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were free, would have them protected in their White people should look to their own ancesjust rights, as they were by law, but would try; they should recollect that women were never consent to see them enfranchised and disposed of on James River, in the early settlemade the rulers of white men”—not without ment of the country, as wives, at the price of referring also to the negroes' natural want of two hundred pounds of tobacco. When we intelligence, their incapability of culture and have had eight hundred years as the whites to development, and the consequent impossibility enlighten ourselves, it will be time enough to of their properly using the right of suffrage, pronounce them incapable of civilization and on which points he and others had frequently enlightenment. The last election showed that spoken at length-William H. Gray, a negro, they were intelligent enough to vote in a solid and delegate to the convention from Phillips mass with the party that would give them County, rose and spoke as follows:
their rights, and that too in face of the influ“It appears to me, the gentleman has read ence of the intelligence and wealth of the State, the history of his country to little purpose. and in face of threats to take the bread from When the Constitution was framed, in every their very mouths. I have no antipathy towState but South Carolina free negroes were al- ard the whites; I would drop the curtain lowed to vote. Under British rule this class of oblivion on the sod which contains the was free, and he interpreted that we the peo- bones of my oppressed and wronged ancestors ple' in the preamble of the Constitution, meant for two hundred and fifty years. Give us the all the people of every color. The mistake of franchise, and if we do not exercise it properly that period was that these free negroes were you have the numbers to take it away from us. not represented in propria persona in that con- It would be impossible for the negro to get stitutional convention, but by the Anglo-Saxon. justice in a State whereof he was not a fall Congress is now correcting that mistake. The citizen. The prejudices of the entire court right of franchise is due the negroes bought by would be against him. I do not expect the the blood of forty thousand of their race shed negro to take possession of the government; in three wars. The troubles now on the coun- I want the franchise given him as an incentive try are the result of the bad exercise of the to work to educate his children. I do not deelective franchise by unintelligent whites, the sire to discuss the question of the inferiority 'poor whites of the South. I could duplicate of races. Unpleasant truths must then be told; every negro who cannot read and write, whose history tells us of your white ancestors who name is on the list of registered voters, with a lived on the acorns which dropped from the white man equally ignorant. The gentleman oaks of Didona, and then worshipped the tree can claim to be a friend of the negro, but I do as a God. I call upon all men who would see not desire to be looked upon in the light of a justice done, to meet this question fairly, and client. The Government has made a solemn fear not to record their votes." covenant with the negro to vest him with the In the session of January 29th, he said: right of franchise if he would throw his weight “Negroes vote in Ohio and Massachusetts, and in the balance in favor of the Union and bare in the latter State are elected to high office by his breast to the storm of bullets; and I am rich white men. He had found more prejuconvinced that it would not go back on itself. dice against his race among the Yankees; and There are thirty-two million whites to four if they did him a kind act, they did not seem million blacks in the country, and there need to do it with the generous spirit of Southern be no fear of negro domination. The State men. He could get nearer the latter: he had laws do not protect the negro in his rights, as been raised with them. He was the sorrier on they forbade their entrance into the State. this account that they had refused him the [Action of loyal convention of '64.] I am not rights which would make him a man, as the willing to trust the rights of my people with former were willing to do. He wanted this a the white men, as they have not preserved white man's government, and wanted them to those of their own race, in neglecting to pro- do the legislating as they had the intelligence vide them with the means of education. The and wealth; but he wanted the power to proDeclaration of Independence declared all men tect himself against unfriendly legislation. born free and equal, and I demand the enforce- Justice should be like the Egyptian statue, ment of that guarantee made to my forefathers, blind and recognizing no color." to every one of each race, who had fought Concerning intermarriage between whites for it. The constitution which this ordinance and negroes, Mr. Bradley, a delegate to the would reënact is not satisfactory, as it is blurred convention, having offered to insert in the conall over with the word “white.' Under it stitution a clause" forbidding matrimony beone hundred and eleven thousand beings who tween a white person and a person of African live in the State have no rights which white descent," on which point nearly all of the men are bound to respect. My people might members spoke pro and con. in that and the be ignorant, but I believe, with Jefferson, that following days, Mr. Gray said: "It was seldom ignorance is no measure of a man's rights. such outrages were committed at the North, Slavery has been abolished, but it left my peo- where there are no constitutional provisions of ple in a condition of peonage or caste worse the kind proposed. He saw no necessity of than slavery, which had its humane masters. inserting any in the present constitution. As for his people, their condition now would not or gave bonds for loyalty and good behavior to the permit any such marriages. If it was pro- comfort, or countenance to those engaged in armed posed to insert a provision of the kind, he hostility to the Government of the United States, would move to amend by making it an offence either by becoming a soldier in the rebel army, or by punishable with death for a white man to co- entering the lines of said army, or adhering in any habit with a negro woman.” At another time way to the cause of rebellion, or by accompanying he observed on the same subject, that “there any armed force belonging to the rebel army, or was to danger of intermarriage, as the greatest Second. Those who are disqualified as electors or
by furnishing supplies of any kind to the same. minds had pronounced it abhorrent to nature. from holding office in the State or States from which The provision would not cover the case, as the they came. Third. Those persons who during the laws must subsequently define who is a negro; Fourth. Those who may be disqualified by the
late rebellion violated the rules of civilized warfare. and he referred to the law of North Carolina, posed amendment to the Constitution of the United declaring persons negroes who have only one- States known as article fourteen, and those who have sixteenth of negro blood. White men had been disqualified from registering to vote for delecreated the difficulty, and it would now be im- gates to the convention to frame a constitution for the possible to draw the line which the gentleman titled "An act to provide for the more efficient govdesired established.”
ernment of the rebel States," passed March 2, 1867, The new State constitution, as framed by the and the acts supplemental thereto. Fifth. Those committee previously appointed for that pur- who shall have been convicted of treason, embezzlepose, having finally been put to the vote, was ment of public funds, malfeasance in office, criines adopted by 46 yeas against 20 nays. Its chief punishable by, law with imprisonment in the peni
tentiary, or bribery. Sixth. Those who are idiots or provisions, which had also been the most hotly- insane : ' Provided, That all persons included in the contested points of debate in the convention, first, second, third, and fourth subdivisions of this are the bill of rights, the article on elective section, who have openly advocated or who have franchise, which is extended to the negroes and accept the equality of all men before the law who are recognized politically and socially shall be deemed qualified electors under this constiequal to the whites in the State, and the article tution. on education, which is made common to the Sec. 4. The General Assembly shall have the power, children and youth of both races. The follow- by a two-thirds vote of each House, approved by the ing are extracts:
Governor, to remove the disabilities included in the
first, second, third, and fourth subdivisions of section BILL OF RIGHTS.-Section 1. All political power is three of this article, when it appears that such perinherent in the people. Government is instituted for son applying for relief from such disabilities has in the protection, security, and benefit of the people, good faith returned to his allegiance to the Governand they have the right to alter or reform the same ment of the United States : Provided, The General whenever the public may require it. But the para- Assembly shall have no power to remove the disamount allegiance of every citizen is due to the Fed- bilities of any person embraced in the aforesaid suberal Government in the exercise of all its constitu- divisions who, after the adoption of this constitution tional powers as the same may have been or may be by the convention, persists in opposing the acts of defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; Congress and reconstruction thereunder. and no power exists in the people of this or any other Sec. 5. All persons before registering or voting State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connec- must take and subscribe the following oath : “I, tion therewith or perform any act tending to impair, —, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will supsubvert, or resist the supreme authority of the United port and maintain the Constitution and laws of the States. The Constitution of the United States con- United States and the constitution and laws of the fers full powers on the Federal Government to main- State of Arkansas; that I am not excluded from registain and perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any tering or voting by any of the clauses in the first, portion of the States, or the people thereof, attempt second, third, or fourth subdivisions of Article VIII. to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist of the constitution of the State of Arkansas; that I the execution of its laws, the Federal Government will never countenance or aid in the secession of this may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed State from the United States; that I accept the civil foroe in compelling obedience to its authority. and political equality of all men, and agree not to at
Sa. 8. The equality of all persons before the law tempt to deprive any person or persons, on account is recognized and shall ever remain inviolate ; nor of race, color, or, previous condition, of any political shall any ever be deprived of any right, privilege, or or civil right, privilege, or immunity enjoyed by any immunity, nor exempted from
any burden or duty other class of men; and furthermore, that I will not on account of race, color, or previous condition. in any way injure, or countenance in others any at
FRANCHISE. --Sec. 1. In all elections by the people tempt to injure, any person or persons on account of the electors shall vote by ballot.
past or present support of the Government of the See. 2. Every male person born in the United States, United States, the laws of the United States, or the and every male person who has been naturalized or principle of the political and civil equality of all men, has legally declared his intention to become a citizen or for affiliation with any political party: of the United States, who is twenty-one years old or Education.-Sec. 1. A general diffusion of knowlupward, and who shall have resided in the State six edge and intelligence among all classes being essenmonths next preceding the election, and who at the tial to the preservation of the rights and liberties of time is an actual resident of the county in which he the people, the General Assembly shall establish and offers to vote, except as hereinafter provided, shall maintain a system of free schools for the gratuitous be deemed an elector: Provided, No soldier or sailor instruction of all persons in this State between the or marine in the military or naval service of the ages of five and twenty-one years, and the funds apUnited States shall acquire a residence by reason of propriated for the support of common schools shall be being stationed on duty in this State.
distributed to the several counties in proportion to Sec. 3. The following classes shall not be per- the number of children and youths therein between mitted to register or hold office, namely: First, those the ages of five and twenty-one years, in such manwho during the rebellion took the oath of allegiance ner as shall be prescribed by law, but no religious or
other sect or sects shall ever have any exclusive right accounts to the amount of fifty thousand dollars to or control of any part of the school funds of this in the manner therein provided, from funds to State.
be obtained by the sale of United States bonds, Sec. 6. No township or school district shall receive pow deposited to the credit of the State of Arkansas any portion of the public school fund unless a free in the 0. 8. Treasury at Washington, D. C. school shall have been kept therein for not less than three months during the year, for which distribution On the same day, in compliance with a prothereof is made. The General Assembly shall require by law that every child of sufficient mental and vision purposely inserted in the constitution, physical ability shall attend the public schools dur- the president informed the people of the elecing the period between the ages of five and eighteen tion to be held for its ratification. years for a term equivalent to three years, unless edu- Agreeably to a measure previously carried cated by other means.
in the convention, the president, on February An act, annexed to the new constitution, 12th, appointed two boards, each consisting of provided for its ratification by the people by three delegates, "for the purpose of digesting ordering a general election to begin for that and arranging laws, and to arrange a code of purpose on March 13, 1868, prescribing also practice for the State.” that the voters should at the same time choose On the 14th of February, which was the the State officers, the members of both branches thirty-first day of the session, the present work of the Legislature, and the Representatives of of the convention being at an end, the president, Arkansas in the Federal Congress. To super- in accordance with resolutions adopted before, intend and control this election it appointed announced "the convention adjourned, subby name two delegates of the convention and ject to the call of the president, or, in case of its president, as a Board of Commissioners, his inability, of one of the six vice-presidents." vested with ample power.
On the day of adjournment, but before the The framers of the constitution, anticipating adjournment was announced, fifteen delegates, the fact of its being both adopted by the dele- who had declined subscribing their names to gates in convention, and then ratified by the the new constitution, caused a common propeople, made further provision that the mem- test, signed by themselves, to be read aloud by bers of the General Assembly, twenty-six Sen- one of their number before the convention, of ators and eighty-two Representatives, should the following tenor: “We, the undersigned, be elected every fourth and second year re- delegates to the Constitutional Convention, do spectively, and should meet and commence their hereby protest against the above and foregoing sessions on the first of April, 1868. And for constitution, and decline to indorse or sign it, the purpose of holding the first-mentioned as the same, in our opinion, is anti-republican, and other elections, they grouped together and proscriptive, and destructive to the liberties, apportioned into twenty-two districts the fifty- rights, and privileges of the people of this eight counties of Arkansas somewhat differ- State.” They requested also that the protest ently than they had been before.
with their names should be attached to the It seems worthy of notice that at the final constitution. This the convention refused voting in the convention for the adoption or to permit, but allowed the document "to be rejection of this constitution, every member of spread upon the journal.” that body accompanied his vote with remarks, On February 14, 1868, the military commandobjecting to one or more specified parts of it; er ordered the holding of the election for the the remarks also were recorded with the vote ratification or rejection of the new constituupon the journal: so that there is scarcely a tion, and made dispositions to secure quiet and point to be found in that instrument which is regularity in the voting. not condemned in express terms by one or The fifteen delegates, who, upon the adjournmany of the delegates-even those who voted ment of the convention, had entered a protest for its adoption-seven of whom were negroes. against the new constitution, published in the
On February 11th, when the voting had papers, of February 18, 1868, a common adtaken place, the president communicated to dress to the people, "announcing their objecthe convention the answer of the military tions to the said constitution, and some of the commander to whom he had previously applied reasons which should induce the people to for money wherewith to pay the delegates and against its ratification." Nor did their defray the other expenses of the convention, party, before and after that time, cease from in which he stated as follows:
exerting themselves to prevent the new order That an ordinance to be entitled “an ordinance of things being introduced in Arkansas. Even raising revenue for the purpose of defraying the ex- before the end of 1867, the State Central Compenses of the Constitutional Convention,” and “ an mittee had called upon the Democratic State ordinance providing for the per diem and mileage of Convention to assemble at Little Rock, on Janthe members and the per diem of the officers of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Arkansas"
uary 27, 1868, "for the purpose of perfecting are in his opinion in conformity with the “recon- a more thorough organization," in order to put struction laws."
themselves in connection and act in unison Referring to the ordinance providing and making with the Democrats and Conservatives of the appropriation for the per diem and mileage of the North. On the appointed day they actually members of the Constitutional Convention, the general commanding directs me to inform you that the Honor-met, passed resolutions, and elected their offiable Treasurer of the State has been instructed to pay cers, who, in this capacity, signed and pub
lished a lengthy address to the people, explain- exercised, we believe, with equity and firmness for ing the importance of the political questions many years, and resisting the
destructive influences of implied in the measures proposed for their that of the law, and the sense of justice and pro
violent times, not from any force of its own, but from State, and the manner in which they should priety which usually pervades the minds of men, and meet and decide them.
that your authority emanates from a military source, Outside of these matters, immediately con- which implies absolute force; the property of the nected with the State Convention and its city will be transferred to you by such titles as you work, some occurrences of interest took place. adopt. Very respectfully, your obd’t serv't,
have been commanded to assume, or may choose to The military commander appointed for Little
J. W. HOPKINS, Rock, the capital of Arkansas, another mayor
Mayor of the City of Little Rock. and other aldermen in the place of those who On the day next preceding his expulsion were actually in charge of the said offices con- from office, Mayor Hopkins issued an ordinance, fided to them by the people. The following forbidding, under penalty of ten to twentycorrespondence took place February 12, 1868, five dollars, the practice of ringing bells and between the heads of the old and new boards:
beating drums through the streets of Little LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, February 12, 1868. Rock, “ to attract custom; as this could not To the Honorable John W. Hopkins, Mayor of the be but of great disturbance, perhaps, actual in
City of Little Rock :
jury to quiet people, and, especially, the sick. nicate to your honor, and through you to the board of He limited to auctioneers the liberty of makaldermen over which you preside, the information ing such noise, and this only “for five minthat they have been appointed by the commanding utes, before the door of the place of auction.” general to relieve you and your associates from any By an order dated March 31, 1868, the milifurther duties as mayor and åldermen of this city.
Our commissions, and authority for making this tary conimander of the Sub-District of Arkaneenmounication and request to you and your board, sas, the better to insure tranquillity and safety, are subject to your inspection.
during the impending election for the ratificaBe good enough to inform us at what time it will tion or rejection of the new State constitubest suit your convenience, and that of the board, to tion, provided for the disposition of troops, the books, seals, records, city bonds, money, or other throughout the State, as follows: property that may belong to the corporation of said
General Orders, No. 5.
HEADQUARTERS SUB-DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
} John Donohue, R. A. Edgerton, Albert Adams, H. T. Gibb, Rufus S. Sayward, J., G. Botsford, mencing the 13th instant, post-commanders will dis
During the period of the approaching election, comGeorge R. Weeks, R. L. Dodge, Aldermen.
tribute their troops, by small detachments, at such
places within their respective jurisdictions as their LITTLE ROOK, ARKANSAS, Foruary 12, 1868, } services may be most needed for the purpose of asVears, John Wassell, Sayward, Botsford, Weeks, sisting the commissioners of election and deputy Doige, Donohue, Edgerton, Adams, and Gibbs :
sheriffs in preserving order, also for the purpose of GENTLEYEX: I am in receipt of yours, dated Feb- protecting every voter in the exercise of his right to ruary 12th, in which you are pleased to communicate go to and return from the polls without restraint or to me, and through me to the board of aldermen of molestation. Parties guilty of unlawful interference the city of Little Rock, the information that you have with the rights of voters at the polls, or elsewhere, been appointed by the commanding general to re
will be promptly arrested and reported. lieve us and our associates of any further duties, as
Post-commanders will notify the boards of registhe mayor and aldermen of said city. To which I
trars of their several counties, at once, for their inbeg leave, on behalf of myself and the board of formation, what disposition of troops they propose aldermen, to reply that we are in no manner engaged to make, and immediately after the election will forin the military service, and were elected to our several ward full report of action, taken under this order, positions in accordance with the charter of the city, to these headquarters. The mounted troops will be to hold during our term of service, and until our suc
sent to remote stations, while dismounted detacheessors should be elected and qualified. That we are
ments will be sent to places of less distance. A not aware that your fitness for the several places into commissioned officer will accompany each detachwhich you would seek a forcible intrusion has ever
ment when practicable. been submitted to the people, whose affairs you pro
By command of pose to administer, in the formal manner required by Brevet Brigadier-General C. H. SMITH, U. S. A., charter of the city. That upon our qualifying for
SAMUEL M. MILLS, A. A. A. G. our several offices, we were required to take an oath The polls at this election were kept open to support the Constitution of the United States, and unusually long, from the 13th day of March the State of Arkansas, a conspicuous feature in which till the beginning
of April; and when they had in strict subordination to the civil, a remembrance of been finally closed, loud complaints were made which makes it as difficult to us to approve the steps by the Democrats against the Republicans of which you suggest, as it might be found embarrass- illegal and fraudulent voting, practised in seving to you, under the circumstances, to take a simi- eral counties, but especially in two, to the expleased, however, to recognize the only semblance of tent of above 2,000 ballots. right which you pretend to claim, and whose vir- A petition, signed on April 13th, by several ties are included in mere physical force, which suf- prominent persons, was addressed to the milibis to excuse us from the further performance of tary commander, requesting him to inquire into duties which we are no longer able to discharge. these frauds, of which the petitioners gave fore, that you have been commissioned to 'subvert him some specimens and promised to furnish the rights of the city and her people, freely given, others, if time were allowed. General Gillem
dispatched Colonel Tourtelotte to Little Rock, nine hundred and twenty-five (1,925)—there is no for the purpose of investigating the matter,
means of ascertaining whether they were cast for or and the colonel, in his report of April 22d,
against the constitution. said the petitioners assured him it would take and which was promulgated in General Order No. 14,
Prior to the act of Congress passed March 11, 1868, above six weeks before the frauds complained from the War Department,
dated March 14, 1868, of could be traced up, and months before the there was no law or order in existence permitting investigation could be completed; that persons any other county or precinct. The act above
voters registered in one county or precinct to vote in registered in one county had been allowed to vote in another, upon the authority of the law to vote in the election district where he offers to vote of Congress, passed March 11, 1868, permit- when he has resided therein for ten days next preting registered persons to vote in any county ceding such election, upon his presentation of his by a ten days' residence in the same, which certificate of registration, his affidavit, or other satislaw, though not officially published, the judges trict commander may prescribe.
factory evidence, under such regulations as the disof election knew of, and apparently assumed to The order containing this law was not received execute it on their own responsibility ; adding until after the election, and the dispatch from the that the Republicans, on the other hand, had General-in-chief containing po intimation of this promade complaints to him that, by intimidation, and therefore prescribed no regulation for persons and in some cases by actual force, the opposite voting at other precincts than those in which they party had hindered them from going to the registered. polls.
It appears from the report of Colonel J. E. TourBut concerning the occurrences and final telotte that the registrars in Pulaski, Jefferson, and result of this election, whereby the new State law, determined, on their own responsibility, to re
Washington Counties, learning unofficially of this constitution of Arkansas is declared to have ceive the votes of persons registered in other counbeen ratified by the people by a majority of ties. 1,316 votes, it may be proper to subjoin that part the purpose of investigating the frauds alleged by
Colonel Tourtelotte was ordered to Little Rock for of the official report, transmitted by General those opposed to the constitution, and was informed, Gillem to the army headquarters at Washing; by the parties preferring the charges, that at least six ton, in which, after stating the facts returned weeks would elapse before they could be ready to proto him, the general seems to regard the ceed with the investigation, and that months would above-mentioned result of the election ques- deemed expedient. All the evidence bearing on the
be required to complete them. Such delay was not tionable, remitting its decision to the proper subject is transmitted herewith. authority as follows:
As there was no separate record kept of the 1,925 It will be perceived by the foregoing table that
votes cast in Pulaski and Jefferson Counties by perthere were cast for the constitution twenty-seven
sons not registered in those counties, there are no thousand nine hundred and thirteen (27,913) ; against
means of ascertaining whether or not they were cast the constitution, twenty-six thousand five hundred for or against the constitution ; and, therefore, if the and ninety-seven (26,597); total, fifty-four thousand reception of these votes by the registrars, under a law five hundred and ten (54,510); majority for the con
of the existence of which they had no legal notificastitution, one thousand three hundred and sixteen tion, is held not to invalidate the election in the two (1,316).
counties above named, the constitution appears to Had the election been conducted in strict compli- have been adopted by a majority of 1,316. ance with General Order No. 7, and the result been
In a question of such importance, and one purely indicated by the above figures, the adoption of the civil, in which the action to be taken by the distriet constitution would have been indisputable; but an
commander is not prescribed by section five of the examination of the foregoing table of returns shows
act of March 23, 1867, I have determined to forward that, in Pulaski County, the total vote exceeds the to- the entire record for the action of the proper authortal number
registered by one thousand one hundred ities. I am, General, very respectfully, and ninety-five (1,195). This is explained by the
Your obedient servant, registrars, who admit that they permitted persons
ALVAN C. GILLEM, Brevet Maj.-Gen. U. $. A. registered in other counties to vote on the presenta
Commanding Fourth Military District. tion of their certificates of registration, and without
General U. S. GRANT, taking their names, or the counties and precincts in
Commanding Armies of the U. S. which they claim to be registered; nor did the offi- Three weeks in advance of General Gillem's cers conducting the election in this (Pulaski) county comply with par. III., General Order No. 7, from these official report on this election, those who had headquarters, providing for the manner of conduct- been elected members of the State Senate and ing the election, by."checking off the voter's name House of Representatives, upon the assumption on the precinct-book serving as the poll-book.” It that, in said election, the new State constituis, therefore, impossible to ascertain the number of tion had been ratified by the people, assembled the registered voters in Pulaski County who availed themselves of the right of franchise, and therefore together, on April 1, at Little Rock, to begin impossible to ascertain the number in excess of their sessions. The constitution had designated eleven hundred and ninety-five (1,195) who voted in that day and place for their meeting. They that county, and who were registered in other places. would have commenced their sessions on this It is also impossible to ascertain whether or not these persons have voted where registered.
day, had not the superintendent of the public The same irregularities occurred in Jefferson Coun- buildings refused to open for them the approty, where seven hundred and thirty (730) votes were priate halls as they requested. He refused on: cast by voters claiming to be registered in other coun- the ground that he had no official knowledge ties or precincts. these votes, eleven hundred and ninety-five
of such assembly. Whereupon they caused (1,195) in Pulaski, and seven hundred and thirty the building to be opened by a smith with (730) 'in Jefferson-making a total of one thousand tools, and on April 2, 1868, began to hold