Page images

No. 160. Joint Resolution excluding Electoral Votes of the Late Rebellious States

July 20, 1868

A JOINT resolution "excluding from the electoral college votes of States lately in rebellion which shall not have been reorganized" was introduced in the Senate June 2, 1868, by George F. Edmunds of Vermont, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The resolution was reported on the 29th with an amendment inserting the clause beginning “nor unless such election of electors.” The phraseology of the bill rather than its substance was the chief occasion of debate. The resolution passed the Senate July 10, by a vote of 29 to 5, 23 not voting. The House added the proviso as an amendment, and passed the bill on the uth by a vote of 112 to 21, 65 not voting. The Senate, by a vote of 19 to 15, concurred. The resolution was vetoed by President Johnson July 20, and passed over the veto the same day, in the House by a vote of 134 to 36, 40 not voting, in the Senate by a vote of 45 to 8.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XV., 257. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 4oth Cong., ad Sess., and the Cong. Globe.

A Resolution excluding from the Electoral College Votes of States

lately in Rebellion, which shall not have been reorganized. Resolved

That none of the States whose inhabitants were lately in rebellion shall be entitled to representation in the electoral college for the choice of President or Vice-President of the United States, nor shall any electoral votes be received or counted from any of such States, unless at the time prescribed by law for the choice of electors the people of such States, pursuant to the acts of Congress in that behalf, shall have, since ... [March 4, 1867]. . ., adopted a constitution of State government under which a State government shall have been organized and shall be in operation, nor unless such election of electors shall have been held under the authority of such constitution and government, and such State shall have also become entitled to representation in Congress, pursuant to the acts of Congress in that behalf: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to any State which was represented in Congress on [March 4, 1867] ...



No. 161. Fourteenth Amendment to the


July 28, 1868

[ocr errors]

VARIOUS propositions to amend the Constitution were submitted in both House and Senate during the first session of the thirty-ninth Congress. A joint resolution embodying the substance of the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment was reported in the House April 30, 1866, by Thaddeus Stevens, from the Committee on Reconstruction, together with a bill for admission to representation of certain States ratifying the same. May 10 the resolution passed the House, the vote being 128 to 37, 18 not voting. The third section of the House resolution provided that until July 4, 1870, all persons who had voluntarily aided the rebellion should be denied the privilege of voting for Representatives in Congress or presidential electors. The Senate, by a vote of 43 to o, struck out this section, and recast the amendment in the form in which it was later submitted. The resolution passed the Senate June 8, by a vote of 33 to 11. On the 13th the House, by a vote of 138 to 36, 10 not voting, concurred. The amendment was rejected by Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky, and was not acted on by California. It was also at first rejected by Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, with the result that the ratification of the amendment was, by the Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867, made a condition of the restoration of those States. The ratifications of New Jersey and Ohio were rescinded by the legislatures of those States. July 20, 1868, a proclamation by Seward announced that the amendment had been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-three States, and “by newly constituted and newly established bodies avowing themselves to be and acting as the legislatures of” North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas; and that if the ratifications of New Jersey and Ohio " be deemed as remaining of full force and effect," the amendment was in force. Thereupon Congress, by resolution of July 21, declared the amendment in force and directed its promulgation as such. The final proclamation was issued July 28.

REFERENCES. -- Text in Revised Statutes (ed. 1878), 31. For the proceedings of Congress see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., and 40th Cong., ist and 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The various proclamations are in U.S. Statutes at Large, XV. For some early proposals see McPherson, Reconstruction, 103. See also Guthrie, Fourteenth Amendment; Slaughter House Cases, 16 Wallace, 36; Johnson's message of June 22, 1866. Many disabilities under the amendment were removed by special acts; for the gen eral act of May 22, 1872, see No. 173, post.



All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

SEC. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

SEC. 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Sec. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

SEC. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

No. 162. Provisional Governments of Vir

ginia, Texas, and Mississippi

February 18, 1869

A JOINT resolution for the removal of certain civil officers in Virginia and Texas was introduced in the Senate July 24, 1868, and passed the same day. The bill was not taken up in the House until December 10; it was then referred to the Committee on Reconstruction, which reported it January 18, 1869, with an amendment, the amendment being the first two provisos of the act. The same day the bill passed the House. The Senate added the proviso including Mississippi, in which the House concurred. The resolution became law under the ten days rule.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XV., 344. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 40th Cong., ad and 3d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The debate was unimportant.

A Resolution respecting the provisional Governments of Virginia

and Texas.

Resolved ...

[ocr errors]

That the persons now holding civil offices in the provisional governments of Virginia and Texas, who cannot take and subscribe the oath prescribed by the act . . . [of July 2, 1862] .. shall, on the passage of this resolution, be removed therefrom; and it shall be the duty of the district commanders to fill the vacancies so created by the appointment of persons who can take said oath: Provided, That the provisions of this resolution shall not apply to persons who by reason of the removal of their disabilities as provided in the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution shall have qualified for any office in pursuance of the act ... [of July 11, 1868] .. : And provided further, That this resolution shall not take effect until thirty days from and after its passage: And it is further provided, That this resolution shall be, and is hereby extended to, and made applicable to the State of Mississippi.

No. 163. Act to strengthen the Public


March 18, 1869

A BILL "to strengthen the public credit, and relating to contracts for the payment of coin," was introduced in the House January 20, 1869, by Schenck of Ohio, and referred to the Committee of Ways and Means. The bill was taken up February 24, and passed the same day by a vote of 121 to 60, 41 not voting. On the 27th the bill passed the Senate, but was disposed of by a "pocket" veto. The second section of the bill legalized contracts for payments in coin. The same bill was again introduced by Schenck March 12, and passed the House the same day by a vote of 93 to 48, 52 not voting. A bill of somewhat different character had been introduced in the Senate March 9. On the 15th the Senate bill was laid aside, and the House bill, without the second section, passed, the final vote being 42 to 13.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., I. ceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 4oth Cong., 3d Sess., and 41st Cong., ist Sess., and the Cong. Globe.

For the pro

An Act to strengthen the public Credit.

Be it enacted . . That in order to remove any doubt as to the purpose of the government to discharge all just obligations to the public creditors, and to settle conflicting questions and interpretations of the laws by virtue of which such obligations have been contracted, it is hereby provided and declared that the faith of the United States is solemnly pledged to the paymen in coin or its equivalent of all the obligations of the United States not bearing interest, known as United States notes, and of all the interest-bearing obligations of the United States, except in cases where the law authorizing the issue of any such obligation has expressly provided that the same may be paid in lawful money or other currency than gold and silver. But none of said interestbearing obligations not already due shall be redeemed or paid before maturity unless at such time United States notes shall be

« PreviousContinue »