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stitution of the United States is adopted by the Legislature of the State of Florida, with the understanding that it does not confer upon the Congress the own to legislate upon the politi— cal status of t 10 freedmen in this State." Pending this action, this telegraphic correspondence took place: . DEPARTMENT or STATE, WASHINGTON, September 12, 1865. SIR: Your excellency's letter of the 29th ultimo, with the accompanying proclamation, has been received and submitted to the President. Thesteps to which it refers, towards reorganizing the government of Florida, seem to be in the main'judicious, and good results from them may be heped for. The presumption to which the proclamation refers, however, in favor of in_surgents who may wish to vote, and who may have applied for, but notreceived. their pardons, is not entirely approved. All applications for pardons will be duly considered, and will be dissed of as soon as may be practicable. It must, hgwever, be distinctly understood that the restora~ tion to which your proclamation refers will be subject to the decision of Congress. I have the honor to be, your excellency's obedient servant, WILLIAM 1f. SEWABD. His Excellency WILLIAM MARVIN. Orrrcn on THE PRoVIsiorrAL GOVERNOR, TALLAHASSEE, FLA.,0ctober 7, 1865. * * * I haVe said that the Convention will, in good faith, abolish slavery; butl think it probable that the Legislature, which will be elected and convened at an early period, will feel some reluctance against ratifying the proosed amendment to the Constitution of the nited States. The princi 18.1 argument urged against the ratification is, that» the Legislature Will thereby assist to impose abolition on Kentucky and Delaware, which have not yet abolished slavery. If the President should think it desirable that the Legislature should ratify the proposed amendment, either with a view to promote a more complete reconciliation between the North and the South, or for any other reason, hepossibly may not deem ftamiss to communicate to me his wishes on the subject. His wishes on the subject would be very potent in the State. The military authorities in the State, under the command of Major General Foster, are rendering me every possible assistance in sendiu out notices and proclamations of the election, in the absence of mail facilities, and no disagreements exist between us. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, - \VM. MARVIN, Provisional Governor. Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WAsiIIL'crou, November 1, 1865.
His Excellency WILLIAM MARVIN,
Your letter of October 7 was received and submitted to the President. He is gratified with the favorable regress towards reor anization in Florida, and directs me to say tiat he re‘ gards the ratification by the Legislature _of the congressional amendment of the Constitution of
the United States as indispensable to a. successful restoration of the true legal relatiops between Florida. and the other States. and e ually indispensable to the return of peace an ,harmony throughout the Republic.
WILLIAM H. SEWABD.
1865, April 4—Presideut Lincoln visited Richmond.
A i'il 7—An informal meeting of private indivi uals, among whom were five or SIX members of the rebel legislature in Richmond,was had to consider a suggestion that the Legislature reassemble to calla Convention to restore Virginia to the Union, said to be with the concurrence of President Lincoln.
April 12—This address was published in the Richmond Whig:
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA.
The undersigned, members of the Legislature of the State of Virginia, in connection with a number of the citizens of the State, whose names are attached to this paper, in view of the evacuation of the city of Richmond by the Confederate government and its occupation by the militar authorities of the United States, the surrcn er of the arm of northern Vir inia, and the suspension of the jurisdiction 0 the civil power of the State, are of the o inion that an immediate meeting of the Genera Assembly of the State is called for b the exigencies of the situation. The consent 0 the military authorities of the United States to a session of the Legislature in Richmond, in connection with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, to their free deliberation upon public affairs, and to the in ress and departure of all its members under sate conduct, has been obtained.
' The United States authorities will afford transportation from any point ‘under their control to any of the persons before mentioned.
The matters to be ubmitted to the Legislature are the restoration of peace to the State of Virginia, and the adjustment of the questions, in— volving life, liberty and property, that have arisen in the State as a consequence of war.
We, therefore, earnestl request the Governor, LieutenantGovernor, an members of the Legislature, to repair to this city by the 25th of April,
We understand that full rotectiou to persons and property will be affordbd in the State, and we recommend to peaceful citizens to remain at their homes and pursue their usual avocations with confidence that they will not be interru ted.
We earnestly solicit the attendance in ichmond, on' or before the 25th of April, instant, of the following persons, citizens of Virginia, to confer with us as to the best means of restoring peace to the State of Virginia. We have secured safe conduct from the military authorities of the United States for them to enter the city and depart without molestation:
Hons. R. M. T. Hunter, A. T. Caperton, Wm. C. Rives, John Letcher, A. H. H. Stuart, B. L. Montague, Fayette McMullen, J. P. Holcombe, Alex. ives, B. Johnson Barbour, J'as. Barbour, Wm. L. Goggin. J. B. Baldwin, Thos. S. Ghol
son, Waller Staples, S. D. Miller, Thos. J. Randolph, Wm. T. Early, R. A. Olaybrook, John Critcher Williams, T. H. Ep es, andthose other persons for whom passports have been rocured, and especially others whom we consi or it unnecessary to mention. Signed——
A. J. Marshall, Senator from Fauquier.
John Wesson, Senator from Marion.
James Venable, Senator elect from Petersburg.
David J. Burr, of the House of Delegates, from Richmond.
David J. Saunders, of the House of Delegates, Richmond city.
L. S. Hall, of the House of Delegates, Wetzel
Virginia together, as the rightful Legislature Q the State, to settle all differences with the United States. I have done no such thing. I spoke of them not as a legislature, but as “the gentlemen who have acted as the Legislature of Virginia in support of the rebellion." I did this on purpose to exclude the assumption thatI was recognizing them as a rightful body. I dealt with them as men having power de facto to do a specific thing, to wit, “to withdraw the Virginia troops and other support from resistance to the General Government," for which, in the paper handed to Judge Campbell, I promised a specific equivalent, to wit, a remission to the people of the State, except in certain cases, the confiscation of their property. I meant this and no more. Inasmuch, however, as Judge Campbell misconstrues this, and is still pressing for an armistice, contrar to the explicit statement of the pa er I gave rim; and particularly as Gen. Grant ias since captured the Virginia troops, so that giving a consideration for their withdrawal is no longer applicable, let my letter to you and the paper to Judge Cam bell both be withdrawn or countermanded, and e be notified of it. Do not now allow them to assemble ; but if any have come, allow them safe return to their homes. A. LINCOLN.
May Q—President Johnson issued an executive order recognizing the Pierpoint Administration as that of Virginia. (See President Johnson's Orders, p. 8.)
June 19—,Legislature met.
June 20—Bill passed >rescribing means by which persons who have been disfranchised by the third article of the constitution may be re— stored to the rights of voters. [It provides, substantially, that persons, otherwise qualified as voters, who take the amnesty oath and an oath to uphold the executive government of
- Virginia, shall be qualified as voters]
June 21—Bill passed submitting to a vote of the people whether the le islature to be chosen at the next election shoul have power to alter or amend the third article of the constitution, which is in these words:
“ No person shall Vote or hold office under this constitution who has held office under the s0~called Confederate government, or under any rebellious State government, or who has been a member of the so'called Confederate Congress, or amember of any State Legislature in rebellion against the authority of the United States, excepting therefrom the county'ofiicers.”
June 23-——Legislature adjourned. .
October 12—Election held for Representatives in Congress. The vote on empowerin the Legislature to alter the third article a most unanimously affirmative. ‘
December 4—Le islature assembled. A bill passed, providing t at all qualified voters heretofore identified with “the rebellion," and not excluded from the amnesty proclamation by President Johnson (with the exception of those embraced in the “ $20,000 clause,”) can appear before a notary public, or other persons authorized to administer oaths, under the restored Government, and recover the right of, suffrage, by taking the amnesty oath of the 29th of May, 1865, an oath to support the restored Gav
ernment of Virginia, and to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He also becomes eli ible to office, unless he has “held office unde the so-called Confederate government, or under any rebellious State overnment, or has been a member of the so'cal ed Confederate Congress, or a member of any State Legislature in rebellion against the authority of the United States,” excepting therefrom county ofiicers.
1865, March 4—William G. Brownlow elected Governor, under the organization effected by Andrew Johnson,-Mi1itary Governor. Brownlow received 23,352 votes, scattering 37.
June 5—Franchise act passed, with these proVisions:
SEC. 1. Be it enacted, &c., That the following persons, to wit:
1. Every white man twenty-one years of a e, a. citizen of the United States and a citizen oft e county wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, and publicly known to have entertained unconditional Union sentiments from the outbreak of the rebellion until the present time; and
2. Every white man, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the county wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, having arrived at the age of twent -one years since March 4, 1865: Provided, That e has not been engaged in armed rebellion against the authority of the United States voluntarily; and
3. Every white man of lawful ag'e coming from another State, and bein a citizen of the United States, on proof of loya ty to the United States, and being a citizen of the county wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election; and
4. Every white man, a citizen of the United States and a citizen of this State, who has served as a soldier in the army of the United States, and has been or may be hereafter honorably discharged therefrom; and
I 5. Every white man of lawful a e, acitizen of a
the United States and a citizen 0 the county wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, who was conscripted b force into the so-called confederate army, an was known to be a Union man, on roof of loyalty to the United States; estabished by the testimony of two voters under the previous clauses of this section; and 6. Every white man who voted in this State at the presidential election in November, 1864, or voted on the 22d of Februar , 1865, or voted on the 4th of March, 1865, in t iis State, and all others who had taken the “oath of allegiance" to the United States, and may be known by the judges of election to have been true friends to the Governmentof the United States, and would have voted in said reviousl mentioned elections if the same hadp been ho den within their reach, shall be entitled to the privileges of the elective franchise. SEO. 2. That all persons who are or shall have been civil or diplomatic officers or agents of the so-called Confederate States of America, or who
have left judicial stations under the- United States or the State of Tennessee to aid, in any way, the existing or recent rebellion against the authority of the United States, or who are or shall have been military or naval officers of the so-called Confederate States, above the rank of captain in the army or lieutenant in the navy; or who have left seats in the United States Conress or seats in the Legislature of the State of enneSsee, to aid in said rebellion, or have resigned commissions in the army or navy of the United States, and afterward have voluntarily given aid to said rebellion; or persons who have been engaged in treating otherwise than lawfully, as prisoners of war, persons found in the United States service as officers, soldiers, seamen, orjn any other capacities; or persons who have been or are absentees from the United States for the pur ose of aiding the rebellion; or persons who he d pretended ofl'ices under the government of States in insurrection against the United States; or persons who left their homes within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, or fled before the approach of the national forces and passed beyond the Federal military lines into the so-called Confederate States, for the purpose of aiding the rebellion, shall be denied and refused the privilege of the elective franchise in this State for the term of fifteen years from and after the passage of this act.
SEC. 3. That all other persons, except those mentioned in section one of this act, are hereby and henceforth excluded and denied the exercise of the privilege of the elective franchise in this State for the term of five years from and after the passage of this act.
SEO. 4. That all persons embraced in section three of this act, after the expiration of said five years, may be readmitted to the privilege of the elective franchise by petition to the circuit or chancery court, .on proof of loyalty to the United States, in open 'court, upon the testimony of two or more loyal citizens of the United States.
July 15—PresidentJohnsonsent this telegram:
WASHINGTON, D. C.-3.5O P. M., _ July 16, 1865. To Governor W. G. Brownlow .
I hope, as I have no doubt you will see, that the laws passed by the last Legislature are faithfully executed, and that all illegal voters in the approaching election be kept from the polls, and that the election of members of Congress be‘ conducted fairly. Whenever 'it becomes necessary for the execution of the law and the protection of the ballot-box, you will call upon General Thomas for sufficient military force to sustain the civil authority of the State. I have just read your address, which I most heartily endorse. ANDREW Jonnson,
President U. S. A.
1866, April 12—An amendment to the franchise act passed the House, 41 to 15.
May S—The Senate passed it, 13 to 6. Its principal revisions are : '
See. 1. hat every white male inhabitant of this State of the age of twenty-one years, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the county wherein he may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, shall be enti
tled to the privilege of the elective franchise, subject to the following exceptions and disqualifications, to wit:
First. Said voter shall have never borne arms against the Government of the United States for the purpose of aiding the late rebellion, nor have voluntarily given aid, comfort, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to any rebellion against the authority of the United States Government, nor aided, conntenanced, or encouraged acts of hostility thereto.
Second. That said voter shall have never sought, or voluntarily accepted, any office, civil or military, or attempted to exercise the functions of any office, civil or military, under the authority or retended authority of the so-called Confederate tates of America, or of any insure rectionary State whatever, hostile or opposed to the authority of the United States Government, with the intent and desire to aid .said rebellion or insurrectionary authority. ,
Third. That said voter shall have never voluntarily supported any pretended government, power, or authorityhostile or inimical to the authority of the United States, by contributions in money or property, by persuasion or influence, or in any other way whatever: Provided, That the foregoing restrictions and disqualifications shall not apply to any white citizen who may have served in and been honorabl discharged from the army or navy of the nited States since the 1st day of January, 1862, nor to those who voted in the Presidential election in November, 1864, or voted in the election for " ratification or rejection ” in Februar , 1865,0r voted in the election held on the 4th ay of March of the same year for Governor and members of the Legislature, nor to those who have been appointed to any civil or military oflice by Andrew Johnson, Military Governor, or William G. Brownlow, Governor of Tennessee, all of whom are hereby declared to be qualified voters upon their complying with the requirements of this act: Provided, That this latter clause shall not apply to any commission issued upon any election which may have been held.
Sec. 2. That the Governor of the State shall, within sixty days after the passage of this act, appoint a commissioner of registration for each an every county in the State, who shall, Without delay, enter upon the discharge of his duties, and who shall have full ower to administer the necessary oaths provide by this act. _
May 19—A bill was passed to disqualify certain persons from holding office, civil or military. It excludes those persons who held civil or diplomatic offices, or were agents of the so called Confederate States, or who left judicial stations under the United States, or the State of Tennessee, to aid the rebellion, or who were military or naval officers of the so-called Confederate States, above the rank of captain in the army, or lieutenant in the navy, or who left seats in the United States Con ess, or seats in the Legislature of the State of ' ennessee, to aid the rebellion, or who resigned commissions in the army or navy of the United States and afterward gave voluntary aid to the rebellion, or who absented themselves from the State of Tennessee to give such aid, or who held offices under the States in
insurrection against the United States with intent to aid the rebellion, or who ever held ofiice in the State of Tennessee of legislative, judicial,or executive character, under an oathto support the constitution of the State of Tennessee, and who violated said oath, and ave voluntary aid or countenance to the rebel ion, that each and all be excluded from all offices, State, county, or municipal.
It also provides that any qualified voter shall not be excluded from oflice by the provisions of this bill, as amended.
May —The Senate rejected a suffra e bill, 16 to 5, which proposed to allow all blac s and. Whites of legal age to vote, and exclude all, after 1875, who cannot read.
May 28—The Legislature adjourned until No— vember 28.
1865, June 17—Andrew J. Hamilton appointed Provisional Governor.
1866, March —Convention met.
April 2—Convention adjourned. The Constitution to be voted on, June 5. It abolishes slavery, and annuls the Secession Ordinance. The war debt has been repudiated. Five years residence required for eligibility to the Legislature. White population is the basis of representation for State purposes. An ordinance passed exempting all persons who, under authority of civil or militar power, had inflicted injury upon ersons during the war, from accountability t erefor.
ARKANSAS. BO—President Johnson sent this tele ram to Governor Isaac Murphy, elected overnor under the free State organi— zation formerly made. EXECUTIVE Orrice, Wssrrmeron, D. 0., October 30, 1865.
To Gov. MURPHY, Little Rock, Arkansas:
There will be no interference with your res~ ent or anization of State government. I iave learne from E. W. Gantt, Esq., and other sources, that all is working well, and you will proceed and resume the former relations with the Federal Government, and all the aid in the power of the Government will be given in restoring the State to its former relations.
ANDREW Jormson, Pres‘t of the U. S.
There was no interference with the State ‘ organization formerly made. , I v
1865, November —.T. M. Wells was elected Governor, and Albert Voorhis, Lieut. Governor.
November 23—Legislature met in extra session again, under reclamation of the Governor.
December 29—- egislature adjourned.
1866, March —-J. T. Monroe elected mayor of New'Orleans, and James O. Nixon an alderman.
March 19—General Canby issued an order suspending them from the exercise of any of the functions of these offices until the pleasure of the President be made known—as they come within the excepted class of the President’s proclamation. They were subsequently pardoned, on application, and took the oflices.
‘ LEGISLATION RESPECTING FREEDMEN.
1866, March IO—The act“ concernin negroes, and persons of color, or of mixed bloo ," passed by the Legislature, declares that “negroes and their issue, even where one ancestorin each succeeding generation to the fourth inclusive, is white, shall be deemed persons of color." It
ives them all the rivileces of white ersons
efore the courts in e mode of prosecuting, defending, continuing, removing, and transferring their suits at law and in equity, and makes them eligible as witnesses, when not otherwise inf-ompetent, in “ all controversies atlaw and in equity where the rights of persons or property of persons of color shall be put in issue, and would be concluded by the judgment or decree of court; and also in pleas of the State, where the violence, fraud, or inJury alleged shall be charged to have been done by or to persons of color. In all other civil and criminal cases such evidence shall be deemed inadmissible, unless by consent of the parties of record: Provided, That this section shall not go into effect until iurisdiction in matters relating to freedmen shall be fully committed to tlwcourts of this State: Provided further, That no person shall be deemed incompe' tent to bear testimony in such cases, because of being a party to the record or in interest.”
The criminal laws of the State are extendedin their operation to embrace ersons of color, and the same punishment is in icted on them as on the whites, except for rape, which, if a white female is the victim, is acapital crime for a black. The law regarding apprentices is so amended as to make its provisions applicable to blacks, but it ives the former masters the preference, and defiares that they should be regarded as the most suitable ersons. Provision is also made for legalizing t e marriages of the blacks contracted during slavery, and for punishment of illicit cohabitation. All which is modified b a proviso that the act shall not take effect until after the Freedmen’s Bureau is removed. Where men and women, lately slaves, now cohabit together in the relation of husband and wife, they shall be deemed to have been lawfully married at the time of the commencement of such cohabitation; and they are required to go before the clerk of the county court, acknowledge the cohabitation, of which record shall be made, and shall be prima facie evidence of the statements made. ,
All contracts between any persons whatever, whereof one or more of them shall be a person of color, for the sale or purchase of any horse, mule, ass, jennet, neat cattle, hog, sheep, or goat, whatever may he the value of such articles, and all contracts between such persons for any other article or articles of property whatever of
the value of ten dollars or more, and all cohtracts executed or executory between such persons for the payment of money of the value of ten dollars or more, shall be void as to all persons whatever, unless the same be at in writing and signed by the vendors or de tors, and witnessed by a white person who can read and write. Marriage bet-Ween white ersons and persons of color shall be void; and every person anthorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony, who shall knowin ly solemnize the same between such persons, an every clerk of a court who shall knowingly issue license for their marriage, shall be deemed guilty of a misdem'eanor, and, moreover, shall pay a penalty of five hundred dollars to any person suing for the same.
MISSISSIPPI. An Act to regulate the Relation of Master and Apprentice relative to Freedman, FreeNegroes, and Mulattoes, November 22, 1865.
SEO. 1 provides that it shall be the duty of all sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other civil ofiicers of the several counties in this State to report to the probate courts of their respective counties semi-annually, at the January and July terms of said courts, all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes, under the age of eighteen, within their respective counties, beats, or districts, who are orphans, or whose parent or parents have not the means, or who refuse to provide for and support said minors, and thereupon it shall be the duty of said probate court to order the clerk of said court to apprentice said minors to some competent and suitable person, on such terms as the court may direct, having a.
articular care to the interest of said minors:
rom'ded, That the former owner of said minors shall have the preference when, in the opinion of the court. he or she shall be a suitable person for that purpose. '
SEC. 2 provides that the said court shall be full satisfied that the person or persons to whom saidyminor shall be apprenticed shall be a suitable person to have the charge and care of said minor, and fully to protect the interest of said minor: Provided, That said apprentice shall be bound by indenture, in case of males until they are twenty-one years old, and in case of females until they are eighteen years old.
SEC. 3 provides that in the management and control of said apprentices said master or mistress shall have power to inflict such moderate corporeal chastisement as a father or guardian is allowed to inflict on his or her child or ward at common law: Provided, That in no case shall cruel or inhuman punishment- be inflicted.
SEc. 4 provides that if any apprentice shrll leave the e'mployment of his or her master or