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Elective Franchise in the States.

December 18, 1865—Mr. Thornton submitted this resolution:

Whereas, at the first movement toward independence, the Congress of the United States instructed the several States to institute govern< ments of their own, and left each State to decide for itself the conditions for the enjoyment of the elective franchise; and whereas during the period of the confederacy there continued to exist a very great diversity in the qualifications of electors in the several States; and whereas the Constitution of the United States recognizes these diversities when it'enjoins that in the choice of members of the House of Representatives the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for the electors of the most numerous branch of the State le islatures; and whereas, after the formation 0 the Constitution, it remained, as before, the uniform usage of each State to enlarge the body of its electors according to its own judgment; and whereas so fixed was the reservation in the habits of the people, and so unquestioned has been the interpretation of the Constitution, that during the civil war the late President never harbored the purpose, certainly never avowed the purpose, of disregarding it; Therefore, Q

Resolved, That any extension of the elective franchise to ersons in the States, either by act of the Presi cut or of Congress, would be an assumption of wer which nothinv in the Constitution of the nited States would warrant, and that, to avoid every danger of conflict, the settlement of this question should‘be referred to the several States. "‘

Mr. Ellihu B. Washburne moved that it be laid on the table ; which was agreed to—yeas 111, nays 46, as follow :

Yum—Messrs. Alley, Allison, Ames, Anderson, J ames M.


Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Barker, Baxter, Bosnian, Benjamin, Bidwoll, Binghnm, Blow. Bouttvell, Brandegee, Broomall, Buckland, Bondy, Render W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke, Conkling, Cook, Darling, Dawes, Defrees, Delano, Deming, Dixon, Driggs, Dumont, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Furnsworth, Garfield, Grinnell, iliile, Abner G. Harding, Hurt, Hayes, Henderson, Highy, Holmes, Hooper, Holchkise, Asahel W. Hubbard, Demas Hubbard, j r., John H. Hubbard, James R. llubbell, Hulburd, James Humphrey, Jenckes, Julian, Kelley, Kelso, Kelcham, Litflln, Lntham, George V'anrence, William Lawrence, LOHJI, Lougyar, Lynch, Mei}I sion. Marvin, McClurg, Mclndoe, McKee, McRuer, Mercur, Miller, Moorhead,Morrill,'ltlculton, Myers. NeWell, O’Neill, Paine, Patterson, Perliain, Pike, Plant), Price, Raymond, Alexander Ii. Rice, John ll. Rice, Rollins, Sawyer, Schenck, Seofield, Sliellebarger, Spalding, Starr, Stevens, ’l‘hayer, Trowbridge, Upson, Van Aernam, Burt VII." Horn, Robert T. Van'liorn, Ward, Werner. Ellihu B. Wushburne,Williom B. Weshburn, Welker, Wentworth, Willinms,Junies P. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson—111.

News—Messrs. Ancmza, Bergen, Boyer, Bromwdl, Brookl, Ohanlcr, Dawson, Dmison, Eldridge, Fnrqnhur, Finck, Goodyear, Grider, Aaron Harding, Hill. Hogan, Chester D. Hubbard, Edwin D. Hubball, Ingersoll,Jolmson, Kerr, Knykendall, Marshall, McCullough, Niblick, Nicholson, Noell, Orth, Rad/oral, Samuel J. Randall, William H. Randall, Bitter, Rogers, Ross. Rousseau,Slianklin,Silyreo ous, Smith, Stillwell, Slrouse, Taber, Taylor, Thornton, Trini'ile, Wheley, \Wrighl—46.

February 26, 1866—Mr. Defrees offered this resolution, which was laid over:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this House that Congress has no constitutional right to fix the qualification of electors in the several States.

Ma the were I

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21—It was referred to the Committee on udiciary—yeas 86, nays 30. .The nays

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Endorsement of the President’s Policy.

December 21, 1865—Mr. Voorhees submitted these resolutions, which were postponed till January 9, 1866;

Resolved, That the message _of the President of the United States, delivered at the present Congress, _is regarded by this body as an able and patriotic State paper.

2. That the principles therein advocated for the restoration of the Union are the safest and most racticable that can now be applied to our disor cred domestic aflairs.

3. That no State, or any number of States confederated together, can in any manner sunder their connection with the Federal Union, except by a total subversion of our present system of government; and that the President in enunciating this doctrine in his late messa e has but given expression to the sentiments 0 all those who deny the right or power of a State to secede.

4. That the President is' entitled to the thanks of Congress and the country for his faithful, wise, and successful efi'orts to restore civil overnrnent, law, and order to those States w ose citizens were lately in insurrection a ainst the federal authority; and we hereby p edge ourselves to aid, assist, and uphold him in the policy which he has adopted to give harmony, peace, and union to the country. '

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mation of the President of May 29, 1865, “ the rebellion whicn was waged by a portion of the people of the United States against the properly constituted authorities of the Government there— of in the most violent and revolting form, but whose organized and armed forces have now been almost entirely overcome, has in its revolutionary progress deprived the peeple” of the States in w iich it was organized “of all ciVil government.”

2. That whenever the people of any State are thus “deprived of all civil government,” it becomes the duty of Congress, by appropriate legislation, to enable them to organize aState government, and in the language of the Constitution “to guarantee to such State a republican form of government.” ~

3. That it is the deliberate sense of this House that the condition of the rebel States fully justifies the President in maintaining the-sus

ension of the writ of habeas corpus in those

lates. .

4. That it is the deliberate sense of this House that the condition of the rebel States fully justifies the PreSident in maintaining militar

ossession and control thereof, and that the Presi

ent is entitled to the thanks of the nation for employing the war ower for the protection of Union Citizens and t e freedmen in those States.

Mr. Finck moved they be laid on the table; which was disagreed to—yeas 29, nays 119, as follow : ,

YEAS—Mrssrs. Ancona. Bergen, Brooks, Chanler, Dawson, Eldridge, Finck, Glossbrenner. Goodyear, Grider, Aaron Harding, Hwan. James M. Humphrey, Kerr, Le Blond, Marshall, 1Hc(.'ullough, Niblaclc, Nicholson, Rad 0rd, Samuel J- Randall, Bitter, Rogers, Rosa, Slzunklin,-Ta er, Thornton, Trimble, l’aorliees—2ll.

NAYS —Mossrs. Allison, Anderson, Delos E. Ashley, James M. Ashley, B iker. Baldwin. Banks, Baxter, Beamim, Benjamin, Bidwcll. Bingham, Blaine, Boutwell, Bromwell, Broomall, Reader W. Cliirke, Sidney Clarke, Cobb, Conkling, Cook, Cullom, Dawes, Deming, Donnelly, Briggs, Eckley, Eggleston, liliot, FNI'DBWOI‘HI, Farqliliur, Ferry, Garfield. Grinnell, Griswold, Hale, Abner G. Harding, Hayes. Henderson, Higby. Holmes, Hooper, Asnliel W. Hubbard, (‘hestel' D. Hubbard, Demos Hubbard, John H. Hubbard, James R. Hubbell, Hulburd, James Humphrey, Ingerso l Jenckes, Julian, Kmnon. Kelley, Kelso, Ketrham, Kuykendall, Lnfiiu, Lathnm, George V. Lawrence, William Lawrence, Loan, Lon-:year, Lynch. Marvin, McClurg. McIndoo, McKee, \lcRuer, Moi-cur. Moorliead. Merrill, Morris, Moulton, Myers. O‘Neill, Orth, Paine, Patterson, Pei'ham, Phelps, Pike, Plants, Ponieroy, Price, William H. Randall, Raymond. Alexander 11. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Rousseau, Sawyer, Schenck, SCnfiBlll, Shellabarger, Sloan, Smith, Spiilding, Starr, Stevens, 'fhayer, John L. Thomas, Trowbridzs, Upson, Van Aerniim, Burt Van Horn, Robert T. Van Horn, Ward, Warner, Ellihu B. Wushburne, William B. Wusliburn, Welkcr, \Venlworth. Whaley, Williams, James E. Wilson, Stephen F. Wilson, Windom, Woodbridge—lll).

A division of the uestion having been demanded, the first reso ution was agreed to—yeas 102, nays 36, as follow:

TEAS—Messrs]. Allison. Anderson, Delos R. Ashley, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Baxter, Beuman, Benjamin, Bidwell, Biiigham, Blaine, Bontwell, Brnndegee, Bromwell, Broomull, Reader W. Clarke, Sidney Clarke. Cobb, Conkling, Cook, Defrees, Deming, Donnelly, Driggs, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Farnsworth, Ferry, Garfield, Grinnell, Abner 1?. Harding, Hayes, Henderson, lligby, Holmes. Hoop

er, Asnhcl‘ W. Hubbard, Demos Hubbard, John H. lIan

bard, James ll. Hubbell, Hnlburd, Ingorsull, Jcnckes, Julian, Kasson, Kelley, Kelso, Ketcham. Kuykendnll, Laflin, William Lawrence, Loan, Longyear, Lynch, Mar-sion, Marvin, McClurg. Mcludoe, McKee, McRuer, Moorhead, Morrill, Morris. Moultnn, Myers, O’Neill, Ortli, Paine, Perhnm, Pike, Plants, Pomeroy, Piice, William H. Randall, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Rice, Rollins, Schenck, Scofield, Shellabarger, Sloan, Spulding, Starr, Stevens, Thayer, Trowbridge, Upson, Van Aernam, Ward, Warner, Ellihu B.

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June 11, 1866—Mr. ,Ancona. offered this resolution:

Whereas the Irish peoplé and their brothers and friends in this country are moved by a patriotic purpose to assert the independence and reestablish the nationality of Ireland; and whereas the active sympathies of the people of the United States are naturally With all men who struggle to achieve such ends, more especially when those engaged therein are the acknow— ledfled friends of our Government, as are the Irish race, they having shed their blood in defense of our flag in every battle of every war in which the republic has been engaged; and whereas the British Government, against whom they are struggling, is entitled to no other or greater consideration from us as a. nation than that demanded by the strict letter of international law, for the reason that during our late civil war she did in effect, by her conduct, repeal her neutrality laws; and whereas when reparation is demanded for damages to our commerce, resulting from her willful neglect to enforce the same, she arrogantly denies all TOSPODSlblllLy, and claims to be the judge in her own case; and whereas the existence of our neutrality law of 1818 compels the executive department of this Government to discriminate most harshly against those who have ever been and are now our friends, and in favor of those who have been faithless, not only to the general principles of comity which should exist between friendly States, but also to the written law of their own nation upon this subject; Therefore, .

Be it resolved, That the Committee on Foreign. Affairs be, and they are hereby, instructed to report a bill repealing an act approved April 20, 1318, entitled "An act in addition to an act for the unishment of certain crimes against the United States," and to repeal the act therein mentioned, it being the neutralit law, under the terms of which the Presidents proclamation ave-inst the Fenians was issued,

' Mr. Davis, of New York, moved to lay it on the table, which was lost—yeas 5, (Messrs. Cobb, Davis, Grinnell, Hale, Trowbridge,) nays 112. Mr. Schenck moved this as a substitute: Resolved, That the President of the United States, in the opinion of this House, should reconsider the policy which has been adopted by him as between the British Government and that portion of the Irish people who, under the name of Fenians, are struggling for their independent nationality; and that he be requested to adopt as nearly as practicable that exact course of procedure which was pursued by the Government of Great Britain on the occasion of the late civil war in this country between the United States and rebels in revolt, reco nizing both parties as lawful belligerents, and observing between them a strict neutrality. ' Mr. Hale moved to table it; which was lost— yeas 8, (Messrs. Cobb, 'Davis, Dawes, Dodge, Griswold, Hale, Sloan, Trowbrid e,) hays 113. Mr. Banks moved to refer to t e Committee

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Suffrage in District of Columbia. In House.

J'anuar 10, 1866—Pending this bill, offered by Mr. elley, December 5, 1865, and reported from the Judiciary Committee by Mr. James F. Wilson, December 18, and then postponed till this day:

A Bill extending the ri ht of sufi'rage in the District of olumbia.

Be it enacted, &c., That from all laws and parts of law's prescribing the qualifications of electors for any office in the District of Columbia the Word “white” be, and the same is hereby, stricken out, and that from and after the passage of this act no person shall be disqualified from voting at an election held in the said District on account 0 color.

SEO. 2. That all acts of Congress and all laws of the State of Maryland in force in said District and all ordinances of the cities of Washington and eorgetown inconsistent with the proviSions of this act are hereb repealed and annulled.

After debate, Mr. Wilson moved its recommitment. 1

Mr. Hale moved to amend by adding these words: with instructions to amend the bill so as to extend the right of suiii'age in the District of Columbia to all persons coming within either of the following classes, irrespective of caste or color, bpt subject only to existing provisions and


qualifications other than those founded on caste or color, to Wit : _

First. Those who can read the Constitution of the United States.

Second. Those who are assessed for and pay taxes on real or personal property Within the District. ,

Third. Those who have served _1n and been honorably discharged from the military or naval service of the United States, and to restrict such right of sufi'rage to the classes above named, and to include proper provisions excluding from the right of suiirage those who have borne arms against the United States during the late rebellion, or given aid or comfort to said rebellion.

January 17, 1866—Mr. Wilson accepted Mr. Hale’s amendment as part of his.

January 18—Mr Darling moved to pestporie the bill till April 3.

Mr. Niblack moved to lay the bill on the table, which was disagreed to—ycas 47, nays 123, as follow:

YsAs—Messrs. Amma, Delos R. Ash'le , Bergen, Boyer, Brooks, Chanlor, Dawson, Denisrm, Eldri gs, Finck, Glossh brenner, Goody/ear, Grider, Aaron Harding, Hogan, Chester D. Hubbard. Edwin N. Hubbell, James M. Humphrey, Johm son, Jones, Kerr. Kuykendiill, Latliam, Le Blond, Marshall, McCullough, Niblack, Nicholson, Noell, Phelps, Radford, Summl J. Randall, William H. Randall, Riiller, Rogers, Ross, Shanklin, Silgrwvss, Smith, Strouse, Taber, Rylor, John L. Thomas, ji'., Thornton, Trimblc, Voorhees, Winfield—47. .

NAYs—Messi-s. Alley, Allison, Ames, Anderson, James M. Ashley, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Barker, Baxter, Beaman,

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