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Facts of Reconstruction

Facts of Reconstruction
Catalog # SKU1222
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name John R. Lynch


The Facts

John R. Lynch

The American Civil War continues to be a mystery among citizens of the North and the South. Most important facts were hidden from the American Public for well over a hundred years by the U.S. Government. The Reconstruction Era was one of the most damning and insulting periods of history in the South. Read accounts of this period from someone who was there and experienced it.

Excerpt from the Preface:

The author of this book is one of the few remaining links in the chain by which the present generation is connected with the reconstruction period,--the most important and eventful period in our country's history.

What is herein recorded is based upon the author's own knowledge, contact and experience. Very much, of course, has been written and published about reconstruction, but most of it is superficial and unreliable; and, besides, nearly all of it has been written in such a style and tone as to make the alleged facts related harmonize with what was believed to be demanded by public sentiment. T

he author of this work has endeavored to present facts as they were and are, rather than as he would like to have them, and to set them down without the slightest regard to their effect upon the public mind, except so far as that mind may be influenced by the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In his efforts along these lines he has endeavored to give expression to his ideas, opinions and convictions in language that is moderate and devoid of bitterness, and entirely free from race prejudice, sectional animosity, or partisan bias.

Whether or not he has succeeded in doing so he is willing to leave to the considerate judgment and impartial decision of those who may take the time to read what is here recorded. In writing what is to be found in these pages, the author has made no effort to draw upon the imagination, nor to gratify the wishes of those whose chief ambition is to magnify the faults and deficiencies in some and to extol the good and commendable traits and qualities in others. In other words, his chief purpose has been to furnish the readers and students of the present generation with a true, candid and impartial statement of material and important facts based upon his own personal knowledge and experience, with such comments as in his judgment the occasion and circumstances warranted.

Was the enfranchisement of the black men at the South by act of Congress a grave mistake?

Were the reconstructed State Governments that were organized as a result thereof a disappointment and a failure?

Was the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution premature and unwise? An affirmative answer to the above questions will be found in nearly everything that has been written about Reconstruction during the last quarter of a century. The main purpose of this work is to present the other side; but, in doing so, the author indulges the hope that those who may read these chapters will find that no extravagant and exaggerated statements have been made, and that there has been no effort to conceal, excuse, or justify any act that was questionable or wrong. It will be seen that the primary object the author has sought to accomplish, is to bring to public notice those things that were commendable and meritorious, to prevent the publication of which seems to have been the primary purpose of nearly all who have thus far written upon that important subject.

Excerpt from the Chapter 1:

The year 1866 was an eventful one in the history of this country. A bitter war was in progress between Congress and President Andrew Johnson over the question of the reconstruction of the States lately in rebellion against the National Government. The President had inaugurated a policy of his own that proved to be very unpopular at the North. He had pardoned nearly all the leaders in the rebellion through the medium of amnesty proclamations.

In each rebel State he had appointed a provisional governor under whose direction Legislatures, State officers, and members of Congress had been chosen, and the Legislatures thus chosen elected the United States Senators for the Southern States in accordance with the President's plan of reconstruction. To make restoration to the Union full and complete nothing remained to be done but to admit to their seats the Senators and Representatives that had been chosen. In the mean time these different Legislatures had enacted laws which virtually re-enslaved those that had been emancipated in their respective States. For this the North would not stand. Sentiment in that section demanded not only justice and fair treatment for the newly emancipated race but also an emancipation that should be thorough and complete, not merely theoretical and nominal.

The fact was recognized and appreciated that the colored people had been loyal to the Union and faithful to the flag of their country and that they had rendered valuable assistance in putting down the rebellion. From a standpoint of gratitude, if not of justice, the sentiment of the North at that time was in favor of fair play for the colored people of the South. But the President would not yield to what was generally believed to be the dominant sentiment of the North on the question of reconstruction. He insisted that the leaders of the Republican party in Congress did not represent the true sentiment of the country, so he boldly determined to antagonize the leaders in Congress, and to present their differences to the court of public opinion at the approaching Congressional elections.

The issue was thus joined and the people were called upon to render judgment in the election of members of Congress in the fall of 1866. The President, with the solid support of the Democrats and a small minority of the Republicans, made a brave and gallant fight. The result, however, was a crushing defeat for him and a national repudiation of his plan of reconstruction.

Notwithstanding this defeat the President refused to yield, continuing the fight with Congress which finally resulted in his impeachment by the House of Representatives for high Crimes and Misdemeanors in office and in his trial by the Senate sitting as a High Court for that purpose. When the vote of the court was taken the President was saved from conviction and from removal from office by the narrow margin of one vote,--a sufficient number of Republican Senators having voted with the Democrats to prevent conviction. It was believed by many at the time that some of the Republican Senators that voted for acquittal did so chiefly on account of their antipathy to the man who would succeed to the Presidency in the event of the conviction of the President. This man was Senator Benjamin Wade, of Ohio,--President pro tem of the Senate,--who, as the law then stood, would have succeeded to the Presidency in the event of a vacancy in that office from any cause.

Senator Wade was an able man, but there were others who were much more brilliant. He was a strong party man. He had no patience with those who claimed to be Republicans and yet refused to abide by the decision of the majority of the party organization unless that decision should be what they wanted. In short, he was an organization Republican,--what has since been characterized by some as a machine man,--the sort of active and aggressive man that would be likely to make for himself enemies of men in his own organization who were afraid of his great power and influence, and jealous of him as a political rival.

That some of his senatorial Republican associates should feel that the best service they could render their country would be to do all in their power to prevent such a man from being elevated to the Presidency was, perhaps, perfectly natural: for while they knew that he was a strong and able man, they also knew that, according to his convictions of party duty and party obligations, he firmly believed that he who served his party best served his country best. In giving expression to his views and convictions, as he usually did with force and vigor, he was not always considerate of the wishes and feelings of those with whom he did not agree. That he would have given the country an able administration is the concurrent opinion of those who knew him best. While President Johnson was retained in office he was practically shorn of the greater part of the power and patronage that attaches to the office. This was done through the passage of a bill, over the president's veto, known as the Tenure of Office Act.

260+pages - 5 x 8 inches SoftCover


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