Francis Nicholls was a central figure in one of the most contentious episodes in Louisiana political history. Nicholls, a native of Donaldsonville, ran for governor as a Democrat in 1876.
Election officials certified his win by a considerable margin, but a corrupt Returning Board declared his Republican opponent, Maine native Stephen Packard, the victor. The Picayune had predicted that the state Returning Board would thrown out election results in some parishes.
Packard and his supporters, backed by occupying federal troops, holed up in the State House. Nicholls, who enjoyed popular