September 11, 1868
This paper is in response to the New York Herald correspondent stating that anyone who fought with the confederates should not be allowed to vote.The article is an outrageous response that goes as far as to call the correspondent in question an ass.They cite the Howard amendment (the one they always critique) as showing that all those who fought for the confederacy were forgiven and how it would be outrageous to rob them of this right.Despite what they did to the African Americans for so many generations.
Disfranchisement. " Our Washington correspondent states that the question raised by the Democrats iu South Carolina as to -whether any white cititens are really debarred from the right to vote by the Howard amendment has assumed great prominence in that State, aiid proves to be of a knotty character." - New York Herald. Your correspondent is an ass. That section of the Howard amendment to "which he refers was intended to keep " rebels " out of office, and for no other purpose. It disqualifies for office certain " rebels," The reconstruction acts provided that those same persons should not vote on the question of calling a Convention, Congress being apprehensive that all such would oppose the call. But Congress never presumed to undertake to prescribe the qualifications of voters in any State, "whether a reconstructed one or a loyal one. To show how ignorant the Herald and its correspondent both are upon this subject, we quote all that is said upon it in the supplementary reconstruction act : " Provided , That do person excluded from the privilege of holding office by eaid amendment to the Constitution of the United States Bhall bo eligible to election as a member of the Convention to frame a Constitution for any of the said rebel States, nor shall any such person vote for members of such Convention." Now, hero it is declared by Congress as plainly as language can express it, that the Howard amendment excludes certain persons from the privilege of holding office, but deprives no one of the right of suffrage, yet that these same persons who could not hold office under the Howard amendment should not be elected to the Convention 01 auy State nor vote for members of such Convention. No one pretends that the reconstruction acts deprive any one of the right to vote. This stupid correspondent of tho Herald comes out every once in a while, however, wilh a declaration that somebody is disfranchised by the Howard amendment?a declaration which even Mr. Sumner would uuhesitatingly pronounce to be false. Above we give the language of Congress itself, which ought to convince even such a nincompoop that the Howard amendment does not deprive, nor was it intended to deprive, any one of the right of suffrage
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“Richmond Dispatch,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1121.