Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ither case be of the excepted classes. All perons who have preferred petitions for pardon hall be deemed to have been pardoned if the fact if being pardoned shall be announced by the 3overnor, although the pardon may not have seen received. The payment of a public tax hall not be required as a qualification of the ioter in the elections in November next. October 12–Convention tabled a proposition o prohibit the payment of the war debt created by the State in aid of the rebellion. October 16—Ordinance passed, dividing the State into seven congressional districts. Öctober 17—Resolution o requesting Congress to repeal the “test-oath.” October 18–President Johnson sent this telegram: ExECUTIVE OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., October 18, 1865.

W. W. HoLDEN, Provisional Governor:

Every dollar of the debt created to aid the rebellion against the United States should be repudiated finally and forever. The great mass of the people should not be taxed to pay a debt to aid in carrying on a rebellion which they in fact, if left to themselves, were opposed to. Let those who have given their means for the obligations of the State look to that power they tried to establish in violation of law, constitution, and will of the people. They must meet their fate. It is their misfortune, and cannot be recognized by the people of any State professing themselves loyal to the government .P. United States and in the Union. I repeat that the loyal people of North Carolina should be exonerated from the payment of every dollar of indebtedness created to aid in carrying on the rebellion. I trust and hope that the people of North Carolina will wash their hands of everything that partakes in the slightest degree of the rebellion, which has been so recently crushed by the strong arm of the Government in carrying out the obligations imposed by the Constitution of the Union. ANDREW Johnson,

o President of the United States.

October 19–0rdinance passed, that no officer of this State who may have taken an oath of office to support the constitution of the Confederate States, shall be capable of holding under the State any office of trust or profit which he held when he took such oath, until he may be appointed or re-elected to the same; and all the offices lately held by such persons are hereby declared vacant.

October 19–Convention—yeas 84, nays 12– passed an ordinance prohibiting the assumption of the State debt created in aid of the rebellion. An amendment to refer this question to a vote of the people, lost.

November 9–Election of State officers and Representatives in Congress. ... Same day, ordi

nances repealing secession ordinance and anti

[ocr errors]

slavery ordinance, submitted to popular vote, and approved. November 13–Legislature met. December 1—The Legislature ratified, with

six dissenting voices, the anti-slavery amend

ment. December 9—Jonathan Worth declared elected

w

Governor, by a vote of 32,529 to 25,809 for

Prov. Gov. Holden. December 15–Governor Worth qualified. 1866, May 24—The Convention re-assembled.

A motion to adjourn sine die was tabled, 61 to 30.

MISSISSIPPI.

1865, May 10–Governor Clark called an extra" session of the Legislature for the 18th, to order a State Convention. May 21—Major General Canby telegraphed as follows to Major General Warren, commanding the department: “By direction of the President, you will not recognize any officer of the Confederate or State government, within the limits of your command, as authorized to exercise in any manner whatever the functions of their late offices. You will prevent, by force if necessary, any attempt of any of the legislatures of the States in insurrection to assemble for legislative purposes, and will imprison any members or other persons who may attempt to exercise these functions in opposition to your orders.” June 13—William L. Sharkey appointed Provisional Governor. July 1–Prov. Gov. Sharkey issued a proclamation appointing local officers, and fixing an election for a Convention—August 7th—voters to have these qualifications: “Voters for delegates to this convention must possess the qualifications required by the constitution and laws as they existed prior to the 9th day of January, 1861, and must also produce a certificate that they have taken, before a competent officer, the amnesty oath prescribed b the proclamation of the 29th of May, 1865, whic certificate shall be attached to or accompanied by a copy of the oath, and no one will be eligio, as a member of this convention who has not also taken this oath.” August 14—Convention met. August 15—President Johnson sent this telegram: ExECUTIVE OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 1865. Governor W. L. SHARKEY, Jackson, Miss. : I am gratified to see that you have organized your Convention without difficulty. I hope that without delay your Convention will amend your State constitution, abolishing slavery and denying to all future legislatures the power to legislate that there is property in man; also that they will adopt the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery. If you could extend the elective franchise to all persons of color who can read the Constitution of the United States in English and write their names, and to all persons of color who own real estate valued at not less than two hundred and fifty dollars, and pay taxes thereon, you would completely disarm the adversary and set an example the other States will follow. This you can do with perfect safety, and you thus place the southern States, in reference to free persons of color, upon the same basis with the free States. I hope and trust your convention will do this, and, as a consequence, the radicals, who are wild upon negro franchise, will be completely foiled in their attempt to keep the southern States from renewing their relations to the Union by not accepting their senators and representatives.” ANDREw JoHNSON, President of the U. S. am out, and thereby subvert the Constitution the United States. I do not believe the great iss of the people of the State of Georgia, when tuninfluenced, will ever submit to the payint of a debt which was the main cause of inging on their past and present suffering, the lult of the rebellion. Those who vested their pital in the creation of this debt must meet £ir fate, and take it as one of the inevitable ults of the rebellion, though it may seem hard them. It should at once be made known at me and abroad, that no debt contracted for epurpose of dissolving the Union of the States nor ever will be paid by taxes levied on the ople for such purpose. . ANDREW JoHNSON, President of the United States. on. W. H. SEWARD : We are pressed on the war debt. What should * Convention do? - J. JoHNSON, Provisional Governor of Georgia. MILLEDGEVILLE, October 27, 1865.

August 21—Ordinance passed that “the institution of slavery having been destroyed in the State of Mississippi,” neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, &c., shall hereafter exist in the State. August 21—An election ordered for first Mon: day in October for State and county officers, and Representatives in Congress in the several conÉ. 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 reactionary policy prevailing, and expressing the fear that the Legislature will pass such proscriptive laws as will drive the freedmen from the State, or practically re-enslave them. October 16—Legislature met. October 17—Benjamin G. Humphreys inaugurated Governor, November 20–Governor Humphreys sent a message o that negroes be permitted to sue and be sued, and give testimony, and that the freedmen be encouraged to engage in pursuits of industry, and that a militia bill be passed, “to protect our people against insurrection, or any possible combination of vicious white men and negroes.” November 24—Bill passed “reserving twenty er cent. of the revenue of the State as a fund for 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 reported against ratifying the anti-slavery amendment, 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 Jefferson 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 subject to the tax, to pay it and chargé it to the person for whom paid. All officers and enlisted men who have herefore received

*As bearing upon this point, this letter from the late

President Lincoln, on a similar occasion, has value: Executive MANsion, WASHINGTON, March 13, 1864.

Hon. MICHAEL HAHN:

MY DEAR SIR: I congratulate you on having fixed your name in history as the first free State Governor of Louisiana. Now you are about to have a convention, which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise. I barely suggest, for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in, as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks. They would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of freedom. But this is only a suggestion, not to the public, but to you alone.

Truly yours, A. LINGOLN.

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

GEORGIA.

1865, May 3–Gov. Joseph E. Brown issue F. calling an extra meeting of egislature for 22d. May 14—Maj. Gen. Gillmore issued an or annulling this proclamation, and directing persons interested not to heed it. June 17—James Johnson appointed P. visional Governor. July 13—Prov. Gov. Johnson issued a pro lamation fixing the first Wednesday in Octo for an election for delegates to a Convention these to be the qualifications of voters: “That no person at such election shall qualified as an elector, or shall be eligible as member of such convention, unless he shall ha previously thereto taken and subscribed to t oath of amnesty, as set forth in the Presiden proclamation of May 29, A. D. 1865, and is voter qualified as prescribed by the constituti and laws of the State of Georgia, in force imm diately before the 19th of January, A. D. 186 the date of the so-called ordinance of secession. October 7—Names of members elect requirin pardons sent to the President, and pardons r turned, as in each of the other States. October 25—Convention met. October 30—Secession ordinance repealed; 6 dinance passed dividing the State into seven co gressional districts. November 4–Slavery declared abolished, “t Government of the United States, having, as war measure, proclaimed all slaves held or own in this State emancipated from slavery, an having carried that proclamation into full pra. tical effect.” “Provided, That acquiescence intil action of the Government of the United Sta is not intended to operate as a relinquishmen or waiver, or estoppel, of such claim for compel sation of loss sustained by reason of the eman cipation of his slaves, as any citizen of Georg may hereafter make upon the justice and #: nanimity of that Government.” November 8—The State debt of Georgi incurred in aid of the rebellion, declared nu and void—yeas 133, nays 117. Pending th proposition these telegrams were sent: MILLEDGEVILLE, GA., October 27, 186: His Excellency ANDREW Johnson, President of the United States: We need some aid to repeal the war deh Send me word on the subject. What should th Convention do? J. Johnson, Provisional Governor of Georgio

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

is Excellency JAMES JoBNSON, Provisional Governor of Georgia: Your several telegrams have been received. le President of the §. States cannot recogwe the people of any State as having resumed e relations of loyalty to the Union that admits legal, obligations contracted or debts created their name, to promote the war of the rebelin. WILLIAM H. SEWARD. WASHINGTON, October 28, 1865.

November 8—Convention adjourned. November 15–Election held for State officers d Representatives in Congress. December 4–Legislature met. December 5–Legislature ratified the anti-slaory amendment. 1866, January—A convention of colored perns at Augusta advocated a proposition to give ose who could write and read well, and pos: ised a certain property qualification, the right 'suffrage. March 10–Bill passed legislature, authorizin | extra tax, the amount . fixed by the gran ries, but not to exceed two per cent, upon the ate tax, for the benefit of #: soldiers, and e indigent families of deceased soldiers of the infederate and State troops. , Artificial arms ld legs to be furnished disabled soldiers.

ALABAMA.

1865, June 21—Lewis E. Parsons appointed 'ovisional Governor. July 20–Provisional Governor Parsons issued proclamation, fixing August 31 for an election r a Convention, under these restrictions: “But 5 person can vote in said election, or be a candate for election, who is not a legal voter as le law was on that day; and if he is excepd from the benefit of annesty, under the resident's proclamation of the 29th May, 1865, * must have obtained a pardon, "Every person must vote in the county of his sidence, and, before he is allowed to do so, must ke and subscribe the oath of amnesty preribed in the President's proclamation of the 3th of May, 1865, before some one of the offi

cers hereinafter o: for that purpose in the county where he 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 Congress. September 20–Slavery 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-slavery amendment ratified in this form : 1st. That the foregoing amendment to the Constitution of the #. be, 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 United States by the State of Alabama, which vote, being the twenty-seventh, fills up the complement of two-thirds, and gives the amendment finishing effect as a part of the organic law of the .# WILLIAM. H. SEWARD. WASHINGTON, December 5, 1865.” o January 8—The Legislature re-assemeCl. Gov. R. M. Patton vetoed three bills. He vetoed the bill to regulate contracts with freedmen, because no special law is necessary. He adds: w “Information from various parts of the State shows that negroes are everywhere 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 ..". prospect that the engagement formed will be observed with perfect good faith... I therefore think that special laws for regulating contracts between whites and freedmen would accomplish no good, 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 apply to the freedmen a system of laws enacted for 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 impolicy and injustice of enforcing them upon the negroes in their new condition.” Governor Patton has also vetoed “a bill entitled 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 a foreign 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 magazine, not including pictorials provided for in the 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 affairs.” The code became operative June 1st, under a proclamation of Governor Patton.

- | SOUTH CAROLINA, 1865, May 2—Cov. Magrath issued a proclamation that the confederate stores within the State should be turned over to State officers, to be distributed among the people. May 8–Gov. Magrath summoned the State officers to Columbia to resume their duties. May 14—Maj. Gen. Gillmore issued an order annulling the Governor's acts, and notifying the persons interested not to heed his proclamations. June 30–Benjamin F. Perry was appointed Provisional Governor. July 20–Proy. Goy. Perry issued a proclamation fixing the first Monday of September for an election for a State Convention—the qualifications of voters being thus prescribed: Every loyal citizen who had taken the amnesty oath, and not within the excepted classes in the President's proclamation, will be entitled to vote, provided he was a legal voter under the constitution as it stood prior to the secession of South Carolina. And all 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.

September 19–Slavery declared abolish “the slaves in South Carolina having been eman po by the action of the United States auth 16S.

September 27–Election ordered for th Wednesday in October, for State officers. O. nance passed, creating four congressional tricts.

September 29–Convention adjourned.

October 18—James L. Orr elected Governo

October —Legislature met.

This telegraphic correspondence occurred:

ExECUTIVE OFFICE,

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 18 B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor:

Your last two despatches have been recei and the pardons suggested have been order I hope that your Legislature will have no h tancy in adopting the amendment to the Con. tution of the United States abolishing slave It will set an example which will no doubt followed by the other States, and place Sot Carolina in a most favorable attitude before nation. I trust in God that it will be do The nation and État. will then be left free a untrammeled to take that course which sou

policy, wisdom, and humanity may suggest. ANDREW Johnson, President.

ExECUTIVE OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 1865, B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor: There is a deep interest felt as to what cour the Legislature will take in regard to the ado tion of the amendment to the Constitution of t United States abolishing slavery, and the a sumption of the debt created to aid in the reb: lion against the government of the United State If the action of the convention was in good fail why hesitate in making it a part of the Cons: tution of the United States? | I trust in God that restoration of the Uni

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

The members of the Legislature say they e received no official . of the 2ndment of the Federal Constitution abolishslavery. They have no objection to adoptthe first section of the amendment proposed; they fear that the second section may be strued to give Congress power of local legison over the negroes, and white men, too, ir the abolishment of slavery. In good faith th Carolina has abolished slavery, and never 1 wish to restore it again. The Legislature is passing a code of laws proing ample and complete protection for the gro. There is a sincere desire to do everyng o to a restoration of the Union, 1 tie up and heal every bleeding wound which been caused by this fratricidal war. I was cted United States Senator by a very flatter; vote. The other Senator will be elected toy. B. F. PERRY, Provisional Governor. WASHINGTON, November 6, 1865. s Excellency B. F. PERRy, Prov. Gov.; Your despatch to the President of November 4 s been received. He is not entirely satisfied th the explanations it contains. He deems cessary the passage of adequate ordinances claring that all insurrectionary proceedings in e State were unlawful and void ab initio. either the Constitution nor laws direct official formation to the State of amendments to the justitution submitted by Congress. Notices of e amendment by Congress abolishing slavery ere nevertheless given by the Secretary of ate at the time to the States which were then communication with this Government. Foral notice will immediately be given to those Wates which were then in insurrection. The objection you mention to the last clause f the constitutional amendment is regarded as uerulous and unreasonable, because that clause really restraining in its effect, instead of en; Arging the powers of Congress. The President onsiders the acceptance of the amendment by outh Carolina as indispensable to a restoration f her relations with the other States of the Jnion. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

November 7—Provisional Governor Perry ent a message communicating these telegrams, ind recommending the ratification, and that hey "place on record the construction which had been given to the amendment by the execuive department of the Federal Government.” November 13—The Legislature ratified the Anti-slavery amendment, in this form : 1. Resolved, &c., That the aforesaid proposed mendment of the Constitution of the United States be, 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 excelency the Provisional Governor to the President of the United States, and also to the Secretary of State of the United States. 3. That any attempt by Congress towards legislating upon the political status of former slaves, or their civil relations, would be contra to the Constitution of the United States as it how is, or as it would be altered by the proposed ! o - - - -

[ocr errors]

amendment, in conflict with the policy of the President, declared in his amnesty proclamation, and with the restoration of that harmony upon which depend the vital interests of the American Union. Respecting the repudiation of the rebel State debt, this telegraphic correspondence took place:

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

His Excellency B. F. PERRY, 'rovisional 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 abolishing slavery. Upon reflection South Carolina herself would not care to come again into the councils of the Union 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 organic deelaration, disavowing all debts and obligations created or assumed in her name or behalf in aid of the rebellion. The President waits further events in South Carolina with deep interest. You will remain in the exercise of your funetions of provisional governor until relieved by his express directions. WM. H. SEWARD.

CoLUMBIA, November 27, 1865.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD : 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 the State 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 ood faith. The Convention did all that the resident advised to be done, and I thought it wrong to keep a revolutionary body in existence and advised their immediate dissolution, which was done. There is now no power in the Legislature to repudiate the debt if it were possible 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.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

WASHINGTON, November 30, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 27th .#. 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

« AnteriorContinuar »