The election of the first county officers for Hancock county was held in August, 1828. We have no report of the number of votes cast in that election. At the presidential election in November following one hundred and one votes were cast. In the absence of records it is an impossibility at this time to determine the relative strength of parties. Joshua Meek, recorder; Morris Pierson, treasurer, and later surveyor; Basil Meek and John Foster, sheriffs, all of whom were elected in that year or during the two or three years following, were National Republicans, or after 1834, Whigs. These men, together with Jeremiah Meek, judge of the Hancock probate court; John Hager, clerk; Jonathan Dunbar, sheriff, all of whom were elected as National Republicans or Whigs, held the principal offices of the county for many years, as may be seen by reference to the county officers at the close of the chapter on county government. David S. Gooding was the Whig candidate for representative against Dr. J. W. Hervey, Democrat, in 1847, and was elected by a majority of forty-one votes. Joseph Chapman was elected clerk of the Hancock circuit court in 1832. He was a Democrat, but his election may have been due to his personal canvass. In 1842 Joseph Anderson, Democrat, defeated Jonathan Dunbar, Whig, in the race for sheriff. Judge Gooding, writing editorially in the Hancock Democrat in 1861 in criticism of Jonathan Dunbar, charged Dunbar with having been a Whig in 1839, "when the Whigs were in the ascendancy in Hancock." From these scattering bits of evidence it is safe to conclude that in the early history of the county, the National Republicans, or Whigs, had a majority at the polls, but that a nomination by any party did not necessarily mean an election. In all probability the personal standing of a candidate received more consideration then that it does now, with our close party alignments.
The two most prominent political leaders of that very early day were Thomas D. Walpole, Whig, and Joseph Chapman, Democrat. Walpole came to Greenfield in 1834 and entered upon the practice of law. In 1836 he was elected to the lower branch of the Legislature, and in 1840 to the Senate. He served several terms in the Senate, and on the resignation of Lieutenant-Governor Hall was elected president of that body. In 1848 he was a presidential elector and canvassed a large part of the state for Taylor and Fillmore. In 1850 he was elected to the constitutional convention. During the campaign of 1852 he allied himself with the Democrats and canvassed the state for Pierce. Later he served several more terms in the lower branch of the Legislature as a Democrat. It is said that Walpole was never defeated in his own county in a political canvass, either as a Democrat or a Whig. Whether this be true or not, he was tactful and resourceful and these qualities, with his magnetic personality, made him a political winner.
Joseph Chapman came to Hancock county in 1829, just one year after the organization of the county. Three years later he was elected clerk of the Hancock circuit court, and held the office for about five years, when he entered the lower branch of the state Legislature. He was five times elected to serve his county in this capacity. He was a fluent, eloquent speaker and seems to have lived and moved and had his being in politics.
In the campaign of 1840 Chapman was the Democratic candidate for representative. Walpole was the Whig candidate for senator from Hancock and Madison counties. The two men canvassed not only their own county in support of their personal campaigns, but took part in the general canvass of the state for their respective parties. They were neighbors and friends at home, and in "stumping" the state adopted the plan of speaking from the same platforms to the same audiences. Walpole was aristocratic and devoted much care to his personal appearance in matters of dress. This propensity subjected him to the criticism of Chapman, who was a "commoner," and whose humility was the special object of his pride. Now, it so happened one evening, as the late Judge Gooding was fond of relating, that Chapman gave his shirt to the wife of the tavern keeper to be laundered. During the night the shirt was stolen and the next morning Chapman was in a dilemma. Walpole at once offered his friend one of his ruffled shirts. But that ruffled shirt had been the object of Chapman's ridicule from many a platform. Should he wear it a portion of his speech would have to be struck out, and he would be deprived of one of his "hits" at Walpole-to say nothing of the general moral effect such an appearance might have. Still, he had to have a shirt, so he finally accepted the apparent generosity of his opponent. When the time came for the speech making Chapman's collar was neatly turned under and his coat buttoned over the ruffled shirt. Walpole spoke first, analyzing the issues of the day and denouncing the principles of Democracy with his usual spirit and ardor. Chapman answered in his vigorous and effective style, ridiculing the aristocratic tendencies of his opponent. Walpole closed the argument. He reviewed the criticisms of Chapman, warned his hearers against putting an impostor into office, and threw open the front of Chapman's coat exposing the ruffled shirt.
For Chapman is also claimed the honor of having given to the Democratic party its national emblem, the rooster. It was in the campaign of 1840, after the financial panic in Van Buren's administration, when things looked gloomy for the Democracy of the country, that George Pattison, editor of The Constitution, a Democratic newspaper of Indianapolis, heard of a serious defection from the Democratic ranks of Hancock county. He wrote William Sebastian, postmaster at Greenfield, and one of the Democratic leaders of the county, the following letter:
Indianapolis, June 12, 1840
I have been informed by a Democrat that in one part of your county thirty Van Buren men have turned for Harrison. Please let me know if such be the fact. Hand this letter to General Milroy. I think such a deplorable state of facts cannot exist. If so, I will visit Hancock and address the people relative to the policy of the Democratic party. I have no time to spare, but I will refuse to eat or sleep or rest so long as anything can be done. Do, for heaven's sake, stir up the Democracy. See Chapman, tell him not to do as he did heretofore. He used to create unnecessary alarms; he must crow; we have much to crow over. I will insure this county to give a Democratic majority of two hundred votes. Spare no pains. Write instanter.
This letter accidentally fell into the hands of the Whigs, who, for the purpose of ridiculing the Democrats, published it on June 16, 1840, in the Indianapolis Semi-Weekly Journal, the leading Whig newspaper in the state. Its publication failed utterly in its purpose. "Crow, Chapman, Crow!" became the slogan of the local Democracy in that campaign. It soon spread over the state and when the Indiana State Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper, was launched on July 21, 1841, it contained at the top of the front page the picture of a proud rooster and under the picture the words, "Crow, Chapman, Crow!" The phrase caught the popular ear, and the rooster was soon adopted as the emblem of the Democratic party. Its fuller history, together with letters, photographs and newspaper clippings of the time, has been written and published in very artistic form by John Mitchell, Jr., of the William Mitchell Printing Company, of Greenfield.
The year 1840 also marks the advent of Nobel Warrum into public life. At that time, as the story was frequently told by the late Jared C. Meek, Joshua Meek owned a brick yard on the hill just north of the present corner of State and Fifth streets, in Greenfield. Joshua Meek was also county recorder and spent much of his time in and about the court house. One morning he went into commissioners' court when the commissioners had under consideration the appointment of a collector of revenue for the county. People did not all come to the treasurer's office to pay their taxes, and it was the collector's duty to go over the county to collect taxes where he could.
"Do you know of any good young men for revenue collector?" asked one of the commissioners "Yes," replied Meek. "There's a young fellow working upon my brick yard that is all right, if he'll do it. His name is Warrum,--Nobel Warrum." "Well, send him down," said the commissioners, "and we'll talk it over." Young Warrum came in. He said he would like to have the place, but did not know whether he could give bond. "Yes, I'll go on your bond," said Meek, "and Cornwell will go on your bond, and we can get somebody else and we can fix that up all right."
In Commissioner's Record, No. 2, page 79, appears the following entry:
"Ordered that Nobel Warrum be and he is hereby appointed collector of the state and county revenue of the county of Hancock for the year 1840, and comes now the said Noble Warrum and files his bond with C. Meek, Otho Gapen and Joshua Meek as his securities, all of which is approved."
Mr. Warrum's work as collector of revenue gave him a wide acquaintance and a great circle of friends. For almost a half century thereafter he made his influence felt in every political campaign in the county. In an old copy of the Greenfield Reveille, published in April, 1845, we have possibly the oldest report of a political mass convention in the county. It was a Democratic convention, but the Reveille was a Whig newspaper, and of course, the proceedings of the convention are made to appear as ridiculous as possible. It is worthy of notice, however, that even at that early date there was opposition within Democratic ranks to local delegate conventions. Following is the report:
"In accordance with a previous notice a Mass Convention was held on the 26th inst., the proceedings of which would no doubt be interesting to our friends generally and edifying to our readers.
"About ten o'clock a.m. the untiring Democracy were seen emerging from the beech woods which surround our peaceful village. True, the woods were not entirely darkened by their numbers, yet every avenue leading to the neighborhood of Esquire Franklin's Restaurant was not unbroken.
"On the arrival of a number from the country we heard an eternal warfare sworn against the proposal for a convention to nominate county officers. Dissentions that at first view seemed incurable presented themselves from different points. Independence of opinion and action was asserted, and how well maintained will appear in the sequel. Against two o'clock, the refractory portion being whipped into the traces, the democracy retired to the Court House. General Milroy being called to the chair, he endeavored to explain the object of the meeting, which he, however, failed to do to the satisfaction of some of his friends.
"On motion a committee of three were appointed, but their duties not explained. After some misunderstandings had been explained, the said committee was increased to five; again after another consultation it was thought best to have a committee from each township in the county. When the townships were called four were unrepresented. (Afterwards one or two were represented.) The committee were then ordered to retire, consult and report to the meeting. But when about retiring, one of the committee, more thoughtful than the rest, called on the chair to know what they should report, as he had yet to learn what duties were assigned to the committee. The chair endeavored to explain, by informing the committee that 'the enemy was abroad in the land,' that 'those levelers, the Whigs, were on the alert, and must be kicked sky high!' (He did not call them public defaulters as we awfully feared he would do in the warmth of his feelings.) He said he was a Democrat, commencing with the days of Jefferson, and was still a Democrat, and the committee could retire.
"The committee, although their duties did not seem explained by the chairman, retired to guess at them, we suppose.
"Whereupon Dr. Hervey moved, 'Dr. Cook make a remark.' Dr. Cook was excused for the time, and Dr. Hervey proceeded in effusing the most----. He is a whole menagerie and kicks, pushes, strikes, and everything manfully. He brings to our mind that beautiful line of the poet:
'Bulls aim their horns and asses lift their heels.'
"He said that 'before the presidential election the Whigs were opposed to annexation,' but asks with an air of triumph, 'where is now one found to oppose the admission of the State of Texas; if such an one could be found he could be laughed at till he put comic almanacs out of fashion.' We leave others to judge of his political discoveries. But he proceeded, 'No, Democracy like the rolling stream' (casting up its filthy sediments) 'has an onward (progressive) course, and in fifty years there will be fifty United States.'
"The doctor is evidently a man of deep research, he spoke of Caesar crossing the 'Rubico,' and of the 'navigable Ocean," asked where is the man in Indianner that would say he was a 'repudreater?' (We thought of his friend, Chapman, an avowed repudiator, but no difference, all discordant elements harmonize in the general name of Democracy!)
"W. H. Anderson, a gentleman particularly distinguished for advocating the sentiment 'that God is a Democrat' and therefore wants his friends 'to be on the Lord's side," was called on to address the meeting, but declined doing so.
"R. A. Riley was then called and responded in a short address, endeavoring to justify the acts of violence done to the people's will and a total disregard of their rights, by the State Senate in staving off the U. S. Senatorial Election.
"A series of resolutions were introduced by Esquire Riley, proposing to hold a convention on the first Saturday in June to nominate County Officers, which were adopted.
"We, however, discovered some of the old and anti-progressive Democrats whose arms and voices were raised in opposition to this proceeding. One of them explained the 'Almighty made everything else, but never made a Convention to dictate.' They were opposed to it because it was anti-Democratic, because it was dictating to, and whipping Democrats into the traces contrary to their better judgment. They were opposed to it because two individuals assumed to control the whole matter, made every motion of importance, and that with an eye to their own particular interests-because the county was not represented-whole townships being without a voice in the matter, and at no time were there more than sixty persons present, including Whigs, Abolitionists, and little boys-because two individuals acting in concert for their mutual interest, should not dictate to, control, and rule at pleasure, seven hundred freemen!
"But our opinion is that the Democracy will hold a secret caucus, and back out from this one-sided convention. It matters not, however, as the Whigs will make a clean sweep this year in Hancock. Chapman will crow no longer, although in his concluding remarks he offered the olive branch to the Whigs! We know how to meet the old arch intriguer. We have not time for a further account this week, -more anon."
In that copy of the Greenfield Reveillethe following political announcements also appear: Congress, Thomas D. Walpole; assessor, Isaac King; auditor, Harry Pierson; Josephus H. Williams; sheriff; William P. Rush, Jonathan Dunbar, William H. Anderson; county commissioner; David W. Odell; representative, William A. Franklin, Esq.
The political announcements of that day were not quite as formal as those appearing in our local papers now. In several announcements the candidates present arguments in their behalf, some of which would hardly be offered at this time. For instance, the following:
"TO THE VOTERS OF HANCOCK COUNTY
Fellow Citizen: I offer myself as a candidate for the office of Assessor; and my reason for doing so is, that Noble Warrum (the present incumbent) pledged himself two years ago, that if I would then use my influence for him (which I did) he would support me at the coming election.
A few years later David S. Gooding entered into the local campaigns, first as a Whig, later as a Democrat. In 1847 he made his first race and was elected as a Whig to the lower house of the Legislature. Later he was honored with numerous elections to various offices. In time his political influence reached far beyond the bounds of his county, and no name probably is written larger on the pages of its history.
It seems that in 1852 a number of leading men in the county came into the ranks of the Democratic party. For a decade after that time Thomas D. Walpole, Jonathan Dunbar, David S. Gooding and Noble Warrum were all in the Democratic alignment and the party developed the strength that it has always maintained in this county except during the period of the Civil War. Though this is true, things were far from harmonious at all times within the party itself. It is impossible now to state the cause of some of the dissensions among its leaders, yet it is certain that there was sufficient internal strife to cause the defeat of some of the candidates. In 1855 Dunbar sought the Democratic nomination for treasurer. A break occurred between him and Walpole, and Dunbar was defeated. In 1857 Noble Warrum was a candidate for sheriff against Taylor W. Thomas. Walpole, and Elijah Cooper, who was the Democratic candidate for county treasurer, threw their influence against Warrum and defeated him. During this campaign, 1857, it seems that a reconciliation was affected between Walpole and Dunbar.
The Democratic ticket during the latter part of the decade just prior to the Civil War was generally opposed by "Fusion tickets," for which support was sought from the ranks of the Know-Nothings, Whigs and Republicans. Though the "Fusionists" were not successful in electing their entire tickets, they did succeed in electing a man now and then who had a strong personal following.
In the campaign of 1860 the unity of the Democratic party was broken by the factions that followed the conventions at Charleston and Baltimore. Although the Douglas wing of the party polled by far the greater number of votes, the Breckenridge wing of the party also had a county organization. The followers of Breckenridge were known as the "National Democrats." James H. Leary seems to have been the county chairman of the National Democratic county central committee in that campaign. Dr. J. A. Hall was the chairman of the Democratic county central committee, and James P. Foley of the Republican county central committee.
The National Democrats held a county mass convention at Greenfield on July 28, 1860, for the purpose, as stated by James H. Leary, chairman, "to endorse Breckenridge and Lane as the candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States and to take steps to effect a county organization." The following were the officers of this meeting: James H. Leary, chairman; Thomas Glascock, Henry Duncan, vice-presidents; James H. Carr, secretary.
The chairman of the convention appointed David Vanlaningham, Andrew Childers and Richard Stokes as a committee on resolutions. Before the adjournment of the meeting this committee offered the following, which were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, the late national conventions, both at Charleston and Baltimore, failed to nominate a candidate for President and Vice-President in accordance with the time-known usage of the National Democratic party, thereby causing a separation of the convention with two distinct bodies; the one resolving to support Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, and Hushel V. Johnson, of Georgia, the other John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon; therefore
"Resolved, that it is the imperative duty of the National Democrats to yield a willing and cordial support to the candidates for the President and Vice-President of the United States whose principles are in harmony with the court, the equality of the states, and equal rights of all the citizens of the several states in the territory belonging to the United States, and who are in favor of non-intervention by Congress and territorial legislatures with slavery in the territories.
"Resolved, that we recognize in John C. Breckenridge and John Lane, able, tried and true exponents of these principles so dear to every National Democrat, and we hereby pledge a hearty and zealous support to the nominations of these distinguished statesmen.
"Resolved, that we cordially approve of the platform of principles adopted by the National Democracy at Baltimore, and especially their unequivocal affirmation of the rights of every citizen of the United States to take his property of any kind into the common territories belonging equally to all the states of the Confederacy, and peacefully and rightfully enjoy it during the existence of a territorial government.
"Resolved, that "squatter sovereignty" in the territories, as defined by Stephen A. Douglas, the Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party, and endorsed by his deluded followers, meets our unqualified disapproval; and that in its practical application to the territories, internecine war, bloodshed and anarchy have been its legitimate fruits."
The following county central committee was appointed by this convention: Center, David Vanlaningham and James Carr; Buck Creek, James McMane; Vernon, Richard Stokes; Green, Elijah Cooper; Brown, John Hays; Jackson, Robert Chambers; Blue River, Samuel Cottrell; Brandywine, Philander Curry; Sugar Creek, Aquilla Shockley.
The Hon. Delana R. Eckels, of Putnam, addressed the convention. The report of the address given to the "Old Line Guard" by James H. Carr, secretary, and reprinted in the Hancock Democrat on August 2, 1861, indicates that the speaker convinced his audience of the statesmanship of John C. Breckenridge and that he "paid his respects" to the Douglas Democrats as well as to the Republicans.
In the annual October election of 1860, at which certain county officers were elected, the following tickets were in the field, each candidate receiving the number of votes indicated:
Representative- John S. Hatfield, Republican, 1,190; Noble Warrum, Democrat,
Recorder-Henry A. Swope, Republican, 1,174; William R. West, Democrat, 1,298.
Commissioner, Middle District- Robinson Jarrett, Republican, 1,169; Hiram Tyner, Democrat, 1,364.
Commissioner, Western District-Benjamin Freeman, Republican, 1,172; Elias McCord, Democrat, 1,364.
Coroner- Jacob Wills, Republican, 1,163; Barnabus B. Gray, Democrat, 1,370.
Surveyor- Samuel B. Hill, Republican, 1,118; James K. King, Democrat, 1,328.
The Democrats, although divided on national issues, voted together on this occasion and their candidates were elected by a majority of approximately 175 votes. The total number of votes cast in the October election of 1860 was 2,563.
In the presidential election held a few weeks later, on November 6, 1860, Stephen A. Douglas received 1,289 votes; Abraham Lincoln, 1,201 votes; Breckenridge, 97 votes, and Bell, 26 votes. Following is the vote of the county in 1860, as reported by the townships:
The presidential campaign in Hancock county was very similar to the campaign in other parts of the state. When the result became known there was a great jollification by the Republicans because of their first national victory. Dr. Howard, an ardent Republican, presented to his friend, but political opponent, Judge Gooding, the editor at that time of the Hancock DemocratŁ a "Pass up Salt River":
Pass David S. Gooding
over Salt River
On the "Fusion Packet"
until November 6, 1864.
S. A. Douglas, President.
The judge accepted the "ticket" in good humor, and if we bear in mind past political conditions we cannot fail to appreciate the keen wit in his acknowledgment thereof, made through the columns of the Democrat:
"It was handed us by our friend, Dr. Howard, who has just returned from quite a lengthy voyage in the Salt River country. He assures us that he has spent the greater and better portion of his life in that country; that it is very healthful, productive, and in all respects desirable; so much so that he expects to return on the next trip of 'Fusion Packet." We gladly accept and return our profoundest acknowledgment for the free pass. Mr. Douglas wisely selected an old and well-tried packet; one that has carried the opposition up Salt River safely for the past twenty years. This being our first voyage up Salt River, we will keep our friends advised from time to time of the incidents of the voyage," etc.
If the people of Hancock county thought during the campaign of 1860 that they were passing through a campaign like all other campaigns, and that after the election all excitement would be allayed, they were thoroughly disillusioned before many months had passed. Their eyes were also opened to the fact that existing conditions were imposing severer tests than political parties had ever before borne.
On April 13, 1861, a Democratic mass meeting was held at the court house at Freenfield. The officers of the meeting were: Jacob Slifer, president; Joseph Blayton and Presley Guymon, vice-presidents; William J. Foster and David S. Scott, secretaries.
A great number of Democrats were in attendance. The Sax-horn band stirred up enthusiasm with patriotic strains of music, and James L. Mason, Dr. J. A. Hall and George Barnett delivered addresses. At the close of the speaking Judge Gooding offered the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, we have never failed to oppose the political and also the general policy of the Republican party; and whereas, during the last Presidential campaign and at the election, we zealously and consistently opposed and voted against Abraham Lincoln; and whereas, a majority of the people in a constitutional manner saw proper so to vote as to elect Mr. Lincoln President:
Whereas, for some cause not clearly defined, seven states, since said election have seen proper at their own option and consultation, and in defiance of the general government, to assert their independence and secede from the Union; and whereas, said states have organized a government and by authority of that government Ft. Sumter has been attacked and war commenced upon the United States by the southern Confederacy; now therefore,
Resolved, that it is the duty of all patriotic citizens, irrespective of party names and distinctions, ignoring for the present all past dissuasions and party bitterness, to unite as one people in support of her common government.
Resolved, that the success in a presidential campaign of any political party now in existence is not a good or sufficient cause for secession or revolution.
Resolved, that as Democrats and patriots we will vie with our political opponents of other parties in our devotion to the Union, and in our support of the lawfully constituted authority of the government in the faithful execution of their duties."
On April 17, 1861, the following appeal was made to the party through the columns of the Hancock Democrat:
"Fellow Democrats! Our country is engaged in a war involving its honor and its very existence. It is not time for party dissensions or party strifes. The past cannot now be recalled, but the present and the future must be looked to and we must decide without delay whether we will support and defend our own government as true patriots or whether we will prove false to the Union cemented by the blood of our fathers. We cannot doubt you in this emergency of your country. We know that you will not dishonor that good old party which has contributed so largely to maintain the right and honor of our glorious old flag in the face of the British Lion.
Democrats of Hancock county! Let us be a united party, and heartily cooperate with all patriots of whatever party, who faithfully live and support the government of the United States."
Later in the summer when the time came for nominating the candidates for the annual October election, 1861, new problems presented themselves, especially to the Democracy of the county. On August 3, 1861, the Democratic county central committee had a meeting at Greenfield. Dr. Hall acted as chairman of the meeting and on motion of Montgomery Marsh, Benjamin F. Caldwell was appointed secretary, with William Mitchell, assistant. The central committee at that time was composed of the following men: Blue River, William New; Brown, Montgomery Marsh; Brandywine, Alfred Potts; Buck Creek, James Collins; Center, Dr. J. A. Hall; Green, Edward Barrett; Jackson, Benjamin F. Caldwell; Sugar Creek, not represented; Vernon, Wiet Denney.
The committee decided to hold a "popular vote convention throughout the county the last Saturday of August, 1861, to nominate a Democratic county ticket, and that such candidates as shall receive the highest votes at the polls shall be declared the successful candidates, to be so proclaimed by a delegate convention to assemble at Greenfield on the first Saturday of September, 1861." But since votes had been cast in the county for Douglas, Breckenridge and Bell, at the Presidential election in 1860, a question now arose as to who should be allowed to vote in the popular vote convention that the committee had just ordered. On this point the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, that all men who voted for Stephen A. Douglas, John Bell, or John C. Breckenridge, be entitled to vote at the polls in the nominating convention."
On motion, however, the name of John Bell was stricken from the above resolution as the test of Democracy in the nominating convention.
On August 17, 1861, the Center township Democratic convention was called to order at the court house at two p.m. This convention is interesting because of the fight between the two factions of the Democratic party for the control of the convention. William Frost, township chairman, called the meeting to order. Judge Gooding nominated George Y. Atkison for president; James L. Mason placed the name of William Fries in nomination. The vote for president resulted in the election of Atkison by a large majority.
The election of Atkison gave the Douglas Democrats the committee on resolutions. The chair appointed Judge Gooding, Presley Guymon, William Frost, Charles A. Wiggins and Levi Leary. After the appointment of this committee James L. Mason introduced a series of resolutions directly into the convention. The chair, however, refused to place the resolutions before the convention, but referred them to the committee on resolutions. When this committee reported, Judge Gooding, the chairman of the committee, said that he had been directed to report back Mr. Mason's resolutions with the recommendation that they be laid on the table. He then offered the following resolutions:
"Whereas, our country is involved in civil war involving the very existence of the government itself; therefore, we deem it proper to declare our views of government plainly and explicitly at this critical juncture of public affairs; therefore
"Resolved, that we are devotedly attached to the Union of the States, and the Constitution of the United States, and the faithful and impartial execution of the laws mad in pursuance thereof, in every part of the government.
"Resolved, that for the purpose of perpetuating the Union, and maintaining the Constitution and execution the laws, we will sustain the government of the United States in all proper efforts for the suppression of the rebellion, and for such purposes we are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the present deplorable civil war, in order to bring about a speedy and honorable peace.
"Resolved, that whenever, from any cause the rebellion is put down, or ceases to exist, then the war shall cease; and all the constitutional and legal rights of states and citizens shall be respected and maintained, and that we oppose the prosecution of the war for any other purpose than to suppress the rebellion.
"Resolved, that as Democrats we reaffirm our faith in the great principles of popular sovereignty as declared by the lamented Stephen A. Douglas
"Resolved, that all men who now heartily approve and endorse the platform of principles on which Stephen A. Douglas ran for the Presidency in 1860, are Democrats, and as such have a right to participate in the conventions of the party, and none others have such a right.
"Resolved, that we approve and endorse the act of the extra session of Congress in appropriating money and providing soldiers to suppress the rebellion and that we are gratified at the entire unanimity of all patriotic parties in its support.
"Resolved, that we have no political sympathies with northern abolition issues nor southern secession, but repudiate both as dangerous to our government."
Dr. B. W. Cooper entered a protest against the adoption of the fourth resolution, it being a conflict with the principles enunciated by the Breckenridge party. James L. Mason also entered his protest to the fifth article. He made a long statement and concluded by offering the following as an amendment:
"Resolved, that all Democrats who voted for Thomas A. Hendricks for governor in 1860 shall be allowed to vote at the ensuing nominating polls of Center township."
This amendment was tabled and the original resolutions were adopted in the form in which they had been offered by the committee.
It will be recalled that in the resolutions adopted on July 28, 1860, by the Breckenridge Democrats, that popular sovereignty, or "squatter sovereignty," was condemned and that Stephen A. Douglas was denounced as the Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party. Articles four and five, therefore could not possibly meet with the approval of the Breckenridge Democrats. In fact the adoption of the above resolutions barred them from voting at the convention. The breach between the factions of the party was becoming wider and wider. Though the Douglas Democrats controlled the Center township convention, the end in Center township was not yet. The above resolutions, adopted by the Center township convention on August 17, 1861, expressed the sentiments of the Douglas wing of the party and were published in every issued of the Hancock County Democrat during the following several years.
On August 22, 1861, which was about three weeks after the meeting of the Democratic county central committee, and less than a week after the Center township Democratic convention, the Republican county central committee adopted resolutions, proposing to the Democrats a joint Union county ticket. The resolutions were in the following words:
"Resolved, that we propose through their committee, to the Democratic party of Hancock county, a joint Union ticket, for the offices to be filled at the approaching election.
"Resolved, that should said Democratic committee accept the proposition of a Union ticket, they are cordially invited to meet this committee at its meeting to be held at the court house, in Greenfield, on Tuesday, September 3, next, at one p.m., where the said committees may agree jointly upon a division of the ticket for the different offices, and name the time for the nomination of candidates.
"Resolved, that the foregoing resolutions be published in the Hancock Democrat.
Greenfield, August 22, 1861.
These resolutions were presented to the Democratic county central committee a few days later. The Democratic candidates, however, had practically made their canvass for the popular vote convention, and the Democratic central committee deemed it inadvisable to take such steps just at that time.
Pursuant to the decision of the Democratic county central committee, made on August 3, 1861, a Democratic poll was opened in each township on the first Saturday of September, 1861. The Douglas wing of the party polled one hundred and fifty-three votes in Center township, which were cast for candidates and also for delegates to the county convention. The delegates who received the majority of votes in Center township were David S. Gooding, George Atkison and Presley Guymon. On the same day the National Democrats, or the Breckenridge wing of the party, opened another and separate poll in Center township, where thirty-seven votes were cast for candidates and delegates. The delegates receiving the largest number of votes at this poll were James L. Mason, John H. White and Louis Cooper. The delegates named in each poll in Center township presented their credentials as delegates to the Democratic county convention on September 7. A contest at once arose and much confusion followed in the convention. The Douglas Democrats from Center township were finally seated, but from some of the other townships, delegates from the National Democratic wing were seated. The convention nominated the following ticket: Clerk, Morgan Chandler; county treasurer, John Addison; sheriff, Samuel Archer; commissioner eastern district, William New.
Following the rejection of their proposal by the Democratic central committee, the Republican county central committee on September 3, 1861, adopted the following resolutions:
Whereas, the government of the United States is sorely beset by a combination of traitors, so powerful as to endanger the preservation of the Union; and as party conventions and party nominations are calculated to engender discussions among the people; and as we earnestly desire unity of action and feeling in relation to our government; therefore
Resolved, that we recommend to the Republican party of Hancock county to forego all party conventions and party nominations for the present, and support for the offices to be filled at the coming election in this county such men as are unconditionally for the Union in heart and soul as well as speech, regardless of former political opinions.
Ordered that the foregoing be published in the Hancock Democrat.
A few days later, on September 11, 1861, the following notice calling for a convention appeared in the columns of the Hancock Democrat:
UNION MASS MEETING
"There will be a Union mass meeting at Greenfield on Saturday, September 14, 1861, at one p.m. to nominate candidates, irrespective of party, for the several offices to be filled at the ensuing October election. Let all the Union men- all who are willing to sacrifice party organizations and platforms on the altar of their county- be promptly in attendance at the appointed time. The meeting will be held at the court house.UNION MEN"
A convention, as announced in the above notice, was held. The weather on September 14, however, was very inclement and only a few people from the outlying townships were present. Dr. Ballenger was chosen president and Joseph B. Atkison and M. V. Chapman, secretaries. The convention then adjourned to meet again at one p.m. on Thursday of the following week, September 18.
At the appointed time the convention assembled at the court house and the following proceedings were had: Thomas C. Tuttle, Democrat, of Sugar Creek, was chosen chairman; M. V. Chapman, Democrat, and Joseph R. Atkison, Republican, secretaries; John Dye, Democrat, and Judge Walker, Republican, vice-presidents.
Nelson Hogle, Republican, nominated George Barnett, Democrat, as Union candidate for clerk. Adopted. Joseph B. Atkison, Republican, nominated Taylor W. Thomas, Republican, for sheriff. Adopted. Thomas Bedgood, Republican, nominated Elam I. Judkins for treasurer. Richard Hackleman was nominated for commisssioner in the eastern district. R. A. Riley nominated Dr. Isaac H. Ballenger, Democrat, for coroner. Adopted.
The following committee on resolutions was then appointed by the chairman: Elias Marsh, Democrat; John Dye, Democrat; Dr. Ballenger, Democrat; R. A. Riley, Republican; J. C. R. Layton, Republican.
This committee reported the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
"Believing as we do, that when the all-absorbing magnitude of the contest in which the government is now engaged, shall be fully and universally understood and appreciated, there can be no such thing as a traitor to that government, or a sympathizer with the treason now seeking its overthrow, except the mere desperado.
The contest is above the organization or perpetuation of the Democratic party, the Republican party, or any other party. Should the rebellion succeed, all the political machinery will be buried in the common ruins of the government.
The contest involves not only the maintenance of the Constitution, and the Union of the States, but also the hopes of the world in the constitutional, political and religious freedom and man's capability for self-government. Every intelligent Christian philanthropist and every patriot ought, and will be found earnest and willing, against all opposition, to sustain and perpetuate our Constitution and Union.
The destruction of the Constitution and Union by those engaged in rebellion involves the commission of the following, among other crimes:
|First.||Moral perjury, in seeking to overthrow the Constitution they had sworn to support.|
|Second.||Treason, in levying war against the government and giving aid and comfort to her enemies.|
|Third.||Murder, in taking the lives of loyal citizens.|
|Fourth.||Theft, in stealing the public property.|
|Fifth.||Robbery, in taking by force the property of the government and that of private citizens. Who but a desperado could complicate himself with all those crimes, or give sympathy, directly or indirectly encourage, aid or abet those desperate villains in the destruction of liberties? And, knowing that in Union there is strength, while party strife and division is but weakness, and believing as we do, that in the language of the patriotic Holtcomb of Kentucky, "So long as the rebels have arms in their hands there is nothing left to compromise but the honor of the government." And that 'no man with a soul above a coward is prepared for such submission' and that 'the wordcompromise cannot now be uttered except by disloyal lips, or by those speaking directly in the interest of rebellion';|
And that in the language of the lamented Douglas, 'Whoever is not prepared to sacrifice party organizations and platforms on the altar of their country does not deserve the support and countenance of honest people,' and fully realizing that all we are, and all we can hope for ourselves and our children, is wrapped up in the success and perpetuity of our Constitution; therefore
Resolved, that we will lay aside party platforms and party organization upon the altar of our common country, that our influence and strength many not be wasted in domestic party feuds and bickering; but that we may in solid phalanx present but a single voice, influence and action of patriotic and efficient devotion to the maintenance and perpetuity of our glorious Constitution and union, and a united opposition to disunion, treason and rebellion.
Resolved, that we fraternally invite all, without distinction of party, to unite with us, supporting on one for official place whose patriotism does not and cannot be made to rise above mere party."
The Union ticket placed in the field by the convention was supported by the Republicans and by a number of Democrats. Following are both tickets with the votes received by each candidate in the October election, 1861:
Clerk- George Barnett, Union, 960; Morgan Chandler, Democrat, 1,127.
Treasurer- Elam I. Judkins, Union, 924; John Addison, Democrat, 1,176.
Sheriff- Taylor W. Thomas, Union, 1,003; Samuel Archer, Democrat, 1,096.
Commissioner- Eastern District- Richard Hackleman, Union, 877; William New, Democrat, 1,166.
Although there had been a division in the Democratic party in the nominating convention, but one ticket was put into the field and both wings of the party supported it.
Following the election of 1860, when the rift in the Democratic organization in the county became apparent, each faction posed as the Democratic party. There was much strife between the factions and each said many ugly things about the other, when the other assumed to represent the real Democratic party of old. To say that feeling between the factions, and especially later between the Democrats and the "Union Democrats," was bitter, is stating it very mildly indeed. After the Union party was organized the members of the factions of the old Democratic party that remained in the county were openly called "Butternuts," "Traitors," "Rebels," "Secessionists" – in fact, anything that expressed or smacked of disloyalty. But these charges the party answered in resolutions adopted in convention, and those resolutions will hereinafter be set out to speak for themselves. Unfortunately, however, for the National Democrats of the county, John C. Breckenridge, whom they had recognized as the "Able, tried and true opponent of the principles so dear to every National Democrat," was expelled from the United States Senate within about a year after Lincoln's election, because of his sympathy for the South. He was at once made a major-general in the Confederate army. Later he became secretary of was of the Southern Confederacy. It is needless to comment on the effect of his action upon the people in Hancock county. His followers who had so heartily endorsed him, and in fact all who remained in the Democratic party during that period had to bear the criticism occasioned by his disloyalty.
The rock upon which the local Democratic ship foundered, however, was the manner of dealing with the rebellion. The Douglas Democrats favored a vigorous prosecution of the war. This was also the policy of the Republican party, and of the Union party that came into existence in 1861. The National Democrats, or Breckenridge followers, opposed the vigorous prosecution of the war, and advocated compromise for the solution of the nation's difficulties. Throughout the war, after the National Democrats had again merged with those Douglas Democrats that had not joined with the Union party, the Democrats of the county always put great emphasis on the word compromise in their political speeches, resolutions, etc. The Union party, on the other hand, held, as they stated in their first series of resolutions adopted in their county convention on September 18, 1861, that "there is nothing left to compromise but the honor of the country," and that "the word compromise cannot now be uttered except by disloyal lips or by those speaking directly in the interest of rebellion." This construction put upon the basic principles of the Democracy of the county during the first years of the war, made them traitors. The student of local history will have to determine for himself the correctness of the conclusions enunciated in the various resolutions herein set out. It will be accepted without challenge, however, that the divergence between the parties became so great, and that their acts and expressions were held in such a light that it engendered a degree of bitterness in the county that the present generation can hardly understand.
Other resolutions adopted at various township and county conventions will throw additional light upon all of these matters. The following resolutions, for instance, were adopted by the Democracy of Brandywine township on August 31, 1861:
"Whereas, our county is now involved in civil war and in difficulties unprecedented; and whereas, these difficulties have been fomented by the Abolitionists of the North, and the Secessionists of the South, both of whom have been disunionists for years, and by the sectional policy of the Republican party, these difficulties have been increased, endangering the safety of the Union and the liberties of the people; and whereas, the present war could and would to have been avoided by compromise, and would have been had not the Republican party by a strong effort to ingraft into our government their irrepressible doctrines, and thereby defeated every measure offered by the Democracy to secure a peaceable solution to the sectional troubles; therefore
"Resolved, that the Democracy of Brandywine township yield to none in our devotion to the Union, our attachment to the Constitution, and loyalty to our glorious flag; to vindicate the court, and uphold the Stars and Stripes, and for all other legal and loyal purposes we will contribute our last dollar- if need be our blood. Our motto is, 'Millions for defense but not one cent for coercion or subjugation of sovereign states.'
"Resolved, that the charge of Republicans against Democrats with being secessionists and disunionists is a foul and infamous falsehood. There is not now-there never has been-a Democrat in the North, in favor of secession or disunion-they are all for the Union-while every disunionist is against compromise and for the war, that must inevitably sever the Union and render reconstruction impossible.
"Resolved, that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States by the present executive and those under his authority deserve and should received the strong condemnation of every friend of constitutional government.
"Resolved, that the Democratic party, by its wise and patriotic action in the past, presents itself to the nation as the only party capable of guiding our county through these perilous times, and in our opinion the only hope for the Union and our free institutions is to restore the administration of the government to the wisdom and guidance of Democratic statesmen, and we are, therefore, utterly opposed to fusing with the Republican in making our nominations, as is proposed by a few unsafe and weak-kneed Democrats.
"Resolved, that we received with profound sorrow the news of the battle of Manassas, and the defeat of our army; and while we mourn the fate of those who bravely fell, we are constrained to believe the humiliating blow was in consequence of the negligence and mismanagement of the President and his cabinet in their utter disregard of the military knowledge of General Scott, and the country will hold them responsible for all the disasters of that ill-turned and ill-directed battle; that no such overwhelming defeat could have come upon us, with troops as brave and patriotic as our noble volunteers, had they been efficiently officered and properly cared for.
On the same day, August 31, 1861, the Jackson township Democratic convention was also held. On motion of Noble Warrum, A. V. B. Sample was elected chairman; E. C. Reeves, vice-president, and Edward P. Scott, secretary. The chairman appointed the following committee on resolutions; Burd Lacy, T. G. Walker, Thomas Glascock, Noble Warrum, George W. Sample.
This committee offered the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, that we are opposed to proscription either in religion or politics; that we are in favor of a strict construction of the Constitution and no assumption of doubtful powers, either by the national or state governments.
Resolved, that retaining that veneration for the Constitution, the Union and the laws, which has ever characterized our party, we deprecate and denounce all men, both North and South, who may lend their aid and countenance to destroy our government, or any of its constitutional guarantees.
Resolved, that the Democratic party has ever advocated union and harmony between the conflicting portions of our country, and a peaceable solution of all our troubles, yielding to every section its constitutional rights; and we therefore declare that we are in no wise responsible for the troubles that now afflict our beloved country.
Resolved, that we congratulate the brave men of Indiana who have volunteered at the call of their country, upon the success that has thus far attended their arms; and that we endorse the action of those Democrats in the Congress of the United States who voted men and money at the call of the government; but we hold it to be the duty of the civil authorities to see that our soldiers are battling in a necessary as well as a just cause, and therefore, the olive branch of peace should go with the sword, and that, therefore, Congress should have adopted the resolutions offered by Mr. Cox, or some other proposition of the same nature and effect.
Resolved, that we regard as vital, the constitutional right of free speech, the freedom of the press, and the writ of habeas corpus, and that they should be held sacred by the American people, as the priceless heritage given to us by our fathers.
Resolved, that the Democrats of Jackson township are, as ever, loyal to the Constitution and the laws-that we are in favor of their rigid enforcement, everywhere throughout the United States upon all occasions; that we will sustain the administration in all its constitutional efforts to maintain the government, and we declare our disapprobation of all violations of the fundamental laws of the country, as well in the President and his cabinet as in the humblest citizen.
Resolved, that, forgetting all past differences in our party, we will unite for the sake of the Union of the States, and the maintenance of the Constitution; that we denounce all attempts to divide our ranks by appeals to former divisions, and rejoice in the return of peace and harmony in our party, as the harbinger of the peace and harmony of our county.
Resolved, that we have no sympathy, aid or comfort for Northern Abolitionists or Southern Secessionists, for we view both as the cause of our present great difficulties- each alike guilty.
Resolved, that we have no confidence in the good faith and efficiency of many of the present self-constituted Union savers, who have heretofore acted in such a fanatical manner as to destroy confidence in the different sections of our beloved county."
The Union Party, which had a county organization perfected in the fall of 1861, and which was composed of Republican and many Douglas Democrats, adopted a part of the last speech of Stephen A. Douglas as its platform on the solution of the problems that were before the county.
The Hancock Democrat, with David S. Gooding as editor-in-chief, in February became its organ and the following excerpt from the last speech of Douglas was published at the head of its editorial column in practically every issued after 1861:
"Whoever is not prepared to sacrifice party organizations and platforms on the altar of his country does not deserve the support and countenance of honest men. How are we to overcome partisan antipathies in the minds of men of all parties so as to present a united front in support of ourcountry? We must cease discussing party issues, make no allusion to old party tests, have no criminations and recriminations, indulge in no taunts one against the other as to who has been the cause of these troubles."
"When we shall have rescued the government and country from its perils, and seen its flag floating in triumph over every inch of American soil, it will then be time enough to inquire as to who and what have brought these troubles upon us. When we shall have a country and a government for our children to live in peace and happiness, it shall be time for each of us to return to our party banners according to our convictions of right and duty. Let him be marked as no true patriot who will not abandon all such issues in times like these."
During the remainder of the war the two principal parties in Hancock county were the Democratic party and the Union party. In the spring of 1862 a second call for a Union convention appeared in the columns of the Hancock Democrat. This call contained a fuller statement of the policy of the Union party was signed "Many Democrats and Many Republicans." The following is the call as published:
Will be held Saturday, 29th day of March, 1862, at 1 o'clock P.M. at the Court House in Greenfield, for the purpose of nominating the proper candidates to be voted for at the April election, by all patriotic men, irrespective of party. All patriotic Democrats and Republicans, who earnestly and heartily support the government in the vigorous prosecution of the war for the suppression of this wanton and wicked rebellion, are invited to participate in the selection of candidates, whose merits and patriotism are unquestioned. A full attendance of the masses is important and very desirable.
March 19, A.D. 1862.
At the April township elections in 1862, the Union party elected some of its candidates in several of the townships, including Blue River, Center and Buck Creek.
On July 19, 1862, the Democratic county convention was held at Greenfield. James L. Mason called the meeting to order, and the following officers were elected: John Foster, president; George Tague, William Handy, William Potts and John Sample, vice-presidents; Alfred Shaw and George West, secretaries.
This convention appointed the following delegates to the congressional convention, to be held later: Wellington Collyer, William New, Andrew Childers, Joseph Wright, Dr. B. W. Cooper, Neri Jarrett, Edward P. Scott, Dr. Paul Esby, William Shore.
The following county ticket was nominated: Representative, Noble Warrum; joint representative, James L. Mason; Surveyor, George W. Sample; commissioner western district, E. S. Bottsford.
The following men composed the committee on resolutions: William Handy, John P. Banks, Montgomery Marsh, John Collins, William Fries, Edward Valentine, George W. Sample, Ernest H. Faut, William Jackson.
This committee offered the following, which were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, this government has been administered by conservatives and conservative principles almost exclusively from its organization up to the time of the triumph of the sectional Republican party, by the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency in 1860; and governed, too, with equal and exact justice to every portion of the country, East, West, North and South; governed in such manner and upon such principles as to insure respectful obedience to the Constitution and laws of our country, thereby insuring industry, happiness and brotherly kindness between sections, and making us one of the great nations of the earth commercially, politically, socially and religiously; therefore, be it
"Resolved, that we stand by that good old conservative party and conservative principles that have controlled and sustained our government from the days of Washington, Jefferson and other patriots to the present time, firmly believing that if the Constitution is to be maintained and the Union restored and cemented to its former greatness and power, it must be done on conservative Democratic principles.
"Resolved, that as Democrats and conservatives, we will render all the aid in our power, in a constitutional and legal manner, for the suppression of the present wicked and formidable rebellion, at the same time solemnly protesting against the reckless and fanatical emancipation and abolition schemes that have recently been enacted in our national legislature, and demanding from the authorities at our national capital and elsewhere, that there shall be no more fraud, corruption and public plundering of our own hard-earned and needy national and state treasuries.
"Resolved, that as Democrats and conservatives, we earnestly and deeply sympathize and pray fervently for the success of our brave volunteers from every section of our country, but more particularly for those brave and hardy sons of Hancock that have imperiled their lives, their fortunes and their all, in defense and for the maintenance of the Constitution as it is, and the restoration of the Union as it was.
"Resolved, that we treat with utter contempt the charge that Democrats are disunionists and sympathizers with the rebels in their efforts to subvert the laws and overthrow the government and we hereby hurl back the slanderous charge, and brand our slanderers with being the only secessionists and aiders of rebellion in their efforts to overthrow the government, and look upon the Abolitionists North and Secessionists South as equally opposed to the government and laboring for the same end."
The convention also left no doubt in the mind of anyone as to where they placed the Hancock Democrat. On this point the following resolution was adopted:
"Resolved, that as there is no Democratic paper publishied in Hancock county, we request the Indiana State Sentinel and the Shelbyville Volunteer to publish the proceedings of this convention."
Thomas A. Hendricks addressed the people assembled in this convention.
At the same time that the Democratic county convention was being held at Greenfield on July 19, 1862, a Union meeting was being held at Charlottesville. Judge Gooding addressed a large congregation of people for almost three hours. John Wood, Democrat, presided at the meeting. Benjamin Reeves, Democrat was chosen vice-president, and John Smith, Republican, for secretary.
Just a week later there was also a Union meeting and pole raising at Allen's Corner, in Blue River township.
Immediately following the Democratic county convention the following notice appeared in the issue of July 23, 1862, of the Hancock Democrat:
All Democrats, Republicans, and others who are Union men, and in favor of uniting all patriots, without regard to party differences, in a common effort to save the country, and restore the Union as it was and maintain the Constitution as it is, by a vigorous prosecution of the war to suppress this wicked and causeless rebellion, are hereby urged to participate in the convention.
Nominations will be made for Representative, County Commissioner and Surveyor.
COME OUT, PATRIOTS, with your families and let us have a GRAND DAY—A GENERAL REUNION OF PATRIOTIC HEARTS.
It was said that this call brought out the largest mass nominating convention held in the county up to that time. It was held at Pierson's grove. T. J. Hanna called the convention to order. David S. Gooding was elected chairman. The following vice-presidents were elected: Blue River, Richard Hackleman, Elijah Tyner; Brown, Alfred Thomas, Thomas Collins; Brandywine, Peter Pope, S. and William Workman; Buck Creek, S. H. Arnett, William Steele; Center, R. A. Riley, John Martin; Green, Meredith Gosney, W. R. Ferrell; Jackson, Andrew Pauley, John Barrett; Sugar Creek, Adam Hawk, George Leachman; Vernon. Henry N. Thomson, Elias McCord.
William Mitchell, William P. Barrett and William R. Hough acted as secretaries of the convention. The chairman appointed the following committee on resolutions: Blue River, John I. Hatfield, Ezekial Tyner; Brandywine, I. N. Pope, John Roberts; Brown, Dr. William Trees, John Sparks; Buck Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, William Steele; Center, William R. Hough, ---; Green, Jefferson Ferrell, H. Moore; Jackson, Samuel Smith, John Woods; Sugar Creek, Thomas C. Tuttle, James E. Smith; Vernon, Solomon Jackson, William F. McCord.
William R. Hough was elected chairman of the committee on resolutions. He offered the following, which were adopted:
"Whereas, the national government is engaged in a war against it by its enemies for the purpose of its destruction and the subversion of our form of government; therefore
"Resolved, that the present civil war was forced upon the county by the disunionists in the Southern states, who are now in rebellion against the constituted government that in the present emergency, we, the people of Hancock, in convention assembled, forgetting all former political differences, and recollection only our duty to the whole country, do pledge ourselves to aid with men and money the vigorous prosecution of the present war, which is not being waged upon the part of our government for the purpose of coercing, subjugation or the overthrowing or interfering with the right or established institution of any of the states, but to suppress and put down a wicked and causeless rebellion, defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several states unimpaired, and when these objects are fully accomplished, and not before, we believe the war ought to cease; and that we invite all who coincide in these sentiments to unite with us in the support of the ticket this day nominated.
"Resolved, that as long as patriotism, courage and the love of constitutional liberty shall be honored and revered among the people of the United States, the heroic conduct of the soldiers of the Union, who have offered their lives for the salvation of their county, will be remembered with the most profound feelings of veneration and gratitude, and that we now tender to them the warmest thanks and lasting gratitude of every member of this convention.
"Resolved, that we tender to the sixty thousand volunteers from Indiana our heart-felt congratulation, and hail with pride the fact that upon the very battlefield where Indianians have been found, they have displayed the bravery of patriots in the defense of a glorious cause, and we pledge them that while they are subduing armed traitors in the field, we will condemn at the ballot box all those in our midst who are not unconditionally for the Union.
"Resolved, that Noble Warrum, one of the representatives of this county in the last legislature, by his vote for the minority report of the committee of thirteen on federal relations denying the constitutional power of the general government to prevent a state from seceding from the Union; also assuring the rebels of the aid and assistance of more than a million freemen of Indiana to resist the government, misrepresented Hancock county, and we hereby repudiate and disown his act."
Heretofore the Union conventions had been called by "Union Men" or by "Many Democrats," "Many Republicans," etc. In this convention, however, a Union county central committee was selected, composed of the following men: Blue River, Nathan D. Coffin, Richard Hackleman; Brown, Joseph Stanley, Phineas R. Thomas; Buck Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, William Steele; Brandywine, John Roberts, Isaac N. Pope; Green, Jefferson Ferrell, H. Moore; Jackson, Thomas M. Bedgood, Percy McQuerty; Sugar Creek, Adam Hawk, Henry Merlau; Vernon, Levi Thomas,---Lightfoot; Center, William Frost was elected chairman of this committee.
The following tickets were before the people of the county in the annual October election, in 1862, each candidate receiving the number of votes indicated:
Joint Representative-George W. Hatfield, Union, 1,349; James Mason, Democrat, 1,199.
County Representative-George Y. Atkison, Union, 1,315; Noble Warrum, Democrat, 1,220.
Commissioner, Western District-Elias McCord, Union, 1,340; E. S. Bottsford, Democrat, 1,218.
Surveyor-James K. King, Union, 1,217; George W. Sample, Democrat, 1,345.
The Union party carried the county by an approximate majority of one hundred votes.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 329-356.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI March 8, 2002.
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