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teenth Amendment did not attempt to invest Congress with power to legislate upon subjects which are within the domain of State legislation."
"Throughout the bitter struggle over the return of the southern States to the Union, his lance was never at rest. He knew nothing of compromises; all his measures were radical and as his opponents believed, revolutionary. With his death, which occurred just two weeks after the Fourteenth Amendment became a part of the supreme law of the land, there vanished from Congress the most dominating spirit it had ever known. For twenty years he labored ceaselessly in it on behalf of the negro race. He hated slavery with all the hot intensity of his nature; and he urged the emancipation proclamation as right, just and expedient. He had initiated the Fourteenth Amendment and carried it through. He had formulated the policy of Congress in its four great reconstruction acts, and, to the last moment of his life, he believed that no measure which could be carried out against the southern people could be too severe.
“The grand passion of his life,—the amelioration of the condition of the negro race,-he sought to carry out and make permanent after his death by providing in his will that his estate should become a fund for the care and education of negro children. He selected for his burial place a quiet and secluded spot at Lancaster, where persons of any race might be laid to rest; choosing his grave, as he declared, in the epitaph which he wrote for his tomb, that he might be enabled to illustrate in his death the principle which he had advocated throughout a long life—the equality of men before their Creator. To this uncompromising, political Puritan must be accredited, above any other man, the authorship and the ultimate adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Thorpe's Constitutional History of the United States, vol. 3, 402-404.
Section 1.-The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2.--The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The ratification of this amendment was certified by Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, March 30, 1870.
This was the third and last of the three great amendments which grew out of the Civil War, and is the last amendment added to the Constitution, Like its two immediate predecessors, it was adopted in the interest of the colored race. Its authorship is probably due more directly to Mr. John B. Henderson, United States Senator from Missouri, than to any other person. Its history forms an interesting chapter in the history of the government from 1860 to the time it was adopted. In the debate which occurred over the Fourteenth Amendment, Senator Henderson, on March 7, 1867, introduced the following joint resolution, which eventually became this amendment: “That no State shall deny or abridge the right of its citizens to vote and hold office on account of race, color, or previous condition. The resolution also gave Congress the power to enforce its provisions by appropriate legislation. Nothing was done with this resolution until after Congress had adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. On December 7, 1868, Senator Cragin, of New Hampshire, introduced the following resolution on the same subject : “No State shall deny the right of suffrage or abridge the same to any male citizen of the United States twenty-one years of age and upwards, except for participation in rebellion i Congressional Globe, 1st Session, 40th Congress, 1867, 13.
or other crime, and excepting also Indians not taxed; but any State may exact of such citizens a specific term of residence as a condition of voting therein, the condition being the same for all classes.''2 On the same day Mr. Pomeroy, a Senator from Kansas, introduced this resolution: “The basis of suffrage in the United States shall be that of citizenship, and all natives or naturalized citizens shall enjoy the same rights and privileges of the elective franchise; but each State shall determine by law the age of the citizen and the time of residence required for the exercise of the right of suffrage, which shall apply equally to all citizens, and also shall make all laws concerning the time, places and manner of holding the elections.'
''3 In the House three similar resolutions were moved. Mr. Kelley, of Pennsylvania, introduced one as follows: "No State shall deny to or exclude from the exercise of any of the rights or privileges of an elector any citizen of the United States by reason of race or color.' And Mr. Broomall, of Pennsylvania, moved that: “Neither Congress nor any State
State by its constitution or laws shall deny or restrict the right of suffrage to citizens of the United States on account of race or parentage of such citizens; and all qualifications or limitations of the right of suffrage in the constitution or laws of any State, based upon race or parentage, are, and are hereby, declared to be void.' Mr. Stokes of Tennessee, proposed the following amendment: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall deprive any citizen of the right of the elective franchise on account of race
On January 11, 1869, Mr. Boutwell, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House, reported the following joint resolution: “That the following article (two-thirds of both Houses concurring) be proposed to the legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said legislatures, shall be held as part of the said Constitution, namely: Section 1. The right of any
2 Cong. Globe, 3d Sess., 40th Cong., 6, part 1.
Cong. Globe, 3d Sess., 40th Cong., 11, part 1.
citizen of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of the race, color, or previous condition of slavery of any citizen or class of citizens of the United States.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce by proper legislation the provisions of this article." Mr. Shellabarger, of Ohio, offered an amendment to the resolution of Mr. Boutwell as follows: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall deny or abridge to any male citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years or over, and who is of sound mind, an equal vote at all elections in the State in which he shall have such actual residence as shall be prescribed by law, except to such as have engaged or may hereafter engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, and to such as shall be duly convicted of treason, felony or other infamous crimes. But this resolution was defeated by 61 yeas to 126 nays.? The House then passed the Boutwell resolution by a vote of 150 yeas to 42 nays, which then went to the Senate.
Senator Stewart, chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, acting under instructions of his committee, moved to amend the resolution by striking out the whole of section 1 and inserting the following: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote and hold office shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.''
Several amendments were offered in place of Senator Stewart's amendment, but none of them received sufficient support to be adopted, except that of Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, which he offered as a substitute to Senator Stewart's amendment, and which provided: “That no discrimination shall be made in any State among the citizens of the United States in the exercise of the elective franchise or in the exercise of the right to hold office in any State, on account of race, color, nativity, property, education or religious creed.'10 The Senate,
6 Cong. Globe, 3d Sess., 40th Cong., 286, part 1.
after some further debate, passed the Wilson amendment by a vote of 31 yeas to 27 nays." At this time Senator Morton presented the following resolution as an amendment to the Wilson amendment: “That clause 2, first section of article 2 of the Constitution of the United States shall be amended to read: 'Each State shall appoint, by a vote of the people thereof qualified to vote for representatives in Congress, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress; but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector; and the Congress shall have power to prescribe the manner in which such electors shall be chosen by the people.'” This amendment was adopted.
The resolution, including the Morton amendment, read as follows: “No discrimination shall be made in any State among the citizens of the United States in the exercise of the elective franchise or in the right to hold office in any State on account of race, color, nativity, property, education or creed. Each State shall appoint, by the vote of the people thereof qualified to vote for representatives in Congress, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector; and the Congress shall have power to prescribe the manner in which such electors shall be chosen by the people.''12 The resolution was then sent to the House of Representatives. That body at once began its consideration, but as the Boutwell resolution which the House had passed had been changed both in substance and formespecially by the addition of the Morton amendment—the House refused its concurrence by a vote of 133 to 37, and a committee of conference consisting of Messrs. Boutwell, Shellabarger and Eldridge was appointed by the Speaker. The Senate did not appoint a committee of conference, but receded from its resolution, though it still refused to agree to the Boutwell resolution. The House
11 Congressional Globe, 3d Session, 40th Congress, 1040, part 2. 12 Congressional Globe, 3d Session, 40th Congress, 1224, part 2.