The Clarion clipping
Text Item Type Metadata
Apology to the People of Hinds.
JACKSON, MISS., June 16, 1871.
Editors Clarion: – Presuming on your kind courtesy, I ask the favor that you will publish this communication. The letter published over the signature of John C. Tucker in your last issue places that person before the public in a light which demands from me some apology or explanation to the people of Hinds county and this Commonwealth for my part in the appointment of such a man to the office of Superintendent of the Schools in this county.
At the time of his appointment, Mr. Tucker was a stranger to me. I knew nothing of the man’s character except by private representation, and I am therefore only responsible for the mistake of his appointment to the extent of a misapprehension. As a proof of my anxiety to do my duty faithfully, I beg attention to the fact that I lost not a day to demand Mr. Tucker’s removal after I saw plainly what has been declared publicly by the published statement of the Board of Education.
I assure the people of Hinds that it was not moved on my part by any consideration of party. Mr. Tucker did not come into this State until after the election; and so far from having in my mind any claim for party service, occupied the position on the other hand of that not desirable class who rush to the field at the close of the battle with horrid greed and desperate energy. Even though I had sympathy with these adventurers, many of whom I am pained to say cause fearful apprehensions in my mind as to the future of my race and the prosperity of this Commonwealth, I certainly should not have been governed by any such wicked sympathy in discharging the most sacred trust of public office, which is the education of the youth.
Reserve, prompted by pity for the man as well as by official propriety, would have led me to save Mr. Tucker from the exhibition he has made of himself by his own recital of his ruffianly language to me at the Board of Education. My long residence in the State, and my honorable position in her service saves me from the condescension of replying to that person’s scurrillous violence.
A low class of persons, when baffled in their purposes in all other ways, resort as a last expedient to casting filth.
Mr. Tucker’s billingsgate may therefore be passed by as of a piece with a very common, though very ruffianly usage, of men of that grade of intellect and character. Indeed so well is this dirt throwing practice of such men understood by the public, that it would receive in this case no notice whatever at my hands, except in the calm contempt of this reference which is necessary to explain the ground on which this apology, and explanation of the appointment of such a man is made.
My duty to the good people of Hinds and a respect for decency and honesty demand it.
Neither passion, prejudice or blind partisanship shall influence me in the discharge of my duties as citizen or public officer or make me forget that I am the servant of the people, whose decision in regard to myself I trust with the happiest confidence. – Having publicly pledged and solemnly dedicated myself to the holy work of elevating my race, and aiding the development of the new principles of our government, and endeavoring to strengthen a bond of sympathy between races. Being personally known to thousands, Tucker’s foul abuse will fall athwart my pathway with as little effect as the dead leaves of Autumn across that of the well equipped horseman.
Very Respectfully Yours,
Secretary of State.
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