« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
election, and all persons entitled to register shall rity with regard to the acquisition and transtake and subscribe to the following oath or affirma- mission of property, and concedes to them all tion: “I, do solemnly swear (or affirm), in the benefits of the laws and the courts in the the presence of Almighty God, that I am twenty-one years old, that I have resided in this State six protection of personand property. The remonths, and in
County one month; that I mainder of the article relates to their proteclaws of the United States, and of the State of Mis- ment of separate schools for colored children
. will faithfully support and obey the Constitution and tion as laborers, and provides for the establishsissippi, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I am not disfranchised in any of the This plan met with little favor at the band's provisions of the acts known as the reconstruction of the majority of the convention. acts of the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congress, and Provision was made for the organization of that I admit the political and civil equality of
a system of common schools, to be supportal all men, so help me God.” Provided, That if Congress shall
, at any time, remove the 'disabilities of by certain specified funds. A public school any person disfranchised in the said reconstruction was to be maintained in each school districts acts of the said Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congress least four months in the year, and the Legis (and the Legislature of this State shall concur there- lature was required to provide, as soon as polo in), then so much of this oath, and so much only, as sible, for the establishment of an agricultural quired of such person, so pardoned, to entitle him to college, and to appropriate for the support of be registered.
that institution the 210,000 acres of land grantSection 4. No person shall be eligible to any office ed to the State, for that purpose, by the act od of profit or trust, or to any office in the militia of Congress of July 2, 1865. this State, who is not a qualified clector. Section 5. No person shall be eligible to any office
Among the general provisions of the constit: of profit or trust, civil or military, in this state, who, tion was one prohibiting lotteries
, and the sel as a member of the Legislature, voted for the call of of lottery tickets. The ordinance of secesso the convention that passed the ordinance of seces- was declared pull and void; and the State e sion, or who, as a delegate to any convention, voted Mississippi prohibited from paying any “deli for or signed any ordinance of secession, or who gave voluntary aid, countenance, counsel, or encourage
or obligation contracted in aid of the rebellion, ment to persons engaged in armed hostility to the
nor shall this State ever, in any manner, clin United States, or who accepted or attempted to ex- from the United States, or make any allowane ercise the functions of any office, civil or military, under any authority or pretended government, au
or compensation for slaves emancipated or liv thority, power, or constitution, within the United erated in any way whatever since the 9th day States, hostile or inimical thereto, except all persons
of January, 1861. Persons elected to offict, who aided reconstruction by voting for this conven- on entering upon their duties, are required to tion, or who have continuously advocated the assem- swear, in addition to the usual asseverations in bling of this convention, and shall continuously and such cases, that they have nerer voted for a in good faith advocate the acts of the same, but the Legislature may remove such disability: Provided, signed any ordinance of secession, That nothing in this section except voting for or sign- members of any State Legislature, voted to ing the ordinance of secession shall be so construed the call of any convention that passel so; as to exclude from office the private soldier of the such ordinance. late so-called Confederate States Army.
The labors of the convention were closel Section 6. In time of war, insurrection, or rebellion, the right to vote, at such place and in such manner by the passage of an ordinance providing te as shall be prescribed by law, shall be enjoyed by all an immediate submission of the constituta persons otherwise entitled thereto, who may be in to the people for their ratification. The ele the actual military or naval service of the United tion for
the purpose was to take place on the States or this State: Provided, Said votes be made to apply in the county or precinct wherein they reside.
22d of June, and at the same time the role o:
qualified electors was to be taken for all Sate Among the efforts of the conservatives to officers, including members of the Legislatan effect a compromise on the subject of political and Representatives to Congress. It was so equality, was the submission of a measure, enacted that the first Legislature under the by a minority of the committee on suffrage, new constitution should meet at Jackson in guaranteeing certain rights and privileges to the second Monday after the ratification et colored citizens. The preamble contains a pro- that instrument should be promulgated, art test against so much of the majority report that the first term of all civil officers shouldew“as confers the right of suffrage upon a class mence on the second Monday after the officia of persons recently emancipated from slavery, announcement of their election, and contine
: uneducated, and wholly disqualified for the ex- nntil the end of the first full term succeeding ercise of that great privilege," and begs leave to such election. A committee of five was de submit as one of the articles of the constitution, ignated to appoint commissioners of electiva a "guarantee of rights and privileges." Thé and adjust all outstanding accounts of the co first section of this proposed article provided vention. Further power was given to this that colored residents of the State should committee by the following: ceive, in common with white citizens, the pro- Seo. 12. When this convention adjourns it shall tection and care of the State, and the benefit subject to the call of the committee of five appointed of merciful laws adapted to the improvement by this convention: Provided, That, should them of their condition, and the advancement of
stitution be ratified, this convention shall thereas their interests.” The second section guaran- de
be adjourned sine die, but in case the constitus tees to them full privileges and complete secu- reconvencd by said committee.
Sec. 13. Said committee of five shall have author- tion of the party. It was determined to form ity to employ a clerk and to enforce the collection of
a Central Democratic Association at the city of the taxes levied by the several ordinances of this convention, and to perform any and all duties appertain- Jackson, “to be composed of the free white ing to the same.
male citizens, qualified electors under the conThe following ordinance was also passed by stitution of the State, and who are opposed to the convention before its adjournment:
congressional usurpations, military despotism,
For Whereas, In a republic the foundation of a
negro suffrage, and negro government." ment is the right of suffrage, and therefore this right the purpose of organizing this association, a should be guarded from all undue influence, and re- meeting of all such electors was appointed for cured in such manner that the free and untrammelled the 1st of February at Jackson, and the 8th voice of the people should be heard : Therefore, be of February was designated for similar meetit ordained, by the people of Mississippi in convention assembled
ings in each of the counties of the State to Seo. 1. No contract shall be valid which in any form county associations. This organization manner abridges or affects the right of franchise, of having been effected, a day was to be named by either party, and any person or persons demanding the Central Committee for the holding of a new such conditions shall, on conviction thereof, be dis- State convention, "to consider our State and the ratification of the constitution of this state, and Federal relations." The committee afterward shall pay a fine of five hundred dollars, to be collected appointed the 19th of February for this conby any court having jurisdiction. Sec. 2. Whoever shall dismiss from employment tions to send delegates.
vention, and called on all the county associaany person or persons for having exercised the right of franchise, or for attempting to exercise such right,
In the mean time a convention of Republishall, on conviction, be fined not less than two hun- cans met at Jackson, on the 5th and 6th of dred and fifty dollars, and be disfranchised for the February, and nominated candidates for the term of five years.
State offices, to be voted for at the election A large portion of the citizens of Mississippi for taking the vote on the ratification of the were strongly opposed to the congressional constitution. Their candidate for Governor plan of reconstruction, and began early to or- was B. B. Eggleston, the presiding officer of the ganize a vigorous opposition to the work of Constitutional Convention. The following was the Constitutional Convention. The Executive the Republican platform : Committee of the Constitutional Union party,
Resolred, That we hereby renew the pledge of our which was formed in the preceding year, adherence to the principles and organization of the called a convention to meet at Jackson on the Republican party, recognizing as the main principles 15th of February. At this convention a series of that party tho sentiments of“ equal rights to all,” of resolutions was adopted, assuming the name
and“ unwavering fidelity to the Union,” that, come and principles of the Democratic party, and will stand by these principles, and never lower the
what may, in weal or woe, in victory or defeat, we declaring that the conservatives of the State standard of Republicanism. would“ do battle under that banner until the Resolved, That we cannot withhold the expression Union is restored to a constitutional basis, and of our implicit confidence in General Ulysses S. all the States are recognized as equals in the Grant, who was true to the country in war, and wili
. great confederation of American sovereignties.' Resolved, That each and every member of this The purposes of the party, as thus revived, were State Convention, hereby pledges all his influence to set forth in the following:
ratify the new constitution and to support the Repub
lican nominees. Resolved, That the military bills of Congress, for the reconstruction of the so-called rebel States, are un- The Democrats met in convention on the constitutional and oppressive in all their particulars, 13th of February, in accordance with the call and should be resisted by the unanimous voice of the of their Central Committee, and occupied two people at the ballot-box.
Persolved, That, for the purpose of accomplishing days in the consideration of their “State and this result, the people of Mississippi are hereby rec- Federal relations. The results of their deommended to organize a Central Democratic Associ, liberations were embodied in a voluminous ation, with similar associations in every county, and series of resolutions, reaffirming their confiin all the principal cities and towns in the State, and, dence in the principles and policy of the nacommittee of nine, resident at the capital of the State, tional Democratic party, and denouncing in with power to complete this party organization, in unmeasured terms the course of their political all respects.
Reroloed, That the nefarious design of the Repub- opponents in all public matters over which lican party in Congress, to place the white men of they had exercised any control. They declared the Southern States under the governmental control it to be their deliberate opinion that “the deof their late slaves, and degrade the Caucasian race feat of Radicalism, in the approaching political as the inferiors of the African negro, is a crime struggle, constitutes the only hope which the against the civilization of the age, which needs only American people can reasonably cherish for to be mentioned to be scorned by all intelligent the restoration of constitutional liberty to ourminds, and we therefore call upon the people of Mississippi to vindicate alike the superiority of their selves and the coming generations of our posrace over the negro, and their political power to terity; and that it is the duty of all men, of maintain constitutional liberty.
all political parties, and of every section of the On the 22d of January, the Democratic Republic, who venerate the Constitution State Central Committee had a meeting to framed by their wise and heroic fathers, and concert measures for the thorough organiza- who desire the restoration of constitutional liberty, heartily to unite their energies in the against them no feeling of hostility, and desircoming political struggle against the Radical ing that they may elevate themselves in the party, and never cease their labors until that scale of humanity by mental culture to any odious and dangerous faction shall have been extent of which they are capable; but their hurled from power."
ignorance and incapacity to exercise the priviSome of the “ enormities of the Radical lege of suffrage, and to discharge the responsiparty” were summed up in the following reso- bilities of making laws and holding office, forbid lution:
that we consent to invest them with these priviResolved, That the history of the Radical party leges, or to consent to any legislation designed proves that they are unprincipled enemies of liberty, to establish the political or social equality of in this: That they have corruptly and repeatedly the white and black races—much less the subviolated the Federal Constitution; that they hold ten sovereign States of the Union under an actual military ordination of the former to the latter, as adrodespotism, taxing the people thereof enormously, and cated by the Radical party." refusing them the right of representation in the The supremacy of the Constitution of the councils of the nation; that they are, even now, en- United States and the laws made in pursuance gaged in the work of Africanizing the Southern thereof was admitted, and it was declared that States, establishing negro rule and negro supremacy, and elevating the black race, politically, over the
" whatever may be the opinion of any member free-born white citizens of the South, and, in viola- of this convention as to the abstract right of tion of the Constitution, giving to negroes the elective secession, no one has the purpose or desire in franchise ; that they are about usurping all the powers the future to resort to any measures calculated of government, and grasping, through the legislative to weaken the authority or destroy the unity department, supreme executive and judicial power, thus making themselves daring innovators and re
of the Government; but, on the contrary, Ft morseless tyrants, and destroying the last remnant of avow ourselves friends of a constitutiona that liberty once enjoyed by the nation; that their Union of the States, and will, in good faith corrupt and despotic principles, if successful, will aid in securing the future glory and prosperity inevitably ruin and degrade the Republic; that, although the Radical party consists of a mere minority of our common country, and cultivating a spiri: of the people, as clearly shown by the recent elections, of fraternity and peace amongst the people of they nevertheless continue to defy the voice of thé all sections." nation, and arrogantly assume to wield the legislative It was further laid down as a part of the poltpower which they hold
under the mere forms of the ical creed of the party that the State had never party schemes, the oppression of the masses, and the been out of the Union, and, therefore, as Coxestablishment of a kuge military despotism in the land, gress had no power over the right of suffraga under which constitutional liberty will be utterly the provisions of the State constitution had the annihilated; that they have already destroyed the only binding authority on that subject; and prosperity of the nation by paralyzing commerce and crippling industrial pursuits, whereby, multiplied
"white males of the age of twenty-one sad thousands of white men, women, and children, not upward and citizens of the United States Ter only in the South, but also in the North and West, alone qualified electors and office-holders" in have been thrown out of employment and reduced to actual want and suffering; that they are expending in Convention, it was
the State. With regard to the Constitutions the South millions upon millions of dollars in pampering and feeding idle and degraded negroes, as Resolved, That the pretended Constitutional Coginstruments for securing political power, while the vention, now in session at the capital of Mississippi white sufferers of the North and West, and the down- and which assumes to frame a constitution and for trodden masses of the South, remain without con- of civil government for the people of said State, i sideration, sympathy, or aid; that they are every day assembled without constitutional authority, increasing our enormous national debt, by extrava- elected by the qualified electors of the State, norby gance and corruption, thus involving the national virtue of the laws of the land ; that the acts of te finances in irretrievable ruin; that their whole recent gress, under which military elections were held, is party career is marked by injustice and usurpation, the purpose of polling negro votes, to elect the mea and tends toward the permanent destruction of free bers of said convention, were not within the delegats government on this continent, and to render fruitless powers of Congress, and confer no authority ma said the toils and sacrifices of those pure men of the olden convention; that the constituents of said contentia time who founded for us a government well designed, are chiefly negroes, destitute alike of the moral sad when properly administered, to secure to us forever intellectual qualifications required of electors in s the blessings of liberty, prosperity, and national civilized communities, combined with a small mine glory. Such being some of the ruinous practices of ity of white adventurers from other States; that be the Radical party, we hold them before the august majority of said convention faithfully reflect the tribunal of the people for judgment at the ballot-box, peculiarities of their constituents; that their projecten
acts demonstrate them to be the enemies of the per under the withering and terrible frowns of an out- ple of Mississippi, who have constituted the raged nation of freemen.
from its territorial'infancy to the present time: 1. The convention disclaimed all intention or
under the fraudulent pretence of framing a constitzdesire to take any steps for the restoration of wickedly conspiring to disfranchise and degrade the
tion and civil government for the State, they slavery. “We recognize," they said, “the people, to rob them,
alike, of their liberty and thri fact that African slavery is forever destroyed property, to destroy their social and political status in the Southern States, and are resolved that and finally place them under the yoke of a Legs we will, in good faith and willingly, aid in government. securing to the colored race safety of person After having expressed and property, and full guarantees against op- the reconstruction measures, and its deterici pression or injustice as freedmen; cherishing nation to defeat the ratification of the new cut
bitter hostility to
stitution, the convention finished its platform but, if necessity should hereafter arise for such action, with a resolve that a committee of five be ap- the power is hereby vested in the State Executive
Committee to make the said nominations, or to reaspointed to prepare an address to the people of
semble this convention for that purpose, as shall be the State, "explanatory of the principles and deemed expedient. views which govern this organization.”
The zeal of the Democrats was not wholly An address to the Democratic Associations of expended in State conventions and addresses the
State of Mississippi, signed by John D. Free- to the associations, but mass meetings were man, chairman of the Executive Committee, held in all parts of the state, and the ablest was published on the 27th of April, reiterating
men of the party were put into the field to in the strongest language the sentiments which animated the party in this political campaign,
rouse up the people to hostility against the
new constitution. Meantime the canvass was and calling upon the people for renewed activity carried on by the Republicans in the constituand “eternal vigilance" to "defeat the Radical tional convention, and through an organization, constitution now, and succeed in the presiden- said to be more or less secret in its character, tial contest," and so preserve the present known as the "Loyal League.” In an address constitution and laws." "A plan of organiza- to the freedmen of Mississippi, published in tion, including a constitution and set of by- June, the Democratic Executive Committee laws, was framed, and submitted to the county denounced this Loyal League, and warned the associations for their acceptance. It was de- freedmen to have nothing to do with it. It clared that the Republican organization was
was organized, they declared, by James Lynch, "secret and oath-bound," and under its “baleful influence" the negroes might be made to oath-bound, secret, religious society," and all
a colored preacher from Philadelphia, sanction a " fearful crime against themselves the members were sworn to vote the Repuband the superior race on which they depend lican ticket. for all that is valuable in life.” “It is the closes with this paragraph:
This address to the freedmen mission of the Democratic party as now organized," the address continues, "to save them
Freedmen of Mississippi, look before you leap. from political suicide and the Government from The vote you may cast in this election may be de
There is an awful gulf now yawning before you. absolute overthrow.
cisive of your fate. If you abandon the people with "Then let the lovers of liberty assemble, or- whom you have ever lived and who now invite you ganize, and prepare for the great work before to their protection for the future, you cast your desthem. There is a registered majority of seven- tiny with an enemy between
whom and us there is
eternal war. teen thousand votes to overcome in this state they have inaugurated by their convention proceed
The system of plunder and robbery -it was that majority that elected the present ings can never be indorsed by any people. The military convention by negro votes-they will entire products of the earth and
the industry of the soon put forth a constitution for the disfran- people cannot support the burdens they impose. The
State and all its interests will wither in their hands chisement, impoverishment, and degradation and become as sterile and denuded as the sands of of the white race
e-let the foreign invader and Sahara. the domestic foe feel the power of those they
An order was issued fro seek to destroy."
the military headAnother convention was called by the State quarters at Vicksburg, on the 19th of May, Central Committee, to meet, on the 12th of giving full directions with regard to effecting å May, at the capital.' The convention met ac- registration of the qualified electors of the cordingly, and determined to nominate candi- State, and laying down the rules to be observed dates to be voted for at the approaching elec- in the conduct of the election, which was to tion, but declared that such candidates should be held on the 22d and following days of June. be “nominated with a view to secure the defeat Precautions were taken to prevent fraud and of the constitution, and with reference to the preserve the peace, by the following sections preservation of the honor of Mississippi and of the order: the maintenance of the constitutional freedom
7. None but registered voters will be permitted to of her people, disregarding any tests of qualifi- challenge the right of others to vote, and no challenge sation whatever not prescribed in the present rept as to residence and identity
will be entertained.
While it the imperative duty of the commissioners constitution of Mississippi and of the United to do their utmost to insure the purity of the election, States." The Democracy of the several coun- care must be taken to prevent the abuse of the right ries were called upon to disregard local ques- sire to impede
to challenge by evil-dísposed persons, who may deions and personal considerations, and unite
8. The sheriff of each county is made responsible their energies for the election of men of “un- for the preservation of good order, and the perfect questioned fidelity to the social and political freedom of the ballot at the various élection precincts institutions of the State.” With regard to the in the county. To this end he will appoint a deputy presidential election, the following was adopt- who shall be duly qualified under the laws of the
State--for each precinct in the county, who will be
required to be present at the place of voting during That inasmuch as there is strong ground for be- the whole time the election is being held. The said lief that the aforesaid constitution will be rejected by deputies will promptly and fully obey every demand the people of this state, and that they will not there- made upon their official services, in preserving the fore be permitted to participate in the presidential peace and good order, by the commissioners of elecelection, it is deemed inexpedient to nominate can- tion. Sheriffs, in making their appointments, will didates for presidential electors at the present time, exercise great care to select men whom they know
to be in every way able to serve. Deputies, ap- upon the duties of their respective offices. They pointed in accordance with the foregoing, will be paid will receive no other compensation than their par five dollars for the day's service, on accounts approved and allowances as officers of the army. by the registrar, out of the reconstruction fund.
By command of Brevet Maj. Gen. MCDOWELL. 9. As an additional measure for securing the purity John TYLER, First Lieutenant, 43d Infantry, of the election, each registrar, judge, and clerk, is
Brevet-Major, U. S. A., A. A. A. G. hereby clothed with all the functions of a deputy- NATHANIEL WOLFE, Second Lieut. 84th Infantry, sheriff, or constable, and is empowered to make ar
A. A. A. G. rests, and authorized to perform all duties appertaining to such officers under the laws of the State, during Humphreys of his appointment to succeed the
On the 16th General Ames notified Gorerno: the days of election,
10. At every precinct on the days of election, all latter, and wished to be informed when it publio bar-rooms, saloons, or other places at which would be convenient to receive him "for the intoxicating or malt liquor is sold at retail, will be purpose of making such arrangements as may closed. Should any infraction in this respect come to the knowledge of the commissioners of election, or
be necessary to carry into effect the order." the deputy sheriff in attendance, they will immedi- Mr. Humphreys delayed his reply until the ately cause the arrest of the offending party, or par- 22d, and then informed General Ames that ties, and the closing of his, or their, place of business. he regarded the attempt to remove him from All parties so arrested will be placed under bonds, the office of Governor as a “ usurpation of :he of not less than one hundred dollars, to appear for civil government of Mississippi—unwarranted trial when required by proper authority, or, in case of failure to give the required bond, will be held in ar- by and in violation of the Constitution of the rest to await the action of the general commanding. United States." He also stated that he is!
11. The carrying of fire-arms or other deadly weap- telegraphed to the President of the United ons at or in the vicinity of the polls is positively States, and was authorized to say that he die prohibited under penalty of forfeiture of the and of being punished as prescribed by the statutes approved the order making the removal
. “I of the State forbidding the exhibition of deadly weap- must therefore," says Mr. Humphreys "ir ons in a threatening manner. All arms seized under view of my duty to the constitutional rights o this order will be turned in to the nearest post commander, for shipment to the chief ordinance officer of the President of the United States, refuse to
the people of Mississippi, and this disapprofil of the district.
12. Should violence or fraud be perpetrated at the vacate the office of Governor, or surrender the election in any precinct, the general commanding archives and public property of the State, uni will exercise to the fullest extent the powers vested in him, for the purpose of allowing to all registered tion of the State of Mississippi is appointe
a legally qualified successor under the constiteelectors an opportunity to vote freely and fearlessly, and any provision in any contract tending to abridge On the next day General Biddle, cominander the right to vote is hereby declared utterly null and of the post of Jackson, demanded the surret void.
der of the Governor's office. This being 13. No registrar, judge, or clerk, will be permitted fused, a squadron of soldiers marched in er at this election, nor will they be permitted to exercise took possession. Mr. Humphreys fitted D the functions of any officc, or authority, connected another room in the building for an office, ar with the election, other than that received from these still claimed to be Governor of the State, a headquarters.
his family was allowed for some days toorts 14. The evident intention of the law under which this election is held being to obtain an expression of
a part of the Mansion House. Meantime to the will of the qualified electors, it is ordered, that all election took place and resulted adversely to be officers of the army and agents of the Bureau of Refu- new constitution. After this event, the fix gees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, shall entirely lowing correspondence took place in relation abstain from public speaking, electioneering, or endeavoring to influence voters; but this order is not It contains its own explanation :
to the possession of the Governor's manica intended to restrict either class of the above-named officials their duty of instructing freedmen as to their EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, STATE OF MISSISSIPFT. rights as electors.
Jackson, Miss., July 6, 1863 On the 4th of June, General Irwin McDow- Hon. B. G. Humphreys : ell, who had been appointed to the command Governor, I notified you that you might cori
Sir: Soon after my arrival here as Prorisizoz of the Fourth Military District on the 28th of to occupy the Governor's mansion. Since then I hate December, 1867, assumed the duties of that had cause to change my mind in the matter. position. The first order issued by the new You will oblige me by vacating the mansion at a commander, after that by which he assumed early a day as convenient.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, command, was the following, making an im
A. ÅMES, Provisional Governm. portant change in the executive administration of the State:
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, STATE OF MISSISSIPEL General Orders, No. 23.
JACKSON, Miss., July 7, 1868.
Gen. A. Ames : HEADQUARTERS, Fourth Military DISTRICT, Sır:
Your letter of the 6th inst., informing me that DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI AND ARKANSAS, I would obligo you by vacating the “mansinn" s: 8
VICKSBURG, M188., June 15, 1868. early a day as convenient, was duly received thround 1. Major-General Adelbert Ames is appointed, tem- the post-office of this city. porarily, Provisional Governor of the State of Missis- The Governor's mansion was built br the trysippi,
vice Benjamin G. Humphreys, hereby removed. Payers of Mississippi only for the use and occuper 2. Captain Jasper Meyers is appointed, tempo- of their constitutional Governors and their familie rarily, Attorney-General of the
State of Mississippi, They elected me to that office in 1865, and I, vice C. E. Hooker, hereby removed. 3. The officers appointed, as above, will repair possession' ever since. At the recent clection
my family, have been in peaceable
, quiet, and lear without delay to Jackson, and enter 'immediately qualified voters of the State, both white and elamus