Imágenes de páginas
PDF

from renewin their relations to the Union by not accepting t eir senators and representatives.* ANDREW Jonnson, President of the U. S.

August 21—Ordinance assed that “ the institution of slavery having een destroyed in the State of Mississippi," neither slavery nor involgntary servitude, &c., shall hereafter exist in the

tate. August 21——An election ordered for first Monday in October for State and county officers, and Representatives in Congress in the several congressional districts as they were fixed by the egislature in 1857.

August 22—Secession ordinance declared null and void.

October 7—The colored citizens of Mississippi met in convention, and protested against the re~ actionaiy policy prevailing, and expressing the fear that the'Legislature will pass such prescriptive laws as will drive the freedmen from the State, or practically re-enslave them.

October lG—Legislature met.

October 17—Benjamin G. Humphreys inaugurated Governor.

November 20—Governor Humphreys sent a message recommending that negroes be permitted to sue and be sued, an give testimony, and that the freedmen be encouraged to en age in pursuits of industry, and that a mi itia bill, be passed, “ to protect our people against insurrection, or any possible combination of vicious White men and ne roes."

November 24 - ill passed “ reserving twenty

er cent. of the revenue Of the State as a fund or the relief of destitute disabled Confederate and State soldiers, and their widows, and for the support and education of indigent children of deceased or disabled Confederate or State soldiers, to be distributed annually,” &c.

November 27—.The joint committee re orted against ratifying the anti‘slavery amen ment, for reasons given ; and the Legislature adopted it. ‘ November 29—The Legislature adopted a memorial to the Congress of the United States, asking for the repeal of the " test oath.” November 22, one for the pardon of Jacob Thompson. November 8, one for the pardon of Jefierson Davis.

December 1—The name of Jones county changed to Davis.

December 5—Bill passed, taxing each male ' inhabitant of the State, between 21 and 60, $1, and authorizing any person having in his or her employ any one su ject to the tax, to pay it and charge it to the person for whom paid. All officers and enlisted men who have herefore received

[graphic]

*As bearing upon this point. this letter from the late President Lincoln, on a similar occasion, has value: I Exscunvs MANSION, Wasurno'rox, March 13, 1864. Hon MICHAEL Hum:

MY DEAR. Sm: Icong'ratulate you on having fixed your name in history as the first free Slat-e GoVi-rnorof Louisiana. Now you are nhout to have a. convention, which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise. I barely suggest, for your private consideration, wherh some ofthe colored [Pup 0 may not be let in, as, for lilslilnk' , the very intelligent. nml especially tho<e who have i'onqht gallantly in our ranks. They would probath help, in some ‘ trying time to come. to keep the jewel of liberty 111 the family of freedom. But this ls only a suggestion. not to the public, but to you alone.

Truly yours, A. LINCOLN.

[graphic]

pensions, and have forfeited the same by taking a part in the late war against the United States, shall be exempt from poll tax.

GEORGIA.

1865, May 3—Gov. Joseph E. Brown issued a proclamation calling an extra meeting of the Legislature for 22d.

May ‘14—’Maj. Gen. Gillmore issued an order annulling this proclamation, and directing the ' persons interested not to heed it.

June 17—Jarnes Johnson appointed Provisional Governor.

July 13—Prov. Gov. Johnson issued a proclamation fixing the first Wednesday in October. for an election for delegates to a Convention—— these to be the qualifications Of voters :

“ That no person at such election shall be qualified as an elector, or shall be eli ible as a member of such convention, unless he all have previously thereto taken and subscribed to the oath of amnest , as set forth in the President's proclamation 0 May 29, A. D. 1865, and is a voter qualified as prescribed by the constitution and laws of the State of Georgia, in force immediately before the 19th of January, A. D. 1861, the date of the sci-called ordinance of secession."

October '7—Names of members elect requiring

ardons sent to the‘President, and pardons re

urned, as in each of the other States.

October 25—Convention met.

October 30—Secession ordinance repealed ; ordinance passed dividing the State into seven congressional districts.

November 4—-Slavery declared abolished, “ the Government of the United States having, as a war measure, proclaimed all slavesheld or owned in this State emancipated from slavery, and having carried that proclamation into full prac— tical eilect." “Provided, That acquiescence in the action of the Government of the United States is not intended to operate as a relinquishment, or waiver, or estoppel, of such claim for compensation of loss sustained by reason of the emancipation of his slaves, as any citizen of Georgia may hereafter make upon the justice and magnanirnity of that Government.”

November 8—The State debt of Georgia, incurred in aid of the rebellion, declared null and void—yeas 133, nays 117. Pending this proposition these telegrams were sent:

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga, October 27, 1865. His Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States .

We need some aid to repeal the war debt. Send me word on the subject. What should the Convention do? J. JOHNSON,

Provisional Governor of Georgia. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D. 0., October 28, 1865. JAMES JOHNSON, Provisional Governor: '

Your despatch has been received. Thepeopl of Geor ia should not hesitate one single moment in repu iating every single dollar of debt created for the purpose of aidinv the rebellion against the Government of the ilnited. States. It will not do to levy and odlect taxes from aState and people that are loyal and in the Union, to pay a debt that was created to aid in an effort to take

them out, and thereby subvert the Constitution of the United States. I do not believe the great mass of the people of the State of Georgia, when left nuinfluenced, will ever submit to the payment of a debt which was the main cause of bringing on their set and present suffering, the result of the rebel ion. Those who vested their capital in the creation of this debt must meet their fate, and take it as one of the inevitable results of the rebellion, though it may seem hard to them. It should at once he made known at home and abroad, that no debt contracted for the purpose of dissolvinv the Union of the States can or ever will be paid by taxes levied on the people for such purpose. ANDREW J omrson, President of the United States.

Hon. W. H. SEWABD:
We are pressed on the war debt. What should
the Convention do? J. Jonssos,
Provisional Governor of Georgia.
MILLEDGEVILLE, October 27, 1865.

His Excellency JAMES Jonnson,
Provisional Governor of Georgia .-

Your several tele rams have been received. The President of the nited States cannot recognize the people of any State as having resumed the relations of loyalty to the Union that admits as legal, obligations contracted or debts created in their name, to promote the war of the rebellion. WILLIAM H. SEWABD.

WASHINGTON, October 28, 1865.

November 8—Convention adjourned.

November 15—Election held for State officers and Representatives in Congress.

December 4—Legislature met.

December 5-—Legislature ratified the anti-slaverv amendment.

1866, January—A convention of colored persons at Augusta advocated a pro osition to give those who could write and rea well, and ossessed a certain property qualification, the right of suffrage.

March 10—Bill passed 1e islature, authorizin an extra tax, the amount togbe fixed by the grand juries, but not to exceed two er cent. upon the State tax, for the benefitof in igentsoldiers, and the indigent families of deceased soldiers of the Confederate and State troops. Artificial arms and legs to be furnished disabled soldiers.

ALABAMA.

1865, June 21—Lewis E. Parsons appointed Provisional Governor.

July 20—Provisional Governor Parsons issued a proclamation, fixing August 31 for an election for aConvention, under these restrictions 1 “ But no person can vote in said election, or be a candidate for election, who is not a legal voter as the law was on that day; and if he is excepted from the benefit of annesty, under the President‘s proclamation of the 29th May, 1865, he must have obtained a pardon.

“ Every person must vote in the county of his residence, and, before he is allowed to do so, must take and subscribe the oath of amnesty prescribed in the President’s proclamation of the 29th of May, 1865, before some one of the off:

[graphic]

cers hereinafter ap ointed for that purpose in the county where e offers to vote; and any person offering to vote in violation of these rules or the laws of Alabama on the 11th of January, 1861, will be punished.

September 12—Convention met.

September 18—Election for State officers fixed for first Monday in November—the Provisional Governor authorized to order an election for Representatives in Con ress.

September 20—Sitvery abolished, “ as the institution of slavery has been destroyed in the State of Alabama.” Secession ordinance declared " null and void.” Rebel State debt repudiated, 60 to 19.

September 30—Convention adjourned.

November 20—Legislature met.

December 2—Anti-s1avery amendment ratified in this form:

1st. That the foregoin amendment to the Constitution of the United States he, and the same is hereby, ratified, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution of the United States.

2d. That this amendment to the Constitution of the United States is adopted by the Legislature of Alabama with the understanding that it does not confer upon Congress the power to legislate upon the political status of freedmen in this State.

3d. That the governor of the State be, and he is hereby, requested to forward to the President of the United States an authenticated copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions.

December 5—The Presidentsent this response:

His Excellency L. E. PARSONS,
Provisional Governor:

The President congratulates you and the country upon the acceptance of the congressional amendment of the Constitution of the Untted States by the State of Alabama, which e, being the twenty-seventh, fills up the co ement of two-thirds, and gives the amendment finishin efi'ect as a part of the organic law of the land. WILLIAM H. SEWARD

WASHINGTON, December 5, 1865.”

15366, January 8—The Legislature re-assemble .

Gov. R. M. Patton vetoed three bills. He vetoed the bill to regulate contracts with freedmen, because no special law is necessary. He adds:

“ Information from various arts of the State shows that negroes are everyw ere making contracts for the present year upon terms that are entirely satisfactory to the employers. They are also entering faithfully upon the discharge of the obligations contracted. There is ever prospect that the engagement formed will be ob served with perfect good faith. I therefore think that special laws for regulating contracts betwee whites and freedmen would accomplish no goo , and might result in much harm.”

Governor Patton has also vetoed the bill “ to extend the criminal laws of the State, applicable to free persons of color, to freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes." He says :

“The bill proposes to a ply to the freedmen a system of laws enacted or the government of free negroes residing in a community where slavery existed. I have carefully examined the 'laws which, under this bill, would be applied to the freedmen; and I think that a mere recital of some of their provisions will show the iinpolicy and injustice ofenforcing them upon the negroes in their new condition."

Governor Patton has also vetoed “a bill eutitled an act to regulate the relations of master and apprentice,'as relate to freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes," because he deems the present laws amply sufficient for all purposes of apprenticeship, without operating upon a particular class of persons.

The Legislature passed a tax bill, of which these are two sections:

“12. To sell, or expose for sale, for one year, at any one place, any pictorial or illustrated weekly, or any monthly paper, periodical or magazine, published outside the limits of this State, and not in aforeign country, and to vend the same on the streets, or on boats or railroad cars,fifty dollars."

“ 13. To keep a news depot for one year, in any city, town or village, for the sale of any newspaper, periodical or ma azine, notincluding pictorials provided for in t e preceding paragraph, ten dollars."

The Legislature passed some joint resolutions on the state of the Union, of which this, the fourth, is the most important:

“ That Alabama will not voluntarily consent to change the adjustment of political power as fixed by the Constitution of the United States, and to constrain her to do so, in her present

rostrate and helpless condition, with no voice in the councils of the nation, would be an unjustifiable breach of faith; and that her earnest thanks are due to the President for the firm stand he has taken against amendments to the Constitution forced through in the present condition of

a . gm code became operative June 1st, under a proclamation of Governor Patton.

[graphic]

SOUTH CAROLINA.

1865, May 2—G0v. Magrath issued a procla‘ mation that the confederate stores within the State should be turned over to State officers, to be distributed among the people.

May B—Gov. Magrath summoned the State ofiicers to Columbia to resume their duties.

May let—Maj. Gen. Gillmore issued an order annulling the Governor‘s acts, and notifying the persons interested not to heed his proclamations.

June BO—Benjamin F. Perry was appointed Provisional Governor.

Jul ZO—Prov. Gov. Perry issued a proclamation xin the first Monday of September for an election or a State Convention—the qualifications of voters being thus prescribed:

Every loya-lcitizen who iad taken the amnesty oath, and not within the exce ted classes in the President’s proclamation, will e entitled'to vote, provided he was a legal voter under the constitution as it stood rior to the secession of South Carolina. And al who are within the excepted classes must take the oath and apply for a pardon, in order to entitle them to vote or become members of the convention.

September 13—Convention met.

September 15—Secession ordinance repealed, 107 to 3.

[graphic]

September 19—Slavery declared abolished “the slaves in South Carolinahavin g been eiuanci pated by the action of the United States authori ties."

September 27—E1ection ordered for third Wednesday in October, for State officers. Ordinance passed, creating four congressional districts.

September 29—Convention adjourned.

October 18—James L. Orr elected Governor.

October —Legislature met.

This telegraphic correspondence occurred:

Exncurivn OFFICE, Wasnmc'ros, D. 0., October 28, 1865. B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor .

Your last two despatches have been received and the pardons suggested have been ordered. I hope that your Legislature will have no hesitancy in adopting the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slaver . It will set an example which will no doubt 0 followed by the other States, and place South Carolina in a most favorable attitude before the nation. I trust in God that it will be done.‘ The nation and State will then be left free and untrammeled to take that course which sound policy“, wisdom, and humanity may suggest.

ANDREW Jonsson, President.

Exnourrvn Orrrcn, Wasnrso'ros, D. 0., October 31, 1865. B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor:

There is a deep interest felt as to what course

the Legislature will take in regard to the adoption of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery, and the assumption of the debt created to aid in the rebellion against the government of the United States. If the action of the convention was in cod faith, why hesitate in making it a part of t e Constitution of the'United States? i I trust in God that restoration of the Union will not now be defeated, and all that has so far been well done thrown away. I still have faith that all will come out right yet.

This opportunity ought to be understood and ap reciated by the people of the southern States.

f I know my own heart and every passion which enters it, my earnest desire is to restore the blessings of the Union, and tie up and heal every bleedin wound which has been caused by this fratricida war. Let us be uided b love and wisdom from on high, and nion an peace will once more reign throughout the land. I

ANDREW Jonnson.

COLUMBIA, S. 0., November 1, 1865. His Excellency ANDREW Jonusox, President United States :

I will send ou to-day the whole proceedings of the State onvention, properly certified, as you re uest. _ ‘

The ebt contracted by South Carolina during the rebellion is very inconsiderable. Her expenditures for war purposes were paid by the confederate government. She has assumed no debt, or any part of any debt, of that government. Her whole State debt at this time is onl about six millions, and that is mostly for rai roads and building new State-house prior to the war. The members of the Legislature say they have received no official information of the amendment of the Federal Constitution abolishing slavery. They have no objection to adopting the first section of the amendmentproposed; but they fear that the second section may be construed to give Congress power of local legislation over the negroes, and white men, too, after the abolishment of slavery. In good faith South Carolina has abolished slavery, and never will wish to restore it again.

The Legislature is passing a code of laws providing ample and complete protection for the negro. There is a sincere desire to do everything necessar to a restoration of the Union, and tie up and lieal every bleeding wound which has been caused by this fratricidal war. I was elected United States Senator by a very flat-tering vote. The other Senator will be elected today. B. F. PERRY,

Provisional Governor.

. Wasnrneron, November 6, 1865. HisExcellency B. F. PERRY, Prov. Gov. .

Your despatch to the President of November 4 has been received. He is not entirely satisfied with the explanations it contains. He deems necessary the passage of adequate ordinances declaring that all insurrectionary proceedings in the State were unlawful and void ab initio. Neither the Constitution nor laws direct ofl‘icial information to the State of amendments to the Constitution submitted by Con ress. Notices of the amendment by Congress a olishing slavery were nevertheless given by the Secretary of State at the time to the States which were then in communication with this Government. Formal noticewill immediately be given to those States which were then in insurrection.

The objection you mention to the last clause of the constitutional amendment is regarded as querulous and unreasonable, because that clause is really restraining in its eEect, instead of enlarging the powers of Congress. The President considers the acceptance of the amendment by South Carolina as indispensable to a restoration of her relations With the other States of the Union. 7 WILLIAM H. Snwnnn.

November 7—Provisional Governor Perry sent a message communicating these tele rams, and recommending the ratification, an that the "place on record the construction which he been given to the amendment by the executive department of the Federal Government."

November 13—The Legislature ratified the anti-slavery amendment, in this form:

1. Resolved, &c., That the aforesaid pro osed amendment of the Constitution of the nitedStates he, and the same is hereby, accepted, and adopted and ratified by this State.

2. That a certified copy of the foregoing preamble and resolution be forwarded by his eXcellency the Provisional Governor to the President of t e United States, and also to the Secretary of State of the United States.

3. That any attempt by Congress towards legislatin g upon the political status of former slaves, or their civil relations, would be contrar to the'Constitution of the United States as it [now is, or as it would be altered by the proposed

[graphic]

amendment, in conflict with the policy of the

President, declared in his amnesty proclamation,

and with the restoration of that harmony -upon

yghich depend the vital interests of the American nion.

Respecting the repudiation of the rebel State debt, this telegraphic correspondence took place :

DEPARTMENT or STATE, WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 1865.

His Excellenc B. F. PERRY, revision/Ll Governor.

Your despatch of this date was received at half~past 10 o'clock this morning. This freedom of loyal intercourse between South Carolina and her sister States is manifestly much better and wiser than separation. The President and the whole country are gratified that South Carolina has accepted the congressional amendment to the Constitution abolishin slavery. Upon reflection South Carolina hersel would not care to come again into the councils of the Unipn incumbered and clogged with debts and obligations which had been assumed in her name in a vain attempt to subvert it. The President trusts that she Will lose no time in making an effective or anic declaration, disavowing all debts and o ligations created or assumed in her name or behalfin aid of the rebellion. The President waits further events in South Carolina with deep interest.

You will remain in the exercise of your functions of provisional governor until relieved by his express directions. WM. H. SEWARD.

COLUMBIA, November 27, 1865. Hon. W. H. SEWARDI Your telegram of the 20th instant was not received in due time, owing to my absence from Columbia. The Convention having been dissolved, it is impracticable to enact any organic law in regard to the war debt. ' That debt is Very small, as the expenditures of South Carolina were reimbursed by the confederate government. The debt is so mixed up with the ordinary expenses of theIState that it cannot be separated. In South Carolina. all were guilty of aiding the rebellion, and no one can complain of being taxed to pay the trifling debt incurred by his own assent in perfect 00d faith. The Convention did all that the resident advised to be done, and I thought it wrong to keep a revolutionar bod in existence and advised their imme iate issolution, which was done. There is now no power in the Le islature to repudiate the debt if it were possib e to separate it from the other debts of the State. Even then it would fall on widows and orphans whose estates were invested in it for safety. B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor.

Dnrsa'rmenr or STATE,

Wssnmeron, November 30, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 27th instant, imforming me, that as the Convention had been dissolved, it was impossible to adopt the President’s suggesstion to repudiate the insurgent debt, and to inform you that while the objections which you urge to the‘adoption of that proceeding‘are of a serious nature, the Presi— I dent cannot refrain from awaiting with'=intcrest an official expression upon that subject from the Le islature.*

Ighave the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. His Excellency B. F. PERRY.

November—The colored State Convention addressed a memorial to Congress, asking that equal suffrage be conferred u on them in common with thelwhite men of t e State.

November 22—Election held for Representatives in Congress.

Respecting their admission there was this telegraphic correspondence:

Cowman, S. 0., November 27, 1865. President J onuson:

Will you please inform me whether the South Carolina members of Congress should be in Washington at the organization of the House Will the Clerli of the House call their names if their credentials are presented to him? Will the test oath be re uired, or will it be refused by Congress? If t e members are not allovVed to take their seats they do not wish to incur the trouble and expense of going on, and the mortification of being rejected. Do give your views and wishes.

B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Washington, D. (1, November 27, 1865. B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor:

I do not think it necessary for the members elect from South Carolina to be present at the organization of Congress. On the contrary, it wi l he better policy to present their certificates of election after the two Houses are organized, and then it will be a. simple question under the Constitution of the members taking their seats. Each House must judge for itself the election, returns, and qualifications of its own members. As to what the two Houses will do in reference to the oath now re uired to be taken before the members can take t ieir seats is unknown to me, and I do not like to predict; but, upon the whole, I am of opinion that it would be better for the question to come up and be disposed of after the two Houses have been organized.

I hope that your Legislature will adopt a code in reference to free persons of color that will be acceptable to the country, at the same time doing justice to the white and colored population.

Annnnw Jonnsoir, President of the United States.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]
[graphic]

mending the people to give it no heed whatmen

July 13—William Marvin appointed Provisional qurnor.

August 3—Provisional Governor Marvin called an election for delegates to a convention for October 10th—these provisions governing the election: ‘

“ Every free white male person of the age of twenty—one years and upwards, and who shall be at the time of offering to vote a citizen of the United States, and who shall have resided and had his home in this State for one year next preceding the election, and for six months in the county in which he may ofi’er to vote, and who shall have taken and subscribed the oath of amnesty, as set forth in the President's proclamation of amnesty of the 29th day of May, 1865, and if he comes within the exceptions contained in said reclamation, shall have taken said oath, and rave been speciall pardoned by the President, shall be entitle to vote in the county where he resides, and shall be eligible as amem~ ber of said convention, and none others. Where the person oflerin to vote comes within the exceptions containe in the amnesty proclamation, and shall have taken the amnest oath, and shall have made application to‘the residenti'or a special pardon through the Provisional Governor, and shall have been recommended by him for such pardon, the inspectors or judges of the election ma , in most instances, properl presume that she pardon has been rrnnte , though, owing to the want of mail facfiities, it may not have been received by the party at the time of the election. '

“Free white soldier, seamen, and marines in the army or navy of the United States, who were qualified by their residence to vote in said State at the time. of their res ective enlistments, and who shall have taken an subscribed the amnesty oath, shall be entitled to vote in the county where they respectively reside. But no soldier, scaman, or marine not a resident in the State at the time of his enlistment shall be allowed to Vote."

October 25—Convention met.

October 28.—Secession ordinance annulled.

November 6—Slavery abolished—“slavery having been destroyed in the State by the Government of the United States." ~ Same ordinance > gives colored people the right to testify in all cases where the person or property of such person is involved, but denies them the right to testify where the interest of the white class are involved.

Same day—Rebel State debt repudiated. A bill was first passed submitting this question to a vote of the people: but this was reconsidered, on finding this was a condition of recognition by the executive branch of the government, and the direct repudiation adopted.

November 29—Election held under an ordinance of the Convention for State officers and Representative in Congress.

December l8—Legislature met.

December 28—Anti--slavery amendment ratified, with this declaratory resolution apart of the ratifyino ins rument:

“ Resolved: Th t this amendment to the Con

« AnteriorContinuar »