[New York: 1868]. , 28,  manuscript leaves, 12-1/4" x 8",plus a 6-page manuscript telegram addressed to Thomas Ewing, plus a 16-page printed pamphlet [some blue crayon lines over text, but still legible]. Bound with a bit of rope; curled, outer leaves loose and chipped without loss of text. New York, 4 and 6 July 1868. Except as noted, Very Good.
This 1868 Convention, whose proceedings were never published, was held at the time of the Democrats' New York Convention. These minutes are thus a unique record of the support given to President Andrew Johnson by former Union soldiers and sailors. Johnson-- like the members of this Convention-- proposed the immediate admission to full membership in the Union of the rebellious States; opposed adoption of the Civil Rights Act, the Freedmen's Bureau, the Fourteenth Amendment, or any additional protections for Negroes. The minutes were compiled and written by Colonel James R. O'Beirne, Secretary of the National Executive Committee. During the War, as a member of the 37th New York Infantry, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor at the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862.
Several speeches and resolutions noted here had been published in newspapers; these are clipped and pasted in rather than transcribed. The sentiments of the Convention's participants mirror those of the Democratic Party in 1868: advocating a government of white men only and excluding Negroes from the emblems of citizenship. The keynote address by Major General Thomas Ewing-- punctuated in the Convention with loud cheering-- is inserted in printed pamphlet form, with a copy stamped "Sep 4 1868." Though a Democrat, Ewing had been a strong anti-slavery man before the War, and commanded troops in Missouri and Kansas. For the July 4 celebration during this election year he defends President Johnson, denounces the "crimes" of Reconstruction and Republican Party policies, especially its support for the Fourteenth Amendment. The Republicans, he says, have "refused to take what the war was alone waged to get-- a prompt and cordial pacification and reunion under the Constitution. It did this in the vain hope of controlling the Southern States by making voters of the negroes, and proscribing all the intelligent white men whom Congress and the Freedman's Bureau could not bribe, or coax, or kick, or cuff into Republicanism." Item #37561