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and the law providing for the return of fugitive slaves from Northern States and Territories, to their owners.

This difference suspended both organized parties, and produced in their stead two new parties, called the Union and Southern Rights parties, which for a short time were intensely opposed and bitter toward each other. The settlement of the controversy by the action of a State convention, and the acceptance thereof on the part of both, dissolved these new parties and remitted most of the men in them to their old alignments for the presidential contest of 1852, from which time forward until 1860, the national Democratic party remained organized in the State. But the overthrow of Fillmore and such other national men as were acceptable to the southern entire Whig party, and the nomination of General Scott, who was obnoxious to many of the most powerful leaders, as a candidate of the party for President, precipitated a division of the party, and caused the nomination of Webster and Jenkins. The elements, however, came together under the name of the Constitutional Union party in 1853, in the support of Mr. Jenkins for governor. And again, in 1855, with the loss of some members and leaders, and some Democratic accessions in the support of Garrett Andrews, the“ Know Nothing" or American party candidate. Under the name of “opposition party,” after the defeat of the American party, their organization, though in a minority, was kept up and active until after the presidential election of 1860, which resulted in favor of Mr. Lincoln.

In that contest the Democratic party had divided, the larger wing supporting Breckenridge and Lane, the smaller wing supporting Douglas and Johnson. The opposition party, composed in the main of the old Whigs who had been know Nothings or Americans, supported Bell and Everett, the national Whig nominees. The Republican or radical party, supporting Mr. Lincoln, was sectional in organization, and had no electoral ticket or acknowledged supporters in the State. His election caused an immediate suspension of all parties in the State, and new alignments growing out of differences of opinion as to the wisest and best course to be pursued.

A majority of old Democrats with a large minority of the old opposition espoused the cause of secession. A majority of the opposition with a large minority of old Democrats—opposing separate State action, and advocating that whatsoever action should be taken should be by co-operation of Southern States-constituted a cooperation party, which was defeated in the election of delegates to a State convention ; a majority of whom voted for immediate secession, and declared a secession and separation from the other States of the Union. Thereupon both parties, while there was a partial division on State affairs and in the election of State officers during the war, cordially united in the revolutionary movement, and supported the Confederacy and the war.

At the close of the war and up to the beginning of Congressional reconstruction under the amendments of the Constitution we had no political party, but all stood together upon the platform created for a common people, under the situation of total subjugation and defeat.

We have seen that when the freed black race came upon the exercise of the elective franchise under the coercive measures we have described, the voters of that race massed themselves under the banner of their natural allies, the national Republican party, and that the overwhelming majority of the white voters were aligned against them, and vindictively and spitefully against native Georgians and Northern Republicans who advised and favored accepting the terms of reconstruction dictated to us; and that in the brief period from 1868 to 1872 the majority yielded all opposition to the terms and to the constitutional amendments, and cordially affiliated with the despised few at home and the great body of the national party in supporting and upholding them.


ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNOR BULLOCK. Recurring to the narrative of the State Legislature under Governor Bullock, it will appear that the subject of prolongation excited much debate and controversy in that body, and by the press. In this discussion it was insisted that, in the face of the constitution, this General Assembly, arbitrarily and without the two thirds vote required, prolonged its session in order to retain office and power; on the other hand, that their sessions were legal, and demanded by the public interest and policy of the State. The matter is of vital interest, on account of the passage of most important acts in the session alleged to have been illegally prolonged, and that the acts were therefore void. The constitution prohibited that any session after the second under that constitution should extend beyond forty days, except by a two thirds vote of both branches. The session of 1868 was adjourned, and a session held in 1869, which was adjourned and a session held in 1870, which by only a majority vote was prolonged, and important bills passed after the expiration of forty days—the lease of the Western & Atlantic railroad bill, to which special reference will be made, the district court bill, the act requiring the taxes to have been paid in before certain old debts could be collected by suit, and other statutes.

The matter, however, went before the supreme court, a majority of the judges deciding that not to be a session after the second under this constitution ; that the State government was provisional until the constitutional amendments had been legally adopted, as we shall hereafter see. And upon these rulings the legality of prolongation was settled.

This Legislature, at its first session, proceeded upon the apparent pressing necessities and demands of the people in their impoverished condition. Slaves had been emancipated, and lost as property to the former owners; the labor system had been demoralized ; real estate had become redundant, and declined in market value; live stock of all kinds reduced by the waste of war; much property had been destroyed by fire; a great deal had depreciated by age and decay, for want of repairs. The circulating medium, gold and silver, had been carried out during the war; bank bills withdrawn from circulation, and many of them of reduced and doubtful value; Confederate money and bonds that had taken the place of these had died with the government that issued them. A large proportion of the State securities and treasury notes in the hands of the people had been issued under laws enacted in aid of the rebellion, and had, under Federal coercion, been repudiated and made worthless to the holders. The people who owed debts contracted on the faith of property and securities now destroyed sympathized in the efforts of the government of the State to afford them relief. They regarded it as just that capital invested in promises and obligations to pay money should share the general loss, and be abated in proportion to the losses of other capital. Many creditors, recognizing the justice and humanity of this theory, did not hesitate to compromise and settle at large reductions debts due them, while

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