Moreover, the national government in general and Congress in particular retained the authority to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment if, in their judgment, a state violated its commands. In the spring of 1877, the national government abdicated that responsibility in South Carolina. Violence had suffused the preceding fall election in South Carolina, and the election results were disputed. Two rival legislatures and governors claimed to be the legitimate government, and for a time both occupied the capitol. Chamberlain, who thought he had been reelected and who still retained power because he had the support of federal troops stationed in South Carolina, appealed to President Hayes.
The new President turned Chamberlain's appeal aside. The presidential election had also been disputed, and the national Republican Party agreed to withdraw troops from the South in exchange for Southern acquiescence in Hayes's election. Pursuant to that agreement, federal troops marched out of Columbia at noon on April 10, 1877, and Chamberlain vacated his office. 104 The News and Courier exulted: "Republican rule was dead, never to be reborn." 105 Like a rope of sand, South Carolina's Republican Party did dissolve; and its black supporters drowned in a sea of white supremacy. Martin Delany had written their epitaph two years earlier: "[I]t is useless and doing injustice to both races to conceal the fact, that in giving liberty and equality of rights to blacks, whites had no desire to see [blacks] rule over [the white] race. . . . [T]here is no scheme that can be laid, no measure that may be entered into, [no] expense . . . they will not incur, to change such a relation between blacks and whites in this country." 106
The Jubilee was over.