Benjamin F. Dowell Endorses Ulysses S. Grant
July 13, 1868

In this public letter from 1868, Benjamin F. Dowell defended Reconstruction and endorsed Republican candidate Ulysses S. Grant for president. 

Letter From B. F. Dowell

Washington, D.C., July 13, 1868


Are now before the people. The great Democratic mountain has been in labor in the city of New York during the past week, and it has truly brought forth “two little blind mice”—Horatio Seymour, of New York, for President, and Franklin P. Blair, of Missouri, for Vice President…

Frank P. Blair, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, is a renegade Republican. A true Johnsonite, with strong rebel convictions. He is today a more dangerous rebel than Jeff Davis. This is apparent from his recent letter to Mr. James O. Broadhead, dated the 30th of June, which was written from this city for the express purpose of inducing the Democratic Convention to nominate him for President. (See letter in another column.)

The Democracy has endorsed this infamous doctrine by nominating Mr. Blair for Vice President. Grant says “give us peace.” Mr. Blair says the President with the army “must dispurse the carpet-bag State Governments” at the “South.” This means war. It means all the reconstruction acts of Congress shall be set at defiance by the will and power of a Democratic President. We are for “peace,” the Democratic party South commenced the war, and the Democratic party North told them they would succeed, and that it was unconstitutional to coerce a State. Now the same party tells them, “you have been conquered and you have no right to secede; but negro suffrage is unconstitutional, and the reconstruction acts are unconstitutional; commence your war again and we will help you.[”] It is true under the leadership of loyal men, eight of the Southern States have been reconstructed and brought back into the Union. This has been done against the protest of the Democracy. The Democracy see and know this is final, and that nothing but revolution can ever overthrow it. Hence to get control of the Government, and to get place and power, the Democrats propose to inaugurate another war, and again drive these eight States from the Union, and place them again under the control of the secessionists and traitors. This Democratic aspirant for the Presidency has been a conspirator against the Government for the last four years. The Democratic party have marched under the war banner of the South for the last eight years. It is the motto they now emblazen on their banner for this contest. Our motto is the restoration of the Union on a peaceful and loyal basis. We work under the ensign of peace, for the restoration of three more States. We intend to do it with loyal negro votes if possible, without the shedding of another drop of blood. The Democracy raises the banner of war for the expulsion of eight States which have been already restored. This is the issue which is now before the American people. Seymour, blinded by party zeal in 1864, encouraged and apologized for the Democratic riot in New York. Blair, blinded by the same party zeal and love of office, now proposes to renew the contest of 1861. They are truly “two little blind mice,” who now propose to lead the American people into the awful gulf of another civil war. The election in November will show these blind leaders have but few followers. Not half as many South nor hear as many North as in 1861. Union men of Oregon, do your duty and U.S. Grant will be the next President and Schuyler Colfax will be the next Vice President. Then “peace” and union will rule and reign throughout the United States.


The Oregon Sentinel, 8 August 1868.