Louis C. Perret Organizes Liberal Republican Party Meeting
July 19, 1872

In July 1872, Louis C. Perret organized a Liberal Republican Party meeting in Carrollton, Louisiana, hoping to bring an end to Reconstruction and "reform" the state and federal governments.

The Carrollton Liberals

On Wednesday evening, in response to a call issued by the friends of the Liberal movement, a mass meeting was held in front of the new market, Carrollton, where a stand had been erected for the occasion. Mr. L. C. Perret called the meeting to order, and introduced Mr. R. L. Preston as the first speaker. Mr. Preston spoke at length in support of Greeley and Brown, and in a spirited manner urged his hearers to abandon the wreck of the Democratic party and embark hopefully in the Liberal movement. It was the only hope of reform in the State and nation. His remarks were received with enthusiasm.

The following officers of the meeting were announced:

President—L. C. Perret…

Judge E. North Cullom was then announced, and, in a brief and pointed address, depicted the evils of the hour to be averted, the organization of the Liberal movement, its tendency to reconciliation, and the necessity of condemning the efforts of a few impostors, who, without the sanction of any precedent whatever, were not attempting to rally the Democracy in support of a “united State ticket,” which could only result in defeat to themselves, and victory to the enemies of reform. Judge Cullom was listened to with marked attention, and his sentiments were heartily iapplauded.

Mr. Clark Besancon, a member of the Carrollton bar, then addressed a few earnest remarks to his Democratic friends present.

Emerson Bentley, of St. Mary, was next called upon, and portrayed the failure of the Grant administration to secure peace, restore confidence, and to practically effect the reconciliation which was absolutely necessary for the country. “Reconciliation” was the watchword given by the father of the Republican party—Charles Sumner—and it was the sole purpose of the Liberal movement to accomplish it. Grant had fostered a division of his own party, treated the colored man with contempt, and his administration was the most corrupt ever known in our history. We wanted no colored man’s party, or white man’s party we wanted men of both colors in all parties. The Liberal party invited colored men to its ranks, and would guarantee to them equal rights in common with other citizens. It was no “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” but an earnest, liberal movement for reform and honest government.
Mr. Bentley’s remarks were applauded. The colored men of Carrollton evidently are not all for Grant, for at the close the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, IT is for the best interest of the State that the free expression of the people should be heard and the management of affairs should be entirely under their own control; and

Whereas, In the distinct party organizations now in existence, that relief which is so urgently demanded can not reach the people; therefore be it

Resolved, That we recommend to our fellow-citizens to ignore all distinct party organizations and to assemble in convention simply as an oppressed and suffering people, determined to rescue our State from its present corrupt condition, and with this object in view to unite in forming a State and parish ticket that will invite to its support every voter, without distinction, who is opposed to the ruinous policy which heretofore existed in our government.

Resolved, That we favor a general convention in which all parties may unite on an equal footing in the nomination of men whose integrity is unquestionable, without regard to former affiliations. That we recognize no test of fitness for office save integrity of character, honesty of purpose and a determination to effect a thorough reform in every branch of the government, and reduce taxation as far as is consonant with the payment of just debts and ordinary expenses of the government.

Resolved, That we approve and indorse the call made for a Liberal convention, to be held in New Orleans, on the first Monday in August next.


New Orleans Republican, 19 July 1872