Abbildungen der Seite

comfort to the Rebellion, and another law requiring all the citizens of the State to take a test oath. Both of these measures were opposed by General Blair as proscriptive and unconstitutional. He urged that, the war being over, there was no need of any further rigor toward the men who had engaged in rebellion, and regarded it as dangerous to the peace and prosperity of the State to deprive them of the right to vote. With regard to the test oath, he absolutely refused to subscribe to it, and, upon presenting himself at the polls in St. Louis, his vote was refused for that reason. For this act he brought a suit before the courts for the purpose of testing the constitutionality of the law. The case is now before the Supreme Court of the United States, and is not yet decided. Gradually General Blair severed his connection with the Republican party, after having been a member of that organization from its incipiency. When the present reconstruction laws of Congress were passed, he denounced them as despotic, revolutionary, and unconstitutional, and declared that the people of the South would not be in the wrong if they resisted their execution. He opposed, with great earnestness, the policy of universal negro suffrage as a disgrace and an outrage upon the people, and, in a recent letter, declared that the first duty of a Democratic President, if elected, would be to overthrow the present radical governments in the South, and restore the States to the rule of the whites. This declaration of his has been severely commented upon by the radical organs, while, from its boldness, the Democratic papers have scarcely ventured to offer an opinion.

General Blair's military reputation has gained him considerable popularity in the West, and particularly among the late Union soldiers in that section of the country. His recent adhesion to the Democratic Party and his bitter opposition to negro suffrage created for a time considerable surprise when his views were made known, they being regarded as singular when compared with his former denunciations of slavery and the Democracy. Indeed, nothing. could more fully exemplify what revolutions sometimes occur in politics and men's opinions than his unanimous and enthusiastio nomination.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]



« ZurückWeiter »