The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 71
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Opposing Theories About the President
[Oliver P.] Morton's theory of the consideration prompting the
President's Southern policy though ingenious and plausible is
neatly, though only incidentally, traversed by the convictions and
assurances embodied in the remarks of Hon. Guy M. Bryan, which
are printed herewith. Morton, reasoning from the standpoint of
a Northern Republican of the deepest sectional dye, professes not
to despair of Hayes's fidelity to orthodox Republicanism. He pro-
fesses to regard the President as in some sort a captive in the
hands of a "solid Confederate South," as represented in Congress,
and he proposes to relieve him of responsibility for abandoning
Chamberlain and Packard to the overwhelming pressure of their
local enemies, by referring the abandonment to necessity, and not
to option and premeditation. In short, Morton holds that Hayes
found himself, on coming into the Presidency, put under a species
of duress by the Democratic majority in the House of Represent-
atives, which withheld provisions for the army, and threatened,
unless he acceded to its demands, to cripple his executive arm com-
pletely. We could scarcely exaggerate the mischief involved in
this theory, if it should be generally accepted in both sections or
in either. Morton believes its acceptance necessary to his own
political salvation, if not to the salvation of the Republican party,
and the tenor of his bold and able manifesto evinces clearly enough
that he is desperately bent on maintaining a strict sectional align-
ment of parties. If he can persuade the Northern people that the
Southern policy of the present administration, with all its ap-
parent spontaneity, is only a system of concessions wrung from
the President by the successful machinations of Southern poli-
ticians and their Northern coadjutors, his main point will be
secured. He can then proceed with confidence on the work of
firing the Northern heart by expatiating on the capture of the
President and the triumph of the rebellion, and the era of con-
ciliation and the obliteration of sectional politics will be indefinitely
postponed. In that case politics at the North will center in the
fanatical thought of rescuing the chief magistrate from his South-
ern captivity, and a defensive solid South will again be arrayed,
by force of logical reciprocity, against an aggressive solid North.
The war will be a war of mutual distrust and hatred and recrim-
ination as disastrous to the material prosperity and the moral
unity and harmony of the country as the most devastating inter-
necine war of arms could be. But let it be understood in the North
and the South alike that the President's Southern policy came
neither from an unworthy bargain nor from coercion at the hands
of a "solid Confederate South" dominating in the popular branch
of Congress, but came from preexisting ideas with regard to the
government and the Union and from a mature sense of constitu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/77/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.