Reconstruction Committee's Plan.
May 1, 1866
Forney of the Reconstruction Committee thinks it is unrealistic that the new constitution will be inflexibly enforced for Southerners- they are unwilling to accept the new laws. There is no way that the required number of states will be willing to ratify.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1866 Reconstruction Committee's Plan Forney says: " There is no defeating the amendment in Congress or before the country, and there is every reason to believe that the Southern people will at once address themselves to the acceptance of the conditions so generously proffered as they will be inflexibly enforced." What language is strong enough to characterize such a falsehood, based upon such a misrepresentation of facts? And Forney knew that he was lying. He knew that he had no reason to suppose that the Southern people would accept the terms proposed. These terms will be "inflexibly enforced,'' says Forney. How? By whom? By what authority? Evidently his idea is that the amendment will be adopted by the northern States, and " forced " upon the South. "Oh, Liberty!'' said Madame Roland, "what crimes are committed in thy name!" The Baltimore Sun, a truthful paper, takes the true view, in saying: "If it is not designed to prevent reconstruction, it is difficult to see what other purpose it could possibly have. It can hardly be supposed that the committee or the majority in Congress would expect this illiberal scheme to be acceptable to the people, or that the requisite number of States would ratify the proposed constitutional amendment." "Analostan" writes from Washington: "The propositions made by the committee will without doubt be endorsed by their associates in Congress, but are of such a character that it will be impossible for the South to accept them, which is precisely what the Radicals want. They have no intention that the South shall be represented in the National Congress unless she sends members in full accord with them, and who will at once fall into the party traces under the lead of Stevens, Sumner & Co."
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BeamBrooke-18660501-Reconstruction Committee's Plan.pdf
“Reconstruction Committee's Plan.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/124.