Select Statutes and Other Documents: Illustrative of the History of the United States, 1861-1898

By William MacDonald | Go to book overview

An Act to regulate the elective Franchise in the Territories of the United States.

Be it enacted . . . , That from and after the passage of this act, there shall be no denial of the elective franchise in any of the Territories of the United States, now, or hereafter to be organized, to any citizen thereof, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; and all acts or parts of acts, either of Congress or the Legislative Assemblies of said Territories, inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby declared null and void.


No. 56. First Reconstruction Act
March 2, 1867

THE question of the restoration of the insurrectionary States to a place in the Union early engaged the attention of Congress, and many resolutions setting forth the opinions of their framers as to the way in which such restoration should be brought about, were submitted. A concurrent resolution of March 2, 1866, declared "that, in order to close agitation upon a question which seems likely to disturb the action of the government, as well as to quiet the uncertainty which is agitating the minds of the people of the eleven States which have been declared to be in rebellion, no senator or representative shall be admitted into either branch of Congress from any of said States until Congress shall have declared such State entitled to such representation." The majority report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction was submitted June 18, 1866, and the minority report four days later. A bill to reconstruct North Carolina was introduced by Thaddeus Stevens December 13. February 6, 1867, however, Stevens reported from the joint committee a general reconstruction bill. On the 13th a substitute offered by Stevens was agreed to, and the bill passed the House, the vote being 109 to 55, 26 not voting. An amendment submitted by James G. Blaine of Maine, providing that when Congress should have approved the Constitution of any State conferring suffrage in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment, the other sections of the bill should become inoperative, was rejected. In the meantime the Fourteenth Amendment had been rejected by all the seceding States except Tennessee. The Blaine amendment, offered by Sherman in the Senate, was accepted by that house, and the amended bill passed, February 16, by a vote of 29 to 10. On the 19th the House, by a vote of 73 to 98, refused to concur, but the next day receded from its disagreement, and concurred in the amendments of the Sen

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