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convertible into coin at the option of the holder, or unless at such time bonds of the United States bearing a lower rate of interest than the bonds to be redeemed can be sold at par in coin. And the United States also solemnly pledges its faith to make provision at the earliest practicable period for the redemption of the United States notes in coin.
No. 164. Submission of the Constitutions
of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas
April 10, 1869
In a message of April 7, 1869, President Grant recommended that provision be made for a vote in Virginia on the State constitution agreed upon by a convention April 17, 1868, and for the election of State officers, the State to be restored on the approval of the constitution by Congress. He further raised the question whether the rejected constitution of Mississippi should not be resubmitted. A bill to give effect to this recommendation, and including Texas, was reported in the House the next day from the Committee on Reconstruction, and passed with amendments by a vote of 125 to 25, 47 not voting. The Senate, by a vote of 30 to 20, added the provision of section 6 of the act, together with other amendments. The final vote in the Senate was 44 to 9. The House, under suspension of the rules, concurred in the Senate amendments, the vote being 108 to 39, 54 not voting. Proclamations submitting the constitutions of the States to the voters were issued, for Virginia, May 14, for Mississippi, July 13, and for Texas, July 15.
REFERENCES. — Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., 40, 41. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 41st Cong., ist Sess., and the Cong. Globe. The bill reported April 8 is in the Globe. On Canby's course in Virginia see Senate Exec. Doc. 13, 41st Cong., 2d Sess. On conditions in Virginia see Senate Exec. Doc. 13, 41st Cong., 2d Sess.; in Texas, House Misc. Docs. 57 and 127, and Senate Misc. Doc. 109, 40th Cong., 2d Sess.
An Act authorizing the Submission of the Constitutions of Vir
ginia, Mississippi, and Texas, to a Vote of the People, and authorizing the Election of State Officers, provided by the said Constitutions, and Members of Congress.
Be it enacted .. That the President of the United States, at such time as he may deem best for the public interest, may submit the constitution which was framed by the convention which
met in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday, . [December 3, 1867] ..., to the voters of said State, registered at the date of said submission, for ratification or rejection; and may also submit to a separate vote such provisions of said constitution as he may deem best, such vote to be taken either upon each of the said provisions alone, or in connection with the other portions of said constitution, as the President
direct. SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That at the same election the voters of said State may vote for and elect members of the general assembly of said State, and all the officers of said State provided for by the said constitution, and members of Congress; and the officer commanding the district of Virginia shall cause the lists of registered voters of said State to be revised, enlarged, and corrected prior to such election, according to law, and for that purpose may appoint such registrars as he may deem necessary. And said elections shall be held and returns thereof made in the manner provided by the acts of Congress commonly called the reconstruction acts.
Sec. 3. [Similar provisions for Texas); Provided, also, That no election shall be held in said State of Texas for any purpose until the President so directs.
SEC. 4. [Similar provisions for Mississippi.]
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That if either of said constitutions shall be ratified at such election, the legislature of the State so ratifying, elected as provided for in this act, shall assemble at the capital of said State on the fourth Tuesday after the official promulgation of such ratification by the military officer commanding in said State.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That before the States of Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas shall be admitted to representation in Congress, their several legislatures, which may be hereafter lawfully organized, shall ratify the fifteenth article, which has been proposed by Congress to the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the proceedings in any of said States shall not be deemed final or operate as a complete restoration thereof, until their action, respectively, shall be approved by Congress.
No. 165. Reconstruction of Georgia
December 22, 1869
A BILL “to enforce the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution and the laws of the United States in the State of Georgia, and to restore to that State the republican form of government elected under its new constitution,” was introduced in the Senate March 5, 1869, by Edmunds of Vermont, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill was reported with an amendment on the 17th, but without recommendation as to its passage, the committee being equally divided on that point. A bill with the same title was reported in the House April 7, from the Committee on Reconstruction. There was no further action on either bill during the session. A concurrent resolution of February 9 had provided, in the meantime, for the recognition of the electoral vote of Georgia. In his annual message of December 6, President Grant called attention to the unseating of colored members of the legislature of Georgia and the seating of persons disqualified by the fourteenth amendment, and submitted “whether it would not be wise, without delay, to enact a law authorizing the governor of Georgia to convene the members originally elected to the legislature, requiring each member to take the oath prescribed by the reconstruction acts, and none to be admitted who are ineligible under the third clause of the fourteenth amendment.” The Edmunds bill was thereupon called up, and, together with a bill on the same subject introduced by Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. December 13 the committee reported the Morton bill. On the 17th, by a vote of 38 to 15, section 8, “that the legislature of Georgia shall be regarded as provisional only, until the further action of Congress," was stricken out, and section 8 of the act inserted. The bill then passed, the vote being 45 to 9. The House passed the bill on the 21st by a vote of 121 to 51, 39 not voting.
REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XVI., 59, 60. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 41st Cong., ist and 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. On political conditions in Georgia see House Misc. Doc. 52, 40th Cong., 3d Sess.; House Exec. Doc. 82, Senate Exec. Docs. 3 and 41, Senate Reports 58 and 75, 41st Cong., 2d Sess.
An Act to promote the Reconstruction of the State of Georgia.
Be it enacted .. That the governor of the State of Georgia be, and hereby is, authorized and directed, forthwith, by proclamation, to summon all persons elected to the general assembly of said State, to appear on some day certain, to be named in said proclamation, at Atlanta, in said State; and thereupon the said general assembly of said State shall proceed to perfect its
organization in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States, according to the provisions of this act.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That when the members so elected to said senate and house of representatives shall be convened, as aforesaid, each and every member and each and every person claiming to be elected as a member of said senate or house of representatives shall, in addition to taking the oath or oaths required by the constitution of Georgia, also take and subscribe and file in the office of the secretary of state of the State of Georgia . one of the following oaths or affirmations, namely: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have never held the office, or exercised the duties of, a senator or representative in Congress, nor been a member of the legislature of any State of the United States, nor held any civil office created by law for the administration of any general law of a State, or for the administration of justice in any State or under the laws of the United States, nor held any office in the military or naval service of the United States, and thereafter engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gave aid or comfort to its enemies, or rendered, except in consequence of direct physical force, any support or aid to any insurrection or rebellion against the United States, nor held any office under, or given any support to, any government of any kind organized or acting in hostility to the United States, or levying war against the United States. So help me God ..." Or the following oath or affirmation, namely: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I have been relieved, by an act of the Congress of the United States, from disability as provided for by section three of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. So help me God ..." And every person claiming to be so elected, who shall refuse or decline or neglect or be unable to take one of said oaths or affirmations above provided, shall not be admitted to a seat in said senate or house of representatives, or to a participation in the proceedings thereof, but shall be deemed ineligible to such seats.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the persons elected, as aforesaid, and entitled to compose such legislature, and who shall comply with the provisions of this act, by taking one of the oaths or affirmations above prescribed, shall thereupon pro
ceed, in said senate and house of representatives to which they have been elected respectively, to reorganize said senate and house of representatives, respectively, by the election and qualification of the proper officers of each house.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That it is hereby declared that the exclusion of any person or persons elected as aforesaid,
and being otherwise qualified, from participation in the pro• ceedings of said senate or house of representatives, upon the ground of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, would be illegal, and revolutionary, and is hereby prohibited.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That upon the application of the governor of Georgia, the President of the United States shall employ such military or naval forces of the United States as may be necessary to enforce and execute the preceding provisions of this act.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the legislature shall ratify the fifteenth amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States before senators and representatives from Georgia are admitted to seats in Congress.
No. 166. Admission of Virginia to Rep
resentation in Congress
January 26, 1870 The annual message of President Grant, December 6, 1869, urged the admission of Virginia to representation, but stated that the results of the recent elections in Mississippi and Texas were not yet known. To the proposition to rehabilitate Virginia there was strong opposition, but the wish of the President prevailed. A bill to give effect to the recommendation was reported January 11, 1870, from the Committee on Reconstruction. On the 14th a substitute offered by Bingham was agreed to by a vote of 98 to 95, 17 not voting, and the bill passed, the final vote being 142 to 49, 19 not voting. The Senate added various amendments imposing conditions and restrictions, and passed the bill on the 21st by a vote of 47 to 10. On the 24th the House concurred in the Senate amendments, the vote being i 36 to 58, 16 not voting. July 28 the military authority in Virginia ceased. Acts of February 23 and March 30 provided in similar terms for the restoration of Mississippi and Texas, and the military authority in those States was withdrawn.