Stephen Bennett Packard is an unrecognized Governor of Louisiana resulting from a highly contested 1876 election versus Francis T. Nicholls.
Packard was a Captain in the Maine Volunteers during the civil war in a regiment reporting to General Butler. A native of Maine, he arrived in New Orleans after the Civil War. With his Gen. Butler relationship, he became New Orleans Judge-Advocate in 1864.
In 1867 he became a delegate to the state constitutional convention and then chairman of the Board of Registration, the administrator of civil affairs of the state until July 1868. In 1871, President Grant appointed him U. S. Marshall.
By the end of the Gov. Warmoth administration in 1872, Packard had become a leader of the "Customhouse Ring", a Radical Republican faction opposed to Warmoth. Packard supported the impeachment of Warmoth at the very end of Warmoth's term and then succeeded in having P. B. S. Pinchback recognized as governor for the thirty-five days left in Warmoth's term.
Packard then directed the gubernatorial campaign of William Pitt Kellogg against John McEnery in late 1872. The result of that election was similar to what Packard would experience in his own campaign for governor, except with the opposite result.
Packard was a delegate to the Republican National Convention of 1876 where he eventually supported Blaine instead of Grant for president.
Elected and inaugurated as Governor of Louisiana in January 1877, Packard formed a legislature. Nicholls also claimed to have won, was inaugurated and also formed a legislature. This was a repeat of the 1873 election when both Kellogg and McEnery claimed the office of governor.
This time President Grant refused to intervene in this hotly contested election versus Nicholls. There were estimates that it would take 100,000 federal troops to impose Packard into office.
The Hayes-Tilden election for President was also undetermined with questionable results in several states including Louisiana. Rutherford Hayes endorsed Nicholls in the "Compromise of 1877" and then withdrew remaining federal troops from Louisiana on April 29, 1877.
Even Pinchback backed Nicholls in the dispute. Packard abdicated in April after
his legislature elected Kellogg to the U. S. Senate, his one success.
The Hayes administration offered
the governorship of new territories of
Packard returned to a
in Marshalltown, Iowa and by 1893 he was
The birth of three of his children are
in New Orleans. They
Stephen, Jr., was born September
19, 1871 and died April 4, 1941 in Sedro Wooley,
Stephen Bennett Packard, Sr.
is with his son and two other children in beautiful
Pictures by Brenda Spicer of
All photos herein are DIGIMARC
ENABLED, are the property of