POLITICS PREVIOUS TO 1880.
KAUKALIN was an election precinct of Brown county in 1846. The other precincts of that county were Green Bay, Howard (which may have included a part of the present Outagamie county), DePere, Menominee, Pensaukee and Bay Settlement. The vote for candidates in Kaukalin was as follows: Two delegates to State Convention: D. Argy 9, J. S. Fisk 1, H. S. Baird 20, J. P. Arndt 12. Council: M. C. Darling 1, Israel Green 19. Assembly: E. Morrow 1, H. McFarlane 1, H. O. Shales 19, Henry Merrill 9, H. S. Wright 10. Sheriff: J. F. Lessey 5, S. 1. Whitney 12. Treasurer: David Ward 6, Edwin Hart 10, 0. B. Graves 3. Judge of Probate: John Last 9, C. Chapman 6. Clerk Board of Supervisors: G. I. Wallace 10, E. D. Beardsley 12. Register of Deeds: Reubin Fields 1, E. Outhwaite 16. Coroner: S. Winegar 3, V. S. Solomon 9, E. S. Godin 3. As a whole Brown county was Democratic, the vote being about 153 Democrats to 110 Whigs.
The proposed state constitution was rejected in the spring of 1847. Brown county with a population of 2,662 in 1846 was entitled to two delegates, as shown by the election returns above. The Eleventh election district of the territory consisted of Brown, Manitowoc, Calumet, Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Marquette, Portage and Columbia counties, with a total population of 12,292. This district was entitled to one member of the council and two members of the assembly. Morgan L. Martin was delegate to Congress.
In May, 1848, Brown county, in its vote for Congressman, polled 308 votes for Mason C. Darling (D.) and 137 votes for Alexander L. Collins (W.). It was a. part of the Second Congressional district. At the election for governor in June of the same year it polled 311 votes for Nelson Dewey (D.) and 137 votes for John H. Tweedy (W.) In December, 1847, the vote in Kaukauna town for delegate was: Martin (D.) 18, Burkard (W.) 1. Thus all that then existed of what is now Outagamie county was democratic and comprised about 20 voters.
On the Democratic ticket of Brown county in 1849 were Theodore Conkey for district surveyor, Joel S. Fisk for district attorney, and Peter Lafond for coroner. On the Whig ticket were Robert R. Bateman for the assembly, William Mitchell for clerk board of supervisors, Nathan Goodell treasurer, John Stevens district surveyor, James H. Howe district attorney and William H. C. Boyd coroner. In Brown county Nelson Dewey (D.) received for governor 246, and A. L. Collins (W.) 115. For the assembly C. D. Robinson (D.) received 258, and R. R. Bateman (WT.) 100. At this time there were four and part of another town in what is now Outagamie-Lansing, Lawrence, Grand Chute, Kaukalin and Howard (in part). These towns cast the following vote for governor:
In 1850, L. A. Hine, David Ward and Peter Diedrich were delegates to the Democratic County Convention from Kaukalin. There seemed then to be but three election districts of what is now Outagamie county – Kaukalin, Grand Chute and Lansing. Brown county was a member of the Third Congressional district. At this time the county was part of the First Senate district and was represented by Lemuel Goodell.
In 1850-1, the important political issues were: bank or no bank, a separate supreme court, board of public works, interest law, county court, State land offices, change in supervisor system, redistricting the State, reform of the tax and collection laws. In 1852, Robert Morrow was a delegate to the judicial convention. In 1853 the Whig county convention was held at Hortonville. David Scott was nominated for the assembly from the district composed of the counties of Waupaca, Oconto and Outagamie.
“Sam Ryan has not changed his position. When such sheets as the Watertown Chronicle and others of its ilk succeed in oversloughing a man like Millard Fillmore and metamorphosing the Whig party into a supplementary edition of Free Soilism; when, having discarded all national principles, they leagued with abolitionism to defy the laws and trample upon the constitution, we cease to hold feeling in common with them. At the same time we think we are a better Whig than they are. But as Whiggery has ceased to exist as a distinct organization and as we cannot fraternize with the law-defying tenets of ‘Free’ (!) Democracy, we are content to retire awhile from the toil and tumult of political life.”–(S. R., Jr., in Crescent, March 12, 1853.)
“Kaukauna in the Field. – Only three tickets for town officers! The candidates for chairman are Messrs. C. A. Grignon and Edward O’Connor (democrats), and George W. Lawe (whig). The democracy of Kaukauna can afford to run three candidates and yet whip out the whigs. We wish to say, however, that we disapprove of the practice of running split or union tickets.” – (Crescent, March 26, 1853.) In the spring of 1853 the Crescent urged all towns to choose competent town officers at the April election.
The democratic caucus meets tonight at the Clifton House. The whig caucus is to be held this evening at the National Hotel. We hope that each party will nominate its best men, so that all personal bickerings may be discarded. If the democrats are united they can elect every officer by at least fifty majority.
“The election of John F. Johnston as the first president of this corporation is a merited compliment. Mr. J. is the oldest actual resident of the village of Appleton and assisted in cutting away the trees to open College avenue. James M. Phinney was unanimously elected clerk. Dan Huntley will make a good marshal.” – (Crescent, April 23, 1853.)
“In the fall of 1853 Joseph F. Loy was democratic candidate for senator, and David Scott for the assembly, neither of this county.The whigs and free soilers united, greatly to the indignation and disgust of the Crescent.
In 1853 there was a split in the democracy of the county and at Hortonville in August the seceders broke away and named an independent ticket. The Crescent called the movement a “tempest in a teapot,” but the real cause of the trouble was the lack of consideration shown the minority at the convention in depriving them of claimed seats in that body. At the judicial convention in the fall of 1853 the following was the result:
“At the recent election votes were cast in the towns of Grand Chute, Kaukauna, Hortonia, Freedom and Greenville for county offices. For county treasurer, Charles A. Grignon had 212 and Robert Morrow 34. For clerk of the county board, Frederick Packard had 23 majority over G. W. Gregory. For register of deeds, J. S. Buck had about 150 votes, none against him. The board of canvassers refused to return the above votes. The question still is, Was this the fall for electing persons to the above offices? Who shall decide?” (Crescent, November 19, 1853.)
Officers of Outagamie county, 1853: Perry H. Smith, county judge; H. S. Eggleston, clerk of the courts; Almeron B. Everts, sheriff; A. S. Sanborn, district attorney; Robert Morrow and Charles A. Grignon, acting treasurers; G. W. Gregory, clerk board of supervisors; Patrick Hunt, coroner; Charles Turner, surveyor; J. S. Buck, register.
In January, 1854, Judge Howe granted an order to compel R. R. Bateman and Benjamin Proctor, justices of the peace, and G. W. Gregory, clerk of the county supervisors, to appear at the next term of the circuit court and show cause why a writ of mandamus should not issue against them because of their refusal to count the votes returned at the election of the previous November.In March the citizens of Appleton gathered in the courthouse in response to the following call:
“Nebraska meeting. All citizens of Outagamie county opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise are invited to meet at the schoolhouse in Appleton this evening, March 6th, at 7 p. m., to endeavor to avert the dangers which threaten our nation.
“By request of the Citizens generally, Appleton, March 6, 1854.”
On this occasion speeches were delivered by Rev. J. S. Prescott and President Cooke of the University. Both strenuously and vehemently opposed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. President Cooke announced himself as a conservative and this was one of his first political addresses. He showed, however, his entire familiarity with the subject. Benjamin Proctor was president of the meeting, Jackson Tibbits and R. O. Kellogg vice-presidents, and A. B. Randall secretary. A committee of five consisting of Julius S. Buck, Thomas Marston, John F. Johnston, John P. Parish and Elias Smith was appointed to draft resolutions for the consideration of the meeting. The meeting was opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Prescott. A long series of resolutions were adopted, one of which was as follows:
“That the attempt made in the Senate of the United States to pass the Nebraska Bill declaring the Compromise of 1820 superseded by that of 1850 was as uncalled for as it was untrue; for an express compact, made in 1820 in reference to certain territory acquired from France can not be suspended by the bills of any legislative acts passed thirty years later, having reference exclusively to other territory acquired from Mexico; that the further attempt to pass the Nebraska Bill declaring the Missouri Compromise inconsistent with the Compromise of 1850, is a fraud upon the people and an insult to their intelligence; that we have ever considered the Missouri Compromise in its prohibition of slavery as a final settlement of that question in relation to Louisiana territory and in the language of Hon. Samuel Houston on the floor of the United States Senate ‘a compact never to be broken’; that in the opinion of your committee the late efforts of the ‘Little Giant’ to establish slavery upon free territory show but too plainly the soul-sacrificing offer he is making to obtain the presidential chair, but through that move can be plainly seen the handwriting upon the wall.”
The entire purport of this meeting was in opposition to the Nebraska Bill then pending in Congress. The other resolutions adopted still further emphasized opposition of this committee to the pending bill.
In April, 1854, the following ticket was nominated for town officers of Appleton by the Democrats: John F. Johnston, president; William H. Sherwin, James Gilmore, Samuel Ryan, Jr., George H. Myers, J. G. Brownell and Robert Morrow, trustees; John Moodie, marshal; Henry L. Blood, assessor; and Mark A. Mosher, treasurer.
Much excitement was caused in this community in March, 1854, by the report that a runaway slave was captured by his southern master near Milwaukee, was knocked down with a club, handcuffed and taken to that city, but during the ensuing night a large assemblage of men, numbering about 5,000, collected at Court House square and forcibly rescued the colored man and gave him his liberty. The Appleton Crescent said: “So ends the arrest of the first fugitive in Wisconsin. We do not believe that if the United States Senate had not interfered to break down the Missouri Compromise, this slave would have been rescued and the laws trampled under foot.”
“The Madison Convention. – The formation of the new Republican party by the late convention at Madison meets with approbation in some quarters, with disapproval in others, while ridicule is the argument employed against it by some of the papers of the State. We have not yet seen that the organization of this new party has aiven any shock to the real Republican party of the State and expect that as usual the old standard party will live and act, as in times past, for the common good. We look upon the Democratic party of this State as sound upon the subject of the recent infringement of its creed by the action of Congress in the passage of the Nebraska and Kansas bills and it will make itself heard and felt whenever the time comes for action, and we can see no good to be accomplished by a one-idea party which turns its back upon more needed reforms and in its attempts to accomplish its one object adopts those extreme views which will defeat the very measures it seeks to carry.” – (Crescent, July 29, 1854.)
The apparent defeat of the democracy in August, 1854, caused the Republicans to gain in strength. Generally the latter here opposed slavery, while the Democrats taking the course pursued by Senator Douglas, resisted any interference with that Southern institution. The Crescent began to denounce the abolitionists with f The great severity and they in turn were equally outspoken and relentless. The Republican party was declared by that paper to be an organization with only a single idea. Here and throughout the State meetings of the Republicans demanded the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law and the restoration of the Missouri Compromise. The parties in Outagamie county were divided on the same general issues.
At the Democratic caucus in the town of Grand Chute in August, 1854, the following was unanimously adopted: “Resolved, That the delegates to the Democratic convention at Hortonville be instructed to vote for no man for delegate at the State convention who is not fully and openly committed against the renomination of W. A. Barstow.” In the Second ward caucus in Appleton similar instructions were voted with but one dissenting voice. In the Third ward caucus a similar motion was.introduced, but only one man voted in favor of it. In the First ward not a Barstow man was to be found. Of the nine or ten towns of the county no further action of this character was taken.
At the Democratic assembly convention held in the schoolhouse at Hortonville, September 20, 1854, Theodore Conkey served as president and Samuel Ryan, Jr., as secretary. The counties represented were Oconto, Outagamie, Waupaca and Shawano. The Outagamie delegates to the convention were as follows: Grand Chute, – Theodore Conkey, A. B. Everts and Samuel Ryan, Jr.; Kaukauna, – Charles A. Grignon, Peter Maas and Martin Gerretts; Freedom, – C. Hartman and J. G. Siddons; Ellington, -P. H. Pew, S. D. Mason and 0. P. Peebles; Embarrass, -G. W. Lawe, LeRoy Turner and Jerry Mirackle; Greenville, -E. H. Stowe, Burnett Mills and Isaac Wickware; Hortonia,-Norman Nash, Eli E. Leach and Allen Leach. Perrv H. Smith was nominated for assemblyman; James Meiklejohn was nominated delegate to the Democratic congressional convention; Rolla A. Law, political editor of the Crescent, was chosen as one of the senatorial delegates; James Meiklejohn, Samuel Ryan, Jr., H. S. Eggleston, John Fordyce and George Smith were appointed Democratic district committee for the ensuing year.
The Democratic county convention met at the Morrison hotel, October 11, 1854. Julius S. Buck was chosen chairman. Immediately thereafter the convention adjourned to the Center schoolhouse where Isaac Wickware was chosen secretary. Apparently the only towns represented were Kaukauna, Grand Chute, Ellington and Greenville. B. Hunt was nominated for sheriff; Henry S. Eggleston, for clerk of the court; Luther B. Noyes, for district attorney; M. N. Hephner, for coroner; and John Stephens, for county surveyor. Messrs. J. S. Buck, Everts, Edward O’Connor, Francis McGillan, E. H. Stone and 0. B. Peebles were appointed the Democratic county committee for the coming year. In their resolutions this committee reaffirmed the Demociatic platform of 1852 and recommended Judge Perry H. Smith for the State assembly. The committee also recommended the Appleton Crescent for the support of Democrats everywhere. The convention was addressed by Mr. Noyes and Mr. Ryan. The Republican assembly district convention of the counties of Oconto, Outagamie and Waupaca met at Hortonville, October 12, 1854. Peter Mieklejohn was appointed chairman and Daniel Huntley secretary. S. E. Beach on final ballot received 20 of the 24 votes and was declared the nominee for the assembly. The official vote for congressman in the Third district in 1854 was as follows: Macy, Democrat, 8,596; Billinghurst, Republican, 13,259; Turner, Independent Democrat, 1,924; Scattering, 83. Billinghurst’s majority over all was 2,756.
The Republican county convention met at the courthouse in Appleton, October 11, 1854, and elected J. F. Johnston chairman and Lorenzo E. Darling secretary. The convention then adjourned to the office of the board of supervisors. The following towns were represented by delegates: Grand Chute, Greenville and Hortonia. The following ticket was put in nomination: Daniel Huntley, sheriff; P. J. Williamson, clerk of the court; G. H. Myers, district attorney; E. Spencer, surveyor; and Henry Hewett, coroner. The Republican .county committee was as follows: S. E. Beach. M. W. Allen, J. G. Jewell, J. Moodie and J. F. Johnston.
In October, 1854, the Madison Argus declared that the Appleton Crescent was untrue to the Democratic party, and was coquetting for admission into the Republican party. In response to this the Crescent said: “This man Brown, editor of the Argus, is so mean that he can not speak the truth in reference to friend or foe. Even when lying he is pretty sure to fail.” It ended by denying the statements of the Argus.
“Outagamie. –Our Democratic county ticket is elected by majorities ranging from 50 to 250. The officers chosen are as follows: Sheriff, B. Hunt; clerk of the court, H. S. Eggleston; district attorney, L. B. Noyes; coroner, N. M. Hephner; surveyor, John Stephens.” –( Crescent, November 11, 1854.) Late in 1854 the report was circulated that Mr. Eggleston, clerk of the court, was the Fugitive Slave Law commissioner. The difference between such an official and a United States commissioner, which position Mr. Eggleston held, was explained by the newspaper.
The official vote of Outagamie and Shawano counties combined in November, 1854: For Congress –John B. Macy (R.) 375, Charles Billinghurst (D.) 361. For assembly –P. H. Smith (D.) 433, S. E. Beach (R.) 321. For sheriff –Patrick Hunt (D.) 427, D. Huntley, (R.) 327 and the balance of the ticket about the same. H. S. Eggleston was elected clerk of the court; L. B. Noyes attorney; John Stephens surveyor; N. M. Hephner coroner; C. A. Grignon treasurer, against W. S. Warner and N. C. Blood and Samuel Ryan, Jr., clerk of the county board, and William A. Prall, register of deeds. For the constitutional amendments 16; against them 483.
In the spring of 1855 the Republicans held their city caucus at McSchouler’s tavern and the Democrats likewise a caucus for the same purpose at Center schoolhouse. It was urged that each party should nominate its best men in order that the city should have the best government possible no matter which party won.
In April, 1855, the two tickets at Appleton were called “law and order” and “opposition.” The first (Democratic) carried the Second and Third wards and the second (Republican) carried the First ward. At the election the “law and order” candidates were, with one exception successful. The result was as follows: For president, Rolla A. Law received 148 votes and Amos Story 82; for coroner, E. D. Finney received 163 and Daniel Huntley 67; for assessor, John Stephens received 157 and William S. Warner 73; for treasurer, M. A. Mosher received 110 and Jalmes S. Eggleston 118. Supervisors were elected in each ward.
In 1855 the Legislature found it necessary to regulate the elections in this county by declaring that the treasurer and clerk of the board of supervisors who were elected in November, 1853, should hold their offices until January 1, 1857.
In the spring of 1855 there was a strong demand that a newspaper with other politics than those of the Crescent should be established at Appleton. Opposition to the democracy did not feel that it was properly recognized and considered in the columns of the Crescent. Instead of opposing this step the Crescent favored the establishment here of a Whig or Republican paper. It said that Appleton and the tributary country could support an additional newspaper, and further said that two-thirds of its present circulation was outside of Outagamie county.
The result of the election for town officers in Grand Chute in 1855 was taken as an indorsement of the action of the board of supervisors in contracting with Henry Hewett for the construction of the plank road through Appleton to the town line of Greenville, and the issuance of $10,000 in town bonds. There had been much talk and many false reports concerning these town bonds.
The committee to canvass the votes for associate justice of the supreme court gave Samuel Crawford (D.) a majority of 184 votes over Cole (R.) in Outagamie county. Two towns of the county failed to send in their returns. In one town the electors refused to vote at all. The real Democratic majority in the county was about 230.
At the judicial election in May, 1855, the following was the vote in Outagamie county: S. R. Cotton received 227 votes and D. Agry received 100. The other counties of the district were Oconto and Shawano. Cotton was elected. Kaukauna gave Agry a majority over Cotton, but Appleton reversed that vote by a large majority. Center and Ellington also gave Agry a majority, but Freedom and Greenville gave Cotton a majority. No returns were received from Bovina, Embarrass, Hortonia and Dale. In making the canvass of the votes Kaukauna and Freedom for some unknown reason were rejected and Greenville was given to Agry.
The Republican assembly convention met at Hortonville, August 25. George H. Myers, John Moodie and Robert Sampson were appointed committee on credentials. Nearly all of the towns of the county was represented by delegations. William Brunquest of Oconto was unanimously nominated for member of the assembly. Five delegates were appointed to the senatorial convention and the same number to the Republican State convention. Resolution recognizing under the constitution the right of property in slaves were passed, but the right to introduce slavery in new territory was denied. The convention deplored the repeal of the Missouri Compromise as uncalled for and a gross and wanton outrage upon the rights, feelings and sentiments of the people of the free states. The convention further resolved that they considered Franklin Pierce neither honest, capable nor faithful to the constitution; that he had violated his pledged word when selected to office; that he had abandoned Democratic measures and administered public affairs according to despotic principles, and that he was regarded as a near satellite of a Southern oligarchy whose end was to spread and strengthenand perpetuate the institution of slavery.
At the senatorial convention held at Weyauwega in September, T. J. Townsend was nominated for senator, but declined the honor; whereupon Luther Hanchett was named by the convention. Strong, resolutions against the encroachment of slavery were introduced and passed. One of the resolutions was as follows: “That in the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law one of the most gross and wanton outrages was committed upon the rights of personal liberty that could have been perpetuated in a Republican government.” And another was as follows: “That in the repeal of the Missouri Compromise we see direct and positive legislation by our general government for extending the area of slavery.” The convention deplored the fact that the existing national administration was a pro-slavery one. Charles A. Single was chairman of this convention. Outagamie county was represented by a full delegation.
The Republicans held their convention at Hortonville late in August, 1855. They nominated William Brunquest of Oconto for member of the assembly. They likewise nominated a senatorial and a congressional delegation. The Democrats nominated William A. Barstow for governor and the Republicans nominated Coles Bashford.Each party nominated a full State ticket and prepared for a stirring campaign. The candidates for the board of county supervisors in 1855 were as follows: Grand Chute –Theodore Coonkey, Democrat, over J. Rork, fusion Democrat; Kaukauna –B. H. Beaulieu, Democrat, over B. O’Connor, Republican; Center –M. N. Hephner, Democrat, unanimously; Bovina –Randall Johnson, Democrat, over M. Kroles, Democrat; Greenville –Edward Ramer, over R. K. Worden and L. E. Darling, Republican; Dale –Mr. Hubbard, Democrat; Embarrass –Mr. Mirackle, Democrat, unanimously; Hortonia—M. W. Allen, Republican; Freedom –J. E.Childs, Democrat.
The Democratic assembly convention met at Hortonville in August, on which occasion A. B. Everts was chosen chairman pro tem. and James Meiklejohn secretary pro tem. After appointing various committees the convention adjourned for one hour. Upon reassembling it was found that Grand Chute, Kaukauna, Ellington, Dale, Freedom, Greenville, Embarrass, Hortonia and three wards of Appleton were represented by delegations. Waupaca and Shawano counties, part of the district, were also represented. A. B. Everts was chosen president and G. S. Doty secretary. Louis Bostedo of Waupaca county was unanimously nominated Democratic candidate for the assembly. After appointing delegates to the State convention and to the senatorial convention the, meeting adjourned.
The Democrats held a convention at the courthouse in Appleton, October 15, 1855, to nominate a candidate for register of deeds.Theodore Conkey was chosen chairman and B. Douglas secretary. Messrs. Stephens, Hephner and Peebles were appointed committee on credentials. The delegates present were as follows: Appleton, –G. W. Gregory, J. C. Cross, P. H. Smith, John C. Ryan, Theodore Conkey and John Stephens; Grand Chute –John Nolan and B.Douglas; Ellington, –O. P. Peebles and P. H. Pew; Embarrass, — Jeremiah Merickle 2 votes; Ka.ukauna, –C. A. Hamer and Philip Moliter; Center, –N. M. Hephner 2 votes; Dale, –Stephen Balliet 2 votes; Greenville, –Isaac Wickware 2 votes; Tracy P. Bingham was unanimously nominated for register. John C. Ryan, Isaac Wickware and John Nolan were appointed Democratic county committee for the ensuing year. Late in October, J. W. Randall of Waukesha and Byron Paine of Milwaukee addressed the people of Appleton upon the topics of the day. They reviewed the entire State and national political situation, Mr. Randall speaking for an hour and a half and Mr. Paine following for the same length of time. Mr. Paine particularly spoke in opposition to the encroachments of slavery.
In 1855 many citizens of Outagamie county went to Kansas for permanent residence. Among them were Robert Morrow, James Blood, J. F. Wood, D. Whitney, Mr. Alien, Mr. Southmayd, John H. Marston and many others. Whether they went there to take part in the troubles is not known.
The result of the November election of 1855 in Outagamie county was as follows: For governor, Grand Chute, –Barstow 106, Bashford 221; Kaukauna, –Barstow 157, Bashford 24; Ellington, — Barstow 11, Bashford 28; Freedom, –Barstow 6, Bashford 35; Embarrass, — Barstow, 3, Bashford 13; Hortonla, — Barstow 16, Bashford 30; Greenville, –Barstow 51, Bashford 28; Dale, –Barstow 11, Bashford 18; Bovina, –Barstow 1, Bashford 17. The remainder of the ticket was approximately the same. There was much excitement in the county over the election. On the face of the returns Bashford received in Outagamie county a majority of 32.
The official vote for senator in 1855 in Outagamie county was as follows: Smith 684; Hanchett 121. In the entire senatorial district Smith received 2,022 and Hanchett 1,205. Thus Judge Smith’s majority was 817. Judge Smith’s official majority was 563. This was a splendid endorsement of a very popular man. It was one of the largest majorities ever given a candidate, in this county. When the news arrived definitely that Coles Bashford, the republican nominee for governor, was elected there was much excitement among the republicans as well as among the democrats. The latter denounced the result as a calamity to the state, while the former saw in his election a continuance of the republican management of state affairs and opposition to the encroachment of the slave power in national politics. The official returns of the vote for governor in 1855 showed that Bashford, republican, received in Outagamie county a majority of only 32 over Barstow, democrat.
In the spring of 1856 the Crescent deplored the introduction of politics into the churches. The local ministers, and the professors at the University, mostly of the republican faith, preached strong and bitter sermons against slavery and in favor of abolitionism.
This did not suit the Crescent. Rev. William McDonald and others preached such sermons in the university chapel. It was claimed that the democratic priests in the county likewise introduced politics in their sermons. The Crescent said that Mr. McDonald’s discourse might appropriately be styled, “A harangue upon our duties to God and our government.” The speaker said “the system of politics now existing is a system of fraud and falsehood;” also, “If all liars are to be cast in the lake of fire and brimstone, hell will be well supplied with politicians;” also, “political editors get their living by lying.” The Crescent denounced the sermons in severe language and gave a savage and abusive review of over three columns in one issue.
At the charter election in April, 1856, in Appleton the republicans nominated a full ticket as did also the democrats. The latter succeeded in electing president, assessor, marshal, treasurer and two ward supervisors. The republicans elected the police justice and one ward supervisor. For president, J. S. Buck, (D.) received 123 votes and Rev. A. B. Randall (R.) 107; police justice –T. P. Bingham, (D.), received 107 and W. S. Warner (R.) 121; marshal –M. D.McGrath, (D.), with no opposition, received 212; assessor –J. M.Eggleston, (D.), received 127, and Benjamin Proctor, (R.), 101; treasurer –M. D. McGrath, (D.), without opposition, received 229.The ward supervisors now were P. H. Smith and James Gilmore, democrats, and R. R. Bateman, T. A. Wilcox and John Stephens, republicans.
At the April election in 1856 Grand Chute elected the entire democratic ticket with one exception. The republicans worked hard for mastery, but could not succeed. There was a reliable democratic majority of about 60 in this town. In the spring of 1856 the republicans of the county demanded an organ for their party at the county seat. The Crescent was strongly democratic, but did not represent the other side to their satisfaction. It called the republicans “Abolitionists,” “Know-Nothings,” “Amalgamationists,” etc. It told the republicans that if they wanted a party organ they could probably get the editor of some defunct New York Know-Nothing paper to conduct it. It was announced by the Crescent in April, that Appleton would probably soon have a republican newspaper. A subscription list was being circulated by M. Brady and quite a large number .of names was secured.
Hortonia town went republican; M. W. Alien republican was re-elected chairman over N. Nash, democrat. The democrats were overpowered by numbers. In Greenville John Hephner, Jr., democrat was defeated by Mr. Bemis, republican. Part of the democratic ticket of that town was elected. The senatorial district here consisted of Brown, Outagamie, Door, Kewaunee, Oconto and Shawano counties. Outagamie alone was constituted a representative district.
“It is a significant fact that at the Kansas-Republican meeting in the Methodist church on Monday evening all the reverend speakers were for exterminating slavery from the union at any sacrifice and that stronger appeals were made to blood, Sharp’s rifles, etc., than to moral, religious or political integrity of the rank and file of fire-eaters. All the speakers were very adroit in avoiding the points in Kansas history which are disputed or denied.” –(Crescent, April 26, 1856.) Rev. Prescott was one of the principal speakers; Byron Douglas followed him, and then Professor Cobleigh, Rev. Mr. Mc- Donald and others. Every speaker denounced in unqualified terms the outrage in Kansas and Nebraska. The Crescent reviewed the meeting critically and denounced the introduction of politics into the addresses of ministers or the proceedings of the churches.
In April the editor of the Crescent denounced in unsparing terms the attack of Preston S. Brooks upon Charles Sumner in the United States Senate. The paper said: “We have no words to express our disgust at the ruffianly outrage. No matter if Sumner in his wild abolition harangue overstepped the bounds of Senatorial courtesy and propriety and indulged in vileness and abusiveness towards many of his compeers, it is no excuse for such a cowardly assault.” “In 1856 this city formed a part of the town of Grand Chute. Last fall the same territory gave an Abolition majority of 25. This spring a careful examination of the votes showed Abolition majority upon a rather poor vote to be 23.” –(Crescent, April 10, 1858.) In June the Crescent and the Democrats of this county heralded with great acclaim the nomination of Buchanan and Breckinridge at the head of the Democratic national ticket.
There was organized at Appleton in June, a Buchanan Club, which embraced nearly all of the Democrats in this locality. Under their auspices several prominent speakers were brought here on behalf of the Democracy during the summer and fall. Early in July, 1856, a large meeting of Republicans was held in Appleton, on which occasion Judge Howe delivered the principal speech, extolling Fremont and Dayton, and in general the cause of Republicanism. A large delegation from. Menasha and Neenah was present. Several Methodist ministers connected with Lawrence University likewise addressed the meeting. It was claimed that the audience numbered about fifteen hundred.
The president and professors of Lawrence University and the local ministers took occasion on the Fourth of July, 1856, to deliver strong speeches in favor of Republican policies. This course was contended by the Crescent to be uncalled for and unpatriotic. It insisted that the faculty of the University had no right to espouse any political cause in that institution, because by doing so their precept and example might mislead the students. As it was, the latter were. already engaged in spirited disputes and controversies on political subjects. “No wonder the Democrats scouted the Fourth of July celebration! No wonder, when one is gotten up the Democrats are asked as in this town to furnish three-fourths of all the money contributed to pay expenses. No wonder, if by neighborhood courtesy the fair, candid, gentlemanly Republican is invited to deliver an oration that he should descend to low meanness and base insinuations and draw false, contemptible conclusions to show the rancor, heartlessness and malice of his black heart against the only national party in existence. And why all this? Because the negro race are not amalgamated, or raised to the level of the white race, and the foreignborn degraded to the condition of service and dependence without part or lot in the government or state organization,” said the Crescent.
One of the largest political meetings held in Appleton up to date convened on the public square about the middle of July, 1856.It was claimed that twenty-five hundred people were present. The Appleton Buchanan Club conducted the celebration. That club issued a long printed address to the electors of the county, in which they recited fully the Democratic views on state and national affairs.Theodore Conkey president of the club presided, and T. R. Hudd served as secretary. Mr. Conkey himself delivered a strong speech and was followed by Gen. L. P. Crary of Menasha. Then came William F. Bauer and Edward S. Bragg, both very strong speakers and very enthusiastic Democrats. Col. Samuel Ryan of Menasha, also addressed the audience; other speakers were heard. The Saxe Horn band furnished the music. In the evening a torchlight procession ended this memorable political day. A long series of resolutions was adopted by the meeting, proclaiming Democratic principles and insisting that the Democracy should be retained in power. In the evening additional speakers addressed a large audience in the open air.
In 1856 a Republican paper called the Free Press was issued in Appleton. It was strongly Republican in its views, and was assaulted in a courteous way by the editor of the Crescent: “Emboldened by silence and carried away by the supposition that the University and its interests were impregnably fortified in the affections of the people, some of the faculty have foolishly and needlessly stepped into the arena of political strife and aroused the party sentiment and party pride of every democrat in this vicinity. At the same time their financial affairs have not been firmly managed and they have found upon investigation that they need the aid of business men – not mere politicians and blacklegs, or office seekers – because they have arrived at that period when their financial wants must necessarily exceed by far their financial resources if they would carry out the plan long ago determined of making it a first class University in every respect. It is now understood that the sum of $30,000 is needed to endow the chairs of professors and to place the University in a sound, stable, and permanent condition. It is also understood that unless $10,000 be raised in this town, it will be extremely difficult to obtain the balance in the rest of the state. We speak the unanimous voice of every Democrat in town and county when we say that we desire to see the Lawrence University placed upon a solid foundation, every chair ably filled, every class crowded with students, every debt liquidated, and a sufficiency of means provided to make it now and forever the best University in all the West. But before Democrats can be expected to take the interest in its success which they have felt, before they can conscientiously contribute of their means to aid in placing it upon an unmovable foundation, they have a right to demand and expect, and in their name we do demand a board of trustees composed of men of thorough, active and energetic business capacity, not selected because they favor this or that party or fellowship, with this or that religious denomination, but because they are business men.The University is under the sanction and looks to the support of the Methodist Church. No one objects to that. Let it continue denominational but not sectarian. It is further demanded that the teachers from President to tutors let politics alone so far as active interference therewith is concerned and attend to the duties assigned them.” –(Crescent, July 26, 1856.)
In July, 1856, prominent Republicans of Appleton openly and boldly advocated the dissolution of the Union or a separation of the free from the slave states. Like Wendell Phillips and other strong abolitionists, he believed that it was best for the free and slave states to separate; otherwise the free states in the end would be rendered slave states in spite of themselves. Many Republicans of this vicinity held similar views.
The Crescent editor in July issued a poltical card in which he admitted that he had been a Whig editor in 1853. However, he denied ever having favored abolitionism or native Americanism. He had never advocated the election of a known abolitionist or freesoiler; was never tinctured with Seward-Greeleyism; and when Greeley proclaimed the Whig party dead, he did not “rush into the arms of the law-defying niggerism.” In answer to the various abolition speeches of the faculty of the University the Crescent on October 2, asked the following questions: “Will some of our ranting black republicans tell us at what period within the last one thousand years the negroes were not slaves to other types of the human race? Will some of them please inform us whether the condition of the wild native of Africa, in his native land, is as comfortable and Christian-like as the condition of the negro slave in Virginia, Mississippi, or any other Southern state? Will some of them who prate loudly about ‘southern slavery’ being God-dishonoring, please tell us why the great Jehovah has permitted the existence of slavery all through the Christian era to this very day?’ ” In July the students of Lawrence University resented the attack upon the faculty by the Crescent and declared that they had not intermeddled in any way with the political opinions of the students. They declared that such insinuations against the faculty were utterly false and uncalled for.
The Free Press was started by the Republicans partly to be their organ and partly to be a paper of temperance and freedom. In spite of this, however, the Temperance League in Appleton was slow to commence prosecution against any of the liquor sellers.
Early in September the Republicans held a grand rally at Appleton. Judge Aiken was one of the principal speakers. R. P. Eaton also addressed the audience. Both delivered strong partisan speeches and were cheered by the large crowd assembled. Though the Free Press was edited by S. H. Brady, it was probably owned and controlled by W. S. Warner, Rev. W. H. Sampson, J. N. Phinney, G. H. Myers, R. R. Patton, and Edward West, all strong republicans.
In September Rev. H. Requa in a sermon here stated that he had been told that if a minister dared to speak out against slavery in Appleton he would be paraded in a paper and even his private character would be attacked. The Crescent denied that it intended to make any such attack. It further declared that the ministers had made an effort to destroy free speech and crush free thought in this town “in response to the promptings of abolition monomaniacs and Fremont fanatics.” In September, 1856, Messrs. Samuel Ryan, Jr., Hudd, Bauer and Jewett campaigned the entire county, making speeches at every village and large settlement. Flag poles were raised at nearly all the meetings. This fall Harrison C. Hobart, democrat, and Charles Billinghurst, republican, were candidates for Congress from this district. The new apportionment bill in September, 1856, made the second Senatorial district to consist of the counties of Outagamie, Shawano, Oconto, Door, Kewaunee and Brown.The democrats of Kaukauna assembled and erected a large hickory pole in that village. The democrats of Little Chute did likewise in their village. Both villages contained strong democratic majorities.The Free Press published communications from General Blood and Clark H. Southmayd, both from Appleton, describing the horrors of the situation in Kansas.
In October the democrats of Dale held a large meeting and raised a hickory pole 120 feet high. Among the speakers were Perry H. Smith, Samuel Ryan, Jr., and W. F. Bauer.
“Appleton abolitionists are always bawling against negro slavery. None of them, however, would allow a respectable farmer’s daughter to sit at the same table and dine with them. They speak feelingly of the wrongs of slavery. We defy you to find five of them who will give $100 each to colonize liberated slaves in Africa or to purchase the freedom of a slave. And yet we have in Appleton a border ruffian who gave a slave woman in Missouri her liberty and is bound for her good conduct as she refused to come North. Name the abolitionist or any five of them in Appleton who will purchase the liberty of a single slave. Of course, the gentleman we allude to supported Buchanan.” — (Crescent, October 30, 1856.)
“The Methodist conference now in session in Appleton voted to have an anti-slavery meeting one day last week and invited free discussion; whereupon the Crescent, that disgraceful sheet, came down upon the meeting enjoying a political love feast and began to abuse the many who took part. If they did not suit the Crescent man it is pretty nearly evident that their remarks were about right. We would not give much for the kind of mess that suits the depraved mind of Samuel Ryan.” —(Paper of Fond du Lac). * * * * “The Crescent did not abuse the ministers who took part in the speaking unless telling the truth is abuse. Our account of that disgraceful meeting has been substantially verified by many of the strongest anti-slavery ministers of the Methodist conference and we hazard nothing in saying that a large majority of Methodist ministers of the Wisconsin conference condemned the sentiments uttered by the principal speakers.” — (Crescent, October 4, 1856.)
In October, 1856, the Free Press of Appleton was edited by S. H. Brady. It was really a republican sheet and the editor denounced the democracy as “bullies, blacklegs, murderers, drunkards, etc.” Mr. Brady was or had been connected with a newspaper at Plattsburg, New York.
Early in October, 1856, A. B. Murch became editor of the Free Press. He announced himself as an unflinching abolitionist and opposed utterly to negro slavery. In October, T. R. Hudd and A. B. Everts challenged James M. Phinney and George H. Myers to a joint discussion of the political topics of the day. Their challenge was accepted and the people looked for electrical and startling meetings.
The democratic county convention was held at the courthouse at Appleton, October 27, 1856. Norman Nash was chosen president and J. W. Carhart, Jr., and T. R. Hudd, secretaries. Theodore Conkey was nominated for the assembly; Samuel Ryan, Jr., clerk of the circuit court; A. B. Everts sheriff; T. R. Hudd, district attorney; Morton Gerritts, county treasurer; John Hephner, Jr., coroner, and James Gilmore, surveyor. The convention was enthusiastic and the proceedings passed without serious contest. The republicans held a rousing convention and nominated A. B. Jackson for the assembly and Byron Douglas for county treasurer. This was one of the few times in early years when the Republicans were thoroughly rorganized. The votes of Outagamie county for Presidential electors in November, 1856, was as follows, by towns:
The vote on the remainder of the ticket in this county was about the same. Appleton polled at this election 475 votes, the most ever cast at any election thus far. As soon as the results were known a salute of 151 guns were fired at Appleton by the democrats to celebrate the National democratic victory. In the vote for Congressman in the Third district in 1856 Outagamie county gave Billinghurst, republican, 598; and Hobart, democrat, 757. Mr. Murch, editor of the Free Press during the campaign of 1856, retired at the conclusion of the campaign and was succeeded by S. H. Brady, the former editor, who, it was understood, was to be assisted by S. M. Beach.
After the election of November the Republicans not caring to hear the noisy celebration of the democrats over their victory, removed the cannon and hid it in a woodpile within the corporate limits; it was not discovered until the following spring. William H. Gill a student of Lawrence University went to Kansas in 1856 and while there became involved in a collision with a pro-salvery partisan, was arrested, committed to a loathsome prison; tried by a proslavery judge, but was finally acquitted. It was declared by the Crescent that he went there out of sentiment, largely to represent the abolitionists of this community, and that he himself was responsible for the trouble in which he became involved. The Free Press did not long survive after the campaign of 1856; it was discontinued late in December.
The New London Times had become a prominent newspaper by January 1, 1857. It did not hesitate to criticize the Crescent sharply for its position on National political affairs.
It was in 1857 that considerable pressure was brought to bear upon the Appleton Crescent by the republicans of Wisconsin to transform it into an organ for their party; but Mr. Ryan could not be swerved and continued with greater severity than before to advocate the doctrines of democracy.
The Free Press was established mainly to oppose the Crescent but apparently was unequal to the task, or perhaps those putting up the money could find no profit in the enterpise. The Crescent said of the Free Press after it became defunct: “Whether the Free Press was a benefit or a curse to the reputation of this town and county it behooves us not to say. The Free Press like a clock was set in motion, and like an old-fashioned coffee mill it ground a fine or coarse article as the wheel was turned. It was a ribald sheet destitute of all right and truth, of veracity, or amenities and civilities of good neighborhood, notwithstanding it was regarded by the state as the organ of political priesthood. We have no desire to review the presidential campaign in this county or to dwell upon the unjustified, unrighteous, and undignified crusade waged against everything bearing the semblance of national import of democracy. Nor is it pleasant to recall the bitterness and animosity in general against us and those with whom we acted politically for daring to exercise the rights and prerogatives of American citizens. Notwithstanding we are branded while supporting that pure patriot James Buchanan, with being bullies, blacklegs, murderers, drunkards, slave-breeders and negro drivers; notwithstanding the anathemas of the pulpit and the prayers and curses of the mistaken philanthropists were heaped upon us mountain high, the people sustained and vindicated us from all the aspersions and indignities heaped upon us. After having bled freely to carry out their projects the squalid politicians who have followed our track with bloodhound ferocity, found one morning that their rabid abolitionist sheet was among the missing; and upon footing up the aggregate of money paid, bestowed, and obtained for the benefit of the Free Press, it was found to ieach upwards of $3,000, and that everybody of republican affinities had un- paid bills, from the journeymen printer to the nurse. What a howl of affected, virtuous indignation went up on every hand! What bitter imprecations were heaped upon the head of the missing champion of God’s cause, black republicanism. A little while ago these virtuous patriotic, clericals and laymen, moral and immoral, temperance and anti-temperance, freedom procurers, by their words and actions upheld and defended just such dishonesty as has now been visited upon them by the same financier. We cannot help commiserating with those who have been depleted so thoroughly in this community.”–(Crescent, January 10, 1857.)
Late in March, 1857, the democratic judicial convention, which assembled in Appleton, presented the name of John Jewett, Jr., as a suitable person for the position of county judge. There were nrany persons in Outagamie county who favored the colonization of the American negroes. Apparently they took this position in order to escape what they considered the ignominy of becoming abolitionists. The objects and methods of colonization were fully explained in the newspapers early in 1857. It was generally admitted in the spring of 1857 that the representation of Outagamie county in the state legislature was not surpassed in strength and ability by that of any other county in the state. Judge P. H. Smith in the senate was a. man of transcendent ability and was recognized as .a leader of the democratic forces. Theodore Conkey member of the assembly was shrewd; sagacious, energetic, a man of few words, positive, confident, quick in action, and was likewise a leader in his branch of the legislature.
The charter election for the city of Appleton in 1857 was spirited and enthusiastic. The electors demanded a business administration; they desired the city placed on a permanent financial basis; and a large number assembled and demanded the election of Anson Ballard for the office of mayor. More than sixty prominent citizens signed the peititon asking for his nomination. The polling places were as follows: First ward, at the National hotel; Second ward, at Rork’s office; Third ward, at the schoolhouse. The merits and demerits of a dozen or more candidates for the city offices were thoroughly discussed. Of the council elected, R. C. Bull was chosen president, Frederick Packard, clerk, J. M. Phinney, school superintendent; and Anson Ballard, attorney. Amos Story was duly elected the first mayor of Appleton. He was a prominent citizen, a man of high character and it was believed would give a good account of himself. In his inaugural address he dwelt upon the subjects of roads, sewers, reservoirs, fire protection, bridges, cemetery, public grounds, railroads, licenses for the sale of intoxicating beverages, and miscellaneous items. He analyzed the situation thoroughly and asked for many reforms and improvements.
Much ado was made in May over the fact that a negro who had come from North Carolina lectured in this city to raise money to purchase his family yet in slavery. The abolitionists turned out and treated him royally while here. Late in May it was announced in political circles that another Republican paper was soon to be established in Appleton. It was stated that the abolitionists here secured from Mr. Lawrence a considerable contribution to aid in the establishment of this journal, believing that.such a newspaper was needed to counteract the influence and teachings of the Crescent. How much Mr. Lawrence contributed is unknown, but it was believed that from him and from persons living here there was secured a total of several thousand dollars to aid the project. The State Central Committee was expected to give $2,500.
The Abolitionists held a mass convention at Milwaukee in June. In their preamble they made the following statement: “The people of Wisconsin, in mass convention assembled, in view of the alarming encroachments of the slave power manifested through the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the Federal Government in the passage and enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 by which the right of habeas corpus and the right of trial by jury were annulled; in the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska bill and administration of a government in Kansas by which slavery was introduced into free territory; enactment in the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Dred-Scott case in which slavery was declared a national institution, with the right to be protected in all the territory in the United States, and free colored citizens were denied the rights of citizens and protection by the Federal Government–do hereby declare, etc. . . .” To all the above the editor of the Crescent replied in sarcastic and cutting terms.He said: “It is all idle tomfoolery for any sane man or set of men to prate about the unconstitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. If the Fugitive Act is too severe why not modify it? If defective in any particular why not remedy the defect? The truth is, if trial by jury in the state where he is arrested was awarded to the fugitive these hypercritical philanthropists would be just as much dissatisfied as they are now. The whole tenure of their whine is hostility to negro servitude, law or no law, constitution or no constitution.And yet they are too cowardly to attack the constitution openly and manfully like their natural allies, the Garrisonians, etc., in America, and the aristocrats and tyrants in Europe. It seems a mere waste of time to contend against such an absurd condition as the one above mentioned. As to the sneer at the Nebraska-Kansas Bill of self government, we have only to say that that principle vindicates itself because it is the only just method of organizing new states. Let maniacs batter their heads against it, they cannot harm or disturb it until they demoralize the masses. The day is not far distant when every sincere opponent of negro servitude will rely upon that bill to bring all of that territory which now constitutes Mexico into this Union as states from which negro slavery shall be excluded. Mark the prediction! But negro worshippers generally must expend most of their wind and fury and display the extent of their ignorance the most effectively upon the Dred-Scott decision recently made by the Supreme Court of the United States.” –(Crescent, June 27, 1857.).
Robert Morrow and James Blood, two former citizens of this county who had gone to Kansas, made themselves prominent there by taking sides with the anti-salvery movement. Blood was chosen mayor of Lawrence, but the Topeka legislature refused to give that city a charter. Morrow joined the conservative free-soil forces, which were headed by Brown of the Herald of Freedom.
“Jimuel Blood stole his inaugural address as mayor of the bogus city of Lawrence from Captain Story, the mayor of Appleton, and revamped it to suit that locality. Those who doubt this statement can call at this office and be at once undeceived. Oh, Jimuel, Jimuel! To steal from a gray-haired man ! What next will you do?” — (Crescent, August 22, 1857.)
In the fall the Crescent issued the following address to the public: “People of Wisconsin. — One week from next Tuesday you will be called upon to determine whether negro equality, nullification, and corruption, or their antipodes, shall rule our young and vigorous state. We appeal to you, as you love your own race, as you cherish the Union of States, as yoiu esteem public honesty, vote the Democratic ticket. After a trial of the black Republicans, not one pledge or promise of the many made by its leaders has been fulfilled. Bring back Wisconsin to the proud position occupied in the galaxy of the states under her early administration. The democrats nominated James B. Cross of Milwaukee for governor in 1857 and nominated for senator of the Second district Morgan L. Martin of Brown county. The republicans nominated Alexander W. Randall of Milwaukee for governor and Carl Schurz for lieutenant-governor.
At the democratic state convention in October, Theodore Conkey of this county was a prominent candidate for state treasurer; on the informal ballot he received 35 votes, six higher than any other candidate. However, on the second regular ballot he was defeated by Carl Habich. This convention deprecated any interference with the institution of slavery where it already existed. The following was one of the resolutions passed. “That we are unalterably opposed to the extension of the right of sufferage to the negro race, and will never consent that the odious doctrine of negro equality shall find a place upon the statute books of Wisconsin.” And also the following: “That we look with abhorrence upon the reckless spirit of nullification that emanates from the political organization over which we triumphed at the last presidential election and against which at the coming state election we are to contend for victory.” The nullification referred to meant the violations of the Fugitive Slave Law by the abolitionists.
The democrats nominated P. H. Smith for the assembly, Tracy P. Bingham for register of deeds; and Chauncey D. Foote for county surveyor. The democratic county convention met at the courthouse. Theodore Conkey was chosen president and each town in the county was represented by delegates. A long series of resolutions was adopted, one of which was as follows: “That the promise made by the black republican legislature and submitted by them to the suffrage of the voters of Wisconsin at the ensuing assembly election, to admit negroes to the right of suffrage and thereby to place the black race on terms of political and social equality with the white race is disgusting and repulsive and meets with our unqualified condelmnation. That it indicates the design and aim of the black republicans to effect an indiscriminate intercourse of the races and their final amalgamation, thereby tending to produce an intolerable, enervated and dwarfed mixed race like that which now disgraces the Spanish-American states.”
“An Outrage Marks Voting in the First Ward. –Another outrage upon the ballot box has just been perpetrated in our midst by pure men, sworn inspectors of election of the Abolition-Shanghai party. A negro by the name of Robert Pendleton, a young man of about eighteen years of age, presented himself at the polls in the First ward; swore that he was a legal voter; and with the evidence there palpable in his face, features and talk that he is a negro, was permitted by the inspectors to cast his vote. These inspectors were W. H. Sampson, J. G. Brownell, and R. R. Bateman. T. R. Hudd, one of the clerks of election and the only Democrat on the board, thereupon refused to violate his oath of office by recording that vote, and immediately threw up his post and left the polls. The only apology offered by the sworn inspectors, one of whom pettifogged the case, was that he was a Stockbridge, Indian, and therefore entitled to vote. If he has any Indian blood, which is doubtful, it cannot exceed one-fourth, the other three-fourths being negro without white admixture, and he has not lived with the tribe since their admission to citizenship. The truth is, if forty negroes had offered to vote the Shanghai ticket in that ward, the election board would have received their votes. What care they for the constitution of the Union or of this State? The conduct of Mr. Hudd merits and receives the commendation of a large majority of the people of this city. Will the attorney for Grand Chute take notice of the gross and repeated violations of the election laws in this county?” –(Crescent, November 7, 1857.)
In November Outagamie county gave a majority of 157 for Cross democratic candidate for governor over Randall republican candidate. The Democrats were overjoyed at the election of the entire democratic ticket. “What a wonderful change! What a glorious reform for a single year! Last year Fremont carries Wisconsin by a majority of nearly 14,000. Thus democracy has gained nearly 15,000 votes in a single year. The Cross majority is approximately 1,000. The Democratic victory is a glorious vindication of the right of self-government and of the wisdom and uprightness of our national democratic administration and an entire rejection and condemnation of the repulsive abolition dogma of negro equality. It will be a long time, we can confidentially predict, ere Wisconsin will again range itself under the banner of nullification, abolition, and disunion; a long time ere the councils and advice of factionists and corruptionists will mislead and deceive. The majority against negro suffrage will undoubtedly exceed 20,000 and may reach 30,000 votes. Wisconsin wants no more negroes, free or slave, within her boundaries.
The following is the vote of the county on the negro suffrage question in November, 1857:
In December the Crescent published in full the late speech of Stephen A. Douglas in the United States Senate. It said: “We are confident that we could give our readers no more acceptable matter and we are also satisfied that in the position he has taken he reflects the nearly unanimous sentiment of the Northwest.”
In March, 1858, the Republicans formed a, political league for the purpose of uniting the party with the hope of carrying local elections. The Crescent said: “We suppose to speak candidly that a more corrupt crowd of office seekers were never banded together anywhere than are joined together in the bonds of the so-called Temperance League of the city of Appleton. And if any sincere temperance men have gone into that concern expecting that real good will be accomplished for that cause under such leaders they will do well to come out from among them at once for they will be surely disappointed in all such expectations.”
“The temperance meetings in the First ward, judging by the one we attended last Tuesday, have degenerated into a ludicrous and as well as ridiculous warfare between the ‘outs’ and ‘ins’ of the society. A few noted politicians are quite active in trying to get a voting pledge as substitute for an anti-liquor drinking pledge heretofore adopted. We are wicked enough to, believe that they feel themselves in want of votes and think as the engineers of the Republican party that they can nominate themselves whenever they choose, and that it would be a smart trick to get men to vote for them. It is a poor rule that won’t work both ways, and the cool headed men in this community cannot so soon have forgotten that the same crowd leagued themselves together two years ago to vote for any man from president to pathmaster unless he was a strict temperance man and yet every mother’s son of them in the very next general election voted a ticket the majority of which was made up of men who drank liquor habitually. That miserable crowd of slavish politicians are unworthy of the confidence of any citizen.” — (Crescent, February 27, 1858.)
In the spring of 1858 the following Republicans were suggested for the mayoralty: Anson Ballard, Edward West and R. R. Bateman; and the following Democrats: P. H. Smith, Theodore Conkey and T. P. Bingham. This did not exhaust the list but it was noted that either of these men would make an efficient and satisfactory mayor.
“Look out for all manner of lies and slanders from the abolitionist deadheads against any honest or worthy man who may run for municipal office. The vipers are still alive. Beware of them and their league of iniquity.” –(Crescent, April 3, 1858.) There was considerable excitement over the city elections in 1858. The Temperance League united with the Republican party and elected seven out of the nine delegates to the general city convention and were thus in a position to dictate the nominations. This combination greatly angered the Crescent, which denounced the League in severe terms. The liquor element was completely proscribed by this coalition. The indigation and disgust of the Crescent over the result is shown by the following paragraph taken from the issue of April 10, 1858: “The free and independent people of the First ward are entitled to credit for the gallant fight they made against the leagued Sodamites, and although they were overborne by numbers to whom the thumbscrews of a secret political organization were applied they covered themselves with glory. The league supervisor and alderman had less than 30 majority. Stand fast, and stem the tide of fanaticism and thralldom.” –(Crescent, April 10, 1858.) The result was that the combination elected its ticket greatly to the indignation and dismay of the many Democrats who confidently expected success. In this election Grand Chute went Democratic; Ellington split the ticket; Medina went Democratic; Greenville went Democratic; so did Center, Kaukauna and Buchanan, with an occasional Republican thrown in to leaven the lump.
For the first time in many years Green Bay showed a greater number of votes than Appleton at the spring election in 1858. Green Bay polled 455 and Appleton only 411. The city officers elected in Appleton in 1858 were as follows: Amos Story, League candidate, mayor; Joseph Rork, assessor; S. R. Willy, treasurer; A. T. Sherwood, marshal.
The polling places in Appleton in April, 1858, were at the National Hotel; at Wm. Rork’s office; and at the ward schoolhouses in the First. Second and Third wards, respectively.
“An esteemed temperance friend, who feels it his duty to belong to the Temperance League for the purpose of aiding in the suppression of liquor selling and gambling (he believing that he can best aid in so doing by belonging to the League, while we differ with him), thinks that we are unjust and ungenerous in our criticism upon that organization. We are, and have been, aware that quite a number of reputable citizens have connected themselves with the League in perfect good faith and our friend declares that it is false that the League is a political institution, although he admits its members are pledged to vote for temperance men, if capable and honest, fold city and county officers; while we interpret that portion of the constitution as binding them to vote, in any event, for professed temperance men who will carry out the objects of the League and for no other purposes whatever.” — (Crescent, May 15, 1858.) The paper went on to state that the League was evidently formed for political purposes as shown by its immediate connection with the Republican organization of the county. That having become a fact, they were justified in denouncing the League for leaving the temperance cause and becoming enrolled under the political banner.The League denied this conclusion, and declared that its temperance objects were paramount and that the membership of Republicans was merely an accident or an incident of the growth and activity of the League.
During the fall of 1858, the people of Appleton and Outagamie county were interested in the great debate in Illinois between Douglas and Lincoln. The Crescent seemed to think that Douglas demolished Lincoln at every debate. The Republicans were not willing to admit anything of the kind. The Crescent of August said: “The speech of Mr. Douglas is a characteristic one, marked by the Senator’s usual bluntness, ability and adroitness, and we expect that the issue which it makes will give Mr. Lincoln no little trouble during the campaign. Indeed, the telegraph informs us that he has already felt impelled to reply to it in a speech in Chicago.” This remark applied to preliminary speeches and was made before the great public debate between Douglas and Lincoln took place.
In August the democratic congressional convention met at the courthouse in Appleton. J. S. Buck was made chairman and Byron Douglas appointed secretary. A. B. Everts and Thomas McGillan were chosen to represent the assembly district and John Jewett, Jr., to represent the senatorial district. John F. Johnston was secretary of the Republican county committee in the fall. He called the Republican convention of the county to be held at the house of Thomas Hanna in Appleton, August. The Democrats of the Third congressional district nominated Charles Larrabee for congressman. At the Democratic congressional convention of the Third district Theodore Conkey of Appleton received 23 votes out of about 110 cast.
In October at a Democratic county convention Perry H. Smith was nominated member of the assembly; Amable Bouillard, sheriff; Samuel Ryan, Jr., clerk of the court; T. R. Hudd, district attorney; Byron Douglas, county treasurer; Thomas McGillan, clerk of the county board; Francis Steffen, coroner; and Chauncy D. Foote, surveyor. The Crescent said concerning these nominations: “Never before has such an interest been felt in the deliberations of a county convention in this county and rarely, indeed, has so large a body of men met, deliberated and parted in any county with a more general feeling of acquiescence and satisfaction in the results attained.All could not obtain their preference; none were cheated, tricked or dishonored that came into the contest with pure methods and clean hands.
“The County. –In almost every town in the county men of integrity who were misled in 1856 by a specious cry for Fremont and Freedom in the support of isms and fanaticisms of the hour are now forsaking the fires of the flesh and the devil and arranging themselves under the broad banner of democracy. Aside from this city, Hortonia and Bovina, it is doubtful whether Randallism, Bashfordism and quack legislation will carry a town in the county.The woodland fires burned brightly and cohorts are ready for the march. Up, guards, and at ’em!”-(Crescent, October 14, 1858.)
Concerning the great debate between Douglas and Lincoln in Illinois in 1858, the Crescent said: “The Illinois fight goes bravely on. All eyes. are turned thitherward. Truth must triumph. Democracy meets its opponents without fear or hesitation, and twist and squirm as they may, the broad banner that floats in our State will not be lowered to the foe. Illinois is safe and victory is sure. Shall we in Wisconsin cling longer to the corruption and fanaticism of frenzy? Answer at the ballot box.”
In October the Republicans assembled in convention at the courthouse and nominated the following candidates: A. B. Jackson, for the assembly; Lucius Collar, sheriff; George H. Myers, district attorney; C. A. Hamer, clerk of the court; John Stephens, county treasurer; John F. Johnston, clerk of the county board; W. D. Jordan, surveyor; C. Koontz, coroner.
The Democrats met in the courthouse in county convention and were called to order by John Jewett, Jr., chairman of the county committee. Theodore Conkey was made chairman and T. R. Hudd secretary. Every town and the three wards of Appleton were represented by delegations. Among the resolutions adopted at this convention were the following: “That our nominees for county offices are entitled to the support of every Democrat in the county and we urge our friends to give the ticket an overwhelming majority; that we believe in the rights of the people of each State and territory to form their own institutions for improvement in their own way, to determine for themselves their own State policy and the character of the constitution and laws of the State in which they live, subject always to the constitution of the United Sates; that we are in favor of the prompt and unconditional admission of the territories of Kansas and Oregon as independent States of the Union whenever the people thereof present constitutions republican in form and adopted by themselves and request such admission.”
The political campaign of 1858 was one of the bitterest in the history of the county. Personalities were savagely indulged in and parties did not hesitate to lie, intimidate and threaten in order to triumph at the poles. The slavery question was at the bottom of this rancor and bitterness. The Crescent of October 30 said: “If you believe not in the Republican humbug about negro servitude and believe you have not any power over it, unless you swallow such claptrap, vote a straight Democratic ticket. If you believe that the Republican legislation and extravagance of last winter are worthy of commendation and perpetuation, vote against the Democratic ticket. The Republicans of this county will appear at the polls next Tuesday without a party ticket or a county office to be filled and without any definite object save to divide and confuse the so-called democracy and possibly to elect a few men who are just now outside the slavery party and will quite likely be inside in less than a month.”
The result of the election of November, 1858, was the success of the entire Democratic ticket in Outagamie county; the Democratic majority for Larrabee over Billinghurst was 270. Election day was very stormy: it rained incessantly all day. Outagamie county gave over 500 majority against an amendment to the banking law recently passed by the legislature. After the, election one hundred guns were fired in Appleton in honor of the success of Larrabee and Douglas and the Democratic victory in Outagamie county. The old 12-pound cannon had been spiked by some of the temperance people on a previous occasion, but was now unspiked and used to celebrate the Democratic victory.
Early in 1859 the democracy of this county were rejoiced to learn that Stephen A. Douglas instead of Abraham Lincoln had been chosen United States senator for Illinois. In March, the supreme court of the United States, in the cases of Stephen V. Ableman, plaintiff in error, vs. Sherman E. Booth; and the United States, plaintiff in error, vs. Sherman M. Booth, reversed the decision of the supreme court of Wisconsin, Chief Justice Taney delivering the opinion of the court and remanding the causes for further proceedings in Wisconsin. Concerning this decision the Crescent said: “Thus is dispelled by the highest judicial authority known to our land the decision of the supreme court of Wisconsin upon a rendition of fugitives owing labor or service in other states. How any man of common understanding, much less of ordinary legal attainments, could ever entertain any doubt as to the constitutionality of the fugitive act passes our comprehension.”
This spring there was much gossip concerning the relative merits of candidates for the city offices. The Republicans believed they had a sure thing on the general city ticket, but the Democrats prepared to dispute their claim at the polls. Numerous ward meetings were held and local issues were freely explained and dissected and the national issues were brought into the controversy. The Republicans talked of Foster, Tibbits and Blood for mayor. In connection with the treasury they named Smith, Brownell, Parish and others.
In April, the city election passed off amid considerable general excitement, although the votes polled were light. The Democrats elected their treasurer, marshal, two of the three supervisors and all three aldermen. The Republicans elected the balance of the ticket. The figures were as follows: For mayor, Elvin Foster (R.), 133 majority over Samuel Ryan, Jr. (D.); for treasurer, W. H. Lanphear (D.), 116 majority over J. McPherson (R.); for assessor, J. Tibbits (R.), 14 majority over W. C. Griffin (D.); for marshal, M. H. Lyon (D.), 120 majority over L. O. Barker (R.); for supreme judge, the county gave Lind (D.), 474 majority over Paine (R.) The county as a whole was thoroughly Democratic.
The polls of Appleton were open at the following places: First ward, in the National hotel; Second ward, Squire Rork’s office; Third ward, the schoolhouse. Notwithstanding that Byron Paine was so badly defeated in Outagamie county, he was duly elected an associate judge of the supreme court. The official majority in Outagamie county of Lind (D.) over Paine (R.) was 413. The official vote in this county was 985 votes for Lind and 572 for Paine. At the election of supreme judge, not a solitary vote was cast for Paine, the Republican candidate, in either of the towns of Buchanan or Center. “Those towns are Democrat to the backbone,” said the Crescent.
In 1859 the board of county supervisors consisted of the following members: First ward, R. R. Bateman; Second ward, T. M. McCaughey; Third ward, T. P. Bingham; Bovina, Randall Johnson’; Buchanan, B. H. Beaulieu; Center, N. M. Hephner; Dale, Stephen Balliet; Ellington, Henry H. Kethroe; Embarrass, Jesse Merickle; Freedom, H. W. Armstrong; Grand Chute, W. H. P. Bogan; Greenville, E. H. Stone; Hortonia, Norman Nash; Liberty, Samuel A. Reynolds; Kaukauna, Martin Gerrits; Osborn, Albert Simpson. Of these supervisors, nine were Democrats, four were Republicans and three were elected on the people’s ticket. “The city election last week demonstrated that Appleton will soon become a Democratic city; we scarcely expected the Democrats would carry a majority of the common council and half of the town and city officers. The editor of this paper consented to run for mayor against an influential Republican, a worthy man, with a certainty of’ defeat, and yet the vote cast for him was so flattering and so unexpectedly large that he cannot permit the occasion to pass without returning his thanks to his friends for the compliment. It is clear that with a reasonable effort the whole Democratic city ticket would have been elected. Next year, judging by the prophetic signs of the times, Appleton will give a clear and unmistakable Democratic majority.” –(Crescent, April 16, 1859.)
Late in August the democratic state convention nominated a full state ticket headed by Harrison C. Hobart for governor. The republicans renominated for governor A. W. Randall and also nominated a full state ticket. The republicans of Wisconsin reaffirmed the national republican platform of 1856 and partly pledged the party to the repealing of the fugitive slave law. At the democratic senatorial convention held at Green Bay in October Samuel Ryan, Jr., of Appleton was a candidate. When near election at the close of the twentieth ballot he withdrew his name, whereupon Edward Decker received the nomination. In October the democrats nominated for the assembly John Wiley of Shawano county; for the assembly Milo Coles; for register of deeds, William McGuire, for coroner, Jacob Appleman. The republicans named D. C. Jenne for assemblyman, Hubbard Hills of Dale for register of deeds; George Knowles for coroner.
“Why would it not be a good idea hereafter for the county committees of the democratic and republican parties to waive their political dignity so far as to agree to the appointment of the same day and hour for holding their conventions in different places. Each convention acting independently of the other would be under a greater necessity of promoting the nomination of the best candidates and the result could hardly fail to be beneficial to all parties in the convention.” –(Motor, November 24, 1859.)
The vote in Outagamie county at the November election, 1859, for governor was as follows: Hobart (D.) 733, Randall (R.) 494. The democrats elected their entire ticket except Hills (R.) register of deeds. The returns from Kaukauna, Center, Osborn and Hortonia were thrown out for informality. It was claimed by the Crescent that these towns were rejected by the republican officials in order to insure the success of the republican candidate for the assembly. The republican assemblyman thus had a majority of one vote. The Crescent said, “Election is now over. The great political struggle in this state has ended for this year and the republicans have been victorious. Democrats you have fought a noble battle. Next year by following up the advantage gained you can and will wipe out the last vestige of black republicanism in Wisconsin.” At this election the democratic majority in Outagamie county was cut down 150 to 200 votes. During the campaign Mr. Hobart and Governor Randall were announced to hold a joint debate at Appleton. The governor was unable to fill the appointment and the audience was addressed by Mr. Hobart. The republicans in order to answer Mr. Hobart’s arguments secured A. B. Jackson to answer him in a long and telling speech. At the November election Appleton polled a total of 435 votes but Green Bay polled only 357 votes.
The following is the vote for governor in November 1859.
For assemblyman Jenne (R.) defeated Coles (D.) by 1vote and Hills (R.) defeated McGuire (D.) by 89 votes for register; the balance of the ticket was democratic. A recanvass showed Coles was elected but the result was contested. But the unanimous vote of the assembly Mr. Jenne’s claim to the seat in the assembly was rejected, and Coles was permitted to assume the honor.
In March the Crescent placed at the head of its paper the name of Stephen A. Douglas for President of the United States. “A crisis is near at hand; a great political battle is about to be fought, a battle which will long be remembered and which will occupy a, prominent position on the pages of political history.” — (Crescent, March 31, 1860.)
At the April election of 1860 one of the issues was whether the railroad should come here by the river route or the land route. It was determined, if possible, to secure the road by August in order to ship the year’s grain to market.
Politics did not cut much of a figure at this election. The vote in the city was lighter than was anticipated. The excitement was confined almost wholly to the second ward on account of the license question.
The county canvassers in 1860 rejected the vote of Bovina for chief justice owing to informalities. Outagamie county gave Dixon 48 majority over Sloan for justice of the supreme court. At the April election the result in Appleton was as follows:
Grand Chute elected its straight Democratic ticket except treasurer. Kaukauna, Center, Freedom, Buchanan, Medina and Greenville elected nearly or quite all the Democratic candidates. Hortonia went Republican by a small majority.
Upon hearing that Abraham Lincoln was nominated at Chicago by the republicans for the Presidency in May the Crescent made the following observations: “Lincoln is 52 years old and was born in Harding county, Kentucky. He is a very eccentric old codger and boasts of being one of the homeliest men in the Sucker state. He owes his present prominence entirely to the fact that he ran against Douglas for the Senate and got whipped and further that he had the support of all the fag ends and factions in the state against the democracy.” The republicans of Appleton met late in May to celebrate the nomination of Mr. Lincoln for the presidency. The meeting was addressed by the Rev. Earle of Ohio, also by A. B. Jackson and others; suitable resolutions were passed. Late in June the Democrats at Appleton held an immense ratification meeting over the nomination of Douglas for the presidency. Numerous speeches were delivered and at night a torch light procession closed the jubilee amid great enthusiasm. The president of the day was Samuel Ryan, Jr.; vice-presidents, W. H. P. Bogan, Stephen Balliet, John Verstegen and Franklin Proctor; J. W. Carhart was secretary. Speeches were made by Sam. Ryan, Jr., T. R. Hudd, John Stephens and John Jewett, Jr. “OLD ABE. –This is one of the cognomens applied to the handsome sucker gentleman who split 3,000,000 rails, went fishing, walked 270 miles and tried 16 court cases all in one day, besides voting in favor the Mexican guerillas and greasers and against Taylor, Scott, Worth and the heroes under them.” –(Crescent.) At this meeting there were delegations from almost every town in the county; Freedom, Kaukauna, Buchanan, Center and others sent large delegations. “This county is for Douglas. Every day we meet men who voted for Fremont, who are now for the Little Giant. We have yet to hear of the first Democrat who has been converted to Lincolnism.” — (Crescent, July 3, 1860.)
In July the democrats of Appleton formed a Douglas club with the following officers: Peter White, president; J. S. Buck, O. Chamberlin and Charles Pfennig, vice-presidents; J. W. Carhart, Jr., recording secretary; W. S. Warner, corresponding secretary; and A. Brouillard, treasurer. This club issued a long article to the voters of Outagamie county, attempting to show that Douglas and the whole democratic ticket should be elected. The club also took immediate steps to organize thoroughly the democracy throughout the county. At the democratic county convention held at Appleton July the following resolution was passed: “That it is due to the democracy of the county that the name of every candidate for nomination be published in the county paper at least four weeks before the primary meetings are held; that we ask the people of Outagamie county to give our grand standard bearer, Stephen A. Douglas, 500 majority in November next.” A. B. Everts was chairman of this meeting and W. H. P. Bogan secretary.
At the immense republican meeting held about the middle of August at Appleton there were five companies of Wide Awakes from abroad in addition to the large delegations from all parts of Outagamie county. Menasha, Neenah, Vineland and Oshkosh sent large numbers of torch bearers. Doolittle and Howe were the principal speakers. An immense procession paraded the streets with torches and transparencies at night. The republicans thoroughly organized and formed several Wide-Awake companies. They prepared to make a stern campaign during the coming fall for the success of the local, state and national tickets. The county committee prepared to secure able speakers to address audiences throughout the county. During the months of September and October the democrats and republicans rivaled each other in seeing which could secure the most and the ablest speakers, make the greatest public display and form the longest processions at their political gatherings. The democrats nominated Charles H. Larrabee for Congressman of the Third district.
The Crescent in September said that as a distinct party the oath-bound foreign-born-hating political organization called the Know-Nothings no longer existed. “It has been swallowed up by the republican party. A few and but a few of its followers have repented of their errors and joined the democracy.”
The democratic county ticket was as follows: A. B. Everts for assembly; George R. Wood for sheriff; John W. Carhart for clerk of the court; George Jewett, Jr., for district attorney; Dr. Byron Douglas for county treasurer; Thomas McGillan for clerk of the board of supervisors; John Stephens for county surveyor; Henry W. White for coroner. Both the republicans and democratic parties nominated able and irreproachable tickets for the November election. The campaign throughout was exciting and brilliant and all meetings were largely attended because the citizens were roused as never before on the condition of the country.
Late in October Governor Randall addressed an immense audience at Appleton. His speech was one of the strongest and most eloquent delivered in this county during this memorable campaign. More than two thousand people listened to his address on republican principles and cheered him to the echo. For the first time in history the republican party in 1860 held their convention before the democrats held theirs. R. R. Bateman was nominated for the assembly; A. P. Lewis, for sheriff; George H. Myers, for district attorney; C. A. Hamer, for clerk of the, court; J. F. Johnston, for clerk of the county board; Michael Werner, for county treasurer; and Ernest F. Pletschke, for surveyor. The convention was enthusiastic and the candidates were nominated without a serious hitch.
On the 2nd of October, 1860, the democrats held an immense political demonstration at Appleton. It was a democratic jubilee and each town in the county was represented by a large delegation. It probably was the most enthusiastic and largest political demonstration ever held in the county up to that date. The democrats erected in the morning the tallest hickory pole ever raised in the county. During the forenoon the people poured in from the country and by twelve o’clock several thousand were thronging the streets. The steamer Berlin City arrived with a band. Orators from Greenville and Dale came headed by the Dale Band. People from Kaukauna and Centre arrived at an early hour. At two o’clock the procession was formed on the avenue and marched to Reeder Smith’s Park which was tendered for the occasion. John Jewett, Jr., served as chairman. Judge Larrabee democratic candidate for Congressman was present but excused himself from speaking until evening. George B. Smith, mayor of Madison, delivered a brilliant speech about two hours in length, in which he reviewed the whole political situation and brought down the audience with cheers and hallelujahs. He was followed by Emil Rothe of Watertown, a democratic candidate for presidential elector, who addressed the audience in German. He was followed by John H. M. Wigman who spoke in the Holland language. At the evening session the proceedings were opened by a brilliant torch-light procession with transparencies. The procession was more than one mile in length. Fifty or more of the banners had appropriate mottos in the English, French, German, Holland and Irish languages. Several bands were present and supplied enlivening music. This large procession moved through the streets amid great enthusiasm. Numerous residences and offices were brilliantly illuminated. Mr. Conkey’s front door was adorned with a large life-like portrait of Stephen A. Douglas. The speaking took place in Adkins’ Hall. The chief speaker was Charles A. Larrabee, member of Congress. He delivered a memorable and eloquent address, vindicating his official career and extolling the policy and doctrines of the democratic party. The crowd was so great that another meeting was organized and held at the same time in the Masonic Block, George P. Smith addressing a large audience there. The meetings did not break up until after eleven o’clock p. m.
The vote of Outagamie county in November, 1860, for president was as follows:
For congress Sloan (R.) received 837 and Larrabee (D.) 1,102; for the assembly Bateman (R.) received 841 and Everts (D.) 1,088; for sheriff Lewis (R.) 867, Wood (D.) 1,024, McGrath (D.) 23; for clerk of the court Hamer (R.) 1,018, Carhart (D.) 876; for attorney Myers (R.) 925, Jewett (D.) 984; for clerk of the county board Johnston (R.) 915, McGillan (D.) 1,004; for treasurer Werner (R.) 968; Douglas (D.) 910; for surveyor Pletche (R.) 839, Stephens (D.) 1,085; for coroner Easton (R.) 825, White (D.) 1,087.
“We had hoped to be able to announce as the result of the late election in this county the success of the entire democratic ticket and the reunion of the local democracy in an invincible phalanx which should forever present an impenetrable barrier to the assaults of the common enemy. We are disappointed in this hope. The opposition carried two of the county officers – the clerk of the court and the county treasurer. The custody of the finances of the county pass into the hands of the republican party for the ensuing two years. The democracy must take higher grounds, close up its ranks against the enemy, select for its candidates men who are capable, honest and popular, and at the same time men who do not persistently seek for place and when they are nominated give them a united support or the 500 majority expected of Outagamie county will speedily fritter itself into nonexistence and Shanhaism will obtain full control. The effect of the recent democratic triumph in this county is almost equivalent to a defeat. Ponder upon these facts and apply the remedy. * * * Already the cormorants in town are fighting among themselves as to whom the postoffice should be given. There is fine fun ahead! We democrats can look on and enjoy the sport. ‘Each one for himself, and the devil take the hindmost!’ seems to be their motto. Pile in Republicans, you have been hungry these long and many years for office.” — (Crescent November 10, 1860.)
After the election the republicans celebrated their success with a grand jubilee and ball at Appleton, on which occasion speeches were made by a half dozen leaders of the party. The younger Wide Awakes enjoyed a supper and ball after the speaking.
Late in November the Crescent made the following observation on the political situation: “The election is now over and the republicans are victorious, having elected their president and increased their majorities in many of the states as a consequence to have been expected from the distracted condition of the democratic party. We think this defeat will tend to unite the democratic party and by the time Lincoln’s four years’ rule is expired the people will have become so disgusted with the hypocrisy of the professions of the republican party that the democracy will again be called upon to take the helm of Government. The republicans or a large portion of the party look to the immediate repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law in which Mr. Lincoln’s administration will sadly disappoint them. We think it will not attain anything of the kind. The mass of the republican party are expecting and will look to the incoming power for an ultra-position toward the South and they are bound to bitter disappointment. For example, the Weeds, Greeleys, Giddings, etc., with their sectional schemes, if they do control its movements, will be continually broken in by their games. Taking everything into consideration the democratic party will in reality be able to defeat an extreme measure so that the fanatics will be unable to accomplish their proposed innovation.”
The Crescent of November 24, 1860, said: “In our last we fairly stated the position of the cotton states, the causes which in the opinion of their people force them to look to their own self-preservation by the formation of a new government, and the results which in our opinion will follow. At that time we advised them to imitate the patience, perseverance and patriotism of the democracy of Wisconsin in opposing nullification in our midst, and to seek a redress of grievances in the Union. While doing so we persistently protested against the right of secession under or by virtue of the constitution. In what we have said we think we have fully established the position that secession is above and beyond the constitution a right to be obtained only by revolution. Is the South alone to blame for the unfriendly state of affairs in this Nation? Is it not a fact that a majority of the so-called Free States first set in motion the elements of discord which now agitate the public mind? If the people of these states value the Union, if they favor equal and exact justice to all men, let them repeal the obnoxious, unrighteous, illegal and nullifying laws at once.”
The Crescent of December 1 said, “If the Southern States secede their states bonds which form the security for our currency will become worthless and our money will depreciate to the mere price for paper rags. In such an emergency with the commerce, credit and money of the state in peril the legislature will have to devise some means of averting the progress of commercial ruin.
“Is Secession Impossible. — That it is illegal and unconstitutional we entertain no doubt. But suppose a state resolves herself out of the Union. Can a state commit treason? If so who would you punish as traitors? The President can send the whole military forces of the Union into a seseding state if he deems the fortifications or public property unsafe from any cause whatever. Then the question suggests itself. If a state calmly and dispassionately resolves in its sovereign capacity and as the clear unmistakable judgment of its people that it can no longer live with us under the glorious American Union, is it or is it not better to let it peaceably separate and set up its own government if it does not tramp on the rights and privileges of the remaining states? This question is worthy of deep thought. It should not be idly treated. We hope for the best. We shall hope so as long as there is a glimmer of daylight to illuminate the dark cloud which hangs over the American people. And yet if the citadel falls, if the Union dissolves, we shall gird up our loins for the establishment of a more perfect Union between the states of the Northwest, the Valley of the Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico.” — (Crescent, December 22, 1860.)
“The city election is close at hand. We hope our Republican friends will carefully select a good ticket in good season and then elect it. Mere individual popularity had better be discarded as a rule in the primary meetings and a ticket of men who will make capable officers preferred.” — (Motor March 21, 1861.)
In the spring of 1861 there was not much excitement over the city election. Citizens apparently were little concerned with the condition of municipal affairs. It was announced that Mayor Bateman declined a re-election. Men who were mentioned in connection with that office were T. C. Dunn and 0. W. Clark. All eyes were fixed upon the Southern states and there was an ominous hush as if all expected a fearful storm.
The following was the result of the election in the spring of 1861:
County Surveyor: Randall (no op.) 2,207; for Coroner: Marston (D.) 1,156, Johnston (R.) 1,068.
Early in June, 1861, came the news of the death of Senator Douglas of Illinois. The democrats of this county bitterly mourned his loss. The Crescent particularly expressed the opinion that the county had lost an earnest patriot and an able statesman. It gave him a long obituary notice. In spite of the cry of the republicans that there should be no party the democrats of this county in the early fall of 1861 made preparations as usual to nominate a full ticket and to contest at the ballot box for the honor of office at the coming elections. In August, George M. Robinson it was announced was appointed postmaster in Appleton in place of John Elliot removed. There was a severe contest over this office; so much so that the Crescent spoke of the quarrel in severe terms.
Is it possible that the administration intends to yield to the demands and behests of the ultra-abolitionists and proclaim freedom to the slaves? This would mean that all the compromises and guarantees of the Constitution of the United States are to be overwhelmed or submerged by a fanatic theory! NO! The administration so far has emphatically declared that all its efforts and energies are to suppress all apposition to the Union, Constitution and the enforcement of the laws. What can it mean when so many prominent Republicans seek to impress upon the public mind the idea that the present war is for the extermination of negro servitude; a war to flood Wisconsin with a race of beings whom we will all be obliged to treat as inferiors no matter what laws may be passed by the state legislature acknowledging them as equals? If the administration is to err and flood Wisconsin with negroes, then civil war with all its attendant horrors must be forced upon us and we shall not shrink from its consequences. With all its faults and mistakes and shortcomings we contend that Congress, that the administration, has more moral respect than to endorse the fanaticism of negro worshiping Abolitionism and so long as it reflects, exalts and defines the great principles of democracy which underlie, support, and sustain our system of government, the Appleton Crescent will not hesitate to yield it mead or praise. When it turns aside to fraternize with abolitionism, nullification or any other of those pestilential isms which have crushed Wisconsin and the Union, we shall hold it a duty to do all in our power to bring about a different state of things. ‘If this be treason, make the most of it.’ ” — (Crescent, September 7, 1861).
The Union State Convention held at Madison in September nominated Louis P. Harvey for governor. Among the other nominations were James H. Howe for attorney general. The convention was largely attended and harmonious. Resolutions endorsing the administration of President Lincoln and the management of the war were passed. The representatives of Outagamie county at this convention were P. H. Smith and F. C. Dunn.
By the seventh of September, the Appleton postoffice quarrel had subsided in a great measure. Mr. Robinson having been commissioned was shown to be entirely fitted for the office and the malcontents were compelled to yield. Mr. Elliott retired carrying the respect of the community for his faithful services. Mr. Robinson was a prominent citizen and was believed capable of administering the affairs of the office to the satisfaction of the people. The Crescent said that the cry of “No Party””was not in earnest. It declared that Colonel Ryan was turned out of the council at Menasha and John Elliott was removed from the postoffice at Appleton, both Union men, but simply because they were democrats. The Democrats’ State Convention held in Madison early in October named Benjamin Ferguson for governor.
The democratic convention met at the courthouse, October 22, and nominated T. R. Hudd for senator; Milo Coles for assemblyman; P. H. O’Brien for register of deeds; and M. Gerrits for superintendent of schools. The convention was harmonious, E. H. Stone serving as chairman, and A. Brouillard as secretary. The democrats at this time nominated a strongly partisan ticket. Previously during the war they made nominations regardless of party affiliations, at least to a partial extent. The Union Senatorial Convention assembled in Appleton, October 16 and elected Mr. Turner of Oconto chairman and A. B. Jackson secretary. Mr. Balcom was nominated for senator; Mr. Bateman, for the assembly; J. M. Phinney, for school superintendent, and Mr. Marsh, for register of deeds.
The democrats in November, 1861, swept the county. They elected their entire ticket by a large and increased majority. Towns which had heretofore invariably gone for the republicans were now swept into the democratic ranks. T. R. Hudd for senator had about 87 majority; Coles for the assembly, had about 11 majority; Marsh for register, received 12 majority; Grand Chute gave the democratic state ticket 26 majority; Greenville gave the straight democratic ticket about 100 majority; Dale gave the democratic state ticket over 40 majority; Hortonia gave a small democratic majority on the state and county tickets; Buchanan with only half her vote out gave the democrats a large majority on the state and county tickets; Kaukauna gave the democratic ticket 140 majority; Freedom, Centre, Osborn and Bovina all reported democratic tickets with an occasional member of the other party elected. The county was clearly democratic.
In the spring of 1862 there was not much interest in the approaching election for city officers. There was a lack of fervor and interest. It seemed that the people were not anxious to assume local official government. All minds were with the men on the battle field. However, as it was necessary to elect officers, operations were started late in March. This was true not only of Appleton, but of other centers throughout the county. Late in March caucauses both democratic and republican were held and tickets were nominated.
The election of April, 1862, in Appleton resulted as follows: For mayor, John Jewett, Jr., (D.) 135 votes, F. Hammond (R.) 189 votes. The election passed quietly there being very little excitement. A comparatively light vote was polled. Out of 180 votes in the Second ward only 120 was polled. Politics seemed to have less to do with the election than on former occasions. More voted for individual and personal considerations rather than for political results. It was stated by the Crescent that Mr. Jewett was defeated by Mr. Hammond for the mayorality because he had acted with promptness and energy in his capacity as district attorney in prosecuting men for selling liquor to the Indians. The democrats made a clean sweep of aldermen at this election. Mr. Hammond resigned immediately whereupon another election was called.
The second election for mayor resulted in the selection of William Johnston. He was elected by the majority of 28 votes over Mr. Buck. Mr. Johnston was one of the substantial citizens and his administration, it was thought, would prove highly satisfactory. In his inaugural speech the new mayor suggested a number of important changes and improvements. There had been considerable complaint concerning the high taxation. He expressed the opinion that the taxes were no higher than was necessary to meet the requirements of the pending improvements. He promised, however, that all unnecessary expenditures should be eliminated. He recommended that certain reforms should be made in the method of collecting taxes and congratulated the city on the improvements made during the past year. Extensive repairs were made on the streets and highways; two or three substantial bridges were built and the railroad to Chicago was completed. He called attention to the fact that Appleton was without suitable protection from fires. The large number of wooden buildings, rendered it certain that if a fire once got started the best part of the city would be destroyed. He recommended the organization of an efficient fire department and the appropriation of means to equip the same. He referred particularly to the drunkenness seen on the streets and to the broils and carousals of drunken Indians. The law was severe enough and should be put in execution.
“The election passed off without excitement and may be fairly considered as having gone by default. So light a vote was never known in our city and probably never will be again.” — (Motor, April 3, 1862.)
Disgraceful. — On Wednesday evening there assembled what we supposed to be a Baptist convention but after a brief sermon the gathering resolved itself into an abolitionist pandemonium. A committee made a report purporting to be on the state of the country, but it was principally devoted to slavery. It was a second edition of the Methodist political love feast of 1856, only more bigoted and fanatical. Such a disgraceful, bigoted, dogmatical fanatical abolition powwow has never before cursed our woodland home and may we never look upon its like again.” — (Crescent, September 20, 1862.)
The republican county convention assembled at the National Hotel in October and likewise nominated a full county ticket. W. H. P. Bogan was nominated for the assembly; George W. Lawe for sheriff; James Gilmore for clerk of the county board; C. A. Hamer clerk of the circuit court; Mathias Warner for treasurer; Samuel Boyd for district attorney; J. Stephens for surveyor; Stephen Balliet for surveyor. It will thus be seen that the republicans calling themselves the Union party nominated several democrats in order to catch as many of the democratic votes as possible. Mr. Bogan, a democrat, later came out and stated that his name was used without his consent.
The democratic county convention convened in the courthouse in October, E. H. Stone served as chairman and Charles Grunert and A. J. Smith as secretaries. Every town in the county was represented by a delegation. A full county ticket was nominated. Byron Douglas was named for the assembly; Edward Murphy for sheriff; John W. Carhart, Jr., for clerk of the court; E. P. Clark for district attorney; C. Brouillard for county treasurer; Charles Grunert for clerk of the county board; John Stephens for surveyor, and Stephen Balliet for coroner. The following resolution was adopted: “Resolved that this convention in presenting the nominations thereof to the people of Outagamie county for their support at the ensuing election do so on the expressed platform and declaration of the democratic party; that we are for the union and the constitution — the constitution as it is and the union as it was; that we support the present federal administration in a. vigorous prosecution of the present war until all traitors are subdued and the flag of the Union is waving once more in peace over the states; that in the opinion of this convention the county board of supervisors ought to take immediate steps toward paying to all volunteers from this county under the late call the bounty of $50.”
“The last congress was owned and ruled by the wildest fanatics. Like Nero, they fiddled while the Union was being destroyed. The president in the interim was exerting every energy to save the government.He was looking in vain for advisement, for statesmen whose minds were not contracted in narrow sectionalism, but who would exert their utmost power for the greatest good and the greatest principle. Our county ticket is admitted to be the best ever nominated by any party. From the first name to the last it commends itself to the voters. Democrats should make one universal grand rally on election day and vote a straight democratic ticket.” — (Crescent, November 1, 1862.)
The official vote of Outagamie county at the November election of 1862 was as follows: For congress, Wheeler (D.) 1,106, Brown (R.) 509; for the assembly, Douglas (D.) 1,049, Myers (R.) 566; clerk of the board, Grunert (D.) 1,078, Gilmore (R.) 445; clerk of the circuit court, Hamer (D.) 897, Carhart (R.) 395.; district attorney, Clark (D.) 638, Boyd (R.) 524, Warner (Ind.) 395, Aiken (Ind.) 30; sheriff, Lawe (R.) 603, Murphy (D.) 988; county treasurer, Brouillard (D.) 950, Wenne (R.) 654; surveyor, John Stephens, no opposition, 1,593; coroner, Stephen Balliett, no opposition, 1,544. On the amendment of the constitution 40 against the amendment and 904 for the amendment; on the banking law, 704 against it and 156 for it. Outagamie county gave Wheeler (D.) for congress a majority of 594 votes. Brown however was elected by 2,352 majority in the whole district, which embraced 12 counties.
The result of the election in Outagamie county in November, 1862, was the success of the whole democratic ticket. An unusually heavy vote was polled throughout the county. More interest was shown at this election than had been shown for some time. There was some splitting of tickets but generally voters deposited straight tickets. Wheeler (D.) for congress received 1,059 votes and Browne (R.) 471. Douglas (D.) for the assembly received 990 and Myers (R.) 533. The vote on the whole county ticket was democratic by about the same majority. Appleton went republican but the country towns made the county as a whole heavily democratic. Ellington was the only country town to give a majority to the republican ticket. The Crescent was greatly overjoyed at the result and claimed its predictions were correct. The Motor contended that the result was due to the absence of the republicans in the army.
“President Lincoln has again trampled under foot the constitution by signing the bill admitting into the Union the bogus state of West Virginia. Half the cabinet opposed the measure and his attorney general gave his opinion that it was unconstitutional. His main reasons for this action were that it was the correct policy of the administration to secure as much free territory as possible. The president has so habituated himself to over-riding the Magna Charta of our liberty that the people may well ask if this government is an absolute monarchy and if Lincoln will soon assume the title of Abraham the First.” — (Crescent, January 10, 1863.)
“Drifting? Whither? How? — Can any one quite see in the universal suspension of the writ of habeas corpus by the president; the abrogation of the right of trial by jury for alleged offenses against state or nation; the Emancipation Proclamation by which personal chattels guaranteed under the constitution are swept away with the advancement of our armies under the belief of military necessity and which its strongest admirers style a grand failure; the conscription act which places all our citizens beneath the heel of a vacillating president and demands tribute from the rich and blood from the poor laboring man — can any man, sane and well, look these facts in the face without feeling that the government is nearing a tyranny more bitter than Austria, under the fanatical policies of the Wades, Sumners, Lovejoys, etc? Only one hope remains for the salvation of our institutions, our free government, the success of the constitution- abiding, union-loving Democratic party.” — (Crescent, April 25, 1863).
At the election of April, 1863, the following officers were chosen in the city of Appleton: William Johnston, mayor; E. D. Ross, treasurer; J. D. Pryce, marshal; James Gilmore, assessor, and A. Galpin, L. Randall, W. W. Lanphear and N. M. Richmond, aldermen. The result of this city election was the success of the entire republican or union league ticket, with the exception of mayor and assessor and one alderman in the third ward. The legislature, it was declared, had passed a botched up charter at the instigation of some of the citizens who had little experience and no knowledge concerning what was needed.
The republican state convention met late in August at Madison and nominated James T. Lewis for governor. This nomination met the approval of the republicans throughout the state. Late in August the democrats of Appleton reorganized the democratic club and elected the following officers: Chauncey Kellogg, president; C. Pfennig and Peter White, vice-presidents; W. H. Lanphear, recording secretary; A. L. Smith, corresponding secretary; Byron Douglas, treasurer; G. W. Enos, T. R. Hudd, George Kreiss, Peter Van Leshout and David Carroll, executive committee. This club prepared to carry on a vigorous campaign throughout the county. The democratic state convention was held in August at Madison. Henry L. Palmer was nominated for governor. In September the republican county convention nominated M. Werner for the assembly, Hubbard Hills for register of deeds, and S R.Willy for supervisor of district No. 1. Mr. Myers was nominated by the republicans for the senate.
The democrats in the fall of 1863 were terribly in earnest. Under the stimulus of the Crescent political meetings were held in almost every town throughout the county. Speakers from Appleton and from abroad addressed audiences of farmers, and clubs were formed to secure votes for the democratic ticket. In October, S. D. Carpenter, editor of the Wisconsin Patriot, delivered a strong democratic speech in Adkins Hall. There was a large turnout and much enthusiasm by members of the democratic party. Senator Doolittle made a speech two hours long. He reviewed the entire progress of the war and showed to the satisfaction, at least of the republicans, that every step was judiciously taken and that all measures adopted were sanctioned by the usages of war. There was an immense crowd of persons present and great enthusiasm was manifested.
At the November election, 1863, in Outagamie county the vote for governor was as follows: Palmer (D.) 1,014, Lewis (R.) 737; the balance of the state ticket received about the same proportionate vote. For state senator Hudd (D.) received 1,023 and Harris (R.) 701. For member of assembly Kreiss (D.) 939; Myers (R.) 770. For county superintendent Driscoll (D.) 819; Williams (R.) 453.For register of deeds O’Brien (D.) 1,009; Hills (R.) 708. At this election the city of Appleton having seceded from the county on the school superintendency under the new law was not included in the above vote for county superintendent.
The Crescent on November 7 said: “The elections have gone almost unanimously abolition under the pressure of Lincoln patronage flanked by imported soldiers who were furloughed on condition that they would vote for abolitionism. In our own state the abolition state ticket has from 10,000 to 15,000 majority on the home vote and the soldiers’ vote will add 5,000 to those figures.” The Crescent said that nothing which had happened discouraged it in the least and that it would continue its former policy with a determination to bring eventually democratic success and the establishment of peace. In Outagamie county the democratic state ticket received a majority of about 300. Hudd, democratic candidate for senator, had a majority of about 350. Kreiss, democratic candidate for the assembly, had about 200 majority. The other democratic candidates were elected. The democrats elected every county officer with the exception of one district supervisor. The election passed without much excitement. There were many warm discussions, but aside from that no excitement.
“As a rule, both parties voted straight party tickets; a very few on either side scratching. Had the full democratic vote of the city been polled we should have made a handsome gain over the abolitionists. As it is we have every reason for congratulation. Our opponents had not only the patronage of the federal and state convention on their side, but the secret organization known as the Union League, together with threats, intimidations, dragooning at the polls and the treachery of hitherto democrats in name made them almost impregnable. We had no organization and yet substantially won the victory. Our enemies had the city thoroughly canvassed and expected a majority of 150 on the state ticket and a majority of over 200 against Mr. Kreiss, but in the first instance they have 117, in the second 133. The democrats of all the wards made a noble and gallant fight, the Fourth ward being at last redeemed from the foul embrace of republicanism. Boys, you did your duty right nobly.” — (Crescent, November 7, 1863). The town of Centre polled 93 democratic and 5 republican votes.
“Periodical Foamings. — Semi-occasionally that insignificant organ of concentrated blackguardism and abolitionism in this place has severe bilious expectorations. Sometimes it mouths at its friends and anon (by calling in imported penny-a-liners) it spews at enemies. Two or three weeks since this slanderer called in an old drunken, broken-down, scape-goat to heap personal odium upon the editors of the Crescent and their aged parents for our ‘bringing up.’ Elated with the seeming victories they have again vomited about a dozen times. Here is a portion of one of their pukings: ‘Some of us remember one of the editors of that vile sheet for a short time in the preparatory department of said university. We presume he does not blame the university for his want of decency nor his lack of ability to write English and we are assured the college faculty waive all credit to which they may seem entitled for his performances in the Crescent.’ ” — (Crescent, November 24, 1863).
In the spring of 1864, the democrats of Outagamie county united with conservative republicans and nominated a People’s Ticket, placing in nomination Wm. Johnston for re-election to the mayorality, and J. S. Buck for clerk. The election was contested inch by inch and fought out with much feeling and resulted in the success of the People’s Ticket. There was a tie vote for treasurer. William Johnston received 67 votes in the First ward, 135 in the Second, 72 in the Third, and 43 in the Fourth. The Crescent said, “It was a close rub with a nasty little click of wireworkers and will be a lesson not soon forgotten. We do not claim this as a partisan victory; we merely claim it as a prediction to the people that our city shall be progressive in its character and that the people shall be its rulers. Tuesday was a proud day to all having the welfare of the city at heart. A few men comprising a petty click, who have invariably endeavored to elect the regular republican set of county nominees, got together and resolved to prostitute the large republican majority here toward carrying out their private ends without any regard to the demands of the city. To give their child character they consequently headed it with William Johnston for mayor, who had so ably filled that position the past two years, after being convinced they could not defeat him. But there was a storm brewing which these midnight plotters little dreamed of. The democrats knew that it would be of little use for them to name a regular ticket and they cared little so that the interests were being subserved. They therefore resolved upon the People’s Ticket.”
The democrats held their convention in June. W. H. P. Bogan was elected president, and H. D. Ryan, secretary. H. D. Ryan and James McGillan were chosen delegates to the democratic state convention. Messrs. Wigman, Pfennig, Hephner, Bogan, Kreiss. Samuel Ryan, Jr., and O’Brien were chosen delegates to the senatorial convention. The convention adopted a preamble and resolutions to raise a fund for the purpose of establishing a democratic weekly paper in the Holland language at Appleton. The proposition to establish this paper was made by J. H. M. Wigman. The fund to be raised was to be spent under the management of a board of directors consisting of Messrs. Wigman, Pauly, Douglas and Smith of Appleton, Verstegen and Gerrits of Kaukauna and O’Brien of Freedom. Contributions to the fund were solicited. The delegates to the state convention were instructed to lay the matter before the democrats at large and if possible to secure a donation of $1,000 to assist the paper in getting started. Upon the reception of the news in August, 1864, of the nomination of McClellan for the presidency the democrats of Appleton fired a salute of thirteen guns in honor of that event.
In the fall of 1864, Col. Gabriel Bouck of Winnebago county was nominated for Congress of the Fifth district by the democrats. In September the democrats of Appleton and vicinity organized a McClellan club. It had a large membership and did excellent work during the campaign. Charles Pfennig was president of the club. The principal democratic speakers who traversed the entire county delivering speeches in many of the schoolhouses and in every community were George Kreiss, W. S. Warner, J. H. M. Wigman, Milo Coles, E. W. Enos, J. McGillan, E. J. Shaylor and others. In the fall it was necessary for the voters to register their names or they would not be permitted to vote. The newspapers contained numerous warnings for all voters to register.
At the democratic convention in October, held at the court house, George Kreiss served as president andAugust L. Smith as secretary. Samuel Ryan, Jr., was nominated for member of the assembly; James McGillan for sheriff; Edward H. Stone for treasurer; M. H. Lanphear for clerk of the county board; J. H. M. Wigman for district attorney; Mylo Coles for clerk of the circuit court; Geo. H. Marston for coroner and John Stephens for county surveyor. The convention favored the suppression of the rebellion and the restoration of the Union, and reaffirmed the platform of the democratic state convention. They denounced the administration of Abraham Lincoln as despotic, illiberal and anti-republican, and denounced his overthrow of the right of trial by jury, his suppression of free press and free speech, his destruction of state and personal rights; his burden of excessive taxation forced upon the people, and his odious conscription law. The convention thanked the soldiers in the field for their efforts to suppress the rebellion.
Late in October the republicans held a large meeting at Appleton on which occasion General Linder, ex-Judge Hubbel, and others delivered strong war and partisan speeches. The republican party here was thoroughly organized and was determined to re-elect Lincoln and continue the policy of the national administration. They held meetings in all parts of the county and had many good speakers. The republicans held their county convention and nominated the following ticket: For the assembly, Lorenzo E. Darling; sheriff, J. D. Pryce; district attorney, Samuel Boyd; clerk of the court, C. A. Hamer; coroner, H. L. Blood; surveyor, John Stephens; clerk of the county board, Chas. Grunert; treasurer, James Gilmore.
“Voters of Outagamie. — You know the democratic nominees for county office. Are they not honest and capable men? Is not the ticket infinitely superior to that put forth by the Shoddyites? When the Abolitionists, for Lincoln’s corrupt and oppressive administration, put two open and avowed supporters of George B. McClellan on the ticket for the two best offices in the county, they denounce the hypocrisy of their charges that the democrats are disloyal, secessionists and southern sympathizers, or. else they confess that they haven’t men in their ranks, fit for the offices. Democrats stand by the entire ticket.” — (Crescent, November 5, 1864).
The national cause at the November election of 1864 over-shadowed every other political consideration. The democrats here made severe charges against the administration of President Lincoln, and the republicans just as severely denounced such charges and statements as false or incorrect. Both parties went to the polls confident of success. The arguments used by the democrats were as follows: That Lincoln’s administration had destroyed the right of free speech of the press; the right of individual redress against arbitrary arrests; the right of immunity from arrest without due process of law; the right of trial by jury; the right of the people peaceably to assemble; the supremacy of the civil over the military power; the supremacy of the judiciary over military tribunals; the sanctity of the elective franchise, etc.
The Crescent of November 12, 1864, said: “The presidential election has gone against the democracy by a heavy majority so we are to have four years more of war, desolation, bloodshed, and general ruin in order to carry out ‘my plan.’ The verdict of the people is law and we can stand it if they can. For the first time in six years the democrats have elected their entire county ticket, and have made large gains over 1860. The democrats carried the county by 250 majority. McClellan will have about 340 majority on the home vote, which will not be materially changed bv the army vote. The republican officials here did everything in their power to carry the county, and really believed they would spike our guns and capture our standard but they were beaten worse than ever.” The majorities at the presidential election in 1864 were as follows: For McClellan: Grand Chute 38, Kaukauna 99, Buchanan 69, Freedom 54, Greenville 81, Dale 41, Centre 85, Hortonville 12. For Lincoln: Appleton 87, Ellington 18, Bovina 24. The result for congressman was about the same. Bouck was the democratic candidate and Sawyer the republican candidate. Sawyer’s majority over Bouck in the district was large.
The legislature of 1865-6 established a registry law. All boards of registry when not authorized or empowered could enroll no names which did not appear on the last preceding poll list as having voted at the previous election, unless each voter should personally appear before the registry board of his district and establish his right to vote. All voters were asked to comply with this new law. The democrats nominated for Congress of the Fifth district, Morgan L. Martin of Brown county.
The democratic county convention was held in March, 1865. A. S. Smith was elected chairman of the meeting and J. H. M.Wigman appointed secretary. Samuel Ryan, Jr., was nominated for county judge. In the spring of 1865, W. S. Warner was appointed city attorney. In the spring while Samuel Ryan, Jr., was a member of the assembly, he delivered a long speech in opposition to the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. At this time Mr. Ryan was democratic candidate for county judge.
“The election passed off very quietly in this city, there being no opposition for mayor, treasurer, assessor and aldermen in the Second, Third and Fourth wards. The republicans nominated H. D. Williams for clerk and Samuel Boyd for police justice. The democratic convention nominated J. S. Buck for clerk and G. H. Marston for sheriff. The following persons were elected: R. Z. Mason, mayor; J. S. Buck, clerk; Theodore W. Briggs, treasurer; E. H. Graves, coroner; James Gilmore, assessor; Samuel Boyd, police justice; Benjamin. Proctor, Jas. W. Hutchinson, A. M. Barker and Edward West aldermen.” — ( Crescent, April 8, 1865.)
“The republican party has no longer a pretense for continuing its existence. The Union probably never would have been in danger but for its creation. It is free from every peril, within or without; negro slaves, the ‘harp of a thousand strings,’ upon which it discoursed wild music for eight years has been cast without the pale of law. The republican party never had a governmental policy. It was a creature of circumstances. Peace has come back to the nation and with it duties of the highest import are laid upon the shoulders of every citizen. Upon the momentous questions of governmental policy every man of liberal and progressive ideas will range himself with the democratic party because the bulk of the republican organization will cling to the oft exploded theories that capital must be especially protected from competition.” — (Crescent, July 8, 1865). This editorial of the Crescent contained an argument to show that the democratic party should be returned to power and have the management of national affairs.
The democrats in 1865 nominated W. H. P. Bogan for the assembly; P. H. O’Brien for register of deeds; C. Driscoll for county superintendent; A. L. Smith of Outagamie county for state senator of the Twenty-second senatorial district. The democratic state convention in the fall nominated for governor Gen. H. C. Hobart of Milwaukee. The republican state convention which met at Madison in September, 1865, nominated L. Fairchild for governor, and a full state ticket.
For senator, Outagamie county polled in 1865: Smith (D.) 1,140; Harris (R.) 597; scattering, 4; Smith was elected, though a heavy vote was polled against him in spots.
The election of November, 1865, was uneventful and quiet in this county. The day was pleasant and the vote was unexpectedly light. Neither political party had any effective county organization, nor was there any systemized effort made by either. The democratic candidates held no meeting. A ticket made up of independnt candidates received the support of the republicans. During this campaign there was some bitterness over war issues. There was considerable abuse, and in many instances individuals paid no attention to party but used their right to vote for special interests. The votes in Appleton were: For governor, Fairchild (R.) 739, Hobart (D.) 1,007. The balance of the ticket went about the same way. Bogan (D.) candidate for the assembly received 877 and Turner (R.) 868. The vote for register was about the same. For county superintendent Stephens (R.) received 754 and Driscoll (D.) 513. The vote in 1864 for president was republican, 651; democratic 989; the vote for governor in 1865 was 1,007 (D.) ; 736 (R.).
The election of November, 1865, resulted as follows:
The Turner-Bogan contested election, to see who was entitled to the seat as member of the Assembly from this county, was determined late in January, 1866. Mr. Turner was declared entitled to the seat. Col. W. A. Bugh, and Hon. Henry G. Webb, were counsel for Mr. Turner; and Hon. A. R. Butler and Hon. T. H. Hudd for Mr. Bogan. The next day after the decision Capt. Turner introduced his first bill in the legislature. It was one that declared Duck Creek navigable for drifting logs.
“All honor to Andrew Johnson, the patriotic president, who stands like an everlasting rock against which southern secessionism and northern disunionism and central despotism will beat in vain. Let the people rejoice! The mad career of disastrous fanaticism is checked. The Union must and shall be preserved. Glory Hallelujah! God be praised for ever and ever!” — (Crescent, February 24, 1866).
In March the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the negro was entitled to vote in this state by virtue of the vote of the people on that question in 1849. It seems that in 1849 about 30,000 persons voted at the general election in the state only about half of whom cast a vote on the question of negro suffrage. Of the votes cast a small majority were for extension. The conventioners ruled that the proposition was rejected and the governor issued his proclamation accordingly. In the fall of 1865 a negro offered his vote in Milwaukee, but was refused and accordingly brought suit upon which this decision was rendered.
The municipal election of 1866 was conducted almost wholly on local grounds, politics having little influence. Both newspapers contended that party tickets should be voted straight. The Motor recommended a straight party ticket and the Crescent did likewise though less openly. There was considerable interest over the men in the contest — Blood, Republican, and Gilmore, Democrat, candidates for mayor. The Democrats called their ticket the People’s Union and managed to secure enough votes to elect their candidate.
For mayor H. L. Blood (R.) received 194 and James Gilmore (D.) 261. For treasurer, ex-Mayor Johnston had no opposition. The Democrats carried all offices except two or three aldermanic seats.
“The Reconstruction Infamy. — We copy elsewhere the constitutional amendments proposed by the central directors of the Rump Congress. Although there is a manifest backing down from their extraordinary and oppressive plans heretofore proposed, it is nevertheless a scheme to postpone indefinitely the restoration of the union. Indeed, the fraud is patent on its face. The intention is manifest to exclude eleven states from all voice in the general government until after the next presidential election. Succeeding in the scheme it would undoubtedly be followed by permanent exclusion.” — (Crescent, May 5, 1866).
In May Fred Douglas lectured before the Philomathean Society of Lawrence University on the subject of “The Assassination and Its Lessons.” There was a large audience in attendance to hear the eloquent colored man. The Crescent said: “Douglass is an eloquent speaker, easy and graceful in manner, withering in sarcasm, and in a quiet kind of way proved that his bump of Ego or self-esteem is by no means diminutive. In the same extreme degree that he deifies Lincoln dead, he denounced President Johnson and opposed everything but the fact of concentrated radicalism. He denounced the American people for never giving the negro his rights until compelled by force of circumstances, and claimed a perfect equality for his race or color with the whites.” — (Crescent, May 5, 1866).
“The traitorous and perjured majority in the United States Senate have probably resolved to exclude Senators Doolittle, Cowan and Dixon from their secret caucauses and cabals. The conspirators against the constitution and the Union have now the control of both houses of Congress by two-thirds majority, and if they continue to fail to carry through both houses a plan for the re-annexation of the Southern States to the Republic, it will be because it is a part of their stupendous scheme to overturn our system of government.” — (Crescent, June 16, 1866).
The Democrats in the fall of 1866 nominated the following county ticket: Bogan for the Assembly; Burtchy, sheriff; Pingel, treasurer;Wigman, district attorney; Lanphear, clerk of the county board; Clune, clerk of the circuit court; Randall, surveyor; Marston, coroner. This convention was held in the courthouse, October 20. Augustus L. Smith served as chairman and H. D. Ryan and J. H. M. Wigman, secretaries. Every town and village in the county was represented by delegates. During the fall, R. Mason, T. R.. Hudd, J. H. M. Wigman, Samuel Ryan, Jr. and W. F. Bauer stumped an entire county in the interests of Democracy. On the fullest vote ever cast in the county up to date, the Democrats carried Outagamie county, by a very small majority. The Republicans elected the sheriff and county treasurer, and the Democrats elected the member of assembly, clerk of the court, district attorney, coroner and surveyor.Thus the Republicans were making inroads, apparently, upon the ranks of the Democrats. In the city of Appleton, Sawyer (R.), for Congress, received 365 and Martin (R.), 272. Buchanan, Grand Chute, Greenville, Dale, Kaukauna, Freedom and Center went Democratic with an occasional Republican chosen, while Hortonia, was nearly a tie, and Liberty, Ellington, Osborn and Black Creek went Republican. Opinions were changing to some extent over the action of Congress and the course taken by President Johnson; but as a whole the Republicans gained at this election. In November, 1866, for Congress, Martin (D.) received in the county, 1,179 votes; and Sawyer (R.), 1,053 votes; for the assembly, Bogan (D.), 1,176, Davis (R.), 1,055; for sheriff, Burtchy (D.), 881, Pauly, (D.) 268, White (R.), 1,074. “The political storm that swept this county and Calumet, also Milwaukee, passed through Brown and Manitowoc. In each county there was wide spread dissatisfaction over the county conventions. The lesson is a plain one. Let the people vote in their primary meetings directly for the candidate for the office who will best reflect the wishes of the people they pretend to represent. In this county there was quite a scramble for the sheriffalty, one of the sparsest paying offices and the vote that decided the nomination carried wide the defeat of almost the entire ticket.” — (Crescent, November 17, 1866.)
In April, 1867, the so-called Peoples ticket in Appleton was triumphant. It overwhelmingly defeated the Anti-Improvement ticket. Every ward elected an alderman pledged to the proposed improvement. R. R. Bateman was chosen mayor; William Johnston, treasurer; H. T. McGrath, marshal. “In the First ward the Methodist ministers took the field and the faculty of Lawrence university were quite officious in support of the Republican ticket. The caucus of that organization had unfortunately fallen in great amount, into the control of the note shavers, tax certificate speculators and misers, but when threatened anathemas of the change went marshaling the students in a procession to the polls they met not with the success anticipated. The Second ward was so overwhelmingly in condemnation of the general policy of the alderman who had stubbornly thrown so many obstacles in the way of progress and improvement that many supposed the alderman would resign. In the Third ward there were hardly enough supporters to the miserable stand-still faction to furnish pall bearers for the funeral. In the Fourth ward they showed enterprise, liberality, public spirit and progress.” –(Crescent). This election was influenced solely by local improvements. The Democrats managed to elect their ticket by uniting with all those who favored such improvements. They thus succeeded in defeating the Republicans in Appleton, an unusual occurrence. The following were the official returns of the vote cast on the road question at the April election in 1867:
It was at first reported that this bill failed to carry, and so it was generally believed; but when the vote was canvassed by the county board the result was shown to be in favor of the bill.
The Democrats in the fall of 1867 nominated Captain William Young of the Twenty-second district for state senator. Young had a splendid military record and was well known in this county where he resided. It was claimed by the Crescent that Captain Young during the war enlisted 300 of the men which went from Outagamie county into the Federal army. This was probably an excessive estimate.In the fall of 1867 the Democrats nominated for governor J. J. Talmadge and named a full state ticket. The official county canvass in October, 1867, showed that for associate justice Bragg received 719 votes and Cole 391. There were no returns from Bovina, Black Creek, Buchanan, Ellington, Freedom, Grand Chute and Seymour. For circuit judge Washburn received all the votes returned, there being only 328. Ten of the towns made no returns on this office. On the road law there were no returns from Black Creek, Bovina, Freedom, Liberty, Maple Grove and Osborn. The following were thrown out by the canvassers for informality: First and Fourth wards of Appleton, Buchanan, Grand Chute and Kaukauna. It was stated at this time that had the derelict towns returned their election results in full the total in favor of the road law would have been 151 in the whole county.
The Democratic conventions in the fall of 1867 nominated T. R. Hudd for the assembly, P. H. O’Brien, register of deeds; Lieut. D. J. Brothers, superintendent of schools. The Republicans nominated for the assembly Capt. Otto; for county superintendent, Mathew McComb of Hortonville; for register of deeds, C. A. Hamer. Both parties conducted during the fall of 1867 a stirring campaign almost wholly along partisan lines but with enough personality thrown in to spice the speeches and give zest, interest and fire to the campaign. On the vote for governor Talmadge (D.) received 320 votes in Appleton and Fairchild (R.) 319. The Democratic ticket in Appleton was carried by from 8 to 10 majority. For state senator Young (D.) received 326, and Darwin (R.) 320. For the assembly Hudd (D.) received 341, and Otto (R.) 300. For register of deeds, O’Brien (D.) received 275, and Hamer (R.) 355. Hamer’s popularity carried him through in spite of this Democratic land slide.
The amendment to the constitution received 632 majority and the amendment to the banking law received 636 majority. The vote for governor in the whole county was as follows:
As a whole this was a great Democratic victory, but the Republicans succeeded in electing a few candidates. The Crescent was jubilant over the results here and elsewhere. It was a Democratic year generally. It congratulated the towns on rolling up such a splendid Democratic majority.
“Last fall for the first time Appleton cast a clear and unquestionable majority for every candidate on the Democratic state ticket. On Tuesday the city gave Dunn and Ellis a majority. Appleton can now be set down as willing to give a handsome majority for the Democratic president next fall if the Democrats of the city do but half work.” — (Crescent, April 11, 1868.)
At the Appleton elections in April the men on the Democratic ticket, with the exception of treasurer and marshal, were successful by a comparatively large majority. G. M. Richmond (D.) was chosen mayor over S. R. Willy (R.) by 56 majority, notwithstanding there were made the most earnest appeals to prevent the election of the mayor on account of his democracy. A. W. Ballard (D.) was chosen city clerk by 70 majority over Col. H. Pomeroy (R.) G. H. Myers and A. B. Randall as city attorney and assessor were chosen with opposition — both were Republicans. L. J. Jackson (R.) was elected city treasurer over J. A. Roemer by 88 majority on account of the split in the Third ward. This election gave the Democrats six members on the city council and left the Republicans two members in that body.
In the spring of 1868 during the campaign for city officers there was considerable interest shown and both parties nominated tickets. The People’s convention, otherwise the Democratic convention, was held April 4, and the republican convention later on the same day. It was highly important that liberal, enterprising and prudent men should be chosen for the offices. “One miserly mule in the common council can retard business and increase expenses unless there is sufficient tact and ability to checkmate him. In the summer of 1866 if the common council had been united and made the effort another railroad might have been secured to Appleton. Now the city of Manitowoc, aided by capitalists, is making preparations to complete a railroad to Lake Winnebago, provided Appleton, Menasha and Neenah will do their share.
In the spring of 1868 the politicians of this county took great interest in the impeachment trial of President Johnson. The various phases of the question were discussed through the newspapers and otherwise and much feeling was exhibited and some bad blood engendered over the different phases presented. In July the Democrats prepared to hold a grand ratification of the nomination of Seymour and Blair for the presidency and vice-presidency. They assembled in large, numbers in the evening and headed by the Appleton Cornet Band and a torch light procession formed at the court house and marched amid the booming of cannon and display of fireworks up College avenue. Messrs. Finch and Felker addressed a large crowd on the streets on the issues of the day. The assemblage broke up with three cheers for the national ticket. ‘The Republican convention held at Green Bay early in September, re-nominated Philetus Sawyer to be Congressman. The nomination met the approval of the Republicans of this county. In September both Republicans and Democrats in this county prepared for an active political campaign. Numerous meetings were arranged throughout the county and good speakers were secured to address the citizens. Such meetings were held at Stephensville, Hortonville, Kaukauna, Little Chute and elsewhere.
The Democratic County convention of 1868 was the largest and most harmonious ever assembled by that party in the county. The ticket as a whole was composed of good and substantial men. C. E. McIntosh was “nominated for the assembly; James McGuire for sheriff; Nicols Weiland, treasurer; J. H. M. Wigman, district attorney; W. H. Lanphear, clerk of the board of supervisors; James F. Parkhurst, clerk of the court; M. N. Randall, county surveyor; G. H. Marston, coroner. They nominated Joseph Vilas for Congressman from the Fourth district. Hon. A. L. Smith served as chairman and J. H. M. Wigman as secretary. Every town in the county was represented by a delegation. Numerous committees were appointed to secure the success of the ticket. All foreigners who had not declared their intentions to become citizens were urged to do so at once in order to vote.
Late in October, 1868, the Republicans held their county convention. There was a large attendance and much enthusiasm. Dr. Mi. N. Davis was nominated for assemblyman; Samuel Boyd, district attorney; Henry Turner, sheriff; Francis Steffen, clerk of the court; 0. W. Pond, clerk of the county board; Mathias Werner, treasurer; John Stephens, county surveyor; Samuel Fernandez, coroner.
The Democrats of Outagamie county were successful in the election of November, 1868, their entire county ticket was elected.
Their joy, however, was somewhat saddened by the fact that the Republican National ticket, headed by General Grant, was triumphant. The Democrats had worked hard throughout the entire county and were congratulated by the Crescent, on the success of their efforts. The city of Appleton went Democratic by an average of about 30 majority. The Republicans at first claimed the city victory by 75 majority. In the town of Buchanan every vote cast was for the Democratic ticket. The Crescent stated, “We have elected our entire county ticket in spite of many trickeries and efforts to defeat us, and the result is extremely gratifying to the noble boys who stood true to the end and who have disheartened and dismayed their opponents. Our organization will firmly unite and next fall we shall make an end of Republican county officials in Outagamie.”
The Republicans at Appleton prepared immediately after the election to celebrate the success of the Republican National ticket. A large procession with torches paraded the streets and listened to speeches from Judge Myers, Mr. Tibbits, Judge Boyd, Mr. Hamer, Dr. Steele, Dr. Mason and others. The cannon was brought out and resounded in the Democratic precincts. The College buildings were illuminated with Roman candles and fireworks were let off in honor of the occasion. The college boys kindled a bonfire of oil barrels and old boards.
Outagamie county gave Vilas (D.) a majority of 305 for Congressman; Sawyer (R.) was re-elected, however, by more than 4,000 majority. Appleton polled a total of 831 votes, the largest in the history of the city. This vote showed a population of about 5,500 and proved that the city had grown rapidly during the last two years.
In January, 1869, the legislature of Wisconsin voted for a United States Senator. The Republican candidate was Mat. H. Carpenter and the Democratic candidate was George B. Smith. Carpenter was elected. In January the Republican caucus of the State after a sharp and contentious struggle nominated Mat. H. Carpenter for United States Senator. Other candidates were Messrs. Washburne, Rublee, Waldo and Salomon. The democratic county convention was held late in March, 1869. All the towns were well represented. J. H. M. Wigman served as chairman and A. V. Everetts as secretary. Samuel Ryan, Jr., was nominated for county judge.
The result of the election in April, 1869, was almost a complete success throughout for the Democrats. The vote for chief justice and county judge strikingly showed the growth of Democracy throughout the county. The vote for county judge exhibited the popularity of Samuel Ryan, Jr. He received 1,702 votes while his Republican opponent, Mr. Schintz, received only 962. For mayor, G. M. Richmond (D.) received 472 votes and Henry Turner (R.) 297. Mr. Ballard, Democratic candidate for city clerk, was elected over Mr. Riggs, Republican, by 297 majority. Lyon, Democrat, was elected over Mr. Wrise, Republican, for city treasurer by 190 majority. Pierce was elected city attorney without opposition, his majority over a few scattering votes being about 456. For assessor, James Gilmore, Democrat, received a majority of 742 over Mr. Heath, Republican. For marshal, Mr. Porter received a majority of 115 over M. Zacher. The Democrats as usual were jubilant over the growth of their party throughout the county and particularly did they rejoice over the fact that Appleton had become a Democratic city.
The Democrats in Wisconsin in 1869 nominated for governor, Charles D. Robinson. The Democrats of Outagamie county nominated the following candidates: State senator, George Baldwin; member assembly, C. E. McIntosh; county superintendent, D. J. Brothers; register of deeds, Amable Brouillard. In November the Democrats again carried the county and city of Appleton by an increased majority. Two years before the Democratic majority in Appleton was only 7 on the vote for governor. In the fall of 1868 the city gave 38 majority for Seymour for president. In November, 1869, the Democrats received a majority of about 100 in Appleton.Throughout the entire county there was a steady Democratic gain during several years. The straight Democratic ticket was successful in 1869 and great was the joy of the Democrats and great corre- spondingly was the sorrow of the Republicans. In the town of Buchanan every vote except one was cast for the Democratic ticket. Even the popular Republican candidate, Hamer, received only 8 votes. In Outagamie county in November, 1869, Robinson, Democrat, received a majority of 560 for governor, over Fairchild, Republican.The Democratic supervisors received majorities of 108 and 63. The amendment to the constitution received 526 majority. The total votes cast for governor was 2,405.
The principal issues at the election in April, 1870, were the important improvements which were to be carried on during the year. At this election the question of railroad or no railroad was voted on. Some half dozen other important improvements projected and under way were to be commenced or continued, so that really this election was for progress and improvement as against apathy and inertia. At the election for mayor, A. L. Smith (D.), received in his ward 41, Second ward, 209, Third ward, 176, Fourth ward 55. S. R. Willy received in the First ward, 105, Second ward, 192, Third ward, 25, Fourth ward, 55. Smith’s majority was thus 104 for mayor. Ballard for city clerk received 831 votes there being no opposition. For treasurer, Lyon received a majority over three other candidates. For marshal Foster received a majority of 128 over three other candidates. For city attorney H. Pierce received 84 majority over W. S. Warner. For assessor Milo Coles received a majority of 746, there being no serious opposition to his election. Again the Democrats called their ticket the citizens ticket and their convention was called the city convention. They prepared to conduct the election independent of politics, and at their convention nominated a full citizens ticket.
At the November election in 1870 every county officer elected was a Denocrat. The majorities ranged from 18 to 750. Both parties worked hard and the Democrats made still higher gains over any previous year. Four years before the Republicans elected the sheriff, clerk of the court and treasurer, and three years before they elected the register of deeds. Now there was not a Republican holding a county office. However, the county board was yet Republican.
The vote of the Fourth ward was wholly thrown out owing to informality.
“Greenville with its 300 voters and 80 Democratic majority polled less than 200, gave Lyon 5 majority and elected Republicans to most of the town offices. Greenville has these lazy fits periodically and they remind us of what our Methodist friends term “fair weather Christians.” — (Crescent, April 15, 1871). “We have neither the time nor space to comment on the city elections. All are dyed-in-the-wool Democrats save the city attorney.” — (Post, April, 1871).
The Republican assembly convention for Shawano county, the east part of Waupaca and the northern towns of Outagamie was held at Stephensville in October, 1871. Senator Doolittle, Democratic candidate for governor, spoke in Turner hall in October. The Post sharply criticized his remarks, particularly those relating to the Ku Klux bill. General Washburn delivered a long speech at Oshkosh about the same time it was published in full by the Post. “The Republicans assembled in convention last Tuesday and placed in nomination the following excellent ticket. Assembly — W. H. H.Wroe; register of deeds — Mathew McComb; county superintendent — A. H. Conkey. This ticket should be elected.” — (Post, November 2, 1871). The campaign of 1871 was full of savage personalities and led to an encounter between C. E. McIntosh and Samuel Ryan, Jr.; both were Democrats.
“No liquor having been sold in the city on election day, everything passed off quietly and harmoniously. There was, of course, considerable electioneering excitement on the streets and at the polls, but out of it no serious difficulty was developed.” — (Post, November 9, 1871).
“The result was generally a Republican success with the exception of J. W. Hutchinson our candidate for senator who was defeated by George Kreiss, an independent candidate, by 74 votes.” — (Post, November, 1871).
“The city election which took place last Tuesday resulted in the success of the entire Democratic ticket with the exception of city attorney.” — ( Post, April 4, 1872).
“A Grand Republican Rally — Tanners Torchlight Procession. — The announcement that Matt. H. Carpenter would speak at Bertschy’s hall crowded that place to its utmost capacity. A Tanners’ club, 100 strong, was hurriedly formed and the senator was escorted from the Waverly house to the hall by that company and the citizens. Mr. Carpenter’s speech was a strong effort showing the necessity of continuing the Republican party in power and the danger of raising the Greeley faction into a position of authority.” — (Post, September 26, 1872).
“The Campaign in Appleton — Governor Washburn Makes a Telling Speech — 250 in Procession. — Notwithstanding the storm there was a goodly turn out. The Tanners of Appleton joined by companies from Oshkosh and Neenah paraded the streets and escorted the governor to the hall. The governor made a speech which would have a telling effect upon any audience. It was a fair and dignified review of the opposing candidates. After the supper a fine social time and a supper were enjoyed.” — (Post, October 10, 1872).
In November the Democrats carried the county, the vote for president being — Grant (R.) 1,542, Greeley (Ind. Dem.) 1,970.
In April, 1873, the Democrats called their tickets “Reform” and nominated Maj. G. N. Richmond for the assembly from the southern district and the following county officers: J. A. Bertschy, register of deeds; Patrick Flannagan, county superintendent; J. C. Hoxie, assembly, First district; Sam Ryan, Jr., county judge.
“Vote against Sam Ryan, Jr., the notorious embezzler; the man who bought his nomination by open and bare-faced bribery.” — (Post, March 27, 1873).
At the April election, 1873, J. E. Harriman (R.) was elected county judge over Sam Ryan, Jr., (D.), by a large majority. The latter took the defeat philosophically and among other things said: “As a party the Republicans never made such an effort in this county in behalf of any candidate as they did for Mr. Harriman. They had twenty years of political wrath to be revenged, cost in money and effort what it might and a good jovial easy-going candidate who had been and could be ‘all things to all men’ politically. Joined with these fortunate concomitants were the jealousies of local Democratic politicians.” “The city election was a wholesale slaughter of the Democratic candidates on the general ticket with the exception of marshal — that, too, when the nominations were fairly made on most of the offices defeated — some of them being nominated by acclamation. It is no wonder the Republicans feel jolly over the result.” The city officers elected were as follows: S. R. Willy, mayor; G. H. Richmond, clerk; S. Boyd, attorney; J. Burke, marshal; John Gaelzer, treasurer; A. B. Randall, assessor. The council was Democratic.
Both parties fought hard for success in November, 1873; the principal contest was over the register. “Two years ago Doolittle carried Appleton by 181 majority; last year Greeley had 75 majority. Now Taylor the Reform candidate for governor has 214 majority.” The Democrats celebrated the success with cannon, bonfires, music, fireworks and speeches by Richmond, Kennedy, Ryan, Kreiss, Marston, Warner, Ward, Driessen and Dr. Meiski (in German).
Outagamie county gave Taylor Democratic candidate for governor in 1873, a majority of 1,076; Taylor was elected over Washburn, Republican.
At the spring election in Appleton, 1874, the Democratic candidates for mayor and marshal were defeated and a Republican mayor and a temperance marshal were chosen. Many Irish voters bolted their ticket (Democratic) because they were dissatisfied with the choice of delegates. This was said by the papers to have been the most exciting contest in the history of Appleton. The Republican mayor Willy received a majority of 154.
The Democrats swept the county under the name of Reform in November, 1874. The local excitement over county candidates ran high, but the vote was by no means full. There was in the field a Peoples Independent Reform ticket in opposition to the regular Democratic ticket. The Republicans practically abandoned the field.
The vote for officers in April, 1875) was as follows: For mayor, W. S. Warner (D.) 525; P. Esselburn (R.) 704. The election was quiet and orderly and the vote was larger than expected. The republicans put up a People’s ticket and nominated good men. The mechanics and other laborers wanted a change and hence voted mechanics into nearly all the offices. Party cut little figure.
In October, 1875, the democrats nominated the following county ticket: James Ryan, senator; David Hammel, assembly 1st district; John J. Knowlton, assembly Second district; Jacob A. Bertschy, register of deeds; P. Flanagan, county superintendent. The convention was very enthusiastic, “Reform!” was their cry. The republicans nominated Miss Cornelia Bailey for county superintendent. She was highly spoken of even by the Crescent.
The result of this election showed still greater democratic gains in this county. “It would seem by the above figures that Outagamie county is one of the Gibralters of Reform Democracy in Wisconsin. In case of an emergency these majorities could be increased. Luddington (R.) secured a majority in only four election precincts of the county. The republicans hoped to “cut in” on the democratic majority, but although they made an active campaign could not do so; they had as speakers during the campaign ex- Congressman Sawyer, ex-Senator Foster and Postmaster Heath.
The campaign of 1876 was in many respects the most vivid and brilliant in the history of the county. Both parties formed strong clubs which extended their work to all portions of the county. Every ward in Appleton was thoroughly organized. Among the democratic speakers were Goodland, Kennedy, Meyer, Kreiss, Moeskes, Barker, Finnegan, Ullman, McGillan, Sam Ryan, Jr., the latter being one of the democratic state electors. John Goodland (D.) and Rev. G. C. Haddock (R.) held a joint debate for three nights in succession at Bertschy’s hall. The freinds of each declared he completely annihilated the other. Among the republican speakers were Judge Collins, Judge Myers, S. P. Ming, George C. Jones, John Bottensek, W. J. Allen, James M. Phinney, G. L. Williams and others. At an immense meeting late in October Senator Howe spoke before the Hayes and Wheeler club. The minute men were out en masse, three companies, with bands, torches, rockets, etc. Colonel Thorn, Mr. Kennedy and H. D. Ryan spoke to large Democratic audiences in all parts of the county. There was a Young Men’s Tilden and Hendricks’ club that was in evidence at all the large assemblages of that party. The Greenbackers made considerable display this campaign.
The Democratic County convention met October 11, 1876, at Appleton. C. E. McIntosh served as temporary chairman and C. A. Patton and John A. Leith as secretaries. W. Lamure, C. W. Hopkins and E. H. Stone were committee on permanent organization. The following were the committee on credentials: H. D. Ryan, W. Leiby, John A. Leith, C. W. Hopkins, W. Lamure. Every town was well represented by delegates and others. The temporary officers were made permanent. The following were the nominations: J. Lennon, sheriff; J. F. Moeskes, clerk of the court; William Kennedy, attorney; W. H. Lanphear, county clerk, renominated by, acclamation; Richard Bottrell, treasurer; James McGillan, surveyor; G. H. Marston, coroner. The county central committee was J. A. Bertschy, August Roloff, James Ryan, Gabe Ullman and N. S. Conklin.
The Republican County convention was held at the office of S. P. Ming October 14, 1876; S. R. Willy was chosen chairman and W. H. H. Wroe secretary. S. Thompson, Philo Root and Henry Nash were committee on credentials. There were full delegations from all the towns. N. B. Clark was nominated for sheriff; G. I. Brewster, clerk of the court; John Bottensek, attorney; W. H. Lanphear, county clerk; John Wunderlich, treasurer; Elihu Spencer, surveyor; Lewis Bates, coroner. The county committee was Philo Root, A. J. Reid, P. Tubbs, H. G. Curtis, A. Sopinwall. A. M. Kimball was republican candidate for congress from this district. S, P. Ming and E. M. Gowell were candidates for the assembly.
“The present campaign is the first time since 1856 that a thorough canvass of the county has been undertaken by the republicans. All of the old settlers will remember that the result accomplished at that time was commensurate with the efforts put forth. A democratic majority of 600 was reduced to less than 200, since then the majority has been constantly increasing until it has reached 1,300. We believe, however, that we have entered upon a new political era in the history of our county. The people are determined to no longer submit in the matter of local politics to the dictations of those who have other than sordid interests to subserve. This class of chronic office seekers and office holders have no sympathy with the interests of the people other than is prompted by a desire to reap the spoils of office.” — (Post, October 12, 1876.)
“Never before since the organization of the county have the republicans been so fully aroused; never before have the people been so thoroughly awakened and in behalf of republican principles as at the present time. * * * The last night of the campaign there will be public speaking in no less than a dozen different points in the county. * * * The announcement that Matt H. Carpenter would speak in Appleton induced one of the grandest political demonstrations on the part of the people that has ever been witnessed in Northern Wisconsin. For an hour and a half his hearers were fairly electrified by his eloquence.” — (Post, November 2, 1876.)
“Never in the history of the county have the people manifested such an interest in the political issues of the day as they have this fall. * * * The republicans have moved heaven, earth and hell to break the democratic majority of Little Outagamie.” — (Crescent, November 4, 1876.)
“We have just passed through an exciting political campaign which has served to arouse the passions and prejudices of the people. There is scarcely a community throughout the entire county which has escaped this experience and certainly Appleton is no exception. In this great struggle people and friends and neighbors have been arrayed against each other. Fidelity to party and zeal for candidates have oftentimes carried them beyond the limits of deliberate judgment.” — (Post, November 9, 1876).
“The election in this city passed off with entire quietude notwithstanding the intense excitement that prevailed. Scarcely an unkind word was spoken. Not an arrest was made, not a blow was struck; not a drunken man was seen.” — (Crescent, November 11, 1876).
The Post charged that the democrats cast 400 illegal votes, having secured the workmen on the river improvements, who were not legal residents.
The election of county judge in April, 1877, was exciting. John Goodland was nominated by the democrats and J. E. Harriman by the republicans; the latter was elected by a majority of 107; he had a majority of 260 in Appleton. At the municipal election in April, 1877, the following was the result:
“The local election which took place on Tuesday last, although not attended by any unusual excitement, was nevertheless a very animated one. Both parties placed superior tickets in the field and each worked with zeal to secure triumph at the polls. The democrats were divided on the question of mayor. Considering the fact that the city is strongly democratic, republicans have every reason to congratulate each other.”
The greenbackers held a county convention at the courthouse in May, 1877. Louis Perrot was elected chairman and John L. Pringle secretary. The convention was addressed by the secretary, Samuel Boyd, James M. Phinney, Louis Perrot and others. All endorsed the organization of the party in this county. Louis Jacquot, Louis Perrot, J. M. Phinney, R. Z. Mason, Frank Steffen, John Pringle, L. L. Jabas and D. H. Balliet were chosen delegates to the state convention.
The Appleton Greenback Association was organized in Septenmber, 1877, with the following officers: G. M. Steele, president; R. Z. Mason, vice-president; A. B. Whitman, secretary; H. Nicholson, treasurer. Preparations for a greenback county convention were made.
The independent greenback convention of the county was held at the McGee House, Stephensville, early in October, 1877. C. Sweitzer, chairman of the county committee, called the delegates to order and was elected chairman. J. B. Farmer and R. Hutchinson served as secretaries. J. L. Pringle, Louis Perrot and D. H. Balliet were committee on credentials. About half of the towns were represented by delegations. D. H. Balliet was nominated for register of deeds and D. Catlin, school superintendent. J. L. Pringle, W. D. Jordan, J. Merickle, L. Jaquot and R. Manly were appointed county committee. The second assembly convention of that party met there the same day. W. D. Jordan was nominated for the assembly. Louis Perrot served as chairman of this convention.
W. S. Warner announced himself as an independent democratic candidate for the assembly in the fall of 1877. He said he did so “at the solicitation of a large number of the intelligent voters of the district who are not disposed to be dictated to or defeated by the machinations of a small coterie of moss-bound politicians and political tricksters.”
The democratic county convention met at the courthouse in October, 1877. Mr. Bogan was first nominated for the assembly, by the assembly convention. The county convention was then organized with D. C. Babcock as chairman. J. A. Bertschy was nominated for register of deeds and P. Flanagan for county superintendent. The greenbackers nominated J. L. Pringle for the senate.
The republicans decided not to make any nomination for county officers in October and November, 1877. The two tickets greenback and democratic were only ones in field. The convention met at Squire Ming’s office and chose Captain Marston as president and A. J. Reid as secretary. Resolutions were adopted to name no county officers.
The campaign in the fall of 1877 was triangular, independent and spectacular. The greenbackers polled nearly 1,000 votes on the county ticket, though doubtless many of them were republican. The democratic majority was reduced. W. S. Warner, independent, won in the fight for the assembly by 768 majority, no doubt receiving the republican and independent vote. J. A. Bertschy (D.) was elected register of deeds. Richmond (D.) candidate for senator, defeated Pringle (Gbk.) by a large majority. As a whole the vote was light. Dr. Steele of Appleton was greenback candidate for state superintendent. For governor Mallory (D.) received 2,005; South (R.) 776; Allis (Gbk.) 992. The county ticket was badly split and irregular. Steffen (D.) was elected to the assembly in the Second district. Flanagan (D.) was elected county superintendent over Catlin (Gbk.) by a small majority.
There was no excitement over the city election of 1878. The republicans placed a fusion ticket in the field. The vote was light and generally the democrats won, James Ryan (D.) of the Crescent was nominated for mayor by his party and Captain Marston was in a total vote of 1,099. Cirkel (D.) was elected clerk, his majority being 93; Koffend (D.) was elected treasurer by a majority of 175; Walsh (D.) was elected street commissioner by 154 majority. There was no contest over assessor, attorney and marshal; Randall, Sloan and Golden, all democrats, winning.
The republican county convention in 1878 nominated the following ticket: N. B. Clark, sheriff; F. N. Benoit, court clerk; D. Weisenberg, county clerk; M. Werner, treasurer; Judge Collins, attorney; C. H. Gillette, surveyor; G. H. Marston, coroner; Rogers, assembly.
The independent greenbackers held a county convention in September, 1878, and nominated the following county ticket: John M. Baer, sheriff; Samuel Boyd, attorney; D. S. Catlin, court clerk; B. S. Wolter, county clerk; Timothy Heenan, treasurer; E. Spencer, surveyor; P. C. Parish, coroner.
The democratic county convention in 1878 nominated the following ticket: James McGillan, sheriff; G. T. Moeskes, court clerk; W. H. Lanphear, county clerk; R. Bottrell, treasurer; William Kennedy, attorney; Charles H. Gillette, surveyor; G. H. Marston, coroner.
There was a light vote in November, 1878, and little or no excitement. The result was the election of the German elements of the three tickets — the democratic candidate for court clerk, attorney and coroner; the greenback candidate for county clerk and surveyor, and the republican candidate for treasurer.”The moving spirit in the whole affair was John Brill who was defeated for sheriff in the democratic convention and who by this movement receives a small plurality over the democratic candidate. The balance of the republican and greenback candidates were left out of sight.” — (Crescent, November 9, 1878). Both assemblymen-elect were democrats. Francis Steffen (D.) was elected to the assembly in the Second district. Several of the candidates denied the conclusion of the Crescent that the election was a German movement regardless of party affiliations.
The Crescent charged the existence in 1877 and 1878 of a German movement designed to secure all the county offices to persons of German birth, irrespective of party.
In the spring of 1879, in the democratic convention, James Ryan received on the informal ballot 18 votes for mayor; on the first formal ballot he received 12 votes and Alfred Galpin received 13. Galpin declined the nomination; so did Ryan. The next day Mr. Ryan was again nominated but again declined, but no one else was nominated. Later Mr. Ryan was induced to become the democratic nominee. The candidate was thus handicapped, but made a strong fight receiving 526 votes to 659 for 0. W. Clark for the mayorality. The balance of the democratic city ticket was elected; two greenbackers were in the council.
The Greenback county convention was held September 20, Louis Perrot serving as president and D. H. Balliet as secretary.They nominated A. B. Whitman for county superintendent and Tim Heenan for register.
In 1879 the Greenback political party made a poor showing.renominated by the republicans. Their candidate for the assembly in the First district, John Peterson, was elected over D. J. Brothers (D.) ana S. P. Ming (Ind. R.). Charles Sweitser (Gbk.) was elected to the assembly from the Second district over Joseph Mayer (D.) and James McMurdo (R.). Both Peterson and Sweitser were really democrats. Julius Zuhlke (D.) was elected register of deeds, over Louis Schintz (R.), Timothy Heenan (Gbk. D.) and C. H. L. Hamer (Ind. D.). John A. Leith (D.) was elected county superintendent over William Priest (R.) and A B. Whitman (Gbk. D.). There was a short contest and much splitting of tickets. Out of 1630 names on the registry only 1,000 voted. This year Sam. Ryan, Jr., was democratic nominee for secretary of state; he received two-thirds of all votes cast in the convention on the informal ballot.
Ryan won by a majority of 267