The Wild Seventies

The Wild Seventies

The Wild Seventies

The Wild Seventies

Excerpt

THE GAS-LIGHTS OF THE METROPOLIS WERE ABLAZE, AND the mild weather of this New Year's Eve was agreeable to all save the unchanging small boy, who grumbled because he had had no opportunity to try his new sled or skates, for there was neither ice nor snow, nor prospect of any. But older boys were not concerned with the weather. They had planned an evening of sight-seeing which would end, for thousands of them, when they gathered with their elders at the head of Wall Street to listen to "the glorious chimes of Trinity" usher in 1870 and a decade unparalleled in times of peace for unrest and violence. Musketry rattled and cannon roared as insurrection, spurred on by revolutionclamoring Communists, terrorized the North; while newly freed slaves, goaded by mercenary carpet-baggers, battled with their former masters for supremacy in the South. The worst enemies of the Republic, the spoilsman and the demagogue, rising to new heights, became supreme over our party form of government. They introduced the legislative purge to our shores, and to avert rout at the polls, attempted to shatter the third-term tradition, and failing, stole the office of President of the United States--a fitting crown to their theft of several governorships and numerous minor elective posts. It was a period of depression, with hunger in the hovel, hardship in the mansion, and bankruptcy in public morality.

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