THE LOUSIANIAN " CONVENTION." [TO THE EDITOR OF THE "
SPECTATOR."] Silt,—There is in your impression of August 18 a misrepresentation. of the facts of the Louisiana riots so extraordinary, that I venture to think it must have come direct from the same correspondent who, when a few public buildings were fired at Chambersburg, wrote you that the act was without precedent or provocation on the part of the North, which had before then fired two or three Southern towns and scores of private houses, besides destroying the archives of the State of Mississippi.
You say that " a Convention (1) was called by the Legislature (2) to enfranchise the negroes" (3). Now (1) is a suggestio fatsi, (2) a distinct error in fact, and (3) a suppressio veri.
It was not a Convention that was " called." It was the Con- vention of 1864 that was revived. A Convention regularly called would have represented the whole people, and would not have served the purpose of the Radicals. The Convention of 1864 represented only the camp followers, soldiers, and other Federalists who swarmed to plunder Now Orleans under Banks and Butler. Hence it was the ready creature of the Radicals, and after two. years' non-existence they proposed to revive it in order to per- petuate their tyranny over the adverse nine-tenths of the State.
It was not called by the Legislature. You will see, if you look at Governor Wells' letter, that this is a totally inaccurate state- ment. It was called by a " President " appointed ad hoc by a. few of the Radical chiefs, and was therefore a totally illegal assembly, its pretensions treasonable, its authors rebels. Its object was not only to enfranchise the negroes, but to disfranchise the Conservatives, under the title of ex-Confederates.
You must see from this that your attack on President Johnson is wholly unfounded. He only did his duty in ordering the forcible Suppression of an illegal assembly which assumed to legislate for the State of Louisiana ; and Abraham Lincoln would have done the same. I trust to your self-respect to insert this correction. of the monstrous error palmed upon you.—I remain, Sir, your
[" Palmetto" quibbles. Old Convention or new Convention, It was a Convention, representing no doubt a small minority, but a minority to which Congress, by demanding the oath of loyalty, limited the suffrage. The " President" no doubt called it, but it was because he considered himself authorized by the Legislature, which is " Radical," representing that minority which " Pal- metto " so hates in the South and so likes in England. The avowed object of the device was to enfranchise the negroes, which is the real reason why " Palmetto " thinks President Johnson right in ordering the soldiers to assist the pro-slavery citizens to disperse, i.e., kill, men who were either members of a legislative body or of a political debating club.—ED. Spectator.]