Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"Has he forgot that by the Constitution of his country the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...."

...Mr. B. then quoted from a speech of his made on the Louisiana bill in 1873, where he warned the American people that the dangers menacing the liberties of Louisiana menaced at the same time the liberties of all the other States.


   What he had foretold then had come to pass word for word. The policy or the President, instead of being modified, had been doggedly intensified. Lieutenant General Sheridan is sent secretly to New Orleans to dragoon the people of Louisiana into submission. Scarcely there three days, having no intercourse with any but the adherents of Kellogg, he sends out his dispatches over the country. He would not say one word against whatever glory or renown accrued to this officer. But he was the servant or the people of the United States, fed and clothed by them, educated by them, and was not their master. Has he forgot that by the Constitution of his country the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, that they shall be secure from unlawful searches and seizures, that no man shall be tried without indictment by a grand Jury. Sir, this issue cannot come too soon. If this cavalry officer, with his bloody sword, is stronger than all our personal guarantees of liberty. It is time that we should know it. Let us see whether the dispatches sent by this officer do not prove him unfit to breathe the air of a republic. In a three days' stay in one city of a large State he proclaims that whole State to be a lawless community. But there have been replies to these communications of General Sheridan. Mr. B. then read from the resolutions passed by the different exchanges in New Orleans and the bishops and clergy and others, pronouncing as calumnious the statements of General Sheridan. The meanest man of all there, said Mr. B, was 'the peer of General Sheridan in every respect. Reading from the dispatch of General Sheridan asking that Congress proclaim the White Leaguers banditti, Mr. B. said that if there was the tone that once existed at the White House


his name as Lieutenant General of the army. Did this dispatch sound like an American officer? Did it not rather sound like the commander of a band of Janissaries, asking for instructions from some Oriental despot? In a time of profound peace he asks that Congress shall pass an ex post facto law, that he shall try by military commission and murder his own fellow-citizens. As he (Mr. B.) said, if the proper feeling existed in high quarters General Sheridan would not remain where he was five minutes. He had proved himself utterly unfit for his position. Instead of conciliation, kindness and obedience to the civil law, he rushes at once to set up a military despotism...."[--U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard* from Delaware, debate in the Senate, Friday, Jan. 8, 1875.]

[National Republican, Washington, D.C., Saturday Morning, January 9, 1875. Vol. XV. No. 39. Pg. 1]
* - Thomas F. Bayard, (Oct. 29, 1828 – Sept. 28, 1898), was a U.S. Senator from Delaware. In addition to being the 30th U.S. Secretary of State, (March 7, 1885 – March 6, 1889).

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