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sentiment, let us 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 AN 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. None 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 Legis.
lature 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.
Hon. R. C. Richardson, of New Orleans, writing to Ex-Governor George S. Boutwell, says:
“A prominent member of the Legislature, and an old secession leader, stated to me in conversation a short time before the election, that he was a stronger secessionist than he ever was, and that he hated the United States Government from the bottom of his heart, and if he ever got a chance he would strike a death-blow at it. I state from memory nearly his own language.
“Now, sir, I am prepared to assert that at least ninetenths of his colleagues entertain the same sentiments, leaving out one solitary Union man elected from one of the country parishes.
“ All their proceedings, so far, sustain this conclusion."
Hon. H. C. Warmoth, of New Orleans, in his argument addressed to Senator George H. Williams, of the Reconstruction Committee, after speaking of other rebelinfluences in Louisiana, adds:
“ And finally the Legislature comes with new enactments, in order to more effectually, it possible, destroy the friends of equal suffrage and equal rights. And thus without opposition or question re-enslave the colored people."
But why should I accumulate the opinions of citizens, however trustworthy and honorable, when a simple statement of facts cannot but bring you to a similar opinion ?
The Legislature elected its officers on account of distinguished services to the confederacy, and the criterion of success was persistent devotion and bitterness in the rebel cause.
It refused to have the American flag about its halls until some colored ladies formally tendered it one as a
present, which offer, however, was indignantly ignorul. It refused action on a resolution offered by Mr. Wil. liam Brown, of Iberville, as follows:
“Whereas, In the opinion of this body, the Government of the United States is the best Government on the face of the earth, and, whereas, the flag of the said Government is worthy of all respect; therefore be it
“ Resolved, That the Sargeant-at-arms of the Senate be directed to procure a large United States' flag, to have the same properly and tastefully arranged over the President of the Senate's chair."
Shortly after its assembling the Senate expelled Mr. Wm. Brown, the author of the foregoing resolution, and some other Union Senators, who held over in their term from the previous Legislature, on the pretext that they were elected by a small vote of Union men before the rebels had given up the Confederacy.
The present Constitution of Louisiana, framed while most of the members of this Legislature were in the rebellion, contains this provision:
“The Legislature shall provide for the education of all children of the State between the ages of six and eighteen years, by maintenance of free public schools, by taxation or otherwise."
The former Constitution, made in the interests of slavery, used the word "white" before the word "children.” The members of the Legislature have sworn to carry out the constitutional mandate as it now stands. They assert in their preamble that "sufficient provision is made by the Constitution and laws of the State, &c." They have made no provision for or sign of willingness to open colored schools, and no existing colored school is recognized, fostered or enconraged by their action,