202 Southern Historical Society Papers.
cal, and as it answered fully the purpose desired it was perhaps better than any other objection could have been. This refusal, on whatever ground, was hailed with acclamation, and Chamberlain was rapidly overcoming the ill-will which too many of his acts had gained. Soon afterwards the State Democratic Committee wrote a letter to the people in his commendation, and suggested that he ought to receive their support at the next election for Governor ; nay, so decidedly had he won the people that Senator Morton raised the cry of alarm and charged him with having deserted his party and courting the Democrats. To this malignant attack the Gov- ernor ably and conclusively replied that it was not the intent of the Republican party to be represented by negroes and swindlers, and it was not courting the Democrats if by well-doing and acting for the best interests of the Republican party good Democrats could be won over to that party. The words were wise, and if Chamberlain had possessed moral courage he might have com- manded the support of the people of the State. Six years of misrule had prepared them to welcome any one who would give them the blessing of a pure government, but Chamber- lain was too weak a man to be a wise man, and a pure government was not to be had until he had suffered the humiliation of a shame- ful defeat. While he was growing in favor with the people, his political friends were eagerly engaged in criminating each other. They were witnesses against themselves that corruption was uni- versal, and it was impossible that a government so corrupt could sustain itself It might well be that the Governor earnestly wished for reform; and certainly many of his political friends feared that he was in earnest in his professions. In the Legislature there were topics discussed, among which were investigations of official mis- conduct, but these were too common to excite any special interest, and the public knew from the experience of the past that they would result in nothing. One scene may be reported as calculated to give an idea of the tone and bearing of the House of Representatives. Whipper had pronounced agauist the Governor a vituperative speech, which he contrived in some way to have recorded in the Journal of the House. The subject was brought to its notice on a motion to expunge it, when a bitter controversy took place between the speaker, Elliott, and Whipper. The same man who but a few weeks before had declared that the test of a member's Republican- ism was to vote for Whipper, now openly denounced him as an ingrate, a falsifier and a knave. We may form a faint idea of the