President Ulysses S Grant Telegram To Gettysburg General Ruger -sc Gov Election 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. 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.
TelegramfromUlysses S. Grant as President to Gettysburg General Thomas Ruger
written amidst the South Carolina Gov. Election Turmoil
President U.S. Grantgives strict orders toGeneral Thomas Ruger that D.H. Chamberlain is the Governor, and no other person until he says so
Dimensions are8 x5inches.
The letter reads as follows:
"Do not recognize in any manner any person as Governor of South Carolina other than D.H. Chamberlain until you hear further from me. It is understood that there are armed bodies of men in Columbia SC probably a part of those who were commanded by proclamation to disband threatenting the peace of the present authorities. U.S. Grant"
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