States at The Hague. He believed that Mr.
Gorham's business training, practical ability and personal attachment
to himself would greatly aid in the reorganization of the Department,
and only felt doubtful as to whether that gentleman would accept the
position. In the end, Mr. Gorham was induced to take it, and the
Assistant Attorney-Generalship was given to Augustus S. Gaylord of
Saginaw, well-known to Mr. Chandler as a good lawyer and a vigilant
and trustworthy man. These changes in his executive staff the new
Secretary of the Interior regarded as an essential part of the work of
investigation and purification which was to be accomplished.[37]

Within less than one month after the commencement of Mr. Chandler's
term, all the clerks in one of the important rooms in the Patent Office
were summarily removed. Examination had supplied satisfactory proof of
dishonesty in the transaction of the business under their care, and
the Secretary concluded that all of them were either sharers in the
corruption or lacked the vigilance necessary for their positions, and
he declared every desk vacant. To the Hon. Jay A. Hubbell, whom he met
on the evening of the day upon which he had taken this vigorous step,
he said, "I have been 'reforming' to-day. I have emptied one large room
and have left it in charge of a colored porter, who has the key, who
cannot read and write, and who is instructed to let no one enter it
without my orders. I think the public interests are safe so far as that
room is concerned until I can find some better men to put into it." To
the remonstrances which followed this action he was resolutely deaf,
and to some influential friends of one of the men thus displaced he
said significantly, "That man is competent enough; if he thinks that
the cause of his removal should be made public, he can be accommodated;
I don't advise him to press it." Later in Mr. Chandler's term, and
without warning, the monthly pay-rolls of the Patent Office employes
were placed in the custody of a new officer, and the full name and city
address of every one who signed them was taken. The result was that for
upward of a score of names no owners appeared, and it was thus found
that money had been dishonestly drawn in the past by some one through
the device of fictitious clerkships. It was also ascertained that in
a few cases work requiring expert skill had been given to unqualified
persons who had "farmed it out" to others at reduced rates, and were
thus receiving pay without rendering service. These disclosures led to
further prompt removals of those implicated in the frauds, and to the
eradication of the abuses thus exposed. In this bureau some change of
methods was also made which simplified the transaction of business, and
increased the facilities for procuring patents while lessening their
cost to the public.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Mr. Chandler found to be more utterly
unsavory in reputation than any other division of his Department.
Besides securing a new Commissioner and Chief Clerk, he instituted a
series of quiet inquiries into the methods of doing business there,
and soon determined upon removing a number of subordinates, whose
records were unsatisfactory and whose surroundings were suspicious.
He then sent for the Commissioner and notified him of this decision,
but that officer replied that they were the most valuable men he had,
and that it would be almost impossible to conduct the business of
the bureau without them. The urgency of his protest finally induced
Mr. Chandler to delay action for a few days. While matters were in
this state of suspense, President Grant, who was watching with keen
interest the examination into the Interior Department offices, said
to its Secretary, "Mr. Chandler, have you removed those clerks in the
Indian Bureau whom we were talking about?" Mr. Chandler replied, "No,
sir; the Commissioner said it would be almost impossible to run the
office without them." The President answered, "Well, Mr. Secretary,
you can shut up the bureau, can't you?" The answer was, "Yes, sir."
"Well then," said General Grant, "have those men dismissed before
three o'clock this afternoon, or shut up the bureau." Mr. Chandler
went over to the Department, sent for the Commissioner, told him that
the suspected clerks must go that afternoon if the bureau was closed
as the result, and gave the necessary orders of removal which were
promptly executed. In regard to the dismissal of these men, he said,
"I haven't evidence that would be regarded in a court as sufficient
to convict them of fraud or dishonesty, but to my mind the proof of
their crookedness is strong as Holy Writ." This was only one of many
instances in which President Grant actively interested himself in the
work of hunting out fraud, and there was no step which Mr. Chandler
took in the direction of honest and cheaper administration in which he
was not cordially and powerfully sustained at the White House.

The "Indian Attorneys" also came under and felt the weight of the new
Secretary's just displeasure. One of the glaring impositions practiced
upon the ignorant aborigines was that of inducing them, winter after
winter, to send "agents" to Washington to look after their interests,
upon representations made to them that the government would otherwise
deprive them of some of their rights. Many of these men were paid eight
dollars a day and their expenses, while others contracted for certain
sums secured on the property of the Indians. In fact, these "attorneys"
rendered no needed service and preyed upon the ignorance of their
clients. These men Mr. Chandler banished from his Department; he also
declined to allow the payment of claims preferred by representatives of
the Indians for "expenses incurred in procuring legislation," on the
ground that such outlay was illegal and immoral. His decision on these
points was embodied in this order (addressed on Dec. 6, 1875, to the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and still governing the proceedings of
that bureau), which saved large sums of money to the Indians:

  Hereafter no payment shall be made and no claim shall be approved
  for services rendered for or in behalf of any tribe or band of
  Indians in the procurement of legislation from Congress or from any
  State Legislature, or for the transaction of any other business for
  or in behalf of such Indians before this Department or any bureau
  thereof, or before any other Department of the government, and no
  contract for the performance of such services will hereafter be
  recognized or approved by the Indian Office or the Department.
  Should legal advice or assistance be needed in the prosecution or
  defense of any suit involving the rights of any Indian or Indians,
  before any court or other tribunal, it can be procured through the
  Department of Justice.

  This regulation will govern the Indian Office, and application
  for compensation for such services must not be forwarded to the
  Department for action hereafter, it being understood that the
  regularly-appointed Indian Agent, the Commissioner of Indian
  Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior are competent to protect
  and defend the rights of Indians in all respects, without the
  intervention of other parties, and without other compensation than
  the usual salaries of their respective offices.

Mr. Chandler's experience as Secretary of the Interior made him a
firm believer in President Grant's policy of seeking to civilize
the American savages by dealing with them through the agency of the
Christian churches. Originally he favored turning the management of
Indian affairs over to the military arm of the government, but actual
contact with this knotty problem convinced him that the so-called
"peace policy" was, with all its conceded imperfections, the true one.
He held that, if firmly adhered to and improved as experience should
dictate, it would ultimately yield the largest and best returns. To
make any policy successful he knew that honest and competent service
was indispensable, and that he spared no efforts to secure.


  President Grant.
  Lot M. Morrill.
  Hamilton Fish.
  G. M. Robeson.
  J. D. Cameron.
  Alphonso Taft.
  Z. Chandler.
  J. N. Tyner.


[From a Sketch by Mrs. C. Adele Fassett.]]

In the Pension Bureau there was also some wholesome investigation, and
the efficiency of its administration and the vigilance of its scrutiny
into fraudulent claims upon the government were materially increased,
with the result of saving to the Treasury hundreds of thousands of
dollars annually. In the Land Office a series of extensive frauds in
what was known as "Chippewa half-breed scrip" were discovered during
the first six months of Mr. Chandler's term. The matter was one that
had been brought to the attention of the Department under other
Secretaries, but no detection of rascality had followed. Mr. Chandler
ordered a thorough investigation, which was pushed vigorously by Mr.
Gorham and Mr. Gaylord. The end was the breaking up of a strong and
corrupt combination, the prompt removal of all officers connected with
its past operations, and the reporting of the facts to the proper
Congressional committees for further action. The Secretary also ordered
a consolidation of the seven stationery divisions of the Department
into one central office, securing thereby a lessened cost of management
which was and is worth $20,000 annually to the Treasury.

The result of this exhibition of executive vigor need not be described
in detail. Under the impetus of shrewd insight, disciplined business
habits, and firm purpose, the _morale_ of the various bureaux improved
rapidly. Abuses withered up, inefficiency became industry, and fraud
took flight.[38] The Interior Department became a strongly-officered
and well-administered branch of the government. Men saw that it had
at last a head who meant that his subordinates should be honest and
should render efficient service, and who could push his intentions into
acts. Mr. Chandler, who had originally doubted as to whether he could
still command his old mercantile faculty of mastering and managing a
host of details, convinced both himself and others that this was still
one of his powers. His administration made evident the benefits of the
supervision of the public business by a practical man of affairs, and
no member of President Grant's Cabinets made a record more enviable for
unostentatious and efficient discharge of duty.

The anecdotes of Mr. Chandler's Cabinet service are many and
entertaining. He commenced by arming himself for the chronic battle
of all heads of departments with the claimants of patronage. One of
his first orders prohibited clerks from recommending applicants for
position, and another provided him with a statement of the number
of employes in the Department from each Congressional district. A
memorandum book, containing this information, was constantly by his
side, and was used almost daily. A Congressman would apply for the
appointment to a clerkship of some constituent whom he was anxious to
oblige or assist. The record would be produced, and something like this
conversation would follow: "You see your quota is full, but that don't
matter; pick out any man you want me to remove and I'll put your man
in his place at once." "But," the Congressman would reply, "I can't
do that. If I ask you to turn out any of these men I shall get myself
into hot water." "You don't mean to say that you're asking me to get
myself into hot water for you?" the Secretary would answer, and with
this weapon, thus used half banteringly but still effectively, he,
with perfect good-nature, turned aside the Congressional pressure for

He also carefully kept memoranda of the official records of his
subordinates, and charges against any one of them coming from
responsible sources were certain to be thoroughly investigated. But no
man could be more wrathful at mere backbiting or at efforts for the
secret undermining of reputation. His repugnance to injustice was no
less keen than his sense of justice. One afternoon a man of clerical
aspect and garb called at his office, and said, after introducing
himself, "Mr. Chandler, I presume it is your intention to have none but
correct people in your Department."

"That is my intention."

"Well, do you know, sir, that you have a woman in one of the bureaux of
your Department who is of bad character."

"No, sir, I do not know that I have any such persons in my Department."

"I thought you didn't know it, Mr. Chandler, and so I decided to come
and inform you."

The name of the clerk in question was then given and the charges
against her made still more explicit. Mr. Chandler listened quietly,
and finally picked up a pen and handed it to his caller, saying,
"Just put that down in writing, sir, and I will dismiss the woman."
The accuser hesitated and said, "Now, I hope, Mr. Chandler, you will
not connect my name with this matter. I don't want to be known." The
Secretary thereupon leaned back in his chair and said, "You know all
about this woman and I know nothing about her, except what you state
to me; but you want me to put a stain on her reputation upon charges
you are unwilling to even substantiate with your name. Never! Leave
the office." Upon the abrupt departure of the visitor so dismissed,
Mr. Chandler turned to one of his clerks and said, "He belongs to that
class of informers who are always willing to stand behind and ruin a
person, but who don't want to be known. I don't propose to be a party
to any such transaction."

A contractor, whose rascality had been conclusively exposed and whose
contract had been unceremoniously annulled, came to him one day to
remonstrate. The conversation ran in this wise.

"Mr. Secretary, I have been badly used----"

"I'm glad of it," interrupted Mr. Chandler; "you're a scoundrel, and
it's time you were getting your deserts."

The man attempted explanation, but Mr. Chandler was too impatient
to listen, and finally sent him away with orders to write a letter
setting forth his grievances, which should be investigated. "Although,"
added he, as the contractor retired, "it's my opinion that the worst
treatment you could get would be too good for you."

In the few cases where genuine hardship followed his quick decisions
and their enforcement, he was ready to make good the injury he had
not intended to inflict. One morning a prominent officer of the army
entered Mr. Chandler's office with a small pamphlet in his hand and
said, "What kind of a fool is it, Mr. Secretary, that you have at your
door distributing tracts?" Upon Mr. Chandler's denying all knowledge
of this variety of colportage, he said, "Here is a tract a fellow out
there gave me, and told me to read it, and said it might be good for my
soul." Mr. Chandler was nettled at this violation of discipline, and
made inquiries which showed that one of the clerks was distributing
tracts about the Department under circumstances that implied neglect of
his official duties, and thereupon he was dismissed. In a short time
an earnest letter came to the Secretary from the wife of the displaced
man describing the distress that had been brought upon their home,
whereupon Mr. Chandler directed his re-instatement, saying, as he
issued the order, "I guess he won't circulate any more tracts. I don't
object to their distribution, but when a man is doing the government
business he should give that his attention." For a clerk discharged
because of dishonesty, no amount of personal solicitation, even by
close friends of Mr. Chandler, availed anything. At one time when he
was most vehemently and persistently urged to restore a suspected and
dismissed subordinate, he finally said to the Senator who was pressing
the matter, "There is but one way by which you can have that man
re-appointed, and that is to first have me turned out."

In the early part of his term a letter came to Mr. Chandler from a
man in California, who had a case pending before the Department upon
an appeal from the Commissioner of the Land Office. He wrote that if
the Secretary would decide that case in favor of the appellant, he
would remit $300 in gold. Mr. Chandler read it and said to his clerk,
"Call the attention of the Attorney-General to that, cite the law that
man has violated, and ask the Department of Justice to prosecute the
fellow," and this course was taken. At about the same time, a dispatch
came from the Pacific coast stating that a man was at San Francisco who
claimed to be Mr. Chandler's brother, and was seeking to borrow money
on that statement. To this Mr. Chandler's answer was this telegram: "I
have no brother. Arrest the scoundrel."

By the clerks, whose official record satisfied him, he was universally
liked. He was easily approached, ready to listen, quick to perceive,
and prompt in decision. He scarcely ever gave reasons, but his rapid
judgment was rarely found to require reversal or even revision. With
those who did business with the Department on honest principles,
and only asked for promptitude and efficiency in its service, his
popularity was great and deserved. The fact that he was at its head was
kept constantly fresh in the minds of all. Soon after the commencement
of his term he exchanged offices with the Commissioner of Patents, thus
obtaining an apartment much more desirable than the one previously
occupied by the Secretaries. One of the Patent Office _attaches_, in
replying to the comment of somebody who expressed surprise at the fact
that this change had not been sooner made, said, "To tell the truth we
have generally regarded the Secretary himself as an interloper in the
Department. Mr. Chandler has started a new order of things."


While the investigating mania was at its height, the House Committee on
the Expenditures of the Interior Department determined to look into his
books and business system. He accordingly received from them a formal
letter asking what time would be convenient for the investigation. The
Chief Clerk submitted this communication to Mr. Chandler, who said,
"Tell them to come down any day, and I want you to put the best room
we have at their disposal, and give them all the facilities you can
to investigate the affairs of any bureau of the Department that they
want to look into. If they can find anything wrong that I haven't
found, I shall be very much obliged to them. They will be pumping a dry
well. The work is done." The committee came, but only held a few brief
sessions, and finally never concluded their labors and never made a
report in relation thereto.

Active as were Mr. Chandler's party sympathies, and little disposed
as he was to consult his political opponents as to his course, or to
admit them to any share in the patronage at his disposal, he did not
manage the Department upon merely partisan principles. He did not
make removals of Democratic subordinates except for cause; he never
appointed any Republican whom he did not believe to be thoroughly
upright and competent. That to fill any vacancy he always sought to
find the right kind of Republican was true. His civil service theories
stopped with honesty and efficiency, and did not exclude pronounced
political sympathy with the appointing power nor party activity.
Still, he did not on any occasion enforce the payment of political
assessments by his subordinates, and their work for the Republican
cause was left voluntary in character. The nearest approach to mere
partisanship in his use of the appointing power was the giving of
places in the Department to crippled soldiers who had been discharged
from the employment of the House of Representatives by the Democratic
Door-keeper, and even in that it was far more the indignation of the
patriot than of the Republican that stirred him. At the close of Mr.
Chandler's Secretaryship, the clerks of the Department waited upon
him in a body, and thanked him for the kindness they had received at
his hands. While farewells were being exchanged Mr. Schurz, the new
Secretary, came in and was introduced to his staff of subordinates. Mr.
Chandler then said:

  Mr. Secretary, I welcome you to this office. When I came here this
  Department was greatly tainted with corruption, especially in the
  Patent Office and the Indian Bureau. With the aid of the gentlemen
  you see around you, I have been able to cleanse it, and I believe,
  as far as I am able to ascertain, that no abuses exist in the
  bureaux I have named. I had to use the knife freely, and I believe
  this Department stands to-day the peer of any department of the

Mr. Chandler further commended the corps of employes as honest,
faithful men, and Mr. Schurz replied:

  I think I am expressing the general opinion of the country when
  I say you have succeeded in placing the Interior Department in
  far better condition than it had been in for years, and that the
  public is indebted to you for the very energetic and successful
  work you have performed. I enter upon the arduous duties with which
  I have been entrusted with an earnest desire to discharge them
  conscientiously, and I shall be happy when leaving the Department
  to have achieved as good a reputation for practical efficiency as
  you have won. I thank you, sir, for this cordial welcome, and I
  will say to the gentlemen to whom you have introduced me that they
  shall have my protection; and I ask from them the same faithful
  assistance they have given you.

The tribute which Secretary Schurz at the outset thus paid to the
practical efficiency of his predecessor merely expressed the public
verdict which greeted the close of Mr. Chandler's term. Examination
did not compel any modifying of this praise, and after Mr. Chandler's
death his successor in the Interior Department--a man very exacting
in judgment and one with whom his political differences had been
numerous--again said: "In the course of the last two years I have
frequently discovered in the transaction of public business traces of
his good judgment and his energetic determination to do what was right."


[36] This massive edifice is popularly known as "The Patent Office,"
because its main halls are occupied by the magnificent model rooms of
the Bureau of Patents.

[37] Much of Secretary Chandler's confidence arises from the well-known
integrity and personal reliability of the several gentlemen sustaining
the nearest official relation to him, all of whom were selected by
his own free choice, and from his own personal knowledge of these
essential characteristics. General Gorham did not seek the office of
Assistant Secretary; the office sought him, and Mr. Chandler himself
would take no denial. So, also, of Mr. Gaylord, his able and untiring
Assistant Attorney-General for the department. And the same is true of
Mr. Partridge, his discreet and trusted private secretary. Surrounded
by such aids he well knows that no material interest can suffer by any
temporary contingency, such as the one which now occurs.--_Washington
dispatch to the Philadelphia "City Item" of Oct. 20, 1875_ (_referring
to Mr. Chandler's temporary absence_).

[38] No appointment was ever more thoroughly justified by the result
than Mr. Chandler's. It gave him a new field for his energy and his
masterly executive ability, and it is conceded that he made the best
Secretary of the Interior that the nation has had in our day. He made
no boasts of what he intended to accomplish, but instituted reforms and
uprooted abuses. He hated dishonest men, and they feared him.--_Gen. J.
R. Hawley, in the "Hartford Courant."_

On no occasion was Mr. Chandler known to use his official position for
his own pecuniary gain--directly or indirectly. His death has ended a
long career of public service in executive and legislative capacities,
and throughout his hands were ever clean of unjust or illegitimate
gain--nor did his bitterest political foe (and no man evoked stronger
personal criticism) ever charge, or ever suspect him, with making
personal profit out of his political station and opportunities.--_T. F.
Bayard in the Senate, Jan. 28, 1880._



The Michigan delegation to the Cincinnati Convention of 1876 selected
Mr. Chandler as the member of the National Republican Committee
for their State, and at the first formal meeting of that body (at
Philadelphia, early in July) he was chosen its chairman after a close
triangular contest between his friends and those of the Hon. A. B.
Cornell and Gen. E. F. Noyes. The committee at once opened rooms at
the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, with its Secretary, the Hon. R. C.
McCormick of Arizona, in immediate charge. Mr. Chandler made frequent
visits to the headquarters throughout the campaign, superintending the
general plan of operations and meeting with the executive committee; as
election-day approached his attendance became more constant.

Originally he felt confident of Republican victory, not believing that
in the centennial year the American people would render a political
verdict whose result would be the restoration of the disloyal classes
of the South to national supremacy. But, in September, evidences of
Republican apathy in the important States of Ohio and Indiana--more
especially in the former, which was the home of the Presidential
candidate--greatly disturbed him, and made it plain that the situation
was critical. It had become evident that organized brutality would give
all the close Southern States to the Democrats and even make doubtful
those which were strongly Republican, and that the merchantable and
criminal classes of New York city would be so used as to also cast the
electoral vote of that great State for the Opposition. The gravity of
the prospect then brought out Mr. Chandler's best qualities of party
leadership. Prompt aid was rendered in Ohio, and the National Committee
did more than its full share (Mr. Chandler making large personal
advances) to carry that State in the important October election.
After the serious loss of Indiana, measures were at once instituted
to organize the party for decisive work on the Pacific Slope, to see
that in those Southern States where there was any hope all lawful
measures were taken to defeat the plans of "the rifle clubs" and "the
white leagues," and to carry New York if that was possible. Nothing was
spared that would arouse the spirit of the party, and Mr. Chandler saw
that the means were forthcoming for every effort that promised to make
success more certain.

The elections showed that the calculations of the managers of the
Republican campaign were accurate, and were also adequate to "snatching
victory from the jaws of defeat." The effort to save New York failed,
and it and the neighboring States rewarded with their electoral votes
the unscrupulous and subtle skill of Governor Tilden's personal
canvass. But the Republican victories beyond the Rocky Mountains,
and the resolute resistance offered in South Carolina, Louisiana and
Florida, to the seizure of those States by political crimes ranging
from shameless fraud to wholesale massacre, still left success with the
Republicans after a contest without an American parallel in obstinacy,
bitterness and excitement. Mr. Chandler showed throughout the prolonged
electoral dispute "the courage which mounteth with the occasion," and
his firmness, vigor and activity were among the important factors in
the work of saving the fruits of the so narrowly-won victory. As soon
as the smoke lifted from the battle-field his dispatch appeared, "Hayes
has 185 votes and is elected," and he maintained that position to the
end without a shade of faltering. Knowing that the Republicans were
rightfully entitled to the electoral votes of, at least, Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, he determined that in
the three States where the existence of Republican officials afforded
some ground for hope nothing should be left undone to deprive fraud and
violence of their prey, and he pushed every measure which seemed needed
to uphold the Republicans of Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina
in their lawful rights. In some of the important closing phases of
this exciting contest his counsels were not followed. The Electoral
Commission act was not a measure that he approved. Firmly believing
in the constitutional power of the President of the Senate to count
the electoral votes and announce the result, he held the position that
that officer should discharge that duty, and that the candidate thus
constitutionally declared elected should be duly inaugurated at all
hazards; and revolutionary threats were without effect upon his firm
purpose. The negotiations between the opposing party leaders which
attended the closing hours of the struggle, and which culminated in
the abandonment by the new administration of the Republican State
governments of the South, received no sanction from him. He regarded
such a policy as essentially perfidious, and as clouding the title
of Mr. Hayes to his high office, a title which Mr. Chandler believed
to be as clear as that possessed by any President chosen since the
formation of the constitution. Much else that attended the surrender
of the South to the bitter enemies of the republic he deprecated as
exceedingly harmful to the party of his faith, as unwise in tendency,
and as unjust in principle. He was not demonstrative in his criticisms
upon the new "policy," and his retirement to private life enabled him
to maintain a general silence upon the subject. But his disapproval of
a "conciliation," which he regarded as cowardly in its treatment of
friends and as foolish in its manifestation of undeserved confidence
in enemies, was profound.[39] Within two years the vindication of his
opinions was complete.

The indebtedness of the Republicans to Mr. Chandler's attitude and
efforts in the presidential election of 1876 and the subsequent
electoral dispute can scarcely be exaggerated. Without his firmness,
the spirit with which he held his party up to the thorough assertion
of its rights, the liberality with which he advanced the large sums
required for legitimate expenditures, and the influence of his
indomitable resolution, the final victory would have been at least
vastly more difficult of attainment, if not actually impossible. In
him the enemy never found the slightest traces of failing will or
flagging strength. While the excitement was at its height, a Democratic
periodical published a cartoon, in which Mr. Chandler was caricatured
as standing colossus-like over a yawning chasm, holding up an elephant,
labeled "The Republican Vote," by a double-handed grasp upon its tail.
The humor of the rough sketch greatly delighted its subject, and he
kept it with him for the entertainment of his friends. He first saw it
after one of the Cabinet sessions, when it was produced by President
Grant and passed through the hands of the other Secretaries, until
it reached Mr. Chandler, who, after looking it over, said, gravely
pointing out his position in the cartoon: "Mr. President, one of three
things is certain: either the rocks upon which my feet are resting
will crumble, or the elephant's tail will break, or I shall land the
animal." Into the methods of his work he never feared examination. No
cipher dispatch disclosures have cast infamy upon his name, and eager
investigation by his political enemies still left his personal honor

After the conclusion of Mr. Chandler's term of Cabinet service, he
remained in Washington for several weeks, and then accompanied General
Grant to Philadelphia, and was one of the party who escorted the
Ex-President down the Delaware when, on May 17, 1877, he commenced his
tour around the world. The next two years were spent by Mr. Chandler
in Michigan. His only prolonged absence from his Detroit home during
this period was caused by a two months' trip to the California coast
in June and July of 1877. A special car was placed at his service by
the Pacific Railroads (he was one of the earliest and most energetic
supporters of the trans-continental railway project), and he was
accompanied by Charles T. Gorham of Marshall, H. C. Lewis of Coldwater,
and S. S. Cobb of Kalamazoo. Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, and the Yo Semite Valley were visited during the journey,
and everywhere Mr. Chandler was welcomed with noteworthy public
and private entertainments; his attractive social qualities shone
throughout the jaunt. Not a great traveler, yet he saw during his life
much of the world. In 1875, in company with Senators Cameron, Anthony
and others, he visited the leading cities of the South. During one of
the Congressional recesses of his second term, he passed some months
in Europe, and while still in active business he spent a winter in the
West Indies. His knowledge of the resources and points of interest of
the Worth and Northwest was extensive and thorough.

[Illustration: PLAT OF THE MARSH FARM.[40]]

The marsh farm, which Mr. Chandler bought near the city of Lansing,
and the experiments in extensive and systematic drainage which he made
thereon, always received a generous share of his attention when he was
in Michigan. This enterprise was one in which he unhesitatingly made
large investments with the view of settling definitely questions of
manifest public importance. In 1857 the State of Michigan gave to its
Agricultural College the public lands in the four townships of Bath, De
Witt, Meridian, and Lansing, which were designated on the surveyor's
maps as "swamp lands;" in the main the sections covered by the grant
were marshy, although their rectilinear boundaries included some solid
ground. Mr. Chandler purchased from the college and other owners a farm
of 3,160 acres, located four miles (by railroad) from Lansing, in the
towns of Bath and De Witt in Clinton county; it included about 1,900
acres of marsh meadow, 500 acres of tamarack swamp, and 800 acres of
oak-opening uplands. The marsh was traversed by a slender water-course,
deviously connecting some small lakes with a stream known as the
Looking-glass river. The upland portion of the farm was thoroughly
fertile, but its development and cultivation did not specially interest
Mr. Chandler, except as furnishing the needed base for his experiments
upon the marsh. He said: "Michigan contains thousands of acres of
precisely this kind of land. The drainage of this particular marsh is
difficult, as much so as is the case with any land in this peninsula
which is not a hopeless swamp. If this tract can be reclaimed, others
can be, and I propose to give the experiment of reclamation a thorough
trial. I have the money, and I believe I have the pluck. If I succeed,
it will be a good thing for the State, for it will show how to add
millions of dollars worth of land to its farms. If I fail, it will
also be a good thing, for it will settle an open question, and no man
need repeat my attempt." He pushed this experiment vigorously from the
time of its commencement until his death, and gave to it his frequent
personal supervision: His investments in the marsh farm soon came to
be counted by many tens of thousands of dollars. Originally, practical
farmers were inclined to regard his operations as sheer folly, but as
they saw the purpose, methods and thoroughness of his work, a just
appreciation of its aim followed. Mr. Chandler never disguised the
character of this enterprise. Repeatedly he said to visitors at the
farm and to friends, "I have a theory--that is a remarkably expensive
thing to have--and I propose to test it here; it will make me poorer,
but it may make others richer some time." The public value of his
experiment he believed to be great, and that fact he was quick to make
prominent whenever it seemed necessary.

[Illustration: THE "BIG DITCH" (WINTER SCENE).]

The general plan of drainage operations consisted in connecting by
a large ditch Park lake (which has an area of 235 acres) with the
Looking-glass river. This main ditch was constructed by straightening
the bed of Prairie creek, and possessed descent enough to ensure a slow
current in wet seasons. It is about four miles in length, and averages
fourteen feet in width by four in depth. At intervals of forty rods
are constructed lateral ditches, as a rule five feet in width at the
top by three in depth. This part of the work had not been completed at
the time of Mr. Chandler's death, but still the lateral ditching had
reached about fifty miles in aggregate length, and had well drained
about 1,000 acres in the western end of the marsh near the outlet into
the Looking-glass. In that portion of the farm the first results of
the drainage--the rotting down of the peaty surface of the marsh into
a vegetable mold--have already manifested themselves satisfactorily.
The extent to which this decomposition will continue is not completely
tested, nor does it yet appear what will be the full measure of the
arability of soil, which will be created by this process, supplemented
by the tile draining which will follow the subsidence of the marsh to
a permanent level. This peaty surface varies from two and a half feet
to a rod in depth and promises to become an enormously productive soil.
The experiments thus far tried upon it have resulted hopefully. Much
of the native grass furnished excellent hay, and stock fatted upon it
thoroughly with no more than the usual allowance of grain. The tame
grass sown was chiefly Fowl Meadow and Timothy. The former Mr. Chandler
had seen growing in Holland on reclaimed land, and he determined to
give it a trial; he was only able to find the seed in the Boston
market, and there paid for it four dollars per bushel of eleven pounds.
It is a species of Red Top, and soon yielded from one and a half to
two tons of excellent hay per acre. For four seasons this seeding-down
with tame grasses was tried with satisfactory results, and then other
experiments followed. In the fall of 1878, twelve acres of marsh, then
well seeded-down with grass, were thoroughly plowed by Superintendent
Hughes, who, in the following season, raised thereon corn, potatoes,
rutabagas and oats. The results conclusively showed that the marsh
possessed general productiveness, although the experiment itself was
marred by the unseasonable frosts of 1879. The corn looked well at
the outset, but was severely injured in the end. The potato crop was
a good one, and the yield of oats was also large. In the fall of 1879
another tract of twelve acres was plowed, and the same experiment was
put in process of repetition. Superintendent Hughes is of the opinion
that within another year, the reclaimed marsh will produce 100 bushels
of corn to the acre. A short time before his death, Mr. Chandler said
that, in view of the success which had attended the experiments already
tried, he now felt confident that in time his farm would be pointed
out as an ague-bed transformed into one of the most valuable pieces of
property in Central Michigan, and would demonstrate the reclaimability
of large tracts of swamp land in that State. About 500 acres of the
marsh are seeded with Fowl Meadow grass; about 300 acres of this is
mowed, and the remainder is used for pasturage. Over 400 tons of
excellent hay were cut there in the season of 1879.


Outside of the interest attaching to it by reason of the drainage
experiments, the Chandler farm would deserve notice as one of the
most thoroughly equipped and stocked of the new farms of Michigan.
It is traversed by a state road, and by the Jackson, Lansing and
Saginaw Railroad (which has established a signal station near the
farm-house). Its buildings are located upon the highest ground. They
are substantially constructed, and surrounded with all the evidences
of thrift. The main house of the farm, which is occupied by the
superintendent and his family, is a commodious frame structure, two
stories in height, and conveniently partitioned off into spacious
and airy apartments. Near it is the house-barn (32 by 54 feet in
dimensions) with sheep-sheds adjoining. About a half-mile to the east
are two tenant houses, occupied by families employed on the farm. On
the east side of the state road, at a distance of half a mile, is a
large barn, erected in 1879; its main portion is 41 by 66 feet in
dimensions, with a wing 38 by 90 feet; its height is 44 feet to the
ridge; attached are sheds 250 feet in length and "L" shaped. This
barn is largely used for storage purposes, and will receive 250 tons
of hay. The basement of its wing is divided into 60 cattle stalls, 30
on each side, with a broad passage through the center. The stalls are
ingeniously arranged in the most improved style, and with a special
regard for cleanliness. In the basement of the main barn is a large
root cellar (capable of holding 2,000 bushels of potatoes, turnips,
etc.), stabling accommodations for eight horses, two large box-stalls
for stallions, a feed-room 20 by 25 feet in size, numerous calf-pens,
and many other conveniences. Located above are two granaries, each
12 by 28 feet in dimensions. Attached to the barn, but in a separate
building, is a 12-horse-power engine, used for cutting feed, and for
other farm purposes. A large automatic windmill and pump supply water
in abundance.

The farm is well stocked; on it are seventeen horses, including "Mark
Antony," an imported Normandy stallion, which is a fine specimen of the
Percheron breed. There are also 120 head of handsome graded cattle on
the farm, 300 sheep graded from Shropshire Down bucks, and 23 pure-bred
Essex swine. In wagons and implements of every kind the equipment
is complete, and all are of the best manufacture and most improved
quality. The force of laborers on the farm as a rule includes five men
in summer and three in winter, large gangs being employed during the
two months of the haying season, and also when there is any extensive
fencing or ditching enterprise to be pushed.


Mr. Chandler's experiments were closely watched by the farmers of
Michigan. Visits were frequent from them singly, in small parties,
and in club or grange excursions to the marsh, and they always met a
hospitable reception. Letters of inquiry also came from many parts of
the State, giving evidence of the widespread character of the interest
felt. Mr. Chandler himself when in Michigan visited the farm at least
once a month, inspecting the work thoroughly, discussing plans with the
superintendent, making suggestions, and giving orders. His experience
as a farmer in his boyhood furnished ideas which were yet useful and
a judgment which was well-informed; still he was ready to welcome all
innovations that promised good results, and he closed many discussions
with his superintendents by remarking, "If you come at me with facts,
that is enough; I never argue against them." At the farm he also
found the most congenial relaxation. He would come there jaded out
with the excitement and labor of political contest and public life;
in stout clothing and heavy boots he would scour the meadows, examine
ditching, look up the stock, oversee labor, and work himself if there
was an inviting opportunity. A day or two of this life would bring
rest, hearty appetite, and sound sleep, would relieve his nerves from
tension, and restore his vital powers to their natural activity. He
always rated his visits to the marsh farm as a certain and delightful


In private life Mr. Chandler kept up the habits which marked his public
career. His voluminous correspondence was never neglected. Napoleon's
method of leaving letters unopened for three weeks, because within
that time most of them would need no replies, he reversed. As a rule,
every communication addressed to Mr. Chandler was promptly answered;
to even mere notes of compliment brief responses were sent. Of course
this practice made a confidential secretary indispensable, and that
position was held for some years by a Mr. Miller; after his death (in
1870) it was discreetly and faithfully filled by George W. Partridge.
Matters entrusted to Mr. Chandler's care by constituents always
received early attention; the same statement is true of applications
from the humblest stranger who preferred a claim upon his attention,
and it includes political enemies as well as friends. Mr. Chandler
regarded meeting these demands as part of his public duties; no other
prominent man of his day gave to such matters a tithe of the time and
energy devoted to them by him, and this was one source of his hold upon
the popular affection. Of course much labor was involved, but this was
offset by the fact that in all his duties he was regular, punctual
and systematic; his mercantile training helped him greatly in this
respect, and it was said of him truly, "He has never been excelled as
a 'business Senator' at Washington." While not a student, he was a man
who prepared for every important action. In his speeches he aimed at
nervous strength and effectiveness. For oratorical finish he cared
nothing, but simple language, terse sentences, some plain word whose
meaning was an argument in itself--these he sought for unceasingly.
He apologized for the length of one of his brief speeches because he
had not had time to make it shorter. Not rarely he would put into a
sentence of ten Saxon words the power of a philippic, and this rough
missile would crush where mere rhetoric would have only irritated. Mr.
Chandler never failed as a speaker to command the popular attention,
and his force and the simplicity of his diction were greatly aided
by the sincerity which illuminated them. The vigor and truth of
conviction, which made him so ardent a champion of the party of his
political faith, marked his speeches, and made his appeals potent with
his hearers. "His words were simple and his soul sincere." In fact,
his sincerity and honesty were the salient qualities of the man. His
was not a faultless character; but it was above baseness, and it was
free from affectation, from cant, and from hypocrisy. The record of his
public life recalls Emerson's estimate of Bonaparte: "This man showed
us how much may be accomplished by the mere force of such virtues as
all men possess in less degree--namely, by punctuality, by personal
attention, by courage, and by thoroughness." But more honorable to his
memory is the fact that concerning the man himself can be justly quoted
Carlyle's eloquent tribute to Burns: "He is an honest man.... In his
successes and his failures, in his greatness and his littleness, he is
ever clear, simple and true, and glitters with no lustre but his own.
We reckon this to be a great virtue--to be, in fact, the root of most
other virtues."

[Illustration: MR. CHANDLER'S RESIDENCE IN DETROIT.] a game of

Mr. Chandler's social nature was a hearty one. His manners were easy,
he was affable with all, and he was without the slightest tinge of
aristocratic tastes or prejudice. No false dignity surrounded him; with
his friends his laugh was ready; he liked whist, enjoyed a good story,
found pleasure in social gatherings, was entertaining in conversation,
and easily gave way to the natural jollity of his spirits. Exact
and stern as he often was, his intimates found him a most agreeable
companion Few men have ever bound friends to themselves more firmly.

He surrounded his homes with the comforts that wealth could supply,
and yet was not ostentatious. His Washington residence he purchased
for about $40,000 in 1867 from Senor Bareda, the Peruvian Minister.
It is located on H between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets, and is
a handsome house with spacious parlors and dining room upon the first
floor; commodious apartments occupy the upper stories, which are
connected by rich staircases of black walnut. Mr. Chandler's office
was located in the basement, and has been the scene of many important
consultations between famous men on questions of party policy and
public concern. His Detroit home was the mansion on the Northwest
corner of Fort and Second streets, which he built in 1855-'56. It
is situated in spacious grounds, and is of the plain Roman style of
architecture, which aims at the simple in outline and massive in
effect. A semi-circular drive and path lead to it through the gate-ways
of a heavy and handsome fence and into a large _porte cochere_. Thence
wide stone steps rise through solid mahogany doors to a broad hall,
whose floor of inlaid woods is partly hidden by rich rugs. On the
right is the drawing room, a spacious apartment furnished in blue and
gold, and abounding in tasteful ornaments and handsome paintings. In
it stands Randolph Rogers's marble bust of Mr. Chandler, executed
about 1870. Opposite and connected by folding doors are the library
and dining room. The former's shelves are well filled with the best
works of standard authors, including many ancient chronicles seldom
found in private book collections. Back of the dining room and across
a transverse hallway is the apartment that was Mr. Chandler's private
office; its walls are literally covered with shelving containing
Congressional annals and reports and many public documents. The
appointments of the numerous other rooms are tasteful and complete,
and all the surroundings of the house are in keeping with its quiet
elegance. In 1858 Mr. Chandler met there with an accident of nearly
fatal results. He followed his little daughter upon a search for some
escaping gas, and was caught with her in a room in which a large mass
of that inflammable vapor was exploded by a lighted candle. To add
to the danger of the situation the door was closed upon them by a
frightened servant. Mr. Chandler seized his child and sheltered her
from serious danger, and groped his way out blinded and scorched. It
was then found that his hands and face were badly burned, and the loss
of his eyesight was threatened. Careful treatment and his vigorous
constitution ultimately brought about a full recovery, and the only
traces left of the casualty were some slight affections of the facial
muscles and an unusual pallor of countenance.

Mr. Chandler's domestic life was a thoroughly happy one. He married
Letitia Grace Douglass of New York, a noble Christian woman, whose
social accomplishments blended dignity with grace, and who met to the
full her large share of the exacting duties attendant upon public
life and high station. Their only child was a daughter, Mary Douglass
Chandler, who was married, while her father was a Senator, to the Hon.
Eugene Hale of Ellsworth, Maine. She inherited many of her father's
traits, and his affection for her was rooted in the inner fibres of his
strong nature. Her children, his three little grandsons, often knew him
as a rollicking playfellow, and he counseled with her freely and often,
and she shared in his confidence as well as his love. Throughout his
life he expressed his appreciation of the devoted attachment of his
wife and child by many acknowledgments that do not belong to a public
chronicle; his will left his great estate to them as his sole heirs,
"share and share alike."


[39] In the fall of 1877 Mr. Chandler delivered the annual address
before the Branch County Agricultural Society, and while in Coldwater
was the guest of the Hon. Henry C. Lewis of that city, who invited a
few friends to meet him socially. In the course of the conversation
Mr. Chandler said that he was going to his Lansing farm to spend a few
days. His reticence in regard to the Hayes administration was then a
matter of remark, and the Hon. C. D. Randall said to him: "Well, Mr.
Chandler, when you get out in the center of your great farm and alone,
you will have a fine opportunity to express your opinion about the
Hayes 'policy.'" Mr. Chandler's reply was: "No, sir; that Lansing farm
will never answer my purpose. To do that I shall have to be on the top
of a high hill behind the meeting-house and with the wind blowing the
other way!" The audience responded with a hearty laugh.

[40] The heavy black lines in this map are the boundaries of the
farm; the waving lines indicate the border of the uplands surrounding
the marsh. The drainage is from Mud Lake via "the big ditch" to the
Looking-glass river. The lateral ditching (of which there are over
fifty miles) is shown on the plat by the fine lines.



The township elections in Michigan in April, 1878, revealed an
astonishing growth in the number of the advocates of an irredeemable
paper currency. "Hard times," Democratic disgust over the result of
the electoral dispute, and Republican disappointment at "the Southern
policy" of the new administration greatly relaxed existing party ties,
and made the way ready for the expounders of the seductive theory
that prosperity depends upon a great volume of the currency, and
that large issues of paper bearing the government stamp must greatly
add to individual wealth. Throughout the West and South, Republican
and Democratic leaders had fostered these fallacious ideas, and thus
prepared the field of public sentiment for this "Greenback" sowing. In
Michigan the result was that the National party (which in 1876 gave
only 9,060 votes to Peter Cooper for President) in April, 1878, cast
over 70,000 votes for its township candidates, elected a large number
of supervisors in the most populous counties of the State, and showed
greater strength than either of the old parties in four Congressional
districts. This was the gravest situation the Republicans of Michigan
had ever been called upon to face. A conference of their representative
men was at once held, at the call of the State Central Committee, and
the situation was thoroughly discussed. Among those participating
was Gov. Charles M. Croswell, who said that he believed that the
party should boldly declare for a sound currency, and resist with all
its power the further spread of financial heresy; for himself, he
preferred defeat on that platform to a victory won by any surrender
to false theories. The endorsement of his views was substantially
unanimous, and an aggressive campaign was determined upon. The State
Convention was promptly called, and met in Detroit on June 13. It was
the ablest political gathering ever held in Michigan, and its delegates
included the foremost men of the party from every county. Mr. Chandler
presided; Governor Croswell was renominated at the head of a strong
State ticket; a platform, admirable for its soundness of doctrine and
clearness of statement[41] (its author was Frederick Morley, formerly
editor of the Detroit _Post_), was adopted; and Mr. Chandler was, amid
the prolonged cheering of the convention, placed at the head of the
State Committee. He had at that time about completed his plans for
a European journey, and it was suggested to him by friends that his
chairmanship of the National Committee afforded a valid excuse for
declining this new appointment, which would make him responsible for
the result of a doubtful fight, with the certainty that defeat would
greatly impair his political prestige. To this advice Mr. Chandler
simply replied, "If Michigan Republicanism goes down, I will go
with it." He promptly canceled all other engagements, appointed his
confidential secretary, G. W. Partridge, secretary of the committee
(with the consent of its members), and threw his energy and vigor into
that State campaign. The contest that followed under his leadership
preserved the spirit of the convention and upheld the doctrines of the
platform. The financial question was discussed in every phase "upon
the stump" and by the press. Mr. Chandler himself spoke in all the
leading cities of the State, and was seconded by many other orators,
including James G. Blaine, James A. Garfield, and Stewart L. Woodford,
whose addresses were masterly examples of the candid, luminous and
popular treatment of a topic usually regarded as too abstruse and dry
for profitable public discussion. The courage and honesty of this fight
were justly rewarded. The Republicans carried the State by over 47,000
plurality, and elected every Congressional candidate and a Legislature
with a large Republican majority upon joint ballot. The victory was
a signal one. In no Western State had financial heresy ever been as
resolutely grappled with and as thoroughly beaten, and his prominent
share in this battle must rank among Mr. Chandler's most unselfish and
honorable public services.

An unforeseen but almost poetically just result of this triumph was
his own return to Congress. Senator Christiancy's failing health
compelled him in the winter of 1879 to seek (under physician's
advice) rest and a change of climate. The President offered him the
embassadorship at Berlin, or at Mexico, or at Lima, and he finally
decided to accept the latter. His nomination was sent to the Senate
on Jan. 29, 1879, and confirmed without reference to a committee. On
February 10, his resignation as Senator was laid before the Michigan
Legislature, and on the 18th that body filled the vacancy by election.
With the earliest hints of the possibility of Senator Christiancy's
retirement, Republican opinion and the popular expectation had agreed
that Mr. Chandler would be chosen for the remaining years of what the
Republicans of Michigan had unsuccessfully sought to make his fourth
term. This was regarded as due to him, as still more due to the party
which had in 1875 been deprived of its choice, and as securing the
restoration to public activity of a man of national influence and
prominence, at an hour when the sagacity of his political judgment
had been vindicated by the alarming attitude of the South, and when
the sturdiest qualities of leadership were needed in Washington. The
legislative action reflected this strong current of public sentiment.
In the Republican caucus (held in the new Capitol of that State),
Mr. Chandler was nominated for Senator on the first formal ballot,
receiving sixty-nine of the eighty-nine votes cast. In the Legislature
he was elected by the vote of every Republican in his seat in either


On Feb. 22, 1879, Mr. Chandler's credentials were presented and
read in the Senate, and he was escorted by Senator Ferry to the
Vice-President's desk, where the official oath was administered to
him by William A. Wheeler. He took the seat upon the outer row of
the Republican side, which he had occupied in other Congresses.
The circumstances of his return to public life attracted national
attention, and his re-appearance in the Senate was everywhere accepted
as significant of the growth of Republican courage and resolution.
But what followed outstripped all expectation and was dramatic in its
accessories. Upon February 28, he first addressed the Forty-fifth
Senate, speaking briefly upon a bill providing for pension arrears,
and in advocacy of an amendment to make more efficient the methods of
detecting pension frauds by taking expert examiners from one part of
the country and sending them to another. In this connection he referred
to his own experience as Secretary of the Interior, saying that he
had declared that with $100,000 to so use he could save $1,000,000 to
the Treasury yearly. Upon the same day, he also spoke briefly upon
the Sundry Civil Appropriation bill, opposing a proposition in it to
re-open a settled claim of the war of 1812, based on expenditures
made by some of the older States for military purposes. He spoke from
recollection of a discussion in 1857, when this matter came up, and
showed that the principal of the claims had been already paid, and
that this was an attempt to collect compound interest. This measure,
which Mr. Chandler repeatedly opposed during his Senatorial career, was
again defeated at this time. On March 1, a proposition to pay Georgia
over $72,000 compound interest upon advances alleged to have been made
in 1835-'38 in the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee wars was strenuously
and successfully opposed by him. On the 28th of February, a bill had
been passed by the Senate making appropriations for the arrearages
of pensions. To this an amendment was offered and adopted extending
to those who served in the war with Mexico the provisions of the law
passed in 1878, giving pensions to the surviving soldiers of 1812. This
amendment was adopted without full consideration, and on the evening of
Sunday, March 2, a motion was made and carried for a reconsideration.
Then an amendment was offered excluding persons who served in the
Confederate army or held any office under the "Confederacy" from the
benefits of this bill. This amendment was defeated by the votes of the
Democrats and two Southern Republicans. Another amendment was offered
by Senator Hoar excluding Jefferson Davis from the benefits of any
pension bill. An astonishing debate followed. For some hours the Senate
Chamber rang with fervent eulogies upon the arch-rebel of the South.
Senator Garland declared that Davis's record would "equal in history
all Grecian fame and all Roman glory." Senator Maxey pronounced him
"a battle-scarred, knightly gentleman." Senator Lamar characterized
the proposition as a "wanton insult," springing from "hate, bitter,
malignant sectional feeling, and a sense of personal impunity;" he
added, "The only difference between myself and Jefferson Davis is that
his exalted character, his pre-eminent talents, his well-established
reputation as a statesman, as a patriot, and as a soldier enabled
him to take the lead in a cause to which I consecrated myself;" he
further declared that Davis's motives were as "sacred and noble as
ever inspired the breast of a Hampden or a Washington." Senator Harris
pronounced him "the peer of any Senator on this floor." "I will not,"
said Senator Coke, "vote to discriminate against Mr. Davis, for I was
just as much a rebel as he." Senator Ransom said, "I shall not dwell
upon Mr. Davis's public services as an American soldier and statesman.
He belongs to history, as does that cause to which he gave all the
ability of his great nature." There was no lack of Republican protest
against this apotheosis of unrepentant treason, but it was not wholly
free from a certain deprecatory tone. The Senators who spoke in support
of Mr. Hoar's proposition rather remonstrated against than denounced
the assumption that it was their duty to quietly assent to legislation
which would place the unamnestied and still defiant representative
of the Great Rebellion on the pension-rolls of the nation. After
the debate had lasted for over two hours, Mr. W. E. Chandler of New
Hampshire, who was watching its progress from the reporters' gallery,
said to Senator E. H. Rollins of his State, "Tell Zach. Chandler that
he is the man to call Jeff. Davis a traitor." Mr. Rollins delivered the
message, which was received with a nod of acquiescence in the direction
of the gallery. Senator Morgan of Alabama was speaking at the time,
with Senator Mitchell of Oregon in the chair. As Mr. Morgan closed,
Senator Chandler rose and said:

  Mr. President, twenty-two years ago to-morrow, in the old Hall of
  the Senate, now occupied by the Supreme Court of the United States,
  I, in company with Mr. Jefferson Davis, stood up and swore before
  Almighty God that I would support the Constitution of the United
  States. Mr. Jefferson Davis came from the Cabinet of Franklin
  Pierce into the Senate of the United States and took the oath with
  me to be faithful to this government. During four years I sat in
  this body with Mr. Jefferson Davis and saw the preparations going
  on from day to-day for the overthrow of this government. With
  treason in his heart and perjury upon his lips he took the oath to
  sustain the government that he meant to overthrow.

  Sir, there was method in that madness. He, in co-operation with
  other men from his section and in the Cabinet of Mr. Buchanan, made
  careful preparation for the event that was to follow. Your armies
  were scattered all over this broad land where they could not be
  used in an emergency; your fleets were scattered wherever the winds
  blew and water was found to float them, where they could not be
  used to put down rebellion; your Treasury was depleted until your
  bonds bearing six per cent., principal and interest payable in
  coin, were sold for 88 cents on the dollar for current expenses,
  and no buyers. Preparations were carefully made. Your arms were
  sold under an apparently innocent clause in an army bill providing
  that the Secretary of War might, at his discretion, sell such arms
  as he deemed it for the interest of the government to sell.

  Sir, eighteen years ago last month I sat in these halls and
  listened to Jefferson Davis delivering his farewell address,
  informing us what our constitutional duties to this government
  were, and then he left and entered into the rebellion to overthrow
  the government that he had sworn to support! I remained here,
  sir, during the whole of that terrible rebellion. I saw our brave
  soldiers by thousands and hundreds of thousands, aye, I might say
  millions, pass through to the theater of war, and I saw their
  shattered ranks return; I saw steamboat after steamboat and
  railroad train after railroad train arrive with the maimed and the
  wounded; I was with my friend from Rhode Island (Mr. Burnside) when
  he commanded the Army of the Potomac, and saw piles of legs and
  arms that made humanity shudder; I saw the widow and the orphan in
  their homes, and heard the weeping and wailing of those who had
  lost their dearest and their best. Mr. President, I little thought
  at that time that I should live to hear in the Senate of the United
  States eulogies upon Jefferson Davis, living--a living rebel
  eulogized on the floor of the Senate of the United States! Sir, I
  am amazed to hear it; and I can tell the gentlemen on the other
  side that they little know the spirit of the North when they come
  here at this day, and, with bravado on their lips, utter eulogies
  upon a man whom every man, woman, and child in the North believes
  to have been a double-dyed traitor to his government.


[In the Senate Chamber, at 3 A. M., Monday, March 3, 1879.]]

This speech was made at about the hour of half-past three in the
morning of Monday, March 3, 1879. But few people were in the galleries
at that time, and the Senate had lapsed into a listless state. Mr.
Chandler's bearing as he arose to speak, and the first sentence that
resounded through the Senate Chamber in his strong voice, aroused
instant attention. The spectators above listened with new and eager
interest, Senators came in from the lobbies and cloakrooms, sleep was
shaken off by drowsy _attaches_, and his closing words "a double-dyed
traitor to his government" fell in ringing tones upon an intent
audience and were answered by an applause from the galleries which
the gavel of the presiding officer could not check. His excited
hearers listened eagerly for a reply, but none came. After some
silent waiting the presiding officer stated the pending question,
and was about to put it to vote. Senator Thurman then rose and began
the discussion of another branch of the subject, and no answer was
attempted to Mr. Chandler's just denunciation of the eulogizing of
the man, whose past history and present attitude unite to make him at
once the representative of treason's crimes and the embodiment of its
unrepentant spirit. When the vote was taken, one majority was given
for Mr. Hoar's amendment, and after that result the original amendment
itself was defeated.

This speech was a masterpiece in its way--in its brevity, in its
skillful use of the speaker's early official association with Jefferson
Davis, in its vivid epitome of the history of American treason, and in
the rugged power of its simple language. It most profoundly stirred
the people. It may be said without exaggeration that years had passed
since any Congressional utterance had received such public attention.
Democratic and Southern denunciation of Mr. Chandler followed
abundantly, but this was wholly overshadowed by the enthusiasm of the
response of the patriotic sentiment of the Union to his indignant
refusal to let treason raise its head in insolence without branding it
as it deserved. The Northern press reprinted the speech with unstinted
praise. Public men hastened in person, by telegraph, and through the
mails to tender their congratulations. Letters of fervent thanks poured
in by the hundreds; from utter strangers, from the rich and the humble,
from veteran soldiers, from mothers whose sons were buried on Southern
battle-fields, from the colored men, from the Republicans of the South,
from every State and Territory came the expressions of gratitude for
the utterance given at so opportune a moment and with such force to the
loyal feeling of the republic. It was this spontaneous approval of the
masses of the people that Mr. Chandler especially prized.

On March 18, 1879, the extra session of the Forty-sixth Congress
commenced, and the Democrats made their abortive attempt to force the
repeal of the laws relating to the supervision of national elections by
withholding appropriations. Their reactionary programme (the striking
of the last vestige of the war measures from the statute books was even
threatened) and revolutionary menaces aroused the North, and in the end
they quailed before the rising popular wrath. Mr. Chandler denounced
their schemes vigorously on the floor of the Senate, even charging
explicitly that twelve of the Southern Senators "held their seats by
fraud and violence." He also earnestly opposed all propositions to
compel the unlimited coinage of the silver dollar of 412½ grains, a
measure which would have given to the country a superabundance of
silver currency of depreciated value to the exclusion of gold. His
last Congressional speech was this carefully prepared and forcible
"arraignment of the Democratic party," of which tens of thousands of
copies were circulated throughout the Union in the following campaign:

  We have now spent three months and a half in this Capitol, not
  without certain results. We have shown to the people of this nation
  just what the Democratic party means. The people have been informed
  as to your objects, ends, and aims. By fraud and violence, by
  shot-guns and tissue ballots, you hold a present majority in both
  Houses of Congress, and you have taken an early opportunity to show
  what you intend to do with that majority thus obtained. You are
  within sight of the promised land, but like Moses of old we propose
  to send you up into the mountain to die politically.

  Mr. President, we are approaching the end of this extra session,
  and its record will soon become history. The acts of the Democratic
  party, as manifested in this Congress, justify me in arraigning
  it before the loyal people of the United States on the political
  issues which it has presented, _as the enemy of the nation_ and as
  the author and abettor of rebellion.

  1. I arraign the Democratic party for having resorted to
  revolutionary measures to carry out its partisan projects, by
  attempting to coerce the Executive by withholding supplies, and
  thus accomplishing by starvation the destruction of the government
  which they had failed to overthrow by arms.

  2. I arraign them for having injured the business interests of
  the country by forcing the present extra session, after liberal
  compromises were tendered to them prior to the close of the last

  3. I arraign them for having attempted to throw away the results of
  the recent war by again elevating State over National Sovereignty.
  We expended $5,000,000,000 and sacrificed more than 300,000
  precious lives to put down this heresy and to perpetuate the
  _national life_. They surrendered this heresy at Appomattox, but
  now they attempt to renew this pretension.

  4. I arraign them for having attempted to damage the business
  interests of the country by forcing silver coin into circulation,
  of less value than it represents, thus swindling the laboring-man
  and the producer, by compelling them to accept 85 cents for a
  dollar, and thus enriching the bullion-owners at the expense of the
  laborer. Four million dollars a day is paid for labor alone, and
  by thus attempting to force an 85 cent dollar on the laboring-man
  you swindle him daily out of $600,000. Twelve hundred million
  dollars are paid yearly for labor alone, and by thus attempting to
  force an 85-cent dollar on the laboring-man you swindle him out of
  $180,000,000 a year. The amount which the producing class would
  lose is absolutely incalculable.

  5. I arraign them for having removed without cause experienced
  officers and employes of this body, some of whom served and were
  wounded in the Union army, and for appointing men who had in the
  rebel army attempted to destroy this government.

  6. I arraign them for having instituted a secret and illegitimate
  tribunal, the edicts of which have been made the supreme governing
  power of Congress in defiance of the fundamental principles of the
  constitution. The decrees of this junta are known although its
  motives are hidden.

  7. I arraign them for having held up for public admiration that
  arch-rebel, Jefferson Davis, declaring that he was inspired by
  motives as sacred and as noble as animated Washington; and as
  having rendered services in attempting to destroy the Union which
  will equal in history Grecian fame and Roman glory. [Laughter on
  the Democratic side and in portions of the galleries.] You can
  laugh. The people of the North will make you laugh on the other
  side of your faces!

  8. I arraign them for having undertaken to blot from the
  statute-book of the nation wise laws, rendered necessary by the war
  and its results, and insuring "life, liberty and the pursuit of
  happiness" to the emancipated freedmen, who are now so bulldozed
  and ku-kluxed that they are seeking peace in exile, although urged
  to remain by shot-guns.

  9. I arraign them for having attempted to repeal the wise
  legislation which excludes those who served under the rebel flag
  from holding commissions in the army and navy of the United States.

  10. I arraign them for having introduced a large amount of
  legislation for the exclusive benefit of the States recently in
  rebellion, which, if enacted, would bankrupt the national Treasury.

  11. I arraign them for having conspired to destroy all that the
  Republican party has accomplished. Many of them breaking their
  oaths of allegiance to the United States and pledging their
  lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors to overthrow this
  government, they failed, and thus lost all they pledged.

  _Call a halt._ The days of vaporing are over. The loyal North is
  aroused and their doom is sealed.

  I accept the issue on these arraignments distinctly and
  specifically before the citizens of this great republic. As a
  Senator of the United States and as a citizen of the United States,
  I appeal to the people. It is for those citizens to say who is
  right and who is wrong. I go before that tribunal confident that
  the Republican party is right and that the Democratic party is

  They have made these issues; not we; and by them they must stand or
  fall. This is the platform which they have constructed, not only
  for 1879 but for 1880. They cannot change it, for we will hold them
  to it. They have made their bed, and we will see to it that they
  lie thereon.


[41] The Michigan Republicans have done well. Their platform has about
it the clear ring of honest conviction, undulled by any half-hearted
and halting compromise. So lucid and courageous an enunciation of
the financial creed of the Republican party has certainly not been
made this year, nor has the irreconcilable hostility of the party to
all forms of tampering with public credit and national honor been so
resolutely and judiciously stated as by the Detroit Convention.--_New
York Times, June 14, 1878._



The closing hours of the Forty-fifth Congress and the extra session
of the Forty-sixth may be said to have revealed Mr. Chandler to the
country. While he had been well known he had not been truly known. He
then became a central figure in the public attention. His utterances
were universally discussed, and with discussion came a juster
appreciation of the man. The people at last saw him as he was, the
possessor of strong common-sense, a cool and indefatigable worker, a
sagacious and fearless leader, a man who had never sacrificed principle
to policy, who had never compromised with crimes against liberty or
the nation's honor, whose most malignant enemies had not accused
him of being influenced by corrupt motives, and one gifted with the
rare capacity of saying the right thing at the right time in terse,
impromptu sentences, in epigrams which became political mottoes.

The campaign of 1879 followed closely upon the mid-summer adjournment
of Congress, and invitations to address the people came to Mr. Chandler
from a score of States. No public speaker was in more urgent demand, or
aroused a keener interest. The popular gatherings, which, during the
summer and fall, greeted his every appearance from the shores of the
Great Lakes to the Atlantic seaboard, amounted to a genuine ovation.
His first address was delivered before the Republican State Convention
of Wisconsin, at Madison, on July 23. In August he made six speeches
in Maine to immense mass meetings. In September he visited Ohio, and
spoke at Sandusky, Toledo, Warren, Cleveland, and other important
points. His audiences in that State were uniformly large, and his
Warren speech was delivered in the afternoon to an enormous crowd,
one of the greatest ever called together upon such an occasion in the
Western Reserve. He was greatly pleased by an invitation, which came to
him at about this time, from Senator G. F. Hoar, to visit Massachusetts
in October. It was unexpected, and he had believed that the Republican
leaders in the Bay State were inclined to look upon him with distrust.
He accepted it promptly, and spoke to enthusiastic audiences in Boston,
Worcester, Lynn and Lowell. Some brief remarks made at a dinner of
the Middlesex Club, in which he urged the national importance of the
pending contest, were especially useful in stimulating Republican
activity and directing it into proper channels. He next addressed
meetings in New York at Flushing, Albany, Troy, Potsdam, Lowville
and Buffalo, amid increasing public interest. On returning home from
that State in the last days of October, he revisited Wisconsin, and
spoke to great crowds at Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Janesville, returning
to Chicago, where, on the evening of October 31st, he made the last
address of his life.

The striking evidences of his hold upon the popular confidence, which
manifested themselves during the summer and fall of 1879, led to the
frequent mention of Mr. Chandler as a possible presidential candidate
in 1880. His friends in his own State were eager to formally present
his name to the National Convention, and the Republican press of
Michigan united in earnestly advocating such a course. This movement
also manifested strength in other States, and steadily increased in
importance up to the hour of his death. Although Mr. Chandler was not
insensible to this growing sentiment, little or nothing was done by
him to promote it; he favored the renomination of General Grant, and
the presidential ambition he rated as the most fatal malady to which
public men are subject.[42] To one friend, who spoke of the popular
feeling and his own desire in this matter, Mr. Chandler replied: "You
may vaccinate me with the presidency and scratch it deep, but it won't
take." To another he said: "No! no! Men recover from the small-pox,
cholera and yellow fever, but never from the presidential fever. I
hope I will never get it." The movement in that direction, which his
death so abruptly checked, was spontaneous and sincere, and that it was
growing in strength was undoubted. What limit that growth might have
reached and with what result can only be conjectured.


[Where Mr. Chandler died on the night of October 31, 1879.]]

Repeatedly, during the arduous labors of the year, did Mr. Chandler's
physical powers manifest signs of rebellion against excessive effort.
In one of his Ohio speeches his voice suddenly failed, compelling
him to cease speaking. He suffered several times from what seemed to
be violent attacks of indigestion, and was on one or two occasions
dangerously distressed by them. At Janesville he caught a severe cold,
but when he reached Chicago, on the last day of his life, he seemed to
be in his usual robust health, and showed but slight signs of fatigue.
Those who called upon him on that day at the Grand Pacific Hotel noted
his fine spirits. His address in that city was delivered before the
Young Men's Auxiliary Republican Club in McCormick Hall, and he never
spoke with more animation, nor more effectively. The audience applauded
almost every sentence, and under that stimulus he rose to even more
than his usual fervor of speech. His ringing sentence, "The mission
of the Republican party will not end until you and I, Mr. Chairman,
can start from the Canada border, travel to the Gulf of Mexico, make
Black Republican speeches wherever we please, vote the Black Republican
ticket wherever we gain a residence, and do it with exactly the same
safety that a rebel can travel throughout the North, stop wherever
he has a mind to, and run for judge in any city he chooses," was
followed by cheer after cheer, until the entire audience was standing
and shouting. After closing his speech, Mr. Chandler returned to the
Grand Pacific Hotel; a few friends chatted with him in his rooms for
a short time, and at about midnight Representative Edwin Willits of
Michigan, who had been one of his hearers, made a short call, and
congratulated him upon the power of his closing appeal. After that, no
man saw Mr. Chandler alive. At seven o'clock on the following morning,
in accordance with orders, one of the employes of the hotel knocked
at his door. There was no answer, and a look over the transom showed
a figure lying in an unnatural attitude on the edge of the bed with
the feet almost touching the floor. In alarm the room was entered with
a pass-key, and Mr. Chandler was found in a half reclining posture,
with his coat about his shoulders, unconsciousness having apparently
seized him while he was attempting to rise and summon help. Medical aid
was promptly at hand, but life was extinct. "A Power had passed from
earth." Zachariah Chandler was dead!


[A sketch from Leonard W. Volk's plaster cast.]]

The news spread at once throughout the great city in which he had so
suddenly fallen; friends were soon by his bedside, while a large crowd
gathered about the hotel. A coroner's jury was at once impaneled,
listened to the testimony of the physicians, and returned a verdict
that death had resulted from cerebral hemorrhage. Impressions of the
features were taken by Leonard W. Volk, the eminent sculptor, and the
lifeless body was then arranged by kind, if strange, hands for the
funeral casket. Before its removal to Detroit, thousands who cherished
the memory of the man looked mournfully upon the dead face.

The telegraph bore the intelligence of this sudden death promptly
throughout the country, and the announcement was answered by unusual
demonstrations of national grief. Throughout the cities and towns of
Michigan, at Washington, and in many other places where his name was
well known, the insignia of mourning were at once displayed. Public
men sent prompt dispatches of sympathy to his family, upon whom the
blow had fallen with prostrating force. Especially significant were the
newspaper tributes to the memory of the bold, resolute, and successful
leader of men, whose star had not set, but had gone out at the zenith.
The President of the United States issued this official order:

                            EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 1879.

  The sad intelligence of the death of Zachariah Chandler, late
  Secretary of the Interior, and during so many years Senator from
  the State of Michigan, has been communicated to the government
  and to the country, and, in proper respect to his memory, I
  hereby order that the several executive departments be closed to
  public business, and their flags, and those of their dependencies
  throughout the country, be displayed at half-mast on the day of his

                                                            R. B. HAYES.

From the Executive Mansion also came this dispatch of personal

                                WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 1, 1879.

  _Mrs. Z. Chandler._

  Mrs. Hayes joins me in the expression of the most heartfelt
  sympathy with you in your great bereavement.

                                                            R. B. HAYES.

[Illustration: GEN. U. S. GRANT'S TRIBUTE.

[His endorsement on W. A. Gavett's official notification, as a member
of the Detroit Commandery K. T. to attend Mr. Chandler's funeral.]]

The following proclamation was published by the Governor of Michigan:

                        EXECUTIVE OFFICE, LANSING, Nov. 1, 1879.

  _To the People of Michigan_:

  An eminent citizen has suddenly been taken from us. Zachariah
  Chandler was found dead in his room at the Grand Pacific Hotel in
  Chicago early this morning. For nineteen years he has represented
  this State in the National Senate. He held this exalted position
  at the most perilous period in the history of the nation, and
  unfalteringly supported every measure for the maintenance of the
  Union. A member of the Cabinet under the recent administration
  of President Grant, he proved himself a public officer of keen
  sagacity, of incorruptible integrity and of admirable ability. A
  resident of Michigan during the whole period of his manhood, he has
  been active in advancing the interests of the State and promoting
  its growth. By his energy he secured a competence, and by his
  integrity the confidence of all. A statesman and a leader among
  men, he combined in an unusual degree qualities which commanded
  respect and admiration. Taken from us so unexpectedly, we cannot
  but deeply feel and deplore his loss. I, therefore, as a tribute to
  his memory and to his public services, hereby direct the several
  State offices to be closed to public business, the flags to be
  displayed at half-mast, and the other demonstrations of public
  grief usual to be made, on the day of his funeral.

                                                    CHARLES M. CROSWELL.

An unofficial tribute, highly prized by Mr. Chandler's friends, was
that of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who wrote upon the reverse of a funeral
order issued by the Detroit Commandery of Knights Templar (shown him by
W. A. Gavett) these lines:

  A nation, as well as the state of Michigan, mourns the loss of one
  of her most brave, patriotic and truest citizens. Senator Chandler
  was beloved by his associates and respected by those who disagreed
  with his political views. The more closely I became connected with
  him the more I appreciated his great merits.

                                                             U. S. GRANT.

  GALENA, Ill., Nov. 9, 1879.

On the morning of Sunday, November 2, an escort of the militia and of
the people of Chicago accompanied the body of the dead Senator from
the Grand Pacific Hotel to the depot, and delivered it to a committee
of prominent citizens of Michigan, who had arrived to receive it. The
burial-case was wrapped in the national flag, and, when it had been
placed in the car, its lid was opened and the face exposed. The train
stopped at Niles, Kalamazoo, Marshall, Jackson, and Ann Arbor, and at
each place crowds came on board to look at the remains. When Detroit
was reached, thousands of grief-stricken people were at the depot, and
in solemn procession they joined the military escort in the march to
the Chandler mansion. There a few loving friends received and looked
upon the silent and lifeless form. To gratify the earnest desire of the
many who wished to behold again the strong, earnest face of Zachariah
Chandler before it was forever covered from mortal sight, the body was
removed on the morning of November 5 to the City Hall, where it lay
until one o'clock; a guard of honor kept watch at the head and foot of
the casket, and on either hand, for five hours, a double file of men
and women passed in steady march. Thousands of mournful glances were
given at the placid face of the dead, and many affecting incidents made
touching this parting tribute of the people. Then, from the City Hall,
the body was borne to the Fort street residence for the last time. The
day was cold and blustering; a blinding snow-storm set in. Yet the
streets were thronged by the sad multitude, while every train brought
from Michigan and from other States hundreds to increase the sorrowing
concourse; among them were men of great reputations founded on useful
and honorable public careers. After impressive funeral services at the
house, the remains of Michigan's great Senator, escorted by the militia
of Detroit and of the neighboring cities, by the United States troops,
by civic societies, by Governors, Senators, Congressmen, Legislators
of Michigan and of other States, and by hundreds of friends, passed
slowly through the streets draped in mourning, and lined with dense
crowds of people who braved the storm to pay this last honor to
Zachariah Chandler. At the gates of Elmwood Cemetery the militia and
civic societies halted, presenting arms as the hearse rolled slowly on
under its trees. Upon a high knoll, fronting on Prospect Avenue, it
halted; the coffin was drawn slowly out, poised a moment over an open
grave, lowered to its resting-place, and "I am the resurrection and the
life" rose up in solemn tones above the sobbings of family and friends.
Living green branches and flowers fell softly down upon the casket, and
a new mound grew up beside where Senator Chandler's brother already lay.

Thus was Zachariah Chandler buried. Living, he was honored. Dead, he
was mourned. Though dead, his labors and his example remain, and they
form his fittest monument.


[42] This letter, written to a prominent Republican of the Pacific
coast, did not reach the gentleman to whom it was addressed until after
Mr. Chandler's death, and was then given to the public:

                                   REPUBLICAN STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, }
                                   DETROIT, Mich., Sept. 23, 1879.     }

MY DEAR SIR: Your favor of 11th inst. is at hand, and contents noted.

The prospects for the success of the Republican party in the national
election next year look much more favorable now than they did the year
preceding the election in 1876. Republicans are united, and earnestly
preparing for success as the only hope of saving the country from the
shot-gun rule of the Confederate Democracy. The Tammany bolt promises
to give us New York both this year and next.

Ohio is sure to go Republican, and there is hardly a doubt that every
Northern State having a general election this fall will score a victory
in favor of a free ballot and an honest count.

Each Territory is entitled to two delegates in the National Republican
Convention, under the rules heretofore adopted. I am under the
impression now that Grant's chances for the nomination are better than
those of any other person; but unless he is nominated without a contest
he will be out of the field, and there will be a trial of strength
between the friends and supporters of a few stalwart radicals.

No unknown man of lukewarm sentiments or obscure antecedents will be

It is very possible that Michigan will present a name in the convention
as well as Maine, New York, Ohio, and perhaps other States; but I know
nothing special in regard to the matter, only that, if General Grant is
a candidate, no one else will be. Very truly, yours,

                                                            Z. CHANDLER.


                            THE LAST SPEECH


                          ZACHARIAH CHANDLER,

                 NIGHT OF HIS DEATH, OCTOBER 31, 1879.

   [Republished by permission of Ritchie & Williston, Stenographers,
                   Room 23, Howland Block, Chicago.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: It has become the custom of late to
restrict the lines of citizenship. In the Senate of the United States
and in the halls of Congress you will hear citizenship described as
confined to States, and it is denied that there is such a thing as
national citizenship. I to-night address you, my fellow-citizens
of Chicago, in a broad sense as fellow-citizens of the United
States of America. [Applause.] A great crime has been committed,
my fellow-citizens--a crime against this nation, a crime against
republican institutions throughout the world; a crime against civil
liberty, and the criminal is yet unpunished--that is to say, he is not
punished according to his deserts. [Applause.] And I shall to-night
devote myself chiefly to the history of a crime, and shall endeavor to
hold up the criminal to your execration. [Renewed applause.]

But, first, it is proper for me to allude to certain matters of
national importance, which are at this present moment living issues.
Twelve years ago an idea was started in the neighboring State of Ohio,
called the "Ohio idea," which spread and bore fruit in different
States. That idea was to pay something with nothing. [Laughter] From
this Ohio idea sprang up a brood of other ideas. For example, the
greenback idea, an unlimited issue of irredeemable currency, and a
party was inaugurated in different States called the greenback party.
It took root in Michigan last year, had a vigorous growth, put forth
limbs, blossomed liberally, bore no fruit, and died. [Laughter and
cheers.] Therefore, I shall pay no attention to the greenback party. It
is not a living issue. [Laughter.] But the Ohio idea is still a living
issue, and even during the last session of Congress a demand was made,
and persistently made, to repeal the Resumption act that had been in
existence for years. The resumption of specie payment was virtually
accomplished when, in 1874-5, that Resumption act became a law, for
at that time we made that act so strong that there was no power on
earth that could defeat the resumption of specie payments after it had
once been inaugurated. [Applause.] We authorized the Secretary of the
Treasury to use any bonds ever issued by the government, and in any
amount that was necessary, to carry forward to success specie payments,
as soon as the time arrived for the resumption. We carefully guarded
that law. True, we are under an obligation to the man who executed
the law, but the resumption of specie payments was as much a fixed
fact when that law was signed as it is to-day, and all the powers on
earth combined could not break that resumption when it had once been

But this Ohio idea, as I said, was to pay off your bonds with
greenbacks. Well, my fellow-citizens, we have paid off $160,000,000 of
your bonds in greenbacks within the last sixty or ninety days, and what
more do you want? Ah! But the Ohio idea was something different from
that. It was, as I said before, to pay something with nothing, and up
to the final adjournment of the last regular session of Congress the
attempt was still made to issue irredeemable paper and force it upon
the creditors of the nation. Now, if this paper which they propose
to issue in paying off the bonds of your government was properly and
truthfully described, it would read thus: "The government of the United
States for value received"--for it was for value received; no greenback
was ever issued except for value received; no bond of the government
was ever issued except for value received--"for value received, the
government of the United States promises to pay nothing to nobody,
never." [Applause and laughter.] That was the paper with which it was
proposed by these men, entertaining then, and now entertaining the
"Ohio idea," to redeem the bonds of your government.

Now, you have heard, I presume, here in Chicago, the denunciation of
the holders of your government bonds. The "bloated bondholder" was a
term of reproach, both on the floor of Congress and in the streets of
Chicago and all over these United States. But who were the bloated
bondholders? Why, my friends, every single man who has a dollar in the
savings bank is a bloated bondholder, for there is not a savings-bank
in the land, which ought to be entrusted with a dollar, whose funds
are not invested in the bonds of your government. [Applause.] There
is not a widow or orphan who has a fund to support the widow in her
widowhood and the orphan in its orphanage, in a trust company, who
is not a bloated bondholder; for there is not a trust company in the
land that ought to be trusted which has not a large proportion of its
funds in the bonds of your government. Every man who has his life
insured, or his house insured, or his barn, or his lumber, or who has
any insurance, is a bloated bondholder; for there is not an insurance
company, life, fire, marine, or of any other class of insurance, that
ought to be trusted, which has not its funds invested in bonds of
your government. You may go to the books of the Treasury to-morrow and
inquire and you will find ninety-nine men who own $100 and less of the
bonds of your government, directly or indirectly, where you will find
one man who owns $10,000 or more. And these men, entertaining the Ohio
idea, would ruin the ninety-nine poor men for the possible chance of
injuring the one-hundredth rich man. And yet you may destroy the bonds
of the rich man and you do him no harm, for he has but a small amount
of his vast wealth in the bonds of your government, while the poor man,
owning $100 or under as his little all, is utterly ruined. [Applause.]

You would not find a man, woman, or child in America who would touch
the kind of paper I have described, if proffered to them. You say you
would stop the interest on your bonded debt. Very well! The holder of
your bonds would say: "You do not propose to pay any interest. I hold
a bond for value received, with a given amount of interest payable on
a given day. Now I will hold your bonds until you men entertaining
the Ohio idea are buried in your political graves, and then I will
appeal to an honest people, to an honest government, to pay an honest
debt." [Applause] "But," say these men, "pay off your foreign bonds."
I see men before me who remember the days of General Jackson, and they
likewise remember that in the time of General Jackson the government
of France owed to the citizens of the United States $5,000,000, which
France did not refuse to pay, but neglected to pay. It ran along
from decade to decade, unpaid. General Jackson sent for the French
minister and said: "Unless that $5,000,000 due to the citizens of the
United States is paid, I will declare war against France." [Applause.]
General Jackson was remonstrated with. It would disturb the commercial
relations, not only of this country, but the world. Said he, "Unless
France pays that $5,000,000, by the Eternal, I will declare war against
France." [Applause.] Every man, woman and child and the King of France
knew that he would do it, and the $5,000,000 was paid to the United
States. It is not $5,000,000 that your government owes to the citizens
of the world, but it is more than fifty times five million, and it is
scattered in every nation with which we have commercial relations, or
where money is found to invest in your bonds. You say you will stop
the interest on those bonds. How long do you think it would be before
a British fleet would come sailing to your coast, followed by a French
fleet, and a German fleet, and a Russian, and an Austrian, and a
Spanish and an Italian fleet, and the British Admiral would step ashore
and say: "I have $50,000,000 of the bonds of this government belonging
to the citizens of Great Britain, which I am ordered to collect!" The
answer is: "Your account is correct, sir. The government of the United
States owes just $50,000,000 to the citizens of Great Britain, and here
is your money, sir."

[Mr. Chandler, suiting the action to the word, held out a sheet of
paper with $50,000,000 written upon it, and the audience burst out into
loud and long-continued laughter.]

The British Admiral looks at it and says: "What's that?"

"Why, money. Don't you see? Why, it is a first mortgage on all the
property of all the citizens of all the United States." [Laughter.]
"Don't you see the stamp of the government?" [Laughter.]

Says the Admiral: "Where is it payable?"

"Nowhere." [Laughter and applause.]

"To whom is it payable?"

"Nobody." [Laughter.]

"When is it made payable?"

"Never." [Renewed laughter and cheers.]

"Why," says the Admiral, "I don't know any such money. My orders are
to collect this $50,000,000 in the coin of the world, and unless it is
so paid my orders are to blockade every port of these United States,
and here are all the navies of the earth to assist me, and to burn down
every city that my guns will reach."

Honesty is the best policy with nations as well as with individuals.
[Cheers.] "Well," they say, "perhaps you are right about this bond
business. It is an open question, and we will abandon that, but the
national banks--down with the national banks! [Laughter and applause.]
Abolish national banks and save interest." What do you want to abolish
the national banks for? That is a living issue to-day--a present
proposition of the Democratic party that I propose to hold up to your
abhorrence before I get through to-night. What do you want to "down
with the national banks" for? I was in the Senate of the United States
when that national banking law was passed. I was a member of that
body and voted upon every proposition made in it. I had had a little
experience in state banks myself. [Laughter and applause.] Michigan had
a very large state bank circulation at one time [loud applause], and
we called that "money" in those days wild-cat money [laughter], and
it was very wild. [Renewed laughter and applause.] Chicago also had
a little experience in those days as well as Michigan. In those days
it was necessary for any man liable to receive a five-dollar note to
carry a counterfeit detector with him for three purposes. First, to
ascertain whether there ever was such a bank in existence. [Laughter
and applause.] Second, to ascertain whether the bill was counterfeit,
and, third, to ascertain whether the bank had failed [laughter]--and as
a rule it had failed. [Laughter and applause.] Now, we had two objects
in view in getting up that national banking law. First, we wanted to
furnish an absolutely safe circulating medium, so that no loss could
ensue to the bill-holder. Second, we wanted to furnish a market for
our bonds which had become somewhat of a drug. We might just as well
have put in state bonds as security for those bank notes. It would have
been just as legal, just as right, but we didn't know which one or how
many of those rebel States would repudiate their bonds, and therefore
we didn't put in any. [Laughter and applause.] We might just as well
have put in railroad bonds, but we didn't know how many railroads
would default in their interest. We might just as well have put in real
estate, but we didn't know whether the neighbors of the banker would
appraise the real estate at its actual cash-selling value. [Applause
and laughter.] And therefore we put in the bonds of your government at
90 cents on the dollar; so that to-day for every single 90 cents of
national bank notes afloat there is 100 cents--(worth 102½ cents)--of
the bonds of your government deposited with the Treasurer of the United
States for the redemption of the 90 cents. [Applause.] And you don't
know and you don't care whether the bank is located in Oregon, in
Texas, in South Carolina, Mississippi, New York or Illinois, because
you know there is 102½ cents to-day of the bonds of your government
deposited with the Treasurer of the United States for the redemption of
every 90 cents of national bank notes you hold. You don't know and you
don't care whether the bank whose note you have in your pocket failed
yesterday, last week, or last year, or whether it ever failed. And you
never find that out, for if trouble comes the bonds are sold and your
bank notes are redeemed the day after, or the week after, or the year
after your bank has failed, precisely the same as though it had never
failed. [Applause.]

Now you say, "Call in your bonds; abolish the national bank notes."
Very well! You pass a law to-morrow repealing the charters of all your
national banks. Call in the national bank notes! Every national bank in
America takes the exact amount of the circulation which it has, either
in silver or gold or greenbacks, to the Treasury, leaves it there
to redeem its notes, takes the bonds and distributes them among the
stockholders of that bank, and the day after you have called in every
national bank note that you have out, you pay the self-same amount of
interest on your bonds that you paid the day before, not one farthing
more nor less. You don't gain one cent, but you lose $16,500,000 of
taxes paid this year and last year and every year upon the stock of
the national banks to national, state and municipal governments.
[Applause.] You gain nothing, and you lose $16,500,000. You distress
the whole community of these United States by compelling your banks
to call in $850,000,000, now loaned and now being used in commerce,
manufactures and all the industries of the nation. You distress the
people by forcing a recall of that amount. No, my friends, in my
judgment you had better devote yourselves to something you understand,
and let the national banks alone. [Applause and laughter.]

But they say, "There is one thing that we know we are right on, and
that is the free coinage of silver." Every man who holds 85 cents worth
of silver shall go to the Treasury or the mints of the United States
and take a certificate of deposit for 100 cents, which shall pass as
money. This was the Warner bill. This the Democratic party as a party
was committed to, and is committed to, and on the very last day of the
extra session by a majority vote of one, and only one, in the Senate of
the United States we substantially laid that bill upon the table, every
Republican voting aye, and every Democrat, except four or five, voting
no. [Applause.] Now, to-day, the laboring man can take gold or silver
or paper, as he chooses, for his day's labor. I am in favor of the
dual standard. I am in favor of a silver dollar with 100 cents in it.
I am in favor of an honest dollar anywhere you can find it [cheers],
and I stand by an honest dollar. To-day the laboring man can take gold
or silver or paper, and they are all of equal value, because they are
all interchangeable into each other. The paper dollar costs nothing; a
silver dollar costs the government 85 cents--a fraction more now; it
has been a fraction less. But all three are of equal value. Now the
very moment you commence issuing those certificates of deposit freely
to every man having bullion you banish gold from your circulating
medium and make it an article of traffic and nothing else; and you have
but a single standard, and that is a depreciated standard. Now there is
paid out in these United States every day for labor alone $4,000,000.
By compelling the substitution of the silver dollar alone, you swindle
the laboring man out of $600,000 a day. The laboring man who receives
a dollar gets but 85 cents. The man who receives $10 a week gets
$8.50, and no more. The farmer who sells a horse, or the man who sells
a load of lumber, or a load of wheat, or anything else amounting
to $100, receives but $85, and no more. You have but one single
standard, and that the silver standard, which, having banished gold,
is worth precisely the metal that is in it. Who is benefited by this
substitution? Why, my friends, not a living mortal is benefited, except
the bullion-owner and the bullion-speculator. I do not charge these
men with being bribed to pass that law, because I have no proof of it;
but I do say that the bullion-owners and the bullion-speculators can
afford to pay $10,000,000 in bullion for the privilege of swindling the
laboring men of the country out of 15 per cent. of all their earnings.
[Applause.] They say, "That may all be true; we don't know how it is;
we have not been bribed"--and I never knew a man that would own up that
he was bribed in my life. [Laughter.] I don't say that they are, but I
do say that they are engaged in a mighty mean business. [Laughter and

But there is another question which is of vital interest to every
man, woman and child in America, and that is this question of the
enormous rebel claims against your government. I hold in my hand a
list of the claims now before the two houses of Congress, and being
pressed--cotton claims, claims for the destruction of property, for
quartermaster's stores, for every conceivable thing that war could
produce. I have a list of claims right here [holding up several sheets
of paper containing names and amounts] aggregating many hundreds of
millions. And the only thing to-day--the Senate and the House both
being under the control of those Southern rebels--the only protection,
the only barrier between the Treasury of the United States and those
rebel claims is a presidential veto [cheers], and thank God for the
veto! [Long-continued applause.] But these claims are not all. There
are claims innumerable which they dare not yet present. You may go
through every State in the South, and somewhere, hidden away, you will
find a claim for every slave that ever was liberated. In the files of
the Senate and the House you will find demands for untold millions of
dollars to improve streams that do not exist--where you will have to
pump the water to get up a stream at all. [Laughter and applause.]
Demands for untold millions to build the levees of the Mississippi
river! We have already given the Southern people 32,000,000 of acres of
land which would be reclaimed by those levees, and now they propose to
bankrupt your Treasury by telling you, people of the North, to build
the levees to make the lands which you gave them valuable.

To show you that I am not over-stating this idea of Southern claims, I
will read you a petition which is now being circulated throughout the

"We, the people of the United States, most respectfully petition your
honorable bodies to enact a law by which all citizens of every section
of the United States may be paid for all their property destroyed by
the governments and armies on both sides, during the late war between
the States, in bonds, bearing 3 per cent. interest per annum, maturing
within the next one hundred years."

Every soldier who served in the Northern army has been paid. Every
dollar's worth of property furnished to the Northern army has been paid
for. Every widow or orphan of a wounded soldier entitled to a pension
has been pensioned, so that there is no claim from the North; but this
means that you shall do for the South precisely what you have done for
your own soldiers.

But I have not yet reached the milk in this cocoa-nut. [Laughter.]

"And we also petition that all soldiers, or their legal
representatives, of both armies and every section, be paid in bonds
or public lands for their lost time [laughter], limbs, and lives
while engaged in the late unfortunate civil conflict." [Laughter and

That all soldiers be paid for their lost time while fighting to
overthrow your government! That they shall be paid for their lost limbs
and their lost lives while fighting to overthrow your government!

Ah, my fellow-citizens, they are in sober, serious, downright earnest.
They have captured both houses of Congress, and the only obstacle to
the payment of these infamous claims is the presidential veto, and
there is not a man before me who has not a personal, direct interest in
seeing to it that the rebels do not capture the balance of Washington.
[Applause.] These rebel States are solid--solid for repudiating your
debt, solid for paying these rebel claims; they have repudiated their
individual debts through the bankrupt law; they have repudiated their
State debts by scaling, and then refusing to pay the interest on
what has been scaled; they have repudiated their municipal debts by
repealing the charters of their cities, towns, and villages. And do
you think they are more anxious to pay the debt contracted for their
subjugation than they are to pay their own honest debts? I tell you,
No. They mean repudiation, and do not mean that your debt shall be of
any more value than their own. When you trust them you are making a
mistake, and I do not believe you will ever do it again. [Laughter and
applause, and voices: "We won't!"]

But we have a matter under consideration to-night of vastly more
importance than all the financial questions that can be presented to
you, and that is, Is this or is it not a Nation! We had supposed for
generations that this was a Nation. Our fathers met in convention
to frame a constitution, and they found some difficulty in agreeing
upon the details of that constitution, and for a time it was a
matter of extreme doubt whether any agreement could be reached.
Acrimonious debate took place in that convention, but finally a spirit
of compromise prevailed, and the constitution was adopted by the
convention and submitted to the people of these United States. Not to
the States, but to the people of the United States, and the people
of the United States adopted the constitution that was framed by the
fathers, and for many long years the whole people of the United States
believed that we had a Government. The whisky rebellion broke out in
Pennsylvania, and was put down by the strong arm of the Government,
and we still believed that we had a Government. We continued in that
belief until the days of General Jackson, when South Carolina raised
the flag of rebellion against the Government. Armed men trod the soil
of South Carolina and threatened that unless the tariff was modified to
suit their views they would overthrow the Government. This was under
the leadership of John C. Calhoun, in carrying out his doctrine. Old
General Jackson took his pipe out of his mouth when he was told that
Calhoun was in rebellion against the Government, and said: "Let South
Carolina commit the first act of treason against this Government, and,
by the Eternal, I will hang John C. Calhoun!" and every man, woman, and
child in America, including Calhoun, knew that he would do it, and the
first act of treason was not committed against the Government, for even
the State of South Carolina, under the leadership of John C. Calhoun,
had bowed to its power.

We remained under that impression until I first took my seat in
the Senate on the 4th day of March, 1857. Then, again, treason was
threatened on the floor of the Senate and on the floor of the House.
They said then: "Do this or we will destroy your Government. Fail
to do that, and we will destroy your Government." One of them in
talking to brave old Ben. Wade one day repeated this threat, and
the old man straightened himself up and said: "Don't delay it on my
account." [Laughter.] Careful preparations were made to carry out
these treasons. Jefferson Davis stepped out of the Cabinet of Franklin
Pierce, as Secretary of War, into the Senate of the United States, and
became chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. There was an
innocent-looking clause in the general appropriation bill which read
that the Secretary of War might sell such arms as he deemed it for
the interest of the government to dispose of. Under that apparently
innocent clause, your arsenals were opened; your arms and implements
of war went together with your ammunition; your accoutrements followed
your arms; your navy was scattered wherever the winds blew and
sufficient water was found to float your ships, where they could not
be used to defend your government. The credit of the government, whose
6 per cent. bonds in 1857 sold for 122 cents on the dollar, was so
utterly prostrated and debased that in February, 1861--four years
afterward--bonds payable, principal and interest in gold, bearing 6
per cent., were sold for 88 cents on the dollar, with no buyers for
the whole amount. Careful preparations were made for the overthrow
of your government, and when Abraham Lincoln [cheers] took the oath
of office as President of the United States [cheers], you had no
army, no navy, no money, no credit, no arms, no ammunition, nothing
to protect the national life. Yet with all these discouragements
staring us in the face, the Republican party undertook to save your
government. [Applause.] We raised your credit, created navies, raised
armies, fought battles, carried on the war to a successful issue, and,
finally, when the rebellion surrendered at Appomattox, they surrendered
to a Government. [Applause.] They admitted that they had submitted
their heresy to the arbitrament of arms and had been defeated, and
they surrendered to the government of the United States of America.
[Applause.] They made no claims against this government, for they had
none. In the very ordinance of secession which they had signed they
had pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the
overthrow of this government, and when they failed to do it, they lost
all they had pledged. [Cries of "Good."] They made no claims against
the government because they had none. They asked, and asked as a boon
from the government of the United States, that their miserable lives
might be spared to them. [Applause.] We gave them their lives. They had
forfeited all their property--we gave it back to them. We found them
naked and we clothed them. They were without the rights of citizenship,
having forfeited those rights, and we restored them. We took them to
our bosoms as brethren, believing that they had repented of their sins.
We killed for them the fatted calf, and invited them to the feast, and
they gravely informed us that they had always owned that animal, and
were not thankful for the invitation. [Great laughter and cheers.] By
the laws of war, and by the laws of nations, they were bound to pay
every dollar of the expense incurred in putting down that rebellion.
Germany compelled France to pay $1,000,000,000 in gold coin for a brief
campaign. The seceding States were bound by the laws of war and by the
laws of nations to pay every dollar of the debt contracted for their
subjugation, but we forgave them that debt, and, to-day, you are being
taxed heavily to pay the interest on the debt that they ought to have
paid. [Applause.] Such magnanimity as was exhibited by this nation to
these rebels has never been witnessed on earth [applause], and, in my
humble judgment, will never be witnessed again. [Cheers.] Mistakes we
undoubtedly made, errors we committed, and I will take my full share of
responsibility for the errors, for I was there, and voted upon every
proposition; but, in my humble judgment, the greatest mistake we made,
and the gravest error we committed was in not hanging enough of these
rebels to make treason forever odious. [Prolonged cheers.] Somebody
committed a crime. Either those men who rose in rebellion committed
the greatest crime known to human law, or our own brave soldiers, who
went out to fight to save this government, were murderers. Is there a
man on the face of the earth who dares to get up and say that our brave
soldiers, who bared their breasts to the bullets of the rebels, were
anything but patriots? [Cheers.]

And now, after twenty years--after an absence of four years from the
Senate--I go back and take my seat, and what do I find? The self same
pretensions are rung in my ears from day to-day. I might close my eyes
and leave my ears open to the discussions that are going on daily
in Congress, and believe that I had taken a Rip Van Winkle sleep of
twenty years. [Applause.] Twenty years ago they said, "Do this or we
will shoot your government to death! Fail to do that or we will shoot
your government to death!" To-day I go back and find these paroled
rebels, who have never been relieved from their parole of honor to
obey the laws, saying: "Do this! obey our will, or we will starve your
government to death! Fail to obey our will, and we will starve your
government to death!" Now, if I am to die, I would rather be shot dead
with musketry than be starved to death. [Laughter and applause.]

These rebels--for they are just as rebellious now as they were twenty
years ago--there is not a particle of difference--these rebels to-day
have thirty-six members on the floor of the House of Representatives,
without one single constituent, and in violation of law those
thirty-six members represent 4,000,000 people, lately slaves, who are
as absolutely disfranchised as if they lived in another sphere, through
shot-guns, and whips, and tissue ballots; for the law expressly says,
wherever a race or class is disfranchised they shall not be represented
upon the floor of the House. [Applause.] And these thirty-six members
thus elected constitute three times the whole of their majority upon
the floor of the House. Now, my fellow-citizens, this is not only
a violation of law, but it is an outrage upon all the loyal men of
these United States. [Applause.] It ought not to be. It must not be.
[Applause.] And it shall not be. [Tremendous cheers.]

Twelve members of the Senate--and that is more than their whole
majority--twelve members of the Senate occupy their seats upon that
floor by fraud and violence, and I am saying no more to you in Chicago
than I said to those rebel generals to their faces on the floor of the
Senate of the United States. [Enthusiastic applause.] Twelve members
of that Senate were thus elected, and with majorities thus obtained
by fraud and violence in both houses, they dare to dictate terms to
the loyal men of these United States. [Applause.] With majorities thus
obtained they dare to arraign the loyal men of this country, and say
they want honest elections. [Laughter and applause.] They are mortally
afraid of bayonets at the polls. We offered them a law forbidding any
man to come within two miles of a polling place with arms of any
description, and they promptly voted it down [laughter and applause],
for they wanted their Ku-Klux there. They were afraid, not of Ku-Klux
at the polls, but of soldiers at the polls. Now, in all the States
north of Mason and Dixon's line and east of the Rocky Mountains there
is less than one soldier to a county. [Laughter.] There is about
two-thirds of a soldier to a county. [Laughter and applause.] And, of
course, about two-thirds of a musket to a county. [Laughter.] Now,
would not this great county of Cook tremble if you saw two-thirds of a
soldier parading himself up and down in front of the city of Chicago.
[Loud and long-continued applause and laughter.] But they are afraid to
have inspectors. What are they afraid to have inspectors for? The law
creating those inspectors is imperative that one must be a Democrat and
the other a Republican. They have no power whatever except to certify
that the election is honest and fair. And yet they are afraid of those
inspectors, and then they are afraid of marshals at the polls. Now,
while the inspectors cannot arrest, the marshals under the order of
the court can arrest criminals; therefore, they said: "We will have
no marshals." What they want is not free elections, but free frauds
at elections. They have got a solid South by fraud and violence. Give
them permission to perpetrate the same kind of fraud and violence in
New York city and in Cincinnati and those two cities with a solid South
will give them the presidency of the United States; and once obtained
by fraud and violence, by fraud and violence they would hold it for
a generation. To-day eight millions of people in those rebel States
as absolutely control all the legislation of this government as they
controlled their slaves while slavery was in existence. Through caucus
dictation now I find precisely what I found twenty years ago when I
first took my seat in Congress. In a Democratic Congress, composed of
twenty-eight Southern Democrats and sixteen Northern Democrats, they
decreed that Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois should be degraded and
disgraced from the Committee on Territories, and there were but just
two Northern Democratic senators who dared even to enter a protest
against the outrage. To-day there are thirty-two Southern Democratic
senators to twelve Northern, and out of the whole twelve there is not
a man who dares protest against anything. [Applause.] I say, that
through this caucus dictation, these eight millions of Southern rebels
as absolutely control the legislation of this nation as they controlled
their slaves when slavery existed.

Now, if every man within the sound of my voice should stand up in this
audience and hold up his right hand and swear that a rebel soldier was
better than a Union soldier, I would not believe it. [Laughter and
applause.] I would hold up both of my hands and swear that I did not
believe it. [Cheers.] And yet, to-day, in South Carolina, in Alabama,
in Louisiana, in Mississippi and in several other States the vote of a
rebel soldier counts more than two of the votes of the brave soldiers
of Illinois; for they vote for the negro as well as for themselves, and
their vote weighs just double the weight of that of the brave soldier
in Illinois. It is an outrage upon freedom, an outrage upon the gallant
soldiers of Illinois and Michigan. [Applause.]

Now, my fellow-citizens, I have undertaken to show you the condition
in which the country was placed when the Republican party assumed the
reins of power. When the Republican party took the reins of power, the
country had no money, no credit, no arms, no ammunition, no navy, no
material of war. When the Republican party took the reins of power in
its hands, there was no nation poor enough to do you reverence. You
were the derision of the nations of the earth. You had but one ally
and friend on earth, and that was little Switzerland. [Applause.]
Russia sent her fleet to winter here for her own protection, but there
was not a nation on God's earth, that did not hope and pray that your
republican government might be overthrown, and there was no nation on
earth poor enough to do you reverence. We fought that battle through;
we raised the nation's dignity, and the nation's honor, the national
power and the national strength, until now, to-day, after eighteen
years of Republican rule, there is no nation on earth strong enough
not to do you reverence. [Loud and continued applause.] We took your
national credit when it was so low that your bonds were selling at 88
cents on the dollar, bearing six per cent. interest and no takers,
and we elevated your credit up, up, up, up, up until to-day your
four per cent. bonds are selling at a premium in every market of the
earth. [Applause.] So your credit stands higher than the credit of any
other nation. [Applause.] We saved the national life and we saved the
national honor, and yet, notwithstanding all this, there are those
who say that the mission of the Republican party is ended and that it
ought to die. If there ever was a political organization that existed
on the face of this globe, which, so far as a future state of rewards
and punishments is concerned, is prepared to die, it is that old
Republican party. [Cheers.] But we are not going to do it. [Laughter
and applause.] We have made other arrangements. [Renewed laughter and

The Republican party is the only party that ever existed, so far as
I have been able to ascertain--so far as any record can be found,
either in sacred or profane history--it is the only party that ever
existed on earth which had not one single, solitary, unfulfilled
pledge left [cheers]--not one [renewed cheers]; and I defy the worst
enemy the Republican party ever had to name one single pledge it gave
to the people who created it which is not to-day a fulfilled and an
established fact. [Cheers.] The Republican party was created with one
idea, and that was to preserve our vast territories from the blighting
curse of slavery. We gave that pledge at our birth, that we would save
those territories from the withering grasp of slavery, and we saved
them. [Voices. "Yes, we did."] It is our own work. We did it. [Cheers.]
But we did more than that; we not only saved your vast territories
from the blighting curse of slavery, but we wiped the accursed thing
from the continent of North America. [Tremendous cheering.] We pledged
ourselves to save your national life, and we saved your national
life. We pledged ourselves to save your national honor, and we saved
your national honor. [Applause.] We pledged ourselves to give you a
homestead law, and we gave you a homestead law. [Applause.] We pledged
ourselves to improve your rivers and your harbors, and we improved your
rivers and your harbors. [Applause.] We pledged ourselves to build
a Pacific railroad, and we built a Pacific railroad. [Applause.] We
pledged ourselves to give you a college land bill, and we gave it to
you; and, not to weary you, the last pledge ever given and the last to
be fulfilled was that the very moment we were able we would redeem the
obligations of this great government in the coin of the realm, and on
the first day of January, 1879, we fulfilled the last pledge ever given
by the Republican party. [Cheers and long-continued applause.]

Notwithstanding all this, you say: "Your mission is ended and you
ought to die." [Laughter and applause.] Well, my fellow-citizens, if
we should die to-day, or to-morrow, our children's children to the
twentieth generation would boast that their ancestors belonged to that
glorious old Republican party [applause] that wiped that accursed
thing, slavery, from the escutcheon of this great government. [Cheers.]
And they would have a right to boast throughout all generations.

Senator Ben. Hill of Georgia said, in my presence, that he was an
"ambassador" from the sovereign State of Georgia [laughter] to the
Senate of the United States. Suppose Ben. Hill should be caught in
Africa or India, or some of those Eastern nations, and should get
into a little difficulty, do you think he would raise the great flag
of Georgia over his head [laughter] and say: "That will protect me."
[Renewed laughter and applause.] My fellow-citizens, you may take the
biggest ship that sails the ocean, put on board of her the flags of all
the States that were lately in the rebellion against this government,
raise to her peak the stars and bars of the rebellion, start her with
all her bunting floating to the breeze, sail her around the world, and
you would not get a salute of one popgun from any fort on earth. [Loud
and continued laughter and applause.] Take the smallest ship that sails
the ocean, mark her "U. S. A."--United States of America--raise to her
peak the Stars and Stripes, and sail her around the world, and there
is not a fort or a ship-of-war of any nation on God's footstool that
would not receive her with a national salute. [Cheers.] And yet the
Republican party has done all this. We took your government when it was
despised among the nations, and we have raised it to this high point of
honor; and yet you tell us we ought to die. [Laughter and applause.]

Suppose there was a manufacturing concern here that failed about the
year 1837, and the citizens of Chicago thought it very important that
it be reorganized and resume business. You would buy the property for
fifty cents on the dollar and reorganize it under your general laws,
elect officers, and look about for a competent man to manage it.
Finally you find what you believe to be the very man for that business
and put him in possession. He finds that the machinery is not up to
the progress of the age, and goes and buys new. He brings order out of
confusion, he manages the business so that the stock of the concern
rises to par; dividends are paid semi-annually and they grow larger
and larger. The stock rises to two hundred, and none for sale. After
eighteen years of successful management the manager comes in with his
account-current and his check for the half-yearly dividend, and lays it
before the president and the directors. The president has had a little
conversation with his directors, and says:

"This statement is very satisfactory, but we have concluded that after
the first day of July next we shall not require your services any

"Why," says the manager, "what have I done?"

"Nothing that is not praiseworthy. We will give you a certificate
that we think you have managed this establishment with great ability
and great success. We will certify that we think you have no equal in
the city of Chicago or State of Illinois. Everything you have done
is praiseworthy, and we give you full credit for it; but eighteen
years ago one of our employes was caught stealing and sent to the
penitentiary. He has now served his time out, and we propose to put him
in your place." [Prolonged laughter and cheers.] Wouldn't you say that
the president and all of the directors should be put into a lunatic
asylum on suspicion at once? [Applause and laughter.]

Now, I tell you, Mr. Chairman, the mission of the Republican party is
not ended. [Cheers.] I tell you, furthermore, Mr. Chairman, that it has
just begun. [Cheers.] I tell you, furthermore, that it will never end
until you and I can start from the Canada border, travel to the Gulf of
Mexico, make black Republican speeches wherever we please [applause],
vote the black Republican ticket wherever we gain a residence [cheers],
and do it with exactly the same safety that a rebel can travel
throughout the North, stop wherever he has a mind to, and run for judge
in any city he chooses.

[This hit at the Democratic candidate for judge of the Cook County
Superior Court, who was a rebel soldier during the war, set the
audience wild, and they cheered and swung their hats and handkerchiefs

I hope after you have elected him judge he won't bring you in a bill
for loss of time. [Laughter.]

You are going to hold an election next Tuesday which is of importance
far beyond the borders of Chicago. The eyes of the whole nation
are upon you. By your verdict next Tuesday you are to send forth
greeting to the people of the United States, saying, that either
you are in favor of honest men, honest money, patriotism, and a
National Government [cheers], or that you are in favor of soft money,
repudiation, and rebel rule. [Cheers.] It is a good symptom, Mr.
Chairman, to see 600 young men like you in line, prepared to carry the
flag of the Republican party forward to victory. [Cheers.] It is a good
symptom to see 600 young men like my friend, the chairman here, in the
front ranks, ready to fight the battles of their country now, and vote
as they shot during the war. [Cheers.]

Now, I want every single man in this vast audience to consider himself
a committee of one to work from now until the polls close on Tuesday
next. [Cheers.] Find a man who might stay away, who has gone away
and might not return; secure one man besides yourself to go to the
polls and vote the Republican ticket; and if you cannot find such a
man, try to convert a sinner from the error of his way. [Applause.]
You have got too much at stake to risk it at this election. The times
are too good. Iron brings too much. Lumber is too high. Your business
is too prosperous. Your manufactories are making too much money for
you to afford to turn this great government over to the hands of
repudiating rebels. You cannot do it. Shut up your stores. Shut up your
manufactories. Go to work for your country, and spend two days, and on
the night of election, Mr. Chairman, send me a dispatch, if you please,
that Chicago has gone overwhelmingly Republican. [Loud cheers.]






"There were giants in the earth in those days," is the simple record of
the age before the flood.

There has been no age without its giants; not, perhaps, in the narrow
sense of great physical stature, but in the broader sense of mental
might, capacity to command and control. Such men are but few, in
the most favored times, and it takes but few to give shape to human
history and destiny. Their words shake the world; their deeds move and
mold humanity; and, as Carlyle has suggested, history is but their
lengthened shadows, the indefinite prolonging of their influence even
after they are dead.

One of these giants has recently fallen, at the commanding signal
of One who is far greater than any of the sons of men, and at whose
touch kings drop their sceptre, and, like the meanest of their slaves,
crumble to dust.

This giant fell among us. We had seen him as he grew to his great
stature and rose to his throne of power. He moved in our streets; he
spoke in our halls; in our city of the living was his earthly home,
and in our city of the dead is his place of rest. He went from us
to the nation's capital, to represent our State in the Senate of
the republic; he belonged to Michigan, and Michigan gave him to the
Union; but he never forgot the home of his manhood. Here his dearest
interests clustered, and his deepest affections gathered; and here his
most loving memorial will be reared. As he belonged peculiarly to this
congregation, surely it is our privilege to weave the first wreath to
garland his memory.

The annual Day of Thanksgiving is peculiarly a national day, since
it is the only one in the year when the whole nation is called upon
by its chief magistrate to give thanks as a united people. By common
consent, it is admitted proper that, on that day, special mention be
made of matters that affect our civil and political well-being. There
is therefore an eminent fitness in a formal commemoration upon this day
of the life and labors of our departed Senator and statesman.

With diffidence I attempt the task that falls to me. The time is too
short to admit even a brief sketch of a life so long in deeds, so
eventful in all that makes material for biography; a life full, not
only of incidents, but of crises; moreover, I am neither a senator nor
a statesman, and feel incompetent to review a career which only the
keen eye of one versed in affairs of state can apprehend or appreciate
in its full significance; but, if you will indulge me, I will,
without conscious partiality or partisanship, calmly give utterance
to the unspoken verdict of the common people as to our departed
fellow-citizen; and try to hint at least a few of the lessons of a life
that suggests some of the secrets of success.

History is the most profitable of all studies, and biography is the key
of history. In the lives of men, philosophy teaches us by examples. In
the analysis of character, we detect the essential elements of success
and discern the causes of failure. Virtue and vice impress us most in
concrete forms; and hence even the best of all books enshrines as its
priceless jewel the story of the only perfect life.

To draw even the profile of Mr. Chandler's public career the proper
limits of this address do not allow. There is material, in the twenty
years of his senatorial life, which could be spread through volumes.
His advocacy of the great Northwest, whose champion he was; his
master-influence, first as a member, and then as the chairman of the
Committee of Commerce; his bold, keen dissection of the Harper's Ferry
panic; his sagacious organization of the presidential contests; his
plain declarations of loyalty to the Union as something which must be
maintained at cost both of treasure and of blood; his large practical
faculty for administration, made so conspicuous during stormy times;
his efficiency as a member of the standing Committee on the Conduct of
the War; his exposure of those who were responsible for its failures,
and his defense of those who promoted its successes, his marked
influence in changing not only the channel of public sentiment, but
the current of events; his watchful guardianship of popular interests,
political and financial; his intelligence and activity in senatorial
debates; his attentive and persistent study of the problem of
reconstruction; and his fearless resistance to all Southern aggression
and intimidation, are among the salient points of that long and
eventful public service, whose scope is too wide to allow at this hour
even a hasty survey.

But, happily, it is quite needless that in such a presence I should
trace in detail the events of his life; to us he was no stranger; and
the mark he has made upon our memory and our history is too deep not
to last. His footprints are not left upon treacherous and shifting
quicksands; and no wave of oblivion is likely soon to wash them away.

Zachariah Chandler had nearly completed his sixty-sixth year; forty-six
years he had been a resident of the City of the Straits. New Hampshire
was the State of his nativity: Michigan was, in an emphatic sense,
the State of his adoption. In our city his first success was won in
mercantile pursuits, where also was the first field for the exhibition
of his energy, ability and integrity. Here, as this century passed
its meridian hour, he passed the great turning-point in his career;
and his large capacities and energies were diverted into a political
channel. First, Mayor of the city, then nominated for Governor; when,
more than twenty years ago, a successor was sought for Lewis Cass in
the Senate, this already marked man became the first representative of
the Republican party of this State in that august body at Washington.
There, for a period of eighteen years, he sat among the mightiest men
of the nation, steadily moving toward the acknowledged leadership of
his party, and the inevitable command of public affairs. After three
terms in the Senate, his seat was occupied for a short time by another;
but, upon the resignation of Mr. Christiancy, he was, with no little
enthusiasm, re-elected, and was in the midst of a fourth term, when
suddenly he was no more numbered among the living. It may be doubled
whether, at this time, any one man, from Maine to Mexico, swayed the
popular mind and will with a more potent sceptre than did he; and many
confidently believe and affirm that, had death spared him, he would
have been lifted by the omnipotent voice and vote of the people to the
Presidency of the Republic.

Mr. Chandler took his seat in the Senate in those days of strife when
the storm was gathering, which, on the memorable 12th of April, 1861,
burst upon our heads, in the first gun fired at Fort Sumter. He entered
the Senate chamber, to take the oath of office, in company with some
whose names are now either famous or infamous for all time. On the one
hand, there was Jefferson Davis; on the other Hannibal Hamlin, Charles
Sumner, Benjamin F. Wade and Simon Cameron.

Those were days when history is made fast. Every day throbbed with
big issues. Kansas was a battle-ground of freedom; and the awful
struggle between State Sovereignty and National Unity was gathering,
like a volcano, for its terrible outbreak. The Republican Senator from
Michigan took in, at a glance, the situation of affairs. Devoted as
he was to the State, whose able advocate and zealous friend he was;
earnest and persistent as he was, in promoting the commercial and
industrial interests of the lake region; he was yet too much a patriot
to forget the whole country; and as the great conflict, which Mr.
Seward named "irrepressible," moved steadily on toward its crisis, he
armed himself for the encounter and planted his feet upon the rock of
unalterable allegiance to the Union; and from that position he never

Mr. Chandler was a zealous party-man; in the eyes of some he was a
partisan, in the strenuous advocacy of some measures; but I believe
that when history frames her ultimate, impartial verdict, she will
accord to him a candid, conscientious adherence to what he believed
to be a fundamental principle, absolutely essential to our national
life. He saw the South breathing hot hate toward the North, planning
and threatening to rend the Union asunder. To him it was not a question
simply of liberty and slavery, of sectional prejudice, of political
animosity; but a matter of life or of death. He saw the scimitar of
secession raised in the gigantic hand of war--but what was it that it
was proposed to cleave in twain at one blow? A living, vital form!
the body of a nation, with its one grand framework, its common brain
and heart, its network of arteries and veins and nerves. It was not
dissection as of a corpse--it was vivisection as of a corpus--that
sharp blade, if it fell, would cut through a living form, and leave
two quivering, bleeding parts, instead. Divide the nation? Why, the
same mountain ranges run down our eastern and western shores; the same
great rivers, which are the arteries of our commerce, flow through both
sections. Our republic is a unit by the decree of nature, that marked
our nation's area and arena by the lines of territorial unity, a unit
by the decree of history that records one series of common experiences;
and, aside from the decree of nature and of history, it is one by the
decree of necessity, for we could not survive the separation. Those
were the decisive days, and they showed whose heart was yearning toward
the child; and God said, as he saw a unanimous North pleading with Him
to arrest the falling sword and spare the living body of a nation's
life--"Give her the child, for she is the mother thereof!"

Mr. Chandler has been charged with violent and even vindictive feeling
toward what he deemed disloyalty and treason.

You have heard the story of the Russians, chased by a hungry pack of
wolves, driving at the height of speed over the crisp snow, finding
the beasts of prey gaining fast upon them, and throwing out one living
child after another to appease the maw of wolfish hunger, while the
rest of the family hurried on toward safety.

There are sagacious statesmen that have declared, for a quarter of
a century, that State Rights represents the pack of wolves and the
Sovereignty of the Union the imperilled household. For scores of years,
the encroachments of the South became more and more imperious and

Concession after concession was made, offering after offering flung to
the sacrifice, but only to be followed by a hungrier clamor and demand
for more; and, at last, even men of peace said, "We must stop right
here and fight these wolves;" and, when it becomes a question of life
and death, men become desperate.

I have never supposed myself to be a strong partisan. As a man, a
citizen, and a Christian, I have sought to find the true political
faith, and, finding it, to hold it, firmly and fearlessly. The question
of the unity of our nation and the sovereignty of the national
government has ever seemed to me to be of supreme moment, transcending
all mere political or party issues; and, as a patriot, I cannot be
indifferent to it.

When the long struggle between State Rights and National Sovereignty
grew hot and broke out into civil war, it was a matter of tremendous
consequence that the Union be preserved. History stood pointing, with
solemn finger, to the fate of the republics of Greece and Switzerland,
reminding us that confederation alone will not suffice to keep a nation
alive. Mexico, at our borders, was a warning against dismemberment
or the loss of the supremacy of a republican unity. And men of all
parties forgot party issues in patriotic devotion. It may be a question
whether State Sovereignty, however fatal to national life, deserved
the hideous name of treason, before the war. But, after the matter had
been referred to the arbitrament of the sword, and had been settled at
such cost of blood and treasure, it can never henceforth be anything
but treason, again to raise that issue. Hence, even men that were
temperate in their opposition to Southern aggressions before the war,
now are impatient. They set their teeth with the resolution of despair,
and say, "We make no further effort to escape this issue, and we throw
out no more offerings of concession. We shall fight these wolves; and
either State Rights or National Sovereignty shall die."

This was Mr. Chandler's position; if it was a mistaken one, it is the
unspoken verdict of millions of the best men of all parties in the
whole country; and every new concession to this great national heresy
is only making new converts to the necessity of a firm and fearless

Some one has suggested that the old division of the church into
militant and triumphant is no longer sufficient; we must add another,
namely, the church termagant. In our country both sections were
militant, and one was triumphant; the other has been very termagant
ever since. General Grant, at his reception in Chicago, declared that
the war for the Union had put the republic on a new footing abroad. A
quarter of a century ago, by political leaders across the sea, "it was
believed we had no nation. It was merely a confederation of States,
tied together by a rope of sand, and would give way upon the slightest
friction. They have found it was a grand mistake. They know we have
now a nation, that we are a nation of strong and intelligent and brave
people, capable of judging and knowing our rights, and determined on
all occasions to maintain them against either domestic or foreign foes;
and that is the reception you, as a nation, have received through me
while I was abroad."

On the same day we have a significant voice from the South, General
Toombs, in response to a suggestion that Governors of various States
and prominent Southern men should unite in congratulations to the
ex-President on his return, telegraphs in these words: "I decline to
answer except to say, I present my personal congratulations to General
Grant on his safe return to his country. He fought for his country
honorably and won. I fought for mine and lost. I am ready to try it
over! Death to the Union!"

Here we have simply two representative utterances; one is the voice
of a solid North; the other is, we fear, the voice of a South that
is much more "solid" than we could wish. It is no marvel if, after a
war of so many years, that cost so many lives and so much money, and
left us to drag through ten years of a financial slough, loyal men are
impatient and even angry, when they discover that the question is still
an unsettled one, and that we have not even conquered a peace! Even
the interpretation now attached to this seditious utterance by General
Toombs himself, that "the result of war was death to the Union, and
that the present government is a consolidated one, not a confederacy,"
does not essentially relieve the matter.

Mr. Chandler could not brook what he regarded as sentiments rendered
doubly treasonable by the fact that a long, bitter but successful war
had burned upon them with a hot iron the brand of treason. He fought
those sentiments, and it was as under a black flag that announced "no
quarter." But this does not prove malicious or vindictive feeling
toward misguided men who hold such views. There is a difference between
fighting a principle and fighting a person. In fact the only way to
prevent fighting men is often a vigorous and timely opposition to
their measures. And if we wish to avoid another war, and that a war of
extermination, the ballot must obviate the necessity for the bullet: we
must stand together, and by our voice and vote, by tongue and pen, by
our laws and our acts, in the use of every keen weapon, exterminate the
heresy of State Rights. We need not do this in hate toward the South:
a true love even for the South demands it, for to them as to us it is
a deadly foe to all true prosperity and national existence. How can a
man who candidly looks upon the present attitude of the South as both
suicidal and nationally destructive be calm and cool? The philippics of
Demosthenes were bitter, but they were the mighty beatings of a heart
that pulsed with the patriotism that could not see liberty throttled
without sounding a loud and indignant alarm. The North owes a big debt
to every man who at this crisis will not suffer an imperilled republic
to sleep.

Mr. Chandler was not a college graduate. His early training was got in
the New England common school and academy. Yet he was in a true sense
an educated man: for education is "not a dead mass of accumulations,"
but self-development, "power to work with the brain," to use the hand
in cunning and curious industries, to use the tongue in attractive and
effective speech, to use the pen in wise, witty or weighty paragraphs.
Somehow he had learned to hold, with a master hand, the reins of his
own mind, and make his imagination and reason and memory and powers of
speech obey his behests. That is no common acquirement: it is something
beyond all mere acquirement; it is the infallible sign and seal of
culture. His addresses, even on critical occasions, were unwritten,
and, in some cases, could not have been elaborated, even in the mind;
yet in vigor of thought, logical continuity and consistency, accuracy
of diction, and even rhetorical grace, few public speakers equal them.

The power to command the popular ear is a rare power, whether it be a
gift of nature or a grace of culture. With Mr. Chandler it was held
and wielded as a native sceptre. He had the secret of rhetorical
adaptation; he could at once go down to the level of the people and
yet lift them to his level. They understood what he said and knew what
he meant. He threw himself into their modes of thought and habits of
speech; he culled his illustrations mainly from common life. If he
sacrificed anything, it was rhetorical elegance, never force; his one
aim was to compel conviction.

The simplicity of his diction was a prime element and secret of his
power. He did not speak as one who had to say something, but as one
who had something to say, and whose whole aim was to say it well; with
clearness, plainness, force and effect. If he could not have both
weight and lustre, he would have weight.

Walter Scott has exposed the absurdity of "writing down" to children,
and shown that it is really writing up, to make oneself so simple as
to be plain even to the child-mind. Simplicity is the highest art. To
have thought faintly gloom and glimmer through obscure language, like
stars through a haze or mist, may serve to impress the ignorant with a
supposed profundity in the speaker; but it is no more a sign of such
profundity than muddy water signifies depth in a stream; it may suggest
depth because you can see no bottom, but it means shallowness! It is
a lesson that all of us may learn through the life of our departed
Senator, that the first element of good speaking is thought; and the
second a form of words fitting the thought, which, like true dress,
shall not call attention to itself but to the idea or conception which
it clothes. Any man who is long to hold the ear of the people must
give them facts and thoughts worth knowing and thinking of, in words
which it will not take a walking dictionary or living encyclopædia
to interpret, or a philosopher to untangle from the skein of their

Mr. Chandler was such a man, a man for the people. Free from all
stately airs and stilted dignities, he took hold of every political
and national question with ungloved hands. He understood and used the
language of home life, which is the "universal dialect" of power. His
speeches were packed with vigorous Saxon. He thought more of the short
sword, with its sharp edge and keen point and close thrust, than of
the scholar's labored latinity, with its longer blade, even though it
might also have a diamond-decked hilt; and in this, as in not a few
other conspicuous traits, he was master of the best secrets that gave
the great Irish agitator, O'Connell, his strange power of moving the
multitude. His last speech, even when read, and without the magnetism
of his personal presence, may well stand as the last of his utterances.

The simplicity of Mr. Chandler's style of oratory amounted to
ruggedness, in the sense in which we apply that word to the naked
naturalness of a landscape, whose features have not been too much
modified by art. There is in oratory an excessive polish, which
suggests coldness and deadness. Some speakers sharpen the blade until
there is no blade left, the mistaken carefulness of their culture
brings everything to one dead level of faultlessness; there is nothing
to offend, and nothing to rouse and move. Demosthenes said that
kinésis--not "action," but motion, or rather that which moves--is the
first, second, third requisite of true oratory. He is no true speaker
who simply pleases you: he must stir you to new thought, new choice,
new action.

We must beware of the polish that is a loss of power, and, like a
lapidary, not grind off points, but grind into points. Demosthenes was
more rugged than Cicero; but he pricked men more with the point of his
oratorical goad. Men heard the silver-tongued Roman and said, "How
pleasantly he speaks!" They heard the bold Athenian and shouted, "Let
us go and fight Philip!"

Carlyle says, "He is God's anointed king whose simple word can melt a
million wills into his!" That melting wills into his own is the test of
eloquence in the orator; and a rugged simplicity has held men in the
very fire of the orator's ardor and fervor, till they were at white
heat, and could be shaped at will; while the most scholarly display of
culture often leaves them unmoved, to gape and stare with wonder, as
before the splendors of the Aurora Borealis, and feel as little real
warmth. Emerson is right: "There is no true eloquence unless there is a
man behind the speech," and men care not what the speech is if the man
be not behind it, or, on the other hand, what the speech is, if the man
be behind it! And so it is that Richard Cobden compelled even Robert
Peel, who loved truth and candor, to become a convert to his free-trade
opinions; and so it was that John Bright, another model of a simple
utterance with a sincere man behind it, swayed such a mighty sceptre
over the people of Britain. The mere declaimer or demagogue may win a
temporary hearing; but the man who leaves a lasting impress on the mind
of the people must have in himself some real worth.

To Mr. Chandler's executive ability reference has been made. It
was never better illustrated than in his vigorous and faithful
administration as Secretary of the Interior. It was Hercules in the
Augean stables again--purging the department of incompetency and
dishonesty. He sent a flood through the Patent Office, that swept all
the clerks out of one room; and another through the Indian Bureau,
that cleaned out its abuses and exposed its frauds. It is said that
the reconstruction of that department saved millions annually to the
treasury of the nation. Mr. Schurz, in becoming his successor, paid
a very handsome tribute to the retiring Secretary, acknowledging the
great debt of the country to Mr. Chandler's energy and fidelity, and
modestly declaring that he could hope for no higher success than to
keep and leave the department where he found it.

If there be any one thing for which the Senator from Michigan stood
above most men it was in this practical business ability. He had, in
rare union, "talent" and "tact." His good sense, clear views, ready
and retentive memory, prompt decision, patience and perseverance, quick
discernment and instinctive perception of the fitness of ways to ends,
qualified him for energetic and successful administration anywhere.
Webster said, "There is always room at the top." Even the pyramid waits
for the capstone, which must be, itself, a little pyramid. And he who
has inborn or inbred fitness for the top place will find his way there;
no other will long stay there, even if some accident lifts him to the
nominal occupancy of such a position.

He had rare tact, that indefinable quality of which Ross says, that
"it is the most exquisite thing in man." Literally it means "touch,"
and is suggested by the delicacy often found in that mysterious sense.
It describes, though it cannot define, the nice, skillful, innate
discernment and discrimination which tells one what to say and do, even
on critical occasions; how to reach and "touch" men, when a blunder
would be fatal. This wisdom of instinct may be cultivated but cannot be
acquired; and it seems to be close of kin with that common sense which,
though by no means exceedingly "common," represents a sound intuitive
sense in common matters, such as would be the common sense or verdict
of wise and sagacious minds.

The Senator impressed men as one whose powers were varied and
versatile. Thomas F. Marshall, the "Kentucky orator," maintained that
fine speaking, writing and conversation depend on a different order of
gifts. "A speech cannot be reported, nor an essay spoken. Fox wrote
speeches; nobody reads them. Sir James Mackintosh spoke essays; nobody
listened. Yet England crowded to hear Fox, and reads Mackintosh. Lord
Bolingbroke excelled in all, the ablest orator, finest writer, most
elegant drawing-room gentleman in England."

Whether or not this philosophy be sound and this estimate correct, we
shall all agree that few men combine power of speech with force in
composition and grace in conversation. Our departed Senator certainly
had more than the common share of versatility. That last speech at
Chicago thrilled a vast audience when spoken, and kindled a flaming
enthusiasm; yet it reads like the compact and complete sentences of the

Versatility, however, is not to be coveted where it implies a lack of
concentration. An anonymous writer has left us a very discriminating
comparison of two great British statesmen. He likens Canning's mind to
a convex speculum which scattered its rays of light upon all objects;
while he likens Brougham's to a concave speculum which concentrated the
rays upon one central, burning, focal point. There are some men who
possess, to a considerable degree, both the power to scatter and the
power to gather the rays. At times they exhibit varied and versatile
ability, they touch delicately and skillfully many different themes or
departments of thought and action; but when crises arise which demand
the whole man, they become in the best sense men of one idea, for one
thought fills and fires the soul; every power is concentrated in one
burning purpose.

The Senator, whose deserved garland we are weaving, was one of these
men. There were times when he seemed to turn his hand with equal
ease to a score of employments; now giving wise counsel in gravest
matters, now playfully entertaining guests at his table; now studying
the deep philosophy of political economy, now holding a Senate in
rapt attention; now reorganizing a department of state; now pushing
a new measure through Congress; now closeted with the President over
the issues of a colossal campaign, and again conducting a pleasure
excursion; to-day leading on the hosts of a great party, and to-morrow
managing the affairs of an extensive farm. But, when the destiny of
the nation hung in the balance, or history waited with uplifted pen to
record on her eternal scroll the final decision of some great question,
he gathered and condensed into absolute unity all the powers of mind
and heart and will, and flung the combined weight of his whole manhood
into the trembling scale. When he felt that a thing must be, a mountain
was no obstacle to surmount, a host of foes no occasion for dismay.
With intensity of conviction, with contagious courage and enthusiasm,
with indomitable resolution, with tireless energy of action, he
went ahead, and weaker men had to follow; his conviction persuaded
the hesitating, his courage emboldened the timid, his determination
inspired the irresolute. He was the unit that, in the leading place,
makes even the cyphers swell the sum of power.

It is no slight praise of Mr. Chandler to say that he was a man of
industry; the results he reached were won by work. There is a great
deal of blind talk about genius. That there is such a thing, apart
from the practical faculty of application, even great men have doubted
or boldly denied; but certain it is that there is such a thing as
the genius of industry, and that rules the world! Alexander Hamilton
disclaimed any other genius than the profound study of a subject. He
kept before him a theme which he meant to master, till he explored it
in all its bearings and his mind was filled with it. Then, to quote
his words, "the effort which I make the people are pleased to call the
fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought."

And so for us all there is no royal road to a true success. We must
simply plod on, along the plain, hard, plebeian path of honest toil,
and climb up the hills, if we would get on and up at all. Spinoza
grandly says that that there is no foe or barrier to progress like
"self-conceit and the laziness which self-conceit begets." We venture
to add that no conceit is surer to beget laziness than the conceit
of "conscious genius." Our peril is to learn to do our work easily;
that means poor work, if indeed any work at all, shallow acquirements,
superficial attainments, and no real scholarly or heroic achievements.

Our regretted Senator did not despise honest work, and never claimed
to be a genius. He had a hearty contempt for all that aristocracy of
intellect that frowns on mental toil.

He spoke without manuscript, and without memorizing; or, as we say,
"extempore." That is another much-abused word. Extemporaneous speech
is not the utterance of words that shake the world, or any considerable
part of it, unless such speech be the fruit not of that time, but,
as Dr. Shedd says, "of all time previous." But when the orator first
becomes master of his theme and then of the occasion, and is thus
fitted to deal with the real vital issues before the people, he may,
without having put pen to paper, or having framed a single sentence
beforehand, often find himself master also of his audience. The careful
study of his subject, the habit of thinking in words, and of weighing
words when he reads and talks, scoops out a channel in the mind; and
when he rises to speak he finds his thought flowing naturally and
easily in this channel.

No man can carefully read Mr. Chandler's public utterances without
detecting a brevity and terseness, a simplicity and plainness, an
accuracy and vigor, and often a rhetorical beauty, which shew care in
preparation. These qualities are not the offspring of indolence. Years
of drill lie back of the exact and daring touches with which the artist
makes the canvas speak and the marble breathe; and the extempore speech
of the eloquent orator tells of long, hard discipline that has taught
him how to think and how to talk; it may have taken him fifty years to
learn how to hold and sway an audience at will for fifty minutes. The
ease and grace of true oratory are the signs of previous exertion; of
that systematic exercise of the intellect that has suggested for our
training schools the name, gymnasia. The laws of brain and of brawn do
not differ much in this respect. Men are not born athletes, either in
mind or muscle; and to all who have a true desire to succeed, in any
sphere of life, the one voice that, with the growing emphasis of the
successive centuries, speaks to us, is, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth
to do, do it with thy might." Your sword may be short; "add a step to
it!" it may be dull; add force to the blow or the thrust. There is no
encouragement from history, more universally to be appropriated by
us, than the testimony she furnishes to the power and value of honest
endeavor. To will and to work is to win. The highest endowments assure
no achievements; all success is the crown of patient toil!

While thus speaking a word in favor of hard work, one word of caution
and of qualification may not be out of place. I think God means that
the sudden decease of public men when in life's prime, shall not be
without warning. No thoughtful man fails to feel the force of this
fact that somehow the average duration of human life, especially on
these shores and among men of mark, is shortening; and that apoplexy,
paralysis, angina pectoris, cerebral hemorrhage, and softening of the
brain are amazingly common among brain-workers. The fatality among
journalists is especially startling.

We are a fast-living and a fast-dying people. Our habits are bad. We
work hard half the time and worry the other half. We eat and sleep
irregularly; we tax our powers unduly, keeping the bow bent until
the string snaps simply from constant tension, lack of relaxation.
We turn night into day, without restoring the balance by turning day
into night. We live in an atmosphere of excitement, and push on to
the verge of death before we know our peril or realize our risk. We
are tempted to put stimulus in the place of strength, that we may do,
under unnatural pressure, what we cannot do by nature's healthy powers.
Instead of repairing the engine, we crowd fuel into the boiler and get
up more steam; and, by and by, something breaks, or bursts, and the
machinery is a wreck.

I believe it is not hard work that kills us, so much as work under
wrong conditions. To do, with the aid of even mild stimulants, like tea
and coffee, not to say tobacco, opium, quinine, etc., what we cannot
do by the natural strength, is the worst kind of overwork; and yet our
public men are subject, to such strain, that they are almost driven to
such resorts. Where they ought to stop, and sleep and rest, they "key
up" with a kind of artificial strength, and get the habit of unnatural
wakefulness; and then wonder why they are victims of insomnia.

Professor Tyndall, one of the most tireless men of brain in our day,
says to the students of University College, London: "Take care of
your health! Imagine Hercules, as oarsman in a rotten boat; what can
he do there but, by the very force of his stroke, expedite the ruin
of his craft! Take care of the timbers of your boat!" And Dr. Beard
adds: "To work hard without overworking, to work without worrying, to
do just enough without doing too much--these are the great problems
of our future. Our earlier Franklin taught us to combine industry
with economy; our 'later Franklin' taught us to combine industry with
temperance; our future Franklin--if one should arise--must teach us how
to combine industry with the art of taking it easy."

The qualities that fitted Mr. Chandler for the conduct of affairs were,
however, not purely intellectual; they belonged in part to another and
a higher order, viz.: the emotions and affections.

He had great intensity of nature. Even his political opponents could
not doubt the positiveness of his conviction and the profoundness of
his sincerity; and here, as Carlyle justly says, must be found the
base blocks in the structure of all heroic character. It is no small
thing to be able to command even from an antagonist the concession and
confession of one's sincerity. Candor atones for a host of faults.
Men will, at the last, forgive anything else in a man who tries to be
true to his own convictions and to their interests. The utterances of
impulse and even of passion, stinging sarcasm and biting ridicule,
unjust charges and assaults, all are easy to pardon in one whose
sincerity and intensity of conviction betray him into too great heat;
men would rather be scorched or singed a little in the burning flame
of a passionate earnestness than freeze in the atmosphere of a human
iceberg--beneath whose rhetorical brilliance, they feel the chill of a
cold, calculating insincerity and hypocrisy that upsets their faith in
human honesty.

He was also peculiarly independent and intrepid. The determination to
be loyal, both to his convictions and to his country, inspired him to a
bold, brave utterance and invested him with a courage and confidence
that were almost contagious. We cannot but admire the political
fidelity expressed by Burke, in his famous defense before the electors
of Bristol, when he said: "I obeyed the instructions of nature and
reason and conscience; I maintained your interests, as against your
convictions." Few men have ever dared to say and do what Mr. Chandler
has, in the face of such political risks and even such personal peril.
One brief address delivered by him in the Senate, soon after he resumed
his seat, will stand among the classics of our language, and, if I may
so say, among the "heroics" of our history.

He was also a man of great political integrity. In the long career of a
public life spanning more than a quarter of a century, no suspicion of
dishonesty or disloyalty has ever stained his character or reputation.
Michigan may safely challenge any Senatorial record of twenty years to
surpass his, either in the quantity or quality of public service.

Those who knew him best affirm that he was, politically and personally,
an incorruptible man. The position of a legislator is one of proverbial
peril. From the days of Pericles and Augustus till now, the men
who make laws and guide national affairs are peculiarly in danger
of defiling their consciences by "fear or favor." Bribery sits in
the vestibule of every law-making assembly. Greed holds out golden
opportunity for getting enormous profits from unlawful or questionable
schemes and investments. Ambition lifts her shining crown, and offers
a throne of commanding influence if you will bow down and worship,
or even make some slight concession in favor of, the devil. Only a
little elasticity of conscience, a little blunting of the moral sense;
a little falsehood, or perjury, or treachery, under polite names; a
lending of one's name to doubtful schemes; and there is a rich reward
in gains to the purse and gratifications to the pride, which more than
pay for the trifling loss of self-respect. And so not a few who go
to Congress with unsullied reputation, come back smutched with their
participation in "Credit Mobilier" and "Pacific Railroad" schemes, or
any one of the thousand forms of fraud.

So far as I know, Mr. Chandler has never been charged with complicity
as to dishonest and disgraceful measures such as have sometimes made
the very atmosphere of the Capitol a stench in the nostrils of the pure
and good. His name does not stand on the pay-roll of Satan, but with
the honored few whose eyes have never been blinded by a bribe and whose
record has never been blotted with political dishonor.

To have simply done one's duty is no mean victory. To stand--like the
anvil beneath the blows of the hammer--and firmly resist the force of
a repeated temptation is grand and heroic. To be venal is no venial
fault; no price which can be weighed in gold can pay a man for the sale
of one ounce of his manliness. Conscience is a Samson, whose locks are
easily shorn, but they never grow again; whose eyes, once put out or
seared with a hot iron, no prayer will restore. And men, as great and
wise as Bacon, have like him been compelled to confess to their own
meanness and the mercenary character of their virtue.

One of the worst signs of the times is this corruptibility of popular
leaders. One of the greatest of European journals moves like a
weather-vane, just as the day's wind blows. Much of the best talent of
Europe is for sale for or against despotism. Some of the most gifted
men in the House of Lords are of plebeian birth, bought by the bribe of
a title, as Harry Brougham himself was, when his great influence became
a terror to the aristocracy; and the Duke of Newcastle is said to have
bought one-third of the House of Commons. There is scarce a measure,
however infamous, that may not be pushed through our common councils
and legislative bodies if the lobbyists are only "influential and
numerous," and the money is only plenty enough. Let us give God thanks
for every man in the community who is not on the auction block to be
knocked down to the highest bidder. In these days of abounding fraud
and falsehood, men are beginning to feel the value of simple honesty.
We have, in our admiration of the genius of intellect, forgotten the
genius of goodness, which has power to inspire men with heroism. Better
to strengthen a few timid hearts in loyalty to principle than to have
deserved the encomium of Augustus, who "found Rome brick, and left
it marble." The Earl of Chatham refused to keep a million pounds of
government funds in the bank and pocket the proceeds; as Edmund Burke,
on becoming paymaster-general, first of all introduced a bill for the
reorganization of that department of public service, refusing to enrich
himself, through the emoluments of that lucrative office, at public

No wonder George the Second should have said of such "honesty" that it
is an "honor to human nature!" Such words were worthy of a king, but
it is only a crowned head bowing to royal natures that need no crown
to tell that they are kingly. The distinguished Hungarian exile will
never be forgiven for saying that he would praise anything and anybody
to aid Hungary. There is an instinct in the great heart of humanity
which not even wickedness kills, that no quality is so fundamental to
character as absolute loyalty to truth, it is the base-block of the
whole structure; and great has been many a "fall," where there is no
better foundation than the treacherous and shifting quicksands of what
is called "policy," and which is to many the only standard of honesty.

Mr. Chandler was known in politics as an enthusiastic and radical
advocate of his party and its measures. It was not in him to do
anything by halves, and it is difficult to see why one may not as
naturally be zealous in politics as in religion; in fact, none are
more likely to charge upon him partisanship than those who in their
attachment to the opposite party shew their own lack of moderation.

It has been well said that religion demands "a faith, a polity and a
party." The faith and the polity belong to it as necessary features;
the party is that on which it depends for organization and onward
movement. There is a philosophy, a political creed and economy, which
are to the state what religion is to the church; and no man can be a
patriot without a political faith and polity and party; though he may
stand alone, he represents all three. He may be in the largest sense a
patriot, and adopt the sublime motto of Demosthenes, "Not father, nor
mother, but dear native land!" yet his patriotism may compel him, us he
looks at the matter of his country's interest, to take a position on
the side of a political party, and to hold it in the face of ridicule
and reproach and even of a pelting hail of hate. Others may not be
wrong in their espousal of a different political creed, but he is not
wrong, but right, in his honest adherence to his. It is so in religion;
an honest, intelligent man is loyal to his own denomination, yet is
he none the less, because of that, a Christian in the breadth of his

In fact, religion is not the only sphere where self-sacrifice, for duty
and for conscience, may be pressed even to martyrdom. St. Ignatius,
facing the wild beasts in the arena, calmly said, "I am grain of God; I
must be ground between teeth of lions to make bread for God's people."
That was the grand confession of a Christian martyr. Tell me, how much
lower down in the scale of the heroic does he belong who, for the sake
of the best good of a constituency blinded by passion or prejudice,
like the great English statesman, consents to be hurled from his shrine
as the idol of the people, and calmly says, "I am under no obligation
to be popular, but I am under bonds to myself to be true!" When
Regulus refused to buy his own liberty and life, at the cost of Rome's
disgrace, and persuaded the Senate to reject the very overtures which
he was commissioned to convey, himself returning as his pledge required
him if the negotiations were unsuccessful, and surrendering himself to
the will of his enemies that Carthage might put him to death by slow
torture, it seems to me something like the martyr-spirit burned in that
bosom. And, if there be nothing akin to moral martyrdom in bravely
standing in one's place and boldly holding one's ground, advocating
what one believes to be the only true creed in politics, and the only
true policy for the country, in face of sneer and threat, daring the
blade and the bullet, the open affront and the secret assault, for the
sake of being true to one's self and to one's native land--if there
be nothing sublime and heroic in all this, the verdict of reason is

This lamented statesman had also a genial temper, which won for him a
host of friends. Public men are prone to one of two extremes; either
the hypocritical suavity of the demagogue, or the arbitrary bluntness
and curtness of the despot. Some swing away from the fawning airs of
the puppy, but it is toward the repulsive manners of the bear. The man
who, as you tip your hat with a polite good morning, sweeps by, saying,
"I haven't time," is too often the typical man of affairs, who thinks
the quick dismission of applicants and intruders is the price of all
energetic public service. It is said of the great French statesman,
Richelieu, that he could say "No." so gracefully and winningly, that
a man once became applicant for a position, upon which he had not
the least claim, just to hear the great Cardinal refuse. If common
testimony may be trusted, Michigan's esteemed Senator seldom lost the
hearty cordiality and courtesy of his manners, even under the fretting
friction of public cares.

I am tempted to add that, though a representative Republican, Mr.
Chandler was, in the best sense, a democrat. He weighed a man according
to the worth of his manhood. He could recognize true manliness beneath
a black skin as well as a white one, and behind the rough dress of
a poor man, as behind broadcloth; and, because he was the friend of
humanity and of human rights, you will find some of his warmest friends
among the common people and in the lower ranks.

I think both justice and generosity demand that among the tributes
we weave for him, there should be distinct and emphatic mention of
this simplicity of character. He was a man among men. From the first,
he had none of those assumptions of conscious superiority that mark
the aristocrat. If anything, he was rather careless than careful of
his dignity, and would sooner shock than mock the fastidious airs
and tastes of those who prate about culture, or pride themselves on
their "nobility." Fox quaintly said, of the elder Pitt, that he "fell
up stairs" when he was elevated to the peerage. Many a man cannot
stand going up higher. He becomes haughty, proud; he affects dignity,
he lords it over God's heritage, he becomes too big with conscious
superiority. Like Jeshurun, he waxes fat and kicks. He falls up stairs,
if not down.

The warm, soft, genial side of Mr. Chandler's nature was unveiled in
social life and most of all in the domestic circle. The play of his
smile, the roar of his laughter, the delicacy and tenderness of his
sympathy, his stalwart defense of those whom he loved, the childlike
traits that drew him to children and drew children to him, none
appreciate as do those who knew him best as friend, husband and father.
The man of public affairs, he could lay one hand firmly on the helm of
state, while with the other he fondly pressed his grandchildren to his
bosom, or playfully roused them to childish glee.

This aspect of his many-sided character makes his death an irreparable
loss to his own household. Even the great grief of a nation cannot
represent by its "extensity," the intensity of the more private sorrow
that secludes itself from the public eye. He was, to those whom he
specially loved, both a tower for strength, and a lover and friend for
comfort and sympathy. Those who were "at home" with him and especially
those who were the peculiar treasures of his heart, knew him as no
others could. Happy is the minister who forgets not his parish at
home--the church that is in his own house--and happy is the public man,
whose private life is not simply the revelation of the hard, coarse and
unattractive side of his character.

That is I am sure no ordinary occurrence, which has made forever
memorable the Calends of this November. Death, however frequent and
familiar by frequency, can never, to the thoughtful, be an event
of common magnitude; the exchange of worlds cannot be other than
a most august experience. But this death has about it colossal
proportions; it stands out and apart like a mountain in a landscape.
It is recognized as a calamity not only to a household, but to the
city, the State, the Nation; and it may be doubted whether, since
the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, any single announcement has so
startled the public mind and moved the popular heart as when on the
1st day of November it was announced that Zachariah Chandler was found
sleeping his last sleep.

Ulysses S. Grant is a man of few words--and like his shot and shell
they weigh a good deal and are well aimed. Let us hear his verdict on
Mr. Chandler:

  "A nation, as well as the State of Michigan, mourns the loss of one
  of her most brave, patriotic and truest citizens. Senator Chandler
  was beloved by his associates and respected by those who disagreed
  with his political views. The more closely I became connected with
  him the more I appreciated his great merits.

                                                            U. S. GRANT.

  "GALENA, Ill., Nov. 9, 1879."

It is evident that it is no ordinary man who has departed from among
us. It is not "a self-evident truth that all men are created equal,"
if we mean equality of gifts and graces, capacity, opportunity or even
responsibility; and the people of these United States do not need to be
told that Mr. Chandler was no common man. It was by no accident that he
held in succession, and filled with success, posts of such importance
and trusts of such magnitude. He did not drift into prominence; he
rose by sheer force of character and by the fitness of things. Born
to be a leader, endowed with those qualities that mark a man destined
to leadership, having rare business faculty, and sagacity, tact and
talent, large capacity for organization and administration, his hand
was naturally at the helm.

Mr. Chandler's leadership reached beyond and beneath the visible
conduct of affairs. As Moses was the inspiration, of which Aaron was
the expression, he was often the power behind the throne. He who has
now left us, forever, belonged to the illustrious few who were the
special counselors of Mr. Lincoln and the instigators of many of his
wisest and best measures. There is an inner history of the war which
has never been written and never will be. The lips that alone could
disclose those secrets are fast closing in eternal silence, and the
scroll will find no man worthy to loose its seals.

Mr. Chandler could not have been wholly ignorant of the risk he ran in
his laborious and prolonged campaign-work; but when his country seemed
in peril his tongue could not keep silence. Just before starting on his
last journey westward, he said to me: "In my judgment the crisis now
upon us is more important than any since Lee surrendered, and as grave
as any since Sumter was fired on." Those who knew him best will not be
surprised that, with such an impression of the magnitude of the issues
now before the American people, he could not spare himself, but gave
himself without reserve to his country, sacrificing his life itself on
the altar of his own patriotism.

And so our stalwart statesman has fallen, and we have a new lesson on
human mortality. Anaxagoras, when told that the Athenians had condemned
him to die, calmly added, "And nature, them!" All our riches, honors,
dignities cannot stay the steps of the great destroyer. The manliest
and mightiest leaders, and the humblest and meanest followers bow alike
to the awful mandate of death. And as Massilon said at the funeral of
the Grand Monarch, "God only is great!"

Of how little consequence after all are all the things that perish.
Temporal things derive all their true value from their connection with
the invisible and eternal. How small will all appear as they recede
into the dim distance at the dying hour and the world to come confronts
us with its awful decisions of destiny! What grandeur and glory are
imparted to our humblest sphere of service, here, when touched and
transformed by the power of an endless life!

We have reason to be glad that the popular recognition of Mr.
Chandler's abilities and services has been so prompt and hearty as to
afford him not a little satisfaction. Posthumous tributes are sometimes
melancholy memorials, reminding us of the monumental sepulchres of

Robert Burns's mother said about his monument, as she bitterly
remembered how the poet of Ayr had been left to starve, "Ah, Robbie, ye
asked them for bread and they hae ge'en ye a stane!" It can never be
said that our departed Senator had to wait for another generation to
pronounce a just or generous verdict upon his career; the trophies of
victory and of popular esteem were strewn along the whole line of his
march; and his last tour of the Northwest was a perpetual ovation.

There is to my mind no little inspiration of comfort in the fact that
not even human malice can falsify history. Men sometimes get more
than their share of praise or of blame while they live; but sooner or
later the cloud of incense or the mist of prejudice clears away and
the real character is more plainly seen. We can afford to leave the
final verdict to another generation if need be, grateful as it is to be
appreciated by the generation which we seek to serve.

But it is still more inspiring to know that God rules this world, and
reigns over the affairs of men. If He marks the flight and the fall of
the sparrow, we may be sure that no man rises to the seat of power or
sinks to the grave without His permission.

God is not dead, and cannot die. Generations pass away while He remains
the same. His hand is on the helm, whatever human hand seems to have
hold, and is still there when the most trusted helmsman relaxes his
dying grasp. If God's hand is not in our history, all its records are
misleading, and all its course a mystery. Admit the divine factor,
and, from the strange unveiling of this hidden Western world until
this day, our national life appears like one colossal crystal; it has
unity, transparency and symmetry. We can understand Plymouth Rock, the
revolution, the French and Indian wars, the war of 1812, the great
rebellion, the Kansas problem and the California problem, the Indian
question and the Chinese question, Romanism and Communism, Eastern
conservatism and Western radicalism, the freedmen and the emigrant,
state rights and national sovereignty--all are the subordinate factors
whose harmonizing, reconciling, assimilating factor is the divine
purpose and plan in our history. My friends, the republic has a divine
destiny to fulfill. The Great Pilot is steering the ship of state for
her true haven. Scylla threatens on one side, Charbydis on the other;
but He knows the channel. The stormy Euroclydon may strike her, tear
her sails to tatters and snap her ropes like burnt tow, and splinter
her masts to fragments; but He holds the winds in his fists. Let us not
fear. We have only to love, trust and obey the God of our Fathers and
He will guide us safely and surely through all darkness and danger.
The sins that reproach our people are the only foes we have to fear;
the righteousness that exalts a nation the only ally we need to covet.
If the people of Michigan would rear a grand monument to the heroic
men who have adorned our history, let us be true to the principles
which they have defended, and to the God who gave them to us as His

The DORIC PILLAR OF MICHIGAN has fallen; but the State stands, and
God can set another pillar in its place. There is stone in the
quarry--columns are taking shape to-day in our homes and schools and
churches; and in God's time they shall be raised to their place. Let us
only be sure that in the shrine of our nation God finds a throne, and
not the idols of this world, and not even the earthquake shock shall
shatter the symmetric structure of the Republic.


  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

  Enclosed bold font in =equals=.

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