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Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 2   By: (1818-1905)

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Transcriber's note:

Footnotes are at the end of the chapter.

A few commas have been moved or added for clarity.

Obsolete spellings of place names have been retained; personal names and obvious typographical errors have been corrected.


Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs by George S. Boutwell Governor of Massachusetts, 1851 1852 Representative in Congress, 1863 1869 Secretary of the Treasury, 1869 1873 Senator from Massachusetts, 1873 1877 etc., etc.,

Volume Two

New York McClure, Phillips & Co. Mcmii

Copyright, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.

Published May, 1902. N.


XXVIII Service in Congress XXIX Incidents in the Civil War XXX The Amendments to the Constitution XXXI Investigations Following the Civil War XXXII Impeachment of Andrew Johnson XXXIII The Treasury Department in 1869 XXXIV The Mint Bill and the "Crime of 1873" XXXV Black Friday September 24, 1869 XXXVI An Historic Sale of United States Bonds in England XXXVII General Grant's Administration XXXVIII General Grant as a Statesman XXXIX Reminiscences of Public Men XL Blaine and Conkling and the Republican Convention of 1880 XLI From 1875 to 1895 XLII The Last of the Ocean Slave Traders XLIII Mr. Lincoln as an Historical Personage XLIV Speech on Columbus XLV Imperialism as a Public Policy INDEX



My election to Congress in 1862 was contested by Judge Benjamin F. Thomas, who was then a Republican member from the Norfolk district. The re districting of the State brought Thomas and Train into the same district. I was nominated by the Republican Convention, and Thomas then became the candidate of the "People's Party," and at the election he was supported by the Democrats. His course in the Thirty seventh Congress on the various projects for compromise had alienated many Republicans, and it had brought to him the support of many Democrats. My active radicalism had alienated the conservative Republicans. As a consequence, my majority reached only about 1,400 while in the subsequent elections, 1864 '66 '68 the majorities ranged from five to seven thousand.

Among the new members who were elected to the Thirty eighth Congress and who attained distinction subsequently, were Garfield, Blaine and Allison. Wilson, of Iowa, had been in the Thirty seventh Congress and Henry Winter Davis had been a member at an earlier period. Mr. Conkling was a member of the Thirty seventh Congress, but he was defeated by his townsman Francis Kernan under the influence of the reactionary wave which moved over the North in 1862. At that time Mr. Lincoln had lost ground with the people. The war had not been prosecuted successfully, the expenses were enormous, taxes were heavy, multitudes of families were in grief, and the prospects of peace through victory were very dim. The Democrats in the House became confident and aggressive.

Alexander Long, of Ohio, made a speech so tainted with sympathy for the rebels that Speaker Colfax came down from the chair and moved a resolution of censure. Harris, of Maryland, in the debate upon the resolution, made a speech much more offensive than that of Long. As a consequence, the censure was applied to both gentlemen and as a further consequence, the friends of the South became more guarded in expressions of sympathy. It is true also, that there were many Democrats who did not sympathize with Harris, Long, and Pendleton. Voorhees of Indiana was also an active sympathizer with the South. I recollect that in the Thirty eighth or Thirty ninth Congress he made a violent attack upon Mr. Lincoln, and the Republican Party. The House was in committee, and I was in the chair. Consequently I listened attentively to the speech. It was carefully prepared and modeled apparently upon Junius and Burke a model which time has destroyed... Continue reading book >>

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