Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865-1877

By William Archibald Dunning | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
THE NADIR OF NATIONAL DISGRACE (1875-1876)

W HEN the forty-fourth Congress met for its first session, December 6, 1875, the new House of Representatives gave striking evidence of the political revolution which had produced it. The speaker's chair, where Blaine, of Maine, had sat through eight legislative years, was occupied by Kerr, of Indiana; Randall, of Pennsylvania, Morrison, of Illinois, and Cox, of New York, took the places of Dawes and Butler and Garfield as leaders of the business on the floor; and the personnel of both sides showed great changes among the rank and file. Many of the old and tried Republican heroes of the reconstruction times had disappeared, while among the Democrats the salient fact was the great influx of new men from the South, most of whom had served their section in arms during the war. That the conflict of the races in the South was not yet entirely settled in favor of the whites was indicated by the presence of seven negroes in the House,1 two from South Carolina and one each

____________________
1
World Almanac, 1875, p. 63.

-281-

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