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Charleston’s Contested Election of 1868
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What happens when a politician refuses to concede defeat and won’t leave office? That timely question isn’t new to the American experience, and Charleston’s own political history contains a colorful example of this legal conundrum. More than one hundred and fifty years ago, the city’s mayor and aldermen refused to acknowledge the results of a municipal election and ignored court orders to vacate their offices. During a period of smoldering racial tension between rival political parties, the incumbents resisted legal challenges and kept the city in limbo for six months before finally admitting defeat.
Many historians of post-Civil War South Carolina have described the contentious state elections of November 1876, after which two men claimed the title of governor and two groups of candidates fought for legitimacy in the state House of Representatives. There was another disputed election closer to home, however, that transpired a decade earlier than the political fracas in Columbia. The municipal election held in the City of Charleston in November 1868 triggered a legal challenge that lasted for six months and involved the county Court of Common Pleas, the state legislature, and the South Carolina Supreme Court. Despite this long and convoluted legal trajectory, or perhaps because its rather confusing narrative, the contested Charleston election of 1868 has been ignored by most historians. Today I’ll try to give you an overview of the political struggle that paralyzed the city for 180 days and ultimately bored its weary citizens to tears.
This story took place within the broader context of the era of “Reconstruction” in the aftermath of the American Civil War. After nearly two years of political foot-dragging in the former Confederate States, the United States Congress ratified a “Reconstruction Act” in March 1867 that set in motion a series of significant changes in the unrepentant states. The act disqualified most Confederate veterans from holding political office, and paved the way for black suffrage. The state and local governments in South Carolina and other states were to be reorganized along Federal guidelines which were enforced by a robust presence of U.S. military forces.
In accordance with these Reconstruction steps, the military commander temporarily overseeing South Carolina suspended the usual bi-annual municipal elections that were to be held in Charleston in November 1867. Rather than electing members of the community to the offices of mayor and aldermen, the U.S. Army began removing members of City Council who belonged to the conservative Democratic Party and replacing them with appointees who belonged to the liberal Republican Party. These replacement members included native South Carolinians of African descent as well as White men who had recently settled in the Palmetto City with their belongings in a carpetbag.
Between February 20th and July 6th, 1868, the Federal military authorities replaced the mayor and all of the twenty aldermen who represented Charleston’s eight wards of different sizes. By the end of the summer, the city’s municipal government was headed by George Washington Clark (1833–1898) of Indiana, who had held the rank of Brevet Brigadier General in the Union Army before retiring to Iowa at the end of the war. Nominally a Republican, Clark was labeled a “copperhead” in Charleston because of his conservative political leanings. The “Acting Board of Aldermen” who served under Mayor Clark included several White Republicans, a few conservative White men (without Confederate pedigrees), and six “colored” men, most of whom had been free before the Civil War.
The Federal “Reconstruction Act” of 1867 required each of the Southern states to provide for universal male suffrage, to adopt a new state constitution, to hold legislative elections, and to ratify the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. South Carolina accomplished these steps over a period of nearly fifteen months and was re-admitted to the Union on July 20th, 1868 (See Episode No. 55).
Having cleared that hurdle, South Carolina was now empowered to authorize the various municipalities within the state to hold elections. On September 25th, 1868, the state legislature ratified an act calling for municipal elections across the state on the second Tuesday in November. The persons elected on that day were to be sworn into office on the following Monday. In case of any “contested cases,” or in case any managers might be charged “illegal conduct,” the legislature empowered “the acting board of alderman” in the respective municipalities to investigate, arbitrate, and “declare the election, and their decision shall be binding upon all parties.”
Eligible voters in the City of Charleston were required to register anew in the three days preceding the election. During that week, the two dominant political parties—the conservative Democrats and the liberal Republicans—organized their constituents and selected slates of candidates. The white Democrats, under the leadership of Henry Deas Lesesne (1810–1886), organized what they called the “Citizen’s Party” as a way to mask the conservative and racist roots of their platform and to recruit the support of formerly-enslaved black voters. The liberal Republicans nominated a slate of names under mayoral candidate Gilbert Pillsbury (1813–1893), a native of New Hampshire who came South near the end of the Civil War. The military-appointed mayor, G. W. Clark, and nine of the city’s aldermen were not seeking re-election.
After three days of municipal registration, a total of 10,842 men were prepared to vote, 53% of whom were of African descent. Black men, most of whom were formerly enslaved, formed a majority by 634 men within the city limits. This demographic fact terrified Charleston’s White Democratic voters, who repeatedly called for their conservative brothers to rally against the specter of Black domination. According to contemporary witnesses, the conservative Democrats warned the public before the election that if Pillsbury and his slate of liberal Republicans won, “they would not abide by the election.” Despite the shadow of violence, poll managers across the city, representing members of both parties, urged citizens to keep the peace on election day.
The election commenced at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, November 10th and polls remained open for twelve hours. The city’s voters braved rain showers and long lines to cast their votes. The following morning and over several subsequent days, Charleston’s three daily newspapers (the Mercury, Courier, and Daily News) all reported numerous instances of voter fraud and intimidation that had occurred at various polling sites. Some of the alleged crimes involved White operatives seeking to deter Black Republican suffrage, while others witnessed Black agents abusing other Black men who had been coaxed to vote for the conservative Democratic ticket. Poll managers across the city had performed their legally-prescribed duties with varying degrees of integrity. In short, there was much malaise about the experience that set a bad precedent for future city elections during the turbulent era of Reconstruction.
Poll managers began tabulating the paper ballots after sunset and continued into the following day. Returns and ballots from precincts across the peninsula were transported to City Hall at dawn for a formal count. The city’s newspapers, owned and operated by conservative white men, reported only partial results on the morning of November 11th, but projected that Henry Lesesne and the Citizen’s Party candidates would win the day with a comfortable margin. As the day progressed, however, the conservative lead gradually diminished while the odds for Black Republicans began to improve. A boisterous crowd began to gather at the intersection of Broad and Meeting Streets around noon and the tension mounted with the report of every precinct in the city.
Finally, around 3 p.m., managers at City Hall announced that all the votes had been counted. Unofficial news of the results spread rapidly across the town, but it was still too early for an official declaration. Republican Gilbert Pillsbury appeared to have had won the race for mayor with a majority of just seventeen votes over Mr. Lesesne. Seven of the sitting Republican aldermen were apparently re-elected (including three Black men), while the remaining five incumbents who stood for re-election lost their seats. Of the eleven newly-elected men, six were Black and five White. The results produced a board of eighteen aldermen composed of equal racial proportions who represented a mix of liberal and conservative elements. According to the state election law of September 1868, the winning candidates were to be sworn into office on the following Monday.
While some citizens celebrated the election results on the evening of Wednesday, November 11th, others gathered to formulate a plan to undermine the results. Henry Lesesne and the candidates of the conservative Citizen’s Party met with their lawyers and drafted a formal letter of protest. Addressing their complaints to the Acting Board of Aldermen of the City of Charleston, the losers articulated ten points or grounds which, in their opinion, rendered the recent election “irregular illegal and void.” They alleged many instances of violence, intimidation, unregistered voters, disorganized poll managers, and the destruction of ballots, among other complaints. “Therefore,” read the text of protest, “the undersigned [citizens] contest the said elections, and ask that that returns, together with the ballots, shall be examined, and the case investigated by your board [of aldermen].”
On the morning of Thursday, November 12th, the Citizen’s Party circulated their letter of protest around the city and reportedly accumulated the signatures of 1,600 White voters. The completed document was then submitted to Acting Mayor, G. W. Clark, who immediately called for a special meeting of City Council to be held the following morning. For the remainder of the day, rumors and opinions circulated around the Palmetto City as citizens tried to prognosticate how the incumbent members of City Council would proceed. Some opined that the aldermen should throw out the election results and call for a rematch. Others pointed out the that the state election law of September 25th did not grant such powers. The duty of the Acting Board was simply to determine which of the candidates had garnered the greatest number of legal votes. Many were of the opinion, however, that the acting mayor and aldermen might “declare that the election has been without result; for it is not to be supposed that the legislature would require them to make a decision against the truth.” That position, though based on faulty logic, gained popularity throughout the day and planted the seeds of a protracted legal battle.
Charleston’s Acting Board of Aldermen gathered at City Hall early on Friday, November 13th. Rather than announcing the official results of the recent municipal election, Mayor Clark called into question the legitimacy of the ballots cast three days earlier. He held up a paper titled “Protest of Election of Mayor and Aldermen” and explained to his colleagues “that it bears upon its face, in the signatures attached to it, an impress of respectability which commends it to the careful consideration of Council. It involves a matter of great importance to the citizens of Charleston, and therefore demands a calm deliberation at their hands.” After reading and discussing the ten points of protest, Council adopted a resolution to investigate the allegations and “to verify the ballotings [sic] in the various wards.” A committee was appointed to draft rules for such proceedings, and then Council adjourned to the following morning.
Beginning on Saturday, November 14th and continuing nearly every day for the rest of the month, Charleston’s acting mayor and City Council held a series of eleven long and stormy meetings. The opposing sides were represented by attorneys: the Democratic members of the Citizen’s Party were represented by attorney C. Richardson Miles, while Gilbert Pillsbury and the other “claimants” to office were represented by Attorney General Daniel H. Chamberlain and State Senator David T. Corbin. Mayor Clark preside much like a judge and the aldermen attended as members of the jury.
The arguments spread over two weeks of testimony can be summarized rather succinctly. Messrs. Chamberlain and Corbin asserted that Mayor Clark and everyone in Charleston knew that Gilbert Pillsbury and the Republican candidates had received the majority votes. The duty of the Acting Board of Aldermen was simply to declare formally the results already known and acknowledged. The opposing counsel, Mr. Miles, argued that the election of November 10th had been plagued by numerous irregularities and instances of fraud and intimidation. In light of such facts, the election was conducted in an illegal fashion and the results were therefore invalid. Mr. Corbin repeatedly brushed aside such conclusions and advised Mayor Clark to follow the letter of the law. The state election statute of September 25th did not empower him to call the election legal or illegal, but merely to declare who had received the greatest number of legal votes. Mr. Chamberlain added that “questions of bribery, corruption and intimidation are outside of the issue.” The Citizen’s Party countered that there had been no legal votes, so the results were void. On Saturday, November 28th, City Council concluded their two-week investigation by adopting a resolution affirming “that there has been no legal and valid election, and that no persons have been duly elected to the offices or Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Charleston.”
While Mayor Clark and his appointed colleagues continued to occupy their seats in Charleston, the attorneys for Gilbert Pillsbury and his fellow claimants rushed to Columbia. On Friday, December 5th, Chamberlain and Corbin petitioned the South Carolina Supreme Court for two legal writs to be served on Charleston’s Acting Board of Aldermen. First, they sought an “alternative mandamus” as a warning to the mayor and aldermen to perform their legal duties in the matter at hand, “or to show cause . . . why they refuse to do so.” Second, they asked for a writ of quo warranto to compel the incumbent mayor and aldermen to show by what authority they held office. The state’s highest court complied with these requests and the wheels of justice slowly began to turn.
Back in Charleston on Friday, December 11th, an agent served Mayor Clark with the Supreme Court writs as well as copies of the complaints filed by attorneys Chamberlain and Corbin. The writs directed the acting mayor and the aldermen to respond in person or by counsel in Columbia on the following Saturday, the 19th. Mr. Clark called a special meeting of City Council on Wednesday the 16th and explained the situation to his colleagues. The aldermen resolved that City Attorney William D. Porter should represent them in the case, and Mr. Porter said he had already prepared the necessary returns. “It was necessary,” said the city attorney, simply “to admit the allegation or to deny it,” but his response to the Supreme Court followed the logic of the city’s investigation. He informed the court that the election of November 10th had produced no legal results.
South Carolina’s Supreme Court was crowded with anxious spectators during three days of proceedings on December 19th, 21st, and 22nd, 1868. The same attorneys that had argued the matter in Charleston in November rehashed the same evidence before Chief Justice Franklin J. Moses Sr. and Associate Justices Ammiel J. Willard and Solomon L. Hoge. After listening to many hours of complex legal arguments and details of countless irregularities in the disputed election, the board of justices adjourned for the usual holiday recess and declared they would render a decision in the case in early January. Most of the spectators leaving the courtroom were inclined to believe that the court would rule in favor of Mr. Pillsbury, and the people of Charleston had already grown weary of the lingering political controversy.
On Thursday, January 7th, 1869, the justices of South Carolina’s Supreme Court announced their decision in favor of Gilbert Pillsbury et al. They issued a writ of “peremptory mandamus,” which commanded Mayor G. W. Clark and the members of Charleston’s Acting Board of Aldermen to declare publicly the results of the municipal election of November 10th and return a confirmation of this act to the Supreme Court by January 20th. To some observers, this decision represented a victory for justice, while others feared the controversy would continue. The high court demanded a definitive tabulation of the election results, but it offered no mechanism to compel the incumbent mayor and aldermen to vacate their offices. “In plain English,” said the editors of the Charleston Daily News, “if Mr. Clark and the present Alderman choose to oppose Mr. Pillsbury and his Alderman, the latter cannot get into power without further resort to the courts, which may occasion months or even years, of delay.”
After receiving copies of the second mandamus, most of members of Charleston’s acting City Council assembled for a special meeting on the evening of January 18th. City Attorney Porter had already prepared a formal return or declaration of the recent municipal election, in compliance with the instructions of the state’s Supreme Court. The official tabulation indicated that “Gilbert Pillsbury and his ticket of Aldermen received the largest number of votes cast.” To this admission, the city attorney appended Council’s earlier decision “that the election had been contested and declared illegal and void.” Mayor Clark and his cohorts signed the return, but Alderman J. D. Adams objected and resigned, and most of the incumbent aldermen who were re-elected were absent from the meeting.
In Columbia on Wednesday, January 20th, the official return of Charleston’s municipal election was presented to the South Carolina Supreme Court. At ten o’clock that same morning in the Palmetto City, a crowd gathered at the intersection of Meeting and Broad Streets to witness an attempted transfer of power. Gilbert Pillsbury, accompanied by Sheriff Edmund Mackey and Lieutenant-Colonel Moore of the U.S. Army, marched into City Hall and politely demanded that G. W. Clark surrender his office. Clark prevaricated and declined to give a verbal response. Mr. Pillsbury and friends agreed to give the acting mayor two hours to prepare a written answer and retired to wait at the sheriff’s office on Broad Street.
Shortly after noon, Mayor Clark sent his response to the claimants. He acknowledged that Mr. Pillsbury and his ticket had won of the municipal election of November 10th, but maintained that the election itself had been invalid. “Until this question is judicially settled,” Clark explained, “I cannot consistently with my ideas of public duty, surrender to you the office of Mayor.”
Pillsbury and his colleagues had anticipated Clark’s refusal. In the state Supreme Court on Friday, January 22nd, their attorney, David Corbin, moved that Mayor Clark and Charleston’s Acting Board of Aldermen should be attached (i.e., arrested) for contempt, in light of their failure to comply fully with the directions of the court’s mandamus. The board of justices countered by stating that they were satisfied with the election return submitted earlier in the week. The acting mayor and aldermen had declared Pillsbury’s slate as the victors, and that fact now provided the victors with legal cause to lobby for possession of their respective offices. The court was powerless to force Clark et al. to step down, but a writ of quo warranto would compel them to explain their obstinance to a court of law.
At the end of January 1869, after more than two months of political wrangling, Gilbert Pillsbury and his Republican cohort met with their attorneys to consider their next move. If they applied to the District Court in Charleston for a writ of quo warranto, they would have to wait for the current docket of cases to be cleared. If the District Court heard the application and granted a writ in March or April, the continued obstinance of the incumbent City Council would trigger an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. That appeal wouldn’t be heard until November and not decided until December, by which time an entire year of political power would be lost. To effect a more expeditious result, however, they devised an alternate legal route through the state legislature.
On January 27th, Senator David Corbin presented to his colleagues at the State House a bill “to confirm and declare valid the recent election of mayor and aldermen of the City of Charleston.” The proposed bill included three simple points designed to end the political impasse. First, it recited the names of the candidates who had been declared the winners of the municipal election of November 10th. Next, it directed the acting mayor and aldermen to immediately vacate their offices and turn over all city property to the aforenamed victors. Finally, Mr. Corbin’s bill imposed a substantial fine and prison sentence for anyone failing to comply with these orders.
The conservative newspapers of Charleston immediately condemned Senator Corbin’s bill as a an “unusual and unjust course” of blatantly partisan politics. Republicans, including many Black politicians, formed a liberal majority in the state legislature of 1869, and their support guaranteed the success of the proposed bill. Democrats protested against it nevertheless, and chastised their opponents for “declaring that election to be legal and valid, which from the beginning was big with fraud, irregularity, and patent and manifest wrong.”
Throughout the first half of February, members of the state Senate and House of Representatives debated the merits and demerits of the proposed “validating bill” with a healthy dose of partisan acrimony. Senator Corbin defended the bill at length and portrayed it as a logical and practical solution to an illegal usurpation of power. The city’s economy was paralyzed by the political quagmire, said Corbin, and the citizens were demanding resolution. The Senate’s Committee on Elections glossed over reports of election fraud and concluded “that the irregularities which occurred [on November 10th] appear to have been merely formal, and in no way affected the result of the election.”
Meanwhile, conservative detractors condemned Senator Corbin’s bill as patently unconstitutional and shamelessly partisan. The Speaker of the House, Alonzo J. Ransier of Charleston, countered that white Democrats had made an “unpardonable mistake” by conspiring to keep Gilbert Pillsbury and the other claimants from taking office. “It cannot be denied,” he said, “that the most gigantic efforts were made in this, as in other elections in this state, under the Reconstruction acts, to defeat the Republican Party. The case before them . . . is one of those causes growing out of the damnable efforts and designs of parties opposed to the entire programme of reconstruction.”
On February 20th, 1869, the South Carolina General Assembly ratified “An Act to Confirm and Declare Valid the Recent Election of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Charleston,” and Governor Robert Kingston Scott signed it into law on March 1st. Three days later, on the morning of Thursday, March 4th, a large crowd gathered around City Hall to witness the next move. Around ten a.m., Gilbert Pillsbury once again ascended the marble steps with Sheriff Mackey and Lieutenant-Colonel Moore of the U.S. Army and entered Mayor Clark’s office. Pillsbury formally demanded possession of the office and its appurtenances, but Mr. Clark again declined to provide a verbal answer. He agreed to send a written reply to Pillsbury within two hours, and the parties disbursed.
At half past noon, the mayor-elect received Clark’s answer. The incumbent acknowledged that the recent act of the General Assembly required him to vacate his office after Pillsbury’s request, but Clark had been advised that the new state law was unconstitutional and contrary to the charter of the City of Charleston. He, therefore, regarded it as his duty to remain in office and “protect the public franchises of the corporation . . . until the proper tribunals shall have determined your right.” In response to this polite refusal, Mr. Pillsbury submitted an affidavit to Magistrate Thomas Jefferson Mackey, who issued a warrant for the arrest of the “acting mayor” of Charleston. Mr. Clark at first resisted the arresting officer who appeared at his door, but was soon brought to compliance. The parties agreed to meet at the magistrate’s office at 3 p.m., at which time Mr. Clark, accompanied by several affluent men, posted bail and promised to appear in court on June 1st.
While Pillsbury and his colleagues debated their next move, each of the sitting members of the Acting Board of Aldermen received notices to surrender their offices in compliance with the “validating act” of March 1st. A few conscientious members did resign, but most held out to see how the chips would fall in court. Rumors that the Republican claimants might attempt a coup d’etat on Tuesday, March 9th, induced three hundred white citizens to rush to City Hall armed with pistols and rifles to protect the regular meeting of City Council.
Pillsbury and his fellow claimants did not attempt a coup, of course, but embarked on the tedious legal path that they had tried to circumvent with the “validating act.” On Thursday, March 11th, attorney David Corbin, still acting on behalf of Pillsbury et al., applied to the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas for writs of mandamus and quo warranto directed against the acting mayor and aldermen of Charleston. Judge Richard B. Carpenter received the application and ordered Mayor Clark and the Acting Board of Aldermen to appear in his courtroom on March 19th to respond to the charges.
The defendants in this case were again represented by City Attorney W. D. Porter, C. R. Miles, and Theodore G. Barker. They presented their pleas on Friday the 19th, and David Corbin replied on behalf of the plaintiffs on Saturday the 20th. Corbin asked Judge Carpenter to find in favor of his clients and order the ouster of sitting members of City Council. The attorneys for defendants countered by citing a number of reasons that the mandamus should be quashed, and a heated exchange took place in the courtroom. After some delay and several consultations, the parties agreed to adjourn for several days before continuing the arguments for and against the writ of quo warranto.
On Wednesday, March 24th, Judge Carpenter issued a ruling to quash the plaintiff’s mandamus, but sustained their quo warranto. The case resumed the following day at the Charleston County Court House (the old State House at the northwest corner of Meeting and Broad Streets). After three days of long and complex legal arguments from both sides, Judge Carpenter adjourned the case on March 30th to consider his verdict.
More than four weeks later, on the morning of Saturday, May 1st, Judge Carpenter sustained the “validating act” of March 1st and dismissed the constitutional questions posed by the defendants. The plaintiffs amended their pleas, per the judge’s instructions, and the court issued a writ of ouster. This instrument directed Mayor George Washington Clark and the acting aldermen to vacate their offices and deliver to the claimants all the books, papers, and other appurtenances belonging to said office. Agents of the court then served copies of the writ to each of the individuals in question.
Gilbert Pillsbury immediately sent a letter to Mayor Clark, demanding possession of his office. Clark proposed to postpone the transfer of power until mid-day on Monday, May 3rd, in order to allow him and the aldermen time to close some unfinished business and pack their belongings. Pillsbury agreed, and the dueling mayors agreed to meet at the office of the attorney general later the same day. There, in the old State House, Clark and Pillsbury shook hands and buried the proverbial hatchet in the company of their attorneys and friends.
At noon on Monday, May 3rd, 1869, Mayor Clark administered the oath of office to Mayor Pillsbury in the Council Chamber of City Hall. The outgoing board of aldermen likewise welcomed their replacements with gracious expressions of congratulations, and the new mayor delivered a fine speech praising the decorum and restraint that had accompanied six long months of legal machinations. The weary people of Charleston were in need of attention, said Mayor Pillsbury, as were the city’s commercial affairs and infrastructure. In short, it was time to move on.
The new mayor held a small celebration at his house in Doughty Street on the evening of May 3rd, but otherwise the city was quiet. The experience of 180 days of legal limbo had generated a great deal of anxiety and weariness among the people of Charleston. The obstinate parties who clung to their appointed offices were ejected by peaceful means, and ever-present threats of violence and mayhem had finally evaporated. The ensuing days did not bring complete resolution, however, as the political rivalry between White Democrats and Black Republicans was just getting started. Scandal, malfeasance, and outrage followed in quick succession in the summer of 1869 and led to a shoot-out in City Hall that October (see Episode No. 132).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the long contested election of 1868. Let’s hope that present and future electoral conundrums are resolved in a more expeditious manner.
 For the state election controversy of 1876–77, see Richard Zuczek. State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996).
 The replacement of municipal officers is related, in very biased terms in Charleston Year Book, 1881, pp. 359–67. For Clark’s political character, see the remarks of Representative Tomlinson in Charleston Daily News, 20 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital.”
 South Carolina, The Constitution of South Carolina, Adopted April 16, 1868, and the Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly, Passed at the Special Session of 1868, together with the Military Orders Therein Re-Enacted (Columbia, S.C.: John W. Denny, 1868), 108–9.
 Daily News, 10 November 1868, page 3, “The Result of Registration”; Daily News, 8 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital. The Charleston Election Case.”
 Daily News, 11 November 1868, page 2: “The Result of the City Election”; Daily News, 11 November 1868, page 3, “The Municipal Struggle,” and “The Election Excitement”; Daily News, 12 November 1868, page 3, “How the Votes Were Counted.”
 Daily News, 12 November 1868, page 3, “The Elections. Protest of the Citizens.”
 Daily News, 13 November 1868, page 3, “The Election Protest.”
 Daily Courier, 18 November, page 3, “City Council. Extra Meeting.”
 The text of the eleven meetings appear in both the Charleston Courier and Daily News, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 30 November 1868.
 Daily News, 7 December 1868, page 1, “The Contested Election.”
 Daily News, 12 December 1868, page 3, “Quo Warranto,” and “The Contested Election”; Daily News, 19 December 1868, page 4, “Proceedings of City Council.”
 Daily News, 21 December 1868, page 1, “The Contested Election”; Daily News, 22 December 1868, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital”; Daily News, 23 December 1868, page 1, “Contested Election”; Daily News, 23 December 1868, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital.” A good summary of these proceedings appears in the weekly South Carolina Republican, 26 December 1868, page 3, “The Charleston Contested Election.”
 Daily News, 5 January 1869, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital”; Daily News, 8 January 1869, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital”; Daily News, 9 January 1869, page 1, “The Contested Election. Decision of the Supreme Court”; Daily News, 9 January 1869, page 2, “The Upshot of the Mandamus”; South Carolina Republican, 9 January 1869, page 2, “The Charleston Election”; Daily News, 12 January 1869, page 2, “The Mandamus.”
 Daily News, 19 January 1869, page 3, “Extra Meeting of Council.”
 Daily News, 19 January 1869, page 2, “The Contested Election”; Daily News, 21 January 1869, page 3, “The Mayoralty” and “Reporters’ Crumbs.”
 Daily News, 21 January 1869, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital”; Daily News, 23 January 1869, page 1, “By Telegraph. The State Capital”; South Carolina Republican, 23 January 1869, page 2, “The Charleston Contested Election Case”; Daily News, 25 January 1869, page 2, “The following is the substance of the opinion pronounced by Chief Justice Moses.”
 Daily News, 27 January 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 27 January 1869, page 2, “The City Election”; Daily News, 28 January 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 28 January 1869, page 2, “The Bill to Confirm and Declare Valid the Charleston Election”; South Carolina Republican, 30 January 1869, page 2, “The Charleston Contested Election Case.”
 Daily News, 29 January 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 30 January 1869, page 2, “Mr. Corbin’s Speech in the State Senate on his Bill to Confirm and make Valid the Charleston Elections”; Daily News, 1 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 1 February 1869, page 2, “Mr. Corbin and his Little Bill”; Daily News, 8 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 12 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; Daily News, 20 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital.”
 Daily News, 22 February 1869, page 1, “From the State Capital”; the text of the act appears in South Carolina, Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, Passed at the Regular Session of 1868–69 (Columbia, S.C.: John W. Denny, 1869), 200–1.
 Daily News, 5 March 1869, page 2, “The Mayoralty,” and page 3, “The Horns of Pillsbury’s Dilemma.”
 Daily News, 9 March 1869, page 3, “The Mayoralty. Programme of the Pillsbury Party”; Daily News, 10 March 1869, page 3, “The Mayoralty Contest”; South Carolina Republican, 13 March 1869, page 2, “the Mayoralty” and “Our Own Three Hundred.”
 Daily News, 12 March 1869, page 3, “The Mayoralty”
 Daily News, 20 March 1869, page 3, “The Contested Election”; Daily News, 22 March 1869, page 3, “The Contested Election.”
 Daily News, 25 March 1869, page 3, “Mandamus”; Daily News, 26 March 1869, page 3, “The Charleston Election”; Daily News, 30 March 1869, page 3, “The Charleston Election”; Daily News, 31 March 1869, page 3, “The Charleston Election.”
 Daily News, 3 May 1869, page 3, “The End of the Contested Election.”
 Daily News, 4 May 1869, page 3; South Carolina Republican, 8 May 1869, pages 1–2, “Installation of Mr. Pillsbury and His Board of Aldermen.”