"No Discrimination" Suffrage

February 17, 1869


Debate in government about whether or not to allow the Chinese to vote. Shows the hypocrisy when a man who is a proponent of universal manhood suffrage advocates for not allowing the Chinese to vote.


"No Discrimination"Suffrage. There is confusion amongst the dominant party in Washington relative to the suffrage amendment. The representatives from the Pacific slope want to exclude the Chinese ; and it is stated that there is a leven of the old "Know-Nothing " feeling remaining which prompts many to desire to leave it to the Federal Government and the States to exclude "foreigners." The argument was adduced in the House of Representatives the other day that Chinese ought not to vote because they were Pagans ; and what are negroes? But the argument, coming from an advocate of "manhood suffrage, " is most absurd. It destroys his principle ; it knocks manhood suffrage in the head, and, furthermore, assails one of the cardinal principles of our republican system, which declares that no man shall be restricted in his political rights on account of his religious opinions. The troubles are natural consequences of an attempt in Congress to exclude all the results of experience, all the maxims of policy and prudence, by elevating to the dignity of law a mere fanatical opinion. No man can shut his eyes to the disastrous effects of a mixed and mottled constituent body as seen in the "Republics" - so called south of us ; and the ruling power is guilty of ignoring all the teachings of history by erecting the Utopian idea of "equality " of all men, placing the Caucasian, as improved in America, upon the same platform with the "Digger " and " Flathead " Indians. If it were not that people, admonished by experience, do change their politics, the deeds of the present Congress would be desperate indeed.
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Joseph McEachon




“"No Discrimination" Suffrage,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 8, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1270.