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SEWARD PROCLAIMS THE AMENDMENT.
The legislatures of the States, mentioned in the act, soon complied with its conditions.' North Carolina, by joint resolution ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on the fourth of July.2 Louisiana3 and South Carolina, on the ninth, and Alabama, on the thirteenth. It was rejected by Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and California. On the twentieth, Seward, the Secretary of State, announced, conditionally, its adoption by the requisite number of States. If the resolutions of the legislatures of Ohio and New Jersey, which had withdrawn their assent, were to
1 Georgia, on the 21st of July, 1868, by a vote of 24 to 14 in the Senate, and 89 to 70 in the House of Representatives, ratified the 14th amendment and complied with the special condition imposed by Congress. No copy of the act of ratification was put on file in the Department of State at Washington, and it does not appear that any was received. On the 2d of February, 1870, the Georgia legislature adopted a Joint Resolution which should be the public act required of the State to declare its assent to the congressional condition. Senate Miscellaneous Document No. 38, 41st Congress, Second Session, 1869-1870. The legislature of the State, in 1870, treated all the legislative action since July, 1868, as illegal, and at the time it ratified the 15th amendment ratified the 14th also. Just as the House of Representatives was about to vote on the concurrent resolution to declare the 14th amendment a part of the Constitution (July 21, 1868) the Clerk read a telegram of the same date, from Rufus D. Bullock, Governor-elect of Georgia, that the 14th Article and the fundamental condition had been adopted by the Georgia legislature by a majority of 34 on joint ballot. See Congressional Globe, July 21, 1868, 4296. But the House refused to accept the telegram as official notice and would not include Georgia in the list of ratifying States.
2 Doc. Hist. II, pp. 754-757. The vote in the North Carolina Senate, July 2, 1868, was 34 ayes, 2 nays; in the House, 82 ayes, 19 nays.
3 Louisiana ratified, July 9, 1868; in the House, July 1, by 57 ayes to 3 nays; in the Senate, July 9, by 22 ayes to 11 nays. Senator Bacon, of New Orleans, filed a long protest; the three negative votes in the House were cast by the only Democrats in that body. See New Orleans Times of July 2, 1868.
4 See the ratification in Bulletin No. 7, 758-769. South Carolina ratified by a vote of 108 to 12 in the House; Senate, 23 to 5. In Alabama, the vote in the Senate, July 13, 1868, was 28 to 0.
THE RETURN OF THE SOUTH.
be deemed as remaining in full force and effect, the amendment had been ratified by three-fourths of the whole number of States in the Union." On the following day, Congress, by a joint resolution, which originated with John Sherman, declared the article a part of the Constitution and instructed the Secretary of State to issue the necessary proclamation. This he published on the twentyeighth.3
The ratification of the amendment by the southern States was followed by proclamations from the President announcing each adoption as it was made. The passage of the omnibus act marked also the date of the return of the States to representation in Congress. On the twentyfifth of June, the Senators and Representatives of the South, excepting those of Virginia, Mississippi and Texas, were again in their seats in Congress, after an absence of seven years."
Before the year closed, a third State, Oregon, withdrew its assent to the amendment. At the October election, in Ohio, in 1867, the Democrats obtained a majority of one, in the State Senate, and of six in the House. Almost on the first day of the session of the general assembly, which began on the sixth of January, 1868, a joint resolution was introduced in the House to rescind the ratification of the
1 Doc. Hist. II, pp. 783-787. 2 Globe, July 21, 1868, 4266, 4295, 4296. 3 Doc. Hist. II, 788-794. 4 See the Proclamations in Richardson, Vol. VI, p. 656 et seg.
6 The period during which these States were without representation in Congress was as follows: South Carolina, November 10, 1860-June 25, 1868; Alabama and Florida, January 21, 1861June 25, 1868; Arkansas, July 11, 1861-June 22, 1868; Georgia, February 4, 1861-July 29, 1868; Louisiana, February 4, 1861-June 25, 1868; North Carolina, July 12, 1861-June 25, 1868; Tennessee, March 3, 1861, and March 4, 1863, to March 4, 1865. The dates are those given in the Senate Manual for 1898; pp. 422-473.
OREGON REPEALS ITS RATIFICATION.
Fourteenth Amendment made on the eleventh of January, of the preceding year. The joint resolution was carried through in great haste, the journal preserving no evidence of any debate. It passed the Senate on the thirteenth, under the call of the preceding question, and without debate.
On the following day the Republican Senators filed a protest,- declaring the necessity and justice of the amendment and its vital importance to the country. It had been fully canvassed throughout the State, previous to the election of 1866, and had received the hearty endorsement of the people, was attested by the largest majority, save one, ever given at a congressional election in Ohio. The members protested against the hasty manner in which the act of ratification had been repealed, and declared that it was contrary, in its method, to the practice of the legislature throughout the history of the State. The defeat, by a majority of fifty thousand votes, of the proposed amendment to the State constitution, granting the right of suffrage to negroes, was cited by those who now voted for withdrawal, and by their supporters, as a sufficient foundation for their action.
In the Senate of the United States, Sherman declared that the Ohio legislature, which had withdrawn the assent
1 January 15, 1868; in the House, 56 yeas and 46 nays; in the Senate, 19 yeas and 7 nays.
2 It is given in the Congressional Globe for January 21, 1868, p. 877. For the resolution withdrawing the assent of the State see
8 Ms. letter of Joseph H. Barrett, Times and Chronicle Office, Cincinnati, March 30, 1862, to John A. Jameson. Among the signers to the protest was J. Warren Keifer, afterwards Speaker of the House of Representatives. (47th Congress, December 5, 1881-March 3, 1882.)
4 For the proposed amendment, see Congressional Globe, p. 1 Globe, 877-878.
of the State, had been elected upon a collateral issue, and that its unprecedented action did not represent the will of the majority of the people. Though the suffrage amendment to the State constitution had been defeated, he said that no man had dreamed that the legislative assembly elected under this issue would use the political power entrusted to it for the time being for the purpose of recalling the assent of the State to the Fourteenth Amendment. The withdrawal, Senator Sherman declared, was without precedent in our history, and also without authority, for, though the Constitution provided for the assent of a State to an amendment it made no provision for any withdrawal of assent when once given. "If the State assenting thinks that it has made a mistake,” replied Reverdy Johnson, "and that the Constitution should not be amended in the way proposed, it may withdraw.pl
Ohio was followed by New Jersey, which withdrew its assent on the twenty-seventh of March. In that State, as in Ohio, a political struggle was going on, whose main issue was the extension of the suffrage to the negro. The Republican party at the State Convention held at Trenton in July, 1867, pledged itself to the eradication of the word "white" from the State constitution. The legislature
elected on this issue was Democratic, and, by a vote of five · to one, the House, in 1868, declared by resolution, that
to place the negro upon a political equality with the white man was incompatible with the best interests of the people of the United States. The House was now Democratic, and saw unalterable opposition to the establishment of negro suffrage in the State by Congressional legislation, because it held that "each State has the exclusive right to regulate the qualifications of its own voters.
2 The House of Assembly adopted this resolution by a vote of 35 to 7.
NEW JERSEY REPEALS.
This hostility to the extension of the suffrage to the negro was the foundation of the joint resolution which the legislature now proceeded to pass, withdrawing the assent of the State to the amendment. The legislature claimed an undeniable right of withdrawal, because the amendment had not yet received the assent of three-fourths of the States. The authors of the Fourteenth Amendment, so the joint resolution continued, in order to secure its adoption, had excluded from the two Houses of Congress eighty representatives from eleven States, but finding that two-thirds of the remaining members could not be brought to assent to the amendment, they had deliberately formed and carried out the design of mutilating the integrity of the United States Senate, and without justification, other than the possession of the power without right, and in violation of the Constitution, had ejected a member of their own body and thus practically denied to New Jersey its equal suffrage in the Senate. By this means the vote of two-thirds of Congress had been nominally secured.
But there were explicit objections to the proposed amendment. It declared that naturalized persons should be citizens of the United States, as if they were not so without such an absurd declaration. It lodged the pardoning power with the legislature, whereas by our system it properly belongs to the executive. It denounced and inflicted punishment for past offenses by constitutional provision, thus violating a cardinal principle of American liberty. It usurped the power of punishment, which in any coherent system of government belongs to the ju
1 John P. Stockton, of New Jersey, whose seat was declared vacant by the Senate, by 23 yeas to 20 nays, March 27, 1866. See the Congressional Globe of this date, p. 1677. Mr. Stockton's seat was declared vacant on the ground that he had not been lawfully elected.
2 The principle of ex post facto laws.