Harper's Weekly 11/11/1865


The politics of Louisiana have long been a vexa-
tion of spirit. General Banks established a Gov-
ernment based upon a small number of voters, and
Michael Hahn was elected Governor. The Legis-
lature afterward elected Mr. Hahn United States
Senator, but he has never taken his seat. The
Lieutenant-Governor, James Madison Wells, as-
sumed the chair, and seems to have been tacitly
recognized by the Administration, very much as
Governor Peirpont was in Virginia. The Banks
Government has been for some months the only de
facto one in the State, and an election is now to be
held for Governor and other State officers.

There are two parties in the field: the “National
Conservative Union party” and the “National Dem-
ocratic party,” and each party has set forth its prin-
ciples. The “National Democratic party” declares


that the late issue was made “openly, manfully,
and honorably,” and that, having failed, the party
now frankly supports the Federal Government un-
der the Constitution. It declares that the Demo-
cratic is the only Union party; approves the views
of President Johnson as it interprets them; asserts
that ours is a white man's Government; repudiates
the Banks Constitution as a creation of fraud, vio-
lence, and corruption, but yields to the necessity of
recognizing it as the only existing civil Govern-
ment; asks compensation for the losses caused by
emancipation; advocates economy, the repeal of
laws inharmonious with the United States Consti-
tution, a labor system to relieve the planters and
the people, and an early general amnesty and prompt
restitution of property.

The National Conservative Union party “proud-
ly hails” the restoration of the national authority;
approves President Johnson's policy; declares that
the allegiance of every American citizen is primari-
ly due to the National Government; repudiates the
doctrine of secession; opposes the rebel State war
debt; supports the national debt incurred in sup-
pressing the rebellion; opposes the political equali-
ty of “the African;” favors economy and a just
regulation of labor; advocates a general amnesty
and repeal of the confiscation law; opposes ostra-
cism for nativity or religious opinion; and recom-
mends relief to those who living beyond the nation-
al protection have been taxed by the rebellion.

Both parties nominate Mr. Wells for Governor,
knowing that his immense official patronage in the
present state of affairs would probably secure his
election. Mr. Wells has accepted both nomina-
tions. The Democrats have selected the rest of
their candidates for their devotion to the rebel
cause. The National Union men have selected


theirs for their devotion to the Union. The spirit
of each party may be readily discerned in their res-
olutions, and from his speeches, as reported, Mr.
Wells seems to be more in sympathy with the Na-
tional Democratic than the National Conservative
Union platform.

The test of the relative strength of the parties will
be the vote for Lieutenant-Governor. The Union
men have nominated J. G. Taliaferro, and the
Democrats Albert Vorhies. It is fair to pre-
sume that, as in Mississippi and South Carolina,
the candidates most closely identified with the re-
bellion will be elected.

Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com