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question of impartial manhood suffrage be sub- gates to the National Democratic Convention, mitted to the popular vote at the ensuing an- to be held in New York on the 4th of July, for nual election.” The proposition to strike the the purpose of nominating the Democratic word white from the constitution had already presidential candidates. In regard to the situbeen submitted to the people in 1865, and ation of the country and the political questions again in 1867, and rejected by them on both agitating it, the convention, before closing its occasions. At the late presidential election, session on February 27th, adopted the resoluhowever, it was carried, with the rest of tions submitted by its Committee on Resoluthe Republican ticket. Governor Marshall tions, as follows: congratulated the Legislature on that success,
Resolved, that the Democracy of Minnesota conwhile the Democrats affirmed that such re- gratulate the country, upon the improved aspect of sult was owing only to deception and fraud political affairs, as evinced by the State elections of practised by the Republicans upon the voters:
1867, and that they look forward with hope and con
fidence to the result of that momentous struggle upon first, because the question of “negro suffrage”
which depends, in so great a degree, the future peace had been proposed to the people, not by itself,
and prosperity of the Union. but mixed together with the question of Resolved, that we are unalterably opposed to the President and Vice-President on the same legislation which leads to consolidation; we renew, ticket, by which means the voter, as he could
with unflagging zeal and increased energy, our atnot divide the question on the ticket and give so stanchly adhered to by our organization through
tachment to that political creed, which has ever been to each a separate answer, was compelled to days of trouble and disaster as well as prosperity; vote for, or against, all the questions, with the which was that opinion expressed by Thomas Jeffersame answer; and secondly, which they regard son, " with justice to all men, of whatever standing, to be still worse, because the said question of
and the promotion of peace, commerce, and harmo“ negro suffrage
ny; friendship with all nations, entangling alliances was proposed to the people, with none; the support of the State governments in not in open words, but concealed under a cover, all their rights as the most competent administrators impenetrable to the sight of most of the voters, of our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwark namely, as “an amendment of section 1, article of the General Government in its whole, its
against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation 7, of the constitution," so that those who voted
tional vigor as the safeguard of peace at home and for the Republican candidates did also vote safety abroad; adjures the care of the rights of elecblindly for “negro suffrage,” without so much as tions by the people, the supremacy of the civil over imagining that they were so doing; it being cer
the military authority.” tain that the greatest number of them had no
Resolved, That we condemn the legislative acts of
Congress, and, particularly, the civil act of reconknowledge that the section 1 of article 7, which struction so called, as the violation of the honest they were voting to amend, referred to "negro agreement and
compact between the States, and as suffrage " and excluded it. They declare those utterly subversive of every principle of sound govtwo facts to be the more assuredly a proof of
ernment that distinguishes a free people. meditated deception, because by acts, passed which recognize that the integrity of the Union was
Resolved, That we are opposed to any measures in the same session of the Legislature, and ever broken; that any of its members were ever out, approved on the 5th and 6th of March, 1868, re- and that we determinedly insist that the Southern spectively, two more amendments to the consti- States, no longer being in insurrection or at war tution were submitted to the people at the same
with the Federal Government, are entitled to the full
State recognition and constitutional representation election, pamely, on “internal improvement in Congress, and the electoral privileges given to lands” and on "grand juries;” but both of all States, and that denial to them by Congress, and these points were presented to the voter sepa
its efforts to dictate by military force a government rately and distinctly in clear, open words;
for them, are unconstitutional and despotic. each of their respective acts having purposely
Resolvéd, That we are opposed, both in principle
and policy, to negro suffrage, and that this State, hayprovided that, on the ballots, and in favor of
ing by a large majority rejected it for herself, is sternly the amendment, regarding the internal im- opposed to its enforced imposition upon other
States, provement lands, there should be written or and that we stigmatize its imposition by the Federal printed “internal improvement lands
Government as a most base usurpation. Amendment to Article 15th of the Constitu
Resolved, That the practical effect of the so-called
reconstruction acts of Congress is to deliver over ten tion-Yes ;” and for the amendment relating States to the political and social control of negroes; to grand juries “there should be written or and to place the lives, liberties, and fortunes of thé printed on the ballots the words “ Against the people into the hands of a barbarous people, that it Grand Juries ;” whereas, in regard to the would lead either to a war of races, or to the desola
tion of the South, amendment concerning “negro suffrage," the Resolved, 'That, while we denounce the enormous art relating to it makes no mention of those conceded frauds' in the creation of the public debt, words, but prescribes that “tho voters, voting the faith of the country is pledged to the payment, in favor of snch amendment, shall have, on their principal and interest, according to the terms of the
several acts of Congress under which these bonds general ballots, used at said election, written
representing the debt were issued, but not otherwise, or printed, the following words, “Amendment and we are opposed to any plans for extending the to Section 1, Article 7, of the Constitution— time of payment, thus increasing the amount of goldYes."
interest to more than original principal, or to any The Democratic State Convention, which
declaration by Congress that the principal
' is payable
in gold. assembled in the month of February, 1868, Risolved, That never forgetting nor denying our elected its 4 presidential electors, and 8 dele- ancient faith, that gold and silver coin form the cur
rency of the Constitution, we declare that the 5.20 by the military. On the 21st of January
, bonds should be paid in the currency received by General Order No. 39, series of 1867, prohititthe Government for their issue, and, that by the withdrawal of the gold and silver to the national banks, ing the purchase or delivery of country sapthat result would be accomplished without undue or plies after sunset and until market-hours in dangerous increase of paper money, now the only the morning, and requiring all persons to procirculating medium, thus relieving our people from the burden of debt, the tendency of which is always country produce, was revoked. Four days
cure a special license, as authority to purchase from the reproach of paying a favored class in gold, later a similar revocation was made of the while discharging its debts to all others, including order causing saloons, and other places where also its sailors and soldiers, in interior currency. intoxicating liquors were retailed, to be closed
Resolved, That this plan violates no law, impairs no from each Friday evening at sunset, until the contract, breaks no faith, and, instead of retarding a return to specie payments, is the shortest, because succeeding Monday at sunrise, and on occathe only safe way of reaching that end.
sions of political meetings in towns garrisoned Resolved, That all the property of the country, in- by troops. On the 27th, an order appeared cluding so-called bonds, which receive such equal revoking the several circulars issued in 1867, protection of the Government, should bear an equal relating to the adjustment of “questions arisshare in its burden.
Resolved, That we indignantly reject the principle, ing from settlements of crops, and generally drawn from the feudal system, that the masses of the the relations of debtors and creditors or on people belong to the governments under which they suitors," and all such matters were thereafter live, which, in another form, is contended for by the monarchies of Europe, including Great Britain, that, cept such cases affecting the rights of fred
to be left to the established civil tribunals, “eltrary, maintain that an individual can, by emigration men, or others, as by acts of Congress were to, and residence in, another country, forswear his specially committed to the care of the Bares previous allegiance, and be admitted into all the civil of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands and political rights of his new home; that American citizens, by adoption and naturalization, are entitled
An impression having got abroad that the to all the rights, as between the United States and planters would receive aid from the Goverforeign powers, which can be claimed by our own ment in cultivating their lands, through the native-born citizens; and it is the duty of the Fed- agency of the Freedmen's Bureau, a cirens eral Government to protect and maintain them by was issued from the office of the Assistan: every means within its power.
Commissioner for the State of Mississippi
, in: Resolved, That the fortitude and gallantry of our soldiers, in the recent civil war in defence of the forming all persons, who had formed any such Union, entitle them to the gratitude of the country, expectations, that all aid rendered through and should ever be remembered by it in its bounties. that office would be strictly limited to cares of
Resolved, That the Democracy of the country have actual want, and any supplies furnished parke nor assume any portion of the debt of the States only be in such quantities as were absolatels lately in rebellion.
necessary to prevent suffering. All freedoel
who were laboring under the delusion to The Republican State Convention also, pur- lands would be furnished them by confiscatico suant to a call of the Republican State Central or otherwise, were warned that this was Committee, dated January 22d, assembled on mistaken idea. They were told that their ont the 13th of May, 1868, when they elected 8 way of obtaining land was by purchase or di delegates to the National Republican Conven- locating on the public domain. The Burea tion, to be held in Chicago, on the 20th day of offered its services as a medium to bring to that month, and 4 presidential electors. gether laborers and employers, and are
Of the acts passed by the State Legislature those engaged in agricultural pursuits “ to de in the last session, we abstain from making any vote more land and labor to the production of further mention, in reference to the public in- corn and wheat." terests of the State. The local paper, in
The convention which had been called to which such matters are officially published, frame a constitution for the State of Mist in its issue of March 13, 1868, says: “The sippi, under the reconstruction laws of Ist work of the tenth Legislature was virtu- met in Jackson, on the 7th of Jannars
, as ally closed last evening, although to-day is continued in session without interruption uru within constitutional limit
, and may be occu- the 18th of May. During this protractedl pod pied with any other business than the passage riod many subjects were discussed, which pe of bills, which is inhibited. A very large num. tained more to the general condition of the ber of laws have been enacted, but none of vital State and of the country at large, than to the importance to the welfare of the State." special duty of the framers of a new constitu
MISSISSIPPI. The rigors of military rule tion. The general per diem of the members were somewhat relaxed in Mississippi at the was fixed at ten dollars, and measures wo beginning of the year 1868. By an order of adopted for levying a special tax, to be cada January 9th, jurisdiction was restored to the lected under the authority of the military camerState courts in the general cases of horse-steal. mander, to meet the expenses of the concert ing, etc., though, it it should appear that any tion. There was a pretty strong and actie person could not obtain an impartial trial, on conservative element in the body, which is account of his race or his political sentiments, tinually opposed all extreme measures
. The jurisdiction of the case would be taken element was represented in the committee afpointed to take into consideration the question another and a much more formidable power, producof compensation for members, and a minority than that already brought to view, namely, the adreport was submitted, which, after stating that ministrators of the provisional government of the the reconstruction acts were unconstitutional, State whose terms of office have expired. and that the convention did not represent the These incumbents, continued in office by the forpeople of the State, declared
bearance of Congress, were elected by only a portion That this assembly is unconstitutionally convened, had presented his claims for ofice, he would have had
of the people in 1865, when, if any Union candidate and is not competent to make amendments to the
no chance. Their continuance in office endangers constitution of the State of Mississippi in any re
the restoration of peace and order ; at least, their spect whatever, and therefore the officers and mem
action or non-action may result greatly to the embers of this convention are not entitled to compensa- barrassment of this convention in its work of recontion for any services which they may see proper to struction. perform in such capacity to the people of the State of
We, therefore, in the name and in behalf of the loyal Mississippi, or to the people of the United States,
people of Mississippi, in the name of justice, liberty, The convention had not been in session and humanity, do most earnestly and respectfully i many days, when a committee was appointed Pention to declare all civil offices in the State
petition your honorable body to authorize this conto memorialize Congress to grant to that body and to fill them at once by the appointment of true the power to declare vacant all civil offices in and loyal men who, we humbly trust and confidently the provisional government of the State, and believe, will greatly add to the success of the conto fill them with officers of its own selecting. gressional plan of reconstruction; all of which is The committee prepared a memorial, which consideration of your honorable body, and, as in duty after considerable discussion, was forwarded to bound, we will ever pray. the Federal Legislature. This document was in the following terms:
A protest against the action of the conven
tion, in sending this memorial to Washington, To the Congrers of the United States : The Constitutional Convention elected under the
was read on the 29th of January, signed by laws of Congress for the reconstruction of civil gov
fifteen prominent conservative members. This ernment in the State of Mississippi, now in session protest laid down and supported by argument in the city of Jackson, of said State, beg leave to these five propositions, showing, as was claimed, represent to your honorable body that the loyal peo- that “the material statements made in said ple of this State, in our opinion, require your immediate aid to remove obstructions impeding the action memorial are untrue.” 1. “The government of their representatives in convention assembled.
of the State is not in the hands of rebels." The loyal Union men of Mississippi have accepted Under this head it was urged that at the close in good faith the reconstruction laws, and are labor- of the war the people had “accepted the siting to institute a civil government that shall recog- uation in good faith,” and then and since had nize the rights and protect the liberties of the citizens: endeavored to act the part of good and loyal and on such principles as shall render it acceptable citizens. 2. “The officers of the State have to the national Congress.
The reconstruction laws of Congress, nine months not neglected to protect the life and property ago, found the State under a civil government, so of loyal men." The third proposition states called, organized in 1865 by not more than one-third of the white men, who were authorized to vote by found in the State who could take the “test
that not enough “competent men” could be the President's proclamation.
They found this government administered by reb- oath" to fill the offices under the State adminels
, not in name merely, but really such in heart, in istration. The fourth declares that the "membead, in policy, indeed in all respects save open hos-bers of the convention were elected to distility.
When the terms of reconstruction were announced charge the specific duty of framing a constituby Congress in the early part of last year, it was
tion and civil government for the State," and toped by many sanguine friends of the Union that that, in choosing them, the people had acted they would be willingly accepted by the great mass on the belief that their labors were to be conof the Southern people. Not so, however, has been fined to that object; "and now the conferring the result, and, as the work of reconstruction adFadeed, there was gradually developed and made of any other power by Congress upon the conmanifest first doubt, then fear or apprehension, then vention, or the assumption of others by it, will poposition, and lastly an absolute and unmistakable be a violation of the trust reposed, and a usurhostility.
During this transition state of public sentiment pation of the rights of the people.” Fifthly, from doubt to hostility it may be imagined what signers of the protest declare that proscription and abuse the faithful Union loyalists When the resolution "for the appointment of the had to meet.
committee to prepare this memorial was on its pasAll this has been borne with a calm defiance and sage, an amendment was offered to it in these words: anfaltering devotion to country, to liberty, and the Resolved, further, That, in reorganizing the State Cnion; and now this rebel sentiment has culminated government under the foregoing resolution, no memon the floor of this convention itself by a member in ber of this body shall be eligible to any office of trust a report to this body averring that the convention is or profit in connection therewith." an unauthorized assembly, called by an unconstitu- Which amendment was lost by a vote of 36 yeas tional law of Congress, and has therefore no legal or to 48 nays. binding power over the State of Mississippi in com- By this vote a majority of the convention have peiling obedience to its ordinances.
shown their utter disregard of a great conservative In addition to the impediments thrown in the way principle, which is consecrated as well in the Constiof the convention by this popular sentiment arising tution of the United States as in the constitutions from the broken fragments of secession and rebellion, of a large majority of the States, the State of Missiswhich may very safely be permitted to drift aloof sippi inclusive, namely: that no representative of from all participation in reconstruction, there is the people shall, during the term for which he shall
have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of towns, and private individuals, in the Northern profit which shall have been created, or the emolu- States, for the relief of the destitute in this ments of which shall have been increased, during State," and calling on the Governor for a desuch term,
tailed account of the receipts and disburse The convention refused to enter this protest ments of such fund during his term of office. on the records, but decided, by a vote of 50 to On receiving this resolution, and the accom19, that it be " wrapped in brown paper and panying request for his official statement on returned to the gentleman from Marshall."
the subject alluded to, Governor Humphreys reAs soon as the memorial to Congress had plied: been dispatched, the convention turned its
No funds have been received by me from cities, attention to the proclamation of Governor Hum- towns, or individuals, in the Northern States. Time phreys of the 9th of December, 1867, which rep- who have intrusted me, as their private agent, with resented that conspiracies had been formed for the distribution of their charities, have neglected to the purpose of seizing upon lands in the State, instruct me to account to your body, and four conand dividing them into farms to distribute that the donors have delegated to that body ant asamong the negroes. This was characterized as thority to make the inquiry proposed. As those a libel on the people of Mississippi, and a com- donors may regard their charities as their own prie mittee was appointed to investigate the truth vate matters, disconnected with the affairs of corof the rumors of combinations of evil-disposed may be unwilling to subject the beneficiaries to the
ernment, civil or military, Federal or State, and persons in the State to seize lands, etc., coming mortification of a public exhibition of their want 42) from persons of high social and official posi- destitution, they may regard any effort, however tion, upon which the Governor's proclamation of laudable, to give publicity to their charities
, as December 9, 1867, was founded. This committee their wishes and instructions on this subject will be spent some days in obtaining information, and cheerfully complied with, and proper rouchers oil reported that there appeared to be no just cause be exhibited. for issuing the proclamation, but they believed that Governor Humphreys had been misled by before the convention saw fit to give its undi
Another subject occupying considerable tiire, the information he had received. The committee vided attention to the "specific duty of framhad written to the Governor requesting him to ing a constitution and civil government for the furnish what information he had touching the State," was the relief of the citizens from par subject of the proclamation, and the names of ing debts contracted prior to 1865. Resolzthe persons who had supplied the same. this he made a reply, in which he used the mander to issue an order affording relief to
To tions were passed requesting the military comufollowing language:
this class of debtors, and appointing a commit I presume you do not expect me to admit that the tee to confer with General Gillem on the subconvention now in session in this city, by virtue of ject. That officer referred them to the home the “ military bills" passed by Congress, has any stead and bankrupt laws, and suggested that constitutional right to require me to account to it for with the allowances and exemptions provide State of Misissippi. I acknowledge, however, the by these, “no family is threatened with starconstitutional right of all or any portion of the citi- vation, present or prospective, by non-interver: zens of the State, “in a peaceable manner, to assem- tion, or allowing the law to take its course ble together for their common good, and to apply to he therefore deemed it “ inexpedient to isso dress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by pe- the order asked for in the resolution, tragstition, address, or remonstrance' -and the correlative mitted by your committee."
A resolutia duty of all civil offcers to furnish them all the infor- was afterward adopted to appoint a committee mation in their possession, that pertains to their wel- to frame an ordinance for the "reliet of the do. I have no secrets I desire to withhold from any barrassment," which should be consistent witi fare and happiness, when respectfully requested so to people
of Mississippi from
their pecuniari er of the 9th of December, 1867, was issued at the urgent the rights and obligations of all parties and request of General Ord, commander of the Fourth Mil- with the Constitution of the United States." itary District, and all the information I have, on the But no such ordinance ever passed into ls*, sub and through him, except a few letters received from though power was given by the constitutiva prominent citizens, which I referred to him as soon to the first Legislature to pass enactments &.. as received, and which I presume are now in his fording the relief demanded. possession. For obvious reasons, then, I must refer Besides the ordinance providing for the efthe committee to him, and, if, in his judgment, a revelation of the sources of information will not be penses of the convention, a general law i an act of bad faith to the informers, white or black, made by the convention for levying and end or prejudicial to the public service, and will authorize lecting taxes, to maintain the civil govery: a publication of all the communications, public and ment of the State. This was carried into it private, I will cheerfully comply with his instructions fect under the authority of the military cours on that subject.
mander. The question of removing policies About the same time a resolution was disabilities occupied considerable attention passed in the convention, empowering a com- but no practical measure on the subject was mittee "to inquire into the disposition of all adopted. funds received by the State Treasurer or other The various reports on different portions of State officers, as donations from various cities, the proposed constitution were made from
time to time, and discussions followed, of more established by law. The judges are to be apor less length and animation, according to the pointed by the Governor for å term of years. interest felt in the topics to which they re- The three judges of the Supreme Court are to lated ; and finally, after a session of 115 days, be appointed for nine years, and their respecthe organic law of the State was completed, tive terms of office are to be so adjusted, that and received the signatures of a majority of one shall go out at the end of every three the delegates.
years. The terms of the circuit judges are for The first article embraces the Bill of Rights, six years. which is contained in thirty-two sections. Be- The topic which demanded by far the largest
sides the provisions usually contained in such amount of attention of any treated by the cone instruments
, are the following sections, which vention, was that of fixing the qualifications are by no means universal in our State consti- to be imposed upon the exercise of the right tutions :
of suffrage, and the privilege of holding of
shaii Section 16. The rights of married women
The discussion on this subject began be protected by law, in property owned previous to early in February, when the section of the marriage ; and, also, in all property acquired in good Bill of Rights prohibiting any educational or faith by purchase, gift, devise, or bequest, after mar- property qualifications for voters was under riage : Provided, That nothing herein contained shall consideration, and continued at intervals until be so construed as to protect said property from being the article relating to the franchise was adoptapplied to the payment of their lawful debts.
Sec. 17. No property qualification for eligibility ed, in the latter part of April. Earnest and to office shall ever be required,
able speeches were made in favor of a discrimSeo. 18. No property or educational qualification ination which would prevent the blacks, so shall ever be required for any person to become an recently freed from a condition which neceselector. $EC. 19. There shall be neither slavery nor in- sarily left them ignorant and unaccustomed to voluntary servitude in this State, otherwise than in the responsibility which ought to accompany tho punishment of crime, whereof the party shall citizenship, from taking a leading part in the Sec. 20. The right to withdraw from the Federal that the African race was physically and men
control of public affairs. It was contended ng Union, on account of any real or supposed grievances,
shall never be assumed by this State, nor shall any tally the inferior of the whites, and that any
interests which they could not understand, and tions in this State, making any distinction among the the most cultivated citizens of the State. On
citizens thereof: Prorided, That nothing herein con- the other hand, strong appeals were made in btained shall be so construed as to prevent the Legis- favor of universal suffrage, and some of the Eplature from appropriating the school fund in accord- ablest speeches on the subject were delivered iance with the article in this constitution relating to public schools.
by colored delegates. After the report of the Sec. 22. No distinction shall ever be made, by law, committee on the general subject of the elec
between citizens and alien friends in reference to tive franchise had been submitted, a long and at the possession, enjoyment, or descent of property.
Str. 27, No person's life shall be perilled by the excited debate followed, and amendments were practice of duelling, and any person who shall here- offered which represented every shade of poafter fight a duel, or assist in the same as second, or litical opinion on this important subject. When
send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge there- the fifth section of the article was under concaring for, or go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be sideration, so earnest did the discussion become
stitution, and (shall forever be disfranchised in this that several bitter personal altercations took State.
place, one of which led to a violent assault SEO. 29. No person shall ever be elected or ap- upon the president of the convention by a conma pointed to any office in this state for life or during servative member. The franchise article was
good behavior, but the term of all offices shall be for finally adopted by a vote of 44 to 25, wheresome specified period.
upon 12 delegates immediately resigned their The legislative article declares that the seats. The full text of the article is as folpolitical year shall begin on the first Monday lows: in January, and the Legislature shall meet on the following Tuesday, in each year. The
ARTICLE VII. Section 1. All elections by the peogeneral election is to take place once in two ple shall be by ballot.
Section 2. All male inhabitants of this State, exyears, on the Tuesday after the first Monday cept idiots and insane persons, and Indians, not in November. Representatives are
to be chosen taxed, citizens of the United States, or naturalized, for two years, and Senators for four years. twenty-one years old and upward, who have resided
in this State six months, and in the county one any person to give or receive a bribe, is
month next preceding the day of election, at which 4170- made an offence punishable with disfranchise- said inhabitant offers to vote, and who are duly
ment and disqualification for office. The Gov- registered according to the requirements of section emor and other executive officers hold their three of this article, and who are not disqualified by places four years. The judicial power is vested
reason of any crime, are declared to be qualified
electors, in the Supreme Court, Circuit Court, Chancery Section 3. The Legislature shall provide, by law, for Courts, and such lower tribunals as may be the registration of all persons entitled to 'vote at any