Editor’s Note: United States Senator Thomas F. Bayard delivered this speech in January, 1875 on the 60th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Bayard, later United States Secretary of State, considered the military occupation of New Orleans to be an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a direct assault on republican government. He denounced Gen. Philip Sheridan, insinuated that President Grant was as corrupt as the “sham” government that presided over the State, and called on the American public to physically resist these actions by the Republican Party.
Mr. President: I call for the reading of the resolution now before the Senate, and of the amendment of the Senator from New York.
The Chief Clerk. The resolution is as follows:
Resolved, That the President of the United States is hereby requested to inform the Senate whether any portion of the Army of the United States, or any officer or officers, soldier or soldiers of such Army, did in any manner interfere or’ intermeddle, with, control or seek to control, the organization of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, or either branch thereof, on the 4th instant; and especially whether any person or persons claiming seats in either branch of said Legislature have been deprived thereof, or prevented front taking the same, by any such military force, officer, or soldier; and if such has been the ease, then that the President inform the Senate by what authority such military intervention and interference have taken place.
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