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the special permission of their employers, under the pen* alty of imprisonments, fines or hard labor on the public roads. Neither must these persistent slaveocrats be permitted to put into operation those infamous laws enacted in the rebel Democratic Legislature of 1865, which force freedmen to contract away their labor and submit themselves to slavery under new names.
"We want no negro vagrant laws, no more jail fees, highest bidder, rendition of poor and indigent persons of color! no more reminders of the block, the ball chain, the ' nigger dogs' the fugitive slave laws and the slave gangs of the past.
"Let this people alone to enjoy the same protection we are entitled to claim. Let this people with the aid of justice and liberty, work out their own destiny. If they will not work, let them starve; but give them an equal chance with vis in the struggle of life.
"When the slave oligarchy ruled in the plenitude of its power, the rights of the laboring classes were trampled under foot. Free labor was reduced to the level of slave labor. This shall be no more. The fiat has gone forth that labor shall not be subjected to a domineering, unscrupulous aristocracy. A new era has dawned upon this country. Labor in the future will be respectable and dignified, and command the best portion of the fruit it produces.
"The Union party of Louisiana has labored earnestly and faithfully to wipe out the disgraceful laws of this State, that she might become one of the brilliant lights of the nation. Abraham Lincoln was the prime mover in this work of reformation. His sympathies were ever with Republican movements. His voice, which can never be lost to this nation, was heard on the eve of his departure from earth, declaring his sympathy with the Constitution of 1864, which ignored the Black Code of this State, abolished slavery and the laws which governed it from her statute books.
"My Friends, The Republican party of Louisiana— counting white men only—are in a minority in this State. A Rebel Democratic party, composed of domineering aristocrats, who one year ago were fighting against republican liberty, and who to-day are seeking to crush loyal men, both white and black, by a renewed tyranny, continue their Satanic oppressions and wrongs, while they attempt to draw the veil of hypocrisy over their damnable conspiracies.
"The National Republican party, to which all loyal men in the South belong, seeks to establish liberty and justice throughout the land. For the past four years it has been working for freedom and equal rights, against slavery and oppression; against that slaveocratic power which hates with undying hate, free schools, a free press, free speech, and all that pertains to that freedom a just God designs for this mighty Republic.
"We are called upon to battle with these rebellious tyrants. In that work, my friends, we must be united. Our beloved Louisiana is in imminent danger from the deadly foes of freedom. Let us who love the Union and liberty, forget past differences, and combine to fight the oppressors who threaten to crush out the loyal element of this State. Shall we not with our President say: * Let us be united. I know there are but two parties now—one for the country and the other against it; and I am for my country.' While we embrace this noble sentiment, let ns inscribe upon our Republican banner the motto: Union, Justice, Confidence, Freedom, Enfranchisement.
"Freedom must triumph in our State. Louisiana must become the land of human rights—the land where every one can enjoy his own labor, his own soil—where all can claim the right to educate their children, and have all the rights of human beings respected by their neighbor, and maintain the rights of self-government, of the ballot, and all other rights which impartial justice claims for the citizens of a magnanimous Republic. Then we can vaunt our freedom; then will the foreigner no longer reproach America with slavery; then can we say, in truth, our land is the 'asylum of the oppressed and the home of the free.' Men of every nation shall cherish it as the land of human rights—the land where liberty means to enjoy manhood, free and untrammeled, with all the inestimable rights of freedom, in its broadest and fullest meaning. Then may the citizen proudly boast—' I Am Ax American.-"
The Governors and Legislatures of the rebellious States, in unison with "my policy" moved on in their work of politically restoring the rebellious elements to power, and of crushing loyalty.
Louisiana seemed to take the lead in this ignominious work. In that State it was considered an honor to have approved the Ordinance of Secession. ISTone who had fought for the Government of the United States were considered worthy of official position under the reconstruction laws of Johnson.
The Legislature of Louisiana was composed almost entirely of men who had fought against the government, and, approved of the rebellion and slavery. The constitution of 1864 was ignored by that assembly. The work of the Convention and Legislature of 1864, which abolished Slavery in Louisiana, and looked to the interests of the freedmen and the laboring classes, were to the Legislature of Louisiana of 1866 what "the Emancipation Proclamation had been to the Confederate Government, and was treated with the same contempt, as all other acts which opposed Slavery, and oppression.
In a letter to Senator Howe, of Wisconsin, April 12th, 1866, Governor Hahn writes, "The present Legislature evidently intend to revive the old slavery regulations. A careful analysis of the acts they have passed would convince any man of their true intent, which is to keep up a sort of slavery in spite of the new Constitutional Amendment. I assure you what, Mr. T. W. Conway, lately Assistant Commissioner of the bureau of Freedmen in Louisiana, called the ordinance relative to the police for colored persons, 'Slavery, in substance,' is true of the acts of that Legislature. But you will not be surprised at their unjust provisions when you are informed of their authorship—Duncan F. Kenner is their worthy parent. He was elected a delegate to the Montgomery Convention by the Louisiana Convention which adopted the infamous ordinance of Secession. He helped to frame the Confederate Constitution, and was elected to the Confederate Congress. He remained a member of that rebel body until General Grant extinguished the Codfederacy, when he availed himself of an early opportunity to visit Washington and seek a pardon. And with his pardon he hurried to Louisiana, dismissed the officers of the Freedmens' Bureau from the further preservation of his property, and immediately procures an election to the State Senate, and then becomes the author and advocate of the new Slave laws. With such material in the Southern Legislatures, what good can be expected? If 'Reconstruction' is to be entrusted to such intelligent and influential rebels, "what can we hope to achieve for the good of the country? As to the disloyal character of the Legislature, I will let the published declarations of others speak.