Tri-Weekly Clarion clipping
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A PRETTY KETTLE OF FISH.
The Corinth News of the 9th, has some rare expositions which we hasten to lay before our readers. It will be recollected that during the struggle between the conservatives and Union Republicans on the one hand, and the Bitter-End Rads on the other, in consequence of the attempt of the latter to force the rejected constitution and candidates on our State, Maj. Wofford felt it his duty to file with the President a letter setting forth the character of the parties who represented the Committee of Sixteen in Washington, and who were identified with that iniquitous scheme. This expose filed in March, was published in the New Orleans Picayune by a Washington correspondent early in May, and on its appearance Lynch sent the subjoined despatch to Maj. Wofford, referring we suppose, to the “developments” therein made as to the antecedents of the parties referred to – telling the Major that his “stock was rising” – and begging him to weary not in well doing:
JACKSON, May 8th, 1869.
MAJ. WOFFORD: Wofford stock rising – strange developments – stand firm. Will write you.
To this missive Maj. Wofford made no reply; but before many moons, he was visited in his office by Elder Lynch. What occurred is here reported as follows:
Thus matters stood, when in August last to our astonishment, the Rev. Jim made his appearance in our sanctum. We accosted him – “Well Jim, how are you rascals and proscriptionists getting on.” He replied – “Oh, Major, you are too hard on us,” and hesitating a moment, remarked, he would like to see us privately. Several gentlemen being present, they withdrew, and left us to ourselves. Lynch commenced by remarking – “Major, I know you think I am treacherous.” “Yes,” we replied, “we regard you as treacherous and an unmitigated scoundrel.” “But wait,” said he, “and let me explain myself, and I think you will not have so bad an opinion of me.” “I know,” continued he, “that you thought I would cooperate with you two years ago to make the platform of the party liberal, and thereby make the party honorable. I promised to do so, but when I got to the Convention I found that I could not bring my race with me, they being under the control of such mean men as PEASE, (now the Proscriptionist’s candidate for Superintendent of Public Education) and others, I therefore thought it best to ostensibly betray you, and go on with the tide and wait until the pear was ripe. I have done so. The pear is now ripe – it is now time for me to pluck it, and I intend doing it. I cannot longer stand to see my race led by such men as Pease. They will lead them to ruin. They are for arraying the colored man against the whites, for the sole purpose of riding upon their shoulders into office; they will ruin my race; they are arraying them against the white man, the land owners, the bona fide citizens, and when they have accomplished their purposes it will be the death knell to my race – they will be driven to the wall.” “Let the consequences,” he continued, “be as they may, I am going to throw myself into the breach, and warn my race against the awful doom that awaits them if they follow the leadership of these men, who care nothing for them more than to use them that they may get office.
“I looked at your Convention, which assembled on the 23d of June; it was not very largely attended, yet it was composed of men of standing, of social worth, and who commanded the respect of the people at large; whilst ours, which assembled on the first of July was largely attended. I compared the two; yours, I found, was composed of men who commanded respect, and seemed to have at heart the interest of the State. Ours I found composed of Ames’ appointees – and all, or near all the whites present were office holders under Ames, and I may further add constituted the entire white element of the Radical party of the State.” “Now, Major,” continued he, “I would be untrue to myself, untrue to my race, were I to advise my people to ally themselves with the five hundred white men of the State, who are trying to make them their stepping-stone into office. I will do no such thing; I will advise them to vote for Dent – to ally themselves with their true friends, the white people of the State. I am going to Washington, and at the proper time will make known my views; and will see Judge Dent and tell him I am his friend and supporter.”
It will be seen that these declarations of Lynch are similar in tenor to the letter which we recently published from him, and to another letter from him to which he himself has alluded, in the possession of a citizen of this town. Those letters he says were not written for publication, but were for public use.
An issue was joined between Stringer and Lynch in reference to the foregoing despatch, and the dispute was referred to Major Wofford by Reverend Stringer for settlement in the following letter in which he went for his antagonist in a style more savage than complimentary:
GRENADA, MISS., Aug. 18, 1869.
TO MAJ. J. L. WOFFORD: –
Dear Sir: The occasion will be a sufficient excuse for my writing you this note, to-wit: It has been currently reported that some time in June last, the Rev. James Lynch telegraphed to you from the city of Jackson to go ahead, that the Wofford stock was rising. We have asked him if there was any truth in the report and he says that it was all a lie, that he never had any communication with you on the subject. Now, as you have shown the telegram to Maj. Morphis, would you be so kind as to send me a copy of it, with a note saying from whom it was sent – or any other communication that you may have got from the said James Lynch on the subject of buying or selling out to you party, as we have strong reasons to believe that all he wants is money, and if this is the case it is the duty of every good citizen to denounce him. We strongly suspicion him of being a bad man, such as no party ought to encourage. Please answer soon and direct yours to Vicksburg, and much oblige,
Your obedient servant,
THOS. W. STRINGER.
The question which naturally arises from these “strange developments,” is, if Lynch was right in his estimate of Pease and his associates on the Bitter-End ticket are they worthy of the colored peoples’ support? And if Stringer is correct in his judgment of Lynch, is Lynch himself worthy of their support?
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