Sec. Of War Cameron (president Us Grant) Letter Signed - Sc Gov Election Turmoil For Sale
1876 South Carolina Gubernatorial Election - IMPORTANT BACKGROUND:
The months leading up to the election of 1876 in South Carolina were rife with tension. Violence was ever present and groups of armed men, calling themselves "rifle clubs," roamed the countryside. Supporters of the Democratic Party, they would often break up Republican meetings and intimidate Republican voters, both white and black. Black Republicans would often do the same toward black Democrats, Freedmen disillusioned with the corruption and broken promises of the Republican Party. Gen. Thomas Ruger was tasked with assisting Governor Daniel Chamberlain and the United States Marshals in keeping the peace.Under the watchful eyes of U. S. troops, who had been placed at various polls throughout the state, Election Day came and went with little event. The result of the gubernatorial election, however, was anything but peaceful. In the first days of ballot counting, it appeared that Republican incumbent Daniel Chamberlain would win a second term, but by Thursday Democratic challenger (and South Carolina's favorite son) Wade Hampton III took the lead. Hampton declared a victory, but Chamberlain claimed voter fraud due to stuffed ballots in Edgefield and Laurens Counties. As a result, the Board of Canvassers was unable to certify the election. President Grant declared Chamberlain governor and the State Supreme Court proclaimed Hampton the victor. In addition to the gubernatorial mess, two separate Houses of Representatives convened, one Democratic and one Republican, both claiming legitimacy.
Original 1876J. D. Cameron Letter Signed (LS)w/ Original Envelope-
Letter Signed (LS)fromSecretary of War J.D. CamerontoColonel H. M. Black
amidst the South Carolina Gov. Election Turmoil
Secretary of WarJ.D. Cameron (President U.S. Grant's secretary)sendsand signs a letterto Colonel H. M. Black; Cameron mentions General William T. Sherman. Letter is written of official "War Department. Washington." letterhead. Original envelope accompanies the letter, titled "War Department, Official Business."
In an excerpt from the letter, Cameron relays an important message: "It is the desire of the President [U.S. Grant] that the Board of Canvassers in South Carolina have complete and absolute protection in the discharge of their legal duties and that all interference with them be prevented. " Full text of the letter can be read below.
Dimensions are8 x5.5inches.Very good condition.
The letter reads as follows:
Col. H. M. Black
Commanding at Columbia, S.C.
Fearing that the order of Gen. Sherman of this date (a copy of which is enclosed) might not reach you by the regular channel. I send this by special messenger. It is the desire of the President that the Board of Canvassers in South Carolina have complete and absolute protection in the discharge of their legal duties and that all interference with them be prevented. With this and in view you will consult fully with the board and to dispose your forces as to preclude the possibility of their being in any way interfered with or disturbed.
Your obedient servant,
J. D. Cameron
Secretary of War"
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